The third Chinatown Summer Nights of 2014 is two weeks away: On Aug. 9, Moving Units headline a Live Music Stage lineup that boasts the Peach Kings, the New Electric Sound, the Cold & Lovely, Magic Bronson and the Rebel Light. To get you properly amped for the night, or maybe as a way of introduction to artists you might not know, we made this mini-mix of songs from each of the six bands.
The free, all-ages night also features Raul Campos and Anthony Valadez rocking the KCRW stage, as well as cultural actiivites, art, family fun, food trucks and a craft beer garden. After the jump, the set times:
[click to continue…]
Cayucas, PAPA and the southern California weather brought a lot of heat to the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday night for the third of 10 Twilight Concerts this summer. It was a hometown show for Zach Yudin of Cayucas, whose breezy, surf-inspired jams made for a perfect headlining set in the beach setting. Indie-rockers PAPA pumped up with a boisterous opening block of music, with singer/drummer Darren Weiss [top photo], enjoying a ride on the crowd. The series continues next Thursday with a show featuring Syrian dance-music guru Omar Souleyman and L.A. dance-punk outfit De Lux.
Photos by Carl Pocket
Here’s your super Saturday:
► Grammy Award-winning Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan (formerly of Miami Sound Machine) headlines the Hollywood Bowl.
► Shelby Lynne [pictured] and Jamestown Revival plays a free show at the Annenberg Space for Photography in conjunction with the Country in the City exhibit.
► Caught a Ghost plays a free show the Getty Center as part of the Saturdays Off the 405 series. [Check out "Relentless."]
► Mexican-American L.A. band La Santa Cecilia takes on the First Unitarian Church.
► When In Rome, Missing Persons and Information Society all team up for a free outdoor concert at Pershing Square.
► Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone headlines the Roxy Theatre. Dresses and the Lower 48 support.
► Club Nokia hosts a night with Lucent Dossier Experience.
► The Greek Theater’s got Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder.
► Jon Hopkins and Teebs pair up for a electronic-centric night the Echoplex.
► The Clientele headlines the Satellite. The Tyde and Matt Kivel open.
► GRMLN, Gothic Tropic and Sad Girl play Los Globos. [Check out GRMLN's "Jaded."]
► And soul songstress Jessica Childress performs at Downstairs at Fifty Seven.
[click to continue…]
There’s never been a shortage of My Bloody Valentine acolytes in these parts, but San Fernando Valley quintet Draag make a heckuva first impression — on their self-titled album and, it turns out, in person. When the band — Adrian Acosta, Adrian De La Cruz, Jessica Huang, Carlos Michel and Danny Rossi — made their live debut Thursday night in the stiflingly hot small room at Lot 1 Cafe, there was crowd-surfing and moshing while the band bled walls-of-sound and engineered its own mix from onstage. (Ah, the DIY life.) Anyway, the young shoegazers’ music begs for such physicality. The album starts with 45 seconds of thrash before undulating between sweet dream-pop (“Tragic” and “Midnight Confessions”), classic shoegaze (“You’re My Boy Blue”) and anthemic excursions (“Big Eyes, Big Lies”). As the DIY production of “Draag” (available on a pay-what-you-want basis on Bandcamp) suggests, they are just getting started. They might have no trouble being heard.
||| Stream: “You’re My Boy Blue” and “Tragic”
||| Live: Draag, along with HOTT MT, Washing Machines and Cigarette Bums, play Aug. 1 at the Smell.
Archer Black’s debut album “Forgiveness Is a Weapon” in early 2012 was a jaw-droppingly ambitious exercise in orchestral (and some might say post-) rock, with singer/composer Dustin Morgan (ex-the Autumns) conjuring up apocalyptic images with sprawling soundscapes. Archer Black’s new EP, out next week, is a no less extravagant production, but the music is more direct. Morgan conceived the songs during a four days in isolation at a cabin in Frazier Park, and recorded them with producer Mike Bennett of the Structure. Violinist Paul Cartwright, guitarist Madison Megna and cellist Matt Cooker return from Archer Black’s first-album orchestra, joined now by Crystal Alforque (violin), Molly Rogers (viola), Greg Zilboorg (trumpet), Tony Rinaldi (trombone) and Jan Ozveren (guitar). The single “Pins” stomps and stomps and then explodes, and “The Smoke” is as close to a rock radio anthem as we reckon Archer Black has come, its chorus cascading across sawed strings to a big finish. These new four songs may be flat-out stickier than anything on “Forgiveness,” but as they did on the debut, Archer Black continues to treat rock as a fine art.
||| Stream: “Pins”
||| Live: Archer Black plays the Satellite on Sunday night.
||| Previously: Onward and Down”
The vintage folk stylings of the Wild Reeds recall a distant, ostensibly more naive California where one had to be neither blind nor especially brave to see and do all that is right and good. On its debut “Blind and Brave” (due Aug. 9), the L.A. quintet submits that they are oblivious to today’s trenchant cynicism and bold enough to chart their own course. It’s a winning oeuvre — the down-home Americana made by Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva, Mackenzie Howe, Nick Jones and Nick Phakpiseth possesses a time-capsule innocence. There are more polished folk singers than Lee, Silva and Howe (who rotate on lead duties and harmonies), but few more believably honest. Songs such as “Love Letter” sound like they’re rattling off a Victrola; “Of All the Dreams” recalls one of Jenny Lewis’ more country-fied moments; and the aching title track suggests the Wild Reeds may be truly out of their time, but not out of their element. “Blind and Brave” was produced by Raymond Richards (Local Natives) in the vein of his other work with folk artists such as the Parson Red Heads and Honeyhoney. Guitar, banjo, stand-up bass, harmonium and autoharp — all appear judiciously here. Find a shade tree and enjoy.
||| Stream: “Blind and Brave”
||| Live: The Wild Reeds perform Aug. 9 at the Troubadour along with Kera & the Lesbians and Brother Grand.
Just when it seems like baroque pop had gone out of fashion, L.A.’s Wartime Recitals come out of nowhere with their whimsical keyboard riffs, sweet harmonies, sweeping violin and glockenspiel accents. The sextet’s musical gusto not only serves as a natural pick-me-up but also has the depth that would attract fans of Los Campesinos!, Fanfarlo and the early days of Arcade Fire. Following previously exuberant singles “Hold Your Velocity” and “Lark!,” Wartime Recitals now unveils their track “Bears.” Opening with a warm folk guitar riff and gang vocals, the new single quickly builds up to a cathartic and silvery chorus. It’s a tune for those summer days where you ditch the trendy pool party scenes for a long bike ride so the wind can flow through your hair. Wartime Recitals’ self-titled debut EP is slated for a release on Oct. 7.
||| Download: “Bears”
||| Live: Wartime Recitals play Aug. 16 at the Buzz Bands LA stage in the Champagne Room at Taix as part of Echo Park Rising.
||| Previously: “Bad Dances,” “Hold Your Velocity” and “Lark!”
The latest tease from Wildcat! Wildcat!’s forthcoming debut album is something that’d work great in a planetarium. “Holloway (Hey Love)” is a constellation of twinkling synths backing a meteor shower of falsetto harmonies, all propelled by a marching beat. The results are lush and almost choral — ever since their early singles, the L.A. outfit of Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson and Jesse Carmichael has found a way to make twee sound as big as the night sky. It’s generally in the way everything is meticulously layered, and here we imagine the “hey love” chorus raining down on festival crowds of young electro-pop fans. Wildcat! Wildcat’s debut “No Moon at All” is out Aug. 5 via Downtown Records.
||| Stream: Wildcat! Wildcat!, “Holloway (Hey Love)”
||| Live: Wildcat! Wildcat! headlines the El Rey Theatre on Oct. 21, supported by White Hinterland.
||| Previously: “Hero,” “Garden Grays,” “Please and Thank You,” “The Chief,” “Mr. Quiche”
After a couple weeks spent recalibrating, the Buzz Bands LA Show returns to The Independent FM today with a fresh basket of local music — including new songs from Dorothy, GRMLN, Castro, Soft Swells, Archer Black, the Bots, Cold War Kids and Maudlin Strangers. I’ll have segments devoted to previewing the Aug. 9 lineup at Chinatown Summer Nights (Moving Units, the Peach Kings and more) to the Buzz Bands LA stage Aug. 16 at Echo Park Rising (Tapioca & the Flea, Banta, Howls and more). Join me at 11 a.m. for a fast-moving 120 minutes surveying a bunch of artists making noise around town.
After the jump, a stream of the show and the playlist:
[click to continue…]
Starting as the collaboration between Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda, DWNTWN has released two EPs of buoyant, poignant dream-pop. The song “Heroine,” from April’s self-titled release, is especially heart-rending — Leffler wrote it about her father, Howie Epstein, who died 11 years ago from complications relating to drug use. Says Leffler: “I wrote this song about my dad who died of a heroin overdose when I was 14. He was the bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers so I grew up on the road with him. It was really sad and hard for me to watch someone I love be overcome by addiction. I was kind of scared to write about something this personal, but I’m really happy that we made this song. It’s really special to me, and I thank you all for listening.” The video for the song was shot and edited by Cepeda and Leffler themselves.