Saturday, August 28, 2010

L Bar- 8/26/10: The Whisper in the Roar, Our Hospitality

I finally ventured out to a show, on a weeknight no less. I went to L Bar, on Sunset, to see two bands: The Whisper in the Roar and Our Hospitality. The venue was ideal: lots of couches (which after sitting on one for about five minutes I became convinced I now had bedbugs), brick walls, rafters, huge open space and a bar situated in the corner. Being somewhat neurotic (see previous sentence re: bedbugs), I wanted to make sure I had all information regarding location, timing, parking, etc., so I did the typical "google website to find FAQ's." This place was like the CIA in terms of finding out details. Googling "L Bar, Los Angeles" was helpful in the way that it brought multiple responses to bars in Los Angeles with the letter L in that was nice. Anyway, I did have an actual address, so I figured it couldn't be that hard. After walking back and forth between the two cross streets on the block where IT HAD TO BE, and trying to look like I totally spun around in the other direction on purpose, I noticed a guy walk into a black doorframe set into the wall along the block. That is the best way to describe it. There are awnings of bars and offices all along the block with signs and numbers, etc. L Bar is a nondescript black door just hanging out. So I followed the guy in thinking a) I have finally found the bar and am one step closer to hearing some great music or b) I was walking into a dog fighting/drug dealing/ prostituting/arms trafficking showdown. Either way, my night was only going to get better, am I right?

First up, The Whisper in the Roar:

Besides having what I think is a pretty cool band name, they also were a pretty cool band. I guess the best way to describe these five guys would be to say if Coldplay, with their crashing stadium sound, married Radiohead, with their haunting drawn out melodies, it would be The Whisper in the Roar. By far my favorite song on the EP, "Bad for You", for lack of a better word, is just sexy. The guitar melody is definitely a panty dropper and the repetition of the line "Don't you know I'm bad for you?" towards the end just cements my statement. "Underground" starts off with a haunting intro, similar to the Shin's "New Slang" and should be played top volume with the windows open the next time you go for a scenic nighttime drive. According to their website, all five members have studied music seriously and a few have toured with mainstream musicians. Basically, I liked this band a lot and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Our Hospitality:

Our Hospitality opened their set with an intense song and never looked back. They are rock and roll and blues all wrapped up in two guys, Dash and Phil, and a girl, Libby. A little bit Rockabilly (Soul Sample) with a lot of bass driven melodies, Our Hospitality exudes fun. Dash,on vocals and guitar, is a born performer, running and twirling around stage to the point where I was 100% sure he was going down. He has a great voice and is not afraid to go from baratone to falsetto in the same verse, like on The Fuzz. Phil, on drums and looking the part with his long blonde hair, directs the songs's flows and keeps his bandmates on target. (He also makes his own mead, which he was so generous to let me sample and of course it was delicious and completely potent. I got flushed cheeks and continuous giggles after half a glass.) Libby, on vocals and bass, really drives the songs' direction from their intensely catchy intros to beyond and her voice is a wonderful compliment to Dash. They harmonize well together and somehow lend a sort of softness to their otherwise hardened rock and roll sound, like on the funky Tonight . The final song of their set, Anywhere, a light, fun track that should absolutely be their first radio single when that time comes, was a crowd favorite. So much so that the man in front of me repeatedly tried to "Free Bird!" his request for the song as soon as the band took the stage. You sir, knew what you were talking about.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blue Jean Baby, LA Lady

I have been in LA for two weeks now and could not be happier with my decision. I am finally settled into my apartment and having fun exploring my new 'hood. I have ran into two celebrities so far and both are professional athletes. Hopefully this trend continues and I run into Beckham next week. If Posh is with him, I may or may not pee my pants. (I will). Anyway, to the music.

Can I just say that the LA radio stations absolutely kill DC stations? In DC, it was basically Beiber's "Baby" and Gaga's "Bad Romance" every other song with a little Ke$ha thrown in there. Don't get me wrong, I will get down to any Gaga song with the same enthusiasm as any WeHo boy (minus "Disco Stick", what the hell was she thinking there?) but honestly, after a while, you just want to hear a little Indie, am I right?

I am overwhelmed with the LA music scene and have basically turned into a giggling little girl with all the prospective shows on any given night. Remember in The Goonies where they find One Eyed Willie's treasure and everyone goes nuts and runs around grabbing the jewels and stuffing them into their clothes? That is exactly how i feel plus I don't even have Sean Astin telling me I can't keep anything! As soon as I get my feet under me, I promise to get these reviews up and running.

To my all of my three followers, thanks for being patient.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

California, you're so nice...California, your paradise

The Runaways had the right idea, although the whole "your paradise" lyric has me thrown. So California is nice but it is not its own paradise, it is my paradise? A grammar lesson within a punk rock song and once again the 'your' vs. 'you're' debate rages on...thanks Joan and Sandy!

Welcome to the blog. Let me give a brief introduction: I am East Coast born and bred and in the thick of my quarter (plus 1)-year crisis. Living in DC since 2006 has allowed me to witness what I like to call "the four year itch." Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with the fact that DC was the top US city for STDs in 2009. What happened was that within four years of graduation, every single one of my friends found themselves doing one or more of the following: Switching jobs within the same city, switching cities for the same job, going back to grad school, finishing up grad school or moving to LA without any family or friends, a bunch of student loans, and no job. Last one just me?

It's simple, really- I like writing, I like music. So here is my plan: Go to shows (fun!), write about them on my fancy new blog (fun!), share new bands with friends. FOOLPROOF. What qualifies me to be a music critic you ask? You mean besides my Rolling Stone subscription and collection of Chuck Klosterman books? Just a love of music and damn good taste. Oh, and Sports Illustrated for Kids published one of my basketball poems when I was 11, so obviously I have mad writing skills.