Thursday, March 12, 2009
Thursday, March 12 Quandary
by Brad Roberts
What does a person do when faced with choices like these? Plant and Animals, Castledoor and Avi Buffalo at The Echo or Fol Chen, Bodies of Water and Lake at the Echo Curio or Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Tim Eriksen Shape-Note Extravaganza at the Troubadour, not to mention Cursive and Modern Memory at Spaceland and Willoughby at the Silver Lake Lounge.
Fortunately, I got a ticket to Elvis Perkins in Dearland a while ago, before all these other shows popped onto the radar. So I'm committed. But this is getting more and more typical of the emotional contortions you have to go through to make decisions like these. It's a delicious predicament.
I'm enjoying the new Elvis Perkins CD, love the Becky Stark background vocals on the song "Hey" and, having seen him a couple of times before, I'm ready to be impressed. Hope some of you all catch the other shows because every one is well worth your time.
New Band Alert: The Mayfair Set
So, surely by now you are all pretty much completely enamored with the L.A. based, shrouded in mystery, one woman phenomena that is Dum Dum Girls. If your response to that previous statement was anything other than a solid nod of agreement, then visit that link immediately, and become enamored!
However, our hero in that story, "Dee Dee," is currently busy expanding her horizons with the equally deserving of your attention Mike "Blank Dogs". They've joined forces to create The Mayfair Set where the best elements of both individuals' main projects are blended to create a fuzzy pop delight.
In a related note, Blank Dogs will make his Los Angeles debut at Pehrspace on March 26th for a Part Time Punks presented set. I refuse to be so naive as to hope for an impromptu Mayfair Set set, oh but wouldn't it be so wonderful? Still, this has the potential to be one of the best shows of the year regardless of my wildly unrealistic expectations going un-met. I highly recommend that you make it out to this one. Show up early, prepare to feel packed like a sardine, and (naturally) experience nothing short of one of the most memorable nights of your life so far.
Photo File: Neil Halstead & Zach Gill @ Largo
by Laurie Scavo
Since I'm brand new to LA, every venue I shoot is a new adventure. And last night at
Largo at The Coronet for the Neil Halstead show was no exception.
First things first: no bar.
Surprising, since the outside patio in front of the theater is gorgeous – a perfect spot to hang, have a drink, then go inside and catch a show. Yet, for what the Largo at The Coronet lacks in libations, it makes up for in excellent sound coupled
with a true vintage theater experience.
Opening for Neil Halstead was the clever and engaging Zach Gill. A master of all instruments, Gill charmed the audience with his funny lyrics, and left them breathless with his infinite musicianship.
When Neil Halstead took the stage, the venue was comfortably full. Settling in to experience what was sure to be a special evening, the theater went pitch black. Literally. Like hard to see the person next to you. It made the night extremely intimate, and a little sleepy. Sitting in the darkness, it was easy to be lulled to far away places, riding the waves of Halstead’s magical voice and thinking man’s lyrics.
Paint A Face is one of my favorite songs off Halstead’s Oh! Mighty Engine release from LA's Brushfire Records, and hearing it live made me think a little too hard, nearly bringing me to tears:
Buy a ten-dollar camera
Take a picture of everyone
Cause people change
Yeah, they change
Yeah, they're changing everyday
And I don't want to be the one
That you don't recognize
No, I don't want to be the one
The one that's left behind
When the tear thing happens, I remember why I love live music so damn much. The audience agreed, as they BEGGED for an encore for nearly five minutes before the house lights went on. Evidently it was time for a beer, and not another song.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Video Free Silver Lake: Bird And The Bee, Great Northern, Robert Francis, Mad Happy, & Elvis Perkins
I've been more than a little bit laid up by unexpected injury, so I unfortunately will most likely be missing all of the shows in LA this week. Good thing I can watch videos at home...
1) In my opinion, local up and coming songwriter Robert Francis sounds a lot like the The Arcade Fire, and as far as I'm concerned that is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Here's a full length feature and interview with him by former LA DJ Carson Daly. According to Carson Daly, The Hotel Cafe is a pretty cool spot!
Robert Francis on Last Call with Carson Daly (3/5/2009)
2) Remember how Great Northern used to seem to play around LA all the time, and you started taking them for granted and missing their shows? The good news is that they are currently on tour, and will be playing at the very small (cash-only) Silver Lake Lounge on March 16. Here's an excellent song that should get you excited to see Great Northern when they come down south, if the liquor store across the street from the Silver Lake Lounge isn't reason enough.
3) L.A. duo the Bird and the Bee will be returning to LA on March 16 at the Tricot Showroom, located at 843 S. Los Angeles St., Suite #200, along with Haim, The Damn-Sons and [Post-Foetus]. NPR's Fresh Air seems to love the new album. Here's a video off their new album:
4) Ex-orthodox Jews Mad HaPPy are playing at the Pehrspace on March 16. Supposedly they tour the country, while subsisting on food made in a crock pot which is plugged into their car.
5) Elvis Perkins is playing at the Troubadour on March 12. I don't him that well, but am intrigued by the trombone and marching drum in this live performance of his song Doomday...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Say Hi & Telekinesis at The Echo on Friday Night
Yes, once again thanks to the folks at The Echo, we have two pairs of tickets to give away... This time for this Friday’s performance by Say Hi and Telekinesis.
Eric Elbogen, who records as Say Hi, makes this stop as one amongst a rolling tour in support of the latest album Oohs and Aahs (album art to the right). Released just last Tuesday, March 3, this one makes it an even half-dozen albums, definitely providing a deep collection from which to draw. With solid lead guitar throughout, along with relatable choruses that reach out to be heard, Say Hi continues providing terrific sounds ready to be shared.
Bite-Sized News: Castledoor, Foreign Born, Silversun Pickups, & More
Knowledge is hot. This is the first installment of a weekly post called 'Bite-Sized News' which aims to educate readers -- transforming them into the new know-it-alls of social circles. trying to impress a girl? On the prowl for a pearl-buttoned plaid-shirt wearing stallion? Drop a line like "Yeah, Foreign Born just finished recording their new album at Sunset Lodge Studios, and they're releasing it on some Indiana label called Secretly Canadian -- which releases Jens Lekman and Antony and the Johnsons' records as well." Consider it a done deal -- sign, sealed, delivered.
-- Silver Lake rockers Castledoor have finished a new 11-track album titled Shouting At Mountains. The album was recorded over the course of eight days, under the direction of Robert Schwartzman (of the band Rooney). Hard copies of the album will be available to the few lucky fools making the trek to SXSW next week, and to the general public via iTunes and other digital stores April 21. Castledoor is currently looking for a label to release Shouting At Mountains – the band's first full-length album.
-- Young, local indie-pop quartet Princeton (illustrated above) laid down a four-track session for Daytrotter. The session went live on the site March 4.
-- The fourth installment of The Ship Sessions – the online audio/video series by Earlimart frontman Aaron Espinoza – will be filmed March 21st at the SXSW, and will feature Rademacher, Jason Lytle and Flosstradamus.
-- Super producer Dave Newton is currently working with local late-1990s-esque rockers The Rhone Occupation. Newton is known around town for his work with bands such as The Happy Hollows, The Movies, Death to Anders, and The Little Ones.
-- Silversun Pickups have completed the much-awaited follow-up to their 2006 super-album Carnavas, titled Swoon. MTV News snagged an exclusive peak at two new tracks. The album, produced by Dave Cooley (who also did Carnavas), is scheduled to be released April 14 on L.A.'s Dangerbird Records.
-- L.A. folksters Foreign Born have finished a new album titled Person to Person, which is slated to be released on Indiana-based label Secretly Canadian Records on June 23. Foreign Born recorded the full-length album over the summer at Sunset Lodge Studios.
-- Avi Buffalo – an infectiously catchy indie quartet out of Long Beach – have scored The Echo's Monday night residency for the month of May. The youngsters (whose sound bares an uncanny resemblance to pre-Oracular-Spectacular-MGMT) are on the look out for a new guitar player to join their ranks – anyone?
-- Acoustic pop band The Western States Motel are playing three FREE shows in Southern California at the end of March – March 24 at HOME in Silver Lake, March 26 at Mercury Lounge in Santa Barbara, and March 28 at Bar Pink in San Diego. Fellow Angelenos The Minor Canon will accompany the band at their Silver Lake and Santa Barbara shows.
(Illustration of Princeton by Johnnie Cluney, courtesy of Daytrotter.com)
Monday, March 09, 2009
TICKET GIVEAWAY: Great Northern on Monday, March 16, at Silverlake Lounge
Well, after spending much of 2008 writing, recording, mixing, Great Northern are now ready to release their new record Remind me Where the Light is come April 28, 2009. And in advance of this, they're currently banging a quick tour up and down the west coast prior to a trip out to SXSW. As a part of this jaunt, they’ll be joining us for a night over at the Silver Lake Lounge, an evening filled out with the elemental and adventurous sounds provided by Great Northern’s west coast touring pals O + S.
The Monday Show Low Down (Or "We're Gonna Have to Cross the Line Just to Find the Line...")
Over the last week, we've started posting contributions from some talented new contributors... a group of folks who share a common lurve for the local music scene... and you'll see even more soon as we ramp up the site to provide more posts per week: features, interviews, ticket giveaways, photo galleries, and the like.
As mentioned before, we're reworking its look and feel to be more like our smarter, prettier sister-site Radio Free Chicago. Yes, that means we'll shortly be abandoning the DIY default look of Blogger. We're shooting for later this week, even.
Enough about us, here's what the week is looking like in shows here in town:
Monday, March 9
- Spider Problem, The Dead Ponies, & Obedient Waves @ The Roxy
- The Binges, Kissing Tigers, Pink Mochi @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Michael Gira, Larkin Grimm @ Echoplex
- Larkin Grimm @ Echo Curio
- Alex and Sam @ The Hotel Cafe
- Amar and Sean Carnage Present The record release party for… “Future Stars and Small Wonders” featuring: Bizzart, Pizza!, Walter Gross, Big Epoch, K!X 2.0 @ Pehrspace
- Wait.Think.Fast., Summer Darling, Shiloe, Two Guns @ The Echo (FREE)
- Nico Stai, The Shys @ Spaceland (FREE)
If you're sorting out your free residency plan for the month, tonight might be a good night to catch dreampop act Wait.Think.Fast. over at The Echo. They've got some good supporting acts and you'll probably want to catch the return of Great Northern over at The Silver Lake Lounge next Monday night. (That one's not free, but we'll have some tickets to give away for it later this week.)
Tuesday, March 10
- Ian Ball, Leslie and the Badgers, Ruthie Foster, Big Eagle @ The Hotel Cafe
- Cut Copy, Matt and Kim @ The Henry Fonda Music Box
- Neil Halstead @ Largo
- Oren Lavie @ Largo
- The Pretenders @ The Wiltern
- Akron/Family, Golden Animals, MaxMaven @ The Steve Allen Theater
- Learning Music, Ana Egge, Ruby Friedman @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Spirit Vine, Hard Place, Native Fauna, Polyamorous Affair @ Echo Curio
- Oh No Not Stereo record release, Phonocast, The Wong Boys @ The Viper Room
- Rocco DeLuca & The Burden, HoneyHoney @ The Troubadour
- Captain Ahab, Kocho-bi-Sexual @ The Smell
- Efterklang, Peter Broderick, Eulogies @ Spaceland
- Sleepy Sun, Foreign Born, Larkin Grimm @ The Echo
Tuesday night is all about seeing indie rock snake charmers Foreign Born play at The Echo. They'll likely be performing some new material from their upcoming album, too.
Wednesday, March 11
- Cut Copy, Matt and Kim @ The Henry Fonda Music Box
- Sara Bareilles, Tony Lucca @ The Hotel Cafe
- John Digweed, Kazell @ The Mayan
- Club Moscow Presents The Library's EP Release Party @ Boardner's of Hollywood
- Nico Vega, Von Iva, Semi Precious Weapons @ The Knitting Factory
- Anavan, Birds & Batteries, LACO$TE, VOICEsVOICEs @ The Smell
- Birds and Batteries, The Rhone Occupation, The Faraway Places @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Club NME: Spirit Animal, Asa Ransom @ Spaceland
- HeartsRevolution, Beni, Guns N Bombs, Classixx @ The Echo
- Next of Kin, Young/Lost Ones, Post War, Electric Russia @ Mr T's Bowl
- Oren Lavie @ Largo
- The Deepsea Goes @ L'KEG
- Spindrift, The Upside Down, Lower Heaven @ The Redwood Bar
If there's any part of you that enjoys the hell out of old Ennio Morricone spaghetti western scores, you'll probably want to see Spindrift at Redwood Bar on Wednesday night.
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)
Some great shows on Thursday... Castledoor and Avi Buffalo at The Echo, Fol Chen and Bodies of Water at Echo Curio, Willoughby at The Silver Lake Lounge, Cursive at Spaceland, and Elvis Perkins at The Troubadour. Can't go wrong.
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
While the third performance night of the Exposure photography show and Say Hi at The Echo are strong contenders for Friday evening, the birthday party for Classical Geek Theatre's Mouse at Pehrspace with Manhattan Murder Mystery and "mystery guest" is sure to be a great time.
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
Indie pop perfectionists Light FM are always great live, Divisadero are a local band's local band, and Space Mtn haven't played for, like, ever or something.
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
I hear Luke Top (in or out of his group Fool's Gold) come up often in discussions that run along the lines of "I'm not normally into 'world music,' but that stuff is really fun." And agree.
That's it. Did I miss anything? Please message me a RFSLshowlistings(at)gmail.com.
Friday, March 06, 2009
El Capitan: Earlimart's Aaron Espinoza on Stearing The Ship (Pt. I of II)
Aaron Espinoza is a multi-tasker. Right now, the scruffy Californian is demolishing a bowl of tortilla chips and unpretentiously describing the musical republic he has created in Silver Lake over the past 12 years. He’s dog-tired, and starving. Espinoza has been working in his recording studio all day and hasn’t eaten. It’s almost eight at night.
He talks with a Central Valley drawl, littered with “like” and “whatever,” and his other favorite phrase – “you know?” And it’s this last one that catches you. It's engaging. Drags you face to face. Makes you think, “Do I know? Do I agree?” As a music producer, Espinoza’s sincere talent for collaboration places him in the upper crust of Los Angeles’ burgeoning indie scene. But the bands Espinoza produces (Grandaddy, Silversun Pickups, and Irving to name a few) are not colleagues, or even mere collaborators. They are more like kin, making the records they craft together sound honest, meticulous, heartfelt, and fun. All the ingredients of great music, you know?
Since the early oughts, Espinoza has been producing albums with everyone from the late Elliott Smith, to emerging groups like Rademacher, Castledoor, Sea Wolf and a lengthy list of bands on the cusp of indie stardom. Working together in a small studio named The Ship that Espinoza and friends built by hand in 2000 and 2001, Espinoza has relied on his collaborative prowess to make The Ship one of Los Angeles' preeminent boutique studios. The walls are clad in nautical décor, “Lots of thrift store paintings of ships, and it kind of has a log cabin crossover thing going on. With some taxidermy” Espinoza describes.
Located in the rolling hills of Eagle Rock above San Fernando Road, The Ship is a creative hideaway for artists Espinoza has been befriending since transplanting from Fresno to Los Angeles in 1997. “We built The Ship and a lot of those bands’ first recordings were recorded there. And it’s not like this organized club per se, it’s more like a support group” he says. This tight-knit clan – dubbed The Ship Collective – has come to be revered by indie aficionados as an A-list Rat Pack of East LA bands by adding local artists like Radar Bros., Let’s Go Sailing, and The Watson Twins to their roster.
But The Ship's story really starts with a house. After moving to Los Angeles on a whim at the age of 22, Espinoza began recording bands inside the home he and three friends were renting in Silver Lake. “I didn’t know shit about LA, and I moved into this neighborhood called Silver Lake. And there was a four bedroom house – a big house up on a hill” he says. Inside that house lived the first incarnation of Espinoza's band Earlimart, who have matured into quintessential Silver Lake indie rockers since being birthed in the hillside bungalow.
“All of Earlimart lived there at one point, not to mention other people in some other bands associated with The Ship right now” says Ariana Murray – the only other original member of Earlimart who still active in the band. “It was great because at that time we were all just trying to figure out how to play and record music by ourselves, cheaply, and having as much fun as possible” she says. Murray, Espinoza and their housemates were great at keeping music a top priority, and employment on the peripheries. It was standard for Espinoza to alternate between temporary jobs as personal assistants on film shoots, and unemployment.
In 2000, Earlimart had released two albums on an itty-bitty, now-defunct label called Devil in the Woods, when Espinoza suddenly got itchy feet. The Ship studio was in the middle of being constructed, but Espinoza decided to put down the hammers and take Earlimart on a two-month tour around the United States. “Maybe not the smartest, but probably one of the smartest things we’ve ever done,” says Espinoza. “We booked everything ourselves, we didn’t make any money. We were sleeping on people’s floors and all that. It was terrible. It was awesome.”
Upon returning, everything was going fine for Espinoza. The tour made Earlimart’s name vaguely familiar in music markets all over the country. Espinoza finished building The Ship when they returned to Silver Lake, and he was cultivating strong friendships with like-minded musicians. And luckily, with venues like Spaceland, The Echo and The Silver Lake Lounge opening up shop – Silver Lake quickly became one of the country's most promising indie enclaves. The horizon was looking good for Espinoza and his makeshift family of friends. But in 2001, shortly after construction on The Ship studio was completed, a streak of horrifying happenings dismantled Espinoza, and his most prized asset – Earlimart.
“Basically it went August, Ariana and I break up. Two days later, our buddy dies in a plane crash. September 11th right after that. And that Halloween, October 31st, was the last Earlimart show. And it all just fell apart, everything we knew, you know?” After pouring his heart, soul, sweat and labor into Earlimart over the past four years, Espinoza's pet project dissolved in the bat of an eye. The only thing left standing was The Ship...
Part II of this series will run next Friday. Be sure to check back for the complete history of The Ship Collective's early stages.
(Photo courtesy of Majordomo Records)
BAND CANCELLATION ALERT: THE TARTANS AT PART TIME PUNKS
Anyone who is in the L.A. area and was planning to venture out to the Echo to see the Tartans on Sunday night should still plan to do so, as Sea Lions are still playing, and the Part Time Punks will still be spinning some of the best 7"s ever pressed, but the Tartans are now unable to appear. It seems that on Wednesday night as drummer Lon was biking home, he was hit by a car. They were initially planning to have him released yesterday, but it turns out that assessment came too quickly. He is having surgery today to reconnect some muscles, and apparently he has a few broken bones as well. Hopefully this will all be a distant memory by the time their planned April and May shows roll around, but turning around to play a show two days after surgery would be next to impossible.
In far more positive Tartans news, have you been to their Myspace page lately? Many silent prayers have been answered, and finally a recorded version of West of La Brea exists for our collective listening pleasure. I haven't been able to stop humming that one, though it's becoming increasingly clear that the stand out recording of their next 7" will most certainly be Tarmac. I've always enjoyed the song live, but on the recording all of the various elements that make it an interesting song seem far more apparent. That's just an internet recording too, I can't imagine how lovely it will sound on vinyl.
And I really do still highly recommend showing up at the Echo this Sunday night. Sea Lions have impressed me tremendously the last few times that I've seen them play. You can read a review that I wrote of one of their recent shows here. It also happens to be the release party for their brand new YAY! Records issued 7" Let's Groove so be sure to say "hi," and buy some vinyl from them. They're very nice people. Plus, if you're say, really into the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart full Length, and really wish you understood what reviewers are talking about when they throw terms around like "early Creation," "C86," and "Sunny Sundae Smile era MBV," then the DJ sets on Sunday will be an excellent place to learn by audio example.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
TICKET GIVEAWAY(S): Next Tuesday and Thursday at The Echo
Thanks to our friends at The Echo, we have multiple pairs of tickets to give away for each of two nights next week at that venue.
First night is Tuesday, March 10, when a range of sound is delivered to us by Foreign Born, Sleepy Sun, and Larkin Grimm. We have a few pairs of tickets for this outstanding eve. Just message us here before noon on Tuesday with your full name, one line on how The Echo works for you, and confirmation that you're 18... Okay, or older. :)
The next is Thursday, March 12, as Plants and Animals, Castledoor, and Avi Buffalo shall join us for a marvelous night. We've two pairs of tix for this one. Again, for a swing at this terrific lineup, just message us here before noon Thursday with your full name, a sentence explaining why you're the one to win, and confirmation that you're 18+ (and, y'know, haven't won anything from us in the last month).
Should be two fabulous eves at The Echo, so take a try at being able to join us for free at either of two shows...
New Band Alert: Blue Jungle
Anyone who knows me even a little bit probably wouldn't be too surprised to learn that it took a post on a Seattle based, often indiepop focused blog for me to learn about my new L.A. band obsession. Blue Jungle formed in 2007 as a project of multi-instrumentalist (and vocalist) Lately Blu Blu, and guitarist Nosebleed. Over the course of time they've expanded to become a five-piece. I honestly can't believe that I am just getting around to hearing them now.
I think their sound could best be described as a sort of desaturated dreamy pop. I saw the movie Medicine for Melancholy last week which took straightforward color shots of a beautiful city (San Francisco) and then carefully drained most of the color out to create a warm black and white look with only splashes of muted color here and there. The effect was gorgeous, and ultimately quite intriguing. I can't help thinking that Blue Jungle creates a similar effect with their music. These songs could be straightforward, full of vibrant colors, and be just as beautiful and exciting. Instead, they've presented something that is slightly less expected, and ultimately more rewarding.
I simply can't stop listening to the song Los Angeles. This likely has quite a bit to do with the fact that the intro reminds me A LOT of my favorite Galaxie 500 song, Oblivious, but the Blue Jungle song changes direction too quickly for this be obvious on the first listen, then when it reappears a later points in the song there is already far to much else going on for you to really notice. And while a band like Galaxie 500 might not be the most obvious reference point here, they do share a similar mysterious yet inviting quality that will surely leave you wanting more. Because of their endlessly cool sounding lead singer Lately Blu Blu, and dark, shadowy sounding recording techniques you can easily imagine that they are right at home playing shows at The Smell, and sure enough they will be there with Jail Weddings on April 3rd, and for those of you who are Austin bound they will be playing The Smell's showcase (my personal highlight from last year's festival) at South by Southwest. However, If you simply can't wait that long (or if even so much as the idea of standing alone in a room full of seventeen year-olds who are cooler than you could ever possibly dream of being automatically makes you feel really awkward) then you should definitely make a point to catch Blue Jungle at Pehrspace this Saturday, March 7th. The always fun Health Club will be along for support, and I'll be playing some records between sets from the bands.
They have vinyl (that includes digital download codes) for sale as well. I imagine that you will be able to pick up a copy of Baby Don't Cry at the show on Saturday, or you can buy it right this second, here.
60 Second Show Review: Tigers Can Bite You, So Many Wizards, & Fulton Lights @ Bordello
1) It would be good to see the Brooklyn's Fulton Lights (made up of clearly talented one-man band Andrew Spencer) free from any technical problems. 2) Hard to describe, but often easy to like, So Many Wizards show moments of complete brilliance. (Give them a few months to a year and, really, wow.) 3) New & Used Records' Tigers Can Bite You are an indie rock act who are worthy of a larger audience. 4) Random thought: Have you ever seen Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction?
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Video Free Silver Lake: Foreign Born, Fol Chen, Bodies of Water, Captain Ahab, & Jane's Addiction
As usual, a ton of great bands playing this week, everything from catchy indie rock to early 2000s style sweat-all-over-the-audience electro. If you are so lucky as to make it out, here are some videos from bands I recommend seeing:
1) Radio Free Silver Lake favorite Foreign Born -- who are working on new album on an undisclosed label -- are playing out at The Echo on March 10.
2) Bodies of Water and Fol Chen will be playing at the Echo Curio on March 12. Two of my absolute favorite acts in town, also both recently released terrific new music videos.
Fol Chen - Cable TV
Bodies of Water - Under the Pines
3) While this guy surely is not new to the LA small-venue scene, 7 years after first seeing him play at Boardners, I haven't tired of the juvenille-but-still-socially-conscious-in-a-way "dance music" performed by Captain Ahab. He's playing at The Smell on March 10, along with Anavan (whom I haven't had the chance to check out live, but have heard described as "the greatest band of all time") and LaCo$te. Not recommended for a quiet (or early) night out (his shows are known to start as late as midnight, or 1), but highly recommended for those looking to be sweat upon by backup "dancer" Jim, dancing til late, and otherwise feeling 19 again. A slightly NSFW video that more closely resembles a live show than you'd think.
4) I totally know this already happened but...in case you happened to not be one of the few who saw Jane's Addiction rock out at the Echoplex a few weeks ago, there's some pretty high quality video of the performance available. From what I can tell, this was a pretty solid performance. For instance:
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
REMINDER: Werewolf Heart Records Launch Party at Detroit Bar on Thursday Night
New bands pop up in Los Angeles every day, but the birth of a new record label is cause for occasion. Thus, Werewolf Heart Records – the slick new label managed by Alexis Rivera of Echo Park Records – is playing a Werewolf Heart Launch Party at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa Thursday night.
The free show will feature performances or DJ sets from all three bands on the label's short, yet star-studded roster that includes veteran LA luminaries Ima Robot, Ryan Gosling's vaudevillian rock band Dead Man's Bones (insert girlish squeals of excitement and The Notebook references here), and bratty punk-rockers The Goat.
According to Ima Robot's blog, there will be “sick merch and free shit and new songs” at the show – organized to celebrate the official launch of Werewolf Heart. Ima Robot is slated to play SXSW with Echo & The Bunnymen on March 18. Meanwhile, The Goat is conducting a five-date mini-tour through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with fellow locals No Age before landing in Austin to play SXSW. Dead Man's Bones was originally scheduled to make the trek eastward for the “Werewolf Heart Showcase” at SXSW, but officially canceled the trip Monday so they could work on videos for their upcoming debut album.
For a taste of what's to come on Werewolf Heart, check out this video of Dead Man's Bones' In The Room Where You Sleep, which features an choir of students from the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music dressed in impeccable Halloween costumes, providing generally superb backing vocals to Gosling's dark, wailing tenor.
Werewolf Heart Records Showcase
at Detroit Bar
843 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Free, 21+, 8 pm.
Monday, March 02, 2009
The Monday Show Low Down (Or "Judas Priest Covering Joan Baez is Both Real and Amazing...")
It sounds like a lot of great local acts have inquired about playing it, so we'll hopefully seeing the music scene improve more and more over time out there. (I literally used to live about a mile from that place and it was slim pickings back then...)
Monday, March 2
- Bob Mould @ The Hotel Cafe
- Nico Stai, Eastern Conference Champions, Pop Noir, & Hesta Prynn @ Spaceland
- June Kartel @ The Troubadour
- Sean Carnage Presents The Amazements, Michael Vidal (of Abe Vigoda), & TBA @ Pehrspace
- Yellow Red Sparks, Steelwells @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Garage Comedy Presents Storytime @ El Cid
- Origami Records Night w/ The Hectors, Writer, Summer Darling, The Monolators & DJ Velvet Touch @ The Echo (FREE)
Last time I caught a solo show by former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould, it pretty much knocked me on my ass... It was the loudest acoustic performance I've ever seen w/ lots of greats from his early solo career and a few Husker Du songs.
Rare treat. Don't miss.
Tuesday, March 3
- Laura Gibson, Tom Brosseau, Musee Mecanique @ Spaceland
- Lido Beach @ The Troubadour
- Mass Terror, The Gimps, The Beeters, Maxwell Smart @ Mr T's Bowl
- Les Blanks, Dirt Dress, Shirley Rolls, Hunting Accident @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- JockPit, White Circle Crime Club, Mikki And The Mauses @ The Smell
- Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar
- Mock Stars Indie Comedy w/ Bob Odenkirk & more @ Skylight Books
- Check One Twosdays presents Fujiya & Miyagi, Pop Levi, Project Jenny Project Jan @ The Echo
The indie rock line-up at The Silver Lake Lounge looks good on Tuesday night, as does the indie comedy line-up at Skylight Books. (Loved Bob Odenkirk in HBO's Mr. Show.)
Wednesday, March 4
- New and Used Records and Radio Free Silver Lake Present Tigers Can Bite You, So Many Wizards, Fulton Lights @ Bordello
- Death To Anders + Sleepover Disaster + Spider Problem @ 3 of Clubs
- Helmet, Fu Manchu, Year Long Disaster @ House of Blues
- Layabout, DarkHorse @ Mr T's Bowl
- Papa Roach @ The Troubadour
- Club NME w/ Cut Off Your Hands & Princeton @ Spaceland
- Deli Magazine Party w/ Electrocute, AM, Django James, Daniel Ahern, Correatown @ The Roxy
- No Culture w/ Tim Sweeney (Beats in Space), Cosmic Kids, Guns N Bombs, Miss Toats @ The Echo
- The 1921A, The Nocturnes, Pride of Kenya, Downtown/Union @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- M Ward & Delta Spirit @ The Henry Fonda Music Box
We're helping promote the rad smarty rock team-up of Tigers Can Bite You and So Many Wizards on Weds night at Bordello (and playing a mix w/ some great new tracks by local acts like The Californian, WALK, and more).
Thursday, March 5
- Neko Case @ Amoeba Music (FREE - 7PM)
- Jimmy Eat World @ Club Nokia
- The Meka Leka Hi's, The Leeches, Gestapo Khazi, Beer Crisis @ Mr T's Bowl
- Rawlings Machine w/ Gillian Welch @ Largo
- Halloween Swim Team, Mega Wand, Not the Government, Michael Nhat @ The Smell
- Useless Keys, Tsk Tsk, Cobalt Cranes, Dissolver @ Spaceland
- JINX, Sir Robert Waller and The Landed Gentry @ The Hyperion Tavern
- The Romany Rye, We Barbarians, Cheetasaurus, Octopolis @ The Silver Lake Lounge
Check out the new tracks that local rock act The Useless Keys posted on their myspace page... It's promising stuff from folks who were in The Green and Yellow TV, Molecules, and more.
Friday, March 6
- isgoodmusic.com presents Wild Ginger Kitchen, Jason Health and the Greedy Souls, Day of the Outlaw, The Widows, The Middle Class @ Mr T's Bowl
- Moving Units, Rumspringa, All Leather @ The El Rey Theatre
- Robert Francis @ HOME (Silver Lake - FREE)
- Jon Brion @ Largo
- Visa @ The Troubadour
- Oliver Future, Dirty Sweet, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister @ Spaceland
- Carletta Sue Kay, Fauxfoe, Dorian Wood @ Pehrspace
- First Fridays w/ Fool's Gold & BLK JKS @ The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
- Tom Jones @ Club Nokia
You know, I don't know any of the groups playing Friday night's isgoodmusic.com-curated show at Mr T's Bowl, but ISGOODMUSIC's Jon Hershfield has great taste in music. Could be well-worth your time...
Saturday, March 7
- Olin and the Moon @ HOME (Silver Lake - FREE)
- Lambchop, Radar Brothers @ Largo
- Lords of Altamont @ The Redwood Bar
- The Greyboy Allstars @ The Troubadour
- The Raw Power Rangers, The Bloody Brains, The Barbarellatones @ Mr T's Bowl
- JACK WILSON JR. + BLANKET + ONE TRICK PONY + THIS FRONTIER NEEDS HEROES @ Echo Curio
- AM, Blue Jungle, Health Club, Hello My Name Is Red @ Pehrspace
- Uppercrust, Peachfuzz @ Spaceland
- The Seasons, Republic of Letters @ Echo Curio
- M83 (with Los Angeles Philharmonic) @ Walt Disney Concert Hall
Some good local shows going on Friday night, but getting the chance to see French shoegaze outfit M83 playing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic is pretty amazing.
Sunday, March 8
- The Eagle Rock Bowling & Drinking Club w/ Arms and Sleepers, Go West Young Man, Walk @ All-Star Lanes
- Part Time Punks w/ The Tartans & Sea Lions @ The Echo
- Brunch Americana w/ Eleven Hundred Springs, Sarah Gayle Meech, Mike Stinson @ Redwood Bar
- Pirate Burlesque @ Redwood Bar
- PINK CANOES (SF) + JEREMY DRAKE + METAL ROUGE + WARM CLIMATE @ Echo Curio
- Curumin (w/ special guest Money Mark), Los Pirata @ Spaceland
Think I mentioned it before, but I caught the indie rocking Walk play a few months back randomly and it's definitely made me keep an eye out for other opportunities to see them play again.
Meanwhile, my friend (and upcoming RFSL contributor) Marion would beseech you to see indie pop act The Tartans at Part Time Punks. Try for both!
That's it. Did I miss anything? Please lemme know.