L.A. Record Player 2 w/ Moris Tepper, Restaurant (preview)

As published by L.A. Record:

FRIDAY, NOV. 30: L.A. RECORD loves you, which is why we’re bringing you the second installment in our monthly musical medley of amazingness. This month features a lineup of the kind of real-deal rockers whose energy inspires people to pick up their first guitar. When you experience the cosmic event of seeing Moris Tepper live, it’s easy to see why musical geniuses like PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Frank Black and Captain Beefheart (whose Magic Band included Tepper on albums like Bat Chain Puller and Doc At The Radar Station) gravitate to him. Spanning genres from artsy blues rock to rollicking alt-country to funky pop, Tepper’s music is fun yet sophisticated without being pretentious. Rounding out the bill are the deliciously experimental raunch-rawk sounds of Crooked Cowboy and the country tinged, foot-stompin’ stylings of Restaurant. Small Town Talk, the Los Angeles-based DJ collective of Chad Brown, Jed Maheu, and Zach Cowie, will be spinning favorite records (it is called L.A. RECORD PLAYER, after all) to ensure a night of joyful raucousness, and $3 Dewar’s all night long can’t hurt none, either. As it did last month, the show will take place at Charlie O’s, located on the bottom floor of downtown’s historic and haunted Alexandria Hotel. (LL)


Wetandry Studios benefit (preview)

As published in L.A. Record:

SUNDAY, NOV. 11: Manny Nieto loves suadero tacos almost as much as he loves making great music, and those of us who know Manny know that’s a whole lotta love. His Wetandry Studios (L.A. RECORD reader’s pick for best recording studio!) in Glassell Park which has birthed the records of some of the most beloved bands in northeast L.A. over the past eight years will be forced to relocate on Nov. 15. Manny attributes this unfortunate forced departure to his penchant for recording some of the coolest, yet loudest, bands around — 400 Blows, Circle Jerks, Darker My Love, Vaz, Horses, the Pity Party, the Breeders — and as it lived by the sword, so the studio died by the sword, with low end that rocked the other recording studios next door, forcing him to vacate. Though hoping to relocate by December, the ever-spreading trend of gentrification in these here parts is making affordability increasingly difficult. To keep an IV connected to Wetandry in the meantime, Manny is hosting two benefit shows at the Scene, showcasing the amazing bands he’s worked his studio magic on over the years. The bands who’ve come to know and love Uncle Manny were more than happy to help out. Sunday’s stellar lineup will feature Moonrats, the Pity Party, thee L.A. Gentlemen Callers, and Manny’s own utterly awesome punk band Distortion Felix (which will be opening up for She Wants Revenge the night before). Thursday will feature Monsters Are Waiting, Aztlan Underground, So So So, Horns and Sabertooth Tiger. In addition, other homies are helping out as well, including Mr. Fuck Yeah himself who in mid-December is putting a show on with 400 Blows, Darker My Love and others. Come on out, give a big hug to Manny and experience firsthand why Wetandry needs to stay alive and well. And don’t forget the suadero. (LL)


Eagle Rock Music Festival (preview) 10/6/07

As previewed for L.A. Record:

Putting the local back in local music fest, the Eagle Rock Music Festival features 40 northeast Los Angeles bands with a lineup as eclectic as the communities from which they hail. Curated by the Center for the Arts and now in its 9th year, the fest will present two main stages of global and indie music, along with more than 12 other venues hosting an array of artists spanning every musical genre known to man and hipster. On the Emerging Main Stage will be Highland Park indies the Monolators, Bodies of Water, and Teddy’s Cheer Club as well as L.A. favorites the Pity Party, Cambodian/modern pop fusionists Dengue Fever, and the impossibly energetic Under the Influence of Giants. Grammy-nominated Latin jazz artist Chuchito Valdés will grace the Global Stage, flying in all the way from Cancun as one of the evening’s only non-local performers. Also up on the world stage are Eagle Rock’s jazz/funk fusion quartet Tuesday Night Squad, Parisian chanteuse Jessica Fichot, and hip hop/reggae soulsters Black Shakespeare. The other 12 venues will host punk (the Mormons, the Mama Suki, Virginia City Revival), dub and IDM (Ded Pigeons, Dub 8), hard rock (the Front, DC4), experimental (Hecuba, weyou., Mia Doi Todd/Andres Renteria), psychobilly (the Curs), tropical folk-pop (Princeton), flamenco (Rondalla Club of L.A.), zydeco (Bennie & the Swamp Gators), interactive metal percussion (GLANK), and a reggae ice-cream truck (INI Sound System). In addition to the insane amount of music, other entertainment will include belly dancing, spoken word, martial arts demonstrations, sound and puppetry shows, capoeira arts, and hoop dancing. Get ready for a wonderful evening of neighborly camaraderie… that is, if you’re not going to that other festival. (LL)

Bedtime For Toys @ the Standard 9/22/07 (preview)

As published in L.A. Record:

Little Radio’s “Skinny Dip” party is bound to live up to its name. With this weekend marking the start of Autumn, Little Radio will be marking the occasion in true L.A. fashion: with an all-day rooftop pool party featuring an array of DJs and live bands. First on the bill is Bedtime For Toys, and if you haven’t seen them before, be forewarned that they don’t play mere shows. With their unique brand of funky neo-new wave hip-hop rawkage, every time this K-Town crew hits the stage it’s a straight up parrrr-tay. The band skillfully blends synth funk, ’80s, hip-hop and rock topped with Marchelle Bradanini’s sultry vocals, Sam Chatez’s blazing guitar riffs and Toussaint Christophe on keys and throwing down beats. With their most recent additions of Kenan “Ke Moe” Moore on the skins and Eskimohunter’s Jenni Tarma on bass, the Toys never fail to tear down the hizzy. As if this weren’t enough to guarantee some bootie shakin’, HP’s 8-Bit will be throwing it down with their naughty electro-rap. And just to ensure complete and utter debauchery, free Jell-O shots and $5 Coronas will be served up all day long. (LL)

Subhumans @ Knitting Factory 9/4/07 (preview)

As previewed for L.A. Record:

So much more than a mere punk band, Subhumans formed in Southwest England in 1980 and featured Dick Lucas, one of the genre’s most prolific, literate and respectable songwriters. With often-profound lyrics touting the virtues of anarchy and derailing corrupt social and political practices, the group was one of the only punk bands to experiment with classic rock tempos, blues melodies and instrumentation unconventional to the genre (who’d have thought a punk could play piano?). The band broke up in 1987, and after a stint with seminal ska/punk/reggae band Culture Shock, Dick met up with former Subs bandmates Phil and Trotsky again to form politi-punk/ska band Citizen Fish in 1989, which is still active today. Despite having broken up when I was 5 years old and I discovered the Subs during my teen years in the mid-’90s. It didn’t take long for them to become my all-time favorite band (and my all-time favorite punk band to this day), and when a friend and I tracked down Dick’s address we decided to write him fan letters. Much to our teenybopper amazement he actually responded—several times, in fact—and informed us the Subs would soon be reuniting, which they did to our utter glee in 1998. At the tender age of 15 we ventured to see our favorite penpal from across the pond in San Bernardino and garnered fond memories of pepper spray, flying shoes, bone-crushing moshing and the mysterious cum stain that ended up on the back of my friend’s jeans. Here’s to seeing what ends up on my pants at the Knitting Factory.

Dengue Fever @ Knitting Factory 8/14/07 (preview)

As published in L.A. Record:

More like a festival than a mere show, Cambodian Rock Night at the Knitting Factory will host a double-feature screening of the award-winning Ros Sereysothea documentary The Golden Voice, which shares the little-known story of Cambodia’s most beloved female rock singer, whose career was cut short when Pol Pot’s hellish regime took over the country in 1975, and Sleepwalking Through the Mekong, a chronicle of a visit to Phnom Penh by L.A.’s own Cambodian/rock band Dengue Fever during the Bon Om Thook water festival in 2005. The evening will also feature a live performance by the Khmer Fusion Project, a San Francisco four-piece that blends traditional Cambodian music with jazz and funk. (And they doesn’t mess around–each member of the band studies an instrument with a Cambodian master.) But the highlight of the evening will undoubtedly be the live set by Dengue Fever themselves, whose infectious blend of Cambodian rock ‘n’ roll mixed with modern pop, dub, surf and an ever-so-slight hint of ’60s soul screams tribute to Sereysothea. With all this plus DJ Siem Reap Duff spinning Cambodian rock favorites between sets and nightlong specials on Cambodian beer, the only thing missing will be the somlar machou banle (sour fish soup). (LL)

The Moon Upstairs @ Pershing Square 8/9/07 (preview)

As published in L.A. Record:

I became indoctrinated into the world of the Moon Upstairs at a Syd Barrett tribute night at Bordello a few months back, catching their super-chilled out version of Pink Floyd’s “Matilda Mother.” Though I’d heard just one song (and a cover at that), I immediately knew that this band was onto something big and couldn’t wait to scramble home and start Googling my amazing new find. After touring and collaborating with the very talented neo-soulster Cody Chesnutt, the Moon Upstairs became the full-time project of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Sharif Dumani and bassist Aaron Ebensperger. Taking their name from a Mott the Hoople song and citing Pink Floyd, George Harrison, the Plastic Ono Band and Funkadelic as influences, the band is no mere psychedelic/folk throwback band, managing to simultaneously wear their influences on their sleeves while putting a fresh spin on the genre. After adding Mark Sogomian, Josh Mancell and Dave Baine to the lineup, the Moon Upstairs released their first record just two months ago on Gifted Children Records (same label as Women and Children and psychedelic legends Silver Apples). It’s a remarkably ambitious debut album of epic proportions, replete with infectious pop hooks, soaring harmonies, baroque psychedelic sounds and incredible string arrangements by Lavender Diamond’s Steve Gregoropoulos. It won’t take long for the rest of the world to discover the band’s monumental talent, so catch them at a free show while you can.