Monday, March 31, 2008

Amar Collective @ Downtown LA Loft

Wing's band was going to play at this loft downtown. It was originally supposed to be a vinyl/lasagna party, but then they decided to have these bands play there as well, which I thought was pretty cool, but I was surprised that they would be playing music at night in an apartment. Then I saw the loft. It was HUGE. At first I was thinking, "Is this an apartment or some kind of lounge area?" It had this big warehouse kind of feel, but it was full of kitschy things like there were all these stands that were filled with wacky hats, there was an old fashioned cigar room w/ green leather furniture and things, a roomy living room area that was actually a good size for all the bands to play in, and some office space, and other areas to chill out in. That didn't even include the bedrooms! I wonder how much rent was there.

Big Lovin’ Panda:
First band up. They were playing kind of old school early to mid-90s sort of rock.
The guitarist and drummer are very talented. I loved some of the guitar solos.

Wing's band. They play catchy, fun, indie type music. "Love is for Lovers" is always great. They used to be more shoegazey, but I'm liking the newer, faster songs.

Ana Caravelle on harp & Alina Cutrono on acoustic guitar:
They made a good duo. The harp sounded beautiful and Ana had a very pretty, low, jazzy kind of voice. Reminiscent of Feist. Alina also had a good voice. Her singing complemented Ana's very well.

Brothers Landau:
Ended the night, for us anyways. There were still a ton of people there when we left and I don't think we stayed for the entire set. I wish we had though because they were very unique. One brother was on acoustic guitar and the other on cello. They started off with "Intercontinental". I didn't know cello could be so catchy. The acoustic guitarist had a good folky kind of voice. Then they got the party started by doing this fantastic rendition of Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do it". Everyone joined in for the chorus. It was so great! Then they did a bossa nova song and we were about to leave when all of a sudden they started playing (last thing I expected) King's of Convenience's "Homesick"!!!! We were practically going to open the door when that song literally stopped me in my tracks and I begged my friends to let me listen to the rest of the song. Beautiful cover and kind of awesome that some of the people knew all the words to the song.

Kaki King @ The Roxy

Matt Sheehy opened for Kaki King last Wed. His voice wasn't bad, but I think his music is too slow for me. It was acoustic guitar with drums. I thought the drums overpowered his voice and guitar playing. Plus, I couldn't understand anything he was singing, he mumbled through his songs. I tried my best to listen, but I had no idea what any of his songs were about, so then I would start zoning out.

I thought I had never seen Kaki King before until F reminded me that we had previously seen her perform at MOCA and it was really long and boring. She did have a ton of fans though, but she came off as being very quiet. I had already told W that I would go with her, so it was too late for me to get out of it. I went to the show as kind of a n00b since W hadn't bothered to give me any of her music or her new album. So, I was dreading the show a bit because my only impression was of her at MOCA. Luckily, the show was extremely different from what I thought it would be.

She came out on stage with her acoustic guitar, as expected. Then she started playing, and I was in shock when the rest of her band came out. What?! She plays with a band?! So, things were looking up then. She started off with several very catchy songs, of which the names I do not know since that was my first time hearing them. She's got a nice Lisa Loeb-ish type voice. Not that strong, but it fit well with her music. Sometimes she would start out with this really catchy guitar tapping and then it seemed to get overwhelmed by the drums.

Some of the highlights of the night:
- "Montreal" started off with her playing then the rest of her bandmates came out one by one and as soon as the drums started, the song became one of the catchiest songs she played all night. Totally made me want to dance.

- She started playing this spacey music and quoting something about spice that sounded extremely familiar. Then it turned out she had been doing this whole monologue about DUNE. It was pretty geeky, but totally ep-to-the-fing-ic! I was like 'no friggin way is she talking about Dune ON STAGE in front of all these people!' And she was really passionate about it!

- Stories about Amy Tan dressing as a dominatrix in her band.
- The cover of Fashion Tattoo by Bubonix. AMAZING. It was like she was being ironic because she sings all these indie, folky songs and then all of a sudden she was singing this punk song and she did some emo screaming. I didn't know she had it in her. It was impressive!

Overall, she put on a great show. W told me that on this album she started singing and having a band, which totally deviated from her previous albums. I think it's a good direction to go in. It gives her a fuller sound and makes her a bit more radio friendly. Like the song "Pull Me Out Alive" reminded me of The Cranberries.

She had A LOT of male fans. They must realize she's gay, but I guess they don't care.

Why is it that any time there is a short person standing around at a show, a tall person MUST stand in front of them? I will call this Connie's Law. Guaranteed at every single show I've been to a tall person has stood in front of me at LEAST once. And at this show the law escalated because these 2 ridiculously tall people stood right at the front of the stage. Kaki King is already short enough as it is, but with this tall, balding, old man standing in front of her, you couldn't even see her at all! I mostly saw his bald head for half the night! He must've been like mid-fifties. What was he even doing there?! ESPECIALLY, at the front of the stage?! There should be a height limit for people who stand at the front of the stage.

High Note: In reference to the tall guys and one girl behind me said "Tall people need to die."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

High Fidelity on mix tapes

"You can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Everybody Else @ Art Institute of CA, OC

So, I drove all the way to OC to see them even though I was trying to recover from a pretty bad cold. I really like the band and the show was free, come on, there was no other choice! Also, I heard there was supposed to be a fashion show and free food. They did not disappoint!

So, me and my sis pull into the parking lot and we see this sea of bright colors. We both immediately knew we were underdressed. It was like half art students and half Indie kids. We were planning on dressing a little crazier, but the weather got really cold, so we toned it down to stay warm. Well, my sis was doing alright since she was wearing green stripe socks and gold flats. btw, why is it that the larger you are, the tighter you think you can wear your pants? I know Indie kids like their skin-tight jeans, but I saw some people who were 3x my size and wearing skinny jeans 3x smaller than my size. I was impressed that they could even get them on! So anyways, you can imagine the scenery with so many crazy looking art students and Indie kids. It was like everyone was trying so hard to look different, but they all kind of ended up looking kind of homogeneous.

First thing we do after parking is take a stroll around the area. There's some artists trying to sell their wares, a skateboard ramp, runway with a band playing, and a long line. We immediately get into the line and it turns out it's for free drinks and tacos. The tacos were pretty good for free. As we were waiting in line, we did some people watching. We saw one guy who had big bright pink sunglasses on (it was cloudy that day) and a very fitted feminine jacket. I said "That guy looks like a rock star," and my sis said "Wouldn't it be funny if that was the lead singer?" Turned out it was. I'm sure he dressed like that to attract attention. I wonder if he got any because we saw him wandering around by himself. I know, I should have recognized him, but I'm usually there to just listen to the music. I never remember what he looks like besides that he's very attractive. He has the same lanky body and shaggy haircut that every other Indie kid has. It's hard to tell the difference! It's funny how they've replaced Phantom Planet for me. I remember back in the day when I used to go see Phantom Planet any time they were playing free somewhere. So, now that they're bigger, I don't even go to their shows anymore because I've seen them for free so many times. I have paid for Everybody Else's shows before, but they usually play for really cheap. :)

Then we wandered into the school to look around and eat some little sweet hors d'oeuvres that they're carrying in trays for the press fashion show. Those were delicious. I wish I knew what they were. They were like small dollops of custard on top of small pieces of pie crust. They were really good and naturally ran out of supply quickly. The school had some interesting student art on display.

We watched a fashion show outdoors that had some pretty nice clothes: Cali style w/ an Indie edge. Good enough to please the people there. I don't know if it was because the crowd had a lot of young girls there (an unfortunate side effect of liking a band who plays poppy catchy music and has a really good looking front man), but every time a male model came out there was a ton of screaming and hollering. Yeah, some of the guys were attractive, but really? They know they're good looking, just seemed kind of immature, but it did make them act a bit more cocky (and some of them a little bit embarrassed), so that made it a bit more interesting.

After the show, Everybody Else played on the same runway. We started out sitting by the runway this far:

It was surprisingly tame and controlled, then he wanted everyone to get a little bit closer and people started bumrushing the stage, so then we were this close:

Yep, about an arm's length away from him. The lighting was really weird and I did use a cameraphone, so the pictures do no justice to his good looks. It was a nice intimate show. Not as crowded as their other shows have been and I was a bit disappointed that they didn't play one of my fav songs "I Gotta Run", but the other songs were still good. They played a new song and "Wake Up" off their first album, which I've always liked. So, overall, it was a good day and I ended up with a set list and a guitar pick. :)