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 “Mescal 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
As the principal songwriter for three albums and an EP by Rooney, Robert Schwartzman penned unfailingly hooky power-pop tunes. So it stands to reason that his new venture into electro-pop would have the same quality. Working under the name Starsystem, Schwartzman in October released the EP “Pleasure District,” a six-song foray into the happier corners of the early ’80s. Nothing in the way Schwartzman wields his synth breaks new ground; from glossy disco to hyper-romantic pop to guitar-spiked funk, it’s a sampler platter of everything retro. Not sure we quite understand Starsystem’s comic book storyline, but “Pleasure District” will fuel somebody’s rocket.
||| Stream: “Our Love” and “Let Go”
||| Live: Starsystem opens for the Silent Comedy on Tuesday at the Troubadour.
||| Also: After the jump, check out the video for “Our Love”:
The new L.A. quintet Owenstone is the vision of singer-guitarist Nathan Owen, whose crooning vocals and theatricality are the calling cards of the band’s straight-ahead rock. Owen — joined by guitarist-keyboardist Anthony Marks, bassist Erik Halsey, multi-purpose player Adriano Martin and drummer Gerry Doot — has been recording with producer Mick Smiley (he of the “Ghostbusters” soundtrack back in the day and many projects since). A proper release is coming in the new year; meanwhile, the band today unveiled the Owen-directed video for the single “This Face.”
||| Live: Owenstone kicks off a three-week Monday residency tonight at Los Globos.
||| Also: After the jump, check out the video for “Days Like Smoke”:
► Jay-Z brings his “Magna Carta World Tour” to Staples Center.
► Glam-rock violinist-cum-actress-cum-fashion adventurer Emilie Autumn [pictured] visits the Troubadour behind her latest release “Fight Like a Girl.”
► Zappa Plays Zappa celebrates Frank’s 1974 album “Roxy & Elsewhere” at the Roxy Theatre.
► Lissie headlines the Fonda Theatre behind her new album “Back to Forever,” supported by the Kopecky Family Band.
► Singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston, along with Dick Prall, visits Genghis Cohen.
► Free Monday night residencies rage on: The Lonely Wild joins residents the Wild Reeds at the Satellite; Froth is at the Bootleg (with Black Sea, Drinking Flowers, Cosmonauts and Mariana Timony); VUM holds forth at the Echo (with Lo-Fang, Globelamp and Galaxy Electric); it’s Radiorelics at the Silverlake Lounge; and Owenstone gets this started at Los Globos.
► And the Alt 98.7 Rooftop Christmas Party at the W Hotel goes off with a lineup of the National, Silversun Pickups, AWOLNATION, Alt-J, the Airborne Toxic Event, MS MR and J Roddy Walston & the Business.
Incoming: Alt 98.7 Rooftop Party, Holychild, Lissie, Freedy Johnston, Jay Z, Emilie Autumn, Brian Posehn, Brand New, Tapioca & the Flea, the Head and the Heart, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Climbers, the Silent Comedy, Samantha Pearl, the Olms, the Maine, the Mowgli’s, Merle Haggard, Banks, Basia Bulat, Realities, the Visitors, Ari Hest, Third Eye Blind, High on Fire, Mushroomhead, The Dismemberment Plan, Toh Kay, the Janks, the Royal Concept, The Watkins Family, Yukon Gold, Dishwalla, Montgomery Gentry, Jagwar Ma, Paul Kalkbrenner, Dawes, Joe Bonamassa, French Horn Rebellion, the Weirdos, Olin and the Moon, Smallpools, Kanye West, El Ten Eleven, Deap Valley, Cate Le Bon, Joyce Manor, Mirror Talk, Tall Tales & the Silver Lining, the Absolute, Unwritten, Don McLean, Stone Temple Pilots, The Peach Kings, Minks, A Total Disruption, Amanda Palmer, Dunes, Jeff Tweedy
Above: That’s Lissie‘s video for “Sleepwalking.” She plays Monday at the Fonda and Thursday in the Constellation Room (at the Observatory) in support of her latest album “Back to Forever.”
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.