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Download: StaG, ‘It Worked for Him’

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

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Indie-rock quintet StaG clawed its way into L.A.’s consciousness this spring with the release of their ambitious, cinematic full-length “Difference.” Since then, the band — singer-keyboardist Matt McGuire, singer-guitarist Will Walden, guitarist Matt Hamper, bassist Anton Krueger and drummer Casey Baird — have proved they back it up live and embarked on working on new music. There’s a Local Natives vibe to the new single “It Worked for Him,” which the fivesome has released as a free download. No firm plans for a future release yet, but stay tuned.

||| Download: “It Worked for Him”

||| Previously: “I Think I’ll Shout”

Photo from June’s Chinatown Summer Nights by Jeff Koga

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Stream: Repeater, ‘Lonely’

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

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Long Beach’s Steve Krolikowski has been making music as Repeater for almost a decade, embracing the mostly Anglophile strains of post-punk, new wave and alt-rock. Last year Repeater released an EP of older recordings that Krolikowski said represented a turning of the page, and now Repeater is back, sounding invigorated, with a new lineup and a new album. The self-titled “Repeater” is out Nov. 18, and the first single “Lonely” is a darkly romantic slice of shoegazing that would have been as engaging in the ’90s as it is today. Singer-guitarist Krolikowski is joined in Repeater’s new incarnation by singer-keyboardist Tess Shapiro, who gives the album plenty of boy/girl vocal charm, guitarist Alex Forsythe, bassist Christopher Fudurich and drummer Charlie Woodburn. Fudurich is an ace producer with a deep resumé, and deftly balances “Repeater’s” atmospheric conditions. This one’s for anybody who revisits their old Britpop playlists, and is interested in hearing a band move the dial forward.

||| Stream: “Lonely”

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Ears Wide Open: Springtime Carnivore

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

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Chicago native Greta Morgan was a touring musician at age 16, and by the time she was 20 her band the Hush Sound had released three-full-lengths. Born Greta Salpeter, she segued to Gold Motel after relocating to L.A., but now she has found a distinct voice as Springtime Carnivore. The album bearing that name, “Springtime Carnivore,” will be out Nov. 4 on Aquarium Drunkard’s Autumn Tone label, and it bears both the songwriter’s appetite for classic rock and its producer’s deft touch for the whimsical and subversive. That producer is Richard Swift, the singer-songwriter who has played with the Black Keys (currently), the Shins, and, back in the day, Starflyer 59, and who has produced the likes of the Shins, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, Jessie Baylin and Gardens & Villa. It was once wryly said about his solo output that Swift makes “carnival music,” and those impulses, articulated by Springtime Carnivore’s omnipresent fuzz, toy keyboards and buoyant vocals, run throughout the 45 never-boring minutes of the album. Now 26, Morgan, most recently spotted playing in La Sera, is just entering her springtime. Dig in.

||| Stream: “Sun Went Black” and “Name on a Matchbook”

||| Live: Springtime Carnivore plays Nov. 12 at the Troubadour along with Generationals.

Photo by Michael O’Keefe

||| Also: Check out videos for “Creature Feature” and “Two Scars” below:

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Video: Pond, ‘Elvis’ Flaming Star’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on October 24, 2014

Side projects are often just for fun, but Australia’s supergroup Pond — which includes members of Tame Impala, Mink Mussel Creek and Allbrook/Avery —  have churned out some excellent music during their time together. Not to be confused with the Pond from Portland, Ore., that released music on Sub Pop in the ’90s, the Perth, Australia-based Pond follows up 2013′s “Hobo Rocket” with “Man It Feels Like Space Again” on Jan. 27. The new record is everything from crazy glam-rock to a cloudy bliss of psychedelia. With its opening track “Waiting Around For Grace” clocking in just over five minutes, and wreaking havoc with its wonky wonders, and other tunes like “Elvis’ Flaming Star” fusing David Bowie and Billy Idol stylings, Pond has released another album that may have you feeling as if you were floating in space, too. Their self-directed video, which was shot with three iPhones and what they told Pitchfork , “(too) much dumb shit to count really,” is a perfect introduction to Pond if you haven’t been following them since 2009′s “Psychedelic Mango.” File next to the Flaming Lips, Todd Rundgren and Supergrass.

||| Stream: “Waiting Around For Grace”

||| Live: Pond plays Oct. 31 at the Echo with Doctopus and Peter Bibby.  [click to continue…]

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Premiere: Arrica Rose, ‘Love You Like That’

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

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Arrica Rose has the vocal gravitas to inhabit any number of personas — rocker grrrl, pop diva, folk storyteller, indie confessionalist. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter displays much of that range on the new Arrica Rose & the …’s album “Wavefunction” (out Nov. 4 via pOprOck Records). The album, the follow-up to 2013′s “Lucky” EP, exhibits a striking duality, not just in songwriting tone but in the way it was produced and manufactured. Written between stints in the Bay Area and southern California, “Wavefunction” is an exercise in extremes, designed specially for vinyl — A-side vs. B-side, upbeat songs vs. downtempo. One song, “Oh the Day, Then the Night,” appears on both sides in drastically different articulations. The album was even produced and mastered in two ways, courtesy of Daniel Garcia in his downtown L.A. Radio Hill Recorders studio. There is a compressed version for those listen to music digitally and “High Dynamic Range Audio” version, which, the producer explains, leaves intact the music’s “intended dynamics.” No matter how you listen to it, the single “Love You Like That” is a brisk, horn-infused rocker that showcases “Wavefunction’s” calling card, Rose’s dynamic voice.

||| Stream: “Love You Like That”

||| Live: Arrica Rose & the …’s celebrate their album release with a show Dec. 12 at the Silverlake Lounge.

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Stream: Francisco the Man, ‘It’s Not Your Fault’

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

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Francisco the Man’s “Loose Ends” (out next week via Fat Possum/Small Plates) is quite possibly the longest-incubating debut album in recent memory — after all, singer-guitarist Scotty Cantino and gang have knocked around southern California for at least six years, watching bands and styles of facial hair come and go, sticking resolutely to the notion that there is some sort of deliverance in indie-rock. Cantino, with bassist Néstor Romero, guitarist-keyboardist Brock Woolsey and drummer Abdeel Ortega — has made an album that speaks to that higher power. With its blaring, shoegazing guitars and bellowed ambitions (see “Big Ideas” and “Progress”), “Loose Ends” is a long-player that plays to the both the cerebral and visceral, not a common trait in this era of bands and facial hair. That it took so long to materialize? It’s not their fault.

||| Stream: “It’s Not Your Fault”

||| Also: Stream the whole album here.

||| Live: Francisco the Man celebrate their album release with a show Saturday night at the Bootleg.

||| Previously: “Big Ideas,” “Progress,” “In the Corners,” “Tiger,” “Broken Arrows”

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Buzz Bands LA Show, today at 11 on Indie FM

by Kevin Bronson on October 24, 2014

IndependentFM-square copySuddenly, it’s Friday again. And it seems like it was last Friday about five minutes ago. Time flies when your nose is in your recent music arrivals, which is where mine has been to prepare for this week’s Buzz Bands LA Show on The Independent FM. So join me at 11 a.m. for new music from Francisco the Man, Springtime Carnivore, Repeater, StaG, Great White Buffalo, Cold War Kids, Stranger Kings, Criminal Hygiene, Charlie Wadhams the Bots, Spaceships and more people who live among you … if you live in Los Angeles, that is. The playlist for today’s 120 minutes of local music is below. Have at it.
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Oh, my, what a Friday:

Bob Dylan does the first of three nights at the Dolby Theatre.
► U.K. rockers Placebo headline Club Nokia behind the new album “Loud Like Love,” with the Moth & the Flame opening.
► Long-running British duo Erasure play the Hollywood Palladium behind their new album “The Violet Flame,” with Superhumanoids opening.
► Their new album “After the Disco” just out, Broken Bells kicks off the first of two nights at the Orpheum Theatre, where the duo of James Mercer and Brian Burton are join by Austra.
► British pop singer Charli XCX teams up with Elliphant for a show at the Mayan.
► It’ll get folky at the Fonda Theatre, where Trampled By Turtles — who ironically (tonight at least) hail from the same hometown as Bob Dylan — perform behind their new album “Wild Animals.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. headlines downtown’s Tower Theater, supported by Miniature Tigers and Madi Diaz.
► First-wave emo luminaries Mineral rock the Roxy, supported by Into It. Over It.
► Sweet night at the Skirball Center, where soul singer Alice Russell plays a special show.
► Cuba jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca visits the Bootleg HiFi.
► And psychedelic funk-soul brothers Monophonics hit the Satellite.

Also:
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Photos: TV on the Radio at the Fonda Theatre

by Kevin Bronson on October 23, 2014

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Vocalist Tunde Adebimpe has called the forthcoming TV on the Radio album “1000%, without a doubt, the best thing we’ve ever done.” Even if “Seeds” — due Nov. 18 via Harvest Records and the band’s first release since the 2011 death of bassist Gerard Smith — seems, in places, a departure for the beloved indie-rockers. At the sold-out Fonda Theatre on Wednesday night, Adebimpe paused to asked the crowd whether new tune “Careful You” sounded like a TVOTR song. It should, he added, because it is. The band’s show included six tracks from the new album, including the electric “Happy Idiot,” along with “Could You,” “Ride,” “Lazerray” and “Trouble.” The crowd was deprived of hearing the finale, 2004′s “Staring at the Sun,” because of time constraints, and there was an interruption during the set when a scuffle broke out in the middle of the crowd and some rowdies were escorted out. Fans can hope things will be more peaceable tonight when the band plays downtown at the Mayan Theatre.

Photos by David Benjamin

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By Tarynn Law

Her music cries out “brooding” and “distant,” but Banks brought a strong sense of intimacy and connection to the first of her two sold-out shows Tuesday night at the Wiltern.

Banks (full name: Jillian Banks) released her debut album “Goddess” in September, and although the single “Beggin’ for Thread” has yet to take hold in the mainstream, there is plenty of hype surrounding her emotive R&B. With substantial poise, the 26-year-old lived up to it on Tuesday.
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