Friday, July 23, 2010

Sonic Treat of the Day: Friendo's "Callers"

Remember those summer nights from yesteryear that went by like molasses and made you believe that THIS summer was your endless one and that nothing could possibly make it better? Remember the tracks that reminded you how good it was to be alive and how simple life could really be if we just let everything go? Here's another for the books. Friendo's "Callers" (off their Debut Ep 'Cold Toads' - out now) smells like beach bonfires and sunblock. Go on. Have a sniff.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keep An Eye On This Guy: Ty Segall

Ty Segall
July 15, 2010
San Francisco, CA
Photos and words by: Lorna Pacheco

Only three things can lure me up to the wasteland that is known as the Upper Haight: Amoeba Records, the new Puerto Rican eatery, Parada 22, and a good lineup of bands at Milk Bar. San Francisco’s Ty Segall. performed his one man solo act. Beloved by the fortunate ones to be in the know of his no nonsense, raw, loud, crude sounds. With minimized instrumentation (an electric guitar and kick drum set), Segall’s DIY philosophy delivered a song stomping, playful, energetic performance. At one point, Ty looked up to the tightly packed audience and asked, “What song should I play next?” A few yelled out a couple of songs, but he just shook his head in disagreement, finally I hollered out, “Drop Out Boogie,” my favorite Captain Beefheart song (thank you Jerry Bultsma for the introduction to CB). Ty squinted his right eye and produced a serious face as if I had struck a nerve or point of contention. He was in thought, trying to figure out the chords, then began to play the familiar chords. His voice, muffled in echo and reverb, “You wanna do what? You wanna do what? I told you what?! I told you what?!" The kid seriously has arrived to where he wants to be with this style of music: a nostalgic post-punk homage, with plenty of blues infused within.

Ty Segall's new album, 'Melted,' is out now. He is currently on tour and is scheduled to play The Smell on August 4th. You can listen to his songs on MySpace. Go see Ty, it is good for the soul!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Album Review: Best Coast's 'Crazy For You'

By Daniel Grant

Album Review: Crazy for YouBest Coast

The best thing about Crazy for You, the debut album from El Lay beach popsters Best Coast, is that these songs could have been written anytime over the past 45 years. With echoes of everything from Phil Spector to Pet Sounds to the Go-Go’s, these are timeless little pop gems that don’t deal with anything much heavier than dreaming of the perfect boy, the perfect wave, the perfect day and the perfect jay. With a noted lack of irony or posturing, Best Coast still manages to sound current even when singing lyrics about “waiting by the phone” (don’t people just carry their phones around in their pockets these days?).

The secret behind Best Coast’s ability to avoid sounding like some sort of revival band is the authentic emotion with which Bethany Cosentino infuses her sun-drenched tunes. Crazy for You is a great summer record, made for driving the freeways and lying on the sand. It’s hard to imagine this album coming from anywhere other than Los Angeles. Just like most other great L.A. albums, Best Coast infuses their summer sunshine anthems with a subtext of ennui and dissatisfaction. The world-weary and yearning tone in Cosentino’s vocals belie her simple girl group lyrical concerns and convey a depth of emotion lurking beneath the surface. You get the feeling that, as much as Cosentino finds comfort in the simple themes of youth and summer, she is far too worldly to really believe that this is all life is really about.

The album leads off with current single “"Boyfriend” (click on the link for a free download, courtesy of our friends at Aquarium Drunkard), in which Cosentino pines for a boy who has eyes for another girl who is “prettier and skinnier.” In the tradition of all the great girl group epics, Cosentino’s desire is palpable and she teeters uncertainly along the thin line between love and obsession. In the title track, perhaps sung to the same generic boy, Cosentino finds that now that she has bagged her prize she’s not always so sure that she likes what she ended up with. “I want to hit you but then I’d kiss you” and “I want to kill you but then I’d miss you” are the kind of conflicted emotions that have been the theme of great pop songs back to the days of Goffin/King’s “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss).”

With the aid of Bobb Bruno, Cosentino has mastered lo-fi studio technique and knows how to get the most out of overdubbed harmonies, studio reverb and the famous monochromatic Spector drum sound that has featured in this type of music from The Ronettes through the Jesus and Mary Chain. Cosentino has a knack for simple melodies and understands her influences and how to get the sound she is after. Crazy for You represents a major advance in sonic quality from the earliest Best Coast singles, without sounding too produced or too derivative of the vintage source material.

There’s only about 30 minutes of music on Crazy for You and the twelve songs fly by faster than a summer vacation, but every songs works well within this context. Cosentino is particularly effective on mid-tempo numbers like “Our Deal” and “I Want To,” in which you can feel the sense of longing and restlessness in her voice. By the time the album closes with “Happy” and “Each & Everyday,” a pair of spiky tracks that could easily be outtakes from Beauty and the Beat, you have the feeling that this may be the opening chapter in a running dialogue with a compelling new songwriter. Now that we’ve had a taste of summer romance with Best Coast, it will be interesting to see how things turn out once the weather turns colder.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Urbanology: Class Is In Session - Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts"

They broke this on Amp radio this morning (much like Eminem/Rihanna jam that isn't on his album). You may have heard Jar of Hearts on So, You Think You Can Dance or maybe not. But this song is awesome and Christina Perri is probably about to blow the frick up. Turn this up to 11, cry your eyes out and get over that stupid man that doesn't deserve any of your time or affection. Wash that man right out of your hair! Let Christina tell him how you feel!

Download it off her site or iTunes.

-Crystal Holt

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adventures in Dean-o-landia: Electric Daisy Carnival 2010

Electric Daisy Carnival
June 25th and 26th
Exposition Park & The L.A. Coliseum

spec·ta·cle –noun
1. anything presented to the sight or view, esp. something of a striking or impressive kind
2. a public show or display, esp. on a large scale

85,000 on Friday and 100,000 on Saturday, according to Kaskade's management company; while Sirius Radio touts "Over 250,000 people". It certainly seems like a mere 65,000 people could get lost in what is considered the largest electronic festival in North America. The press has been a bit rough on EDC; however, considering the scale and size of this event, you can attribute all they talk about to 1 or 2 percent of the overall attendees.

Walking through the crowd over the two-day event, you would see smiling faces everywhere connecting with friends past, present, and future --intent on enjoying the banquet of sights and sounds. Feasting on hard-hitting sets from Steve Aoki and MSTRKRFT in the Cosmic Meadow, you knew this audience would be coming back for seconds. The Kinetic Field hosted Deadmau5, Above & Beyond, Kaskade, and Armin Van Buuren. Beats were generously deployed to what seemed like a dancing army of living lights in the Coliseum itself. The 85+ artist lineup brought tears of joy to those reading the program, making some wonder how they could be in more than one place at one time.

Five separate stages continuously playing music tailored to every type of genre over an 11-hour period each day was enough to sate even the most voracious music lover. Reminding people why it's called 'Electric', a plethora of larger-than-life carnival rides were yours for the asking, if you dared. Fireworks brought dramatic color to the sky during the sets, giving them a little more of what they came for. It is something you can try to write about, but there is no substitute for seeing something this epic in person (hoping the pictures help).

EDC also holds concerts in Denver, Dallas, and the newest entry: Puerto Rico (why not?). The philosophy seems to be: If you don't go big, go home. It rarely gets bigger than this, friends. Whether winding through a tunnel of lights over 100 feet long, contemplating 8-foot flower sculptures glowing gently in a wash of light, watching metal behemoths engulf themselves in flames, trying to count the incredible number of disco balls that made their way into the tree you just passed, or simply savoring the sweet music dripping like a waterfall of honey from the decks, a land of pure-imagination exists everywhere in this garden of embellishments.

-Dean Wick

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eye Candy: Kitten Covers Cat Power for The Voice Project

Okay, I'm mildly obsessed with Kitten's lead singer. Her raw beauty and captivating voice. The cray-cray she brings to the stage. All of it. Love it. Below is a side of her that I'm not used to seeing but I am more than digging. She's stripped down to her very pretty guts and is as stunning as ever. Ew. She's so awesome it makes me sick.

Kitten » Cat Power from The Voice Project on Vimeo.

"The Voice Project is a US based non-profit supporting the women of Northern Uganda who have been using music effectively to bring soldiers home from Africa’s longest running war, the 24 year old conflict that has devastated the region of Northern Uganda, Congo, Southern Sudan and CAR."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

McQ's Point of View: Kitten and Saint Motel

Photos: Joe McQuillen
Also I Like To Rock
Kitten and Saint Motel
Hammer Museum
July 1, 2010

Last week went off!! Tonight, Happy Hollows and Admiral Radley will be rocking the courtyard. It's sure to reach capacity early so get your ass there as soon as you can. See you there!!

Sonic Treat of the Day: Wild Moccasins

Photo: Molly Rodriguez

I've been loving on the Wild Moccasins for quite some time. Their latest release, Skin Collision Past (out now), is a wonderful pop morsel to have your ears chew on over and over again this summer. And guess what...the Houston kiddos are currently in California. They're playing shows tonight and tomorrow in Los Angeles and are scheduled to hit Santa Barbara up on Sunday and Monday.

Without further ado, the title track off the album and today's sonic treat:


Thursday, July 8th
The Prospector
Long Beach, CA

Friday, July 9th
The Tribal Cafe
Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, July 11th
Presidio Motel
Santa Barbara, CA

Monday, July 12th
Muddy Waters Cafe
Santa Barbara, CA