When we last spotted Kaiser Chiefs, it was 2012 and we were wishing it was 2007. Or maybe we were just all pogo-ed out. Anyway, the quintet who roared out of Leeds in the middle of last decade — now absent drummer and co-writer Nick Hodgson, who left the band a year ago — this week announced plans to release their fifth full-length, “Education, Education, Education & War,” produced by Ben H. Allen III (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Bombay Bicycle Club, Fanfarlo) at his Maze Studios in Atlanta. The single “Misery Company” is a good ol’ stomper with a chorus of laughter, which ought to make it easy on the haters but, at least, isn’t one of those omnipresent “whoa-oh” things. We’ll wait to hear more before predicting a riot. The album is due April 1 via ATO.
||| Stream: “Misery Company”
||| Live: Kaiser Chiefs play Feb. 25 at the El Rey Theatre.
Bad Suns earned a lot of well-deserved buzz for their first single “Cardiac Arrest,” a sophisticated mid-tempo rocker that belied the band’s youth. In November, the valley-bred foursome of singer Christo Bowman, bassist Gavin Bennett, guitarist Ray Libby and drummer Miles Kottak signed with Vagrant, which will release their debut EP “Transpose” on Jan. 21. The second song to emerge from Bad Suns is “Salt,” a dancier number with 1980s DNA. While here the quartet is not as arresting as on “Cardiac Arrest,” Bad Suns are still in their teens (or barely out of them) and figure to have quite a 2014 ahead. Looking forward to that growth spurt.
Not much is known about Leaving Records’ underground beatmaker Dakim, the Detroit native who now resides in Berkeley. But following his recent performance at Los Angeles’ Boiler Room and the Stones Throw release of his new album “6F00FF,” this may soon change. His work serves to rebut the phrase “drum machines have no soul,” with its own unique cacophony of deconstructive grooves, irregular samples and unconventional production showing influence from Detroit’s dark electronic history as well as the diverse L.A. beat scene. The digital- and cassette-only release “6F00FF” showcases his dense and signature style with eight tracks clocking in at just over 21 minutes. Multiple tracks fly ahead like the bastard children of Flying Lotus and DJ Rashad, with the fast-paced barrage of eclectic production and a synth-y rhythm of “Corner Pocket” or the muffled and disjointed lo-fi percussion of “Frogger.” “Stillyellow” sounds like an outtake from the “Blade Runner” soundtrack, moody and captivating. And “Title Track” begins with a lush and swirling melody that twinkles before a beat percolates upward through the mix, stuttering and lumbering forward until it bubbles over with a cascade of bleeps and blips and shimmers to a close.
Soul dynamo Sharon Jones, on the rebound after a bout with pancreatic cancer, has a new album on the way in January. It’s titled “Give the People What They Want,” the fifth full-length from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. In between engaging in a little social media about her recovery and new release, Jones has released a holiday song that offers a different take on the miracle of Christmas. “Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” was performed by the singer and her band in the recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the animated video was done by the band along with Ryan Louie. Oh, and this profile in the Village Voice is worth your time.
► Banks brings her sensual R&B to the a sold-out Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever in support of her “London” EP. That’s her video for “This Is What It Feels Like” above.
► The Fonda has a night of pop-rock with the Maine, Anberlin, Lydia and From Indian Lakes.
► The Mowgli’s, Hunter Hunted and Blondfire all make for a stellar night of local bands at the El Rey Theatre.
► The only and only Merle Haggard headlines the Saban Theatre.
► Third Eye Blind brings a wave of nostalgia over the House of Blues (Sunset Strip).
► Black/White Iris hosts a “Indie Is Pop” night over at the Satellite where Realities (Matthew Compton of Electric Guest) will feature members of Fool’s Gold, Big Search, Touche and Only You. Matt Kivel (of Princeton) and Cristina Black also join in on the fun.
► Toronto-based singer-songwriter Basia Bulat play the Bootleg in support of her latest album “Tall Tall Shadow.” L.A. band Haunted Summer opens.
► The Visitors celebrate their debut EP release at El Cid. Ertel, Local Channel and Fleurs help round out the bill.
7 Days of Funk, the collaboration of Dam-Funk and newly christened Snoopzilla, released their debut self-titled album today via Stones Throw Records, and mark the occasion with a new video for their song “Hit Da Pavement.” Following the “to be continued…” first video for the track “Faden Away,” we pick up the adventures of Dam and Snoop after the house party as they cruise through the streets of Los Angeles at night. Along the way, they pick up women and weed, and everyone grooves to the propulsive beat, layered with lovely and subtle synth and appropriately funky bass. The real star of the video is Snoop’s beautiful baby blue Lincoln Continental, shot here like it’s car porn as the city lights gleam off it throughout the night.
||| Live: 7 Days of Funk plays tonight at Exchange LA with Peanut Butter Wolf, Egyptian Lover, Bootsy Collins, Steve Arrington and Funkmosphere DJs.
For about four years now, Band of Skulls have been putting the power in “power trio” — one of the few contemporary purveyors of vintage muscle that outstrips ’70s obsessions and avoid wallowing in mimicry. The triumvirate of Matt Hayward, Emma Richardson and Russel Marsden are showing no signs of exhaustion, either, judging from the new single “Asleep at the Wheel.” It’s the first taste of Band of Skulls’ third album, “Himalayan,” which follows up 2009′s “Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” and 2012′s “Sweet Sour.” It was produced by Nick Launay (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and is out is due April 1. Purists, get happy.
||| Live: Band of Skulls play March 18 at downtown’s Belasco Theatre.
Sonic Youth may be on the shelf, perhaps for good, but its parts are still moving. Kim Gordon’s Body/Head put out an album in September; Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving released one in March; and artist/author/shredder Lee Ranaldo — d/b/a Lee Ranaldo and the Dust — in October unveiled their second album in as many years. “Last Night on Earth,” out via Matador, isn’t just one of those showing-the-kids-how-it’s-done guitar clinics; Ranaldo has a lot to say, some of it pretty foreboding. Ranaldo has described how some of the album, made with drummer Steve Shelley, guitarist Alan Licht and bassist Tim Lüntzel, took shape as Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Storm warning.
||| Stream: “Ambulancer”
||| Live: Lee Ranaldo and the Dust perform Friday night at the Echo.
► The Head and the Heart, who played a sold-out show at the Wiltern last week, return to the venue for another date tonight behind their new album “Let’s Be Still.”
► Dam-Funk and Snoopzilla celebrate their album release at Exchange LA.
► San Diego folk-rockers the Silent Comedy headline the Troubadour, supported by Starsystem and Jamestown Revival.
► The Abigails rock the Bootleg Bar, supported by L.A. Witch and White Dove.
► Hobart W. Fink premieres its new video and plays a headlining set at the Echo, supported by Cobalt Cranes, Missing Teen and Vision.
► And in their holiday tradition, the Blind Boys of Alabama raise their voices at Disney Hall, presenting their “Go Tell It on the Mountain” Christmas show. That’s their new video for “There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table),” above.
When 1990s shoegazers Swervedriver first played the song “Deep Wound” last year, it stoked anticipation for fresh material from a band that hadn’t released new music in about 15 years. Frontman Adam Franklin had engaged in several projects since the band’s breakup in 1998 — Toshack Highway, Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody and Magnetic Morning — before Swervedriver reunited for a great but underattended set at Coachella 2008, followed by a smattering of other shows. A tour here, a tease there, and finally there is a real release: “Deep Wound,” available via Bandcamp with the B-side “Dub Wound” (featuring mixes and backing vocals by Ride’s Mark Gardener). Both songs are likely to have fans of the Swervies feeling their “Mezcal Head,” the band’s second album, which came out in 1993. A new album is coming next year.
||| Stream: “Deep Wound” and “Dub Wound”
Photo of Swervedriver at the Echoplex in June 2011
Join Kevin Bronson every Sunday at 9 p.m. Pacific time for the L.A. Buzz Bands Show on KCSN (88.5 FM).
The long-running Buzz Bands LA Show — streaming weekly on the Internet since 2006 — has a new home on The Independent FM. Tune in at 11 a.m. Pacific time for two hours of SoCal-bred music.