Show review: METZ, White Lung, and Mrs. Magician at The Troubadour (w/ bonus publication reviews)

I love seeing bands start from scratch, evolve, and get over. But it ain’t so bad to catch them when they’re ripe and ready for world domination, either. Such was the case at the Troubadour on Monday night when METZ and White Lung took the stage, coming all the way from the Great White North.

But first up was San Diego’s Mrs. Magician. The Swami Records band plays garage rock that is so melodic that it’s more like carport rock. So many super-catchy-yet-subversive songs, including “There Is No God,” and they just get better each time I see them. Stoked that they rounded off the bill.

White Lung totally blew me away with their relentless brand of post-hardcore jams… Completely aggro vocals by frontperson Mish Way matched by the laser beam like guitars of  Kenny William with Poison Ivy-esque bass coolness from Grady Mackintosh and pounding drums from Anne-Marie Vassilou add up to the real deal. This band has been toiling in Vancouver skate shops and basements for years and is ready to explode.

The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Hot Snakes–go ahead and add METZ to the list of bands that can joyfully and purposefully destroy eardrums through riffs. The noisy Toronto trio’s sound is as raw as their hardware store-purchased stage lighting and the blue collar work ethic matches it. I was lame and missed the band when it made the rounds at The Echo and Spaceland, but at least I caught them at The Troubadour before they move up to the Fonda or El Rey or the next-level rock palace. The LP rocks but you gotta see them live.


80/90 by J. Grant Brittain
This 48-page black-and-white zine puts JGB’s world-class photography in a new, raw light. Shadow, texture, and composition that are overshadowed in the color pages of TransWorld or The Skateboard Mag emerge and so do the personalities of Hosoi, Gator, Cab, Blender, Natas… The who’s who list of skaters goes on and on and the locations are just as iconic: Del Mar, Upland, Baldy, Encinitas… Zero filler, extremely well printed, and limited to only 200 from Arkitip. Order one here.

Long Beach: Work in Progress by Martin Wong
Disclaimer: I conducted the Q&As, took most of the pictures, and handled layout of this program/zine for last week’s Imprint conference. That being said, where else will you find Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold; members of T.S.O.L., The Vandals, and Dengue Fever; skaters/advocates Chad Tim Tim, Justin Reynolds, Ricki The Dude Bedenbaugh, and Paul Kwon; and John Jay from W+K Garage and jeffstaple from Staple Design? I grabbed a couple of extra copies if you want one. And if you like the Q&A with authors Jennifer M. Volland and Cara Mullio about Case Study House architect Edward A. Killingsworth, read on…

Edward A. Killingsworth: An Architect’s Life by Jennifer M. Volland and Cara Mullio
This brand-new, over-sized, lovingly-made hardbound book from the authors of Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis details the life of the Long Beach-based Case Study House architect and surveys his work from the Frank House (Case Study House 23) and Opdahl Residence in Long Beach to the Kahala Hilton and Halekulani hotels in Honolulu. I’ve gawked at his houses in Southern California and spent time with family in his stellar Hawaiian projects and didn’t even know who made them. Now I know and I highly recommend you look him up, too. Volland and Mullio actually spent time with the architect and share uncommon insight into the person as well as his works in this essential Hennessey+Ingalls book.

This Sunday, May 5, Jennifer and Cara Mullio will be signing copies of their new book, Edward A. Killingsworth: An Architect’s Life, at Apostrophe Books on 2nd Street in Long Beach (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).