Shame Live at The Teragram Ballroom

Words and photos by Isabelle Jonsson

Hailing from London, Shame’s post-punk spirit and frenetic performance left me and my concert buddy in a daze, as it was nothing like our expectations from having heard just one of their songs. Their authentic London flair, pure enthusiasm and the charming demeanor of lead singer Charlie Steen as he talks with the crowd can persuade any audience into really embracing their music.

Shame will always be adored in the local music scene and welcomed in Los Angeles. Their shows are a wild ride and you won’t want to miss them the next time they’re in the U.S.!

 

 

Listen to Shame here!

The National Live at The Hollywood Palladium

Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez.

I always thought of The National as some brooding, depressing, hipster dad band. I was very familiar with their hit song ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’ off their 7th album “Trouble Will Find Me” and their 5th album, “The Boxer” (I highly recommend you give that album a listen). My sister is a massive fan of theirs so I was tagging along for support, I had no idea what to expect.

As soon as The National took the stage I got this sense of excitement because their fans on barricade was giving off so much eager energy. There was quite a few songs that I  did not know at all, so I did that classic head bob and swaying hips move. The National are known to be a laid back older hipster band but I was blown away with how interactive and spirited group they were live. Mind was blown and my perspective had changed. The National are an incredible live act that cater to their audience but also show that they are having a great time on stage.

 

 

Phoebe Bridgers Live at The Palladium

Photos by Kayla Fernandez

Los Angeles based folk-rock artist, Phoebe Bridgers had a whimsical set opening up for The National. Bridgers wowed the crowd with her flawless falsettos and dreamy presence. Her relatable lyrics and her light funny banter between songs will swoon you. As she is wrapping up a tour with The National, the talented songstress will be hitting the road again within the next few months. Check out her tour dates here, she is an musician you do not want to miss.

 

 

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Phoenix Live at The Fonda

Photos by Kayla Fernandez

Critically acclaimed band, Phoenix closed out a five night residency at The Fonda Theater. The French foursome are experts at creating a memorable show. But even more than the music, Phoenix’s visual presentation left a mark. To put it into one sentence, it was like a European summer daydream. Frontman Thomas Mars, swooned the audience by singing ‘Rome’ on top of the barrier looking down upon lucky fans. It was an energetic show all throughout the night. Don’t skip out on Phoenix, you will definitely regret it.

 

 

Father John Misty Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Words by Jenna Ethridge 

Following the release of his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, Father John Misty officially commenced his current tour at the Hollywood Bowl this past Sunday. Father John Misty, also known as Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, Josh Tillman, was accompanied by Big Thief and Gillian Welch: an artist that Tillman has personally wished to share a marquee with since his alias was “a lot less stupid.”
As the audience was subjected to an apocalyptic visual of the Hollywood Hills engulfed in flames, provided by the Pure Comedy short film released earlier last year, Tillman entered the stage adorned in all white and debuting his newest look- consisting of short hair and a trimmed beard- in stark comparison to his typical image. “Funtimes in Babylon” served as an appropriate opener to his set, as Tillman warned the audience of his arrival and presence in the venue’s location of Hollywood, which was extremely fitting considering his recent cameo in Hotel Artemis for which he also released the song “Gilded Cage”, independent from his album released the same week. Songs such as “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and “Only Son of the Ladiesman” also paid homage to his residency in Los Angeles, as Tillman sang about the Sunset Strip and of being a Dodgers fan, likely helping him win over those in the audience priorly unfamiliar with his material. Though promoting God’s Favorite Customer, the setlist included a variety of songs from all four studio albums that seemed to flow together effortlessly, providing the audience with a fair representation of Tillman and his musical thematics.
Though the majority of the show lacked his usual on-stage banter and improvised commentary, Tillman still managed to make the audience laugh after shocking them with lyrics as presented in “Pure Comedy”, acknowledging its probable impression and reassuring that “it gets worse.” Evident by his performances of “Mr. Tillman” and “Date Night”, songs from God’s Favorite Customer translated extremely well live, as Tillman sauvely paraded around the stage with a sense of confidence and enjoyment similar to “The Ideal Husband”. With help from his orchestrative ensemble, Tillman was also successful in transforming his slower songs into even more brooding ballads, as he took to the piano for an intimate performance of “Just Dumb Enough to Try”. While the deprecating motif of God’s Favorite Customer is already perceptible through the studio recordings, Tillman’s vulnerability manifested even greater live, as animated images of flowers bloomed behind him during “Please Don’t Die”- symbols of fertility and revival that were reminiscent of those portrayed in the music video released earlier this month through Sub Pop and Bella Union. The stage’s dramatic lighting also contributed to the intensity of songs such as “Things It Would’ve Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”, as bright beams danced sporadically around the stage and the song progressed into its chorus.
For an artist with such a theatrical stage presence, the Hollywood Bowl was an ideal homecoming for Tillman’s extravagant demeanor and awe-inspiring music. Look out Hollywood, here Father John Misty comes.

Inner Wave Interview + Photos

Interview and words by Corynne Fernandez

On the day they released their third album, Underwater Pipe Dreams, we sat down and chatted with the guys of Inner Wave, who have been quickly making a name for themselves and gaining a dedicated group of fans all over. Read below as we talk about their sold-out album release show, the process of making their long-awaited album, and favorite records at the moment.

Pictured above left to right: Luis Portillo (drummer), Elijah Trujillo (lead guitarist), Chris Runners (keyboardist), Jean-Pierre Narvaez (bassist), Pablo Sotelo (vocals and rhythm guitar)

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You guys have been together since you were teenagers, how was the band formed and what’s the meaning behind the name ‘Inner Wave?’ 

Elijah: In 6th grade, Pablo and I both played guitar and we met Jean-Pierre and Alex (old drummer). Jean got a bass and Alex got a drum set which resulted to jamming.
Pablo: As for the name, I made a list of like two hundred names and I showed all my friends the list of potential band names. Inner Wave was the one everyone liked the most.

This album was three years in the making, how did you guys come to the decision it was complete?

Pablo: We ran out of money. Haha no— we finished it once before about a year ago, it was completely done and mastered in the studio ready to go, but something was off. We had this really strong idea on how the process should be, we wanted it to become very collaborative — it was, but we also wanted that in the recording process, so we worked with somebody new, but we became too focused on the process instead of the music. By the end of it we did what we wanted to do but it wasn’t the vibe we were hoping for so we redid it again in the garage.

Why the name Underwater Pipe Dreams?

Pablo:It was initially a joke, for the playlist of songs that we had. Then I felt like it made sense with the themes that were happening with the album. The expression of ‘pipe dreams’ is something that will probably be a long shot and not work out. That’s how the process for the album started to feel like after a long time. On a personal level, we all went through a lot of different things within the three years, so it’s like we slowly morphed into the name that started off as a joke. With ‘underwater’ it was kinda like an ode to Lil Ugly Mane, (rapper from Virginia) his work is really low-fi but also interesting. His whole persona and how he does things musically is very intriguing.

Your new record is reminiscent of the alt rock sound that defined the early 2000’s, like that of The Strokes, making it a shift from your other material. Lyrically and musically what inspired you this time around?

Pablo: Initially we listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye—I don’t think a lot of people would think that because inspirations don’t always translate through our songs. The lyrics come from personal experiences, this summer I tried a bit – not that I didn’t try harder before I wanted to improve that aspect of it more. It was the first time where I wrote the lyrics before the music; they would end up as poems.

What song are you most proud of off the album, and what are you all most excited to play live?
Chris: There is this song called ‘Conversations’ that Jean mostly wrote. It has a Bohemian Rhapsody vibe to it; it’s a really long song with many moving parts. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to and understand all the elements in the song.
Luis:I would go with ‘Discipline’;that’s a track with a heavier Tom Groove in it and that part specifically, is one of the most challenging for me to play.
Elijah:I also agree with ‘Discipline’—that one for me is a banger. It gets so intense and it makes me extremely excited to play live.
Pablo: For me, it would either be ‘Discipline’ or ‘Conversations’ because I think those are the two songs that have a lot of moving parts and have the potential to be amazing live.

A lot has been leading up to today, have you guys done anything special to prep for it tonight?
Everyone: We like to do some ritual sacrifices.
Pablo: We tried to do something special with the stage production for the show, so hopefully it all works out the way we planned. *

*Update: It did! 

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Can you give us a day in the life of Inner Wave?
Chris: We meet up every day at 8:30pm and practice, no matter what we do in that day we always meet up at that time.
What venue would you love to play in the near future?
Chris: The El Rey, because I’ve been going to that venue ever since I was a kid.
Everyone: Red Rocks would be tight, the atmosphere is absolutely crazy.

What are your guy’s all-time favorite albums?
Elijah: Marvin Gaye’s “In Our Lifetime”
Luis: “InnerSpeaker” by Tame Impala
Pablo: That one record from Madvillain.
Chris: “Blonde” by Frank Ocean and “Mista Thug Isolation” by Lil Ugly Mane

Out of all the places you’ve toured, what would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
Everyone: The Rickshaw.
Chris: The crowd was packed; the venue had air conditioning and let us smoke in the greenroom. Also, when we were waiting to play, there was a line going around the block.

First concert?
Pablo:The first concert I was brought to was this contemporary Christian Latin American guy named Marcos Witt, but the first concert I bought tickets for was Queens of the Stone Age. It was actually a benefit concert, and so they had other acts like the Last Shadow Puppets and some other surprise guest.
Luis:I grew up around punk music, so my brother would play shows at The Knitting Factory in LA and I would always hang around him.
Chris: The first concert I got brought to was Maroon 5; it was when Songs About Jane came out and the first time I ever smelled weed before. The first one I bought tickets to was Erykah Badu.
Elijah: The first one, my dad took me to see a Led Zeppelin cover band. The first one that I paid for was FYF Fest a few years ago, the year that The Strokes played.

Now that the album’s out, what are you guys looking forward to come this year and into next year?
Pablo: Long naps and a lot of sleep—maybe take my dog for a walk.
Everyone: SXSW!

A message to all your fans?

Pablo: Keep on rockin
Chris: Y’all thanks!
Elijah: Huge thank you to everyone!
Pablo: Felt a lot of love this year—it’s intense, so thank you!

Gallery of the Inner Wave Album Release Show below:

(All photographs by Kayla Fernandez)

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Night Moves Interview

By Corynne and Kayla Fernandez

Cover photo by Graham Images and Photography

Contrary to their name, Night Moves is far from a Bob Seger tribute band, and are producing cosmic folk-rock, reminiscent of influences like Neil Young and The Flaming Lips with their own added distinct style. Read below as John Pelant, lead singer and guitarist, chatted with us about their high school beginnings, dream festival line-ups, and the progress on album #3.

First off, how are you?

Doing well!  Just got back from playing a festival in Appleton, WI.  We had a blast, in what is apparently, “The Drunkest City In America” ???!?? Yeah, I didn’t believe it either…

The relationship between the band appears to be pretty close-knit. How did you all meet and form what is now, Night Moves? 

Micky and I met in high school and kinda bonded over skateboarding. We eventually played in bands that would perform together from time to time and whatnot, so we grew closer that way. We also had a similar taste in music- Flaming Lips, The Band, George Harrison, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, which kind of turned us into even better friends.  Our current live show band members are all dudes we met years later here in Minneapolis from playing out and about. I think growing up in such a formidable time as high school will inevitably bring you together as Micky and I.

You guys have been together since 2009, and put out your debut album in 2012. How would you say you’ve evolved from Colored Emotions to Pennied Days? 

I think the writing has gotten stronger. I’m better at self recording these days, which is important because a lot of self recorded/demo stuff makes it into the albums. We’ve matured a bit in terms of the bands sound and presentation, although I still have a tough time taking the social media thing seriously.  The multitude of tours we’ve gone on has given a fair amount of knowledge about how the live thing works for us as well as against us. There are business aspects to this band thing I would have never imagined when I started out that I think we are much more adept at these days, but who am I kidding, I’m still learning and figuring it all out.

You’ve been characterized by your 70’s-esque guitar riffs and melodic folky vocal pairing. Musically and lyrically, where do you find inspiration?

I think the band name falsely informs people of this idea that we’re a homage to Seger/70’s rock band music.  That was never the intention, and it still isn’t. We just take stuff from anything we like and that moves us. The name kinda just fit the vibe at the time when we put out the 1st record.  Inspiration is constantly changing.   Lyrics always seem to come from a strange place.  They’re inspired from a variety of experiences and they are usually the last thing to come in the song writing process.  All in all, inspiration is always coming to me in ways I’d never expect.  I’m still trying to figure that all out as well.

Fans interpret music in a rainbow of ways, is there anything you’d like your listeners to take away from your material?

No, I let them continue to interpret it in a myriad of ways.  It’s best if you can get lost and find some element of yourself in the music.

 

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Photo by Erin Pederson

 

What is a day in the life of Night Moves? 

Make coffee/tea. Breakfast, which is usually these days a bagel with egg and turkey and greens.  Go through the damn internet stops, shower, go to work, come home listen to music and work on new songs, crack some wine and continue to tinker with the tunes.  Still trying to finish album #3!

If we’re on tour: Just trying to not die, drink water, hit various gas stations and grocery stores, sound check, show, after party, sleep.

What records have shaped you most as artists? 

“All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison is a big one, Micky borrowed me a copy in Driver’s Ed in high school and it has been a beacon ever since. “Highway 61 Revisited” and “The Freewheelin Bob Dylan” are both very important records that I listened to a lot growing up while learning to play guitar.

Ideal environment for a gig?

Somewhere by a body of water, but also indoors because we’ve had a lot of live sound issues outdoors.  Let’s say with lots of lights and strobes/lasers/fog, that whole thing, I’m talkin a NASA level production of fog and lasers, the big stuff that will make you blackout.  So maybe a mansion that has an indoor pool, but that is also oceanside with a giant veranda full of snacks and tequila? That’s got to exist somewhere, right?  Honestly, as long as there’s good atmosphere you could be in some jack den in the sticks and it’d be fine.

You guys have had played to a variety of audiences, what would be your most memorable gig and why?

It so hard to choose, so I will just mention one.  We played in Ohio back in 2013, right after our first album came out, and only 1 girl showed up along with her dad and brother.  She was wasted and kept calling out for the song “Colored Emotions,” even after we played it 2nd in the set. It was as if she didn’t know we even played it.  The promoter revealed to us later in the night he lost a lot of money on the show and seemed pretty unhappy about it.  He let us stay at his house, but insisted several times we “make beds” before we hit the night life, which felt very odd.  Every place he took us to he seemed to be in poor standing with the folks there and that further gave us a weird feeling about everything, as in this guy is not well regarded around these parts, fuck, what do we do? I guess it didn’t matter because no one showed up to the gig.  We ended up staying out all night and morning in this Ohio town and left at 9am. As we headed out the promoter gave us 5 big pussy willows he stole from his neighbor’s porch, stuffed them in the van. Must have been quite the assemblage to be witnessing rolling down the interstate at 9am looking like a busted, bloated, and broken Pottery Barn prop.

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At the moment you’ve been touring the mid-west. Are there any plans to venture out to the West coast or the East coast in the near future?

Unfortunately, not at the moment. Hopefully, soon though!

If you were given the chance to re-score a soundtrack what film would it be?

Plains, Trains, and Automobiles- it already has some cool tracks, but I love the vibe of what they got going on and I’d love to embellish it a little.

With festival season in full swing, who would make up your dream festival line-up?

ACDC, D’Angelo, Flaming Lips, The James Gang, Mick Taylor era Stones, Mamas and Papas Hologram set

There have been many great albums released this year. What would be your favorite record of 2017?

Maybe 1 of these 4: Thundercat-Drunk, MacDemarco- This Old Dog, or Father John Misty-Pure Comedy, War On Drugs-A Deeper Understanding

Lastly, what can fans and those new to your music, expect from Night Moves this year and perhaps into next year?

Album #3, we’re hoping to start recording it in the fall so we can to put it out next summer~

 

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Kane Strang Comes To U Street

Review and Photos by Sara Valenzuela

Red line. 12 am. On my way back home. The only thing keeping me awake is the ringing of my ears. First Monday night out on chilly U Street for a gig; shook my head little. Well worth it.

On their US tour, Kane Strang and his pals performed at the DC9 this past Monday night. His sound gave 80’s vibrations as soon as he performed Full Moon, Hungry Sun from his debut album Blue Cheese. It was dreamy, his voice made it feel as if we were in slow motion. Leaving me in a haze. A sterling show that left DC wanting more of Kane Strang.

Make sure to check out Kane Strang’s Blue Cheese as well as his new single Oh So You’re Off I See on Spotify and iTunes.

Blue Cheese by Kane Strang

 

Oh So You’re Off I See – Single by Kane Strang

 

Kane Strang on Spotify

The Drums at The Glass House

By Kayla Fernandez

The Drums kicked off their tour in Pomona this last Wednesday night. The sold out show was a beautiful sight to see and front-man Jonny Pierce’s  stage presence was electric. His unique dance style leaves the crowd in awe, which makes The Drums one of the best live bands today. Keep an eye out for their new album ‘Abysmal Thoughts’ coming out June 16th!