I wrote the title for this and it made me giggle silently to myself. The problem with the title is that I’m a 33 year old, with three kids and am completely responsible with a home under my belt to prove it. I throw dinner parties, birthday parties, cook for all of my friends and I can even make a killer Martini. The issue is that I’m 33 years old and still think like I’m 17 about a lot of silly things. I’ll give you a few examples to explain, the most recent happening a few weeks ago.
The Pixies were in town. This is one of, if not my absolute favorite bands. Ok, it’s neck and neck with The Pixies, The Clash, Minor Threat and Black Flag – but you get the idea. Now the last few times The Pixies have been in town one of two things occurred. I got so excited that I drank too much and ended up far more drunk than I should have been and had to be babysat all night by an unhappy boyfriend and or I would get so excited that would literally not be able to stop jumping around and or would get annoyed with the people around me because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why they were all standing there staring at the most amazing band and NOT jumping around?
So The Pixies announced their Doolittle Tour and then I found out it was at The Hollywood Palladium. The HOLLYWOOD FUCKING PALLADIUM – where I spent almost every month, in my youth, watching some of the most amazing shows of all time (for the 90’s that is). I was thrilled and very much beginning to revert to the 17 year old. I was listening to Doolittle over and over again. Counting down the days till the show! However, I was also promising myself that I wouldn’t drink too much so I could really enjoy the show. I wore a cute skirt, put on some pretty make-up, and showed up on time with a friend that I had convinced needed to see this band with me. Off we went. I had a cocktail before I left the house and thought – Perfect – this is going swimmingly! Then I show up at the show and someone I know hands me a water bottle and says, “Here drink this quick” (It didn’t have water in it – by the way). So I do. Now, I am entering The Palladium and ever more excited!!! Woo-Hoo – The Pixies!!!! Then I think I should grab a beer because I am not leaving the show for anything!!! (more…)
The First No. Before tickets went on sale, I learned via Facebook that many of my friends were excited about heading to the Palladium to see The Pixies. A friend asked me if I wanted to go to one of the shows. I declined. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to go, because I had an important work deadline scheduled for the first week of November.
The Second No. With a couple days before the Palladium dates, another friend asked if I was going to see The Pixies. I responded in the negative. I stated that I just didn’t want to spend the money purchasing a ticket to an event I wasn’t sure I’d get to attend.
Maybe. Of course, with the date closing in, I was starting to feel this urge to just go. Perhaps if I just got ahead of my work, it would work out, I thought. Around this time frame, I sent an e-mail to a friend asking how Monday night at the El Rey went. She responded back by saying that she didn’t know why I was asking that question. I was a little bewildered as she had told me how excited she was to head out to the El Rey to see the White Rabbits. It dawned on her that she’d totally forgotten about the concert and demanded to know why I hadn’t reminded her about it. I was like, Is it my responsibility to remind you about a concert you were planning on attending? After our brief e-mail argument about who was responsible for remembering that Monday date, she asked if I wanted an extra ticket to see The Pixies.
The Answer is Yes. (more…)
Checking out the Pixies schedule for LA I saw that they had three dates coming up on their “Doolittle” (yep a pixies show where they play Doolittle from top to bottom) tour
11/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium ^
11/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium %
11/06 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium *
Three dates in November that would appear at first glance to be interchangeable. It’s not until you find out what the characters next to the venue symbolize that you realize the smart buy was the November 6th show.
^ = w/ No Age
% = w/ Black Gold
* = w/ Rain Machine
Not only is it a Friday show but it also has Rain Machine as an opener. For those of you who don’t know Rain Machine is the moniker for TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone’s side project. I’m a big TVOTR fan so I’m a bit biased here when I say anyone who chose 11/04 or 11/05 is a huge sucker. Rain Machine, much like the Iran side project, is an outlet for Kyp Malone to stretch his TVOTR wings and get more soulful..if that’s even humanly possible. Finally Kyp’s beard matches his sound. I mean that as a compliment. I’ve got nothing but praise for this album. Shockingly Rain Machine isn’t getting the stellar reviews that I’d expect it to…unless of course “unbalanced” and “self indulgent” are hip new adjectives when describing your love for music. Stepping away from my TVOTR man crush I suppose I can understand where they are coming from as three of the songs check in at around or over the eight minute mark…but that hardly seems like something to complain about. It would appear that TVOTR’s past successes are causing reviewers to have limitless expectations moving forward. Personally, for me, if an album has 4-5 killer songs than the album is a rousing success. Rain Machine meets and exceeds that quota. Just don’t expect heavy fuzz rocking jams. “Give Blood,” the lead single, is the most familiar track for a TVOTR fan which is a smart move. Rope the kids in with familiarity and then after that switch gears and develop a tracklist consisting of heartfelt falsetto singing accompanied by some serious churchy vibes, old school finger plucking and some Dylan-esque lyrics thrown in for good measure.
Highlights: “Give Blood,” “Smiling Black Faces,” “New Last Name,” “Leave The Lights On”
all photos by Jessy Plume for TRAffIK
The darlings of our Summer Soundtrack, Silverlake based Robotanists enjoyed a whirlwind season full of sunshine, radio airplay (KCRW), and lots of new friends. Two of the band members Sarah Ellquist and Daniel de Blanke have taken a few moments to bring you firsthand some of the highlights of their summer, as well as how they feel they’ve grown as a band. They even let you us in on what songs they wish they had written.
Daniel de Blanke – guitars, keys, songwriting
Sarah Ellquist – vocals, keys, songwriting
Preston Scott Phillips – percussion, drums, iphone
Keith Boyarsky – bass
TRAffIK: Where can we learn more about your band?
DANIEL: Google “robotanists” or go to http://robotanists.com
TRAffIK: How did you come together?
DANIEL: We were all in other bands, and then left those bands and formed this one. The social lubricant was alcohol and a fondness for screaming at the television. That, and Dostoevsky.
TRAffIK: How would you describe your sound?
DANIEL: Up-tempo sad music for amoral intellectuals
SARAH: Make-up sex
TRAffIK: How does the songwriting process work for you? Where does the inspiration come from?
SARAH: Dan and I are a song writing team, but every song is born in a different way, from a different place. I write all of the lyrics, but sometimes, I write the melody and Dan builds harmony from there, or vice versa. If either of us ever thinks that we’ve written a complete song, the other is there to edit and refine. We take everything to the rhythm section for the final seal of approval… and the rest is history. Lyrics come from a very personal place, but I try to craft them in a way that the listener can interpret as they choose. Music is a personal thing, I want listeners to make our music theirs.
DANIEL: I have three thousand song ideas that are half crafted at any given time. I generally force Sarah to listen to them until she starts singing melodic material.
TRAffIK: Lately you’ve been performing acoustically a lot more than we’d seen previously. Do you have a preference for either performing unplugged or plugged in?
SARAH: I think we all prefer the energy of playing as a full band, but performing with just an acoustic guitar is a great way to really showcase our songwriting. It’s liberating to strip things down and just let the melody and harmony dance with each other.
TRAffIK: What started this trend for you?
SARAH: I suppose you could say that most of our music starts out “acoustic” during the demo phase, but we started performing them that way after some friends of ours (the band Vanaprasta) asked us to come to the Bond St. Lounge at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills over the summer and play a few songs. The next thing we knew we were getting weekly invites to perform all over LA. (more…)
Most everyone I know has heard me say at one point or another this month that “July 2009 is dead to me.” I started off the month sick (and am still not fully recovered), dealt with car issues among other things, and just felt like I was going through it in “slow motion.” I was starting to feel like a character in the book series, Lemony Snicket’s – A Series of Unfortunate Events. I guess I can’t be “happy, go-lucky” all the time. I think it was a tough one for most everyone, there were some positives to it, which I may share at a later date. I’m just glad someone found that switch to turn on the sunshine to drown out the June gloom.
I apologize in advance for the negative tone.
Before I get into my July 2:05 pm playlist let me give an honorable mention to The Isle of View cd by The Pretenders to which I fell asleep to a lot this month and also overplayed in my car. Driving in the dark and listening to “Chill Factor, ” and “Criminal” = perfect.
With this playlist…July, I wash my hands clean of you.
August… bring it on. I’m ready.
Siria’s July 2:05 pm Playlist:
The Magic Wands – “Teenage Love”
I made an attempt to listen to more online radio this month as opposed to my own playlists and music collection. I’ve learned that I may have to stay away from Indie 103 for a while. I keep hearing the same ten songs over and over, this is one of them (I think I heard “Die a Little” by Viva Voce 3 or 4 times in an 8 or 9 hour time span, no joke).
The Beta Band – “Dry the Rain ”
The Benjy Davis Project (aka John Lee Hooker, Jr. and friends)- “Soul on Fire”
Bluesy, Jazzy, R&B – Would’ve been perfect for last month. I saw John Lee Hooker Jr. play once when I was a teenager (doubt it was the Benjy Davis Project yet), he had anywhere from 7-10 musicians on stage with him engaged in a jam session with his voice projecting loud and clear above the musical frenzy.
Satisfaction – “I Make the Dead”
Local LA band, I haven’t run into these guys in a while, to be honest I’m not sure they are still together. The energy of their shows was always fun and made you dance. I would also recommend driving around to their cd. If I could compare them to anyone you might have heard it’d possibly be the Redwalls from Chicago (who will always make me think of fall and rain in NYC)
God Help the Girl – “God Help the Girl”
When I first heard this song some time ago (probably on KCRW) I thought Who is this? What is this? I looove this!!! “There is no way I’m looking for a boyfriend,” the voice sang…that’s damn right, I thought. I’m still not sick of this (although I am going to have to stay away from Indie 103.1 so that this doesn’t change — this is one of the other 10 songs they keep playing).
Thank you Stuart Murdoch (Belle and Sebastian) for this!
A playlist of mine wouldn’t be complete without at least one country song. This is one of my new favorites. I like when female country singers have strong voices (Tanya Tucker, Lorrie Morgan, Faith Hill, Sara Evans) as opposed to poppy-produced sounding voices. Joey Martin Feek definitely has that.
Warbringer – ” Severed Reality”
I’m convinced that this song is following me. How this found it’s way into my playlist I’m not sure, but it’ll stay here. You know what I do like about music like this? The build-ups…stacking of sound if you will… just keeps climbing, climbing, climbing… building and building until it errupts
White Rabbit – “Love Never Fails”
Pedestrian – “This Pretty Girl”
This band is probably one of my local all time favorites, yet I haven’t caught them in at least 2 years …something’s wrong with that picture. Joel Shearer is one of the nicest guys. For that reason alone you shoud check out a live set.
Sonic Youth – “Antenna”
I’m not really a Sonic Youth music fan. There I said it. Now if you’ll all allow me a moment of apology…Mr. Moore I apologize for walking out of that party during SXSW a couple years back when you were about to perform your solo acoustic set, I respect you as a musician and innovator of sound, and for being an excellent conversationalist, but I just couldn’t stick it out. However, don’t worry for every one of me there are thousands that will bow in your presence “Wayne’s World” style.
Now one thing I am a fan of is Later with Jools Holland. I DVR/Tivo this all of the time. I have a lot of patience (ask anyone), really it’s insane how much patience I really do have except when it comes to two things. The first being waiting in lines (I don’t really care about being on a list, but am glad to rarely have to wait in a line. Anything more than 20 people in a single file instantly sets off my impatience trigger). The second being waiting for a band to hit the stage. Putting on music shows has spoiled me especially with Kiss or Kill where the length of time in between bands was never longer than 15-20 min. Jools has both new and established bands play one song and on to the next, and so on. No egos, no b.s., everyone is equal whether they are a new band or an established band. It’s a revolving door of music each show. This to me would be the perfect prototype for a live music show if anyone could pull it off. What a great way to cross over bands audiences. Someone get on that, I don’t have the time or energy to try it at this time.
but, I digress…here is Sonic Youth performing “Antenna” on Later with Jools Holland
The Pixies – “Head On”
I like both this version and the Jesus and the Mary Chain original
I must confess, I have a fear of seeing the Pixies live. Watching them 4 years ago at Street Scene in San Diego (which is not the best place to see this type of band anyhow) left me traumatized. It was a more than lackluster performance. The band wasn’t into the set and they kept doing covers. I had to walk away after a few songs.
Autolux – “Turnstile Blues”
Diamond Nights – “The Girl’s Attractive”
Bauhaus - “She’s in Parties”
Born Ruffians – “Hummingbird”
I’m sure there are many great bands with this type of sound out there that we haven’t yet heard, but Born Ruffians and Vampire Weekend are enough for me for now. These guys put on a fun live show, they interact well with each other and aren’t afraid to look silly or feel the songs they are performing.