Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I Like the Movie Slapshot So Much: Ed Harcourt, Eulogies, and Army Navy @ Spaceland, June 4, 2008

Well, I was able to drag myself out of a dark, dark whole of work to get to a show last week over at Spaceland. If Ed Harcourt can come all the way from England to play here, then I can get myself to the club.

Here's a thought. Does Dewars own some kind of right to be the only alcohol that is offered for free or close to free around LA? It seems that ANY time I am out at a place that is their only drink special. Now, I don't mind the stuff. I have a pretty tolerable palate for most things alcohol- this coming from the person who in high school thought Rumplemintz was the shit. Anyways, I can drink the stuff, albeit mixed with some diet coke, but some of my other friends have such a negative reaction to it, grumbling phrases like "it tastes like socks" or "it tastes like band aids". It tastes like Scotch, not 60 year aged scotch, but scotch nonetheless (please feel free to tell me how little I know about being a scotch connoisseur below, really I'll totally appreciate it).

Right, so there was a show. Army Navy. I'm not sure where they are from, somewhere on this coast line I believe. My initial reaction was that they were non-offensive, happy, sunny indie rock. The lead singer had hints of Robert Schneider in his voice, although my friend who accompanied me this night stated that if he didn't remind her so much of Tobey Maguire she could not listen to him. Now, what I am about to say could, inevitably, stop all 5 of you from reading this blog anymore, HOWEVER, I will say it anyway. I was perfectly happy with the band until they did a cover of Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From"... then I loved them. This, technically, was the last full song listened to in my car before we parked for Spaceland. I make no excuses for loving that song so much, and they did a very nice cover, so I think it's justifiable that I sang along and decided to forget that all of them were wearing skinny jeans. If I hadn't had so much of a buzz on by the end of the night I would have checked to see if they had their EP for sale, cause I refuse to purchase anything off ITunes. I don't own an IPod so I don't see the point.

The second band, Eulogies (although I didn't catch their name once during the set so I had to go back and look it up), was hit or miss with me. Also, they kept alternating between a 3 piece and a 4 piece (one guy kept wandering off and on the stage). It was a lot darker in contrast to the first set. I am looking back at my notes now and noticing I was reference Voxtrot and Varnaline- although the latter I have no idea what I was thinking. I found I enjoyed their more energetic songs more, perhaps because it was provoking some more emotion from the band, myself, and the crowd.

My first thought when Ed Harcourt took the stage was that he reminded me of an old Timey apothecary and Josh Brolin's character in "No Country For Old Men". But then the voice coming out was British. Harcourt's music makes me think that not all piano based British bands have to suck. He is dark, funny, and a good storyteller by way of Waits and the like. Oh yeah, I'm making that comparison. Granted, there were several technical difficulties this night, but he waved them away with some chit chat. There was a 'full' band tonight as well, including a trumpet and violin. The combined effort of the 6 musicians though made it sound even 'fuller' than just 6 people. The songs were coming from his latest (although technically it was released in the UK TWO years ago) album, The Beautiful Lie, as well as other releases- I recognized "Born in the 70's" from 2004's Strangers. It was a good show, even if he didn't cover cheesy 70's songs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We Got Some Soul in the House: Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves, and Jail Weddings @ the Echo, April 17, 2008

I think I can say, without any doubt, that I have been to one of my favorite shows since last August (that would be for the Old Time Relijun show). HOLY CRAP. To think I was going to miss this for lack of company... Tonight the Echo was transported to some alter reality where a young twenty something white boy from Massachusetts sounded as if he was coming off a Stax 45 from the '60s. Magical folks, truly magical.

I was a late arrival, but did get there in time to catch Jail Weddings. Who, as I've mentioned before, are a group of really talented people, fun to watch, and tonight were a perfect match for the headliners. For more notes on them, check back over here.

Now, there's those bands that you listen to and are like, well, yes, I've heard this before so why should I care. And then there are those bands that fit into a niche and the sound is so genuine you have to stand up and clap. Or maybe wave your hands around and yell. And that's what it was like watching Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves. I think I kept turning to my friends and, with jaw dropped, kept pointing and saying Can you believe how awesome this is? It was just hard to make the connection between what I was hearing, the powerful old school rhythm and blues and soul sounds, and what I was seeing, this exuberant young, white guy who was moving the crowd with the simplest howl from his lips. And although the paring seemed off, it just felt right. I'm actually at a bit of a loss, because everything I want to write about him seems like I'm not giving him enough credit. And i don't want to gush like a school girl. All I can say is that this man can channel Otis Redding, and it gives me chills.

You can check him out again in Los Angeles at Spaceland, May 19th.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Some Club Soda Will Take That Stain Out: Jay Reatard, Mika Miko, and Bad Parents @ All Star Lanes March 31, 2008

There is another show looming in the not very distant future this week, so I thought I'd crack down and talk about one I went to like, 2 weeks ago. Jay Reatard everyone!

Apparently this was a 'secret show', I think done by the Listing Ship guys- I could be off, if I am- sorry bout that. I found out about it because it was listed at upcoming.org. And then because I'm 'friends' with the FYF guys on myspace, I had it confirmed through them. The thing about these types of shows is that you really don't know how crowded/not crowded they will be. I was warned it was going to sell out. Oh,yeah- it was at All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock. A bowling alley. With a stage space in a bowling alley bar, kinda tight. So, we decided to play it safe, get there early and bowl a game, cause I like to bowl with a crazy passion.

Apparently though we got there really early. The show didn't start until past 9. We showed up at 7:30 to bowl. The lineup for the night was Bad Parents, Mika Miko, and Jay Reatard. When Bad Parents starting playing I was so happy that there was something going on that I immediately was just like- YES, this band is the greatest ever!! After the initial shock, though, I thought they were good. I'm quite a fan of anti-surf guitar riffs and their playing was enjoyable. However, I was not in the right mood to listen to screaming. I can take it sometimes, but not this night. I think though that maybe I should give them a second chance some other time.

Second up was Mika Miko, that crazy group of girls. They're always a fun show. I think though that my feelings are still the same as the last time I saw them.

Finally Jay Reatard played. We got right up to the stage, which only was about a foot- maybe- off the ground. And in his usual fashion, launched straight into his intense stage presence. Off stage, Jay Reatard was completely mellow and just standing around watching the bands play. But onstage, this must be where he lets everything go. And when he started playing- a mosh pit formed. Really, not joking. The last time I can even recall being in the midst of one I can say was probably some 10 odd years ago. After 3 songs, I pushed my way outside of it, cause I couldn't actually concentrate on the show, just avoiding contact with people. However, moving to the outskirts of the pit still did not prevent jackasses from thinking it's funny to pull people who are obviously just trying to stand there and watch the show. So, some guy got my elbow in his face. Sorry dude, but you totally deserved that. Anyways, the show seemed slightly longer than usual. Possibly clocking in at 35 minutes. But I forgot to check my watch for exact times. I did end up with blood on my purse, which is just fucking gross. And sharpie. Dammit. However, seeing Jay Reatard preform is always fun, and even with the escalated males testosterone violence, I still had a sweaty good time. I'd recommend standing at least 50' away from the stage though to avoid spit and punches.

Friday, March 28, 2008

They're Still Head Banging Over Here: 400 Blows, Tweak Bird, Ancestors @ Charlie O's March 21, 2008

One band I rave about but find hard to get people to listen to is 400 Blows. Either the person doesn't know the band, and when I explain what they sound like they do not want to go see them, OR they've heard of them and are scared to go and see them. I think I need to work on my explanation of the band a little more. I guess Loud doesn't cut it. I could throw in they have a good beat? ... You can dance to it? I dunno, anyways, this post, eventually, will be about Ancestors, Tweak Bird, and 400 Blows downtown over at Charlie O's.

LA Record loves to host shows at Charlie O's. The name, for me, is funny because it is the name of this crappy seafood restaurant/bar back in my home state of RI. And then to go to this wonderfully decrepit bar/club here, well, calling it Charlie O's instantly makes me twinge slightly. The memory still persists apparently.

K, so the first band up was Ancestors, a local band, which got an ok review from a friend of mine prior to the show. They play loud, slow, metal, droning rock.. and the singer/guitarist still HEAD BANGS. This amuses me for some reason. They were ok enough to listen to; live maybe better than recorded. I found them a slow choice to play with the other two bands tonight. But, whatever, it had been a LONG while since I've seen a band like this and I didn't' DISlike it, so...

2nd to play was Tweak Bird. Tweak Bird is a fun band that at first reminded me sorta of DFA1979, but somewhat harsher. And then a friend chimed in with "sounds like early era Rush except more metal...". Both, I find, work as descriptions. Their live show is pretty energetic, very sweaty and the losing clothing kind. Getting closer to the stage, one realizes however that the audio set up at the place sounds 'off' the closer to the stage you are. That can be fixed if you move off to the side though, or outside. It sounded pretty clear outside too. The one comment I'd like to reiterate about this band is this: SIGN THEM. Really, they would probably sell a bunch of records. They are good.

3rd and last was 400 Blows. Again, the audio comment. WTF was up with the vocal mix for them? Terrible. Getting someone to go see them for the first time and having to apologize for the way it was coming out into speakers was sad. Their performance was great except for that part, so distracting. Blarg.

Anyways, there's a 'secret' Jay Reatard show tonight. OH, and sorry for no live photos, I even had the camera out a one point but forgot.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Then, What IS Your Name?- The Ting Tings @ the Jensen Rec Center March 11, 2208

This is going to be a short post, for a couple reasons. Firstly, I'm going to a show tonight, therefore I'd like to have all my 'pending' reviews cleared out of the inbox. Second, this was a short show.

So, the Jensen Rec Center looks like a ratty shit hole on the outside, but inside is this uber slick artistic 'space' that they say you can turn into anything you'd like (to pay for). Maybe my superhero costume themed birthday party can take place here... I'll have to inquire about their fees. Anyways, since venues never like to post actual times up for bands, we showed up somewhat early, and in finding that the band was not scheduled to be on for another hour- and having no clue who the other bands were playing with, oh, sorry, tonight we came down to see the Ting Tings- perhaps I should have mentioned that at the start of this post. Although there will be a title when I finish writing this so I guess you would have read it.. there.. ok, moving forward, we ended up taking a detour drink break over at the Little Joy and happened upon a dead pony:

There seemed to be a miscommunication as to whether or not the Rec Center had a bar. Apparently it is event specific. They had one tonight, however, thank GOD I had some cheap PBR over at the LJ, cause drinks at the Rec were pricey. $10 is WAY too much, especially when it is a rec center.

So, tonight's show I guess was hyped up by a local popular radio station and, knowing that, was porportionately crowded. Oh! But they have air conditioning vents blasting up from the floor, which is clever- sorta. So we found one and parked ourselves stage right. We lucked out with some kinda less crowded bubble there unexpectedly. The side stage view was totally fine, she kept turning towards us during the set and the drummer was positioned so that he was pretty much looking to the side of the stage anyways. We were pleased, except for the camera flashes from the front, which made me do what I usually do not do, and that would be to shoot with the flash on.

The whole set I think lasted maybe 30 minutes. This would have been acceptable except for a few reasons. Mainly though that the price that was posted EVERYWHERE before the show turned out to be $2 MORE, even if you were showing up ONLY for that band 5 minutes before they started and had every intention of leaving as soon as they were done. I hate that, very much. Also, their outlandish drink prices. It was just irritating. But I will admit that the music was fun. The sheer hilarity of some of the lyrics shouted out above delayed music loops and possibly laquered chuck taylors was amusing. And it's always fun to bounce around a bit, I will never knock that. The fact though that when some music stations hype stuff ultimately leads to the price of the freaking air going up in price just for the event just seems abusive. However, it is a business and that's the way they choose to do theirs, and many people do not have a problem with it. I guess it's cheaper than the Staples Center. Eeesh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dork Out!- Nerf herder, Killola, Echo Hawk @ Safari Sam's March 7, 2008

Catch up time. I have another review sitting from last night, however, since this is steadily growing into a several day old show, by default- Nerf Herder.

Yeah, really, Nerf Herder. Like, from my high school days about a decade ago. That is one thing you can count on in this music blog, variety, and bands you've either never heard of or you thought had broken up years ago.

Right now, when describing a band as pop-punk, I usually get a sour taste in my mouth. It immediately makes me think Blink 182. That is the connection in my head pop-punk=blink 182. However, Nerf Herder comes from a time when pop-punk usually meant 'fun', like the Mr. T Experience or one of those bands. But for the sake of consistency and not seeming like I'm mixing terms, I'll refer to their style by their self described 'nerd rock', which is appropriate if i say their name and suddenly the image of Princess Leia calling Han Solo that jumps into your head- I know you're out there reading this....

Anyways so walking in to Safari Sam's we caught a set by Echo Hawk first. They were sorta a mixup with garage band mentality- and I do mean garage band, as in playing to some friends in a garage the night prior, and sorta drony stoner rock. Although they seemed pretty new to the stage (tuning between songs is ok if you can do it in 2 seconds not if it takes almost a minute), they did have an excellent drummer, a good beat, and catchy songs. So, there, just maybe some more time and they'll be a whole package. I liked them well enough and I stayed for the whole set. Unlike the next band...

Killola. There was some mixup of times for tonight because at 10:30 Nerf Herder was supposed to be playing and then some band comes on with a chick singer and me and my friend turn our heads and question if we are in fact really seeing Nerf Herder tonight or there is some sorta horrible mix up and we're forced to watch this band. Now, keeping this all in mind I was NOT giving this band a chance. At all. Cause I thought maybe enough time had passed that some sort of severe line up change had taken place and I was bound to hear 'Van Halen' played by a screaming woman's voice with bright yellow eyeshadow. But then they said they were thrilled to be playing with the band tonight and suddenly I felt really stupid to think that I could have thought I'd forgotten Nerf Herder so much that I was actually thinking that this was the shell of a band I once enjoyed, a long time ago. So stupid that I felt the need to share this embarrassing story with you all. So once we new we had at least 20 minutes to kill we left and got some air only to be accosted by some drunk dudes who went by names similar to Johnny B and the Lieutenant. Killola had a decent sized following this night, what with scores of kids singing along, but I just wasn't into it.

So if you don't feel like standing amongst a pitiful excuse for a mosh pit, there are some great balcony seats at Safari Sam's. I prefer the ones to the left of the stage... Looking at some notes I took while Nerf Herder played, the first idea I apparently had was that it's funny to see a band where the lead singer can be confused with the guy that changes the toner on your xerox machine at work. But that's the great thing about some of these dudes still playing in the band that you liked 10 years ago, they just seem normal and happy to be playing. That normality they portray in their awkward stage antics, or goofy lyrics is making some kid out there feel a little bit more secure with their current high school social status. Everyone is a nerd in Nerf Herder land, and that's fine. Tonight was great for the variety of people on the floor- fists punching, one finger pointing into space, and even, Primus Jackets. Oh, and the set was fun too. They insisted on their right to play new songs (they do have a new album), but did some old ones too (Diana, You're Gonna Be The One Who's Sorry, Pervert). It made me reminisce a little and made me realize how many other kinds of music I listen to now.

The only incredibly disturbing element to this night was the young girl who kept molesting this old man in front of the stage. To set the scene a little, earlier that night she was grooving by herself, dressed relatively nicely- nothing to indicate that later should would break into some kind of psychotic episode where she has to grind up against, and pull the small, white tufts of hair from a man upwards of 60. She, with her lack of general good taste in public, kept stealing the show. I had to make a mental note to close my gaping jaw at one point. Wow... you gotta love the people watching at these shows sometimes.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rock with a Twist Show (I don't even have to come up with a clever name) with the Monolators @ the Scene, February 21, 2008

Nothing will bring me out faster to a club than the call of free food. It is a sad but true fact. For example, this show at the Scene. I had kept off the myspace for a couple days and for some reason or another found myself back on there and noticed a bulletin: Pretzel time! Clicking on it I was to find out that

  1. the Monolators were playing- who are quickly tying with Bodies of Water for local band I've seen A LOT.
  2. Mary from the Monolators was making pretzels, soft pretzels, not the hard crappy kind.
There was no reason to turn down this show, and also, the other bands in the line up all seemed worth checking out.

Turn out in the beginning was, at best, roomy. How could so many people not want pretzels? Did they honestly think there would be some left after the first hour? Anyways, the first band up was Friends Of Dennis Wilson, from Detroit. The easiest way to describe them would be to call them psych-rock, which they were. But they didn't tip too much towards the hard side of that genre. If you like the Warlocks, or maybe Dead Meadow or Ride, you'd enjoy this band. The amusing part for me was the lead singer's funny little dance he did the whole time on the stage, with his down parka (or at least that's what it looked like). Coming from Detroit, you'd think the weather would be like summer for them out here. Ah well...

Now, I caught the beginning of the next set by Summer Darling, who are just that, darling. However, I got caught up in a lengthy discussion about pretzels and missed out on the rest, and the next set. Oops, sorry guys, I owe you a proper review soon, promise!!

Finishing off the night was a riotous set by the Monolators, who not only kick major rocking ass, but make some mean pretzels too. They even took requests tonight (well, one...)! It was just a three piece lineup this evening with the second guitarist absent. They played some fan favorites, and a few whose names escape me. I don't think I'll ever get tired of Strawberry Roan...

Oh, and apparently this pretzel making show is going to be a bi-monthly event. Holy cow, right?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Austin Fever: YellowFever, Her Girl Friday, Dylan Doren @ the Smell January 25, 2008

I will not lie to you all. I only went over to the Smell because I found out YellowFever was going to be playing. Initially I didn't know who else was playing and really wasn't concerned because I had the yellow fever.... Sorry, that was ridiculous, it's early right now. But getting there at 9:30 and sitting through the first two sets two things became apparent: I can listen to noise rock with ear plugs and actually enjoy it because my ears do not feel like they've been permanently damaged, and the first two bands were un-expectantly fun to listen to.

There's this trend at the Smell to just slide from band to band, and many times band names are not said. Or, a band name is missed because suddenly they are already playing and you're still standing outside the club. So, that's my introductory excuse as to why I'm not 100% on the first two band names (if you know what they were, please feel free to jot down in the comments below). The Smell attracts a LOT of young people/bands who are really into the noise scene. Really into it. Expect one of the bands in a line up there every night to fit this genre. The first person/band up, and don't get mad if I mix the names here, I believe was Dylan Doren. Now, that could be the guy's name, or the band. I say name but what do I know? His set began with about 10-15 minutes of him sitting on the ground with some keyboards, a pedal, and microphones. My first thought brought be back to seeing Mincemeat or Tenspeed at Pehrspace back in December (sorry, no review, but you can listen to the show here!). Now, I enjoy noise, when done well, and when they added some live drumming to the mix, the whole musical experience suddenly made my attention snap right to them. The drum beats were live, but had the quality of feeling like they were sampled. The songs were pecked with these tiny screams that could barely make themselves heard over the instruments, forcing you to pay attention to the two people before you. They really turned it into an unexpected surprise performance.

Second up was Her Girl Friday, a 3 piece all girl band that included their own bubble blowing robotic looking chick standing in front dressed like she belonged at an anime convention. I'm not sure what 'look' they wanted to achieve by having this; 'cute' I guess comes to mind. The three blended guitars, keys and drums into a dark, droning pop sound. At times they reminded me a bit of Electrelane and other songs were a bit tipping towards bands like the Warlocks. Heavy, melodic, occasionally screaming tunes. They were also surprisingly enjoyable.

And then right into YellowFever. I can't remember which blog I first heard about this Austin band from. I want to say Gorrila vs. Bear, because any good music coming out of that part of Texas I will hear about through their site. In the usual Smell style, there were some technical hiccups. One I swear was as close to the 'brown noise' as you can get. I felt really bad, cause later the drummer was saying how it fucked up his ears bad. I think the problem was that the vocals were too low and the bass too high, and the attempt to fix it by the guy who runs(?) the Smell, made it the opposite of fixed. It terminated "Cats and Rats" a bit short, which was too bad, cause it's a cute song. Anyways, stuff started to go better from there, launching into (in no particular order except for what I can remember) Metarie, Hellfire, Joe Brown, and Culver City. I'm missing some, but I forget which. It would have been even more awesome had they played Alice, but I'm not complaining, they came to L.A. and I will be perfectly satisfied with just that much. Their music crosses between bands like Stereolab, Tuscadero, Heavenly, and in some ways reminds me of earlier music from the Breeders. But there also feels like there is this darker streak just under the surface of their music. The quite, sometimes somber tone to the lyrics, backed by the more poppy bass and guitar notes makes for some more bittersweet concoctions. At least I get that in there sometimes...

Right, ok, this post is starting to get a bit long. I just wanted to direct your attention to Austin, TX for a moment. Austin seems like this magical far away land filled to overflowing with great bands and constant flow of incredible albums. The city makes me jealous with its green-ness awareness and cool shows and really nice people, compared to living here in L.A. But then I remember a friend telling me it 90+ยบ for most of the year. And then L.A. seems ok, and Austin will just have to be that awesome city I visit.

Coming soon: Dare I step into the Smell for a second night in a row?!?!?!?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Waiting for the Stage to Break: Jail Weddings and Man/Miracle @ the Echo January 20th, 2008

Going to a 'Part Time Punks' show at the Echo makes me feel old, and I'm not really old. Maybe it's the drug induced pogo-ing or the Charlie Brownesque stand-in-one-place dancing going on around me as kids talk about how awesome it is to dance to Iggy Pop. What? Really? Anyways, sometimes you have to brave the queerness of young adulthood to go see a decent band. Jail Weddings earned such an honor this night.

I already had two naps by 10pm tonight, so I was lively enough and willing to catch the first band: Man/Miracle. I couldn't find any additional info on this band (edit: see below), however I believe that they said they hailed from Santa Cruz, or someplace with a similar name. Anyways, these boys were quite the energetic bunch- screaming and pounding away on their instruments, we reached the conclusion that they were a cross between the band James and the Strokes, if both combined to make a band you'd want to listen to. And we did! If you read this blog with any regularity, it's pretty obvious that I will walk away from your set if I find my time could be spent better elsewhere. However, I spent most of the set bouncing along and open jaw gaping at the amount of drum solos there were. Maybe, actually, that's why I like them so much... the drums. That's how they would end (at least it seemed that way); every song felt like they were trying to invoke the spirit of John Bonham, maybe a giant gong would have helped. Only two things slightly dampened this performance: one audience member apparently was shitting himself due to the aroma coming off his person, and moving to the complete opposite side of the room only helped slightly. And two, the last song Man/Mission played kept reminding me of a Bon Jovi ballad, except that unexpectedly it would pick up and get loud and pretty rocking. I had mixed feelings about that one.

After that set there was the discovery of a man selling a couple cases of records stuck in the back corner. I probably would have lingered longer had he been outside, however, he did have a copy of Los Yetis- therefor he is awesome and I hope he is selling again soon.

I had to break away from the records once Jail Weddings came on. How can you not be distracted by the completely FULL stage of people with glittery costumes and screaming main singer? I know I was. I witnessed this band last year and was completely taken by surprise. They describe themselves as "an updated take on the darker side of the '60s girl group blueprint with swamp-pop leanings, all combined with mean-streak mutant torch song drama." but with a mainly male lead vocal. Watching the stage puts me into a weird trance-like state. Perhaps it's the OOhing and Aahing that is so reminiscent of the bad 60's girl rockers (Oh Shangri-Las, how I love you so), or the maybe the bands ability to stick a violin in the mix and still make it sound 'hard'. One aspect I like about Jail Weddings is their ability to play off the idea of wanting to sound like this genre, embracing it but then tweaking it enough to sound new, and honestly, not like many other bands out there. So kudos to you guys putting on another memorable show. And sorry that my photos were kinda crap.

Coming soon: YellowFever and why Austin would be the best city ever if only the temperature wasn't so damn hot all the time.
EDIT: Ok, so the Echo had the band name spelled wrong for the opening act. It was Man/Miracle NOT Man/Mission. OOps. Anyway, for more info, please click here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back in Black (Boots): Everest and the Mezzanine Owls @ Spaceland January 14, 2008

Does anyone ever get concerned about the lack of air at Spaceland? Whenever I go, the next morning my eyes look like I spent the night before throwing sand into them and then sewing them shut. However, I tend to forget all that once I re-realize that the PBR on tap is $2.50 a glass. Tonight was kinda a stumbling in on a show. I wasn't expecting to go, but there I was, and thankfully I caught two bands that everyone has been buzzing about like crazy little bees.

First up was Everest, who for the most part have 'supergroup' attached to their name when being spoken about in conversation, albeit music reviewer know-it-all talk, but conversation nonetheless. Comprised of members of alaska!, Earlimart, Slydell, Folk Implosion and Great Northern, they all could have tricked me as a backing band for James Taylor. Kidding, it's the shaggy hair/ beard thing, it makes me think of folk bands from the early 70's. Anyways, they did have that quiet sensibility to some of the songs, although their faster tunes quite rocked everyone's butts there. All the praise getting thrown at them is worth it, unless they start asking for bowls of only red m&ms. Their first full length is out in April, which seems like an awfully long time from now.

The second, and last band I caught, was the Mezzanine Owls, who myself and my friend kept stumping ourselves trying to figure out who the lead singer reminded us of. I kept saying to myself, that british guy, he sounds like that one british guy. But I never really came to any conclusion, except that I really, really enjoyed their set. There was a lot of that staticy noise that gets attached to shoe gazer bands, and that highly, emotionally charged voice that rings out over the crowd. Oh, and some of that geeked out rock solo stuff snuck in too. I feel like I need to catch some more of their shows, at which point they will have become a staple of this current LA music scene.

I would have had some photos for here, but due to the inability to lift my arms over my head due to the crowd of people with large shoulder padded jackets (is this really back?), I will have to instead rely on some stock photos. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Smells Like... damp hair: A Look Back at Some Shows of 2007

Part of the point of this blog was to keep me actively trying to get my butt to go to shows. For the most part of 2007 it worked. I was pretty into it and believe it or not, there were even shows that I went to that I didn't have time to write a review for, *gasp*. Except for the end of this year. That, embarrassingly, came to almost a grinding halt due to too many hats, exhaustion, and burning out among other things. I'm starting to pick the pace back up, and by that I mean I've been to one show this month- and it being now the half way point of the month.

But that's enough moaning for now. You've landed here to have me shove my opinion of the top live shows that I've seen in 2007. God, what an egomaniac I must be...

Frog Eyes @ Spaceland- There should have been a bigger crowd for these guys.
Andre Williams @ Safari Sam's- This performance proved that a man even closer to death than Hugh Hefner can still woo the ladies with sexy talk.
The Ettes @ Spaceland & the Scene- What a show those 3 put on. Single handedly restored my faith in the Garage scene in LA.
Anavan @ the Scene- Clothes came off and there was a dragon... seriously, how can you top that?
Matt and Kim @ the Echo- Everyone playing that night was excellent. Even though it felt like a sauna in there you couldn't help but dance and sing along to that charismatic duo.
Oh No! Oh My! @ the Echo- So many keyboards.
Bodies of Water- To list all the venues that I've seen these kids at would just take up too much space. They are hands down, one of my favorite acts to catch here in LA and if you haven't seen them yet I should smeck you. *smecksmecksmeck*
The Monolators @ the Scene and Pehrspace- The Pehrspace show is one of the "unlisted" shows from this past December. I DJ-d that night for No-Fi "Magazine" so I thought maybe some kind of conflict of interests should keep me from writing about it...who am I kidding, I got lazy and forgot to write. Regardless, the Monolators are another local fav of mine. Their energy is crazy and it's always tempting to sing along with them.
Jay Reatard @ the Scene and the Echoplex- Chaotic. That's all I can think to sum up his shows. Maybe also 'spit'.
Old Time Relijun@ the Echo- This tops my favorite shows of all shows for 2007. Screaming along to 'Cold Water' while only about 25 people showing up to see this band. And for the handful of us there, they put on a spectacular show.

K, I promise you all another review soon for Everest. No really, soon.