Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Little Ones / Kelley Stoltz

The last real show I went to was the Kelley Stoltz / The Little Ones / Irving show at the Echo on 5/19. I've been busy going out of town, resting up, going to barbeques and seeing XMen 3. By the way, The Little Ones are blowing up. They may have been the biggest draw that night (they definitely had the most people paying watching their set). By the way, why do so many LA promoters insist on booking four bands on most bills? I can understand wanting to get a lot of people out, but it's just too much. Very few people (including huge music fans like myself) have the patience to sit through four bands. It came into play again at the Echo with Kelley Stoltz's set. Apparently the first band (Kind Hearts and Coronets) went on late and played late. I've got nothing against those guys, but they play all the time and I'd just seen them. On that night I was there to see the other three bands. The Little Ones went on around 10:30. They were even better than the first time I saw them at the Echo. A friend who writes for a major LA newspaper thought they sounded better at their record release show, but I missed that one. Maybe my greater familiarity with their music enhanced this show? They've got a chance to blow up in a pretty big way. They just played their first show outside of LA (in San Francisco) and they'll be in New York on July 1st (the Bowery Ballroom). I plan to encourage all my New York friends to attend....New Yorkers can pick up their EP at a fantastic little record store called Other Music. And if you don't get Other Music's weekly newsletter, I encourage you to sign up. I've never heard of half the shit they write about, but that's the point isn't it? Download "Lovers Who Uncover"

As I've said before, I love Kelley Stoltz's new record. You've gotta give it a few spins before it sneaks up on you. He's listened to a lot of John Lennon and Ray Davies in his day. In some ways he's better live than on record, but it does help if you're familiar with his music. His band is tight, but unfortunately he wasn't really playing to his crowd at the Echo. A lot of people didn't seem to be paying attention. Some people left after the Little Ones and some people were there to see Irving. As you may remember, his last show at the Echo was cut short by a DJ night (they double booked the club and Saturday night is DJ night at the Echo). Believe it or not, they cut his set short this time too. I guess Kind Hearts and Coronets ran long? When Stoltz is playing his songs, he sounds great. I do wish he'd build a little more momentum - he sits down and plays the keyboards - then stands up, talks to the crowd and tunes his guitar - then sits back down and plays the keyboard again. On the other hand, he does a great job with song selection. He primarily focuses on his more upbeat songs (maybe because both times I've seen him he's only done about seven or eight songs?). I'm starting to think I'll have to go to San Francisco to see a really good Kelley Stoltz show.... Download "The Sun Comes Through"

Irving was the last band of the night. They played another crowd-pleasing set. They ended up playing the benefit at El Cid the next night too. If you missed those shows, check them out at the Viper Room on June 12th.... Download "Situation"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Live Music Options 5/30 - 6/1

Catch Bedroom Walls at the Troubadour on Tuesday
Tuesday 5/30/06
Bedroom Walls / Let’s Go Sailing / Lavender Diamond @ Troubadour ($8) – Catch three strong local bands on one bill. Bedroom Walls has a new, critically acclaimed album on Baria Records. Download “Somewhere in Newhall (string quartet version)” Let’s Go Sailing is Shana Levy with various members of Silversun Pickups, Tanya Haden and others helping her out. Lavender Diamond is Becky Stark and some soft 1970’s style rock. They’ve gotten a lot of strong national press lately. Download “You Broke My Heart

Pinback @ Avalon ($18) – I do really enjoy Pinback’s albums. I’ve seen them a bunch of times and while it’s never a transcendent experience, I’m always happy to put more money in their pockets.

The Brokedown @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) – See all my previous posts. This is the last night of their residency, so check them out.

Gil Mantera’s Party Dream / The Gray Kid @ Spaceland ($8) – One of the Village Voice critics said Gil Mantera’s Party Dream was the best show of SXSW. Both that band and the Gray Kid are eclectic upbeat music that spans a wide spectrum of music styles. Download the Gray Kid’s “Lonely Love

Ben Ashley / Gwendolyn @ Tangier ($7)

Wednesday 5/31/06
Listing Ship @ Amoba (Free) – Catch the local band at 7:00PM.

His Name Is Alive / Nomo @ Spaceland ($10) – His Name is Alive is a classic 4AD band from Michigan that didn’t break up after all. This is their first headlining US tour in a decade. They have a lot of free downloads over on their website.

Sam Roberts @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos)

Thursday 6/1/06
Young People / Mika Miko @ the Echo ($8) – A chance to see some local bands that regularly play the Smell play at the Echo (get drunk). Download The Young People’s “R&R

Division Day / The Southland / Peter Walker @ Spaceland – Division Day are some of the nicest guys in a band that you’ll meet. They’re a local band, but this is their first time headlining Spaceland, so show ‘em some love. They’ve gotten some nice mentions by the LA Times, OC Weekly and many, many blogs. Download “Colorguard” Peter Walker is the impresario of Dangerbird Records and a singer-songwriter to boot. Download “What Do I Know
Daphne Loves Derby @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos)

New CD Releases 5/30/06

The 1900s Plume Delivery (Parasol Records) – Here’s what the Chicago Reader said: "Sweet, keyboard-swathed vocals front and the New Pornographers, Belle & Sebastian and Broken Social Scene..." That seems a little generous maybe? Download “Bring the Good Boys Home

Dave Alvin West of the West (Yep Roc) – This is a concept album about California from the former leader of the Blasters. All these songs were written by California songwriters (Alvin co-wrote one of the songs). He covers Merle Haggard, Jackson Browne, John Fogerty, Jerry Garcia, Tom Waits, The Beach Boys and others. Appearing live at Amoeba on 6/22 and Safari Sam’s on 6/24.

Ammon Contact With Voices (Ninja Tune) – Local underground jazzy, hip-hop guys.

Asobi Seksu Citrus (Friendly Fire) – They’re a shoegazer-y (Lush, MBV) band from New York with a Japanese female singer Download “New Years” Download “Lions and Tigers

Boards of Canada Trans Canada Highway EP (Warp) – This mellow electronic band is usually critic proof, but Pitchfork only gave this EP a 6.0/10. They complain that there’s really only 14 minutes of new material on the EP (the rest is recycled album tracks and a remix).

Charalambides A Vintage Burden (Kranky) – They’re a spacey, slightly psychedelic rock band from Texas. Download a sample of “Two Birds

Chatham County Line Speed of the Whippoorwill (Yep Roc) – Contemporary bluegrass from North Carolina played by younger fellas.

Les Claypool Of Whales and Woe (Prawn Song) – A solo album from the Primus singer/bass player.

Drowsy Snow on Moss on Stone (Fat Cat) – Finnish folk/electronic artist who is influenced by Nick Drake, Syd Barrett and Robert Wyatt. If you like Adem this might be for you.

The Junior Varsity Great Compromise (Victory) – Emo from Illinois

Kris Kristofferson Live From Austin, TX (New West) – 16 of his classic songs from an Austin City Limits performance in September 1981. Also available on DVD.

The Legendary Pink Dots Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves (Roir) – This album commemorates the cult band’s 25th Aniversary. Appearing live at the El Rey on 7/7.

Jamie Lidell Multiply Additions (Warp) – The blue eyed soul record gets the remix treatment by Four Tet and others.

Loscil Plume (Kranky) – Ambient electronic music.

Peeping Tom Peeping Tom (Ipecac) – Mike Patton (Faith No More) with a lot of guests including: Kool Keith, Dub Trio, Dan the Automator, Bebel Gilberto, Kid Koala, Massive Attack, Norah Jones. This record is six years in the making, more accessible than his recent projects and has a hip-hop/electronic vibe to it.

Radio Dept. Pet Grief (Labrador) – Yet another band that gets compared to My Bloody Valentine. These guys are from Sweden. Download “The Worst Taste in Music
Space Needle Recordings 1994-1997 (Eenie Meenie) – Download “Beers in Heaven

Tender Trap 6 Billion People (Matinee) – C86 fans take note, Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher who was in Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research.

Various Artists 80’s Hits Stripped (Sidewinder) – All new acoustic recordings of your favorite 80’s hits. Tommy Tutone, The Motels, Billy Squier, etc.

Various Artists Rescue Me OST (Nettwerk) – It’s got the Von Bondies, Black Keys, Twilight Singers, Wolf Parade, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Subways, etc. The FX show’s supposed to be really good.
The 1900s Plume Delivery (Parasol Records) – Here’s what the Chicago Reader said: "Sweet, keyboard-swathed vocals front and the New Pornographers, Belle & Sebastian and Broken Social Scene..." That seems a little generous maybe? Download “Bring the Good Boys Home

Dave Alvin West of the West (Yep Roc) – This is a concept album about California from the former leader of the Blasters. All these songs were written by California songwriters (Alvin co-wrote one of the songs). He covers Merle Haggard, Jackson Browne, John Fogerty, Jerry Garcia, Tom Waits, The Beach Boys and others. Appearing live at Amoeba on 6/22 and Safari Sam’s on 6/24.

Ammon Contact With Voices (Ninja Tune) – Local underground jazzy, hip-hop guys.

Asobi Seksu Citrus (Friendly Fire) – They’re a shoegazer-y (Lush, MBV) band from New York with a Japanese female singer Download “New Years” Download “Lions and Tigers

Boards of Canada Trans Canada Highway EP (Warp) – This mellow electronic band is usually critic proof, but Pitchfork only gave this EP a 6.0/10. They complain that there’s really only 14 minutes of new material on the EP (the rest is recycled album tracks and a remix).

Charalambides A Vintage Burden (Kranky) – They’re a spacey, slightly psychedelic rock band from Texas. Download a sample of “Two Birds

Chatham County Line Speed of the Whippoorwill (Yep Roc) – Contemporary bluegrass from North Carolina played by younger fellas.

Les Claypool Of Whales and Woe (Prawn Song) – A solo album from the Primus singer/bass player.

Drowsy Snow on Moss on Stone (Fat Cat) – Finnish folk/electronic artist who is influenced by Nick Drake, Syd Barrett and Robert Wyatt. If you like Adem this might be for you.

The Junior Varsity Great Compromise (Victory) – Emo from Illinois

Kris Kristofferson Live From Austin, TX (New West) – 16 of his classic songs from an Austin City Limits performance in September 1981. Also available on DVD.

The Legendary Pink Dots Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves (Roir) – This album commemorates the cult band’s 25th Aniversary. Appearing live at the El Rey on 7/7.

Jamie Lidell Multiply Additions (Warp) – The blue eyed soul record gets the remix treatment by Four Tet and others.

Loscil Plume (Kranky) – Ambient electronic music.

Peeping Tom Peeping Tom (Ipecac) – Mike Patton (Faith No More) with a lot of guests including: Kool Keith, Dub Trio, Dan the Automator, Bebel Gilberto, Kid Koala, Massive Attack, Norah Jones. This record is six years in the making, more accessible than his recent projects and has a hip-hop/electronic vibe to it.

Radio Dept. Pet Grief (Labrador) – Yet another band that gets compared to My Bloody Valentine. These guys are from Sweden. Download “The Worst Taste in Music
Space Needle Recordings 1994-1997 (Eenie Meenie) – Download “Beers in Heaven

Tender Trap 6 Billion People (Matinee) – C86 fans take note, Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher who was in Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research.

Various Artists 80’s Hits Stripped (Sidewinder) – All new acoustic recordings of your favorite 80’s hits. Tommy Tutone, The Motels, Billy Squier, etc.

Various Artists Rescue Me OST (Nettwerk) – It’s got the Von Bondies, Black Keys, Twilight Singers, Wolf Parade, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Subways, etc. The FX show’s supposed to be really good.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Live Music Options 5/26 - 5/29

Voxtrot play the Wiltern on Friday
Friday 5/26/06
Silversun Pickups / Voxtrot / Elefant @ Wiltern ($20) – Silversun Pickups are getting ready to release their debut full-length, Carnavas, on Dangerbird Records on July 11th. The people who’ve heard it say it’s really good and that they’ve outdone their EP. Austin’s Voxtrot put out one of my favorite EPs earlier this year. They write infectious early 80s, Smiths-style rock. Download Voxtrot’s “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives

Daedelus / Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory / Mia Doi Todd @ Little Temple ($10) – This is another benefit for Keith Tamashiro. Listen to Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory’s “Coyote’s Song (When You Hear it Too)” Download Mia Doi Todd’s “Planting

Talib Kweli @ Conga Room ($25) – I was really impressed when I saw him at Coachella a few years ago. He was also in Black Star of course.

Slow Signal Fade / Circus Minor @ Spaceland (?) – This is the Slow Signal Fade’s record release show before they head out on the road for a couple of weeks. I’ve written about Circus Minor before.

Eels / Smoosh @ Roxy ($25) – See last Thursday’s write-up. Download Smoosh’s “Find a Way

Jimmy Tamborello / John Tejada @ Getty (Free) – Plug Research guys. You also know JT from Dntel and Postal Service.

T.I.@ House of Blues (Both shows sold out) – Big rap star.

One Self @ Echo ($12) -

Saturday 5/27/06
The Shakes / Peach Fuzz / Thee Makeout Party @ Lava Lounge ($5) – A Jim Freek party! Upbeat garage pop.

Mobb Deep @ House of Blues ($30) – They haven’t sold out the House of Blues? Crazy.

Mika Miko / Shoplifting @ the Smell ($5) – Download Shoplifting’s “Male Gynecology

The New Amsterdams @ Troubadour ($9.99 adv / $12 dos) – They started as a Get Up Kids side project in my college town.

West Indian Girl @ Spaceland ($10)

Sunday 5/28/06
Gogogo Airheart / Indian Jewelry @ the Echo (Free) – Download GoGoGo Airheart’s “Double Bummer

Winter Flowers / Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Tangier ($5) – Catch a couple of local bands.

Monday 5/29/06
400 Blows / The Bronx @ Spaceland (Free) – See two aggressive local bands. 400 Blows are in your face, abrasive rock. I’ve written about The Bronx before.

Mono / Pelican / Tarentel @ Troubadour ($12.50 adv / $14 dos) – Mono’s kind of like a Japanese version of Mogwai. Download Mono’s “The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain” Chicago’s Pelican are “instro-sorcerers” and they’re on that recent Invaders compilation. San Francisco’s Tarentel are instrumental too, but more Eno-influenced (according the All Music Guide).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New Music Tuesday - 5/23/06

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been in Las Vegas. Unfortunately I didn't win any money, but I had a good time. I plan to pickup the Johnny Cash and I need to hear the Bedroom Walls and Mission of Burma.

Angels and Airwaves We Don’t Need to Whisper (Geffen) – The guy from Blink 182’s new band. Critics hate it, but your 12 year-old niece will probably like it.

Bedroom Walls All Good Dreamers Pass This Way (Baria Records) – The All Music Guide gives this local band a 4.5/5 and says: “"If Elliott Smith were still alive and decided to get together and jam with Neutral Milk Hotel, the results might sound a lot like this self-described ‘romanticore’ quintet.” That’s very high praise indeed. They’re appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/30. Download a demo of “In Anticipation of Your Suicide

Blood Brothers Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck EP (V2) – Manic guys from Seattle.

Johnny Cash Personal File (Sony) – A two-disc collection featuring 49 previously unreleased tracks. These are very intimate recording with just Johnny (during his prime) and an acoustic guitar. Most of the songs were recorded in 1973 but some of them are as recent as 1982. Most of these are covers (with lots of gospel tunes) but there are some originals too.

The Ditty Bops Moon Over the Freeway (Warner Bros.) – Appearing at the Derby tonight (5/24). Old-timey music that veers all over the map.

Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way (Sony) – The controversy surrounding this band will remind people on the coasts what happens in the “heartland.” After the lead singer dared to speak her mind about the President and the war, the country music establishment turned their back on the group. Natalie Maines has even gotten death threats in her home state. Rick Rubin produced this record, so there are lots of collaborators (Gary Louris, Sheryl Crow, Keb’ Mo’, Neil Finn, etc.). It’s still rooted in country, but more rockin’. Will the NPR/Starbucks crowd make up for the lost fans in the middle of the country? The “60 Mintues” feature and the cover of Time Magazine can’t hurt. Critics seem to like it too. See them live at the Staples Center on 9/14.

Dub Trio New Heavy (Roir) – This is a totally schizophrenic, mostly instrumental album that seamlessly shifts between noise rock and dub. The three members are heavy hitter session guys who went to the Berklee School of Music. This is the album they probably always wanted to hear when they were stoned. One track features guest vocals from Mike Patton.

Mission of Burma The Oblitrati (Matador) – Mission of Burma are a very influential post-punk band from Boston. “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver” is a classic for good reason. They’re known as innovators with odd time signatures, tape manipulation and quick tempo changes. They originally broke up in 1983 due to the guitarist’s tinnitus, but reunited in 2002. This is their second album since then, and critics (including Pitchfork) have been giving it glowing reviews. Download “2wice

Murder By Death In Bocca Al Lupo (Tent Show) – I got this one in the mail a few weeks ago and I’m still trying to figure out how to describe it. It’s vaguely western sounding. The product description on Amazon brings up Nick Cave and the Decembrists. That’s about all I can say at the moment. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 6/5.

Osaka Popstar Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk (Rykodisc) – It’s an Anime inspired punk album featuring: John Cafiero (Misfits’ collaborator), Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Jerry Only (The Misfits), Dez Cadena (Black Flag), and Ivan Julian (Richard Hell & the Voidoids). The All Music Guide gave it a 4.5/5.

Phoenix It’s Never Been Like That (Astralwerks) - French synth-rock getting mostly solid reviews. Apparently there’s more focus on the guitar on this one.

Shooting at Unarmed Men Yes! Tinnitus (Too Pure) – From the band mclusky.

Tilly & the Wall Bottoms of Barrels (Team Love) – Eccentric indie-pop band from Omaha. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 7/6. Instead of a drummer they have a tap dancer. Usually Team Love lets you download their albums for free, but their website seems really buggy right now.

Various Artists Big Star Small World (Koch) – Big Star tribute album with Teenage Fanclub, Wilco, Matthew Sweet, Juliana Hatfield, Whiskeytown and others. Big Star is brilliant, but usually these albums are disappointing. Hopefully some of the individual tracks are available for download.

Vetiver To Find Me Gone (Dicristina Stair) – For the Devendra Banhart fans. Folky with a psych edge.

Scott Walker The Drift (4AD) – He had massive radio hits in the early 1960s with the Walker Brothers, but his baroque-pop albums from the late 1960s are what ensured his legacy in the hipster world. Those albums feature his deep baritone, over-the-top string arrangements and lyrics about the dark side of society. This is his first album in 11 years. Apparently it’s a very dark but interesting album with cold arrangements and his signature huge voice. Download “Cossacks Are

The Walkmen A Hundred Miles Off (Record Collection) – Somebody’s been listening to his Bob Dylan records. Appearing at the El Rey on 6/15.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Live Music Options 5/22 - 5/25

I hopefully won't be anywhere near a computer for the next few days, so here's an early look at next week. If I get a chance I'll fill in some of the blanks.

Monday 5/22/06
Architecture in Helsinki / Tussle @ Troubadour (Sold Out) Melbourne, Australia’s Architecture in Helsinki is a collective (eight musicians) who make indie music. It seems like something I should like (after all I do like Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire) but I just can’t get into it. I saw them at Spaceland last year and I was one of the only people in the crowd not enjoying it. They seem like really nice kids too. San Francisco’s Tussle makes instrumental dub-dance-indie-electronic music. Download Tussle’s “DiscoD'oro - Munk Remix

Excepter @ the Smell ($5) – Pitchfork likes ‘em, but they seem a little too “challenging” for me. Download “Dawn Patrol

The Bronx / The Stitches @ Spaceland (Free) – The Bronx are a local punk revival band (see last week’s picks). The Stitches are an older school OC punk band.

Esthero @ the Roxy ($20) – She’s some sorta Canadian singer and the Allmusic Guide compares her to Portishead? The LA Weekly recommends her.

Sweet & Tender Hooligans @ House of Blues ($15) – Celebrate Morrissey’s birthday again. This is a serious cover band that does these songs all the time. I saw them once and was expecting to like it more than I did.

Hockey / Asleep in the Sea / Controlling the Famous / Giant Bear @ the Echo (Free) – Haven’t heard any of these bands, but it’s probably a fun night with bands that are all over the map. It’s free, so you really can’t complain. Controlling the Famous play this Saturday at Sea Level for Free too.

Tuesday 5/23/06
George Clinton @ House of Blues ($36-40) – Funk legend.

The Brokedown / Great Northern @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Great Northern is an Earlimart offshoot. I’ve been talking about The Brokedown every week.

Madonna @ the Forum – In case you missed her at Coachella. The Forum’s such a crappy place to see a show.

Gomez @ the Avalon – I can’t stand these guys, but maybe you like them?

The Fall / The Robot Ate Me @ the Knitting Factory – Download The Robot Ate Me’s “Djien

Wednesday 5/24/06
The Spores @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) – Apparently they do a whole thing with a puppet show? I haven’t seen them or heard them yet.

Ditty Bops @ the Derby ($17) – Also at Amoeba on Tuesday at 7:00PM

Madonna @ the Forum

Thursday 5/25/06
Benefit for Keith Tamashiro @ the Mayan ($75) – Keith’s a graphic designer who has done a lot of cool album covers. He had a brain aneurysm and he’s been in the hospital. Cut Chemist, Jurassic 5, DJ Shadow, Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies, Madlib, MF Doom will make appearances. Solid.

Petra Haden & the Sell-Outs @ the Troubadour ($12 / $15 dos) – Doing her acappella Who stuff before she heads out with the Foo Fighters.

Eels / Smoosh @ the Roxy ($25) – You know who the Eels are. Smoosh just moved to Barsuk Records. Also on Friday Download Smoosh’s “Find a Way

Magic Christian @ the Echo ($8) – Cyril from the Flaming Groovies. Who doesn't like "Shake Some Action"...

Listing Ship @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – Download “Chinese Song

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

Kelley Stoltz appears at the Echo on Friday
Friday 5/19/06
Kelley Stoltz / Irving / The Little Ones @ the Echo ($10) – This is one of my favorite lineups in a while. San Francisco’s Kelley Stoltz put out one of my favorite albums this year on Sub Pop. I saw him at the Echo a few months ago and he sounded great. I complained about his set being too short, so hopefully he won’t be rushed tonight. He writes songs that are informed by all the stuff you love from the late 1960s and early 70s but still makes it his own. Download “The Sun Comes Through” I’ve written about local guys, Irving several times in the last few months. Their latest album is super catchy and they put on a very energetic live show (see my review of their King King record release show). Their songs cover the spectrum from early 80s, Cure-style songs to Elephant 6 pop. Download “Situation” The Little Ones are my favorite new local band. The last time I saw them, I’d never even heard of them and they totally caught me by surprise. This time I’ve been listening to their EP, so I’ll be more prepared. They play indie pop (in the mold of the Shins and Fruit Bats). Download “High on a Hill

Helen Stellar @ Sideways [1430 N. Cahuenga Blvd.] ($10) – They seem to be Cameron Crowe’s favorite local band. He just reissued their album on limited edition vinyl.

The Aquabats @ the El Rey (Sold Out) – Sorry geeks, it’s sold out.

Black Pine / The Pandas @ Spaceland ($7) – Some ex-BJM members…

Ministry @ House of Blues ($35) – There was a time (around 1993) when I was a Ministry fan. $35 seems a bit steep. Also on Saturday.

Saturday 5/20/06
Benefit for
Fyn Stec @ El Cid ($10 donation) – This is a rare chance to see a bunch of your favorite local bands on one stage. See Aaron and Ariana of Earlimart, Kennedy, Great Northern (acoustic), Tigers Can Bite You (Dave Woody from Fiver’s new band) and surprise guests. It’s both a great cause and a chance to keep tabs on what’s been happening around the Echo Park/Silver Lake music scene. It’s a Ship Collective thing, so I would imagine Irving and/or Silversun Pickups will be hanging around too. Download Kennedy’s “Your Mama” Download Great Northern’s “Into the Sun” Download Tigers Can Bite You’s “Hawks (demo)

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness / The Rogers Sisters @ the Echo ($10) – ILYBICD are from Austin. From their site, “Reminiscent to latter-era Talk Talk, with the introspection also comes passion.” Download “According to Plan” The Rogers Sisters are from Brooklyn.

Long Beach Neighborhood Festival @ Queen Mary Events Park ($25) – See Moving Units, Ima Robot, Whirlwind Heat, Mickey Avalon, Cold War Kids, Mika Miko and others. What’s the deal with Mickey Avalon? That LA Weekly article was so bizarre. His music leaves me speechless. Here’s a good chance to drink some Red Bull and see what’s going on with the dance-rock bands. Actually according to the website they have a “bear garden” for those 21 and up. Don’t forget your bear hunting rifle.

Glass Candy / Chromatics @ the Scene ($8) – Portland’s Glass Candy puts on “raw, glammy performances” Seattle’s Glass Candy is on local label, GSL. Also on Sunday at the Smell.

Sunday 5/21/06
Smiths and Morrissey Tribute Night @ the Echo (Free) – See Lavender Diamond and The Moon Upstairs plays some covers and DJs spin the originals.

Chromatics / Glass Candy @ the Smell ($5) - Also on Saturday at the Scene

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Fold

My apologies to Scott at the Fold. Last week in my Birdmonster post I pointed out that the Fold had advertised a Birdmonster appearance that the band wasn't aware of. I just got an email from Scott (the booker) and apparently the resident band was handling their own openers for those shows. They assured him that Birdmonster was booked. These things happen. Scott puts on a lot of great shows and he's a big supporter of the local music scene. I've been going to Fold shows since '97 or '98 (when did he start?) and I've seen some great stuff (Elliott Smith, Broken Social Scene and on and on and on).

Here's what Birdmonster posted about the mysterious booking:

Monday April 10th, 2006 6:00PM
For reasons unbeknownst to birdmonster, we're scheduled to play in LA tonight. This, sadly, is impossible, because I'm writing this at 3 pm in San Francisco. Unless you have a souped-up Delorean. If you do, please email us.Apologies for any confusion this cause or any plans this soured. We'll be there again soon, however.

By the way? Anybody go to Birdmonster's Spaceland show? I heard it was crazy packed (not just for them, but all the bands that night were a good draw). I also heard that the band Aloha was fantastic last week. Anybody go? Download Aloha's "Your Eyes" The lead singer has a little bit of James Mercer in his voice. And that mellotron (or keyboard) sounds like a vibraphone.

The Raconteurs' Broken Boy Soldier

I don't think the album's bad, but I doubt if I'll remember to listen to it beyond two weeks from now. Jack White's guitar playing is the highlight for me. I think the Wolfmother album's a little more fun to listen to (if you recognize it as an Australian version of the Darkness). Here's my quick review....

I find “Steady, as She Goes” really annoying. Do you? My friend Tony thinks the bass line is directly lifted from Joe Jackson. “Hands” splits the difference between Jack White and Brendan Benson's styles (thereby canceling each other out). “Broken Boy Soldier” has Jack White singing in a crazy voice, but it’s not bad. I like “Intimate Secretary” because it rocks nicely. “Together” is very mellow and Benson’s voice almost sounds like Sean Lennon’s. “Level” is Jack White being funky and I’m not really convinced. “Store Bought Bones” is upbeat and one of the best songs (nice guitar jam). “Yellow Sun” sounds like Sean Lennon mixed with Matthew Sweet. That’s not entirely bad, but I could also just listen to Sean Lennon and/or Matthew Sweet. “Call It a Day” is a mellow Benson track with some nice White guitar and heavily processed backing vocals. “Blue Veins” is a standard blues-rock song that’s been done to death by the Stones and Led Zeppelin.

Overall, most of the songs just remind me of something else. You should at least download two songs: "Intimate Secretary" and "Store Bought Bones." You can hear the latter on the band's website. On a side note, the website's pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Releases 5/16/06

I still need to spin the Raconteurs a few more times before fully recommending it. There's probably enough there to pick it up.

Boris Pink (Southern Lord) – Domestic release of the Japanese drone-metal band. They’re named after a Melvins’ song but this record has more shoegaze elements.

Cam’Ron Killa Season (Diplomatic Man) – He’s gangsta. In the last two years he’s hunted internet pedophiles, gotten shot and beefed with Jay-Z. Some critics complain that the beats on this album sound too much like the last one, but most agree that his lyrics make it an enjoyable listen. He’s even got a song about his battle with irritable bowel syndrome.

Controlling the Famous Automatic City (Militia) – The press materials compare it to Fugazi, Cursive and Minus the Bear. Appearing live at Sea Level Records on 5/20 @ 4:00 PM and the Knitting Factory on 5/27. Listen at Myspace

Dinosaur Jr. Green Mind and Where You Been (Rhino) – These are both essential, great indie rock albums. Most fans probably already own them and there aren’t enough extras to make them worth re-purchasing. If you don’t own them, by all means… can preview them at AOL.

Espers Espers II (Drag City) – According to critics, this albums sounds like they’ve been listening to some less catchy, more obscure folk this time around. Now it’s more for the Bert Jansch, Devendra Banhart and Vashti Bunyan fans.

The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers (Third Man/V2) – The Raconteurs features Jack White (of the White Stripes) with Brendan Benson (power pop singer and guitarist with several solo albums) and the rhythm section of the Greenhornes. They’re all extremely talented, but is that really a supergroup? By now you’ve already got an opinion about the lead single, “Steady, As She Goes.” Critics generally like this record, but few seem to unconditionally love it. If you really just wanna hear Jack White rock, maybe you should buy the Wolfmother record instead? They will appear live at the Henry Fonda Theatre on 6/7 (sold out) and the Wiltern Theatre on 7/21. You can stream the album for free at AOL.

Radio 4 Enemies Like This (Astralwerks) – Are you really sick of post-punk, Gang of 4-inspired bands? Then maybe you should skip this Brooklyn band. The Allmusic Guide accuses them of sounding like the Clash too. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 6/16. Preview the album at AOL.

Sam Roberts Chemical City (Secret Brain Records) – He’s a Canadian guy who recorded this record in Australia. The cover looks like a weird sci-fi novel, but the music sounds like more classic rock. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 5/31. Listen to some tracks on Myspace.

Russian Circles Enter (Flameshovel) – An instrumental post-rock band from Chicago? There must be a serious shortage of lyricists there. This song rocks pretty hard (think The Fucking Champs, not Tortoise). Download “Death Rides a Horse

The Telescopes Taste (Rev-Ola) – The Telescopes were an early 1990s British shoegazer band. This album supposedly isn’t their best, but if you’re a fan of the genre you might want to seek it out.

The Twilight Singers Powder Burns (One Little Indian) – You might remember Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs. You might also recognize him from some of the bars around town in which he has an ownership stake. He’s known for being an outstanding live performer. This is the Twilight Singers fourth album and allegedly the most rocking. You can catch him at the Avalon on 6/21. Listen to some tracks at Myspace.

Whirlwind Heat Types of Wood (Brille) – They’ve opened for The White Stripes, Beck and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They frequently get compared to Beck and Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 6/27. Listen to “Reagan

Monday, May 15, 2006

Danger Doom

As most of you probably already know, Adult Swim is givnig away a new Danger Doom EP online. The first download went live today.

Download "Korndogs"

Live Music Options 5/15 - 5/18

The Brokedown (Tues @ Silverlake Lounge) & Ghostigital (Thurs @ Spaceland)

Sorry for the length of time between posts. I've been busy and there hasn't been a lot of new stuff to talk about. It seems like a lot of people (mostly people promoting music) don't think music critics (or bloggers) should ever write anything negative. How ridiculous is that? Imagine watching Ebert & Roeper if all they did was agree and say how great everything is?
Mon 5/15/06
The Bronx / Wires on Fire / Sabertooth Tiger @ Spaceland (Free) – Mondays are still free at Spaceland. This week you can see three loud, punk-inspired bands. The Bronx portray Black Flag in the new movie about Germs’ singer, Darby Crash. You can watch the trailer for that movie HERE. The Bronx and Wires on Fire will soon be on tour with Priestess and Riverboat Gamblers (two really good live, loud bands). Sabertooth Tiger has a new album coming out next month on GSL.

Rocco DeLuca @ Viper Room ($10) – Kiefer Sutherland manages this guy and there’s usually a great chance he’ll be there. He’s not bad.

Patton Oswalt / Sarah Silverman @ Largo ($5) – For my money, two of the best local standup comedians.

Hem / Over the Rhine @ Knitting Factory ($18) – KCRW approved night

Tues 5/16/06
The Brokedown / The Switch / Peter Walker @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) – Local band The Brokedown has gotten some nice reviews from Harp and Paste magazines. They’re currently working on their debut full-length and playing the Silverlake Lounge every Tuesday in May. They mix pop, rock and country elements. Download “Sparks” Peter Walker’s the hard working founder of Dangerbird Records.

Brother Reade / Instant Messangers / Hockey @ Cinespace ($5) – Steve Aoki’s night still packs in the horny kids. Some underground hip-hop originally from North Carolina.

Daedelus @ Little Temple – Santa Monica beatmaker.

Wed 5/17/06
The Epoxies @ Knitting Factory ($10 / $12 dos) – New wave from Portland, Oregon.

Annie Stela @ Hotel Café – Recent Capitol Records signee. They’ll probably market her along the lines of Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis.

Gus Black @ Largo – Local KCRW approved singer-songwriter.

Thurs 5/18/06
Ghostigital @ Spaceland ($8) – For all you fans of Icelandic electro-rap. It’s Einar from the Sugarcubes rapping over electronic sounds from Curver. They’re assisted by Dalek, Mark E. Smith and Mugison on their new release. By the way, the band is called Ghostigital, not Ghostdigital (as the Spaceland promo materials say). Download “Black Sand

The Court & Spark / The Parson Red Heads @ The Echo ($7) - According to the Allmusic Guide, the Court & Spark create twangy, mood music. Download "Your Mother Was the Lightning" I still haven't seen the Parson Red Heads, but I want to. It'll happen.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weekend Music Options

Friday 5/12/06
The Bellrays @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – This is a great opportunity to see Riverside’s The Bellrays play a new venue with great sound. There were (or are?) plans to modify the stage to give soulful singer Lisa Kekaula even more room to strut around. With her huge voice and stage presence and the tight rock band, it promises to be a high energy night of fun. Win tickets at the other place I write, the LAist.

Mike Stinson @ the Mint ($10) – I saw him again last weekend. He’s my favorite local country-rock singer. Watching Tony Gilkyson effortlessly play guitar is always enjoyable.

Birdmonster @ Spaceland ($8) - Last time I recommended these San Francisco rockers they weren’t actually booked to play the show (turns out it was the resident band who booked them, not the fold - sorry Scott). Bloggers love them and I’ve heard tey need to be seen live to fully appreciate. Download “Resurrection Song” Also on Saturday at the Knitting Factory Alterknit Lounge

Tom Brosseau @ Tangier ($8) – I’ve seen him before at Largo. He’s a talented, acoustic guitar playing singer-songwriter (if you’re into that troubadour sorta thing). Listen HERE.

Bebel Gilberto @ Conga Room – I saw her at the Hollywood Bowl last year. It’s a little boring to me, but what do I know? She’s the daughter of João Gilberto and Miúcha. Also tonight (5/11).

Brazilian Girls @ Avalon ($20) – Going from a real Brazilian (Gilberto) to fake Brazilians. Nic Harcourt mentioned it today so it must be eclectic.

Very Be Careful @ Echo ($8) – Some kind of Columbian world music that I know nothing about. Harcourt mentioned them too.

Saturday 5/13/06
Elf Power @ Spaceland ($10) – Athens, GA band that’s associated with the Elephant 6 collective. They even run their own 150 acre land commune. The music can be a little inconsistent, but I still really love “Old Tyme Waves” from 1999’s A Dream in Sound.

The Fall @ Knitting Factory ($25) – According to the unofficial Fall website (linked to the left), the band and the tour manager quit four days ago and Mark kicked the support band off the tour. Apparently he found some new backup musicians and the tour will go on. I’ve never been a fan, but Stephen Malkmus is.

Birdmonster @ Knitting Facotry Alterknit Lounge ($8) – See Friday

Slow Music featuring Peter Buck, Fred Chalenor, Matt Chamberlain, Robert Fripp, Bill Rieflin and Hector Zazou @ the El Rey ($24) – It’s a heavy hitting lineup doing improvised music. R.E.M. was my favorite band for my first two years of high school.

KROQ Weenie Roast @ Verizon (Sold Out) – See the RHCP, several bands you might of seen at Coachella and a bunch of bands for kids.

Nine Black Alps / The Fever @ Troubadour – Nine Black Alps are to the Vines what the Vines are to Nirvana. I got the Fever’s new album in the mail this week. It’s not for me but it was supposedly inspired by David Lynch and Fellini soundtracks (which sounds cool on paper).

ABC @ the Key Club ($30) – ABC’s How to Be A Zillionaire was one of the first CDs my older brother got when he got his first CD player in 1985. We listened to it quite a bit. I recently found it at Freakbeat on vinyl for 25 cents.

Ane Brun @ Hotel Café (?) – Norwegian singer-songwriter. Her album came out this week but I haven’t heard it.

Mike Andrews @ McCabe’s ($10) – Composer and member of The Greyboy Allstars

Sunday 5/14/06
Mickey Champion @ the Living Room – Read the recent LA Times article about her – HERE.

Sunburned Hand of the Man @ Spaceland ($8) – They’re Arthur Magazine faves which means they’re probably “difficult.” I’ve seen their contemporaries the No-Neck Blues Band before, and I could only take it for 10 minutes. In an incredibly pretentious rock review, Pitchfork gave one of their records a 9.0.

Gods Gang / Abe Vigoda @ the Echo (Free)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Arthur Lee

As a lot of you probably know, this blog is named after an Arthur Lee/Love song. Lee is an amazing musician and he's from Los Angeles (although he lives in Memphis now), so it made total sense. Last year when I posted my top 50 albums of all time, Forever Changes (the album that contains the song "You Set the Scene") ranked sixth. Recently Lee was diagnosed with leukemia. Like a lot of musicians in this country, he doesn't have any health insurance. Benefits were organized in New York and LA. Yesterday, posted an update on the New York benefit:

6/23 @ Beacon Theatre (tix on sale 5/12)
Performers: Robert Plant, David Johansen, Ian Hunter Band, Love guitarist Johnny Echols, Yo La Tengo and Alec Ounsworth (from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)

Are you kidding? That's an impressive f'ing lineup. The lead singers of Led Zeppelin, the New York Dolls and Mott the Hoople with Yo La Tengo (one of my favorite artists of the 90s) and the lead singer of CYHSY (one of my favorite records last year). I'd pay really good money to see that.

Today Pitchfork posted an update on the LA show and it didn't quite have the same prestige (no offense to Baby Lemonade or Johnny Echols of course). Hopefully some other people will step up. Has anybody heard anything? How pathetic will it be if the New York benefit attracts that level of talent and Lee's hometown can't? Come on LA.

You can donate money at

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Releases 5/9/06

I definitely recommend the new Grandaddy. I need to spend some more time with the rest of this stuff.....

Ane Brun A Temporary Dive (V2) – Scandinavian singer-songwriter. Appearing at the Hotel Café on 5/13. Listen HERE.

Art Brut Bang Bang Rock’n’Roll (Downtown) – The hipsters probably already bought the import, but it’s finally available domestically. They’re smart aleck Brits with thick accents and cocky, tongue-in-cheek lyrics. They’ve already played Coachella and Spaceland. Listen HERE.

Beirut Gulag Orkestar (Bada Bing) – Beirut is a 19 year-old kid from Albuquerque who has the blogosphere and other tastemakers eating out of his hand. He worked with Jeremy Barnes from Neutral Milk Hotel so the comparisons to that band are everywhere. There aren’t any guitars on the record but there are instruments like glockenspiels, ukuleles and clarinets. Download “from Italy”

Black Heart Procession The Spell (Touch & Go) – San Diego indie rockers make soundtrack music. See them live at the Fonda on 6/13. Download “Not Just Words” Stream it HERE.

Daedelus Daedelus Denies the Day’s Demise (Mush) – Local indie electronica guy. Appearing live at the Little Temple on 5/26.

Danielson Ships (Secretly Canadian) – Daniel Smith shortened the name from Danielson Famile to Danielson. There are 34 contributors including Sufjan Stevens, Deerhoof and Serena-Maneesh. You’ll either love or hate the manic energy of it. Yes they’re Christian, but not preachy. Appearing live at Spaceland on 6/3. Download “Did I Step on Your Trumpet

Kimya Dawson Remember That I Love You (K Records) – She was in the Moldy Peaches. Download “Underground

The Eighteenth Day of May s/t (Hannibal) – London-based folk band. Listen HERE

Electric Soft Parade The Human Body EP (Better Looking) – British band that’s half of the band the Brakes. Download “Cold World

The Everyothers Pink Sticky Lies EP (Kill Rock Stars) – New York band that claims to be one of the greatest rock bands on earth. I respectfully disagree. Download “Dive with Me

Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere (Downtown/Atlantic) – By now you’ve heard about their “Myspace secret show,” downloaded bootlegs from their Coachella appearance and even seen Cee-Lo’s spoiled daughter on My Super Sweet 16. But is the record any good? While some critics think it’s too inconsistent, most think there’s enough there to recommend it. The Violent Femmes have to be happy about that cover.

Grandaddy Just Like the Fambly Cat (V2) – Critics generally agree that this is Grandaddy’s return to form after the disappointing Sumday. Jason shaved his beard, moved away from Modesto and is letting everybody know that he recorded all the instruments (except drums). The record is really good. Buy it. Watch the video for “Where I’m Anymore” Stream it HERE.

Zach Hill and Mick Barr Shred Earthship (5RC) – Members of Hella and Octis make an album that will “make Mike Patton” jealous. I guess that means it’s weird. Appearing live at the Echo on 6/22. Download “Note Swarm Hive Builders

Jolie Holland Springtime Can Kill You (Anti) – Roots-y singer-songwriter who was in the Be Good Tanyas. Appearing live at Amoeba on 5/9 @ 7:00 PM.

Lansing-Dreiden Dividing Island (Kemado) – A “multi-media company” that makes music. That description sounds so cold but I guess that’s the point? I haven’t heard it.

The Like Young Last Secrets (Polyvinyl) – A married couple from Chicago. They play punk-pop and this download is pretty catchy. Download “For Money or Love

Matmos The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast (Matador) – New album from the San Francisco soundscape creating duo. They’ve been in BUTT Magazine and worked with Bjork. Download “Roses and Teeth for Ludwig Wittgenstein” Stream it HERE.

Eugene Mirman En Garde, Society! (Sub Pop) – His second comedy album. I saw him perform once and really laugh much (but I’m a tough audience). I do however like David Cross, Patton Oswalt and George Carlin.

Model/Actress s/t EP (Thick) – Ex-bass player of Brainiac with a guest spot from David Yow.

The Old Haunts Fuel on Fire (Kill Rock Stars) – Indie garage punk from Olympia, WA. Appearing live at the Smell on 6/1. Download “Wasted Day

Pony Up Make Love to the Judges with Your Eyes (Dim Mak) – All girl band from Montreal. Appearing at Cinespace on 5/9. Download “The Truth About Cats and Dogs (Is that They Die)”

Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros.) – Big music critics (Billboard, LA Times, NY Times, Rolling Stone, EW) seem to like it. It’s a double album and Rick Rubin was involved. Even though many of us haven’t listened to them since high school, their last album sold nearly two million copies in the U.S. They’re appearing live at Verizon Wireless on 5/13. Stream it HERE.

Serena-Maneesh s/t (Play Louder) – The Norwegian band is popular with Pitchfork. Their CD is finally available at a more affordable domestic price. It’s dreamy My Bloody Valentine style rock (I know that’s a really lazy comparison). Did anybody see them at Spaceland or the Echo in March? Listen HERE.

Shearwater Palo Santo (Misra) – The main guy in Okkervil River stepped aside. The Allmusic Guide thinks that Jonathan Meiburg is a dead ringer for Jeff Buckley, but I’m sure my girlfriend will disagree. Download “Seventy-four, Seventy-five

Paul Simon Surprise (Warner Bros.) – He did this one with Brian Eno. Stream it HERE.

Snow Patrol Eyes Open (A&M) – Remember in 2001 when they sounded a lot like Sebadoh? Now they sell almost 500k records in the U.S. and are one of the biggest bands in the UK. Billboard says the new album sounds like a mix between Train and Goo Goo Dolls. Ouch. That sounds a little harsh. They namedrop Sufjan Stevens on the record. See them live at the Wiltern on 6/19 & 6/20. Stream it HERE.

The Stills Without Feathers (Vice) – They’re from Montreal and supposedly don’t sound like Joy Division anymore. I haven’t heard it yet. Download “In the Beginning” Stream it HERE.

Thee More Shallows Money vs. Shark (Turn) – Download “I Can’t Get Next to You” (Yes it’s a guy that talk/sings covering a song made famous by the Temptations and Al Green.)

Wooden Wand Harem of the Sundrum & the Witness Figg (5RC) – Influenced by Fleetwood Mac and Judee Sill? You be the judge. Download “Eagle Claw

Neil Young Living with War (Reprise) – Neil’s pissed off at the administration and current events and wants you to know about it. The album was released to coincide with the 36 year anniversary of his protest song, “Ohio” (about the Kent State shootings, d’uh). Most critics appreciate the sentiment and his passion and recommend picking it up. Stream the album HERE.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Live Music Options 5/8 - 5/11

Mon 5/8/06
The Submarines / Goldspot @ Viper Room ($10) – The Submarines debut album doesn’t come out until 6/20 but you can sample some tracks on their website or on Myspace. I’m listening to an advance and it has call and response boy/girl lyrics about the two singers’ relationship (both the breakup and reunion). The electronic blips call to mind the Stars and some Folk Implosion. Her voice is in the neighborhood of the woman from Mates of State. Goldspot is a big Nic Harcourt band.

Soul Position @ the Echo ($10) – For the underground rap fans. Soul Position is beatmaker/producer RJD2 and MC Blueprint. Listen to some tracks HERE.

Tues 5/9/06
Destroyer / Blood on the Wall / Psychic Ills / Hudson Bell @ Spaceland ($12) – This is a mash-up of two separate tours which means more value to the consumer. Destroyer is Dan Bejar’s (he’s also in the New Pornographers) main band. He writes very wordy songs (like Leonard Cohen wordy). Critics really like him. Brooklyn’s Blood on the Wall are an energetic indie band. Download Blood on the Wall’s “Mary Susan” Psychic Ills are also from New York and what little I’ve heard sounds like early Sonic Youth. Download “January Rain” Get there early and check out San Francisco’s Hudson Bell. I’ve written about them a few times before. I really like the album and their show at Sea Level was good. He’s probably heard a couple of Built to Spill records in his day. Download “Slowburn” and don’t judge a man by his t-shirt.

Pony Up / Clue to Kalo @ Cinespace ($5) – This is the “official Gnarls Barkley” album release party and a chance to see Dim Mak’s new clothing line. Oh yeah, and there are bands playing.

Darker My Love / God’s Gang @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – This is the release party for Metric and the Stills. Darker My Love just signed to Dangerbird Records.

The Advantage / 8-Bit @ Knitting Factory ($12) – For the videogame nerds. It’s basically casio versions of old Nintendo games. Download The Advantage’s “Batman vs. Joker

Wed 5/10/06
The Shore / Fairechild @ Knitting Factory ($10) – The Shore are a local band that writes big, universal rock songs along the same lines as the Verve. Lead singer, Ben Ashley has a strong voice and adds an occasional classic rock guitar solo. LA’s Fairchild is led by Josh Schwartz (Further, early Beachwood Sparks) and his wife Elisa Randazzo who trade off lead vocal and songwriting duties. Their music will make you think of driving through Topanga Canyon in the 1970s listening to Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. They also have a tendency to break out well-chosen covers like Emitt Rhodes or Fairport Convention. When you see Schwartz play guitar it’ll make sense that he’s opened for the Rolling Stones (as guitarist for Tim Burgess of the Charlatans). Get there early, Fairechild goes on at 8:00 PM.

Psychic Ills @ Spaceland ($8) – See Tuesday at Spaceland

Thurs 5/11/06
The Helio Sequence @ Spaceland ($12) – Portland’s the Helio Sequence always put on a great live show. They’re only a two-piece but they layer songs and make interesting dense and spacey music. They haven’t put out an album in two years, so please ask them what they’re up to. Download the Helio Sequence’s “Everyone Knows Everyone

John Vanderslice / Laura Veirs @ the Echo ($10) – San Francisco’s John Vanderslice is a very talented singer/songwriter and a studio whiz. I’ve never seen him live, but it should be well worth checking out. Pitchfork gave him an 8.3. Even in their new days of inflated grades that’s pretty damn good. Download “Exodus Damage” Seattle’s Laura Veirs is an introspective singer/songwriter. Listen HERE.

Rest in Peace: Grant McLennan

Grant McLennan from the Go-Betweens died this weekend. Read a nice obituary HERE. Their catalog was recently reissued to coincide with their new album and tour. If you're looking for a good launching point try Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express. There was a tribute to McLennan and his songwriting partner, Robert Forster in season 4 of my favorite show, 24 (the McLennan-Forster company). That's him in the background of this photo.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Week In Review

I need a nap.

Monday - I watched 24 at home. Jack Bauer is funny.

Tuesday - My lady and I went to see Secret Machines at Amoeba. They really shouldn't play acoustic. It's the antithesis of everything they stand for. After the show we grabbed some food and then stopped by Safari Sam's. We didn't realize it was Frankie Chan's new night. It was empty when we arrived and then started to fill up around 10:30PM. There was free Coors Light for an hour and it was one of 25 record release parties around town for the new Wolfmother album. My lady took a free t-shirt. By the time we left it was packed and the hormones were raging. The Presets were scheduled to play at midnight but it didn't seem worth sticking around.
Wednesday - A friend and I dropped by Spaceland to see The Clean Prophets. It was first time seeing them, and they were good. I took some photos but I don't have my camera with me right now. I need a Flicker account. Their songs are really catchy (but I already knew that from their CD). Check them out next time they play. The next band had a smoke machine. It got to be too much.

Thursday - A different friend and I went to the El Rey to see the Secret Machines. It was my fourth time seeing them (I'm not counting Amoeba). They're always great, but this time they were fantastic. It was an in-the-round performance with a massive stage setup in the middle of the floor. Quite a spectacle. Purple lights shining up through the massive chandelier. There wasn't any pushing to the front, because people weren't really sure where to stand. We found a good spot behind the keyboards. Bouncers pushed their way through the crowd and they climbed onto the stage. I'm always blown away by Josh's drumming. I was a little nervous about the sound because we were in the front and directly under the amps but it was loud and clean. Whoever re-did the El Rey's sound and stage setup did a great job (and it couldn't have been easy). I can't remember what all they played because the songs flow together pretty seamlessly. Even the songs I'm not crazy about on the new record sounded great live. If you're a fan of the last record don't hesitate to see them on this tour. The encore was a bit awkward given the lack of a backstage area. They left the stage under the escort of security and then had to be ushered back in. It was worth it, because they played two favorites from the last record. They managed to put on a big arena show in a relatively small venue. I see a lot of shows and I'm pretty jaded, so I really appreciate it when bands put so much effort into the performance. I saw the Cobrasnake there but he didn't really capture it. Unforutunately I didn't have my camera. See his photos HERE. Mighta been better photos from the balcony?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Feeling Yourself Disentegrate?

Beck and David Campbell

Weekend Live Music Picks 5/5 - 5/7

They will sex you up (except for the married/engaged members) - Irving play Spaceland on Sunday
Friday 5/5/06
Islands @ The El Rey ($12) – They’re an eccentric, Canadian, indie pop band that formed out of the ashes of Unicorns. They’re actually better than the Unicorns (by better I mean more listenable). Listen to some tracks at Myspace.

Frausdots @ the Echo – This is Brent Rademaker’s (Beachwood Sparks, Further, The Tyde) latest band. I hear they’re moving to Florida and this is their farewell show. Download “Dead Wrong

Saturday 5/6/06
Daedelus @ Sea Level 4:00 PM (Free) –Santa Monica based indie-electronica, Mush/Plug Research recording artist. He’s also playing that Daniel Johnston show at Spaceland tonight. Watch his “Sundown” video.

R. Kelly @ Gibson ($50-65) – Lock up your teenage girls, R. Kelly is in town. If you still haven’t seen Trapped in the Closet do yourself a favor and rent it immediately. To quote and recontextualize a cool local artist (and friend), “Are you for real dawg?” Also on Sunday
Andre Williams @ Spaceland – Filthy, old R&B singer who likes to sing about soul food and “Pussy Stank.” Leave your NOW cards at home. Download his cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right.” It’s by far the worst thing you’ll hear in ages.

Acid Mothers Temple / The Antarcticans @ Knitting Factory ($12) – Japan’s Acid Mothers Temple are psychedelic freaks (and not in a cute Wayne Coyne way). They name their albums after Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Univers Zero, etc. Be prepared for really long songs and some unlistenable wails. They were the first band I ever saw with a giant gong. Listen to some tracks at Myspace. The Antarcticans are a local instrumental band along the lines of Mogwai or Mono. They have a Myspace page too.

Sunday 5/7/06
Irving / Essex Green / The Minor Canon @ Spaceland ($10) – Local heartthrobs Irving are touring in support of their album Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers out now on Eenie Meenie. With three different lead vocalists, their music moves between Elephant 6 style retro-rock, moody early 80s Cure-style rock and dance rock. Download “Situation” Their show at King King in March was energetic and entertaining. Merge Records’ The Essex Green are a Brooklyn based retro pop band with folk flourishes. Two of the members are in Ladybug Transistor (a fun live band). Listen to some tracks at their Myspace page. The Minor Canon is Paul Larson’s (he’s played with Strictly Ballroom, Dntel, Beachwood Sparks, Nobody, Languis) new band. It’s sad music with trumpets and pianos.

Starlight Mints / dios (malos) @ Troubadour ($12) – Starlight Mints are an indie pop band from Oklahoma that should never be compared to the Flaming Lips. I saw them at SXSW about five years ago and enjoyed it. I’m currently listening to their new record for the first time. Download “Inside of Me” Dios (malos) are from Hawthorne, CA. Go ahead and compare them to Emit Rhodes, the Beach Boys and Black Flag. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to those bands? Dios put out some really good records but I’ve only seen them live once and it was disappointing. I’m willing to give them another chance though, because their records are that good. Download “I Want It All

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Separated at Birth

Rhett Miller vs. Ashley Parker Angel

I was watching Cooking with Celebrities (don't ask) a couple of weeks ago and saw this Ashley Angel guy. He's a boy band dude who hired a bunch of studio musicians to make a rock record. Anyway, I noticed an uncanny resemblance to another massively over-styled singer by the name of Rhett Miller. What do you think? If only Rhett could figure out how to tap into Ashley's fanbase. On Myspace Mr. Angel has 676k page views and 62k friends vs. Mr. Miller's 149k page views and 12k friends.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Releases 5/2/06

I don't feel like any of this stuff transcends its particular genre, but many of them are worth seeking out if you're a fan of the style...

Jon Auer Songs From the Year of Our Demise (Pattern 25) – Singer/songwriter/guitarist who was in the Posies and currently plays with Big Star. Appears at the Hotel Café on 5/26. Download “Six Feet Under

The Bellrays Have a Little Faith (Cheap Lullaby) – Local rock band with a powerful female soul singer. Appearing live at Sea Level Records on 5/2 at 7:00 PM and Safari Sam’s on 5/12. Listen to some tracks on their Myspace page.

The Black Keys Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough EP (Fat Possum) – Two-piece blues band from Akron, OH does an EP of blues covers. They’ll be opening some of the Radiohead shows, but not LA (Deerhoof opens in LA). Download “Meet Me in the City

Charlatans UK Simpatico (Sanctuary) – I’ve never been a huge fan. I did like their single “The Only One I Know” but that was back in 1990.The new record apparently has a disco/reggae vibe to it. Appearing live at the Avalon on 6/6. Preview the album on AOL.

The Court & Spark Hearts (Absolutely Kosher) – Melancholy album from the Americana-inspired San Francisco band. Appearing live at the Echo on 5/18. Listen to some tracks on MYSPACE.

Alejandro Escovedo The Boxing Mirror (produced by John Cale) (Back Porch/Narada/EMI) – I’ve always had a lot of respect for him, but never been a huge fan. Critics say it’s a dark album that encompasses elements from his long career (his punk roots through his pop songs).

Gomez How We Operate (ATO) – I’ve never been a fan. Critics say this is the most pop-rock album of their career. It’s all a little too adult contemporary for me. Appearing live at the Avalon on 5/23. Preview the album on AOL.

Ministry Rio Grande Blood: The True Story of Faith, Family and Flag (Megaforce/13th Planet) – I haven’t listened to these guys since 1992.Take a look at the Bush as Jesus cover with fighter planes and oil wells. Al Jourgenson is pissed off - thrash metal with Bush quotes throughout. Preview the album on AOL.

Mobb Deep Blood Money (Interscope) – Most critics and fans at Amazon say this album is uninspired. They’re now affiliated with 50 Cent and G-Unit. Preview the album on AOL.

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam (J Records) – Critics are saying that this is Pearl Jam’s best record since Vitalogy. I haven’t listened to them since 1993. Appearing live at the Forum on 7/9 & 7/10 with Sonic Youth as support. Preview the album on AOL.

Sunset Rubdown s/t (Absolutely Kosher) – Side project from the more introspective singer in Wolf Parade. That’s pretty indie of them to have a misspelling in their Myspace address (“sunestrubdown” instead of “sunsetrubdown”). You can download tracks from their Myspace page.

Thursday A City By the Light Divided (Island) – Emo kids. Appearing live in the Dodgers Stadium lot on 7/12. Preview the album on AOL.

Tool 10,000 Days (Volcano) – Their first album in five years and only their fourth in sixteen. Many critics complain that there are too many long, moody songs or that it sounds too much like A Perfect Circle record.

Wolfmother Wolfmother (Interscope) – If you love heavy music like Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and don’t care much about music with soul, then this is for you. They write songs about unicorns, pyramids and witchcraft that come off as threatening as a businessman driving his SUV to the golf course. Almost all the critics admit that the album is a lot of fun to listen to, but some complain that it’s just too derivative. See them live at Tower Sunset tonight at 7:30 PM or at the Henry Fonda on 6/14. Preview the album on AOL.

Year Future First World Fever (GSL) – This is the first full-length release from these heavy noise-rockers. If you’re into other local bands like 400 Blows and the Mae Shi then check it out. The lead singer founded GSL which is a well-respected label co-owned by Omar from The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In. Appearing live at the Smell on 7/7. Hear some tracks on Myspace.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Live Music Options 5/1 - 5/4

Secret Machines vs. Daniel Johnston on Thursday

Secret Machines at the El Rey is my pick of the pick. You should also support local bands the Brokedown on Tuesday and The Clean Prophets on Wednesday.

Monday 5/1/06
Mark Olson & Gary Louris @ Troubadour ($25) – This should appeal to the y’Alternative / No Depression fans. The two main guys from the Jayhawks back together. Also at the Troubadour on Tuesday.

I Rape Nick Lachey @ Il Corral ($5) – What gets me is that their name is not in the past tense. Obviously I haven't heard them.

Sunset Rubdown @ the Echo ($8) – Side project of Spencer Krug from Wolf Parade. Their album comes out on 5/2.

Tues 5/2/06
Secret Machines @ Amoeba 7:00 PM (Free) – See a rare acoustic performance. Also appearing on 5/4 @ the El Rey.

The Bellrays @ Sea Level 7:00 PM (Free) – She’s a soul singer fronting a dirty rock band. They put on a powerful live show. Also appearing at Safari Sam’s on 5/12.

Wolfmother @ Tower Records Sunset 7:30 PM (Free) – They’re from Australia and they love Blue Cheer. The album’s solid if you like that sorta Led Zep/Blue Cheer thing. Also appearing at the Henry Fonda on 6/14.

Ladytron @ the El Rey (Sold Out) – They’re pretty (even the dudes) and they make fun music. If you picked Devendra Banhart or Sigur Ros over Ladytron at Coachella, here’s another chance to see the synth-pop band.

The Brokedown / Tony Gilkyson @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) – The Brokedown is a local sunshine-y pop band with a slight country sound. They should appeal to fans of the Jayhawks, Son Volt, etc. They play the Silverlake Lounge every Tuesday in May. Tony Gilkyson (formerly in X and Lone Justice) is a great guitarist and he’ll perform his songs with the help of Kip Boardman and Mike Stinson. Download The Brokedown’s “Down in the Valley

Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory @ Little Temple ($5) - See the underground beatmaker with the former lead singer of the Beachwood Sparks.

Wednesday 5/3/06
The Clean Prophets / The Morning After Girls @ Spaceland ($8) – The Clean Prophets are a local psyche-pop band with a growing fan base. Their music should appeal to fans of the Chameleons and Echo & the Bunnymen. Download their song, “Tambourine Crown.” Melbourne’s The Morning After Girls have played shows with Brian Jonestown Massacre and toured with BRMC. They should appeal to fans of those bands (the newer BRMC stuff).

Drive-By Truckers / Son Volt @ House of Blues ($25) – It’s a dream week for Southern rock and y’alternative fans. They’re also playing Thursday night.

Thursday 5/4/06
Daniel Johnston @ Amoeba 6:00 PM (Free) – Seeing Johnston for free at Amoeba is kind of the perfect way to see him. You never know how long he’s going to play or what kind of mood he’s going to be in. It can be really uncomfortable watching him perform..

Secret Machines @ the El Rey ($24) – Secret Machines should be seen with a great sound system. David Bowie’s a huge fan of their live show for a reason. Like other great live bands like Radiohead and Spiritualized, their songs flow into one another, arrangements are altered from the recorded versions and they take you on a “trip” (that’s Bowie’s word choice, not mine). This is billed as an in-the-round performance which should be interesting at the El Rey.

Daniel Johnston @ Spaceland ($15) – If you’re planning to go, Sea Level Records still has tickets. How many of his famous admirers will show up?

Richard Buckner @ Largo (?) – He’s a talented, intense folk singer/songwriter with a gruff voice.

The Gris Gris @ the Echo ($8) – A garage-psych band from San Francisco that gets compared to 13th Floor Elevator. Download “Skin Mass Cat