Stranded In Stereo: January 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Death Sentence: Panda!

If ever there are two things that do not go together, its wind instruments and hardcore. At least i thought so until i witnessed San Fransisco band, Death Sentence: Panda! They are a three piece made up of heavily effected flutes, clarinets or saxophones, brutal math laden drums and occasional keyboard noise.

Their singer (comparisons suck, sorry) reminds me of a fusion of Poly Styrene from X Ray Spex
and Molly Seigal from Ponytail with her a-tonal screams riding high above the mix. The sound created is hypnotizing. During the show i was lucky enough to witness, they finished a song and the crowd were silent, not due to dislike, more-so due to being mesmerized, and having their brains melted.

Its groups like this that give me hope for the future of music. Musicians not restrained by the industry of music training based solely in the blues/rock genre. Musicians trying as hard as they can to fuck with your head. Death Sentence: Panda! = Me happy.

Check their blog here
Check their myspace here

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rat VS Possum

I am going to start this off with an equation.

Music = Art. At least it should, it barely ever does though. Usually its more a case of greed + the need for sex + fashion + egotistical, look at me bullshit = music, thus = me sad.

Any night of the week in any city in the western world your likely to find a four chord bar band singing Rolling Stones/ACDC derivative have sex with me because I'm "cool" music. "Hey check it out, vintage leather jacket, yep, got it at a thrift store. Next week I'm going to start smoking and in three years hit the heroin." "Whats your band like?" "Man, we rock, hard. Kind of like Guns n Roses having a baby with ZZ Top." "Can i borrow your Harley so i can drive myself into a wall at 60mph so i never, ever have to hear your shitty, shitty music."

If you delve deep into the various dark alley music venues of the world you can find creative, often young, remarkably cute kids making weird art/music. They often have too much extra percussion on stage, effects pedals a plenty and off key harmonies wrapped up in a bundle of fun and longing. Rat VS Possum are one of these bands.

Building up their fan base through exclusively playing house parties they created enough buzz to sell out a month long residency at the depressingly defunct infamous Tote venue in Melbourne's north. Now they have become the go-to band for bigger acts wanting a fun opening act. Their own shows are famous for glittery, projected experimentation and mind blowing weirdness. They would probably be more at home in the strange back alley venues of LA or NY but for now they are, thankfully, giving the southern hemisphere a much needed break from rock for ego's sake.

Thanks you Rat VS Possum.

See them all over the East Coast of Australia through Feb and March, check their myspace for dates and to listen.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor's brand of California pop is reminiscent of forerunners Lush, but siblings Skylar and Piper Kaplan at ages 15 and 22 respectively, are a little young to remember the days of 90's shoegaze icons.

Regardless, these Angeleanos effortlessly capture indie girl pop for 2010; with evocative dreamy tunes aligned with their laidback California roots. “Luv Goon” is a beautifully crafted simple track that I've had on repeat all day.

Another Mexican Summer find, Pearl Harbor's EP Something About the Chaparrals is Los Angeles indie pop personified; dark tales of the city hidden behind the façade of bleached out vocals. Pearl Harbor next plays The Smell with Abe Vigoda and Silk Flowers on January 28th, 2010.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Young Prisms

San Francisco locals, Young Prisms takes sun-bleached California rock to another level, conjuring up dreamy and ethereal images of oceans and sky, minus the cheese factor.

Part Beach House, Young Prisms are another Bay area favorite bringing more cred to the Left Coast with a haunting lo-fi sound.

Tracks like “Feel Fine” and “ Weekends and Treehouses” take on an almost hypnotizing quality, one perfectly suited for a lazy day of doing nothing.

Their 12” released on Mexican Summer, once again confirms that the Brooklyn label that brought us acts like Washed Out, has become the purveyor of great shoegazy music worthy of a second listen. Catch Young Prisms at Noise Pop at Café Du Nord in San Francisco on February 24th, 2010.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dios- We Are Dios

After an abrupt cymbal crash that opens Hawthorne, CA foursome Dios’ née Dios (Malos), new namesake album, the sound fizzles out into a swirling drone of reverb and serenity. The sound finds a low-point groove and Joel Morales sings alcohol and dumb decision go hand and hand when they’re around…epileptic tunnel vision, my body hit the ground supported by a Beach Boys harmony and a through-the-rabbit-hole lead up as the song paces itself for the segue into the group’s third album of progged-out, rainy-day songs that drift through a seaside carnival-like haze.

Most tracks flow through a sound falling somewhere between an out-of-phase computer-modded Syd Barrett (“Toss my Cookies” is the best song about ice cream sandwiches you’ve ever heard), a prog-rock drip and a more-than perfect contemporary nod to their hometown heroes, the Wilson family. There is certainly an underlying theme of a disdainful view of their modern, seemingly out-of-touch world, as Morales sings of boredom, age and getting drunk/stoned (modern man is all I am, feeling wrong and crawling on).

Apart from leaving you wanting to scoff at it all, telling the band to simply “get used to it,” the results instead manage to effectively leave the listener feeling sonically incapacitated, content and craving more. We Are Dios (Buddyhead) is certainly an early 2010 album worth looking out for.

--Matt Draper

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Mantles

Listening to The Mantles is like rifling through the ultimate record collection, with their sound drawing influences from the 60's stalwarts like The Yardbirds to 80's garage rock. Their debut LP on Siltbreeze Records recalls the best of these decades plus a little hazy distortion thrown in to align with the wave of lo-fi grunge pop permeating the sound today.

This foursome hailing from San Francisco, is already garnering favorable press and shouldn't be mixed up with Girls, that other much buzzed about bay area band specializing in this same brand of music. “Don't Lie (aka Trust)” is a perfect piece of jangley grunge pop sweetness, whereas “What We Do Matters” ups the tempo with late 80's punk tinges. For a trip down musical memory lane, check out The Mantles.

[mp3]: "Don't Lie"


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mikki and The Mauses meet the VCR

(photo from the band's MySpace)

Remember when Laserdiscs happened? Those LP-sized shiny movie discs came to techno-trump the VHS tape into format oblivion. As we know though, it didn’t work.

VHS continued and shortly after the LD bubble, the DVD showed up to the party laughing all the way to the top. Los Angeles foursome Mikki and The Mauses might be helping the VHS’ party cause with the release of their record, The Problem With Male Sexuality, for $9.99 which was released last September, on VHS tape via White Noise Records. A raw combination of music and video footage that harks back to the work of bands like The Residents.

MATM were formed by Anthony Anzalone, who, after escaping suburban LA life, set off to Japan—sans job or a solid place to stay— where he lived illegally, taught English, bartended and played with a band called Gokon and then returned again to The City of Angeles and formed Mikki, named after his obsession with Walt Disney, whom he considers a hero. They have since released split cassettes and hand-decorated, construction-paper-covered CDRs and established a name for themselves in the LA DIY and house party scene. Anzalone’s thoughts on the band and their goals are, well only fitting for a band with songs like “You Are an Asshole” and “World’s Biggest Trashcan.” “There’s no real goal when it comes to playing music like we do—it’s not like we’re going to make money or that it’s a goal that we have,” the lanky singer was quoted as saying in a recent LA Record interview.

The future for Mikki, again holds a venture into the throwback. The foursome, who play snotty, traditional rolling punk rock that oozes with a sound you would’ve found blaring from grungy 70’s NYC clubs the Lower East Side over, plan on releasing a Valentine’s Day VHS of love songs, as well as some singles and a 12” split with Japanese raucaous-rollers Deracine.

--Matt Draper

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Rumble LA - Tomorrow night!

Things have been a bit slow around here to begin 2010. There's been all of the digital mail to go through from the holidays, phone calls to return, and tears shed because our Eagles got their asses handed to them by the Cowboys.

We're slowly dipping our feet into the nightlife of 2010, but our big coming out party this year will be The Rumble, tomorrow night at 3 Clubs in Hollywood.

The band we will be showcasing for you include:
Chasing Kings
Cat Party

The action starts at 8 pm. It's free, as always. Show up early to waste dollars on the jukebox.