The Joy Formidable, a Welsh band that mixes elements of 90’s alt-rock (Garbage, Cranberries), shoegaze (Slowdive, Lush) and modern all-over-the-place indie rock, played the Irenic this week for a good sized and very enthusiastic crowd. Sometimes I wonder how groups like this get discovered by so many people. There is really no rock-radio or video channel supporting bands like this but tours with groups like Muse and Editors must have helped them build a solid following. Continue reading →
According to the bio on his FB page, Ilan Rubin from San Diego, has played with Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves and Paramore. I didn’t know all this when I arrived half-way through his band The New Regime’s set opening for Welsh act, The Joy Formidable, at The Irenic in North Park. Continue reading →
I’d never been to a show at The Irenic before, even though my daughter lives on the same block. That proximity worked out well, as we (myself and both daughters) only had to walk across the street for the show after having a pre-show adult beverage. Continue reading →
I was 21 years old when MTV started back in 1981 and it was pretty awesome back then. Before that all we got wasDon Kirshner’s Rock Concert and Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special. Those were great shows but only filled 2.5 hours per week on Friday and Saturday nights. We all know that MTV doesn’t really do music videos anymore and the format went relatively dormant for a long time. Then YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo and others came along and music videos have once again become an important part of presenting and marketing a song.
That’s a lot of words to say that this song and video by wimps, a 3-piece punk rock band out of Seattle, is pretty fucking rad! Check out the video and then go see wimps play the Soda Bar Wednesday night when they open for Katie Von Schleicher...
I know everyone is wondering, “what show should I go to Wednesday night this week – there’s no one playing that I’ve heard of…”
The answer is easy – get to the Soda Bar to see Katie Von Schleicher,wimps and Gravyyard. This will be one of those shows that you can’t believe you saw at a venue like the Soda Bar (and don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the Soda Bar, but it is astonishing that bands like this, especially together, are playing such a small venue).
There – problem solved. See you there!!
In the meantime check out this video from Katie’s new album Bleakspoitation on Ba Da Bing! Records…
The next band up, after Retra, was Mittens. I had heard quite a bit about Mittens and now I know what all the fuss was about. Mittens’ blend of ’60s girl group sounds, ’90s alt-rock (think Cardigans not Smashing Pumpkins – though I have no doubt that Paul Mitten could unleash some great Billy Corgan riffs!), and modern indie pop really was just as good as I was warned it would be. Continue reading →
On a recent Friday night I was in the mood for new music and this show at The Kava Lounge looked interesting. I had heard of Mittens and The Fresh Brunettes but didn’t really know anything about them and I had no idea who Retra was. But I love checking out new bands so I headed on down to Kettner.
First up was Retra, who I soon found out is a relatively new band featuring Haven Blue on vocals, James Howard (Imagery Machine) on guitar , Chris Gorrie (Boychick, Giant Surprise) on bass, Carmen Martinez (Boychick) on drums, and Martin Sohikish (who didn’t play this night) on keys and guitar. Continue reading →
The last stop on my Art Around Adams tour was to see Mittens back at the library stage. I had seen the band play about a month ago at The Kava Lounge so I already knew how much fun they were. Mittens play a style of indie-pop that looks back but still has a modern feel to it. Their band bio mentions being inspired by groups like Rilo Kiley, The Cranberries and The Cardigans – and I can certainly hear the influence of those bands in their sound – but there’s also no mistaking their love of early ’60s girl groups like The Ronettes, The Shirelles and Martha & the Vandellas. Throw in some surf-rock licks and well-timed blistering guitar solos, to go along with their 3-part harmonies and big hooks, and you have Mittens! Continue reading →
My father was 26 years old when the Beatles‘ Please Please Me came out. I used to tell him that he was still young enough then to have followed the Beatles and the Stones instead of staying on the path that lead to Andy Williams and Glen Campbell. But the die was cast by that point, and rock ‘n’ roll was not going to be my dad’s thing. However, it turns out there was a section of his record collection that I would eventually come to fully appreciate. For as the British Invasion was in full swing, my dad was listening to The Lonely Bull, South of the Border and Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. It turned out my dad was much cooler back then than I ever gave him credit for! Continue reading →
I made it through the first 55 years of my life without ever seeing The Schizophonics and now I’ve seen them four times this year already. I was doing it wrong! The first time I saw The SchizophonicsI had no idea what to expect. It was a crowded night at The Casbah and I was near the back craning my neck looking for the second guitarist. I turned around to say something to my friend and he was doing the same damn thing! Continue reading →