Bennett Kogon

Interview

SASAMI: OH, I CAN DO THIS

May 15th, 2019

In the blink of an eye, songwriter Sasami Ashworth has become L.A.’s newest hometown hero. Formerly the ‘synth queen’ in homegrown indie stars Cherry Glazerr, this classically-trained French horn-playing collaborator with many is now at the forefront of her very own solo endeavor, the appropriately-titled SASAMI. Written and arranged while on tour, Sasami’s heartfelt and infectiously catchy self-titled debut was released on powerhouse label Domino in March. Just moments before taking off on her European tour, Sasami caught a moment to discuss going solo, recording on the road, and her upcoming children’s album. She performs on Sat., May 18, at Off The 405 at the Getty Center. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

NUMB.ER: WHATEVER “IT” IS

August 13th, 2018

Numb.er’s 2018 release Goodbye was to me a farewell to the musical trends that make a local scene feel uninspiring: led by Jeff Fribourg, a founding member of popular psych-‘gaze’ band Froth [and sometime L.A. RECORD contributor—ed.], Numb.er’s blend of punk, darkwave, and goth felt like it was written specifically for me. Numb.er performs with Palm and Harmony Tividad on Thurs., Aug. 16, at the Roxy. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

CUCO: I’M JUST SHOWING WHO I AM

August 9th, 2018

Omar Banos, the dream-pop sweetheart who performs under the name Cuco, never found his niche within our city’s ‘DIY’ music community. His parents weren’t Hollywood producers or famous musicians—instead, they’d immigrated from Mexico just prior to Omar’s birth in Hawthorne. And Cuco was born out of Banos’ sheer loneliness, his desire for earnest expression, and a dedication to stay true to himself. He performs with Portugal. The Man on Fri., Aug. 10, at the Shrine. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Album reviews

NUMB.ER: GOODBYE

May 22nd, 2018

Transcending its time and place in the sunny Los Angeles of 2018, Goodbye is a literal farewell to musical trends that can often make a local scene feel uninspiring. It’s not my intention to sound cynical: the fearless gloominess and unfiltered personality of this record speaks for itself.

Interview

VAGABON: IT’S HARD, BUT SHARE IT

May 3rd, 2018

The music industry needs more people like Laetitia Tamko. After moving from Cameroon to New York City when she was just a teenager, she left behind her engineering diploma and her full-time job to explore a completely different path and to create something genuine on her own terms. At twenty-five, she built on the encouragement she’d received from the city’s DIY community and began performing as Vagabon in 2014. Her recent debut Infinite Worlds was one of the most heartfelt releases of last year, and speaking with her was a breath of fresh air during an otherwise painful and soul-searching time in music history. Vagabon performs at the Bootleg Theater on Wed., May 9. This interview by Bennett Kogon.

Interview

JAPANESE BREAKFAST: THIS THING THAT I LOVE

April 11th, 2018

Formerly the frontwoman of Philadelphia emo band Little Big League, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner began her solo career as an experiment in songwriting and self-expression. Her first record Psychopomp was a response to losing her mother to cancer—an album where making music was a method of healing. Critics responded with great enthusiasm, which helped land Zauner a deal with Dead Oceans, and her 2017 follow-up Soft Sounds from Another Planet is in the running for one of the best indie rock records of last year. She's got a series of sold-out performances soon, with Coachella this weekend as well as the Roxy next week and the Glass House in June. This interview by Bennett Kogon.