Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Squad House Wins Again...

ROSES
DUNES
SANDLOT
DYGL
SQUAD HOUSE, EAST LA
27 JUNE, 2015
DYGL takes it to the air...
Another Saturday night in East LA, swinging wide around the prowling ice cream trucks in the shadow of Roosevelt High...it's an area whose contributions to music are constantly overlooked, but remains, generation after generation, a cauldron of creation. Our introduction to Squad House came last year, with a dynamite house party bill featuring Radiator Hospital, Upset, Benny The Jet Rodriguez, and Girlpool. This latest edition focused on LA, with Roses providing the firepower, and support from Dunes and Sandlot, plus special guests DYGL (Dayglow) from Tokyo, launching their first American tour.

It waa a rare treat to have a whole bill of bands I haven't seen, and Sandlot got the evening buzzing. The brutal  and focused guitar trio provided the perfect soundtrack to the slow throb of planes leaving LAX, creasing the palms en route to the beyond. Dunes followed up with a solid set. Lacking their bass player, who was pulling a shift at UPS, the drummer seemed hell bent on single-handedly making up for his absence. Roses was the the centerpiece of the evening, and it was fascinating to hear the playing of Juan Velasquez, (ex-Abe Vigoda), in a different context. Working in a dance-pop vein, without a drummer, the depth to the songs begs for a well-deserved crossover success. Putting a final exclamation point on the night, Tokyo's DYGL (Dayglow) romped through their set, pulling out a Strokes cover that proved the perfect diplomatic bridge, and the amount of crowd surfers limbo-ing under powerlines in the packed driveway served as a testament to their power. All told, another raucous evening at the Squad House. Thanks again to the House, and the Braintrust, who made possible this special night.
ROSES


DUNES







SANDLOT




DYGL







Misc.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Saturday Night's Alright: Slutever live

SLUTEVER
HIFI DELI, LA
06 JUNE, 2015
A foreboding neighborhood can't hide a welcoming place. Off 4th St in downtown LA, behind a red steel door and up the steps lies the performance space known as the HiFi Deli. The old upstairs space was warm and welcoming, with both a bar and a green room, and a quick pop up to the smoking area on the roof revealed an enviable skyline view. With almost a year passed since the last time we caught up with Slutever, it seemed an opportune time. Fresh off of dates opening up for Speedy Ortiz and Chastity Belt, LA duo Slutever were up for it, kicking off a full night's bill, presented by Swiss Family Robinson, with a blazing set that leaned heavily on their latest, the self-released cassette Almost Famous. Jumping straight into its opener "Smother", the band never looked back, starting with Nicole Snyder on guitar and Rachel Gagliardi on drums. Dropping into last year's single "White Flag", (which gained an interesting second life through a Girlpool cover on a tour only covers EP, where the two bands did each others songs), they built up steam and followed with "Maggot", another highlight from the cassette, prefaced by Rachel declaring that the song really is about killing insects in your apartment...Unfortunately, sicker minds have taken the chorus to heart, ("I'll get revenge, pour bleach on your head, and now you're dead"), and turned it into a handy kiss-off to exes. Flipping the script instrument-wise, they pulled a quick changeover with Nicole moving to the drum chair, and Rachel taking up the guitar, blasting through "Teen Mom" and finishing with a cathartic take of cassette closer "Open Wide", brutalizing the coda over the audience's pre-emptive applause, then pulling the plug mid-feedback. Even from the opening position, Slutever left an imprint on the night.