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Delta Spirit super-sizes their sound at the El Rey

by Kevin Bronson on October 31, 2014

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Delta Spirit began as a wiry, busker-led, southern California-bred bunch of folkies who were light on the delta but brimming with spirit. Four albums later, they brim with arena-rock aspirations, but as the old guard discovered Thursday night at the El Rey Theatre, that boys-next-door charisma remains intact amid their muscular new sound and extravagant visuals.

Playing the third of four L.A.-area shows in four days, the quintet of Matt Vasquez, Jon Jameson, Brandon Young, Kelly Winrich and Will McLaren raged for 18 songs and 100-plus minutes, seldom backing off the fever pitch they attained on their new “Into the Wide,” which came out in September and in most ways is a better U2 album than the one U2 just gave away.

The sonic and conceptual expansiveness of Delta Spirit’s new album belies the Hurricane Sandy-damaged Brooklyn hovel in which it was conceived, but the scope of the songs (seven of which they performed) played well in a big room, even on a night given to a bit of nostalgia.
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Buzz Bands LA Show, today at 11 on Indie FM

by Kevin Bronson on October 31, 2014

IndependentFM-square copyI’ve left all the Halloween-themed shows to everybody else, so today’s Buzz Bands LA Show on The Independent FM pretty much sticks to the program — two hours of local music, much of it new, most of it better than the soundtrack to any ol’ slasher flick. Even if, as it turns out, some of the band names suggest today’s spookiness, like Phoenix Blood, Mystery Skulls, Midnight Cities and Some Go Haunting. Join me at 11 a.m. for tunes from those artists along with Dorothy, EFG, Mansions on the Moon, Pr0files, GNTLMN, Eagle Rock Gospel Singers, Livingmore, the Bots, Dirt Dress, Hanni El Khatib and the Luxembourg Signal. And I’ll have peanut butter candy at the door later. Below, a stream of the show and the playlist:

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Video: Kissing Cousins, ‘Cover Me’

by Kevin Bronson on October 31, 2014

L.A. quintet Kissing Cousins re-emerge for their first release since 2011 when the new EP “In With Them” lands on Dec. 9, and the song “Cover Me,” with its slow-motion heavy metal riffs, makes for some strong musical paranoia in the video directed by frontwoman Heather Heywood and filmed by Raechel Zarzynski and Justin Bell. The band — Heywood, singer-guitarist Amanda Paganini, bassist Melissa Pleckham (bassist), keyboardist Alexis Martin Woodall and drummer Beth Ziegler — released their Richard Swift-produced full-length “Pillar of Salt” back in 2009. Judging from “Cover Me,” they haven’t gotten any less sinister.

||| Live: Kissing Cousins have the Monday night residency at the Satellite in December.

||| Previously: “You Bring Me Down,” interview with Heather Heywood.

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qotsa-Chapman Baehler

Boo, and all that — happy Halloween, dress to depress and be safe:

Queens of the Stone Age host “The End of the Road” Halloween bash at the Forum, where they are joined by the Kills, JD McPherson and Nick Oliveri.
► Composer Danny Elfman presents “Music from the Films of Tim Burton” at the Nokia Theatre.
Marilyn Manson has a new album coming in 2015 and and two dates, starting tonight, at the Roxy Theatre.
► Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks performs at the Haunted Hotel Bash at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, and there will be a screening of John Carpenter’s “Halloween.”
Savant brings his heavy electro to the El Rey Theatre
► French electro outfit Yelle plays the Fonda Theatre behind their latest album “Complètement Fou,” with Lemonade opening.

Also:
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Video: Mystery Skulls, ‘Ghost’ (animated)

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on October 30, 2014

Are you in the Halloween mood yet? If you aren’t then this new animated video for Mystery Skulls‘ “Ghost” might do the trick. Although it’s not the scariest of clips, it will have you reminiscing about old Scooby Doo cartoons with your pals. Animators Ben Mangum, Isaiah Kim and Blake Hudson found much inspiration from the Mystery Incorporated crew — just take a look at that van  — and have fused the Hannah Barbera-type characters with futuristic robotic elements you can find in most sci-fi-oriented cartoons. Synced perfectly to the beats of Luis Dubuc, who released Mystery Skulls debut “Forever” on Warner this week, the characters in this animated clip scream and run from ghosts and skeletons. In fact, they even make monsterous sandwiches like Shaggy and Scooby used to! Most importantly, you find out why the haunting happens.

||| Live: Mystery Skulls winds up his residency at Dirty Laundry tonight.

||| Previously: “Number 1″ feat. Brandy and Nile Rodgers  [click to continue…]

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Stream: Line & Circle, ‘Wounded Desire’

by Kevin Bronson on October 30, 2014

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The new EP from Line & Circle shimmers like a mirage from the distant 1980s — although not the new wave ’80s currently being plundered by anybody who can plug in a synth.  The L.A. quintet, founded by Midwesterners Brian Cohen and Brian Egan and including Eric Neujahr, Jon Engelhard and Nick Cisik, recalls the weighty ’80s (and beyond) of college radio and the enigmatic sophistication of bands like R.E.M. Recorded With Lewis Pesacov (the Fool’s Gold guitarist whose production credits include Best Coast, FIDLAR and Incan Abraham, among others), the quintet’s three new songs seem propelled by the anxiety that comes with feeling, alternately, spiritually grounded and emotionally detached. With their whorl of guitars and insistent rhythms, they’re beautiful puzzles, waiting to be solved.

||| Stream: “Wounded Desire” and “Mesolithic”

||| Previously: “Mine Is Mine,” “Roman Ruins”

Photo by Courtney Halverson

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Ears Wide Open: Livingmore

by Kevin Bronson on October 30, 2014

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Singer-guitarist Spencer Livingston played for almost a decade in the alt-rock band the Alternates, and in the summer of 2013 he released his Peter Malick-produced solo album of evocative Americana, “Grow.” Now he has merged names and talents with singer-guitarist Alex Moore as Livingmore. After debuting under the name Alex & the Constellation, the duo has unveiled a three-song EP that’s a pristine bouquet of she-and-him folk. The single “Nothing Else,” with its beautiful vocal democracy, speaks to the power of facing obstacles with a partner; Moore carries the more electric “Counting Sheep,” featuring Livingston’s pickin’. Livingmore’s release (available as a free download), by the way, comes just as the Alternates officially called it quits — although the quintet just issued some previously unreleased songs on Bandcamp.

||| Stream: “Nothing Else” and “Counting Sheep”

||| Live: Livingmore play Nov. 6 at the Hotel Café.

Photo by Chris Seno

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Video: Buzzcocks, ‘It’s Not You’

by Kevin Bronson on October 30, 2014

If you didn’t know the source, the chorus of “It’s Not You” might be something overheard in a practice space in Echo Park where some kids are working on their next cassette. It’s the Buzzcocks (est. 1976), now doing business in the lineup of long-timers Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle with 2008 additions Chris Remington and Danny Farrant. And, yes, the pop-punk progenitors still sound as disaffected as you. The quartet’s new album “The Way” comes out Nov. 18 via 1-2-3-4 Go! Records; it’s the quartet’s first release since 2006 and ninth album overall and comes a full 35 years after their Absolutely Mandatory “Singles Going Steady.” Shelley and Diggle are 59 and they start the album with a rager titled “Keep on Believing.” Couldn’t agree more.

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Stream: Dirt Dress, ‘Twelve Pictures’

by Kevin Bronson on October 30, 2014

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It’s been two years since post-punk agitators Dirt Dress released “Donde La Vida No Vale Nada,” which featured nine quick hits of insurrectionist shout-alongs. The new EP “Revelations” feels like a ray of sunshine by comparison, while still abiding the band’s compulsion to throw sonic curveballs. That’s a skronky sax in the middle of the sweet garage-pop guitars on “Twelve Pictures.” And if you’ve followed Dirt Dress for the five-plus years they’ve been knocking around the L.A. scene, frontman Noah Kwid’s vocals on the title track might be “Revelations” indeed. The new EP is out Nov. 18 via Future Gods Records.

||| Stream: “Twelve Pictures” and “Revelations”

||| Live: Dirt Dress celebrate their EP release with a show at Part Time Punks at the Echo on Nov. 23.

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Video premiere: White Dove, ‘Caroline’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on October 30, 2014

L.A.-based White Dove has always worn its California rock and pop influences well. Elements reminiscent of the Byrds and Fleetwood Mac have seeped into their sound yielding wonderfully filtered nostalgia. Alex Johnstone, Jack Long, Carl Harders and newest member Michael Morgan now follow up their excellent 2013 debut “The Hoss, the Candle” with a 7-inch via White Iris Records. Like most bands who get the chance to release music through the boutique L.A. label, the the band was lucky enough to work with producer Luke Top (of Fool’s Gold). Amping up the guitar work and highlighting the band’s strengths Top has joined White Dove in producing the stellar A-side “Caroline,” a psych-folk guitar-pop jam where Johnstone’s vocals flow above with ease. No doubt having blossomed, White Dove’s palette reflects a certain flower children-mentality yet captures the buoyancy of today’s SoCal culture. The music video for “Caroline” follows suit with plenty of flowers in their hair.

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