Nate Mendel has played in the Foo Fighters for the past 20 plus years. In fact, the only person who’s been in the Foo Fighters longer is Dave Grohl. While Dave’s non-Foo gigs, and there are many (Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of The Stone Age. etc) may have received much of the attention, Nate’s musical output outside of Foo Fighters is just as impressive.
Toronto based, indie synth-rock band Yukon Blonde opened for Nate Mendel’s bad Lieutenant at the Troubadour 4/8/15. It took a while, but we finally posted some photos from their gig.
One of the bands opening for Lieutenant at the Troubadour 4/8/15 was the Echo Park based, indie rock band Banta.
Written By: M. Sloves | Photos By: Derrick K. Lee
Sometimes you hear people wax poetic about the abundance of vinyl that surrounded them growing up. How their unconsciously cool parents shaped the future of their musical minds with shelves full of Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dylan, Mozart, The Stones: anything and everything rad from the last century of recorded music. I always shake my head and think, “damn … lucky fucks.”
“Straight out of the gates, front men Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay hit the crowd with a tight, well-groomed honky-tonk anthem. Looking like Bo and Luke Duke, working the stage like the gearshift on the General Lee, these hombres have a lot of style and whole lot of swagger […].
“Her South Carolina accent makes her sound a helluva lot older than she looks. It’s a little raspy but not in a French/Israeli “I’ve been smoking since I was 8 years old” kinda way. Nikki probably sounded like this straight out of the womb. Lends her a certain gravitas that plays well off the current of thick heavy drumbeats that connect her grittier rock moments to her slower country vibes.
About a year ago, a buddy of mine forwarded me a soundcloud link of a band based out of Seattle named Reignwolf. Knowing that he had good taste in music, I opened the link and and this song played:
Whoa. I was like, “Where did this come from, and why don’t I know anything about them?” I quickly remedied that problem. I started following them on Facebook and found out that Reignwolf was Jordan Cook. I started watching videos of his live solo performances on Youtube, and I was hooked. I had missed out on his performance opening for Black Sabbath at the Hollywood Bowl due to a prior engagement, but when I found out he was headlining a show at the Troubadour, I logged on and bought tickets as soon as they went on sale. I’m glad I bought them when I did, since the tickets for the gig sold out.
Before Reignwolf took the stage, the anticipation was palpable. Accompanied by David T. Rapaport on bass and Joseph Braley on drums, Jordan took the stage to loud cheers. The music started and the rock had commenced.
It was as good a live show as I’ve ever seen. In fact, I’d say that is was the best club gig I’ve seen this year.
With Jordan bouncing around the stage, off the drum kit, and into the audience, the energy was frenetic. He kept the audience guessing as to what was coming next, taking control of the set by ripping out a jaw-dropping performance of “Electric Love” solo, playing the guitar and drums simultaneously, and by playing a song in the audience, using his logo emblazoned bass drum as a pedestal.
Midway through the set, I looked over to a friend I had invited to the show to see if she was doing all right. She didn’t have to say anything. Her mouth was agape, and her eyes were fixated on Jordan, with a “what’s the hell am I witnessing right now” look. Yeah, she was enjoying herself.
When Reignwolf came back to the stage for their encore, Jordan humbly expressed how lucky he was to be playing in the legendary venue. He mentioned how all of his music idols had once played at the Troubadour, and how he was sincerely appreciative of the chance to do the same. He then slyly looked around the room, pointed to the upstairs balcony area, and announced to the audience that though his sound guy wouldn’t appreciate it, he wanted to play up there.
Dragging his amp up to the rafters, he seated himself on the balcony railing, anchored by fans who made sure he wouldn’t fall. The crowds’ frenzy reached it pinnacle. At this point, even MY jaw was on the floor. It was definitely a first for me, and most likely a first for the Troubadour. I’ll not soon forget what I was witness to that evening at the Troubadour, because that show … seriously … was the stuff of legend.
As much as enjoyed the show, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that happy with the photos that I snapped. I think part of the problem was that I was moving to the music too much while snapping pics (most of my shots were blurry). Also, I honestly think that the music being so good, I was distracted and missed moments when lights saturated the room. What can I say? It really couldn’t be helped. I was just having too much god-damn fun with the music. Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to redeem myself at some point. Ya hear me, Reignwolf? I want to shoot you again!!!
Opening for Reignwolf at the Troubadour was an LA based rock band named the The Futures League. It was my first time catching them play, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I liked what I heard.
A mix of psychedelic and garage rock, with catchy riffs and a solid groove, it was a sound that definitely piqued my curiosity … so much so, that I started to record a video clip of them so I could remember what it was that interested me when I got home. I shut it down quickly though when a bouncer gave me the stare down and a hand gesture that indicated that I should shut it down asap. Needless to say, I liked them on Facebook. I’m interested to hear more of what the guys have to offer.
- Give My Lovin a Try
- Too Many Lies
- Mojo Back
- Never See Me Again
- I Wanna Go
- Digital Dreams
- Women Trials
- Tall Buildings
MONSTER MASH UP: WHITE STRIPES AND EURYTHMICS
This mash up of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” and the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” is pretty bad ass.
MUSIC INSTA-BABE: ST. VINCENT
Quirky and cute, I think St. Vincent is a babe. She hardly posts any “selfies” on her Instagram (which is a good things, but research shows that people who posts tons of selfies tend to have tons of personal issues), but you should add her and check out the photos her fans tag of her. Follow this beauty on Instagram: @St_Vincent
FEATURED LIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
I’m pretty pumped to be seeing Reignwolf live at the Troubadour on August 13th. I’m still trying to get approved for a photo pass for the show, but it won’t stop me from rocking my ass off. I’m so pumped, I had to share this live performance he did for KEXP in Seattle. So bad-ass
PAYING TRIBUTE WITH ART
How better to honor The Beastie Boys than to put up a mural at the site of the original “Paul’s Boutique”. A very cool gesture.
IF YOU LOVE JEFF BUCKLEY AS MUCH AS I DO…
You need to CLICK THIS LINK and listen to the episode of KCRW’s “Unfictional” titled “The Grace of Jeff Buckley”. I’m still yearning for more music from him, even though I know there never will be.
MUSIC NEWS/STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Lorde is curing the sound track to Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. I think it’ll be interesting to see whether her taste in music is as good as her own music.
Consquence of Sound summarized A GQ Magazine feature titled “The 21 Albums from the 21st Century Every Man Should Hear”. It’s a great list with a some interesting opinions from some popular recording artists.
The Foo Fighters announced that their next LP will be released in November. Butch Vig (the legendary rock producer) call it “Epic”. Anxious doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.
I know a lot of shady people in the music business, but this story takes the cake. Conning investors out of $600K for a compilation album featuring Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, etc.? How’d this think he’d never get caught?
THE YOUTUBE MUSIC VAULT
I was never that big of a Grateful Dead fan, but I love “Sugar Magnolia”. Plus, my college a cappella group covered it.
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.