Thursday, December 16, 2010

UNORTHODOX POST: Complicated Dance Steps Label Showcase

Hey laureates! I started a record label called Complicated Dance Steps and we have a label showcase TOMORROW NIGHT at Vacation Vinyl in Silverlake. We have 3 bands playing, and since you probably haven't had the chance to fall in love with them yet, I have a few teaser haikus to get you excited for Friday night:

Son Fish

Shrouded enigma,
Kaoscillator wizard
Commands his machines

Sneaky Snake

Theirs is the voice of
The forest when trees fall in
Morning light, alone


The subtlest and most
Dignified use of trombone
Layering we know.

I hope to see you Friday, and if you have any questions about the releases, please email! :) Happy holidaze from Concert Haikus!

OFF! at Vacation Vinyl, 12/14/10

Lest we forget, they're
The architects and experts
And still do it best.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Robedoor, Warm Climate, RGB and Cristopher Cichocki at Pehrspace, 12/6/10


Like earth-tone lazers
Slicing through a forest fog
In strategic spots

Warm Climate

Though casual and,
Yes, a little sloppy, their
Spirit was flawless

Cristopher Cichocki

A showcase of the
Extremes of human A/V


Playful and bold, their
Fresh material heaved with

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jens Lekman at Skybar, 12/4/10

His sunbeam of a
Voice could only combat the
Night's dark vibe so well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Liars at Thesex, 12/3/10

Perhaps it was the
Venue, but their performance
Felt legendary.

Roger Waters performing The Wall at The Staples Center, 11/30/10

In the realm of forms,
Pure liberal beauty and zeal
Looks and sounds like this.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Young Hunting with Exploding Flowers at the Echo, 11/22/10

Young Hunting

Though short, it was so
Sweet - their vocal harmonies
Are like aural drugs.

Exploding Flowers

Rare and welcome are
Effortlessly confident
And tight sets like this

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dustin Wong at Vacation Vinyl, 11/19/10

King of palimpsests!
Tech skills to behold whilst he
Builds a symphony.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LA Font with Oh Darlin' at the Echo, 11/15/10

Oh Darlin'

It saddens me that
I only hear commercials
In their repertoire.

LA Font

A reputation of raw
Indie aptitude

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sneaky Snake (live-scoring Predator II) at The Night Gallery, 11/14/10

A marathon set:
Poetic impressions and
Apocalypse cries.

Woodsman, Speculator and Melted Toys at Bacchus, 11/13/10


Distorted sunbeam
Targeting and warming the
Night's darker corners.

Melted Toys

Interesting to
See a band fighting a sound
So many bands grow.


The sheer momentum
Of drumming OR their gorgeous
Sound pallet. Both slayed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gestapo Khazi at Vacation Vinyl, 11/12/10

On a clear mission -
They cut right to the point with
Clean execution.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Axel at Axel's House in Downtown, 11/11/10

The memory of
What it's like to be under
Water in the sun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Harassor, Expo 70, and Sean McCann at F-HAUS, 11/7/10

Sean McCann

Like being birthed or
Digested through the body
Of a live spacecraft.

Expo 70

His guitar recalled
Dark alley black leather of
Climate of Hunter.


It's rare to witness
Depth like theirs born from such a
Punkish energy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trans Am at Spaceland, 11/5/10

Methinks beneath those
Complex layers of metal
And prog, three jazz nerds.

Young Hunting at Origami Vinyl, 11/5/10

Worth the time it took
For them to perfect their mix -
All their soundz were gold.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deerhunter and High Places at the Henry Fonda Music Box, 11/1/10

High Places

Emotionless, they
Continued to cultivate
My ambivalence.


Sunbeam of a voice
A spotlight o'er an ocean
Of heavy drumming.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bonnie "Prince" Billy with the Cairo Gang and J. Tillman at Pappy & Harriet's, 10/30/10

J. Tillman

The earnest rev'rence
Of silence between notes, paired
With crazy lyrics.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang

It leaves one at a
Loss, trying to convey his
Folksy voodoo charm.

Friday, October 15, 2010

KIT at Vacation Vinyl, 10/15/10

So charming and fun,
It nearly overshadowed
Their ferocious jams!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Robedoor, Nymph, Suzy Star and Sneaky Snake at Malo Fun House, 10/10/10


A cylinder of
Sound that isolates you from
Any world but theirs.


A psychedelic
LP played at 45:
Groovy and frantic.

Suzi Star

In the cocoon with
Rhythm just as it's morphing
Into melody.

Sneaky Snake

Like a cold sunrise -
Optimistic wisdom with
Mountain's majesty.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Caribou, Nite Jewel and Emeralds at the Henry Fonda Music Box, 10/8/10


The swagger with which
They developed their opus
Made that climax fierce.

Nite Jewel

The intricacy
Of each song is belied by
Relatable grooves


A calculated
Spiral of sound springing loose
In celebration.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Hey Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Echo Curio has recently been the target of some rather shitty treatment at the hand of the local law enforcement. Laws are laws, yes, but we need to update laws to accommodate a changing society, and this is your opportunity to do so if you are willing! The Curio has been a source of kindness, creativity, open-mindedness and sanity during an era of ongoing erosion of these values in every day life. Los Angeles' artists living on the cusp of the poverty line, working soul-sucking day jobs and being told they are lucky to work them need SOMETHING, something other than the vapid and over-advertised Clear Channel/Live Nation/Goldenvoice/major label BULLSHIT that America has succumbed to as a poor excuse for artistic expression. The Curio provided the something, the antidote, and it's our responsibility to appreciate them for it. If the words on this blog or those like it have ever moved you, or if you care for poetry and music and art and for wandering off the beaten path in the cloister of your neighborhood among good people with earnest artistic intentions, give Eric Garcetti (city councilman) a call at 323-957-4500, or drop him a line at Please spread the word... we can't let the seeds of brilliance languish in the bankrupt soil of Los Angeles.

More info can be found here:

With love, ire, passion and respect,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Imagine watching
Everyone's rock n' roll dream
Exploding to life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pavement, Sonic Youth and No Age at the Hollywood Bowl, 9/30/10

No Age

Our Band Could Be Your
Life, lived out on the largest
And most well-earned stage.

Sonic Fucking Youth

Best by my friend, mouth agape,
"Did you see that, guys?!"


Summer's last breath French
Kissed us, a warm fare-thee-well
From a college love.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Young Hunting, Ex-Detectives, and The Black Apples at the Echo Curio, 9/29/10


Of thoughtful doubt with weight in
All the right places

Young Hunting

A true, lush pleasure
To watch them unfold and stretch
Into blue anthems.

The Black Apples

Reckless abandon
Stimulates X chromosomes
Most salaciously.

Sun Araw and Oneotrix Point Never at the Echo, 9/28/10

Sun Araw

Their tropical blues
Infused with a splash of the
Euro dance shimmy

Oneotrix Point Never

Say the night sky gave
Each star a voice and reason
To argue their point.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nite Jewel with Teen Inc. and Heart-Shaped Rock at the Troubadour, 9/02/10

Heart-Shaped Rock

Goth Cyndi Lauper
Fronting Depeche Mode during
R.E.M.'s nineties

Teen Inc.

Their creation seems other-
Worldly, brilliant.

Nite Jewel

The crystal clean of
Song craft fought its way through the
Muddied old sound board.

SFVacid at the Weltenbuerger Art Space, 8/27/10

Like a sporting event, with each
Point scored to the beat.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sneaky Snake, Oscillator, and Blipvert with guests at Landslide, 8/21/10

Sneaky Snake

It was as though the
Pyramid itself was voiced,
Sighing its musings.


I guess cocaine can
Create incredible things,
If present or not!


Cerberus's howling
Spun a web of emotion...
Machines in mourning.

Oscillator with Special Guests at DIY Space, 8/20/10

Oscillator (ft. guests)

A living, breathing
Expression of the madness
To which life drives one.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nails and Black Breath at Vacation Vinyl, 8/9/10


Vibrant and alive,
Their furious exub'rance
Lit a fire in me.

Black Breath

So proficient in
Their craft that it brought to mind
A victory lap!

I'd like to talk a moment about my evening watching Nails. I laud them not to discount Black Breath (who were phenomenal and consummately professional), but to put a fine point on just how moved I was by their set. It is exciting to see them manifest just how much of a shit they give through their vivacious, precise performance. Youth oozed from them, not in a self-centered, narcissistic manner, but rather in the form of unbridled passion. They were LOUD, they were ANGRY, they were CERTAIN, they were OPTIMISTIC, and they were quite good at playing their instruments. I was reminded what it felt like to fight back a little, "against the grain" even, and I really hope they keep spreading this gospel.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti with Puro Instinct (formerly Pearl Harbor) and Teen Inc. at the Detroit Bar, 8/7/10

Teen Inc.

Most ambitious and
Quite complicated, Princely
And Steely Dannish!

Puro Instinct (formerly Pearl Harbor)

Sun-kissed and jangly,
Like a postcard from Athens*
Were it a surf town.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Haunted Graffiti
Constructs a stable soapbox
For Pink's wobbly howls.

*That's Athens, Ga, home of Michael Stipe. Not that Greek place.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sun Araw, Metal Rouge and Peaking Lights at the Echo Curio 8/2/10

Sun Araw

Although they wanted
the psycho Euro house vibe,
I was feeling jazz.

Metal Rouge

Patiently crafted
Hellscapes of intertwined tools
And voices, throbbing.

Peaking Lights

With grimy twinkle,
Velvet island underground
Cooled the summer night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Joanna Newsom with Robin Pecknold at the Orpheum Theater, 7/31/10

Robin Pecknold

A kitsch-free master
Of a genre, passionate
Although humorless

Joanna Newsom

My generation's
Best poet is also our
Finest musician.

Set List:

1. '81
2. Have One On Me
3. Easy
4. You And Me, Bess
5. Cosmia
6. Autumn
7. In California
8. Soft As Chalk
9. Good Intentions Paving Company
10. Peach, Plum, Pear
(encore break)
11. Baby Birch

Friday, July 30, 2010

Run DMT, Tonstartssbandht, and Speculator at a House on Elwood, 7/29/10


Like being under
A well-traveled sea, taking
In its sage advice


Radiates off them in a
Sincere, tactile way.


As sanguine as drops
Of blood in water, slowly
Arabesquing, free.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Personable, Sam Hamilton, and Emily Lacy at a Highland Park House Party, 7/24/10

Sam Hamilton

An aural color
Pallet that seeps through one's skin
Rather than eyes, ears.

Emily Lacy

Feminine essence brought all
Us ladies to tears

Personable (M. Geddes Gengras)

Mathematical in its
Life celebration

Black Flamingo with Chappo at DIY Space, 7/23/10

Black Flamingo

Please don't let your tech
Trouble get your spirits down -
Y'all have some SWEET jams!


Dancing on my part makes me
Think there's potential

Rosetta at Vacation Vinyl, 7/23/10

Were music akin
To various wounds, they'd be
A laceration.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sun Araw with M. Geddes Gengras at Synchronicity Space, 7/3/10

Sun Araw

With playful swagger,
Their new rhythms and textures
Ignited the set.

M. Geddes Gengras

Enraptured sampling
Constructed mesmerism...
Warlock-esque spell cast.

Friday, July 2, 2010

DEVO at the Hollywood Park Racetrack, 7/1/10

Tight and exuberant,
Consummate professionals
Ain't through being cool!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weave! and Tame Impala at the Echo, 6/28/10


Angles aplenty,
Voidoid tropicalia
A refreshing treat!

Tame Impala

George Harrison would
Be proud of the mindfuck they
Built on his groundwork

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Matmos with So Percussion at The Echo, 6/23/10

Highest echelon
Of genius, each layer a
New permutation

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Woodsist Fest at the Echo/Echoplex, 6/15/10

The Mantles

When I was, like, twelve
Daydreaming of indie bands'
Auras, I dreamed them.


A small, brave version
Of My Morning Jacket, with
A mile-wide jam streak.

Kurt Vile

Like watching someone
Strum along while reading his
Diary aloud.

Real Estate

With their raw talent
Smoothed out on tape, the set was
A surprise rocker

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Harassor at the Smell, 6/14/10

Punk optimism
Somehow shines through the blood and
Fury, yet skillful!

Thou at Vacation Vinyl, 6/14/10

Screeching black eagle
Evoking imagery of
Nuclear warfare

Monday, June 14, 2010

Run DMT, Foot Village, Sun Araw and Blissed Out at Landslide, 6/11/10

In the interest of full disclosure, these haikus are going to be admittedly less astute and critical than the typical post on this site. I was working the door for this show, thereby quashing any impartiality I could have otherwise employed in their composition. Also, from where I was sitting, I was only able to take in peripheral versions of each set. That being said, this was one of the most enchanting settings I have ever seen, and I couldn't have asked for better, sweeter, more appreciative bands with whom to spend the evening. Thanks to everyone involved in making the Landslide what it is, and without any further ado -


His set was drawn from
The setting, deferential
And bright, curious

Sun Araw

With every outing,
They've grown, sanguine and dauntless,
Really fucking good.

Blissed Out

The lunacy of
American pop employed
As detritus, well!

Foot Village

Modern tribal ode
To the open sky above!
We, villagers all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Run DMT and Blissed Out at Synchronicity Space, 6/10/10


The mad scientist
With his future music made
Me discard the past!

Blissed Out

Like a large brass/tin
Merry-go-round softened by
Their vocal halos.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

School of Seven Bells with Sister Crayon at the Echo, 6/2/10

Sister Crayon

Maybe the xx
Or the Dirty Projectors
Are to blame for this

School of Seven Bells

I admire their
Committed, confident sound
But craved divergence

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Aid Kit at the Bootleg Theater, 6/1/10

Most lovable band
In the history of the
World, without question.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bottled Smoke Festival at the Echo Curio and Synchronicity Space (Day 2), 5/30/10

Sun Araw

Their well-placed fragments
An aural kaleidoscope
With a crunch to close.

Warm Climate

A dragon tail voice
Whipping confidently through
Tight, intrepid tracks


Bleak and woebegone
Lugubrious set not sans
More pensive moments


A collective "Om"
To send the night off into
Oblivion right

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bottled Smoke Festival at The Echo Curio and Synchronicity Space (Day 1), 5/29/10

M. Geddes Gengras

Metallic water-
Color, an hypnotic sketch
Of a fire within


They had me at the
Recreation of a light-
House in mourning's moan.

Barn Owl

The night sky flattened
Into sheet metal, then shaped
Into a steel drum.

Faraday Trippers

A paranormal
Wizardry, awe-inspiring
To behold, to hear.

Tom Carter

A solar flare gun, which
He wielded as though it were
A mortal guitar

Spectrum at Spaceland, 5/27/10

A special breed of
Magic alternates two notes
So enchantingly

Monday, May 24, 2010

Robedoor at Synchronicity Space, 5/21/10

Airier yet more
Momentous, like wild eagles
Morphed from elephants.

Monday, May 17, 2010

LA Font at Synchronicity Space, 5/14/10

Photo Credit: D. Greenwald

A rockabilly
Wolf parade in Bieber clothes,
with transcendent sparks!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sun Araw with The Fuck Buttons at the Troubadour, 5/11/10

Sun Araw

Blooming rain forest:
Sumptuously lush guitars
And a bluesman's bark

Fuck Buttons


Bell Gardens and Eluvium at The Bootleg Theater, 5/5/10

Bell Gardens

A miniaturized
Symphony, but not without
Jangly rock swagger.


The ghost of Glenn Gould
Caressed his keys as we sat,
Mouths agape, spellbound.

Shearwater with Wye Oak at Spaceland, 4/24/10

Wye Oak

With a voice so text-
Book beautiful, her earthly charm
Befriended my ears.


Justin's fearlessness
And Thor's creativity
Sliced stereotypes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Lori Goldsten at the Echoplex, 4/20/10

Lori Goldsten

Cello challenger
Painted ominous forests
With each stroke of bow.

Wolves In The Throne Room

If they're poseurs, I
Fear legitimacy. Those
Wolves amply shook me.


Like a wakeful dream,
SO precise, SO elegant
Subconscious seduced.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Young Hunting at the Echo Curio, 4/17/10

The line up shuffle
Served to underscore their vast
Vocal improvements!

Author and Punisher at Vacation Records, 4/16/10

An industrial
Revolutionary both
Rare and impressive

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ramona (Nite Jewel) and Stellar Om Source at The Show Cave, 4/10/2010

Ramona (Nite Jewel)

Surprisingly and
Delightfully Enya-esque,
but with fangs, of course.

Stellar Om Source

Lots of "Look what my
Machines can do!" Less "Look what
I can do with them!"

The Wedding Present at the Troubadour, 4/2/10

With so much grace and
Dignity, he ripped the strings
Off that brave guitar

Bill Orcutt, Peter Kolovos and Nevai/Wolcott at Synchronicity Space, 3/27/10


Sparks of sheer genius
Intermingled with playful
Self-aware banter.

Peter Kolovos

Climactic without
Melody, the sheer force of
Sound purged our tear ducts.

Bill Orcutt

Constructed brambles
Inside our ears and then drew
Us through them, gently.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Deakin at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, 3/21/10

Distinct, his sounds, while long, were
All familiar

Jucifer at Vacation Records, 3/11/10

Deliciously hard
And viciously loud, they shook
Us all to nausea.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cold Cave and the Smith Westerns at the Echoplex, 2/18/10

Cold Cave

By adding live drums
And ROCKING, they hint that "drum
Machines have no soul" :)

Smith Westerns

Sans nomenclature,
This band gave me no reason
To remember them.

The Minx at the Redwood Bar, 2/6/10

Lady Kinks brought down
The house with winky charm and
Tuneful competence

The Soft Pack at Nomad Art Space, 1/30/10

Perhaps it was the
Exhaustion, but the scene shed
It's smugness for FUN.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

White Denim at the Troubadour, 1/19/10

All that they attempt
On the record, they pull off

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Helios and The One AM Radio at The Bootleg Theater, 1/10/10

The One AM Radio

Simplicity that
Flirted with stereotypes
But out-lovelied them


As though he weeded
Our mind's gardens and planted
His peaceful blossom

Atlas Sound at the Natural History Museum, 1/8/10

Even with guitars
Unintentionally sour,
It was still glowing.

Sun Araw at the Smell, 1/7/10

So much lushness from
Just one being that I hope
He keeps it solo

Best Coast, Dunes and Brilliant Colors at Synchronicity, 1/6/10


This band sounds so much
Like a description of the
Genre, I craved more

Brilliant Colors

Heather Lewis vibe
That complimented her fun
Legacy smartly

Best Coast

They draw a crowd for
A reason: those melodies
Cannot be buried.