Monday, March 31, 2008

LA Live Music Options 3/31/08 - 4/6/08

The Ruby Sons Play the Echo Saturday

Ray Davies was great on Saturday. So glad I went. More on that later. The Minor Canon and Henry Clay People were really good too.

Monday 3/31/08
[Recommended] Jim Son of James / Nico Stai / Malbec @ Viper Room ($10 or free w/ RSVP to Viper Room) – Jim, Son of James is Jim from Helen Stellar.
Justice / Diplo / Fancy @ Mayan (Sold Out) – French dance party.
The Chapin Sisters / I See Hawks in LA / Moris Tepper @ the Echo (Free) – Mellow, pretty harmonies.
Voxhaul Broadcast / Rumspringa / Lemon Sun / The Union Line @ Spaceland (Free)
Steel Panther @ Key Club – Formerly Metal Skool

Tuesday 4/1/08
The Black Keys / Jay Reatard @ Wiltern ($25) – Saw a big write-up on these guys in the Wall Street Journal. Jay Reatard is a new Matador signee. With that name, you’d think they’d be terrible, but what I’ve heard is good.
Abbot Kinney / The Meemies / Rocco Delucca @ Spaceland - Rocco's on Kiefer Sutherland's label, Ironworks.
Lily Hayden @ The Roxy (Free w/ RSVP to Amnesty International / $20 donation w/ no RSVP) Digitalism / Guns N Bombs @ El Rey ($25)
The Poor Excuses / Tigers Can Bite You / The Swords of Fatima @ The Echo (Free)
Astra Heights / Ana Egge @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Drive A @ Key Club

Wednesday 4/2/08
[Recommended] The Minor Canon / Amnion @ 3 of Clubs (Free) - The Minor Canon sounded really good at the Echo last week.
The Gutter Twins / Great Northern @ Avalon ($24) – The Gutter Twins is Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli
The Outline / Robot Love / P.S. Nevermind / Dream Kids / The Franks @ the Echo ($7)
Dub Club: Don Carlos @ Echoplex
Club NME @ Spaceland
Serge Gainsbourg Night @ Bordello ($10)
Sara Lov / I Make This Sound / Ana Egge @ Tangier ($8)
Transfer @ Silverlake Lounge ($12)
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café
The Veronicas @ the Roxy ($15)
Low End Theory Club @ Airliner

Thursday 4/3/08
Craft Club / Fish Circus / Nightclub @ Spaceland
Big Head Todd & the Monsters / The New Amsterdams @ Troubadour ($25)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Sleepingboy @ the Echo (Free)
A Fine Frenzy @ the Roxy ($17.50)
Death to Anders / The Monolators / One Trick Pony / The Transmissions @ Charlie O’s Downtown

Friday 4/4/08
[Recommended] The Watson Twins / Castledoor @ Natural History Museum
[Recommended] Languis / Greater California @ Pehrspace
[Recommended] Rademacher / Shiloe / The Monolators / El Olio Wolof @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Pigeon John @ Knitting Factory ($15)
Autechre / Rob Hall / Massonix @ Echoplex ($22)
Little Dragon @ the Roxy ($25) – Another Swedish band with some good buzz right now.
The Cribs / Ra Ra Riot / Jeffrey Lewis & the Jitters @ El Rey ($15)
Big Head Todd & the Monsters / The New Amsterdams @ Troubadour ($25)
Grant Lee Buffalo @ Largo
Light FM / The Music Lovers @ Spaceland
Les Claypool @ The Wiltern
Louis XIV / What Made Milwaukee Famous @ Avalon ($15)

Saturday 4/5/08
[Recommended] Le Loup / The Ruby Sons / Princeton @ the Echo ($10) – Le Loup is signed to the Sub Pop offshoot, Hardly Art. The Ruby Sons are a throwback New Zealand pop band that recently got a great review on Pitchfork. Princeton are a local pop band that I’ve been told I’ll dig.
Signal Hill / springtime is wartime @ Pehrspace
Rza @ Knitting Factory ($30)
Groove Armada / Jason Bentley @ City Hall Downtown ($36.50)
Fu Manchu / Burning Brides / Crystal Antlers @ Troubadour ($16)
Benefit for Garden School: Gwendolyn & the Good Time Gang @ Echoplex ($12) – Early show at 10:00 AM.
King Brothers / Bipolar Bear @ Spaceland
Minnie Driver @ Hotel Café ($10)

Sunday 4/6/08
[Recommended] Le Switch / Rademacher / Tigers Can Bite You / El Olio Wolof @ Spaceland ($8) – Maybe my favorite lineup off the week.
[Recommended] Grand Ole Echo: Dave Gleason with Old Californio @ the Echo (Free) – Early Show at 5:00 PM.
Jason Mraz @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
Lucy Bland @ Tangier ($10)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ray Davies Discount Tix

If you were on the fence about the Ray Davies show tomorrow night at the Wiltern, Goldstar is offering some $15 tickets. One of my favorite new local bands, Everest, is opening the show....

Goldstar Link

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Guest Review: My Blueberry Nights Soundtrack

Here's another guest review from my buddy Scott. This is the soundtrack to Kar Wai Wong's new film, My Blueberry Nights. The film played at Cannes last year, but will open here in the US on April 4th. Norah Jones stars in it and Chan Marshall makes a guest appearance.

Movie soundtracks are pretty hit and miss, in my opinion. Music that is well-used in a film can be amazing, in context. My best, most recent example is the soundtrack for the film Once. The Oscar-winning track "Falling Slowly," in the context of the film, is mesmerizing. The performers build the song--and their nascent relationship--from parts in front of your eyes. And you see their obvious joy as they riff off each other in building the tune. That's great movie music.

But you see it on stage at the Oscars, backed by a 40-piece orchestra and all dressed up--out of context--and you start thinking, "I kinda liked that Harlem choir better."

A better comparison to the soon-to-be-released (April 1) soundtrack to My Blueberry Nights is the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction. It's a bunch of previously released stuff that, in the context of the film, was cool in a way that movie music hadn't been cool before. But without Uma twisting in the background--at least in your head--it was just some old zydeco music.

All that to say that, out of context, the music from the My Blueberry Nights soundtrack is pretty dull fare. The only brand-new music on the album is instrumental movie mood music by Ry Cooder (forgettable) and a new track by Norah Jones called "The Story." "The Story" is a nice tune, much in line with her most-recent release. The rest of the music is pre-released music from Cat Power (and if you like Cat Power, you've already got these tunes), a mediocre-to-lame Neil Young cover by Cassandra Wilson, "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding (which is great, but you've probably got it somewhere, too), a nice arrangement of "Eyes on the Prize" arranged by Ry Cooder and sung by Mavis Staples (I'd heard it before, but I was reminded how much I like the dirtiness of the arrangement--turns a spiritual into something vaguely sexual), a decent Spanish guitar tune, and some okay R&B tunes.

In context, this stuff might really be evocative of a mood that the film develops throughout the movie. You see the movie, you buy the soundtrack, you're brought back to that mood every time you hear the tunes. If that's the case for you, God bless. More likely, you should think about downloading the Norah Jones tune (if you liked her last album), maybe "Eyes on the Prize," if you don't have it, and maybe the Spanish guitar tune, called "Pajaros," for mellow Sunday afternoons.


Big Star's "I'm In Love with a Girl"

Here's my weekly reminder to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST. Their guests this week will be the Henry Clay People, who will perform live. I just got back from their record release party at the Scene and as usual, it was all about fun. Several covers, guests jumping on stage to play and sing and Joey handing his guitar down to an audience member for a solo during "Rockin' in the Free World." Sylvia and Todd will also be giving away Eels tickets.

Each week I pick a song and then write about it here. On February 14th, in honor of Valentine's Day, my pick was Big Star's "I'm In Love wit a Girl." I don't remember when I first got into Big Star, but anybody who reads a lot of record reviews eventually gets turned on. Every few years, there's a cycle of artists who cite Big Star as an influence, and rock critics love to compare bands to them. And of course the Replacements famously wrote a song called "Alex Chilton" and Elliott Smith did some fantastic Big Star covers.

Alex Chilton's the songwriter most people associate with Big Star. He was responsible for "I'm In Love With a Girl" and most of the other great songs. I would be willing to bet that if you played this track for teenage Elliott Smith fans, you could convince them that it was a lost Smith track. And while Chilton wrote most of the great songs, Chris Bell was an integral part of #1 Record (his solo record, I Am the Cosmos is well worth picking up too). Very weird that Big Star's most recognizable song at this point is the theme to That 70's Show (as covered by Cheap Trick). Ah, the power of television.....

I recently read a pretty good bio on the band, but I'm way too tired to write anything else at this point. If you're a major music fan and don't own the first three Big Star albums, there's a serious hole in your collection. By the way, the Wikipedia entry on Chris Bell is crap. Don't bother with it.

Big Star on Myspace
Big Star performing "Ballad of El Goodo" on Youtube

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Music Releases 3/11/08

Still playing catchup; SXSW put me way behind. I haven't heard any of these releases yet, but I plan on getting the Hymns and Why?.

Released on 3/11/08

Local Interest:
Evangelista: Hello, Voyager (Constellation) – This is Carla Bozulich’s (Ethyl Meatplow, Geraldine Fibbers, Scarnella) new record. Bozulich is a longtime fixture on the LA music scene and frequently collaborates with Nels Cline. She’s adored by serious critics as a genre shifting artist that you can’t pigeonhole.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Black Hollies: Casting Shadows (Ernest Jenning) - mp3 and mp3
Cassettes Won’t Listen: Small Time Machine (self-released) - mp3
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien: Eleventh Hour (Definitive Jux)
Hymns: Travel in Herds (High Wire Music) – Spin compared these guys to Pavement and the Flying Burrito Brothers. There’s piano and pedal steel. Haven’t heard it yet, but it’s on my list. The bits on Myspace have some Grateful Dead (and prolly Allman Brothers) in there too.
Jaymay: Autumn Fallin’ (Blue Note) – At the Bordello on 3/28/08 mp3
Kaki King: Dreaming of Revenge (Velour Recordings) - At the Roxy on 3/26 mp3
Snoop Dogg: Ego Trippin’ (Geffen)
Why?: Alopecia (Anticon) – Another genre defying band. I’ve heard great things about this one too, but I haven’t heard the whole thing yet. It’s on my list. mp3

Monday, March 24, 2008

LA Live Music Options 3/24/08 - 3/30/08

Ray Davies Appears at the Wiltern on Saturday
Monday 3/24/08
Voxhaul Broadcast / Eastern Conference Champions / Last American Buffalo @ Spaceland (Free)
The Chapin Sisters / Glasser / Early Dolphin @ the Echo (Free) – Very pretty harmonies.
The Coast / The Vox Jaguars / Charts and Maps @ Silverlake Lounge ($5) – I just clicked on The Coast’s Myspace page and they don’t sound too bad. They’re from Toronto.
Army Navy / The Weather Underground / Miniature Tigers / The Voom Blooms @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room) - The Voom Blooms have some good buzz in the UK.
Bell X1 / The Submarines @ Troubadour ($15)
Jim White @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM – For the Americana fans. Also at the Silent Movie Theatre Tuesday.
Warpaint / Hecuba @ Bordello ($5)
AJ Mclean @ the Roxy ($25)

Tuesday 3/25/08
Bob Mould Band / Saturna @ El Rey ($20) – Mould’s incredibly talented. I love Husker Du, Sugar and his early solo stuff. The new album’s OK, but some of the vocal production is a little weird.
KamranV’s Birthday: Har Mar Superstar / Lemon Sun / Buddy / The Nervous Return @ the Echo (Donations Accepted) – Kamran records all those Spaceland Live albums. He’s obsessed with Prince, so see all these artists pay tribute to Prince. Donations go to Aids Project Los Angeles.
Steve Earle / Allison Moorer @ Royce Hall UCLA ($25-32) – Earle’s one of those songwriters I have a lot o respect for, but don’t listen to much.
Jose Gonzalez / Mia Doi Todd @ Wiltern ($25)
Jim White @ Silent Movie Theatre ($22)
Abe Vigoda @ the Smell ($5)
Saul Williams / Dragons of Zynth @ Troubadour ($20)
Van Stone / The Ringers @ Spaceland
Craft Club / Where's Moo @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Ace Frehley @ House of Blues ($30)
Candlebox @ Roxy ($25)
City & Colour @ the Knitting Factory (Sold Out) - The dude from Alexisonfire.

Wednesday 3/26/08
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / Aushua / The Natural Disasters / Downtown Union @ the Scene – the Squaregirls present this show. It’s the release party for the Henry Clay People’s 7” out on Jaxart records.
The Knux / Clean Guns / Wallpaper @ the Echo ($5) – Passion of the Weiss and Hell Ya! Present a night of hip-hop. Weiss is what you call an opinion leader when it comes to hip-hop. The Knux recently signed to Interscope. Clean Guns is outta Philadelphia.
Tokyo Police Club / Eagle Seagull / We Barbarians @ Troubadour (Sold Out) - Upbeat Canadian indie rockers with a new album out on Saddle Creek in late April. I ran into a few people that were really into seeing them at SXSW.
Kaki King @ the Roxy ($16) – Well respected female singer-songwriter.
Ben Jelen @ Knitting Factory Front Stage ($12)
Club NME: Alberta Cross / Asher @ Spaceland
Jessica Fichot @ Tangier ($10)
Ancestors @ LA Cita (Free) - Tee Pee Records/Coldsweat Present

Thursday 3/27/08
[Recommended] The Minor Canon / Shiloe / Repeater @ the Echo ($5) – The Minor Canon put out one of my favorite local releases last year.
Tokyo Police Club / Eagle Seagull / We Barbarians @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Upbeat Canadian indie rockers with a new album out on Saddle Creek in late April. I ran into a few people that were really into seeing them at SXSW.
Red Sparowes / Russian Circles / Holloys @ Echoplex ($12) – Red Sparowes features members of Isis, Halifax Pier, Pleasure Forever, Angel Hair playing intense, instrumental music.
The Datsuns / The Binges @ Spaceland ($15) – New Zealanders garage rockers are in the States for one LA and one New York show.
The Photo Atlas / The Valley Arena @ Knitting Factory Front Stage ($10)
Bob Schneider @ Safari Sam’s ($20) – Austinites love this dude.
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Daniel Lanois @ Vista Theatre ($20) – Early show at 6:30 and later show at 9:30. LA premier of the Lanois documentary, Here Is What Is along with a Lanois live performance featuring Brian Blade.
Free Moral Agents @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Alberta Cross @ Viper Room
Chapin Sisters @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM

Friday 3/28/08
Beth Orton @ El Rey ($27.50) – Solo acoustic
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
The Gray Kid / Casxio / Nu-Tra @ the Echoplex ($12)
The Snow @ the Echo ($5)
The Sixth Chamber / Circus Minor @ Spaceland
Red Maids / Liz Pappademas / Wendy Wang / Dustin Fire @ Pehrspace
Too Short @ House of Blues ($35)
Imaad Wasif and the Two Part Beast @ the Smell ($5)

Saturday 3/29/08
[Recommended] Ray Davies @ Wiltern ($45-60) – My favorite lyricist ever. His new album is probably the best thing he’s done since the late 1970s. I saw him last time he played the Wiltern and enjoyed it quite a bit.
Genius/Gza (performing Liquid Swords in its entirety) @ El Rey ($22.50)
Teddy Thompson / Rosie Thomas @ Troubadour ($20)
Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Brother Reade / The Glitch Mob / Nosaj Thing @ the Echo ($10)
Rio En Medio / Hecuba / Quinn Walker @ Spaceland ($8) – At the risk of offending everybody involved, this should appeal to the freak-folk fans.
Good Listeners @ Bordello ($10)
Flock of Seagulls @ House of Blues ($22.50)
Roy Ayers with Tony Allen @ Crash Mansion ($18)

Sunday 3/30/08
[Recommended] Eleni Mandell / Correatown @ Tangier ($10)
[Recommended] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / The Black Angels @ the Wiltern ($20)
The Avett Brothers @ El Rey ($19)
Neil Hamburger / Andy Daly @ Spaceland
Smiths – Morrissey Convention: These Charming Men @ Crash Mansion ($30)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Guest Review: Astrid Williamson - Boy For You

Here at You Set the Scene we get a lot of music for review. I can't get to it all. In an attempt to get a few more artists some exposure, on occasion I ask friends to help out. Here's a guest review from my friend Scott. As Scott points out, this record was released in Europe in the late 1990s and it's just now getting a domestic release (on Bjork's One Little Indian label). This will be in record stores on April 1st.....

When you download Astrid Williamson’s 1998 album, Boy for You, onto your computer, it shows Folk as the genre. It may be folk music (I guess, if by that the folks at iTunes mean "music for folks"), but it’s not an album of stripped-down, acoustic guitar-based tunes (a la Woody Guthrie, Ellis Paul, etc.).

The songs are lushly produced, with singer-songwriter melodies and lyrics backed up with a full band, lots of backing strings and keyboards and, yes, some acoustic guitar. Think Liz Phair (circa her WhiteChocolateSpaceEgg album, when she was moving from a straight-ahead sound to something more studio album-esque) or Sarah Harmer (circa her All of Our Names and You Were Here albums, before she went all rootsy Canadian bluegrass). Interestingly, Boy for You, WhiteChocolateSpaceEgg, and You Were Here were all released at about the same time, but Williamson’s stuff never got the buzz that the others did (despite the fact that her album is every bit as good as Phair’s and not bad even in comparison to Harmer’s).

In fact, all three of them have similarly smoky, alto voices, which shows off especially well in Williamson’s "Someone." And each of them have a penchant for emotionally (over)wrought up-tempo tunes (see "Hozanna" (compleat with artsy misspelling!)). Nevertheless, if you like slightly dangerous-sounding female singer-songwriters taking it to the next level (like you know I do), it's a fun listen.

Download "I Am the Boy For You"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SXSW Journal - Saturday

Frankel - The First of Three with the Bow
Waking up on Saturday wasn’t much fun. As I mentioned, I was staying at my friend Mike’s loft in East Austin. Mike woke up bright and early because he had a plane to catch to India for a two week vacation. I thought about trying to stay in bed, but it was just too difficult with him getting organized and finishing packing. Cottonmouth and nauseous stomach. We walked over to a coffee shop to get a breakfast burrito, but that did not do the trick. Something about eggs and a hangover have never worked for me.

After dropping Mike off at the airport, I cruised over to the Hot Freaks party at the Mohawk. Bad Veins was on outside and they seemed pretty good, but my head was swimming. I stumbled inside and found a stool to wait it out for Frankel. Michael Orendy (aka Frankel) put out one of my favorite local releases last year. Quality songwriting in the vein of Richard Swift. He started out with a Nick Drake cover and played his guitar with a bow (one of three artists I would see do that on Saturday). I really enjoy his songs. I was finally starting to fell human again, so I went upstairs and grabbed a bloody mary in preparation for Le Switch.

While I was upstairs getting my bloody mary, I peaked down and watched a few of the Whigs’ songs. Impressive. I’ve always had a feeling I’d like those guys, but that was my first exposure to them. Pitchfork called them “latter day Local H, redux.” I’m not sure who Local H is, but I’m guessing it’s not a compliment. They play good time, unpretentious rock ‘n’ roll, something there’s really not enough of these days.

I’ve probably written about Le Switch as much as any other band. It’s just impossible for me to not have a good time when I see that group of people playing music together. I’m trying to save all my good nuggets for their press release, so I’m not going to say much more right now. But I looked around the room and saw a lot of smiles while they were playing. Their debut full length is coming out in May and I think a lot of you are going to dig it. They’ve already lined up a great supporting cast of bands for their May residency at the Echo.

After Le Switch finished, I went back upstairs for another bloody mary and some tacos. Finally getting back to normal. Film School was playing outside and Dave Dupuis was the guitar player of the day to use a bow. Film School’s officially an LA band these days and they’re a nice addition to the scene. They’re heading out on the road for a couple of weeks with British Sea Power. While I was standing around upstairs I met one of my favorite bloggers, Largehearted Boy and Rachel the publicist from KCRW. Both really nice people.

Up next was A Place to Bury Strangers. I saw them recently at the Viper Room and it’s music that belongs in a dark club, not a 90 degree day in Austin. They were loud as hell. I wish they’d concentrate more on writing songs. Weiss and I walked over to Club Deville to see what was going on over there. I think Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal was up strumming on an acoustic guitar. Whatever it was it was not interesting, and I decided I’d rather be watching college basketball.

Fleet Foxes

I caught about 10 minutes of the KU game and then made my way to the SXSeattle party at the Palm Door. I’ve been digging that Fleet Foxes EP from Sub Pop, so I was curious to see if they could pull off those harmonies. They can. Their set was probably my highlight of the festival. Very pretty three and four part harmonies, and the schoolhouse vibe of the venue worked really well for their sound. They never really rock out, but it’s really pleasant to just kick back and listen to on a Saturday afternoon. Their guitar player was the third of the day to use the bow. If you’re into Everest and that newest Wilco record, you should give these guys some time.

Mr. Free and his strap-on
I made my way towards Waterloo Park for the Mess with Texas party that Sean Carlson helped curate. Guy’s only like 22 and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal (alongside Franki Chan). Long Beach’s Crystal Antlers were on stage. I think I’d like them at the right time and place, but they harshed my mellow a bit. Ran into Jax, who told me they only found out they had the gig 10 minutes before hitting stage. I think they won over some new fans. Up next was some guy with a giant embroidered strap on over his junk. Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout are totally filthy. I wasn’t that into it, but Mr. Free clearly understands showmanship.

I had originally ventured over to see some Black Mountain’s set. After Mr. Free’s mic was shut off, Black Mountain decided to do a thirty minute sound check. As each minute passed, my enthusiasm waned. I watched a few songs, but ultimately decided that I appreciate them more in theory than reality. They’ve got some nice moments, but that is all. I headed off to pick up my friend Jerry who was hanging out at Waterloo Records.

Rudy's Barbeque
Jerry, Kenley and I headed over for night two (for me anyway) at Rudy’s Barbeque. I ordered the exact same thing – St. Louis ribs, a ½ link of sausage and beans. It might be the first time I’ve ever gone to a restaurant and ordered the exact same thing two days in a row. Although this time I had a Big Red instead of a Shiner Bock.

I figured I’d make it an early night, but decided I’d try to get into the Okkervil River / Roky Erickson show at Stubb’s. Turns out it was no problem. Okkervil River proved their set at Yard Dog was no fluke with another high energy show. Once again I only caught the last five or so songs, and it left me wanting more. I still can’t believe their last album didn’t do a lot better. I’d say they’re one big TV or film licensing deal away from being a household name. Beatle Bob popped on stage to introduce Roky Erickson. I’ve been a casual 13th Floor Elevators fan ever since the Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye tribute album came out in 1990. After seeing the Erickson documentary, I was very impressed with how good he sounded. It’s a totally professional band that he keeps up with. My attention waned a little in the middle, but after the band finished with “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” I walked out with a big ol’ smile on my face.

The smile was quickly erased when I stumbled down to 6th Street. The combination of 6th Street on a weekend and SXSW harshed my mellow in a big way. Why don’t they build some of those giant condo complexes on 6th Street?

SXSW was over for me.

Ticket Giveaway - School of Language @ Spaceland

I've got a couple of pairs of tickets to give away for the School of Language show at Spaceland on Saturday night. They will be supported by Amateurs (a quality local band) and Wonderground (who are getting ready to head into the studio with Aaron Espinoza). School of Language is the new band featuring David Brewis from Field Music. Their debut record came out earlier this year on Thrill Jockey. It's got indie pop at its heart, but with interesting soundscapes and textures (which is appropriate for a Thrill Jockey record). Brewis is a talented guy. See the All Music Guide review here.
To win these tickets, email me [dukeufo at hotmail] by Friday at Noon. Winners will be randomly chosen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SXSW Journal - Friday

The Nobility
Day two of SXSW started off much better than the first. I got a pretty good night’s sleep at my friend Mike’s loft over on East Sixth. Seeing all the trendy lofts over there on the eastside kind of freaked me out, but I’m not on the Austin planning commission. My friend Foxy-Jerry and I rushed over to Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe for breakfast with a great band from Nashville called the Nobility. We walked in and I was greeted by the sight of 30 guys in Jayhawks sports attire (they were the KU baseball team). Very good start to the day. I’d hung out with Brian from the Nobility before, but it was nice to meet the rest of the guys. They did one of the least rock ‘n’ roll things a band could do – a massive tour of libraries and elementary schools. Isn’t that a great idea? Think about all the boring assemblies you went to as an elementary student – how great would it have been to see a rock ‘n’ roll show in your gymnasium? And why can’t I get really good migas in Los Angeles? They’re everywhere in Austin….. After that I drove over to South Congress to do some shopping and catch the Nobility’s set at Doc’s Motorworks. Picked up some great gifts at Parts & Labour and then walked down to Doc’s Motorworks. They were running really late due to Restaurant showing up around noon for their noon show and then setting up for about 35 minutes. At least they were fun. They play Little Radio a lot, so I was already familiar with them. I was able to watch some college basketball while I watched the band, which wasn’t all bad. The Nobility were up next and immediately impressed me. High energy and really damn tight. NPR profiled them yesterday in their Second Stage series, so hopefully more people get the pleasure of hearing them.

The Radar Bros.
At this point a couple of Austinite friends had joined me. They were down for something more mellow, so I recommended walking over to Home Slice to see AA Bondy. Aaron from Le Switch turned me onto him last year. He sounded great to me, but my friends are parents and needed to pick up their kids from day care. I bid adieu and heard some familiar sounds coming from behind Parts & Labour. I walked in and saw the Deadly Syndrome playing to about four people. I decided to head over the Hot Freaks party at the Mohawk. They had a cushy VIP lounge with free vodka, beer and tacos. I caught a little bit of Blitzen Trapper but mostly socialized. I seriously entertained the idea of trying to get into Jens Lekman at Club Deville or else calling somebody from Little Radio in hopes of bypassing the line and seeing Autolux. Ultimately I decided to do neither, instead meeting up with my friend Stamford and driving over to Waterloo Records. Great record store. All those gigantic condo developments really freaked me out though. I mean, 56 stories in Austin? Stamford and I drove over to Rudy’s Barbeque on Capital of Texas Hwy. So good. Why doesn’t anybody make barbeque like that in Los Angeles. After that Stamford and I drove over to a sports bar on South Lamar and watched the KU basketball game. We won. Fearing a repeat line performance of Friday night, I went for the sure thing on Saturday. Luckily it was a great one - the Merge showcase at the Parish. Some friends ushered me in through the back door in the alley. I was excited to see the Radar Bros., was very curious about She and Him plus I’d never seen Destroyer. The new Radar Bros. lineup is sounding great and the crowd was really into it. A few of us (and Drunk Dave) heckled them from the side of the stage. Jim, Aaron, Brian and Eric seemed to be having a lot of fun playing to the packed house. Next up was the Shout Out Louds. I’ve always enjoyed their music and they were really nice people. I occasionally think that maybe I should move to Sweden.

She & Him

The main attraction for most (I suppose) was She & Him. I hadn’t heard anything before the show, but I’m a huge fan of M. Ward’s guitar work. I’m sure a lot of horny indie rock dudes just wanted to check out Zooey Deschanel. (If you live in LA you might have already encountered her at Spaceland or out on the town.) Fortunately for everybody in attendance, she’s got a good voice and the music’s upbeat and a lot of fun (mp3). The final act was Destroyer. Dan Bejar’s songs on the New Pornographers albums are usually some of my favorites, but with Destroyer I’ve always been more of an appreciator than a fan. I was a little buzzed, but I thought he sounded good. Gotta pick up that new one….

After that I tried to catch some final act at Club Deville but Ross had dog shit on his shoes, the club kicked us out and I just couldn’t be in public anymore.

To be continued....

Ticket Giveaway - Bon Iver at the Echo

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver Sporting the Derrick Chievous Look
I've got one pair of tickets to give away for the Bon Iver / Phosphorescent / White Hinterland show at the Echo on Thursday night. Bon Iver released one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I liked what I heard from Phosphorescent at SXSW. The All Music Guide compares White Hinterland to Joanna Newsom and Becky Stark. This is a show I've been looking forward to for a while. I even avoided seeing Bon Iver at SXSW....
To win these tickets email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me who you're picking to win the NCAA tournament. The contest closes Thursday at Noon.
Download Bon Iver's "Skinny Love"
Download White Hinterland's "Dreaming of the Plum Trees"
Download Phosphorescent's "A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why the Knitting Factory Is Bullshit

Let me apologize ahead of time to the booker and employees of the Knitting Factory; I'm sure they're nice people.

I haven't been to the Knitting Factory in at least two years (and I'm a guy who goes out at least twice a week). But tonight I really wanted to see Aloha. I skipped seeing them at SXSW since I knew I'd have a chance to see them in LA this week. But tonight I lost track of time and didn't leave work until 9:00 PM. I skipped dinner and rushed over to the Knitting Factory assuming I'd get there in time. By the time I got there it was 9:35 and I was too tired to drive around looking for street parking, so I paid $8 to park in the parking garage. I rushed up to the ticket office, looked at the set times and realized that Aloha went on at 9:00. I asked the girl in the ticket booth and she told me that they'd already been on for 40 minutes.

Dejected, I walked back down to my car realizing I'd wasted $8 for nothing and missed a band I really wanted to see. I briefly considered (politely) asking for my money back, but some steroid-fueled DB all pumped up from the gym was blocking one of the lanes and screaming at the parking attendant because he'd lost his parking ticket.

Overly Long and Boring Post About SXSW on Thursday

At this point SXSW is already kind of a blur, but let me try to remember what happened….

One thing that sticks out when you peruse everybody’s SXSW coverage is the herd mentality that afflicts both the mainstream press and the bloggers. It’s a little pathetic and it becomes evident when you’re there. Out of the 1,600 or so bands that performed, only about 25 of them get much coverage coming out of the festival. Every day there are three or so day parties and about three showcases that every hype maven tries to get into. You shouldn’t let that get in your way of having a good time, like I did on Thursday.

First off, I don’t recommend staying out late and getting drunk on Wednesday night before your 8:30 AM flight out of Ontario (especially when you don’t sleep well on planes). After picking up my rental car, I headed downtown for the LA Independent party at the Lucky Lounge. Seemed like a good place to at least run into some friends and hopefully catch the Henry Clay People. When I got there, the Mae Shi were on stage. It was one of their well publicized 18 shows at SXSW. They were pretty much playing to a group of friends, but it didn’t make them any less energetic. No costume changes though. As much as I liked the lineup, they were all LA bands who I can see anytime, so I split in hopes of seeing Okkervil River at Yard Dog.

After experiencing a certain hell in trying to find parking at the Lucky Lounge, I decided to hoof it to Yard Dog. I moved away from Austin in 2002 but I remembered it being pretty damn far. But the doorman assured me that I should just walk it. Bad idea. It’s both far and uphill. Not a good idea when you’re tired, hungover and haven’t had lunch yet. It did give me the chance to see how developed South Congress has gotten. For as long as I can remember, South Congress was hippie central. As I passed by brand new buildings filled with chichi restaurants and boutiques I was a little disgusted. I mean, I’m a capitalist pig and all, but does South Congress really need overpriced restaurants, condos and Starbucks?

I finally arrived at Yard Dog, where I’ve been attending SXSW day parties since at least 2000. It was predictably packed, but you could still move around and hear and see the band and get free beer. It was first time seeing Okkervil River and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve heard mixed things about their live show, but it was great. Plenty of energy from Will Sheff and the band sounded great. I only caught the last four songs, but they were good ones: “A Girl in Port,” “Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe,” “Unless It’s Kicks” and “For Real” (if my memory serves correct).

I was with an old and a new friend and we took a break to grab a burrito and try to get into the Levi’s/Fader party for the Lou Reed tribute. The line was ridiculous. After a half-hearted attempt to get in, we gave up and decided to rest for the evening shows. Those guys wanted to see Islands at Cedar Street. Since they had badges and I didn’t, I opted out deciding that I’d rather take my chances trying to get into the Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian showcase at the Mohawk. I got there around 8:10 PM and the line for losers like me without badges and wristbands was long, but the SXSW people assured us we’d get in (“The capacity of the club is 700 and there are only 300 people inside.”). I waited patiently and since you can hear the outside stage perfectly from the line, I figured what the hell. I liked what I heard of Phosphorescent until they decided to do an extended, dissonant jam at the end. Then Bodies of Water started. They’ve admittedly gotten a lot better than when they first started. Around 9:30 I finally got to the front of the line. They checked my ID and said I was in, and then about 400 people with badges showed up. I was out.

I didn’t really have a backup at this point. I needed to get the key for the place I was staying, so I met up with some friends at Lovejoy’s. We decided to walk around and see if anything grabbed us. We (accidentally) listened to Anavan from upstairs at Habana Calle 6. It looked pretty empty downstairs. A couple of my friends had to work on Friday so they left. Another friend and I argued about whether to see Times New Viking or No Age at the Habana Annex Backyard. I whined a bunch and No Age won.

The cover was $10 and there were only about 40 people inside. We decided to just stand outside in the alley (about 15 feet from the stage and with perfect sightlines). I thought seeing them would make me like them more, but it seemed to have the opposite effect. I watched a lot of people filter in and out, so I know I’m not alone. When I listened to a lot punk and hardcore back in junior high I preferred bands like Minor Threat, the Dead Kennedys and the Circle Jerks who wrote provocative, political songs. No Age has good energy, but their lyrics aren’t compelling like those bands. They sport Crass shirts on stage and list a bunch of avant-garde visual artists on their Myspace page under influences, but it’s just not that lyrically, musically or visually innovative.

This is a quote from their Sub Pop bio: “Elsewhere, No Age's members have impacted multiple mediums in a way that tastefully denies rampant cynicism.” Congratulations, but when you put something like that in your bio, you should be careful not to sound so negative and cynical in between song banter. On a more positive note, I do love how they use their new popularity to bring attention to their friends’ bands. And by no means, are they a bad band. They’re way, way better than most of the stuff out there. Just try to avoid reading their interviews.

Monday, March 17, 2008

LA Live Music Options 3/17/08 - 3/23/08

Jens Lekman Plays the Fonda on Friday

If you didn't make it out to SXSW this year, there's a steady stream of bands coming to town the next couple of weeks. I'll put some SXSW reflections up later...
Monday 3/17/08
[Recommended] Explosions in the Sky / Lichens @ the Wiltern ($17) – Explosions in the Sky is a great instrumental band. I’ve enjoyed hearing their music in Friday Night Lights (the film and the show).
[Recommended] Neon Neon / Oppenheimer / Jim Noir @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room) – Neon Neon is Gruff Ryhs of Super Furry Animals and Boom Bip. Download Oppenheimer’s “Straight Out of Comp’in
[Hype Alert] Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip @ the Roxy ($15.50) – Your chance to see them before Coachella at a small venue.
The Chapin Sisters / Summer Darling / Love Grenades @ the Echo (Free)
Voxhaul Broadcast / The Pigeon Detectives / My Pet Saddle @ Spaceland (Free)
Jason Collett / Luke Top @ Troubadour ($12)
Warpaint @ Bordello ($5)
Las Krudas @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – Female, Cuban hip-hop

Tuesday 3/18/08
[Recommended] Let's Independent: Amnion / Fol Chen / Princeton @ Boardner's (Free) - Radio Free Silver Lake's monthly event is always a good time.
[Recommended] The Velvet Teen / Aloha @ Knitting Factory Front Stage ($12) – Aloha put out my favorite album of 2006.
[Recommended] Black Mother Super Rainbow / Locks @ Knitting Factory ($12)
[Hype Alert] Switches / Castledoor @ the Roxy ($12)
Kinky / Money Mark @ The Mayan ($17)
The Felice Brothers / Justin Townes Earle / McCarthy Trenching @ the Echo ($10) – Solid night for the Americana fans.
Wyld Stallyons / Wild Sweet Orange / The Dead Tress @ Spaceland ($20)
The New Bloods / Magic Johnson / Ima Gymnist @ the Smell ($5)

Wednesday 3/19/08
[Recommended] Headlights / Evangelicals @ Silverlake Lounge ($10)
Nada Surf / Sea Wolf @ The Fonda ($20)
Carbon/Silicon / Matt Pond PA @ El Rey ($19) – This is Tony James and Mick Jones (from the Clash).
Born Ruffians / Cadence Weapon @ the Echo ($10) – Cadence Weapon’s a Canadian hip-hop dude.
Film School / Airiel @ Boardner’s ($8)
The Vines @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
Club NME: The Answer @ Spaceland
Rachel Yamagata @ Hotel Café

Thursday 3/20/08
[Recommended] Bon Iver / Phosphorescent / White Hinterland @ the Echo ($10) – Bon Iver released one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I saw Phosphorescent at SXSW and liked what I heard (until the final 10 minute jam). I've got a pair of tickets to give away for this.
[Recommended/Hype Alert] Vampire Weekend / Yacht @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Vampire Weekend is a love ‘em or hate ‘em type of band. I like the record, but looking at them in their preppy costumes is pretty irritating.
[Recommended] Film School / Airiel @ Spaceland ($8)
The English Beat / RX Bandits @ The Fonda ($23)
The Black Crowes @ Wiltern ($45)
Tristan Prettyman @ the Roxy
Low vs. Diamond / Eskimohunter @ Troubadour ($12)
Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista / John Wiese / Mike Watt @ Safari Sam’s ($10)
David Garza @ Largo
Kraak & Smaak @ Echoplex ($20)
Willoughby @ Bordello ($5)
Adele @ Hotel Café (Sold Out)
The Answer / Ben Jelen @ Viper Room ($10)
Sterling Andrews Photography Opening / Hello Vegas @ Rodan vs. Griffith [8207 W. 3rd St] - Free drinks.

Friday 3/21/08
[Recommended] Jens Lekman / The Honeydrips @ the Fonda ($18) – Really damn good Swedish indie pop. I only caught a couple of Lekman songs at SXSW, but I wished I’d seen more.
The Mae Shi / RTX / Bad Dudes @ Knitting Factory Front Stage ($12)
[Recommended] 400 Blows / Tweak Bird / Ancestors @ Charlie O’s Downtown ($5)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
[Recommended] The Parson Red Heads / The Devil Makes Three / Or, the Whale @ Echoplex ($10) – I like the Parson Red Heads.
Birdmonster / Little Teeth / The Afternoons @ Bordello ($10)
Hanne Hukkelberg @ Hotel Café
West Indian Girl / Eagle Winged Palace @ Studio Blue ($10 but you need to RSVP)
Zera Vaughn @ Tangier
[CANCELED] Gary Louris @ El Rey [CANCELED]
Portugal. The Man / Foxy Shazam @ Troubadour ($14)
Travis Morrison Hellfighters / Say Hi / Kevin Devine @ Spaceland ($8)
The Ringers @ Viper Room ($10)
Presidents of United States of America @ the Roxy ($22) BARR @ the Smell ($5)
Radio Alert: Adele on Morning Becomes Eclectic on NPR at 11:15 AM - She sold out Hotel Cafe o Thursday.

Saturday 3/22/08
[Recommended] School of Language / Amateurs / Wonderground @ Spaceland ($8) – School of Language is ex-Field Music. Good Stuff.
[Recommended] Jimmy James Going Away Party: Wiskey Biscuit / The Virginia City Revival / Barrio Tiger @ the Echo (Free) - Should be a fun time. You know I'm a big Wiskey Biscuit fan.
Mr. Scruff @ El Rey ($16)
Gravy Train @ Troubadour ($12)
The Dollyrots @ Safari Sam’s (Free before 5:00 PM)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
Black Ghosts / Riot in Belgium / Future Cop @ Echoplex ($15)
Ben Jelen @ Hotel Café
Amnion @ Mr. T’s Bowl ($5)
The Mooney Suzuki / The Vacation @ the Roxy ($15)

Sunday 3/23/08
[Recommended] The Deadly Syndrome / Dusty Rhodes & the River Band @ the Roxy ($11.50)
Japan Night: The Beaches / The Emerals / Detroit 7 / Ketchup Mania / Petty Booka / Scandal @ Knitting Factory – My friend Jonathan caught most of these bands at SXSW and seemed to love them all.
The Prids @ the Echo ($5)
Rock 'n' Roll Prom: Electric Shadows / Apache @ Spaceland
Maria Taylor @ Tangier ($12)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

10 Non-LA Bands I'd Like to See at SXSW

Fleet Foxes - My New Favorite Band?

Like I said before, you're not going to see everything. Pick a daytime event and a nighttime event and just relaxxxxxx
10 Non-LA Bands I’m Hoping to See at SXSW:

1) Fleet Foxes: The new Fleet Foxes EP on Sub Pop is one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Heavily influenced by classic rock bands like Neil Young, Yes, the Zombies and Dylan I suppose. Sad I missed their recent show at the Troubadour. See them Thursday at 5:30 PM @ Emo’s Lounge; Friday at 3:30 PM @ Emo’s Outside and Midnight @ Bourbon Rocks; Saturday at 4:30 PM @ Palm Door

2) Okkervil River: They put out my favorite record last year and I’ve still never seen them. Sad. See them Wednesday at 11:00 PM @ Austin Music Hall (with Roky Erickson); Thursday 3:50 PM @ Yard Dog; Saturday at 6:05 PM at French Legation Museum and at 9:00 PM @ Stubb’s
Download “Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe

3) Aloha: I don’t love everything they’ve done, but I did love Echoes. I’ve never seen them, and I’ve heard they’re great live. They’re playing the Knitting Factory on the 18th, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it. See them Friday at 10:00 PM @ Habana Calle 6 Patio; Saturday at 1:15 PM @ Waterloo Park
Download “Your Eyes

4) Dr. Dog: I’ve only seen them once, but I listened to We All Belong on the way back from Joshua Tree last weekend and loved it all over again. Friday at 11:00 PM @ Cedar Door; Saturday at 1:00 AM @ Emo’s Annex

5) Bon Iver: I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re incredibly boring live, but I’m still curious since I still like the record. Playing the Echo on the 20th, so I won’t cry if I miss them. See him Wednesday at 1:00 AM @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop; Thursday at 3:15 PM @ Parish and 11:00 PM @ Mohawk’s Patio; Friday at 3:00 PM @ Emo’s Outside
Download “Skinny Love

6) Kelley Stoltz: I just love his records. I’ve seen him twice and he was pretty good both times. He’s playing the Troubadour on May 7th, so I may wait to catch him there. See him Wednesday at 4:00 PM @ Counter Café; Friday at 8:00 PM @ Spiro’s and 11:00 PM @ Bourbon Rocks; Saturday at 5:00 PM @ Jo’s Coffee
Download “Your Reverie

7) The Nobility: These guys are from Nashville and haven’t ever made it out to the West Coast. I’m curious to see if they’re as fun live as they are on disc. See them Friday at 1:00 PM @ Doc’s Motorworks; Saturday at 2:30 PM @ Parts & Labour
Download “Halleluiah Chorus

8) The Explorers Club: They are unashamed to be Beach Boys fans (and I can appreciate that). See them Wednesday at 12:10 PM @ Red Eyed Fly; Thursday at 10:00 PM @ Mohawk; Saturday at 3:30 PM @ Lambert’s
Download “Do You Love Me

9) Grand Archives: Finally picked up their debut LP on Sub Pop and it’s pretty good. The first song blows away the other tracks, but the rest of the album’s growing on me. Once again, sad I missed their recent show at the Troubadour. See them Thursday at 1:30 PM @ Red Eyed Fly; Friday at 10:00 PM @ Bourbon Rocks; Saturday at 4:00 PM @ Cedar Street
Download “Torn Blue Foam Couch

10) Vampire Weekend: I thought they were pretty good on SNL last week. I can’t believe they’re already playing SNL. The ridiculous costumes seem gimmicky, but I it’s fun indie pop. They’re playing El Rey in a couple of weeks, but I neglected to get tickets. See them Thursday at 4:00 PM @ the Parish; Friday in the day @ Stubb’s and 11:00 PM @ Antone’s

10 LA Bands to See at SXSW

The Everest lads

SXSW is so vast, it's impossible to do a real preview. So here's the first of two posts. In this post I'm highlighting ten LA bands that are worth tracking down in Austin (and all the bands sound pretty different). If you're a first time attendee, my overall advice for the festival is to slow down. Pick a few bands that you really want to see, make your best effort to see them, but don't stress. While many of the venues are in close proximity, it's not worth rushing around to try to take it all in. I plan on seeing a lot of old friends, supporting some of my friends in band, checking out a few bands I've been wanting to see and eating a lot of barbeque and tex-mex and drinking a lot of Shiner and Lone Star.
The foks at Do512 have done a great job covering the festival. For other opinions, check out Jeff Weiss' Guide to LA Bands at SXSW .
10 LA Bands Worth Seeing:

1) Everest: Kind of like a Silver Lake supergroup with Russ Pollard, J. Soda, Rob Douglas, Davey Latter and Joel Graves. They make it look too easy. Very appropriately signed to Neil Young’s Vapor Records. See them Thursday at 1:45 PM @ Cedar Street and 7:45 PM @ Copper Tank Download “Trees

2) Le Switch: No official showcase for these guys, but they’ve got a coveted slot at the Hot Freaks party. I’ve been working on writing a press release for them, so I don’t want to blow my wad here. They’re influenced by the early 1970s rock like the Kinks/Wings/Nilsson that I also love. Frankel plays right before them and is well worth seeing. See them Saturday at 1:30 PM @ the Mohawk

3) Henry Clay People: No official showcase for them either, but another local band that I really like. They’re inspired by Pavement, the Replacements and a lot of other fun indie-ish guitar bands. See them Thursday at Noon @ the Belmont and a little later @ Lucky Lounge

4) The Little Ones: After getting signed to the EMI family, they toured their asses off last year. What did it get them? Dropped from the label. With the popularity of Vampire Weekend, their willingness to work their asses off and the fact that they’ve already got a Dave Newton produced album in the can, should make them an attractive addition to any indie label. Infectious indie pop. See them on Friday at 3:30 PM @ Red Eyed Fly and 9:00 PM @ Cedar Door; Saturday at 5:00 PM @ Salvage Vanguard Theatre

5) The Deadly Syndrome: Another band that’s just a whole lot of fun to see live. Their music is more along the lines of contemporaries like Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. See them Wednesday @ Hotel San Jose during the day and at 1:00 AM @ the Beauty Bar Backyard; Thursday at 3:40 PM @ Antone’s; Saturday at 10:00 PM @ Cedar Street Courtyard

6) Autolux: Noise-pop done extremely well. They haven’t released an album since 2004, so the new one is highly anticipated. See them Wednesday at 11:40 PM @ Emo’s Main Room; Thursday at 5:20 PM @ Antone’s; Friday at 5:30 PM @ Red Eyed Fly

7) Radar Bros.: Dreamy music that reminds me of Meddle-era Pink Floyd. It’s the kind of music I’ve always been able to get completely lost in. I just saw one of their first shows with the new lineup, and it was sped up a bit. See them Wednesday at 1:00 PM @ Emo’s; Thursday at 4:00 PM @ End of an Ear; Friday at 10:00 PM @ the Parish; Saturday at 6:30 PM @ Dog and Duck Pub

8) Division Day: Rohner’s keyboards play a prominent role in Division Day’s sound. It’s hard to pin down their influences exactly, because the four guys are all contributors and have pretty disparate interests. The All Music Guide compares them to Depeche Mode, Grandaddy, Elliott Smith, Boards of Canada and the Frames (?). High energy live band. See them Wednesday at 4:45 PM @ Creekside Lounge and Buffalo Billiards at 11:00 PM; Thursday @ Lucky Lounge; Friday at 4:00 PM @ Waterloo Records

9) Earlimart: Aaron Espinoza’s an integral part of the crop of Silver Lake bands that includes: Silversun Pickups, Radar Bros., Let’s Go Sailing, Irving, Pine Marten and all their offshoots. The good news is that Aaron’s been furiously writing and plans to release another new album this Summer. See them Wednesday at 7:00 PM @ Bat Bar; Thursday at 2:00 PM @ Antone’s; Friday at 5:00 PM @ Salvage Vanguard Theatre and 11:00 PM @ Buffalo Billiards; Saturday at 6:00 PM @ Homeslice Pizza

10) No Age: They’re responsible for bringing worldwide attention to the tiny, all ages, DIY, Smell venue. I’m over 21 and personally like to drink when I go out, plus I don’t have any sort of political issue with the traditional bar/club scene, so I don’t frequent the place (but I know people who do, and I’m sure I would if was in high school or college right now). I find them a bit overrated but you can’t hold that against a band. They’re lo-fi and experimental with hints of melody that occasionally peak through. High school and college kids will probably discover Crass, Wire, Dischord and SST bands through them, and that’s a cool thing. See them Thursday at 1:30 PM @ Mohawk and at 10:00 PM @ JellyNYC Texas Garage and 1:00 AM @ Habana Annex Backyard; Friday at 2:00 PM at the Opera House and 5:30 PM @ Emo’s Outside and 12:30 AM @ Bourbon Rocks Patio and super late @ Lamar Street Pedestrian Bridge; Saturday at 3:00 PM @ Volume Night Club and 7:10 PM @ Waterloo Park and 9:00 PM at Ms. Bea’s

I had to leave some out, but here are some others playing: Frankel, The Watson Twins, Let’s Go Sailing, Mezzanine Owls, The Mae Shi (who are playing about 14 times), The Pity Party, The Happy Hollows, Mika Miko, Abe Vigoda, Ima Gymnist, Anavan, HEALTH, Mike Stinson, Eleni Mandell, Airborne Toxic Event, Bodies of Water, Foreign Born, and on and on and on

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LA Sponsored Shows at SXSW

There's a ridiculous amount of day parties and showcases going on at SXSW. I've been using to try to figure it a lot of it out.

Here are a few of the LA sponsored happenings at SXSW this week:

Little Radio is hosting day parties at the Red Eyed Fly on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

The Viper Room has shows every day at the Orchid.

Spaceland Productions has a great lineup at their day party at the Lucky Lounge on Thursday. Jaxart and Eenie Meenie co-sponsor the show.

Sean Carlson and the LA Record co-hosts the gigantic Mess with Texas party on Saturday.

Sean Carlson co-presents the Red Seven Party on Wednesday.

The Roxy has a solid lineup at its day party on Thursday at the Belmont.

An Aquarium Drunkard co-hosts Hot Freaks with a lot of other prominent bloggers. They’ve got great lineups on Friday and Saturday at Club Deville and the Mohawk.

IHeartComix hosts a big shindig at Jelly NYC’s Texas Garage on Friday. RSVP here.

Indie 103 has a showcase at the Cedar Street Courtyard on Saturday

Ticket Giveaway - Beach House @ the Echoplex

UPDATE - The tickets are gone, but the show has been moved to 8:00 PM at the Echoplex. Check the Aquarium Drunkard, he's giving away tix too. I've got two pairs of tickets to give away for the Beach House / Papercuts show at the Echo on Thursday. Pitchfork recently gave Beach House a great 8.5/10.

To win these tickets email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me that you want to go. The deadline is Wednesday at 3:00 PM.

Download "Gila" (courtesy of Pitchfork)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - Atlas Sound @ the Echo

I have three pairs of tickets to give away for the Atlas Sound show at the Echo this Tuesday night. They will be supported by White Rainbow and Valet. Atlas Sound is the other band from Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. I prefer this stuff to the Deerhunter record. Anyway, Pitchfork recently gave them an 8.6/10.

To win these tickets, email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me what you think of Pitchfork. Love it? or hate it? The contest closes Tuesday at Noon.

LA Live Music Options 3/10/08 - 3/16/08

The LA Record does a great job with their covers

If you're not going to SXSW, a few of the hyped bands are appearing in LA in the early part of the week. Some veteran bands who probably don't care about SXSW as much are appearing in the latter part of the week.
Monday 3/10/08
[Recommended] Slim Cessna’s Auto Club / Le Switch / 5 O’Clock Somewhere @ Safari Sam’s ($10) – I love Le Switch and think 5 O’Clock Somewhere are a lot of fun.
[Recommended] Crystal Antlers / We Barbarians @ Viper Room (Free with RSVP to Viper Room on Myspace) – Jax is loving the Crystal Antlers and I like what I’ve heard.
Ed Harcourt / The Chapin Sisters / Everest @ Echoplex ($12) – I’m a huge Everest fan.
Voxhaul Broadcast / Aushua @ Spaceland (Free) – Aushua’s worth checking out for anthemic rock along the lines of early U2 or Foreign Born. An Australian music showcase precedes the show starting at 7:00 PM and featuring: Yves Klein Blue, Whitley, Old Man River, Ash Grunwald and Dan Kelly.
[Hype Alert] Cut Copy / Walter Meego @ the Echo ($10 / advance tix sold out, so you might want to show up early) – Cut / Copy’s an Australian indie dance band with a ton of buzz going into SXSW. They’re also on the Coachella bill.
Dandi Wind / Pop Noir @ Knitting Factory ($10)
Warpaint / The Black Swans / Calls After Midnight @ Bordello ($5) – Warpaint continues their residency. The Black Swans have gotten a lot of good reviews (including Pitchfork).
Twilight Sleep / Static of the Gods @ Sivlerlake Lounge (Free) – Twilight Sleep are following up their record release show at the Echo last Thursday.
Meiko / Charlie Wadhams @ the Hotel Café

Tuesday 3/11/08
[Hype Alert] Atlas Sound / Valet / White Rainbow @ the Echo ($10) – I’ve got some tickets to give away for this one, so email me. Atlas Sound is Bradford Cox of Deerhunter.
Magic Christian / John Wicks & the Records / Sky Parade @ Safari Sam’s – Magic Christian features Cyril Jordan from the Flamin’ Groovies. The Records wrote “Starry Eyes” which is an amazing song that makes seeing him worthwhile.
[Hype Alert] The Ting Tings @ Rec Center Studios ($10) – Nic Harcourt of KCRW loves these guys and helped break them in the US. They’re playing a lot of high profile shows at SXSW.
Sheryl Crow @ El Rey (Sold Out)
[Hype Alert] The Wombats / Aanchors Aaweigh / Coco B’s @ Spaceland ($12) – The Wombats have gotten a ton of buzz in the UK.
Old Man River @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Bad Religion @ House of Blues
Chris Stills @ Viper Room ($12)

Wednesday 3/12/08
Death to Anders / Karabal Nightlife / Thailand @ the Echo (Free for 21 + / $5 ow)
Dub Club: Mad Professor ($15) – Oasis stopped by last week after checking out the Duke Spirit upstairs.
Club NME: The Mint Chicks / The Prayers @ Spaceland
The French Semester @ the Silverlake Lounge
The Youngs @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Bad Religion @ House of Blues

Thursday 3/13/08
[Hype Alert] Beach House / Papercuts @ the Echo ($10) – Early show starting at 6:00 PM. – Beach House make pretty music along the lines of Mazzy Star.
Brother Ali @ Troubadour ($15) – Underground hip-hop fans.
Say Anything / Manchester Orchestra @ Avalon ($17.50)
Acid Mothers Temple / Danava @ Echoplex ($10) – Japanese psych fans.
Clutch / Murder By Death @ the Fonda
Benefit for George Tabb: Mike Watt & the Missingmen @ Safari Sam’s ($20)
Ms. Garvey & the Hootenanny All Stars / Old War Shirt / Slings / Famous Bob Rokas @ Spaceland

Friday 3/14/08
Burlesque Show: Lords of Altamont @ Safari Sam’s ($25)
You Me & Iowa / Pacific Ocean Fire / The Drowning Men / The Antiques @ Spaceland
The Drift / El Ten Eleven / Signal Hill @ Pehrspace
Bad Religion @ House of Blues
Ariel Pink / Bobb Bruno @ the Smell ($5)
Winger @ Crash Mansion ($20)

Saturday 3/15/08
The Young Dubliners @ the Roxy
Bad Religion @ House of Blues
Angels & Airwaves / Meg & Dia @ Wiltern ($29.50)

Sunday 3/16/08
Human Bell @ Family (Free) – See them at 3:00 PM.
Boredoms / Human Bell @ The Fonda ($20) – I like Human Bell’s recent album on Thrill Jockey. Mellow, instrumental, acoustic guitar rock. The Boredoms are not mellow.
Grande Ole Echo: The Cousin Lovers @ the Echo – Early show starting at 5:00 PM.
Part Time Punks: Din Glorious ($5)
Shiloe / Manhattan Murder Mystery @ the Scene (Free)
Bad Religion @ House of Blues

Friday, March 07, 2008

New Music Releases 3/4/08

If you're planning a trip to Amoeba, Fingerprints or Freakbeat this weekend, here's what came out on Tuesday. Ruby Sons got a good review on Pitchfork today. There's also some acid rock, freaky folk, indie pop and several pretty female fronted releases.....

Things I’ve Heard:

Hanne Hukkelberg: Rykestrasse 1968 (Nettwerk) – At the Hotel Café on 3/21. She’s a Norwegian singer. The album borders on ambient and uses a lot of found sounds. Wire magazine named it one of the 50 best albums of 2007, which is some serious music snob cred. To me it sounds/feels a little bit like Bjork fronting Boards of Canada.
Stephen Malkmus: Real Emotional Trash (Matador) – I put out my graph review last week. It’s too jammy for me, but it’s getting mostly good reviews. All the songs have parts I like, but I don’t expect to be listening to it much in three months. Download “Baltimore
Jim White: Transnormal Skiperoo (Luaka Bop) – There’s a much more thoughtful review over on Aquarium Drunkard. Americana with the Southern sense of storytelling. Download “Crash Into the Sun” At the Silent Movie Theatre on 3/25.

Of Local Interest:
The Gutter Twins: Saturnalia (Sub Pop) – At the Avalon on 4/2/08. Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. Download “Idle Hands
Mia Doi Todd: Gea (City Zen) - At the Wiltern on 3/25/08.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Autechre, Bauhaus, Born Ruffians (mp3) [Echo on 3/19], Cadence Weapon [Echo on 3/19], Kathleen Edwards, The Felice Brothers [Echo on 3/18], Howlin Rain [just saw them - pretty good], Ladyhawk (mp3), Eric Mathews, Murder By Death [Fonda on 3/13], Kelley Polar, The Ruby Sons (mp3) [Echo on 4/5], A Weather (mp3 and mp3), The Weird Weeds (mp3 and mp3), What Made Milwaukee Famous (mp3), White Hinterland (mp3) [Echo on 3/20]

2008 Plug Awards Announced

I voted for a few of these and really can't argue too much with the list.

The complete list of winners of the PLUG 2008 Independent Music Awards are:

Album Of The Year -Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (Merge)

New Artist Of The Year - Justice

Female Artist Of The Year - Annie Clark (St. Vincent)

Male Artist Of The Year - Andrew Bird

Indie Rock Album Of The Year - Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (Domino)

Americana Album Of The Year -Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog (Sub Pop)

Metal Album Of The Year - The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works (Relapse)

Hip-Hop Album Of The Year - Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass (Definitive Jux)

Punk Album Of The Year - Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta! (Side One Dummy)

Electronic/Dance Album Of The Year - Justice - † (Ed Banger/Vice)

DJ Album Of The Year - Hot Chip - DJ-Kicks (!K7)

Avant Album Of The Year - Liars - Liars (Mute)

Artist Of The Year - Radiohead

Song Of The Year - The National - "Fake Empire" - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)

Live Act Of The Year - Arcade Fire

Music Video Of The Year - Battles - "Atlas" (Warp)

Album Art/Packaging Of The Year - Menomena - Friend And Foe (Barsuk)

Label Of The Year - Merge

Live Music Venue Of The Year - Bowery Ballroom (New York, NY)

Music Festival Of The Year - Coachella Valley Music Festival

Music Website Of The Year -Pitchfork Media

Music Blog Of The Year - Stereogum

Magazine Of The Year - Paste

Online Radio Station Of The Year - KCRW

Record Store Of The Year - Other Music (New York, NY)

Zine Of The Year - Wax Poetics

Online Record Store Of The Year - iTunes

College/Non-Comm Radio Station Of The Year - KEXP (Seattle, WA)

Specialty Show Of The Year (Commercial Radio) - Sirius: Left Of Center - Blog Radio (New York, NY)

Greek Theatre Announces Schedule

The Greek Theatre announced a big chunk of its schedule:

Latin Jazz Fest - 5/10
Phil Lesh - 5/11
Celtic Woman – 5/17
Hot 92 Night – 5/24 and 5/25
Benefit for Griffith Park: Ludacris / Tommy Lee - 5/28
Garrison Keillor – 6/6
Disco Night – 6/7
Erykah Badu / Roots – 6/12
Smokey Robinson – 6/13
Crosby Stills & Nash – 6/14
Earth Wind & Fire / Macy Gray – 6/22
Robert Plant & Allison Krauss featuring T. Bone Burnett – 6/23 & 6/24
Mark Knopfler – 6/27
Cyndi Lauper / B-52s – 6/28
Bob Weir & RatDog – 6/29
70s Soul Jam – 7/19
Los Lonely Boys / Los Lobos – 7/25
LA Jazz & Music Fest – 7/26
Go Country Concert – 7/27
James Taylor – 7/29 & 7/30
Ringo Starr – 8/2
Dolly Parton – 8/3
Morris Day / S.O.S. Band / Zapp – 8/9
Gipsy Kings – 8/15 and 8/16
Jethro Tull – 8/17
Salsa Fest – 8/23
Melissa Etheridge – 8/29
Gladys Night / Al Green – 9/20
Wavefest - 9/26 & 9/27