Sunday, February 27, 2011

FoundTrack's Weekly Music Calendar - Found in LA - February 28th - March 6th

Monday, February 28th
- Eulogies, Family of the Year @ Bardot (Free with RSVP)- It's A School Night
- Jonathan Wilson, Jenny O, J. Tillman @ Bardot (FREE)

Friday, March 4th
- Anni Rossi, Whitman, Ezra Buchla, Emily Lacy @ Echo Country Outpost
- Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda @ Natural History Museum (First Fridays)

Saturday, March 5th
- Voxhaul Broadcast, Nico Stai, The Sea of Cortez, Summer Darling, Hi Ho Silver Oh, Telegram @ Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock (Lo Cal Folk Fest)
- Baths, Braids, Gobble Gobble @ Troubadour
- Caught A Ghost (Debut Performance) @ Son of Semele Theater
- Diamond Rings, PS I Love You @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)

Sunday, March 6th
- Gobble Gobble, Captain Ahab, Foot Village, Moses Campbell @ The Smell

Songs That Get Stuck in Your Head

WNYC's Radiolab had an interesting episode today on the different ways songs get stuck in our head.

If you enjoy this episode and others like it, Radiolab is coming to LA at Royce Hall on March 23rd and 24th for a live theatrical preview of an upcoming episode featuring a live score from Zoe Keating. Tix available here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Found in London - Jessie J

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend the MTV Brand New gigs at Koko (by far one of the best music venues in London) which showcased some of the artists up for the coveted title of MTV UK's best new artist of 2011. Now funnily enough, I'm not going to talk to you about the winner - Nashville based band Mona, who although worthy of the title, didn't make as much of an impression as the artist I'm featuring below.

If by now you haven't heard of Jessie J then where have you been??? Great stage presence, engaging chat in between songs and an amazing voice to boot, I have to say her performance reminded me of Lily Allen back in the day (all be it with very different musical styles). As her website states, mix up some Rihanna, Gwen Stefani and Aretha Franklin-esque vocals, and you'll see why she's one to watch. Her performance was was definitely the highlight of the night, with most of the audience already singing along to her yet to be released songs.

She may be blowing up now as a solo artist but this 22 year old lady from Essex definitely isn't new to the music scene. With writing credits including songs for Alicia Keys, Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus, her talents are appreciated by some of the most successful artists out there today. She may have come in second in the MTV Brand New competition, but she's riding high in the UK singles charts with "Price Tag feat. B.O.B" (check out the official video below) and "Do it Like a Dude".

Her album Who You Are is out on Feb 28th in the UK and April 12th in the US.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


In Neil Gaiman’s epic graphic novel, “Sandman", there exists a library that contains all the books never written. Dusty shelves filled with all the great literature that never was. I often think about this when listening to PJ Harvey. There’s a PJ Harvey album that I crave, but will never get from her. She is a superb songwriter by any reasonable measure. She’s thoroughly capable of crafting sublime pop music for the masses. She hints at it all the time (see the utterly gorgeous “The Last Living Rose”).

She has an inner Gaga, but I doubt we will ever see it, because her inner Artiste is just too big, all-consuming and protective. Perhaps it’s for the best. Instead of a platter of pure rock candy confection, she unleashes “LET ENGLAND SHAKE”. It’s far more challenging. The masses will ignore it, and we elite music snobs get to keep PJ as our own little secret. Don’t ever let the Grammy Committee find out about her, please.

I’ve been tough on Polly over the course of her last few albums. She’s better than “WHITE CHALK” and she knows it. Sometimes geniuses have to purge themselves. Sometimes David Bowie and Lou Reed have to wallow in Berlin. So let’s not call this a comeback, or a return to form. She never “lost her way”. Polly Jean Harvey travels different roads than most. You may read about this album being a bitter love letter to England, or a reflection on her native countries involvement in the First World War. Before you start rolling your eyes, let me assure you it’s not nearly as pretentious as all that. Polly Jean has never been interested in being Bono. Besides, after constantly listening to “LET ENGLAND SHAKE” over the past few days, I don’t really hear the album that way. Those topics may have been a jumping off point, but where she lands is someplace else. Some place out of time.

These songs sound like nothing else in PJ’s canon. There isn’t a single blistering guitar riff to be found. Not one tortured love song. The lyrics are brutal, but the music gentle and oddly comforting. The songs are peppered with strange sounds. She and John Parish are playing with what kind of textures might be wrung out of xylophones, trombones, and zithers. The layered vocal chorus at the end of “The Glorious Land” is disturbingly beautiful. How can you make a call and response line like “its fruit is deformed children” sound…um, pretty?!

Her knowing wink to Eddie Cochran at the close of “The Words That Maketh Murder” is fun, sure, but also dark and heavy with intent. This is perhaps PJ Harvey’s most Gothic record. It’s a story of doom told through 40 minutes of sparkling musical ripples. You will be dragged along by the throat in its undercurrent, but oh, what a ride! It’s a beast of a record that shows a new face every time you listen to it. She continues to amaze me.

No, this isn’t the Polly Jean Harvey album of my dreams. I could never have anticipated this, but I’m very happy it’s here.

-Keith (aka KrossD)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big Noise

They demanded my attention from the start. The first track on Eat Sugar’s debut eponymous four song EP was an unrelenting aural assault. “I’m A Carrier” came blaring out the speakers and slapped me around a bit. I’ve never been much of a fan of what I call “Bleets and Skronks”. You know, the synth-heavy, experimental, No-Wave-ish attempts at furthering dance music? This was something else altogether. Cincinnati’s Eat Sugar has a punk laced pop sensibility that is much more compelling to me than anything Suicide ever did. Aidan Bogosian’s hiccupping vocals the perfect foil to the pulsating synths and driving rhythm section. However, this was challenging music, and four songs were just about right. Any more than that and they would have worn out their welcome.

Through a tireless work ethic, constant touring, and an emerging artistic vision, the band matured. The seven song EP, “It’s Not Our Responsibility!” followed in 2009. A more finely honed approach to song craft was evident, as was a sense of humor (see the video for “Pop
Singer”). The production was cleaner, brighter, dare I say, friendlier. When the sax comes in on “So Into You”, you can’t help but smile.

Last year though, was the artistic breakthrough for Eat Sugar. They self-released their first full length album “Levantense!” in a digital only format. It’s a watershed moment for the band. The rolling drum intro, the in-the-pocket bass throb, and Aidan’s first “Heyah!” make known we are now on new turf. The hooks here are undeniable, inescapable and there is, indeed, more cowbell. The vocal phrasing, and synth-scratches on “The Revivalist” place the band squarely in the ring with electro-pop innovators like The Knife & Neon Indian. They are contenders now. “Levantense!” is the clearest artistic statement the band has made to date, and the most downright satisfying. Which is not to say that this is an easy listen. “Parasite” and “Clap Hands” probably play much better live , but “Shadowside”and “The Empty Set” are revelations! Brooding, soulful. They wouldn’t sound out of place on The Walker Brothers swan son Nite Flights. The greatest gem here though, the slyest wink, the biggest tease, is the final song. If there were any justice in the world, “Troubled Dreams” would be a chart-topper. Aidan delivers his most devastating vocals, Jim Reynolds provides the most sinuous bass line since Wild Beasts’ “This Is Our Lot”, and the song just crushes you.

Oh, have I mentioned the guitar work? No? That because there is none. Eat Sugar is a rock band with no guitar. Take a moment. I’ll wait.

Shortly after “Levantense!” was released, the band signed with Mush Records, thus ending the albums availability for a time. Mush is re-releasing the album in both physical and digital formats this Tuesday (2/22). Do yourself a favor. Get it!!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Funeral For a Friend

Meet Keith...a music veteran and friend who is going to start waxing poetically with us from time to time on this here blog. I'm sharing an op-ed piece he wrote in November 2007 after the demise of his favorite local record stores to give you an idea of his prose. - Nass

"Music is my mistress…and she plays second fiddle to no one." - Duke Ellington

The first record I ever bought with my own hard earned allowance was DESTROYER by Kiss. I could make some shit up and try to tell you it was The Stooges FUNHOUSE or Patti Smith's HORSES but I was 11 for Chrissakes! No, it was Kiss.

First of all, there's that cover. Four alien, super-powered freaks apparently dancing on the scattered remains of some city (Detroit?) decimated by the havoc that Kiss hath most surely wrought. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wish they had thought of this. Then there are the songs. "Detroit Rock City", "Flaming Youth", and the raging hormone fantasy of "Do You Love Me?" When you're eleven years old, and you've liked girls since you could draw breath, but you also collect comic books, so girls just think you're a dork…well, you need Kiss!

I bought that record at Licorice Pizza in Hawthorne, California. I think it's a Subway sandwich shop now. But then, holding that record, staring at that cover, riding home on my bike, album tucked under my arms, putting it on, blasting the speaker, well, I've just never been the same since.

That day I contracted my first addiction, records. An obsessive search for musical ecstasy and redemption began. How that search ruled my life, and led me to the Ramones, The Clash, Bessie Smith,Minor Threat, Nina Simone, Fats Domino, PJ Harvey and a cast of thousands is better suited for a book rather than a blog.

The point of all this is, in case you haven't noticed, the record store, as a concept, as a dream, as a haven, as an endless sea of possibility, hell, as a fucking business, has died. All of it. Gone! Music just doesn't seem to matter to people anymore. They don't care much about art at all. They don't care how it sounds. They don't want liner notes. They don't care who engineered Led Zeppelin II or who did that god-awful mix of Raw Power. Just compress as much memory into some little chunk’o’plastic as you can and be on your way. Which won't be far because…why would you leave the house?

My favorite record store ever was Soundsations, in Culver City. It still exists, in a lesser form, in a different location, but in the late seventies, on Sepulveda, it was run by this really great guy who had very obvious…um, challenges in his life. The gossip was that he had done too much acid in the sixties and it attacked portions of his brain, rendering certain physical functions problematic. That's believable. Here's the thing though, that guy knew everything there was to know about rock music. He knew it all. Blind Willie McTell? He'd tell you what kind of shoes he wore. It was sometimes hard to understand him and when you didn't, he would get royally pissed. I have a vague memory of him throwing something at me once. I loved that guy. He refused to sell me Boston’s “Don’t Look Back”. He protected me. It was because of him, I first heard John Cale's paranoia epic "FEAR". I bought "Trout Mask Replica" from that guy.

I don't know where he, is now but I bet he's unhappy. He didn't belong anywhere, except a record store. It was the only place he was at home. In his room, surrounded by great art, that's where he was okay. He was just like me.

You couldn't get me out of a record store. I spent a good portion of my adult years working in vinyl dins of inequity. I started at Tower Records (dead). I worked at Music Plus (dead), The Wherehouse (gasping for air), Vinyl Fetish (the Cahuenga store isn't worthy to spit-shine the Doc Martin boot of the former Melrose location), I even worked for that pathetic Mall canker sore Sam Goody (mercifully reduced from 1300 stores to 191). If you couldn't find me selling records, you could find me shopping for records, at Go-Boy (gone), or Moby Disc (being given life support by Django’s), or Aron’s (one of the best, buried alive by Napster).

In recent years, with my horizons fading to black, you could find me at Amoeba (very dangerous place that Amoeba)…or Benway Records. Benway was not the gargantuan monolith that Amoeba is, but Benway was everything a record store needs to be. You didn't go into Benway looking for one specific thing. On any given day, you could scour the bins and dig up some long forgotten jewel or some obscure critic fave you wanted to debunk, a Misfits t-shirt, and an Operation Ivy button. Whether it was Ron or Kelly at the front of the house, you had a fellow opinionated rock geek to commiserate with, rant with, inform and learn with. If I told Kelly that Ozzy's "Black Rain" album didn't entirely suck if you skipped the power ballad, she'd put it on and play it LOUD!! I got all four of Camille Rose Garcia's dolls there. Sure, I could've gotten them at Wacko
but I wouldn't have also come away with the Violent Femmes cover of the Tom Waits song "Step Right Up", like I did at Benway.

When Aron’s had their going out of business sale, I took advantage of it like any vinyl junky would, but when Benway was closing, I couldn't do it. I couldn't pick over the bones of a friend like that. It was just too sad. It hurt too much.

So dear readers, the record store as dream factory has died. My safe-haven is gone. There are a lot of reasons why this has happened. It goes deeper than technology. More than anything else, I think we're just spoiled, fat, and lazy. Give me convenience or give me death! It's just too much trouble to pull the vinyl, clean the record, drop the needle, flip the record, and then there's all that listening you have to do. We have developed a ring tone attention span, and are hurtling ourselves into an artless coma. So, generation (why), as Sleater Kinney said, "you're no rock-n-roll fun."

I defined myself in record stores and mosh pits. They were my church. Amoeba will probably survive awhile what with all the neon and sheer girth but Benway's closing symbolizes for me the last clenched fist on the vinyl precipice opening up and letting go. I'm going to
miss talking to Kelly in our natural habitat. I miss Benway already.

As I write this Joy Division is reaching the crescendo of “Day of the Lords" on my turntable. "This is the room, the start of it all. Through childhood, through youth, I remember it all, Oh, I’ve seen the nights filled with blood sport and pain. And the bodies obtained, the bodies obtained, the bodies obtained.

Where will it end? Where will it end?

Where will it end? Where will it end?"

That means "Isolation" is next, so I should go get a “lighter head for my heavy heart”. Soon it'll be time to flip the record.

- Keith

Sunday, February 13, 2011

FoundTrack's Weekly Music Calendar - Found in LA - February 14th - February 20th

Monday / February 14th
- John Gold, Jenny O, Leslie Stevens, Henry Wolfe @ Bootleg (FREE)
- Slang Chickens, Papa, John Carpenter @ Echo (FREE)
- Red Cortez, Everest @ The Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)

Tuesday / February 15th
- Mountain Man @ Hotel Cafe

Wednesday / February 16th
- The Radio Dept, Young Prisms @ El Rey Theater
- The Californian, Ross Sea Party, Hello Electric @ Silverlake Lounge
- TRMRS, Hindu Pirates @ Echo
- Generationals @ Hotel Cafe
- Beach House, Papercuts @ Henry Fonda Theater
- He's My Brother She's My Sister, Vanaprasta, Erik Hassle @ The Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)
- Back To The Future The Ride, Robedor, Suzi Star, Pure Shit @ The Smell
- Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, Cotton Jones @ Troubadour

Thursday / February 17th
- Dum Dum Girls @ Mondrian Sessions (FREE w/RSVP) -
- Dawes @ Royce Hall
- Lucero, Olin And The Moon @ Echo
- Beach House, Papercuts @ Henry Fonda Theater
- Shadow Shadow Shade, MINKS, The Black Apples, Generationals @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)

Friday / February 18th
- Marnie Stern, Tera Melos @ Echo
- Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket @ Hotel Cafe
- Har Mar Superstar, P.O.S. (and Mike Mictlan of Doomtree), Marijuana Death Squad, Skoal Kodiak @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)
- Cake @ Troubadour

Saturday / February 19th
- Chromeo, MNDR, The Suzan @ Fox Theater (Pamona)
- Speculator, Tan Dollar, Melted Toys @ Lot1 Cafe
- Ted Leo (solo) @ Mondrian (FREE w/RSVP)
- Magic Bullets @ Origami Vinyl
- Glass Candy, Austra @ Echoplex
- Admiral Radley, The Sea of Cortez, Blonde Summer @ The Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)

Sunday / February 20th
- Man... Or Astroman? @ Echo
- Cake @ Troubadour

Friday, February 11, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Shaky Alibi

Surrounded by dining powerhouses like Eva, Angelini and BLD, casual Shaky Alibi is a welcome addition to the Beverly Boulevard culinary landscape. The wafflerie and coffee shop is a true local gem, as the owner, R.J. Milano, and his family live close by in the neighborhood.

Shaky Alibi was a nice place to take refuge on a rainy day, as we visited during the torrential downpour of one of the early days of 2011. Here I sit, deep in thought, contemplating “when will this rain end?”

The eatery—which opened last summer—features a chic modern interior with orange accents, Milano’s favorite color. Apart from the coffee bar, a few small tables are the only seating option, so we recommend visiting during off-hours. If you get bored, or decide you need some post-meal physical activity to burn off the calories, there’s a ping pong table in the back!

We warmed up with a café au lait and a hot chocolate. Both were carefully crafted and got our stamp of approval. A large selection of teas is available as well.

The waffles served here are not the ginormous monsters found at places like Griddle Café, but they are authentic, real-deal Belgian-style treats, which reminded me of the common street food snack I enjoyed while in Brussels a few years back. Made from a family recipe, they’re crisp on the outside, and warm and fluffy on the inside.

We started with a traditional sweet Leige style waffle, topped with sprinkled powdered sugar and a traditional Belgian spread called Speculoos. Our photographer, Jen, and I both agreed that it reminded us of childhood for some reason, which we soon realized was because the spread tastes pretty similar to Golden Grahams cereal. Other spreads and fruit and nut toppings are also available.

Next we moved onto a savory waffle. Shaky Alibi allows you to customize your waffle with a meat and cheese of your liking. We opted for black forest ham with gruyere, and were quite content with our selections. It’s best to visit with a friend, so you can try both the sweet and savory varieties; both were delectable and it would be hard to pick a favorite.

While the establishment’s name continues to confuse us—apparently it has something to do with an experience Milano once had while serving on jury duty—we hope to return to this cozy neighborhood gathering spot often.

Shaky Alibi, 7401 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323.938.5282,, MAP.

Photos by Jennifer Saracino.

NEXT TIME on Foodie Fridays: Who knew The Dime served food? We'll be sampling the creative bar bites at the popular Fairfax watering hole.

Mail to: foodiefridays at foundtrack dot com


Monday, February 7, 2011

FoundTrack's Weekly Music Calendar - Found in LA - February 7th - February 13th

Monday, February 7th
- Hanni El Khatib, Hot As Sun @ Bardot (It's A School Night) - FREE w/RSVP
- Belle Brigade, Jenny O, Everest @ Bootleg (FREE)
- Lanterns, Robotanists, Twilight Sleep, Death Kit @ SIlverlake Lounge (FREE)
- Slang Chickens, Papa, Mini Mansions, Rachel Fannan (of Sleepy Sun) @ Echo (FREE)
- Red Cortez, Allah Las, Herman Dune @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland) - FREE

Tuesday, February 8th
- Joseph Arthur @ Bootleg
- Health Club, Seasons, Hallmark, AV Club @ Silverlake Lounge
- Amanda Jo Williams, Infantree @ Echo

Wednesday, February 9th
- Meat Beat Manifesto, Not Breathing @ El Rey
- The Downtown Train @ Lot 1 Cafe
- Black Flamingo, Fake Your Own Death, Programmed For Pleasure, Ladycop @ Silverlake Lounge
- Mona, Vanaprasta, Polls @ Echo
- Friendly Fires, Superhumanoids @ Roxy
-Ferraby Lionheart, Obi Best, Willoughby, Rob Kolar @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)

Thursday, February 10th
- Hands, Letting Up Despite Great Faults @ Echoplex
- Breakestra, Simple Citizens @ Echo
- Shadow Shadow Shade, Le Switch, Chasing Kings, The Hundred Days @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)
- Eli "Paperboy" Reed @ Troubadour

Friday, February 11th
- Big Boi, Cee Lo @ Club Nokia
- The Ditty Bops @ McCabe's Guitar Shop
- Fool's Gold @ Mondrian (FREE w/RSVP)
- Murder By Death, The Builders and the Butchers @ Echoplex
- The Smith Westerns, Yuck, Therapies Son @ Echo
- The Aquabats @ Music Box (Henry Fonda)
- Har Mar Superstar, Shannon and the Clams, Marijuana Death Squad, Pope Anything @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)
- White Widow, Magick Orchids, Extra, howardAmb @ The Smell

Saturday, February 12th

- Numero Group Party @ Echo (Funky Soul)
- Sara Lov @ Bootleg (FREE)
- Hellride (Mike Watt, Stephen Perkins, Peter Destefano), Silver Needle, JayaR, River of Suns @ Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club
- Apex Manor @ Satellite (Formerly Spaceland)
- Decemberists @ The Wiltern

Sunday, February 13th
- Netherfriends @ Origami Vinyl (FREE)
- Bikos, Professor Calculus, Fidlar, Chuck Dukowski Sextet, Verbs @ Royal/T Cafe
- Rare Grooves, C.J. Boyd @ The Smell

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FoundTrack - February '11 MixTape

FoundTrack - February '11 MixTape (Zip File)


1. Braids - Plath Heart
2. Deerhoof - Super Duper Rescue Heads!
3. Iron & Wine - Monkeys Uptown [Explicit]
4. When Saints Go Machine - Fail Forever
5. Lia Ices - Ice Wine
6. Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal - Mako Mady
7. Hands - Magic Fingers
8. Foster The People - Helena Beat
9. Peter Bjorn and John - Second Chance
10. Retarded Cop - Copvan
11. GROUPLOVE - Gold Coast
12. Eskorbutu - Historia Triste
13. Rumspringa - Personal Effects
14. Ja'afar Hassan - Palestinian
15. Metronomy - She Wants
16. Destroyer - Savage Night At The Opera
17. Gerry Rafferty - Right Down The Line
18. Broadcast - Tears In The Typing Pool
19. Brown Recluse - Impression of a City Morning
20. Penny & The Quarters - You And Me

FoundTrack - February '11 MixTape (Zip File)


KnewJack - Feb '11 - "Beavie Wonder"

Every month I scour the inter-nuts for that good good music and download a whole heaping mess of it. Some of it I play out, some of it I cool out to in the car, some of it I rock in the headphones, and some of it I never end up playing at all. So, I figured it would be cool to get some of these nuggets of gold I end up finding out to the world at large in the form of a monthly mix showcasing what I'm currently feeling and where my head's at when it comes to DJing. I want to make a point to offer up a wide variety of different types of tunes - from new and fresh to old and dusty - because, really, who wants to color within the lines.

Hope you guys enjoi.

- Jack aka DJ KnewJack

KnewJack - Feb '11 - "Beavie Wonder"


EPMD - Get Off The Bandwagon (12" Version)
Lord Echo - Rhythm 77
Matthew Kyle - Heaven & Hell
Willie Hutch - Give Me Some Of That Good Old Love (Domes Edit)
Holy Ghost! - Do It Again
Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane (Mojo Filter Re-Love)
Beth Ditto - Do You Need Someone
Oliver - Walk With Me
The Escorts - Make Me Over (Touchsoul Edit)
Fatback Band - On The Floor (Munga Edit)
Advance - Take Me To The Top (AC's Dub Edit)
Hercules & Love Affair - My House (Leo Zero Remix)
Jimmy "Bo" Horne - Spank (LeSale's NY Edit)
The Whitest Boy Alive - 1517 (Young Edits Extended Dance Edit)