We've known Modern Time Machines since they debuted their video for "Mammoth" at one of the Labrie's residency shows, so it was a natural for Radio Free Silver Lake to present their album release show tomorrow night with LA Font, The Pity Party, and The Monolators at The Satellite. Ben from Modern Time Machines joins us this week with a guest column sharing some of his favorite music.
By Ben Golomb
Thanks to Radio Free Silver Lake for presenting our show on Friday night. We're thrilled to share the stage with The Pity Party (we've been fans for years), our dear friends The Monolators (I've known Mary for a decade since she was my college teacher!), and the awesome LA Font. Here are some bands and songs that have inspired Modern Time Machines along the way... The list could be much, much longer, but when you're forced to pick just five, here's what I came up with:
1. “Crown of the Sea” – The Lassie Foundation
The first time I heard the recording of this song, I literally played it over and over again on repeat, something like six or seven times in a row. I can’t really ever think of that ever having happened to me before. I bought this record based upon a recommendation, and a hunch that it would be right up my alley. This song and (The Lassie Foundation in general) finds a way to blend several of my favorite influences (shoegaze, psychedelia, Brian Wilson-esque vocals) into a very head-boppable pretty little pop song. Damn near perfect to my ears.
2. "Down On You" - Ringo Deathstarr
Another band I found out about by a recommendation of a friend. I have no problem at all that this band wears its early ‘90s influences on its sleeve, since it brings a freshness and raw beauty that is so seductive, you just can’t help but to fall into their spell. Just try listening to this song on headphones and not getting hooked on it.
3. “Friends aren’t Friends” – Light FM
Maybe I’m biased since I have a role in the music video for this song – but regardless, I’ve loved this song tons before and after the video. My buddy (and my band’s producer) Josiah Mazzaschi writes tunes so catchy for Light FM, it’s tough to get the songs out of your head (in a good way). I relate to the lyrics of this song a lot too. The fuzzed-out tones and Cars-esque synths seal the deal.
4. “Head Over Heels” – Tears for Fears
Just about the perfect ‘80s pop song to me. This became my favorite song of all time, ever ever, when I was about eight or nine years old. Years later, I still love it to death. Is nostalgia part of it? I don’t really think so… I think the song just works on so many levels – seemingly simple on the surface, but with hypnotic vocal harmonies and amazing hooks throughout, and a great lead vocal with tons of feeling.
5. “All I Wanna Do” – The Beach Boys
There’s quite a lot of intricate stuff going on in this song harmonically. Brian Wilson is probably my all-time favorite songwriter/composer, and this song seems quite forward-leaning for 1970. Trying to figure out the complex chords and bass parts can make your head spin a bit, but that just makes for better repeat listening experiences. This song will trip you out.
Radio Free Silver Lake presents Modern Time Machines album release Friday March 2, with LA Font, The Pity Party, and The Monolators at The Satellite 1717 Silverlake Blvd, Los Angeles, 90026. 21+, doors at 8:30, $8 ($5 if you RSVP here).