Once upon a time, Huntington Beach's Venus Infers left a nice comment on our MySpace. A comment so nice we asked them to play one of our little shows last year. That show seems like light years away now that they're suddenly perking up the ears of industry kids everywhere with a new lineup, a new sound, and a new EP that they celebrated the release of last night at a very packed Detroit Bar.
Gone are the moody, ethereal arrangements. Gone are the comparisons to Monsters Are Waiting. And, most notably, gone is lead singer Trisha Smith, whose evocative and slithery voice was the main reason behind the previous two statements. Don't know what happened there and although we loved Venus Infers of old, Venus Infers of new is just a thing of beauty. Lush, golden chimes of guitars envelope big rock choruses that not only make us forget Venus Infers of old but also any of the obvious comparisons to other bands there might be. And truth be told, when you hear the hooks on "London's Raining" (which is as anthemic and memorable as anything coming out of the UK right now), it makes it pretty easy to forget their previous incarnation and hard to forget their current one.
Venus Infers performs with Aushua at the Silverlake Lounge on 10/15. New EP available at shows. Bidding war starts soon.
Photos from the CD release show at the Detroit up here.
Venus Infers - "London's Raining" (MP3) Limited time download
Great week of shows.
We often don't say much about shows we take part in but when you get The Monolators, Mezzanine Owls, Amateurs, and Summer Darling in one room it's hard not to say something. Well, let's just say that we love these bands more than ever. Special thanks to our five readers for coming, KXLU, Rock Insider (who joined The Monolators for some triple-bass action on "We Fell Dead") and members of our favorite bands I Make This Sound, Castledoor, The Henry Clay People, Wait Think Fast, Correatown, Amy Cooper (right off the plane from her European tour with Rubies), Ema and the Ghosts, E>K>U>K, 8-bit, and others. And super special thanks to Eli's hardcore pants which forever will be named tighty whiteys. Anyway, some photos were posted.
So this weekend is pretty easy. Just walk around town and you'll probably run into a festival of some sort: Swerve Festival is free but the great music, art, and film you'll be getting will make you want to give money to something. Well then, why not throw a few bucks at Neighborhood Festival which comes a little later in the summer than last year but features enough junk in its trunk to get you there. If that's too not up to par with your high standards, walk a few blocks down Francisco to check out this year's Nocturnal (Wonderland) with The Chemical Brothers, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox, and many others. And on Sunday, Grand Avenue and Abbot Kinney battle it out to see who's more street.
For something less festival but still festive, one of our favorite bands of all time Imperial Teen returns after having babies and normal lives to play their first L.A. show in a few years at Spaceland tonight. Low plays two nights at the Troubadour and The Section Quartet does the same at Largo. And Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Acute, and Hello Menno also end their Sundays this weekend. And Jonah Matranga breaks hearts on Sunday at the Troubadour.
All of the the above.
Imperial Teen - "Shim Sham" (MP3)
Low - "Sunflower" (MP3)
Jonah Matranga - "You Always Said You Hated San Francisco" (MP3)
Enough small talk, here's what's up...
This is it. September residencies end this week and it very well might be the last times you'll see either Gram Rabbit or The Happy Hollows play for free. Crowds for their shows have been great and the lineups have been massive so do it already. Also, if you haven't been down to pehrspace to see what Carnage has been up to this is the last week to do so. Tonight, the almighty Health will be performing. Bring a black hoodie and be a part of film/music history... This week also marks the end for residencies from Ceci Bastida, The Mulhollands, Seasons, the Valley Arena, Acute, and LUDGF...
Elsewhere, we're helping a show with on Tuesday at the Echo. Please come... If not, head over to Joe's show at Boardner's as he celebrates 1 year of Let's Independent... Or check out possibly four of the buzzingest (yes, that's a word) ladies coming out of the Hotel Cafe scene right now with Priscilla Ahn, Meiko, Marie Digby, and Molly Jenson.
Wednesday, Kelly Clarkson cancelled her show so that should free you up to go check out Hello Stranger and Sierra Swan at the Roxy. But since no one really likes the Roxy, you could go see Sara Lov and Buddy at The Bordello or the legendary Ornette Coleman at Royce.
Thursday is the day we've all been waiting for all month, yes? Pretty much everywhere in Los Angeles is top-to-bottom loaded beginning with Bodies of Water/The Parson Red Heads/The Henry Clay People/The Broken West at Echoplex, Ladytron/Great Northern at Hollywood & Highlands, Black Black/Miniature Tigers/Repeater at the Knitting Factory, Sarabeth Tucek/Kate Earl/Princeton/Emily Wells at the Hotel Cafe, Delta Spirit/Voxhaul Broadcast/Sam Sparro/The Chain Gang of 1974 at The Echo, and we'll throw in a last-minute no-longer secret show from James Blunt/Priscilla Ahn at Spaceland.
It's a busy one.
We broke down and just got tickets for SSPU/Midnight Movies/Happy Hollows on 10/20. We apologize to our M.A.T.S. (Mothers Against Ticketmaster Surcharges) sisterhood but sometimes good lineups make us do bad things. Like last night, going from Tangier to The Echo back to Tangier then to The Bordello then finally to Detroit Bar just to see Klingman, I Make This Sound, the debut of the Chelsea Royal, Warpaint (who cancelled), and the Airborne Toxic Event respectively. More madness to come from ...
A rather competitive weekend with Cat Power, Rufus Wainwright, High on Fire/Mono/Panthers/Coliseum, Air, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, The Rentals, Diplo/Switch, Paolo Nutini/Jesca Hoop, Todd Rundgren, Simian Mobile Disco, and Tiefschwarz taking on the big stages of Los Angeles. The smaller ones are just as intriguing with Lucksmiths, The Besnard Lakes, Oakley Hall, Over the Rhine, Redcar, Silver Apples, and Veruca Salt/Light FM getting under the spotlight. Also, of interest are the Give Liberty Life benefit on Saturday hosted by Dave Foley with performances by Electromagnetic, The Peculiar Pretzelmen, and others; oddly wonderful theme club of Rockabilly Vs. 80s night at Crash Mansion with The Gary Day DJing on Saturday; and don't forget today is is the finale of KXLU's Fundrazor. Listen to Demolisten tonight to catch The Monolators play some songs. Jax from Rock Insider will be filling in on bass. She was pretty awesome last weekend. So listen up... Also, the Hollywood & Highland Virgin Mega is celebrating Brit Week with a kind of last-minute show tonight with Scotland's very own Biffy Clyro and Robert Shields. We caught Shields the other night opening for Tara Busch at Bordello. He was joined by Eastern Conference Champions for a few songs. Good stuff... Photos from Jax's basstastic performance, Shields' ballad-filled evening, and other wonderful shows this past week have been posted.
The Besnard Lakes - "And You Lied To Me" (MP3)
Oakley Hall - "Angela" (MP3)
Over The Rhine - "I Don't Wanna Waste Your Time" (MP3)
The Monolators are celebrating the release of their new 10" EP You Look Good on the Train with some friends Mezzanine Owls, Amateurs, and Summer Darling at the Echo on September 25th. The EP is fantastic, the lineup is amazing, and we heard there will be speed dating sessions in the back patio so that pretty much seals the deal. Print out the flyer above (designed by the awesome Eli and Mary Monolator) to get in for $5 or the first 10 people to message us with your eHarmony profile gets on the la-underground list -- meaning you pay double.
September 25, 2007
KXLU, Rock Insider and us present:
THE MONOLATORS "You Look Good on the Train" EP release
with the lovely MEZZANINE OWLS
the gorgeous AMATEURS
and the beautiful SUMMER DARLING
1822 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026 | Map
18+ / $7/$5 with flyer / 9pm
Bands or readers who want to come email us for guestlist
The Monolators - "You Look Good on the Train" (MP3)
Mezzanine Owls - "Graceless" (MP3)
Amateurs - "Six Days" (MP3)
Summer Darling - "Dressed Up For Funerals" (MP3)
Besides the residencies, which you all probably have been to this month... Captain Ahab return from a 6-week vacation playing kids' living rooms and junk to play at pehrspace tonight. Don't bother wearing clothes. The Sounds are at the Santa Monica Civic... Clap Your Hands Say Yeah headline three sold out nights at the Troubadour... Jesca Hoop celebrates the release of her long-awaited new album Kismet at the Ivar on 9/19. She also performs live on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" earlier that day... Cold War Kids on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 9/20... Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem at the Bowl on 9/20. Apparently, there are still tickets available but search blogs for ticket giveaways.
Musicians looking for musicians: The Breakups are (still) looking for a drummer. This is an awesome band that just keeps getting more awesome every time we see them. Influences are Elliott Smith, Spoon, and Wilco and you should not be turned off by the color brown (we added that last part)... Musicians no longer looking for musicians: Mere Mortals found their drummer so it's too late to join that awesome band. Sad for you.
K.I.T. Los Angeles.
Doubt if we can get through everything but here goes...
KXLU begins their week-long Fundrazor today. Now that K-Mozart switched to country and KCRW is usually behind the times by like a year, KXLU is pretty much the only terrestrial radio station we listen to. Not because it's "indie" or run by actual college students (unlike KCollegeRadioWorkshop) but because for a long time it was the only station our old crappy car radio would get and we got hooked on all the classical programming, Demolisten, and the two best radio programs we've ever heard Blues Hotel and The Morris Beef Show. Chris Checkman was the worst and best fundraiser host in public radio history. We miss him. In any case, Midnight Movies are guests on Live at 5 tonight and later Rademacher performs on Demolisten. Listen and effing donate. Midnight Movies, by the way, finally celebrate the release of their new album at Part Time Punks on Sunday opening for Spectrum. And Rademacher, by the way, are in from Fresno for another weekend, playing Saturday at the Que Sera with The Monolators and Chase Frank and then on Monday with The Happy Hollows and One Trick Pony. Chris Checkman, by the way, is a genius. Someone give this guy a radio show or a TV pilot for the love of gosh.
Our long-time secret crush Liz McGrath of Miss Derringer and some band called Tongue graces the cover of this week's LA Weekly and Abe Vigoda beautifies LA Record's new printing... Har Mar is shooting some pilot at Little Radio tonight at 7pm. RSVP with your name and number to get in.
Good to see a certain member of Gliss at Ferraby Lionheart's CD release show last night at the Troubadour. Just for that, they get a plug (we would have done it anyway): Gliss performs their last show at Vertigos on Saturday before heading out on their North American tour with The Raveonettes. The night also serves at the semi-official re-release of Love the Virgins which is now available on iTunes with worldwide distro coming in October. That certain member of Gliss will also be performing solo at Tangier on 9/20.
Antidoto 2007 rocks en espanol over at the Greek on Saturday with Julieta Venegas, Los Amigos Invisibles, Jumbo, and others... Pink Martini headlines three nights at the Hollywood Bowl. Anyone remember their residency at the Mint like a decade ago when we kind of salsa'd with Patricia Arquette during "Amado Mio"? Yeah, us neither.
Health celebrates the release of their highly/hotly/healthily anticipated album at The Smell on Sunday. It's great but they're even better live. They're also performing on KSPC on Saturday at midnight. Most of us can't get that station so listen online, record it, and sell it on eBay when they're famous.
It's also time-warp weekend: Naughty By Nature at the Roxy (9/14); Smashing Pumpkins (and other bands led by old-timers) at the Home Depot Center (9/15); Scorpions at the Gibson Amphitheatre (9/15); Big Daddy Kane and MC Lyte opening for The Roots at the House of Blues (9/15); Sir Mix-A-Lot at Viper (9/15); The Pharcyde at The Highlands (9/15); Mudhoney and The Melvins at the Music Box (9/15); Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, War, The Four Tops, The Stylistics at Verizon Amp (9/15).
Needless to say, we will be at 386 shows this weekend so the chances of crossing paths with you are very high and we cannot wait for this to happen because we love you.
Midnight Movies - "Souvenirs" (MP3)
Rademacher - "If You Got Some Magic" (MP3)
Pink Martini - "Taya Tan" (MP3)
Martin Klingman - "September Girl"
Beautiful weekend, Los Angeles. Be-uooo-tiful.
How much fun was Friday's show? Too fun. Thanks to The Front, Summer Darling, Bloody Robots, redGIANTS, and The Monolators for keeping us out late Friday night/Saturday morning. We must (and will) do that again very soon. Posted photos here.
We also checked out Cirque du Soleil's newest offering Corteo over at the Forum on Saturday. The acrobatics are fine and all (our favorite was the lady foot juggler) but we always go just to see the art direction, mingle with people who like the art direction, and of course get a good earful of that Cirque soundtrack. That little balloon lady was brilliant and very much worth the $200+ front row seats, $20 parking, $22 food, and of course the obligatory Corteo-related merchandising we don't know why we bought.
Ok, so this week is busy:
Tonight... Of course, the residencies and because we were fortunate to see most of them last week we can safely say you can do no wrong being at any of them. Or go see The Airborne Toxic Event at Viper or the ingenious pairing of Spoon and Dr. Octagon at the Music Box...
On Tuesday, Mondo Video A-go-go bids farewell with one last show featuring Bloody Robots (who completely blew our mind last Friday), Kawaiietly Please, Almighty Opp, Twin Turmoil, and The End of the World Ensemble. Leave it to Mondo to go out with a bang. If you never went to MV, it's pretty much one of the greatest video stores in the world for rare, out-of-print, and why-was-this-even-made bizarro videos... Don't forget Ceci Bastida's residency at the Knit... And don't forget to pick up The Deadly Syndrome's new album The Ortolan. Yeah, we normally don't promote album releases so much (especially when we know you got the leaked version months ago), but that band is just super nice. Why can't more bands just be nice?... Qui also celebrates the release of their new album at The Echo.
Wednesday, Low End Theory with Boom Bip, Thavius Beck, Free the Robots... The Bordello hosts Everest, Buddy, Sally Jaye, and The Panderers.
And on Thursday, Jason Falkner, Castledoor, and Annie Stela perform at the Roxy for Filter's continuing "let's get the eastside to the westside" series. No one likes being there but we may just have to bite the bullet for this lineup -- I mean, Falkner plays like two shows a year... Ferraby officially celebrates the release of his terrific new album at the Troubadour with Mezzanine Owls and The Brunettes... Meanwhile, Central City lands on Spaceland with One Trick Pony, Death To Anders, The Transmissions, and The Health Club.
In other news: Has everyone listened to The Like's new track "(Before I Break Your Heart) Release Me" on their MySpace recorded on Jonesy's Jukebox? They debuted the song recently at Spaceland and goodness, Z's writing is better than ever and her voice still makes eyes water. We haven't really written much about the band since their Crossroads days but we have a feeling once their new album comes out next year we'll be loving The Like frequently.
Remember that post on Marié Digby? Well, the backlash has already begun about that Hollywood Records' marketing campaign. We thought it was pretty see-through from the beginning but apparently things need to be more transparent for the general buying public. Doesn't seem to be hurting her September residency at the Hotel Cafe much. We heard it was packed... Detour Fest, LA Weekly's entry into the yearly festival parade, is holding a little contest to get a local band a chance to play the night. While there is sure to be a bit of criticism over the whole thing of why there aren't more local bands playing an L.A. Weekly event and that even having an online battle of the bands contest over one measly slot seems slightly demeaning, let's just play like a good puppet and effing vote, ok?. Well, no matter, since we think our four readers should already have their mind made up for 10/6 since the Eagle Rock Music Festival has once again counter-booked the evening with a lineup that pretty much guarantees our attendance including The Pity Party, Dengue Fever, Mia Doi Todd, Bodies of Water, The Front, The Mormons, The Monolators, Jessica Fichot, Chuchito Valdes, Seasons, Princeton, Tsk Tsk, and many other of our favorites. All that plus friends, families, and funnel cakes... right in the heart of Eagle Rock for free? Seriously, that's a no-brainer.
Read about Ferraby's recording process on his new album... Article on his lordship Devendra Banhart in the LA Times... Go download Division Day's cover of Sunny Day Real Estate's "Every Shining Time You Arrive"... Okay, think that's everything from our spam folder... :)
Is it Friday already? Did this week even exist? We hope so because the shows we saw were better than anything we could imagine.
Now it is time to prepare for the heart of September beginning tonight with The Soft Hands on Demolisten. Poor, half-mended Jon Brion returns for a few nights at Largo before going back into producer hibernation. Let's Go Sailing was added to tonight's lineup at the Roxy with Mother Hips and The Broken West. Repeater and The Hectors sing songs over the Scene... The Deadly Syndrome celebrate the release of their new album The Ortolan on Saturday with special guests. Meanwhile, Mountain Party and Restaurant make love over at the Bordello. Dinosaur Jr. return with a show at the Wiltern or go be serenaded by Bebel Gilberto at the Avalon... On Sunday, Underworld is playing a secret show at the Hollywood Bowl. And Letting Up Despite Great Faults and Hello Menno continue their respective residencies at All Star and Spaceland.
Yeah, but are you going to T's tonight? That's where it's really going down.
Dinosaur Jr. - "Almost Ready" (MP3) Limited time download
Bebel Gilberto - "Night and Day" (MP3) Limited time download
Underworld - "Born Slippy Nuxx (Darren Price Mix)" (MP3) Limited time download
Letting Up Despite Great Faults - "I Hear You Drowning But I'm Tired"
We've been waiting for this post for so long... for Bodies of Water is one our most cherished bands. They've been a regular of the Mr. T's Bowl scene for a few years but with recent praise from influential indie rock journalists and bigger opportunities to play stages that can more accommodate their musical carnivale, we feel our chances of seeing BoW might be on the decline soon. So an opening slot in between the wonderful Bower Birds and his majesty John Vanderslice (who BoW playfully called "John Vander'nice'" and "John 'Man Your Nice'") was last night's choice select.
Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is undoubtedly one our favorite albums of the year. Their sing-along cadences and Flower Power choruses have all the drama, passion and joy of a freedom rally or a peace parade... or the second act of the 70s musical Hair. So, okay, it's hippie rock, but damn good hippie rock. Hippie rock for people who hate hippie rock. And as much as the word might scare you, there's nothing to be afraid of with songs like "These Are the Eyes" (which contains one of the most glorious refrains we've heard in a long while) and "Here Comes My Hand" (a lost 5th Dimension b-side if we ever did hear one).
Bodies of Water, we you love man.
Bodies of Water heads out on tour with Karl Blau then the Go! Team for select West Coast dates. They perform at the Port of Los Angeles' Lobsterfest with Great Northern, Eagle and Talon, Scissors For Lefty, and others on 9/14. Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is available through their website or at shows.
Bodies of Water on MySpace.
Photos from last night's show are here.
Bodies of Water - "These Are The Eyes" (MP3)
Bodies of Water - "Here Comes My Hand" (MP3) Limited time download
Is it First Fridays yet again at T's? You know the deal: The show is free, the lineup is massive, and by the end of every night everyone is making out. That's how Fridays should go. Also, since people asked we'll have a few posters to give away as a memento of this historic lovefest. Get a load of this...
September 7, 2007
and those lovable THE MONOLATORS
Mr. T's Bowl
5621 1/2 Figueroa Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90041 | Map
21+ / FREE / 9:30pm
The Front - "Fuck the Tourniquet" (MP3)
Summer Darling - "Math Is Everywhere" (MP3)
Bloody Robots - "50 Percent Chance of Blood Reign" (MP3)
redGIANTS - "Last One (I Swear)" (MP3)
The Monolators - "We Fell Dead"
Some people might not have heard, but L.A.'s indie rock en español scene is bigger than ever before. Bands like Pastilla, Monte Negro, Los Abandoned, and Very Be Careful pack more clubs than most of the bands that thrive in the mostly anglo-centric Silver Lake music scene. Yet it's a scene that relies mostly on word of mouth given that bloggers like us and indie rags are too caught up looking for the next Arcade Fire.
So enter Ceci Bastida, who we last saw co-fronting the beloved punk en español band Tijuana No! some ten years ago at the Garage. She's since gone on to join fellow Tijuana No! alumna Julieta Venegas' band and more recently began getting some buzz of her own with demos that found their way into the hands of KCRW's Nic Harcourt. A recent appearance on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and a breakthrough performance at the Getty earlier this summer further made us take notice.
This lady is just a great singer-songwriter. Ok, so sure, we may not know what exactly she's singing about but, still, songs like "Ya Me Voy" and "Empieza a Amanecer" resonate with buoyant melodies that transcend language barriers. And for the first show of her residency at the Knitting Factory last night she pulled out a cover of The Clash's "Spanish Bombs", a long-time favorite for Tijuana No! fans and English-speaking attendees (basically us), in general. And our favorite, "Canta el Rio", is bittersweet melancholy just how we like it no matter what language it's sung in.
We may not know "buenas noches" from "buenos nachos" but we do know one thing: Los Angeles ama Ceci Bastida.
Ceci Bastida performs every Tuesday in September at the Knitting Factory's AlterKnit Lounge and tours frequently with Julieta Venegas. She'll also be seen at the Pasadena Music Festival with Dengue Fever, Culver City Dub Collective, Sara Lov, Meiko, Jessica Fichot, and others on 10/14. Her new EP Front BC is available at shows and on iTunes.
Photos from last night's show are posted here.
Ceci Bastida - "Ya Me Voy" (MP3)