Saturday, May 29, 2010


Great way to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with a great show on Sunday night. It's the second "UnderCovered" show at the Eagle Rock Bowling and Drinking Club. Radio Free Silver Lake's Joe Fielder put the show together last February, 2009 and it was one memorable night!

Come help us fete the holiday and Joe has put together an amazing line up for this year and will even be in town for it...

And don't forget tonight is the Walking Sleep CD Release at Bootleg:


Thursday, May 27, 2010

What I'm Listening To May 14 - 20, 2010

1. Everest - On Approach (Vapor Records)

2. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)

3. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

4. The New Pornographers - Together (Matador)

5. The National - High Violet (4ad Records)

6. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)

7. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti)

8. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)

9. Helen Stellar - Prayer To Myself (self release)

10. Choir of Young Believers - This Is For The White In Your Eyes (Ghostly International)

Lot's of new music as the new Everest album , On Approach, makes a huge impression, landing at number 1. The band's first release for Warner Brothers shows them staying true to their musical roots, but adding sharper writing, far more powerful vocals and a breadth and beauty only hinted at on Ghost Notes. The New Pornographers new CD, Together, proves that this band is, indeed, still together, and still a powerful musical unit, landing in the fourth position. Add The National album, High Violet, which I didn't quite warm up to all the way until I saw them perform it live at The Wiltern last Saturday night. It's morose, brooding, moody and exactly what you want from them. That was an astonishing concert. Also new is the Roky Erickson with Okkervil River album, which is a little heavy on the redemption theme, but seeing them perform the material live last week , I came away with a huge respect and admiration for Okkervil River and particularly Will Sheff, who so generously and respectfully shared the stage with the rock and roll legend.

Avi Buffalo was bumped by, not only Everest, but by The Besnard Lakes as well, as their show last week at The Troubadour was so impressive I can't stop listening to them. In fact, when I ran into Sarah Negahdari at the Silver Lake Jubilee over the weekend, we confessed to each other that we're addicted to this album. As The Happy Hollows played a few dates with them, she was able to tell me that they're also some of the nicest people she's met.

Still high on the Broken Bells show and playing the album accordingly. Helen Stellar seem to be forever with me and I'm panting to see them again, as well as Choir of Young Believers, who need to come back from Denmark, rounding out my top ten.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

What I'm Listening To May 7 - 13, 2010

1. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

2. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)

3. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)

4. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (Jagjaguar)

5. Red Cortez - Hands To The Wall (EP) (self release)

6. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)

7. Rogue Wave - Permalight (Brush Fire Records)

8. Dead Meadow - Three Kings (Xemu Records)

9. The Happy Hollows - Spells (Autumn Tone)

10. Evan apRoberts - Under the Ghost (self release)

Another week for Avi Buffalo' s great album as the band continues their European tour. The Besnard Lakes are my current obsession as their recent Troubadour show was more than memorable, and forced openers The Happy Hollows CD back onto the list. Still playing Broken Bells a lot in anticipation of last night's show at The Fonda, and Red Cortez' five song EP, Hands To The Wall, found it's way onto my player repeatedly, owing to their great performance at my anniversary show.

My friend Evan of Cave Country sent me his solo album, Under the Ghost, and it's a solid collection of very authentic sounding country tunes, performed with a lean toward the indie.
Good job.

My computer is sick, so my blogging is a little intermittent, but only temporarily, until it's fixed.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FYH Anniversary Show

How do you write a review of your own show without sounding like a self-congratulatory ass? Just state the objective facts. The bands were great, the venue was great and the audience was great. I'm not going to go on about this, but want to say something about all the bands that played.

Walking in, I saw Andrew and Kate Spitzer of Radar To the Sky. When I confided to Kate that I had never seen Radars... acoustic, she said I would be surprised and she was right. They started the evening off with a beautiful set, perfectly played by a line up comprised of equal parts Radars To the Sky and Death To Anders. Alternating between songs by each band, I was particularly floored by Andrew's (photo by Pan) heartfelt and expressive singing which is often just another element in their sound, but here, his voice was a subtle and moving instrument. To hear Rob Danson and ensemble sing "Camera Lens" was a real treat, as it's been a long time since I heard that live. In the spirit of the evening, band members bounced from one band to the other, as Nick Ceglio was in this line up as a member of both Death To Anders and, tonight, Radars To the Sky, while later he was George Glass.

When Harley Prechtel-Cortez (at right, courtesy of Timothy Norris of LA Weekly) asked to join the line up I was honored, and when he and an assortment of band members, mostly Red Cortez, showed up, they performed a typical, high-powered set of electrifying rock. I sat there in awe. To have gone from "Radars To the Anders" to Red Cortez within an hour bode well for the night. With a very simplified percussion arrangement, a nice variety of songs became more vocally oriented, ending with a superb arrangement of my favorite, "In The Fall". I was especially pleased because I don't think a lot of the crowd had seen them before, but Red Cortez always stuns their audience and can drive me into a positive frenzy. And the sound at Pehrspace was just perfect, like listening to a band in your living room.

The crowd was whipped into a frenzy by George Glass, who performed a near perfect set. It's obvious word is spreading, because they already have a loyal following...and deserve it. The quirky blend of indie, punk and tin pan alley is fruitful territory and they play it to the hilt. (The shot of Nick, at right, is by Mouse from the Death To Anders Echo residency back in '08) Watching this band get better and better is a lot of fun, as they morph through the birth pangs of a new band. Nick's vocals were always an element in Death To Anders that I particularly liked, and to hear him take the lead in George Glass is to see him grow and mature as a singer. They are definitely one of L.A.'s hottest new bands.

I have probably seen Seasons more than any other band, and I am always impressed, to the point that they always surprise me, and this was no exception. Starting with my newest favorite Seasons song, "Of Our Discontent", they played a handy set including songs they know are favorites of mine. No matter the circumstances, they always deliver. I've gotten to know this band as friends and have gotten to watch them play a lot, but tonight I was standing over Ray as he played keyboard, and got to witness what a remarkable pianist he is. Always note perfect. The first three bands deal in a kind of melancholy, thoughtful vein (I love sad) so the rambling, shaggy rock of Seasons was just what we needed. I was beginning to reel from four great sets of music, and knew another one was coming up.

The energy level never flagged as Downtown/Union took the stage and tore through a riveting set of party/garage rock and roll. I was getting a little worse for wear by this time and they were the perfect jump start I needed to survive to the end. It came to a smashing conclusion as Downtown/Union gifted me with their own rendition of "White Rabbit" which I found both moving and well done. Thanks, Bo.

This was a big night for me and I thought we got five great sets of music. Extra special thanks to Nicholas Ceglio for putting this thing together and to Pauline Lay for the hospitality of Pehrspace.

By the way, my friend Greg posted a story on the night at The 704. It's a great read.


Monday, May 10, 2010

What I'm Listening To April 30 - May 6, 2010

1. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

2. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)

3. Helen Stellar - Prayer To Myself (self release)

4. Wailing Walls - 2 Song EP (self Release)

5. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)

6. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records

7. Walking Sleep - Measure (TFTO Music)

8. Rogue Wave - Descended From Vultures (Sub Pop)

9. Whispering Pines - Family Tree (self release)

10. Rogue Wave - Permalight (Brush Fire Records)

Nothing can knock Avi Buffalo out of the number one spot. When I reviewed the album for Radio Free Silver Lake (here) it was simply the disk with no packaging, so the credits were unknown to me. Here I will call attention to the amazing contribution made by Aaron Embry in the production of the recorded Avi Buffalo sound. The dense twinkling landscape he puts behind each song is reminiscent of my favorite album from 2008, Amnion's Amen Namo, and so appropriate to the atmosphere that this band creates, it is a natural fit. Avi's beautifully written liner notes describe the creation of the album with refreshingly honest matter-of-factness, and that corny old emotion, love. There is much to learn from these people.

Helen Stellar remain an obsession, while the 2 song EP from Wailing Walls is a real find. They opened spectacularly for Avi Buffalo at The Troubadour and have a full length on the way. Everything else has been discussed in previous Top Tens, but I will say I'm really looking forward to the upcoming shows by The Besnard Lakes and Broken Bells.


Friday, May 7, 2010


Plus a special guest performance by Harley of Red Cortez.

See you down the rabbit hole.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What I'm Listening To April 23 - 29, 2010

1. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)

2. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)

3. Whispering Pines - Family Tree (self release)

4. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)

5. Rogue Wave - Permalight (Brush Fire Records)

6. Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame (Anti)

7. Various Artists - Let's Independent! 4/18/10 w/ The Californian, WALK and Big Whup (self release)

8. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)

9. Dead Meadow - Three Kings (Xemu Records)

10. Helen Stellar - Prayer To Myself (self release)

The Avi Buffalo album is everything someone who is a fanatical follower of this band could have hoped for. Every element is in it's perfect place and the live versions they performed at The Troubadour the other night were spectacular. I have to admit they got hearty competition from Helen Stellar, who are a new band passion at the moment based on two CD's and a remarkable set at Spaceland last Monday (4/26). Their new CD, If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... is really stunning and "Hyper -aware (Eyes Wide Open" is my favorite song in the world right now. I picked up their earlier CD, Prayer To Myself at the show and it's got a spot on the list, too.

Whispering Pines and Broken Bells figure prominently as I prepare to see them in concert. Whispering Pines this Wednesday (5/5) at Hotel Cafe and the Bells at The Fonda on May 19. Last week's shows with Dr. Dog and Rogue Wave put them on the list and the rest, The Besnard Lakes and Dead Meadow have been around long enough, you should know about them, and their albums are among the best of the year.


Monday, May 3, 2010

A Self Perpetuating Engine

When I first started Feed Your Head 2 years ago, I thought it would be a nice outlet for me to pour out my passion for music to a few curious readers. After standing on the side, watching and listening for a couple of years, trying to catch up to where music was, it got to a point where I was no longer content to be just a casual observer.

When musicians and other fans began approaching me with a genuine, "who are you, and what are you doing here?", I began opening up to them and I found a welcoming community of artists unlike any I've encountered before. And every time I went out to a show, the circle grew, and it continues to grow to this day.

I had been using blogs like Radio Free Silver Lake, Classical Geek Theatre and Buzzbands to facilitate my musical education and, determined to find a way to contribute, I thought, why not a blog from my perspective. As someone who grew up during Rock's golden age, and loved it, to some one who shunned rock and roll from about 1985 to 2005, then came back to it with virgin ears, I realized my viewpoint might be oddly unique.

Almost like someone who spent twenty years in a coma, or on another planet, who now sees everything as new, sometimes I feel like a time traveller, which is part of the reason so much of the music I love sounds so fresh and original and exciting to me. So I launched this website on May 9, 2008, and almost immediately, things started to happen. People were very supportive and encouraging, and never having written a word in my life. I surprised myself, by picking up a pencil and pad, and like turning on a faucet, the words just started to pour out.

Within weeks, the website became the engine that was running me, and all I can do is hang on for the ride. I stopped trying to figure out what comes next, because it just happens by itself. After less than a year, Joe Fielder announced he was leaving town to take a job in Boston and wanted to leave Radio Free Silver Lake in good hands and I was highly flattered to learn I was the first person he asked.

Offered the weekly Show Low Down column, I had always looked at Joe's column first thing Monday morning, I agreed, if only to make sure that weekly tradition would continue. I was also scared to death because my computer skills are, to put it kindly, primitive...and this was a daunting task. 60 weeks later I'm still at it and it has been a gift that I will always value.

So I guess the point is, don't ever limit your imagination as to what you can accomplish. Stay open to new experience and you may never stop surprising yourself. I've always heard that with age comes caution. I'm finding the reverse to be true.