Spaceland Presents has been one of the most influential music promoters of Los Angeles
But it was Beach Party’s residency, and although they rather installed a rock party than a beach party – and I am mostly talking about their stage dynamic and their classic rock moves here – they brought a lot of fun inside the Echoplex
They have everything to accomplish such thing, songs as catchy as hell, earworm anthems (just listen to ‘Say Yes’), a symphonic feeling mixed with a pop-bombast embedded in multi-voice harmonies, which even include that of an operatic singer
the place looked and sounded like a beehive, and I could hardly count how many instruments there were , sax, cello, trumpet, violin, keyboard, accordion, upright bass, guitars, drums…
The very moody music seemed to explode in many directions, and was totally uncategorizable, leaning toward a reworked Americana fueled by stomping and violent rhythms and polyphonic vocals during a song like ‘Badlands’, then morphing into ethereal dream pop with expansive development
Frontman Brandon Robert had this super low baritone voice, and he efficiently used it, singing on a very monotonous-monochord tone, which accentuated even more the goth imagery. The ambiance, like the light, was dark and dim, but it didn’t mean everything was only about shoegazing and new wavy soundscapes.
Totally in charge all night long, she had a very calm charisma and the confidence of an old soul. Angel did not give any long discourse but these short sentences between her songs were enough to build a strong connection with her audience which was already captivated by her performance
On the stage of the Echoplex, Lo-Fang, real name Matthew Hemerlein, had hardly started his set of romantic, breezy, and emotional songs. The stage was very dark and I could barely see the two other musicians, a girl on keyboard and a drummer, but Hemerlein was himself switching between guitar and violin
Tall and dark, his chin up in the air, he was throwing scary sights at the crowd like a hunted/haunting beast and I wasn’t sure if he wanted to hurt all of us, hurt himself or if he was in deep suffering
The delicate and delightful – looking at their accomplice’s smiles all night long – task of performing Merritt’s new songs.
Five on stage, forming a barrage of guitars and bass, these guys seemed to live the dream with their bluesy rock’ n’ roll,
The music was going in many directions too, with layered hazy synths and keyboards, some stamping dance beats, a funky bass, an exotic vibe coming from some guitar solos, and Halliday’s soaring voice, the ensemble producing some infectious and catchy songs like ‘The Game is Changing us’ or ‘Lonesome Body’.
Honestly, these HOTT MT kids were plain weird, trying to be too weird or having a genuine taste for weirdness?
Am I too old to be first row at a Wavves’ gig? Probably, but I just wanted to take a few pictures, however they turned out all fuzzy and blurry with all that pushing-jumping-bouncing-surfing energy emerging from the crowd.
Their set was quite animated, there was a sort of Ariel-Pink-look going on with Alex Coxen’s bleached hair and shorts over tights, but he was producing some visceral open-throated vocals, and a nervous but triumphant feeling was coming from all that loud distortion, squalling and shredding. Dinosaur Jr.? Sure, but there was certainly more than this in their booming guitar solos
You will read a lot of Joy Division comparisons in critics, and it is understandable based on the pessimistic ambiance they installed during their short set, it would certainly be difficult to top it, but I don’t know if I totally buy the whole Hamlet in hell, I-am-the-new-Ian-Curtis nihilistic approach. May be they don’t want to be compared to the 70s English band
The whole thing was very, very ambient, quite cinematic, if your brain was willing to provide the images, and at times contemplative. It wasn’t that nothing was happening, their soundscapes were abruptly and constantly changing like a moody-stormy weather, but you had to do some efforts if you wanted to follow them
Somewhere between a raw aggressive grungy punk and some weird experimental electronic rock, often dark, bizarre and bleak, their sound was just great and surprising at each song with a minimalist ethic
‘We have played in LA before but nobody came!’ said Barrow, looking around and seeing a full house, the crowd responded by some screams of protestation, but it was one of the few times when you could hear people, as everyone was listening very religiously
I don’t know why Bad Religion is doing this, as they are usually playing large venues and headlining festivals, but if you are a fan it is an unique occasion to see the iconic punk band in an intimate venue
He used the whole crowd-surface as Jesus-Christ-turned-evil walking on water,… you would think this would finally collapse, but no, each time Spielman was back on stage faster than the light, swimming his way back through a sea of hands, legs and other body parts
So if you care for them, here is the list of the 24 songs sung by the band (but only 6 songs from their next release ‘¡Uno!’) and some pictures tweeted by enthusiastic fans
‘This record is about being confused, having lust, greed, and searching for…something’… and their music was effectively searching for a right balance between distinct rock rhythms and the haze of the background.
The eight-piece band is obviously not afraid of the grandiose and soaring choruses, with three keyboards, guitars, trumpet, violin and a large rhythm section, their songs coming from albums inspired by the four seasons, can be some big tempestuous numbers
The more I read about them, the more I realize they are stunt specialists. They have claimed to have released music by putting USB sticks in apples and selling them in Brixton market, to have been caught robbing raccoons from taxidermists and to have joined the Nation of Islam?
They said to have worked on Hollywood film scores, which works perfectly to their cinematic compositions filled with sonic swirls, techno beats,… yeah I totally could see epic pursuits and weird apocalyptic fantasies going with that stuff, but this is what bothers me, if it is potential movie background, is it enough?
vocal harmonies were definitely at the top of the sound, a priority they were playing with, making a lot of aaaah-aaaahs or oooh-ooohs as synchronized as their matching bowties
Charming Nina was all wide-rolling eyes with an expressive face when she was going from one high note to another high one, with a total assurance and some badass energy. Her hair in her face, soon covered by sweat, she was in control of her voice and music
The formula duo – guitar and drums – has already been used a lot and reinventing it seems to be quite a task, but The Dead Ships managed to bring something original while evoking big names at the same time.
Some people in the audience seemed to know all their songs
they were here for the real sweating-moshing-pushing-screaming-surfing-jumping thing
fiercely brutal, straightforward and minimalist
urgency consummated in a shoegazing rype of way