Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kit & Con

So I should have blogged about this a long time ago being that I have been back from London for a few weeks now and I saw this band play in London and I didn't really have the time to write about them then so now I am going to talk quickly about that and also review their album, 23 Kilos, that I bought from them after their show.

Kit & Con is a 2-piece band and just cause I saw them in London doesn't make them a brittish band but are transplants for the time and the bassist she is Canadian and the drummer he is Australian and they are rocking and providing the only bass-drum only sound that I know of. I think I fell in love with them from their first song which was added as a request and done with only vocals and drums and I was blown away by Miraka's sulty and amazing singing voice. But moving on from there they just kept playing fun songs that I hadn't heard anything really like it before. In a live setting just bass and drum gets such a cool groove going in every song and I was glad when people started dancing during their song "Bad Bartender" as their music made me want to move my feet even if my dancing skills are very much in question. And during Bad Bartender Simon broke into a badass drum solo which their just isn't enough drum solos going on indie music clubs. It was a really fun fun night I had The Spice of Life and Kit & Con were the definate highlight of the night and what stuck with me.

Kit & Con's sound does not dissapoint on cd. Their isn't a weak track out of the bunch and I just cannot get anough of Miraka's voice. It has such a seductively sultry tone to it that I am in love with. They really get the most of out of their instruments and surprise with the depth of their sound infusing influences of pop, rock, indie and a bit of dance while always staying fun and catchy. If you want to pick up a copy you can grab one directly from them at EOI Productions.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Henry Clay People - The Fakers (music video)

boom The Henry Clay People have a new music video check it out below.

The Henry Clay People - The Fakers from The Henry Clay People on Vimeo.

Super fun performance music video to go with the song and as you know from my post about it I loved their last album so yeah...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Möngöl Hörde vs The Wheelbarrow

So I got a couple other nights to still blog about in London but I am skipping right to the end, which was my last night there because it was an epic night full of win.

Did you know Frank Turner had a new side project called Möngöl Hörde? Neither did I some 20 hours ago. Then like seven hours later I was at their debut show at The Wheelbarrow. But before I get too far ahead of myself I have to talk about the opening artist, Oxygen Thief.

So when Oxygen Thief started I thought he was going to be just a rehash of Frank's solo sound as he was British and played acoustic with a punk feel, but quickly he made me realize he had his own thing going. I have never heard so much aggression and heavyness coming from someone playing acoustically. And he was tearing it up on the guitar, playing it like it was lead guitar for some post-hardcore punk band. He had fucking breakdowns going on and just was playing with so much ferocity and emotion I couldn't help but get sucked in and be in awe of his music. He has got such a unique sound, he is solo and playing on an acoustic guitar but it is in no way folk music. It is acoustic hardcore something I wouldn't think would be possible but Oxygen Thief not only pulls it off but completely dominates while playing his heart out. Also he did one badass and super fun cover of M.I.A.'s Paper Planes that the crowd got involved in singing along enthusiastically.

Then came the reason this little Pub in England was at capacity or even over because there was no room in the place it seemed. I had some lofty expectations after checking out a couple of Möngöl Hörde's songs they had released on youtube and being blown away by the couple tracks they had put up. This wasn't just Frank going back and doing Million Dead again which is a band I never really got that into. To be fair I only heard of them after the fact because I fell so in love with Frank Turner's music I needed to find and consume everything he had created, but after giving his hardcore punk band roots a listen through I never went back to it. Möngöl Hörde is its own unique powerful beast that is more metal and noise rock than just hardcore.

And Möngöl Hörde and the crowd absolutely fucking nailed it! For being their first ever show you could never tell, as they played flawlessly and tight throughout the whole set. And the craziest part was how relentless every song seemed, just full out aggression that wouldn't let up song after song. I guess their were a couple slow or quiet parts but that was only to show a little contrast and make songs more interesting. But then the aggression would fly back out harder and faster it seemed. And frank could scream for ages it seemed and never lost his power and even had a few different levels to it which helped make the songs more dynamic. Oh and did I mention this was a three-piece band consisting of drums, guitar and vocals only that was making this flawless cacophonous rocking music.

What really completed the night in it's legendary status was the crowd. Frank Turner and old Million Dead faithful made their way last minute hyped and ready to bring it up a notch. And from the get go the notch was brought higher then I knew it could go. Plus while it was extremely crowded super hot and sweaty the mosh pit always stayed friendly. This was a mass of people all there to let go of their inhibitions and give their bodies and souls to rocking out and not about committing violence on others. Not that I didn't take shots from elbows and fists to both the body and head but that is the cost of doing business in the thick of the pit. (That also included a whack to the head from Ben Dawson's drumstick when I go knocked and fell on stage at his feet just missing taking out part of his drum set thankfully) The amount of energy and love and the complete lack of separation between band and crowd made this a special night, one I won't ever forget and will quickly come up when talking about best show ever attended.

And then it was over, it felt like forever and I was ready to keel over and die but apparently it had been less than an hour as it was just before 11 and they went on a little after 10. But just because the music was done didn't mean the night was done. After cooling down for like 20 minutes outside I grabbed an ice cold pint of cider with ice which hit the spot and made some new friends with fellow shell shocked attendees of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Just got to thank Frank again instead of letting me leave when I used the last of the pounds I had on me he bought me a pint and a shot and the night continued. I also guess I need to go buy my ticket to his show at the HoB Anaheim because I told him I would see him there. As well Ben couldn't have been nicer and didn't need to keep apologizing for whacking me on the head with his drum stick when I fell on stage.

You should also go check out the blog post by the lovely Alice I met that night at her blog Town Called Alice. There is also a great slideshow that Dan Griffiths put together that capture the night. I also took a crappy video with my iPhone that I uploaded to YouTube that what it lacks in sound quality, it makes up for capturing the atmosphere and insanity of the room. I would love to see more pics or videos if you were at the show post them in the comments...

The Lock Tavern Thurs. Aug 16th 2012

So a few nights ago I made my way down to Camden around 8:30ish and nothing was oing on at The Wheelbarrow or pubs in the immediate vicinity s o I grabbed a pint at The World's End and enjoyed the metal they played over their sound system. As I got bored there by myself quite quickly and wasn't ready to call it a night so I headed north from Camden Town station to explore. And boy was I glad I did as eventually I came upon The Lock Tavern where I could here the sounds of live rock n' roll coming from the place out on the street.

I made my way up to the venue part of the pub upstairs, this small room with just enough room for a stage and a bar of it's own was jam-packed people rocking out to the band Lovepark. So I instantly fell in step and worked my way into the middle of the crowd. This was a very fun indie rock band with just the right amount pop to their sound. What sticks out the most for me was they had what seemed like their own signature guitar style. Not that every song sounded the same just the way they played their cool little guitar licks had a uniquely Lovepark vibe to them. Such a fun band that I picked up their single on vinyl and made this a worthwhile adventure out in Camden.

Next up were some very young lads going by Cowboy. I wanted to like them more than I did just because I really dug all the electronic atmospherics that the lead singer added with his MacBook live on stage which was quite cool. One thing for that show just wasn't up to par was the guitarist singing voice. I don't know if it was just that nights live performance or just he wasn't consistent enough but I wasn't feeling it when he sang solo. They all were very talented musicians and had some dynamic songwriting that I really enjoyed. Most of all their drummer was just aces, he blew me away with how fracking unbelievable he was, just wow. So while their set had some ups and downs and didn't have the crowd going like the band before them, Cowboy is definitely a band to remember and follow as they are so young and so talented that it would be a mistake to not pay attention to them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Wheelbarrow Aug 15th 2012

So I lost track of time and forgot how long it took to get all the way down to Camden from Wimbledon and ended up strolling in late about 9:30 really just in time to catch the of the set by The Widows. They had a fun punk/roackabilly sound to them with some fast, fun and good guitar and bass lines. Also the drumming was spot on in all the songs I heard and they even had a keyboardist who on the last song played electric violin that really added to the depth of their sound. But the real star of their set was their lead singer whose energy was up to legendary levels and it didn't matter that I couldn't understand a word out of his mouth there was so much passion and emotion and rock n' roll pouring out of him that I couldn't help but get into them. I hope they translate in recorded form to sound as great as they did live.

Next up came and quick but powerful set from Kitty Junkbrother whose poweful vocals blew me away. The sad thing was most of the pub seemed more into their own conversations then giving her due respect because she was an artist and musician that you should be listening to. She only played four songs because that was all she could remember to play on the acoustic guitar but that was enough for me to be floored by her talent and especially awesome vocal performance. She apparently plays more often with her keyboard so I think I need to look up some of that stuff because her music is what stuck with me tonight and has me pining for more.

Well that did it for the night I got to remember to head out earlier while in London as I forget how the nights end young here music was down by 10:30 pm...

Monday, August 13, 2012

catching up in London

So I went out tonighit to The Belford and it was pretty uneventful and an odd night. So they had like 6 artists on the bill and they all play twice but only 2 songs each time. Well I rolled in their late just as the second act of the second half was finishing and they tried yet mostly failed to get the crowd to sing along with their chorus of "damn facebook". Of the next four only one really did anything for me and that was Lucine Bell who had this intense dark and moody sound while playing some of the heaviest acoustic guitar I can remember hearing. Also for some reason reminded me a bit of the band Bush.

So now I am going to bring it back a few days when I went to this small place called The Betsy Trotwood for a show presented by Music Earth Rise on the 7th of August. I was intrigued by Emma Wilson. She had this really endearing and lovely quality to her voice and great charisma while still pulling off a genuine cute shyness between songs. The last act that played was Otti Albietz who was a lot of fun. While singing he was having a blast and his energy and good spirit filled you while he sung. His voice showed great range in power and melody and just had such fun unique song writing that makes me want to go back and listen to him again.

The next morning/early afternoon I went to go see Itchy Teeth play again at BT live in Hyde Park. BT live was this mini-festival like setting they had setup for the olympics with bands playing and multiple giant screen TV's playing the different sports. Before Itchy Teeth played there was another singer/songwriter, Meg, that I really enjoyed her sound and style she was rocking. Meg songs had such and fun and quirky feel to them that was infectious and catchy. I would love to hear her play in a more natural setting for a rock show then a quick 25 minute set at 11:30 in the morning. And then Itchy Teeth came on and rocked out and proved even playing at noon and 100% sober that this was a fun band that I like alot.

Now this brings to my night at the Spice of Life where I walked in confused by the first artist being that he was a country singer from the states who was good enough but just not my cup of tea. The second band of the night was called Playmaker and really rocked the fuck out of the place. They had their amps up all the way and weren't messing about in their straightforwad alternative rock sound. They had great energy and played well with some great guitar riffs but I just couldn't get super into them. But I got a free EP from the band and will see what I think of them recorded on a second or really more listen and probably get a review up of it sometime after I get back to the states.

And so it is time for me to talk about Itchy Teeth again. I can already tell I am in complete love with this band after three shows I just can't get enough of them. Their live shows are just so much fun and even better when you know the tunes already. And they really brought it this time getting the whole pub it seemed to dance through their set. Though it migh not have happened without some help from the lovely Jessi who pulled everyone up front and out of their seats like a boss and the music kept them up and dancing. Itchy Teeth's music has such a fresh breath of air feel to it while still playing a style that harkens back to the great bands of the 60's where it was just fun to play rock n' roll and dance the night away. I hope to see them again and again before leaving London in 9 days time. Not just because I love their music but because of all the friends I am making through the band at their shows and afterwords hanging with them in the pubs makes me never want to leave London.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Wheelbarrow in Camden - London

Well I finally got out for a night of music in London town and it was a hell of a time. Made my way to The Wheelbarrow in Camden based off a recommondation I got off of Frank Turner's forum. It was a long but easy trek as I only had to catch one bus plus one tube to make my way down there. So I got there early and found a seat at the bar, feeling like this little pub with a stage tucked back in the corner was just what I was looking for. I started the night off with Guinness as seems to be what to do out here to get the night going and made quick friends with a great fucking bloke named Simon which helped pass the time til the music started.

The first act was sounding like a good singer with some catchy enough tunes as he played by himself with just his acoustic guitar. Unfortunately don't recall his name or much of his music as I was too busy conversing with Simon and meeting his friends which included the second band of the night.

Which brings me too the fun pop/rock british indie band Itchy Teeth. I think at the beginning my dancing in the front had more to do with the drinking plus the two cute Brittish girls that my new friend was friends with were dancing in the front but that quickly changed as their infectious fun sound really drew me in. But it was really their last song of their set, "Did We Lose the War", where it got mental and just blew me away. It was by far their most hardrocking track, but it was really just phenomanal and they just completely and utterly nailed it. They were beckoned to play an encore and continued to nail it for one more song. All in all Itchy Teeth played like legends last night I should see them again before I leave London and will be following them online for sure.

By the time the third band came up I had gotten pretty pissed and was right up front again and digging on the tunes played by Red House Glory. They had a more straight forward rock and roll sound to them and had some very cool and interesting guitar lines. I would definately keep my eye on more from this band as they said they were very new and played quite a few songs for the first time live.

As the music ends early and they kill the bands at 11 so it was still time to drink with my friends from Itchy Teeth plus the lovely Jessi until it was time to hit the tube home before they ended for the night. Good times were had and good music was found so mission accomplished lets hope all my nights out for music go so swimmingly well...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Murder By Death Kickstarter

So this isn't an LA band and they have a pretty good following but not enough people know and love their music yet in my opinion and thusly you get this blogpost. Murder By Death have a kickstarter going on that already hit their goal but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get involved in any of the awesome stuff that they got going on for pledgers. I picked up the special edition LP and would have gone for more if I had the money to spare. They already released the first song(single?) for their new album and it is a catchy little tune. MBD has such a confidence in their sound which can jokily and sometimes aptly described as whiskey devil music that I instantly love everything I hear from them. This will be their 6th studio album and should not disappoint in the slightest. So I will embed the track, "I Came Around" below for your listening pleasure.

Also watch the video they made to promote their Kickstarter as it is hilarious and might just save your life...

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Sanglorians

So The Sanglorians have a indiegogo project to fund their first album. I remember when I blogged about their show I was at a while ago really digging some of their songs and wanting to hear more of them. Well hopefully soon that will come into fruition with this crowd source DIY effort to record their first album. I have already given to the cause and thusly I wanted to shine another spotlight on their efforts as they got a week left at the moment and every little bit helps so support local music like a boss and donate to their cause to help make great music. They have a music video for you to check out that I will embed below...

Sanglorians "Heartstrong" (2012) from Sanglorians on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amanda Fucking Palmer

Time for a post to venture outside of the local music scene and talk about a much more well known artist but definitely not mainstream artist. I have been a fan of Amanda Palmer's music since a friend showed me The Dresden Dolls "Coin Operated Boy" and I fell in love with their completely unique at the time punk-cabaret theatrical musical style. Though my following of Amanda Palmer's music whether with her band or solo career has wained as nothing really lived up to the awesomeness of The Dresden Dolls self titled debut album. I didn't even know Amanda Palmer had already put out a second solo record and this wildy successful kickstarter I am part of is for her third solo release.

Though what Amanda Palmer has put out in the world so far for her release this fall for Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra's album "Theater is Evil" has me more excited than ever before for a new release of her music. There is a grand scale to some songs and a bit of an 80's new wave feel to her first single, "Do It with a Rockstar" while having the most punk rock aggression I have heard from her in a while.

Amanda Palmer also just released a music video for the song "Want it Back" is just fucking fun and catchy as fuck song with an extremely cool stop-motiony music video that is NSFW as Amanda Palmer has never been one to shy away from nudity and her own nudity at that. So watch the embed of the video below and enjoy...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pisces - Flower Toes EP

So last week Pisces put out an EP. If you didn't know Pisces is the solo project of the Happy Hollows lead singer and guitarist Sarah Negahdari which I blogged about their music video a lil bit ago. Pisces is some odd hybrid of sounds that creates a unique experiance that can only be described as artsy-psychedelic-folk-rock and still not truly capture the unique vision that is produced on this EP. Even though this isn't as straight rock oriented as The Happy Hollows sound is doesn't mean this is just quiet and stripped down music. The title track "Flower Toes" is an uptempo rocker that is reminiscent of the indie artist Marnie Stern. Plus on the track "Paint A Rocket" Sarah showcases some hauntingly beautiful guitar playing that is just damn impressive and shows why she is one of the most talented guitarist in the LA music scene. What ties these four tracks together is Sarah's wonderful harmonies while singing and just her spirit that shines through on everything she creates. I cannot listen to Sarah's music without smiling and having a good time.

I think the worst part of this release is that it is only 4 songs long. Especially knowing that after seeing Sarah play "Solo" live in the past year you know she has more than enough amazing songs that deserve to be recorded to fit on a full length release and be listened to over and over again. You can even go over to Recording LA where the have a post featuring a great recording of Pisces EP release show(Also check out Little Red Lung's set from that same night).I can't wait to hear more finished recordings of Pisces songs like "Driver" but until then go to Pisces bandcamp to listen or buy the debut Flower Toes EP.

I am going to leave you with the ultrafun number that is the opening track for your listening pleasure because I can't get it out of my head so I hope it gets stuck in your noggin as well...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bright Beast - Bright Beast EP

This came out about a month ago and I have loved it ever since I got it right when it came out. So why did it take me so long to get a post up about it, well go back to my post about the MMM show at Burger Records the other night to find out. Bright Beast is somewhat of a local band super group consisting of Christian Biel of The Transmissions, Nicholas Ceglio of George Glass, Chris Hernandez of The Happy Hollows, Christopher King of The Composers, Chris Rock of Lost Libraries, and Randolph Williams III of One Trick Pony.

This release is a strangley hypnoticly addicting six songs that won't get out of your head. Forgoing the usual guitar driven sound of the Silverlake/Echo Park music scene. Their sound has a more electronic feel to it even if all the sound is coming from a groovy bass line, a little guitar lick, solid drumming, and layered vocal track. The easiest bands to compare Bright Beast too is some early Tv on the Radio/Interpol hybrid with a touch of the catchiness/dance-vibe of She Wants Revenge. When I first heard some of these songs they seemed a little off-putting and not what I was exactly expecting but the more time I invested with their music the more it just attached to my psyche and I couldn't stop listening to the EP over and over again. Case in point the final track Short Pockets has such a crazy heavy dirty bass line that I am an absolute love with, and the track Camera might just be the most single ready song. But I am going to leave you with the opening track, Blood Secrets, because I think it captures perfectly what Bright Beast is trying to do on their debut EP with it's odd macabre lyrics on top of the perfectly polished unique sound they created.

In conclusion I agree with the in-studio dialogue by Christian Beil at the end of the track Allergy "I think that this was genius, think that this was amazing, I think we nailed it...". Because for a debut EP featuring a collection of friends from multiple bands they really fucking NAILED IT and I can't wait to hear what else this group can create.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Henry Clay People - Twenty-Five For The Rest Of Our Lives

Wait I have yet to really talk about The Henry Clay People on this here old blog. This is something that is going to be quickly remedied with review of their latest release that came out today and you can pick it up from most digital retailers like where I just picked it up on Amazon or even quite possibly in your local record store(what a novel concept). You can even go listen to it first on spotify before being compelled to buy this music.

So "Twenty-Five For The Rest Of Our Lives" is an album whose songs punch you right in the mouth. After a short odd intro track it bursts right into the title track and barely gives you time to breath through it's raucuas 31:22 of run time with the average track coming in at just under 2:40. Their is a real punk rock spirit that bleeds through on this album and all of the trademarks of a Henry Clay people songs are present including writing songs about living everyday life and the struggles withing, a preference to “we / us” over “I / me” in the lyrics, lots of shouted vocals and fun guitar licks. This album really builds of the promise of last years "This is Desert EP" that showed a real growth and confidence in their sound.

It is hard to pick out any single track as a highlight off of Twenty-Five as from beginning to end this album just rocks your socks off and is just made to have fun and sing along with. With every release The Henry Clay People just keep making greater and greater records, but this one really seems to be a pinnacle of their 8ish years together as a band. I can't wait to get to see them perform live again and sing along and have fun with all these songs because at a Henry Clay People show you always feel like you are Twenty-Five for the Rest of your life...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Little Red Lung "50 Fingers" music video

So one of my favorite LA acts put out a music video for their beautiful song "50 Fingers", and it is a mind trip in a half with all it's amazing imagery that perfectly coincides with the haunting sounds of the song. I gave Little Red Lung's EP a glowing review a bit ago if you want to check that out as the whole thing is worth and a listen and a buy. So here is the video below, a warning if watching this video right before sleep some images might seep into your dreams to make which might or might not be what you want...

MMM vs Burger Records 7/23/12

Hey a post back from the dead. So I haven't been able to get out to LA and have been in a malaise and really a serious lack of motivation to write about music since being stuck in the OC for the past few months. Luckily the perfect band brought LA to me and played Burger Records in Fullerton an easy 5 minutes from my house. So like most small shows it says it starts at 9 but the first band didn't go on til nearly 10. They were a decent enough indie punk band which my friend said reminded her of Sex Bob-Omb from Scott Pilgrim and felt that was pretty apt way to describe their sound, simple and fun and a little catchy. I never caught their name so they will be forever lost to the shuffle.

The next band, Feeding People, was a real surprise and a local OC band that I know I am going to want to try and catch again plus hear what they sound like in recorded format. I think what I like most about them is that I cannot easily define their sound. You can definitely hear some garage punk/rock influence in there especially when they are rocking out but I think my favorite if their stuff was when they slowed it down and featured keyboards and the amazing etheral voice of lead singer Jessie who had such a sweet and inviting and loving stage presence that had your eyes locked on her through their whole set.

Next a band called Haunted Tiger played but I never heard them as I was busy conversing with some LA friends that I had not seen in a minute plus so new friends from the band Feeding People.

And then Manhattan Murder Mystery came on and did what they always do. I am not sure what else I can say about this band that I haven't already stated ad nauseum in past blog posts. I don't know if I can state it enough times how much I love that Todd McLaughlin has become a permanent member of MMM. I don't think MMM can put on a bad show, they are playing with such a confidence that comes through while harnassing frontman Matthew Teardrop's reckless abandon that if this doesn't get your feet moving and wanting to rock the fuck out then something must be wrong with you. And they just played a blistering set that seemed like it was over as soon as it started even though it was nearly 50 minutes later where they played 3 songs I have yet to hear one of them being a cover of a 90's song that while I knew it while I heard it the rest of the night makes me not be able to recall what song that was. As after the show the afterparty went back to Laura's apartment that kept the night going til 5 in the morning. What a great night and a great way to rejuvenate my spirit. Expect some blog poasts about some newish albums I have been listening to coming this week...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

George Glass

George Glass is one of those Silver Lake bands that holds a special place in my heart. They are one of the bands I have been telling people about since well before I started this here blog. I want my friends, acquaintances, and really anybody to listen to this band not only because they are great, but are awesome guys that I have come to know while going out to see shows of not only their band but they are out to see other bands in the local scene when they aren't playing as well. I love the sound of this band and am always floored by how great musicians they are whether it be Nick on guitar, Pete on Bass or Nathan on Drums. So go to their Indiegogo campaign to help them finish recording and all that other stuff involved in putting together their first full length record because if it is anything like their two EP's then you won't be able to stop listening to them. You can pay as little as 5 bucks to get just the digital copy of the album or move on up depending on what perks you want out of your contribution. I went with the 25 dollar one because I want to get the new album on vinyl. So you have 35 days from when I posting this to contribute to this campaign. And below I will embed a song that is mostly finished that George Glass put on their Soundcloud to celebrate the launch of our IndieGoGo campaign.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dinosaurs On Mars! - Dinosaur On Mars!

So I have got another review from an advance copy I received from some old friends/acquaintances whose band is putting out their debut release after making and playing music for quite some years. Dinosaur On Mars! consists of Steven Mucci (vocals, guitars, synth, drum programming), Nathan Casas (bass, guitar), and Tom Morris (Guitar, backup vocals). The sound quality is extremely impressive for being made all in lead singer Steve Mucci's room. Get ready to put on your dancing shoes while listening to them because their sound consists of a dance rock vibe with a lot of fun electronic beats strongly displayed throughout. What really makes Dinosaurs On Mars! music standout and memorable is Steve's passionate and strong vocal performance throughout the entire record that really suck you into each song's existence. Also for using drum programming instead of an actual drummer it doesn't seem to have entirely generic and boring drum tracks but a much more dynamic drumming than one would expect from a band without an actual drummer (I didn't even realize this was recorded without a drummer at first). I think my favorite track on the album is A-Game with it's catchy guitar line as the main dance beat and the synth being used more for the atmosphere of the track's music. They are playing tonight in Brea at Birch Street Bar & Grill for their album release party you should check em out if you are in the area. The plan as I heard it is they will be releasing their debut album in full on the 25th right now they got a couple tracks up on their bandcamp which I embedded my favorite track below for your listening pleasure...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Red Lung - Little Red Lung EP

So you know what is great about starting your own blog about local music? Well, first you get to know all these bands you love and help spread the word about them and second, you can get lucky and have them send you an advance copy of their latest release. And since getting the new self-titled EP from Little Red Lung the six tracks have been in constant rotation and I can't seem to get them out of my head, which is definitely not a bad thing. I can't wait for more people to hear this and get transported into the strange and beautiful sounds of Little Red Lung. The EP creates a hauntingly beautiful atmospheric rock sound that is just chill inducing. Little Red Lung's self-titled EP has great musicianship, from it's band members and friends playing great music created from a myriad of instruments including violin, cello, xylophone, vibraphone, trombone, wood Blocks and marimba, plus the usual suspects for an indie-rock band, in creating their unique sound. With so much going on in every song instrumentally, the instrumentation never sounds cluttered and has a great clean mix by Ali Nikou, who also recorded and produced the EP at Blaster Master Productions. Though, through it all, the real star of the show is Zoe-Ruth's vocals which are stunning and strong on every track. Her ability to have such power vocally and still hit those quieter moody harmonies throughout is just stellar. They completely envelope you into what this band is doing musically.

It is hard to pick a favorite track, but if I had to, it would probably be Fangs. That track is pitch perfect with it's twisting harmonies that showcase this band at its best. Though, I must say, the closing track, Strangling Tree, is a close second just for its use of xylophone vibraphone (I thought it was a xylophone but actually it is a vibraphone which is close enough) and a horn section(Trombone) along with the violin that gives the track such a unique sound(the use of xylophone does bring back memories of Oingo Boingo because they are the only band I think of that prominently used xylophone and a horn section in their music). Little Red Lung already has 50 Fingers, the opening track, available on their bandcamp and I am going to embed it below for your listening pleasure. So if you like what you hear, remember to pick up their EP it came out today at noon (man I am late at getting this post up I basically had this done a week ago just wanted to put some finishing touches...) you can pick it up at their bandcamp or a physical copy on their website. Also if you have the chance don't miss them live, you can check out a live recording done over at the blog Recording LA...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Auditorium - Night's Worth Living EP

Auditorium put out a new EP today and if you don't know this band and especially Spencer Berger on vocals then you are missing out on the best vocalist in Los Angeles(hyperbole much? Mayhaps, but I doubt you can think of a better singer). Auditorium continues to produce infectious indie pop that will get stuck in your head. So far in love with some beautiful harmonies and songwriting and pick up this EP on their bandcamp for only 3 dollars(what is that like the cost of a pack of gum?). Well I already talked about the song The Sex Offenders I will leave you with the final song on the EP "Did Your Heart Shake Like This Song?" because it is a love song and their is not enough good old fashion love songs anymore, it's all about the heartbreak nowadays...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vanaprasta - Slidebar 2/23/12

Well it is nice when a Silverlake bands like Vanaprastra makes it way out to the OC to play. And now I have been to the Slidbar twice in 8 days weird, since I hate that lace and most of the people who frequent it. Though being that I was able to confine myself to the venue in the back made it much better and it is like it's own seperate entity away from the ultra OC bro-bar that exists just outside the doors of the venue.

So the first band was Armada and it is hard to muster up much feelings for them either negative or positive. They played a fairly straight forward alt-rock sound that would fit right into KROQ's rotation alongside the likes of Foster the People and such bands. Yet their was nothing nearly as memorable and catchy enough about their music to elevate it to something special. They were best when rocking out and having some good foot stomping songs that bring to mind stuff by Queen of the Stone Age. While the singer had a very nice tone to his voice and the bassist and guitarist both had some fine chops the drumming just seemed lacking to me. He kept a good strong beat just most of the time it was too simple and none of his fills seemed all that interesting.

Next up was News of the Fire who really had me rocking out and digging them. I immediately knew I wanted to get to know this band better. I really liked how a lot of their songs had these very cool way they built up momentum instrumentally. Then they would crescendo into a full raucous rock out, which live seemed maybe a little muddled and sloppy sometimes during that time but their stage presence and energy made up for it. They have an EP that is available on their bandcamp page that is available for free, I highly suggest giving it a listen at least but really you should pick it up cause it won't cost you anything but a few megabytes of space.

And closing the night was Vanaprastra who really benefited from the great PA system at the venue. Though this might be colored by the only other time I saw them was at Pehrspace which has it's charms but high quality sound isn't really one of them. This night perfectly showcased their bigger than life atmospheric rock anthem sound. There is a level of musicianship and songwriting that on showcase when Vanaprasta play that is a step above your usual indie level rock band. And on-top of being phenomenal musicians they know how to put on a energetic live show with great stage presence which has been honed with lots of playing. This makes me mad that I wasn't able to make it out to their Spaceland Satellite residency last November. Be sure to check these out if you can live or go pick up their debut full length album Healthy Geometry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cursive - I Am Gemini

'Wowwowwow" is the name of the 9th track and my initial impression of this ambitious 7th full length release by long time indie rockers Cursive. I continue to love everything Tim Kasher whether it be with this band, his first side-project The Good Life, or now his solo stuff he does not disappoint and "I Am Gemini" definitely does not. While instead of semi-autobiographical lyrics that spill his soul bare of tales of love lost and drinking this tells a much bigger story that doesn't quite hit the mark. I find the conceit of the album's story extremely compelling just didn't quite live up to my expectations. I have been struggling in deciding how I wanted to write this review being I like this album very much so, but I guess it is just not up there with the highlights of Tim's career. But really how many Domestica's, Ugly Organ's, Album of the Year's, or Game of Monogamy's can you expect out of someone. Those are some seriously hard highlights to match. But what is right there with everything is instrumentally and songwriting wise this album is as good as anything Tim Kasher has produced and has all the staples you have come to expect from Cursive's sound, being led by Tim's usual off kilter guitar riffs.

I think the problem is I couldn't connect with this album emotionally like I usually do with any of Tim's work and I think that comes with an over the top story that you can't follow completely without help from the lyric book which instead being traditionally done is setup like a playbill for an actual Greek style play. And I am glad I got the actual vinyl copy of I Am Gemini because with this version the lyric book looks exactly like a playbill you might get as you enter the theater, with an actual cast of characters and stage directions to help set the stage in your mind. I really should get around to telling you the concept of this concept record which is the
musical tale of Cassius and Pollock, twin brothers separated at birth. One good and one evil, their unexpected reunion in a house that is not a home ignites a classic struggle for the soul, played out with a cast of supporting characters that includes a chorus of angels and devils, and twin sisters conjoined at the head.
taken from the Saddle Creek Records store description for the album where you can buy it. The biggest problem is that these different characters are all voiced by Kasher in the same manner so without the playbill on you, you never know what character is speaking. Making the story difficult to follow along to as well as with
the stage directions involved means you are completely lost on this tale without the liner notes. The icing on the cake of my dislikes is that the themes aren't really clear and I am left lost and dissatisfied with what Tim was trying to do with this release.

Wow it looks as though I have spent a lot of time shitting on something that I like which is not what I set out to do here, so getting back on track I do love the fact that this went all in on the concept. This is meant to be listened to as an entire work and not doing so is doing I Am Gemini and the band a disservice. It is refreshing to see an album that completely defies the all singles all the time mentality that plagues today's music in my opinion. But with all that I am still going to embed my favorite track off the album for your listening pleasure. I Am Gemini is now in stores(came out yesterday). Cursive is playing Amoeba Records for free on Thursday, the Troubadour on Friday and the Glass House out in Pomona on Saturday which should all be tremendous shows.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Frank Turner at the Slidebar 2/16/12

Last night Frank Turner put on a musical experience that touched my soul. It was a seriously special night and amazing to see him playing such an intimate venue packed to overcapacity with zealous Turner fans who knew every song by heart. Except for the new song he debuted for us "Four Simple Words" that makes me ravenous for more new music.

But I have been getting ahead of myself so let me take it back to the beginning. Last night was a free show which did have the unofficial price of having to deal with the Slidebar downtown Fullerton crowd, which if you are like me was a hard price to pay. Frank Turner put together this gig last minute and there was another show going on that night as well which I snuck into to get glimpses of and quickly ducked back out to the patio to pass the time conversing with friends and acquaintances instead of the mediocre post-hardcore punk band Union 13 or the similarly mediocre speed metal band Dr. Know who reminded me why I never really got into indie metal scene, sure there is some talent there but nothing that gets me excited or makes them stand out like they should be getting more recognition then they deserve.

And of course that show ran late and it took a long time to setup for For Frank Turner and his opener Elvis Cortez of Left Alone, which saying of Left Alone doesn't mean anything to me but it might to someone. Now I don't want to disparage Elvis but I really just didn't care for his brand of acoustic folk punk. It was like the pop-punk version of the folk punk scene but not done as well as "Into it. Over It". And what I think was really missing was the ability translate his passion. And what I find to be the staple of that scene his the passion and vulnerability that comes out of the folk-punk music scene.

Now onto Frank Turner who is some English chap who used to be a punk rocker and then started an acoustic-based folk project in 2005 which has slowly grown to encompass a fuller band sound and more straight rock and roll vibe with each passing album. Which is not a bad thing and his show has certainly become a lot more explosive with energy and the chemistry he has with his touring band "The Sleeping Souls" is top notch. And one thing you can never take away from Frank Turner is the fact the man is passionate about music and sharing it. The other thing that has stayed steady throughout his career is his insightful and intelligent lyrics that can be truly punk-rock in nature. The second to last song he played, "The Ballad of me and my Friends", the closing song from his first album has so much more meaning to me now as it reminds me of exactly what it is to be a part if somewhat small part of a music scene and makes me never want to stop attending the shows of the likes of Manhattan Murder Mystery, George Glass and all those other bands that I have come to know and love. Well I will end this with what is hist staple to end the night and probably his best song, Photosynthesis embedded in Video Format below. So if you don't know Frank Turner give it a listen and if you don't love it then I don't know what is wrong with you...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mumford & Sons - Home

Sounds like Mumford & Sons next record is going to be as good as the first if this song is any indication. Seems like lots of good music is on the horizon for 2012. Check out the song and let me know what you think of it...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Matthew Teardrop - Drunk as Fuck EP

So Matthew Teardrop of Manhattan Murder Mystery fame(at least in the right circles) has released a solo folk album where he bares his soul to music and leaves it even more naked and raw than usual. Honestly it took more than a few listen-throughs to really wrap my head around this release. Maybe instrumentally the sound was a little too clean for me at first but now I really appreciate the musicianship shown throughout the album whether they be his sad strumming guitar chords, the jilting piano on the opening track or the heartfelt harmonica playing that I can feel in my bones. What came through from the beginning is all the raw emotion that Matt conveys while singing and in his personal lyrics. I hope you take the time and listen to this EP and let the words soak into your grey matter because these 5 songs have a truth and vulnerability to them that's truly special. I was thinking of going way more in depth on a track by track basis but I would rather just leave you with the opening track "Bury Me In The Salton Sea" and hope it hooks you because this sad ode to the sweet release of death sets the mood of the album with hauntingly depressed lyrics over guitar and piano that sounds like music made from a drunk living in the old west playing this song at his local saloon...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

DIY music scene...

So we are in some kind of newfangled era of music and one thing that is becoming more clear is this is a do it yourself era. But just because these artists are doing it on their own doesn't mean they don't need a little help. Putting out an album is an expensive endeavor and they are a couple of local LA bands that I am a fan of that are using indiegogo.com a really cool website that helps people raise money through crowd funding to get their music made.

The first band I want to direct your attention to is Torches (formally known as Torches in Trees) who are pictured above. They got 46 days left to reach their goal and you can help out for as little as 10 bucks so go on to their indiegogo page and give a helping hand to get their debut album 'Heads Full of Rust' made.

The other band I want to point out is one I have been meaing to write about for sometime, the absolutely wonderful Radermacher. Well I have mentioned Malcolm and Kim's side-project College Kids fondly but that is besides the point. To get back on track I will say they are putting out the third part of their Baby Hawk trilogy and are going to press it to vinyl. This will be the first time Rademacher has put anything out on vinyl so they can be in all the cool kids record collection finally. The first two parts of the Baby Hawk trilogy are fantastic and I will put out a post for each of the first two parts leading up to the release of their Baby Hawk part III. I love concept records and can't wait to see how this ends and to expound on what I think of the project as individual releases and as a whole. So head on over to their indiegogo page and give what you can. They have a ton of different donation packages to choose from, I plan on grabbing the 25 dollar one so I can get the new EP on vinyl plus digital downloads of the whole Baby Hawk trilogy. They also made a fun video to promote this project so check it out here or on their indiegogo page. And always remember to support local music and talented people in general...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Seasons - Autumn EP

Seasons are somewhat elder statesmen in this eastside LA music scene and their latest release which dropped sometime earlier this month shows a band that is confident with their sound and a very mature effort overall. Their sound is somewhat atmospheric indie rock and what really comes through is that they know when to let a song breathe and feature a specific instrument and let it all the elements come together without getting too cluttered. So take a listen to the Autumn EP over on their Bandcamp page or you could even pick it up for only 5 bucks. I am not sure what these songs entirely have to do with Autumn but this completes the cycle as they already have EP's for the other three Seasons. And what this might lack in concept is by far made up for with 5 extremely strong songs that showcase everything this band does well. No matter what they are doing wether it being more of a fun poppy number like the first two tracks, "Monday Nights" and "These United States" or the more dark and brooding sound of the final track, "Lazy Bones", you are going to want to listen this EP over and over. So I am going to leave you with the final track "Lazy Bones" which has as much pain, anguish and emotion that can be communicated from a lead singer while also featuring some hauntingly beautiful violin playing.

They are playing the last of their residency shows at the Echo tonight as presented by Feed Your Head. Been lots of great things about the shows they have been putting together which you should go check out on either Lord Growing's The 704 or Brad's blog Feed Your Head as he talked about their Winter, Spring, and Summer EP featured nights. This 5th and final night is supposed to include and expanded lineup of something like 12 members with string and horn section so if you can make it out there it would behoove you if you want to have a good time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Auditorium - The Sex Offenders

Auditorium's Be Brave album was probably the hardest omission left off of my top ten albums of 2011 list, and soon(February 28th) they are coming out with a new EP entitled a Nights Worth Living and you can go download the first song, The Sex Offenders off said EP for free. So go listen to Auditorium because Spencer Berger is probably the best singer in Los Angeles currently and they just happen to continue to put out some stellar indie rock music with just the right amount pop.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pisces - Paint a Rocket

"I draw in circles, you draw in lines" Sarah Negahdari sings on the last line of her new song Paint A Rocket. And so this music video stays true to the spirit of that line and is so very Sarah which might be the best way to explain it. She has such a unique spirit/presence that comes through on whatever she is doing whether fronting her rock outfit The Happy Hollows or now on her solo art-folk project Pisces. So go watch her music video and enter the world of Negahdariland for 2 minutes and 43 seconds.

Then go download the song from her bandcamp because this music transports you into a happy place whenever you listen to it...

Oh and if you are free Tuesday January 10th you can come see Pisces play live at the Hotel Cafe with the also lovely band Little Red Lung. I hope to see you there...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things I missed 2011

It is now 2012 and I have been going through best of 2011 lists in music thanks in large part to this awesome compilation of best of music lists at http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/01/2011_yearend_on_32.html. So I am listening through on some stuff I haven't heard of that appeared over and over plus albums that I missed from bands that I know and missed. You should also go back and check out my favorite albums of 2011if you have yet to check it out. I will be doing this in alphabetical order:

Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions

Hey a metal band, something I don't really talk about on here very often even though they was a 2-3 year span in my life where I almost listened to metal exclusively. And so it seems nothing has changed for this new release by Arch Enemy, exactly what I want from my metal epic in scope and lots of guitar riffage.

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead

So I am not sure how I missed this album that came out January 2011 as the previous effort, 2009's The Hazards of Love, was by far my favorite by the band should have made this release more anticipated. Instead I missed it and as I listen to it now it is good but really it is more of the same if maybe more stripped down than previous efforts and just doesn't hit that spot of anything extra or special to me. So while I recognize the talent involved I just find the album overall forgettable in this band's overall discography.

The Civil Wars - Barton Harlow

This was less seen on many best of lists as much as been hearing alot about them and I got a track from a friend's Christmas mix for me that I determined I needed to include this album here. This is really great stripped down folksy music being made by this duo whose simple guitar arrangements compliment their wonderful vocal harmonies quite nicely. I am not sure if this would have made it's way into my top 10 on the year but it had a chance depending on how the music grew on me if it had the chance to. I also hear they are nominated for a couple Grammy's, so it looks like that awards show is getting some things right after naming Arcade Fire's Neighborhoods best album last year.

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

Wait where the fuck has this band been in my life was my immediate reaction only 3 songs into this album. There is something very Chuck Ragan from Hot Water Music to the Quality of the lead singer's voice, though they add an awesome dynamic with a female singer on a few songs that compliment the grit with beauty perfectly. Really that sentiment is a great way to define their album to the core as a perfect mixture of grit and beauty all the time straddling a sound that is both mainstream yet clinging to it's hardore punkrock counter-culture roots. I am pretty sure with some time to live with this album it would have found a way onto my top 10 list somewhere like it was on many lists I perused.

In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading

More metal and that would be more Swedish melodic death metal to be exact again. Unlike Arch Enemy, In Flames experimented and creating a very uneven record with some good tracks that incorporate a more atmospheric quality or even electronic and some real duds in the mix that has no flow from song to song.

Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

Wow, wow, wow I did I miss this new release from Manchester Orchestra who continue to make music that I absolutely adore. They have a sound that is so uniquely theirs yet this album seems to have a bigger quality all the while still feeling personal because of all the emotion that the lead singer is able to put through his voice. This is another record that I probably would have had to find someway somehow to get on to my top ten and I would have been very likely at this point to expand my list to at least 20 had I completely educated myself on all the new releases.

My Morning Jacket - Circuital

I didn't really get into this band until the super group Jim James from My Morning Jacket formed with M. Ward plus Conor Oberst and Mike Mogus of Bright Eyes came together to form Monsters of Folk(a jokey over-pretentious name I know). But back to this band and this new record in particular which is another solid if not particularly great release from My Morning Jacket. Circuitial is a nice throwback to 70's era rock and roll like the Eagles and Wings and such without sounding like a ripoff just some easy listening rock and roll being played.

Nerves Junior - As Bright as Your Night Light

This is a postmodern rock album that wears it's Radiohead influences on it's sleeve. Lot's great catchy hooks in an unconventional musical stylings that are at the same time discordant yet combine in a whole to make an enjoyable listening experience. Would not have snuck into my top ten but a very enjoyable and notable debut record from this Louisville four-piece.

Noah and the Whale - Last Night On Earth

So they went in a much more produced pop music direction with the new release and they do a good job of it but just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. There is some really fun catchy songs throughout and if this was the pop music the radio played the world would be a better place. Just like their sophomore release their third release is once again nowhere close to being as good as their first record.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

So I saw this all over the place on the top of best of lists and all I can really say about the album is meh. Never really cared for PJ Harvey and it seems like that trend continues.

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing

I remember when I never missed a release put out by Saddle Creek Records but times have changed and this is the first new band signed by them in a while that I really dig. Though like many bands nowadays are coming out with Americana or roots-rock brand of music it has an energy and rawness not found often enough in the genre. Plus their drummer is beyond excellent and provides a great breakneck pace to propel the songs.

Wow so this was a long post, feel free to put any more suggestions of music for me to hear in the comments. Oh and if their is one album I would suggest checking out off these I talked about it is Fucked Up's album "David Comes to Life"

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cursive - "The Sun and Moon"

Just felt like this is the place share what I am excited for, and this is the first track from Cursive's next album to come out on February 21st, which is easily my most anticipated album of 2012 and this doesn't fail to disappoint. Actually has me more intrigued for "I Am Gemeni" a concept album from Tim Kasher not centered around what seems as personal a topic like his love life like so many of his albums from his many projects or the loss of religion like 2006's "Happy Hollow". This album is apparently about the musical tale of twin brothers Cassius and Pollock who were separated at birth and this track provides when they first meet and an introduction to the concept of duality that will be explored throughout. I know pretty heady stuff for a rock band so just forget about it for now and enjoy an ever more catchy Cursive track with the ever present jaunty guitar lines and the always interesting vocal work done by Tim Kasher.

Cursive - "The Sun and Moon" by Consequence of Sound

Oh one more thing that segue ending makes me mad I want the next track like now....