The cool, the dorky, the unsmiling, the spastic, the silent, the pimpled and the suave all rocked out with as much self-consciousness as preschoolers. No one took their pants off, yet the rafters knocked.
January 24th, 2013 · No Comments
May 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments
“I Fell in Love With the Grateful Dead” is a rework of “Raised by Hippies” off 2006’s California Country, but “Highland Park Serenade” is one of their most affecting tunes ever—a tender and dearly felt tribute to one more gently crumbling jewel box neighborhood.
March 28th, 2012 · 1 Comment
Not so much post- as pre-rock, L.A. chanteuse LaMuff evokes several of the entries in Nick Tosches’ estimable study Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘N’ Roll while working her own permutation of SoCal hip-hop. The title track’s epically weird “It ain’t lame/It’s lamé” is merely the opening salvo in a Somme-like bombardment of half-connected nouns and verbs that add up to the funniest thing since Lothar & the Hand People.
December 30th, 2011 · 2 Comments
L.A. reggae band the Aggrolites have been slogging it out Studio One style since the early 2000s, most recently releasing their Rugged Road on Boston label Young Cub. Hot in pursuit of the question of just how a man comes to play reggae in Southern California anyway, we called Jesse Wagner for a few minutes diagnosis. This interview by Ron Garmon.
October 12th, 2011 · No Comments
Despite being rednecked and cold-shouldered out of big-money venues back when Mayor “Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam” Yorty was showing his ass on TV over the emerging civil rights movement, The Mixtures played on the same bill several times with the Beach Boys and served as house band on KCOP’s Parade of Hits, backing the likes of Roy Orbison, Bobby Rydell, and Gene Daniels on this small-screen Saturday-nite sockhop.
October 4th, 2011 · No Comments
The next-to-last of Taylor’s LPs for Stax, this 1973 swank up Soul Street is, along with Big Star’s three-album output and a few Rufus Thomas and Shirley Brown singles, among the label’s last notable recordings before the Memphis powerhouse folded in 1975. Taylor had the biggest hit of his career in 1978 with “Disco Lady,” his first-ever platinum single, and went on to record for CBS and Malaco almost up to his death in the year 2000.
October 4th, 2011 · No Comments
Roger Nichols’ “Can I Go” is embarrassingly far from his best work, and “She’s Just Laughin’ at Me” by the Addrisi Brothers ain’t a rag-ass patch on The Association’s “Forever My Love.” A-level production and limp borrowed tunes crushed the life out of the original LP, which dropped early in 1968 at the height of the sunshine pop trend and promptly bombed.
September 11th, 2011 · No Comments
Though the credits claim this is from 1983, it was actually taped in 1963 during a late night outdoor performance in Myrtle Beach. The audience sounds giddy and so into the good time they’re having, and you can just feel Bo rising to the occasion in the time-honored feedback loop between player and audience.
December 3rd, 2010 · No Comments
Fol Chen is a mysterious sonic karass rumored to operate out of Highland Park, but the music and lyrics indicate origin in some kind of Borgesian alt-reality that North American Top 40 radio has reached in fragments over the past several decades.
September 23rd, 2010 · No Comments
All I can say is Pink’s sweet and bashful daffiness is old stuff to anyone who hangs out at the Smell and the band’s jigsaw approach to songcraft does justice to L.A.’s reigning mashup/fusion aesthetic.