Category Archives: Band Love

The Bard Chronicles: Kill Hannah at The Roxy 12/17/13

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Every once in awhile there is a band that becomes so elusive, it’s like your own personal unicorn. They come to town but not while you’re in town. They tour the UK but you don’t live there. They go on tour with a few bands and just before they make it down to your city, the headliner cancels the rest of the tour to go back to the studio. Such has been the case with myself and Kill Hannah. I’d been waiting seven years to see them (thanks HIM) and the opportunity finally came in the form of a one off show at the Roxy in LA. I almost didn’t go because, life and stuff. But I decided this was a once in a lifetime chance and my unicorn might never come around again. Let me tell you, it was so worth it.

The show was pretty amazing. I didn’t really know what to expect from the band having never seen them before and knowing they hadn’t played together in quite some time but they made it seem like no time had passed. And although Matt Devine’s hair is shorter now than it was circa “Lips Like Morphine you wouldn’t have guessed it had been seven years since that song came out or four years since their last release.

Their setlist was focused more toward For Never and Ever to celebrate it’s 10 year (!!!) anniversary and included some of my personal favorites like; “Race the Dream,” “Kennedy,” “10 More Minutes With You,” and “They Can’t Save Us Now.” They also played a few tracks from Until There’s Nothing Left of Us including one of my favorites “Believer.” But that’s not all folks… They successfully made it feel like Christmas came early when the confetti canons went off filling the Roxy with white confetti ‘snow’ while they played “New Heart for Xmas.” If that weren’t enough, they came back for an encore after closing with “Lips Like Morphine” to play “Welcome to Chicago” and shooting off the confetti canons yet again. It was a truly magical experience. 

Below are some photos from the show. Enjoy!

 

The Bard Interviews: Dear Boy- Part I

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A few months ago, I got the opportunity to sit down with Ben Grey of Dear Boy at The Bootleg and have a little chat. In honor of Dear Boy’s show at the Echo tonight, here is a taste of what happened…

A: So, Ben.

B: Yes dear.

A: Tell me about how Dear Boy came to life and the inspiration for the name.

B: Okay. They’re two separate stories. Um, how the band came together… Basically, I’ve known all these guys and worked with them in some capacity for a really long time and I always wanted to put them all together. But it was the first time we were all musically single so I kind of felt like it was fine to ask them out, officially of course.  And then I absconded with them to the UK and that’s how that started. But as far as the name, um, everyone think that it’s the Paul McCartney song or like a smaller group of people think that it’s the Keith Moon book but uh, it really came down to… a waitress said it in the UK. We were there on Thanksgiving and we had been living there for three months or something, and uh we’re in an Italian restaurant cause we had no family there, we had nothing going on so we… the waitress, she was talking to us a few times said, “oh you. Oh, dear boy”, and then that was like, oh my God that’s the name that we were looking for, for this thing

A: Serendipity.

B: Yeah, it was cosmic. Not so much of Paul McCartney’s song, which is great.

A. Cool. Um, I was wondering if at all, how did the time in London affect or influence the sound of the band?

B: It had a huge influence on the band and everything that we wrote there. Basically, I guess. What I say sometimes is that I was desperate to be displaced. And when you start something new… I mean, for me I wanted to be by myself and really really…. (Sighs) I wanted to be not around anything that was my old life because I really wanted to do something different. So, aside from the fact that all American musicians like to romanticize the UK, which is just sort of, at this point cliché, um I just… we had a small opportunity there, like a really tiny one, to play a residency there because my friend was a booking agent and we were just like, we are going to move there and it was just one of those ‘leap and it will appear situations’ and once we did we were alone and just with the city and in a very tiny flat with no heat and no tv and no internet and it was like, it acted as the best distiller. So over that period that we lived in London, everything about it influenced and shaped the record and really helped purify the sentiment and the main, I don’t know, the main innovations.

 

Stay tuned for more from the interview!

New Band Alert: The Tragic Thrills

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Once upon a time there was a pop band called Allstar Weekend. They were wildly popular, having toured all over the world and enjoying the perks of being a Disney-esque pop band. Then one day, they went into the studio to record a new album and realized they were a completely different band with a different sound than before. Thus began the transformation from AllStar Weekend to The Tragic Thrills.

Below is their newly released video for their single “Tears”

 

 

They’ve only played a handful of shows so far but if you like what you see (hear) you can catch them tonight (10/25) at the Bootleg with Irontom.

 

Important Links:

Website: http://thetragicthrills.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetragicthrills

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TragicThrills

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1gr6TzE

Video Premiere: Nightmare and the Cat- Be Your Own God

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LA based rockers Nightmare and the Cat have released their new video “Be Your Own God” from their debut EP Simple. While not the same as being able to see them kick some serious butt on stage, the next best thing is imagining this video was shot in your living room.

If you like what you see (and hear) you can catch them this Sunday 10/27 in LA at the El Rey with Sky Ferreira.

 

All the important links:

Website: http://nightmareandthecat.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nightmareandthecat

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nightmareandcat

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nightmareandthecat/sets/nightmare-and-the-cat

 

The Bard Interviews: A Sit Down with Saint Motel at the Soda Bar [7/25/13]

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It was roughly 8:15pm in the tiny parking lot of the Soda Bar when I sat down with the always entertaining Saint Motel members AJ Jackson (AJ-singer, keys, guitar), Greg Erwin (G-drummer), Dak Lerd (D-bass), and Aaron Sharp (AS- guitar) in their relatively new tour van. We talked about their new single My Type, touring in the UK, must have items whilst on the road, secret special talents, and much more. Read on my friends, read on… (pssssst: you can see photos from the show here)

AB: So tell me about the new track you guys just dropped yesterday, “My Type”, is that from a new record that’s coming?

AJ: We dropped it…. We dropped it like a basketball….

G: We didn’t mean to drop it, it just fell and we’re like, oh well it fell now so I guess we’ll have to pick it up. I’m just kidding.

AJ: Never shake a baby.

G: (mumbles in agreement)

AJ: Yeah. We are very excited about the song. It’s really fun and we’ve been excited to share it with everybody and it was really nice to be able to do that yesterday. And um, we’ve been playing it since a month ago (when) we started this tour but I’m just hoping people aren’t going to record it and leak it on to YouTube and be like “song’s out! Surprise” But yeah, it’s been fun. We’ve really enjoyed that one.

AB: Cool. Yeah. Definitely. It sounds a little bit different from what you guys have been doing. It’s a lot more… brassy.

AJ: Yeah. Yeah, I mean that’s definitely one thing a bit different from it. I mean on Voyeur we already kinda started using some horns and different instrumentation and um, the new batch of music definitely has a lot of sounds we’ve never used before um but I feel like, you know, at the same time it’s got a lot of classic Saint Motel vibe to it. Whatever that means. And um, yeah I dunno I guess we didn’t think too much about it being brassy or not it was just, we liked how it sounded and we liked the song and we didn’t want to, you know, limit ourselves.

AB: Definitely. So when can we expect a new record? Any ideas?

AJ: Um, there’s no information on that right now. Unfortunately. Someone knows but we don’t.

AB: Okay. You guys were recently in the UK. How was that experience? What were some of the best and worst moments? You guys had some epic pictures.

AJ: Thanks. Yeah, it was an epic time. We had two shows in London and then played some shows in Scotland and it was just like… I don’t think there was really any lowlights.

G: I agree.

AJ: I think the beer was a bit flatter.

G: Yeah, the beer isn’t as cold there. They like to serve their shit

[AJ: But you know, when in Rome] cellar temperature.

AJ: But, you know, when in Rome. I said “when in Rome” a lot just because I knew we were in Rome.

G: [Sighs]

AJ: It’s pretty fun.

G: We made sure we told everyone we were American as many times as possible and we wore, like, American flag t-shirts.

AJ: Yeah. You gotta. You gotta do that. Whenever you leave the country you have to do that. You have to wear only American apparel.

G: Especially in Europe. Yeah.

AJ: Yeah, no it was a good time from start to finish. And I think we’re going to be going back over there pretty soon. Which is cool.

AB: Cool. What are your guys’ must have items when you’re on the road?

G: Each other.

AJ: That is important. We don’t want to lose anybody.

G: Ummmmm.

AJ: Ginger has been a new one.

G: These guys eat a lot of ginger.

AJ: Fresh ginger.

G: I can’t do it. It’s too strong.

AJ: Slice it up, take a bite, and just chew on it. And it just makes everything better.

AB: It’s good for you. Keeps you healthy.

AJ: Yeah. Yeah, we keep learning new techniques that ginger… New health benefits I guess.

G: Clean underwear is pretty essential. I had to buy some new ones on this trip. I didn’t have enough time to do laundry.

AJ: They were like ummmm…

G: I just had to buy new underwear.

AJ: They were Batman underwear.

G: Yeah. Underoos.

AB: I approve. What about you two in the back? You guys have been quiet.

[Awkward silence]

AS: What are you asking?

AB: Are there any must have items you need when you’re on the road?

AS: Um.

D: I would say that we have to have a case of water.

G: [laughs] We do. We love water.

AJ: That is important.

A: A well-hydrated band.

D: I mean, like we don’t need keys we don’t need guitars.
Just water.

G: Sometimes we just play the bottles. [plays on a cup in
the van]

AJ: We freeze it at different temperatures.

G: Fill it to different heights.

AJ: Fill it to different heights.

AB: Like that part in Miss Congeniality.

G: Wow that was weird. I was just thinking about that.

AB: Mmmhmmm.

AJ: Whaaat?

G: Yeah.

AB: Yeah. There’s umm… Have you seen the movie?

AJ: [snorts/laughs]

AB: Probably not. Sandra Bullock has all these different glasses and she ends up playing them.

AJ: Is that the one where she’s an undercover cop?

AB: Yeah.

AJ: Ok

AB: She gets all fancied up.

G: Gussied up.

AJ: Undercover cop movies. Kindergarten Cop, Miss Congeniality, always the best crime [unintelligible]

G: Is there even more than those? Cause those are the only two I wanna…

AJ: Undercover Congeniality

G: Undercover Kindergartener?

AJ: No. No. The one where she pretends to be a nun.

G: Sister Act!

AJ: But she’s not really a cop but she’s still like, fish out of water.

AB: Isn’t she a gangsters wife?

AJ: Yeah. Something like that. That Whoppi.

AB: Alright, two more, well maybe three more questions. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song or band for you guys?

G: Like, something we listen to? That we feel shameful about?

AB: Yes. Everyone has one of those.

[band mumbling]

G: Gesafaltelfish

AS: Gesaffelstein.

G: You don’t…Do you feel bad when you listen to it?

AS: I don’t feel guilty about it at all.

G: She said guilty pleasure song.

AB: Guilty pleasure song.

G: Aaron loves….

AS: I don’t feel guilty about anything I listen to.

G: Dak loves the band Phish

AB: Phish? Ok.

G: And we all feel bad for him.

[laughter]

AB: Oh, you guys are funny. All right, two more. What is a weird skill or talent no one would expect from you? Other than your musical abilities.

AJ: You mean collectively?

AB: No. Well, whatever works.

G: We’re really good at Frisbee.

AB: Frisbee?

G: We play everyday on tour. We’re like, we’re gonna hit the circuit I think. Aaron’s doing trick moves. He’s already doing tricks.

AB: Yeah? What about individually?

AJ: Um. We’re all pretty good at back flips. No one expects that when they see us.

G: We’re probably gonna hit the circuit with that too.

AB: Yeah?

AJ: Yeah. Unexpected back flips too. Like, we’ll just be ordering a beer the bartender will be like, and right when he says that, you do a back flip.

G: And then you’ll get the beer for free though.

AJ: Yeah.

AB: That’s what I was thinking. Ok, last one. If you could sum up Saint Motel in five words, what would they be?

AJ: Sexy

G: Sex

AJ: Sex

G: Just sex

AJ: Sex I guess with a bunch of x’s

G: [laughs]

AB: Ok. All right, that’s it!

Band: [clapping] Yay.

G: Yay.

AB: Thanks you guys.

G: We clap for ourselves. Yay. That’s a wrap on Saint Motel.

New Band Love: Gin Wigmore

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[Writer’s Note: I had this written up forever ago and just never got around to posting it. No idea why but here it is]

 

The first thing you need to know about Gin Wigmore is that she is a badass. The second thing you need to know about her is that she kicks ass.

I first saw Gin Wigmore at Warped Tour in Pomona at the end of the day and although I wasn’t familiar with her, I decided to stick around and see what she was like. It was the best decision I made all day, apart from going on the slip and slide to cool down. Gin has a wonderfully gritty voice that is truly captivating and I found myself getting closer to the stage the longer she played. With her blending of jazz, soul, folk, blues, and rock, Gin and her band evoke a feeling of nostalgia, New Orleans, and good times. Her newest release Gravel and Wine (produced by Butch Walker) has been on a continual loop in my truck. Get yours and join the Gin Club.

Check out one of my favorite songs: Man Like That

The Bard Chronicles: Song Preservation Society at Soda Bar 7/16/13

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If you were to cross The Milk Carton Kids and Mumford and Sons, the resulting offspring would be Song Preservation Society. Take the live show, melodic harmonies, simple instrumentation, and a passion for speaking from the heart and you have all of the important elements that make up this band. Admittedly, I was tired from a record number of musical outings by my current standards but watching them play more than made up for it. If you didn’t make it out to the Soda bar for their show, you can catch them August 25th supporting Truth & Salvage Co. at the Griffin. Check out their video Terra  below and peep the few decent photos from the show.