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March 2nd, 2009
So...Monday again. We have decided to change up it this week and ask for you to tell US about YOUR favorite bands and we will go check them and write about them. So if you have any suggestions, just let us know.
On another note, we just uploaded about 600 shows for the next three weeks to Loudvine.com. Say it with live music this week; take yourself, your neighbor, your friends, or your imaginary lover out for a night of wonderful live music this week. I promise you we got just what you are into and then tell us about what shows you went to.
This week, as we always will, we say again thank you for supporting us and getting the word out on Loudvine.com and we will be giving away our Cut Copy Tix shortly. We also have some other cool contests on the site.
Nico Stai -3/2, 10PM @ Spaceland, Silverlake
Yellow Red Sparks - 3/2, 10PM @ Silverlake Lounge, Silverlake
HoneyHoney -3/3, 9PM @ Largo, Los Angeles
Delta Spirit -3/4, 9PM @ The Music Box, Hollywood
Carletta Sue, Dorian Wood -3/6, 9PM @ Perhspace, Echo Park
Al The Drown Prince -3/4, 9PM @ Dakota Lounge, Santa Monica
The Meka Leka HI's, The Leeches -3/5, 10PM @ Mr. T's, Highland Park
Lukas Nelson - 3/2, 9PM @ Molly Malones, Los Angeles
Tigers Can Bite You -3/4, 10PM @ Bordello, Los Angeles
Thee Makeout Party -3/5, 9PM @ MotionLA, Los Angeles
Visa, Peggy Sue, Valley Circle - 3/5, 9PM @ Troubadour, Hollywood
Robert Francis -3/6, 9PM @ Home, Silverlake
The Mayberry's, Motor Gun Hotel -3/5, 9PM @ Trips, Santa Monica
Halloween Swim Team, Mega Wand, Not The Government -3/5, 9PM @ The Smell, Echo Park
Aya Larkin -3/3, 9PM @ Room 5, Los Angeles
Jen & Abby -3/7, 9PM @ Hotel Cafe, Hollywood
The Greyboy Allstars -3/7, 9PM @ Troubadour, West Hollywood
Chris Pierce -3/4, 9PM @ Hotel Café, Hollywood
Pharoah Sanders -3/5/26, 8:30PM @ Jazz Bakery, Culver City
Palm Thursdays (Grime) -3/5 9PM @ Arsenal, Santa Monica
Sonido Sundays (Reggae) -3/8, 9PM @ Little Temple, Los Angeles
Freedom Sunday's (Hip Hop) -3/8, 9PM @ L'Scorpion Hollywood
Glowin' (Soul) -3/8, 9PM @ Hyperion, Silverlake
February 24th, 2009
is playing at The Smell. I repeat. Thurston Moore
is playing at The Smell.
Reading that as I was browsing the Internet made me freak out a little. But then again, my brain functions differently when it comes to seeing bands and musicians that I grew up listening to. Where most people are like, "Awesome! Hell yeah! Thurston Moore at The Smell for $8", I get nauseated and worried, especially at places like The Smell where artists are known for walking around and casually talking to the crowd. I get nervous at the thought of possibly meeting Thurston Moore. Why? Because whenever I meet someone that has some type of fame or overall inspiration and respect in their field and craft, I act like a total loser. I ramble on and on, end up saying something embarrassing, then try to mend the dumb things I say with laughter and a smile, while my brain is just kicking me in the ass saying, "Good one, Kramer". While sitting around The Smell as the 67 openers played, Thurston Moore walked by me, several times, and relatively close. I wanted to avoid looking like an asshole, so I just scribbled in my notepad.
For those whom may not know, Thurston is the male vocalist/guitarist/brains behind Sonic Youth. There are so many things that I wouldn't understand if it wasn't for me growing up listening to Sonic Youth. They've been making records since the early 80s and were one of the key forces in the New York distorted, post-punk, inharmonious, destructive, noise-rock scene, and they still carry that torch high, not changing for anyone. All 4 members are ambitious, creative individuals that always attempt to work outside of the Youth. Thurston Moore released his first solo album, Trees Outside the Academy, since 1995's Psychic Hearts in September 2007, and was very much like the Sonic Youth material before. Thurston began to play and it was nothing like I was expecting. I was expecting some of his other solo stuff like "Frozen Gtr" or even a Youth gem, but there was no microphone, no band, no set.
All there was, was Thurston with an electric guitar and amp, standing there with his dirty blonde hair in his eyes and proceed to play. He began to screech and torture the guitar for all it was worth, milking it of every ungodly sound and scream that it could produce. The sound was loud and heavy static, and when I got on my tiptoes to look at him, he had a metal rod and was just penetrating the shit out of the strings of the guitar. The cries of the guitar seemed to not be cohesive, but then I started to listen to it. The static had a flow and meaning. It was destructive and off-the-wall bonkers, but there was something strangely beautiful about this clamor and racket. It was incredible. He was doing something that was so different, so anti-pop, anti-media, anti-everything that Thurston Moore was always saying, "fuck you" to for the past 20+ years.
As the thuds, crash and weeping of the guitar increased in sound and energy, Thurston's body seemed to morph with the sound, acting like it's echo. His body quivered and shook as he dived into the audience, where everyone was trying to touch him and his guitar. His eyes were closed and seemed entranced. He is still to this day deeply connected with the noise-rock sound that he helped pioneer. The usage of the metal rods created a profane, sinful resonance and reverberation throughout The Smell, and everybody was staring, mouth and minds opened. It sounded like what would be played in the lowest pit of Hades.
I guess what working at Loudvine has taught me is that no matter how old I get, how much musical knowledge I may obtain, no matter how many gigs I go to, internally I'm still that 16 year old awkward weirdo with huge black hair and horrible eyesight who was too worried about what was in my brain to care about how I looked, and in a way, Sonic Youth brought that out in me. I always felt like they were 16 years old kids that were tired of bullshit 80s radio and made what they wanted. They were always self-satisfactory artists, who liked what they made and didn't give a fuck if your parents hated it. This show was an experience rather than just another show. It doesn't matter when Thurston Moore will play again, where, or for how much. I'll always go see him.
February 21st, 2009
There was some seriously bad juju in the air last night. Everyone I knew was upset for one reason or another. Even I was embroiled in an angry text-message war with one of my so-called friends. Yep, it was just one of those angry-at-life days. So as is my usual habit, I headed to a concert to escape all of the bad vibes. I was at the Highland Park American Legion Hall to see a truly sublime act, The Dagons. It seems that we were all in touch with our inner demon last night because this truly stellar band ended their set in with a sudden and unexpected blast of angry emotion. It was a sight to behold.
First of all, Highland Park's American Legion Hall was a pretty bizarre venue. Psychedelic sitar-garage-rock at a recreational hall for military veterans? Really? Regardless, it was still a pretty sweet place for a concert. Pink hair, dreadlocks, and crew cuts all mingled together with ease. The drinks were especially cheap and The Dagons' small group of followers were very excited. Although they're LA based, The Dagons had been off touring in Canada for a while. Finally they were home and ready to get on stage.
As far as garage rock duos go, they were especially unique. Drew Kowalski provided intricate electrified sitar riffs while Karie Jacobson showed off haunting, gorgeous vocals mixed with solemn, twangy guitar. Together, their music was a unique, passionate blending of sorrowful psychedlica. It's the sort of music you play when you're driving through the desert, alone, and at night. The Dagons can travel through ethereal, sad, and forceful. I really dig their stuff.
Supported by a drum machine during the song, "As Close As You May Ever Get" they even took on pulsing industrial edge. Things were picking up and I could have danced all night long to Kowalski as he played the trippy sitar. But those bad vibes were still in the air, remember? Suddenly: CRACK. In the middle of their fantastic song "In Gingham", Kowalski's sitar cracked. Right as it cracked, an amp started spewing mariachi music. Jacobson (without missing a beat) declared, "The sitar has cracked. Radio transmissions are coming in from space. Folks, it's time for the spare sitar! Tame the beast!" They started to play again, but something wasn't right. Something wasn't tuning properly and...
SMASH! Kowalski let loose his pent-up inner demon. In one fell swoop, he smashed his second sitar into a million brilliant black lacquered pieces. The show was over. To quote the girl standing next to me, "That was so punk." And I will give him full credit, Ravi Shankar never did that shit on stage. I only wish I had had the guts to smash my stupid phone right there next to him. And to see someone smash a freaking sitar on stage? Well, I feel as if my life is complete somehow.
Wouldn't life be better if the next time a friend screws you over or a dmv worker pisses you off, you could just smash really large musical instruments? I want to live in that world... Anyway, The Dagons are rad. I'm counting the days until their next show.
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 19th, 2009
The Bombs may not be the first garage rock band to pump out lo-fi power-pop punk songs a la The Stooges, but as of yet, I can't think of many garage bands in LA that combine that simple, unpolished musical sensibility with the kind of dark, brooding, soulful lyrics and catchy melodies you'll find in The Bombs' music. Drummer Rhianon Jones' relentless, driving drums provide a solid background for vocalist and lead-guitar player Michael Van London's messy, crunching guitar parts. That combined with bassist Eligh Macias' no-holds-barred rock-n-roll bass playing and kick-you-in-the face stage presence makes The Bombs an unexpected treat to watch live. Their energy is almost contagious and within minutes of starting up, the audience was tapping their toes and nodding along with the music, even with new songs not on their recently released album, Black Butterfly. The band kept the crowd engaged throughout their forty-five minute set of relentless rock. And it's understandable that they would have this kind of draw, since not only are the songs irresistibly catchy, but the band members' personalities are not what you might expect for this type of music. The Bombs are a strangely personable band.-- they deliver the rock without any of the pretense and over-the-top showiness that can alienate more sensitive members of the audience, churning out catchy numbers like "The Shakes" with same unself-conscious confidence as on more serious songs like the almost neo-gothic "Under The Dock."
What makes The Bombs stand out from other music of this genre (think The White Stripes meets early Kiss), is the strong vocal melodies provided by Van London and Jones. Sometimes they share singing duties, and sometimes one person does most of the vocal work (Van London sings the majority of the songs.) Songs with the female drummer 's voice taking lead in parts give an extra edge to this wickedly addictive pop rock band. Their sound might be a little hard to describe, but The Bombs are indisputably Rock 'N Roll. Their music, while almost mainstream at times, still flirts with glam rock and other more hardcore genres of music. They are very LA, but in the good, we-know-how-put-on-a-show way, providing musical entertainment that will stay with you long after the lights are off and the stage has been cleared, as you find yourself humming their tunes to yourself for days after the show. Don't be surprised if you start hearing more from this band- from what I've observed, they have the full package and the potential to "make it big." Hopefully they can manage their success without losing track of the soulfulness that puts their lyrics a cut above your average garage rock band.
January 16th, 2009
Aww, I like Elba! Elba is the band that has been making their journey south from Seattle to Los Angeles touring with Navigator vs Navigator. They were the third or fourth band to play last night at The Smell and I was beginning to think I missed them, fortunately I was wrong! So glad they made a stop in our backyard last night. The music scene is sometimes overwhelming in Los Angeles and if you don't stop to check our not-so-known visitors once in a while, you could be missing something brilliant. I'm glad to say that last night I was able to be witness to Elba's subtle wonder!
Elba is a three piece band that will sometimes incorporate a keyboard and make it four, but last night it was three. Sometimes I forget that a three piece band can sound so full! Elba's members are: Nick Cappelletti, Shea Teeley, and Brian Graham. I identify their sound as post-punk, luckily that label is pretty broad and is able to house their huge sound. They perform like a machine! Shea, Elba's drummer stupefied me with his powerful drumming abilities, I mean, I was amazed at how powerful he was, yet their sound was so soft at times, such as in their song, "Capaple Hands."
I predict that Elba will be BIIIIIG! I can only hope anyway...So, I asked Nick, the man behind the vocals, what the band name meant and he informed me that Elba is the name of the first island that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to...so cooool! My only two complaints last night were: 1) the set was too short ("we want more" chants in my head) and 2) it was a shame that there were not many people who came out to check them out.
Elba is heading north to San Francisco, but hopefully they don't span their visits to L.A. too far apart. I was hoping to pick up their cd last night, but unfortunately it wasn't available, but, as a consolation, they will send their fans a free cd if you gave them your address last night. Good move guys! Can't wait to receive "An Avalanche" and play it for friends!
January 8th, 2009
I was in a pretty bad mood last night. My lame friends had flaked on me and I was awkward and alone outside of the Silent Movie Theatre. And it was cold too. Despite this, the excitement of the other waiting concertgoers was infectious. Jimmy Rip and Tom Verlaine were going to be playing live with experimental silent films. Neat right? But wait, music at a movie theater? Wha?
The Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax arranged this badass evening. Despite their name, they play a lot of artsy and cult movies. Everything from anime to exploitation flicks. Inside, the walls are covered with old school silver screen stars. The main theatre is cozy and comfortable, they even have pillows and couches in the front. It was a weird setting for a music concert, but a really cool setup. Basically, the theatre plays a collection of rare experimental silent films while Verlaine and Rip performed along with their own original scores.
Verlaine and Rip are not only amazingly talented musicians, they've been around for quite sometime. Rip is a producer/guitarist who's worked with everyone from Debbie Harry to Mick Jagger. Verlaine, of course, also has a very impressive history, first starting as the front man for the legendary punk band Television, he's been performing solo for almost thirty years. Young and old, he's got a strong following. The Silent Movie Theatre was very, very sold out.
With just a few casual waves to the audience, Verlaine put the punk showmanship on the back burner. Instead, he and Rip put all energy into their music and the images on screen. The duo have been performing to these films about a dozen times in the last 10 years and you can tell that they are masters of their craft. Not just mere instrumental work, these guys made their axes sound like a seagulls caw or a motorcycle engine depending on the image.
On one hand it was a throwback to older times, on the other it was pretty badass. There was something engaging about their live, moody scores. The films themselves ranged from stereotypically artsy (French phrases saying, "You do not dream. It is a flower made of fire.") to slapstick. The opening to "The Fall of the House of Usher" caused a collective "Ooooh" out of the audience followed by string sliding and creepy plucking. "The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra" could go from ridiculous to tragic at the whim of a note. And the hands down best was "Ballet Mecanique." It was a rock-out grand finale of shapes, trains, and dueling guitars.
Despite me being all by lonesome, it was a worthy experience. Punk legends making live music to artsy silent films. I was especially excited to hear that this evening was part of a month-long series. Every Wednesday night in January the Silent Movie Theatre is having live musicians perform with experimental movies. My flakey friends missed out on Tom Verlaine, but I didnt!
January 4th, 2009
I got out to The Smell last night and more often than not, I found myself wondering what the hell I was doing in a room filled with the not so fresh smell of fresh puberty. Ok, so I was probably the oldest person there at the ripe old age of 28, but after hiding in the corner of the club and breaking one chair (yeah, I broke a freakin' chair...way to blend in) I finally realized that my being there was for the greater cause because Santa Cruz's Koalacaust, the third band of the night, went onstage! You know, when I heard them via myspace, I thought this band was gonna be totally boring and repetitive, but I was thankfully wrong! This band is comprised of 5 sexy beasts, including 1 awesome accordian player. I'm not a huge fan of band labeling, but if I had to, for the sake of it, I would say they are essentially a folky punk band and they are ever so engaging at it. I could be mistaking, but it seemed like everyone was there to see them and only them.
They cracked their set open with "Northern" and already that was enough to shoehorn me outta the corner I was making a nest in. These guys brought charge to the show that it was lacking, I mean if the smell of teens wasn't bangin' before, now it was peeling the paint off the walls. Koalacaust
emitted an energy to their anthem singing crowd that was contagious. By the time these guys were onto their second to last song, "Skyscrapers", I was in tamborine and accordian dreamland. Koalacaust
also covered "Debaser" a Pixies tune! Next time I hope to see them break out the mandolin, which I've heard good things about.