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Weekly Roundup: Michael Vidal, Tropic of Cancer, Cold Beat, Turbo Lightning, Wymond Miles, Spaceships

Posted by Billy Gil, September 26, 2013 05:45pm | Post a Comment

Michael Vidal – “Dreams (Come Back to Me)” – Free Download

michael vidal dream centerThe members of L.A. darkwave rockers Abe Vigoda have recently been focusing on other projects, including dream pop bands Roses and Dunes. Now lead singer Michael Vidal has unveiled a gorgeous collection of songs called Dream Center. “Dreams (Come Back to Me)” hums along on muted guitar and Vidal’s swooning baritone, sounding a bit like a Christine McVie-led Fleetwood Mac track until the groove goes full-tilt with a gleaming guitar rush at the end. Download it free from Amoeba.

 

 

 

 

Tropic of Cancer – “Plant Lilies at My Head” video

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Weekly Roundup: Widowspeak, Johnathan Rado, FUZZ and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 12, 2013 10:59am | Post a Comment

Lots of stuff this week!

widowspeak the swampsWidowspeak – “True Believer”

Howdy, pardners! We were big fans of Widowspeak’s dusky, dreamy last album, Almanac, which was released last year. Now they’ve got more goodness on the way in the form of The Swamps EP, with hints of a third album on the way. The EP is out Oct. 29 on Captured Tracks, and you can hear the Mazzy Star-in-a-ghost-town-style “True Believer” now.

 

johnathan rado foxygenJohnathan Rado – “Hand in Mine”

More rootin’, tootin’, country-flavored indie pop on the way from Foxygen’s Johnathan Rado. As if his band’s effing fantastic We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic wasn’t enough for one year (one of the best of the year so far, I’d say), California native Rado has a solo album, the awesomely titled Law and Order, due Sept. 3 on Woodsist. “Put your hand in mine, it will excite you” says the Nancy Sinatra counterpart to his Lee Hazlewood. Cute ‘n’ seductive.

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Show Recaps: The Milk Carton Kids, Dirt Dress, Femme Soup

Posted by Billy Gil, April 7, 2013 12:36pm | Post a Comment

Milk Carton Kids AmoebaLots of shows in recent days. The Milk Carton Kids recently took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood, giving fans a healthy dose of their acoustic, Simon & Garfunkel-influenced story-folk. Though still relatively unknown, the band has cultivated a healthy following for the Eagle Rock-based duo, garnering fans of like-minded L.A. venues Largo and Hotel Cafe. Their soft, mellowed-out sound contrasts with their comedic, center-stage personalities, inviting you to come sit by their campfire and hear them spin a yarn and sing a tune. Milk Carton Kid Joey Ryan regaled the audience with the history of the ampersand, much to the delight of a few fawning girls in the front, proving that a cute guy with a guitar can literally discuss typographical history and young girls will swoon. They sang the countryish “Honey Honey,” with Kenneth Pattengale really going to town on his miniature acoustic guitar, with the top of it wrapped in a cloth napkin for maximum intimacy. Ryan bragged about his quick fingerpicking and delivered it with finesse on a bluegrass-colored song. He said the band grew up shopping for records at Amoeba, and it was now “quite an honor” to be playing at the store. Pattengale mocked Ryan’s consistently deadpan tone, saying, “Guys, I’m so f*ckin’ thrilled.” “That’s not a good impression,” Ryan quipped back. They sang a few morose tunes to close the set, joking that everyone thinks they’re from Michigan because of their melancholy folk sound. They’ll be at the Largo Theater May 8 and 9. See more picture of their performance here.

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10 Great L.A. Indie Albums from 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 19, 2012 04:25pm | Post a Comment

In all the end of 2012/the world list-making, smaller releases tend to get ignored in favor of the ones everyone knows about. So I decided to do a list, in no particular order, of my favorite albums by L.A. artists this year that were released on small labels or were self-released — and which didn’t get as much press as others. That means no Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Best Coast or Ariel Pink, even though the releases by those people are great and you should listen to them, too. (Read my top 50 albums of 2012 here, with more L.A.-based artists like Miguel and Julia Holter.) All of these are great up-and-coming artists, seek them out!

 

Kim FreeAngel Shadow (LA’s Fine)

Kim FreeKim Free’s minimalist bass playing, ethereal voice and starkly beautiful violin playing come together to cast an entrancing spell on Angel Shadow. See her live to witness her virtuosic looping at work. Check out photos from her Amoeba Hollywood performance here!

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Weekly Roundup: Julia Holter, Flying Lotus, Pacific Air, Allah-Las, Spaceships

Posted by Billy Gil, November 29, 2012 02:36pm | Post a Comment

Julia Holter – “Gold Dust Woman”

Julia HolterJulia Holter, who put out this year’s excellent Ekstasis album, sure to be on my top albums of the year list, has contributed a track to Rumours revisited, a Fleetwood Mac cover album (not to be confused with this one, also released this year) with current artists taking on songs from that iconic album. The album, put out with the current Mojo magazine, also includes tracks by Liars, Yeasayer and the Besnard Lakes. (What are the Besnard Lakes up to, anyway? I love those guys.) This cover remains faithful to the original by maintaining and amplifying the scary space in Stevie Nicks’ version, though Holter’s delivery is more slightly detached than Nicks’ sultry vocal. Still, it’s on the warmer end of Holter’s songs, which can range from icy and otherworldly to coy, playful art-pop. Anyone remember the Hole cover of this song (for The Crow 2 soundtrack!) where she messes up the lyric and goes “one less challeoonge” all crazy? Loved that. Find Mojo at Amoeba Hollywood. (See photos of Julia Holter's performance live at Amoeba Hollywood.)

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