Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sonic Treat of the Day: The Strange Boys' "Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up"

The Strange Boys released 'And Girls Club', last week. They ain't tring to knock that Austin, TX twang either. Enjoy yourself a free lil download of their single, "Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up" and get yourself the album if you dig. I know I do.


See?!?! Good things do come from Texas, silly! Be sure to mark your calendars for June 29th. The Strange Boys will be playing at The Smell with Mika Miko. I think it's definitely worth checking out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sonic Treat of the Day: Loney Dear

Photo: Sara Arnald

OK, OK.... I know Bronson already posted this track on the Buzz Bands blog sometime before SXSW, but I have been obsessed with this track since. Chuck P has played it on Indie 103.1. I listen to it at least once a day.

Download "Airport Surroundings" HERE

OK, now go and get yourself some Loney Dear. The album is 'Dear John' - Get it.

SHO-NUFF/SHO-SHOTS: Great Northern with The Jakes and Lemon Sun at The Roxy

Photos: Kristy Sparow
The Roxy
March 26, 2009

The Roxy was packed last night. Sometimes an all ages show is fun to watch. The kids are all right. Some of them actually do like good tunes. And if they were lucky enough, they were probably handed a little laminate from me or one of the Eenie Meenie Street Team members with a code for a free download from the new album. Rad idea, Eenie Meenie gang! Everyone was stoked to get one.

Caught the end of The Jakes' set.

Lemon Sun was really good. Hadn't seen or heard them before and I was pleasantly surprised. Very catchy. Very nice guys, too.

Though the sound seemed a little off at times, Great Northern recovered quite nicely and delivered catchy tune after catchy tune.

Kristy was able to shoot a few great shots of Rachel and Solon.

This is the first of the SHO-NUFF/SHO-SHOTS photo series that Kristy Sparow will be doing for Kill The Mic. Be sure to look out for more of her work on her website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sonic Treat of the Day: White Lies (Filthy Dukes Remix)

Here's a little treat that will hopefully get your Wednesday morning going. White Lies released the album, 'To Lose My Life', earlier this month. Enjoy the video of the original track and if you're really in need of a lil fire under your ass, then check out the remix that Filthy Dukes did for the boys. It's delicious. And "unz-y".

Relax. The weekend (whatever that is) is almost here.

To Lose My Life - White Lies

To Lose My Life (Filthy Dukes Remix) - White Lies

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Roxy Presents Locals Only with Great Northern

You've read about how beautiful the new Great Northern album, 'Remind Me Where The Light Is', now join us at The Roxy to see the band perform their last show before the official release of their album.

Email us at killthemicrophone@gmail.com for a pair of tickets to Thursday's show (email us your full name and phone number by Wednesday morning at 10am). It's that simple. Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Album Review: Remind Me Where The Light Is

By Ms. Killer

Great Northern asks: "What do you want? What do you need?"

I say: "How about an album I can play as my anthem this spring, from beginning to end? Oh you got that? Rad! Let's get busy."

Great Northern's Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte have become a permanent indie-pop fixture in the Los Angeles music scene, touring with the likes of the Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids and Fiery Furnaces. When it came to writing and recording their forthcoming album ('Remind Me Where The Light Is') the duo was determined to do things a little differently. They were ready to create something heavy and a little darker. They managed to do just that while making it beautiful and yummy in your ear's tummy.

What was going on in your personal lives while you two were working on this album?

From beginning to end, this is one of those albums that makes me want to get in my car, put the album in and drive for as long as my gas tank will allow me to - volume full blast and windows down. It's an album that rocks your world with thought provoking songs. It's the album that might force you to take that step back and reflect on what the fuck has become of your life. Thinking about where to run away to next? Put this album on and meditate. Thinking about what your first love is up to these and if they still think of you from time to time? Pop this in and imagine away. Thinking about where the time has gone? Well, you get the picture. I know - it doesn't necessarily sound like fun but sometimes it's nice to reflect on such things and this might as well be the soundtrack for the season of cleansing and new beginnings.

Do you guys have a favorite track on the album?

"Houses" is the first single off 'Remind Me Where The Light Is'. You haven't heard it on the radio? I gotchu!

Listen to "Houses" HERE

Other tracks off this album that I'm digging:

"Story" - This is the first song on the album and it grabs you by your shirt collar and whispers softly into your ear, "Psst, c'mere...I have something to tell you." Ruff AND gentle...who doesn't like that? Get ready.

Have your self a listen over at WebInFront and see for yourself.

"Mountains" - This one is a triumphant anthem. I totally feel a sense of accomplishment when I listen to it. Beautiful arrangements and vocals throughout.

What's up next for Great Northern?

'Remind Me Where The Light Is' is Great Northern's follow up to their full length album 'Trading Twilight For Daylight' (2007) and 'Sleepy Eepee' EP (2008). The album will be released April 28th via Eenie Meenie Records.

GN will be one of a shitload of bands making the rounds at SXSW. If you're not from around L.A., you may want to catch one of these shows:
3/19 - FILTER Magazine's Showdown @ Cedar Street (2:30pm)
3/20 - Little Radio Party @ Red Eyed Fly (2:15pm)
3/20 - Karma Lounge (1:00am)
3/21 - Acoustic Showcase @ Austin Convention Center (2:00pm)

Photos courtesy of Great Northern

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sonic Treat of the Day: Boomchi

Photo courtesy of: Kokodozo


Feeling like you need a little pick me up? Do you have a case of the 'Mondays'? Missing the L Word already? Well, suck it up. Download this track (and three others) for a disco dance party in your ears. The song 'Boomchi' was featured on an episode of the L Word so it might sound a bit familiar. Seriously though, it's funky. You've been warned. Just click here for some crazy, cocaine inspired disco goodies.

You can also follow KOKODOZO on Twitter.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturdays + M83 + LA Philharmonic = EPIC

M83 and The Los Angeles Philharmonic
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
March 7, 2009
-Ms. Killer

M83 (Anthony Gonzales), accompanied by The Los Angeles Philharmonic, played a memorable show to a sold out crowd at the architectural masterpiece that is The Walt Disney Concert Hall last night. The mixed crowd included fans, celebrities and had a lot more "mature" people present that I had originally expected. But everyone's reaction seemed the same: "Wow."

Gonzales announced some of his song selections to NME.com in the days leading up to the show that included material from "Before The Dawn Heals Us," covers of Bloc Party's 'Pioneers' and extradionary pieces like Claude Debussy's three symophinc sketches for an orchestra, 'La Mer' and Arvo Pärt's sullen piece, 'Fratres'.

Well, he delivered. The man himself kicked off the night with a mind blowing digital set of three songs whilst thrusting back and forth to the beats and developments within the songs. It was as if I was swimming through a galaxy of my fantasies on an imagination rocket and these three songs were the soundtrack of my journey. It was perfect. It was Utopian.

After a timid bow, Gonzales left the stage and The LA Phil's string sections and one percussionist took over, under the direction of Julian Kuerti. Pärt's 'Fratres' is a piece that has always put me in a pensive sort of mood and last night was no exception. It's dark beauty and gut wrenching breaks made the layers of the music really come to life.

The brass section, the rest of the percussion section and a small female choir joined the group for a performance of Debussy's 'La Mer' that left everyone on the edge of their seats. But I have to say, The LA Phil absolutely KILLED it when they did the last of the three movements, "Dialogue du vent et de la mer" (Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea). I had to hold back tears is SO good.

Anthony Gonzales then joined the LA Phil for a collaboration that exceeded anything I could have ever imagined. Though some would say he was backing the LA Phil rather than having used them as an accompaniment, I would disagree. It was what every non believer should be required to see - the clashing of classical instruments and some of the best digital music that technology has to offer on one stage. EPIC. Morgan Kibby really set it off during the last collaboration of the night. I actually cried through the last song. Kibby on vocals, combined with mini chior backing her, was nothing short of a siren song piercing through the hearts of non believers. I get choked up just THINKING about it. My expectations for the night were met and exceeded. It's nights like these that shift my outlook on a life just a little and my outlook on music A LOT.

If you've yet to see a show at the Disney Concert Hall, be sure to get there a little early so that you can take in the architecture and explore the place a bit...and get ready to also be blown away with the acoustics. I mean come on - Frank Gehry + Walt Disney?

Photo credit: My shitty BlackBerry

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Review: The Submarines with The Morning Benders and The Mumlers

The Submarines with The Morning Benders and The Mumlers
The Troubadour - Final Tour Stop
February 28, 2009
By Jon from LA Snark
Photos: Kate from LA Snark

I have been trying to see The Submarines live for over 2 years now. Truth be told, I've been stalking Blake Hazard in a hopefully non-sketchy way for about 6 years now. I was a huge fan of her solo work back in Boston, and when I found out she was marrying SOME DUDE (John Dragonetti, also a Boston singer/songwriter) and putting out a record with him, well, I had to go and check that out, too. When I heard their first album 'Declare a New State!' I had to accept the fact that she had moved on and found someone else, but the world would benefit from a new, incredibly fresh-sounding band.

A week ago, I, yet again, heard only too late, that The Submarines were playing at The Troubadour, and of course the show was sold out. Enter my new Girl Friday, Ms. Killer from Kill the Microphone, with an opportunity for me to not only see, but write about The Morning Benders and The Submarines on their final tour date.

I've personally played in the 8pm slot a number of times.. so I know the frustration of setting up all of your equipment only to play to the bartender, bouncer, and band girlfriend. The Mumlers did not have this problem. In fact, our bartender in the front room kept raving about them ("This band is sooo good") and leaving the room to get a better glimpse. This was not a big deal as Coronas are SEVEN DOLLARS at the Troubadour (really?) so we took our time drinking them. The Mumlers gave off the vibe of a jam band, but with far more impressive instrumentation than I've seen from any jam band. They brought a f'n French horn on stage. I haven't seen a French horn on stage since I saw John Williams play Tchaikovsky. The Mumlers proved themselves to be not a jam band, but a well crafted song factory that churned out impressive sing-along songs that attracted a lot of applause from an oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-this-many-people-showed-up-at-the-Troubadour-at-8:15 crowd.

Next up were The Morning Benders. TMB are a band I had never heard of. But let me tell you this: Some people have heard of them. Ok a lot of people, in West Hollywood, have heard of them. Also, a lot of those people in West Hollywood that have heard of TMB are not your everyday "going out to the local bar to check out a band" crowd. I got the sense that a lot of people would prefer to be at a club listening to Kanye songs UNLESS The Morning Benders were playing. Well tonight The Morning Benders were playing, and the place was PACKED. The set started off pretty dreamy, with a recent-years indie-pop vibe, only with a sound so clean it was startling how well you could make out every note from every instrument. The crowd hung on each lyric, and danced and danced to the band's "This is a dance song"'s througout the set. I personally, was blown away by the musicianship of TMB and will definitely continue to follow their career. Also, I promised myself that I would not mention the fact that TMB brought a MOB of Asian girls to the show, so I won't.

Ahhhh The Submarines. When I finally made the decision to move to LA, one thing on my mind was "Hey I'll get to check out The Submarines." Like I was assuming I'd go see them with 30 other people at some random bar in LA, and then maybe end up at a temp job next to Blake or John and be like "Hey I saw you play back in Boston and I love the new Submarines songs" and they'd be all psyched that they had a fan. Well when I got off the boat from Boston, (It was a Boston Duck Tour boat, ask for Sgt. Pepperz) I was shocked to find out that they had blown up before I had a chance to hang by the water cooler with them. They hadn't just blown up, they were selling out shows and making a serious impact on the LA scene. Soon I would realize that my would-be local secret had now contributed music to Nip/Tuck, Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and an iPhone commercial. At this point, was it too late to go to a Submarines concert? Had I missed the glory days?

Definitely not. Blake Hazard, John Dragonetti, a drummer with a huge afro (J. Stare), and John's laptop BROUGHT IT. You could argue that this band is a studio band, using backing tracks and things that might not be that easy to reproduce live, but they pulled it off in a big way. The opening song, 'Sub Symphonika', was an instant eye opener while the obvious high point of the show was the iPhone anthem 'You Me and the Bourgeoisie'. Blake Hazard has an amazingly powerful and beautiful voice that I struggle to find any musical comparison to, and the band as a whole has an unmistakeable space-pop-gem sound.

This show was over two years in the making for me, and it was everything I expected and more. The more being the insane amount of people I had to stand behind, but all three of these bands are well-deserving of the sold out crowd they attracted.