The Fold, Filter Magazine, Overhead Records & Wild Tonic.com presents…
Our friends of ROBOTANISTS (http://robotanists.com or http://facebook.com/robotanists) will be performing EVERY MONDAY IN FEBRUARY in celebration of the release of their forthcoming NEW ALBUM, PLANS IN PROGRESS (official release date Feb. 15th), and now you have no excuse for not checking them out! If you need further motivation, we’ll be there for at least a couple of the shows checking them out and Del (Deltron3030 and Syffal.com) will be their guest dj tonight!
All shows are free (ages 21 and up) and take place at:
2906 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
If you aren’t familiar with them yet and need a preview, here’s a video preview of their song “On/Off the Ledge” from their forthcoming Plans in Progress and also here’s their video for “Exiled State of Mind” from their last release Shapes and Variations that our other friends Byron Turk (www.byronfever.com) and Jessy Plume (www.jessyplume.com) made for them (shot at Area11) earlier in the year.
Here are their line-ups for the month:
DEATH KIT * http://www.facebook.com/deathkit
TWILIGHT SLEEP * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twilight-Sleep/14117470125
LANTERNS (San Diego) * http://www.facebook.com/pages/LANTERNS/75570203413
+ Special Guest DJ SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE AND LISTEN (a.k.a Del LeFevre – check out his new site at http://syffal.com)
+ A live light installation by DAN GRAYSON * http://Yes-Means-Yes.com/
OH DARLING * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oh-Darling/7935272980
KISSING COUSINS * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissing-Cousins/51337431990
+ special guests
LIGHT FM * http://www.facebook.com/lightfm
HANDS * http://www.facebook.com/handssounds
THE SECRET LANGUAGE * http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-Language/142370822482838
(click on images to enlarge)
Ever since I got ahold of their new EP, “Shapes and Variations,” I’ve been a huge fan of the Robotanists. Sure, it hasn’t been a long time, but it’s been a whirlwind of a romance. If you’re a regular TRAffIK reader than you’ve read my glowing musings about Sarah, Daniel, and the rest of the Robotanists. If not, you should do yourself a favor and go read it now before you continue. Go ahead. I’ll wait…..
OK, now that we’re all up to speed….I saw them play this past weekend in a loft setting straight out of “How To Make It In America.” The Robotanists failed to disappoint…unlike that awful HBO turdfest. (Seriously, did we really need an East Coast Entourage) The band’s set list mixed in some old tracks, covers, and a new track that highlighted their rich pop driven sounds and unique arrangements . I expected to enjoy their set, and I did, but after sitting through it I went home with a newfound appreciation for the band. When listening to their recordings it is easy to get lost in Sarah Ellquist’s magnetic voice so it was refreshing to see them live and have other members stand out along with her shining vocals — most notably the driving rhythms Preston Phillips drums and Daniel de Blanke’s guitar solos. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below of them covering the INXS classic “Never Tear Us Apart. (I was going to yell out “Suck on that, Beck!” but I thought better of it. Beck seems like a guy who holds grudges and I didn’t want the Robotanists getting in the middle of that.) They rocked their set and on top of that they couldn’t have been nicer people.
I expect this band to really take off in 2010. If anyone deserves to “Make it in America” it is the Robotanists
1) “Close Down The Woods”
2) “Never Tear Us Apart” (INXS Cover)
3) “Lack There Of”
4) “Dance Dance Dance” (Lykke Li cover)
5) “How We Met Before’
6) “Wait A Minute Here”
7) “Subtlety is Underrated”
They’ll be playing a free set @ Spaceland at the end of the month. Go! For all you less frugal/lazy WestSiders (I too used to be like you) you can check them out at the Dakota Lounge on 10th & Wilshire (used to be the Temple Bar) on May 23rd.
If you’re looking to become their #1 superfan it is too late. The position has already been filled by the girl who danced throughout the entire set and belted out all the words to EVERY song and coupled them with heartfelt hand gestures that may or may not have been sign language.
The Atlantic Line followed the Robotanists and they were the pleasant surprise of the night. Check out their site where you can download their album for free
The least pleasant surprise of the night: The Blame Andy.Com guy with the shady mustache getting angry with me when I returned form the bathroom and told him he was in my seat. Imagine the Jamie Kennedy bush exchange in Harold and Kumar. It was as awkward as that. I’m still not very sure what www.blameandy.com is and I really don’t want to find out.
all photos by Andrea Carroll courtesy of Robotanists
Unlit was a somewhat exclusive traveling night time house party started by British singer/songwriter Jont that I was lucky enough to attend a couple of times back in 2005 when I’d first moved to LA, before it’s lengthy hiatus set in. Since the parties featured live acoustic musical performances, I would imagine that it was thought best to keep the guest list to a minimum and therefore only invite core supporters of the movement to ensure that they wouldn’t be shut down. These parties have taken place not only here in the states, but also regularly occur in London, England where Jont spends much of his time.
Last Saturday Lady Di and I went to a daytime installment of Unlit.
When I got the invite, I was glad to see it coming back and even though I had been under the weather I knew I had to make it. Most of you know I am a strong supporter of creators in any of the arts collaborating with their peers and building their own communities that offer support to each other. Communities of this sort serve as incubators to great talent and sadly there are never enough of them.
The return took place poolside at the home of Tony Berg in Brentwood, who graciously lent his home to the event. People sat around the pool drinking, mingling, playing catch up, and enjoying the special acoustic performances as well as dj-ing by friend Jon Hershfield (www.isgoodmusic.com. Jon credits the original Unlit parties as being “where he learned to dj from the closet of Jont’s apartment.”
(click on images to enlarge)
Jont and Jon Hershfield alternated mcing/hosting duties saying a few kind words about each artist (which included Jont, Robotanists, Marvelous Toy, and Jay Matsueda, among many other guest appearances) prior to their performances.
The great thing about shows like Unlit, where the artists are forced to perform completely stripped down versions of their songs, is that true talent is easily identified. It is always great to see bands like our old friends in the Robotanists translate over well acoustically (which is not always the case with bands that have such a full live musical sound when plugged in). However, Lead singer Sarah Ellquist had no problem projecting her voice to the audience.
This was Lady Di’s first Unlit, and I think she came away with the same appreciation for it as I had after the first time I’d attended one almost 4 years ago.
Cheers to many more Unlits!