Album Review: Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire

Rhode Island duo returns with the LOUD

March 27th, 2015
Jay Chirinos
Category: Review
Featured

The third song on Lightning Bolt’s latest album is called “Horsepower,” and if one word can sum up the appeal of Fantasy Empire, that’s it. After five albums of a very specific and perfectly honed sound, the Rhode Island duo has suddenly upped their game not by making any significant changes to their approach, but by adding horsepower. This is the biggest they’ve ever sounded, and Fantasy Empire’s capturing of their thunderous, galloping power makes Lightning Bolt sound more essential than ever.
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Album Review: Courtney Barnett

Sometimes I Sit and Think And Sometimes I Just Sit

March 26th, 2015
Melissa Karlin
Category: Review
CourtneyBarnett_FEATURE

I don’t quite know where Courtney Barnett came from. Well, technically I do — she hails from Melbourne, the foodie capital of Australia — but she seemed to just burst onto my music radar from out of nowhere with her song “Avant Gardner.” I fell in love with the track not just because the title is hilarious, witty, and the most amazing name for a song ever, but because the track is just out of this world.
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Show Review: Rubblebucket & Vacationer @ Echoplex

A sweaty co-headlining dancefest!

Gerry Doot
Category: Review
Vacationer

The Echoplex was not as packed as it should have been Tuesday night when two bands, each boasting a massive surplus of talent, delivered a show deserving of a larger crowd that could match their intensity. Those who were in attendance, however, saw how well both bands played and will surely facilitate a larger audience the next time Rubblebucket and Vacationer stop by LA.
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Album Review: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

The return of Compton’s brightest star

March 25th, 2015
Jay Chirinos
Category: Lead Story, Review
Kendrick Lamar

More than any other modern genre, critical coverage of hip hop suffers from a need to instantly anoint something as a “classic” without allowing an appropriate amount of time for reflection. This tic was in evidence upon the release of Compton native Kendrick Lamar’s debut album, Good Kid: M.A.A.D. City (an album that left me pretty cold in truth), which seemed to have been accepted into the hip-hop canon within days of its release. It has once again been in evidence with that album’s follow-up, To Pimp A Butterfly, for which there has been a mad rush of acclaim since its surprise digital release last week.
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Festival Review: Beyond Wonderland 2015

A clusterfuck in the best and worst possible ways

Lesley Park
Category: Lead Story, Review
Beyond wonderland 2015

I’m going to start this off by tempering some expectations: this review is going to be much, much shorter than anticipated. First off, I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend day one of the two-day fête that is now Beyond Wonderland since that took place on a Friday, which meant that around the time the event started, I was two counties over plodding away at work.
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Album Review: Mark Knopfler – Tracker

Dire Straits frontman keeps us listening

March 23rd, 2015
Anthony Marks
Category: Review
01MK_Henrik_Hansen

Led by singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits have been as influential to certain genres as The Beatles were to others. Ask any ’80s rocker (or young rocker with eclectic taste), and they realize the massive respect that this man/band deserves.
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Show Review: Fritz Kalkbrenner and Co. @ Avalon

Surging house music charges the LA nightclub

March 19th, 2015
Marcus Slater
Category: Review
fritz-banner

Last weekend, all the deep house heads and “cool kids” of the EDM scene hightailed it out of Los Angeles to Crossed Fest in San Diego. “You should go!” they said. The lineup was stacked with deep house, and acid, and techno — a clear departure from the normal names that have been headlining the likes of EDC and Beyond Wonderland and yadda yadda yadda for the past few years.
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Show Review: Goldfish @ Boogleg HiFi

Live instruments + electronic music. It’s a thing.

Lesley Park
Category: Review
Goldfish

It’s been quite some time since I left a show sweaty, disheveled, and hoarse following a night of singing along whilst dancing exuberantly in the front row. But if any group was going to have me acting a fool on a Thursday night, it was going to be the insanely energetic South African duo Goldfish.
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Show Review: Eleanor Friedberger @ The Echo

The Fiery Furnaces musician plays to her own tune

March 18th, 2015
Jillian Goldfluss
Category: Review
Eleanor Friedberger

When I recently saw Eleanor Friedberger perform at The Echo, I was immediately dazzled by her charm and confidence. The astonishing singer completely transformed the atmosphere of The Echo into that of a ’70s-era, free-wheeling groovefest, and I got the impression that she felt she existed in a world in which she alone had set the precedent.
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Show Review: 2:54 @ The Echoplex

Bringing out the beauty in dark, atmospheric rock

Winnie Fan
Category: Review
2:54

Judging by their multi-layered songs and albums, 2:54 is all about creating an experience for the listener. Naturally, I was curious as to how they would build their soundscapes live, and as I found out at The Echoplex Thursday night, it all starts with creating the right atmosphere.
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