Monday, December 21, 2009

Tomorrow: Local Natives, Voxhaul Broadcast, and Chief at the Echo


Bottom line: Last chance to see Local Natives in the U.S. until at least the middle of March. $5 if you buy from Ticketweb (although that option has just disappeared), $10 at the door, or free when you buy LN's vinyl single at Origami ($4).

Possible bottom line: Last chance to see Local Natives in a small venue in LA? 1) It looks like this show is on the verge of selling out. 2) Their album will be released in the U.S. in February, before they're back from Europe. A couple favorable reviews and they'll be playing the Echoplex or El Rey instead of the Echo or Spaceland.

Voxhaul Broadcast and Chief open it up. Bring a can of food and you get a free gift from the band.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Editor's Note: "From the CER Vault" Series

2009 is on its way out, and what better time than the end of the year to finish up a bunch of CER posts that were started during the year but that never got to the point of being ready for release.

So, expect to see a handful of "From the CER Vault" posts over the next couple weeks, mostly consisting of show reviews. The shows may have happened months ago, but I'll make sure the reviews have some redeeming value anyway.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Local Natives Finally Sign a Record Deal in the U.S.

The circle is now complete: Frenchkiss Records for the U.S. (side note: Frenchkiss also recently signed the excellent Freelance Whales -- LN/FW tour in 2010?), Infectious Records for the rest of the world, and Universal Music Publishing for those lucrative publishing rights. Gorilla Manor, Local Natives' debut album, which was released on November 2 in the U.K. (and I'm sure is all over the internet), will be released on February 16 in the U.S.

My initial thoughts about the three month gap between a U.S. and Worldwide release date for Gorilla Manor was that this was clearly stupid. I have a hard time believing there was a shortage U.S. labels that wanted to sign the band and release their album like they wanted to in the fall.

But when I think about it more, I really like the idea of spacing it out. First, the album was completely self-financed by the band, which means that LN is not thousands of dollars in debt to a label. This definitely takes the pressure off record sales (also helped by not signing to a major label), and I'm sure the band knows that their meal ticket is their phenomenal live shows, not some eternally fixed translation of their songs onto a record. (Taylor is quoted in Pop & Hiss saying “We’re proud of our album, but we’re at our best when we’re live.”)

Second, spacing out the releases allows Local Natives spend months solely focusing on Europe, since it's the only place they have label support and the only place where their album is available. And LN is taking advantage of the opportunity. They've already done two tours in the UK and will be spending two months there early next year. With the band being in Europe, and the album exclusively on Infectious Records, Infectious has a tremendous incentive to support the band.

Then, with momentum coming from the UK, Local Natives can continue making waves in the U.S., where they're almost surely destined for success (and just a pesky Pitchfork review away from 2010 domination). The momentum and potential will encourage Frenchkiss to put their full support behind the band.

Who knows how much of this was planned. Nonetheless, Local Natives and their team have assembled a very smart group of business partners:
  • Two indie labels on the recording side, which secures indie cred and frees up more money for them (2 is more than 1). Splitting up their label commitments geographically allows each label to focus on the territories they know, and should allow more efficient use of their resources.
  • Universal Music Publishing Group for that always needed advance money, not to mention the clout of the world's largest music publishing company in the only way bands make money now besides touring: placements in TV and advertising.
So, in all, kudos to the band, its management (Phil Costello of Red Light Management -- Red Light also manages to Dave Matthews, The Jakes, and a ton of others) and most importantly (in my eyes) their attorney, Richard Grabel, who's known to be one of the best indie lawyers around, if not the best.

For CER, LN's signing comes during a time of reflection on the past year and thoughts about what the next year will bring. The first time I ventured to the east side for a show was to see Local Natives for the first time almost one year ago, on December 8 at the Silverlake Lounge. Since then I've had the privilege to see them 9 additional times, and set #11 will be at the Echo on December 22. That's a lot, I know, but every time I'd go to a LN show thinking this would be the last time before taking a break, I came away from their sets always wanting more. Their explosion in 2009 has been deserving and remarkable and I see no limits for them in 2010.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What 2 Go 2 Special Alert: Casxio at Crazy Girls on Wednesday


I thought this was a joke when I first saw it on Casxio's myspace page last month, but when you think about it, who else but Casxio would or should play at a strip club in Hollywood.

Now it's official. It's real and I'm sure it will be spectacular.

We are playing a show at Crazy Girls in Hollywood Dec 9th. Be sure to bring protection.


Dec 9
- Hollywood
Crazy Girls - Hell Yeah! Party
w/ Iglu & Hartly and The Dance Party
1433 N La Brea Ave
Doors @ 8:30 / $5
This show is not yet rated.

Click Here
to RSVP on Facebook



By the way, will someone please pair Casxio and Tigercity for a tour? Call it the Falsettos Forever Tour. This needs to happen in 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Video Encounter: Kittens Ablaze "This Machine is Dying"


Kittens Ablaze's set at SXSW was one of the Top 5 I witnessed. That's saying something, considering I saw bands play for 6-8 hours a day for four straight days. One of the highlights of KA's set: Michelle, the cellist, smashing her instrument at the end of the second to last song. Completely unexpected; I didn't even realize what she was doing for a couple seconds. And then she whipped out another cello for the final tune. Here's video of some of the smashing. Unfortunately it misses the first swing, which hit one of her band mates in the arm.



My immediate thoughts during and after their set was "this is Ra Ra Riot with balls." It's not the most apt description, but it gets the point across.

Anyway, the Brooklyn-based band just released a video for "This Machine is Dying." One thing to note is that their drummer is the lead vocalist. This explains some of the live shots, which feature vocals without anyone appearing to sing them.




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Video Encounter: Happy Hollows "We Will Find You" (Acoustic)


The Happy Hollows play every Monday night this month for free at Spaceland. Don't miss it. Here's an acoustic performance recorded when they were in New York for CMJ last month.


Watch the full concert at baeblemusic.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

LA Band to Watch: Letting Up Despite Great Faults


My only problem with Letting Up Despite Great Faults' first album? It's too short. Seven tracks is not enough. That all changes with their second (and self-titled) album, released earlier this month, which grants us access to an additional nine tracks. I haven't gotten a chance to listen to the entire album it since it's not on Rhapsody, but what I've heard does not disappoint.

LUDGF includes Rachel of the recently departed Automatic Drawing. It's shoegazy-indiepop (credit to Pitchfork for that description) with electronic undertones thrown in for good measure. Think The Postal Service, but a bit more subdued.

Take a listen on their myspace page, which includes 5 songs from the new album. Note: if you scroll down to the bottom of their MySpace player you're treated to their remix of Passion Pit's "Little Secrets."

LUDGF's next LA date, and their only LA date currently scheduled, is November 21 at Mr. T's Bowl. Should make a nice pre-Thanksgiving treat.

Update: What I call LUDGF's "first album" is characterized by others as an EP. At 7 songs it seems long for an EP, but nonetheless, their just-released album is, officially, their self-titled debut LP.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guilty Pleasure: Cash Cash

Ah, another edition of CER's Guilty Pleasure, our irregular mention of an electro-pop band that is so infectious, poppy, and directed towards teenagers that I feel guilty listening to it as much as I do. This time it's Cash Cash, which I'd describe as a hybrid of The Cab and Hellogoodbye. Just looking at their hairstyles makes me hate myself. Still, I couldn't stop myself from buying tickets to their December 9 show at the Roxy. Sure, it will be full of 16 year olds, but I can't think it's going to be anything other than one hell of a fun time.

Go ahead, try listening to this song more than once.

Cash Cash - Party In Your Bedroom music video from cash cash on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CER Favorites at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon


Want to check out three of LA's finest as they descend on New York for this week's CMJ Music Marathon? I've got everything you need to know right here.

This year Casxio, Local Natives, and The Happy Hollows will be playing all over the city. Here's their schedules, listed by date. (There's also a little cheat sheet, listed by band, at the bottom.)

Tuesday October 20

Casxio: Piano's (158 Ludlow St.) for The Music Slut CMJ Party. Casxio is on at 6pm. Great lineup. Other bands you should check out at this party are The Love Language, Fanfarlo, Sean Bones and Calypso.



The Happy Hollows have their CMJ showcase at 11:30pm at the Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave.)

Wendesday October 21

Casxio is at Southpaw in Brooklyn (125 5th Ave.) for one of their two official showcases. They go on at 9:15pm.

The Happy Hollows are at Coco 66 in Brooklyn (66 Greenpoint Ave.) at around 10pm.

Thursday October 22

Aquarium Drunkard & Intelligent Noise party at Fontana's (105 Eldridge St.). This is the daytime party to attend at CMJ: Happy Hollows (3:30pm), Local Natives (3pm), Roadside Graves, and The Love Language are all performing.


Casxio will be at The Canal Room (285 West Broadway) for the ASCAP showcase. 9:15pm set time once again.

Local Natives: In typical fashion, LN plays a second show on the same day, this time their CMJ showcase at The Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston) at midnight. Hockey plays right before them at 11 and Sean Bones follows them at 1am. Complete details.

Friday October 23

Casxio is at Norwood (241 W. 14th St.) for The:Hours Records Meet & Greet party. Time TBA.

Local Natives once again play two shows in one day:
  • First they're at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette) at 8pm.
  • Then they're at BrooklynVegan's party at a Williamsburg loft in a secret location at 11:55pm. To RSVP and get on the list (which does not guarantee admission) you have to email loft.rsvp@gmail.com with your name. Here's more details on that show.
Saturday October 24

Local Natives again play two events in one day.
  • First, they're at the Brooklyn Vegan party at 2pm at Piano's (158 Ludlow St.) (Note: I'm a bit skeptical about this in light of the BV loft show they're playing the night before)
  • Then, they're at Delancy (168 Delancy) for the Deli Magazine showcase at 4:15pm.
List by Band

Local Natives
  • Thursday October 22: 1) Fontana's at 3pm, 2) Mercury Lounge at midnight
  • Friday October 23: 1) Santos Party House at 8pm, 2) Williamsburg loft at 11:55pm
  • Saturday October 24: 1) Piano's at 2pm, 2) Delancy at 4pm
Casxio
  • Tuesday October 20: Piano's at 6pm
  • Wednesday October 21: Southpaw at 9:15pm
  • Thursday October 22: Canal Room at 9:15pm
  • Friday October 23: Norwood. Time TBA.
Happy Hollows
  • Tuesday October 20: Lit Lounge at 11:30pm
  • Wednesday October 21: Coco 66 at around 10pm

Wish I could be in New York this week. Have fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Video Encounter: Casxio's "Seventeen"

CER Favorites Casxio have a new video, this time for their fan favorite "Seventeen." Featuring Lucas in drag and lots of neon. Check it out:



And mark your calendars: Casxio's "Seventeen" EP release party is Sunday night at Cinespace. It's their last show before they head over to New York for this year's CMJ Music Marathon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nico Stai Video Shoot: Your Plans This Friday


Nico Stai is/are shooting a video for "Dead Pony" on Friday at Ghettogloss Gallery (6109 Melrose). This is unquestionably worth your time (and it's free). Nico Stai is a rarity: a fully formed, mature band with great stage presence and a 110% bonafide rock star as their frontman. They were so good at the Eagle Rock Music Festival. I don't understand how they aren't more popular.

As you can see from the flyer, here are the details:

8:30: Drinks and music begin ($3 drinks and $1 beers)
9:00: Video shoot
10:00: Live set by the full band

CER Out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, Far @ Knitting Factory Hollywood (10/10/2009)


It's almost mind-boggling to think about Thursday as a live act. I've been seeing Thursday at least once a year since 2001, and often two or three times a year. And no matter when or where I've seen them they always leave it all out on the stage, each and every time. Whether it's inside or outside, in New York, New Jersey, or LA, at high noon or late at night, playing in front of 200 or 2,000, or playing a 30 minute Warped Tour set or an almost two hour set at their holiday shows at the Starland Ballroom in Jersey, it doesn't matter: they put all their energy into their show each and every time. I just can't understand how a band can do that day after day for so many years. And the crowds are always excited and love every second of it. I've never been to a Thursday show and walked away disappointed. Never. They are simply the best live act I know. It never gets old and I don't think it ever will.

On this night things were no different, although the Knit was one of the smaller venues Thursday has played recently. The band performed War all the Time front to back, and then came out for a four song encore which included "Autobiography of a Nation" and ended with "Jet Black New Year."

Thank you, Thursday, for making an old guy from Jersey feel like he's 20 and back home again, at least for one night.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Tentative But Unrealistic Eagle Rock Music Festival Schedule

First, it's not physically possible to be at all of these sets, and second, nothing's going to run on time. But if I had a teleporter or if the stages are a lot closer than I think they will be, here's my plans for later today:

[Note: This site has myspace links for all the Eagle Rock bands.]

6:00

6:00- 6:35 Leslie and the Badgers (Emerging)
OR
6:00-6:25 Alaskan Summer (American Tire Depo/Kingsize).

I'm heavily leaning towards Alaskan Summer.

6:30

6:30-7:00 Free the Robots (Panang) (unlikely because the Panang stage is too far away)
OR
6:30-6:55 Ovideo (American Tire Depo/Ship Stage) (more likely, but not as good)

7:00

7:00- 7:25 The Pulsars (American Tire Depo/Kingsize)

7:30

7:30-7:55 The French Semester (American Tire Depo/The Ship Stage)

8:00

8:00 -8:35 Free Moral Agents (Emerging)

8:30

8:30-9:00 Monolators Collaboration (Swork)

9:00

9:00-9:40 Jail Weddings (Emerging)
OR
9:00-9:25 Blank Blue (American Tire Depo/Kingsize).
Probably Jail Weddings.

9:30

9:30-10:00 Underground Railroad to Candyland (Bateman)

10:00

10:00-10:25 Dusty Rhodes (American Tire Depo/Kingsize)

10:30

10:35-11:00 Happy Hollows (American Tire Depo/Ship)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Eagle Rock Music Festival Tomorrow


Here's everything you need to know. First, it's free, and there's free parking at Eagle Rock Plaza (2700 Colorado Blvd). The festival takes place on Colorado Boulevard between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Argus.

Below is a map with the set times. Click on it for the larger version.


List of Myspace links for all the bands.

Main ERMF page.

Complete Lineup with Set Times

(I've bolded the sets I'm most interested in; apologies for the formatting issues)

Emerging Stage
FYF Fest/LA Record
Shearin Ave. and Colorado Blvd.
4:00-5:00pm- Chris and Charlie DJ Set (LA Record)

5:00-5:35pm- Faraway Places

6:00-6:35pm -Leslie and the Badgers

7:00-7:35pm- Fol Chen

8:00-8:35pm- Free Moral Agents

9:00-9:40pm- Jail Weddings

10:15-11:00pm- No Age


Global Stage

Dublab Future Roots Stage
Between Eagle Rock Blvd. and Caspar Ave. on Colorado Blvd.

4:00-4:45pm -Julia Holter
4:45-5:45pm- Nanny Cantaloupe
5:45-6:15pm- Bali and Beyond Gamelan Ensemble
6:15-7:15pm- The Gaslamp Killer
7:15-8:00pm- Michael White Quintet Featuring Vocalist Leisei Chen
8:00-9:00pm- Mas Exitos
9:00-9:45pm- Buyepongo
10:00-11:00pm- Dub Club "Echodelic Sound System” with special guest vocalists


American Legion Hall
2109 Merton Ave.

4:00-4:35pm- Shakey Graves
5:00-5:35pm- Random Patterns
6:00-6:35pm- Bobb Bruno
7:00-7:35pm- Wounded Lion
8:00-8:20pm- Robedoor
8:30-9:00pm- Pocahaunted
9:30-10:00pm- The Street and Babe Shadow
10:30-11:30pm- SASSAS soundShoppe


American Tire Depot
Kingsize Soundlabs Stage / The Ship Stage
1924 Colorado Blvd.

Kingsize Soundlabs Stage
4:00-4:25pm- Linus of Hollywood
5:00- 5:25pm- Andrew Lynch
6:00- 6:25pm- Alaskan Summer
7:00-7:25pm- The Pulsars
8:00-8:25pm- Patrick Park
9:00- 9:25pm- Blank Blue
10:00-10:25pm- Dusty Rhodes and the River Band


The Ship Stage
4:30-4:55pm- Wonderground
5:30- 5:55pm- Amateurs
6:30- 6:55pm- Ovideo
7:30-7:55pm- The French Semester

8:30- 8:55pm- Nico Stai

9:30- 9:55pm- The Pity Party

10:30- 11:00pm- The Happy Hollows


Bateman Water and Heating

Razorcake/Zocaloc Stage
1801 W. Colorado Blvd.

4:00-4:30pm- The Ignorant
4:55-5:25pm- Carnage Asada
5:50-6:20pm- That’s Incredible
6:45- 7:15pm- Apples and Onions
7:40-8:10pm- The Woolly Bandits
8:35-9:05pm- The Curs

9:30-10:00pm- Underground Railroad to Candyland
10:30-11:30pm- The Gears


Camilo’s
2128 Colorado Blvd.

6:30-7:30pm- Juan Vega Trio
8:00-10:00pm- Juan Vega Trio


Eagle Rock City Hall

Kids' Stage
2035 Colorado Blvd.

4:30-5:15pm- Oh So Silly Animal Stories
6:00-6:45pm- Sandra Sandia
7:30- 8:15pm- The Tracs
8:45- 9:30pm- Artichoke
10:00- 11:00pm- March Fourth Marching Band


Colombo's Italian Steakhouse & Jazz Club
1833 Colorado Blvd.

INSIDE
5:30-6:15pm- Tim Yalda and Friends
7:00-7:45pm - Sam Mellon and The Skylarks
8:15-9:00pm - Mumpo
9:30-11:30pm- Stephan Oberhoff Jazz Trio

OUTSIDE
5:30-8:00pm - The Joe Johnston Band
8:30-11:00pm - Morning Glory


Women's 20th Century Club

5105 Hermosa Ave.

5:00 pm -10:00 pm - The AM/FM Band


Welcome Inn
1840 W. Colorado Blvd.

7:00-7:35pm- Bonne Musique Zydeco
8:00-10:00pm- Bonne Musique Zydeco


Rantz Automotive

1914 W. Colorado Blvd.

6:00-6:45pm – Eagle Rock High School Latin Band
7:15-8:00- Trova
8:30-9:15pm- Ollin
9:45-11:00pm- Kotolan


Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock

2225 Colorado Blvd.

5:30-6:30pm- Santa Cecilia Orchestra


Panang
Soul in the Park/ Future Music Stage
1801 W. Colorado Blvd.

4:00-4:30pm- Rani D.
4:30-5:00pm- Grainshifter
5:00-5:30pm- Alter
5:30-6:00pm- Kutmah
6:00-6:30pm- Computer Jay
6:30-7:00pm- Free the Robots
7:00-7:30pm- DJ Nobody
7:30-8:00pm- Sa Ra Creative Partners DJ set
8:00-9:00pm- Coleman and B + Mochilla mix
9:00-9:30pm- Jeremy Sole
9:30-10:00pm- Peanut Butter Wolf


10:00-10:30pm- DJ Suckapunch
10:30-11:00pm- Black Dynamite band


Swork
PEHRSPACE "Pehriscope" COLLABORATIVE
2160 Colorado Blvd.

6:00-6:30pm- Tag Team Hungry Beat DJ Set*
6:30-7:00pm- Collaboration #1 -Matt Eckel (Jack Wilson, Jr) & Meredith Meyer
7:00-7:30pm- Tag Team Hungry Beat DJ Set*
7:30-8:00pm- Collaboration #2 - Christian (The Transmissions) & Champ (Magick Orchids)
8:30p-9:00pm- Collaboration #3 t-The Monolators [Skiffle Disco]
9:00-9:20pm- Tag Team Hungry Beat DJ Set*
9:20-10:00pm- Film by Sublamp with live soundtracking by Timonium & Divisadero

* Hungry Beat DJs
Marion (KCRW), Michael (Part Time Punks), B-Rok (Substance) , Goodwill (Substance), YY (dublab)


Plus:
INI Reggae Sound Truck, Street Performances by Leaps N' Bounds Dance, L.A. Groove Styles , Yard Sale Crew, L@s Cafeter@s.

Video Projections from Chris Peters, Julie Orser, Eric Siu , Nate Garcia, Michiko Yao, Karl Montevirgen, Lakshmi Luthra, Christopher Carlton
with projectors provided by Side Street Projects.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Harlem Shakes: R.I.P. (2006-2009)


A very sad goodbye to the Harlem Shakes, one of my favorite non-local bands of 2009. They first came to my attention when I was looking up bands that were playing at SXSW this year. Kevin Bronson's Buzzbands.la party was all local bands with the Harlem Shakes as the one exception. I fired up their myspace page and after hearing less than 30 seconds of "Niagara Falls" I was hooked. "Technicolor Health" is unquestionably one of my favorite albums of the year.

I heard the news Friday night but couldn't find confirmation so I ignored it. But it's true, and very disappointing. I sincerely enjoyed seeing them twice at SXSW and for both of their LA dates opening for Passion Pit. After their Passion Pit tour I kept waiting for an announcement of their next LA date -- I was preemptively excited for them to headline The Echo or Spaceland, but it wasn't meant to be.

For the uninitiated: http://www.myspace.com/harlemshakes

MP3s (from Radio Exile):

Harlem Shakes – “Y Control” (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)

Harlem Shakes – “Niagara Falls”

Harlem Shakes – “Sickos”

Videos I took during their LA dates:





CER Posts re: The Shakes

Passion Pit, Harlem Shakes @ Troubadour (5/28/2009)

Passion Pit, Harlem Shakes @ Echoplex (5/29/2009)

SXSW 2009 Wrapup

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Am T-Pain: Best iPhone App Ever?



Thursday, September 3, 2009

Residency Preview: Saint Motel's September Spaceland Residency


Saint Motel plays for free at Spaceland every Monday in September. I recommend coming out for their first show this coming Monday so you get to see The Jakes (and because Mondays are at a premium this month considering the dueling Leslie & The Badgers residency at the Echo).

Here are two SM videos to whet your appetite:






And a little promo ad they did for the residency:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tonight (My Birthday!) at Spaceland: Henry Clay People, Local Natives, Fun., Aushua


True, it's purely a coincidence that my birthday is the same day as this spectacular show, but when you can see both Local Natives and The Henry Clay People at Spaceland on your birthday (and for free) the stars have truly aligned.

And that doesn't even include Fun., which features Nate Ruess of The Format and Jack from Steel Train. They've sold out the Mercury Lounge (NYC) and Schuba's (Chicago) dates on their current tour. And Aushua is supposed to be great also. I am very excited.

Local Natives on at 11, Henry Clay at 10. Fun and Aushua keep the candle burning on both ends (9pm and Midnight, not necessarily respectively). You best get there early.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunday at the Silent Movie Theatre: The Bear with LIVE SCORE by No Age


On Sunday at the Silent Movie Theatre on Melrose and Fairfax is screening the movie The Bear. No Age will be performing a live, original score over the "near-wordless" movie. It should be quite an experience, and the Theatre knows it has something big on its hands -- there's both an 8pm and 10:30pm screening.

From the Silent Movie Theatre's description:

L.A.-based, world-renowned experimental noise pop duo No Age will appear live at the Cinefamily to perform their brand-new score for Jean-Jacques Annaud's majestic 1988 film The Bear, a near-wordless cinematic expedition deep into the savagery and tenderness of the animal kingdom. Told from the titular species' point of view, The Bear chronicles the journey of an orphan bear cub and a lone adult bear banding together to avoid two human hunters. Along the way, director Annaud has great fun with the storytelling possibilities from a non-human perspective, including dream sequences and an unforgettable psychdelic mushroom bear trip! With nearly no (human) dialogue, the film easily lends itself to live scoring, and No Age drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall have crafted a shimmering 90-minute set of sonic blasts and delicate textures that perfectly complement the peculiar, touching and altogether unique experience that is The Bear.

See you Sunday at 8. Here's the trailer for "The Bear:"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Jakes Sign to Roadrunner Records


A big congratulations (and good luck) to The Jakes, who have signed with Roadrunner Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. The band has long been represented by Serling Rooks & Ferrara, a very experienced music law firm located in Union Square in Manhattan.

Signing with a major is not always the best step a band can take (there's no need to recount the numerous tales of successful indie bands who fall on their faces once they jump to a major, or the tales of those who join a major and are then forgotten) and the move is especially interesting in today's climate, where the importance of record labels is fading fast. Nonetheless, hopefully these words from The Jakes regarding their signing turn out to be accurate:

After six months of deliberation and lawyer babble (respectfully, Reid, Mike and David) we have finally signed a record deal with Roadrunner Records, a branch of the Warner tree. To those of you acquainted with Roadrunner’s illustrious past, our signing might come as a bit of a surprise. After decades of multi-platinum success with Music’s rough heavy metal greats such as Megadeth, Dream Theatre, and most recently, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, and radio titan Nickelback, one may beg the question; why The Jakes? What do we have that likens us to such metal-mongers? The answer is—nothing! A new approach from within Roadrunner A&R department has quelled the steep desire to tread a new musical path in the road of modern “indie” rock, and although such a classification is always ambiguous, it is clear that Roadrunner has no intentions of likening us to their heavy-metal, or contemporary greats. On the contrary, Roadrunner will provide us with a unique blend of artistic license and indie label coziness with Major-label professionalism and distribution, and is unafraid to take the path of innovation. Most importantly, Roadrunner is very passionate about us, and has accepted us into their tight knit family. We are excited to see the products of our pairing, and are looking forward to see our relationship grow. ​

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=4100845&blogId=507415421

The band also announced that keyboardist Ehson Hashemian is no longer with the band. I really enjoyed his live energy.

The Jakes are currently writing their new album. Their next show is at Spaceland on September 7, where they open the first night of Saint Motel's residency. To my knowledge, it's the band's first ever show at Spaceland (and perhaps their first ever in Silverlake/Echo Park). I will undoubtedly be in attendance.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Friday the 14th: Rock 'N Roll Circus Tonight!


I don't think it's possible to be excited enough for tonight's guaranteed blockbuster at the Echoplex. Here's the details with set times:

Main Stage

Henry Clay People (11pm)
Fol Chen (10pm)
Flying Tourbillon Orchestra (9:15 pm)
Marvelous Toy (8:30 pm)

Acoustic Side Stage (in between acts on the main stage, which means non-stop music)

Roadside Graves (between Fol Chen and HCP)
Les Blanks (between FTO and Fol Chen)
Downtown/Union (between Marvelous Toy and FTO)
The Damselles (between Marvelous Toy and FTO)

Icing on the Cake

Skeeball
Balloon Animals
Face Painting
Mimes
Free Cotton Candy
Free Sno-cones
Free mix CD of all the bands if you come wearing a mustache, wear a clown costume or show up in other circus attire (for the first 100 people)
Only $10 to get in

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Band to Watch: My First Earthquake

My First Earthquake hails from San Francisco. They're a female-fronted band that Allmusic.com describes as "bold, synth-riddled indie pop." Think an Americanized version of The Sounds. Or don't think and just listen:

"Cool in the Cool Way"



"Outta the Band"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fitz & The Tantrums' EP -- Streaming Right Here

Future Sounds Records released Fitz & The Tantrums' EP, "Songs For a Breakup, Vol. 1" today (although it's been available on Rhapsody for months). As part of the release, FS created an embeddable player that streams the entire five song EP. Here it is:











Fitz's next show is next Wednesday, August 19 at the Troubadour with Kenan Bell, U-N-I, and more. At $5 a ticket there's no reason to miss it. I'm looking forward to finally seeing these guys.