Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Heaven is Humming has been a long time coming. Three years coming, to be exact: singer/guitarist/songwriter Kenny Becker, singer/guitarist Drew Eccleston, bassist Caleb Wicker, and drummer Christian Koons started work on the album in the summer of 2016, right around the time Goon’s debut EP Dusk of Punk came ripping in from the Los Angeles sky, spilling from the brim with monster riffs and deep hooks.

Heaven is Humming is fearlessly weird, but it’s also comforting and familiar at the same time, taking the sounds of foundational groups like Pixies and Boards of Canada and contextualising them through a modern lens, placing Goon alongside contemporaries like Forth Wanderers, METZ, Young Jesus, and Partisan label-mates Dilly Dally. Becker croons like Michael Stipe one minute and snarls like Frank Black the next, but you never lose the sense of who these four guys are making a beautiful racket right in the here and now.

releases July 19th, 2019
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Expanded version of seminal debut from cult band, includes unheard extras and a bonus 7” by 15 Minutes.

• a reissue of “Days of Wine & Roses” endorsed by the entire band!
• a vinyl reissue of their original 4 song 12-inch EP (long out of print)
• exact facsimile replica of Steve Wynn’s rare “15 Minutes” 7-inch single

Plus: new interviews with Kendra Smith, producer Chris D., & Paul B. Cutler (who recorded the “Down There” EP), ephemera from the Dennis Duck archives – Lovingly curated by Dream Syndicate archivist Pat Thomas.

An exceptional early ‘80s guitar-powered gem, remastered in full and includes the band’s debut indie EP and both tracks from main protagonist Steve Wynn’s earlier combo 15 Minutes.

With few exceptions, the bands that rose from L.A.’s Paisley Underground scene in the ’80s had only one real thing in common — all of them were obsessed with the rock & roll touchstones of the mid- to late ’60s, whether it was psychedelia (the Rain Parade), country rock (the Long Ryders), or AM pop (the Bangles). But while most of these bands looked to the sunny side of ’60s rock, the Dream Syndicate were the Paisley Underground’s juvenile delinquents, smart but cynical and happy to spread bad vibes for the hell of it.

Nearly all of the Paisley bands were audibly Californian, but while they hailed from Davis, Californiathe Dream Syndicate’s key influences were significantly from the East Coast: the Velvet Underground (particularly White Light/White Heat), and mid-’60s Bob Dylan (think Highway 61 Revisited). At the core of their sound was the bracing thrust and parry between Karl Precoda’s lead guitar, noisy and elemental but inspired in its wanderlust, and the sharp report of Steve Wynn’s rhythm guitar, yielding a tougher and more abrasive sound than their peers. Consequently, the Dream Syndicate’s debut album, 1982’s The Days of Wine and Roses, is arguably the finest LP to come out of the Paisley Underground’s salad days, and ultimately atypical of the movement, a blast of beautiful but ominous rock & roll chaos whose speedy guitar-based attack was held in place by the intelligent minimalism of bassist Kendra Smith and drummer Dennis Duck. While the Dream Syndicate’s influences were obvious (the initial vinyl pressing of The Days of Wine and Roses included the helpful run-off groove message “Pre-Motorcyle Accident”), the way they manifested themselves were not; the skronky impact of the guitars recalled the Velvets, but Precoda’s billows of noise had a personality all their own, and though Wynn’s vocal delivery had the bite of both vintage Dylan and Lou Reed, his lyrical voice was his own, offhand but deeply personal at the same time. And Chris D.’s no-frills production captured the Dream Syndicate gloriously, and the greatest pleasure of The Days of Wine and Roses is how well this band plays together, like a miraculously contained explosion that seemed to be going a dozen places at once but confidently and fearlessly rolls forward, and the expressive jams on “Then She Remembers,” “Until Lately,” and the title cut are outstanding. The Dream Syndicate would be a very different band when they cut Medicine Show two years later, but while they would remain an interesting band to the end, The Days of Wine and Roses captures them at their peak, and it’s essential listening for noise guitar fiends and anyone interested in ’80s alternative rock.

The Days Of Wine And Roses’ is as timelessly potent as the records that inspired it.” Uncut
Central to the hugely influential Paisley Underground scene of the early 1980s that spawned Green On Red, The Bangles, Long Ryders and Rain Parade. 

“Arguably the finest LP to come out of the Paisley Underground’s salad days.” AllMusic

With a nod to the Velvet Underground, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Dylan, packed into an incendiary slow-burn punk fuse, ‘The Days Of Wine And Roses’ is a glorious, upbeat sprawl, everything that rock ‘n’ roll should be.

The 7th studio album from The Dollyrots, The Dollyrots are a female-fronted rock n’ roll band from California. Titled Daydream Explosion, the upcoming album follows the huge success of their breakout album, 2017’s Whiplash Splash, and will be released in July this year.

Well known for being a very successful DIY band, the release of Daydream Explosion is the first time THE DOLLYROTS have worked with a label since their days working with Joan Jett‘s Blackheart Records in the mid-late 00’s. The album has also turned out to be one that was particularly inspired by some tough times in the band’s home life, as their vocalist and bassist Kelly says, “it threw us for a loop in December when my dad passed away [of complications from heart disease and a type of dementia]. We had just a handful of songs written. But we managed to keep our kids happy through the holidays, and then every night we’d go into our studio and write. Somehow we wrote the best group of songs of our career in those few weeks.”

Alongside the announcement of the new album, the band have launched a new music video for the first song taken from the upcoming record; titled Everything.

releases July 12th, 2019

Performed by The Dollyrots (Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas)

 

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Ty Segall presents a new single “Radio,” from his forthcoming album, “First Taste”, due August 2nd! Just in time for the July 4th festivities (such as they are), “Radio” should satisfy all our barely-subsumed bloodlust and immutable desire to rule while also providing a majestically boomboxable anthem to revel along with at the cookout.

“Radio” sizzles with koto by Segall, saxophone and piano by Mikal Cronin, bass by Emmett Kelly, percussion and drums by Segall and Charles Moothart, and back up vocals by Shannon Lay.

“‘Radio’ is a science non-fiction song,” says Segall. “We live in a Cronenberg film. It has Videodrome saxoheadphones. I am a slave to the new radio and so are you.”

First Taste is an introspective set for Ty Segall after the extroversions of 2018’s Freedom’s Goblin, yet just as steeped in hard beats. These twelve songs form a tightly revolving cycle of song and sound. Throughout, Segall reflects on family, re-encountering pasts, anticipating futures, and hits on oneness, self-esteem and the parents, while reaching outward, feeling for a shared pulse in the world around him.

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Segall will play First Taste in full, alongside select albums from his expansive catalogue, in LA, New York, and select European cities with residencies starting this month and going through the end of the year.

A first taste of Ty? Hardly, but First Taste erects extreme new sonic skylines for Segall to soar over. His natural state of urgency is paired with a thirsty contemplative vibe as Ty examines both sides now, twisting some of his best songs and production wack into hard left turns both sweet and hot.
Releases August 2nd, 2019

Melina Duterte aka Jay Som, photo by <a href="https://www.lindseybyrnes.com/">Lindsey Byrnes</a>

Melina Duterte, the artist better known as Jay Som, has announced a new record called Anak Ko (“my child” in Tagalog). The follow-up to 2017’s Everybody Works is out August 23rd (via Polyvinyl Records). she’s shared the record’s first single “Superbike.” It arrives with a video that features a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Anak Ko.

Melina Duterte recorded, produced, engineered, and mixed Anak Ko at her Los Angeles home. It includes contributions from Vagabon, Justus Proffit, Chastity Belt’s Annie Truscott, and Boy Scout’s Taylor Vick, as well as her Jay Som bandmates Zachary Elasser, Oliver Pinnell, and Dylan Allard. According to a press release, the title was inspired by a text message from her mother, who often tells her, “Hi anak ko, I love you anak ko.”

“Superbike” hops and skips across the shoegaze spectrum, starting out jangly and pretty before winding up in a gauzy drone. The result is intoxicating, with all eyes on upcoming album  Anak Ko.

“Superbike” is taken from Jay Som’s new album, Anak Ko, out August 23rd, 2019.

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We discovered the Frankie and The Witch Fingers at the Psych Fest in 2018 and they blew our brains out. They recently toured and left a good feeling with the presentation of their latest album ” ZAM “, a one-hour cucumber that combines many influences ranging from King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard to Psychedelic Porn Crumpets , but with that Californian drop of a first-timer Ty Segall or the always effective Thee Oh Sees .

The quartet formed by Dylan Sizemore (voice and guitar), Shaughnessy Starr (drums), Josh Menashe (guitar) and Alex Bulli (bass) combine all this and more, wrapping your skull with songs that drag you to an ambiguous feeling of psychodelia and intergalactic dance in equal parts. Their band recently released their fifth album..

The main attraction of Frankie and the Witch Fingers is their explosive performance. With their rowdy and visceral approach to live shows, each member brings their own devilry to induce an experience of bacchanal proportions.

Using absurd lyrical imagery—soaked in hallucination, paranoia, and lust—the band’s M.O. strikes into dark yet playful territory. This sense of radical duality is astir at every turn, in every time signature change. Airy vocal harmonies over heavily serrated riffs. Low-key shamanic roots under vivid high-strangeness. Rambling stretches and punctuated licks. Cutting heads and kissing lips. All this revealing a stereophonic schizophrenia that has flowed throughout their body of work: an ebb & flow of flowery-poppy horror. The band’s latest incarnation is primed to break new sonic ground, edging into the funky and preternatural. Just when you think the trip couldn’t get any weirder, Frankie and the Witch Fingers cranks up the dial, shatters the mundane, and
summons new visions.

Band Members:
Dylan Sizemore – Vox/Guitar
Shaughnessy Starr – Drums
Josh Menashe – Guitar/FX
Alex Bulli – Bass

“ZAM” is out now via NYC’s Greenway Records

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Well it’s that struggle I have with music. I write so much stuff and then end up leaving things off albums for one reason or another. The problem is a lot of these songs just didn’t fit for one reason or another. Or they did fit like “Keys To The Kingdom” and I ran out of money to mix it right. Still a lot of beautiful moments on here hence “Lost Gems”. Anyways I added as much as the original artwork ideas as I could along with some photos from the Skull Worship tour in Europe. This one is a little expensive because some of these tracks are just wav. files rough mixes and little too lo fi for my taste. To go back in time and mix these songs properly would cost a lot of studio time. I’m down of course but mixing can cost anywhere from 150-300 on up to mix 1 song a day and do it properly. You do the math its gets expensive quick esp. whenever everyone expects everything for free! Support the cause and pay it forward! If i can get these tracks up to snuff I’ll look into putting them out properly. The next generation (might) thank you! Kidding! No but seriously thanks for reading and take care.
Lots of love xoxo Bobby Hecksher restless spirit and leader of The Warlocks rock and roll band.
released June 25th, 2019

California band SadGirl is rooted, but not anchored in the past and by mixing surf, soul, 50s doo-wop and Beach Boys pop into a perfect concoction of their own, their debut full-length,  ‘Water‘ is 10 tracks of lo-fi beauty. Even though ‘Water‘ is their debut, they’ve been around a while releasing singles and EPs since around 2014. It’s been a long wait for those of us along for the ride, but man is it worth it.

On ‘Water‘ SadGirl has surrendered the hard surf a little but in turn, amped up the Muscle Shoals-inspired soul which makes ‘Water’ a quieter record than expected. Although the rock out of early singles like ‘Motorbreath‘ or the out and out garage rock of ‘Penelope’s Leg‘, are noticeably absent, but after a few listens to ‘Water‘ you realize that it just sounds like a band that has zeroed in on what they want to be.

There are a couple of familiar songs for any longtime fans; ‘Breakfast For 2‘ and the favorite ‘Little Queenie‘ both slow-dancing gems, made the cut and there’s more of that scattered throughout. The southern soul of opener  ‘The Ocean’ with its shimmering Hawaiian-style guitar is stunning and the nostalgic sounding stroll of Chlorine’ are standout tracks. ‘Hazelnut Coffee’ is one of three instrumentals along with ‘Muholland‘ and ‘Avalon’, and all three are slower and less rocking that ‘Motorbreath‘ but in the end it all works here. You can almost taste the salty California ocean air and feel the breeze on a song like ‘Avalon‘.

The album ends with the Lennonesque title track complete with its rolling waves on the fade out. “It’s about realizing your own mortality and changing nature,” guitarist and vocalist Misha Lindes says. “It’s meant to be melancholy but still beautiful in its realization.”

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Ultimately ‘Water‘ is a perfectly timed slow burn with its dreamy, easy-going vibe. It is sure to be the feel-good hit of the summer and maybe of the whole year. And lord knows we need a little more of that at the moment.

Released June 14th, 2019

Image result for PINKY PINKY - " Turkey Dinner "

Pinky Pinky have good gut instincts. During an era of limitless distractions,societal pressures and sonic trends, the three best friends are focused on being happy and blissfully on the outside of all that noise. The trio grew up together in Los Angeles and there’s a shared understanding of what makes them all tick. Together with her punk cohorts Anastasia Sanchez (vocalist/ drummer, 20), guitarist Isabelle Fields (19), and bassist Eva Chambers (19) have a clear understanding that Pinky Pinky’s modus operandi is in not overthinking their decisions. You can hear that on their debut album, ‘Turkey Dinner’ due on Innovative Leisure. It follows their two prior EPs, most recently 2018’s ‘Hot Tears’. Their first full-length, however, is even freer than their previous efforts. It’s a patchwork quilt of garage rock and oddball indie. It’s rooted in classic bass, drums, guitar, but it’s bolstered by the perspectives of a trio of LA youths writing about their everyday observations, anxieties and passions.

For instance, “My Friend Sean” is a young fantasy about the dreamiest boy in class, “Mystery Sedan” is an LA story about a car being the only thing there in times of distress, “Lady Dancer” is about a stripper at a bikini bar in Los Feliz. When lead lyricist Sanchez met Chambers in the girls’ locker room in High School they knew that they’d be in a band together (Chambers and Fields had already met in Middle School). All three of them had always dabbled in bands. Originally born in New York but moving to LA during childhood, Chambers began life in a band with her three older sisters, playing keys. She picked up a bass at the age of 13 after their endeavors had died a death. Fields, on the other hand, trained as a violinist but rebelled and taught herself guitar from the age of 12, while rearing herself on the Sex Pistols and riot grrrl bands.

Sanchez’s father put sticks in her hands as a little girl. She was a prodigy in classical violin but also wanted to get back to the sheer pleasure of playing and so canned the anxiety-ridden music studies for her DIY drumming. She became a singer by necessity for Pinky Pinky, referring back to her love of Fiona Apple and even Heart for vocal chops. PinkyPinky itself had a few iterations before settling on its three core members. “We were really trying to be punk at first then psychedelic then blues,” recalls Fields. “Finally we got to a point where we knew we didn’t need to focus on just one thing. Growing up you think you only should listen to one type of music but we got to a certain age and realized we don’t need to do that.” 

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During their High School years they flew beneath the radar. “Nobody cared I was in a band,” says Field. Their first gig was at the MOCA museum in Downtown. To date it’s the most nervous they’ve ever been. “I’d still be scared to do that,” laughs Sanchez, admitting to almost having a full-on panic attack due to the swathes of cool teenagers that turned up to watch them. Only recently have they hired a booking agent after already building a solid reputation on the LA scene hustling by themselves. When they played Dave Grohl’s inaugural CalJam festival in 2017 they didn’t even have a manager. “I got a call from someone who works with Dave Grohl: ‘Dave really likes your band’,” recalls Sanchez. “And I was laughing like, ‘Weird? But cool?! It was a little
surreal’.”

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“It took a long time for our EPs to come out,” explains Chambers. “And by the time they did we’d grown a lot.” Indeed, by the time this album arrives it’ll be the most accurate representation of where Pinky Pinky is currently at live onstage and off it. They aimed to make a live-sounding record that didn’t feel too shiny in its production. As a result, ‘Turkey Dinner’ is unpretentious, raw and unpredictably zany.

released June 14th, 2019

Geographer (Photo by Brittany O'Brien)

The music of Mike Deni — aka Geographer has always been more about emotional terrain than places on a map, but on his new EP “New Jersey,” the two are intertwined.

The new seven-song collection, Geographer’s fourth EP to go along with three full-lengths, is the first music Deni has released since relocating to Los Angeles, but it is not a West Coast album. Far from it. “New Jersey” is a meticulously layered and redolently orchestrated paean to the home state he left 12 years ago. In a way, it’s his origin story and as immersions in the past go, it’s quite possibly the least mawkish exercise in nostalgia ever.

Deni founded Geographer in 2007 in San Francisco, where he moved after the unexpected and tragic deaths of his sister, and then his father. The EP, written in a six-month span in 2018 during a bout of wanderlust, finds him opening the baggage he left in the Garden State. Old dreams, old disappointments, old crushes: All become iridescent anthems backed by Geographer’s characteristic blend of electronic and analog instrumentation.

“Summer of My Discontentment” imagines a brooding youngster, the ache unaffected by time. On “Hideout (Sparrow),” Deni shows he is a wordsmith as well as master arranger: “Listen to the ocean / tell you why it’s there / Turn it into words that / maybe can make them care.” And the closer is perhaps the songwriter’s version of “You Can’t Go Home Again” — a 3 1/2-minute blast of synth and falsetto that reaches M83 heights before receding into a bouquet of strings.

“New Jersey” is out on Friday.