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Spoon added to lineup for Moon Block Party

by Kevin Bronson on September 16, 2014

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Spoon has been added to the lineup for the fourth annual Moon Block Party , which moves to the Pomona Fairplex this year for a one-day festival with three stages of music. Spoon joins an already formidable lineup featuring Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Black Angels and Band of Skulls performing on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Also playing: Tinariwen, the Black Lips, Metz, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Deap Vally and Shannon & the Clams, among others.

Tickets are $45 (general admission) and $85 (delux package).

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Ears Wide Open: Bleach Egg

by Kevin Bronson on September 16, 2014

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The collaborators in the duo Bleach Egg are well-known in art-pop circles — singer-songwriter Kimi Recor has made music in Black Flamingo, then as Draemings and now in TÊTE, and vocalist Whitney Fierce was DJ/producer in Hercules & Love Affair. The principals describe the project as “a joke that has gone too far” — they met at a dinner party, found they shared the same fashion and sonic sensibilities and eventually began exploring heady synth-pop. Bleach Egg’s first single “Sensitive Boy” comes via Manimal Vinyl; it’s a moody, intricately layered number that bends tonality and gender. Expect more from the duo’s forthcoming EP, “Future Reflections.”

||| Stream: “Sensitive Boy”

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Stream: Tall Tales & the Silver Lining, ‘Unknown Forces’

by Kevin Bronson on September 16, 2014

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Singer-songwriter Trevor Beld-Jimenez and his merry band of collaborators in January released a new EP as Tall Tales & the Silver Lining, songs that honed a distinct sound that’s equal parts cosmic California, soul and West Coast pop. It augured great things for the band, who announced this week they have signed to New York City-based Other Music Recording Co., with a full-length planned for late in the year. The new song “Unknown Forces” finds Beld-Jimenez at his most charismatic, evoking the simpler Los Angeles of a time when, metaphorically speaking, there weren’t so many freeways running through my yard. It’s a tasty balance of twangy guitar, organ, strings and harmonies — that, right there, is the silver lining.

||| Stream: “Unknown Forces”

||| Live: Tall Tales & the Silver Lining play the next three Tuesday nights at Harvard & Stone.

||| Previously: “It Don’t Worry Me”

Photo by Betsy Winchell

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Video premiere: Moonchild, ‘The Truth’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on September 16, 2014

Neo-soul trio Moonchild first tickled our ear drums with their previous album “Be Free,” a collection of jazzy songs that also caught the attention of Stevie Wonder, James Poyser and more. The USC alums now release their new single “The Truth” from their latest record “Please Rewind,” and the video comes by way of a collaboration between the band and a fan. The fan who reached out to Moonchild just happened to be Holly Port, a photographer/filmmaker who has done music videos for Thundercat, Flying Lotus and more. The collaboration is an eclectic black-and-white clip that glides between extended shots in the great outdoors, around the city and inside various music venues the trio has performed at over the last year. It’s a fusion of nature’s daylight and the metropolitan nightlife and flows as smooth as Amber Navran’s vocals.

||| Previously: “All the Joy,” “Be Free, “Ocean Deep”  [click to continue…]

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Photos: Kan Wakan (and guests) at the Getty Center

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on September 16, 2014

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As if Kan Wakan needed any more cinematic touches, the Los Angeles experimental orchestral pop collective closed out the Getty Center’s summer series Saturdays Off the 405 with a slew of special guests this weekend. Heavenly harmonies from the Silver Lake Chorus magically cushioned the smokey riffs from new Kan Wakan vocalist Brittany “KP” Mullen on “Like I Need You,” while violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson led viola-cello duo Strings Massive (Thomas Lea, Claire Courchene) in sweeping melodies during songs like “Forever Found.” Kan Wakan’s more psychedelic and funkier cuts such as closing number “Midnight Moon Pt. II” were also elevated with some outstanding saxophone (Ted Tafaro) and keytar (Brandon Coleman) solos. All in all, the collective’s genre-sprawling compositions made for an exceptionally sophisticated night.

Photos by Seraphina Lotkhamnga

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Tarfest announces set times for Saturday’s concert

by Kevin Bronson on September 16, 2014

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Tarfest — the free, all-ages music and art festival going off Saturday at the La Brea Tar Pits Park — has announced set times for the five artists who are performing live. The afternoon affair will culminate with a 6 p.m. set from indie-pop favorites Hunter Hunted, who are taking a break from working on their debut album to play a hometown show.

Soulful garage-rock trio the Dead Ships kick off the afternoon, followed by psychedelic synth-poppers Tapioca and the Flea, pop ensemble DWNTWN and alternative rockers the Moth & the Flame. Presented by Launch LA and KCSN (88.5 FM), the 12th annual celebration of culture on the Miracle Mile kicks off at 1 p.m. and features live painting by noted local artists Greg “Craola” Simkins, Nicola Verlato and DevNGosha, an art pavilion featuring special exhibition of James Griffith’s paintings, children’s activities, a wine and beer garden and food trucks.

The set times:
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Ears Wide Open: Minnow

by Kevin Bronson on September 16, 2014

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In its quest for some sonic and topical higher ground, art-rock can come off as heavy-handed and indulgent. The new material from L.A. sextet Minnow avoid those perils even as it grapples with weighty matters such as life, death and fleeting youth. The band began as the project of guitarists Madison Megna and Kenny Tye and drummer Alex Onate, eventually adding singer Nik O’Hara, bassist Daniel Campos and multi-instrumentalist Curtis Baxter (whose unique set-up includes drums, glockenspiel, sleigh bells, tambourines, cymbals, piano and organ). After self-releasing a self-titled EP in late 2012, the band embarked on making its full-length, “Trembles & Temperance” (out Nov. 11). Recorded at The Atomic Garden in Palo Alto with producer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Whirr), the album corrals Minnow’s many ambitions — sprawling arrangements, intricate harmonics, doubled percussion, high-minded lyrics. “I’m feeling about as Christian / as a crooked politician / but I’m searching for an answer / some proof, a cure,” O’Hara sings in “Indian Summer.” Sometimes Minnow must feel like they’re swimming upstream, but at least they are seekers.

||| Stream: “Indian Summer” and “Coyote (Midnight)”

||| Live: Minnow plays Oct. 13 at the Smell.

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Daedelus

Tuesday’s top things:

► Profilic sonic alchemist Alfred Darlington — whom you know as Daedelus [pictured] — celebrates the release of his new album “The Light Brigade” with a show at Fifty Seven. The Baths side project Geotic supports, and guests from the Brainfeeder and Dublab crews will be on hand.
Rise Against rocks the Wiltern behind their latest album “The Black Market,” released in July.
► Singer-songwriter Andrew Belle visits the Troubadour; his second album “Black Bear” came out a year ago. Sugar & the Hi Lows at the Troubadour
Ryan Lerman heads up the lineup at a free show at the Bootleg Theatre — RiotHorse (featuring Emily Greene and Madi Diaz), Ellipses and Alex Lilly make it a very promising night.
Tall Tales & the Silver Lining continue their residency at Harvard & Stone, supported by Cassandra and Two Sheds.
► And a big local show at the Echo brings together Oh Boys Les Mecs, Dekades and W.A.R.S. (ex-Great Northern).

Also:
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There’s hardly a better way to make new friends and influence people than hitting events like the 76th Annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. At least, that’s what the six bands who played Saturday night’s Live Music Stage near the Chinatown Central Plaza found. Crash Kings headlined with an energetic set of music from their two albums — and the new one they have in the works — and three of the bands who haven’t even released any recordings yet had fans inquiring where they could find music at the merch table. Those were Dorothy, who delivered a positively electric set of blues-rock; SD3, the Cary Brothers side project whose take on ’80s boy/girl pop had hips shaking; and Mosco Rosco, whose danceable power-pop worked everybody into a lather. Not that the Singles hadn’t done that already, with songs of their full-length “Look How Fast a Heart Can Break.” And early arrivals got a catchy set of indie-rock from Run Things, who inspired a minor dance party from the (really) young crowd.

Photos by Kelly Rosales (more photos below)

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Premiere: Danny Bobbe, ‘Out of Reach’

by Kevin Bronson on September 15, 2014

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Singer-guitarist Danny Bobbe has introduced his solo project simply as “an EP between LA Font projects.” And if you suspect such a venture would reveal a different side of Bobbe, whose biting wit makes LA Font one of the most compelling indie-rock bands around, you’d be right. In fact, “Out of Reach” reveals several different sides. The title track is a bit swirling psychedelic bombast as narrated by a deadpan, embittered Conor Oberst (think the Desaparecidos’ Oberst): “And just who do you / think that you are / being out of my reach / when I’m stretching so far,” the song begins. “Harder Than Diamonds” sounds like something Robbie Robertson and the Band would do if they were starving artists today in Echo Park. Bobbe can be balladeer too — the quiescence of “Sweet 16″ (with Pablo Mendez of Rumbankete on violin) is chilling, and the songwriter takes to the piano for equally tender and spare “Secret.” The EP features Washing Machines drummer Joel Adkins, along with LA Font’s Greg Katz on piano, bass and lead guitar on “Harder.” Bobbe can write a couplet — those LA Font EPs and last fall’s album “Diving Man” demonstrated that. “Out of Reach” makes them a little more accessible.

||| Stream: “Out of Reach’

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