Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Cambodian Rap Is Starting to Blow Up in Long Beach

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Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 8:43 AM

In May, two Long Beach rappers released a music video for "I'm a Cambo" — an anthem to their shared Cambodian heritage, in the style of Jermaine Dupri’s “Welcome to Atlanta” or Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.”

In the video (below), the two emcees stand near a rooftop pool in downtown Long Beach wearing flat-billed hats and tank tops, rapping over a club-ready beat similar to YG’s “Who Do You Love?” as slow-motion clips from Long Beach’s Cambodian New Year parade flicker past.

As with any good summer anthem, the chorus comes hard, fast and often. It’s a little rough, but its phrasing is infectious, and its message is at once a rallying cry for those who understand what it means to be a Cambodian in Southern California and an aggressive introduction for those who don’t. I’m a motherfuckin’ Cambo/Go hard in the paint/Hennessy is all I drink/I’m a motherfuckin’ Cambo ...

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  • Courtesy of the label
  • Shabazz Palaces
Shabazz Palaces
The Roxy
July 30, 2014

Back in 2011, long before Yeezus and Skrillex's song on the A$AP Rocky' album, Seattle-based hip hop collective Shabazz Palaces put out Black Up, a powerhouse that heralded the coming love affair between rap and EDM.

Pairing Digable Planets' Ishmael Butler's verging-on-pretentious lyrics (how many other guys could pull off the word "sepulcher"?) with gauzy loops, psychedelic crescendos and Tendai Maraire's Zimbabwe-infused percussion, the duo quickly garnered critical acclaim and artsy fans. 

Last night, two days after releasing their much-anticipated sophomore studio album, Lese Majesty, Butler and Maraire treated a multicultural crowd at the Roxy to their first L.A. concert since 2012.

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[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 am in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who’s driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about a hot air balloon. This is our rolling production office between locations.

We are in the homestretch of shooting 10 Things You Don’t Know About for H2. Only another month or so left to go. Our remaining locations will be in Colorado, Nevada and California. The next few weeks will be extremely hot.

Last night, we were in Lamar, Colorado. It was 98 degrees when we pulled in in the early evening. The multihour drive from the Denver airport was quite moving. Small towns with closed theaters, gas stations and department stores appeared out of nowhere. As quickly, they vanished.

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See Saturday: Best Coast at Burger a-Go-Go! - PHOTO COURTESY OF WICHITA RECORDINGS
  • Photo courtesy of Wichita Recordings
  • See Saturday: Best Coast at Burger a-Go-Go!
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, August 1

Arcade Fire
These days when you think Arcade Fire, it’s all mirrors and Reflektors. But Arcade Fire wasn’t always confetti and dancing. Thirteen years after forming, the Canadian art rockers are pioneers of 21st-century indie music, traversing themes of organized religion, coming of age, hope, nostalgia and death. Their sound is known for being lush and dramatic, celebrating true musicianship in complex instrumentals with everything from harps to xylophones and even a hurdy-gurdy. Their enthusiastic nature, led by husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, empowers their audience, both live and recorded, with an unforgettable experience. While this tour glitters with their most recent release, longtime fans will be graced with a mix of older songs, some even dating back to the band’s first EP, reworked and revitalized with dance-paced tem and pos. Also Saturday, August 2. —Britt Witt

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mr. T's Bowl Parking Lot Entrance - PHOTO BY ART TAVANA
  • Photo by Art Tavana
  • Mr. T's Bowl Parking Lot Entrance
It's official: The 1933 Group, who "design and build fancy drinkeries" in L.A., will soon be remodeling Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park into the new and more glamorous "Highland Park Bowl." 

"At Highland Park Bowl, we plan on continuing the legacy of live music when it was Mr. T's," says Dimitri Komarov, co-owner of the 1933 Group. "We'll be restoring the original eight vintage bowling lanes and will bring the space back to its original glory when it was Highland Park Bowl."

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  • Photo courtesy of Sub Pop Records.
  • Clipping.
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. Follow him on twitter and also check out his archives.]

No one could decipher Clipping. While recording last year’s Midcity, the noise-rap trio emailed feelers to friends and labels. The response was as meek as the music was loud.

“Everyone wrote me back and said, ‘I don’t know who this is for,’ ” Jonathan Snipes reflects amidst the clutter of his Mid-City living room, overlooking the rush-hour clank of the westbound 10 freeway.

Board games, vinyl records and cassettes are everywhere. An empty snake tank lurks in a corner. “Indie-rock guys, breakcore, techno or noise labels — none of them got it or liked it.”

The druid-bearded producer and sometime sound designer huddles around a coffee table next to his partners. Daveed Diggs is Clipping.’s rapper. William Hutson is the other pin in the production nail-bomb squad behind last month’s CLPPNG, their debut on respected indie rock–leaning imprint Sub Pop.

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  • Timothy Norris
Hard Summer goes down this weekend at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, and it has a more stacked lineup than ever. The event is sold out, and ravers everywhere are tweeting their excitement. But with so many options, how do you decide which acts to see?

Below are the five must-see acts for the weekend. Make sure to check back in with West Coast Sound on Monday for a full recap of the event. 

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  • Courtesy of Process Media
Pacific Ocean Park profiles the former Venice Beach theme park that, for a time in the early-to-mid-'60s, rivaled Disneyland in innovation, if not appeal.

Pacific Ocean Park (P.O.P.) closed in 1968 and was razed into the sea by 1975. But in its heyday, acts like Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash, Ritchie Valens, The Doors and The Byrds all played the pier's legendary Cheetah Club.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  • Sarah Golonka
  • The Eeries
When Los Angeles rock quartet The Eeries' brash song "Cool Kid" was played on KROQ last month, it was the first time in two years the influential Los Angeles radio station had added an unsigned band to its rotation. After discovering the cheeky ode to outsiders via tweets by Courtney Love and My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way, KROQ Music Director Lisa Worden said the song's '90s influence and snarky lyrics ("You're so hip it makes me sick") make it "totally 'KROQ'."

Almost immediately, The Eeries, who have also received public accolades from Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx and Oasis' Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, were snatched up by Interscope Records.

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  • Internet Pinball Database
I am a devoted video-game fan and a constant cheerleader for them to be considered art, but honestly I would give up most of the compelling stories and high-definition graphics in the world for the simple pinball machines. They're crafted and mechanical, and when done with a loving hand can turn almost anything into a game of skill that homages your favorite pop-culture icon.

It's like themed slot machines, but with less crying...usually.

Today we look at some of the tables that have been based on our favorite musicians.

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