Thursday, December 11

Holiday Wishlist: One-Off Charity Remix of "Videotape"

According to The Press Association:

"An exclusive remix of Radiohead's song Videotape, released on a single VHS signed by the band, is to go on sale at an online charity auction.

The four-hour remix video will raise funds for Missing People, the UK's leading charity for missing and unidentified people.

It was recorded by James Rutledge, who has produced and remixed for Bloc Party and The Kills. He was recently included in the NME Future 50 list as one of the "bands, artists and innovators driving music forward".

His friend and former Dakota Oak band mate, Dave Tyack, went missing in Corsica in August 2002. The charity was in constant contact with the Tyack family until his body was found in June 2004.

Rutledge said: "The charity gave his family continued support during that incredibly difficult time, as they do for thousands of others each year.

"The service that the charity provides is vital to those left wondering what has happened to their loved ones. It is hard to imagine what it is like to have no idea where someone you love is, whether they are alive or dead even. At times like this the charity can be a lifeline."

Paul Tuohy of Missing People said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of signed Radiohead memorabilia and let's face it, it's the ultimate Christmas present for a Radiohead fan."

The original version of Videotape is on Radiohead's most recent album In Rainbows.

Bidding ends at 10pm on Sunday December 21."

Four hours? Bid here.

Thursday, December 4

Show Alert: Wilderness @ The Echo - 12/9/08

I associate Wilderness' 2005 self-titled debut with the worst summer of my life. The record was released on July 5 -- over a month into my grueling studies for the California Bar Exam. With over three weeks until the most important three days of my life, Wilderness provided with me an escape, a release, a, well, wilderness. I'd let the driving percussion, ringing guitar, and James Johnson's guttural vocals wash over me and remind me that life existed outside of the library.

In the three years since then, Wilderness have released two more LPs: 2006's Vessel States and last month's (k)no(w)here. The band have stuck to their guns and offered more of the derived yet distinct grooves found on their debut.

Wilderness will be showcasing their mesmerizing strain of post-rock at The Echo on December 9. Info and tickets ($10) here. Check them live from Brooklyn last March:

Tuesday, December 2

Live Review: M83/School of Seven Bells

M83 absolutely killed it last Saturday at the Henry Fonda. Lead by Cocteau Twins lover Anthony Gonzalez, the live version of the French electro high definition rockers (including guitarist Pierre-Marie Maulini, drummer extraordinaire Loic Maurin, and LA's own Morgan Kibby on keys and vox) performed a dynamic, heartfelt and overwhelming set. Every song resonated to the human core with a clarity and sheer intensity not heard in most live performances. From a technical standpoint, the mix was impeccable and LOUD!

01 - Run Into Flowers
02 - Asterisk
03 - Moon Child
04 - Kim & Jessie
05 - We Own The Sky
06 - Graveyard Girl
07 - Gone
08 - Teen Angst
09 - Highway Of Endless Dreams
10 - Don't Save Us From The Flames
11 - Skin Of The Night
12 - A Guitar And A Heart
13 - Couleurs

Winter Tour (go if you can!)
04-déc. Newcastle, Metro Arena
05-déc. Sheffield, Sheffield Arena
07-déc. Glasgow, SECC
08-déc. Liverpool, Echo Arena
10-déc. Birmingham, NIA
11-déc. London, The O2 Arena
14 déc. London, BIC Bournemouth
16 déc. Manchester, Evenings News Arena
17 déc. Cardiff, International Arena
19 déc. Dublin, O2
20 déc. Belfast, Odyssey Arena
22 déc. London, Wembley Arena

Video clip of "Kim and Jessie" on the Facebook (courtesy of C. X.).

Photos by the always masterful Sung.

School of Seven Bells opened. The performance itself was good, but would have benefited from M83's soundman and a live drummer. At least SVIB got to play before M83.

Saturday, November 22

Thursday, November 6

Show Alert: Animal Collective @ The Henry Fonda - 1/23/09

On January 23, 2009, Animal Collective will be gracing the stage at The Henry Fonda. This date comes at the end of an extended "world tour", and is one of only three dates in America. Based on their last performance in Los Angeles, this is a concert not to be missed. Ticket info TBA.

Thursday, October 30

New Music: Evening Empire

Evening Empire are a four-piece act from San Francisco that create independent rock. And rock they do. Combining the diversity of Tapes 'n Tapes, the urgency of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the synthiness of Wolf Parade, Evening Empire have put together a sound that is catchy, rockin' and no doubt kicks ass live.

As of now, Evening Empire have but two dates scheduled in the City by the Bay. (Apparently one of the members has been in Europe). Hopefully they'll soon pick up some speed and perform outside of their hometown. Until then, visit their site to download their new EP Build The Myth Backwards. Highly recommended, infectious stuff.

Thanks to DJ KRC for the tip!

Thursday, October 16

New Music: Nathan McKee - "Cookie Breath"

Not sure how many SSM readers caught the finale for Project Runway Season 5, but if you did, there's a good chance you're wondering about the awesome track that anchored winner Leanne Marshall's final collection runway show. The song is called "Cookie Breath" and it was composed and performed by Nathan McKee, Marshall's boyfriend, who may go by the stage name "William Holley".

Employing "guitars, clarinet, voice and magic", it is a track that beautifully layers organic and looped sound elements, traversing its way through an experimental wonderland. It's unclear what else McKee has in his bag of tricks, but he apparently made a "folk-pop" album last year that will be available online soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Listen to an edit of "Cookie Breath" on McKee's MySpace or do the guy a favor and plunk down $1.20 for the full-length mp3. C'mon, the economy's not that bad!

Tuesday, September 30

Show Alert: No Age and Friends (Bigler Benefit) - The Echoplex - 10/12/08

On October 12, SSM faves No Age are heading up a benefit show on behalf of their friend Michele Bigler, who is currently battling cancer without any health insurance. The lineup includes David Scott Stone, The Movies, Modern Memory, The Tyde and Dublab DJs Ale and Jimmy Tamborello. Barbara Levin of Progressive Democrats of Amercia will also be speaking. Tickets are only $12 and include a raffle ticket for one of many prizes from "conscientious and super" sponsors.

Thursday, September 25

News: The Republic Tigers Detained In London, U.K. Tour Continues

Well well. The Republic Tigers score themselves their first tour on the other side of the pond, and how do they kick it off? By getting locked down for 24 hours by London-Gatwick Airport Immigration Officers.

Apparently some SNAFU with their work visas put TRT into a tight spot that threatened them with imminent deportation back to the U.S. However, an 11th hour saving grace ensured that these guys will get to show Scotland and England what they've got in store.

Head on over to David Gaumé's tour blog for a full account of the experience as well as pics from the tour, like this lovely one below at Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland. Full tour dates below.

Sep 25 2008 8:00P
Picture House w/Travis Edinburgh, Scotland
Sep 26 2008 8:00P
ABC w/ Travis Glasgow, UK
Sep 28 2008 8:00P
the Ritz w/Travis Manchester, UK
Sep 29 2008 8:00P
Liverpool Academy w/Travis Liverpool, UK
Sep 30 2008 8:00P
Wulfrun Hall w/Travis Wolverhampton, UK
Oct 2 2008 8:00P
Newcastle University w/Travis Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Oct 3 2008 8:00P
Norwich UEA w/Travis Norwich, UK
Oct 4 2008 8:00P
Pyramid Centre w/Travis Portsmouth, UK
Oct 6 2008 8:00P
Bath Pavilion w/Travis Bath, UK
Oct 7 2008 8:00P
Leadmill w/Travis Sheffield, UK
Oct 8 2008 8:00P
Astoria w/Travis London, UK
Nov 15 2008 8:00P
Hi Dive w/Bishop Allen Denver, Colorado
Nov 16 2008 8:00P
M-Shop w/Bishop Allen Ames, Iowa
Nov 17 2008 8:00P
Subterranean Lounge w/Bishop Allen Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, September 21

Recommended Music This Week: Mogwai

Hot off a face-melting tour, Mogwai release their sixth LP this Tuesday. Entitled The Hawk Is Howling, this album collects ten of the Scottish rockers' latest tracks, all of which can be heard right now on the band's Myspace. So bless your ears with those tracks, and feast your eyes on this amazing work of videography, "The Sun Smells Too Loud":

Monday, August 25

Live: Radiohead @ The Hollywood Bowl - 08/24/08

15 Step
There There
Morning Bell
All I Need
Pyramid Song
Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
The Gloaming
National Anthem
Wolf at the Door
Faust Arp
Exit Music
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
Climbing Up the Walls
How to Disappear Completely

First Encore
Paranoid Android
Dollars and Cents
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Second Encore
House of Cards
Everything In Its Right Place

All photos by Jonathon David & The Lady Doc. Full set here.

Sunday, August 24

Live: Radiohead @ Outside Lands - 8/22/08

1. 15 Step
2. Reckoner
3. Airbag
4. There There
5. All I Need
6. Nude
7. Talk Show Host
8. National Anthem
9. The Gloaming
10. Videotape
11. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
12. Idioteque
13. Karma Police
14. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15. Just
16. Exit Music (for a film)
17. Bodysnatchers

18. Pyramid Song
19. You And Whose Army?
20. Paranoid Android
21. Fake Plastic Trees
22. Everything In Its Right Place

Wednesday, August 20

Show Alert: Sunset Junction Street Fair - 8/23-24

All of SSM's west coast correspondents will be on location this weekend at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival and The Hollywood Bowl (gotta get as much live Radiohead as we can). However, if we were home in Los Angeles with nothing to do, the Sunset Junction Street Fair would certainly get our hard-earned bucks. Great lineup, high of 81 on Saturday, and only $15/day. Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 16

Video: Child Rebel Soldier - "Us Placers"

As much as one tries to keep up with all things musical, it's an impossible task. Case in point: "Us Placers" by Child Rebel Soldier. CRS is a group consisting of Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams. "Us Placers" is the group's first single, and it first appeared on West's mixtape, Can't Tell Me Nothing way back in May 2007. The track features a generous sample from Thom Yorke's excellent track "The Eraser". It's great to see that Yorke's stuff is getting sampled -- and it's not surprising that these are the guys who plucked it from his solo LP. Keep an eye out for a CRS full-length, hopefully before the year's over.

Wednesday, July 30

Show Alert: James Murphy & Pat Mahoney DJ Set @ Tropicana Bar - 8/10/08

James Murphy and Pat Mahoney -- 2/5ths of the touring version of LCD Soundsystem -- will be flexing their DJ muscles at The Roosevelt Hotel on Sunday, August 10. The daytime performance has been dubbed "Special Disco Version" and will happen poolside at the hotel's Tropicana Bar. Expect something along the lines of Murphy and Mahoney's FABRICLIVE 36, "a hot sweaty blend of seminal disco, deep rare grooves and edgy tech-infused funk." There will also be DJ sets by Jason Bentley and Destructo.

This should be an awesome event, but be forewarned: "Please don't ask us to play any lcd if we dj near you. (awkward!)"

Tickets available here.

Wednesday, July 23

Article: "Does the world need another indie band?"

I occasionally watch a decent HD show called "London Live" which showcases established and upcoming musical acts. The lineup is usually hit or miss, with musicians like Beck and Lupe Fiasco sharing a bill with -- ahem -- Razorlight. Although Justice, Phoenix, The Rapture, Guillemots, Feist, Manic Street Preachers, Kanye West, and Lightspeed Champion have all graced the London Live stage, there are simply too many appearances from seriously mediocre British bands. Case in point: chart-topping, platinum-selling "pop" band Scouting For Girls.

The Independent recently published an article addressing the state of "indie" music that allows a band like Scouting For Girls to thrive. Among the topics discussed in the article are: what qualifies as "indie", the history and evolution of "indie" music, and the incredibly effective hype machines that propel shite like Scouting For Girls into the minds of unassuming listeners.

Although the article is predicated on an overly narrow definition of "indie", it makes some great points. A timeline from the piece:

How indie ate itself

1977: The Buzzcocks release their Spiral Scratch EP on their DIY label, New Hormones. Pop historians will refer to it as the first indie record

1986: NME and Rough Trade compile and release C86, the cassette (featuring, among others, Primal Scream, The Soup Dragons and Half Man Half Biscuit) that defines the indie genre

1987: The Smiths leave independent label Rough Trade after four albums and sign a more lucrative deal with EMI, then split acrimoniously before they record a note

1990: The Stone Roses, led by singer Ian Brown stage a Woodstock for the baggys generation – a huge gig at Spike Island in Widnes. Among the 27,000 fans is a young Noel Gallagher

1992: Alan McGee sells half of Creation Records to Sony for £2.5m. Later, Nude is sold to Sony, Factory to London Records, Go!Discs to Phonogram and Food to EMI

1993: Indie fans Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley take over Radio One's high-profile Evening Session slot and make it their own. Blur release their second album, Modern Life is Rubbish. According to John Harris, the author of The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of British Rock, this is the first true Britpop album. Alan McGee goes to Glasgow venue King Tut's Wah Wah Hut to see his label's act 18 Wheeler play, and discovers a little band called Oasis

1995: Blur and Oasis release singles in the same week ("Country House" and "Roll With It") in what NME bills as a "British heavyweight championship". Blur win the immediate battle to reach number one, but Oasis win the war: their album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, sells 18m copies worldwide

1997: Oasis's third album, Be Here Now, is bloated and ugly. Blur by Blur sounds American. Britpop dies a belated death

2001: New York hipsters The Strokes release Is This It. Everyone forgets about Britain

2002: The Libertines release their debut, Up The Bracket. Shambling guitars become chic again

2004: Snow Patrol's Final Straw and Keane's Hopes and Fears top the album charts. Indie reaches a low point

2006: Arctic Monkeys' Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not becomes the fastest-selling debut album in chart history. The major labels snap up every 17-year-old guikookstar player in the land

2008: Scouting For Girls' debut album reaches Number One. Indie eats itself

All I can say is: thank the heavens for freedom of choice. I'll never understand the U.K. charts and the continual chart-topping trash that has no place in critical circles, let alone on the soundtrack to Notting Hill.

Saturday, July 19

News: The Republic Tigers On Tour

The Republic Tigers commence their latest tour tonight, beginning with a show in The Flaming Lips' hometown of Norman, OK. This jaunt will take TRT across the western portion of the country, hitting all the key cities on the Left Coast. For you locals, check out the Spaceland date on Friday, July 25. (Photo of Justin Tricomi by Forester.)

19 Jul 2008 21:00
Opolis Norman, OK
20 Jul 2008 21:00
Hailey’s Denton, TX
21 Jul 2008 20:00
Mohawk Austin, TX
23 Jul 2008 22:00
Club Congress Tucson, AZ
24 Jul 2008 20:15
Modified Arts Phoenix, AZ
25 Jul 2008 20:00
Spaceland Los Angeles, CA
27 Jul 2008 20:00
Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, CA
29 Jul 2008 20:00
Towne Lounge Portland, OR
30 Jul 2008 20:00
Sunset Tavern Seattle, WA
1 Aug 2008 20:00
Kilby Court Salt Lake City, UT
2 Aug 2008 20:00
Larimer Lounge Denver, CO

Spoon In The Studio

Although this article is a year old, it provides some cool details into the production of Spoon's excellent 2007 LP Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Highlights: King Tubby, Jon Brion, creepy Oregon cabins, vulnerability, and planned album leaks. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11

Show Alert: Dan Deacon @ The Getty - 7/11/08 - TONIGHT!

Hey gang! In case you haven't heard, Dan Deacon is doing a free show at The Getty Center tonight as part of the museum's "Fridays Off the 405" series, sponsored by Flavorpill and KCRW. Things get going at 6pm with a DJ set by Brother Reade, with Mr. Deacon to follow. Cash bar, parking for $8, and that's it! Kfuture and I will be in attendance, and we hope to see you there! Details.

Tuesday, July 8

This Week's Recommended Music: Ratatat, Architecture In Helsinki

If you are familiar with SSM, you'll know that Ratatat is a preferred artist around these parts. Their third LP -- aptly titled LP3 -- came out yesterday, and features the duo's driving mix of synths, guitar, and layered effects. So give it a listen and catch them on tour, with shows at The Echoplex and Henry Fonda on the radar. LP4 is no doubt on the horizon.

Also out this week is the physical release of the EP Like It Or Not from zany Australian collective Architecture In Helsinki. Technically the third single from their LP Places Like This, Like It Or Not includes recordings of "One Heavy February" and "Beef in Box," two "long-time crowd favorites". Not much on the tour schedule for this year, but you can catch them at a November 6, 2010 gig at Carl Sagan's Pad.