Tijuana Panthers’ Chad Wachtel, Phil Shaheen and Dan Michcoff and friends have some fun with the spy movie genre in the new video for “Nobo,” directed by Megan and Ashley Fenton. In a way, the Long Beach trio’s new album “Wayne Interest” (which came out in June on Innovative Leisure) is full of cloak-and-dagger — behind the band’s sometimes-slacker, sometimes-agitated surf-and-garage vibes lay three guys ready to bare their teeth. Even the metallic ones.
||| Live: Tijuana Panthers open for Fucked Up on Aug. 21 at the El Rey Theatre and Aug. 22 at the Glass House in Pomona.
||| Previously: “Four Horsemen,” “Cherry Street”
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Evan Koga is not a new face to fans of finely crafted folk music — the SoCal native was part of the quartet Chief, which he formed with a bunch of his NYU schoolmates and which released the album “Modern Rituals” on Domino Records in August 2010. With Chief having splintered, the Santa Monican has continued to write and record under the name Koga. His EP “Not Much Is Going on Today,” released in June, is a four-pack of lushly produced folk in approximately the same vein as the more melancholy material on the Chief album. The EP, with production by Louie Stephens and Matt Creed, features Max Fields on bass, Julian Harmon on drums and a lovely vocal turn from Julia Tepper on “All the Way Home.” Like British phenom Jake Bugg, Koga displays a little Dylan in his vocal delivery, which suits his lyrical musings just fine.
||| Stream: “Mountains of Evil” and “Lucky Man,” or the whole EP here
Brooklyn’s Mother has no doubt been getting attention for its front man Penn Badgley, who rose to fame for portrayal of Dan Humphrey in the TV show “Gossip Girl.” But Badgley has shown his musical chops before; he beat out James Franco for the Jeff Buckley biopic “Greetings From Tim Buckley,” which received positive reviews. Mother, however, is not a singer-songwriter project, but a collaborative, dark, moody, synth-based band whose members also include Simon Oscroft (NO), Darren Will (Rathborne) and Jimmy G (Lolawolf, Reputante). With Jimmy G lending hand in production, Mother’s first two singles “Easy” and “Victim” are brooding, with Badgley’s vocals calmly delivered yet sometimes warped in a minimalist manner. Their first music video simply stars Karina Trizotti in black-and-white, while the clip for “Victim” has a bleak undertone highlighted by the gender reversals. Both Mother singles — as well as the new “Centerfold,” just released today — present a molasses-like carefree attitude, but there is a hint of danger in there somewhere as well — even with a heavy sax solo.
||| Stream: “Centerfold”
||| Live: Mother plays Aug. 5 at the Bootleg.
||| Also: Watch the video for “Easy” after the jump. [click to continue…]
L.A. quartet Mirror Talk bum-rushes the 1980s with a funky tint; the quartet first came on our radar with last November’s EP titled “Infatuation,” which probably should have been plural. The band — Court Alexander, Steven Lopez, Sean Krell and Dave Lewis — articulate their infatuations with New Wave, dance-floor-ready R&B and keening synths, wrapping it all in a glossy, updated-for-2014 package. With their first EP just getting a vinyl release via Urban Outfitters, the quartet has resumed making new music with producer Tony Hoffer. The single “1997,” the title track to their forthcoming EP, is kinda-sorta-maybe appropriately star-dated — its sound is, after all, somewhere between 1984 and “1999.”
||| Stream: “1997″
||| Live: Mirror Talk plays the Satellite on Saturday night, supported by J. Laser.
||| Previously: “Don’t”
Shoegaze stalwarts Modern Time Machines have been in hibernation since the release of their 2012 full-length “Continuity Girl,” as the lineup fluctuated around main man Ben Golomb. His quartet now includes Mike Raines, Ryan Connor and Stacy McClarnon, but the new single “Loveletters” including writing and guitar contributions from John Riccardi (ex-Eskimohunter), who was in the band last year prior to moving out of state. Fans of My Bloody Valentine and Medicine will recognize MTM’s wall of sound, accented here by Arlene Ziodia’s flute and Kaitlin Wolfberg’s violin. The trippy video is the work of Christopher J. Ewing, with the band’s Connor adding visual effects. Modern Time Machines has always excelled at homages to the shoegazing greats, and their new single is yet another love letter.
||| Live: Modern Time Machines headlines the Satellite tonight, supported by Seven Saturdays and Light FM.
||| Previously: “Rocketship”
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A monstrous selection of shows for your Thursday:
► Syrian pop phenom Omar Souleyman [pictured last year at FYF Fest] teams up with De Lux at the free Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier.
► Foxy Shazam rocks the El Rey Theatre behind their latest album, “Gonzo.”
► Ex-Walkmen main man Hamilton Leithauser [see "I Don't Need Anyone"] headlines the Echo behind his new album “Black Hours.” Get there early for Avid Dancer.
► Daptone Records stalwarts the Budos Band, with their first album in four years coming this fall, hold forth at the Echoplex.
► L.A. psych-pop five-piece White Arrows [see "We Can't Ever Die"] preview their new album “In Bardo” (out Sept. 16) with a date at the Troubadour, with Wardell and Strange Babes supporting.
► Hundred Waters [see "Out Alee"] visit the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, supported by Pure Bathing Culture and Gentle Pony.
► Shoegazers Modern Time Machines heads up a great local lineup at the Satellite, joined by Seven Saturdays and Light FM.
► With her debut EP on the way in September, Hayley Kiyoko plays the Bootleg HiFi, supported by James Fauntleroy, Javier Dunn and Verre.
► And the free Made in L.A. Music series at the Hammer Museum winds up with DJs Marques Wyatt and Doc Martin entertaining in the courtyard.
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By Ben McShane
Touring behind “Teeth Dreams,” their second consecutive lukewarmly received mid-career album, the Hold Steady played for almost two hours at the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday night. With all that time the still-reigning champions of Midwestern indie rock generously dipped into their full six-album catalog. It was to the giddy the surprise of many fans who would have been thrilled just to hear a couple songs written before 2008 — let alone four from 2005’s “Separation Sunday” (“Banging Camp!” “Multitude of Casualties!”) and six from 2006’s “Boys and Girls in America”. (“Citrus! Are you kidding me?!”)
The Hold Steady still played the new stuff though; tracks like “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” and “The Ambassador” sound more true to form live than over-mixed by “Teeth Dreams” producer Nick Raskulinecz. And if you’re not supposed to like the new Hold Steady records, then nobody told the people buying tickets to the shows. (To that point, “The Sweet Part of the City” was one of the best-received songs of the set.)
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We have no idea what makes us happier — the fact that the Muffs have released their first album in 10 years or the fact that they have been embraced by the crew at Burger Records, whose young roster is dotted by Xerox copies of garage-rockers from the Muffs’ heyday and before. Either way, if you can say it without a trace of snide, “Whoop Dee Doo.” That’s the title of the trio’s 12-track, 37-minute blast, out this week, which is as biting and subversively fun as anything they released in their great five-album run between 1993 and ’99 (self-titled, “Blonder and Blonder,” “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow”). Kim Shattuck, back at the Muffs forefront after a ballyhooed, stunted stint last year as Pixies bassist, has lost none of her shrieking, cherubic charm, and she’s back with Ronnie Barnett
and Roy McDonald in the same lineup the band has boasted for 20 years. In the Muffs’ grandest turn, “Kids in America” (recognizable from the 1995 film “Clueless”), Shattuck sings “Downtown the young ones are growing … Everybody live for the music-go-round.” And so it turns.
||| Stream: “Weird Boy Next Door” and “Up And Down Around”
||| Live: The Muffs, along with Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Bleached, Tashaki Miyaki, Shannon & the Clams and more, play the Burger a-Go-Go on Saturday at the Observatory.
Photo by Kim Shattuck
As two-minute songs go, Karen O’s “Rapt” isn’t going to make anybody stop the presses, and as two-minute videos for two-minute songs go, well, she spends a lot of time under water in the clip directed by her husband, Barney Clay. But it’s Karen O, and the bulletin is that she has a solo album “Crush Songs” coming Sept. 9 on Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records. It’s a collection of heartstring-tuggers written and recorded eight or so years ago, when, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman says, “I crushed a lot.” The limited-edition vinyl will even included Karen O’s drawings, handwritten lyrics and a note from the singer. File “Crush Songs” under yet another solo outing by a prominent indie artist — there have been a bunch this year, and we promise to make a list when we get done writing notes to all our old crushes.
Wednesday’s show lineup:
► Seattle hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces [see "Forerunner Foray"] hits the Roxy Theatre, supported by Porter Ray.
►Portland pop alchemists Aan [see "Daylight"] headline the Satellite behind their latest album “Amor Ad Nauseam” on a night that also features StaG and Habits.
► Dub Thompson joins Hooray for Earth and the Vivids at the Echo. Dub thompson, the Agoura Hills-bred band built around the duo of Matt Pulos and Evan Laffer released their debut “9 Songs” (recorded with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado) in June, and that’s the video for “No Time,” above.
► The Dustbowl Revival and New York-based Miss Tess & the Talkbacks get all vintage the Bootleg HiFi.
► And one of the strongest lineups of the 10-day International Pop Overthrow Festival brings Chris Price, Linus of Hollywood, Willie Wisely and more to Molly Malone’s.
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