Monday, December 14, 2009

Favorite Gift to Give in 2009

I heart just about everything Factory 25 puts their stamp on. If you're reading this, you and your friends will, too (okay, maybe not all of you but most of you, for sure). For $20 you can get an awesome DVD that supports extraordinarily talented filmmakers and artists but for $30 you can get that AND an awesome LP. Seriously. No shit. Awesome price for a deluxe experience of ANY film, right? Here are some that I highly recommend:


(because I don't do best of lists, but you already knew that, silly)

Check out the site for a full synopsis. Check out the film to local hot shots No Age, Mika Miko, Lavender Diamond and Minutemen. Or...

Check out the trailer for High School Record if you don't like the whole "element of surprise" thing:

High School Record Trailer from factory twenty five on Vimeo.


Be sure to treat yourself to the deluxe limited edition if you can because it includes an LP of never before released Rosie Thomas sessions with Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer. Singer/Songwriter goodness at its best. Get it.


Shot live in December 2007, Spiritualized: Acoustic Mainlines, is a re-imagining of Jason Pierce's catalog by putting aside the sonic guitar assault in favor of a more soulful stripped down approach to both Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized songs in the fitting devotion setting of the London's Union Chapel. Pierce proved, that with an acoustic guitar combined Doggen on Fender Rhodes piano, a gospel choir and a string quartet, his music can be just as intense.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In case you didn't have enough shit to do in December...

If you're free on Sunday night and you want a little holiday treat, join Kevin Bronson of Buzz Bands at Spaceland. I expect to appreciate the smoke free pool room for the first time in my life. Should be interesting. See you there.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Suck On This: Decembering

Photo: Kristy Sparow
Square on Square, KAV, Helen Stellar, Nightmare Air
The Echo
December 2, 2009

So much fun at last night's show. Kristy shot the show and K Bro will be posting pics soon. Be sure to check HERE later today. Actually, you should check THAT everyday. No, seriously.

Special shout out to the following people for making the night extra special:
Mary Rahmani
Reyna Soto
Timothy Norris
Mark Sovel
Laura Ferreiro
Amara Wilson
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog Lady outside of The Echoplex
and of course, the man himself, Kevin Bronson

We're Not Afraid To Dance

Photos: Kristy Sparow
Simian Mobile Disco
The Mayan
November 25, 2009

The last time I was at The Mayan, I didn't think Los Angeles liked dancing. I was mistaken. And thank goodness. SMD played to a healthy sized crowd the night before Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful way to bring in the holiday season. Especially when you get to do it with hundreds of closest friends. The material is a little weak in comparison to their previous albums ("Attack Decay Sustain Release" was a favorite of mine) but their set was pretty solid, overall.

Urbanology - Class Is In Session: Leona Lewis' "Echo"

Photo courtesy of Sony Records
Words: Crystal Holt

Of all the pop stars who deserve to be hit in the face (Lindsay Lohan comes to mind), Leona Lewis is no where on that list. That's some mad haterade that dude was harboring. Leona reminds me of a young nubile and innocent Whitney Houston, Celine Dion or Mariah Carey. Someone who comes from humble beginnings with a voice of an angel who sings anthems and feel good songs that I will NOT be pumping in the 'stang.

What's up with the coverart? She's stepped right out of L.A. Confidential -- you know, the high class call girls that look like movie star knockoffs. She looks like a $500/hr hooker. I mean that as a compliment. Who does her marketing? Who told her she needed a Rihanna/Pink makeover? If you're going to take a page from their handbook, your music has to reflect your new look. These songs are still as syrupy sweet, G-rated, vanilla adult contemporary (the most demeaning category you can place an artist in despite how lucrative it may be) as ever. With this sexpot photo, I'm expecting some sexy seductive songs, some heartbreaker songs, some edge. There is none to be had. Actually there is less on the sophomore album than the debut. What kind of backwards shite is that?

I'm just waiting for Leona to discover free basing crack or marry and divorce Svengali Simon Fuller and come out of the darkness on the otherside wiser, jaded, edgier and with something to actually say and sing about. Who's wasting all of those good tracks on no-singing hack Ashanti ("Things You Make Me Do" duet with sir hotness Robin Thicke) and Brandy's non-marketable ass ("Goodnight, Goodmorning")? Maybe she needs to seriously date and break up with another superstar (Rob Pattinson, Sam Worthington, Alex Skaarsgard, Usher?) to make some good believeable music. Worked for Timberlake and Mary J. Blige. I just don't believe Leona on "Can't Breathe" -- though a beautiful song, on the pipes of someone else it would make you cry and scream the song at the top of your lungs at karaoke bars (the longevity test of a true ballad). Where is Bryan Cox? Scott Storch -- he's not on coke anymore. He needs a job. Hell, Ne-Yo. Kandi from RH-Atlanta? Dream? Someone who will write something interesting for this chic. 'Cause right now I'm snoring.