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Video: Corners, ‘Love Letters’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on September 30, 2014

Corners will follow up their 2012 album “Beyond Way” (and two perfectly hazy 7-inches) on Oct. 7 with “Maxed Out On Distractions.” The LP, which will be released via Lolipop Records, trades in those familiar, woozy surf- and garage-rock riffs on previous releases for cold synths that reflect the post-punk that has recently influenced the Echo Park quartet. The new single “Love Letters” gets an appropriately smoky, straight-outta-the-’80s video from director Alfredo Lopez. Not only do Tracy Bryant’s baritone vocals boom louder this time around, but the bass lines dominate, the percussion is persevering and the synths slice through it all. It may be a drastic sonic shift, but they’ve also picked up Jeff “Jeffertiti” Ramuno (of Jeffertittis Nile and Father John Misty) along the way to lend a hand on guitar and vocals. Change may be a good thing for these guys.

||| Live: Corners celebrate the release of “Maxed Out on Distractions” Oct. 10 at the Echo. They also play Oct. 19 at the Pomona Fairplex as part of the Moon Block Party and Oct. 25 at the Observatory as part of the Growlers’ Beach Goth Party.

||| Previously: “My Baby”
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Ears Wide Open: Wrongchilde

by Kevin Bronson on September 30, 2014

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After six albums and seven EPs at the front of Chicago-bred Kill Hannah, Mat Devine has stepped out in a substantial way, under the moniker Wrongchilde. His L.A.-based project’s debut album “Gold Blooded,” which came out Sept. 16, sounds oddly current given its obvious 1980s influences. The album even comes complete with a morbid version of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” thanks, in part, to Morgan Kibby (M83, White Sea). The song would fit perfectly into any slow motion, romantic movie scene. Kibby isn’t the only collaborator on “Gold Blooded” — Wrongchilde also tapped Alain Whyte (primary songwriting partner for Morrissey) and former My Chemical Romance frontman, Gerard Way, for “Falling In Love Will Kill You,” a track originally meant to be performed with a woman. The decision to use Way’s voice only made the song more haunting, heaving a tear from even the most aggrieved hearts. Don’t worry though; Devine has more than just heart-wrenching songs to offer. He’s also expanding on his creativity with accompanying music videos, most notably “Slow.” The video will do one of the following: provoke a pillow fight, cure coulrophobia via the creepy clown’s mad dance skills, or reaffirm coulrophobia via the creepy clown’s mad dance skills. Warning: If you haven’t already figured it out, the video features Mat Devine as a clown.

— Jessica Shalvoy

||| Stream: “Falling in Love Will Kill You” and “Love Is a Battlefield”

||| Live: Wrongchilde plays Thursday night at the Viper Room.

||| Also: Below, clown it up with Niko Sonnberger’s video for “Slow”:
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Recap and photos by Michelle Shiers

The stars — and the crowd — came out for Sunday night’s “George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison,” a benefit for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund originally scheduled for the El Rey Theatre but moved to the bigger Fonda Theatre because of ticket demand. And no wonder.

||| More photos and the setlist below

From the beginning, when surprise guest Conan O’Brien took the stage and performed “Old Brown Shoe,” the mood was celebratory. “They said lets put the comic on first, give him a guitar and that will set the bar really freakin’ low, and everyone else is gonna sound amazing alright?” O’Brien wisecracked.
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Seraphina Lotkhamnga promoted to managing editor

by Kevin Bronson on September 30, 2014

seraphinatwitterSeraphina Lotkhamnga, who joined Buzz Bands LA as a staff writer 3 1/2 years ago, has been elevated to the position of managing editor. The new title better reflects her wide-ranging responsibilities in coordinating our website’s show coverage, social media presence and staff management. A graduate of Michigan State University, she has authored more than 1,300 posts for Buzz Bands LA and has been integral in the continuing growth of the site and increasing its visibility on the L.A. music scene and beyond. Please join me in congratulating her. — K.B.

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Great things for your Tuesday night:

► U.K. dance outfit Clean Bandit headlines the El Rey Theatre behind their album “New Eyes,” with Lizzo supporting.
Sam Smith and Broods are back for a second night at the Greek Theatre. Above, Smith’s video for “Restart.”
Cibo Matto [see "Deja Vu"] visits the Roxy Theatre behind “Hotel Valentine,” their first album in 15 years, along with  Nels Cline and Talk in Tongues.
► All hail Martha Davis & the Motels — the long-running rocker and her current band of brothers headline the Mint, where you’re liable to hear the ’80s hits and some new songs too.
► U.K. quartet Teleman teams up with L.A.’s White Dove at the Bootleg HiFi
► And reunited prog-rockers King Crimson, promoting a new boxed set, hold forth at the Orpheum Theatre.

Also:
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Album stream: Joel Jerome, ‘Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk’

by Kevin Bronson on September 29, 2014

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Joel Morales’ ascent to stoner svengali of the nascent psych-pop/garage-rock/all-things-retro scene in L.A. has to put a smile on the face of everybody who’s followed him in the past decade. Now using the name Joel Jerome, he makes music and produces young artists associated with the Manimal, Burger and Lolippop labels, his wizened ways earning the nickname “Papa Joel.” It’s well-deserved: As the brilliant psych-pop on the Dios records attests, Joel Jerome was retro before you, and even having survived some difficult years, his immersion in songwriting and production is reaping rewards. Which brings us to “Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk” (out this week on Manimal), his long-overdue solo effort — and, according to him, the tip of the iceberg of some 200-plus songs he has stashed away. Jerome’s trippy excursion into 1960s hymns is typically swathed in reverb, vintage keys, bright guitar work and choral vocals. Depending on the song, he comes off alternately as vulnerable and sensitive, or wry and subversive. It’s a wild ride. Enjoy it.

||| Stream: “Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk”

||| Live: Joel Jerome celebrates his album release with a show Thursday night at the Lexington downtown, along with So Many Wizards, Levitation Room and Winter.

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Stream: Milo Greene, ‘White Lies’

by Kevin Bronson on September 29, 2014

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Milo Greene’s sparkling 2012 debut was notable for two qualities: an organic indie-pop feel that harked back to the folk-rockers of the 1970s and a distinctly democratic approach — i.e., principals Andrew Heringer, Marlana Sheetz, Robbie Arnett and Graham Fink, who are joined by drummer Curtis Marrero, traded vocal duties like appetizers at an office happy hour. So “White Lies” — the first song to emerge from Milo’s sophomore album, “Control” (out Jan. 27 via Elektra) — might shock the senses. Sheetz’s airy vocals dominate (and multiply) as the quintet jets into the 1980s with a dusting of synths and tricky but danceable rhythms. The new album was made earlier this year with producer Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Foster The People, Ellie Goulding) and features contributions from the estimable Joey Waronker. “White Lies” lacks nothing for catchiness, but it could have been done by any of a dozen electro queens in the marketplace these days. Whether this is representative of the whole direction of “Control,” of course, remains to be seen. “Don’t be / so surprised / I’m no longer hiding,” to quote a lyric out of context. I supposed there’s a dance-floor diva in everybody.

||| Stream: “White Lies”

||| Live: Milo Greene opens for Bombay Bicycle Club on Friday night at the Wiltern.

||| Previously: Live at the El Rey, “1957″ video, “Take a Step,” live at the Hammer Museum, “Autumn Tree,” “1957″

Photo by Hartman Harris

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Jackson Browne 11

By Daiana Feuer

Day 2 of Way Over Yonder again brought an almost magical cross-generational mix to its lineup — the legendary Jackson Browne, 65, with his first new album in six years “Standing in the Breach” en route Oct. 7, and the rediscovered Linda Perhacs, 70, who went 44 years between album releases before her “The Soul of All Natural Things” came out earlier this year.

With fresh faces such as the Lone Bellow and Jamestown Revival, it gave Saturday a timeless, or at least time-honored, feel. Here are some highlights from the Main Stage and the Carousel Stage:
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Local Natives 21

By Daiana Feuer

In its second year, Way Over Yonder is Newport Folk Festival’s California baby. On Friday, the Santa Monica Pier got lightly folked up with hay bales, Indian blankets and a bean bag toss, but for the most part the environment stayed clean and tidy. Nary a hippie in sight, save for the beach-bound ones sharing hot dogs with seagulls by the arcade. The smell of intoxicating meats had the audience drooling. Lobster rolls, chicken quesadillas, clam chowder and $25 rock crab wafted on the breeze, making us hungry and thirsty, and hungry again. The weather was perfect, sunny during the day and windy at night.

Newport Folk Festival has a long history stretching back to 1959, and is responsible for launching the careers of some folkies you might know … like this one guy, Bob Dylan?

So it was exciting to see what music their producers are digging. Although they brought a few out-of-town bands, a good chunk of the performers were West Coast residents and there were not too many surprises. The festival delivered some sweet country- and blues-influenced bands, but it glazed over the psychedelic and pastoral side of the loose genre that is folk. Then again, with a relatively small lineup as far as festivals go, the mission was likely not to paint the Sistine Chapel of folk music, but to serve a nice slice of warm Americana pie with a side of Moses Sumney. Here are some Friday highlights, both from the Main Stage and the Carousel Stage:
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Here’s your final Monday of September:

► U.K. crooner Sam Smith holds forth at the Greek Theatre behind his album “The Lonely Hour.” New Zealand’s Broods open.
► Hide the breakables — the Orwells are back in town, rocking the Fonda Theatre along with the almost equally audacious Skaters.
Sir Sly visits the El Rey Theatre behind their debut album “You Haunt Me.” Wolf Gang and Secret Someones join in.
► Mercury Prize-nominated duo Royal Blood rock the Troubadour behind their self-titled debut, out last month. Meg Myers supports.
► German duo the Picturebooks play the Bootleg HiFi, with A Million Billion Dying Suns and Mereki supporting.
► And U.K. quartet Fenech-Soler winds up their residency at the Echo, supported by Banta and Motopony

Also:
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