Except for counting our blessings — which include the support of our readers, the greater music community, family and friends — we are taking the day off. We’ll let Becky Stark and Lavender Diamond say the rest.
May you and yours have the happiest of Thanksgivings.
When they were going by the name Mvscles, the duo of Cat Paternostro and Chad Montermini released two dollops of synth-pop that, as any ol’ synth-pop confection does these days, amassed thousands of online plays and led to deal with Warner [detailed here]. That relationship having ended, they are now going by the name Waterbed, joining the approximately 1 million synth-pop duos (900,000 in L.A., by our count) clamoring to be heard above the effects-laden horde. Last week they released the new song “Around,” which begins with some celestial noises and finger snaps before pulsing into a hallucinogenic candy cane. There’s not much in the way of payoff here, but the combination of rhythms and effects is cool. All together now: Wooooooo.
||| Download: “Around” on a name-your-price basis via Bandcamp.
||| Live: Waterbed plays the Bootleg HiFi tonight along with Wolf Prize, Cassandra Violet and Good Deeds.
We predicted a blissfully heavy rock-off for the final night of Dorothy’s residency Monday at the Bootleg HiFi, what with the headliners having spent the month meting out their back-to-basics blues and the main support band, EFG, achieving new levels of epic with every encounter. Neither disappointed. The headliners, fronted by flask-toting belter Dorothy Martin and looking forward to a big 2015, played a thunderous set that included all five songs off their EP (available for free download here), a rockin’ cover of “No Church in the Wild” and more. As for EFG (fka Electric Flower Group), please send us a memo if there’s any band doing heavy psych-rock better right now. If Martin was the night’s rock goddess, EFG’s Imaad Wasif was its mystic, viciously shredding and shape-shifting his guitar tones over the molten rhythms of drummer Josh Garza and bassist Tom Biller. The trio, with an album finished (and aching to be released in the new year), mashed up its single “Singing Bridges” with the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and also played the single-to-be “Suzanne.” Wasif leaped into the crowd at one point, possessed, and hopped on Garza’s kit at another. In a parallel universe, you’d see these two bands in arena. Here, it was just another Monday in central L.A.
Photos by Matt Draper
It’s been a substantial year for Jamestown Revival. The L.A.-via-Texas folk duo, made up of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, released their full-length debut album, “Utah,” earlier this year to much acclaim and now they’ve inked a deal with Republic Records. The new partnership has spawned the digital re-release of “Utah,” allowing the band to add new embellishments to what was originally an independently released album. “We love ‘Utah’ in its original form but there are some things we wished we would have done a bit differently,” they said. Made in a log cabin in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, the childhood friends recorded everything live to tape, sticking to their folk roots. The recently released video for the lead track, “California (Cast Iron Soul),” perfectly captures the signature feature of the West Coast for most transplants that find their way to California as Jamestown Revival did — the beach. Mixed in with a tour diary, the video reflects the simplicity and obvious charm that have attracted fans to the duo.
— Jessica Shalvoy
||| Live: Jamestown Revival plays Saturday and Sunday at the Troubadour, supported by Nikki Lane and Pete Molinari.
||| Previously: Live at the Hotel Café, “California (Cast Iron Soul)”
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Fullerton’s Audacity has always worn their garage-rock, power-pop and pop-punk influences well, but they venture into post-punk and new wave with their cover of Delta 5′s “Mind Your Own Business.” The track is the B-side to their “Counting the Days” 7-inch, which is slated for a Dec. 2 release via Suicide Squeeze. With the exception of a brasher delivery (as opposed to the original’s nonchalant tone), Audacity’s rendition doesn’t stray too far from the original. The quartet’s Japanese 7-inch featuring tracks “Cold Rush,” “Dentist Appointment” and “Fun Spot” is also now available in the States via Recess Records.
||| Stream: “Mind Your Own Business” and “Counting the Days”
||| Live: Audacity celebrates the release of their “Counting the Days/Mind Your Own Business” 7-inch on Dec. 2 at the Smell.
||| Previously: “Hole in the Sky,” “Couldn’t Hold a Candle,” “Finders Keepers”
Photo by Bryan Crowe
There’s something about Canadian rockers Alvvays that makes us sentimental for summer. Perhaps it’s their cool surf-rock style, effortlessly blended with an indie-pop rock sound. Alvvays’ self-titled album, which was produced by Chad VanGaalen and released on Polyvinyl earlier this year, has already garnered major buzz, and songs like “Archie, Marry Me” showcase Molly Rankin’s sweetly detached vocals. Lyrically, the song describes an elopement, Rankin explains, “Just two kids without any direction, doing it on a whim in a courthouse, saying ‘Who cares?’ to everyone else who has all of their ducks in a row before settling down. It was the most romantic thing I could think of at the time.” The accompanying music video evokes imagery of fun in the sun and assorted nostalgia. Other notable songs on the debut album include “Adult Diversion” and “Next Of Kin,” which feature Alec O’Hanley’s intricate guitar riffs. For devotees of ’80s and ’90s indie-pop bands (especially Scottish), or for those working on a New C86 All-Stars mixtape, Alvvays might find a sweet spot.
— Caitlyn Trudnich
||| Stream: “Adult Diversion”
||| Live: Alvvays performs along with Absolutely Free on Friday night at the Echo.
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With a rousing show Saturday night at the Bootleg HiFi, the Bots closed out a big year that has seen the duo play Coachella, release their full-length debut “Pink Palms” and continue to exert their muscle live. Brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei brought a little extra energy to the stage on Saturday — it was drummer Anaiah’s 18th birthday, so big brother Mikaiah led the crowd in a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” The set showed the many sides of the sibling duo, who got their start when they were 15 and 12 years old, respectively — the impressive debut album is a rockist’s dream of blues, post-punk, garage-rock and grunge, and Mikaiah’s looped guitar melodies shone through all night. Odd Future’s Left Brain and “Pink Palms’” producer Justin Warfield guested during the set, which ended with a cover of “Do You Wanna Dance.” Death Valley Girls and Mild High Club opened.
Photos by Kelly Rosales
► Danish producer/multi-instrumentalist Trentemøller brings his full-band show to the Fonda Theatre in support of his latest album “Lost Reworks.” T.O.M. & His Computer support. Above, the video for “Deceive,” which features Sune Rose Wagner from the Raveonettes.
► The West Coast Feast III brings Too $hort, DJ Quik, Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound to Club Nokia.
► It’s “An Unpredictable Evening With Todd Rundgren” at the Saban Theatre.
► Deluka plays a free show at the Viper Room, supported by Coyote and Lady Low.
► Clockwise winds up a November residency at the Satellite, supported by Knights of Monte Carlo and Bella Darling.
► And Waterbed (fka MVSCLES) joins Wolf Prize, Cassandra Violet and Good Deeds for a show at the Bootleg HiFi.
Minnesota, G Jones and Jackal at the El Rey Theatre
Viza, Chameleon Conductor, 3 By Design, We Are Kings & Queens and No Babies No Bullets at the Troubadour
Shawn Mendes at the Wiltern
Shwayze, Neon Hitch, Carlton and Nikko Gray at the Roxy Theatre
Boss Harmony, the Hashishans, Jah Faith and the Delirians at the Echoplex
Dream Vacation and Alisal at the Silverlake Lounge
Curly Bear, Winona, Neptune Sunrise and Faulty Rotation at Los Globos
Cutty Flam at Harvard & Stone
Onslaught, Artillery and Striker at the Whisky a Go Go
Breathe Carolina, Candyland, Flinch and Dotcom at the House of Blues Sunset Strip
Austin Powell and Brandon Warren at the HOB Voodoo Lounge
Deadwood Celebration, Allie Kay Band, Aaron & Alejandra and No Longer Idle at the Mint
Gabbie Rae at the Hard Rock Hollywood
Fortunate Youth, Expanders and Thrive at Saint Rocke
Kapali Long at Saint Rocke (Happy Hour)
Reverend Baron, Ray Barbee and Michael Rosas at the Wayfarer
Ch3, Whiteboy James & the Blues Express, Hated, Metro Hotel and Spider at Alex’s Bar
Netsky at the Observatory
Brillz at the Yost Theater
Issues, Ghost Town, Nightmares and Marmozets at the House of Blues Anaheim
Minnie Driver and Child 44 at the Coach House
New Wave at the Shark Club
Spazmatics at the Canyon
The Federal Affair at the Federal Bar
Anything Goes at the Fox Performing Arts Center
Justin Timberlake at the Honda Center
Circa Survive, Title Fight and Tera Melos at the Fox Theater Pomona
Calixto Oviedo at the Catalina Bar & Grill
Bell Gardens‘ vivid compositions on their latest album “Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions” have found a place in BBLA’s collection next to other cinematic albums by artists such as Kan Wakan, Seven Saturdays and more. So it isn’t surprising to see that their video for “Take Us Away” — one of the first demos band member Kenneth James Gibson (of Furry Animals) gave Brian McBride when he was on tour with Stars of the Lid — is a beautiful accompaniment to the sweeping tune. The self-directed video is shot in the dessert, a place naturally beautiful just like their orchestral Americana. Bell Gardens’ “Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions” features a plethora of special guests and is out now via Rocket Girl.
||| Previously: “Darker Side of Sunshine,” “Nowhere” [click to continue…]
The DIY beauty of the Sarah Records sound lives on, almost two decades after the now-legendary label blew its last indie-pop kiss to the world. Sometimes it’s even Sarah Records alumni themselves keeping the flame burning. The Legendary House Cats is the solo project of John Girgus of Aberdeen, the SoCal-bred indie-poppers who had two releases on Sarah and a handful of others since. Some of Girgus’ former mates teamed up to release an album as the Luxembourg Signal in October, and now the singer-guitarist, who has also played with Languis, the Spider Problem and Non Ultra Joy, has released the EP “First Light.” The title track is a version of the song he co-wrote on the Luxembourg Signal’s album, and it joins four Girgus originals culled from four-track and memo recordings and mixed and mastered by Ulysses Noriega. The shadow of the past hangs over the melancholic “This Time,” a fuzzy, shimmering gem on which Girgus sings: “This time I’m moving on / Always on my own / The past that you flee, continually / Is the only home I’ve known.” “First Light” is out via iTunes and Bandcamp.
||| Stream: “This Time” and “First Light”
[Note: John Girgus has been a contributor to this blog, most recently with his interview with Lost Girls.]