REMINDER: The Movies, Death to Anders, & One Trick Pony @ USC's Ground Zero
There's a lot going on this Friday night -- it's like most of the best bands in town decided they needed to play at exactly the same time -- what with the incredible line-ups at The Echo and the first night of the Exposure show at Where.
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Everest, The Parson Redheads, & Two Sheds
We're giving away several pairs of tickets to see the Americana rock/pop line-up of Everest, The Parson Redheads, and Two Sheds at The Echo on Friday. Just message us here with your full name, a sentence on why you should win, and confirmation that you're over 21.
Can't say enough good things about all three bands... Definitely get there early to see Sacramento's Two Sheds. (Watch the last video below.)
Really, I couldn't be happier to hear about yesterday's announcement of Leonard Cohen touring the US and Canada. (Read the Pitchfork article here.) The guy has always been so fucking far ahead of his time that songs from his early albums (see below) still seem relevant and contemporary. I'm there...
The Monday Show Low Down (Or "It's Cool That You're Friends w/ Your Dog's Sister's Parents...")
Yeah, so change is, like, in the air or something. Radio Free Silver Lake will soon be going through an "awkward growing stage" as it becomes more and more like its smarter, prettier sister-site, Radio Free Chicago. That means a site redesign, a full staff, robot noises, and significantly less pictures of my dogs.
Interested in contributing? Write me. We'll get a beer.
Monday, February 23 - Ex-Detectives, Young Hunting, A History of Manners, stanleylucasrevolution, & David Shane Smith @ The Airliner - Aquarium Drunkward Presents: Le Switch, Andy Clockwise, The Faraway Places, Radar Bros. @ Spaceland - The Holloys, Avi Buffalo, Underground Radio to Candyland, His Orchestra @ The Echo (FREE) - KROQ Locals Only, Buzzbands LA, Metromix, Citizen LA, and The Fold present Local Natives, Voxhaul Broadcast, Union Line, Love Grenades, & You Me and Iowa @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE) - 826 & Echo present Tiny Vaudeville @ Echoplex - Sean Carnage Presents Alexis Gideon, Shelley Short, Mycroft Holmes, Paleo, & Nicole Kidman @ Pehrspace - Esperanza Spalding @ Amoeba Music (7PM)
Tuesday, February 24 - French Kicks, Broken West, & Army Navy @ The Troubadour - Myspace and KROQ Locals Only Album Release Party w/ Nico Vega, The Yelling, & The Union Line @ The Roxy - Zach Lupetin & The Dustbowl Revival, The Shivers, Ema & The Ghosts, & Blake Mills @ The Silver Lake Lounge - SHELLEY SHORT + NOVI SPLIT + PALEO + TELEMATIQUE @ Echo Curio - Kinky @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Miranda Lee Richards, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Square on Square, The Quarter After @ Spaceland - Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Ollin, Mentiritas, Kill Sonic @ The Echo
Wednesday, February 25 - A Tribute to Scott Walker w/ John Doe, David J, Michael Berg, Ann Magnuson, Kristian Hoffman, Evie Sands, Rob Dickinson, Levinhurst, Jason Falkner, Jenny O, Julianna Raye, Fitz & The Tantrums, Weave!, & Dan Crane @ Bordello - Dub Club w/ Downbeat the Ruler @ Echoplex - Babyland, The Sweet Kill, & Anavan @ The Viper Room - No Culture @ The Echo - Club NME w/ Dead Confederate, Transfer, & Heavy Young Heathens @ Spaceland - IO Echo @ The Roxy - Ben Taylor @ The Troubadour - Watts Ensemble, Paul Bailey Ensemble, Brain Walsh, & The Pleasure Circus Band @ Mr T's Bowl - Links, Mississippi Man, & The Capshuns @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Robyn Hitchcock @ Amoeba Music (7PM) - Low End Theory w/ Daedalus @ The Airliner
Thursday, February 26 - M. BARKLEY GREEN’S WORKING JAZZ TRIO @ Home (FREE) - Dave Gleason @ The Hyperion Tavern - Clues & Glass Beef @ Spaceland - AC Newman @ The Troubadour - Silk Flowers, City Center, tik///tik, & Former Ghosts @ The Smell - Wounded Lion, Tijuana Panthers, Guilty Hearts, Girls, & Farewell Flight @ The Silver Lake Lounge - David Pajo, The Growlers, Tristeza, & M Sord @ Bordello - GHOST TO FALCO + GOWNS + GAMBLE HOUSE @ Echo Curio - Tenacious D @ Club Nokia - HEALTH, Captain Ahab, Abe Vigoda @ The Echo - Porter, Out of Town, Magnus Hitch, & My Secret Alphabet @ Mr T's Bowl - Animal Collective @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Respect - Black Sun Empire, Machete, Drone, MC Dino @ Echoplex
DECISION: Anyone have anything good for Thursday or Friday night?
Friday, February 27 - Echo & Club Underground present Everest, Parson Redheads, Two Sheds @ The Echo - “GIMME A STEAK HOUR” with INARA GEORGE and GREG KURSTON of the Bird and the Bee @ Home (FREE) - Kool Keith: Dr Octagon vs Dr Dooom @ The El Rey - Heard of Elephants Presents Random Patterns & Seasons @ The Unknown Theatre - Miss Kitty Club @ Echoplex - Animal Collective @ The Troubadour (sold-out) - Rock Paper Scissors preparty with Mike Watt & The Secondmen, The Nichemakers, The Electric Illuminati @ Spaceland - NASA Space Universe, Moment Trigger, The Amazements, & Knight Rider @ The Smell - Jon Brion @ Largo - Dorian Wood, Red Maids, & Marshweed @ Pehrspace - Hank III @ The Roxy - Psych Bill w/ HEW, Ojos Rojos, White Manna, & Heavy Water Experiment @ Mr T's Bowl - Exposure Photography Show w/ prints by Simon Cardoza, Benjamin Hoste, & Koga & performance by Le Switch, Manhattan Murder Mystery, & special guest @ Where at 1519 Griffith Park Blvd - MAD GREGS + VIDEO + MONSTRO + ADAM SHENKMAN @ Echo Curio
Saturday, February 28 - Hungry Beat Dance Party @ Pehrspace - Funky Sole @ The Echo - Faun Fables & Voco @ Spaceland - Jim White & John Doe @ Largo - Ra Ra Riot @ The El Rey - The Submarines @ The Troubadour - Mi Ami, Extra Life, & Thank You @ The Smell - New London, The Nite Birds, & The Holy Angel Fire @ Mr T's Bowl - Old Lova's Club & Dylan Trees @ Home (FREE) - CLOSING NIGHT PRESENTATION of the films of the LOS ANGELES SHORT FILM COMMITTEE followed by a performance by PIZZA! + FOL CHEN + BIG WHUP @ Echo Curio
DECISION: Bring your own beer (and earplugs) on Saturday night for Fol Chen and Pizza! at tiny gallery space known as Echo Curio.
Sunday, March 1 - AC Indie w/ The Parson Redheads, Flashing Red Lights, The World Record, & One Trick Pony @ The Air-Conditioned Supper Club (Venice) - The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra w/ Calamity Magnet & Yearbook Pictures (18+) @ Dakota Lodge (Santa Monica) - SILK FLOWERS + JOHN WEISE @ Echo Curio (2PM) - Guitarded, Moment Trigger, Hi My Name Is Ryan, Uggamugga, & Creekbird @ The Smell - POCAHAUNTED + ROBEDOOR + SUN ARAW + SUPER MINERALS @ Echo Curio - 826 Presents Battle of the Bands @ The Echo - Part Time Punks w/ Tyvek & Weave @ The Echo
It's a sad day when one of your favorite local acts calls it quits, especially when you've been anxiously awaiting their EP release for months. They were The Savages and they were hard to describe. Psych rock? Prog rock? Metal? Whatever. They demanded your attention live, took you on a aural journey, and made you want to do mushrooms all day -- the three things that every real rock band should ideally accomplish.
In the band's own words, "We are a new band. We are called The Savages. We don't have mucho coin so our recordings our lo-fi. You can hear the vibe anyway...we're sure of it. Some songs were recorded in our garage. Some were recorded on a tape recorder. Live shows... We are a live band and we want you to experience it live. When we were kids there was a strange house all the shades were always drawn and we never heard voices in there and the yard was full of bamboo and we liked to play in the bamboo pretend we were Tarzan (although there was no Jane) and there was a fish pond a large one full of the fattest goldfish you ever saw and they were tame. They came to the surface of the water and took pieces of bread from our hands. Our parents had told us: 'never go near that house' so, of course, we went."
In any case, whatever the reasons, it's too bad, but we look forward to hearing what the members come up with next.
We'd profiled both Jeff Koga and Simon Cardoza in the past, so thought it was time to check in with Benjamin Hoste...
How did you start taking photos? And doing music photography?
Growing up I had a couple of those flat compact cameras that take film cartridges. I don't remember taking any pictures with them, I think I mainly just carried them around and pretended to take pictures. And besides a couple photography classes in middle school and high school, I don't have any photography training. Even now, I sometimes barely feel like I know what I'm doing on a technical level; I'm still adjusting to digital photography and learning new things all the time.
I got into music photography because I'm in no way qualified to write about music. I wanted to meet bands and a friend of mine suggested I get a camera and it immediately seemed like the perfect idea. Rock photography had never crossed my mind before that conversation. I also justified it as a way to give myself permission to attend shows alone. I used to go to a lot of shows with a my friend Nick, but when he moved back to Baltimore, I didn't know anyone who would go to shows with me. I hate going to stuff alone, I'd much rather share the experience with friends.
What do you like about it most?
By far the people. Everyone I've met through photography has been super friendly, especially the musicians. When I started I expected bands to be cold, venues to be rude, and everyone else to ignore me. But the opposite has been the case. I feel really lucky that a lot of bands I've photographed and people I've met through photography are now friends. In fact, if it wasn't for Noah Green and The Henry Clay People, I probably wouldn't have continued with music photography.
Getting free tickets to shows is also nice, but to be honest, if I really want to enjoy a show I leave my camera at home.
What was the best time you ever had shooting a band or show?
I'm not sure people realize how hard it is to shoot rock concerts. At a venue like The Echo or Spaceland, there's simply not enough light and at larger venues photographers have to deal with either impossible crowds or a three song limit. As a result when I'm shooting a show I'm not really paying much attention to anything other than the light, how it's changing, and what I think the musicians are are going to do next. I'm not even really listening to the music. Shooting a show is work, it takes a lot of focus and patience, and it can be exhausting. But it's definitely work I enjoy.
That being said, the show I most enjoyed shooting last year was The Mae Shi at The Echoplex in December. It was a very difficult shoot but the show was fantastic; the band had an incredible amount of energy, the fans were really into it, and I think the photos turned out well, you can see them here. The Henry Clay People are also a lot of fun to shoot and shooting NOFX at The Henry Fonda this month was awesome and a great change of pace.
You can find my work mostly online but in print from time to time, and hopefully in more places in an increasing amount in 2009. But the best place to find my work is on my website Yeah Yeah Yeah, I Know Your Style.
I also have a gallery show opening February 27th that runs through March 20 in Silver Lake. I'm showing my work alongside music photographers Simon Cardoza and Jeff Koga and am really excited for the show. Each Friday for four weeks we're having some of our favorite local bands play acoustic sets and people can come by and check out our work. For more information on the gallery show go here (http://tinyurl.com/c6qmax). I'll be showing ten prints including photographs of Everest, Le Switch, No Age, The Happy Hollows, The Henry Clay People, Autolux, The Movies, The Airborne Toxic Event, and The Binges.
What's next for you?
The gallery show is opening at the end of February and I'm currently in the midst of directing my first music video for The Voyeurs, one of my favorite LA bands.
I'm also lucky to be heading out to Austin, TX in a month for SXSW and am still looking for a Los Angeles band to tour out with and another one to tour back with. So shameless plug: If your band is going to SXSW and playing shows on the way there or on the way back and have room for me in your van please contact me. I would love to photograph your tour.
As for the rest of 2009, I'm hoping to direct a few more music videos. I'm also working on a portraits project but it will probably take over a year to complete. And there's always another rock show.
There are two noteworthy nights coming up in the next month that are well worth jotting down into your space phones. The first is a new monthly indie showcase and the second is the b-day celebration for our friend Mouse from Classical Geek Theatre.
AC INDIE -- If you, like seemingly most of the musicians in this town, live on the West Side of LA, you know the music scene over there is frustratingly light on great shows and quality venues -- and you're probably sick of driving every night all the way to Echo Park, Silver Lake, and the rest. (I moved from there four years back for this very reason...)
Well, the guys at AC Indie would rather light a candle than curse your darkness... They're starting a new monthly at The Air-Conditioned Supper Club in Venice on Lincoln to bring in some of the best local acts. They're modeling it roughly after our recently-retired Let's Independent! night, just a little farther west, and we're helping out a bit with it.
"BYOB. Food is at 9:15pm. There will be Franken's Gourmet Franks (all vegetarian) for sale and free cake. Probably Gran Jan's Texas Sheet Cake. It has four sticks of margarine in it.
"Music starts at 10pm. The headliner is a super-secret guest. I'm not allowed to promote it, but it's my birthday and on my birthday I get almost everything I want! The other two bands on the bill are the magnificent Manhattan Murder Mystery and New York City's indiepop posterchildren, The Besties. For the mean times, the in between times, Marion will be DJing all night."
The Monday Show Lowdown (Or "And I Ask Myself What Glenn Danzig Would Do...")
It's hard to describe how fantastically well yesterday evening's UNDER COVERED event at All-Star Lanes turned out without coming off like some self-parody of a blogger overly-effusively gushing about a night. Words basically fail... It was one of the most fun times I've ever had at a show. Constant surprises.
Many thanks to everyone who performed, came out, and helped put on the show -- w/ huge kudos to Pauline from Pehrspace and Janine and Marie from The Eagle Rock Bowling & Drinking Club. (I bowled a 153 and drank an indeterminately large amount of alcohol last night, so believe I'm officially in the club now.)
Monday, February 16 - KROQ Locals Only, Buzzbands LA, Metromix, Citizen LA, and The Fold present Local Natives, Eastern Conference Champions, Army Navy, & Paperplanes @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE) - Aquarium Drunkard presents Le Switch, The Minor Canon, The Breakups, Swim Party @ Spaceland - Sean Carnage Presents Foot Village, E&E, Puppy Dog, Man’s Assassination, & Vampire Pussy @ Pehrspace - The Holloys, Rainbow Arabia, Pit Er Pat @ Echo (FREE) - The Jake LaBotz Band @ Redwood Bar - PENULTIMATE OBSOLESCENCE - a GOODBYE to ANALOG TELEVISION with SAMUEL PARTAL + MICHAEL JACOBS + ALBERT ORTEGA @ Echo Curio - Wildbirds & Peacedrums @ Amoeba Music (7PM)
Tuesday, February 17 - Radio Therapy presents HORSE The Band, iamerror, & Neon Navajo @ The Smell - Juana Molina @ The Troubadour - Miranda Lee Richards, The Chapin Sisters, The Moon Upstairs, & Big Search @ Spaceland - Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Hello From Reno, BoxViolet, & Name of the Moon @ Mr T's Bowl - The Murder City Devils @ The Henry Fonda Music Box (sold-out) - Lounge Night w/ NUTTY, Double Naught Spy Car @ The Echo - Where's Moo, Recycled Air, Audra Mae, & Deccatree @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Ben Lee w/ Mandy Moore @ Largo - Juana Molina, Laura Gibson, & Luke Top @ The Troubadour - THE KARABAL NIGHTLIFE + THE MONOLATORS + THE SHIVERS @ Echo Curio
Wednesday, February 18 - ISGOODMUSIC.COM Night w/ Downtown Union, Go West Young Man, Automatique, The Health Club, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Ars Poetria, The Widows, Collisions, On Our Radar Baxter House, Bastidas & Secret Alphabet @ The Scene - Club Moscow w/ Casxio @ Boardner's of Hollywood - As Tall As Lions @ The Troubadour - CLUB NME w/ The Mystery Jets, Low Flying Owls @ Spaceland - Tatsuya Nakatani & Michel Doneda, I Heart Lung, Nick deWitt, & Destroyer Of Brains @ The Smell - LA Underground Presents Halloween Swim Team, Monstro, Featherbeard, Cobra Lilies, & Trick Tracy @ Mr T's Bowl - The Murder City Devils @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Low End Theory @ The Airliner - Dub Club @ Echoplex - YONDERLOW + COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS + MRS BROWN’S LOVELY DAUGHTER + JULIET PIPER + CHONCEY LANGFORD @ Echo Curio - No Culture @ The Echo - Jessica Fichot, Meemies, & Adam Arcuragi @ Bordello - Archways, Crash Encore, & MFA @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Marathon Live w/ The Binges + Mere Mortals + Nick Jago @ 3 Clubs - Andrew Bird @ The Orpheum
Thursday, February 19 - Nathan Payne, van buren boys, wicked wicked ways, avery james, & the hillandales @ The Scene - Duncan Sheik @ The Vista Theatre - Annuals @ The Troubadour - The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo - Manimal Vinyl and KXLU presents BlackBlack, Alexandra Hope, Corridor, VoicesVoices @ Spaceland - Electric Children, The Gramercy Riffs, Cobalt Cranes, & Amoveo @ Mr T's Bowl - Eleni Mandell, The Useless Keys, & Whispertown 2000 @ The Echo - M Barkley Green's Working Jazz Trio @ Home (FREE) - OLD TIME JAM hosted by TRIPLE CHICKEN FOOT! @ The Hyperion Tavern - Respect - AK1200, Scooba, Boxmon b2b Notation, MC Questionmark @ Echoplex - Living Suns, Lemonwilde, & Wake Up Lucid @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Evidence @ Amoeba Music (7PM)
DECISION: I've been keeping an eye out for The Useless Keys. They've got members of three local groups I enjoyed in the past, so expect good things from them. They're opening for the mercurial Eleni Mandell at The Echo.
Friday, February 20 - Bring Back Indie Show w/ Tasso, the gramercy riffs, the lost libraries, ballerina black, & go west young man @ The Scene - CORREATOWN + RED MAIDS + THE GIFT MACHINE @ Echo Curio - Irregular Wine Tasting @ Echoplex - Jon Brion @ Largo - Murder By Death @ The Troubadour - Split Lip Rayfield, Sarah Gayle Meech @ Spaceland - Static Aktion presents... Thurston Moore, The Haters, Dead Machines, Hive Mind, Randy Yau, David Scott Stone, & Pedestrian Deposit @ The Smell - The Franks, Mega Wand, Kill Kill Kill, & Bestial Mouths @ Pehrspace - Dropkick Murphys @ Hollywood Paladium - Falsetto Teeth & The Eternal Triangle @ Mr T's Bowl - Echo & Club Underground present Broken Spindles @ The Echo - Sara Lov, Manuok, & Horse Stories @ Home (FREE)
DECISION: Gotta love Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore for continuing to support smaller venues, experimental acts, and the like.
Saturday, February 21 - The French Semester, Artichoke, Photons, The Flower Machine, & Leisure Pills @ Mr T's Bowl - Joshua Radin w/ Meiko & Jesse Harris @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Kid Infinity, Bastidas, Houseshoez, & E & E @ The Smell - Gangi @ Apple Store in Glendale Galleria (6:30) - Gowns, Dawn Kasper (performance art), Auto Da Fe, & Vaudeville @ Pehrspace - AFTERNOON SHOW with DEAD MACHINES SOLO SETS w/ SPYKES / TOVAH D-DAY + DAMION ROMERO + HIVE MIND vs SIXES + JASON CRUMMER + OBSTACLE CORPSE + JARRETT SILBERMANN @ Echo Curio (2PM) - RATS + LA FOG + DEVIN SARNO + guests @ Echo Curio - Funky Sole @ The Echo - Lisa Hannigan @ The Troubadour - Grails, James Blackshaw @ Spaceland - Hang the DJs @ Echoplex
DECISION: Feed Your Head's Brad and I were just talking yesterday about how good The French Semester's new album is... It straddles the line between rock and pop and is influenced by a lot of our favorite late 60s bands.
Sunday, February 22 - SPIRIT VINE + EAGLE WINGED PALACE + MY PET SADDLE (local music DJ set by Radio Free Silver Lake) @ Echo Curio - VOICEsVOICEs @ The Smell - Neil Hamburger, Kidneys, The Imaginary Bear and Barney Puppet Show @ Spaceland - KidRockers presents The Broken West, Whispertown 2000 @ The Echo - The Derailers, The Palominos, Mike Stinson and Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Blood hook, nothing yet, the mormons, & the kids of widney high @ The Scene - Part Time Punks - Arthur Russell Tribute Nite w/ Hecuba & Julia Holter @ The Echo - Alex & Sam @ Home (FREE)
DECISION: Sunday night at Echo Curio should be great fun. The recently-signed (and lovingly spooky) Eagle Winged Palace with blues/psych Spirit Vine and "too tired to sleep music" of My Pet Saddle. (And I'll be djing a mix comprised of newer tracks by local bands.)
These guys consistently put on some of the most ebulliant, spirited live shows you'll ever see. This song especially just makes you want to get up and dance, or at least smile really big and sway back and forth. While these guys might not technically be a "Silver Lake" band anymore, we thought it appropriate to pay tribute to a local act made good (and one that deserves better than the fate it found at Astralworks). Please feel free to sing along to the "hey, hey, hey-oh!" part everybody.
We knew from the start that we wanted to try a Divisadero song - but we found it's hard to do justice to a Divisadero song while not being Divisadero. They took forever to put out Lefty and it seems like it was worth the wait to me. This one seemed the right one to cover to utilize our male female vocals. At the moment [of this writing], we're still figuring our rearrangement... I think we'll pull it off.
I don't know how to put into concise words how I truly feel about this band. All I do know is that I feel so lucky to be witnessing something so spectacular and unbelievable. I've been going to Manhattan Murder Mystery's shows for the past year and each show I see becomes my favorite one. I saw them last week at Bordello where they played the midnight slot. Manhattan Murder Mystery is the type of band that will immediately wake you up and throw you on your feet, jumping and dancing, no matter how late or how tired you originally were. We're very excited and honored to be covering their song Parking Lot.
This Valentine's Day, indie rock heart breakers The Hectors are playing at The Scene. In the following guest column, singer/guitarist Corinne Diner explains how she prepares for shows by stepping us through the intensive regime she followed to get ready for the band's previous performance.
CORINNE'S 3-DAY PRE-SHOW DIET AND TRAINING
People are always coming up to me after shows and saying "that was so awesome, you must have really prepared" or "how do you get prepared to be so awesome?" or "I didn't much care for that" and I always reply "Oh, I just show up when they tell me to, but thanks, love ya lots." Truth is, its not as easy as I pretend, and my strict diet and exercise regimen begins long before "go-time." Here are some recent excerpts from my journal:
WEDNESDAY NIGHT (72 hours to go)
Dinner: 3 chicken soft tacos from Ariza taco truck, with extra cilantro, and a large milk.
Cardio: 300 deep squats while waiting for tacos. Many admiring looks from passing hipsters (hipsters admire discipline).
Weight Training: Lifted two Jameson on the rocks, and danced (mentally) at The Echo while watching Seasons. The creepy facemasks they hang on their mic stands make me feel lightheaded (too much cilantro? not enough squats? too much John?).
Breakfast: Bolivian coffee.
Cardio: Walked to get coffee from Bolivian cafe. 20 minutes standing around because they are so slow. Coffee too sweet. Why am I so desperately avoiding Starbucks? Who am I trying to impress?
Lunch: mystery meat, diet Dr. Pepper.
Dinner: Skipped dinner. Saving money for grandma's operation.
Weight Training: Threw back 2 Pacificos, and scrubbed off big black lizard handstamp while watching Marvelous Toy at The Silver Lake Lounge. Mental note: Jordan's bouncing Kramer/Dylan/Sideshow Bob hair is mesmerizing when backlit by stagelights. Mental note #2: Big Black Lizard Handstamp could be a good name for my new solo project, or for an advanced S&M maneuver, or both.
Breakfast: lowfat bran flakes with lamb's milk (two bowls), tomato juice (out of Clamato).
Lunch and Dinner: Wheat Thins and plenty of 'em, tap water.
Cardio: 20 minutes standing around at practice with guitar weighing down shoulder, listening to Erik quote lines from "Family Vacation", then another 10 minutes listening to Erik talk about boobs. 10 minutes of Robert playing his guitar like it's a penis to annoy Erik. 10 minutes of me defending myself against Erik's accusations that I am a ginger. I am not a ginger, I am just fair-skinned. 5 minutes of actual practice.
Weight Training: 16 curls, 5 lunges and then 3 more lunges. Downed five Tecates at Spaceland while watching The Henry Clay People. Mental note: people seem to like covers. Play more covers. Mental note #2: now that Tom Petty is like 60, he looks more like Barbara Streisand. At 60, will Joey look like a blond Liza Minelli?
SATURDAY (Show Day)
Brunch: 10 pieces of bacon, and hot water with lemon. It's important to pork-load on morning of show.
Lunch: half a Costco-sized box of Hot Tamales.
Dinner: too fidgety to eat.
Weight Training: Downed 2 hefeweizens before show. 2 is the magic number where I'm not shy but I don't forget my guitar parts. Over-sing into the mic for first song because I can't hear anything through PA while soundguy adjusts levels. Forget the 2-beer rule, and go ahead and down the third one I've brought onstage. Forget some guitar and I feel like an ass but I don't think anyone notices. I look at Erik drumming and remember the ginger comments. I yell "Erik Greene!" as loud as I can right in his face, but only he can hear me because I'm not mic'ed. He smiles. I look over at Jim and he is smiling. I look over at Robert. He licks his pick, then sticks it upside down on his cheek like he's crying "rock tears". This is all very strenuous, but before I know it, the show is over. I guarantee that if you follow my simple diet and workout regimen, you too can have these desirable results!
Over the next few weeks, you'll see a series of articles on the site written by members of some of the best local bands on topics ranging from how they got started, how they prep for performances, and -- in the case of The Happy Hollows' lead singer/guitarist (and notable solo artist) Sarah Negahdari -- what bands inspire them the most.
I am very lucky because most of my biggest musical mentors and heroes are all my close friends. Everyone who has ever met me knows that Rob and Nick of Death to Anders are my guitar and songwriting heroes. Everyone who knows me knows that The Movies are my musical obsession, and that Andrew Jeffords of Traps, ps. is my musical Idol. All of my brothers in the Central Second Collective, like Christian of The Transmissions, have inspired me to no end, and helped shape my craft. I wouldn't be a fraction of the artist I am today without so many of these incredible men and bands in my life. Although there are so many men I admire, the list of local women who blow my mind is huge, and at the top of that list of female music heroes is Julie of The Pity Party.
I can't say enough good things about The Pity Party. Julie and Marc are total geniuses. I think my feelings can be best summed up if I go on a little rampage of thoughts that run through my mind every time I hear their records or see them play.
Me: "Wow...how is this girl drumming and playing keyboards and belting out an amazing voice at the same time??!! Wow, how the hell do they make music that is so damn catchy and yet unlike anything that has ever been done before?? Wow, I want to make guitar parts like Marc..I hate her she is also so beautiful...ok..I don’t hate her..I just want to be her...How does she make the coolest beats??... How do they make such bizarre yet fantastic harmonies?!....I want to stop thinking and dance dance dance!..ok..I am dancing..this feels so good....I am free...I am in the future...and it is a place of artistic freedom...I am free...I am so inspired...I am so alive...damn how is this even happening!?..this band is the best band ever...I will get to say I knew them way back when...I want to quit making music, this music is just so good and it has reached that level where it cant get better so why try!?...ok...stop... just stop thinking and dance...and feel dirty...yeow!!!...yay!!!! I am free! I am inspired! this is the coolest band.."
This is exactly what runs through my head every time I see them or hear them! I truly love this band. I think The Pity Party is the Nine Inch Nails of our generation. I think they are like taking a trip to a city that is a perfect combination of New Orleans and Tokyo. It is futuristic and dark there, yet really playful, and sexy, and addicting, and spooky, and bad ass! You want to stay up all night in this city! You want to dress like a hot mess while you play with neon red paint and run from futuristic robots. The Pity Party is simply one of the best and most cool and fresh and forward sounding bands in the world, let alone Los Angeles. We are lucky as hell to have them here.
I think that best sums up my feelings of profound awe and appreciation for The Pity Party and my other biggest music heroes. Thank you for asking, RFSL! Thank you for reading whoever is reading this!
The Monday Show Low Down (Or "Basic Cable Now Outlawed Under The Geneva Convention...")
I made it out to Chicago last week to spot check the corporate offices of our smarter, prettier sister-site Radio Free Chicago and their EIC Brad Knutson took me out to The Empty Bottle to see The Bitter Tears, who are kind of country-fried rock w/ tourettes. In the nicest way.
They contained entertainment, playing all in drag w/ a lead singer that had CRAZY EYES and led off one song saying, "speaking of sexist vampires, this is a song about David Allan Coe..."
They'd be a good pairing w/ local baroque punk act Death to Anders, if they ever make it out here to push their soon upcoming album.
Monday, February 9 - Aquarium Drunkard presents Le Switch, Blank Blue, Vaudville, & Les Blanks @ Spaceland (FREE) - The Rhone Occupation @ The Airliner - Sean Carnage Presents Big Digits, Birth!, & Showgirls @ Pehrspace - The Mae Shi, Hungry Ghost, Sad Horse, & Residual Echoes @ The Smell - Saber Tooth Tiger, Red Exiles, Holloys, & California Party Girls @ The Echo - KROQ Locals Only, Buzzbands LA, Metromix, Citizen LA, and The Fold present Local Natives, Meeting Places, Dusty Rhodes and The River Band, & Marvelous Toy @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE)
DECISION: I missed The Mae Shi when they were in Chicago because I felt like going to another town and seeing an LA band would be pretty ridiculous -- but damn if I didn't want to go see them play. So damn good.
Tuesday, February 10 - The Parson Redheads, Light FM, The Spires, & French Semester @ The Echo (FREE) - BIG DIGITS + FAAV + IE + BASECK + GUMSHOE @ Echo Curio - Miranda Lee Richards, Lower Heaven, Whispering Pines, & Nick Jago @ Spaceland - Check One Twosdays @ Echoplex - Greg Dulli & Mark Lanegan @ The Troubadour - Glen Iris, Ghost Machinists, Boxviolet, Vital Transformation, & Odd Modern @ Mr T's Bowl - Mad Planet, The Strange Familiar, & The Surrender @ The Silver Lake Lounge - BIG DIGITS + FAAV + IE + BASECK + GUMSHOE @ Echo Curio - Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Gary Jules and The Group Rules w/ Brian Wright & Phil Krohnengold @ The Hotel Cafe - Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Cat Power @ The Avalon
Wednesday, February 11 - Marathon Live w/ Nightfur, The Karabal Knightlife, & C-Horse @ 3 of Clubs - Low End Theory @ The Airliner - Cat Power @ The Avalon - Illa J @ Amoeba Music (7PM) - Free Moral Agents, Blank Blue, & FIM @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Orenda Fink, Stephanie Drootin, Whispertown 2000, & Deep Sea Diver @ Bordello - Club NME presents Sweethead, Run Through The Desert, Tan Analog, Pedestrian @ Spaceland - STANDING ROOM ONLY presented by IMRADIO BENEFIT with STONE CIRCLE GROOVE + BANDA PLATANO + SWEET SUN CHARIOT @ Echo Curio - Dub Club w/ Mighty Diamonds @ Echoplex - Set Your Goals @ The Troubadour - PROTECT ME, Au, Naima Earth, & The Keyishe @ The Smell - Levator, Rocking Horse People, Electric Children, & Spirit Vine @ Mr T's Bowl - Styx @ The House of Blues
DECISION: I'm really glad that garage act Nightfur are playing again. They've got a new album due out soon, so they've got a few nights coming up to support it, including Weds at 3 Clubs. (Here's the trailer to their lead's upcoming film, which bears the same name.)
Thursday, February 12 - The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, & Rademacher @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Heart Records presents The Happy Hollows, The Movies, Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians @ The Echo - Jonneine Zapata, Leslie and The Badgers, & Band of Annuals @ The Silver Lake Lounge - Lemon Sun, Rumspringa, Voxhaul Broadcast, & Restavrant @ The Troubadour - Respect @ Echoplex - Dirty Sweet, Night Horse, Sea of Air @ Spaceland - Deathday Party, Bobb Bruno, & Entropy Density @ The Smell - Cola Cola Band, Shiloe, The Monthlies, & Writer @ The Scene - Bi-polar Nights @ Mr T’s Bowl - Dick and Jane, Lucas Gonze, Sam Mellon and The Skylarks, Blind Pony @ The Hyperion Tavern - EVAN MILLER + MARBLE SKY + PEDESTRIAN DEPOSIT + HUMAN HANDS + EARN @ Echo Curio - The Binges @ Amoeba Music (7PM)
Friday, February 13 - Jon Brion @ Largo - Origami Ghost, Mr. Nervous, The Sundowners, Space Junkies, & The Kicks @ Mr T’s Bowl - ALO & Big Light @ The Troubadour - Don Caballero, sBACH, DD/MM/YYYY @ Spaceland - Static Aktion presents Friday the 13th w/ Marble Sky, Evan Miller, Concern, Rale, Infinite Body, & Monsturo @ The Smell - Jack Wilson Jr., The Spires, The Voyeurs, & Franklin for Short @ Pehrspace - Stones Throw & The Echo present Peanut Butter Wolf and special guest Prince Paul plus Egyptian Lover @ Echoplex - THE SAND PEOPLE + SI, CLARO + THE BROS (members of MIKA MIKO) @ Echo Curio - Demetri Martin @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - Echo & Club Underground present The Soft Pack (formerly The Muslims) & Tijuana Panthers @ The Echo
DECISION: If for whatever lame reason you miss the free show with melancholy pop act The Spires on Tuesday night (like, y'know, being in Boston...), you can catch them and friends at Pehrspace on Friday. Here's a new -- homemade -- video.
Saturday, February 14 - Golden Boots & Eagle Winged Palace @ The Knitting Factory - Yo Majesty & Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart @ Echoplex - Gil Mantera’s Party Dream @ Spaceland - "Above Us Only Sky" Group Show curated by Suki Ewers @ Pehrspace - Ricky Lee Jones @ Largo - The Dirty Diamond @ The Troubadour - Funky Sole @ The Echo - Extreme Animals, ANAVAN, I.E., Puppy Dog, The Tleilaxu Musci Machin, & Faav @ The Smell - Northern Sky, The Hectors, & more @ The Scene - The Dirty Callahans, The Bexar County Bastards, Psychostar, Tatooed Millionares, & Witch @ Mr T’s Bowl - The Quakes @ The Henry Fonda Music Box - TJ AND THE NEXT OF KIN + OLIN AND THE MOON + LOS OLVIDADOS + BELLY OF THE WHALE @ Echo Curio - Beat Junkies presents "Nightlife" w/ JRocc, Babu, Rhettmatic & Mr. Choc @ Echoplex - Horrorpops @ The Avalon
DECISION: Nothing says "romance" like Gil Mantera's Party Dream. (This is the eighth time I've posted this video, but it never gets old.)
Sunday, February 15 - Radio Free Silver Lake & The Eagle Rock Bowling and Drinking Club Present UNDER COVERED - a night of great LA bands celebrating great LA bands - featuring The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, Radars to the Sky, Marvelous Toy, & Death to Anders @ All-Star Lanes (8PM) - Valentine’s Zombie Prom w/ Saint Motel, Craft Club, The Airlines, & Hello Vegas @ Spaceland - Grand Ol Echo presents Ted Russell Kamp, Dead Rock West, Mike Stinson @ The Echo - Part Time Punks @ The Echo - The Music Tapes, Nana Grizol & Brian Dewar @ Echoplex
Learning five cover songs of some of our favorite local LA bands has been such a terrific (and humbling) experience. In addition to being so thrilled about our involvement with Radio Free Silver Lake's cover show, practicing and performing these cover songs has magnified, in our minds, the true and exceptional talent that is coming out of the East Side of Los Angeles. It was difficult for us to choose only five songs, for if we had the time, we would have chosen over twenty songs to cover.
Nevertheless, we picked out five songs which all have a very unique quality and sound, while adapting our own Death to Anders influence into the mix. By doing this, the overall result has been an overwhelmingly positive learning experience. By figuring out, analyzing and understanding the other bands' arrangements, melodies, and lyrics, we have a better view on how to strengthen and improve ours. We are all so happy to be a part of this, and have had a blast preparing for this show too!
For me, it was a great choice to cover The Silversun Pickups. Pete and John, or bass player and drummer, have had a long lasting friendship with the members of The Silversun Pickups, spanning back to their old band Crooner, which involved Pete and John, and current Silversun Pickups members Nikki Monninger and Chris Guanlao. In addition, when Nick and I first discovered the Silver Lake and Echo Park scene, we really did not know any bands or venues involved here. Our first drummer Anders had told us that he was hearing some buzz about an up-and-coming band called The Silversun Pickups and that we should check them out.
When we saw them (about four years ago), not only were we introduced to one of the biggest and inspirational bands to come out of Silver Lake, but we were also introduced to The Echo, where they played. Since then, we have been so eager and happy to be a part of this community, and I can confidently say that The Silversun Pickups were one of the very first inspirations for us. I later had the great privilege of interning for Dangerbird Records (The Silversun Pickups' label) where I helped promote their tours right after Carnavas came out.
Ethan introduced me to this band like a year ago when they were opening up for Amnion and such at Pehrspace. I was really floored not just by the sensitivity / technicality of their performance, but also the well crafted songs. Avi and his band are beyond their age in both of these arenas. This song is the first one that immediately grabbed me.
Thailand is one of the real under appreciated bands in this town. Their songwriting is as strong as anybody around, and their latest e.p. is a gem. I asked Mouse [from Classical Geek Theatre] for some suggestions for this show, and this was one of the songs he recommended. Of all the songs on that disc, the interlocking guitar and keyboard part in the chorus this song was the one thing that got absolutely stuck in my head and would not leave. We also wanted to tackle some songs that weren't the kind of thing that we normally do, and this qualifies. It's got this really odd quality of being both restrained and bold at the same time; almost like there's something simmering underneath waiting to boil.
All in all, this is a great band (and warm, nice people) worth celebrating, and this is among their better songs ever.
Thursday, March 12
- Plants & Animals, Castledoor, Avi Buffalo @ The Echo
- Bodies of Water, Lake, Fol Chen @ Echo Curio
- Horse Stories, Leopold and His Fiction, Jenny O. @ HOME
- Sara Bareilles, Tony Lucca @ Hotel Cafe
- De La Soul @ The Key Club
- Sara and Sean Watkins @ Largo
- Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen Shape-Note Extravaganza @ The Troubadour
- Thee Oh Sees, The Fresh & Onlys, Bipolar Bear, Private Beach @ The Smell
- Or, the Whale, Willoughby, Foundry Field Recordings @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Cursive, Modern Memory @ Spaceland
- Yelle, We Are the World, Casxio @ The El Rey Theatre
- Free Moral Agents @ The Air Conditioned Lounge (Venice)
Friday, March 13
- Mouse's B-day Extravaganza w/ Manhattan Murder Mystery, The Besties, & Mystery Guest (plus DJ set by Squaregirl Marion) @ Pehrspace
- Exposure Photography Show w/ Works by Ben Hoste, Jeff Koga, & Simon Cardoza w/ Meiko, Adeline, & Evan Way @ WHERE Space
- Say Hi @ The Echo
- Gram Rabbit, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Crooked Cowboy @ Echoplex
- Cursive, Ladyfinger, Little Brazil @ The Troubadour
- Sara Bareilles, Tony Lucca @ Hotel Cafe
- Ben Weasel, Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad to Candyland, The Girls @ The Knitting Factory
- Lady Gaga, Chester French, The White Tie Affair @ The Wiltern
- The Twelves, Gina Turner, Little Red Radio, Destructo, Mr. White @ Avalon
- Tindersticks, Spain @ The Henry Fonda Music Box
- Casxio, The Nights @ HOME
- Jon Brion @ Largo
- Minmae, John Vecciarelli, Azalia Snail @ Echo Curio
- Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Meho Plaza, Forever, Tacocat @ L'KEG
- Richard Swift, We Barbarians, Dappled Cities @ Spaceland
Saturday, March 14
- The New Standards, The Fresh, Katie Costello, Sean Kelly, Ryan Calhoun @ Hotel Cafe
- Asobi Seksu, Bell, Resplandor @ The Troubadour
- Phosphorescent, Viva Voce, The Donkeys, Rafter @ The Regent
- Ben Weasel, Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad to Candyland, The Girls @ The Knitting Factory
- Rickie Lee Jones @ Largo
- The Bird and the Bee, Haim, The Damn Sons, Post-Foetus @ Tricot Showroom
- The Von Bondies, Nico Vega, The Pink Snowflakes @ The Roxy
- El Ten Eleven @ HOME
- Franklin for Short, Moses Campbell, Enid the Dowl, No Paws (No Lions) @ Echo Curio
- Miami Horror, Danger, Futurecop! featuring Short Circuit & The Kids Are Radioactive @ Echoplex
- Sky Larkin @ Spaceland
- Smegma, Aaron Dilloway, Joe & Joe, Allen Pyle, Pigs in the Ground, Pod Blotz @ The Smell
- The Monolators, Roman Candles, Audacity, Jonesin' @ L'KEG
- Space Mtn, Light FM, Divisadero, Siggy @ Silver Factory Studios
Sunday, March 15
- Zee Avi, Luke Top, Michael Rosa (of Satisfaction) @ Spaceland
- Alela Diane, Come Gather Round Us, Josh Pyke @ Hotel Cafe
- These Are Powers @ The Echo
- Former Ghosts, Infinite Body, Felt Drawings, Amir Coyle, Knight Rider @ The Smell
- Australian All Ages BBQ w/ My Disco, The Drones, Dappled Cities, Red Riders, The Fumes, The Boat People, Leone Carmen, The Art, Hell City Glamours @ The Echo
- Part Time Punks w/ These Are Powers, Death Sentence: PANDA! @ The Echo
Monday, March 16
- Great Northern, O+S, Electrocute @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Jennifer Gail, James Harries, Jeremiah James @ Hotel Cafe
- Primal Scream, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Red Cortez @ Club Nokia
- Simian Mobile Disco @ The Henry Fonda Music Box
- Mad Happy, French Quarter, Hell-Kite, The Seizure, Hello My Name Is Red @ Pehrspace
- Meg Baird, Lucky Dragons, Kurt Vile @ Echo Curio
- Mika Miko, Clipd Beaks, Lovvers, Megawand @ The Smell
- Larytta, Girls, Hecuba, Nosaj Thing @ Echoplex
- MSTRKRFT (record release party) @ The Roxy
- The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Shane Alexander @ The Troubadour
- Nico Stai, Youth Group, Josh Pyke @ Spaceland (FREE)
- Wait.Think.Fast., VOICEsVOICEs, Dame Satan, The Late Birds @ The Echo (FREE)
Wednesday, March 18
- ISGOODMUSIC & Radio Free Silver Lake Present Nightfur CD Release Party w/ Old Toy Trains & The Breakups @ The Silver Lake Lounge
Friday, March 20
- Exposure Photography Show w/ Works by Ben Hoste, Jeff Koga, & Simon Cardoza w/ The Gena Rowlands Band, The Movies, & Ema and The Ghosts @ WHERE space
Sunday, March 22
- Jaguar Love & Thriller Party @ Space 15 Twenty
- The Library @ Cinespace
Saturday, March 28
- The Library @ Bardot
Sunday, April 5th
- Pam Shaffer CD Release Party @ Echo Curio
Friday, April 10
- Jack Wilson, Jr, Correatown, Amateurs, & Marvelous Toy @ Pehrspace
Thursday, April 30
- The World Record, Jack Wilson, Jr, & Les Blanks @ Echo Curio