Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Molly Bergen

  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Stories by Molly Bergen

Support for LAist comes from: