I always like little surprises in my inbox, and last night, my good friend Vickki Acuna, who runs the radical Silly Face Music Blog, delivered one unto me.  The above gentleman is Bobby Halvorson, or as I’ve known him, Bobby The Echo Box Office Guy, and his brand of tune seems to fit somewhere into the rockabilly end of things. 

I’ll admit, as much as I’ve dug into psychobilly over the years, rockabilly never did a whole lot for me.  A lot of the bands in the genre can be a bit overly cheesy and more focused on perfecting their aesthetic recreation of the past than writing a good song.  However, Bobby’s music hit me a little bit different than most rockabilly and I think I know why.  Passion. There is soul and heart in this, and his other tunes, that gives it bright, enchanting energy that immediately draws you in and makes it difficult not to start tapping your foot and humming along immediately.  Though singing about looking for a lady is well worn territory, Bobby’s tune comes through with an urgency and honesty to it that really sounds like the guy is pouring out pieces of himself into the recording.  The performance captured here is powerful, and something that would make the perfect soundtrack to those lonesome, yet wild, nights, filled with cold beer and warm bodies.

If this is what I can expect from Bobby Havorson, then I definitely look forward to hearing a lot more from this guy in the future.  Hopefully he finds someone to put out some physical records too; he most definitely deserves it.

More information on Bobby Havorson can be found at his official site.  More songs of his can be found at his Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

If you’re in #LA, be sure to check out my inner feature in @ireadculture on everybody’s favorite classic #ska and #rocksteady promoter and DJ, Junor Francis!

If you’re in #LA, be sure to check out my inner feature in @ireadculture on everybody’s favorite classic #ska and #rocksteady promoter and DJ, Junor Francis!

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There are a lot of bands that do a lot of things for me, however, there are only a small handful that really take me somewhere else with their music.  Lenguas Largas is most definitely one of those bands.

Featuring a big line up comprised of drummers and guitarists, seven, or so, of them to be exact, the group has developed one of the most rhythmically hypnotic and texturally captivating sounds in the whole of independent music at the moment.  Their style weaves together the aggression and dissonance of punk rock, with psychedelia, and even hints of prog-rock in a way that when listened to or taken in live, is simply stunning.

Tunes like the one above, “Endless Sands,” from the band’s self titled debut, easily transport me to faraway lands; where desert dunes seem to roll on forever, and where the dry heat of the landscape puts sweat on my face and chaps my lips.  The song is as enveloping as a sand storm, and the driving rhythms combined with the masterful use of lush melody and subtle guitar effects only helps to more lavishly flesh out and draw the listener into the world the band creates with their music.

Even seeing them live in Santa Monica on Saturday, at times, when I closed my eyes, I left that room filled with my friends and strangers, and journeyed to lands vast and alien, and filled with the gorgeous, rich, and powerful sounds Lenguas Largas.

These guys have a new record coming out via Recess and Burger Records and are on tour at the moment.  Do yourself a favor, buy their music and see them immediately.

More information on Lenguas Largas can be found at their Facebook.  Copies of their self-titled debut, as well as their new album can be picked up via Recess Records and Burger Records.

ArtistLenguas Largas
TitleEndless Sands
AlbumLenguas Largas

A few months ago, La Sera played their record release for their newest album, Hour Of The Dawn, over at The Echo.  I was all ready to go to it and scope it out, but when the night finally arrived, I made up some excuse for why I couldn’t make it, wussed out, and stayed home.  When I finally picked up a copy of the aforementioned shiny vinyl disc, put it on my turntable, and gave it a spin, I felt my stomach sink as I realized what a huge mistake passing on that show was.

Hour Of The Dawn, has an urgency in it that I didn’t find much in previous La Sera releases, and it’s something that I immediately became enamored with.  Katy Goodman and her band absolutely blaze through this new batch of tunes, and their ability to blend such lovely, bright, dreamy melodies with frenzied, all out intensity so perfectly is incredibly mesmerizing.

The above track, “Losing To The Dark,” opens up the record, and not only is the song an absolute burner, but it sets the listener up perfectly for what’s to come.  I guess the Poison Idea t-shirt on the cover of the record should have prepared me for where the record was going, still, the opening track took me by surprise and blew me away.  The band’s transitions from abrasive dissonance into sweet harmonies is mesmerizing and their rhythm section does incredible job of pushing everything to it’s limits.  While the band still mixes the the album up with slower numbers here and there, the overall tone of the album is darker, moodier, and more nuanced than anything I’ve heard out of this group yet.  Needless to say, I became an instant fan.

Fortunately, I got to catch the band erupt through a great deal of these songs live at Burger-A-Go-Go, so I don’t have to wonder about how good they probably come across live anymore.  Still, I can’t help but kick my own ass for not going to that record release.

More information on La Sera can be found at their Facebook.  Copies of Hour Of The Dawn can be picked up via Hardly Art.

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Not too long ago, I had the privilege of catching one of Auburn, Alabama’s most glorious musical offerings, The Pine Hill Haints, in all of their brilliance, two nights in a row.

It’s rare to find a band that so heavily immerses themselves in some of the oldest of American acoustic country, folk, and blues musical traditions (they’re the only band I’ve seen use an actual wash tub bass), and yet successfully imbue the style with new spirit, references, and influences.  The result is a group who’s sound absolutely roars with life and an incredible energy that seems infused with the Southern mysticism and supernatural iconography that The Haints so often use for their imagery.

Though the band’s recordings are amazing, as exemplified by the above tune,”My Bones Are Gonna Rise Again,” which comes from the band’s fourth album, To Win Or To Lose, they almost don’t fully capture the power that the band unleashes in the live setting.  In the two nights I saw them, the band delivered unbelievably electrifying sets that sent their audiences into wild, semi-chaotic frenzies.  It was a masterful display of what happens when a band truly commits themselves to their performance and throws everything they have in them out into night.

I think The Haints have more dates going on across the US and down in the South right now.  My advice is, if you see this posse rolling into your town, cancel any previous plans and B-line it to wherever they’re playing.

More information on The Pine Hill Haints can be found at their official site.  Copies of many of their releases can be picked up via K Records and Arkam Records.

ArtistThe Pine Hill Haints
TitleMy Bones Are Gonna Rise Again
AlbumTo Win Or To Lose
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Last night I had the distinct pleasure of being at the LA portion of the Recess Records’ 25th Anniversary celebratory tour entitled, The Cavalcade Of Clowns!  In addition to be delighted by the sonic offerings of Swing Ding Amigos, Lenguas Largas, Audacity, Treasure Fleet, The Underground Railroad To Candyland, and the above group, White Night, I also got my hands on the limited edition tour 7” featuring new tracks from four of the six bands who performed. 

Though it’s hard to pick a favorite on a four way split between Lenguas Largas, The Underground Railroad To Candyland, Treasure Fleet, and White Night, I was very excited to hear this radical tune make it’s physical debut on this record.  The song has been a recent staple of White Night’s sets, and it’s a piece I look forward to hearing every time I see them play. 

In addition to being an all around sweet number from the band, a song that really captures those feelings of the love and let downs that come with relationships, the tune shows what a powerhouse of songwriters the band is becoming.  You can tell that the fellas are putting a lot of work into crafting these songs, building their energy and releasing it, and marrying their diverse array of influences into something that’s beautiful, soulful, aggressive, and wholly unique.

Much like their friends in Audacity, White Night is growing well beyond their simple and fast, garage punk beginnings, into a group that’s not afraid to push their boundaries and take chances.  Hearing them throw down a piece as sweet as this, with ample attention to melody and sonic texture, and still finding room for a ripping finger tapping guitar solo puts a big smile on my face.

These guys are out on the road, coming to a town near you soon, do yourself a favor and go take in their magic.

More information on White Night can be found at their Facebook and Instagram.  Copies of several of their releases, in various formats, can be picked up via Recess Records.  A list of the remaining dates of The Cavalcade Of Clowns Tour can be found at the event page.

ArtistWhite Night
TitleStuck On You
AlbumCavalcade Of Clowns Tour 7"
Treasure Fleet #killinit at @recessrecords 25th Anniversary show!   #psychedelic #punk at it’s best!!! (at Almost Holden Collection)

Treasure Fleet #killinit at @recessrecords 25th Anniversary show! #psychedelic #punk at it’s best!!! (at Almost Holden Collection)

I finally got myself a copy of Meat Wave's self titled debut release on vinyl, and, man, am I ever stoked.  If you've been following this blog, then you know I’ve been singing this band’s praises ever since snagging this beast of an album on cassette from Let’s Pretend Records last year.  However, now that I’ve got a copy on vinyl, I can play it with a little bit more frequency without having to worry that I’m going to wear the media out.

If you have yet to check this band out, let me assure you that you’re missing out on some truly stunning tunes.  Drawing influence from powerful rock and rollers like Hot Snakes and Les Savy Fav, Meat Wave’s distinctive style is one of the more ferocious, frenetic, and melodically interesting things rumbling through independent underground music at the moment.  Their self-titled debut is a true heater that is unrelentingly intense and bold, and sees the band swinging for the head with every song on the record.

Perhaps even more stunning is that these recordings represent, more or less, demos that the band recorded in friends’ basements in a single day, yet carry the sound quality and energy of something which took major time to craft, develop, and commit to tape.  If this is what the band can achieve in a hurried, haphazardly assembled session, I can’t wait to see what happens when they’re given the opportunity to spend a day or more in a real recording studio.

Meat Wave continues to be high atop my list of bands to watch, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly recommend changing that in your life.

More information on Meat Wave can be found at their Facebook and Tumblr.  Copies of the band’s self titled debut can be picked up on vinyl via Hawthorne Street Records.

Recently I stumbled across the New York label, Rok Lok Records, and spent the better part of a gloriously slow eight hour shift checking out their diverse array of offerings.  The above band, Little Whirls, was one of the first things I decided to listen to on Rok Lok’s wonderfully laid out website, and I was immediately entranced by the band’s lush, enveloping brand of indie rock. 

The above tune, “Write Us For A Statue,” opens up the band’s debut EP, Sedateness At The Movies, and upon hearing it, I knew I was going to like everything else on the tape.  The recording is pretty lo-fi, which for indie rock can sometimes be a hindrance, yet, the gritty quality of the recording actually adds a distinct sonic quality to the songs, making them sound even denser and more full.  The band’s droning melodies and vocals, coupled with their steady rhythms and rich textures make Little Whirls music particularly captivating and, at times, hypnotic.  I’ve listened to this release over and over again in the last week and still find myself finding new things in the songs, and easily losing myself deeply in the band’s sound.

It’s the type of music that reminds me of slow drives through a foggy city, where the air is so thick, that both lights from buildings and street lamps, as well as nearby sounds, seem to float in the mist.  Intimate tunes like these pair well with cozy, dimly lit rooms, warmed with close friends and good booze.

More information on Little Whirls can be found at their Facebook and Tumblr.  Copies of their tape can be picked up via Rok Lok Records, act fast though, this run of cassettes is super small, limited to only fifty.

@corndoglog  and @grodycody of Shannon and the Clams blowin’ away a packed house at @burgerrecords4life  #burgeragogo with delicious #psychedelic #garage #punk and roll!!!

@corndoglog and @grodycody of Shannon and the Clams blowin’ away a packed house at @burgerrecords4life #burgeragogo with delicious #psychedelic #garage #punk and roll!!!