Friday, June 30, 2006

Weekend Music Options

As Stanhalen mentioned in the comments, Jenny Lewis put on a great show at Spaceland last night. I've listened to the album a few times and thought it was good, but she really comes alive in person. Her voice sounded great, the Watson Twins harmonize so well and I've always enjoyed listening to Farmer Dave on pedal and lap steel. I heard a few fans cursing the presence of her boyfriend on stage, but that's just cause they're jealous. It was packed and about 150 degrees inside, but I still had a great time.....

Sorry for the lack of hyperlinks. Blogger seems to hate Macs (or else I just need to learn HTML if I'm going to use a Mac).

Friday 6/30/06
Radiohead @ the Greek (Sold Out) - Did you get tickets? Anybody go last night? I heard the San Francisco shows were great.

Built to Spill @ Troubadour (Sold out) - Anybody seen any of the shows this week?

Band of Horses @ the Echo (Sold Out) - Their album on Sub Pop is in my top 5 for the first half of the year. They were a little disappointing at King King earlier this year, but I'm really looking forward to the show tonight.

Edan / Nobody / Busdriver @ Spaceland ($12) - For the backpack rappers.

Electric Eel Shock @ Mr. T's Bowl (Free) - These guys crack me up. They're Japanese and play metal with a sense of humor. The drummer usually plays naked with two sticks in each hand. Also on Wednesday at Spaceland.

The Fucking Champs @ the Red Cat ($12) - Part of the Don't Knock the Rock festival. They play instrumental metal.

Saturday 7/1/06
Built to Spill @ the Troubadour (Sold Out) - I'll be there. They're new album's solid but I'd start with There's Nothing Wrong With Love if you don't own any of their records. "Car" is a great song....

Kinky @ the California Plaza (Free) - Kinky are from Mexico and put on a high energy live show.

Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Spaceland (?)

Redd Kross / Be Your Own Pet @ Red Cat Theatre (Sold out) - Highly anticipated reunion show. If you didn't get tickets they'll also be playing at the Sunset Junction in August. Be Your Own Pet just played the Troubadour on Tuesday. Anybody catch the show?

The Shakes @ Taix (Free)

Very Be Careful / Peanut Butter Wolf ($8)

Sunday 7/2/06
Midnight Movies @ the Echo (Free) - Very solid local band that hasn't played a show in a while. It's free and will probably be packed. Spaceland's closed.

The Dwarves @ Knitting Factory ($13) - That cover with the midgets, naked women and blood has always stuck with me....

Marky Ramone / The Spores @ Safari Sam's ($20) - The drummer of the Ramones plays the music of the Ramones. The Spores have a new record out this week. They incorporate puppets into the live show.

Qui @ the Scene ($5) - If you enjoy the loud rock'n'roll.

Antarticans @ Mr. T's Bowl ($3) - Mogwai-ish

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Upstaged By Puppets - Beck Live at the Wiltern

I really miss Beck. I've seen the guy about 15 times over the past nine years. From 1996-1999 he was one of the best live entertainers on the planet. Since then, each show has been a little worse than the one before it. On Wednesday night at the Wiltern he was downright boring. He stood on stage like he'd rather be anywhere else but there. It took him about 30 minutes to even address the audience ("I wanna thank my friends and family for coming out to the show. It's good to be home."). Apparently he needs some new inspiraton, LRH doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. A friend once warned me against seeing George Jones ("he'll just play all the songs you wanna see in a medley"). Guess what Beck did? Lots of medleys. Did you like Midnight Vultures? He summarized pretty much the whole record into a ten minute medley? Do you like "Loser"? How about watching the recorded version lip synched by puppets? And the sound at the Wiltern is horrible. Beautiful venue. Awful sound. I've seen a lot of shows there, and it's always a little disappointing. I'm so relieved when the bands I like play somewhere else, after I've seen them at the Wiltern, and they sound great (Wilco, Secret Machines, Belle & Sebastian, etc.). The gimmick for this show was the puppets. He hired puppeteers (one of whom was the puppeteer in a short film I worked on - Stool Pigeon) to stand behind the band with puppets in the image of each member of the band. A camera man filmed the puppets and then projected the puppet concert on a giant screen behind the band. It was cute. There was even a short movie that was very humorous right before the encore. The puppets went to Dodger Stadium, Millie's, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the band made fun of itself. For me that was the highlight of the show. During an extended boring part of the set, Beck played acoustic guitar while the rest of the band sat around a dinner table on stage (a gimmick he's been doing for a while, including his last El Rey show). Beck used to be charismatic and fun and connect with his audience in a way most performers would be jealous of. On Wednesday night he seemed to be taking the audience for granted. I'll definitely think twice before plopping down another $50 to see him.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New CD Releases 6/27

Kind of a light week, but some of this stuff is probably worth checking out (I promise that I put hyperlinks in, but I'm having problems with Blogger):

The Coral Sea: Volcano Heart (Hidden Agenda) – Santa Barbara based band. According to their Myspace page they sound like “Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Eliot [sic] Smith, Radiohead,” etc….

Dirty on Purpose: Hallelujah Sirens (North Street Records) – Brooklyn based slightly dreamy indie rock band. I got this one in the mail and it doesn’t sound bad. I’ve only listened to it once, but I’ll gladly give it another listen. They’re appearing live at Spaceland on 7/29. Go listen to some tracks on their Myspace page. Pitchfork gave it a respectable 7.7/10.

Dr. Octagon: The Return of Dr. Octagon (Ocd Records) – This is being billed as a sequel and it does feature Kool Keith but One Watt Son (a production trio) did the beats this time, so check it out before buying.

Four Tet: DJ Kicks (K7) – Hear him mix together bands like Curtis Mayfield, Stereolab, Animal Collective and Cabaret Voltaire.

Grant Lee Phillips: nineteeneighties (Zoe Records) - The former lead singer of Grant Lee Buffalo does a covers album of songs from a lot of my favorite bands from the 1980s, including: The Pixies, Smiths, REM, New Order and the Cure. It's probably worth hearing at least once. See him at Largo on 6/28.

Hacienda Brothers: What's Wrong with Right (Proper Records) - They mix country and old school R&B. See them at Cozy’s in Sherman Oaks on 8/25.

Merzbow: Minazo (Important Records) – Japanese noise music legend.

Pet Shop Boys: Fundamental (Rhino) – For the WeHo readers (with Trevor Horn as producer).

The Spores: Imagine the Future (Sidecho) – I’ve been hearing about their crazy marionette heavy live shows but I haven’t seen them yet. I got a copy of the CD too, but haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. The lead singer has performed with Mondo Generator but this is more electro-driven. See them live at Safari Sam’s on 7/2 or the Viper Room on 7/3.

Tim O’Reagan: Tim O’Reagan (Lost Highway) – The Allmusic Guide calls it “twang-infused chamber pop that wouldn’t be out of place on Summer Teeth.” He’s the former drummer of the Jayhawks.

Waterloo: Out of the Woods (Undertow) – St. Louis band. The Allmusic Guide compared their last album to Pavement. The new press materials mention Badfinger, ELO and Radiohead.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Upcoming Live Music Options

Excuse my lack of posts. I've been busy and then out of town. Lots of great stuff next week....

Sunday 6/25/06
Dios (malos) / The Tyde @ Little Radio (Free) 1:00PM – 7:00PM – Two very good local bands. Too bad I’m out of town…..

Sergio Mendes @ Hollywood Bowl ($13-$17) – You can still get the $13-$17 tickets on the benches towards the back. India.Arie, Q-Tip, John Legend and others join the Brazilian legend.

The Temporary Thing @ Spaceland (Free)

Monday 6/26/06
Monsters are Waiting / Future Pigeon / Tsar / Hawksley Workman @ Spaceland (Free) – Four stylistically different bands – one with an 80’s influence, one reggae band, one singer-songwriter and a goofy Sunset Strip glam band. Should make for an interesting evening (and a lot of people hiding out at the upstairs bar).

Gliss @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - The last night of their residency.

Corinne Bailey Ray @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – British singer who’s being billed as the next Norah Jones or Erykah Badu or something.

T.I. @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – Hip hop.

Tuesday 6/27/06
Beck / Jamie Lidell @ the Wiltern (Sold Out) – Beck’s got this new puppet show that’s getting mixed reviews. He’s one of the best live performers out there, so I’ve always gotta check him out… Jamie Lidell’s my favorite new artist to rip on. Will he win me over? Or will I dislike him even more?

Be Your Own Pet / Whirlwind Heat @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos) – BYOP are youngsters from Nashville who play loud, fun rock’n’roll. The press loves them and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth signed them.

Apollo Sunshine / Minor Canon @ Spaceland ($8)

Diane Cluck @ Tangier ($10)

Wednesday 6/28/06
Built to Spill @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – If you didn’t get tickets for any of the first four sold out shows, they just added a show on July 5th (tickets on sale 6/26 at 2:00PM).

Beck / Jamie Lidell @ the Wiltern (Sold Out)

Cat Power @ John Anson Ford Amphitheatre ($24) – The John Anson is one of the best places in LA to see a show. Unfortunately they just don’t do enough there. Supposedly Chan has gotten herself together and she’s starting to enjoy playing live. I recently saw some weird footage on Youtube of her covering Black Sabbath with the Flaming Lips on Austin City Limits.

Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($53-$85) – I love Emmylou (even stayed in the Emmylou room at the Joshua Tree Inn last weekend), but not so much Knopfler making the tickets a little too steep.

A Labor of Love: Johnny Echols, Michael Stuart, Vince Flaherty @ the Whisky ($30) – This is LA’s benefit show for Arthur Lee. No Robert Plant, Yo La Tengo, Ian Hunter or CYHSY but all for a great cause (one of my favorite musicians ever).

Yotokyo @ Zen – Some good clean indie-pop. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing about these kids soon. I stumbled onto them at Spaceland one night and they’ve got talent.

Thursday 6/29/06
Bedroom Walls @ Amoeba 7:00PM (Free) – Local dreamy indie pop band.

Radiohead @ Greek Theatre (Sold Out) – Did you manage to get tickets? Me neither.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins / Becky Starck (of Lavender Diamond) @ Spaceland ($12) – Nice intimate show. Get your tickets at Sea Level in Echo Park.

Carla Bozulich @ the Echo ($8) – The former Geraldine Fibbers member celebrates her new dark record.

Built to Spill @ Troubadour (Sold Out)

Jolie Holland @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – “Folkie balladeer”

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jenny Lewis at Spaceland

Do you guys like Jenny Lewis? She's playing a show at Spaceland next Thursday night (6/29). Tickets are available at Sea Level Records in Echo Park. This will sell out so get them while you can.........

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Live Music Options 6/21 - 6/22

Here are the most intriguing shows over the next two days....

Wednesday 6/21/06
David Thomas Broughton / Doveman @ Tangier ($12) – Pitchfork likes all the bands at this show. From the Fold website: “Touring on the release of his debut record, The Acrobat, DOVEMAN draws from downbeat jazz, contemporary classical, 60's pop, and ambient music, evoking the resonance of Nick Drake, Brian Eno, Talk Talk, or Belle and Sebastian. Pitchfork called DOVEMAN's record "A fascinating debut..." and said "one wants to build a seedy yet expensive wine lounge somewhere in East Village just to be able to play this album around last call." Joining on the bill tonight, David Thomas Broughton's bizarre folk songs transform into mantras of love, sex, war, and death. Keeping his instrumentation to a minimum, using an acoustic guitar, loop pedals, and even a cheap drum machine, Broughtman's artistic intent is unmistakenable and his voice resonates with the vocal tensity of Antony and the Johnsons swirling in and out of the hazy ambience.”

Keane @ the Fonda (Sold Out) – If Coldplay’s just a little too hard for you.

The Ark / Rocket @ the Troubadour ($12) – The Ark is an over-the-top glammy band. Rocket’s a local all girl band on Teenacide Records.

Hall and Oates @ Royce Hall ($65-105) – I don’t care what you say, Hall and Oates have some great songs (“Rich Girl,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” just to name a few). Would I pay $105 to see H&O in 2006? No way in hell.

Twilight Singers @ Avalon ($18.50) – People claim Greg Dulli is an amazing performer. I still haven’t seen him….

Thursday 6/22/06
The Duke Spirit @ Spaceland ($8) – Advance tix sold out for this one, but Spaceland always releases some at the door.

The Bird & the Bee @ Tangier ($10) – They’re signed to Blue Note. From the Fold website: “THE BIRD AND THE BEE is the collaboration between keybordist Greg Kurstin (Beck/Gwen Stefani) and singer Inara George. Inspired by jazz standards, THE BIRD AND THE BEE's original compositions feature unforgettably beautiful melodies, delivered with an airtight pop sheen.”

Hella / The Advantage! @ the Echo ($10 adv / $12 dos) – This noise rock stuff tends to give me a headache, but they’re talented guys…..

Rocco DeLuca @ Troubadour ($10) – Kiefer Sutherland’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. Rocco’s on his record label and Kiefer’s really passionate about his music.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Release Tuesday

No time to do my regular weekly release slate but there are a few things worth checking out. Here's the most interesting stuff.....

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel (DVD) - I wrote a review of this documentary last week. It's really, really, really good. My girlfriend and I stayed at the Joshua Tree Inn last weekend and saw Cap Rock. Watch the documentary and you'll know the significance of those places.....

Gram Parsons The Complete Reprise Sessions (3 CD Box Set) - If you dont' have the two Gram Parsons' solo records then definetely buy this. I haven't figured out if it's worth getting if you already own those two albums? Anybody know? The third disc looks like alt versions while the other two discs mainly just add interviews.

Luna The Best of Luna - Luna's one of my favorite bands of the 90s. If you don't own any Luna and you like dreamy indie-pop then definitely pick this up.

Luna Tell Me Do You Miss Me (DVD) -This DVD chronicles the final tour of a great band. I haven't seen it yet, but defintely wanna pick it up.

Old 97's The Best of the Old 97's - This is worth picking up if you like indie rock with a slight country twang. I'm kinda of a greatest hits guy with this band anyway.

Brightblack Morning Light Brightback Morning Light - I'll at least pay attention to any band that Matador releases (Sub Pop's about the only other label I respect that much these days). Download "Everybody Daylight" Appearing live at the Troubadour on 7/28.

Frank Black Fastman/Raiderman - Haven't bought a Frank Black solo record for a really long time but I still respect him. Appearing at the Pantages on 8/29. Pitchfork reviewed this today.

Keane Under the Iron Sea - Do you like Coldplay, but think they're just a little too edgy? Then Keane's your band. Appearing live at the Fonda on 6/21.

Blackpool Lights This Town's Disaster - Do you miss the Get-Up Kids? This is the lead singer/guitarist's new band. Appearing at Spaceland on 8/4.

The Submarines Declare a New State - This band's not bad at all. If you like the Stars I think you'll dig it. Light electro sounds with boy/girl harmonies. Appearing at the Echo on 7/7.

Stuart Staples Leaving Songs/Lucky Dog Recordings - Did you like the Tindersticks?

Guster Ganging Up on the Sun - Got this one in the mail recently but I haven't listened to it yet....

Live Music Options 6/20/06

Lots of good stuff if you're itching to get out tonight.

Tuesday 6/20/06
Giant Drag @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – Good chance to see a quality local band in a small venue.

Persephone’s Bees @ Knitting Factory ($8) – They’re an interesting female fronted band from San Francisco with a major label album coming out later this summer. It’s eclectic pop music.

The Parson Red Heads @ Spaceland ($7) – One of the local bands I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about, but I haven’t been to see them yet.

Merle Jagger @ Lava Lounge ($5) – It’s a Ranch Party Country night in Hollywood.

Scissors for Lefty @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – You may have to RSVP to pay $5.

T Bone Burnett @ El Rey ($37) – He did the music for O Brother Where Art Thou, The Big Lebowski, Cold Mountain and Walk the Line. And Bob Dylan's son opens the show.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday Night Options

Check out the Duke Spirit then go see Kennedy and Gliss at the Silverlake Lounge.

Monday 6/19/06
The Duke Spirit @ Sea Level 7:00PM (Free) – They’re a British band with a frontwoman with lots of attitude. For fans of PJ Harvey. Download “Lion Rip

Gliss / Kennedy @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – Party with Kennedy. Download “Mama Made Me a Pimp

Hopewell / Languis @ The Echo (Free) –

The Futureheads / French Kicks @ The Fonda ($15) – Download French Kicks’ “One More Time

DJ Quik @ House of Blues ($27) – Old Skool Set.

Magneta Lane @ Spaceland (Free) – Sassy girl rock.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

Friday 6/16/06
Juana Molina / Jose Gonzalez / Psapp @ El Rey ($21) – All three of these artists performed on Morning Becomes Eclectic this week. Juana Molina’s a critically acclaimed, Argentinean singer-songwriter who recently released her third album. Her music is pretty, electro-folk and she sings in breathy, Spanish. Jose Gonzalez is a Swedish singer-songwriter. The Onion compared him to Nick Drake and Elliott Smith but there’s a little more James Taylor in his voice. He plays finger-picked, acoustic music. He’s also all over that new Zero 7 record. Psapp is a British electro-pop band.

Mstrkrft @ Little Radio ($10) – Wanna see somebody DJ stuff by Wolfmother, The Kills, Annie and Metric? Me neither. The dude from She Wants Revenge is DJ’ing too.

Tom Verlaine @ Roxy ($20) – I love the first Television record as much as the next guy and I even have the other ones and a few Verlaine solo records.

Radio 4 @ Troubadour ($12) – If you like bands that are heavily inspired by the Clash and Gang of Four, then you might like these guys.

The Fiery Furnaces @ Fonda ($18) – High concept and instant headaches.

Tapes’n’Tapes / Cold War Kids / Figurines @ the Echo ($12) – Advance tickets for this one sold out very quickly, so you better get in line now. The bloggers broke them, now there’s a backlash. I like a few tracks on the album, but they were terrible at the Knitting Factory (could have been an off night?). At times they’re herky jerky and at times they’re like mellow Broken Social Scene. XL will re-release their debut album soon. Download “Omaha” Cold War Kids have grown on me (his voice takes some getting used to). They’re one of the local bands with a really good shot at blowing up (along with The Little Ones and Silversun Pickups). Download “Hospital Bed” Figurines are Denmark’s answer to Built to Spill. Download “The Wonder

The Good Listeners @ Tangier ($10) – Mellow and dreamy local band that gets compared to Eno.

The Sound of the Urchin / Crescent Moon / The Spores @ Spaceland ($10) – A night of silly rock. Two of the bands have Ween & Moistboyz connections.

The Switch @ Mr. T’s

Saturday 6/17/06
Forward Russia @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos) – British band that’s big over there. Don’t think they’ve released an album here? The All Music Guide says they’re like Bloc Party. Download “Four” (if this song is any indication, I hope to never hear these guys again)

The Riverboat Gamblers / Priestess / The Bronx @ Alex’s Bar ($15) – Denton’s The Riverboat Gamblers have a great front man who’s of the more energetic guys you’ll see (we’re talking hanging on the rafters energetic). I’ve seen them a couple of times and walked away very impressed. I’ve seen Priestess three times in the past six months (including last night) and they’re still entertaining. I even really like their extended drum solo. Their album finally got national distribution last Tuesday. They play heavy rock and draw lots of Motorhead comparisons. The Bronx are a local punk band.

Seu Jorge / Sea Wolf @ El Rey ($25) – You saw Seu Jorge singing those Bowie songs in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic. Sea Wolf is Alex Church from Irving’s other project.

Mickey Avalon @ Roxy ($12.50) – LA Weekly cover boy and candidate for worst rapper ever. He personifies everything people in the rest of the country hate about LA. And why would a club charge $12.50? Round it up or down.

Karl Blau @ Knitting Factory ($6) – K Records recording artist. Download “Into the Nada

Sunday 6/18/06
Dirty Little Secret / Division Day @ Little Radio Warehouse (Free) – Barbeque, dunk tanks, double dutch and indie rock. Little Radio consistently puts on cool events.

The Riverboat Gamblers / Priestess / The Bronxx @ Glass House ($12) – Pomona’s not as far as you think and it feels like you’re on vacation in a small college town. The Glass House doesn’t serve liquor so you have to run across the street and do tequila shots and chug beer. As an added bonus, the crowd is decidedly non-LA.

Stiff Little Fingers @ House of Blues ($15.50)

Lords @ Spaceland ($8) – Hardcore metal.

Aaron Kyle @ Tangier ($6) - Acoustic

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Muse @ the Greek 7/19

Muse's new album comes out on July 11th; it's called Black Holes & Revelations. I got a copy of it yesterday and I'm still digesting it. On the first track they tell Bush and/or Blair that they're going to hell for what they've done. Everything I wrote about Aloha yesterday? Muse is pretty much opposite. They're bombastic, over-the-top and they write anthems meant to be played in arenas. They're only a three-piece, but they supplement their live sound with recorded tracks. I've seen them a few times and it's surprisingly powerful. Some dismiss them as a Radiohead rip-off band, and today Pitchfork said this about them, "...what Thom Yorke would sound like fronting Audioslave at a disco." That's pretty accurate, but I still enjoy them for some reason(especially live).

Greek Theatre
July 19th, 2006
The presale starts tomorrow at 10:00am (sign up for the KROQ street team to get the password)

Listen to two new tracks HERE

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Record Review: Aloha's Some Echoes

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - I passively posted about Aloha a while back after hearing great things about their set at Spaceland and reading a few glowing comments (on this blog). I hadn't heard them, but finally ordered the vinyl directly from their label, Polyvinyl. Vinyl requires a commitment; I can't mindlessly put it on in the car or at work. Often when I'm at home I've already listened to music all day, so all I just wanna kick back and watch Netflix. A couple of weeks ago I finally sat down alone with the record (and some alcohol). At first I was also sorting through mail and newspapers, but a few tracks in I put it all away and grabbed the record sleeve to read along to the lyrics (because I'm a lyric person).

The lead singer has the kind of voice I'm frequently drawn to. It's slightly melancholy and conveys emotion in an understated way. While emo singers resort to shouting and American Idol contestants (and top 40 people) over-sing, the vocalists I like tend to stay within a fairly narrow range. He's a talented lyricist as well. The songs seem personal, but the themes are universal enough that we can all relate to them. He's good at avoiding obvious cliches too.

From the little research I've done about these guys, I learned that the vibraphone often dominated the band's sound. The vibraphone player's no longer in the band, but a few tracks still feature a vibraphone (or possibly a fake vibraphone). Cool with me, ever since I first heard Tortoise, I've been a big vibraphone fan. CNN said the band is inspired by early-Genesis. I haven't heard much early Genesis (I know, Peter Gabriel's talented) so I can't vouch for it one way or another. The music's not your run of the mill indie guitar, bass and drums; they incorporate mellotrons, marimbas and organs into the sound. Entertainment Weekly called it "a perfect laser show soundtrack for the art school set."

Give this record a chance and you'll be rewarded. If it doesn't grab you at first, drink a few glasses of wine and read along to the lyric sheet. At this point I was listening to it so much that now I'm purposely depriving myself of it so I don't burn out on it too quickly. Wanna read more? Pitchfork gave it an 8/10 (if that means anything to you).

Download "Your Eyes" (solid track, but they're more of an album band)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Releases 6/13/06

I recommend the new Sonic Youth and the Rush DVDs (if you're a fan). Beyond that, I haven't heard much of this stuff. I'm intrigued by a few things though....

Busta Rhymes The Big Bang (Aftermath) – Supposedly a more mature and solid record than his recent stuff. On Dre’s label with guests like Q-Tip, Stevie Wonder and Rick James.

Cloudland Canyon Requiems der Natur 2002-2004 (Tee Pee Records) – This one’s for the adventurous types. He’s the guitarist in the Panthers and the press release mentions Tortoise, Mahavishnu and field recordings. Hard for me to describe it any differently. Not so much songs, as sound experiments.

Couch Figur 5 (Morr Music) – Munich based experimental rock band. Influenced by Krautrock and post-rock.

Final Fantasy He Poos Clouds (Tomlab) – This record’s not for everybody (look at the title) but if you like idiosyncratic, baroque indie pop then give it a listen. In addition to string quartets, Owen Pallett also enjoys videogames (look at the name of the band) and Dungeons and Dragons (track down the press release). He hopes that after you listen to the album you’ll never entertain thoughts of suicide again. Does indie cred impress you? Pitchfork gave this album an 8.0/10 and Pallett has toured with the Arcade Fire. Appearing live at the Echo on 8/12. Download “Song Song Song

The Futureheads News and Tributes (Vagrant) – British post-punk band releases their second album. Most critics are giving it solid reviews. They say that the band draws from a wider range of influences on this record which makes it a little less punchy, but ultimately more interesting. Appearing live at the Fonda on 6/19.

The Handsome Family Last Days of Winter (Carrot Top) – Husband and wife duo that plays traditional or alt country music.

Hot Chip The Warning (DFA/Astralwerks) – Hipsters love this South London based electronic dance-pop band. Critics are giving the band’s second album solid reviews. They praise the wide range of influences (not every electro band lists Robert Wyatt as their number one influence) and are even throwing out some New Order comparisons. Appearing live at the Troubadour on 8/2.

Hypatia Lake …And We Shall Call Him Joseph (Sad Robot) – Indie group that gets Flaming Lips, Grandaddy and Kevin Shields comparisons. Download “Fishies vs Lines

Mr. Lif Mo’ Mega (Definitive Jux) – Backpack rapper. Appearing live at the Knitting Factory on 7/23.

Pink Mountain Pink Mountain (Frenetic) – Experimental rock music with Sam Coomes (Quasi) at the front. Download “Circling the 7th Planet” Guaranteed to give me a headache.

Priestess Hello Master (Red Ink) – Remastered and remixed first album from the Montreal heavy stoner rockers. Appearing live at Spaceland on Thursday. I’ve seen them twice this year and I recommend checking them out if you’re into heavy music (they get compared to Motorhead a lot). Download “Talk to Her

The Replacements Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? – The Best of the Replacements (Rhino) – A well-chosen 20-track retrospective (actually 18 classics and two new songs) from one of the great American college rock bands of the 1980s. If you’re too young to have caught them the first time around (or own all this stuff on vinyl) then pick it up. If you’ve already got it all on CD, then make your own best of.

Rush Replay (Mercury) – Don’t even front and pretend you’re too cool for Rush. This is a three DVD / one CD box set of vintage stuff. The DVDs feature live performances from the Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure and A Show of Hands tours. The CD is the Grace Under Pressure Tour soundtrack. All your favorite songs are represented (some of them multiples times): “Tom Sawyer,” “Red Barchetta,” “Spirit of the Radio,” “Freewill,” “Closer to the Heart,” etc. There are also great shots of the crowd, occasional voiceovers with the band talking about the songs and some awesome screen images of cars and wizards.

Six Organs of Admittance Sun Awakens (Drag City) – Ben Chasny’s in Comets on Fire and Current 93. Critics dig his guitar playing quite a bit (and some throw around the John Fahey influence). Download “Attar

Sonic Youth Rather Ripped (Geffen) – Sonic Youth are back with their best record in over a decade. Jim O’Rourke’s no longer with the band (after two albums) and what’s left is a more radio friendly version of the band. The album’s still full of Thurston Moore’s characteristic guitar work, but there’s also an abundance of focused three to four minute songs. A few critics wish there was more jamming, but most are very happy with the record. Over twenty-five years into their career, they’re still making inspired records. Recommended. They’ll be opening for Pearl Jam at the Forum on July 9th and 10th and also playing a special show for people who bought the album at indie record stores on July 8th (location TBA).

Regina Spektor Begin to Hope (Sire) – Some people are excusing her of selling out and lament the lack of piano while others think she’s just evolving.

Thee Emergency Can You Dig It (Blue Disguise) – Seattle garage rock band. Appearing live at the Scene on 6/28. Download “Sweat Sex

Monday, June 12, 2006

Secret Sonic Youth Show

You into Sonic Youth? The new album is the best thing they've done in years. I've been listening to it for the past few months. Well, if you support your local indie music store and buy the record tomorrow you'll get a free pass to a secret show on July 8th. The only other local dates they have are with Pearl Jam (and who wants to go to the Forum)?

Here are the details:
Retailers with the special laminate passes:
Lou's - Encinitas, CA
Fingerprints - Long Beach, CA
Rhino - Claremont, CA
Mad Platter - Riverside, CA
Bionic - Huntington Beach, CA and Cypress, CA
Sea Level - Los Angeles, CA (they open at noon)
Amoeba - Los Angeles, CA (they open at 10:30 I think)

Once you purchase the album, you will receive a laminate with RSVP instructions for the show. This event is presented by Filter Magazine to celebrate its 5th Anniversary and the release of Rather Ripped. Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis so get to your local store early. Rather Ripped will be released on Geffen Records June 13th.

Live Music Options 6/12 - 6/15

Monday 6/12/06
Boy Kill Boy / Monsters are Waiting @ Spaceland (Free) – London’s Boy Kill Boy play that catchy dance-rock that you might like if you’re into Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand. They’ve been on tour with Charlatans and Echo & the Bunnymen, so take advantage of seeing them for free. They’re also playing Lollapalooza and Reading and Leeds. You might have even heard their first single, “Suzie” on the radio. Monsters are Waiting are doing the free Monday night residency throughout June.

Gliss @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – They’re a prolific local band that’s doing the residency every at Silverlake Lounge every Monday in June. They’ve toured Europe with BRMC, Billy Corgan and the Editors.

Languis / Whysall Lane @ the Echo (Free) – Remember how I’ve been praising Languis’ new four-piece lineup? That is no more. They’re back to a two-piece (but a different two-piece, because Marcos is gone). I missed last week’s show, but people walked away a little confused. Remember New York City’s Versus? They were a solid nineties indie band. Whysall Lane is the lead singer’s (Richard Baluyut) new project.

Echo & the Bunnymen @ the Fonda ($23) – Do you have Crocodiles and Ocean Rain?

Negativland @ Silent Movie Theatre ($22) – I doubt Bono shows up.

Irving / Army Navy / Minor Canon @ Viper Room - Solid local lineup.

Tuesday 6/13/06
The Tyde @ Cinespace ($5) – Echo Park’s the Tyde appearing at Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak night at Cinespace. Interesting. Tim Burgess of the Charlatans and Alan McGee of Creation Records will be guest DJ’ing. The Tyde’s third album is already out in the UK, but won’t be out in the US until August 29th.

Juana Molina / the Watson Twins @ Tangier ($12) – Argentinean Juana Molina writes pretty songs with guitars and light electronic sounds. The Watson Twins backed Jenny Lewis up on her recent solo album and they make their own records too.

Calexico / Black Heart Procession @ the Fonda ($18) – Calexico’s latest album was a bit of a departure, but they didn’t lose their Western sounds completely. Black Heart Procession has some Latin elements on their latest CD.

Walter Schreifels @ Spaceland ($8) – He was in Quicksand (mid 90’s pleasure) and Rival Schools. He’s also playing Hotel Café on Monday and Viper Room on Wednesday. There’s also an Arthur Magazine sponosored Imaginational Anthem Tour happening with UK folky James Blackshaw, Sean Smith and Sharron Kraus.

The Holograms @ Key Club (Free)

She Wants Revenge / Ima Robot @ Wiltern ($22.50) – Two nights at the Wiltern? Really?

Wednesday 6/14/06
Wolfmother / deadboy and the elephantmen @ Fonda (Sold Out) – Wolfmother’s actually a fun band to listen to (probably as influenced by the White Stripes as Black Sabbath). Their lyrics are very silly, but if they’re good enough to sell iPods. Deadboy and the Elephantmen are an indie duo with a female drummer and male guitarist/singer. They’re worth checking out.

Mountain Goats @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – For the indie rockers. John Darnielle is a very well respected songwriter.

She Wants Revenge / Monsters are Waiting @ Wiltern ($22.50) – The second night.

DJ Quik @ House of Blues ($27) – For the old school rap fans. I’ve gotta confess that I listened to Quik Is the Name just this weekend.

Black Crowes @ Greek Theatre ($54.50) – Southern boogie rockers

Cex @ Derby ($8) – IDM dude’s latest album is called Actual Fu**ing. The All Music Guide says it’s an intelligent commentary on the pretentiousness of bands like Radiohead.

Yotokyo @ Zen Sushi – I accidentally saw these local kids at Spaceland last week. They like to drink Red Stripe and Red Bull (together). They’ve got a clean indie pop sound (they kinda reminded me of Ben Folds) and the lead singer (apparently he’s Glen Campbell’s son) has a good voice. They even got Beck’s dad to do the string arrangements on a couple of tracks on their record. Very nice guys and they’re playing every Wednesday in June at Zen Sushi. Download “Kumashea

Thursday 6/15/06
Priestess / The Vacation @ Spaceland ($10) – I’ve seen Priestess twice in the past year at Spaceland. They’re a heavy Canadian rock band, not an all girl Judas Priest cover band (as their name implies). I like them.

The Walkmen / Mazarin @ El Rey ($17) – The Walkmen’s latest album is a departure from previous albums. More Dylan, less post-punk. Mazarin is a pysch-pop band from Philly.

Helen Stellar / Talkdemonic @ the Echo ($7) – Do you respect Cameron Crowe’s taste in music? Do you like shoegaze? Then check out this local band. Download “IO” Do you like instrumental post-rock? Then check out Talkdemonic.

Eagles of Death Metal @ Fonda ($15) – They’re a joke-y metal band with Josh Homme from QOTSA on drums. Sleazy songs that are all in fun.

Sound Team / Division Day / Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos) – Do you like indie rock? This one will sell out, so get your tickets soon. Austin’s Sound Team just put out a record on Capitol and the bloggers love it. They get compared to Interpol, Spoon and krautrock. Division Day is a local indie band and candidates for nicest band in LA.

The Bird and the Bee @ Tangier ($10) – A collaboration between Greg Kurstin (keyboard player for Beck and No Doubt) and Inara George. They’re inspired by jazz standards and got signed to Blue Note. Joey Waronker will join them on drums.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

Friday 6/9/06
Silversun Pickups / Film School @ the Echo ($10) – The Silversun Pickups drop their debut full-length, Carnavas, on July 25th on Dangerbird Records. The record is consistently strong, making them one of the handful of local bands with a really good chance of blowing up this year. Expect to hear a few Smashing Pumpkins comparisons (classic Gish/Siamese Dream-era Pumpkins). San Francisco’s Film School frequently gets compared to your favorite Manchester bands.

Josh Ritter / Richard Swift @ El Rey ($14) – Here’s one for fans of singer-songwriters. Josh Ritter’s an Idaho-born folk singer who broke big in Ireland. I saw him at King King not too long ago and he’s obviously very talented. Download Ritter’s “Girl in the War” Download Swift’s “As I Go

Tommy Keene @ Spaceland ($8) – This one’s for the power-pop, record collector crowd. He’s been doing it for a long time and people who know a lot more about music than you or I really dig him. I own a few records on vinyl.

Bobb Bruno @ The Smell ($5) – For the loud rock fans (not so much Bobb as the other bands he’s playing with).

The Weary Boys @ Molly Malone’s ($10) – For the country fans. These guys were big in Austin when I lived there. Download “Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Saturday 6/10/06
Juana Molina @ Amoeba 2:00 PM (Free) - The Argentinean singer-songwriter released her new album on Tuesday. It's really nice with electronic soundscapes and acoustic guitars. You don't have to be a KCRW listener to enjoy it. There are some nice Brazilian influences too. I'm still working through it. She'll also be at Tangier on the 13th and El Rey on the 16th.

The Streets @ The Fonda (Sold Out) – For fans of British rappers. Some critics think he’s a lyrical genius. His second record didn’t seem to go over as well as his first, but he still sold out the Fonda. I don't mind him, but it's not really my thing.

Constantines / Oakley Hall @ Spaceland ($8) – Ontario’s The Constantines are on Sub Pop. He’s a strong lyricist with sorta blue-collar, classic rock style songs (but with keyboards). Download “Soon Enough” Brooklyn’s Oakley Hall just put out a record on Jagjaguwar this week. Critics (especially the ultra-snobby ones) are praising their psych-country sounds. They incorporate organs, banjos, fiddles, lap guitars and four-part harmonies. Download “Landlord

Gus Black @ Largo – For the KCRW, singer-songwriter crowd.

CocoRosie @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – For the freak folk crowd.

Nels Cline / Polar Goldie Cats @ the Smell ($5) – Nels can do pretty much anything with a guitar.

Sunday 6/11/06
Future Pigeon / Hello Astronaut, Goodbye Television @ Little Radio Downtown Warehouse – 1218 Long Beach Avenue (Free) – Apparently the first one was a big success. Unfortunately I didn’t make it because my brain was still cooked from sitting outside all day on Saturday. Hopefully the weather is a little cooler this Sunday. I heard there will be a dunk tank too. And apparently it's a Sonic Youth listening party (and the new Sonic Youth is actually really good).

Spank Rock / Low B (of Hollertronix) @ Spaceland ($10) – Baltimore’s Spank Rock have 2 Live Crew style rhymes over more interesting computer beats. Download Spank Rock’s “Rick Rubin” and Low B’s “WhachooknowaboutTHIS!” Should be a party.

KXLU FundrazorAwol One / Cass McCombs / Darker My Love / Lavender Diamond / Irving / Mika Miko / Army Navy / others @ the Jensen Rec Center ($15) 1:30 PM – KXLU (88.9 FM) is LA’s true college radio station. It’s an interesting, diverse lineup and all the proceeds go to a deserving station that supports the local music scene. Download Cass McCombs’ “I Went to the Hospital

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Jack White Is Alright with Me

My apprehension about seeing the Raconteurs at the Fonda last night quickly disappeared when they took the stage. On the album, each song sounds like a different band trying on a new style and playing without much soul. But in person, they're tight, unified and rock nice and hard (and loud - my ears were ringing for hours after the show). They supplemented the band (Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler) with a keyboard player who looked very familiar (I think he was in the Waxwings? correct me if I'm wrong). I was drinking a little too much to be bothered with writing the set list down (and I thought - how hard could it be to remember, they've only got one album). About four songs in they broke out Love's "A House Is Not a Motel." I've got to admit that I got a little emotional. Earlier in the day I'd read about Arthur Lee's illness and his recent experimental stem cell surgery. I'm still a little pissed off that nobody big stepped up to play the LA tribute show. For me, Love is probably the quintessential LA band (you could obviously make an arguement for The Byrds too) and this blog is named after one of my favorite Love songs. Anyway Jack White strolls into town and plays a very passionate version of the song (and those songs off of Forever Changes aren't the easiest things to pull off). Take that LA musicians. After that they really couldn't do anything wrong in my eyes. Jack didn't say much during the set. He said something about "all my Latino and Latina family out there" and introduced the band at the end of the set. Brendan Benson did a nice cover of "It Ain't Easy" which most people know from David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust). The other big highlight was "Broken Boy Soldier" which some critics have read as White's kiss off of the White Stripes ("I'm through ripping myself off" / "The boy never gets older"). His guitar playing was solid as ever and very engaging to watch. I also really like watching rock drummers who hold their sticks like jazz drummers. Patrick Keeler's got skills. Much of the crowd was obviously there to see White (he was front and center) but the rest of the band more than held their own. They played pretty much the whole record, the two covers I mentioned and two songs I didn't immediately recognize (any help?). If you're on the fence about going to the Wiltern show, pull the trigger (tickets still remain for the July 20th show). I plan to go back and listen to the record with new ears.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Beck @ the Wiltern

Who: Beck
What: Live concert
Where: Wiltern Theatre
When: July 27th & July 28th
How: the presale starts at 4:00 PM today on Ticketmaster - you need a password (so join Kroq's street team or Beck's website)
Why: Beck's an amazing live performer. I've seen him at least 10 times. His El Rey show last year was probably the worst I've seen him do, but still better than 98% of the bands you'll see this year. He's got Jamie Lidell opening for him. I don't get Jamie Lidell, but maybe you like him? I know a lot of people really do..... another presale just started at 10am for I guy I don't get - Matishyahu @ the Greek on 8/9. Ugh.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Release Tuesday

There's a lot of stuff and I don't have time to look at it all. I'll try to update this later. If you're going to the store to buy one thing I'd get the new Mojave 3 record.

AFI Decemberunderground (Interscope) – Mixed reviews for the Hot Topic band.
Amps for Christ Every Eleven Seconds (5 Rue Christine) -

Bardo Pond Ticket Crystals (ATP Recordings) -

Be Your Own Pet Be Your Own Pet (Ecstatic Peace) – Thurston Moore signed this teenage band from Nashville. Critics like to compare the lead singer to Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Most critics think it’s a fun, infectious record but detractors criticize the lack of sophistication. The whole thing only lasts 33 minutes. Tickets are still available for their show at the Troubadour on June 27th

Bouncing Souls The Gold Record (Epitaph)

Carla Bozulich Evangelista (Constellation) – The talented (and versatile) local singer-songwriter worked with members of Godspeed! You Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion and the Mae-Shi on this release. It’s being called intense and emotional with interesting instrumentation (strings, loops, mandolins, organs, etc.). Appearing live at the Echo on 6/29.
Camera Obscura Let's Get Out Of This Country (Merge) – Catch this Scottish band at the Troubadour on 7/19.

Cheap Trick Rockford (Big 3) – Power pop legends.
Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint The River in Reverse (Verve Forecast) - Also available as CD/DVD combo. Elvis teams up with a Lousiana legend.
Depeche Mode Speak & Spell (reissue with bonus DVD) (Rhino)
Depeche Mode Violator (reissue with bonus DVD) (Rhino)

Evangelicals So Gone (Misra) – Oklahoma band. Download “Here Comes Trouble

Fair The Best Worst-Case Scenario (Tooth & Nail)

Donavan Frankenreiter Move by Yourself (Lost Highway) – Former pro surfer. Appearing live at El Rey on 6/7.

Head Automatica Popaganda (Warner Bros.)

Kieran Hebdan & Steve Reid (Dominco) – The Four Tet guy and the talented Motown drummer release a live version of their sessions.

Micah P. Hinson The Baby and the Satellite EP (Jade Tree)

Ice Cube Laugh Now, Cry Later (LenchMob)

Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams Not Bitter But Bored: The Roots of Morrissey (Amagram) – This was Alain Whyte’s band before he joined Morrissey. Whyte brought some of these tracks with him to Morrissey’s band. Morrissey added his own lyrics (we’re talking songs like “First of the Gang to Die” and “Irish Blood, English Heart”)

Ladyhawk Ladyhawk (Jagjaguwar) - Download “Dugout

Metallic Falcons Desert Doughnuts (Voodoo EROS)

Mojave 3 Puzzles Like You (4AD) – The core of Mojave 3 is still Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell from the excellent shoegazer band, Slowdive. Sadly, Ms. Goswell has some serious ear problems (see her Myspace page for details) so she won’t be touring with them. Usually their music is dreamy with hints of country-rock but this album is a little more upbeat. Recommended stuff. Download “Breaking the Ice

Juana Molina Son (Domino) – She’s a critically respected singer-songwriter from Argentina. She mixes mellow acoustic ballads with electronic soundscapes. The All Music Guide said her last album was like Lisa Germano backed You can see her at Tangier on 6/13 or El Rey Theatre on 6/14. Download “No Es Tan Cierto

Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequence (Zero Summer) – Appearing live at the Hotel Café on 6/12 and on the radio on KCRW on 6/8. Nic Harcourt loves him.
The New Cars It's Alive (Eleven Seven) – Live versions of classic Cars’ songs with Todd Rundgren on vocals. Does Rundgren need money that bad? Just get the original versions.

Paul Oakenfold A Lively Mind (Maverick) – He’s got a duet with Brittany Murphy.
Oakley Hall Gypsum Strings (Jagjaguwar) – Appearing live at Spaceland on 6/10. Download “Lazy Susan

Oppenheimer Oppenheimer (Bar None)

The Paper Chase Now You Are One Of Us (Kill Rock Stars) – Download “Said the Spider to the Fly

Portastatic Who Loves The Sun (Merge) – An indie soundtrack

Psapp The Only Thing I Ever Wanted (Domino) – Appearing at El Rey on 6/16.
John Ralston Needle Bed (Vagrant)
The Robot Ate Me Good World (Kill Rock Stars) – Noisey rock. Download “On Vacation

Scarling Staring to the Sun (Sympathy for the Record Industry)

Sarah Silverman Jesus Is Magic (Interscope)

Smoosh Free to Stay (Barsuk) – Smoosh are two adorable sisters from Seattle. Asya plays keyboards and she’s 14. Chloe plays drums and she’s 12. They play light indie pop and they’re currently touring with the Eels. They were taught and mentored by the Death Cab For Cutie drummer. Download “Find a Way

Sound Team Movie Monster (Capitol) – This is the major label debut from the Austin, TX indie
band. The bloggers love these guys. They get compared to everybody from Sonic Youth to Spoon to Interpol. Tickets are still available for their June 15th show at the Troubadour. It’s on a major label, so even Amazon is selling it for $18.98. Ouch. Download “Movie Monster

Stars of Track and Field Centuries Before Love and War (Sidecho)

Stuart Staples Leaving Songs (Beggars Banquet)

Syd Matters Syd Matters (V2)

Todd Comes to Your House (Southern)

Various Artists Sing Me a Hank Williams Song (Time Life) – Well known covers by big country legends.

Various Artists Strummin' With The Devil: Bluegrass Tribute to Van Halen (Cmh) – This seems ill advised. David Lee Roth does appear on a couple of tracks.

World Party Egyptology (Seaview)

Zero 7 The Garden (Atlantic) – The electro-pop duo has pretty good reviews for this album.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Live Music Options 6/5/06 - 6/8/06

I saw Infinity (the Journey cover band) at Spaceland this weekend. It was crazy packed and very entertaining.

Monday 6/5/06
Languis / Kind Hearts and Coronets / Ill Lit / @ the Echo (Free) – Languis is playing every Monday at the Echo in June. They put out a very good spacey rock EP earlier this year. You need to see them live (and immerse yourself in it) before judging them. Download “In the Fields of (Lonely Fences)”

Monsters are Waiting / The Outline @ Spaceland (Free) – Monsters are Waiting is playing every Monday night at Spaceland in June. They’ll also be at Sunset Junction, opening for She Wants Revenge and doing one of Little Radio’s barbeques. They’ve also got over 10,000 friends on Myspace.

Gliss @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – Gliss is playing every Monday night at the Silverlake Lounge in June. From the LA Weekly: “The atmospheric Silver Lake band Gliss (named after the musical term glissando) conjure up a bigger and grander moodiness than you might expect from a trio who swap instruments. Majestic guitars unwind across the spiral galaxies of "Velvet Stars" as Martin Klingman’s breathy, languidly world-weary vocals contrast the glittery settings laid down by collaborators Victoria Cecilia and David Reiss...”

Gram Rabbit @ Viper Room ($10) – Voted LA Weekly’s best new band. They’ve got a unique sound. Kind of like what would happen if you mixed Massive Attack and Calexico.

Murder By Death / Rocky Votolato / Metal Hearts @ Troubadour ($10) – Download Rocky Votolato’s “White Daisy Passing” Download Metal Hearts’ “Foothills

Bruce Springsteen @ the Greek (Sold Out) – Touring with his Seeger sessions band.

Tuesday 6/6/06
Kids of Widney High / The Holograms @ Key Club (Free) – From their site: “The Kids of Widney High are a group of students from Widney High School, a special ed. high school in Los Angeles, who write and perform original songs.” They recently appeared in that Johnny Knoxville movie, The Ringer. Here’s a clip of “Every Girl’s My Girlfriend” Download The Holograms “Are You Ready For It

Hank Williams III / Danzig / Rudy Ray Moore @ the Fonda ($30) – Celebrate a night of evil? Does anybody know if Danzig still lives on Franklin? I heard he moved. I keep forgetting to look for his Jaguar when I drive by. As I mentioned last week, I don’t mind Hank III. He’s playing Sunset Junction too.

Icarus Line / the Vacation / Burning Brides / Darker My Love @ El Rey ($6.66 adv / $8 dos) – The Concert of the Beast. Another show that was booked to celebrate 06/06/06. All these bands are fast. Download The Vacation’s “White Noise” Darker My Love’s doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland in July and they have an album out on Dangerbird on 8/22. Just got it in the mail last week and I’m still working through it. My first impression is that fans of Brian Jonestown Massacre should like it. I’ve gotten albums from all of these bands in the mail over the last couple of years too.

Charlatans UK / Boy Kill Boy @ the Avalon ($20) – I think Tim Burgess of the Charlatans still lives in LA these days. Boy Kill Boy is a British band with some good buzz over there. They’re playing the Reading and Leeds festivals and Lollapalooza. I just got their CD in the mail this weekend and it’s dancey-rock. Probably for fans of Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand.

Mellowdrone / Monsters are Waiting @ Troubadour (Sold Out)

Wednesday 6/7/06
The Raconteurs @ the Fonda (Sold Out) – Jack White, Brendan Benson and the rhythm section of the Greenhornes. This is one of their first shows, so all the bloggers will be writing about it. The album has grown on me a little, but hopefully they’re a little more entertaining live.

Young People @ the Smell ($5) – They’re a local band that generally gets good reviews. Pitchfork gave 2003’s album an 8.2/10. Their new album came out in March on Too Pure Records. The All Music Guide calls them “a fascinating mix of rock, country & avant garde.” Download “El Paso

Sons and Lovers @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – This is the official V2 Records after party for the Raconteurs show at the Fonda. Sons and Lovers has a retro sound that will appeal to fans of the Greenhornes.

Hello Stranger / Dirty Little Secret / Illinois @ Spaceland ($7) – The band formerly known as Vagenius. If you’re going email Hello Stranger because they have a big list and they’re playing every Wednesday in June.

Thursday 6/8/06
8-Bit @ Spaceland ($8) – Highland Park’s 8-Bit are known for dressing up in crazy robot costumes and putting on energetic shows. According to their website they “are a robotic old school nintendo rap crew.” Download “You Ain’t No Robot

The Roots / Talib Kweli / Blackalicious @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – Veteran backpack rap.

Dengue Fever @ Tangier ($10) – The best local psychedelic Cambodian rock band. If you haven’t seen them, they’re well worth checking out.

The Weepies @ Knitting Factory ($12) – A very mellow folk-pop duo

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ticket Giveaway: Gram Parsons - Fallen Angel

What: Win two free tickets to a screening of Gram Parsons - Fallen Angel
When: Wednesday June 7th @ 7:00 PM
Where: Laemmle's Sunset 5
How: The first person to email me (dukeufo at with Gram's birth name wins the tickets to the screening

Gram Parsons is often credited as the father of country-rock. That may not be entirely true, but he was certainly there from the beginning. His work in The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and his solo stuff has influenced bands like the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, My Morning Jacket, Dwight Yoakam, Mike Stinson, etc.

I'd read Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons before seeing this, and I still found this documentary extremely compelling. The filmmaker speaks with a lot of the key figures in Gram's life: Keith Richards, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Pamela Des Barres, Bernie Leadon, Phil Kaufman, etc. This film isn't the one-sided work of an adoring fan - we see what a complex man Gram was. From his tough family life, to his burgeoning career, to his relationship with Keith Richards, to his death. It's all fascinating stuff. Unfortunatley there's not a lot of actual footage of Gram on film in existence, but this documentary captures pieces of it. Fans will love hearing Pamela talk about early Burritos shows and Manuel talk about working with Gram on his famous Nudie suit. And there's a lot of footage of Keith speaking adoringly. It might make you feel like taking a road trip to Joshua Tree.

If you can't make it out to the Sunset 5 on Wednesday, you can still catch the documentary on DVD starting on June 20th.

Recommended music: The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Flying Burrito Brothers' Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe, Gram Parsons' G.P. and Grievous Angel

Sunset Junction Lineup

This year's Sunset Junction is scheduled for August 26-27. Band announcements are slowing trickling out. Usually I can only handle one day surrounded by such a high concentration of freaks, so this year I'll probably go on Saturday. Sunday's a more "adult" lineup and has a pretty strong country presence. Which ever day you go, I recommend smuggling in lots of hard liquor and wearing sunscreen.

Saturday (so far):
Monsters are Waiting, The Little Ones (who are also doing the Monday night Spaceland residency in August), Great Northern, Arthur Adams, The eels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Isaac Hayes, etc.

Sunday (so far):
Restaurant, I See Hawks In LA, The Cousin Lovers, Mike Stinson, Candye Kane, Dave Alvin, Hank Williams III, The Cramps, etc.

Keep your eye on the lineup HERE

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

Kool Keith plays the Knitting Factory on Sunday

Friday 6/2/06
Mike Stinson / Flash Express / Stax of Women @ El Cid ($7) – As regular readers know, Mike Stinson’s my favorite local country-rocker. He’s a big Gram Parsons fan and it shows in his music. His guitarist, Tony Gilkyson (X, Lone Justice) is so much fun to watch. He plays effortlessly. If you like Jon Spencer, then check out Flash Express. Stax of Women is a talented cover band (Josh Schwartz, Jason Moore, etc.) that keeps changing their name.

Infinity @ Spaceland ($10) – They’re a female-fronted Journey tribute band and they’re supposed to be incredibly entertaining. Click on the link to their Myspace page and check out the set list. Who doesn’t like Journey?

Hank Williams III / The Murder Junkies @ the Roxy (Sold Out) – I’ve always respected him, but I’m just now getting around to listening to his new record. He’s reverential to good country like his Grandpa, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Cash and the Louvin Brothers. Fear not if you didn’t get tickets, he’s also appearing at the Fonda on 6/6/06 (with Glen Danzig?). The Murder Junkies were GG Allin’s last touring band. If you don’t know anything about GG, check out Todd Phillips’ (Old School, Road Trip) frightening documentary, Hated. We showed that in college and it almost resulted in a riot. The band Cocknoose got on stage and pissed on the movie screen and then somebody pulled the fire alarm in the student union and the fire department showed up. I almost got asked to resign from my volunteer job (which was bringing movies to campus). The administrators tried to get me to sign some document taking blame for it all and I didn’t even pick the movie. It was my friend Shannon. Good times.

Howlin Rain / CB Brand @ the Echo ($8 adv / $10 dos) – Do you like the Greatful Dead? So does Howlin Rain. The band features Ethan Miller of Comets on Fire and John Moloney of Sunburned Hand of the Man. The influential record store Other Music absolutely loves it. Download “Roll on the Rusted Days

People Under the Stairs @ Troubadour ($15) – Local underground hip-hop. You can listen to a bunch of their live sets on their website.

Saturday 6/3/06
The Boy Least Likely To @ the Roxy ($12) – Yes these Brits are a little fey, but they’re also incredibly entertaining. I saw them recently at Spaceland and they exceeded all expectations - way better than you’d think. It was one of the better times I’ve had at a show this year. They’re playful pop, but tour with a full live band. Don’t believe me? Pitchfork gave their debut album an 8.5/10. Follow this link and watch the VIDEO. Download “Rock Upon a Porch With You” They’re also appearing at Fingerprints Records in Long Beach at 2:00 PM.

Danielson @ Spaceland ($10) – Speaking of Pitchfork, the founder of Pitchfork recently gave the Danielson album a 9.1/10. The music’s interesting, but a little too manic for me. I still think they’re way better than Fiery Furnaces. They’re part of the indie Christian community along with Sufjan Stevens. Download “Daughters Will Tune You

Pretty Girls Make Graves / Giant Drag @ the El Rey ($16) – I still haven’t seen Giant Drag.

Arctic Monkeys / We Are Scientists @ the Wiltern (Sold Out) – I had a pretty good time when I saw Arctic Monkeys at Spaceland in January. They’re not bad. At the time I may have said that they’re like what would happen if four guys from your high school soccer band listened to the Clash’s first album and then started a band. I still wasn’t compelled to purchase the record. I don’t get the critics who cite the brilliance of the lyrics.

Ice Cube @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” says “Get Off My Dick and Tell Yo Bitch to Come Here”

Liars @ the Troubadour ($12) – And Pitchfork gave their recent record a 9.0/10. The All Music Guide says they play a noise-rock/prog rock fusion.

Sunday 6/4/06
Let’s Go Sailing / Birdmonster / Run Run Run @ Little Radio (Free) 1:00PM-7:00PM – Who can turn down a free barbeque with cheap liquor? Let’s Go Sailing’s show at the Troubadour was my pick on Tuesday, but unfortunately I didn’t make it down. That kid at You Ain’t No Picasso has written about them before (if that means anything to you). The Rock Insider (another local LA blog) wrote a really enthusiastic blog about them this week and she frequently praises Birdmonster too.
Let’s Go Sailing’s “All I Want
Birdmonster’s “Resurrection Song

Kool Keith / Tash (Alkaholiks) @ the Knitting Factory ($12 adv / $15 dos) – You know him from Ultramagnetic MCs, Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, Black Elvis, Analog Brothers, etc. Kool Keith is probably apeshit bananas but I still like him. He’s one of the funniest guys in rap. My favorite record is Sex Style. By the way, there’s another Dr. Octagon album coming out on July 27th.

DJ Alan McGee @ the Echo (Free) – The Part Time Punks bring back Creation Records magnate, Alan McGee to DJ.

Mickey Avalon

The folks at Dim Mak have been nice enough to post a video of Mickey Avalon performing at that Long Beach festival they curated. You also get to see Mickey kiss Steve Aoki and dance with the Cobrasnake. This pretty much speaks for itself. The Cobrasnake does spend an alarming amount of time on his knees in front of Mickey's crotch.


MSN is hosting some fairly high quality video footage from last weekend's Sasquatch festival. Check out the following You Set the Scene approved bands HERE:

Iron & Wine
Roque Wave (somebody let the lead singer know that he wears too much jewelry)
Band of Horses (that guy is tattoo addicted)

The Jamie Lidell footage perplexes me. I don't get him at all. I know Beck loves him and Pitchfork loves him. I put him in same class as Matisyahu. Is that wrong?