los angeles

Best of LA 2009 #25, KillKillKill

I would be lying if I said that KillKillKill wasn't aptly named.  This band plays aggressively metal music, with a hint of hardcore influence.  "Nothing Left" opens with a particularly unsettling movie quote, threatening the life of a man's girlfriend.  The song that follows is fast and would benefit from being played as loud as possible.  Members Mike Smith, Shawn Bruce, and Wayne Martin make music that sounds like a cross between Mastodon and Terror.  KillKillKill is slated to play a couple of shows in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina but should be back in Los Angeles in April. 


Best of LA 2009 #26, Active Child to play Echoplex on February 27th

Pat Grossi, of Active Child, has serious credentials.  A former member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir, Grossi's high tenor is the star of his one man show.  Grossi's voice coupled with a chorus of keyboards is quite the winning combination.  The layered vocals are clearing influenced by Grossi's days in the choir, but are completely transformed by the electronic, synthesizer laden instrumentals.  "Body Heat (So Far Away)" is one of those songs that could make you cry, if you were in a particularly fragile state.  These are songs that evoke feelings.  If you enjoy feeling feelings, maybe you should start listening to Active Child. 


Best of LA 2009 #27 Dirt Dress to play Spaceland on February 27th

I have a feeling that if Iggy Pop came of age in the 1950s, his band would sound something like Dirt Dress.  It's as if early punk rock had a one night stand with a bebop band, and Dirt Dress was the bastard love child.  Noah, who is responsible for vocals and lead guitar, has a voice that is reminiscent of the Pixies' Black Francis, which couldn't be more complimentary.  The other two-thirds of Dirt Dress are Jose and Raymond, playing bass/rhythm guitar and drums respectively.  With songs such as "Junk", "Stray Cats" and "Sonic Death", they manage to sound as though they were plucked out of the mid eighties.  They inject enough modernity into the equation to keep their sound fresh and original while remaining familiar.  Their music is well suited to semi dangerous skateboarding excursions, impromptu late night dinners at the local Mexican place and skinny dipping anywhere you shouldn't be swimming.  If these activities excite you, check them out. 


Best of LA 2009- #28 Dawes live at the Troubadour, March 11

I would hang out with Dawes.  What's not to like?  They make great, straight forward music that is free of pretention and full of soul.  The four gentlemen involved in Dawes are as follows:  Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith (fraternal duo, not a romantic couple), Wylie Gelber, and Alex Casnoff.  To be quite frank, the name Griffin was to get me on board, but if you're not as easily persuaded, let me do more to convince you.  Dawes sounds distinctly American, perhaps due to their heavy soul influence.  They also have made it their modus operandi to capture the inherent nature of their instruments.  The guitars sound like guitars, and the organs sound like organs.  No distortion, no synthesizers, and no auto-tune.  The vocals are pure and devoid and resonate perfectly with the musical backdrop.  All in all, this band is well worth your time. 


Warpaint: Female Phenoms.

Warpaint perfectly weds 70s psychedelia with the haunting female vocals of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman. Their music is a testament to the X chromosome, creating music that is uniquely and eerily alluring. Jenny Lee Lindberg on bass also lends her voice on occasion while Stella Mozgawa sticks to the drums. Warpaint is currently on tour through March, but should be back in Los Angeles at the end of the month. Check out their debut EP Equisite Corpse out on Manimal Vinyl.