Friday, February 29, 2008

Mini-Interview: Buddy

It's hard to nail exactly how the appeal of local indie pop act Buddy crosses over with both the KCRW-listening, Hotel Cafe-going crowd and Spaceland-residing, KXLU-loving East Siders without saying something potentially insulting to either one or both parties... Suffice to say, Buddy may very well have something for everyone: pop music that’s thoughtful and rather goddamn sweet but with a slight melancholic edge to it as well.

We checked in with Buddy -- yes, his name and the band’s are one and the same – earlier this week over Instant Message to learn some more about what he/they're doing.

buddy (7:13:48 PM): Hey, Joe! This is Buddy. I’m in no hurry. Just thought I’d let you know I was on...
buddy (7:14:08 PM): Sorry I’m late. Damn haircuts...
RFSL (7:14:35 PM): Hey! How are you doing tonight?
buddy (7:15:02 PM): I’m good, thanks. You? Deadlines conquered?
RFSL (7:15:14 PM): I marked you in as the wrong IM name, so didn't see you. Thanks for popping me a message.
RFSL (7:15:46 PM): Yeah, things are good.
buddy (7:16:19 PM): Cool. The game looks pretty cool. Sounds like a fun job.
RFSL (7:16:40 PM): Thanks! It looks like it will turn out well.
buddy(7:16:50 PM): I can't imagine the details that must have to go into it...
RFSL (7:16:59 PM): It’s a fun day job... Some of the details are about as exciting as having someone explain their exercise regime, though. :)
RFSL (7:17:26 PM): Are you a full-time musician at this point or do you still have a day job?
buddy (7:18:16 PM): I am a full-time musician. Something I thought I’d never be able to say, but I’m lucky enough to be able to see that. We'll see how long that lasts...
RFSL (7:18:35 PM): How long has that been? Was it a hard decision to make at the time?
RFSL (7:18:50 PM): (I've eased into the interview, by the way...)
buddy (7:21:10 PM): (Ha. Okay. Thanks for telling me so I can pay attention to my spelling).
buddy (7:22:20 PM): Actually, the decision wasn't so hard as the timing just sort of lined up in my favor. I was working at a bluegrass label in Silver Lake a couple of years ago and started to lose a bit of interest. When I quit I planned on taking some time off to write but then some music placements happened and, luckily enough, continued to happen, so it's afforded me to stay away from another cubicle.
RFSL (7:23:09 PM): That's great. How did you start playing originally?
RFSL (7:24:09 PM): Your first show was at The Hotel Cafe, right?
buddy (7:24:37 PM): Yep. I had made an ep with my friend Robbie Rist and basically used it to try and get shows. It took a few months to finally get a booking and finally I got one at the Hotel in august, 2004.
RFSL (7:25:01 PM): And you met a few members of your current band there that night?
buddy (7:28:34 PM): Yeah. Percy (who plays guitar in the band) was working the door and Will Golden (who produced the record and plays bass) was working the sound. We became friends and about 1 1/2 years later I broke my wrist and couldn't play guitar and had some shows booked.
buddy (7:29:14 PM): I asked those guys and another friend Al Sgro (who co-produced the record and plays a variety of stuff in our band) to bail me out temporarily 'til the wrist healed. turned out we all liked the band thing and it just stuck...
RFSL (7:30:31 PM): So you've been playing with a full band for how long now?
buddy (7:30:54 PM): Not quite two years
RFSL (7:31:08 PM): How did the album come together?
RFSL (7:31:16 PM): Who did you work with on it?
buddy (7:34:28 PM): Will and Al own a studio together and produce records, so it was easy enough to just do it there. I met Michael Jerome who came on board on drums and Fil Krohnengold joined up on keys shortly after we started and the six of us did the record together.
RFSL (7:35:50 PM): Seems like it's been very well received. You've gotten nice comments from KCRW, your songs have appeared on a few TV shows, you did a residency at The Hotel Cafe, and so on.
buddy (7:38:06 PM): It's been really great and a bit surprising. I feel really lucky regarding the response we've had and the guys I play with.
RFSL (7:38:44 PM): There's a joking comment I think you may have written in your MySpace band bio about how you guys play "wimpycore." Where did that come from?
RFSL (7:39:52 PM): (I think Bedroom Walls jokingly said they play "romanticore" in an interview once and maybe regret it a bit.)
buddy (7:41:48 PM): Ha. I don't know -- I take our art seriously, but I guess I've never taken myself that seriously. A friend of mine told me once that she liked my "cry-baby rock songs" and I thought it was funny and right on a level, so I guess "wimpycore" kinda came from that joke.
RFSL (7:42:32 PM): My friend Paul one time used the term "pleasantly melancholy" and it stuck for me.
buddy (7:42:53 PM): Ha. That's a good one
RFSL (7:44:01 PM): Your songs are optimistic and sweet, but with a little bit of trepidation to them.
RFSL (7:44:39 PM): As opposed to a lot of bands in town where there's a lot of trepidation and a little cautious optimism...
RFSL (7:45:43 PM): If this were USA Today, I'd illustrate this difference with a bar graph or a pie chart right now.
RFSL (7:45:51 PM): (Where's my laser pointer?)
buddy (7:47:35 PM): Ha. I like it. it would read: "Optimism vs Trepidation: How The Nation's Bands Balance The Two". Most of my songs are pretty personal and I usually write about stuff that is bothering me. I guess the fear is inherent in that, but I’ve never been a "dooms day" or gloomy guy.
RFSL (7:49:02 PM): So, what's next for you? You're getting ready to go to Noise Pop and SXSW?
RFSL (7:49:44 PM): And there's the show at The Echo!
buddy (7:51:09 PM): Yep. We are heading to sxsw and noisepop. and Friday at The Echo with Tilly and the Wall. Should be a lot of fun.
RFSL (7:51:53 PM): Great. You driving or flying to SF and Austen?
buddy (7:52:30 PM): Driving to SF. Last year we drove to Austin and I swore I wouldn't do it this year, so I’m flying. Are you going?
RFSL (7:52:47 PM): I wish I was going to either or both, but I've gotta work.
RFSL (7:53:05 PM): (If SXSW was one week later, I might have been able to swing it.)
RFSL (7:53:25 PM): What's next after those shows? Any recordings or residencies planned?
buddy (7:54:43 PM): We will be playing around town a lot I think and trying to work out some new songs. We plan on hitting the studio in may and recording the sophomore slump record. I mean, sophomore record.
RFSL (7:55:08 PM): Excellent. One last question... What are you listening to these days?
buddy (7:58:20 PM): This week's heavy rotation has been Taken by Trees, Papercuts, Grand Archives, and Everest. Plus, I'm one of the millions who never gets sick of the Band of Horses record
buddy (7:58:58 PM): and Dr Dog has become one of my favorite bands. I think I came to the party late.
RFSL (7:59:01 PM): Can't wait for Everest's full album.
buddy (7:59:41 PM): Me neither. My arms are tiring of flipping over the three-song ep so often..
RFSL (8:00:29 PM): Alright. That's all I've got. Thanks so much for your time!
buddy (8:00:44 PM): Thanks a million Joe. I really appreciate it.

Don’t miss his/their show tonight at The Echo opening up for Omaha's Tilly & The Wall.

DOWNLOADS:
- Westgate MP3
- No Heart MP3

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spaceland 13th Anniversary Ticket Giveaway

This Sunday afternoon, Spaceland's 13th Anniversary Party kicks off at noon thirty featuring a line-up comprised of Earlimart, The Movies, 400 Blows, The Blood Arm, Wisky Biscuit, Radar Bros., Oliver Future, Run Run Run, The Vacation, The Broken West, Let's Go Sailing, The Tyde, and "surprises" -- with dj sets by The LA Times' Kevin Bronson, Sea Level Todd, Fred Kiko, and more.

We've got a few tickets to giveaway for the show, so send us a message right here with "SPACELAND" in the title and your full name in the body to be entered in the drawing to win. (Must be 21+ and have not won anything from us in the last sixty days.)

UPDATE: Sorry! They're gone.

Here's the schedule:

1:00 – 1:30 - Let's Go Sailing
1:50 – 2:20 - The Tyde
2:40 – 3:10 - The Broken West
3:30 – 4:00 - Oliver Future
4:20 – 4:50 - The Movies
5:10 – 5:40 - Radar Bros.
6:00 – 6:30 - Earlimart
6:50 – 7:20 - Special Guests (Duke says The Little Ones?)
7:40 – 8:10 - Wisky Biscuit
8:30 – 9:00 - 400 Blows
9:20 – 9:50 - The Blood Arm
10:10 – 10:40 - Run Run Run
11:00 – 11:30 - The Vacation

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Save The Date: Let's Independent! w/ The Minor Canon, Amnion, & Princeton

So, our next Let's Independent! event at Boardner's returns on Tuesday, March 18th with the "insert your own adjective regarding awe" line-up of The Minor Canon, Amnion, and Princeton. It's FREE once again and it looks like there will even be Dewars drink specials this time, to boot.

You've got three weeks from yesterday to bone up on all three acts, if you haven't heard them already -- and, hell, you should. Here's a bit on each...

No joke. The Minor Canon's No Good Deed Goes Unpunished was one of my favorite albums last year. Duke from You Set The Scene shares that opinion and describes them succinctly by saying they "make heartfelt pop music complemented by horns and piano."

Amnion's Aaron Embry was a studio musician for the likes of Elliott Smith and Jane’s Addiction before starting up the band, which released their first album last week. Octavius from KXLU Demo Listen turned me on to them and I have to thank him for it. It's trippy pop music where The Beatles, Rufus Wainwright, and a bunch of stuff you never heard of before that you ought to have are all combined with their own thing in a big aural present.

And Princeton are probably my biggest band crush since the first time I saw Le Switch play. They're extremely catchy indie pop with more hooks per square inch than really anyone else out there right now.

No poster quite yet, but you can hear songs from all three bands right here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Video Free Silver Lake: The Spires, Lo-Fi Sugar, & One AM Radio

The way I figure it, you don't need too much of an intro for a post that contains three fairly disparate music videos. You just need to fill up all the blank space next to the attached random picture so the formatting looks nice...

The first clip is for The Spires, who remain one of my favorite bands in the area ... though they're out of Ventura, so they're kind of extended family. (They're playing with The Coral Sea and The Western States Motel this Saturday out at The Mercury Lounge in Goleta, if you too live out of town or like road trips.)



Then, there's Hrishikesh from One AM Radio's little lo-fi stop motion video for the instrumental track A Brittle Filament, from the album This Too Will Pass.



And finally there's Lo-Fi Sugar's new video, which features copious use of werewolves and shotguns and mittens and hats.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Monday Show Low Down (Or "Sharks' Tears Get Lost In The Ocean...")

It was around the time of the E3 convention a summer or three ago and it was two in the morning and we were all at Taco King at the corner of Sunset and Alvarado, I guess sobering up. Someone gave change to a homeless guy, who then decided he wanted to give us an old Playboy he'd been carrying around. But first he tore out the Dan Ackroyd interview inside because he liked it so much.

Somehow it ended up on my living room table later that night, though nobody had seemed to want to pick it up. Old Playboys already seem kind of vaguely scary and unhygienic on their own, but add the homeless guy factor and this one was like hot lava. We kicked at it and kept it away from the food. If we'd had sticks, we probably would have poked at it with them.

I swear, there's something especially sad about pornography that no one wants to touch...

Anyway, here's how this week is looking in local music.

Monday, February 25
- The Henry Clay People, Rademacher, Army Navy & What Made Milwaukee Famous @ The Echo (FREE)
- They Shys, Bigbang, February Fifths, Maryandi, & Nicholas Alexander and The Matadors @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE)
- KCRW presents: Rickie Lee Jones @ Echoplex
- The Digs, David Higgins, Silver Phial, The Burlington Family, & Eagle-Winged Palace @ Mr T's Bowl
- Sean Carnage Presents Cristopher Cichocki (video composition set), Halloween Swim Team, Rumspringa, Warm Climate, & Rale @ Pehrspace
- Indie 103.1 Presents Check One... Two... Casxio & Electrocute @ The Viper Room
- Chris T-T & Frank Turner @ Bordello
- Moving Picture Show @ Crash Mansion (FREE)
- Dorian Wood, Killsonic, Liz Pappademas, Frank Turner, & Chris TT @ Bordello
- Solare, Exit Music, The Valley Arena, Xanimo, & Kav @ The Troubadour (FREE)
- The Lamps, Haunted George, The Black, & Golden Boys @ The Scene
- The Monthlies (acoustic set), Rio Bravo, & Katrina Parker @ Tangier
- Bust Magazine Presents : The Pity Party, The Rolling Blackouts, & Meho Plaza @ Spaceland (FREE)

DECISION:
Lots of good stuff tonight… Four great bands at The Echo for free: The Henry Clay People, Rademacher, Army Navy & What Made Milwaukee Famous… The debut of Eagle Winged Palace, a new psyche pop band from the folks behind garage pop act The Prix, at Mr T’s Bowl… Exit Music and friends at The Troubadour for free... And The Pity Party close out their free residency at Spaceland.

Tuesday, February 26
- Big French & Paper Rainbow @ Echo Curio
- The Meemies, Branden Mayer and The Hidden Powers, Heartstrings Symphony, & Denver Smith @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Jay Farrar @ The Troubadour
- Missy Higgins & Patrick Francis @ The El Rey
- Correatown, Cosio, & Telephone & Telegraph @ Bordello
- You Me and Iowa, The Natural Disasters, The Coma Lilies, & Blanket @ The Scene
- I See Hawks in LA, Mike Stinson, Psychedelic Cowboys @ The Echo
- The Helio Sequence, The Builders and the Butchers, Hearts Of Palm UK @ Spaceland

DECISION:
I’ve seen The Helio Sequence at Spaceland twice before and they’re fantastic live, while Correatown, Hearts Of Palm UK, and You Me & Iowa are also worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 27
- British Sea Power, Colour Music, & Castledoor @ The Echo
- Dub Club w/ Ranking Trevor @ Echoplex
- Stellastarr* & The Oohlas @ The Troubadour
- Lisa Brenner @ Room 5
- The Weather Underground, Francisco The Man, Ladies And Gents, & Flashing Red Lights @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Quazaar and The Bamboozled, The Douglas Lee, & Little Man T @ Bordello
- Unpopable Quartet, Paul Bailey Ensemble, & Amorphous Blob @ Mr T's Bowl
- Daddy-O, The Dirges, Zero To Kill, & The Hounds @ The Scene
- Kassia Conway & Katy Rose @ Tangier
- Indie 103 presents CLUB NME w/ Bedtime for Toys, IO Echo, & Holly Marilyn @ Spaceland

DECISION:
I don’t know Britsh Sea Power, but Castledoor are some of the best performers in town right now and never disappoint.

Thursday, February 28
- Mezzanine Owls 7" Release Show w/ The Mae Shi, Eagle & Talon, & Frankel @ The Echo
- British Sea Power, Colour Music, & White Denim @ Spaceland
- Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile @ The Troubadour
- Rum & Humble & Jackson Browne pres: Son De La Frontera @ Echoplex
- Adam Marsland's Chaos Band, Service Group, Pussy Cow, & Rob Shapiro @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Convicts, The Mercs, Bad Guise, & The Pocket Rockets @ The Scene
- Tulsa, What Made Milwaukee Famous, This Will Destroy You, & Signal Hill @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- The Poor Excuses, Light FM, and Tigers Can Bite You @ The Three Of Clubs

DECISION:
This night was made to vex the indecisive... The improbable yet incredible mixing of Mezzanine Owls, The Mae Shi, Eagle & Talon, and Frankel should amaze folks at The Echo, while What Made Milwaukee Famous, This Will Destroy You, and Signal Hill will melt faces at The Silver Lake Lounge and The Poor Excuses, Light FM, and Tigers Can Bite You delight all of you lousy drunks at The Three Of Clubs.

Friday, February 29
- Tilly and The Wall, Capgun Coup, & Buddy @ The Echo
- Spindrift, Spirit Army (feat. mambers of Starlite Desperation), Moonrants, & Restaurant @ Spaceland
- Cat Power @ The Wiltern
- Blitzen Trapper & Grand Archives @ The Troubadour
- Security Productions, The Mysterians, Solar Wimp, Angeles of Mischief, Katharsis, & Manic Frenzy @ Mr T's Bowl
- Health Club, Daniel Ahearn, & Queen Kwong @ Echo Curio
- Ediskrad, Mic Hempstead, Life for the Better, The N.M.E, Emseadez, & DJ Troma @ The Scene
- I Love Booty Too!!! featuring Dj Funk, Dj Sega, Dark Alley, Blu Jemz, & Pube$ @ Echoplex
- MSTRKRFT, Z-Trip, & LA Riots @ The Henry Fonda

DECISION:
The Squaregirls speak highly of Health Club, while The LA Times Kevin Bronson makes favorable clucking noises about Daniel Ahearn. Both are at Echo Curio on Friday night. Also? Buddy headlines The Echo. (The adventurous may try to catch all three.)

Saturday, March 1
- Holy Fuck, A Place to Bury Strangers, & In Waves @ Spaceland
- Bootie LA @ Echoplex Lounge
- Von Iva, Love Grenades, & The Library @ El Cid
- Seasons, I Make This Sound, Bedroom Walls, Boxviolet, & King Hearts & Coronets @ Mr T's Bowl
- Tally Hall @ The Troubadour
- Club Place N Time w/Kenan Bell, El Ten Eleven, DJ Pubes, & DJ Frog @ The Scene
- Grizzly Bear & The LA Philharmonic @ Walt Disney Concert Hall

DECISION:
What’s up this week and all the amazing line-ups?! (In Saturday's case, see all the great acts playing at Mr T’s Bowl.)

Sunday, March 2
- Spaceland's 13th Anniversary Show w/ Radar Bros, Earlimart, The Movies, Let's Go Sailing, The Blood Arm, 400 Blows, Run Run Run, Oliver Future, The Vacation, and more @ Spaceland
- Buddy, Let's Go Sailing, & Goldenboy @ The Hotel Cafe
- Benefit for Edendale Library w/ Bobby Matmos @ Echoplex
- Colorforms @ Tangier
- College Access Plan Benefit, Shiloe, Ready The Jet, The Density, F-Stop Serenade, & more @ Mr T's Bowl
- Part Time Punks w/ Spectrum (Sonic Boom from Spaceman 3), Midnight Movies, Grimble Grimble @ The Echo
- Dzjenghis Khan, Orange Sunshine, Hallowed Engine, & Chief Nowhere @ The Scene
- Magnetic Fields @ The Henry Fonda

DECISION:
Midnight Movies were great last time I caught them play, while I’ve been meaning to check out local pop group Colorforms (lead Alex Lily sings back-up for The Bird & The Bee) for awhile now and the pairing of Buddy and Let's Go Sailing at The Hotel Cafe is, in a word, rad.

And don't forget Spaceland's 13th Anniverary show, an all-day event w/ Earlimart, The Movies, Radar Bros. and many more...

That’s it. Please let me know if I missed anything.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mini-Interview: Afternoons

Local indie pop act Irving have been one of the more stalwart groups in the LA music scene since their first album came out back in 2002, so it was little surprise when the members' new project band Afternoons debuted to packed houses in town.

We caught up with singer/guitarist Brian Canning over IM recently to discuss: 1) what the hell they've been doing, 2) what the hell they're doing now, and 3) what the hell they're doing next.

RFSL (4:06:04 PM): Hey, Brian!
Afternoon (4:07:50 PM): Hey, Joe. How’s it going?
RFSL (4:08:06 PM): Going pretty well. Gorgeous day out.
RFSL (4:08:28 PM): Listening to a new Mezzanine Owls track.
RFSL (4:08:31 PM): Can't complain.
Afternoon (4:09:52 PM): What do Mezzanine Owls sound like? That’s a really good band name. And yeah this weather is ridiculous.
RFSL (4:11:00 PM): They're kind of echoey and pretty pop.
RFSL (4:11:26 PM): Have gotten really fun live lately.
RFSL (4:12:03 PM): So where to start... How did Afternoons come together? (Has Irving morphed into it?)
Afternoon (4:24:56 PM): Afternoons started as a recording project, it gave us an opportunity to record Irving songs that didn't make the Irving albums. Then we started to write songs thinking "Oh this would be a good Afternoons song, and then we just started writing more Afternoons songs then Irving songs.
Afternoon (4:25:46 PM): We were simultaneously recording the Irving and Afternoons album and we just decided to move forward with the Afternoons, so yea we still have an Irving album half-recorded that we will get to one day but for now we are just focusing on Afternoons.
RFSL (4:26:42 PM): How do you decide what constitutes an Afternoons' song and what constitutes an Irving song?
Afternoon (4:27:51 PM): Afternoons’ songs are the really good ones and the Irving songs are kind of gay. Steven writes most of the Irving songs. I just stick with the Afternoons songs
RFSL (4:28:01 PM): Ha, ha.
Afternoon (4:29:44 PM): Steven loves gay songs. He's always calling me up, "Brian, you got here this new song I just wrote." And I'll say, "Is it gay?" And he'll say, "Yeah, it's really gay" And I'll say, "Par for the course, Steven. Par for the course…"
RFSL (4:30:34 PM): Irving was the first band you all had been in, right?
Afternoon (4:31:23 PM): Yeah, it was. Brent was in a funk band in college, I swear to god they were called “Nougat.”
Afternoon (4:31:43 PM): I love college band names. I've come up with a bunch.
RFSL (4:31:56 PM): I tried to convince Le Switch to use the name "Darth Chocolate" when the had to change from The Switch.
Afternoon (4:32:30 PM): What about Testicular Dancer?
RFSL (4:32:53 PM): Wow.
RFSL (4:33:00 PM): I've clearly been outpunned.
Afternoon (4:33:49 PM): On tour, Steven won’t let anyone listen to music so we usually just sit around coming up with bad band names. I’m gonna do a coffee table book.
RFSL (4:34:14 PM): You can make fake posters for them and everything.
RFSL (4:34:18 PM): So you guys have recorded an EP or an album as Afternoons?
RFSL (4:34:33 PM): An album.
RFSL (4:34:47 PM): When did you work on that? Who did you record with?
Afternoon (4:37:01 PM): We recorded with Tom Biller, who is now our base player. He is amazing to work with.
Afternoon (4:38:04 PM): He is really clumsy, though. Sometimes I just watch him walk around his studio in amazement. Just tripping over shit left and right. I’ve never met a man so clumsy. It’s kind of cute how clumsy he is.
Afternoon (4:39:07 PM): We recorded the bulk of it last October or was it November... I am slightly dyslexic and am horrible with spelling and dates. I don't know anyone’s birthday besides my brother.
RFSL (4:40:03 PM): (I only know my dad's birthday, which is in January and I have to call my brothers every year to find out exactly when it is.)
RFSL (4:40:21 PM): Cool. And you've played, what, six or seven shows out together so far?
Afternoon (4:41:57 PM): We've played four shows. Two pre-Aaron and Sam and two post-Aaron and Sam.
RFSL (4:42:32 PM): So you're looking to tour soon? Talking to labels?
Afternoon (4:44:30 PM): Yeah. Really, really want to tour soon and put the album out soon as well.
RFSL (4:45:36 PM): Cool. I take it that you all have stayed on good terms with [former Irving member] Alex Church since you opened for Sea Wolf at the Natural History Museum.
Afternoon (4:49:30 PM): He’s dead to me.
Afternoon (4:50:18 PM): Okay, we love him. Steven and I moved to LA and Alex was the first friend we met. We’ve been through a lot together and have spent a lot of time together. He is a really great guy and we support him and he supports us.
RFSL (4:51:27 PM): You know I remember when I moved here, I'd hear women talk about who their favorite member of Irving was.
Afternoon (4:52:07 PM): That’s funny.
RFSL (4:52:18 PM): And then when I saw the first Afternoons show, it wasn’t hard to notice that the audience was predominantly comprised of really attractive women.
RFSL (4:52:57 PM): I guess the question from that would be...
RFSL (4:53:30 PM): (Damn, I can't think of a good zinger here.)
Afternoon (4:53:46 PM): And you call yourself a blog, dude...
RFSL (4:53:51 PM): Okay. So, what's it like being indie rock dreamboats?
RFSL (4:53:56 PM): Zing!
Afternoon (4:55:24 PM): I never really thought of us as dreamboats. Believe me, I'm no dream boat. I’m like a small little canoe.
RFSL (4:56:07 PM): Alright. I'll let you off the hook on that one. So, what's next for you all? Any shows coming soon? A residency?
Afternoon (4:57:45 PM): We play a show with The Delta Spirit on March 5th at The Echo. And yeah, I do believe a residency is in us.
RFSL (4:58:03 PM): Cool. Last question: What are you listening to these days?
Afternoon (5:02:26 PM): My neighbor is learning to play the bass, so mostly that, honestly. It’s brutal.
Afternoon (5:02:56 PM): But let me see here what have I been listening to? Um, I listen to Jams Shveda on the classical station mostly. And I listened to In Rainbows a couple of days ago and really like it.
RFSL (5:03:24 PM): Alright. That’s all I’ve got.
RFSL (5:03:41 PM): Thanks for all your time, Brian. Really appreciate it.
Afternoon (5:04:14 PM): No problem. Thank you. Take care and see you soon.

Afternoons play next at The Echo on Wednesday, March 5th with The Duke Spirit.

DOWNLOAD: Graffiti Artist MP3

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Photographer Profile: Jeff Koga

You've seen them haunting the shows you go to, you've seen their work in magazines and on sites, but who are these people? Why do they do it? And is it for work or fun or both?

Read the answers to these questions and more, as we continue our series on local indie music photographers with Jeff Koga, who takes shots and video for LAist and seems like a pretty nice guy.



How did you start taking photos?

I joke that I started because I'm Japanese... The reality is that I became aware of photography at an early age through my dad, who owned a Nikon FE. And it was in junior high school that I finally took an active interest in it, borrowing my family's Yashica and documenting my life, especially after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.



And how did you start doing music photography?

In October 2002, I saw Powder perform at the Sunset Room in Hollywood, and on a whim, I photographed it with my Coolpix. While the photos were full of noise and the colors were muted, I thought I'd captured some cool moments, so I e-mailed them to the band. To this day, I'm amazed that one of those photos is on still their website.

But it was about seven months later that I photographed shows on a regular basis, starting with The Ditty Bops and their residencies at The Parlour Club (now Bar Lubitsch) and Largo. I realized even before those shows that they were rising stars, so I documented their shows for posterity's sake, which with their open policy on photography was easy to accomplish. I also photographed the artists they opened for (and vice versa), such as Vagenius (now Hello Stranger), Jesca Hoop, and The Dresden Dolls, which has led to an ever-expanding circle of artists I still photograph regularly.



So while I stumbled onto concert photography, I discovered that I had a knack for it, and most importantly, that I enjoyed doing it. It's kept me creatively invigorated and balanced out my day job, which has in turn enabled me to invest in new camera gear and computer equipment, and that has allowed me to progressively shoot better photos and improve my workflow.

People are surprised that I don't make a living from photography and that I haven't had any formal training in it. The irony is while I was a Film Studies major at UC Santa Barbara and took some Art Studio classes, I never took any photography classes or picked up a movie camera.



What do you like about it most?

Getting that one photo that best represents a show I've been to -- Henri Cartier-Bresson, in regards to street photography, called it "The Decisive Moment," but I certainly think it's applicable to concert photography. For me, getting that "Decisive Moment" comes from experimentation and experience, not to mention dumb luck.

What was the best time you ever had shooting a band or show?

Recently, I started a new photo series called Soundcheck, where it's just the artist, the sound engineer, and me, all in an empty space, usually with bright lighting. [During] soundcheck, I have the freedom to move around without dealing with an audience, which has often led to photos that are better than ones from the actual show.



But if I had to choose one memorable experience, it would be on August 6th, 2007, which was my last day photographing The Ditty Bops in Northern California during their Summer Farm Tour. They invited me to their performance for a herd of cows at the Straus Family Creamery in Marshall as well as a herd of goats at the Redwood Hills Farm in Sebastopol, and the idea proved irresistible.

Abby and Amanda's intimate performance of "Walk Or Ride" was such a contrast from the shows I'd usually photographed, and yet it's still one of those rare indelible moments I'm honored and privileged to have witnessed first-hand.



Where can people find your work?

LAist, as well as MySpace, Uber, and Flickr.

I've also branched out into other photographic interests, such as the adult industry (SFW), but we'll continue that conversation for your sister site, Adults-Only Silver Lake. :)

RELATED LINKS:
- Photographer Profile: Sterling Andrews
- Photographer Profile: Laura Jennings
- Photographer Profile: Simon Cardoza

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let's Independent: The Aftermath

Many thanks to everyone who came out to Let's Independent! last night with The Bentleys, The Transmissions, and Everest at Boardner's. And though I've already thanked all the bands several times each, let me do it again because not only were they fantastic, everyone was just ridiculously fucking nice...

I'd have to give The Bentleys the Spirit Award for an especially upbeat set in general, but specifically the enormously fun and loud performance of their song B Sharps (one of my favorite tracks from them), while Christian from The Transmissions played guitar with such complete and utter abandon that even the chattiest people in back had to perk up and pay attention.

And Everest? Hellfire. That was one of the best sets I've ever seen at Boardner's. Afterwards, people seemed to walk around kind of dazed by how good it was and, if they could form complete sentences, kept repeating as much, to me and each other.

And I swear... I somehow mistakenly thought that hearing their song Rebels & Roses live might exorcise it from my mind, but it's rooted there even more firmly now and I hear it constantly. (That's one of those good problems to have, actually.)

Such an excellent crowd, too. Lots of great folks out, including The LA Times' Kevin Bronson, Surfing On Steam's Scott Macdonald, Mouse from Classical Geek Theatre, both Square Girls (Marion and Kristen), Octavius and Fred from KXLU Demo Listen; photographers Sterling Andrews, Jeff Koga, and Simon Cardoza; and members of The Poor Excuses, The Henry Clay People, Tandemoro, Mospeada, Death To Anders, Radars To The Sky, The Watson Twins, Karin Tatoyan and The Western States Motel.

I'd also like to thank our superstar sound guy Lenny, Everest's awesome manager Robert Cappadona, and everyone who helped promote the event. Muchas gracias!

Hope to have pics and video to add soon...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Tuesday Show Low Down (Or "Grandpa! That Money Was Supposed To Be For Tobacco!")

Sure, it's true that this posting usually comes on Mondays, but what's a guy to do? Good news is that work is cooling down and I should be able to (gasp!) start going to shows again soon... I've gone from the guy you run into more than your roommate to The Incredible Disappearing Man, but maybe I'll make it back yet.

And, hey! Don't you owe me a drink from that last time I saw you?! I think you do...

I imagine that last night's show at The Echo with The Henry Clay People, The Happy Hollows, and Death To Anders (and other assorted friends of much-loved local producer Dave Newton) was probably great fun, as was The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra and Colorforms at The Viper Room and excellent line-up of the The Pity Party, Film School, Ladies and Gents, and What Made Milwaukee Famous at Spaceland. (If you made one of those, please be a pal and write about how they went in the comments section below...)

Here's what the rest of this damn week is looking like:

Tuesday, February 19
- Radio Free Silver Lake Presents Let's Independent! w/ Everest, The Transmissions, & The Bentleys @ Boardner's Of Hollywood (FREE)
- Merle Jagger, Well Diggers Banquet, & Paul Chesne @ Spaceland
- Keren Ann / Dean & Britta with Sara Lov, DJ Travis Keller @ The El Rey
- Aanchors Aaweigh, Nick Dixon, Good Luck Bear, & Caroline Movement @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Veronique, Chevalier, Promis, Freakshow Deluxe, & Cathair Ensemble @ Bordello
- The Kris Special & Harpeth Trace @ The Echo
- Mark Castrillon @ The Troubadour
- Sean Carnage Presents Anni Rossi, Mad Gregs, Joseph Davancens, Team Andrew, Jim McCray, & Ema @ Pehrspace
- Evil Maria, Spidey, The High Wires, Keith Waggoner (of The Amateurs) @ The Scene
- The Hives & The Donnas @ The Wiltern

DECISION:
I've been pushing this latest Let's Independent! event so much lately that I'm starting to get self-conscious about it. So I'll just say this: 1) it's going to be really damn fun and 2) you can find all the details and hear songs from all three acts right here.



Wednesday, February 20
- Warfield @ The Knitting Factory
- The Weather Underground, Calamity Magnet, & Safetyglass @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Album Leaf, Kill Me Tomorrow, & What Laura Says Thinks and Feels @ The Echo
- Dub Club @ The EchoPlex
- Pins and Needles, Swann Danger, & Unextraordinary Gentlemen @ El Cid
- Trigger Renegade, Nudity, Stab City, Head of Destiny, & Greatest Touchdown Ever @ The Scene
- Shane Alexander @ The Troubadour
- Luke Paquin & The Fling @ Tangier
- Mighty Six Ninety, The Secret Six, Qu'est-Ce Que C'est, & Library @ Bordello
- Indie 103 presents CLUB NME w/ The Snow & The Minor Canon @ Spaceland

DECISION:
The Minor Canon... The Weather Underground... The Album Leaf... That's a tough call there. Pretty goddamn poignant indie pop, interesting Sebadoh-like rock, or what myspace calls "alternative/ambient/electronica"?

Thursday, February 21
- Is Good Presents Radars To The Sky, The Hectors. Eject, & Cosio @ Spaceland
- The Monolators, Wait Think Fast, Summer Darling, & Shirley Rolls @ The Scene (FREE)
- The Vacation @ The Viper Room
- Dios Malos & West Indian Girl @ The Troubadour
- The Entrance Band, Crystal Antlers, & What Made Milwaukee Famous (at 8) @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Moonrats, Helmet, Darker My Love, Icarus Line, & Crystal Antlers @ The Echo
- Captain Ahab, Naomi Elizabeth, Xrin Arms, Tik///Tik, & Pukers @ The Smell
- Pinback @ The Avalon

DECISION:

I love this video that Mouse made to promote the FREE show that Classical Geek Theatre and LA Underground are presenting over at The Scene w/ The Monolators, Wait Think Fast, Summer Darling, and Shirley Rolls.



We're also giving away a few pair of tickets to Is Good Presents show w/ Radars To The Sky, The Hectors, Eject, & Cosio at Spaceland. Message us right here with your "RADARS TICKETS" in the subject line and your full name in body to be entered in the drawing. (Must be 21+ and not have won anything from us in the last sixty days.)

Oh, and Pinback should also be rad.

Friday, February 22
- The Gray Kid, Piel, & Kenan Bell @ Spaceland
- Seasons, Co-Op, & Ghost Machinists @ The Scene (FREE)
- The Liars & No Age @ The El Rey
- Hazelden EP release, what made milwaukee famous, golden animals & rykarda parasol @ Bordello
- Anavan, The Pharmacy, Lipstick Terror, & Bad Dudes @ The Smell
- Divisadero, Foot Foot (Record Release), The Finches, & Red Pony Clock @ Pehrspace
- The Lovemakers, Astra Heights, & Something For Rockets @ The Troubadour
- Echo & Underground Pres: Her Grace The Duchess, Rockit, plus Club Underground Djs @ The Echo
- Built To Spill & The Meat Puppets @ The Echoplex

DECISION
I'd like to check out Foot Foot's record release over at the BYOB fabulous Pehrspace, but it'd also be good to see one of the several remaining shows that What Made Milwaukee Famous are playing while they're in town.

Saturday, February 23
- Gliss & Bullet For Dali @ Vertigo
- Built To Spill & The Meat Puppets @ The Echoplex
- Dirty Sweet, Lions, & Chief Nowhere @ Spaceland
- Swann Danger, SWFT WNGS, & PUZZLE @ The Smell
- I Am A Ghost @ The Troubadour
- Buddy, James Combs, & Willie Wisely @ El Cid
- Amnion, Phoenix & The Turtle, Portello del Castello, & Avi Buffalo @ Pehrspace
- Sexy Time Explosion (Turbonegro tribute band), Ladykillers, PC101, Auth. & Sellout @ The Scene
- The New Check Yo Ponytail w/ Blaqstarr, NATA, Franki Chan @ The Echo
- The Panic Movement, Codpiece, Mospeada, and Guppies @ The Tribal Cafe

DECISION:
Been meaning to check out indie pop act Buddy live after hearing good things about them from multiple sources, though it's hard not to want to see the-hard-to-describe-but-beautiful Amnion play every chance you get...

Sunday, February 24
- Part Time Punks Persents: Holy Shit (Late Show) @ Echoplex
- Neil Hamburger, Tom Green, Paul F. Tompkins, Totally Darryl, & Art Hinty @ Spaceland
- Alex And Sam, Haim, & Dustin Boyer @ Tangier
- Killola, Girl in a Coma, Blood Red Orchestra, & The Dirty City Brothers @ The Scene
- The Eagle Rock Bowling And Drinking Club w/ No Little Kindness, Teddy's Cheer Club, & Seasons @ All Star Lanes

DECISION:
The Eagle Rock Bowling And Drinking Club returns with three groups from the immediate vicinity (that being Eagle Rock -- hello!) and Alex and Sam continue their Sunday night residence at Tangier.

That's it. Please let me know if I missed anything important or something.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Video Free Silver Lake: Everest, The Transmissions, & The Bentleys

So, stop me if you've heard this one before, but there's this FREE show on Tuesday at Boardner's of Hollywood with Everest, The Transmissions, and The Bentleys that kind of really think you should go to... May have mentioned it before...







You can find all the details (and MP3s from all three bands) right here, but watch these three videos for a preview of what should be a really goddamn fun night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Save The Date: Mezzanine Owls' 7" Release Show on Feb 28th

LA's dreamy/echoey pop favorites Mezzanine Owls will celebrating the release of their three-song 7" on JaxArt Records on Thursday, February 28th at The Echo w/ the jump-up-and-downy The Mae Shi and sad/happy happy/sad pop act Frankel.

If you can't make it, you'll be sad because they've gotten really exceptionally good live lately, but you can pre-order both the physical/digital release of the 7" right here. (And download their track Snow Globe below.)

RELATED LINKS:
- Snow Globe MP3

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More On Let's Independent! w/ Everest, The Transmissions, & The Bentleys

As you've hopefully already heard, our next Let's Independent! at Boardner's of Hollywood takes place next Tuesday, is FREE, and features the combined musical might of Everest, The Transmissions, and The Bentleys.

Here's a quick look at what to expect from the event -- our monthly indie rock play date where we attempt to pair you up for some quality rumpus time with some of the best in local music...



And here are a few links to previous coverage on the groups playing the night:

Mini-Interview: Everest -- "We're all such different musicians. We each bring something completely different to the table, and the blend is my favorite thing."

Mini-Interview: The Transmissions -- "We truly are a weird hybrid monster of influences. We all have occasional cross-over favorites like Talking Heads or Stereolab, but each of us are really into particular artists that the others know nothing about or just don't care for much. "

Band Of The Week: The Bentleys -- "If you suffer from indie pop addiction, you should probably ask your doctor if San Fernando Valley’s The Bentleys are right for you…"

For more details on the show and MP3s for all three bands, go right here.

Video by Mouse and poster by Christine Hale.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Tickets: Grand Ole Party

Ha. I was wondering why we had so many people sending us misspelled messages for the Foreign Born and St Vincent ticket giveaway for Friday night at The EchoPlex when I saw that I'd told people to write "FOREGIN BORN" in the subject header. (Our copy editor has since officially been given the sack...)

Still haven't picked winners for that one, but we've another giveaway for the same night, this time for San Diego's Grand Ole Party upstairs at The Echo. Send us a message here with some mangled spelling of "GRAND OLE PARTY" in the header and your full name to be entered in the drawing for that one.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Monday Show Low Down (Or "Live Every Week Like It's Shark Week!!")

This is where the intro would go if there was time to write an intro but there's not and it's midnight and I've got a flight in the morning so let's pretend there was an intro here and it was really funny I mean really funny not just like ha ha but HA HA HA man oh how I love to laugh funny, okay?

Here's a look at what this week is looking like for shows:

Monday, February 11
- Indie 103.1 Presents Check 1... 2... w/ Radars To The Sky, The Coral Sea, The Midway State, and We The Living @ The Viper Room
- The Henry Clay People, Barcelona, & The Monolators @ The Echo (FREE)
- Everybody & Weightless State @ Bordello
- Anatomy Riot #22 @ Mr T's Bowl
- Sean Carnage Presents Dinosaurs With Horns, Everybody Ocillator, & Kyle Mabson @ Pehrspace
- Robert Francis, Tiffany Randol, & Eric Hisaw @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE)
- Bust Magazine Presents: The Pity Party, Twilight Sleep, The Human Value, & Karin Tatoyan @ Spaceland (FREE)

DECISION
Between Radars To The Sky and The Coral Sea at The Viper Room, The Henry Clay People and The Monolators at The Echo, and The Pity Party, Twilight Sleep, and Karin Tatoyan at Spaceland, Monday night looks pretty fun. (I hear a bunch of members of local acts are singing for The Henry Clay People on covers, btw.)

Tuesday, February 12
- Rufus Wainwright @ The Wiltern
- Kingsize @ Bordello
- Abe Lincoln Story, Fuxedos, RoMak & The Space Pirates @ Safari Sam's
- Moris Tepper & Aushura @ The Echo
- Talkdemonic & Guam @ Spaceland
- Drive By Truckers @ Avalon
- The Janitor @ Mr T's Bowl
- Kissing Cousins, Bad Guise, & Johanavitch Von Woken @ Echo Curio
- The Moistboyz & NASA Space Universe @ The Troubadour
- The Bombs, We Are Good Friends, El Paso Hot Button, & Gravity Propulsion System @ The Scene
- She's Your Sister, Versa Vice, Sumo, & Black Tales @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Common @ The House Of Blues

DECISION
Might be time to finally venture over to the Echo Curio and finally check that shit out.

Wednesday, February 13
- The Weather Underground, Free Moral Agents, A For Attack, & From Leaf To Feather @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Captain Automatic & Man And The Motorcar @ Bordello
- The Remus Lupins @ The Troubadour
- Party Fowl @ Mr T's Bowl
- Indie 103 presents CLUB NME with Andre Williams, The Flash Express, & High Society @ Spaceland
- Android Girl, Drugstore Cartel, The Hermit, The Monthlies @ The Scene
- I Make This Sound & The Breakups CD Release Event w/ Le Switch & Frankel @ The Echo

DECISION
The CD Release event for I Make This Sound and The Breakups (w/ very special guest stars Le Switch and Frankel) makes for a compelling reason to leave the house on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, February 14
- The Entrance Band, Warpaint, Golden Animals, Ben Goodman & Alina Hardin, & Dionysus @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Pillbilly Knights, Huntsville, & DJ Haunted George @ The Scene
- ALO @ The Troubadour
- Ragsy @ The Knitting Factory
- Club Flotsam, Out Of Town, John Romano, Tobi Hero, Stereotype, & The Sound @ Mr T's Bowl
- Sejayno, Ezra Buchla, Albert Ortega, & Steve Kim @ Echo Curio
- Mellowdrone & Your Lips, Your Lips @ Spaceland
- Matt Hopper, The Old Believers, & The Meemies @ Pehrspace
- The Black Lips @ The El Rey

DECISION
I know that the drinks are really expensive at The El Rey and the parking is kind of a pain in the ass and the security is kind of weird about you standing in the aisle, but it might be worth heading over to see The Black Lips. (Just wanted you to go in w/ eyes open there... Heading to the El Rey is like camping, it can be fun, but you have to prepare for some degree of discomfort.)

Friday, February 15
- Gene Loves Jezebel @ The Viper Room
- Grand Ole Party & Love Grenades @ The Echo
- Emery @ The Troubadour
- Nikki Corvette, The Dazes, Wild Weekend, Thee Cormans, & more @ Mr T's Bowl
- AC/DShe & The Binges @ Spaceland
- Siouxsie @ The Henry Fonda
- GoGo Simba OvO, Dim Rocket Delta , & Hundreds and Thousands @ The Smell
- stepsonday, Good On Paper, The Health Club, & David Givhan @ Pehrspace
- "Get Yer Rocks Off!" w/Paper Thin Walls, Go Sunday, & The Wallburds @ The Scene
- St. Vincent, Foreign Born, followed by Club Underground @ The Echo

DECISION
We have some tickets for St. Vincent and Foreign Born at The Echo. Just write us here with "FOREGIN BORN" in the title and your full name on the inside to be entered into a drawing to win.

Saturday, February 16
- Dietra Kruschev, Mothers' Son, Deapsea Goes, & Dan Plaza @ Pehrspace
- Drag the River, Cory Branan, & Jeff Caudill @ The Scene
- Cobra Starship @ The Troubadour
- Arabian Prince, Glass Candy, Guns ’N’ Bombs, Los Super Elegantes, DJ+avi$, Appaloosa @ The Echoplex
- Siouxsie @ The Henry Fonda
- Chris T-T & Frank Turner @ The Viper Room
- The Red Hearts, Le Face, NASA Space Universe, & Bad Parents @ The Troubadour
- Hang The DJ's @ The Echo
- Deke Dickerson’s All Star Frat Band, Th’ Losin’ Streaks, Benny & the Jets @ Mr T's Bowl
- Le Face, Vomit Bomb, Bad Parents, & Pukers @ The Smell
- 89.9 KCRW pres: Liam Finn, Rocco DeLuca, & Nico Stai @ Spaceland
- The High Society & Frank Stallone @ El Cid

DECISION
Anyone have any recommendation for Saturday night? If so, please add them into the comments below.

Sunday, February 17
- Rhys Darby @ The El Rey
- Part Time Punks presents Willie Nelson Tribute @ The Echoplex
- Har Mar Superstar & Electrocute @ Spaceland
- Hang The DJs @ The Echo
- The A-Bones, The Guilty Hearts, Haunted George, The Rock n Roll Adventure Kids, Les Hormones, Wounded Lion, & more @ Mr T's Bowl
- I.E., Flaspar, Teppop, Fortress Of Amplitude, & Human Hands @ The Smell
- Hurt Model, The Alchemist Element, Clevis, Science Alliance @ The Scene
- Alex And Sam, Rachel Cantu, & Dustin Boyer @ Tangier

DECISION:
Jordan from Marvelous Toy says good things about Alex And Sam and I like what I've heard online...

That's it. Please let me know if I missed anything and I'll update with it later.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mini-Interview: Letting Up Despite Great Faults

It’s been said before and probably much better, but one of the best things about the current east LA music scene is how varied it is. There’s not just one generic local brand that all the bands here subscribe to and emulate, and on any given night you can hear a host of groups who are distinctly different.

Take indie pop act Letting Up Despite Great Faults, who CNET said “deliver ambient bedroom pop for electronic dreamers” and whom we spoke with over Instant Message recently...

LUDGF (7:30:06 PM): Hey, Joe. It's Mike.
RFSL (7:31:06 PM): Hey, Mike!
RFSL (7:31:09 PM): How's it going?
LUDGF (7:31:43 PM): Good, How are you?
RFSL (7:32:12 PM): It's really nice to not be moving, travelling, or on deadline.
LUDGF (7:32:30 PM): Ooo ouch.
LUDGF (7:32:46 PM): Where are you moving to?
RFSL (7:32:51 PM): Had all three either concurrently or in a row recently.
RFSL (7:33:07 PM): I moved from one side of the Silver Lake reservoir to the other.
LUDGF (7:33:09 PM): Damn.
RFSL (7:33:11 PM): Near Red Lion now.
LUDGF (7:33:15 PM): No way.
LUDGF (7:33:16 PM): Me, too.
RFSL (7:33:30 PM): Ha!
RFSL (7:33:52 PM): We're neighbors.
LUDGF (7:33:53 PM): Awesome.
LUDGF (7:34:00 PM): Sweet!
RFSL (7:34:37 PM): So, how long have you been making music? How did you start?
LUDGF (7:35:09 PM): I'm always been writing, i guess since high school…
LUDGF (7:35:41 PM): but i never really got serious about it until around a few years ago.
LUDGF (7:37:03 PM): I was going to graduate school at the time and I just began writing so much that my schoolwork was suffering. I would be up at 4am and not be prepared for the 5-person seminar discussion the next day.
RFSL (7:37:07 PM): Is that when you started up Letting Up Despite Great Faults?
LUDGF (7:37:25 PM): yeah
LUDGF (7:37:44 PM): I decided to drop out of school and spend all that energy into Letting Up.
LUDGF (7:38:43 PM): it was actually a really easy decision to quit school
RFSL (7:38:58 PM): Was it just you at the start?
LUDGF (7:39:07 PM): Yeah, I wrote a handful of songs and recorded them on my own.
LUDGF (7:40:57 PM): I sent a couple songs to Mark at Music for Robots and he seemed to enjoy them and then other things started happening and I decided to take it a little more seriously.
LUDGF (7:41:40 PM): I still feel like the songs are just songs I write at home. I think it's easy to think of musicians as more romantic than it is.
RFSL (7:41:57 PM): When did you add more members and start playing out?
LUDGF (7:42:23 PM): Not too long after.
LUDGF (7:42:38 PM): I met Patrick through a cellist who used to play with me
LUDGF (7:42:59 PM): I met Kent (bass) through craigslist
LUDGF (7:43:45 PM): I've actually played with probably more than fifteen different people on stage under Letting Up - but I feel a strong connection w/ Patrick (guitar) and Kent
LUDGF (7:44:32 PM): They were definitely an integral part in our only release (Movement).
RFSL (7:45:11 PM): 15 people!
LUDGF (7:45:14 PM): Yeah, my favorite was probably playing w/a vibraphonist.
RFSL (7:46:32 PM): Are you a stern taskmaster?
LUDGF (7:46:55 PM): I don't know... I think there were probably times I was too overdramatic or unnecessarily frustrated by things
LUDGF (7:47:10 PM): Somehow I can't let bad sound go.
LUDGF (7:47:26 PM): but, in the end, it's really not big deal.
LUDGF (7:47:29 PM): *no
RFSL (7:47:31 PM): Heh. Do you have a core in your current line-up?
LUDGF (7:47:52 PM): It's definitely Patrick, Kent, and myself.
LUDGF (7:48:12 PM): We have our friend Colin helping us out with keys and that's been really fun.
LUDGF (7:48:35 PM): I probably don't emphasize live-stuff too much
LUDGF (7:48:44 PM): my head is really buried in my computer
RFSL (7:48:50 PM): Cool. How did the EP come together?
LUDGF (7:48:57 PM): Really simply actually.
LUDGF (7:49:09 PM): Just seven songs that I wrote.
LUDGF (7:50:31 PM): I guess Letting Up is a little different than most of the bands you post in that we're not really a rock band... a lot of production is done by me and that's really how our sound is defined
LUDGF (7:50:52 PM): We don't have songs ready and then go into a studio and record.
LUDGF (7:51:16 PM): The songs are getting recorded as they're written, to some extent.
RFSL (7:51:45 PM): Ahh.
RFSL (7:51:53 PM): Were any of the songs off the EP the ones you sent to Music For Robots when you started?
LUDGF (7:52:29 PM): Yeah, they've featured If You're Here Today and I Hear Drowning But I'm Tied.
LUDGF (7:53:08 PM): Drowning also made it onto NPR and Ben Gibbard's top 10 list.
RFSL (7:53:16 PM): That's fantastic.
LUDGF (7:53:23 PM): That was really nice.
RFSL (7:53:28 PM): So you've been working on a new EP? Or is it an album?
LUDGF (7:53:48 PM): Honestly, an album sounds incredibly daunting to us
LUDGF (7:54:19 PM): We like EPs.
LUDGF (7:54:31 PM): We really like to take our time.
RFSL (7:54:56 PM): So when is the next one due? I've heard the track you sent over to post on the site for the RFSL 2008 Mix.
RFSL (7:55:06 PM): Which I really liked.
LUDGF (7:55:26 PM): thanks!
LUDGF (7:55:41 PM): I feel like some bands rush their creativity too much. They put out a good release, and then w/in a couple years another one. I want some time to really have more stories to tell and not just revisit old ones.
LUDGF (7:56:03 PM): We’re in the talks w/an indie label to do a digital only release of a 3 or 4 song EP.
LUDGF (7:56:18 PM): We're hoping before this summer.
LUDGF (7:56:55 PM): The songs are pretty much done. They're getting their final mix from my friend Toshi.
RFSL (7:57:00 PM): That's excellent.
RFSL (7:57:13 PM): Any plans to play out? Or do another residency?
LUDGF (7:57:42 PM): We'll be playing on February 28th w/our friends This Will Destroy You (from texas) at The Silver Lake Lounge.
LUDGF (7:58:24 PM): and we're excited to play at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art - but that's in June.
RFSL (7:58:52 PM): That place is pretty nice, if I'm remembering it correctly.
LUDGF (7:59:22 PM): I've never been, actually. Orange County is psychologically very far for me.
RFSL (8:00:06 PM): The only difference between hell and the suburbs to me is a fresh coat of red paint.
LUDGF (8:00:24 PM): Haha.
LUDGF (8:00:44 PM): I really like living in Silver Lake
RFSL (8:01:13 PM): Same here. Kind of a nice mix of SF and LA.
LUDGF (8:01:22 PM): I completely agree
RFSL (8:01:36 PM): So last question for you... what are you listening to these days?
LUDGF (8:01:54 PM): I've been listening a lot to Boom Bip's last EP
LUDGF (8:02:06 PM): It's really grown on me
LUDGF (8:02:28 PM): right now I'm listening to that Michael Cera and Ellen Page cover
LUDGF (8:02:34 PM): It's so cute it's killing me.
RFSL (8:02:59 PM): Heh.
LUDGF (8:03:32 PM): I think the Chromatics album is always a good listen
LUDGF (8:03:40 PM): Glass Jewel, too
LUDGF (8:03:58 PM): Glass Candy.
RFSL (8:04:25 PM): I remember a few of those from your What To Look Out For In 2008 entry, but haven't tracked them down yet. Will have to.
LUDGF (8:04:44 PM): I highly recommend Butcher the Bar
LUDGF (8:04:57 PM): He only has 2 songs released through Morr, but they're perfect
RFSL (8:05:24 PM): Right on.
RFSL (8:05:40 PM): Do you have anything new or old you'd like to post with this interview?
LUDGF (8:06:10 PM): Do you have the song So Fast?
LUDGF (8:06:23 PM): (It's new.)
RFSL (8:06:26 PM): I think you sent that over last month.
RFSL (8:06:27 PM): Yeah.
RFSL (8:06:31 PM): Like it a lot.
LUDGF (8:06:48 PM): It'd be great if you could post that if you don't mind.
RFSL (8:07:05 PM): That would be great.
LUDGF (8:07:18 PM): I feel like a lot of people are getting tired of our old stuff.
RFSL (8:07:25 PM): Cool. Well, let me try to think of a good ending question...
RFSL (8:07:38 PM): Do you have any special message to share with young people?
LUDGF (8:07:52 PM): I mean, it's been three years of the same songs being posted on blogs.
LUDGF (8:08:01 PM): I'm getting tired of them, too.
RFSL (8:08:10 PM): (They always ask that sort of question in European tv shows interview.)
RFSL (8:08:12 PM): Ha.
LUDGF (8:08:24 PM): Wow, no pressure.
LUDGF (8:08:33 PM): Does that mean I'm old?
RFSL (8:08:58 PM): Not necessarily.
RFSL (8:09:54 PM): (For good or bad, I'm the 36 year-old who still feels more comfortable sitting at the kids table during family events.)
LUDGF (8:11:49 PM): Well, I have actually recently been feeling a little more balanced with my life and I just think that a lot of it is perception. I used to feel some hidden pressure to always be working on music, or if I didn't feel inspired, I would be frustrated that I would have to do other things at the times when I did feel inspired. I think I'm finally learning to let go those feelings and I really feel lighter for it. Things come more easily when you aren't so overdramatic about them.
LUDGF (8:14:52 PM): Life can be really, really simple when you let it.
LUDGF (8:15:04 PM): I sound old and boring...
RFSL (8:15:40 PM): Ha. I'd say it sounds wise.
RFSL (8:16:00 PM): So, cool, Mike. Thanks so much for your time.
LUDGF (8:16:25 PM): Hey, thanks for having me.

Again, Letting Up Despite Great Faults play next on Tuesday, February 28th at The Silver Lake Lounge with This Will Destroy You.

DOWNLOAD:
- So Fast MP3

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Quickie Day Job Spotlight: BOOM BLOX

It's kind of funny that sometimes I run into people who assume that RFSL is what I do for a living, when it's something I put together quickly before work or on lunch break from making video games at the day job...

Here's a trailer for the one I'm on right now, an action/puzzle game for the Nintendo Wii called BOOM BLOX, which just got officially announced yesterday and is due out in May.



What does that have to do with music? Well, besides the fact that deadlines have kept me from going to a lot of shows lately, the soundtrack is being created by... Ahh, sorry, they haven't announced it yet, so can't say. More soon.

If you've ever wondered, the YouTube clip right below shows exactly what being a video game designer is really like.



And now for something completely different... We have tickets for the Afternoons, Blood On The Wall, and Anders and Woods show at Spaceland tonight. Send us a message right here with "AFTERNOONS" in the title and your full name to be entered in the drawing to win a pair of tickets. (Must be 21+.)