Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014


Kate Nash On Her L.A.-Based Girl Gang

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Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:30 AM
The first Girl Gang meeting - PHOTO CREDIT: TESSIE NAVARRO
  • Photo credit: Tessie Navarro
  • The first Girl Gang meeting
Now a fixture on the L.A. punk scene with her all-girl band, Kate Nash is a London born and bred singer.

She was just 20 when she released her platinum-selling debut album Made of Bricks in 2007, shortly after being discovered on Myspace and championed by Lily Allen. Then chubby-cheeked with shaggy ginger-colored hair, Nash at the time was best known for her catchy break-up song “Foundations.”

But, having moved to L.A. in January, Nash nowadays rocks fishnet stockings and a black-and-blonde pin-up ‘do. She's stopped crooning about pasty-faced boys and started shrieking about the girls who “make shit happen.” Her bass-heavy female anthem “She Rules” sounds like something Bikini Kill might have recorded in the early ‘90s.

Last year she covered the Fidlar song "Cocaine," changing the lyrics and calling it "Girl Gang." It's an extension of her growing interest in feminism, punk rock and activism. In fact Girl Gang is also an actual, real-life crew, and their first event will be this Sunday at The Smell, with performances by bands including Colleen Green, Death Valley Girls, Cherry Glazerr's Hannah Uribe (a DJ set), and Nash herself.

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Fred Armisen as Ian Rubbish - SNL SCREENGRAB
  • SNL Screengrab
  • Fred Armisen as Ian Rubbish
Punk supergroup Dead Men Walking features members of The Damned, The Alarm, and The Stray Cats. When they perform this Sunday, September 14 at the Troubadour they will count among them a bunch of guests, including Duff McKagan and Fred Armisen. 

Armisen, of course, is known as the musician-turned-comedian-turned-musician who once ruled Saturday Night Live as punk legend Ian Rubbish. He took a break from filming Portlandia to talk to us about playing with his heroes, as well as a jerk who lives near him in Silver Lake.

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For the Record presents an evening inspired by Baz Luhrmann, featuring Pretty Little Liar's Janel Parrish - PHOTO COURTESY OF URBAN + ALLEN
  • Photo courtesy of Urban + Allen
  • For the Record presents an evening inspired by Baz Luhrmann, featuring Pretty Little Liar's Janel Parrish
The immersive cinematic celebration known as For the Record moved from Rockwell in Los Feliz to DBA in WeHo a few months ago, and the new venue really is a perfect fit, as the club has strived to create escapist environments since it opened. FTR pays tribute to different directors via a soundtrack-infused stage show, which always becomes a party. (We’ll never forget the Paul Thomas Anderson “Boogie Night,” that’s for sure.)

Some directors’ work seems made for reinterpretation in a club environment. Good example: Starting this Friday, a limited engagement of the acclaimed evening promises major spectacle inspired by the films of Baz Luhrmann. Watch Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet and The Great Gatsby, and you’ll see the kind of glitz this one will bring.

Stick around after the show for the equally outrageous dance party known as Cat Face, a feline-themed fete where whiskers and a triangle nose are the only dress code you need to worry about.

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Fanatics! As you hear the show Sunday, I will be in Belgium, working on a film. Not for long, I will be back in a few days.

I was very busy over the last several months, working on 10 Things You Don’t Know About for the H2 Network. To the point to where I got very behind on listening to music. All of a sudden, it was September and I was still somewhere in April. The hours we were working, it was hard to listen to many records because all I could think of was sleep and preparation for the next day.

I have been doing my best to catch up, which has been quite enjoyable. The last few nights, I have been getting up to five albums listened to before my ears wear out. It’s been great!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tech Shit

Lip-Synching Is a Plague Ruining Live Music

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Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Rihanna and Eminem at the Rose Bowl - JEREMY DEPUTAT
  • Jeremy Deputat
  • Rihanna and Eminem at the Rose Bowl
Do you enjoy live music? So do we. But a great deal of what you're hearing these days is not live at all.

In fact, backing tracks — recordings that performers lip-synch to or ghost-play to on-stage rather than performing live — have become more common than ever. 

We wrote about this at the recent Eminem and Rihanna concert at the Rose Bowl, but they are far from the only offenders.

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  • Photo by Nicole McDonald
  • Crash
Christopher "Crash" Richard tells his story of leaving New Orleans for Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina in the song "High Wall," a sparse and soulful tune, sung over emotive organs and aching guitars. 

"It tells the story of me coming here,'" says the former Deadly Syndrome frontman and current Magnetic Zero, who released his first solo album, Hardly Criminal, this summer on Community Music. He adds that, yes, the high wall in question is the levy, but there's more to it than that.

"It's more like: when disaster comes, when tragedy happens, can your protective wall ever be high enough? All the treasures we store and things that feel so important — at the end of the day they're just gone." 

He would know.

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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.]

In 2010 I saw the Joan Rivers documentary, A Piece of Work. I was curious to learn what made her tick. I always admired her comedic posture, like a journeyman boxer who takes and delivers gut punches night after night. She never seemed to take it for granted and always seemed to be hard at work, like she was just starting out. It’s the kind of tenacity that many performers eventually shed — due to everything from failure, increased comfort, or great success.

Comedy, as far as I have seen, is one of the roughest rooms of entertainment. There are a lot of funny people out there, they all want to be big, they can be very assertive, and most of them are men. And then there was Joan Rivers, who had some allies but was for the most part on her own, slugging it out.

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See Saturday: The Aquadolls - PHOTO BY GARY COPELAND
  • Photo by Gary Copeland
  • See Saturday: The Aquadolls
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, September 12

Campout X
Alt-rock bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker say goodbye to summer with the 10th edition of their annual Mojave Desert blowout, Campout. On Friday, sarcastic Santa Cruz merrymakers Camper Van Beethoven headline, uncorking tunes from their latest album, El Camino Real, a sort of musical travelogue through Southern California and Baja and a sunny counterpart to their 2013 ode to Northern California, La Costa Perdida. On Saturday night, following a set by Kyuss kingpin Brant Bjork, CVB lead singer David Lowery reconvenes Cracker with his longtime musical partner, Johnny Hickman, previewing songs from their upcoming album, Berkeley to Bakersfield. They’ll be accompanied by Cracker’s original rhythm section, Davey Faragher and Michael Urbano, and likely will revisit selections from their 1993 CD, Kerosene Hat, which was recorded in Pioneertown long before the area became hip. Also Saturday, Sept. 13. —Falling James

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fans Are Kooky

This Morrissey Karaoke Night Is Amazing (VIDEO)

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Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 AM

J.C. is a distinguished-looking gentlemen with a square jaw and a well-coiffed shock of silver hair. From a small band stage, he’s belting out The Smith’s “This Charming Man” in Spanish. “Saldría esta noche, pero no tengo nada que ponerme,” he croons.

Latino love for Morrissey is well documented, so why not? 

He finishes to applause and whoops from the packed crowd, and the emcee introduces the next singer, a younger guy named Julian, who wears a Morrissey-esque pompadour. Julian’s the lead singer of a Smiths tribute band called Strangeways, so his English-language performance of “Still Ill” is more polished than J.C.’s, but no less brimming with fanboy enthusiasm.

This is MorrisseyOKE, an all-Morrissey karaoke night at Boyle Heights bar Eastside Luv. Since it started up three years ago, MorrisseyOKE has become a monthly ritual for a close-knit group of Morrissey superfans, who make the trip to Mariachi Plaza to cheer each other on as they take turns singing Smiths and Moz tunes.

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My Dad repping Korn - ARAGORN HANSARD
  • Aragorn Hansard
  • My Dad repping Korn
Alien Ant Farm is back, with a new single. (You can hear it below.)  

Big news! At least, to a certain segment of the population. One person I knew would be particularly excited is my dad, who is named Aragorn and has a massive sword collection.

He owns the Riverside outfit's 2001 album ANThology, which spawned their famous Michael Jackson cover, "Smooth Criminal."

You can see that video below as well; I have to admit, it's pretty good. (From Wikipedia: "The song was featured in American Pie 2, during a scene wherein Jason Biggs' character, Jim, superglues his hand to his crotch.") 

We don't always agree on music (especially that time he got into dubstep), but we still love to talk about it. So I asked him why he likes Alien Ant Farm. 

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