musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Local Natives

Boston Calling, Day 1 ~ beautiful vibes, pretty music

Daren Taylor, Mikel Jollett and Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event at Boston Calling

Daren Taylor, Mikel Jollett and Noah Harmon of The Airborne Toxic Event at Boston Calling

Despite it being a rather corporate affair and priced out of the reach of many of this city’s music fans, the Boston Calling Festival did a lot of things right, as large outdoor concerts go. They made an effort to include two more local bands and support a Boston charity through their Sonicbids contest, with a portion of proceeds from the submission fee donated to Boston Children’s Hospital (VIVA VIVA! played on Saturday and Royal Teeth on Sunday). Though they served alcohol (naturally), they did so in a special “beer garden” set away from the stages, which I think contributed to the fact that most of those close to the music were there for the music, and not just to get shitfaced with their friends. This was no small thing, and was greatly appreciated. The downtown setting was unique, convenient and was I’m sure a great sales boost to local businesses. There were a few problems at the start (mostly to do with what was and wasn’t allowed on site and consistency between various entities), but as they sorted out the stage placement, I’m sure they can deal with this as well. I still believe the cost is prohibitive, considering that festivals elsewhere with more performers and stages are similarly priced. I’m disheartened by all shows that cost more than $20-25, but the whole “concert-going elite” subject is a much larger topic.

Boston Calling, City Hall Plaza, at high noon.

Boston Calling, City Hall Plaza, at high noon.

People begin to gather at the blue stage.

People begin to gather at the blue stage.

Onto the music, which was absolutely superb. They wisely divided up the bands between the more “indie rock” types and the “dance/hip-hop/electro” types, which made sense and helped those who could only afford to go one day. I planted myself in front of the blue stage for most of the day, so my photos are of those bands. Everyone was clearly energized by the audience, which was among the best I’ve seen at something like this. Extremely engaged, friendly, supportive… just great. I’m sure this might not have been the case further back or as the night wore on, but my experience was very positive, and typically I’m not a lover of large music events, far preferring the small sweaty (more intimate) club scene. But I have to say, this was a lovely day. Onto the photos and my personal favorites.

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The (Infamous) Eastside L.A. 2013 Midyear Round-up! (part II)

Haunted Summer ~ Photo By: Sarah Sitkin

Haunted Summer ~ Photo By: Sarah Sitkin

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.

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The Infamous Eastside L.A. 2013 Roundup – part I

(top left to bottom): Nightmare Air, Malcolm Sosa and Kim Haden, Local Natives

(top left to bottom): Nightmare Air, Malcolm Sosa and Kim Haden, Local Natives

Hello fellow Eastside L.A. enthusiasts. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done this (February, to be exact), so it’s time. My rules for inclusion are as follows: the band has to have had something vaguely resembling an update within the past few months or some clear indication that they have not in fact broken up or gone into semi-hibernation.

By those standards, the following bands are “MIA” and presumed gone (if not, please let me know): Autolux, Death To Anders (but see below) and Just An Animal (formerly Red Cortez; see Harley Cortez and Calvin Love solo projects below).

I have also decided, after this update, to let go of those bands who have defected to Brooklyn (or other parts), but I will of course continue to cover my favorites separately. So without further ado >>

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Eastside L.A. Roundup – What’s going on this year? (part I of II)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Being as how it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I should show some love for those Eastside L.A. bands I really like (the ones that live and/or play there – you know who you are). Let’s see what you guys have planned for this year. I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you… can you forgive me?

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2010: The Eastside L.A. Year In Review

A few of those great bands: The Deadly Syndrome, Radars To The Sky, The Henry Clay People, and Shadow Shadow Shade (photo by Jason O'Dell)

A few of those great bands: The Deadly Syndrome, Radars To The Sky, The Henry Clay People, and Shadow Shadow Shade (photo by Jason O'Dell)

For those new to ‘musings’… Often referred to as the ‘Silverlake region’, the Eastside of Los Angeles seems to have a ridiculously disproportionate number of awesome bands that call the area home (or at least, that’s where they regularly play). In addition to Silverlake, this also includes the neighborhoods of Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, Highland Park… These artists comprise many different styles and personalities, having one thing in common – they’re all really good! I happened upon these guys (and gals) after first listening to The Airborne Toxic Event on MySpace back in January 2008, and then deciding to check out their friends’ bands, friends of friends, etc. Very glad I did. Here’s a rundown of those bands that had albums (or EPs) out this year. Some are well-known and touring internationally now; others not (yet).

For those not new to ‘musings’… My last Eastside L.A. update was way back in February, and I announced all these cool things coming up. Then, well, this year happened. What can I say? I lost the plot. Here it is again.

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Local Natives with Suckers @ Great Scott ~ May 8, 2010

Local Natives at Great Scott

Local Natives at Great Scott

So I’m a little late in reviewing this show (it’s been a weird few months), but I happened to turn on WFNX, just in time to hear “WFNX, where new music starts – Local Natives, ‘Airplanes.'” Wow. Yeah, ok, they’re not really new, and the monumental song in question was on a 5-track EP of early studio tracks and a Daytrotter Session that they were selling at shows back in January 2009, just after they had moved from Orange County to Silverlake in Los Angeles. But it’s great to see them getting recognition so well-deserved. They’ve toured all around Europe and the U.S. now and have a huge following, but this ‘FNX nod made me happy. Because it means a lot of new listeners ahead of their August 5 show at The Middle East. So I’ll take the opportunity to boast that I was amongst the first in Boston to know of this great band. True, I didn’t get to see them play their first shows at the Silverlake Lounge or Spaceland, but being ‘East Coast challenged,’ I do what I can.

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Eastside L.A. Update – February 12, 2010

A few of the bands with new albums out this year: Avi Buffalo (photo by Jeff Antebi); Castledoor; Shadow Shadow Shade (center photo by Alex Gallardo, Los Angeles Times - August 6, 2009); Local Natives (photo by Benjamin Hoste); and The Deadly Syndrome.

A few of the bands with new albums out this year: Avi Buffalo (photo by Jeff Antebi); Castledoor; Shadow Shadow Shade (center photo by Alex Gallardo, Los Angeles Times - August 6, 2009); Local Natives (photo by Benjamin Hoste); and The Deadly Syndrome.

There’s been lots of exciting stuff going on for my favorite Eastside L.A. bands, which I first profiled in my “Silverlake Roundup” – Part One and Part Two. I’ll be including those I have some info. for; if I’m leaving anything out (or got anything wrong), please let me know. Stay tuned for a batch of new bands from – or who regularly play at clubs – in this area (which, to be technically accurate, comprises Silverlake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, etc.). But for now, read on…

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Silverlake Band Update! (part 1) – September 15, 2009

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a little while are no doubt aware that I have “a thing” for The Airborne Toxic Event. Through them, I’ve discovered a whole bunch of wonderful bands, who – if not actually based there – are often found playing in clubs in this cool and interesting area of East Los Angeles that includes Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Echo Park. A wide variety of influences, styles and personalities, they share a joy of performing, an absolute lack of pretension, a kind of camaraderie — and oh yeah, they’re all really fucking good as well.

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Local Natives & Blind Pilot at T.T. The Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA June 10, 2009

Blind Pilot @ T.T. the Bear's Place

Blind Pilot @ T.T. the Bear's Place

The last time I saw the wonderful Silverlake band The Local Natives (also at T.T.’s, with The Union Line & Voxhaul Broadcast) was back in January, and I was amazed at how good they were. It was a Sunday night, the weather was cold, slushy and miserable, and there were maybe 20 people in the audience, most of them the other band members and their friends. Even so, and considering they had come from L.A. cross-country to play for us, they put on an enthusiastic, fantastic show, and this really impressed me.

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