Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Eastern Conference Champions' Big Bummer

A cloud of empathetic sadness hangs low upon hearing that the Eastern Conference Champions' gear was stolen out of their van, parked overnight on a sleepy side street in Mid Wilshire.

Apparently, after wrapping up the final set in the Silverlake Lounge residency on Monday, they were staying across town near Sycamore, between 4th and 6th Streets, and awoke the next morning to find the windows smashed, gear gone, and van pretty much stripped.

We're truly, truly bummed for the band, and hope the thieves are stricken down with unspeakably horrible karma.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Softlightes Give Bitchin' Advice

I heard the Softlightes on Indie a few weeks ago and fell pretty hard for "Town Called Blue", a melancholic pop track filled with dusty drum brushes, sad echoey vocals and this ridiculously catchy little keyboard riff.

Their debut album is on iTunes, and bears the sage title: "Say No! To Being Cool Say Yes! To Being Happy". Best. Title. Ever.

They just announced a show at Tangier March 9th with El Ten Eleven and Papillon, but one can obtain a little Softlightes fix with their first video, which is so meticulously stop-motion-animated that Michel Gondry is likely planning their assassinations out of pure hotblooded jealousy.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Arthur Nicole Smith RIP

End of last week we received an email from editor/co-founder Jay Babcock stating that Arthur, the magazine he and Laris Kreslins ran for five years, had ceased publication effective immediately.

Sad. Seemed like an untimely death. And it turns out there may now be some people fighting over Arthur's corpse.

On Sunday February 25th co-founder Laris Kreslins issued the following statement:

"Dear Arthur Friends,

As of Friday, Feb. 23rd, Arthur Magazine is on indefinite hiatus. We at Lime Publishing, the current publisher, had been working toward transitioning operations to a new publisher since the start of the year. A breakdown this past week in negotiations for the future of the magazine led to an unfortunate and perplexing announcement that "Arthur is Dead."

This poorly-timed message was sent out, against explicit wishes of Lime Publishing, to the public before the staff, advertisers or contributors were notified. It was disheartening to receive distressed phone calls from dedicated people in the Arthur community, who devoted their time and creative energy on the magazine....

Laris Kreslins
Lime Publishing"

Whereas a note from Jay Babcock explains:

"Laris Kreslins insisted that I buy him out of his 50% share in Arthur [I own the other 50%] if I wanted to continue the mag since he didn't want to do it anymore [he took a full-time job elsewhere at beginning of 2007], and I couldn't raise the cash and get someone to sign the deal that Laris wanted signed. So, mag is dead. Anyways Laris has now barred me from the Arthur website/blog/mailing lists that I've maintained for the last four years, so please help me spread the word of this party to appropriate parties ... so we can party! Please come on down if you're around! Thanks -- Jay Babcock, editor/co-owner/co-founder, Arthur Magazine) AWAKE, A WAKE! Come celebrate the happy, all-too-brief life of Arthur Magazine with free giveaways and a reading featuring Molly Frances, Oliver Hall, and Peter Relic. Thursday, March 1, 7:30pm Family Bookstore, 436 N. Fairfax Avenue (across the street from Canter's Deli), Los Angeles, 90036. We look forward to seeing you there -- dressing in black not a requirement!"

Whether or not Arthur continues and if so in what form is undetermined. As for the Arthur wake on Thursday, unfortunately we can't make it and will have to send flowers instead, cause we'll be at Bob Seger at The Forum.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Syd Barrett Night- April 19th

It's almost two months away, but worth noting. At the Bordello downtown, a night of compositions of legendary Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett is in the works, featuring "20 or so of Los Angeles' finest and most fearless performers."

So far on the bill: Mezzanine Owls, Pity Party, Midnight Movies, Eleni Mandell, Irving, Priscilla Ahn, Good Listeners, Gwendolyn, Biirdie, Nora Keyes, Moon Upstairs, Big Search, Marjorie Faire, Thundersnail (Amps for Christ), Bedroom Walls, and many fact the final line up is still brewing, so stay tuned.

Chatter about some other performers being lined up is giving me heart palpitations, but I'll get my tongue cut out if I tattle.

Castledoor's Big Buzz

Affable and down-to-earth seven piece act Castledoor played the Silverlake last night, and I hear that before their folky-pop set, a sound check revealed a phantom low humming sound. Frontman Nate Cole wagged his finger to the stage behind him and announced unknowingly: "Yeah there's a big buzz up here..." earning titters from the crowd.

The sound problem was fixed, but there's a buzz alright...

I admit to YouTubing and Myspace stalking them, and giddily looking forward to the co-residency they're set to rawk with Buffalo Roam in March. Check out this show from earlier in the year: the audio's not top notch, but how can you argue with a tambourine and some Indian outfits?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Silversun Pickups do Leno

This Monday Feb. 19th, the Silversun Pickups will be playing in town- on Jay Leno. Tune in, or if you're really in the mood for a live show, I imagine you could line up at the NBC studios with some Wichita tourists for a few hours. Actually, I have no idea how that works.

They're slated to be on with Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson....but conspicuously no Paula Abdul. Maybe they'll catch up with Paula and MC Scat Cat (below) for some bar hopping afterwards though.

IN WAVES Residency...Ready your pencils.

Okay, so this is worthy of jotting down: In Waves, the dreamy, layered dark pop trio has the Fold's Tuesday residency for February, but they're hopping between the Silverlake and El Cid. So for the remaining few dates, take some notes on where to catch them- it's worth it. They're groovy.

Silverlake Lounge Tuesday, Feb 20th
El Cid, Tuesday, Feb 27th

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wires on Fire own April

When I saw Wires on Fire open for the Cold War Kids almost a year ago, I was shocked to when these four peachy youngins melted my face off with screeching rock. They'll be playing the Silverlake Lounge residency in April, which happens to have not four, but five Mondays.

April 23rd, they share a bill with the LA based jagged rock trio Qui, who has David Yow, of Scratch Acid and the Jesus Lizard, on vocals. Have a gander at this Pitchfork article for the deets.

I'm In Love -- with your Lasagna

It's Valentine's Day, and love/unrequited obsession is in the air. My object of constant, drooly preoccupation these days is a little nook named Elf - a new Echo Park eatery on Sunset near Alvarado.

Leave me alone- I can totally be in love with a restaurant.

Founded and staffed by the members of ethereal psychedelic band Viva K, Elf Cafe features organic vegetarian food and a cozy mellow setting. The open kitchen is tiny and immaculate, and gives a view of the meticulous preparations of phyllo dough tarts, pressed whole wheat sandwiches, and some sort of vegetarian Greek lasagna that has established itself as a craving on par with crack cocaine for me. With a ground garbanzo filling, rich white sauce and a hint of nutmeg, this effing pastitso lasagna was seriously the best part about my week.

They'll even uncork a bottle of wine for you if you bring it, and they won't laugh when its budget merlot from 7-11. Trust me.

Elf, 2135 Sunset Blvd, (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Deserving of a High Five

Last Wednesday, I popped by the Silverlake Lounge late, just in time to catch the riveting action of the last band wrapping their cords. Mulling about for a while, I noticed a new face at the door: a tiny chick from Finland named Yenny. Or Yennie. Or Yeni, or something.

Turns out it's spelled Jenni, and not only does she man the clipboard at Fold shows, but she's also an esteemed bassist, laying down some funky rhythms for Eskimohunter, Har Mar Superstar, Junior Senior and, yep-- even Melanie C., former Spice Girl.

She's fully adorable, super nice, and apparently hella rocks too. She gets our high five of the week.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Brothels & Ukuleles: the perfect union?

I love tiny little instruments, and there's nothing like a quality whorehouse. Thursday, pixie uke-leer Janet Klein is playing with her Parlour Boys at The Bordello, which just re-opened downtown. You may have been to the spot in its former life when it was Little Pedro's, a dark little joint with a taxidermied polar bear suspended from from the ceiling by bike chains.

A few months ago, they closed and gutted the place, and its current incarnation is modeled after a lush, velvet-surfaced brothel, complete with a bed tucked in a wall nook.

Janet Klein will be performing vintage tunes on her little ukulele. But from what I understand, there will be no real hookers.

Miss Janet Klein

Monday, February 5, 2007

Eastern Conference Champions take the ring tonight

There's just something about a champion that makes you want to w00t! in victory. The nebulously dubbed, indie rock trio Eastern Conference Champions storm the Silverlake Lounge tonight, putting Mondays in a headlock for the month of February. Rumor has it that Castledoor, who open tonight but share a co-residency next month with Buffalo Roam, are pretty bitchin' too. Maybe Monday doesn't suck so much after all.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Softlightes - Heart Made of Sound

Softlightes CD Release is being held February 9th at The Fold in Tangier

Pity Party Wraps Up Residency, Happy Hollows Make Me Love Them

I dutifully attended the last show of the Pity Party's monthlong residency, because plainly: I loff them. Bizarre and electro-minimalist, they sound like the synth-y love baby of Devo and Metric. Also, I enjoy watching Maurice Robert's headband wilt slowly down his face until it falls over his eyes and he yanks it off in a flustered huff.

What I was not expecting Monday was to fall headlong in lust for the Happy Hallows, whose singer/guitarist Sarah Negahdari (dressed in white knee socks, short shorts and a billowing Edwardian blouse) screamed and shook epileptically. She thrashed her moppy bob about in fits and spasms, and every time, it fell back exactly in place, a wonder to behold. Her vocals range from melodically poppy to bursts of hooting to red faced screaming, and their track "Vietnam" featured on the Pity Party's complementary sampler, is now on continuous repeat on my Ipod. New girl crush: confirmed.

Vintagey Riffs and Celebrity Lurkers

Earl Greyhound played the Silverlake Lounge last night, and operatives tell me that it was an agoraphobe's nightmare. A line snaked out the door, and inside was thick with humans waiting for some serious rock to occur.

I caught them Tuesday night at El Cid, and the very first thing that struck me was the sight of percussive legend Ricc Sheridan's bass drum. (And his canyon of an ass crack as he bent over setting up.)

The sparkle green Ludwig kick is larger than my kitchen table, rumoured to be 97 inches in circumference, and a girl standing next to me took cellphone snapshots of Sheridan sitting down, as she giddily shreiked: "Oh my god, that thing is as tall as his boobs!" All muscle and afro (and rocking indoor sunglasses) Sheridan pounded with a ferocity that bordered on vengeful. It was violently, rhythmically gorgeous. (Aforementioned cell phone shot from the show.)

Kamara Thomas on bass fell to her knees a few times, and howled echoey back-up vocals. Tall and lankly Matt Whyte took the lead, with some serious guitar solo work.

As for last night's Silverlake Lounge show, it was peppered with Eastside luminaries: Autolux's Greg Edwards, Sia, Sharon from the Raveonettes and Giant Drag's Annie Hardy were all in attendance. Nine Black Alps, in town recording with Dave Sardy, also took in the show.

And we JUST heard that Giovanni Ribisi was caught sneaking through in the back door. We was neither booted out, nor hounded for autographs. Everyone behaved.

Giovanni gets down.

Aftermath of a Sonic Boom

Sure-- it was over a week ago, but good things warrant heralding, even after the fact.

Sonic Boom who consists soley of Pete Kember of Spaceman 3- played a psychedelic, experimental set at Silverlake Lounge on January 30th, and folks are still yammering about The Awesome that ensued.

Like a switchboard operator, he mastered over a bay of analog circuitry, stabbing cables in and out to create signals which were fed directly into the PA systems. No microphones. No computers. Pure spacey, throbbing noise.

175 people stood in stunned silence watching, and I'm so pissed I wasnt one of them. Hindsight is a bitch.