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10 Releases to Check Out on Record Store Day

Posted by Billy Gil, March 26, 2013 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2013 takes place April 20, featuring new releases, reissues of out-of-print albums and other rarities. I’ve pulled out 10 titles or sets of releases that jumped out to me personally. If it’s anything like last year, you’ll have to get here early to get those in-demand releases (check out last year’s coverage here).

You can view a listing all of the releases that will be made available that day here and find more information on Record Store Day's official site. Check out my picks below.

 

The BatsBy Night

The debut release by The Bats, part of the Flying Nun clan of New Zealand jangle-pop bands. The Bats are fronted by Robert Scott, sometime bassist of The Clean, a band whose cult infamy has helped lead to their brethren being rediscovered by a new generation. I haven’t heard By Night, but having quite enjoyed 1987’s Daddy’s Highway, I’m sure their debut is just as chockfull of jangly delights. Seriously, I want to just jump on an airplane slash time machine and live in New Zealand in the ’80s and listen to awesome bands like The Bats, though they’re still around making fine records today.

 

 

Best CoastFear of My Identity b/w Who Have I Become

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My Top 50 Albums of 2012

Posted by Billy Gil, December 17, 2012 07:24pm | Post a Comment

50. Purity RingShrines

Purity Ring make Cocteau Twins­-style dream pop by way of Salem’s hard-hitting witchhouse on an album more notable for its smooth blending of related genres than for its actual songwriting, but they’ve got a sweet sound nonetheless.

 

 

49. Cold ShowersLove & Regret

Cold Showers’ short and sweet debut heralds the arrival of a great new L.A. band, beaming shoegaze guitars over darkwave synths and goth-style vocals. (Read my review of Cold Showers' show here.)

 

48. Django DjangoDjango Django

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Weekly Roundup: New Videos from Crown Plaza, So Many Wizards, IO Echo, Line & Circle

Posted by Billy Gil, November 8, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment

A whole batch of awesome videos from LA-based artists were released this week. Check ’em all out like it’s 1994 and you’re home watching MTV.

Crown Plaza – “Reactor” video; So Many Wizards’ “Lose Your Mind” video

The solo project of So Many Wizards’ Nima Kazerouni, Crown Plaza, is dreamier and lo-fier than his band’s indie power-pop. “Reactor” is lonely and lightly melancholic bedroom pop of the finest order, while the video calls to mind visiting your hometown and feeling like a stranger. Chem Waves Volume 1 is out now on tape on LA’s Vanity Projects, while So Many Wizards’ fine Warm Nothing was released earlier this year. That album’s “Lose Your Mind” video was also released this week. Crown Plaza play a free show at the Bootleg Theater Nov. 12. So Many Wizards will be all over LA this month and next, starting with a show at USC with the Allah-Las tonight; see all their dates here.

 

 

IO Echo – “Berlin, It’s All a Mess” video

LA electronic pop band IO Echo have teamed with filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless) and photographer Polly Borland for this incredible video, screening on MOCA TV, an Internet contemporary art channel started this year by LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Right from the start, you know you’re seeing and hearing something truly unusual. I want more of this! IO Echo’s debut album will be out in early 2013 on IAMSOUND. Look out for it, everything I’ve heard so far from this band has been great.

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Local Stuff: Best Coast/Iggy Pop, Poolside, IO Echo

Posted by Billy Gil, July 6, 2012 11:12am | Post a Comment
Best Coast & Iggy Pop - "Let's Boot and Rally"
 
Insane amount of Best Coast happenings. First there was her not one, but two Fleetwood Mac covers, “Storms” and “Rhiannon,” the latter on an upcoming F-Mac tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, and now she’s teaming with Iggy Pop on a cool song for “True Blood.” It premieres on this Sunday’s episode of “True Blood,” and you can hear it now via KCRW, whose Gary Calamar co-wrote the song, as music supervisor for the show. Hopefully it makes it onto a “True Blood” soundtrack, I love the song, it sounds like X at their most rockabilly.
 







 

Poolside Album preview

 
L.A. duo Poolside continue to drum up buzz for their upcoming full-length album, Pacific Standard Time. Right now it’s streaming from our friends at KCRW ‘till July 16. After that you’ll have to wait a bit to pick up a physical copy of the disc. For now, enjoy the sweet sounds of this proggy, sunny electro duo’s music with a cocktail. Something blue, maybe with a tiny umbrella.
 








IO Echo – “When the Lillies Die” video

 
It’s absurd, how many great indie pop acts there are from L.A. right now: the aforementioned Poolsdie, Haim, Kitten, and IO Echo, a duo that combines a variety of influences — Asian-inspired melodies and instrumentation, shoegaze aesthetics and pop vocals — into something very cohesive and enjoyable. It’s a nice reminder of how small changes to a familiar and beloved sound (reverby indie rock) can yield awesome results. Their debut album, Ministry of Love, comes out Sept. 11 on IAMSOUND.
 

 

Shows picks this weekend:
 
Friday: Bass Drum of Death, DZ Deathrays, Pangea @The Echo (8:30 p.m., $10)
 
Saturday: Mates of State, The Stepkids, New Life @The Echo (5 p.m., $13, Pick up tickets at Amoeba!)
 
Sunday: Part Time Punks Darkwave Night with The KVB, Deathday, DVA Damas @The Echo (10 p.m., $8, basically just move to the Echo this weekend)

Local Stuff: Videos From Poolside, Best Coast, Kitten

Posted by Billy Gil, June 15, 2012 11:30am | Post a Comment

Poolside – “Slowdown”
 
(Sally Struthers voice) Do you like watching scrawny L.A. hipsters swim and sing catchy tunes that sound like hip-hop without the rapping? Sure, we all do.
 
Poolside’s big summer single bowed yesterday on Pitchfork, along with its trashy summer vibes video. This thing was made to soundtrack the Ace and Standard hotels, all easy beats and lush synth hooks. Scoff if you must; this sort of thing is rarely done as well as it is here. Their nicely titled Pacific Standard Time album comes out July 9.




Best Coast – "The Only Place" video and KCRW performance
 

Best Coast
debuted a super cute video for “The Only Place,” from the album of the same name, this week where Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno run around L.A. and give viewers a tour of the “real” L.A.: tacky souvenir shops, backyard pools, bikes, our gross but awesome river. And lots of Bobb! It’s as sweetly low-key and breezy as the song.
 







 
 
Also, Best Coast had an awesome Morning Becomes Eclectic performance this week, really displaying Cosentino’s growth in confidence with her voice, particularly on their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Storms” from Tusk, which I coincidentally picked up on vinyl yesterday.

 
Kitten – “Cut it Out” video
 

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the awesomeness that is the shoegazey pop of L.A.’s Kitten an their single “Cut It Out,” from the forthcoming EP of the same name, due Aug. 28. Kitten and singer Chloe Chaidez vibe Britney Spears and My Bloody Valentine with equal glee, sort of along the same lines as School of Seven Bells. Now they’ve got a video for it that reminds me of somewhere between Smashing Pumpkins “1979” and Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle.”
 




 
Shows This Weekend:
 
Friday: Tonight’s a tie! Either Jesus and Mary Chain at Hollywood Park ($10 before 8:30, $20 after) or Japandroids at the Echoplex (8:30, $13-15). Really can’t go wrong either way.

Saturday: Make Music Pasadena — it’s free, it’s all ages, it’s all day and features Grimes, Cults, The Chain Gang of 1974, and locals like Dam-Funk (see photos of his Amoeba DJ set), Electric Guest, Dengue Fever, Grouplove, So Many Wizards, The Lonely Wild, NO, The Happy Hollows and more.
 
In the evening, there’s How to Dress Well at the Echo (6-10 p.m., $12-14)
 
Sunday: Part Time Punks at the Echo (10 p.m., $8-10) with RØSENKØPF, Bestial Mouths and Vex Ruffin

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