Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Upcoming Shows Through New Year's Eve

Happy Kwanzaa to everbody. I've been spending time with friends and family and trying to avoid the internet. I'm looking forward to making some changes to You Set the Scene in 2008. Right now I'm thinking that I'll start to de-empasize the show listings and only highlight a couple a day. To replace that, I hope to start doing some interviews and get out in front of new records with more album preview/reviews. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday 12/26/07
Nekromantix @ House of Blues ($16.50)

Thursday 12/27/07
Hiss Golden Messenger @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Adema @ Safari Sam’s ($14)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Kyle H. Mabson @ the Smell

Friday 12/28/07
[Recommended] The Entrance Band @ Spaceland ($10) – Stoner rock ‘n’ roll.
United By Sound @ El Cid ($8)
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys ($15)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Hello Menno / Polar Goldie Cats @ the Smell
Lemmy Kilmister / The Binges @ The Roxy ($15)
The Electric Prunes / Strawberry Alarm Clock @ Knitting Factory ($30)
Social Distortion @ House of Blues (Sold Out)

Saturday 12/29/07
Dirty Sweet / Year Long Disaster @ Spaceland ($8) – Dirty, rock ‘n’ roll.
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Jamie Stewart (solo) / Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound @ the Smell
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($15) – Doing a rock show
Social Distortion @ House of Blues (Sold Out)

Sunday 12/30/07
[Recommended] Melvins / 400 Blows / Tweak Bird @ Echoplex ($18)
Reno in LA: Neil Hamburger @ Spaceland ($8) – Funny? Man.
Fiona Landers @ Tangier ($8)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Hello Astronaut, Goodbye Television / Devon Williams @ the Smell
Nikka Costa @ the Roxy
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($15) – Doing a country show
Social Distortion @ House of Blues ($27.50)

Monday 12/31/07
[Recommended] Sweet & Tender Hooligans @ Spaceland ($18) – Very popular Smiths/Morrissey cover band featuring Joe Escalante (Vandals/Indie 103).
[Recommended] The Pity Party / Fat Lip / Restaurant @ Little Radio ($20)
Nas @ House of Blues ($100)
Eagles of Death Metal / Hello Stranger / The Ringers @ the Roxy
Gram Rabbit @ the Echo ($20)
Sister Nancy @ Echoplex ($20)
Veruca Salt / Donita Sparks / Run Run Run / Repeater @ Safari Sam’s ($15)
Anavan / Softboiled Eggies @ the Smell
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($40)
Hard: Justice (DJ Set) / Peaches / 2 Live Crew / Softlightes @ Downtown – 613 Imprerial Street ($75) – This one is limited to 5,000 people.
Giant Maximus: Mstrkrft / Z Trip / Lazaro Casanova / LA Riots / Tiesto @ Downtown – 835 Francisco Street ($88) – Party with 10,500 of your best pals.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Set the Scene's Favorite Albums of 2007

Thanks to all the publicists, labels and bands who read this blog, I listened to more new music this year than any year of my life. I heard (admittedly - not always in their entirety) between 250 and 300 new releases this year. It's a lot of time dedicated to new music, especially when you consider how much time I spend listening to music from the 1960s, 70s and 90s. As usual, I missed (usually by design) a lot of hip-hop, dance, noise, punk and electronic music that came out. Of what I heard, here's what rose to the top:

Top 10:

1) Okkervil River: The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar) – Will Sheff’s a songwriter with something to say. I played this record more than anything else this year. They already do really well, but I’m betting that they’ll be the next indie band to crossover like the Shins and Arcade Fire. And they deserve it.
Download “Our Life Is Not a Movie Or Maybe
Download Golden Opportunities (for the converted - a free covers album featuring their take on John Phillips, John Cale, Serge Gainsbourg, Jimmy Webb, etc.)

2) Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) – Pay attention young bands. Blonde Redhead is a great example of a band that grows and explores new ground with each release. Album seven is lush with electronic backing tracks and Kazu’s voice upfront. Maybe their finest yet.

3) The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) – This husband and wife band from Montreal got more spins on my turntable than the Arcade Fire. Bombastic, dramatic and over-the-top in the best possible way.
Download “And You Lied To Me

4) David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian) – Unibrow or not, this guy writes some fantastic rock ‘n’ roll songs. A bit of early T. Rex mixed with a pop sensibility but played hard and fast (especially live). He wrote a lot of this music when he was 19.
Download “Nothin’ No” and “Jacket

5) Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise) – I contributed way too much money to Neil Young this year (see my Nokia review), but at least he gave us this. This is what a live album should be - great stories and re-imagined versions of classics. The first part of the long awaited Archives releases comes out in February, so I’m sure I’ll be forced to re-buy this. Thanks Neil.

6) Dr. Dog (Park the Van) – Indie snobs dismiss Dr. Dog as “easy guitar melodies and predictable rhythms thrust at us with no discernible amount of self-awarenes.” You should be careful about listening to indie snobs, or you’ll end up buying records like THIS. I prefer to think of Dr. Dog as 1960’s-inpired music that puts a smile on my face.
Download “Worst Trip” and “Ain’t It Strange

7) Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) – My expectations for Spoon are so high, that I dismissed this when it came out. In retrospect it’s a damn fine record.
Download “The Underdog

8) Peter Bjorn & John: Writer’s Block (Almost Gold) – A lot of people had this on their best of 2006 list, but it came out domestically in 2007. While “Young Folks” has gotten so much play it’s become unbearable, it’s still a great album.

9) Radiohead: In Rainbows (Self Released) – The amazing part is that Radiohead actually made a record I wanted to hear (unlike the last few).

10) Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) – Despite the backlash, they’re still a great band.

The Next Ten (Alphabetical):
Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha [mp3] (Fat Possum) – I had to see him live to get it.
The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On [mp3] (Merge) – They were at the top of my local list.
The Earlies: Enemy Chorus [mp3] (Secretly Canadian) – Overtly political. I wish these guys would tour the States.
Iron & Wine: The Shepherd’s Dog [mp3 and mp3] (Sub Pop) – I prefer stripped down, but I’ll take this too. Seeing the live show helped.
Menomena: Friend and Foe [mp3] (Barsuk) – Experimental but listenable. The best packaging of the year.
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away [mp3] (Sub Pop) – Not their best, but still better than most.
Elliott Smith: New Moon [mp3] (Kill Rock Stars) – Another post-humous release.
Richard Swift: Dressed Up for the Letdown [mp3] (Secretly Canadian) – Tin Pan Alley meets McCartney.
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) – The VW ads got old fast, but the record’s still a good listen.
Yeasayer: All Hour Symbols [mp3 and mp3] (We Are Free) – I don’t love all the lyrics, but there are some great songs and a lot of really good ideas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ryan (Division Day) Wilson's Best of 2007

This is probably the last guest list of the year. Today's guest is Ryan Wilson, the guitarist in Division Day. Ryan reminded me that I still need to hear that Tandemoro record.
Ryan Wilson's top 10 albums that made 2007 a cool year to be alive and hearing music.
1. Tandemoro: The Movers & The Shakers (Self Released) - Hard to believe most of LA slept on this release, because it's easily some of the best pop songwriting this side of the mississippi - no wait, make that the atlantic ocean.
2. The (Le) Switch:Hello Today (Self Released) - A tantalizing taste of what we've all got to look forward to when their full length record comes out. ohyeah.
3. Chromeo: Fancy Footwork (Vice) - These guys rule.
4. Roky Erickson: You're Gonna Miss Me Soundtrack (Palm) - "For You (I'd Do Anything)" is one of the most moving songs I've ever heard by one of the most talented dudes alive. Track down the 1990 compilation "Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye" for some covers of Roky's tunes by the likes of The Mighty Lemon Drops, JAMC, Primal Scream, Bongwater, and the Butthole Surfers.
5. Earlimart: Mentor Tormentor (Major Domo/Shout Factory) This is my favorite Earlimart record yet. "Don't Think About Me" is perfect pop melancholia.
6. Tigers Can Bite You: Tigers Can Bite You (Self Released) - Finally I don't have to park myself on their myspace page to listen to "Rough Stuff". Tigers Can Bite You: now on a conveniently portable shiny circle.
7. The Mae Shi: HLLLYH (Team Shi) - I don't know if this counts, since it's technically not out here yet (?), but whatever. These guys rule.
8. Black Moth Super Rainbow: Dandelion Gum (Graveface) - Yum.
Download "Sun Lips"
9. Various Artists: Soul Sides, Vol. 2 - The Covers (Zealous) - An amazing compilation by Oliver Wang. Highlights are Esther Phillips' take on Gil Scott-Heron's "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" and Antibalas' re-do of Willie Colon's "Che Che Cole."
10. Kid Sister: Control EP (Fool's Gold) - Undeniable. "Control" was probably my jam of the year. Watch out, 2008.
Wildcard: Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue - A beautiful album and one of my all-time faves. This one got a lot of spins in 2007.
Guilty Pleasure Track: T-Pain - "Bartender"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paul (The Minor Canon) Larson's Guest List

The guest lists continue here at You Set the Scene. Today we've got Paul Larson, lead singer of the Minor Canon. He also played guitar on the latest Dntel record.

Worst of 2007:

Bruce Springsteen - Magic

Feist- The Reminder

the Earlies - Enemy Chorus

Radiohead- In Rainbows

Josh Ritter- The Historical Conquests of

Best Of 2007:

Dr. Dog - We All Belong

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Albert Hammond Jr. - Yours To Keep

The Broken West - I Can't Go On, I'll Go On

Josh Ritter- The Historical Conquests of

Honorable Mentions:

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Handsome Furs - Plague Park

Live Music Options For the Upcoming Week

The Happy Hollows Play the Viper Room Monday Night

Monday 12/17/07:
[Recommended] Great Northern / The Happy Hollows / The Spores @ Viper Room ($10 / Free with RSVP) – Yet another good lineup.
Exitmusic / In Waves @ Bordello ($10)
The Binges / The Ringers / The Harlots / Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip @ Spaceland (Free)
[Recommended] Henry Clay People @ the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa
Butch Walker @ Hotel Café (Sold Out)
Blind Boys of Alabama @ Disney Concert Hall ($67) – Great tickets remain.

Tuesday 12/18/07:
[Recommended] Let’s Independent: Castledoor / Flying Tourbillon Orchestra / Frankel @ Boardner’s (Free) – I’m loving Frankel right now. Bronson’s loving Castledoor.
Ranch Party: Merle Jagger / Cousin Lovers @ Spaceland ($8) – It was nice to walk into Spaceland last month and see a crowd of people in cowboy hats.
The Kris Special / Get Set Go / The Stevenson Ranch Davidians @ the Echo – Get Set Go is Mike TV’s band.
The Monolators @ the Scene (Free)
Social Distortion @ House of Blues Sunset (Sold Out)
Franklin For Short @ Bordello ($8)
Oliver Future @ Viper Room ($10)
Marvelous Toy / One Trick Pony @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Nu-Tra / Fuxedoes / Jean-Paul Yamamoto @ Safari Sam’s ($6)

Wednesday 12/19/07:
Club NME: The Republic Tigers @ Spaceland
David Garza @ Largo
The Binges @ Troubadour ($8) – If you didn’t want to see them for free at Spaceland, you can pay $8 at the Troubadour.
Faraway Places @ the Echo ($5)

Thursday 12/20/07:
Radio Alert: The Ting Tings on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic - 11:15 AM
[Recommended] Ice Skating Alert: The Henry Clay People / Bollweevil @ Pershing Square (Free)
[Recommended] Michael Hurley / The Entrance Band / Ans @ Bordello ($10)
[Recommended] Lilys / Winter Flowers / Mezzanine Owls @ Spaceland – Kurt Heasley’s a chameleon. Some people love his early shoegaze records while I prefer his 1965-1967 British phase. Lately he seems like a visitor from outer space. Hopefully it’s at least partially an act.
Ozomatli / Cut Chemist @ House of Blues
Rumspringa / Army Navy @ the Echo ($5)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Raspberry Cocaine @ Viper Room

Friday 12/21/07:
[Recommended] Rademacher @ the Echo ($5)
[Recommended] Busdriver / Daedelus @ Troubadour ($12)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
[Recommended] The Lilys / Ariel Pink / Holy Shit @ Spaceland ($8) – If you’re in the market for some opium or peyote, this is probably a pretty good place to look.
RRIICCEE @ Rec Center Studios ($17) – Vincent Gallo and Erik Erlandsen.
Nightfur @ El Cid ($8)
Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Gibson Amphithatre
Ozomatli @ House of Blues

Saturday 12/22/07:
Gary Hoey Band @ Safari Sam’s Very Be Careful @ Bordello ($10)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations booked)
Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Gibson Amphithatre

Sunday 12/23/07:
[Recommended] Wu-Tang Clan @ House of Blues ($75) – Pricey, but good.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Todd (Sea Level) Clifford's Top 10 List

A lot of us miss the convenience and community of Sea Level Records. We made a lot of friends there and got turned on to a lot of music there. Roughly 86% of the time when you went in, Todd was the man behind the counter. Today, Todd's the Todd in the Little Radio show, Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd). You might also see him DJing around town, filling in at KXLU or behind the merch table at a Silversun Pickups show. Continuing our guest contributors, here's Todd's best of 2007.

Top 10 Albums:
#1 - Jens Lekman 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' (secretly canadian)
Download "The Opposite of Hallelujah" and "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo"
and the rest alphabetically…
Bloc Party 'A Weekend in the City' (vice)
Broken West 'I'll Go On, I Can't Go On' (merge)
Common 'Finding Forever' (geffen)
Jarvis Cocker 'Jarvis' (rough trade)
Kanye West 'Graduation' (roc-a-fella)
LCD Soundsystem 'Sound of Silver' (capitol / dfa)
Les Savy Fav 'Let's Stay Friends' (french kiss)
Okkervil River 'The Stage Names' (jagjaguwar)
Spoon 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' (merge)

Beirut "In The Mausoluem"
CRS "US Placers"
Earlimart "Nothing is True"
John Vanderslice "Tablespoon Of Codeine"
Lily Allen "Nan You're a Window Shopper"
Maps "Don't Fear"
Of Montreal "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse"
School of Seven Bells "Face to Face on High Places"
Stars "Sleep Tonight" (Junior Boys mix)
Super Furry Animals "Baby Ate My Eightball"

So close…
Architecture in Helsinki / Dntel / Electrelane / Emma Pollock / Explosions in the Sky / Gruff Rhys / Jay-Z / Liars / Scout Niblett

Traveling Wilburys 'Collection' (rhino)

Weekend Live Music Options 12/14/07 - 12/16/07

Recommended on Friday 12/14/07:
Christmas Sweater Competition: The Deadly Syndrome / Eskimohunter / The Pity Party / The Happy Hollows / The Mae Shi @ Crash Mansion ($5 minimum donation) – Solid lineup, all doing two fifteen minute sets (for charity). Four out of five of these bands have done Spaceland residencies and the fifth can’t be far behind.
RZA @ El Rey ($25)
Dead Ponies @ On the Rox
Van Halen @ Staples Center ($150) – Kinda steep.

Also Appearing on Friday 12/14/07:
LA Riots / Publicist (Seb from Trans Am) / Anavan @ Echoplex ($10) – Indie dance crowd.
The Morning Benders @ the Echo ($5)
Hearts of Palm UK @ El Cid ($10)
Imperial Teen / Midnight Movies @ Troubadour ($14)
Circus Minor @ Spaceland

Recommended on Saturday 12/15/07:
Dead Meadow / Rosewood Thieves / Henry Clay People @ Little Radio ($12) – Christmas party with only 150 tickets available for the public. Dead Meadow's new album comes out on Matador on 2/5/08. The first MP3 is now available "What Needs Must Be"
Les Savy Fav / The Dodos / We Barbarians @ El Rey ($19) – Heavy indie rock.
Download “What Would Wolves Do” and “The Equestrian
Stevie Wonder @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out) – A real legend.

Also Appearing on Saturday 12/15/07:
Snoop Dogg @ House of Blues ($55) – Benefit for Snoop’s football league.
Pigeon John @ Temple Bar ($12)
The Greyboy Allstars @ Troubadour ($25)
Ultraviolet, Stones Throw, The Fader Party @ 209 S. Garey (Free) – DJs Peanut Butter Wolf, Valida, Dam-Funk, & Jamie Strong, Free Drinks – RSVP to ultravioletwear@yahoo.com
Etta James @ Wiltern ($50)
Dynamite Walls @ Spaceland
Check Yo Ponytail: Klever & Titsworth / Japanther / The Black Ghosts / Ima Gymnist @ the Echoplex ($12) – Indie dance crowd.

Recommended for Sunday 12/16/07:
The Harpeth Trace / Listing Ship / Correatown @ Spaceland (Free)

Also appearing on Sunday 12/16/07:
Tori Amos @ Nokia Theatre LA Live ($54 tix remain) – I sat 2nd row at a Tori Amos concert once in college. The way she worked the corner of that piano bench as she sang about subjects like rape was a bit disturbing.
Part Time Punks: Savage Republic @ the Echo ($10)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options 12/13/07

The Movies Put the Rock in Pershing Square Tonight (photo by George Tapia)
Thursday 12/13/07:

Ice Skating Alert: The Movies / Fool’s Gold @ Pershing Square (Free) – at 8:00PM

Richard Hawley / Ferraby Lionheart @ Troubadour ($18)

West Indian Girl @ Bordello (email rsvpla@metromix.com for guestlist)

The Modlins / The Fresas / Swim Party / Eux Autres @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)

The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café

The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo

Moving Units / Scissors for Lefty / Tigercity @ the Echoplex (Free)

Team Sleep @ the Fonda ($17)

Sinking with Sylvia's (Little Radio) Top 10 List

Sylvia in the Little Radio Studios with Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart)

The guest lists continue. Today's guest list comes from Sylvia from Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd). Be sure to tune in to Little Radio today from 11:00AM to 1:00 PM as they play the best of 2007.

Top 10:

1. Dr. Dog: We All Belong (Park The Van) - This record is so good that I have nothing else to say.
Download "Worst Trip"

2. David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian) - This is an awesome record and he is amazing live and he is about 21 yrs. old. Rad.

3. Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) - I don't have much of a super mellow side but this record definitely appeals to it.

4. Okkervil River: The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar) - This record has about 5 of the best songs released this year.

5. Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) - I have a loyalty to this band which helps but I also really love this record..

6. Sloan: Never Hear The End Of It (Yep Roc) - I think this record is witty. Having said that if you are not already into Sloan it was probably way lost on you.

7. The Broken West: I Can't Go, I'll Go On (Merge) - The truth is I probably listened to this record more than any other this year. The only reason it did not make it higher on the list is because I don't think the production is up to par with the band.(sorry) Having said all that, I honestly think they are the best band in LA.

8. Dungen: Tio Bitar (Kemado) - Love this band, love this record.

9. Earlimart: Mentor Tormentor: (Shout Factory/Major Domo) - Aaron and Arianna just keep getting better and better. "Answers & Questions" is the best song released this year and my idea of the perfect single.

10. Explosions In The Sky: All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence) - Not only is this the perfect record to just chill around the house with, their show at the El Rey was the best show I went to in all of 2007.

Honorable Mentions - Wilco: Sky Blue Sky, The Black Lips: Good Not Evil, Prefuse 73: Preparations, The Shins: Wincing The Night Away and Ulrich Schnauss: Goodbye

Top 5 Local Releases of 2007:

The Minor Canon: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Tenderness Records)

The Deadly Syndrome: The Ortolan (Dim Mak)

The Moon Upstairs: Guarding The Golden Apple (Gifted Children Records)

Le Switch: Hello Today (self released)

Film School: Hideout (Beggars Banquet)

Local Bands to look out for in 2008 include:

Everest (Dear Everest, If your full length is anywhere near as good as your ep I promise you will be at the top of my 2008 list next year. good luck.

Le Switch (Dear Le Switch, the same goes for you. Perhaps you guys should set up a tour together.)

The Moon Upstairs (Dear Moon Upstairs, I promise you that all the hipsters will jump on your bandwagon.)

Henry Clay People (Dear HCP, if I have to hear one more hipster, blogger or music nerd talk about you guys another minute I might vomit. Man you guys are blowin' up.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ross (The Broken West) Flournoy's Top 10 List

Day three of our top 10 lists from guest contributors. Today's guest is Ross Flournoy (lead singer of the Broken West). The Broken West's debut album I Can't Go On, I'll Go On recently topped my list of favorite local releases. You can bid on an autographed Broken West drum head on Ebay (for charity). The Broken West also recently started a blog.

Top 10 Records (in no particular order):

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (DFA/Capitol)

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

The Clientele - God Save the Clientele (Merge)

Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew - Spirit If... (Arts & Crafts)

Okkervil River - The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)

Oakley Hall - I'll Follow You (Merge)

Iron & Wine - The Shepard's Dog (Sub Pop)

Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall (Reprise)

The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)

Trans Am - Sex Change (Thrill Jockey)

Live Music Options 12/12/07

School of Seven Bells Play Airliner Tonight
Some good shows tonight.
Wednesday 12/12/07
Radio Alert: Kevin Bronson on Little Radio @ 6:00PM – Bronson counts down his 25 favorite songs by LA artists.

Bjork / Ratatat @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out) – I don’t spend a ton of time kicking it at the crib listening to Bjork. But I have seen her four or five times and it’s always extremely entertaining.

Le Switch / Princeton / The Health Club @ the Scene – Presented by Squaregirls and Radio Free Silver Lake. You know I love Le Switch.

All Smiles / Sara Lov / Mia Doi Todd / Anders & Woods @ Tangier ($10) – Good lineup.

Low End Theory: School of Seven Bells @ Airliner – School of Seven Bells is the new band featuring Ben Curtis (formerly) of the Secret Machines. They’ve been on tour with Prefuse 73.

Club NME: Office / Tigercity / Via Audio @ Spaceland ($8) – Office makes really clean Weezer-ish rock. They toured with Earlimart and got a decent Pitchfork review.

Ben Lee @ El Rey ($17) – Ben Lee’s got a new album on New West Records. Gary Calamar of KCRW recently named it his favorite record of 2007.

Jesca Hoop @ Troubadour ($12) – This was at the top of Nic Harcourt’s top 10 list for 2007.
A Christmas Collective @ 3 of Clubs (Free)

David Garza @ Largo

Rosewood Thieves / Voxhaul Broadcast / Morning Benders @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)

The Black Ghosts @ Club Moscow at Boardner’s

Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights @ Knitting Factory

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Malcolm (Rademacher) Sosa's Top 10 Performances By LA Bands

Day 2 of my top 10 lists from special guests is from Malcolm (Rademacher) Sosa. You can order Rademacher's new LP, Stunts, directly from the band. They'll be playing a record release show at the Echo on 12/21.

Top Ten LA Bands that won over my heart with an awesome live show in 2007

I play a lot of shows and I book a lot of shows (in Fresno) and sometimes I just go to shows for fun. I like shows. In the month of November I saw over 60 bands perform. IN NOVEMBER. I think that is a lot. Probably several hundred over the course of the year and I can think of about 50 LA bands I've seen live this year. Most more than once. That is why I wrote this.

1. Henry Clay People (Fresno -- Tokyo Garden, November 24th) - Probably the best live show I've seen in forever. I saw them once in dresses at All Star Lanes, which was good, but the second time I saw them in my hometown of Fresno! Ohhh boy. Both times involved a lot of fierce gesticulations and convulsions and some falling down. Sheer awesomeness. Joey hi-fived everybody in the place. their tune, "Elly vs the Eczema Princess," is available for free download on their myspace.

2. Light FM (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, December 7th) - We've done a bunch of shows with these kids and I have to say that I think there is no better rhythm section in rock n' roll right now than Harry Trumfio (drums) and Brian Barbier (bass). When someone asked me to think of a better one the other night when I saw them play at Spaceland, the only for sure answer that made sense was "The Who". Powerful pop.

3. Correatown (Fresno -- Tokyo Garden, November 8th) - I have only seen Correatown once. She came and played a show with us in Fresno, CA and it was a very eclectic bill: hip-hop, rock and then her, without a band, playing her singer-songwriter sort of set. And though the general carousing taking place in the room started off like 10 decibels louder than the her voice over the PA, she managed to ease the crowd into a silence and made people cry and drink. Great voice and great presence and an absolute gem.

4. Radars to the Sky (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, August 4th) - They invited us to play a weekend show at Spaceland some months ago (which is a quick way to any musician's heart) -- and it was one of the best damn rock shows I've ever seen. There was a horn section and a recently not-pregnant keyboard player rocking and the best part: at the end of the set, their guitar player Seamus absolutely mangled his guitar onstage and spent 5 minutes playing feedback with a set of six strings and a shattered neck. I am convinced he could make lincoln logs and yarn sound great.

5. Silversun Pickups (Portland, OR -- Crystal Ballroom, April 14th) - I saw them in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom last summer -- and I had seen them before in LA and even played a show with them once in Sacramento -- but this time seemed completely different and surreal. The show was sold out. The crowd was tightly packed. The 16 year old girl in front of me was CRYING before the set even started. They came out onstage and shot through an amazing set laced with their hits and some of the stuff from their old EPs. It was the first time I witnessed a a group of LA musicians decimate an audience that large in a place other than Los Angeles. I just left thinking, "These guys are sooo ROCK STARS!", and hummed "Lazy Eye" to myself the whole flight home.

6. Le Switch (Los Angeles -- Boardners, May 22nd) - We played a show with them at Boardner's back when they used to be called "THE Switch" and I hadn't heard them yet, but I saw they had a trumpet player, and I had a terrible fear that they would be a ska throwback band. I hadn't (and still haven't) heard a ska throwback band yet, but I know they (ska bands) are coming. So I was worried. But I stopped worrying and just sang a long with everyone else once they started. If anything, they remind me a little of Quasi. Who are my favorite band ever.

7. Earlimart Duo (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, November 18th) - I know these guys pretty well and I love their new record. Especially Arianna's song "Happy Alone". And I saw them play two or three times in 2007, and all of them were good, but their show with us at Spaceland where they did their duo thing made me so absolutely proud of them. It was just a simple, sparse set full of great songs and tiny moments and things you couldn't put your finger on. Goosebumps and deja vu at the same time.
8. The Monolators (LA/Fresno -- Que Sera / Tokyo Garden , 9/15 or 11/29) - I saw the Monolators twice in '07. Once in Long Beach and once in Fresno. I was freaking out at the latter show, as was the rest of the audience. They took a dull night and a dull crowd in a dull town and made it into something exciting and fun and once-in-a-lifetime. The show in LBC was remarkable as well, but mostly because Eli took the biggest onstage fall I have ever seen (we're talking from standing on the drum kit, tumbling down an amp, across the floor and into a tangle of mic cables -- and let's not forget that Eli is a very tall guy) and continued to play right on through the tune. Despite his gameface, I imagined it hurt, but now I know that if the gods of rock are on anyone's side, they are for damn sure on Eli Chartkoff's.

9. The Pity Party (Los Angeles -- Silverlake Lounge, 1/8) - At the beginning of the year I saw Pity Party perform at the first night of their residency at the Silverlake Lounge. There was a huge crowd and bright faces and they worked their asses off onstage. It was the first LA show of '07 for me, and they got things off to a great start.

10. Mezzanine Owls (San Francisco -- Make Out Room, 8/12) - The hardest part about picking out the coolest shows of '07 is remembering all of them. I'll admit I had to do a bit of research to come up with Number 10 Mostly because the Mezzanine Owls are one of the hardest drinking bands I know... and they made me drink hard at this show (at least that's how I foggily recollect it). We played a couple other dates during the year, but my favorite show of theirs was the date they headlined at the Makeout Room. That's where I first became intoxicated with their music as well as ... uhm, alcohol. We'll always have the Mission District, Mezz Owls.

Tuesday Night Music Options 12/11/07

David Bazan Plays Spaceland Tonight
Tuesday 12/11/07:

David Bazan / J Tillman / The Minor Canon @ Spaceland ($12) – Former Pedro the Lion frontman. Get there early for The Minor Canon.

Squirrel Nut Zippers / Eleni Mandell @ El Rey ($22.50)

The Rosewood Thieves @ Bordello ($8)

The Broken Remotes @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)

Gimme Shelter: Mandy Moore / Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet / Pete Yorn / Phantom Planet / Jesca Hoop @ the Roxy ($25) – A benefit for autistic children.

The Black Ghosts @ Cinespace

Oliver Future @ Viper Room ($10)
CANCELED - Voice of the Seven Woods @ Silent Movie Theatre (CANCELED)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aaron Kyle (Le Switch) Top 10 List

I thought it would be fun to ask some other people what they enjoyed in 2007. First up is Aaron (lead singer of Le Switch) Kyle's list of top 10 new releases in 2007. You can see Le Switch at El Rey tonight or the Scene on Wednesday. Look for their debut album this Spring.

1. Dr. Dog - We All Belong (Park the Van)

2. Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Letdown (Strictly Canadian) - Download "Kisses for the Misses"

3. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)

4. Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in The Belly of A Mountain (Astralwerks)

5. AA Bondy - American Hearts (Superphonic) - Download "There's A Reason" and "Vice Rag"

6. The Broken West - I can't go on, I'll go on (Merge)

7. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) Download "And You Lied to Me"

8. Tandemoro - The Movers and The Shakers (Self Released)

9. Frankel - Lullaby For The Passerby (Self Released)

10. Okkervil River - The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar) - Download "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe"

Honorable mention -- Division Day - Beartrap Island (Eenie Meenie)

Monday Night Music Options 12/10/07

It's been a rough day. The Safari Sam's show looks really good as does the El Rey show.
Monday 12/10/07

Radio Free Silver Lake Benefit for HD: The Movies / Western States Motel / Sarah (from the Happy Hollows) / The Spires / Thailand @ Safari Sam’s ($5)

The LA Weekly Presents Click Hear: Le Switch / Mezzanine Owls / The Black Ghosts / Tweak Bird / The Valley Arena ($10) – Hit up the Rock Insider or Aquarium Drunkard for free tickets

Tool / Trans Am @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out)

Eskimohunter / Black Kites / Silver Cities / Let’s Go Sailing (acoustic) @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room on Myspace) – Another solid Monday night lineup.

Abe Vigoda @ the Smell

Deerhoof @ Avalon ($10)

Goon Moon @ Troubadour ($13)

The Binges @ Spaceland (Free) – The Binges continue their Monday night residency.

Henry Clay People @ the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa

Friday, December 07, 2007

Top 10 Local LA Albums of 2007

As I said yesterday, it was a good year to be an LA music fan. Our labels released a slew of good local bands: Dangerbird (Sea Wolf, One AM Radio, Eulogies), Eenie Meenie (Great Northern, Division Day re-issue), Stones Throw (J Dilla reissue, Chrome Children compilations, Yesterday’s New Quintet, Jaylib, Madlib, Oh No, etc.), Dim Mak (The Deadly Syndrome, Foreign Born, Willowz, The Icarus Line, Sean Na Na). The all ages, DIY, Smell-based scene (No Age, HEALTH, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko) got national publicity too. While many cities can boast great music scenes (Montreal, New York come to mind), few can compete with the overall breadth and talent in Los Angeles.

Jax and Scott have already laid their local top 10 lists out for you. Now here is mine:

1) The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge) – I listened to this record as much as anything else this past year. I’m not the only one who loved it, the Aquarium Drunkard has it in his top six and Scott has it at #1 on his list of top 10 local releases. They’ve evolved so much as a band since this came out, I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next. Paste Magazine has it on their list too.

2) The Minor Canon: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Tenderness) – The Minor Canon make heartfelt pop music complemented by horns and piano. Paul Larson’s a veteran of the local scene and played guitar on the new Dntel record.

3) The Deadly Syndrome: The Ortolan (Dim Mak) – Quirky indie music with accordions and an obsession with ghosts. Along with the Broken West and Redheads, they were on my short list of bands to watch in 2007. Ian Cohen wrote a solid review on Pitchfork (7.4/10), Jeff Weiss gave them a B+ on Stylus, and the All Music Guide gave them a 4.5/5 but they remain LA’s secret. Hopefully they get out and tour more in 2008 so the rest of the country catches on. Bronson at the LA Times recently picked them as a band to watch in 2008 (along with Airborne Toxic Event and Castledoor).
Download "Eucalyptus"

4) Frankel: Lullaby for the Passerby (Self-Released) – Frankel is Michael Orendy. He makes chamber pop along the lines of Richard Swift or Andrew Bird. Credit goes to the Aquarium Drunkard for turning me onto this one (and it shows up in his top six for year).

5) Earlimart: Mentor Tormentor (Major Domo) – Aaron Espinoza just keeps growing as a songwriter. This is his best stuff yet.
Download "Everybody Knows Everybody" (via Pitchfork)

6) Le Switch: Hello Today (Self-Released) – This EP has grown on me like a sick fungus. I used to describe them saloon rock, but it’s more like a Wings/ solo McCartney/ Early 70s Kinks sound. They’ve been in the studio recording their debut full length for the Aquarium Drunkard’s Autumn Tone label (see Jeff Weiss’ LA Weekly feature that mentions the blogger created labels here).

7) The Henry Clay People: Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache (Self-Released) – I’m a recent convert to the Henry Clay People. It’s damn good 1990’s inspired indie guitar rock played with passion.

8) The Moon Upstairs: Guarding the Golden Apple (Gifted Children Records) – I have a feeling that If I smoked weed, this would be even higher on the list. The influences are vast, but if I had to narrow it to one, I’d say solo George Harrison-inspired stuff.

9) The Parson Red Heads: King Giraffe (Yukon Records) – They’re such an incredibly likeable cult (I mean band). With their pre-drug 1960s-inspired sound, they come off like a newer version of the Beachwood Sparks before the Beachwood Sparks decided it was a good idea to sit down while playing. They’ll be doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland in January.

Tie 10) Patrick Park: Everyone’s In Everyone (Curb Appeal) – I used to go see Patrick Park play live a lot. This record’s more consistent than his debut and gone are the bombastic arrangements. The All Music Guide gave it 4.5/5 and compared it to Josh Ritter and Josh Rouse, which is a pretty good descriptor.


Foreign Born: On the Wing Now (Dim Mak) - Foreign Born has the potential to be the biggest of all these bands. Their anthemic, Echo & the Bunnymen-inspired songs have the potential to connect with all kinds of people. Peter from PB&J recently name checked them on NPR, Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear put them at #6 in his top 10 for 2007 and Bronson at the LA Times will probably have them near the top of his list. Pitchfork gave them a solid 7.2/10 too. Look for them on the road with St. Vincent in early 2008.
Download "In the Shape" and "Union Hall"

Honorable Mentions: Tigers Can Bite You, Qui, Busdriver, Eleni Mandell

Three bands to look out for in 2008:

1) Everest - Everest is a band of LA music scene veterans (Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Rob Douglas, Davey Latter, Joel Graves) who released an excellent three song EP this year. They’ve been recording their full length and it’s one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of 2008. As the kids say, they’re slow burners. I dare you to go over to their Myspace page and tell me that new song isn’t great. They’re coming out of hibernation in January. See them at Spaceland on 1/14/08 and the Echo on 1/28/08. The LAist also picked them as a band to watch in 2008.

2) Le Switch – The EP whet my appetite for more. Aaron Kyle has grown so much as a songwriter and the rest of the band are strong contributors who flesh out the songs. They play the type of music that I love. They’re debut full length is tentatively scheduled for release around April 2008. See them at El Rey on 12/10 or the Scene on 12/12.

3) The Henry Clay People – They’re the cover boys on the new LA Record

Tickets On Sale This Weekend

On Sales This Saturday:

Ryan Adams @ Royce Hall on 1/31/08

Hot Chip @ El Rey on 2/4/08

Rhett Miller @ Troubadour on 2/8/08

Editors @ the Wiltern on 2/9/08

Pinback @ Avalon on 2/21/08

Weekend Live Music Options - 12/7/07 - 12/9/07

Andrew Bird Plays the Orpheum Tonight

Friday 12/7/07:

Dengue Fever @ the Getty (Sold Out) – They’ve got a new album coming out in January. Fans won’t be disappointed. Cambodian psych done well. They’re fun to see live too.

Andrew Bird / The Handsome Family @ Orpheum ($25) – For me, Andrew Bird stole the show when he played the Hollywood Bowl with the Decemberists and Band of Horses. He tours as a trio but the band loop their instruments and re-create the lush, chamber sounds of the Armchair Apocrypha album. His live show is a little reminiscent of a Jon Brion show, where you feel like you’re watching a mad genius.

Radars to the Sky / Henry Clay People /The Hectors / The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra @
Spaceland – I’m totally on the Henry Clay People bandwagon. This is a good local indie lineup. Joe at RFSL was giving away free tickets for this.

Deborah Harry @ the Fonda ($31) – She’s a legend. My brother and I listened to Blondie’s “Rapture” 7” a lot when we were kids.

Winter Wonderland Slow Dance: Jeremy Jay / The Chapin Sisters @ the Smell ($5)

The Thermals / The Big Sleep @ the Echoplex ($15)

The Natural Disasters / The Monolators @ Mr. T’s Bowl

The Spice Girls @ Staples Center (Sold Out) – OK, now that you sing it, I do remember that one Spice Girls song.

Greg Laswell @ Hotel Café

Jon Brion / Nels Cline @ Largo (Reservations Booked) – If you get there early enough you might be able to stand at the bar.

The Black Watch @ Tangier

Raspberry Cocaine @ El Cid ($10)

Naked Raygun @ Knitting Factory ($16)

Mike Stinson @ Cinema Bar – If you’re in Culver City, this is a lotta fun.

Malcolm Sosa (of Rademacher) @ Pehrspace

Saturday 12/8/07:

Jon Brion / Nels Cline @ Largo (Reservations Booked) – If you get there early enough you might be able to stand at the bar.

Balkan Beat Box / Dengue Fever @ the Echoplex ($15)

The Coral Sea / The Playing Favorites / Light FM / Exitmusic @ Spaceland – Joe at RFSL was giving away free tickets for this.

Heloise & the Savoir Faire / Lovelikefire @ Bordello ($10) – If you’re into stalking Frodo, I recommend Bordello this show (he was at Spaceland last night). The band is very theatrical.

Almost Acoustic Christmas: Linkin Park / Angels & Airwaves / Avenged Sevenfold /
Bad Religion / Paramore / Rise Against / Serj Tankian @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Sold Out) – I’m sure they’re all perfectly nice people.

John Mayer @ Nokia Theatre LA Live ($70) – He’s got a hot lady friend.

Sunday 12/9/07:

Prefuse 73 / School of Seven Bells @ Troubadour ($17) – The new Prefuse 73 is a good listen. School of Seven Bells is the new band featuring Ben Curtis of the Secret Machines. School of Seven Bells is also playing the Airliner on Wednesday (if you’re busy on Sunday).

Heloise & the Savoir Faire @ Tangier ($8) – Another potential Frodo stalking spot.

Shonen Knife @ Knitting Factory ($15) – Still kicking.

Punk Rock Karaoke @ Spaceland ($12) – An all star punk band (Greg Hetson, Eric Melvin, Steve Soto, Derek O’Brien) play while you sing. If you’re a band, it might be a good night to try to weasel some free drinks out of Mitchell and Jeff.

Part Time Punks: Medium Medium / Abe Vigoda @ the Echo ($10)

Almost Acoustic Christmas: Muse / Feist / Jimmy Eat World / Modest Mouse / The Shins / Silversun Pickups / Spoon @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Sold Out) – This is more my speed. Who doesn’t like Muse, the Shins, Silversun and Spoon?

The Sounds / The Bravery @ Avalon (Sold Out) – This is labeled “A Very Special Event.” But I must ask - for whom?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Reflections on My Top 10 LA Releases of 2006

2007 was an exciting year for local music fans. I'm not quite ready to post my top 10 local releases of 2007 (I'm still wrestling with a couple of things). In the meantime, here's a reflection on 2006's list.

A year ago I posted my top 10 albums for LA artists for 2006. Looking back at the list is a good starting point for reflecting on the LA music scene in 2007. Two of the artists, Silversun Pickups and Cold War Kids, exceeded all expectations and broke huge on an international scale in 2007 (tons of national TV appearances, sold out shows and love from MTV). Both bands recently played headling, sold out shows at the Wiltern. Silversun’s show sold out so fast they probably could have sold out additional nights. Silversun’s currently making the rounds at the big Alt rock radio station holiday shows. Cold War Kids were handpicked by the White Stripes for a supporting slot, but unfortunately that tour got canceled. To my knowledge, neither band has had time to get into the studio for work on their follow up yet. I’m guessing that both will happen in early 2008.

The artist at the top of my list last year was the Little Ones. The band toured their asses off in 2007, opening shows for Voxtrot, Kaiser Chiefs, the Walkmen, the Magic Numbers, Tilly and the Wall, We Are Scientists and the Boy Least Likely To. They spent a large chunk of the year in the UK, but also found time to record their debut full length with Dave Newton. Look for Morning Tide sometime next April (the exact date hasn’t been set yet). They just posted the first single on their Myspace page. While the single didn’t grab me immediately like the EP, I’m anxious to hear the full length.

Two of the other artists on the list, Division Day and Let’s Go Sailing, had their albums re-issued with national distribution. Both artists did their share of touring in 2007 with Let’s Go Sailing sharing the stage with Elvis Perkins and Division Day currently on tour with Voxtrot.

One of the other artists, Jenny Lewis, spent most of the year with her main band, Rilo Kiley. Rilo Kiley released their major label debut in 2007. She did find time to go see Neil Young at the Nokia (she was sitting a row in front of me). Jenny Lewis’ collaborators, The Watson Twins were also on my list last year. The Watson Twins toured with Magnolia Electric Co. and went into the New Monkey Studio to record their debut full length. Look for that to be released this Spring.

Some of the bands had lineup changes. The Clean Prophets staged their first national tour early in the year, then saw the departure of their bass player and don’t seem to be active anymore. Publicly, The Tyde had a quiet year. They lost a member, added an old friend (Josh Scwhartz) for a few local shows and lately, Darren has been playing some solo shows. Lastly, Languis was on my list too. Shortly after the release of that EP, they lost one of the main members. This year they released some singles this year, but I haven’t heard them.

In my recap last year I also listed three bands to look out for in 2007. I’m happy to say that all three bands (The Broken West, The Parson Red Heads, The Deadly Syndrome) will be in my best of 2007 list tomorrow….

Thursday Night Music Options 12/6/07

Thursday 12/6/07:

Ice Skating Alert: Castledoor / You Me & Iowa @ Pershing Square (Free) – 7:00PM

Grande Ole Echo Present Country Christmas: Mike Stinson / 5 O’Clock Somewhere / Kingsizemaybe / David Serby @ the Echo ($10) – A great country lineup and Uncle Roy as Santa.

Boom Bip @ Viper Room ($12) – Let’s try this again. I mistakenly said this show was yesterday. I’m sorry, we all make mistakes. Please don’t beat me sir. They’re good, you should check them out today, not yesterday. Girlschool Night.

Midnight Movies / Voxhaul Broadcast / Heloise & the Savoir Faire @ Spaceland ($8)

Wreckless Eric @ Safari Sam’s – Stiff Records artist who was in his prime in the late 1970s. “Whole Wide World” is well worth an iTunes download.

Artichoke / The Kris Special @ Mr. T’s Bowl

The Royal Highness @ On the Rox – Danish stoner rock.

The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café – Tom Morello’s activist folk. I saw his buddy, Zach de la Rocha last weekend in Eagle Rock.

The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo

Cut Chemist / Edan @ Silent Movie Theatre (Canceled) – THIS WAS CANCELED.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Zoom: Balboa's Cannon & Sinking Radio

This is my weekly reminder to tune-in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST. Tomorrow they’ll be doing an 7” show. Hopefully that means they’ll be playing some rare gems. They’ll also have Deerhoof tickets to give away. Also on Little Radio, Scott Ford’s holding a contest for unsigned bands on his show. The winner gets some recording time at Little Village and music released on a Capitol Records compilation.

On October 25, Sylvia conveniently forgot to play my track (at least it helps me catch up a little). But on November 1st (download the podcast) the theme of the show was music from the 1990s. I was in high school and college in the 1990s, so obviously there’s a ton of music I could have chosen. In the early days of this blog (November 2005), I did a countdown of my top 20 albums from the 1990s (11-20 Here & 1-10 Here). Looking back on it, I still agree with it in principle. I’ve gotten so disinterested in what Beck and the Flaming Lips are doing these days, I’d probably push Wilco, Elliott Smith and Belle & Sebastian above them. Anyway, I didn’t pick anything from that list on November 1st, opting instead for something more obscure.

I did my undergraduate degree in Lawrence, Kansas. The mid-1990s was a fairly fertile time for the music scene in Lawrence and Kansas City. Major labels were still on the hunt for grunge soundalikes and/or the next Seattle. Paw might have been the most successful band of that time & place (at least on the national scene). They got signed to A&M and had a minor MTV hit with Jessie (a grungey tune about a dog that also had a weird pedal steel solo). Another band that got a major label deal (Arista) was Stick. I may have made it into a mosh pit or two at their shows. One of my favorite local artists at the time was Kill Creek. They were signed to Mammoth Records which was a pretty big indie at the time (before getting gobbled up by Disney/Hollywood/Buena Vista). Their crunchy, power pop still holds up pretty well. There was also a fairly active early Emo (post Sunny Day Real Estate, pre-Hot Topic) scene. Some of the stars of that scene were Vitreous Humor (who were signed to Crank! – an LA based label), Boy’s Life (also on Crank! for an album) and Giant’s Chair. There were a couple of other heavy bands that I went to see about every other week (Shiner, Season to Risk (Columbia) and Tenderloin (Warner Bros.) spring to mind).

There are really only two bands from that place/era that I still listen to today: Butterglory and Zoom. Butterglory was a lo-fi indie band on Merge who were constantly compared to Pavement. While Butterglory maybe never quite put measured up to that, they did release some minor gems that hold up for the genre. Lead singer, Matt Suggs, continues to record for Merge. He has released two albums under his own name, and is currently records under the name White Whale.

Which, at long last, brings us to the song I picked on 11/1/07… Zoom’s “Balboa’s Cannon.” After all that buildup, I’m too tired to write anything else. There’s a good review of the album (written by an old friend from Lawrence) on the All Music Guide. I will say that I still really dig the guitar sound on the record. It’s like a mix of surf guitar and Polvo. The record was produced by underground legend, Greg Sage of the Wipers. Here’s a download of “Balboa’s Cannon” (via Built On a Weak Spot). One of the guitarists on the record was Jeremy Sidener who went on to play in Panel Donor (another good Lawrence band) and now plays bass in the Danny Pound Band (the new band from the lead singer of Vitreous Humor). Sidener recently toured with Pink Nasty as well.

Wednesday Night Music Options - 12/5/07

Wednesday 12/5/07:

Indie 103’s Bands in Toy Land: Spoon / Datarock / Pinback / Sea Wolf @ Avalon (Sold Out) – It’s a pretty good lineup.

Robert Francis / Emily Jane White / Big Search @ Tangier ($8) – This is a quality singer-songwriter showcase. Big Search is a side project of Matt, the lead singer of Foreign Born.

Nels Cline Singers / Eugene Chadbourne @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – I like the sound of the electric guitar, but Nels can be a bit much. We get it, you’re an incredible guitar player. Like that last Wilco show at the Greek. Wilco’s playing all those mellow, understated songs and then Nels would interrupt the calm in his bright red, peacock shirt and shred a guitar solo. He even did it on the lap steel.

The Spice Girls @ Staples Center ($120) – I just searched and found tix in the 26th row. I’m not just trying to be an indie dick, but I don’t think I can name one Spice Girls song.

David Garza @ Largo – He was influenced by Paul Simon way before Vampire Weekend was influenced by Paul Simon. And he’s got a song “Who Is Sylvia.”

Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Mr. T’s Bowl – Mr. T’s Christmas show. Surprise guests are promised.

The Dilettantes / Electromagnetic / Tom McShane @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Joel Gion was the tambourine player in Brian Jonestown Massacre. I can’t say that I’m crazy about his singing voice, but if you’re into BJM this might be a good scene for you tonight.

Club NME: Bloodcat Love / The Lieutenants / Hollerado @ Spaceland

Shiloe / Repeater @ Boardner’s

Jesse Malin @ Hotel Café – Ryan Adams’ buddy.

Brittney Elizabeth @ Knitting Factory ($12)

Cut Chemist / Edan @ Silent Movie Theatre (CANCELED) – Yo mang, this show ain’t happening anymore.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Weekly New Music Releases - 12/4/07 (Libertines Giveaway)

Send me an email at [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me your favorite new British buzz band. One winner will get a giftwrapped copy of the new Libertines greatest hits collection, Time For Heroes, sent to the person of their choosing.
New Releases 12/4/07:

Aloha: Light Works EP (Polyvinyl) – Aloha’s Some Echoes was at the top of my list of favorite records last year. I had no idea this EP was even being released. The free download sounds like a departure from Some Echoes, but I’ll reserve judgment until I hear the other six songs (the others are streaming on their Myspace page). If you never picked up Some Echoes, Polyvinyl’s having a big sale right now and selling it for $8 direct. Download “Body Buzz

Bonde do Role: Marina Gasolina (Domino) – Crazy Brazilians.

Daft Punk: Alive 2007 (Virgin) – On paper, a Daft Punk live album sounds completely pointless to me. But apparently the songs are all cut and pasted together and completely re-imagined.

Nick Drake: Fruit Tree Box Set (UME/Fontana) – The three studio albums along with a DVD of the film A Skin Too Few. CD set limited to 8,000 copies. I just re-watched A Skin Too Few on cable and it’s quite moving. There’s also a premium vinyl edition limited to 2,000 copies that includes the DVD and the lyric/song breakdown book. The vinyl version goes for $89 (which seems like too much money, but is probably worth it given how good those records are). The CDs are a little more reasonable at $60.

Ghostface Killah: The Big Doe Rehab (Def Jam) – The reviews haven’t been as positive as they were for Fishscale.

Guillemots: Back to Mine (Back to Mine) – Mix CD includes Daniel Johnston, Buffalo Springfield, Bjork, etc.

Lee Hazlewood: STRUNG OUT ON SOMETHING NEW: THE REPRISE RECORDINGS (Rhino Handmade) – The early Reprise stuff with stuff Lee produced for other artists.

Wyclef Jean: Carnival Vol. II (Sony) – Guests like Serj Tankian, Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones, Chamillionaire, Shakira, Paul Simon, T.I. At the House of Blues on 2/8/08.

The Libertines: Time for Hereos – the Best of the Libertines (Rough Trade) – Imagine being in a band with Pete Doherty. They had some good tracks.

Damien Rice: Live from the Union Chapel (Reprise)

Rufus Wainwright: Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (Geffen) – Two disc live set.

Tuesday Night Music Options 12/4/07

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Play a Sold Out El Rey Show
Tuesday 12/4/07
Radio Alert: The Beastie Boys on Little Radio from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM PST.

A Place to Bury Strangers / Xu Xu Fang / Mere Mortals @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – I saw A Place to Bury Strangers at the Viper Room last night. As I mentioned, they’re a Brooklyn band with a lot of buzz right now. The guitar sound is really good and I wasn’t bored watching them. That said, some of the songs are still a work in progress. If you’re into paint melting, Jesus & Mary Chain guitar sounds, they do a damn good job of it. Keep your eye on them. Get there early for Xu Xu Fang.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings @ El Rey (Sold Out) – I accidentally caught their show at Amoeba last night. I’ll take Sharon Jones over Amy Winehouse any day of the week. A great band, high energy and everything you expect from a soul singer.

The Cave Singers / Port O’Brien / Whispertown 2000 @ the Echo ($10)
Download Port O’Brien’s “My Eyes Won’t Shut” and “Five and Dime
Download The Cave Singers’ “Seeds of Night

Voxhaul Broadcast / Karin Tatoyan @ Airliner ($3 / $8 if under 21)

The Royal Highness @ The Good Hurt – Danish stoner rock.

John Gold @ Bordello ($10)

Chris Stills / Emily Jane White @ Hotel Café – Emily Jane White goes on at 7:00PM.

Wayne Federman / Kevin Nealon / Sarah Silverman / Andy Kindler @ Largo

Jonathan Davis @ Orpheum ($41.50) – You’d think the lead singer of Korn could sell out the Orpheum, but I just looked and you can get tickets.

Motion City Soundtrack / Anberlin @ Wiltern ($22)

Monday, December 03, 2007

New Music Tuesday: 11/20/07 & 11/27/07

Lately, I really seem to excel at giving you old information. I know, I suck. Anyway, I'm gearing up for my best of lists. These old release posts are all about trying to make sure I evaluate everything that came out.

Most Interesting New Releases 11/20/07:

Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Ask Forgiveness EP (Drag City) – Will Oldham covers that Bjork/Thom Yorke song, Mickey Newbury, Phil Ochs, Danzig, R. Kelly and Merle Haggard. With one original too.

Boris with Merzbow: Rock Dream Live (Southern Lord) – Limited to 5,000. Rather than a true collaboration, it’s more just Boris songs with Merzbow joining in on them.

British Sea Power: Krankenhaus? EP (Rough Trade)

Donald Fagen: The Night Fly Trilogy (Rhino) – Reissue of the Steely Dan founder’s three solo studio albums.

Genesis: 1983-1998 Box Set (Rhino) – 5 CD/ 5 DVD set. When I think of the glory days of Genesis, 1983-1998 is not it.

Gorillaz: D-Sides (Virgin) – For the fans only. B-sides and remixes.

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same Soundtrack (Atlantic/Rhino) – Remastered and expanded live set.

Major Stars: Mirror/Messenger (Drag City) – All Music Guide seems to like the record, but calls it disappointing and gives it a 2.5/5 largely due to a poor mix.

Bob Marley: Exodus 30th Anniversary (Tuff Gong) – I’m not the world’s biggest reggae fan, but Marley transcends a lot of that.

James Murphy & Pat Mahoney: Fabriclive.36 (Fabric) – Do you like LCD Soundsystem?

Nine Inch Nails: Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (Interscope) – Remix album of Year Zero. Also comes with a DVD ROM that allows fans to do their own remixes.

Six Organs of Admittance: Shelter From the Ash (Drag City) – I haven’t heard it yet, but Pitchfork was a bit snarky. They basically call it watered down psychedelic folk and compare it unfavorably to what Jackson Browne did to folk-rock. What’s the matter with Jackson Browne? I’d trade any one of his first three albums for everything Animal Collective has ever done.
Download “Jade Like Wine

The Valerie Project: The Valerie Project (Drag City) – Espers and some other psych-folk Philadelphians got together to pay tribute to a Czech, New Wave film called Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. This album fared a bit better from Pitchfork, garnering a 7.5/10.

Various Artists: Brit Box (Rhino) – This is a four disc collection that covers music from the UK from the 1980s to 1990s. You can never please everybody with these broad compilations, but I think the tracklisting is pretty good. Amazon has it for a good price too.

Various Artists: Jimmy Carter – Man From the Plains Soundtrack (Milan) – Original music from David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Dan Bern, Brother Ali, Alejandro Escovedo, etc.

Various Artists: Through the Wilderness - A Tribute to Madonna (Manimal) - The CD and iTunes version are out, the vinyl comes out on 1/28/08. A bunch of mostly LA artists (Lavender Diamond, The Tyde, Giant Drag, Winter Flowers, Jonathan Wilson, The Chapin Sisters, Lions of Panjshir, Ariel Pink, Jeremy Jay) pay tribute to Madonna.

Amy Winehouse: Frank (Universal) – She’s a tragic mess but a lot of you seem to like her songs. This is actually her first album from 2003, reissued in the States at the domestic price.

Monday Night Music Options 12/3/07

A Place to Bury Strangers Play the Viper Room Tonight

The Division Day / Voxtrot show at the Fonda was a good time. Division Day is a tight and well-oiled machine right now. I’m looking forward to their new material. Voxtrot is just a lot of fun. Indie pop in the classic sense of the word. I will admit, the Voxtrot crowd made me feel a bit old.

Monday 12/3/07

In-store Alert: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM – Their show at El Rey tomorrow is sold out.

A Place to Bury Strangers / In Waves / Eulogies @ Viper Room ($10 / or free with RSVP to Myspace) – A Place to Bury Strangers are a Brooklyn based, Jesus & Mary Chain, noise-pop inspired band who got a respectable 8.4 out of 10 from Pitchfork. They’re supposedly loud. If you can’t make it out tonight (or have a Westside aversion) see them at the Silverlake Lounge tomorrow.

Carbon/Silicon @ the Troubadour ($15) – Congrats to our Carbon/Silicon prize package winner. They’re the new band from Mick Jones (the Clash/Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (Generation X/Sigue Sigue Sputnik).

Vampire Weekend / Grande Ole Party / Princeton @ the Echo ($10) – Vampire Weekend is another NYC band that got a ton of press in 2007. Jeff Weiss checked out their July show at the Silverlake Lounge and wrote about it HERE. The gist is - New York prep school meets Paul Simon’s Graceland. I haven’t spent much (read: any) time rockin’ Graceland, so I’ll throw later era Talking Heads, early David Byrne solo and Peter Gabriel into the fire. Last time they passed through they were unsigned. This time they’re signed to XL Recordings and have their debut album due in January.

The Binges / Biblical Proof of UFOs @ Spaceland (Free) – The Binges are doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland this month. They’re more of a sleazy rock ‘n’ roll band (which we too often forget about on the eastside).
Tweak Bird / Crystal Antlers @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - Noisey.

Patton Oswalt @ Largo – Funny bastard. I took him for granted when I’d see him once a month at Largo.

Henry Clay People @ the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa – They’re doing a Monday night residency.