Hello to this blog. Goodbye to Sunset Junction (for now). Hello to the Growlers at Amoeba.

Posted by Billy Gil, August 25, 2011 07:19pm | Post a Comment
First of all: hello! This is my blog. It's called Pacific Standard Time. I'm attempting to cover L.A. bands -- perhaps some you have heard of, some you haven't -- with show previews, record reviews, interviews, and such. It has nothing to do with this, although that's cool too and you should check it out. If you are in a band or promoting one, please email me at to pitch me. YES!

Secondly, Sunset Junction will not be happening for the first time in its 31-year existence. While it's true that the festival that started as a way to bring together Silver Lake's Latino and gay communities had strayed pretty far from its roots, we're very sad to see this happen. For me, Sunset Junction was always something to look forward to before I lived in Silver Lake -- a reason to check out the area, a place I saw Sonic Youth play for next to nothing, an alternative gay festival. We're all sad to see it (hopefully temporarily) halted.

But in the absense of that, something pretty cool has happened, something that makes me all the more excited to start this blog and celebrate a music community not known to the outside world for its community-ness: L.A. is picking itself up by its bootstraps and putting on a number of musical events anyway, starting with Amoeba, who will host Long Beach's The Growlers for an in-store performance and signing of their Record Store Day vinyl at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 25. The Growlers play a brand of dusty lo-fi rock that sounds like it could have been recorded at any given point over the past three decades. They touch upon elements of surf rock, Nuggets garage rock, reverby indie rock, and psych pop in a way that feels seamless and inviting. I've been listening to Hot Tropics (2010, CD) and Are You In Or Out? (2009, LP) on loop in preparation and can't wait to see these guys live again. (See Amoeba's post for more information).

Also, the Echo and Echoplex will be hosting some of the ousted bands including the Butthole Surfers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dios, and Craft Spells at and around their venues on Saturday and Sunday. Find out more at the Echo's site. Additionally, What Cheer? bar will be hosting bands like Black Apples and He's My Brother, She's My Sister on Saturday and Sunday. Check out the Facebook invite here.

Gift of Gab Drops Escape 2 Mars

Posted by Smiles Davis, November 6, 2009 04:42pm | Post a Comment

While at Zanzibar in Santa Monica for Afro Funke’ last night I overheard a partygoer compliment the host of the evening for his mic swag: “He’s got the gift of gab!” What a genius way to describe someone's oratory skills. Coincidently enough, just a few hours earlier, Blackalicious rapper and Quannum Projects member Gift of Gab performed on The Amoeba Hollywood stage. Blackalicious, a duo comprised of Gab and DJ/Producer Cheif Xcel, found a nice comfy position in the heart of underground hip-hop and has remained there since its inception in 1992. Quannum Projects is a hip-hop collective/ independent record label out of the San Francisco Bay Area comprised of DJs and Mcs. Ever heard of DJ Shadow or Lyrics Born? They’re some of the more notable members of the small unified group. Gift of Gab, although very much still a part of the duo, has been doing solo projects and collaborations with other hip-hop heavies like Lateef The Truth Speaker and Grouch and Eligh since 2004. Last night's zealous show was mind-blowing yet short lived, and nonetheless enjoyable.

Gift of Gab opened up his set with “A-G,” a Blackalicious classic. DNA Beats shared the stage, serving as his DJ. An eclectic mix of enthusiastic die-hard fans—young and old—Amoeba shoppers and employees gathered in between aisles to enjoy the spectacle. The show didn’t last any more than half an hour, but still I left with that adequate feeling of utter satisfaction. No gimmicky stage show with flashing lights galore and all things glitter necessary; this brilliant MC commands the stage with just his voice, as do most of the acts who are privileged enough to grace the Amoeba stage. Then again, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? His rapid-fire delivery is really what’s most impressive. He’s Speedy Gonzales on the mic. Gab spits out more lyrics in one 8-bar than the sun produces solar power energy per hour. Not just any old meaningless bundle of words, Allmusic best describes his prolific style as “jam-packed with internal rhymes, allusions, metaphors, ten-cent words, and amazing tongue-twisting feats of skill.” Couldn’t have put it any better had my life depended on it.

Gift of Gab has patiently waited 5 years to drop his second full-length solo album. Along with bringing the heat, Gab is sticking to his roots and laying down the groundwork for undeniable relevance. "People are gonna think this is about Martians, but it's not," Gab explains. "It's more so about taking care of the planet we're on. We might have to escape to Mars or somewhere else if we keep taking the planet we live on for granted. I'm not trying to preach to anyone," he persists. "I just think it's important for us to raise the level of consciousness and consideration of these things." If only we could get the Lady Gagas of the world to take note.

Cornerstone Recording Arts Society, —the same label that put out Rootbeer's debut album Pink Limousine— released Escape 2 Mars November 3, 2009 on CD, vinyl and worldwide digital download. Already I’ve been bumping the first single from the album, "El Gifto Magnifico," which was released a few months back. Gab performed a dope track from the album last night he said was produced by turntablist, former member of both funk group Ozomatli and of legendary hip-hop group Jurassic 5, the one and only Cut Chemist. Speaking of Jurassic 5, I recently had the pleasure of opening up Soup and Marc 7 who've brilliantly formed a new group called Portable Payback, definitely worth checking out. Love to share, back to Gab. Featured on another track, “Dreamin’” are iconic MCs Del The Funky Homosapien and Brother Ali. Quite the heated line up. Will definitely have the CD plugged into heavy rotation for the next couple of weeks. For more pics from the instore, go here. 'Till next time...chew the corners off!