Monday, February 25, 2008

Flight of the Conchords to perform at Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Here's the full lineup:

R.E.M. / The Cure / The Flaming Lips U.F.O. Show / Death Cab For Cutie / Modest Mouse / M.I.A. / Flight Of The Conchords / Rodrigo Y Gabriela / Michael Franti & Spearhead / The Breeders / Built To Spill / The Hives / Tegan & Sara / The Presidents / Ghostland Observatory / Ozomatli / The New Pornographers / Blue Scholars / The National / The Kooks / Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks / Cold War Kids / Beirut / Rogue Wave / Okkervil River / Fleet Foxes / Kinski / Mates of State / Crudo (featuring Mike Patton & Dan The Automator) / Sera Cahoone / Battles / Destroyer / Dyme Def / The Blakes / Pela / Jamie Lidell / The Cops / Dengue Fever / Siberian / Say Hi / White Rabbits / David Bazan / The Little Ones / "Awesome" / Dead Confederate / The Heavenly States / 65daysofstatic / Grand Archives / Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio / Joshua Morrison / Throw Me The Statue / J. Tillman / Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down / The Cave Singers / Matt Costa / The Shaky Hands

Saturday, February 23, 2008

West Indian Girl + Dios Malos @ the Troubadour

It was a dark and stormy night in Los Angeles. My business travels had brought me there for one night and I was fortunate enough to be there on the same night was headlining at the . I had never been to the Troubadour and it was high on my list of venues I need to see before I die. The weather conditions were horrendous yet I battled through the rain with a very 'Blues Brothers' mission-from-God mentality.

Upon entering the Troubadour I was standing in a dank atrium that reeked of rock and roll. To the left I saw a main bar room. Ahead of me, there were doors with a sign above that read 'SHOWROOM'... Given my excitement, It might as well have said 'MECCA'. If you don't know the history associated here, read up here. I had been dying to see this place, and it lives up to everything I've heard, and more. While I still believe that pound for pound, San Francisco has better venues to see live music, the Troubadour has immediately risen to the top 5 places I would ever want to see live music.

Thankfully, I was able to share this experience with one of my oldest and closest friends who I hadn't seen in ages. He recently moved to LA and hadn't been to the Troubadour either.

Of the four bands on the bill that evening, I only saw the last two. Opener, fka Dios, from Hawthorne, CA bring a sweet freshness of sound to the stage that you will enjoy. Album reviews are mediocre at best, but the passion they exude on stage is enough to make me think that somebody fucked up while recording the album. Catch em live if you can... and keep an eye on the drummer as he will have you in stitch with his stage antics.

Headlining was . Now, if you recall.. I caught a piece of West Indian Girl at the several months ago and I liked what I heard enough to buy the album.

West Indian Girl is a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles. Their name is derived from a strain of LSD that was designed in the 60's by Bear Owsley and Nick Sands. The biggest trip for me, however, was the diversity among the group. I mean, the lead singer, Robert James, looks like the guy from the Spin Doctors, and the bassist, Francis Ten, looks like Dave Navarro. I think the similarities also extend into their musical style. Relax, I'm not bagging on them (or the Spin Doctors).. I think it speaks volumes that each member has their own set of talents, their own look, and their own style.

Each tune explored a different musical direction and they were all pleasing to listen to. In live performance the band is extraordinarily tight and the songs were all very well done. My friend asked if the two leads wrote songs individually which I thought was quite astute. It was almost like hearing two different bands on stage. It was JamBand-Psychedelia. Perhaps this is where things don't quite work for me. I felt as if each song only got me half-excited... but never brought me over the edge. Like I said, the songs are great on the album, and overall pretty good live... but I found myself bored enough to battle through the crowd and stand in the cold rain to smoke a cigarette where I heard others' melancholy longings for the je ne sais quoi that this performance lacked. The band played right through encore theatrics, which I think all bands should do. They ended with my favorite tune off their new album 4th and Wall called, "All My Friends". They scored major points with me by pulling some major creativity. Drummer, Mark Lewis, came up with an instrument that looked like a piccolo (it may have been). Bassist, Francis Ten, pulled out (with extraordinary dramatics) a toy piano... perhaps it was a fisher-price model. Keybordist, Nathan Van Hala, played a Harmonium... and it was a nice way to punctuate my mild discontent with them saying, 'fuck you, we'll play it how we want to, and we don't give a fuck if it sounds good or not." Catch them live this week at NOISE POP on 2/27 opening for MINIPOP at Bottom of the Hill.