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indiefmwide

Join me at 11 a.m. on The Independent FM for the final installment of the Buzz Bands LA Show’s annual countdown of my 101 favorite local songs. I fear I have left out about 100 more I could have included, but nonetheless today’s show picks up where last week’s left off and count down the final 40. Thanks to all the bands and fans for a great 2014.

||| Stream: Week 1 (songs Nos. 101-71), Week 2 (songs Nos. 70-40).

Below, the playlist, and a stream of the show:
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facetoface2014

’Twas the day after Christmas and all through the land, music was blaring from many a band:

► Veteran punk-rockers Face to Face will be doing three of their albums over the next three nights at the Observatory — tonight’s it’s 1992′s “Don’t Turn Away,” along with other choice cuts and B-sides, with Pulley supporting. (Saturday, it’s “Big Choice” and Sunday they play “Face to Face.”)
Blackalicious, the long-running hip-hop duo with a new album on the way next spring, visits the Echoplex, with L.A. rap crew Maya Angeles supporting.
Murs brings his “X-Murs” show to the House of Blues Anaheim.
► Big week of shows for the Aggrolites, who take their “Winter Reggae Wonderland Holiday Tour” to the Canyon Club.
► And O.C. quintet Poor Man’s Change headlines the “Holiday Hangover” at the Viper Room, along with Solution, the Higgs, Monsoon and Mr. Good Day.

Also:
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Merry Christmas

by Kevin Bronson on December 25, 2014

From everyone at Buzz Bands LA to you: Merry Christmas.

And in keeping with the spirit of the day, here’s a sweet new holiday original from L.A.-based the LeBarons, the band built around the songwriting team of Daniel J. Frankeberger and Nathan Bergquist. Frankeberger made the video for “Oh, It Must Be Christmastime” at a holiday open house in Toluca Lake. Enjoy.

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Tonight in L.A.: Christmas Eve

by Kevin Bronson on December 24, 2014

Its Christmas Eve, and the concert calendar is empty (except for Low End Theory at the Airliner and the annual Jewish singles dance party MatzoBall at Avalon Hollywood). So we thought we’d share this video from vocal quintet Pentatonix’s “That’s Christmas to Me” album — a cover of Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal.

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Ears Wide Open: Dutch Party

by Kevin Bronson on December 23, 2014

dutchparty

Veteran bar-hoppers might recognize Ken Franklin as a doorman, but hearing the first two songs from his band Dutch Party will make you wish you chatted him up some more. The quintet’s sprightly piano-based indie-pop is the soundtrack to a good mood, especially “Echo Girl,” an homage to the female denizens of Echo Park. Franklin had been working on his songs for a couple of years before teaming up with Silverfern Studios’ Matt Moore to begin recording an album — which, in turn, caught the interest of Ransom Music Group, the new venture from television personality Matte Babel. Dutch Party’s lineup now features singer-guitarist Franklin, guitarist Luke Paquin (Tashaki Miyaki, Hot Hot Heat), keyboardist Xander Burmer (The Real You), bassist Ben Eisen (Lovers & Poets/Shannon Hurley) and drummer Moore. The video for “Echo Girl,” meanwhile, is liable to make you bust out your dance moves even if you don’t have any — it features Vine personality Sione Maraschino (from Meghan Trainor’s video for the annoying “All About That Bass”) as a janitor who isn’t getting much work done. Infectious hardly gets more infectious.

||| Stream: “Echo Girl” and “Paper Moon”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Echo Girl” below:
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robert-delong-3

L.A. electro alchemist Robert DeLong will be joined by London indie-rocker Tom Vek and SoCal Afro-Latin rockers Quita Penas at the 2015 opener of the Natural History Museum’s First Fridays series. Next year, the series will skip January and kick off on Feb. 6.

The monthly series runs March 6, April 10, May 1 and June 5, bringing music to the museum’s North American Mammal Hall in conjunction with NHM’s other special events, including lectures and tours.

Tickets are $18 and go on sale on Dec. 29. (Ticketing is being done differently this year, so if you are a regular at First Fridays, see the updated information.)

||| Also: See our galleries from past First Fridays events.

Photo of Robert DeLong from 2014′s El Rey Theatre by Kelsey Heng

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Photos: Girlpool, Johnthan Rice and more at the Echo

by Kevin Bronson on December 23, 2014

Girlpool 5

The finale of Girlpool’s residency Monday night at the Echo was a bittersweet affair — the guitar-and bass duo of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad have announced they are moving to Philadelphia in the new year. They closed out their run of Mondays with a raw set of tunes from their self-titled EP, which was picked up by Wichita Recordings and released in November. Johnathan Rice supported with a set of tunes from his great 2013 album “Good Graces,” as well as older material, with girlfriend/collaborator Jenny Lewis, red wine in hand, guesting. Boston’s IAN and O.C.’s Media Jeweler also joined in the fun.

Photos by Carl Pocket, courtesy of the Echo

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Beachwood Sparks 11

The music community came out in force Monday night in support of Josh Schwartz, the former member of Further and Beachwood Sparks who is undergoing treatment for ALS. The benefit concert at the Echoplex was capped by a set from a reconstituted Beachwood Sparks lineup that demonstrated the lasting beauty of their twangy psychedelic rock, as did an earlier set from the Tyde. Leading into Beachwood Sparks, Allah-Las meted out a set of Golden State jangle-pop, and the night also featured a short turn from ’90s psych-poppers Summer Hits, with Ariel Pink on keyboards. Earlier, Miranda Lee Richards led her sextet through a set beautifully hazy Americana, and John C. Reilly and Friends played a typically engaging early set.

Photos by Carl Pocket, courtesy of the Echo 

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waxchildren3d

A light Tuesday schedule, owing to the holiday week:

► A big night for local artists at the Echo sees bands performing on both the indoor and outdoor stages, with Hobart W Fink, Wax Children [pictured above in 3D], Luna Is Honey, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Los Dharma Bums, Period Bomb, Vaya Futuro, Dead Panzies and Santa Youth.
Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples team up for a show at the Observatory.
► It’s a hip-hop night at the Mint, with Jackson Whalan, supported by FreeWill of Luminaries, Matre and Carmen Crow.

Also:
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pwm2014pic

EPs can be funny little beasts. They often serve as kind of a hi-how-ya-doin’ introduction rather than a broad artist’s statement — a handful of songs, a particular single, maybe a remix or three, a taste of what is to come. They vary so much in breadth they are difficult to review. So the Buzz Bands LA team has chosen 40 2014 EPs from Los Angeles artists that ought to be on your radar. Below, a playlist featuring one song from each of the EPs, along with a listing (in no particular order):

||| Also: Our favorite L.A. albums of the year.
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