Archive for October 2010
The first time I saw the trio, Screaming Females, was only this year during FYF Fest. I remember how disappointed I was with the set from The Blow (who I still adore despite that live set) but how enthralled I was by this band from New Jersey on the stage afterward. I had been interested in their music for a little bit even though their albums aren’t that easy to get a hold of, but their performance really took me by surprise and set the bar for the rest of the festival that day.
With a lineup that seems to be sticking with Marissa Paternoster, Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike, this three-piece band packs in a mean punch. I just remember watching Marissa in that red and black dress of hers commanding the stage as the band wailed and rocked like so many other artists attempted to do. Although a tiny little thing, her vocals were outstanding – roaring every once in a while with her mouth looking like it was going to swallow the mic whole – but then her guitar skills! The girl can shred and the guys in the band work like magic with her.
Screaming Females is definitely a band I would see all the time if I lived out on the East coast, but alas, I can’t have all things go my way all the time. So for now, join me and listen to a couple of their tracks such as “I Don’t Mind It” and “Laura and Marty” off of their album, Castle Talk below.
One of the most played songs in my iTunes library for 2010 is definitely White Arrows‘ “Coming Or Going” – especially the RAC remix (you can find it on July’s Wild Tonic Mixtape). Their EP, available on bandcamp, is also a gem as it’s short but packed with 7 fierce tracks.
Mickey Church and his gang really know how to combine rock with dance music just enough so there is always a possibility of getting sloppy with your beer but not quite so much you’ll have to pull out your glow sticks. (Sorry, I’m not really the raving type.) Even “The Voyeur” (which isn’t remixed on the EP) is a standout dance track.
Besides having the time of their life as their fan base in Los Angeles steadily grows show by show, they’ve also knocked out some great covers. They’ve managed to do two I really enjoy: The first one is their cover of “Save Me A Place” (by Fleetwood Mac) and the second is a cover of “I’m On Fire” by none other than the boss himself! This was available on Springsteen’s birthday which just happened to be a couple of months ago but you know what? I still enjoy listening to it so you might, too.
Grab the two covers below along with their track, “The Voyeur” after the jump!
Besides “The Great Estates,” “Hannah” has always been my favorite Freelance Whales song. After seeing them numerous times this year (I think they were at two festivals I covered for BeatCrave this year), this band still affects me in a heartwarming kind of way. Maybe it’s because their vocals remind me of Avi. Perhaps it’s their electronic elements which make me pine for The Postal Service days. (I still think Freelance Whales are a musical lovechild of those two bands even though no one seems to agree with me!)
Whatever it is, I still enjoy their album to this day and even though they released the video for “Hannah” back in September, I’m going to share it on here right… now. When you repeatedly run into the same bands at the same places for big festivities, it’s kind of hard not to nod or smile at each other as you pass each other. My photographer randomly once asked lead vocalist, Judah Dadone, what the song was about and all the info we got back in May was something about a little girl in his apartment complex. Since I figured the song would become a single of theirs at one point or another, I began to think about how they would do this video.
Now, we all know. Well, what the video came to be like, at least. Directed by Issac Ravishankara and Ariel Danziger (with the latter having also directed Passion Pit‘s “The Reeling”), the video stays pretty close to the lyrics and we see a girl and eventually the boy, too, with some oddly deformed faces. Check it out below if you haven’t seen it yet and take a listen to their latest single, “Enzymes” (released via Green Label Sound) below.
You know, we can all be cynics and say “God. Meeting each other in Greece and moving to LA together to make music is so… hipster.” However, the truth is, these so-called hipsters/hippies/whatever you want to call them are making some great music when they are dedicating their lives to nothing else, and for that… I can allow myself to be selfishly thankful.
That’s kind of what Grouplove (who formerly just went by Group) kind of did. Residents from London, NYC and LA all met on the Greek island, Crete, and realized they had a bond that was too strong to waste and voila! We have one of the most unexpected but most interesting 5-song EPs of the year.
To be honest, I didn’t jump on the hype train for Grouplove right away. When there is “love” in the band name, I automatically lump it in with some other hippie groups and compare them to the ultimate love fest band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. However, when The Parson Red Heads left me dropping tears into my beers at Spaceland a month or so ago, I needed to turn to some other band whose music would be as heartfelt, foot stomping, and most of all loving in the most familial way possible. That is where Grouplove came in and their song, “Colours” did a mighty job of trying to fill that void.
If you haven’t heard the track yet, you’re a little behind and I apologize for not sharing it earlier. Check it out below…
Ever since I saw Young The Giant open for The Futureheads, I’ve had their album on repeat – in the car, at work, on my iPod… this is just a great young and talented group of guys. I’m still shocked that I had never seen them play around Los Angeles before this show considering the fact that they’re from Orange County. Formerly calling themselves The Jakes, Young The Giant is still keeping busy and I’m just glad that I was finally able to take in a bit of their live action.
Their self-titled debut album is full of songs that bounce off the walls in regards to indie rock. There is an obvious So-Cal tint to their tunes but it’s those sunshine-filled pop melodies that really help them out. They may have gotten Joe Chiccarell (White Stripes, The Shins, My Morning Jacket) to help them produce the record but what I have been holding on to as a fan is the chemistry I felt among the band members on stage that night.
Lead vocalist, Sameer Gadhia, is the epitome of every rock and roll frontman. He’s got the looks, the swagger, but most of all – he’s got the talent. However, even with a strong leader such as Gadhia, the group doesn’t back him up like little minions. They all somewhat geek out together (I love it when bass players just smile on stage during the entire set), and the live flow of their songs are flawless.
One of their more energetic songs is definitely “My Body,” but “I Got” really showcases those butter-smooth vocals from Gadhia. Check out the mp3 and take a look at a live performance of “I Got” below!
I could be talking about the hilarious video and cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” Robotanists recently did for Gorillacoustic.com since it’s Halloween and all, but I really have to pay tribute to one of their clips I’ve been meaning to share with every one for quite some time.
Right around the time I started Wild Tonic (almost a year ago, actually!), I posted a cover of Robotanists’ cover of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.” It’s not what you think and if you don’t already know that by now, then I just got sad about all the gorgeousness you’ve been missing out on. The hip hop anthem for NYC had been beautifully turned around into an ode to the City of Angels – something softer and more intimate just by keeping the melody but changing the words.
It’s gorgeous listen; lead vocalist Sarah does such a wonderful job of putting an elegant veil over the melody with her velvet-smooth voice and the mixing for the track is amazing. It’s a perfect translation for a place that is less hectic than The Big Apple. When you’re watching the waves crash on the beach or just walking down the streets of Silverlake, there’s a lot of time to relax and think about some things – because you can in such an environment.
The official video for their take on the song portrays exactly what I’m talking about. Watch it after the jump and grab my one of my favorite Robotanists songs, “Wait A Minute Here” below!
Chicago-based band, YAWN, has a very deceiving band name. These four guys who remind me a bit of a combination of Animal Collective and Local Natives bring us sounds that would do the opposite of whatever causes one to doze off. Although I’m not really a fan of labeling a group with the prefix, “Avant-,” I suppose these guys do a pretty good job at creating “avant-pop.”
If you listen to their EP or watch their video for “Kind of Guy,” you’ll notice the thick slab of psychedelia which heavily coats their music but unlike other psychedelic bands that bring you down into a hazy state of mind, YAWN’s music doesn’t unleash a mind-numbing wave but rather a series of tingling pin points. Their compositions of tribal rhythms and strong harmonies may remind you of a few of their influences (possibly two I’ve already mentioned), but it’s still all refreshing enough for me to stay intrigued.
Grab their track, “Kind of Guy” (and watch the trippy video for it as well) along with their song “Toys” below!
If you’re part of a musical duo, you’ve got to impress me fast. That may be quick judgment on my part but, hey, if you think the partnership you’ve got going on with your other band member is worth my time or anyone else’s, please make the effort to blow me away. I like a ton of duos. Unfortunately, there are also too many that lose the ability to stay in that good spot for me – where they prove that they are stronger than a solo musician and not weaker than a full band.
My Gold Mask, the team-up of Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo pulled on my heart strings back in August when I chose them for a BeatCrave Fav and they’re still tugging me along with each new track they put out. The greatest thing about this connection is that it hasn’t been painful at all. I’m happy to be slave to their raw and beautiful rock that is both grunge and romance. Sometimes love has a rough, naughty side and My Gold Mask has the talent to electrify everyone into thinking that with their songs.
“Violet Eyes” is a must-listen and probably their most-well known song but their track, “I Don’t Need The Reason” from their latest EP, A Million Miles (From Where We Last Were), digs a bit deeper with Gretta’s vocals dominating the heavy drums. Check both tracks out below and if you haven’t seen their cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” you can peep that here.
So, October has been an extremely light month in regards to posts. In fact, I’ve been so busy with covering shows for BeatCrave during October that you guys were lucky enough to get a mixtape and show calendar during the beginning of the month! Once again, I apologize and I plan on making it all up to you (for those of you who still care enough to come back) by posting music – new and old. I’m not one to think of other music blogs I admire as competitors by posting the newest stuff the fastest. As I’ve said before, if I’m still digging the music, I’ll still post it.
First up? Warpaint.
Gleefully clap or groan of exasperation. Once you go past the fact that these ladies are drop dead gorgeous, it’s not abnormal to get one of these reactions every time one mentions this band. There’s no doubt that they have been quite the hyped up band during the last two months, but I remember hearing them for the first time a couple of years ago when they were only three girls in the band. Josh Klinghoffer hadn’t left for Red Hot Chilli Peppers yet but Shannyn Sossaman was no longer in the group. This was also around the time they released their EP, Exquisite Corpse, (via Manimal Vinyl).
A lot of things have changed since then. Stella Mozgawa (from Australian band Andy Clockwise) has joined them as their official drummer making them a powerful all-female quartet again. Their sound has also dropped a bit of the drone elements which is what drew me to their experimental sound in the first place. Songs such as “Elephants” have been incredibly sped up with Stella’s drive, and tunes like “Undertow” – which is considerably lighter and brighter than any of their older songs (for example, “Billie Holiday”) – have shown up on their full-length The Fool (via Rough Trade).
The album was released in October much like this video for “Undertow” was. If you haven’t seen the warm, breezy, clip directed by bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg’s very own sister (Shannyn Sossamon), check it out below and grab the mp3 as well.
Oh, and as for gleefully clapping or groaning of exasperation in regards to this band? I have always been a fan and will continue to be a fan even though I do miss that dissonant yet charming quality of theirs from the earlier days. Also, for those of you who saw them play with The xx? I would take Warpaint over The xx any day. Hands down.
So, I know this show calendar is also extremely late just as the latest mixtape was but as I previously said – better late than never! It’s only the 6th of October and the shows this month already have me in a whirlwind of madness/happiness. I hope none of you have missed great shows such as Guided By Voices on Monday or Belle & Sebastian on Sunday or Tuesday. Those were two must-see shows and if you got to go – good for you!
However, the rest of the month just gets more hectic. I can definitely say that this is the most jam-packed month I have ever done in regards to show calendars since I started this site. There are a TON of big names coming through because of Fall tours but I’m sure we’re all happy to have them. Some great bands coming through include Arcade Fire, Frightened Rabbit, Superchunk, The Vaselines, Miike Snow, Sleigh Bells and so much more!
Of course, there are a ton of killer lineups featuring all the small and local bands as well. We can’t forget about those free residency shows on Monday. This month we’ve got multi-instrumentalist and pop mastermind Evan Voytas at The Echo all month. Silverlake Lounge also has killer female rock band, Wet & Reckless while Spaceland has the beloved Radars to the Sky. They’re all great bands and have some pretty fantastic bands supporting them this month, so make sure you take advantage of all this free music!
Also, the Culture Collide Festival (put on by Filter) has quite a few dates. Make sure you head on over to their website to check out the specific lineups and schedules.
Well, what are you waiting for? There aren’t any tricks during this Halloween season. Start planning your schedule with the treats after jump!
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