Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Steel Train, Fun @ Space 15 Twenty (7/12/2009)

Bringing the number of last minute shows I've only learned about via Twitter to two, Steel Train played a set as an acoustic duo (just Jack and Evan) at Space 15 Twenty on a Sunday afternoon. Hot day, but there was plenty of shade. Fun, a side project of Jack's, played after Steel Train, with Evan filling in on bass.

I've been following Steel Train for a while, and it's always great to see them and catch up with Evan, who I went to high school with. Be on the lookout for their new album in the coming months, their first since 2007's Trampoline -- the band just finished mastering it in LA over the past few weeks.
Here's a video of their performance on Conan a little over a year ago:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Video Encounter: Fitz & The Tantrums "Winds of Change"

Here's the new video from Fitz & The Tantrums. The band is about to hit the road for a West Coast tour with Celtic punk band Flogging Molly and ska legends Hepcat. I can't imagine seeing Flogging Molly while sitting at The Greek Theatre (way too tame), but that's their LA date.

I was never a fan of Beavis & Butthead, but I'm reminded of their saying "If I wanted to read, I'd go to school."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Local Natives Spaceland Residency -- The Lineups

Time to plan ahead. Here's the supporting acts for the Local Natives August residency at Spaceland:

August 3: The Union Line, The Outline, We Barbarians.

August 10: Red Cortez, Rademacher, Swim Party. This is the one not to miss.

August 17: Voxhaul Broadcast, Soko, The Lonely H.

August 24: The Parson Redheads, The Cheat.

August 31: Fun, Aushua.

You get a free download of LN's "Sun Hands" when you sign up for their mailing list. For your convenience, you can sign up right here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Band to Watch: Hey Champ

A rare sight: people into the 9pm band at Spaceland.

I walk into Spaceland at 9:30 on Monday night and immediately see people up close to the stage and really into the opening band. Hey Champ. Never heard of them. I get to see the band energetically play their last song and a half and sincerely regretted not getting to Spaceland earlier. If Indie 103 still existed they'd be playing Hey Champ all the time; the band epitomizes the electro-infused rock that the station emphasized during its last few months of existence.

Hey Champ is from Chicago and on Lupe Fiasco's 1st and 15th label.

Here's their video for Cold Dust Girl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tonight at The Silent Movie Theatre: Etienne! (featuring Great Northern)

The Silent Movie Theatre (Melrose & Fairfax) is screening Etienne! tonight at 8pm. The cast features Great Northern and the soundtrack includes The Happy Hollows and Wallpaper.

From the theatre's website:

Our friends at the CineVegas Film Festival have brought us Etienne!, winner of the festival’s “Filmmaker To Watch” award this year. After Richard’s best and only friend, a dwarf hamster named Etienne, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Richard decides to take the animal on a bicycle road trip up the California coast, to show him the world before he must put him to sleep. Influenced by 70’s films--in a good way--first-time director Jeff Mizushima balances the comedy with the genuine drama between hamster and man. Etienne! also has a terrific soundtrack with songs by Dan Deacon, Great Northern, The Happy Hollows and others.
Preceding the feature is Acting for the Camera by Justin Nowell, a funny and very messed-up 15-minute short that won CineVegas’ Best Short Film Director award.


Official website:

Thanks to Eenie Meenie Records for the heads up.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What 2 Go 2: July 13 to 19

Great week last week, even though I skipped Army Navy at Spaceland and the plethora of shows on Thursday. Kitty, Daisy and Lewis were excellent on Tuesday following a strong performance by Le Switch, and yesterday I was treated to acoustic sets by Steel Train and Fun at Space 15 Twenty.

Onto the matter at hand . . .

Monday: Natalie Portman's Shaved Head opens the Andy Clockwise residency at Spaceland. Sure, Natalie Portman's Shaved Head is disposable, but it's fun, and plenty of reason to check out Andy Clockwise, who I'm not very familiar with.

Wednesday: Fol Chen at Pershing Square. I probably won't even try to get downtown during rush hour, but maybe.

: LA (heart) SF show featuring The Monolators and Flying Tourbillon Orchestra at the Echo. This promises to be a great show. I've never seen The Monolators and I'm curious about FTO's relatively new lineup. The Damselles will also be making an appearance, likely backing up FTO.

Friday: If I didn't already have plans I'd be at the Echo for a second consecutive night to see Happy Hollows and The Valley Arena.

Saturday: So Many Dynamos at Spaceland. For fans of The Dismemberment Plan, assuming their second album sounds anything like their first.

Sunday: Good of a time as any to check out The Jakes' residency at Cinespace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tonight - Tyrone Wells at the Troubadour

I'll be at the Troubadour tonight to hear some great pop/rock. Tyrone Wells goes on at 10:15.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Jakes' Sunday July Residency

Every Sunday this month The Jakes play Cinespace in Hollywood. Free entry and free vodka between 9:30 and 10:30, and $5 admission after that. Last Sunday The Jakes went on at midnight. I've been a fan of The Jakes since I saw them in April '08 at a KROQ Locals Only show at The Roxy, and Cinespace is a nice change of pace from Silverlake/Echo Park. Catch them at least once this month; it's definitely worth your time.

Here's a couple of videos from their performance at Cinespace in November. I was there, but these aren't my videos.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Castledoor, Local Natives @ Spaceland (6/22/2009)

Two of CER's absolute favorites, playing back to back at Spaceland for free on a Monday night. This is why I love LA.

Local Natives were on first, and I don't think I've heard them sound better. They held back a little on the vocals, pursuing harmony over an unneeded vocal assault. And they even sounded great without their violinist. Each of the six previous times I've seen LN their violinist, who the band refers to as "Amanda Violin," played with them. When I noticed she was not with the band this time, I thought I was in for a poorer set, like when Princeton plays without their string section. But surprisingly I didn't miss her presence.

The band played their typical, albeit great, set list. If I had any criticism, it's that they need to add some new songs to their live show, although I doubt many people have seen them enough to consider this critique. I'm sure they'll add something to the mix for their August Spaceland residency. In all, if LN were the only band playing that night I would have left happy.

Here's a video of them playing "Cards & Quarters," which is the b-side to their soon-to-be-released single for "Sun Hands." Notice Kelcey playing the keyboard with his right hand and the drum his left at the same time; I don't know how he does that.

Then up comes Castledoor. They played well and it was a fun set, but it didn't match the experience I had seeing them at tiny Temporary Spaces back in May: Spaceland was too packed and too warm to repeat that.

Here's a clip of their cover of "It Ain't Me," which they burned onto 100 CDs and handed out for free.

Pictures (EDIT: deleted because, as an anonymous commenter noted, they came out very poorly)

Monday, July 6, 2009

What 2 Go 2: July 6 to 12

This is quite a week. I haven't seen a day as packed as this coming Thursday.

Tuesday: Le Switch debuts new material at the Echo, where they open for Kitty, Daisy and Lewis.

Wednesday: Army Navy are at Spaceland, with Thee Mighty Angels opening. Thee Mighty Angels are a relatively new band featuring David Newton of The Mighty Lemon Drops and Brian Reyes of The Little Ones.

Thursday: Oh Boy. I don't know how to deal with this one. No matter where you go, you're going to miss something great.
Friday: Andrew Bird and Ra Ra Riot at The Greek Theatre.