Punky Brewster + Bonding Males = Seksi Noise

So maybe you have been living under an ironic rock or lacking an active social life that includes all of the L.A. underground shows (I reside in both categories) and have not gotten familiar with the seksi London-native trio known as Male Bonding.
 [British seksi Betches!!!]

I am urging to you to awaken the angst-ridden, self-loathing punk kid in you so that you might become hyper-sensitized to their abrasively catchy tunes. It is difficult to categorize these fine fellows because although their noise driven album is primarily punk based there are still some surf pop elements. I really enjoy the distored and inaudible sounds in the beginning of "Nothing Used to Hurt" and the summer playfulness of "Pumpkin".  "Franklin" has eerie echoing voices coming form a tunnel and show a softer side of these cayoot foreigners. The entire album makes me want to kick myself for not catching them FOR FREE at my school the weekend of Coachella. To my defense I was trapped in the desert with a few of my favorite bandzsss 3v3rzzzz! I recommend to any music music lover to get cozy and bond with this band... they are kind of irresistible. Might I add that no song is over three minutes long meaning you can actually listen to them 10 times while driving back home from L.A. traffic (depending on where you live).

Also, thoughts on the video below? I love this song but for some reason the concept and tune seem to not exactly mesh well:

Looks of a complete hipster sausage fest to me. Who made this video? Looks like a cheap version of an Animal Collective album. I am out of the loop with the whole triangle movement overtaking many music artists' aesthetics?

Procrastination + Ineptitude = Bowl Full of Remorse

Hello, hello to the few readers of the blog.

After almost a three month hiatus... I'M BACK! I apologize for being an absent mother but after a long pensive break I am back and with a vengeance. Well, not really a vengeance per se... more like a new found resurgence.

Hopefully, you still love me after this post because I come bearing GIFT (yes, singular because the economy sucks). You might or might not know that I am currently dating KCRW and it's getting serious. Pssssh... I wish! Anyway, after a great set I heard on 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' I also heard the greatest rendition of my beloved David Bowie's "Golden Years".  The release of a digitally remastered Station to Station prompted a few of Bowie's head honchos to ask four KCRW DJs to remix their own take of the classic song. My personal favorite is Jeremy Sole's remix because he did not stray too far from the original, yet he managed to inject a different Caribbean lounge-y atmosphere into the already catchy tune. I must give him mad props for recording in 100% analog, using vintage equipment, and musicians that have worked alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse, Budos Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Menahan Street Band.

Check out the vid for the sweet tribute:

Verdict: I CANNOT/REFUSE to stop listening to this song! Neither should you. I want this song too!

Makes me want to go back into time to the 1970s bachelor swingers pad.

Clue #1 for Halloween Costume. Can you guess who/what I might impersonate in tranny form on All Hallow's Eve?!?!?!


Farmer Dave + Vetiver + Devendra Banhart = Spaceland Heaven

June is dwindling down and July is fast approaching like a speeding asteroid to the face. Before the clock strikes 12 at midnight and my 1990 Toyota Camry turns into a pumpkin, I wanted to relive the best show this concert-going season has seen yet. That would be Spaceland show that Vetiver headlined nearly three weeks ago.

I have to digress a bit and explain some circumstances that led this to be an unbelievable night. For starters, this was my first time ever in this historical venue. For years I cried in pain as I was unable to buy tickets to see some of my favorite bands play in a small intimate setting, free of annoying teenagers with DSLR cameras obstructing my view. Newsflash: The lighting in concerts is usually too dim to capture a decent picture at that shutter speed (see second picture below). Yes, I had charted across 21+ only territory and reached the promise land. As I entered Spaceland, various Vetiver posters and banners adorned a few walls. I did a double take and then quietly removed the tape of a poster and carefully placed it in my oversize hobo bag before anyone could see me and escort me out. That poster of one of my most favorite bands proudly hangs framed in my room. "No shame" was the name of the game that night and I was an avid player. Speaking of no shame, I shamelessly bought my first beer that night for $5!!! Isn't that nearly the cost of a six pack? Whatever I guess. When in Silverlake, do as the hipsters do and conform to price gauging.

I sauntered over to the stage where no one was obnoxiously elbowing and pushing forward. Everyone was lounging in their own space, unobtrusive to people next to them and genuinely enjoying Farmer Dave's set. This man is seriously the most charismatically awkward lead singer/guitarist I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. With a barely understandable psychedelic western twang, he bantered a bit to the audience as he sampled songs from his various different projects. Although he has collaborated with artists such as Jenny Lewis, Vetiver, Devendra Banhart, Interpol, and Jonathan Wilson, I was most excited to see him play selections from the beloved Beachwood Sparks. I believe that it was with the Sparks that Farmer D shined the brightest and I was completely awestruck when he played "The Sun Surrounds Me" with his temporary traveling band.

As if anything could distract me from listening to a member of such an influential Americana band, I fell in love that night. With who you may ask? Well, with the one-and-only Devendra Banhart. YES! I had gotten word that Devendra Banhart was at the show supporting his close music buddies as a regular Joe Schmoe. I started feeling like a giddy school girl and tried to keep my cool and act indifferent, when inside I felt like talking to him about music and hoped he would ask me to marry him. My friend Maria knew of this unabashed ultimate musician crush and dragged me to Devendra's general area and told him I was his biggest fan (not a far stretch from the truth). I was dumbfounded, embarrassed, scared, and developing a bad case of the sweats when he said, "Hi, my name is Devendra. Nice to meet you." I cannot really remember what I said afterward but soon enough we were talking about his upcoming shows in Jerusalem, my radio show, and we even engaged in a Spanish conversation before Vetiver started playing. He was not an ostentatious person at all and kindly spoke to all of his fans and I am kind of glad the "no shame" game led to me to make such a genuinely nice acquaintance.

[Devendra with my sister and I approving our compatibility.]

Rubbing elbows with one of favorite musicians did not distract me from the obvious main attraction of the San Francisco folk band I set out to see. From the first song Andy Cabic and crew played as if they were jamming out in an old friend's basement adding a nostalgic element to their set. The band covered songs from their early days as struggling musicians to brand new songs yet to be released. Cabic played the sweetheart card when he dedicated "Maureen" to his girl when he is off touring all over the world. After playing a surprisingly long set, the band walked off stage without playing "More of This" and "Sister", a song my sister and I serenade to each other often. Just as I was about to pout in disapproval, Cabic and the rest of the bandmates come out and my sister and I get our dance on near the stage as Cabic looked at us in confused approval. That was the final note in this almost incomprehensible amazing night that took me nearly a month to fully digest and retell. 

 [Example of unattractive shutter speeds in dim concerts. Sorry that I did not capture you in your true essence, Andy.]

Conclusion: The "no shame" game strategy prevailed and we were victorious!

Dirt Dress = New Find

[Raymond (drums), Jose (bass, rhythm guitar), and Noah (vox, lead guitar) energetically coax the audience to dance while they wear aprons?]

I got my first taste of this promising band when I decided to venture out of Lame Town Suburbia, CA. Occupants: Me and my friend Sandra. We decided to hit up The Smell after I had looked at this past Friday's line up. I browsed the various myspaces of the bands that were to play instead of practicing guitar and learning to read music. Why do musicians make it look so simple to just jam out? Anyway, after finding a sweet parking spot near the almost hidden shady alley we walked in hoping we had not missed the few bands I was excited to see, which we had not. To my slight disappointment most of the bands were self-fulfilling prophecies in the sense that they sounded a lot better in their recorded material as opposed to a live setting. I found this odd in this group of bands because many had implied that they adhered to the DIY garage school of theology, making The Smell the perfect place to showcase their music. *Buzzer* Wrong answer. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. ¡A los leones! (See the sabado gigante chacal here if you feel so inclined to.)

When the boys from Dirt Dress began to play in the back stage with blasting fans I found the light at the end of the tunnel and a new appreciation for central air conditioning. They asked the audience to break the fourth wall and enter their sphere of music so as to savor every single lyric. I did not mind one bit getting all close and personal with these guys. Have you seen how cute they are? If not, look above! Although initially the band might sound hard-hitting on the hearing palate, their tunes become catchy and interestingly ambiguous. Their semi-abstract lyrics make you want to be a part of Noah's disguised discourse. Jose's skills on the bass were completely memorizing as he and Noah musically danced around a lingering duet to end a fantastic show at the perfect venue for their music. Drawing influences from lo-fi rock techniques and creative inspiration from bands such as The Velvet Underground and the Pixies, Dirt Dress is able to deliver a point of view that has been duplicated and overdone in a successfully refreshing way. I hope theses guys release more music and add to their repertoire apart from the cassette EP, Perdido En La Suciedad, released by Papermade in 2009. Who still buys cassette tapes? Is this the new hipster fad making its rounds in L.A.?

Cassette tape or not, I am wholeheartedly excited to see what new material this band has to bring in its upcoming shows. I will most definitely be up close and personal with the guys at their next show at the Press in Claremont where I do believe this establishment has some type of ventilation system. Score!

Dirt Dress Awesomeness 

About Me

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Greetings, from me to you via cyberspace! My name is Karen and this blog was started in conjunction with my Digital Art 141 class. My creative background spans from my fascination with sustainability issues, urban design, architecture, and interactive art. I guess that I am no different than many college students in that I am not sure where my interior architecture major and women's, gender, and sexuality studies minor will lead me in terms of a career path. All that I know is that I am interested in exploring urban design work, advocacy and nonprofit work within underrepresented communities, and possibly starting my own green business. I hope to have a better understanding on design within different facets, including a digital medium because of this class. Hope you enjoy my future posts regarding art and other nonsense running through my head.