Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not Running Around Nearly Enough These Days...

I thought things would be slightly closer to normal by now, but as it turns out, they're not even close. Until conditions improve, I'm afraid that I lack the perspective to pipe in as a "girl about town." Really though, this guy, and this guy amongst so many others have plenty more valuable things than me to say about where you should spend your money. You're not really missing out on, well, anything by not having me pipe in on every show that I can find on any given week. I will continue to point out any shows that appear as though they'll be particularly fantastic. I will also continue to beat you over the head (in a nice way) about the fact that you really should spend more time listening to The Tartans. Even when they play a show through technical dificulties at 12:30 on a Sunday night/ Monday morning their songs leave you with a giant grin on your face, and contemplating the idea of dancing when you'd genuinely felt like collapsing only moments before. Did anyone else see any shows this weekend. Good, mediocre, or cringe inducing? Please tell us about them!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I've Got No Excuse I've Been Here Since My Youth, but What About You?

Surely there hasn't been too much going on for me to take the two or so minutes that it would require to listen to a newly posted song from my favorite local band? Surely I wouldn't let several days go by before a Myspace bulliten found me at just the right place and time to actually listen to said song? Um, er...

No bother though. I've heard the latest offering from The Tartans entitled "Your Favorite Song" enough times today to make up for the several previous days that I missed it. The intro is soulful in true indiepop soul fashion, it will certainly sit easily next to those Postcard era Orange Juice singles that might reside in your collection. If such things do reside in your collection then, wow you are incredibly lucky. You can (and should) listen to "Your Favorite Song" here.

The song will show up on a 7" to be released very soon by the YAY! label. You can (and should) pre-order your copy here. The A side of the single will be "Cats of Camerford" with some snazzy new trumpet work. The B side will be "1939" b/w "Your Favorite Song" which I believe up until now you could only hear if you made it out to a show.

Speaking of which, the Tartans will be playing Mr. T's Bowl on Sunday. Be sure to make it out for that one, an prepare to be simultaneously charmed and wowed beyond anything that you could imagine could possibly exist here in Los Angeles.

~sqg marion

I'm in love! What's that song? I'm in love with that song.

Squaregirl Marion’s post concerning Strut Records and its impact on her musical education got me thinking that perhaps there were some people out there who maybe hadn’t heard of Pandora Radio, which has been a remarkably reliable resource for me and my never-ending search for my (and your!) new favorite song. Spawned from The Music Genome Project, which was created by musicians and tech-savvy music lovers, it’s an online radio station of sorts that you are able to tailor to your specific music tastes. It’s like sitting in a room with a music savant. You start by telling Pandora a band you like, which will prompt suggestions of a slew of other artists with similar qualities. Genres and labels aren’t a consideration here, each song has been evaluated by arrangement, melody, lyrics, harmonies, rhythm. Tell Pandora what you liked, what you didn’t, how much more you want to hear certain things, or if you don’t want to hear a certain song again for, say a month. Like Netflix, the more you rate and how you rate dictates what songs are presented to you. It’s incredibly thorough and I have been introduced to some really tremendous songs that I don’t think I would have in my life otherwise.

Once you’ve discovered a bunch of new and awesome bands, make me a Muxtape!

~Sqg Eliza

You Just Strolled in for an Hour and Took the Place Apart

We need to extend a giant thank you to everyone who made it out to the Scene last night, and helped make our first ever releasing of recorded music extravaganza show (or something to that effect) such a rousing success. All of the bands who played brought the rock to new heights though The Henry Clay People once again brought the rock to a new stratosphere. I really don't know how it's possible for them to become as drastically better as they do every time they play, especially when you thought that surely they could never top the last time you saw them play. They led the crowd in several "rock jumps," they covered Neil Young, AND they thankfully brought Eli Monolator on stage to recreate the famed cover of "Psycho Killer" that they debuted during their Echo residency in February. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but if you haven't seen the Henry Clay People play a live show please do your best to correct that immediately!

Also Squaregirl Kristen did a fabulous job on the tacos. I'm seriously in awe.

Alright, off now make a few mix tapes that I promised various people ages ago...

On a semi- related note, Strut Records, and their extraordinarily well thought out comps may be the best thing to ever happen to me in terms of musical education. I've had a good deal of trouble in the past trying to figure out where to start to learn how to appreciate reggae, especially that point where (post) punk, reggae, funk, soul, disco and even pop collide to create something interesting. Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986 it turns out is exactly where to start. Compass Point was started by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, and the Compass Point All- Stars house band included Sly & Robbie which helped give the recordings made in that period such a special sound. Strut's most recent Disco Not Disco comp has had the same effect in helping me to appreciate all of those weird disco and (along with Souljazz's New York Noise comps) no wave tracks that I was convinced I would never be hip enough to have any appreciation for. I'm still not hip enough, but it turns out that I finally get it anyway. Go figure. I believe there are still a few volumes of New York Noise that are pretty easy to find. Both Strut comps are available now. It should also be noted that Strut Records was recently resurrected by !k7, the label responsible for those frequently pretty great DJ- Kicks compilations. I think that's exciting. Actually, I think it's very exciting.

~Sqg Marion

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby, take off your beret (Everyone's a Critic, and Most People Are DJs) Squaregirls Next Show w/ Rock Music and Tacos Tonight at the Scene!

Hello, hello I feel like things are very slowly returning to normal post SXSW in the square part of my world. Due to a busier than normal work schedule, and the fact that our next official Squaregirls show is tonight, (!) I've decided to forgo the concert calendar this week. Instead I'd like to focus all of my energy on telling you exactly how amazing, and fun our show tonight is going to be!

Actually, I can't tell you exactly how fun the show is going to be because with the bands we have lined up anything can happen, and the fun has the potential to reach into uncharted territories. Speaking of uncharted territories, there may also be a post Easter surprise awaiting you at the Scene so bring your sense of adventure...

The show it's self is the biggest CD/EP/7' release show that we've ever thrown. O.K. so it's actually the first release show that we've ever thrown, but the fact that we have three different bands each releasing one of those things I think makes it a pretty big deal. Only one band on the bill tonight is not celebrating the release of any sort of recorded music. Below you will find a bit of information of all of the bands, and their individual releases, and/or ability to rock:

The Henry Clay People will be releasing their new 7inch – Working Part Time, being put out on JAXart, which contains two rocking songs, ‘Working Part Time' and 'Echolocation’ and features artwork by the all around awesome artist (and super rad flyer designer) Michael C. Hsiung. And when you purchase the 7’, you will get a download card to get the 2 songs online, PLUS HCP’s 5 song 'Working Part Time' EP for FREE. We can’t think of a better deal!

The Natural Disasters are releasing a full length CD, 21 songs long called Last Night in LA featuring original artwork by dE Gibson, “who, if you don't know, is, like, a super-famous artist” - that was a direct quote. As is this in reaction to the new ND masterpiece "Hey-- ever heard of the Beatles? Yeah, me neither. After I heard the new Natural Disasters record, I just sort of forgot about everything else. Or, rather, it's not that I forgot -- which would imply, like, you know, a LOSS -- I just... I don't know, are there other rock'n'roll records out there?" So’s going to be good. Dig it!

Downtown/Union will be releasing their debut EP "Six Song Super Set" a collection of 6 songs (duh!) chosen from various recordings over the last year. D/U chose 6 songs that would flow together to tell a story and help capture the essence of their sound. Which rocks.

Aushua although not technically releasing an EP/LP or CD at this show, will be releasing their rockness all over the Scene and well, all over you!

I've mentioned here once or twice that the Henry Clay People are becoming one of my favorite bands to see live, over and over again. I can't wait to see what all of the other bands bring to the table as well.

Not only will Squaregirl Kristen and I be spinning some of our favorite ROCK super hits, we'll be joined by supercool guest DJ Jax of Rock Insider, and JAXART Records herself.

Oh, and did I mention there will be tacos?

Surely this is an evening not to be missed! We'll see you in a few hours...

~Sqg Marion

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

South By Southwest Re- cap (Squaregirl Marion's Version) Part One

Nearly everyone who attends South By Southwest these days has a story to write about it, and a forum with which to publish it. Since nobody writes them they used to, it might as well be all of us!

We knew our weekend was officially over as we waited for our friends by their car so that we could flee the street party that the police had arrived at moments prior. Our friends, as it turns out, were preoccupied with watching the hardcore types whose party (we assume) it was clean various paper debris, and jousting aftermath from the street. We in fact arrived at said party based on a text that someone in our group received alerting her to the fact that there was a party going on, and people were jousting. Squaregirl Kristen already had the address from a alert.

This was Sunday night. Truth be told we could have left Austin several hours earlier than we actually did, and been completely fine. However, I saw one of best shows of my entire trip on Sunday so I guess things worked out for the best.

Austin's Finally Punk were a pleasant almost total surprise. I'll admit that I was intrigued by them while glancing over the line-up they played as part of the day before because of the band name. I got to the venue (Beerland) a bit later than I was hoping to. I fell completely in love with whatever band I was watching when I arrived. About three songs in I found out they were Finally Punk. I guess after three days of seeing mostly straightforward indie rock bands with varying degrees of mostly (and mostly totally enjoyable) professionalism I was still kind of hoping for something a bit more unexpected. What I walked into on Sunday afternoon was girls jumping around, trading instruments/lead vocal duties, and clearly having a tremendous amount of fun. A good number of the songs collapsed into one of my favorite post punk traditions of bursts of saxophone over noisy racket made by guitar, bass, and drums. Most of the songs clocked in at around one minute. The vocals were half sung/half spoken slyly, or simply shouted. They covered Nirvana's "Negative Creep," (the first cover that I heard from Bleach in less than a week for those keeping score) also adding a little bit of "Enter Sandman" to the beginning. It's worth noting that there is apparently a Finally Punk/Mika Miko side project called Teenage Moms based here in Los Angeles. It's also worth noting that I sadly still haven't seen Mika Miko (at least not to my direct knowledge.)

Speaking of bands that play at the Smell a lot though. The Mae Shi played immediately after Finally Punk at Beerland on Sunday. Their theatrical, thrashsy punk antics in their anthems are always welcome with me.

The band that followed the Mae Shi, Montreal's CPC Gangbangs are probably a band that I should give another chance to when I am less exhausted. From what I saw last week though, they just weren't all that memorable. I do remember that they were loud, and they definitely played songs that you could pull off some serious head banging to.

Synth punk/dance duo Best Fwends closed the evening on an almost performance art type note. The two boys shouted mostly indecipherable lyrics over programmed beats and guitar noise, they crashed into the audience at random intervals leaving me currently in possession of my most punk rock bruise (and possibly scar!) to date. I'm still not entirely sure what exactly transpired during their twenty minute set. I am sure that it was amazing. One Best Fwend has a side project called Total Abuse who are playing L.A. in July at (you guessed it) the Smell. I'll keep you posted with more info on that show when I have it. I generally tend to shy away from (avoid) hardcore, but this one seems worth checking out...

Oh yeah, and this sign was in the girl's bathroom at Beerland:

(credit to Squaregirl Kristen for taking the picture, and for noticing the sign in the first place!)

My Saturday was much more low key. I spent most of the day in one place, Waterloo Park for the small scale (and free) festival show Mess With Texas 2. I spent most of my time there sitting on the ground and listening to comedians. As it turns out, I still have a bit of my schoolgirl crush on former Singled Out host Chris Hardwick who is now part of the comedy duo Hard N Phirm. Go figure.

Kimya Dawson performed as a sort of interlude to the comedy. This makes perfect sense as most of her stream of consciousness stories in song form are often as hilarious as anything a comedian can come up with, AND she can usually pull of heartbreaking within the same song. She debuted a few songs from an upcoming children's album that she will be releasing through K Records in the fall.

My first full band set of the day came from Atlas Sound which is essentially the solo side project from Deerhunter's Bradford Cox. Though he did have a full band on stage with him for this particular performance. I was completely taken with the hypnotic melodies achieved by layered guitars, and what appeared to be quite a few distortion pedals. This show was also one in a series of week moments that made me consider shirking all of my responsibilities for awhile, relearn how to play the guitar, and learn for the first time how to effectively fuck around with distortion pedals. Sigh, if only...

While we waited for Black Mountain to take the stage, we were treated to a little bit from a band whose identity was undetermined. The crowd around us that seemed to be waiting for Black Mountain thought it was terrible. I thought it was kind of interesting. Arty noise with mostly shouted lyrics that the lead singer (in drag and almost clown like costume make-up) moved through with break neck speed except when there was a need for a dramatic pause or an elongating of a phrase for effect. I'd love to hear the story of why their set was shut down after only about two songs. Was it Neon Neon running way behind schedule? It didn't sound the way I would imagine Neon Neon to sound, but maybe that was part of the fun?

Once Black Mountain did take the stage, I made it through about one song then deciced to journey over to a different stage to see what No Age were up to. Black Mountain are clearly a technically proficient, very good band, but I can only take that 70s hard rock throwback vibe when I'm in just the right mood. Even then it's generally best for me in small doses.

Besides, my lack of seeing No Age was starting to get just downright sad. I know that a lot has been said about No Age's minimalist approach to their songs, and much has been made about the fact that they are a duo. I have to say that the sound they produced (though still quite minimalist) was bigger than I was expecting drums, and guitars (and yes quite a few pedals) to be able to produce. That responsibilty shirking thing just sounds more and more appealing with every word that I type...

What was also impressive about No Age was how humble they came across. I guess I kind of imagined that since they have a lot of the hipper than you could ever hope to be kids declaring them the greatest thing since sliced bread that they might assume that attitude themselves, blasting through song after song with maybe one tossed aside, "Uh we're No Age..." Instead they gushed about various artists they were sharing the stage with. Then they declared that the current show was the best of their South By Southwest so far. Then they decided that the previous night's show on a bridge had been better, but that this one was still really good. It was made very clear how cool they thought it was that they were at South By Southwest at all. Thoroughly endearing.

Not quite as endearing as Matt and Kim. In all fairness though, I don't think that a kitten insisting on giving you money for no apparent reason while telling you how awesome you look could come across as endearingly as Matt and Kim. They play their simple, noisy, synth pop party anthems with so much pure, genuine excitement that it's impossible not to get caught up in it, and go right along with them. I would actually be concerned for my overall health if I left one of their shows feeling anything short of giddy. Matt also provided some of the most "re-affirm your faith in/ affection for mankind" type stage banter I've ever heard. NOFX were playing another stage just after them, and Matt invited us all to go watch NOFX and pretend to be 16 again. Watching Matt & Kim feels way better than pretending to be 16, and way way way better than actually being 16.

Here is a video from the very show that I am writing about that will hopefully give you a hint of how charming they are:

After what felt like me actually floating away from the Matt and Kim set, it was time for The Breeders. You know, I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but I never got quite as into the Breeders during my misspent youth as I really should have. Therefore I'm not sure that I'm the best person to objectively review their show. It sounded to me like they were in top form so I would file the reunion under success. I did go through a brief phase of putting "Cannonball" on every mix cd that I made sometime in early 2005 so hearing that one in a live setting was pretty cool.

After dinner which provided the much needed use of a chair for about an hour (much more necessary than the food itself at that point) it was time to wander of to find the next activity. After trying (and failing) my luck at a few venues that were already filled to capacity, I decided to take a risk and check out a band that a friend recommended called The Answering Machine. All of their songs were catchy, tight, and quite enjoyable. If not, perhaps, a bit too well studied. They happen to fall into a very familiar category of bands that make angular pop songs similar to Bloc Party with less aggression, and also maybe a bit of the Strokes in their more poppy moments. None of this is bad per se. As I mentioned, the songs were quite enjoyable, and they were clearly having fun with them. This is obviously the kind of music the Answering Machine likes, so it seems natural that it's the kind of music they would make. I suppose I was just hoping for something a bit less to be expected to make me forget the veering on painful level of exhaustion that was settling into my body at that point.

To be continued...

I've Got a Bit of a Thing About the Besties

I have two extremely last minute updates to my concert calendar for this week that I'm extremely embarrassed to admit that I overlooked while compiling the thing on Monday.

One of my highlights of South by Southwest were the dual girl vocal, dual girl keyboard, and boy lead guitar hero antics of Brooklyn band The Besties. Their songs reside in some great company of North American (you know, cause Cub were Canadian) indiepop that are all pure fun, and will likely have you dancing and smiling even if you don't dance or smile. I guess you could call them cuddlecore, or crush-pop if you like your subgenres to have subgenres. You can definitely call them awesome no matter what.

Here are the details on their shows in L.A. this week!


At the Derby.

Open bar from 8-9, but you have to mention it at the door all speakeasy style and they will give you free drink tix! We go on at 11. Door is $12, but only $8 if you have the flyer. If you'd like us to email you they flyer, shoot a request to

8:45PM First Amendment

9:30PM Chicago Farmer

10:15PM Andy Lange

11:00PM The Besties!



At The Steve Allen Theater.

The Tomorrow Show @ The Steve Allen Theater. For more info go here This starts at midnight. So I guess Technically it is the 23rd. 4772 Hollywood Blvd. @ Berendo 2 blocks west of Vermont.

I hope to see you at one of these shows. I'm personally planning on the one tomorrow night, and I am very excited to pick up that 7' that I was too nervous to include in my SXSW luggage!

~sqg marion

No Recess!

There was something in the air last night if you happened to be at Boardner's for the latest installment of the Radio Free Silver Lake presented Let's Independent. Did you feel it? Some time before Fol Chen completed the first song of their set you could definitely sense that the majority of the people in the room had just realized they were watching their new favorite local band for the first time. I can't personally go so far as to declare them as such. My indiepop heart will still always default to the simpler pleasures of The Tartans, Princeton, or in an almost entirely unrelated way the all out bombast of Le Switch. That being said I admired the hell out of Fol Chen's ambitious equal parts weird/accessible ultra full sounding pop songs, and the outright commitment of everyone in the band to what they were doing. A trumpet created sounds I didn't realize a trumpet was capable of making due to the fact that it was played upside down, gloriously jangly noise was acheived by two of my favorite instruments being clapped together (sleigh bells in one hand, tambourine in the other,) and later those same sleigh bells were used as part of a drum pattern! Wow. They did a pretty fascinating cover/reinterpretation of the Nirvana song "School," as well. Oddly enough this was the second cover song off of Bleach that I've heard in less than a week. Again, there must be something in the air.

I would suggest that you prepare yourself for hearing a lot more about Fol Chen now because it's sure to be inevitable. You might want to make it a point to see their live show too because it's kind of amazing.

~sqg marion

Here's video proof! Notice the trumpet technique that I was referring to earlier...

Huge thanks to Mouse for posting this video by the way!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

See Her Running Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 3/17 - 3/23

Ah, the crippling (brain and body) exhaustion that comes with seeing 40+ bands within the span of 5 days. I'm working on a South By Southwest re-cap article that I hope to post the first installment of tomorrow. Until then, here are a few things that are happening in our fair city this week.

~sqg marion

p.s. If you're at a show this week and see a girl staring blankly at the stage while holding a notebook for no apparent reason, it's probably me. South by Southwest habits die hard...

Come on over and say, "Hi!"

MONDAY 3/17:

Neon Neon at Amoeba Music

Voxhaul Broadcast, The Pigeon Detectives, Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong, and My Pet Saddle at Spaceland

The Chapin Sisters, Summer Darling, Billinairs, and Love Grenades at The Echo

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip at The Roxy

Explosions in the Sky at The Wiltern

Jason Collett at The Troubadour

Downtown/Union, Shammer’d, Codpiece, and Tommy Peacock and the Gas at The Scene

Beatnik Jr at Crash Mansion

Sean Carnage Presents: The Amazements, Caruso Caruso, Walk, Widow Babies, and Skyline Electric at Pehrspace

Leslie & The Badgers at The Hotel Cafe

Banna Beag Mail, The Homebillies, and more at Mr T's Bowl

Oh dear, way to many good options tonight. My eyes keep fluttering open then shut so even the thought of going out tonight makes me shiver. I do know that I have heard good things from and/or about at least one of the bands playing from the first seven listings.


The Klaus Nomettes, Peculiar Pretzelmen, The Lisps at Bordello

Black Moth Super Rainbow, and Locks at The Knitting Factory (Main Stage)

The Velvet Teen, and Aloha at The Knitting Factory (Front Stage)

Kinky at The Mayan Theater

Wyld Stallyons, Wild Sweet Orange, and The Dead Trees at Spaceland

The Felice Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, and McCarthy Trenching at The Echo

The Switches at The Roxy

New Bloods, Magic Johnson, and Ima Gymnist at The Smell

Radio Free Silver Lake Presents: Let's Independent w/ Amnion, Fol Chen, and Princeton at Boardner's

You can probably guess where we Squaregirls will be on this night. Just as a reminder though, we'll be here:

We hope to see you there! Oh, and be ready to fall head over heels in love with Princeton, in case you haven't already.


Carl Stone at Amoeba Music

Carbon/Silicon, and Matt Pond PA at El Rey Theatre

Nada Surf, and Sea Wolf at The Henry Fonda Theater

Presidents of the United States of America House Of Blues/Anaheim

Headlights, Evangelicals, and Actress at The Silverlake Lounge

Club NME w/ The Answer, DJ Dia at Spaceland

Born Ruffians, Rumspringa, and Cadence Weapon at The Echo

Famous Amos (ex-Tralala), and The Muggabears at The Smell

The Vines at The Troubadour

The Karabal Nightlife, Trainwreck Riders (SF), The Beeters, and Songs for Moms at Mr. T's Bowl

Gah, post South By Southwest week and it's excessive choices! I would say go see Cadence Weapon. Remember, I know so very little about hip hop. However, I do know that Cadence Weapon is brilliant. I keep hearing that I need to check out Rumspringa too. Hmmm... I was planning to stay in most of this week, but hmmm...


Vampire Weekend, and Yacht at El Rey Theatre

Carla Bozulich at Safari Sam's

Film School, and Ariel at Spaceland

Bon Iver, Phosphorescent, and Winter Hinterland at The Echo

The Deadly Syndrome, and Dusty Rhodes & The River Band at The Glass House

Low vs. Diamond, and Eskimo Hunter at The Troubadour

Gosh, I don't know about this one. Vampire Weekend and Yacht sold out (naturally) so I would imagine this night comes down to whether you like sort of dark folk music (Bon Iver,) or definitely dark shoegaze (Film School.)

FRIDAY 3/21:

Birdmonster, Little Teeth, and Afternoons at Bordello

Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks), and Vetiver at El Rey Theatre

Jens Lekman, and The Honeydrips at The Henry Fonda Theater

Bad Religion at The House Of Blues/ Anaheim

The Mae Shi, RTX, Bad Dudes, and Foot Village at The Knitting Factory (Main Stage)

Travis Morrison Hellfighters, Say Hi (aka Say Hi To Your Mom), and Kevin Devine at Spaceland

The Parson Red Heads, and The Devil Makes 3 at The Echoplex

Nada Surf, and Sea Wolf at The Glass House (Pomona)

Presidents of the United States of America at The Roxy

Religious Knives, Little Claw, and BARR at The Smell

Portugal the Man, Foxy Shazam, and Wild Orchid Children at The Troubadour

Yikes. I'm quite behind with my show knowledge these days. I just discovered yesterday that this Jens Lekman show was even happening. The fact that The Honeydrips are opening just led me to purchase a ticket.


School of Language at Spaceland

Built To Spill, Meat Puppets, and Helvetia at The Glass House (Pomona)

The Mooney Suzuki at The Roxy

Gravy Train!!!!, Harlots, and Ritchie White Orchestra at The Troubadour

I've been in a bit of a phase with Built To Spill lately. Worth driving to Pomona for? Maybe...

SUNDAY 3/23:

Part Time Punks w/ The Prids at The Echo

The Deadly Syndrome at The Roxy

"Rock n’ Roll Prom" w/ The Electric Shadows, The Apache, and The Weight at Spaceland

I'm listening to Portland band The Prids for the first time now. So far I am quite enjoying their combination of indiepop themes, and more straightforward post punk bass and drums. Also, the fact that they are playing Part Time Punks leads me to believe (hope) that a good portion of the records spun will contain the words Factory, Creation, Sarah, Subway, 4AD, 53rd & 3rd, etc. somewhere on their sleeves...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Said Hey Kids (Hey Kids!)

If you had any other plans in place for Tuesday March 18, it would be in your best interest to cancel them. Clearly this is the only game in town:

Princeton are pretty much our collective biggest local band crush. We keep hearing the nicest things about Amnion, and are thrilled to finally be checking out the live show. We'd heard nothing about Fol Chen until last week. Apparently they formed from the remains of a quite popular L.A. band, but refuse to say which one. Ooh, lovely mystery!

Please venture over here to download tracks from all of the bands.

We'll see you all on Tuesday!

Listening Too Long To One Song: Bearsuit "More Soul Than Wigan Casino"

While sorting through my top priority showcases to attend during South by Southwest I noticed that Bearsuit are playing the Happy Happy Birthday to Me day party on Thursday. My first thought was, "Bearsuit?!? Gosh I haven't thought about them in ages." Which was immediately followed by my second thought, "Fucking awesome!"

It must have been fate (or whatever) because sure enough the brand new record from Bearsuit Oh:Io showed up in the mail on the very same day. And sure enough, it's practically the only thing I want to listen to right now. Most particularly track two "More Soul Than Wigan Casino." It certainly falls on the more catchy and accessible end of Bearsuit's often antagonizing, and brilliant avant-twee pop. All of the elements for a perfect pop song are there. A quick build up to a dizzying pace complete with trumpets? Check! Giddy shouting, "Soul!" ? Check! Traces of Amelia Fletcher in girl singer Lisa Horton's vocals? Check! (!!) Droll boy singer counter part in Iain Ross, "I've got no So-oh-oh-oul..." ? Check! All of this leading up to the most satisfying line as a chorus that I've heard so far this year, "You put the others in the shade."

The album is out in the States on March 25, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. What Bearsuit manage to pull off with their sound overall is completely different from anything else going on these days, regardless of how many, "It's sort of like X meets X on X..." comparisons that you come up with. And you will come up with quite a few of those. You can pre- order the album here.

You can also watch the equally awesome video for "More Soul Than Wigan Casino" here:

How soon is Thursday? ...


Monday, March 10, 2008

See Her Running Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 3/10 - 3/16

Abstract thoughts, and incomplete sentances seem to be the only things drifting through my mind these days as I try desperately to catch up on my SXSW preparations. I'm afraid that leaves me as not much good for any sort of a proper introduction, and if you've read this before you know that I stretch the limits of "proper" introductions anyway. The past week has been floods of email, slowdive, several threats of an ear infection, bringing people food, pouring through boxes of 45s...

Actually that's not really so different from any other week.

Did everyone else have a good week? See any particularly great shows? We'd love to hear about it!

Here are a few of the things going on this week:

MONDAY 3/10:

Frankie Chan, and Har Mar Superstar at Beauty Bar

Le Switch at Safari Sam's

Calls After Midnight, Warpaint, The Black Swans, and Maryandi at Bordello

Dandi Wind, and Pop Noir at the Knitting Factory (Main Stage)

Slim Cessna's Auto Club, 5 O'Clock Somewhere, and Trainwreck Riders at Safari Sam's

Twilight Sleep, Static of the Gods, and Black Skies For Black Hearts at The Silverlake Lounge

Voxhaul Broadcast, Ausha, Yves Klein Blue, Whitley, Old Man River, Ash Grunwald, and Dan Kelly at Spaceland

Ed Harcourt, The Chapin Sisters, and Everest at The Echoplex

Cut Copy, Walter Meego, and DJ Paul V at The Echo

Ooh! Le Switch have a show! I can't make this one because I'm at somewhere around two on my list of ten million things to do before I leave for Austin on Wednesday. You, however, should drop everything and go see Le Switch at Safari Sam's.


Bad Religion at The House of Blues/Sunset Strip

Ting Tings at Jensen RecCenter Studio

Jill Sobule, and Tom Brosseau at Largo

The Active Set, Old Man River, and The High Wires at the Silverlake Lounge

The Wombats, and AAnchors AAweigh at Spaceland

Atlas Sound, Valet, and White Rainbow at The Echo

Give Up and/or a Sad, Slow Dance Party at La Cita

You know, I haven't really spent much time with Deerhunter yet, much less Atlas Sound. From all accounts of both projects I'm clearly missing out. The Ting Tings, and The Wombats will probably be putting on some seriously fun dance party type shows at Jensen Rec Center Studios, and Spaceland, respectively. Then again, you can never go wrong with this:


Angels and Airwaves at The House Of Blues/Anaheim

Bad Religion at The House of Blues/Sunset Strip

Earth Crisis, Terror, Sworn Enemy, Shai Hulud, Down to Nothing, and Recon at The Knitting Factory

1971, and The French Semester at The Silverlake Lounge

CLub NME w/ The Mint Chicks at Spaceland

Death to Anders, Karabal Nightlife, Thailand, and Michael Compton at The Echo

Squaregirls' faves Death to Anders, and Thailand seems like kind of an unbeatable combination.


Clutch, Murder By Death, and Maylene & Sons of Disaster at the Henry Fonda Theater
Beach House, and Papercuts at The Echo (early show)

Acid Mothers Temple, and Danava at The Echo (late show)

I'm slightly broken hearted that I have to miss this Beach House show at the Echo. I guess I'll have to console myself with the fact that while that's going on here, if all goes according to plan, I'll be in Austin moments away from a performance from Secret Shine.

FRIDAY 3/14:

Angels and Airwaves at The House Of Blues/Anaheim

You Me and Iowa, Pacific Ocean Fire, The Drowning Men, and Antiques at Spaceland

Ariel Pink, Clang Quartet, BoyZone, Bobb Bruno, Jeremy Drake, and David Rothbaum at The Smell

West Without A Word w/ Signal Hill, The Drift, El Ten Eleven, and The Littlest Viking at Pehrspace

Signal Hill are impressive.


Firebug (record release party,) and Sierra Swan at Spaceland

Angels and Airwaves at The Wiltern

West Without A Word w/ Beware Of Safety, North, Form and Fate, Hellas Mounds/Empire, and Arc of The Aurora at The Cocaine at Live Jazz

I am completly useless for a recommendation on Saturday. Anyone have any ideas?

SUNDAY 3/16:

Boredoms at The Henry Fonda Theater

Foot Foot, Pwrffl Power, Capillary Action, Planets, and Totally Serious at Pehrspace

Part Time Punks w/ Din Glorious at The Echo

Boredoms made a lot of best conert of the year lists in 2007 for their large scale drum circle with 77 drummers on 07/07/07
at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Something tells me that what they do in the comparitively more low key setting of the Fonda will be just as compelling.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Hope We Both Die: Dueling Reviews

Squaregirl Rachel and I went on a Squaregirl date to the first of two consecutive Mountain Goats show at the Troubadour on Tuesday. This was a very exciting day for me, as I had yet to see them live. I know a few people who raved about their shows and another two plebeians that I’m not talking to anymore tell me that they weren’t good live, so I was pretty curious to see if they could compare to my imagination. We showed up a song or two into the opener Jeff Smith’s (?) Jones(?)** act. Though sort of schtick-y, he was pretty amusing, singing stream of consciousness yarns in front of projections of drawings he had done himself. I’d see him again.

Next, The Mountains Goats. In high school we called my younger brother The Minstrel. Our house carried sound really well, and you’d hear the first few strums wafting down the hall, like a harbinger. A few seconds later, he’d wander while playing his guitar and pretend to be really surprised. “Oh! I didn’t realize anyone was in here!” he’d exclaim, and then continue to play his guitar like no one was there, shuffling around the living room. He’d do these little jigs and mosey around and sing with a really animated face. Watching John Darnielle is sort of like that. “Oh! An audience. Well, I have my guitar, so… Ok. Doo doo doo. I’ll play whatever you want! Except No Children, even though that’s the only thing you guys are yelling out for. Come back tomorrow. Doo. Doo. Have you ever noticed how much I sound like Mitch Hedburg? Well, I do!”

My one complaint about the show was the abuse of encores. I don’t like encores, and two is excessive. It’s like the people who dress in head to toe green on St. Patrick’s Day. Just put on your green shirt and be done with it. That said, I truly enjoyed the show. I really respect that Darnielle appears unafraid of the unflattering poses and awkward faces musicians tend to make when losing themselves in a song. It’s that sort of worrying that will get in the way of the stage presence of otherwise talented bands. So he embraces that crazy look in his eyes, because he knows we don’t care what he looks like, we’re all in love with him anyway, all of us knowing secretly that we are the person who gets this song he’s singing more than anyone else in this room.

~sqg eliza

** Ed. Note: It was Jeffrey Lewis & the Jitters. I really wanted to catch them at the Wednesday night show, but missed it. Damn flu! They had set off my twee-dar earlier in the week when I noticed they were appearing on a radio show that I know and love called 5...4...3...2...Fun!!!. I bought one of their cds out of a healthy mix of curiosity and guilt. Not twee so much, but lovable just the same. Sqg Eliza was totally right about the stream of consciousness yarns, I'm truly bummed that I missed hearing them with projections behind them. Still, lo-fi stream of consciousness guitar pop that sounds like it would be right at home in the K Records catalogue (though the Jeffrey Lewis cd I picked up actually resides in the Rough Trade shop) is one of my biggest weaknesses so I'm glad I at least got a cd. Expect to hear way more about him the next time he's in town! **

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Could Almost Hear the Rhythm Section Kick In as the Sun Began to Blaze

I'm generally not a fan of going out when I have the flu. Oh but the Mountain Goats, the Mountain Goats are a band that defy all things general. Since my first Mountain Goats show in 2005 I've made it to at least one of any given series of shows that they performed in whatever town I am in. Not attending at least one of the two sold out shows they played at the Troubadour would have felt unnatural and wrong. I'm tremendously glad that I defied my body's urge for me to collapse into bed for twelve more hours of sleep, and instead threw a thick scarf around my neck and went to this show. That being said, it wasn't the best Mountain Goats show I've ever seen. In all fairness though, that honor belongs to last year's show at the El Rey where we heard "See America Right," "Going to Georgia" (!) and was my first introduction to the new touring Mountain Goats line-up that saw the addition of John Wurster on drums to the already solid line-up of Peter Hughes on bass, and the man who writes those bafflingly brilliant lyrics John Darnielle. If all of those years of air drumming to "Why Do You Have to Put a Date on Everything?" (from Superchunk's classic album Foolish) hadn't quite cemented John Wurster as my favorite modern rock drummer, that show certainly did. Oddly enough this was mostly due to his treatment of my favorite song from 2005's The Sunset Tree "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?" The song is slow, heartbreaking, and perfectly effective with just a guitar. With drums it achieved something else entirely. I'm not sure what, but it left an impression, and I hope to hear it again someday.

Back to Wednesday night's show at the Troubadour. They played a good number of songs from the new album Heretic Pride which I still haven't absorbed. "So Desperate" appears to be a new fan favorite. The story of a couple in a car, their only neutral meeting place, a fair amount of self hatred between the two of them, not wanting to let go of each other. In other words, the kind of story that Darnielle writes best. The band were clearly enjoying themselves throughout the evening, and the crowd was certainly feeding off of it, and getting really into it (dancing, fist pumping etc.) I found this happen to me a few times, and it's hard to not go with the energy of the crowd and the band on stage fully rocking out. Though when you pause to remember that these songs are mostly about abuse, and addiction (and other such fun dance party themes) it kind of makes your own enthusiasm seem strange and your smile quickly turn to one of discomfort. However, in an odd way this level of immersing yourself in the song seems to be an almost perfectly natural reaction. Is it strange to find yourself in a group sing along of the rousing chorus to "No Children," "And I hope you die! I hope we both die!"? Sure, but also cathartic and it gives you an alarming sense of community.

These are songs that demand some sort of visceral reaction. If nothing else, clearly these demands were met.

You can purchase Heretic Pride here.

~sqg marion

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for sqg eliza's review of Tuesday night's show as well!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sweetness, Sweetness I Was Only Joking...

I have a confession. The times I will admit I am wrong about something occur probably as often as someone names Judith Light as their number one celebrity crush*. But I have to say, everyone was right and I have been claiming ambivalence toward a band that I shouldn't have. Sunday I went to Spaceland for their 13th Anniversary extravaganza and was watching the "special guests" with my friend when the following conversation occurred:

"Who is this?"

"The Little Ones."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is."

"No, I've seen The Little Ones and they're not very good."

Well, as it turns out, I had not seen The Little Ones before. I recall the very first show I went to at Spaceland after moving to Los Angeles was a show with The Little Ones and some other bands whose names escape me. Somehow I ended up confusing The Little Ones with another band from that night that didn't really impress me and when people would ask me what I thought of TLO, I'd just shrug my shoulders and pull a face. Upon accepting that my gross misunderstanding has cost me more opportunities to see them live than I'd like to admit, I should have descended into a shame spiral.

But I didn't, you guys! I didn't because they were charming enough to render me incapable of being in a bad mood. These guys know how to write tight, super catchy songs, switch instruments during the set and are obviously having a fantastic time. What else can you ask for from a live show? You want the big huge guy that claims to hate everything (but goes to every show anyway) to dance? You got it. He's dancing and it's adorable. Just go see them. They are truly that entertaining. I have to get their record so I can spend every sunny day from here on out listening to it.

I bet they have the best slumber parties. They seem like the kind of guys who can have a slumber party and not get all defensive because that's not a very (traditionally) masculine thing to do. But whatever, that doesn't bother them because they're always in a good mood and always having fun.

I really, really want to go to one of these slumber parties.

*Besides you, Dad.

~sqg eliza

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

See Her Runing Around She's The Girl About Town That You (Probably Haven't) Heard Of 3/4 - 3/9

The flu virus has been known to kill many a good intention, including (but most certainly not limited to) bloggers publishing concert options for the week when they are actually relevant.

Here are my picks now, for what they are worth. I'm keeping my intro short so that I can get this posted before the Theraflu that I just drank kicks in.

~sqg marion

Here's what the week looks like:


The Raveonettes, and Be Your Own PET at El Rey Theatre

Bad Religion at The House of Blues/Sunset Strip

Thee L.A. Gentlemen Callers, Thee Emergency, The Vacation, and Blackbird & the Feather'd People at The Silverlake Lounge

Amnion, Luke Top, and Layer at Spaceland

These Are Powers at The Echo

The Mountain Goats, and Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters at The Troubadour

Looks like the Mountain Goats show tonight is sold out. I think that the Raveonettes sold out their show too. So um, I've been hearing really good things about Amnion who are at Spaceland.


Sugar & Gold, Bachelorette, and Patria Jacobs at Bordello

Bad Religion at The House of Blues/Sunset Strip

The Autumns, The Photo Atlas, and The Secret 6 at The Knitting Factory (Front Stage)

Shiloe, The Hard To Get, Hello Dragon, and Black Kites at The Silverlake Lounge

Club NME w/ Howlin' Rain at Spaceland

The Hackensaw Boys, Restaurant, and Michael Mazochi at Tangier

The Duke Spirit, and Afternoons at The Echo

Foo Fighters, Serj Tankian, and Against Me! at The Forum

Inazuma, The Blessings, Thee Emergency, and The Echos at The Scene

These Are Powers, Teenage Moms, BiPolar Bear, and Ima Gymnist at The Smell

Jeremy Jay at Three Of Clubs

The Mountain Goats, and Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters at The Troubadour

Wow, quite a few options for you tonight. Surely though, if you've seen The Mountain Goats live before then you are already planning to go the Troubadour. If you haven't seen the Mountain Goats live before, then you really should be planning to go to the Troubadour.


Howlin' Rain at Amoeba Music

United By Sound, The Good Listeners, The Golden Ratio, and Bachelorette at The Silverlake Lounge

Junior Boys (DJ set) at Spaceland

Twilight Sleep, Restaurant, and Karin Tatoyan at The Echo

Foo Fighters, Serj Tankian, and Against Me! at The Forum

Leslie & the Lys, Devon Williams, and Closed Heart Surgery at The Glass House (Pomona)

Rooney, Brett Dennen, and Lisa Donnelly at The Roxy

Monotonix, Anavan, and Bad Dudes at The Smell

Nicole Atkins, Let's Go Sailing, and The Parlour Mob at The Troubadour

Joe says that Twilight Sleep are really impressive. I *think* that I remember reading glowing things about Nicole Atkins on Three Imaginary Girls. Although a DJ set from Junior Boys at Spaceland does sound like a super fun dance party.


Balkan Beat Box, and DJ Joro Boro at El Rey Theatre

New York Dolls, and We Are The Fury at The Henry Fonda Theater

World/Inferno Friendship Society, Intro5pect, and Max & The Marginalized at The Knitting Factory

The Monolators, Radars to the Sky, The Flying Tourbillon, The Amateurs, and The Terrapin at Mr. T's Bowl

Why?, and Yacht at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (First Fridays)

Tigers Can Bite You, Birdmonster, The Hectors, and Rademacher at Pehrspace

Division Day, The A-Sides, and The Coral Sea at Spaceland

Delta Spirit, and Port O'Brien at The Echo

Leslie & the Lys, Devon Williams, and Lance Rock (Yo Gabba Gabba) at The Echplex

Club Underground w/ Die! Die! Die!, My Best Fiend, and Rainbow Arabia at The Echo

Mt. Eerie, and Weyou at The Smell

Delta Spirit, The Virgins, and Port O'Brien at The Troubadour

There are just way too many good options on this night to get into it all. The fact that both Mt. Eerie, and New York Dolls are both playing on different sides of the same city is proof enough. Rademacher and friends are sure to put on a fantastic show at one of our favorite venues Pehrspace. And if you head over there you'll be treated to some stand out song selections from DJ Fielder. I think I will have to be at the Natural History Museum for First Fridays though for Why? and Yacht. Why? put on one of the most impressive shows I've ever seen a couple of years ago, and each time that I saw Yacht last year was more fun than the last. You can also look forward to great DJ sets from a few Dublab representatives if you make it to this one.


Actress, LoveLikeFire, Light FM, Redcar, and Nevenka at Bordello

Whispertown 2000, The XYZ Affair, Bachelorette, and Murder On The Moon at El Cid

Pela, The Heavenly States, Liam Finn, and The Features at Spaceland

The New Check Yo' Ponytail w/ Gil Mantera's Party Dream, Mahjongg, Lucy and the Popsonics, Frankie Chan, and Paparazzi at The Echo

The Mae Shi, Old Time Relijun, Clipd Beaks, and Thee Ohsees at The Smell

Performer Magazine Presents: The Transmissions, Spirit Vine, The Health Club, and Vaudeville at The Scene

The Virgins, Eye Alaska, Gilmore, and Building Rome in a Day at The Glass House (Pomona)

We're DJ- ing the Scene for our pals The Transmissions, and The Health Club. Stop by and say hi!


New York Dolls at The House Of Blues/ Anaheim

Big Business, Red Fang, and The Cops at Spaceland

Alex and Sam, and Liz Pappademas at Tangier

Part Time Punks w/ New Bloods, Softboiled Eggies, and Magic Johnson at The Echo

Crystal Castles, and Health at The Roxy

Gang Wizard, xNoBBQx, Wildlife, Goliath Bird Eater at The Smell

Crystal Castles had to postpone their show at the Roxy due to Alice Glass being in a car accident it looks as though Health will make sure that the show goes on. Thanks to Pitchfork for the news. Oh, and two perfectly minimalist post punk bands The New Bloods, and Magic Johnson both from Portland are invading the Echo as well. I'd never heard either before today, but what I'm listening to right now sounds pretty great. I've seen Softboiled Eggies before, doing Smiths covers. I'll be really interested to hear what their own songs sound like live.