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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Metal

Animals As Leaders Now Has Two of the Best Young Guitarists in Metal

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Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:00 AM
Animals As Leaders (L-R: drummer Matt Garstka, guitarist Tosin Abasi, guitarist Javier Reyes) - COURTESY SUMERIAN RECORDS
  • Courtesy Sumerian Records
  • Animals As Leaders (L-R: drummer Matt Garstka, guitarist Tosin Abasi, guitarist Javier Reyes)
When we ranked The Top Five Metal Guitarists Under The Age of 30 in 2011, our comments section blew up with readers upset by the fact that we ranked Animals As Leaders mastermind Tosin Abasi number two behind Colin Marston of Behold... The Arctopus.

But in 2014, Animals As Leaders is far from a one-man show. Since joining the instrumental prog-metal group in 2009, second guitarist Javier Reyes has developed into a force to be reckoned with in his own right. The group's third album - The Joy of Motion - was released this week, and Reyes' voice is growing just as strong as Abasi's.

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Screen_Shot_2014-01-22_at_3.30.44_PM.png
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

I have lived in Los Angeles for many years and, for the last couple of decades, in Hollywood. For me, it's just where I live. Seemingly it is for some a state of mind, a "way of being." I occasionally get letters informing me that something has happened to me, that I was somehow "different before" living here.

I don't know these people and I bet they don't know what they are talking about, but I play along. I tell them that I just spent the morning hatching liberal/communist plots to plant a tree or donate to an orphanage and will be spending the afternoon with Hanoi Jane Fonda bemoaning the state of things. This usually inspires a foaming, page-long screed mentioning George Soros, Nancy Pelosi and other socialist enemies of the republic. Often, the sender signs off with a nebulous threat. " ... anytime, pussy ..."

You might as well enjoy the day - you never know when and how painfully it could all end.

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See Friday: Freddie Gibbs (with Madlib) - PHOTO BY TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Photo by Timothy Norris
  • See Friday: Freddie Gibbs (with Madlib)
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, March 28

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
EL REY THEATRE 
Ever since the late 1980s, when he led the seriously influential alt-rock band Pavement, the guitar has always been the thing for Stephen Malkmus. On his latest album with The Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags, Malkmus and his trio do indeed wig out with songs such as "Planetary Motion," whose clipped chords and poppy bounce give way to '70s guitar heroics, and the aptly titled "Surreal Teenagers," where the singer stares out into a teenage wasteland before shrouding himself in surging waves of fuzz. With its sunny horns and yacht-rock delivery, "Chartjunk" sounds like a cross between Chicago and Steely Dan, although Malkmus contrasts its AM-radio euphoria with sarcastic lyrics like "You're just connected bones." During "The Janitor Revealed," he inverts the weary resignation of Ray Davies' old song "Get Back in the Line" with a more assertive response: "Pardon me while I jump the queue/I've got much better things to do." - Falling James

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dani Buncher and Scott Simons of TeamMate - COURTESY OF ROSTRUM RECORDS
  • Courtesy of Rostrum Records
  • Dani Buncher and Scott Simons of TeamMate
For the last four months, Dani Buncher has been living on Scott Simons' couch in West Hollywood. They live with their dog, Maya, whom they love like a child. They also make up the indie-pop duo TeamMate and are fresh off of touring with the likes of OneRepublic and Skylar Grey.

They also broke up years ago, after dating for a decade, when Buncher revealed to Simons that she was gay.

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L.A. Girlfriend
  • L.A. Girlfriend
"L.A. Girlfriend is cute, but with a knife in its hand," is how Sydney Banta describes her musical alter ego. She's not kidding. L.A. Girlfriend - whose sweeping, British-influenced, throwback electro-pop makes L.A. sound like a rare sunny day in Manchester - is contrast city.

On one hand, Banta says, L.A. Girlfriend is "all about glorifying rejection." Things do get dark lyrically ("I post a lot of photos of cupcakes on social media to combat the sadness"), but the tunes themselves are irresistibly danceable, hook-driven to a point where heartache is reduced to a calmingly relatable refrain like, "Gentlemen beware/Of the things you say/She might confuse you/For somebody else who could've stayed." L.A. Girlfriend live is designed to be a warm embrace, explains Banta, who describes her music as Romantic Nouveau (think New Order meets Ladytron). "I want to make an experience where everyone is in the moment with me. L.A. Girlfriend is this person I've always wanted to be."

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YG - MEENO
  • Meeno
  • YG
In Boyz N the Hood, Doughboy and Tre were haunted by demons of the same inner-city struggle. The main difference? Their methods of survival.

One could say the same thing about YG and Kendrick Lamar. The former's debut album My Krazy Life reflects Doughboy, while Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. city updates Tre.

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Noah King - PHOTO BY MALCOLM DAVIES
  • Photo by Malcolm Davies
  • Noah King
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

It takes more than 15 seconds to think of something that can be effectively completed in 15 seconds.

That's the sprinter's time allotted to make an Instagram video - double that of Vine - but barely enough for anything but twerking clips, jokes, athletic miracles or funny cats fucking up their owner's yoga workouts.

But Noah King, a local rapper and singer, has come as close to anyone to making it an art form. Over the last few months, the West Hollywood resident dedicated 15 seconds a week to kick triple-time raps for Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard's "4 Bar Friday Series." Competing against thousands of participants, including LeBron James, King won an all-expenses trip to All-Star Weekend in New Orleans as one of eight contestants in the "4 Bar Friday" contest finals.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Metal

Why GWAR Is Important and Why Metal Will Never Be The Same Again

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Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 4:30 AM
Dave Brockie as GWAR leader Oderus Urungus (Center) - JAMIE BETTS PHOTO
  • Jamie Betts Photo
  • Dave Brockie as GWAR leader Oderus Urungus (Center)

The character of Oderus Urungus - leader of costumed heavy-metal outfit GWAR - was a loutish brute. An intergalactic space traveler hell-bent on exterminating the human race, he took great pleasure in committing brutal atrocities on the worst examples of our species during live performances.

Unfortunately for the human race, it was Dave Brockie - the man behind the mask - that passed away on Sunday night at the age of 50. He was found dead in his home in Richmond, VA. The cause of death is still undetermined.

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DJ Mustard
  • DJ Mustard
Dr. Dre's 1992 seminal solo debut The Chronic ushered in the G-Funk era, the first rise of West Coast rap on the radio.

By 1994, the Angeleno slang and trunk-rattling bounce was national. Below are the West Coast rap songs that ranked on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 in 1994:

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Metal

Heavy Rock Lives at EasyRider Records

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Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 3:30 AM
Daniel Hall - COURTESY OF EASYRIDER RECORDS
  • Courtesy of EasyRider Records
  • Daniel Hall
Is rock dead? Not at EasyRider Records, Hermosa Beach resident Daniel Hall's paean to heavy metal's golden formative days.

The label began pretty inauspiciously. A friend sent him a link to some heavy psych from Salem's Pot, EasyRider's first band. "I loved it," he says, "I wanted to know when they were going to have physical product." The band said they planned to make tapes, which then promptly sold out in five minutes. He then asked the question any hardcore fan of heavy rock asks: "When's the vinyl coming out?"

When the answer was "never," Hall set about putting it out himself, merely because he wanted it. "That was the only thing I had in mind," he says, "I just pressed up these records because I wanted them."

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