Sunday, September 30, 2012
In Looper, Writor / Director Rian Johnson not only bends time but movie genres. This movie in which mob killer Joe played by Joseph Gordon Levitt seeks to kill his older self (played by Bruce Willis) feels like a collaborative story by Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, and Ira Levin. While the story hinges on a time travel convention, it ultimately becomes a character study about consequence and redemption.
I am not going to dissect this movie, not really review because as it is, the trailer already shows too much. You are better off going and seeing this movie with out any preconceived ideas. One thing I will say is that if you lead with your heart and not your brain, you will really like this movie, maybe even love it. As Joe, the dispassionate cold blooded killer, Levitt puts out such a measured stoic performance. To me, with the subtle make up and his vocal performance I did not even think of him as Joseph Gordon Levitt at all. As the selfish killer and junkie Joe, he is not your typical protagonist. It is through the strength of the narrative and tempo of the story telling that Joe's humanity slowly shows through. As the older Joe, Bruce Willis also pushes some movie boundaries as the story goes to some very, very dark places. A lesser actor of his age and stature might not want to go there. It is nice to see that he is still taking chances.
I love this movie. It is a must see.
Photo: Andy Willsher / NME
As Ricky would say to Lucy, "You got some splaining to do!" A whole lot of people, especially those fans in attendance at New York's Radio City Music Hall last night, are asking what is up with Jack White's short set. After 12 songs, clocked in at less than one hour, he jammed off stage never to return. Most of his set time on his Blunderbuss tour have been almost 2 hours and at least 20 songs. Fans chanted and chanted and chanted a bit more, only to realize that White was not coming back for an encore. Then the "Fuck Jack White!" chanting ensued. Oh, how quickly they turn.
Fans can be fickle and turn on a dime but in defense of the audience, Jack White's behavior does make him look like a major douchebaggy diva. Like someone who has lost touch with the average person who works hard, pays off their bills and every now and then plucks down good money on those extra things that make life a bit more bearable (like concert tickets). Those extra things that put a lot of money in Mr. Whites fashionable pants pockets. Ticket prices ran from around $53 to $106 after all. There have been some ramblings that White was unhappy with the sound at the venue. If this was the reason, White could of used his illustrious diva powers to have the problems fixed. Even if there was a legitimate reason for cutting the show short (illness or tragic news) it was hugely mishandled. As of the posting of this blog post, those in Mr. White's camp have not released any information or apology.
Set thing right Jack so we can love you once more.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
If you visit the Heroes and Heroines Bandcamp page and push play it is a little like stepping into a 1960's Super 8 movie reel. The almost translucent guitar strains, Farfisa organ and prepubescent sounding vocals sound so purely sweet and harkins back to the Smile period of the Beach Boys. When you hear Pilot on their Garage Demos EP, it could very well be a Brian Wilson / Van Dyke Parks composition, it is that good. While Wilson and Parks would use full orchestration to realize their vision, Heroes and Heroines push the dramatic with a more spartan sound focusing on clean but punchy guitar rhythms and the almost omnipresent organ. The instrumental Fantastic Force has rock flourishes and an almost tango like break that reminds me of a Crystal Antlers interlude. The song itself has the sweep and scope of a silent action film. The Lion (on Garage Demos) feels like a summer roller coaster ride.
The Two Weeks 7" (digital of vinyl) has a bit bigger, better produced sound than the garage demos and the increased dynamic range fills out the sound nicely. Two Weeks (the song) is about as infectious a song as can be fueled by the vocal melody and organ rhythm. The chorus tempo change- full of drum rolls and heavy down beats works so well. In Busy Bee, Heroes and Heroines composesd a song that tells its story as much with the varied tempos, dramatic fills and down beats than the melodies contained in the music and vocals. Heroes and Heroines (in both their Garage Demos EP and Two Weeks 7" single) display a knack for writing non formulaic songs that can sound pristine and heavy at the same time. Turning their music off is the hardest thing. Oh, well... back to the real world.
Heroes and Heroines will be at the Bootleg Theater with Kera and the Lesbians on Oct 1
by Robb Donker
Live Performance photography by Sarah Norman
Interview photography by Tiffany Luong
Music, good music, can flood your senses to such a degree that it can wash away your troubles, take away your pain and even, for a moment, make you forget where you are. Really good music can even make you forget who you are. This is the case with the music that Kera and the Lesbians make. They conjure up a bootlegged brew of porch blues infused garage rock that transforms you to another time when rock and roll was evolving from swing jazz, boogie woogie and Southern ragtime. When you hear the spring reverb of "Black Like Coal" with it's dancing tom tom beat and the tough as nails "come hither" vocals by Kera you can't help but purse your lips and feel the sway in your hips. Even a square knot like me feels cool.
There are a lot of bands that adopt this kind of retro feel but a lot of them over reach until the performance feels campy. When you hear Kera and the Lesbians there is not even a hint of poseur. They embody the music fully, especially Kera. If you get a chance to see them live it is tantamount to witnessing the Holy Spirit (of rock and roll) take over her body. I sat inches away from her as they played in a small art gallery and she attacked each song like a girl possessed. It was an absolutely electric performanc that left her soaked in sweat. Anyone seeing them live is surely part of the converted after Kera and the Lesbians lay their hands on you. I met up with them at a rehearsal space in Los Angeles where they were recording a 7 inch split record which is a precursor to their new album.
When you formally meet Kera Armendariz you immediately get a sense that she is a straight shooter. She focuses in on what you say, looks you in the eye and converses intently all the while making you feel at home. At 24 years old, she has had a love affair with the guitar for about 20 years if not more and also began playing drums in her early teen years. Before Kera and the Lesbians (which she started at around 18 years old) she dabbled in some other bands but none of those fellow musicians shared her focus.
"I got really sick of waiting for people" Kera said "(so) I did my own recordings (playing drums and guitar) and he (Phil) would stand in on bass and, I dunno, it just kind of worked out really well and he hasn't gotten sick of me yet." Kera cites some of her influences as The Kinks, David Bowie, Gong, Comus, Sandie Shaw, Ria Bartok, The Ronettes, The Shangrilas and Screamin Jay Hawkins but no one other than The King himself is the one who set her on her path. "I knew I wanted to be a entertainer when I first heard Elvis Presley sing. He was a huge part of the reason I wanted to play guitar and be a well rounded musician."
The rest of the band is made up of Phil MacNitt on bass guitar, Micahel Delaney on drums and Eamon McGinniss on guitar. The fifth Beatle, so to speak, and unofficial member is Brandon Burns who superbly plays horns and percussion. They are tight knit as Kera says, "These guys are like family. I have so much in common with these guys. When we hang out it's a blast." Phil adding, "It's like a mini vacation when we get together."
As I looked at this family I got the impression that Phil was Kera's main partner in crime. As an avid music collector (or as Phil put's it "record hoarder") his eclectic taste in music (from Parliament-Funkadelic to Charles Mingus to Patsy Cline to The Temptations to Todd Rundgren to Prince and beyond) has provided part of the fuel for Kera's musical fire. "I've got a lot of records these days" he said, "which always sucks when it comes time to move. I don't know... maybe a little over 2,000 at this point. I worked at a few record stores when I was younger which gave me a jump start into crate digging and since then I've always just ran to the records in any thrift store or swap meet."
This looking back to move forward is part of what makes Kera and the Lesbian's music so rooted in musical history itself and ultimately makes the songs feel timeless. In a previous live review I described the songs like 1940's porch blues colliding with post punk. The explosiveness of Kera's individual performances does have the wild abandon of a punk rock show or as Phil MacNitt says, the music has "the agression of punk rock."
Drummer Michael Delaney who also does cool artwork for their album covers (and his kick drum) recalled the music that would play in his household. "My mom was super int R&B like Mariah Carey, Boys II Men, Sade, Toni Braxton. She was dating this guy for a while and he always played stuff like King Crimson, Genesis, Kate Bush and weird chanting." His drumming style, incredibly loose and adept plays off Kera's energy and, of course, Phil's bass work. Rounding out the core sound is guitarist Eamon McGinniss who is up to the task of marrying his expressive lead work to Kera's potent rhythms. The dude can also play some incredible slide guitar even with a bic lighter. Some of his musical loves are The Beatles, Sam and Dave and Dave Brubeck. He clearly sees his guitar work as foundational to the sound. "I add additional harmonic texture and support Kera's melodies by doubling them or adding a harmony beneath, above or around what she sings."
As we shot pictures of the band, we all got a chance to clown around, drink and playfully talk shit. In the midst of trying to figure out who was the smart one, who was the poet, who was the cute one and who was the passive aggressive bitch, I realized that this band is in it for all the right reasons. They play passionately whether it is in a parking lot trading barbs or strapping on their respective instruments at a club or house show. Back in the rehearsal space, they listened to some of the tracks they had recorded and the discussion turned to the band's creative process.
Kera: "I will have a few ideas of what I want the song to sound like, bring lyrics. These guys will help to mold it like a beautiful piece of clay. They shape it in a really nice way and we work off each other really well."
Phil: "We flush it all out. Kera is very expressive and I feel like all the lyrics come from her experiences."
Kera: "And also, he (Phil) is such a mastermind."
Michael: "Yea, basically Kera comes in with a cool idea and we all add our spices to it. It's like a pizza pie. She comes with the dough, we just put the toppings on and put it in the oven."
Kera: "That's beautiful Michael."
NOTE: Kera and The Lesbians will be playing a month long residency at The Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles for the Month of October.
To call the video for "Whatever Never" from Drug Cabin (featuring Nathan Thelen of Pretty Girls Make Gaves/Moonrats and Marcus Congleton of Ambulance LTD) "trippy" would be obtuse. Let's let director Kevin Willis explain his vision:
"I became distraught when I lost my cat of fifteen or so years. For weeks, my mind went whirling into strange places knowing that he was never coming back. Then one day he literally just fell back into my lap. So, I decided to document that experience as best I could with this video."
Sunday, September 23, 2012
If you like lo-fi garage rock with a decidedly Brit rock feel then you will love this 1993 EP by Ohio rockers Guided by Voices whose career spanned from 1983 to 2004. The 93-96 line up re-united in 2010 and they are still going strong. AP shot video of them at the 2011 FYF fest in LA (see videos way down below)- Enjoy-
The Grand Hour is a 1993 EP by Guided by Voices. "Shocker in Gloomtown" remained in GbV concert setlists until the band's final show, and was in 1994 covered by the Breeders.
Label: Scat Records
Format: Vinyl, 7", EP, Limited Edition, Repress
Style: Lo-Fi, Indie Rock
A1 - I'll Get Over It - Written-By - J. Pollard , R. Pollard , Sprout
A2 - Shocker In Gloomtown - Written-By - R. Pollard
A3 - Alien Lanes - Written-By - J. Pollard , R. Pollard , Sprout
B1 - Off The Floor - Written-By - Sprout
B2 - Break Even - Written-By - R. Pollard
B3 - Bee Thousand - Written-By - R. Pollard
Jim Pollard, Kevin Fennell, Mitch Mitchell, Robert Pollard , Tobin Sprout
Technician [Sonic Inducer] - Mike "Rep" Hummel
Recorded at Encore Studios and on Toby's big 4 track, Dayton OH.
Second pressing. Limited to 1400.
When I see events like this they scare me in a way. It is because there is a "dance floor"- EEEeeee!- the word sends chills down my spine because I have never been able to dance. I come from a long line of uptight Dutch ancestry with deeply embedded stoic DNA that forbids my body to move in any kind of fluid or rhythmic way. I can move in a comedic way, that's about it. In fact, I can barely bob my head to a punk band that is how fucked up I am. So, for the rest of you check out this amazing event co-sponsored by LA Record. If I can muster the courage I might even attend. If you see a frightened looking bald man in the corner with eyes has large as saucers then come over and pull me to the dance floor as I need to get over my condition.
September 25 at Los Globos, FEVER Party #7with SUZANNE KRAFT, BBRAVE, AND SAN GABRIEL
THIS MONTH'S FEVER welcomes guest DJ from Ghana BBRAVE. We've got SUZANNE KRAFT performing live music from his new album (out that very day!). And one of our favorite multi-talented artists, Butchy Fuego will deliver a set as SAN GABRIEL. The dance floor will be filled with tropical otherworldly sounds.
SAN GABRIELsomething smooth: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=
YbFtBaiFZrIsomething crazy: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=SThC- 5Xz5r0many somethings: www.soundcloud.com/ sangabrielSan Gabriel is the new forward-thinking beat project from the multi-instrumentalist/producer Butchy Fuego. Full of warped and pulsing pan-global club music; a signature marriage of tropical riddims, dubbed out soundscapes, and modern R&B minimalism. Striking the perfect balance of booming bass and tricky rhythms, his debut album VOLFE makes for some serious sideways heat.
BBRAVEdip into this world traveler's music dish:BBRAVE is an ambassador of club music made in Africa. His roots are in Paris and Los Angeles but his heart lays somewhere between Angola and Ghana. He has been sharing this African heat for four years now, taking his blend of Akwaaba music to countless clubs and events all over the world. BBRAVE aka Benjamin Lebrave, is founder and owner of Akwaaba Music. Establish in 2008, the label is an outlet for BBRAVE's endless passion for Africa music, working with over 70 recording artists from 15 African nations. As a DJ, BBRAVE focuses on the dance floor side of things, mashing together the staggering variety of dance music genres made in Africa, from kuduro to coupe decal, kwaito, and kwassa house to hipline, gbema or soukous. BBRAVE's relentless quest for sounds from Africa drive his eclectic, oftentimes unpredictable sets.
SUZANNE KRAFThow about some frenetic sunshine ecstasy: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?
v=ueRVOTr1zbESuzanne Kraft cultivates sunsoaked boogie and grow house chuggers in the West Coast garden of earthly delights. A bubbling Dublab alumn, Lil Suzie unleashed the lauded Green Flash EP on Running Back a year ago now, stamping a crisp signature on wax platters with addictive vocal snips and slow release pill-wave.Sept 25. 10pm-2amLos Globos. 3040 West Sunset Boulevard$3 cover
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Music Video Review: "Island Universe" by Feeding People
by Robb Donker (contains spoilers)
Feeding People's "Island Universe" video as directed by Dick Thompson feels more cinematic than some full fledged movies. The opening sequence is a series of opposing shots of a barrel chested jogger (Philip Fracassi) running his paces through the pristine gloss of an upscale neighborhood as he listens to Feeding People's "Big Mother" cut against the sunburned dark dream like vision of Jesse Jones walking in a red dress and tattered stockings as she slowly makes her way to a cruel looking sea and sky. The jogger scene is bright and vivid but does not look happy. The other landscape is cold. Jesse slowly gazes up as if the sky holds something terrible. The nature around her is in a state of physical upheaval and she in a state of emotional decay. Murky crashing waves give way to clothed legs in a crystal clear swimming pool. The camera view raises out of the water and we see Luis Filliger play the opening guitar strains of "Island Universe."
This is the intriguing beginning of what, in the end, is a dark and disturbing narrative. Of course, much of the narrative has to be created in your own mind as there are only provocative glimpses on display. Seemingly dark pasts in the form of utter desert squalor, hints of infidelity or possibly even a random home invasion, a shard of glass and croquet mallet as tools of murder, slow motion bike rides, the family goldfish in a blender and diving in that pretty swimming pool fully clothed. The acts of violence are never seen but the aftermath is. Jesse sings next to the body of the "husband" in his white boxers and red socks with matching red blood and head wounds. We see Luis methodically ravage the contents of a refrigerator until he finds the beer can he wants. There is a particularly beautiful shot of the milk carton on it's side pulsating the milk out on the kitchen tile as the camera slowly floats over the floor only to reveal the comely "wife" whose body is in an obvious state or rigor mor·tis. She seems to be wearing the same red dress that Jesse is wearing in many scenes. That reveal is chilling.
Director Dick Thompson wields a skilled hand at pushing all the right creepy buttons. The choice of telling this horror story in a Tarantino out of turn kind of way works perfectly and the stayed emotions of the "husband" and his "wife" (played so well by Sami Martin Sarmiento) add to the creepiness as does the cold and callous performances by Jones and Filliger. You could cook up a hundred scenarios on how these four people collided with murderous results but one thing seems to be evident, all four characters emotionally died a long time ago. Piecing all these disparate pieces together is tricky within the time constraints of a music video but every frame is either a puzzle piece to the next possible scenario or is, itself, the act of turning over the playing card to reveal the murderous joker (or ace of spades). I absolutely love one of the ending shots as you see the still earthly "husband" and "wife" through the living room window as Jesse approaches their home in a dark blue dress. Their fate hinges on her finger's touch of the doorbell.
With credits rolling, the video ends with Filliger and Jones walking slowly up a dark dingy road against the Feeding People song "Closer" which (in tone) has a sweeping sound that might grace the ending of a Wes Anderson movie.
Apart from this video, the song "Island Universe" certainly has a sad undertow but can also feel fancy free and whimsical. The guitar melodies and rhythm with it's stair step notes has an almost gothic meets 60's tear jerker feel and Jesse Jones vocal performance has a dreamy tentative quality. When she phrases "forever... forever"- she could very well be a school girl being beckoned to sing by her mom or teacher. Jones has a lot of character in her voice. The words she sings carry a lot of emotional tug and baggage that pull at your heart strings and stir your soul. Pairing this song with the aforementioned images is either pretty damn brilliant or pretty damn sick depending on who you ask. One thing is for certain, the direction, casting, camera work, editing and acting all work together flawlessly. If I were to try to describe the directorial tone I would mention names like Richard Kelly and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Philosophers and psychiatrists can argue at length on why dark forms of media exist, of why tales of horror and murder have always seemed to be part of the human condition. I guess it is a safe way to exorcise one's demons. In the video for "Island Universe" you get to do so and listen to a beautifully haunting song at the same time.
"Island Universe" by Feeding People
Single out now on iTunes:
And as a vinyl 7":
Upcoming full length LP due out in early 2013. Produced by Hanni El Khatib and Jonny Bell of the Crystal Antlers. Mixed & engineered by Bobby Harlow.
Follow the Feeding People on Twitter: https://twitter.com/feedingpeople
Director: Dick Thompson
Producer: Menaka Gopinath
Exec. Producer: Nate Nelson, Jamie Strong
Prod Co: Wilcox Sessions
Label: Innovative Leisure
DP: Bryant Jansen
Editor: Dick Thompson
Written by: Philip Fracassi, Dick Thompson
Wardrobe Design: Sami Martin Sarmiento
Hair & Make-up: Stacey Miller
AC & B Cam Operator: Zach Osterhout
PA: Garrett Hughes
Sound Mixer: Danny Brin
Colorist: Bryant Jansen
Starring: Philip Fracassi, Sami Martin Sarmiento
American Pancake has had the pleasure of seeing 3 of Mute's artists this year: Cold Specks, M83 and Liars, all distinctly different but all equally carving out their own unique place in today's music scene. Check out Mute's latest press releases.
Friday, September 21, 2012
The human head contains 22 bones, consisting the cranium and the facial bones. The cranium is formed by 8 bones: the frontal bone, two parietal bones, two temporal bones, the occipital bone in the back, the ethmoid bone behind the nose, and the sphenoid bone. The face consists of 14 bones including the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). (The skull has many little holes in its base which allow the cranial nerves to travel to their destinations.)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
"Dude...check this out. 35 awesome bands for 100 pesos!"
"I don't have a 100 bucks dude!"
"Not 100 bucks dumbass, 100 pesos... that is like fuckin 8 bucks!"
"Whoa.... dude! I HAVE 8 bucks and change!"
"Shit yeah, Dude! I told you so!"
"Fuck, dude... I just counted like 35 bands on that flyer. 35 bands for 8 bucks! That is like
waay less than a dollar a band!"
"WE ARE GOING TO THE 3rd ANNUAL ALL MY FRIENDS MUSIC FESTIVAL!!!!"
Held this year at one of Tijuana's oldest buildings, Casa de la Cultura which was once a World War 2 espionage center. It now serves as an art school. Pre-sale tickets (first 200 online at 100 pesos) then price jumps to 150 pesos. That is 8 bucks or 12 bucks dude!
All My Friends Music Festival 2012
Casa de la Cultura - Tijuana, Mexico - Calle 4ta, Altamira, Zona Centro
November 17 – 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH
Blundertown & L.A. RECORD PRESENTS:
Hunx And His Punx // at The Glass House Concert Hall.
Hunx and His Punx is an unstoppable force of gayness. Couple this fact with catchy retro 60's Shangri-Las type songs splashed with a punk patina (and smart lyrics) and you have one of, if not the most, entertaining live musical acts around. Whether he is fawning over the cute security guy or doing something imaginative with a glow stick, Seth Bogart (Hunx) knows how to entertain a crowd. Thankfully, Seth likes to talk a lot. Playing to an all age audience he mostly kept his schtick in his pants / leotard but kept everyone (band included) smiling and laughing in between songs. No one laughed more than Shannon Shaw (from Shannon and the Clams) who along with Michelle Santamaria (former Hunx guitarist) joined with drummer Erin Emslie to be Hunx's Punkettes. Shannon revealed that they all haven't played together for about a year so this reunion of sorts was pretty special and felt so fresh. It was a super fun set of Hunx classics like "You Don't Like Rock and Roll", "Cruising", "Gimme Gimme Back Your Love" and "Bad Boy" as well as newer songs off of Hairdresser Blues like "Private Room.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Therapist- a 3 piece dance punk band (from Phoenix, Arizona / Calexico, California) has a lead foot. They happily push the petal down all the way to the floor boards, run red lights and smile for the traffic cams. The Heart Beats EP contain, and I do mean contain, five stripped down frantic paced songs. Like Death From Above 1979, the music bed consists of only a bass player (Ant) and drummer (Luis). Thrashing around lyrics is Suz.
In songs like "She Doesn't Know" and "Heart Beats", Ant churns out a driving bass throughout and never lets up except to let his bass lines breath in spots. The dynamics are provided by Luis' drumming as Suz sings in over modulated screams and yelps. You can't help but move to the sonic energy. The sound is raw and unscripted even though I am sure every down beat is planned perfectly. Despite being drenched in a punk mix these are well crafted songs and Suz has a captivating quality to her vox. "Suicide Box" - "Downtown" seem to be compendium pieces. On both tracks, the distortion on Suz's vocals are pulled back and more produced revealing a different more refined quality. Luis' high hat work and Ant's trance dance bass line edge these tracks into punk mirror ball rave land (that is until Therapist gleefully fall back into full punk mode at the end of "Downtown"). Heart Beats EP by Therapist is a tasty dance punk treat leaving me hungry for more.
- Adler Bloom
Saturday, September 15, 2012
SHANNON & THEE CLAMS + LAS ARDILLAS
FRI 21 Amsterdam - Pacific Parc
SAT 22 Brussels - Madame Moustache
SUN 23 Paris - La Cantine de Belleville
MON 24 Neuchatel - Cafe Du Pont
TUE 25 Konstanz - Klimperkasten
WED 26 Strasbourg - Mudd Club
THU 27 St Gallen - Schwarzer Engel
FRI 28 Venice (Margera) - Pop Corn Club
SAT 29 Rome - Muzak
SUN 30 Lucca - The Tube
MON 1 Bucine, Arezzo - Spectre Club
TUES 2 Pratto - Garage Club
WED 3 La Spezia - Shake Club
THU 4 Valence - Mistral
FRI 5 Barcelona - Apolo 2
SAT 6 Madrid - Siroco
SUN 7 Oviedo - Calleja Ciega
MON 8 Valladolid - Porta Caeli
TUE 9 Vigo - Bar Labranza
WED 10 San Sebastian - Bukowski
THU 11 Benidorm - Funtastic Dracula Carnival
FRI 12 Benidorm - Funtastic Dracula Carnival
SAT 13 Benidorm - Funtastic Dracula Carnival
SUN 14 Tarragona - El CAU
TUE 16 Karlsruhe - Alte Hackerei
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
This event is 18 and over
Friday, September 7, 2012
Pictured: Michelle Halac "How Men Should Dress"
FYF 2012 (the little music festival that could) improved so much from the so called debacle that it was last year. Don't get me wrong, there was so much to revel in last year but it was a bit like being on something resembling the DMV and Survivor. There were long lines, inept security, not enough free drinking water and shade. This year there were some wondrous improvements. The entry lines seemed to move along much smoother, (better on Sunday than Saturday), there was a water filling station with 8 faucets about midway between the two extreme stages and while the water did taste like tepid hose water, it was a lot better than nothing. There were these awesome cooling stages in two locations with box caged fans that sprayed water in your face or whatever else you could reach up that high. The Brazilian sunglasses brand Chilli Beans had a pair of spandex clad hotties with these fire extinguisher type guns that would shoot a blast of frosty cold air or carbon dioxide or whatever and blast your body. All this meant, that those who could not afford to purchase the $6 lemonade or $4 water could at least maintain a core body temperature under 101 degrees! There also seemed to be more shade tents.
The musical acts were varied and pretty awesome. All this talent made for some pretty tough decisions on who to see and who you were going to have to miss out on. FYF virgins, The Orwells and The Lovely Bad Things both drew the short straws and played first, The Orwells on Saturday and TLBTS on Sunday. Both bands have been together for less than three years and brought that well reported "youthful exuberance" to FYF with their retro punk / post punk songs. Both bands were probably the youngest performers at FYF especially The Orwells who definitely had to obtain fake IDs to get into the VIP area. Their bass player, Grant, seriously looks like he is a freshman in high school (I believe only about half of The Lovely Bad Things had to score fake IDs). Extending out this punk (Burger Records like family) were Fidlar, King Tuff (it was nice to see Matt from Audacity on guitar) and White Fence who I hoped might entice Ty Segall to join in on the fun but it didn't happen. The Allah-Las vocal mix was super sweet and some of their newer songs had a bit of that narcotic Growlers feel.
Midway into Saturday, I split my three o'clock hour between the alternative folk rock of Two Gallants and A.A. Bondy. I had never seen either live and both did not disappoint me. I inexplicably did not see The Vaselines but saw the synth poppy Chairlift instead. Was it a lapse in judgement? Yeah probably but Chairlift was cool. By then my stomach was calling me and I suddenly turned into a zombie stumbling about in search of sustenance. Most of the food trucks positioned by the Spring St. Stage had some long lines so I headed to the VIP area only to find one lone food truck. I was kind of baffled why there was only one. There were two last year in the VIP area and it was clear that as the day went on this lone truck would be overwhelmed and they were.
I opted to go hungry in lieu of seeing Fucked Up. The photo pit was insane and felt a bit like a mosh pit itself.
Damian Abraham is definitely a guy who needs that skin to skin contact with the audience.
After Fucked UP it was time to zone out and hang with friends until Sleigh Bells set time approached. The crowd swelled in anticipation. As dramatic pre-recorded orchestral music played, the huge wall of Marshall stacks and fog machine signaled the first big rock show of the day. Cloaked in darkness, Derek Miller blasted the opening guitar strains of "Demons" as the audience went nuts. By the time Alexis Krauss appeared through the blasts of light and fog the audience erupted. It was a mind blowing beginning to a memorable set.
M83 makes some truly amazing music but, I must say, it is not my normal cup of tea. Every song is so damn epic and perfect that M83's type of glorious sound is the kind of thing that (back in the day) created punk music. Or should I say punk and garage rock was a reaction to that glossy, synthy and overproduced sound of bands like Genesis. I also just am not moved by the Anthony Gonzalez's vocals. He is a great singer but his voice does seep it's way into my soul. ALL that being said, their performance at FYF was, well, epic. No they still did not move me but the visual and glossy performance WAS something to behold.
Refused is ripping up every show on their 2012 reunion tour including their stellar performance at FYF - Dennis Lyxzen told the crowd "it took us 20 years to get to LA" along with sharing many other heartfelt emotions between song. I liked his attitude and the guy has every iconic rock move down and then some. He is the classic, perfect lead singer.
King Khan and the Shrines who channel just enough James Brown to make it dangerous. They were also the only band who had a "Buffalo Bill Dance" moment. I will leave that one alone.
First time every I saw Against Me live- Laura Jane Grace has a killer voice. It was a thrill to be in the pit when the front rows of the audience were singing along to "I was a Teenage Anarchist" (a 7" single and released on the 2010 White Crosses album).
FYF 2012 ROCKED- See You Next Year at FYF 2013
Thursday, September 6, 2012
LA RECORD presents:
Hunx and his Punx, plus Shannon and the Clams, Plus the Business Cats! These bands just seem to fit together like a piece of hot apple pie and a cold vanilla ice cream. YUM!
AT the Glasshouse in Pomona, California which is a sweet venue. I dig it over there.
Cost is only $10-$12
TICKETS @ Ticketfly
Lars Finberg is at it again!! Some of the bad ass guitar licks stick in your brain like cockle-burs in your socks!
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
FYF was rad. Set times were pretty dead on. Great bands. The cooling stations and water filling stations were so needed and super helpful. Also nice to meet so many sweet people from the girls and guys in the photo pit to cool people everywhere like the effervescent Michelle Halac (shes the girl with the King Khan arms) who has a very cool blog "How Men Should Dress" (check it out). A full review and commentary of FYF later- for NOW enjoy these: