Where you just might bump into Darker My Love, the Blood Arm, Gosling & Midnight Movies!?Midnight Movies. Even a quality product is subject to upgrades, and 2006 welcomed Midnight Movies, Version 2.0. Among its new features: Frontwoman Gena Olivier is now stationed at a keyboard instead of a drum kit, handing over the percussive torch to new member Sandra Vu (who occasionally ducks out from behind her drums to trill on a flute). Bassist Ryan Wood is also a fresh addition, and the foursome — rounded out by guitarist Larry Schemel — delivers a newly intensified, ever-intelligent brand of spacey psychedelic rock. Some things never change: This nocturnally romantic outfit will always be anchored by Olivier’s powerfully haunting vocals. Dec. 16 at the Troubadour, with the Silversun Pickups. (Alie Ward) Darker My Love. After stewing in their juices for roughly seven years, psychedelic quartet Darker My Love emerged from the brine and into the light with a packed monthlong residency at Spaceland, a coveted opening slot for Wolfmother and a newly minted album. Their self-titled debut (Dangerbird) is a deliciously stoney blend of reverberating guitar, lazy vocals, and that blanket of distortion that’s become ubiquitous these days in Silver Lake/Echo Park. Live, the foursome is a sight to behold, with Tim Presley delivering some gnarly guitar solos and emitting ethereal vocals, while former Distillers drummer Andy Granelli pounds away with a mania that’s truly mesmerizing. (Alie Ward)Gosling. There’s just something about a young man in a sports jacket screaming like an ape. Over thick retro guitar and piano, Gosling frontman Davey Ingersoll’s vocals range from low, hollow throwbacks of late-’60s pop to an enraged, throat-searing wail. The mix of control and manic abandon, coupled with genuinely hooky pop choruses, ensure that the foursome’s V2 release Here is .?.?. is worthy of compulsive listening. Live, Isaac Carpenter’s peppy drumming, Mark Watrous’ hopping between keys and guitar, and Shane Middleton’s stoic and insistent bass make for an act that’s deeper than just four lads with dapper haircuts. Which, yes, they are. (Alie Ward)The Blood Arm. Yeah, Franz Ferdinand loves ’em. But why wouldn’t they? The Blood Arm’s no-frills-lotsa-thrills brand of catchy classic rawk shoots right between the eyes with sticky melodies and dramatic delivery. Live, they take audience participation to a whole other level, with singer Nathaniel Fregoso spending as much time climbing on the crowd’s heads as he does flinging himself spastically across the stage. Strokes comparisons are close but no cigar, evidenced by TBA’s recently released Lie Lover Lie (City Rockers), a grimy collection of inner-city blues that digs much deeper than that to reveal big, bleeding hearts that are pure Los Angeles. (Scott T. Sterling)
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