Sunday, December 12, 2021

Return To Active Duty…

08 December, 2021

Excitement mounted on the short walk to the venue, with this being the first show attended since seeing Vivian Girls in October of 2019. The occasion was marked with Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound/Bachelor) serving up solo sets at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. The old opera house was the perfect venue for both.

Kicking off with pulsating take on “Not A Lot, Just Forever”, Adrianne Lenker set an intense pace, spinning her web. Playing acoustic solo is by definition a leap of faith, but a ferociously partisan crowd provided a welcome safety net. Three songs in, (post- “My Angel”), Lenker requested the house lights up, and with a better view of her tribe, continued on. 

The first half of her set was weighted heavily with tracks from 2020’s songs, including “Forwards Beckon Rebound”, a simmering “Ingydar”, “Half Return”, and “Dragon Eyes”. As she worked in Big Thief songs, the set truly became a journey, with “Sparrow”, from the forthcoming Dragon New Mountain I Believe In You, a standout. “U.F.O.F.” and “Cattails” (from 2019’s U.F.O.F.) brought the trip to a close.

Ellen Kempner opened the evening with a set skewed heavily to the most recent release of her Palehound project: 2019’s Black Friday. “Killer” and “Company”set the tone early, before dropping into “Dry Food”, the title track of her 2015 debut, and a stunning (new?) song with the refrain of “Your Boufriend’s Gun”. Overcoming technical issues, she scaled emotional peaks with the trio of “Sneakers”, “Aaron” and “Bullshit”.

It was a blessing to be back at the Lobero; they utilized every resource to survive the last two years, from grants to livestreams. Fully back in action, they were more than up to the logistical challenge, with patio entrances separated with check-in tables, let alone the venue itself. All staff and ushers were vaccinated, reinforcing the family feel. Post-show, the big artistic takeaway was, when reflecting on both artists, what songs weren’t played, and just how amazing are the catalogues they’ve built up in such a short time.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Listing To Starboard: 100 Favorite LP's 2019

Listing To Starboard:
100 Favorite LP's 2019

Capping off another year, we've upped the ante to a Top 100 this year, after years of a focus on 50. As always, too much good stuff to keep up with, and if there was one recurring theme this year as a trend, it was watching a generation in LA absolutely come into its own with a sheaf of amazing releases, including Cherry Glazerr, Sasami, Vagabon, Hand Habits, Rosie Tucker, Chasms, Jay Som, Sudan Archives, French Vanilla, Shannon Lay, Drab MajestyAutomatic, Feels, Girlpool, Potty Mouth, and the return of the Vivian Girls.
Also, we marked the end of a decade by using our yearly Title IX playlist as a launchpad for our decade in review...

Without further ado, here's 100 LP's that kept us going throughout an interesting year...

100. Mercury Rev: Bobbie Gentry’s the Delta Sweete Revisited

99. Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising

98. Girl Ray: Girl

97. Boy Scouts: Free Company

96. Club Night: What Life

95. Patience: Dizzy Spells

94. Caroline Polachek: Pang

93. Maneka: Devin

92. Seablite: Grass Stains and Novacaine

91. Moss Jaw: Embody

90. Fawns of Love: Permanent

89. Pile: Green and Gray

88. Paws: Your Church On My Bonfire

87. Hiss Golden Messenger: Terms of Surrender

86. Julia Shapiro: Perfect Version

85. Martin Frawley: Undone At 31

84. Flesh Eaters: I Used To Be Pretty

83. Great Grandpa: Four of Arrows

82. Moor Mother: Analogue Fluids of a Sonic Black Holes

81. Upset: Upset

80. Shura: Forevher

79. Mavis Staples: We Get By

78. Florist: Emily Alone

77. Bill Callahan: Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest

76. Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love

75. Kim Gordon: No Home Record

74. Lisa Prank: Perfect Love Song

73. Personal Best: What You At

72. Jade Jackson: Wilderness

71. Bethlehem Steel: (s/t)

70. Charly Bliss: Young Enough

69. Chastity: Home Made Satan

68. Titus Andronicus: An Obelisk

67. Empath: Active Listening: Night On Earth

66. Mid Air Thief: Crumbling

65. Kevin Morby: Oh My God

64. Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow

63. Sleater-Kinney: The Center Won’t Hold

62. Dream Syndicate: These Times

61. Amy Klein: Winter/Time

60. Sneaks: Highway Hypnosis

59. Mike Krol: Power Chords

58. Priests: The Seduction of Kansas

57. Mikal Cronin: Seeker

56. Nick Cave: Ghosteen

55. New Pornographers: In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights

54. Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock

53. Liz Brasher: Painted Image

52. Pendant: Through A Coil

51. Michael Kiwanuka: KIWANUKA

50. Sudan Archives: Athena

49. Angel Olsen: All Mirrors

48. Leggy: Let Me Know Your Moon

47. Queen of Jeans: If You’re Not Afraid, I’m Not Afraid

46. Purple Mountains: (s/t)

45. Big Thief: UFOF

44. Alex G: House of Sugar

43. Lizzo: Cuz I Love You

42. Vagabon: (s/t)

41. Mannequin Pussy: Patience

40. Jay Som: Anak Ko

39. Shannon Lay: August

38. DJ Shadow: Our Pathetic Age

37. Tacocat: This Mess Is A Place

36. Flying Lotus: Flamagra

35. Palehound: Black Friday

34. Halfsour: Sticky

33. Cuco: Para Mi

32. Jeanines: (s/t)

31. Control Top: Covert Contracts

30. Automatic: Signal

29. Dexter Story: Bahir

28. French Vanilla: How Am I Not Myself?

27. Necking: Cut Your Teeth

26. Drahla: Useless Coordinates

25. Anderson.Paak: Ventura

24. Lambchop: This (Is What I wanted To Tell You)

23: Cate Le Bon: Reward

22. Radiator Hospital: Sings ‘Music For Daydreaming’

21. Marika Hackman: Any Human Friend

20. Feels: Post Earth

19. Pip Blom: Boat

18. Cherry Glazerr: Stuffed and Ready

17. Vivian Girls: Memory

16. Laura Stevenson: The Big Freeze

15. Girlpool: What Chaos Is Imaginary

14. Martha: Love Keeps Kicking

13. Potty Mouth: SNAFU

12. Big Thief: Two Hands

11. Stef Chura: Midnight

10. Black Belt Eagle Scout: At The Party With My Brown Friends

9. Drab Majesty: Modern Mirror

8. Tropical Fuck Storm: Braindrops

7. Rosie Tucker: Never Not Never Not Never Not

6. Hand Habits: Placeholder

5. Sasami: (s/t)

4. Chasms: The Mirage

3. Chastity Belt (s/t)

2. Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy!

1. Otoboke Beaver: Iketoma Hits