Friday, February 29, 2008

I’m Never Gonna Know You Now, But I'm Gonna Love You Anyhow

Where were you when you found out Elliott Smith was dead? This seems to be a question nearly all my friends can answer without hesitation, like where they were during the chase of the white Bronco through Los Angeles or on 11 September. (I was in class during my first year of art school, when all of a sudden everyone started receiving texts from friends alerting us to his death.) I bring this up today because I have found out that plans to clean up the iconic wall Smith stood before for the cover of his album “Figure 8” have finally been implemented. For readers of LAist, you may remember this post from nearly six months ago, wondering why, of all the walls in Los Angeles, this one had to be the target of some particularly unappealing tagging. It’s disheartening to see the wall wiped clean of all the layers of earnest messages from fans, but unfortunately necessary. Hopefully this will last a little longer.

~sqg eliza

As It Was:

As It Is Now:

Here Comes The Sound, Turning Everything Around

This is becoming an all too familiar situation. Returning home from the Echo from a perfectly wonderful rock show, and attempting to write things about it in my half energized half asleep state all the while knowing that I have to wake up for work in three hours.

Mezzanine Owls did an excellent job (as always) of proving my theory that if you are going to write and perform anthemic songs, it is best to wrap them in a wall of distortion. It just makes the whole thing so much more compelling, and more than one of their songs left me wishing that I could figure out some way in which to actually live in them.

The Mae Shi's closing set ensured that most in attendance would leave the show with some residual energy. They do a smart, spazzy sort of hardcore cleverly updated to include electronic elements. I am in no position to write about this sort of thing in depth because it's not a genre that I am all too familiar with. I can say that the way they do it is highly effective. They spent a decent amount of time in the audience, and the kids up front were really into it. I get the sense that every time they play a show the kids up front are really into it. I always forget how much I enjoy seeing those kids at shows since I see them so rarely these days. There was a costume change involved for the band about half way through the set. I'm sad to say that in my sort of sick, and very tired state I completely didn't see this happen. I just looked up at one point, and all of a sudden every one of them was wearing a shirt that said "I'm glad you're alive." Indeed the whole set had a celebratory feel to it. Most particularly on this song:

Of course given all of my residual energy from the show, and my severe need of a nap so that I can properly open a restaurant in a few hours. I needed to find something to watch/ listen to that could help me wind down a bit. I opted for this:

Admit it, you've got a giant grin on your face now, don't you?

Have a lovely weekend!

~sqg marion

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Don’t Want to Be in Your Family Tree

You know the part in the Veruca Salt song “Disconnected”, when Louise Post is singing about how her lover (allegedly Dave Grohl!) has left her for another – a movie star! (I bet Winona Ryder is a good guess) and how she is super bitter and The Cult’s “Electric” is her “favorite record of the week because (she’s) not feeling sweet”? And you’re like, “Lou, you make being bitter and on Zoloft sound so appealing! If only I liked The Cult. What am I supposed to listen to during my nightly wallow? I know – "No One’s Little Girl" by The Raincoats!

Total disclosure: I haven’t liked The Raincoats for as long as I should have. I first read about them a handful of years ago in a magazine interview with singer Ana de Silva. I thought, “Oh, cool. A post-punk all girl band from England? I’ll have to tell myself to check them out and then promptly forget to do so for another year or two until I am looking at the Myspace page of my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend who will have a song of theirs playing and then I will like her a little bit, even though I’m not supposed to.” That day was over two years ago, and I’ve been a faithful fan ever since.

Moving (Rough Trade, 1984) is my favorite record of theirs, and my favorite song, “No One’s Little Girl”, is track one, side one of that very album. The lyrics are exactly the kind that build a solid break up anthem, the kind that marries a defiant “You can’t fire me, I quit!” sentiment with a Notorious B.I.G. “I don’t chase ‘em, I replace ‘em” type nonchalance. Ana’s vocals are really soft and half spoken, all her threats and asides sung under her breath. What really arrests me, though, is the violin. Melodically shrill, the simple tune repeated throughout will not leave your head for days, or maybe ever.

In the summer of 1993, Kurt Cobain wrote some very nice words about the band, something that I feel describes the feeling gained from their catalogue pretty accurately:

“When I listen to The Raincoats I feel as if I'm a stowaway in an attic, violating and in the dark. Rather than listening to them I feel like I'm listening in on them. We're together in the same old house and I have to be completely still or they will hear me spying from above and, if I get caught - everything will be ruined because it's their thing. They're playing their music for themselves. It's not as sacred as wire-tapping a Buddhist monk's telephone or something because if The Raincoats did catch me, they would probably just ask me if I wanted some tea. I would comply, then they would finish playing their songs and I would say thank you very much for making me feel good."

If you find yourself sans attic or opportunity to actually spy on the girls (who are still a band, by the way,) 3 am on a Sunday morning, winding down after a wine hazy night of listening to records and making prank phone calls with your best friends is a pretty ideal time to absorb their music.

~sqg eliza

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Top of Our Charts...

If you've heard or felt the faint echoes of rejoicing in the air as you wandered Echo Park today it's likely because the self titled digital EP from your favorite local band's favorite local band Mezanine Owls is officially out there bounding through the internets, and awaiting your purchase so that it can come crashing down around your ears. This is just one of quite a few places where you can do exactly that. You can find your full list of retail options here.

For those of you that prefer tangible releases to accompany your mp3s, the label behind this blessed event JAXART is selling a limited edition 7' of the song "Snowglobe" b/w "Temporary Health." There are only 500 of these in existence, each one is hand numbered, and each one comes with a card that allows you to download the EP in it's entirety for free! You can order one through the JAXART website, but I maintain that the best way to purchase one is by showing up to the release party on Thursday night at the Echo, letting yourself be wowed by the individual sounds of each act on the bill, then picking up a copy as you head home with your head spinning from an almost too impressive night of local music.

MP3 Mezzanine Owls "Snowglobe"

~sqg marion

I Guess I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night...

So funny, those shows that you have an immediate reaction to, that you just have to run straight home and write about even though you have to be at work in a few hours, and you don't have anything all that incisive to say.

For someone who doesn't count straightforward ROCK bands as her standard go to, I saw some good straightforward ROCK bands tonight at the Echo. I can't stress enough the fact that you really should see The Henry Clay People play a live show some point in your life. There isn't much else I can say describe this band, they just have something that will hopefully make you understand what me (and pretty much every other local blogger) are talking about when you do finally see them. Rademacher brought their standard issue high level of rockingness (real word?) And What Made Milwaukee Famous have gotten considerably tighter as a band since I saw them last two years ago. They've come very close to perfecting a very specific brand of American ROCK/ Power Pop that is not all that easy to pull off. Those of you in the "I want a song that I can smile along with and move to, but need something bigger than a simple pop song played on a cheap fuzzy guitar" camp will probably find a lot to love with this band. I certainly fall in to the "simple fuzzy pop songs first and foremost" category. But they had me smiling (and moving.) You've got just two more chances to see them during their L.A. residency tour. Thursday at the Silver Lake Lounge, and Friday at El Cid. They're selling copies of their new cd What Doesn't Kill Us as well which you would otherwise have to wait until a week from tomor-, today, rather to pick up. You can find more information about the record here. Incidentally that same website also serves as an excellent place for you to order the new Nada Surf record Lucky, if you haven't already done so...

Off for my nap now, sigh...

~squaregirl marion

Sunday, February 24, 2008

See Her Runing Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 2/25-3/2

Alright, finally got myself together enough to publish this show rundown on Monday. Now maybe next week I'll be organized/ambitious enough to put this thing together, and publish it on Monday morning, maybe even before 9 AM! I'll try not to get ahead of myself though. Looking at all of the show options this week it seems entirely possible that I will be at one every night. So the chances that I will be able to think by next Monday let alone type could be a bit iffy. Thankfully, aside from a small family gathering last night, my weekend was relatively quiet. Therefore I am slightly more well-rested than usual. Maybe my chances aren't so iffy after all...

Did everyone else have a good weekend? Restful, action packed, or anything else in between? Let us know...

~sqg marion

Here's what is coming up this week:

MONDAY 2/25:

Dorian Wood, Killsonic, Liz Pappademas, Chris TT, Frank Turner at Bordello

Maryandi, The Shys, Big Bang, February Fifths, and Nicholas Alexander & The Matadors
at The Silverlake Lounge

Bust Magazine presents: The Pity Party, Meho Plaza, and The Rolling Blackouts at Spaceland

Rickie Lee Jones at The Echoplex

The Henry Clay People, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Rademacher, and Army Navy at The Echo

I really cannot stress enough the fact that you should see The Henry Clay People live every chance that you get. They've assembled a pretty solid line up of rock bands to join them for the last night of their residency at the Echo too.


Branden Mayer and The Hidden Powers, Heartstrings Symphony, Denver Smith, and The Meemies at The Silverlake Lounge

The Helio Sequence, and The Builders & the Butchers at Spaceland

I See Hawks in LA, Mike Stinson, and Psychedelic Cowboys at The Echo

Blow Up Blow, The Pity Party, and The Softlightes at The Prospector (Long Beach)

Jay Farrar (Son Volt), and Anders Parker at The Troubadour

Hmmm, I'm not sure what show I would go to if I were going to a show on this night, though I definitely see some intriguing options. I just don't know enough about any of the bands playing to offer recommendations or even educated guesses. Can anyone offer any advice on this one? Also, just for the record, I'll have a quick DJ set at Lost Souls Cafe alongside (hopefully) Squaregirl Kristen, DJ Duane, and the SUPREMELY talented DJ couple Mel and Jano who were nice enough to invite us to be a part of the evening.


Flashing Red Lights, Francisco The Man, The Weather Underground, and Ladies and Gents at Silverlake Lounge

Club NME w/ Bedtime for Toys, and IO Echo at Spaceland

British Sea Power, Colour Music, and Castledoor at The Echo

Stellastarr*, and The Oohlas at The Troubadour

I've heard good things about The Weather Underground from a couple of reliable sources. It might be worth your time to go check them out before they hit the road for Noisepop, and South by Southwest.


Tulsa, What Made Milwaukee Famous, This Will Destroy You, and Signal Hill at The Silverlake Lounge

British Sea Power, Colour Music, and White Denim at Spaceland

Hell Ya! w/ Mezzanine Owls, The Mae Shi, Frankel, and Eagle & Talon at The Echo

Tilly & The Wall, Capgun Coup, and Buddy at The Glass House

The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, The French Semester, and Marvelous Toy at The Prospector (Long Beach)

Taken By Trees at The Roxy

I've been meaning to see Mezzanine Owls again since they impressed me so much when I saw them open for The Lilys at Spaceland back in December, I've been meaning to see The Mae Shi again sice they impressed me so much when I saw them open for the The Mountain Goats in New York in 2005. The release party for the former's new 7' on JAX Art Records seems like a perfect opportunity to do both.

FRIDAY 2/29:

What Made Milwaukee Famous at El Cid

MSTRKRFT, Z-Trip, LA Riots, and DJ Diabetic at The Henry Fonda Theater

Bad Religion at The House Of Blues/Anaheim

Spindrift, Spirit Army, Moonrats, and Restaurant at Spaceland

Tilly & The Wall, Capgun Coup, and Buddy at The Echo

Cat Power at The Wiltern

Blitzen Trapper, Grand Archives, and Fleet Foxes at The Troubadour

The show at the Troubadour might come across as a kind of recent Sup Pop signing showcase, or a promising Northwest bands showcase. Either way I've been looking forward to this one for awhile. I haven't yet heard the full length from Grand Archives, but I love the songs that I was able to hear from their EP last year. Also the fact that it is the project of Matt Brooke formerly of one of my favorite (and all too often overlooked) bands Carissa's Wierd, and the slightly more well received (and also pretty great) Band of Horses makes me very excited by the prospect of how it will all translate live. I've seen Blitzen Trapper live, and I can say that they are quite good. I don't know a whole like about Fleet Foxes, but a good number of Seattle music fans seem to love them. Seattle music fans are generally a very trustworthy bunch.


Love Grenades, Von Iva, and The Library at El Cid

Bad Religion at The House Of Blues/Anaheim

I Make This Sound, Bedroom Walls, and Seasons at Mr. T's Bowl

Imaad Wasif, Grimble Grumble, and Timonium at Pehrspace

Holy Fuck, A Place to Bury Strangers, and In Waves at Spaceland

The Raveonettes, and Be Your Own PET at The Glass House (Pomona)

I've tried to see A Place to Bury Strangers recently, and failed. Same thing with Holy Fuck. Needless to say I am very very excited about this show. I don't know anything about In Waves, but I really like what I've heard on their Myspace page. I think I'll be at Spaceland early on Friday. Who's coming with me?

SUNDAY 3/02:

MSTRKRFT, Z-Trip at El Rey Theatre

The Magnetic Fields, and The Interstellar Radio Company at The Henry Fonda Theater

Bad Religion at The House Of Blues/Anaheim

400 Blows, The Blood Arm, Run Run Run, Oliver Future, and The Vacation at Spaceland (13 Year Anniversary)

Part Time Punks w/ Spectrum, Midnight Movies, and Grimble Grumble at The Echo

If I am still able to stand and walk on Sunday I will most certainly be walking over to the Echo. I still haven't gotten as involved with the music of Spacemen 3 and everything that followed as I should (and plan to,) Spectrum probably being the one that I've spent the least amount of time with. However I have seen the live show, and it's drifty (real word?) and interesting, and I want to experience it again now that my musical tastes have started to expand in that direction a little bit more. I'd say it's worth experiencing regardless of how your tastes skew. The fact that they are joined by Midnight Movies who I haven't seen a full set from since their line up change, but still adore to no end offers even more incentive. With even more incentive offered by opener Grimble Grumble who are reportedly a bit on the awe inspring side as well. Just try to forget about that whole needing a certain amount of sleep thing, and you'll be fine...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Who Invented the Typical Girl?

What an unbelievably exciting day (even though it began WAY too early for me.) First, I return home to find not one, but two nifty blog posts from Squaregirl Awesome (damn, I keep mixing up her name) Squaregirl Kristen, rather. Then I find that I have two more fantastic posts that are just a copy, paste, and click of the publish button away from our email account to your eyes. The first will be a review of last Friday's stellar St. Vincent show at the Echoplex cleverly compared and contrasted to her show in Santa Barbara the following day, submitted graciously by our new contributor Squaregirl Rachel. The second will come from equally as new, equally as gracious Squaregirl Eliza picking up my slack on the "Listening too Long to One Song" segment this week with a short, sweet, and often fucking hilarious explanation of why she can't stop listening to Swedish band Those Dancing Days. Oh, and from now on we'll be signing our names to confuse you less, and make ourselves feel more professional.

Hey, look at that, the future of Squaregirls is here today!

Actually, come to think of it, is that even physically possible?...

I really need to sleep...

Hooray for new writers!

~Squaregirl Marion

Ashes in Downtown

Ever since I missed the opportunity to see Annie Clark (St. Vincent) with her full band at Sasquatch last year, I've been kicking myself. When I caught St. Vincent at the Echo in August, Annie's sweet sweet voice cast a spell on me. So, I wasn't going to miss another chance to see them, which came on Friday, February 15th at the Echoplex. This time around, though, I had the luxury of also being able to hit the Santa Barbara show on Saturday night.

Friday's show was at the newly-remodeled Echoplex. (The show was originally scheduled for the Echo, but later moved downstairs to the roomier Echoplex.) I had been to the Echoplex for a Dub Club last June, but I haven't made it back since. Therefore, I did not realize that the entrance is not on Sunset Boulevard, as it had been in the past. It was on Glendale Boulevard. I parked in the lot behind the Echo and practically ran to the door, where I was told I was in the wrong place. After a lengthy 7-minute walk (I'm from Los Angeles; we don't walk, and we especially don't walk in Echo Park down underpasses at 11p.m.), I finally made it to the spot. I was already late, and this made me later. I arrived just as the first song "Now Now" was in progress.

The place was not completely packed, but it was full, making it almost impossible for someone of my short stature to see the stage, which was decorated with these colorful wooden structures. Annie's face was projected on a screen behind the stage. It was a lovely set up. Annie wore this bejeweled black dress, and the fellas wore slacks and suspenders. Squaregirl Marion and I initially tried to push through the crowd to the front, but we eventually settled for a bench that we could stand on, where we were able to watch the rest of the show. Though this was the first show of the tour, it felt like the band had been playing these songs for years. Such intricate, complicated songs were executed flawlessly. I was impressed, and the crowd was thrilled with the show.

The Santa Barbara show was at Velvet Jones. This was my first and last trip there. The venue was cozy and intimate, and I could actually see the stage. Unfortunately, it was also overrun with local drunks who were only there to get wasted, talk loudly, and make out with each other. In spite of these circumstances, the band was once again flawless. I watched the show from upstairs, where I had full view of the stage. the band is so cohesive, and they appear to have been playing together forever.

Most of the songs played were from last year's "Marry Me", but several of the songs were reworked with beautiful results. Also, there were a two new songs added to the set. The highlights: "Marry Me", which began with each member of the band ringing these little colored bells, and my favorite "Your Lips Are Red", which I think had a new violin part during the break towards the end of the song. Also, an oboe has been added, which makes "Jesus Saves, I Spend" so much fuller.

St. Vincent is now on tour with Foreign Born through March 1st. Next stops are the PLUG Awards, and then Coachella. St. Vincent plays Saturday, April 26th, along with M.I.A., Death Cab, Man Man, Cold War Kids, MGMT, Animal Collective, Kate Nash, and headliners Portishead. And back again this year: the ever popular $8 Heinekens!

~Squaregirl Rachel

Listening Too Long To One Song: Those Dancing Days "Those Dancing Days"

I like my dance pop to come from people who look like they laugh a lot. And it’s obvious that this band does, all full of sunshine and bunny kisses and probably half a can of Bärnsten they stole from their parents. Upon hearing the song for the first time, I commented to a friend that it ignited an urge to go out dancing, drink too much and negotiate my standards. Does that sound like fun to you? Well it is! And so is this eponymous single by a quartet of Swedish schoolgirls on Wichita Recordings’ roster. By now, I sort of anticipate the chorus of rolling eyes when a new Scandinavian dance-pop group is introduced. I admit, once a herd of similarly labeled bands comes stampeding out of the same city, it can appear as annoyingly calculated as putting a picture of Arthur Schnitzler up on one’s Myspace page under “Heroes”.* But Those Dancing Days are different, I swear! They have such a youthful and sincere vibe and the ability to write catchy melodies. Singer Linnea’s vocals are probably best described as toeing the line of soulful, and I can’t wait to hear what she does with her talent as she matures. Luckily, TDD has the talent and charm to stick around long enough for us to see.

* No one really likes Arthur Schnitzler.

~Squaregirl Eliza

prince of love?

Watching Prince's video below got me thinking...
I'm currently hooked on Rock of Love 2. And by hooked I mean disgustingly addicted. I cannot express how intriguing it is to watch both over the hill metal wenches and not-even-born-yet-when-he-was-"famous" rock whores throwing themselves at a very aged and plastic looking Bret Michaels. In a word, awesome! I've yet to tackle VH1's other train wreck Flavor of Love starring PE's Flavor Flav which looks equally amazing and is already in its third season!

So I'm thinking now, what could be better than Prince's own reality show in search of his own Princess? I'm not even sure if he's married or not, but you have to admit, it would be a royally amazing adventure. Or how about King of Love, with our very own King of Pop, Michael Jackson? You know it'd be nothin', but a good time.

p.s. this is sqg k by the way, so please don't penalize sqg m with my poor taste!

you lost your voice singing along to raspberry beret

The first time I heard the Fruit Bats “Earthquake of 73’” was live in May of 2006 at a venue in Chicago. I can’t quite remember the name of the venue, but it was actually an old movie theater. It was enormous but the crowd wasn’t. This setting made for one of the most comfortable and intimate shows I’ve ever attended. The small crowd sat at the front of the theater, there was no stage and most of the time, Eric Johnson sat amongst the audience, facing and singing straight to us.

That’s about all it took to make “Earthquake of 73” one of my favorite love songs of all time, a love song that doesn’t beat you over the head with being a love song. Its beautiful, simple lyrics speak of an ageless love that starts young, and takes caution to stay pure and true as the years go by. It’s all anyone in love, or anyone who wants to be in love could ever wish for.

I discovered the Fruit Bats far too late, as now EJ has joined the Shins. But I guess it wasn’t really too late after all. I’m still thankful that on one spring Chicago evening, I heard the song that made me wait till’ I found it.

The Fruit Bats - Earthquake of '73

and cause you know you love it...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

See Her Runing Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 2/19-2/24

Here's a helpful tip to any and all who might be reading this now. If you are ever sitting at home debating about whether you should venture outside and see Henry Clay People for the second or third time within three months, or whether you should stay right where you are it's always the right decision to err on the side of seeing the Henry Clay People again, always. They will not deliver the same show that you saw from them last time, and the next time that you see them it will completely different still. Because the are a ROCK band. A purely straightforward, drunken, injuring themselves on stage then playing through the set barely fazed, shout along inspiring ROCK band. See them live as often as you can.

Oh, and you might want to make it a point to see Kissing Tigers as soon as you are able. They were not at all what I was expecting, but kind of amazing nonetheless.

Here's what we've got for the rest of the week:


Keren Ann, Dean & Britta, and Sara Lov at El Rey Theatre

Siouxsie Sioux at the House Of Blues Anaheim

The Kris Special, and The Harpeth Trace at The Echo

Evil Maria, Spidey, The High Wires, and Keith Waggoner (of The Amateurs) at The Scene

The Hives, and The Donnas at The Wiltern

Surely you were already planning to go to this and I'm just offering you a friendly reminder, right...


Liam Finn at Amoeba Music

The Weather Underground, Calamity Magnet, Antiques, and Safety Glass at The Silverlake Lounge

Indie 103.1 presents Club NME w/ The Snow, and The Minor Canon at Spaceland

The Album Leaf, Kill Me Tomorrow, and What Laura Says Thinks & Feels at The Echo

Pinback at The Majestic Ventura Theater

I've heard only the nicest things about the live show of The Minor Canon so I figure it's time to finally check them out for myself. Anyone care to join me?


Pinback, MC Chris at The Avalon

Manhattan Murder Mystery, Health Club, Codpiece, and The French Semester at Mr. T's Bowl

The Entrance Band, Crystal Antlers, Lord Jeff, and What Made Milwaukee Famous at The Silverlake Lounge

Eject, Radars to the Sky, The Hectors, and Cosio at Spaceland

Helmet, Burning Brides, Darker My Love, Icarus Line, and Crystal Antlers at The Echo (Benefit for Manny Neito/Matt Crunk)

The Lovemakers, Phoenix & The Turtle, Astra Heights, and Stacy Clark at The Glass House (Pomona)

Classical Geek Theater and L.A. Underground Presents: The Monolators, Wait Think Fast, Summer Darling, and Friends of Dennis Wilson at The Scene

Captain Ahab, Naomi Elizabeth, Xrin Arms, Tik//TIk, and Pukers at The Smell

West Indian Girl, dios (malos), Woven, and Drugstore Cartel at The Troubadour

Surely you were already planning to go to this and I'm just offering you a friendly reminder, right...

The line-up is slightly different from that on the flier with the awesomely named Friends of Dennis Wilson replacing Shirley Rolls. Oh, and it's always worth mentioning that The Monolators are one of the best things to happen to local music in a while. And they have pretzels.

FRIDAY 2/22:

Kimya Dawson at Amoeba Music- Hollywood

Golden Animals, Hazelden, Rykarda Parasol, and What Made Milwaukee Famous at Bordello

Liars, No Age at El Rey Theatre

Divisadero, Foot Foot, Red Pony Clock, The Finches at Pehrspace

The Gray Kid at Spaceland

Built To Spill, and Meat Puppets at The Echoplex

Club Underground w/ Her Grace the Duchess, and Rocket at The Echo

Seasons, Co-op, and Ghost Machinist at The Scene

Anavan, Pharmacy, Lipstick Terror, and Bad Dudes at The Smell

The Lovemakers, Astra Heights, and Something for Rockets at Troubadour

It would be such a nice way to spend a Friday evening. Start early with Kimya Dawson at Amoeba then finish out the night with Red Pony Clock at Pehrspace. Funny, if I had simply read something about the number of people that are in Red Pony Clock, and the instruments that they play before actually hearing their recordings it would have sent up so many red flags for me. However, I first heard them on Happy Happy Birthday to Me comp, and was seriously impressed with their carefree, Beach Boys influenced, mariachi tinged indiepop. I'm very intrigued to see how this translates live.

If only I can figure out how to replace my blood with coffee or something like that before then...


Buddy, James Combs, and Willie Wisely at El Cid

Dirty Sweet, and Lions at Spaceland

Built To Spill, Meat Puppets at The Echoplex

Check Yo' Ponytail w/ Blaqstarr, Dave Nada, and Blue Jemz at The Echo

The Redwalls, Catfish Haven, Sabrosa Purr, and My Pet Saddle at The Knitting Factory (Front Stage)

The Henry Clay People, and Forcefield On at The Prospector (Long Beach)

Built to Spill were one of my biggest highlights at Austin City Limits in 2005. I'd go so far as to say you should probably try to see them at least once before you die, or something.

SUNDAY 2/24:

Robert Francis, The Shys, Juliette Commagere, and Nicholas Alexander & The Matadors at The Silverlake Lounge

Alex and Sam, Haim, and Dustin Boyer at Tangier
10:00 PM

Part Time Punks w/ Holy Shit at The Echo

Holy Shit! ... That promises to be a good show.

Yep, I went in that direction with my comment. I apologize, but it simply could not be avoided...

So those are my ideas for this week. Anybody have anything to add, or anything that you feel should be recommended?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Minutes That Escaped Me, the Guilty Minutes Hate Me...

Remember last week, when I had seen the error of my lazy ways and was all set to change them? Well, um about that...

I got home last night with the best intentions, stay in, write concert calendar, go to sleep by one A.M. at the very latest. However sometimes your best intentions fail you, and a 9 P.M. viewing of Sixteen Candles demands your full undivided attention, and then you wake up sometime around two A.M. wondering, "Where did it all go wrong?"

So in order to compromise, here are your options for tonight with the promise of a full run down of the rest of the weeks shows tomorrow so you at least have the option to plan ahead. For those of you that are into that sort of thing.

By the way, did anyone make it to any good shows over the weekend? I hate to say it, but my weekend was delightfully low key aside from St. Vincent at the Echoplex which was amazing. Did I miss anything that I will be kicking myself over when I read about them in your comments? Please share...

Here are your options for tonight MONDAY 2/18:

Dave Newton Showcase w/ The Henry Clay People, The Happy Hollows, Death To Anders, and Kissing Tigers at The Echo

Robert Francis at The Silver Lake Lounge

KCRW presents: Rickie Lee Jones at The Echoplex

Casket Salesmen, Auditory Aphasia, Mongoloid, Mythmaker, and The Feelings Mutual at The Troubadour

Indie 103.1 Presents Check One... Two... The Flying Tourbillion Orchestra, Dengue Fever, and Colorforms at The Viper Room

Bust Magazine Presents: The Pity Party, Film School, Ladies & Gents, and What Made Milwaukee Famous at Spaceland

Ah the age old battle over how to split your time between the Echo and Spaceland for the free Monday night residencies, and the increasingly great line-ups that come with each. I think I'll wander over to the Echo tonight myself. You've got the Henry Clay People who are on the third night of their residency at this point, and whose show last week was apparently so good I rightfully shouldn't be able to show my face at this one because I missed it without much of a valid excuse. You've also got Death to Anders who rock about as much live as their new album Fictitious Business rocks your ipod, that is to say A LOT. Kissing Tigers who I've not yet seen, but adore their recordings to pieces, and The Happy Hollows who I liked a lot when I saw them two years ago.

The night is also being referred to as the Dave Newton showcase as he produced records for all of the bands in question. So in honor of that, posted below is a video of Dave Newton covering his former band The Mighty Lemon Drops with his all too short lived band The C86 All Stars at Spaceland in 2006. You really should have known that I would never pass up a perfect opportunity to reference anything having to do with the history of indiepop...

THE C86 ALL STARS Happy Head - Mighty Lemon Drops

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sigh, Sigh, Sigh...

So... another Valentine's Day is coming to a close, and once again I find myself in love with a new pop song. This is not an unusual state for me to find myself in. In fact, I've recently come to the conclusion that when I look back on my life I will find that most of my significant relationships will have been with pop songs. But it's always nice to find a brand new love on Valentine's Day isn't it?

I've only listened to the mp3 of Strawberry Whiplash's "Who's in Your Dreams?" a few times so I have nothing too intelligent to offer about it. But as we all know intelligence and love so rarely go hand in hand. I only know that it's a perfect fuzzy pop song, with lot's of tambourine, and more ba da bas per capita than most perfect fuzzy pop songs that I've heard in recent memory. And I want to shirk all of my responsibilities and spend all of my spare time with it. Please download this song here, now.

Though I should warn you that downloading the song is only going to make you want more. Fortunately Strawberry Whiplash have a brand new EP that is available through the ever lovely Matinee Recordings! You can find it along with more information about the band here. Get ready to shirk all of your responsibilities too.

By the way, it should be noted here that when I paid a visit to Strawberry Whiplash's myspace page, I noticed that one of their top friends was a band by the name of Tesco Chainstore Mascara. Um, might that be the best band name ever? From what I've heard so far, they make nice music too. Expect a full post about them soon...

Pep Up the Formula Tonight, You're Not Obliged to Do Us Favors, Disenchanted Hearts Unite...

You know those days when you wake up with that sinking realization that you are falling very behind on several projects, at least one of them has a deadline, and you have absolutely no idea how to tackle it? Yeah, well, welcome to my morning.

I've also been reminded a few times that today is apparently a "holiday" where people celebrate "being in love," or whatever. I just wanted to post a quick reminder for those of you not in love, or those of you who are but feel a bit non- traditional you might want to head over to the Cha Cha Lounge tonight for this thing:

I'd like to make it out myself, but I will likely still be staring blankly at my computer waiting for the magical correct combination of words to appear on the screen sometime before tomorrow morning. Yep, nerdiest Valentine's Day plans ever!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Listening Too Long To One Song: Cardinal, well, everything really

Very, very few things surprise me anymore. The fact that every band that you know and like, that shouldn't necessarily exist within the world of Myspace will likely have a Myspace profile either run by the band themselves or, more often than not, run by a fan. For example. So I don't know why it surprised me just a little when I stumbled across the Myspace page for the band Cardinal.

It's not as if it's any more unusual for Cardinal to have a Myspace page dedicated to them than say Bubblegum Splash. However, I've never owned any recordings from Bubblegum Splash, and I learned of their existence through the internet. So Myspace has really been my only outlet for discovering that particular band's music. Cardinal on the other hand were recommended to me by a real live person who is much more knowledgeable than I am, and whose taste in music I regard more highly than well, anybody really. Thanks to the most convenient location of this conversation (the KCRW music library) we were able to listen to the record right then and there. I was struck then by how specifically place and time it felt. Though it was released in 1994, it didn't feel like a record that was released in 1994, and the clever 60s pop style that it encompasses is probably one of the last things that would spring to your mind when you think of music and 1994. However, I feel that if I had been in college that year, and had discovered that record I probably would have listened to it, and nothing else until I wore out at least two copies (more likely three) blasting it day in and day out on my walkman. In fact when I listen to it now on my ipod, I still feel as though those sounds are emerging from a portable cassette player, and not a computer.

But we live in a time now when everything is on a computer. As much as I was struck by the sheer beauty and complexity of the record, (those harmonies, those lyrics, those guitars, those trumpets, those... harmonies...) at the exact same time I had frighteningly easy access to at least 12 new (to me) records that I was falling in love with almost as much as that one. Even as I knew that had I discovered Cardinal in another time period I would have listened to that record and nothing else, I also knew that because of the time that I did discover it in the phase of listening to that record day in and day out wouldn't last nearly as long as it should have.

There is also the fact that I have not yet found the time to really get into any projects (Richard Davies, and Eric Matthew's solo work most glaringly) that preceded or followed Cardinal that allows that band to be even more specific to me. One band who made one perfect record, who basically only existed within the span of one year. Therefore though their Myspace page doesn't really surprise me in the long run, for that first moment it did. Even though somewhat ironically, it was the discovery of that Myspace page that led to the record accompanying every walk that I took during that week. Like it was 1994, and it was the only record I cared to know about, and it would never leave my walkman, ever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

See Her Runing Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 2/12- 2/17

I realize that noon on a Tuesday is a bit illogical of a time to be posting a concert calendar that for all intents and purposes SHOULD be ready to go first thing Monday morning. This is what happens when one gets distracted by lovely Sunday afternoon things, and distracted by the promise of being wowed by Kid Congo at The Echo on Sunday night, and that same person has to make it to Santa Monica from Echo Park by nine the next morning. People like that seem to forget how very little brain function these things leave them with on Mondays. Next week will be better, I promise. I trust that you still defer to him, him, him, this guy, these fine folks... right?


Versa Vice, She's Your Sister, Sumo, and The Black Tales at The Silverlake Lounge

Talkdemonic, and Guam at Spaceland

The Bombs, We Are Good Friends, El Paso Hot Button, and Gravity Propulsion System at The Scene

Rufus Wainwright at The Wiltern

Dublab and Part Time Punks Present "Give Up," and/or a Sad, Slow Dance party at La Cita.

I simply cannot get past my excitement over the fact that for once this "Give Up" night is NOT opposite Radio Free Silver Lake's Let's Independent.

Prepare yourself for Valentine's Day in the proper style by dancing and crying (also, I'm imagining, falling and laughing...) here:


The Weather Underground, and Free Moral Agents at The Silverlake Lounge

Andre Williams, and The Flash Express at Spaceland

I Make This Sound, The Breakups, The Amateurs, and Le Switch at The Echo

Wonderground, Brian Wright, Ferraby Lionheart, Cory Branan, and Hayes Carll at The Hotel Cafe

Darkest Hour at The Roxy

It's been a while since I've made it to a Le Switch show, and I feel like I might start going through withdrawl soon. I've heard very nice things about the rest of the bands that are joining them at the Echo as well. The show is I Make This Sound's EP release party. The fact that they're in such good company speaks well for them. I hope I'll be able to make it to this one.


The Black Lips, Pierced Arrows, and Terrible Twos at El Rey Theatre

Was Not Was, Brian Wilson, and Kris Kristofferson at The Orpheum Theatre

Matt Hopper, The Old Believers, and The Meemies at Pehrspace

The Entrance Band, Warpaint, Golden Animals, Ben Goodman & Alina Hardin, and Dionysus at The Silverlake Lounge

Mellowdrone at Spaceland

Echo Park Records presents: Very Be Careful, Paul Devro, Dam Funk, and Grupo Fantasma at The Echoplex

Darkest Hour, Cephalic Carnage, Emmure, Enter Shikari, White Chapel at The Glass House (Pomona)

Blood Red Orchestra, The Front, The Monolators, and Joshua Lanes at The Prospector (Long Beach)

LOT's to do tonight if you're single or not the "nice, quiet, romantic dinner with my sweetheart type of couple." As cool as that Was Not Was thing with Brian Wilson and Kris Kristofferson at the Orpheum sounds, it also sounds exspensive. This thing that the L.A. Record is presenting at the Cha Cha Lounge sounds awesome though. Always nice to see Jax on the ones and twos as well:

FRIDAY 2/15:

Siouxsie Sioux, and Rasputina at The Henry Fonda Theater

Nikki Corvette, The Dazes, Wild Weekend, Thee Cormans, and Jail Weddings at Mr. T's Bowl

Stepsonday, Good on Paper, and The Health Club at Pehrspace

St. Vincent, and Foreign Born at The Echoplex

Grand Ole Party, and Love Grenades at The Echo

Cobra Starship, Metro Station, We the Kings, and The Cab at The Glass House (Pomona)

GoGo Simba, OVO, Dim Rocket Delta, and Hundreds & Thousands at The Smell

DJ Shadow, and Cut Chemist at The Wiltern

We squaregirls do love the Health Club, and we love Pehrspace just as much so I can tell you that this would for sure be an excellent way to spend your Friday night. However, with St. Vincent at the Echoplex I have to give a slight advantage to the touring band. Her live show is quite amazing.


Siouxsie Sioux, and Rasputina at The Henry Fonda Theater

Deke Dickerson's All Star Frat Band, Th' Losin' Streaks, The Okmoniks, The Jinxes, The Lateenos Special Ed, and The Del Lames at Mr. T's Bowl

Liam Finn, Rocco Deluca, and Nico Stai at Spaceland

Echo Park Records presents: Arabian Prince, Glass Candy, Guns and Bombs, Los Super Elegantes, DJ avi$, and DJ Appaloosa at The Echoplex

Hang the DJs w/ The War Tapes, and Spider Problem at the Echo

Le Face, Vomit Bomb, Bad Parents, and Pukers at The Smell

Cobra Starship, Metro Station, We the Kings, and The Cab at The Troubadour (SOLD OUT)

I just realized that I've only ever heard good things about Hang the DJs, but have never been to one of their nights, and I very much want to check out Spider Problem cause what I've heard online sounds cool, and the Echo is always great so...

SUNDAY 2/17:

The A-Bones, Rock N Roll Adventure Kids, Haunted George, The Guilty Hearts, Les Hormones, and Wounded Lion at Mr. T's Bowl

Electrocute, and Har Mar Superstar at Spaceland

Alex and Sam, Rachel Cantu, Dustin Boyer at Tangier

Baby D, and BARR at The Echo

I.E., Flaspar, Teppop, Fortress of Amplitude, and Human Hands at The Smell

Part Time Punks: Smiths Nite at The Echo

Squaregirl Kristen said that she really liked Alex & Sam when she saw them a few months ago. Funny too, that Part Time Punks latest Smiths night happens to fall on Valentine's Day week. I've always maintained that there should be a counter holiday to Valentine's Day, and that the only logical name for this holiday would be St. Morrisey's Day...

Friday, February 8, 2008

It Was the Record That You Needed to Complete your Pop Collection...

Slumberland Records has announced the first two singles that will be released as part of it's Searching For the Now series! You might remember that I've been looking forward to the start of this series for quite some time now. So finding that email waiting for me the other day was too exciting for words. I should have written something about it sooner, but things have gotten slightly busy lining up future squaregirls nights, plus that whole real job thing...

With that said, I'll keep this post brief. Here is an excerpt from the email I received from Slumberland:

The first two singles in our Searching For The Now series are finally almost here.

Volume One has songs from The Company (featuring Roy Moller and Stevie Jackson) and The Hermit Crabs.
Volume Two features Bye! (Archie from Velocity Girl and friends) and The Happy Couple.

Both singles are on color vinyl and come in full color jackets. They're out February 18th, but you can pre-order until then and get the pair for $7.00, postage-paid in the US."

Seems like an unbelievable deal to me. And I have to say, I'm freaking out just a little over the idea of finally having a tangible recorded object from Bye!. I've been wearing those myspace tracks out for the past 4 or 5 months since the endlessly cool, and always in the know Imaginary Liz alerted me to the existence of the project.

Information about ordering the singles can be found here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Just Look at the Size of You...

I spend, oh probably more time than I should volunteering for things. These things are mostly (read: pretty much all) music related. The one particular head scratcher for people is my time spent on the Barsuk Street Team. One of my long time favorite (active) labels, Barsuk has been something that I've contributed to for about a year and a half now. In fact I probably owe most of my being able to shake off the social anxiety, stand alone at shows in this slightly intimidating neighborhood, and actually talk to people who are much cooler than me to my status with the Barsuk Street Team and the late (sniff) Sea Level Records. However, that is another story.

Generally though, what I hear when I tell people that I volunteer my time to hang posters for a record label is this, "They don't even give you gas money?" To which I say, "No I get free cds and access to guest list privileges for any of their band's shows." They then look at me like I am insane. Truth be told I sometimes feel insane for devoting so much time to a non-paid service myself. Especially since I set my own work hours, tend to be very lazy, and often do street team stuff when I should be working on projects that I am getting paid for.

Then I find myself in a situation like the one that I found myself in on Monday night, and I realize that it is all so very worth it. So very, very worth it. I was asked to help work the door at an extraordinarily intimate acoustic Nada Surf show. It was mostly for music supervisors so my job was essentially to drive Nada Surf's bass player Daniel back to their hotel so that he could pick up his laptop, check in the 30 or so people that were on the guest list, then watch what is certainly the best show that I've seen so far this year. Of course, that's an easy call since we are only a month into 2008. However, I think this one will stay pretty high up there as the year carries on.

Let's start with the sound in this room. It's a tiny space tucked away in Beverly Hills that serves as a show room for Gibson guitars so automatically you know that this is a place is designed to make music sound good. The equipment must have been top of the line because everything sounded so pure, and all of the levels were perfect. Of course it always helps if the band in possession of all these advantages is already a top notch band. Nada Surf are plenty more than just a top notch band. I've long been in awe of how they pull off their perfectly constructed, filled to capacity, but never over the top pop songs. How well written these songs are both lyrically, and musically. The fact that they feel immediately familiar, but never predictable. And those harmonies, oh wow those harmonies. If Nada Surf were one of those bands that only worked in a studio setting one would likely be able to forgive them. I'm not a musician, but I can imagine that it's virtually impossible to pull off that kind of pop song as impeccably in a live setting. Nada Surf do. Of course nothing sounded just like it does on record, this being a relatively stripped down set and all. Somehow that made it even more impressive. They had a cellist join them who played the most interesting looking cello that I've ever seen. It was made almost entirely out of metal, and had essentially no body, just a long neck, and a stand. I would say it was the coolest instrument of the night. However drummer Ira Elliott was sitting on, and playing a very nifty Afro-Peruvian instrument called a cajon which is essentially a box that you can play like a drum! Imagine someone playing the bongos, if that person were actually sitting on the bongos, and if the bongos sounded more like a snare drum. He also made a makeshift kick drum by wearing a tambourine around his foot. I would say that's seriously fucking innovative, but I get a sneaking suspicion that this is a secret that a lot of drummers are in on. Me? I'm not a drummer so I thought it was cool (and seriously fucking innovative.) Daniel Lorca, and Matthew Caws stuck to standard bass and guitar respectively. Everything sounded great. They mostly played songs from the new album (which is still my favorite of 2008 so far by the way) as the crowd was mostly made up of music supervisors, and the point of the evening was mostly have the new songs heard by the people who will put the songs in the commercials. And the songs should be in the commercials. One of three non new album songs was actually their relatively big 90s single "Popular," which was introduced as "So this evening is 98% fun, 2% something else cause we got a call from our manager the other day saying um, at that show in L.A. could you guys play Popular, and remind them that it's never been licensed..." So they were incredible sports and launched into the distorted guitars, wry spoken word lyrics, and just overall NINETIESNESS of it all. And they did commit, I will give them that... And the thirteen year old girl part of me was kind of into it, you shouldn't give me that...

They closed the night on the more serious note of new album opener, "See These Bones." Shockingly enough where I would have expected an entire roomful of jaded, arm- folded, hip people clapping politely after this, I instead heard cheers, and saw that most everyone was smiling. If that doesn't offer you enough proof of their overwhelming goodness, I don't know what possibly could.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

See Her Runing Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 2/5- 2/10

Hello, I hope you are all easing back into the working week as well as can be expected. I'm off to work myself in a matter of moments. Before I leave though, here is what I was able to find in terms of rock shows happening this week. Once again, please take what I say with a grain of salt. And always refer to this guy.


Dead Meadow, Midnight Movies, and The Great Northwest at The Echoplex

Blue Cheer, and Sea of Air at The Knitting Factory

Black Mountain, and Howlin' Rain at The Troubadour

There sure do seem to be a lot of people out there who love Black Mountain. I know Midnight Movies have undergone some line up changes since the last time I saw them. However, I'm going to venture a guess that they are still compelling as fuck, and they are playing with Dead Meadow about whom I've heard very good things.


Gran Ronde, Bloodcat Love, War Tapes, and Big Bang at Bordello

An Aquarium Drunkard Presents The World Record, The Weather Underground, Le Switch, Frankel, Blair at The Silverlake Lounge

Club NME at Spaceland with Ungdomskulen, and Minipop

Bedouin Soundclash, Westbound Train, and Beat Union at The Knitting Factory

Have I ever mentioned here that I adore Le Switch? Because for some reason, I'm just not sure if I've mentioned it enough...


The Entrance Band, Tweak Bird, and Mountain Party at the Silverlake Lounge

Blood on the Wall, and Afternoons at Spaceland

The Lilys, and Ladies & Gents at The Echo

Pinback, and MC Chris at The Glass House (Pomona)

People Noise (ex-VHS or Beta), Azure Down, and Crystal Antlers at The Prospector (Long Beach)

The Kooks at the Troubadour- SOLD OUT

The Lilys were too good for words when I saw them at Spaceland back in December. Do try to see them if you can.

FRIDAY 2/08:

Huntsville, Majestys, Sundowner, Chelsea Trash, and Musec at Mr. T's Bowl

Super Furry Animals, Holy Fuck at The Echoplex

The Kooks, Morning Benders at The Echo

Rumspringa, Halloween Swim Team, Bad Dudes, and Pocket Rockets at The Smell

Rhett Miller, and Jennifer O'Connor at The Troubadour

I still haven't seen Rumspringa much to the chagrin of several friends of mine, and if Halloween Swim Team are the band that I am thinking of I heard a song of theirs on KXLU several years ago and loved it. Listening now on myspace right now, I think it was. Friday night at the Smell anyone?


Check Yo' Ponytail with Mixhell, Data, My!Gay!Husband!, Frankie Chan, and Paparazzi at The Echo

El Tambor at The Echoplex

The Black Lips, Pierced Arrows, Japanese Motors at The Glass House (Pomona)

Crystal Antlers, Candy Apple, The Balloon at The Scene

We Be The Echo, Totally Serious, BiPolar Bear, Tremellow at The Smell

Editors at The Wiltern

Robyn at The Troubadour- SOLD OUT

Um... It seems like I've heard good things about Crystal Antlers, and the squaregirls do love, love, love The Scene.

SUNDAY 2/10:

Editors at The House Of Blues Anaheim

Electrocute, The Lady Tigra, B.R.A.M., and ARP at Spaceland

People Noise (ex-VHS or Beta), Casket Salesmen, The Prisoner Dilemma, Jupiter at The Glass House (Pomona)

Part Time Punks with Kid Congo Powers at the Echo

If Part Time Punks isn't already your default Sunday night plan, you should make it so...

Monday, February 4, 2008

I Wonder What You Dream About...

At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, I dream about pop nights like the one that we were able to put together last night at The Scene. This one was quite near and dear to my heart as I was finally able to book two of my very favorite local (well one local, one almost local) iniepop bands The Tartans, and Maria. I know I talk about the Tartans and Maria ad nauseum around these parts, but I really can't stress enough how amazing these two bands are. Last night they were able to wow me even further. I'll never understand how bands are able to do this, but I will not question it. Murder Mystery drove to us all the way from New York (making a few stops along the way of course,) and were a tremendous amount of fun. They won more than a few new fans, and considerably upped the squaregirls' pre- existing considerable fandom. They also (in what I can only hope will be a new Sunday night tradition) covered an Orange Juice song. This time around it was "Poor Old Soul." Swoon. As for my contribution to the evening, I will never get past the giddy feeling that comes from playing Black Tambourine, Pop Will Eat Itself, The June Brides, etc. to people who get just as excited about hearing Black Tambourine, Pop Will Eat Itself, the June Brides, etc. played loudly through club speakers as I do. I'm always surprised to find that these people exist in Los Angeles, but well, I'm simply thrilled (honey) that they do. And Brian from the Tartans rocked it so hard during his guest DJ set, I'm not actually sure that I'm worthy to so much as speak to him again until my own skills in that department improve drastically. As always, we could not possibly be any more grateful to everyone who came out, and enjoyed the bands with us. You seriously made our month!

I've got a lot of work to catch up on today, so I won't have time to post the full concert rundown for the week until tomorrow. Here are the options for tonight (Monday,) and boy are there options...

The Karabal Nightlife, Kissing Cousins, & Sonadora at Bordello

Vampire Weekend at Amoeba Music

Henry Clay People, Coco B’s, Le Switch, & The Natural Disasters at The Echo

The Lynx Technique; Names in Vain; Jim, Son of James, & Johnny Mack at The Scene

Robert Francis, Jesse Denatale, & Dan Cranes at The Silver Lake Lounge

Icarus Line at The Viper Room

Hot Chip at The El Rey

KCRW Presents Rickie Lee Jones at Echoplex

Pinhead Gunpowder at The Troubadour

Sean Carnage Presents Foot Village, Carla Bozulich, Sonelle, Barry Conley, & Jeff Boynton at Pehrspace

The Pity Party, The Happy Hollows, Light FM, & Rademacher at Spaceland

It seems like there is something for nearly everyone tonight. If you happen to be planning to stop by Amoeba on your way home to buy some records resign yourself to parking far away, and fighting through a crowd. If you happen to be stopping by Amoeba on your way home from work to see Vampire Weekend, well resign yourself to parking far away and fighting through a crowd, but get there early so you'll be able to see! I've heard a lot of really good things about the Karabul Night Life's show they're at Bordello which is a nice place to spend some time, insane construction surrounding the general area aside. It's always possible to catch Rademacher and The Happy Hollows at Spaceland, then dash over to the Echo for the first night of The Henry Clay People's residency where Le Switch play as well. No my current jangle pop drunkenness has not made me forget my rock crush on Le Switch. Of course if venue hopping seems to daunting for you I should point out that The Natural Disasters are a lot of fun, and they join the Henry Clays, and Le Switch... It's also the first night of the Rickie Lee Jones residency at the Echoplex. Those shows are bound to be impressive.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Listening Too Long To One Song: Tullycraft "Twee"

So, as part of my never ending quest to be a "real" DJ, I've lately been trying to stick to buying records on vinyl as much as possible. I've also been replacing a few cds or mp3s with with vinyl if seems like something that I just have to play at a Squaregirls night, and I just have to play it on vinyl. Take Tullycraft's Beat Surf Fun for example. I knew that I needed to play the song, "Twee," at some point during our night in February, and I knew that it would ultimately be so much more satisfying to have the actual record in my hand to release at just the right moment as opposed to simply holding the control record for Serato (which I'm eternally grateful for the existence of) and releasing an mp3. I'm not a complete vinyl purist, but some songs just have to come from a record. More often than not the records that I continually search for have to be found online. More often than not they have to be found through a specific record label's website. I knew all of these things when I decided to buy Beat Surf Fun. I bought it directly from Magic Marker Records. One thing that I didn't know in the process of all of this is exactly how cool the people at Magic Marker actually are. When I opened the box my eye immediately went to a small button that displayed the word, "TWEE," in big, colorful letters, I was hoping against all hope that it was the button that I thought it was. Sure enough, directly above the word, "TWEE," in much smaller lettering, were the words, "fuck me, i'm..."

I've never, at any point in time referred to Tullycraft as my favorite band, nor have I ever considered them to be my favorite band. Yet, in some strange way they are the band that when I listen to them, make me feel the most "myself." It's in the obscure references that I half get, but more so in the ones that I don't get right away because nine times out of ten I will hear about something weeks or months later, and realize that there is a line in a Tullycraft song about that thing, and I will smile because it makes me feel like I'm in on some great secret. Especially on a song like, "Twee." It seems that for the most part if anyone has a frame of reference for the term twee at all it will conjure up images of sad kids hiding underneath bowl haircuts who exist in their own little world that is made up entirely of songs about unrequited crushes, and tears, and the stars. What most people don't realize is just how defiant twee was (is) in the face of aggressive, predominately macho punk rock, glossy new wave, and/or the majority of what gets referred to as "indie" music these days. Tullycraft have managed to capture all of that defiance, all of the fun, and all of the slight silliness that is twee pop in (appropriately enough) in a three minute and twenty three second pop song. Compared to the production on any of their previous singles that hinted at capturing the same things, "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid to Know About," "Josie," "Look How We Killed the Riot Grrrls," (especially "Look How We Killed the Riot Grrrls,) "Twee," could seem over produced. However, it doesn't. Everything about this song simply sounds really fucking confident. From the New Order-esque guitar that kicks things off with a bang (it should also be pointed out that this is track one/ side one of Beat Surf Fun,) to the opening line, "Well She wakes up every morning to the sound of Sarah Records...," to the giddy chorus of "She said Hey, hey, hey won't you listen to me well you can keep the punk rock, rap, beats, and house, fuck me, I'm twee do do do do...," all the way through to then end when the same guitar part from the beginning picks you up and carries you off to the next song. Truly an anthem for every kid who never felt quite tough enough to be a punk, but who longed for something more than the cool detachment of most indie rock. There is a sound clip from an introduction of the band on a radio session included on their singles compilation that seems to sum things up pretty nicely, "Tullycraft from Seattle Washington, ready to pop you into submission." Are you ready?

You can download the song here