Word of their so-called "unbelievable" and "insane" live shows have made their way around the web for the last few years. And since we're all about such incredible insanity we made sure to check out a recent stop by Israel's own Monotonix at The Smell.
Musically, they're probably too heavy for indie rock and too light for metal, but somewhere in between there lies a rather fiery Sabbath-Spoon synthesis. Something much more apparent however is Yonatan Gat's beautifully thick guitar tone that seemed to swallow up the crowd with every strike of a chord. The theatrics, to us, were really secondary to the sound. Most of it involves lead singer Ami Shalev going beserk through the crowd with props in hand (pyrotechnics, trash cans, chairs, underrage girls) and while pretty entertaining the first time, it may not be the next -- although we must say their drum lift was one of the better ones we've seen in recent memory.
Their new, self-titled album is really kind of fantastic however. The bump on "Hand on Hand" is juicy good and the riff on "Lowest Dive" is greasy as all hell. A nice change of pace is "Body Language", which shows the kind of range and depth not normally seen with bands that light their drumkit on fire. Definitely worth a trip to Israel to obtain a copy.
Monotonix continue their 50+ date tour of the U.S. New album available at shows.
Monotonix on MySpace.
More photos here. Check out video of the band on YouTube.
Monotonix - "Hand on Hand" (MP3)
Monotonix - "Lowest Dive" (MP3)
The last we caught up with our beloved Sharp Ease, we vowed to never miss a show again. A couple of years and many broken promises later, the band quite sadly ended their run at The Smell on Saturday in front of an adoring capacity crowd.
We normally don't get too emotional over band breakups, farewell concerts, or anything for that matter, but somewhere around the middle of "Remain Instant" it was as if our tears had a mind of their own. If anyone remembers Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948's last show, this was something very familiar to that. A band on the brink of greatness suddenly is no more. Sure, there will be new bands to be formed (Quasar of MST1948 of course went on to the wonderful The 88), but there will always be that void.
Despite the somber mood, the band performed in typical Sharp Ease gloriousness. Ms. Parfrey was an absolute vision, flouncing herself on and off stage like a woman possessed while Barenfeld, Kings, Friscia, and Stephen provided that beautiful punk rock sound that we know and love.
For those who never got to see them we'd imagine footage of this show will be available somewhere as there were about a dozen cameras in the room. But for now the legend of The Sharp Ease is for the history books. Goodbye and Los Angeles loved you.
The Sharp Ease on MySpace.
More photos here.
The Sharp Ease - "Life Preservers" (MP3)
The Sharp Ease - "Joan" (MP3)
The Sharp Ease - "Remain Instant" (MP3)
The Sharp Ease - "Life Preservers"
This week is going to be sooo good...
First and foremost, we must mention version 3.0 of the Los Angeles Murderfest featuring some of the best underground metal bands you will ever hear in your life not to mention some of the most demonically-named bands on earth including Lair of the Minotaur, Depths of Chaos, Diabolos, and Sacrificial Slaughter. And how can you resist the opportunity of one day telling your kids that the reason that you don't listen to them was that you blew out your hearing years before raging to the likes of Anal Cunt, IVEBEENSHOT, 7000 Dying Rats, and Cryptic Gallbladder Splatter? Seriously though, we've actually seen a good number of these bands at Church of the 8th Day and Ovrcast events (who are also co-sponsoring this one) and if you've been looking to brutalize your eardrums (in a good way) we promise you won't be disappointed. Just remember, earplugs are for pussies (that's why we're bringing a box of them) and And Justice For All t-shirts are for posers.
We'll also be saying hello to The Trucks (3/23), Datarock (3/27), OOIOO (3/27), Jaymay (3/27), Kate Havnevik (3/27), Calla (3/27), Bic Runga (3/27), The Locust (3/28), Cattle Decapitation (3/28), Scanners (3/28), and Jill Cunniff (3/29).
And we need not mention that March residencies end this week since they have been quite the place to be this month. Bands have been great and the audiences have been amazing. Silverlakers dancing for indie rock bands? What? The Airborne Toxic Event put together the best lineups of the month and if anyone has footage of Castledoor doing an absolutely brilliant cover of "Cry Me A River" last week we will pay them good money. Anyway, get out to these shows and dance boys and girls. Like you mean it.
IVEBEENSHOT - "Gloryhole" (MP3)
Sacrificial Slaughter - "Aggressor of Death" (MP3)
The Locust - "We have Reached An Official Verdict: Nobody Gives A Shit" (MP3)
The Locust - "Slum Service (Served On The Sly)" (MP3)
Heather Reid is a rock goddess. We don't use those words lightly for a goddess of rock is a title only given to a chosen few. And for anyone who has caught a glimpse of Ms. Reid on stage during her 15-year reign knows full well she has been chosen.
Since her days in the underappreciated folk pop duo The Murmurs to its transformation to the short-lived power pop group Gush, we've been enamored with the sweet-voiced, irresistibly charming Heather Reid. Even her foray into the musical theatre world was a complete hit with us. Now with her band Redcar, who celebrated the release of their debut record Can't Be Stopped at the Troubadour last night, the love has turned into complete and utter worship. Her 70's rock inspired swagger circa Heart, Jefferson Airplane, and Pat Benetar very nearly had us throwing our panties on stage and begging for naughty body parts to be autographed. Yes, we wear panties. But only for the goddesses.
Redcar performs 4/21 at the Hotel Cafe and 5/17 at the Temple Bar. New album "Can't Be Stopped" out now on Phyllis Records.
Redcar on MySpace.
More photos here.
Redcar - "How Do You Like Me Now" (MP3) Limited time download
Lots of tourists will be coming through town in the coming days. Be nice and give them a hearty L.A. welcome: Amy Winehouse (UK), The Horrors (UK), Wolf and Cub (Australia), Bloc Party (UK), The Electric Soft Parade (UK), Goldrush (UK), Under Byen (Denmark), Tunng (UK), The Presets (Australia), Crystal Castles (Canada), Final Fantasy (Canada), Electrico (Singapore), Tobias Froberg (Sweden), The Besnard Lakes (Canada), Monotonix (Israel), and The Pipettes (UK) to name a few... Other than that, it's more of March's fantastic residencies... Oh, nearly forgot to mention that Los Angeles Fashion Week begins today with loads of runway gazing and celebrating with parties all across town. Despite our lack of fashion sense, bad color coordination, and poor accessorizing, we've been asked to cover a few of the events over the next week. We hope our Targét couture doesn't cramp your style.
The Horrors - "Sheena is a Parasite" (MP3)
Tunng - "The Pioneers"
Crystal Castles - "Alice Practice" (MP3)
Some know we've been finishing off many of our Wednesdays at Low End Theory for the last few months so it wasn't a surprise to those who spotted us last night for the return of Prefuse 73 and the L.A. debut of Bunny Rabbit. Touring with the Rabbit were a few her Brooklyn homies Bruno and the Dreamies and Tha Pumpsta & Derriere (members of the notorious pornocore troupe Durty Nanas). That along with the residents Daddy Kev, Nobody, edIT, Gaslamp Killer, and MC Nocando made the night a not-to-miss on our schedule. Bruno got everyone shiny happy while Tha Pumpsta & Derriere's aggressive foreplay led to Bunny Rabbit hitting the g-spot, culminating in Prefuse 73's climactic glitchy mind-fuck redux. Alas, we're spent.
Prefuse 73 continues to work on a new album... Bunny Rabbit's new album "Lovers and Crypts" is out now. They're on tour for the next few months hitting up the rest of the West Coast and then on to Europe... Low End Theory continues breaking records every Wednesday at the Airliner.
More photos here.
Prefuse 73 - "Creating Cyclical Headaches" (with Four Tet)(MP3)
Bunny Rabbit - "Saddle Up" (MP3)
Tha Pumpsta with Derriere - "Pretty Fuckin" (MP3)
Bruno and the Dreamies - "Dreams" (MP3)
For a few of our finest, the I-10 is going to be home for the next week or so as they hit the desert road toward Austin. We wish all of our friends good luck, drive/fly safely, and rock them good down'ther. For our industry friends, enjoy the paid vacation and for those who didn't get in this year, we still love you.
Anavan - "Mingle" (MP3)
Bedroom Walls - "Kathy in Her Bedroom" (MP3)
The Bird and the Bee - "I'm A Broken Heart" (MP3)
Tom Brosseau - "Blue Part of the Windshield" (MP3)
Buddy - "Salt Point" (MP3)
The Deadly Syndrome - "Eucalyptus" (MP3)
E>K>U>K - "KeMo Thera-P" (MP3)
Ferraby Lionheart - "The Ballad of Gus and Sam" (MP3)
Great Northern - "Babies" (MP3)
The Low Standards - "Girl For All Seasons" (MP3)
Marjorie Fair - "Waves" (MP3)
Mika Miko - "Capricorinations" (MP3)
The Oohlas - "Small Parts" (MP3)
Quetzal - "Migra" (MP3)
Sea Wolf - "Middle Distance Runner" (MP3)
Softlightes - "Girlkillsbear" [Lo-Fi-Fnk Remix] (MP3)
Labels: sxsw 2007
Want to put off doing your laundry and watching all your backed up TiVo'd episodes of "Dinner: Impossible" and "The Hills"? But didn't get your reservations for Earlimart tonight? Or don't want to wait in line for Fiona Apple at Largo? You lucky bastards are in luck, tonight is loaded...
Celebrating Rodney B's induction onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Redd Kross, The Donnas, Inger Lorre's legendary The Nymphs (we were toddlers the last time we saw her on stage), and Channel 3 bring some of the old time rock and roll at the Fonda... Everybody Else celebrates the loooooong-awaited release of their debut album on Militia Group at Safari Sam's... Ms. Ashley put together a crazy good lineup at El Cid with The Deadly Syndrome, To Live and Die in L.A., and others... As far as next week, everything looks good. The Ben Lee-discovered indiepop group Pony Up! opens for Mountain Goats at the El Rey on Sunday; Diplo and Bonde do Role make their return to Los Angeles on 3/13 at Safari Sam's; and the debut of El Perro Del Mar is upon us with a show at the RecCenter (3/13) and the Hotel Cafe (3/14).
Carb up, you'll need the energy.
Redd Kross - "What's Wrong With Me" (MP3)
Pony Up! - "Truth About Cats And Dogs" (MP3)
El Perro Del Mar - "Sad" (MP3)
Everybody Else - "Without You"
After a bit of a break from Los Angeles stages, Earlimart returned to us with a beautiful performance at the Troubadour opening for Clinic and Sea Wolf. Performing under the name of their upcoming album, Espinoza greeted the crowed with a warm, "Hello, we're Earlimart" and then presented a set of excellent new material. Back is the uplifting, vibrant sound which helped to usher in the so-called new Silverlake era that brought much recent success to their fellow Ship brethren (we also hear Espinoza recorded the new Castledoor EP). Gone is the melancholy and the weight of their previous emotionally draining record. It's a new time for Earlimart and we couldn't be more excited.
Earlimart performs at the Getty tomorrow night. It's not sold out because it's a free show, but reservations are booked so go cry now. New album "Mentor Tormentor" coming soon.
Earlimart - "First Instant Last Report" (MP3)
Harry Merry is a solo musician out of the Netherlands who performs bizarro Europop that is instantly horrifying yet altogether fascinating. There's no point of reference to compare music like this but if you ever played "Barney's Greatest Hits" backwards and took a lot of LSD as a kid you're in for a treat tonight at The Smell. After we saw him the first time he came through Los Angeles last summer, this image of an evil-grinned middle-aged man in a mushroom-cut wig and some sort of Dutch school-boy frock performing to an empty room haunted us for weeks. He has one of the most disturbing stage presences we've ever seen. Still, we stayed through his entire set -- nearly two glorious hours.
Harry Merry performs with PRS HLTN, MTHRFCKRS!! tonight at The Smell. Bring a good book to read and maybe a sedative.
Harry Merry - "Allright, Rebecca!" (MP3)
Harry Merry - "Intimacy Seems Eccentric"
The greatness of this band has been witnessed by many this past year but has only come to be fully realized by us after a show in the LBC recently. We've always said that it's not how well you perform in the big, crowded clubs that prove how good you are, but how well you do in the smaller, less attended ones that matter.
After seeing a bit of the Happy Hollows do some Central Second nights at the Cocaine last summer, we thought they were good but nothing earth-shattering. A half a year later and not only has the earth shattered, the universe better be watching its back too. We doubt that anyone could not love this band. Subtle innocuous verses build up to huge, roaring choruses that manage to find the perfect balance of dissonance and harmony that every indie kid loves. This all channeled through an elegantly brutal live show in which lead singer Ms. Negahdari contorts and oscillates around stage like a ragdoll.
One warning for headlining bands that ask this band to open for you. If you value your career, play before them.
The Happy Hollows perform tonight at the Echo with The Airborne Toxic Event, Low Vs. Diamond, and Radars to the Sky. To be fair to the other bands they play last. New EP "Bunnies and Bombs" out now.
The Happy Hollows on MySpace.
The Happy Hollows - "Meteors" (MP3)
March is one of the three busiest months of the year in the Los Angeles music scene. Clubs load up on touring bands headed to SXSW and local bands work out all the kinks before heading to Austin. And lucky us, we get all of the above. There are a few shows in particular that have piqued are interest this month, most of which are probably totally off the radar, but we expect our three readers to be hip to them. But even with the steady flow of out-of-town bands coming through, March has some of the best lineups of local bands of the year beginning tonight with several to choose from...
We've been salivating for Sea Wolf and "Mentor Tormentor" opening for Clinic at the Troubadour for awhile. It's sold out and rightfully so. Alexi Murdoch, Midnight Movies, and Priscilla Ahn perform at the El Rey. We hear Ahn was recently signed to a certain legendary label that's been headed in the more indie direction. On Sunday, if you happen to see some dorks running around North Hollywood don't bother us, we need to focus... Residencies are solid all month long with The Airborne Toxic Event, Castledoor/Buffalo Roam, Carina Round, The Watkins Family Hour, Greg Laswell, Berko, Crooked Cowboy, David Ryan Harris, and After Midnight Project.
It's a busy month. Don't forget to stretch.
Sea Wolf - "Middle Distance Runner" (MP3)
Alexi Murdoch - "Orange Sky" (MP3)
Priscilla Ahn - "Rain" (MP3)
Berko - "Neatly Folded" (MP3)