Simian Mobile Disco stopped by the Avalon in Hollywood this past Friday for a much anticipated DJ set. The only problem was there was only one of them. I’m not sure which one it was, but I can assure you his name was James. One or two members, it didn’t matter, he still killed the crowd. The set reminded me of Chemical Brothers’ DJ Set at Coachella last year, because I have no idea what kind of space age music either artist was playing. The bespectacled James mixed in some of SMD’s original tracks with some other Electro and some minimal house that built up to some big drops. You could tell the crowd was really excited to finally see some DJ skills from SMD who usually performs “Live.” And the guy just would not quit. He outlasted the crowd playing up until 4AM. These LA kids can’t handle how hard Europeans party. And speaking of which, I’m out tomorrow for our Golden Bloggen Eurotrip! I will bringing you guys more photos, video clips, and new music from places all over Europe. Stay Tuned.
Archive for May, 2010
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery played host to Australian brother-sister duo Angus and Julia Stone last night, and it was definitely one of the strangest venues I’ve ever been to for a show. When you think cemetery you don’t think folk-rock concert, but oddly enough the venue was very fitting for the quiet, lo-fi sounds of Angus and Julia Stone. The Masonic Lodge auditorium had great acoustics, and Julia’s large, haunting voice perfectly filled the space. I’ve only recently jumped on the Stone Family bandwagon after hearing “Yellow Brick Road” on KCRW, a song off their new album Down the Way. I first thought it was a new Josh Rouse song (which is a huge compliment), but when I found out it was a duo that included an amazing female singer, I had to hear more. Hearing Julia’s voice in person was a big treat. Her vocal range was very impressive. She walked the line between Fiona Apple and CocoRosie and hit breath-taking notes effortlessly. Not only did she have an amazing voice but the girl is an amazing multi-instrumentalist. She played the guitar, sat down at the piano, and even whipped out the trumpet later in the show. And just when you thought she was had pulled out all the stops, she drops the cover of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. Really an impressive showing from this duo, whose set felt like a jam session in their living room that I was lucky enough to sit in on.
Angus & Julia Stone – Yellow Brick Road (Stream Only)
Angus & Julia Stone – You’re the One That I Want (Stream Only)
I thought I’d post something I love but that was a little different from what I’ve been blogging about recently. 2001 marked a new era in the ever dying genre of rock music. The New York garage rock revival scene was finally breaking through to the mainstream. Bands like the Strokes and Interpol were creating some serious buzz and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their self-titled EP. In 2003 they released their debut LP Fever to Tell and blew my fucking mind. How Karen O’s voice mixes the screechy with the melodic was so original and amazing I knew I’d be a fan for a long time. Their newer albums are more melodic and less screechy but I prefer their debut. Anyone can make a good pop song with a nice melody but to add the punk equation into that and do it well was a serious feat.
UK Dubstep producer Caspa recently remixed Kid Sister’s “Right Hand Hi” and I can stop listening to it. The track is pure heat. It goes thru several different transitions, I get surprised by each drop. It’s daring and original, something I haven’t been hearing a lot of recently. Caspa will be taking stage at the Sonar Music Festival in Barcelona on June 19th. I will be in attendance for that show during my Golden Bloggen Eurotrip this June. And he will also be performing back in my hometown of LA this August for HARD Summer. I wanna see what this cat is bringing to his live show. Just saw his boy Rusko rip it at Coachella, so the bar is set high. And listen to those classic tracks. The Art of Noise remix is unreal.
I got a special place in my heart for L.A. bands and I’m a sucker for all-girl groups. The Like have both covered. The Like have been playing in L.A. since the girls were in High School, which I remember because they went to high school with a lot of my friends. They started as a trio but it looks like the group is now a quartet. And they’re back with a new sound. This first single from their new album is produced by Super-producer Mark Ronson. I love damn near everything Mr. Ronson puts his magical touch on and this certain track reminds me of Stereolab. Call me crazy but I think this is the first step to The Like reaching superstar status.
There are certain bands I’d never thought I’d get a chance to see in concert. Rage Against the Machine and Paul McCartney were on that list, and I eventually saw both of them at Coachella. A-ha were also on that list, but I was able to see them celebrate their 25th Anniversary at Club Nokia last night. I’m sure everyone knows who A-ha is, but I think most people only know their hit single “Take on Me.” That was the only song I had ever heard from them until a few years ago, when I discovered that the guys were actually pretty successful abroad. They have had a number of hit albums in Europe, and are very well received in their homeland of Norway. One of their biggest accomplishments is penning the theme song to the James Bond film Living Daylights. If you record a Bond theme, you are immediately solidified in history. But I love their sound. I am a huge fan of 80’s music and their new wave, synth pop style is one of the best things to come out of the 80’s. They gave a solid 2 hour performance last night,which concluded with the amazing performance of the aforementioned “Take on Me.” Lead singer Morten Harket didn’t turn into a cartoon, but the performance was still unforgettable. I think they said it had been almost 20 years since the last time they performed in L.A. I don’t know if that’s true, but it sure was special to see them live.
I recently posted a Toro Y Moi remix of Tegan & Sara’s “Alligator,” which I thought was the best T&S remix taken from their newest album. But I’ve recently found a couple more tracks from the newcomer that are on par with his first effort. His debut single “Blessa” has really been starting to make some noise and has been getting a lot of play on LA radio station KCRW. Next week he will be performing at the El Rey in LA with fellow indie artist Caribou. If you want to be on top of your game, this is a guy you need to pay attention to. He’s only 23, but his sound is very mature and original, borrowing from other dream-pop/electronica fusers Air and M83, and adding a touch of Flying Lotus to the mix. There aren’t many artists that have this sound yet, but listening to his work, as well as his buddy Washed Out‘s stuff, I am willing to bet there will soon be a lot of followers.