Here is the second installment in my four-part Eastside L.A. midyear band round-up. I’ve decided this will be my “last hurrah,” so let’s make it a good one. These are all fine bands and are highly recommended. Have a listen and see them live if you can. This time I feature Fort King, George Glass, Halfbluud, Haunted Summer, Ima Robot, Leslie Stevens, Local Natives, Many Embers, Marvelous Toy, Nightmare Air, Northern Youth and One Trick Pony (or rather, Randolph Williams’s solo projects). Here we go then, marching bravely on.
Part II: Fort King | George Glass | Halfbluud | Haunted Summer | Ima Robot | Leslie Stevens | Local Natives | Many Embers | Marvelous Toy | Nightmare Air | Northern Youth | One Trick Pony
Fort King (featuring Rob Danson, formerly of Death to Anders) is currently recording an EP. They also have some shows in the Los Angeles area — 7/25 at TAIX (Mad for Sadness), 7/26 at Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga (Ryan performing at a Hank Williams tribute show), 7/28 debut of Giddy Govern (Moomaw Jackson & Ryan Fuller) at Lot 1 Brunch w/ Miwa Gemini from NYC and 7/28 at the Bootleg Bar with Shakey Graves. They’re playing the Echo Park Rising festival in August, which is now chock-full of bands I really like and/or have been wanting to see. Also, I see that Rob wrote the theme song for a new interview show on the Sundance Channel called “The Writers Room.” The first episode features the creators and lead actor of Breaking Bad (Bryan Cranston), and it airs on July 29. Here’s something from an Echo show they did last year.
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There are always these “happy accidents of timing” when I do these round-ups, and this is no exception. Just one week ago, George Glass released the official music video for their song, “AM Radio,” which is from their upcoming NEW ALBUM titled Welcome Home, due out August 6. It’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking, written and directed by none other than the legendary Ben “Mouse” McShane, who sadly took down his Classical Geek Theatre site, or I would have linked to it. They just played at Happy Hollows’ Amethyst release party (they’re coming up later) along with Nightmare Air (see below), and their own album release party (as in George Glass’s) is Friday, July 26th (which will otherwise be known as *tonight* if I can get this posted in time) at Origami Vinyl. Whew!
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Halfbluud (Harley Prechtel-Cortez)
Exciting times also for Halfbluud, the project of Harley Prechtel-Cortez (formerly of Red Cortez). The third 7-track EP is due out August 13, with cover art by Matt Maust of Cold War Kids. You can listen to the previous two EPs on bandcamp. There are some shows coming up as well — 8/12 at The Echo, 8/29 at Grand Park and 9/5 at The Satellite.
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Haunted Summer is Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons, whom I first wrote about back in February. Their debut album is coming soon, with a video release party August 1 at The Satellite. Here’s some more info. (and see the brief little teaser below). They’re also performing at Echo Park Rising. That’s going to be quite something.
8/3 Origami Vinyl presents Eat See Hear Fest (Donnie Darko night) Santa Monica High School
8/7 KCRW’s Desert Nights at the Standard Hotel, West Hollywood
8/17 Echo Park Rising (Echoplex Stage)
9/14 The El Rey Theatre
October – Echo Residency every Monday
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Though Ima Robot recently posted “does the world still exist?” (which elicited the response from a fan “Does your band still exist?”), I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “for all practical purposes, no” (that would be the band; maybe the world as well, who knows?). Someone can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong… about either. Since their lead singer also happens to be the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, who currently have a new album and are touring, things probably don’t bode too well for Mr. Robot.
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Leslie Stevens toured with The Milk Carton Kids last year (for her solo album). Not sure what’s up now with her — or with her and The Badgers. She performed earlier this month in Echo Park, so my guess is she’s “regrouping” after the big tour.
The second album from Local Natives was Hummingbird, released back in January. See the official video for “You & I” below. They’re all over the summer festival circuit and then straight into a huge U.S. tour and then on to Europe through November. See their site for more info. Great to see them doing so well. Wish other bands that are equally as brilliant were doing just as well. The music biz gods work in mysterious ways.
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Many Embers released their self-titled EP in January, and are currently writing and recording more songs to turn that EP into a full length album. Most recent update is that about five songs have so far been recorded. I first wrote about these guys back in February. Very pretty.
Marvelous Toy is currently on hiatus, as reported by Jordan Hudock (who should know, as he’s currently living in Brooklyn). Their debut full-length album was released January 2012 and was called “Not Moving”. A few of the songs were featured in TV shows — “El Infiel” was featured in the season finale of American Horror Story (the first season). For now, Jordan’s writing and recording on his own in NYC.
Nightmare Air have been busy touring, most recently with The Happy Hollows. They’ll be taking most of August and September off to write music, but will do a few shows here and there. Their next show is at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa on 7/29. Here’s something from their latest album, High in the Lasers (Saint Marie Records)
Northern Youth is Luke Messimer, formerly of Mississippi Man. Just thought I’d say that, mostly as a reminder to myself. I’m not so good at keeping track. In yet another stroke of luck, he just posted the second single from his upcoming album. This track is called “Arizona” and can be heard below. It just says “summer” as a release date.
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One Trick Pony
As for One Trick Pony, their last release was Try Not to Worry So Much (good advice, I’ll try to remember not to), back in July 2011, which coincidentally is when their last shows seemed to be (except for I think a one-off show in June 2012). There is, however, a solo thing just released by Randolph Williams called “Firescape” (listen below). There was another solo track called Welsh Rats back in April.
Part III coming soon…share this:
The Haunted Summer show is on August 1st not 2nd.