Friday, October 31, 2008
Here's a lil treat for all you tricks: Dim Mak Collection has made a limited amount of rad shirts for this year's election. Visit their site to take advantage of this rad deal - get the shirt for $10 when you purchase any other tee from the site.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!!! Vote early. Visit www.justvote.org for details.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
By Daniel Grant
Throughout his almost unimaginably prolific career, Ryan Adams has been nothing if not a stylistic chameleon. After starting off as one the early leaders of the alt.country movement with Whiskeytown, he has drifted from fairly mainstream rock to New Wave throwback songs to authentic sounding honky-tonk material to oddball covers to songs that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Faithless Street or Strangers Almanac, often within the same album. Adams has often been accused of being unable to edit the tidal wave of songs he writes and has often settled for quantity over quality, on his way to releasing a staggering 14 albums since Whiskeytown debuted in 1996. Every record has something to recommend it and he has developed a loyal and devoted fanbase, as a result. Somehow, though, the whole has usually been less than the sum of the parts on a typical Ryan Adams album.
The exceptions to this hit-and-miss approach have been the times when Adams focused less on the stylistic authenticity of his sound and just let his songwriting muse lead him wherever it wanted to go in pursuit of great tunes. Last year's Easy Tiger was one of Adams' best records because it played like a greatest hits record and touched on almost all of the themes and styles Ryan Adams has explored over the past decade. Cardinology, named after his backing band, The Cardinals, may be even better. While there is no instant classic like Two, the new album is full of satisfying songs, great musicianship and a sense of a deepening maturity and emotional resonance that Adams' earlier work has always hinted at.
From the opening Born Into a Light, it is clear that Adams is in fine voice and the songwriting is detailed and fully realized in a way that has often eluded him in the past. The first single, Fix It, is a mid-tempo bluesy number that finds Adams lamenting past romantic mishaps with the simple but plaintive declaration "I'd fix it if I could." Magick sounds like an outtake from a mid-80's Stones album, complete with a monster guitar riff like the kind Keith Richards used to toss off before he became Johnny Depp's pirate stunt double. Natural Ghost is a gentle country ballad with a falsetto chorus where Adams, perhaps directly addressing his past critics, sings "I am more than you think I am." It is a strangely affecting pronouncement coming from someone with such a reputation for mischief.
Cardinology closes with the powerful Stop, where Adams, accompanying himself on piano, channels Neil Young from After the Goldrush and seemingly addresses his past excesses and stint in rehab with the line "there is a line that must be walked," before concluding "if you wanna make it stop, then stop." This is some of the most clearheaded and powerful music of Ryan Adams' career and it leaves the listener anxious to see where his enormous talent will lead him in the future, now that it looks like he has harnessed his demons and focused his considerable energies in the right direction.
Photo by Amateur Chemist
October 28, 2008
The Palladium in Hollywood
When The Kooks first hit the stage last night at the newly restored Palladium, I was a bit confused. Were these screaming girls here to see the Jonas Brothers? Did I come to the wrong show? And where the hell is that adorable drummer, Paul?!
Without missing a beat, the band revved up that engine of theirs and ripped right into the first three songs, barely giving anyone a chance to catch their breath. Fans were yelling frantically and flashing bulbs were going off. This is definitely the kind of music that is meant to be listened on full blast in a car with all of the windows down and with the driver and all passengers singing along at the top of their lungs. You don't care what the other people on the road think. They're not having as much as you. And, yes - they are jealous.
The last time I saw The Kooks perform live was in 2006, at Spaceland's Club NME. I remember listening to the band's first album and thinking, "Wow, they sound like they would be awesome live. This album is pretty good."
After seeing them live at Spaceland, I wasn't as sure of the band. They didn't seem tight. I left the show wondering if I would ever be into them again. I've a live performance kind of girl. Show me the money...because even I can sound amazing with the right pitch adjusters and engineers. Well, thanks, guys. You proved me wrong and I appreciate it.
The Kooks managed to make Los Angeles dance. And if you've been to a show in the area lately, you know that this is a rare site, indeed. They managed to fill the Palladium quite nicely, too. Everyone was on their feet, tapping, dancing, singing along with the catchy pop rock tunes that The Kooks were delivering...with pleasure. Solid show. Tons of young fans. Nevertheless, unapologetic. Just the way I like it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would post something festive and scurrry. Gavin Castleton has released a couple of creepy tracks that you can add to your Halloween Party playlist or play while you ghouls and gals are getting all dressed up for your parties this week.
Click here to download two exclusive tracks: "Unparallel Rabbits" and "Since 1968"
Be safe out there and have lots of fun!
Photo: Ryan Rogers
Monday, October 27, 2008
Awwww, shyyyyyt! Jimmy, beloved engineer at Little Radio, has caught up on all of the podcasts for Kevin Bronson's Buzz Bands show. Translation: You finally get to hear my quest spot on Bronson's show if you didn't hear it live. I still don't have the courage to listen to it. Thanks again to Mister Bronson for having me on.
Click here to listen.
Click here to get the playlist for that evening's show.
Don't forget to tune into Little Radio on Wednesday nights for the Buzz Bands show, from 6-8 pm. Listen online, via iTunes (Radio:Alternative:Little Radio) or direct from station's site. Enjoy.
Friday, October 3, 2008
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT & TOYOTA MATRIX PRESENT:
THE OFFICIAL LA WEEKLY DETOUR FESTIVAL AFTERPARTY
Saturday, October 4th @ LITTLE RADIO
DJ sets from Detour performers:
The Presets, Cut Copy, and FIGO
+ Blake Miller (The Moving Units), & DJ Matter (Bagavagabonds)
9:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Be there or be lame...duh!
Visit our friends at RCRDLBL.COM to get your Happy Hollow goodies. Look out for the upcoming EP, Imaginary, by the fantastic Los Angeles trio - set to be released on October 21 on Joshua Fisher's Heart Record Label.