Speakers + Amplifiers

Then it was time to head back down to Lou’s to see what else might still be available.  I was surprised to find both the Pixies and Flaming Lips records and this Shocking Blue 7” was a real bonus.

  • Shocking Blue - Send Me a Postcard
  • Flaming Lips - 7 Skies H3
  • Katatonia - Kocytean
  • Pixies - Indie CIndy

Now comes the fun part - listening!

Next stop was Spin Records in Carlsbad since I wasn’t going to wait all the way through the line again to get more records.  Plus, it isn’t really Record Store Day unless you go to at least two stores!!

I got some great records there as well:

  • Frightened Rabbit - Live From Criminal Records
  • Grant Hart - Every Everything
  • Built to Spill - Ultimate Alternative Wavers
  • Tears for Fears - Ready Boy & Girls?
  • Opeth - Watershed

I spent most of yesterday celebrating Record Store Day.  First I went to Lou’s Records in Encinitas.  They are quite organized for the event. Folks usually start forming a line around 7:30am and at 9am Lou himself comes out and hands out numbers.  I arrived right at 9am and was #72.  Then when the store opens at 10am the staff start calling up customers in order and each person gets to pick up to 5 RSD releases.  

By the time my turn came a few of my picks were gone but I still got some great records:

  • Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes - Live at the Greek
  • Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic
  • Man Man - The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face
  • Tame Impala - Live Versions
  • Garbage & Brody Dalle - Girls Talk 
Record Store Day - 2014
Tomorrow (Saturday) is one of my favorite days of the year.  I’m meeting a good friend, who I’ve knows since Junior High, and we’re going to make a day of it.  First we’re heading up to Lou’s Records in Encinitas (north of San Diego) and then we’re heading up to Spin Records in Carlsbad (even northier).  Here’s my wish list:
Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes - Live at the Greek12”
Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic 12”
Man Man - The Man in Turban with Blue Face 12”
Frightened Rabbit - Live from Criminal Records 12”
Mastodon - Live at Brixton 12”
Devo/Flaming Lips - Side by Side 7”
Katatonia - Kocytean 12”
Tame Impala - Live Versions 12”
Tears for Fears - Ready Boys & Girls 10”
Grant Hart - Every Everything/Something 12”
Built to Spill  - Ultimate Alternative New Wavers 12”
Joy Division - An Ideal for Living 12”
Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea 7”
Of Montreal  - Jigsaw Puzzle 7”
Opeth - Watershed 12”

http://www.recordstoreday.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lousrecords
https://www.facebook.com/SpinRecords

Record Store Day - 2014

Tomorrow (Saturday) is one of my favorite days of the year.  I’m meeting a good friend, who I’ve knows since Junior High, and we’re going to make a day of it.  First we’re heading up to Lou’s Records in Encinitas (north of San Diego) and then we’re heading up to Spin Records in Carlsbad (even northier).  Here’s my wish list:

Jimmy Page & the Black Crowes - Live at the Greek12”

Of Montreal - Satanic Panic in the Attic 12”

Man Man - The Man in Turban with Blue Face 12”

Frightened Rabbit - Live from Criminal Records 12”

MastodonLive at Brixton 12”

Devo/Flaming LipsSide by Side 7”

KatatoniaKocytean 12”

Tame ImpalaLive Versions 12”

Tears for FearsReady Boys & Girls 10”

Grant HartEvery Everything/Something 12”

Built to Spill  - Ultimate Alternative New Wavers 12”

Joy DivisionAn Ideal for Living 12”

NirvanaPennyroyal Tea 7”

Of Montreal  - Jigsaw Puzzle 7”

OpethWatershed 12”

http://www.recordstoreday.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lousrecords

https://www.facebook.com/SpinRecords

international-teen-sensation:

“I loved the Ramones the minute I heard them. They played the Gold West Ballroom in Norwalk and it just so happened that the company I worked for, my regular job, had just put in the sound system. I was an electronics guy. I saw the Ramones and said, “That’s it. That’s the sound.” I actually thought it was going to be the next big thing, I didn’t realize it was going to be banned from the radio. That was Friday or Saturday and the Monday after, I put an ad in the Recycler…two bass players answered the ad. The second one was John Doe.”
-Billy Zoom

I’m not usually much of a re blogger - but this is pretty cool…

international-teen-sensation:

“I loved the Ramones the minute I heard them. They played the Gold West Ballroom in Norwalk and it just so happened that the company I worked for, my regular job, had just put in the sound system. I was an electronics guy. I saw the Ramones and said, “That’s it. That’s the sound.” I actually thought it was going to be the next big thing, I didn’t realize it was going to be banned from the radio. That was Friday or Saturday and the Monday after, I put an ad in the Recycler…two bass players answered the ad. The second one was John Doe.”

-Billy Zoom

I’m not usually much of a re blogger - but this is pretty cool…

Fanfarlo - March 24, 2014 - House of Blues, San Diego, CA

Earlier this week I went with my daughter and her friend to see the UK band,Fanfarlo, who was booked to play the main room of the House of Blues, which holds about 1300.  The way the venue is set up, even a crowd of 300 to 400 doesn’t seem empty since a lot of the capacity is at the bar or up in the balcony.  It turns out that Fanfarlo only sold 80 tickets in advance so they were moved to the smaller Delta Room, which is right next to the main hall.  This was a good move on HoB’s part as the intimate room fit the 100 or so fans there by show time perfectly.  Though it did prompt Fanfarlo front man, Simon Balthazar, to remark that it seemed like they were playing in someone’s big living room.

It’s a shame, really, that more folks haven’t heard of this wonderful band – at least not here in San Diego.  They have a sound that deftly mixes indie rock, neo-folk and synth-pop and, as with some of their contemporaries like Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, they use a lot of non-rock instruments like: trumpet, violin, mandolin, accordion and even a saw played with a bow! Their songs are melodic, inventive and catchy without ever seeming too obvious or commercial.  It was especially fun to listen to how they used the additional instruments in a live setting.  On this night Fanfarlo put on an impressive show that was both perfectly suited to the intimate room while also showing that they are meant to play on a much bigger stage.

Kvelertak - “Evig Vandrar” from the album, Meir

I was thinking about getting tickets to see Mastodon in Los Angeles and saw this group, which hails from Norway, was playing in support.  This was the first clip I found of them and I was pretty impressed.  This is some crazy combination of rock genres: classic, black, thrash, punk, power, death and metal can all be found in their sound.  Plus the visuals in this sci-fi video are pretty awesome.

Play it loud or don’t play it!

Just got my tickets for Queen + Adam Lambert at The Forum in LA.  Queen is my all time favorite group and if there is any singer out there that can do Freddie justice it’s Adam Lambert.
Here’s a 30 minute clip of Queen + AL (with Fun as well) at the iHeartRadio Festival in Vegas last year:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ29wso9e4I

Just got my tickets for Queen + Adam Lambert at The Forum in LA.  Queen is my all time favorite group and if there is any singer out there that can do Freddie justice it’s Adam Lambert.

Here’s a 30 minute clip of Queen + AL (with Fun as well) at the iHeartRadio Festival in Vegas last year:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ29wso9e4I

Lilies on Mars - “Dream of Bees”

This song is off Lilies on Mars’ just released 3rd album, Dot to Dot on Saint Marie Records.

You can get their records on iTunes or off their website:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lilies-on-mars/id293658146

http://liliesonmars.com/buy.html

Lilies on Mars - House of Blues, San Diego CA - March 24, 2014

One thing I always make sure to do when I go to concerts is to get there in time for the opening bands.  Also, while I am usually quite familiar with the headliners, I purposely don’t look into what’s up with the support bands.  It’s like going to a movie without reading a review or seeing a preview.

On this night Lilies on Mars, who’s name sounded like some psychedelic prog rock band, was support for British indie rockers Fanfarlo.  The group, which hails from Italy by way of London, turned out to be two young women with a couple of guitars, a keyboard and lots of knobs and pedals to twist and step on. 

The group seemed tentative at first, often looking preoccupied with their knobs and pedals, but they gained confidence as the small audience responded warmly to their songs.  They told us they were from Italy and that this was the first night of their tour - plus they might still have a little jet lag! 

Their sound was an interesting combination of indie-pop-electro-shoegaze with a little post-punk thrown in for good measure.  Their sound seemed to owe equal debts to newer acts like Beach House as well as older ones like Lush.  Each woman sings, one higher than the other, and they sound the best when both voices meld together.

Since seeing them last night I have listened to some of their recorded output.  They are definitely more polished in the studio and have less of the DIY vibe than they had live.  That’s not a bad thing at all - it’s just a different experience. 

To check out their sound go visit their bandcamp page: http://liliesonmars.bandcamp.com/album/dream-of-bees

You can also learn more about the and buy some merch here:  http://liliesonmars.com/

Kings of Leon - Chula Vista CA - March 22, 2014

Sometimes after a steady of diet of indie rock concerts it’s nice to have a big old rawk show to cleanse the palette.  On this night Kings of Leon was the main course and they did not disappoint!

I have seen KOL twice before, the first time was in 2005 when they opened for U2 right after Aha Shake Heartbreak had been released. It would seem that most members of the audience, including us, that were there early enough to catch the start of the set, had not heard of Kings of Leon and weren’t really paying attention.  However, as each song started more and more of the crowd wised up that something was going on up on the stage.  By the half-way point the arena was filling up and everyone was paying attention to the racket made by this young band.  I remember saying to my wife that we better remember this early show cuz this band’s going to be big.

The next time I saw them, again with my wife, was on the Only by the Night tour in 2009.  It was just 4 years later but in that time they went from being a support band to selling out 20,000 seat sheds on their own.  We had ok seats but we lucked out and got some wristbands from some other concert goers and were able to go right up to the stage to watch the second half of the set.  They still had that youthful energy and raw talent but now they had some great songs to go along with it.

This time around was especially fun since I got tickets for my 12 year old son, my wife, both daughters and a buddy that I’ve been going to concerts with since 1975.   

During KOL’s extended break they must have been practicing a lot because they are a TIGHT band now.  The songs still rock, as always, but the playing was much better than I remembered in their previous sets.  And the sound, for being a big outdoor theater, was fantastic.

Even more impressive was the stage and light show that went along with the music.  KOL has never been shy about borrowing from U2 but this time out they took a cue from their stage presentation as well.  Without distracting us from the music, they presented a visual feast with lights, special effects and a huge HD screen.  The band members themselves were dimly lit, with no spotlights - just four guys rocking out with a massive spectacle going on all around them.

This was my son’s first rock concert ever and apparently he enjoyed the experience since as soon as it was over the first thing he said was, “so dad, when’s the next show?!”

lightningmoth:

Hey, friend!  Are you interested in…

  • Classy-cute style with a geek-adjacent flair?
  • Accurate depictions of specific animal species?
  • Independent art and design?

If those ideas are utterly repellent to you, you’ll probably change your mind when you see Lightning Moth.  We’re a brand-new t-shirt design venture by Lainey and Mindy, two sisters in California.  Mindy does art; Lainey does everything else.

We just put our first designs up on our Redbubble shop, and would be super grateful if you stopped by to check them out.  Our askbox is open, and we’d love to hear what you think!  Any feedback is highly appreciated as we explore options to move to a more independent platform in the future :)

The Casbah - March 21, 2014

I went with my daughter, Mindy (pictured above with Snowmine tuning up behind her) to The Casbah to see Soft Lions, Snowmine and Small Black.  It was a real fun show and all three bands turned in energetic and inspired performances.

First up was local indie threesome Soft Lions.  I saw them play their first show ever a few months ago at the Soda Bar.  I’d like to say they have really improved since then but I really can’t - since they were already awesome at that first show!!

Next up was Snowmine from Brooklynn. This was the group we really came to see and judging by the enthusiastic response from the sold out crowd a lot of those in attendance were also there for them.  By the mid point they had the crowd jumping and dancing along.  The set closer, “Beast In Air, Beast In Water” sealed the deal and Snowmine owned the audience. 

Before this show I was not real familiar with Small Black, but the little I had heard was real chilled out, relaxed and melodic.  Well, they were still melodic but in a live setting they turned in a very dynamic, and at times rocking, set.  The musicianship was excellent and they played with a lot of passion and energy.  I’ve seen shows that go real late (this one wasn’t over till almost 1am) where the crowd starts to drift away but on this night everyone stayed and really enjoyed the show.

As for my daughter Mindy - this was her first show at The Casbah and she really enjoyed it.  Besides being able to stand just 3 feet from the stage, she got to talk to several of the musicians and even grabbed a drumstick that flew off the stage during Snowmine as a cool souvenir.  She’ll be able to say she saw these groups playing such a small, cool venue, since next time through town the stage should be much bigger for these excellent new bands.

Smoke Fairies - “We’ve Seen Birds”

This song is from the Smoke Fairies’ upcoming self-titled album, the British indie-folk band’s fourth, due out on April 14th. This post is dedicated to my daughters - because they are awesome!

Soft Lions - “No Peace”

Soft Lions is a relatively new indie rock group from San Diego.  The band is comprised of members from other local acts (Boy King, Wild Wild Wets, The New Kinetics) though they don’t really sound like any of them.  This song is off their debut release, a 4 song EP also titled No Peace

If this short sampler is any indication we should expect some great music out of this new group.  Each of the songs explores a different musical style, from the dirge-like drone of “Horses”; to the post-riot grrl anthem “I Slept In This Dress”; to the thumping stomp of “No Peace”; to the 60’s girl-group shimmer of “This Life”.  Throughout this eclectic mix Megan Liscome’s voice and Lex Pratt’s backing vocals provide a common thread and drummer, Jon Bonser, shows his versatility by adapting perfectly to each style.

I’ve seen Soft Lions in concert before and they put on an awesome live set.  Tonight they open for Snowmine and Small Black at a sure to be sold out show at The Casbah here in San Diego.

Check out Soft Lions and purchase their EP here: http://softlionsmusic.com/