Sunday, February 23, 2014
"Ordinary" is a project crafted with love and care by 25 year old Billy Azurdia aka Jane Astronaut. He picked up his first guitar at 19 years old with his first paycheck ever working at a shoe store. Having released two prior records, "Ordinary", in particular, is adorned with beautifully rendered homages to 1960's brit pop while still retaining a sharp edged bite. Take, for example, Toxic Mind that has drum fills that could be Ringo himself and lovely melodies that suggest a love song but lyrics that might suggest a poisoned self or relationship. A Pretty Tragedy sweeps you up in it's swing. It kind of moves like a Jam / Strokes combo but Billy is not content to keep it simple and shifts the tempos and tones up well as it feels like a girl burning out. Willy The Cat is silly and sublime and made me think of the Who a bit.
The droning guitars on Good and Numb mimic dour voices and sound so good. The namesake song Ordinary seems to be a sad treatise on fads, of style over substance. The guitar work is dreamy. The synth sounds of Tell Me conjure up "Fool on the Hill" for a brief moment. The bass line tangos and weaves. While you can feel the ghosts of The Kinks and the Beatles, Jane Astronaut feels very much like its own musical entity. Billy's self awareness is key here because there is such a self assured confidence shown on these songs that they actually feel like they could exist in any decade thus feeling timeless themselves. He also falls into some trippy theater in songs like the ethereal How Strange that at it's core has the acid dreaminess of The Flaming Lips. Even in Poor Girl which has all the straight forward and doe eyed earnestness of a solo acoustic McCartney performance, Billy stirs in wonderful vocodorish "ooohs" that have just the right amount of weirdness to them to rough up the song a bit.
Magazine Lady is dramatic enough to feel a like bit of glam tossed into the 60's pop. It is frilly and majestic. Not Long also is a march of discontent built around a keyboard downbeat. If there is one song on this album that breaks the mood, it might be I Forgot which has a shifty almost gothic post punk feel. The diversion feels right.
The scope of this album makes me dizzy. I have listened to it several times over the last few days and the sonic nuances and sweet sweep of the lyrical content have grown every time. Billy Azurdia has said that this project has let him play Beatles-Dress up in terms of creativity and freedom. Amazingly, he plays all the guitars, bass, most of the keyboard parts and renders those intricate keys and drums by patiently programming them or mapping single hits on a grid.
The last two tracks on Ordinary wrap up this entire masterwork so nicely. They both feel like they are in a 60's kaleidoscope of introspection. Just For You interplays between intimacy and full orchestrations. The appropriately entitled last track Bye Bye is a lovely mind trip that made me think of face painted circus performers (courtesy of a ring siren). For me, though, the song does not signal a farewell but simply the time to push play again to hear this brilliant piece of work all over again.
Sluggish This Morning?? No need to down copious amounts of Java- or Redbull JUST Listen to the "Mountain Slide" DEMO by Tongues
I have a thing for Demo recordings and even rehearsal recordings.... things like that. Songs in their embryonic state appeal to me. I like the raw feeling of ideas bouncing off each other. Mountain Slide by Tongues is a mix of surfy rock and psychedelic power chords (or garden rock as I like to call it). Play it as loud as can be and it feels to me like Bass Drum of Death, Ty Segall, White Fence and Black Sabbath all smoshed together.
Marcos: Vocals, Guitars
Saturday, February 22, 2014
All of Devon Williams musical incarnations are top notch creatively deep love affairs (The Champagne Socialists, Osker, Lavender Diamond, Fingers Cut Megamachine and his solo career). Today's Saturday Morning Song is: Release Me by Fingers cut, Megamachine. This song is off the 2005 self titled album and is steeped in a rich indie folk vibe. The album is emotionally dense like sweet visions of memories past. Finger Cut Megamachine shined bright for only a few years but Devon will undoubtedly shape shift into many musical visions for years to come.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Easy Remix Official Music Video as directed by John Patrick Wells pushes uncomfortable buttons and stirs your emotions as strongly and slowly as the sounds of Emily Danger themselves. Emily Danger: Emily Nicholas - Lead Vocals/Keys/Guitar, Ryan Nearhoff - Guitar/Drums/Vocals, Cameron Orr - Violin/Keys/Vocals, Coyote Anderson - Bass blend a lot of musical genres from classical to rock to dark folk. Maybe a new term should be coined like garage chamber or goth operatic rock?
New York garage punk band "Earl Boykins" named after the diminutive NBA legend is offering Doves for a free dnld. It is the single off of their forthcoming LP "Friends" scheduled to drop on March 25th. Coated in squeals of feedback, it is a blistering 2 minutes and 47 seconds punk implosion.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Billy Corgan - (Smashing Pumpkins) - Eight Hour Musical Interpretation of Siddhartha - at Madame Zuzus Teahouse
Have you been to Madame ZuZu's Teahouse in Highland Park, Illinois? It is a place were you pay some extra money for gourmet tea, where the tea connoisseurs speak in terms of tea varietals. You may also run into the owner, no other than Billy Corgan. On Feb. 27th Billy will be playing an eight hour long ambient set in his tea house based on the Herman Hesse's 1922 novel Siddharta. One wonders if bathroom breaks are allowed especially with all that tea drinking.
From Billy's Facebook announcement:
"On 2//28 I'll be doing a show at Madame ZuZu's Teahouse; start time noon, and due to nature of performance it'll last 8-9 hours. So see http://MadameZuzus.com in coming days for details on seating and admissions. As with all our events there is no charge. Performance will be centered around an ambient/musical interpretation of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha; built by modular synthesis, on the fly. Readings of the text to go hand in hand with whatever is created; + the first @Hexistential poster, and event t-shirts too. Hope to see you there."
Monday, February 17, 2014
CHURCH on YORK Comedy with MARC MARON, NATASHA LEGGERO, MAX SILVESTRI and ZACH SIMS with Musical Guests - The Lovely Bad Things
I am a big fan of Marc Maron's WTF Podcast. I listen to him wax poetic or at least "jibber jabber poetic" every week- so this is like a killer event for me. What is better than Marc Maron and accompanying funny people Natasha Leggero, Max Silvestri and Zach Sims? Not to mention an acoustic set by The Lovely Bad Things! The garage rockers acoustically? I envision a lot of slow motion pantomime like moshing.
You gotta go to this one!
Get Tix on line and save a few bills: ONLINE Church On York
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Pic courtesy of The Owl Mag (check out recent LA show review here)
Crystal Antlers are currently on a European Tour and just posted two LIVE performances recorded in Brussels including Licorice Pizza off their recent album "Nothing Is Real" (catch the AP review here)-
Check it out!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
AP Album Review: Battleme- "Future Runs Magnetic" - A Savage Open Love Letter to Guitar Centric Dreamy Rock of Days Past
Battleme's- "Future Runs Magnetic" feels like a savage open love letter to the guitar centric rock of bands of days gone by like Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Squire, and Spacehog. It also veers into the indie / dream theater/ new wave sounds of Silverchair, The Pixies, the Cars and Silversun Pickups as well as the bubblegum glam / pop of T-Rex and the Sweet. Luckily it all feels genuinely rendered. In the same way that Sam Flax steeps himself in a lot of late 70's psychedelia meets 80's glam creating sonic landscapes that feel like recordings of that era, Battleme celebrates iconic rock conventions like thick guitar at the forefront, the occasional jagged pick slides, screaming lead licks and hard rock pop that occasionally give way to melodic ballad rock that is not afraid to have a tender (even romantic) underbelly.
Battleme is songwriter / rocker Matt Drenik's alter ego. Drenik enlisted Doug Boehm as producer (Girls, Dr. Dog, Guided by Voices) and, I must say, these songs are exquisitely produced. If your taste favors the raw live sound of garage rock this is far from it. The thickness of the guitar and the lush production has a lot of appeal to me, once I gave myself up to it. The heavy bottom of the drums and bass alone vies for your full attention. Stir in the ever present crunchy rock guitar and you have a thick and high wall of sound. Drenik's vocal performance is slicked up too in a very slight reverb wash. Again, this speaks to me of a push back to that late 70's rock sound. Even in the harder edged songs the vocal performance is smooth and measured.
From the first feedback laden chords of Just Weight- the dreamy majesty almost makes you feel like you are floating inches off the ground. While you might generalize that a lot of punk and indie rock has a cynical edge, the tone of this opening track has a glammy enchanting side to it. A totally formidable and impressive opening track, it is dreamy, lovely rock theater. I fell in love with this song immediately. I Know moves in such a way that the rock fury chases itself. On one hand it has a LA indie sound ala The Silversun Pickups and on the other it almost feels like it could of been on the 1986 Top Gun sound track. Shotgun Song is a mid tempo burner (with a glam heart) propelled by a bass line that has notes that hang in mid air. It is a dream rock Mustang Sally but not quite.
The song that might feel the most nostalgic is the track Night On The Strand. It starts as a purely unadulterated rock ballad. It actually put me off at first. Felt a little too G-rated, too sweet. My heart shifted as the song shifted into second, third and then fourth gear. The power of the musical break is starry eyed rock personified. Edgy, emotional guitar phrasings that by themselves set a tone and story. The song won me over. The second ballad on "Future Runs Magnetic" is Cobweb Portrait. With it's down tempo feel and big sweeping guitar breaks that give way to spartan piano and forlorn vocals it is sure to be used in some movie about love lost... or found. Other stand outs are I Want My Kim Deal which moves so well and I Am a Lightning Bolt which coincidentally sound like it could be a new Pixies song. It has a similar shifty rhythmic and lead line feel to that of the recently released Another Toe In The Ocean.
It is apparent that Drenik has a love for guitar driven rock with a pop sensibility and overall the results work. The songs do not, however, have a wild sense of abandon or fury and maybe that is because they are much too polished to have any sharp edges. It feels like rock played on well kept guitars with nary a chip or duct tape holding them together. That being said the weighty guitar productions and well crafted songs do get your head banging enough and the tenderness of the dreamy ballads do strip away years of cynicism if you allow them to. To me, there are some missteps too. We Get Out with it's 50's retro synth line gets heavy enough but just doesn't sway me to it's side and the namesake of this record, Future Runs Magnetic, while steeped in a kind of blue collar rock vibe simply doesn't go anywhere all that interesting.
If the first track (Just Weight) is pure rock theater, the last track Easy Comes Riding feels like a sultry rock pop goodbye / come on. As Battleme, Drenik along with Eric Johnson (bass), Zach Richards (drums) and Evan Railton (synths) have made engaging rock with a wide eyed sense of pop wonder. It won't surprise me, in the least, if a few of these songs become an integral part today's pop culture and in my humble opinion that is all a starry eyed guitar slinging rocker could ever hope for.
Battleme- "Future Runs Magnetic" drops March 11th via El Camino Records
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Wide Streets' "Saga of The Bruja" was one of my favorite albums of 2013. Their latest album, "A Past Hatred of The Future," is (as a whole) a fanciful indie/ art rock experience that feels like it has as much proto-punk DNA as it does American classical and jazz influences. The guitar phrasings, melodic textures and musical direction feel as inspired by The Talking Heads (or such similar bands) and George Gershwin all in one fell swoop. Amazingly, Wide Streets recorded this collection of songs live from the start to the finish in front of family and friends. Some songs have muted applause after them but a handful end abruptly like the electricity suddenly went out. I am guessing that these slightly clipped songs were done for creative affect or possibly to mask a technical issue. Whatever the reason, when you listen to the album in it's entirety it feels like a concept album. This is mostly due to the whimsical, surreal tone to most of the songs. The compositional nature of the songs are striking and surprising. The songs take shape with lead singer and guitarist Jet Elfman as the story teller and provocateur and shift shape again. Take for example, Tokyo Gas Attack whose musical narrative will break for cool bass flourishes that cast images in your head. The song almost plays like a musical stage play, the guitar melodies attacking and counter attacking culminating in a climactic conclusion until the aforementioned abrupt stop.
Drunken Street Scene feels like the resolution to Tokyo Gas Attack, the bass lines feeling like distorted carnival mirror images of each other. Elfman paints an evocative image, "It all came pouring down like dust out of the sky.... sudden ash and rain like glass came shattering" as the song kind of folds in on itself in a truly beautiful way, eventually changing tempo and tone all together. Any one who knows me well, knows that I am not fond of drum solos but there is a drum and bass solo placed in between songs. Oddly, they feel totally appropriate and set within such an artistically bent milieu each solo feels like characters in this odd musical play. The heavenly tone and guitar work in Remainder Chant feels like spirits ascending (or descending). Warbo's Dance has the most serene beginning and then shifts into this wonderful intricate tapestry of sounds. The lead work is just so super cool as are the downbeats of sounds coupled with the vocal attack "Electric Life" and "Electric Child." This song, too, ends with subtle applause.
The breadth and scope of this music is hard to put into words. It would be like having to describe an interpretive dance. There is the catch up cadence of Severed Head which feels like an adventure amidst sand dunes (your interpretation is as good as mine). Icy River Teen Body is inspired by the true story of a teenage girl who falls into an icy river and is instantly mummified by the freezing water. The musical take feels darkly amusing still and somehow like a musical fable, "I said we'll go charting where people go to promise and lie. You said there's no returning from having seen your own face in the sky" or an adventure in the world beyond. Angers / Song of Conception interplays verses with double time musical breaks that feel like youthful freedom. It is a dizzy dance of exuberance. So lovely.
If this was a concept album (or if I chose to make it such) the last two songs would confound, astonish and shout from the roof tops that life is absurd. The Wizards Wand is a short edgy dark lullaby. The 13th and final track, The Third Magician, is insanely fun. It gallops at a breakneck pace like a Russian Kozachok dance. After this crazy musical escapade finishes, family, friends and I applaud. Wide Streets never cease to please my musical sense of adventure. For this talented group of musicians, this third full length outing, "A Past Hatred Of The Future" is a fulfillment of a dream. For those of us partaking in the artistic outcome, these songs will certainly stir up some wild dreams themselves and maybe even inspire some future musicians to chart uncharted musical waters. In any case, we all win.
Doubt Aplomb is a band out of Ventura, California. This part of Northern California feels vast compared to So Cal. The county is about half the size of L.A. County yet only has about a fifth of the population. People and places are more spread out. When I travel up there, time seems to move slower. Lost in a morning fog band, the air feels heavy, yet cleansing. In this environment one wonders if thoughts and feelings may just have more space and time to coalesce.
The collection of songs on "Earnest Goodbye" feel like the musical equivalent of a secret diary being splayed out for everyone to see. Cory Soto's oftentimes bittersweet lyrics are delivered with raw emotion cut to the bone. He takes chances with his vocal range. He can go from a guttural, almost monotonic self obsessed talk-ish tone to a yelping, screaming diatribe. There is an underlying somber nature to most of his compositions. Encased in this tone is the youthful (or maybe timeless) feeling of finding yourself, your place in the cosmos and living up to your own expectations. Vocally, there is a unpredictable quality as well. I thought of Mario Cuomo of the Orwells a few times as I listed to this album. He is another young talent whose vocal performance has an unpredictable sketchy quality, a tendency to veer into oncoming traffic. I also thought of the Pixies and Black Francis's style of getting wordy during the verses and then beautifully melodic and hooky on the chorus. The last band I will invoke is The Smiths. From time to time, Cory does this sing songy cadence with his stream of consciousness style lyrics that has a Morrissey element to it.
All the songs on "Earnest Goodbye" speak to me, some more than others but they all feel cohesive. It is a true album, one that should be experienced in it's entirety. The first track, Nothing More has a long intro (especially for someone like me who has short attention span) that in retrospect feels like a long walk to the end of a pier before you strip yourself naked and dive into a tumultuous sea of life. Pale Horse soars from its inception on wings of constant mellow yet uplifting guitars, bass, drums and violin. I love how the verse progression climbs but there is a stair, stepping down part on a chorus transition. The third track is the album's namesake. Earnest Goodbye will tug at your heart. A song that seems to be about the bipolar nature of creativity and the loss of not being accepted or loved whether it is by others or yourself. The violin melody buttresses the emotion weight. Jerry Lewis is a trip. Upbeat and artfully askew, it is perfectly placed among the other songs. I will leave it at that except to say it feels like a post modern hippie song and made me think of the amazing Moses Campbell. The line "and if they could capture that lack of rapture, this world would be filled with less candy wrappers and still, no one could tell them anything" made me smile.
The Trip has a barbiturate sway to it. It has an embraceable orchestral density that wraps around fervent vocals. The lovely musical bed against Cory's strident vocal performance works so well. The line "And will my child have the chance to dance" hung with me and I would love to know the story behind it. Band of Posers propelled on a tough and rough bass line rushes into an American rock feel, as romantic and stalwart as a Springsteen song. The violin bending into this dissonant note that hangs in the air like a shooting star is memorable. There are two bonus tracks on this album. The first, Anxious Monkeys, should just be ON the album period. It is a standout track. Built around a simple indie rock progression it feels as free and head spinning as a first love. The second, You Can't Tell Me Like I Can, fluctuates between a sleepy post punk ballad and eruptive psychedelic blues rock with Cory gently crying his heart out.
I have said this before and still believe that any great album really serves as a musical Rorschach test. We attribute our own emotions to the sounds and words that touch us. We ascribe meaning to the songs based on what is going on or has gone on in our own lives. Sometimes our unique feelings intersect with that of the artist or others listening to the same songs. Magic can happen. Catharsis can take place. I felt both while listening to the indie / art rock of Doubt Aplomb's "Earnest Goodbye" and that is, indeed, a rare thing.
Doubt Aplomb is:
Cory Soto - guitar / vocals
Curtis James - violin / guitar / back vocals
JR Watson - guitar / back vocals
Josh Griego - bass
Matt Grote - drums
As with all bands / artists that touch you in some way- I hope you support them by purchasing their art, that is, after all, the best way to help them stay creative.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Crystal Antlers Belated Record Release Party at The BOOTLEG BAR with The Lovely Bad Things and De LUX- so rad!
Crystal Antlers, The Lovely Bad Things and De Lux tonight FEB 7th at the Bootleg Bar. 21 and over. Ticket Price: A measly 10 bucks (are you kidding me?)
BE THERE - 2220 Beverly Blvd- Los Angeles, CA 90057
FUN starts at 9PM - Doors OPEN at 8 PM so don't be late--!!!
ANG LOW- "Win Back Your Love" - Debut EP due to Drop March 31st - "Fantastica, electronic, Neo Soul"
Ang Low's Win Back Your Love beautifully blends indie pop and soul in a stirring electronic wash of sounds that strays lovingly into a synthy 80's vibe. It has a whimsical feel amidst the R and B core. I even thought of Atreyu riding Falkor for a brief moment. This engaging blend provides an interesting framework for Lows vocal performance which is always stunning. Low received a lot of buzz for last years releases, Life Goes Down and Can't Describe Her and many of us are so looking forward to his Debut EP due to drop on March 31st on Luv Luv Luv Records. Ang Low is deservedly poised to blow up very soon.
In anticipation of the release of their sophomore album, Sister Raygun, due to drop March 4th on Fleeting Youth Records, Brooklyn Based Clouder is offering a free DNLD of the album's first single, Lost in Reverie.
Lost in Reverie is punchy rock floating in a 60's psychedelic fog. Eric Gilstrap's vocal performance has the same dangerous intoxicated stupor of Jim Morrison. The song jams, ebbs and flows and jams some more. I look forward to hearing Sister Raygun in its entirety.
Monday, February 3, 2014
I Feel It by Glass Spells crackles and pops electronic punk and hybrid disco sounds into something that feels like a dream from the future. It begs to be heard LIVE and LOUD so you feel the electronic pulses in your gut. Check out the Video by Alonso Bell:
Check out their Facebook,
Check out their Tumblr
And their campaign on Indiegogo to help finish their EP : http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/glass-spells-ep
Sunday, February 2, 2014
The first time I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman on screen was in Paul Thomas Anderson's amazing Boogie Nights. His endearing and heartbreaking portrayal of Scotty J, the insecure boom mic operator who had a mad deep crush on Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) was brilliant. In countless roles that followed, Hoffman was able to transform himself into characters in such an adept and moving way that none of them intersected. Often times when watching even the best actor, you can find yourself recognizing mannerisms and facial expressions borrowed from other performances but not with Hoffman. A truly gifted actor, he has moved me to tears, seriously creeped me out, scared the hell out of me and make me die with laughter. He may of been in some flawed movies but I never saw a flawed performance. My favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances are Scotty J in Boogie Nights, Brandt in The Big Lebowski, Mitch in Patch Adams, Phil Parma in Magnolia, Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, Dean Trumbell in Punch-Drunk Love, Sandy Lyle in Along Came Poly, Truman Capote in Capote, Father Brenden Flynn in Doubt, and Lancaster Dodd in The Master.
This morning as I worked in my office listening to Grandhorse much too loudy I could barely hear my son knocking on the door. Hitting mute, I called him to come in and he told me that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was dead. The series of rebuttals poured out of me, "Get outa here"- "No way" - "I don't believe it!" And... I did not. My son told me he didn't believe it either when his girlfriend called to tell him but that he had verified it online. He loved Hoffman as an actor as I do, as most everyone does. When my son told me how he was found and how he died I shook my head not only in disbelief but in anger. While I truly admired his skill as an actor I did not follow his personal life. I generally do not with any entertainers. As I poked around on line and learned about his struggles with drugs it saddened and frustrated me. I guess it is common to think that people who are so good at what they do, who have their chops down in a creative realm also have a command over their personal lives. I know this is naive thinking but for some reason, Hoffman struck me that way.
I know a fair amount of people in the arts and creative people in other fields and while this is a broad generalization, I get the sense that often times they are people who feel things too strongly. I am talking about the "condition of life", worlds tragedies, things like this but while they feel the hurt strongly they sometimes tend to be self centered as well. Maybe a better way to put it is that they exist in their own head too much. They feel pain but outwardly do not take the time to help others, especially grand pursuits like volunteering for charities, things like that. It is a dichotomy of thinking and feeling. I know I am personally like this. I like to think that I am somewhat creative. I have been an "entertainer" before. I share in the same failings. Big on feeling but less on action to make things better. I also throughout my life have had a tendency to self-destruct. Luckily this tendency has not included forays into drugs, illegal or otherwise. I would not handle them well, I can assure you.
I don't know what drove Philip Seymour Hoffman's inner demons but it is so maddening to think that he was in a committed relationship and THAT he has kids and that those important people in his life were not enough to emotionally bitch slap him into reality. To get enough out of his own head. To feel that the needs of his loved ones loomed so large that they over rode any self loathing he had. Is it fair for me to even comment on someone I do not know? On situations I have not been privy to? Probably not. Maybe, more than anything it is post shock, post sadness talking and an utter passionate hate of drugs and people who give up their lives to them. There are people in my life whose loved ones have fallen, have left the mortal coil at the hands of substance abuse. I have seen the absolute pain in the eyes of those left to deal with the horrors of drugs and the pain of making the wrong choices. I guess those left behind are always left wondering why.
Philip Seymour Hoffman has left this world way too soon and has left as a talent wasted. I am not speaking about the countless brilliant performances we will never be witness to but rather his talent as a loving aging partner, gracious father and possible grandfather getting up in years, and long time graying friend to many. While friends and fellow actors will surely eulogize and remember Hoffman fondly I hope there will be some measure of reflection on how and why he died too.
Rest in Peace Mr. Phillip Seymour Hoffman
and my Condolences to those left behind.
If you like rock and roll songs that sound like they have been up for 32 hours straight, drank too much, smoked cigarettes incessantly, pushed and shoved, got bruised legs and a bloody lip then you will love what The Coathangers crank out. This all female Atlanta based punk trio will release their 4th album entitled "Suck My Shirt" on March 18th.
SEE TOUR DATES: (excited to see them at Burgerama 3)
2/1: Green Room – Athens, GA
3/8: Star Bar – Atlanta, GA (RECORD RELEASE)
3/16: Spillover Fest – Dallas, TX
3/17- 3/19: SXSW – Austin, TX
3/20: Pappy and Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA #
3/21: El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA #
3/22: Burgerama Fest – Santa Ana, CA
3/23: Don Quixote’s – Felton, CA #
3/24: Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA #
3/25: Assembly – Sacramento, CA #
3/27: Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC #
3/28: Neumo’s – Seattle, WA #
3/29: Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR #
3/30: Neurolux – Boise, ID #
3/31: Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT #
4/2: Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO #
4/3: Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM #
4/4: Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ #
4/5: Belly Up Tavern – San Diego, CA #
# – w/ The Black Lips
IMAGINE DRAGONS - SNL PERFORMANCE- "Radioactive" with Kendrick Lamar and Orchestral Back-UP.... Why, why....why?
Imagine Dragons on SNL with Kendrick Lamar and an orchestra performed Radioactive last night (2/1/14) and I guess it was a pretty cool performance although it smacked of over compensating. It felt a bit like the guy going through mid-life crisis buying the beefed up red Corvette. Don't get me wrong, Radioactive is a catchy pop rock song. I have been known to crank it up in my car and sing along but the SNL performance and the need to "go big" seems like a trend for a lot of artists. When they go on TV shows someone in the background apparently feels the song or artist cannot stand alone on their own two feet. Again, this performance was fine and maybe the decision to add the orchestration and Kendrick Lamar was merely based on the positive response to the Grammy's performance and creative license but to me (and this goes more to this concept than Imagine Dragons performance on SNL) "over the top" usually feels like slight of hand.
For me, give me a five piece Queens of the Stone Age sounding more bad ass than most (on Letterman). Give me Ty Segall's three piece side project FUZZ who kills it without the benefit of a string section (Live at Burgerama 2). OR give me My Goodness, all two of them, doing stripped down fully charge blues based rock and roll (Blackout Baby Live on Kexp).
21422825 by YardieGoals
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Natalie Pryce crank out their beautiful noise in Glasgow, Scotland. I have never been to that lovely and ancient part of the world but if I ever make it there I would hope to walk into a stonewalled pub and see this band kicking out their dirty sweet sounds. NP is Mark Swan on vocals, harmonica and melodica- Greg Taylor on guitars - Steven Litts on bass and Stephen Coleman on drums. Their love of jazz, blues and punk is sliced and diced and blended into a gritty garage rockish amalgam. The energy quota is high. The sultry Janine slow burns on bass and a harmonica riff and then is propelled with Mark Swans vocals that are soaked with crazy desperation. The song simmers and then boils over. The dynamic energy and single minded focus reminds me of the proto punk art rock of the late 70's and this is a good thing indeed. While Natalie Pryce will undoubtedly make their way to my neck of the woods and grace LA audiences with their brand of music, I hope I make it over there and see them in that stone walled pub. THAT would be fucking brilliant.