Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Feelies' "Raised Eyebrows"

This is my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tomorrow their guest will by Jimmy Tamborello (Postal Service, Dntel, James Figurine, etc.). Jimmy won't be playing, but they'll be spinning all 7" vinyl.

Each week they play a song that I've selected and then I write about it here. My pick on April 10th was the Feelies' "Raised Eyebrows." I picked this track, because I recently read on Pitchfork that the Feelies are going to reunite for their first gig in fifteen years (opening for Sonic Youth on the 4th of July in New York). I don't remember exactly when I got into the Feelies, but I'm guessing it had something to do with my R.E.M. obsession in the late 1980s/early 1990s (Peter Buck co-produced their second album).

The Feelies are one of those critically revered bands that never achieved any mainstream success. Their first and best record, Crazy Rhythms, came out in 1980 on Stiff Records. When I hear the term jangle pop, I always think of the Feelies. Unfortunately the band's CDs and LPs are all out of print (both formats typically sell for about $50 used). But if you can get your hands on Crazy Rhythms, I strongly recommend it.

Unfortunately I'm pressed for time, but check out these resources:
The Feelies' entry on All Music
A decent video of the Feelies doing "Deep Fascination" (from their third album) on YouTube

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Releases from last week: 4/22/08

New Releases on 4/22/08:

Things I've Heard:
Sleepercar: West Texas (Doghouse) – This is Jim Ward's (At the Drive In, Sparta) new band. He says it's inspired by Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. I dig the songs with prominent pedal steel. About half the songs are more in line with his previous bands. At Spaceland on 5/13
The Weepies: Hideaway (Nettwerk) - I previously posted a guest review of this album. Read it HERE.
Thalia Zedek Band: Liars and Prayers (Thrill Jockey) - Zedek is a veteran of bands like Come, Live Skull and Uzi. Download "Lower Allston"

Local Interest:
April March & Steve Hanft: Magic Monsters (The Talent House) -Hanft is a veteran of the LA music scene. He was in Liquor Cabinet (which Beck also played in for a while). Beck's breakthrough hit, "Loser" also has a dialogue sample from Hanft's film Kill the Moonlight. Most of Beck's early videos were directed by Hanft. When I moved to LA, Hanft had a popular local band called Sexy Death Soda. He directed that Elliott Smith film/documentary Strange Parallel, which is a cool document of Smith. His film Southlander is also pretty amusing with cameos from Beck, Beth Orton, Jason Mason, Eddie Ruscha Jr., Senon Williams, Hank Williams III, Kurt Heasley and Elliott Smith.

Other Noteworthy New Releases:
Atmosphere (at the Fonda on 5/6 and 5/7), Billy Bragg (El Rey 6/7 & 6/10), The Cinematic Orchestra, Elbow (Avalon 5/9), El Perro Del Mar (El Rey on 5/19), Elvis Costello vinyl & digital only (Hollywood Bowl 5/27), The Festival, Flight of the Conchords [mp3] (Orpheum 5/30 & 6/1), Neil Hamburger [mp3] (last Sunday of every month at Spaceland), Juno Reactor, Chris Mills, Mister Lonely Soundtrack, Lyrics Born (Key Club 5/4), Malcolm Middleton, Monotonix, Mostly Bears, Prodigy, Pyramids, Shelley Short [mp3] (Knitting Factory 4/30), Spectrum Meets Cpt. Memphis, Story of the Year, Tokyo Police Club [mp3], Young Knives, Thalia Zedek Band

The Replacements: Hootenanny, Let It Be, Sorry Ma Forgot to Take Out the Trash, Stink (Rhino)
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) - If you don't own this record, it's about time you bought it. This blog is named after the last song on the album. Not sure if this one's worth replacing your old copy or not.....

Live Music Options 4/28/08 - 5/4/08

The Dodos Play the Natural History Museum on Friday
I had a lot of good intentions to make it to shows last week, but only ended up seeing Rademacher, Airborne Toxic Event and Radars to the Sky. This week is heavily loaded on Monday. I may also try to make it out on Wednesday for the Entrance Band (and possibly go to Stagecoach).
Monday 4/28/08
[Recommended] Radars to the Sky / The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra / The Western States Motel / I Make This Sound @ the Echo (Free) – I finally saw Radars to the Sky last weekend and I dug it. Good live band. This is your last chance to see them at their residency. Solid lineup.
[Recommended] Johnathan Rice / Nate Greely / Dawn Landes @ Spaceland (Free) – This is the last night of Johnathan Rice’s residency, so it’s a pretty safe bet that Jenny Lewis will be there. Stalkers.
[Recommended] She and Him / Lavender Diamond @ Vista Theatre (Sold Out) – She and Him were good at SXSW, but not so good on Conan the other night. They’re worth seeing.
Hot Chip @ Mayan (Sold Out)
Colin Meloy / Laura Gibson @ the Henry Fonda ($25.50) – Lead singer of the Decemberists doing a solo show.
Does It Offend You Yeah? @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM
I’m From Barcelona / Dusty Rhodes and the River Band @ El Rey ($22)
[Recommended] Correatown / Seasons / Fol Chen / Teddy’s Cheer Club @ the Scene (Free)
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
[Recommended] Greg Proops Chat Show: Jon Brion / Flight of the Conchords @ Largo (Tables Booked) – Last show at the old Largo
The Lieutenants / The Red Hearts / Service Group @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
Abe Lincoln Story @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Oliver Future / The Randies @ Viper Room
The Old Haunts @ the Smell

Tuesday 4/29/08
The Breeders @ the Glass House in Pomona ($21.50)
Death Cab for Cutie @ Spaceland (win tickets on KROQ) - Early show at 4:00 PM
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
The Last Check Yo’ Ponytail Ever: Erol Alkon / Dan Deacon / Rye Rye / Totally Michael / Acid Girls / Wallpaper @ the Echoplex (Free with RSVP)
[Recommended] She and Him / Lavender Diamond @ Vista Theatre (Sold Out)
Busy P / So-Me / LA Riots @ Cinespace
Electric Touch @ the Echo ($5)
Rocco DeLuca / Brett Bixby / Ed Vallance @ Spaceland ($8)
Nick Dixon / Actress / Naked @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)

Wednesday 4/30/08
[Recommended] The Entrance Band / Fool’s Gold @ the Echo ($10)
Wallpaper @ Boardner’s
Club NME: Kenan Bell / El Ten Eleven / Valentino @ Spaceland
Sara Lov / Fol Chen / Messes @ Tangier ($8)
Hazelden @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Mike Doughty’s Band / The Panderers @ El Rey ($22) – The ex-Soul Coughing frontman.
The Woggles / The Shakes @ Safari Sam’s ($9)
David Garza / Tom Brosseau @ Largo
Pink Mochi @ Bordello
Foot Village / Small Breed @ the Smell ($5)
Low End Theory Club @ Airliner
LA Riots @ The Roxy (RSVP to Scion)

Thursday 5/1/08
Makana @ Temple Bar
Yo! Majesty / Does It Offend You, Yeah? @ El Rey ($18)
The Time of the Assassins @ Knitting Factory
Wallpaper / Lady Tigra @ Viper Room
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Jr. Juggernaut / Jessie Deluxe @ Spaceland
Kris Special @ Mr. T’s Bowl
The Urinals @ the Smell ($5)

Friday 5/2/08
[Recommended] Akron Family / The Dodos @ Natural History Museum ($9 for adults / free for museum members) – I’m really enjoying that new Dodos record and the bit I saw (online) of their show at Amoeba last week was quite good.
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Tables Booked) – Last show at the old Largo
Stagecoach: Eagles / John Fogerty / Trisha Yearwood / Shelby Lynne / Glen Campbell / Mike Ness @ Indio Polo Fields ($95 for 1 day / $249 for weekend pass $585 for reserved passes)
Nik Freitas / David Dondero @ Spaceland ($8) – Nik Freitas is newly signed to Team Love and heading out on the road with Rilo Kiley.
[Recommended] The Monolators / Pizza! @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Wallpaper @ Jimmy’s Lounge
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
Virginia City Revival @ Charlie O’s
Blind Melon @ El Rey ($16.50)
Supreme Love Gods / Ladies and Gents @ the Echo ($5)
DJ Spinna @ Echoplex ($11)
Ninja Academy / We Be the Echo @ the Smell ($5)
John Doe @ McCabe’s ($17.50)
Electric Touch / Oliver Future / Voxhaul Broadcast / Astra Heights @ Swinghouse Studios ($10) - Free Tito's Vodka.
Berlin @ Crash Mansion ($20)
Kurtis Blow and Perceed @ Crash Mansion Lounge ($15)

Saturday 5/3/08
[Recommended] Peter Moren / Tobias Froberg / Big Search @ Troubadour ($15) – I saw Peter Moren (of Peter Bjorn and John) earlier this year at Hotel Café and he was quite go
Nina Nastasia / David Karsten Daniels / Nico Stai @ Spaceland ($8)
Stagecoach: Rascal Flatts / The Judds / Dwight Yoakam / Earl Scruggs @ Stagecoach Festival
The Warlocks / The Meek / David Scott Stone @ the Smell ($8)
The Slackers @ El Rey ($17)
Manic Hispanic @ Knitting Factory ($15)
Paul F. Tompkins Show @ Largo (Tables Booked)
Bostich + Fussible @ the Echo ($12)
Bootie LA @ the Echoplex ($5)
Movus / Afi Buffalo / The Transmissions / Exit Music @ Pehrspace
John Doe @ McCabe’s (Sold Out)
Martha Davis and the Motels @ Crash Mansion Lounge ($15)

Sunday 5/4/08
Stagecoach: Tim McGraw / Carrie Underwood / Big & Rich / George Jones / Ralph Stanley / Charlie Louvin @ Stagecoach Festival
[Recommended] Grand Ole Echo: Mike Stinson @ the Echo (Free) – Early show at 5:00 PM.
Part Time Punks: Blood on the Wall @ the Echo ($10)
Two Sheds / Princeton @ Spaceland
Casey Neill & the Norway Rats @ Tangier ($8)
The Dead Science / BARR / Jesus Make the Shotgun Sound / Voice on Tape @ the Smell ($5)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Portishead at the Mayan 4/24/08

I didn't make it out the Mayan last night for the Portishead "rehearsal" but I heard it was fantastic. Here are some photos via Goldsky's Flickr account.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Muppets' "Moving Right Along"

Here’s my weekly reminder to tune-in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Thursday. Tomorrow they are guest free.

Each week on their show, there’s an official You Set the Scene pick of the day. Todd and Sylvia play it and then I write about it here. On April 5th my pick was the Muppets’ “Moving Right Along.” I picked the Muppets in honor of Le Switch, who were the guests on the show that day. It’s kind of an inside joke, but basically when I first saw The Switch I called them Muppet rock. It had more to do with Paul Williams and some of the ragtime Muppet numbers than anything else.

Like a lot of people my age, I’ve loved the Muppets since I was a little kid. A big part of it is because there’s so much heart and humanity in those early shows and early movies. The songs in those early Muppet show episodes and The Muppet Movie were pretty damn fantastic. “Moving Right Along” comes from the soundtrack to the first film, The Muppet Movie. Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher are responsible for the soundtrack and were deservedly nominated for best score and best original song (“The Rainbow Connection”).

Paul Williams is a pretty fascinating character. In addition to writing those great songs for The Muppet Movie, he also wrote some huge Carpenters’ hits, like “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.” He’s still active and recently wrote the soundtrack for a Happy Days musical as well as collaborating with the Scissor Sisters.

As a side note, I took my lady friend to see a Muppets cover band on our first date.

Paul Williams’ website
See the “Moving Right Along” scene from the Muppet Movie

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guest Review: Dawn Landes' Fireproof

Here's another guest review from Scott J. For those of you in the LA area, you can catch Dawn for free this Monday at Spaceland....

Dawn Landes' newest collection of songs, Fireproof (released in the U.S. on March 4th), is your standard hit-or-miss effort. Landes describes her music as "reminiscent of the raw traditionalism of Woody Guthrie and [of] experimental alt-folk lyricism." That's actually a pretty accurate description, and it provides a nice breakdown for the tunes on Fireproof.

Landes hits with the "raw traditionalism" of "Tired of This Life" (a straight-forward tune in a classic country vein with some nice picking and tight harmonies), "Twilight" (a wistful vibe with good male-female harmonies and steel guitar in the background--I'm a sucker for nice steel guitar), and "You Alone."

She tends to miss with the "experimental alt-folk lyricism." (And with that overwrought description, she's probably bound to miss.) "Bodyguard" uses dissonant chord structures between the vocals and a banjo to make you grind your teeth. "Picture Show" is a little too reminiscent of Suzanne Vega for me to like it. Weird first-person storyteller lyrics, strange scratchy effects on the sound, and an annoying toy piano playing background chords.

"Goodnight Lover" and "I Don't Need No Man" are exceptions from the rule, perhaps. Certainly not traditional tunes, they're both listenable, if not my favorite tracks.

Landes is a recording engineer by day, so some of her mis-steps on Fireproof might owe to engineering experimentations gone wrong. If you're going to see her play out, my suggestion would be stay for the simple tunes. If she starts fiddling with technology, use that time to visit the loo.

Download "Bodyguard"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Live Music Options 4/21/08 - 4/27/08

Throw Me the Statue Play the Silverlake Lounge on Thursday
I made it out to Tweak Bird and Bobb Bruno on Friday, but that was my only show last week (other than a quick stop at Spaceland on Monday). Hopefully more this week. Even if you're not going to Coachella, there are plenty of options. Bolded bands are the ones I'm going to make my best effort to see. Hit me up if you hear of any other secret shows....
Monday 4/21/08
[Recommended] Radars to the Sky / Rademacher / You Me and Iowa @ the Echo (Free) – Rademacher goes on first, then some undisclosed special guests (RFSL seems to think it’s Airborne Toxic Event), then Radars to the Sky and then You Mie and Iowa.
[Recommended] Johnathan Rice / Jonathan Wilson / Johnathan P. Sparagaus / Amnion @ Spaceland (Free) – All you Jenny Lewis stalkers missed her performing with Rice last week. This week’s lineup includes Rice’s buddy (and guitar player) Jonathan Wilson doing his own set. Johnathan P. Sparagus is obviously a pseudonym (I think for Farmer Dave, but I’m not positive). Amnion is Aaron Embry’s band.
[Recommended] The Monolators @ Pehrspace
Norfolk & Western / Lamps @ Bordello ($8)
[Recommended] Patton Oswalt @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
[Recommended] Blanket / Bobb Bruno @ Echo Curio (Free) – I finally saw Bobb Bruno play on Friday night. He dresses up in a bunny outfit and then does some pretty amazing stuff with a drum machine. Very entertaining.
Abe Lincoln Story @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Sky Parade / Warpaint @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room)
Sissy Spacek / Skull Skull @ the Smell ($5)
Kanye West / Rihanna / N.E.R.D. / Lupe Fiasco @ Nokia Theatre (Sold Out)

Tuesday 4/22/08
Radio Alert: Chris Pierce on Morning Becomes Eclectic @ 11:15 AM
Oliver Future / The Weather Underground / Aushua / Karin Tatoyan @ Troubadour ($5)
Indian Jewelry / Imaad Wasif @ the Echo ($8)
Rocco DeLuca / Annie Stela / Luke Paquin @ Spaceland ($8)
Daedelus / Her Space Holiday @ Cinespace
Mark Mallman @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Black Kites / Hectors @ La Cita
Kanye West / Rihanna / N.E.R.D. / Lupe Fiasco @ Nokia Theatre (Sold Out)
Love & Rockets @ Glass House ($25)
Death Cab For Cute / The Cave Singers @ UC Davis (Sold Out)
The Grouch @ the Roxy ($22)
Santogold / Devlin & Darko / Roxy Cottontail @ Bordello (Free) – RSVP

Wednesday 4/23/08
[Recommended] The Dodos @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM – Finally got this record and it’s quite good. They’re also doing the First Mondays show at the Natural History Museum in May. They recently got best new music on Pitchfork.
[Recommended] Architecture in Helsinki / The Ruby Sons / The Happy Hollows @ the Echo ($15) – AiH is “unofficial” because they’re playing Coachella. If it doesn’t happen, don’t yell at me. The Ruby Sons are a new Sub Pop band from New Zealand who got best new music on Pitchfork. Download “Tane Mahuta
Radio Alert: Goldfrapp on Morning Becomes Eclectic @ 11:15 AM
Calvin Harris / Guns N Bombs @ The Fonda ($18.50)
Her Space Holiday / Lymbyc System / Head Like a Kite @ Troubadour ($12)
Sara Lov / Eulogies @ Tangier ($8)
Bigbang / The French Semester @ Silverlake Lounge
Waz @ Hotel Café
Dub Club: Michael Prophet @ Echoplex ($15)
Club NME: His Mischief @ Spaceland
Sean Hayes @ El Cid ($14)
Low End Theory Club @ Airliner
Bob Dylan Tribute: Lucinda Williams / Zack de La Rocha / John Doe @ Skirball (Sold Out)
Abe Vigoda @ 6th Street Warehouse (Free) – Need to RSVP to Fader Magazine.

Thursday 4/24/08
[Recommended] Flight of the Conchords @ Amoeba (Free) – 6:00 PM. Funny show.
[Recommended] Throw Me the Statue / The Afternoons / Siberian @ Silverlake Lounge ($10) – Throw Me the Statue have the album cover of the year. They’re a very likeable new Seattle indie band on Secretly Canadian. Download “Lolita” The Afternoons sprang out of Irving. They’re doing the Monday residency at Spaceland in June.
[Recommended] Everest / The Parson Red Heads / Paperplanes @ the Prospector in Long Beach – Great lineup down in Long Beach
Bigbang @ Viper Room
[Recommended] Caribou / Fuck Buttons @ El Rey ($18) – I really like Caribou’s records. They’re broadly in the indie electronic genre, but with really good songs.
The Black Heart Procession / Spirit Army / The Drowning Man @ Troubadour ($15)
Dale Watson / 5 O’Clock Somewhere @ Safari Sam’s ($15)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Hell Ya!: Birds of Avalon / Twilight Sleep / Venus Infers @ the Echo ($5)
Manhattan Murder Mystery @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Rilo Kiley @ Glasshouse (Sold Out)

Friday 4/25/08
Coachella @ Indio Polo Fields ($90 per day / $270 for 3 day pass) – The Raconteurs, The National, Les Savy Fav, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Aesop Rock, Vampire Weekend, Redd Kross, Black Lips
No Age / Yeasayer / Death Set / Free Blood @ Los Angeles Ukrainian Center at 4315 Melrose ($8 – All ages) – Tickets available at or Scoops Ice Cream on the night of the show. I’ve been kind of a hata with No Age, but the new Sub Pop single is pretty good (and I hear they’re actually super nice guys). Yeasayer disappointed me so much at their Echoplex show earlier this year, I haven’t listened to the album since.
Devin the Dude @ Knitting Factory ($20)
The Time of the Assassins @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Dark Star Orchestra @ El Rey ($30)
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
AAnchors AAweigh @ the Echo ($5)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Daniel Brummel / The French Semester / Foreign Keys @ Spaceland ($8)
I’m a Gymnist @ Pehrspace
Victor Wooten @ Crash Mansion ($25)

Saturday 4/26/08
Coachella @ Indio Polo Fields ($90 per day / $270 for 3 day pass) – Prince, Portishead, Rilo Kiley, Dwight Yoakam, M.I.A., Cold War Kids, Animal Collective, Stephen Malkmus
Dark Star Orchestra @ El Rey ($30)
Mudcrutch @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
James Brown Tribute: J. Rocc / James Gadson featuring Breakestra @ the Echoplex ($20)
The Joggers / The Big Sleep @ Spaceland ($8)
One Trick Pony / The Slow Demise @ Pehrspace – Teddy Headphones played some One Trick Pony on Little Radio last week and it was good.
Biblical Proof of UFOs @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Sly & the Family Stone @ House of Blues ($52.50)

Sunday 4/27/08
Coachella @ Indio Polo Fields ($90 per day / $270 for 3 day pass) – Roger Waters, My Morning Jacket, Spiritualized, Autolux, Swervedriver
Grand Ole Echo @ the Echo (Free) – Early show at 5:00 PM
Neil Hamburger / Andy Kindler / The Fuxedos @ Spaceland ($8)
Taylor Goldsmith @ Tangier ($8)
The Health Club @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Captain Ahab / Kyle H. Mabson @ the Smell ($5)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Goofy Coachella Lists

Bands at Coachella That I’ve Seen Before:
The Verve
The Raconteurs
My Morning Jacket
Death Cab for Cutie
Rilo Kiley
Dwight Yoakam
Cold War Kids
Stephen Malkmus
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Black Mountain
Redd Kross
Jens Lekman
Architecture in Helsinki
Perry Farrell
Shout Out Louds
Black Lips
Rogue Wave

10 Artists at Coachella I’d Be Interested In Seeing at a Secret Club Show:
My Morning Jacket
The Raconteurs
The National
Les Savy Fav
Roger Waters
Dwight Yoakam
Vampire Weekend

10 Artists at Coachella That You’d Have to Pay Me a Lot of Money to Sit Through:
Jack Johnson
Slightly Stoopid
John Butler Trio
Junkie XL
Flogging Molly
Calvin Harris
Boys Noize

10 Bands I’d Like to See Reunite and Play at Coachella Next Year:
The Kinks (I really only need Ray and Dave)
My Bloody Valentine (I know they’ve already reunited, but they aren’t playing the U.S.)
Pavement (I saw them back in the day, but still miss them)
Neutral Milk Hotel
Husker Du
The Smiths
Emitt Rhodes (I know he’s only one man)
The Stone Roses
Fugazi (technically they’re just on hiatus)
Faces (guess they might fit in the next category)

10 Bands I’d Like to See Resurrected From the Dead and Play at Coachella Next Year:
The Beatles
Badfinger (with Pete Ham and Tom Evans obviously)
Big Star (with Chris Bell)
The Velvet Underground (with Nico)
Flying Burrito Brothers (with Gram Parsons obviously)
Nick Drake
Elliott Smith
T. Rex
Townes Van Zandt
The Who (with Keith Moon)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Upcoming Concert Ticket On Sale Dates

Upcoming On Sale Dates:

Adele @ the Roxy on 5/21/08 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)
The Cure @ the Shrine on 6/1/08 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM – presale tomorrow)
Dethlok @ the Wiltern on 6/6/08 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)
Chicago / The Doobie Brothers @ Gibson on 6/6/08 (on sale Sunday at 10:00 AM)
Stone Temple Pilots @ Hollywood Bowl on 6/24/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM, presale now – need password)
Dolly Parton @ Greek Theatre on 8/3/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Bon Iver @ Trouabadour on 8/25/08 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00AM)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fleet Foxes' "Mykonos"

Here's my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST. Tomorrow their guest will be Teddy Headphones. Teddy's a rather unusual music critic. If that's not enough, they'll also be giving away a pair of passes to Coachella.

Each week I pick a track, they play it and I eventually write about it here. On March 27th, it was their first show after SXSW. My favorite live set at SXSW was Fleet Foxes, so I chose their track, "Mykonos." I've already written about Fleet Foxes several times, which is kind of ridiculous for a band that's only released an EP. I won't add much here, but I will say that I'm looking forward to their full length, which comes out June 3rd on Sub Pop.

Download Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal"
Watch an old video of Fleet Foxes covering Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams"
See Teddy interview Pigeon John
See Teddy interview the Broken West

Topanga Days Announces Full Lineup

Memorial Day Weekend May 24 - 26, 2008
Adults $18.00 Kids 6-12 (5 and under free) & Seniors $10.00
Doors open at 10:00am - 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga, CA 90290

Topanga Days 2008 full lineup is as follows:
Outdoor Stage
Annmarie Solo
Chevy Metal (Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins)
Chris Laterzo & Buffalo Robe
Eliza Jane & The Barnyard Gypsies
Gary Louris (The Jayhawks)
Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players (feat. James Burton & Al Perkins)
Johnathan Rice
Jonathan Wilson
Killing Cassanova
Old Bull Shurman
The Inclined
The Living Sisters (Feat. Inara George, Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark)
Tim Easton
Tom Freund

VeniceIndoor Stage
29 Mules
Aint Dead Yet
Alan Boivin
City Fritter
Dawn Divina
Downward Facing Dog
Jamie Sol Black
Los Duggans
Making Love to Life
Merle Jagger
Phil Cody
Psychedelic Cowboys
Sandara Bacal
The Roger Len Smith Band
Tim O'Gara
Train Wreck
Welldiggers Banquet
and bellydancing!

Guest Review: The Weepies' Hideaway

I am in danger of being typecast. Duke's asked me to review The Weepies' new album, Hideaway, due out on April 22nd. At first, I thought, "Hey, a little folk-pop, singer-songwriter duo. Nice." Then I realized that Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, the duo behind The Weepies, are married and have a little boy.

"That bastard," I thought. "Duke gave me the middle-aged family pop album to review."

So at first, the songs sounded and felt a bit stifling to me. Too mellow. Too self-satisfied. Too damn happy. They sounded like a trip to Home Depot to look at flooring.

And then I realized I was humming along.

That's because the music is really pretty decent. Granted, it's the kind of thing you'll hear on the soundtrack to a CW series before long (The Weepies tunes have turned up on TV shows before). But that's because the melodies are catchy, the sentiments are accessible, and the harmonies, lyrics and musicianship are good enough and quirky enough to allow the tunes to stand out in your mind from the million other songs that sound similar.

Listen for the chorus to "All Good Things" behind a CW montage soon. If that were the sum of the tune, I couldn't recommend it, but the verses are interesting enough that it's worth checking out. "How You Survived the War" shows off The Weepies' complex harmonies to great effect. "All This Beauty" is very poppy, in a sunny, happy way.

But "Not Dead Yet" may be my favorite song of the lot, if for no other reason than it features an organ and a steel guitar--a little twist that works nicely. As with being married with kids (I can attest to this), those small bits of variety make all the difference.

--Scott J.

No Age / Yeasayer Concert Announcement

No Age also has a show booked this Saturday ($8) at 9:00 PM at Tiny Creatures in Echo Park with I'm a Gymnist and Softboiled Eggies.
They also have a free show this Sunday at the LA Central Library with Mika Miko at 2:00 PM.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Releases 4/15/08 and Record Store Day 4/19/08

Don’t forget that this Saturday is Record Store Day. Amoeba will be celebrating with guest DJs all day. Daniel Ash & David J (2:00 PM), the Donnas (3:00 PM), and Peanut Butter Wolf (4:00 PM). There will also be exclusive releases from artists like: Josh Ritter, Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M., Gnarls Barkley, Built to Spill, The Breeders, The Black Keys, Vampire Weekend and Stephen Malkmus. And Amoeba's not the only record store carrying new releases. Don’t forget about Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks, Fingerprints in Long Beach and Rhino in Claremont. Fingerprints has Rob Halford doing a signing at 4:00 PM, Limbeck doing an acoustic performance at 6:30 PM and Silversun Pickups doing an acoustic performance at 8:00 PM. You need to get on the guest list for these performances (you should be signed up for Fingerprints newsletter).

Records Released on 4/15/08:

Things I’ve Heard:
The Kooks: Konk (Astralwerks) – These days, I find that I don’t particularly like a lot of British bands. I still like Radiohead and Spiritualized, but they’ve been around forever. Come to think of it, Bloc Party might be my favorite British band of the past few years. Anyway, the Kooks are a perfectly decent British band that is able to sell out the Wiltern on 5/19.
Jordan Zevon: Insides Out (New West) – This is Warren Zevon’s son. It’s a super poppy record.

Local Interest:
The Brian Jonestown Massacre: My Bloody Underground (a Recordings) – I don’t think Anton’s spending much time in LA these days, but I’ll still call them a local band. Some of the song titles: “Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mill’s Wooden Peg Dropping Bombs on the White House),” “We Are the Ni**as of the World,” “Just Like Kicking Jesus,” “Automatic Fa**ot For the People.”

Other Noteworthy New Releases:
American Princes, Joseph Arthur EP (mp3), Black Francis, Mariah Carey, Does It Offend You Yeah? [at El Rey on 5/1], Frightened Rabbit, Jason Isbell live, James McMurtry, M83 [Echoplex on 5/20], Ours, Phantom Planet, Robert Pollard EP, Tristan Prettyman, Sally Shapiro remix (mp3), Thrice [Avalon on 5/29 & 5/30]

Air: Moon Safari
Can: Future Days
Can: Monster Movie
Whiskeytown: Strangers Almanac expanded on vinyl

Monday, April 14, 2008

LA Live Music Options 4/14/08 - 4/20/08

Monday 4/14/08
[Recommended] Radars to the Sky / Henry Clay People / The Transmissions / Death to Anders @ the Echo (Free) - Really good lineup.
[Recommended] Johnathan Rice / The Heavenly States / Whispertown 2000 @ Spaceland (Free) - I saw Johnathan Rice last week. Good show and a good crowd. Jonathan Wilson plays guitar with him and does a lot of good solos. The Heavenly States new record sounds pretty good, so I'm curious to hear their live show.
Stars of the Lid / Christopher Willits @ the Echoplex ($15)
[Recommended] Let's Go Sailing @ the Viper Room ($10 or free w/ RSVP to Viper Room)
NOFX @ Knitting Factory ($25)
Apocalyptica @ the Roxy ($15)
Josh Haden's Dead Sea Scrolls / Abe Lincoln Story @ Mr. T's Bowl

Tuesday 4/15/08
[Recommended] Let’s Independent: The Minor Canon / Luke Top / ((eagle winged palace)) @ Boardner’s (Free) - I'm a big fan of the Minor Canon. ((eagle winged palace)) is a new band featuring Cashew from The Prix.
[Recommended] Georgie James / Telematique @ Pehrspace - Ex-Q and Not U
[Recommended] I Make This Sound / Nick Jaina / The Break-Ups @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Rocco DeLuca / Bryan Scary / Wyoming @ Spaceland ($8)
Subhumans / Ciril / Hit Me Back @ the Echo ($12)
Tom Morello’s Justice Tour @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
The Heavenly States @ Cinespace
avanGaad @ Mr. T's Bowl
Meiko @ Hotel Cafe

Wednesday 4/16/08
[Recommended] Sweet Relief Benefit: The Pity Party / Afternoons / Karin Tatoyan / The Franks @ the Echo ($7) – All proceeds go to Sweet Relief, an organization that helps musicians with their medical bills.
[Recommended] Georgie James (acoustic) / Buddy @ Hotel Cafe ($10)
[Recommended] Sara Lov / Patrick Park @ Tangier ($8)
[Recommended] Darker My Love / Crystal Antlers / Imaad Wasif and Two Part Beast @ Charlie O's Downtown (Free) - The sound can be kinda sucky at Charlie O's but it's a good lineup (especially for free).
The Dollyrots @ Ground Zero Coffee Shop
Club NME: avanGaad @ Spaceland
Dub Club: Half Pint @ Echoplex ($15)
Eels @ El Rey (Sold Out)
[Recommended] Zach Galifianakis @ Largo
Mary J. Blige / Jay-Z @ Hollywood Bowl ($350) - Amazing tickets remain for $350.

Thursday 4/17/08
The Monolators / The Natural Disasters / The Breakups @ the Scene (Free) - Popular local bands that I still haven't heard.
Tift Merritt / Sara Watkins @ Troubadour ($20)
Eli "Paperboy Reed / Jail Weddings @ the Echo ($8)
Eels @ El Rey ($30)
Scissors for Lefty / Oliver Future / The Frequency @ Safari Sam's ($8)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Arlo Guthrie @ Royce Hall
Mike Stinson @ Redwood Bar [316 W. Second St.] (free)

Friday 4/18/08
[Recommended] Tweakbird / Bobb Bruno @ El Cid ($5) - I've heard great things about these guys. Another heavy band.
[Recommended] The Sword / Slough Feg @ El Rey ($16) - Austin metal band is a little more thrash oriented on their new record. They're usually a lot of fun live.
[Recommended] Division Day / Facing New York / The Outline @ Trouabadour ($10) - Great chance to see Division Day at the Troubadour. They sounded really good on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Wednesday.
[Recommended] The Moon Upstairs / Lion of Panjshir / He's My Brother, She's My Sister @ Charlies O's Downtown ($5)
Pre / The Mae Shi / Panther @ Spaceland ($8) - The Mae Shi has a lot of heat behind them after SXSW.
Ghostland Observatory @ The Fonda ($21)
Seneca Hawk @ Hotel Café
[Recommended] The Quarter After @ the Echo ($5) - Record release party.
Mickey Avalon / Dirt Nasty / Andre Legacy @ the Roxy ($20)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
Bad Dudes / We Versus the Shark / The Valley Arena @ Pehrspace - Jaxart presents this show. I still haven't seen any of these bands.
Mike Stinson @ the Cinema Bar in Culver City (Free)

Saturday 4/19/08
[Recommended] South Toward Home Benefit: Sarah Silverman / Foreign Born / Tim and Eric / Bob Odenkirk @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
Bodies of Water / Elf Power / Flowers Forever @ Spaceland ($10) - Good lineup.
Los Angeles Murderfest: Entombed / Massacre / Repulsion / Anal Blast / Waco Jesus / Sepsism / Meat Shits / Denial Fiend / Impaled / Abysmal Dawn / Cock In Your Mouth @ Knitting Factory – This show sounds hilarious. I made up the last band, but if there were a band with that name, they’d fit well on this bill.
Black Diamond Heavies @ Safari Sam’s
Barrio Tiger @ the Scene
Mickey Avalon / Dirt Nasty / Andre Legacy @ the Roxy ($20)
Morlocks / Flash Express @ Safari Sam's ($13)
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
The Denim Family Band and Jonathan Wilson @ the Hotel Cafe
Bell Biv Devoe / Big Daddy Kane / Slick Rick / Doug E. Fresh @ Gibson Amphitheatre ($75) - Really good tickets are available for $75.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ Pehrspace - Good noise-pop band.
No Age / I'm a Gymnist / Softboiled Eggies @ Tiny Creatures ($8) - Includes free vegan food.
Over the Atlantic @ Echo Curio (Free) - New Zealand's Over the Atlantic are on Carpark Records and recently toured with Beach House.
Sunday 4/20/08
No Age / Mika Miko @ LA Central Public Library (Free) - at 2:00 PM.
HEALTH / Pre / I'm a Gymnist @ the Smell ($8) - Solid lineup of popular Smell bands.
Los Angeles Murderfest: Napalm Death @ Knitting Factory – The names aren’t quite as ridiculous on day two.
Longhair Illuminati Party @ Spaceland (Free)
Grande Ole Echo @ the Echo (Free) - Early show
Part Time Punks @ the Echo ($5)
Taylor Goldsmith @ Tangier ($8)

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Music Releases - 4/8/08

Some disappointments and some new discoveries. This past Tuesday was a big day at record shops....
Fleet Foxes: Sun Giant EP (Sub Pop) – These young Seattleites were the highlight of SXSW for me. The first thing you notice is that the lead singer, Robin Pecknold, sounds a lot like Jim James from My Morning Jacket. The second thing you notice is the great three and four part harmonies from the rest of the band. There are elements of early 70’s/classic Yes (The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge) but if the members told me they’d never heard Yes, I’d believe them. This was produced by Phil Ek, who has done a great job in the past with Built to Spill, the Shins and Band of Horses. I can’t wait for June 3rd when the full length comes out.

Wye Oak: If Children (Merge) – Here’s another promising new band from Baltimore. This is the kind of melancholy, minor key music that typically dominates my “best of” compilations at year end. They’re only a duo, but the songs vary from sparse to lush arrangements. Some songs have pleasant acoustic guitars and soft drumming while others feature string arrangements or electric guitars with heavy feedback. After the first listen, I thought, “Oh, that was pleasant.” But in the past few weeks I’ve found myself returning to it almost every day. Jenn Wasner sings most of the songs and her voice falls somewhere between Tanya Donnelly and Kim Deal. Download “Warning
Other Records I've Heard:
Eric Avery: Help Wanted (Dangerbird) – Avery was the original bass player in Jane’s Addiction. Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters plays drums on most of these songs.
The Breeders: Mountain Battles (4AD) – I was all excited when I got this new Breeders record before my recent road trip to Joshua Tree. I excitedly put it in the CD player and… it was out before we’d made it to Pasadena. I guess I’m not really a fan. I do like Pod and Last Splash (never heard Title TK) but this just feels like sloppy demos. See them at Coachella on 4/25 and the Glasshouse on 4/29. Download “Bang On
Dark Meat: Universal Indians (Vice) – This is an expanded edition with better distribution. It’s all a bit to manic for me. Sample song titles: “Well Fuck You Then,” “Angel of Meth” and “There Is a Retard On Acid Holding a Hammer To Your Head.” Maybe I’m just too old for this shit. At the Echo on 5/10. Download “Freedom Ritual
The Duke Spirit: Neptune (Shangri-La) – See yesterday’s guest review. See them at the Troubadour on 5/10.
The Long Blondes: Couples (Rough Trade) – Female fronted, British, indie-dance, guitar-based band. If you’re into that kinda thing you might like it. At the Troubadour on 6/4.
Peter Moren: The Last Tycoon (Quarterstick) – I like Peter Bjorn & John and I liked Peter’s recent solo show at the Hotel Café. This album just hasn’t grabbed me yet. See him at the Hotel Café on 5/2 or the Troubadour on 5/3.
Richard Swift: Richard Swift as Onassis (Secretly Canadian) – Richard Swift’s Dressed Up for the Letdown was one of my favorite records last year. This isn’t the follow-up to that record. This is more of a drunken, weekend blues jam where he works out some Link Wray and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Download “Knee High Boogie Boots” and “Phone Coffins

Other Noteworthy New Releases That I Haven't Heard:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – At the Hollywood Bowl on 9/17
Clinic – At the Troubadour on 5/20
Cloud Cult – At the Knitting Factory on 5/14
Cut Copy – At Coachella on 4/25
Dead Child – David Pajo’s metal band (Slint). The Myspace songs sound pretty good.
Marie Digby – At the Fonda on 4/12
The Drift
The Explorers Club: Do You Love Me? 7” (Dead Oceans) – Beach Boys revivalists
Finest Dearest
Foals (mp3) – At the Troubadour on 5/24
[LOCAL] Gran Ronde: Secret Rooms (Filter) – These guys are doing a Tuesday night residency at Spaceland in May
The Grouch – At the Roxy on 4/22
Man Man – At Coachella on 4/26
Meat Beat Manifesto – At El Rey on 4/12
Colin Meloy live album (mp3) – The Decemberists’ lead singer. At the Fonda on 4/28
Neva Dinova (mp3) – At Spaceland on 5/29
The New Bloods (mp3)
[LOCAL ] No Age: Eraser 7” (Sub Pop) (mp3) – The first single off their Sub Pop debut
Jim Noir (mp3)
The Old Haunts (mp3)
Jonathan Richman
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (mp3) and (mp3)
Tapes N Tapes (mp3) – At the Troubadour on 5/8 and 5/9
Thee Oh Sees

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Recently Announced LA Shows

Recently Announced Shows:

Radiohead (see previous post)
Sly and the Family Stone @ House of Blues on 4/26
Crowded House @ Orpheum on 5/16 and 5/17 (on sale Sunday at 10:00 AM)
Adele @ the Roxy on 5/21 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)
Ludacris vs. Tommy Lee @ Greek Theatre on 5/28 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Superdrag @ Troubadour on 5/28 and 5/29 (on sale now)
Flight of the Conchords @ the Orpheum on 5/30 (on sale Friday at Noon)
Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80 @ El Rey on 6/21 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Earth Wind & Fire / Macy Gray @ Greek Theatre on 6/22 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
The Constantines @ Troubadour on 7/3 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Yes @ Gibson Amphitheatre on 8/22 (on sale Sunday at Noon)
Melissa Etheridge @ Greek Theatre on 8/29 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Los Angeles Venue Updates

As reported by the LA Times, Largo will be moving from its cozy Fairfax location to the Coronet Theatre at 366 N. La Cienega. According to the LA Times: “The Coronet seats 280 in the main room, compared with 120 at the Fairfax venue; it also has a smaller space with a capacity of about 90 where Flanagan plans to book developing bands and comedians.” 280 will make it about the same size as the Echo, Spaceland and Troubadour.

The last thing listed on the old Largo’s site appears to be the Paul F. Tompkins show on 5/3 for $10. According to Paul F. Tompkins’s Myspace page, he’ll have his first show at new Largo on 6/7 for $20. I’m sad to see the old Largo go. I’ve been going there for years and when my friend Jerry moved to LA in 2003, he dragged me there about once a week. I’ve seen a lot of great Jon Brion shows as well as David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Flight of the Conchords and countless others. On a positive note, maybe it will be a little easier to get in to see Jon Brion’s Friday night shows now.

Aimee Mann also has a couple of shows booked at the new Largo in June. According to Largo’s website, Randy Newman is not currently booked to play any shows at the new Largo (at the Coronet). In other Largo news, the Largo film will premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival this June. No word on the exact date. Apparently there’s an article on Largo in an upcoming issue of the New Yorker.

In other LA venue news, the Scene Bar in Glendale is seriously curtailing the number of live shows it presents. Apparently some of the old owners dropped out and the remaining owner has something new in mind. There are still quite a few shows booked for April, but only two or three going in May.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Flying Burrito Bros' "Christine's Tune"

Looking Cool in Nudie Suits

Here’s my weekly reminder to tune in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Little Radio. Their guest tomorrow will be the Broken West. You probably already know that I’m a huge Broken West fan…..

Each week on the show, there’s a featured You Set the Scene pick. It gives me a chance to write about something I wouldn’t normally have an excuse to write about. On 3/6/08 my pick was the Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Christine’s Tune.” Besides my love for the Flying Burrito Brothers, a couple of things inspired the pick. First, I had a trip planned to Joshua Tree that weekend and when I think about Joshua Tree, I immediately think of Gram Parsons (due to that whole death thing). Second, the song’s about a wild party girl/groupie type and the night before I’d seen some female friends attack Scott McDonald for not calling them to tell them that the Gallaghers were hanging out at the Echo.

One of country rock’s pioneers, Gram Parsons was a dedicated fan of the Buck Owens/Merle Haggard, Bakersfield sound. When I first heard the Flying Burrito Brothers I was pretty stunned at how country it was. I grew up listening to classic country, but like a lot of people, had abandoned it in high school and college. After college I started to get more into Wilco and the Beachwood Sparks and went back to rediscover Parsons, the Burritos and Byrds. In turn, I went back and rediscovered Haggard, Hank, Willie and George Jones.

“Christine’s Tune” is the first track on the first Burrito Brothers’ record, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Every song on that record is pretty great with: “Flying Burrito #1,” “Sin City,” “Wheels,” “Dark End of the Street” the standouts.

While Parsons seems to get all the credit, but his co-writing/singing partner on “Christine’s Tune,” Chris Hillman will be at McCabe’s this Friday and Saturday. I saw him last year at Stagecoach and really enjoyed his set.

See the Burritos perform “Christine’s Tune” on Youtube

Guest Review: The Duke Spirit's Neptune

Here's another guest review from my buddy Scott. He alludes to the fact that a lot of you have probably been aware of the Duke Spirit for a while now. One thing I like about Scott's reviews is that he approaches the albums from a fresh perspective because he doesn't read a lot of music criticism/blogs. I get annoyed with exclusionary blogs and writers who automatically assume you have an opinion about every band and album just because the record was leaked on the internet six months ago. Most people with jobs and familiesdon't have the time to read 37 blogs every morning and seek out illegal copies on the internet....

The Duke Spirit’s new album, Neptune, is came out in the U.S. on April 8th. Of course, many of YSTS’s readers are in the know enough that they’ve had this as in import since it was released in the UK in February. Full disclosure: I am not, nor will I ever be, that cool (or organized enough to actually acquire anything that takes any sort of effort to acquire).

So I listened to The Duke Spirit fresh, and I have to say that, after a couple of listens, it’s grown on me. The lead singer, Liela Moss, has a voice that kind of turned me off at first. But the more I listened to the tunes, the more her voice started to remind me of Grace Slick or Joan Jett—rough, smoky and a little dangerous, but with the ability to sing and not just growl or screech (it’s especially effective on “The Step and the Walk” and “Lassoo”).

The up-tempo tracks do more for me than the lower-energy tunes. (For example, check out “Into the Fold,” and skip “Wooden Heart,” which sounds to me like a bad U2 cover) Something about the way the drums push the band (and probably the way the guitar puts up a nice wall of sound) reminds me of The Cult, too . . . and that’s not a bad thing in my book. At other times, the band uses backing horns to really excellent effect (especially on “Lassoo,” which may be my favorite track). Neptune is certainly worth a listen. Not everything is great (as with anything), but the promising stuff outweighs the dead weight.

--Scott J.

Prince Added to Coachella

As Kevin Bronson reported last month, Prince has now been officially added to the Coachella lineup. He'll headline Saturday. Last month Aphex Twins, Redd Kross, Adele, Serj Tankian and Goldfrapp were also added to the lineup. For the first time ever, Amtrak will be running a Coachella Express train from Union Station and to the Empire Polo Fields. It's free, and only available to campers.

Full Lineup

Radiohead Presale This Friday

As you probably already know, Radiohead finally officially announced their two summer shows at the Hollywood Bowl. The shows will take place Sunday August 24th and Monday August 25th. Liars will open both shows. Unfortunately, you already missed the presale on Radiohead's website, but they weren't giving seat assignments yet anyway (so it was a leap of faith). KROQ and Hewitt/Silva have a presale starting Friday at 10:00 AM (you'll need the password). Otherwise, you can wait until Saturday at 10:00 AM. Tickets are $39-75. You can road trip to San Diego for a show on Wednesday and Santa Barbara on Thursday.
I've seen Radiohead several times (1998 at Universal, 2003 at the Hollywood Bowl and 2004 at Coachella) and they put on a fantastic show. They played the Whiskey, Troubadour, Palace and Wiltern back in the day before I lived here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Music Releases From 4/1/08 (one week late)

I wonder if there are a lot of people in the world (other than me) who like the new Quarter After, the Sword and Borko records?

Albums Released on 4/1/08 (I'm still a week behind):

Things I’ve Heard:
Annuals: Wet Zoo EP (Canvas Back) – A little less manic than their debut CD, there’s nothing as immediately catchy (or derivative) as “Brother.” But if you’re a big fan of the band, you should enjoy it. I got a decent number of hate comments when I criticized their live show at Spaceland a couple of years ago. See them at Coachella on 4/27 and the Natural History Museum on 6/6. Download “Sore
Borko: Celebrating Life (Morr Music) – Indie electronica from Iceland’s Björn Kristiansson. While mostly instrumental and melancholy, a couple of the songs feature singing. Recommended for fans of the genre. I’m usually not much of a laptop rocker, but I’ve been enjoying listening to this while I’m driving and working. Download “Dingdong Kingdom
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) – This is the Austinites follow-up album to their Sabbath-obsessed debut. As on Age of Winters, there are plenty of kick ass riffs and ridiculous as hell lyrics inspired by Norse mythology. They seem to be a little less sludgey and a little more thrash obsessed. The best song title this time around has to be, “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians.” It’s a lot of fun. See them at El Rey on 4/18.
Various Artists: My Blueberry Nights soundtrack (Blue Note) – See the guest review HERE.
Astrid Williamson: A Boy for You (One Little Indian) – For old school Liz Phair fans? See original guest review HERE.

Local Interest:
The Quarter After: Changes Near (Committee to Keep Music Evil) – In a rare instance of great timing, I got this one in the mail right before a trip out to Joshua Tree. The obvious touchstone is the Byrds, some of the vocals even sound a lot like Gene Clark, but it also brings to mind the best of some of the Paisley Underground bands (and be default, early R.E.M. on a couple of tracks). The Campanella brothers go way back in the LA music scene with deep ties to Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Tyde and Beachwood Sparks. It’s a quality record. See them at the Echo on 4/18. Download “See How Good It Feels” and “Turning Away

Things I Haven’t Heard Yet, But I Should Have an Opinion About:
The Black Keys: Attack & Release (Nonesuch) – Danger Mouse produced this. Several people have told me it’s really good.
Los Campesinos!: Hold On Now, Youngster…. (Arts & Crafts) – Seems like it’s probably for kids, but the single was pretty fun. At Troubadour on 6/7
R.E.M.: Accelerate (Warner Bros.) - My favorite band in high school, I just haven't enjoyed any of their albums since 1992. At the Hollywood Bowl on 5/29.
Sun Kil Moon: April (Caldo Verde) – I’ve always like Mark Kozelek’s voice.

Other Noteworthy Releases:
Apples in Stereo b-sides collection
Apollo Sunshine
Ardent Records compilation
Bryan Scary (mp3)
Colour Revolt (mp3 and mp3)
The Electric Pop Group
Lili Haydn
Robyn Hitchcock unreleased collection [at El Rey on 4/11]
Kylie Minogue
Muse live album
Willie Nelson box set
Poi Dog Pondering [at Troubadour on 5/12]
Rolling Stones live
The Wood Brothers [at Hotel Café on 4/24]

Monday, April 07, 2008

Thank You Jayhawks

Live Music Options 4/7/08 - 4/13/08

After three shows the week before last, I took last week off. Some good local shows tonight and Wednesday and some pretty good touring indie bands this weekend. The

Go Jayhawks!

Monday 4/7/08

[Recommended] Johnathan Rice / Nik Freitas / Pierre de Reeder @ Spaceland (Free) –This Jonathan Rice guy gets a bad rap. He might be best known for dating Jenny Lewis, but his recent album, Further North is actually a good listen. It’s Neil Young and LA canyon rock obsessed, and that’s a good thing in my book. The All Music Guide only gave it 2 ½ stars and compares it to Jakob Dylan, which I don’t get. Girlfriend Jenny Lewis co-wrote seven of the songs and appears on two of them. Farmer Dave Scher gets credited as a Producer and appears on most of the songs (either playing pedal steel or singing) and pal Jonathan Wilson also lends a hand. His Scottish accent comes out on a few of the tracks. Nik Freitas is a local singer-songwriter who recently signed to Team Love Records. Pierre de Reeder is the bass player in Rilo Kiley and recently recorded a solo record.
[Recommended] Radars to the Sky / The Parson Red Heads / The Weather Underground / Aushua @ the Echo (Free) – Radars to the Sky are celebrating the release of their new EP. The Parson Red Heads have a new EP coming out on May 20th and the two songs I’ve heard are really good. Another great chance to see them for free.
[Recommended] Monolators / Les Blanks / Seasons @ the Scene (Free)
Imaad Wasif and the Two Headed Beast @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to Viper Room) – Imaad was in Alaska and now tours with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (in addition to releasing his own stuff).
Abe Lincoln Story / Adam Marsland Chaos Band @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Kyle H. Mabson / Foot Village @ the Smell ($5)

Tuesday 4/8/08
[Recommended] Nobody / The Gaslamp Killer @ the Echo ($8) – Nobody’s a super talented producer and part of that older, KXLU crowd. He’s also one of the guys who was at the forefront of the indie electronic scene.
Rocco DeLuca @ Spaceland ($8) – Rocco’s doing a Tuesday night residency this month at Spaceland. He’s got a big voice and he’s signed to Kiefer Sutherland’s label.
Marie Digby @ Trobuadour (Sold Out)
The Meemies / Obedient Waves @ Silverlake Lounge ($7)
Kids of Widney High @ Mr. T’s Bowl

Wednesday 4/9/08
[Recommended] Club NME: The Softlightes / The Billionaires @ Spaceland ($8) -
[Recommended] Death to Anders / The Broken Remotes / Manhattan Murder Mystery / Service Group @ the Scene – Another Squaregirls curated show. I’m not too familiar with these bands, but I recently heard the Manhattan Murder Mystery’s album and thought it was good.
Sara Lov / Twilight Sleep / Ed Vallence @ Tangier ($8)
Summer Darling / Wait.Think.Fast / Army Navy / Kissing Tigers @ the Echo (Free) – Not too familiar with these bands, but the newer Summer Darling tracks on Myspace seem to have a pretty strong Polvo influene (which is a good thing).
Downtown Union / The Natural Disasters @ Mr. T’s Bowl
RJD2 / Dalek @ the Fonda
Miss Derringer @ Troubadour ($10)
The Supersuckers @ Safari Sam’s ($15)
The Nightwatchman @ Hotel Café
Jon Anderson playing the music of Yes @ the Roxy ($40)
Low End Theory: The Grouch @ Airliner ($10)

Thursday 4/10/08
[Recommended] The High Society / The Teenage Frames @ Spaceland – The High Society is Jason Moore’s southern rock band. They’re a lot of fun live.
Mia Doi Todd / Karin Tatoyan / Winter Flowers @ the Echo ($8)
The Mother Lips @ Knitting Factory ($20)
X @ the Fonda (Sold Out) – 31st Anniversary with all original members
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo
Windy City Gentleman / Caroline Movement @ Sivlerlake Lounge ($7)

Friday 4/11/08
[Recommended] The Movies / The Happy Hollows / The Savages @ Bordello ($5) - This is the Movies' record release party. They're one of my favorite local, live bands.
Enon / Mellowdrone / Anchors Aaweigh @ Spaceland ($10)
Nick Lowe / Robyn Hitchcock @ El Rey
Xiu Xiu / Thao with the Get Down Stay Down @ the Echo ($12) – I’ve never been into Xiu Xiu, but I like the new Thao with the Get Down Stay Down record.
[Recommended] Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ McCabe’s ($24.50)
Rhett Miller @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
X @ the Fonda (Sold Out) – 31st Anniversary with all original members
Finest Dearest @ Echo Curio
The Roxy Rocks Benefit: Glenn Frey & Michael Thompson / Daniel Powter / Cisco Adler & Shwayze / Hello Stranger / Inara George / Robert Francis @ the Roxy ($20 adv / $30 day of) – Benefit for Keep a Child Alive (AIDS victims in Africa)
American Hi-Fi @ Troubadour ($18)

Saturday 4/12/08
Scout Niblett / Wilderness / Herman Dune @ Spaceland ($8) – This one is presented by Aquarium Drunkard. Niblett’s most recent record has about four songs featuring Will Oldham (which are the tracks I like the best). Download “Uptown Top Ranking
Handsome Furs / Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects @ Troubadour ($12) – Handsome Furs features Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade. Download “What We Had
Dirty Projectors / No Kids @ the Echo ($12) – The Dirty Projectors most recent album is Black Flag’s Damaged in its entirety (but not note for not, it’s all from memory). Download “No More
Rhett Miller @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
The Hotel Café Tour: Ingrid Michaelson / Cary Brothers / Meiko / Greg Laswell / Priscilla Ahn @ The Fonda (Sold Out)
Meat Beat Manifesto @ El Rey
Cava @ Echoplex ($7)
Eddie Vedder / Liam Finn @ Wiltern (Sold Out)
The Chuck Dukowksi SEXTET @ the Smell
Crystal Castles @ 613 Imperial Street ($24)

Sunday 4/13/08
[Recommended] Brunch Americana: Mike Stinson & Dave Gleason @ Safari Sam’s (Free) – Early show beginning at Noon
Morcheeba @ The Fonda
The Hotel Café Tour: Ingrid Michaelson / Cary Brothers / Marie Digby / Meiko / Jesca Hoop / Greg Laswell / Priscilla Ahn @ El Rey
Sick Puppies @ Troubadour ($12)
Safari Sam’s 2nd Anniversary: Wayne Hancock / Scott H. Biram @ Safari Sam’s ($15)
Grande Ole Echo: Tony Gilkyson @ the Echo (Free) – Early show at 3:00 PM
Taylor Goldsmith / Olin and the Moon @ Tangier ($8)
Fol Chen @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Eddie Vedder / Liam Finn @ Wiltern (Sold Out)

Friday, April 04, 2008

On Sale Dates for Recently Announced Show

Recently Announced Shows:

Mudcrutch (Featuring Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh, Mike Campbell, Benmont Trench) @ Troubadour on 4/25, 4/26, 4/28, 4/29, 5/1, 5/2 (on sale now)

Earlimart @ Echoplex on 5/17 (on sale now)

Dresden Dolls @ Wiltern on 5/21 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Daryl Hall & John Oates @ Troubadour on 5/22, 5/23 (tickets on sale 4/11/08, but they’re $200 each)

Kenny Chesney / Leann Rimes @ Staples on 5/28 (on sale Monday at 10:00 AM)

R.E.M. / Modest Mouse / The National @ Hollywood Bowl on 5/29 (on sale Sunday at 10:00 AM)

Chicago / The Doobie Brothers @ Gibson Amphitheatre on 6/5 (on sale Sunday at Noon)

Sea Wolf @ Echoplex on 6/19 (on sale now)

Old 97’s @ Crash Mansion on 6/19 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

RZA as Bobby Digital @ The Fonda on 6/20 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

George Michael @ the Forum on 6/25 (on sale Monday at 10:00 AM)

Cyndi Lauper / B-52’s / Andy Bell @ Greek Theatre on 6/28 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Supergrass @ Avalon on 7/12 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Steve Miller Band / Joe Cocker @ Nokia Live on 8/6 (on sale Monday at 10:00 AM)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Elliott Smith: "Come To Me"

Flyer from the 1/12/03 Spaceland Show
Here’s my weekly reminder to tune-in to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM PST on Little Radio. One of my favorite local bands, Le Switch, will be performing live on air. Little Radio recently renovated their studios and can now accommodate full band performances. Tomorrow, Le Switch will be doing about five songs.

Each week I pick a song, Sylvia and Tood play it and then I write about it here. On 2/28/08, in honor of Spaceland’s 13th Anniversary, I picked an unreleased Elliott Smith song called “Come To Me (mp3).” The version of the song they played came from a bootleg from his Spaceland show on 1/12/03.

As I’ve said before, I saw Elliott Smith perform live more than I’ve seen about any other artist. The first time I saw him (5/6/07) was an accident really. I went to No Life Records (the long ago shuttered indie record store that was on Santa Monica Boulevard across from Formosa) for a Pete Krebs in-store and Elliott was also playing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Elliott played earlier that day on Morning Becomes Eclectic (you can listen HERE or download HERE). Anyway, Krebs was pretty good, but Elliott Smith was amazing.

From 1997-1999 Elliott played a shitload of amazing shows around LA (especially after he moved here). I was lucky enough to see him at Spaceland, Silverlake Lounge, the Derby, the Roxy, Largo, Troubadour and El Rey. I was never friends with him, but guys like Aaron Embry, Jason Mason and Aaron Espinoza probably have a ton of great stories. I did talk to him on a number of occasions (he was always so nice) and after one of the Roxy shows I went to the Brass Monkey with a group of people and watched him do karaoke. I feel lucky to have seen him so many times during his peak period. I moved to Austin in 1999 and managed to see him a few times there. By the time I moved back to LA in 2002 the shows didn’t feel quite as magical, but were starting to get better again.
A couple of good resources:
Sweet Adeline
Download the Spaceland show from 1/12/03 HERE.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Live Review: Ray Davies at the Wiltern March 29th

After seeing Ray Davies the last time he played the Wiltern, I was a little apprehensive about shelling out the cash to see him again. I mean, that show was really good, but I've always gotten the feeling that Ray Davies doesn't understand that he's Ray fucking Davies. Fortunately some great tickets landed in my lap and I didn't have to make that tough decision. I mean the guy's my favorite lyricist of all time and Working Man's Cafe is superior to Other People's Lives and I was still apprehensive.

I'm so glad those tickets landed in my lap. Last Saturday's show was superior to the July 2006 show at the Wiltern. Ray started out both shows with the same two songs, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" and "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" but on Saturday he seemed more energized and excited to be there. I'm guessing that his new guitar player had a big impact on Davies' mood. The guy was relatively young and a long-haired (yes, I'm using that as a noun) which contrasts with a lot of the slick, Biff Clean Teeth-type session guys that many older musicians tend to prefer on the road. The guy had good tone and was having fun playing the songs. The bass player was a a long-haired too.

After those first two songs, the band did "Till the End of the Day," "After the Fall," "Well Respected Man" (with a nice sing-along with the crowd - even I sang along), "Apeman" (which he painfully cut short - such a tease), "Next Door Neighbor," "Celluloid Heroes" (great LA song), "The Tourist," "Working Man's Cafe," and "20th Century Man" (so good). And then there was a 15 minute intermission. Can't complain about that - I got another beer and used the restroom.

After the intermission, Davies came back with an acoustic guitar and started in on "This Is Where I Belong" (again painfully cut short). His guitar player joined him and the two of them did a few of the solo tracks, which benefited a great deal by having stripped down arrangements. They did "In a Moment," "One More Time," "Vietnam Cowboys" (the other members of the band filtered onto the stage at some point, but they still kept the arrangements pretty simple), "Real World," and "No One Listen." They gave me a new appreciation for the recorded versions.

But of course it's great to hear those Kinks tracks. The band broke into "Sunny Afternoon" and the crowd erupted. They went even crazier for "Come Dancing" (not my favorite, but I was a little younger than most of the crowd when that one came out). Then it was some earlier tracks: "Tired of Waiting For You," "Set Me Free," and "All Day and All of the Night." The band left the stage and then came back for an encore of "Low Budget" (which he loves to play, but I can think of about 50 songs I'd rather hear - "Waterloo Sunset" at the top of the list) and "Lola." A bit of a tease for a second encore, but it never happened.

At some point earlier in the evening Davies had introduced the band and noted that he'd finally gotten it right. I had to agree. Really damn good. It made me question how much I really care about seeing him tour with Dave? I mean, I never saw them together, but how important is it? What would be amazing is if he got band together and did Village Green, Arthur, Something Else, Lola or Muswell Hillbillies in their entirety. But I'll happily take what I can get. It made me very happy last Saturday.....