Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Upcoming Shows - Late Summer

So we had an earthquake today in Los Angeles. The first in a long, long time...but it's good to get the reminder, every once in a while, since there seems to have been no damage or injuries. The building I was in rocked and rolled real good.

August will get very busy with a lot more shows than I've listed here, but gotta start somewhere.

Monday August 4 I have a ticket to see Amanda Palmer solo at the Troubadour. As one half of The Dresden Dolls I've been lucky enough to see her four times before and it's never less than completely riveting. Beginning her career as a street performance artist (a heritage kind of shared with Frank Fairfield) she's used to delivering under any circumstances and it does tend to make an artist fearless. I first learned of them nearly three years ago from their music video for "Girl Anachronism" which I thought was outrageous, over the top, punky, grandly theatrical, and funny as hell. But I also thought they must be so extreme, I could never see them as a favorite band. Little did I realize the scope of Amanda Palmer's and Brian Viglione's talent until I dropped into the Virgin store on Hollywood Blvd. on April 19, 2006, the day after the CD Yes, Virginia was released for a live in-store set. They blew me away, so anyway, I'll look forward to what Amanda has to offer as a solo performer.

Hope I get home in time that night to catch Fleet Foxes on The David Letterman Show around 12:20AM.

Also already have a ticket for Film School and The Pity Party at Spaceland on Wednesday, August 6. What a great bill! Film School have really been playing a lot shows, doing a lot of touring and getting noticed this summer (see The New York Times) and they really deserve it. Anxious to see these old friends again. The Pity Party I haven't seen in a while, but they never disappoint. This show is sponsored by Indie 103/Club NME.

Thursday, August 7 I'm seeing Amnion, who I haven't seen in the longest time, open for Darker My Love at the Troubadour. There's been a lot of buzz around Darker My Love lately, so I'll look forward to that. But Amnion haven't played lately so I can't wait to hear some of their new material as well as their (already) classics. Can't recommend this stunning band highly enough!

Saturday, August 9 Gliss play at Boardner's in Hollywood. This band blends spacey, sparkling washes of jangly guitar with breathy vocals creating an altered-state trance. I've seen them four times before but not since last year, so I look forward to hearing some new material from one of my favorite unsung local bands. Why more people don't know about them escapes me.

Chairlift is a band I met when they opened for Everest and Two Sheds at the Silverlake Lounge on July 12, 2007. They perform a sort of perfect sounding indie/pop rock, very catchy, witty lyrics and with really strong musicianship and voices. They're opening for Ariel Pink at the Echo on Tuesday, August 12. It was so refreshing, when I talked to them last year that, coming from Brooklyn, they had none of that resentment or rancor towards the Silver Lake scene that other out-of-town bands display. Maybe it's because Brooklyn is currently such a hotbed of musical creativity (so many great bands) they don't need to envy the Los Angeles Indie scene, so Chairlift seemed genuinely interested in what local bands I liked and would recommend, and asked all sorts of questions about local clubs. I liked them a lot and their whole attitude. Come out and meet them. Also their new material up on their myspace page is great!

Ordinarily events like Sunset Junction would have me resting comfortably at home the night before, conserving energy. But when a band like Thailand plays Pehrspace on Friday, August 22, I have no choice. They made such an impression on me when I saw them at the Silverlake Lounge June 25 and I'm so into the new EP that I have to be there. They have such solid songwriting skills that I really look forward to a full CD from them.

Sunset Junction is on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24 this year and if the last two years are any indication, this will be one of my favorite events of the year. Maybe I'm lucky I never attended before 2006 because I never knew it as a free event (I can understand long-time local's resentment) but, to me, it's worth every penny, just for the experience. It has to be one of the most pleasant, friendly street events I've ever attended.

Two years ago it featured bands like Great Northern, Monsters Are Waiting, Lavender Diamond and the Eels, last year it was Division Day, The Pity Party, The Parson Red Heads, The Broken West, Sea Wolf and Autolux.

This years Saturday lineup is the one I won't leave: Radars To The Sky, Happy Hollows, Castledoor, Bodies of Water are all local bands I love and wouldn't miss. But when you add Menomena and Broken Social Scene to the bill it becomes a can't miss.

Menomena completely blew my mind when I saw them at the Troubadour on June 12, 2007. This is one of those bands, like Arcade Fire, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear, or Calexico, or Elbow, etc, etc, etc that just perform at a different level than most bands. There's only three of them, but they are each such multi-multi-instrumentalists they are often holding and playing more than one instrument at a time. It has to be seen to be believed. Their CD is great, but doesn't quite capture the genuis of their live show. And the night I saw them, one of them was so sick with the flu he almost passed out, mid-song, at one point...and it didn't affect the show at all!

Another band that seems to be at that other level is Broken Social Scene and no matter which conglomeration of artists Kevin Drew brings to town this time, I love this band live. It's always a wonderful celebration of music! And that's what Sunset Junctions is, so it is a perfect fit of band and event.


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