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Monday, November 05, 2012

Crystal Castles at The Hollywood Palladium, 10/20/12

Landing back in Los Angeles ahead of their upcoming album (III), Crystal Castles proceeded to blow the roof off a sold-out Hollywood Palladium with their angst-infused electronica. Complete with stage fog and strobes pulsating to every beat, they had the audience undulating like a stormy sea.

They opened with their latest single "Plague," following it up with the equally new "Wrath of God." It didn't seem to make any difference to the frenzied audience that these weren't released yet, as it was close to a riot in anticipation of the show. The Toronto based duo were joined onstage by a live drummer, although Alice's stage presence took up most of the venue.

While many bands as they get larger seem removed from their audience, Ethan Kath (electronics) & Alice Glass (vocalist) fully throws themselves into their performance; and for Alice quite literally backwards into the audience, crowd-surfing started while preforming their song "Baptism." Singing into her microphone with one hand and holding onto the ever-important bottle of Jack with the other; their reputation of a band that gives 1000% live, is nothing less than completely authentic.

The night's tunes were drawn from their self titled album, "II" and a few new tracks from the upcoming "III." Their sound presented an impressive contradiction - while very danceable, they also had an intently primal DIY feel; proving rebellion has many faces beyond those of guitar based bands. Check them out next time they're in around...

Photo/Review by Clovis IV

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sea and Cake & Matthew Friedberger Live Review Littlefield 10/21/1

Matthew Friedberger of the Firery Furnaces opened the show with a very conceptual set of solo material. He quickly divided the audience between those up for a challenging set and those who weren't in for that kind of an evening. As he paced back and forth from keyboard to keyboard explaining he would write a song in the moment, some headed back for a drink in the front room while other eagerly listened. Friedberger would play dissonant minor chords, amble over and push play on a loop, and hide behind his hair while continuing to ask us, wouldn’t it be great if he created a song in the moment? He shared stories about graveyards, visits from his deceased great grandfather who came to him in a dream, and sometimes, there were hints of songs. Occasionally, throughout the set, a full song of looped music would surface and he would accompany the tunes with some operatic vocals. Friedberger will be on the road supporting his new 45-track album entitled Matricidal Sons of Bitches due out October 30th on Thrill Jockey.

Next up was The Sea and Cake. They took the stage and launched into a string of tunes from their new album Runner.  The new songs are fantastic and the band sounded extremely solid live. I didn’t know the band shared drummer John McEntire of Tortoise. He kept perfect meter for the tunes while adding just the right amount of energy to their live set. Singer, guitarist Sam Prekop started out most of the tunes building up a rhythm  of guitar grooves, then adding his lovely, whispered, and dreamy vocals to the swelling sounds. Guitarist Archer Prewitt was armed with an ebow, which he would use to create intricate layers. He was placed center stage and the audience seemed enthralled with watching him and listening to his passionate guitar playing. The set featured many tunes off the new record, but the band balanced this with peppered in tunes from their extensive back catalog, to the crowds great enjoyment. They played tracks from their debut, The Biz, The Fawn, Car Alarm, Everybody, The Moonlight Butterfly and even a track off their Glass EP. While enjoying their set I noticed the musical couple Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo were also in attendance. It was a beautiful evening of music, I highly recommend catching a show.

Sea and Cake Setlist
The Invitation
On and On
A Mere
Jacking the Ball
The Staircase
Window Sills
Cross (?)
New Patterns
The Argument
An Echo In
- - - - - - - - - -
The Runner

Matthew Friedberger

Archer Prewitt  
John McEntire

The Sea and Cake

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kevchino Presents The Black Swans

Kevchino presents
The Black Swans
David King + The Confirmed Bachelors 
& Shenandoah and the Night
Thursday August 30th at The Rock Shop.
Get Tickets here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Active Child

Tim Needles chatted recently with Pat Grossi, aka Active Child, about his musical career—from singing in choirs and chilling with Snoop Dog and Dr.Dre in his youth, to currently eking out a living through touring, remixes, and oh yeah, actual albums. Read the rest here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Will Sergeant (Echo and the Bunnymen) Interview

Tim Needles chats with Echo and the Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant about his art, art shows, Banksy and Mr. Brainwash, and his new solo record, Things Inside.

Read the interview here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Grouplove @ The Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA 4/16/12

 In support of their debut album "Never Trust a Happy Song," Los Angeles based GROUPLOVE played one of their first headlining-tour shows at downtown Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre. I was unsure of exactly what to expect from this up-and-coming multi-vocalist band, having only heard their ubiquitous "Colours" and the incredibly catchy video/single "Tongue Tied." While the songs were indeed happy (which may have you not wanting to trust them, per their own advice), they did however have an underlying resonance & joyful comradery that shown through in nearly every song: aka: the show was quirky & pretty awesome...

Reminiscent of some kind of a Southern Californian indie-rock love-child-mix between Modest Mouse, early REM, Arcade Fire, and The Flaming Lips; the band consists of a cornucopia of discordant laid-back surf looking, tho enthusiastic sounding members including: Hannah Hooper (keyboards/vocals), Christian Zucconi (vocals/guitar), Sean Gadd (Bass/Vocals), Ryan Rabin (drummer), and Andrew Wessen (guitar/mandolin).

Having made the decision to officially form GROUPLOVE on the Greek isle of Crete, the band set to out by recoding their self-titled ep in the 2010 recording session at Ryan Rabin's Los Angeles studio. From that point, the band has been busy playing the LA area continually, as well as being national support for Florence and the Machine, and later for Young the Giant.

Meanwhile back at the night's show: the band played nearly their entire catalog-to-date, having the packed venue bouncing along one buoyant tune after tune. After their Coachella appearances the band is continuing across the US on their first headlining tour. Check them out on tour & see what I'm talking about...

Photo/Review by Clovis IV

Lovely Cup
Itchin' on a Photograph
Naked Kids
Love Will Save Your Soul
Betty's A Bombshell
Gold Coast
Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten
Don't Say Oh Well
Tongue Tied
Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston cover)

...Tour Dates...
30-Apr  Carrboro, NC
1-May   Asheville, NC
2-May   Charlottesville, VA
5-May   Irvine, CA
8-May   Montreal, Canada
9-May   Toronto, Canada
11-May Detroit, MI
12-May Chicago, IL
13-May Milwaukee, WI
15-May Minneapolis, MN
16-May Des Moines, IA
17-May Omaha, NE
19-May Denver, CO
20-May Aspen, CO
22-May Salt Lake City, UT
23-May Boise, ID
25-May Portland, OR
28-May George, WA
2-Jun    Mountain View, CA
3-Jun    Chula Vista, CA
7-Jun    Manchester, TN
8-Jun    Manchester, TN
9-Jun    Manchester, TN
10-Jun  Manchester, TN
11-Jun  Philadelphia, PA
12-Jun  New York, NY
13-Jun  Washington, DC
14-Jun  Boston, MA
14-Jul   Cincinnati, OH
21-Jul   Dover, DE
18-Aug Tokyo, Japan

19-Aug Osaka, Japan