Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rest In Peace - Michelangelo Antonioni

From about the time I turned 15 to my late 20s I loved European and American art house films. Michelangelo Antonioni was one of the directors I really admired. His films aren't for everybody but if you like slow, meditative films with the occasional arresting image then check out the films he did from 1960-1975. Zabriskie Point's an interesting meditation on 1960's America with a soundtrack featuring Pink Floyd (songs written for the film), the Grateful Dead, John Fahey, Jerry Garcia. Blow-Up's an interesting meditation on reality vs. illusion. The Passenger's an interesting meditation on identity. You get the picture....
RIP to Ingmar Bergman and Tom Snyder as well.

Highlights from Tuesday's Music Calendar - 7/31/07

Bat For Lashes Plays Spaceland Tonight

Lots of big name shows tonight.....
Tonight's Picks:
Peter Bjorn and John / Cass McCombs @ Henry Fonda Theatre (Sold Out) – We’re all sick of “Young Folks” by now, but this is still one of the best albums released domestically in 2007. In contrast to popular opinion, I thought they were quite good when I saw them at the Roxy.
Bishop Allen / Page France / Castledoor @ Echo ($10) – Blogger faves, Bishop Allen are touring in support of their new album. Presented by the Aquarium Drunkard. Download “Click Click Click Click” and “Rain
Bat for Lashes / Lion of Panjshir / Tara Busch @ Spaceland ($12) – Critical darlings, Bat for Lashes will be on Morning Becomes Eclectic Wednesday morning. Thom Yorke’s a big fan and they’re nominees for the Mercury Prize (the best British or Irish album of the last 12 months) along with Fionn Regan, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys and others.
M.I.A. @ Echoplex ($20) – Anybody see her last night?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Five Most Interesting New Releases 7/31/07

Top Five Most Interesting New Releases:
1990s: Cookies (Rough Trade) – See them at the Echo on 8/5 or the Troubadour on 8/7. Upbeat Scots. Download “You’re Supposed to Be My Friend
Bat for Lashes: Fur and Gold (Caroline) – The hottest (both literally and figuratively) new British export. Adored by Thom Yorke. Considered freak-folk (but she sounds more listenable than a lot of that stuff). See her at Spaceland tomorrow 7/31 and hear her on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Wednesday (August 1).
Dave Davies: Fractured Mindz (Koch) – The first album since his stroke in 2004. As you may know, the Kinks are my favorite band of all time.
The Nobility: The Mezzanine (Self-Released) – Nashville indie pop band that I’m really enjoying right now. I recently profiled them HERE. Download “Halleluiah Chorus
The Phantom Family Halo: The Legend of Black Six (Cold Sweat) – They spent a bunch of time in LA last week. Mellowly psychedelic. Download “Black River” and “Lady Blue

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Common: Finding Forever (Geffen) – Produced by Kanye West with a guest appearance from Lily Allen. See him at Starbucks on the 3rd Street Promenade at Noon on July 31st.
Culver City Dub Collective: Dos (Everloving) – See them at the Troubadour on 8/17 and the Sunset Junction the next day. For the Jack Johnson / Ben Harper crowd.
Department of Eagles: The Cold Nose (American Dust) – This is a reissue of their 2003 album. Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear is in this band.
The Louvin Brothers: Tragic Songs of Life / Satan Is Real (Raven AUS) – Australian reissue of two absolutely classic country/gospel albums.
Bob Marley: Roots, Rock, Remixed (Quango Fontana) – Marley remixes.
Polly Paulusma: Fingers & Thumbs (One Little Indian) – Nic Harcourt approved, British singer-songwriter.
Port O’Brien: The Wind and the Swell (American Dust) – A collection of the best tracks from their self-released albums.
Josh Rouse: Country Mouse City House (Nettwerk) – Prolific singer-songwriter for the NPR crowd.
Shivaree: Tainted Love – Mating Calls and Fight Songs (Zoe Records) – Love songs from Motley Crue, Gary Glitter, Michael Jackson, Phil Spector and Tanya Tucker
Various Artists: Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 7 – 1967 (Hip-O Select) – Five discs.
Alan Vega: Station (Mute) – His old partner in Suicide was in town last week.
Z-Trip: All Pro (Decon) – At the House of Blues Sunset on 8/15. Game soundtrack.

Highlights of Monday's Music Calendar 7/30/07

The Pity Party Plays Spaceland Tonight

Light FM / The Spinto Band @ the Silverlake Lounge (Free) – The last night of the Light FM residency. Energetic indie-poppers, The Spinto Band were just added to the lineup.
Eskimohunter / The Pity Party / Deep Sea Diver @ Spaceland (Free) – The last night of the Eskimohunter residency.
M.I.A. @ the Echoplex ($20) – I was 50/50 on the first M.I.A. album, but her new single’s downright awful. I’m sure 95% of you will disagree with me on that. I did see her at Coachella a few years ago and she wasn’t bad.
5 O’Clock Somewhere @ the Echo (Free) – Last night of their residency.
The Mae Shi @ Pehrspace
Thailand / Health Club / The Natural Disasters @ Royale [2619 Wilshire] Eastern Conference Champions @ Safari Sam’s (Free before 9PM / $5 after)
Stevenson Ranch Davidians / Nightfur @ Viper Room (Free if you RSVP through the Viper Room’s Myspace page)
Jesse Harris @ Hotel Café – He goes on early at 7PM. Download “Feel” and “I Don’t Mind
Mickey Champion @ Babe and Ricky’s Inn [4339 Leimert Blvd] – She performs there every Monday night.
Simon Stokes @ the Scene (Free)
Hand Over Heart @ Mr. T's Bowl (Free)
photo by: Alan Munoz

Friday, July 27, 2007

Weekend Music Options 7/27/07 - 7/29/07

Dead Meadow Play the Echoplex on Sunday

Obviously all the really cool people will be in San Diego at Comic-Con. But in case you're stuck in LA.....
Friday 7/27/07
Tables & Chairs / Adeline / My Secret Alphabet @ Perhspace (Donations) – Tables & Chairs is an instrumental band featuring Stevie, Brian and Marcos from the Movies.
The Melvins @ Troubdaour – Playing Lysol and Eggnog in their entirety.
Madonna Tribute: The Chapin Sisters / Winter Flowers / The Prayers @ Spaceland ($8) – This is the Manimal Vinyl record release party for their Madonna Tribute album.
Maximo Park / Monsters Are Waiting / The Oohlas @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Club Underground @ the Echo ($5 over 21 / $7 under 21)
Lynyrd Skynyrd @ Greek ($35-65)
Zach Galifianakis @ Largo – Bearded funnyman.
Sam Sparro @ El Cid ($10)
Polar Goldie Cats @ the Smell ($5)

Saturday 7/28/07
Lee “Scratch” Perry @ House of Blues ($22) – Legend and one of the inventors of dub music.
Dale Watson / Mike Stinson @ Safari Sam’s ($15) – For the real country music fans. When I lived in Austin I saw Watson pretty regularly, but he doesn’t pass through here too often. Stinson’s still my favorite local country singer.
The Rentals / Goldenboy / Gwendolyn @ Spaceland ($18) – Kind of a steep cover for Spaceland, but this is the last night of the Rentals month long residency.
Bob Weir and Ratdog @ Greek Theatre ($30-50) – Deadheads.
Let’s Go Sailing / Sara Lov @ Hotel Café ($8) – Grey’s Anatomy favorites.
The Fucking Champs @ the Echo ($10) – Non-stop riffing.
The Ditty Bops @ the Fonda ($20)
The Husbands @ the Scene ($8)
The Flash Express @ the Smell ($5)

Sunday 7/29/07
Part Time Punks: HEALTH @ the Echo ($5) – One of the leaders of the burgeoning local noise scene.
Dead Meadow / Darker My Love / Entrance / Phantom Family Halo @ the Echoplex ($13) – Solid lineup of stoner rock. Also the release party for the new issue of LA Record.
Anavan @ the Smell
Guru’s Jazzmatazz @ El Rey ($20) – For the hip-hop crowd.
Monte Montgomery @ Safari Sam’s ($10 adv / $12 dos) – Another singer-songwriter with a rootsy vibe and a big Austin following. He’s got a reputation as a great acoustic guitar player.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ticket Giveaway - VHS or Beta @ Troubadour on 8/3

VHS or Beta Play the Troubadour on 8/3/07

I've got one pair of tickets to give away for the VHS or Beta show at the Troubadour next Friday (8/3/07). Hard to believe that these guys are going on a decade as a band. They play catchy, post-punk inspired, danceable rock. Their new album, Bring on the Comets, comes out on Astralwerks on August 28th. They're not on tour yet, and only in this part of the country to play one show in San Francisco and this one in Los Angeles. Email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me your favorite indie dance band of all time. One randomly chosen winner will get their name on the guestlist with a plus one. The contest ends at midnight this Sunday.
VHS or Beta's Website
VHS or Beta's Myspace (preview two of the new tracks)

Thursday Night Music Options 7/26/07

Frankel Plays Spaceland Tonight

In addition to the regular club gigs, there's a free outdoor show in Westwood and another one downtown...

Thursday's Pick:
Patrick Park / Afternoons / The Temporary Thing / Frankel @ Spaceland ($8) – This is the last night of Patrick Park’s month long Thursday night residency and probably my favorite lineup yet. Download PP’s “Nothing’s Wrong” and “Home For Now” Afternoons is a more psych-pop oriented offshoot of Irving (Steven, Brian and Brent are all in the band). I’m really curious to see them and Frankel (who get compared to Nilsson, Randy Newman and Richard Swift).

Also Appearing:
Sea Wolf / Midnight Movies @ Hammer Museum (Free) – This one starts at 8:00PM. Sea Wolf is Alex Church (former bass player for Irving). They’re getting ready to head out for some dates with label mates, the Silversun Pickups. Download Sea Wolf’s “You’re a Wolf” (my favorite Sea Wolf track) and “The Garden That You Planted
Bodies of Water @ Pershing Square (Free) – Popular blogger, Gorilla vs. Bear recently put these local guys in his best of June. Download “These are the Eyes” and “Doves Circled the Sky” Ultra-manic indie rock. They’re celebrating the release of their new record, Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink.
Say Hi To Your Mom / The Ringers @ Knitting Factory – For the indie rockers. Download SHTYM’s “Angels and Darlas” and “Sad, But Endearingly So
J*DaVeY / Wallpaper @ Roxy ($11) – Filter Mag is sponsoring a new weekly Thursday night show at the Roxy. Get there at 7:30 for free vodka/red bull.
Charts and Maps / Saltar / Masterslave @ Land ($3) [366 E. 2nd Street in Little Tokyo]
Lyle Lovett / kd lang @ Greek Theatre ($41-$86) – They just released pit tickets, so hit up tmaster if you’re into this show.
The Henry Clay People / Kissing Tigers / Divisadero @ the Scene – More indie rock.
Chromeo / Flosstradamus @ Echo ($13) – For the indie dance crowd. Hot off their show at Cinespace on Tuesday. Download Chromeo’s “Tenderoni
The Rapture / Foreign Born @ the Mayan ($21.50 / $32.40 after svc charges) – For the more rockin’ indie dance crowd. Anybody go last night?
Buffalo Tom / Juliana Hatfield @ El Rey ($19)
Chris Trapper of the Push Stars @ Genghis Cohen

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lucinda Williams Five Nights at El Rey

If you're a fan of rootsy, bluesy singer-songwriters, Lucinda Williams is one of the best. She was one of the highlights of the Stagecoach festival this year and her live band is fantastic. As I mentioned before, she's doing a five night stand at the El Rey Theatre in September. During each show she'll be playing one album in its entirety followed by a second set where she'll presumably play material from her more recent album, West. Here are the details:
Wednesday Sept. 5th - World Without Tears (great album)
Thursday Sept. 6th - Essence (great album)
Saturday Sept. 8th - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (my favorite Lucinda album)
Sunday Sept. 9th - Sweet Old World (good album, with a great cover of Nick Drake's "Which Will")
Monday Sept. 10th - Lucinda Williams (I don't actually own this one)
Ticket for each of these shows are currently on sale. It will cost you $35 ($46 after service charges). You can also get a five day pass for the price of four of the shows - $140 ($160 after service charges).
She's doing the same thing in New York city....
Lucinda's Website
Lucinda's Myspace

Wednesday Night Music Options 7/25/07

Jesse Sykes Plays the Bordello Tonight
Tonight's Options:
Tivo Alert: Porter Wagoner on Letterman
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter / Bolero @ Bordello ($12) – Former Whiskeytown member. Download “LLL” and “The Dreaming Dead” Bolero is Josh Schwartz’s new band. You might know him from Further, and the first incarnation of Beachwood Sparks and Fairchild. He’s a great guitarist.
The Phantom Family Halo / Winter Flowers @ 3 of Clubs – The Phantom Family Halo are a neo-psychedelic band that’s currently on tour with Slint (and share a member of Slint’s touring band). Download “Black River” and “Lady Blue
Club NME: The Nice Boys / The Amazements @ Spaceland ($8) – Nice Boys play 1970s inspired, slightly edgier power pop along the lines of the Records, Yachts and Nick Lowe. The Saints aren’t playing this show (as was reported in the LA Weekly).
The Rapture / Foreign Born @ the Mayan ($21.50 / $32.40 after svc charges) – Also on Thursday at the Mayan. I saw the Rapture about 7 years ago at SXSW.
Martin Rev @ Knitting Factory ($15) – In case you missed him at the Silverlake Lounge on Tuesday. One of the early electro-punk guys.
Tokyo Police Club / Dappled Cities @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Dappled Cities played the Echo on Tuesday. Tokyo Police Club play upbeat indie rock. They will be back at the El Rey on 10/23 if you miss them tonight.
Die! Die Die! @ the Silverlake Lounge
Lomita @ Viper Room – These Austinies will also be guests on Sinking with Sylvia (and sometimes Todd) on Little Radio tomorrow (11AM-1PM).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday Night Music Options 7/24/07

What do you guys think of this creepy flyer my friend Stan did for the Let's Independent tonight?
Tivo Alert: The National on Letterman
Tonight's Pick:
Let’s Independent: Xu Xu Fang / In Waves / Signal Hill @ Boardner’s (Free) – Another solid lineup from Joe. Plus it’s free.
Also Appearing:
Tegan & Sara @ Amoeba (Free)
The Cribs / Sean Na Na @ Troubadour ($15)
Martin Rev @ Silverlake Lounge ($15) - He's also appearing at the Knitting Factory on Wednesday
Adeline @ Bordello ($8)
Dappled Cities / Eulogies @ the Echo ($7) – Dangerbird recording artists who got a nice review on Pitchfork (7.8/10). Dappled Cities is also appearing at the Troubadour on Wednesday
Chromeo / Flosstradamus @ Cinespace – For the indie dance crowd. Also at the Echo on Thursday.
Manic @ Cinespace – Manic is also doing the Monday night residency at the Echo in August.
The Faraway Places / The Blank Tapes @ Spaceland
The Phantom Family Halo @ the Smell ($5) - Also appearing at the 3 of Clubs on Wednesday

Monday, July 23, 2007

Weekly New Music Releases - 7/24/07

I haven't heard any of these releases, but I do plan on picking up the John Vanderslice.
Top Five Most Interesting New Releases:
Bishop Allen: The Broken String (Dead Oceans) – See them on 7/31 at the Echo. Download “Rain” and “Click Click Click Click
Prince: Planet Earth (Sony)
Sebadoh: The Freed Man (Domino) – The first album expanded to 52 tracks.
Tegan & Sara: The Con (Vapor/Sire) – See them at Amoeba on 7/24 and the Malibu Performing Arts Center on 7/26 and 7/27.
John Vanderslice: Emerald City (Barsuk) – See him at the Troubadour on 9/6. He performed the album live in his studio and he’s premiering a song each day on a different blog. See “Kookaburra” on Steregum. Download “White Dove

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Johnny Cash: The Great Lost Performance (Island) – Live show from 7/27/90 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park
Dalek: Deadverse Massive, Vol. 1 – Dalek Rarities 1999-2006 (Hydrahead)
The Eat: It’s Not the Eat, It’s the Humidity (Alternative Tentacles)
Garbage: Absolute Garbage (Almo Sounds)
The Lovemakers: Misery Loves Company (Fuzz) – At the Troubadour on 8/9.
Manic: Another New Home EP (Suretone) – Download “Carolina Ghost” At Cinespace on 7/24 and doing the Monday night residency at the Echo on August.
MF Doom: MM…Food (Rhymesayers) - Reissue
Portugal, The Man: Church Mouth (Fearless) – At the Troubadour on 7/26.
Robbers on High Street: Grand Animals (New Line) – At the Troubadour on 8/7.
Saturday Looks Good To Me: Cold Colors EP (Polyvinyl) – The indie poppers.
Silverchair: Young Modern (Independent Label Group) – The popular Ausssies. With orchestral arrangements from Van Dyke Parks. At the Wiltern on 11/20
Billy Bob Thornton: Beautiful Door (New Door) – The actor. At the El Rey on 8/4.
Tiny Vipers: Hands Across the Void (Sub Pop) – Female singer-songwriter. Download “On this Side” At Spaceland on 8/16.
UNKLE: War Stories (Surrender All)
Various Artists: Friday Night Lights TV Soundtrack (Adrenaline) – Featuring Spoon, the Killers, Outkast, Whiskeytown, Drive By Truckers, Iron & Wine/Calexico, Jose Gonzalez, Explosions in the Sky, Townes Van Zandt
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Is Is (Fontana)

Band Profile: The Nobility

In general I try to focus on information that a music fan in Los Angeles can use. So usually in the past I've always needed an LA-related excuse for a post. I tend to avoid the blogs that focus primarily on "breaking" new bands (you know the type... hey guys, check out [insert band name]. I've only heard these two songs, but I think they're great. And don't they look cool in their photo. Here are a couple of MP3s to download). But in the spirit of all those hyperbolic bloggers, here's a new band without any real LA connection.....
The Nobility [f/k/a Jetpack] are a Nashville based band with a new album, The Mezzanine, coming out on July 31st. When they were still Jetpack, they had a children's book written about them and toured libraries and grade schools across the US. Based on their photos, they look like they probably really enjoy Wes Anderson's films. I dug "Mathematics" from their first EP and thought they had a lot of potential. They realize that potential on their debut full length. The album's ambitious and nuanced, incorporating strings and horns on many of the tracks. The album starts off with two upbeat tracks "The Mezzanine" and "Halleluiah Chorus." At first you might wish all the tracks were as immediately catchy as "Halleluiah Chorus" but as you listen you begin to really appreciate the more subtle tracks. The lead singer's voice sounds a little bit like Eric Johnson from the Fruit Bats (which is another band I really like) while the band's energy reminds me a little bit of the Spinto Band.
The Nobility's band site
The Nobility's Myspace page
Download "Halleluiah Chorus"
Tour Dates (unfortunately no west coast dates at this time):
July 29, 2007 Murfreesboro, TNWMTS 88.3 FM 'Fascination Street' show 8-10 PM CST / Listen online at wmts.org
July 31, 2007 Nashville, TN Grimey's Records - Album Release Show 1604 8th Avenue South 6:00 PM
July 31, 2007 Nashville, TNWRVU 91.1 FM'Out the Other' show with Janet 8-10 PM CST / Listen online at wrvu.org
August 1, 2007 Richmond, VA The Camel 1621 W. Broad St.
August 2, 2007 Norfolk, VA The Boot 123 W. 21st St.
August 3, 2007 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Lanes 209 4th Ave.
August 4, 2007 Hamden, CT The Space 295 Treadwell St., Building H
August 5, 2007 Boston, MA Abbey Lounge 3 Beacon St.
August 6, 2007 New York, NY Piano's 158 Ludlow St.
August 7, 2007 Philadelphia, PA The Fire 412 West Girard Ave.
August 8, 2007 Dayton, OH The Nite Owl 430 E. 5th St.
August 17, 2007 Owensboro, KY Brother's Pizza 624 Emory Drive
August 18, 2007 St. Louis, MO Lemmons 5800 Gravois Ave.
August 23, 2007 Athens, GA Tasty World 312 East Broad St.
August 24, 2007 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits 1528 Hendricks Ave.
September 1, 2007 Shreveport, LA Lil Joe's 163 East Kings Highway

Monday Night Music Options 7/23/07

Slint Play the Fonda Tonight
Sonic Youth put on a great show at the Greek on Saturday night. They played Daydream Nation in its entirety and then Mark Ibold joined them on second bass for a five song encore, followed by a one song encore. I stood on Lee Ranaldo's side of the stage which gave me a great vantage point to see the guitar interplay between Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. Guitar sounds are everything to those guys. After each tune, Ranaldo handed off his guitar to the tech who retuned it. Ranaldo only ended up using about five or six of the 20 or so guitars at his disposal.
Tonight's Pick:
Slint / The Phantom Family Halo @ the Fonda ($23 / $33 after service charges) – Slint was one of my favorite bands in college. With its loud/quiet dynamics and lyrics that build from a whisper to a shout, their album Spiderland was extremely influential in the post-rock world. I saw them on their reunion tour in 2005 and they did not disappoint. I heard their recent show in New York was fantastic. Stream “Nosferatu Man
Also With Varying Degrees of Merit:
Division Day / The Health Club @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP) – Here’s a great opportunity to see all around good guys, Division Day on the west side.
Eskimohunter / The Coral Sea / Mezzanine Owls / Solare @ Spaceland (Free) – Noise pop. The next to last night of Eskimohunter’s month long residency.
5 O’Clock Somewhere / Aloha Mr. Hand @ the Echo (Free) – For the country fans. This is the next to last night of 5 O’Clock Somewhere’s month long residency.
Light FM / The Amateurs @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – More indie rock. The next to last night of Light FM’s month long residency.
Rush @ Hollywood Bowl ($45 - $127) – Some great tickets were just released.
Snow Patrol / Hot Hot Heat @ the Greek ($40 / $50 after svc charges) – Some really good seats were just got released.
Shelley Short / Charlie Wadhams @ Bordello ($8)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tickets On Sale This Weekend

These go on sale through Ticketmaster on Saturday:

Lily Allen @ House of Blues Anaheim 9/10
Lucinda Williams @ El Rey 9/5, 9/6, 9/8, 9/9, 9/10
Peter Bjorn & John / The Clientele @ Wiltern 9/17
No Age @ Troubadour on 8/23
Scorpions @ Gibson 9/15
Common @ Wiltern 9/6

This is on sale now:
Of Montreal @ Avalon 11/8

Top Five New Music Releases 7/17/07

I haven't heard any of this stuff yet.....

Top Five Most Interesting Releases:
The Cribs: Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever (Warner Bros.) - See them at Amoeba on Friday 7/20 and the Troubadour on 7/24.
The Knife: Silent Shout Deluxe Edition (Mute)
The Magic Numbers: Those the Brokes (Astralwerks) - See them at the El Rey on 8/14.
Meat Puppets: Rise to Your Knees (Anodyne)
Various Artists: Now-Again Re:Sounds Vol. 1 (Now-Again) - They're also releasing this as a box set of seven 7-inches which is pretty cool. Download Amnesty's "Trouble Will Remain"

Other Noteworthy Releases:
The Chemical Brothers: We Are the Night (Astralwerks) - At Nocturnal Wonderland (downtown LA) on 9/29.
Eastern Conference Champions: Ameritown (Suretone) – See them tonight at Silverlake Lounge or 7/30 at Safari Sam’s. Download ECC’s “The Box
Editors: An End Has a Start (Fader) - See them at the Wiltern on 9/24.
Raul Malo: After Hours (New Door) - A covers album (Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens)
Rooney: Calling the World (Geffen)
Mick Turner: Blues Trees (Drag City) - Hard to find singles from the Dirty Three guy (and Bonny Billy and Cat Power collaborator).

Johnny Cash @ the Muppets singing with Miss Piggy

Weekend Music Options 7/21/07 - 7/22/07

Le Switch Plays Le Pehrspace on Saturday Night

Saturday's Pick:
Black Kites / The Transmissions / Le Switch @ Pehrspace [325 Glendale Blvd – 2 Blocks South of Temple] – I just really enjoy watching Le Switch (f/k/a The Switch). Anybody catch them on Aquarium Drunkard’s show on Sirius today?
Also on Saturday:
Dave Gleason’s Wasted Days @ Amoeba (Free) – 2:00PM
Sonic Youth / DJ set from Dntel @ Urban Outfitters Santa Monica 3:00PM (Free) – Benefit for KXLU featuring a 30 minute set.
Daft Punk / Ratatat @ Sport Arena ($50) – For the dance rock crowd.
The Nightwatchman @ Troubadour
The Rentals / Goldenboy / Dead Sea Scrolls @ Spaceland ($20) – This is the next to last show in the month long residency.
Cool Britannia: Jamie Cullum @ Hollywood Bowl ($7-49) – Night two.

Sunday 7/22/07
Summer Camp: Surprise Guests / Spindrift / The Black Pine @ Little Radio ($10) – They’re not announcing the bands, but I think Joe let the cat out of the bag HERE. The other two bands have it listed on their Myspace pages.
Grand Ole Echo: The Cousin Lovers @ the Echo (Free) – The free Sunday afternoon weekly barbeque kicks off at 5:00PM. Chris Morris of Billboard is MC’ing this one.
Snow Patrol / Hot Hot Heat @ the Greek ($40) – The first of two nights.
Girls Against Boys @ El Rey ($20) – They were big when I was in college and I saw them a couple of times back then. Performing Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby in its entirety.
Qui @ Safari Sam’s ($7) – Intense rockers with David Yow now on vocals.
Hank Williams III @ the Roxy (Sold Out) – I’m a huge fan of his Grandpa. He’s not too shabby himself.
Part Time Punks: Magic Bullets @ the Echo ($5)

Friday Night Music - Sonic Youth

Tonight's Pick:
Sonic Youth / Redd Kross @ Greek Theatre ($40) – There are still pretty good tickets left to see Sonic Youth perform A Daydream Nation in its entirety. I’ve seen Sonic Youth about six or seven times, and it’s usually a mixed bag of greatness and wankery. At least tonight the set list will be really good. The record was recently reissued with a second disc of live versions and some tacked on cover songs. Redd Kross is a beloved LA band fronted by brothers Jeff and Steve. Tonight they’re playing Born Innocent, which was their first album (and one I’m not really familiar with).
Also Appearing:
Femi Kuti @ House of Blues ($27.50) – The son of Fela Kuti. I’ll confess that I haven’t delved into Afro-Beat at all.
The Bird and the Bee / Mike Andrews @ El Rey ($14) – For the Morning Becomes Eclectic crowd.
Pigeon John @ Troubadour ($14) – For the underground hip-hop fans.
Jonathan Rice / Whispertown 2000 / Everest (acoustic) @ the Echo ($14) – I know a lot of guys who are super jealous of Jonathan Rice. This is an early show, because Club Underground goes off at 10:00PM.
The High Society @ El Cid ($8) – Boogie rock.
Chris and Thomas @ McCabe’s ($10)
Cool Britannia: Jamie Cullum @ Hollywood Bowl ($7-49) – British jazz-pop piano player with a love of hip-hop. Congratulations to the winner of the tickets we gave away earlier this week.
Dave Gleason’s Wasted Days / Mike Stinson @ Cinema Bar (Free) – West Coast Country Rockers.
Club Underground: The Night Birds @ the Echo ($5)
The Dwarves @ Safari Sam’s ($17) – Big punk band in the 1980s.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options 7/19/07

The Deadly Syndrome Play the Troubadour Tonight

Another ridiculously packed night of live music in LA. Last night I went to the sold out Polyphonic Spree show at the El Rey. Tonight I will watch Deadwood on DVD. Tomorrow night I will see Sonic Youth.
Tonight's Pick:
Oh No! Oh My! / The Deadly Syndrome / Let’s Go Sailing @ Troubadour ($14) – I like all three of these bands. Oh No! Oh My! (Austin) and The Deadly Syndrome (LA) are energetic indie bands who are labelmates on Dim Mak. Download The Deadly Syndrome’s “Eucalyptus” and Oh No! Oh My’s “Party Punch” I’m looking forward to the Deadly Syndrome’s debut album The Ortolan out on September 11th. Let’s Go Sailing is a local band that’s been featured regularly on Grey’s Anatomy and recently toured with Elvis Perkins. Check her out on Myspace.
Also Appearing:
Jon Brion @ Largo – Maybe it won’t be quite so crowded on a Thursday. Yeah, right.
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals @ Wilshire Ebell Theatre (Sold Out) – I hear the new album’s good. Neal Casal who played with the Beachwood Sparks towards the end of their run is playing guitar with him.
Patrick Park / Whispertown 2000 @ Spaceland ($8) – The talented local singer-songwriter continues his Thursday night residency.
Shout Out Louds / Grand Ole Party @ El Rey ($15) – I liked these Swedes first indie pop record well enough.
HEALTH @ the Smell ($5) – Noisy, experimental Smell rock.
Har Mar Superstar / Rolan Bolan / Wounded Cougar @ Viper Room ($10) – You’ve got Har Mar Superstar (who’s a really nice guy by the way) with Fab from the Strokes (who’s a totally regular guy by the way) with Marc Bolan’s son and then a jokey band featuring a bunch of Beck’s backing band. Should be quite the scene.
Frankel / Western States Motel @ Tangier ($8)
Waxapples @ Knitting Factory Alterknit Lounge ($8) – John Doe’s a big fan.
Kenna / Carina Round @ Roxy ($13) – Filter Magazine’s promoting a new night on Thursdays at the Roxy. Check out the Roxy’s bloggish new site for the details.
Castledoor / Low vs. Diamond @ Hammer Museum (Free) – The free concert series continues at 8:00PM.
The Fray / Gomez @ Greek Theatre ($40.50) – Night two at the Greek.
Lion of Panjshir @ Bordello ($8)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 7/18/07

The Polyphonic Spree Play El Rey Tonight

Tonight's Pick:
The Polyphonic Spree / Jesca Hoop @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Dallas collective touring in support of The Fragile Army

Also Appearing:

50 Years of Stax: Isaac Hayes @ Hollywood Bowl ($6-43) - Should be a fun show.
Die Die Die / The Youngs @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) – Die! Die! Die! Continue their month long residency.
Lavender Diamond / Redcar / Emily Wells @ the Echo ($12) – Presented by Outfest.
Club NME: Suicide Club / Pink Enemy / Blackmarket @ Spaceland
The Prix @ El Cid – The Prix celebrate the release of their new EP and continue
The Fray / Gomez @ Greek Theatre ($40.50)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ticket Giveaway - Jamie Cullum @ Hollywood Bowl

I've got one pair of tickets to give away for the Jamie Cullum show at the Hollywood Bowl this Friday July 20th. (He's also appearing this Saturday, but I don't have free tickets for that show.) These are good tickets in Section K. I sat about the same distance back for the Decemberists and you can hear and see very well from that part of the Bowl.
Cullum's a British piano player with a reputation as a dynamic live performer. He's a big hip-hop fan and has appeared on albums by Handsome Boy Modeling School and Pharrell. He plays standards alongside covers by Doves, the White Stripes (using a stompbox), Kanye West (using a looping machine) and Radiohead.
The night's being billed as "Cool Brittania" with this description: "The suave James Bond, the witty Noël Coward and that shagadelic Austin Powers — the coolness of Britain invades the Hollywood Bowl. This time it's Bramwell Tovey and the LA Phil leading the way joined by the coolest of the cool — British jazz/pop sensation Jamie Cullum making his orchestral debut!"
If you want to win these tickets, email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me the best show you've ever seen at the Bowl. The deadline for the contest is Wednesday July 18th at Noon PST. If you've never been to the Bowl, tell me who you'd most like to see there. This is an official bowl event, so you can take in your own food and liquor.
New York Times' Review of His Live Show

Tuesday Night Music Options

Eastern Conference Champions Play the Silverlake Lounge Tonight

As usual, Spoon sounded really good last night at the Little Radio Warehouse. Man was it packed and hot. Some of the new songs came off just as dull live as they do on the record. Fortunately they played the hits during their encore.
Tonight's Action:
Adam Franklin / Black Lips @ the Echo ($10) – For fans of shoegaze. The former frontman for Swervedriver is touring in support of his new solo record. Download Franklin's "Seize the Day" The Black Lips just got added. They're going on at midnight.

Eastern Conference Champions / Vampire Weekend @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – This is the record release party for Eastern Conference Champions new record (out today). Download ECC’s “The Box” Vampire Weekend’s a group of New Yorkers with a bit of Paul Simon (afro-Paul Simon) influence.
Horses / Who Rides the Tiger / Gort @ the Scene – For fans of noise.
Crowded House @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Touring in support of their first new album in a long time.
Spoon / The Watson Twins @ Cinespace ($10) – You probably wanna get there early. I normally try to avoid clubs with a velvet rope, but knock yourself out.
The Lonely Years @ Bordello – Joe from the Switch also plays with these gals.
She’s Your Sister / Shiloe @ Spaceland ($5)
Raul Malo @ El Rey ($25) – Frontman for the Mavericks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Innaway "Tired of Waiting" 12"

As a vinyl freak, I try to support local labels and bands I like who release their stuff on vinyl. It's even better when it's limited edition and a lot of care goes into the packaging and pressing. I got my hands on this Innaway 12" a while ago and posting about it slipped my mind. It's got trippy artwork and it's on white/blue/yellow/green splatter vinyl that matches. You can listen to the A side, "Tired of Waiting," on Prime Directive's Myspace page. Only 500 of these were made, so pick one up while you can. If you're into spacey, psychedelic rock you'll dig it. Readers in San Diego can see them at the Casbah on Wednesday the 18th. Los Angeles readers will have to wait until September 6th.

Monday Music Options 7/16/07

Spoon Plays the Little Radio Warehouse Tonight

Quite a busy weekend. David Vandervelde put on a great show at Spaceland on Friday. While I think his album is great, it does come off a bit T. Rex obsessed. His live show is much more rocking. With just a bass player and drummer, he really impressed me. The guy's still so young; I expect great things from him in the future. Pitchfork flavor of the week, Blitzen Trapper were disappointing. Stylistically they jump from one genre to another without any discernible identity. I enjoyed the jammier sounding tracks and was irritated with the more yelp-y/indie tracks. The world really doesn't need another yelp-y indie band. These guys have already been a band for seven years, but maybe with the right producer they could come up with something a little less jarring and more interesting. I also saw that Harry Nilsson documentary. Very interesting and quite sad. I recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

Tonight's Pick:
Spoon / John Vanderslice @ Little Radio (Sold Out) – Spoon’s one of my favorite contemporary bands, and this is about the smallest venue you’ll see them at outside of Austin. The new record came out last Tuesday and is worth picking up. John Vanderslice is a huge bonus. I’ve always wanted to see him. If you won't be attending in person, be sure to tune in on the internet to Little Radio starting at 9:00PM PST.

Also Appearing:
Eskimohunter / Christopher Blue / Minutes ‘Til Midnight / Evan Slamka (of Marjorie Fair) @ Spaceland (Free) – The noise pop band continues its Monday night residency.
5 O’Clock Somewhere / Thee LA Gentleman Callers @ the Echo (Free) – The good time country band continues its Monday night residency.
Light FM / Tigers Can Bite You / Yes Me to Death @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – The indie rockers continue their Monday night residency.
High Society @ the Scene
Anavan @ the Smell ($5)
Happy Hollows / Hearts of Palm UK / Thailand / Good on Paper @ Viper Room
Rooney / Hello Stranger @ Roxy – Record Release Party
Vampire Weekend / Grand Ole Party / Delta Spirit @ Troubadour ($5)
Ferraby Lionheart @ Tangier ($5) – Talented local singer-songwriter who I have yet to see live. I recently got his EP and its quite good. New album out on Nettwerk records on 9/4.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Five Most Interesting New Releases on 7/10/07

Good news - I'm now pretty much caught up with these weekly updates. Lots of good stuff this past week....

Five Most Interesting New Releases:

Nick Drake: Family Tree (Tsunami) - I'm a huge fan of his three proper solo records. If you like melancholy singer-songwriters, I'm sure you are too. This collection includes 28 tracks that pre-date his first album. Recommended for hardcore fans/completists. Download a "Family Tree" podcast.

Interpol: Our Love to Admire (Capitol) - See them at the Forum on 10/23. As often happens with major label debuts, the mainstream press seems to like it more than the indie press. I was a fan of the first album, but never really got into their second one.

Jason Isbell: Sirens of the Ditch (New West) - Former Drive-By Truckers guitarist. Critics are digging it, comparing him to artists as diverse as Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, John Hiatt, and Richard Buckner. See him at the Troubadour on 8/6. Recommended for fans of the genre. Letter Grade: B-

Patton Oswalt: Werewolves and Lollipops (Sub Pop) - Those of us who have seen him countless times at Largo, are already fans of his nerdy comedy. He's making some serious coin right now with his voicework in Ratatouille. With DVD. Download "Dukes of Hazzard"

Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) - This isn't my favorite Spoon album (in fact it might be my fourth favorite) but that still makes it better than most stuff that will come out this year. Critics are mostly loving it. I don't like the Jon Brion produced track at all, but there are three or four classics. See them at Little Radio on Monday 7/16 and the Fonda on 9/10 and 9/11. Recommended. Letter Grade: B

Other Noteworthy New Releases:

Bad Religion: New Maps of Hell (Epitaph) - Veteran local punks. I was a fan back in high school/early college. See them at the Home Depot center on 8/25.

Boat: Let's Drag Our Feet (Magic Marker) - Seattle indie rockers.

Crowded House: Time on Earth (ATO Records) - The Aussies first record since 1993. It's getting some pretty good reviews. See them at the Greek on 8/28.

Roky Erickson: You're Gonna Miss Me soundtrack (Palm) - The soundtrack to the documentary about the 13 Floor Elevators frontman who had major mental health issues. He's recently hit the road again. The documentary's supposed to be quite good too. It came out on DVD this week as well. See him at the El Rey on 10/28.

Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta (Side One Dummy) - See them at the Fonda on 8/28. Gypsy punks.

The Gourds: Noble Creatures (Yep Roc) - People in Austin are mad for these alt-country guys.

The Icarus Line: Black Line at the Golden Coast (Dim Mak) - See them at the El Rey on 8/3.

Justice: "Cross" [the symbol] (Vice) - French duo for the indie dance fans. It's getting very positive reviews.

Christian Kiefer
: Dogs & Donkeys (Undertow) - Mellow folk singer. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low make guest appearances as do Nels Cline and Garth Hudson.

Fionn Regan: The End of History (Lost Highway) - See him at the Hotel Cafe on 8/7. Singer-songwriter gets compared to Nick Drake and Damien Rice.

Kim Richey
: Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) - Successful Nashville based country songwriter.

Chris & Rich Robinson: Brothers of a Feather - Live at the Roxy (Eagle) - For the Black Crowes fans.

Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist (Reprise) - Billy and Jimmy. No James or Darcy. It's not getting very good reviews. I liked their first two albums at the time, but the tracks I've heard off this one are just way too much.

Stephen Stills
: Just Roll Tape - 4/26/68 (Rhino) - Just him in a studio back in 1968. Includes stripped down early versions of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and "Wooden Ships"

St. Vincent: Marry Me (Beggars Banquet) - Annie Clark has gotten a lot of blogger love. She's toured as part of Sufjan Stevens band and the Polyphonic Spree. See her at the Echo on 8/4. Recommended for fans of female singer-songwriters like Mia Doi Todd. It's very produced with layers of hand claps, electro glitches, dramatic strings and overdubbed, self harmonizing.

They Might Be Giants: The Else (Idlewild/Zoe) - OG nerd rockers team up with the Dust Brothers. See them at the Avalon on 10/3. This one's getting mixed reviews.

M. Ward: Duet for Guitars 2 (Merge) - His first album remastered with bonus tracks.

The Monkees: Headquarters (Rhino) - Deluxe 2 CD edition. These two reissues are from the period when they started to be a real band and before they started to get really weird. I recommend checking them out.

The Monkees: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones (Rhino) - Deluxe 2 CD edition. They were the first to record a Harry Nilsson song ("Cuddly Toy"). Also has some songs with early use of the Moog and some classic Mike Nesmith tunes.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Weekend Music Options 7/14/07 - 7/15/07

Saturday 7/14/07
Film Screening: Harry Nilsson Documentary @ Egyptian Theatre ($10) - Harry Nilsson's great. Last time this documentary played in LA it sold out. Part of the Mods & Rockers Film Fest.

Howlin’ Rain / The Moon Upstairs / Citay / Restaurant @ Echo ($10) - The Aquarium Drunkard presents this show. He was giving away tix too, go to his site to check it out.
Persephone’s Bees / Something for Rockets @ Troubadour ($10 adv / $12 dos)
The Rentals / Goldenboy @ Spaceland ($20) - I saw a bit of their set last weekend. Matt Sharp's like Tom Kenny's doppelganger. Good high energy fun and cute girls in the band too.

Sunday 7/15/07
Spencer Davis / Stephen Bishop / The Records @ Egyptian Theatre 2:00PM (Free) - Part of the Mods & Rockers fest.
Little Radio Summer Camp: Wiskey Biscuit / Happy Hollows / Good On Paper @ Little Radio ($10)
Get Him Eat Him @ Knitting Factory ($8)
Part Time Punks: The Secret Society of the Sonic Six @ the Echo ($5)
Grand Ol’ Echo: I See Hawks in LA @ the Echo (Free) – 5:00 PM
Christopher Blue @ Tangier ($8)
Fugazi Tribute @ Spaceland
The Pinker Tones @ California Plaza

Friday Night Music Options 7/13/07

David Vandervelde Plays Spaceland Tonight

Dr. Dog sounded great at the Echo last night. They play rambunctious rock with great melodies and they harmonize so well together. Plus they look like they're having a great time on stage.
Tivo Alert: Dr. Dog on Craig Ferguson
Tonight's Pick:
David Vandervelde / Blitzen Trapper / Nico Stai @ Spaceland ($8) – This is a great show for $8. Vandervelde is a Marc Bolan influenced singer from Chicago. (He also lists the Bee Gees, Emitt Rhodes and George Harrison as influences on Myspace). Earlier this week he made my list of best albums of the 2007 (so far). Download “Nothin’ No” and “Jacket” Thanks to Pitchfork, Blitzen Trapper has a lot of heat behind them right now. They’re from Portland and just signed to Sub Pop. If you read this Guest List you might think less of them. It’s a little bit grooving along the lines of the Grateful Dead and/or the Band.
Other Interesting Things:
Os Mutantes / Busdriver @ El Rey ($35) – Brazilian legends.
The 88 / Satisfaction @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Local power-poppers.
Icarus Line @ El Cid ($8) – Local band hitting the road with the Lemonheads soon.
Thee LA Gentleman Callers @ the Scene
Stephen Sills @ House of Blues ($32.50-$57) – Neil Young’s buddy. Member of Buffalo Springfield, CSN, CSNY and solo artist (the first couple of solo records are well worth picking up).
Tex & the Horseheads / Mike Watt @ Safari Sam’s ($10)
Health Club @ Mr. T’s
Club Underground: Lemon Sun @ the Echo ($5)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spoon / John Vanderslice @ Little Radio

If I wasn't so behind, you'd know that Spoon released their new album this week. With the exception of the Jon Brion produced song, I like it. They're last few records have all shown up on my year end best of lists. Anyway, they're playing with John Vanderslice at Little Radio this Monday. Check Little Radio's website tomorrow at 10:00AM to buy tickets. They're $15 but include free Dewar's.

Thursday Night Music Options - 7/12/07

Dr. Dog Play the Echo Tonight

Tonight's one of those nights where I'd like to be in three or four places at once....
Tonight's Pick:
Dr. Dog / Delta Spirit / The Teeth @ the Echo ($12) – I’m loving Dr. Dog right now, so I’m really looking forward to this show. Sylvia even took off work to see them. Aaron from the Switch told me their recent show at the Troubadour was the best show he’s seen in years. They’re well versed in the Beatles and Beach Boys. Download “Ain’t It Strange” and “Worst Trip
Also Recommended:
Everest / Two Sheds / Chairlift / Jackpot @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – If I wasn’t going to Dr. Dog I’d be at this show. Everest are the (newest) local band that I’m most excited about seeing. Their kind of like a local super group with: Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Joel Graves, Rob Douglas and Davey Latter. The songs on their Myspace page sound great - along the lines of Neil Young and the new Wilco. They’ll be holed up in the studio with producer Mike Terry for most of August and then hopefully out to play more shows.
The Switch / The Sharp Things @ the Mint ($7) – The Sharp Things are a Brooklyn based band that will have a 12-piece band with strings and horns. The Switch is one of my favorite local bands at the moment. Tonight they’re doing a rare acoustic show and might throw in some covers.
The Little Ones / The Pity Party @ Hammer Museum (Free) – The Little Ones put out my favorite local release last year. The Pity Party are a local band that recently exploded on the scene and have already toured with the Raveonettes.
Patrick Park / Emma Burgess @ Spaceland ($8) – The talented local singer-songwriter continues his residency. I enjoyed myself last week at the show.
Rocky Votalato / Langhorne Slim @ Troubadour ($12) – Presented by our friend the Aquarium Drunkard. Download Votalato’s “Postcard from Kentucky
The Front / The Monolators / The Transmissions / Wait Think Fast @ the Scene – Our friend the Rock Inside is presenting this show tonight.
Low End Theory: Daedelus @ Echoplex ($10)

Dengue Fever Film Screening Tonight

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Best of 2007 (So Far)

Now that I've updated my new release posts through the first half of 2007, I can recap my favorite releases of the year.

Tune into Sinking With Sylvia on Little Radio Thursday morning from 11AM - 1PM Pacific Standard Time. I'm too busy with work, but she'll be playing a bunch of my favorite tracks off of these records.

Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) – These guys rarely disappoint. My favorite noise pop band for the past 10 years or so. Letter grade A-. They're a great live band too. See them at the Sunset Junction on 8/18.

Wilco: Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) - When it came out, I gave it a letter grade of A-. If you're a longtime Wilco fan, there's absolutely no reason not to like it. See them at the Greek on 8/29.

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) – When it came out I gave it a letter grade of A-. I recommend not reading anything about them. WIn Butler's becoming the Michael Stipe (read: self important and humorless) of the 00s. The album works best when listened to in its entirety. See them at the Bowl on 9/20.

The Shins: Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop) – A consistently great band. Just because your mom likes them now doesn't mean you have to turn your back on them. Download “Phantom Limb” Letter Grade: A-

Peter Bjorn and John: Writer’s Block (Almost Gold) – Believe it or not, this was released domestically in 2007. A lot of you guys probably had it on your list last year. We're all way burnt out on "Young Folks" but that's not the only great song. I stand by my letter grade of A-. Not a great live band, but still worth seeing at the Fonda on 7/31.

Dr. Dog: We All Belong (Park the Van Records) – I wasn't familiar with these guys when it came out. They're one of those bands that musicians really respect and snobs like PItchfork and Stylus dismiss. Just great Beatles-esque pop. Letter grade: A-. See them at the Echo on 7/12.

A Band of Bees: Octopus (Astralwerks) - I gave this one a letter grade of B+ when it came out. They're so eclectic. If you're into spotting references in music, you can have fun with these guys because they're students of music history.

Richard Swift: Dressed Up for the Letdown (Secretly Canadian) – I didn't rate this one at the time, because I wasn't too familiar with him. He's definitely got an early solo McCartney vibe which I fully appreciate. Letter grade B+. See him opening for Wilco at the Greek on 8/29. Download “Kisses for the Misses

The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) – I didn't rate this one when it came out, but I'd give it a B+ today. Kind of like a weird combination of Low and My Morning Jacket. They were great when I saw them at the Echo. Download “And You Lied to Me

The Earlies: The Enemy Chorus (Secretly Canadian) – It's the political record of the year. Great headphone music too. Download “No Love In Your Heart” Letter Grade: B+. I wish they'd play the States.

The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge) – One of my favorite local bands and great guys too. If you like power pop at all, pick this one up. Letter Grade: B+. They've toured with the Walkmen, Fountains of Wayne and the National and they're playing the Monollith and Austin City Limits fest in September.

David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian) – I heard he was just a Marc Bolan ripoff artist, so I didn't rate it at the time. I'm glad I gave it another shot, because while he does like Bolan, he's really good in his own right. Letter grade B+. See him at Spaceland this Friday 7/13. Download “Jacket

Menomena: Friend and Foe (Barsuk) – I didn't rate this one at the time either. Really good, and experimental but accesible. They're ambitious and will probably keep popping out better and better records. Letter grade B+. Download “Wet and Rusting

Voxtrot: Voxtrot (Beggars/PlayLouder) – They're EPs were just so dam good that everybody was disappointed with this one. But I just keep listening to it. Letter Grade: B

Just missed: Dungen: Tio Bitar; The Minor Canon: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished; Low: Drums & Guns; Albert Hammond Jr.: Yours to Keep; The Clientele: God Save the Clientele; El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead

Stuff that finally saw daylight that's worth picking up:
Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall (Reprise) – This is a great live show with Neil at his peak period creatively. Letter Grade: A-

Elliott Smith: New Moon (Kill Rock Stars) – It's really hard for me to listen to the guy anymore, but this is some great material from his peak period. Download “High Times” Letter grade: B+

Wednesday Night Music Options 7/11/07

Flight of the Conchords @ El Rey Tonight

Tivo Alert: Spoon on Letterman; Art Brut on Conan
Tonight's Options:
Flight of the Conchords @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Judging by Craigslist, you’re going to have to pay about $150 for these tickets if you want to go. Are you guys watching the HBO show? It’s funny. That bit where they were describing Jemaine and they said: “Kinda talks in a monotone, sounds like a robot?" That hit a little bit too close to home for me.
Die! Die! Die! / Valley Arena / HEALTH / Ninja Academy @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Club NME: The Health Club @ Spaceland
Charlie Wadhams @ Bordello ($8) - Mellow country-infused tunes.
The Prix @ El Cid – The retro-minded pals of Emitt Rhodes continue their residency. Their new EP has a lot of drug referencing 60s influence on it.
Chris Cornell @ Wiltern ($40-45) – The former Soundgarden frontman.

Buzzcocks @ Spaceland on 8/17

When: Friday August 17, 2007
Where: Spaceland
How: Tickets on sale today at noon for Spaceland's email subscribers HERE; on sale to general public on Saturday.
Why: For my money, the Buzzcocks are one of the best punk bands of the late 1970s. No serious rock music collection is complete without Singles Going Steady.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Release Tuesday 6/26/07

Greasy hair. Check. Leather Jacket. Check. Cigarette. Check. Calculator Watch. Check

I'm slowly catching up.....
Top Five Most Interesting Releases on 6/26/07:
Ryan Adams: Easy Tiger (Lost Highway) – I still love his first solo record. Critics are calling his ninth album a return to form. Download “Two” and “Everybody Knows” He plays a sold out show at the Wilshire Ebell on 7/19.
Beastie Boys: Mix-Up (Capitol) – All new instrumental material. Paul’s Boutique is still my favorite hip-hop album of all time. They play the Greek Theatre on 8/19 and 8/20. Mostly pretty weak reviews.
Frank Black: The Best of Frank Black ’93-’03 (Cooking Vinyl) – I really like most of his solo material from the early post-Pixies days. This is a good starting point if you’re unfamiliar.
Adam Franklin: Bolts of Melody (Hi-Speed Soul) – The former Swervedriver frontman. Download “Seize the Day” and “Syd’s Eyes” Appearing at the Echo on 7/17.
Jonathan Wilson: Frankie Ray (Koch) – The Laurel Canyon resident used to be in Muscadine and currently hosts a weekly jam session at his house with buddies Chris Robinson, Jenny Lewis, Farmer Dave and others.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Bad Brains: Build a Nation (Megaforce) – Adam Yauch produced their first album in 12 years.
Nels Cline Singers: Draw Breath (Cryptogramophone)
Bryan Ferry: Dylanesque (Virgin) – Ferry covers 11 Dylan tunes.
Nick Lowe: At My Age (Yep Roc)
Metric: Grow Up and Blow Away (Last Gang) – This was originally recorded in 2001, so the band doesn’t seem to be promoting it much. They’ve probably moved on.
The Sharp Things: A Moveable Feast (Bar/None) – See them at the Mint on 7/12.

Top Five Most Interesting Releases 6/19/07

For those of you who never made it to Sea Level - Art Brut was there
I know this is way late, but in the interest of completenesss (and hopefully turning you onto things you might have missed)...

Top Five Most Interesting Releases:
Art Brut: It's a Bit Complicated (Downtown) - The second record from the cheeky Brits who critics love. Lead singer Eddie Argos is an average dude who talk/sings about making mixing tapes, making out and having fun. If you've had it with overly earnest bands liked Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol then you need to give this a listen.
Arthur & Yu: In Camera (Hardly Art) - New Seattle duo from the Sub Pop offshoot, Hardly Art. The press release compares them to Velvet Underground and Lee Hazlewood. Download "Come To View (Song for Neil Young)"

Fridge: The Sun (Temporary Residence) - You might be more familiar with Four Tet and Adem than Fridge. But Fridge is where Kieran Hebden and Adem Ilhan got their start. Pitchfork and Stylus found it a bit disappointing. If you like post-rock you should give it a listen. Download "Eyelids"

The Polyphonic Spree: The Fragile Army (Good) - The real music snobs like Pitchfork and Stylus don't like the Dallas collective's new record, but the Village Voice and All Music Guide do. I still haven't heard it. They're fun to see live, which you can do on 7/18 at the Fonda (although it's now sold out).

The White Stripes: Icky Thump (Warner Bros.) - I like their second and third albums, but I still haven't heard this new one. See them live at the Forum on 9/19.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Bumps: Bumps (Stones Throw) - Break beat record featuring John McEntire, John Herndon and Dan Bitney from Tortoise.

Chromeo: Fancy Footwork (Vice) - Montreal duo for the indie dance crowd. Live at Cinespace on 7/24 and the Echo on 7/26.

Robert Forster & Grant McLennan: Intermission - The Best of the Solo Recordings 1990-1997 (Beggars Banquet) - The Go-Betweens co-frontmen release the best of their solo stuff. Remember when the writers of 24 named that defense contractor after them? That was cool.

Micah P. Hinson: Presents a Dream of Her EP (Houston Party) - The guy posted a letter to the love of his life for parading around the world with a "dirty, bitch whore" who was apparently not his girlfriend.

Jaylib: Champion Sound (Stones Throw) - Dilla and Madlib reissue with bonus tracks.

Jennifer Gentle: The Midnight Room (Sub Pop) - Second album from the Italian psych-pop band. Download "Electric Princess" Live at the 6th Street Warehouse on 8/14.

Lightning Dust: Lightning Dust (Jagjaguwar) - Black Mountain offshoot. Download "Listened On"

The Lovetones: Axiom (Tee Pee) - Aussies.

Maps: We Can Create (Mute) - British noise pop.
Minus Story: My Ion Truss (Jagjaguwar) - Lawrence, KS band. From the press release: "The result is an epic & anthemic cross between Pearl Jam, Queen, Brian Eno, and Roxy Music." Download "Stich Me Up"

The Mooney Suzuki: Have Mercy (Elixia) - Entertainment Weekly gave it a good review. The fourth album from the former garage rockers.

Maserati: Inventions for the New Season (Temporary Residence) - Instrumental prog-punk. Looking for an LA date in September if you're a booking agent who happens to be reading this. Download "The World Outside"

Savath + Savalas: Golden Pollen (Anti) - Prefuse 73 side project. At the El Rey on 10/10.

Tomahawk: Anonymous (Ipecac) - Duane Denison from the Jesus Lizard with Mike Patton and John Stanier from Battles.

Two Gallants: The Scenery of Farewell (Saddle Creek)

Various Artists: Chrome Children 2 (Stones Throw) - 2nd installment of the Stones Throw / Adult Swim collaboration.

Von Sudenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino) - Mark E. Smith of the Fall with two of the Mouse on Mars guys.

Rocky Votolato: The Brag and Cuss (Barsuk) - At the Troubadour on 7/12. Download "Postcard from Kentucky"
Bobb Bruno with Fiona Apple
Tuesday Action (7/10/07):
Tivo Alert: Interpol on Letterman
Book Release Party for Travis Millard @ Jeff Electric [7-10 PM] – 3022 Sunset Blvd. – You might know him from the bathrooms at the Little Joy in LA or the Tap Room in Lawrence, KS or the covers of the Get Up Kids records or the shoes he designed for Vans or the stuff he did at Volcom or any of his other kickass drawings.
Bobb Bruno / Bad Dudes @ Pehrspace ($5) – Bobb Bruno’s a talented musician who’s always up to cool stuff. He used to play with the For Carnation (Brian McMahan’s band after Slint). He currently plays with Imaad Wasif. He just finished touring Europe with Carla Bozulich which means he opened for Wilco in cities like Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. Plus when he plays solo he usually wears a bunny suit.
Also Appearing:
Brett Dennen @ the Fonda ($18)
Klaxons @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Motion City Soundtrack @ Roxy (Sold Out)
photo by: Ellen Tunney