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ALBUM PREMIERE: THE PRETTY FLOWERS “GOLDEN BEAT SESSIONS” LP

April 22nd, 2019

L.A.'s the Pretty Flowers weren't quite planning to make a covers record, but something that started as a project to really give their new drummer Sean Johnson a studio workout has turned into a heartfelt valentine to the music the band (and maybe you?) all hold near and dear. Pretty Flowers' Golden Beat Sessions is out on cassette on Dirt Cult on Fri., May 3, and you can pre-order here. (The band also has CDs here.) Pretty Flowers play this Sunday, Ap. 28, at the Moroccan Lounge with Telekinesis—get tickets here!—and they'll do a set of west coast dates at the end of May.

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TRACK PREMIERE: GIANT KILLER BATS “LONELY IN LOVE, DEAD IN HEAVEN”

April 17th, 2019

McKoy Kirgo was once frontman of Talk In Tongues, but now he's leading the new outfit Giant Killer Bats, who deliver us this dreamy sneak-peek of their coming EP. Kirgo's "Lonely in Love, Dead In Heaven" has a little Oasis-style BritPop, a little of the Cure's melancholy and maybe even a little Byrds-ian balladry, especially when Grady Kinnoin (of the Sons of the Southwest) unfurls that pedal steel. Either way, it'd have fit as nicely deep on the b-side of some undersung Creation Records LP back in the 90s as it does now as part of Giant Killer Bats' debut Bats 1 EP on the cusp of the summer of 2019.

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TRACK PREMIERE: ADRIAN YOUNGE PRESENTS JACK WATERSON “ALL HAIL THE EMPEROR”

April 17th, 2019

L.A. RECORD cover alum Adrian Younge (interviewed here) is a contempory master of the concept album, with a discography that concentrates decades of record collecting and musicianship into impeccably produced omni-genre projects. Now he's followed his lush and lavish Voices of Gemma (reviewed here) with an even more overtly psychedelic album made with longtime collaborator Jack Waterson, the man behind Highland Park's vintage-equipment Disneyland Future Music as well as founding member of pioneering paisley-punk band Green On Red. Adrian Younge Presents Jack Waterson is available now from Linear Labs—get it here!

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TRACK PREMIERE: SECOND STILL “DOUBLE NEGATIVE”

April 15th, 2019

L.A. trio Second Still's new "Double Negative" is a deft and even desperate post-punk/synth-wave song with a driving Joy Division rhythm section, celestial guitar and plenty of brutalist Berlin atmosphere. It's the kind of thing that fits perfectly between harsh unblinking neon light and the hard cold concrete in the first moments of a blank blue dawn. (Maybe that explains part of the title, which explains the process of turning two nothings into something.) Second Still's Violet Phase album is out Fri., May 3, on Fabrika and Sentimental Records, and you can get it here or here. They'll be playing two nights at the Echoplex with Lebanon Hanover next week before heading out on a European tour—full dates below!

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TRACK PREMIERE: SALT LICK “MIDNIGHT OIL”

April 10th, 2019

Salt Lick are the Permanent Records house band and if you've been to Permanent—or picked up any of those Brown Acid comps—then you'll understand this sound instantly. It comes from a time after Sabbath and before punk, when band after isolated band arose determined to make their own noise from nowhere with guitar, bass, drums and a dedication to rock in its hardest-edged form. (Although they definitely made room for sludge and tar, too.) Salt Lick's coming self-titled full-length is in the proud tradition of those DIY shredders that time forgot, and opener "Midnight Oil" is half caveman rage and half Stooge-y wreck 'n' roll, like the band that could've/should've opened the show recorded for Metallic K.O.

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TRACK PREMIERE: F I N K E L “F E E L A L R I G H T”

April 9th, 2019

L.A. duo F I N K E L (Jane and Brian Spencer) have an existential new single that hides hard questions in a soft and gentle pop song about balancing introspection with the need for connection. It's not exactly lo-fi, but "F E E L A L R I G H T" isn't here to set fire to the laptop speakers. Instead, it's a song best explored between dusk and dawn, when there's just enough light to make out all the different shades of grey. Exploring the human condition in four minutes with a chorus—not a bad way to try and figure out why we're here.