Monday, October 20, 2014

Hooray!



Naturally, no reunion dates are scheduled for Los Angeles.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Not re-inventing the wheel: Native America

New Orleans four-piece Native America is picking at the end of the Shins' Oh, Inverted World, with a rather reliable brand of fuzzy, retro guitar pop. There's no reinvention happening here, no innovation, and while they seemingly aspire to the dreamy, not-yet-psychedelic magic of the British Invasion period, they're unmistakably American, and unironically sunny. What Native America does well is tried and true, but lyrically and vocally, "Naturally Lazy" (below) almost reminds of the honesty of Belgian Fog's Robert Dale.

Grown Up Wrong gets released on Inflated Records on Nov. 18. They also go on tour, starting tonight!

10/17 Montevallo, AL @ Eclipse
10/18 Memphis, TN @ house show
10/19 Nashville, TN @ Stone Fox
10/20 Greensboro, NC @ Hellraiser Haus
10/21 Brooklyn, NY @ Trans Pecos (8:30 pm)
10/21 New York, NY @ Cake Shop (10:30 pm)
10/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Drom (6:45 pm)
10/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Grand Victory (10:25 pm)
10/23 Brooklyn, NY @ Muchmore’s (10:30 pm)
10/24 Brooklyn, NY @ Radio Bushwick (2:15 pm)
10/24 New York, NY @ The Delancey (5:15 pm)
10/25 New York, NY @ Piano’s (9:15 pm)
10/27 Boston, MA @ TBA
10/29 Providence, RI @ Dusk
10/30 Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar
10/31 Washington D.C. @ Paperhaus




Farewell, summer.



Summer's been over for nearly a month, but it's essentially always summer to an extent in Los Angeles (except when it isn't), and shiny, chipper pop always seems appropriate here, at least when our bands aren't making the effort to appear dark and mysterious. Which is often. So here we are, mid-October, and there's not much Halloween spirit to go around -- take a drive and you'll see very few decorations out, not really much evidence of the season. It seems perfectly appropriate, then, to celebrate this non-fall with (ironically NYC-based) Jack + Eliza, a duo whose instrumentation is similar to (L.A.-based) Girlpool, and whose sunny style would smoothly provide transition between the Mamas and the Papas and Best Coast on a summery mixtape. Jack + Eliza just released the No Wonders EP, available at their website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The east coast, by way of New Orleans



Ex-Breathers, Ovlov, Gnarwhal and Woozy have got a four-way split coming out on New Orleans-based Community Records on Nov. 18. The Ex-Breathers track is bonkers, classic hardcore, and can be heard at Impose. The new Ovlov, above, is an inch into sludge territory, almost Melvins-adjacent.

The split will be available for sale at Bandcamp! More here:

Girlpool and Slutever just released a split today!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Revisiting Ummagma



A couple months ago, I had the chance to talk a bit with Shauna McLarnon of Ummagma, a project between Canadian McLarnon and her Ukranian husband Alexander Kretov, right as the two were sorting out a way to get their family out of the Ukraine and back to Canada as the prospect of a draft started looming overhead. Said conversation resulted in this post, and McLarnon has since left Ukraine, sans Kretov.

In the month to follow, Ummagma released an album in conjunction with Moscow act Sounds of Sputnik, a debut for the latter called New Born. The album featured a combination of five original tracks and remixes of "New Born" and "Light Scheme" that ranged from club-ready (Oleg Mezherovsky) to relatively downtempo (OMD) to the rather MGMT-style closer by Mind Movies, who offered perhaps the best contribution to the second half of the album.

Mind Movies will be contributing a remixed track to the upcoming Ummagma release Kiev - The Remixes, based on "Kiev," an auditory ode to the Cocteau Twins from 2012's Antigravity that now runs parallel to the violence currently occupying Ukraine. Kiev - The Remixes gets released on Emerald & Doreen Recordings on Oct. 31.

From New Born:

Thank god for Girlpool



Amen for Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, an impossibly young duo from Los Angeles rebelling against the hordes of L.A. groups going for dark, sexy, dreamy, mysterious. Bands that go for the mysterious vibe really don't have much of anything interesting going on, in truth.

Girlpool, nothing more than guitar, bass, and honesty, are what riot grrrl was built on, and first single "Jane" is the perfect feminist follow-up to the Peppermints' "Nancy," which already, sadly, seems long forgotten. You can pre-order their Girlpool EP (released Nov. 18) here prior to visiting their Monday night residency at the Echo in December!



Psst -- they're playing with Slutever on Dec. 1.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Oscar #Worldpeace, hopefully not prompting a trend of stage names with hashtags

Kinkajous!



It's not often that a pop act gets to boast about its clarinet, but the instrument is rather sensual, understated, and underused, and so it's with a bit of enthusiasm that I get to mention Kinkajous, the work of London-based French duo Adrien Cau and Benoit Parmentier, whose electronic-jazz fusion is dreamy, dramatic, and worth so much more than a background soundtrack. Their first EP gets released October 18.

Something slightly old:



Meatbodies!

I had the opportunity to see Meatbodies during their supporting slot for Buzzcocks last month in Los Angeles, and though they're a relatively small name and perhaps best suited to a smaller setting, they fared quite well in filling the stage of the somewhat large Fonda, and in an oddly fantastic pairing, they provided excellent contrast to the polished power pop of Buzzcocks with a Castle Face-style mish-mash of zippy, lively, unpolished rock 'n roll.

Anything already written on Meatbodies mentions head Meatbody Chad Ubovich's time spent in FUZZ, as bass player alongside Ty Segall. The ties to Segall are largely apparent by the influence both he and Meatbodies have gained in Segall labelmates and comrades Thee Oh Sees; live, the guitarists of Meatbodies mimic the cartoonish movement of John Dwyer and the exaggeratedly Tiny Tim positioning of Petey Dammit, and one can really only review their style with a vocabulary fit for the comics: zip, zoom, yip, pow! The likeness is not only in appearance -- the psychedelic "Plank" and "Tremmors" could easily have fit onto Segall's Twins, while "Mountain" could've followed "Block of Ice" on The Master's Bedroom. It'd be all too easy to call Meatbodies a ripoff, but they're too genuinely good at what they do.

You can stream all of Meatbodies at NPR this week!

Here's the 7-inch version of "Mountain," off last year's split with Ty Segall.