by Brad Roberts
The earth evolves in sharp and sudden movements both inside and outside. People tend to think of history as a continuing constant forward motion. My own life experience has taught me that actually we jump ahead in fits and starts. Periods of intense change and progress are usually followed by long stretches of lethargy. Shaking earth, underground volcanoes, civil unrest, foreign threats, politics based on prejudice and resentment; we seem to be getting the whole package lately. Although the reluctance of some to acknowledge change and progress (evolution if you will), within such an environment is often found a burgeoning creative movement. It really is like the old Orson Welles line from The Third Man about Switzerland and the cuckoo clock. The amount of good new music I'm hearing around me feels like it's on the increase and it looks like a reaction to explosive current events. Very sixties-like.
I thought things would quiet down a little after the past two weekend festivals...but, NO! This week is packed with treats. I didn't attend the downtown FYFEST, but had my own little festival of one band when I saw the amazing Slint on Friday night at El Rey. A stunning show. Review at Feed Your Head. They also played at FYFEST on the following night (Saturday). The world can go crazy, but Slint can induce a hypnotic dream state that wraps you up and comforts you while the storm rages outside.
There's an interesting weekend coming up at Los Globos with what looks like two festivals; one Saturday and another one on Sunday. The Saturday event is presented by local label Sick City Records and is called "The Silverlake Meltdown" which starts at 6 and showcases a wide variety of styles from garage to post-punk, to chamber indie pop represented by bands like local highly intelligent/fall-down-drunk-on-the-floor hellcats (cast and all) Manhattan Murder Mystery, indie death metalists Death Hymn # 9, the atmospheric droning of Sunshine Mind and psychedelic punk from Bonfire Beach. Sunday they offer an even longer event, presented by Burger Records, which starts at 3 and features even more up-and-coming bands like chaotic and electrifying OFF!, hazy lo-fi pop from Cherry Glazerr, indie country band The Abigails, San Diego punksters Adult Books, gliding three-part girl harmonies with Girlpool and The Buttertones, who impressed with their smooth and dense melodic pop at Echo Park Rising, to name a few. Cherry Glazerr, by the way, are appearing on this week's episode of KCET's Studio A, which has been highlighting local music. It airs Tuesdays and Saturdays.
So far the schedule holds two shows with Joel Jerome & Babies On Acid, both at The Echo. On Monday they play for the Tête residency and on Wednesday, they open for Broncho. I've been a fan of Emerson Star for a while now and urge others to pick up on this polished and well rounded vocal band who produce a beautiful indie jangle sound on Friday at El Cid. They're playing with Fellow Bohemian, who have another date at Harvard & Stone on Tuesday for the final Hobart W. Fink residency show.
And for the most unique show of the week, come to Lot 1 on Saturday night to participate in the Teena May Live Album Recording for No Pressure Productions wherein her ten-song set will be recorded. Seablood and Runson Willis will be playing before and after.