Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rest in Peace, Vic Chesnutt

You're missed already.

"'Do you think you deserve it?' I say yes, in my way, yes."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pocahaunted, James Ferraro and Mark McGuire at the Smell, 12/12/09

Mark McGuire

A patience with his
Craft that belied his youth, yet
Fostered youthful vim.


Picking up stride and
Laden with swagger within
The Smell's homey space

James Ferraro

Shady underhand
Maneuvers caused awe and brief
Hypnosis... well played!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jonathan Richman at the Mint, 12/10/09

Innocent genius
His melancholy in check
Tonight, brought just joy.

Califone at the Billy Wilder Theater at UCLA, 12/9/09

Impeccable taste
Governed every sonic flare,
Each sweet melody

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baroness and Earthless at the Troubadour, 12/3/09


A rhythm section
With scalpel-like precision
Fascinated us


Tireless, relentless
Their passionate sound drove, like
Stakes into our hearts.

Vic Chesnutt with War Paint and Liz Durrett at the Echoplex, 12/1/09

Liz Durrett

Sarah McLachlan
But with Vashti Bunyan's sense
Of woodsy intrigue

War Paint

I was not alone
In my surprise and delight
With their quality.

Vic Chesnutt

Loquacious frontman
Evoked tears and laughter, a
Cathartic pleasure

Monday, November 23, 2009

Queen Victoria and Pocahaunted at L'Keg, 11/19/09

Queen Victoria

Were Jim Morrison
Fronting some Touch & Go band,
They'd compete for niche.


More haunted and poked
Than usual, their howls chilled
The bones of the space.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Red Sparowes at Vacation Vinyl, 11/13/09

Doomsday's hypnotists
Moving, both physically and

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blues Control, Pocahaunted, and The 60 Watt Kid at Synchronicity, 11/11/09

60 Watt Kid

Assertive guitar
Acted as spinal cord for
Tangled ball of sounds.

Blues Control

Slack-jawed, we observed
Their calculated climax
And controlled genius.


They unleash all the
Unabashed white reggae
Dancing in us all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Fun Fun Fun Fest in Waterloo Park, Austin, TX (Day 2), 11/8/09

Atlas Sound

The one song we caught
Seemed to dry the rain with it's
Paradise promise

Youth Brigade

Quite well-named, this band,
For the high school boy in me
Drooled at their gumption


And yet evocative, he
Is a puzzling man


Lone ambassador
Of the psyche scene, we welcomed
Her earth/space melding

Mission of Burma

Preface: I love them.
That being said, one couldn't
Tell they were them. Sad.

Buraka Som Sistema

Irritating to
A famous extent, even
Sans half-naked girl

Crystal Castles

As though someone skinned
Two cats and let them fight with
The poor microphone.

Of Montreal

Trannies and Santa
And Ninjas, oh my! More fierce
With every note played.



The Fun Fun Fun Fest in Waterloo Park, Austin, TX (Day 1), 11/7/09

Times New Viking

Redeemed by their talented
Sound board engineer.


Phoenix, as fronted
By Mexican MJ and
Slash, with hot dance moves.

Red Sparowes

Smaller setting band
But I could see potential
In some of those sounds

The Sword

DETHKLOK sans Nathan,
Austin homer band held court
For jocund minions

Dead Confederate

Emo lead singer
Awash in a sea of sound
Rendered quite pleasant!

Melt Banana

SARS masks and high speed
Lyric spitting looked fun, but
Also, annoying.


Don't let the wedding
Band look fake you out. They
Seared off faces, son!

Neon Indian

As though divining
The next day's rain, tech trouble
Basically killed the set.


We should have taken
The Madonna songs before
Old shows as warning.


With an angel's voice,
He commanded us as his
Medieval army.

Face to Face

Yeah, I remember
All those songs from my rough high
School days.... what of it?

Jesus Lizard

"This is gonna be
SO GOOD," he assured us, and,
Well, dude didn't lie. :)

*Best set of the night.

The Dirty Projectors and Little Wings at the Jensen Rec Center, 10/31/09

Little Wings

He is much more of
A rocker than I ever

Dirty Projectors

Ebullient and
Celebratory, but one
of those girls is SHRILL!

Built to Spill at the EchoPlex, 10/29/09

That set list was so
Mouth-watering that no one'd
Ever believe it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grizzly Bear and Beach House at the Hollywood Palladium, 10/20/09

Beach House

This band needs a new
Producer - so much better
Live than recorded!

Grizzly Bear

You know you've made it
When bros leave before encores
and merch is pirate!

A few notes on the phenomenon that is Grizzly Bear in 2009 (this can likely apply to Animal Collective and, to a lesser extent, the Dirty Projectors as well):

I wonder if the surreality of watching one's favorite little band skyrocket out of obscurity ever wears off. Last night as a foursome of your average Los Angeles non-hipster 20-somethings got their flirt on (in the form of extremely loud yapping betwixt one another), I wondered what they could possibly have gathered from the experience of witnessing "Colorado" or "Fine For Now." These tracks, constructed for the likes of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, wore their Palladiam garment somewhat awkwardly, for their assertive loveliness was not designed to support/promote apathetic conversation among onlookers. The rush of interest spurred by "While You Wait For The Others" subsided before they could even clear the stage, and I had to bite my tongue so as not to snap at the loud, rude masses as they filed out during the encore's "He Hit Me".

Don't get me wrong. I am overjoyed at the prospect of the world listening to better music as a whole. I love the idea that Ed Droste and co. can continue to create ornate, beautiful, odd music that manifests the inner workings of my wildest imagination. I love that our ticket dollars are sustaining this. That being said, I hope these fair-weather fans derive something from the experience besides "just another night out on the town." I can't ask that people feel art the same way that I do, but I can hope that they at least recognize that it's art. I hope they received something besides "Two Weeks" and "WYWFTO", because "Lullaby" and "Ready, Able" were strong enough to steal breath away!

As we emerged onto Sunset Blvd, I witnessed a site I never expected: Pirate merchandisers were hawking Veckatimest t-shirts shamelessly. Perhaps the farthest cry from the band's three-eyed cat t-shirt at the merch table, these solid black beefy tees with the band's promo photo stamped onto them screamed irony (not necessarily of the hipster variety). As though we were attending a Bon Jovi or U2 show, everyone was trying to capitalize on the Grizz's success. That being said... I wanted one. My boys have made it, and for all my gripes re: their new-found super stardom, that is a badge I would have worn proudly. Alas, no cash. :)

Frank Fairfield with Blind Boy Paxton at the Redwood Bar, 10/19/09

A shtick so seamless
That we all became part of

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Flaming Lips at the Ricardo Montalban Theater, 10/15/09

Too few synonyms
For 'honest' and 'candid' in
English for Wayne Coyne.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Great Lake Swimmers with the Wooden Birds at the El Rey, 10/12/09

The Wooden Birds

With Bruce Springsteen jeans,
This boss smoothed all the night's rough
Edges - so gentle!

Great Lake Swimmers

In keeping with the
'Softness' theme of the evening,
Lullabies most kind.

Nadja at Vacation Records, 10/12/09

With proper patience
The guitar work of this band
Can rip out your heart.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sneaky Snake and Robedoor at the Old Teepee Hang on the Hill, 10/8/09

Sneaky Snake

Two minds, one light, one
Dark, one rhythmic, one static,
One soul shared in both.


Without walls off which
To ricochet sound bullets,
We got warmer vibes

Thom Yorke with Flea, Nigel Godrich, and friends at the Orpheum Theater, 10/5/09

Hail to the Thief sparks
For the Twilight audience
Juxtaposed cultures

Neko Case at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest in Golden Gate Park, 10/4/09

That voice was built for
Open appreciation
In Cali's best park!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Young Hunting (Yum Humping!) at the Echo Curio, 9/22/09

photo credit: Erik Adolphson

Sweetness struggled to
Counter inevitable
Bitter without Matt

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mount Eerie at The Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, 9/20/09

Wind's poem by a
Bard who once whispered ancient
Questions, now shouting.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Greek Theater, 9/17/09

Miss Mick Jagger with
Giggle fits, costume shifting
But Nick is the glue

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Robedoor, Ducktails, Radient Husk and Sun Araw at L'Keg Gallery, 9/16/09

Radiant Husk

A dark alley's sax
sounds mapped over each other
In desperate layers


Like three elephants
Yoked together, lugging their
Lugubrious mass.

Sun Araw

The liminal space
Between rhythms, betwixt live
And recorded noise


Smudgey fingers on
glass, Morse code, and a "FUCK YOU"
to the metronome.

Divisible at Spaceland, 9/14/09

The rotating crew
Of beloved friends added
Sheen to the shadows

Nils Cline and Friends at The Schindler House, 9/12/09

It was as though an
Extended savasana
Swept over us all.

Cass McCombs and Girls at The Bootleg Theater, 9/10/09


Much like the Donkeys
In the "Americana
Bar Band Makes Good" sense.

Cass McCombs

I return time and
Time again to the phrase: "Bill
Callahan's kid bro"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cold Cave at the Echo, 9/6/09

Perhaps it is my
Lack of experience with
Synths, but I craved more.

The F*ck Yeah Fest at the LA State Historic Park, 9/5/09

The Fuck Yeah Fest

Line up devised by
compiling random people's
Descriptions of punk.

Mika Miko

God grant me just one
Conversation that warrants
Phone yelling like so.

Times New Viking

This band does not give
Two shits for musical keys
nor those who notice.

The Thermals

Teenage furor and
Snarky vocals soar with such
Meaning, one believes!

Lightning Bolt

Their sweatshirt hoods were
Space suit helmets, offering
Shield from their art's force.

The Strange Boys

Fusion jazz stood back
To allow their guitarist
Ample space to rage.

Fucked Up

Now, to see why Fox News picked
Him as punk's spokesman.

Tim & Eric (Pusswhip Banggang)

I pitied the souls
Not yet indoctrinated...
All jokes were inside.

No Age

Playing to the home
Crowd, they could have played white noise
And be hailed as gods.

The Black Lips

Their filthiness made
My southern roots swell with pride...
Dirty beat band love!

Monday, August 31, 2009

No Age at the Silent Movie Theater, 8/30/09

French film soundtracked by
Backwards English and drum zeal
At plot climaxes

Deerhunter with Pocahaunted and David Scott Stone at the Detroit Bar, 8/27/09

David Scott Smith

I think I get what
He was going for, and yet
Still not invested.


Someone in this band
Studied their reggae, studied
It pretty damn well.


Like water, like a
River of pink, bathing me
In texture, in light.

Night Control at the Smell, 8/23/09

All of the lines blurred 
On their record firmed up and
Really striking live. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Flaming Lips at the Del Mar Racetrack, 8/15/09

Of both their position and
Their adoring fans :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shine Brothers at the Silverlake Lounge, 8/10/09

Steamrolled zydeco
Calibrated for July
Yet rocking August!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Magnolia Electric Co with The Donkeys at the Echo, 7/28/09

The Donkeys

Classic rock-inspired
Showmen instrumentally,
Yet sweetly bashful

The Magnolia Electric Co

Actual tears streamed
During melodic memoirs
And ripped our hearts out.

Theater Fire at Vacation Records, 7/17/09

The armor washboard
Stole the show, punctuating
Their percussive point.

Spires at the Echo Curio, 7/16/09

Every song was good
And I knew not a one. So 
Exciting to find!

Tortoise at Amoeba Hollywood, 7/9/09

Angular rhythms
Circling most pleasantly 
Not challenging, though.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bill Callahan at the Troubadour, 7/1/09

We know he's aching,
But something in his sorrow...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sunset Rubdown with Elfin Saddle at the Echoplex, 6/23/09

Elfin Saddle

Deerhoof with a strong
Classical upbringing and
Stage props galore, too!

Sunset Rubdown

So distinctive his
Voice that his lyrics are great,
Yet secondary

Grizzly Bear with Here We Go Magic at the Troubadour, 6/20/09

Here We Go Magic

More Akron/Fambly
This time around, and bass lines
Rather prominent!

Grizzly Bear

I worship the stage
That these four humble angels
Grace with their presence

Shellac with Arcwelder at the Echoplex, 6/20/09


Mission of Burma
With a Meat Puppets flavor
Really fucking good. 


By far, my favorite
Tragic attempted mosh pit. 
Made douche history!

Grizzly Bear with Here We Go Magic at the Wiltern, 6/19/09

Here We Go Magic

David Byrne fronting
The Akron/Family with
Sexy lady bass. 

Grizzly Bear

The sheer perfection
Defies the laws of my strict
Seventeen syllables. 

Yeah, that's right. Broke form. They drive me to madness. 

Nite Jewel at the Detroit Bar, 6/15/09

Showed the rest of those
Yahoos what was what, beats wise
and got me dancin'

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio at the Tabernacle, Downtown Atlanta, 6/13/09

Grizzly Bear

Williams St. promo
Referenced with a wink and nod
To Cognoscenti

TV on the Radio

Refined Dear Science
Tracks outshined old songs in an 
Unexpected coup! 

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Jubilee Singers at the Silverlake Lounge, 6/8/09

Whale song voice work, yet
The analog/digital
Percussion got me. 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wolf Eyes, Sir Richard Bishop and the Black Dice at some warehouse in Vernon, 5/30/09

Sir Richard Bishop

I'm sad we missed the
Ambling babble between songs.  
Caught the shredding though!

Wolf Eyes

A grunge rocker with
A mouth full of a machine
Scaring me shitless. 

Black Dice

I cannot figure 
If terror was compounded 
Or assuaged by lights. 

Animal Collective with Grouper at the Wiltern, 5/29/09


Her discomfort was
A visible testament
To venue weirdness

Animal Collective

Metal devil horns
And headbanging to rockers
Like "Leaf House", "My Girls". 


Friday, May 29, 2009

Jens Lekman at the Echo, 5/28/09

Disarmingly loud!
But precious, don't get me wrong...
Boys II Men cover!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sun Kil Moon at the El Rey, 5/27/09

Oh, the strength that voice
Must require of its keeper
To maintain its weight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Sadies at Spaceland, 5/26/09

Straight professionals,
Precise Canuks perfect an
American voice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scout Niblett at Spaceland, 5/14/09

Precision ensured
A well-maintained air of taut,
Palpable darkness.

Robedoor at the EchoCurio, 5/13/09

Shatters in cymbals
Quickly and emphatically
Explained and enjoyed

Divisible at The Silverlake Lounge, 5/13/09

Projections of worlds
So far mapped across her face
Made eyes electric

Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens) at the El Rey, 5/11/09

A man used to age
Before reaching it. Of his
Grace, songs prophetic.

For a complete and utter review of this show, please stay tuned.

The Magnolia Electric Company with The Avett Brothers at the Henry Fonda Music Box, 5/9/09

The Magnolia Electric Company

Much like David Byrne,
A voice visible, unscathed
By the pain it held.

The Avett Brothers

Sloppy becomes them,
And becomes charming, slick and
Stable in their grasp

Divisible at Spaceland, 5/2/2009

With every breath
Her once-latent bile cum truce
Rocked us to the core

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Young Hunting and Sneakysnake at a teepee overlooking downtown Los Angeles, 4/25/09

Young Hunting

Sweet sloppiness so
Apt for the setting that it
Might have been practiced


New age revival
Lush with the caprice of its
makers' floating minds. 

Young Hunting at The Smell, 4/24/09

Within the grit and
Muffled grime, they have loaded
A spring of brilliance. 

TV On The Radio at The Glasshouse, 4/14/09

A relaxation
That I missed from them without
Ever realizing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Tindersticks with Spain at the Henry Fonda Theater, 3/13/09


Aside, those boys sure do know
How to set a mood. 

The Tindersticks

Here and there, their grey 
Nick Cave/Morrissey hybrid
Glowed silver and warm. 

Elvis Perkins at the Troubadour, 3/12/09

Off-kilter on-stage
Set-up broke down all reserves
Toward the new record. 

Spain at Create/Fixate, 3/7/09

Challenges deterred not the
Subtle loveliness. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Neko Case at Amoeba Hollywood, 3/5/09

Feral, furious
Yet intimate, comical
I wish I were her(s).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Animal Collective at the Troubadour, 2/27/09

Crowd full of lucky
Happy hoppers fed the vibes
Off of which they thrived. 

This is one of those shows where I am forced to break from my regimented 5/7/5 format to expound upon its greatness. That is, not the format, but the show. I am hard pressed to remember a more genuinely happy crowd of people at the Troubadour, a venue immortalized in my heart as a joyful place regularly. The band was evidently very excited to make the show happen, and because the place was packed to the gills, no one really had much room for motion. During "My Girls", everyone chanted along, hopping and swaying in unison, a collective being of appreciation. The band rattled the walls of the little club until a little past midnight, but we all could have probably run marathons around Los Angeles as we dispersed onto Santa Monica Boulevard. Animal Collective sounded phenomenal, and I could probably delve into the subtleties of the performance on "paper" elsewhere, but I believe that when I reflect back on this evening, it will be my fellow Los Angelinos that I remember, my fellow lucky bastard ticketholders, and the kindness that was evinced as a consequence of said luck. 

Miranda Lee Richards at Spaceland, 2/24/09

At the end of the
Day, the woman is one hell
Of a songwriter. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Andrew Bird at the Orpheum, 2/18/09

Talented music
Man, indeed, but his careless use
Of vocab chafes me.

Juana Molina at the Troubadour, 2/17/09

You know that scene in
The Big Lebowski where Maude
Creates nude art? That.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Department of Eagles with the Cave Singers at the Troubadour, 1/26/09

The Cave Singers

Damn dirty vocals
And kick drums make Seattle
Seem rather Southern!

Department of Eagles

Bear's terrestrial
Counterpart, but not without
Celestial flares!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Patrick Park at Spaceland, 1/6/09

All ingredients
Add up to boring, yet he's
So artfully not!