a blog about music, art, and fast times in LA from a midwestern new yorican.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I started the night by going over to Amoeba to crowd into the record store and catch the sweet and short set of Vampire Weekend. I guess these guys are all the rage right now. Their show at El Rey next month is already sold out. So maybe you wanna try to swing down to Casbah in San Diego and make a night of it. Definitely a good excuse to get out of town. They are a fun band. The indie/hipster scene keeps throwing some curve balls. The boys are from Columbia in NYC, singing about New York transit and grammar, their name sounds like a special D&D tournament event, they sport striped sweaters and vest jackets, the singers voice sounds like part peter gabriel part sting, they have zero, i repeat zero distortion, the keyboard parts sound like they could have been taken from 16 bit RPG games on the Super Nintendo, and the kids eat it up. I saw quite a few unabashedly dancing in the cramped space of the music store's aisles. When it comes down to it, the songwriting is good and makes a white boy wanna dance. They seem to be smartly taking from 80's influences that have as of yet to been given a second thought. I suggest a pairing of their video for A-Punk with a listen to Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.
Watch: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Listen:Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend
After the Ho Down at Amoeba, i ventured over to support my own personal family of bands. The newest member to the family is Robin and The Rainbows. Led by Robin Feher, and joined by Bryan Harris(the Hanks), Nathanael Balon(Rojo Trio), and my boy Lucas Guerin(Casxio) gettin down on the trumpet, as well as a few others, the band is very much in the baby stages, but was able to put on a strong debut performance. They had their first gig at Tangier, in full out Bob Dylan Big Band style. Here's some video for it, not too colorful a picture, but at least you can get a taste for the sound.
Watch: Robin and the Rainbows, "The Girl Who Broke the Hearts of a Thousand Boys"
Live at Tangier 2-4-08
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Last night I was privileged to see what has to be some of the best theatre going on in LA right now. In a cosy little theatre on Gardner just off of Sunset, a small cast of characters is putting on an intimate, inspiring original performance. Led by Leslye Headland's intoxicating writing, the cast and crew are setting out to mark IAMA Theatre Company as the new troupe in town to be reckoned with.
IAMA is currently in the midst of an ambitious project they call "The Seven Deadly Plays"; one for each sin. They state, "The goal of the series is to create work that inspires younger audiences to participate in a theatre community and to shed light on how ancient issues are still present in an ultra-modern, media-saturated and over-educated generation." Mission Accomplished. The play I saw last night, "Bachelorette", is the second in the series and the second stop and what is shaping up to be quite a ride. IAMA does not deny that the current medium of choice is film. In fact, they've opened each of their plays as if it were the opening of a movie, with credits projected on the wall and pop music blaring. But this isn't typical LA theatre that poses as a legit staging but is merely a platform to launch actors into television. This is a true play put on by trained professionals who have been keeping an ear out to what's happening around them, in their personal lives as well as the world of performing arts. All four women, with special props to Melissa Stephens, give such strong, colorful performances in such a surprisingly short time. Between Leslye's relentless dialogue, the stellar performances, and the spot on tellings of classical themes in a contemporary setting, "Bachelorette" is sure to inspire any artist living in LA.
Please, do yourself a favor and go see the play before it's over. It runs on the weekends until Feb 24th. You can buy tickets www.iamatheatre.com. If you can't make it, you're an ass. But at least you'll have 5 more chances to sin. In the mean time, enjoy some good tunes from the show.
According to Plan by I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
My Alcoholic Friends by the Dresdon Dolls
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I used to think my band sounded like Prince. That was until was until I heard the Sam Sparro EP. Casxio had the honor of opening up for Sam Sparro this past Saturday at Bordello's. It was an amazing night. Sam and and his back up Jesse put on one sexy show. The place was packed, shoulder to shoulder, long line in front, sweat dropping, feet moving, crowd cheering. The energy combined with the overly gaudy nature of Bordello made for a beautiful evening of musique.
My first visit to Sam's Myspace started on the good foot. The first thing you see is a picture that looks like Tron wearing a swimming cap with lasers shooting out of his head. Rad. Then I began to watch the video for Black & Gold. I'll admit, my first reaction to his video was a little unsure. Not in a bad way, but I wasn't gung-ho on board from the get go. Starts slow with a gold, shimmering female image emerging from a black void, swaying in true Fosse form. I wasn't sure how I felt about somebody I was about to play with starting his video bustin' some Fosse moves. But Sam didn't leave me unsure for long. Check out his video. You'll see a fine display of fashion as well as a groove that will invade the privacy of your thoughts with an unnerving frequency. Black & Gold is an easy single fav of the year. And the rest of the EP is sweet. You can hear so many different good influences, and you know this boy is coming right out of the late 80's/early 90's. I love it. And let's not forget to plug his show. Down right dirty. Beats, Fashion, Flirtations, Sweat, Sex. The show is hot. If you want to have fun, you want to dance, get to his next show.