Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wolf Eyes at Spaceland (Los Angeles CA)

LA shows are tough... it is just hard to beat the vibe in a room packed with kids in the midwest hold up at an empty warehouse with nothing better to do than get wasted and listen to bands that have rolled in off a greulling hot disgusting drive through middle America. That said...
Enter Wolf Eyes. The best and most powerful performance I have seen in LA ever. OK... I know that's not saying much. So here it goes. The show was mind bending. They are true artists in the closest and most pure sense of the word. Heart and soul and the punk rock ideal is poured over every ounce of all they touch, from load-in; to set-up; to the show itself; to the merch. table afterward. No false pretense here. What you see is what you get... and it is a thousand pounds heavier than you will ever get from just about any other band that exists today. The music is mind numbingly complex and it's impossible to comment on. This band is something that you have to experience first hand. Do it the first chance you get. GO!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Russian Circles at the EchoPlex LA

I went to this show expecting to stroll right in the door and share this band's set with a handful of people. When I got to the club there was a line that stretched half way down the block! I was so sure that this many people could not know about this band I actually took a trip upstairs to the Echo to be sure I had the right place. Long story short, I eventually found a friend figured out I was indeed in the right place and waited in line for 15 minutes to get into the club. Joke was on me I guess...

These guys where amazing and it's no wonder so many people have caught on to them. They are somewhere between Metallica Master of Puppets era and Yes minus the vocals (if that is even possible). They played through the entire set and fluxed seamlessly between haunting lows and throbbing highs. The interplay between Dave Turncrantz's drumming and Mike Sullivan's guitar provides the backbone of the music. The freedom and familiarity between these two musicians allows tricks like finger tapping and odd time signatures to give the music a unique edge. I have to say aside from Eddie Van Halen playing eruption I have never seen anyone finger tap their way to adding any substance to a song... well until I saw these guys. They know each other and their instruments so well they play like its second nature. it's a rare sight these days and it is something awesome to behold.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Le Meu Le Purr - Knitting Factory LA

I went out to see the Gay Blades and these guys were playing the slot just before them. They are a Ventura CA band which means nothing to me... but seemed to mean alot to the gaggle of LA-hair-hipster-glam-trash that seems to permeate this city like NYC sewer rats. Actually I am lying there were no glam metal weirdos there that night. They were at the key club doing coke in the bathroom with Brett Michael's sloppy seconds.
Any way back to Le Meu Le Purr. These guys play loud, fast, and hard and still manage to keep the sound indie. Since I have been in LA I haven't seen a local band that is able to play riff laden solid rock tunes without wearing eye makeup or sporting the shirtless leather vest look. These guys kill it and they kill it hard. Aaron Johnson vocals are reminiscent of Thursday era emo and the guitars follow suit with a dirtier darker feel. Scott and Robin give the songs attitude with an assault that breaks down and backs off just often enough to keep the listener intrigued. This band is what California indie rock needs... balls and brains with no cheese.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Mars Volta at University of Irvine

I had a buddy visiting from New York and we went to this show together. I have admired these guys for a while now and the show was nothing short of amazing. There were about 5000 people watching and the band killed it. Cedric was so engaging he somehow managed to shrink the basketball stadium to a 10x10 room and the guitars, keys, and percussion are relentless in that - I need to close my eyes to figure out what exactly is happening here - way. These guys are so true and so well schooled it is something to behold. One of those live bands that you just need to talk about but can't because there really are not words to express how innovative and huge they seem to be. So why am I still writing. I can't stop! AHHHH. The only thing I missed was Jon Thoedore behind the drums.

After the show Juan, Omar, and Cedric asked my buddy to hangout (I guess they are friends... it was news to me?). I reluctantly tagged along expecting the typical retarded backstage antics and weird comingling of groupies and industry scavenging for bits of carrion to post to their blogs or notch on their belts. HA!... irony. So anyway, we wound up hanging out with them for 4 hours after the show. It was totally normal. Just friends and family. No groupies or industry in sight. Which just furthered my admiration and respect for everything they have accomplished.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Louis XIV and Hot Hot Heat at the Wiltern

These guys have been my dirty little secret for a while now. When the CD turned up in my car I blamed it on my girlfriend... When I was humming "milkshake... milkshake..." I convinced myself it was some sort of Pavlovian tick. Then on Feb. 9th I decided to see just how glamorous I was. I bit the bullet and attended a Louis XIV show. To my horror the bill was shared by the Hot Hot Heat. But I saw it as a true test of my musical orientation. It was a crux. In my mind the pendulum would swing to ascot and white jeans or hoody and vans.

To be fair Louis XIV were pretty good. The show was entertaining they simply played the songs with very little in between. The guitars sounded amazing which I know is no small feat. I am sure they spent years dialing in their sound. They were solid. Was it like the first time I saw the Afghan Whigs? Absolutely not. Was it good though? Yes. The Hot Hot Heat were not my thing and seemed to be one of those bands that made me realize how much my feet hurt and how long I have been standing.