Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Night Music Options 11/30/06

There was a nice, healthy crowd at Spaceland last night for Club Madchester. After that, I don't think I'll be heading out tonight. But there's a little something for everybody tonight. Especially the underground hip-hop fans and Latin alt-rock fans.

Also - tune into to Jimmy Kimmel tonight to see the extremely charming, Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins (one of them is my neighbor)

The 88's music will be featured in ABC's Men In Trees. I actually watched that show a couple of weeks ago because my friends the Foxymorons had a song in an episode. You can totally see the pitch: Northern Exposure mixed with Sex in the City.

Tonight's Pick:
Lucinda Williams @ Royce Hall ($45) – Roots rock. Lucinda writes some great songs if you’re down with rootsy music. She’s performing tonight with her father who is an acclaimed poet. I recommend her last three studio albums. She bought me a drink once at the Derby. She threw a tantrum on stage at the ACL Fest one year but still sounded great.

Also Appearing:
Cut Chemist @ Zanzibar in Santa Monica ($10) – For the DJ/beat fans. He's a great turntablist who you might know from Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli.
The Parson Red Heads @ 3 of Clubs - Great local band. Doing the Echo residency next month.
The Melvins @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Sludge-y, pre-grunge band that influenced Kurt Cobain.
Trail of Dead / Blood Brothers @ the Fonda ($20.50) – Artier rock. I’ve seen Trail of Dead a few times. Do they still destroy their equipment at every show? I really enjoyed it the first couple of times. But it seems silly when they comeback for an encore after destroying it. Anybody heard their new album? Also appearing tomorrow night.
Joanna Newsom / Bill Callahan (Smog) @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Freaky folk. She’s unique. I doubt if she’ll meet you after the show, since she’s touring with her man and all.
Hi-Tek / Busdriver @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – Underground rap. Hi-Tek’s a well respected hip-hop producer and has some big talent on his new record.
Devon Williams and the Roommates @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – “Part Ben Kweller, part Wilco, FCMM is packed with plenty of impossibly listenable aggro-folk-rock."(3.5 out of 4) - Paste Magazine
Hell Ya Night - Los Abandoned / The Silent Years @ the Echo ($8) – From their bio: “LOS ABANDONED reunites the Casio keyboard with gritty electric guitars and the bittersweet ukulele in their post-punk/latin alternative influenced sound.” I’ve gotten two copies of the Silent Years new CD in the mail.
Mr. Lif / The Coup @ Knitting Factory ($20) – Like politic metaphors with your backpack rap? El-P provides the production on Mr. Lif’s records.
Imogen Heap @ Wiltern ($25) – Former Frou Frou vocalist.
Division Miniscula @ Spaceland ($8) – Unlike the bilingual rock at the Echo, I’m pretty sure these guys sing all in Spanish. They’re from Mexico.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday Night Music Options 11/29/06

Normally I don't pick DJs for my music pick, but tonight's a slow live music night. Plus, I like a lot of this music, the DJs have really good taste, and they also happen to be friends of mine.

Tonight's Pick:

NME Night - Club Madchester DJs / Tender Box @ Spaceland ($7 before midnight / $3 after) – Thanks to Tita and Johnny, I’ve been bombarded with daily Myspace bulletins about this for the past month. Madchester used to be a very popular regular club night but they're getting it back together for one night only. Here’s what they say: “We'll be playing The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Northside, James, Inspiral Carpets, Ride, Oasis, The Smiths/Morrissey, The Fall, Joy Division, New Order, Factory Records, 4AD Records, Creation Records, Sarah Records, C86 twee-pop, and much much more!!!” And like every Wednesday, from 12-2a.m. they have $2.50 PBR's, and $3.50 well drinks! The Tender Box is an East LA band that has an upbeat British sound and has gotten some love from Rodney on the Roq and Indie 103.

Also appearing:

Mike Stinson / Merle Jagger @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – …if you want more of an old school country night. Stinson is my favorite local country artist.
Handsome Family / Junia May and the Hymns @ El Cid ($12) – Here’s what NME had to say about the Handsome Family: “Each song is like an abridged Flannery O'Connor story read aloud by Johnny Cash, hovering somewhere between the metaphysical and the mundane...”
Slow Signal Fade @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Here’s what the Onion had to say about them: “…the quartet adorns steely clangs of post-punk with flourishes of shoegazer straight out of Lush or Curve.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Local Scene Update

TIVO alert: Silversun Pickups will be on David Letterman this Friday night. They also just announced a second show at the Troubadour on 12/17 with Irving and Tigers Can Bite You. The show on 12/16 with Midnight Movies and Twilight Sleep is sold out. Drummer Christopher Guanlao's love of Star Wars is profiled on

You can download some Jon Brion bootlegs over at Fairfax Avenue. These are entire shows, so they're definitely worth checking out if you've never seen him live.

Cold War Kids will also be on David Letterman. Set your TIVO for December 21st. Advance tickets are available for three small shows in January. January 12th and 19th at the Silverlake Lounge and January 26th at Spaceland. Those shows will all sell out, so get tickets if you're interested.

Recent Merge signees, The Broken West have announced that they're doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland in January.

Local favorites, Division Day have announced that they're doing the free Monday night residency at Spaceland in February.

Tickets still remain for the Little Ones at the Echo on 12/9. Buy HERE.

Midlake, Clinic, Rob Crow, Rhett Miller, Of Montreal and Subtle recently announced shows at the Troubadour.

Stephen Malkmus (same night as My Morning Jacket at the Wiltern), Deerhoof, Of Montreal recently announced shows at El Rey Theatre.

Pitchfork favorites, Jet just announced a show at Spaceland on December 10th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10AM on Ticketweb.

Tuesday Night Music Picks 11/28/06

Tonight's Pick:
Let’s Independent w/ The Devil Romantics / The Spires / Mezzanine Owls @ Boardner’s ($6) – Radio Free Silver Lake presents their third monthly party at Boardner’s. I had a lot of fun at the first one. I’m not super familiar with any of these bands, but he usually picks really good bands.
Also Appearing:
The Hidden Cameras / The Minor Canon @ Echo ($12) – From the All Music Guide: “A mix of queer politics, explicit sexuality, symphonic indie pop, and theatrical spectacle that borders on the religious.”
Evangelicals @ Spaceland ($7) – Straight up indie rock from Norman, OK. Download “Here Comes Trouble” and “Another Day
Mark Eitzel / Thailand / Bedroom Walls @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – Mark Eitzel was in American Music Club. He’s performing all new songs. Also on Friday at Spaceland. I had the album Everclear for a while, but never got that into it.
Handsome Family / Chapin Sisters @ El Cid ($12) – From the LA Weekly: “Like Porter Wagoner and Jackson Browne slowed to 16 rpm, Handsome Family’s vision of Americana stems from influences as subtle as life in underrated Albuquerque to glove paralysis and other swamp things sucking at the fringes of the American experience.”
The Lovemakers / Gram Rabbit @ Troubadour ($12) – The Lovemakers are apparently influenced by the Human League? Gram Rabbit is not.
The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello acoustic) / Alexi Murdoch @ Hotel Café – With guests Perry Farrell and Nuno Bettencourt

Monday, November 27, 2006

Top Five New CD Releases 11/21/06 & 11/28/06

I never got around to putting this list together last week, so I'm combining it with this week's releases. It's the holiday shopping season, so there are tons of big releases coming out. Labels are raiding their catalogs and the monsters of hip-hop are releasing their albums. Will the labels hit their fourth quarter numbers?

Top Five Most Interesting Releases:
The Beatles: Love (Capitol) – George Martin produced this soundtrack of mash-ups and remixes for the Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil show. Some people love it and some people think he didn’t go far enough. The songs are so sacred there’s just no way to please everybody. You can listen to some tracks HERE.

Jay-Z: Kingdom Come (Def Jam) – He’s back after a three-year hiatus. Most critics find it disappointing. I mean, he teamed up with Chris Martin of Coldplay on one track and that first single is weak sister.

Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas (Asthmatic Kitty) – This is a five disc (42 song) box set of the Christmas EPs Sufjan would make for his friends and family every year. He gives both traditional songs and originals the Sufjan treatment. I haven’t listened to it yet, because I’m just not in the Christmas mood, but his fans seem to love it. I really love Illinoise and like a few tracks off of Michigan so I’m sure I’ll like some of it. He’s one of those artists willing to release everything he records. If only Neil Young would do the same. Download “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever

Summer Hymns: Backward Masks (Misra) – I’ve pretty much always liked these indie rockers but I haven’t heard this one yet. From their bio: “Imagine J. Mascis jamming with Galaxie 500. Envision My Morning Jacket produced by Phil Elverum. Jason Lyttle getting the Lambchop treatment.” Download “Pity and Envy” and “Start Swimming

Swan Lake: Beast Moans (Jagjaguwar) – Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade), Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes) collaborate. Inexplicably I’m not really a fan of any of those guys, but I’m sure you are. Although I do like some of the songs Bejar contributed to the New Pornographers. Download “All Fires” and “The Freedom

Also Released:
Big Sir: Und Die Scheibe Andert Sichimmer (GSL) – Listen “Get Off the B
The Cassettes: Neath the Pale Moon (Buddyhead)
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up/Star Trak) – The rap duo’s follow up to their 2002 album. The Neptunes are back to produce. You can stream it at AOL or Myspace.
Contriva: Separate Chambers (Morr)
Crime in Choir: Trumpery Metier (GSL) – Listen to “Trumpery Metier” At the Echo on 1/5/07. Dirty Faces: Get Right with God (Jagjaguwar) – Download “Somnambulist’s Vacation
The Figgs: Follow Jean Through the Sea (Gern Blandsten)
Dave Fischoff: The Crawl (Secretly Canadian) – Mixes electronic music, hip-hop and orchestral pop. Download “Ghost of an Afternoon
Josef K: Entomology (Domino) – Collection of songs from the Scottish indie-pop band.
Simon Joyner: Skeleton Blues (Jagjaguwar)
Mark Kozelek: Little Drummer Boy - Live (Caldo Verde) – Two disc live album with Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters songs.
The Manhattan Love Suicides: S/T (Magic Marker)
Midlake: Milkmaid Grand Army EP (Basement Front)
Mirah: Joyride Remixes (K Records) – Download “The Light
New York Dolls: From Here to Eternity – The Live Bootleg Boxset (Castle)
Oasis: Stop the Clocks (Columbia) – This is a two-disc (18-track) overview of their career that was overseen by Noel Gallagher. It mixes greatest hits with b-sides. It ignores an entire album and mostly focuses on the Definitely Maybe / (What’s the Story) Morning Glory era.
The Shins: Phantom Limb single (Sub Pop) – The new single from one of the most eagerly anticipated records of 2007. The full length, Wincing the Night Away comes out on 1/23/07. Download “Phantom Limb
Snoop Dogg: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (Geffen) – This one’s for the street cred after the last one was for selling ringtones.Tom Waits: Orphans (Anti-) – It’s a three-disc collection of rarities, covers and a bunch of new songs. Critics are loving it and I’m sure all of Waits fans already have it.

Monday Night Music Picks 11/27/06

See Jim Fairchild Tonight at the Echo

I blew off the blog for a few days while I was in Vegas. I saw my Kansas Jayhawks beat the defending national champs in basketball. I hope you went out and supported live music. Anybody see Tussle or Dirty on Purpose or Talib Kweli? Before I left town I saw the Pernice Brothers at Spaceland. Great show. Along with the time I saw them at Stubbs (inside) in Austin, it was one of the best I've seen them play. They played a lot of the songs I hoped for, including that Zombies' cover.
Tonight's Pick:
Great Northern / Irving / All Smiles (Jim Fairchild of Grandaddy) @ the Echo (Free) - Everybody's really looking forward to seeing Jim Fairchild's new band, All Smiles. They cut an album for Dangerbird records that will come out in January. You can download some tracks at All Smiles' Myspace page. Irving join their new label mates, Great Northern for the last night of Great Northern's residency. Great Northern's record will come out in May on Eenie Meenie Records.
Let’s Go Sailing / Charlie Wadhams @ Spaceland (Free) - This is the last night of Let's Go Sailing's residency too. So many of Let's Go Sailing's songs have the emotional resonance that will work so well in film and television. It's only a matter of time before you hear them all over the place.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Go See the Pernice Brothers Tonight!

Joe Pernice
Last night's lineup at Spaceland was one of the weirdest I've seen in a while. Birdmonster played their high energy, bar band music to a heavy industry crowd. During their set a bunch of older, bearded hippies started showing up and seemed a little confused. It was kind of like mixing an opium crowd with a Budweiser crowd. There were rumors that Devendra Banhart was in one of the bands, and sure enough, I saw him stride in. He politely watched the end of Birdmonster's set and applauded (and overall seemed like a good guy). It took the next band about 45 minutes to set up, and Banhart eventually played a few songs with them. The energy was noticeably higher with him on stage. No idea what they were called - but the singer was kind of Nico-ish, mostly monotone. They definitely didn't play for as long as they spent setting up. After that, Pit er Pat played. They had more of a Blonde Redhead meets Tortoise vibe (without the vibes of course). Very weird mix of attendees.
Tonight's Pick:
Pernice Brothers / Elvis Perkins @ Spaceland ($10) – I will definitely be in attendance for this one. Joe Pernice is one of my favorite lyricists (P’fork constantly rips his “clichéd” lyrics, but you know how I feel about P’fork). Even though hiis new album is probably my least favorite Pernice Brothers record (some of the arrangements aren’t as good as they could be), I still gave it a B+. He grew up listening to the Smiths (who he wrote a book about) and New Order (who he has covered) but also has elements of Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, The Left Banke, The Zombies and loads of other bands I love. Hopefully they’ll play the Zombies’ cover (Butcher’s Tale) they’ve been doing. As long as I’m making requests, how about: “Monkey Suit,” “Clear Spot,” “Working Girls,” “7:30,” “Bryte Side,” “Flaming Wreck,” “The Weakest Shade of Blue,” “Sometimes I Remember,” “There Goes the Sun,” “My So-Called Celibate Life,” “B.S. Johnson,” “PCH One” and other new ones. Get there in time for Elvis Perkins. He used to play with Let’s Go Sailing and his solo material is supposed to be special.
Also appearing:
Kevin Federline @ House of Blues (too much)
The Rolling Stones @ Dodger Stadium (Sold Out) – They’re one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of all time, but damn are they old. I saw them at Dodger Stadium about eight years ago and had a good time. That five year period from 1968-1972 has to be one of the most creatively productive periods in rock history (you know - along with the Beatles 1965-1969).
The Lemonheads / Vietnam @ the Troubadour ($22) – Anybody go last night?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday Night Music Options 11/21/06

Tonight's Pick:
Birdmonster / Pit Er Pat @ Spaceland ($8) – Bloggers love San Francisco’s Birdmonster. They’re the kind of pure, high-energy band that seems to genuinely love playing live and that is often infectious. Download “’Cause You Can” Pit er Pat follow in the tradition of jazzy rock bands from Chicago who record for Thrill Jockey. Download “Solistice
Also Appearing:
The Lemonheads / Vietnam @ The Troubadour ($22 dos) – Evan Dando is back with two of the Descendents backing him up. I saw him over a decade ago. It’s a Shame About Ray is still my favorite Lemonheads’ record. Also tomorrow.
Audrye Sessions @ the Echo ($5)
The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello solo acoustic) @ Hotel Café (Sold Out)
Goldenboy / Wallpaper @ Cinespace ($5)
Women & Children @ El Cid ($5)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tonight's Music Picks 11/20/06

Tonight's Pick:
Great Northern / Division Day / The Pity Party / Light FM @ Echo (Free) – I picked Let’s Go Sailing the past two weeks, so I’m going with Great Northern this week. The lineup also has Division Day who just had a nice mention in the New York Times while they were at CMJ. They always put on an energetic, fun live performance. They’re about to go out for a West Coast tour with Peter Walker. Download “Hurricane” The Pity Party’s also starting to get a nice buzz.

Also appearing:
Let’s Go Sailing / Ferraby Lionheart / Wallpaper @ Spaceland (Free) – I’ve picked Let’s Go Sailing the last two weeks in a row, so I’m giving it a rest this week. I got a copy of their LP at last week’s show and I’m really enjoying it. I really want to see Ferraby Lionheart. I’m hearing great things about him.
Jello Biafra (spoken word) @ El Rey Theatre ($14.50) – I was a HUGE Dead Kennedys fan, mostly because of Biafra’s humor and politics.
Holy Shit @ Silverlake Lounge ($5)
The Rapture / The Presets @ the Fonda (Sold Out)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sunday Night Music Options 11/19/06

These Arms are Snakes @ Spaceland ($12) - Post-hardcore, noise rock. Download "Horse Girl"

Hank May @ Sea Level 5:00PM (Free) - Music for Robots has some downloadable songs up including his cover of the Adventures of Pete and Pete theme song. Go to this, then go to the Echo for the country party.

Peter Walker / Jack Rose @ Mountain Bar (Free) - This is Peter Walker, the influential folk acoustic guitarist from the 1960s, not the local singer-songwriter/founder of Dangerbird Records. I wonder if the local PW knew the elder's work when he changed his name to Peter Walker?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Saturday Music Options 11/18/06

Sorry for forgetting to mention that the Deadly Syndrome and Watson Twins were playing last night. The Deadly Syndrome are new favorites and the Watson Twins are very talented. It's been an off week here at You Set the Scene.

Saturday 11/18/06
Tonight's Pick:
The Movies / The Lassie Foundation @ Spaceland ($8) - You already know I'm a big fan of the Movies. If I get out of Sean Lennon at a decent hour, I'll try to make it over. Lead singer Timothy James has a really skewed sense of humor that filters through his lyrics. He's manic and very entertaining on stage (which I pointed out in my open letter to Beck). As a bonus, this is Kevin Bronson's birthday party. Kevin does a great job covering the local scene for the LA Times. Expect to see a lot of your favorite local musicians showing their support for Kevin and the Movies. Download "If I Had the Cash"

Also see:
The Airborne Toxic Event @ Sea Level 2:00PM (Free) - I was impressed with the little bit of their set I saw at Spaceland on Wednesday. Their live sound is louder and more rocking than their demos suggest. They incorporate strings, keyboards and serious guitar chops. If you're a label scout you should check them out soon.

Also appearing:
Sean Lennon @ El Rey (Sold Out) - This is where I'll be and I'm excited to finally check out the new renovated El Rey theatre. Apparently Goldenvoice bought it and did a complete makeover (while maintaining its beautiful art deco feel). His new album is a huge step up from his first record. He's been studying his Jon Brion (who obviously studied his dad's work) records and even hired his engineer. The performances are all great and the record sounds lush. I recommend immediately throwing away the vanity DVD that comes along with the CD. In it you'll see Lennon act in music videos with Bijou Phillips, Asia Argento, Lindsey Lohan, etc. It left me feeling icky.
Split Lip Rayfield @ Troubadour ($15) - I always try to support bands from Kansas. They play bluegrass/country with punk rock speed and attitude.
Hot Chip @ the Fonda (Sold Out) - DFA artists. Both the hipsters and nerdy music bloggers love these guys. Electro-pop with clever lyrics.

Live Music Options Friday 11/17/06

Midnight Movies celebrate the release of their new single tonight @ Spaceland

The Slits / Dmonstrations / Mika Miko @ Troubadour ($20) – For fans of punk rock girls.
Stones Throw 10th Year Anniversary w/ Madlib / Peanut Butter Wolf / J-Rocc / Percee-P @ El Rey ($20) – For the underground hip-hop fans.
Frank Black @ House of Blues ($30) – The Pixies frontman.
Straylight Run / Matt Pond PA / Street to Nowhere / Kevin Devine @ the Roxy ($15) – See my earlier post.
Tenacious D @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($45-50) – Also on Saturday
Midnight Movies / Dead Ponies @ Spaceland ($8)

Five Most Interesting CD Releases - 11/14/06

This post is way late - but I've been busy. I really need this Neil Young live album.

Five Most Interesting Releases
Johnny Cash: Live at San Quentin (Sony) – Expensive two CD/one DVD collection that captures the legendary concert (including the performances by the other members of his stage show). The DVD is a British documentary that primarily focuses on the prison and its inmates with the concert in the background.
Joanna Newsom: Ys (Drag City) – Music critic darling. Folk music with the harp. Steve Albini recorded it and Van Dyke Parks did the strings. She’s got a 92 on Metacritic. I think I fall in the Rolling Stone camp on this one. Live at El Rey on 11/30.
Tralala: Is That the Tralala (2005 Audika Records) – Brooklyn pop-punk band with “girl-group vocals and punk energy.” Appearing at Safari Sam’s on 12/5 and Spaceland on 12/6.
Various Artists: Do It Again – A Tribute to Pet Sounds (Houston Party) – Usually these things are disappointing, but I’m still interested. Will Oldham, Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory, Daniel Johnston, Micah P. Hinson, Centro-Matic, Architecture in Helsinki pay tribute to one of the great albums ever.
Neil Young: Live at the Fillmore East (Reprise) – It’s only six long tracks but dates from 1970, so it features the late Danny Whitten. I just watched an old Neil Young acoustic performance on VH-1 Classics’ “BBC Jewels” and it was fantastic. He’s one of the few artists who is so good I gobble up all the live performances and music DVDs.

Also Released:
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: So Divided (Interscope) – The reviews are right in the middle on this one. Live at the Fonda on 11/30 and 12/1.
Graham Coxon: Love Travels at Illegal Speeds (Parlophone) – Domestic issue of the former Blue guitarist.
Depeche Mode: Best of Depeche Mode CD/DVD (Reprise)
The Game: Doctor’s Advocate (Geffen) – Reviews are pretty good. Kanye West makes an appearance. At the Avalon on 11/21.
Emmylou Harris & Mark Knopfler: Real Live Roadrunning w/DVD (Warner Bros.) – Live document of their LA appearance.
Ladybug Transistor: Here Comes the Rain EP (Green UFOs)
The Red Krayola: Red Gold EP (Drag City)
Damien Rice: 9 (Heffa) – Irish singer-songwriter. Reviewers are split on this one. He’s just a little too precious for me. Live at the Orpheum on 12/8 and 12/9.
Tahiti 80: Fosbury (Militia) – Fey Frenchies album Fosbury finally released domestically.
Tenacious D: Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (Sony) – At the Gibson Amphitheatre on 11/17.
Various Artists: ESL Remixed – The 100th Release of ESL Music (Eighteenth Street Lounge) – The lounge/downtempo label celebrates their 100th release. A good friend of mine used to manage the Chi-Cha Lounge in DC and would constantly listen to all this DC lounge music.
White Magic: Dat Rosa Mel Apibus (Drag City) – Female folk getting some blog love.
Yusuf: An Other Cup (Atlantic) – The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is back with some spiritual songs and some covers. We all know that the Flaming Lips own Tea for the Tillerman, but do you? If not, pick it up.

Reissues – Built to Spill: Ultimate Alternative Wavers, Wrens: Secaucus, Wrens: Silver

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Night Music 11/16/06

Tonight's Pick:
Irving / + / - @ Spaceland ($8) – When local heartthrobs Irving play, their shows are like listening to a compilation CD. Overall they play indie pop, but with multiple singers/songwriters they go all over the map. One song might have a Cure feel, the next might have an Elephant 6 vibe and the next might have some jangly guitars. They’ve been touring their asses off this year, so if you haven’t seen them play in a while they should be tight. It’s always high energy. Download "Situation" +/- are a quality indie rock band. Download + / - “Steal the Blueprints
Also worth checking out:
The Broken West / Racetrack Babies @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Local good guys, the Broken West (f/k/a the Brokedown) recently signed with Merge. If you can’t make it out tonight, they’ll be doing Spaceland’s Monday night residency in January and doing a record release party at Sea Level on January 23rd. Go over to their Myspace page and listen to “So It Goes.”
Other Options:
Beach House / Ariel Pink @ the Echo ($7) – Don’t get me wrong, I like to be rocked to sleep as much as the next guy, but Beach House is for people that get rocked too hard by Low. That said, expect the Beach House record to be on the top of a lot of bloggers top 10 lists this year.
Jolie Holland / Vetiver @ Jensen Rec Center ($15) – Vetiver are tied in with the Devendra Banhart scene.
The Hush Sound / Murder By Death @ El Rey ($13) – I got both of these CDs in the mail recently. The Hush Sound have melodic, piano driven tunes. Murder By Death has a dark, western vibe.
Ben Lee @ Avalon ($17) – Remember Noise Addict? I do.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wednesday Night Music 11/18/06

I had a great time at Spaceland on Monday. If you haven't seen the Deadly Syndrome yet, I highly recommend checking them out. They've got good songs and loads of energy. It's always a pretty diverse audience at Spaceland on Monday night, and they definitely converted some new fans. I've seen blog-approved bands like Birdmonster and Tapes'n Tapes and these guys are way more interesting. Let's Go Sailing played a strong set as well. As usual, Shana has assembled a really good band and she writes interesting songs. There's still two more chances to see her for free on Monday nights.
Tonight's Pick:
NME Night: Airborne Toxic Event / Devastations / The Drones @ Spaceland ($10) – I’m going to try to make it out to this show tonight. The Airborne Toxic Event is a new local band that’s already playing some high profile gigs and getting some good mentions. Go listen at Myspace. Australia’s Devastations are getting some nice reviews from Uncut and P’fork. Most can’t resist comparing the lead singer to Nick Cave and telling you how much Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs loves them. Download Devastations’ “Sex and Mayhem” and “Coal” The Drones are another Australian band. who the NME likes (8/10) and co Download “I Don’t Ever Want to Change
Also appearing:
Lady Sovereign @ El Rey (Sold Out) – British, female, rapper, her album has a 67 on Metacritic.
Ladyhawk @ the Mint ($7)
Qui with David Yow @ 3 of Clubs (Free)
Dub Club @ the Echo ($5)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Plug Awards - Vote Now

If you're an indie music lover, make sure to go vote for the Plug Awards. The nominees are picked by a bunch of bloggers (Rockinsider, GvsB, Myoldkyhome, Pitchfork, YANP, BrooklynVegan, etc.), publicists, label folks, celebs, etc. LA is well represented on the list - it's great to be a music fan in Los Angeles. Congratulations to all the nominees (I apologize if I missed anybody):

Silversun Pickups leads the way with seven nominations including: Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year (are they a new artist?), Indie Rock Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Live Act of the Year, Song of the Year ("Lazy Eye"), Album Art/Packaging of the Year
Cold War Kids is up for New Artist of the Year
Jenny Lewis is up for Female Artist of the Year, Americana Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year ("Rise Up With Fists")
Mika Miko is up for Punk Album of the Year
Year Future is up for Punk Album of the Year
Dave Cooley is up for Producer of the Year (he produced the SSPU record)
Tony Hoffer is up for Producer of the Year (Belle & Sebastian producer, mixed SSPU)
Stones Throw is up for Label of the Year
Anti- is up for Label of the Year
The Echo is up for Live Music Venue of the Year
The Troubadour is up for Live Music Venue of the Year
Coachella is up for Music Festival of the Year
Filter Magazine is up for Magazine of the Year
Under the Radar is up for Magazine of the Year
KXLU is up for college/non-comm radio station of the year
KCRW is up for college/non-comm radio station of the year
Amoeba is up for record store of the year
KROQ - After Hours w/ Jason Bentley (Los Angeles, CA) - Specialty radio show of the year
KDLD - Jonesy's Jukebox w/ Steve Jones (Los Angeles, CA) - Specialty radio show of the year
KDLD - Dead Air w/ Chuck P (Los Angeles, CA) - Specialty radio show of the year is up for internet radio station of the year is up for internet radio station of the year
KXLU, Indie 103 and KCRW are up for Online Radio station of the year (with terrestrial counterpart)

Once again I would like to extend a giant middle finger to Amy Phillips and the entire virtual staff of the Pitchfork blog. Here's what they had to say, "But please for the love of god, stay away from Silversun Pickups." Hey f--- you Amy Phillips and Pitchfork. Let's recap: they gave SSPU a 5.0, Cold War Kids a 5.0, Jenny Lewis a 6.1 and didn't bother to review the Mika Miko or Year Future records. I have a lot of respect for all five of those bands. They've all got different fanbases but great relationships with their audience.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Tuesday Night Live Music 11/14/06

Tuesday's Pick:
Dr. Octagon (Kool Keith) @ Safari Sam's ($25) - For the hip hop fans. He was in the Ultramagnetic MCs and Beck has ripped him off. He's completely bananas, so you don't know what you're going to get. Haven't heard the new Dr. Octagon record, but the first one is good. Sex Style is my favorite record.

Also Appearing:
Explosions in the Sky @ El Rey Theatre (Sold Out) - Instrumental indie rock. When I lived in Austin I saw one of these guys all the time and had no idea he was in a cool band. They do the music for the Friday Night Lights.
The Grates @ Spaceland ($8) - Australian female fronted poppy-punky. This is the LA Weekly's pick. The CD didn't make much of an impression on me, but a lot of people seem to dig it.
The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello solo acoustic) / Alexi Murdoch @ Hotel Cafe (Sold Out)
Paul Stanley @ House of Blues ($35)
2 Live Crew @ Cinespace ($5) - One hit wonders.

Public Service Announcement RE: Little Pedro's

As usual, I took a look around the other LA blogs today. A few of them are promoting shows at Little Pedro's that are no longer happening at Little Pedro's. Little Pedro's is under new management and due to intense competition, they are shifting their focus to a different demographic. What does this mean? Don't expect many indie shows in the future. The guys who were booking Little Pedro's (Infectious) are now booking the Mint. As a result, some of the touring shows that were scheduled for Little Pedro's (like Wednesday's ladyhawk show) have been moved to the Mint. So double check before you head down to Little Pedro's. Scott at Infectious has done an outreach to the local bloggers (Rock Insider did some shows at Little Pedro's, Floating Away had one scheduled and I had talked to them about doing one) so hopefully he brings some cool stuff to the Mint.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Monday Night Music Picks 11/13/06

Let's Go Sailing Plays Tonight at Spaceland

Tonight's Pick:

Let's Go Sailing / The Deadly Syndrome / The Western States Motel @ Spaceland (Free) - I haven't been to a free Monday at Spaceland for a while, but "tonight's the night." Three up and coming LA bands that I really want to see. Let's Go Sailing is Shana Levy with a rotating cast of musicians from other popular LA bands like: Irving, Silversun Pickups, Goldenboy, Elvis Perkins, Possum Dixon, Beachwood Sparks. She first got my attention when I heard her songs in a friend's short film. They've got a new full lengh that will be available at the show. The Deadly Syndrome is a new local band that seemed to erupt out of nowhere and now plays everywhere. Their demos sound good and the other LA bloggers are giving them a lot of love. Download The Deadly Syndrome's "I Hope I Become a Ghost" The Western States Motel are another new band. I got a copy of their CD in the mail and it's quite good. You might be pleasantly reminded of Grandaddy on one song or the Shins on the next song. Radio Free Silver Lake is a big fan too.

Also Playing:
The Mae Shi @ Il Corral - Tonight you've got two choices if you're into abrasive, experimenal punk music. This the local choice and naturally the one I would pick.
The Parson Red Heads / Stevenson Ranch Davidians / Bound Stems @ Knitting Factory ($8) - I'm a big Parson Red Heads fan. As their website says, they play: "60's rock/psychedelic/folk music, with hint of indie pop - full of 4 part harmonies, jangely guitar leads, and dance-able, tambourine-tinged rythyms." (Get a spell checker guys). They play all the time, so their live show is really good. If you can't make it out tonight, they're doing the Monday Echo residency in December. I've heard good things about the other two bands too.
Goldenboy @ Viper Room (Free with RSVP to Goldenboy) - Local indie pop band on the Eenie Meenie label. Download "Second Day of the Year"
Wolf Eyes / Great Northern @ the Echo ($10) - Great Northern's free residency is interrupted by a touring band. Wolf Eyes are a Detroit based Sub Pop band that plays abrasive, experimental music. Download "The Driller"
Sparta / Sound Team / As Tall as Lions @ Avalon ($15) - Bloggers were all over Sound Team for a bit.
Clipse @ House of Blues ($20) - Hip hop fans.
The Vacation / Run Run Run / Foreign Born @ Safari Sam's
Heather Porcaro / Venus Hum / Kristoffer Ragnstom @ Hotel Cafe
Damien Rice @ El Rey Theatre (Sold Out) - Very precious Irish singer-songwriter. If you're a fan, this will be a great place to see him. I saw him at the Fonda a few years back and there were lots of technical difficulties.
Indigo Girls @ Wiltern ($35) - For the patchouli set.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sunday Night Music Picks - 11/12/06

Sunday's Pick:
120 Days / Tokyo Police Club / The Lovely Feathers @ the Echo ($5 for 21+, $8 ow) – If you like to party, here's an impressive lineup for a Sunday night. Get there early if you want to see the Lovely Feathers because they’re playing the Knitting Factory later that night. Download 120 Days’ “Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone

Also Appearing:
Sage Francis @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Well respected underground rapper who used to record for Anticon, but is now on Epitaph.
The Shakes @ the Buccaneer ($5) – My favorite Pirate themed bar in Sierra Madre. But twice in one week? I couldn’t.
The Slip / The Lovely Feathers ($15) – Jim James loves the Slip. I panned them earlier this week, but what do I know?
Molecules @ Spaceland (Free)

Saturday Night - Page France / Anathallo

Saturday's Pick:
Page France / Anathallo @ Spaceland ($8) – Here are a couple of earnest indie bands for the sensitive kids. Back in my day all the kids were agnostic. Now they’re not afraid to write about God. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. Page France are from Maryland and have gotten some nice love from You Ain’t No Picasso. Download Page France’s “Junkyard” and “Bush” Back in my day indie rock bands were all about the 4-track and could barely play their instruments. Now these kids are into choruses and horns and strings and Elephant 6 influences. I’m not complaining I suppose it has something to do with advances in technology. Download Anathallo’s “A Great Wind More Ash

Also Appearing:
400 Blows / Gil Mantera’s Party Dream @ Echo ($10) – If you prefer harder, more abrasive music then you’ll have a much better time at the Echo checking out local favorites, the 400 Blows. Download “Mortar and Pestle
Airborne Toxic Event @ Hear Gallery – I’m hearing good things about this new local band. These Hear Gallery/ Hang the DJs parties look like Hipsterville 2006. Download “Wishing Well
Veruca Salt @ Safari Sam’s ($10)
Adam Marsland @ Mr. T’s Bowl – Anybody who is obsessed with Dennis and Carl Wilson is ok in my book.

Friday Night Music Picks - 11/10/06

Asobi Seksu play the Troubadour Tonight

Tonight's Pick:
Wrens / Asobi Seksu @ the Troubadour ($15) – The Wrens are out on the West Coast for the Be the Riottt festival in San Francisco. Hardly a prolific band, you just never know when they’re going to go back on a seven year hiatus. The founder of P-fork gave their last album a 9.5/10. Download “Everyone Chooses Sides” Check out Autopia’s review of Asobi Seksu’s recent Echo appearance. Their Japanese lead singer (from Gardena) sings half in English and half in Japanese. Download “Thursday

Also Appearing:
Lupe Fiasco @ Key Club (Sold Out) – Jay-Z mentored him. He worships Nas. Kanye West and the Neptunes appear on his record. Even The Passion of the Weiss has to admit he likes him.
Kid Koala / Fog @ The Echo ($20) – DJ Extraordinaire
Kid Congo Powers @ Jensen Rec Center ($10) – From the Gun Club, Cramps and Nick Cave.
Islands / Subtitle @ The Fonda ($13) – Eccentric indie rockers
Donita Sparks @ Safari Sam’s ($5)
Petra Haden @ Getty Center 7:30PM (Sold Out)
Gliss @ Amoeba 7:00 PM (Free)
Ima Robot / Whitestarr @ the Roxy ($15)
The Deftones @ Avalon (Sold Out)
Brand New Heavies @ El Rey Theatre ($25) – Acid Jazz Londoners
Tara Jane O’Neill @ El Cid ($10)
Rose Hill Drive / Gosling @ Spaceland ($8)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ticket Giveaway - Matt Pond PA / Straylight Run / Kevin Devine / Street to Nowhere

Matt Pond PA
I’m admittedly bad about giving shows on the Sunset Strip as much attention as I give the east side. To partially remedy this, I’m giving away three pairs of tickets to the Roxy. Obviously, the Roxy’s a historic venue in the heart of the Strip. By the way, read that Motley Crue bio for some great stories about the hair metal heyday.

Who: The Straylight Run / Matt Pond PA / Street to Nowhere / Kevin Devine
What: Ticket Giveaway
When: Friday November 17, 2006
Where: The Roxy Theatre
How: Email me at (dukeufo @ hotmail . com) and tell me which band you want to see. Hopefully (but this is not required) you’ll offer to write a mini-review of the show for the site.

The Straylight Run was formed by two of the guys in Taking Back Sunday. The new song on Myspace seems to be a departure from the emo sound. Check out this recent Spin Magazine feature. They fulfilled their Victory record contract and are shopping for a new label. They have 2.5 million plays on Myspace. No wonder Myspace’s servers are always so slow.

I know there are a lot of hardcore Matt Pond PA fans out there because I saw you at his recent show at Spaceland. If you missed him there, here’s another chance. A very talented songwriter, he writes catchy, melodic indie rock. Download “Grave’s Disease

They’re from Oakland and recently put out an album on Capitol Records. Spin saw them at CMJ and wrote a nice review. They compared the singer to “a young Connor Oberst.”

I’m hearing some nice things about Kevin Devine. He also recently put out a record on Capitol and draws some comparisons to Connor Oberst (Amazon also throws in Chris Carrabba). I like his list of influences on Myspace: Elliott Smith, Pavement, Wilco, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nirvana and Neil Young.

Listen on Myspace: The Straylight Run / Matt Pond PA / Street to Nowhere / Kevin Devine

Show Announcements - My Morning Jacket & The Flaming Lips

Both of these bands are usually very good live.

Who: My Morning Jacket
Where: The Wiltern
When: January 6th, 2007
Ticket info: Presale begins tomorrow at Noon (PST). Regular on sale date is 11/18. Sign up on their website for more info.

Who: The Flaming Lips / Gnarls Barkley
Where: USC Galen Center
When: New Year's Eve - 12/31/06
Ticket Info: Presale begins tomorrow at Noon (PST). Regular on sale date is 11/12.

Thursday Night Music 11-9-06

I drove out to Sierra Madre last night and saw the Hubcaps do lots of great covers (several LA musicians made the same trek). Tons of Neil Young, the Who, Stones, Pink Floyd (Syd-era), Love, Kinks, etc. Lots of fun.

Tonight's Pick:
Telescopes / Fuxa @ Silverlake Lounge ($12) – The Telescopes are a British band that started out as shoegazer/Spacemen 3 type band, but evolved into a more melodic dream pop band. This is their first US tour ever. Rev-Ola has reissued some of their hard to find CDs. Fuxa plays atmospheric music that all the shoegazer fans should appreciate.

Also Appearing:
Noel Gallagher @ Wadsworth Theatre (N/A) – Did you win tickets on Myspace or through Indie 103.1? If you have an extra and want to invite my friend John, he will love you forever (and probably trade you a couple of “Thee Motorcar is Bullshit” t-shirts. [UPDATE - John got a ticket!]
Joseph Arthur / Annie Stela @ Troubadour ($15) – Back in town again. There's aMichael Stipe produced New Orleans documentary floating around out there that was named after one of his songs.
Xiu Xiu @ the Echo ($10) – Some say challenging, I usually just say headache rock. His lyrics remind me of the poetry that sexually confused girl in your high school honors English class would write. Just kidding. I know they have a lot of fans really passionate about them. Download “I Broke Up
Minus the Bear @ El Rey ($14) – Don’t ask them about their song titles. I’m warning you. Just don’t. Download “Hooray
Miranda Lee Richards @ Hotel Café
Pet Shop Boys @ Wiltern ($65) – I imagine a lot of guys in leather trousers.
Lovedrug / Brandston @ Spaceland ($10) – Emo kids. Spaceland is 21+.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday Night Music Options 11/8/06

Slimmest pickings we've seen in a while...

Tonight's Pick:
Hubcaps @ the Buccaneer in Sierra Madre (Free) – A covers band (with really good choice in covers and a great guitarist) at a pirate themed dive bar in Sierra Madre. What better way to celebrate a mellow Wednesday?

Also Happening:
Chief Cornfoot’s Comedy Hour @ Sea Level 8:00PM (Free) – The monthly indie comedy party on the east side.
Club NME with The Cinematics @ Spaceland ($8) – British rockers. Anybody see them at Safari Sam’s last night?
Pity Party / Dappled Cities Fly @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Sia / The Bird & the Bee @ Avalon ($20) – For the KCRW crowd.
Luke Doucet @ Hotel Café

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Release Tuesday - 11/7/06

Top Five Most Interesting New Releases:

Isobel Campbell: Milk White Sheets (V2) – The former Belle & Sebastian member is back with her second album of the year. This time around there’s no Mark Lanegan and no country-ish ballads. Stylistically, Milk White Sheets is more in line with her Gentle Waves and Amorino sound. She mixes original material with traditional folk songs. James Iha and Eugene Kelly make guest appearances. Mellow songs, acoustic guitars, cello and her pretty voice.

Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) – This is one of those lost folk treasures (first time on CD). You know the kind... a bunch of artists you respect will explain its brilliance and the press materials will tell you how Dalton was a muse for many. She’s got one of those love it or hate it voices. I only listened to a few songs, but unfortunately fell into the latter category. If you’re into the acid folk scene, you should check it out and decide for yourself. Download “Katie Cruel

Pavement: Wowee Zowee – Sordid Sentinels Edition (Matador) – Here’s Matador’s super special deluxe two-disc reissue of Pavement’s third album. I remember a lot people didn’t like it when it came out, but a lot of contrarians now say it’s their favorite Pavement record (I’ll vote for Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain which no real Pavement fan ever votes for). If you’re smarter than I, you already pre-ordered it and got a free 7” and live download. I didn’t, so I’ll have to go pick it up at the record store. At least I’ve still got a mint condition original vinyl pressing. Take that. Download “Rattled By the Rush” and “Heckler Spray/ In the Mouth of a Desert” Letter Grade: B+

Various Artists: This American Life - Stories of Hope & Fear (Shout Factory) – All of my smarty pants college friends totally love This American Life. For the uninitiated, it’s a weekly radio program hosted by Ira Glass that airs on public radio. Each week is a thought-provoking exploration of some aspect of American life. This two-disc collection is comprised of 11 segments of the program. There are standup routines, interviews, confrontations with phone companies and stories from great writers like David Sedaris. The musical backdrop comes from people you love like Sonic Youth, RZA and Blonde Redhead. This collection is a great companion on a road trip and would make a great holiday gift for under $20. You can check out the Sedaris’ bit here: David Sedaris: "So a Chipmunk and a Squirrel Walk Into a Bar"

Voxtrot: Your Biggest Fan (Playlouder) – I can’t recommend these Ausinites highly enough especially if you like music like the Smiths, C86 and Belle and Sebastian. This kid is such a good songwriter (I put him on par with James Mercer as one of my favorite songwriters today). This is only three songs, but after I got it in the mail I couldn’t stop listening to it. You can stream all three on Myspace. On “Sway” he finally realizes (with the help of the Tosca String Quartet) the chamber pop promise that’s been around since the early press materials comparing him to the Left Banke and Love. Lyrically he explores fading love, fame and even gives a shout out to Cherry Red. Who’s he talking about there? Lawrence from Felt? They just played the Troubadour and I really enjoyed the show. Sure they could be tighter, but they’re still a young band. They’re building a very admirable relationship with their audience - the kind of show where 100 people got in line at the merch table after the gig. Download “Trouble” Letter Grade: A

Other Noteworthy Releases:
31 Knots: Polemics EP (Polyvinyl) – I don’t like how they put Kris Kristofferson in their list of ironic influences on Myspace. Hey guys, don’t dismiss his early 1970’s stuff. Their real influences are probably math rock, Fugazi, Modest Mouse maybe? See them at Spaceland on 12/9. Download “Sedition’s Wish
Bee Gees: The Studio Albums 1967-1968 (Reprise) – If you think you don’t like the Bee Gees because of the disco stuff but you haven’t heard their earlier stuff, then do yourself a favor and give it a shot. I’m not ultra-familiar with these records, but I really like Odessa which came right after these. A $60 box set probably isn’t your best entry point, but it probably means hardcore fans will dump their old versions at the used record shops and you can pick them up on the cheap.
The Evens: Get Even (Dischord) – Do you like Fugazi and Minor Threat? Me too. Did you know Ian MacKaye’s in this band with his special lady friend?
PJ Harvey: Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (Island)
Owen: At Home with Owen (Polyvinyl) – Owen is Mike Kinsella of Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, etc. Harp compared him to Elliott Smith, Joe Pernice, Nick Drake and Paul Westerberg. Download “Bad News” See him at the El Rey on 11/22.
The Slip: Eisenhower (Bar/None) – I was thinking, why does this sound familiar? And I remembered that I got this in the mail a while back. Obviously I wasn’t feeling it, but maybe you will? They’re touring with My Morning Jacket and I like them. Probably more for the jam band crowd? Download “Even Rats” See them at the Knitting Factory on 11/12. Letter Grade: D+

Who Loves the Sun - Movie Ticket Giveaway

If you pay a visit to my friends at Sea Level Records in Echo Park you can get free tickets to the Who Loves the Sun screening at the AFI Film Fest. The tickets are for the Thursday screening at the ArcLight (1:30PM). The LA Weekly highlighted the film in its guide to the best of the fest. What's the music tie-in? Well Mac from Portastatic and Superchunk did the score. It stars Lukas Haas and Molly Parker (who I have a mini crush on from Deadwood). Well worth checking out if you don't have to be at work.

Tuesday Night Music Picks - Tahiti 80

Unfortunately I didn't make it out last night. What kind of blogger am I? Tons of great, free shows and I sat at home crying my eyes out to Coal Miner's Daughter. By the way, if you haven't seen that, rent it immediately. One of the best music biopics of all time.

Tonight's Pick:
Tahiti 80 @ the Troubadour ($15) – Of all the wimpy bands I listen to, these Frenchmen may be the most fey. They haven’t toured the States in a few years, but last time I saw them I enjoyed it. It’s really light indie pop music that will stick with you about as long as Fun Dip candy. But it’s all in good fun and they seem like really nice guys.

Also Appearing:
Joan Jett / Eagles of Death Metal @ Fonda ($25) – Have you seen recent photos of Joan Jett? She’s still very hot.
New York Dolls / Supersuckers / Davie Allan and the Arrows @ Avalon ($20) – Rock'n'Roll. You may remember that I saw the New York Dolls at Spaceland earlier this year. As good as you could expect – for the true fans.
Lee “Scratch” Perry @ House of Blues ($25) – The Jamaican reggae and dub legend.
Rachel Fuller w/ Pete Townshend, Billy Corgan and E from the Eels (Sold Out)
The Parlor Mob / Phoenix Foundation @ Spaceland ($8) – The Parlor Mob are that Wolfmother-like band I wrote about yesterday. Anybody go to that show at the Silverlake Lounge? Is it worth paying for tonight?
The Horrors / The Cinematics @ Safari Sam’s ($5)
Icarus Line @ Cinespace ($5)
Ima Robot @ the Echo ($8)

Monday, November 06, 2006

LA Bands at CMJ - the Coverage

CMJ Roundup

In a story about music blogs, The New York Times had nice things to say about Division Day.

Spin said highlights of CMJ included Silversun Pickups and Lavender Diamond. Spin also praised the Little Ones and Silversun Pickups at the New York 2 London party. Spin also compared Brian Aubert to Crispin Glover in another article (what about Cobain?). Pitchfork called Lavender Diamond old and told them they need to stand up when they play. NME features the Cold War Kids’ new video. NME calls the Little Ones “amazing” and then goes on to call the Cold War Kids “absolutely bloody brilliant.” Rolling Stone said there’s “nothing little” about the Little Ones and also said Ferraby Lionheart was one of the unknown gems of CMJ. They also gave Cold War Kids’ new album 4 out of 5 stars.

Let's Go Sailing vs. Great Northern - Monday Night

Seems like some people really enjoyed Love is All on Friday night. I went to see Borat instead. Very funny. It's the first Monday of the month, so you've got some new residencies starting. Let's Go Sailing at Spaceland and Great Northern at the Echo. You should check them both out at some point. For those that like a little heavier rock, there's a free show from The Parlor Mob at Silverlake Lounge. Also a couple of popular indie bands in Hollywood.

Tonight's Pick:
Let’s Go Sailing / Bedroom Walls / The Coral Sea / Dappled Cities Fly @ Spaceland (Free) – Let’s Go Sailing is mostly Shana Levy along with a rotating cast of musicians from other bands you love (SSPU, Elvis Perkins, Irving, etc.). She’s got a new album coming out this month. Support local music and go see her during the Monday night residency. She plays pretty, mellow indie rock with strings.
Great Northern / Tigers Can Bite You / The Meeting Places / Dead Ponies @ the Echo (Free) – It’s a little weird and unfortunate that Let’s Go Sailing and Great Northern are both doing residencies this month since they have a lot of the same audience. This is a strong lineup and so are the lineups on the 20th (Division Day) and 27th (Irving). Hopefully fans get out to support both Great Northern and Let’s Go Sailing. Tigers Can Bite You is the new-ish band from Dave Woody of Fiver. The Meeting Places play dreamy rock and just did a Silverlake Lounge residency last month.
The Parlor Mob / The Delta Spirit @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – For the heavy blues-based rock fans. The Parlor Mob are another Sabbath-type of band from New Jersey that recently signed to Capitol Records. Don’t believe me? Go to Myspace and have a listen. They were in the New York Times very recently. If you like the new round of bands like the Sword, Wolfmother, Priestess you should probably check them out for free in a tiny club while you have the chance. Also at Spaceland tomorrow night.
Starlight Mints / Bishop Allen / Tom Heinl @ Troubadour ($12) – Starlight Mints are indie rockers from Norman, OK. If you read that You Ain’t No Picasso blog then you probably know about Bishop Allen. He posts about them like four times a week.

Also Appearing:
Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide) @ Hotel Cafe
Modest Mouse / Handsome Fur (featuring Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade) @ the Wiltern ($30)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sunday's Live Music Options 11/5/06

Mike Stinson Plays the Echo on Sunday (early)

Sunday's Pick:
Goldenboy @ Sea Level 4:00PM (Free) – See Goldenboy, then walk next door to the Echo.
Grand Ole Echo w/ Mike Stinson @ the Echo 5:00 PM (Free) – The Echo does free country shows early on Sunday evening (music from 6:00-9:00PM). I keep meaning to go, but haven’t made it yet. If you like classic, honky tonk country and haven’t seen Stinson yet I strongly encourage you to go. Tony Gilkyson plays guitar so effortlessly it’s a stark contrast to most nights at Spaceland or the Echo. Most Stinson shows are also a good chance to see Pamela Des Barres and Gram Parsons’ daughter, Polly.

Also Appearing:
The Who @ Hollywood Bowl (Very, very expensive)
Modest Mouse @ Avalon (Sold Out) – Johnny Marr on guitar. I’ve seen them a few times over the years.

Saturday Night Music Options 11/4/06

Tonight's Pick:
Giant Drag @ Little Radio (1214 Long Beach Avenue) – I’ve only seen them once and they were having some technical issues. Lead singer Annie has legions of pervy dudes after her. Are you one of them? I heard she DJ’ed Spaceland recently and played lots of Kinks and Gram Parsons.

Also Playing:
The Coral Sea @ Sea Level 4:00PM (Free) – Also appearing on Monday at Spaceland. From the label: “hypnotic and mellow dreamrock album that calls to mind classic albums by Bowie, Pink Floyd and The Beatles, with current comparisons ranging from Yo La Tengo’s melodic blue-streak zoom-pop to Radiohead’s impassioned layered vocal/guitar impressionism.”
Goldenboy @ Hotel Café ($7) – Their new album just came out on Eenie Meenie records. They play melancholy indie pop along the lines of the Eels and Elliott Smith. Smith is responsible for the band’s name as well. Download “Second Day of the Year
The Who @ Hollywood Bowl – I’m not the biggest Who fan in the world, but they’ve got at least twenty damn good songs. I mean, you can put on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy and it don’t stop. Never seen ‘em live. I just noticed $500 tickets are available on Ticketmaster. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. The convenience charge is $26.55 on top of that. Good lord.
The Knife @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Swedish synth-pop duo that likes to be photographed in Eyes Wide Shut style masks. They have the good sense to have video art behind them when they play.

Safari Sam's Offers Free Band Passes

Here's something really cool that the Safari Sam's club is offering up to local musicians. A lot of good people working over there......

Band Pass Requirements

1. You must be in a band that has played here, will play here or really really wants to play here, but have been unable to get on the calendar as of yet.

2. You must have an active myspace page that has you listed as a band member.

3. You and your guest must be at least 18 or over.To receive your band pass please e-mail your name, e-mail address, band name and myspace URL to Band passes will be available for pick up at the club starting November 15th. You will need to have a valid ID showing that you are 18 or over to pick up your band pass. Your pass will be active for 6 months from date of pick up.This entrance is subject to availability and management’s discretion. This means that if the show might sell out then you would not get in. Also, on nights with outside promotions the pass will not be active. On nights that the pass is active you and your guest must have a valid ID to get in.To find out if the band pass is active on any given night please check the calendar at, and look for the band pass symbol for the show that you are interested in attending.

“Expose yourself to different music and allow your music to grow”, sam

This information will be posted in a blog as well as on the Safari Sam's website.

Please e-mail all questions or concerns to

Friday Night Options 11/3/06

Love Is All Play the Echo
Tonight's Pick:
Love is All @ the Echo ($12) – Another one of those Swedish indie pop bands that’s infiltrating the land (see Peter Bjorn and John, Acid House Kings). I’ve only heard the downloads. Download “Busy Doing Nothing
Also Appearing:
Mudhoney @ Safari Sam’s ($20) – When you think of Seattle and Sub Pop….. Download “Blindspots
Make Believe / Eastern Youth / Ecstatic Sunshine @ Spaceland ($8) – Tim Kinsella of Make Believe was in Chicago’s Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc. Jittery, angular guitar rock. Download “A Song About Camping” Eastern Youth is a verteran emo-ish hardcore band from Japan.

Commentary on Pitchfork's Coverage of CMJ

Judging by their coverage, the Pitchfork correspondents are wowed by foreign bands (particulary if they sing in French), bands wearing ironic costumes (or ironic hipster fashionistas) and anybody standing behind a mixing board. On the other hand they're not so wowed by bands on Zach Braff soundtracks or bands from LA. The only LA band they've mentioned so far is the Cold War Kids who they (very predictably) made fun of for not meeting their hip standards (see above).

"Then the skinny-jeaned Christians of Cold War Kids staggered around for a bit, their singer coming off like an embittered Taylor Hicks yelling at you from the next barstool. (The band name denotes that they grew up amid crisis and drama, man.)"

What's most telling (at least to me) is that they're totally concerned with the superficial. The writer (Nitsuh Abebe) once again brings up their Christianity (yeah - and so are 80% of Americans). Probably a safe bet that Abebe's not a Christian, but maybe he took some comparitive religion course while he was studying at Northwestern that makes him more qualified than I (who attended public school) to define people by their religion. Abebe also mentions they were wearing skinny jeans. How dare they wear skinny jeans. They should cover their faces in masks, or use fake blood, or strip off their shirts or wear leggings (see other Pitchfork correspondent photos). Then he compares the lead singer to Taylor Hicks. I'm not familiar enough with Hicks' voice or performance style to know if this is accurate or not, but something tells me that Abebe isn't all that familiar with Hicks either. To Abebe, Hicks represents the anti-cool. Comparing a young, earnest band to Hicks (the anti-cool) is so gratifying to Abebe. You see, Abebe likes the Animal Collective and Junior Boys and Broadcast and Art Brut and Jeans Team. Jeans Team is so fucking good and off the radar that I've never even heard of them. Abebe's last dagger is to make fun of their name. He'll happily listen to a band pretentious (they're Brits, they're just being cheeky) enough to name themselves after an art movement.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Night Music Options 11/2/06

Cheap Trick - As They Were
Voxtrot was quite good last night at the Troubadour. They ended up selling it out. There were lots of younger kids (always makes me happy that not all of them listen to My Chemical Romance). After a slow start, they really warmed up and by the end of the show were loud and enthusiastic. They're still a very young band and will only get better with touring. I never saw Belle & Sebastian in the early days (few did) but it was supposedly a train wreck. Voxtrot seemed to be having a good time and were very appreciative of the audience. They played most of my favorites and a few new songs. That kid's such a good writer - very impressive. I picked up the new limited edition 7". Only 500 were made. I recommend you do the same.
Tonight's Pick:
Cheap Trick @ Wiltern ($37.50) – Will it be worth $50 (after all the Ticketmonoply fees)? Probably not, but it should be fun. While their new album is supposed to be surprisingly good, I’d still be hoping for a lot of material of the first five records. Listening to Cheap Trick always makes me think of Mike Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. They’re power pop legends and wrote ten or so great tunes: “I Want You to Want Me,” “The Dream Police,” “Surrender,” “ELO Kiddies,” etc. “She’s Tight” was one of my favorite songs when I was eight.
Also Appearing:
Mouse on Mars / Daedelus / Carmen Rizzo @ the Echo ($15) – German, post-rock critical darlings. Their website says that the new album is “nine tracks of energetic impulses, heavy riffing from grained sounds and canned percussion, and slamming bottom end insanity provided by notorious sequenced bass and kick drum jolts.”
Rocco DeLuca @ Troubadour ($12) – He’s signed to Kiefer Sutherland’s label and is supposedly an all around cool guy. He plays blues rock in the vein of Zeppelin or White Stripes.
Fairmona / Castaneda / Moving Picture Show @ Spaceland
Alchemist w/ Ras Kass @ Knitting Factory ($20)
Mere Mortals @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Regina Spektor @ the Avalon ($21.50) - She loves the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow and that’s not OK in my book.
Shelby Lynne / The Watson Twins @ El Rey ($24) – Have you guys seen the new sign at El Rey? Such a nice piece of architecture. Did Wolfgang Puck really buy it?
The Guggenheim Grotto / The Good Listeners @ Hotel Café ($15)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday Night Music Options 11/1/06

Is this one of my favorite new bands or a Banana Republic ad?

Tonight's Pick
Voxtrot / Low vs. Diamond / Yellow Fever @ the Troubadour ($12) – For the indie pop fans. Austin’s Voxtrot is one of my favorite new bands. They’ve got a new EP/single coming out next week and it’s fantastic. I get so excited when a publicist sends me something that I had every intention of buying (of course now I’ll also hunt it down on vinyl). If you like Belle & Sebastian and C86 stuff, then you should check them out. I hear they’re a little over active in the live setting, but I’m glad to finally be in town when they’re playing. Download “Trouble” Speaking of C86, there’s a great import compilation called CD86 that celebrates all those bands. A couple of weeks ago I was bitching about nothing coming out, then I went to Sea Level and found that. I was only familiar with some of the bands. Some very nice surprises on there.

Also Appearing:
Brian Wilson / Scritti Politti @ Royce Hall (Sold Out) – He’s celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Pet Sounds. I’ve only seen him do the Smile tour (twice) and I loved it. I’m sad I didn’t get tickets for this. The last time I ranked my top albums of all times, Pet Sounds came in #2. There’s a Brian Wilson action figure available on his site. If anybody’s wondering what to get me for Christmas (the signed one please). Nothing against Scritt Politti but why are they opening this show?

Bob Lind / Mark Fosson @ Little Pedro’s ($8) – Bob Lind was an early folk rocker who had one hit “Elusive Butterfly.” He’s been covered by Cher, Glen Campbell, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton and many more. Mark Fosson recorded an album for John Fahey’s label in the late 1970s which got lost due to financial problems. Drag City just put it out. He plays quality fingerpicked acoustic guitar songs.

Jamie Lidell @ Safari Sam’s ($23) – You’re favorite neo-soul singer with a laptop. Beck took him out on tour and Pitchfork loves him. I must be missing something.

Top Five New CD Releases 10/31/06

I can't fully recommend any of this stuff yet. I'm still waiting for a copy of the Gob Iron, I'll do a post once I get it. Tuesday was also the release of the My Morning Jacket live DVD. There was a Jeff Tweedy live DVD release that I neglected to mention last week. Haven't seen either one yet, but as far as live DVDs go, they're probably pretty good.

Top Five New Releases:
Gob Iron: Death Songs for the Living (Sony) – Jay Farrar (Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo) and Anders Parker (Varnaline) got together and recorded a bunch of American folk songs. I haven’t heard it yet, but expect a copy in the mail, so I’ll do a review once I get it. See them live at the Troubadour on 12/5. Aquarium Drunkard has some songs available for downloading.

Isis: In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac) – I’d heard a bunch of great things and knew they were a heavy band, but was still surprised when I threw this one in the CD player. Honestly, I have a really hard time getting past the guttural voice. It’s intense, sludge metal. I need to listen to it a little more before passing judgement. They just toured with Tool, no new dates scheduled.

Willie Nelson: Songbird (Lost Highway) – This is Willie’s pairing with Ryan Adams’ band the Cardinals. Adams produces and (I’m assuming) selected the material. You can picture Adams sitting around listening to the Loretta Lynn album that Jack White produced and the Cash records that Rick Rubin produced and thinking to himself, “who could I get.” Maybe he thought about Haggard or Jones, but ultimately settled on Nelson for the hip factor along with Nelson’s willingness to do anything. Well, he covers the Grateful Dead, Leonard Cohen, Gram Parsons and a bunch of others on this collection. The advance I got (and it looks a lot like a final copy) doesn’t have any songwriting credits. I call bullshit, since most of these songs are covers. Anyway, the album’s the kind of thing that if you’re an Adams or Nelson fan you’ll probably listen to it a couple of times as a novelty but I doubt if it will take up permanent residence in your collection. Nelson’s singing on the album is just ok and some of Adams’ arrangements are pretty bad. Overall Grade: C+

Various Artists: Borat soundtrack (Atlantic) – I’ll be there on Friday night. I’m a bit less convinced that I need this soundtrack though. Music and comedy routines from Sacha Baron Cohen. Also includes five minutes of video outtakes from the movie.

The Who: Endless Wire (Republic) – The Who (the surviving two anyway) return with their first studio album in over 20 years. Most people seem to think it’s a little inconsistent, but has a lot of redeeming points too. See them at the Hollywood Bowl on 11/4 and 11/5.

Also Released:
Anders Parker: Anders Parker (Baryon Records) – Former Varnaline dude. See him live at the Troubadour on 12/5.
Animal Collective: Hollinndagain (Paw Tracks) – Live album from 2001. You probably have to be a fan.
The Bird and the Bee: Again and Again and Again and Again EP (Blue Note) – Includes a Peaches remix. At the Avalon on 11/8.
The Exploding Hearts: Shattered (Dirtnap)
Lady Sovereign: Public Warning (Def Jam) – Def Jam’s first female MC (from South London no less). Live at El Rey on 11/15.
Malajube: Trompe-L’Oeil (Ninja Tune)
Nellie McKay: Pretty Little Head (Black Dove) – Long and rambling two disc debut with duets with Cyndi Lauper and kd lang.
Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell III (Virgin) – Dramatic rock. I still haven’t heard it.
Sunno))) and Boris: Altar (Southern Lord) – Heavy Japanese rockers and intense drone rockers collaborate. It’s probably a bit too much for me.