Day 2 of my top 10 lists from special guests is from Malcolm (Rademacher) Sosa. You can order Rademacher's new LP, Stunts, directly from the band. They'll be playing a record release show at the Echo on 12/21.
Top Ten LA Bands that won over my heart with an awesome live show in 2007
I play a lot of shows and I book a lot of shows (in Fresno) and sometimes I just go to shows for fun. I like shows. In the month of November I saw over 60 bands perform. IN NOVEMBER. I think that is a lot. Probably several hundred over the course of the year and I can think of about 50 LA bands I've seen live this year. Most more than once. That is why I wrote this.
1. Henry Clay People (Fresno -- Tokyo Garden, November 24th) - Probably the best live show I've seen in forever. I saw them once in dresses at All Star Lanes, which was good, but the second time I saw them in my hometown of Fresno! Ohhh boy. Both times involved a lot of fierce gesticulations and convulsions and some falling down. Sheer awesomeness. Joey hi-fived everybody in the place. their tune, "Elly vs the Eczema Princess," is available for free download on their myspace.
2. Light FM (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, December 7th) - We've done a bunch of shows with these kids and I have to say that I think there is no better rhythm section in rock n' roll right now than Harry Trumfio (drums) and Brian Barbier (bass). When someone asked me to think of a better one the other night when I saw them play at Spaceland, the only for sure answer that made sense was "The Who". Powerful pop.
3. Correatown (Fresno -- Tokyo Garden, November 8th) - I have only seen Correatown once. She came and played a show with us in Fresno, CA and it was a very eclectic bill: hip-hop, rock and then her, without a band, playing her singer-songwriter sort of set. And though the general carousing taking place in the room started off like 10 decibels louder than the her voice over the PA, she managed to ease the crowd into a silence and made people cry and drink. Great voice and great presence and an absolute gem.
4. Radars to the Sky (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, August 4th) - They invited us to play a weekend show at Spaceland some months ago (which is a quick way to any musician's heart) -- and it was one of the best damn rock shows I've ever seen. There was a horn section and a recently not-pregnant keyboard player rocking and the best part: at the end of the set, their guitar player Seamus absolutely mangled his guitar onstage and spent 5 minutes playing feedback with a set of six strings and a shattered neck. I am convinced he could make lincoln logs and yarn sound great.
5. Silversun Pickups (Portland, OR -- Crystal Ballroom, April 14th) - I saw them in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom last summer -- and I had seen them before in LA and even played a show with them once in Sacramento -- but this time seemed completely different and surreal. The show was sold out. The crowd was tightly packed. The 16 year old girl in front of me was CRYING before the set even started. They came out onstage and shot through an amazing set laced with their hits and some of the stuff from their old EPs. It was the first time I witnessed a a group of LA musicians decimate an audience that large in a place other than Los Angeles. I just left thinking, "These guys are sooo ROCK STARS!", and hummed "Lazy Eye" to myself the whole flight home.
6. Le Switch (Los Angeles -- Boardners, May 22nd) - We played a show with them at Boardner's back when they used to be called "THE Switch" and I hadn't heard them yet, but I saw they had a trumpet player, and I had a terrible fear that they would be a ska throwback band. I hadn't (and still haven't) heard a ska throwback band yet, but I know they (ska bands) are coming. So I was worried. But I stopped worrying and just sang a long with everyone else once they started. If anything, they remind me a little of Quasi. Who are my favorite band ever.
7. Earlimart Duo (Los Angeles -- Spaceland, November 18th) - I know these guys pretty well and I love their new record. Especially Arianna's song "Happy Alone". And I saw them play two or three times in 2007, and all of them were good, but their show with us at Spaceland where they did their duo thing made me so absolutely proud of them. It was just a simple, sparse set full of great songs and tiny moments and things you couldn't put your finger on. Goosebumps and deja vu at the same time.
8. The Monolators (LA/Fresno -- Que Sera / Tokyo Garden , 9/15 or 11/29) - I saw the Monolators twice in '07. Once in Long Beach and once in Fresno. I was freaking out at the latter show, as was the rest of the audience. They took a dull night and a dull crowd in a dull town and made it into something exciting and fun and once-in-a-lifetime. The show in LBC was remarkable as well, but mostly because Eli took the biggest onstage fall I have ever seen (we're talking from standing on the drum kit, tumbling down an amp, across the floor and into a tangle of mic cables -- and let's not forget that Eli is a very tall guy) and continued to play right on through the tune. Despite his gameface, I imagined it hurt, but now I know that if the gods of rock are on anyone's side, they are for damn sure on Eli Chartkoff's.
9. The Pity Party (Los Angeles -- Silverlake Lounge, 1/8) - At the beginning of the year I saw Pity Party perform at the first night of their residency at the Silverlake Lounge. There was a huge crowd and bright faces and they worked their asses off onstage. It was the first LA show of '07 for me, and they got things off to a great start.
10. Mezzanine Owls (San Francisco -- Make Out Room, 8/12) - The hardest part about picking out the coolest shows of '07 is remembering all of them. I'll admit I had to do a bit of research to come up with Number 10 Mostly because the Mezzanine Owls are one of the hardest drinking bands I know... and they made me drink hard at this show (at least that's how I foggily recollect it). We played a couple other dates during the year, but my favorite show of theirs was the date they headlined at the Makeout Room. That's where I first became intoxicated with their music as well as ... uhm, alcohol. We'll always have the Mission District, Mezz Owls.