Buzz Bands LA Stage Echo Park Rising 2014_Ian McAllister

Echo Parking Rising, the free neighborhood festival that has announced its extension from two days to three days, is happening on Friday, Aug. 15 through Sunday Aug. 18, and Buzz Bands LA is once again privileged to be curating one stage during the festival, in the Champagne Room at Taix Lounge. This year, we present 10 local bands on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Complete set times for the festival are forthcoming. For now, check out our lineup for the Champagne Room at Echo Park Rising after the jump.  [click to continue…]



Stream: White Arrows, ‘We Can’t Ever Die’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on July 24, 2014


A little fuzzier and edgier than before but just as appealing as their previous dance numbers, White Arrows‘ latest single “We Can’t Ever Die” is a pummeling electro-rock anthem with an accessibly shout-along chorus. That catchy hook doesn’t come without layers of guitar and synths though. There’s a gnarly guitar solo toward in there dancing around with the percussion that also once again proves the L.A. quintet is adept at mixing textures and genres. “We Can’t Ever Die” is the track that possibly echoes earlier hits such as “Coming or Going” the most, but it’s still clear that the band has become a bit more adventurous here. White Arrows’ album “In Bardo” is slated for a Sept. 16 release via Votiv.

||| Stream: “We Can’t Ever Die”

||| Live: White Arrows plays tonight at the Greek Theatre with the Neighbourhood and headlines the Troubadour on July 31, supported by Wardell an Strange Babes.

||| Previously: “I Want a Taste,” “Leave It Alone”


Gallery: OK Go (and oceans of confetti) at the Echo

by Kevin Bronson on July 24, 2014

okgo 12

Power-pop quartet and music-video innovators OK Go figured to do anything but a straight-ahead rock show when they visited the Echo on Wednesday night in support of their new EP “Upside Out.” There was crowd participation, catchy songs and confetti … lots of confetti. The sellout crowd partied like there was no tomorrow — or, at least, like they didn’t have worry about being on the venue’s clean-up crew. OK Go has a new full-length on the way in October. Photographer Carl Pocket picked all the colored paper out of his camera bag and submitted this gallery.



A crazy, busy Thursday night:

The Neighbourhood headline the Greek Theatre, supported by Danny Brown and White Arrows.
► The forecast calls for an ideal night for indie-rock at the beach — Cayucas and PAPA rock the free Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier.
► The free Made in L.A. Series at the Hammer Museum promises a night of good vibes — Rocky Dawuni plays the courtyard stage, hosted by DJs Jeremy Sole and Glenn Red.
White Fence does the first of two nights at the Echo in support the new album “For the Recently Found Innocent.” Dream Boys and the Abigails support.
► At the House of Blues Sunset Strip, it’s Aussie trio Wolfmother.
► The free Sunset Concert Series at the Skirball Center kicks off with the first L.A. appearance by Mauritania’s Noura Mint Seymali, whose music fuses electronica, traditional Berber music, reggae, Afro-pop, funk and desert blues.
Soulja Boy, whose new album comes out next week, holds forth at the El Rey Theatre.
► And Say Anything headlines the Fonda Theatre behind its guest-star-packed new album “Hebrews,” with the Front Bottoms, the So So Glos and You Blew It supporting.


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Stream: LA Font, ‘Teen Bazooka’

by Seraphina Lotkhamnga on July 23, 2014


LA Font may have been born in the wrong decade but there are few who can perfectly soundtrack a flannel flashback like these guys can. Like their pals Speedy Ortiz, the rock quartet continues to churn out ’90s indie rock tunes one after another. “Who cares about memories?” sings lead vocalist Danny Bobbe in the new single “Teen Bazooka.” In this case, recollections are welcome to those who enjoy hearty nuggets of no-frills guitar riffs and hooks nailed down with some snarky wit. Following up their excellent sophomore release “Diving Man,” “Teen Bazooka” is slated for a 7-inch release on July 29 via Kill/Hurt with “Motor Rally” as the b-side. “Diving Man” is available now via New Professor.

||| Stream: “Teen Bazooka”

||| Live: LA Font wraps up their residency July 28 at the Satellite with Run Things, Washing Machines and Cy Dunes.

||| Previously: “Diving Man (Remixed),” “Collect the Dust,” “Diving Man,” “Onshore,” “Sharks,” “Fine Lines”

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Video: Kiev, ‘Be Gone Dull Cage’

by Kevin Bronson on July 23, 2014

Kiev’s genre-transcending full-length “Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth,” released last fall, exudes a powerful otherworldly quality, as if Orange County-based band of sophisticates give in at times to the urge to simply space out. In director Scott Peters, the quintet has found a equally adventurous visual artist. The video for “Be Gone Dull Age” finds the fivesome — Robert Brinkerhoff, Alex Wright, Derek Poulsen, Andy Stavas and Brandon Corn — negotiating a landscape as strange as their soundscape. Peters in the past has been collaborated on the stereoscopic projects during Kiev’s live shows, but this video, long in the works, takes that vision to a new level.

||| Previously: “Falling Bough”


Stream: Blake Mills, ‘If I’m Unworthy’

by Kevin Bronson on July 23, 2014

blakemills-Sam Monkarsh

Just when you think you’re heard every dialect of the language of guitar, along comes a guy like Blake Mills to make the instrument speak in tongues. We say “a guy like” in jest, of course; Blake has few peers in the rock world these days. None other than Eric Clapton recently said of the 27-year-old, “Blake Mills is the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.” Mills, who has played with the likes of Beck, Cass McCombs, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams and Neil Diamond and has lent his skills as a producer/player to artists such as Conor Oberst, Sara Watkins, Sky Ferreira and Fiona Apple (he’s also producing the next Alabama Shakes album), will release his second solo album this fall “Heigh Ho,” the follow-up to 2010′s “Break Mirrors,” will be out Sept. 16 via Verve/Record Collection. The song “If I’m Unworthy” is built on sparse, slightly throttled and reverberated riffs, which along with Mills’ pining voice set the stage for a dirty solo in the middle. “Heigh Ho” features two duets with Apple (on the songs “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me” and “Seven”), along with contributions from all-stars such as Don Was, Jon Brion, Jim Keltner, Benmont Tench and Rob Moose. Name-checking aside, this figures to be a long-player.

||| Stream: “What If I’m Worthy” and “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me”

||| Live: Blake Mills plays Sept. 18 at the El Rey Theatre.

Photo by Sam Monkarsh



Video: Hooray For Earth, ‘Keys’

by Michelle Shiers on July 23, 2014

NYC quartet Hooray For Earth are due to release their sophomore album “Racy” on July 29 via Dovecote Records. Lucky for us, we have had an early listen to the album co-produced by singer/songwriter Noel Heroux and Chris Coady (TV On The Radio, Future Islands, Blonde Redhead). Along with Chris Principe on bass, Joseph Ciampini on drums, and Jessica Zambri on keys and vox, Hooray For Earth have proved themselves to be hardworking architects of space — creating celestial indie-pop that still manages to stay within reach. Opening with a minimalistic yet anthemic track of scuzzy-guitar and crashing percussion, “Racy” is a sophisticated collection of nine synth-heavy pop gems, with Heroux’s clear falsetto cloaked in reverb. Lyrically, Heroux is less of a storyteller and more of a space-shifter, moving in and out of musical categories but always wearing his ’80 influences on his sleeve. “Somewhere Else” is a perfect summer-festival anthem placing Hooray For Earth somewhere between MGMT, Grizzly Bear and Passion Pit. Like shining teenage best-time-of-our-life-ness, Hooray For Earth write songs that somehow invoke nostalgia for the first time we heard them — even if we only just heard them for the first time. Their detuned synth stabs sound like they are playing on old cassette tapes, thus reinforcing the trend of finding retro ways of producing futuristic tunes.

||| Live: Hooray For Earth plays July 30 at the Echo.

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Stream: Shabazz Palaces, ‘Forerunner Foray’

by Andrew Veeder on July 23, 2014

Shabazz Palaces

The Seattle-based experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces, led by Palacer Lazaro, neé Ismael Butler, formerly Butterfly of the jazz-rap Digable Planets, released a pair of seven-track EPs in 2009 before signing to Sub Pop Records. After their 2011 debut album “Black Up,” they’re back with sophomore effort “Lese Majesty,” out next week, and it’s one of the most interesting hip-hop albums you’ll hear this year: a seven-suite, 18-track tapestry that weaves between retro and nuevo like it is one and the same. The stunning second track “Forerunner Foray” begins with stuttering echoed-synth blasts, a swirling tweety bird-like shimmer hovering above like an alarm, and gentle cymbal crashes, slowly filling out as a snippet from 1973′s pioneering album Hustler’s Convention takes the stage, like sampling the past over the sound of the future. And then the bass comes in, with percussive distorted blasts and multiple distinct percussion elements popping in and out four beats at time in symphony, as a melodic synth carousel duels with a sinister low end grumble, and Lazaro raps, “’92 and ’92 and ’92, we grindin’ through / I was there, you’re a square / Please do not compare / If I’m there, in the square, you should come and stare / Bring her too, learn a thing or two  / How a king’ll do” — and then ends the verse by breaking into a female retro soul interlude — before the synth dives back in like the Delorean detour is back to the future. Your move, Kanye.

||| Stream: “Forerunner Foray”

||| Live: Shabazz Palaces plays the Roxy on July 30 with Porter Ray.

Photo by Patrick O’Brien-Smith



Your wonderful Wednesday show options:

Tori Amos visits the Greek Theatre behind her latest album “Unrepentant Geraldines.”
Nightmare and the Cat celebrates the release of its debut album “Simple” with a show at the Roxy, supported by Max & the Moon and the Peach Kings.
OK Go switches sides of town for a second club show this week, doing the Echo with Myles Hendrik.
► U.K. quartet the Crookes play the Satellite, supported by Bay Area rockers the Soft White Sixties as well as the Bulls.
Fuzz rocks the Troubadour, joined by Audacity and Sandy Pussy.
Sea Wolf does a cozy show at the Sayers Club ($3 with RSVP) along with Rare Times and White Rainbow.
► And Canadian punk trio White Lung rock Los Globos behind their new album “Deep Fantasy,” their third, supported by NASA Space Universe and DIN.

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