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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Books

This New EDM Book Looks Awesome, But Will Anyone Actually Read It?

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Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM
Underground-Is-Massive.jpg
Today, HarperCollins Publishers and their Dey Street Books imprint announced the impending arrival of a new book on American EDM culture. Written by highly regarded journalist Michaelangelo Matos, it's called The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America and is due out in March of next year.

We're excited about this book. Matos, a former music editor at L.A. Weekly's sister publication Seattle Weekly and frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, NPR, and another of our sister pubs, the Village Voice, has long been one of the few U.S. music journalists who consistently writes about electronic dance music with intelligence and insight.

Still, we can't help but wonder how many EDM fans, at least here in the U.S., will actually read Matos' book.

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Joni Mitchell: One of history's most underrated guitarists. - BY ASYLUM RECORDS VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • By Asylum Records via Wikimedia Commons
  • Joni Mitchell: One of history's most underrated guitarists.
While traveling from Denver to Texas a few weeks ago, I could not stop listening to Mutiny on the Bay, the searing collection of '80s Dead Kennedys performances released in 2001; East Bay Ray, it occurred to me, is one of the most underrated guitarists in the history of rock.

To me, being underrated doesn't mean that a musician has missed out on accolades and commercial success. It means that, for whatever reason, millions of music lovers probably haven't been exposed to a certain musician's talents and thus haven't had the chance to enjoy him or her. So here — up for potential enjoyment and probably heated discussion — are ten guitarists I believe are history's most underrated.

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Purling Hiss are at Jewel's Catch One on Friday. - PHOTO BY AARON BISCOE
  • Photo by Aaron Biscoe
  • Purling Hiss are at Jewel's Catch One on Friday.
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, November 21

FKA Twigs
THE REGENT THEATER
FKA Twigs’ three releases so far — EP1, EP2 and LP1 — might be blankly titled, but there is nothing plain about the music they contain. The British singer has a delicate yet pliable voice that already sets her apart from other R&B divas. But instead of settling for a mainstream-pop backing, the former Tahliah Barnett infuses her soundscapes with layers of ethereal electronica and trip-hop. This combination of soulful warmth and synthetic ice puts FKA Twigs in the same PBR&B universe as The Weeknd and Janelle Monáe, but her sinuously yearning vocals and the arty arrangements of tracks such as “Hours” move her closer to Kate Bush’s side of the galaxy. However you try to label her, FKA Twigs is an impressive new stylist, even if she’s getting more attention lately via rumors of marriage to her celebrity boyfriend, Twilight’s Robert Pattinson. Also Saturday, Nov. 22. — Falling James

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PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[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.]

A few days before the midterm elections, I got this unsigned email:

“How are you going to feel when the Republicans take the Senate on Tuesday, just like they took the House because of your POS hero Obama? Arrogance and incompetence by that fucktard Oliar led to this so thanks for voting for the hack, LMAO!!!”

It was my first good laugh of the day. It was like getting email bombed by an energy drink–addled 13-year-old. Is there any political office you would like to occupy if this was one of your constituents?

As predicted, Republicans swept into powah! It was like a low-rent version of Ken Kesey’s Furthur bus pulling into Washington, D.C., and the Scary Pranksters emerging to kick some ass.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hip-Hop

Is Los Angeles Making the Best Hip-Hop of 2014?

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Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:15 AM
Open Mike Eagle: just one of the many L.A. rappers who killed it in 2014. - PHOTO BY JO PERRI
  • Photo by Jo Perri
  • Open Mike Eagle: just one of the many L.A. rappers who killed it in 2014.
Next month you’re going to be up to your neck in “Year’s Best” lists. It’s been a bizarre year for music, especially hip-hop. But while much of the rap world spent the year hung up on debating a white Australian's alleged cultural appropriation, and a New York teenager’s YouTube dance, Los Angeles spent the last 12 months putting out a more consistent and diverse array of hip-hop than anywhere else in the world.

Surprised? Act like you know.

Want something gangsta? Something avant-garde? Something from a new artist finally having their breakout moment? Something from a proven collective establishing their dominance? Something from a classic artist making a stellar album more than two decades after their debut? Los Angeles has you covered.

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Note: You will definitely not get high from rubbing the Spliffin vape pen provocatively over your lips. - PHOTO BY NEAVE BOZORGI
  • Photo by Neave Bozorgi
  • Note: You will definitely not get high from rubbing the Spliffin vape pen provocatively over your lips.
Several of our most trusted budtenders have been abuzz recently about a new vaporizer pen called Spliffin.

Developed by a 32-year-old Pasadena native named Sergio, who has spent much of the past decade building out cannabis grow rooms, Spliffin cartridges contain solvent-free wax and come in a variety of strains and dosages, with products catering to everyone from the in-pain baby boomer who just started smoking again to the hardcore dabber who throws back a gram of wax a day.

“We’re trying to be not just another vape pen,” Sergio says. “Right now, people don’t like smoking vapes because the hardware is terrible and the oil is bad. We need to reintroduce people who had a bad experience.”

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Namebrand - PHOTO BY PAULA DIXON
  • Photo by Paula Dixon
  • Namebrand
[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.]

Suicide City steeled Namebrand. Your GPS knows it as the east side of Long Beach, but computerized directions can’t fathom the clan warfare that has raged there since long before Snoop Dogg introduced the world to the LBC.

“Gangbanging is like suicide or Russian roulette — once you’ve made that commitment, anytime you step outside your house, you know you might not return home,” Namebrand says, explaining “Suicide City,” the centerpiece from his Great Tape II, which drops Monday, Nov. 24.

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Start stockpiling your kandi now. - PHOTO BY CHRIS VICTORIO
  • Photo by Chris Victorio
  • Start stockpiling your kandi now.
Insomniac Events has announced the 2015 dates for Electric Daisy Carnival, the EDM festival that, with over 400,000 attendees last year, can now plausibly bill itself as "North America's largest music festival."

The 19th annual EDC (and fifth since the festival moved to Las Vegas from its original home in Southern California) will take place June 19-21 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tickets will go on sale the Monday after Thanksgiving, Dec. 1, at noon Pacific Time. Three-day tickets will start at $329 plus service fees and can be purchased via LasVegas.ElectricDaisyCarnival.com.

In case you're not excited enough about this news, be sure to watch the seizure-inducing hype reel below. See you in Vegas!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jazz

East Meets West on Jessica Fichot's Dear Shanghai EP

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Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM
Jessica Fichot - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • Jessica Fichot
Like a lot of young musicians, Jessica Fichot initially wasn’t interested in her parents’ music. Growing up in France, “I only wanted to play and sing American music,” she remembers.

But when she moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, that all changed. Watching her Latino friends in her new home connect with their roots through song, she felt a similar pull.

“Somehow seeing people listen to music in Spanish made me want to listen to music in French,” she explains.

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Nope, not gonna make it (see # 4). - FLICKR/JASON SCRAGZ
Time and time again, L.A. has proved itself to be the global epicenter of live and recorded music. Bands drive here in rusted-out vans, singers flock to open mics, and every block from La Puente to Ventura has at least one garage full of dudes trying to perfect the one riff that will send them to YouTube stardom.

But with all that rocking, all those throbbing practice spaces, there are more than a few who will just fizzle out and crawl back to their respective flyover states. Here are the worst of their ilk: 

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