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Big in '08 Addendum
LA Times staffer and Buzz Bands blogger Kevin Bronson's story "Taking the L.A. indie rock scene personally" hit stands last Thursday. By means of an intimate portrayal, Bronson set forth his pick of indie rock up-and-comers for L.A.'s indie rock scene in 2008. While I completely admire that he would put his neck out there for three rather small, entirely worthy bands (The Airborne Toxic Event, Castledoor, and The Deadly Syndrome) at the forefront of our scene, I felt as though his list was somewhat homogeneous. I don't want to detract from his phenomenal choices, all of which comprise the mainstay of my current indie-related listening, but I couldn't help but think to myself who I would have picked. Well, I'm counting on the following three lesser-known artists to be heavy-hitters in 2008.
1. EverestYou know that you've got something good going when Neil Young has you in his Top 8! I saw Everest a few times this year just before they went into the studio to record their forthcoming 2008 full-length. Every performance was as vibrant as the next, leaving me with an insatiable appetite for more of front man Russell Pollard's "super-group". See, Everest consists of members with ties to a handful of reputable bands like Alaska!, Earlimart, the Watson Twins, Folk Implosion, Great Northern, and Stanford Prison Experiment. Combine that with the epic alt-rock, Tom Petty/Wilco-esque nature of their tunes and it's plain to see why they've earned such lofty labels. With Mike Terry (Earlimart, Foo Fighters, Eagles) on the knobs at New Monkey studio, it's hard not to expect Herculean things from Everest in 2008.
Everest - "Into Your Soft Heart"
2. Miniature TigersI first experienced the sublime pop-rock frolics of Miniature Tigers via acoustic set, opening for Acute's residency at Tangier. Fresh-faced and guileless, the toned down (drumless) trio's lighthearted aura impressed to no end. Their music amplifies a sense of callow youth that everyone can relate to. "Dino Damage" is a lighthearted, lo-fi excursion that showcases front man Charlie's sweet vocals. He reminds me a lot of a young Ben Kweller, but way more saccharine. Other songs like "White Magic", and "The Wolf" utilize the band's propensity for irresistible, piquant pop. In 2006, Miniature Tigers' "The Wolf" even landed on Rolling Stone Magazine's "25 Best Bands on Myspace" list. It should also be noted that Bronson's Airborne Toxic Event made the very same list.
Miniature Tigers - "Dino Damage"
3. Bobby BirdmanFuck Yeah Fest afforded me my first Bobby Birdman performance and I've been hooked ever since. I've written about him in the past, describing him as, "Patrick Wolf without the dark, homosexual, fucked-up back story". The point being that Birdman's lyrical tone is a lot less wounded and overt, but the vocal tone itself carries striking similarities. Birdman's noteworthy 2006 endeavor Giraffes and Jackals combines the sensational vocal bravado of Wolf with homemade, island-inspired electro-pop beats. His live performance, which consists of him and a laptop, is a flamboyant and exuberant dance party, nothing short of amazing. The last time I talked to Birdman he said he was hard at work on "a couple of things"--possibly alluding to multiple releases slated for 2008.
Bobby Birdman - "Steal Yr Face"
Get hip with The Times! Go see the following shows: Tonight is the last night of Castledoor's free residency at The Echo and they're going out with a bang! Earlimart is scheduled to open. Miniature Tigers are playing tonight as well, taking part in the Viper Room's Check One..Two. The Deadly Syndrome will be playing a "Halloween Spectacular" at Spaceland this coming Wednesday. Also, The Airborne Toxic Event's Detroit Bar residency commences Nov. 5th.