Been a bit busy with awards season, getting the kids ready for SXSW, and still finding time to see friend's bands in town. So we're sorry for not answering all the recent hatemail in a timely manner, but just know you can hate us all you want, we still love you. Except if your band name starts with 30 Seconds.
February ended with some gusto. Went to the Hotel Cafe for the Bloom, Stela, Runion, and DRW show. Can we just say now that Mike Bloom's solo stuff is better than anything The Elected has ever put out? If Sennett wants to fight about it, we can. But even he knows this. We like Annie Stela's recent demos, but her live shows are still so-so. Bloom joined her on guitar for her set, and it still lacked something, which we can't figure out. Runion was effing radd of course. Ditto to Dead Rock West who were showcasing for honchos. Too cool for school crowd that night including Jonathan Rice, Tobey Maguire, and all the boys and girl from Rilo Kiley. Long time, no see... Sarah Silverman at Largo was great. We know you're tired of our constant re-telling of the day we first met Silverman at the White Stripes Troubadour show way back when. We said she was hot then and she's still hot. Even with that potty mouth... The Mormons/Monolators/E>K>U>K> show was one of the best lineups of the month (when did E>K>U>K> get so damn good??). Dammit, what a great night. So good, we're taking bets right now that it will happen again. And soon. Seven member jangle pop outfit Land of Ill Earthquakes opened. Oh no, not another ensemble of high school band kids that strive for Social Scene and the Wall Looks Good To Me in Helsinki glory. Well, they're kids so we must give them a break. But raise your hand if you think one certain pair of hand claps isn't needed?... Thoroughly enjoyed our night with Mice Parade and Tom Brosseau. Wouldn't it be grand if Pierce and Co. played something more complicated? I mean, c'mon, challenge us for once. And the addition of Mum's Valtysdottir was a gift. Thank you, Brosseau, for introducing us. And thank you Brosseau for the songs you sing. The last time we heard the Echo that quiet was when Elliott Smith played there. Coincidentally, Brosseau ended the night with a cover of Smith's "Biggest Lie", bringing up the lovely Correatown for the duet. Also, props to Nesseth of The Heavenly States for opening the show without his band, who apparently had car troubles or something.
Land of Ill Earthquakes - "Long Winter" (MP3)
Land of Ill Earthquakes - "Acres of Fakers" (MP3)
Ok, it's later. So about this Ambulette EP The Lottery. It's surprisingly under-mixed/produced being that it's on a label known for its high-production fair (Royksopp, Basement Jaxx, Placebo). Mind you, this is coming from someone that doesn't care too much about production as long as the songs come through. Don't know if they just decided to release the demo as is, but if so, that's a disappointment because these five songs don't do Maura Davis justice although "Seconds Until Midnight" and "If You Go Away" come close. Ambulette tour in support of the EP (which they'll have available at their shows) in March hitting up SXSW and some West Coast dates in April.
Ambulette - The Lottery (Astralwerks)
March 21, 2006
1. I've Got More
3. When I See You
4. Seconds Until Midnight
5. If You Go Away
The new Sierra Swan comes out on 5/23 (it was supposed to come out in March) -- althought it's available now through iTunes. It's pretty great, but Linda Perry has that effect on records. Aimee Mann does guest vocals on "Get Down To It" but Swan's own voice, which seems to channel Queen through Heart, is the real highlight. "Just Tell Me" is really a perfectly written love song. Almost too perfect. Swan heads out on tour with James Blunt in March.
3/14 @ Webster Hall, New York, NY
3/15 @ Webster Hall, New York, NY
3/23 @ Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Cleveland, OH
3/24 @ the Majestic Theatre, Detroit, MI
3/25 @ the Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
3/27 @ the State Theater, Minneapolis, MN
3/28 @ Sokol Auditorium, Omaha, NB
3/29 @ Liberty Hall, Lawrence, KS
3/30 @ the Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO
3/31 @ the Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
4/2 @ the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC
4/3 @ the Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
4/4 @ the Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
4/6 @ the Warfield, San Francisco, CA
Sierra Swan w/Linda Perry and The Section Quartet - "Copper Red" (Live at Largo) (WMV)
Like we said previously, we love the new Two Gallants record. We haven't dug deep on every nuance of it, but it sounds like it was recorded live to capture the essence of the band. Pretty smart. The band will be in L.A. on 4/4 playing at the Troubadour.
Two Gallants - "Las Cruces Jail" (MP3)
Two Gallants - "Waves of Grain" (MP3)
Seriously, we almost forgot about this thing. Thanks for your concerned letter
So what else has happened lately? For starters, Xian left 400 Blows. We're crushed... In less than six months, She Wants Revenge has gone from generally liked to the most hated band in Los Angeles. If you don't why, you probably listen to KROQ. We still love Warfield, but do have this thing against L.A. bands that sound too much like N.Y. ones -- and then deny it... Esquimaux moved back to Baltimore, MD. Wha?... If you're not from L.A. the best way to hear about good local bands is through "Grey's Anatomy," which has featured Angela Correa, Devics, Kate Earl, The 88, Inara George, and Joe Purdy in recent weeks... The Gun Shys changed their name to The Shys. The new album exceeds expectations. ... PJH is playing regularly with Morris Tepper, which is doing wonders for Ice Cream for Crow sales... Got word Carla Werner is coming back to L.A. in April... Copies of the new Two Gallants record What the Toll Tells came in and for the last month we've have been listening to the epic "Age of Assassins" pretty much non-stop (see blog title). Also got copies of Sierra Swan, Rhett Miller, Trespassers William, Devics, Irving, Garrison Starr, and the new Ambulette EP. We'll post about some of those later perhaps... We officially moved to la-underground.net. What will we ever do with all this disk space? Hm...
Emma Zunz - "Resting Place" (MP3)
Foreign Born - "Holy Splinter" (MP3)
Foreign Born - "Into Your Dream" (MP3)
Ferraby Lionheart - "A Crack In Time" (MP3)
Ferraby Lionheart - "Tickets To Crickets" (MP3)