By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Locals Radio Vago played a paroxysmal spunk-rock set while singer and Tasmanian she-devil Adrienne Pearson lunged into Texas-Terri-size psychotic stage aerobics. From what core-depths she digs out the supernatural "Shotgun" song we will never know, but it never fails to haunt. Meanwhile, Seattle's Your Enemies Friends were the unexpected highlight of the party, though the crowd came off a little cold toward them. Through a tempestuous and grinding punk noise that at its loftiest nears the Pumpkins and at its dingiest the Misfits surfaces an old new-wave/industrial flavor like that of Nitzer Ebb or Ministry. The highlights are in the details of YEF's songs, though, such as the "Tubular Bells"like piano motif keyboardist Aska scrambles into the soundscape with mad, critical care.
Bluebird gave glimpses of its forthcoming atmospheric album by way of a 10-minute intro in which the amp waves lyriclessly diffused streams of serendipitous noise before Bryan Brown's drumbeat joined in to form a structure. By the end of their raucous set, however, it was evident that their loyalties where immured in the pillars of good old rock & roll, which is probably why they're concurrently releasing a rock album this fall as well. (Chuck Mindenhall)
COUSTEAUat the Troubadour, July 15
This is Cousteau, and this is what music sounds like when the kids are asleep. When the parents are asleep, too. They all sleep while your weird, mid-everything-listening age gets you confused about musical generations and keeps you up all night, giving you time to wonder if Cousteau's public-radio torch songs of elevator rock are the new alternative pop or the not-so-new pop revisited, with antecedents ranging from the Tindersticks to Burt Bacharach, from Brian Ferry/Roxy Music to Nick Cave, from Spandau Ballet to (you can hear it slightly when the lyrical laments fall on shaky ground) Bill Medley.
Take your pick as lead singer Liam McKahey adds more contradiction by discarding his black piano-bar suit jacket, revealing his large leather-bar biceps and forearms emblazoned with tattoos. "Now the morning breaks in showers/I'm left with the North Wind breathing down my neck," McKahey sings with his crooner's eyes closed, his baritone diving to the depths of dead starfishes and sunken treasure. The song is "Last Good Day of the Year," one of the last great songs of the last century (the British band re-recorded and domestically released their self-titled debut in late 2000). In performance, the song relinquishes some of its chamber-pop texture as songwriter and keyboardist Davey Ray Moor leaves his flügelhorn at home and lets Robin Brown's electric-guitar strings exhale the seductively sad chorus melody.
"Last Good Day" is certainly the biggest reason why the Troubadour is packed shoulder to shoulder; its re-emergence as the group's second encore would have told anyone as much. Another reason is to hear songs from Sirena, the group's recently released second album, which lacks a standout moment but is an altogether better-sounding enterprise, with some members of the crowd already knowing the words to "Nothing So Bad" and "She Bruise Easy." Missing from the set list is "One Good Reason," a song where McKahey eases up on his Scott Walker diaphragm and sings with the Adam's apple of David Bowie. That song would have really pushed for an answer: What is Cousteau's music, and why is the ocean so damn large these days? (Tommy Nguyen)
FLAMING LIPSat Amoeba Records, July 16
The 17th annual meeting of Shareholders of the Flaming Lips was held at Amoeba Records on Tuesday, July 16, 2002. Mr. Wayne Coyne, chairman of the board, singer, guitarist and composer, assumed the microphone at 6:05 p.m. The following members of the board were present: the honorable bassist/director Michael Ivins and the honorable keyboardist/director Sir Steven Drozd. Absent was honorary board member/producer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Fridmann. Also present were several other musicians/shareholders and approximately 1,500 shareholders, guests and auditors -- enough to fill the brightly lit venue back to the "Hip-Hop LPs" section. Other guests and proxy shareholders were left in line outside.
The chairman, who was wearing an eye patch, called the meeting to order. As a quorum was present, the meeting was declared properly constituted. Shareholders and guests were welcomed to the meeting and thanked for their interest in the Lips' affairs. The chairman then gave his address to the meeting. Mr. Coyne presented prerecorded audio excerpts from the Lips' annual report, titled Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which was released by Warner Bros. earlier that day to shareholders and members of the public in CD format. Particularly difficult sections of the report, including the question of the correct identity of "Yoshimi" and the specific nature of the battle with the Pink Robots, were addressed by the chairman before they were presented in unqualified format by members of the board employing a range of electronic and acoustic musical instruments.
Shareholders and guests expressed appreciation to members of the board for their new report and their dedicated service throughout the past 17 years. The chairman stated that the formal business of the meeting pursuant to the notice had been concluded, and referred to the earlier announcement that time would be provided for relevant questions and observations. One shareholder commented that a representation of a holding titled "Jesus Shootin' Heroin" (first introduced in the 1987 annual report Hear It Is) would be appreciated. Mr. Coyne addressed this comment, tabled the motion, and then moved that the board instead present other holdings that the assembled might be more familiar with. The board then presented "Waitin' for a Superman" from the Lips' 1999 report The Soft Bulletin, and "Can't Get You out of My Head," a resolution originally filed by Kylie Minogue. Cymbals rolled, Mr. Coyne sang with hands to his heart and goose bumps were distributed. Wow. As there was no further business, the chairman thanked all present for their attendance and declared the meeting terminated at 6:50 p.m. (Minutes by Jay Babcock)