Electro-pop artisan Evan Voytas has kept his formidable falsetto in the shadows since he released his “Feel Me” EP in 2012 — he’s worked as a session musician and co-written songs for other acts, including Chris Brown’s “Time For Love.” Today, via Hit City USA, Voytas unveiled the new single “Disappear Into the Stars” (b/w “Lite Conversation”) that features more austere production than his lush EP. There might be a bigger metaphor in “Disappear Into the Stars,” but over elastic synths and effects/samples that suggest some circuits have been crossed, Voytas’ airy voice still appears ready for takeoff. Both songs are available for free download.
Many new bands have embraced traditional blues-rock in recent years, but few have given it a cherubic, gleeful double-high-five like Sweet Bump It, whose self-titled debut is out today. The band, conceived by diminutive singer-guitarist Nicole “Paco” de Leon and bassist Jenn Eyrich, first emerged in 2013 with the rough-hewn “First Slice” EP, then won hearts with last August’s “Dauphine” video. Fresh faces letting loose their old souls? That’s Sweet Bump It, whose ranks have grown to include guitarist Andrew Parker, drummer Jay Doo and (the band’s secret weapons) backup vocalist Lisa Deines, Marlaine Reiner and Francesca Salac. You get the idea in the Jonathan Ho-directed video for the gospel-infused “Energy,” one of two songs the septet placed in the Cinemax series “Banshee” earlier this year. The seven-track album was produced by Tyler Sabbag. Tasteful guitar solos included.
Who cares about the case of the Mondays when you’ve got Ty Segall, the Black Lips, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Dengue Fever, Nick Waterhouse, Tennis, J Mascis and dozens more all playing on a Sunday night? Those who attended the second day of Burgerama didn’t seem to give it a thought. Partying on and getting their burger on, the crowd at the Observatory seemed just as packed as Saturday, if not twice the size.
One major difference between Saturday and Sunday’s lineup was that the majority of the crowd seemed to pack themselves into the Observatory main room. Bone Thugs, the Black Lips and closing act Ty Segall on the main “Rama” stage changed that, but the Observatory was the place to be before 5 p.m. It was time well-spent, with the exception of the set from T Tops, that is if you could even call that performance a set.
The duo, whose members are comprised of the Growlers’ Matt Taylor and Tomorrows Tulips’ Ford Archbold, not only had the worst hypeman in history try to get the crowd to chant “Fire It Up,” but the attempt followed a wet T-shirt contest. (It was hard to believe the venue allowed such lame behavior.) T Tops then showed a 15-minute “Spinal Tap”-like video before the they came out to do a bit about why there was only one mic before performing a mere minute of a song titled … you guessed it: “Fire It Up.” It could have been chuckle-worthy, but it was mostly a waste of time and the one downside to the festival.
But we digress … Here are five highlights from Day 2 of Burgerama Four:
Incoming: Soko, Conway, Scott Weiland, Seth Avett/Jessica Lea Mayfield, Rodrigo Amarante, Shannon & the Clams, Ibeyi, David Lynch, North Mississippi Allstars, Cody Simpson, the Relationship, Punch Brothers, Guster, ELEL, the Donkeys, Public Service Broadcasting, the Marmozets, Haim, Bonobo, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, TV on the Radio, Maroon 5, the Movielife, Nacosta, Kera & the Lesbians, Mercies, Kitten, Andy Grammer, Nikka Costa, Daedelus, Tenacious D, Johnny Mathis, Puddle of Mudd, Tobias Jesso Jr., Kaki King, the Electric West, Mystery Skulls, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, His Name Is Alive
Above: It’s the Drew Lightfoot and Lee Gingold-directed video for “Long Night,” from the new Richard Swift-produced Guster album “Evermotion.” Guster visits the Wiltern on Thursday.
Our staff picks of the week:
@KRBronson recommends: French-Cuban twin sisters Ibeyi gave a rapturous performance at SXSW, and the self-titled debut from Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz came out in February on XL Recordings. Combining piano, voice and traditional instruments such as the cajon and bata drums with electronic and hip-hop influences, Ibeyi’s music is heavenly in any language. They play the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Tuesday.
@Seraphina_L recommends: Guitar goddess Kaki King’s new album is titled “The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body,” and the fan-funded affair is getting a visually striking presentation on her current tour. The stage show features a glowing guitar — no, really, check it out — and projections by Glowing Pictures. King performs at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday.
The Buzz Bands LA Show says goodbye to March (aw, already?) with an hour of local tunes tonight — join me at 9 p.m. on KCSN (88.5 FM, streaming at KCSN.org) for new music from Avid Dancer, Winter, Taylor Locke and A House for Lions, along with a “Flashback Track” from around 2007 and a bunch of other goodies. Overall, this might reflect my spring fever, but you can be the judge … Here’s what I have in store: [click to continue…]
By 4 p.m. Saturday, an EMT was already hauling away a teenage girl away in an ambulance (she was still donning dental braces by the way) and a few feet away a security guard was holding back the hair of a young vomiting woman. Although this sounds like your typical out-of-control festival scene, Burger Records ran an impressively tight ship on its first day of its fourth annual Burgerama. Despite the music festival’s attendance having exponentially grown each year and its three stages (including the outdoor “Rama” stage built in the Observatory’s parking lot) being in close quarters of one another, all the gallivanting, drinking eating and more didn’t seem to be a problem. Sets ran on time for the most part, there was no shortage of food or water, and security guards went the extra mile to keep things in order. In fact, the flow of bodies were so efficiently regulated that one couldn’t help but favor Burgerama when compared to other recent local festivals dealing with high traffic.
The only downside of the festival was that the Constellation Room was nearly impossible to get into if you weren’t saving yourself a spot for two acts ahead. Trying to come up with some other festival woes is a delightful challenge in this case. Even with Burgerama’s second day actually bearing a superior lineup, Saturday was one big happy festival. There was moshing, there were robots, and of course, there were burgers. There was even Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, if you caught her backstage. Performances from big names in the bill like Weezer, the Black Angels, Gang of Four were cherries on top of it all.
Here are five highlights from Day 1 of Burgerama 4:
Peering through the dense stage fog Friday night at the Troubadour where overhead speakers played Chris de Burgh‘s “Lady in Red,” you could just make out the outlines of siblings Jake and Jamin Orall, along with live members Kunal Prakash and Chet Jameson, that make up JEFF The Brotherhood.
The Nashville duo released a new album this month titled “Wasted On The Dream,” and though they were swathed in smoke and lights, their sonic agenda is still plain as day and their instruments perhaps symbolically see-through. No BS, just ripped jeans and heavy distortion.
Join Kevin Bronson every Sunday at 9 p.m. Pacific time for the L.A. Buzz Bands Show on KCSN (88.5 FM, streaming at KCSN.org).
The long-running Buzz Bands LA Show — weekly on the Internet since 2006 — streams two hours of local music at 11 a.m. on Fridays on The Independent FM. It's rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesdays.