THOUGHTS: I don’t know how many times can I say it. I love this band. When I first saw them play opening for Omar Souleyman, I knew that I’d have to see them play again. Catching them at Culture Collide was my third time this year (the second time was at Echo Park Rising). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re a fan of the post-punk sounds of the Talking Heads, I’m sure you’ll dig this band. They are heading out on tour for the month of November, and I suggest you buy a ticket and check them out. Seriously. Buy a ticket. Check these guys out.
THOUGHTS:Though I wasn’t able to stick around for their entire set, I was able to get a sense of what The Men were all about. Mixing elements of punk, psychadelic and classic rock into their music, the brief glimpse of them that I got made me think of a laid back The Stooges or Lou Reed. Now, take my impression with a grain of salt … I was only there for about 15-20 minutes. I really wish I could have stuck around to truly absorb their entire set … but thank god for the Internet. I’ll be logging on soon enough.
Opening for Omar Souleyman was the Los Angeles-based, indie neo-disco band De Lux. I had gotten a little sampling of their music online, but listening to this band’s music live was something else.
De Lux is a favorite of KCRW DJs across the board (they are one of the few acts that ALL of the DJs play in their sets). I could hear why.
They may be a young band, but their sound is pretty damn sophisticated. A little synth-pop, a little electronic, a little disco, a little punk, a little funk … their music is a mish-mosh of styles that really blends together into a unique, almost throwback, sound.
I got to chat with a couple of the guys in the band after their set, and couldn’t help but rave about their sound. Though they’ve heard it before, I really emphasized my observation that their music really reminded me of the Talking Heads. Seaun Guerin, one of the founders and the lead vocalist, in particular, has a voice that’s as oddly wonderful as David Byrnes’ voice.
These guys are playing at the upcoming free music festival in Los Angeles, Echo Park Rising, August 15th-17th (TBD). I’m going to try and make it out for their gig. Hopefully, I’ll be able to snap some more pics of them jamming out.
Formed the year I was born, 1976, The Damned are a rock band from London, England. I was particularly interested in checking out there set as they are known to be one of the forerunners of the “gothic” music genre: a music style that is a mix of post-punk and alternative rock. I was especially excited that they were playing Ink-N-Iron because I couldn’t recall the last time they toured the United States.
Though their line-up has changed up over the course of their existence, three of their original members performed on this night on the Queen Mary: lead singer Dave Vanian, guitarist Captain Sensible and keyboardist Monty Oxymoron.
Dave Vanian’s performance was particularly impressive. His dark (dressed in black, with sunglasses and gloves) and mysterious stage presence was quite a contrast from Lee Ving’s performance. He performance demonstrated an understated bravado that really demonstrated, to me, a terrific command of the stage.
The audience, who had just before been moshing with reckless, and violent, abandon the set before, was now bouncing about with more fun and freedom. 37 years after they had formed, it appeared to me that they still had plenty in the tank, with their classically punk attitude in full form.
I couldn’t find a setlist of their set online, so if you attended the event and know what their setlist was, please post it in the comments, and I’ll add it to the post.
Immediately below are some videos I found of The Briefs performing at the festival and also the Ink-N-Iron pre-party. If you know of any other videos that are online, please post the link below in the comments so that I can add it to the playlist.
When I googled “White Lies” to check out some of the music videos they had out, I was immediately drawn to their sound. “There Goes Our Love Again” and “Bigger Than Us” were the first two videos I found, and I quickly put a check mark next to their name to remind me that they were a band that I needed to see perform live at Coachella.
I got to the photo pit in the tent they were performing about 15 minutes before their set was to start, but they had fans already waiting at the railing; several wearing White Lies t-shirts. Though some critics may not fully appreciate their music, it was obvious to me that their fans thought otherwise. Personally, I liked their music. Though they may not be breaking any new barriers with their musical style, what they have recorded and released is something darkly lush and rings familiar … at least to me.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to catch them at the festival. Hopefully, they’ll come through Los Angeles in the future for a club gig. I’d pay to see that.
The Drowners are a post-punk band from New York City whose music, critics write, is heavily influenced by the Smiths, the Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys. Since I like the Smiths, the Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys, I decided to check out their set at Coachella.
I enjoyed the music in their set as it was catchy and upbeat, and I can imagine them doing well picking up fans through steady touring/gigging. They’ve opened for bands likeArctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Foals, so I have the feeling that they have a good idea of what they are doing.
I had a bit of a battle with the lighting for their stage show, and I didn’t feel like I was able to capture many clean pics to share, but check ’em out and let me know what you think!
I wasn’t able to find their setlist online, so if any of you Drowners fans know what it was, please let me know in the comments so I can add it to the body of the entry!
When one of the most influential rock & roll bands of the 80’s decides to play at Coachella, you go. Period.
Though their set may not have been filled with the booze and testosterone that I’ve read about, heard or watched (click HERE or HERE for examples of what I’m talking about), their set demonstrated their legacy in the annals of punk, hardcore and garage rock. It was a solid, polished set that hit on many of their popular hits. Who knows how many more years they’ll be rocking the stage, but I, for one, am glad I was able to catch them perform at Coachella.
To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.
No Age is a two-person, lo-fi punk band based in Los Angeles. They performed earlier in the summer as part of Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert series, but I wasn’t able to attend the free concert, so I figured I swing by their set at FYF to check them out.
No Age have the distinct honor of being the band who’s played the festival the most-seven times, with the festival being in its 10th year- and they played like it. I don’t have any of their albums, but they definitely played songs that I’ve heard before (a video snippet below of “Fever Dreaming” is a song that I’m sure you’ve heard before too).
They shred through their set with a vigor that translated well with the audience, as the crowd became of rolling mosh pit of raucous teens with bodies surfing left and right. I could see the security guards catching bodies falling from the railing up front. Lots of fun and a lot of energy. If you were looking for a nice little post-punk pick me up during the day, these guys were it.
I wanted to catch Savages‘ set at Coachella in 2013. From what little I knew about them at the time, they were an all-female, loud, punk band based out of the United Kingdom. They didn’t have a lot of music out, but from what I was able to hear and watch online, they definitely piqued my curiosity. As fate would have it, I wasn’t able to get to the festival grounds in time and they became one of the many bands that I had to add to the list of band casualties.
But as fate would also have it, a few months later, a buddy of mine emailed me letting me know he had a couple of extra tickets to catch them at the El Rey, July 23, 2013. By that time, tickets for both of their shows had already sold out, so I jumped at the opportunity.
When I got to the venue, the opening act was already onstage performing: Johnny Hostile. Johnny Hostile is a co-founder, along with Savages lead singer Jehnny Beth, of Pop Noire Records and one of the producers of of Savages’ debut album Silence Yourself.
Alone on stage, accompanied for the most part only by a drum machine and guitar pedals, he set the mood right for what was to come. His music was moody, ethereal and heavy. Part synth-pop and part punk, with industrial drums. His set was accented with special appearances by Gemma Thompson (Savages’ guitarist) and Jehnny Beth for various songs. It was truly a perfect appetizer to the main entree of Savages. I ended up purchasing his 7” single that was for sale, and even got him to autograph it after the show. I would have taken a picture of it, but I can’t find it at the moment as it’s lost in my vinyl stack that need to be organized (and listened to).
Dressed in their trademark all black, Savages took the stage to a rousing and wild applause. I was up front about three rows from the stage. I kept my fingers crossed that a crazy mosh pit wouldn’t ensue like the last concert at the El Rey I attended, but as fate would have it, they played their most popular, and aggressive songs first. Yup, there was a mosh pit. I really wanted to get some video of “City’s Full” and “Shut Up”, but I wasn’t going to take a chance at having my camera knocked out of my hand.
Savages are about as intense as a band can get. Jehnny Beth sets the mood with her deep stare that almost makes you nervous to watch her. It’s a threatening stare that intimidates and fits the music that the band creates. Her stage presence is almost menacing, but that only adds to the effectiveness of the show. Ayse Hassan was steady on bass, and Fay Milton was relentless on drums, but I was particularly impressed with the playing of Gemma Thompson. Gemma Thompson was absorbed in her guitar play, creating her own “wall of sound”. Amazing.
Drenched in sweat after the fourth song, I had to leave the front to get some air and dry off. As I pushed my way through the crowd, I noticed that Jehnny was wearing pink pumps. With their all-black apparel, the brightness of the shoes caught me a little off guard but at the same time screamed “punk”. Yup, I had to take a picture of her shoes. I do not have a shoe fetish.
With only one album under their belt, their set was relatively short, but powerful. The set list for the show was a follows:
I Am Here
Give Me A Gun
Waiting for a Sign
Flying to Berlin
Fuckers (new song)
When the set ended, I met up with my friend and we both shared our excitement for the show we just witnessed. I hung out front for a minute in case any of the players from the evening popped out to greet fans, and lucky enough I was able to get Johnny Hostile, Gemma Thompson, and Jehnny Beth to sign their respective vinyl releases. I was able to get a picture with Gemma, but was thwarted in my efforts to get a picture with Jehnny as another fan scared her away. I swear that Gemma was all smiles before the picture was taken. Savages sure do take their image very seriously.
I had a brief conversation with Johnny Hostile and I noticed that he had an accent. Slightly confused as I thought the band was UK based, he explained that both he and Jehnny were originally from France. Having studied French growing up, and never having the opportunity to use it, I started a conversation in my broken French and concluded the conversation by saying that Gemma was “tres jolie”. He told me that he would tell her that. Please do, Johnny. Please do.