The Monolators are off to NYC as a duo for a few shows this week. Before leaving, they hit up the Cocaine for a midnight set of utter madness. Listen to East Village Radio on 7/3 for an in-studio session (12AM ET/9PM PT). They're also meeting up with 8-bit and The Mormons while in town for a secret (?) show so beg them for the skinny. I assure, you'll want to be there. Bookers/party people looking for a last-minute band contact them as well.
The Monolators - "Radio's On" (MP3)
The Monolators - "Take It Outside" (MP3)
More MP3s are available on their MySpace page.
Meanwhile, everyone was torn between Foreign Born at Spaceland or Innaway at the Silverlake Lounge last Monday. However, if you were at the Echo for Miss Derringer, you chose wisely. Haven't seen them since the addition of guitarist Jimmy Wilsey, a name who should be familiar to those who bow down to Penelope Houston. I loved Miss Derringer before -- #3 Best Album of 2003, according to us (ed. official release was in 2004) -- but it is quite clear that Wilsey is a godsend to this band; lush guitar moans over McGrath's ghostly whiskey-ridden slur. Gorgeous.
Miss Derringer - "The Letter" (MP3)
Been busy seeing friends get married this month. Sorry, but it is June... Tom Brosseau celebrated the release of his new album, What I Mean To Say Is Goodbye, at Largo and for those lucky to have been in the room that night, congratulations. That was probably the best show Tom's ever done with or without all the special guests (John Doe, Sara Watkins, Glen Phillips, Sam Jones, Angela Correa, Jill Sobule, Gus Black...). A very special night indeed... Meanwhile, a rare Jason Falkner headliner performance was enough for us to drag our feet back to the Viper Room. "Put Her In the Movies", "Complicated Man", and "Princessa" were highlights but basically anything that comes out of Falkner's mouth is damn near genius. He sounded so great, it made it worth the horror of Samantha Ronson's opening set, which nobody with two working ears seemed to like except Bijou Phillips (figures... have you heard her album?). The Like, on the other hand, is getting too good to be playing these little joints. They're playing a lot tighter these days and Z's still got that sharp tongue (as Clea DuVall and partner left through the side door she cracked, "Bye... Bitches"). Their new album comes out 9/13 and playing a bunch of club shows until then so do catch them before all hell breaks loose. And I don't care what the suits are saying about Under The Influence of Giants, they're overrated... Pilotdrift was back in town opening for Eisley at the Troubadour. Like we said before, this is the band to watch -- for many years to come... The incomparable pairing of Mika Miko and Wives occurs quite a lot around town and yet it is never enough, making it necessary for the large mass to congregate again on Sabbath Day at the Echo. They're pulling a Pitt/Annison and getting a divorce for the summer, doing seperate tours of the U.S. Go see them... We know these days its hard not find some band channeling Joy Division, Television, and Velvet Underground in some way but what the hell, Monday's lineup at Spaceland was too good to pass up. Scenesters are already keeping close tabs on Gran Ronde's quickly rising stock value. And we think they're going to get even bigger real quick -- talked with them after a Lava Lounge gig last year and shook on it. Anyway, you should download "Fist Fight" so you can sing along at their next show. The UK's Amusement Parks On Fire were trying too hard. And Foreign Born never sounded better. The new EP is now available everywhere. After the show, met up with K. from Sony where she handed me Augustana's new album All the Stars and Boulevards. Well, I guess it's about as good as you're going to get with melodic pop/rock. "Boston" alone is going to have the kids shedding tears in the upcoming WB season (although the demo version is better)...
I need a wife.
It's been almost five years to the month since Tsar put out their great self-titled debut. We first saw them at the 1999 Poptopia (and also in 2000) where they blew everyone away with their high energy power pop/arena rock frenzy. A growing buzz led to their signing to Hollywood Records where we all thought they'd be the next big thing. Unfortunately, it never happened and their deal with Hollywood ended last year. A new deal with TVT was struck shortly after and out comes their second album, Band-Girls-Money, proving once again they're still the one to beat. This record is the perfect summer, ragtop down so your hair can blow, PCH cruiser soundtrack. For longtime fans, the track you'll want to hear is "The Love Explode" which recalls those huge choruses that we loved on the first record. And the chorus on "You Can't Always Want What You Get" is the perfect remedy for all those missing those days when L.A. Guns, Ratt, and Faster Pussycat ruled your world.
- Wanna Get Dead
- The Love Explosion
- Everybody's Fault But Mine
- Conqueror Worm
- You Can't Always Get What You Want
Won't go through every category, but it might be interesting to hear what others have to say about this year's LA Weekly Music Award nominees... Post'em if you got'em:
BEST NEW ARTIST
Although she's hardly considered new to old fans of Lode and Merrick, the one to beat is Inara George who is a longtime local favorite that just put out one of the better records of the year in L.A. or in any city. Gram Rabbit got main stage honors at this year's Coachella. Totally Radd! has the hearts of every eastside scenester. The Vacation works harder onstage and off than pretty much every band nominated. And Angela Correa put out a record we listened to six months straight non-stop but is probably happy just to be nominated. Pick: Inara George.
BEST HIP-HOP/RAP ARTIST/DJ
We have such a condensed hip-hop scene that I think this maybe the first year that neither J5 nor Dilated Peoples were nominated. We've been huge fans of Peanut Butter Wolf for years but Z and Saul have been doing there thing just as long. 8-bit's probably laughing their asses off that anyone actually took any of their $hit seriously but those guys (and gal) do work hard regardless of their half-ass stigma. And if you've ever seen Dakah you know the future of hip-hop. So who to pick? Yeesh: Peanut Butter Wolf.
BEST ROCK BAND
Tsar. No doubt. No question. And it's about time.
We've seen pretty much every singer-songwriter in L.A. worth seeing so this is actually a pretty difficult pick, especially since all the artists are pretty worthy of some recognition. So the easy pick is Anne McCue who's done it all and has enough talent to win much bigger awards than this, ones that rhyme with Crammy. Plus, she's active in the scene, going out to other artist's shows and supporting important events. She's also Aussie and we love that accent. So I guess I've made up my mind although this is a pretty even race.
BEST PUNK/HARDCORE BAND
I guess The Mae Shi, however The Mormons is by far the best punk band in L.A. right now. I mean have you heard "Half Polyester Protection"?
BEST HARD ROCK/METAL BAND
Year Future... although the answer is really The BellRays.
BEST POP/ROCK BAND
BEST ELECTRONIC DJ
BEST CLASSICAL ARTIST
The Section Quartet.
BEST RADIO SHOW
I don't listen to radio that much but I have to admit Indie 103.1's "Check... 123" is doing great things supporting local bands on commercial airwaves. I realize KXLU, KCRW and every other station in the 88-92 spectrum have been doing that for decades but anything that takes away demos from KROQ is a good thing. By the way, Anne Litt remains to be the most underrated DJ in Los Angeles. She back announces better than anybody, supports L.A. bands, and has the least annoying voice of anybody during pledge drives in the history of public broadcasting (hint, Ruth Seymour).
BEST HOME 4-, 8-, OR 16-TRACK RECORDING
Petra Haden. Duh.
Tom Brosseau came to Los Angeles only a few short years ago via San Diego via North Dakota. I first heard him when Page invited me to San Diego to check out this new guy he'd been working with. I sat in the back of Lestat's, a capacity crowd of me and the soundman, listening to this guy's voice completely awestruck. It's a voice that is so distinctly delicate, a broken falsetto that one might find on back porches in Memphis from old men that have lived the hard life. Yet he was still raw, guitar playing a bit scattered, unsure of himself, and Page seemed to save every one of his bad jokes from disaster. Today, here he is, a growing favorite of the L.A. singer-songwriter scene, Flannagan's stepchild, and now the proud papa of What I Mean To Say Is Goodbye, his indie label debut -- one of the finest records of the year.
- West of Town
- Jane and Lou
- Tonight I'm Careful With You
- Wandering (duet with Angela Correa)
- Wear and Tear
- Unfamiliar Places
- That's When Your Heartaches Begin
- St. Joe St.
- In My Time of Dyin' (duet with Angela Correa)
- My Little Babe
- Quiet Drink
Pre-order/purchase the album here.
They only played five songs but one should savor any moment when two of L.A.'s golden girls take the stage. The Living Sisters are a brand new project from Eleni Mandell (whose version of "I Love Paris In the Springtime" is the only thing sexy about those Paris Hilton/Carls Jr. ads) and Becky Stark, one of the most brilliant voices in all the land. So, five songs, all of them done in beautiful duo harmony, three of them interluded with cute exchanges of giggles, two of them ("Double Knots" and "Oh, Sea") too perfect for words. No idea when they'll be playing again but look for us to be counting down their 5-song magic in the near future.