Sunday, December 28, 2008

LA Live Music Options: 12/29/08 - 1/4/09

Monday 12/29/08
[Recommended] The Movies / Everest / Love Lies Sleeping / Roses Kings Castle (Adam from Babyshambles) @ Spaceland (Free) – I made it to three Movies shows in a row, which is pretty impressive for me. I seem to be out of town a lot when Everest plays.
Manimal Vinyl Residency: Rio En Medio / The Lickets / Amanda Jo Williams / Black Hole Oscillators @ The Echo (Free)
The Color Turning / Francisco the Man / Yellow Red Sparks / Secret 6 @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
Robin Thicke @ Club Nokia ($45 - $75)
Guns ‘n Broses Soloing Over Alanis Morrissette Dommm Italic Indian / White Leopards @ Pehrspace
Jake Labotz @ Redwood Bar & Grill
Lil’ Wayne / Keyshia Cole / T-Pain / Gym Class Heroes / Keri Hilson @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($56- $180)

Tuesday 12/30/08
[Recommended] Finally Punk / Bobb Bruno / P R O T E C T M E @ The Smell ($5) – If you haven’t seen Bobb Bruno yet, it’s a good time.
Dawes / Richie James Follin / Roses Kings Castles (Adam from Babyshambles) @ the Echoplex (Free before 10:30)
Akon / Shontelle @ Club Nokia ($40 - $65)
The Marshall Tucker Band @ House of Blues Sunset ($24.50)
The Evangenitals / The Beeters / Box Violet / Hello from Reno @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Godric / Adam Pasion @ Silverlake Lounge
Gipsy Kings @ Conga Room ($100 - $180)

Wednesday 12/31/08
[Recommended] The Hentry Clay People / The Happy Hollows / The Pity Party @ Spaceland ($10) – New Year’s Eve is total amateur night when it comes to going out. You won’t catch me paying $100 cover to go hang out at the Viper Room. Instead, you can see LA’s best party/bar band, the Henry Clay People for $8 (if you email them). This will be the last show for two of the members, so you can expect a raucous good time. They’ll be ending the show with lots of covers.
Low End Theory: Themselves / Free Moral Agents / Blank Blue / Samiyam / Ras G / Thavius Beck @ Airliner
Little Radio-Bank Run: Ariel Pink / Crystal Antlers / Kutmah / Port O'Brien / Restavrant / J-Logic / Hit & Run / The Natives @ The Bank [401 Main St.] - $20 for general admin or $40 for VIP entrance. 
Giant Maximus: Moby DJ set / Benny Benassi / Dirty South / Paul Oakenfold / Mark Farina / Marques Wyatt / Mickey Avalon / Dirt Nasty @ 8th and Figueroa ($75) – Get all E’ed up and act like it’s the nineties.
Pink Martini ($65 - $195) – There’s an early show at 7:00 and a late show at 10:30
Stone Temple Pilots @ Club Nokia ($79 - $129)
Snoop Dogg @ House of Blues Sunset ($115) – I enjoy Snoop, but I will not be attending a New Year’s Eve show at the House of Blues.
LA Riots / Mattie Safer / Congorock / Dances with White Girls / Them Jeans @ Viper Room ($100 includes open bar)
Not Not Fun Records / Crops and Rawbers @ Echo Curio (Free)
Gears / Paging Beto / Controllers / Beat Killers / Shoot It Up @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Cubenesis @ The Mint ($20) – Tribute to the Grateful Dead
Halloween Swim Team @ Vermont [1515 S. Vermont Ave]
The Wailers @ the Roxy ($75)
Pepe Aguilar @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($65 - $125)
Infected Mushroom @ Hollywood Palladium ($45)
Wayne Hancock / Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys / Bob Wayne @ Safari Sam’s at the Regent ($20 - $40)
Gipsy Kings @ Conga Room ($150 - $225)

Thursday 1/1/09
Shooter Jennings / Earl Greyhound / Ghost Gamblers @ El Cid (Free) – Probably a really good place to nurse your hangover and drink Bloody Mary’s.

Friday 1/2/09
[Recommended] Seasons / The Monolators / The Mormons / Spider Problem / Megalosaurus @ American Legion Hall in Highland Park [227 N. Avenue 55]
[Recommended] George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic / The Greyboy Allstars @ Club Nokia ($25 - $75)
blackblack / C-Drip / Koalacaust / Apple Orange / Insects Vs. Robots @ the Smell ($5)
The Slackers / The Impalers / Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss @ El Rey ($17)
Wolfgate / Entraller / Souless / Tazumal / Gravespawn @ Relax Bar
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Saturday 1/3/09
Babyland / Big Boy / The Kris Special / Walk @ Spaceland ($8)
Reel Big Fish @ House of Blues Sunset ($20)
Pyroklasm / Excelsior / Invocation War / Internal Conjuration / Taking Over / Exhaust @ Relax Bar
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Sunday 1/4/09
Part Time Punks: The Bridez @ The Echo ($5)
Wounded Lion / Bodies Of Water / Jubilee Singers / Tommy Santee Klaws @ the Smell ($5)
Deadbeats / Tense / Secret Society of the Sonic Six @ Echo Curio
Nanna Larsen @ Redwood Bar & Grill

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Matt Dwyer's Top 10 List (Sinking Radio

Matt Dwyer's a comedian, actor and writer. You can hear him co-hosting Sinking Radio every Friday from Noon to 2:00 PM on Little Radio. Here's his top 10 list for 2008.
starting from one to ten:

mount eerie - lost wisdom (southern) – the microphones featuring julie doiron and fred squire

the broken west - now or heaven (merge) – MP3: Auctioneer

dr dog – fate (park the van) – MP3: The Ark

mae shi – HLLLYH (team shi)

Radar Bros. Auditorium (merge) – MP3: Warm Rising Sun

Le Switch - and now (autumn tone) – MP3: Pristine

Les Blanks - shoot the horse (self-released) – MP3: Ages Old

MGMT - oracular spectacular (Columbia records)

Thao and the get down stay down - we brave bee stings & all (kill rock stars) – MP3: Bag of Hammers

Talkdemonic: eyes at half mast (arena rock) – MP3: Duality of Deathening

Monday, December 22, 2008

Todd Clifford's Best of 2008 (Sinking Radio)

You might remember Todd from Sea Level Records. These days, he co-hosts Sinking Radio on Little Radio every Friday from Noon to 2:00 PM PST. Todd also spends a great deal of his time tour managing and slinging merch for touring bands. He's also one of the resident DJs at Club NME every Wednesday at Spaceland.

Todd's best of 2008:

Radar Bros. 'Auditorium' (Merge) – MP3: Warm Rising Sun
The Movies 'Based on a True Story' (self released)
The Hold Steady 'Stay Positive' (Vagrant)
Neon Neon 'Stainless Style' (Lex)
TV on the Radio 'Dear Science' (Interscope)
She & Him 'Vol. 1' (Merge) – MP3: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
Mae Shi 'HLLYH' (Team Shi)
Brian Eno / David Byrne 'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today' (Todomundo)
Everest 'Ghost Notes' (Vapor)
Magnetic Fields 'Distortion' (Nonesuch)

Bun B "Swang on Them" (Rap a Lot)
Henry Clay People MP3: “Something in the Water" (Autumn Tone)
Herman Dune "Lovers are Waterproof" (Everloving)
Le Switch "Big 'Ol Tree" (Autumn Tone)
No Age MP3: "Teen Creeps" (Sub Pop)
The Notwist "Good Lies" (Domino)
Portishead "Machine Gun" (London)
Radar Bros. MP3: "Slack Motherfucker" (self released)
The Silver State "Under the Rug" (Young American)
T.I. "Whatever You Like" (Atlantic)

So close…
Eef Barzelay MP3: Lose Big
School of Seven Bells MP3: Connjur
Stephen Malkmus
Future of the Left MP3: A Dead Enemy Always Smells Good
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
David Vandervelde

Sinking with Sylvia's Top 10 of 2008

Sylvia co-hosts Sinking with Sylvia from Noon to 2:00 PM every Friday on Little Radio. This is her top 10 list for 2008:

10. Neon Neon: Stainless Style - Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame teamed up with Boom Bip and decided to make this amazing concept record based on the life of John Delorean. huh? Still this record has great songs and is amusing all at the same time. You really cannot go wrong with this record and it also features a rad line-up of musicians including Har Mar Superstar, Spank Rock, Yo Majesty and Mr. Josh Klinghoffer to name a few.

9. MGMT: Oracular Spectacular - This is definitely one of my surprise faves of the year. Who knew?

8. Throw Me The Statue: Moonbeams - I have truly enjoyed this record for most of this year. Melodic, at times sweet and just all around pleasant in every sense of the word. A must own of 2008.
MP3: Lolita

7. Wye Oak: If Children - I have heard these Merge darlings compared to some pretty interesting bands and I admit that every time I listen to this record I get different influences like Yo La Tengo or Catpower but the truth is this.I expect bands to get better and change/progress with the times and I stand firmly that if the Breeders were a good band they would have put out an album exactly like this.
MP3: I Don't Feel Young

6. Le Switch: And Now...Le Switch - I know I know, I am good friends with these kids and should probably not be allowed to have these guys here but that is how good they are. The LA music scene has a lot to be proud of this year and Le Switch is a large part of this pride. I like any band that can be influenced by the likes of Jon Brion and Emmitt Rhodes and Le Switch captures (not copies) it so well. If you are outside of LA get this record and keep an eye out for them live, you will not be disappointed.
MP3: Give Me Something

5. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Real Emotional Trash - Malkmus puts out a record and it will always make my list.
MP3: Baltimore

4. The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely - I have really surprised myself this year with some of my listening habits and this one kinda tops the list. I am not a Jack White fan and I find Brendan Benson to be a bit uhm...well Brendan Benson. ha. Put the two together and apparently I am a believer. The first 6 songs on this record are the some of the best songs you will probably hear for the next few years. If they had taken off those last songs, this would have been my number one record of the year. Better luck next time. Still great job!

3. David Vandervelde: Waiting For the Sunrise - In my top 5 two years in a row! The truth is I haven't fully appreciated this record yet, I need another 2 or 3 months of listening to completely absorb this one. He gets many comparisons to T.Rex because of his last record but I am gonna have to stick with Neil Young. Yep, he is that good.
MP3: I Will Be Fine

2. Everest: Ghost Notes - I looked it up and apparently I had Everest on my bands to watch out for in 2008. This is what I said "Dear Everest, If your full length is anywhere near as good as your ep I promise you will be at the top of my 2008 list next year. good luck."Well here we are at the end of 2008 and here is Everest at number 2 of my top 10 which is at the the top. Good job guys, way to deliver. "Ghost Notes" is such a beautiful and sincere record. From the minute it starts until the last note I am in love. I can listen again immediately and I honestly feel that "Into Your Soft Heart" is the best single released all year. You guys helped contribute to the greatness of the LA music scene this year and I have such confidence that you will give me many more records to love in the upcoming years. Until then thank you for Ghost Notes.

1. The Movies: Based On A True Story - LA's music scene gets no love. And quite frankly neither do The Movies. They are at times difficult to love, difficult to understand and a bit streaky. Having said that they are without question the BEST band in Los Angeles.Based On A True Story can be easily confused as a simple pop record with some funny songs. wrong. Tim's lyrics are at times pretty dark and sad. Is this the best break-up record produced in some time? Perhaps Tim is an evil genius. All I can say that this record works in every possible way. I am so excited to have local bands on the top of my list this year. Especially The Movies. Thanks for the awesome record guys.

Honorable Mentions:
Dr. Dog Fate
Henry Clay People For Cheap or For Free
The Radar Bros. Auditorium
The Broken West Now or Heaven?
Secret Machines The Secret Machines

Bands in 2009 you must check out if you haven't already:
Kenan Bell
Les Blanks
Spider Problem
The World Record
Amnion or anything Aaron Embry does.

Happy New Year.

Live Music Options: 12/22/08 - 12/28/08

Monday 12/22/08
[Recommended] The Movies / Voxhaul Broadcast / The Damselles / Adeline & the Philistines @ Spaceland (Free) – Last week was packed and the Movies put on another great show.
Anavan / Kyle H. Mabson / Team Andrew / The Munchers / Ilo Mar @ Pehrspace
Manimal Vinyl Residency: The Polyamorous Affair / Vaginals / Halloween Swim Team (Free)
The Count Basie Orchestra: A Swingin’ Christmas @ Walt Disney Concert Hall ($28 - $82)
The Color Turning / Regime Noir / The Capshuns @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
Jake Labotz @ Redwood Bar & Grill

Tuesday 12/23/08
[Recommended] Mike Stinson / Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar & Grill – For the country music fans.
Soweto Gospel Choir @ Walt Disney Concert Hall (Call for availability)
Club Flotsam / Seeing Thingz / Out of Town @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Papa / Romany Rye / Mike Moonves / Ed Masuga @ Silverlake Lounge ($7) Camp Freddy @ the Roxy ($20)
Wednesday 12/24/08
Christmas Eve

Thursday 12/25/08
Good for the Jews comedy show @ the Echoplex ($20)

Friday 12/26/08
Princeton / Bodies of Water (Meredith and David acoustic) / No Little Kindness @ Spaceland ($8)
Railcars / Nephews / Knight Rider / Felt Drawings @ The Smell ($5)
Ratt / The Donnas @ House of Blues Sunset ($27.50)
Tommy Santee Klaws @ Echo Curio
Security Productions / Scrapmetal / Xaster / Wreaking Havoc @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Saturday 12/27/08
Hungry Beat Dance Party @ Pehrspace – C86, indie pop dance night.
Portraits Of Past / Dangers / Drowning With Our Anchors / Glaciers @ The Smell ($5)
B.B. King / Chris Pierce @ Club Nokia ($60 - $75)
Bassnectar @ El Rey ($16)
Strung Out / Supersuckers @ House of Blues Sunset ($20)
Horse Head / Wonder Wheel / Warm Climate @ Echo Curio
Rosemary’s Billygoat / Million Kids / Swords of Fatima / Manhattan Murder Mystery @ Mr. T’s Bowl
The Basement Block Stars @ Echoplex ($10)
Mike Watt & the Secondmen @ Redwood Bar & Grill
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Sunday 12/28/08
Part Time Punks: Loto Ball Show / Fancy Space People / The Sixteens @ The Echo ($5)
B.B. King / Chris Pierce @ Club Nokia ($60 - $75)
Neil Hamburger / The Juggolos / Abe Lincoln Story @ Spaceland ($8)

Friday, December 19, 2008

You Set the Scene's Best Albums of 2008

1) Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP (Sub Pop) – 2008 was a very good year for Fleet Foxes. In six months, they went from opening up for Blitzen Trapper at the Troubadour to selling out a couple of nights at El Rey. Robin Pecknold’s still a kid, but appears to have the whole package – musicianship, songwriting (including good lyrics) and a great voice. A few of the songs on the LP kind of just sit there – but if you factor in the EP and cherry pick the best 11 or 12 – you’ve got an amazing album. Standout tracks: MP3: “White Winter Hymnal” and “Myknos”

2) Everest: Ghost Notes (Vapor Records) – They were number one on my local list. As I said, the songs sound effortlessly timeless; the product of talented musicians who have absorbed rock ‘n’ roll history (Neil Young, the Beatles, the Byrds, etc.). Throw in Mike Terry’s warm ass production and you’ve got a fantastic debut. It’s a really consistent album. Standout tracks: “Rebels in the Roses” and “Into Your Soft Heart”

3) Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) – Originally self-released in 2007, most of us didn’t hear it until Jagjaguwar gave it widespread distribution in 2008. It’s really overdubbed and layered, but he pulls it off pretty well live. Great heartbroken, winter album. Standout tracks: MP3: “Skinny Love” and “Blindsided”

4) The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Bros. / Third Man) – You could pluck pretty much any song off this record and it would fit right in on a classic rock station’s play list. Great production and fantastic musicianship. It was a huge improvement over their debut album. Standout tracks: “Salute Your Solution” and “The Switch and the Spur”

5) TV on the Radio: Dear Science (Interscope) – If you’re not Radiohead, this is about as critic proof as you can get with a record; it’s political and arty but accessible. For me, the Tunde Adebimpe songs are where it’s at. Standout tracks: “Family Tree” and “Halfway Home”

6) Le Switch: And Now…Le Switch (Autumn Tone) – This record was number two on my top local releases. Without being overtly retro, it’s a modern take on the music I love from the early 1970s. Standout tracks: “Smile Away” and “Simple Gifts”
MP3: “Pristine

7) Spiritualized: Songs in A&E (Fontana) – I’ve been a huge Spiritualized fan since the last 1990s. Kinda lost interest over the past seven years, but this is a return to form. I just wish the vinyl had come with a download. Bastards. Standout tracks: “Death Take Your Fiddle” and “You Lie You Cheat”

8) Neil Young: Live at Canterbury House 1968 (Reprise) – Recorded on the heels of leaving Buffalo Springfield and right before his debut solo record came out, this is another important live release from the Neil Young archives. Great anecdotes, fantastic song selection and a compelling performance make for a worthwhile purchase. Standout tracks: “The Loner” and “Birds”

9) David Vandervelde: Waiting for the Sunrise (Secretly Canadian) – This one was not well received by the critics, but the more I listen to it, the more I love it. There are Neil Young moments, soft rock moments and even an Elliott Smith moment. In an alternate universe somewhere, Vandervelde is appreciated. Standout tracks: MP3: “Someone Like You” and “Need for Now”

10) Radar Bros.: Auditorium (Merge) – Number three on my local list, it took a rainy December day to remind me how much I love this record. These 12 songs are perfectly layered and warm, and if you listen closely, you’ll still hear some occasionally depraved lyrics. Standout tracks: MP3:“Warm Rising Son” and “Morning Bird”

11) The Movies: Based on a True Story (Self-Released) – Number four on my local list. When you boil it all down, there’s a deep sense of longing and loss on this record; but this ain’t Hank Williams, it’s the Movies. When Timothy James sings about heartbreak he quotes Pedro Martinez, uses obtuse Vietnam metaphors and accuses the one who got away of going to Rio and sucking a million -----. Standout tracks: “Missed Opportunities” and “Monumental Life”

12) The Broken West: Now or Heaven (Merge) – This was number five on my local list. This made Nic Harcourt’s top 10 list this year and got a great review from the Onion. Standout tracks: MP3:“Perfect Games” and “House of Lies”

13) The Henry Clay People: For Cheap or For Free (Autumn Tone) – This was number six on my local list. Between the record and the live shows, I might have gotten the most joy out of these guys in 2008. Standout tracks: “Fine Print” and MP3: “Working Part Time

14) Okkervil River: The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) – This was a little bit of a letdown given how much I loved The Stage Names, but there’s enough quality to warrant inclusion. Standout tracks: “Singer Songwriter” and “Pop Lie”
MP3: “Lost Coastlines”

15) The Moondoggies: Don’t Be a Stranger (Hardly Art) – This record got slept on a bit, but if you’re into boogie rock give it a listen. Has the same sort of 1970s influences as a lot of these other bands. Standouts: MP3: “Changing” and “Ain’t No Lord”

16) Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings) – 1980s-inspired acts dominated the critical favorites this year, but this is the only one I really got in. Their whole preppy, Ivy League shtick is nauseating and totally contrived, but damn if they didn’t write some of the catchiest pop tunes all year. Standout tracks: “Mansard Roof” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

17) The Dodos: Visiter (Frenchkiss) – Strummy guitars and propulsive drums. There are about five songs that would have benefited from some serious editing, but the strong songs are really fantastic. Standout tracks: “Fools” and “Red and Purple”

18) Sigur Ros: Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (XL Recordings) – Too intense to listen to on a regular basis, but another strong release. Standout tracks: “Gobbledigook” and “Festival”

19) Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Lie Down in the Light (Drag City) – I really could have used a download card for this record. It got filed away shortly after buying it and scarcely listened to. Standout tracks: “Easy Does It” and “What’s Missing Is”

20) Dungen: 4 (Kemado) – Largely instrumental and jazzy. There’s nothing else remotely popular that sounds like this. Standout tracks: “Det Tar Tid” and “Samtidigt 1”
MP3: “Satt Att Se

21) Dr. Dog: Fate (Park the Van) – I love the first half of the record, but the second half gets weighed down a bit. Still a strong release. Standout tracks: “Hang On” and MP3: “The Old Days

22) Kelley Stoltz: Circular Sounds (Sub Pop) – This one’s not quite as much fun to listen to as Below the Branches, but I still dig his songwriting. Standout tracks: “Everything Begins” and MP3: “Your Reverie

23) Throw Me the Statue: Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian) – These guys bring sex to indie rock. Extra points for the album cover too. MP3: “Lolita” and “Young Sensualists”

24) Jay Reatard: Matador Singles ’08 (Matador) – Labeled a punk, few bands incorporate Aussie and New Zealand influences as well as Jay Reatard. Very melodic stuff. Standouts: “See Saw” and “Painted Shut”

25) Wye Oak: If Children (Merge) – Classic indie rock sounds done deceptively well. Stnadouts: MP3:“Warning” and “Family Glue”

Sinking Radio - Best of 2008 Today on Little Radio

This is a quick reminder to tune in to Little Radio today from Noon to 2:00PM. On today's show, Sylvia, Todd and Matt will be revealing their best of 2008. Later on, I'll post their lists. They'll also be playing a song off of my favorite album of 2008. However, I'm not ready to tell you what that is yet...
Will the Malk make anybody's list? Tune in to find out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recently Announced LA Shows

Primal Scream @ Club Nokia on 3/16/09 (on sale now)

Brian Wilson @ the Wiltern on 1/28/09 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)

Scott Weiland @ the Fonda on 2/7/09 (presale now, password = HAPPYINKROQ; on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Eagles of Death Metal @ The Fonda on 2/4/09 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)

Joshua Radin @ the Fonda on 2/21/09 (on sale Saturday)

Charlie Louvin @ Spaceland on 2/7/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Grails @ Spaceland on 2/21/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Chad VanGaalen / Women @ Spaceland on 3/28/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 20 Live Shows of 2008

I feel spoiled that I get to see Henry Clay People, Le Switch, The Movies, Radar Bros. and The Broken West all the time. So those bands are probably needlessly penalized as the list skews national. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm forgetting a few too...

Top 20 Live Shows of 2008:

20) Spaceland’s 13th Anniversary – Radar Bros., Earlimart, The Broken West, Wiskey Biscuit, The Tyde, The Movies, 400 Blows @ Spaceland on 3/2/08 – This was a fantastic lineup, but the crowd was very light (negative points). I think it was the only time I saw 400 Blows all year (positive points).
19) Throw Me the Statue @ the Echo on 9/10/08 – I really dig their record and they put on a really fun show. It was my first time seeing them, which always helps too.
18) The Movies @ Spaceland on 12/15/08 – They all have their highlights, so it’s really hard to pick out one Movies show as the best, so I’m going with the most recent.

17) Le Switch / Les Blanks / The World Record @ The Echo on 8/19/08 – I saw Le Switch so many times, it’s hard to pick out one show. I’m going with this one since it made me a fan of two bands – Les Blanks and The World Record.

16) Jay Reatard @ the Echo on 7/30/08 – The guy came off a lot more metal in the live setting. Really good stuff. My first time seeing him.

15) The Whigs / The Henry Clay People / Le Switch @ The Echo on 6/4/08 – I saw a little bit of the Whigs as SXSW this year and was totally impressed. They just have a professionalism and energy that’s hard to describe. Making it even better was the support…

14) Secret Machines @ Viper Room on 7/27/08 – I was apprehensive about the new lineup, but they delivered. One of the loudest shows all year. I really enjoy watching Josh Garza drum.

13) My Bloody Valentine @ Santa Monica Civic Center on 10/1/08 – I can’t say that I was totally blown away, but I never thought I’d get a chance to see them.

12) Brian Wilson @ Hollywood Bowl on 9/13/08 – My favorite BW show was Smile at the Disney. I also loved the Pet Sounds shows. This had a lot of the new album and the Beach Boys greatest hits.

11) Dr. Dog @ Hotel Café on 5/13/08 – This show came before I’d heard the record, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have. Their show at El Rey later in the year paled in comparison.

10) Bon Iver / Phosphorescent @ The Echo on 3/20/08 – It was way mellow and the Echo was way packed, but both artists pulled it off. My first time seeing both. Negative points for Phosphorescent charging me $20 for a copy of their record on vinyl (MSRP = $12 or so).

09) Charlie Louvin @ Stagecoach Festival on 5/4/08 – This was the highlight for me at this year’s Stagecoach. I felt really privileged to see the country legend.

08) My Morning Jacket @ the Greek on 9/21/08 – Such a fantastic live band. This would have ranked higher had I not seen them so many times before (and if I was more into the new record). Positive points for winning free tickets. Negative points for mediocre seats.

07) Dungen @ the Echo on 11/12/08 – My third time seeing them and they finally delivered on what their albums promise. Great stuff.

06) Radar Bros. / Brian Aubert / Everest / Adeline & the Philistines @ the Echo on 1/28/08 – This was the last night of the Radar Bros. residency and the last night that Senon played with the band. Lots of emotion in the air. Putnam even came out and did a song with Brian Aubert. The other bands were an added bonus.

05) Ray Davies @ the Wiltern on 3/29/08 – Davies is my favorite songwriter of all time. This time around his band was younger and more energetic. If those Kinks reunion tour rumors are true, I may have to finally get my ass back to Coachella this year.

04) Okkervil River @ the Fonda on 9/23/08 – I caught half sets twice at SXSW, but this was my first time seeing a full set. Will Sheff stirs up some weird emotions.

03) Sigur Ros @ Greek Theatre on 10/2/08 – I don’t sit around and listen to their records that much (they’re just too intense). But they’re a fantastic live band that brings so much emotion – and all without writing real lyrics. Positive points for a beautiful night at the Greek.

02) Spiritualized @ the Echo on 9/19/08 – I’d just seen them do a show a couple of nights before at the Hollywood Bowl. Of course, the Echo’s about 2% of the size of the Bowl, so this was much, much better. It was my fifth or sixth time seeing them, but the new record’s really good. Negative points for the girl flinging her hair around for half the set.

01) Fleet Foxes @ Palm Door in Austin on 3/15/08 – This was a SXSW party and my first time seeing them. I was so impressed with their voices. Was it really the best performance of 2008? Probably not, but I walked away with that unmatchable feeling that I’d discovered my new favorite band. They were great at Spaceland on 6/29/08 too.

Shows I regret missing: TV on the Radio, David Vandervelde @ Troubadour, Kelley Stoltz @ Troubadour, Dolly Parton @ the Greek, Stevie Wonder @ Hollywood Bowl, The Dodos (all 4 times), Andrew Bird @ Largo, The Raconteurs @ Greek Theatre, Cornelius @ Walt Disney Concert Hall
photo: Fleet Foxes @ the Palm Door - photo credit = me

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008's Top Ten LA Records

2008 was a year where a number of LA bands/scenes (deservedly) got national attention. No Age and Abe Vigoda are showing up on a lot of top 10 lists and I’ve even seen The Mae Shi on a few.

The Airborne Toxic Event got panned by the American snobs, but connected with fans, sold more records than anybody else, got airplay and will make their third national TV appearance in January on Letterman.

Very recently the Laurel Canyon (Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Whispertown 2000) scene is getting some press. I first wrote about Jonathan Wilson’s weekly jams back in June 2007, and Rolling Stone finally picked up on it last week.

And I’ve seen a helluva lot about Flying Lotus (he even named his record Los Angeles) and Crystal Antlers too. All those bands help make LA one of the best places in the world to be a music fan, but none of them quite made my list.

You Set the Scene’s Top Ten Local Records for 2008 (subject to change):

1) Everest: Ghost Notes (Vapor Records) – These guys had barely played any LA shows before they were touring Europe opening for My Morning Jacket and (more recently) playing arenas with Neil Young and Wilco. The songs sound effortlessly timeless; the product of talented musicians who have absorbed rock ‘n’ roll history (Neil Young, the Beatles, the Byrds, etc.). Throw in Mike Terry’s warm ass production and you’ve got a fantastic debut. You can catch them at Spaceland on December 29th (at the Movies residency).

2) Le Switch: And Now…Le Switch (Autumn Tone) – Guitarist/singer Aaron Kyle might not have a traditionally pretty voice, but it’s distinctive and he sings with heart. Backing him up are four extremely talented musicians (including a piano/keyboard player and a viola/trumpet player). I saw Le Switch more than any other band this year, so I was familiar with many of these songs before they recorded them and I’ve heard some of them evolve since. As I’ve watched the band evolve over the past few years, I know they’re only going to get better. I can’t wait for their February residency at Spaceland.
MP3: Pristine

3) Radar Bros.: Auditorium (Merge) – It took a rainy December day to remind me how much I love this record. In the Pitchfork / blog bullshit world of hype, it’s tough for a veteran indie musician to get his proper due. More than a dozen years in, Jim Putnam’s still growing as an artist and producer. These 12 songs are perfectly layered and warm, and if you listen closely, you’ll still hear some occasionally depraved lyrics.
MP3: Warm Rising Sun

4) The Movies: Based on a True Story (Self-Released) – When you boil it all down, there’s a deep sense of longing and loss on this record; but this ain’t Hank Williams, it’s the Movies. When Timothy James sings about heartbreak he quotes Pedro Martinez, uses obtuse Vietnam metaphors and accuses the one who got away of going to Rio and sucking a million -----. The fusion of humor and heart makes the Movies one of my favorite bands. It accomplishes so much in only songs (and under thirty minutes. They’re always entertaining live; catch them throughout December at their Monday night Spaceland residency.

5) The Broken West: Now or Heaven (Merge) – These guys had my favorite local release last year and are high on the list a year later. The record kicks off with a drum machine, which, for some critics, seemed to signal a totally new direction. But if you were a fan of the debut, it’s still the same great band. Put a little studio experimentation aside and the heart of the band is still great songwriting. The trio of songs starting with track four (“Ambuscade,” “Perfect Games,” and “House of Lies”) might be my favorite section of an album all year.
MP3: Perfect Games

6) The Henry Clay People: For Cheap or For Free (Autumn Tone) – While their debut made my top ten local list, I’m still stunned at how much they progressed on this record. Between seeing their live shows and this record, I might have gotten the most joy out of these guys in 2008. There are five jams on this record that stand up to any indie rock tunes from the past year. If you still haven’t seen them live, do yourself a favor and head to Spaceland on New Year’s Eve. If you live out of town, they’ll be taking it out on the road in February and March. As the youngest band on the list, the sky’s the limit for these guys.
MP3: Something in the Water

7) Earlimart: Hymn and Her (Majordomo) – 2008 was the year that Aaron Espinoza really opened up as a songwriter. Coming less than a year after Mentor Tormentor, it’s another very solid collection of songs.

8) Les Blanks: Shoot the Horse (Self-Released) – They’ve received heaps of praise from the likes of the Aquarium Drunkard, Rock Insider and Surfing on Steam, but this trio is still criminally under appreciated. I love the Wurlitzer-driven songs the best, but the whole record has a 1970’s blues-rock vibe that I completely dig.
MP3: La Reina

9) Amnion: AmenNAmO (Self-Released) – Aaron Embry’s such an undeniably talented musician. Their sound is indefinable, but one second you’re thinking classic Stevie Wonder and moments later you hear a touch of Radiohead. I’m a pretty cynical bastard, but their positivity and joy in playing is totally contagious. The song “aTONn” is my favorite.
Album is free HERE (but send them money if you like it, they have a baby on its way)

10) The Little Ones: Morning Tide (Chop Shop) – Their debut EP topped my local list in 2006. Two years later, their first full length is full of catchy indie pop. “Rise and Shine” is my favorite track.

Honorable Mentions: Mt. Wilson Repeater, The Parson Red Heads EP, Dengue Fever, Darker My Love

Local records I’m Looking Forward to in 2009:
Le Switch EP, Frankel, The Minor Canon, Silversun Pickups

Monday, December 15, 2008

Live Music Options: 12/15/08 - 12/21/08

Mercury Rev Plays El Rey on Tuesday

All in all, given the proximity to the holidays, it’s a really good week for shows. I’ve been scattered and busy, and haven’t seen many shows.

But I did see Oasis in Las Vegas on December 6th. I’ve never considered myself a huge fan, but they sounded great. The Pearl Theater at the Palms is a great place to see a show. With a capacity of about 2,800, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Great sightlines and sound. I only saw enough of Ryan Adams to be reminded what a pissy little brat he is, but his band sounded good and he played one of his best songs, “Come Pick Me Up.” There were a lot of people out in front of the show just giving away tickets. So if you’re ever in Vegas, and somebody you like is playing there, you might swing by there around show time and get lucky.

This past Friday night I journeyed down to Brixton in Redondo Beach to see Leon Russell. Almost everybody there was at least 15 years older than me, so it was a little bit of weird scene. We got asked to move a few times, because we had the audacity to stand in front of the stage (all the chairs were occupied). This led to a lot of people dragging their bar stools up on the dance floor to try to get around us. Russell had a strong band, but his set list skipped over some originals I would have liked to hear in favor of covers by many of the bands he’s played with over the years. Glad I got see him though…

Monday 12/15/08
[Recommended] The Movies / Nico Stai / Demo Team / The Savages @ Spaceland (Free) – I missed the show last week, but I’m going to try to make it this week.
[Recommended] Funny or Die! Secret Awesome Show @ Largo ($25) – Prolly a safe bet that this will be cool.
Roni Stoneman / Mike Stinson / Dave Gleason / David Serby / West of Texas @ Echoplex ($10) – Great country lineup.
Gangi / BlackBlack / Laco$te / Voices Voices @ the Echo (Free)
Cheap Trick @ House of Blues Sunset ($62.50)
Gowns / Uggamugga / Stellaluna / No Paws (No Lions) / Kevin Greenspon / Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk @ Pehrspace
The Color Turning / Melanoid / Links / Kira @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
Test Your Reflex / Ken Oak Band / You Me and Iowa @ Hotel Café
Jake LaBotz @ Redwood Bar

Tuesday 12/16/08
[Recommended] Mercury Rev / Imaad Wasif @ El Rey ($25) – Although I never managed to pick up either of these bands recent records, I really like both of them.
A Pablove Supreme Benefit: Eulogies / The One AM Radio / Sara Lov @ Space 15 Twenty (Free) – Dangerbird Records is putting this on to raise awareness for their benefit CD. Silversun Pickups, Jimmy Tamborello and Daedelus will be DJ’ing too.
[Recommended] The Sword / Year Long Disaster @ Viper Room ($20) – I like the Sword. Supposedly Metallica likes to show up at their tour mates shows on their nights off.
These Arms are Snakes / Trap Them / Narrows @ Knitting Factory ($12) - I’ve heard really good things about TAAS.
Mike Stinson / Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar & Grill – Good local country lineup.
Amanda Palmer / The Danger Ensemble / The Builders and the Butchers @ The Fonda ($24)
Karin Tatoyan / War Tapes / Seasons / Exitmusic @ Spaceland ($8)
Cheap Trick @ House of Blues Sunset ($62.50)
JD Souther @ Largo ($25)
Native Fauna / God’s Gang / Sprit Vine / Vum @ The Echo (Free)
The Atma / Black Apples / Easy Marks / Kingsize @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Gary Jules / Ian Ball / Jim Bianco @ Hotel Café
Oren Lavie @ Hotel Café – The Early show
Camp Freddy @ The Roxy
Resident Hero @ Troubadour

Wednesday 12/17/08
[Recommended] Low End Theory: Flying Lotus / The Long Lost @ Airliner ($10) – Flying Lotus got crazy good buzz this year. What I’ve heard is good.
Earl Greyhound / Annie Stela / Angel Taylor @ Hotel Café – I’ve heard good things about Earl Greyhound.
Metallica / The Sword @ the Forum ($25 - $85)
The Virgins / Hockey / Audrye Sessions @ Troubadour ($14)
Horse Thieves @ Echo Curio
Straight No Chaser @ Largo ($25)
Jail Weddings / The Growlers / Some Days @ The Echo ($7)
Club NME: Them Terribles @ Spaceland ($8)
Mezklah / Fitter @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Ladytron DJ Set @ Viper Room ($20)

Thursday 12/18/08
Metallica / The Sword @ the Forum ($25 - $85)
The Mormons / Bastidas / The Health Club / Family Tree Analog @ the Smell ($5)
Juliette Commagere / Obi Best / @ Troubadour ($8)
Ozomatli @ House of Blues Sunset ($24)
Nobunny / Thee Makeout Party @ Echo Curio
Straight No Chaser @ Largo ($25)
The Porpoise Code / Matthew Setzer / dEaThSaUcE / Kalish @ Pehrspace
Spaceland on Ice: Dogweed / Bollweevil @ Pershing Square (Free)
Amazing Baby / Warpaint / Light @ Bordello ($10)
Victim Vision / Ure / Guppies @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) Emily Wells / Arden Kaywin / Sweet Talk Radio / Kate Tucker / Horse Stories @ Hotel Café
The Jakes / Glare of Rockets @ Viper Room ($12)
Metallica / The Sword @ the Forum

Friday 12/19/08
[Recommended] Darker My Love / The Soft Pack (f/k/a The Muslims) / Lumerians / Christmas Island @ Echoplex ($12) – Darker My Love put out a good record this year. The Soft Pack is the band formerly known as the Muslims. They’ve gotten a lot of good buzz this year.
[Recommended] Jon Brion & Friends @ Largo – One set only
Pigeon John / Illa J / Daedelus @ Knitting Factory ($14)
People Under the Stairs / Ugly Duckling / Cut Chemist @ El Rey ($16.50)
YaHoWha 13 / The Moon Upstairs @ Spaceland ($12)
Fiend Folio II: Manhattan Murder Mystery / Spider Problem @ Echo Curio – Brought to you by the Classical Geek Theater
The Duke Spirit / The Cheat @ The Roxy
Ozomatli @ House of Blues Sunset ($24)
Khalija / Dog of Tears Orchestra / Defrag / Arctic Hospital @ Pehrspace
Ragsy / The Abdomen / Caitlin Crosby / George Stanford / Jared Lee @ Hotel Café
People Food Drive: The Gray Kid @ Redwood Bar
Alas Alak Alaska / Fancie / VOICEsVOICEs / Voice on Tape / American Gil and the Major Dudes @ The Smell ($5)
Dustin Kensrue / Chris Conley / Jim Ward / Jon Foreman @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Saturday 12/20/08
[Recommended] Will Sheff of Okkervil River / The Tallest Man on Earth / Bird of Youth @ Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge ($15) – I’m a big Okkervil River fan.
X / New York Dolls / Cracker @ Club Nokia ($39.50)
The Gift Machine / Soul Junk @ Echo Curio
Hepcat @ El Rey ($22)
Keith Sweat / Guy / Tony Toni Tone @ Gibson Amphitheatre
Ozomatli @ House of Blues Sunset ($24)
Greg Proops Holiday Bash @ Largo – Dana Gould, Fee Waybill & Jon Brion
Davin Givhan / Learning Music / The Hurt / Eugene @ Pehrspace
Whispertown 2000 Holiday Extravaganza @ Relax Bar
The Great Deceivers (Tribute to King Crimson) / Ninja Academy / Polar Goldie Cats @ Spaceland ($8)
Steve Carlson / Joe Brooks and Orlando Napier / Alexa George / Sonos @ Hotel Café
Ugly Duckling / Foreign Legion @ The Roxy
Thee Makeout Party / A.M. / Christmas Island / Wet Cassette @ The Smell ($5)
DeLeon / The Sway Machinery @ Troubadour ($12)
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)
English Beat @ Key Club ($20)

Sunday 12/21/08
Snow in LA: Daedelus / Busdriver / The Mae Shi / Rumspringa / The Entrance Band / Fools Gold / Haim @ Echoplex ($10)
Buddyhead Christmas Party: The Duke Spirit / Dead Meadow / Entrance Band / Josh Homme / Jeordie “Twiggy” White / Xu Xu Fang / Wires on Fire / Dios Malos @ The Hotel Café ($10)
The Terrapin / Summer Darling / Vaudeville / Correatown @ Spaceland (Free) – I like Correatown, but I’m not familiar with the other bands.
Part Time Punks @ The Echo
An Evening of Sorrow: Emily Kokal (Warpaint) / Thousand Dozen Gloves @ Bordello ($8)
Monstrous @ Redwood Bar & Grill
Benefit for the Downtown Women’s Center: All or Nothing H.C. / The Outskirts / Las Sangronas Y El Cabron / Anus Kings / We Float / Ladies and Gents @ the Smell
Tyler Hilton @ Troubadour ($14)
Lil’ Wayne @ Gibson Amphitheatre

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sinking Radio - A.C. Newman's: The Heartbreak Rides"

Hey folks, just a quick reminder to tune in to Sinking Radio on Little Radio this morning from Noon to 2:00 PM PST. Todd's still out on tour with the Radar Bros., but Matt and Sylvia will be there.
No time for a real post right now, but the You Set the Scene pick for today's show is A.C. Newman's "The Heartbreak Rides." This track comes from Newman's second solo record, Get Guilty which will come out on Matador Records on January 20th. I've only spun it a couple of times. My first impression - it's not as immediately catchy as his best stuff with the New Pornographers, but there are definitely some good cuts.
A.C. Newman just announced a slew of dates with the Broken West opening for most of the tour. He'll be at the Troubadour on February 26th (no Broken West though).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Music Releases: 12/9/08

Records Released on 12/9/08:

Records I’ve Heard:
B. Fleischmann: Angst Is Not a Weltanschauung! (Morr Music) – It’s a totally laid back IDM meets singer-songwriter record. It didn’t make a great impression on me the first time I listened to it, but I’ll give it another spin. There is a weird collaboration/remix of Daniel Johnston’s a cappella “King Kong” where Fleischmann adds a haunting score to the track.
MP3: 24:12

Pavement: Brighten the Corners – Nicene Creedence Edition (Matador) – I already wrote an exquisite piece (read: rushed) about this reissue. It’s too late to get the bonus vinyl LP now, but you really ougtha pick this thing up. Now if they’d only reunite for Coachella I might be able to justify going.
MP3: Rattled By the Rush

Local Releases:
The Movies: Based On a True Story (Self-Released) – I’m in the middle of writing my top 10 lists for 2008, so you’ll see more about this album very soon. In the meantime, it’s safe to say that I very much recommend it. Their most consistent, best record yet. See them every Monday in December at Spaceland.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Cat Power – covers EP
The Damned
Headlights – remixes
Joker’s Daughter – single
Mark Kozelek – covers LP
Charlie Louvin
Motown – the Complete #1’s limited edition 10 CD box set
DM Stith – EP; MP3: Around the Lion Legs
Welcome Wagon – produced and arranged by Sufjan Stevens, MP3: Sold! to the Nice Rich Man

Recently Announced LA Area Shows

French Kicks / The Broken West @ the Troubadour on 2/24/09 (on sale Friday)

The Game @ Club Nokia on 2/20/09 (presale password = LAX; regular on sale is Friday at 10:00 AM)

LL Cool J @ Club Nokia on 2/13/09 (Presale password = BELLS; regular on sale is Saturday at 10:00 AM)

M Ward @ The Fonda on 3/4/09 (presale password = HOLDTIME; regular on sale is Friday at 10:00 AM)

Department of Eagles @ Troubadour on 1/23/09 (on sale soon)

AC Newman @ Troubadour on 2/26/09 (on sale soon)

The Airborne Toxic Event @ the Fonda on 2/12/09 (on sale soon)

Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) @ El Rey on 3/14/09 (on sale now)

The Pretenders @ the Wiltern on 3/10/09 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Murder By Death @ Troubadour on 2/20/09 (on sale now)

The Submarines @ Troubadour on 2/28/09 (on sale now)

Dark Meat @ the Echo on 3/24/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

HEALTH @ the Echo on 2/26/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Nightmares on Wax @ Echoplex on 2/2/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Fugiya and Miyagi @ Echoplex on 3/3/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Kid Sister @ Echoplex on 4/2/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Fiction Family at Largo on 2/7/09 (call club for tickets)

Ben Lee @ Largo on 2/17/09 (call club for tickets)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New Music Releases - 12/2/08

Last week was very light....

Records Released on 12/2/08:

Records I’ve Heard:

Neil Young: Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 (Reprise) – Recorded in Ann Arbor, MI on November 9th and 10th in 1968 after he left Buffalo Springfield, but right before his self-titled debut came out. It’s solo acoustic Neil (which I adore). I’ve only streamed it online a couple of times (because it’s on my Christmas list) but it’s essential listening for Neil fans. Some of the arrangements are a bit different - which is often an improvement. There’s also some great between song anecdotes/introductions. At times he sounds a bit like he might have sucked down a couple of valiums before the show, but it’s interesting to hear how his voice has changed over the years. Highly recommended.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Akon – at Club Nokia on 12/30/08
Britney Spears – at the Staples Center on 4/16/09 & 4/17/09

New Music Releases 11/25/08

I'm way behind on these things - still trying to get my best of lists together, but trying to get up to date on these weekly updates first.

Records Released on 11/25/08:

Records I’ve Heard:

Surf City: Surf City EP (Morr Music) – A relatively new noise-pop band out of New Zealand. They were originally named after a Jesus & Mary Chain song (“Kill Surf City”) and hired Pavement’s artist, Steve Keene, to do their cover artwork. Both great reference points for their music as are late 1970s/early 1980s New Zealand bands like the Clean and the Chills. It’s a promising debut.
MP3: Headin’ Inside

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Coldplay – Import EP
Rivers Cuomo – home recordings
Fennesz – good buzz on this one
Fireman – Paul McCartney and Youth – apparently this one is more rockin’ than their previous records
Hall & Oates – live at the Troubadour
The Killers – at Gibson Amphitheatre on 12/14/08
Moby –remix album; at Giant Maximus (downtown) on 12/31/08
Peanut Butter Wolf Presents: Badd Santa – Stones Throw comp
Raveonettes – digital only Christmas EP; at the Fonda on 1/24/09
R.E.M. – Murmur remastered and expanded with a live disc from 1983; I’d go see one of those play the album shows if R.E.M. did Murmur
Supersuckers – at the House of Blues on 12/27/08
Ween – live album
Scott Weiland – frontman for Stone Temple Pilots; at Gibson Amphitheatre on 12/14/08 and the Fonda on 2/7/09
Kanye West – I haven’t bothered to listen to it, but it’s a love it or hate it thing; at the Gibson Amphitheatre on 12/11/08
John Zorn – film works

Monday, December 08, 2008

LA Live Music Options: 12/8/08 - 12/14/08

I made it out to the first night of the Movies residency last week. Good show and I'm sure they'll only get better. Also saw Oasis in Vegas (but I wrote this before actually seeing them).

Monday 12/8/08
[Recommended] The Movies / Rademacher / Vibeslayer / Sarah Negahdari (The Happy Hollows) @ Spaceland (Free)
Xu Xu Fang / Winter Flowers / Exitmusic / Corridor @ The Echo (Free) - Manimal Vinyl residency this month.
MeShell Ndegeocello / The Coup @ House of Blues Sunset ($23.50)
AC/DC @ the Forum ($90)
Cristopher Cichocki / Realicide / Halloween Swim Team / Sikhara / Aymeric Hainaux @ Pehrspace
The Color Turning / Union Line / Local Natives / French Miami @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
James Walsh (of Starsailor) @ Hotel Café
Jake LaBotz @ Redwood Bar
The Plain White T’s @ The Roxy
Fall Out Boy @ Troubadour ($20) – Tickets sold day of only, no lineups before noon.
Demi Lovato @ The Wiltern

Tuesday 12/9/08
[Recommended] Power 106 Cali Christmas Bash: Kanye West / T.I. / Busta Rhymes @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($45 - $95) - I've gotta say, that this seems like it would be a really fun show.
[Recommended] Mike Stinson / Dave Gleason @ Redwood Bar - Good local country lineup.
Wilderness / San Serac / Moonrats @ the Echo ($12)
Robotanists / Kissing Cousins / One Trick Pony / Two Guns @ Spaceland ($8)
Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman / Boots Riley @ El Rey ($26)
Little Red Radio / Polyamorous Affair / Light @ Echoplex (Free before 10:30, $5 after)
Lemonwilde / Dynamite Walls / Deccatree / Boo Yeah Club @ Silverlake Lounge
Gary Jules @ Hotel Café
Camp Freddy @ the Roxy
k.d. lang / Mandy Moore @ Troubadour ($75)
Agnostic Front @ Keyclub ($15)

Wednesday 12/10/08
Indie 103.1 Wreck the Halls: The Pretenders / Bloc Party / CSS / Black Kids @ Club Nokia ($35 - $50)
Club NME: Pop Levi / French Miami / The New Regime @ Spaceland ($8)
Kassin + 2 / El Ten Eleven / Obi Best @ Hotel Café
Sully Erna @ the Fonda ($40)
Longwave / War Tapes / Eulogies @ Troubdaour ($12)
Ledisi “It’s a Christmas” Show @ El Rey ($33)
No on Prop 8 Benefit @ Largo – Margaret Cho and Friends
Low End Theory: Beat Invitational #10 @ Airliner ($10) – Daedelus and others
Divisible @ Bordello ($5)
Cartographers / Franklin for Short / Satellite Crush / Young Hunting @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Roxy
Moment Trigger / Aymeric Hainaux / Realicide / Obstacle Corpse / Human Hands @ the Smell ($5)
Crystal Castles DJ Set @ Viper Room ($25)

Thursday 12/11/08
Murs @ El Rey ($20)
Miranda Lee Richards @ Hotel Café
Low vs. Diamond / Barcelona / IO Echo @ Troubadour ($12)
CSS / Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head @ The Echoplex ($23)
The Watkins Family Christmas @ Largo
Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Roxy
Exhausted Prayer / Knelt Rote / Wire Werewolves @ the Smell ($5)
Gretchen Wilson @ Club Nokia ($50)
The Holloys / Rumspringa @ Pershing Square (Free)
Automatic Drawing / Collisions @ Spaceland ($5)

Friday 12/12/08
[Recommended] Jon Brion & Friends @ Largo – One set only
Shiloe / Tigers Can Bite You / Kid Mud / Geographer @ Echo Curio
The Aquabats / Suburban Legends / Dusty Rhodes and the River Band @ The Fonda ($20)
Rick Springfield / 38 Special @ Club Nokia ($45 - $55)
Nike Ness / Ryan Bingham @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Phantom Planet / The Like @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
Los Lobos @ House of Blues Sunset ($37.50)
J.D. Souther @ McCabe’s (Sold Out)
The Transmissions / Manhattan Murder Mystery / Policy @ Pehrspace
Ox vs. Thunderbird / Behold! The Monolith / Goliath Bird Eater @ Relax Bar
The Dickies / M.I.A. (punk band) / Plain Wrap / Love Canal / The Penetrators / Decry @ Safari Sam’s ($12)
Run Run Run / Von Iva @ The Echo (Free)
“ho-ho-tel 2008” Holiday Cheer @ Hotel Café – Lineup TBA
Charlie Hunter Trio @ The Mint ($25)
Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Roxy
Babyland / Not the Government / Damage Effect / The LA Front @ The Smell ($5)

Saturday 12/13/08
[Recommended] The Christmas Sweater Party: The Deadly Syndrome / The Happy Hollows / The Pity Party / Castledoor / Amnion @ Echoplex ($5 minimum donation) – All proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. Very solid lineup.
KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas: The Offspring / Stone Temple Pilots / Rise Against / AFI / Staind / Three Days Grace / Slightly Stoopid / Hollywood Undead @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($80) - Ugh.
Mike Ness / Mike Stinson @ El Rey ($31)
Stella @ Orpheum ($26)
18th Dye / Devon Williams / The Meeting Places @ Spaceland ($8)
Sarah Silverman / Brian Posehn @ Largo ($25)
Sweet & Tender Hooligans @ House of Blues Sunset ($13.50)
Xtreme @ Club Nokia ($27.50 - $75)
Sea Lions / The Tartans / Catwalk / Watercolor Paintings / Oki Dogs @ Pehrspace
Siesmic Void / Dwale / Dialectik / The Wretched / Millions of Dead Comps @ Relax Bar
Mapei / Little Red Radio @ the Echo ($10)
“ho-ho-tel 2008” Holiday Cheer @ Hotel Café – Lineup TBA
Charlie Hunter Trio @ The Mint ($25)
Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Roxy
VOICEsVOICEs / Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk / Pizza! / Voice on Tape @ The Smell ($5)

Sunday 12/14/08
[Recommended] Midnight Mission Benefit: Aaron Espinoza / Pierre De Reeder / Tandemoro / The Damselles & The TC4 / The Voyeurs / Davey Ingersoll @ the Echoplex ($3 with toy, $7 without) - Another good benefit show.
The Cure / The Killers / Death Cab for Cutie / Paramore / Franz Ferdinand / Scott Weiland / Snow Patrol / Vampire Weekend @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($80) - Much better than night one.
Van Stone / The Ringers / Lightnin Woodcock @ Spaceland ($10)
Bill Engvall @ Club Nokia
The Medic Droid @ Troubadour ($12)
Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk / Shitn A / Voices Voices / El Chon @ Echo Curio
Part Time Punks @ the Echo ($5)
“ho-ho-tel 2008” Holiday Cheer @ Hotel Café – Lineup TBA
Nat and Alex Wolff
Ty Segall / The Fresh & Onlys / Okie Dokie / Shark Toys @ the Smell ($5)
Alkaline Trio @ Keyclub ($25)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sinking Radio - Leon Russell's "This Masquerade"

Here's a quick reminder to tune in to Sinking Radio on Little Radio today from Noon to 2:00 PM PST. Todd's out on the road again (with the Radar Bros. this time), so it'll just be Sylvia and Matt.
Each week on the show, they feature an official You Set the Scene pick. My pick for this week's show is Leon Russell's "This Masquerade." Russell's a fascinating guy (I presume) who has done it all musically. As a session/touring guy, he's played with everybody (Willie Nelson, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Gram Parsons, Ike & Tina, Marvin Gaye, Steve Winwood, The Byrds, The Stones, The Burritos, just to name a few) and has enjoyed a very successful career as a solo performer and songwriter.
Russell's been releasing solo records since the late 1960's. "This Masquerade" comes from his 1972 record, Carney (which also features "Tight Rope" - probably the first Russell track I remember hearing). "This Masquerade" was written by Russell and became the first song to ever hit #1 on the jazz, pop and R&B charts. Of course it wasn't Russell's version, but George Benson's cover (Benson's version also won the Grammy for record of the year in 1976). Incidentally, the Carpenters also did a pretty good version of it. It's just a great, dark breakup tune.
If you've got a turntable, you can usually find a copy of Carney in (or near) the dollar bin at Amoeba or Record Surplus. It's well worth picking up. Big ups to Le Switch, who are one of the only contemporary bands I've seen cite Russell as an influence.
Russell still actively tours. He seems to avoid playing shows in the LA city limits, but you can catch him on the outskirts of town.....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Recently Announced LA Shows

Sharon Jones is a fantastic performer. Jay Reatard is quite good too (but obviously very different). While you're at it, you might as well go ahead and buy your New Year's Eve tickets for Spaceland.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings @ Club Nokia on 1/25/09 (presale now, password = KINGS; regular onsale Friday at 10:00 AM)

The Henry Clay People / The Pity Party @ Spaceland on 12/31/08 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Jay Reatard @ The Echoplex on 1/23/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Jimmy Webb @ Largo on 1/28/09 (on sale now through the club)

Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Club Nokia on 1/31/09 (presale now, password = REBEL; regular onsale Friday at 10:00 AM)

The Fab Four @ Club Nokia on 2/13/09 (presale now, password = BEATLES; regular onsale Friday at 10:00 AM)

Slipknot / Coheed and Cambria / Trivium @ the Forum on 3/7/09 (presale Friday at Noon, password = PSYCHOSOCIAL; regular onsale is Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Britney Spears / Pussycat Dolls @ Staples Center on 4/16/09 (presale now, password = IHEARTBRIT; regular onsale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Annuals @ Troubadour on 2/19/09 (on sale now)

The High Places @ the Echo on 1/22/09 (on sale now at Ticketweb)

Ticket Giveaway - Japanther / Ninjasonik This Saturday

I've got some tickets to give away for the Japanther / Ninjasonik / Lucky Dragons / BlackBlack / Funeral Party show this Saturday at Enjoy Human [Map].

To win these tickets, email me [dukeufo at gmail] with your first and last name. The first two responses will win. Please put "Japanther" in the subject line.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - Friendly Fires at Spaceland

I've got some tickets to give away for the Friendly Fires show this Sunday at Spaceland. Opening the show will be Funeral Party and Glasser. The Friendly Fires' debut self-titled record has a 74 on Metacritic. If you're into catchy, dancey indie music I think you'll dig it (especially if you're an Anglophile too). Surfing on Steam had some nice things to say about their live show too.
To win these tickets email me [dukeufo at gmail] with the name of your favorite British band. The contest closes Friday at 10:00 AM. Please put "Friendly Fires" in the subject line.
Buy tickets to the show.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Live Music Options: 12/1/08 - 12/7/08

Pretty good week for shows. If y0u want a good sampling of the breadth of local bands, start off with the Movies tonight, then see No Age tomorrow, Afternoons on Wednesday, Crystal Antlers/The Bronx on Friday, The Sweet Hurt/Monolators on Saturday and Little Joy on Sunday. None of those bands sound anything alike.
Monday 12/1/08
[Recommended] The Movies / Eagle and Talon / Wrong Way Driver / The Lemurs @ Spaceland (Free) – The Movies are one of my favorite LA bands. They’re doing the Monday night residency this month at Spaceland.
No Age @ Pehrspace
Weave! / Fool’s Gold / We Are the World / Rainbow Arabia @ The Echo (Free) – Weave! Is finishing off its November residency.
The Herbaliser / J Boogie @ Echoplex ($13)
Tesla @ House of Blues Sunset ($33.50)
The Color Turning / Sputnik Monroe / Violent Soho @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) – The Color Turning is doing a Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge.
Ladyfingers / Jake Labotz @ Redwood

Tuesday 12/2/08
No Age / Titus Andronicus @ Troubadour (Free with RSVP)
Smashing Pumpkins @ Gibson Amphitheater ($40 - $90) – To date myself, I saw them back on the Gish tour with Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Ladyfingers / Mike Stinson @ Redwood – I like Mike Stinson.
The Gray Kid / Love Grenades / Karin Tatoyan / Light @ Echoplex (Free until 10:30 PM / $5 after)
The Sisters of Mercy / HYPERNOVA @ The Fonda ($42)
Joe Frank @ Largo ($30)
Secondhand Serenade @ House of Blues Sunset ($17.50)
Violent Soho @ Spaceland ($8)
Wallburds / Victoria / Black Tales / JJ Fats @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Gary Jules @ Hotel Café
Camp Freddy / Drive A @ the Roxy ($20)

Wednesday 12/3/08
[Recommended] Afternoons / Useless Keys / Billygoat @ Spaceland ($8) Afternoons is the relatively new band from the ex-Irving guys. Useless Keys is a new band I’ve been hearing good things about.
[Recommended] Low End Theory: School of Seven Bells / Gangi / Orko Eloheim @ Airliner ($10) – If you missed School of Seven Bells opening for M83, here’s another chance. I like their record.
[Recommended] Jonathan Richman @ El Rey ($16) – You can’t really go wrong with Jonathan Richman.
Eagle Winged Palace / Rocking Horse People / Amanda Jo Williams / Super Karma / Jim Hanft @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Smashing Pumpkins @ Gibson Amphitheater ($40 - $90)
Sebastian Tellier @ The Fonda ($20)
Hanson Brothers / Triclops! / Mount Saint Helens Vietnam @ the Echo ($12)
Joe Frank @ Largo ($30)
Evangenitals / Evertheory / Die Rockers Die / The Health Club @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Dead Man / Emily O’Halloran @ Tangier ($8)
Spain / The Californian / Breakfast All Day / David Dyas @ Bordello ($5)
Ladyfingers @ Redwood
Aunt Dracula / Protect Me / Sprawl Out / Frisco Dykes @ The Smell ($5)
Colin Munroe @ Viper Room ($10)

Thursday 12/4/08
[Recommended] The Sea and Cake / The Uglysuit @ Troubadour ($18) – The new record’s good. I haven’t seen them since back in the mid-90’s.
[Recommended] Oasis / Ryan Adams & the Cardinals / Matt Costa @ Staples Center ($39 - $79) – They’re playing a much smaller place in Vegas on Saturday night.
Wu-Tang Clan @ House of Blues Sunset ($75) – It’s a bit steep, but it is the Wu-Tang Clan.
Relentless Seven / Grace Woodroofe @ Spaceland ($20) – This is Ben Harper’s new band.
Mike Ness / Guana Batz @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Butch Walker @ Largo (Sold Out)
America / Keb Mo’ @ Club Nokia ($30 - $65)
Meat Beat Manifesto @ Knitting Factory ($20)
Grove Hill / Blue Judy @ Silverlake Lounge
Olin and the Moon @ The Mint ($8)
Ladyfingers @ Redwood
Blackblack / Voices Voices / ilo mar / Sleepwalkers Local / Paloma Parfrey @ the Smell
Eek-A-Mouse @ the Roxy
We Are the Fury / The Ringers @ Viper Room ($10)
Keane @ the Echo (Sold Out)

Friday 12/5/08
[Recommended] The Bronx / Crystal Antlers @ The Echo ($12) – Some heavier stuff.
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo – One set only – can’t go wrong with Jon Brion.
Seasons / Correatown / Thailand / The Dirty City Brothers / Torches in Trees @ Mr. T’s Bowl – I like Correatown, and I’m less familiar with the other bands.
The Submarines / Patrick Park @ Echoplex ($12) – Local band, The Submarines music is featured in that new iPhone commercial.
Mike Ness / Jesse Dayton @ El Rey (Sold Out)
Belanova @ Club Nokia
The Deserters @ Troubadour (Free)
Bryan Adams @ The Wiltern ($50 - $60) – It cuts like a knife.
The Spires / Franklin for Short / Frankel @ Pehrspace - I am a Frankel fan.
Are You a Cop? @ Relax Bar
Relentless Seven / Grace Woodroofe @ The Mint (Sold Out) – Ben Harper’s new band.
Dawes / Robert Francis / The Romany Rye @ Spaceland ($8)
We Are the World / Voices Voices / Penelope Fortier @ Tangier ($10)
Ladyfingers @ Redwood
Keane @ the Roxy (Sold Out) – Believe it or not, I have seen Keane before.
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)

Saturday 12/6/08
[Recommended] The Monolators / The Karabal Nightlife / Ema and the Ghosts / The Sweet Hurt @ Pehrspace – Good local lineup. Remember that it’s BYOB at the Pehrspace.
Japanther / Ninjasonik / Lucky Dragons / BlackBlack / Funeral Party @ Enjoy Human – 2323 Porter Street ($10 or $5 with RSVP)
The Antarcticans / Bizzart / Halloween Swim Team / Tarantula Family @ The Smell ($5) – The Antarcticans are worth checking out, I’m not familiar with the other bands.
Aimee Mann’s 3rd Annual Christmas Show @ the Wiltern ($35)
Over the Rhine / Jim Bianco @ Troubadour ($25)
Dressy Bessy / Colourmusic @ Spaceland ($10)
Slightly Stoopid / Bad Brains @ Hollywood Palladium ($30)
A Very Federman Christmas @ Largo
Belanova @ Club Nokia
White Leopards / Lucky Dragons @ Echo Curio
Pop Noir / Love Grenades @ Knitting Factory
Jackshit @ McCabe’s ($15)
Panic Movement @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Repeater / War Tapes @ the Scene
Ours @ the Roxy
Pussycat Dolls Lounge @ Viper Room ($25)
Dub Trio @ Viper Room ($10) – Early show
AC/DC @ The Forum ($90.50)

Sunday 12/7/08
[Recommended] Little Joy / The Dead Trees / Red Cortez @ Troubadour ($15) The Little Joy record grows on you. It’s Fab from the Strokes with his girlfriend Binki,
[Recommended] Pontiak / Biblical Proof of UFOs @ Relax Bar - I haven’t been to Relax Bar, but I got the Pontiak stuff that Thrill Jockey put out and it was quite good.
Friendly Fires @ Spaceland ($14) – These guys got some good buzz earlier this year.
The Weepies @ Hotel Café
Keane @ Largo (Sold Out)
Part Time Punks: Free Moral Agents / Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound @ the Echo ($5)
Captain Ahab / Sikhara / Pedestrian Deposit / BoorBaar Percussion Trio @ The Smell ($5)
[Recommended] The Minor Canon / Le Switch / Summer Darling @ Que Sera in Long Beach [Free] - Two of my favorite LA bands on one bill.
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / The Monolators / The Valley Arena @ Alex's Bar in Long Beach