Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FMLY FEST 2011- the D.I.T Music and Arts Festival- Dec. 29th and 30th

YES- I feel like a total douche neglecting the love of my bloggy life- American Pancake lately but my work life has barreled over me and, after all, one does have to pay thy bills. It is time to de-stress, and what finer to chill and go crazy- then to attend the third annual FMLY FEST 2011!! Check out the video- check out the site and for sure, download the free mixtape. YES, I said free and stuffed full of 27 songs from the participating artists.

FMLY Fest 2011 from FMLY on Vimeo.

Pangea :: Pregnant :: So Many Wizards :: Lovely Bad Things :: Truman Peyote :: Vacation Dad :: Philip Seymour Hoffman :: Emily Reo :: Birthdays :: Jack Littman :: VerBS :: Professor Calculus :: Twin Steps :: Stay Cool Forever :: Kid Infinity :: FIDLAR :: Oregon Bike Trails :: Yohuna :: M31 :: Gothic Tropic :: DUDES :: Oh Fortuna :: Blackbird Blackbird :: Dream Panther ::  Gibbons and the Sluts :: W-H-I-T-E :: Ana Caravelle :: Geoff Geis :: Halloween Swim Team :: Dark Sea of Awareness :: POWERAXE :: Kid Static :: VISION QUEST :: Cosmonauts :: TRMRS :: Kynan :: Ahkiyyini :: Gangi :: Michael Parallax :: TGRBLD :: NRK Collective :: Steffaloo :: Messy Sparkles :: Cab 20 :: Lady Lazarus ::

Mickey Mickey Rourke :: Centaur Collective :: Broom Factory :: No Kings :: Complicated Dance Steps :: LA Zine Fest
HM157 :: Synchronicity House :: Sean Carnage :: RAC ::
Food Not Bombs :: RAC (Revolutionary Autonomous Communities) :: Midnight Dinazz ::

DAY 1 (Dec. 29th)Catnap (1726 N Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012)
start at 1
 3:10 Habits
3:50 Geoff Geis
4:15 Jack Littman
5:40 Gangi
5:05 Gothic Tropic
5:35 Steffaloo
6:05 Kynan
6:35 Ahhkiyyini (Stage 2)
7:10 Poweraxe (Stage 1)
7:45 Professor Calculus (Stage 2)
8:10 Yohuna (Stage 1)
8:45 Stay Cool Forever / Dudes (battle on floor) (Stage 2)
9:35 Twin Steps/So Many Wizards (battle) (Stage 1)
10:25 Truman Peyote (Stage 2)
11:00 Philip Seymour Hoffman (Stage 2)
11:35 Pregnant (Stage 2)
12:05 TRMRS/Pangea/FIDLAR (round robin) (Stage 1)
1:15 Kid Infinity (Stage 2)

chillout tent - No Kings
3:00 - Jon Barba
4:00 - Andrew Felix
5:00 - Steven Flato
6:00 - Airsign
7:00 - Sleepwalkers Local
8:00 - Derek Rogers
9:00 - Tiger Stripe
10:00 - Kevin Greenspon
11:00 - Heatwave
12:00 - Lady Lazuras

DAY 2 (Dec. 30th)
Chucos (
1137 East Redondo Boulevard Inglewood, CA 90302)
Doors at 2
4:20 Gibbons and the Sluts (stage 1)
4:45 M31 (stage two)
5:20 Ana Caravelle (stage 1)
5:55 WHITE (stage 2)
6:30 Blackbird Blackbird/Dream Panther (battle on stage 1)
7:20 Verbs (stage 2)
8:00 Kid Static (stage 1)
8:40 Cosmonauts/Cab 20/Lovely Bad Things (round robin on stage 1)
9:40 Messy Sparkles (stage 2)
10:15 Emily Reo (stage 1)
10:50 Vacation Dad
11:10 Dark Sea of Awareness
11:45 Michael Parallax
12:20 TGR BLD/NRK Collective (battle)
1:10 Oh Fortuna

chillout tent - Complicated Dance Steps
4pm : DJ SET
5pm: Maximino
6pm : Drone Meditation Set Live
7pm : Magical Mistakes
8pm : Faraday Trippers
9pm : Ten Stairs
10pm: Tom Hall
Acoustic stage:
7:00 Salvador
7:30 Li Daiguo
8:00 Avi of Avi Buffalo
8:30 This Machine Kills Zombies
both days
5:30 How to throw a DIT (Do It Together) event by Sean Carnage
6:30 TBA by Cindy

Monday, December 19, 2011

American Pancake- 20 BEST SONGS of 2011 -

American Pancake is not yet a year old but proudly (and with much fanfare) releases our 20 BEST SONGS OF 2011 (super boffo) LIST as compiled by our own lovely and talented Alyssa Holland. 

This year involved me being attacked by a shitload of bands releasing new, amazing albums. I’m still in awe, and I’ve comprised a list of my favorites, that I couldn’t stop listening to all year. It was hard to narrow it down to these, but they’re undeniably great songs from wonderful albums and artists. However, I now have zero dollars because of these releases.

In no particular order::

“Walking Two By Two” by The Strange Boys –This song is as relaxing as a Spring day on the prairie. All of The Strange Boys’ albums are very different. It is hard to say which sound is better, but they are all akin by the term “I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll.”

“I Need a Doctor” by The Drums –When I saw these boys live with their endless energy and eccentric bowl cuts, I fell in love with this song. The lyrics bring out the psycho lover in all of us, and the therapeutic music compliments it perfectly.

 “Bad As Me” by Tom Waits –Tom Waits, you bad. Amy Winehouse would have loved this jazzy soulful, dark song. The entire album, Bad As Me was well worth the wait, Waits.

“Rumour Has It” by Adele –Sing it, girl. If you listen to this song directly after breaking up with an unfaithful rat, you will either come out stronger or kill him. I can’t shake this bluesy soulful hit, and I admit it makes me feel badass to be a woman.

“My Ma” by Girls –Girls’ sound changed dramatically for the better this year (holy shit), and gave me good vibes of classic rock and a new thing entirely. This song hits me in the gut, and makes me sway with a smile on my face.

“Little By Little” by Radiohead –Don’t kill me, but King of Limbs is nothing compared to Hail to the Thief, or any of Radiohead’s previous albums for that matter. This song reminded me of their true sound, which is why it is my favorite off of the album.

“I Heard You Say” by Vivian Girls –The recording quality of Vivian Girls’ music improved greatly, and that’s enough to get them on this list. On top of that, this song contains beautiful harmonizing, and dreamy music.

“Taken For a Fool” by The Strokes –I didn’t expect this random new album to be very good, since The Strokes were on a seemingly forever hiatus. Yet this track was a good example of their new sound, with a hint of their old funk.

“Otis” by Kanye West & Jay-Z –An ode to Otis Redding, this song combines the classic soul of Otis with the new age soul of the powerhouse team of Kanye and Jay.

“Smile” by Smith Westerns –Although I initially bashed Smith Westerns for trying to sound like T. Rex, this song is a good resurrection of Marc Bolan. I think he’d like this song; it makes me (cosmic) dance at least.

“Eyes” by Peter Bjorn and John –These three Swedes are the nicest men I have ever met. My brother’s cat Kevin will probably live forever, because Bjorn touched him with his beautiful funky bass slapping hand.

“Shameless” by Man Man –Even though this song is quite lengthy, I can never skip it. It goes through slow dramatic sounds to loud, fast, and powerfully emotional.

“Mr. Driver” by Black Lips –Although the Black Lips can be childish punks, they are hilarious and soulful musicians. “Mr. Driver” is the sexiest song they’ve given to me this year, and I adore it.

“You Should Close The Door” by Craft Spells –This song is the definitive 80’s song of 2011. Craft Spells, you kill it live. I hope that their album Idle Labor is the first of many more.

“Face It” by Beach Fossils –I will listen to this song every day (or atleast every few days) for the rest of my life. If you haven’t heard it, hear it.

“Breakin’ the Law” by The Babies –I guess I love Cassie Ramone enough to put her music on here twice. She’s a modest musical genius, combining punkass riffs with “woman problem” lyrics.

“Millennium Dodo” by Atmosphere –I’ve been an Atmosphere fan for a long time, and I’ve devotedly collected all of their albums. They are artists that truly grow with each release, but it is somehow never definable as “what’s better, new or old?”

“Drinking Problem” by Surfer Blood –I was drawn to this song off of Surfer Blood’s four track EP Tarot Classics because of the name, and it is terribly catchy as all of their music is. I saw them live twice over a span of about 7 months, and they’ve improved greatly. Keep it up.

“Future Starts Slow” by The Kills –I’ve never seen The Kills live unfortunately, but I’d imagine that they are often told to keep it down. They’re so fucking loud, and it’s beautiful.

“Shake the Shackles” by Crystal Stilts –I literally listened to this song every single day for about 3 months after it came out. It truly is addictive, and disgustingly catchy.

- Alyssa Holland

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Girls @ The Galaxy Theater 12-07-11 LIVE Review

Girls has come a long, long way from their 2008 vinyl release of "Lust for Life"- gone is the stripped down lo-fi sound born out of bathroom or garage recordings. Christopher Owens love sick compositions may have become a little less intimate but the grander productions also have increased their emotional weight. At the Galaxy in Santa Ana, California- Owens and bassist / producer Chet White surrounded themselves with talented musicians and 3 back up singers equipped with amazing voices and energy. Evan Weiss from Slang Chickens / Papa on guitar and his drummer brother, Darren from Papa have been a constant on this tour and it was a kick for me to see them lending such wonderful musical support as I have been a long time fan of their own bands.

From the opening song, "Laura" (which felt so large and lively it felt like a Christmasy Phil Spector produced number) - Girls did not give the appreciative audience much time to do any thing else but eat them up. "Hellhole Ratrace" and "Vomit" were absolutely stirring although I would of loved to hear "Lust for Life" as it's former lo-fi self. Besides that wish- the show was awesome. "Honey Bunny" induced crowd surfing and "Heartbreaker" compelled someone (you know who you are) to brave the Galaxy's crack security and successfully stage dive. Kudos to Evan Weiss for sending chills up and down my spine with his lead work on "Myma." After ending their set with "Love is like a River" - the crowd wanted more. Girls encored with "Morning Light" which churned up the mosh pit even more and another successful stage dive (you know who you are again). Two more songs and the evening came to a close.

Papa opened up for Girls on the main stage and Burger Records staged a show in the Constellation room featuring Tomorrow's Tulips, The Lovely Bad Things and Salsa Chips. I was able to catch almost all performances and all the bands involved played great sets and were well received.

You can check out some of the performances below- and check back as we still have more videos to post up on our YouTube Channel Americanpancakelive.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Random AP video of the night-- BUSINESS CATS

American Pancake has uploaded 199 videos on our youtube channel. From time to time we will pick a random video using a random number generator at Tonight it hit 169 which is The Business Cats. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Low Roar - "Give Up" video - directed by Ali Silverstein

Low Roar - Give Up from Tonequake Records on Vimeo.

Having recently reviewed Low Roar's self titled debut album it was nice to see the video for "Give Up". Among a vast and open landscape, the camera captures beauty, loneliness and the quiet resolve of an old man's life well worn. - Adler Bloom

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"The Scene of Allen Young"- What does this mean???

Yes, the title of this OC Weekly article is gratuitous and may or may not reflect the comic hyperbole intended by those who uttered it in the first place and yes, the Lovely Bad Things are not going to release a 45 inch vinyl (although I would like to see one of those), and, yes, YES, these interview snippets (so well conducted by Taylor Hamby) that ended up on the cutting room floor are very funny but I don't care! I mean, I do not give a shit about any of that. What has gotten under my skin, deep in my cross word puzzle brain is the "Scene of Allen Young." Apart from the fact that this would be a great name of an indie band, what the hell does this mean?

Let's step back. For those of you who haven't read the aforementioned article, this guy.... um, NO... let me stop here. Go read the article while I go brew some hot tea, then come back and read on. LBTS Almost Murdered.

(10 minutes later)  Ok, ok I had a cup of tea and a freshly made double chocolate brownie. Now that you are up to speed, what in God's name is that stranger referring to? I decided to go where all dicks go, (as in detective... although some have referred to me as such in a non investigative manner) straight to Google of course. A cursory look reveals a couple of good prospects. William "Allen Young" is an actor who did have a recurring role on CSI Miami. CSI obviously stands for Crime "Scene" (get it) Investigation who, I might add, would be called if you did, indeed, MURDER someone and the murduree / victim was found. Viola! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Why would the strange man refer to this particular actor and not the buhzillion other actors who have been on CSI? Why did he not say "Scene of David Caruso or Emily Proctor"-?? I DON'T KNOW.

A deeper Google Search leads me to an Allen Young who is a journalist living in the Frisco area which, I MIGHT ADD, is a mere 900 miles from Tacoma. Hmmm, hmmmm... AND he reports on the goings on in government, which, I MIGHT ADD are replete with cover ups and besides he looks a little too much like Jim Carrey! Why is this pertinent. I DON'T KNOW but it could get pretty annoying having paparazzi following you around people asking for your autograph at every turn. This could, quite possibly, drive you nuts and find you driving around in a van with 3 girls and creeping out indie bands on the side.

(This really is Allen Young- Freelance Journalist: - NOT Jim Carrey)

Anyway, this dick is tired. I need another brownie.
- Adler Bloom

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Screaming Females on Audiotree Live Sessions

Screaming Females : Audiotree Live : Complete from Audiotree Live 2 on Vimeo.
The amazing Screaming Females---!!! Courtesy of Audiotree Live Sessions in Chicago. ENJOY!!!!!
Love the music they create and love the fact that Marissa, Jarrett and King Mike seem to be as thick as thieves. In fact, I cannot imagine them every breaking up. I got a chance to meet Marissa at the Echoplex in LA and she is just, well, adorable. I shot the footage below. Enjoy as well!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lightmusic - "Remain Unshared" (Demo) EP - Album Review

Musically speaking, Micah Lewis (guitar / vocals), Zach Mabry (drums) and Stevie Kugelberg (bass) march to a different drummer. As Lightmusic they channel so many genres and musical tones that their music is hard to describe. I caught them at a local show opening up for Future Islands and their set was on the far opposite side of mainstream. The EP Remain Unshared (Demo) features songs that contain many surprising melodic twists and compositional turns (as well as a different drummer - Greg Brown). The songs freely shift genres and tones. They are supremely dynamic with sounds that ebb and flow between trancy sparkly guitar and explosive avant garde art rock. It is like the compositions are passive aggressive or bipolar. Throw some strangely obtuse lyrics in this mix and you have sounds that can both perplex and amaze.

Case in point: "Genius Boy" (one of my favorites), starts with pretty picking guitar as bass and drums tightly wrap around Micah Lewis singing in an almost late 40's crooner style, "I saw a bird with no branch she'd given up her nesting and given three red eggs... they are gonna grow and kill each other" and later, "I'm jealous of the genius boy... he walks along, he walks along so easy". These punk jazz vignettes, for lack of a better term, are sewn together with more rockish / almost northern California surf country strains. Midway through on the chorus (or recurring refrain) Micah sings, "you'll be loved like a dove" and the rest is magical as the guitar melody takes over and lifts you up out of your seat. The bass, drums and lead work support each other so well not only musically but emotionally. It is downright beautiful stuff, strangely enchanting. Like many of the compositions on Remain Unshared you are left wondering what you just experienced. The lyrics seem to be stream of consciousness or the stuff that fever dreams are made of and the music takes wonderful detours without sounding disjointed.

The first track, "Memories of Anna" also has a diverse and varied landscape but locks into a more solid alternative art rock vibe. The beat and bass is deliciously straight forward and brings to mind bands like The Pixies and early Talking Heads. I absolutely love this song. The vibe it creates feel like that post punk era circa 1978 to 1984. "Leave Me Alone" lulls you into a sleepy cozy state during the intro, "Pick me a color that matches my eyes (2x)... we painted our faces" - and then the chorus jams big with sonically staccato charged guitars. Lightmusic is not content to go back to the first verse progression after the chorus but picks a different one. I don't think I have ever heard this happen before (or was it an early bridge??). Who cares. It is daring and it works. "Mercury" has a languid drug hazy feel limping along like a Lou Reed ballad propelled by tom toms, lazy guitar, sleepy bass and whistled melodies. Micah's vox are soaked in a big room reverb which only adds to the foggy feel. The last track on Remain Unshared is called "Knock Out" and sadly is only ambient sounds and silence.

Remain Unshared (Demo) by Lightmusic is one of the most original and daring (while still thoroughly listenable) albums I have heard in the last 5 years. The fluid sense of style shifting appeals to me and the use of dynamics to push and pull the emotional arc of the songs makes each one feel like a movie of sorts, like there is an interesting story behind all the musical mayhem. Seek out Remain Unshared, push play, close your eyes and enjoy the sounds (and images) coalescing in your brain.

Robb Donker

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Heart Beats EP by Therapist - AP Review

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, fives 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

Therapist Facebook
Therapist Bandcamp

Video for MGMT's Bauhaus cover of "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" - (Late Night Tales)

As part of the on going Late Night Tales compilation series, MGMT cover "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" - originally released in 1982 on Bauhaus' third studio release The Sky's Gone Out. MGMT has done a pretty faithful rendition, not straying too too far from the original composition but the production flourishes work well and, dare I say, I like this version as much as the original. Bauhaus kept things stripped down (the vocal track almost sounding like rehearsal take) and with it's wonderfully askew lyrics and Lou Reed like bass line, Peter Murphy and the boys created a haunting little masterpiece that creates imagery of being dreadfully poor and wanting for more. While I like reinterpretations of songs, MGMT was smart to stay true to Bauhaus' tone.

Ned Wenlock's animation displays a series of unfurling designs. It is graphically very cool showing city scapes, factories and the every present character playing an acoustic guitar. The lyrics also unfurl and while the whole effect is dazzling to the eye it doesn't, for me, match the dour poetry of the song itself. Maybe I take such a song too seriously as I remember a child hood acquaintance whose family was so poor that he only drank powdered milk. On the rare instance that I would give him real milk during the school lunch break he would gulp it up like it was a savory milk shake. The amazing refrain "Oh to be the cream" as a desire to be at the top of the economic food chain always makes me think of that kid. But I digress, all an all, the video for MGMT's cover of "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" is a wonderful thing to behold both visually and aurally.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video for Batwings Catwings "Radio"

 I reviewed "Radio" and "Early Exit" here: Batwings Catwings 7" Radio - Review- (Early Exit and Radio) a while back so it has been great not only seeing the release of their video for "Radio" but seeing them live recently at a local venue. The video for "Radio" is deceptively simple, in fact, not all that much happens but what you see still manages to hit all the right emotional buttons thanks in large part to the subtly expressive face of Moses Hariss Jr and the fact that "Radio" is such a cool song.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Local News: The Lovely Bad Things sign with Volcom Entertainment

While the buzz has been in the air for about 2 weeks now, The Lovely Bad Things have officially announced on their Tumblr page that they have signed with Volcom Entertainment. Congratulations to the local garage rockers who formed in La Mirada, California in October of 2009 and played their first gig about 2 months later. We look forward to their 12 inch vinyl due out early next year!

We here are celebrating by popping open Mexican Cokes and watching ICEE Creeps!
AP staff

ICEE CREEPS! By Lovely Bad Things (OFFICIAL) from Lovely Bad Things on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ryan Adams Session for Morning Becomes Eclectic - courtesy of 130BPM

Great article by Philip Cosores at 130 BPM as he recounts Ryan Adams performance / interview for KCRW‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic (set to air on December 2nd).

Totally Random Pic of the Day

Doesn't the guy to the left look like Andy Samberg? Oh, if one could only go back in time, I am sure Andy would be in comedy heaven to do a bit with Andy Kaufman. And who is that mousy haired beautiful woman on the canvass? None other than Deborah Harry, of course.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Joan Jett has still got it- (with the Foo Fighters on David Letterman)

Pat Smear's Face says it all. He literally cannot stop from smiling. This is great to see the iconic Joan Jet still tearing it up especially after witnessing the CL train wreck a couple of days ago. Hey... I think this just about washed that bad taste out of my mouth.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Kills become each other in "Baby Says"

Alison and Jamie bend their genders and, in fact, become each other in the video for "Baby Says" (directed by Ben Cook) but the main focus is a cross-dresser's night out walking fog shrouded streets and confetti covered clubs. The imagery is cool and burns slowly but ultimately turns cold and sad, perfectly matching the song with it's delicious post punk detached feel.
- Adler Bloom

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Duck Sauces Video for Big Bad Wolf is mind blowing, outrageous, funny and disgusting all at the same time.

Duck Sauce would make terrible, terrible stunt men because they definitely do not know how to hold their punches. Instead the DJ duo of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak know how to make your jaw drop open. Their latest video for Big Bad Wolf is not only weird and twisted but utterly surprising at a time when there is little out their to slap you upside the head. Yes it is also a bit disgusting and weirded me out, actually made my stomach feel funny (mommy I don't feel so well) but what makes this video such a guilty pleasure is that director Keith Schofield not only goes to the edge of that unwritten boundary but gleefully leaps over it. - Adler Bloom

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Live Review - Thee Oh Sees- Alex’s Bar October 28, 2011-

Thee Oh Sees-  Alex’s Bar  October 28, 2011-

A minor technical glitch stalled Thee Oh Sees Friday Night set at Alex’s Bar. It seemed like guitarist John Dwyer channeled this frustration into his guitar, ripping into a blistering version of "A Heavy Doktor".  It’s great to see a band with so much raw energy. It’s even better when a group is so cohesive that no one member really stands out. No grandstanding. No self indulgence. Their attitude seemed to be: “These are our songs and we’re here to play the hell out of them”. 

Their music has been described as Punk, Garage Rock, and Psychedelic. Whatever label works for you. What I like about them is that they draw from all of these genres but have a sound that is uniquely their own. Having only heard a few of their songs before the show, most of my impressions were formed that night.  There was enough of a stylistic shift between each song that kept me interested.  At the same time they never lost their intensity.

Dwyer shifted from a growl to falsetto for their next song "The Dream" and back into more of a Jagger-like bark for "Enemy Destructs". Both songs sound like they’d fit perfectly in a Nuggets compilation. I appreciate how they use feedback to embellish their material instead of wallowing in the sound.  A friend of mine recently commented that all indie bands these days are influenced by Sonic Youth. That comment stuck with me and I realized it was not meant to be a compliment. Too many bands these days have long extended noise experiments that are as interesting as guitar shredders playing pentatonic scales at warp speed to display their genius.  Instead of this sonic noodling, Dwyer chose tasty leads and only used dissonance to texture the music.

One minor quibble I had with the Thee Oh Sees is that when I heard Brigid Dawson’s voice, I wanted to hear more of it. Her interplay with John on "Tidal Wave" was a clear high point of the evening. It kicked the crowd into to a groove that carried them through the rest of the set. They capped the evening off with an accelerated version of "Dead Energy". This interpretation of the song was hypnotic and memorable, sticking with me long after the band had stopped playing.

The sound mix at Alex’s was a little muddy for my taste.  They could have been singing from the phone book, as far as I could tell, but in terms of a performance space, Alex’s Bar has instantly become one of my favorites.  It has a great vibe and whoever put together the pre-show music mix has outstanding taste. Their $10 cover and $5 Guiness price closed the deal for me.  I can’t believe it took me so long to find this place.  

I wanted to make one last point regarding the opening acts. I overheard a band member talking to a friend after their set. Clearly they were disappointed about their performance. As imperfect as they may think they were, at least they’re playing original music and developing a unique sound. I’d check out any one of these groups on their worst night than see another cover band play with note to note precision.  Sadly, these tribute bands headline major concert venues at $50-$100 a head. Better yet, come to Alex’s Bar to see vital bands like Thee Oh Sees.                                                                                                                                     


Batwings Catwings 7" Radio - Review- (Early Exit and Radio)

Batwings Catwings new 7" release Radio on Gravy Records is bursting at it's own seams. I have seen Batwings Catwings at LA venues and been both captivated and curious about these rockers. Often times they have been at DIY shows with more of the "garage rock" type bands but Batwings Catwings, while lumped into the noise punk indie scene a bit, always seemed to have a more solid standard rock sound. Guitarist Ray Santillan has a Morello-esque attitude and the heavy rock bottom bass of Joshua Crampton and super solid drumming by Clay Johnson felt bigger than the confines of  venues like the Smell and Perespace. Pixie sized singer Dana Poblete's vocal style certainly gave them the patina of punk but I could always hear the alternative rock sensibility of Rage Against the Machine, the power pop sensibility of  Linkin Park and the progressive post punk, late 80's, feel of "Missing Persons deep within their live sets.

My suspicions (and wishes) have been realized on this record. The A- side Early Exit simply sounds bad ass from the very beginning synth that percolates and gives way to heavy drums and a superbly ultra busy bass line. It is a purely delicious intro and kudos to the dirtiness of the synth and the distorted bass. Dana Poblete's vocals are smooth but over modulated and perfectly embedded into the heavy bed of sound and do not be mistaken, it is a full big wave of sound here. This is not punk, this is not garage rock, this is just heavy ass rock with a power pop sensibility. It does make me think of big 80's post punk, I mean, new wave and punk kind of popularized tom tom beats. What ever you call it - it is bigger than I have every heard Batwings Catwings sound and it is more mainstream as well. This song could easily be in the next Batman movie, it is that kind of all inclusive catchy rock song. The B side - Radio also has the 80's post punk feel with the synth and Poblete's voice edging you into the song. It kicks in full force in a wash of power chords and double time bass. It is a good companion piece to Early Exit but for my taste ends much too soon.

Batwings Catwings has certainly surprised me with their sound on their 7" Radio. It is less jammy and raw than their live sound but that is to be expected. I think it shows a new breadth and scope and hopefully they will feel comfortable enough in their musical skin to create both types of sounds and not leave one for the other. That would be damn shame. I look forward to hearing Early Exit and Radio on mainstream rock radio because that is where they belong.

Adler Bloom

Listen to Radio

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Falsetto Teeth - Giraffes on Horseback Salads - Album Review -

Falsetto Teeth, what can I say? Musically speaking, they are the bull in the china shop and the china itself. The music on their current EP - Giraffes on Horseback Salads encompasses progressive rock, jazz fusion, power pop and more, all filtered through copious amounts of post punk, kitsch and cabaret befitting a Tim Burton rock opera. "Rocket Fuel, Sex, Magick" starts with sounds like a whistled walk through a brightly colored neighborhood and then turns into a glammy progressive rock affair bringing to mind artists like Sparks, T-Rex, Bill Nelson and Sweedish SOB Pariassound who in a similar fashion will go from punk to soft jazz pop (sounding like a 1970's Dutch Mentos commercial) in the wink of an eye. "Rocket Fuel, Sex, Magick" traverses this wild terrain adeptly with true musical chops. They are masterful players all the while painting an askew picture of a lad ("Oh Johnny... you've been naughty") who may or may not be up to no good ("I found the devil inside of me").

"Sweet Pill" is a twisted punky carnival ride of a song that quickly strides back into progressive rock licks. This crazy song seriously jams and tugs at you like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. This song really does feel like it has a narrative, an operatic structure as musical melodies seem to battle each other. "I'm Your Casanova (Plastic Love)" feels like punk glam happily diverting into a dozen different musical breaks, tempos and feels - ("I am just a lonely mannequin looking for the perfect womannequin") - pushing the boundaries of progressive punk.

Giraffes on Horseback Salads by Falsetto Teeth is not for the faint of heart. Not only do the compositions feel like they have A.D.D, the songs roller coaster on for an uncharacteristically long time by conventional rock standards (2 of the 3 songs on the EP are nearly 10 minutes long) and they tell their stories mostly through the drama of the music as opposed to the lyrics. They are wildly different and some people just don't want that in their musical life. I, on the other hand, revel in all that is different especially when it is done so well. Please grab some popcorn, put on the headphones and give Falsetto Teeth a listen... they will paint some avant garde pictures in you brain.

Falsetto Teeth are Alex Noice (vocals and guitars), Nicki Klingenberg (bass and vocals) and Cory Beers (drums and vocals). Listen to - Giraffes on Horseback Salads -   Falsetto Facebook.

- Adler Bloom

Friday, November 4, 2011

Littul Bullie Free Album Download-

Totally Shameless and I do mean shameless plug- and totally free-(for now)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Shows, DIY Hugs, Kisses and Bruises. FYF TheeOhsees and Costumes and Covers Show

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: This comparison is specific to the party that is Halloween and not meant to compare a show that has original music versus cover music. Clearly I would much rather see original music on any given night BUT for a party night such as Halloween read on:

Oh, yes... Halloween brings out the little, and not so little, neighborhood kids eagerly sugar binging on candy. The spookiest night of the year also brings out the multitude of Rock Shows where the audience is encouraged to sport their best costume hiding behind various facades and, maybe in doing so, become ones true self. American Pancake braved two separate shows that were polar opposites really, one put on at the experts of indie alternative shows big and small, the people over at FYF whom we all love and the other put on by the drummer of the band Summer Vacation.  
The study in contrasts continue. The FYF show featured Thee OH Sees, Soft Pack, Total Control and The Tijuana Panthers playing their own original music at the beautiful cavernous Ukrainian Cultural Center. The Costumes and Covers Halloween Show featured Pangea playing Nirvana Songs, The Lovely Bad Things playing Pixies songs, Cheeto Champ playing Blondie Songs, Summer Vacation playing Weezer and Horror Squad playing Rancid (among others) in an industrial warehouse of sorts, the self proclaimed VLHS (Vince Lombardi High School) - a DIY venue that is usually made up of brick and mortar but isn't always at the same place every time.

What both venues did have in common were audiences that got into the Halloween Spirit and came up with some wildly creative costumes. Unfortunately I faded in between writer and party goer and didn't take as many pictures as I should of but I will never forget the two big guys at the UCC dressed like motor cycle cops in full CHIPS regalia but holding hands and embracing throughout the night. Or the guy at VLHS who had constructed a small child that sat on his shoulders with outstretched arms holding onto his glasses... one awesome costume and I am sure someone will read this and tell me who he was supposed to be. The costumes at both venues made the nights so memorable.

FYF always seems to do it right and I hear that the actual Halloween Show on Halloween night was pretty spectacular. Things moved and worked well at TheeOHsees show the night before but I think the venue was too large for the acts and the amount of people who attended. All the bands could of benefited from a smaller space, their music getting lost a bit in the echo of the room and while The Tijuana Panthers, SoftPak and Total Control all received mad love from the audience, the room didn't erupt into party mode until Thee Oh Sees took the stage and they did inhabit it, own it and kicked ass (check out the video below and the rabid applause afterward).

Things at VLHS felt more like high school. The age skewed lower and the vibe felt more party like. Aaron Kovacs from Summer Vacation was largely responsible for the show and in true DIY fashion put it together with the guys who run the warehouse (VLHS) and are connected to Horror Squad. The show was originally a costume show and later turned into a show were each band picked what band they were going to cover. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I abhor cover / tribute bands but this was something quite different because it was Halloween and the bands not only covered bands they admired but they played dress up too. This is a potent double punch ingredient in the fun department and something that the bands at the FYF could of learned from. Only one member of TheeOhsees and the Tijuana Panthers wore costumes. Pangea whose brand of garage rock hold a special place in my kitch heart all showed up as Kurt Cobain and they brought along a tiny Francis Bean. In bad taste, yep and I loved it. The Lovely Bad Things wore a heavy dose of "golly gee" and showed up as 1950's style Mouseketeers complete with white shirts with their names displayed on them. Cheeto Champ's Adrian Tenney channeled Deborah Harry sporting platinum blonde wig that spilled over a bed of black roots. Summer Vacation got all Weezer braving Argyle sweaters even when the room became a sweat box and Horror Squad came fully prepared as the Trailor Park Boys and won the prize for the best band costumes of the night.

The large floor of the UCC had pockets of people grouped together as well as people who seemed to want to meander constantly to see all the cool costumes. VLHS is just plain small and thus created an atmosphere condusive to everyone becoming acquainted quickly. In between bands everyone would spill out into the back a back alley of sorts where the party would continue. Surprisingly, everyone would pile into the room at the fist strains of electric guitar or a kick drum and tightly fill up the relatively small space. Because the bands were performing songs by such luminary artists nearly EVERYONE in the room would sing along especially during Pangea's Nirvana set and The Lovey Bad Things Pixies set. It was an exhilarating experience. It turned into a kumbaya chorale / mosh crowd surfing pit. Marty Ploy from (wearing a viking helmet) not only shot most of the show with a mini cam, he also acted as announcer and body guard for the bands when the crowd got a little overzealous and while I witnessed Danny from Pangea get accidentally kicked in the head from a crowd surfers messy dismount, by in large, everyone was respectful and looked out for each other.

So which show was more fun? I think you can guess my answer by the amount of written words attributed to each show. House or warehouse shows break down barriers between the audience and the band and at a time when a lot of public constructs (online and off) are putting up barriers the VLHS Costumes and Covers Show was refreshing (and fucking awesome).

Adler Bloom

You can see some of the great costumes here at our Flikr page (sorry I am a crappy ass photog)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pixies Bring 'Doolittle' to Asbury Park - Courtesy of SPINNER

Check out this great write up by Michael Mehalick (Published on SPINNER)

Kristian Dowling, Getty Images

Last night (Oct. 28), as temperatures continued to dip toward freezing along the New Jersey coastline, things were just heating up in legendary Asbury Park. Hordes of fans aged 18 to 40 -- some already dressed for Halloween -- filled the Wonder Bar and celebrated the one time you could hold a "Pixie Party" without being in danger of receiving any curious stares. The occasion: Equally legendary Boston-born alt-rock pioneers the Pixies were in town for the second stop in as many days on their revived 'Doolittle Tour.'

Opening act Surfer Blood, who just released the 'Tarot Classics' EP, took the stage first and set the scene inside Asbury's cavernous Convention Hall. The band played several new tracks for the first time live, including the appropriately spooky 'Blair Witch.'

A few minutes later, after film clips inspired by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali illuminated a large video screen, the Pixies took the stage and captured the crowd's full attention for the rest of the night.

"We're going to play some B-sides first," said the band's buoyant bassist, Kim Deal, as they launched into 'Dancing the Manta Ray.'

A few songs later, the familiar ringing guitars of 'Doolittle' opener "Debaser" rang throughout the building. For much of the show, as the band more than dutifully re-created its classic 1989 album, lead singer and rhythm guitarist Black Francis remained in the spotlight, while Deal took over the banter in between songs, not unlike the seductive DJ from the classic cult film 'The Warriors.' The quirky dynamic and history of the band was celebrated throughout the night as videos of each individual member were shown as the band played.

"Now we're on the other side," Deal quipped midway through, "somebody's going to have to get up and flip the record." Seconds later, the Pixies launched into a particularly inspired rendition of 'Monkey Gone to Heaven.' Indeed, the second side of 'Doolittle' allowed for a little more of that band dynamic to shine through, as drummer David Lovering took over lead vocals for the whistlers' favorite 'La La Love You.' This set up Francis' most expressive sing/wail of the night, which came during the ultra loud 'There Goes My Gun.'

After finishing side two of 'Doolittle,' the band reemerged after an encore break to play the "U.K. surf" version of 'Wave of Mutilation' and closed with fan favorite 'Where Is My Mind?' After the band's much deserved final bow, the crowd left knowing it had seen one of the better shows in which a band plays the same song twice.

Watch the Pixies Perform 'Where Is My Mind?' in Asbury Park

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Man Man at the Ukranian Cultural Center- FYF Presents on Oct 27th - Live Review

 Upon the beautiful stage of the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Grandchildren opened for Man Man, with their obvious bouncing eccentricity that is similar to that of the headliner. This six member group was clad in fine clothing and sported well groomed beards. They played emotional serious music that loudly enthused the crowd. They also use wind and brass instruments as Man Man do. A band I had formerly never heard of, I now want to hear again and again.

Man Man initiated their set with their newly released video for “Piranhas Club”, and their fairly new “Rabbit Habits” video. The stage was dark except for red strings of lights adorning their equipment. The fans sang along to the videos, and cheered as well. The audience was happily excited, awaiting the endless energy and fast funk of Man Man. They introduced their fine set with “Feathers”, a beautiful song which I had hoped they would play. They then played my favorite “Top Drawer”, which forces heads to bob with its strong drums and loud keys. Man Man swiftly transitioned into “Dark Arts” which you can’t help but shake your hips to. They then played a salsa-esque tune entitled “Haute Tropique” that everyone danced along to. This mysteriously sensual song powerfully seduced us all. The audience reached for Honus as he quickly changed costume and sang into his vintage style microphone. They actually played “Rabbit Habits” in its entirety, which sounded beautiful live, while the music video played in all of our minds. As Honus looked deep into the wild eyes of the audience members, they cranked out “Bangkok Necktie” which is off of their masterful new album Life Fantastic. They followed with “Shameless”, which is of course featured on my Best Songs of 2011 list. It is an emotional song, and truly is one of the best. Honus got out his acoustic and we all knew that “Steak Knives” was to be played, a mellow song with lyrics of love. With Honus in his gorgeous green sequined shirt, they closed their set with “Van Helsing Boombox”, another song chock-full of heart. Man Man played a perfect ows like this are the reason I fucking love Fuck Yeah Fest.
Alyssa Holland


HALLOWEEN Costumes and Covers SHOW- Pomona, CA OCT. 29

Isn't Halloween all about losing yourself for one night and becoming someone else or something else?? Well, what could be more fitting for a Halloween Costume Party than the bands performing losing their own original music for one night and becoming some other legendary and semi-legendary bands! This is the case on Oct. 29th in Pomona, CA. Check out the rad poster and hit the facebook link for more information!! Shit and only 2 bucks entrance fee if you are wearing a costume!

FACEBOOK EVENT- Pangea, Cheeto Champ, Summer Vacation, Lovely Bad Things and Horror Squad- Halloween Show

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Look- Gianna Gianna - "All Encompassing"

Performance artist Gianna Gianna who usually stirs up mind bending sounds with the undefinable BLOK is strutting out on her own, first releasing a book of her art and musings and now a solo musical project. The first glimpse into her sound without BLOK is "All Encompassing" which is currently available for free download at As I pushed play with some trepidation, I was surprised that this song didn't burst out with the kinetic energy that is Blok. Gianna Gianna smartly goes in another direction twisting your senses with tribal tom tom beats and not really any accompanying rhythms except for some ambient sounds and chordal drones. This leaves only Gianna's voice that hits tones and melodies that remind me of East Indian folk music coated with a heavy "not of this world" patina because of the vibe and effected mix. Amidst the meditative cadence and Gianna's vocal theatrics, she also utters percussive sounds and pops with her lips. The result is a hypnotic mix that conjures up both other cultures and other species at the same time. I referenced Ridley Scott's Blade Runner when I reviewed BLOK's video Jungle Dog Fang Hell and with "All Encompassing" - Luc Besson's The Fifth Element comes to mind as it sound like a song that should exist in another place, another time and maybe even another solar system. This is a sonic tripfest so you might not want to listen to this while you are driving lest your mind (and car) wanders to other places. Gianna Gianna is both femme fetale and femme cerebral and proves, once again, that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Adler Bloom

Experience- "All Encompassing" here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Album Review-" Low Roar" by Low Roar

If, after listening to Low Roar, you don't have a special place carved out in your heart for Ryan Karazija's music then you best just cuddle back up with your Farmville, fantasy football leagues or porno magazines because you surely must not have people whom you have loved and lost in your life. The songs feel both intimate and detached in a swoon of chilly echo. Ryan treats his lyrics as a frame work for his beautiful melodies instead of the other way around and doesn't hesitate giving his words their own lyrical architecture to suit the melody he creates. Thom Yorke is a master at this, extending a first syllable so much that a particular word is unrecognizable until the complete world is uttered. Ryan does this with beautiful effect as well and while Yorke/ Radiohead comes to mind in songs like "Help Me", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" and "Puzzle" because of some of the production flourishes and vocal strains, Low Roar is very much his own emotional animal.

The songs on Low Roar's self title album were rendered in Reykjavik, Iceland and one wonders if the new culture impacted these songs. "Give Up" does have a beautiful drone that sounds like a harmonium in the background, a popular instrument in Nordic folk music. With it's guitar picking, pearly sound and Ryan's emotional singing, the song cuts straight to your heart with lyrics like. "In my world, I'll do my best to make it seem like I'm happy" and the chorus refrain "Don't give up on me." The clarity of Ryan's voice and his aforementioned ability to construct some wonderful lyrical melodies as he hangs out syllables to suit the mood is really evident in "Just a Habit" - a song that can lull you into a serene state. "Patience" is immediately dour and dark with an amazing chorus that lifts you if only into a dark place. It would be a wonderful song to grace a movie soundtrack. The title song "Low Roar" creates images of cathedrals but is just an interlude. One of my favorite songs on Low Roar is the lengthy titled "Friends make Garbage, Good Friends take it out" and is one of those songs that you could hear around a campfire to take the chill away. It is propelled by dancy guitar picking and what could be wooden sticks being clapped together. "Because we have to", the saddest sounding song on Low Roar evokes a tragedy about to unfold.

Low Roar is for those among us who love beautiful songs that do have a somber, sad tone. You can call it dark folk, you can call it alternative folk, what ever you call it, Low Roar can stir you into an introspective place and cast evocative images in your mind.

Adler Bloom

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Album Review- Tiger High- "Myth Is This"

Memphis based Tiger High (Jake Vest, Toby Vest,Greg Faison and Greg Roberson) create large expansive sounds that not only rock but have the ability to lift you up off the ground until you are levitating in their beautiful over modulated hum. On Myth is This, the distortion (which sounds like it envelops the entire recording including the drums) creates a powerful sense of urgency and nostalgia and pours a patina of longing all over these songs. Let's not be mistaken though, this effect would do nothing if it were not for the well written compositions they are soaked in.

"Why Oh Why" cuts through you like a be bop 60's slow dance tear jerker. The chorus literally begs you to sing along. "Boys at the Bottom" jams with a free wheeling beat and Brit post punk vibe. "Myth is This" with it's paisley pop melodies and thick ambient sound washes over you.  "Losing Out" kicks along with a touch of Southern Blues buried deep inside the fuzz, in fact, the thick rhythms almost sounds like a wall of fiddles.  "Up and Down Again" engages you with a heavy bass and drum bed while the guitars shred. The rock progression is familiar but it still stirs you into a hypnotic dance.

Of all the songs on Myth is This, "Carry My Love" might be it's defining moment. Not only does it wrap you up in a swirl of tom toms and thick guitar sounds and one hell of a catchy guitar riff, the vocal melodies are so thick and uplifting that the song sounds like an anthem of sorts. The fact that the bridge descends into a trashy surf rock party vibe makes it even that much better. The bass and guitar work is cool and playful.
"Vipers" is straight forward hard garage rock with a 60's style organ. The last track, "Always Mine" feels like hard painful memories resurfacing. It ebbs and flows between droning ambiance, soaring guitars and evocative vocals again soaked in that ever present fog of lovely fuzz.

Adler Bloom

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Littul Bullie" by Ellogoods

Well, after reviewing so many new artists we had to post up our own tiny little projects. Along with "Addicted and Happy" (more on that later) you can check out "Littul Bullie" which is mostly live demo-eeee compositions. Let me know what you think. First 100 people who email me (see contact info) will receive the tracks and cool EP art for zilch, nada, nothing, freeeee.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bitch Slappin the Ooompa Loompas! WHAAAT?

Bitch Slappin the Ooompa Loompas! WHAAAAT? All kidding aside- NO BAG JACKIN this Halloween!

Business Cats get down to bizness!

Soaked in a pool of distortion- the Business Cats get down to busyness! Fan video filmed and edited by Alec Kirkwood. Courtesy of Sincerely California.

The War on Drugs Adam Granduciel - "these are a few of my favorite things"

Courtesy of Pitchfork- Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs expounds on some of his favorite things including The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient hats that his dad made-- (wtf? ha)- check it out-

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Feeling Yuck (eeee) this morning-

Need me some Yuck this morning- From their recently released double disc deluxe edition of "Yuck" on Fat Possum records- Cousin Corona starts off with a decidedly Pixies vibe and then turns into all that is Yuck- Cousin Corona by Yuck
Soothe me is soulful and has a chorus that soars like a classic Stones ballad. Soothe Me by Yuck
YUCK Double Disc Deluxe Edition track listing: :

01 Get Away
02 The Wall
03 Shook Down
04 Holing Out
05 Suicide Policeman
06 Georgia
07 Suck
08 Stutter
09 Operation
10 Sunday
11 Rose Gives a Lilly
12 Rubber

13 The Base of a Dream Is Empty
14 Milkshake
15 Coconut Bible
16 Cousin Corona
17 Doctors in My Bed
18 Soothe Me

I haven't seen Yuck since February back when I shot them at the Echo. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

MGMT cover "Lucifer Sam" on Jimmy Fallon

This past week musical artists have been paying tribute to Pink Floyd on the Jimmy Fallon show. It has been a cover fest of sorts and our old friends MGMT chose to cover "Lucifer Sam" from the Pink's debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Released in 1967, it was the only album that was produced under the steadfast leadership of founding member Syd Barrett. For whatever reason, MGMT sported industrial fishing wear and appeared to be the next cast of The Deadliest Catch. But who cares, they rocked as always.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Album Review: Jungle Habits by Young Circles

Jungle Habits by Young Circles is a veritable profusion of electronica, ambient, glam folk, shoe gaze, psychedelia and some genre yet to be named - creating a chemical cocktail with trace elements of artists like Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, Damon Albarn, and Portishead. Every song has delicious morsels of sound to be consumed and while some of the songs bring those aforementioned stellar artists too mind too much, I never got the feeling that I am listening to a creative rip off as much as songs that are "inspired by"- and ultimately, much of Jungle Habits is stuck in my head.

"Devil" has a groove that would have Thom Yorke dancing up a storm with a thick free bass line and askew lyrics like "you sleep in mangers while I sleep with strangers" or "slip off your shoes while you burn down the building".  The song, like many on Jungle Habits have musical arcs full of breaks that take the songs on some rich departures of sound. "Summer Noose" is a short acoustic meets dark dream pop. "Love Hitch" (one of my favorite songs on the album) skips and hops like an old 78 record in a lonely haunted house with industrial sounds echoing in the background. It is like David Lynch meets a Church Gospel with a slight Moby vibe. The middle break sounds all disjointed while muted vocals echo "Watch the road the road now"- that paints the imagery of a car wreck about to happen. Touches like this are pure theater of the mind and work on a dark moody level, all the while sounding very cool. I mentioned Damon Albarn and he comes to mind on "Asthmatic" which has a beat that moves like a horses gallop. I love the breaks and melody during the vocals- "Dreaming of you... dreaming of you".

The most jammy progressive song on the album is "2012". It cranks  like a Royal Bangs or Muse song but is more quirky. The drums shine throughout this little pressure cooker. "Jangala"- a  kind of calypso induced exercise in repetition and foreign voices on top of voices creates a nerve wrangling cacophony of sound that, in the end, is too grating for my taste but I could see how it could be a real crowd pleaser live. The title track, "Jungle Habits" strays into electronica, meets, drum core, meets underground rap (sorta). "You. Me. Nothing" has stream of conscious style phrasings and explodes into walls of sound only to edge back down into those free form phrasings and the cool chorus "You. Me. You mean nothing... nothing to me"- grabbing you with it's own vocal groove only to explode again. This ebb and flow is so incredibly smart and dynamic. While Young Circles has created an album with mood inducing art house sensibilities, they gently slap you in the face on their final track with the surprisingly sweet and endearing "Changing" that wraps you in a lush blanket of Lennon-esque love hugs.

All and all, Jungle Habits creates some truly wonderful "blendo" rock art with enough avant garde touches to dazzle and keep you guessing. Apart from the effects, the twisted lyrics and mood bending arrangements there are rich melodies here. I look forward to Young Circles next sonic surprise.

Adler Bloom

Check out Jungle Habits by Young Circles here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Tell her Know" cover by Tennis

Tennis does a lovely and faithful rendition of one of the best pop songs ever written- You can download it at their site here. Tell Her No by tennisinc

Bird - "Pantoms" - wallow in their doom folk

Are you ready for some "doom folk"- one of the many twists on the folk genre lately. This video with it's high contrast black and white tones and somber feel, definitely has the dark patina of gothic horror. Bathe in the bone chilling sound of "Bird". This Liverpool band is fronted by Adele Emma and it is wonderful to hear a Brit who sings with a British accent. Turn off the lights, pop on the headphones and enjoy. Also enjoy the interview courtesy of Just the Music that I Like- (interview).

Death From Above 1979 and Ty Segall are neck and neck.

Well from all the many videos I shot at this years FYF fest, by far, the most popular videos have been "Death from Above 1979 - "Turn it Out" and TY Segall - "Standing at the Station" and "Imaginary Person"-
They are now almost running neck and neck. Who will hit 1000 view quicker???  We will see.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Papa- "I am the Lion King" video

PAPA: "I Am The Lion King" from Hit City U.S.A. on Vimeo.

The magnificent Papa. It is reported that Darren Weiss and Thom Yorke hit the dark shadows of the Oxford Circus tube station and have dance offs.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers- "Now and Then" Album Review

Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers lay down some big jams that transport you back in time. Woodstock comes to mind, when heavily influenced blues rock would openly divert into progressive guitar dances smack dab in the middle of the song. Back then those long intense grooves would help all those who were tripping reach that drug induced nirvana but Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers seem to just jam for the pure love of it and it shows.  Now and Then encompasses roughly 3 years of song writing. In songs like "Lost My Ways"- "Now and Then" and the infectious "Falling Apart" there is a 70's renegade surf sound happening with Adrien Parker's guitar bouncing cooly (like a Heavier metal Duane Eddy) on what sounds like true 1960's Sears Silvertone Spring Reverb while Enrique Poveda's free form drumming and Daniel Huizar's solid bass work give the songs a harder progressive edge.

"Open Your Eyes" (one of my favorite songs on Now and Then) creates a delicious musical chaos. Adrien's potent guitar works off Povada's excellent drumming that dares to be absent in all the right spots. It is like a crazy carnival ride, with ambient guitar sounds that mimic a Theron and I absolutely love the studio talk thrown in- "Hey, let's try that... or listen to it."  Less steeped in psychedelia but having a more post punk sound are songs like "She Said" which almost has a Smithereens vibe and the very fun garage rock "Ohh It's a Zombie" which is the perfect sing along party song about becoming the walking dead with the immortal line, "now my feet just drag and this has to be bad." The opening hook in "The Days When We Used to Walk" almost sounds like a rock anthem riff that U2's the Edge would come up with but the rest of the song is lovingly steeped in a 70's rock feel as is "Can't Win" which evokes tie dyed shirts and faded bell bottoms hanging on that blonde girls sexy hips.

While some of the songs on Now and Then do have some derivative hooks that seem a bit familiar, almost all of the songs playfully divert and take you on a maze of melodies and sounds. This fusion composing style is what makes them so special. They are a mix of shoe gaze, psychedelic blues rock with free form jam in a classic 70's rock stew. Phaxanation and the Dust Kickers songs definitely take you on a trip, none more so then the last track on the album. "Around the Bend" is a slow burn cooker with droning sitar like guitar sounds. It then becomes broad and cinematic, Adrien's open guitar picking hanging in the atmosphere only to give way to heavy power chords. I imagined slow motion silhouettes against a wind swept orange desert sky. Close your eyes and the music will transport you. To where? That's up to you.

Adler Bloom

Catch Phaxanation with Abe Vigoda and Crystal Antlers at the UCR BARN
THE FALL 2011 BARN CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS Abe Vigoda and special guest Crystal Antlers with openers Phaxanation and the Dust Kickers on Octobet 19th!