Friday, October 31, 2008

Echo Curio and the Soloist Sandwich

I was really looking forward to catching Avi Buffalo for the second time on Thursday (October 30, 2008) at the Echo Curio. I'd seen him once before at the Unknown Theatre in September when he performed with his four piece band and I was totally unprepared for the talent assault I was subjected to. He had me from the first song on.

It was also a chance to return to the Echo Curio. Hell, I'd move in there if they'd let me. It's one of the most arts-friendly and welcoming music venues I've ever experienced. Justin and Grant are to be commended for making this possible.

I made sure to arrive around 9:00 because I figured every act would be worth a look. That was true, even more so. Grant aptly called the evening's program 'a soloist sandwich' when I asked him about it.

Them Darling Deers would appear as a solo act, followed by the full band, Tommy Santee Klaws, and ending with a solo Avi Buffalo with his guitar. I was very excited at the prospect of seeing Avi sing and play without any accompaniment. To be able to really focus on his extraordinary guitar playing gifts.

And to hear his songs that way, it would be something like seeing Aaron Embry doing Amnion songs solo at Tangier. That was an amazing show I'll never forget!

Them Darling Deers soloist came out and I haven't been able to find out his name. He appeared on stage armed with only a guitar and a suitcase. Putting down the unopened suitcase he played what he described as "Puppet Therapy" songs. I think it's something about having a surrogate voice your deepest desires. They're little psychological, sing-songy kind of ditties with very dark roots.

But when he sat on the floor, hidden behind his open suitcase, you were left to wonder what in the world was making those other-worldly, unidentifiable sounds coming out at you. A probable mix of pre-recorded samples and sounds produced by, I don't know, whistles, bells, tongs, xylophones perhaps?

Anyway, it all builds to one giant cacophony of combined sound elements making a sound like a spaceship leaving earth, leaving me plastered against the back wall. It was very impressive. Experimental, mind-blowing music has always intigued me and this was no exception.

A highlight of the evening was talking to Avi Buffalo. I appreciated his kind words about this blog and his understanding about how music has changed my life. It's hard for me to express what a huge impact this has had sometimes, and he just seemed to understand.

I hadn't known he's been lately collaborating with Aaron Embry of Amnion and I can't imagine a better fit. It sounds like he has a pretty exciting rest of the year planned.

Tommy Santee Klaws was up next and I really didn't know anything about their music. So when they began with that gorgeous sound and those stunning vocals, I was transfixed. They reminded me immediately of Fleet Foxes, with that folky sound, but also of Dios Malos and their beautiful high lead vocals, and a little Le Loup, with the plinkity-plunk use of bells, horns, kazoos and anything else they could get their hands on.

Beautifully orchestrated melodies contrasted with ironic/sardonic lyrics always get my attention, but these were done with an uncommon quality of writing and performance. Tommy Santee has a voice that could melt glass and it is complemented by perfect harmonies from other band members.

Their songs tend to be short and right to the point, but all different. "Chasing Bodies" with it's mariachi-style guitar and careful, deliberate vocals. "Smoke Spells" and it's beautiful funeral dirge tempo, supporting lyrics like, "you'll look better when you're dead". "Pickle Jar" and the tribal beat complimented by Donna J. Ryan O'hara's assorted sound effects from bells or whistles or her voice.

They sound casual but with a technical professionalism that can only come from playing together a long time. The wonderful comtribution of the upright bass only makes it even more beautiful, in a set where not one element felt out of place.

I enjoyed meeting Tommy and the band and their fans who were on hand. Picked up a couple of their CD's which are just great. I really like their gentle songs flavored with occasionally brutal lyrics and the honesty of their approach. Tommy Santee Klaws goes right on my 'must see again' list.

Avi Buffalo completed the sandwich with a solo set that ably demonstrated why he's one of the best guitarists around. To hear the songs I'd heard from the full band done solo was revelatory.

Certain people can make the guitar sound like the most beautiful sound on earth. I think Kaki King did it for me last Saturday at the Troubadour and, here, Avi Buffalo did it again.

With only his guitar and some pre-recorded accompaniment he astounded the assemble crowd with a set of songs that showed the range of his songwriting. I especially enjoy this version of "Where's Your Dirty Mind" and it's great melody, kind of profound lyrics and the expressive vocals. In spite of all the attention payed to his guitar playing, he certainly doesn't neglect his voice. It has a remarkable flexibility and manages to stay ahead of the unpredictable melodies he writes.

A few of his songs would extend into long guitar reveries that were hypnotic and stopped time. It could have gone on for hours. I look forward to any recordings he will put out, but in the meantime the five songs on his myspace page are great to have. Do not miss Avi Buffalo if you ever have the chance.

This has been a remarkable week for seeing great singers, from Seasons and Fol Chen, to One Trick Pony and Thailand, to Red Cortez and Tommy Santee Klaus and Avi Buffalo. Thank you, Los Angeles.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Author Mark Everett and Red Cortez

Tuesday (October 28, 2008) was the book signing event at West Hollywood's Book Soup for Mark Oliver Everett and his book Things the Grandchildren Should Know. The Eels leader has published an autobiography in conjunction with the American premiere showings of the BBC/PBS documentary, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives on Nova.

I got into The Eels music a couple of years ago when they played the Sunset Junction street festival and they were amazing. I had really enjoyed the video for "Trouble with Dreams" and seen them on some late night show. I picked up Blinking Lights and Other Revelations and was totally intrigued by the tales told by E and the sheer beauty of the music. I learned of a guy who had overcome a difficult childhood; a distant, alcoholic father who died young, a sister's suicide and his mother's subsequent death from cancer. All the while, trying to find his place in the world.

His lyrics reveal an ability to analyze these experiences with honesty, humor and forgiveness, but without a trace of self pity. It seemed a not untypical contemporary story of the broken American family, until, gradually, pieces of the puzzle began to disclose themselves. I learned that his father had been Hugh Everett, the physicist who came up with the "many-worlds interpretations of quantum physics", only to be dismissed and scorned by the scientific community at large. Subsequently the theory has become generally accepted as a highly possible explanation of quantum mechanics. But Hugh Everett had felt defeated and dejected and never really recovered to see his theory gain credence and stature.

In reading E's book, I learned that he only found out about his father after his death, and his subsequent journey, as detailed in the documentary, meeting his father's colleagues and having his father's theory explained to him, allowed him to understand and feel compassion for this man he barely knew. It's an unexpectedly moving story and is so valuable in understanding The Eels music.

I'm almost through the book and thought going to his book signing would be the best way to meet him. There's never any hope of bumping into him at a show because the band is simply too famous.

That afternoon I had read the chapter "Happy Trails" in which, at one of his lowest points, he has a kind of epiphany and realizes that he has to write music in an autobiographical style, otherwise all his music would be just a pose. Ruminating on this sadness which had become such a part of his life, he writes a sentence that will alway burn in my brain for it's direct simplicity, "I could make something from all this."

The Book Soup event was limited to a recording of The Eels' bass player reading a selection from the book and then Mark Everett answered some questions from the people assembled. It was during the book signing that I got to meet him and tell him how moved I'd been at this chapter of the book and specifically, that line I quoted above. He asked if I wanted him to sign that page and that was exactly what I wanted. Now he'll wonder about that guy who didn't want him to sign the title page. That's cool.

Wednesday provided a sudden opportunity to see Red Cortez emerge from the remains of The Weather Underground in their first concert under the new moniker. Set to debut on Tuesday, November 11 with Earlimart and Afternoons at the Echoplex as it hosts the revived Indie 103.1 "Check One...Two" series, now called "Check One...Twosdays", Red Cortez gave a surprise warm up show at the Silverlake Lounge.

I've been neglectful of this band and realized it mosty acutely watching Elaine Layabout's videos of their recent garden performance as The Weather Underground. I thought that was pretty stunning so I listened to some recorded work and could see their potential.

I had seen them finish their set at the Troubadour on July 7th when they opened for Alan Sparhawke's Low offshoot, The Retribution Gospel Choir. But I only saw maybe two songs and the sound mix didn't do them justice. Plus, with this band, you need to see them do many songs, just to get a sense of their range.

I arrived as opening band The Capshuns were starting and I enjoyed their party rock set. No deep thinking, just good, flat-out dance rock with a twist of glam. I can see why their opening for Mando Daio next week at the Troubadour.

Met up with Travis (Web in Front) and Mouse (Classical Geek Theatre), both big fans of The Weather Underground, who acquainted me with what to expect. But I wasn't prepared for Red Cortez to literally blow my socks off.

Harley Prechtel-Cortez is such a powerful singer and player that, at times, he'd become a strobing blur of movement. He has talent just oozing from him and sings in a fine voice that seems to do exactly what he asks of it. Thrilling guitar work and even more impressive keyboard skills, where he can sometimes pound away on the keys indiscrimanently and still make beautiful music, add to the musical compound.

He's backed by musicians of comparable stature. Ryan Kirkpatrick on bass and vocals, Diego Guerrero on drums and vocals, and new player Calvin J. Love on guitar. All play with passion and precision.

I'm not too familiar with their songs yet, but recognized a few from video and recordings I've heard. They also played some new material, I was told. I met their manager, who was great to talk to, and from whom I got a couple of their EP's.

I look forward to becoming more familiar with them and I'll be at The Echoplex show.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday Residencies - October 27, 2008

O.K., all the Monday night residencies have finally gotten to me. I was so screwed up this Monday (October 27, 2008) I went to Spaceland to see Seasons who were playing at the Echo and ended up staying at Spaceland to see some of Ilo Mar, a California-based duo.

Vanessa Micale plays guitar and sings odd folk/jazz fusion songs in a sultry/sing-songy voice. Her stream-of-consciousness lyrics are underscored by the sturm und drang of Ted Byrnes roiling drum and cymbal work making the whole thing sound like waves crashing on gigantic rocks. That's how it sounded to me anyway, and I found it fascinating music and stimulating to the brain.

I'd like to hear some recordings of what the Ilo Mar myspace page describes as 'folk/visual/ambient'. I guess that fits.

I would have stayed longer because I was having a nice chat with Grant (Mr. Echo Curio) who I'd been wanting to talk to. I said I was there because I'd enjoyed Seasons so much at the Curio last Friday and he looked puzzled and asked, "Are they playing here tonight?". This moron (me) learned that the Rademacher show with Seasons was at The Echo, not Spaceland.

I stayed for a couple of songs and then split down Silverlake Boulevard to grab the Sunset bus to The Echo. I knew I'd miss Seasons, but at least I could explain why. Plus I might be able to catch the set by One Trick Pony, who I've really enjoyed before.

The Echo was pretty empty when I walked in near 10, but Seasons had just finished and most people were out back. But I got to say hi to John and Adam and Shaggy and apologize for missing their set. I was real happy to meet them and they absolved me of guilt. I truly meant to see them because I've become obsessed with their CD since I picked it up last Friday, and I was most anxious to hear the songs live now that I know them better.

There's nothing like seeing a band you don't know who really impress you, and then picking up their CD and loving it. The next time you see them live becomes a wildly anticipated experience and it's usually an extraordinary one. This has happened for me with bands like Rogue Wave, Great Northern, The Western States Motel, Division Day, Amnion and Fol Chen and the list goes on. But it's definitely one of the highlight aspects of this incredible music scene.

Judging by the people I talked to; Seasons gave a great show. I know they're playing a lot in November so I'll get to see them again soon. In fact at American Legion Hall in Highland Park on Saturday, November 15 on a great bill including Manhattan Murder Mystery, Health Club and, I think, My Secret Alphabet, who I've been anxious to see. That's gonna be a fun night!

One Trick Pony took the stage just after 10 and performed a remarkable set of indie-folk songs. Backed by Jenny's terrific drumming and vocal work and the extraordinary violin of Charlene Huang, Randolph sings in a personal, sometimes painfully personal, voice that never sounds forced or maudlin. His vocal style is almost conversational and he tells stories of life and relationship experiences with a sometimes acid-tongued irony.

He seems to me quite a gifted songwriter in the vein of two other performers who are high on my list this week, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats (Troubadour Oct. 25) and Mark Everett of The Eels (tonight, Oct. 28 at Book Soup). Randolph's song often approach the unearthly beauty of The Eels when they reach that sublime place with the aid of their string arrangemants. When Charlene's violin becomes central to the song, the whole thing takes off to another level. I felt soaked in the beauty.

They played "Loose Talk", "Phonebook" and "Box Song", which are on the EP they offered for a donation. It looks like live versions of the songs as recorded at the CMJ Festival in New York last week, since the EP says right on it "Oct. 24th 10PM @ Sidewalk Cafe, 94th Ave. A, N.Y, N.Y.". How about that! A live show from last Friday is on disc and being distributed just days later. No wonder the music scene is exploding, nationwide!

Lots of friends and fellow musicians present including Nick Ceglio of Death To Anders, Eli of The Monolators, Elaine Layabout, Joe Fielder (Radio Free Silver Lake), Travis Woods (Web In Front), Christian Biel of The Transmissions and others.

As soon as One Trick Pony finished I had to hightail it out of there to catch a quick bus over to the Silverlake Lounge. Thailand were going on at 11 o'clock and I was looking forward to it.

On my third pass of the evening by the Silverlake Lounge, I finally went in. Had a nice chat with Marc Linquist, of Thailand, before their set and we couldn't help but turn the conversation to politics. We both shared that we're feeling marginally optimistic about Obama's chances next Tuesday, but still cautious. He said that the future direction of the band hangs in the balance, and they'll either be writing more politically charged material or they'll switch to sunny pop ditties. Somehow I doubt that, but he's such a good writer he'd probably write 'sharp-edged' sunny pop ditties.

I asked about any future expansion of the band. He said they've added a full time drummer and, tonight, a bass player would join them for the last couple of songs. I looked forward to that!

They began with "Favorite Sun" and continued with "Heartland Failure". The vocals were undermiked at first, but came up as the set progressed. The drummer adds a powerful punch to the songs, making them sound more urgent.

But when the bass player joined them on stage, the transformation was staggering. Their music never sounded more muscular. WOW! The bass added a wonderful, throbbing undercurrent to the last numbers. I was left wondering where this remarkable band will end up.

Cheers to Thailand, and here's to the future. I think it's going to look a lot brighter after next Tuesday.

For a night that looked to veer way off course, it all came down to a wonderful evening in the end. And surely, I must hold some record for attending three residencies in one night. It was worth it!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top Ten - September 27 - October 19

I have to keep this up, just so that at the end of the year, it's that much easier to compile a best of the year list. All I'll have to do is add up the numbers.

So this list covers the weeks I was away and up to last week:

1. The Broken West - Now or Heaven (Merge)
2. Calexico - Carried To Dust (Quarterstick Records)
3. Darker My Love - 2 (Dangerbird Records)
4. Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs (Touch and Go Records)
5. The Henry Clay People - For Cheap or For Free (Autumn Tune Records)
6. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
7. The Stevenson Ranch Davidians - Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (self release)
8. Gangi - A (self release)
9. The Transmissions - Greater Imperfections (Scary Elevator Records)
10. Marvelous Toy - All is Quiet (Feel M.T. Records)

because it is a long period, here's five more:

11. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant (Sub Pop)
12. Film School - Hideout (Beggar's Banquet Records)
13. Sara Lov - Three Songs (self release)
14. Pinback - Summer in Abaddon (Touch and Go Records)
15. Thailand - The Remote Controller Absorbs the Place (self release)

O.K., there you go.


The Mountain Goats - Troubadour - Oct. 25, 2008

I always enjoy going to see The Mountain Goats because I know, when it's over, I'll feel like I just finished an anthology of short stories. Each song is so evocative you feel you get to know his characters and situations with an immediate intimacy.

What I wasn't prepared for was Kaki King. Here is a guitar virtuoso so accomplished she often makes her single guitar sound like three, simultaneously. It was one of the most astonishing displays of musicianship I've ever witnessed with her nimble fingers plucking and stroking the strings with unbelievable speed and precision. And the sound it produced; all twinkly and liquid, so it almost sounded like a harp.

I understand her background is mostly as an instrumental artist, but she has a lovely voice and I liked her lyrics. She's being urged to write more singer/songwriter songs and I think she does it really well, without sacrificing any of her strong musicianship.

Backed by a fine band, she had an especially strong drummer in Matt Hankle who really impressed me. But it was her glittering, flowery, hypnotic guitar work that dragged me in and made me feel, at times, like I was falling forward into this enticing sound.

A highlight was the instrumental, "2 O'Clock" where she strums, plucks and slaps her guitar into a reverie of sound and vibration. She stunned the room. She had the whole Troubadour in the palm of her hand. And I was glad to see she had the audience she deserved.

In one of those odd coincidences, this was not only the week I was seeing John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats but this was also the week that the documentary, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives was on Nova about Mark Everett of The Eels and his dad, and I bought his book. Both artists emerged from damaging childhoods and turned their pain into art.

I admire their ability to examine their anger and pain with honesty, candor and especially, humor, and then share their gained wisdom with all of us. What a gift. Like that song where John Darnielle sings about his stepfather "...launching a beer, straight at my mother's head". It sounds funny, until you realize what he's saying.

Saturday night (October 25, 2008) at the Troubadour, John wanted to rock out, and he did. Accompanied by a drummer and bass player, he played songs from a repertory so huge I only knew a few of them, although he ended with everyone's favorite,"This Year".

He must have hundreds of songs by now. Each one crafts a little story to wrap your head around, like a little painting filled with observable detail. So the cumulative effect of the concert is like that of a trip to a museum. It's impossible not to feel stimulated. You feel full and enriched and very special when an artist chooses to share so much of himself.

Probably not as life changing as the incredible show I saw him give at the El Rey last year on March 11, 2007, but nevertheless, a pretty great show and I'm proud to say this was the fifth time I've seen him. I've also been lucky enough to have met him a couple of times, like Amoeba when he signed my CD, and at the Troubadour last time and both times I was struck by his accessibility and unaffected manner. A real human.


Echo Curio on a Friday Night

WOW! is the best way to describe my second trip to planet Echo Curio Friday night (October 25, 2008). You know how, sometimes on the way to a show, you just know it's going to be great? Well, Friday was just such a night. Once again, some of the finest local communitarians were present to support four more great bands at a venue that is destined to become one of my favorite haunts.

Granted, the place can get pretty hot during the sets, but the homey, living room/curiosity shop character of the space is too inviting to let temperature fluctuations affect the experience. And to see the bands just set up and play with no special lights or fanfare or hoopla of any kind make you feel like you're privy to a secret rehearsal.

Arriving after 9:30 the audience was sparse as Les Blanks began their set. An enjoyable blend of classic garage rock with post punk leanings, the three piece band displayed range and versatility with Joshua Caldwell and Boomcat sharing vocal duties. I really liked the song "Well Rehearsed Last Words".

The place filled up pretty quickly, as Joshua pounded away on the keyboard in a kind of honky-tonk style, singing out in a voice resembling a blues-soaked, kick-ass punk, Boomcat on bass and Brian Soika added drums making for a rollicking start to the festivities.

I was really looking forward to Fol Chen since I haven't seen them since July and they're one of my favorite live bands. They never fail to prove a point. They began their set normally enough, but the heat got to them and they began disrobing until the stage looked like some high school flashback of a 'shirts vs. skins' event.

Their performance was unaffected as they tore through some of their great songs and even threw in a cover of a Mariah Carey song (and it was good!). Showing off their incredible range, they go from noisy, screaming rants down to the most fragile 2 and 3-part harmonies, and usually within the same song.

Fol Chen can do no wrong and they have the adoring following to prove it. I know. I'm one of them. In fact Adam and Melissa were the first two people I ran into when I got there that night.

I don't know how to describe Seasons except that, even though I've seen them before, they completely took me by surprise Friday. Their music defies easy categorization, so let's just say it's an amalgam of all kinds of rock from post punk to classic folk-rock to blues to rock-a-billy and lots in between.

I wasn't prepared for the writing skill and the variety of instrumental arrangements. Some songs were guitar-based, others were piano-based, some even tambourine-heavy. Lead singer, Nic, has a wonderful adaptable voice for whatever the song calls for. He can growl or he can purr.

Picked up their 12-song compilation CD that was being handed out and spoke with Nic, briefly, to ask about the nine musicians on stage with them. He said they're normally a seven-member unit but had assist from friends like Matt from Manhattan Murder Mystery on this night.

The CD even further reveals their range; some of the songs are really quite beautiful and others prove irresistible for dancing. This band definitely goes on my list of locals never to be missed. Seasons are on the bill for Rademacher's Monday night residency this week (Oct. 27) at the Echo, along with The Hectors and One Trick Pony. Of course, Thailand also play that night at the Silverlake Lounge, so I'll either stay one place or be running up and down Silverlake Boulevard all night.

The crowd thinned out a bit when Meho Plaza took the stage to finish off the evening. They play this noisy, playful electronica anchored with flashes of pretty indie rock melodies poking through the electro punk morass. It was a great, crazy eye opening way to end the night.

Met up with some great people this night and, once again, Echo Curio has me under it's spell.
In fact, I'll be back there Thursday night (October 30) to see Avi Buffalo.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Golden Ratio at Silverlake Lounge

I went out to see a band I didn't know on Wednesday (October 22, 2008). The Golden Ratio approached me a week or so ago about attending their EP release party at the Silverlake Lounge, as my blog indicated to them I might like their music.

I listened to samples on their myspace page and liked their style of psychedelic funk fused with ambient shoegaze. I decided to try not to miss their show since they'd gone to the trouble to find me.

There weren't too many people there when I arrived but the place filled up quickly with friends and fans of the band. I didn't know anyone there until Jerami Mannella came up to ask if I was the blogger. He plays bass in the band and I was glad to meet him, which led to meeting Talia Mays, the voice of the band. She is of ebullient spirit and as sweet and genuine as can be.

When The Golden Ratio took the stage they built up a wall of swirling psychedelia backed by a funky beat that was pierced by the slowly mounting wail of Talia's fine voice. It sounded like a weird mix of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, with some Prince thrown in. Or in the same vein as contemporary artists like Film School, Darker My Love, or Xu Xu Fang.

Nice background arrangements keep the atmosphere throbbing and constantly moving as Talia dances and moves to the beat while her voice cuts through the trippy musical haze. I'm happy I picked up their EP, How Long Til Never?, because it led me to a deeper apppreciation of what they're after.

Utilizing a variety of styles; some songs are hypnotic/ambient epics with a funk beat, while the song "Hindsight", with it's twangy guitars, rumbling drums and distant vocal wails reminding me of a Morricone film score. And "Mephisto" has an other-worldly, Stevie Nicks kind of science fictiony atmosphere.

I wish them well, but I think their focus is true and they're on the right path.

I couldn't stay for instrumental band, Beware Of Safety, but I liked their recorded pieces on myspace and love their name, so I should catch them at a later date.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Let's Independent!" - October Edition

This month's "Let's Independent!" on Tuesday night (October 21) was one of the best attended Joe Shows in quite a while and I was very glad to see that. Light FM, Tigers Can Bite You and The French Semester have played lots of recent shows so they each brought a significant fan base that, together, formed a most congenial and band-friendly crowd.

The French Semester had just begun when I walked in. I've noticed a bit of buzz around this band recently, but have repeatedly failed to see their sets as they often go on first. So Tuesday, I was glad to give their very pretty indie-pop a chance, and I was impressed.

The four band members are from all over the planet and their World Music knowledge is evident in the clever, hook-laden melodies and nice, thoughtful, conversational lyrics. They list some really wonderful influences on their myspace page from The Hollies to Pavement and you hear in their mix of lyrical shoe-gaze.

I especially like their number titled "Winter Song". Beautiful. I'm glad they settled in Los Angeles.

By the time Tigers Can Bite You came on Boardner's was swarming. Out again, after seeing them last night, were Kevin Bronson (Buzzbands) , Elaine Layabout and the ever-present Hunter (Costeau). Nice to see Andrew Lynch of The Poor Excuses (He has a solo CD coming out!), Matt of Manhattan Murder Mystery and Ethan Skoczylas and Aaron La Fontaine of The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. Happy to get the chance to tell Jordan Hudock how much I'm enjoying his Marvelous Toy EP, All Is Quiet.

Tigers Can Bite You sounded stronger than I remembered, but the crowd was kind of noisy and the sound mix didn't favor the lead singer, Dave. I picked up their CD and can tell from that what they could sound like. I want to give them another shot so I am able to render a fair opinion.

Le Switch finished the night and I was so impressed with their show at Safari Sam's last month I was happy to see them again. Again the tight, precise pop sensibility with the crooning vocals of Josiah Mazzaschi in the forefront. I love the instrumentals of this band and was sad the sound mix wasn't up to what I heard before. Josiah's vocals were slightly over amped, losing the lovely vocal harmonies he shares with the other singers in the band, but, still, it was an enjoyable set that had people hopping and bopping.

The whole place seemed like a big party and thanks to Radio Free Silver Lake. Joe Fielder was, as ever, the gracious host and I enjoy getting to know him better. I always learn a lot from him.

Earlier in the evening I was able to catch Nova on PBS to watch the incredible PBS/BBC documentary Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives about The Eels leader, Mark Everett's journey to understand his father, the gifted physicist Hugh Everett, who died when Mark was 18. It is informative, involving, educational and extraordinarily moving. I saw much of it the night I saw his concert at the El Rey on April 16, 2008 and have been waiting anxiously for this TV showing. Because of what Mark finds out on this journey, you understand so much more about his music... and on a much deeper level. I also picked up his autobiography, What the Grandchildren Should Know, and am finding it a brilliant read. My admiration for him grows.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pinback at Echoplex - October 20, 2008

Monday night (October 20) I was off to the Echoplex to see Pinback and once again I was reassured that they are my favorite band for very solid reasons. This was the eighth time I've seen them and I'm beginning to envy myself.

Their music speaks to me in so many different ways. The melodies that swirl around in my head, always jumping ahead of my expectations and increasing in scope and range. Lyrics that are cryptic and elliptic enough to keep the synapses working overtime.

They've written phrases that jump out and have stuck in my brain...for years even. Like the explanation of having talent, "It's just a thing that I carry around", or a dreamy, private expression of love, "Safe as a cootie-wootie with you". Or the lyric that confuses and intrigues, like, "It's up to the trees with the firestorm" from "June".

I love the thoughtful, disturbing quality of that song. As Rob Crow succinctly put it during the show, "Here's another bright, uplifting song from Pinback". But it's just that combination of lilting melody with a strong undercurrent of melancholy that is usually found in my favorite kind of music.

They claim to be just normal folks, but they write with a wisdom and insight that allows them to say simply what one can work years to figure out. I am in awe of their gifts.

What really strikes me after these two recent shows is the growth in their vocal work. Zack Smith's voice is becoming so steady and assured he's now equal to Rob Crow in vocal performance strength. You hear some of the finest blending and sliding and weaving of the two vocal strands that together reach such sublime beauty. It's embarrassing to admit the number of times their concert performances move me to tears. I just crumble in the presence of the perfect juxtaposition of art and beauty.

I can use their music to transport myself almost anywhere I need to go. It can raise my spirits, make me happy and upbeat, make me sad and thoughtful, stimulate and excite me, even lower my blood pressure. Somehow they allow me to see that there is more than one way to approach a challenge. Maybe they're clairvoyant, or just magician/musicians.

They played over 20 songs from throughout their history, each one performed to perfection for an adoring crowd. This was one of the best West Coast audiences I've seen for them, so far, and the Echoplex was a great venue for them.

In a pensive moment Rob said, acknowledging his agnostic side, that since there is no afterlife, one should enjoy the life you have, and that the most important thing a human can learn is how to be kind to others. It was kind of a surprising, genuine statement from one who can be seen as a bit sarcastic at times. But it was a message I've long subscribed to and I was happy to see Rob embrace it.

I think this has been a difficult and emotional tour for them because their good friend and usual keyboard accompanist Terrin Durfey is battling a recurrence of cancer and they're understandably upset. But it's led to some heartfelt moments during this and the Boston show I saw and it's helped me see another side of them. They're committed to this tour to support the Terrin Durfey Fund to help his family cover their medical expenses and I urge anyone who can afford it to please contribute to the Terrin Durfey Fundraiser donations (here).

Opening band was Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, Pall Jenkens' upbeat, irreverent, more rocking alternative to The Black Heart Procession. I am an enormous fan of The Black Heart Procession, but Pall and company are such talented musicians, I enjoy Mr. Tube almost as much. This was the third time I've seen them and they play such tight, funky, bluesy rock and roll fronted by the extraordinary vocals of Mr. Jenkens they always get the crowd moving.

By the time Pinback finished "June" to wrap up the evening, it was only 11:45 and I knew Death To Anders were at the Echo, upstairs, going on at midnight. I would have gone to that show were it not for the show downstairs because the lineup, also including Rademacher, Le Switch and All Smiles is pretty great. I was so keyed up from Pinback I needed more music, so up I went.

Great move because I got to see a lot of people I missed while in Boston, Kevin Bronson, Elaine Layabout, Hunter Costeau, Sarah Negahdari, Rob Danson, Nick Ceglio, Christian Biel. It was a great welcome home and, by the way, Death To Anders played one of the best sets I've yet seen from them. Really tight, razor sharp playing and fine singing from Rob and Nick. They only played about 6 songs, but it was the perfect capper to a superb evening.


Back Home in L.A.

Back in town and in need of lots of live music. Unfortunately I lost out on a chance to see Andrew Bird for two nights at the Largo at the Coronet, probably two of the best concerts in town this year. But a lot of good shows have popped up like Fol Chen at Echo Curio this Friday (October 24) or Avi Buffalo at Echo Curio on October 30.

I ventured out to Mr. T's Bowl for the first time on Saturday night (October 18) lured by the promise of a, suddenly announced, show by The Ruby Suns. Probably en route from their native New Zealand to a series of gigs in New York this week, they perhaps tried to stop over in L.A., but for whatever reason, it didn't happen. I love this band and was somewhat disappointed, but my first adventure into the dark cavern of Mr. T's Bowl was lightened by Joe Fielder (Radio Free Silver Lake) and some surprise bands I liked.

First up was Jack Wilson Jr. who played a nice shambling indie rock with strong gravelly singing by Matt Eckel supported by his four piece band. Very interesting and intriguing was the percussion by their drummer (?) Brian Demski who pounded away on the African drum in front of him or on an amplified wooden box upon which he sat. I found their set enjoyable and liked the band's style. I don't know if they were filling in for somebody but the scheduled The Spires also didn't get to play because of some age issues.

The next band, Walk, was on the evenings original lineup and they played very pretty indie rock with influences from everywhere from Arcade Fire to The Beatles to The Eels (according to their myspace page). Supporting the winsome, somnambulant singing of Tim Jordan, with Kenny Tarentino on bass, Chris Kerrigan on keys and Dan Apodaca on drums are some really nicely constructed tunes. The more they played the prettier it became, with some really beautiful instrumental passages. Met Tim afterward and picked up their EP.

As this was my first trip to Mr. T's Bowl and public transportation back to L.A. from Highland Park ends around 11:45, so I had to skip Franklin For Short. I like what I've heard on their myspace page so I was sorry to miss them, but I'll catch up with them somewhere, somehow.

Sunday I rested, gearing up to begin running full speed starting with Pinback at the Echoplex on Monday (October 20).


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feed Your Head in Boston - Fleet Foxes

Monday (October 6, 2008) I was off to see Fleet Foxes and Frank Fairfield at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Mass. It's actually not far from downtown Boston, being only two subway stops beyond Harvard Square. It's in Davis Square, which is a beautifully restored area with nice shops, theatres, brick sidewalks and trees; very New England.

Frank Fairfield was already on when I arrived, so I was shown to my fourth row seat, and looked around at the gorgeous theatre I was in. Frank was on his guitar when I got there and although the theatre was only half full, he commanded the audiences attention easily. Taking up the banjo next, he stunned the crowd with his picking, which is always brilliant. He played some of my favorites including "Hesitation Blues" and "Old Paint" and one I think I hadn't heard before called "Casey Jones", which was wonderful.

I wondered how Frank would be received across the country as he opened for Fleet Foxes. Opening for a band that has become that popular can be treacherous, but, if Boston was any indication, Frank rose to the occasion admirably. He was warmly received by an attentive audience and I couldn't have wished a better reception for him. People know quality music.

I wandered out to the lobby during the break to take in the theatre. They still show movies upstairs in some shoe boxes and downstairs is the Museum of Bad Art. Ironically, a friend in L.A. urged me to try to find this museum while in Boston, and here I just bumped into it because of this concert. Freaky! (By he way, the museum had an exhibit of indescribably bad portraiture, which I took a few moments to enjoy at the end of the evening).

At the merch table I saw Frank and we spoke. He was half expecting to see me here as I'd told him my plans to see this show. He said he's enjoyed touring but is looking forward to getting home in two weeks. A very gracious gentleman.

Fleet Foxes took the stage around 8:30 to a tumultuous reception from the sold out house. From the first moments of the warm up number, the first cut off Sun Giant, the audience was giddy with delight. After launching into "The Sun It Rises", Robin Pecknold explained that this was the first sit down concert they'd ever given and it felt very weird to him. So, all at once, the audience began rising until the whole orchestra section was standing. And we remained standing for the rest of the set. No one wanted to sit anyway once their music began levitating us.

The sound was strong and powerful and their voices clear and beautifully defined. As a friend said to me after the El Rey show in L.A., their sound is far more muscular live. This was the fourth time I've seen them and I have yet to hear anything less than a perfect sound mix.

I've heard complaints that they talk too much between songs, but I find it real humanizing. These guys are young and enthusiastic and just starting out and they have come very far, very fast. Let them bask in the early glow of stardom. I find their banter disarmingly genuine. I've had the opportunity to speak with most of them and they're the same off stage as on.

They played pretty much their entire repertory including "Drops In the River" and "White Winter Hymnal". Robin performed his stunning solo number "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" and at one point came out from behind the mike to stand on the skirt of the stage to deliver a beautiful song directly to the theatre. With just his guitar, he blew every ones mind. You could have heard a pin drop. Wonderful to hear his amazing voice unmiked and it carried right up to the rafters.

For their encore they performed that new song I heard at the El Rey and "Mykonos", which just gets more beautiful each time I hear them perform it. The audience was ecstatic by the end and pretty much overwhelmed.

Afterward I spoke briefly to Skyler Skjelset on stage and saw Casey Wescott in the lobby who looked at me and said, "I know you" whereby I reminded him we'd met in L.A. two weeks before. I love the way these guys come out to meet their fans. It shows the quality of their character and the humanity reflected in their music.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Feed Your Head in Boston - Pinback

After flying across country to Boston, I dropped off my luggage and headed directly to the Paradise Club on Sunday (October 5, 2008). The Paradise has probably been around for over 30 years, as I remember it as a new club when I left Boston in 1978 and headed to L.A.

I was going to see a band that I will finally go way out on a limb to proclaim as my favorite band. I realize the danger of such an admission as you will be labelled as someone who only likes one sound or is not open to anything else, but I think I've displayed sufficient range in my rock music tastes to offset that accusation.

Pinback came to me in a rather left-field kind of way. It's September, 2005 and I've discovered Arcade Fire, Death Cab For Cutie, The Caesars and I'm hunting for any indie-rock music videos I can find on TV. An almost futile search, but I stumble across the music video for "Closer" by Matt Pond PA and I loved their sound. Desperately looking for any CD by that band, I picked up the CD Music From the O.C. volume 4 because it had one cut by them. It was a cover of Oasis' "Supernova" which they did a fantastic job with (better than the original - I'm not an Oasis fan).

The point of that is: when I got to the cut "Fortress" by Pinback, all other bands receded to the background. I must have played the cut 8 times in a row, to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. Here was a perfection of harmony, balance and sound. A sound that went right to my sweet spot and I realized I was hearing what, to my ear, was perfect music. The plucked bass, the mellifluous guitar, the hypnotically beautiful piano and the astonishing precision of the vocals, seemed as good as I'd ever heard.

Their music took me to a place I'd never been before, a place of order and balance. It taught me something about myself. How much I'm attracted to orderly, almost mathematically precise art. It was why I was always passionate about Bach.

The next day I went to, the now defunct, Aron Records in Hollywood and picked up Summer in Abaddon, which turned out to be one of the best albums I'd ever heard. Over the next two weeks I purchased every CD they'd yet released and became obsessed with seeing them live.

Going through some difficult times, I found their music an amazing comfort. It was calming and restful as well as, simultaneously, stimulating and inspiring. Through their music I could see myself changing. Music was becoming more and more important to me and I decided to throw caution to the wind and just go with it. That was when I decided to begin attending live concerts.

On October 30, 2005, Pinback played the Avalon in Hollywood and I saw them for the first time. It was everything I wanted it to be. So here we are two and a half years later and I'm seeing them for the seventh time, and in my former hometown.

The Paradise is a nice club holding about 250 people and this was by far the most enthusiastic crowd I've yet seen for a Pinback concert. Boston loves Pinback. And they repayed these fans with one of the best sets I've seen from them. Playing with a new keyboardist, substituting for their regular player who is, sadly, battling cancer (our thoughts are with him), they played in a style that seemed a little stripped down really emphasizing the musical and vocal collaboration of Rob Crow and Zach Smith.

Supported by an additional guitarist and a drummer, they sounded as good as I've ever heard live. Rob was in great form, responding to the super-enthusiastic audience, he was chatty, amiable and having a lot of fun. Zack's vocal performance was so strong I was kind of blown away. I've never heard him sound so clear and forceful. Maybe it was the sound mix, but I think he was really "on" tonight and the mix of the two singers was just right. Naturally, his bass playing was some of the best to be seen on this planet.

They played "Touch", "Bouquet", "Non-photo Blue", "Microtonic Wave" and other career highlights including "Penelope", "How We Breathe", "Offcell", "Loro", "Fortress" and "From Nothing To Nowhere". At one point Rob's keyboard went out so he couldn't do his special sound effects, so he concentrated on guitar and voice, but the songs still sounded complete.

Encore's included "Sender" and "Manchuria" in front of a crowd that made me proud of Boston. It was a great way to spend my first night in town. Afterwards I hung around a little and spoke with Zack, who was nice enough to say he recognized me. Perhaps from the Amoeba In-store when he signed my Autumn of the Seraphs CD. I had to tell him how impressed I was with his vocals and the overall performance. It's just an honor to shake his hand.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Swell Season at the Greek

Saturday night (October 4, 2008) overwhelmed the Los Angeles grid system with sports events, 2 music festivals, Neil Young at the Staples, the usual glut of local music and The Swell Season and Iron and Wine at the Greek. Trying to navigate the city was a nightmare apparently.

Going up to the Greek with friends in a car, we snaked our way up into Griffith Park and arrived just after Iron and Wine's Sam Beam began his set. This was a stripped down version of Iron and Wine with just Sam and one accompanist on slide guitar and piano. It was fascinating to hear songs I heard him perform last year with a full band at the Orpheum.

The simplified arrangements meant more emphasis on Sam's vocals, which he often buries in rich orchestrations with his full band. But here, he sang out loud and clear which changes every song to focus on the lyrics and Sam's wonderful guitar playing.

There were plenty of longtime fans in the audience who warmly recognized the older material, but he also sang many selections from the recent The Shepherd's Dog CD which everybody seems to know. He finished his set with the first song from that CD and members of The Frames came out to back up a new version which altered the tempo making the song wholly fresh and new. Very nice.

It was a great second exposure to Iron and Wine and since I had gotten my ticket as soon as they had gone on sale, I had a great seat in Section A. So close I only had to glance at the giant screen monitors a few times.

I walked around the venue during the break and The Greek really is a nice place to see bands that won't fit in smaller venues anymore. The grounds are pretty, the people management is great and no visible gestapo tactics by security.

The Swell Season enjoyed a triumphant return to Los Angeles as an exultant crowd welcomed them to the stage. I'd wondered whether Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova had been working on new material so I was especially glad when they began with a song I didn't know.

Next up was their Academy Award winning song "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once, to satisfy the fans, but the third song, called "The Moon" was so stunning and beautiful, with an unbelievable harmony, that I was literally moved to tears.

The back up band was The Frames, Glen Hansard's other group, they're a great band on their own, but they provided superb support for The Swell Season. Performing a bunch of audience favorites from Once they liberally sprinkled the set with unfamiliar and new material.

Glen was having such a good time I think he purposely stretched the set out . He loves to tell little stories between songs, usually about the detours and barriers one encounters in life. He, obviously, has to reconcile the depressed Irishman and the optimistic musician within himself. He stood away from the mike and sang his street song from Once aloud to the enormous Greek amphitheatre like a street busker. I was amazed at how well he could be heard.

They also allowed other musicians a chance to shine. Their violin player came out and played a Debussy piece for us, in which he played and recorded and played back all the parts himself in a kind of Andrew Bird display of technical virtuosity. I believe it was the song "Lies" when Glen and Marketa were joined by the director of Once on bass to perform a stirring rendition of that strong, emotional number.

A truly inspiring, unexpected moment occurred after Glen recounted the tale of Marketa and his adventures in Los Angeles for the month of the Oscars in February of this year. The swirl of activity and the people they were introduced to made their heads swim, but one of the most memorable events was the very genuine encounter with a songwriter. When asked what he
had written and the reply was The Jungle Book, Glen's jaw hit the floor. He then brought Richard Sherman out onto the stage, and he proceeded to turn the audience into burbling children as he sat at the piano and played and sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". He and his brother, Robert, won Oscars for Best Original Score for Mary Poppins and another one for Best Song for "Chim Chim Cheree" in 1964. It was a completely magical moment and also a uniquely Los Angeles one, too.

Then the band kept on playing, including a beautiful cover of Neil Young's "Out On the Weekend" from the Harvest album, which they invited Sam Beam out on stage to sing with them. It was a stunning version of a stunning song.

For the encores, Marketa came out alone, sat at the piano and hypnotized the audience with her two solo numbers form Once to a hushed and attentive crowd. She was a lovely vision in her simple red dress and her natural unadorned beauty.
The band reassembled to bring the very special evening to a close with a couple of final numbers.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Henry Clay People Record Release Extravaganza

Friday night (October 3, 2008) will rank among the most exciting nights of music for most everyone who was at Spaceland to see some of L.A.'s finest bands deliver career making sets. The excitement was a physical sensation. It was the simultaneous release of all those happiness endorphins into the crowd's collective brains that made it seem like we were all on the Spaceland Starship headed for some distant galaxy.

I could tell something was different the minute I walked in. I've been to Spaceland close to 50 times in the past three years, but I don't think I've ever seen anything like this. There was a buzz in the air and everyone seemed to be aware of it.

Le Switch were already playing and a bunch of fans were scattered across the floor, all bobbing heads. I haven't seen this band in a while and that's my misfortune. They play a woozy kind of southern rock and roll with a little tin pan alley thrown in. I was immediately struck by the extraordinary musicianship of all band members. Of course the basics of Aaron Kyle's guitar and Christopher Harrison's bass lead the way, but Maria DeLuca's great trumpet and classical viola and Josh Charney's flowing keyboard work make the band's sound really stand out. When you add Joe Napolitano and his phenomenal percussion you have a band with an enormous sound and surprising range.

Aaron sings, in a pinched and edgy style, the straightforward unpretentious lyrics that propel each song forward. Additional vocals by Maria and Joe add beautiful layers of harmony. I couldn't get over the range of their music.

I don't own any of their recordings and I need them.

The place got packed and sold out early on. It was like people were so excited about Saturday's Eagle Rock Music Festival and L.A. Weekly Detour Festival they wanted the festivities to start early, so they made tonight a warm up. This record release party for The Henry Clay People was presented by Web In Front and Indie103.1. Speaking to Travis part way through the evening I could see he was both shocked and delighted at the turn out. And not just the number of people but it was make up of the crowd; band members, fans, friends, writers and photographers, all supporting this amazing community. Travis should be justifiably proud today.

The Parson Red Heads were on next and they played a set, the likes of which I had never seen them play before. They came across right from the start of their first song, "Time is Running Out" and they knocked song after song right out of the park. The singing sounded stronger and more forceful than I remember and the playing hard and aggressive but never sacrificing their joyous jangle pop that could seduce a slab of steel.

They performed as a band of seven (I think it was seven) with Evan, Sam, Erin and Brett weaving their voices in and out of each others to achieve that harmonic purity. And I just love it when they go off on their instrumental journeys, sometimes finding a melodic hook I could follow for an hour if they chose to play that long. This band is so ready for prime time!

They played a bunch of my favorites including "Got It All", "Out To Sea" and ended with the best version of "State Lines" I've heard them do. The crowd was with them every step of the way and cheered deafeningly after every song. And this was probably just a warm up for their Eagle Rock Music Festival set.

At this point you couldn't turn around without running into somebody you knew, and the place was swarming like an ant hill. The Parson Red Heads left everyone in a state of elation, but little did we know what was to come.

The Henry Clay People took the stage amid the clamor of a totally energized audience of fans and friends. Their fans are not just fans but devotees and advocates. People rave about this band and now I know why. They play a classic brand of rock and roll, but I don't want to make it sound old fashioned, because it's not. It's completely contemporary.

Andy Siara leads his band of merry pranksters through the hallowed halls of rock and roll history. Their influences seem to range from '50's bop bands through 21st century indie and include everything in between. They sang songs from the new CD, For Cheap or For Free, which is great, and older material their fans are more familiar with than I was.

Mid way through the set guest artist began to invade the stage and the whole venue took on the character of a very special party. Members of Le Switch and The Parson Red Heads added their talents for a few songs and by the time they came to the cover of "The Weight" I counted no less than 17 performers on stage.

The band, their guests, the audience were all at the same level of excitement when they finished and everyone was wrung out from maintaining so much joy for so long a period. It was really something special to see and to be a part of. I don't know when I've had a better time.

The last band was Downtown/Union, who I simply couldn't focus enough attention on to assess properly. They sounded very good, actually. Nice singing and drum work from a combo of musicians, but it wasn't fair after three of the best sets three of L.A.'s best bands ever played.

I was so elated it was difficult to come down after that. But it was a fitting opportunity for me to say 'so long' for a couple of weeks to a lot of people who will be in my thoughts all the while I'm in Boston.


P.S. I'm going to try to post a few reviews while I'm back east for Swell Season and Iron and Wine tonight at the Greek. Pinback at the Paradise in Boston, and Fleet Foxes at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Mass.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Darker My Love and What's Going On

Thursday evening (October 2, 2008) I saw a great little set by Darker My Love at an Amoeba In-Store. Although I'd seen them a couple of years ago at Sunset Junction, there were so many great bands that day they didn't make a big impression on me. It wasn't until I saw them at the Troubadour in August that I realized how much I like their music. Their new CD, 2, was given away at that show and it has since become one of my most played.

Lots of bands blend loud, aggressive, propulsive rock and roll that's pierced through by sweet harmonic vocals, but Darker My Love and singers Tim Presley and Bob Barbato do it better than most I've heard, especially live. It's like oil and water together that actually mix.

Appearing before a rather spare crowd , due, no doubt, to the Biden/Palen debate going on at the same time, they played "Blue Day", "Two Ways Out", "Northern Soul" and "Waves" which segues into "Talking Words" from 2, and a couple of songs I didn't know that sounded as good as everything else.

Also impressive is the serious intent of these musicians. They appear to enjoy themselves, but play with equal parts precision and passion. I think they know the music they're playing is quite beautiful and they obviously want that to come across in their live performances. For me and the rest of the audience, it did.

It was definitely worth missing the sad spectacle that was on TV. Every time I hear the lady from Alaska speak, I think of a little kid dressed up in her mother's clothes speaking in a child's idea of grown-up talk. It's embarrassing to listen to.

I'm just about to depart for the eastern environs of Boston for 12 days to visit family and it's getting harder and harder to want to leave L.A. for any period at all. I almost had to lure myself there by getting tickets for two of my favorite bands to create a real reason to go. I arrive in Boston on Sunday and that night go to see Pinback at the Paradise (October 5) and I see Fleet Foxes at a sold out sit-down concert at the Somerville Theatre on Monday (October 6).

It'll be great to see family, and New England in October can be beautiful (or it can be shitty with endless grey skies and cold rain). Seriously, Boston is a really pretty city, and I have so many great memories of the late '60's and '70's living there. Running around like it was one big playground.

Before I go I must see more music. Tonight (October 3) it's The Henry Clay People and their record release party with The Parson Red Heads, Le Switch and Downtown/Union at Spaceland. Despite it being Friday night date night I expect a super crowd of local regulars to make the evening memorable. Certainly in anticipation of tomorrow's Eagle Rock Music Festival and The L.A. Weekly Detour Festival, spirits should be high. The Eagle Rock shindig is, I think, the show I'm going to regret missing forever.

So many bands I love are at Eagle Rock including Earlimart, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, Gangi, Amnion, The Parson Red Heads, Radar Brothers along with bands I don't even know I love yet, like Pizza!, Princeton, and The Black Pine. But, I've had a ticket forever to see The Swell Season along with Iron and Wine at the Greek that night. You see, I love those bands, too, and they won't come around that often. The last time I saw Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova was at the the Oscars and their concerts are incredible. So if I miss the Eagle Rock Music Festival, at least it's for a good reason. Plus I fly out of LAX at 8 AM the next morning.

If I were staying in L.A. these are the shows I would want to see:

Monday, October 6:
Rademacher, Radars To the Sky, Light FM, Broken Remotes (Incredible line-up!) at the Echo.
Manhattan Murder Mystery, Health Club, Die Rockers Die, Blue Jungle at Mr. T's Bowl.

Thursday, October 9:
Saint Motel, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, Listing Ship, Writer at Pehrspace (how I'd love to see FTO there).

Friday, October 10:
The Minor Canon, Physics of Meaning (love that name), One Trick Pony at Pehrspace (just move there for two days).
Imaad Wasif (always amazing) at Spaceland.

Sunday, October 12:
Inara George, Greg Kurstin at Tangier.
No Age, The Movies at Echoplex.

Monday, October 13:
Rademacher, Eagle and Talon, Exit Music, The Transmissions (This band is hot, and their new EP is incredible!) at the Echo.
Manhattan Murder Mystery, Guppies (heard them for the first time at Echo Curio last week and was very impressed), The Savages at Mr. T's Bowl.

Lots of great local bands and great music. Take advantage of it for me!