Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How It Went Down: Warner Bros.' BET Awards Party

So here's the thing...I WON'T censor those that contribute to KTM (not on purpose, Crystal. C'mon now). I may choose to NOT publish something all together or edit down an obscene amount of pictures (and that's my choice to make) but cut out some chunky shit? No, thank you. Bring it. Would you like to help me welcome the newest member of the KTM family?


Warner Bros. BET Party or some shit like that...
The Highlands
June 25, 2010

Have you ever been on the elevator with people and thought to yourself: I hope they’re not going to the same place as me. And when you realize that indeed those folks are headed to your destination your second thought is: I need to stay 8-10 paces behind them so other people don't think I’m with them. Those were my exact two thoughts upon arriving at The Highlands in Hollywood for the Warner Bros. Records Pre BET Awards Celebration.

Now that we’ve all had a chance to cry with/for Chris Brown and laugh at Nicki Minaj being awarded BET’s “Best Female Hip-Hop Artist” title (I’m not the only one laughing right?) let’s rewind and dish on the lame pre-party I attended. My first clue as to what type of event I was attending came as I arrived in the elevator with three females speculating on which celebrities might be at the event that they could push up on. One of the “ladies” wore a shirt as a dress (not to be confused with a shirt dress though she obviously was) that barely covered her bum. I’m still wondering how she kept the shirt from rising. Sweat maybe?

After my name was finally found on the RSVP list I headed to security for a bag check at which point I was told that no gum was allowed in the club. My fresh pack of Wintermint Orbit Gum was immediately confiscated by a gum smacking security guard. When event producers plan for and set policies such as “no gum allowed” it means they've predetermined what type of crowd they’re expecting. Therefore everything about the type of party Warner Bros. Records was throwing that night was communicated to me in the first 5 minutes of my arrival.

At that point I was agitated and needed a drink. To be more specific: I needed liquor. So I headed over to the bar (which looked a mess) and ordered a rum and pineapple (still waiting for the rum portion of that drink). While sipping my pineapple juice I decided to settle in for what I could tell would be a long night. Found a comfy position leaning against a riser and went into tweet mode.

I happened to look up from tweeting to find a small, well waxed ass-a-jiggling descending down towards my face. Seriously. Where did these go-go dancers come from? And what are they wearing? Bra tops, cheekies (which became thongs), fishnet stockings, furry legwarmer like thingies, and one dancer wore Converse sneakers. To some of you this may seem sexy but it wasn’t. Many of the dancers lacked rhythm and good choreography. That irked me. There weren’t even any black go-go girls at this party celebrating BET. I'd like WB to at least be equal opportunity with their low grade thong girls next time around.

Then, I noticed that I was also standing next to a section of booths reserved for VIP. I didn’t see any VIPs but a pair of young, skinny guys who thought they were special occupied the space. Members of their posse kept standing on the seats of the booths and sitting on the ledge of the wall. Security asked them several times to get get down for safety reasons, to which the young and skinnies told them, “They can do what they want cuz this is our party.”

Who are these punks? After practically being knocked over half the night by groupies trying to get to them I found out it was the New Boyz, who later in the night were presented with their double platinum albums. Well, like their song says..."You’re a Jerk." Write what you know, huh?

Time for the celeb photo op on stage. In the building: Angie Martinez, Rocsi of 106th and Park, Ajay from BET, LisaRaye (can you guess what color she was wearing?), Twista, Slim Thug, Ciroc Boys, Quinton Aaron (portrayed Big Mike in the Blind Side), and Kiiiiiiid Capri.

Is this night over yet? Nope. Still need to get through the special musical performances; which didn’t begin until 1:30AM. First up: Lyfe Jennings. After encouraging all the ladies not to be a booty call via lyrics in his song, “Statistics,” I really thought he had gotten through to the groupies. Wrong. Not a minute after he finished it was back to folks trying to make it rain.

Next up: Kandi Burruss (“ATL Housewive” and former Xscape member). Like her, not such a fan of her songs, so let’s move on. The New Boyz capped the night off making me wish I’d left hours ago.

Only saving grace that night was DJ D-Nice spinning songs I actually don’t mind hearing. I think I might have enjoyed that event about 13 years ago; before I was old enough to know better. In my opinion it’s not a party unless there is A) an open bar or Jello shots, B) a buffet, passed hors d’oeurves or pot luck, or C) gift bags. Basically free stuff. Do better next time.

-Mercedes Yolanda Cooper

Mark Your Calendar: Also I Like To Rock Series Starts Tomorrow

You know it's summer when the Hammer Museum starts it's Also I Like To Rock series in July. Tomorrow is the first of the series and this year KCRW and Buzz Bands have teamed up with the museum to bring you another amazing year of free shows in the courtyard.

This year, you can opt to get yourself the "Rock the Summer" VIP pass for only $25! What does that get you? Well, you not only get a short term membership to the listener supported KCRW awesomeness, but you also get a short term membership to the Hammer Museum, VIP entrance to all of the shows as well as VIP Lounge access. Sounds fancy so you better do it. I am personally a fan of most things fancy and will definitely be getting on that shit.

The following dates are all ages shows and they're FREE - no excuses on not supporting KCRW and their wonderful contribution to the community and music industry. Shows start at 8pm but get there early for me!

July 1
Saint Motel
Dan Wilcox (DJ)

July 8
Admiral Radley
Happy Hollows
Anne Litt (DJ)

July 15
Fitz & the Tantrums
Garth Trinidad (DJ)

July 22
Voxhaul Broadcast
Chasing Kings
Chuck P (DJ)

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over"

Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over

What you think all I listen to is rap? Expand your mind son! I love this song. I think it's the authority in her voice. The kabuki make-up isn't hurting. Cloned black choir? Check! People blowing up like a Logan's Run birthday? Check! I like a little weird.

Nope. I don't know why the dog days are over and I don't particularly care, either.

-Crystal Holt

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Drake's "Find Your Love"

Don't even pretend you can understand the dude at the beginning of the video. Or any of the dudes that aren't Drake. Stop lying! Everyone wanna shoot in the favelas in Brazil. You are not down with the City of God. Not getting the shots of Drake smoking. In no way is ashtray mouth sexy or even remotely tasty. Pass! The beach views are beautiful though. Don't get the ending. Seems unnecessary. But hey, when you're hip-hop's golden child, you can afford to take risks.

-Crystal Holt

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - T.I.'s "I'm Back"

Apparently T.I. is back - fresh from prison. I checked out that Behind The Music. It was really good. I highly recommend it. This song is standard T.I. fare. It's good, but not excellent. Give him a moment. Hopefully, he's just warming up.

-Crystal Holt

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

McQ's Point of View: Abandoned Pools & Ashes Divide

Photos: Joe McQuillen
Abandoned Pools and Ashes Divide
The Viper Room
June 23, 2010

Abondoned Pools weren't as bad as I thought they would be. The band definitely sounded better live than on the album. And as for Ashes Divide: glad to hear that A Perfect Circle is back in game. Per usual, it was a lovely spectacular at The Viper Room... or as Jose Maldonado of Indie 103.1 likes to call it: "a glorified broom closet." I like the place, though. Makes me feel dirty in all the right ways.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Electric Tickle Machine - Blew it Again - Vinyl Giveaway

Electric Tickle Matchine - "PART OF ME"

I want whoever wrote Electric Tickle Machine’s press kit on staff to write my fabulous biography to make it sound grand and interesting or maybe most of us just aren’t fortunate enough to have lived the colorful lives of the ETM crew. ETM’s brand new album Blew it Again drops June 29th. Be sure to cop that! If you’re feening for an ETM fix because you crackheads just can’t wait, download the free track “Part of Me” and get your tweak on. This whole album makes me want to drop acid, watch Across the Universe, get naked and steal a couple of cop cars in Utah. If you want a vinyl copy of this bad mamajama for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE, tweet me @saviaj about why your undeserving ass feels you are worthy in 140 characters or less. Make it interesting! I’ll announce the winner this Sunday, June 25th. Later twatters!

-Crystal Holt

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eye Candy: Peggy Sue

Really digging the sounds that are being churned out by the UK's Peggy Sue. Before heading back to their motherland, they will be playing a show at Spaceland tomorrow night. I like to call this Aggressive Folk but what the fuck do I know, right? Right. Check out the video below for a taste of what you can expect and be sure to get your ass to the show.

Watchman from Peggy Sue on Vimeo.

But that's not all, folks! You can also have yourself a lil sonic treat to get you pumped for tomorrow night's show.

Peggy Sue - Watchman

Mark Your Calendar: Tame Impala Plays Los Angeles

Unless you've been hiding in your cave for the past however long, you've heard that everyone is up on Tame Impala's dick. Yours truly included. The Australian band is coming to Los Angeles to play two shows later this month, one of which is free. Mark your calendars and get your assess out there. No excuses. See you at the dance party, kids.

In the meantime, enjoy some sonic goodness:


Monday, June 28th
The Echo (FREE SHOW )

Tuesday, June 29th
Silverlake Lounge

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mark Your Calendar: Buzz Bands Presents Abandoned Pools

In case you haven't been reading Buzz Bands everyday (like you should be), Tommy Walter and his band, Abandoned Pools, will be playing their first show in five years. The band is going to play at Spaceland tomorrow night (along with Chasing Kings, Vanaprasta and a special guest) and you should meet me and the rest of the usual suspects at the venue for a drink or two.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. And don't forget kids, Spaceland is 21+.

Read more about what Abandoned Pools has been up to lately by clicking HERE. What's in it for you? A free download, courtesy of the band and Sir K Bro at Buzz Bands.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eye Candy: Bear Hands

Mmmm. Let me get at that Bear Hands goodness. Please and thank you. This video is fantastic. Don't have time to watch? LIstening to the audio while you do other shit: also fantastic. What else is fantastic? Their Daytrotter session from last year, that's what.

You can check out the interview that I did with the boys in the latest issue of mf magazine by clicking HERE. Enjoy.

Bear Hands - The Rumpus Session // LIVE in Brooklyn from Cantora Records on Vimeo.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sonic Treat of the Day: Doug Burr

Photo: Jason Upshaw

So recently, I've been mildly obsessed with Doug Burr. Pure folky goodness. I can't really get behind the Mumford and Sons shit that everyone has been RAVING about (mostly because I was tired as fuck on the night of their last show) but this I CAN get behind. Download my favorite track off Doug Burr's most recent release: 'O Ye Devastator' (Velvet Blue Music). "Red, Red" is the perfect driving song for these June Gloom mornings on the coast of Southern California. Thank you, Mr. Burr.


Upcoming shows...damn you, Texas!!

June 11 2010
The Hydrant - Denton, TX.

June 18 2010
Lochrann's - Frisco, TX

June 19 2010
AllGood Cafe - Dallas, TX.

June 26 2010
The Parish - Austin, TX.

July 8 2010
Barefoot at the Belmont - Dallas, TX.

July 9 2010
The Mohawk - Austin, TX.

McQ's Point of View: The Middle East and Mumford and Sons

Photos: Joe McQuillen
The Middle East & Mumford and Sons
Henry Fonda Theater (The Music Box)
June 4, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Christina Aguilera's "Not Myself Tonight"

Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight

WTF X-Tina? I don't think this chick knows who she is. Find a fucking identity. Who the hell are you now? Madonna? Lady Gaga? And stop hating on Gaga. We know you're jealous. Go back to singing Genie in a Bottle. I don't know what the hell to do with this video. Snore. Next. Come again.

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Travis McCoy and Bruno Mars' "Billionaire"

Travis McCoy featuring Bruno Mars - Billionaire

I love this song. This is my new theme song. Yeah he fucked up the Katy Perry situation, but I'm not sure that Russell Brand is an upgrade. Sure McCoy's look is a little too tatted and a little too funky, but I just wanna hang out, I don't wanna fuck. That Bruno Mars on the other hand ... Anyhoo, this song is beachy and sunny and hopeful. Just in time for the summer! Put your top down and head to Venice, the water's fine.

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Dirty Money's "Hello Good Morning"

Dirty Money - Hello Good Morning

-Crystal Holt

Diddy is trying to re-live the days of Biggie and Ma$e when he was still on top musically. You know how I like my Diddy? Making clothes and telling me what's sexy. I don't want to hear you trying to sing and have a career - same goes for you Timbaland. Why producers always trying to be stars? If your name isn't Pharrell or Ne-Yo, stay out the booth. Stop having a heart attack, I can say nice things about Ne-Yo ... every blue moon ... Halley's comet. Why is T.I. on this song? He must have been bored in jail and just started writing random verses and stuck them in random ass songs. Don't even get me started about members of that defunct girls group who's name I can't remember because they were so flipping annoying. I don't want any part of you Dirty Money, Diddy. I like my money laundered.

Sonic Treat of the Day: The Middle East

While LCD Soundsystem helps facilitate the dance party at the Palladium, The Middle East will be opening up for Mumford and Sons at the Henry Fonda (Music Box...whatever. I always refer to it as the Fonda). McQ and I will be checking out the under-water-y sounds of The Middle East - a band I've been loving for quite some time and though you might want to check out some of their tunes...even if you don't get to go to the show. Click it and lick it, cats and kittens.




PS: Support the band and get the album HERE.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures in Dean-o-landia: Lightning In A Bottle 2010

Photos and review: Dean Wick

May 28 - 31, 2010
Lightning in a Bottle
Irvine, CA

Lightning in a Bottle is nothing like your garden variety big city festival. You can live a lifetime and not experience a phenomenon quite like this. Music and Art are truly integrated. Blank canvases are set up for dozens of on-site artists who transform the stark-white boards into commissions of majesty by the festivals end.

The crowed here comes prepared -- donning everything from giant panda bear suits and every sort of colorful cartoon character, to animal spirit hoods and more Mad-Max Chic than you can shake a stick at. Fire performers and stilt-walkers wardrobed to the hilt regaled the enthusiastic throng throughout the celebration.

Enjoy some photos from the event and a spotlight on Booka Shade:


Booka Shade took the closing spot on the main LIB stage Friday night, playing to arguably one of the largest single-stage crowds of the weekend. These men transcend the standard conventions of one person with a turntable, seemingly bouncing ideas off of each other on the fly. When you realize Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger grew up together and have produced thousands of tracks between them, it is no wonder that a simple nod or look shared is what keeps the track and the dance floor moving in perfect synchronicity. A live stand-up drummer exacting perfection from his sticks is a rare thing of beauty to behold, and a sight you may only see once while you vigorously frolic on the canvas of earth beneath you. Booka Shade make it clear they want us to enjoy life, and for that....we thank you.

Note on Video Clips: Please excuse the bass in the clips: This was filmed directly in front of the main stage subwoofer array (20 boxes lined up side-by-side in front of the stage--each one measuring approx. 4.5'H/2'W/5'D, housing 2 drivers per box). 40 massive bass-producing speakers slapping the crowd like a pimp who wants his money. Get the live feel from the clips, get the polished sound from the albums.