L.A. RECORD!

FASHAWN: MORE DIGNITY AND MORE HONOR

Last week, Fashawn hit yet another speed bump when his highly anticipated sophomore album, The Ecology, leaked. His response? Release the album early on iTunes and book his release show for the Echoplex on Feb. 26. After all, as he said on 2009’s “Stars”: “A star is a star and it shines regardless.” This interview by Rebecca Haithcoat.

Live reviews

BLOODY DEATH SKULL @ BLUE BAG RECORDS

Maybe Bloody Death Skull is the missing link between the innocence of youth and the cynicism of the adult who yearns to be young again. They incorporate trippy costumes and obscure instruments. You might start questioning your existence, remembering your childhood (for better or worse) and getting in touch with some uncomfortable truths about the world.


JOHN COOPER CLARKE @ LA CITA

The peripatetic punk poet from Salford arrives late—20 minutes or 40 years late, depending in how you look at it—apologizing out of a halo of cigarette smoke, saying, “I got here a little late, too late to read the guest list.” It’s a failing he turns to his advantage as he then reads that guest list, making a poem out of it in which the names rhyme and people are caught unawares by his awareness and the utterly-packed house (courtesy of Part Time Punks) erupts into the rapture of applause. “I tried to make it entertaining as I can,” he shrugs.


KERA AND THE LESBIANS ARE BRINGING DUENDE BACK

“I’m so happy,” blurted an elated Marketing Director of the Fold, midway through Kera’s performance. Even if she didn’t mean it … the room compelled her to HAVE TO SAY IT.


BOY AND BEAR @ THE FONDA

With reverence for such staples of Americana (yes I know Young is from Canada), Boy & Bear has a lot to live up to but the band certainly met the mark, especially in categories of self-exploration, lyrical depth, and haunting harmonies.


AUSTIN PSYCH FEST @ CARSON CREEK RANCH

Yes, you heard that right: the Flamin’ Groovies have bested the Zombies.


Album reviews

BELLA NOVELA: TELEMETRY

The album’s cover shouts out to Thin Lizzy, the first song channels what Gwen Stefani would sound like if she fronted Dragonforce, and everyone from Iron Maiden to the Motels are referenced in the other eight tightly packaged three-minute tracks (“Lenora” is an 80s power ballad transported to Baja). The songs are decidedly new but entirely familiar, making Telemetry—even without a zombie-apocalypse narrative present in 2011’s The Archeress—an easy album to listen to and an even easier album to love.


SPACESHIPS: SELF-TITLED EP

Four new songs from L.A. guitar/drums duo Spaceships, now dialing down the noise and discovering their own pop songs. Like Wavves or (the early levels-in-the-red) Best Coast, Spaceships are all about the ocean as both state of mind and sense for production, so if they sing about the beach, they’re gonna make it sound like the waves are crashing right into the tape recorder.


TALK IN TONGUES: “STILL DON’T SEEM TO CARE” 7″

This sunny Los Angeles four-piece has apparently caused quite a stir on the interwebs with its debut single, “Still Don’t Seem To Care.” With dreamy, swirling guitars, soaring falsetto vocals, a glittery mid-song breakdown, and a deliberately abrupt conclusion that shuts the song off like a slammed door, it’s no wonder Talk in Tongues have been hyped by Vice (“your new favorite psych-rock band”) and that their agent hopes to one day hear their songs blast from the Coachella main stage speakers at midnight.


CHERRY GLAZERR: HAD TEN DOLLAZ 7″

“Had 10 Dollaz” features catchy lo-fi riffs are tightly blended with lead singer Clementine Creevy’s dreamy, ethereal vocal style and simplistic minimalist lyrics in a way that balances out the raw-garage pop instrumentation and gives it a very refined (and almost sultry) feel.


BROWN SABBATH: “HAND OF DOOM” EP

This is the Sabbath cover side-project of Latin-funk band Brownout, and this is the teaser for their LP—and so this is also a shot to see what a funky Latin Sabbath would sound like. Turns out you can’t really fuck with these songs too much, since we all know them so well and since they were written so tightly in the first place. Or to put it more simply: this is a time to do some sacred duty.