Grand Performances, L.A.’s “Best free outdoor Summer concert series," returns for its 30th season with a lineup reflecting the city’s diversity. These free concerts take place on a stage built into a water fountain at California Plaza in Downtown L.A. and keep going all summer long.
Join Amoeba Music on Friday, July 1 for the jazz-rock stylings of Troker and Kneedelus, the collaboration between the instrumental quintet Kneebody and electronic musician Daedelus, and on Saturday, July 9 for Mexrrissey, a re-imagining of Morrissey in a south-of-the-border love letter. Spin our prize wheel, get gift certificates, and more! Both shows start at 8pm. Look for us later in July and August as well.
The Goldberg Sisters are Adam Goldberg of acting fame (Dazed and Confused, Entourage etc.) and his sister, songwriter Celeste Goldberg. Only she’s his imagined twin a la Adaptation (I think). In any case, this first song from Goldberg’s third record is a nice bit of California bedroom pop that feels like waking up in a not unwanted haze, reminiscent of fellow So. Cal. bands like dios (malos) and Beachwood Sparks. Adam Goldberg’s beard (which also would’ve been a cool band name) seems more appropriate than ever, given the hippie vibes of “It Can Get You Down).” Stranger’s Morning is due Aug. 20 on apologymusic. Listen here.
L.A. producer Daedelus aka Alfred Darlington has a new one coming out called Drown Out on Anticon Sept. 17. I listened to this while reading a terrifying story about a couple who had Googled pressure cookers and backpacks and were allegedly visited and questioned by police. The twisting and unpredictable nature of Daedelus’ synths and beats seemed to fit just well, full of paranoid-sounding tones and woozy movements. These are troubling times, indeed; luckily we have people like Daedelus soundtracking them for us.
It's time for February's edition of First Fridays! Once a month, Los Angeles's Natural History Museum stays open late and features live music, exciting scientific discussion, and behind-the-scenes curatorial tours as part of the First Fridays program. Amoeba is excited to sponsor this fabulous series of live music, discussion, concessions, tours, DJs, and more.
Join us on February 1st from 5-10pm for live performances from Adventuretime featuring Daedelus and Mark Frosty McNeil from dublab and The Gaslamp Killer, special DJs, and a guest lecture from Mary Roach ("Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex").
PLUS: Check out the Amoeba Music booth to purchase a $20 Amoeba Gift Certificates for just $10! Limit 2 per person. Valid only at First Fridays on 2/1.
King Tuff has released a new record on Sub Pop, and all I can say is OMGGG. King Tuff is looking to be the garage banger of the summer. You should definitely pick this one up, and you can even preview it on YouTube for the time being. Check out a stream from Sub Pop below, and order the album here.
Up-and-coming L.A. pop band Kitten is releasing a new EP called Cut it Out on Aug. 28th. Teenage frontwoman Chloe Chaidez sure sounds like a star in the making on this buzzy electro single, which has the post-punk feel of Metric while upping both the catchiness and shoegazey sonics. I feel like we’ll only be able to claim Kitten for so long before they move on to bigger and better things, so check them out while they’re still local!
Shows This Weekend
This is a big weekend for local singer Nite Jewel, who recently released her fine album One Second of Love, which manages to be dancey (check out the title track) and cool, with atmospheric and experimental electronics throughout, while remaining classy, with Ramona Gonzalez’s sultry voice more reminiscent of classical pop singers like Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall. Tonight Nite Jewel headlines a krautrock-themed show titled “Krautrock Classics: A Night of German Cosmic Music,” presented by Dublab and the Goethe Institut. It will take place at the Ford Amphiteatre, with Nite Jewel performing a classic of the genre, Kraftwerk’s Computer World, with help from friends like Stones Throw Records’ Peanut Butter Wolf. The show also will include performances from the likes of Sun Araw, Dntel and Daedelus. Starts at 8, all ages, $15, get tickets online here.
Then, on Saturday, Filter Magazine holds its Summer Sessions series at the Original Penguin Store (8215 Melrose Ave.) from 2-6 p.m., featuring a performance by Nite Jewel. RSVP here.
On Sundays it’s usually hard to beat Part Time Punks at the Echo, and this Sunday is certainly no exception: Violens, whom fellow Amoeba-ite Brad also loves, will play alongside Capured Tracks band Catwalk and Surf Club, which features members of Craft Spells. Slumberland's Violens play blurry swoony guitar pop much in the same vein of their labelmates, but they stand out from the back with their strong melodic songwriting (check out the beautiful "Sariza Spring") and the fact that they bother to rock out once in a while (watch the "All Night Low" video below). Their album True is one of the best of the past couple of months. It's a whole lot of shoegazey, guitarry goodness for only 10 bucks. Get advance tickets here or in store at Ameoba.
The short, engaging documentary Secondhand Sureshots, which every DJ / record collector must see, proves that there is indeed gold to be found in the dollar bins, and that a crate digger with a good eye and a good ear can simultaneously recycle and create from those cheap vinyl finds. Filmed four years ago as a production of dublab, this crate digging in the dollar bin documentary was very recently released on DVD by the Stones Throw label with bonus material. The film, which screened over the weekend at the Downtown Independent, was directed by Frosty, who aptly and eloquently described it as "an experiment in creative sound recycling." The film takes place in Los Angeles, where it follows J-Rocc, Daedelus, Nobody, and Ras G on a crate digging excursion (a "secret mission" is the film's official description) at the local thrift store's (Out Of The Closet Thrift Store) dollar bins to see what musical magic they can conjure up out of what most people would immediately discard as crappy records (and some are really crappy).
As any modern crate digging beat maker will tell you, it is not about what the original record you have in your hands has to offer, but what you can cull from it to transform it (via chopping up and reworking sounds) into something new and wonderful, and this is where the skills of these four gifted producers come into play. The film comes as a DVD + CD set containing the original 30 minute documentary with additional films featuring more music and art creation plus extra beats and mixes from all four producers, and some other niceness. Recently I caught up with Secondhand Sureshots' director Frosty to ask him about his love letter to dusty old vinyl.