Don’t be fooled by the smell of barbecue in the air, the popping lids of iced cold beer, and all the smiling people in trunks and bikinis riding bicycles. The source of their pleasure is a scorching gaseous star emitting cancerous UV rays that want to kill them. If anything, stage a revolt this summer: Stay indoors. Defy the sun by opening all the windows and finding a good book to read.
Sure, in this age of the e-reader, a whole library can be taken with you wherever you go, including to all those sunny outdoor places, but have you ever tried to get sand out of a Kindle? Me neither, but it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Plus, there are crowds to contend with. You’re better off in the comfort of your own home. Why throw rent away? The truth is, with the right reading material it won’t matter. Let books take you where you want to go. And why not start at the top with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Sure it’s over six hundred pages of dense reading, but relax, you’ve got all summer! If you don’t read it now when will you ever? Plus, it’s an adventure story. Takes place on the high seas. Perfect for the season. And quit whining about difficult reading, you’re an adult now, time to put the Harry Potter down.
Okay, maybe you’ve just got something against whales (hmm…I’m telling you, you may want to check this book out!). Maybe, you get seasick easily, or I don’t know, something else, like it’s not quite the tale you’re looking for. (more…)
Last week I went to the Hollywood Palladium for the first and last time. Security there was obtuse and overzealous. If you were to leave the floor for a refreshing bathroom break or a totally different yet equally refreshing Bud Light you were not allowed back on the floor. This led to a devolution of the bloc party party fan base. People, present company included, were doing the confused cave man gallop from the beer line back to the floor. You know the drill: head down, staring blankly into the distance, slouched shoulders, confused and unable to communicate as the exasperated security goons tries to stop you…that is until you blend into the crowd. After that he’s rendered powerless. A sea of rock Neanderthals. It was an embarrassingly juvenile tactic but when your liver and bladder are constantly calling, you have to answer. It was a great show, but i decided that night that I would never go back….only making an exception for when the Explosions in the Sky play there.
So how does this tirade relate to the Heartless Bastards? Glad you asked. They are playing tonight at my very favorite LA venue, Spaceland. I love that place. There are countless reasons why it is the bizzaro Palladium:
Cheap a*s tickets. Tonight you can the Heartless Bastards for $12 and on Thursday you can see Casxio for $8!. Compare those prices against the usual $10 Ticketmaster surcharges tacked on to your typical venue’s tickets. Steal City.
They serve PBR, Hipster’s lifewater. Cheap beer and Cheap tickets in this economy are a welcome change.
Speaking of hipsters: It’s not too often where you can walk into a bar/club and feel like I am the toughest person in the room. You can at Spaceland. The frail vegan dudes would crumble under your beer muscles…and their friends would be powerless to stop them as their tight hipster jeans render them immobile.
Size: the place doesn’t hold that many people so you know you’re going to be right in the thick of things. I’ve seen Albert Hammond Jr, Friendly Fires, and White Denim there and they’ve all been great shows. 300 people tops.
About Heartless Bastards: This is a huge intentional change of pace from the synth love fest of 2009. Discovered by the Black Keys and signed to their label, which makes sense as they share a similar low-fi bluesy sound. Luckily for the Black Keys they were never stuck with the unmatchable comparison of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith when they came out. Heartless Bastards, you were not so lucky. Definitely a throwback, almost worthy of the comparisons. According to the lead singer the name of the band comes from a question on a Mega Touch trivia quiz game at a bar. A question asked the name of Tom Petty’s backing band, and one of the options was “Tom Petty and the Heartless Bastards.” She thought it was funny, and used it when she later formed a band. I’d love to pick my band name that way…but I play Erotic Photo Hunt. I think the name “Coke Whore Spread Eagle” would be strike one in getting my band to break into the top 40. My inability to play an instrument that’s not plugged into a ps3 would be the second strike.
Highlights: “Into the Open,” “I Swallowed a Dragonfly,” “Brazen”
About Casxio: I can only judge from the four songs on their EP, but four songs is all i need. I’m sold. If these four songs are any indication of how kickass the show will be I’m suggesting you get your tickets now. It’s rare to pay such a low price for such a soulful dance party. If you want to get in on Thursday for $5 send an email to email@example.com and they’ll hook you up. I’m guessing after you hear them rock out on “Counting Squares” you’ll be more than willing to pony up that Lincoln.
I’ll see you there. I’ll be the Alpha male mean mugging at all the hipsters in their day glow sweat shirts and skinny jeans.
Highlights: “Counting Squares”, “Seventeen”
download their ep for free at casxio.com