Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beach House Live: Entering The Void

Beach House seems to be one of those all or nothing propositions. My friends, by and large, don't Abide, so for me, they're a private vice. A hard thing to quantify, it's all about the atmosphere they capture. On this second of two sold out nights at the Fonda Music Box in LA, one thing apparent is how far they've come as a live band in the last few years...

The night seemed to be a bittersweet farewell to Teen Dream, the LP they've spent the last full year supporting. It blew up beyond anyone's expectations, and was a staple of many top ten lists. Now it appears a well earned break is in the offing, and it will be interesting to see where they musically go to next...

Holding down opening duties admirably were The Papercuts, (from San Francisco), whose new LP Fading Parade has just come out on Sub Pop.

Their fuzzy dream pop was the perfect table setter for Beach House, and added to an unforgettable evening.

For more on The Papercuts, see below...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead Releases The Hounds...

'Lotus Flower' is the first video from the new LP The King Of Limbs, and as it so happens, that download code is effective right now!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Decemberists: Wiltern Theater 12 Feb 11

Saturday night heralded a sold out Wiltern Theater for the return of the Decemberists. Aided by Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), they opened with the perhaps predictable, but always satisfying "Los Angeles, I'm Yours", and once the crowd was safely in the palm of their hands, never looked back through an engaging set weighted heavily on the new LP, The King Is Dead, stripped down and tailor made for live shows.

Colin Meloy was a lively host, funning on his intros, and rueing the perception of The Hazards Of Love being too overwrought.

They capped the set with an extended 'Sixteen Military Wives' that started with Meloy grabbing an audience member's camera, and taking some shots they'll surely never forget, then devolved into a glorious singalong.

Highlights below were a beautiful take on "Grace Cathedral Hill", and a rousing version of "This Is Why We Fight".

Opening the show was the enchanting Mountain Man, three young ladies from Vermont who offered an acapella mountain music feast, occasionally adding some guitar for more color. Made The Harbor is their debut on Partisan Records.

Arcade Fire: Graduation Time...

Was the bigger suprise Arcade Fire taking the Record of the Year Grammy, (especially after losing to The Black Keys in the Alternative catagories), or the sound of thousands of hipsters gulping and realizing that there might be an iota of relevancy in those Grammys after all? Or perhaps all the pissed off mainstream types who didn't seem to be cognizant of a group that hit the top ten with it's second record and went #1 with it's third. Does that just speak more to how easily people can get lost in their own niche? A few amusing moments can be had with the Tumbler: 'Who Is Arcade Fire".

After a week of driving their hardcore fanbase mad with convoluted teasings about a secret show in LA, they appeared at the Ukranian Culture Center, to the delight of those who camped out overnight at three locations in the LA area, (including Origami Vinyl in Echo Park-those folks most assuredly earned their tickets).

Fittingly, it was said that they walked into the Grammy press room singing 'Pomp & Circumstance'. Graduation time, indeed, and in the words of Jack White, they "now belong to the world..."

Radiohead strikes again...

Seems like just a year ago, (January 2011), Radiohead was in LA doing some recording. And then...nothing. Until this morning that is, when upon waking to shake off the Grammy hangover, one was greeted with frothing on the internets.

"The King Of Limbs" will be available Saturday 19th Feb as a download, and the deluxe vinyl version will follow in May. Download is 320K MP3 or WAV file, Deluxe is 2 clear 10" vinyl, cd, artwork & choice of download file, and it's billed as 'perhaps the first Newspaper Album'. Hmmm, we shall see...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rough But Right...Sebadoh live

Sebadoh kicked off their tour last night in Santa Barbara at the Velvet Jones, throwing down a set the focused mostly on 'Bakesale' & 'Harmacy'.

Lou Barlow & Jason Loewenstein were in good form, trading instruments for each others songs, fighting a sometimes ragged mix while falling back on the goodwill of an eager audience.

Barlow seemed winded after a sparkling take on 'Ocean', noting "That song sure had a lot of words..."

With Bob sitting in on drums, (on loan from The Fiery Furnaces), the set alternated between cruise control and willing themselves forward. At sets end they were called back for a well-earned encore, admitted that they had only learned 30 songs for the tour, but managed to find a few more.

All in all, a fun start to a tour that will surely tighten up as the dates progress. Looking forward to a progress check in LA at the end of the month.