Posts Tagged ‘California’

Emily Brown is a Californian singer-songwriter and poet. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, her clear voice, and carefully crafted lyrics draw from personal experience and literature.

‘Unseen Girl’ possesses the type of chords and indie girl vocals that beat a path to our door on a daily basis. This time however it comes fitted with an urgency that suggests an artist up for the fight and in the process cuts a fine Sharon Van Etten dash. On this evidence Emily Brown could well be on her way, a soft edged juggernaut at full tilt where nobody but the bad guys get hurt. It grows and it blooms, if only falling in love with somebody was this easy. Emily Brown’s new album ‘Bee Eater’ is out at the end of August.

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Releases August 31st, 2018

All songs written and performed by Emily Brown 

Lindenfield: guitar, bass, upright bass, piano, Farfisa, drums, synths
Jaxon Williams: guitar
Aaron Hatch: clarinet
Stuart Wheeler: french horn, vocals
Alyssa Pyper, Mary Nielson, Anne Bennion: violin
Sophie Blair, Michele Gardiner: viola
Max Olivier, Paul Woodward: cello

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Third Eye

With a love of trash culture and a sound that encompasses hair metal, glam and power-pop, Redd Kross are among L.A. rock’s greatest unsung heroes. “Third Eye” was the band’s third album of original material and their first for a major label (Atlantic Records), and the 1990 collection captures the group near its peak.

Brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald and guitarist Robert Hecker serve up a wide variety of styles here, and though there’s a sense of humor at work on the soundtrack cuts (“1976”), J-pop tributes (“Shonen Knife”), sugary songs (“Bubblegum Factory”) and Alternative charters (“Annie’s Gone”) heard here, the trio backs it up with serious musical chops.

Packed with hooks and memorable melodies played with joyful abandon, Third Eye never blinks. The naked masked woman on the cover of the album is Sofia Coppola.

At the core of Death Valley Girls, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel channel a modern spin on Fun House’s sonic exorcisms, ZZ Top’s desert-blasted riffage, and Sabbath’s occult menace. On their third album Darkness Rains, Death Valley Girls churn out the hypercharged scuzzy rock every generation yearns for, but there is a more subversive force percolating beneath the surface that imbues the band with an exhilarating cosmic energy.

Death Valley Girls ‘Darkness Rains’ out October 5th, 2018

Beyond-beyond excited to present to you “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” from our new record, Darkness Rains, out October 5th on Suicide Squeeze Records. Video starring Iggy Pop and directed by Kansas Bowling,

The Kansas Bowling-directed clip is a direct homage to a scene in Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth’s 1982 film, 66 Scenes of America, in which Andy Warhol eats a hamburger. Iggy Pop of course puts his own spin on the simple activity, nodding along to Death Valley Girls’ infectious rocker and even taking a healthy, low-carb approach halfway through when he discards one of the buns.

“We’re strong believers in opti-mysticism and connecting with people through rock n’ roll,” Death Valley Girls said of the video. “Having Iggy dig our music was more than amazing for us. When [director] Kansas told us she had a dream about recreating the ‘Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger’ short film but with Iggy starring for our music video, we were cautiously excited about the possibility. Next thing we know we’re in Miami with Iggy himself, and a rock n’ roll dream became reality!”
Album opener “More Dead” is a rousing wake up call, with a hypnotic guitar riff and an intoxicating blown-out solo underscoring Bloomgarden’s proclamation that you’re “more dead than alive.” The pace builds with “(One Less Thing) Before I Die”, a distillate of Detroit’s proto-punk sound. At track three, Death Valley Girls hit their stride with “Disaster (Is What We’re After)”, a rager that takes the most boisterous moments off Exile On Main Street and injects it with Zeppelin’s devil’s-note blues. Darkness Rains retains its intoxicating convocations across ten tracks, climaxing with the hypnotic guitar drones and cult-like chants of “TV In Jail On Mars”.

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Releases October 5th, 2018

To make Certainty Waves, their seventh album as The Dodos, guitarist Meric Long and percussionist Logan Kroeber had to forget everything they knew about what it meant to be The Dodos.

Like the duo’s breakout sophomore album Visiter (which celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2018), Certainty Waves finds The Dodos embracing the unlimited possibilities of a time when there were no preconceptions of what the band should sound like. Questions like whether the band needed to be more than just “acoustic guitar and drums,” and just what exactly the ratio should be of acoustic vs. electric guitar suddenly took a backseat to the realization that so much emphasis was mistakenly being put on form rather than spirit.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this epiphany occurred while the band was re-learning Visiter for a show in which they were to perform the record in its entirety.

Recalls Long: “At the time that show happened, I was a little bit lost in terms of which direction the record should go. We had a handful of recordings, nuggets, and song potentials, but they weren’t songs yet, and months had passed without any real progress. I was kind of debating whether to drop the kitchen sink, simplify things, or just leave them be.”

But a funny thing happened when he sat down to listen to Visiter for the first time in eight years.

“It completely surprised me how much electric guitar is on that record,” reveals Long. “The narrative had always been we were just acoustic guitar and drums.” This ostensibly simple observation was pivotal in unlocking a new approach to the material Long and Kroeber would later put to tape in the studio.

“Rather than thinking about the end result or considering the reaction of the listener, I tried to give in to gut reactions, first impulses, however silly or untrue to form they may be,” says Long. “If it was exciting in any way, we pursued it without hesitancy or question.”

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What began to emerge from the band’s rehearsals was a quasi post-punk sound that Long immediately gravitated toward. It felt new and different, yet somehow still fundamentally “Dodos.” And so, Certainty Waves was born.

Speaking of the aforementioned spirit, album opener “Forum” has it in spades: a fanfare-esque synth intro, thumping drums, trumpet bursts and fist-pumping “Hey!”s — not to mention a guitar line that wouldn’t be out of place snaking its way through a Strokes album.

Later, “SW3” employs different tactics to achieve its own frantic vitality, intertwining acoustic guitar and clicking drumsticks in a beautifully syncopated rhythm.

They’re the kind of songs that might not have existed had The Dodos immediately started work on a new record after finishing their previous one (2015’s Individ), as they were usually inclined to do. Instead, Long — the band’s primary songwriter — stepped away from music for a time after the birth of his first child, before returning in May with the debut album from his synth-based solo project FAN.

“Making the FAN record [Barton’s Den] was a bit of a crash course in recording, but it really opened up a lot of new possibilities for me in how I thought about making records since there were no guidelines,” says Long. “It’s without question that Certainty Waves would be a completely different record, or perhaps would not have existed, had I not done Barton’s Den.”

Long eagerly applied this newfound sense of freedom to his approach to The Dodos, and subverting one’s own processes and identities quickly developed into a central theme during the creation of Certainty Waves. It’s also a sentiment reflected in the album’s title — the idea that what once seemed so certain will likely prove not to be in the future. That it was only a wave passing by.

“Certainty Waves is our midlife crisis record,” acknowledges Long. “Who we thought we were, how mistaken we were, how an interference in the trajectory can flip your understanding of what came before.”

Releases October 12th, 2018

New additions have been announced for DESERT DAZE 2018! Newly announced headliner, My Bloody Valentine joins the lineup along with legendary noise rock outfit, Shellac, complete with speaking engagement by Steve Albini. Another addition to the mix, composer and multi-instrumentalist Julia Holter will perform with an orchestra and string section. The inclusion of GUM, solo project of Jay Watson of Tame Impala, represents the first time the trifecta of Tame Impala/Pond/Gum have ever shared a bill. Rounding off the new additions are Escape-ism, the solo project of Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Chain and the Gang), and the transcendent ritual music of Yonatan Gat & The Eastern Medicine Singers.

DESERT DAZE 2018 features camping, boat rides and beach lounging at its newly greened and beautified Moreno Beach location, and of course previously announced performances by Tame ImpalaKing Gizzard & The Lizard WizardDeath GripsMercury Rev performing Deserter’s SongsWarpaintJarvis Cocker introducing JARV IS…,Ty Segall & White FenceEarth performing The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s SkullUncle Acid & The DeadbeatsChelsea Wolfe and many more. Installation art, films, talks, projections, workshops, Mystic Bazaar, and late night programming still to come.

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Pkwy is a garage-y indie rock band from Los Angeles whose first single “Come on Baby, Let’s Go” was featured in many a music blog. This week they dropped a brand new track called “Punisher” and announced the upcoming release of their debut EP Giant.

Whereas “Come on Baby, Let’s Go” was a sparse, minimal indie slow-jam, “Punisher” is uptempo and features lush, shreddy guitar power chords and pummeling percussion. The song opens slowly and slithers along as the instrumentation snowballs and eventually crescendos into a huge, thrashy ending climax. It’s a cathartic garage-rock song with lyrics full of vibrant imagery and heavy on the matter-of-fact slacker vibes: “Slackers are acting tough/ Born in Los Angeles/ Light up a Camel Crush just for fun/ Just for fun…” Overall, it’s an impressive sonic leap forward for pkwy, and a perfect single for those low-stakes summer hang-out vibes.

The band hasn’t yet announced an official release date for Giant yet, but recently indicated that it’s coming out “soon.” .

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Released July 20th, 2018

Alice Bag’s Blueprint album is a lesson in archetypes. In the 1970s, the Chicana L.A. punk pioneer of The Bags proclaimed herself a “Violence Girl”: a woman who, like certain chrome alloys, becomes only more unbreakable when tempered with fire. On Blueprint, Bag paints complex portraits of nameless (brown by default) individuals with characteristic pith and violence-girl riffs. On “Invisible,” a man who drinks too much holds himself together for his daughter and craves invisibility, a state many immigrants inhabit to survive, only to remain invisible to the American public eye. On “The Sparkling Path,” Bag alludes to escape by suicide, urging a message of survival beyond the kind of Maslow-diagnosed magical thinking for the oppressed who seek fulfillment beyond a lack of food, water and, most pressing of all, shelter. And on “77,” she enlists the help of Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) and Alison Wolfe (Bratmobile) to inhabit the working women of 9 to 5 and tie up their male boss.

In other songs, Bag is herself again, defending her blue hair against chismosas on “Se Cree Joven” or delivering the starkest gut punch against self-loathing in “Etched Deep”: “All that rubbing at the pages / Won’t make them white,” she says to us and to our history. There’s no performative Twitter-shock at the plight of brown people on this album. There’s only the solemn self-vindication of a woman too long kept in the dark by ostensibly radical punk. “White justice,” after all, “just isn’t just.” 

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Righteous, angry, punky, inspiring songs that evidence both vitality and deep wisdom & experience. Protest music in the best possible sense.

With Joy, Ty Segall & White Fence’s new collaborative set of songs accelerate wildly from where we last found them, sharing one debaucherous mind. Their hits are like mementos buried in the ground, crawling up from the earth with attractive deformity – an auditory return to Salem’s Lot with fresh, mutated sounds bubbling from beneath the surface!
The new album drops July 20th and whatta Joy it is! Patience is a virtue, good things come to those who wait blah, blah, blah— all that’s totally overrated, and it’s why the Presley/Segall hive-mind is dropping “Body Behavior” today, no waiting required! “Body Behavior” absolutely rips, a shock-and-aaahh-hell-yeah clocking in at just over two minutes! It’s damn catchy, some of the purest post-punk-pop imaginable that only two of the most prolific living musicians can offer! Activating the undeniable chemistry you’ve come to love from Ty and Tim, “Body Behavior” roughs up the edges with jagged results that hurt Too good – but we know you can handle it!

Listen to “Body Behavior” now and hang on for the release of Joy, coming July 20th

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A couple months ago, LA psych rock marauders Frankie and the Witch Fingers released “Tea,” the thrashy b-side to a brand new 7″ that drops this Friday. Now they’ve released the record’s other single “Drip” as well as its freaky, claymation-infused music video.

“Drip” begins with up-tempo, stabbing guitar riffs that build into a sonic explosion of punk-infused garage rock. In addition, the track features a brief but powerful midpoint breakdown of piercing lo-fi noise, before charging along into wonky, heady psych soundscapes. The Josh Bruce-directed video doubles down on the song’s wackiness, plunging us headfirst into a trippy fantasy world of stop-motion clay monsters, kaleidoscopic Star Trek backdrops, and shape-shifting castles. Also, snakes, witches, ghouls and even weed-smoking goblins pop up in this clip that blends zany animation with gothic imagery. Overall, it’s a perfect combination of Frankie vibes.

Frankie and the Witch Fingers are about to embark on a massive European tour, followed by a few U.S. dates, which you can view below. The Drip/Tea 7″ came out on May 18th via Let’s Pretend Records. However, there’s only 300 total copies, so be sure shop it quickly, watch the mind-melting video for “Drip”

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The Band

Guitar + Vox + Tambo: Dylan Sizemore // Guitar + Vox: Josh Menashe // Bass: Alex Bulli // Drums: Glenn Brigman // Cackles + Screams: Alexandra James, Zachary James, Alex Bulli, Josh Menashe, Dylan Sizmore

Valley Queen have been described as Neil Young meets Florence Welch. That’s fairly apt description as lead singer Natalie Carol has a powerful and beguiling voice. But as I’ve always said, having a great voice is one thing; lots of people have great voices. But give me a great writing and a ripping band as well, and then you’ll have my attention.

And that’s what we have here now. “Supergiant” came together as the band fractured at a point with two members being replaced. As the band grew, Carol attempted to persuade bassist Shawn Morones and drummer Gerry Doot to join her and Neil Wogensen to record the album. She wanted that chemistry back and while Morones came back, Mike DeLuccia grabbed the seat behind the kit.

Mission was accomplished. This album is where the whole is greater that the sum of its parts. Everybody knows their role and the band weaves Carol’s Americana-inspired vocals with some crunching, fuzzy indie influences. The band is constantly setting Carol up and her voice is almost chameleon-like throughout; always hitting the right note. She’s got a bit of Neko in her in that regard. The title track, Chasing The Muse and and the closing track Highway Pearls are among the highlights.

I was a fan of their EP but they have really upped their game here.

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Band Members
Natalie Carol – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Mike DeLuccia – Drums