Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 1/31/07

I have a bunch of live music reviews to write once I get some time - the Cold War Kids, Brian Wilson, The Broken West.....
Tivo Alert: RZA on Craig Ferguson
Tonight's Pick:
Earl Greyhound / Muscadine / Sasquatch @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Anybody see Earl Greyhound last night?
Also Appearing:
Polysics @ Knitting Factory ($14) – Japanese synth rock.
Ampop @ Silverlake Lounge (Early Showcase at 7:00PM) – Iceland Iceland
Helmet @ Troubadour ($18) – I’ve seen Helmet before. I think it was 1994.
Club NME: Strangers Smile / Carina Round @ Spaceland – Stranger Smile were formerly in Low Flying Owls.
Chapin Sisters / Miranda Lee Richards @ Tangier ($8)
Kaki King @ Hotel Café

New Release Tuesday 1/30/07

Smoking and Drinking with Lily Allen
Thanks god this is a much lighter release schedule this week. There's still a bunch of interesting things to check out....

Top Five Most Interesting Releases:
Lily Allen: Still Alright (Capitol) – She’s upper class, British and gets compared to Mike Skinner (the Streets). You might remember that this was on my top 10 albums that didn’t move me in 2006. It’s grown on me a little bit since then. It’s like easy listening ska/reggae/rap. Nothing wrong with that, but there’s really not much substance either. It must suck for her that Capitol’s undergoing complete turmoil right now. Hopefully her album doesn’t fall through the corporate cracks. She’s playing a sold out show at the Fonda on 2/5. My girlfriend will tell you to pick this up and file it next to your Spice Girls CDs. Letter Grade: B-

Busdriver: Roadkill Overcoat (Epitaph/Anti-) – He’s one of those hip-hop artists that a lot of real hip-hop fans hate and people who normally don’t listen to much hip-hop like. I saw him open up for Deerhoof last week at the El Rey and I really enjoyed it. Nobody and Boom Bip did most of the beats on the record and he raps about politics, killing your employer and isn’t afraid to offend. I haven’t heard this record in its entirety. See him at Amoeba for free on Thursday or at the Low End Theory (at the Airliner) on 2/7.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Some Loud Thunder (self-released) – A sophomore slump? Dave Fridmann produced this second record. I’ve only listened to these downloads, but everybody I know seems to hate it (and it currently has a 62 rating on Metacritic). I liked their first record enough, so I’ll judge for myself….They’ll be on tour with local favorites Cold War Kids in Europe during February. Download “Love Song No. 7” and “Underwater (You and Me)”

Hella: There’s No 666 In Outer Space (Ipecac) – Hella’s not for everybody. You can’t passively listen to this record, and you won’t hear it playing in the background at a Starbucks or a Banana Republic store. I liked them better when they were an instrumental duo because the emphasis for me has always been on the drummer (pick up the Ladies record if you want to hear him in a more palatable setting). I recently saw them open for Deerhoof at the El Rey and after about 15 minutes the headache set in. They create a dissonant mess with screeching lyrics on top of squealing guitars on top of manic drumming. This is only for the musically adventurous. Letter Grade: B- Download “The Ungreatful Dead

James Yorkston: The Year of the Leopard (Domino) – I’ve got his first two albums, so I’ll definitely be picking this one up. He’s a British folkie with all around really good songs. He does some nice finger picking, so critics inevitably throw around the Bert Jansch and Nick Drake comparisons. If you like melancholy indie folk, then you’ll like this.

Other noteworthy releases:
Beirut: Lon Gisland (Ba Da Bing) - Indie favorites release four songs new songs with the full band, and re-work one of their previously released songs with the full band.
The Early Years: The Early Years (Beggars Banquet) – Not familiar with these guys, but the product description from Amazon intrigues me: “The chilling, psychedelia-drenched self-titled debut from this UK band is a dense mix of the trio's influences: Spiritualized, Mogwai, Television, Neu, and Tortoise. A sound that lies somewhere between their joint love for ambient noise, motorik beats, drones, feedback, harmony, and melody.”
Gill Landry: The Ballad of Lawless Soirez (Nettwerk) – This is one of those Western, noir albums for people who are into that sort of thing. I got it and wasn’t completely won over, but if you’re into that genre you might like it. Letter Grade: C
Paolo Nutini: These Streets (Atlantic) – He’s an attractive, teenage singer-songwriter (the kind you will hear at Starbucks and Banana Republic) from Scotland with quite a bit of heat behind him at the moment. Playing a sold show at the Troubadour on March 23rd.
RZA: Afro Samurai Soundtrack (Koch) – The Wu Tang’s RZA produces this soundtrack to an Anime series.
Youth Group: Casino Twilight Dogs (Epitaph/Anti-) – This is Kevin Bronson’s pick for the week. He compares them to Snow Patrol.

Reissues / Compilations:
Faine Jade: Introspection – A Faine Jade Recital (Sundazed) – This one’s supposed to be heavily influenced by The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and it was cut in 1968 by a 20-year old New Yorker. I’m intrigued.
Gandalf: Gandalf II (Sundazed) – Mostly unreleased tracks from the trippy 1960s baroque-psychedelic band. I’m usually a sucker for these types of things.
Lavender Diamond: The Cavalry of Light (Matador) – The local folk-pop group’s 4-track EP gets reissued by Matador records. They’ll be hitting the road in Europe with the Decemberists. Download “You Broke My Heart” and “Rise in the Springtime
The Sneakers: Nonsequitor of Silence (Collector’s Choice) – Early jangle/power pop band with Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter and Will Rigby.
Various Artists: Ain’t It Hard – Sunset Strip ‘60s Sounds! Garage and Pscyh from Viva Records (Sundazed) – I’m a sucker for these types of collections too. The product description from Amazon: “The short-lived Viva Records label was one wildly eclectic outfit. Helmed by hitmaker Snuff Garrett, this Los Angeles-based imprint targeted the teen marketplace with a series of extraordinary garage / psych / pop singles.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Live Music Options - Tuesday 1/30/07

Earl Greyhound Appear Tonight at El Cid

Tonight's Pick:
Earl Greyhound / Ninja Academy @ El Cid ($8) – Earl Greyhound is a Brooklyn band with lots of rock ‘n’ roll swagger. They’ve gotten good press mentions from Spin and the New Yorker, with most critics comparing them to Led Zeppelin. Scott from the Little Radio blog is a huge fan. Known for putting on powerful live performances, I’m intrigued. If you can’t make it tonight, they’re playing the Silverlake lounge tomorrow. Download Early Greyhound’s “Fashion

Also Appearing:
The Black Pine @ the Echo (Free) – Here’s the quote from Under the Radar magazine: "With Sexlife of Flowers, this LA five piece strikes a chord somewhere between French pop (one of the vocalists is in fact French) and something much darker. There's almost a Nick Cave brooding presence to the bands dual female vocals and sparse instrumentation."
Luke Paquin / Joel Virgel @ Tangier ($8) – Luke Paquin’s the guy who replaced original guitarist, Dante DeCaro (now in Wolf Parade) in Hot Hot Heat.
Pennywise / The Circle Jerks @ House of Blues (Sold Out)
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café – Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine
Dustin O’Halloran / Fishtank Ensemble @ The Derby ($8) – Buzz Bands has a review of a recent Dustin O’Halloran performance.
Ampop @ Cinespace ($5)
Kaki King @ Largo
Flosstradamus @ Safari Sam's ($5)

Peter Bjorn & John Tickets Are Gone

Thanks to everybody who entered the contest for the Peter Bjorn and John tickets for the Roxy on Thursday. The tickets are gone. I don't condone scalping, but it looks like people are selling them for $30-50 on Craigslist.

Their performance on Conan last night is already up over on YouTube. Watch it HERE. Let's all move to Sweden.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Peter Bjorn & John Ticket Giveaway

What are you guys doing this Thursday night? Do you want to see the sold out Peter Bjorn and John show at the Roxy? This is my favorite new band. They're three Swedes who play ultra-hummable indie pop along the lines of Camera Obscura, Belle & Sebastian and New Pornographers (you get the drift). Their most recent album (which is actually their third) finally gets released domestically on February 6th on Almost Gold Recordings. It includes a special bonus disc for all the people (like me) who bought the import version last year. Watch them tonight on the Conan O'Brien show. Download "Young Folks" (courtesy of Pitchfork)

Go check out the Roxy's Myspace page for details on their upcoming shows. Upcoming shows include: the Ringside (Balthazar Getty's band - the All Music Guide really likes them) with Mumiy Troll (you don't see too many Russian bands) on 2/8; IMA Robot on 2/15 and the Mother Hips on 4/13.
Who is the female voice on PB&J's "Young Folks" and what band did she form in the mid-1990's? The first person to email (dukeufo @ hotmail . com - no spaces) with the correct answer will win a pair of tickets to the show.

Monday Night Live Music Options 01-29-07

The Broken West wrap up their Spaceland residency tonight
Tonight’s Tivo Alert: Peter Bjorn and John on Late Night with Conan O’Brien
Tonight's Pick:
The Broken West / All Smiles (Jim Fairchild) @ Spaceland (Free) – Last week my girlfriend accused me of being gay for Ross from the Broken West (apparently I wrote about them three times). Not true. Anyway, I’m finally going to check them out tonight. Their new record on Merge is well worth picking it up. Extremely well done pop songs. All Smiles is Jim Fairchild’s new band. You might remember him as the guitarist in Grandaddy. His new record comes out on April 24th on Dangerbird Records.
Also worth seeing:
Lou Barlow / Imaad Wasif / Listing Ship @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – If it wasn’t for the Broken West, I’d probably check out this show. I always enjoy seeing Lou do his thing. Ask him about the Dinosaur Jr. reunion album or the upcoming Sebadoh reunion tour. Download Imaad Wasif’s “Out in the Black
Pity Party / Happy Hollows / Twilight Sleep / Eagle and Talon @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – This is your last chance to see the Pity Party’s Monday night residency and it should be a great crowd. I haven’t seen the Happy Hollows yet, but a lot of my friends keep saying great things about them.
The Submarines / Xu Xu Fang @ the Echo (Free) – The Submarines are very easy on the ears. They’ve got male and female call and response singing and mild electronic beats.
Maybe you prefer the Sunset Strip?
Pennywise / The Circle Jerks @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – The Circle Jerks were one of my favorite bands in 8th Grade. I remember a girl wrote “Group Sex” on my notebook in Algebra class.
Starlight Desperation / Lion Fever @ Viper Room

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weekend Music Options 1/27/07 & 1/28/07

Saturday's Pick:

Brian Wilson (with Al Jardine) @ Terrace Theatre in Long Beach ($40-60) – I saw him do the Smile tour twice, but I’ve never seen him do Pet Sounds in its entirety. The Smile tour was way better than it had any right to be. His backing band is so good. Pet Sounds is one of my ten favorite albums of all time. If you still think you hate the Beach Boys, I recommend picking up the Wild Honey/Smiley Smile two-fer. Wild Honey was my gateway to appreciating Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.

Also Happening:
Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Amoeba (Free) 2:00PM – Flamenco metal?
Robbers on High Street / Lemon Sun / Mezzanine Owls @ the Echo ($8) – This is an early 6:00PM show.
The Black Lips / Willowz @ Spaceland ($10)
RTX / The Binges / HDR / Year Long Disaster @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – RTX is that offshoot from Royal Trux.
Matt Ellis @ Hotel Cafe
Starlight Desperation / Lion Fever / Residual Echoes @ the Smell ($5)
Saviours / Drunk Horse / Lightning Swords of Death @ the Mountain (Free)
Gliss / Lovelikefire / Muscadine @ the Scene ($7)
Of Montreal / Enon @ Avalon
Bobb Bruno @ the Cocaine ($5)

Sunday's Pick:

Of Montreal / The Blow @ Troubadour (Sold Out)

Also Happening:

Part Time Punks: Residual Echoes @ the Echo ($5)

Friday Night Music Options 1/26/07

I made it out to Spaceland last night for the Clean Prophets / Colour show. I always enjoy the Clean Prophets. They even played a couple of new songs that I really liked. They're a trio and the lead singer/guitarist has some alternate tunings on some songs which sometimes leads to dead space between the tracks when he's re-tuning. Maybe the bass player should have a mic to fill in the space during those moments (you know how the Shins mic the keyboard player)? Does that dead air bother you when you're seeing a band? Usually I don't notice it, but last night there were some obnoxious frat boy types who decided to shout inane things during those moments.

Friday Night's Pick:
Cold War Kids @ Spaceland (Limited Tix at Door) – If you can’t make it out tonight, their show at the El Rey on 2/21 isn’t sold out yet. They’re one of those love ‘em or hate ‘em bands (which is usually way more interesting than the alternative). Their legions of fans love them for their energetic live performances and the singer’s unique voice. Their legions of haters hate them for the singer’s unique voice and occasionally even for their skinny jeans (I’m looking at you Pfork). I got into a heated email exchange with a Pitchfork writer one time after he ripped them on a very superficial level. Maybe I’ll post that exchange one of these days; it’s pretty amusing. Anyway, say what you will, but they have a great connection/rapport with their audience that most other bands could learn from. After this show they’re headed to Europe for a few weeks with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Also Worth Seeing:
Jon Brion @ Largo ($10) – He’s not doing these Largo shows very much anymore, so you better lineup now.
The Shins @ Amoeba Records (Free) 6:00PM – Don’t believe the anti-hype, the new record’s damn good. I get claustrophobic when I walk into Amoeba even when there’s not a huge band playing; so I won’t be going anywhere near there. They’re playing the KCRW show on 4/14 along with the Cold War Kids and Rodrigo y Gabriela (amongst others).
Of Montreal / Ariel Pink @ El Rey (Sold Out) – I finally got around to listening to the new Of Montreal this week. While I like some of it, it’s gets a little too “eccentric indie” for me.
I just don't know enough about these, but they might be cool......
Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – They’re on the KCRW bill on 4/14 at the Gibson and the Coachella bill on 4/29. Mexican guitar duo with flamenco and classical influences.
Veruca Salt @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – Post- Nina Gordon Veruca Salt is still making records.
The Black Lips / Restaurant @ the Echo ($12)
Keane / Rocco Deluca @ Wiltern (Sold Out) – Does Coldplay rock your ass a little too hard? Then you’re going to love Keane.
Fishtank Ensemble / Lily Marlene / Muscadine (Benji Hughes and Jonathan Wilson) @ El Cid ($8)
Bob Forrest @ Silverlake Lounge ($5) – This is an early show.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Local Scene Update / Miscellaneous

Jason Flom is in and Andy Slater is out, as EMI merges Capitol and Virgin under one label group. The “restructuring program will result in additional workforce reductions throughout our U.S. operations.” Ouch. Good luck to everybody involved.

You can download a bootleg of the Arcade Fire’s recent show at St. Michel Church in Montreal HERE. Download at your own risk as bootlegs never really do them justice. That warbly voice has a lot more charm when you’re actually there.

Silversun Pickups sign with Q Prime Management. Now they share a management company with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shania Twain, Muse, Fountains of Wayne, Gillian Welch and Nickel Creek.

The Shins, Lily Allen, Cold War Kids and Rodrigo y Gabriel are playing KCRW’s “A Sounds Eclectic Evening 6” at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 14th. Tickets go on sale to the general public on February 27th.

Speaking of the Cold War Kids, they recently announced a show at El Rey on 2/21. Tickets are already on sale for that one.

Bright Eyes recently announced two shows at El Rey on 3/7 and 3/8. Tickets are currently on sale for those over at Ticketmaster unless it already sold out (sorry if it did).

Elvis Perkins has a show booked at Largo on 3/24. You better call and get those dinner reservations now. Largo’s a great spot to see somebody like Perkins. He’ll also be at the Jensen Rec Center the night before.

Simon Dawes will be doing the free Monday night residency at the Echo in February.

Sparta just announced a show at the Echo on 2/17; Oh No! Oh My! will be there on 2/24 along with some of my local faves, the Deadly Syndrome and Let’s Go Sailing. The Helio Sequence and Dirty on Purpose will be there on 3/20.

The Spinto Band, Dios (malos) and the Changes will be at the Troubadour on 3/4/07. The Sword will be there on 3/12.

Peter Bjorn & John will be doing an in-store at Fingerprints in Long Beach on 2/2/07.

Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker will be at Safari Sam’s on 2/15. Nudist Priest (Judas Priest cover band that performs in the nude) will be there on 2/24.

Yes Me To Death will be doing a free Sunday afternoon residency at the Scene in February. I think I’m supposed to DJ the last one.

Eastern Conference Champions are doing the free Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge in February.

As I previously announced local good guys, Division Day are doing the free Monday night residency at Spaceland in February.

Thursday Night Live Music Options 1/25/07

I made it out for my friend’s birthday party at the El Rey last night. I got there in time to see Busdriver take the stage. He’s getting a lot of positive buzz right now with a new album out next Tuesday on Epitaph and a scheduled appearance at Coachella. He’s a hip-hop guy with an interesting flow and a great sense of humor. I recommend checking him out either at Amoeba on 2/1 or the Airliner Club on 2/7. You can stream his new album on Myspace. Give that track “Kill Your Employer” a listen. Next up was Hella. I was looking forward to seeing them mostly because I think their drummer’s pretty interesting. For about ten minutes I was on board and really enjoying it. And then my head started pounding. They really bring the headache to headache rock. Sticking it out for one of their shows is an endurance test. They drove me out before Deerhoof took the stage; mostly because I wanted to check out the Perry Farrell spectacle at Spaceland. Even though I haven’t been excited about anything Farrell’s done since 1990, I was still curious. Unfortunately Farrell was walking out the front door at literally the same moment I was walking in. He looks his age too. The people I talked to weren’t exactly buzzing about the performance. You can read a review of the show over at Kevin Bronson’s Buzz Band blog. Just for the record, Nuno Bettencourt was the “mastermind” behind the band Extreme.

Tonight's Pick:
The Clean Prophets / The Colour @ Spaceland – You already know I’m a big Clean Prophets fan. Their record was #3 on my top 10 LA albums last year. Come check them out tonight before they take their songs out on the road for the next month. If you’re one of my friends/readers in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Denver or Austin give them some love on the road (I don’t think I have any friends in Sacramento, Boise, Provo or Cleveland – do I have any readers?). Download “Praise is Poison

Support local music:
Lavender Diamond / Winter Flowers @ Safari Sam’s ($8) – Have you ever been mellow? This is a warm up gig for Lavender Diamond who recently signed to Matador. They’re heading to Europe for a tour with the Decemberists in February. Matador reissues their debut EP next Tuesday. Download “You Broke My Heart” I read something recently where one of the Wolfmother fros said Winter Flowers are his favorite band. They
Kind Hearts and Coronets / Ariel Pink / Bodies of Water @ the Echo ($8) – The Kind Hearts and Coronets are doing a Love tribute at the Echo and a Kinks tribute at Safari Sam’s next month. That makes them alright in my book. I’m not super familiar with their music, but this is their record release party.

Or Perhaps:
The Softlightes @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – As I’ve said, their music is pleasant.
Los Abandoned @ Troubadour ($12) – Local bi-lingual pop-punk.
Avail @ Knitting Factory ($10)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 1/24/07

Hella Play the El Rey Tonight (I don't think the guy in the middle's one of the new members)

Tonight's Pick:
Deerhoof / Hella / Busdriver @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Hella and Deerhoof are two headache rock bands. Deerhoof put out a new record yesterday. I’m not really into it but if you’re a music critic or your name is Thom Yorke or Jeff Tweedy, then you probably like it. Hella has a new record coming out next Tuesday called, There’s No 666 In Outer Space. It’s pretty good if you like Zach Hill’s trademark, manic drumming patterns (which I inexplicably do). I’ve never seen him play live, so I’m curious. By the way, they’re no longer a duo; they’re a five-piece. Busdriver is a local underground rapper. My friend Ringhoff advises getting there early to check him out.
Also Intriguing:
Chief Cornfoot’s Comedy Hour @ Sea Level (Free) 7:00 PM – Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24), Jerry Minor, Jonah Ray, Eddie Pepitone, etc.
The High Society / Gwendolyn @ the Stone [5221 Hollywood Blvd] – The High Society features: Jason Moore, Mike Stinson, Josh Schwartz, Rob Douglas, Bryan Brown and Rik Sanchez! I've never been to the Stone but I've been meaning to check it out.
Club NME: The Solutionists / Gram Rabbit @ Spaceland (?) – Advance tickets sold out for this one, but you might be able to get in at the door. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Solutionists isn’t the real name of the band. Check the link. Maybe you don’t care? Maybe I don’t care? Who knows. At least it won't be status quo.
Club Low End Theory @ Airliner – With host Nobody
Fishtank Ensemble / Leviathan Brothers @ Tangier ($10) – You like gypsy music?
Rockinsider Presents: Light FM / The Valley Arena / Thieves and Liars / Stepsonday @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) - I don't know much about these bands. Go over to Rockinsider for more info....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tonight's Music Options 1/23/07

The Cold War Kids just added a show at the El Rey on 2/21. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Tuesday's Pick:
The Broken West @ Sea Level (Free) 7:00PM – Should be a good time with food and drinks and fun.
Let’s Go Sailing / Tigers Can Bite You / Black Pine @ Boardner’s ($7) – Radio Free Silver Lake presents its monthly Lets Independent night at Boardner’s. Tigers Can Bite You goes on first (around 9:00PM). That’s Dave Woody from Fiver’s new band. I still haven’t seen them, but they’re on my list. I’m not too familiar with Black Pine? Let’s Go Sailing is Shana Levy. Their latest album was in my top 10 of local artists last year.

Also Intriguing:
Qui @ the Scene ($5) – If you’re into heavy music then this is your spot tonight. Now that David Yow of the Jesus Lizard is a full time member they’re really building some nice momentum.
Hell Ya! presents: Birdmonster / The Drawing Board @ the Echo ($5) – Jax from the Rockinsider is a huge supporter of Birdmonster. They put on an energetic live show. Jax will be DJ’ing too. The Drawing Board is an Austin band who lists Jon Brion as their #1 influence. That’s pretty cool. Go over to their Myspace and take a listen – it sounds nice.
The Bird & Bee / Mike Andrews @ Troubadour ($12) – Inara George and Greg Kurstin are celebrating the release of their new album on Blue Note. Get out and support.
Fishtank Ensemble / Dustin O’Halloran @ Derby ($8) – Fishtank Ensemble’s a crazy gypsy band that Scott from the Fold is really pushing right now. Dustin O’Halloran is a pianist with a song on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack. I got a copy of his new record, and it’s not bad if you like instrumental piano music.
Midnight Movies @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – I got their EP in the mail and it’s pretty good.

Less for me, but maybe more for you?
Emily Haines @ El Rey ($20) – Metric’s lead singer. I got her new record and it’s just not my thing. Really nice packaging though.
The Nightwatchman @ the Hotel Café – Catch ‘em at the Hotel Café before they play Coachella.
Lady Tigra @ Cinespace ($5) – If Cinespace on Tuesday night is your worst nightmare, then you can wait and see her on 2/7 at Spaceland.

Top Five Most Interesting New Releases 1/23/07

This week's an absolute monster.

Top Five New Releases:
The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge) – Local good guys do well on their Merge debut. What I’ve heard I really like, but I haven’t heard it all the way through yet so I’m not going to put a rating on it. I didn’t make it out their show last night, but I’ll be at the record release party tonight at Sea Level Records in Echo Park and I promise to make it to their Spaceland show next Monday. The All Music Guide pretty much nails it in their review when they say: “…they reside at the crossroads where indie rock, power pop and country-rock meet and mix together into something quite wonderful.” Support local music and buy this record and see them tonight at Sea Level and Monday at Spaceland. They’re heading out on the road for the next couple of months, so you might not get a chance to see them for a while. Letter Grade: ?
Rob Crow: Living Well (Temporary Residence) – I’m on board for most of the stuff Rob Crow does. I’m a big Pinback fan, I like the Ladies record, and I even have that Goblin Cock record. This one’s on par with the best Pinback records, so I recommend picking it up. The songwriting’s a little more personal; you can tell from the (unprofessional) album photos that he’s got his wife and new baby on his mind. He’s from the pre-image stylist 1990’s era of indie rock and I’ll keep supporting him as long as he keeps making good records like this. Download “I Hate You, Rob Crow (Single Version)” See him at the Troubadour on 2/15. Letter grade: B
The Earlies: The Enemy Chorus (Secretly Canadian) – I’m a sucker for psychedelic headphone music. While the first album had some more traditional songs that worked outside the record, this album’s a little more atmospheric with one song flowing into the next. This record’s more consistently interesting than the first one with some political lyrics. If you like heady music like the Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd then this might be up your alley. I recommend picking it up. Download “No Love In Your Heart” Letter Grade: B+
The Good, the Bad and the Queen: The Good, the Bad and the Queen (Virgin) – This band is Damon Albarn from Blur, Paul Simonon from the Clash, Simon Tong from the Verve, and Tony Allen from Fela Kuti’s band. The record was produced by Danger Mouse. I’m not a huge Gorillaz fan but I’m curious about this one. It’s getting mostly positive reviews. Anybody heard it yet? Is it student rock? See them at Coachella on 4/28. Letter Grade: ?
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop) – Let the (minor) backlash begin. Pitchfork gave this one a 7.0/10 (which only makes it the fourth best album they reviewed yesterday, and it would only be third highest score today). Robert Christgau called Mercer’s lyrics “clumsy” and “overreaching” (pretty harsh coming from a guy who ranked both Liz Phair’s third album and Fountains of Wayne’s third album higher than Chutes Too Narrow in his 2003 poll). I’m calling bullshit. Some tastemakers (people like P’fork and many unnamed bloggers, not Christgau) are only concerned with breaking new artists and trying to stay ½ step ahead of the masses. I’m not one of those people. Guess what, this record might not immediately grab you like the last one. It’s a little bit longer. They experiment with some different keyboard textures. Some of the songs aren’t all that upbeat. But this album is still really good and will probably be one of my favorites of the year. This might be like Beck’s Sea Change. It’s an album that probably won’t make the Shins any more famous, but it’s a record you’ll still be able to put on in a couple of years and still enjoy the subtleties of it. Download “Phantom Limb” See them at the Troubadour for free on Thursday at Noon or Amoeba on Friday night at 6:00PM. If you hear of any secret shows hit me on my email. Letter Grade: A-

Other Things I’m Curious About:
Arbouretum: Rites of Uncovering (Thrill Jockey) – From what I hear, this one’s kind of hauntingly rural. The lead singer has performed with Will Oldham and Anomoanon. I think I’ll probably like it. His voice sounds a bit like Will Oldham to me. Download “Pale Rider Blues
The Bird and the Bee: The Bird and the Bee (Blue Note) – This is a local group featuring Greg Kurstin and Inara George. They’re playing the Troubadour tonight and they’ll appear on the Tonight Show on Thursday. According to their Myspace page they sound like: “a futuristic 1960's American film set in Brazil...”
Lee Hazlewood: Cake or Death (Ever Records) – Lee Hazlewood is a country-pop legend. Sadly, he was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and has a life expectancy of less than one year. This is likely his swansong. It’s getting solid reviews. If you’re not familiar with his work, I strongly encourage you to check this unique artist out. Probably like a lot of younger people, I was turned onto him when Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth reissued a bunch of his albums in 1999. Just last night I was making a mixtape for a friend and I included “Vem Kan Segla” (which isn’t from this new album, but perfectly displays his sense of humor).
Menomena: Friend and Foe (Barsuk) – Menomena are one of those bands that gets called post-rock and experimental. They manage to stay on the good side by not being pretentious or headache-inducing. Appearing at the Echo on 3/10. Download “Wet and Rusting
Of Montreal: Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer (Polyvinyl) – This is probably one of the most popular indie pop bands that I’ve never bothered to listen to. I plan to fix that with this new record. I’ve already got it at home, but I just haven’t played it yet. The weird thing is, I think I’ll like them. Appearing at the El Rey on 1/26 (sold out), the Avalon on 1/27 and the Troubadour on 1/28 (sold out). Sea Level’s giving away a free ticket to the Avalon show for the first ten people who buy the album. Download "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse"
Peanut Butter Wolf Presents: Stones Throw Ten Years (Stones Throw) – They’re a local label and they release some of the best independent rap in the world. Here’s a great chance to familiarize yourself with their history. J Dilla, Madvillian, Mablib, Quasimoto are all included.
David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian) – This dude likes Marc Bolan of T. Rex a lot. I mean a lot. Download “Jacket

Other things that I know less about:
The Affair: Yes Yes to You (Absolutely Kosher) – Appearing at the Scene in Glendale on 2/11. Download “Left at the Party
The Berg Sans Nipple: Along the Quai (Team Love) – Indie electronica? Download “Mystic Song”
Chris Garneau: Music For Tourists (Absolutely Kosher) – This is one of those singer-songwriters that seems to toe the line of maybe being too precious. I need to hear more to decide which side of the line he’s on. Download “Not Nice
Clinic: Visitations (Domino) – I used to like Clinic, then I saw them live and was so annoyed by their shtick that I decided I hated them, now every once in a while I hear a Clinic song and think it sounds pretty good. At the Troubadour on 3/2.
Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity (Kill Rock Stars) – This is quintessential headache rock. Music that only music critics, Jeff Tweedy and Thom Yorke like. I’m supposed to see them live at the El Rey on Wednesday so maybe I’ll com around a little bit. Pitchfork gave this an 8.9/10 (of course they did). Download “Plus 81
Julie Doiron: Woke Myself Up (Jagjaguwar) – She was in that band Eric’s Trip back in the nineties. Download “No More
Exploding Star Orchestra: We Are All From Somewhere Else (Thrill Jockey) – Improvised jazzy music.
Mark Fosson: Jesus on a Greyhound (New Light Entertainment) – Drag City recently put out his unreleased folk album that was originally recorded for John Fahey.
Fujiya and Miyagi: Transparent Things (Deaf, Dumb & Blind) – They make krautrock fun - or so the critics say. Appearing at Spaceland on 3/14.
Ghost: In Stormy Nights (Drag City) – Japanese freak noise.
Macromantics: Moments in Movement (Kill Rock Stars) – White, female Australian hip-hop. Download “Scorch
Mum: Peel Sessions (Fat Cat) – Icelandic electronic music
New Young Pony Club: New Young Pony Club EP (Modular) – They’re one of those synthy indie dance bands. This one got sent to me and I’m not really feeling it. If you’re into those indie dance parties, you might like it. Letter Grade: C-
Nurse & Soldier: Marginalia (Jagjaguwar) – Oneida side project. Download “Green Tea
Orthodox: Gran Poder (Southern Lord)
Rafter: Music For Total Chicken (Asthmatic Kitty) – Download “Monsters
Alasdair Roberts: Amber Gatherers (Drag City)
Six Parts Seven: Casually Smashed to Pieces (Suicide Squeeze)
VietNam: Vietnam (Kemado)
John Weise: Soft Punk (Troubleman Unlimited) – Appearing at the Smell on 2/17.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: Lay and Love single (Drag City)
Camera Obscura: If Looks Could Kill (Merge) – See them at the El Rey on 2/17.

Reissues/Box Sets:
Bee Gees: 1st, Horizontal, Idea Reissues (RGE)
Glenn Branca: Indeterminate Activity of Resultant Masses (Atavistic) – For the serious music snobs only. This has pre-Sonic Youth Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo.
Chrome Cranks: Diabolical Boogie (Atavistic) – “A super-swank enhanced double CD collection of singles, demos, and rarities, plus three music videos from NYC's prime dirt blues movers, culled from their golden 1992-98 era. Copious, soul-bearing liner notes by Peter Aaron, the Cranks' mouthpiece and official public face. Includes covers of AC/DC, Devo, Television, Pere Ubu, T. Rex, The MC5, Daniel Johnston, The Germs, Sky Saxon, and Brainiac.”
Mew: Frengers (Columbia)
Various Artists: Forever Changing – The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973 (Elektra) – Five disc collection

Vinyl Issues:
Built to Spill: You In Reverse (Up Records) – That cover art’s so bad I’m not sure I want it 12” high.
Secret Machines: Ten Silver Drops (Reprise)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Night Music Options 1/22/07

Being sick and working too hard have prevented me from hitting any of these Monday night residencies, but hopefully tonight that will change.

Tonight's Pick:
The Broken West / Ferraby Lionheart / The Western States Motel @ Spaceland (Free) – I heard most of the Broken West’s new album this weekend and I really enjoyed it. The songs get under your skin and you find yourself humming them hours later. They’re the nicest guys in the world and the kind of the band you can’t help but root for. Get out and support them during their residency. Tonight they’re joined by local singer-songwriter Ferraby Lionheart who has a great reputation. The Western States Motel have a self-released album that I like. They’re another local band to keep your eye on.

Also worth checking out:
Pity Party / Mere Mortals / Ana Egge @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – I still haven’t seen the Pity Party, but they’ve done a great job promoting this residency.
The Submarines / Dead Ponies @ the Echo (Free) – You really can’t go wrong here either. The Submarines are a KCRW friendly band that you could probably hear on a Zach Braff soundtrack or maybe Grey’s Anatomy. Dead Ponies are a little more sinister than that.

Gliss @ Viper Room
The New York Dolls Present: The Idyllists / The Rolling Blackouts @ Safari Sam’s ($10) - Special guest appearances by Lemmy from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats. Hosted by Sylvain Sylvain with DJ Sami Yaffa.

Coachella Lineup Announced

Well, the Coachella lineup has finally been announced. This year's festival has been expanded to three days - Friday 4/27/07 to Sunday 4/29/07. Still no word on whether the Police or Smashing Pumpkins reunions will take place.

Here are my initial thoughts:

Friday has the strongest pull for me. Bjork is an outstanding live performer. I don't sit around my house and listen to her CDs that much, but she's a very compelling live performer. I've seen Interpol a couple of times. They're totally hit or miss for me.. The Jesus and Mary Chain is a fantastic choice. I never saw them in their prime and I'm a huge Darklands and Psychocandy fan. I saw Arctic Monkeys at Spaceland and they were fun. I'm kind of a Pulp greatest hits guy, but I'd still be curious to see Jarvis Cocker live. I've seen Sonic Youth about 10 times, so it's hard to get really excited, but it's still a solid choice. It all depends on what DJ Shadow decides to do? I'm very happy to see Silversun Pickups on the bill. They've been working hard all year and they're blowing up right now, so it's a just reward. The Comedians of Comedy might be a nice break from music. I'm a little curious about the Noisettes, Tilly and the Wall, Gogol Bordello, Busdriver, El P, Gillian Welch andTokyo Police Club. I'm less excited about Peaches, Peeping Tom, Brazilian Girls and We Are Scientists.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers headline on Saturday. I have no desire to see them again, but I did see them a few times back in the early 90s. The Arcade Fire is a great choice and they're capable of putting on a fantastic show. Last time I saw them at Coachella I couldn't get close enough to really hear them. Tiesto? No clue. The Decemberists I haven't seen since they played Spaceland a really long time ago. I'd like to see them again. The Good, the Bad and the Queen is Damon Albarn from Blur's new band with Danger Mouse. I haven't heard the album, but I'd like to see them. Travis isn't my thing, but it's a decent choice. I've never understood how Coldplay got so big and they didn't. Kings of Leon isn't really my thing, but it's solid rock'n'roll. Gotan Project I know almost nothing about. The Rapture isn't really my thing. LCD Soundsystem will please a lot of hipsters. I love Blonde Redhead and think they're fantastic live. I love the New Pornographers music, but I'm always a little sad that Dan Bejar and Neko Case don't tour with them (maybe they'll join them at a giant festival?). The Black Keys, !!!, Hot Chip are good choices that I honestly haven't listened to very much. I'm very excited about Ghostface Killah, Cornelius, Sparklehorse, Peter Bjorn & John and Fields. I'm less excited about Girl Talk, The Cribs, MSTRKRFT, Ozomatli, Fountains of Wayne, Nightwatchman. I'm apprehensive about Roky Erikson.

Sunday's lineup looks the weakest to me. Rage Against the Machine is the headliner. I'm sure poeple are excited about this reunion show and while I don't mind their music, I think it will create a bit of a hostile environment. I really haven't heard Manu Chao. The Happy Mondays will probably excite people, but I always thought they were a little bit of a weak link to their scene. I'm not really an Air fan, but I don't have anything against them. I love Willie Nelson, but I just saw him last year. I wouldn't mind seeing Lily Allen, Spank Rock, Junior Boys, Grizzly Bear, Explosions in the Sky, the Roots but I don't have see them at a festival. I don't have much interest in Paul Van Dyk, Kaiser Chiefs, Damien Rice, Crowded House, Soulwax, Amos Lee, Jose Gonzalez, the Kooks, Ratatat, CSS, Klaxons, Tapes 'n' Tapes, Lupe Fiasco or Fair to Midland.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Saturday and Sunday Music Options

Saturday's Options [1/20/07]:
Nico Stai @ Sea Level (Free) 4:00PM
Circus Minor / The Changes @ Spaceland (?) – See my write-up about Circus Minor from their recent Spaceland show. I trace their roots back through the LA music scene. The Changes just played last night at the Silverlake Lounge. Anybody go? I wanted to, but didn’t get outta work until late and I was just too tired.
E.A.R. (featuring Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3) / LSD and the Search for God @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – E.A.R. is the headliner and they go on at 9:00PM. I’ve always liked Spiritualized more than Spacemen 3, but I know that’s not a hip position to take.
Reverend Horton Heat / Junior Brown @ Henry Fonda – Do you slick back your hair, wear a big wallet chain and roll up your jeans about two feet? Then you probably don’t read music blogs.
Division Day / Great Northern @ Prospector in Long Beach – These two local faves are starting a mini West Coast tour. After that, Division Day will be the Monday night resident band at Spaceland in February. Here are the tour dates: 1/21 @ Café du Nord in San Francisco; 1/22 @ Club Pow in Sacramento (Division Day only); 1/23 @ Towne Lounge in Portland; 1/24 @ Sunset Tavern in Seattle; 1/26 @ Howard and Sons in Visalia

Sunday's Options [1/21/07]:
David Lynch / Donovan @ the Kodak Theatre (Free) – David Lynch is going to talk to you about meditation and his new book. Donovan will play some of his classic folk-pop songs. My favorite is probably “Jennifer Juniper” but there are a couple of dozen more that I love too.
Reverend Horton Heat / Junior Brown @ Troubadour (Sold Out)

Friday Night Music Options - 1/19/07

Lily Allen just announced a show on Monday 2/5 at the Henry Fonda. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10:00AM. It will sell out fast.
Tonight's Pick:
Subtle / Pigeon John @ Troubadour ($15) – Subtle (featuring Jel and Doseone) sprang out of the Anticon scene. Their music is experimental hip-hop, electronic and rock’n’roll. Pigeon John is an alternative rapper. I like what I've heard from him. Kevin Bronson wrote a mini-review of his recent appearance at Safari Sam’s.
Also worth seeing if you have tickets:
Cold War Kids / The Parson Red Heads @ Silverlake Lounge ($14) – The Cold War Kids go on at 9:00PM. The lead singer put his MP3 player on shuffle for the Onion this week. This show will be packed and there will be a giant line and most of you won’t get in because the Silverlake Lounge has a capacity of about 176.
Or maybe this is your thing:
Ninja Academy / 8-Bit @ the Echo ($8)
Reverend Horton Heat @ House of Blues ($25)
Wounded Lion @ Zamakibo (1320 S. Grand Ave) – The LA Weekly recommends these guys.
AC/DC Tribute: Chris Pontius Band @ Safari Sam’s – You like Jackass?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options 1/18/07

Dead Ponies Play Tonight at the Silverlake Lounge
Tonight's Pick:
The SoftLightes / The Changes / Dead Ponies @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Here are three bands that I haven’t seen, but I’m very curious about. I was always aware of the Incredible Moses Leroy, but I never got around to listening to them. The main guy behind that band, (Ron Fountenberry) is also the main guy behind The SoftLightes. As I write this, I’m listening to their new record (out 2/13/07 on Modular) for the first time. Several of the songs have a Postal Service vibe (he even sounds like Ben Gibbard on some songs) while some have that heavily processed ELO/Mr. Blue Sky voice and some are just mellow indie pop songs. It’s all really listenable and makes me curious to see him live. The Changes are a super catchy guitar pop band from Chicago. I like what I’ve heard from them. Download The Changes’ “When I Wake” Dead Ponies are a local heavy (in the shoegazer way) band that you’ll probably like if you like Darker My Love. I’ve heard they’re a really good live band.
Also Appearing:
Low Vs. Diamond @ Troubadour ($8) – Kevin Bronson has a post about these guys on Buzz Bands HERE.
Killradio Fundraiser: Die Rockers Die @ the Echo ($5) – The LA Weekly recommends this Die Rocker Die show.
Los Abandoned @ Amoeba (Free)
The Colour / Bodies of Water @ Spaceland - The Colour are friends with Cold War Kids. Maybe the Cold War Kids will show up again and you can hit them up for tickets to their sold out show at the Silverlake Lounge tomorrow.

Local Scene Update 01/18/07

Sebadoh bootlegs: HERE – Playing Spaceland on 3/9 and Troubadour on 3/10

Recent Signings:
Great Northern signed to Eenie Meenie
Sea Wolf signed to Dangerbird (which apparently means that Alex Church is no longer in Irving)

The Bird & the Bee on the Tonight Show 1/25/07

The Shins have announced that they’ll be doing an in-store at Amoeba on January 26th at 6:00PM. Better lineup about now.

Coachella Rumors? Kevin Bronson has some over at Buzz Bands

Recent concert announcements:
Spaceland: The Solutionists (google “the solutionists” and this new supergroup comes up) on 1/24/07; Sebadoh on 3/10/07; Annuals on 3/3/07; Autumn Defense on 2/16/07; Fujiya and Miyagi on 3/14/07
Spaceland Productions at Jensen Rec Center: El Perro del Mar on 3/13/07
Echo: 00100 on 3/27/07; Airborne Toxic Event/The Deadly Syndrome on 2/2/07; Arthur Lee tribute on 2/6/07

Goldenvoice: Sparklehorse on 2/9 at the Fonda; the Zombies on 3/16 at the Fonda; Bloc Party on 3/19 & 3/20 at the Wiltern; Badly Drawn Boy / Adem @ the El Rey on 3/22; TV on the Radio on 3/30 and 3/31 @ the Fonda;

Troubadour: Sebadoh on 3/10; Melt Banana on 5/18

The Fold: Earl Greyhound on 1/30 @ El Cid and 1/31 @ the Silverlake Lounge

Safari Sam's: Lavender Diamond on 1/25; Lou Barlow 1/29; Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven on 2/15; Diplo on 3/13

Call (310)440-7300 to reserve your free tickets for the Watson Twins at the Getty on 2/2

Muse just announced a show at the Forum on 4/10/07. Presale tickets from KROQ go on sale tomorrow at 10:00AM. Get your password by joining the street team.

Peter Bjorn & John announced a show at the Roxy on 2/1/07; I’ll be doing a ticket giveaway very soon.

The Silversun Pickups' new video was just added to the MTV and MTV2 rotation. Watch some Spin party footage of them HERE.

You can pre-order the new Parson Red Heads' album, King Giraffe HERE

The Broken West ('s band of the day yesterday) has a new high profile booking agency (who also represents The Decemberists, Sebadoh, The Tyde, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ian Brown, etc.) and it seems to be going well. Check out these dates:
01-22 Silver Lake, CA - Spaceland
01-23 Silver Lake, CA - Sea Level Records
01-29 Silver Lake, CA - Spaceland
02-05 San Francisco, CA – Café du Nord
02-07 Eugene, OR – Sam Bond’s Garage
02-08 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
02-09 Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
02-10 Mt. Hood – The Ratskeller
02-13 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
02-15 Phoenix, AZ – Modified Arts
02-24 Tucson, AZ – Plush
02-27 Austin, TX – Emo’s
02-28 Dallas, TX – Cavern
03-02 Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
03-03 Iowa City, IA – The Picador
03-05 Cleveland, OH – The Grog Shop
03-07 Cambridge, MA – T.T. The Bear’s

Then they’ll meet up with the Walkmen and Ferraby Lionheart:
03-08 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
03-09 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
03-10 Columbus, OH - Little Brother's
03-11 Chicago, IL - Schubas
03-12 Newport, KY - South Gate House
03-13 Louisville, KY - Headliners
03-18 New Orleans, LA - Parish
03-19 Tallahassee, FL - Beta Bar
03-20 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
03-21 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
03-22 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03-23 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 1/17/07

Tonight's Pick:
Cut Chemist @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – Of course there’s something to be said for DJs like Girl Talk who get people dancing and having fun. But for my money, I’d much rather see a crate digger, turntablist like Cut Chemist. I can relate to a guy whose passion is hunting down obscure records. He’s performed with Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli and done bootlegs with DJ Shadow.
Also worth seeing:
Patrick Park @ Hotel Café – Much more talented than your average coffee shop singer-songwriter. He also plays with Sea Wolf (who just signed to Dangerbird Records, by the way).
Don't know much about these:
Daphne Loves Derby / Meg and Dia / Ronnie Day @ the Knitting Factory ($14) – A bunch of Myspace bands.
Club NME: Kristin King / War Tapes @ Spaceland (?) – If you message the War Tapes on Myspace they’ll put you on the list.
Dub Club: Winston Jarrett @ the Echo ($10)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Night Music Options

It's been a while, but you might remember that I like to highlight the top five new CD releases each Tuesday. The schedule has been so crappy for so long, that I haven't been doing it. Next week I'll get back to to it....

Tonight's Pick:
The Procession / Red Heart the Ticker @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – The Procession is a local band that’s doing a Tuesday night residency at the Fold in January. Here’s what KCRW’s Nic Harcourt had to say about them: “This Los Angeles-based band conjures up the sounds of favorites like the Beach Boys and Squeeze in a 21st century way. A band to keep an eye on."

Also Appearing:
Darker My Love @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – These guys are powerful live. They’re on the local label, Dangerbird Records (home of the Silversun Pickups).
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café (?) – This is Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine.
Berko / Nico Stai @ Spaceland (?)
Mia Doi Todd @ Tangier ($8) - Local singer-songwriter. She’ll be on the new Dntel record when it comes out on Sub Pop in April.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Girl Talk Live Review

Live review is a deceptive phrase. He really just sets up his laptop and dances along to it. The tracks he plays are a little different than the album, but he doesn't travel with turntables or records, just a laptop. If your motivation is to get wasted and dance, then you'll like it. I'm all for getting wasted, but not much for dancing. I've always been impressed with DJs like Z-Trip and Shadow and Cut Chemist who beat match and sometimes to live mashups. I was far less impressed with Girl Talk. In six months, junior high kids in Idaho will be doing this. It's pretty much club music for people who don't hang out at clubs. Not my scene. In his defense, he entertained the shit out of 90% of the people there. I enjoyed the openers, Matt & Kim for about 15 minutes. All the songs pretty much sound the same, but they seem like good people and Matt was entertaining. My favorite bit was when he talked about eating at all you can eat Ethiopian restaurant the night before and how happy he was that he didn't eat there before the show.

About 30 minutes in, we headed over to Spaceland to see if that was more our scene. The Fucking Champs were playing. They lock into metal grooves for about 45 seconds at a time. The music's more of an intellectual exercise than something soulful. It's fun to listen to for about 15 minutes and then it's work. We escaped to the upstairs bar and listened to the jukebox.

My Morning Jacket Live Review

My Morning Jacket @ the Wiltern on 1/6/07
We walked into the venue as Elvis Perkins was finishing up. I had just seen him at Spaceland as the opener for the Pernice Bros. It’s always weird to see somebody in a 250 capacity venue one week and then a place ten times as big less than two months later. I have a feeling his songs are so good that he wins over new fans every time he plays. You can see him at a place even smaller (Largo) on March 24th.

As My Morning Jacket’s set time neared, the venue was getting packed. My friend and I faced a predicament. We weren’t in the mood to push too close, since people had been camped out forever. At the same time, we didn’t want to be under the overhang where it always seems like people get louder than the band by about six songs into the set. We were forced to move way to the side, about half way back on the floor. Due to the tiered floor arrangement, the sight lines suck just about everywhere except the first row of each tier. Further complicating things is the fact that with bands like My Morning Jacket, it seems like the average fan is about 6’ 3”.

The curtain dropped and the band came out with ferocious energy. They played about six rockers in a row. Jim James was throwing his hair around like James Hetfield. If it wasn’t for the 6’ 6” chick in front of me (and the muddy sound) I would have been fully into it. The 6’ 6” chick eventually left and the sound eventually got less muddy. I noticed that James was wearing some giant, springy moon boots. About the exact moment I was really getting into their set, they did a streak of about four or five of their “funky” songs. To me they’re a rock band, not a reggae band, not a funk band. I can take one or two on each album, but I couldn’t take four in a row in the middle of the set. Does you mind ever start wandering at a rock show? You start thinking about how you need to do laundry. You actually open your phone and read your text messages. You start looking around at the other fans and wonder under what other cicumstances you’d willfully hang out with them. It’s a bad position to be in. At that point it’s very difficult to return. I remember Jim James talking about how beautiful the venue was and how we all need more hobbies. And I thought, was architecture a hobby back in 1931? They brought me back mentally for a few songs, but then completely lost me going into the encore through the first couple of songs of the encore. We ended up walking out a few songs into the encore, vowing to never return to the Wiltern unless we had balcony seats. Getting old sucks.

Monday Night Music Options - 1/15/07

The Broken West Continue Their Residency Tonight
It's hard to get motivated to go out on the last night of a three day weekend. But there's a ton of free shows.....
Tonight's Pick:
The Broken West / Richard Swift @ Spaceland (Free) - The Broken West's debut LP comes out next Tuesday (1/23/07) on Merge Records. Go listen to a few of the tracks on their Myspace page; I think you'll like them. Richard Swift is a singer/songwriter that the Onion compared to Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. He's got a new record coming out on Secretly Canadian in February. Two bands well worth seeing for free.
Also worth checking out:
Pity Party / Hello Menno @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - The Pity Party's a local two-piece with drums and keyboards. They're doing the Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge in February.
The Submarines @ the Echo (Free) - The Submarines are the Echo's Monday night resident. They kinda remind me of Stars.
The Happy Hollows @ the Troubadour (Free)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Saturday and Sunday Night Music Options

Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) Brings His Laptop to the Echo on Saturday

Saturday Night's Pick:
Girl Talk / Matt & Kim / The Gray Kid @ the Echo (Sold Out) – Girl Talk is a crazy DJ who mixes and mashes together the biggest hooks from a wide variety of sources. It’s totally manic. I hear he runs around the crowd, takes off his clothes and tries to entertain live audiences as much as possible. I’ll probably be there.

Also Intriguing:
The Fucking Champs / Citay @ Spaceland ($12) – They’re an indie metal/prog band. If that means anything.
Rhett Miller / Western States Motel @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – When my friend Jerry lived in LA he dragged me to about ten Rhett Miller shows. If you wanna know the truth, I think he’s gay for Rhett Miller.
Plug Party: Great Northern / The Gray Kid / Foreign Born @ Little Radio Warehouse ($5) – This is a party to promote the Plug Awards. The actual awards are in New York City on the 10th (it’s hosted by David Cross and the Silversun Pickups will be playing along with Stephen Malkmus).

Sunday Night's Options:
The Switch @ Sea Level 4:00PM (Free) – A CD release party…
Talkdemonic / Jeff Merchant @ Spaceland ($8) – Talkdemonic is Lisa Molinari’s (of the Decemberists) other band. Here’s what the All Music Guide says about their most recent album: “If a mad-scientist of experimental music combined the styles of folk, ambient, and rock in a test tube, you might end up with the album Beat Romantic. The folk-tronic instrumental duo Talkdemonic weaves together a lot of sounds on this disc that have been arranged together quite seamlessly in the past, despite their disparate backgrounds.”

Friday Night Music Options - 1/12/07

Friday Night's Pick:
Stephen Malkmus @ the Glasshouse ($17) – It’s only about 30 minutes away from Silver Lake. Make sure you run across the street and slam some drinks before you go in, because there’s no bar. I heard he played a shitload of new material at the El Rey last Friday.
Also Intriguing:
Cold War Kids / The Deadly Syndrome @ Silverlake Lounge (Sold Out) – The Cold War Kids are one of the hottest bands in country right now. You’re SOL if you don’t have tickets. They’re show at the Silverlake Lounge next Friday is sold out, as is their show at Spaceland the following Friday and their show at the Troubadour on February 22nd. Get there in time for the Deadly Syndrome at 8pm. The Cold War Kids go on at 9:00PM (gotta make way for the Mexican trannies on the weekends).
Infinity @ Spaceland ($10) – Infinity’s a female fronted Journey tribute band. They’re a lot of fun to see live and they always bring out a big crowd.
This Charming Band @ Troubadour ($15) – A Smiths tribute band that I haven’t seen yet.
Mike Stinson / I See Hawks In LA / Tony Gilkyson @ the Echo ($8) – Mike Stinson’s my favorite local country performer. He does the Buck Owens / Merle Haggard type of stuff.
The Bellrays @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – The Bellrays have great energy. She’s a soulful female, singing with a garage rock band.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options (and Morrissey Ticket Announcement)

Morrissey pre-sale tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10:00AM for three shows at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (February 1st through the 3rd). He’s very good live, but it is kinda pricey ($47-77 + service charges). You have to sign up for the KROQ street team to get the password.

Tonight's Pick:
Lux & Ruby’s Burlesque a Go-Go w/ Yes Me to Death @ the Scene ($8) – Yes Me to Death is my friend Mel’s band. Give them a listen on Myspace.
Also Intriguing:
Thee LA Gentleman Callers @ the Echo ($7) – Heavy music. They just recorded a new EP at Steve Albini’s studio in Chicago (with Manny from the Distortion Felix). They share some members with Qui.
The Softlightes / Fairmona @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – The Softlightes are catchy. They’re playing the Silverlake Lounge several Thursdays in a row. Next week’s lineup looks particularly good with the Dead Ponies and The Changes.
Kennedy @ Monroe’s (8623 Melrose Avenue) – What the hell’s Monroe’s? Comedy dance rock.
The Colour @ Spaceland

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options - 1/10/07

Lou Barlow Tonight at the Smell
Another busy day means another small post....
Tonight's Pick:
Lou Barlow @ the Smell ($5) – He’s been touring for a while with Dinosaur Jr. and soon he’s getting the first Sebadoh lineup back together to tour. Tonight you can see him solo. Hopefully he’ll play some Bakesale/ Bubble and Scrape / Harmacy-era Sebadoh, because that’s my favorite.
Also intriguing:
Peter & the Wolf / Briertone @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Rockinsider is presenting this show at the Silverlake Lounge. The Gorilla vs. Bear sight had Peter & the Wolf as their 11th best record of 2006 (I just realized that five of their top 10 records were on my list of music snob cred albums that didn’t move me in 2006).
Cursive / The Parson Red Heads @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Cursive’s most recent on Saddle Creek is a concept record about religion. Download “Dorothy at Forty” and “Bad Sects” Make sure to get there in time for one of my favorite new local bands, the Parson Red Heads. I believe this is their first show at the Troubadour.
I don't know as much about these:
Indian Jewelry @ the Mountain – Download Indian Jewelry’s “Come Closer” and “Lesser Snake
Lady Sovereign @ El Rey (Sold Out) – She’s the first non-American signed to Def Jam.
Club NME: Castaneda @ Spaceland

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday Night Music Options 1/9/07

Once again there's no time for a real post, but there are some good shows tonight.....

Tonight's Pick:
The Deadly Syndrome @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – They’re one of my local bands to watch in 2007. If you like bands like Oh No! Oh My! and Tapes ‘n’ Tapes you better check them out.

Also Intriguing:
Xu Xu Fang @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – They quote the Onion on their Myspace page: "The sound is enormous, dark, psychedelic, and beautiful, full of meditative moods that haunt the diaphanous triangle formed by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and Sigur Ros." Bobby from the Warlocks is also in the band. If you miss them tonight they’re also playing on 1/29 at the Echo.
Sloan @ Cinespace ($5) – The Canadian band has been around forever. Their new album, Never Hear the End of It came out today on Yep Roc Records.
The Living Sisters / Gwendolyn @ Tangier ($10) – That’s Becky Stark, Inara George and Eleni Mandell.
Peter Walker / We Are Lions @ Troubadour ($5)
Carina Round @ El Cid ($8)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Night Music Picks - 1/8/07

Recent Merge signees The Broken West at Spaceland All Month

Tonight's Pick:
The Broken West / Mezzanine Owls @ Spaceland (Free) – The Broken West are doing the Monday night Spaceland residency in January. They’ve got a new album, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On on Merge Records (home of Arcade Fire, Spoon, Superchunk, Radar Bros., etc.) on January 23, 2006. They’re a local band, really good people and talented musicians. Go to their Myspace page and listen to “Down in the Valley” and “So It Goes” and you’ll be tapping your toe and humming along. It’s classic power-pop and I think you’ll like it. They’re heading out on the road next month with the Walkmen. Mezzanine Owls are a local, dream-pop band.

Also intriguing:
The Pity Party / Rademacher / Colorforms @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – The Pity Party are doing the Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge in January. They put together packets with compilation CDs with some of their stuff, and music from many of the bands that are joining them at their residency. I picked one up for free at Sea Level. Very cool promotional idea.
The Submarines / Jim Putnam (of the Radar Bros.) @ the Echo (Free) – Here’s what Filter had to say about the Submarines: “Declare A New State is both gorgeously bittersweet pop music and a tribute to the unexpected wonder of a second chance." Jim Putman is the lead singer of the Radar Bros. who have put out several great albums on Merge Records.
Pigeon John @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – For the underground hip-hop fans. I just heard a little bit of his new album last week and it made me want to hear more. He’s talented.

I Know Less About These Guys:
Briertone / Light FM @ Viper Room

Friday, January 05, 2007

Saturday and Sunday Night Live Music Options

Hippies with Flying Vs - My Morning Jacket Play the Wiltern on Saturday

Saturday Night’s Pick:
My Morning Jacket / Elvis Perkins @ Wiltern (Sold Out) – My Morning Jacket is one of the best live acts working today. I’ve seen them a handful of times, and with one bad festival exception at Austin City Limits, they’ve always pleased me. They didn’t put out a new studio album in 2006, but they did release a double live album and live DVD, Okonokos. Most live albums are snoozers, but this one gives you a pretty good taste of their power as a live band. A lot of my indie snob friends dismiss them as lame, Skynrd revivalists, but that’s off base (and anyway, what’s so wrong with Skin-Nerd?). Jim James is a versatile songwriter who has probably listened to a lot of Neil Young and the Band, but also likes to cover Wham and Lionel Richie. Jeff Weiss wrote a gushing review of their recent San Francisco shows and has some live MP3s of those weird covers. Opener Elvis Perkins used to live in LA and would occasionally play with Let’s Go Sailing.

Nearly Equally Rad:
Stephen Malkmus @ El Rey (Sold Out) – I love a good 75% of the stuff Malkmus has done. He has a bunch of new material that he’s going to road test. Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinnney and Quasi) is his new drummer. Hopefully he’s not quite as intent on showing everybody what a good guitar player he is. If you already bought tickets for My Morning Jacket, you might consider buying Malkmus tickets for the Glasshouse in Pomona next Friday the 12th; I think that’s what I’m going to do.

Intriguing But I Know Less About Them:
The View / Monsters Are Waiting @ Spaceland ($10) – Really young Scottish kids. Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream called them his favorite new band.
Polar Goldie Cats @ How2HQ [1515 South Vermont Avenue] (Free)
The Ditty Bops @ McCabe’s (Sold Out)

Sunday 1/7/07
Indian Jewelry / Clipd Beaks @ the Echo (free before 11pm, $5 after)
Signal Hill Transmission @ Molly Malone’s ($7)
Death Valley Days / Spacelord @ Spaceland (Free)

Friday Night Music Options - 1/5/07

The Bronx Play Safari Sam's Tonight
After a pretty slow week for music, things are picking up again.....
Tonight's Pick:
The Bronx / Qui / 400 Blows / Sirhan Sirhan @ Safari Sam’s ($12) – I haven’t seen Sirhan Sirhan, but the other three bands are three of the better heavy (in the punk way) bands that LA has to offer. This is a great chance to see them all on one stage. Qui now has ex-Jesus Lizard singer, David Yow as a full time member. I still haven’t seen 400 Blows with their new-ish guitarist, but I’ve heard it hasn’t slowed them down at all.
Also Perfectly Awesome:
The Clean Prophets / The Shakes @ Knitting Factory ($8) – Here’s another chance to see one of my favorite local bands, the Clean Prophets. This time the show is all ages. See my posts earlier this week for more information. The Shakes are on Jim Freek’s label, Teenacide.
Ferraby Lionheart / Charlie Wadhams & the Harmony Brothers @ El Cid ($5) – I need to see Ferraby Lionheart one of these days. He’s a talented local singer-songwriter.
Bobb Bruno @ the Smell ($5) – He’s good people, and he plays in a bunny suit.
I know less about these, but they sound intriguing:
The View @ the Viper Room - Buzzy new Scottish kids. They're at Spaceland on Saturday night.
Crime in Choir / Triclops / Health / Federation X @ the Echo ($7) – Night two of GSL’s 2nd Annual Flood & Mudslide Season Warm Up Party.
Minutes ‘til Midnight / Year Long Disaster / Black Palms @ Spaceland (?) – Minutes ‘til Midnight sound like they probably own a few Spiritualized and My Bloody Valentine records. Year Long Disaster is Daniel Davies’ band (you know, Dave Davies son). I apologize for pointing that out again, but the Kinks are my favorite band of all time.