Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Release Tuesday

Very light week compared to last week. That's Wolfmother at the left.

DJ Cam Revisited by... (remixes by DJ Premier, Thievery Corporation, J Dilla and more) (Recall) - For the chill out fans.

The High Violets To Where You Are (Reverb) - For shoegaze fans. They're playing 3/22/06 at the Silverlake Lounge.

Wanda Jackson I Remember Elvis (Goldenlane) - The first female rock'n'roller puts out a tribute to her former boyfriend. She's playing Amoeba tomorrow night.

She Wants Revenge She Wants Revenge (Geffen) - Interpol sound-alikes (I refuse to go back to Joy Division). They're selling this thing for $6.99 at Tower Records. Playing Amoeba Hollywood tonight. They're also playing a sold out show on 3/9/06 at the Fonda.

Wolfmother Dimension EP (Interscope) - I've got a copy of this and it's not bad (but I want to hear more). They're an Australian band that sounds like a prog band paying tribute to Blue Cheer and early Sabbath. Playing Spaceland on 2/13 and Cinespace on 2/14.

Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 ...tick...tick...tick (Down There) - Steve Wynn was in LA band Dream Syndicate. They had a really good album called Days of Wine & Roses (Kurt Cobain was a fan). Luna does a really good cover (on Slide) of "That's What You Always Say" off of that album.

The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin (special edition CD/DVD combo; includes rarities, music videos and previously unreleased tracks) (Warner Bros.) - The most interesting feature of this reissue is the Dolby 5.1 mix, but I don't have a stereo that will play it so what's the point?

The Everly Brothers The Price of Fame 1960-1965 (box set of complete recordings, including outtakes, rarities, previously unreleased material and more) (Bear Family) - I like the Everly Brothers and all but this is $150.

nine inch nails Head Like a Hole EP (reissue of 1989 collection) (Rykodisc) - I have the original issues. A lot of this stuff doesn't hold up for me.

Coachella Lineup Announced

Is anybody else totally unimpressed with this lineup?

Saturday, April 29:
Bands I really like: Sigur Ros (seen 'em), My Morning Jacket (seen 'em three times), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (seeing them at the El Rey)
Bands I'm curious about: Wolfmother (may see them at Spaceland or Cinespace), Editors
Bands I don't care about anymore: Depeche Mode (saw them in early 90s), Franz Ferdinand (seen 'em twice)
Bands that are OK but I don't care if I ever see them: Ladytron
Bands I've never cared about: Common, Damian Marley, Atmosphere, Carl Cox, Tosca, Cat Power (seen her), Animal Collective, Hard-Fi, Derrick Carter, Devendra Banhart, She Wants Revenge (seen 'em), The Walkmen (seen 'em), The Juan Maclean, Audio Bullys, Imogen Heap, Lady Sovereign, Deerhoof, The Duke Spirit, stellastarr*, Lyrics Born, Matt Costa, The New Amsterdams (seen 'em), The Zutons, Platinum Piped Pipers, White Rose Movement, Chris Liberator, Colette, Joey Beltram, Hybrid, The Like (seen 'em), Living Things, Nine Black Alps (seen 'em), The Section Quartet, Infadels, Youth Group (seen 'em), Shy FX & T Power, Infusion

Sunday, April 30:
Bands I like: Bloc Party (saw them last year), Mogwai (seen them a few times)
Bands I'm curious about live: TV on the Radio, Seu Jorge, The Go! Team, Art Brut, Giant Drag, Be Your Own Pet
Bands I don't care about anymore: Tool (saw them 10 years ago), Sleater-Kinney (annoying live)
Bands that are OK but I don't care if I ever see them: Dungen (boring live)
Bands I don't care about: Yeah Yeah Yeahs (seen 'em), Paul Oakenfold, Scissor Sisters, Matisyahu, James Blunt, Coheed and Cambria (saw 'em by accident), Gnarls Barkley, Coldcut, Phoenix, Digable Planets, Amadou & Mariam, Little Louie Vega, Mylo (DJ Set), Wolf Parade, Kaskade, Metric, The Dears, Jamie Lidell, The Magic Numbers, Los Amigos Invisibles, Jazzanova, Michael Mayer, Mates of State (seen 'em), Gilles Peterson, Gabriel & Dresden, The Subways, Minus the Bear, Kristina Sky, The Octopus Project

Monday, January 30, 2006

Live Music Picks

Some promising shows this week for all types of people..... that's Tom Heinl at the left.

Monday 1/30/06
Viva K / Sound Team @ Spaceland [FREE] - It's the last night of Viva K's month-long residency. Sound Team formed in Austin, TX. Their new album is coming out on Capitol Records in March.
Download Sound Team's "Don't Turn Away"
Download Sound Team's "It's Obvious What's Happening Here"

Wiskey Biscuit @ the Echo [FREE] - Local veterans play the last night of their residency. Their dub alterego, Future Pigeon are doing the Monday residency at the Silverlake Lounge next month.

Tuesday 1/31/06
The Open Mike Andrews @ Tangier [$5] - Famous indie film composer does his Jon Brion-esque night. Last show with this format. He'll be fronting one of his other bands (Greyboy Allstars) on 2/4 at the El Rey but that will cost you $24.

Akron/Family @ the Echo [$8] - For the freak folk fans. They're from Brooklyn and on Michael Gira's label.

Daniel Lanois @ Spaceland [$10] - The legendary producer is getting some huge crowds throughout the month. I heard John Oates was there last week and Courtney Love was there the week before. Your las chance to see him for a while. Be prepared for a huge line.

She Wants Revenge @ Amoeba 7:00PM [FREE] - I still think this music borders on satire but what do I know?

The Like @ Cinespace [$5] - Popular girl group that I've seen but don't really remember.

Wednesday 2/1/06
Tom Heinl @ Spaceland - One of my friends in Brooklyn has been talking about this guy for a while. He's got a deep voice (some critics say a mix between Tom Waits and Tom T. Hall) and sings novelty country songs about wanting a threesome, pissing in an empty and eating fruit loops for dinner. Kind of like that country album Ween did but with slightly less outrageous lyrics. His version of Hall's "I Love" is pretty hilarious.

Fly Better Broken @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - Local band with that swirling guitar and angsty vocal sound that you probably like if you went to college in the mid-1990s and are a fan of Seam, Swervedriver, etc.

HARD-Fi @ Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - KROQ presents a catchy British band that I've never heard of (before today). Steve Aoki's also gonna be there DJing. May be of interest to Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand fans.

Wanda Jackson @ Amoeba 7:00 PM [FREE] - She's a rockabilly legend and she dated Elvis. I saw her at the Continental Club in Austin a bunch of years ago and it was a lot of fun.

Thursday 2/2/06
Karl Blau @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - For the lo-fi, K Records fans. He also plays in Laura Veirs' band.
Download Karl Blau's "Into the Nada"

Jenny Lewis @ Vista Theatre [SOLD OUT] - It's cool that you can download the entire album for free on her website. If you like it please go buy it too.
Go HERE and download the entire album

KT Tunstall @ Troubadour [$10] - For the KCRW fans. She's a Scottish singer-songwriter.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Weekend Picks

I only made it out once this week. All I can say is that Hot Topic vomitted on Spaceland on Wednesday night. It was as if the Strokes listened to a lot of Hot Hot Heat and hired a high school girl from the Midwest to be their image consultant.

Friday 1/27/06
Moris Tepper @ Tangier [$10] - He's a famous guitar player (Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Robyn Hitchcock, Frank Black) and has PJ Harvey on bass.

Lake Trout / Benzos @ Spaceland [$10] - Lake Trout worked with producers Tony Doogan (Mogwai and Delgados) and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) on their album. You can stream if from their website. Benzos is also sort of atmospheric rock.
Download Benzos "Glass Souls"
Download Benzos "It's Amiable"

Of Montreal @ Ex_Plex [SOLD OUT] - Indie pop darlings.

Saturday 1/28/06
The Gossip @ the Echo [$10] - Indie dance darlings.

Matt Costa / Richard Swift @ Troubadour [$10] - Folky singer-songwriters.

Sunday 1/29/06
Kennedy and the Teenage Sex Machine / Nous Non Plus @ Tangier [$10] - Nous Non Plus is a silly faux-French band. Kennedy is a silly (in a good way) Silver Lake guy.
That Kennedy video is worth another look: Your Mama

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Belle & Sebastian THE LIFE PURSUIT

Artist: Belle & Sebastian
Album: The Life Pursuit
Label: Matador
Release Date: 2/7/06
Other albums I recommend: If You're Feeling Sinister; Tigermilk; Push Barman to Open Old Wounds; Dear Catastrophe Waitress; The Boy With the Arab Strap
Other albums I don't recommend: Storytelling; Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant

#1 - "Act of the Apostle (Part 1)" - Wimpy start. I'm already skipping over this one. Third person voice, religious imagery and a sad girl.
#2 - "Another Sunny Day" - Much better. A very good track. Vintage B&S. First person voice, English football and infatuation with a girl with dark mascara. Download by clicking on the song title.
#3 - "White Collar Boy" - Another very good track. Second person voice. You're the white collar boy who doesn't even know what to do with a Venus.
#4 - "The Blues Are Still Blue" - This is a good track. Belle & Sebastian filtered through T. Rex. Stuart establishes characters and then sings from the persona of a part-time punk.
#5 - "Dress Up In You" - Another vintage B&S track. Melancholy tone. The narrator is a singer who has a lot of spiteful words for an ex. Then it transforms into a conversation (?) between a pop star and girl doing her nails.
#6 - "Sukie in the Graveyard" - Another very good, upbeat song. Third person voice. The subject is a tough, art school girl who doesn't take shit from anybody.
#7 - "We Are the Sleepyheads" - A decent but slight song written in the first-person voice with an unappealing arrangement.
#8 - "Song For Sunshine" - A funky beat, too high chorus and slightly cheesy lyrics. Not my favorite track.
#9 - "Funny Little Frog" - Thumbs up. A first person song about unrequited love for an unobtainable image.
#10 - "To Be Myself Completely" - The quality goes down when Stuart Murdoch doesn't sing lead.
#11 - "Act of the Apostle (Part 2)" - Still a little boring. Same subject matter but first person voice.
#12 - "For the Price of a Cup of Tea" - This track's growing on me. Provocative imagery - seven inches, line of coke, etc.
#13 - "Mornington Crescent" - A song full of regret and melancholy. Unfortunately the arrangement only solidifies that feeling.

So that's six songs that I really like, two good songs, three ok songs and two song I skip everytime. Worth buying for any Belle & Sebastian fan.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New Release Tuesday

Those indie labels go on vacation from about October to mid-January and then jam pack everything when kids are back in school.


The Advantage Elf-titled (Kill Rock Stars) - These guys recently played the Echo. One guy is from Hella and they play covers (full instruments) of songs from 8-bit Nintendo games. I haven't heard it yet.

Karl Blau Beneath Waves (K Records) - I listened to this last week and thought it was kind of boring. Laura Viers appears and one of the guys from the Gift Machine produced it. Playing the Silverlake Lounge on 2/2/06.

Cat Power The Greatest (Matador) - I listened to this last night. The press centers around her use of Memphis session players but whether or not you like will still depend on your opinion of Chan Marshall's voice. Sultry or sleep-inducing? I've always thought the latter. Playing 2/22/06 at the Wilshire Ebell.

Clearlake Amber (Domino) - I liked a few songs off of their last album but I haven't heard this yet.

East River Pipe What Are You On? (Merge) - Pitchfork ripped on it today, but I haven't heard it. Melancholy singer-songwriter stuff.

The Elected Sun, Sun, Sun (Sub Pop) - I kind of ripped on them last week before I heard the record. It's actually not bad. Melancholy pop from the Rilo Kiley guitarist. Jenny Lewis even guests on one track. Pitchfork likes this more than the Jenny Lewis record.

Electric President Electric President (Morr) - Some people buy anything from this label.

Ester Drang Rocinate (Jade Tree) - The Allmusic guide compares this album to Keane and Coldplay. Sounds wussy.

Excepter Sunbomber EP (Touch and Go) - Noise rock on the 5 Rue Christine label.

Film School Film School (Beggars Banquet) - San Francisco band that's playing this Wednesday at the Troubadour. What I've heard sounds pretty good.

Gossip Standing in the Way of Control (Kill Rock Stars) - Hipster dance music. They're playing the Echo on Friday night.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat (guests Bright Eyes, M. Ward and members of Maroon 5 and Death Cab for Cutie) (Team Love) - I hear it's pleasant but uninspired. But then again I'm not a Rilo Kiley fan either. Appearing at the Vista Theatre on 2/2/06 and the Orpheum on 4/1/06.

Liar Murder Manifesto (GSR) - Power metal?

The National Trust Kings and Queens (Thrill Jockey) - More dance music released by an indie label. I read some really nasty reviews of it.

Pearls & Brass The Indian Tower (Drag City) - Heavy sludge rock. Appearing at the Echo on 2/25/06.

Robert Pollard From a Compound Eye (Merge) - This is a major post-GBV release so it's probably worth picking up. Has anybody heard it yet? He's appearing on 2/24 at the Knitting Factory.

Saint Etienne Tales from Turnpike House (w/three bonus tracks not on UK release) (Savoy) - Domestic release on a jazz label. Concept album for the "jet setters."

Some Girls Heaven's Pregnant Teens (Epitaph) - Hardcore female band from San Diego. Appearing at the Echo on 2/18/06.

Tarkio Omnibus (two CDs) (Kill Rock Stars) - Anybody heard this? It was Colin Meloy of the Decembrists college band. More americana/country-rock influenced.

Test Icicles For Screening Purposes Only (Domino) - Buzz band with a lot of press. It's a funny band name when you're 12. Pitchfork seems to like them (8.1). Some are putting them in same sentence as the Mae Shi, Blood Brothers and DFA 1979 (shrieking vocals and all). Appearing at Spaceland on 3/10/06.

Tortoise and Bonnie "Prince" Billie The Brave and the Bold (Overcoat) - I was so excited about this when I read about it but I've barely listened to it since I got it a few weeks ago. Kind of more interesting than good. They cover Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Minutemen, etc.

Town and Country Up Above (Thrill Jockey) - Jazzy, post-rock stuff that you expect from Thrill Jockey. Appearing at the Echo on 2/26/05.

Rocky Votolato Makers (Second Nature/Barsuk) - Critics seem to throw around Springsteen and Westerberg when describing him, but I haven't heard it. Playing 2/22/06 at the Troubadour.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti House Arrest (Paw Tracks) - I'm not a fan, but maybe you are? Appearing 2/10/06 at the Echo.

T. Rex Futuristic Dragon, Tanx, Work in Progress and Zip Gun (expanded and remastered) (Rhino) - Stuart Murdoch sounds like he's been listening to some Marc Bolan on the new Belle & Sebastian record. Along with The Slider and Electric Warrior, Tanx is an essential T. Rex album.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Live Music Picks

There's nothing live that I'm too excited about this week but I've got a ton of new records that I'm enjoying (including the new Belle & Sebastian). Stay tuned for some record reviews later this week. That's Film School at the left.

Monday 1/23/06
Viva K / Margot and the Nuclear So and So's / The Dents @ Spaceland [FREE] - It's Monday at Spaceland so that means it's free and most people will just stand around and talk. The Dents are a female fronted pop-punk band from Boston. Margot and the Nuclear So and So's are a collective from Indianapolis and they've got some horns, cellos and the regular instruments too and a sensitive male lead singer. Viva K are a local band that's been doing the free residency all month. According to their bio they have a sitar, punk guitar, retro synth, dance bass lines and a laptop.

Vetiver @ the Echo [$10] For the hippie folk fans. Devendra Banhart played guitar on their album, so that's probably enough to get some of you to the show. Usually the Echo is free on Mondays, but not tonight.

Tuesday 1/24/06
The Open Mike Andrews @ Tangier [$5] - For the KCRW fans. I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago.

Daniel Lanois / Sarabeth Tucek @ Spaceland [$10] - Also for the KCRW fans. He's apprenticed for Brian Eno and produced U2, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. He alway plays with great musicians and draws a huge crowd at Spaceland (and yet I still find it boring). Sarabeth Tucek has performed with Smog and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Josh Rouse @ Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - For Starbucks drinking fans of singer-songwriters (aka KCRW fans). I think I still have his album HOME and I saw him perform at a Starbucks in Austin, TX about five years ago.

Wednesday 1/25/06
Film School @ Troubadour [$10] - They're from San Francisco and they've toured with the National. Beggars Banquet is their label. They sound like they're influenced by mid-late 80s British rock.

The Lashes [$8] - The Lashes are styled up kids from Seattle who play modern rock.

Thursday 1/26/06
Calexico @ Barnsdall Gallery Theatre [$24] - I've written about Calexico before. They played the Wiltern with Iron & Wine a few months back and I reviewed that show. Looks like advance tickets are sold out, but a few will be available the night of the show.

Mellowdrone @ Spaceland [free if you email here] - They called in sick for their residency last week, so hopefully they show up this week. It's your last chance to see them during their residency.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weekend Picks

That's Giant Drag at the left. Some big shows this weekend. Don't forget that Belle and Sebastian tickets go on sale Saturday. They're playing the Wiltern on 3/18 & 3/19.

Friday 1/20/06
7:00 PM - Oranger @ Amoeba Hollywood [FREE] - They're a psychedelic pop band from San Francisco. I remember seeing them for the first time in 1998. Get your weekend started with a free show and buy some records. Also playing later tonight with the Warlocks at the Echo.
Download "Crooked in the Weird of the Catacombs"
Download "Crones"

8:00 - 10:00 PM - Grievous Angel Opening Reception and Reading @ Harmony Gallery(5911 & 1/2 Franklin Aveneu) [FREE] - Unreleased photos of Gram Parsons will be on display. Plus Jessica Hundley will be reading from her (with Polly Parsons) new Gram biography, Grievous Angel.

The Elected @ Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - The Elected features Blake Sennett and Jason Boesel from Rilo Kiley. Their new album comes out on Tuesday on Sub Pop. If you like Rilo Kiley's soft rock you'll probably like this. I've always found it a little boring.
Download "Not Going Home"

She Wants Revenge @ the El Rey [SOLD OUT] - For Interpol fans. I saw them open for the Raveonettes months ago at Spaceland. Their music almost seems like a spoof to me, but a lot of you seem to like it. They will be appearing at Sea Level on Monday at 6:00PM and performing live at Amoeba on Tuesday night at 7:00PM.

The Warlocks / Oranger @ the Echo [$10] - For drug rock fans. They used to be a seven piece but now they're down two members (Laura and Corey). They've still got the two drummers though.

Saturday 1/21/06
Colin Meloy @ the El Rey [SOLD OUT] - For fans of the Decembrists. I still don't understand how/why they signed to a major label (Capitol Records). I like them and all, but they're not a commercial band in any sort of way. A lot of the fun in seeing the Decembrists live is the odd instrumentation, not sure how it'll come off solo?

Mark Kozelek @ the Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - I really dig his album of AC/DC covers but I can't get behind his album of Modest Mouse covers (but then again I don't like Modest Mouse). I've seen him a couple of times live (once at the El Rey and once with Alan Sparkhaw at Spaceland) and even though I like his voice it tends to be very boring.

Warlocks / Kind Hearts and Coronets / Lion Fever @ Spaceland [$10] - If you're dying to see the Warlocks this is the better show. Spaceland is a much cozier venue.

Sunday 1/22/06
Giant Drag @ Troubadour [$10] - They're a local two piece with an interesting lead singer. She writes some nasty lyrics and plays guitar. The drummer also plays the synthesizer. Somehow they're on a major label to and getting ready for a UK tour with the Cribs in February.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Live Music Options

I've got a bunch of new CDs I want to review, but I haven't had the time (Tortoise/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, A Band of Horses, Kelley Stoltz and The Good Listeners along with a few others). Until then, here are some music picks for tonight.

That's the Advantage at the left.

Thursday 1/19/06
The Advantage @ the Echo [$10] - For the video game dorks. These guys cover 8-bit Nintendo game songs with a full band (guitar, drums and bass). One of the members is from the band Hella (Spencer Seim).
Download "Ninja Gaiden - Mine Shaft"

Mellowdrone @ Spaceland [$5 or free if you email the band] - Next to last show of their month long Thursday night residency.

High on Fire @ Troubadour [$18] - For the wycked metal fans. This is some dark, scary metal for you stoners.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tonight's Music Pick

Not much in the way of rock'n'roll tonight.

Living Things @ Spaceland - For fans of rock'n'roll with swagger. Their sound is informed by all kinds of guitar rock bands (blues based, punk and metal). They're prepping for an appearance on Craig Ferguson (Friday) and a European tour. There are a lot of rock bands from London (I just put that in so I could demonstrate to the bloggers and myspace people how to properly use their/there/they're). They also recently appeared on Conan and are originally from St. Louis. Their first album was recorded by Steve Albini.

Social Distortion @ House of Blues [SOLD OUT] - The second of five sold out nights at the House of Blues. Punk rock in an incredibly corporate environment.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Live Music Picks

I checked out The King of France, The Can't See and The Helio Sequence at Spaceland on Friday. I didn't realize it before the show, but none of these bands has bass players. The King of France were interesting enough to make me appreciate their album even more. The Can't See was boring enough to make me never want to hear their album. The Helio Sequence was just as good as the last time I saw them. I also saw The King of France at Sea Level on Saturday afternoon. Quick, but solid show. I dropped by Spaceland late on Sunday night and it was a ghost town. Maybe 20 people there. I missed the bands. That's the Editors at the left.

Editors @ Cinespace - Good luck getting into this one. Apparently you can/could get tickets at Turntable Lab. I heard the line last night at Spaceland was snaked around the venue and up the street by 9:30 PM. Anybody check it out? I read some blogs that liked it, but they didn't go into any detail....

be your own PET @ Troubadour [$10] - Female fronted band of teenagers from Nashville with label buzz. Crunchy rock.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Weekend Live Music Picks

I made it to a couple of events this week. The comedy show at Sea Level was pretty good. I drank free beer and laughed the most for Eddie Pepitone. I also saw the Probe at Spaceland. They rocked very hard and it was loud as hell. Last night I watched Hustle & Flow at home. It's basically a Blaxploitation film that thinks it's Waiting for Godot. That's Helio Sequence on the left.

The Helio Sequence / The King of France / The Can't See @ Spaceland [$12] - For the indie rockers. The Helio Sequence is better live than recorded. They're a two-piece on Sup Pop. I saw them open for Blonde Redhead once. They play dense, shoegazer music. I blogged about The King of France yesterday. The Can't See is ex-764-HERO. They were an indie band in the late 1990s.
Download: The Helio Sequence's "Blood Bleeds"
Download: The Can't See's "Bar Fight"

The King of France @ Sea Level Records 3:00 PM [FREE] - See previous blogs. Usually there's free beer at the in-stores.

White Out w/ Nels Cline @ Spaceland [$10] - For fans of "sound terrorists." This would probably give me a headache, but Nels Cline is an insane guitar player.

Architects @ Spaceland [$5] For fans of boozy rock. These guys are from Kansas City so I'll give them a shout-out. Plus there's nothing else interesting going on tonight.

Overall a pretty week weekend for rock. But it's still early January. Stay tuned for a ton of stuff coming up in February and March.....

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Band: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Venue: El Rey
Date: 3/23/06
Cost: $16
Onsale date: Today
Where do I buy tickets: Musictoday

Thursday, January 12, 2006

You Set the Scene vs. Pitchfork

Since Pitchfork finally reviewed the Foxymorons yesterday I can finally compare my top 10 list to Pitchfork....

What Pitchfork Thought of My Top 10
1) Sufjan Stevens ILLINOISE - ranked #1 in Pitchfork's top 50 - rated 9.2
2) Spoon GIMME FICTION - ranked #43 in Pitchfork's top 50 - rated 7.9
3) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah S/T - ranked #18 in Pitchfork's top 50 - rated 9.0
4) Fruit Bats SPELLED IN BONES - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 6.3
5) My Morning Jacket Z - ranked #42 in Pitchfork's top 50 - they rated it 7.6
6) Broken Social Scene S/T - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 8.4
7) Low THE GREAT DESTROYER - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 5.5
8) Pernice Brothers DISCOVER A LOVELIER YOU - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 5.8
9) The Foxymorons HESITATION EYES - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 7.3
10) Rogue Wave DESCENDED LIKE VULTURES - unranked in top 50 - they rated it 7.8

It's a little weird that the ratings don't correlate at all to the final rankings....Broken Social Scene rated higher than many of the albums in the top 50 but it was snubbed.

What I Think of Pitchfork's Top 10
1) Sufjan Stevens ILLINOISE - Great choice!
2) Kanye West LATE REGISTRATION - I really can't support any record with Jamie Foxx and the guy from Maroon 5 on the first two singles.
3) Art Brut BANG BANG ROCK & ROLL - I still haven't heard this and I don't care if they're like the Fall.
4) M.I.A. ARULAR - This gives me a headache but I can understand why other people like it.
5) Antony & the Johnsons I AM A BIRD NOW - Totally unlistenable.
6) Deerhoof THE RUNNERS FOUR - Unlistenable and it gives me a headache.
7) Animal Collective FEELS - I haven't heard it, but I thought their last album sucked.
8) LCD Soundsystem S/T - I only heard that Daft Punk song and thought it was stupid.
9) Cam'Ron PURPLE HAZE - This came out in 2004 and I didn't hear it then either.
10) Wolf Parade APOLOGIES TO THE QUEEN MARY - This is totally overrated but I don't like Modest Mouse.

What does all this prove? That I have a pretty narrow range of indie yuppie musical tastes? Maybe so.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Album Review: The King of France

Band: The King of France
Album: The King of France
Other Albums: SALAD DAYS
Label: Echo
Home: New York City

Members: Steve Salad is the singer and guitar player. He's from Minneapolis and played in Deformo and Kelley Deal 6000. Michael Azerrad is the drummer. He's also a well respected rock critic who wrote Our Band Could Be Your Life [I highly recommend if you're into Husker Du, Minor Threat, Dinosaur Jr., etc.] and Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana [I haven't read this, but people on Amazon seem to like it].

What it sounds like: Jittery. Some critics compare them to Neutral Milk Hotel but that's not really true. They're similar in that Salad does have a warbly voice that goes all over the place and a whimsical style. However, Salad's lyrics are more mainstream (and make sense) and the music is less pyschedelic and more vaudevillian (in the same way as Jon Brion, Liam Hayes and Wings stuff - but filtered through indie rock). It mostly features piano, keyboards, guitars and drums. I recommend listening to the tracks on their website and/or seeing them for free at Sea Level before you purchase.

Key Tracks: "Beautiful Horses" and "Mexico"

Where you can see them:
1/13/06 @ Spaceland w/ Helio Sequence [$12]
1/14/06 @ Sea Level Records 3:00 PM [FREE]
2/22/06 @ Henry Fonda Theater w/ Rogue Wave & Nada Surf [$16.50]

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Live Music Options

Here are some suggestions for things you might want to check out over the next three days. That's the Clean Prophets on the left.

The Open Mike Andrews @ Tangier [$5] - For the KCRW crowd. Mike Andrews is a producer and composer who has worked on some cool shit (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Donnie Darko). He's currently collaborating with Van Dyke Parks and Lavender Diamond. This is his weekly Jon Brion-ish gig where he invites a lot of friends to stop by and play.

The Longcut @ Cine-Space [$5] - For the trend watchers. These Manchester guys are flying to the states to do the quick LA, San Francisco and New York showcases to promote their new ep and build buzz. They've been massively hyped by NME and the rest of the British press if that means anything to you. They consider themselves Sonic Youth rip-offs but actually have a little Joy Division in there too. Also Wednesday at the Silverlake Lounge.
Download "Late Night Bus (live)"

Chief Corn Foot's Corn Chowder Comedy Hour @ Sea Level Records [FREE] 8:00PM - For comedy fans. Here's a cool free event at Sea Level Records. You can see Paul F. Tompkins, Mike O'Connell, Eddie Pepitone, Paul Rust, James Adomian and a surprise special guest.

The Longcut @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - See above. Another chance to see them before the US press machine kicks in.

The Probe @ Spaceland [$5] - For the punk/metal fan. I've written about them before. Say hi to John the bass player and buy him drinks.

The Clean Prophets / Moris Tepper @ the Echo [$7] - For fans of early 80s British rock. The Clean Prophets just finished a new record that I'm listening to right now. It's got an Echo & the Bunnymen / Chameleons feel to it. They're a three-piece band with members that you may have seen over the years in bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sunstorm, the Stitches or the Superbees. Moris Tepper has a crazy resume. He's played with Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Frank Black and Robyn Hitchcock. His bass player is PJ Harvey.
Download The Clean Prophets' "Tambourine Crown"

Mellowdrone / Magnus Elliassen @ Spaceland [$5 - but email them to get in free] - I wrote about them last week. This should be more rockin' than the acoustic show last week. Opener, Magnus Elliassen is a sensitive singer-songwriter from Norway.

Kristen Hirsh @ Tangier [$17] - For Throwing Muses fans. She's doing two sets - the first featuring Throwing Muses stuff and the second with her solo stuff. Also appearing Friday at Tangier.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday Night Residencies in January

There are a few free Monday night residencies in January. That's Wiskey Biscuit on the left.

@ the Echo
Future Pigeon & Wiskey Biscuit (Future Pigeon 1/9/06 & Wiskey Biscuit 1/16/06 & 1/30/06) - Wiskey Biscuit has been around since 1988. That's a long time and they've got the stories to prove it. They signed to a major in the early 90s (and recorded at Willie Nelson's studio) but the album never came out. In the mid-90s they played a lot of really memorable shows around town (back when the stage at Spaceland faced the other way). They toured the country opening for Elliott Smith. I saw them at the Austin, TX show and Jason's parents bought me dinner after the show. Jason and Steve Hanft even made a cool movie about Elliott Smith. They've also been in some pretty notorious relationships. Future Pigeon is a dub off-shoot of Wiskey Biscuit that adds Ed Rusha Jr. (son of one of LA's most famous artists) to the mix. Their alter-egos host the Dub Club on Wednesday night at the Echo. Future Pigeon was featured in another locally produced movie, SOUTHLANDER. Whichever band you see, there will be a lot of people on stage and they'll be having a really good time. Hopefully Wiskey Biscuit will play some classic songs.

@ Spaceland
Viva K - It seems almost impossible, but I've never seen this band live. They've drawn comparisons to Siouxsie and the Banshees, PJ Harvey and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They have trance qualities and an affinity for Indian music. They're endorsed by Filter Magazine. They've done Morning Becomes Eclectic, Sunset Junction and a residency at the Echo. They've played shows with Andy Bell (Erasure), She Wants Revenge and almost every eastside LA band. One of the members DJs in the Cahuenga corridor and on the roof of the Standard downtown. All they need is a lift from radio....
1/9/06 - buzz band Scissors for Lefty and Rocket join them
1/16/06 - big buzz band Editors join them
1/23/06 - the Dents join them
1/30/06 - Austinites Sound Team join them

@ Silverlake Lounge
Meho Plaza - These guys seem to have the electro-dance beats that some of you are into these days. Judge for yourself.....
Download "The Beach"
Download "George Washington"

Friday, January 06, 2006

Weekend Music Picks

I'm guessing you didn't get Strokes tickets? I wouldn't sweat it. I've seen them before and they just stand around looking bored and they sound exactly like the record. That's Skot from 400 Blows at the left.

400 Blows @ the Echo [$10] - For fans of abrasive rock. It still seems pretentious to name yourself after a Truffaut film, but I almost started a record label and named it after a Godard film (which is even worse). This is a Gold Standard Lab night (Mars Volta-backed) and Free Moral Agents is also playing (featuring Ikey - the keyboard player - from the Mars Volta).
Download "The Root of Our Nature"
Download "The Ugly Are So Beautiful"
Download "The Beauty of Internal Darkness"

Richard Buckner @ Spaceland [$10] For fans of country-folk. He's a talented singer-songwriter with a gruff voice. I've always been more of an admirer than an actual fan. I did see him perform in Austin one time and he's compelling.
Stream some music HERE

The Checkers @ the Echo [$5] EARLY SHOW 5:00 PM - For fans of new wave ("think Blondie meets the Buzzcocks"). They're a fun band to see live with a female lead singer with a lot of attitude. Plus, they're on Jim Freek's record label, Teenacide, and he's a good guy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Album Review: Wilco's KICKING TELEVISION

Last month I blogged about Wilco's KICKING TELEVISION, implying that it was just a typical fourth quarter label scheme to take money off of fans of their blue chip artists. While the price does still seem steep ($20 is the cheapest I've seen it), I got the album from my lady for Christmas and love it. It's definitely the best official live album in recent memory. They revisit the back catalog and play many of the newer songs with energy that was sadly missing on the studio versions. It makes me sad I wasn't at the shows (but I will be seeing Jeff Tweedy on Feb. 13 @ the Fonda).

....so pick it up at Sea Level (Echo Park/LA), Love Garden (Lawrence, KS), Waterloo (Austin, TX) or an independent record shop in your town....

And if you're a Wilco fan check out this month's Uncut Magazine for an interview with Tweedy where he talks more in-depth about his addiction.

Hook 'em Horns!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Live Music Picks

Happy new year! Time to get this blog going again.....

Wednesday 1/4/06
Mike Stinson @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - For the country-rock/honky tonk fans. My favorite local country artist, Stinson doesn't have a pretty voice but it does have character. He signs about heartbreak, California, dope and drinking. Many of his arrangements borrow heavily from Gram Parsons/The Flying Burrito Brothers. His guitar player is very good (Tony Gilkyson) and used to be in X. Stinson's been covered by Dwight Yoakam and has dated Lucinda Williams and Pamela Des Barres. He's also playing on Friday at the Cinema Bar in West Los Angeles.

Thursday 1/5/06
Nedelle @ the Smell [$5] - For fans of female singer-songwriters. She's from Oakland and she's got a soft, slightly sad voice.
Download Begin to Breathe
Download The Natural Light

Mellowdrone @ Spaceland [$5] For space rock fans. They're doing a Thursday night residency at Spaceland to promote their upcoming album. Email them to get on their guest list. I haven't heard the record but the song below sounds like a softer version of Muse. According to Filter Magazine, they've got some synth-y dance-pop songs too.
Download Fashionably Uninvited

Friday 1/6/06
The Strokes @ the Troubadour [$15] - You've got to fax your order to the Troubadour today at 2:00PM to get tickets. I like their first album, then they repeated it and what I've heard of the third album (it came out yesterday) is pretty shitty. It would probably be fun to see them at the Troubadour.