Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Radiohead (yes, the whole band) will play a benefit for Haiti show Sunday Januray 24th at the Henry Fonda Music Box in Hollywood, CA. Tickets on sale Thursday at 8pm!
UPDATE: Radiohead is auctioning off the tickets to the show, minimum bid per ticket as of 12:30pm is $325. I'm guessing it'll go as high as $500 per ticket before the auction ends Saturday 11am.
update to the update: Radiohead raised $572,00 for the Oxfem America's Haiti Relief Fund, minimum bid was $475 per ticket, with some bids contributing up to $2,000.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Originally I sat down to critique this year's Coachella line-up, perhaps the weakest since 2008's Jack Johnson-Portishead-Roger Waters headliners, but when it comes to music... for every Beatles fan you have a Creed fan, for every person who appreciates Radiohead, you have someone buying a Linkin Park cd. As 2010's line-up was announced, I just hoped to hear the names of a few of my favorites, and though i'd rather see the Strokes opposed to Julian Casablancas solo, or Blur instead of Gorillaz, Radiohead instead of Thom York, there are some jewels to look forward to in the desert... I mean, isnt that why we go? to see a few of our favorites, and discover new bands we've never heard before. Passion Pit and Phoenix put out the best albums of 2009, can't wait to see them live. Jay-Z, MGMT should be siiick... and well, there's Devo.
What jumps out from the Coachella poster is the number of Latin acts this year. Calle 13, Aterciopelados, Babasonicos and Zoe, the best band to come out of Mexico in the last 15 years will all be making their first apperance in the festival, and its about time a bit more attention is directed at the Latin majority in California... Taking the baton from successful sets from Kinky, Cafe Tacuba, and Los Amigos Invisibles in years past, shows that Coachella goers are embracing Latin acts.
I look forward to 3 days in April in Indio, and my goal this year isn't to need a Hangover recovery nap on the grass under the shaded tent... but then again, there are traditions.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Julian Casablancas (the Strokes) will be playing a residency at THE DOWNTOWN PALACE THEATRE in downtown Los Angeles every Friday in November. His debut solo abum "Phrazes for the Young" drops November 2nd.
kroq pre-sales begins Thursday 10/22 10am password is KROQPHRAZES
Monday, October 19, 2009
If you won't be in LA this weekend, or you don't have one of the 96,000 tickets that were sold for Sunday's U2 concert at the Rose Bowl... you'll be able to watch the entire show on a live stream on YouTube. Show starts at 8:30pm
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Ever since I was seven years old, I’ve not-so-randomly been waking up at 1:29am. Nothing really happens, there isn't a noise, a spirit that haunts me, or whispers in my ear. I just wake up. It wasn’t until I was about nineteen, while going through some family documents that I noticed on my birth certificate that I was born at 1:29am on July 1st 1978. Weird.
I live in a house on Evergreen. A house my father bought fairly cheap in 1985 because it was all that remained from a horrible fire that killed the old lady who owned it. Her son wanted nothing to do with the property and quickly sold it after the fire. Growing up I was referred to as the kid who lived in the haunted house.
I was seven years old in 1985.
“We would like to thank the families of Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston, and the San Diego Police Department" is how Paranormal Activity begins. What proceeds is 90 minutes of “discovered” footage that takes you through the horrifying haunting of Katie Featherston shot in a documentary “Blair Witch” style by her boyfriend Micah Sloat, who is determined to capture the paranormal activity on his new Sony videocamera.
Written and directed by Oren Peli, shot for $15,000 in a span of a couple of days in his San Diego home, “Paranormal Activity” captures the emotion that recent year big-budget Hollywood teen scary movies fail to connect with. From the start we find ourselves in the lives of a couple that recently became “engaged to be engaged”. We follow Micah and Katie as they deal with this haunting. For a good part of the movie Micah sets up a tripod in the corner of their bedroom to record any activity that would happen as they’re asleep. So the lights go out, clock on the bottom right, and through time lapse we watch and wait, holding our breath for something to happen... and maybe something happens off screen, or then on screen. Peli fucks with us, but he doesn’t offend us. He bravely hold us hostage until the very end, when the footage abruptly ends.
The Blair Witch Project opened in theatres ten years ago, and made $250 million at the box office. I went with my friends to watch a midnight screening of the movie, and came out of the theatre scared, asking “Was that fucking real?” Its for moments like these that you love going to the movies. Because you were scarred. Because at one time or another, we’ve heard noises in the dark, in the middle of the night that took our breath away, that persuaded us to sleep with a baseball bat within arms reach... the fear that made us ask our parents to check for monsters under the bed when we were kids, or to turn on the nightlight after they said goodnight... it’s for these moments that Paranormal Activity works. Not because it “did” happen, but because it could happen. Because I keep waking up at exactly 1:29am and I don’t know why. Because that noise you heard that woke you up in the middle of the night just may not be your house settling.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Miel de Escorpion
Regresame a Jupiter
Sembrando Estrellas / El diablo
Hoy tengo miedo
Dios bendiga a los gusanos
No eres yo
Todas las estrellas
Revolucion sin manos
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Weight Of The World
Escape The Nest
When Anger Shows
Push Your Head Towards The Air
Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
The Racing Rats
You Are Fading
Fingers In The Factories
Friday, January 25, 2008
Good flick or sucked di**
It’s Friday morning and I’m anxiously waiting for 12:45p screening of Cloverfield. I wait for the digital projection screening at the Edwards in the LBC… only to later wonder why I bothered if a good part of the film is shot on a Sony handycam anyway…
Cloverfield, produced by JJ Abrams (executive producer of L O S T, best show ever!) begins with a home video-type footage of a farewell party for the main character Rob, as told from the perspective of his best mate, Hud, who volunteers for the task of documenting the party… I imagine (emphasis on the word, imagine) that I would have such a party if I ever left Los Angeles for a gig in some far off place (Boston). (If you’re a friend of mine, please close your eyes and think of which role in the movie would be yours).
Like the Blair Witch Project before it, Cloverfield is a shaky, POV hand -held film not meant for those with a weak stomach. This film will make you queasy… and those who’ll write… Cloverfield sucked because:
1) How can a camcorder battery last so long when Rob had to break into an electronics store to charge his cell phone?
2) Why in the world would Lily go most of the movie in her heels?
3) With all of the 9/11 references, why wouldn’t any of the characters suspect the acts of destruction as terrorism?
4) With New York on the brink of destruction, why in the world would Rob go back into the line of the fire to attempt a rescue of a girl who showed up to his party with some nerdo pretty boy?
This is what I have to say:
1) How do you know he didn’t change batteries? Just because they didn’t show him changing batteries, doesn’t mean he didn’t have spares in his pocket.
2) What did you want her to do? Go barefoot as she makes her way through burning buildings and rubble?
3) I dunno about this one.
4) Say what? Look at her!
In a time of the lame formula blockbusters like King Kong, Godzilla, War of the Worlds, Independence Day Cloverfield is breathe of fresh air. Though we never get the exposition that explains who, what and where this monster is, or comes from or lives or dies… we don’t really need it. I mean, if Los Angeles were to come under attack would we really be able to Wikipedia such a creature? I think not. At about 82 minutes running time, Cloverfield entertains, frightens, and invites us into the lives of those twenty-somethings who are caught in a horrifying adventure…
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Toast to the cool bars with great jukeboxes I went to this year. From the local dive in the LBC to the Shortstop by the stadium... here are the songs that got the mood just right, made you bob your head and throw your hands in the air. Here are my top 11 bar songs of ’07, accompanied with the cocktails that were made to enjoy them with.
Britney Spears- Gimmie More
It’s Britney Bitch! This train wreck can still rally a group of girls at any bar… at anytime. Drink: SHOT of PATRON, what else?
Sean Kingston- Beautiful Girl
This throwback jam gets the body moving. Drink: Sex on the Beach you need a tropical drink with an umbrella for right paradise mood.
Maroon 5- Makes Me Wonder
After you look around the bar wonder who the fuck selected Maroon 5 from the jukebox, order up a Irish Car Bomb!
Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse- Valerie
Drink: Classy and Amy Winehouse usually don’t go together… but mix it up with a Sour Apple Martini
Kinky- A Donde Van Los Muertos?
Put your arm around your best bud and chug an ice cold Modelo.
Justin Timberlake- Summer Love
Just how did they “get that pretty little face on that pretty little frame girl?” Enjoy this bar song with a Vodka (Kettle One) and Tonic. It’ll make ya say “let me buy you drinks- better yet rings…”
Rihanna got you the Umbrella now you need to make it rain. Step up to the bar and order up a Kamakazi shot.
M.I.A. dares to ask “HOW MANY TEQUILAS IN THE PLACE?
HOW MANY BEERS ARE IN THE CASE? BOYS THERE? HOW MANY?” Take a Stella Artois from the case, hold it up… and say “Salud”.
Will.I.Am- I Got It From My Momma
After this song plays you’ll find yourself asking the first hot girl you see... “Girl, where did you get that body from?” Then either a) it’ll be a hot icebreaker b) or you’ll get the classic roll of the eyes. Either way, enjoy this jam with a Vodka/Soda and splash of Cran… girls will dig it.
Kanye West- Stronger
By Stronger Kanye means Stronger rockstar… at least in this case... now that the party has started you need to take it to rockstar status and get on top of a bar (only if you’re hot) while holding a red bull and vodka.
Friday, December 14, 2007
“Monitor” is my favorite song of the year from an album i’ve been waiting a long time for. Volovan’s sophomore release didn’t disappoint. Their power-pop chords are just what I need in a time when every band is Mexico is trying to sound pop-punk.
Choosing to spend his time touring rather than recording, Manu Chao, finally relased an album five-plus years alter “Esperanza”. It was worth the wait.
Creatively, M.I.A. intrigues me. "Kala" isn't the commercial hip-hop of a Kanye West, or Jay-Z. Born in Sri Lanka, MIA follows up her politically driven debut "Argular" with... well, a political at times "Kala". In $20 she sings "Do you know the cost of A.K.'s up in Africa? 20 dollars ain't shit to you, but that's how much they are /Of course they gonna use it to kill a little da". Using influences from all over the world, I give her credit for not turning into the next hip-hop diva a la Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado (though Timbaland was in line to produce this album).
“Young Folks” or “that whistling song” as some refer to it was a great single. Itunes sold the album for $6 so I bought the whole thing… and it quickly became one of my favorites of the year.
Like most of America, I first discovered Feist on the ipod commercial. It wasn’t too long before I couldn’t get that 1,2,3,4 song out of my head. I downloaded it on itunes, and also downloaded another song, then another, and another… next thing I know I had the whole album, and it’s great!
Radiohead takes chances. Most recently, they made “In Rainbows” available online and allowed people to name their price. I paid $3 for it, and it was worth every penny.
The Interface podcast is the shit. I thank them for introducing me to many great bands this year. The National, among them.
When bands reach success with their first albums most feel they need to change things up (see the Killers “Sam’s Town”, or even Bloc Party “A Weekend in the City”). Editors stuck with the style that defined then on “The Back Room” and successfully take you into a dark, shadowy corner of your apartment, but rest a gentle comforting hand on your shoulder at the same time.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We weren’t allowed to carry a walkman in high school so I would hide mine in my locker on the second floor of the science building until school was over. Though my walk home was only a few blocks away it helped pass the time. Neddless to say it was also cool to throw on your headphones and have your group of friends ask you what you were listening to. My group of friends would always hang out by our locker after school because it was also the cool thing to do and we hang, and shoot the shit about our everyday high school lives.
I remember having to lie about what tape I had in my walkman, “I’m listening to U2, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, or any other “in” KROQ band I would answer. It wasn’t true but it would help me sound cool. Those bands were acceptable and liking them gave you status in my high school. Reality was, I would have a cassette tape that my friend who grew up in TJ (Tijuana) would let me borrow. It was usually a rock en espanol tape, anywhere from Caifanes, Soda Stereo, or his favorite, Heroes del Silencio, which I borrowed but never heard because I just couldn’t get into it.
For years now Soda Stereo would be rumored to reunite. Gustavo Cerati, frontman of the group was now a successful solo artist and had often rebutted the rumors saying that a reunion wouldn’t be happening. Cerati’s musical career had evolved, he was now in a different place, dabbling with electronica, and taking his fun, post eighties dance rock into a more sophisticated sound. But with the success of recent reunion tour of Spaniards Heroes del Silencio selling out stadium concerts across Latin America and Europe anything was possible.
Finally, on June 9th it was confirmed, after ten years Soda Stereo was reuniting for a series of shows to commemorate their ten years of separation. The tour was named “Me Veras Volver” a lyric from one of their biggest hits “En La Cuidad de la Furia”.
Within twenty-four hours ninety thousand tickets had been sold for their reunion concerts at River Plate Stadium, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the place where the band had played their final show in 1997.
In the end five more shows were added to River Plate, all sold out, breaking records. There would only be three US shows on this tour, with highlight being the Los Angeles show that was becoming the most anticipated Latin Alternative show in years. It was a far reach from Soda Stereo’s first US show in 1989 when Soda played at the Palace (now the Avalon) in Hollywood, after the release of their album Doble Vida. It would have set you back 10 dollars to have seen them then, and face value for a floor seat at the Home Depot Center today were going for $200. Times had changed.
Soda Stereo was back and it was a chance for a generation to see a legendary band, who through the course of their career had inspired many kids to pick up their guitars, get some friends together and start a band in their garage. It was a chance for those who had only heard Soda Stereo in the night clubs, those who owned the mix rock en espanol bootlegs with “De Musica Ligera” mixed in, to finally see their heroes perform in person. So $200 huh? Who could put a price on history?
At 20:24pm on the 21st of November, Gustavo Cerati (lead vocals, guitar), Charlie Alberti (drums), Zeta Bosio (Bass), with the help of Tweedy Gonzales on keyboards, took the stage at the Home Depot Center… on a stage set designed by Martin Philips, who has designed sets for Daft Punk, Nine Inch Nails and U2… stood a video screen backdrop, which divided into three separate screens, came together, apart, and transformed into different shapes and come back together like a puzzle… and for me, transformed the band which I had been embarrassed by years before, into the same breathe as the U2, the Pearl Jam, the Rolling Stones which once covered for them in my high school hallway. The opening chords of “Juego de Seduccion” began and the moment was here. “Voy hacer tu mayordomo” vowed Cerati… Soda was back.
Soda took us on a journey, masterfully performing songs from their historic career that began in 1984 with their self-titled debut. ‘Esta cancion es de nuestro primer disco’ announced Cerati, introducing Tele-K, and continuing with Texturas, and Hombre al Agua. Not letting the near capacity crowd rest for a moment, artfully incorporating their most successful songs into their 2 ½ hour set. The Angelino audience came to life with Persiana Americana... as I took a look around the stadium… not a soul in their seat, all fans were singing along…
The forty-eight year old frontman confessed to the audience he was suffering from a cold. Though from the projection in his voice and as tight as the band sounded, nobody would have dared noticed. Feeling the electricity in the cold night one can’t help but wonder why a band this great would ever choose to call it quits. After selling seven million records in their career, an MTV uplugged, and a farewell live concert cd, Soda’s history had been written. Cerati has admitted that there are no plans for a record, or continued touring with Soda Stereo. In 2008 everyone would go back to life as usual.
Ole, ole ole ole.. soda… soda… ole, ole ole ole… soda.. soda...
Over twenty-two thousand chanted anxiously for Soda to return for an encore. There I stood, arm in arm with familiar faces and complete strangers who over the last two hours had become my best friends… as we sang together, moshed together, took pictures with cell phones together, battled the cold together on front stage left… and, together, we experienced perhaps the greatest concert we would ever see in our lives…
Soda returned and finished their first encore with Profugos… they would leave the stage and the lights faded out… Los Angeles had waited so long they couldn’t possibly let Soda go so easily… The band returned and armed themselves with their instruments and performed a second encore, ending their set with Te Hacen Falta Vitaminas a song from early in their career that reminded us all just how simple and fun music can be. After twenty-five years since they had first come together in Argentina and began playing in the underground clubs, Cerati, Alberti, and Bosio, embraced arm in arm, stood at the front of the stage in front of Los Angeles, and waived goodbye for perhaps the final time.
As I walked home from high school my sophomore year… over the railroad tracks... kicking rocks… through hot summer afternoons and stormy winter weather… with my walkman in hand, stopping briefly to flip the cassette over to side B, it was Soda Stereo… not U2, Pearl Jam or Depeche Mode… to Soda, I apologize… era nada personal.
Chau Soda… gracias totales.
Me Veras Volver… Tour Sidenotes
Ecuador- 41,000 Estadio Alberto Moreno Spencer
Chile- 126,000 Estadio Nacional (breaking the previous record over two dates set by the reunion of Los Prisioneros in 2002)
Columbia- Parque Simon Bolivar
Mexico- 180,000 total Monterrey, Guadalajara & D.F.
Los Angeles- 22,000 Home Depot Center
Argentina- 6 sold out dates at River Plate stadium, breaking the previous record (5) set by the Rolling Stones. 360,000 total
By the end of the tour over 1 million Soda fans would see them perform live.
Requires 50 stagehands to construct
30 tons of gear total (taken from city-to-city for every show)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Forum Los.Angeles.CA 10.23.07
Pioneer to the Falls
Pace is the Trick
Say Hello to the Angels
No I in Threesome
Rest My Chemistry
The Heinrich Maneuver
Not Even Jail
Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
How Are Things on the West Coast?
I first saw Interpol back when they played KROQ’s Weenie Roast and Sing-a-long in 2003. Turn on the Brightlights had just been released and they were closing the Budwieser side-stage. It was 100 degrees but Interpol made standing on the hot asphalt that afternoon worth it. I had since seen Interpol several times and very much looked forward to this Forum show.
The day of the show I had spoken to my sister, who lives in Rancho Santa Margarita. Los Angeles and San Diego counties were dealing with incredible fires. Many homes had been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were being evacuated as the Santa Ana winds put more homes in danger. The fire had come within a city block of my sisters home, she had packed her valuables and was awaiting word on a evacuation.
Like any brother would do, I got ready and headed to Inglewood for the Interpol show. I mean, c’mon, I couldn’t get to Rancho Santa Margarita if I wanted to, the fire department had closed the roads and only residents were being allowed to pass through.
Most are familiar with the Great Western Forum as the place where the Magic Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to five championship titles in the 80’s. Now, the forum plays host to a Gospel Baptist Church on Sunday’s. I had been to a Pearl Jam concert there in the 90’s but the vibe was different. It was still the Great Western Forum, looking up at the rafters you could still see the championship banners and the retires jerseys from former Laker greats. Tonight, it had the feeling I had come into a rented abandoned wherehouse. Interpol, one of the most fashion-conscience bands were playing a venue like the forum? Go Figure. There were a lot of empty seats in the collanade section, but the floor section was jam packed. I’m sure the fires encouraged many to stay home and glued to the tele.
Interpol came on at about 9:30pm, it was the perfect time to head to the beer lines as everyone rushed to front of the house to get a close look. As I waited in the short line it was easy to conclude that such a venue was too big for this band. I felt sorry for the people with shitty seats in the back. Better venue choices would have been the Greek Theatre, The Wiltern or the Avalon. Regardless, the show went on. Highlights included “Narc”, “Slow Hands”, and Evil.” “The Lighthouse”, from their latest album, Our Love to Admire killed the show’s momentum. It could have been better placed as the open to a second encore. It’s bad enough there isn’t much crowd interaction between the band and the audience, there was the occasional comment; “it’s good to be on the west coast” Banks (singer/guitarist) confessed to the crowd at one point. Paul, much of Southern California is up in flames, the usually sunny day was overcast because of the smoke from the fires. I would conclude that being on the west coast… not so good right now.
The best part of the show was undoubtedly the encore. Coming out of the break with “Untitled”, Interpol reflected the somber mood throughout the Forum. Then, continuing with “Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down” in which Banks belts out “Stella I love you, Stella I love you” really captures the essence and melancholic though at times intense sound of Interpol. They closed their set with PDA, why they waited until their final song to completely make use of all of their video and lighting stage props is unbeknown to me. It was exhilarating, and the audience went wild, moshing and singing along.
The trip home wasn’t. As it was back to the reality that I may be needing to help my sibling move her family and her belongings to safety… so how are things on the west coast?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
As a general rule, both men and woman should be allowed to enter the pit at their own discretion. Women need to be especially on-guard as they have been known to lose both teeth and articles of clothing within its parameters.
Once in the pit, participants must access the movement of the moshing. That is, if people are pushing in a clockwise motion, participants should follow. If the flow is moving from outer to inner circle, do the same. Don’t attempt to go against the flow of the pit. Salmon do this against the tide to lay eggs, and then die. Learn from the salmon.
Once in the pit, men can get over-heated and eventually wreak a stench so foul even Europeans would protest. In consideration for the fellow music patrons, deodorant should be a priority before leaving home. Also, any shirt removal should be left to emaciated musicians.The activities in the pit should always remain energetic and lively. While it is important to maintain the integrity of the pit, all should be aware that injuries may occur. Therefore, those attendees scared or angry the pit is forming within their space should take heed and move away. The collective within the pit should comply by the unwritten rules of: 1) no targeted rushes towards specific individuals, 2) man-down assistance, and 3) no intentional attempts to inflict pain. Lastly, those wishing to crowd surf within the pit must also comply with weight and height restrictions. A 6’1¨ 310 lb. man should keep both feet on the floor. That cracking sound might just be someone’s neck. Women of that size should also do the same, for many more reasons not to be discussed. Further, surf is a metaphorical term. There is no actual swimming in the pit, so there is no need to kick. Kicking may lead to someone’s Chuck Taylors hanging from the singer’s mic stand, compliments of other fellow moshers. As for the surrounding observers, those typified by their crossed arms and slightly bobbing heads so as to disguise any hint of actually enjoying themselves, they must learn to coexist with the pit. Keep all ice in the cup and find a good spot to watch the show. Moshers may bump into observers, but no offense should be taken. However, moshers should take caution when getting to the nucleus of the pit so as to avoid knocking innocent victims over. More importantly, this will deter any stray alcohol from hitting the floor, a true travesty. Ultimately, it is the courageous few observers who form the wall of the pit. It’s not exactly Berlin united, but it’s a nice partnership. Everyone should be allowed to enjoy themselves at a show and unfortunately, there is only so much beer to go around, so it’s up to concert goers to make it lively and entertaining in their own way. The coexistence of the rowdy mosher and the laid back observer creates an interesting dynamic. With the addition of good performers and good music, it will be memorable show that doesn’t include three stitches above the eye.