Monthly Archives: August 2012

“Suffer” by Owls

Echo Park‘s Owls is less than a year old, yet they’ve already managed to write a solid selection of songs that give a recent throwback to the early aughts post-punk revival. Carrying a peculiar vocal inflection and indie rock alacrity, their sound mimics Interpol after exposed to the California sun. The group is lead by an Irish expatriate named Sean Kangataran on guitar and vocals, but their lineup is even more unique in that they feature horn players as full-time members (Spencer Sussman on trombone/keys and Ken Hirako on trumpet/percussion) and not just as session musicians or tour support. The group will continue to play local shows and plans to release a new song every 60 days, bur for now you can enjoy “Suffer”:

Owls on Facebook, Owls on Soundcloud, Owls on Bandcamp

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“Surface” by Opus Orange

Santa Monica denizen Paul “PB” Bessenbacher is a commercial composer for Emoto Music by day, but by night the multi-instrumentalist is the headmaster for the indie pop rock act Opus Orange. Since 2009, the band has released three EPs, collaborated with Eleni Mandell, and had their songs featured in an Apple iPhone commercial and episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Originally a mostly acoustic coed duo, the group has grown to a quintet but that has only enhanced the band’s ability to craft infectious pop melodies. Upbeat and radiant, Opus Orange’s latest EP Surface was released today. Synths, casio beats, and harmonies litter the tracks and the result conjures a more digital The Shins or a more acoustic The Postal Service. Here’s the EP’s title track:

Opus Orange‘s EP release party will be sponsored tonight by Emoto Music and Soundwell at The Central along with The Ross Sea Party, The Mid-Cities, and The Dead Ships.

Opus Orange’s Official Site, Opus Orange on Facebook, Opus Orange on Twitter, Opus Orange on Bandcamp, Opus Orange on Soundcloud

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“You Were Young” by The Dead Ships

Television production houses never truly close. Open throughout the night with graveyard shifts, they can be dark lonely places. Maybe that’s why coworkers Devlin McCluskey and Christopher Spindelilus bonded during a twilight smoke break and decided to start a band called The Dead Ships. The result of their guitar (McCluskey) and drums (Spindelilus) only combo is a raw barrage of garage rock splattered with sweaty blues roots and rugged pop melodies. Their debut LP entitled Electric Ahab was recorded live with only two takes to two-inch tapes (“100% analogue”) by Donny Newenhouse (Film School) at Center of the Mile in San Francisco; and the natural energy is evident. Check out the lively track “You Were Young”:

The Dead Ships hosted the September residency at The Central, but they return this Tuesday to support The Ross Sea Party along with The Mid Cities and Opus Orange.

The Dead Ships’ Official Site, The Dead Ships on Facebook, The Dead Ships on Twitter, The Dead Ships on Bandcamp, The Dead Ships on Soundcloud

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“So Polite Of You” by The Mid Cities

Echo Park‘s The Mid Cities is multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Price’s solo side project when he isn’t busy playing guitar for Ferraby Lionheart, Correatown, or The Californian. He claims that the songs are the emotional result of “the difficulties of prolonged periods away: crumbling relationships, substance abuse, and complete disconnection.” While that might be reflected in his evocative lyrics, Price is a natural songwriter and his music can be optimistically connectable via hushed swaying tones or catchy dancing tempos. His debut album should be finished by the end of September, but for now you can enjoy the upbeat “So Polite Of You”:

The Mid Cities will perform (featuring The Breakups frontman Jake Gideon on guitar) this Tuesday at The Central with The Ross Sea Party, Opus Orange, and The Dead Ships.

The Mid Cities’ official site, The Mid Cities on Facebook, The Mid Cities on Twitter, The Mid Cities on TumblrThe Mid Cities on Soundcloud

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“Thunder” Music Video by The Ross Sea Party

There used to be an unspoken rule in Silver Lake that if you start a band you had to be inspired by Joy Division and have at least one token girl who almost always plays the keyboards while never smiling (see: Midnight Movies, Mellowdrone, Monsters Are Waiting, and probably some more bands that had monikers starting with the letter “m”). But sometime in the mid-aughts, the sun shined down on the creative burg and the indie rock gods changed the commandment so that all new bands must be inspired by Crosby, Stills, and Nash and have at least one token girl who almost always plays the keyboards and glockenspiel while always smiling (see: Milo Greene, The New Limb, and The Ross Sea Party). And then it was good.

Named after a minor wing of Ernest Shackleton’s famed 1914 Trans-Antartic Expedition, The Ross Sea Party makes delicate pop rock that beautifully transcends from gentle intros into soaring melodies. Armed with a plethora of instruments, the quintet comes off as a band made up of five independent songwriters each contributing to every song in their own unique way. Their debut album Hotel Pool was produced by Jeff Halbert (St. Vincent, Rocco DeLuca) and will be released in October. The first single is the group whoa-ing “Thunder” which is accompanied by a self-directed music video mostly showcasing the band’s dynamic live performance via psychedelic filters:

The Ross Sea Party managed to be booked as the August residency act at The Central and will perform there tonight along with Owls, The Breakups, and Dylan Trees.


The Ross Sea Party’s Official Site, The Ross Sea Party on FacebookThe Ross Sea Party on TwitterThe Ross Sea Party on Bandcamp

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“Three Times Of The Day” by Dylan Trees

Dylan Trees started out as a coed duo (the British Jeremy Simon and New Yorker Monica Olive) that attributes Silver Lake‘s Thirsty Crow Bar as integral to their full band formation (mainly due to Olive being a bartender there). The three additional musicians add a more dynamic approach to their psychedelia tinted folk pop which often centers on Simon and Olive sharing vocal duties. Overall, their music has a stripped down lure of acoustics that either makes you stomp your dusty boots or gently rock on a porch swing.

The Echo Park-based band will release a new EP in October entitled Victoryville (Mother West) that was mostly recorded and produced at Cottage Sounds in New York by Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, Gospel Music) who also produced their previous two EPS. But for now, you can enjoyed the title track off their last release Three Times Of The Day:

Dylan Trees will perform this Tuesday at The Central with Owls, The Breakups, and The Ross Sea Party.


Dylan Trees on TumblrDylan Trees on FacebookDylan Trees on TwitterDylan Trees on YouTubeDylan Trees on Bandcamp, Mother West Records

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“Better Off Alone” by The Breakups

In 2007, vocalist/guitarist Jake Gideon was almost simultaneously ditched by his band and dumped by his long-time girlfriend. Undeterred, he recruited a solid collection of musicians and aptly named them The Breakups. Their music is either a collective power pop wall of sound or layered with soothing acoustics (a la Death Cab For Cutie) but always delivered through an adored geek perspective. Either way, listening to the perpetually-single quintet is a guaranteed good time. Their debut LP is entitled Running Jumping Falling Shouting and was recorded mostly at Gideon’s home studio called The Bait Shop in Hollywood. Highlighting the album is the swift-pop track “Better Off Alone” (obviously they maintain their moniker’s theme rather well) which uses high-pitched synths unapologetically influenced by Motion City Soundtrack:

The Breakups will perform at The Central this Tuesday along with Owls, Dylan Trees, and The Ross Sea Party.

The Breakups’ Official Site, The Breakups on FacebookThe Breakups on Twitter, The Breakups on TumblrThe Breakups on YoutubeThe Breakups on BandcampThe Breakups on Soundcloud

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“War Paint” by Relative Motion

Sometimes going to college will cause bands to break up, but some bands are so dedicated they just consider it a periodic break. Formed as high school students in San Juan Capistrano, Relative Motion is now scattered at universities across the US (Orange County, Chico, Chicago, Boston) but that doesn’t stop them from reuniting, performing, and recording during their school breaks. Their debut EP entitled Peaches will soon be released, and the quintet band uses pop melodies and lush harmonies to craft an indie surf sound that’s perfect for a beach after-party. Highlighting the EP is the upbeat yet soft “War Paint” which at one point is reminiscent of The Walkmen mid-career:

Relative Motion on BandcampRelative Motion on FacebookRelative Motion on TwitterRelative Motion on TumblrRelative Motion on Soundcloud

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“Who’s Gonna Love You” by The Temporary Thing

During the mid-aughts, guitarist/vocalist Andrew Deadman created The Temporary Thing as his solo project, turned it into a band, toured the US/Europe, gained national airplay/media placements, and then called it quits –hence making the band’s moniker aptly titled. This year the Downtown LA band was resurrected with a new lineup, proving that the moniker was really just a jinx. They recently posted a collection of  pop rock songs filled with catchy hooks at a smoothing pace. Highlighting them is the opening track “Who’s Gonna Love You” which captures Deadman singing in a storytelling earnest that evokes The Boss a la “Atlantic City”:

The Temporary Thing will perform tonight at The Central with Thurlow, Kid Cadaver, and The Ross Sea Party.

The Temporary Thing on FacebookThe Temporary Thing on TwitterThe Temporary Thing on Tumblr

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“Teach You The Tongue” by Kid Cadaver

Kid Cadaver is a trio of young post-high school dudes from The Valley who like to make dance-punk rock that hits hard with quick grooves and dreamy layers. Their new single “Teach You The Tongue” carries undeniable laid back beats and a catchy shout-along chorus with the lyrics:

“I won’t leave you swooning, I’ll just bring you through me.”

The track could easily become a late Summer anthem and is a promising teaser of what’s to come as the band continues to record with producer Frankie Siragusa at TheLab in Noho.

Kid Cadaver will perform tomorrow night at The Central with Thurlow, The Temporary Thing, and The Ross Sea Party.


Kid Cadaver on Bandcamp, Kid Cadaver on Facebook, Kid Cadaver on Twitter, Kid Cadaver on Tumblr

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