Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Twilight Sad at the Knitting Factory. September 20, 2009. Los Angeles, CA.

Sandwiched as the meat in a marvelous all-Scottish lineup consisting also of headliner Frightened Rabbit and opener We Were Promised Jetpacks (who, like the Twilight Sad, easily could have headlined to success), the Twilight Sad recently held their second supporting slot at the Knitting Factory since 2007. Two years prior, the venue's poor sound had interfered a touch with an otherwise fantastic set, and vocalist James Graham, like an unsocialized child, had sat and huddled with his beer to skip out on the instrumental parts of songs that didn't require his talent. At 25, he's a more confident performer, still primarily facing stage right when he sings, but when not needed, standing upright and staring down his audience with piercing eyes and an almost frighteningly-confrontational spirit.

Graham's vocals were strong, his performance of “Cold Days From the Birdhouse” matching those of the alternate version that appears on the Here it Never Snowed. Afterwards it Did. EP, his beautiful brogue allowing for thickly rolled arrrs all over “I Am Taking the Train Home.” All the while, Andy MacFarlane played his gorgeous cream Jaguar almost fully with his tremolo bar, as a poker-faced Craig Orzel, donning two differently striped socks sans shoes, strummed his bass, the pair creating a dense wall of ringing noise from opener “Reflection of the Television” forward. They seem a touch happier these days, somehow, and even with the fifth member they've added, Martin Doherty (formerly) of Aereogramme, all members are so incredibly necessary, each adding his own beautiful noise.

And the lurvely We Were Promised Jetpacks:

(I will champion this band over perhaps any other in the present, and so I strongly urge you to pick up the brand spankin' new Forget the Night Ahead, as well as all other releases, EP or otherwise.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A slight detour...

Oh, Christ...

Awoke one morn a dog
saw his face on a blog
thought, "Why does this man hate me so?"
But this man compiled a book
and boy, does it cook!
So come to his signing with a pen in tow.

The details, swiped from elsewhere:

Fred Segal
8118 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
September 12, 2009

(And if you're not a supporter of bunny-bashing,
I'll put in a recommendation for
this one.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

FYF (The Fest Formerly Known As Fuck Yeah!) 2009. September 5, 2009. Los Angeles, CA.

Things that were lame about this year's FYF:
1. Resorting to hot dogs and $3 bottled water due to a lack of options.
2. The ridiculous supply of ironic sunglasses.
3. Breathing in air from downtown LA's not-quite-blue sky and kicking up dust clouds.

Things that were not lame about this year's FYF:
1. Realizing around 7pm that you were absolutely starving and that this kosher piece of meat was the best fucking hot dog you've ever eaten.
2. The cover of Dead Moon's "Walking on My Grave" coming from the Redwood Stage right around hot dog time.
3. All the nice people who were surprisingly polite while wearing said ironic sunglasses.
4. Seeing Black Lips watch the Carbonas' set from the audience.
5. Finally having a full day's worth of garage rock to bounce along to. FYF = NOT LAME!


Crystal Antlers:


Mika Miko:

The Thermals (including new hipster-beautiful drummer Westin Glass)



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blk Jks - After Robots

They're sort of doomed to receive TV on the Radio comparisons because of the way their fused sound makes them palatable to the indie crowd, not that this would be an insult in the least. And where the comparison is fairly drawn between TVotR and Johannesburg-based Blk Jks, whose Mystery EP gave a small taste earlier this year, is in their shared ability to shuffle between the peaceful and the frantic, blending at once elements of retro African percussion and brass with buzzing guitars. Well, that and the harmonies that fall gracefully into falsetto and call to mind the trade-offs between Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone.

But Blk Jks carry a heavier prog factor, led unapologetically by guitarist Lindani Buthelezi, and have no trouble transitioning from dub-style guitar to that occasionally drawn-out progressive riff (as with “Skeleton”), all the while holding their own over prominent feature from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, which takes over a great deal of rhythm on album opener “Molalatadi” prior to breaking into a duel with Buthelezi's guitar. After Robots is pure art, beautifully done all the way through, heavily influenced but undoubtedly fit for the future.

Blk Jks - Banna Bo Modimo

Download a whole mess of live tracks at Daytrotter!
See Blk Jks on tour!
Pre-order After Robots