Producer and arranger Craig Leon created two LPs worth of gorgeously warped, drastically advanced, generically unclassifiable music based on the idea of interplanetary Top 40 radio. As multilayered in concept as some deep-dish SF classic yet as eerily cozy as your last late-night bout with Can or Ash Ra Tempel, his Nommos and Visiting are now re-released. This interview by Ron Garmon.
Yes, you heard that right: the Flamin’ Groovies have bested the Zombies.
PHILIP GLASS’ THE CIVIL WARS @ WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
The LA Philharmonic’s stripped-down interpretation of Glass’ faithful treatment of Wilson’s words felt a little bit smart, a little bit chaotic, a little but underdone—in short, it was perhaps more faithful to Wilson’s raw gem than a huge-budget spectacle would have been.
THE WAR ON DRUGS @ THE TROUBADOUR
The nearly two-hour-long set was a study in tension and release, alternating between propulsive anthems and more brooding and introspective fare.
NEDELLE TORRISI @ OTHERWILD
“She has the voice of an angel” was whispered amongst the crowd more than a few times. Her nearly pitch-perfect, angelic voice was only trumped by her excellent projection while staying perfectly tight, landing on every note with the finesse of a butterfly and unleashing the power of a lioness upon belting select hard-to-hit notes.
JAPANTHER @ LYRIC THEATRE
Crackling movie quotes, punctuated artsy musings, stuttering programmed beats, and periodic commentary from their drummer garnished this tasty offering at WeHo’s Lyric Theatre.
It spurs fantasies in me of what Belinda Carlisle might have gotten up to if she’d never dropped the moniker “Dottie Danger” and had saved Sid Vicious’ life by getting him to play bass with her in Superchunk.
THE PHENOMENAUTS: ESCAPE VELOCITY
Imagine an after-hours party with Marc Bolan, Devo, and Cheap Trick . . . and then the Groovie Ghoulies show up!
THE EVANGENITALS: MOBY DICK; OR, THE ALBUM
I haven’t heard harmonies ring this good since the Chapin Sisters were on the scene.
OPEN MIKE EAGLE: DARK COMEDY
Mike gleefully references comic books, Seinfeld jokes, and even They Might Be Giants! And he doesn’t shy away from calling out people for their idiocy and greed.
CHRISTIAN LEE HUTSON: THE HURT AND THE NATURAL CHARM (DAYTROTTER SESSIONS)
The guitar picking eventually reduces itself to just idle, almost inaudible strumming, before Hutson comes back strong with the kind of woe that sounds almost indistinguishable from tired frustration.