Thursday, March 29, 2012

Burgerama 2012: Fidlar Pranks, Getting OFF, Ty Segall gets Roughed Up, Too Much Fog, Pulled Pork, Security has the Audacity to Mess with Pangea, The Strange Boys, Lovely Bad Things happen, Feeding People's early X-Mas gift and Kids Dancing About in a Festive Manner

On March 24th, The Observatory (formerly the Galaxy) was in full tilt fun mode as Burger Records threw a great party, appropriately entitled, BURGERAMA. Sean Bohrman and the Burger crew, having just come off the heels of EPIC SXSW shows that many rated higher on the "fun-o-meter" than the official SXSW showcases, masterfully orchestrated musical mayhem at a bargain basement price. This was a must see show and it was a bit heart breaking seeing a couple leaving the ticket window with down turned faces and the news of a sold out show saying, "Oh well, I guess we are going to Disneyland."

I decided to go in roam mode between the main stage and the smaller stage in the Constellation room in an effort to catch as much as I could in my brain and camera. This is always a tricky proposition because while you can get a nice over view, you can miss some magic at any given moment when you are at that "other" stage.  The following random observations are in no particular order.

Zac from FIDLAR was pulling pranks right away even before the first guitar strain having plastered  Danny's (From Pangea) cell phone number on an amp and urging the audience to call it. Even though they played early the crowd was large and enthusiastic. The mix was great and Fidlar sounded especially potent cranking out moshable songs and ratcheting up the intensity throughout their set.  Tomorrows Tulips played on the smaller stage awash in a sea of fog. I imagine that Alex Knost may of, for a brief moment, thought he was paddling out on a foggy morning at Rincon. Seriously, I thought that Tomorrows Tulips were using a drum machine, that is how much fucking fog was spewing down on the stage. I am all for atmosphere but I couldn't help but think that the venue (having showcased a ton of heavy metal acts in their day) was kind of stuck in a time warp. Still, Tomorrows Tulips makes dreamy teenage forever sounds and I dug it. King Tuff polished off guitar licks like beers on a weekend binge. With a kind of a post punk Bob Dylan-esque vocal delivery, Kyle Thomas writes strong melodies that can live within almost any musical genre. King Tuff's power punk pop sound is retro and catchy.  The Tyde pumped out sunny northern California surf / stoner rock with a strong 60's psychedelic tinge. Front man Darren Rademaker joked that they were the oldest ones performing besides OFF (Keith Morris). It did seem like some of the high school kids who were there to mosh were put off  (one kid said under his breath, "They sound like 70's radio rock" - then his girlfriend asked, "How old is the drummer?" With out missing a beat, the smart ass kid replied, "A hundred." Oh, fuck those sarcastic little shits- The Tyde's set was as cool as camping out in Big Sur.

The Strange Boys porch alt country rock fueled the crowd with a homespun vibe and made me want to grab myself up a pulled pork sandwich that was being sold by the one of the bars. These guys music certainly has a dark twinge (lyrically) beneath all the harmonica graced folk. The Abigails played their shimmy shake outlaw country rock that can make you feel slightly inebriated even if you aren't buzzed. Front man Warren Thomas looks like the kind of guy you want on your side if a fight breaks out (little bit of crazy in those eyes). The Lovely Bad Things seemed genuinely surprised at the crazy ass reception they got after their first song. A combination of their set time starting at a lull in big stage action and the fact that they have a strong core OC following made for a perfect storm of moshy, crowd surfing heaven as that room swelled to capacity. It got hot and sweaty quick. The room was pumping and before they performed "You Done Messed Up"-  guitarist / drummer Brayden Ward exclaimed (to the crowd) "you're giving me like a huge fat boner right now... this is ridiculous!" It was a safe sex love fest going on here, the crowd never stopped moving and some sang along. SCREEEECH... This is the point and time to talk about Massive Security because before The Lovely Bad Things set, there was only one guy with his annoying little flash light in the Constellation room. During the third song, a contingent of 3 large security guards quickly pushed through the crowd (and through me) as if they were on a rescue mission. I can only imagine that they were called by that lone security dude. I can see him in a panic like he was pinned down in a war zone, "MAY DAY, MAY DAY- hipster kids are dancing about in a festive manner and someone's shoe flew off and hit me in the FAACE!"

Actually, the room was moving, dancing, crowd surfing and gleefully stage diving but nothing was out of control. As is usually the case, when security moves in the "I'll watch out for myself and those around me" dynamic changes to us versus them- that is when control is lost. Those big hulks should of had PASSIVE SECURITY emblazoned on their backs because the best security is passive, the best security is unnoticed. At one point, Cam Ward (drums, guitarist) said on mic to security- "Leave those fucking kids alone."  Security who had tried to form a wall in front of the stage were allegedly man-handling some of the kids too aggressively and reportedly struck some kids. I (and my lawyer) want to clearly state that I did not witness this from my vantage point but more than a handful of people relayed this to me. I did witness the security guards confront at least one of The Lovely Bad Things. Allegedly they had accused him of inciting violence to ward the security staff by certain suggestive movements and things that were said on stage. AGAIN- In my opinion the Security was freaking out and making mountains our of molehills or mosh pits or something!

LETS TAKE A MOMENT TO GET BACK TO THE MUSIC PORTION OF THIS OBSERVATIONAL PIECE NOW SHALL WE (Don't worry this security issue will rear it's ugly head again before the night is over)

While I bagged on the over used fog machine earlier, it somehow seemed to fit the power 60's Haight Ashbury meets a high desert crystal meth carnival feel of Feeding People. I just pretended the fog was a wave of pot smoke. Not that I am suggesting these young people are druggies at all but their music does have this amazing psychedelic (and almost psychotic) edge that feels rooted in another time (or dimension). They are incredible and Jessie Jones has a voice that is at once pretty and "smoke a case of ciggies a day" gritty. Hearing Big Mother live was like an early Christmas present! Noah from Dirt Dress with his cool detached demeanor and shaved sidewall haircut was looking a bit like 80's New Waver Gary Neuman. Their set was a combination of post punk slow burners and trancy garage rock with Noah's unmistakable wailing vocals. The Cosmonauts erected a formidable wall of sound, a trippy ass hazy march of psychedelia. It has to be said with conviction, with absolute crystal clear conviction that Ty Segall fucking rocks. I hadn't seen him or shot him since FYF and was surprised to see his shorter hair cut. On stage with Mikal Cronin, Segall let forth a barrage of songs from Melted, Goodbye Bread and more, plus playing a new song and a special song (ala Thee Make Out Party) for the Burger Records Icons of cassette and vinyl bliss ( Sean, Lee and Brian). Apart from the fact that Ty Segall writes such catchy, melodic garage rock that can stoke your soul in any sized venue, the Observatory stage seemed like the perfect fit for his passionate attack and seemingly innate ability to connect with his audience. The guitar lead breaks sounded especially delicious. More than once Ty made the crowd a part of the spectacle as he would set his guitar afloat like a surfboard on the hands of the sea of people and then dive in. At one point he tried to have the crowd be his stage holding the microphone stand for him as he attempted to be held straight up to perform. He ended up kind of flopping about but it was a valiant attempt and besides, crowd surfing on his back, playing rock and roll while adoring fans position his mic for him was a sight to behold. At that moment, the entire room was beaming with a universal smile (or maybe I just imagined that- whateverrrr- it was fucking awesome!).

Keith Morris is a class act. I finally got the chance to meet him and shake his hand. It was hard to believe the reserved man I met was the same Keith Morris on stage raging through a slew of 2 minute long punk songs, his whole body on edge like the bulging vein in his neck, all the while being the witty, acerbic observer of life that he is. Two thirds through OFFs set that dreaded fog machine spewed out a bit. It was almost a bit Spinal Tap-ish and Keith made some comic reference to the that tired old rock convention (mentioning Judas Priest as part of the mini off the cuff remark). It is clear that OFF needs no smoke and mirrors. They are raw, real and in your face and that is all that counts. Obviously the crowd loved them to death.

The Pangea show was something to see, something to experience. The room was full, buzzing and pulsating to crunchy garage rock. The boys were on top of it, tight as hell, playing with abandon and William Keegan's snarky vocals were full of his usual bite and punk pathos. At least in the smaller room, Pangea was one of the last acts, it was one of Burgerama's last hurrah's. The crowd was dense, ready to party and Ty Segall was in the room to support and enjoy his friends. Segall was part of the crowd surfing contingent. It was the Night of the Living Dummy, it was fun as hell and then something weird happened (remember earlier I told you that the Massive Security issue would raise it's ugly head again!).  As the crowd packed in close to the stage, non other, than Ty Segall crowd surfed to the delight of the audience. Then all of the sudden he got absorbed by the crowd and disappeared. Everyone stopped playing except the drummer and William still hitting guitar chords. All eyes were focused on Ty who apparently was being roughed up by security. While the song was charging forward, Danny (bass player) got on the mic: (this is what I could make out)-

Danny: "Hey Fuck that!  This fucking security guard is outa fucking control. Someone take him outa here. He tried to take our best fucking friend Ty out. Fuck that shit. Some get this fuck outa here. YOU, (pointing at security) you get the fuck outa here... get the fuck outa here. Get the fuck out!." It was surreal as while this was going on Pangea was playing in and out and singing the chorus "I want to fuck with you..." - The drama going on couldn't of fit the song better, it could of been a staged event but it was NOT. It was security flipping out.

After the song ended, Danny continued on the mic, totally pissed off and dumbfounded at what had just happened saying the following (as, at least, one security guard shouted Fuck You back at him several times)- "Hey who's in charge here. You guys are getting out of hand. Get the fuck out of here seriously. You don't belong here.  I'm serious. You guys aren't doing anything but hurting our friends so GET OUT! You just tried to kick a headliner (Ty) out of here(???)"

The drama was not over as during the last song, Danny invited the entire audience to come up on stage. It was a crazy and daring FU to the security contingent. Luckily they seemed to back off, maybe it was a logistical decision, I mean, how do you remove a 100 people off a stage or maybe it was the realization that they had just manhandled one of the headliners(?). I don't know- but what happened, while unfortunate, was not a total surprise having witnessed the situation earlier during the Lovely Bad Things set. 

The audacity of the Pangea set all gave way to The Audacity from nearby Fullerton. Matt, Kyle, Thomas and Cameron layed down a solid set of punchy ass punk / garage rock songs like they always do. They always make you feel like you are at a sweet back yard house party with free brew. Late in their set, Ty Segall and Pangea's Danny and Erik joined in the musical mayhem. It was freaking ridonkulous!!  I only caught a tiny bit of Wavves but heard the set was loved by the crowd and didn't get to see even a smattering of White Fence (my apologies).

Conclusion: Burgerama apart from some of the security issues was a blast and a tremendous sold out affair. You can partially judge the success of any show by the merch area which was pretty much a blaze all day and in speaking to the various people manning the tables- people were enthusiastic and buying stuff. This is a good thing. I hope you all that attended enjoyed all the bands and will continue to support them and their creative endeavors. If you did love the party, stop by Burger Records and let them know. I know they would appreciate the love. Also, a word to my fellow bloggers. Get out of your comfort zone, get off your lazy asses and cover the lesser known bands when you cover multi stage events. Since time immemorial rock and roll has been a medium that has a sense of danger, has elements that kids love but makes parents feel a little uncomfortable. At Burgerama while the large stage had all the accoutrements of a big rock show, the smaller stage at times felt more out of control, more radical and more fun.

If you want to re-live some of Burgerama or if you ended up going to Disneyland instead, check out our YouTube Burgerama Playlist which is ever growing. AND if you want to share some love for American Pancake, then like us on our facebook page. 

Thanks to Sean for the press creds- and see you at the next show!

AB from AP

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ty Segal and Mikal Cronin Leave it All on the Stage @ Burgerama

Kicking musical ass is in Ty Segall's DNA. Seeing him live is a bit of a garage rock revelation as he seems to have an innate ability to give the audience what they want at any given moment. Enjoy these videos shot at the amazing Burgerama show! (Shot on March 24th with Lumix FZ 100)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SXSW St. Patty's Day 2012- Beach Fossils, Lovely Bad Things, We Were Promised Jet Packs, Harriet, Jacuzzi Boys, Off, Wavves, Cosmonauts, The Audacity, Kids These Days, Young Buffalo and MORE

I hope the SXSW party goers and performers remembered to pack an article of green clothing as SXSW and Saint Patricks Day converge. I predict the added jolt from the leprechauns are going to make today one to remember for those who are lucky enough to attend the music fest. There are so many amazing acts to see and here is a spattering of the ones American Pancake recommends. HAVE FUN! Click on the names to find the official set times (info gathered from the official SXSW site and American Pancake)

Beach Fossils:   Beach Fossils is a Brooklyn-based group, formed in early 2009 by Dustin Payseur. After signing to Captured Tracks and quickly pulling together a live band, they took off playing countless shows across the U.S. gathering a slew of devoted fans in their wake. In May of the same year, their debut LP Beach Fossils met with favorable reviews and became known for its jangly, single note guitar style, dusted with summer-fueled romance.

Rich Aucoin:  With a carnival spectacle of a live show, Halifax's symphonic-pop poster boy Rich Aucoin is a musical mastermind. Sing your swelling heart out, dance among a cloak of confetti, just don't stop the sonic alchemy.
Part indie-rock preacher, part wonder-kind, Aucoin's We’re All Dying To Live (Sonic Records), is a musical scrapbook compiling over 500 musicians, friends and fans from across Canada. Produced by Rich Aucoin and Joel Waddell, mixed by David Wrench (Caribou) and mastered by Nilesh Patel (Daft Punk, Justice), We’re All Dying To Live is a testament to the
metamorphic magic of music.

Said The Whale: In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band's hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a JUNO Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story.

The Lovely Bad Things:  The Lovely Bad Things are so much fun that you’ll want to bottle your sweat for the next time. The young quartet, straight outta La Mirada, fashions undeniably hooky, unfailingly cathartic proto-punk that abides all traditions of garage rock — biting guitar riffs, furious rhythms, shout-sung lyrics and more than enough ’tude go with their tunes. Little surprise, then, that Camron and Brayden Ward, Timothy Hatch and Lauren Curtius have been making noise in the DIY community, and soon the Lovely Bad Things’ scene figures to grow larger. Their recent EP is titled “New Ghost/Old Waves,” a cassette release from Burger Records whose contents will make their way to vinyl via Volcom Entertainment come March. Like some of L.A.’s favorite hell-raisers — the Growlers, Tijuana Panthers and FIDLAR — the Lovely Bad Things revel in the unvarnished glory of the ’60s and ’70s. Not such a bad thing at all. - Kevin Bronson of Buzzbands
We Were Promised Jetpacks:  Following closely in the footsteps of The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks are yet another hugely talented young Scottish band added to the FatCat roster. The 4-piece came to our attention when listening to some of the friends on the Frightened Rabbit Myspace page. Though recent months has seen the band tour the UK with their aforementioned friends, the four preceding years have consisted of local gigs in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh, allowing WWPJ to find their sound and hone their live performance.
Zookeeper:  After fronting 90s emo stalwarts Mineral and the 00s artier rock abstractionists The Gloria Record, Chris Simpson has settled nicely into his own more autonomous work with Zookeeper. Sixties folk, rock, soul and jazz influences find a freedom of expression and an earthiness here that seem worlds away from his past without losing any of Simpsons characteristic sincerity and emotionalism.

The Audacity:  Back with vengence and an upcoming sophmore album, audacity take to Austin this year with youthful exuberence. Formed when they were only 14 years old, the members of Audacity connect with a musical lineage that stretches back about as far as their ages combined. The music invokes trails of Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard, A True Star, as well as the best work of the Modern Lovers. Twisting in those influences with geographic touchstones like the Descendents and the Adolescents, Audacity crafts tunes that trade in hooks and fun amidst a rush of volume and youthful enthusiasm.

Young Buffalo:  These guys are a bit of a mystery but their music explodes in your mouth like Pop Rocks. Out of  Oxford, Mississippi, Young Buffalo is Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett who trade off on all instruments. Tasty, vibrant, catchy indie rock. - Adler Bloom - American Pancake 

Jacuzzi Boys:  The Jacuzzi Boys’ practice space is like most any other -- crammed with gear along with one of the guys’ record collections. But their band room happens to be located in a trailer tucked just inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on gorgeous Key Biscayne, FL. Just a few feet from their amps: tropical paradise. This is an area home to weird animals and buttonwood trees, located on an island just outside of Miami. “Miami is not known for producing many good bands,” bassist Danny Gonzalez concedes. “So, quite frequently we get asked, ‘would you ever consider moving?’ Our answer is always, ‘No!’ This is where our friends and family are from. Miami is such a part of the Jacuzzi Boys, as important as any musical influence.”

 The Pauses: The Pauses' (who prefer that their possessive noun-ing be spelled Pauseses) overall sound is one anchored in complexion and combination, a world where guitars are BFFs with synthesizers, horns, bells, and ukuleles. Tierney Tough's bright, fresh voice - which fits nicely between Metric's Emily Haines and Feist - glides just as easily atop the breathy sparkle and agile math of Rock Band track "Go North" as it does the indie-pop sway and post-hardcore torque of "Beyond Bianca." From the serious, atmospheric mood of "The Migration" and "Pull the Pin" to the lithe, glitchy charm of "Hands Up," The Pauses got mad range, often in the same song. Rooted in the dynamics and ethos of '90s indie rock, their sound is a balancing act between rock and electronics, airiness and heft, suppleness and angularity. And their debut album, "A Cautionary Tale" (produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox and Burning Airlines) shows that you can explore without losing your core.

 Kids These Days: Kids These Days comes from Chicago but their music comes from everywhere. With horns, a rapper, a blues-rock trio and a female singer, KTD blends a wide range of influences -- hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues, and classic rock -- into a unique, fresh sound that breaks boundaries while honoring America’s musical heritage.

Hands and Teeth: Hands & Teeth, a Toronto-based experimental pop group, demonstrate what can be created when friends unite through a love of complex harmonies and fine food. What began as a series of casual dinner parties with colourful soundtracks quickly blossomed into an invigorating, full-time musical project. Each of the band’s five members takes an active role in all elements of production – from composition to lead vocals to engineering. Four of them even reside together in a live-in studio in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. This highly collaborative atmosphere is what brings Hands & Teeth’s artful fusion of pop, classical composition, angular guitar rock, lush vocal arrangements and inventive rhythms to life. Their songs tastefully sweep from whisper-quiet ballads to roaring anthems – a pitch-perfect reflection of each member’s eclectic musical past, rich on-stage presence, and unparalleled dedication to the creative process.

Off:  Then AS Now: You know the names and pedigrees. Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba (Hot Snakes/Earthless/Rocket From The Crypt) are OFF! They are the force and spirit of L.A. punk circa ’78 resuscitated, reconstituted and re-imagined for a similarly uncertain age. The band released their debut 7”, 1st EP, in October of 2010. Three more would follow, all ultimately assembled in the First Four EPs vinyl box set & CD compilation: 16 tracks in just over 17 minutes, featuring inimitable cover art by Raymond Pettibon, the man & artist behind Black Flag’s visual mystique. The critical acclaim poured in—Pitchfork, NPR, the L.A. Times, etc.—followed by a slot on the prestigious Coachella Music Festival in Indio, CA, and riotous US, European, and Australian tours.

 Voxhaul Broadcast:  Life could have been much different for these four childhood friends if they had followed the paths that were strictly enforced on them. David Dennis (singer) was the son of missionary parents that traveled the world, living in Russia, India, Singapore and Hong Kong. When his parents separated, David’s father would not allow him to play guitar. David secretly taught himself how to play at his mother’s on the weekends. As David was growing up around the world, Kurt Allen (drummer) and Anthony Aguiar (guitar/ keyboards) met at the age of four when Anthony’s family moved on the same street in Southern California. Kurt, the son of a Vietnam veteran, was raised in hopes he would one day join the Marines and Anthony grew up in a very strict Catholic upbringing. Neither family encouraged the boys to pick up any instruments and start a band, but these two fell in love with music when they first heard Nirvana. It was at that moment they knew what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.

 The Henry Clay People: Loud rock n roll music with some heart made by 2 brothers with the help of 2 life long friends... Having spent the last few years releasing a couple albums on TBD Records ("This Is A Desert EP" and "Somewhere on the Golden Coast"), touring with Drive-By Truckers, Against Me!, Silversun Pickups, etc..., playing Coachella, ACL, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, etc..., their new full length "TWENTY-FIVE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES" comes out late Spring 2012 on TBD Records

TRMRS: "A lethal dose of surfy, gritty garage psych-rock with just the right amount of fuzz to keep you coming back for multiple helpings." - STYROFOAM DRONE
"...pop music with a hangover. There are tempo changes, 60’s bass lines, distortion, reverb and chanting, with layered vocals all over the place.” - GET BENT!
Southern California quartet TRMRS (pronounced "TREMORS") will tour this Spring with psych/garage favorites The Growlers, including some dates with Seattle's Night Beats and performance at Austin's SXSW. The tour will lead up to the release of the split 7" with Night Beats on Volcom Entertainment & Resurrection Records, including tracks "Goodtime Blues" and "Enter the Door," currently available digitally at

 Retro Stefson:  Through countless formative live performances and the crafting of a collection of superior pop songs, ultra-talented Icelandic octet Retro Stefson have mastered the art of moving a crowd to the brink of sheer ecstasy - and keeping it there for as long as they wish.
Armed with an immediate and charismatic stage presence along with a highly impressive arsenal of songs, Retro Stefson always border on the right side of pop; the side that’s creative, cool and constantly pushing the envelope. They regularly sell out their native Iceland’s largest concert halls and top the local charts, all the while converting hordes of overseas fans with tours in Europe and beyond.
… and they’ve only just begun!

 Madi Diaz:  “When I was a teenager,” Madi Diaz recalls, “my dad and I would hang out in the living room and learn songs by bands like the Eagles and Alice in Chains. We’d pick parts to harmonize and sing our way through them, over and over. My dad would get so excited when he figured out something by Yes or the Mamas and Papas, then he’d let me pick my favorite Silverchair song or whatever I was obsessing over at the moment and we’d learn it together, too. It was the best.”

 Turf War: Known for rowdy shows and catchy rock songs, Turf War started in 2008 as a bedroom solo project for lead singer John Robinson and quickly turned into a full band with Brian McGrath filling in on drums and backup vocals, Cecil Moss on Guitar, and Bradley Morris on bass. They created a sound reminiscent of early Replacements and brought on a full party attitude to their live sets.

 Cosmonauts:  Cosmonauts are Fullerton California's premier psych punks. They have been making music for a short time, but have toured nationwide, and have a slew of tape, LP and 45 releases on Burger and Permanent Records. Imagine if Brian Wilson came out of his acid phase, put on some leathers and started playing house parties to black punks in Oakland California, That is the insanity behind the supersonic sounds of the Cosmonauts! Be sure to check out their self titled LP, 7inches on Goodbye Boozy and Bad Afro, and upcoming LP!

The White Eyes:  Female lead singer Gao Xiao-gao is getting pretty famous within Taiwan's and China's indie scenes for being outrageous on stage, including showing up for one gig wearing a nude leotard painted to look like she really was buck naked. The entire scene did a triple take on that one, both at the show and the next day on Facebook. Formed in 2004, White Eyes takes their name from a Taiwanese expression for people who say out loud those embarrassing things that everyone knows about. They've opened for international acts The Music and These New Puritans in Taiwan, were named best indie band at Taiwan's 2009 Hohaiyan Music Festival, and their gigging experience covers Taiwan, China and Japan. The White Eyes debut album "Kiss Your Eyes" was recorded in Beijing and later mastered in New York by Greg Calbi, who's worked with Sonic Youth, Pavement, Interpol, MGMT.

Harriet:  Harriet is a Los Angeles-based band fronted by former Dawes member Alex Casnoff. The quartet's self-released debut EP Tell The Right Story was released on January 31, 2012 and is available for free download at www.HarrietMusic.Com. Inspired largely by classic storytelling and the spectacle of the movies, Tell The Right Story weaves eerily romantic ballads with unwavering anthems, and features classic elements of Americana and folk music contrasted with futuristic electronic samples and beats.

Zeus:  Few bands can be simultaneously timeless and relevant, but that’s exactly the hi-wire act Zeus has become as a new millennium hit factory set for a triumphant return with the release of sophomore full-length Busting Visions.
The album follows 2010 Polaris Prize-nominated debut Say Us, which topped CBC charts, won XM The Verge’s award for Album of the Year, garnered stellar reviews from top rock mags like Q and Uncut and led to shows with Broken Social Scene, Metric, Sam Roberts Band, Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian.
And with all of this, Busting Visions finds Zeus already hitting the ground running.

Wavves: L.A.'s Wavves follow up their 2010 skuzz-pop masterstroke King of the Beach with Life Sux, the debut release from singer Nathan Williams' Ghost Ramp label. If the band's previous records were all about one man's self-loathing, this six-song EP takes that sentiment and generously expands it outward, telling the tale of two loathsome characters locked down in Bummertown. What follows is a downward spiral of wrecked cars, impossible dreams and fading faith set to pop-damaged punk and squalling grunge, and featuring collaborations with musical BFFs Best Coast and Fucked Up. Also, it's fucking fun, though in Williams' words, "If you hate yourself and other people, you might like our record." Williams has come a long way from his parents' San Diego pool house, where Wavves was born during a jobless bout in 2008. A series of small-run 7-inches and tapes paved the way to the buzz-building self- titled and semi-self-titled LPs Wavves (Woodsist, 2008) and Wavvves (Fat Possum, 2009). Both were praised for their inimitable brand of experimental surf skronk and lo-fi loser anthems, notably swathed in pot smoke and isolation. King of the Beach, recorded in Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring (Animal Collective, Modest Mouse), kept that blessed spirit alive but displayed a set of fuzzed up, fleshed out confections, and found Wavves expanded to a ripping trio, including current bassist Stephen Pope.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Alabama Shakes, Mr. Gnome, Papa, The War on Drugs, Big Deal, Gashcat, Yacht - Bands to See Today - SXSW Friday the 16th

 SXSW AMERICAN PANCAKE PICS FOR TODAY-  click on the name link for set times-
excerpted info from official SXSW site and American Pancake-

Yacht:  YACHT is a Band, Belief System, and Business conducted by Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans of Marfa, Texas and Portland, Oregon, USA. All people are welcome to become members of YACHT. Accordingly, YACHT is and always will be what YACHT is when YACHT is standing before you.

The War On Drugs:  Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs reside at the blurred edges of American music: overexposing studio limitations, piling tape upon tape to maximum density, and then — with each song — they pull off the scaffolding to reveal what sticks, keeping only what’s absolutely necessary and dig into what sounds like the best kind of fucked up. As on their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, central member Adam Granduciel takes small moments occurring over multiple tapes and multiple song versions, and puts every last drop of trust in his own keen instinct of momentum.

Youngblood Hawke: Youngblood Hawke captures the sound of 5 friends in mid-journey. It is the snapshot of a state of mind where one mountain has been climbed, and there are more in the distance. But for right now, the view is beautiful. - official SXSW   "Youngblood Hawke sound like a sunny surf ride after you just met the girl (or boy) of your dreams" - Adler Bloom

 Guadalupe Plata: Ubeda, Spain. Two young swamp blues worshippers - Pedro de Dios Barcelo and Carlos Jimena - perform a chemical experiment by mixing the rusty-water-wheel chant of Hound Dog Taylor, the darkness of Skip James, the hypnotic rhythm of John Lee Hooker and R.L.Burnside, the madness of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the sweet sound of Tampa Red, the killer slide of Elmore James and the essence of Son House.

White Rabbits:  White Rabbits signed to TBD Records (US home to Radiohead/Other Lives/Hatcham Social) and erected a makeshift studio in their basement rehearsal space to demo new material. Band members popped in and out over the course of several months lending ideas and personality to a new batch of songs that defy instant categorization. After enlisting tourmate, friend and songwriter Britt Daniel (Spoon) as producer, the pair began the process of exchanging demos between Brooklyn and Portland. White Rabbits recorded It’s Frightening over the course of four weeks, only taking a break to play the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes, France.

 The Magnetic Fields:  The Magnetic Fields' classic songwriter Stephin Merritt enjoys working with themes: escape, country roads, vampires, miniatures. There is no official theme for The Magnetic Fields’ tenth full-length release, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, but Merritt describes it as a return to their roots-- synths! In it, he challenged himself to use synthesizers in different ways. “Our no-synth trilogy being over, we are now gleefully using synthesizers in ever more improbable ways, often sounding like electronic swarms of crickets and that sort of thing."

 Mr. Gnome:  Inspired by a taste for the surreal, Cleveland's Mr. Gnome has been creating a singular amalgam of gritty, space-psychedelia since 2005, gaining them an ever-growing cult following across North America and Europe, as well as praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin, Bust, and more. With a nod to the off-kiltered, the constantly touring duo are set to release their third full-length album, Madness In Miniature, October 25th on El Marko Records. While the previous two albums offered mere glimpses, the new album is an all-encompassing gaze into two delicate yet roaring, hypnotic yet beautifully disconcerting minds that come together to make sense as one.

The Drums:  While the band continue to expand their sonic palette, one consistency has been their unabashed love for The Wake, whose influence is even more pervasive than on their earlier work. “I’d be sitting down with a bass guitar, and I’d think, how can we do a bass line like The Wake? It’s still a band that we cited on this record, even though our influences on this record definitely changed. They’re just so good,” enthuses Hanwick.

 Grimes:   There is a powerful harmony in Grimes. It is a project which is both musical and visual, embodying the arts of 2D, performance, dance, video and sound. Claire Boucher weaves these together to a strong rhythmic effect, “the marriage between the voice of a human and the heartbeat of a machine” [Bullett Magazine].

 King Tuff:  (from SubPop) King Tuff sits, center stage between Magic Jake and Kenny, his trademark guitar, Jazijoo, on his lap while the rhythm section diligently loops the groove under Tuff’s frenetic fingering.
Silent on a marble staircase, a ghost of a child, King Tuff, expressionless, leans back into a half shadow, with rays of silver rings leaping under incandescent light.

Big Deal:  Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood voices often times coalesce like those couples you know that finish each others sentences but as Big Deal this merging of male and female voices is not annoyingly syrupy sweet like that but, instead feels more like the tentative and some times scarey first steps of a budding romance. Bolstered by simple acoustic and electric guitars (merging as well) their songs hinge on the intimacy of their voices and the trepidation of love and loss. After awhile you will not be able to imagine one voice without the other. - Adler Bloom (American Pancake)

Ava Luna: New York natives six strong, their Spector-esque girl-group harmonies are interwoven with funk, noise, and pop to create an aural headrush that will travel directly down to your feet, which should begin dancing.

Daughter: ‘The Wild Youth’ is the new EP from 21 year old Elena Tonra aka Daughter.
A collection of four dark, ethereal & beautiful new songs, ‘The Wild Youth’ showcases a young musician experimenting delicately with a rich array of songwriting ideas and yet still intent on pouring out her soul pure and unadulterated.

Gashcat:  fter finding a magic tape machine in the middle of nowhere, Mississippi, the Gashcat collective/family recorded their first EP and moved to Austin, TX.
Since then, they've bounced around the west coast several times and have recorded their first full length... Reunion! With songs ranging from lo-fi acoustic hiss to full on psychedelic fuzz, the ever-expanding Gashcat family throws shows that are an unpredictable, wall of sound ruckus.

 Alabama Shakes: In October, the Shakes gave a performance at the CMJ Festival in New York City that earned a glowing review from the New York Times. Jon Pareles described the band as “a thunderbolt dressed in bluejeans,” with music that’s “aching when it’s slow and growling and whooping when it’s fast.” NPR named them one of the best bands of 2011, while MTV called them one of the top bands to look for in 2012.

Of Monsters and Men:  Of Monsters and Men is an amiable group of day dreamers who craft folkie pop songs. But last year, the normally mild-mannered six pack—who’s releasing their EP, Into the Woods, on December 20—transformed into total rock stars after stomping out their competition during M├║siktilraunir, a yearly battle of the bands in their native Iceland.

 Papa: “Everyone becomes sea urchins and rats at night,” says PAPA's Darren Weiss, laughing slyly. “It’s the nature of being young.”
Like with an inside joke you know, you smirk along, succumbing to a moment of reverie. The suggestion of crawling so close to the dirt floods in bastard memories. And so, when the versatile drummer, singer and principle songwriter next puts his band's musical efforts in simple terms such as, setting out to make “American soul music with a punk-rock mentality” on its forthcoming EP, A Good Woman is Hard to Find, you nod along, like, yeah that sounds about right.

Punch Brothers:  Punch Brothers are the New York City-based quintet of mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. Their new album Who’s Feeling Young Now?, produced and engineered by Jacquire King, contains some of the most exhilaratingly direct, sonically daring performances the group has ever recorded. Already, Vanity Fair has hailed the album as "their most expressive work yet as an ensemble -- sophisticated, pop-y, kinetic and profound, all at once." The New Yorker calls it "a mystical alchemy of old-time music and contemporary sensibilities" As the five members, ranging in age from their mid-20's to mid-30's, have matured together on the road and in the studio, their approach to writing and performing has, conversely, become looser, simpler, and, in a sense, more unaffectedly youthful. In fact, the title song on the new disc—featuring rumbling bass, skittering violin, and wailing multi-tracked vocals—sounds like hard-charging string-band punk rock.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Seven Minutes In Heaven- Awkward and Damn Funny

Mike O' Brien is such a Chester molester... poor Fred.

Titus, Ettes, Elle King, Imagine Dragons, Stepdad, Hey Chica, The Growlers, Ringo Deathstarr and MORE- SXSW today

courtesy of the official SXSW site: (excerpts from the Official SXSW site and American Pancake)

The Growlers:  The growlers are a rock and pop group formed in long beach California in 2006 who are yet to became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music. During their years of stardom yet to come, the band consists of Brooks Nielsen (vocals) Scott Montoya(drums), Matt Taylor(lead guitar, vocals) and Kyle Straka (keyboards, guitars.) They were managed by their own alter ego Epstein until his death in 2009. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1960s rock and roll and skiffle, the group works with different musical genres, ranging from ice flossing hip hop to psychedelic rock.

Ringo Deathstarr: Makin hits since 2007, Ringo Deathstarr is a Trio composed of Elliott Frazier, Alex Gehring, and Daniel Coborn. Screaming quietly out of Austin Texas, this gang has just finished a year of album releases and world touring taking them to europe and japan 3 times as well as a jaunt with The Smashing Pumpkins! 2012 may not really be the end of the world but Ringo Deathstarr will act like it is!


La Sera : La Sera’s Sees The Light follows 2011’s masterful self-titled debut with ten new tracks of peppy break-up pop brimming with defiance and bitter sweetness. On album opener “Love That’s Gone,” the vocals and drumbeat linger for seconds, swaying in the wind while the guitar cuts through, charming you, pulling you by your shirt and telling you that it is time to move on. This is a break-up album for the best kinds of break-ups. There's a lightness of touch, too, that surround the harmonies throughout and makes one yearn for the days of Donna Lynn, Julie Ruin and The Shirelles. But before you can settle into your seat, La Sera delivers a one-two punch - a rip of rolling snare and sending you speeding off in a fast car. Seize the light.

We Are Augustines :  Drawn together by a continuing musical vision and mutual understanding, Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson, were also, on a more personal level, no strangers to turbulent waters. McCarthy in particular, whose volatile upbringing is candidly documented in the lyrics of his songs, has felt himself frequently capsized by the vagaries of life. Having spent much of his formative years in foster care a sense of self-reliance is perhaps more finely attuned in him than most. McCarthy’s enthusiasm for his current situation is addictive yet his affable characteristics also betray a certain gravitas. Like a child who’s been told one too many lies, there’s a sense of restraint – like the very fabric in front of him could vanish in a puff of dissolution at any time. He says the word ‘present’ a lot – though not the gift-wrapped kind – like a man holding on to the NOW with white-knuckle determination. He is also given to shaking his head, with cartoonishly grim disbelief, especially when hitting upon something fortuitous. Through all the upheaval and broken promises that have come, Billy McCarthy is a man who takes nothing for granted.

 Ximena Sarinana: An early discovery of jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald ignited her love of music, and at age 15 she began studying at Mexico’s Academia de Musica Fermatta. At 17, she honed her vocal skills during a five-week program at Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music and then began fronting a jazz-funk fusion band called Feliz No Cumplea├▒os (Happy Un-Birthday), which “made a bit of noise in the underground,” as she puts it. She also brought together her loves of film and music on occasion, co-writing and singing three songs on the Amar Te Duele soundtrack (which stayed on the Top 10 Soundtracks list in Mexico for 10 years) and acting as music supervisor for several films.

Hey Chica:  Hey Chica! is a band from Guadalajara, Mexico. They have been playing 3 years being four members and now they're a five piece band. In 2007 they released an EP "Do you really believe?" in which their songs presented more drum machines and lyrics in english. After several years of hard work, they released in 2011 "Lo que nadie ve"(What no one sees). In their first LP, they take the long road on composing lyrics in Spanish and involving different instruments in their songs. Tracks like "Feels like Sunday" and "Hasta el final" pretty much describes the whole album sound

Stepdad:  Stepdad (Ultramark, Ryan McCarthy, Alex Fives, and Jeremy Malvin) will be creating their neon dreamscapes at SXSW. Their 2010 EP, Ordinaire with it's Nintendo meets 80's romance was deservedly well received. Songs like Jungles and Wolf Slaying as a Hobby feel like technicolor melodramas for cartoons yet to be rendered. My Leather, My Fur, My Nails is instantly infectious. The bendy synth lines and pumping beat definitely hit the 80's new wave feel dead on but the vocal melody and evocatively askew lyrics are what raise this song into pure pop electronica perfection.

The Jesus and Mary Chain:  Like the Velvet Underground, their most obvious influence, the chart success of the Jesus and Mary Chain was virtually nonexistent, but their artistic impact was incalculable; quite simply, the British group made the world safe for white noise, orchestrating a sound dense in squalling feedback which served as an inspiration to everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Though the supporting players drifted in and out of focus, the heart of the Mary Chain remained vocalists and guitarists William and Jim Reid, Scottish-born brothers heavily influenced not only by underground legends like the Velvets and the Stooges but also by the sonic grandeur and pop savvy of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. In the Jesus and Mary Chain, which the Reids formed outside of Glasgow in 1984 with bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Murray Dalglish (quickly replaced by Bobby Gillespie), these two polarized aesthetics converged; equal parts bubblegum and formless guitar distortion, their sound both celebrated pop conventions and thoroughly subverted them.

The Ettes:  Nashville has been the home of The Ettes for nearly three years now. The band started in L.A., when pals Coco and Poni were working a retail gig and decided to form a band. Inspired by the girl gang at the centre of the 1975 film, The Switchblade Sisters, they created a sound that mirrored the films' stars: sexy and tough as nails. New Jersey native Jem Cohen joined on bass and the group spent time in New York, LA and London before finding a home in Nashvegas.

Said The Whale:  In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band's hook-heavy, pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a JUNO Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. In an age of overnight internet sensations, theirs is a true grassroots success story.
With the new wave-tinged single "Heavy Ceiling" already making its mark on the Canadian rock/alternative charts and videos for all 15 album tracks to exclusively debut online, Little Mountain is shaping up to be one of the landmark indie rock albums of 2012. And if the last five years have taught us anything, it's that Said The Whale will continue to win over audiences the old fashioned way: with relentless touring, killer songs, and big-hearted passion.

Elle King:   Elle King sounds like Billie Holiday having a shot of whiskey with Johnny Cash. She loves banjos and hobos. Born in Ohio and raised in Brooklyn, Elle retains her roots in a style that blends those worlds of both grit and mid-western charm. She ties her old soul, blues, and rock 'n' roll influences into a sound that’s all her own. She’s far from a bully but she ain’t a punk. To hear her is to believe her.

 Imagine Dragons:    Honing the restless energy of the city that never sleeps, Imagine Dragons’ sound is both anthemic and eccentric. By way of Vegas, the quintet's first release on Interscope/KidInAKorner Records will drop in February of 2012. Produced by grammy-winner Alex da Kid, the EP will be the band's most important statement to date. A short, yet impressive touring history includes sharing the stage with indie notables Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neon Trees and The Temper Trap, opening for mainstream acts such as Weezer, Interpol and Blue October, and showcasing at the Bite of Vegas, Sunset Strip Music Festival, Bergenfest, and a host of other festivals.

 Titus Andronicus:  Titus Andronicus sometimes disagree on what is the right thing to do. Titus Andronicus like to scream and carry on at excessive volume. Titus Andronicus like songs which are fast more than songs which are slow. Titus Andronicus think slow songs are okay sometimes. Titus Andronicus never sing about love, only hate. Titus Andronicus have no hope for the future. Titus Andronicus believe only in nothingness. Everyone in Titus Andronicus was born to die. Titus Andronicus crave your approval but will settle for your utter disdain.

Yawn:  ribal tunes built upon yelps, nature sounds, and clattering rhythms, Chicago’s psych quartet YAWN have garnered almost unanimous comparisons to Animal Collective and Yeasayer." - Stereogum
"With a bit of a tribal vibe, a simple, repetitive beat and a soft round of vocals, we just can't get enough of this song [Kind Of Guy]." - NME
"clattering polyrhythms, sing-along harmonies, spare electronics, and some African guitar trills that place the band squarely along the latter-day AnCo/Yeasayer axis." -Pitchfork

Sundress:  Sundress started to carve out their spot in the music world by receiving copious amounts of attention from the media and recognition as ‘Best New Act’ out of North Texas. Since their inception the band has played almost every major festival in Texas, supporting some of the most important new artists and even received a nod from The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne.
Their brand of ethereal dream-pop marries many different influences ranging from Pink Floyd and The Beatles but with the modern flavor of Slowdive and Sparklehorse.

 Neon Indian: Neon Indian is the brainchild of Alan Palomo, who's 2009 debut record Psychic Chasms not only earned the 20 year-old a spot on numerous year-end lists, but assisted the forming of a genre that, though known by a few names now (hypnagogic pop, glo-fi, chillwave), summoned a very unique and specific electro-mangled sound. Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and SPIN all praised Palomo for his adventurous new sound, and he was tapped to perform at top festivals like South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, and Sasquatch and also scored opening slots for bands ranging from Massive Attack and The Flaming Lips to Phoenix and Chromeo.

 DZ Deathrays:  DZ DEATHRAYS are an Australian indie/thrash/punk 2-piece that have been creating a stir on the international scene. They graced the stage of SXSW in 2011 and are returning with a bucket load of accolades. They were recently placed at #4 in NME’s Top 20 Most Exciting Bands of 2012, after securing spots in the Top 10 Bands of The Great Escape 2011 (UK) from both NME and Q Magazine. Zane Lowe of BBC1 gave them ‘Next Hype’ and their new single ‘No Sleep’ received a world premier on the station with Huw Stephens. The single is the first off their forthcoming album, due for release mid-2012. It will also be available on an EP due for release on March 6th through 3QTR (USA) and Dine Alone (Can). They’ve toured the UK with Cerebral Ballzy and on the NME Radar tour with Wolfgang, as well as touring Australia with Foo Fighters, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Crystal Castles to name a few.

Hanni El Khatib:  Hanni plays his own brand of striped down 50's influenced dirty blues rock with dashes of rockabilly and soul. "Loved One" full of testosterone and one two many beers feels like a car gunning it's engines before a street race. "You Rascal You" - with it's chunky over modulated sound and piercing lead jabs is slicked back and tattooed up and cruising for a bruising and "Dead Wrong" is a dancy doo wop skirt twister.  Dirty guitar, sultry sandpaper vocals- awesome. - Adler Bloom

 Nick Waterhouse:   He's a tightly wound, meticulous rock & roll scholar who commands up to a dozen musicians onstage beside him with the authority of a seasoned bandleader. Innovative Leisure co-founder Jamie Strong remembers the exact second he knew he'd sign Waterhouse. "When you see an artist live, that's when you can tell whether or not they have it," he says. "Nick nailed it from the first note. No one knew who he was but everyone was so into it, dancing and just having fun. It was the real deal." - La Weekly-

Kat Edmonson:  Kat Edmonson will self release her sophomore album Way Down Low on Spinnerette Records April 10. The native Texan makes not only her songwriting debut on the record but also co-produces the album. The album was recorded at the historic Avatar Studio and Capitol Studios with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Al Schmitt (Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke) and producer/bassist Danton Boller. The sessions also included input from producer Phil Ramone (Paul Simon “Still Crazy After All These Years,” Billy Joel “The Stranger”).

We Are The Augustines- Showcase Today at SXSW

We Are Augustines - showcase at SXSW today at Maggie Mays Rooftop venue at 9pm
Billy McCarthy sings with an emotional voice, slightly worn, tender and real.

(excerpt from official SXSW site)
Rise Ye Sunken Ships, the debut album from We Are Augustines, bowed into the Top 10 of SoundScan’s New Artists chart on the strength of its first week of digital sales. The physical album was released on August 23rd on the band's own Oxcart Records via Atlantic.
The band, made up of singer/guitarist Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson on bass/keys and drummer, Rob Allen, have warmed the hearts and souls of fans worldwide with their sublime live shows featuring many of their heartfelt anthems from the album that received the ‘iTunes Alternative Album of the Year’ award in the US at the end of 2011.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SXSW BAND Infestation!!! Wed the 14th

SXSW is like a full blow band infestation. There is so much to see that it will drive those indecisive people literally crazy. You will see them stumbling around and mumbling to themselves by Sunday night.

Here are some AP picks (official showcases) for today: (courtesy of the SXSW official site. just click on the links for venue and show time)

Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers: Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers are a folk-rock-soul sextet of pan-Scottish provenance. Singer and guitarist Ali Downer assumed the moniker 'Woodenbox' , in a nod to influences such as King Creosote and ‘Bonnie’ Prince Billy and the addition of The Fistful of Fivers reflects a collective appreciation of Ennio Morricone’s scores for the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone.

UME:  Formed in Houston in 2006, Ume have earned their stripes the old fashioned way, hitting the road and tearing down clubs with one incendiary concert after another. The three-piece throws themselves into every performance, whether playing a basement party or a festival and have earned a reputation for unleashing behemoth live shows. Rock icon Joan Jett, Gang Of Four’s Dave Allen and Of Montreal’s Bryan Poole all became championing fans and believers after witnessing the band’s sonic conflagration onstage. “Lauren is an enigmatic guitarist; all flailing hair, swinging arms, and wild movements,” Brooklyn Vegan proclaimed, adding: “If this band didn't have such catchy songs, you'd probably be content just watching.”

 Tearist: (from wiki) Tearist is an American experimental electronic music and performance duo from Los Angeles consisting of Yasmine Kittles (vocals / percussion) and William Stangeland Menchaca (synthesizers / programming). Their self-titled debut album sold out within months and their live followup record, Living: 2009-Present, received mixed reviews due to the lo-fi quality of the recording.[1][2] They were described as a "gothy electro-noise duo" by the Los Angeles Times music blog;[3] and in a cover story on the band, the LA Weekly wrote, "Tearist could very well be the most crucial musical project to come out of Los Angeles in recent years."

 Sharon Van Etten: A few things need to be made clear about SVE’s music. She’s not the type of “female singer/songwriter” who champions women-centric perspectives and denies personal accountability. Nor is she a strident provocateur. Rather, Van Etten is a performer who fully embraces her femininity while confidently expressing it through intelligent and mature perspectives on relationships. Those turned off by the provincialism of other performers will be pleased that you can identify with Van Etten’s incisive and universal observations about love and loss.

 Screaming Females: Screaming Females' seven years as a band, four full-length albums and 700 globe-spanning live shows has made them difficult to miss. Through it all, the New Brunswick, New Jersey trio have continued to exude a frenetic energy which is built upon the zeitgeist of America's punk and indie underground yet has always remained forward-looking.

 Robert DeLong: "Robert DeLong seems like one of those kids beamed here from a future world where all threads of music have been stitched together into some kind of vibrant cloth. His hybrid of electronica samples from pop, folk, house, dubstep and glitch... " -Kevin Bronson

Races: RACES exists as a result of artistic rebirth and personal rediscovery, but it all starts at a point in Wade Ryff’s life where motivation was at its most scarce. Disillusioned with music, beset with the bitter ending of a relationship with a real life witch and faced with the overwhelming stagnation of being a 23-year old in the sleepy suburban outpost of Van Nuys, during that time, Ryff wrote the pleading lyrics of “Big Broom” in the bathroom of his parents house. He explains the song’s message as “accepting that every ending is a new beginning, and even if we may have no control over when things are given or taken from us, we can always choose how to respond.”

 Miracles of Modern Science: If you see Miracles of Modern Science loading their classical instruments into a New York rock club and mistake them for another band’s string section, they don’t mind. It makes for a bigger surprise when you hear what they can do with just mandolin, violin, cello, upright bass, and drums. Miracles of Modern Science push the limits of these antique instruments, reaching heights and depths unexplored by guitars.

Girl in a Coma: San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma have left a permanent tattoo on the hearts of music lovers with their piercing songs and nuclear performances. They’ve blazed a singular trail since Nina Diaz joined the band at age 13 and have found champions and comrades along the way including Joan Jett who signed them, Morrissey, Sia, Tegan and Sara, The Pogues and Amanda Palmer who have hand selected them for tours. In addition, Robert Rodriguez asked them to compose one of the key songs for his film Machete last year. All the while, they have been building one of the most impassioned and diverse fan bases in music. Girl in a Coma are that rare feral band, unaffected by trends, that has managed to stay wild and thrill us at every turn.

Emperor X:  Emperor X is a pop/noise/folk music project headed by American songwriter and sound artist C. R. Matheny. A former high school science teacher, he dropped out of a graduate physics program in 2004 to focus on music. Over the next eight years, he released a string of critically-acclaimed lo-fi speed folk and grabbed the attention of writers at NPR, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Said the Gramophone, and dozens of other music blogs. Reviewers compared Matheny's tracks to The Microphones, Black Dice, and early Modest Mouse. ranked his Bar/None Records release _Western Teleport_ among the most overlooked albums of 2011 and termed his music "wonderfully bizarre...[and] triumphant in its deep empathy and humanity."

Allah-Las:  Greil Marcus liked to refer back to “The Old, Weird America” when discussing a certain famous set of recordings that emanated from a Woodstock cabin basement. ALLAH-LAS sound like the Old, Weird Los Angeles: Strains of true surfing music, American harmonies, Sunset Strip backbeat, desert ramble filtered through Goldstar Sessioneers; That pre-fuzz pedal ‘electrified folk’ music and pop groups hitting that California sound with the tambourine on just the right beat. When you hear it, you see things — Venice’s arches lit at night with the ocean in the distance; mid-century hamburger stands and slow-moving main drags in residential nights; Teen-age revues at 400 person ballrooms; Ferus Gallery beatniks; bungalows in canyons; hidden deco stairsteps peeking from leafy hillsides; kustom kars and dovetails and chicks in OP shorts with long, long hair. Like a Dennis Hopper photo come to life. You look at their well worn Fender guitars, their real surfer tans, their dusty suede boots - and you see it’s a sound natural to them; This isn’t an act. - Nick Waterhouse (PRES records)

Feeding People:  Beyond the real deal is the unreal deal, and therein lies Feeding People, a band of teenagers making some of the heaviest psychedelic around decades after the 13th Floor Elevators declared their hallucinatory sense of purpose. Feeding People founders Jessie Jones and Nic Rachman met at an Evangelical Church in Anaheim when they were just thirteen years old: the first songs they ever played together were in praise of Jesus in the Sunday School band. Six years later, they were plucked from the Orange County coffee house scene by Burger Records, home to the OC’s most talented young punks.

 ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra): ALO, or Animal Liberation Orchestra, formed in the late 1990s while the band members were students at UC Santa Barbara, and has been touring and releasing albums steadily with this lineup since 2002. There’s a universal reach to California’s ALO, whose warmly inviting, delightfully malleable music stretches out an open hand to give you a twirl and put some swing in your step. Feeling really good is an intrinsic aspect of ALO, something abundantly clear in concert halls, where the band lights up audiences from the inside and artfully captured in the studio. Little bit of funk, a little bit of pop, a lot of energy and a big dollop of dance-worthy music - that's the recipe that's brought ALO a fan base far and wide.

Fiona Apple: (no description needed)

Joy Kills Sorrow:  Joy Kills Sorrow brings together an eclectic mix of musicians who each have classical and/or jazz conservatory training, though collectively, they ambitiously utilize their years of study to hone a new acoustic territory yet discovered by many of today’s top artists. It’s an amalgamation of lamenting music of the heartland, singular stories of heartache and laughter, beautiful string arrangements, and five musicians who grew up listening to indie-rock, jazz, and pop music that churn out impressive tunes with an incredibly contemporary sensibility.

If you find these acts tame- head on over to the Get Bent Showcase at Spiderhouse: (click on pic to follow link)