Monday, December 31, 2007

The Monday Show Low Down (Or “Cause All Of Your Schemes Are Busting At The Seams”)

I know how the recent dearth of live music over the holidays has driven you into the waiting arms of multiple family dinners, complete seasons of TV shows on DVD, video game addiction, and/or quasi-legal psychedelic mushrooms, but it's all over now... This week sees the return of a ridiculous number of options for great shows by great local bands.

Let's see what it has to offer (or something).

Monday, December 31
- Pity Party, Restaurant, Fat Lip, Lady Michelle Sinclair, & Special Guests @ Little Radio
- Gram Rabbit, The Blood Arm, & more @ The Echo
- Paris a Go-Go w/Rufus Wainwright & Belinda Carlisle @ The Hollywood Bowl
- New Year’s Eve w/ Dub Club All Stars feat. Sister Nancy, & Ranking Joe @ Echoplex
- NEW YEARS EVE with Veruca Salt, Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments w/Run Run Run & Repeater @ Safari Sam's
- New Year’s Eve w/ Dub Club All Stars feat. Sister Nancy & Ranking Joe @ The Echoplex
- Cinema Stereo, Fabmswendy, Seasons, Fuckass, Firethorn, The Beeters, Sirens, Manhattan Murder Mystery & Eden Proxy @ Mr T's Bowl
- Eagles of Death Metal, Hello Stranger, & The Ringers @ The Roxy
- Dengue Fever @ Temple Bar
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ Anaban, Foot Village, Softboiled Eggies Redglaer, & John Thill @ The Smell
- New Year’s Eve w/Aztlan Underground, Ollin, Aztlan Nation, & Geronimo @ The Scene
- Sweet And Tender Hooligans & Frequency @ Spaceland

It'd take something pretty special to get me out among what my dad charmingly refers to as "all the amateur drunks" out on New Year's Eve, but I'd say that shows at Little Radio and Spaceland look like the best of them.

Tuesday, January 1
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ Ima Gymnist, Magic Johnson, Vomit Bomb, Party Fowl, NASA Space universe, & Apathetic Ronald McDonald @ The Smell

Leave it to The Smell to be the only music venue open on New Year's Day, as they continue this week's Ten Year Anniversary celebrations. (If you regularly listen to KXLU, these shows will make you nonchalantly explode.)

Wednesday, January 2
- General Bastard, Spit, & Kamikaze @ The Scene
- Bodies Of Water @ Mr T's Bowl
- Dub Club @ Echoplex
- No Little Kindness & Guesstimates @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ Megafuckers, Epsilons, Child Pornography, A.M., Plague Of Dandelions, & The Adapted @ The Smell
- Maria Taylor, Whispertown 2000, Robert Francis, & Nik Freitas @ Tangier
- Oliver Future @ Hotel Café

The last time I saw Bodies of Water play live, I finally realized exactly why people seem to like them so damn much.

Thursday, January 3
- Spaceland On Ice w/ Mezzanine Owls & Hearts of Palm UK, @ Pershing Square
- Batman Vs. Predator & Tweak Bird @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- The Kris Special, Solar Wimp, Walk, Warm Climate, & Circles & Circles @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ Babyland, Captain Ahab, Electrocute, The Mae Shi, Dommm, & Lucky Dragons @ The Smell
- Real Rock & Roll Prod. presents Versa Vice, Light FM, On the Surface, Lightnin Bill, & Sea of Cortez @ The Echo
- Lux & Ruby’s Burlesque-A-Go-Go w/Ladykillers, Angus Khan, & Skywreck @ The Scene
- The Airborne Toxic Event @ Spaceland

You know, going to Spaceland on Ice with Mezzanine Owls and Hearts Of Palm UK at Pershing Square early on Thursday and then hitting either The Airborne Toxic Event at Spaceland or Light FM show at The Echo sounds like a really great night.

Friday, January 4
- You Me and Iowa, Thailand, Cavil at Rest, & Calamity Magnet @ Spaceland
- Katie the Pest, The Chase, & Jim McCray @ Pehrspace
- Club Underground w/ Sky Parade @ The Echo
- MasterSlashSlave, Box Violet, Teddy's Cheer Club, & The Monolators @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Circle Jerks @ The Henry Fonda
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ Scarella Bad Dudes, Upsilon Acrux, Damion Romero, Bipolar Bear, Jarrett Silberman, & Peter Kolovos @ The Smell
- Pigeon John, The Greasy Beats, & El Haru-Huroi @ El Cid
- 22 Jacks, Jackson United, & The Dirges @ The Scene
- Modus Operandi, The Syncope Threshold, XOversa, Catch the Fallen, & Any Day Now @ The Troubadour
- Sea Wolf & Afternoons @ The Natural History Museum

The line-up at Spaceland on Friday looks pretty fun, but I've already gotten tickets for the fantastic pairing of Sea Wolf and Afternoons at The Natural History Museum. (Wonder if the two groups will play any Irving songs as an encore that night...)

Saturday, January 5
- Kenan Bell, DJs Pubes (obey/giant), Andrew Clark (Monsters Are Waiting), & Frog @ The Scene
- Actress, SD Choir, & Intercept @ Bordello
- Luke Top @ Pehrspace
- BILL, The Amadans, Fascinoma, & Evangina @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ John Wiese, Flaspar, Lacoste, Tik///Tik, Knight Rider, & Logo Moi @ The Smell
- The return of BOOTIE LA: Dj’s Paul V, Mysterious D, & Adriene @ The Echo
- Rebelution, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, B Foundation, & Rude Boy Roots @ The Troubadour
- Amateurs, Frankel, Apollo Heights, & Veil Vanish @ Spaceland

You can't go wrong with Amateurs and Frankel at Spaceland on Saturday night, but Luke Top at the BYOB-fabulous Pehrspace is fairly tempting, too.

Sunday, January 6
- Fatso Jetson, House of Broken Promises (ex-Unida), & Black Gasoline @ The Scene
- Eleni Mandell, Jonathan Wilson, Angela Correa, & B.R.A.M. @ Tangier
- Part Time Punks @ The Echo
- Clark 8, Whitman, & Codpiece @ Mr T's Bowl
- The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series w/ No Age, Mika Miko, Abe Vigoda, Fast Forward, Silver Daggers, Disaster, David Scott Stone, & Hard Bop @ The Smell
- Benefit for the L.A Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation w/ Rademacher, EKUK, Venus Infers, The Weather Underground, & El Ten Eleven @ Safari Sam’s

The Smell's Ten Year Anniversary Series culminates on Sunday night with a performance by No Age, while the great Rademacher and Marvelous Toy play a benefit show over at Safari Sam's.

That's it. Please let me know if I've missed anything. And happy goddamn new year and stuff.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What's Next For 26 LA Bands

As part of our ongoing end-of-the-year/holiday feature articles, we asked a number of LA-area bands what was next for them in '08: a tour, a new album, a residency, and/or [fill-in-the-blank]?

And here's what they all had to say...

Russell Pollard - Everest

We're going up to Utah in January to play at Sundance Film Festival. Then a show on 1/14 with The Parson Redheads at Spaceland. Then on 1/28 at The Echo with Radar Bros.. Both of these shows are free. Please come if you can!

We're also releasing our first record next spring and I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Lots of touring towards the summer and fall...whoo hoooo!

Nate Cole - Castledoor

Hopefully the release of our first full album and touring to places like Texas and stuff (along with some special shows around town of course).

Everyone from Signal Hill

2008 = New Album, More Local and Short Drive Shows (San Diego, San Francisco, Vegas, Phoenix etc.) We hope to (not sure if it will happen in 08), take up the offer from our Australian mates, All India Radio on a short tour down under!

On Jan 22nd, we're playing at The Silver Lake Lounge - More Details Coming Soon!

Sarah Negahdari, Chris Meanie, & Charlie Mahoney - The Happy Hollows

In 2008 we plan to tour and to put out a lot of new material.

Claire McKeown – Dirt Bird & Afternoons

I'm really looking forward to this next year. My first two albums are coming out. One with Afternoons and the other with Dirt Bird. I can't wait to hold those two completed albums in my hand, and to send them off into the world.

Rob Danson - Death To Anders

We kick off 2008 with our CD Release show at Let's Independent!, interview and live set on KXLU and Kill Radio, and a tour with Rademacher!!!!!

All in promotion for our album titled Fictitious Business (Produced by Dave Newton - The Movies, The Blood Arm, The Little Ones, The Happy Hollows, and The Henry Clay People.....all The bands!!)

Kim from Eagle & Talon

Alice and I are planning on releasing our new record on Valentine's Day followed by touring, and then moving to Prague.

Jason Bays & Colleen Coffey -- The Spires

New full-length out early next year - on vinyl, hopefully. Lots of shows, touring etc..

Keith Waggonner -- Amateurs

Hopefully a new record. We've been doing a lot of writing, but it's so hard to focus when you're playing out at the same time. We have a show coming up in January, but after that I think we’ll go into hiding for a bit and take care of business

Kate & Andrew Spitzer - Radars To The Sky

Looking forward to having as many people as possible hear the new tunes we just finished; playing some shows out of town; playing a residency; getting some more new tunes recorded.

Dave Woody - Tigers Can Bite You

We're kicking off the year playing with the Radar Bros. at their residency. Not a bad way to start things off. Then recording and more shows, repeat until deaf.

Bobby Tamkin - Xu Xu Fang

- These Days CD EP release.
- Full length album release.
- January 18th at Bordello with Winter Flowers and Exit Music.
- Tour with Dokken.

Jordan Huddock – Marvelous Toy

- Getting discovered by Moby, a collaboration with, "the marvelous boy" world tour, fame, infamy.
- Less drugs.
- A couple weeks off to work on new songs, shows starting on 2/28 with our friends The French Semester, hopefully a new EP.

Malcolm Sosa - Rademacher

Same old thing: world domination and whippets.

What's next for you in 2008, Joe? A world tour? An online video game championship? More shows? A record label? The world is your oyster, Fielder.

Nicki Nevlin - The Black Kites

Hopefully all of the above! An album for sure by next fall.

Aaron Kyle - Le Switch

We have a new record coming out in the spring. A full length on Autumn Tone Records - Aquariums Drunkard's Label. We'll be going down to SXSW and I think we're hitting up some other festivals too. Some touring will be in our future and a possible residency has been in the works as well.

Joel Graves - Everest

It looks like our first Everest record will be out in early April. Then... laps around the land in a van.

Corinne Dinner - The Hectors

Our song Cold Star is being released through UK label Dirty Little Angels on a Los Angeles compilation. We are planning a spring tour up the west coast. And we're working out some new songs now.

Mike Corwin – The Devils Romantics

We’ll be doing the next two installments of our live recording series, Live From Little Tokyo. Also, a new Devils Romantics EP, and a full-length of my new project Red Maids.

Eli and Mary Chartkoff - The Monolators

Beyond playing more shows than endurance/common sense permits, I have a (very) vague plan to write a mini-musical about a hapless robot named Mechanor (see holiday message MP3 on xmas post).

Nikolai Goodich – Molecules

Recording next album w/ new vitrtuoso drummer/ guitarist/singer and full member Kenny Elkin ( ex- After Hours ) and new Bass player Julian Woolsey ( ex- SpaceLord/The Imaginary Friends ).

Mike Lee – Letting Up Despite Great Faults

We plan to release a 3 song digital-only EP in the first quarter of '08 through Pistol Digital. The song I'm Not Real Today (the mp3 on the mix article on xmas) will be one of the three songs.

We will also probably do a separate but physical and digital EP release in the summer of '08 through our own label, New Words (that's how we did our first EP).

Expect us at SXSW and a west coast tour in the late summer!

Brian Canning – Afternoons & Irving

Finishing our Afternoons' debut album in early January and playing tons of local shows then go on the road as soon as possible.

Will Etling – The Deadly Syndrome

Hopefully all three of those things, in one way or another. Lots of wishful thinking.

Jesse Hoy – The Deadly Syndrome


Aaron La Fontaine – The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra

First up, our Escapements EP should drop sometime this winter, hopefully in time to tide over the (non-existent) frothing masses. And the Orchestra needs to hit the road... I see a west coast tour on the horizon; we're gonna play Tijuana and tap into that awesomely open-minded spring break crowd. But in all seriousness, we'll definitely be playing Santa Barbara, San Francisco and hopefully a slew of other Pacific locales at some point this year.

Another goal for us is to expand our crowd to those that might not otherwise hear us.. you know, we could hit up some youth groups, knitting circles, black masses... Anyone that'll take us.

We'd love to host a residency too.

Mike Griffin – Tandemoro

Tandemoro will be starting off the '08 with a New Year's show in San Francisco. We booked this bar in North Beach called Grant and Green for just us and a bunch of DJ's so we're going to really get at it and dance in the New Year. From that point on, it's going to be some local shows and we're going to release an EP early '08 and see where the summer takes us as far as touring.

Erica Elektra – Hearts Of Palm UK

New album - Will be called "For Life" will hopefully be done in Feb.

Heisenflei & M – The Pity Party

Monday nights in February at Spaceland. We'll be releasing a limited edition EP entitled ORGY PORGY which is being packaged in recycled billboard vinyl courtesy of Clearchannel Outdoor for the residency with new tunes. Then most likely we'll be touring the world, winning Grammies and Mercury Prizes, and becoming alienated from everyone who knew us way back when.

Or maybe at least we'll get a manager or something...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Photographer Profile: Simon Cardoza

We start off our series on local indie music photographers with the ever-present Simon Cardoza, who answered a few of our questions about how he got started and what makes him do it. And we've included some of his favorite band photos, to boot.

How did you start taking photos? And doing music photography?

I was always shooting since junior high, using disposable cameras, shooting friends and trips I'd go on. Later my jobs would lead to me being behind the lens for TV news shows. I went to school to learn more technical aspects while playing in rock bands. After my last band broke up, I decided to just focus on my photography. Shooting musical artists is combining my two favorite things: music and photography.

What do you like about it most?

It keeps me near all the excitement that comes along with the music scene. LA is known for music coming out of here and propelling itself into our culture, I like being involved in that process and shaping the image of peoples' perception of a group.

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

One year I got all access passes to Coachella and All Tomorrow's Parties music festivals, thanks to a fellow photographer friend. I had a blast shooting some of my favorite bands and being on stage with them, including The Flaming Lips, Wayne Cohen in his bubble ball and helping them push him out onto the crowd. Just seeing all these bands up close and capturing them (in good lighting) is something I'll never forget.

Where can people find your work?

Right now, I use my myspace page for bands to see my work, they are on there promoting their music for the fans and I see it as one of the best centralized vehicles for them to view my work and contact me. You can see promo pics, live pics and the music videos I direct for bands.

Thanks, Simon.

Pics: and The Soft Hands, Autolux, Mezzanine Owls, The Henry Clay People, & The Happy Hollows.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: Frankel, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, & Castledoor

If you missed last week's Let's Independent! at Boardner's with Frankel, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, and Castledoor because of an office holiday party, for fear that, y'know, sugar melts in water, or out of sheer world-weary laziness, take heart. We have some video footage for you...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Radio Free Silver Lake 2008 Mix

Happy holidays to everyone. You've been, I dunno, pretty good this last year, so twenty-five fantastic local bands have donated a song each as a nice big collective present to you...

Here's what your first great mix of the new year contains:

1) EverestRebels & Roses (off of their upcoming album Ghost Notes)
2) Letting Up Despite Great Faults - I’m Not Real Today (off their next album)
3) Molecules - Vivian’s Epiphany Part 3 (off their next album)
4) Signal Hill - The Dead Vineyard (a demo track off their next album)
5) The Spires - You Got What You Want (off their album Sky Sky)
6) Tandemoro - Plane Crash (off their holiday EP)
7) Xu Xu Fang - Good Times (a new version of the track off their upcoming album)
8) The Afternoons - Grafitti Artist (off their upcoming album)
9) The Devils Romantics - Cicada (off their upcoming album)
10) Dirt Bird - Cliftons #2 (off their upcoming album)
11) Castledoor - The Birds And The Fleas (off their Follow The Dove EP)
12) Rademacher - If You’ve Got Some Magic (off their album Stunts)
13) The Happy HollowsMonster Room (off their upcoming album)
14) Radars To The Sky - Prufrock (off their Big Bang EP)
15) The Hectors - A Million Fingers (off their Sometimes They Collide EP)
16) Tigers Can Bite YouGold Nugget (off their self-titled album)
17) The Flying Tourbillon OrchestraIn A Dream (off their Escapements EP)
18) Marvelous Toy - Jen, Did I Mean More To You? (off their Disappearing Heart EP)
19) Black Kites - What To Do In Case Of Emergency (off of their Paper Heart EP)
20) Hearts Of Palm UKJonathan (That Fucking Motherfucker) (off their demo cd)
21) Eagle & Talon - They’re So Sharp (off their EP)
22) Amateurs - Shadowbox (off their album Speak Easy)
23) Death To Anders - Camera Lens (off their upcoming album)
24) Le Switch - Vaudeville (off their Hello Today EP)
25) The MonolatorsHoliday Message From Mechanon (hard to explain, really...)

I really recommend downloading all these tracks and putting them in a play list in this order. If you want to burn a cd of this, you'll unfortunately need to abbreviate it down to eighteen tracks (and save the rest for another). Makes a great present for friends.

Many thanks to all the bands who took part in this. Please do right by them in 08 by purchasing music directly from them via their sites or at shows. They really deserve your support.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Messages From 26 Local Bands

There's no show low down this week (except to say that it's worth getting tickets early for Sea Wolf and The Afternoons together at The Natural History Museum on Friday, January 4th), but we have holiday messages from a few dozen local bands instead.

Enjoy and be sure to come back tomorrow for an article where we post MP3s given to us from these bands (and more) to pass on to you as a kind of fantastic holiday present -- many of them songs off of upcoming albums due out next year.

But now here's what everyone wanted to say to you, the reader at home, at this very special time of year (or something):

Rob Danson - Death To Anders

Living and playing in Echo Park has really affected me and positively changed my life. During these holidays, I would like to thank everyone that lives, plays shows, or sees shows in Echo Park and Silver Lake for creating such an amazing and inspiring community.

Nate Cole - Castledoor

Everyone should enjoy the one-two punch of having breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Flore Vegan Cuisine and then walking down to intelligentsia for gooood coffee. But then again, it's getting a little crowded, so maybe stay at home and watch Bob Dylan documentaries or learn to play Christmas classics on guitar or piano or whatever. You know.

Oh, and how could I forget?! I learned something about nine years ago that has stuck with me and since then I have always tried to pass this knowledge on whenever I get a chance. So, you know the nativity scene? The one portrayed in xmas plays, front lawns, and window sills? Well it turns out that the three wise men weren't actually there for the birth of Jesus. The bible says the wise men didn't show up until three years later. Gabe says this is because they're guys and they didn't stop and ask for directions.

Malcolm Sosa - Rademacher

Come to my shows and I will give you all a candy cane.

Kim from Eagle & Talon

New Year’s Resolution Idea: get out of bad relationships.

Everyone from Signal Hill

We wish you all a wonderful and joyous holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 08!

Jason Bays & Colleen Coffey -- The Spires

Tight jeans can lower your sperm count.

Keith Waggonner -- Amateurs

Give away your spare change when you can afford it. Enjoy the time you spend with your family. Watch Flight of the Conchords.

Kate & Andrew Spitzer - Radars To The Sky

Use protection.

Dave Woody - Tigers Can Bite You

Be excellent to each another.

Jordan Huddock – Marvelous Toy

More drugs!

Russell Pollard - Everest

Happy Holidays! Let’s hang out soon!

Nicki Nevlin - The Black Kites

The spirit of musical community that we’ve seen here is amazing, and we're happy to be part of it and hope to be even more involved in 2008.

Aaron Kyle - Le Switch

Drive safely.

Joel Graves - Everest

Don't drink and drive. And don't assume you can deal with depression on your own.

Corinne Dinner - The Hectors

May there be many a-present beneath your Festivus Pole this year. (It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting.)

Mike Corwin – The Devils Romantics

Happy Holidays, and try to shop consciously and support local craftsmen and artists if you can.

Eli and Mary Chartkoff - The Monolators

For our holiday message, please check out tomorrow’s MP3.

Nikolai Goodich – Molecules

Cool runnin you bumbaklots rock on etc vote vote vote and love love love.

Mike Lee – Letting Up Despite Great Faults

I've been a resident of Silver Lake for three years now and, although I've lived in LA my whole life, nothing beats the Silver Lake/Echo Park/Los Feliz communities. The people here are warm, open, and - my favorite - creative. Happy holidays to all!

Brian Canning – The Afternoons & Irving

Don't honk at people who are obviously looking for a parking spot. Try to make less unnecessary noise. Let’s make 2008 unnecessary noise free.

Chris Richard & Will Etling – The Deadly Syndrome

Chris: Keep a tight grip on your purse and don't walk alone… Scary.

Will: Don't get mugged. It seems like the streets are turning a little tougher these days.

And slow down on Prospect between Vermont and Hillhurst, you jerks. And happy holidays!

Mike Griffin – Tandemoro

Claire McKeown – Dirt Bird & The Afternoons

Keep safe and remember, this is the last year of the reign of fear!

Jenna Degayo – The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra

I hope everyone can spend the holidays with their loved ones. I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with my friends and family back in Indiana along with the ice storm!

Erica Elektra – Hearts Of Palm UK

Keep loving LA because it's amazing.

Heisenflei & M – The Pity Party

The Pity Party's Holiday Mandate is as follows: Stop buying gift wrap. Use newspapers and magazines. Recycle others' gift wrap. Gift Wrap is the Devil's Tool. Take down the Wrapping Paper Industry!!!

Next year decorate a potted tree instead of one that lived to be decorated by you and then died for your tinsel sins. Who wants a dying tree inside his house? Bad juju.

For those of you who celebrate Channukah-- take strength in knowing that your holiday is slightly more soulful than your gentile counterparts'.

As for New years Eve, come to Little Radio Downtown and watch The Pity Party play. Oh, and don't drunk drive. And absolutely DO NOT drunk text. Ever.

Joe Fielder – RFSL

I’d just like to say happy holidays to everyone. I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing time off.

And many, many thanks to everyone who contributed to this and our other holiday articles.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Local Bands' Favorites Of 2007

All apologies for the late post (and for the rare skipped day yesterday), but I've been sifting through an enormous amount of messages I got from bands about their most loved albums and concerts from the last year...

(And then there's the holiday article due early next week that's set to contain more than two dozen FREE MP3s from great local bands... At least half of them new and unreleased, at that.)

But enough about the future, let's see what everyone marked as their favorites for 2007.

Sarah Negahdari, Chris Meanie, & Charlie Mahoney -- The Happy Hollows

There were soooo many amazing shows, but off the top of our heads, these shows stood out. Silversun Pickups at the Fillmore. There were at least three times The Movies played that were the best shows we've ever witnessed, Die Rockers Die at the Echo, Death to Anders at Spaceland, The Mai Shi at Echo, The Soft Hands at the Prospector, Anchors for Architects at Perspace.

And we love love loved these records this year: Tigers Can Bite You - Tigers Can Bite You, Thailand - Motorcade, Anchors For Architects - Moutza!, Rademacher - Stunts, Division Day- Beartrap Island, Blonde Redhead - 23, Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity, The Pity Party - The EP, and Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold.

Malcolm Sosa - Rademacher

There have been a lot of great shows. I wrote up a couple of them for Duke's blog, You Set The Scene, but right after I sent it to him, I thought of a ton of other great shows I saw this year.

I saw Mike Watt and Thurston Moore play at a pizza parlor in this town near Fresno called Visalia. Mike Watt blew my mind. He played a 20-minute version of Young Man Blues on the bass with a pumpkin on his head. It was absolutely surreal. And then of course just to the left of me at the front of the stage was Thurston Moore with a crazy mask on, nodding his head to the beat. That was awesome.

Also, there is this singer songwriter I LOVE named David Dondero and we put together a show for him in this alley behind an art gallery in Fresno. Whole families came out and the local infoshop hippies set up a little booth full of anarchist literature and a vegan potluck and we drank beer on the street and listened to him play an amazing set where everyone knew the words.

I haven't listened to a lot of "new" records this year, but I like The Monolators vinyl. You Look Good On The Train was on regular rotation in my living room until my needle died. I play the new Earlimart album wayyyyy too much.

Nate Cole - Castledoor

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Papercuts - Can't Go Back
The Good, The Bad & The Queen - (self titled)

Bright Eyes - Sept 29th @ The Hollywood Bowl
Arcade Fire - The Greek Theater
Delta Spirit and Dr. Dog - @ The Echo
Sigur Ros - @ The Vista
Beirut - @ Amoeba

Carl Jordan - The Western States Motel

5 Top Things of 2007 - in random order.

1. GOING TO GRAND CENTRAL MARKET - This place has been operating downtown for something like 80 years. Great food counters in there, as well as some incredibly cheap produce. It has sawdust on the floor, which I like.

2. JURY DUTY – I had to report to one of the courthouses downtown. supposedly you could get in free to the moca with your jury id badge, but when I walked over during the lunch break, I was informed that the museum was closed for a private event.

3. TACO TRUCK ON THE EDGE OF AN ORCHARD – A few hours north of LA on I-5, there’s a lunch truck that is pretty consistently set up in a dirt parking lot at the edge of an orchard. It’s obviously there to feed all the hardworking people who work nearby, so I feel a little bit like a tourist when I go, but now I can’t drive I-5 without wondering if it will be parked there or not.

4. SEA LEVEL CLOSES ITS DOORS – Everybody loved Sea Level. I have nothing new to add here, other than that I’ll miss going there on Sunday afternoons.

5. LA BANDS AND THE PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT THEM - Once in a while I’ll read some piece of music writing in which, for what seems like no particular reason, the writer (usually not based in LA) will mention how lame the LA music scene is. LA is an easy target for a lot of people, and I guess I can understand why, but I feel like the past year has been one which I will now always carry with me. A year where I got to experience so much amazing music, meet so many talented musicians, play with so many great bands, and play for so many cool people. Thanks.

Kim Talon - Eagle & Talon

Favorite show? Robot show at El Cid and the Anchors for Architects finale show with The Primos at Pehrspace.

Favorite record? White Chalk by PJ Harvey.

Everyone from Signal Hill

Favorite Shows Attended of 07:
Tristeza @ The Echo
Feist @ The Wiltern
The Decemberists w/LA Philharmonic & Band of Horses @ Hollywood Bowl

Favorite Shows Played & Attended:
Radio Free Silver Lake's Let's Independent - This show was our first show after not playing awhile, and it happened to fall on Tim's birthday. Brian got lucky finding a super close parking spot and the other bands (xiu xiu fang & in waves) both ruled! All in all an awesome night!
Our CD Release Party @ Pehrspace - Between having our friend Rajiv Patel from Phoenix open the show, playing at one of our favorite venues, and getting to celebrate the release of our first EP which was FINALLY out, it was a fantastic night!

Favorite Albums From 07 (no particular order):
Beware of Safety - It Is Curtains
Feist - The Reminder
Port Blue - The Airship
Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs
The One Am Radio - This Too Will Pass
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fluer
All India Radio - Echo Other
Six Parts Seven - Casually Smashed To Pieces
Message To Bears - EP 1
Awake & Alert - Devil In A Lambskin Suit
Blonde Redhead - 23
El-P - Ill Sleep When Your Dead
Albums Not From 07 Which Got Heavily Played
Helios - Eingya
Xela - Tangled Wool
Tristeza - All
Ida - All
Donovan - Essential Collection

Jason Bays & Colleen Coffey -- The Spires

Favorite Albums (Lld & New), Things, shows, etc... In no particular

1. Frankel - Lullaby For The Passerby. A beautifully put together pop record that can't be denied. That kid's going places.
2. The Sea and Cake - Everybody
3. Being the Velvet Underground for April Fool's at Part Time Punks. Love those PTP guys.
4. Bill Callahan - Woke On A Whaleheart
5. Finding a slightly worn LP of David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name... Right when I was looking for it, too. Such luck.
6. Robert Pollard - Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love (Hooks up the Wazoo)
7. No Country For Old Men (Made me tense - in a good way)
8. Finally cluing into the music of David Kilgour and The Clean.
9. Jazz Icons DVD of John Coltrane Live in Belgium in 1965. Colleen and I couldn't take our eyes off Elvin Jones - absolutely mesmerizing. Coltrane was at his peak - the purest form of spontenious expression I can imagine. Like a Jackson Pollock painting come alive.
10. Lawyer Jed's Christmas sweater.

Keith Waggonner -- Amateurs

There are a couple shows that really stick out when I think about what I saw...

Andrew Bird @ The Orpheum Dec. 7.
By far the most talent that I've seen on one stage this year. It was a total fluke that I went to this show and I was jaw to the floor the entire time. If I owned his new record, it would likely be at the top of my list.

Simon Dawes @ The Echo Feb. 5.
This was during Simon Dawes' Monday Night Residency. The band is incredibly good. I'm surprised that I don't hear more about them. I was in awe of their guitar player’s sweet tone and lazy style. I was so impressed that I went to see them three times that month.

A lot of great albums came out this year, but these were my top five:

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Blonde - Redhead 23

Kate & Andrew Spitzer - Radars To The Sky

- The Airborne Toxic Event @ Sunset Junction
- Modest Mouse @ Universal Ampitheatre in May (yes, still...)
- Rademacher @ Spaceland in July
- The Henry Clay People @ All-Star Lanes on Halloween
- The Parson Redheads @ Spaceland in November
- The Shins @ KCRW Sounds Eclectic

Dave Woody - Tigers Can Bite You

Favorite show would have to be the Earlimart/Castledoor show at the Santa Monica Women's Rec Center. Unbelievable. Right on the tail of the Earlimart Mentor Tormentor album. That was a double-dose for us rockoholics.

Bobby Tamkin - Xu Xu Fang

- Favorite Show... A Place To Bury Strangers, Xu Xu Fang and Mere Mortals at Silver Lake Lounge
- Favorite Album... Caribou Anndora

Jordan Huddock – Marvelous Toy

Favorite Albums:
- Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
- Of Montreal - hissing fauna, are you the destroyer?
- The Deadly Syndrome - The Ortolan
- Castledoor - Follow The Dove
- John Vanderslice - Emerald City

Favorite Shows:
- Regina Spektor @ The Wiltern
- Sunset Rubdown @ El Rey
- The Deadly Syndrome @ The Echo
- The Walkmen @ The Troubadour
- Arcade Fire @ The Greek

Russell Pollard - Everest

My favorite albums were Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971, Wooden Ships, Blonde Redhead - 23., and Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog. All of these records offered up something different and inspired me in some way.

Nicki Nevlin - The Black Kites

A few highlights: Film School at The Echoplex, Radars To The Sky/Henry Clay People/The Hectors at Spaceland, and Jesus And Mary Chain at The Wiltern.

Here's a compilation of our favorite albums (without any order):
-Radiohead - In Rainbows
-Radars To The Sky - Big Bang EP
-Great Northern - Trading Twilight For Daylight
-Tigers Can Bite You - Tigers Can Bite You
-Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall It's How You Land
-A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers
-Film School - Hideout
-Unkle - War Stories
-Grinderman - Grinderman
-The Hectors - Sometimes They Collide EP

Aaron Kyle - Le Switch

Fave shows - IN NO REAL ORDER....
Dr. Dog - Troubadour
Division Day - El Rey
The Henry Clay People - The Prospector in Long Beach
Jens Lekman - Troubadour
I Make This Sound - Spaceland
The Broken West - Spaceland Residency

Joel Graves - Everest

Favorite shows:

Vetiver at Jensen Rec Center
Foster Timms at Abuelitas
Chairlift at Silverlake Lounge
Neil Young at Nokia Theater (night 2)
Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation at the Greek
My Morning Jacket at the Bridge School Benefit

Favorite albums:

The Good, The Bad, and The Queen - The Good, The Bad, and The Queen
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Through The Sparks - Lazarus Beach
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Earlimart - Mentor Tormentor
All Smiles - Ten Readings of a Warning
The Aliens - Astronomy for Dogs
Noah Georgeson - Find Shelter
Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards
Elliott Smith - New Moon
Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Let Down

Corinne Dinner - The Hectors

Some standout shows that I attended were: the Division Day residency night at Spaceland with Great Northern. The Mae Shi at Pehrspace. The Happy Hollows residency night at The Echo with Tigers Can Bite You, Western States Motel, and The Transmissions. The final night of I Make This Sound's residency at The Bordello. And that magical summer night at the Greek Theatre where Sonic Youth jousted with their guitars and I drank many large plastic cups of overpriced Corona.

Some of my fav albums were the Tigers Can Bite You album, Light FM's Save The Drama EP, Great Northern's Trading Twilight For Daylight, Foreign Born's On The Wing Now, LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver, Menomena's Friend And Foe, The Shins' Wincing the Night Away, and Bat For Lashes' Fur and Gold.

Mike Corwin – The Devils Romantics

Favorite album: AA Bondy ‘American Hearts’
Favorite show: The El Haru Kuroi mariachi sets at All-Star Lanes

Eli and Mary Chartkoff - The Monolators

We weren't sure if you meant shows WE played or shows we WATCHED. So, we'll do both (of course):

Ours: Playing the Eagle Rock Music Festival was a blast. Our video premiere show was wonderful, and we played with Castledoor at the Echo in October and they joined us onstage with members of Flying Tourbillon Orchestra and Summer Darling for a singalong/dance party at the end of the night (fortunately this was preserved on youtube for posterity)...

And we always always always love playing our first-Friday-of-the-month show at Mr. T’s, which is like home to us. Also our show with Rademacher in Fresno was epic.

Other folks': Our side band, The Cobra Lilies, played the Outsider Folk night in Long Beach, curated by Matthew from Mycroft Holmes, back in September, and it was amazing from start to finish: Foot Foot, Ribbons, Casey James and The Staypuft Kid, and Almaden from San Francisco. Watching the Castledoor residencies at the Echo was awe-inspiring; seeing The Airborne Toxic Event play the Detroit Bar was wonderful, as was watching Henry Clay People open for Quasi at the same place. I loved seeing Ema And The Ghosts and Amy Cooper at The Silver Lake Lounge, and Bjork at the Nokia wasn't bad either.

Oh--and Unpoppable at Mr. T's Bowl! World's best balloon bassist.

Some of our favorite albums (and EP's--EP's rule) from 2007 would be We Sold Our Souls (For Nothing) by 8-Bit, Phantom Pains by One Trick Pony (I thought it was called Phantom Pants for a second), Echoes by Correatown, King Giraffe by Parson Redheads, the Bodies Of Water record that everyone loves, Blacklist The Kid With The Red Moustache by The Henry Clay People, Followed By Bad Luck by Tenlons Fort, EP3 by Kissing Cousins, Smiles And Handshakes by The Front, Stunts by Rademacher, and Speak Easy by The Amateurs. I'm pretty sure we're forgetting some of the albums that came out -- we got a little confused as to when some peoples' records actually came out.

Nikolai Goodich – Molecules

Sonic Youth at Little Radio?... Modest Mouse's recent LPs.

Mike Lee – Letting Up Despite Great Faults

Albums/Releases of 2007 (in no particular order):
Boom Bip - Sacchrilege EP
Chromatics - Night Drive
Butcher the Bar - Get Away/Leave This Town 7"
Caribou - Andorra
New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
M.I.A. - Kala
!!! - Myth Takes
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Gui Boratto - Chromophobia
Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming

Shows of 2007 (in no particular order):
Caribou @ The Troubadour (this was my favorite)
Dean & Britta @ The Getty
DJ Harvey @ all his mysterious spots
Feist @ The Wiltern (Kevin Drew duets w/her for an good)

Brian Canning – The Afternoons & Irving

Daniel Johnston played the fonda and I cried... First show that I have ever openly weeped at.

Artel had a performance at the American Russian Theatre Ensemble Laboratory and this was definitely the most inspiring show I have seen all year.

Lavender Diamond's Imagine Our Love was my favorite album.

Chris Richard, Jesse Hoy, & Will Etling – The Deadly Syndrome

Will: Favorite shows was definitely Handsome Furs with Johnny and the Moon at the Echo, and Spleen United at the Silver Lake Lounge. Spleen United is a Danish band with tons of synths, and they go nuts, and it's awesome.

Jesse: Joanna Newsom at Walt Disney concert hall, didn't have the best seats but it didn't matter, it sounded better than the record, she was amazing, her band was brilliant, the energy was pouring out of the songs, and yeah, I really can't say enough. Best show I've ever been to, ever.

Claire McKeown – Dirt Bird & The Afternoons

The best shows I saw this last year were performed by: Benji Hughes (at Tangier), The Movies (any where any time), Eskimohunter (right before their Spaceland residency at El Cid), Castledoor (during their Echo residency), Jesse Deluxe (at Bordello), Fancy Space people (at the Cog), Lily Marlene (at Bordello) and Amnion (at Tangier). There was something magical about these particular performances that stuck with me. I watch a lot of shows with my line of work, and see lots of monkey business. Each of these artists gave it all, and I noticed.

Hunter Curra, Daniel Hermon, Aaron Le Fontaine, and Jenna Degayo – The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra

Hunter C: Weird answer.. but I honestly think I might've missed the two best shows this year. If had not been out of town I'm pretty sure the 1yr anniversary night at Let's Independent would have been in my top; or one of the Earlimart CD release shows that I also missed. Summer Camp was amazing too. Albums this year? Oh.. I'm so Behind on NEW stuff. It's tough to attempt writing with classic pop influences while listening to modern rock heavily. I do have a glovebox full of local CD-R's though.. love me some Monolators, Radars, Divisadero, MiniLove, Henry Clay, so many.. and ONLY in that order. jk.

Adam S: There has been so many great local shows this year! I had such a great time seeing and playing with Castledoor at The Echo during their residency. They are so much fun! Their energy blows me away. As far as albums go, I've been constantly listening to Le Switch's Hello, Today since the summer and just got the new Radars to the Sky's The Big Bang EP which is phenomenal.

Rob Danson – Death To Anders

Favorite shows - The Happy Hollows Residency, Sonic Youth playing Daydream Nation, Wilco at the Greek Theatre.

Favorite Albums - Blonde Redhead - 23, The Bird and the Bee, Rademacher - Stunts, Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation, Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity

Mike Griffin – Tandemoro

As a spectator, my favorite show of 2007 was probably Dan Deacon at the Echoplex. He opened for Girl Talk, but I think a lot of us were there to see Dan Deacon. He came out and immediately ducked down to his little lair in the floor and the only thing to see on the stage was a glowing green skull. He started going through his crazy dance songs and people were digging the crap out of it. During certain breakdowns, there were no lights at all except for the glow skull which was now a flashing glow skull.

At one point, Dan tried to get everyone in the middle of the crowd to form a hand tunnel and everyone else would take turns running through it and then form the end of the tunnel as we went through. It was a bit confusing, but it started to work! but then a guy in a wheelchair tried to roll through the hand tunnel and absurdity ensued. It was fun while it lasted though.

The best part about that show was being next to my friends who were all as apeshit for Dan Deacon as I am and we just pumped our fists and shouted for a good hour....I didn't even stay for Girl Talk. Dan Deacon should open for no man.

Erica Elektra – Hearts Of Palm UK

Art in Manila - Se the Woods on Fire
Rogue Wave - Asleep at Heaven's Gate
Blonde Redhead - 23
Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
Daft Punk - Alive 2007

Oh yeah, I also love The Postmarks' self-titled album....

Heisenflei & M – The Pity Party

Fave shows- The Happy Hollows, Midnight Movies, & The Silversun Pickups at The Wiltern, The Pity Party (!) and The Little Ones at the Hammer Museum, and Autolux at UCLA.

Fave Albums: MIA - Kala, Radiohead - In Rainbows, and Nine Inch Nails - Year
Zero. (We're not very indie I guess...)

- RFSL Favorite CDs Of 2007
- RFSL Favorite Live Shows of 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let's Independent: The Aftermath

Sorry for the late post but I wanted to wait until the following fantastic shots of Castledoor, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, and Frankel at last night's Let's Independent! came in from Luxpix and then got swampzored at work.

Thanks so much to everyone who played the show because it was an enormous amount of fun -- and huge kudos to the surprisingly large amount of people in attendance, considering the weather and all. Who says that Angelenos are afraid to brave a little rain?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Video Free Silver Lake: Frankel, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, & Castledoor

Here's one final reminder for tonight's Let's Independent! show at Boardner's... Some videos for all three bands playing the FREE event. (See all details for the show and hear more tracks from the acts right here.)

First up is some live footage of Frankel playing the song Thermostat (from the album Lullabies For The Passerby) at The Echo during the final night of Castledoor's residency there. (If you hadn't heard, they're filling in for Amnion tonight.)

Next is a video that exceedingly-long-named pop act The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra put together from public domain clips for their track In A Dream.

And finally, here's a clip of Castledoor in Poland, of them live right before Halloween at The Echo, and the video they made for the song Zaika.

See you tonight!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Monday Show Low Down (Or "Blinking Means Help Is On The Way")

It's not long now before the holiday season grinds going out to see live music into dust for a bit -- though there are still a few noteworthy shows going on this week. (By the way, remember to check out the site over the time-off cause we have a few feature articles planned.)

Let's take a look at the next seven days in a row...

Monday, December 17
- Indie 103.1’s Check One… Two w/ The Happy Hollows & Great Northern @ The Viper Room
- Performer Magazine presents: The Binges, Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip @ Spaceland
- Finn Riggins & The Ethels @ The Silver Lake Lounge (FREE)
- The Binges @ Spaceland (FREE)
- Hit Record @ The Troubadour
- The White Coffin Terror, Los Malvados, Need, & Phantom .357 @ The Scene
- Exitmusic, The Lamps, & In Waves @ Bordello

The Indie 103.1 Check One, Two... Holiday Party at The Viper Room looks great, what with both Great Northern and The Happy Hollows together, and the Bordello show with the respectively spooky and loud Exitmusic and In Waves should also be well worth your time plus energy.

Tuesday, December 18
- Radio Free Silver Lake Presents Let’s Independent! w/ The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, Frankel (filling in for Amnion), & Castledoor @ Boardner’s (FREE)
- Ranch Party w/ Clyde Wrenn @ Spaceland
- Marvelous Toy, One Trick Pony, Captain Automatic, & Sam And Alex @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Might Six Ninety & IO Echo @ The Troubadour
- The Monolators, Shiloe, Happy Dwarf, & The Wallburds @ The Scene (FREE)
- Oliver Future @ The Viper Room
- Ranch Party w/ Cousin Lovers, Merle Jagger, & Clyde Wrenn @ Spaceland
- David Ryan Harris, Chris Pierce, & Destani Wolf @ The Roxy
- John Gold, Maycomb: The Mew, & Franklin For Short @ Bordello

We had a late line-up change for our Let's Independent! event at Boardner's with Castledoor and The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra where great indie pop act Frankel will be filling in for the unavoidably detained Amnion.

It's FREE and fun and a solid alternative to office holiday parties and running around buying presents when you really could just order them online and stuff.

Go here for all the details and to hear tracks from all three bands right here.

Wednesday, December 19
- The Rhone Occupation @ The Hotel Cafe
- Fangs On Fur, (((6))), & Binary Field @ Bordello
- Pioneers, The Chiggers, & Skates & Rays @ The Scene
- Rose Rossi, Leviathan Brothers, B.R.A.M., & Learning Music @ The Silver Lake Lounge
- Mutating Meltdown, All Neon Like, Ima Gymnist, Finally Bomb Squad!, & Holy Buffaglow @ The Smell
- The Binges & Dirty Kings @ The Troubadour
- Indie 103 present CLUB NME w/ The Republic Tigers & The Hugs @ Spaceland

What I've heard so far from The Rhone Occupation is pretty good and mean to try to catch him/them live.

DOWNLOAD: Leave It Alone MP3

Thursday, December 20
- Forcefield On, Evil Maria, & Seasons @ The Scene (FREE)
- Stereotype The Sound @ The Troubadour
- Rumspringa, The Devil Makes 3, Army Navy, & Chief @ The Echo
- The Lilys, Mezzanine Owls, & Winter Flowers @ Spaceland
- Quan And The Chinese Takeouts, Panic Movement, & Minbike @ Mr T’s Bowl
- Digits, The Red Hearts, The Muslims, & People Eaters @ The Smell
- Arthur Magazine Presents Michael Hurley, Entrance Band, & Ans @ Bordello


It's down to a chance to see Mezzanine Owls play their new stuff at Spaceland or catching Army Navy performing their new material at The Echo to me.

Friday, December 21
- Holiday Show w/ Nightfur & The Hundred Days @ El Cid
- Rademacher CD Release Party @ The Echo
- Echo Curio Holiday Party w/ Manhattan Murder Mystery, Guppies, & The Health Club @ The Echo Curio
- Security Productions, Punk Rock Whores, The Thingz, Andrew’s Bad Stuff, Rovers Pinky, & MC Acid Andy @ Mr T’s Bowl
- 8th Annual Sunset Snowball Bash hosted by Cisco Adler featuring Shwayze, 3Oh!3, Hyper Crush, Lisa D'Amato The Medic Droid, LMFAO, & Dj Skeet Skeet @ The Roxy
- Bullet For Dali, The Pacific, The Wallburds, & The Great Gleaming Sea @ The Scene
- Terrors, Heavy Face, Wire Werewolves, Obstacle Corpse, & Admiral Angry @ The Smell
- Lilys, Ariel Pink, & Hot Shit @ Spaceland
- Die Rockers Die, Madamn Grislee (record release), & Finland Station @ Pehrspace
- Busdriver & Daedalus @ The Troubadour

We're giving away a few pairs of tickets to Rademacher's CD Release Party at The Echo... Just write us here with your full name in order to be entered in the drawing.

I'm also a huge fan of 60s psyche pop act Nightfur, who are also playing on Friday night at El Cid.

Saturday, December 22
- Almost Acoustic Cursemas featuring The Curse, Sweetest Perfection, & Anna Stafford String Quartet @ The Roxy
- Xman @ Mr T’s Bowl
- The Probe, The Most Powerful Hand, Tijuana Knife Fight, & Iron Mtn @ The Scene
- Very Be Careful Holiday Special @ Bordello

Sunday, December 23
- The Happy Casualties, Happy Dwarf Band, The Sly Digs, & The Weather Undergrounds @ Mr T’s Bowl
- Lungbutter, Suns Beneath, & Mantis Mantis @ The Scene

I'm afraid I've got nothing for Saturday or Sunday night. Anyone?

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Favorite CDs Of 2007

There’s so much that came out during 2007 that I didn’t listen to… you know, like anything from a band outside LA, for example… that it’s left me completely unqualified to write any kind of authoritative “Best Of” article. But here are ten albums and EPs that came out this year that I've loved like my heart was on fire.

1) Earlimart’s Mentor Tormentor (Self-Released)
Is it possible for an album to be perfectly produced? (Not too much, not too subtly?) If so, Mentor Tormentor is it. It’s all killer, no filler indie rock at its finest. The album’s been out for months and I still have a hard time picking my favorite track on it … as well figuring out why no label, major or otherwise, has picked it up yet.
MP3: Answers & Questions

2) Sea Wolf’s Leaves In The River (Dangerbird)
I felt like I waited nearly two years for Sea Wolf’s debut album to arrive … because I did. From the time I first heard their upbeat melancholic track You’re A Wolf on Myspace to seeing their semi-orchestral pop act many times at local venues, Sea Wolf became one of my favorite LA groups. Perhaps best yet, this CD does the group’s superb live performances justice.
MP3: You're A Wolf

3) Division Day’s Beartrap Island (Eenie Meenie)
It’s almost not fair to list this album here since it was self-released last year and made my favorites list then. But the group remastered it and added two extra tracks, and you know what? It’s so good that if they did the same thing next year, I’d probably mark it on 2008’s list, too.
MP3: Tap Tap Click Click

4) Great Northern’s Trading Twilight For Daylight (Eenie Meenie)
The dual harmonies of leads Rachel Stolte and Solon Bixler’s vocals combined with the two’s spot-on keyboard and guitar work, the cool indifference of Ashley Dzerigian on bass, and former Earlimart member Davey Latter on drums make for some crowd-pleasing indie rock.
MP3: Into The Sun (Demo Version)

5) The Minor Canon’s No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Self-Released)
Duke from You Set The Scene and I have been gushing about this album since it came out early this year. To re-use an earlier quote about it: "It's solid stuff, songs made by a guy who comes across like his heart is literally on the line, and there's not a single bad or mediocre track to be found on the whole cd."
MP3: Bend Like Trees

6) Le Switch’s Hello Today EP (Self-Released)
Aaron Kyle and company make wonderfully bedraggled, fall-down-the- stairs pop music just the way you like it. If I had this EP on vinyl, it would have deep grooves worn into it from being played so damn frequently.
MP3: Living In Another World

7) Foreign Born’s On The Wing Now (Dim Mak)
Try describing local indie rock act Foreign Born based on what other groups they sound like and you’ll likely come up short -- because their mix of haunting vocals and plaintive guitar sound fairly unique among bands both past and present.
MP3: Into Your Dream

8) Signal Hill’s Self-Titled EP (Self-Released)
LA’s up-and-coming post rock act Signal Hill put down a handful of tracks that give a hint of how fantastic their live performances are. It's an EP made up of alternating waves of building and crashing sonic prettiness and rockness that at times even give Austin’s Explosions In The Sky a run for their money.
MP3: California Is Too Long

9) Nightfur’s She Lives (Self-Released)
To reuse another earlier quote: “It’s hard not to fall for Nightfur’s recently-released debut She Lives, what with its winsomely melancholic heart, smarty pants lyrics, and fuzzy 60s psyche pop sound...” And that love still burns.
MP3: Circles

10)Tigers Can Bite You’s Self-Titled album
A mix of home recording and studio recording with Josiah Bartlett from Light FM, TCBY's is a solid debut from an indie rock act well worth watching (and listening to).
MP3: Rough Stuff (Demo Version)

Honorable Mentions:
Radars To The Sky’s Big Bang, Frankel’s Lullabies For The Passerby, Tandemoro’s The Movers & The Shakers, The Deadly Syndrome’s The Ortolan, The Hectors’ Sometimes They Collide, Marvelous Toy’s The Disappearing Heart, The Parson Redheads’ Giraffe, Rademacher's Stunts
, Light FM's Save The Drama EP, and Lavender Diamond’s Imagine Our Love.

- Earlimart Mini-Interview
- Sea Wolf Mini-Interview
- Division Day Mini-Interview
- Great Northern Mini-Interview
- The Minor Canon Mini-Interview
- Le Switch Mini-Interview
- Foreign Born Mini-Interview
- Signal Hill Mini-Interview
- Nightfur Mini-Interview
- Tigers Can Bite You Mini-Interview