Friday, April 28, 2006
Tues 5/2 @ Amoeba 7:00PM (Free acoustic)
Wed 5/3 live on KCRW @ 11:20 AM
later that night on Craig Ferguson (CBS) @ 12:35AM
Thurs 5/4 @ the El Rey ($24)
Brooklyn Vegan has a picture to show you what the in-the-round might look like and a recent interview.
Village Voice has an article about a movie they did in Marfa, TX and their collaboration with Bono.
David Bowie also recently interviewed the band. Here's a large podcast (warning it's 42 MB) of that 30 minute interview.
Yesterday a guy sent me a hate email regarding my Coachella post and today he sent me an email regarding this (not-so) secret Myspace show. Thanks. Also, thanks to Irene from brokencalm for posting about it in my comments section.
I'd heard this was going to be at the Troubadour but apparently not.....
Gnarls Barkley (Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse)
Doors @ 7:00 PM
Watch "Crazy" video
Good luck getting in. As much as I'd like to see them, it's going to be out of control.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wilderness / Year Future / Parts & Labor @ the Echo ($8) – Baltimore’s Wilderness are beloved in the indie community. They’re post-punk inspired, but not in an insipid way (think Fugazi and PiL not She Wants Revenge and the Bravery). Year Future are a local in-your-face punk band (think Mae Shi or 400 Blows) with a new album out 5/2 on GSL. Parts & Labor are a noise rock band from Brooklyn.
Download Wilderness’ “Emergency”
Download Parts & Labor’s “A Great Divide”
Brother Ali @ Troubadour ($13 / $15 dos) – Rhymesayers hip-hop. Atmosphere’s on tour with him (but contractually obligated to Coachella), so you never know….
The Red Krayola / Future Pigeon @ the Getty Center 6:00PM (Free) – The Red Krayola is one of those bands that music snobs love and most people don’t get. Critics say the new album is the most listenable thing Mayo Thompson has ever released. Future Pigeon is a local stoner dub band.
The Probe @ the Scene ($5) – Local sleazy rock ’n ’roll band.
8-Bit / Listing Ship @ Mr. T’s Bowl ($10) – A benefit for Fyn Stec, a four-year-old who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer. Download Listing Ship’s “Ichabod Crane”
Juan MacLean (DJ) @ the Echo (Free) – The Juan MacLean’s playing Coachella so apparently this is just Juan MacLean DJ’ing. He’s on the DFA label and that’s solid cred.
The Red Krayola @ Spaceland ($8) – If you miss them at the Getty.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Is anybody driving three hours to the desert for this? Two day passes ($167 + $23 in fees) and Saturday tickets ($86 + $15 in fees) are still available. Most of the rock bands have played LA clubs in the past few months. Otherwise you better really like DJs and house music……
Depeche Mode (about 16 years past their prime), Daft Punk (five years past their prime), Franz Ferdinand (the last album sounded like b-sides, but he does have stage presence), Sigur Ros (usually great but will it translate in a field in the desert), Damian Jr Gong Marley (Bob’s youngest son), Common (rapper), Atmosphere (rapper, at the Glass House on 4/25), Carl Cox (DJ/Producer) , My Morning Jacket (great live band), TV on the Radio (solid), Ladytron (at the El Rey on 5/2), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (indie rock with very little stage presence), Tosca (trip-hop), Cat Power (terrible stage presence), Animal Collective (eccentric indie rock), Derrick Carter (DJ/Producer), Devendra Banhart (eccentric freak folk), She Wants Revenge (Fred Durst’s favorite dance-rock band), The Walkmen, The Juan Maclean (DFA artist appearing for free at the Echo on 4/30), Imogen Heap (at the Glasshouse 5/2), Audio Bullys (British electronica), Lady Sovereign (British garage rap), Deerhoof (noise rock), The Duke Spirit (bluesy indie rock), Eagles of Death Metal (trashy hard rock), Lyrics Born (backpack rap), Matt Costa (Jack Johnson signed him), The New Amsterdams (Get Up Kids offshoot, at the Troub on 5/27), The Zutons, Platinum Pied Pipers (underground R&B), White Rose Movement (?), Colette (DJ), Joey Beltram (club music), Hybrid (more club music), The Rakes (post-punk revivalists), Living Things (hard rockers live at the Troub 4/24), Wolfmother (Blue Cheer revivalists played Cinespace and Spaceland in January), The Like (local industry girls), Nine Black Alps (British grunge revivalists), Celebration, The Section Quartet (string covers), Head Automatica (Dan the Automator project), Shy FX & T Power (drum and bass), Infusion (electronic), Rob Dickinson (at the Whiskey on 4/25)
We have many fond memories from Coachellas past, but right now we're totally jealous of that Lollapalooza lineup. Sunday tickets are sold out. You'll either have to buy a two-day pass or take your chances in the secondary market.
Tool (loads of pent up demand, but we haven’t thought about them in twelve years), Massive Attack (influential trip hop), Madonna (ugh), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (double ugh), Bloc Party (guilty pleasure, fun live show), Paul Oakenfold (hooray! a button presser), Scissor Sisters (look at us we’re androgynous!), Matisyahu (look at me, I’m a Hasidic Jew and I like reggae!), James Blunt (maybe he’ll smoke a blunt, pass out, and save you the boredom of sitting through his set), Sleater-Kinney (respect), Mogwai (great live band), Coheed and Cambria (What about the voice of Claudio Sanchez? How did it get so high?), Wolf Parade (overrated), Gnarls Barkley (Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse; kudos), Phoenix (wannabe crossover electronica), Coldcut (somebody at Goldenvoice really likes trip-hop), Digable Planets (are they considered old school yet?), Amadou & Mariam (Tim Robbins’ character in High Fidelity would be happy), Louie Vega (DJ), Mylo (DJ Set), Seu Jorge (solid, the Life Aquatic guy), Ted Leo & Pharmacists (good choice), The Go! Team (good fun stuff), Kaskade (DJ), Metric (they’ve played so many LA shows since their last album), Editors (was Interpol busy?), Art Brut (overrated, but understandable), Dungen (cool band, hopefully their live show has improved), The Dears (The Blands), Jamie Lidell (Beck’s favorite blue eyed soul singer), The Magic Numbers (overrated KCRW faves), Los Amigos Invisibles (really? more worldbeat?), Jazzanova (trip-hop). stellastarr (was Interpol busy?), Michael Mayer (club music), Murs featuring 9th wonder (hip-hop), Mates of State (miss last month's show at the Troub?), Gilles Peterson (DJ), Infadels (at the Key Club on 5/3), Gabriel & Dresden (club music), Minus the Bear (miss last month’s show @ Spaceland?), OneRepublic (they got a night off from the Key Club?), Be Your Own Pet (Thurston Moore’s favorite teens; @ the Troub on 6/27), Chris Liberator (DJ), Youth Group (did you miss their eight recent local appearances?), Giant Drag (good for them; she’s funny), Kristina Sky (putting photos of you DJ'ing CDs on your website is lame), The Octopus Project (their booker obviously deserves a raise)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops (Reprise) – Longtime fans and the indie press seem disappointed by the direction of the new album, but it’s getting solid reviews from British mags, Entertainment Weekly and Urb. The bombastic drums are gone and there are more Coldplay-type moments. I don't like it as much as the last record, but there are enough good songs to recommend it. I'll write more about it after I see the songs performed live. Stream the album HERE. They appear live at Amoeba on 5/2 at 7:00 PM and at the El Rey on 5/4.
Things I Need to Hear
Elf Power Back to the Web (Rykodisc) – Athens, GA band that was part of the Elephant 6 collective of indie rockers. Apparently this album is less pop and more acoustic folk. Appearing live at Spaceland on 5/13. Sample tracks on MYSPACE.
Other Noteworthy Releases
The Coup Pick a Bigger Weapon (Epitaph) – Hip-hop group that still mixes politics with humor. Talib Kweli, Black Thought, dead prez, Tom Morello and Jello Biafra all make guest appearances. Appearing live at Amoeba on 4/27 @ 7:00 PM. Download “My Favorite Mutiny” and “We Are the Ones” or stream HERE.
Eleventh Dream Day Zeroes and Ones (Thrill Jockey) – First album in six years from the Chicago band that features members of Freakwater and Tortoise. Download “For Martha”
The Fever In the City of Sleep (Kemado) – They lost their original guitarist and changed their sound. They mention Fellini, Sun Records and Stax in their press release. Appearing at the Troubadour on 5/13. Listen to some tracks at their website.
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris All the Roadrunning (Nonesuch/Warner Bros.) – This is more a Mark Knopfler album than an Emmylou album. It’s probably worth downloading the Emmylou tracks. Appearing live at Gibson Amphitheater (Universal City Walk) on 6/28. You can stream the new album HERE.
The Rakes Capture/Release (V2) – Domestic price for the British post-punk band. They are appearing at Coachella on 4/29. Stream the album at their website.
Riverboat Gamblers To the Confusion of Our Enemies (Volcom) – They’re an energetic, engaging punk band from Denton, TX. Their previous albums haven’t captured the power of their live show. Stream the album HERE.
Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Columbia) – He gathered 13 musicians for two sessions and recorded these covers live. It’s getting universally good reviews. He’s touring with the band and appearing live at the Greek Amphitheatre on 6/5. Stream the album HERE.
Starlight Mints Drowaton (Barsuk) – Indie rockers from Oklahoma. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/7. Download “Inside of Me”
The Streets The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (Vice/Atlantic) – Some of the critics seem to think the British electro-rapper has lost his way. Download “When You Wasn’t Famous” or stream the album HERE and see videos of Mike Skinner talking about the record HERE
Time Again The Stories Are True (Hellcat/Epitaph) – Rancid influenced band signs to Tim Armstrong’s label. Appearing live at the Echo tonight. Download “Junkies”
Tom Verlaine (ex-Television) Around and Songs and Other Things (w/members of Television) (Thrill Jockey) Around is an instrumental follow-up to Warm and Cool. Songs and Other Things is the more traditional rock album.
VA Invaders (Kemado) – This is an 18 track compilation of newer heavy bands that are acceptable for hipsters. While it is a good intro to a lot of these bands, I do have a couple of problems with it. Most of these tracks are unreleased or rare because they weren’t good enough to be on the band’s album. The Dungen track is basically a flute solo, and the band has a lot more to offer than that. The Wolfmother track is the worst thing on their EP and far worse than anything on their full length. In the internet age, I don’t think customers should have to pay $13 for a sampler of b-sides. That said, a lot of these bands are worth hunting down and listening to on Myspace.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Denison Witmer @ Hotel Café – He’s a sensitive singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. Sufjan Stevens appeared on his recent record as did some mighty fine finger-picked acoustic guitar. The music is more like early Jackson Browne rather than Elliott Smith. Listen to some tracks at his MYSPACE page.
Future Pigeon @ Cinespace ($5) – LA’s favorite dub-punk band plays the Cahuenga corridor.
Living Things / Diamond Nights @ Troubadour ($14) – Living Things are bratty St. Louis rich kids playing political hard rock and licensing their music for Cingular commercials. They’ve also had shows sponsored by big liquor companies. Diamond Nights are another one of those bands that may or may not be joking.
Time Again @ The Echo ($5) – They’re a punk band that sounds like Tim Armstrong’s band, Rancid, and they’re signed to Tim Armstrong’s label and they’re playing their record release party at Tim Armstrong’s night at the Echo. Oh yeah, and Tim Armstrong appears on the title track of the album. Download Junkies
South / Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s @ Troubadour ($12 / $14 dos) – The Allmusic Guide compares the new South album to Badly Drawn Boy and Doves. You can listen on their Myspace page. I haven’t heard enough to confirm or dispute. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s kinda reminds me of Ben Kweller or Ben Lee. Listen on their Myspace page.
Quasi @ Spaceland ($12) – They’re an ex-married couple from Portland who have been around for 13 years. She’s a great drummer (see: Sleater-Kinney) and he writes pitch black lyrics and makes playing the organ/keyboard entertaining on stage. They used to back Elliott Smith too. Stream the new Dave Fridmann produced album HERE.
The Parson Red Heads @ Lava Lounge ($5) - They’re starting to play a lot shows around town but I still haven’t seen them.
Innaway / Helen Stellar @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Local band Innaway has toured with Brian Jonestown Massacre and Echo & the Bunnymen. I’ve heard people compare them to both of those bands. Stream the Innaway album HERE. Helen Stellar is a local space rock/shoegaze band that caught the ear of Cameron Crowe. He put them on the Elizabethtown soundtrack and he’s reissuing their music on vinyl. Don’t bother seeing the movie though – it’s like a bad version of Garden State which was like an updated version of Reality Bites. Download Helen Stellar’s IO (and several more tracks) at Myspace.
David Garza @ Largo – Catch this talented Texan in an intimate setting before he heads out to open Fiona Apple’s summer tour. He gets compared to Jeff Buckley and Robert Plant a lot, and those comparisons aren’t totally off base. Listen to some tracks on MYSPACE.
Helen Stellar @ Troubadour ($10) – In case you miss them at the Silverlake Lounge on Wednesday. By the way, these guys sound more like Doves than Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Gus Black Autumn Days (Cheap Lullaby) – He’s a Largo/KCRW approved local singer/songwriter who gets a lot of music in TV shows. He’ll be appearing on Morning Becomes Eclectic on 5/10 and at Largo on 5/17. You can sample tracks at MYSPACE. This isn’t really a genre I regularly listen to, but he’s clearly a talented guy. Some of the songs are mellow, acoustic tracks while others have fleshed out dramatic arrangements with strings or piano. The album ends with a hidden, dramatic cover of “You Are My Sunshine.” If you like the genre I think you’ll appreciate the album.
The Lovely Feathers Hind Hind Legs (Equator) – They’re a Canadian band and they’re friends with Metric. They play eccentric indie rock with abrupt time changes and have songs called “Pope John Paul” and “Rod Stewart.” It’s kind of like a weird mix of Islands, King of France and Tapes’n’Tapes (and there’s probably a chance the band hasn’t heard any of those bands). You’ll probably either love it or hate it. Listen to some tracks at MYSPACE.
Marykate O’Neil 1-800-Bankrupt (Seventy-One) – This is so far away from anything I’d ever listen to that I have a hard time even commenting on it (plus it’s a pretty awful name for a record). It comes out on May 2nd. She’s a female singer/songwriter along the lines of Lisa Loeb, Mary Lou Lord and Jill Sobule (according to the Allmusic Guide).
Peter Walker Young Gravity (Dangerbird) – He’s a hardworking local singer/songwriter and co-founder of Dangerbird Records. This is his second record and it was produced with Aaron Espinoza and Jim Fairchild (they play on it too). It’s more along the lines of a grittier Pete Yorn than either Grandaddy or Earlimart. Download “What Do I Know”
8mm Opener EP (ChelseaGirl) – They’re a male/female duo. He “helped forge the sound of Nine Inch Nails” (from their Myspace page) and she has a sultry, ethereal voice. 8mm doesn’t sound anything like NiN, it’s more similar to Dido, Massive Attack, Portishead, etc. You can buy it from CDBaby. “Nothing Left to Lose” features a rap from funk-metal dude, Mike Busse.
I’m still working my way through some other stuff like: the Invaders Compilation, Sam Roberts, the Bellrays, the Submarines, Persephones Bees, etc….
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Dinosaur Jr / Comets on Fire @ Troubadour (SOLD OUT) – For the aging indie rocker. I saw that first reunion show a year ago at Spaceland. It reminded me that Green Mind and Where You Been are my favorite Dinosaur records and that I prefer Lou Barlow with Sebadoh. I’m not saying it was bad though. Also appearing on Saturday.
Gram Rabbit @ Echo ($8 / $10 dos) – The unique band from Joshua Tree celebrates the release of their new record.
Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Little Radio Warehouse [1218 Long Beach Ave] ($12 / $15 dos) – For fans of the 1960s. You never know what will happen at a BJM show. Will the entire band even show up? Who knows? You can download their entire catalog from their website for free. I recommend starting with Strung Out in Heaven (that’s a large zip file). Also appearing on Saturday. BUY HERE
Priestess @ Spaceland ($10) – For the metal heads. I saw them a couple months back and they were tight. You can listen to some tracks at their website. Also appearing at the Troubadour on Saturday.
Mike Stinson @ Cinema Bar (Free) – LA’s best country rocker.
Future Pigeon @ Sea Level Records 4:00 PM (FREE) - Seeing them live is always entertaining and unique (even if you don't like most reggae).
Dinosaur Jr / Comets on Fire / Priestess @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – See above
Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Little Radio Warehouse) ($12 / $15 dos) – See above. BUY HERE
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs @ The Roxy ($20 / $25 dos) – For the record collector crowd. They picked some amazing songs to cover and did a nice job.
eX-Girl @ Spaceland ($12) – These girls from Tokyo are out there. It should (at a minimum) be a visual spectacle.
Download “Hettakorii No Ottokotou”
Languis @ Hotel Café (?) – Support local Argentinean rock. They make really good atmospheric music that would be great for a cool indie film. Download “In the Fields of (Lonely Fences)” and then buy their new EP.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
These tickets will probably go very fast:
Secret Machines @ the El Rey on 5/2 ($24) - Tickets on sale Friday at 10:00AM HERE - The new album's not as rockin' as their last one but they can put on a great live show (although this is a special "in-the-round performance" which scares me a little).
The Raconteurs @ The Fonda on 6/7 ($23) - Tickets on sale Thursday at Noon HERE - Jack White and Brendan Benson's new band.
Other recommended shows that could sell out:
Kelley Stoltz @ Echo on 5/19 ($10) - buy HERE - IMO he was mistreated at the Echo last time he played, but I guess it didn't bother him.
Built to Spill @ Troubadour on 6/28 & 6/29 ($17.50) - buy HERE or HERE - they're going to add some additional shows when these sell out
Band of Horses @ Echo on 6/30 ($12) - buy HERE - they weren't that good at King King, but I'm giving them another chance
Belle & Sebastian / The Shins @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/6 ($15-145) - buy HERE - two of my favorite bands
The Flaming Lips @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/23 ($5-$120) - buy HERE - the new record is a little disappointing, but Wayne's a performer
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Finding an accurate list of the week's releases is more difficult than you'd think. With the help of Ice Magazine, Amazon and Insound I try, but errors (and omissions) can happen.
Languis Other Desert Cities EP (Pehr) – I guess today’s the official release date. I’ve written about them in the past. Download “In the Fields of (Lonely Fences)” Appearing live at the Hotel Café on 4/22.
The Little Ones Sing Song EP (Branches Recording Collective) – Today’s the official release date for LA’s best new indie pop band. Download “Cha Cha Cha” and see them live tonight at El Cid.
Things I Need To Hear
Spank Rock YoYoYoYoYo (Big Dada) – Dirty rap from Baltimore. Appearing live at Spaceland on 6/11. Download “Put That Pussy On Me”
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs Under the Covers Vol. 1 (Shout! Factory) – They perform songs by Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Neil Young, The Left Banke, Love, The Zombies and more. What I've listened to so far is really mixed (I love most of these originals so much it mostly makes me want to listen to the original). Appearing live at the Roxy on 4/22. Listen to the entire album HERE.
Other Noteworthy Releases
Cities Cities (Yep Roc) – Does the world need another post-punk band? They’re from North Carolina. You can listen to the whole album HERE.
The Dresden Dolls Yes Virginia (Roadrunner) – Brechtian punk cabaret. Jaunty. Download “Dirty Business” or you can sample the whole album HERE
Drive-By Truckers A Blessing and a Curse (New West) – Southern roots rockers. Appearing at the House of Blues on 5/3 & 5/4. You can listen to the whole album HERE.
Elefant The Black Magic Show (enhanced CD) (Hollywood) – Slick, retro new wavers that I haven't heard yet. Appearing live at the Wiltern on 5/26 with Voxtrot. Download “Lolita” or listen to the whole album HERE.
The Fiery Furnaces Bitter Tea (Fat Possum) – Suburban Chicago brother-sister band releases another album just to annoy the hell out of me.
Frog Eyes The Golden River (Absolutely Kosher) – Manic, dramatic, headache-inducing Canadian band. They re-released their album The Bloody Hand today too.
Gram Rabbit Cultivation (Stinky) – They’re from Joshua Tree and this is their second record. Appearing live at Tower Sunset on 4/20 at 6:00 PM and at the Echo on 4/21. Listen to some tracks on MYSPACE.
The Lovely Feathers Hind Hind Legs (Equator) – They’re a Canadian band and they’ve toured with Metric. I got their CD and couldn’t dig it. You can listen to tracks on their Myspace page.
Maritime We, the Vehicles (Flameshovel) - I was a little bit of a Promise Ring fan. This band has the lead singer/guitarist of that band and the bass player from the Dismemberment Plan. Download "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts"
Mugison Little Trip (Ipecac) – Icelandic singer-songwriter releases a part score/part soundtrack to an Icelandic director’s film.
People Under the Stairs Stepfather (Basement) – Local underground hip-hop band appears at Amoeba on 4/18 at 7:00 PM and the Troubadour on 6/2.
The Red Krayola Introduction (Drag City) – Mayo Thompson has been making music since 1966. Apparently this is his most accessible recording ever. Appearing at the Getty on 4/29 and Spaceland on 4/30.
Roommate Songs that Animals Taught Us (Plug Research) – They’re indie electronic music. The Allmusic Guide says it’s more Flaming Lips than Postal Service. Apparently they cover Big Head Todd & the Monsters (that’s a little scary). Appearing live at Tangier on 7/23. Download “Tuesday”
Rye Coalition Curses (produced by Dave Grohl) (Gern Blandsten) – Jersey City hard rockers with a lead singer who sounds like Paul Stanley. Listen on their Myspace page.
Stereophonics Live from Dakota (two CDs; songs from 2005 world tour) (Vox Populi)
Various Artists Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads (Rapster) - Radiohead songs as re-worked by a bunch of people. Pitchfork gave it a 0.6 today (but it's probably not that bad). Listen to the entire album HERE.
DVD VA Coachella DVD (1999-2005 performances from the annual Southern California festival; w/Iggy and the Stooges, Radiohead, the White Stripes and more (COAC/Epitaph)
Monday, April 17, 2006
I stopped by Safari Sam's this weekend (new live music venue) to check it out. It's a good spot. See my review of it at LAist.com
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Spaceland (Free) – They’re an unsigned four-piece from Missouri with one of the more ridiculous band names I’ve seen in a while. The blogosphere has embraced them. They seem to be strum happy, earnest guys who play indie rock and write songs about girls. The song below is in the same realm as Elliott Smith. Also appearing Tuesday at Tangier. Download “House Fire”
The Little Ones @ El Cid ($8) – This is one of the best new LA bands I’ve heard/seen in a while. Their new EP is infectious indie pop – and once word gets out the bloggers will love this. The EP's packaging looks a lot like The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow (same artist) and one of the songs has a chord progression that closely resembles The Fruit Bats’ “The Wind That Blew My Heart Away.” This is their official record release party (the EP comes out on 4/18 but you can already buy it at Sea Level). Download “Lovers Who Uncover”
People Under the Stairs @ Ameoba 7:00 PM (Free) - The local underground hip-hop band celebrates the release of their new record. They're also playing the Troubadour on 6/2.
The M's / Deathray Davies @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) - I saw the M's (from Chicago) recently and they were ok. The Deathray Davies (from Dallas) always put on an energetic live performance. Download The M's "Plan of the Man"
The Clean Prophets @ The Airliner Club (2419 N. Broadway) - See previous posts. Quality local band with a hint of Echo & the Bunnymen and Chameleons.
Division Day @ Club Moscow (1652 N. Cherokee) ($5) - See previous posts. Local indie band and all around nice guys.
Parson Red Heads @ Lava Lounge - See previous posts. Recent Oregon transplants with an early Byrds influence.
Scissors for Lefty @ Spaceland ($8) - They're from San Francisco and kind of have that indie dance thing.
Josh Rouse @ The Fonda ($18) – I first stumbled upon Josh Rouse playing acoustic guitar at a Starbucks during SXSW about six or seven years ago. He’s an adult-oriented (KCRW crowd) singer-songwriter who had a few songs in Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky. The new album is very adult contemporary.
PINE*am @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – They’re cute Japanese girls from Osaka who play silly synth pop. You’ll either love them or hate them. Download “Pull the Rabbit Ears”
Billy Childish @ Spaceland ($10) - Very prolific, eccentric singer-songwriter performs and does spoken word.
Kennedy @ Key Club (Sold Out) - Local disco revivalist. See previous posts.
The Stills @ Troubadour (Sold Out) - Popular post-punk band from Montreal. Their new album comes out on 5/9.
Norfolk & Western / The Parson Red Heads @ Echo ($8)
Thursday, April 13, 2006
The Boy Least Likely To put on a great show last weekend. They restored my faith in live music. I wrote a little review of it at the LAist.
The Greenhornes @ Troubadour ($12) – This Cincinnati three-piece plays quality retro rock’n’roll that’s heavily influenced by The Yardbirds. The band includes the rhythm section that played on Loretta Lynn’s great album, Van Lear Rose, and are members of the Raconteurs (along with Brendan Benson and Jack White). Download “Pattern Skies”
Indian Jewelry @ Echo ($7) - This is the kind of music that gives me a headache. For the Arthur Magazine set.
Space Mtn @ El Cid ($8) - Space Mtn is a slightly dreamy local rock band with a female lead singer. What else are you going to do in Santa Monica on a Tuesday night? Go listen to "Hovercraft" on their website.
Trespassers William @ Tangier ($10) - I got this CD in the mail a while back and it's not that bad. The music kind of sounds like Mazzy Star with Aimee Mann as the lead singer. OK, maybe it is a little boring. Download "Safe, Sound"
Kennedy @ The 4th Annual Rock Paper Scissors Rumble ($5) – A rare opportunity to watch LA’s funniest retro disco act under a bridge in downtown LA at rock paper scissors competition. Love him or hate him? I find Kennedy very entertaining. If this is too weird for you, he’s also playing the Key Club on Thursday. Download “Your Mama” (or even better, go to his page and watch the incredible video)
The Books @ Knitting Factory ($15) - I'm not that familiar with the Books although I've heard good things (if you like the melancholy side of indie electronica). You can listen to their records on their site. I did find a funny review of the last time they played the Knitting Factory HERE.
Future Pigeon @ the Echo (Free) – What are you doing on Sunday? A lot of clubs are closed, but not the Echo. See local punk-dub favorites, Future Pigeon, celebrate the release of their second album. You can listen to some selections at their Myspace page. Expect a lot of bloodshot eyes and Red Stripe. They’re also appearing at Sea Level Records on 4/22 at 4:00 PM.
Division Day / Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (Free) @ GroundZero Coffeehouse (USC) - Division Day are the nicest guys on the planet. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is playing for free at Spaceland on Monday and not for free at Tangier on Tuesday.
Download Division Day's "Tap-Tap, Click-Click"
Download SSLYBY's “House Fire”
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Album: Just Like the Fambly Cat
Release Date: 5/9/06
Other Grandaddy albums I recommend: The Sophtware Slump, Under the Western Freeway
Download: Click this link to be redirected to AOL to download "Jeez Louise"
I pretty much gave up on Modesto, CA's Grandaddy after their last album, Sumday. It sounded completely uninspired - like a set of mediocre b-sides for The Sophtware Slump. Fortunately, Just Like the Fambly Cat is a return to form (and quite possibly their best album yet). Most of the press for this album centers around the collapse of the band. If you read any of it you'll find out that Jason Lytle basically wrote and recorded this album alone (with the exception of Aaron Burtch on the drums). He also shaved his beard and checked himself into alcohol rehab for a bit.
Lyrically the album deals with loss, loneliness and feeling disconnected. Musically the album sounds like vintage Grandaddy - spacey at times, prominent keys, and occasional guitar blasts. Some of the standout tracks on the record are: "Jeez Louise," "Rear View Mirror," "Summer...It's Gone," "Elevate Myself" (which seems to cop from Cheap Trick's "She's Tight"), and "Disconnecty." You can listen to the first two tracks I mentioned at the band's site. There aren't any bad songs on the record (you'll probably skip the first track after hearing it a couple of times). My only (minor) complaint is that a few of the tracks could be tightened up a little. I highly recommend picking this one up.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Built to Spill You in Reverse (Warner Bros.) – There really aren’t any big surprises on the Boise, indie rockers’ sixth studio album. They still have the long songs, strong guitar playing and melancholy lyrics. Long time producer Phil Ek didn’t work on it, so some critics are picking up on a “rougher sound.” They’re appearing live at the Troubadour from 6/28-7/1. No free downloads, but you can listen to some tracks on the band’s site.
Things I Need to Hear
Future Pigeon The Echodelic Sounds of (Record Collection) – The second album from LA’s best punk-dub band. You might recognize some of the band from the Echo’s Dub Club and/or the band Wiskey Biscuit. And yes that is LA artist Ed Ruscha’s son in the band. They’re appearing live at the Echo on 4/16 and Sea Level Records on 4/22. You can hear some tracks at their MYSPACE page.
LL Cool J Todd Smith (Def Jam) – Tons of guest spots: J Lo, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Ginuwine and a bunch of others.
Mono You Are There (Temporary Residence) – Japanese band recorded this album with Steve Albini. Supposedly in the same realm as Sigur Ros and Mogwai. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/29. Download “The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain”
Other Noteworthy Releases
The Beatles The Capitol Albums Vol. 2 (Capitol) – Four disc collection of the American versions of the early albums (The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help and Rubber Soul) in both stereo and mono. It’s tempting to purchase, but unless you’re a completist it’s tough to justify.
The Black Angels Passover (Light In the Attic) – Austin, TX band. Appearing at the Troubadour on 6/23.
Download “Bloodhounds on My Trail”
Calexico Garden Ruin (Quarterstick) – Critics are giving it mixed reviews, with most saying it’s a more traditional sounding alt-country record this time around. Listen to Cruel HERE at their label’s site.
Crystal Skulls Outgoing Behavior (Suicide Squeeze) – Appearing at Spaceland on 5/11. Download “Baby Boy”
Eagles of Death Metal Death by Sexy (Downtown) – Trashy side project of Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age. Appearing live at Virgin Records (Hollywood & Highland) on 4/14 at 6:00PM. Download “I Want You So Hard”
Brian Eno and David Byrne My Life in the Bush of Ghosts [2006 Version] (Nonesuch) - Reissue of a rock critic favorite.
Gotan Project Lunatico (XL Recordings)
Jesu Silver (Hydrahead) – Some heavy shoegazer rock.
Ladytron Extended Play (Rykodisc) – Remixes and b-sides.
Lambchop The Decline and Fall of Country & Western Civilization: The Woodwind Years (Merge) – Non-album tracks.
Mecca Normal The Observer (Kill Rock Stars) – This is a concept album about online dating. Oh boy. Appearing at the Silverlake Lounge on 4/27. Download “I’ll Call You”
Moneen The Red Tree (Vagrant) – Music for kids.
Christopher O'Riley Home to Oblivion: An Elliott Smith Tribute by (World Village) – He did the classical treatment to Radiohead, now he’s doing it to Elliott Smith.
Parts & Labor Stay Afraid (Jagjaguwar) – Noise rock. Appearing live at the Echo on 4/28. Download “A Great Divide”
Pretty Girls Make Graves Elan Vital (Matador) – Appearing tonight at Amoeba at 6:00PM and the El Rey on 6/3. Download “The Nocturnal House”
Josh Ritter The Animal Years (V2) Singer-songwriter from Idaho who has become a big star in Ireland. For the KCRW crowd.Appearing live at the El Rey on 6/9. Download “Girl In the War”
Peter Walker Young Gravity (Dangerbird) – Local singer-songwriter who enlisted the help of Jim Fairchild and Aaron Espinosa on this album. Appearing live at Sea Level tonight at 8:00PM.
Download “What Do I Know”
Imaad Wasif Imaad Wasif (Kill Rock Stars) – He was in Alaska and Folk Implosion and lately he’s been touring with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and now he’s playing melancholy singer-songwriter stuff. Download “Out in the Black”
Wilderness Vessel States (Jagjaguwar) Appearing live at the Echo 4/28.
DVD Death Cab for Cutie Directions (original videos for each song from Plans album) (Atlantic)
DVD Mae Shi Lock the Skull, Load the Gun (Kill Rock Stars)
Monday, April 10, 2006
Zak Sally book signing @ Sea Level Records 7:00PM (Free) - Zak Sally was the bass player of Low. He's celebrating the third issue of Recidivist. Carla Bozulich will be playing. She recently released her own version of Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger. Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon had to cancel so don't go expecting him.
CANCELED Birdmonster @ Silverlake Lounge/Fold (Free) - A rock'n'roll band from San Francisco. They are loved by many bloggers. UPDATE - THIS SHOW DIDN'T HAPPEN. BLAME THE FOLD - HE'S THE ONE WHO ADVERTISED IT. SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION
Download "The Resurrection Song"
Robocop Kraus @ Spaceland (Free) - German post-punk revivalists who are signed to Epitaph records. Also playing Tuesday at Cinespace. I find that most of these bands don't really have any songs, but maybe these guys are different.
Download "All the Good Men"
Eleni Mandell @ Tangier ($7) - Singer-songwriter for the KCRW crowd. She doesn't offer any downloads, but does have some tracks you can hear on her site.
Pretty Girls Make Graves @ Amoeba 6:00PM (Free) - Seattle's PGMG play post-punk infused indie rock. They're celebrating the release of their third album. Also playing the El Rey on 6/3. Download "The Nocturnal House"
Peter Walker @ Sea Level Records 8:00PM (Free) - Local singer-songwriter and founder of Dangerbird Records celebrates the release of his second album. Download "What Do I Know" (probably the best song on the record)
Jamie Lidell @ Troubadour ($12) - Former laptop rocker and current blue eyed soul crooner. Beck and Elton John nominated him for the Pantheon Award, but it's really not my thing.
Eef Barzelay @ Largo - He's the lead singer of Clem Snide but he put out an album with just him and an acoustic. In the song below he sings from the perspective of a hip hop groupie. Download "Battle of Bitter Honey"
Space Mtn @ Temple Bar ($5) - Something for the West side. Space Mtn is a female fronted band that plays moody slightly spacey songs. You'll have to go to their site if you wanna hear samples.
Calexico @ Amoeba 7:00PM (Free) - The Tucson band celebrates the release of their fifth album. This time around they bring a more contemporary straight ahead rock-pop album.
You can hear a song HERE (sounds a little Ryan Adams?)
Chief Cornfoot's Corn Chowder Comedy Hour @ Sea Level 8:00PM (Free) - It's already become a very popular monthly event. Mary Lynn Rajskup of 24 and Mr. Show will be there amongst others.
Fruit Bats @ Troubadour ($12) - They released one of my top 10 albums last year. Fans of solid indie pop (similar to the Shins) should appreciate it. By the way, that picture of them in the LA Weekly is ancient (she's not even in the band anymore). Download "Lives of Crime"
The Parson Red Heads @ Lava Lounge - Oregon transplants play 1960's rock (Byrds) informed by 1990's indie rock.
The 88 @ Troubadour ($12) - The hardest working band in LA. Their song "Coming Home" is in a new Target commercial. Listen to some tracks HERE.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Artist: The Flaming Lips
Album: At War with the Mystics
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Recommended albums: The Soft Bulletin, Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, Clouds Taste Metallic, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Hit to Death in the Future Head
Every year some artist I really like disappoints me with their new album. Last year I felt that way about Beck and Mercury Rev (two artists linked to The Flaming Lips) and this year I feel that way about the new Flaming Lips' album. It's not a terrible record (please buy it and make up your own mind), but I just expect more....
Track 1 - A pretty good upbeat track. Unfortunately the lyrics come off like your dad lecturing you. "It's a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you want."
Track 2 - Wayne lectures another power monger/terrorist but this time in a falsetto. He insults the person by comparing them to Donald Trump. Otherwise the music is pretty good.
Track 3 - Wayne sympathizes with a depressed girl who's comparing herself to Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani. The mellow music isn't that interesting either.
Track 4 - Don't let the bastards get you down, Wayne is there for you. Another kinda boring track.
Track 5 - Imagine there's no heaven. Imagine there's no hell. Is it so bad? Another kinda boring track.
Track 6 - Kinda boring instrumental track with a slightly ominous Pink Floyd ending.
Track 7 - Kinda boring track. The stuff we can't see/understand can be scary. The first 3 1/2 mintues is real manic and the last 3 1/2 minutes slow way down (has he come to terms with it or has he decided that worrying is futile).
Track 8 - You heard this kinda boring track in a slightly different form on the Wedding Crashers soundtrack. "For everyone that dies, someone new is born."
Track 9 - An annoying track (my least favorite on the album). Like a bad, slow Daft Punk beat with Wayne lecturing you about your plastic surgery and wanting to punch you in the face.
Track 10 - This one's the first single and my favorite track. It's more rocking and a good combination of old and new Flaming Lips.
Track 11 - Steven sings lead on this one. It's a pretty good track about getting killed by a volcano. But without Wayne singing, it doesn't really sound like the Flaming Lips.
Track 12 - I like this one. It sounds a lot like the last two records.
Watch the Flaming Lips' "Bohemian Rhapsody" video HERE
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory @ Echo ($5) – Nobody is a DJ and beat maker and the Mystic Chords of Memory features Chris Gunst (main voice behind the Beachwood Sparks). They’ve collaborated on an album for Mush Records to be released on 4/25. The press release calls it psychedelic hip-hop and sunshine folk-rock, which seems like a pretty good description. Listen to a track HERE
Tristeza @ Spaceland ($10) – Instrumental rock band from San Diego. They’d probably make some great soundtrack music.
Bedroom Walls @ Tangier ($10) – Local “romanticore” band that’s getting ready to release their second album.
Download “Do the Buildings & Cops Make You Smile”
Boy Least Likely To / The Eames Era @ Spaceland ($10) - For the indie pop fans. I like The Boy Least Likely To, but the LA Weekly wrote some mean stuff about them. They're Brits who play (borderline) nauseatingly cute indie pop. I'm sure it's really hard for a jaded writer like Kate Sulllivan to enjoy it, but putting them in the same category as She Wants Revenge and Coldplay is just cruel. They totally cop a guitar line from Fred Neil, but most of the music sounds more like Beulah or Belle & Sebastian lite. The Eames Era is a favorite of many bloggers.
Listen to some Boy Least Likely To: HERE
Download The Eames Era’s “Go to Sleep”
Elbow @ Avalon ($18) - For the britpop fans.
Sondre Lerche @ Troubadour (SOLD OUT) - For the KCRW crowd. Critics don't seem to like this Norwegian singer/songwriter's new jazz-pop record as much as the jazz-less one before it. He's playing a second sold out show on Sunday night.
Mickey Champion @ the Living Room - From her Myspace page: "Mickey Champion has performed with greats such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Ray Charles, doubled for Little Esther and is the widow of bandleader Roy Milton." I've seen her a few times at Little Pedro's and it's so good. She's a tiny lady with a huge voice and she wanders through the crowd singing without a microphone. This is her birthday celebration.
Phil Ochs Tribute (Ariel Pink / Becky Stark) @ Smell ($5) - Phil Ochs wrote some great protest songs in his day. Teenage Fanclub did a great cover of his "Chords of Fame."
The Meeting Places @ Spaceland (FREE) - They just finished their new record. Their a local ban that plays lush, shoegazer-influenced music. Listen to some tracks HERE
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I just like this picture of Diamond Dave
I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Silversun Pickups last Sunday at Spaceland. Silversun Pickups played sitting down with ties on. It wasn't their normal rock show performance. Black Rebel Motorcycle also played sitting down with no drums and acoustic guitars. I realized I'm not that big of a BRMC fan. True fans probably loved it, while I found it pretty boring. I liked them better in their JAMC phase.
On Monday night I saw the New York Dolls at Spaceland. It was a packed house. They played the crowd pleasing old favorites ("Looking For a Kiss" and "Trash"), new songs (not that memorable), covers ("Piece of My Heart") and Sylvain did a tribute to Johnny Thunders ("You Can't Put Your Arms Round a Memory"). David Johansen still had plenty of Mick Jagger moves. That new guitarist was straight up Sunset Strip. I got a good laugh when he came out shirtless with his trimmed chest hair for the encore.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Flaming Lips At War with the Mystics (Warner Bros.) – It's not getting great reviews but I like the four songs I’ve heard. As much as I loved Bulletin and Yoshimi I'm glad they went in a different direction. Since I'm a fan of their last six albums, of course I’m buying it (and so should you). Appearing live at the Hollywood Bowl on July 23rd. There's also a new biography out today by Jim DeRogatis.
Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP – This is one of my favorite new bands. I love the first EP and I hear this one is even better. Appearing live at the Wiltern on 5/26.
Download “Mothers, Sisters, Daugthers & Wives”
Things I Need to Hear
Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors (Sanctuary) – I bet Morrissey smells really good. Can anybody confirm that? Produced by Tony Visconti with string arrangements by Ennio Morricone. I thought his last album was disappointing so I don’t have high hopes for this one. Apparently he lives in Rome and is no longer celibate. The lyrics on the new album allude to sex and real relationships.
Other Noteworthy Releases
The Concretes In Color (Astralwerks) – They’re a Swedish pop band but I don’t know anything else about them. Pitchfork liked their last record, but not this one. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/23.
Carl Cox Second Sign (Koch) – House music producer with guests Fatboy Slim, Roni Size, Josh Wink and more. I’m really not the right guy to judge this sort of thing.
Daft Punk Musique 1: 1993-2005 (Virgin) – Greatest hits collection from one of the most respected electronica groups.
Irving Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers (Eenie Meenie) – Recommended for traditional indie pop fans. This is the second release from the local band. I’ve listened to this one a few times now. Some of it sounds like Elephant 6 bands, some of it sounds like new dance rock bands and some of it sounds more influenced by early 1980s bands like the Cure. Appearing live at Spaceland on 5/7.
Islands Return to the Sea (Equator) – Recommended for fans of quirky indie pop. I wasn’t a big Unicorns fan, but this one sounds a little better. Appearing live at the El Rey on 5/5.
Shooter Jennings Electric Rodeo (Universal) – He’s the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. He plays country-rock but what I’ve heard is cheesy so I can't recommend it to anyone.
Jetpack UK The Art of Building a Moat EP (Heatstroke Records) – Recommended for power pop fans. The recent EP from this Nashville band finally gets national distribution. I'm a fan and think the track below is damn catchy.
Magneta Lane Dancing With Daggers (Paper Bag) – A Canadian female group that I know almost nothing about.
Massive Attack Collected (Virgin) - Probably cool if you don't have the studio albums. Two CDs featuring album tracks, rarities and new songs. The second disc is DualDisc and contains all the band's videos. Appearing live at Coachella on 4/30.
Mellowdrone Box (Red Ink) - I'm not a fan, but maybe you are? They're appearing live at Tower Sunset today at 6:30PM. The first 200 customers can buy the CD for $1.03.
Download "Fashionably Uninvited"
Pink I'm Not Dead (guests the Indigo Girls) (LaFace/Zomba) – She’s not?
Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime II (Rhino) - Has it already been 18 years since Operation: Mindcrime came out? Here's the sequel you've been waiting for (or not).
Rainer Maria Catastrophe Keeps Us Together (Grunion) – A female fronted band originally from Madison, WI and now from Brooklyn. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/3.
South Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars (Young American) – Appearing live at the Troubadour on 4/25. The Allmusic Guide compares the new record to Badly Drawn Boy and Doves. I haven’t heard it.
Mia Doi Todd Ninja: Amor & Other Dreams of Manzanita (Rmxs) (Plug Research) - Most people either think her voice is beautiful or they want to jam metal rods into their eardrums when they hear her music. Dntel, Dungen and Nobody handle the remixing duties here.
The Vines Vision Valley (Capitol) – I haven't heard it, but can't recommend it to anyone. Just listen to your old Nirvana records. He suffers from Asperberger’s syndrome. He probably shouldn’t have smoked all that weed.
Monday, April 03, 2006
That acoustic BRMC show last night at Spaceland was a letdown. I like them much better as a rock band.
New York Dolls @ Spaceland 9:00PM [$20] - They peaked before I was born, but there's still something exciting about seeing them in a 250 person capacity club. I watched that New York Doll documentary about Killer Kane (out tomorrow on DVD) this weekend to get psyched. It's worth renting.
Innaway @ Silverlake Lounge [FREE] - OC band influenced by classic rock and Radiohead.
Listen at Myspace
Sia @ Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - See what I said about them last Sunday
The Clean Prophets @ Viper Room [$7] - The band is comprised of guys that used to be in The Superbees, Sunstorm and BJM. Now they play catchy British inspired rock with a little Chameleons and Echo & the Bunnymen influence thrown in.
Download "Praise Is Poison"
Download "Man Transparent"
Two Gallants / Cold War Kids @ Troubadour [$10] - Saddle Creek recording artists, Two Gallants, kind of remind me of the Pogues. Cold War Kids are a local band with some good buzz at the moment.
Download Two Gallants' "Las Cruces Jail"
Download Cold War Kids' "Hospital Beds"
Andrew W.K. @ Knitting Factory [$8] - Wow. It's a "special" seated screening of some DVD he's putting out. He'll also play live. Hard to believe the demand exists, but if you miss it on Tuesday you can also catch him on Wednesday.
The Parson Red Heads @ Lava Lounge - We're starting to hear some nice things about these recent transplants from Oregon. They play the kind of 1960's rock with four-part harmonies, jangly guitars and tambourines. They're playing at the Lava Lounge every Wednesday in April.
Subtle / Jel / Fog @ Knitting Factory [$15] - Subtle and Jel are part of the anticon records crew. They perform experimental underground hip-hop with beats in odd time signatures.
Download Subtle's "F.K.O."
Gus Black / David Garza @ Largo - For the KCRW crowd. A couple of talented songwriters who write big songs. David Garza will be playing at Largo every Thursday in April.
Mike Stinson / Jonathan Wilson @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - I'm a fan of Mike Stinson's Gram Parsons-influenced country rock. Together, these are couple of the hardest gigging guys in LA right now.
Edith Frost @ Spaceland [$8] - Drag City recording artist who plays mellow, slightly country influenced music.