January 30th, 2018

Everyone knew Phoebe Bridgers was headed for big things. Well before she released her debut album, the L.A. folk singer was touring with Julien Baker and recording with Conor Oberst and releasing a 7” through Ryan Adams’ label—all because this 23-year-old is one of the brightest young songwriting lights to come out of Los Angeles in recent memory. Even with all that buildup, however, Bridgers’ debut, Stranger in the Alps, is a revelation. It’s mostly sad folk songs, dressed up with pop and electronic touches, pop-culture references and the occasional flash of Bridgers’ wry sense of humor. (That sense of humor surfaces far more often in 30 minutes of conversation than in 30 minutes of her music.) After a whirlwind fall (including a Twitter shout-out from John Mayer), Bridgers will perform this Friday at the Natural History Museum with John Doe and Exene. This interview by Ben Salmon.



January 26th, 2018

It had been over six years since we last heard from John Maus. Following the release of 2011’s magnum opus We Must Become Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, the Minnesota-born musician and previous Haunted Graffiti collaborator quickly disappeared from the public eye. Many believed that he was somewhere in Hawaii, where it was rumored Maus was teaching philosophy and pursuing his PhD. Others predicted this mythical creature had returned to whatever planet—or cavern—he’d come from, hopefully to create more wonderfully powerful synth-pop. In the meanwhile, devotion to his experimental majesty magnified in his absence as eager followers waited for his eventual reemergence. In October, Ribbon Music released Screen Memories, the latest effort by the wizard himself. At last, John Maus has returned. He will perform on Tue., Jan. 30, at the Teragram Ballroom. This interview originally aired on KXLU. This interview by Bennett Kogon.



January 11th, 2018

Flat Worms—Will Ivy, Justin Sullivan, Tim Hellman—are a substantial force to counteract the dark leaden days we now confront. With the roar of an avalanche, the crushing power of a tidal wave, the sharp glacial crack at the edge of a continental shelf, this trio invokes a colossal sound on their Castle Face debut. It’s a call to arms, an embrace of the kind of conflict that produces change within and without. If punk was ever dead, Flat Worms have revived it. The need for art and music today is greater than ever, and the blueprint is in the form of this here band: Flat Worms. They perform on Fri., Jan. 12, with Sextile and Warm Drag at the Hi Hat. This interview by Nathan Martel.



December 7th, 2017

The world is a difficult and alienating place, but when you find people who can understand and commiserate when the walls—or the practice-space ceiling—come crashing down, it somehow makes everything more bearable. L.A. trio Susan is Jessica Owen (guitar, vocals), Beth Borwell (bass, backing vocals) and Katie Fern (drums, backing vocals) and together they’re a testament to how creativity, compassion and friendship help manage the unpredictability of life. With music split between depicting promise and disappointment, Susan has found a way to communicate the struggle and hope in being a human being in the world today. Susan's new "TV Girls" EP is out on Volar on Fri., Dec. 8, and they perform with Dimber, Peach Kelli Pop and more at a record release show on Fri., Dec. 8, as well. This interview by Nathan Martel.



November 17th, 2017

Martin Rev is simultaneously a link to a bygone zeitgeist and a pioneer of the present. The legacy of his work as one half of the confrontational punk act Suicide extends to the most unexpected places—R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, and countless synth-pop bands have cited them as an influence and turned them in some kind of godfather figures in American music. His music transmits his own language of protest—it's a crucial reminder and a much needed encouragement for these times, or for any times at all. Rev's Demolition 9 is available now from Atlas Realisations and Suicide's First Rehearsal Tapes reissue is out on Fri., Nov. 24, on Superior Viaduct. This interview by Christina Gubala.



November 16th, 2017

Dimber is the L.A. band that's supremely proud of making "upbeat music for downbeat people"—and they do! And here's a perfect example: the Husker Du/Dino Jr-style pop ripper "Dogs," the first track on the b-side of their firestarting 7" Damber EP—their vinyl debut!—out on Chainletter Collective on Friday, Nov. 17. They met with L.A. RECORD's Emily Twombly to talk about where they come from, how they got to L.A. and how they're already working on changing the world around them. Their record release show is Wed., Nov. 22, at the Hi Hat.