Death Valley Girls at Kung Fu Necktie
There are so many great rock bands from L.A. these days, including the one slightly misleadingly named Death Valley Girls. They certainly display the love of kitsch which marks them as Burger Records band (their first few releases came out on Burger) but add a hefty dose of LOUD. Their hit-you-with-everything-at-once sound is clearly influenced by early punk rock and even 70s stadium rock. Listen to the last 30 seconds of Disaster (Is What We're After), or even better the whole thing, and you'll understand. That plus enough mysticism and eyeliner to occasionally get them labeled as "goth" make for a very flavorful concoction. I like it a lot.
HereForTheBands Is Moving! Again!
(The concert calendar is going to get shorter)
"Well, it looks like I got a job in Philadelphia so I will be moving soon. That means no updates to the site for a while as I worry about settling in to my new home. I'm sure I will get back to taking photos soon enough."
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at Union Stage
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan describe themselves as a "theatre company" as well as musicians. Obviously they put some effort into costuming, but beyond that each of their albums have a narrative arc. They even wrote a rock-opera a few years back. They're the kind of band which tells a tale through their music, like Tom Waits in operatic pop-metal form. That while wearing lots of makeup, which to be fair Tom Waits has also been known to do...
This was my first time at Union Stage and I have to say, I am very impressed by the lighting. It's a mini-Anthem in there! I'll definitely go back and shoot there again. Not a bad space in general either, though the no-cash policy is a bit weird and reminds me once again that I'm too old for this.
Time is Fire at Rock N Roll Hotel
Lemme tell ya' a story about this band. A year and a half ago Time is Fire were scheduled to play a house show but couldn't because the lead singer was sick. Three members of the band showed up anyway and played a couple of their songs as instrumentals. The result was funky, enough so that they got the audience to dance (a rare thing at house shows in my experience) and got a request for an encore.
This despite the fact that their music has too much gravitas to be "Get up and dance" funky. Of course the music is catchy but it is also a vessel for some pretty serious thoughts. Song titles include "Violence (Brings Violence)" and "Turn Your TVs Off". Political commentary from DC... okay, that's not new. What is new is the unique blending of international styles and perspectives. A Sufi poet from Iran working with the drummer of Gwar (yes, really) was not likely to result in anything usual. There are identifiable elements: some Afrobeat rhythms, psychedelic guitar work, a song with lyrics in Farsi (probably), but the emergent sound is definitely something original.