Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Nekromantix @ House of Blues ($16.50)
Hiss Golden Messenger @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Adema @ Safari Sam’s ($14)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Kyle H. Mabson @ the Smell
[Recommended] The Entrance Band @ Spaceland ($10) – Stoner rock ‘n’ roll.
United By Sound @ El Cid ($8)
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys ($15)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Hello Menno / Polar Goldie Cats @ the Smell
Lemmy Kilmister / The Binges @ The Roxy ($15)
The Electric Prunes / Strawberry Alarm Clock @ Knitting Factory ($30)
Social Distortion @ House of Blues (Sold Out)
Dirty Sweet / Year Long Disaster @ Spaceland ($8) – Dirty, rock ‘n’ roll.
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Jamie Stewart (solo) / Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound @ the Smell
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($15) – Doing a rock show
Social Distortion @ House of Blues (Sold Out)
[Recommended] Melvins / 400 Blows / Tweak Bird @ Echoplex ($18)
Reno in LA: Neil Hamburger @ Spaceland ($8) – Funny? Man.
Fiona Landers @ Tangier ($8)
The Smell’s 10 Year Anniversary: Hello Astronaut, Goodbye Television / Devon Williams @ the Smell
Nikka Costa @ the Roxy
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($15) – Doing a country show
Social Distortion @ House of Blues ($27.50)
[Recommended] Sweet & Tender Hooligans @ Spaceland ($18) – Very popular Smiths/Morrissey cover band featuring Joe Escalante (Vandals/Indie 103).
[Recommended] The Pity Party / Fat Lip / Restaurant @ Little Radio ($20)
Nas @ House of Blues ($100)
Eagles of Death Metal / Hello Stranger / The Ringers @ the Roxy
Gram Rabbit @ the Echo ($20)
Sister Nancy @ Echoplex ($20)
Veruca Salt / Donita Sparks / Run Run Run / Repeater @ Safari Sam’s ($15)
Anavan / Softboiled Eggies @ the Smell
Supersuckers @ Viper Room ($40)
Hard: Justice (DJ Set) / Peaches / 2 Live Crew / Softlightes @ Downtown – 613 Imprerial Street ($75) – This one is limited to 5,000 people.
Giant Maximus: Mstrkrft / Z Trip / Lazaro Casanova / LA Riots / Tiesto @ Downtown – 835 Francisco Street ($88) – Party with 10,500 of your best pals.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1) Okkervil River: The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar) – Will Sheff’s a songwriter with something to say. I played this record more than anything else this year. They already do really well, but I’m betting that they’ll be the next indie band to crossover like the Shins and Arcade Fire. And they deserve it.
Download “Our Life Is Not a Movie Or Maybe”
Download Golden Opportunities (for the converted - a free covers album featuring their take on John Phillips, John Cale, Serge Gainsbourg, Jimmy Webb, etc.)
2) Blonde Redhead: 23 (4AD) – Pay attention young bands. Blonde Redhead is a great example of a band that grows and explores new ground with each release. Album seven is lush with electronic backing tracks and Kazu’s voice upfront. Maybe their finest yet.
3) The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) – This husband and wife band from Montreal got more spins on my turntable than the Arcade Fire. Bombastic, dramatic and over-the-top in the best possible way.
Download “And You Lied To Me”
4) David Vandervelde: The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian) – Unibrow or not, this guy writes some fantastic rock ‘n’ roll songs. A bit of early T. Rex mixed with a pop sensibility but played hard and fast (especially live). He wrote a lot of this music when he was 19.
Download “Nothin’ No” and “Jacket”
5) Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise) – I contributed way too much money to Neil Young this year (see my Nokia review), but at least he gave us this. This is what a live album should be - great stories and re-imagined versions of classics. The first part of the long awaited Archives releases comes out in February, so I’m sure I’ll be forced to re-buy this. Thanks Neil.
6) Dr. Dog (Park the Van) – Indie snobs dismiss Dr. Dog as “easy guitar melodies and predictable rhythms thrust at us with no discernible amount of self-awarenes.” You should be careful about listening to indie snobs, or you’ll end up buying records like THIS. I prefer to think of Dr. Dog as 1960’s-inpired music that puts a smile on my face.
Download “Worst Trip” and “Ain’t It Strange”
7) Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) – My expectations for Spoon are so high, that I dismissed this when it came out. In retrospect it’s a damn fine record.
Download “The Underdog”
8) Peter Bjorn & John: Writer’s Block (Almost Gold) – A lot of people had this on their best of 2006 list, but it came out domestically in 2007. While “Young Folks” has gotten so much play it’s become unbearable, it’s still a great album.
9) Radiohead: In Rainbows (Self Released) – The amazing part is that Radiohead actually made a record I wanted to hear (unlike the last few).
10) Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) – Despite the backlash, they’re still a great band.
The Next Ten (Alphabetical):
Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha [mp3] (Fat Possum) – I had to see him live to get it.
The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On [mp3] (Merge) – They were at the top of my local list.
The Earlies: Enemy Chorus [mp3] (Secretly Canadian) – Overtly political. I wish these guys would tour the States.
Iron & Wine: The Shepherd’s Dog [mp3 and mp3] (Sub Pop) – I prefer stripped down, but I’ll take this too. Seeing the live show helped.
Menomena: Friend and Foe [mp3] (Barsuk) – Experimental but listenable. The best packaging of the year.
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away [mp3] (Sub Pop) – Not their best, but still better than most.
Elliott Smith: New Moon [mp3] (Kill Rock Stars) – Another post-humous release.
Richard Swift: Dressed Up for the Letdown [mp3] (Secretly Canadian) – Tin Pan Alley meets McCartney.
Wilco: Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch) – The VW ads got old fast, but the record’s still a good listen.
Yeasayer: All Hour Symbols [mp3 and mp3] (We Are Free) – I don’t love all the lyrics, but there are some great songs and a lot of really good ideas.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
[Recommended] Great Northern / The Happy Hollows / The Spores @ Viper Room ($10 / Free with RSVP) – Yet another good lineup.
Exitmusic / In Waves @ Bordello ($10)
The Binges / The Ringers / The Harlots / Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip @ Spaceland (Free)
[Recommended] Henry Clay People @ the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa
Butch Walker @ Hotel Café (Sold Out)
Blind Boys of Alabama @ Disney Concert Hall ($67) – Great tickets remain.
[Recommended] Let’s Independent: Castledoor / Flying Tourbillon Orchestra / Frankel @ Boardner’s (Free) – I’m loving Frankel right now. Bronson’s loving Castledoor.
Ranch Party: Merle Jagger / Cousin Lovers @ Spaceland ($8) – It was nice to walk into Spaceland last month and see a crowd of people in cowboy hats.
The Kris Special / Get Set Go / The Stevenson Ranch Davidians @ the Echo – Get Set Go is Mike TV’s band.
The Monolators @ the Scene (Free)
Social Distortion @ House of Blues Sunset (Sold Out)
Franklin For Short @ Bordello ($8)
Oliver Future @ Viper Room ($10)
Marvelous Toy / One Trick Pony @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Nu-Tra / Fuxedoes / Jean-Paul Yamamoto @ Safari Sam’s ($6)
Club NME: The Republic Tigers @ Spaceland
David Garza @ Largo
The Binges @ Troubadour ($8) – If you didn’t want to see them for free at Spaceland, you can pay $8 at the Troubadour.
Faraway Places @ the Echo ($5)
[Recommended] Ice Skating Alert: The Henry Clay People / Bollweevil @ Pershing Square (Free)
[Recommended] Michael Hurley / The Entrance Band / Ans @ Bordello ($10)
[Recommended] Lilys / Winter Flowers / Mezzanine Owls @ Spaceland – Kurt Heasley’s a chameleon. Some people love his early shoegaze records while I prefer his 1965-1967 British phase. Lately he seems like a visitor from outer space. Hopefully it’s at least partially an act.
Ozomatli / Cut Chemist @ House of Blues
Rumspringa / Army Navy @ the Echo ($5)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Raspberry Cocaine @ Viper Room
[Recommended] Rademacher @ the Echo ($5)
[Recommended] Busdriver / Daedelus @ Troubadour ($12)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
[Recommended] The Lilys / Ariel Pink / Holy Shit @ Spaceland ($8) – If you’re in the market for some opium or peyote, this is probably a pretty good place to look.
RRIICCEE @ Rec Center Studios ($17) – Vincent Gallo and Erik Erlandsen.
Nightfur @ El Cid ($8)
Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Gibson Amphithatre
Ozomatli @ House of Blues
Gary Hoey Band @ Safari Sam’s Very Be Careful @ Bordello ($10)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations booked)
Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Gibson Amphithatre
[Recommended] Wu-Tang Clan @ House of Blues ($75) – Pricey, but good.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Top 10 Albums:
#1 - Jens Lekman 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' (secretly canadian)
Download "The Opposite of Hallelujah" and "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo"
Broken West 'I'll Go On, I Can't Go On' (merge)
Common 'Finding Forever' (geffen)
Jarvis Cocker 'Jarvis' (rough trade)
Kanye West 'Graduation' (roc-a-fella)
LCD Soundsystem 'Sound of Silver' (capitol / dfa)
Les Savy Fav 'Let's Stay Friends' (french kiss)
Okkervil River 'The Stage Names' (jagjaguwar)
Spoon 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' (merge)
Beirut "In The Mausoluem"
CRS "US Placers"
Earlimart "Nothing is True"
John Vanderslice "Tablespoon Of Codeine"
Lily Allen "Nan You're a Window Shopper"
Maps "Don't Fear"
Of Montreal "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse"
School of Seven Bells "Face to Face on High Places"
Stars "Sleep Tonight" (Junior Boys mix)
Super Furry Animals "Baby Ate My Eightball"
Architecture in Helsinki / Dntel / Electrelane / Emma Pollock / Explosions in the Sky / Gruff Rhys / Jay-Z / Liars / Scout Niblett
Traveling Wilburys 'Collection' (rhino)
Recommended on Friday 12/14/07:
Christmas Sweater Competition: The Deadly Syndrome / Eskimohunter / The Pity Party / The Happy Hollows / The Mae Shi @ Crash Mansion ($5 minimum donation) – Solid lineup, all doing two fifteen minute sets (for charity). Four out of five of these bands have done Spaceland residencies and the fifth can’t be far behind.
RZA @ El Rey ($25)
Dead Ponies @ On the Rox
Van Halen @ Staples Center ($150) – Kinda steep.
Also Appearing on Friday 12/14/07:
LA Riots / Publicist (Seb from Trans Am) / Anavan @ Echoplex ($10) – Indie dance crowd.
The Morning Benders @ the Echo ($5)
Hearts of Palm UK @ El Cid ($10)
Imperial Teen / Midnight Movies @ Troubadour ($14)
Circus Minor @ Spaceland
Recommended on Saturday 12/15/07:
Dead Meadow / Rosewood Thieves / Henry Clay People @ Little Radio ($12) – Christmas party with only 150 tickets available for the public. Dead Meadow's new album comes out on Matador on 2/5/08. The first MP3 is now available "What Needs Must Be"
Les Savy Fav / The Dodos / We Barbarians @ El Rey ($19) – Heavy indie rock.
Download “What Would Wolves Do” and “The Equestrian”
Stevie Wonder @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out) – A real legend.
Also Appearing on Saturday 12/15/07:
Snoop Dogg @ House of Blues ($55) – Benefit for Snoop’s football league.
Pigeon John @ Temple Bar ($12)
The Greyboy Allstars @ Troubadour ($25)
Ultraviolet, Stones Throw, The Fader Party @ 209 S. Garey (Free) – DJs Peanut Butter Wolf, Valida, Dam-Funk, & Jamie Strong, Free Drinks – RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Etta James @ Wiltern ($50)
Dynamite Walls @ Spaceland
Check Yo Ponytail: Klever & Titsworth / Japanther / The Black Ghosts / Ima Gymnist @ the Echoplex ($12) – Indie dance crowd.
Recommended for Sunday 12/16/07:
The Harpeth Trace / Listing Ship / Correatown @ Spaceland (Free)
Also appearing on Sunday 12/16/07:
Tori Amos @ Nokia Theatre LA Live ($54 tix remain) – I sat 2nd row at a Tori Amos concert once in college. The way she worked the corner of that piano bench as she sang about subjects like rape was a bit disturbing.
Part Time Punks: Savage Republic @ the Echo ($10)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Ice Skating Alert: The Movies / Fool’s Gold @ Pershing Square (Free) – at 8:00PM
Richard Hawley / Ferraby Lionheart @ Troubadour ($18)
West Indian Girl @ Bordello (email email@example.com for guestlist)
The Modlins / The Fresas / Swim Party / Eux Autres @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Moving Units / Scissors for Lefty / Tigercity @ the Echoplex (Free)
Team Sleep @ the Fonda ($17)
3. Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar) - I don't have much of a super mellow side but this record definitely appeals to it.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Day three of our top 10 lists from guest contributors. Today's guest is Ross Flournoy (lead singer of the Broken West). The Broken West's debut album I Can't Go On, I'll Go On recently topped my list of favorite local releases. You can bid on an autographed Broken West drum head on Ebay (for charity). The Broken West also recently started a blog.
Top 10 Records (in no particular order):
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (DFA/Capitol)
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
The Clientele - God Save the Clientele (Merge)
Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew - Spirit If... (Arts & Crafts)
Okkervil River - The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)
Oakley Hall - I'll Follow You (Merge)
Iron & Wine - The Shepard's Dog (Sub Pop)
Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall (Reprise)
The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
Trans Am - Sex Change (Thrill Jockey)
Radio Alert: Kevin Bronson on Little Radio @ 6:00PM – Bronson counts down his 25 favorite songs by LA artists.
Bjork / Ratatat @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out) – I don’t spend a ton of time kicking it at the crib listening to Bjork. But I have seen her four or five times and it’s always extremely entertaining.
Le Switch / Princeton / The Health Club @ the Scene – Presented by Squaregirls and Radio Free Silver Lake. You know I love Le Switch.
All Smiles / Sara Lov / Mia Doi Todd / Anders & Woods @ Tangier ($10) – Good lineup.
Low End Theory: School of Seven Bells @ Airliner – School of Seven Bells is the new band featuring Ben Curtis (formerly) of the Secret Machines. They’ve been on tour with Prefuse 73.
Club NME: Office / Tigercity / Via Audio @ Spaceland ($8) – Office makes really clean Weezer-ish rock. They toured with Earlimart and got a decent Pitchfork review.
Ben Lee @ El Rey ($17) – Ben Lee’s got a new album on New West Records. Gary Calamar of KCRW recently named it his favorite record of 2007.
Jesca Hoop @ Troubadour ($12) – This was at the top of Nic Harcourt’s top 10 list for 2007.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
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.
David Bazan / J Tillman / The Minor Canon @ Spaceland ($12) – Former Pedro the Lion frontman. Get there early for The Minor Canon.
Squirrel Nut Zippers / Eleni Mandell @ El Rey ($22.50)
The Rosewood Thieves @ Bordello ($8)
The Broken Remotes @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Gimme Shelter: Mandy Moore / Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet / Pete Yorn / Phantom Planet / Jesca Hoop @ the Roxy ($25) – A benefit for autistic children.
The Black Ghosts @ Cinespace
Oliver Future @ Viper Room ($10)
Monday, December 10, 2007
I thought it would be fun to ask some other people what they enjoyed in 2007. First up is Aaron (lead singer of Le Switch) Kyle's list of top 10 new releases in 2007. You can see Le Switch at El Rey tonight or the Scene on Wednesday. Look for their debut album this Spring.
1. Dr. Dog - We All Belong (Park the Van)
3. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch)
4. Sparklehorse - Dreamt for Light Years in The Belly of A Mountain (Astralwerks)
6. The Broken West - I can't go on, I'll go on (Merge)
8. Tandemoro - The Movers and The Shakers (Self Released)
9. Frankel - Lullaby For The Passerby (Self Released)
Honorable mention -- Division Day - Beartrap Island (Eenie Meenie)
Radio Free Silver Lake Benefit for HD: The Movies / Western States Motel / Sarah (from the Happy Hollows) / The Spires / Thailand @ Safari Sam’s ($5)
The LA Weekly Presents Click Hear: Le Switch / Mezzanine Owls / The Black Ghosts / Tweak Bird / The Valley Arena ($10) – Hit up the Rock Insider or Aquarium Drunkard for free tickets
Tool / Trans Am @ Nokia Theatre LA Live (Sold Out)
Eskimohunter / Black Kites / Silver Cities / Let’s Go Sailing (acoustic) @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room on Myspace) – Another solid Monday night lineup.
Abe Vigoda @ the Smell
Deerhoof @ Avalon ($10)
Goon Moon @ Troubadour ($13)
The Binges @ Spaceland (Free) – The Binges continue their Monday night residency.
Henry Clay People @ the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa
Friday, December 07, 2007
As I said yesterday, it was a good year to be an LA music fan. Our labels released a slew of good local bands: Dangerbird (Sea Wolf, One AM Radio, Eulogies), Eenie Meenie (Great Northern, Division Day re-issue), Stones Throw (J Dilla reissue, Chrome Children compilations, Yesterday’s New Quintet, Jaylib, Madlib, Oh No, etc.), Dim Mak (The Deadly Syndrome, Foreign Born, Willowz, The Icarus Line, Sean Na Na). The all ages, DIY, Smell-based scene (No Age, HEALTH, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko) got national publicity too. While many cities can boast great music scenes (Montreal, New York come to mind), few can compete with the overall breadth and talent in Los Angeles.
Jax and Scott have already laid their local top 10 lists out for you. Now here is mine:
1) The Broken West: I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (Merge) – I listened to this record as much as anything else this past year. I’m not the only one who loved it, the Aquarium Drunkard has it in his top six and Scott has it at #1 on his list of top 10 local releases. They’ve evolved so much as a band since this came out, I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next. Paste Magazine has it on their list too.
2) The Minor Canon: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Tenderness) – The Minor Canon make heartfelt pop music complemented by horns and piano. Paul Larson’s a veteran of the local scene and played guitar on the new Dntel record.
3) The Deadly Syndrome: The Ortolan (Dim Mak) – Quirky indie music with accordions and an obsession with ghosts. Along with the Broken West and Redheads, they were on my short list of bands to watch in 2007. Ian Cohen wrote a solid review on Pitchfork (7.4/10), Jeff Weiss gave them a B+ on Stylus, and the All Music Guide gave them a 4.5/5 but they remain LA’s secret. Hopefully they get out and tour more in 2008 so the rest of the country catches on. Bronson at the LA Times recently picked them as a band to watch in 2008 (along with Airborne Toxic Event and Castledoor).
4) Frankel: Lullaby for the Passerby (Self-Released) – Frankel is Michael Orendy. He makes chamber pop along the lines of Richard Swift or Andrew Bird. Credit goes to the Aquarium Drunkard for turning me onto this one (and it shows up in his top six for year).
5) Earlimart: Mentor Tormentor (Major Domo) – Aaron Espinoza just keeps growing as a songwriter. This is his best stuff yet.
Download "Everybody Knows Everybody" (via Pitchfork)
6) Le Switch: Hello Today (Self-Released) – This EP has grown on me like a sick fungus. I used to describe them saloon rock, but it’s more like a Wings/ solo McCartney/ Early 70s Kinks sound. They’ve been in the studio recording their debut full length for the Aquarium Drunkard’s Autumn Tone label (see Jeff Weiss’ LA Weekly feature that mentions the blogger created labels here).
7) The Henry Clay People: Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache (Self-Released) – I’m a recent convert to the Henry Clay People. It’s damn good 1990’s inspired indie guitar rock played with passion.
8) The Moon Upstairs: Guarding the Golden Apple (Gifted Children Records) – I have a feeling that If I smoked weed, this would be even higher on the list. The influences are vast, but if I had to narrow it to one, I’d say solo George Harrison-inspired stuff.
9) The Parson Red Heads: King Giraffe (Yukon Records) – They’re such an incredibly likeable cult (I mean band). With their pre-drug 1960s-inspired sound, they come off like a newer version of the Beachwood Sparks before the Beachwood Sparks decided it was a good idea to sit down while playing. They’ll be doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland in January.
Tie 10) Patrick Park: Everyone’s In Everyone (Curb Appeal) – I used to go see Patrick Park play live a lot. This record’s more consistent than his debut and gone are the bombastic arrangements. The All Music Guide gave it 4.5/5 and compared it to Josh Ritter and Josh Rouse, which is a pretty good descriptor.
Foreign Born: On the Wing Now (Dim Mak) - Foreign Born has the potential to be the biggest of all these bands. Their anthemic, Echo & the Bunnymen-inspired songs have the potential to connect with all kinds of people. Peter from PB&J recently name checked them on NPR, Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear put them at #6 in his top 10 for 2007 and Bronson at the LA Times will probably have them near the top of his list. Pitchfork gave them a solid 7.2/10 too. Look for them on the road with St. Vincent in early 2008.
Download "In the Shape" and "Union Hall"
Honorable Mentions: Tigers Can Bite You, Qui, Busdriver, Eleni Mandell
Three bands to look out for in 2008:
1) Everest - Everest is a band of LA music scene veterans (Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Rob Douglas, Davey Latter, Joel Graves) who released an excellent three song EP this year. They’ve been recording their full length and it’s one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of 2008. As the kids say, they’re slow burners. I dare you to go over to their Myspace page and tell me that new song isn’t great. They’re coming out of hibernation in January. See them at Spaceland on 1/14/08 and the Echo on 1/28/08. The LAist also picked them as a band to watch in 2008.
2) Le Switch – The EP whet my appetite for more. Aaron Kyle has grown so much as a songwriter and the rest of the band are strong contributors who flesh out the songs. They play the type of music that I love. They’re debut full length is tentatively scheduled for release around April 2008. See them at El Rey on 12/10 or the Scene on 12/12.
3) The Henry Clay People – They’re the cover boys on the new LA Record
Dengue Fever @ the Getty (Sold Out) – They’ve got a new album coming out in January. Fans won’t be disappointed. Cambodian psych done well. They’re fun to see live too.
Andrew Bird / The Handsome Family @ Orpheum ($25) – For me, Andrew Bird stole the show when he played the Hollywood Bowl with the Decemberists and Band of Horses. He tours as a trio but the band loop their instruments and re-create the lush, chamber sounds of the Armchair Apocrypha album. His live show is a little reminiscent of a Jon Brion show, where you feel like you’re watching a mad genius.
Radars to the Sky / Henry Clay People /The Hectors / The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra @
Spaceland – I’m totally on the Henry Clay People bandwagon. This is a good local indie lineup. Joe at RFSL was giving away free tickets for this.
Deborah Harry @ the Fonda ($31) – She’s a legend. My brother and I listened to Blondie’s “Rapture” 7” a lot when we were kids.
Winter Wonderland Slow Dance: Jeremy Jay / The Chapin Sisters @ the Smell ($5)
The Thermals / The Big Sleep @ the Echoplex ($15)
The Natural Disasters / The Monolators @ Mr. T’s Bowl
The Spice Girls @ Staples Center (Sold Out) – OK, now that you sing it, I do remember that one Spice Girls song.
Greg Laswell @ Hotel Café
Jon Brion / Nels Cline @ Largo (Reservations Booked) – If you get there early enough you might be able to stand at the bar.
The Black Watch @ Tangier
Raspberry Cocaine @ El Cid ($10)
Naked Raygun @ Knitting Factory ($16)
Mike Stinson @ Cinema Bar – If you’re in Culver City, this is a lotta fun.
Malcolm Sosa (of Rademacher) @ Pehrspace
Jon Brion / Nels Cline @ Largo (Reservations Booked) – If you get there early enough you might be able to stand at the bar.
Balkan Beat Box / Dengue Fever @ the Echoplex ($15)
The Coral Sea / The Playing Favorites / Light FM / Exitmusic @ Spaceland – Joe at RFSL was giving away free tickets for this.
Heloise & the Savoir Faire / Lovelikefire @ Bordello ($10) – If you’re into stalking Frodo, I recommend Bordello this show (he was at Spaceland last night). The band is very theatrical.
Almost Acoustic Christmas: Linkin Park / Angels & Airwaves / Avenged Sevenfold /
Bad Religion / Paramore / Rise Against / Serj Tankian @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Sold Out) – I’m sure they’re all perfectly nice people.
John Mayer @ Nokia Theatre LA Live ($70) – He’s got a hot lady friend.
Prefuse 73 / School of Seven Bells @ Troubadour ($17) – The new Prefuse 73 is a good listen. School of Seven Bells is the new band featuring Ben Curtis of the Secret Machines. School of Seven Bells is also playing the Airliner on Wednesday (if you’re busy on Sunday).
Heloise & the Savoir Faire @ Tangier ($8) – Another potential Frodo stalking spot.
Shonen Knife @ Knitting Factory ($15) – Still kicking.
Punk Rock Karaoke @ Spaceland ($12) – An all star punk band (Greg Hetson, Eric Melvin, Steve Soto, Derek O’Brien) play while you sing. If you’re a band, it might be a good night to try to weasel some free drinks out of Mitchell and Jeff.
Part Time Punks: Medium Medium / Abe Vigoda @ the Echo ($10)
Almost Acoustic Christmas: Muse / Feist / Jimmy Eat World / Modest Mouse / The Shins / Silversun Pickups / Spoon @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Sold Out) – This is more my speed. Who doesn’t like Muse, the Shins, Silversun and Spoon?
The Sounds / The Bravery @ Avalon (Sold Out) – This is labeled “A Very Special Event.” But I must ask - for whom?
Thursday, December 06, 2007
A year ago I posted my top 10 albums for LA artists for 2006. Looking back at the list is a good starting point for reflecting on the LA music scene in 2007. Two of the artists, Silversun Pickups and Cold War Kids, exceeded all expectations and broke huge on an international scale in 2007 (tons of national TV appearances, sold out shows and love from MTV). Both bands recently played headling, sold out shows at the Wiltern. Silversun’s show sold out so fast they probably could have sold out additional nights. Silversun’s currently making the rounds at the big Alt rock radio station holiday shows. Cold War Kids were handpicked by the White Stripes for a supporting slot, but unfortunately that tour got canceled. To my knowledge, neither band has had time to get into the studio for work on their follow up yet. I’m guessing that both will happen in early 2008.
The artist at the top of my list last year was the Little Ones. The band toured their asses off in 2007, opening shows for Voxtrot, Kaiser Chiefs, the Walkmen, the Magic Numbers, Tilly and the Wall, We Are Scientists and the Boy Least Likely To. They spent a large chunk of the year in the UK, but also found time to record their debut full length with Dave Newton. Look for Morning Tide sometime next April (the exact date hasn’t been set yet). They just posted the first single on their Myspace page. While the single didn’t grab me immediately like the EP, I’m anxious to hear the full length.
Two of the other artists on the list, Division Day and Let’s Go Sailing, had their albums re-issued with national distribution. Both artists did their share of touring in 2007 with Let’s Go Sailing sharing the stage with Elvis Perkins and Division Day currently on tour with Voxtrot.
One of the other artists, Jenny Lewis, spent most of the year with her main band, Rilo Kiley. Rilo Kiley released their major label debut in 2007. She did find time to go see Neil Young at the Nokia (she was sitting a row in front of me). Jenny Lewis’ collaborators, The Watson Twins were also on my list last year. The Watson Twins toured with Magnolia Electric Co. and went into the New Monkey Studio to record their debut full length. Look for that to be released this Spring.
Some of the bands had lineup changes. The Clean Prophets staged their first national tour early in the year, then saw the departure of their bass player and don’t seem to be active anymore. Publicly, The Tyde had a quiet year. They lost a member, added an old friend (Josh Scwhartz) for a few local shows and lately, Darren has been playing some solo shows. Lastly, Languis was on my list too. Shortly after the release of that EP, they lost one of the main members. This year they released some singles this year, but I haven’t heard them.
In my recap last year I also listed three bands to look out for in 2007. I’m happy to say that all three bands (The Broken West, The Parson Red Heads, The Deadly Syndrome) will be in my best of 2007 list tomorrow….
Ice Skating Alert: Castledoor / You Me & Iowa @ Pershing Square (Free) – 7:00PM
Grande Ole Echo Present Country Christmas: Mike Stinson / 5 O’Clock Somewhere / Kingsizemaybe / David Serby @ the Echo ($10) – A great country lineup and Uncle Roy as Santa.
Boom Bip @ Viper Room ($12) – Let’s try this again. I mistakenly said this show was yesterday. I’m sorry, we all make mistakes. Please don’t beat me sir. They’re good, you should check them out today, not yesterday. Girlschool Night.
Midnight Movies / Voxhaul Broadcast / Heloise & the Savoir Faire @ Spaceland ($8)
Wreckless Eric @ Safari Sam’s – Stiff Records artist who was in his prime in the late 1970s. “Whole Wide World” is well worth an iTunes download.
Artichoke / The Kris Special @ Mr. T’s Bowl
The Royal Highness @ On the Rox – Danish stoner rock.
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café – Tom Morello’s activist folk. I saw his buddy, Zach de la Rocha last weekend in Eagle Rock.
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Cut Chemist / Edan @ Silent Movie Theatre (Canceled) – THIS WAS CANCELED.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
On October 25, Sylvia conveniently forgot to play my track (at least it helps me catch up a little). But on November 1st (download the podcast) the theme of the show was music from the 1990s. I was in high school and college in the 1990s, so obviously there’s a ton of music I could have chosen. In the early days of this blog (November 2005), I did a countdown of my top 20 albums from the 1990s (11-20 Here & 1-10 Here). Looking back on it, I still agree with it in principle. I’ve gotten so disinterested in what Beck and the Flaming Lips are doing these days, I’d probably push Wilco, Elliott Smith and Belle & Sebastian above them. Anyway, I didn’t pick anything from that list on November 1st, opting instead for something more obscure.
I did my undergraduate degree in Lawrence, Kansas. The mid-1990s was a fairly fertile time for the music scene in Lawrence and Kansas City. Major labels were still on the hunt for grunge soundalikes and/or the next Seattle. Paw might have been the most successful band of that time & place (at least on the national scene). They got signed to A&M and had a minor MTV hit with Jessie (a grungey tune about a dog that also had a weird pedal steel solo). Another band that got a major label deal (Arista) was Stick. I may have made it into a mosh pit or two at their shows. One of my favorite local artists at the time was Kill Creek. They were signed to Mammoth Records which was a pretty big indie at the time (before getting gobbled up by Disney/Hollywood/Buena Vista). Their crunchy, power pop still holds up pretty well. There was also a fairly active early Emo (post Sunny Day Real Estate, pre-Hot Topic) scene. Some of the stars of that scene were Vitreous Humor (who were signed to Crank! – an LA based label), Boy’s Life (also on Crank! for an album) and Giant’s Chair. There were a couple of other heavy bands that I went to see about every other week (Shiner, Season to Risk (Columbia) and Tenderloin (Warner Bros.) spring to mind).
There are really only two bands from that place/era that I still listen to today: Butterglory and Zoom. Butterglory was a lo-fi indie band on Merge who were constantly compared to Pavement. While Butterglory maybe never quite put measured up to that, they did release some minor gems that hold up for the genre. Lead singer, Matt Suggs, continues to record for Merge. He has released two albums under his own name, and is currently records under the name White Whale.
Which, at long last, brings us to the song I picked on 11/1/07… Zoom’s “Balboa’s Cannon.” After all that buildup, I’m too tired to write anything else. There’s a good review of the album (written by an old friend from Lawrence) on the All Music Guide. I will say that I still really dig the guitar sound on the record. It’s like a mix of surf guitar and Polvo. The record was produced by underground legend, Greg Sage of the Wipers. Here’s a download of “Balboa’s Cannon” (via Built On a Weak Spot). One of the guitarists on the record was Jeremy Sidener who went on to play in Panel Donor (another good Lawrence band) and now plays bass in the Danny Pound Band (the new band from the lead singer of Vitreous Humor). Sidener recently toured with Pink Nasty as well.
Indie 103’s Bands in Toy Land: Spoon / Datarock / Pinback / Sea Wolf @ Avalon (Sold Out) – It’s a pretty good lineup.
Robert Francis / Emily Jane White / Big Search @ Tangier ($8) – This is a quality singer-songwriter showcase. Big Search is a side project of Matt, the lead singer of Foreign Born.
Nels Cline Singers / Eugene Chadbourne @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – I like the sound of the electric guitar, but Nels can be a bit much. We get it, you’re an incredible guitar player. Like that last Wilco show at the Greek. Wilco’s playing all those mellow, understated songs and then Nels would interrupt the calm in his bright red, peacock shirt and shred a guitar solo. He even did it on the lap steel.
The Spice Girls @ Staples Center ($120) – I just searched and found tix in the 26th row. I’m not just trying to be an indie dick, but I don’t think I can name one Spice Girls song.
David Garza @ Largo – He was influenced by Paul Simon way before Vampire Weekend was influenced by Paul Simon. And he’s got a song “Who Is Sylvia.”
Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Mr. T’s Bowl – Mr. T’s Christmas show. Surprise guests are promised.
The Dilettantes / Electromagnetic / Tom McShane @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Joel Gion was the tambourine player in Brian Jonestown Massacre. I can’t say that I’m crazy about his singing voice, but if you’re into BJM this might be a good scene for you tonight.
Club NME: Bloodcat Love / The Lieutenants / Hollerado @ Spaceland
Shiloe / Repeater @ Boardner’s
Jesse Malin @ Hotel Café – Ryan Adams’ buddy.
Brittney Elizabeth @ Knitting Factory ($12)
Cut Chemist / Edan @ Silent Movie Theatre (CANCELED) – Yo mang, this show ain’t happening anymore.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Aloha: Light Works EP (Polyvinyl) – Aloha’s Some Echoes was at the top of my list of favorite records last year. I had no idea this EP was even being released. The free download sounds like a departure from Some Echoes, but I’ll reserve judgment until I hear the other six songs (the others are streaming on their Myspace page). If you never picked up Some Echoes, Polyvinyl’s having a big sale right now and selling it for $8 direct. Download “Body Buzz”
Bonde do Role: Marina Gasolina (Domino) – Crazy Brazilians.
Daft Punk: Alive 2007 (Virgin) – On paper, a Daft Punk live album sounds completely pointless to me. But apparently the songs are all cut and pasted together and completely re-imagined.
Nick Drake: Fruit Tree Box Set (UME/Fontana) – The three studio albums along with a DVD of the film A Skin Too Few. CD set limited to 8,000 copies. I just re-watched A Skin Too Few on cable and it’s quite moving. There’s also a premium vinyl edition limited to 2,000 copies that includes the DVD and the lyric/song breakdown book. The vinyl version goes for $89 (which seems like too much money, but is probably worth it given how good those records are). The CDs are a little more reasonable at $60.
Ghostface Killah: The Big Doe Rehab (Def Jam) – The reviews haven’t been as positive as they were for Fishscale.
Guillemots: Back to Mine (Back to Mine) – Mix CD includes Daniel Johnston, Buffalo Springfield, Bjork, etc.
Lee Hazlewood: STRUNG OUT ON SOMETHING NEW: THE REPRISE RECORDINGS (Rhino Handmade) – The early Reprise stuff with stuff Lee produced for other artists.
Wyclef Jean: Carnival Vol. II (Sony) – Guests like Serj Tankian, Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones, Chamillionaire, Shakira, Paul Simon, T.I. At the House of Blues on 2/8/08.
The Libertines: Time for Hereos – the Best of the Libertines (Rough Trade) – Imagine being in a band with Pete Doherty. They had some good tracks.
Damien Rice: Live from the Union Chapel (Reprise)
Rufus Wainwright: Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (Geffen) – Two disc live set.
Radio Alert: The Beastie Boys on Little Radio from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM PST.
A Place to Bury Strangers / Xu Xu Fang / Mere Mortals @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – I saw A Place to Bury Strangers at the Viper Room last night. As I mentioned, they’re a Brooklyn band with a lot of buzz right now. The guitar sound is really good and I wasn’t bored watching them. That said, some of the songs are still a work in progress. If you’re into paint melting, Jesus & Mary Chain guitar sounds, they do a damn good job of it. Keep your eye on them. Get there early for Xu Xu Fang.
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings @ El Rey (Sold Out) – I accidentally caught their show at Amoeba last night. I’ll take Sharon Jones over Amy Winehouse any day of the week. A great band, high energy and everything you expect from a soul singer.
The Cave Singers / Port O’Brien / Whispertown 2000 @ the Echo ($10)
Download Port O’Brien’s “My Eyes Won’t Shut” and “Five and Dime”
Download The Cave Singers’ “Seeds of Night”
Voxhaul Broadcast / Karin Tatoyan @ Airliner ($3 / $8 if under 21)
The Royal Highness @ The Good Hurt – Danish stoner rock.
John Gold @ Bordello ($10)
Chris Stills / Emily Jane White @ Hotel Café – Emily Jane White goes on at 7:00PM.
Wayne Federman / Kevin Nealon / Sarah Silverman / Andy Kindler @ Largo
Jonathan Davis @ Orpheum ($41.50) – You’d think the lead singer of Korn could sell out the Orpheum, but I just looked and you can get tickets.
Motion City Soundtrack / Anberlin @ Wiltern ($22)
Monday, December 03, 2007
Most Interesting New Releases 11/20/07:
Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Ask Forgiveness EP (Drag City) – Will Oldham covers that Bjork/Thom Yorke song, Mickey Newbury, Phil Ochs, Danzig, R. Kelly and Merle Haggard. With one original too.
Boris with Merzbow: Rock Dream Live (Southern Lord) – Limited to 5,000. Rather than a true collaboration, it’s more just Boris songs with Merzbow joining in on them.
British Sea Power: Krankenhaus? EP (Rough Trade)
Donald Fagen: The Night Fly Trilogy (Rhino) – Reissue of the Steely Dan founder’s three solo studio albums.
Genesis: 1983-1998 Box Set (Rhino) – 5 CD/ 5 DVD set. When I think of the glory days of Genesis, 1983-1998 is not it.
Gorillaz: D-Sides (Virgin) – For the fans only. B-sides and remixes.
Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same Soundtrack (Atlantic/Rhino) – Remastered and expanded live set.
Major Stars: Mirror/Messenger (Drag City) – All Music Guide seems to like the record, but calls it disappointing and gives it a 2.5/5 largely due to a poor mix.
Bob Marley: Exodus 30th Anniversary (Tuff Gong) – I’m not the world’s biggest reggae fan, but Marley transcends a lot of that.
James Murphy & Pat Mahoney: Fabriclive.36 (Fabric) – Do you like LCD Soundsystem?
Nine Inch Nails: Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (Interscope) – Remix album of Year Zero. Also comes with a DVD ROM that allows fans to do their own remixes.
Six Organs of Admittance: Shelter From the Ash (Drag City) – I haven’t heard it yet, but Pitchfork was a bit snarky. They basically call it watered down psychedelic folk and compare it unfavorably to what Jackson Browne did to folk-rock. What’s the matter with Jackson Browne? I’d trade any one of his first three albums for everything Animal Collective has ever done.
Download “Jade Like Wine”
The Valerie Project: The Valerie Project (Drag City) – Espers and some other psych-folk Philadelphians got together to pay tribute to a Czech, New Wave film called Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. This album fared a bit better from Pitchfork, garnering a 7.5/10.
Various Artists: Brit Box (Rhino) – This is a four disc collection that covers music from the UK from the 1980s to 1990s. You can never please everybody with these broad compilations, but I think the tracklisting is pretty good. Amazon has it for a good price too.
Various Artists: Jimmy Carter – Man From the Plains Soundtrack (Milan) – Original music from David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Dan Bern, Brother Ali, Alejandro Escovedo, etc.
Various Artists: Through the Wilderness - A Tribute to Madonna (Manimal) - The CD and iTunes version are out, the vinyl comes out on 1/28/08. A bunch of mostly LA artists (Lavender Diamond, The Tyde, Giant Drag, Winter Flowers, Jonathan Wilson, The Chapin Sisters, Lions of Panjshir, Ariel Pink, Jeremy Jay) pay tribute to Madonna.
Amy Winehouse: Frank (Universal) – She’s a tragic mess but a lot of you seem to like her songs. This is actually her first album from 2003, reissued in the States at the domestic price.
In-store Alert: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM – Their show at El Rey tomorrow is sold out.
A Place to Bury Strangers / In Waves / Eulogies @ Viper Room ($10 / or free with RSVP to Myspace) – A Place to Bury Strangers are a Brooklyn based, Jesus & Mary Chain, noise-pop inspired band who got a respectable 8.4 out of 10 from Pitchfork. They’re supposedly loud. If you can’t make it out tonight (or have a Westside aversion) see them at the Silverlake Lounge tomorrow.
Carbon/Silicon @ the Troubadour ($15) – Congrats to our Carbon/Silicon prize package winner. They’re the new band from Mick Jones (the Clash/Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (Generation X/Sigue Sigue Sputnik).
Vampire Weekend / Grande Ole Party / Princeton @ the Echo ($10) – Vampire Weekend is another NYC band that got a ton of press in 2007. Jeff Weiss checked out their July show at the Silverlake Lounge and wrote about it HERE. The gist is - New York prep school meets Paul Simon’s Graceland. I haven’t spent much (read: any) time rockin’ Graceland, so I’ll throw later era Talking Heads, early David Byrne solo and Peter Gabriel into the fire. Last time they passed through they were unsigned. This time they’re signed to XL Recordings and have their debut album due in January.
The Binges / Biblical Proof of UFOs @ Spaceland (Free) – The Binges are doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland this month. They’re more of a sleazy rock ‘n’ roll band (which we too often forget about on the eastside).