Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wax Idols endings and beginnings

16 JUNE, 2018

In the midst of York Blvd, the old Highland Park Billiards has found a new lease on life as live music venue The Hi Hat. In a nod to it's previous life, a few of the tables remain in front by the bar, while the back has been opened up with a stage abutting the brick walls, open space in the middle and steps to sit on, attached to the sound booth facing, it's an ideal setup. Wax Idols were in town, ending this leg of tour with a release show for their latest effort, Happy Ending, out now on their own label, Etruscan Gold. As always, the biggest pleasure is watching the new songs explode in a live setting, and the set was laced with the new, capped off by a guest appearance by previous bassist Marisa Prieto, to add vocals to her contribution, "Devour". In July, the band will head south for a series of dates in Mexico.
Keeping it, as per usual, a family affair, the show also featured Houses Of Heaven and soon to be LA resident and flyer artist Foie Gras. Foie kicked off the night with a set that found a luminous side to the darkness, making room for a Brian Eno cover along the way. Houses of Heaven was a highlight last year, and have only grown since, increasing both the tightness and the immensity of their sound, with this evening's set previewing a clutch of songs on a forthcomiing LP from Felte Records.




Monday, April 30, 2018

Phosphene On The Move

28 APRIL 2018

Away from the bustle of the state capitol, Sacramento, the college town of Davis is nestled, abutting the UC Davis campus. Having been hipped awhile back by the good folks at The Owl Mag, the time was finally ripe to check out Sophia's Thai Kitchen. Spring is here, and proprietor Kevin Wan got the ball rolling on another season of live music on the patio of Sophia's, and we made the road trip up.

Phosphene came up from the Bay Area, making a rare appearance in a time of transition, pending a move to Portland, and before embarking to the studio to record a new LP. Performing as a duo live for the first time, (with bassist Kevin currently on a sojourn in Japan), Rachel and Matt worked through a intimate set, mixing old favorites like "Metric" and "Wire" plus new material, with "PDA" standing out strong. One usually gets lost in the totality of the band's sound, and this was a great opportunity to appreciate and marvel at the individual contributions of the players. Old friends, sublime music, and a full belly, one could not ask for a better Saturday night...