Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New Releases 2/28/06

It's a light week. Here are some noteworthy albums coming out this week.

None at this time

Things I Need To Hear
Rhett Miller The Believer (Verve) - Some Old 97's songs are great. I didn't think his last solo album was very inspired so I'll wait to hear some reviews from people I trust before picking this up. Appearing Thursday at Tower Sunset at 8:00PM for free and 3/29/06 at the Fonda.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Jessi Colter Out of the Ashes (Shout! Factory) - The late Waylon Jennings' wife and Shooter Jennings' mother. I'm a big fan of classic country, but I'll probably pass on this.

Elvis Costello and Metropole Orkest My Flame Turns Blue (Deutsche Grammophon) - Two disc collection from a July, 2005 concert at the Netherlands' North Sea Jazz Festival. It includes classic Costello songs, jazz covers and previously unreleased compositions.

Nine Black Alps Everything Is (Interscope) - Manchester band who played Spaceland last year when their album was import only. They sound a little post-grunge.

Ranaldo/Giffoni/Moore/Cline Four Guitars Live (Important) - Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore and Wilco's Nels Cline live in 2001. I can't imagine actually listening to this but maybe you're more adventurous than I am.
Download "Live at Luxx"

Tresspassers William Having (produced by Dave Fridmann) (Nettwerk) - A female lead singer who sounds a little like Aimee Mann with atmospheric melancholy music. For the KCRW/KEXP crowd.

Hank Williams III Straight to Hell (Curb) - Thankfully he's still more like his grandfather than his dad.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Live Music Options 2/27-3/2

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs @ Hotel Cafe on Wednesday
Monday 2/27/06
Future Pigeon @ The Fold/Silverlake Lounge [FREE] - LA's favorite punk-dub band is playing a lot this month. They opened for ESG on Friday and they're playing with Dengue Fever on Thursday. See them for free tonight.

The Adored @ Spaceland [FREE] - Local dance rock band on V2 Records. Nothing new but they might be fun to see for free. After this show they're heading off to England to tour with the Buzzcocks and then to SXSW.
Download "Tell Me Tell Me"
Download "TV Riot" (don't worry it's not a Black Flag cover)

Tuesday 2/28/06
The Bellrays @ Molly Malone's [$5] - Local soul-punk band puts on a great live show. They're heading to SXSW and putting out a new album on Cheap Lullaby records on May 2nd.

The Elected @ the Echo [$10] - Local band (and members of Rilo Kiley) on Sub Pop. They're prepping for a big tour with a stop at SXSW.
Download "Not Going Home"

Richard Swift @ Spaceland [$8] - Local singer-songwriter who records for Secretly Canadian. He's off to SXSW in mid-March as well.
Download "Lady Day"
Download "As I Go"

Wednesday 3/1/06
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs @ Hotel Cafe [?] - They did a cover album of great songs by many of my favorite artists including: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Who, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Zombies, The Mama’s And The Papas, The Left Banke, The Bee Gees, The Marmalade, Fairport Convention, Love, The Stone Poneys, and The Velvet Underground.

The Brokedown @ the Scene [$5] - Local band that plays rock with some country elements. They're off to SXSW in mid-March.
Download "Down In the Valley"
Download "Sparks"

Jel / Daedelus @ Knitting Factory [$8] - For the underground/electronic hip hop fans. Anticon Records' Jel is in some other bands including Themselves and 13 & God. His new record comes out tomorrow. Daedelus is a Plug Research/Ninja Tune guy.
Download Jel's "All Around"
Download Jel's "Nice Last"

Thursday 3/2/06
Rhett Miller @ Tower Sunset 8:00 PM [FREE] - The dreamy Old 97's lead singer has a new solo album out. He even covers Jon Brion on it.

The Little Ones / Sea Wolf @ the Echo [FREE] - The Little Ones seemed to pop up out of nowhere. They're local and they've got an upbeat indie rock sound (a little like Tapes'n'Tapes or Spinto Band). I haven't seen them yet but I heard they were pretty good at Spaceland a couple of weeks ago. Sea Wolf is the side project of Alex Church of the band Irving.
Download The Little Ones' "Lovers Who Uncover"
Download The Little Ones' "Cha Cha Cha"

Dengue Fever / Future Pigeon @ Fold/Tangier [$10] - A night of Cambodian psych rock and LA dub punk.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Los Angeles Bands at SXSW

Here's the first of many SXSW posts. SXSW runs from March 15-18 in Austin, Texas. They posted the schedules this week and here are when some noteworthy LA bands are playing:

The Bellrays - Saturday midnight @ Continental Club
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Friday midnight @ Bourbon Rocks
The Brokedown - Saturday midnight @ Molotov Lounge
Dengue Fever - Thursday 1:00AM @ Caribbean Lights
Earlimart - Thursday 9:00PM @ Buffalo Billiards
The Elected - Friday midnight @ Red Eyed Fly
Foreign Born - Saturday 8:00PM @ Red Eyed Fly
Giant Drag - Friday 8:30PM @ Emo's Jr
Gliss - Friday 11:00PM @ Spiro's
Irving - Wednesday TBD @ The Velvet Spade Patio
Lavender Diamond - Thursday 9:00PM @ Habana Calle 6
Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Thursday 11:30 PM @ Zero Degrees
Ariel Pink - Friday 8:35PM @ Fox and Hound
Silversun Pickups - Friday 9:00PM @ Spiro's
Richard Swift - Saturday 9:15PM @ Emo's Annex
The Tyde - Thursday 11:00PM @ Buffalo Billiard's

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Weekend Live Music Picks

Here's a look at this weekend's shows....

Friday 2/24/06
Robert Pollard @ Knitting Factory [$17.50] - For the indie rockers. I finally got the new record and it sounds just like Guided By Voices. 26 songs in 70 minutes. Some are gems and some you only want to hear once. He's joined onstage by Tommy Keene and Superchunk's drummer.
Download "Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" (one of the poppy upbeat songs off the album)

ESG / Future Pigeon @ the Echo [$23] - Late 70's Bronx legends shaped hip-hop, no wave and house music. I don't know if theses sisters still have it or not?

Burning Brides / Prodigal Sunn @ Spaceland - Hard rock and hip hop on the same bill? WTF?

Saturday 2/25/06
Arthur Ball @ the Echo [$22] - Joanna Newsom - I like a lot of folk music and honestly gave her a chance but her voice and that harp makes me want to kill. Brightblack Morning Light - Will Oldham approved hippies. OM - Drone metal. Pearls & Brass - Blues metal on Drag City. Colleen - French electronic/acoustic composer. A friend gave me this CD and I didn't get through it once. There's a bunch of others on the bill....

Minus 5 / Robyn Hitchcock @ Key Club [$18] - It would take more than this to get me to brave the Sunset Strip on a Saturday night.

The Wedding Present @ Troubadour [$15] - One of my friends told me that they filled the void for her after the Smiths broke up. Reunited C-86 era indie pop.

Mike Stinson @ Molly Malone's [$5] - My favorite local country performer.

Sunday 2/26/06
Arthur Ball @ the Echo [$22] - The 5:15ers - The first appearance of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and Chris Goss (Masters of Reality). As of three weeks ago they didn't have any songs and said Homme said it was "art fag" music. Lavender Diamond - Local band that's starting to get some national publicity. Town and Country - Chicago band on Thrill Jockey. Morris Tepper - Local guitarist with PJ Harvey on bass. There are others on the bill.....

Eleni Mandell @ Fold/Tangier [$10] - KCRW approved sultry singer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Saturday Night Rock - A Study In Contrasts

I had a live music filled evening last Saturday (2/18/06). My friend Bill and I got to the Echo about 7:30PM and The Drones from Australia were getting started. They are a rock band with sloppy vocals and lots of guitar solos. With the exception of about eight people, the crowd was sitting down on the side away from the stage. When the lead guitarist broke a string about 40 minutes into the set I assumed they were done since it was an early show, but I was wrong. He sat on the stage, changed a string and then they played "one" last song that sounded like three songs and included a very long guitar solo. Kelley Stoltz didn't take the stage until about 9:00PM. By this time about 75 people had arrived and attentively watched. The vocal mix was really bad on the first song and the sound guy never seemed to get it right. It was extremely loud and sounded like he had everything turned all the way up (not what you want for nuanced Beatles-inspired pop). About 15 minutes into his set, the band seemed really pressed for time and Stoltz started to complain that he had to make way for DJs later that night. They only played about eight songs and never got a chance to do my favorite song off of the new record. After about 30 minutes he said he didn't have time for any more and looked toward the soundbooth for guidance. At that point the houselights came up and I filed out of the club with the other annoyed patrons. I'm not sure if a big crowd showed up later or not but there was nobody in line when we left. Instead 75 patrons and an up-and-coming Sub Pop artist left pissed off. One of my friends at the show said the same thing happened the last time Okkervil River played the Echo and there were twice as many people at the show. The lead signer of Okkervil actually grabbed an acoustic and did an unamplified song at the edge of the stage.

We didn't end our evening there. In fact, we were in a sufficiently annoyed mood to really enjoy some metal. We showed up at Spaceland and it was packed. The entire crowd was up front and center for the Sword. Unfortunately we only heard about two songs, but what we heard sounded tight. Judging by how captivated the crowd was, I'd say they're worth checking out again. The crowd was definitely at capacity when Priestess took the stage. They were very tight and even had a long drum solo. I didn't like them as much as the Sword or Early Man, but they definitely entertained the crowd. By the time Early Man came on I think some people had seen enough metal. I saw them late last year at Spaceland and they were just ok. But this time they were so much better. They had a big stack of Orange amps and the lead singer was able to hit his Ozzy high notes. It was a great crowd, tight bands and everybody seemed to leave satisfied. By the way, my call whiskey drink of choice for the night was $7.50 at the Echo and only $6 at Spaceland. And the sound guy at Spaceland did a great job - you could hear every note of those Flying Vs.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Releases 2/21/06

It's another big week for new releases. Here are some of the more interesting bands or bands offering free downloads and/or appearing live locally in the coming months......


Things I Need to Hear
Arab Strap The Last Romance (Transdreamer) - Sad Scottish rock. Appearing live at the Knitting Factory on 3/23/06.

Ray Davies Other People's Lives (V2) - Since he's my favorite songwriter of all time I had to buy it. I've only listened to it once so far.

Elbow Leaders of the Free World (V2) - I've never given them a chance, but I hear they're good.

Lilys Everything Wrong Is Imaginary (Manifesto) - Mabye this will be better than their last album? I still love Better Can't Make Your Life Better and The 3-Way.

Other Notworthy Releases
Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino) - Young British guitar rock sensations. I saw them at Spaceland and thought they were OK. Appearing live at the Fonda on 3/15/06.

Eef Barzelay Bitter Honey (spinART) - Solo acoustic album from the lead singer of Clem Snide. Appearing live at Largo on 4/11/06. This free download sounds like smart-ass indie rock.
Download "Ballad of Bitter Honey"

Bloc Party Helicopter EP (single w/remixes) (Dim Mak) - They are really milking that record. They already put out a remix album and now this...

Destroyer Destroyer's Rubies (Merge) - Dan Bejar's songs on the New Pornographers' albums are some of my favorites. Since Destroyer is all Bejar, you'd think I'd really like it. However, it's all a little too dramatic. I do think this one is better than his last one. I probably need to hear it a few more times before filing it away forever.

Dilated Peoples 20/20 (Capitol) - Backpack hiphop. I have a couple of their records and find them dull. Live at the House of Blues on 2/22/06.

Eels with Strings: Live at Town Hall (Vagrant) - I'm not a fan but maybe you are?

Ex-Boyfriends Dear John (Absolutely Kosher) - Appearing live at the Serious Store on 3/12/06 and later at the 3 Clubs. Gay pop/punk band from San Francisco.
Download "Him For Me"

B. Fleischmann The Humbucking Coil (Morr Music) Supposedly more organic elements added to the electronic (whatever that means).

Hell Is for Heroes Transmit Disrupt (Epitaph) - Sounds like standard British emo. This isn't for me.
Download "Kamichi"

The Howling Hex 1-2-3 (Drag City) - Neil Michael Hagerty's band.

The Lashes Get It (Columbia) - I saw them at Spaceland last month. A little like the Strokes mixed with Hot Hot Heat. They're doing the free Monday night residency at Spaceland in March.

The M's Future Women (Polyvinyl) - I saw them open for Archer Prewitt last week. Not bad but not particularly memorable either.

Maximo Park Missing Songs (b-sides and rarities compilation) (Warp) - How do you release a rarities compilation after one album?

Metal Hearts Socialize (Suicide Squeeze) - Young kids. Their label is comparing them to Modest Mouse, Arab Strap and Cat Power. Judge for yourself...
Download "Socialize"

Polysics Now Is the Time! (Tofu) - Japanese noise rock. Appearing live at Knitting Factory on 3/7/06.

Robocop Kraus They Think They Are the Robocop Kraus (Epitaph) - German post-punk band. This isn't for me.
Download "All the Good Men"

The Slackers Peculiar (Epitaph) Veteran ska reggae band. Appearing live at the Troubadour May 5th and 6th.
Download "The Mayo"

They Shoot Horses Don't They Boo Hoo Hoo Boo (Kill Rock Stars) - Appearing live at the Smell on 3/11/06. This isn't for me.
Download "Emptyhead"

Two Gallants what the toll tells (Saddle Creek) - San Francisco duo appearing live at the Troubadour on 4/4/06. Folky blues rock.
Download "Las Cruces Jail"
Download "Waves of Grain"

Live Music Options 2/21-2/23

Rogue Wave in the picture - Wednesday at the Fonda.

Tuesday 2/21/06
Les Savy Fav / The Hold Steady / Thunderbirds Are Now! / Swearing at Motorists @ the Avalon [$17] - For the indie rockers. Les Savy Fav play Fugazi-like rock. I've heard they're great live. Pitchfork gave the Hold Steady's last album a huge 8.7/10. I don't like the two tracks I downloaded. Thunderbirds Are Now! play the dancey post-punk that still seems popular. I'd go to see Les Savy Fav.
Download The Hold Steady's "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"

Cheap Trick @ House of Blues [$33.50] - For the power poppers. I doubt I could justify paying $40 (with service charges), $10 parking and $10 drinks to see a band 25 years past their peak but those first five albums are great.

Wednesday 2/22/06
Rogue Wave / The King of France / Nada Surf @ the Fonda [SOLD OUT] - For the indie rockers. I'm a big Rogue Wave fan (search previous posts). I like the King of France (read previous posts). I've always avoided Nada Surf but I hear I should give them a chance. If I hadn't seen Rogue Wave and The King of France within the last few months I'd definitely go.
Download Rogue Wave's "10:1"
Download Rogue Wave's "Publish My Love"

Supergrass @ Avalon [$25] - For the britpop fans. I had to get their greatest hits compilation to get into them, but now I really like them. I recommend it if you ignored them like I did. I've never seen them live, but I've heard they're well worth checking out.

Thursday 2/23/06
Dengue Fever @ Tangier [$10] - Psychedelic Cambodian rock isn't for everybody, but if you're open to it I highly recommend Dengue Fever. They're finally starting to find a broader audience outside of LA.

Peter Walker @ Spaceland [$5] He's a singer-songwriter and his album will be released April 11th on local label Dangerbird Records. Members of Earlimart and Grandaddy played on his album.

Mice Parade @ the Echo [$8] - For the post-rock indie electronica fans. I tend to find it a little boring, but I know there are a lot of fans out there.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Album Review: Band of Horses

Name: Band of Horses
Album: Everything All the Time
Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: 3/21/06
Local Appearance: 3/22/06 @ King King w/ Earlimart

Highly Recommended Seattle's Band of Horses play reverb drenched melancholy rural indie rock. The two main guys used to be in a band called Carissa's Weird that I never heard. I got an advance of this about a month ago and my girlfriend predicted I'd be sick of it in a week. She was wrong, because I'm still enjoying it almost daily. She also thinks the lead singer sounds like Jon Anderson of Yes. He does have a falsetto but I'd peg it somewhere between James Mercer of the Shins and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. Sub Pop's publicist calls his voice a blend of Wayne Coyne, Doug Martsch and Brian Wilson. I don't have the lyrics and they're hard to understand. They've toured with Iron & Wine and Okkervil River and if you like those bands you might like them.

1. The First Song - Something about snow, Christmas, overcoats and not knowing anyone. Very good song.
2. Wicked Gil - download demo version - The demo doesn't do the final version justice, but it's all they've made available. Something about evil people and "why do I even care?" Another very good song.
3. Our Swords - Falling on our own swords tonight. Good song.
4. The Funeral - download demo version I gave you links so you can compare the demo to the final version. This is probably my favorite track on the record and the most rocking. Something about holding you down and funerals.
5. Part One - They're not rocking as hard on this one. Road weary love song. Good.
6. The Great Salt Lake - Another candidate for best song. "There's country music playing but he don't like it at all." "If you find yourself falling apart."
7. Weed Party - Another really good one. Parents aren't enforcing the law.
8. I Go To The Barn Because I Like The - Mellow track. I'll wait outside for you in a worn out suit and tie. Really good track.
9. Monsters - Gentle plucked banjo. "Awful people they surround you." They're just like monsters who come to feed on us. Another really good track.
10. St. Augustine - Mellow acoustic track. Good track.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

Archer Prewitt was a bit of a snoozer last night at Spaceland. Here's a little advance warning for the weekend shows. That's Kelley Stoltz in the photo....

Friday 2/17/06
Patrick Park @ Hotel Cafe - He's a talented local singer-songwriter. His last album would have been better with just voice and guitar instead of some of those arrangements.
Download "Life Is a Song"

Ralph Stanley @ Royce Hall [$35-45] - Gospel/bluegrass/country legend who you remember from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Aceyalone / RJD2 @ Amoeba 6:00 PM [FREE] - Chance to see him for free before his El Rey show.

Aceylalone /RJD2 @ El Rey [$20] - Backpack hip-hop

Saturday 2/18/06
Kelley Stoltz / The Drones @ the Echo 6:00 PM [$8/$10 dos] - This is my pick for the weekend. I'm really enjoying the Kelley Stoltz record right now. If you like the idea of a poppier Smog then you'll probably like it too. He got a great four star review in Mojo Magazine this month. Early show. I heard Stoltz goes on at 8:00PM sharp with the Drones before him.
Download Kelley Stoltz's "The Sun Comes Through"
Download The Drones' "The Down Bound Train (live)"

Early Man / The Sword / Priestess @ Spaceland [$10] - A night of metal bands who worship Judas Priest. I saw Early Man a couple of months ago and they were pretty good if you're into that sorta thing.
Download Early Man's "Death Is the Answer"

Saint Etienne @ Avalon [$21.50] - For the indie electronic fans. I've never been a fan, but I know a lot of people who are.

Sunday 2/19/06
GoGoGo Airheart @ the Echo [FREE] - San Diego band on the GSL label. Kicking off their tour...
Download GoGoGo Airheart's "So Good"

Rademacher @ Spaceland [FREE] - This will be a little mellower night of rock than the Echo and it's free too.
Download Rademacher's "Playing For Fun"

Live Review: Jeff Tweedy

Artist: Jeff Tweedy / Nels Cline opened the show
Venue: Henry Fonda Theater
Date: 2/13/06

Jeff Tweedy put on a really engaging show at the Henry Fonda. He told really amusing anecdotes (about a snobby record clerk at Amoeba San Francisco and about his son). With a couple of exceptions, the crowd was incredibly respectful. One uber-dork in front of me (as he stroked his girlfriend's hair like Lenny from Of Mice and Men) kept shouting song requests. The most annoying request he made was "the vaseline song" - apparently a reference to "She Don's Use Jelly" by the Flaming Lips. Tweedy was in the middle of talking about his son and got really confused. I will admit that I got tired towards the end. After a really long day of work and dealing with LA traffic, standing on your feet for two hours listening to an acoustic guitar can get old (even as great as Tweedy was). He was careful not to repeat too many songs from the night before, which made me feel a little robbed since he played some of my favorite songs the night before. As you can see from the setlist below he drew from his entire career and played some obscurities. Other than my minor complaints it was a great show.

1. Spiders (Kidsmoke) A Ghost is Born
2. She's A Jar - Summerteeth
3. Pieholden Suite - Summerteeth
4. I'm Always In Love - Summerteeth
5. Lost Love - Golden Smog's Weird Tales
6. Someone Else's Song - Being There
7. Wait Up - Uncle Tupelo's March 16-20, 1992
8. Forget The Flowers - Being There
9. Pick Up The Change - A.M.
10. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
11. The Ruling Class
12. new song (Is That The Thanks I Get?)
Encore 1
13. Theologians - A Ghost Is Born
14. A Shot In The Arm - Summerteeth
15. Bob Dylan's 49th Beard
16. Dash 7 (with Nels Cline on dobro) - A.M.
17. In A Future Age (with Nels Cline on dobro) - Summerteeth
18. Cars Can't Escape (with Nels on lap steel and Glenn Kotche on drums)
19. The Late Greats (with Nels on lap steel and Glenn Kotche on drums) - A Ghost Is Born
20. Airline To Heaven (with Nels on lap steel and Glenn Kotche on drums) - Mermaid Avenue Volume 2
Encore 2
21. Blasting Fonda - Feeling Minnesota s/t
22. Passenger Side - A.M.
23. When The Roses Bloom Again (with Nels on lap steel and Glenn Kotche on drums) - Chelsea Walls s/t
24. War On War (with Nels on lap steel and Glenn Kotche on drums) - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
25. I'm The Man Who Loves You - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
26. New Madrid (performed at edge of stage, without PA system) - Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Releases 2/14/06

None at the moment

Things I Need To Hear
New Radiant Storm King The Steady Hand (Darla) - Veteran indie rock band features Peyton Pinkerton (Pernice Bros., Silver Jews) and Matt Hunter (J Mascis and the Fog, Silver Jews).
Download "The Winding Staircase"

VA I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey (Vanguard) The influential master of the acoustic guitar gets the tribute treatment. Produced by M. Ward with Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, Calexico, Devendra Banhart, Fruit Bats, Sufjan Stevens and more. I'm not sure all of these guys have the chops to pull it off.

Other Noteworthy Releases
AIDS Wolf The Lovvers LP (Lovepump United) - Discordant noise rock guaranteed to give anybody over 21 a headache.
Download "We Multiply"

La Rocca Sing Song Sung EP (Dangerbird) - They're an Irish band on a Silver Lake label with an EP produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Belle & Sebastian, The Thrills). They're clearly produced by Bruce Springsteen and even namecheck him in a song. The music's a little generic. Playing live at Spaceland on 2/16.

Magnet The Tourniquet (Filter) - I mistakenly had this in my list last week. Domestic release of Jason Faulkner produced pop from Norway. Appearing live at the Troubador on 3/7/06.
Download "Hold On"

Matchbook Romance Voices (Epitaph) Post-hardcore/emo-esque. Playing live at the House of Blues on 3/23/06.

Sergio Mendes Timeless (Concord/Starbucks Hear Music) - The best selling Brazilian artist of all time returns. Produced by Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas and featuring artists: Erykah Badu, Justin Timberlake, India.Arie, Q-Tip, John Legend, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, and members of the Roots and Jurassic 5. Appearing live at the Hollywood Bowl on 6/25/06.

Rocket Girls with Candy Hearts EP (Teenacide) - Local all girl candypunk band. Appearing live at Amoeba on 2/16/06 at 7:00PM.

Sing-Sing Sing-Sing & I (Aerial) - Dream pop band featuring Emma Anderson (lead singer/guitarist) of Lush.

The Subways Young for Eternity (Sire) - London teenagers with a huge publicity budget. I couldn't make it all the way throught the record. They kind of sound like this year's Vines to me. They're playing the Troubadour on 3/23/06.
Download "Rock'n'Roll Queen"

The Sword Age of Winters (Kemado/Hollywood) - Austin, TX metal band. Appearing live at Spaceland on 2/18/06.
Download "Winter's Wolves"

The Veronicas The Secret Life of (Sire) - Bad packaged pop featuring 20 year-old Australian twin sisters who sing about wanting to sleep with you.

John Fahey The Yellow Princess (Vanguard) - Impress the music snobs in your life by telling them you're listening to this. 1968 album w/three bonus tracks and new liner notes reissued to coincide with the tribute album (see above).

Live Music Picks 2/13-2/16

Monday 2/13/06
Jeff Tweedy @ The Fonda [SOLD OUT] - I can't wait to see him tonight. He's playing long sets with songs from throughout his career (Uncle Tupelo, Golden Smog and Wilco), new stuff and some covers.

Wolfmother / The Willowz @ Spaceland [FREE] - If I wasn't going to Tweedy, I would go sort through the Wolfmother hype. One of the big buzz bands at SXSW last year, they play Black Sabbath/Blue Cheer influenced rock that occasionally veers into prog. I just got their full length (out on Interscope in May) but haven't listened to it yet. Two of the songs on the EP are pretty rockin' while two border on Darkness-like parody (see "Love Train"). Also at Amoeba (7:00PM) and Cinespace (10:00PM) tomorrow.

Future Pigeon @ Silverlake Lounge [FREE] - LA's best punk/dub band.

The Shore @ Tangier [$5/$10 before 9p] - Local band influenced by the Verve/Oasis and Scott Walker.

Tuesday 2/14/06
Dntel's GIVE UP night @ the Echo [$7] - Dntel is Jimmy Tamborello (and the reason Postal Service sold more albums than Death Cab For Cutie). He's doing one 15-20 minute sad song with the help of friends and then there will be a lot of sad music from DJs.

Wolfmother @ Amoeba Music 7:00PM [FREE] - Free, but probably not the full experience.

Wolfmother @ Cinespace [$5] - Is seeing Wolfmother worth going to Cinespace on Valentine's Day? You'll have to decide for yourself.

Wednesday 2/15/06
Archer Prewitt / The M's @ Spaceland [$10] - Guitarist for the Sea and Cake and the Coctails does his folk/pop solo material. I've got his first and third solo records and they're pleasant. The M's are also from Chicago. Their press materials compare them to the Kinks and T. Rex.

Thursday 2/16/06
Rocket @ Amoeba 7:00PM [FREE] - Record release party for all girl pop band from the mind of Teenacide Records' impresario, Jim Freek.

Dengue Fever @ Tangier [$10] - LA's best psychedelic Cambodian rock band.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Album Review: Hudson Bell

Artist: Hudson Bell
Album: When the Sun Is the Moon
Previous Albums: Under Boxes and Dirt and Captain of the Old Girls
Label: Monitor Records
Release Date: 10/11/05
Hometown: San Francisco
Los Angeles area live apperances: 3/3/06 Tangier and 3/4/06 @ Sea Level Records 3:00PM

Highly recommended. I slept on this when it came out last year. Then I heard a track on one of those internet radio stations and it immediately caught my ear. Bell has a slow singing style with a slight drawl and it doesn't sound like he opens his mouth very much when he sings. The few reviews I've read compare his voice to Stephen Malkmus (pretty fair comparison). The guitars are thickly layered with lots of fuzz. The press materials compare him to Doug Martsch (fair comparison as is J Mascis) and Neil Young. The lyrics are sensitive and often heartbroken with some nice metaphors.

1. Slow Burn - My favorite track, but be patient because it doesn't kick in for two minutes. "Need a drink when you're feeling like a loaded gun." Love is a slow burn.
2. Atlantis Nights - Download this one. It's representative of how the rest of the album sounds. "How did it come to this? I can't let you go."
3. Falls - Layered acoustic guitar with nature imagery in the lyrics. "When the sun becomes the moon."
4. Seven Cities - Back to the layered fuzz guitars. Early settler metaphors and "we're on a road to joy."
5. Midnight Year - You need another one to save you from the day. Church bell breakdown at the three minute mark, nature sounds, harmonica and then the guitar comes back.
6. Strange Lands - My second favorite track. "It felt so good to be alive when you were right there by my side." "I'm standing on the roof thinking about getting high. Maybe I don't know what love is but at least I gave it a try."
7. Sea Horse - Another seven minute track. "I can see your face in the sky."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Weekend Live Music Picks

A little something for everybody this weekend.

Friday 2/10/06
The Autumn Defense @ Tangier [$10] - The Autumn Defense is John Stirratt (bass player in Wilco) and Pat Sansone's band. I saw them at Largo a few years ago. They mostly play mellow folk-pop. Jeff Tweedy plays San Francisco on Thursday and San Diego on Saturday. Any chance he'll drop by on his only day off?

Bob Mould @ Troubadour [$15] - I've seen Mould play some amazing shows (particularly when he was with Sugar). I also saw him play one really boring show (acoustic at the El Rey). If you're lucky he'll play stuff from Husker Du, Sugar and his solo career.

Dalek @ Knitting Factory [$20] - Well respected experimental underground hip hop.

Ariel Pink @ the Echo [$8] - Freaky lo-fi hippie.

Saturday 2/11/06
Early Dolphin @ Sea Level Records 4:00 PM [FREE] - Local psych-pop band. It's free.
Download "Go Where You Want to Go"

Stars / The Elected @ Avalon [$20] - At times the music sounds too much like the Postal Service, but I liked the Stars' most recent album (and I honestly don't like that many female fronted rock bands). Too bad it's so expensive and I hate the Avalon.

Mason Jennings / Chad VanGaalen @ Troubadour [SOLD OUT] - Mason Jennings is a singer-songwriter who recently got signed to Isaac Brock's (Modest Mouse) label. The thing with singer-songwriters is you have to like their voice. Apparently other people do, because he sold out the Troubador. Chad VanGaalen is a singer-songwriter signed to Sub Pop. The thing about singer-songwriters is you have to like their voice [I'll stop now].
Download Chad VanGaalen's "Clinically Dead"

Sunday 2/12/06
Jeff Tweedy / Glenn Kotche @ The Fonda [SOLD OUT] - I'll be at the Monday night show with Nels Cline opening.

Mike Stinson @ Molly Malone's [$5] - LA's best local country artist.

The Clean Prophets @ Boardner's [$5] - Relatively new local band with a growing fanbase.

Army Navy @ the Echo 5:00PM [FREE for 21+] - Army Navy's music has been all over those teen shows that people in their thirties watch. They're working on a new album with Steve McDonald of Redd Kross.

Magic Bullets @ the Echo 10:00PM [FREE] - San Francisco band that loves the Clean, C86 bands, the Clientele and the Wedding Present.

Eleni Mandell @ Tangier [$10] - She continues her Sunday night residency for the NPR crowd.

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Releases 2/7/06

Finally a few things I can get excited about.....that's the Ladies up above.

Belle & Sebastian The Life Pursuit (Matador) - Check the archives for last week's review. Pitchfork gave it an 8.5. There's also a deluxe edition with a DVD with six songs recorded at the BBC. Catch them live at the Wiltern on 3/18 or 3/19.
Download "Another Sunny Day"
The Ladies They Mean Us (Temporary Residence Ltd.) - The Ladies are Rob Crow (lead singer/guitarist of Pinback) and Zach Hill (drummer of Hella). Some have said it's the best of both worlds (indie rock colliding with noise-rock). I'm a big Pinback fan and I like it, but you have to be open to noise rock or you probably won't like it. Limited edition colored vinyl edition available only from the label website. Live at Spaceland on 3/8/06.
Download "Empathy On a Stick"
Kelley Stoltz Below the Branches (Sub Pop) - Check the archives for my review two weeks ago. Nice melancholy pop. Catch him live at the Echo on 2/18/06.
Download "The Sun Comes Through"

Things I Haven't Heard:
Jason Collett Idols of Exile (Arts & Crafts) - He's part of the Broken Social Scene/Arts & Crafts family and most of them guest on this record. His first album was pleasant but I never get the urge to listen to it so I'm apprehensive. You can stream it from his website. He really rips off the Stones' "Wild Horses" on "We All Lose One Another." Did he give them credit?
Mastodon Call of the Mastodon(Relapse) - For metal fans only. This is an issue of the first time they ever went into the studio.
Beth Orton Comfort of Strangers (Astralwerks) - I've got a lot of respect for her, but I've never really listened to her. She's playing live at the Avalon on 3/24.
VA To: Elliott From: Portland (Expunged) - A few big names covering Elliott Smith (Decembrists, Helio Sequence, Eric Matthews, Thermals). Also features Sean Croghan doing an unreleased track, "High Times."

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Aceyalone Magnificent City (produced by RJD2) (Project Blowed/Decon) - LA rapper teams up with producer RJD2.
Magnet The Tourniquet (Filter) - Domestic release of Norwegian singer Even Johansen's second album. It's anthemic, atmospheric pop music produced by Jason Faulkner that would fit well on KCRW. He's appearing live at the Troubadour on 3/7/06 and 3/14/06 at Hotel Cafe.
Minus 5 Minus 5 (w/members of R.E.M., Wilco, the Decemberists, John Wesley Harding and more) (Yep Roc) - Seventh album from Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey. Playing live at the Key Club on 2/25/06.
Download "Twilight Distillery"
Oceansize Everyone Into Position (Beggars Banquet) - Domestic release of British band.
Prefuse 73 Security Screenings (guests Four Tet and members of TV on the Radio) (Warp) - Pitchfork gave it a 6.9 and liked the guest tracks the best.
Swearing at Motorists Last Night Becomes This Morning (Secretly Canadian) - Playing live at the Avalon on 2/21/06. I honestly just don't know anything about them.
Telepathe Farewell Forest EP (The Social Registry) - ?
KT Tunstall Eye to Telescope (Virgin) - KCRW music

(formerly Manitoba) Start Breaking My Heart and Up in Flames (Domino) - I'm guessing they just reissued these as Caribou instead of Manitoba.
Ray Davies The Storyteller (ICE #227) (EMI/Koch) - Apparently this went out of print. I have the original release and I saw him twice on the tour. He's my favorite songwriter of all time, so of course I think it's worth picking up if you have the relevant Kinks albums (Village Green, Arthur, Muswell Hillbillies, Face to Face, etc.)...
Gastr del Sol Harp Factory on Lake Street (Table of the Elements) - Reissue of 1994 album featuring members of Tortoise, Sea And Cake, Shellac, Dazzling Killmen, Brise Glace, and The Vandermark 5.

Live Music Options

I only made it out once last week, to see Tom Heinl at Spaceland. He played about 30 minutes and he was funny but has no business headlining a rock club. There were about seven people there on a Wednesday night. He'd be better as an opening act for an alt comedian like David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Eugen Mirman or something like that. How 'bout that Super Bowl? The refs were so bad.

Monday 2/6/06
Future Pigeon / Maktwain @ Silverlake Lounge [FREE] - LA's most popular dub band is back after splitting the free residency with their alterego Wiskey Biscuit last month at the Echo. They've got a 7" coming out on Record Collection on 2/28/06 and a full-length to follow in March. Maktwain is a local post-rock instrumental keyboard guitar band.
Download Maktwain's "Studies in Road Travel"

The Willowz / The Little Ones @ Spaceland [FREE] - What do I know about The Willowz? They're young, garage rock-inspired and hail from behind the Orange curtain. They record for Sympathy for the Record Industry. Placed #46 on Rolling Stone's list of top 50 albums last year. Michel Gondry is a fan and directed one of their videos. Keith Morris guested on their record. They're playing for free at Spaceland every Monday night in February. If you're only going to see them once wait until next week when Wolfmother supports. The Little Ones are a local indie pop band.
Download The Little Ones' "Lovers Who Uncover"

Listing Ship @ the Echo [FREE] - They've got a violin, viola, vibraphone and acoustic bass. Members have toured with the Eels and Arthur Lee and they've opened for Low. Kind of a melancholy indie folk sound. The LA Weekly thinks you should check it out.
Download the Listing Ship's "Ichabod Crane"

Tuesday 2/7/06
Becky @ Spaceland [?] -Becky are a local band that Keanu Reeves used to be in. I think a lot of girls check out the band hoping Keanu will be there. They're playing Spaceland every Tuesday in February. I'm not endorsing them, I just thought you should know....

Wednesday 2/8/06
Chief Corn Foot's Corn Chowder Comedy Hour @ Sea Level Records 8:30PM [FREE] - Joe Rogan, Morgan Murphy, Eddie Pepitone, Josh Fadem. With free beer too!

Mae Shi @ Troubadour [$8] - In your face abrasive rock'n'roll. For fans of 400 Blows and other noise rock.
Download Mae Shi's "Born For a Short Time"

The Living Blue / Light FM @ Spaceland [?] - The Living Blue sounds like a generic alt band. They're on Minty Fresh and they've been championed by Alternative Press. Light FM is a Chicago band that gets compared to Grandaddy & the Cars.

The Brokedown @ Silverlake Lounge [$7] - They're a local indie pop band that Harp Magazine compared to Matthew Sweet, Coldplay, the Church, Fountains of Wayne and Old 97s.
Download The Brokedown's "Down in the Valley"

Foreign Born @ 3 of Clubs (1123 Vine St., Hollywood) - Atmospheric music that's currently getting the blogosphere's attention. They're playing every Wednesday at the 3 of Clubs in February. They're also playing for free on Thursday at the Echo.
Download Foreign Born's "We Had Pleasure"

Thursday 2/9/06
Sabrosa Purr / Jeff Hanson @ Spaceland [?] - Sabrosa Purr is playing every Thursday in February. They've got an angsty guitar sound. Jeff Hanson is a singer-songwriter with one of the highest falsettos you'll ever hear (at least from a man). He sounds a lot like an affected Elliott Smith (doubletracked vocals and acoustic guitar) and he's even on Kill Rock Stars.
Download Jeff Hanson's "Hiding Behind the Moon"
Download Jeff Hanson's "Just Like Me"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weekend Live Music Picks

A great chance to see some of the biggest local bands this weekend. That's Silversun Pickups not looking at the camera in the photo.

Friday 2/3/06
Dead Meadow / Silversun Pickups / The Clean Prophets @ Troubadour [$12] - Dead Meadow's a neo-pyschedelic band with the occasional Sabbath riff. They're on Matador Records. Silversun Pickups are one of the most popular local bands. Angst-ridden lyrics and crunchy guitar sounds. They're on Dangerbird Records and currently finishing up their full lengh record. The Clean Prophets are another local band who just finished their record and are starting to get some good buzz (including an LA Times notice this week). There's a little bit of Echo & the Bunnymen & Chamelons in their sound.
Download Dead Meadow's "At Her Open Door"
Download The Clean Prophets' "Tambourine Crown"

Sea Wolf/ The Good Listeners @ El Cid [$5] - Sea Wolf is part of the Ship Collective of local artists (along with two other bands playing this weekend: Silversun Pickups andIrving). They're more of a melancholy indie band. The Good Listeners are a local band that recently popped onto my radar but I still haven't seen them.

The 88 @ Spaceland [Advance tickets sold out so get there early] - Local band. I've reviewed their album and written about them before. They're starting to get more national exposure. The All Music Guide throws around the Knack, Squeeze and Jellyfish in describing their sound.

Saturday 2/4/06
The Charlatans UK / Mellowdrone @ Little Radio Warehouse (1218 Long Beach Ave./LA, CA) [$12]- Tickets for this show go on sale at Sea Level Records on Saturday at noon. Support your local record store while you're there (RIP Aron's and Rhino Westwood). It's the Charlatans first show in a long time and they're filming a video. Hard to believe their first album came out in 1990. I really liked "The Only One I Know."

Of Montreal / Irving @ Ex_Plex [Sold Out] - Of Montreal was never my favorite member of the Elephant 6 collective but they're one of the only survivors and seem to just keep getting bigger. Irving's a local indie pop band with a new album coming out on Eenie Meenie on April 4th.
Download Irving's "I Can't Fall in Love"
Download Of Montreal's cover of the Shins' "Know Your Onion"

Sunday 2/5/06
Eleni Mandell @ Tangier [$10] - For the KCRW people. She's a local artist with a smooth adult sound. She'll be doing it every Sunday night in February.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Album Review: Kelley Stoltz

Artist: Kelley Stoltz
Album: Below the Branches
Release Date: February 7, 2006
Label: Sub Pop
Previous Releases: The Past Was Faster, Antique Glow, The Sun Comes Through EP
Home: San Francisco
Local live appearances: The Echo 2/18/06 @ 7:00PM w/ the Drones [$8]

You've got to be in the right mood for this one but it's definitely interesting enough to recommend. Listen to the two free downloads. They're two of the standout tracks so if you don't like them you probably won't like the rest of the album. It's skewed pop music with a 70's feel (some psych and folk elements). Almost every song is about relationships and uses a lot of nature imagery in the lyrics. I don't have copies of the lyrics, so excuse me if I misquote. 13 mostly melancholy songs in under 40 minutes.

1. Wave Goodbye - "Find a thing that makes you happy" and move on. Good piano driven song with some boogie to it.
2. Little Lords - A slower melancholy acoustic guitar driven track. "When will the sunshine pass this way again?"
3. Ever Thought of Coming Back - Jesus Christ if you ever thought of coming back now is the time. Upbeat with high harmonies and a solid bass line.
4. Words - Slow melancholy song with nice production. "To love you is the highest high."
5. Mystery - Very slow song. "I'm free for you now."
6. Summer's Easy Feeling - Another slow one. "I just touch my heart and find you there."
7. Memory Collector - Another more upbeat piano song. Nice childhood memories. Standout track (Sub Pop wisely chose it as a free download).
8. Birdies Singing - Another strong track. Birds chirping in the background, la-las and a lighter vibe.
9. The Rabbit Hugged the Hound - Sounds a little like an upbeat Smog song. You've gotta get out there and take some chances to really live/love.
10. The Sun Comes Through - Another standout track. The sun comes through the window and it's alright. Watch out for that fake fadeout towards the end because there's 90 seconds left.
11. Winter Girl - Mid-tempo. Is that a snowflake or a tear on your cheek?
12. Prank Calls - Prank calls coming from "some old lover who ain't getting none." Our love's cheaper than the price of gasoline. Piano driven.
13. No World like the World - "Sometimes your life seems too long." A downer to end the record.