Metronomy | The Fonda Theatre | 6/17/14 [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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When it comes to buying music, I’m old school. I like to sift through racks of CDs or vinyl records to discover music. As a vinyl collector/lover, I often find myself spending hours at local record stores looking for new albums to add to my collection.

One Saturday, I was over at Origami Vinyl to purchase concert tickets to see The War On Drugs. As per usual, I got sidetracked and started looking at some of the records that were on display.

Then, as if it were pulled from the scene in “High Fidelity” where John Cusack’s character plays the Beta Band single “Dry The Rain”, some music started playing out of the store speakers that caught my attention.Neil Schield, the owner of the echo park record store, was manning the register when I asked what album it was. He told me it was the Beta … Metronomy, and that he was spinning their latest album, “Love Letters”. I left the store two of Metronomy’s albums, and I’ll have to say that “Love Letters” is on my list of favorite albums of 2014 (so far). I had to get a ticket for their show at the Fonda when I found out about it.

Yup. It kinda happened just like that.

When the English band (Anna Prior, Gabriel Stebbing, Joseph Mount and Oscar Cash) too the stage, the audience erupted with an enthusiastic cheer. The men, dressed in their matching white suits, and the female drummer, in a similar white matching ensemble, jumped into a set of breezy synth pop that had the sold-out crowd dancing where space permitted.

Their music was extremely polished and on point. The mix at the Fonda was excellent, and the great sound of the venue definitely enhanced the band’s live performance. The played with joy and vigor, and it was clearly self evident with the steady smiles on their faces. They noted that this was their last performance on this particular tour and emphasized how much they were pleased to be playing the last gig of their current tour in Los Angeles.

I roamed the venue during their set to get an idea of whether their energy transferred up into the balcony. It did. Even in the balcony, fans were dancing the the isles. Even I couldn’t resist shaking my booting when I wasn’t trying to find a shot.

Metronomy is back in the United States for more touring in September and are back in Los Angeles October 21st at the Regent Theatre. I suggest you follow them on Facebook to know when they are back in your neck of the woods.


Getting a photo pass only allows photographers to take pictures during the first 3 songs of each set. I wish I had more time to take more pictures of Metronomy. Their stage set up allowed for great lighting at certain moments. I wish I had noticed the lighting patterns earlier. Oh well. Enjoy the pictures!

Cloud Control | The Fonda Theatre | 6/17/14 [PHOTOS]

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Opening for Metronomy at The Fonda Theatre was an award-winning indie alternative rock band from Australia: Cloud Control.  This Aussie quartet consisting of Alister Wright, Heidi Lenffer, Ulrigh Lenffer and Jeremy Kelshaw, released their first album, “Bliss Release” to great regional praise. So much critical adoration, in fact, their debut was nominated for two ARIA awards in 2010 for Best Rock Album and Breakthrough Artist, and was the winner of the 6th annual Australian Music Prize, among other accolades. They released their sophomore album, “Cloud Control”, on September 17, 2013, and had been supporting its release with international tours.

As this was my introduction to their music, I went in with open ears and came out a fan. Their performance was solid and their music was rather good. I could definitely understand why they are popular in Australia. Their music definitely has a psychedelic vibe, but it’s more Tame Impala than The Dandy Warhols. Their set had both upbeat dance numbers and mellow “chill-out” cuts, and I found that it was a great setlist. So great, that I even purchased a copy of the their newest album on wax (and got it signed!) after the show.

I always find it interesting when  bands have great support in their home countries, but take a while to break out in other territories. I spoke briefly with Heidi (the keyboardist and vocalist) and asked her what her thoughts were about that point. She exclaimed that that’s exactly what they were aiming to impact during this last round international tour dates. She explained that she hoped that touring with Metronomy and sneaking in festival and other performance dates earned them new ears and fans.

I hope it worked for them. Hey, at least it worked for me. Follow them on Twitter (@Cloud_Control) or Facebook (CloudController) and make sure you catch them when they are in your neck of the woods.

The setlist for their performance is below:

  1. Dojo Rising
  2. The Smoke
  3. Moon Rabbit
  4. Promises
  5. Gold Canary
  6. Nothing In The Water
  7. Scar

I wasn’t able to find any video clips of their performance online, so enjoy a playlist from their Souncloud account below.

The lighting for their set was rather dim, so I had to set my ISO higher than normal. Still think I took a couple decent pics though.

Charles Bradley | The Fonda Theatre | 5/17/14 [PHOTOS]

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Charles Bradley is living proof that the American Dream is still alive.  After learning about his life from the documentary “Soul of America”, I made an effort to catch his afternoon set at FYF Fest in 2013. His performance was a highlight of that day. When I heard that he was to perform at the Fonda Theatre, I knew that it was a show that I couldn’t miss, so I bought myself some tickets, knowing that it would be a show that would ultimately leave a smile on my face, and put a groove in my step.

I’d been dreaming about seeing Mr. Bradley perform in a club venue since the first time I saw him perform. His performance at FYF Fest opened my ears to his music, but it was talking to him at the festival that really left an impression on me. He specifically told me that if I loved his show, that I should catch him in a more intimate venue. With a photo pass in hand, in a venue like The Fonda, I figured that this would be about as imitate as it would get for me.

Mr. Bradley’s performance was otherworldly. Watching him perform though the lens of my camera, I could see the all of the emotion emoting from his soul. The intense emotions expressed while singing “Why Is It So Hard” to the wild dance moves he bust out throughout the set, amazed me that a man at 65 could perform with such fervor. His voice, weathered by the rough life he has lived, covered the entire emotional spectrum, from passionate moans, to indignant rebellion, to tender cooing. It was all there.

Perhaps the most impressive thing to me was the love he openly expressed: his love for his band (the Extraordinaires), his love for the music, his love for the opportunity to perform … but most importantly, his love for his fans. It was a sentiment that was echoed by him throughout the evening.

“I love you!” he shouted out to the audience, “I love you so much. If it wasn’t for you,” he said pointing to the audience, “I,” moving his hands over his heart, “wouldn’t be here, singing for you all.”

His love was infectious. So much so, that he even had me yelling from the photo pit, “I love you, Mr. Bradley!” He glanced down in my direction after I yelled like a child, so I think he may have heard me.

But I wasn’t the only one reciprocating the love back to the stage. For as much as Mr. Bradley gave to the audience, the audience gave it right back to him tenfold. After finishing up his encore, he jumped off the stage to hug fans who were lined up at the front; each fan giving Mr. Bradley a tight embrace. A fitting conclusion, to a concert that was all about … love.

I couldn’t find a setlist online, so if anybody has it, or knows what it was, please let me know in the comments so I can add it to this post.

Charles Bradley is scheduled to perform a FREE concert on the Santa Monica Pier on September 11, 2014. I suggest you schedule your plans accordingly and attend that show.

 

A Year of Concerts: 2012, 24 Concerts, 1 Favorite

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In 2012, I was blessed to have been able to attend 24 concerts.  This being the inaugural post of my blog, I thought it may be a good way to kick things off if I listed each of the concerts in the order that I enjoyed them (starting with the least favorite, and ending with my favorite), with a line or two of my thoughts.

24. Shuggie Otis– The Echoplex- Wed Dec 5

It’s hard to see an artist that you acknowledge as Los Angeles musical royalty without his gift.  By all accounts, a sad musical revelation for me.

23. The 10th Annual Korea Times Music Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sat April 28

While I can appreciate the musicality of some of the K-Pop act thats performed throughout the evening, I’m assuming I didn’t truly appreciate it like the others because I just didn’t understand enough.  I’m a bad Korean-American.

22. Moby– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Jul 14

Moby did two sets:  Live Folk and DJ.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with either.  While I can appreciate his musical venture, I kind of want to hear the older hits that I grew up with.

21. Boyce Avenue– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Dec 08

By buddy proposed to his girl, on stage at this show.  He picked the perfect show.  Chicks dig Boyce Avenue.

20. Starting 6– Vanguard- Fri Aug 10

Hot, sweaty, party hip-hop.  These guys can rock a joint

19. Orange Tulip Conspiracy– Mr. T’s Bowl- Fri Sep 21

The musicality of this Jazz group is amazing. A must for any jazz aficionado. I hear they are recording a new album, and I can’t wait to her the new material.

18. The Airplane Boys– Roxy Theater- Wed Aug 15

Other level hip-hop.  I also saw them at Coachella.  They killed it at the Roxy like they killed it in the desert.

17. Bizarre Ride Fest– Bizarre Ride Live (Fatlip, Slimkid3, J. Swift, etc.)- The Roxy Theater- Sat Dec 29

The Pharcyde’s debut album “Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde”, to quote my buddy David [@davidshein on twitter] is “just one of the best hip hop albums ever”.  I won’t disagree.  Even when it’s performed by only half of the original group, the music still holds up.

16. The Heavy– El Rey Theatre- Fri Sep 07

In support of the their most recent release, The Glorious Dead, I jammed out at this concert.  Their front man, Kevin Swaby, was born to perform.

15. Jason Mraz and Christina Perri– Tour Is A Four Letter Word- Hollywood Bowl- Fri Oct 05

I enjoyed Jason Mraz at the Hollywood Bowl, but I’ve seen him at The Wiltern (full band) and The Walt Disney Concert Hall (acoustic), and his music is better suited for more intimate venues.

14. Animal Collective, Flying Lotus and Huun Huur Tu– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sept 23

Animal Collective delivered.  Huun Huur Tu entertained.  Flying Lotus blew my mind.

13. Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls– The Annenberg Space for Photography- Sat Aug 04

Such and odd concert pairing, but they both were amazing.  KCRW kicks ass.

12. Girl In A Coma, Pinata Protest and Sara Radle– The Echoplex- Fri Apr 27

Girl In A Coma is one of my favorite “new” bands.  These girls kick ass.  I wanted to see them again this year when they were opening for Grizzly Bear, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule.  The lead singer, Nina Diaz, has a voice to die for.

11. Playboy Jazz Festival– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jun 17

Ramsey Lewis is a musical savant.  I always pay money to watch genius perform.  Robin Thicke were Preservation Hall Jazz Band were good.  Was a slightly unimpressed with Spectrum Road.

10. Eric Hutchinson– Troubadour- Sat May 19

He was the first artist I truly “represented” back at my first job after passing the bar exam.  I couldn’t  be prouder of how far he’s come.

9. Allen Stone– The Fonda Theatre- Fri Oct 19

If this guys plays his card right, he could playing the Hollywood Bowl in a few years.  The first thought I had after the show ended?  “I’ll be able to tell my kids (when I have them), that I stood front row at an Allen Stone concert at The Fonda”.

8. Ben Harper– Vieux Farka Tour- Hollywood Bowl- Sun Jul 01

When Ben Harper sang a cappella, without a mic, at the front of the Hollywood Bowl stage, he earned by respect. He also played the one song I needed to hear, “Burn One Down”.  Can’t ask for more.

7. Hot Chip, Passion Pit and Omar Souleyman– Hollywood Bowl- Sun Sep 9

I went to the show to see Passion Pit. They met and exceeded expectations.  I was expecting more from Hot Chip.  I didn’t get to see Omar Souleyman.

6. Meshell Ndegeocello and James “Blood” Ulmer– Royce Hall- Fri Dec 7

Meshell Ngedeocello performed her interpretations of Nina Simone classics.  Mesmerizing.

5. Peter Gabriel– Back To Front- Hollywood Bowl- Sat Oct 6

I’m not going to lie.  I had a moment.  Flashing back to my younger years when he played “In Your Eyes”, mine started to water.  The power of music.

4. Fiona Apple– The Greek Theatre- Fri Sep 14

She may have been a bit too gaunt for my personal liking, but she can still sing.  A poetess with a voice.  There isn’t that many like her out there in the world.

3. Mint Condition– Club Nokia at LA Live- Sat Jan 28

Mint Condition has always been underrated.  In my humble opinion? They’re one of the best live, R&B bands out there, period.  Stokley’s voice is perfect for R&B.  I grew up with their music.  They are one of my favorite bands.

2. No Doubt– Gibson Amphitheatre- Fri Nov 30

I’ve always kicked my self in the rear when it comes to No Doubt.  They used to perform locally when I was growing out, but I never went to a show.  I can now cross this off my concert bucket-list.  Oh, by the way, I’m in love with Gwen…

1. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival– Empire Polo Club- Fri Apr 13 through Sun Apr 15

Dr. Dre & Snoop.  Radiohead.  The Black Keys. Bon Iver. Swedish House Mafia.  At The Drive-In.  Florence and the Machine.  Girl Talk.  The Shins.  Mazzy Star.    Andrew Bird.  Need I go on?

I’ve written about most of the shows on my Facebook page, so if you want to know a little more about particulars, free to shoot me a tweet [@methodman13] and I’ll send over some other thoughts.

I hope your 2013 is filled with musical discovery, and that a song stirs your heart always.