NEW NEW YORK: LIZ WENDELBO, of XENO AND OAKLANDER

By Jessica Glick

I got off the L train on a familiar street. As I searched for her apartment number, I realized I was nearing a forgotten place. I was suddenly filled with melancholic memories. I would later explain to her that I very briefly lived on the block when she would ask if I knew the neighborhood.

I found her building only a few steps away from my past. I rang the buzzer and waited. We met for the first time when the door opened. She was standing there with a dog clutching her shoulder. I followed her inside and up a winding staircase to the second floor. Once she was able to remove Roland’s grip and place him on the ground, she walked me down her railroad style apartment. Just past the bedroom was her studio.

Cluttered by synthizers and wires, it took a moment for me to notice him. I assumed he was the Oaklander to her Xeno, but I never asked. After a brief introduction, she redirected me towards the first room we entered. She took a seat on the beige couch by the window. Although I wanted to focus on her, the unfamiliar language written on the wall and the vinyl record collection to my right distracted me. Once I spotted the rooftop view of Brooklyn behind her, I refocused. She began to tell me about her band’s new single, which she recorded in what she refers to as her “over crowded synth museum”. She hopes to have this song be apart of a possible EP that she plans to finish before going on tour in Europe this May.

Originally from Oslo, Norway she moved to Strasbourg, France as a child and began to study classical music at a conservatoire. Once she discovered disco and beats, she changed her musical path. Later on, she started to collect records and was exposed to her current sound of minimal electronic synth pop.

Now residing in Brooklyn, her focus is not only on music. Interested in stimulating all senses, she experiments with her film background by projecting her 16mm or super 8 projects while performing live. Along with this, she creates perfume. Her current one, Eau de Xeno, is available on her online store.

After mentioning her fragrance, I found myself curious about the meaning behind her band’s name. A metaphysical concept, the name refers to the ancient Greek xeno paradox. She explained it to me by using the idea of a filmstrip. Together, each image gives the illusion of movement, but is in fact still. Attempting to comprehend this contradiction, I suddenly began reflecting on the moments before she and I met.  My history on her street was still present in me, but I had seemingly moved forward; down the block.

We said our goodbyes. As I headed to the subway, I passed my old apartment perplexed yet enlightened…

-Jessica Glick

Learn more about Liz Wendelbo and her band Xeno and Oaklander.

Jessica Glick is a photographer, writer, and music lover. She developed an interest in photography while working at various Lower East Side music venues. Jessica started photographing local musician and has now expanded her work to include fine art and fashion. In addition to photography, Jessica has been writing since she was a child. Attempting to combine her writings with her photo work, she created an ongoing portrait/story series called VAGABOND.

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