Interviews

Interview

JACKIE MENDEZ: I’LL JUST KEEP IT A SECRET

February 12th, 2016

Ever since Jackie Mendez was a kid, she’s been in love with making music, singing recuerdos along with her father at family gatherings and playing the bass in a ska-punk band she started with her friends in junior high. Eventually, however, she made her way from ska-punk to ska and from ska to reggae and then fell in love with the kind of rocksteady style reggae that you might hear on a Trojan Records comp. Her first vinyl release with Angel City Records is the kind of music she says she was always meant to be doing, and she speaks now about the first time she performed on stage and what it’s like to finally have a project of her own. She performs with Ken Boothe and more on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Los Globos. This interview by Kristina Benson.

Interview

THE INTERPRETER: LEE SET

February 3rd, 2016

DJ Lee Set spins records from a very special moment in the history of rock’n’roll history: the time between about 1958 and 1962 when rockabilly, doo-wop, and soul all crossed paths and when—for just a moment—it seemed like all bets were off and anything was possible. She presents us with a set of songs all guaranteed to hook you in the first five seconds. (And all on 45, of course.) If you want to hear her play them for you, just come to Chills N Fever every first Friday at the Echo in Echo Park or to the Beat Bait every third Friday at the OffBeat in Highland Park. This Interpreter curated by Kristina Benson.

Interview

VERSIS: I JUST WANTED TO TALK TO YOU

February 1st, 2016

When Colin Palmer was a music-loving high school student, his Mac crashed and his aspirations of being a producer were channelled into the written word, and so Colin became Versis. The teen MC found a lane early. Before he was 21, he clocked credits with a wide array of collaborators like Dibia$e, fLako and Mar. Versis went quiet for several years before re-emerging, transformed, in 2015 with copeæsthetic, a project much meatier, moodier and introspective than anything previous. I FaceTimed with the 24 year-old to speak about the life processes that led to copeæsthetic, surviving the sea of scenes in L.A., and mental health. This interview by sweeney kovar.

Interview

TOMMY KEENE: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO HEAR

January 28th, 2016

In 2015, Tommy Keene is not a household name—unless your household includes a pop geek—but he is a highly respected craftsman with a new album out that proves he hasn’t lost a single step. Laugh In The Dark—released last fall by Second Motion Records—is Keene-sian power-pop of the highest order. The 57-year-old L.A. resident will play a hometown show at the Satellite Feb. 3, with Portland psych-poppers Eyelids opening. This interview by Ben Salmon.

Interview

HOLLY HERNDON: THE FANTASIES OF THE FUTURE

January 28th, 2016

With 2012’s Movement, Bay Area-based composer Holly Herndon offered an example of sound design that engaged in a bold rebuttal to the notion that the computer is not a viable, expressive musical instrument. With Platform, Herndon has made an even denser, more overwhelming soundscape, and now her focus has turned toward documenting the ways we live in (and struggle with owning) our digital selves. Herndon spoke by phone about Kanye West, paradise politics, and corporate sponsorship of music. She performs on Thurs., Jan. 28, at the Teragram. This interview by Kristina Benson.

Interview

MALCOLM MOONEY: DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH OR THE LIE?

January 22nd, 2016

Sight of Monster Movie and Delay ‘68 t-shirts on so many Millennial torsos is just rock music’s way of marking the many bizarre and rhomboid turns the world’s taken since itinerant American artist Malcolm Mooney decided to hitchhike to Germany and wound up fronting the most avant of its many progressive rock bands. The quicksilver Mister Mooney fronted the first Can LPs as well as the first reunion album. His Delay ‘68 song “The Thief” has been been covered live by Radiohead and not entirely to the author’s satisfaction. Since Mooney will be appearing at the Echo on January 24, it is well to get this advanced primer on Can’s original front man. This interview by Ron Garmon.