The former Walkmen frontman leaves us swooning on his solo debut. Backing away from the post-punk of his former band, Black Hours sees Leithauser focusing on digging his gravelly voice through chamber pop environs, singing heartily among stirring strings and vibes on “The Silent Orchestra.” Little the Walkmen did had the vibrant energy of a song like “Alexandra,” with Leithauser smiling his way through an irresistible jig. But Leithauser also throws a bone to those who miss the Walkmen’s nocturnal musings with songs like “11 O’Clock Friday Night,” a kind of New York at night drinking song with some clanging percussion amid the CBGBs guitars to keep it tied to the orchestrated feel of the rest of the album, and the lonely piano ballad “St. Mary’s County.” Throughout, Leithauser’s voice has never sounded better, growing further into a manly howl like a young Rod Stewart. He sounds as terrific crying into a pool of whiskey and reverb on the countrified “I Retired” as he does returning to his roots on the defiant “I Don’t Need Anyone.” While we’ll always miss the Walkmen, the thing we were gonna miss the most was that voice. Black Hours makes their departure sting less, as it’s opens a triumphant new avenue for Leithauser.
Warning: There Will Be Spoilers.
Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” contained yet another major character’s death, which has especially been a trademark of this season of the show.
After Oberyn Martell aka The Viper revealed a long-held vendetta against The Mountain and all of the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister and her children, the cards seemed to be stacked against the ginormous Mountain. After all, what could a mountain of a man do against a deadly warrior with years of built up resentment do?
A lot, it turns out. The battle between The Viper and The Mountain was the most exciting fight sequence yet on “Game of Thrones,” pitting The Viper’s acrobatic skills against The Mountain’s brute strength, with many of the show’s major characters looking on, awaiting Tyrion Lannister’s fate via trial by battle. And The Viper did get the upper hand, mortally wounding The Mountain several times.
But true to its mythical, nearly Biblical allusions—“The Viper and The Mountain” sounds at least like a fable if not something out of the Old Testament—pride was the ultimate winner of this fight. Drunk and blinded by hatred, The Viper resisted finishing off The Mountain until he said Elia Martell’s name, the woman he raped and murdered. The Mountain finally obliged—while bludgeoning The Viper’s face until his brains exploded out of his skull, before dying himself. Not only was this the most exciting fight ever in GoT, it was also the most bloody disgusting.
Tickets for the comedy extravaganza Festival Supreme are on sale now.
The show takes place Saturday, Oct. 25 at the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park, which seems to be L.A.'s new go-to place for festivals (same place FYF Fest is now being held). Tickets are $114, or $275 for a VIP ticket.
The comedy and music festival will feature a who's who of alternative comedy and comedy-friendly musicians, including:Dethklok Metalocalypse
|Miles Michaud of Allah-Las|
Amoeba Hollywood’s Sunday Spins DJ series in June will begin this Sunday with Miles Michaud, the frontman for hazy L.A. garage-rockers Allah-Las. He’ll be spinning at the store starting at 5 p.m. The June series is curated by our friends at LA Record and takes place every Sunday in June at 5 p.m.
Michaud’s set is a perfect introduction to the new series—he and other members of Allah-Las got their start working at Amoeba Hollywood, so it’s a homecoming of sorts. The band’s excellent, self-titled debut is out now on Innovative Leisure. Check out my interview with the band here.
Here’s their video for “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind,” taken from Allah-Las:
It’s the last First Fridays of Spring, and they’ve saved one of the best shows for last.
On June 6, the Natural History Museum will host New Zealand psych-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra with L.A. dance-rock band De Lux, synth maestro Tobacco and S.F. psych-pop band Painted Palms. The mini-fest of sorts will take place outdoors on two stages from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be bought here.
Before that, an indoor tour and discussion at the museum will cover “Tracking and Trapping L.A.’s Insects,” followed by the discussion “Urban Beekeeping in Los Angeles and Around the World” with Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich. And outdoors, KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Garth Trinidad will keep things moving throughout the night.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra has two albums out, their self-titled debut and last year’s II, which injected their lo-fi psych rock with classic soul stomp. De Lux just released their debut album, the excellent Voyage, the art-disco revivalism of which makes LCD Soundsystem’s departure easier to bear. Tobacco also just released a new album, the intoxicating, freaky synth-funk opus Ultima Massage II. And Painted Palms released their debut, Forever, this year, full of buoyant beats and spacey, Beach Boys-inspired melodies.