Monday, April 30, 2007

Bill's Guest Review - Coachella Saturday

Since I didn't have the will to attend Coachella this year, here's a guest review from my friend Bill. He's got good taste in music (loving the hip-hop, indie rock but probably digging upbeat music a little more than I). Bill went on Saturday, saw quite a few of the same bands I wanted to see (with a few exceptions of course).......

First thing I did was drink a water and have a slice of pizza.

Fields - I really enjoyed their set of poppy rock with nice harmonies. The male /female lead voices worked really well together. It was a nice way to start the day I may buy their new record.

Pharaoh Monch - I had fun with him, he did the three songs by him I know and a few others. We raised our fingers at the war and all all agreed that the only thing that can beat hate is love.

Fountains of Wayne - I liked their set a lot. Of course I am a staunch supporter of this band and I don't understand why no one else likes them. I thought they picked great songs to play, except maybe one too many from the new record. Also I thought the mix was too loud, but I was close. And no, they did not do "Stacey's Mom."

Lunch!

Roky Erickson - Blues infused rock. Saw a few songs - Rockin!

Jack's Mannequin - I saw the end of this set. He did a cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl." The band was tight, the lead singer plays piano. They were quite enjoyable.

Hot Chip - I saw the end of this set as well. I want to hear their record. People were dancin' up a storm. They were fun.

Peter, Bjorn & John - They were very good. They played most of Writer's Block, with a couple of older songs and the audience clapped appropriately. The woman who sings the girl part of "Young Folks" came out for that song [ed note: apparently this was actually Bebban Stenborg of the Shout Out Louds, not Victoria Bergsman who sings on the record]. After which most people left. But they rocked harder than I expected. Although all the lyrics are in English - when they talked to the audience it did not feel that it was their first language [ed note: they're Swedes, English is not their first language, but they're fluent]. I would love to see them again.

MORE FOOD!

Decemberists - I saw the end of their set as well. And it was good. Who knew I knew a song they did. Well I do. And they played it! I liked them. I will buy their record. There were some silly hippies dancing at this set.

Arcade Fire - Simply excellent. It is up there with the sets by The Pixies and QOTSA as the best sets I have seen at Coachella. They played everything I wanted to hear and I danced like a fool. (One of the benefits of going alone is that you can dance like an idiot and provide stories for those around you.) The quote from the lead singer “Thank you for your good manners, manners are the cornerstone to any great society” (weird eh – that’s approx what he said.) I will see them again!

Blonde Redhead - I saw the last 30 min of this set. I was amazed at so much sound coming from 3 people. But then I noticed the drummer had a trigger pad. The girl lead singer looks hot from a distance standing in moody lighting and fog. I have no idea if she really is. But I liked what I heard considering I didn't know them.

The Gotan Project - 10 well dressed individuals playing dance/world beat music. I enjoyed them. And would very much enjoy dancing to them with my girlfriend. 2 DJ/computer guys - 4 ladies in the string section, a piano player, a acordian player a singer, and a guitarist. Also fun video projections. A great (cut short) live show. They got started late and got kicked off because The Good The Bad And the Queen were coming on.

Cornelius - Crazy Japanese pop. 4 peeps on stage, cool visuals and I didn't understand a word. I saw a few songs then headed for the car. I liked it and would like to get a record by them. I would have watched more but it was getting late and I had been there for 12 hours. A great day.

Bill

Monday Night Music Action 4/30/07

Cornelius Plays El Rey Tonight
I’m sore and exhausted. Unfortunately it’s not from Coachella (for the most extensive coverage check out the LA Times Buzz Bands blog), but from moving. I don’t recommend accumulating roughly 1,500 CDs, 800 LPs, 100 books and 100 DVDs.

Tivo Alert: Dinosaur Jr. on Letterman; Arctic Monkeys on Conan; Replays of the Silversun Pickups on both Kimmel and Carson Daly

Tonight's Pick:
Cornelius / Holy Fuck @ El Rey ($21.50) – Cornelius is the stage name of a very talented Japanese musician/producer named Keigo Oyamada. His album, Fantasma was a favorite of mine when it came out in 1997. Since then he seems less interested in writing songs and more interested in creating sonic palettes. He’s been pretty great the few times I’ve seen him. Anybody catch him at Coachella this weekend?
Where I'll Actually Be:
The Minor Canon / Liam Finn / The Films @ Spaceland (Free) – This is the last night of Minor Canon’s residency and Spaceland Recordings will be recording this one for release on CD (and possibly DVD). It’s always cool to have a high quality recording of a show you witnessed. As I’ve mentioned before, the Minor Canon put out one of my favorite releases of the year so far. Give these guys a listen. Liam Finn plays tonight (not last week as I reported – sorry I got my info from the club’s website). Finn is Neil Finn’s son. Crowded House was in town for Coachella, you think there’s any chance pop will swing by Spaceland? I honestly have no idea, but that might be cool. His uncle is obviously Tim Finn (founder of Split Enz and later a member of Crowded House) who is playing shows at Largo on Tuesday and Thursday.
Also Recommended:
Andrew Bird @ Amoeba 7:00 PM (Free)
Mere Mortals / The Clean Prophets @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – The Clean Prophets put out one of my favorite records last year and just played our blog night. They sounded great. If you haven’t seen these guys, I strongly urge you to check them out.
The Black Pine / The Pity Party / Eagle and Talon / Minutes ‘Til Midnight @ The Echo (Free)
Not so much for me:
Pase Rock / Steve Aoki @ EchoPlex ($10) – For the indie dance crowd.
My Brightest Diamond / Pedestrian @ The Troubadour ($12) – My Brightest Diamond are labelmates of Sufjan Stevens
Nas @ House of Blues (Sold Out) – One of the most respected dudes in hip-hop.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Release Tuesday 4/24/07

This is way late, but better late than never. Things have been crazy this week. Lots of noteworthy new releases. I've got about 10 of these already, but there are a few more I need to pick up. By the way, Matador recently reissued the first three Pavement albums on LP.

Top Five New Releases:
All Smiles: Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird) – Former LA resident, Jim Fairechild was the guitarist in Grandaddy (and Earlimart for a bit too). He does the indie singer-songwriter thing on this new album. He and his band are touring in support of Menomena soon (by the way, that Menomena record is really good). See them at the Troubadour on 6/12. Download “Moth In a Cloud of Smoke
Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino) – Their first album holds the record in Britain as the fastest selling British debut ever. They’re not all that (at least in my opinion) but they’re better than most overly-hyped British bands. Almost all the reviews are good. See them at the Troubadour on Sunday night.
Bill Callahan: Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City) – The lead singer of Smog releases a record under his own name. I’ve always been a casual Smog fan, but sometimes it’s too depressing even for me (and I like some depressing stuff). Aquarium Drunkard has an MP3 if you wanna grab it. No local dates currently scheduled.
Cornelius: Sensuous (Everloving Records) – People used to call him the Japanese Beck, but not anymore. I’m a big fan of his album, Fantasma. My girlfriend and I have been arguing about the merits of this new one. She claims I need to give it another chance. It’s not that I dislike it, I just don’t hear many songs. He’s very good live however, so I encourage you to see him at Coachella on Saturday or the El Rey on Monday.
Dntel: Dumb Luck (Sub Pop) – Dntel is one of the many names under which Silver Lake resident Jimmy Tamborello releases albums. The lucky (and talented) guy has made so much money from Postal Service he could probably retire. This new Dntel record features a lot of guitar from Paul Larson (frontman of Minor Canon – who put out one of my favorite records of the year so far). The album also features guest vocalists: Jenny Lewis, Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear), Mia Doi Todd, Christopher and Jennifer Gunst (Mystic Chords of Memory), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and many others. My gripe is that he gathered all these talented singers and then had them sing in a disaffected monotone. The record ends up being a little bit of a bummer. You should go to Myspace and listen to the full album stream for yourself. The guy’s obviously talented, so you’ll probably disagree with me. Download “Dumb Luck
Midnight Movies: Lion the Girl (New Line) – Local dreamy, psychedelic pop band. See them at the Glasshouse on 5/3 (with Autolux), Amoeba on 5/8, at Spaceland on 6/1 (with the Raveonettes) or the Echo on 6/8 (also with the Raveonettes). Download “Coral Den

Other Noteworthy Releases:
The Band: The Best of A Musical History (Capitol) – Decent introduction to a very influential band.
Electric Soft Parade: No Need to Be Downhearted (Better Looking Records) – British band that’s on a local LA label in the US. Their new album’s more bouncy and upbeat. Download “If That’s the Case, Then I Don’t Know” See them at Spaceland on 5/30.
Charlotte Gainsbourg: 5:55 (Vice/Because) – She’s the daughter of pervy Serge and also starred in Michel Gondry’s last film. The Air guys wrote the music and Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon wrote the lyrics. Download “The Songs That We Sing
Golden Smog: Blood on the Slacks (Lost Highway) – I dug their last album, but haven’t heard this mini-album yet. Tweedy’s not on this one. They cover Bowie and Dinosaur Jr.
Mando Diao: Ode to Ochrasy (Mute) – Swedish rockers. See them at Coachella on Sunday or the Troubadour on 5/22. It’s a little garage-y and a little brit-rock-y.
Melt Banana: Bambi’s Dilemma (A-Zap) – Japanese noise rockers.
The Nightwatchman: One Man Revolution (Sony) – Another release of local note. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine does the Woody Guthrie thing. See him at Coachella on Saturday.
Part Chimp: Cup (Monitor) – Another British band on a local LA label. Abrasive noise rock. Download “New Cross
Robert Pollard: Silverfish Trivia (Prom is Coming) – Ex-Guided By Voices frontman releases a mini-album. Download “Circle Saw Boys Club
Patti Smith: Twelve (Columbia) – She covers 12 beloved tunes (Nirvana, Tears for Fears, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Beatles, Doors, Stevie Wonder). I hate to say it, but I totally agree with Pitchfork on this one. I thought maybe I was being harsh and put this on during the ride home from Pomona last night. The whole car was pretty stunned by how awful it was. Conversely, the LA Times gave it 4/4 stars. Download “Gimme Shelter” See her at the Roxy on 5/2.
Spank Rock: Fabriclive.33 (Fabric) – Mix tape with CSS, Daft Punk, Hot Chip and a lot of other stuff you’d probably hear at Cinespace on a Tuesday. See them at Coachella on Sunday and Pase Rock at the Echo on Monday (with Steve Aoki).
Thee More Shallows: Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon) – Indie electronic music on the well respected Anticon label. At the Echo on 5/9
Various Artists: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell (Nonesuch) – Sufjan Stevens, Bjork, Prince, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello and others cover Joni Mitchell. Her voice is so distinctive I would imagine this is a mixed bag. If you don’t have her album Blue, you might start with that one.
Various Artists: Soul Resurrection Volume One: From Deep inside the Playground Vault (Rabbit Factory) – Here’s a cool vintage soul compilation. As I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for these things. Download Len Wade’s “Everybody’s Clown
The Veils: Nux Vomica (Rough Trade) – British band that I don’t know much about. See them at Spaceland on 6/29.

Weekend Live Music Options 4/27-4/29

I've got a bunch of moving to do, so I'll probably keep a low profile this weekend. Most people are probably stuck on I-10 west about now. For those who aren't going to Coachella, there are some worthwhile touring bands and local acts playing this weekend.....

Friday 4/27/07
Coachella: Bjork, Interpol, Jesus and Mary Chain, Arctic Monkeys @ Polo Fields ($86) – This is the best day and the only day that didn’t sell out. I guess taking off work is a lot to ask. See my Coachella preview below.
Crowded House @ Glasshouse (Sold Out)
Daedelus / The Lymbyc Systym @ the Knitting Factory ($6) – Good bill. Mush Records music for fans of indie electronica and shoegaze.
Grant Lee Phillips / The Section Quartet / Patrick Park @ Troubadour ($15)
The Hectors @ Pehr Space
I See Hawks in LA @ the Scene – Gentle country sounds.
The Cinematics / Le Meu Le Purr @ Spaceland – The Cinematics are Scottish rockers who get compared to Interpol and the Editors.

Saturday 4/28/07
Coachella: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Arcade Fire, The Decemberists @ Polo Fields (Sold Out)
Mono @ Troubadour ($12) – Solid Japanese post-rock band. Download “The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain
Apostle of Hustle @ Spaceland ($10) – Side project from the guitarist in Broken Social Scene. The album got some pretty good reviews.
The Walkmen / Foreign Born @ EchoPlex ($15) – Their most recent album was a re-do of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats (not his most interesting work). I would imagine they’re doing all kinds of material tonight.

Sunday 4/29/07
Coachella: Rage Against the Machine, Air, Happy Mondays, Willie Nelson @ Polo Fields (Sold Out)
Hearts of Palm UK / Luke Paquin / Io Perry @ Mr. T’s Bowl (Free)
Part Time Punks: The Old Haunts @ the Echo ($5)
CocoRosie / Busdriver @ El Rey ($17)
Travis @ the Fonda ($31) – They’re at Coachella and they just played the KCRW night.
Arctic Monkeys @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – They’re at Coachella too.
LCD Soundsystem DJ Set @ the Standard – They’re at Coachella too.
Castledoor / Radars to the Sky / Signal Hill @ Spaceland (Free) - Nice lineup of local artists.

Jesus and Mary Chain at the Glasshouse 4/26/07

The Jesus & Mary Chain show last night at the Glasshouse in Pomona was sweaty, packed and smelled like butt. It took a few songs for the soundman to get the mix right, but they eventually sounded good. The sound was much cleaner and less tinny than I expected. Fans of Psychocandy were probably a little disappointed how palatable it was (I heard a lot of complaints that it wasn't loud enough). William's still got big hair and he and Jim seemed to be getting along. Not much interaction with the crowd. The only hiccup was that Jim stopped short once and said "I don't even sing this fucking song, he does." They played 14 songs, most of which were released as singles. From Psychocandy they did "Never Understand," "Just Like Honey" (with Annie from Giant Drag on backup vocals, not Scarlett Johansson as reported). Unfortunately only one song from Darklands, "Happy When It Rains." Three songs from Automatic: "Head On," "Between Planets," and "Blues From a Gun." Another three songs from Honey's Dead: "Far Gone & Out" and then their last two songs: "Teenage Lust" and "Reverence." One song from Munki, "Crackin' Up." Three singles that are available on the singles compilation "Sidewalking," "Snakedriver," and "Some Candy Talking." And they even did one new track that was pretty good.

Complaints? I wish the set was a little longer and I wish they would have done more material from Darklands. I honestly never expected to hear the songs live, so I was happy. The vocals were a little bit muddy throughout, but the band had it together. Apparently they've been rehearsing for less than a week, so the shows should only get better. The backup band included Ride's drummer, Loz Colbert and Phil King on bass (who played with Lush and Felt). They're well worth checking out if they come to your town.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options 4/26/07

I don't see Johansson in this photo
Thursday's Pick:
Jesus and Mary Chain / Icarus Line / Giant Drag @ Glasshouse (Sold Out) – I’m a huge fan and since I’m not going to Coachella, I had to buy tickets. If you’re a newcomer to their work I recommend Darklands as the first purchase. While a lot of their old/true fans prefer Psychocandy, Darklands is more listenable. There are several great tracks that make Honey’s Dead and Automatic worth picking up too. Apparently Scarlett Johansson will be singing backup, which admittedly has me a little nervous. You’ve gotta take what you can get sometimes. Giant Drag goes on at 8 PM sharp, so I don't think I'll be seeing that.

Also recommended:
Earlimart with the String Dreamteam / Sea Wolf / Watson Twins / The Parson Red Heads @ EchoPlex ($8) – This is a great local lineup to celebrate the official opening of the EchoPlex below the Echo. If I wasn’t going to see JAMC, I’d check it out. The EchoPlex is a much larger space located directly below the Echo with two bars, huge restrooms (with bathroom attendants – guess you’ll have to do your blow in one of the 10 stalls instead of off the sink like you usually do) and some fancy little loungey areas interspersed throughout. Earlimart’s regularly playing as nine-piece now. The songs I’ve heard off their new album sound great, but as far as I know they’re still looking for the right label to release it. Sea Wolf is local heartthrob Alex Church’s (bass player from Irving) band that recently signed to Dangerbird. Download “You’re a Wolf.” The Watson Twins are the six foot twins who did a lovely job as backup singers on Jenny Lewis’ most recent album. They’ve got a really good EP of their own as well. The Parson Red Heads are a hard working local retro minded band that I really enjoy seeing live. They’re devotion to the 1960s is similar to the Beachwood Sparks, but they’re much more energetic live and even have a dancer in the band.

Also appearing:
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes / The Delta Spirit @ Spaceland ($14) – I’m not a huge fan, but if you like energetic indie rock, catch them here instead of Coachella. Download “Insistor” and “Cowbell
Xu Xu Fang / Stevenson Ranch Davidians @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – This is another solid local lineup. I’ve wanted to check out both of these retro-minded bands for a while. Xu Xu Fang posted on Myspace that this will be their last show.
Club Tribute Television and New York Dolls @ Safari Sam’s ($7) – See local bands perform songs from Television and New York Dolls.
Jet @ the Troubadour (Sold Out) – I don’t get them, but maybe you do?

Coachella Preview

Sorry for the lack of posts and missing shows I was supposed to attend. I was stuck in the Tulsa airport for a couple of days (stupid tornadoes and thunderstorms). For the second year in a row, I'm skipping Coachella. Most of the bands I'm really interested in seeing are playing more intimate shows around the area and I'll see them then. I weighing in with my picks for shits and giggles. Please stay hydrated and remember your sunscreen. My highlights are in bold.

Friday 4/27/07
02:30 PM: Noisettes @ Mojave – Haven’t heard them, but they’re another British buzz band. If you’re not in the mood for music, go see the Comedians of Comedy in the Gobi tent. They’re indie/hipster friendly and they’ll be there from 2:00 – 4:30PM.
03:00 PM: Brother Ali @ Coachella – If Noisettes aren’t any good check out this critically acclaimed blind, albino rapper
05:10 PM: Silversun Pickups @ Coachella Stage – The local band continues its miraculous climb. Seeing them during prime time on the main stage at Coachella would be pretty cool. 2nd choice: Of Montreal at Outdoor Theatre 4:55 PM – Their new album’s good and they put on a show. 3rd Choice: Tilly & the Wall at Mojave at 4:45 PM – Eccentric indie rock. 4th Choice: Gillian Welch at Gobi at 4:45 PM – Rootsy singer-songwriter with some really quality albums. Pretty packed time period really.
06:00 PM: Amy Winehouse @ Gobi – She could probably be playing the main stage so the Gobi tent might be pretty miserable. If it is, I’d go check out the Arctic Monkeys at 6:25 PM on the Coachella Stage (unless you’re going to their show at the Troubadour on Sunday night). They’re not mind blowing, but they’re energetic and better than a lot of bands.
07:40 PM: Jesus & Mary Chain @ Coachella Stage – Legends. I’m seeing them tonight at the Glasshouse, so I’d be tempted to skip it (but there’s nothing else going on).
08:40 PM: Jarvis Cocker @ Outdoor Theatre – The Pulp lead singer. If you’re more into hip-hop go see Busdriver in the Gobi tent at 8:25 PM. You might wanna start making your way over to the Coachella stage to see Interpol at 9:30 PM. They’re pretty hit or miss live, but maybe they’ll preview some new material.
09:55 PM: Sonic Youth @ Outdoor Theatre – I’m seeing them at the Greek this summer, so I might actually skip this and go see El-P in the Mojave tent at 9:50. He’s an intelligent rapper who hits pretty hard.
10:45 PM: Bjork @ Coachella – I don’t listen to her recorded stuff that often, but she’s a fantastic live performer and she doesn’t have any other LA appearances scheduled. After she’s done you might jump over to the Outdoor Theatre for DJ Shadow who begins at 11:15 PM. If you prefer gypsy punk, go see Gogol Bordello in the Mojave tent.

Saturday 4/28/07
Honestly I probably wouldn’t show up until about 4:00 PM today, but for the brave souls…

12:30 PM: Pop Levi @ Gobi – Recent local transplant who has a new, good album of T. Rex inspired rock. If you’re not into that, go see British folk-rockers Fields (not to be confused with Field Music, The Field or all the other bands with Field in the title) at 12:45 in the Mojave tent. After this I’d wander and people watch. The Cribs are playing at 1:45 PM in the Mojave and The Fratellis are playing after them at 2:55 PM. Bouncy UK bands.
03:50 PM: Roky Erickson @ Gobi – He’s a cult hero from the 1960s with a story that’s as interesting as his music. He’s an acid casualty who got really bad treatment for his mental problems. I’d go see him just to hear “You’re Gonna Miss Me” but a lot of you youngsters will probably prefer something brighter and more fun and see Hot Chip at 4:10 PM in the Mojave.
05:05 PM: The New Pornographers @ Outdoor Theatre – The disappointing thing about seeing the New Pornographers live is that Neko Case and Dan Bejar don’t tour with them. I’d watch a couple of songs and then jump over to see PB&J.
05:25 PM: Peter Bjorn and John @ Mojave - I recently saw them at the Roxy and although they disappointed a lot of people, I really enjoyed it. Travis is also playing the main stage at 5:00PM. I just saw them do an acoustic thing at the KCRW night and it was pretty damn boring. You can also see them at the Fonda on Sunday night.
06:15 PM: Andrew Bird @ Gobi – I just got his most recent album and haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet. He’s a singer-songwriter type. If you prefer nerd rock go see the Decemberists at the Outdoor Theatre at 6:20 (although I’m seeing them this summer at the Hollywood Bowl, so I’d skip it). If you prefer rock ‘n’ roll go see Kings of Leon on the Coachella stage (music snobs hate them, but they’re really not that bad). If you want a dance party vibe go see !!! at 6:40 PM in the Mojave.
07:30 PM: The Arcade Fire @ Coachella – I’m seeing them later this summer at the Greek. They’re usually fantastic live. Ghostface Killah is also very tempting at the same time at the Outdoor Theatre.
08:40 PM: Blonde Redhead @ Outdoor Theatre – They’re usually great live. Anybody see them last night at the Glasshouse? If you prefer a dance party, go see Girl Talk in the Gobi.
09:35 PM: Sparklehorse @ Mojave – Not exactly party music, but I love the records. I haven’t seen him in years, but they were great when I saw them. If you prefer a party vibe, go see LCD Soundsystem in the Sahara. They’re also doing a DJ set at the Standard on Sunday.
11:00 PM: Cornelius @ Gobi – I think the Japanese rocker’s new album is a bit boring, but he’s great live. He’s also playing at the El Rey on Monday if you’re not going to Coachella. The Good, the Bad and the Queen’s album is even more boring than the new Cornelius, but it is Damon Albarn from Blur and the Gorillaz, so I’m sure a lot of people will be interested in hitting the Outdoor Theatre. Black Keys are doing their bluesy-rock thing in the Mojave starting at 10:50 PM.

Sunday 4/29/07
Once again, I’d probably wait until 4:00 PM to show up, but I’m old and lazy.

01:45 PM: Lupe Fiasco @ Coachella – Haven’t heard him, but I like to use Coachella to see hip-hop guys, because I normally never see them.
02:25 PM: Tapes ‘n’ Tapes @ Mojave – If you’re not seeing them at Spaceland tonight, you might as well see them. They weren’t that good last time I saw them, but there’s not much competition this early.
03:30 PM: Grizzly Bear @ Gobi – I still don’t understand why their album topped every music snob’s list of best albums last year, but maybe seeing them live would shed some light? If you like bouncy British buzz bands, the Kooks are playing the Mojave at the same time.
04:00 PM: Explosions in the Sky @ Coachella – I just re-listened to their new album on the plane yesterday. Really good, dynamic instrumental indie rock. I find Soulwax to be terrible dance crap. A few weeks ago the Bad Religion guys forced us to listen to them during their photo shoot at Sea Level and I got an immediate headache. Junior Boys are easy to listen to electro-pop. Pretty good really. The band that stole the show at the KCRW night was Rodrigo Y Gabriela. They’re a Mexican duo who play acoustic guitars about as intensely as you can. They weave a little Metallica in and do a cover of Led Zeppelin. Yuppies eat this shit up. They got so many standing ovations I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was cool for about five minutes but got a bit bored.
05:15 PM: The Roots @ Coachella – They got me back into hip-hop in the mid 90’s with their live instrumentation and musicality. I find the Kaiser Chiefs pretty mediocre, they’re playing the Outdoor Theatre at 6:05 PM. CSS is an energetic dancey rock band from Brazil who honestly annoy me, but if you like the dance party they go on at 5:55 PM in the Mojave.
06:30 PM: Willie Nelson @ Coachella – I saw him last year at the Hollywood Bowl and he was pretty good. He doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the lineup, but that’s the beauty of Willie – he can play to all crowds. If you like the dance-rock, Klaxons go on at 7:10. I heard they were pretty good on Saturday at the Echo.
07:45 PM: Crowded House @ Coachella – Big reunion right after Willie. They’re also playing the Glasshouse on Friday night.
08:25 PM: Lily Allen @ Mojave – Just saw her at the KCRW thing and she sounded good. Mostly pre-programmed stuff, but hopefully she’ll have more of a band with her here. She just canceled most of her tour (clearly she doesn’t give a shit about the middle of the country) but you can also see her at the Wiltern on May 15th. If you don’t like the reggae light, Air goes on at 8:35 PM at the Outdoor Theatre.
09:40 PM: Happy Mondays @ Sahara – Pitchfork says that Bez didn’t get his visa in time. Who are you really seeing? Who knows. If it sucks go see electo-rockers Ratatat in the Mojave or Swedish party rockers Teddybears in the Gobi at 9:50 (they’re also playing the El Rey on 5/2). If you like overly sensitive singer-songwriter types, Damien Rice is playing the Outdoor Theatre at 9:50.
10:40: Rage Against the Machine @ Coachella – I thought they had two good songs. I don’t know if I could deal with the crowd for this one. I’d probably walk over to the Gobi and see obscene dance-rappers Spank Rock at 11:05. If you prefer 90s indie rock, the Lemonheads are playing the Outdoor Theatre at 11:10 PM. Anybody see them at the El Rey last night?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tuesday Night Music Options 4/24/07

Sean Lennon Plays the Roxy on Tuesday
Tuesday's Picks (4/24/07):
Sean Lennon / Women and Children @ the Roxy ($20) – I already gave away two sets of tickets to this show. Sean Lennon’s new album is along the lines of Jon Brion.
Let’s Independent: The Prix / Radars to the Sky / Eagle & Talon @ Boardner’s (Free) – You can’t go wrong with Joe’s (Radio Free Silver Lake) Let’s Independent night. He’s always got solid choices. I’m only vaguely familiar with these bands, but I like what I’ve heard.
Not for me, but maybe for you:
Xiu Xiu / Sunset Rubdown @ Troubadour ($12 adv / $14 dos) – For people who like their indie music on the “challenging” side of things. Sunset Rubdown is the side project of Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade. Jeff Weiss loves the Sunset Rubdown. Go read some of what he says for a more informed take on their music.
Scott H. Biram @ the Scene – Bloodshot Records dude.
Adult. / Erase Errata @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – More experimental electronic sounds.

Monday Night Music Options 4/23/07


I'm not sure if I'll be around a computer for the next few days, so here's a sneak peek at next week.

Monday's Pick 4/23/07:
Wires on Fire / Qui / Dead Ponies @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – These are all intense, heavy bands. I haven’t seen Qui since they added David Yow (Jesus Lizard) as a member, but I was recently at a party with him. Complete mentalist.

Also Recommended:
The Minor Canon / Everest / Liam Finn @ Spaceland (Free) – This is your next to last chance to see The Minor Canon at their Monday night Spaceland residency. They put out one of my favorite albums of the young year. Liam Finn is the son of Neil Finn (of Crowded House). Everest is a relatively new LA band that I’m very curious about. It features Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Joel Graves, David Latter and Rob Douglas who have played with Alaska!, Earlimart, Slydell, Folk Implosion and Great Northern.
The Black Pine / Happy Hollows @ the Echo (Free) – I’ve heard good things about the Black Pine. Happy Hollows are one of the new, ubiquitous bands on the east side that everybody’s talking about. They play high energy indie music. .
Iggy Pop & The Stooges @ the Wiltern (Sold Out) – The new album hasn’t gotten panned by the critics, but it’s still Iggy and the Stooges. They’re going to play their classics too.
The Henry Clay People @ Mr. T’s Highland Park (Free)

Not familiar with her:
Rosie Thomas @ Hotel CafĂ© – Delicate singer-songwriter and pal of Sufjan Stevens.

Weekend Live Music Options 4/20-4/22


Thanks to everybody who came out last night for our first Now Blog This night at the Scene. Four bloggers and four bands that each sounded completely different. Big ups to the bands and Allen at the Scene for making it so much fun. As Scott at Little Radio pointed out in his recap, if you know the bloggers, the bands pretty well represented their taste in music. Scott chose the Pity Party who are a little bit experimental/artsy but still accessible. They're not as ethereal as some of the stuff he likes, but still fitting. Joe at Radio Free Silver Lake picked the Western States Motel who play classic indie/college rock. They even did a Beck cover. I chose The Clean Prophets who write great songs and play a moody mix of garage rock, psych rock and 1980s British rock. By the way, they hadn't played a show in two months, but were still tight and excellent. Great job. Jax at Rock Insider picked The Valley Arena who are loud, energetic and fun. Hopefully we'll be doing another one soon.

Friday 4/20/07
Tivo Alert: Morrissy on Jimmy Kimmel

Friday’s Pick:
Trans Am @ Troubadour ($15) – I own their first three albums but must confess that I haven’t even heard their last five. Indie, post-rock.

Also Appearing:
The Youngs @ Pehr Space ($5 donation) – Recent LA transplants.
Benji Hughes @ Getty Center (Free) – Free Fridays at the Getty.
Astra Heights @ Viper Room ($10)

Saturday 4/21/07
Tivo Alert: Bjork on Saturday Night Live

Saturday’s Pick:
Klaxons / The Deadly Syndrome @ ExPlx ($12) – For the indie dance crowd. Tickets for this show are selling incredibly fast. Klaxons have incredible buzz from the British press and even Pitchfork gave them a respectable review this week. They’re also playing Coachella on 4/29. The real attraction (at least for me) is the Deadly Syndrome. They’re a local band with a lot of deserved buzz from local tastemakers. Even the LA Weekly jumped on the bandwagon and wrote about them this week.

Also Appearing:
Smoosh @ Knitting Factory ($12) – The adorable 12 and 14 year old sisters have played with Sleater-Kinney, Pearl Jam, Cat Power, Death Cab and Rilo Kiley.
Art Brut @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Smart aleck Brits.
Ice Cube @ House of Blues Sunset (Sold Out) – OG.
Club Violaine: The Skydrops / The High Violets / Evervess @ Roberto's Club - 2nd Floor, 686 N. Spring St., Los Angeles ($7) – This is a Ride tribute night for the shoegaze/ethereal music fans.
The Front / Killsonic / Tennis Club / Moonrats @ Il Corral – Killradio benefit.
The Pharmacy @ the Smell
Jewel / John Rich of Big and Rich @ Spaceland ($8) – WTF? One of the oddest bills at Spaceland in recent memory.

Sunday 4/22/07
Part Time Punks: Silver Daggers / No Age @ the Echo ($5)
Benji Hughes @ Tangier ($8)
Shiloe / She’s Your Sister @ Knitting Factory ($5)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Night Music Options 4/19/07




Tonight's Pick:
Now Blog This: The Clean Prophets / The Pity Party / The Western States Motel / The Valley Arena @ the Scene ($5) – You Set the Scene (that's me), Little Radio, Radio Free Silver Lake and Rock Insider each picked one band to perform. DJs Kevin Bronson (LA Times Buzz Bands) and DJ Number One (Sylvia) will be spinning. The Clean Prophets put out one of my favorite records of 2006, so I'm very happy they agreed to play my slot. The Onion recently praised them, pointing out the members' garage rock backgrounds and how they mix it with 1980's British emotiveness. Download "Tambourine Crown" and "Praise Is Poison" Also appearing are The Pity Party (who have toured with the Raveonettes), The Western States Motel (who had a song in the OC and have been featured on Spin.com) and Long Beach's The Valley Arena (who get compared to Fugazi). It should be a lot of fun and it's cheap. Download The Western States Motel's "Row of Homes" (courtesy of Spin)


Also Appearing:
Syd Barrett Tribute Night @ Bordello ($10) – About 20 bands doing one song each.
Xu Xu Fang @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
The Bird and the Bee @ The Derby ($15)
Spindrift / Stevenson Ranch Davidians / The Sky Drops @ the Echo ($7)
Lavender Diamond / Indian Jewelry @ Redcat ($15)
Limbeck @ Troubadour ($13)

Arcade Fire Announces LA Shows


What: Arcade Fire Live in Concert
When: Tuesday May 29th, 2007 and Wednesday May 30th, 2007
Where: Greek Theatre Los Angeles
Price: $33.50 + Ticketmaster Service Charges
Why: They put on a great live show

Tickets go on sale Saturday April 21st at 10:00AM (unless you already happened to get them through the KROQ presale)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 4/18/07

The Twilight Sad Play the Knitting Factory Tonight

The Silversun Pickups were indeed the Special SurPrise gUests at the Fold's 10 year anniversay celebration last night. They were road tested and tight and sounded really good. Mixing sound at that place must be rough with the soundboard jammed in the one foot space in the front corner. Gotta love those Mexican tranny bars. The crowd was mostly packed with members of the many bands who frequently play Fold shows around town. Joaquin Phoenix was milling about as well. Opening the show were the ubiquitous Pity Party who are also playing the blog showcase (that I'm co-presenting) tomorrow at the Scene. Big sounds from a two-piece. You need to see this guy and gal. Castledoor played the middle slot. They're currently in the studio with Aaron Espinoza from Earlimart and gave him a nice shoutout from the stage. They even did a Justin Timberlake cover.
Tivo Alert: Son Volt on Letterman
Tonight's Pick:
Aerogramme / The Twilight Sad @ Knitting Factory ($12) – A couple of big, anthemic rock bands from Scotland. The Twilight Sad’s new album has gotten rave reviews from music snobs like Pitchfork (an 8.6) and Stylus (B+) which is even more surprising considering they sound like a cross between U2, Coldplay and the Walkmen. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)Download “Cold Days from the Birdhouse” (courtesy of Pitchfork)
Also Appearing:
Eleni Mandell / Charlie Wadhams @ Bordello ($12) – Her new album’s good especially if you like female singer-songwriters.
Low End Theory Club: DNTEL (DJ Set) / Frosty / Hoseh @ Airliner ($5) – You can stream DNTEL’s new album at his Myspace page right now. This is just a DJ set, not a live performance.
Club NME: Mere Mortals @ Spaceland
The Fuxedos @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – From their Myspace: “THE FUXEDOS are America's favorite apocalyptic lounge-punk-comedy-rock and roll-free jazz-storytelling-freakout-cinematic-what-the-hell? band, complete with costumes, props, and bizarrely humorous theatrics.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Release Tuesday 4/17/07


There's nothing I'm super excited about this week. What do you guys think?
Top Five Most Interesting New Releases:
Joseph Arthur: Let’s Just Be – Lots of drug references and weirdness for the sake of weirdness. The guy seems to hate the sound of his own voice, using vocal affectations on most of the songs. The whole record comes off like a late night, coke-fueled jam session. See him at the Roxy on 5/8 and 5/9. Letter Grade: C+ Download “Diamond Ring
Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero (Interscope) – Apparently there’s been some massive online marketing campaign with hidden/related websites we’re all supposed to care about. A lot of the critics seem to think this is Reznor’s best music in 13 years, which coincidentally is how long it’s been since I heard a Nine Inch Nails record.
Noisettes: What’s the Time Mr. Wolf (Vertigo) – British newcomers. What little I’ve heard sounds like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs fronting the White Stripes. See them at Coachella on 4/27 or the Troubadour on 6/15.
Priestbird: In Your Time (Kemado) – The band formerly known as Tarantula AD gets a new name and adds vocals. They tend to play hard rock. See them at the Smell on 5/19.
Various Artists: Bridging the Distance – A Portland, Oregon Covers Album (Arena Rock) – This one’s a benefit for a Portland charity. It features the Decemberists doing a Fleetwood Mac cover, Britt Daniel (of Spoon) doing a Sam Cooke song, Dandy Warhols doing a Cult song, The Minders doing an ELO song and a bunch of other covers.

Also Out This Week:
Christopher Blue: room tones (Sarathan Records) – He’s got one of those voices critics like to call smoky. Download “Ghost in the Night” See him at the Derby on 4/25 or Tangier on 5/25.
Superdrag: Changing Tires on the Road to Ruin (Arena Rock) – B-sides and rarities compilation.
The Comas: Spells (Vagrant) – Fuzzy indie guitar pop band. Pitchfork gave it a pretty good review yesterday.
Dead Meadow: Howls from the Hills (Xemu) – These psychedelic rockers seem to be calling LA home these days. This is a reissue of their second album from 2001.
Dolly Varden: The Panic Bell (Undertow) – Husband and wife duo from Chicago make unassuming pop music for the Harp Magazine crowd. Download “Everything
Elk City: New Believers (Friendly Fire) – Sean Eden (the guitarist from Luna) is in the band now. Female-fronted indie.

Tuesday Night Music Options 4/17/07

The Broken West Play Spaceland Tonight
This is one of those crappy nights in LA when there's too much to choose from. Four great choices...I'll be going to the Silverlake Lounge, but I'd be perfectly happy at the other recommended shows.
Tivo Alert: Silversun Pickups on Jimmy Kimmel
Tonight's Pick:
The Broken West / Mezzanine Owls @ Spaceland ($8) – Local guys The Broken West put out one of my favorite releases so far this year. They have been tearing it up on the road with the Long Winters and the Walkmen. This is their first local show in a few months, so get out and support them before they head out to play more shows with the National and Fountains of Wayne (separately).
Also Recommended:
The Fold’s 10 Year Anniversary: The Pity Party / Castledoor / Surprise SPecial gUests @ Silverlake Lounge ($20) – It’s hard to believe that Scott at the Fold has been hustling and working his ass off for 10 years. The guy frequently puts on three shows in a night (compare that to some local bookers who can’t seem to put on one show a night). I hear there are only about 40 tickets available at the door, so you’ll want to get there early if you’re not on the list.
The Switch / Hearts of Palm U.K. @ the Scene – The Switch just appeared on the Aquarium Drunkard’s show on Little Radio and he’s got a bunch of the tracks up over at this site. Very good. Hearts of Palm UK are a relatively new local electro-pop band.
Anders & Woods / Mark Fosson @ the Echo (Free)
Also Appearing:
Rocky Votolato / Drag the River @ Troubadour ($12) – Rocky’s a singer-songwriter on the Barsuk label. Download Rocky Votolato’s “Portland is Leaving

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Night Music Options 4/16/07


I saw a show each night this weekend. Naturally I forgot my camera, but I'll try writing reviews later today.
Tivo Alert: Lily Allen on the Tonight Show
Monday's Pick:
The Minor Canon @ Spaceland (Free) – The melancholy orch-pop band continues its residency. The record’s very good. You need to see these guys.
Free goodness:
The Slow Signal Fade / Circus Minor @ Troubadour (Free)
The Black Pine / The Moon Upstairs @ the Echo (Free)
Wires on Fire @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – I’m planning on checking these guys out next week when Qui and Dead Ponies join the bill.
Also Appearing:
Kimya Dawson @ Knitting Factory ($7) – Ex Moldy Peaches
Anavan / This Song Is a Mess But So Am I @ Pehr Space

You Set the Scene Presents @ the Scene on Thursday


What are you doing this Thursday? Please join me at the Scene in Glendale. You Set the Scene (that's me), Little Radio, Radio Free Silver Lake and Rock Insider each picked one band to perform. DJs Kevin Bronson (LA Times Buzz Bands) and DJ Number One (Sylvia) will be spinning. The Clean Prophets put out one of my favorite records of 2006, so I'm very happy they agreed to play my slot. The Onion recently praised them, pointing out the members' garage rock backgrounds and how they mix it with 1980's British emotiveness. Download "Tambourine Crown" and "Praise Is Poison" Also appearing are The Pity Party (who have toured with the Raveonettes), The Western States Motel (who had a song in the OC and have been featured on Spin.com) and Long Beach's The Valley Arena (who get compared to Fugazi).
It should be a lot of fun and it's cheap.
Download The Western States Motel's "Row of Homes" (courtesy of Spin)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Weekend Music Options 4/14/07-4/15/07




Saturday's Picks:
The Ponys / Deerhunter @ the Echo ($10 adv / $12 dos) – The Ponys new record on Matador is pretty good. Some of the material is a dead ringer for classic Sonic Youth. A lot of the music snobs have embraced Deerhunter. I’ve heard that after seeing them live, you may never want to hear or see them again.
KCRW’s A Sounds Eclectic Evening: The Shins / Lily Allen / Cold War Kids / Rodrigo y Gabriel @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Sold Out) – This is an interesting lineup. Don’t let the backlash fool you, the Shins new record is just as good as their earlier records. They’re not exactly known for their live performances, but they’re touring with some additional members so maybe that will fill out their sound. Lily Allen plays that easy going reggae inspired music. Cold War Kids are one of the local bands that’s blown up big this year. Rodrigo y Gabriel are Mexicans who rock the acoustics like they’re playing metal.
The Deadly Syndrome / Parson Red Heads / Happy Hollows / Tandemoro @ Spaceland ($8) – This is a quality lineup of local bands that you should see. Putting them on one bill makes it a no brainer. The Deadly Syndrome play the high energy indie music that should appeal to fans of Oh No! Oh My!, Tapes ‘n’ Tapes (but much better) and those types of fans. Parson Red Heads play the 1960s, Byrds/Crosby, Stills and Nash-inspired music along the lines of Beachwood Sparks but without the pedal steel. Happy Hollows are ultra-manic indie music. The lead singer generally ends up on her back with her feet up at some point during the show.

Sunday's Picks:
The Shins @ Orpheum Theatre (Sold Out) More Shins!
Charlie Louvin @ Amoeba Music 2:00PM (Free) – The legendary country performer.
Part Time Punks: Languis @ the Echo ($5)
Mike Stinson @ the Echo (Free) – Early show around 5:00 PM – My favorite local country performer.
Ferraby Lionheart @ Tangier ($8) – Talented local singer-songwriter.

Friday the 13th Live Music Options


Tonight's Pick:
Kelley Stoltz / The Essex Green @ Spaceland ($10) – Kelley Stoltz’s Below the Branches was my album of the year last year. He’s heavily influenced by solo Beatles, and Beach Boys, and 1970s-era Kinks and he’s just so damn good at it. If you like very well crafted pop songs, do yourself a favor and see him tonight. I’ve seen him twice before and he sounded good both times. The uber-snotty critics like Pitchfork and Stylus always pan guys like Stoltz and Dr. Dog. Clearly they’re enemies of great pop music. Download “Memory Collector” and “The Sun Comes Through” The Essex Green are an indie band that gets compared to Left Banke and Fairport Convention. What I’ve heard sounds good. They’re on Merge.
Also recommended:
Ted Leo / Love of Diagrams @ El Rey ($14) – I went to this show last night. Ted Leo’s band was tight and they sounded good.
The One AM Radio @ Tangier ($12) – Mellow singer-songwriter who just put out an album on Dangerbird.
Peter and the Wolf / Luke Paquin @ Perh Space ($5 donation) – The Rock Insider’s putting this show on. Peter and the Wolf’s another mellow singer-songwriter who is adored by the Gorilla vs. Bear blog and the Rock Insider too. Luke Paquin’s the guitarist from Hot Hot Heat.
Maybe you prefer.....
The Mother Hips / The Parson Red Heads @ the Roxy ($15) – The Mother Hips have a pretty hardcore fanbase. They play the laid back California soul.
Hella / Veer Right Young Pastor @ the Echo ($12) – Hella are masters of the genre I call headache rock. I saw them recently and the novelty of watching insane drummer Zach Hill wore off after a few tracks and the headache set in.
Acid Mother’s Temple @ Troubadour ($15) – Crazy Japanese hippies.
Mia Doi Todd / Fishtank Ensemble @ El Cid ($8)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Music Tuesday 4/10/07


I know I'm a couple of days late this week, but there's quite a few things worth looking at.
Five Most Interesting New Releases:
Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) – I’ve been a Blonde Redhead fan ever since I saw them for the first time back when Spaceland’s stage was on the other side. This one’s getting mostly great reviews with the exception of Spin (which is probably a good thing anyway, right?). I’ve got the vinyl at home, but haven’t had a chance to listen yet. I’m sure I’ll really like it. They’ve only put out one record I didn’t like. See them at the Glasshouse on 4/25 or Coachella on 4/28. You won’t be disappointed unless you’re one of those freaks that gets grossed out by the idea of slightly creepy (but well dressed) Italian twins getting down with a Japanese woman.
Bright Eyes: Cassadega (Saddle Creek) – A lot of critics seem to think it’s their best record so far, but others think it’s bad high school poetry. You’ll have to decide for yourself. I’ve never gotten into them.
Goldrush: The Heart Is the Place (Better Looking Records) – It’s a little bit emotional in the Coldplay way, but I still think it’s pretty good. They’re on a local LA label in the States, if that’s any further incentive to buy. Letter Grade: B Download “Heaven’s My Destination
Grinderman: Grinderman (ANTI-) – Nick Cave with a lot of the Bad Seeds making more primitive punk rock. Critics can’t touch that, it’s getting great reviews. They’ve got a song about having the “No Pussy Blues.”
Love of Diagrams: Mosaic (Matador) – No-fi, post-punk inspired band from Melbourne. See them at El Rey on 4/12 and 4/13. Download “Pace or the Patience

Other Noteworthy New Releases:
Brother Ali: Undisputed Truth (Rhymesayers) – Jeff Weiss recommended it this week on the Times’ Buzz Bands blog. See him at Coachella on 4/27 or the Troubadour on 5/23.
Cloud Cult: The Meaning of 8 (Rebel Group) – Melancholy indie rock from Minneapolis. See them at the Knitting Factory on 5/4.
CocoRosie: The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillbourn (Touch and Go) – This is one of those bands that annoys a lot of people. They expand their experimental indie-folk sound and add a hip-hop influence.
Limbeck: Limbeck (Doghouse) – I requested this one from the publicist and somehow it got packed away in a box (I’m moving) and I haven’t heard it yet. Sometimes I’m such an idiot. I’ll write more once I find that stupid box. See them at the Troubadour on 4/19. Download “Big Drag
Madlib: The Other Side - Los Angeles (Deaf, Dumb, Blind) – This is a mix CD and some versions come with a DVD with Peanut Butter Wolf’s visual guide to LA.
Menomena: Wet and Rusting EP (Film Guerrero) – A remix, live version and a few outtakes from their latest album (which is quite good). See them at the Troubadour on 6/12.
Panthers: The Trick (Vice) – Riff rockers.
The Rosebuds: Night of the Furies (Merge) – My Old Kentucky Blog is a fan. I haven’t heard enough to make an informed opinion, but the stuff on Myspace sounds good. See them at Spaceland on 6/16.
Shearwater: Palo Santo – Expanded Edition (Matador) – Partially re-recorded. New songs added.
Sur La Mer: Prelude to the Sea EP
Laura Veirs: Saltbreakers (Nonesuch) – Check her out if you’re a big Let’s Go Sailing fan. See her at Largo on 6/2.
XBXRX: Wars (Polyvinyl) – Manic headache rock. See them at the Smell on 5/20. Download “Center Where Sight
Xiu Xiu: Remixed & Covered (5 Rue Christine) – See them at the Troubadour on 4/24.

DVD
Danielson: A Family Movie

Hollywood Palladium Not Dead (Yet)



The LA Times reports that Live Nation just signed a 20 year lease to opearate the Hollywood Palladium. They'll be dumping "millions" of dollars into the place to restore it. According to the Times, Live Nation currently operates the House of Blues on Sunset, the Wiltern and Verizon Wireless in Irvine. They also do a lot of shows at the Avalon.


I haven't been to the Palladium recently, and I honestly don't remember ever having a good time there. The last two times I was there was for a Black Flag reunion show in 2003 and a Gorrillaz show in 2002. I remember it being very cold, having shitty sound and a gymnasium vibe. Hopefully Live Nation can fix it without going too overboard and forcing ticket prices too high.


The capacity of the place is about 4,000 which puts it between the Wiltern (2,300) and the Greek (5,800). A lot of the bands that used to do two nights at the Wiltern will probably now do one night at the Palladium. Some of those random shows that pop up at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium might also go to the new Palladium.


Look for the all new Palladium in September 2008.

Thursday Night Music Options 4/12/07

Ted Leo at El Rey Tonight
Tonight's Pick:
Ted Leo / Love of Diagrams / Division Day @ El Rey ($14) – Tomorrow night’s show is sold out and this show has great local support from Division Day. Musically, the new Ted Leo expands on the Paul Weller / Jam / early Clash influences. Lyrically he’s still pissed off at the government. The disc’s a lot of fun and he’s known for being a great, high energy live performer. Love of Diagrams recently put out an album on Matador. It’s no wave/post punk inspired. Download “Pace or the Patience” Get there early for Division Day. They're like an added bonus tonight.
Also worthy of having attendees:
Everest / Great Northern @ Bordello ($7) – Everest is a relatively new local band featuring Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Rob Douglas, Joel Graves and David Latter who met while playing around town in bands like Slydell, Alaska!, Folk Implosion and Great Northern. The new band is along the lines of contemporary roots/folk bands like Magnolia Electric Co., Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Calexico, etc. Great Northern have a new record coming out on May 15th on Eenie Meenie. They play the dreamy pop that should also appeal to fans of Earlimart.
Xu Xu Fang / Green Heat (Matt Chamberlain on drums) @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Xu Xu Fang is a local band featuring Bobby from the Warlocks. I’ve heard good things, but haven’t seen them yet.
Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 @ Spaceland ($15) – He’s a legend. He was in the Soft Boys and has about 30 solo records.
Fu Manchu / Valient Thorr @ Troubadour ($15) – For the stoners.
Very Be Careful / Yo Majesty / Kennedy @ the Echo ($8) – Crazy party music.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday Night Music Options 4/11/07

Zozobra Plays the Mountain in Chinatown Tonight
Day seven of my sickness. I'm completely devoid of energy. I have tickets to shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully I'm better soon.
Tonight's Pick:
Zozobra / Clouds @ the Mountain (Free) – This one's not for everybody. A couple of very heavy bands on the local label, Hyrda Head. I like to listen to Zozobra sometimes while I’m driving. Their music pretty much sounds like how I feel on the inside while driving in LA traffic.
Also Appearing:
The Prix @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – Catchy 1960s garage rock-inspired local band. Download “Disappearing
Woven Hand @ Silverlake Lounge ($12) – Night two.
Nightfur @ the Scene (Free)
Club NME: Gliss / Die Die Die @ Spaceland – Gliss are veterans of the local scene. Die Die Die are from New Zealand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday Night Music Options 4/10/07


Tonight's Most Interesting Choices:
Muse @ the Forum (Sold Out) – If you love Radiohead and Queen, then Muse is probably your favorite band. Their new album lost me, as it just went way, way, way over-the-top. They play along to lots of pre-recorded tracks, but musicians tell me that’s not that easy to do. Any way you cut it, they’re a powerful live band. I’ve seen them in festival settings, mid-size venues and the Greek and I’ve always been impressed. The Forum seems like a pretty awful place to see anybody, but maybe Muse can pull it off.
Dead Ponies / Sabrosa Purr @ the Echo (Free for 21 and over, $5 for 18-21) – Dead Ponies play intense, layered guitar music and put on a good live show. They remind me of a lot my favorite bands from college. The show’s free, so the risk is low.
Woven Hand @ Silverlake Lounge ($12) – He’s the front man of 16 Horsepower and frequently gets compared to Nick Cave. Christianity plays an important role in his music.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Night Music Options 4/9/07

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've been lying on the couch sweating and shivering for the past five days. I had tickets to see Jason Lytle and Aaron Espinosa last Wednesday and couldn't go. I probably would have seen some shows this weekend too. Anybody make it out to Richard Swift and David Vandervelde? I'm finally starting to feel a little better, but I'm on a dial-up connection at the moment, so I'll keep it brief. Check out one of the free residencies tonight.....

Monday's Pick:
The Minor Canon / Secretary Bird @ Spaceland (Free) - As I previously reported, the Minor Canon was very good last week.

Also Recommended:
The Black Pine / The Stevenson Ranch Davidians / Hearts of Palm UK @ the Echo (Free)

Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3) / LSD and the Search for God / Eskimohunter @ Safari Sam's ($10)

Wires on Fire @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday Music Options 4/4/07

The Little Ones Headline the Troubadour Tonight


Tonight's Pick:
The Little Ones / Sea Wolf @ the Troubadour ($12) – The Little Ones put out my favorite local release last year. They’ve been touring the world, so it will be interesting to see how they’ve grown as a band. After this they head out on the road with Kaiser Chiefs and the Walkmen and then off to the UK again in May. Sea Wolf is a relatively new band featuring local heartthrob Alex Church from Irving. It’s more singer-songwritery and less poppy. They recently signed to Dangerbird and they’re heading out for a few west coast dates with labelmates the Silverun Pickups after this show. Download Sea Wolf’s “You Are Wolf
Also recommended:
Jason Lytle & Aaron Espinoza @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – The lead singers of Grandaddy and Earlimart collaborate on stage. Could be cool.
Other Options that have their charms:
Club NME: Persephone’s Bees / The Lashes / Blackmarket @ Spaceland
Richard Buckner / Six Parts Seven @ the Echo ($15) – I think this might be an early show because Dub Club happens every Wednesday at the Echo (unless it’s downstairs in the ExPlx). The Echo’s website seems to indicate the former.
The Yardbirds @ Knitting Factory ($27) – Two original members, but not Clapton, Beck or Page.
Henry Clay People / Kissing Tigers @ the Scene

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday's Live Music Options 4/3/07


This day totally slipped by me. I made it out to Spaceland last night for the first night of the Minor Canon residency. It was a short, but sweet set. With the exception of one minor technical glitch (the vocals went out for 2/3 of one of the songs) the band sounded great. They've promised to play a different cover each night of their residency and last night they chose a Pavement song. Very cool. A few of my friend hadn't heard the Minor Canon before and walked away very impressed (one of them picked up the CD too). That's what the Monday night residencies are for - to check out new bands in a low risk way. You've really got no excuse....
Tonight's Pick:
Son Volt / Jason Molina & Magnolia Electric Co. @ El Rey ($19) – Jay Farrar is one of alt country’s pioneers. He was in Uncle Tupelo with Jeff Tweedy until he broke them up and founded Son Volt. He’s also put out a few records under his own name. Last year he put out a record with Anders Parker under the moniker, Gob Iron. The new record, The Search, is unmistakably Son Volt. The songs are a mix of angry rockers and mournful ballads. Lyrics are peppered with tales from the road, cursory mentions of religion and working class themes. Farrar expresses his anger about politics, “When war is profit and profit is war.” There’s a touching, pedal steel inflected song sung from the perspective of a failed rocker who turned to meth. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, it’s just Americana done very well. It was the perfect soundtrack during a recent road trip to Lake Arrowhead. Letter Grade: B
Jason Molina’s Magnolia Electric Co. gets a lot of Neil Young comparisons. I don’t think he’s quite earned that comparison yet, but he’s pretty good.
Other Options:
Scanners / Deadly Syndrome @ Cinespace ($5) – For indie dance crowd.
The Mars Volta @ Orpheum (Sold Out) – They’re very energetic live. Their recorded stuff doesn’t interest me as much.
Andrew W.K. @ Safari Sam’s ($5) – Doofus rock.
Brandi Carlile @ Troubadour (Sold Out)

Top Five Most Interesting New Releases 4/3/07



There's not a whole lot of indie rock or indie pop this week, but still stuff for the southern rock, brit pop, anthem rock, electronica, ambient, hip-hop and funk fans.


Top Five Most Interesting New Releases:
Jarvis Cocker: Jarvis (Rough Trade) – Mostly good reviews for the first solo album from Pulp’s lead singer. Well crafted pop songs but maybe nothing as catchy as “Common People.” See him at Coachella on 4/27.

Timbaland: Timbaland Presents Shock Value (Interscope) – Jay-Z, the Hives, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Fall Out Boy, She Wants Revenge make guest appearance. Pitchfork ripped it yesterday, giving it a 4.1/10.

Kings of Leon: Because of the Times (RCA) – Southern rockers put out a more mature third album. Appearing at Coachella on 4/28. I haven’t heard it yet.

The Twilight Sad: Fourteen Autumns Fifteen Winters (Fat Cat/Caroline) – These guys have some damn thick Scottish accents. I’d say their music is about 50% Mogwai and 50% Snow Patrol. Pitchfork compared their EP to U2. If you like big anthem rock, check it out. Scott over at Little Radio gave it a really good review. At the Knitting Factory on 4/18. Letter Grade: B-

Various Artists: Florida Funk 1968-1975 (Now Again) – I’m kind of a sucker for these compilations of old obscure music. This is the third in a series of obscure funk compilations and it’s a very enjoyable listen. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist have already sampled stuff off of these tracks. Letter Grade: B


Other Noteworthy New Releases:
DJ Babu: The Beat Tape Vol. 1 (Nature Sounds/Caroline) – DJ for Dilated Peoples and Beat Junkies.
DJ Vadim: Sound Catcher (BBE/Caroline) – Russian DJ.
The Field: From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt Germany) – Pitchfork gave this one a 9.0/10. It sounds a bit too techno-y for my taste.
Fountains of Wayne: Traffic and Weather (Virgin) – I think we can all agree that “Stacy’s Mom” was pretty awful. Predictably, this record gets bad reviews from the hip magazines and decent reviews from the mainstream mags. Appearing at Coachella on 4/28.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly: Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager (Atlantic) – Well hyped British emo-folk, singer-songwriter.
Matthew Herbert: Score (!K7 Records/Caroline)
Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs: You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying (Damaged Goods)Idlewild: Make Another World (Sanctuary) – Fifth album from the Scottish band that often gets compared to R.E.M. I’ve got their first few albums and I like them alright.
Yoko Ono: Open Your Box (Astralwerks) – Basement Jaxx, Pet Shop Boys, etc. take Yoko’s vocals and make tracks for the dancefloor.
Ozomatli: Don’t Mess with the Dragon (Concord) – Local salsa/hip-hop dudes. Appearing at Amoeba tonight and Coachella on 4/28.
Paper Airplanes: Boyhood (54 40 or Fight) – An indie rock band from Wichita, Kansas. You don’t see that everyday.
Soundtrack: Grindhouse – Planet Terror (Varese Sarabande) – New soundtrack from Robert Rodriguez’s portion of the film
Soundtrack: Death Proof (Maverick) – New soundtrack from Quentin Tarantino’s portin of the film.
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) – Spaced out ambient music. Pitchfork gave this a very respectable 8.6/10 today.

Box Set/Reissues:
The Knife: Silent Shout Deluxe Edition (Mute) – Pitchfork’s album of the year with a live disc, DVD with all their videos.
Pentangle: The Time Has Come (Castle) – Expensive Box Set from Bert Jansch's folk-rock band.
Stiff Little Fingers: Anthology (Caroline)

Import Seven Inch Vinyl:
Arcade Fire: Keep the Car Running
The Good, The Bad and the Queen: Green Fields Part 1
The Good, the Bad and the Queen: Green Fields Part 2

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Night Music Options 4/2/07


Tonight's Pick:
The Minor Canon / Nico Stai / Repeater / The By and By @ Spaceland (Free) – The Minor Canon put out one of my favorite records of the young year. I’ve written extensively about them and now I command you to see them at their free, month long residency at Spaceland. I once wrote a post where I attempted to trace all the bands that sprang out of Strictly Ballroom and Further (I’ve since learned how to spell Jimmy Tamborello and also realized that the drummer I failed to identify in Strictly Ballroom is now Minor Canon’s manager). You’re not going to hear Steve Aoki DJ’ing this stuff at Lindsay Lohan’s birthday party. It’s a bit melancholy, but not in a depressing way. There are horns and organs and a pop sensibility at the heart of it all. Go over to their Myspace page and check it out.
Free Residencies:
The Black Pine @ the Echo (Free) – The Black Pine are doing the free residency at the Echo this month.
Wires on Fire @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – Wires on Fire are doing the Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge. They’re on the cover the LA Record this week. Their music is a bit more abrasive than the other bands doing residencies this month.
Also Appearing:
Ratatat / 120 Days @ the Fonda ($15) – This show’s more for the indie dance crowd people.
Rooney / Scanners @ the Roxy ($10) – Datarock and Scanners packed Spaceland last Wednesday night.
Akil the MC (from Jurassic 5) @ Safari Sam’s ($10)
Anavan / Health @ Pehr Space