Win Tickets to Arroyo Seco Weekend!

The inaugural fest in Pasadena June 24th & 25th!

June 13th, 2017
David Fisch
Category: Contest, Lead Story

The music festival season – packed and flavorful as it always is – is receiving another one in form of the cool and collected Arroyo Seco Weekend, presented by Goldenvoice!

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LAMB Session: Allie X

Promoting her debut full-length Collxtion II!

June 9th, 2017
Lex Voight

Allie X is clearly a star on the rise. The enigmatic musician has caught the attentions of everyone from Katy Perry to major fashion photographers to labels and beyond. Her debut full-length record, Collxtion II, is dropping today and to help promote it she stopped by LAMB for a brief acoustic session and interview.
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Review: Frank Iero and the Patience – Parachutes

My Chemical Romance is dead long live the Patience

May 31st, 2017
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, Review

Its been almost five years since the demise of one of emo’s brightest and most enjoyable acts, My Chemical Romance, and its a specter that still haunts the collective scene as much as it does the band’s individual musicians. Examining the My Chem crew’s collective oeuvre, however, is getting more and more interesting with each passing release. The vast majority of that oeuvre, however, is due to the ever-expanding, ever-experimenting, continuously inspired Frank Iero.
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Strange 80’s @ The Fonda

A cornucopia of stars for Sweet Relief

May 19th, 2017
Lex Voight

This past weekend was a star-studded benefit for Sweet Relief, a non profit seeking to provide healthcare for career musicians. Covering all the biggest hits of the 80’s, performers like Tenacious D, Weird Al, Sarah Silverman, Taking Back Sunday, Anberlin, Slipknot, Velvet Revolver and tons more all put on a night to remember at the Fonda.
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Interview with Taking Back Sunday

On the eve of Strange 80’s Sweet Relief Benefit

May 8th, 2017
Lex Voight

Taking Back Sunday are truly a band that needs no introduction. Anyone who hasn’t heard of them till now has been living under a massive pop-music sized rock. They may not be your bread and butter, but the impact that they have had on both popular music and punk is undeniable. The band is going to be here this Sunday, May 14th, at the Fonda Theatre with a whole host of other incredible acts including Tenacious D, Anthrax, Velvet Revolver, Weird Al and Goldfinger for “Strange 80’s” — a benefit for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
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Photo Gallery: Kiian’s “Beverly Hell” Music Video

Exclusive behind-the-scenes of the making-of

May 4th, 2017
David Fisch

Last week, Los Angeles held it’s first ever “La La Land” Day, in no doubt a nod to the recent Oscar-winning film about two loving souls making out their dreams in the City of Angels. Treacle as that is, no fear: the same week also saw the release of single “Beverly Hell” from an upcoming record by LA’s own and up-and-coming Kiian. The single practically takes the very idea of “La La Land” Day and tells it to shove it, exploring the irony of a city that produces hopes and dreams also manifests the unsightly depression and social anxiety that often comes with it.

The track is pop production on ultra, with vocals on full effect and warmth synths and crisp percussion. It lines right along with what you might expect from the “pretty people” Kiian writes about, but his lyrics juxtapose in a way that they’re sometimes hard to swallow. I’ve always held the notion that people who actually originate from LA can see right through the glam and masquerade that the city is often portrayed as, and seeing as how Kiian is a fellow Angeleno, he offers up a cynical and quite on-point view of a city that’s mostly seen through a glass prism.

You can listen to “Beverly Hell” below, ahead of the release of a music video in the near future. I was on-set in the Valley to capture some exclusive candid moments with Kiian and the filmmakers, which you can view in our gallery below.

On Thunderpussy and the Birth of New Gods

Prepare to be dominated.

May 3rd, 2017
Lex Voight

Rolling Stones. Black Sabbath. Guns N Roses. Aerosmith. Motorhead. Anthrax. Slayer. Metallica.
We music writers tend to throw around the term “rock gods” a lot. It has a way of conveying the larger-than-life, stranger-than-fiction personas of these modern legends. Their exploits approach myth, creating a new set of Western fables set against a back drop of a world at once our own and yet completely alien. A world of decadent excess populated by a cavalcade of parties, drugs, sold out stadiums, screaming or swooning fans, and above all…consummate, world-changing music.
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Show Review: Future Islands @ Apogee Studio

Samuel T. Herring is my spirit animal

Kyle B. Smith
Category: Lead Story, Review

Coinciding with this year’s edition of Coachella, there was a damn near month of top-notch shows from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and beyond.

On a recent Tuesday night in Santa Monica, Future Islands usurped the stage to record a robust 16-song live performance and interview with Jason Bentley for an upcoming broadcast on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. Sandwiched between their Sunday sets at Coachella, Baltimore’s best is on tour to support new LP, The Far Field.

In many ways, the album is a continuation of the emotional magic on Future Islands’ 2014 breakout effort, Singles. The band’s performance, too, was in step with live appearances that made them famous.

You have William Cashion’s liquidy bass grooves, Gerrit Welmers’ masterful keys and buttons work hidden under a stoic presence, and then of course, the wild card of Samuel Herring as otherworldly front man with a Victor Price growl, and a cache of moves that will make your head spin. Altogether, it’s a emotionally dizzying experience, and a sort of wistful disco for hopeless romantics.

Future Islands preceded their set (and new album) opener “Aladdin,” as they do all shows – with a team huddle and handshake. Before you knew it, Herring was snatching imaginary stars from the sky, reeling them in, and then singing to them as they sparkled in his grasp. Cashion wasted no time in bringing the room up and down staircases with a trademark circular bass line.

During “Beauty of the Road,” Herring somehow melded cutting a rug with a mimed version of a hanging himself with a noose. But he let himself off the hook, resolving to lose himself with another hybrid concoction; a joker’s-grin-turned thousand-yard-stare of longing during the desperate refrain of “Time on Her Side.”

By the fourth song, “Walking Through That Door,” Mr. Herring had self-flagellated his own skull until a bright red mark appeared as backdrop to cascading beads of sweat. Ever loathe to rest, he turned outward and worked the front row like a politician, singing eye-to-eye with audience members, then lunging side to side like a skulking speed skater.

The set included all but one song off of The Far Field. Touring drummer Mike Lowry laid down excellent work on new one, “Day Glow Fire,” which segued in to “Through the Roses.” The latter contains an affirmation that could aptly sum up the resolve in Future Islands’ ethos: we can pull through, together.

Perhaps the high point of the LP, “North Star” kicked off with a Talking Heads head-bobbing groove, and then saw Herring battling the elements for his dear against a howling synth wind.

The latter part of the set reached farther back in to the catalogue for “Seasons,” the song which buttered the band’s bread, and a few particularly emotional cuts in the encore (“Black Rose,” “Tin Man,” and the wrenchingly beautiful, “Little Dreamer”).

The evening began with a discussion between Future Islands (Herring, Cashion, and Welmers) and KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. Details are to be saved for the broadcast, but the conversation touched on Herring’s mom’s observation on the band, their unique relationship with fellow Baltimore artist Dan Deacon (and his Daffy Duck t-shirt), and Future Islands’ beginnings “in the neon days of the early 00’s,” as “wild feral children with crazy ideas.”

For a relatively brief exchange, the interview sheds much light on the history and inner workings of the group, and how the “succinctness of form” in The Far Field is a logical output at this point in their evolution. Listen in, and find out which new song contains a discrete shout out to James Taylor.

KCRW will broadcast portions of Future Islands’ set and interview on Morning Becomes Eclectic on Tuesday, May 9.

Future Islands is back in LA at the Greek Theater on September 19.

All photos by Brian Feinzimer

KCRW’s Apogee Sessions featuring Future Islands Setlist

Aladdin
Beauty of the Road
Time on Her Side
Walking Through That Door
Ran
Cave
Candles
Day Glow Fire
Through the Roses
Ancient Water
North Star
Seasons
Balance
______________

Black Rose
Tin Man
Little Dreamer

For more information:

Future Islands
KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic

Show Review: John Mayer @ The Forum

The humbled icon returns to the spotlight!

April 26th, 2017
Zein Khleif
Category: Lead Story, Review

It’s by the grace of the Gods that I was able to attend John Mayer’s The Search for Everything Tour twice in the last three weeks. The first time, in Washington D.C., I spent the entire two hours with my mouth agape at the pure, unadulterated talent in front of me. The second time, at Inglewood’s The Forum on April 21st, my mouth definitely did not close, but it is with triumphant pride I announce I was able to keep it together just enough to take some photos and notes for this review!

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Show Review: Empire of the Sun @ The Shrine

Antipodeans awe and amaze Angelenos

April 24th, 2017
Lesley Park
Category: Lead Story, Review

Coachella 2017 came and went, and with it came this year’s iteration of Localchella, a series of concerts in and around the LA area featuring some of the acts set to grace one of the many stages at the world’s premiere desert festival. Last Wednesday at The Shrine marked the Antipodean invasion with New Zealand’s Broods and Australia’s Empire of the Sun taking a brief hiatus from the sweltering Indio sun to dazzle Angelenos in between the festival’s two weekends.

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