Weekly Roundup: Mikal Cronin, Hanni El Khatib, Ariel Pink, MXMS, Spirit Club, Peptalk, Jessie Jones, Kevin Morby, Damaged Bug

Posted by Billy Gil, May 29, 2015 11:57am | Post a Comment

Mikal Cronin - "Say" video

mikal croninThe cute video for Mikal Cronin's "Say," off his recently released, excellent MCIII album, stars Cronin and comedian/actors Jonah Ray, Nick Thune and Nelson Franklin in a recreation of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" video—plus some murder. Watch it via Funny or Die.



Hanni El Khatib – “Melt Me” video

hanni el khatibL.A. garage rocker wanders an arcade moping and singing while seemingly unwitting participants get roped in to this cinema verite-style video. Two cute girls playing Dance Dance Revolution serve as a particularly funny counterpoint to El Khatib’s bummed-out state. The song comes from his latest album, Moonlight, which is out now on Innovative Leisure.

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Hanni El Khatib Headlines First Fridays at LA's Natural History Museum June 5

Posted by Amoebite, May 19, 2015 04:40pm | Post a Comment

Hanni El Khatib at First Fridays NHMLA

Garage rocker Hanni El Khatib plays the last First Fridays at the Natural History Museum on June 5. Tickets are $20 without a membership to the museum. We’ll be on hand with our booth and prize wheel, so make sure to come by and say hello.

L.A.-based El Khatib released his latest album, Moonlight, this year, displaying a darker, more atmospheric take on his blues-fueled rock ‘n’ roll than on his Dan Auerbach-produced, pop-friendly second album, Head in the Dirt, and raw debut, Will the Guns Come Out. Check out an interview we did El Khatib a while back here, and watch his episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below:

chicano batman amoeba

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Album Picks: Belle & Sebastian, Sleater-Kinney, Hanni El Khatib, Amen Dunes

Posted by Billy Gil, January 20, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment

Belle & SebastianGirls in Peacetime Want to Dance

belle sebastian girls in peacetime want to dance lp

In the latter half of their career, Belle & Sebastian have consistently tried to balance the desire to appeal to a wider audience with more outward-facing pop songs alongside the bookish indie pop that netted them a cult of worshipping devotees in the first place. They’ve never done it quite as successfully as they have here on Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Opener “Nobody’s Empire,” with its marching beat, glowing synths and gospel choir backup vocals comes off like a statement of purpose: This will be a richly produced pop album (courtesy of Ben H. Allen III, who’s worked both with the indie-pop elite and hip-hop artists), so gear up. The band comes up with one of its most radio-ready singles to date on “The Party Line,” a disco-rock track with typically clever lyrics and a booming synth riff that won’t quit. The best Stevie Jackson-led song in years comes on the bittersweet beatnik funk of “Perfect Couples.” “Play for Today” is synthy and light, with ace guest vocals from Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Penny. And it’s safe to say Belle & Sebastian have the only ABBA-esque synth-pop track that name-checks Sylvia Plath. But Belle & Sebastian want to do more than make us dance. Several tracks hue closer to their ’90s incarnation while still retaining the fuller production present on the album’s more immediate moments. The European folk-flavored “The Everlasting Muse” is rich with mandolin, horns and clap-along breakdowns. The slow-rolling, string-laden “Ever Had a Little Faith” is reminiscent of early B&S highlight “The Boys of Track and Field.” And Sarah Martin gets to sing lead on both the swoony “The Power of Three” and rollicking “The Book of You,” with some ripping guitarwork to boot. So it’s not the introverted Belle & Sebastian of yore. But this edition of Belle & Sebastian manages to help them evolve without losing what made them special. It’s a win-win for fans new and old, on one of Belle & Sebastian’s best albums in years.

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Weekly Roundup: Sego, Cool Ghouls, Hanni El Khatib, Youth Code

Posted by Billy Gil, October 17, 2014 09:54am | Post a Comment

Sego – “Wicket Youth” video

segoThese Utah-via-L.A. Kitsune signees immediately get me for referencing Wicket the ewok from Return of the Jedi. Even if that’s not what they’re referencing, that’s not the point—“Wicket Youth” touches on familiar ’80s influences without really sounding like they’re retreading, instead infusing refreshingly plainspoken lyrics about nostalgia for youth with sparkling synth-pop flourishes. And it’s got a very ’80s, handrawn-style video to match. The Wicket Youth EP is out Oct. 27.


Cool Ghouls – “What a Dream I Had”

cool ghoulsHere’s the third track from the forthcoming Cool Ghouls album A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye, out Nov. 11 on Empty Cellar. It’s perhaps the most impressive track they’ve debuted yet, built on a slow, steady jangle and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” harmonies. Cool Ghouls keep the dream of San Francisco alive with songs like “What a Dream I Had.” Stream the track via Wondering Sound, and read my interview with them here.

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Hanni El Khatib Headlines Red Bull Sound Select Show Curated by KCRW on Oct. 21

Posted by Billy Gil, October 8, 2014 05:02pm | Post a Comment

red bull sound select hanni el khatib

hanni el khatib
Hanni El Khatib

Garage-rock troubador Hanni El Khatib is headlining the next Red Bull Sound Select show in Los Angeles on Oct. 21, curated by our friends at KCRW. Hindu Pirates open the show.

It takes place at Venice’s Del Monte Speakeasy, with Dan Wilcox (KCRW) hosting. Tickets are $3 with an RSVP (or $12 walk-up) and the show is 21+.

Hanni El Khatib released a batch of catchy garage-rock tunes last year called Head in the Dirt, produced by The Black KeysDan Auerbach. Read my interview with him here, and check out his episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below:

Hanni El Khatib - What's In My Bag?
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