Show Review: Metric @ The Palladium

Canadian indie rockers deliver guitars and grooves

March 14th, 2019
Lesley Park
Category: Lead Story, Review

Canadian indie rockers Metric are no stranger to LA or The Palladium for that matter, having played the venue previously in support of 2015’s Pagans in Vegas several years ago. Unmistakable feeling of déjà vu aside, when a band’s seventh album is as danceable and slickly produced as 2018’s Art of Doubt, it’s difficult not to want to see how it’ll fare live, particularly given Metric’s stellar live track record.

As I watched the quartet confidently taking the stage at The Palladium to the tune of “Love You Back” off the aforementioned latest release, I suddenly remembered that this is a band who has been at it for over 20 years. You’d be forgiven for not coming to that realization immediately, though; the carefree energy they exuded was raw, youthful, and infectious.

Art of Doubt fans were well-satisfied here with close to half of the set being comprised of new material the highlights of which include a blazing rendition of “Dark Saturday” which I correctly suspected would translate insanely well live and “Now or Never Now.”

Their sprawling, seven-album catalog is rife with fan favorites such as “Gold Guns Girls” (dat guitar intro though) and “Synthetica,” both of which the audience ate up with relish. The flip side though is that it has now gotten to the point where there are, by necessity, notable omissions from a packed, 18-song setlist. Pour one out for “Youth After Youth” and “Too Bad, So Sad.

Still, for longtime fans there was plenty to love. In a memorable moment, the audience was asked to vote between “Dead Disco” and “Gimme Sympathy.” After delivering a seriously stunning rendition of the latter per the crowd’s choice, frontwoman Emily Haines briefly paused before announcing “Fuck it, we’re playing ‘Dead Disco’ too,” transporting all in attendance to 2003.

“Cascades,” a track I recall falling in love with the when Metric was touring 2015’s Pagans in Vegas has settled nicely into the band’s older material with its dreamy hook and groovy vibes. And I’d be remiss not to give props to “Black Sheep,” which was featured as the memorable introduction to the secondary antagonist of cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Envy Adams (played by current Captain Marvel, Brie Larson).

But of course, the big crowd pleaser remains “Help I’m Alive” which the band played to close out the encore. If there’s a song that better shows of Haines’ vocals or spirit, I’m hard-pressed to think of it.

Although I’m no stranger to the live Metric experience, they continue to impress every time they play. Their track record for being a reliably fun time is well-tested and spotless. If you, like me, consider a night of dancing to no frills, fun indie rock to be a night well spent, then you best catch them the next time they roll through.

For more info:

Metric

Planes Mistaken for Stars at the Wiltern

Outsiders even among outsiders

February 26th, 2019
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, Review

It says something about a band that, even while opening for one of the more deliberately avant-garde acts within the scene like The Sounds of Animals Fighting, Planes Mistaken for Stars manages to stand alone. There isn’t really another band that shares the same sonic arena as the punk/post hardcore veterans. In fury and vulnerability, Planes Mistaken For Stars music is an open wound and a rabid howl cut with a deep and moving softness and on Friday night at the Wiltern, they showed nearly 1800 scene kids just what it means to truly push the bounds of music.
Continue reading…

Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal

Hope from the hot animal machine

February 19th, 2019
Lex Voight

Growing up in DC as a quiet, angry, alienated teen with an encyclopedic knowledge of cinema and an obsessive interest in music, my discovery of the oeuvre of Henry Rollins, renaissance man, was something of a revelation. My first encounter of him was actually through the cinematic medium–popping up in bit parts like Bad Boys 2 or Johnny Mnemonic or a handful of other roles, knowledge of him happened almost through osmosis before a school administrator I was friendly with placed “Smile, You’re Traveling” in my hands.
Continue reading…

Hailey Knox LAMB Sesh

From tweet to tour

January 27th, 2019
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, Video

Hailey Knox’s star is in ascendant. The Youtuber who gained recognition through retweets of a cover of “No Sunshine” has recently released her Hardwired mixtape and is gaining momentum fast. Poised, composed, and brimming with nearly uncontainable talent, she stopped by to do a quick LAMB session a while back and we are stoked to be featuring such an impressive pop songstress. Check out the video after the jump.
Continue reading…

2018: The Year Emo Went Inward

Navel-gazing with the 00’s Emo crowd

January 20th, 2019
Lex Voight

Emo has always been somewhat of a inward-looking genre. From Rites of Spring, to Capn’ Jazz to American Football to the emo boom of the mid 00’s, the genre has seemingly always been identified by the feelings of the lyricist, acting as something of an avatar for the audience to project on to and through. But rarely, perhaps with the exception of the self-parodying song names of bands like Fall Out Boy or Panic! At the Disco, has emo gotten as obviously meta and self-legacy aware as we saw from 2018, for both good and ill.
Continue reading…

Snapcase @ the Observatory

A night of unlearning

Lex Voight

With the number of times I can call a band “legendary,” one might think that the hardcore scene is nothing but legends. But here again, is the monicker accurate for the Buffalo hardcore stalwarts Snapcase. Gather together a large group of the bands who have influenced the most recent crop–your Converges, your Modern Life is Wars, your Have Hearts–and ask them the bands that influenced them. Nine times out of ten, Snapcase would be name dropped. The Victory band’s Lookingglassself and Progression Through Unlearning are seminal hardcore touchstones–eternal classics that cemented their legacy in the hardcore hall of legends. This was hardcore approached in a new way–angular, intelligent but lacking none of the brutality of their peers. This was a new way of doing things that created a sea change in the scene at the time and spread their influence beyond the confines of the genre.
Continue reading…

On Jeff Goldblum and the Myth of Hollywood

A joyful emcee and a night of jazz

December 26th, 2018
Lex Voight

Growing up, those of us who don’t live in or near LA are taught, through media, two opposing myths of Hollywood. The first is an unattainable dream–an olympian pantheon where heirs and heriesses mingle with publicly worshipped demigods. Where socialites and producers clink champagne glasses in ostentatious Gatsby-like homes. It of a world apart–above and away from the cares and worries of the real world, untouched and unsullied by plebeian influence. The other is the jaded nightmare of hollywood–the crabs-in-a-bucket competition, the horrors of the casting couch and backroom deals, the narcissism and desperate pandering. And both, while true in degrees, whats struck me most after living here for the majority of a decade is not witnessing either of these opposing worlds, but in the mundanity of the wide liminal space between dream and nightmare.
Continue reading…

Emma Ruth Rundle at The Echo

Dark and dreamy and just right

December 18th, 2018
Lex Voight

Living in the modern world can be a horror. War, famine, disease, corruption, impending economic and environmental disaster, technological dissociation…its all there. But music and art have continued to proliferate at such an exponential rate that we are getting some of the best songs ever written at an increasing rate. As genre’s twist and co-mingle and meld, we are getting genres like “gothic americana” and “dark folk” that somehow also manage to rub up against drone and doom.
Continue reading…

Atreyu at the House Of Blues

The Curse is still as strong as ever

Lex Voight

Metlacore megastars Atreyu recently wrapped up their headlining tour with a hometown show in Anaheim, putting their electric rock n roll showmanship on full display. They ran through their classic hits with heavy doses from their new record showing that, despite not having invented the genre, they still are one of Metlacore’s prime purveyors. Check out the photos after the jump.
Continue reading…