Friday, February 29, 2008

Album Review: Stephen Malkmus - Real Emotional Trash

I did this kind of quickly, but the red line represents the % of very good songs on each Pavement/Malkmus record while the blue line represents the average length per song. As you can see, the overall trend is that the % of very good songs seems to decrease as the average length per song increases. I'm just saying..... In his defense quite a few of my friends really like the new record.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recently Announced LA Shows

Ray Davies @ the Wiltern on 3/29/08 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Morcheeba @ the Fonda on 4/13/08 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Chris Rock @ Gibson Amphitheatre on 4/26/08 (tickets on sale Sunday at 1:00 PM)

The Breeders @ El Rey on 4/29/08

Atmosphere @ the Fonda on 5/6/08 and 5/7/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Rush @ Nokia Live on 5/8/08 (tickets on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Elbow @ Avalon on 5/9/08 (tickets on sale now)

The Kooks @ the Wiltern on 5/19/08 (on sale Monday at 10:00 AM)

Beirut @ The Wiltern on 5/30/08 (on sale now)

Ticket Giveaway - Holy F*ck / A Place to Bury Strangers

Holy F*ck Play Spaceland Saturday

I've got two pairs of tickets to give away for the Holy Fuck / A Place to Bury Strangers show at Spaceland on Saturday night. Ontario's Holy Fuck's up for the Plug Award for Avant album of the year and Radiohead and Rachael Ray are reportedly into them. They play somewhat melodic, instrumental, noise. Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers play loud, guitar pedal heavy noise-pop. I enjoyed their recent set at the Viper Room. Pitchfork gave both bands good ratings.
To win these tickets email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me your favorite celebrity chef. The contest closes Friday at 1:37 PM. You must be 21 to enjoy these tickets.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Marmalade's "Rainbow"

This is my weekly reminder to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tomorrow their guest will be Brian Aubert, lead singer of the Silversun Pickups. They'll be giving away some tickets to Spaceland's 13th anniversary show and Sylvia will be playing songs from many of the bands who will be performing.

Each week on their show I pick a song and then write about it here. On January 31st my pick was Marmalade's "Rainbow." I honestly don't know a whole lot about Marmalade. They're a Scottish band that formed in the early 1960s. Their original name was the Gaylords (which is a pretty awesome band name). The band probably never got the respect they deserved because their biggest hit was a cover of the Beatles "Obla-Di, Obla-Da." Anyway, about five and a half years ago, Castle released The Very Best of the Marmalade on CD and I picked it up. There are 14 songs on the disc, and about eight of them are really good. The music falls somewhere between mid-period Beatles and the Left Banke. Standout tracks are: "Reflections of My Life," "I See Rain" and "Rainbow."

As I was writing this entry, I checked out the Marmalade entry on All Music and decided to use an iTunes gift certificate to download a few more Marmalade tracks. So far I've downloaded "Carolina on My Mind" and "Dear John" and "And Yours Is a Piece of Mind" and I'm wondering why they're not on the Best of the Marmalade. If you're a fan of 60s lite-pysch-rock/baroque pop then check these guys out. You might want to go on iTunes and make your own best of.

Listen to Marmalade on Myspace

Ticket Giveaway - Spaceland's 13th Anniversary

I've got two pairs of tickets to give away for Spaceland's 13th Anniversary show this Sunday from 1PM - 1AM. The Little Ones have the show listed on their Myspace page, so I'm guessing they're the special guests at 6:50 (but I could be wrong). I've also heard there's at least one other special guest. Anyway, it's a great lineup although I'm not too familiar with the last few bands.
To win a pair of tickets email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me your favorite memory of hanging out at Spaceland. The contest closes Friday at 3:00 PM. Aquarium Drunkard has some tickets to give away too and Sinking with Sylvia (and Todd) will be giving away some sets tomorrow on the air.
1:00 – 1:30 - Let’s Go Sailing Listen
1:50 – 2:20 - The Tyde Listen
2:40 – 3:10 - The Broken West Listen
3:30 – 4:00 - Oliver Future Listen
4:20 – 4:50 - The Movies
5:10 – 5:40 - Radar Bros Listen
6:00 – 6:30 - Earlimart Listen
6:50 – 7:20 - Special Guests
7:40 – 8:10 - Wiskey Biscuit
8:30 – 9:00 - 400 Blows Listen
9:20 – 9:50 - The Blood Arm Listen
10:10 – 10:40 - Run Run Run Listen
11:00 – 11:30 - The Vacation

New Music Releases 2/26/08

Not a great week at the record store, but there are a few things worth mentioning. For a more complete listing check out Largehearted Boy.

Albums I've Heard:

Beach House: Devotion (Carpark) – Indie music snobs love these guys. It’s pretty and pleasant, but honestldoesn’t move me a whole lot. If you loved Mazzy Star you’ll probably love Beach House. For covers fans, they follow in the footstep of Beck and Built to Spill with a cover of Daniel Johnston's "Some Things Last a Long Time." See them at the Echo on 3/13/08.
Download “Gila

[LOCAL] Mezzanine Owls: Mezzanine Owls EP (Jaxart) – This is a four song EP available on Amazon and iTunes (or as a limited edition 7”) from Jaxart (the newish label from Jax of Rock Insider). These guys have evolved a lot as a band. They’ve still got noise-pop influences but these new tracks are much more melodic and catchy than their earlier work. Yet another local band to keep your eye on. See them at their record release party at the Echo tomorrow 2/28/08.

Dolly Parton: Backwoods Barbie (Dolly Records) – How do people not love Dolly? She’s an icon who has been putting out records for over 40 years and she’s still making relevant music. This one has nine original songs and three covers. While her Fine Young Cannibals cover made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, the original songs are all a nice return to her country-pop sound. The title of the album is great. She’s probably the only artist in the world that everybody in my immediate family likes. My mom even named a dog after her. Hopefully she re-schedules her date at the Roxy.

Other Noteworthy Releases:

Cowboy Junkies, Dirtbombs, Ghostland Observatory, Goldfrapp, Gary Higgins (Red Hash on vinyl), Missy Higgins, Janet Jackson, Tift Merritt , Pete Rock, Psycho & the Birds (Robert Pollard’s in the band), Punch Brothers, Son Lux

Noise Pop This Week in San Francisco

Most of the headlining bands have LA shows coming up soon, but maybe you're looking for an excuse to go to San Francisco.

Full Schedule Here

LA Bands Playing:
Tuesday – Mika Miko
Wednesday – West Indian Girl, The Entrance Band, The Broken West, Little Ones, Fu Manchu
Thursday – Bodies of Water, The Weather Underground, Voxhaul Broadcast
Friday - Film School, Darker My Love
Saturday – Buddy, Gutter Twins, Great Northern, LA Riots, Airborne Toxic Event
Sunday – Whispertown 2000

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - Tilly & the Wall at the Echo

I have one pair of tickets to give away for Omaha's Tilly & the Wall at the Echo this Friday night (2/29/08). Capgun Coup and Buddy are also on the bill. If you're an indie pop fan, you should enter to win. Get there in time to see Buddy.
To win, send me an email [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me who your all time favorite wimp is. The deadline for the contest is Thursday at 3:00 PM.
Free Tilly & the Wall downloads are HERE (link to Team Love Records)
Download Buddy's "Westgate"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Live Music Options 2/25/08 - 3/2/08

Earlimart Play Spaceland's 13th Anniversary Party

Another week and a lot of great shows. Tonight's the last night of the February residencies. There are also some record release parties, Spaceland's 13th Anniversary party and some great touring shows. I'm not that into Diplo, Cat Power or Grizzly Bear, but you might be.
Monday 2/25/08
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / What Made Milwaukee Famous / Rademacher / Army Navy @ the Echo (Free) – This is a solid lineup. I think I’m finally going to make it out for the last night of the residency. Download Rademacher’s “What Yr Used to” from their live at the Echo CD that will be available for sale tonight.
[Recommended] The Pity Party / Meho Plaza / Rolling Blackouts @ Spaceland (Free) – The last night of the Pity Party residency. Get there for Rolling Blackouts too.
Rickie Lee Jones @ Echoplex ($20-25)
Solare / Exit Music / The Valley Arena (Free)
Casxio / Electrocute @ Viper Room (Free with RSVP to Viper Room)
The Shys / Bigbang @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
Sarah Silverman @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Peanut Butter Wolf / Boom Bip / Guns N Bombs @ the Roxy (Free w/ RSVP to BPM Magazine)

Tuesday 2/26/08
[Recommended] The Helio Sequence / The Buildings and Butchers / Hearts of Palm UK @ Spaceland ($12) – Congratulations to our ticket winners.
[Recommended] Jay Farrar / Anders Parker @ Troubadour ($20) – Good alt-country lineup. Jay Farrar was in Uncle Tupelo with Jeff Tweedy and Son Volt. Anders Parker was in Varnaline. Together they made a good record as Gob Iron.
Anna Waronker @ Largo
[Recommended] I See Hawks in LA / Mike Stinson / Psychedelic Cowboys @ the Echo ($7) – Good country lineup.
Missy Higgins / Robert Francis @ El Rey (Sold Out) – Robert Francis had to cut his Silverlake Lounge residency short. He got pneumonia last week and now he’s on tour with Missy Higgins. His songs I’ve heard are good.
Cosio / Correatown @ Bordello ($5) – Correatown’s well worth checking out.
You Me and Iowa / The Natural Disasters @ the Scene
The Binges @ the Roxy
Jeremy Jay @ the Smell
Mondo Generator @ Viper Room

Wednesday 2/27/08
Radio Alert: Grizzly Bear on KCRW at 11:15AM - Hey, I've got nothing against Grizzly Bear. If you tell me you love them, I'll assume you have discriminating taste.
Internet Radio Alert: White Denim on the Aquarium Drunkard's show on Little Radio from 2:00PM to 4:00 PM
British Sea Power / Castledoor / Colourmusic @ The Echo ($14)
[Recommended] White Denim / Restaurant @ 6th Street Warehouse ($5)
Stellastarr / Oohlas @ Troubadour ($17)
Club NME: Bedtime for Toys / Io Echo / Holly Marilyn @ Spaceland
Quazar and the Bamboozled @ Bordello ($7)
The Weather Underground / Ladies and Gents @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
The Icarus Line @ La Cita (Free)

Thursday 2/28/08
[Recommended] Mezzanine Owls / Frankel / The Mae Shi / Eagle & Talon @ The Echo (Free for 21 + / $5 ow) – EP Release party for Mezzanine Owls. This is a good, diverse lineup.
[Recommended] Taken By Trees @ the Roxy ($17) – Victoria Bergsman (ex-Concretes). Congratulations to our contest winner.
British Sea Power / White Denim / Colourmusic @ Spaceland ($14)
Diplo / Blaqstarr @ Crash Mansion (Free with RSVP to Metromix)
Tulsa / What Made Milwaukee Famous / This Will Destroy You / Signal Hill @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Funland (Featuring East Bay Ray and Klaus Flouride) @ Knitting Factory ($10)
Punch Brothers @ Troubadour ($20)
Son De Le Frontera @ the Echoplex ($25-35)
The Poor Excuses / Tigers Can Bite You / Light FM @ Three of Clubs (Free)
Adam Marsland’s Chaos Band @ Mr. T’s
The Vacation / Run Run Run @ Viper Room
Angelo Moore (Fishbone) @ Ghettogloss [2380 Glendale Blvd]

Friday 2/29/08
[Recommended] Tilly and the Wall / Capgun Coup / Buddy @ the Echo ($15) – Stay tuned for a ticket contest.
[Recommended] Blitzen Trapper / Grand Archives / Fleet Foxes @ Troubadour ($12) – I wasn’t crazy about Blitzen Trapper when I saw them at Spaceland, but I am curious about Grand Archives and Fleet Foxes (two new Sub Pop bands).
MSTRKRFT / Z-Trip / LA Riots @ Fonda (Sold Out) – Z-Trip’s cool to see live.
Donita Sparks / 400 Blows @ Safari Sam’s (Free if over 21 / $5 ow)
Spindrift / Spirit Army / Moonrats / Restaurant @ Spaceland ($8)
Cat Power @ the Wiltern ($22-32) – I’m not that into Cat Power, but I’m sure a lot of you are.
Slum Village @ Crash Mansion ($20)

Saturday 3/1/08
[Recommended] Holy Fuck / A Place to Bury Strangers / In Waves @ Spaceland ($10) – Stay tuned for a ticket giveaway later this week.
Grizzly Bear / Los Angeles Philharmonic @ Walt Disney Concert Hall ($24-34) – The Philharmonic opens the show with music selected by Grizzly Bear. Then Grizzly Bear comes out and plays without the Philharmonic. I’m not that into Grizzly Bear, but I’m sure a lot of you are.
Tally Hall / Audrye Sessions @ Troubadour ($12)
Von Iva @ El Cid ($10)
Imaad Wasif / Grimble Grumble / Timonium @ Pehrspace
I Make This Sound / Bedroom Walls / Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Mr. T’s Bowl

Sunday 3/2/08
[Recommended] Spaceland’s 13th Anniversary Show: Radar Bros. / Earlimart / The Broken West / Wiskey Biscuit / The Tyde / The Movies / Let’s Go Sailing / Blood Arm / 400 Blows / Run Run Run / Oliver Future / The Vacation @ Spaceland – This is an all day thing with a great lineup. See the new Radar Bros. lineup featuring Aaron Kyle from Le Switch on guitar.
Magnetic Fields @ the Fonda (Sold Out)
Spectrum / Midnight Movies / Grimble Grumble @ the Echo ($12)
MSTRKRFT / Z-Trip / LA Riots @ El Rey ($24)
Colorforms @ Tangier
Benefit for People Assisting the Homeless: Let’s Go Sailing / Buddy / Goldenboy @ Hotel Café

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - Helio Sequence at Spaceland

I'm giving away two pairs of tickets for the Helio Sequence show at Spaceland this coming Tuesday (2/26/08). The Portland duo recently released their fourth album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead on Sub Pop. It's a good record. I've seen them live a couple of times and they put on a really good show both times. The Builders and the Butchers and Hearts of Palm UK will be opening the show.
To win these tickets email me [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me what your favorite thing about Portland is. The contest closes at 4:00 PM on Monday.
Download "Keep Your Eyes Ahead" (via Sub Pop)
Download "Everyone Knows Everyone" (via Sub Pop)

Recently Announced LA Shows

Recently Announced Shows:

The Chapin Sisters will be doing the Monday night residency at the Echo in March
Voxhaul Broadcast will be doing the Monday night residency at Spaceland in March

Sheryl Crow @ El Rey on 3/11/08 (on sale now)

Nick Lowe / Robyn Hitchcock @ El Rey on 4/11/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Eddie Vedder @ Wiltern on 4/12/08 and 4/13/08 (on sale now)

The Gossip @ the Fonda on 4/19/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

El Perro del Mar / Lykke Li @ El Rey on 5/19/08 (on sale now)

El-P / Dizzee Rascal / Busdriver @ El Rey on 5/22/08 (on sale now)

The Police / Elvis Costello & the Imposters @ Hollywood Bowl on 5/27/08 (tickets on sale Sunday at 10:00 AM)

Jamie Lidell @ El Rey on 5/29/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Kanye West / Rihanna / N.E.R.D. / Lupe Fiasco @ Staples Center on 6/7/08 (on sale now)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Music Releases 2/19/08

Unlike last week, there are a lot of great reasons to hit the record store this week. Here are a few that caught my ear/eye....

Things I’ve Heard:

Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Kranky) - If a website were capable of gang banging (in a happy way, not a scary way) an artist, then Pitchfork would gang bang Bradford Cox. He's a young guy who publicly airs a lot moments that probably shouldn't be publicly aired. The Deerhunter album and this album both have some nice moments, but if you're over the age of 25, a lot of the lyrics and the show might feel a bit too painful to relive. See them at the Echo on 3/11/08.

Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) – I already wrote about this one HERE. It's a good record. At the Echo on 3/20/08.

Ray Davies: Working Man’s Café (New West) - Ray Davies is my favorite lyricist of all time, so the expectations are always high when he releases a new album. I listen to those Kinks records from 1965 - 1971 more than anything else. So how's this new album? It's good. There are only a handful of rock 'n' roll guys in their sixties who can pull off something like this. Davies has America on his mind. The songs are about politics, religion, war, aging and the homogenization of America by big business. Most of the songs work for me lyrically and many of the songs have great melodies. My only complaint is the slickness of some of the playing by the band and in turn some of the production. "You're Asking Me" stands out as my favorite track because of the 1960s-esque arrangement. Overall, it's a good record that I can easily recommend for crazy Kinks fans like myself. However if you don't own Face to Face, Something Else, Village Green, Arthur, Lola and Muswell Hillbillies, then you need to do some homework first. No word on any local dates yet.

The Epochs: The Epochs (Rebel Group) - Brooklyn indie pop band. They were recently Spin's band of the day. I haven't listened to it enough to say anything else.

Monade: Monstre Cosmique (Too Pure) - If you're a big Stereolab fan, then you'll like this. This is Laetitia Sadier's (the singer in Stereolab) side project that sounds just like Stereolab. I'm kind of a greatest hits guy when it comes to Stereolab, but found several songs on here that I liked.

The Mountain Goats: Heretic Pride (4AD) - I've never gotten into the Mountain Goats and I've never given them an honest shot. I've heard songs over the years, but been turned off by John Darnielle's nasally voice. When I got a copy of this one, I decided to change that. The first couple of listens were rough. The voice was still a turnoff. But after the fourth or fifth listen I finally started to get to the root of the reason why his fans are so fanatical. The guy's just a really unique songwriter who approaches songwriting like a fiction writer. He's literate and his songs have a strong narrative with lots of imagery and a liberal use of metaphors. I'm not a complete convert yet, but Darnielle's an interesting artist with something to say. Catch them at the Troubadour on 3/4/08 and 3/5/08.

The Raveonettes: Lust Lust Lust (Vice) - Here's another band that I've completely ignored over the years for whatever reason. I've only heard this a couple of times, but it's growing on me. They're known for doing early rock 'n' roll sounding songs filtered through Jesus & Mary Chain distortion. That's accurate. At the root are simple, but very melodic songs with distortion and an icy cool veneer. I might eventually become a convert to these guys too. Critics more familiar with their other albums are calling this a return to form. See them at El Rey on 3/4/08.

Two more that I'm curious to check out:
Grand Archives: The Grand Archives (Sub Pop) - This is the new band from Mat Brooke who was in Carissa's Wierd and then formed Band of Horses with Ben Bridwell. Brooke was on that first BoH album, but never really toured with them. Since I like that first Band of Horses a lot better than the new one, I'm thinking Brooke might have had something to do with that. Some of the tracks on Myspace sound pretty good. Download "Tom Blue Foam Coach" See them at the Troubadour on 2/29/08.

Throw Me the Statue: Moonbeams (Secretly Canadian) - That Aquarium Drunkard character recommended this one the other day. I download a couple of tracks and they're damn catchy. One day I will brave the traffic and go to the one remaining record store in LA proper with a healthy new vinyl selection and buy this. Download "About to Walk"

Other Noteworthy New Releases:
Allison Moorer [Royce Hall on 3/25/08], American Music Club, The Company, Cryptacize, Envy, Flowers Forever, Gary Louris [at El Rey on 3/21/08], The Grand Archives [at the Troubadour on 2/29/08], Headlights [at Silverlake Lounge on 3/19/08], The Heavenly States [at Spaceland on 3/8/08], Marianne Faithful, Mike Doughty [at El Rey on 4/30/08], Morcheeba [at the Fonda on 4/13/08], Panther

Matt Cronk Benefit

I thought I'd make it to the Matt Cronk benefit at the Echo tonight, but sometimes you get home from a long day, it's raining outside, you hear about a police shootout in your neighborhood, involving AK47s and it just saps the desire out of you. So instead of supporting a good cause and hearing some good live bands, I'm on the computer and listening to Pete Townshend solo albums that I picked up months ago at Amoeba but never got around to listening to before tonight.

Matt and I have a lot of mutual friends, so even though he never remembers me the dozen or so times that we've met, I feel for the guy. I've enjoyed seeing him play with Qui over the years especially in the new incarnation with David Yow. I hear the national punk rock community has been reaching out to him during his recovery. If you're an out-of-towner (or just a homebody who didn't make it out tonight) and you want to help out with some of his medical bills, a Paypal account has been set up for donations.

Donate HERE

Radar Bros./Brian Aubert/Everest Photos

Here are some long ago promised pictures from the Radar Bros. show at the Echo on 1/28/08. It was most likely the last show to feature original members Jim, Senon and Steve together. Jim will be joined by new members for some shows at SXSW. The Everest and Brian Aubert photos were taken by Sylvia. I took the color photos of the Radar Bros. There are a bunch more photos at my Flickr account and they're not all blurry.

I was sick for about two full weeks but I've been to several shows in the past week. I saw I Make This Sound at the Echo on 2/13, Black Lips on 2/14, Paperplanes at Charlie O's on 2/15, Rhys Darby on 2/17 at El Rey, Film School/Pity Party on 2/18 at Spaceland. Here are some one or two sentence reviews. I Make This Sound has several really good songs. Black Lips weren't shocking and sounded like crap. They have good songs, but a more intimate venue would have suited them much better. Paperplanes seems like a band I'd like, but the sound at Charlie O's was unbearable. Rhys Darby's bringing back sound effects humor like Michael Winslow. Film School put on an engaging live show.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Made Milwaukee Famous Local Shows

Austin's What Made Milwaukee Famous are in town for the next two weeks to play warm-up shows to prepare for their upcoming tour. Their new album, What Doesn't Kill Us, comes out March 4th on Barsuk.

Local LA Shows:
Monday 2/18/08 - Spaceland on at 9:00 PM - The Pity Party residency, Film School shares the bill
Thursday 2/21/08 - Silverlake Lounge on at 8:00 PM - The Entrance Band residency
Friday 2/22/08 - Bordello on at 9:00 PM - With Hazelden
Monday 2/25/08 - The Echo on at 10:00 PM - The Henry Clay People residency with Rademacher and Army Navy
Thursday 2/28/08 - Silverlake Lounge on at 9:00 PM - with Tulsa and Signal Hill

Download "Resistance St." from their forthcoming album
Read My Old Kentucky Blog Interview

Live Music Options 2/18/08 - 2/24/08

The Henry Clay People (photo by S. Cardoza)

It's another good week for live music in LA. The Henry Clay People on Monday, Everest on Tuesday, the Minor Canon on Wednesday, a good benefit on Thursday and Built to Spill, Pinback and all of the Liars are in town. I made it out a few times last week. The sound was so bad at a couple of them that I can't bring myself to write about the bands. I couldn't tell if they could sing or play...

Monday 2/18/08
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / The Happy Hollows / Kissing Tigers / Death to Anders @ the Echo (Free) - Tonight's being billed the Dave Newton night. Newton has recently produced all bands. The Henry Clay People are a favorite of mine.
[Recommended] The Pity Party / Film School / What Made Milwaukee Famous / Ladies and Gents @ Spaceland (Free) - Solid lineup for the Pity Party residency.
[Recommended] Dengue Fever / Colorforms / The Tourbillon Orchestra @ Viper Room ($10 / free with RSVP to Viper Room) - A free chance to see Dengue Fever on the westside.
[Recommended] Robert Francis /Dawes / Brother Will & Friends (of Brothers & Sisters) @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - This is the last night of Robert Francis' residency because he's going out on the road with Missy Higgins.
Rickie Lee Jones @ Echoplex ($20-25)
The Health Club / The Youngs @ Bordello ($5)

Tuesday 2/19/08
[Recommended] Let’s Independent: Everest / The Transmission / The Bentleys @ Boardner’s (Free) - Everest is my favorite new local band.
[Recommended] The Hives / The Donnas @ the Wiltern ($22.50) - I've seen the Hives a few times and find them very entertaining live.
[Recommended] James Wilesey / Dave Gleason / Old Californio @ Safari Sam's ($5) - Nice country lineup.
Keren Ann / Dean & Britta / Sara Lov @ El Rey ($19)
Iron Maiden @ the Forum ($37-67)
The Kris Special / The Harpeth Trace @ the Echo ($5)
Meiko / Basia Bulat @ Hotel Café ($10)
Van Hunt / Jesca Hoop @ Temple Bar
Ranch Party: Merle Jagger @ Spaceland

Wednesday 2/20/08
[Recommended] Club NME: The Snow / Minor Canon @ Spaceland - The Minor Canon's album was one of my favorite local releases last year.
[Recommended] Wintersleep / Evan Way (of Parson Red Heads) / Will & Ray (of Brothers & Sisters) @ Knitting Factory ($8)
Liam Finn @ Amoeba Music
The Album Leaf @ the Echo ($14)
The Weather Underground @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Luke Paquin @ Tangier ($8)

Thursday 2/21/08
[Recommended] Benefit for Matt Cronk & Manny Nieto’s Studio: Darker My Love / Icarus Line / Tweak Bird / Crystal Antlers @ the Echo ($10) - Matt Cronk is the guitarist in Qui who recently suffered a stroke. Like a lot of musicians he could use a lot of help with his medical bills. Manny's been on the Silver Lake scene since back when you were still living in San Francisco (or Brooklyn).
[Recommended] The Entrance Band / Crystal Antlers / What Made Milwaukee Famous @ Silverlake Lounge ($13)
[Recommended] Pinback / MC Chris @ Avalon ($19) - Pinback's not the most exciting live band, but I like their records.
Girl In a Coma @ Knitting Factory
Captain Ahab @ the Smell ($5)
The Monolators / Wait Think Fast / Summer Darling / Shirley Rolls @ the Scene (free)
Eject / The Hectors / Radars to the Sky @ Spaceland
West Indian Girl / Dios Malos @ Troubadour ($15)
Afrika Bambaataa @ the Roxy ($25)
Brother Will @ Hotel Cafe

Friday 2/22/08
[Recommended] Built to Spill / Meat Puppets @ Echoplex ($24) - Built to Spill doesn't doesn't have the greatest stage presence, but they're still an excellent live band.
[Recommended] Liars / No Age @ El Rey ($15) - No Age recently signed to Sub Pop.
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
Anavan / The Pharmacy / Bad Dudes @ the Smell ($5) - Good lineup.
Foot Foot @ Pehrspace
The Lovemakers / Something for Rockets / Astra Heights @ Troubadour ($12)
The Gray Kid @ Spaceland ($10)
Rocket / Her Grace the Dutchess @ the Echo ($5)
Hazelden / What Made Wilwaukee Famous @ Bordello ($10)
Bone Thugs N' Harmony @ Crash Mansion ($35)
Marilyn Manson @ Wiltern ($49.50)
Divisadero / Foot Foot @ Pehrspace - Record release party for Foot Foot

The Little Death NYC @ El Cid ($15) - See Moby play guitar/bass.

Kimya Dawson @ Amoeba (Free) - Free show at 7:00 PM from the woman responsible for a lot of that music on the Juno soundtrack. If you can't make it down there, you can watch a podcast HERE.

Saturday 2/23/08
[Recommended] Built to Spill / Meat Puppets @ Echoplex ($24) - See Friday.
[Recommended] Jon Brion @ Largo
[Recommended] Buddy @ El Cid ($10) - Buddy writes good songs.
Dirty Sweet / Lions @ Spaceland ($8)
Blaqstarr @ the Echo ($13)
The Coup @ Crash Mansion ($18)
Marilyn Manson @ Wiltern ($49.50)
Billy Joel @ Honda Center in Anaheim ($50-100) - Tickets still remain for Billy Joel

Amnion / Phoenix the Turtle @ Pehrspace

Sunday 2/24/08
Reno in LA: Neil Hamburger / Tom Green / Paul F. Tompkins @ Spaceland ($8)
Holy Shit @ the Echo ($5)
Killola / Girl in a Coma @ the Scene

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - Taken By Trees @ the Roxy

Taken By Trees is the new band name under which Victoria Bergsman performs. She was the lead singer of Sweden's The Concretes and also provided the female voice on Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks." Taken By Trees debut album was released last September and she's coming to the US for a handful of dates in late February/early March.
I have one pair of tickets to giveaway to her show at the Roxy on February 28th. To win send me an email [dukeufo at hotmail] and tell me what your favorite thing about Sweden is. The contest closes on Wednesday February 20th at Noon.
Download "Lost and Found"
US Concert Dates:
22 February 2008 Hiro Ballroom New York NY
23 February 2008 Museum of Fine Arts Boston MA
28 February 2008 Roxy Los Angeles CA
01 March 2008 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
04 March 2008 Triple Door Seattle WA

SXSW Details Emerge

Since I'm planning on going to SXSW this year, I'm keeping my eyes on things.

Details are starting to emerge about SXSW showcases for some of my favorite labels. Daytime parties are starting to get announced as well (this is the best source for those).

Merge showcase @ the Parish on Friday
Destroyer, Radar Bros., She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Shout Out Louds, Wye Oak

Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian/Dead Oceans @ the Mohawk on Thursday
Black Mountain 1:00-2:00
Jens Lekman 12:00-12:45
Bon Iver 11:00-11:45
Evangelicals 10:00-10:45
Bodies of Water 9:00-9:45
Phosphorescent 8:00-8:45
Parts + Labor 12:30-1:15
Citay 11:30-12:15
The Explorers Club 10:30-11:15
Throw Me The Statue 9:30-10:15
White Hinterland 8:30-9:15

Sub Pop @ Bourbon Rocks on Friday Night
Blitzen Trapper, Sera Cahoone, Fleet Foxes, Grand Archives, Handsome Furs, Helio Sequence, No Age, Pissed Jeans, Ruby Sons, Kelley Stoltz

Recently Announced Shows

Recently announced shows:

Stagecoach: Friday May 2nd: Eagles, John Fogerty, Trisha Yearwood, Shelby Lynne, Glen Campbell, Shooter Jennings (on sale now)

Mstrkrft / Z-Trip / LA Riots @ El Rey on 3/2/08 (on sale now)

The Sword @ El Rey on 4/11/08 (Saturday at 10:00 AM)

Kanye West / Rihanna / N.E.R.D. / Lupe Fiasco @ Nokia Live on 4/21/08 and 4/22/08 (on sale Friday at 10:00 AM)

Mary J. Blige / Jay-Z @ Hollywood Bowl on 4/16/08 (presale Thursday at 10:00 AM, regular on sale date Saturday at 10:00 AM)

The Police / Elvis Costello @ Hollywood Bowl on 5/27/08

Ladytron / Datarock @ The Fonda on 5/29 and 5/30 (on sale now)

Brian Wilson @ Hollywood Bowl on 9/12/08, 9/13/08 and 9/14/08

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago

Most of you probably started hearing about Bon Iver sometime last year. This record was self-released in limited quantities before Jagjaguwar signed signed them (it's really only one guy named Justin Vernon) and pulled the record. This being the internet age, bloggers illegally downloaded it in mass quantities and it managed to pop up on a lot of top 10 lists. I prefer to discover things more organically (...finally got an advance from the publicist). The long buzzed about record finally sees national distribution next Tuesday.

I've been listening to it off and on for the last month. The good news, is that I keep returning to it. It's a very easy album to listen to. As Pitchfork and numerous others (including my girlfriend who never reads Pitchfork) have pointed out, it basically sounds like early Iron & Wine fronted by the lead singer of TV on the Radio. High falsetto and gently strummed acoustic guitars. Vernon doubletracks his vocals on most of the songs and a few of the arrangements are fleshed out with subtle horns and drums. Recommended for those of you who like getting rocked to sleep.

Download "Skinny Love" (very indicative of what the album sounds like)
Buy tickets for Bon Iver live at the Echo on 3/20/08
See Aquarium Drunkard's post (and get another MP3)
See Pitchfork's Guest List with Justin Vernon

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Dragons' "Sandman"

Here’s my weekly reminder to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio Thursday morning from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tomorrow’s them is Valentine’s Day. Sylvia will be playing all love songs and Todd will be playing all hate songs.

Each week I make a selection on the show and eventually write about it here. On January 24th, my pick was The Dragons’ “Sandman.” The Dragons are yet another “lost” band from the late 1960s. They were an LA band that consisted of the Dragon brothers (Dennis, Doug and Daryl). Recently DJ Food of Ninja Tune contacted Dennis after crate digging and finding a Dragons’ song on an obscure surf soundtrack. DJ Food wanted to license a sample from the song when Dennis informed him that an entire unreleased album from the era existed. DJ Food liked what he heard and decided to issue it last year on Ninja Tune. (Read more about the history of the band in the LA Weekly.)

When the album came out last year I was intrigued, but then promptly forgot about it. Then on the way home from Palm Springs one day, I decided to stop by Rhino Records in Claremont (which, by the way, is a very good record store). Perusing the vinyl, it caught my eye. When I got it home I was very happy with the purchase. The songs are keyboard-driven psychedelic jazz with nice harmonies. They all have weird little unexpected flourishes. NME gave it 8/10 and had this to say about it: "Mad acid-psych jams that freak out like Brian Wilson's bad days in the sand-pit. Your lava lamp has a new best friend." I agree. The Dragons all ended up touring as part of the Beach Boys in the early 1970s and Daryl became the Captain in Captain and Tennille.

A cynic might say that some bits of it come off kind of kitschy, like it could have come from the soundtrack to Hair (I’m paraphrasing some guy on Amazon who actually gave it 5/5). But it’s well produced by Donn Landee and I really enjoy listening to it. It’s the kind of thing you could throw on in the background at a party and also enjoy actively listening to it on your headphones. The first thing you get when you google the album, is some critic at Prefix who gave it a lame 5/10. The same dude gave the Sublime reissue 5.5/10 so I doubt if he’s somebody I’d willingly take music advice from. If somebody made me rate it on that scale, I’d give it a 7.5/10. Pitchfork and most American publications didn’t bother to review it.

Visit the Dragons’ Myspace page for some edited versions of the songs. Make sure you get down to at least “On the Wall” and “Your Way Too” before dismissing it.

See Spin’s little feature on it HERE.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Release Tuesday 2/12/08

For the first Tuesday all year there doesn't seem to be a very compelling reason to get to the record store. I've heard a couple of these but they didn't motivate me to write about them. Check out Largehearted Boy for a more complete listing. If you still haven't picked up the Vampire Weekend, Radar Bros. and Kelley Stoltz records, you might wanna give those a listen.

2/12/08 Releases:
British Sea Power (at the Echo on 2/28 and Spaceland on 2/28), The Heavy Circles, Indian Jewelry, Robert Pollard (download “Love Your Spaceman”), Sonic Sum, Widespread Panic, Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young cover album featuring female vocalists), The YMD

Monday, February 11, 2008

Live Music Options 2/11/08 - 2/17/08

The Black Lips Play El Rey on Thursday

I think I'm finally feeling well enough to go out this week. Being sick sucks. Highlights of the week are Faster Pussycat and Frank Stallone....
Monday 2/11/08
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / Barcelona / The Monolators / Service Group @ the Echo (Free) – The Henry Clay People are one of my favorite new local bands.
[Recommended] The Pity Party / Twilight Sleep / Karin Tatoyan / The Human Value @ Spaceland (Free) – Another strong lineup for the Pity Party’s residency.
Robert Francis / Tiffany Randol @ Silverlake Lounge (Free)
400 Blows / The Night Marchers / Crystal Antlers @ All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock ($8)
Radars to the Sky / The Coral Sea @ the Viper Room ($10 / free with RSVP to Viper Room)
[Recommended] Greg Proops Chat Show: The Watson Twins / Rhett Miller @ Largo (Reservations booked)
Doctors without Borders Benefit: Buddy, Priscilla Ahn @ Hotel Café
Mika @ Wiltern (Sold Out)
Rickie Lee Jones @ Echoplex ($20-25)

Tuesday 2/12/08
Drive By Truckers / North Mississippi All Stars @ Avalon ($25) – Aquarium Drunkard presents this show.
Talkdemonic @ Spaceland ($8)
Low vs. Diamond @ Viper Room ($10)
The Moistboyz @ Troubadour ($15) – Quite the jokesters.
Abe Lincoln Story @ Safari Sam’s
Rhett Miller @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
She’s Your Sister @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Common @ House of Blues ($40) – Early and late shows.
Rufus Wainwright @ Wiltern ($40-50)
Wallpaper @ Cinespace

Wednesday 2/13/08
[Recommended] I Make This Sound / Le Switch / Amateurs / The Breakups @ the Echo (Free) – EP release party for I Make This Sound. They usually bring out a nice crowd. Le Switch is obviously well worth seeing too.
[Recommended] Willie Nelson @ Nokia Theatre ($35 - $75) – Excellent tickets remain.
[Recommended] Club NME: Andre Williams / Flash Express / The High Society @ Spaceland ($12) – Should be a good party.
Umphrey’s McGee / Dub Trio @ Crash Mansion ($25)
The Weather Underground / Free Moral Agents @ Silverlake Lounge ($8)
Ferraby Lionheart @ Hotel Café
Styx @ House of Blues ($60)

Thursday 2/14/08
[Recommended / Hype Alert] Black Lips / Pierced Arrows @ El Rey ($16) – I thought I’d hate Black Lips just based on their hype, but their last album was good. Supposedly they put on a great live show too.
[Recommended] The Entrance Band / Warpaint @ Silverlake Lounge ($13) – Guy Blakeslee is Entrance. Psychedelic blues, folk. Warpaint is actress Shannon Sossamon’s band.
Was (Not Was) / Brian Wilson / Kris Kristofferson @ Orpheum ($30 - $45) – Brian Wilson and Kris Kristofferon will apparently each do three songs with the band.
Dub Trio / The Vacation @ Viper Room ($15)
The Watkins Family Hour @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Very Be Careful @ Echoplex ($10)
Mellowdrone @ Spaceland ($8)
Faster Pussycat @ Crash Mansion ($15)
[Recommended] Mike Stinson@ Footsie's (Free)

Friday 2/15/08
[Recommended] DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist: The Hard Sell / Kid Koala @ Wiltern ($35.50)
[Recommended] Patton Oswalt @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
[Hype Alert] St. Vincent / Foreign Born @ the Echoplex ($13)
Siouxsie @ The Fonda ($43) – Of Siouxsie & the Banshees.
Chow Nasty @ the Knitting Factory ($10) AC/DShe @ Spaceland ($10) – All female AC/DC (Bon Scott era) cover band.
Fatlip / Boom Bip @ Crash Mansion ($25)
Grand Ole Party @ the Echo ($5)
[Recommended] Mike Stinson / CB Brand @ Charlie O's Downtown (Free)

Saturday 2/16/08
Frank Stallone @ El Cid ($10) – If you wanna get fired up, go to his Stallone’s Myspace page and listen to the first track.
Siouxsie @ The Fonda (Sold Out) – Of Siouxsie & the Banshees.
826LA Benefit: Zooey Deschanel @ Largo (Reservations Booked)
Arabian Prince @ Echoplex ($15)
Liam Finn / Rocco Delucca @ Spaceland ($8)
Drag the River @ the Scene
Year Long Disaster @ the Roxy

Sunday 2/17/08
[Recommended / Hype Alert] Wooden Shjips / Mariee Sioux @ McCabe’s ($12) – Wooden Shjips are a pschey San Francisco band that occasionally sounds like the Doors. But not in a bad way.
[Recommended] Rhys Darby @ El Rey ($13) – The 7:00PM show is sold out, but tix remain for the 10:00 PM show. He steals a lot of scenes as Murray in Flight of the Conchords.
Willie Nelson Tribute @ Echoplex ($10) – Starts at 5:00 PM and features Dave Gleason, Mike Stinson and others.
Baby Dee / BARR @ the Echo ($10) – Early show at 6:00 PM
Electrocute / Har Mar Superstar @ Spaceland
Alex & Sam @ Tangier ($10)
Maceo Parker @ the Roxy ($30)

Friday, February 08, 2008

SXSW - First Bands Announced

The first time I went to SXSW was 13 years ago. I haven't been in five or six years, but I'm starting to think I might go back this year.....

They announced the initial list of bands today. My old friends at the LAist broke down all the bands who identified themselves as LA bands (but missed several with made up city names).

After a very quick glance, here are a few of the bands that caught my eye:

LA Bands:
Abe Vigoda, Airborne Toxic Event, Anavan, Bodies of Water, Buddy, Castledoor, Correatown, Deadly Syndrome, Division Day, Earlimart, Ferraby Lionheart, Film School, Foreign Born, The Happy Hollows, Har Mar Superstar, HEALTH, Ice Cube, Jeremy Jay, J-Rocc, Let’s Go Sailing, The Little Ones, Eleni Mandell, Mika Miko, No Age, Oliver Future, Pity Party, Radar Bros., Jonah Ray (comedy), Jonathan Rice, Sea Wolf, The Watson Twins

Aloha, A Place to Bury Strangers, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Black Mountain, AA Bondy, Bon Iver, Centro-Matic, Citay, Dr. Dog, El-P, Explorers Club, Earl Greyhound, Daryl Hall, Gary Higgins, Jens Lekman, Los Campesinos!, Thurston Moore, Peter Moren, My Morning Jacket, Okkervil River, Dolly Parton, Jay Reatard, R.E.M., The Spinto Band, Kelley Stoltz, Takka Takka, Vampire Weekend, White Williams, Why!, Wooden Shjips, Yo La Tengo

Mel Kadel & Travis Millard Art Opening Saturday

Top: Mel Kadel's Life Jacket / Bottom: Travis Millard's Inner Ear
I'm still feeling a little under the weather, but slowly regaining my strength. If you're not doing anything this Saturday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, there's an opening reception for new solo shows from Mel Kadel and Travis Millard at the Richard Heller Gallery. I first met Travis when he was about 15 and I know Mel through Travis. Music fans will recognize Mel's work from the Silversun Pickups' Pikul EP and Irving's Good Morning Beautiful. Music fans will know Travis' work from the Get Up Kids and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Alcoholics will know it from the bathroom at Little Joy in Echo Park and the Taproom in Lawrence, KS.

Recently Announced LA Area Shows

Recently Announced Shows:

Carbon/Silicon @ El Rey 3/19/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
The English Beat @ the Fonda on 3/20/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Gary Louris / Vetiver @ El Rey 3/21/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Jens Lekman @ the Fonda 3/21/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
GZA/Genius performing Liquid Swords @ El Rey on 3/29/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
RJD2 @ the Fonda on 4/9/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
X @ the Fonda on 4/10/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Jay-Z / Mary J. Blige @ Hollywood Bowl on 4/16/08 (presale began today, on sale to public next Saturday)
Eels @ El Rey on 4/16/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Jackson Browne @ Thousand Oaks Civic Arts on 4/23/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Colin Meloy @ the Fonda on 4/28/08 (on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM)
Peter Moren @ Troubadour on 5/3/08 (on sale now)
Tapes ‘n Tapes / White Denim @ Troubadour on 5/8/08 (on sale 2/21/08)
Tapes ‘n Tapes / White Denim @ Troubadour on 5/9/08 (on sale 2/21/08)
Destroyer / Devon Williams @ Troubadour on 5/19/08 (on sale now)
The Presets @ El Rey on 5/20/08 (on sale now)
R.E.M. / The National / Modest Mouse @ Hollywood Bowl on 5/29/08
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers / Steve Winwood @ Hollywood Bowl on 6/25/08 (on sale now)
Gilberto Gil / Devendra Banhart @ Hollywood Bowl on 6/29/08
Chris Isaak @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/11/08
Chris Isaak @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/12/08
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/20/08
Gnarls Barkley @ Hollywood Bowl on 7/27/08

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Badinger's "Baby Blue"

Here’s my weekly reminder to listen to Sinking with Sylvia (and Sometimes Todd) on Little Radio tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Tomorrow they don’t have a guest, but they do have a theme – the 7” show.

Each week I give you a reminder to listen and also write about one of my weekly selections on the show. On 12/13 they did their best of 2007 and my pick was Okkervil River. I’ve already written enough about them, so I’m going to skip that. They were on vacation until 1/10/08, but I was preoccupied with family matters and didn’t make a pick that week, which brings us to the show on my birthday, January 17th. My pick that day was Badinger’s “Baby Blue.”

When I was growing up I didn’t know the difference between Badfinger and Bad Company. I didn’t get into the band until a good friend of mine played those long lost Pete Ham solo records for me in the late 90s. It was an odd entry point to the band, but better late than never. I pretty quickly tracked down Magic Christian Music, No Dice, Straight Up and Ass. I’ve been listening to them a lot lately because for Christmas my girlfriend tracked down the out of print biography of the band, Without You – The Tragic Story of Badfinger by Dan Matovina. The excellent VH-1 Behind the Music on the band (which they don’t air anymore) had piqued my interest.

As the title of the biography suggests, Badfinger’s story is one of the most tragic in rock history. The band members were the victims of disorganized labels (Apple), naive personal managers (Bill Collins) and extremely unscrupulous business managers (Stan Polley) and bad girlfriends/wives. The band never developed a strong enough identity for themselves. After signing to Apple and having a hit with McCartney’s “Come and Get It” they couldn’t shake the Beatles comparisons. Then Harry Nilsson had a #1 hit with their song, “Without You.” Management is stealing from them, lawsuits abound and a new record deal with Warner Bros. led to ridiculous pressure. For a sensitive guy like Pete Ham, it was just too much and he hanged himself in 1975. His best friend and band mate Tom Evans followed eight years later. The book is well researched and thorough and a really interesting read for fans (although it's a hefty read).

Fortunately for us, Ham and the rest of Badfinger left behind a strong catalog of songs. Capitol put out an excellent introduction to the band called, The Very Best of Badfinger which is a great introduction to the band. I tend to prefer to the Pete Ham songs, but Tom Evans wrote a few gems too. Ham’s “Baby Blue” is probably my favorite Badfinger track. I was re-watching Scorsese’s The Departed the other day and noticed its inclusion. I really like those Ham post-humous released too. “Catherine Cares” kicks off 7 Park Avenue and gives you insight into the kind of guy Ham probably was. It’s such a sweet song about his mom. “Just Look Inside the Cover” is another standout about outward appearances and racism.

Badfinger Myspace page (fan site but you can stream "Baby Blue")
Badfinger performing "Baby Blue" on TV (from YouTube)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Music Releases 2/5/08

Another week and a few reasons to make it out to the record store. The release of the week for me is the Kelley Stoltz, but the School of Language album was a nice surprise.

Things I've heard:

Basia Bulat: Oh, My Darling (Rough Trade) – The Canadian singer has already gotten a following in Canada and the UK. The All Music Guide compares her to Natalie Merchant, which is a decent enough description. Live at the Hotel Café on 2/19/08

Dead Meadow: Old Growth (Matador) – These guys relocated to LA a while back and this is their fifth album. Once again, the All Music Guide nails it, saying it sounds like a blues-rock version of Spiritualized. It’s probably their mellowest record yet. Download "I'm Gone" and "What Needs Must Be" Live at the Echoplex on 2/5/08

: Yes, U (Beggars Banquet) – These Aussies have a dark sound along the lines of Nick Cave and the Tindersticks.

School of Language: Sea from Shore (Thrill Jockey) – This is the new band from David Brewlis who was the lead singer of Field Music. It veers from more experimental, heavily looped tracks to more sedate, acoustic tracks. Some of the tracks have a Shudder to Think, TV on the Radio vibe while other tracks sound like good old fashioned guitar pop. At the heart of it all is good songwriting and a strong sense of melody. Recommended.

Kelley Stoltz
: Circular Sounds (Sub Pop) – Kelley Stoltz’s last album was my record of the year in 2006. I haven’t spent enough time with this one yet to tell you if it’s as good as Below the Branches, but my first impression is that at least half of the songs stand up. The Brian Wilson and Ray Davies influences are still there. The first single, “Your Reverie” has more of a garage rock vibe and even has the line “I would gladly let you set the scene” which I’m pretty confident is a reference to Love, not this blog. You can stream the record from his Myspace page. Highly recommended. I do have a gripe though. Apparently Sub Pop decided that it wasn't economically feasible to sell this one on vinyl. They had the decency to license it to Cass Records, who do a nice job (gatefold), but you won't get a digital download.....
Download "Your Reverie"

Other Releases:
Jason Collett (Troubadour on 3/17), Hot Chip (Coachella 4/26), k.d. lang, Lightspeed Champion, Bob Mould (El Rey 3/25), Nada Surf (The Fonda 3/19 – tour with the Little Ones), Ocrilim, Dax Riggs, Samamidon, Say Hi (Spaceland 3/21), Sons & Daughters (Coachella 4/27), Assassination of Jesse James soundtrack (Nick Cave and Warren Ellis), Nigeria Special compilation

For more new releases check out Largehearted Boy's POST

Monday, February 04, 2008

Los Angeles Live Music Options 2/4/08 - 2/10/08

The Pity Party - That's What Friends Are For

I made it out to a couple of shows last week before getting violently ill. The Radar Bros. show at the Echo was a great time. Most of the eastside music scene was in attendance to pay its respects. I’ll post some photos to my flickr account soon. I also made it out for the Peter Moren show at the Hotel Café. It was pretty sparsely attended which is a shame because that guy’s really charismatic and writes great songs. I forgot my camera, but Pitchfork has photos HERE. I’m still way too sick to go out tonight, but hopefully I’ll feel better by mid-week.

Monday 2/4/08
[Recommended] Vampire Weekend @ Amoeba (Free) – 7:00 PM – Their show at the El Rey next month is already sold out…
[Recommended] The Henry Clay People / Le Switch / Coco B’s / The Natural Disasters @ the Echo (Free) – The Henry Clay People are one of my favorite LA bands these days. Their new EP should be available at the show tonight. It’s well worth picking up. You should already know how I feel about Le Switch too.
[Recommended] The Pity Party / The Happy Hollows / Light FM / Rademacher @ Spaceland (Free) – The Pity Party kick off their residency with a very strong lineup. The Happy Hollows can’t be too far away from doing their own residency, as they’ve already been handpicked by the Silversun Pickups to open shows. We gave away a couple of tracks from Rademacher’s most recent album late last year.
[Recommended] Benefit for Matt Cronk of Qui @ Cha Cha Lounge – Another one of our local musicians has massive medical bills after a long stay in the hospital due to heart problems. Tonight Paul the Guy will be hosting Matt’s karaoke night at the Cha Cha. If you can’t make it out tonight, try contacting Matt or Paul on Myspace to see if you can donate some other way.
[Recommended] Jim, Son of James @ the Scene (Free) – Jim from Helen Stellar
Robert Francis @ Silverlake Lounge (Free) - I'm hearing good things about Francis.
Rickie Lee Jones @ Echoplex ($25 seated / $20 standing)
Carla Bozulich @ Pehrspace
The Karabal Nightlife / Kissing Cousins @ Bordello ($5)
Idyllyst / Icarus Line / Ungdomskulen @ Viper Room ($10 or free with RSVP to VR’s Myspace)
The Stevenson Ranch Davidians / The Digs @ Mr. T’s Bowl (Free)

Tuesday 2/5/08
[Recommended] Black Mountain / Howlin’ Rain @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – Vancouver’s Black Mountain have a new album on Jagjaguwar which is a good bit of proggy, Acid rock. Download “Tyrants
[Recommended] Dead Meadow / Midnight Movies @ Echoplex ($15) – This is the record release party for the (newly) LA band. Old Growth comes out on Matador tomorrow. Download “What Needs Must Be” and "I'm Gone"
Blue Cheer @ Knitting Factory ($15) – Very influential hard/acid rock band. Their first album, 1968’s Vincebus Eruptum was their best. Probably unfortunate their playing the same night as Dead Meadow and Black Mountain.
Artichoke @ Bordello ($5)
The Harpeth Trace / Kind Hearts & Coronets @ Safari Sam’s ($5)
Jesca Hoop @ Hotel Café ($10) – Nic Harcourt favorite

Wednesday 2/6/08
[Recommended] Le Switch / Frankel / Blair / The Weather Underground @ Silverlake Lounge ($8) – Presented by the Aquarium Drunkard. I’m a big fan of Frankel’s album from last year and I still haven’t seen him live. Le Switch is a favorite. Blair recently moved here from New Orleans.
Club NME: Ungdomskulen / Minipop @ Spaceland ($8)
Gran Ronde / Bloodcat Love / Wartapes / Bigbang @ Bordello ($8)
Willoughby @ Tangier ($10)
Lukas Haas / Biirdie @ the Roxy ($10)
[Recommended] Buddy @ Hotel Café ($10)
Velvet Revolver @ Wiltern
Limbeck @ Knitting Factory Alterknit ($12)
The Donnas @ Crash Mansion ($18)

Thursday 2/7/08
[Recommended] The Entrance Band / Tweak Bird / Mountain Party @ Silverlake Lounge ($13) – A couple of local heavy, psych, acid rock bands I haven’t seen yet.
The Kooks / The Morning Benders @ Troubadour (Sold Out) – British buzz band.
[Recommended] Blood on the Wall / Afternoons / Anders and Woods @ Spaceland ($8) – Blood on the Wall is a well respected 90’s style indie rock band from Brooklyn (by way of Lawrence, KS). Afternoons has four of the guys from Irving.
Ceci Bastida @ Bordello ($10)
Lilys /Magic Mirror @ the Echo ($10)
The Gourds @ Safari Sam’s ($14)
Ironworks Music Showcase: Rocco Deluca / Honey Honey / Billy Boy on Poison @ the Roxy ($13.50) – Ironworks is the label that Kiefer Sutherland runs.
Macy Gray @ Hotel Café ($20)
Blunt @ Wiltern
Summer Darling / Twilight Sleep / You Me & Iowa @ Charlie O’s in the Alexandria Hotel
Limbeck @ Knitting Factory Alterknit ($12)

Friday 2/8/08
[Recommended] Super Furry Animals / Holy Fuck / Abe Vigoda @ Echoplex ($18)
The Kooks / The Morning Benders @ the Echo (Sold Out)
Rhett Miller / Jennifer O’Connor @ Troubadour ($20) – The Old 97’s frontman.
Rumspringa / Bad Dudes @ the Scene
Wyclef Jean @ House of Blues ($35)

Saturday 2/9/08
Editors / Hot Hot Heat / Louis XIV @ the Wiltern
Robyn @ Troubadour (Sold Out)
[Recommended] Holloys / Tigers Can Bite You / Shiloe @ Spaceland
I See Hawks in LA @ El Cid ($10)
Mixhell @ the Echo
Crystal Antlers @ the Scene
Bipolar Bear @ the Smell
T-Pain @ House of Blues

Sunday 2/10/08
Oliver Future / 5 O’Clock Somewhere @ Hotel Café
Electrocute / The Lady Tigra @ Spaceland (Free)
Alex and Sam @ Tangier ($10)
Kid Congo Powers @ the Echo ($5)
Wyclef Jean @ House of Blues ($35)

New Music Releases 1/29/08

Several worthwhile releases last week.......

Things I’ve Heard:

The Helio Sequence: Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Sub Pop) – The Portland duo doesn't get much respect from the indie snobs. Pitchfork compared their last album to Dave Matthews and invoked Blues Traveler, which doesn't make any sense to me (although it does make more sense when you look at these Pitchfork writers' Myspace pages, personal blogs, poetry and see what kind of music they're into making). Helio Sequence is pretty good. They play dreamy,well constructed (mostly) electronic pop. You could easily hear a song like "Lately" or "Keep Your Eyes Ahead" in the background of a CW show and there's nothing wrong with that. They put on a powerful live show, which you can see at Spaceland on 2/26. Recommended for fans of the genre. Download “Keep Your Eyes Ahead

Human Bell: Human Bell (Thrill Jockey) – This is Dave Heumann from Arbouretum and Nathan Bell from Lungfish. It's instrumental, largely acoustic music. I've been listening to it a lot while I work. Recommended for fans of the genre. Download "The Singing Trees"

Joe Jackson: Rain (Rykodisc) - This is Jackson with his original drummer and bass player. Jackson's a great piano player and writes really good songs. Sometimes it's nice to hear well crafted, professionally played music. I've been listening to this a lot more than I would have expected. See him at the Orpheum on May 13th. 

Radar Bros.: Auditorium (Merge) - I really like it and already wrote a long review of this record. See it here

Thao: We Brave Bee Stings and All (Kill Rock Stars) - Her voice is similar to Chan Marshall's (Cat Power) but her music is more upbeat and easy to listen to. See her at the Echo on 4/11. Download "Bag of Hammers" and "Beat (Health, Life, Fire)"

Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings) - There are few people in this world I identify with and care about less than east coast, prep school types. Vampire Weekend have been getting buzz for almost two years and I couldn't be bothered with them. Just the site of them in their Izod shirts and a glance at their song titles made my stomach turn a bit. When their publicist finally sent me their album a couple of months ago, I was very pleasantly surprised. It's the most immediately catchy indie pop to come along since those early Voxtrot and Little Ones songs. Hearing them sing about Wellesley girls, Louis Vuitton, Mansard roofs and oxford commas is still slightly annoying, but they more than make up for it with their catchy tunes. The fact that they're able to incorporate ska rhythms and not make it completely awful is a feat in itself. Highly recommended for fans of indie pop.  See them live at Amoeba on Feb. 4th or at El Rey on 3/20 or Coachella on 4/25. 

Local Interest:
[LOCAL] Beck: Odelay [Deluxe Edition] (Geffen) 

Other Noteworthy New Releases:
The Blind Boys of Alabama, Dub Trio, Ida, Jeffrey Lewis, Louis XIV, Shelby Lynne, The Mars Volta, Willie Nelson, Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie), Xiu Xiu, Classic African American Gospel compilation

Friday, February 01, 2008


The fine folks over at KCRW are in the middle of their winter pledge drive. Please take the time to call in or donate online. Some of those premiums they offer are pretty great and if you're like me and spend $100/month on DirecTV, then what's $50 or $100 a year to KCRW? We're lucky to have one of the most influential stations in the country in our backyard. If guilt's not enough, consider the value. They constantly do ticket giveaways that are only available to KCRW members, so you'll probably get your donation back in free stuff.

In other KCRW news, they've announced their SXSW showcase. The show takes place Wednesday March 12th from 8PM to 2AM and features You Set the Scene's friends Division Day as well as Duke Spirit, Ting Tings, Salt & Samovar, Goldspot and Jesca Hoop.

The station also recently announced a series of intimate benefit shows at the Malibu Performing Arts Center. The first of these shows will take place on April 24th with Sia (who, these days, lives part of the year in Echo Park). Tickets go on sale to KCRW members only on March 18th.

And check out what blog they have listed in the Music Resources link on their website. How nice of them.