Review: Dan Deacon ‘Gliss Riffer’

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After three years, Dan Deacon is back with twinkling synths, clacking stacks of percussion, warped vocoders and a nervous but overall optimistic outlook.With Gliss Riffer, Deacon has tightened his song writing and honed his pop sensibilities without losing his creative edge, carefully layering fun DIY electronica with indie sensibilities and modern classical rhythms. Lyrically, it’s dark without putting a damper on the party, philosophical without being too serious and anxious without being overwhelming.He’s traded some of his absurdist tendencies for accessibility, but that doesn’t mean the record isn’t fun or surprising. While familiar, it’s far more focused than some of […]

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Know Your Vile: Five Kurt Vile Essentials

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The thing with droney music is that it can seem repetitively depressing. Always the same slightly monotone voice over a whimpering acoustic guitar. Kurt Vile might just be the exception to this stereotype though. He has this weird awkward charm about him. You can’t really understand what he’s saying ever, but the music is beautiful. His lyrics are stupendous, and he all around loves what he does.Starting his career off with an EP in 2005 to working with The War On Drugs, and having a huge hit album “Wakin on a Pretty Daze.” He’s a little psychedelic and always writing […]

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Make Time for Psychedelic Garage Trio The Wytches

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There’s a shit load of garage bands nowadays, if you have been involved in the Los Angeles music scene you already know this.Be it the Tijuana Panthers, Thee Oh Sees or Dirt Dress, Southern California bands are on the perennial quest of conjoining their Punk rock-gone surfing U.S.A. with 60’s Psychedelic Rock and Proto Garage. Bad news is that you can’t mosh while you’re surfing, but good news it sounds like it with a lot of these bands. When this sound is fairly pervasive it’s hard to find stand out groups like the three I had mentioned. One group in […]

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Review: Valentine’s Day with Borgore and Friends, Shrine Auditorium LA Photo Gallery

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Valentine’s day is lame when you’re single, all of the saccharine nonsense around you makes you want to puke. Love is for Hallmark and chocolate is special everyday. No better way to evade than raging out to some loud, heavy bass music and getting fucked up with your friends. Like John Stamos’ bellybutton fucked up. That appeared to be the mission for the sold out crowd of the LED x LA Borgore show this past Saturday. At the massive Shrine Auditorium next to USC, it’s welcoming to have a Los Angeles show, actually in Los Angeles, with a lineup of LA […]

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Review: Body of Light and Some Ember At The Complex

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 The room was dark, deep blue lights pierce through a near opaque fog, a DJ is playing some great Darkwave (Think New Wave’s goth brother) records and the seemingly morose crowd is swaying their shoulders to the beat. It was a Sunday night at Complex in Glendale, Body of Light were headlining, so I threw on my Rudimentary Peni shirt and I was ready to get my groove on. The Complex showcases events hosted by Maldoror, who put on Das Bunker, a club night for all things Dark, EBM and Industrial. This was the first event I have attended in this […]

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Review: Above & Beyond’s “We Are All We Need” LA Forum, Feb. 6

This past Friday (Feb. 6) was a sold out show at the Los Angeles Forum; the arena was filled to brim with people, jumping up and down making a deafening clamor. What were they all screaming for?House music… obviously. I’ve been to a lot of massive electronic music shows in my day, but Above & Beyond’s “We Are All We Need” was starkly packed with thousands of hyped up ravers, of young and old. The upper balcony area that encompasses the venue with assigned seating was turned into a makeshift dance floor. The floor section was a hermetic pot of brave […]

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John Carpenter “Lost Themes” Review

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I try not judge my contemporaries for all of their generational shortcomings, but if you have never seen a John Carpenter film, there is something seriously wrong with you.John Carpenter is the Martin Scorsese of Horror and Science Fiction, period. His films are seminal to the genres, even modern filmmaking itself. Receiving a fusillade of praise for a low-budget slasher film called “Halloween” that introduced a character named Michael Myers and changed the world of 20th century horror, John was dubbed the hero of all things scream inducing.With explorations into Dystopian futures where the land is desolate and rife with […]

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Xibalba “Tierra Y Libertad” Review

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Oh no, not a metal album! If you don’t enjoy the heaviest and most visceral of music, please stop reading, go listen to Hootie and the Blowfish.If the most guttural and sonically devastating metal beckons your ears, relinquish your senses to So.-Cal. fusion-metalheads Xibalba. Even their name, the Mayan Underworld, translating to “Place of Fear”, can transfix even the most seasoned metalheads.What’s different here from their contemporaries is their irreproachable combination of Doom. Death Metal, Hardcore and Sludge, their technical skill compliments their menacingly heavy output. The amelodic Drop-D punch in the face was fun when I was an angst-y […]

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Review: The Ting Tings At The Troubadour, Jan 26

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The lights go dark in the Troubadour, the crowd intermixed with twenty-somethings and middle age hipsters start screaming, Katie White and her partner in crime Julian “Jules” De Martino took to the stage, and completely blew the whole crowd away with their high-octane performance.After an exemplary opening set from synth wielding fellow duo Kaneholler, The Ting Tings came on stage and gave a fun hour long set to the sold out crowd that was near irreproachable. The British duo first came to prominence in 2008 with their album “We Started Nothing” and it’s lead single “That’s Not My Name” and […]

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Review: The Decemberists ‘What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World’

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One of the best parts about The Decemberists is that much of their music references folklore, and their music gives you that vintage old storytelling type of feeling. Unfortunately that charm got lost somewhere in their seventh studio album, “What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.”To say that this album is not good at all, would be completely false. It is a very sharp shift in musical style and lyric writing. Like many things it is has both good and bad, and depending on the amount of love you might have for The Decemberists the good may outweigh the […]

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Review: Sleater-Kinney “No Cities to Love”

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Renowned critic Greil Marcus once cited Sleater-Kinney as the most important group in Rock history, a declaration more bold than any for a band. This not so diffident writer has to agree with that notion.For twenty years, the women of Alt-Punk outfit Sleater-Kinney have been kicking ass and taking names. Their genesis came from the tail end of the infamous Riot-Grrrl movement, noted for it’s feminist driven iteration of punk rock of the early 90’s along with the residual impact of the semi-sentient corpse known as grunge, which was epochal of their Pacific Northwest origins. They exploded onto the music […]

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Review: Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds at The Echo

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After the half ­drunk, half­ melodies of a Jeff Tweedy look alike and the smooth, heartfelt schtick of Uke-­Hunt, Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds took the stage in denim jackets, striped shirts and swaths of spring reverb.For those unacquainted, Kid Congo Powers has had a long history in music, playing with such legendary acts as The Cramps, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Fall. At 55 years old, it’s clear he has no intentions of slowing down with The Pink Monkey Birds, whose two chord, high energy garage punk had the audience bouncing, shouting and laughing along […]

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Make Time For Swedish Punks, The ‘Holograms’

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In all of European post-punk’s darkness, there has been a lot of good light shining upon the scene. Be it the hellacious distortion of Denmark’s Ice-age or the synth-tinged lovelorn delivered by Italy’s Soviet Soviet, Europe is seeing yet another Joy Division inspired wave of bands. With a fusillade of new gloomy groups catching buzz: Which group is a must? Well, no other group has left more buzz with us than Sweden’s Holograms.The Stockholm based quartet, consisting of members Andreas Lagerström, Anton Strandberg, and brothers Anton and Filip Spetze, are taking punk in a room where the dark and the […]

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Review: Panda Bear’s “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper”

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No matter how invincible one may think they are, death is inevitable. Thinking about it makes many of us feel this wave of unease. We don’t know when the grim reaper will come pay his uninvited visit. Leaving many of us living in this constant cocoon of fear. People find different ways of coping with it. Some believe in reincarnation, while others have just accepted that they will rot in the ground for eternity.I don’t think the men of Animal Collective or in this case Noah Lennox otherwise known as Panda Bear know how to make a song that sounds […]

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Review: Dan Mangan, “Club Meds”

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Let’s be honest here, the world is terrifying.Ostensibly it is said that life is beautiful and there is such potential for you to have a great time. In truth we are from time to time stricken with anxiety of social interaction or the fear of being let down again and again. Confidence can be seldom won if you are in constant fear of rejection. You lose trust in the ones you love, in your government, or even yourself. Dejection hits us all at one moment or another. To live, is truly the parity of sink and swim, not one or […]

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Make Time For Punk, Blues and Pop Fusion With Hanni El Khatib

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Being able to write a good pop song is difficult. Adding in elements of punk and blues with that is an even more mind blowing experience. Hanni El Khatib gracefully played his way on in to the music industry in 2011 with “Will the Guns Come Out.”Khatib worked as a creative director for skateboarding company HUF, and has done many commercials as well. He knows how to sell something and he is definitely selling his music to us. The love and passion are there, along with the looks that make you feel really fucking cool.You can feel elements of Dan […]

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Make Time For Gloom Rockers, The Twilight Sad

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Scotland knows how to do sad right; their storied history is one of many tragic turns of fate and crisis of identity. A vote for independence this past year failed to win, and the mossy high and lowlands are to remain a part of the greater United Kingdom, but the question remains, are they Scottish or can we also call them British? But what do I know, I’m just an American with a Scottish last name, insert whatever Irvine Welsh reference here.What I do know is that a lot of incredible music has come from the North Country, and not Del […]

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M&C Picks Top 14 Albums of 2014

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Top 14 Albums of 2014 By Kieran MacIntyre and Bella Elbaum2014 was a musically diverse and audible feast of a year. Monsters and Critics’ music editor Kieran MacIntyre and music writer Bella Elbaum curated a great list to peruse and check out.14. Octave Minds – Self titledOut of all the electronic collaborations that have occurred this year, there has not been one as ambitious or masterful as Octave Minds. The juxtaposed magic of German EDM superstar Boys Noize taking a break from the thumping rave tent bangers here for a more aetherial and noisey approach to the brilliant piano melodies provided from […]

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Review: Make Time for Los Angeles Duo De Lux

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If the Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem had a child, De Lux would be their beautiful little bundle of joy.  If a little punk and a bit of funk decided to groove to some disco, out would pop De Lux.Los Angeles band De Lux consists of band members Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco, as the two met as young teenagers each of them fueled with a passion for music. The story goes that together they started a band, were practicing one day when they came up with a smooth bass line that eventually would become the signature De Lux sound.I […]

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Review: ‘The Church’ Album by Mr. Oizo

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Oh, so you love EDM? Love to hear those fist-bump worthy bangers from whatever millionaire DJ of the week? Please don’t make me vomit all over your furry raver boots.Popular Electronic songs that have been coming out of recent have all been inherently vapid. It’s the same house song with the cheesy lyrics promoting the peace, love, unity and respect mantra like clockwork. Worst is that the so called mainstream “hard” electronic scene has been yielding nothing but the same 100 bpm “Turn Down for What” bullshit, if every song in that vein was revealed to all been written by […]

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Make Time For Canadian Musician Mac Demarco

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Getting good new music is confusing as hell nowadays.We went from a time where we heard of bands via word of mouth, radio play or MTV (Back when the M was the sole purpose of that channel) to our current digital age where we have an almost endless amount of methods to acquire new music, but in all of the internet era of music, a collective cynicism has developed.Anyone can put their music on the internet, is that the beauty of our current music scene or its hindrance?Though the ever expanding group of aspiring musicians of any kind have a […]

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Like Swimming in Concert Pictures

Like Swimming - Like Swimming in Concert at Radio 104.5's Performance Theatre in Bala Cynwyd - October 24, 2014 - Radio 104.5's Performance Theatre - Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA  Photo is copyright by Paul Froggatt / PR Photos

We have added a set pictures from the event Like Swimming in Concert at Radio 104.5’s Performance Theatre in Bala Cynwyd on October 24, 2014.Photos are copyright by Paul Froggatt / PR Photos.Like Swimming in Concert at Radio 104.5’s Performance Theatre in Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA. Photo is copyright by Paul Froggatt / PR Photos. Like Swimming – Like Swimming in Concert at Radio 104.5’s Performance Theatre in Bala Cynwyd – October 24, 2014 – Radio 104.5’s Performance Theatre – Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA Photo is copyright by Paul Froggatt / PR Photos

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Music Review: Slash and The Conspirators ‘World On Fire’

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You know what. Normally I hate Mondays. They represent the start of another week of work and drudgery and when I was a kid it meant school. Eeew.This past Monday was a little different though. The path has been clawed out in rock and roll granite and the gods of Hard Rock smiled on us with a third Solo CD from Slash and his unofficial band The Conspirator’s featuring the fantastic vocals of Myles Kennedy.‘World On Fire’ is every bit the hard Rock Collection than ‘Apocalyptic Love’ was back in 2012, but unlike that collection of music there isn’t really […]

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The 19 Careers Of Bettye LaVette…And Still Counting

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Multi-hyphenate Bettye LaVette loathes what I, and a whole lot of others have said about her: She’s a living legend.You see, Ms. LaVette, the R&B-Blues-Soul-Etc. singer-songwriter believes that title she would be reserved for the deceased and make no mistake, she is no where near going to the great beyond as her extremely tight set at The Viper Room last week in Los Angeles more than amply demonstrated.The occasion was the 21st anniversary celebration of this intimate venue (think of a large living room with two professional bartenders and with another bar downstairs in the basement). Well, that’s almost the […]

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Extreme Pornograffitti Manchester Review

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While most of America were out partying on 4th July. So was I.There were however a few American’s that were not partying on July 4th, but instead took on the task of helping packed house at the Manchester Academy party instead.Extreme, who are best known for their hit song ‘More Than Words’ were ‘IN DA HOUSE’ and taught a crowded house how to rock out in their own unique style. And somehow this lucky sod ‘That means mel managed to get near to the front right in front of the stack system and had a fantastic view of the band. […]

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