Destroyer @ The Regent

Singer/songwriter Dan Bejar imbues mystique

January 15th, 2018
David Fisch

A baroque minstrel wandering Earth for the last twenty-plus years, Dan Bejar has crafted some of the most poetic alternative music as his project Destroyer, most recently releasing his 12th studio album ken. With each new set of songs comes a new lens on his introspection of relationships, and that follows through to his live performances.

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KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 2 @ The Forum

KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 2

December 12th, 2017
David Valera

KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas sold out event, Night 2, featured sets by Vance Joy, X Ambassadors, Franz Ferdinand, Walk, The Moon, Phoenix, Foster The People, The Lumineers, resident Weezer and The Killers. The headliner, Morrissey, unsurprisingly was a no show but The Killers made sure the fans left with “Every Day Is Like Sunday” stuck in their heads.

If you were at this year’s KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, tell me about your best experience of the night in the comments. Take care of each other and Happy Holidays.

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KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 1 @ The Forum

KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017 Night 1

December 11th, 2017
David Valera

KROQ’s annual Almost Acoustic Christmas has always been a dynamic mix of wall to wall alt-rock music. It was no surprise the 2017 Almost Acoustic Christmas was quick to sell out. With over 6 hours of music each night there was quite a mix of sonic delight with Run the Jewels, Royal Blood sprinkled in with Prophets of Rage and Rise Against topped off with QOTSA, 30 Seconds to Mars and Muse. Saturday night certainly wasn’t without a bit of drama and controversy with Josh Homme of QOTSA kicking a photographer in the head and apologized later on Instagram.

Let me know if you were there and what your favorite part of the night was in the comments. Be kind to each other and Happy Holidays.
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Tune-Yards @ Moroccan Lounge

LA is burning…with unique sounds

December 8th, 2017
Melissa Karlin
Category: Review

It was a fiery night in more ways than one this last Wednesday in Los Angeles. From the new Moroccan Lounge, found among the warehouses of downtown LA’s Arts District, Tune-Yards’s Merrill Garbus enthralled and immersed an excited audience in an earthly world with powerful lyrics, looping vocals and a sense that somehow, we were actually in the world’s coolest yoga class – we had just all had forgotten our mats.

As the set began, the base bellowed out, reverberating in the space like a scared gong, so heavy and intense the hairs on my arms shook. We were bathed in sound, anointing the collective as we entered the mystical, real and playful world of Tune-Yards. Merrill’s cropped hair complete with long bushy bangs covering her eyes, worked together to paint the picture of some kind of mysterious leader. As the lights reflected upon her and around it, it was as if she, of Tune-Yards was an intense prophet here to show us the righteous way. But, then a sly smile crept in, a laugh, and suddenly it is revealed that this is a woman who is incredibly happy to be doing the work she doing. There was a real love for the audience and the audience loved her, swaying and dancing and talking to her, her talking back to them. It was a warm world we had all stepped into.

Photos by David Fisch

But it’s not even that Tune-Yards actually is creating a world. The music of Tune-Yards is a remix of all sorts of musical cultures in the world – Western Pop, African, Jazz, Techno, Island, rap, spoken word but all bleeding together with biting political poetry. At one point, Merrill wailed out a sound that sounded like the start of the Jewish New Year, before bouncing around to deep rhythms intersecting with each other. Through it all, there was such an intense but playful joy in her performance. She rolled through some of her most popular tracks like “Water Fountains” and “Gangsta” with exuberance. They were like remixes of themselves, a call and response.

They also broke out a ton of new stuff which will be on the new record I can feel you creep into my private life, out on January 19th. It was all really interesting and exciting. I’d almost say it was like “world music” meets techno, deep rhythms and beats all layering on top of each other creating a texture that I want to describe as red earth. There’s something about it that felt primal and real and of dirt and I mean that in the best way. Like when you dip your hands into soil and the residue is left in your finger nails. It’s not always comfortable but in the end it was kinda nice. She cried out that “I have white girl skin and white girl hair” and that she uses a comb made especially for that hair. At the start of the show a lyric off the new album literally said, “California is burning” at which point she looked up and crossed her hands over her heart and the audience cheered.

I’ve always loved the way that Tune-Yards juxtaposes incredibly joyful sounds and happy rhythms with powerful political and environmental poetry. But seeing this in person, as people bounced around with her, had conversations with her and reacted to these songs, it struck me as being even more powerful. The words aren’t hollow and neither are the rhythms. They work together and that’s a part of the joy.

Didn’t get a chance to see Tune-Yards this time around? Don’t worry! They’ll be back in February for a two-night engagement at El Rey, so you can bounce around with the best of ’em in an actual ballroom. In the meantime, check out their latest single/video “ABC 123” off the new record below.

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La Louma/Object as Subject @ The Satellite

Bitchwave’s first showcase was an enormous success

Lex Voight

Ready or not, the Bitchwave is here to sweep you away. A record label founded for the purpose of fostering and mentoring female and non-binary identifying musicians and bands by members of La Louma and personal favorites Rituals of Mine, Bitchwave held its first showcase the other week at The Satellite, featuring the talents of La Louma and Object as Subject (as well as headliners The Pack AD).
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Miya Folick @ Moroccan Lounge

The rising singer-songwriter’s EP release show

David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, Review

Santa Ana singer-songwriter Miya Folick has been rising in indie circles for the past couple of years for her staggering vocals and deep-felt lyrics, releasing two EPs in that span including the recently-released Give It To Me. It’s a hot ticket to get to see her perform live; indeed, her sold-out show at the Moroccan Lounge in support of the new EP was plenty fire, considering the venue houses only so many people.

Photos by David Fisch

She and her merry minstrels performed an hour’s worth of material from her two EPs, including tunes she stated she wouldn’t ordinarily perform live, but the LA crowd was lucky enough to receive her keys/synth player. There wasn’t much to the stage other than flowers strewn across it and performance artists dancing to two tracks, but it didn’t need much more than that. The spotlight was literally all on Folick, whose voice was impeccable and her look stark.

From quieter songs like “Strange Darling” to more bombastic like “Trouble Adjusting,” Folick looked to be soaking in the moment as she shared these very personal songs with a devoted audience. She closed with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” whom she most certainly owes a debt to in regards to her vocal style.

Miya Folick will no doubt be taking to bigger stages as she has a voice and presence that can take her pretty much anywhere, but as experienced at the Moroccan Lounge at this very moment, to see and hear her in the small, beloved rooms will be the most surefire way to get her music into your head and heart.

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Miya Folick

Hundred Waters @ El Rey Theatre

The indie trio debut a new visual show in LA

December 4th, 2017
David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, Review

The music of Hundred Waters is hard to pin down. It’s at one point art rock, with breathtakingly organic instrumentation and unusual structures, and then electronic at another, rhythmically tying together moments of repetition and manipulative effects. They make music that doesn’t fit neatly in any category, which that’s perfectly fine with me. It’s their unique blend that makes them devilishly attractive, and that which you would think might translate into an equally unique live experience when they perform.

You would be right because their performance at El Rey on Friday night was as such: truly unique. Continue reading…