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Monday, May 5, 2014

Kitten - PHOTO COURTESY OF ELEKTRA RECORDS
  • Photo courtesy of Elektra Records
  • Kitten
As the temperature rises, the albums coming out of California this spring and summer are pretty hot too.

From indie to punk to R&B, here are the most anticipated albums scheduled for release before fall.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Last Night

Kera and the Lesbians - The Echo - 2/3/14

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Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Kera and the Lesbians - The Echo - 2/3/14 - PHOTO BY ART TAVANA
  • Photo by Art Tavana
  • Kera and the Lesbians - The Echo - 2/3/14
Kera and the Lesbians
The Echo
February 3, 2014

Last night, Kera and the Lesbians kicked off their Monday residency at The Echo with a gypsy caravan's worth of jangling guitars and Eastern European melodies. Their set, which included cuts from their newly released Lolipop Records EP Year 23, was accented by their frontwoman's theatrics on stage; a key ingredient to playing what they call "bipolar folk," a musical style highlighted by rapid outbursts and sudden pauses, as if to jolt the senses. 

Months leading up to last night's show, stories had been circulating about the compelling, spastic performance style of frontwoman Kera Armendariz - the only lesbian in the group, actually, fronting a band that is all men. Reports from January's FOMO Fest described Kera as a 'punk rock Elvis.' The track "Nailbiter," below, features New Orleans style horns and jazz singer vocals. 


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Locals Only

Los Angeles Is the Best City For Music. Period

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Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 4:00 AM
ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREW ROBERTS
  • Illustration by Andrew Roberts
During the first week of December in Los Angeles, you could have seen, among dozens of other shows, rapper Murs on the Sunset Strip, O.C. surf-rock outfit The Growlers in Echo Park, Israeli dubstep hellion Borgore in Hollywood, Latin jazz legend Sergio Mendes at Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown, local psych rockers The Entrance Band in Silver Lake or nu-jazz experimentalist Shafiq Husayn in Highland Park.

L.A. is a mecca for pop-music fans, and it's a mecca for musicians. A 2012 study by The Atlantic senior editor Richard Florida determined our city has more musical acts than any other - both on an absolute and on a per-capita basis.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Locals Only

The Five Most Anticipated L.A. Albums This Fall

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Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Haim - PHOTO BY BELLA LIEBERBERG
  • Photo by Bella Lieberberg
  • Haim
Years are divided into seasons, and each one is three months. The latest, fall, just started!

As far as L.A. music, it's shaping up to be a winner. Big things are expected from veterans and rookies alike. Here are our picks for five you should look out for.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

EDM

Local Meteorologist Pablo Pereira Is a Huge EDM Fan

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Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 3:45 AM

Pereira with Australian DJs Nervo - PATRICK O'BRIEN
  • Patrick O'Brien
  • Pereira with Australian DJs Nervo
The title "local meteorologist" doesn't exactly conjure up images of sexy nightclubs, superstar DJs or ecstatic house beats. Pablo Pereira, however, is as well versed in DJ Mag terminology as he is at predicting SoCal's next heat wave.

Pereira, the meteorologist at L.A.'s Fox 11, has, of late, also become the station's de facto EDM expert via his coverage of Los Angeles' dance music world and the artists inhabiting it. It may seem like a strange venture for middle-aged meteorologist and family man, but fatherhood was actually Pereira's clubland point of entry. His three sons, ages 19, 22 and 28, were the ones who introduced him to the youth market phenomenon genre.

"Everyone in my house," Pereira says, "listens to Daft Punk."

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Locals Only

L.A.'s Capital Cities Are Big ... in Peru

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Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

ARMEN POGHOSYAN
  • Armen Poghosyan
In 2011, the Capital Cities' debut EP was released and got a ton of airplay ... in Peru. Catching wind of the band through the blogosphere, a station in Lima took notice of the band's upbeat, electro-pop single, "Safe and Sound," and immediately put it in heavy rotation. Shortly thereafter, Capital Cities had built such a strong cult following that they decided to make the trip to South America even though the most success they'd had in their home country was making music for television commercials.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Locals Only

Uncle Daddy: From Church Band to Whisky-Fueled Roots Rockers

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Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 4:00 AM

uncledaddy1.jpg
It's a Friday night, and Venice-based roots rock band Uncle Daddy are performing at the Troubadour for their album release show. They're set to take the stage in an hour, but mandolin player Andrew Jed is missing. It seems like a stereotypical rockstar-in-training move, but Jed's got a legit excuse -- the birth of his second child. Yet somehow, just two hours after the baby girl's birth, Jed makes it to the show, downing a shot of Maker's Mark and hitting the stage for a raucous set.

Uncle Daddy doesn't often do things the typical way. Having crafted a sound that's fully their own, they've progressed from a group of guys that formed in a non-denominational church band in 2006 to a full blown roots rock machine. But yet they stand alone in Los Angeles' music scene; they're too hard for the singer-songwriter crowd yet too emotive for the rock scene.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Locals Only

How Many Vinyl Record Stores Does the Eastside Need?

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Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 5:30 AM

HighFidelity_smaller.jpg
On a recent Saturday night in Los Feliz, a crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk outside the grand opening party for High-Fidelity, the latest entrant in the increasingly crowded field of Eastside vinyl record shops. Inside, a string quartet played Radiohead and Postal Service covers while the owner, Michael Hobson, worked the room. With his close-cropped white hair and stocky build, Hobson looks more like a retired drill sergeant than a music business lifer. But as soon as he starts proselytizing about the joys of vinyl, you know you're talking to a true believer.

"It's not really a nostalgic thing with most of the customers we have," he insists. "It's like opening a nice bottle of wine or having a nice meal. [You] put a record on and really enjoy the fidelity of it."

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Olin & the Moon
  • Olin & the Moon
See also:

*If You Don't Like Country Music You're A Blue State Elitist

*Sonia Leigh On Country Music In L.A. (Yes, It Exists)

Olin & the Moon front man David LaBrel was sitting in an airport terminal a couple of years back, waiting for his luggage, when he saw a little boy struggling at the baggage carousel. He helped the kid with his bags and then asked his name. "Olin," the boy said, and then proceeded to scamper off.

Thus was born the moniker of the band, who have a Tuesday night residency at the Echo all this month, and perform there tonight. Dave's older brother Travis LaBrel tells this story at Mohawk Bend, a new bar in Echo Park, over sips of Racer 5 IPA. Or gulps, rather. "The Moon part just came about organically," he says. "That kid was the spark." LaBrel looks something like Santa Claus, if instead of milk and cookies Santa existed off of Marlboro Reds and beer. As Olin's lead guitarist and backup vocalist, it's quite hilarious to see him singing falsetto next to his brother who is, literally, half his size.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Festivals

FMLY Fest Don't Need 
No Stinking Venues

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Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 3:30 AM

The Light Rays outside Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, in March of 2010 - DUSTIN MUENCHOW
  • Dustin Muenchow
  • The Light Rays outside Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, in March of 2010
Cameron Rath is a Charles Manson look-alike with a degree in urban sustainability. He's the mastermind behind FMLY, a gang of eco-conscious punk kids who put on bike rides and concerts in unlikely spaces.

A typical FMLY ride, held once a month, features 300 folks on bikes tearing ass along a nebulous path usually bookended by Culver City and West Adams. They hit the road in search of four or five under-the-radar bands that Rath has equipped with generators in the empty corners of the city -- such as a derelict shopping mall in Inglewood or a corporate cul-de-sac vacant after business hours. Like a treasure hunt on wheels, the riders take in half-hour sets from noiseniks like Professor Calculus or krautrockers like Religious Girls. After they've been whipped into a frenzy they hit the streets again, on their way to the next stageless miniconcert. "I have a loose definition of 'public space,' " Rath says.

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