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January 31st, 2009
Last night...what can I say about last night? First of all, I'm one of those people who doesn't like to miss the opening of the act that I'm going to go see...which means I am always on time or a bit early to the show. Last night, I went too far. I didn't want to miss Wonder Wheel perform and I had no idea what order the bands would go on. I know that bands never start on time, I know that. But, I had never been to L'Keg and I wasn't sure how promptly they started. I got there at 8, as if I had never been to a show in my whole life. I knew I would be waiting. At least there was much flier art and local band photos on L'Keg's wall to admire! After staring at the walls for an hour, I was bored. I was tired. I wanted to be in my warm bed at home like an old lady. The place was a ghost town for a long time. The couple people who were there stared at me, or maybe that was my imagination. I was uncomfortable to say the least. I wanted to leave countless times, but I knew that would be a mistake. I was there to hear good music and I was going to stick it out. Wonder Wheel finally went on around 11:30 (early in the grand scheme of things, but I had been there for 3 hours already!) and I was elated!
Paul A. Rosales is the creative mind behind Wonder Wheel. He opened his set by asking everyone to stretch, which they did, even the guy selling pipes in the back got up to stretch! Listening to his music live was a pleasure. It's sci-fi, lo-fi, echo, happy, and sad. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. Paul is engaging. He tells us where he is in his career, what his grade point average is, what song is coming up, and where he is playing next. It's simple and genius self-promotion. I'm always amazed when not-so-well-known bands forget to tell us their next gig and don't pronounce the name of their band clearly, but Paul knows how to promote Wonder Wheel and seems well put together, organized, and smart about the business.
Once he started, the crowd (his friends?) was shameless, and I mean that in the best possible way. They were excited, happy, drunk, and disorderly. They danced to Wonder Wheel's intoxicating music, they did push-ups, piggy-backed, laughed, rolled, and snaked across glass, yeah, glass! There was even partial nudity being exhibited! I would have participated, but I'm too old and cool, haha! If I were 8 years younger maybe I would have been so brave.
Paul tells us that he is always writing and creating new music. Last night we heard " Crimes," a new 7" that is coming out, it was amazing! I must say that if you haven't heard of Wonder Wheel and want to check him out, start by listening to "Body Language." It's hypnotizing fun! Wonder Wheel will be at Space 15 Twenty on Febuary 1st and it's freeeeeeee (trying not to sound like that matress guy in the commercials).
January 31st, 2009
"Who is Wale again? I'm not quite sure if I've heard his music before." It's Thursday night and I am walking out of the 9000 building parking ramp headed towards the busy Sunset boulevard intersection. My companion for the evening is inquiring about the artist we are about to go see at the already sold out Key Club. An artist whom has both a big buzz and a big line outside the venue we are approaching. "He's from DC" I say with a fading tone, "Sort of has a gogo meets hipster style to him, but not too hipster, more underground than hipster..." I too am left with a blank definition of the performer. Struggling to explain who Wale is poses a challenge, as I know of him but am not familiar with him. It's stumping the two of us that this well heard of MC has such an unheard catalog. Maybe I've just been out of the loop, but there hasn't been any Wale tune to cross my musical radar. I couldn't name a song of his from his own project, yet here I was about to join the masses in seeing him perform. Was I caught up in the hype? No, I've had Wale on the radar for a little more than a year now, my friends out east in the District being the first to hip me to him. "Yo, this dude Wale is killing it out here in DC!" And over this past year, I have seen great promo and press follow the guy. A Nike boots song here, a kid kudi feature there...but still, I couldn't spit a verse or even drop a catchy hook title for my personal assurance. I returned back to my companion and reminded her that this was going to all be new to me.
As we approached the Key Club, it was indeed packed with well dressed and L.A.'s best, broke and bourgeoisie, industry and hinder-me clientele. The line was long so we stood outside to politic for a bit amongst the hungry. Amidst the hugs and daps, what up's and call me's, a thought ran across my mind that maybe I wasn't the only one out of the loop. I decided to test my theory. I went up to an industry associate friend who we will call Fred and asked Fred if he could name me Three Wale songs. Now I consider Fred to be a pretty hip guy, he happens to work for a pretty prominent record label, does work with tons of artists and clothing lines, and like my self, knows what's hot in these streets. To Fred's credit he got two songs. By the time we had gone inside, got situated, and found a good vantage point to watch the show, I had run my little quiz by a few more friends. It seemed I was apart of a greater majority who were familiar yet unfamiliar with Wale and his music, but all had heard great things about the MC. Where we sat, next to me sat two very out of place looking young kids. Both of the kids were White and bore the underage X's on their hands and too me, without sounding to shallow or racist, did not seem to fit the demographic Interscope had in mind for Wale fans. I asked them both why they liked Wale, and I got an answer that seemed scripted yet from the heart. "It's because he speaks from the heart, he's relevant for my generation without being too status quo. I like what he has to say in his rhymes. Ever since a friend put me on to him I've been a big fan." Wow, talk about a diamond in the coal. The one sincere answer I get about this artist nobody can tell me about is from a shaggy haired 17 year old who looks like he would be more at home at a Phish concert than at a Wale show. I was impressed.
Later on, as Wale's set was about 20 minutes in, I looked over at the well spoken teen and saw him taking a nap...
Wale's set turned out to be really dope. He was backed by an eight piece band, represented DC and GoGo to the fullest, and even brought out some Cali love to the table with guest appearances by Warren G and Bishop Lamont. He also included a guest appearance by Sweden rap sensation Adam Tensta to perform a few tracks. If you are unfamiliar with GoGo music then please, Wiki the genre. It's a staple to DC life. One of my favorite parts of the set was when Wale took the time to run down the history of GoGo music with the Los Angeles crowd. Starting with The Junkyard Band and taking it to Spike Lee's film, "School Daze", the crowd was extremely receptive to the Mambo Sauce (refer: GoGo Wiki) and raw energy that Wale stirred up! Wale gave the audience a lot of love and a lot of heart, and every aspect of the set was well put together. As I was leaving, I couldn't help but think about what it is that generates the hype machine. That's a whole other piece but I do know that sometimes, like last night, being caught up in the hype isn't always a bad thing.
January 30th, 2009
N.A.S.A.'s freshman release, The Spirit of Apollo may very well be the next step to world peace. I know, I know, I am an idealist but seriously, these guys get it. If your thinking to your self, who the eff is N.A.S.A.?! then don't feel bad. They're still a bit under the radar... But trust me when I tell you that these guys geeet it. And get it good!
N.A.S.A. is a joint project between Brazilian DJ Zegon and L.A. based producer Squeak E. Clean. The duo is not a bunch of space enthused astronomy nuts, rather the name is homage to one another's homelands and creative partnership, North America South America. With an amazingly long list of guest features and collaborations, the vision behind Apollo is one that for me encompasses what the beauty of music and art is all about, bringing people together. These two have managed to echo the creative ideals that Handsome Boy Modeling School and the Gorillaz opened the door for, by taking it a step further with the intentional goal of breaking down musical boundaries to bring different types of music fans together. They have executed this vision well, by not only bringing in the likes of people like George Clinton, Lykke Li, The RZA, and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, but by also incorporating amazing visual artists to produce and interpret their music for the albums videos. The visually diverse and eclectic videos are laced with original art work and animation from Shepard Fairey, Sage Vaughn, Mark Gonzalez, Barry McGee, The Date Farmers, Splunny, Marcel Dzama and others. The artists were paired with directors and animators who brought their images to life on the screen which at the album release in Hollywood's Cinespace, was received with aw inspired rounds of applause. The album already has three videos under its belt and it's not slowing down.
Though "The Spirit of Apollo" is not set for release until February, the justified hype and anticipation surrounding the record continues to build. After spending many years and traveling many miles to create this record, the culmination is finally beginning to reach it's climax. The global concept and execution of Apollo is a reflection of the duo's vision and hope of different walks of life coming together on one record. Recording in Swedan, Jamaica, New York, Los Angeles, and that's just to name a few- it's amazing how these guys have been able to pull off such an organic sound and mash up so many different artists. One of the album's first singles, "Money" features David Bryne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge and Dj Z-Trip. Another song, entitled "Gifted" features Kanye West, Santogold, and Lykke Li. E-40, Chali 2na of Jurrasic Five, Gift of Gab, Tom Waits, Kool Keith, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Fat Lip, Spank Rock, M.I.A., George Clinton, The Cool Kids, and many others all have in studio features and original songs contributed on Apollo (minus the deceased).
Already having dates that tour Europe and North America, it will be a surprise at each show with who or what may show up and do a feature during N.A.S.A.'s already stimulating DJ set. At Cinespace, we saw Sam Spiegal (Squeek E. Clean) spinning an array of dance music getting the mixed crowd hype and ready while the screen behind him played an assortment of videos that matched his up beat pulse. As these guys go on the road, it will be interesting to see how their vision will begin to transcend border lines, politics and races through their music and art. I for one, am excited to see the pieces come together!
January 29th, 2009
Kill Deville killed Wednesday night, pun intended, at The Scene Bar. I haven't attended a punk show in quite some time now. I think the reason for not going to punk shows in a while has been because Kill Deville hasn't been in my life! I was initially hesitant going to see them last night. I had my previous experiences going to punk shows fresh in memory and I must say, I have not always had such a good time in the past, but that may have been due to the people I went with, my state of mind, or the fact that I was trying to be something I wasn't. But, I was totally clear last night. I was there for the music and that was all that mattered.
Kill Deville is: Joel 'Scabz' Deville (vocals), Dan Deville (bass), Turtle Deville (guitar), and James Deville (drums). This band is powerful beyond words. They caught me with the first thunderous drum beat. Their sound is hardcore and pierced the small bar. The vocalist was intense, I mean, I don't know how one could talk and engage the crowd after singing with such vehemence. I have the utmost respect for their talents and nipples, yeah, I said nipples! Thanks for providing the peep show, Joel!
I found myself wondering where everyone was last night. I know there is a huge fanbase for hardcore punk, but where were they last night? Kill Deville deserves a big, thunderous, ruckus crowd. There was a handful of pumped up men in the crowd to support Kill Deville and they could have fueled a stadium with the testosterone they were pumped on. I don't know if girls were allowed there last night, no, there were a handful sitting on the sidelines, me included. My excuse for sitting was because I didn't want to break my nose, ha! Seriously, I have a thing about being bopped in the nose with an elbow, even while sitting I was afraid it would happen! Luckily, I got out with nose intact.
Ok, if you are looking for a hardcore, funny as hell, head-banging, talented band to spend your night with definitely chchcheck 'em out!
January 27th, 2009
Marvelous Toy. Finally. Finally. Finally. Amen. At last, after an exhausting day, I made it a point not to miss them at Spaceland. I have this habit of missing this band's shows. Not last night. And let me tell you I was fired up to listen to Marvelous Toy.
What a treat. And can I tell you that listening to Marvelous Toy do their thing live, made me think back to how I initially learned about Marvelous Toy's music, via their Myspace. It just does not do justice for Marvelous Toy. Its good, don't get me wrong, their album is really good. But listening to them live is totally great. Their sound is massive on stage, engaging its audience with a little sense of pulsating beauty and love to every dam note. And so rich lyrically. Dam. Once their set begins, its like they understood I needed something special last night. Right to my core and moved me to a thunderous drum rhythm, they grabbed a hold of me and did not let go until their set ended. And a little beyond that. Finally, the schedule aligned and I was just a fan in the audience at Spaceland to one of our favorite bands at Loudvine.com.
Marvelous Toy was two keyboards, bass, drums, toying with you last night, and the entire packed Spaceland crowd on this chilly LA night enjoyed every ounce of it. Marvelous Toy warmed me up, to my very being, tickling my every sense of the feel good part of my musical senses, and I did not want their music to let go of me last night. Marvelous Toy has a fun, and monstrous sound on stage. From a folk twang to rock and beyond, Marvelous Toy has a bit of everything on stage, but really it boils down to that live, they are absolutely wonderful.
They have the upcoming shows at Silverlake Lounge on February 9th and February 15th at The All Star Lanes. Go to one, got to both and you will not be disappointed. I promise!
January 26th, 2009
So. We know our calendar is Masssive
. So from now on, we you'll give you a few of our favorite upcoming shows:
We've highlighted some of this week's gigs for you below but for a full listing of EVERY SHOW EVERY NIGHT, go to Loudvine.com
and be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to get additional event details in advance. Peace.
• Monday Night Residency - 1/26, 9 PM Rocco Deluca, Marvelous Toy, Pawnshop Kings @ Spaceland, Silverlake
•Kid Sister - 1/29, 9 pm@ Echoplex, Echo Park
• Theresa Anderson - 1/30, 7 PM @ Hotel Café, Hollywood
• Radio Free Silverlake Benefit with Xu Xu Fang, Radars to The Sky, Light Fm - 2/1, 9 PM @ Spaceland, Silverlake
• John Boutte and Paul Sanchez - 1/30, 9 PM @ The Joint, West LA
• A Page Of Madness With The Gas Lamp Killer - 1/28, 8 pm @ The Silent Movie, Hollywood
• Calvin Johnson, Sharon Cheslow, Devon Williams - 2/1, 9 PM @ The Smell, Echo Park
• Eleni Mandell - 1/30, 8 PM @ Hotel Café, Hollywood
• Thriving Ivory, Barcelona, The Record Life - 1/30, 8 PM @ Troubadour, West Hollywood
• Ricky Rivera, with Sub Collect, and El Manifesto - 1/30, 8 PM @ Scene Bar, Glendale
• The Honorary Title - 1/27, 8 PM @ Hotel Café, Hollywood
• Acoustic Artist Showcase with Dan O'Sullivan - 1/26, 9 PM @ Trips, Santa Monica
• Billy The Kid - 1/28, 11 PM @ Hotel Café, Hollywood
• Adele - 1/30, 9 pm @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles
• The Clumsy Lovers , The Deserters , Neon West - 1/28, 7 PM @ The Mint, Hollywood
• Bud Shank Quartet - 1/29, 8 PM @ Jazz Bakery, Culver City
• Nasa Space Universe, Okie Dokie, God Equals Genocide - 1/30, 9 PM @ The Smell, Echo Park
• Puppy Dog, Rooftop Vigilantes, 4 Da Kidz, The Widow Babies - 1/27, 9 PM @ The Smell, Echo Park
DJ SET'S :
• Mad Monday - 1/26, 10 PM @ The Standard, West Hollywood
• Palm Thursdays - 1/29, 9 PM @ The Arsenal, Santa Monica
• Vibrant Friday's - 1/30, 9PM @ Zanzibar, Santa Monica
• MoHo in Los Angeles with The Groove Junkies - 1/30, 10 PM, @ Libertine on Sunset, Hollywood
• Blue - 1/31, 10 PM @ Blue Velvet Lounge, Los Angeles
• The Palms Weekend - 1/29, 9 PM, @Saints & Sinners, Culver City
January 26th, 2009
Love. Love. Love this band. Love their music, love their vibe. And I am talking about Japanese Motors. I know I'm using the word love a lot. But in fact if I ever venture to the 949 or 714, I'm going to go hang out with them, maybe record shop, annoy people and just hang out with these guys. But for one night, it was just a treat to sit back and listen to Japanese Motors just a few feet away from me.
And all of this at Saint Rocke in sleepy Hermosa Beach. Japanese Motors takes to the stage, owns it from the first drum crushing note and your off on another night of killer live music. This night's soundtrack is provided by Japanese Motors, on the tail end of their show at The Echo the night before. Their is something humble about these guys that makes you appreciate their music even more.
This small but amped crowd knows they are seeing a quality band, the type of band that usually does not come through this part of town. And Japanese Motors certainly did not disappoint last night. And the crowd were excited to hear Japanese Motors perform. I know I was. The thing about witnessing something truly great is at some point you wonder if the fools around you recognize the same greatness you did. Fuck it, I cannot speak for the other peeps in the crowd, but I know I did. These Costa Mesa kids came to town for two shows and owned the stage both nights. We need them to do more shows in LA. What started off as a hobby for these buddies is now a dynamic band with cool music that devours it on stage.
There is something "classic" about their rock and roll. Mix it in a punk attitude that makes for a group of buddies making music the only way they know how, their own way, and you have a powerful band on stage that just has fun. Its infectious and makes you simply feel good. And all over. Maybe its the connection between two guitars and bass being right in front of you like other great four-piece rock bands with a drummer beating the shit out of his set, maybe its just about an easy feeling that comes over me when listening to Japanese Motors, but whatever it is, they did their thing to perfection this night.
The thing I noticed, is this band actually smiles when on stage. Its subtle, its a rare treat to see it, and you just know they are doing what they want to be doing. Talk about powerful, then the jimmy leg and the neck bob kicks in as they power their set. Man, I felt reaaaaaaally good listening to them. I hope this small crowd appreciated and understood that they got to experience Japanese Motors which is always a treat. I know I did and I'm letting you know they got some yet to be determined dates on their way to SXSW, and don't miss them.
January 26th, 2009
Whoa, mamma! We Are The World performed Saturday night at Echoplex and they were off the hook! I might as well be typing this in hieroglyphics because my words alone do not give this band the justice they deserve.I've been listening to them via the internet for a couple of weeks now. I knew I was going to be in for a night of musical and visual bliss, but what I witnessed at the Echoplex last night went far beyond my expectations! They were perfect...that's it...pure perfection.
We Are The World is: Robbie Williamson behind the infectious percussive beats, Megan Gold, their vocal queen, and the smashing, agile dancers that you can't take your eyes off are, Nina McNeely and Ryan Heffington. Their performance is a perfect polygamous marriage of theatre meets pantomime meets acrobatic ballet meets industrial beats! I was stunned by the synchronicity of the music and dance. The choreography was spot on and Ryan and Nina delivered continuously without missing one beat. As I looked around, I expected a dancing audience, but for the most part all I noticed was a crowd that looked like they have never witnessed anything like what was on stage.
The climax of last night's performance came at the very end. A long sheet with holes was raised behind them and all four of them went behind the sheet, stuck their heads and arms behind the sheet and danced about while performing The Cure's "Why Can't I Be You" and I must say their version rivals the original, uh, oh! My favorite song of theirs has to be "Afire," it epitomizes their sound.
Upon leaving the venue, I saw Ryan Heffington standing on the sidewalk talking to someone and I desperately wanted to tell him how much I loved them, but I was so starstruck! We Are The World will be performing at The Airliner this Tuesday, the 27th. I must say, We Are The World has raised the bar for bands. I don't think I can go see a band for a while without expecting such a visual delight. Thanks guys and I'll see ya Tuesday!
January 24th, 2009
I will keep this brief. And my apologies for not putting this up earlier:
The amazing thing about 2008 was the power of a leader on a mission, greater then himself, and all about mobilization and bringing people together for the greater good. Now we must live by his challenges and help stop the BS that is INDIE 103.1 being shut down.
Our city, without music, just does not make sense. It would be like denying us shelter, water, food, and the right to have something that we just need. Its our right and its run by the people for the people. Music on the airwaves is something we should not fight for, it should just be something that is protected.
Please help us support Katie and others from LET INDIE LIVE and all the peeps that are working so hard trying to bring INDIE 103.1 back. Please forward this posting and sign the petition at LET INDIE LIVE. You can also help on Facebook by clicking on Bring Back Indie group.