Monday, February 15, 2010

February Ramblings

While not as frantic as January, February, so far, provides some concert high points and also sets up lots of upcoming shows that are filling my calendar for months to come. Feb. 2, I saw a fine
perfor- mance by The Living Sisters which I reviewed at Radio Free Silver Lake (here), and on Feb. 9 I left half my brains splattered over the walls of El Rey after St. Vincent (thanks to BVas for photo above) expanded my head until it exploded...reviewed (here).

This weekend alone (Feb. 14 - 14) was the Web In Front hosted debut of the renamed Afternoons, re: Shadow Shadow Shade at Spaceland Friday night. Then on Saturday, another mind-blower, The Album Leaf appearing at El Rey with a four piece Magik*Magik String Quartet, becoming a band of 11 players and delivering an orchestral concert that was more than a little overpowering. I'll be reviewing it over at Radio Free Silver Lake on Thursday.

Openers, Sea Wolf, who I've seen about a dozen times, delivered one of the best sets I've ever heard from them. Hearing so much orchestral music from rock bands is hammering home the point that so much of my passion for current indie rock is rooted, not only in my connection to '60's rock, but equally in my love for classical music.

The set by Marvelous Toy at the Shadow Shadow Shade show was a real treat, seeing how performing with The Henry Clay People has unleashed Jordan Huddock's inner demon and now his voice has a gnarled power I hadn't heard before. Wonderful. The evening's host, Travis Woods, said to me it's unlocked his inner Neil Diamond, and I could hear the resemblance. Already familiar songs took on new impact and meaning. Photo at right is from a show at The Echo last year.

I'm looking forward to seeing Jordan play with The Henry Clay People again on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at The Troubadour where they open for the Dios record release party celebrating We Are Dios.

Another show I neglected to say anything about was the "Help Haiti" Benefit held on January 30 in Hollywood at CineSpace, headlined by The Pity Party, Pocahaunted and Letting Up Despite Great Faults. Despite the low turnout (it was a highly competitive Saturday night and it rained like hell) the bands delivered some dynamic sets.

The Pity Party held the audience in rapt attention with their intense, blistering music that surprised the uninitiated. How can anyone be prepared for the ambidextrous, multi-instrumentally gifted Heisenflei, wailing away in every direction at once. It was an impressive end to a musically diverse evening.

I had arrived at the venue, near Vine St. on Hollywood Blvd early because I wanted to catch Letting Up... for a second time as I'd seen them once before, at The French Semester residency in early Jan., bought their CD and was becoming a fan. The room came alive as soon as they began their special brand of lush, dense alt/pop, and my suspicions were confirmed, this is a terrific band.

Pocahaunted has been eluding me for a while so I was determined to see this show and they did not disappoint. A swirling, woozy blend of psychedelia and post-punk delivered a pretty heady punch. Two female lead singers twist and undulate vocally and visually, one dressed in a dark robe, resembled a black flame. A dark, brooding quality, like music coming from a crypt, lulls you into a haunted reverie that doesn't let go until the music stops. I'd love to hear this music at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Coming up just this week is some club-hopping on Thursday, Feb 18 to see Avi Buffalo, opening for Imaad Wasif at Spaceland, if it's early enough, and then run up the street to Sunset to catch a bus out to Echo Curio for the not-to-be-missed record release show for Schoenberg Knife Fight Ensemble.

Looking forward to Radars To the Sky and One Trick Pony at Spaceland on Friday, Feb. 19, Seasons and George Glass on Saturday at Pehrspace and The World Record at King King on Sunday, rounding out a pretty full week.

And look at this...

I've been trying to see Fishtank Ensemble ever since I first heard about them. Being a big fan of the Balkan/Gypsy sounds of bands like Gogol Bordello, Devotchka, O'Death or Beirut, I know this will be great. In fact the whole event at Bordello in February 25 sounds fun.

Off on the horizon is a show I'm really thrilled about. A band slid in sideways under my skin the other day and I'm completely obsessed. Field Music first came into my vision when I saw a music video for "In Context" a few years ago. I videotaped it and watched it over and over, but failed to pick up the album the song came from. Looking back through show listings I learned I had missed them in town (I think they played Spaceland in early '07) and since they were an English band I figured it would be a while before I got the chance. In those circumstances I tend to let a band go if I know I will not be able to see them up close, sooner rather than later. Living in Los Angeles, you figure you can get to see and know so many bands, you have to draw the line somewhere.

Anyway, a show has been announced for Bootleg Theatre on Saturday, March 27 and to prepare I went and picked up their 2007 CD, Tones of Town. Wow! What a great album. Full of energy and spirit. Seeing that they know The Futureheads, I can hear the connection, though I don't know if I would have seen that myself. Field MusicBold can do potent power pop, like them, but there's also occasional honky tonk and even a more pensive, orchestral side to them. Their cited musical influences of The Beatles and Lindsay Buckingham are quite evident. I'm hooked on this record and as luck would have it, they have a brand new CD, Measure, out tomorrow (Tuesday, February 16)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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