Thursday, August 31, 2006

Live Music Picks - Friday through Tuesday

Centro-Matic play the Troubadour on Tuesday night

Here's one featured show and a few other noteworthy shows for the next few days.

Fri 9/1: The Dickies @ Safari Sam’s ($10 adv / $12 dos) – Local, old-school, comedy punks (but not in a bad way). They covered Black Sabbath, the Monkees and wrote originals like “I’m a Chollo” way back in the late 1970s.

Also playing (although I’m not really a fan of any of these artists, they all have one thing in common):
The Gray Kid @ the Echo ($5)
Jamie Lidell @ the Getty (Free)
8-Bit @ Mr. T’s Bowl (Free)

Sat 9/2: The Superbees / Flash Express @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – Pure rock’n’roll. The Superbees haven’t played a show in four years. Flash Express has the live energy of Jon Spencer.

Also playing:
Rollins Band @ the Key Club – I’ll admit that I saw Rollins when I was in college.
John Fogerty / Lucinda Williams @ Greek Theatre ($32-$72) – I really like Lucinda Williams.

Sun 9/3: Rademacher @ the Cocaine – inside Live Jazz - 366 E. 2nd Street (Free) - "Reminiscent of Pavement, Flaming Lips and The Palace Brothers, the band's sound is organic and alternately sparse and orchestral..." -- Mesh Magazine Download “You’re Never Gonna Hear From Me

Also playing:
Bobb Bruno @ the Smell ($5) – He plays in a bunny outfit. That should make you smile.
The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players @ the Troubadour ($12) – I found their new documentary so annoying that it actually made me want to become a Republican.

Mon 9/4: Eric Bachmann / Richard Buckner @ Knitting Factory ($14) – Bachmann was in Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers. As the All Music Guide points out, his new solo album does have a Nebraska feel to it (if you don’t believe me, listen to “Home” – it came up on my computer and I was trying to remember when I added Springsteen to my MP3s). Buckner has the gruff voice and a handful of songs that will blow you away but he can be a little bit of a downer at times.

Also playing:
The Shakes / The Blondes @ Sea Level 3:00 PM (Free) – A Jim Freek party!
Sea Wolf @ Spaceland (Free) – Irving’s hott bass player on lead guitar/vocals.

Tues 9/5: Centro-Matic @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos) – Lead singer Will Johnson is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet and a very prolific songwriter. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Patterson Hood of Drive-By-Truckers have gone on record as huge fans. He’s got one of those voices you either love or hate. The lovers really connect with the emotion of it. They’re from Texas and haven’t made it out here for a couple of years. Download “Triggers and Trash Heaps

Also playing:
Kinky @ the Avalon ($15) – Mexican dance rock
Old Crow Medicine Show @ Henry Fonda ($23.50) – Traditional mountain music
The Adored @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – Post-punk

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Live Music Options Wed & Thurs

The Format plays the Avalon on Thursday

Did I mention that I went to see Oh No! Oh My! last weekend at Spaceland? Either I was really tired, or I'm almost through with all the new indie pop bands. Hopefully I was just really tired. They weren't bad, but I just had no patience for it. Will I go back into a cocoon of old rock? I'm actually enjoying the upcoming Sparklehorse album and the My Morning Jacket double live album, so I don't think I'm ready to give up on new music completely.

Wednesday 8/30/06
Craig Wedren @ Sea Level 8:00 PM (Free) - The main guy from Shudder to Think.

Radio Birdman / The Bellrays @ the Wiltern ($25) - Radio Birdman is an Australian punk band that took a 25-year hiatus. The Bellrays are a local soul-rock band that I've written about before.

Thursday 8/31/06
The Format @ Avalon ($15) - I like the Format's new CD, Dog Problems. It's indie pop-ish (but a little more ambitious than most) and was produced by Steven McDonald of Redd Kross.

Talib Kweli @ Roxy ($18.50) - For the backpack rappers. I saw Talib Kweli one time at Coachella and he was damn good.

Manic / Yeti @ Spaceland – Yeti has some good buzz from the British press and this is one of two scheduled appearances in the States. The lead singer/guitarist was the bass player in the Libertines. Download “Midnight Flight

Occidental @ Safari Sam’s ($5)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Top Five Most Interesting Releases This Week

Top Five Most Interesting Releases This Week

The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary CD+DVD (Capitol) – This ranked as my second best album of all time back on Halloween 2005. Pretty much every song is amazing (including “God Only Knows” which is one of the best songs ever). I probably don’t need this reissue since I already have the Pet Sounds box set. But the CD package does come with a DVD that has the making of Pet Sounds documentary. There’s also a cool two record vinyl version with the mono version on yellow vinyl and the remastered stereo version on green vinyl. Unfortunately I don’t think the vinyl version includes the DVD. Brian Wilson will be performing this album in its entirety at Royce Hall on November 1, 2006. I’ve seen him do Smile twice, and he’s well worth seeing. Unfortunately it’s already sold out.

Bob Dylan: Modern Times (Sony) – The reviews are very strongs, so of course Dylan’s on the list of most interesting releases. Some of the people that read this site are a lot bigger Dylan fans than I, as he’s one of those artists that I tend to respect more than I actually crave listening to. I’d say that Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde are my favorite Dylan albums. See him live at the Forum on 10/20/06.

Daniel Johnston: Yip/Jump Music (High Wire Music) – A ton of artists and music fans are attracted to his simple, yet direct songwriting. This has DJ’s most famous track, “Speeding Motorcycle” along with some other great tracks like: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances” and “King Kong.” Also reissued today was a twofer with Continued Story/Hi How Are You. If you’re new to Johnston you might consider picking up the compilation/covers album, The Late Great Daniel Johnston which has one CD with a lot of his best songs from these albums along with a companion CD with your favorite artists performing those same songs.

M. Ward: Post-War (Merge) – He’s an extremely talented guitarist with very good songs. Most of his music is a little weary, so you’ve got to be in the right mood when you hear it. See him at the Henry Fonda on 9/28/06.

The Tyde: Three’s Co. (Rough Trade America) – I like this surfing obsessed local band’s first two albums, so I’ll definitely check this one out. They’ve got a great sense of rock history and love all the Creation bands, Felt and current Brit pop. She’s toured with Gwen Stefani and he could probably win a Scott Walker look-alike contest. You can see them live at Spaceland on 9/13/06.

Also released:
Birdmonster: No Midnight (Yep Roc) – Are they just another overrated blog band (as Pitchfork claims) or a legitimate contender? I saw them live and I can see both perspectives.

The Roots: Game Theory (Def Jam) – Original backpack rappers. Appearing at some Myspace thing in LA on 9/6/06.

Stereolab: Serene Velocity/ A Stereolab Anthology – If you don’t own any of their albums this is a good starting point.

The Village Green: Feeling the Fall (Spin Art) – Like the Deathray Davies and Everybody Else, their name is a tribute to the Kinks. I suppose that gets them some points. Appearing live at Spaceland on 10/19. Download “When the Creepers Creep In

Monday, August 28, 2006

Live Music Options Monday & Tuesday

The Clean Prophets play the Echo for free tonight.

After going to festivals for two straight weekends I'm a little burnt out. But there's some great stuff going on tonight. By the way, the Sunset Junction didn't do it for me this year. None of the bands were interesting enough to have to pay $15 and endure seeing leather boys in assless chaps getting their asses fondeled by other dudes with children present. I really, really don't need to see that.

Monday 8/28/06
The Clean Prophets / Kind Hearts & Coronets @ the Echo (Free) - If you've already checked out the Spaceland residency this month, then it's time to check out the Echo. The Clean Prophets were Amoeba's hometown pick this month and they've been featured on this site for way longer than that.

The Little Ones @ Spaceland (Free) - The last night of their residency. Worth checking out.

The Popo @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - They played the F*** Yeah Fest and Spaceland recently. Some friends really dug it.

Jeremy Enigk @ Troubadour ($15) - Don't blame him for all the emo followers. Sunny Day Real Estate had some good songs.

Tuesday 8/29/06
The Minor Canon / Eskimo Hunter @ Spaceland ($8) - The Minor Canon are fresh off an appearance at Sunset Junction.

Rocket @ Safari Sam’s ($5) - Fresh off the Warped tour.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh No! Oh My!

Oh No! Oh My! is a new band from Austin that's really growing on me. At first I thought they were too cutesy in an annoying way, but after three or four listens (and being in a better mood) I really like their CD. Instead of all these other dipshits who namedrop Paris Hilton (CSS), Britney (Flaming Lips), etc. they have the decency to namedrop Audrey Hepburn. At times their songs sound like other bands "Reeks and Seeks" kinda reminds me of Modest Mouse, "On the Town" has a banjo and indie twee with banjos kinda reminds me of Boy Least Likely To, "Jane is Fat" has the obligatory indie chorus which brings to mind Arcade Fire. Also the singing occasionally sounds like Jeff Mangum. I haven't read any live reviews, but it could be a lot of fun. They also played Lollapalooza (and they're unsigned).

Appearing at the Echo tonight for $8 with a really good local band, Let's Go Sailing.

I prefer Spaceland, so I'll see them tomorrow night for $8 there....

If you miss both of these shows, they'll be back on 10/7 to play the Detour Music Fest with Beck.

Another option for tonight is Don Cabellero at Spaceland. All my friends in college who were really into math rock and music with odd time signatures loved Don Cabellero. Even the LA Weekly made it a featured pick for tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Releases 8/22/06

All your favorite labels are pushing stuff. I can't wholly recommend anything yet. Some of the stuff I've heard is not bad. I definitely need to hear the new Outkast.

Amy Millan: Honey from the Tombs (Arts & Crafts) – She sang with Stars and Broken Social Scene.
Artificial Hearts: Heavy Rock (Undertow)
Broadcast: Future Crayon (Warp) – Compilation of UK EPs and rarities from 1998-2003.
Chad VanGaalen: Skelliconnection (Sub Pop) – I couldn’t get into his first album, but a lot of people like him. See him at the Avalon with Band of Horses on 11/3 and 11/4. Download “Flower Gardens
Cursive: Happy Hollow (Saddle Creek) – See them at the Avalon on 10/26. Download “Dorothy at Forty
Darker My Love: Darker My Love (Dangerbird) – These guys are a really powerful live act, but I don’t feel like the energy was completely captured on the record. Pick it up and judge for yourself. See them at the Sunset Junction on 8/26 or the Echo on 10/6.
Eric Bachmann: To The Races (Saddle Creek) – The dude from Crooked Fingers. See him live at the Knitting Factory on 9/4.
Early Day Miners: Offshore (Secretly Canadian) – Download “Return of the Native
Easy Star All-Stars: Radiodread (Easy Star) – Reggae covers of Radiohead. OK.
Electrelane: Singles, B-Sides & Live (import) (Too Pure)
Eluvium: When I Live by the Garden and the Sea (Temporary Residence)
Frequency: Frequency (Thrill Jockey) – “a new quartet showcasing the improvisational talents of four longtime members of Chicago’s storied underground jazz scene”
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Fragments of an Earth (Stones Throw)
Gosling: Here Is (V2) – They just played the F*** Yeah Fest.
Headlights: Kill Them with Kindness (Polyvinyl) – See them at Spaceland on 9/9. Download “TV
Jamie Saft Trio: Trouble: The Jamie Saft Trio Plays Bob Dylan (Tzadik)
Jennifer O'Connor: Over The Mountain, Across The Valley And Back To The Stars (Matador) Download “Today
Kelis: Kelis Was Here (Jive) – She’s always got a couple of singles that are guilty pleasures. Guest appearances by Cee-Lo, Nas and Will.I.Am
Lambchop: Damaged (Merge) – Appearing at the Troubadour on 10/2.
Mono: One Step More and You Die (Temporary Residence) – This is a reissue from 2002. This is the Japanese band, not the British band.
Mountain Goats: Get Lonely (4AD) – The lead singer will be performing live at Amoeba on 8/23 and the Royce Hall on 8/26.
My Brightest Diamond: Bring Me the Workhorse (Asthmatic Kitty) – Appearing at the Wiltern on 10/9 (opening for Sufjan Stevens). Download “Something of an End
Nouvelle Vague: Bande a Part (limited edition) (Luaka Bop) – Hear them cover New Order, the Smiths, Buzzcocks, ESG, etc. Appearing at the Henry Fonda on 9/8.
OutKast: Idlewild (La Face) – This one’s getting really mixed reviews. I respect their previous albums enough to check it out.
Paris Hilton: Paris (Warner Bros.) – Ugh.
P.F. Sloan: Sailover (Hightone) – Frank Black and Lucinda Williams make appearances.
Pajo: 1968 (Drag City) – He’s talented and I enjoy his music, but I never seem to be in the mood to listen to it.
Primal Scream: Riot City Blues (US release) (Sony) – I got this one in the mail and I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as everyone says.
Radio Birdman: Zeno Beach (Yep Roc) – At the Wiltern on 8/30.
Ratatat: Classics (XL Recordings) – Appearing at the Troubadour on 9/20.
Razorlight: Razorlight (US release) (Universal) – Appearing at the Roxy on 8/30.
Sacred Sailors: Golden Dawn (Dionysus) – Swedish garage rockers.
The Shakes: The Rise and Fall of Modern Living (Teenacide) - Appearing live at the Brat store in Santa Monica on 9/4.
Snowden: Anti-Anti (Jade Tree) – Appearing at the Silverlake Lounge on 9/6.
Spencer Dickinson: The Man Who Lives for Love (Yep Roc) – A collaboration between Jon Spencer and the Dickinsons from the North Mississippi All-Stars. I always really liked Jon Spencer live.
Starsailor: On The Outside (US release) (Adrenaline) – In my mind, I always think they’re like a rootsier Coldplay (but I’m not really a fan, so maybe I’m way off base). Appearing at the Troubadour on 9/29 and 9/30.
Supersystem: A Million Microphones (Touch & Go) – Appearing at the Echo on 9/29.
The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine (Sub Pop) – See them at the Avalon on 10/26. They just played the F*** Yeah Fest and I walked out right before they went on. I wonder if they were good? Download “A Pillar of Salt
Tortoise: A Lazarus Taxon (Thrill Jockey) – I was a huge fan in college. They made me love the vibraphone. See them at the Troubadour on 9/15.
Uzeda: Stella (Touch & Go) – Sicilian math rock “produced” by Steve Albini
Various Artists: Clerks II (soundtrack) (Bulletproof) – I’ve never thought of Kevin Smith as somebody with good taste in music.
Various Artists: The John Fahey Tribute (Takoma) – Another Fahey tribute? This one’s not indie.
Various Artists: Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys (Anti) – An odd collection of artists like Joseph Arthur, Bryan Ferry, John C. Reilly, Bono, Lucinda Williams, Sting, etc. Download “Mingulay Boat Song” by Richard Thompson
What Made Milwaukee Famous: Trying to Never Catch Up (Barsuk) – They just played the Troubadour last night. Austin band. Download “Sweet Lady
Wooden Wand and the Sky High Band: Second Attention (Kill Rock Stars)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Night Music

The F Yeah Fest burned me out, especially with the Sunset Junction happening this weekend. I just don't know if I've got it in me. If anything I'd see the Little Ones.....

Monday 8/21/06
The Little Ones @ Spaceland (Free)

French Kicks @ Troubadour ($14)

400 Blows / Burning Brides @ Viper Room ($10)

Kind Hearts & Coronets @ the Echo (Free) - The Echo website says it's $12, but I'm assuming it's free. You might wanna call to double check.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Other Weekend Music Options

If you don't wanna fuck around with the Fuch Yeah Fest, check out this shit....

Friday 8/18/06
F*** Yeah Fest @ the Echo ($20) – For the hardcore fans. See separate post.
Patrick Park @ Hotel Café – For the singer-songwriter fans.
DeVotchka @ the Troubadour (Sold Out) – The LA Weekly says they’re between Arcade Fire and Gogol Bordello.
Benji Hughes @ El Cid

Saturday 8/19/06
F*** Yeah Fest
@ the Echo ($20) – For the indie kids. I plan on checking it out. See separate post.
Clean Prophets @ Spaceland ($7) – If I wasn’t going to the F Yeah Fest. You’ve already seen a ton of posts from me about them. Amoeba picked them as their “homegrown” artist this week.
The Clientele / Great Lakes / Bedroom Walls @ Knitting Factory – I’ll quote my friend Jeremy again, “There’s the album, then there’s rock’n’roll.” Really good records, really boring live show.
Throwing Muses @ Little Radio Warehouse
The Plimsouls / The Shakes @ Safari Sam’s ($16.50)
Cracker @ Key Club
Greg Graffin @ McCabe’s
The Sounds @ the Wiltern

Sunday 8/20/06
F*** Yeah Fest @ the Echo ($20) – For the psych rockers and post-punks. See separate post.
Gary Numan @ House of Blues
Chip Taylor @ McCabe’s
Nous Non Plus / Dengue Fever @ Safari Sam’s

F*** Yeah Fest Preview

Is anybody not looking for an excuse to get drunk and wander around Echo Park this weekend? With events at the Echo, Jensens Rec Center and Sea Level Records, The F*** Yeah Fest will provide the perfect opportunity. In addition to all this rock there are comedy shows and an art exhibit. Single day tickets are $20 and weekend passes are $55. Doors open at 6:00 PM on Friday and 3:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday’s lineup will catch you up on local hardcore music. Lineup: The Circle Jerks should be the highlight of the first night. They’ve always been a hardcore band with a good sense of humor. Their 1980 album, Group Sex still holds up well. Lead singer Keith Morris is intense on stage and also happens to be one of the curators of the festival. The Bronx is a local, hard working, major label punk band who packed Spaceland every Monday a few months ago. The 400 Blows play intense, in-your-face punk highlighted by Skot Blows’ screeching vocals. Future Pigeon play stoned dub music. Also playing: Burning Brides, Nudity, the Willowz, Blood Meridian, Black Fag, Horses, Horse the Band, Gayrilla Biscuits, Issiea Saggua, Bad Dudes, The Po Po’s, Sex Eyes, Modwheelmood, Gosling

Saturday’s lineup has the most mass appeal and should please the indie kids. Expect crowds. Giant Drag is an attractive and talented local indie duo with a female lead singer with enough attitude to write songs like, “You F*** Like My Dad” and “Kevin Is Gay.” The Thermals are a Pacific Northwest indie band on Sub Pop. Envy is the kind of band that lulls you and then screams at you, but it’s all in Japanese so you don’t know what the hell he’s so pissed off about. Hawthorne’s Dios Malos are one of the best local indie bands. They write great songs and are informed by all the best bits of rock history. Tussle has a reputation for being one of the best live dance rock bands. Silversun Pickups are all over Indie 103 and played a sold out show at the Troubadour last night. They’re in the middle of tours, supporting their impressive crunchy guitar-driven debut album on Dangerbird Records. Remember when Spaceland’s stage was on the other side of the club and Wiskey Biscuit would pack it every time they played? Also appearing: Darker My Love, Foreign Born, Toys that Kill, Brother Reade, Rolling Blackouts, Strange Boys, The Minor Canon, Sleeping People, Subtitle & Friends, Graf Orlock, Chuck Ragan, Hit Me Back, Carry the Casket, Upsilon Acrux, Shapes and Sizes, The Make Out Party, Michael Runion, Life with an Astronaut

Sunday’s lineup is varied and should appeal to the hippie hipsters and Part Time Punks scene. DC's Dead Meadow are on Matador and play psychedelic Sabbath riffs. The Gris Gris are less riff-oriented but still psychedelic. The Ponys just signed to Matador, Midnight Movies added a bass player, Icarus Line, Wires On Fire, The Adored play Buzzcocks-inspired post-punk and Pete Shelley made an appearance on their first album, Fortune Flesh, Sabertooth Tiger, Stevenson Ranch Davidians, Erase Errata, Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower, all girl band Mika Miko just put out a new album on K Records, Partyline, Bobby Birdman, BARR, Matt and Kim, No Age, The Punk, Teenage Talking Cars, Jack Bambi’s, The Punks

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 10 Records of 2006 (so far)

I had planned to do this around June 30th, but that turned out to be a crazy time of the year for me. The order is subject to change.

1) Kelley Stoltz Below the Branches (Sub Pop) – At a time when most popular artists’ knowledge of music doesn’t seem to go before 1985, Stoltz’s music is informed by mid-period Kinks and late period Beatles. He puts his own stamp on his influences and avoids mimicry. Download "Memory Collector"
2) Aloha Some Echoes (Polyvinyl) – Good news, their music is no longer dominated by the vibraphone. The lyrics convey emotion and largely avoid cliché, which isn't an easy thing to accomplish. Downlaod "Your Eyes"
3) Belle & Sebastian The Life Pursuit (Matador) – This is not my favorite Belle & Sebastian record (Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister beat it) but these songs translate extremely well when performed live. Download "Another Sunny Day"
4) Grandaddy Just Like the Fambly Cat (V2) – I loved this record before it came out and I haven’t really listened to it much since it came out but I'm sure I'll pick it up again.
5) Band of Horses Everything All the Time (Sub Pop) – In a year without a My Morning Jacket (I'm talking about Z) or Shins’ record, I’ll settle for this. His lyrics aren’t as interesting as Mercer’s and the instrumentation is not as good as My Morning Jacket’s, but it’s still better than most stuff out there. While their live shows have disappointed me, they keep moving up to larger venues. See them at the Avalon on 10/2. Download "The Funeral"
6) Voxtrot Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives EP (Cult Hero) - Solid Smiths-inspired music. See them at the Troubadour on 11/1. So far they've self released their music and they still have major label bands opening for them. Download "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives"
7) The Little Ones Sing Song EP – They pleasantly caught me off guard the first time I saw them live. In a year with a Fruit Bats or Shins’ record... see them each Monday in August at Spaceland. Supposedly they're on the verge of signing with a big label (but I won't tell you who). Download "Lovers Who Uncover"
8) The Sword Age of Winters (Kemado) - This is my favorite of the new heavy bands. Seeing them live will help you appreciate them.
9) Built to Spill You In Reverse (Warner Bros.) - Not my favorite BTS record, but still really good.
10) Silversun Pickups Carnavas (Dangerbird) - See them at the Troubadour tonight or the Echo on Saturday or the Echo on 9/30.

Near misses: Ghostface Killah Fishscale (Def Jam), Serena Maneesh Serena Maneesh (Play Louder)

Most Overhyped: Tapes’n’Tapes, Lily Allen, CSS

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Live Music Options Wed & Thurs

Wednesday 8/16/06
Birdmonster / Divison Day @ Spaceland ($8) – I'll check this out. Both of these bands have embraced the blogger community and the blogger community has embraced them. Birdmonster’s from San Francisco and Division Day are local. Division Day are the nicest guys around. Download Division Day’s “Tap-Tap, Click-Click

The 88 / Gram Rabbit @ the Troubadour ($12) – The 88 are a local band done good, and they prove that hard work can pay off. They’ve gone from handing out CDs at other bands’ shows to being on national TV all the damn time. They get compared to the Kinks a lot, but I’m not really sure what era of Kinks those people are talking about? You can’t argue that they’ve got solid songs. I haven’t seen them in a while? Has any of that sync licensing money gone towards better suits? Download “All the Same” Gram Rabbit are weird desert dwellers who combine disparate elements into unique music.

The Good Listeners @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) From the Fold’s website, “For Fans of Eno, Belle and Sebastian, Air, and the Kinks.” Why does everybody sound like the Kinks all of a sudden?

Thursday 8/17/06
Silversun Pickups / Darker My Love @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – The Silversun Pickups have broken big in LA. They’re new album is definitely worth picking up especially if you like crunchy guitars and grew up listening to the Smashing Pumpkins. If you slept on this (it’s sold out) you can still see them at the F-Yeah Fest on Saturday. Download a 38 minute live appearance from HERE

Craig Wedren & Adam Wade (Shudder to Think) @ Spaceland - I was a fan of Shudder to Think in college.

The Lovemakers /Bright Light Fever @ the Echo ($8) - The All Music Guide compares them to Human League, Alphaville and the Cure. Alphaville? I remember liking Alphaville's "Forever Young" back when I was 10. Download Bright Light Fever's "Broken Hands"

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Releases 8/15/06

None of this new stuff interests me. If you're heading off to the record store check these out instead: White Whale (ex-Butterglory and not half bad - they're playing Spaceland soon), Oh No! Oh My! (they're playing Spaceland and the Echo soon too - at first it annoyed me, but I eventually gave in to it), Jim Noir (this is mostly interesting, but there are a few annoying songs, esp that one in those Adidas ads during the World Cup)

New Stuff:
The Damnwells: Air Stereo (Zoe) – Appearing at the Knitting Factory on 9/25.
Grand Funk Railroad: Greatest Hits CD+DVD (Capitol)
Hot Snakes: Thunder Down Under (Swami)
Monkees: The Monkees (deluxe edition) (Rhino) – The Monkees get a bad rap from some, but they’ve got a lot of great material. I don’t think I’d pick this one up for $23, if you’ve got a turntable you can probably find it in the dollar bin. The Mike Nesmith solo material is well worth seeking out.
Monkees: More of the Monkees (deluxe edition) (Rhino) – Ditto. When I was in junior high I thought “Steppin’ Stone” was a Minor Threat song.
Obie Trice: Second Round's On Me (Shady) Panic Channel: (One) (Capitol) – Jane’s Addiction without Perry. Yesterday I was just trying to decide if Jane’s Addiction’s records hold up. I kinda doubt it. I haven’t listened in eons. And what happened to Dave Navarro?
Philip Glass: Music From the Film the Illusionist (Rykodisc)
ex Pistols: Spunk: The Official Bootleg (Castle) – For a band with one album…
Sublime: Sublime (deluxe edition) (Geffen) – If I never had to hear Sublime again, things would be better.
Various Artists: Snakes on a Plane: The Album (soundtrack) (New Line) – With Cee-Lo and the Bronx. The movie opens Friday. Have you had Samuel Jackson call all of your friends yet?

Live Music Options Tues 8/15

Tuesday 8/15/06
Comedians of Comedy
@ Troubadour (Sold Out) - This should be a really good time, although I hate standing up while I'm watching standup. Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Zach Galafianakas, Bob Odenkirk, Doug Benson – I’ve seen Patton Oswalt at Largo a ton of times. He’s quite good. Zach G is pretty good too. And of course we're all friends with Brian Posehn on Myspace and loved Mr. Show. You've seen Doug Benson on VH-1's best week ever.

Comets on Fire / Indian Jewelry @ the Echo ($12) - I couldn't really get into Comets on Fire's stuff but a lot of people dig them. If you like acid rock check it out. Download "Dogwood Rust"

Yotokyo / The Kids of Widney High / Go Betty Go @ the Key Club (Free) - I mean, there's no chance I'm going to the Sunset Strip (even on a Tuesday) but this isn't a bad lineup. I liked Yotokyo when I saw them at Spaceland recently. Glen Campbell's son is the lead singer (if you care about that sort of thing). The Kids of Widney High were in the Ringer. Go Betty Go is a pop-punk Latina girl band.

Get Him Eat Him / Evangelicals @ Spaceland ($8) - I've only heard these downloads, but they're not bad. If you're down for some indie rock/pop. Download Get Him Eat Him's "Mumble Mumble" Download Evangelicals' "Here Comes Trouble"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Night Music Options

You've gotta kinda feel sorry for touring musicians in LA on Monday nights. There's so much free entertainment.

Monday 8/14/06
Death Cab For Cutie / Spoon / Mates of State @ Greek ($50) - I've seen DCFC several times but I haven't heard their last few records. I love Spoon's records, but they're pretty boring live. And what's up with all the endorsements? I remember when they were on a major label and seemed unwilling to do anything to promote their music. I've also seen Mates of State. There are still decent tickets, but they’re expensive.

The Little Ones / The Watson Twins / The Bird and the Bee @ Spaceland (Free) – The Little Ones EP is really good and they sound really good live. They’re not the best dancers on the planet, but that really shouldn’t matter. The Watson Twins perform as Jenny Lewis’ backup singers and also have a self-released EP of their own. I’ve heard it’s really good, but haven’t picked it up yet. The Bird and the Bee is Greg Kurstin and Inara George.
Download The Little Ones' "Cha Cha Cha"

Black Heart Procession / Devics / Castanets @ Knitting Factory ($15) – Three solid bands. San Diego’s Black Heart Procession is either brooding or boring - you make the call. Devics are a local band on Filter’s label. Castanets are part of the Sufjan Stevens’ crowd. Download Castanets' "All That I Know"

Anavan @ Il Corral – They’re on the GSL label.

Innaway / The Pandas @ Safari Sam’s (Free)

Antarcticans @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – Mogwai-esque.

Kind Hearts & Coronets / Brothers and Sisters @ the Echo (Free)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Weekend Live Music Options

After mentioning that Sebadoh III reissue on Tuesday I picked it up. I hadn't listened to it in a long time and guess's not as good as I remember. I've always been a Lou Barlow fan, but his more lo-fi stuff tends to be too self-indulgent for me. The record starts off so promising with "Freed Pig" and then goes downhill. Some of those lyrics about J. Mascis are pretty funny. I still like Bakesale, Bubble and Scrape and even Harmacy.

Friday 8/11/06
Jason Lytle @ Hotel Café 8:00PM – The recent Grandaddy record is a return to form. Too bad he’s not touring with a band, and too bad it’s in the middle of Hollywood on a Friday night. I'd probably go if it was anywhere else.

Diplo / CSS / Bonde de Role @ The Cooper Bldg @ 860 S. Los Angeles St. 11th floor ($17) – Diplo was in Hollertronix and laid down those beats on the MIA record. CSS is a band of art students from Brazil on the Sub Pop label. They makes my head feel like it’s going to explode, but most white guys with blogs seem to be eating it up. Probably because they like to talk about sex and pop culture. Could be a party, but I don’t know anything about this venue.
Download CSS's "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above"

Helen Stellar / Gliss / Occidental @ Knitting Factory ($7) – It’s in the front bar.

The Remains @ Safari Sam’s ($25) – It's their 1st show in 40 years (if you don't count their show last night at Amoeba). I only know them from the Nuggets box set.

Justin Timberlake @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – For whatever reason, it's acceptable for hipsters to like Justin Timberlake (for just one example, see Pitchfork's recent 5 star review of his track, "My Love"). If you go to my girlfriend's myspace page, you can hear the other single (the one critics don't seem to like much). I honestly don't get it, but then again I don't like dance music so I'm probably not the person to ask.

Benji Hughes / Brothers and Sisters @ El Cid ($8) – Apparently Benji Hughes sold out El Cid last week. Brothers and Sisters are from Austin. They’re also doing a free show at Sea Level in Echo Park on Saturday.

Saturday 8/12/06
Jason Lytle @ Hotel Café 8:00 PM – See Friday

Final Fantasy @ Little Pedro’s 901 East 1st Street ($10) – He’s the string arranger from the Arcade Fire and his album’s called He Poos Clouds. I have been to Little Pedro’s. It’s fine.

Let’s Go Sailing / Harvey Danger / Jon Auer @ Spaceland ($10) – I like Let’s Go Sailing.

Sunday 8/13/06
Death Cab For Cutie / Spoon / Mates of State @ Greek – I just looked and there still seems to be very good tickets for both nights. I've seen DCFC several times but I haven't heard their last few records. I love Spoon's records, but they're pretty boring live. And what's up with all the endorsements? I remember when they were on a major label and seemed unwilling to do anything to promote their music. I've also seen Mates of State.

Bobb Bruno @ the Smell

The Pandas / The Soft Explosions / Psychic Drive / June in July @ Spaceland – Do you like Brian Jonestown Massacre?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday Live Music Options

I went and saw The Little Ones on Monday night at Spaceland. Their EP is great and they sound great live. This was the first time I really watched them and took in their stage presence. I wonder if they know what they look like when they're playing? Somebody should take a video camera and play it back for them. It's the kind of high energy where you're either really into it, or you think they're the biggest nerds on the planet. Death Cab For Cutie has kinda the same dynamic, but The Little Ones are even more extreme. You should still go see them, but maybe hide behind a tall person if you're averse to watching musicians geek out.

There's not a whole lot happening tonight:
The Remains @ Amoeba 7:30PM (Free) - I really only know this 1960's garage band from their two songs on the Nuggets box set. Good songs. I'm sure the record collectors will be there to check it out. Also tomorrow night at Safari Sam's (but that'll cost you $25).

Too Short @ House of Blues ($27.50) - He had some good tracks back in the late eighties. I haven't thought about him much since.....

Motorcycle Boy @ Spaceland - Apparently they were a big LA band back in the eighties (when I was still in the midwest).

Fleeting Joys / For Those Who Know / The Meeting Places @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) - If you're into shoegazer music check out Austin's For Those Who Know and local guys The Meeting Places. Download For Those Who Know's "Grow Old Together And Die" Download The Meeting Places' "Freeze Our Stairs"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tonight's Live Music Options (8/9/06)

Last Friday I went to the Echo for Oranger and the Parson Red Heads. The Parson Red Heads were very good live. Very energetic. If you like retro, late sixties, Byrds-inspired music, then I recommend having a look. I picked up their EP after the show and it doesn't quite live up to the live set. Hopefully they get into the studio and lay down some tracks that rival their impressive live sound. Oranger put on an energetic live set too. They opened with a theremin-driven song (for other nice uses of the theremin in modern music see Jon Spencer, Cornelius and the Deathray Davies). I was very happy that they gave Arthur Lee a shoutout and covered "Little Red Book" (not written by Lee, but done well by him).

Lots of really solid local music options tonight:
400 Blows / The Bronx @ the Roxy – For the punk rockers. Download "Heart Attack American" from the Bronx.

Kennedy @ Largo ($5) – For the comedy rockers. Download "Your Mama"

Satisfaction @ Safari Sam’s ($10) - For the pop rockers. Download "Nothing, Oh Nothing"

The Brokedown / Patrick Park @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) - Park is a very talented local singer-songwriter. His live sound has yet to be captured as well on record. Download "Life Is a Song" The Brokedown is one of the last local bands on my list that I still haven't seen but I'm hearing really good things about. Download "Down in the Valley"

The Subways @ Troubadour (Sold Out) - That girl's way too young for you. Stay away you lecherous record industry types.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Release Tuesday 8/8/06

I'll probably pick up that Sebadoh expanded edition even though I already have the original album. I'm such a sucker. I doubt I'll get any of these other records....

Comets On Fire: Avatar (Sub Pop) – It’s inspired by classic rock hippie music. I tried to get into it, but it just didn’t work for me. Download "Dogwood Rust"Appearing at the Echo on 8/15/06.
The Cure: Head on the Door (two disc remastered edition) (Rhino)
The Cure: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (two disc remastered edition) (Rhino) – This was the first Cure album I ever bought. I think I was in eighth grade.
The Cure: The Top (two disc remastered edition) (Rhino)
Delgados: The Complete BBC Peel Sessions (Chemikal Underground) – Good Scottish band. Dirty Pretty Things: Waterloo To Anywhere (Interscope) – The more together guy from the Libertines.
Doors: The Best Of The Doors (remastered) (Rhino) – I think this album is issued to all new high school students.
Heartless Bastards: All This Time (Fat Possum)
Jim Noir: Tower of Love (Barsuk) - Download "Key of C"
Matthew Friedberger: Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School (859 Recordings) – The dude from Fiery Furnaces (another band I just can’t get into). Download "Do You Like Blondes"
Masta Killa: Made In Brooklyn (Nature Sounds) – Member of the Wu-Tang Clan
Nina Gordon: Bleeding Heart Graffiti (Warner Bros.) – Former Veruca Salt co-leader
Sadies: In Concert, Vol. 1 (Yep Roc) – With guest slots from Neko Case, Garth Hudson, Jon Spencer, Gary Louris, Jon Langford
Sebadoh: III (two disc remastered edition) (Domino) – One of the essential Sebadoh albums. It includes a second disc with 18 additional tracks. I’ll probably be a sucker and buy it. Download "Gimme Indie Rock"
Secret Shine: After Years (reissue) (Clairecords) – Oiginally released on Sarah records.
Sigur Ros: Sæglópur (Filter) – I’m a sucker for this band, and then I never end up listening to their albums after I buy them.
Various Artists: The Last Kiss (soundtrack) (Lakeshore) – An even wimpier soundtrack from a Zach Braff film.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Live Music Options 8/7/06 - 8/8/06

Monday 8/7/06
The Little Ones
/ The Submarines / Sean Na-Na / New Sense @ Spaceland (Free) – If you haven’t seen the Little Ones yet, do yourself a favor and go see them one of these nights during their free Monday night residency. The Submarines have a solid new album out on Nettwerk records. It features boy/girl call and response lyrics about relationships.
Download the Little Ones' "Lovers Who Uncover"

Mew @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Their new album is interesting. It’s one of those records that’s different enough that you can’t decide if you like it or not at first. It’s pretty prog-gy but then it will shock you with guest vocals from J. Mascis.

Gliss @ the Viper Room

Kind Hearts & Coronets / Winter Flowers @ the Echo (Free)

Tuesday 8/8/06
Roger Joseph Manning Jr. / Let’s Go Sailing @ Spaceland ($8) – You might know Manning from Jellyfish, or Beck’s band or Moog Cookbook. Let’s Go Sailing is a strong local band.

Dirty Pretty Things / Scissors for Lefty @ Henry Fonda ($15) – DPT features the more together guy from the Libertines.

The Editors @ Avalon – Do you like Joy Division.

Go Betty Go @ Key Club – All girl Latina pop-punk.

Sean Na Na @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – If you miss them at Spaceland on Monday.

Gliss @ Troubadour ($8) – If you miss them at the Viper Room on Monday.

Michael Andrews / Inara George @ Tangier ($8) – He’s the guy that did the You Me and Everyone We Know soundtrack.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Rest In Peace: Arthur Lee

One of my favorite musicians, and the man who inspired the name of this blog passed away yesterday in Memphis. He was 61. While the Beach Boys are the quintessential California band, Love is the quintessential LA band. Arthur Lee/Love's music perfectly captures both the light and dark sides of this city. Forever Changes is their masterpiece, but their first three albums are all essential. "Oh the snot has caked against my pants/ it has turned into crystal." I only saw him late in his career, but the first time blew my mind and the second time was really good too.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Live Music Options 8/3/06 - 8/6/06

Some good stuff all weekend long.

Thursday 8/3/06
Bloc Party / Broken Social Scene / Mew @ Greek Theatre ($35)- I'd probably go to this show if it was $20, but after all the Ticketmonopoly fees it's probably like $50. I like BSS quite a bit and while I haven't listened to Bloc Party for over a year, I did like their album when it came out. Mew is just bizarre. I'm still digesting it. It's one of those things that you put on and it kinda stuns you (and not always in a good way). J Mascis on guest vocals might be the weirdest thing about the record.

Tally Hall @ Spaceland ($8) – I don’t know much about these guys but I found a great review (and some downloadable tracks) over at the Underrated Blog. They were also on the Craig Ferguson show last night.

My Brightest Diamond / Occidental @ the Echo ($8) - My Brightest Diamond will be touring with Sufjan Stevens next month. Here's a chance to see her in a more intimate setting.
Download "Something of an End"

Tsar @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – Local sleazy rock. I've managed to never see these guys and I think that's the way I like it.

Friday 8/4/06
Great Northern @ Sea Level 8:30PM (Free)

Gris Gris / Oranger / The Parson Red Heads @ the Echo ($8 adv / $10 dos) - Three solid bands. Oranger plays psych-pop. Gris Gris plays garage psych. The Parson Red Heads play Byrds-y influenced rock. I've been dying to see them.
Download Oranger's "Crones"
Download Gris Gris' "Skin Mass Cat"

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott @ Tangier ($25)- Living folk legend who influenced the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, the Grateful Dead and traveled with Woodie Guthrie (according to the All Music Guide).

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s @ Hotel Café - Catch them on their way to San Diego's Street Scene.

Blackpool Lights @ Spaceland ($8) - Did you like the Get Up Kids? This is guitarist/singer Jim Suptic's newer band. Catch them before they go out on tour with Social Distortion.

Lords of Altamont @ Safari Sam’s ($10) - Garage rock.

Peaches / Eagles of Death Metal @ Wiltern ($25) - I'm not a fan of either of these artists but maybe you are.

The Section Quartet with Jon Brion & Sam Phillips – Could be interesting. Dinner is booked up.

Benji Hughes @ El Cid ($8)

Saturday 8/5/06
Magnolia Electric Company / Ladyhawk @ the Echo 5:00PM ($13) - I like Magnolia Electric Company's records. I might go see this if it wasn't at five in the afternoon. Download "Lonesome Valley" Ladyhawk gets compared to J Mascis and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Download "Dugout"

Helen Stellar / Year Long Disaster @ Spaceland - Cameron Crowe likes Helen Stellar. I'm not sure if Year Long Disaster is any good or not? but the lead guitarist and singer is Dave Davies' son. According to their bio, he and the bass player smoked crack together, went to rehab together and then got the drummer from Third Eye Blind to form a band. Well alrighty then.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott / Eleni Mandell @ Largo – Dinner is booked up.

Pop Levi @ Knitting Factory

Rock the Bells Festival @ NOS Events Center ($50-100) – Solid lineup with: Wu-Tang w/ tribute to ODB, De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Redman and others. All you backpack rappers should probably get the VIP tickets because you'll get a free backpack. In all honesty it's a very strong lineup. Too bad it's out in San Bernardino.

Sunday 8/6/06
Giant Drag / The Submarines / Restaurant / The Upside Down @ Little Radio (Free) - Daytime barbeque. Starts at 1:00PM

Dave Insley @ the Echo 5:00PM (Free) - Now this is a show I'd go to at 5:00pm during the weekend 'cause it's the free country barbeque. Download a sample of "I'm Afraid of Dying"

Teenage Talking Cars @ the Echo (Free) - Part Time Punks

dios (malos) @ Alex’s Bar - They are one of my favorite local bands but I doubt I'll make it down to Long Beach on a Sunday night.
Download "Feels Good Being Somebody"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

When Hippies Go Crazy

Did anybody go to the Brightblack Morning Light show at the Troubadour last weekend? I heard some hilarity went down. If you were there, please post a review in the comments section or email me so I can post it on the site...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Release Tuesday 8/1/06

This is as bad as it's been for a while. I would like to hear the Serge Gainsbourg tribute album.

DMX: Year Of The Dog, Again (Sony) – Apparently he’s got a reality show on BET?

FM Static: Critically Ashamed(Tooth & Nail)

Kill Hannah: Until There's Nothing Left of Us (Atlantic) – The All Music Guide compares it to MBV, JAMC, the Cure and Fugazi. That’s high praise.

The Pink Spiders: Teenage Graffiti (Geffen) – “safe punk” according to the All Music Guide

Serge Gainsbourg: Monsieur Gainsbourg the Originals (Verve Forecast) – One of the sleaziest men in rock history. This compilation includes 13 tracks of originals. There are better compilations out there. I’d pick up Comic Strip if you’re looking for an entry point.

Towers of London: Blood Sweat and Towers (TVT) – Some sleazy rock’n’roll.

Various Artists: Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited (Verve Forecast) – Featuring Franz Ferdinand, Cat Power, Jarvis Cocker, Portishead, Michael Stipe, Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy, Placebo, The Rakes, The Kills, etc. While these things usually aren’t worth the money, this one’s supposed to be pretty good as far as thesethings go.