Results tagged “Molly Bergen”

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Making A Record

Last night, a crowd of vinyl nerds, fledgling record labels and artists looking to self-produce packed the Grammy Museum for a free panel discussion called From Vision to Vinyl: A Step-by-Step Look At Album Production hosted by Dublab. The panel, selected by Origami Vinyl owner Neil Shield, was composed of people who helped him put out his first record. They included Pete Lyman of Infrasonic Sound, a recording studio and CD/vinyl mastering suite, Kevin Smith of Bill Smith Custom Records, a pressing plant in El Segundo, Jennifer Freund of Dorado Press, that specializes in album covers and jackets, and Peanut Butter Wolf, a DJ and founder of Stones Throw Records. From the mastering to the pressing to the album art, these were the people to turn to if you wanted to put out a record, and they offered a comprehensive, step by step instruction on how to do it yourself. Each of them was very passionate about their part of the process lovingly describing each step in jargon that I had never heard of. However, from what I did glean I comprised this list.

Of Montreal Take The Avalon! 5/14/11

If you're worried that you've lost your sense of childlike wonder, and you're just a shriveled up brittle cocoon of adult responsibilities and obligations, fear not! Go see an Of Montreal show. No prior knowledge of the band is necessary. You do not need to own their T-shirts or albums or even know that they are not in fact from Montreal (They’re from Georgia). All you need is a willingness to clap your hands...

Interview with Chris Zasche of The Head and The Heart

The Head and The Heart: Josiah Johnson, Kenny Henley, Chris Zasche, Charity Rose Thielen, Tyler Williams, and Jonathan Russell (Photo by Kyle Johnson) Every now and then when the wind blows just right and the planets align, an opening band will blow the headliner out of the water. It is an extremely rare occurence, but every so often, you arrive at a venue early and have your mind blown. If any of you were...

Dead Weather @ The Hollywood Palladium, 7/21/10

Jack White's latest reincarnation Dead Weather played to a packed house at the Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday night. The adoring crowd clad in black freaked out every time someone with a hat crossed the stage thinking that it might be the mysterious Mr. White. When they finally did emerge the crowd lost it's mind, screaming, and cheering as if the Messiah had arrived. Bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Dean Fertita smiled at the crowd sheepishly, but lead singer Alison Mossheart grabbed the mic as if it was her last cigarette and inhaled. Dead Weather is more of a feeling than a band. They have all the right elements for a bad ass rock group: sexy lead singer, mysterious bassist, talented lead guitarist, and eccentric drummer, but no matter how badly they try it just doesn't have any lasting soul. But man alive, they've got the theatrics down.

Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles @ The Echo, 7/1/10

Rockers clad in black packed the Echo to the gills on Thursday night. Heavy mascaraed vamps in black stockings and dirty looking punks filled the room for the show emulating their idols on stage. If there was a king and queen of lo-fi drone-pop Kristen Gundred aka "Dee Dee" of the Dum Dum Girls and Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles would be it. This show celebrated the success of both of their debut albums which had met with such critical acclaim.

Tame Impala @ Silverlake Lounge, 6/29/10

The lads from Perth had received a really warm welcome to Los Angeles. Their tiny show at the Silverlake Lounge had sold out so quickly that promoters quickly added a second earlier gig, and they had been added to the lineup to one of the Monday night residencies the night before. Not half bad, for a band who's debut album, Innerspeaker, had only dropped a few weeks prior. So was this lather and fuss over Tame Impala well deserved? Absolutely.

Meet Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds

Sometimes the stars align when you least expect them to. After Laura Burhenn's previous band Georgie James broke up, the singer picked up from her native Washington D.C. and headed west to Omaha. The goal: creating an album that sounded like Neil Young if he had been put out on Motown. And then while looking for a name a sign arrived. "My friend who was pregnant sent me a list of names and I went from Mina to Myna to Mynabird," Burhenn explained. "When I went to check if that name had been used it turns out that Neil Young and Rick James were in a band that came out on Motown in the sixties called The Mynah Birds. And I thought "That's it!" We caught up with Burhenn over the weekend to discuss The Mynabirds' debut album The Things We Lost In The Fire We Gain in the Flood. Here is some of what was said.

Baaba Maal, Yeasayer, Tinariwen, and Fool's Gold @ The Hollywood Bowl, 6/20/10

On a warm summer evening in June, KCRW kicked off it's World Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in grand style. They presented the crowd with four bands, two American and two African, who couldn't be more different, but were all linked by their use African inspired drumming within their songs. It was really fascinating to watch the same beats reborn in four completely unique ways almost like a musical Iron Chef challenge.

Local Natives @ Troubadour 06/04/10

Wouldn't it be wonderful if they handed out a program with the lyrics of every song to concert goers in a band's hometown? That way you wouldn't be the fool who looked around and realized that everyone in the place knew the words except you. Such was the case inside the Troubadour last Friday night which was stuffed to the gills for the homecoming Local Natives. Before every song came screams of delight and the behind the guy's lovely harmonies was the full weight of the crowd singing along. Crowd participation night wasn't just limited to singing either. The drum laden tunes were backed up by hundreds of hands and feet keeping time along with the drummers. From the very first notes of "Camera Talk" the enthusiasm built with each song, so by the time "Sun Hands" came on, the entire place erupted in a frenzy with people singing and stomping in time to the music.

Shout Out Louds @ El Rey Theatre 05/21/10

The curtains pulled back and emerging from a cloud of bright orange smoke, the Shout Out Louds bounced joyfully onto the stage at the El Rey Theatre in front of a sold out crowd. They had every reason to be exuberant. It's been seven years since their debut disk, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, came out in the US and after being dropped by EMI and reborn on Merge Records, this band is finally hitting their stride.

Mumford & Sons, The Middle East @ The Music Box 06/03/10

It was a night of new beginnings at the Music Box (formerly the Henry Fonda Theater) on Thursday night. The revamped theater sparkled with all the seduction of a private night club. The walls newly painted with woodland creatures and nymphs and the foyer draped with golden lamps. What better place for two fresh new bands who are both riding those fickle waves of critical success to play? Both The Middle East and Mumford & Sons are enveloped in that golden halo of achievement that only comes when your first release is received well. It's before (heaven forbid) your sophomore disk slumps and the drugs problems become too much and the inner band fighting destroys everything. But there's this amazing moment when bands get it right and it seems like nothing could possibly stand in their way. hat is what Thursday night was all about, and it was gorgeous.

25 Reasons Why Silver Lake Jubilee Is Going to ROCK

Like a pre-teen who just got a hold of his first Playboy, looking at the list of bands playing the Silver Lake Jubilee makes us hyperventilate. The question is of course, what should you see? With such a plethora of names and genres, how do you know where to go? Fear not! We have put together a list of a dozen bands per day that you simply must see. As usual we've included a list of tunes so you can judge for yourself and more importantly set times of when they go on!

Kate Nash @ El Rey Theatre 05/11/10

The cheeky, flame-haired singer, Kate Nash played to a sold out crowd at the El Rey Theatre last Tuesday. Equipped with a back up band that played well, but never showed off, Nash showcased her latest release, My Best Friend Is You. With a thick cockney accent and an appreciation for mischief, Miss Nash has long won the hearts of those who like their pop on the saucier side, but find Lily Allen a bit too bitter and Adele a tad too sweet. (Honestly, London has got the cheeky 1960s girl group influenced pop market cornered right now.)

Meet Steve Schiltz of Hurricane Bells

Huddled in the gloom of his apartment in Brooklyn, Steve Schiltz, lead singer of the indie rock band Longwave began writing songs that didn't really fit with his current band's guitar heavy, rock aesthetic. These were mellow songs that were meant to be played in the quiet of the late evening hours. So Schiltz created Hurricane Bells, named after the big, heavy bells that are hung in trees to warn of impending doom. Well, at least stormy weather.

Avi Buffalo @ The Troubadour 05/01/10

To say that it's been a good year for Avi Buffalo would be an understatement. They've managed to pull off what most teenagers only fantasize about it. Graduate high school? Check. Sign to Sub Pop? Check. Tour the country? Check. Sellout the Troubadour for their record release party? Check and check.

Trampled By Turtles @ The Mint, 4/22/10

The depressing joint on Pico and La Cienega Blvd known as The Mint rarely books bands that will rock your socks off. I blame the chairs. Any place that calls itself a music venue and has chairs and tables on the dance floor, is sure to be a subdued affair. Not to mention an establishment that makes you buy a drink for the privilege of sitting down even though you just paid a cover to get in there. Add those elements together and you've got a pretty stale atmosphere most nights. Unless! Every once and awhile, if you're really really lucky, you get a traveling band coming through town who doesn't know any better and books a gig there. On those very rare occasions, the Mint shakes off its cobwebs and people actually get to dance.

Folk Heroes: Meet Brad Cook of Megafaun

Warm, hearty, back-porch folk is back in town tonight. That's right. Durham's own Megafaun will be gracing the Echo in support of their new mini-album, Heretofore, which will be out on HomeTapes later this spring. Since the disbanding of their previous band DeYarmond Edison (with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon) in 2006, the trio: brothers Phil and Brad Cook and drummer, Joe Westerlund, have acquired a reputation for raucous live shows that are heavy on audience participation. We caught up with Brad Cook, before his show in San Francisco last night and chatted about what a mini-album actually was, his jazz ambitions, and Gram Parson's corpse. Here is some of what was said.

Interview: Peasant Chats About New Album Shady Retreat

If all had gone according to plan Peasant (aka Damien DeRose) wouldn't have an album, let alone two. Heck, he probably wouldn't have bothered writing songs all, but as we all know, things rarely go according to plan. The cosmos usually finds some reason or other to throw us a curve-ball or in DeRose's case a sea lion.

Interview: RJD2 Chats About The Colossus

The restless sonic explorer RJD2 is near impossible to pin down. Nothing seems to really fit. Hip hop producer? Multi-instrumentalist songwriter? DJ? At this point it all of these labels seem inconsequential. RJ (Ramble John) Krohn has been making interesting, multifaceted albums for a decade now and just seems to be hitting his stride. We caught up with RJD2 to talk about his fourth album, The Collosus, newly released on his record label Electrical Productions, which is a near indefinable, genre-hopping frenzy.

Ted Leo of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Talks About His Latest Album Brutalist Bricks

Last year was a rough one for Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. Their label dissolved and the album that they were working on was scrapped. Undeterred they set about writing new material and self produced a new album in Brooklyn which was released a couple weeks ago on Matador Records. We caught up with Leo a few weeks ago to talk about these crazy transitions, the health of punk music, and Malibu rum. Here is some of what was said.

LAist On Location: SXSW 2010 - Day 4

It was almost as if a giant, grumpy deity wielding a garden hose came down from the sky on Saturday morning and announced, "You kids are having too much fun! Cool it." Rain poured from the sky in the early morning, and the gorgeous seventy degree weather evaporated over night. Austin was suddenly engulfed in forty degree temperatures and high wind, turning the summery celebration into a chilled autumnal fest. Not that it stopped anyone from attending shows outside. The masses were out (granted in slightly decreased numbers) wrapped in scarves and hats, ready to rock out.

LAist On Location: SXSW 2010 - Day 3

It was almost as if the arrival of GWAR sent out a silent signal to all those who brought their own costumes to SXSW to don them and let their freak flags fly. The esteemed rocker monsters (aliens? beasts?) were walking around 6th street with their spiked appendages flapping in the breeze amongst the masses, delighting most of us, and scaring a few children. After that moment there seemed to be at least one guy in costume at every show. I saw lion headdresses, horse head masks, and even one full on bear suit (which in the heat must have been sweltering). It was almost as if the festival had seen GWAR and thought, "Oh game on!"

LAist On Location: SXSW 2010 - Day 2

Day two began right with pizza for breakfast at Homeslice Pizza and rock 'n' roll from North Carolina. Outside on the gravel patio they had set up a small stage where families were able to groove to The Love Language's set while enjoying their gooey cheese and sauce. Despite the rickety sound system, The Love Language sounded sharp. They've had a very good year. After self-releasing their critically acclaimed self titled album, The Love Language signed to Merge Records and have begun work recording their new album. We were curious to see if the new material they have been working on was worthy of their first album and are happy to report that...yes, yes it is.

LAist On Location: SXSW 2010 - Day 1

Yesterday was the official kick off of the music section of the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. Every bar, house, and parking lot in town had a band in it, near it, or sleeping on it. The streets were teeming with literally thousands of musicians, who were looking for their big break, desperately trying to stick out of the pack, as well as all of the support system clamoring for your attention. Every radio station, blog, publication, record company, pr company, and book agent has decided to put on a party here, each competing for the crowd's favor, wooing them with free beer and bbq and trying to put on the best show possible. We waded into the fray with one mission on our minds: finding you those bands who were actually worth seeing and reporting back with details on when they would be playing in Los Angeles.

Meet Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

We caught up with bassist, Robert Levon Been, the weekend before their sixth album, Beat The Devil's Tattoo, dropped. We talked about the state of the music industry, BRMC's new drummer Leah Shapiro, and why we don't appreciate things that come to us easily. Here is some of what was said.

Interview: Milo Cordell of The Big Pink

As with a lot of good things, the band The Big Pink wasn't supposed to be a band at all. Friends, Milo Cordell and Robbie Furze were already distracted with other projects when they started messing around in the studio.

Stephin Merritt Talks About Magnetic Fields' New Album

Enigmatic mastermind behind the Magnetic Fields, Stephen Merritt is notoriously difficult to interview, so we knew it wasn't going to be easy. Anyone familiar with the brutal honesty of his love songs knows that he has absolutely no interest in sugar coating. Anything. Period.

Harlem and Dante vs Zombies @ Spaceland, 2/20/10

When Dante vs. Zombies took the stage, from a purely visual standpoint, it looked as if someone had gone to a hipster party, picked out five random attendants, and said, "You guys are now in a band." There was the bassist in a full on red jumpsuit with a cowboy hat and boots, the guitarists who were in nerdy prep garb, the keyboardist who had a folk vibe about her, the drummer who looked like he just got off his shift at the hospital, and the lead singer who was dressed in a golden nightie and a hat that looked like it may have belonged to Paul Revere. None of which left any clues as to what sort of music they were going to play.

Meet Paul Sprangers - Lead Singer of Free Energy

Power pop is a tricky genre to do right. The line between a fist pumping anthem and grotesque, easy cheese is very, very thin. Fortunately a couple of Minnesotan guys living in Philly have been studying the greats and have put forth a deliciously catchy power pop album. In the vein of Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, and T. Rex, Free Energy will make you want to cut off the sleeves of your t-shirts, soup up your Chevy Camaro, and cruise for babes.

Return of the Flower Punks: Meet Cole Alexander of Black Lips

The infamous reputation of the Black Lips' live show stretches far and wide. Their music itself is actually pretty straightforward, by the book, catchy garage rock. There are the usual songs about teen angst and political strife, but nothing too shocking. Black Lips' shows, however, cover everything that would make your mother die of shame. Public urination, vomiting, crowd surfing, stage diving, eating firecrackers, inciting riots, and nudity are all not only possible events at a Lips show--they're expected. Last year they were kicked out of India for exposing themselves in public. (Although why the promoters booked a band who is famous for nudity in a town where it's considered a crime is a mystery.) We caught up with guitarist, Cole Alexander, before their show at the El Rey to talk about their upcoming album, learning chords from Buddy Holly, and what it's like to flee a country in the middle of the night. Here is some of what was said.

Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Flashy Python) Talks About His Solo Project

n 2005 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was the coolest thing since sliced bread. The band was one of the first bands to have emerged from obscurity with no label backing them just the full power of the Internet. Major labels saw them coming and quaked with fear. They put hope into garage bands everywhere who were releasing their tracks independently into the murky ether of MySpace. Heralded by critics and fans a like, the world was theirs. And then after their sophomore release in 2007, they disappeared back from whence they came never to be seen again...or so we thought. Lead singer, Alec Ounsworth has had an extremely busy year. His super group, Flashy Python (combining members of the Walkmen, Man Man, and Dr Dog) self-released their debut album Skin and Bones in August and he released his first solo disk Mo Beauty in October on Anti Records.

Interview: A.A. Bondy Chats About When The Devil's Loose

A.A. (Auguste Arthur) Bondy knows all about second chances. When his former band Verbena imploded just after signing to a major label in 2003, Bondy took off into the wilderness of the Catskills. Four years later he emerged back into the music scene with his lovely solo debut American Hearts which incorporated blues, folk, and a country twang,which he had recorded in his barn. This year, his second album When The Devil's Loose impressing critics and audiences a like with it's rough hewn edges and earthy melodies, influenced by music that came a time before rock n' roll was even a concept. We caught up with A.A. Bondy (or as he's known to his friends, Scott) before his show at the Echo. Here is some of what was said.

Meet Jared Bell of the Lymbyc Systym

I have a crackpot theory that instrumental bands are all lumped together because the listener is given no written instructions on how to feel. There is part of us who wants to be explicitly told what the song is saying. Whether it's that this is a love song or a breakup song or that he is the Walrus, we want to understand concretely what it is that's going on and the story behind it. Which is why we're at a loss for words on how to describe to our friends how instrumental acts like Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky or the Lymbyc Systym make us feel. We use words like "cinematic" and "lush" but what we really mean is "Can you believe how those synths just exploded into horns and a banjo? That was amazing! It made me feel like I could conquer the world!" Or more succinctly, "Dude, like...woah." What is truly impressive is that Lymbyc Systym manages to do all of this with just two guys. Hailing from Arizona these brothers, Michael and Jared Bell, have been putting together these giant soundscapes since 2001.

LAist Interview: Matt Popieluch of Foreign Born

It's a wonder Matt Popieluch's head doesn't explode with all of the music that's crammed in there. It's almost as if he's on a mission to see how much music one person can fit in their brain without it rupturing. A founding member of Foreign Born with Lewis Pesacov, Popieluch also plays in Pesacov's band Fools Gold, his girlfriend Cameron Mesirow's band Glasser, and now has decided to start a side project Big Search. All while working a day job as a groundskeeper in Coldwater Canyon Park. He must be secretly powered by something. Caffiene? Speed? A nuclear reactor? A mixture of the three? We caught up with him last night to find out which one it is.

Meet Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage

Nils Edenloff wrote most of The Rural Alberta Advantage's stunning debut album Hometowns in Toronto, homesick for his native Albertan prairie. The touching album of folk anthems was built and honed at a open mic night in 2005 at a local bar where Edenloff met drummer Paul Banwatt. The duo gradually acquired a band and headed out on the road. We spoke with Edenloff from the road yesterday mostly to find out what the devil is the advantage is of living in Alberta.

Girls and The Morning Benders @ The Troubadour, 12/5/09

The Morning Benders are one of those bands who's promise is achingly painful to watch. They've got pretty piano melodies, poppy guitars, and sweetly high pitched harmonies: all of the ingredients for an infectious pop album, and somehow they fall a little bit short. It's like when you try and bake a cake without the baking powder. All of the parts are there, but the damn thing won't rise.

Meet Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Don't let Grace Potter's good looks or age fool you. This woman has a pair of pipes that would knock over a steam engine and a soul of a woman three times her age. I saw her on a whim at the Roxy last year, and the show was carved onto the stone walls of my memory as one of the best shows of 2008. (The only other competition being Sigur Ros. Yes, I'm serious.) And hands down the best show that I have ever seen grace the Roxy's stage.

Florence And The Machine, IO Echo @ Troubadour 10/30/09

Local gothic dance rockers Io Echo look unfazed as they performed before a sold out crowd at the Troubadour. They were ready for their moment in the spotlight and looked the part. IO Echo vocalist, IO (a.k.a. Joanna Gikas) looked stunning in a white dress with black crosses circling her waist and long flowing hair. Her band manifested themselves in various states of black punk attire which looked terrific through the clouds of white smoke that swirled around the stage. If they had sounded half as good as they looked, we would have been in business. But like a lot of bands, they were mostly packaging and very little substance.

LAist Interview: Meet Justin Angelo Morey, Lead Singer Of The Black Hollies

For all of you who are bummed that you missed all of the glorious psychedelic freakout party that was the 1960s rock scene, fear not. Molding themselves in the image of the Yardbirds, the Zombies, and the Kinks, The Black Hollies are here to revive it. Sprung out of Justin Angelo Morey's attic, these four New Jersey kids sound and dress like it's 1968. Bringing joy to all the those who thought that that ship had sailed. (Or who thought they would have to wait until a time machine was invented.) We caught up with Angelo Morey last night to talk about his new LP Softly Towards The Light, his influences, and Ace of Cakes. Here is some of what was said.

LAist Interview: Meet Lissie

I don't know if you've noticed, but there seems to be a very healthy country/folk scene growing in Los Angeles. Which is a little unexpected, LA is not the first city that you think of when you think of Americana, but the developing sound is nothing short of wonderful. From Olin and the Moon, to Dawes, to Leslie and the Badgers, The Whiskey Saints, Parson Red Heads, and Mississippi Man, there is definitely something in air. To add to that list, please include Lissie (Maurus) a young lady originally from Rock Island, IL who has been calling LA home for the last five years. Her debut EP Where You Runnin' has been making huge waves. In fact, I don't think I've seen critics this excited about an EP since Bon Iver's Blood Bank EP earlier this year. And for damn good reason too.

Silversun Pickups @ Gibson Amphitheatre 11/03/09

You've got to really, really want to see a band if you go to the Gibson Amphitheatre. You can't just drop by casually and check it out. One has to commit themselves mentally, physically, and financially for such a trip. By the time you've shelled out an exorbitant sum for parking, had your senses assaulted from all sides by the glowing hell scape that is Universal Citywalk and are finally sitting in the murky, oppressive gloom of the amphitheater, most of us are grumpy as hell and in desperate need of a stiff drink. Fortunately for everyone at that venue The Silversun Pickups are so good that they managed to erase all of those bad memories after the first couple notes. Even the depressing ambiance of the venue was lifted immediately as front man, Brian Aubert couldn't contain his joy at being home, "Forgive us if it’s a little cheeseball, but we’ve been waiting so long to say these three little words: Hello, Los Angeles!” The crowd roared in welcome, and Aubert asked that the house lights be turned on so he could see his adoring fans. After soaking up some of the hometown love, the triumphant Pickups set about the task of blowing everyone's mind (and eardrums).

The Big Pink @ El Rey Theatre 11/18/09

Arriving on a tidal wave of hype from their native England, The Big Pink filled the El Rey with expectant fans and critics all ready to see if their live show was as good as their debut album A Brief History of Love which was released in September. And was it? Well, I guess the best answer to that question is sometimes.

LAist Interview: Chris Crisci of Old Canes

In 2001 The Appleseed Cast found themselves in a sticky situation in Germany. Their booking agent had told some promoters at a record store that the band would do an acoustic set. Lead singer, Chris Crisci explains, "Prior even going over to Europe we had had this discussion with our agent. He wanted us to do an acoustic show. We said no. He asked again. We said no. So we get to this record store in Germany, and they were like "So you're playing this acoustic thing?" I was so pissed. How much more clear could we be? But it turns out that people really liked what we were playing." Crisci decided to try out some of the new material he had been writing on the side, and it went really well. So well, he decided to form his own folk side project, Old Canes.

LAist Interview: Julian Casablancas On His Solo Album

Some of us were worried that Julian Casablancas had pulled a Dave Chappelle and disappeared from rock 'n' roll forever. The lead singer of The Strokes, a band who defined underground New York cool for half a decade, vanished from the spotlight after the band's third album. Although never officially disbanded, other Strokes band members began releasing their own solo projects and most of us thought it was all over. (For the record: apparently it's not. Apparently the Strokes are still just on hiatus.) Now out of nowhere, after three years of mysterious absence, a newly sober Julian Casablancas has emerged in LA of all places with a brand new solo record, Phrazes for the Young. And get this, it's upbeat.

16 Questions With Sin Fang Bous

Despite the fact that their economy was pulverized to bits last year, from a musical standpoint Iceland is coming out on top. In the originality category they're especially strong. It doesn't matter whether you're into Sigur Rós, Múm or Björk you have to admit, they sound like nothing else. Now you can add another name to that list. Sin Fang Bous the new solo project of Sindri Mar Sigfusson, who took some time off from his band Seabear, to write a gorgeous experimental pop album Clangour. Never heard of him? Fair enough, his first show in LA is tonight at the El Rey Theatre, but if you like Animal Collective and Panda Bear, you might want to take a listen. We caught up with Sindri before his show and asked him a few questions.

KCRW's Masquerade Ball at The Park Plaza Hotel

It's hardly surprising that KCRW knows how to throw a party. I mean they are the home of Morning Becomes Eclectic one of the best music shows on air. And I don't mean in Los Angeles. I mean in the country. The radio station had rented out the gorgeous Park Plaza Hotel in MacArthur Park and threw a masked ball Louis XIV would have been proud of. KCRW's famed DJs spun tunes in every room as costumed guests milled around in varying states of inebriation. In the parking lot, food trucks waited patiently for the midnight hour to strike, a time when the guests would give in to their secret desire for tacos and grilled cheese.

LAist Interview: Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits

For those of you who don't know, White Rabbits isn't just a rock band from New York City. It's a band of six drummers from New York City. Watching their live show is like having each note pounded into your chest with a sledgehammer... in a good way. At any given time, three or more members are pummeling their instruments with an energy that is both mesmerizing and terrifying. It's impossible to attend a show without finding yourself clapping along, pounding on your chest, jumping up and down, and desperately restraining yourself from drumming on your neighbor's back. We caught up with lead singer, Stephen Patterson from the road.

White Water, White Bloom - Meet Sea Wolf's Alex Church

“I met and fell in love with a girl in Montreal while on tour with Irving, and just before signing with Dangerbird,” Church recalls. “And then, while touring behind the Sea Wolf record, I spent most of my time off in Montreal with her. Apart from "Wicked Blood" and "O Maria!," which I wrote in Los Angeles, everything on White Water was written in Montreal, holed up in our little apartment, a block away from the river. That was all of last fall, winter and spring, so I was very much influenced by that experience, and a lot of the record is set there in my immediate surroundings, along with remembrances of being home on the West Coast.”

Bedrock Rehearsal Studios Celebrates Its Grand Opening

Descriptions of Bedrock Rehearsal Studios sound like fevered pipe dreams of an aspiring musician. The kind you've probably had with your buddies while smoking on the back porch of some house party or in the backseat of a car on the way to a show. Conversations that go something along the lines of, "Dude, when I get enough money. I'm going to have my own recording studio. And there will be rehearsal studios with different themes. And a repair shop for when we break shit...

Monsters of Folk @ The Greek Theater, 10/18/09

Monsters of Folk is one of the most honest super groups I've ever seen. What I mean is this: most super groups are so in love with their new project that they pretend that it is their only musical work to date and that the audience is solely there to hear that album. They get so wrapped up in this feeling that they refuse to play the hits that everyone came there to see. I'm pleased to report that Monsters of Folk, a group made up of Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis, did no such thing. They were fully aware that most of the people who packed the sold out Greek Theater were mildly curious about Monsters of Folk's debut but were mostly there to see Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and M. Ward.

How Do You Like Them Now? The Heavy Return.

"What the Devil wants, believe the Devil's going to get. He's going to stretch her out, like the tape in a cassette," Swaby croons menacingly on The Heavy's latest single "Sixteen." A lyric that is both incredibly dirty and radio appropriate. You've got to appreciate that. Big, bad, jungle blues is coming your way from across the pond, people. Prepare, yourselves. The kind that slowly crawls down your spine into your hips and makes you feel evil. You know, the good kind.

Jeff Prystowsky of The Low Anthem Talks About Their Latest Album

Most people spend New Years Day wallowing in self pity under the weight of a beastly hangover or trying desperately to piece together the foggy series of events from the previous evening. The three members of The Low Anthem: Jeff Prystowsky, Josie Adams, and Ben Knox Miller set off to a tiny cabin on Block Island, RI on the first day of 2008 to record an album. The result was Oh My God, Charlie Darwin a folk album released in June of this year, which is chocked full of intelligent lyrics inspired by America's past and present laid gently on top of harmonies that make your heart ache. We caught up with bassist, Jeff Prystowsky, in Seattle as he was waiting for his pancakes this morning to talk about his latest album. Here is some of what was said.

Amadou & Mariam @ Henry Fonda Theater, 10/2/09

Mali's favorite couple, Amadou and Mariam was greeted by an adoring crowd at the Henry Fonda Theater on Friday night. The pair first met each other at the Bamako's Institute for the Young Blind when they were just teenagers. Mariam had lost her sight at five due to complications from malaria, and Amadou had lost his due to a congenital cataract at fifteen. The two of them bonded over their love of music. Mariam had been singing at weddings since she was six years old and Amadou was renowned for his guitar playing. They fell in love, married, and began touring together as "the blind couple from Mali." Thirty years and many albums later, Amadou and Mariam have gained international fame with the help of such fans as Manu Chao and Damian Albarn, who produced their latest album, Welcome to Mali.

Celebrating Doomsday: Meet Elvis Perkins (in Dearland)

Elvis Perkins is back with a brand new sophomore album, Elvis Perkins in Dearland and this time he's ditching the solo act and bringing his band with him. The result is this delightfully eloquent collection of songs about live, love, and death is inspired by the New Orleans tradition of having a raucous band follow a funeral march. We sat down with Perkins before his show at the Troubadour and asked him a few questions about his new EP Doomsday and the end of the world.

Bon Iver @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery 09/27/09

Wrapped in a thick blanket of Sunday morning fog, Hollywood Forever Cemetery looked magical. In the soft darkness, palms trees and graves emerged on either side of the path, and there was a miraculous quiet that hovered over the cemetery. And then out of the gloom...a beacon of light. No, not the stage, the coffee vendor! Some enterprising folks had thought to put up a stand selling coffee and treats to the bleary eyed masses, which had a huge line trailing behind it of desperate people with cash already in their outstretched hands. Caffeine addiction is no joke.

Meet Jenn Wasner - Founding Member of Wye Oak

"We were bums without jobs or anything to do, so we decided to form a band." Wye Oak's lead singer, Jenn Wasner giggles. "We really didn't want to do the typical acoustic stripped down duo type of band. It was really important to us that we had a range. Andy pretty much brainstormed his whole set up. I was pretty skeptical that he could pull it off. He wanted to create this whole bass drum thing. He disappeared into his basement for months and finally emerged with this instrument and was like, "Check it out! I can do it." And we had a band." Three years later, these unemployed bums have emerged as one of the most interesting bands out of Baltimore in a long time. Their hypnotizing vocals and hazy shoegaze melodies soon attracted the ears of Merge Records and the band took off.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ The Greek Theater, 9/17/09

There is no denying that Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is a rock god. If it hasn't been written in stone, let's do that right now. Ask anyone who was in the sold-out crowd on Thursday night, and they will tell you that she was mesmerizing. Granted she comes with a lot of props and costumes, but even if Ms. O had come out wearing a burlap sack and stood there doing nothing, every eye in the place would be on her. Sure there are singers with better voices. Sure there are lead singers who can dance better than her. Sure there are people who wear more outrageous clothes. But Karen O. has got "it" whatever that intangible thing may be. That certain something that makes a giant zebra striped headdress/hoodie adorned with a circle of green tape in the middle and blue striped tights, look badass rather than utterly ridiculous.

Meet Matty McLoughlin - Guitarist for The Soft Pack (Formerly The Muslims)

The Soft Pack is officially screwed. Originally named, The Muslims, this hot garage band from San Diego (recently located to LA) , caught about the same amount of attention for their name as for their music. Eventually it got to the point where the band thought it would be better if they just changed it to the Soft Pack. As guitarist Matty McLaughlin explains, "We were sick of the shit people would say about the old name. I guess they were trying to be funny and some things that were said came off as racist… It just became fucking stupid." So they changed it, and were rewarded with a torrent of disapproval like a city under siege. Fans accused them of being lily-livered sissies and not sticking to their guns. Damned if they did, damned if they didn't. Whatever their name, they rock, hard, so we'll ignore all this nonsense about names and labels and whatnot, and focus instead on their music. We had a chat with Matty McLoughlin about The Soft Pack's sophomore album, which they just finished recording in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. Here is some of what was said.

Fanfare for British Rockers Fanfarlo - Meet Simon Balthazar

You know that giant, gaping hole in your heart where the new Arcade Fire album should be? Might I suggest filling some of it with Fanfarlo's debut disk Reservoirs. The British six piece outfit stuffs their tunes to the brim with horns, glockenspiels, chimes, violins, guitars, bass, drums, and Balthazar's lovely, haunting vocals. Lyrically the album is all about mysterious misfortunes inspired by ghosts, Howard Hughes, and UFOs, weaving stories that are as intricate as the melodies behind them. We chatted with Simon Balthazar last weekend about the new disk. Here is some of what was said.

Meet Stuart McLamb: The Brains Behind The Love Language

"I was pretty much just writing songs because they had to come out," Stuart McLamb tells me over the phone as he and his band the Love Language desperately try to navigate the back roads of North Carolina somewhere in the vicinity of Raleigh. "A song doesn't really exist until you record it, and I had all of these songs in my head that I had to put out there. Fuck, we've seen that sign before! " A few years ago, Stuart McLamb recorded the Love Language's self titled debut album in his parents' basement. Reeling from a breakup and carrying around a head bursting with songs he sat down, wrote, played, and recorded the entire disk on a $300 recording device. The result was a brilliant body of work with a gritty, lo-fi sound, which has been winning him fans all over the country.

Meet Justin Gage - Founder of Aquarium Drunkard and Autumn Tone Records

It wasn't supposed to get this big. Justin Gage started a blog named after a Wilco lyric called Aquarium Drunkard in the summer of 2005 so that he could let his buddies know what he was listening to. "It was just an easier way than email to share with friends, who had spread out across the country, whatever books I was reading or movies I was watching, or obviously, music I was listening to." Gage told us over some beers in Silver Lake. "It started out as just my immediate circle of friends and then people I didn't know started reading it, and quickly became just focused on music." The blog flourished, and within a year was being read not just by Gage's buddies, but by people all over the US and around the world.

Meet Kevin Richard - Lead Guitarist for Mannequin Men

"If it's a million degrees and the world is on fire, where do we have a show? The desert," Kevin Richard, lead guitarist for the Mannequin Men, laughs from his van heading up Highway 5, "That's how we roll. If there was an epic snowstorm right now we'd be playing Quebec." Humor is what makes these Chicago garage rockers so much fun to watch. Their sound is meat and potatoes garage rock influenced heavily by the Stooges and the Replacements, but underneath the snotty vocals you can hear genuine discontent spiked with a dash of raunchy humor. Like the Black Lips, these guys write about a generation of kids who finished school to enter world to a world which has no employment for them. They write for those who are worn out and frustrated by working dead end jobs with no sign of things turning around. The Mannequin Men harness this rage and turn it into fuel for their songs with some sprinklings of sexual frustration just for kicks.

Franz Ferdinand and The Blood Arm @ Palladium, 8/27/09

"Brothers and Sisters I have a story for you," announced a skinny man in a white collared shirt. He then relayed to us a tale of a magic man on Hollywood Blvd. who gave him magic coins that got him so high he saw Jesus. He then denounced Jesus and said that the next band would be even better than the son of God, which is a pretty tough introduction to live up to. I'm...

Austin's New Soul Man - Meet Black Joe Lewis

The deaths of James Brown or the Wicked Wilson Pickett left a huge gaping hole in the soul universe, but all is not lost Black Joe Lewis is picking up where they left off. Bursting out of Austin with a eight piece set up, Black Joe Lewis and his Honeybears have been drawing fans like flies to a honey jar with their saucy dirty, blues. The songs of their debut album,Tell 'Em What Your Name Is! get to the meat of what life is all about when you're young: being broke ("I'm Broke"), one night stands ("Sugarfoot"), amour ("Bitch, I Love You") and getting down ("Boogie"). Black Joe Lewis was kind enough to talk with us before his show at the Troubadour. Here is some of what was said.

Rising From The Ashes, Garage Rockers from Nashville: Jeff The Brotherhood

Some bands are like those brilliant, glowing sparklers that you light on Independence Day. They burn really brightly for a couple minutes and then fizzle out. Promising Nashville rockers Be Your Own Pet did just that. They put out an album, toured for a couple years, and then imploded in on themselves. A year later, rising from the ashes of that band, former guitarist and bassist, Jake and Jamin Orrall have decided to get serious about their side band, Jeff the Brotherhood. Releasing their fifth reverb heavy, garage rock album (and first really serious foray as an independent group) the brothers will be opening for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the Echo on Friday.

Make Your Particles Shake - Meet Firs

A few weeks ago, I walked into the Bootleg Theater and was hit with a wall of sound. I had to take a step back and ran over my teeth with my tongue to make sure my fillings were still in place. With all of my molecules a-quiverin' in perfect unison, I ventured deeper into the theater and was surprised to find only two men on stage one armed with only a keyboard and a laptop and a the other with a drum kit making some of the most beautiful, swirling, electro-ambient music I've heard in quite sometime. Due to the set up of the venue, I perched on a bar stool and soaked up the vibe, but given my druthers I would have been lying on the floor, feeling the vibrations seep through my clothes and into my body. In fact, if you're listening to this tune at work you should do just that.

Motocross Legend Travis Pastrana Gets Toasted And We Talk To BMX Star Daniel Dhers

Travis Pastrana has been the only person to land a double back flip on a motorcycle, enjoys jumping out of planes without a parachute, has done a back flip in a monster truck, won nine X Games gold medals and three Rally America championships, has a show on MTV where he and his crazy friends do incredibly dangerous (and exciting) things called Nitro Circus, and has pretty much beaten everyone around him in every sport he's ever tried - and he’s only 25 years old. Due to the fact that Pastrana might not live to see his 26th birthday, and the fact that it's been ten years since he first emerged as a motocross star (Yes, he won his first X games gold at the tender age of fifteen) Red Bull and MTV and God knows who else, decided to throw a lifetime achievement award party/ roast for Mr. Pastrana at the Avalon in Hollywood in order to honor the living legend, while he's know living.

Anonymity Is The New Fame: Meet Frankel

Three weeks ago, someone handed me a copy of Frankel's latest album, Anonymity Is The New Fame. I was floored. Here was a songwriter who wove intricate lyrics in between lovely melodies that captured your imagination. It was the sort of album that required you to lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling, and absorb its stories. Naturally, my next move was an internet search for the date of his next live show. As it turns out, it's "never". That's right - never. I figured I must have heard wrong. I mean, what kind of artist puts out a record and then doesn't tour?

Elbow @ Wiltern, 7/22/09

If Guy Garvey was half as pretty as Chris Martin, Elbow would have been at the top of the charts a long time ago, neck in neck with Coldplay. As it is Elbow's richly melodic rock, powered by Garvey's transcendent voice has long made them the darlings of critics and music geeks everywhere, but not as celebrated as they should be be the mainstream. Such is life. Over the past ten years, Elbow has gathered an extremely diverse and loyal base, which poured into the Wiltern on a Wednesday night, selling out the house. There really is something magical about standing in between a behomoth of a man, covered in tattoos, in a jean jacket with the sleeves cut off, and a tiny scrap of a girl, who couldn't be more than sixteen, wearing tons of glittery eyeshadow, and hearing them both unabashedly belting out the same song at the top of their lungs.

Meet Israel Nebeker - Lead Singer of Blind Pilot

Some people go green by driving Priuses. Others brag about their bio-diesel conversions. Don't get me wrong. These are both admirable attempts at meaningful earth friendliness, but when you really want hardcore bragging rights, nothing beats abandoning the auto altogether. For their first West coast tour, The folk-pop duo known as Blind Pilot decided to head from Vancouver to San Diego by...bicycle.

Meet Kip Berman: Lead Singer of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Don't judge a pop band by it's cover. Yes okay, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, is a heartbreakingly silly name for a band (I mean I don't think they'll be tattooed on anybody's chest anytime soon) but man they've got a sparkly debut disk. Chock full of 80s inspired pop, the kind that would fit in the background of any John Hughes movie, the self-titled offering has already have generated some most impressive buzz. Lead singer, Kip Berman was kind enough to answer our questions while he was running around Pitchfork Festival this weekend. Here is some of what was said.

Delta on the Thames - Meet Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Sometimes music comes from the least likely of places, but 'lo and behold, three siblings have recorded an album that would make Fats Domino smile. Kitty (16) Daisy (21) and Lewis (18) have made an album that includes playing 40’s/50’s R&B and country, western and swing, Hawaiian and rock ‘n’ roll...basically anything that your grandparents danced to...and made it fresh again. And who doesn't like to groove to oldies (even if they're really newies?)

Meet Ryan Sollee - Lead Singer of The Builders and The Butchers

Like so many teenagers before him, when Ryan Sollee was fifteen he asked his parents for a guitar. Due to his less than perfect grades, they turned him down, but young Sollee was not to be deterred. He went down to the garage and built one from scratch with some of his dad's fishing line and some balsa wood. "It sounded horrible," he admitted, "But my parents were so impressed, that they broke down and got me one. Either that or the noise was getting to them."

Living on Easy Street - Sean Bones Talks About His Debut Album, Rings

It was all an accident. All he originally wanted to do was start a swimwear line with his girlfriend for kicks. Sean Bones had no intention of forming a reggae-influenced pop band or acting in a film, let alone shouldering the responsibilities of holding down the lead role. In fact he's not entirely sure how it all happened. One minute he was happily playing with his indie rock band, Sam Champion, in Brooklyn, the next minute he's got a movie, Wah Do Dem, premiering at LAFF and a reggae album dropping in July. How did this side project spiral into a brand new band? We caught up with Sean this weekend to find out.

The Thermals @ Troubadour, 5/27/09

The Thermals fit into this bizarre nebulous world that exists between rock and punk. They're a little too brash and uncut for rock and a little too soft for punk . I mean they've got a swan on their drum set for Pete's sake. (On their website their music is described as post-pop-punk, but God knows what that even means.) I would describe it as punk that people can get excited about without fear of a mosh pit or being clocked on the back of the head by a crowd surfer's shoe. Or alternatively, punk that parents would approve of. Sure their lyrics are dark and nihilistic , but hot dang those hooks are catchy.

Meet Ann Yu: Lead Singer of LoveLikeFire

Ann Yu wins Weirdest Teenage Rebel Award hands down. When she was sixteen her parents banned her from the high school orchestra in Las Vegas because she was too dedicated to the violin. She would practice long into the night, making sure she always won first chair, and her parents had to fight with her to go to bed. By the time she was thirteen, Yu had acquired scabs on her chin due to her diligent playing. It got to be too much for them and they forbade her from playing the high school orchestra. Having acquired a driver's license, Yu joined a local rock band. "That's where the idea to be in a band sprung from. I realized you didn't need a whole orchestra to make music." All these years later, Yu is still just as passionate to her art. (Her parents have finally come around to the idea.) Her latest band, LoveLikeFire' s debut album will be out in August, but is already garnered some heavily positive praise from critics. Yu was kind enough to speak with us about her upcoming debut yesterday evening. Here is some of what was said.

Metric, Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains, and Band of Skulls @ Wiltern, 6/8/09

There were rumors circulating inside the Wiltern on Monday night that some people had shown up only to catch the sinister blues of Band of Skulls on their last night in Los Angeles before dashing across town to see another show. High praise, considering their album Baby Darling Dollface Honey only came out in March, tickets were $33 a pop, and the Band of Skulls went on at 8 (which meant getting there in rush hour traffic which is nothing to sneeze at). But man, oh man, was it worth it. The sparse outfit which included only a bass guitarist, guitarist and drums set the world on fire with their dark dirty London blues. In a traditional black leather jacket, lead guitarist Russel Marsden smoked and sizzled with hair raising riffs which complemented Emma Richardson's smoky voice exactly. With her husky timber reminiscent of Joan Jett or Chrissy Hynde, and his slightly high resonance, their harmonies had a slightly androgynous quality. As if their voice belonged not to them, but to some multigendered seducer who was going to swoop down and fuck you senseless, no matter what your gender, sexual preference, or moral code as Matt Hayward's heavy, monster drums kept time. What I’m saying is that it felt good.

Meet Jon Hershfield: Founder of IsGoodMusic (Music Without Pretense)

Some would argue that trying to get a grip on the scope of the Los Angeles music scene is an impossible task. By the time you finished listening to every single band in Los Angeles county, half of them would be broken up and like a cacophonous hydra, a whole new generation of music would have sprouted while your back was turned. Few people attempt this daunting feat, and those who do seem to possess crazy, masochistic tendencies (myself included). Fortunately for you, we have one such editor who undertakes that insane quest daily (namely Mr. Joshua Pressman) but should Tonight in Rock not fulfill all your needs, and you want a radio station that plays all local Los Angeles bands all the time...Jon Hershfield has the the website for you. Founder of, Hershfield has set out to find the diamonds in the rough that are lying right under our noses. The website provides a social networking site for bands, a radio station with interviews, and a up-to-date calendar on all the local gigs that are worth catching. We caught up with Jon Hershfield recently and asked him how it was going.

Crocodiles Are Coming! Lead Singer Brandon Welchez Talks About Their Debut Album: Summer of Hate

Holy Jesus and the Mary Chain, Batman! Crocodiles are coming to the Troubadour tonight supporting their two month old, brand spanking new, debut disk, Summer of Hate(Fat Possum). Toting loud fuzzed out guitars, electric drums, and sneering lyrics that knock you breath back, Crocodiles have created a pulsing spaced out noise that will vibrate through your skull for a good way. Brandon Welchez was kind enough to speak with us yesterday by phone. Here is some of what was said.

Meet Lexy Benaim - Lead Singer of Harlem Shakes

Calling me from an In n' Out Burger somewhere in Northern California, Lexy Benaim is happy. He's on tour with fellow Brooklynite up and comers Passion Pit, his band has been listed as one of the bands to watch by Paste magazine, and most importantly he's got his hands on some animal fries. Life is pretty good. Harlem Shakes' debut disk, Technicolor Health, is brimming with sunshine and catchy pop hooks without being overly sweet. It's the kind of album you would want on a bike ride along Venice Beach or on a picnic in Griffith Park. Between mouthfuls of fries, Lexy was kind enough to answer some of our probing questions. Harlem Shakes - Sunlight

Eulogies Frontman Peter Walker Talks About His New Album: Here Anonymous

Three years ago Peter Walker decided he was tired of the solo life and wanted to settle down...musically. He asked the musicians who were touring with him if they wanted something more permanent. They did and Eulogies was born. Last month, Eulogies released their promising sophomore disk, Here Anonymous, on Dangerbird Records. The album in question is full of the kind of pretty introspective pop that would make Ben Gibbard green with envy. Front man Peter Walker was kind enough to talk with us last night from his home in Los Angeles about his brand new album.

Surf's Up! Meet Phil Shaheen: Drummer for The Tijuana Panthers

"Our music isn't that serious," Phil Shaheen admitted. "All of the bands I looked up to growing up weren't serious, either. They would have serious lyrics and silly music or serious music and silly lyrics. Music should be about having a good time." As the drummer of the Tijuana Panthers, one of SoCal's best surf rock groups, he knows all about that. Heavily influenced by classic 1960s surf rock fused with punk, the Panthers will make you want to put on your wet suit, grab your board, and make a beeline for the beach. Office meetings, florescent lighting, and paperwork be damned! It's a beautiful day outside, let's call in sick and hit the beach. (I wouldn't be surprised that after perusing this article if half of you got up right now and did just that.) Phil was kind enough about his band's new EP and their upcoming show at Spaceland. Here is some of what was said. Tijuana Panthers - Creature

The Virgins Return to LA Just in Time to Be Sacrificed to Our Earthquake Gods.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, but if the big one should show up on Thursday...these New York rockers are toast. Poor bastards. They think they're coming here to headline the El Rey. Of course this information wasn't shared with Donald Cumming during our interview with him on Saturday. (Yes, the lead singer of the Virgins is named Donald Cumming. Go ahead. Giggle. We'll wait. Feel better? Okay.) I mean, we can't scare the Virgins off before they get here. It's the only way to save California from sinking into the sea. Although this would mean killing off one of the best neo-disco acts around, which would be a shame. These guys have put out a slinky debut album which would make even a nun's blood run hot.

Her Space Holiday @ The Echo, 5/7/09

It is always unnerving as a fan when an artist you like experiments with his genre. We always want them to ride that line between doing something new and different and changing their sound completely. We want something fresh, but also something we can recognize. So when an artist jumps genres, we get nervous. Don't get me wrong, experimentation is essential for any sort of artistic growth to occur. We don't want to hear the same song over and over again or even the same album twice, but at the same time we worry about the unknown. Will it be a successful leap like Nelly Furtado's foray into dance pop? Or will it crash and burn like Garth Brooks' disastrous attempt at reinvention as Chris Gaines? Her Space Holiday (otherwise known as Marc Bianchi) made the leap with his latest album XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival in which he changes his sound from the light synthetic, electronic pop of his previous five albums and ventures into the world of alt-country and folk.

Miniature Tigers Take LA! Don't Be Afraid. Meet The Lead Singer, Charlie Brand

If you were on an adventure with Indiana Jones, and were in desperate need of a sunny, happy pop album that discusses the dangers of cannibals, dinosaurs, octopi, and volcanoes, the Miniature Tigers' new album might be the one to choose. (Obviously this would be in your down time. It's not the soundtrack you would want for when you were fighting Nazis or sneaking around in tombs.) However, Tell It To The Volcano which was released on Modern Art Records in February might just do the trick for when you were having lunch or getting from one cave to another. Which is not surprising considering the founding members, Charlie Brand and Rick Schaier, cite the jungle imagery in Lost and Indiana Jones as some of their influences when writing this record. Honestly it is surprising there aren't more cannibal ditties out there considering the popularity of both of these cultural icons. Or maybe a few mysterious pop songs about "others"? Just a thought.

Meet Matthew Tow: Frontman of the Aussie Rockers the Lovetones Talks About His Latest Album, Dimensions

When the Aussie rockers, the Lovetones released their debut album, Be What You Want, in 2003 through Bomp! Records the critics freaked out. Rolling Stone hailed Matthew Tow' as being worthy of wearing paisley on Caranby Street and hanging out with Ray Davies. Three albums later, the Lovetones haven't lost any of their magic. They will be bringing their classic, psychedelic, 1960s influenced sound back to Los Angeles. The Lovetones will be playing at the Spaceland tonight, and gracing the Redwood Bar tomorrow. Last weekend lead singer and founding member, Matthew Tow, was kind enough to give us a few moments of his time. Here is some of what was said.

Operation Aloha: An Experiment in Rock 'n' Roll

Several months ago, rock 'n' roll photographer, Christopher Wray-McCann, had an idea. What would happen if he got some of his musician friends to drop their cell phones, their laptops, and their lives and hole up in Maui in tree houses for a month to record an album? Taking all the equipment they could carry, various members of Maroon 5, Gomez, Phantom Planet and a few other bands agreed and descended upon their new jungle home. Fourteen members of what was now known as, Operation Aloha, created a light, breezy tropical album, which was created captured the spirit of Hawaii without the usual constraints of songwriting and recording.

Meet Ashley Jex: Founder of JAXART Records

If Wonder Woman had hung up her cape and chosen to give up her life of fighting crime and instead wanted to get into the local music scene, she may have asked some pointers from Ashley Jex. At the tender age of twenty five, Jex has created a local music empire. Not only has she launched a very influential record label, JAXART out of her living room, she still makes time for her music blog,Rock Insider, and her band The Monolators, and somehow her day job. She can do it all. LAist caught up with Jex in her industrial epicenter (aka living room) to ask her how the heck she manages to stay awake. Here is some of what was said.

Meet Jean-Luc Retard and Bonnie Day from the Faux French Band, Nous Non Plus

There is no Santa. George Bush did not win the 2000 election. And Jean-Luc Retard and Bonnie Day are frauds. Inspired by 1960s French pop, these ex-Brooklynites have been spreading their cheeky, retro pop all over the world. We sat down with Jean-Luc Retard and Bonnie Day (aka Dan Crane and Emily Welsch) for brunch in Silver Lake last Saturday, in order to get to our burning questions answered. How French were they? How many Skittles did Emily have to consume in the Loli video? Was it true that Dan had an alter ego that was an air guitar champion? And did they really get sued by their former band member? Here is some of what was said. For frauds, their answers were surprisingly honest.

Black Lips and Flowers Forever @ El Rey Theatre, 5/1/09

Friday night at the El Rey Theatre, the guitarist for Tilly and the Wall, Derek Pressnall, opened for the Black Lips with his new band, Flowers Forever. The only adornment on-stage was a tangled mass of lights that glowed like a giant light-up hairball that served as a visual embodiment of the Flowers Forever sound: bright, messy, pretty ugly, but intriguing nonetheless. Each song jumped around from melody to melody with no smooth transitions. Drums...

Tinted Windows @ The Troubadour, 4/28/09

Full disclosure: when I was twelve, I was a hardcore, die-hard Hanson fan. I knew all the lyrics to their debut album, Middle of Nowhere, and so did millions and millions of other prepubescent girls around the nation. Hanson was perfect for twelve year olds. They were young, cute, never sung about anything offensive, and most important of all they wrote and played their own instruments. Unlike the other schlock that was being marketed towards...

Mates of State and The Black Kids @ The Henry Fonda Theater, 4/23/09

It was really comforting last Wednesday to wander out of debris strewn Hollywood Blvd, which had become an odd wasteland after tornado Free-Depeche-Mode-Concert hit, and into the Henry Fonda Theater. Especially since it was Mates of State that I had come to see. Their music is nothing if not comforting. I mean take one part true love and one part sunshine pop and you have Mates of State. The husband and wife duo, Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner, faced each other through out the whole set. Him, on his drum set, and her, on her keyboards, sang in harmony, while gazing lovingly at each other. It's like the audience wasn't even there. If it had been a Disney cartoon, tiny bluebirds, chubby chipmunks, and fawns with giant eyes would have appeared on stage and surrounded them.

Meet Nathaniel Fregoso: Lead Singer of The Blood Arm Talks About His Next Album, Grilled Cheese, and Franz Ferdinand.

"I like all the girls, and all the girls like me!" A cocky line to be sure, but also one that will stick in your brain for days on end. The same can be said about the rest of The Blood Arm's second album, Lie Lover Lie, whose New Wave infused Los Angeles rock grabbed the world's attention three years ago. They're back in their LA studio, wrapping up material on their third disk. They will be debuting these new tunes at the Bordello this Thursday evening. Keeping us up to date on the latest developments lead singer, Nathaniel Fregoso was kind enough to speak to us from the Grilled Cheese Invitational on Saturday. Here is some of what was said.

The Greg Proops Chat Show with Greg Behrendt, Rhys Darby, and Josh Homme 4/21/09

It is no surprise that Jon Brion did not ask for any requests last Tuesday evening. The last time he did that to warm up the crowd for Greg Proops, some wise acre asked for Free Bird. It does not matter that Brion rose to the challenge and melted our faces off with, get this, a piano solo, what matters is that Brion was not going to allow the audience to choose his song again. To be honest, I don't know what he was thinking the first time. Who does he think attends the Greg Proops Chat show, if not smart ass goobers? (For anyone who is offended by that, know that I include myself in this category.) So instead he chose the safe course and sat down at the piano without so much as a glance at the audience, and promptly stunned us all into awed silence with his playing. It must be very handy being able to do that on command. I would even possibly qualify it as a minor superpower. Nothing as flashy as moving objects with your mind, but still very impressive.

Pocahaunted and The Cave Singers @ Spaceland, 4/18/09

Rather than face the blistering heat and ungodly, ruinous prices of Coachella, I found myself heading towards Spaceland last Friday night to participate in some local, cooler, cheaper musical entertainment. Ironically, the band I saw produced a sound that would provide a perfect soundtrack for a spiritual awakening in the desert (especially on hallucinogens). Soon after I arrived it appeared as if the stage had been taken over by wood nymphs. Two young ladies with wild hair and lost eyes took the stage dressed in plaid and sparkles accompanied by three awkward young men who looked embarrassed to be on stage. They didn't even look like they belonged in the same band. It was like two bands had been double booked and were forced to share the stage.

Meet Jeremy Mendicino of That Mean, Nasty, Hideous Band Known As...Pretty & Nice

Supporting their second album, Get Young! Boston indie rockers, Pretty & Nice will be playing the Knitting Factory on Sunday. Often compared to Elvis Costello and Devo these art rockers' spazzed out, messy, giddy sound has won them applause from the critics and the kids who just want to dance. (Or jump up and down as the case may be.) Lead singer and founding member Jeremy Mendicino, was kind enough to talk to us from the road on Sunday. Here is some of what was said. Pretty & Nice - Tora Tora Tora

The Boogaloo Assassins and Budos Band @ Echo, 4/16/09

It was an old school funk showdown at the Echo on Thursday night. The age old west coast vs. east coast rivalry was in full effect. Not in any sort of negative way, but in a purely competitive spirit. What I wanted to know was which band could out groove the other. Would it be the hometown Boogaloo Assassins with their Latin boogaloo or the funky newcomers from New York supporting their second album with the legendary Daptone Records, Budos Band?

Bloc Party and Menomena @ The Hollywood Palladium, 4/15/09

Hailing from the great Northwest, experimental indie rockers Menomena took the stage before a sold out crowd at the Palladium on Wednesday in support of their latest album Friend and Foe. Having never seen these guys before, I was really excited to see whether or not they could pull off their famed experimental hooks on stage. This band has made their name by writing albums of chaotic creativity. Therefore, I thought, surely even if the music was bad it wouldn't be dull.

The Love Language and Headlights @ Spaceland 4/12/09

Every now and then, when the wind is blowing the right way, the moon is half full, and the planets align you walk into a small club and have your face melted off by the sheer brilliance of some little band you've never heard of. For the twenty of you who wandered into the Spaceland at around ten on Sunday night, you know exactly what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, who were engaged in other activities (eating Easter dinner with your loved ones, having tea with Satan, polishing your bowling trophy collection, whatever) let me just say that you guys should look out for the Love Language next time they come to town. It's worth missing a tea party with Beezelbub.

Meet James Yuill - Folktronica's Next Great Hope

If you're like me, the very word "folktronica" makes you cringe as if someone had dragged their fingernails down the chalkboard of your heart. Folk and electronica? Could anything be more horrible than putting synth beats on top of Nick Drake? Or adding some banjo and slowing down Justice's tempo? The two genres seemed to be like beef jerky and Pop Rocks, two substances who were delicious apart but shouldn't ever ever be mixed together.

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