Sifting through our hatemail, we found quite a number of readers would like to see one of those year-end thingies that all the cool kids do. Two weeks into 2006 and much to our dismay the letters haven't subsided, in fact, they're getting a bit more threatening now. Needless to say, nothing turns us on more than threats, especially when they include flowery declarations like "you guys don't know shit." Of course, we cannot deny that, yet nevertheless we're inclined to write something in behalf of our two readers (I love you, Mom).
Trespassers William move to Seattle, effectively weakening L.A.'s slocore scene ten-fold. Some say the rainy, dreary Northwest might just be the answer to get this beautifully, sad band on the map. Fine, but we want them back. Like yesterday... Inara George releases her debut album All Rise, finally ending the years of torment we've gone through since the disbanding of Merrick... Yankee Regina Spektor visits L.A. to sing a few ditties in front of a hundred happy faces at the Hotel Cafe. Days later, she makes her television debut to millions on Conan, nervously playing a candy red Baldwin R-1... Shiny Toy Guns release We Are Pilots re-establishing L.A.'s disco pop glory since the devastating loss of Metric to the eastside.
MySpace trend of the month: 3-way mirror photos.
Mia Doi Todd celebrates the release of her beautiful new record Manzanita at the Echo in front of a capacity crowd of friends, family, and fans. After the room nearly empties, we are blown to smithereens by the handful of new tunes by Languis... Busdriver releases Fear of a Black Tangent finally appeasing restless hip-hop heads across SoCal... "High School Record" becomes one of our favorite movies of the year with a special screening at L.A. Center Studios with cast and crew on hand. Becky Stark gives one of the best non-performance performances of the century... Prosaics perform at Cinespace and Spaceland in what would be their last Los Angeles shows before disbanding a few months later.
MySpace trend of the month: Catch phrases like "Muah" and praising with periods as in: "Best. Photo. Ever." and "Sentence. Fragments. Rule."
Spaceland celebrates 10 great years of indie-rock booking domination with an amazing month of music, highlighted by The Lovemakers breathtaking residency and the return of Lutefisk -- one of the best performances we have ever seen... Angela Correa toasts the release of her phenomenal new record Correatown with a gorgeous performance at Tangier. The packed house of local artisans and good folk who like good folk see first hand why in a few months she comes out of nowhere to be nominated Best New Artist by L.A. Weekly... The Monolators host a music video premiere/concert show with 8 Bit, Circus Minor, The Sweet Hurt, and The Trainables. The event is a smashing success as well as the beginning and end of our music video directing career... Mitch Hedberg, say it ain't so.
MySpace trend of the month: Photo booths.
Coachella returns for its sixth year where fans get to see Peter Murphy dance with the devil by the pale moon light... Eleni Mandell's version of Cole Porter's "I Love Paris In The Springtime" gets Paris Hilton all wet for Carl's Jr. KCRW's Tricia Halloran gets major props for her good ear... Irish lass Gemma Hayes begins a series of unbilled performances around town in prep for the release of her new album Roads Don't Love You. She tells us how much she loves Los Angeles. We tell her how much we love that she loves Los Angeles... The Universal Amphitheatre officially changes its name to the Gibson Amphitheatre, which inevitably gets nicknamed "Les" and "SG" by tab-reading guitarists everywhere.
MySpace trend of the month: Fake profiles and fake profiles of fake profiles.
400 Blows demolishes the Knitting Factory front room to launch the release of the best album of the year Angel's Trumpets and Devil's Trombones. Amidst the melee, we are trampled in between Alexander and The Bronx's Caughthran. It tickles... Get sneaked into Largo where about a hundred jaws drop to the floor when Rickie Lee Jones, Fiona Apple, and Jon Brion take the stage. It becomes one of the best birthday presents we ever receive. Thank you, C... Kate Earl officially begins her road to pop stardom with the release of Fate Is the Hunter... Zach Galifianakis releases his fantastically funny web-only DVD "Look Who It Isn't"... Two years removed from the never fully realized pop/rock band Zoo Story, Randy Coleman's fine songcraft is showcased with the release of Last Salutation.
MySpace trend of the month: URL squatting.
Tom Brosseau makes us all smile ear to ear with the release show of his new album What I Mean To Say Is Goodbye alongside guests John Doe, Glen Phillips, Jill Sobule, Sara Watkins and the Largo debut of Les Shelleys... Richard Swift signs to Secretly Canadian. Not surprisingly, the phrase "tin pan alley-esque" becomes hip again... Tsar release "Band - Girls - Money", revitalizing non-glam anthem rock for those on East Sunset Blvd... Foreign Born celebrate their first release In the Remote Woods with a triumphant performance on the third week of their Spaceland residency... In prep for their long-awaited 2006 album, Push the Heart, Devics release the Distrant Radio EP to whet the appetite. "Song For A Sleeping Girl" gets put in high rotation in our showeraoke machine.
MySpace trend of the month: Auto-add and auto-comment PHP/CFM scripts (aka the Ernie Halter Attaque).
Petra Haden and the Sellouts premiere The Who Sell Out at the Ford. It is everything we expected and more... Daniel Lanois releases the hypnotic Belladonna, making autographed copies available on his website. We buy ten too many... A shockingly sparse crowd at Spaceland enjoys an NME reader's wet dream of a lineup with The Cribs, Nine Black Alps, Need New Body, and Pit Er Pat. The next day hundreds pack into the Silverlake Lounge to see Every Move A Picture, She Wants Revenge, and Mighty Six Ninety live up to the hype. The two nights highlight the best month of the year for live music in L.A.... Two years after working her major label debut, New Zealander Carla Werner returns to Los Angeles as an unsigned artist. Shortly after, she returns to Australia as a signed artist... Filming of "What We Do Is Secret", the biopic on The Germs, starts to create buzz around town when word spreads that hunky boy band The Bronx and avant goth choir The Mae Shi will play Black Flag and The Screamers, respectively.
MySpace trend of the month: Fear. News Corps buyout, stalkers, and disturbed sexual predators make national headlines.
Silversun Pickups celebrate the release of their 6-song baby Pikul with an inspired residency at Spaceland... Drummer Warrington quits The Bruises and officially joins Canadian chick band Nickelback, I mean, Lillix (same difference). Frustrated (and probably pissed off), founding members Jenni and Aja move to the undeserving city of San Francisco. Damn you Warrington. Damn you... Honorary LAU band of the century The Lovemakers release Times of Romance. "Is It Alright?" becomes the feel good song of the summer... Oils on wood princess Audrey Kawasaki shows off new work at 1988. Everything is sold practically before the doors even open.
MySpace trend of the month: Equations as in U + I = <3 or Creed/Good Charlotte * Interpol - the Bear = Your Band Sucks, Stop Spamming Me.
The genius of Blackbird comes to life with the release of Bird's Eye View, a stunning document of where this man has been and where he's going to be... The Like, Giant Drag, Go Betty Go, Scarling, Viva K, and Space Mtn all release excellent debut albums, inciting predictable "Girls Rock" features in every zine north and south of the 10... Daniel Brummel gets the NY out of him and returns to the city where he belongs to release his solo debut Speak Easy... The corner of Melrose and Gardner reclaims itself as the spot for career springboarding, when once local pop/rock songstress Plumb gets her big break on of all places Leno's "Jaywalking" where instead of looking dumb answering second grade level questions she performs "Stranded".
MySpace trend of the month: Thomas MySpace Editor and people making a living by editing people's profiles.
Breakestra release the best party album of the year Hit the Floor... Autolux begin preliminary tracks to the follow-up of their brilliant 2004 release Future Perfect... Packed shows for Wendy & Lisa with Doyle Bramhall II at Largo. People outside freak when they hear Eric Clapton will jam out. People inside freak when Prince sits quietly beside them at a nearby table. Game, blouses... After 40 years, Aron's Records decides to close up shop... On Halloween night, The Mean Reds cease to exist.
MySpace trend of the month: Feelings of hurt, loneliness and sadness... when you're not chosen to be in your so-called friend's Top 8. I didn't like you anyway.
Theloneliest Punk, the solo debut of the one and only Fatlip, finally hits shelves. Seconds after putting it on our Christmas wishlist, our impatience gives in and we buy the damn thing ourselves. It was worth the wait... Supernatural, the best battle MC most people will ever witness, launches his new album S.P.I.T. at the Key Club proving once again that his love for the West Coast is mutual... Arctic Monkeys sell out their showcase at Spaceland. We notice the irony of the show at the door when record label reps get in free and the P2P/MP3 blogger kids have to pay... News spreads that Under the Influence of Giants have been signed to Island, proving once again major labels still like to waste money.
MySpace trend of the month: Minimalism. Excess of multimedia, unknown friends, and too much personal info becomes passe.
Under-idolized songbird Lisa Germano comes out of hybernation and reportedly signs to Young God Records. It's the best Christmas present we could possibly ask for... Rumors are confirmed when Ozma reforms under the guise of "Irregardless," opening for The Wrens at the Troubadour... The Gun Shys sign to Sire Records, capping a very productive year for Melrose and Co. at Leftwing... After nearly ten years of working the Los Angeles scene, former Frente!/Splendid lead singer Angie Hart moves back to Australia. We miss her already.
MySpace trend of the month: Big mouths. People just can't keep a secret as news spreads on how the music player can be hacked.
LAU ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
400 Blows - Angels Trumpets and Devils Trombones (GSL)
Angela Correa - Correatown (Bed Pan)
Blackbird - Bird's Eye View (Alpha Pup)
Inara George - All Rise (Everloving)
Tom Brosseau - What I Mean To Say Is Goodbye (Loveless)
Becky Stark - Artifacts of The Winged (Becky Stark)
Fatlip - The Loneliest Punk (Delicious Vinyl)
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Epic)
Petra Haden - Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar None)
Richard Swift - Richard Swift Collection Vol. 1 (Otaku)
Breakestra - Hit the Floor (Ubiquity)
eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations (Vagrant)
Aimee Mann - The Forgotten Arm (Superego)
The Arrogants - You've Always Known When Best To Say Goodbye (Arrogant Music)
Giant Drag - Hearts & Unicorns (Kickball)
The Like - Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (Geffen)
Randy Coleman - Last Salutation (Randy Coleman)
Sylvie Lewis - Tangos and Tantrums (Cheap Lullaby)
The Mae Shi - Heartbeeps (5RC)
Mia Doi Todd - Manzanita (Plug Research)
Beck - Guero (Geffen)
Summer At Shatter Creek - All the Answers (Badman)
Greg Dulli - Amber Headlights (Infernal)
Shiny Toy Guns - We Are Pilots (Stormwest Intl.)
Viva K - Viva K (Stinky)
Io Perry - Greybay (Jupiter X)
Kate Earl - Fate Is the Hunter (Record Collection)
Matt Costa - Songs We Sing (Venerable Media)
Dios (Malos) - Dios (Malos) (Star Time Intl.)
Bad Dudes - Bad Dudes (Brain Burger/One Cell)
John Doe - Forever Hasn't Happened Yet (Yep Roc)
Dengue Fever - Escape From Dragon House (Birdman)
The Mormons - Statement of No Statement (Nickel & Dime)
Artichoke - 26 Scientists Volume One: Anning - Malthus (Artichoke)
Carmen Rizzo - Lost Art of the Idle Moment (Fuel 2000)
Space Mtn - A Drawing of a Memory of a Photograph of You (Aeronaut)
The Submarines - Declare A New State (Hazard/Dragonetti)
Scarling - So Long Scarecrow (Sympathy For the Record Industry)
Monster - Monster (The New Black)
Marjorie Fair - Self Help Serenade (Capitol)
The Pope - Society of Friends (Satellite City)
Daniel Brummel - Speak Easy (Coptic)
Amy Cooper - Water/Fire (Stone Child)
Chris Seefried - Denim Blue (Chris Seefried)
Books on Tape - Dinosaur Dinosaur (Alien 8)
Tsar - Band - Girls - Money (TVT)
Fielding - Fielding (Militia Group)
Go Betty Go - Nothing is More (SideOneDummy)
Third Grade Teacher - Third Grade Teacher Reveals the Secrets of the Universe (Third Grade Teacher)
Innaway - Innaway (Some)
Susie Suh - Susie Suh (Epic)
Silversun Pickups - Pikul (Dangerbird)
Devics - Distant Radio (Leftwing)
Lavender Diamond - Calvary of Light (Lavender Diamond)
Cold War Kids - Mulberry Street (Monarchy Music)
Great Northern - EP (Great Northern)
Gran Ronde - EP (Gran Ronde)
Foreign Born - In the Remote Woods (Star Time Intl.)
The Lights From Here - The Lights From Here (The New Black)
blackblack - EP (blackblack)
Monsters Are Waiting - EP (MAW)
Eskimohunter - Musical Snowglobe Machine (So Sweet)
Colored Shadows - Tiger Mask (Colored Shadows)
Izzy Cox - Daddy (Izzy Cox)
Darker My Love - Summer Is Here (Tarentulas)
Dirty Little Secret - Dirty Little Secret (Dirty Little)
The Stevenson Ranch Davidians - The Stevenson Ranch Davidians (Stevenson Ranch Davidians)
Mozella - EP (Maverick)
Mia Doi Todd - "My Room Is White"
Silversun Pickups - "Kissing Families"
Giant Drag - "Kevin Is Gay"
Monster - "Sincere Blues"
Viva K - "No Better Time"
I appologize in advance, if you feel that this list is not representative of the Los Angeles music scene. I tried my best, Mother.