Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Duke Spirit - Live @ The Echo, Silver Lake 3/5/2008

In between live in-studio appearances on KCRW and Seattle's KEXP, The Duke Spirit continued the trend of spectacularly great British bands playing at unbelievably small LA clubs. Beaten to the punch only a week before by British Sea Power, The Duke Spirit played to a packed Echo crowd. Rumored to be in attendance were Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis and members of future tour-mates, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My friend Teresa spotted Brian Aubert from LA's most recent Silver Lake hipsters turned KROQstars, Silversun Pickups.

The Duke Spirit circumvented the round-peg-in-square-hole electrical fiasco BSP experienced the week before by renting all their equipment stateside. Taking the stage at the (surprisingly) decent hour of 10:30, the band seemed to be bursting with energy despite their long flight over.

Although, traveling musicians need to sneak z's in whenever possible. The keyboardist was spied slinking down to the floor during the songs he wasn't needed for a few brief siestas. Singer Liela Moss worked the microphone stand like she was playing a Whiskey a Go-Go show in 1987 ...but in a good way. Her vocals reminded more of Scanners then the oft compared Nico. She also takes the title of first girl to play harmonica which she whipped out between the stick banging pf Dog Roses. That swing of that song invokes images of a midnight saunter down some cobblestoned abbey on the back streets of London. Love it.

Dog Roses

The new track, Neptune Calls (??) was my highlight of the night. It's sexy, driving rhythm has quelled any notion of a sophomore sell-out record with their upcoming Neptune release that I might have had.

Neptune Calls

Like all bands with any iota of buzz these days, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see them return a few months from now at the El Rey...then a few months later at the Wiltern...then on and on until the industry has wrung them dry. See them now before it's too late.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Holy Fuck - Live @ Spaceland, Los Angeles 3/1/2008

To begin. I just want to say Holy Fuck as many times as I can. Ok. Let me begin.

If you've ever wondered where the final resting place for your childhood Casio Keyboard was, look no further than the rehearsal room of Toronto's masters of Electra-mental sounds, Holy Fuck.

The overflowing crowd stuck around past hammer, stirrup, and anvil (that's of the ear) killers A Place To Bury Strangers to get a taste of what too much time locked in a room with nothing but plethora of keyboards, effects, and a bit rhythmic sense can create.

Through the use of loop pedals, control processors, lap steels, some sort of
antique tape device(?!?), and a butter knife (?!?!?!) Holy Fuck magnificently recreated their multi-timbrel sound of their self-titled debut. When Holy Fuck began their uber funk of Royal Gregory, Spaceland's atmosphere got my body to regress to a lump of pulsating flesh and bone.

Holy Fuck - Royal Gregory

Throughout their set, I couldn't shake the thought that they were a less-mathematical yet more-groovy Battles with keyboards for guitars.

With hardly a word between songs the music never ceased and when words did come through, they came via the vocoder attached to ae 1980's sampling device. It sort of give the impression that HAL was somehow conducting the show. The calming, lush, Chariots Of Fire inspried Lovely Allen closed out their mesmerizing set.

Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen

A Place To Bury Strangers were Loud, as in LOUD. They utterly destroyed all unprotected eardrums before Holy Fuck had a chance to pleasure them. Calling for all house lights off during their set, the only way to see the band was through their strobe lighting. They felt a little on the sloppy side of things but maybe that was just because they didn't have their usual audio/video technician in the house this night to keep the seams stitched together.

A Place To Bury Strangers

At one point, I looked beind me and noticed maybe 20-25% of the crowd really getting down. In LA, if more than 10% of the audience shows signs of life it's a good show so by those standards, this was one not to be missed. Holy Fuck

A Place to Bury Strangers Set List:
Gimme Acid
To Fix The Gash In Your Head
I Know I'll See You
My Weakness
Death Valley
I've Lived My Life

Holy Fuck's Keyboard Cemetery

A Place To Bury Strangers