I Heart The Monolators. That should be the motto of every punk rock lovin' boy and girl in L.A..
Warming up for their highly-anticipated CD release show on Friday, the duo/trio (with Andy Bollas from 8-bit) hit the Hear Gallery where they offered us a taste of some new stuff, some old stuff, and even had time to remind us that it was our birthday. (Is there a better place to celebrate hitting puberty than a Monolators show?) Choice cuts off the new album are "Strawberry Roan", "14 Degrees" and the title track but "We Fell Dead" is the hit with the kids, especially live. For Friday's show they'll be playing with some special guests, meaning more mania than you can possibly imagine.
The Monolators release Our Tears Have Wings on 6/6. CD release show is 6/2 at Mr. T's Bowl with 8-bit, Emm't Swank, and Avelar. The show is free (21+).
The Monolators - "14 Degrees" (MP3)
The Monolators - "We Fell Dead" (MP3)
The Monolators on MySpace
Ensemble groups are becoming a dime-a-dozen these days. A few years back, W.A.C.O. was cranking out orchestral experimental pop before we even knew what that was. Of course, they were (and probably still) far before their time -- although they'd probably be huge in today's market of homespun orchestras. In any case, with Gregoropoulos getting comfortable in Lavender Diamond not many W.A.C.O. shows have turned up, which means checking out Lockie's own folk assemblage Listing Ship from time to time, especially with the lineup they put together at Sam's.
Listing Ship perform at Amoeba Music on 5/31 at 7PM.
Listing Ship on MySpace
Listing Ship - "Ichabod Crane" (MP3)
Listing Ship - "The Temptation of Miss Piggy" (MP3)
Don't think we've said enough good things about The Spores in recent months so it now seems appropriate to unleash praise since a new album is coming (6/27) and a nice little lineup was put together at the SLL. If one hasn't experienced a Spores extravanga yet, it's kind of like New York Dolls meets Valley of the Dolls meets Muppet dolls. Don't ask us what that means, just go see see them for yourself. They play at 1018 on 6/9 and Spaceland on 6/19.
The Spores new album Imagine the Future is in stores on 6/27.
The Spores on MySpace
For the past few months, we've been craving more In Waves and luckily they accomodated us by playing a few shows in consecutive weeks. Given the fact that their show count is still in single digits we thought it wise to get our fill before they hit the doubles and their audiences reach the quadruples. Fans of Ride, Spiritualized, Slowdive, and other bands that rhyme with shoegazer should get in quick on this. Cooper is one of the best drummers we've seen in a long time while Jimmy throws in just enough layers of gorgeous looping melodies and vocale grande. We predict big things with this one. Big.
Their Saturday show was with another duo from San Francisco, Master/Slave (pronounced with the slash and not to be confused with Los Angeles's own thunder blues rock duo Master Slave). Finishing off a month-long tour (and smelling like it), the sequencer slash midi-injected twosome put on one damn good show. Formerly known as Life in Braille, they have one 7" available although to be honest the recordings don't do them justice.
In Waves - "Love As Scarlett" (MP3)
Master/Slave - "Flaws" (MP3)
Tom Brosseau celebrates the CD releases of Empty Houses Are Lonely and Tom Brosseau at Tangier on Friday, 5/12. The albums are collections of older songs and outtakes that haven't gotten their fair chance, produced mostly by ol' timer folk legend Gregory Page. Page himself is celebrating the re-release of Love Made Me Drunk at Largo on 5/16, which will be the debut of his fancy new band, he tells us. These boys are probably two of the most prolific singer-songwriters we've ever known (they're actually working on another album together as we type this), but even more important is that pretty much everything is damn near brilliant.
Empty Houses Are Lonely, Tom Brosseau, and Love Made Me Drunk are available now online, at most major chains, and anywhere sad lonely folk buy their music.
Tom Brosseau performs at Tangier on 5/12 with special guests Angela Correa and Rosey
Gregory Page performs at Largo on 5/16 with AJ Croce
Tom Brosseau on MySpace
Gregory Page on MySpace
Tom Brosseau - "Empty Houses Are Lonely" (MP3)
Gregory Page - "Love Made Me Drunk" (MP3)
Michael Ramos aka Charanga Cakewalk came through Los Angeles recently while on tour with Lila Downs and did a special one-off show at the Conga Room for fans, industry and of course the obligatory hot latin girls and boys anxiously waiting for the floor to open to commence the ceremonial dancing of the dirty.
Really quite pleased we got out for this show, which also served as the CD release show of his new terrific album Chicano Zen. It was initially brought to our attention when we heard past Ramos collaborator Patty Griffin sings on it ("No Soy Feliz"). But that's not even the best song on the album. Martha Gonzalez (from one of our favorite local bandas Quetzal) is also on a few tracks ("Vida Magica", "La Corriente"), not to mention Lila Downs ("La Miga Hermiga", "Chicano Zen") and David Garza ("La Mimosa"). Gonzalez joined the band for several songs.
Look for Ramos to return to Los Angeles in the near future. And look for us to be nowhere near a dance floor during salsa night.
Charanga Cakewalk - "La Mimosa" (MP3)
from Chicano Zen (2006)
Charanga Cakewalk - "El Indio" (MP3)
from Loteria del la Cumbia Lounge (2004)
The terrorist target of the month is Mr. T's Bowl on 5/5 with probably our favorite lineup of LA's best underground bands. The night begins with the hotties of Eagle and Talon, fresh off of their tour with Sia Furler. Then the musically unchallenged boys and girls of Kids of Widney High. Next, E>K>U>K, the finest South Bay rockers in neckties followed by the beloved boyfriend-girlfriend duo The Monolators. And, of course, everyone's favorite foul-mouth foursome, 8-bit. All this for free. It's going to be off the chisel.
EAGLE AND TALON
KIDS OF WIDNEY HIGH
Mr. T's Bowl
5621 1/2 Figueroa
Highland Park, CA 90042