Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spinnerette/Har Mar Superstar, June 24 at the Troubadour

Spinnerette were actually tighter in concert than they are on CD, the reverse of what is true for most bands. And Brody Dalle is a goddess with a guitar, no matter what band she's in. And Har Mar Superstar is a spectacle, necessary to be seen to be believed. Another show with Vanessa, another night of drinking. She didn't even know what band we were seeing, and I hadn't heard anything besides the Ghetto Love EP, but it turned out to be a solid night of excellent rock.

Spinnerette's set-list:

"Valium Knights"
"Bury My Heart"
"All Babes Are Wolves"
"Baptized By Fire"
"A Spectral Suspension"
"Distorting A Code"
"Sex Bomb"
"Driving Song"
"Rebellious Palpitations"
"A Prescription For Mankind"
"Ghetto Love

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Art Brut, June 18 at Spaceland

I have no idea how Tana and Jamin got into Art Brut but the first time I was at their house they were playing them on their stereo and it was at that moment that I knew we would be friends. Art Brut were playing a residency at Spaceland and the Echo so we went, along with Vanessa. Rumspringa and Voxhaul Broadcast, both, I think, local bands, opened, and they didn't mean much but Spaceland is always a good value, packing in a lot of bands into one night, and you never know where one of them might go (or if you have to see them again, or if you become a friend with someone in the band by accident). Art Brut aren't for everybody -- their sound is loud and fast and somehow beyond pop and punk and yet maybe closer to what both of those genres will be in the future. Eddie, the singer, forgoes singing for talking, which would be disconcerting or even off-putting for some, until you realize that rap music has the same mode of vocal delivery, and sometimes it's more about what's being said rather than how it's being said, here talking about comic books and awkwardly getting with girls like he's still a teenager. And once you get over the speak-singing, it's pretty easy to enjoy the band, though doing that is generally asking a lot of an unadventurous listener these days. The band is tight and fidgety, British kids as punk it gets in England anymore. Drinking at the show is dangerous since the music moves so fast, you may find yourself clocked upside the head by neo-British punk (an approach from the same direction that the Streets took American hip-hop) that is moving way too fast and too loud for anyone to follow with any precision. Agreeing with Spin: one of the best live bands touring currently. Ready, Art Brut?

Monday, June 15, 2009

the Von Bondies, June 15 at the Viper Room

Weren't the Von Bondies supposed to be really big? They had a great song ("C'Mon C'Mon") that became the opening of a popular TV show and people seem to know them even now. But the last time through town they played a small place and the Viper Room is even smaller. But with a band like that, the smaller the place, the less the space can contain them and the more they'll tear it apart. They're a bar band too good and catchy to be a bar band but hey, if they have to play in a bar, they're going to do that and do it exceptionally. This was the only L.A. date on the back of an incredible album (Love and Hate and Then There's You), their first in some years (due to record label troubles), and it's a shame they couldn't capitalize on it or play some summer festivals, like how they built their name to that point. But hopefully with various troubles behind them they'll be more frequent with releases and find bigger venues to burn to the ground.


"Broken Man"
"Going Down"
"Pale Bride"
"Tell What You See"
"She's Dead To Me"
"Pawn Shoppe Heart"
"This Is Our Perfect Crime"
"No Regrets"
"Accidents Will Happen"
"The Fever"
"Shut Your Mouth"
"Been Swank"
"It Came From Japan"
"Not That Social"
"R & R Nurse"
"Lack Of Communication"
"C'mon C'mon"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Neko Case/Jason Lytle, June 12 at the Greek Theater

As much of a fan as I am, I was thinking that Neko Case was going to be a diva, coming on stage and coldly -- but powerfully and beautifully -- singing her songs then promptly walking off at the end of her last note. But she was warm and appreciative of the crowd, and even more powerful and beautiful. Strangely her back-up singer did most of the between-song banter but at least it was funny. Jason Lytle, formerly of Grandaddy, opened and it was very Grandaddy-ish (which is to say that it didn't do a whole lot for me). Strangest thing: the show got out at 10:30 since apparently the Greek has a curfew. Vanessa and I were left to wonder what we should do, never having gotten out of a show so early. So we went and drank.

Neko Case's set-list:
Maybe Sparrow"
"People Got a Lotta Nerve"
"Hold On, Hold On"
"The Pharaohs"
"Middle Cyclone"
"Deep Red Bells"
"I Wish I Was the Moon"
"I’m an Animal"
"Prison Girls"
"The Tigers Have Spoken"
"Margaret vs. Pauline"
"Polar Nettles"
"Red Tide"
"Don’t Forget Me"
That Teenage Feeling"
"This Tornado Loves You"

Vengeance Is Sleeping"
"Star Witness"
Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth"
Magpie to the Morning"
"Knock Loud"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rhett Miller, June 10 at the Grammy Museum

Erin invited me to the Rhett Miller show and she's a bigger fan than I am. He did a show at the Grammy Museum but it was less of a performance and more of a Storytellers interview thing which was seeing him answering questions and talking about his music and inspirations and stories and such, in a very intimate performance, with only about a hundred people in attendance. But of course being a performer he had to play some songs so he did a few solo and acoustic and ended with "Timebomb", his regular band the Old 97's' best and loudest song not quite fitting played just on a guitar by himself but an interesting experiment. He hung out afterward to sign CDs, and he was pleasant, enough to almost dull the fact that I paid $20 for a CD just for him to put his name on. The Grammy Museum was also nice. I had never been before. It was shiny and new and it seemed fairly limited in what it had on display but I hope that it can be something that will be worth returning to in the future, along with the solo and intimate shows they put on there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Metric, June 8 at the Wiltern

Metric has a large fan-base in L.A. but I never would have thought they would sell out the Wiltern. They're a band that you'd think would have a string of hit songs but they do okay with just being a solid indie-pop band and touring a lot. Their best shot at a hit song, "Combat Baby" (from a past album), they didn't even play that night (which can be forgiven because it's old -- forgiven because these things happen and good songs don't become hits, not so much forgiven because they didn't play it). But the crowd was into it and I'd say it was a successful show. However, I was with Noa and we were super-drunk off our asses and I don't remember it much. But I remember it was a good show. And that they didn't play "Combat Baby".