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The Muffs are such a great band with incredible hooks, ace musicianship, and pure energy. And Saturday night’s show at the Satellite ranks up there with so many amazing hometown gigs at Raji’s and other local dives over the last 20+ years. Why they still pack relatively small venues with stinky bathrooms and aren’t huge stars is beyond me. I would say there’s no justice in this world if just the night before Morrissey had not only sold out Staples Center but also mandated that its McDonald’s eateries be closed and that the other vendors swap in meatless dishes.
Old friends, new bands! I closed out Thanksgiving weekend by seeing Mayuko and Tsuzumi Okai from The Binges in their new group (above) but first things first. I finally got around to catching Dum Dum Girls drummer Sandy in the outfit that she fronts, SISU, on Friday at The Satellite. Along with fellow Dum Dum Jules and friends Ryan, Nathanael, and Chris, Sandy’s “other” band is psychedelic, dark, and gorgeous. It’s way heavier than DDG and also more Goth and complex with its swirling textures and sounds. There are five people in the band for a reason, and the heavy instrumentation supports the ethereal vocals of Sandy insanely well. I bought a hand-stenciled and spray-painted EP to go with my splattered 7″ single and can’t wait to give it a spin. Check ‘em out at the Casbah tonight or Constellation Room tomorrow night if you can. The headliner was Colleen Green, who was practically the opposite of SISU with her ultra stripped-down sound of natural vocals, raw bass, and drum machine. Combine the sincerity of Beat Happening with the lo-fi experimental sound of Blackbird (post Rank & File, Dils) and put sunglasses on it, and you’re getting close to Colleen’s sound. She showed a great sense of humor about her icy cool demeanor by closing her set with a Corey Hart cover. The Okai sisters’ previous band, The Binges, recalled the rock ‘n’ roll spirit of the Cathouse scene of the ’80s. Their newer group, Boost is as ripping as ever but heavier and more influenced by ’70s hessian grooves like Sabbath or Deep Purple. All new songs and all new riffs but there’s still nothing like seeing Mayuko and Tsuzumi dueling on their axes. I don’t know anything about the new singer or drummer (yet) but the band rules and you gotta check them out when you can. More details to come in this blog, for sure. Sunday night’s show at King King was part of the New Years World Rock Festival, which is being shot in five countries and will be shown in Japan. The headlining band showcased finger-tapping bass master Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, UFO, MSG, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai) in a jam band with Mayuko, Eric Dover (Jellyfish, Slash’s Snakepit), and Ray Luzier (9.0, David Lee Roth, Korn). They played masterful, ripping covers from Led Zep to Deep Purple, with Tsuzumi jumping in for the final song. This top-shelf rock ‘n’ roll was intended to help tsunami victims in Japan but felt pretty excellent for us in the crowd, too.Continue reading
So, they don’t hate each other entirely. The rocket got launched by Japan, and now Korea has a strong satellite in the sky that can monitor their Northern Korean neighbors and just about anywhere in the world. It’s the first commercial space launch for Japan which means many more will come. Just because they can, should they? Eventually, when it gets into bad hands, our local space will be an amalgam of hell. (VOA -Space Japan and Korea)Continue reading
The brown spots in the sand by Diarrhea Dan? It’s been up for debate the last few days since they were found. Who knows how long they’ve been there in the first place. Mostly likely, from the ground, you can’t tell they’re there. But this might be the most authoritative explanation. According to Jonathon Hill, a Mars mission planner and technician, “The grids of zigzagging white lines seen in two of the images — the strangest of the various desert structures — are spy satellite calibration targets. Satellite cameras focus on the grids, which measure approximately 0.65 miles wide by 1.15 miles long, and use them to orient themselves in space.” (Fox – China Marks)Continue reading
I don’t get out much, but when I do, it counts. On Saturday night, Asobi Seksu came back to town. You might recall the interview I did a while back… After catching the band at a larger venue like The Troubadour, I was excited to see them at a dive such as The Satellite (ex-Spaceland). On one hand, the vibe was a lot less formal and way more casual, which I prefer. On the other, the sound totally sucked when the first song kicked in! I’m no audiophile and usually don’t even notice stuff like that, but a bitchin’ song like Trails absolutely requires the soaring vocals to balance out the grinding guitars. Fortunately, the mix got worked out sooner than later, and the band ripped through another mind-bending set of their ultra heavy, super dreamy psychedelic rock. They seemed to throw in some more really old stuff during this visit, which was very cool. Next up was Prince, who was finishing up his “21 Night Stand” of Los Angeles, and this was actually the third show of his visit that I attended. There are only a handful of cases in which I binged on music like this. After being blown away by the Repeater tour when I was in college, every time Fugazi played multiple nights in L.A. I’d attend them all because they’d tweak songs in each performance, creating massively different sets. In total contrast, The Ramones would play the same songs the same way every time, but they did it perfectly and I wouldn’t miss a show of theirs for three years or so after high school. And when the reunited Descendents played a string of shows at the Whisky, I had to catch three of the nights because I didn’t know if I’d ever see them again. Prince… Well, this will require a separate post. Let’s just say no one has mastered or mixed funk, R&B, soul, jazz, and psychedelic rock like the Purple Yoda. And like The Ramones, he has created his own style of music. Like The Descendents, he has spawned, inspired, and even produced an entire scene of related bands. And like Fugazi, he plays each concert differently. Also like Fugazi, he clamped down on ticket prices during this stint… Twice I got killer seats for only 25 bucks including service charges! The three-day, three-show weekend ended in Westwood. When I went to college, I used to skateboard to Rhino Records all the time. I bought a ton of vinyl there, and saw a ton of cool musicians and bands there, too. Once I introduced myself to Mike Watt and then totally fanned out while he was perusing at the wall of used cassettes. Then he asked me to follow him to his van, where he handed me a fIREHOSE 7″ single and signed it for me. They also had free in-stores often, and it’s the first place where I saw Peg-Boy as well as The Hard-Ons. (Of course you rock out to...Continue reading