Ahead of their just-announced date at HARD Summer, the Chemical Brothers — Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons — are returning with their first album in five years. “Born in the Echoes” will be out July 17, and it features guest turns from Q-Tip, Beck, St. Vincent, Cate Le Bon and Ali Love (a video is forthcoming from Michel Gondry as well, the band says). Director Adam Smith gets his oscilloscope on for the video for the song, which feels like you poked your head into the Sahara Tent in 1999.*
[File under Things I Slept on During March Madness:]
Oxnard native Nic Hessler had a good thing going a few years back, making music under the name Catwalk while he was still in his teens and prepping an album for the Captured Tracks label. In late 2012, he was sidelined with the autoimmune disorder Guillain–Barré Syndrome, which robbed him of his motor skills. Months of treatment and rehab later, Hessler went back to work on the album, which he titled “Soft Connections” and released under his own name on March 17. It’s as fine a power-pop record as you’ll hear in 2015, the sparkling guitars and sweet harmonies reminiscent of 1970s songsmiths and some British indie bands from the ’90s who put psychedelic sprinkles on jangling guitar pop. The 23-year-old told Interview magazine that some of the songs on the album date to his teens, but “Soft Connections” seems seamless enough. And he has another album’s worth of songs written? Even better.
||| Stream: “Hearts, Repeating” and “I Feel Again”
All kinds of good things await when the Buzz Bands LA Show kicks off at 11 a.m. on The Independent FM. I’ll play songs from four artists finishing up their residencies on Monday night (Odessa, Dorothy, Winter and Barrows); new songs from Nicky Blitz, LA Font, Alexa Melo, Dutch Party, Minutes ’til Midnight, Albert, Children, StaG and Mindy Jones; and a flashback to 1983 or so with Rain Parade, who are playing a show tonight. The playlist and a stream are below — enjoy.
► The Stagecoach festival kicks off a three-day run in Indio, with Tim McGraw, Merle Haggard, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, the Lone Bellow and more. [Set times at the end of this post.]
► On his way to play Stagecoach on Saturday, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman does a date at the Roxy Theatre.
► Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice headlines the Greek Theatre behind his new album “My Favourite Faded Fantasy,” the Rick Rubin-produced affair that was released in November. Marketa Irglova supports.
► Scottish hip-hop trio and 2014 Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers hold forth at the Echo behind their new album “White Men Are Black Men Too,” supported by Mas Ysa and Liphemra. Above, Young Fathers’ video for “Shame.”
► Paisley Underground-era psychedelic poppers Rain Parade play the Echoplex, supported by the Quarter After (playing their first L.A. show in three years) and Gospelbeach.
► LA Font headline the Silverlake Lounge to celebrate the release of their new EP, “Hangtime Vol. 1,” joined by Shark, Death Lens and Franky Flowers at the Silverlake Lounge
► It’s the last of Faith No More’s three-night stand at the Wiltern.
► The Game, joined by WC of the Westside Connection, plays Club Nokia.
► Ty Segall’s Fuzz rocks the El Rey Theatre, supported by CCR Headcleaner and Endless Bummer.
► And Delicate Steve plays the Bootleg HiFi, joined by Cheers Elephant and Mild High Club
Ty Segall has rocked big stages in front of raging, moshing kids. His show Tuesday night at the Satellite was about none of that — it was the first in a short series of acoustic shows the 27-year-old singer-guitarist is doing to showcase his mellow-fellow side. It was indeed a tame evening that shone a spotlight on Segall, accompanied on some songs by violinist Laena Geronimo, as a keen lyricist. Mikal Cronin, who plays in Segall’s band and whose new album “MCIII” will be out May 5, was the surprise guest, joining Cory Hanson (of Wand) and Emmett Kelly (of the Cairo Gang) for a sold-out night of acoustic warm-and-fuzzies.
None other than British luminary Don Letts directs the video for U.K. rabble-rousers Palma Violets’ new song “English Tongue,” which stars Paul Kaye (“Game of Thrones”) and answers the age-old question “What if you went to church and a mosh pit broke out?” The song is from the band’s second album “Danger in the Club” (due May 5 via Rough Trade), which saw principals Chilli Jesson and Samuel Fryer, along with Peter Mayhew (keyboards) and Will Doyle (drums), working with producer John Leckie (the Stone Roses, Radiohead). If the new album sounds more post-punk than their blaring debut, 2013′s “180,” it is — plus, there’s a little screed directed our way, “Hollywood (I Got It).”
||| Live: Palma Violets play June 5 at the new Teragram Ballroom.
Brokechella is made for polyglot tastes and short attention spans.
The upstart local festival returned Saturday for its fifth year, and its second at the re-purposed warehouse complex in the shadow of the 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles. Conceived as an affordable alternative to that big shindig in Indio, Brokechella is part music festival, part arts-and-crafts fair and part beer bash. This year it drew a crowd of about 4,500, organizers said, and there was scarcely a dull moment.
Have you ever had a friend who just seems too repressed to be happy? Somebody you wish would come out of his or her shell? That’s what the video for the new StaG song “Hide a Few” is about. Directed by Taylor Phillips and written and produced by Connie Peterson, it stars Miki Matteson as somebody who’s trying to Live Right. When she does decide to cut loose, however, all hell breaks loose. The song is from StaG’s new EP, “Dig Up, Stupid,” which comes out next week. The five-song release is another display of smart, atmospheric guitar-and-synth rock from the L.A. quintet of Matt McGuire, Will Walden, Matt Hampar, Casey Baird and Tony Denove, and the follow-up to their 2014 full-length “Difference.”
||| Live: StaG plays Saturday at the Kohoutek Music & Arts Festival at Pitzer College
► Georgia rockers Drive-By Truckers visit the Regent Theater.
► Long-running indie-rocker Matt Pond PA, who has a new album “The State of Gold” coming in June, visits the Troubadour on a tour celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his best album “Several Arrows Later” (getting the deluxe reissue treatment). Young Buffalo and Shawn Alpay support.
► It’s the second of three nights with Faith No More at the Wiltern.
► Nashville garage-rockers Turbo Fruits have a new album out this week; it’s titled “No Control,” and the quartet headlines the Roxy Theatre tonight.
► And at the Satellite, a stellar lineup of local bands featurs Willoughby, the Futures League, Clara-Nova and Bedowin.
If you skipped Coachella because 1) you couldn’t afford the price tag, 2) crowds make you break into a cold sweat, or 3) desert heat makes you sweat, period, then, OK, I hope you had a great couple of weekends and perhaps sniffed out some second-hand festival vibes on YouTube.
If you skipped Coachella because you think it’s overrun by douchebags, debutantes and drug-addled EDM heads, then you’re a sucker. You’ve fallen victim to the click-baiters whose online photos of a small minority of idiots in Native American headdresses, garish face paint and various states of undress make for better galleries than masses of people dancing or merely mesmerized by the music.
Join Kevin Bronson every Sunday at 9 p.m. Pacific time for the L.A. Buzz Bands Show on KCSN (88.5 FM, streaming at KCSN.org).
The long-running Buzz Bands LA Show — weekly on the Internet since 2006 — streams two hours of local music at 11 a.m. on Fridays on The Independent FM. It's rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesdays.