Ian Kieffer describes his appetite over the past several years for churning out music under different personas as that of a gluttonous man at a buffet who can’t narrow down his options. However, it seems he has recently managed to refine his musical palate to a certain degree, making a promising return to his singer/songwriter roots, heralded by the release of Willem.
On this debut single, Ian ponders a love-hate relationship to his art and a sense of disillusionment with painfully honest humour and self-reflection that many creatives, perhaps fellow Millennials especially, will be able to relate to, with lyrics like:
“so scared of failing hadn’t realised I’d failed / oh what a joke, oh me oh my / laugh til I cry,”
He muses about the pervasive struggle to obtain recognition as an independent artist, often regardless of consistent effort, tenacity, and quality of output. The song poses uneasy questions of what it’s all for, citing the phenomenon of a certain painter who struggled through life only to become a household name posthumously, in what’s considered by some to be an overexposed fashion at that. Wearily, jokingly, he considers his options against a stark orchestral background:
“I’ll do a Van Gogh / chop off my ear to show / fade away and never know / it’s so goddamned celebrated becomes popular to hate it / but for now I’ll just keep at it on my own,”
You can check out the music video for Willem below, where the artist gets his face painted as what seems to be a rather dejected-looking clown to accompany the track. Then read on for Ian’s recommendations for his top five spots in Los Angeles for music, food, comedy, and more.
On Beverly in Filipino Town. Amazing little hole in the wall to watch a Dodger game with a couple ice cold beers and a spicy chicken sandwich.
2. DYNASTY TYPEWRITER.
Great little theater that puts on amazing comedy shows if you like to laugh. AND WHO DOESN’T LIKE TO LAUGH?!
A large collection of the most beautiful and ugly east siders chain smoking cigarettes and judging each other while listening to fun music.
4. SNUG HARBOR.
Best diner on the west side to sit by yourself, have a cup of joe and read the morning paper.
5. BURGERLORDS. One of the best burgers in town and it’s not even meat! Everything is vegan if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not, it’s just really good. Bonus points because Burgerlords Highland Park sits right next to the Lodge Room which is a fun venue.
Ian Kieffer’s Youtube and Instagram: