Everyone has two hours to spare when it comes to the trippy opportunity to time travel back to 1966 in the hippie shrouded sunshine of Jim Morrison’s Los Angeles. The fuzzed out garage/psychedelic rockers, Mystic Braves, will take you just there. These modern men in floppy hats, overgrown sideburns and rose tinted glasses give you a flashback to the marijuana-fueled era of groovy vibes.
Mystic Braves is signed with Lolipop records home to many of LA’s upcoming, underground rock bands. Formerly known as Blackfeet Braves, the new name comes with sound adjustments and slight change in member line-up. The band consists of Julian Ducatenzeiler, Tony Malacara, Cameron Gartung, Shane Stotsenberg and Ignacio Gonzalez. The deep humming vocals of frontman Ducatenzeiler are melodic and charming with a fuzzed-out echo that vibrates alongside the sweeping guitar progressions. The guitar is particularly well-placed with it’s reverb drenched electric sound emulating the curl of a cascading wave. The drums, well, the drums beat on. The eclectic layering of instrumental and electric sounds is what makes Mystic Waves so tantalizing as they push the boundaries between pop, psychedelic, surf and garage rock. This gives the band the power to manipulate the audience during live sets and can create a dancing, high-energy party or a collection of glassy-eyed hipsters swaying into their self-created melting posture. It’s as if Dick Dale and Jim Morrison had a baby and it came out as Mystic River; still young, but talented.
Time travel tonight with Mystic Braves at Soda Bar tonight! Doors open at 8:30!
Part of the human condition is the desire to feel understood. This understanding validates our place in the world and brings connectivity to those special people and places we surround ourselves with. When we are understood, when we find this place of acceptance the mystery sometimes melts away and what’s left is maybe too simply defined or understood. This can be a disappointing dreary feeling because the excitment of the unknown has escaped us. Dum Dum Girls’ third album, Too True, gives the audience an inside look into that exact feeling.
The mystery of subpop queen, Dee Dee Penny, the singer/songwriter/conceptualizer behind Dum Dum Girls, is no longer shrouded with newfound musky glamour and is replaced with expectations and pre-qaulified conditions. Instead of allowing this blatant critic guide Penny, she becomes aware of it’s power and embraces it. Holding true to her melancholy nature, Penny still manages to be expressive and fresh in goth meets dream pop meets synth pop sound. The backbone forever being her sultry, unwavering, deep vocals she uses lyrics and melodies that highlight her dark beauty. This is her foundation and is expected, but what ‘s not expected is the new shadows of disappointment she hints at. Truthfully, she doesn’t even hint, but states blatantly in the album tite, Too True, and her single “Too true to abe good” both giving the implication of the downtrodden disapointment of being cookie-cutter. Like a deep Jane Austen sigh, she expresses the boredom of reality and yet relishes exactly the same thing. Her delay pedal, echoes and throbbing synth are on point as always making her sound a sturdy consistentcy of abstract.
See Dum Dum Girls live tonight at The Casbah!
With their guarantee to get laid attitude, Warm Soda promises nothing but pleasure as they make love to their audience in every performance. How could you want to miss out on that? This was the gist of a charming interview Warm Soda did a year ago on their one year anniversary and although they jested about the link between sex and music there is a hint of truth behind it. These guys play a raw rife power pop underlined with a little glam rock and garage rock. It’s the perfect recipe for an audience full of wild dancing girls having a total heart throb moment.
The band is based in San Franscisco which is sensed in the music itself. The music is raw and real fitting the eclectic soul of the city that always seems to have emerging underground scenes. The music obsessed members include: Matthew Melton on guitar and vocals, Billy Trujillo on bass, Joey Genovese on guitar and Ricky Hamilton on drums. These guys exude a certain amount of hipster charm with their leather jackets, 60s shaggy hair and skinny jeans. Of course, it’s not just the look, it’s the music itself. Warm Soda has the ability to create a melodic energetic buzz throughout the room with their reverb filled tracks and blazing guitar solos. The music puts the audience in a chill, positive and totally stoked state of mind. If you’re an Ok Go fan, you should give Warm Soda a listen. Their new album, Young Reckless Hearts, comes out March 11th!
See Warm Soda perform at The Hideout (formerly known as The Void)!
Experience and self-embracement has treated Social Studies well. Their latest album Developer, released in November 2013, is the most intoxicating and well-shaped of their work. The lineup features Natalia Rogovin on keys and vocals, Tom Smith on guitar, Ben McClintock on guitar, Jesse Hudson on bass and vocals and Michael Jirkovsky on drums. Developer is ripe with beautiful genre overlaps holding a strong foundation in indie rock and adding a twist of pop and a splash of funk. The recorded album eloquently tells a story which they skillfully transfer to a live set. Their performances are notoriously engaging with spot-on sound and showmanship.
Social studies grasp attention through multiple ear splashing avenues– the most notable being singer Rogovin’s vocals. Her voice is naturally low and when she embraces that deeper notes they hit you in the stomach like a shot of Greygoose. The intensity in her voice warms the audience and draws them in while engaging them with lyrics that explore the human element of growing-up and self-discovery. Although, Rogovin’s voice grabs your attention immediately, her band mates don’t fail to do their part in shaping a sultry, playful, encapsulating sound. The drums add an element of playfulness with rhymic borderline tribal beats that thump in bumping repetitive burst of exploding energy. The bass gives off a funk twang that adds a hidden element of sexy combined with the drums create a dance-able groove. The guitars and keys are all melodic whispering dreamy waves of buzzing atmopsheric vibrations. It creates a wash of sound that folds, envelopes and whispers the conditions of being human.
See Social Studies perform live tonight at Soda Bar! Doors open at 8:30!
Jasper Patterson is a young music fiend who began his professional music career in 2011 under the DJ name Groundislava. He released his debut album, Feel Me, with WeDidIt Collective featuring other artists including Shlomo, R L Grime and Ryan Hemsworth. Like these electronic artists he spins a house beat that various in range from minimal to trance to experimental. When performing and producing he uses a booming drum pad, mixer and occassionally a sampler. His recorded album has a unified clear sound which is mesmerizing and a clear contrast to his live performances which is more spontaneous as he mixes on the fly to feed the party atmosphere. Influenced by old school trance and IDM his range and his abiity to manipulate music is quite fascinating; he grabs attention and holds on.
It’s easy to understand why Groundislava’s music may seem like a tip of the hat to video games. Feel Me, is a narrative adventure that captures the sensation of exploration which can be exciting mysterious. The layered high and low frequencies with energetic beats sometimes even give off an eerie Mario Bros. vibe that triggers a clear-as-day flashback to controlling the original Mario as he swims underwater. It’s not obnoxious like the repetitive classic game can be; it’s much more thrilling and spontaneous. At times there is a hint of Flying Lotus influence as his music borders on experimental especially in his tranisitons and beat breaks which are highlighted with fast, dreamy, atomospheric beats in melodic waves that rinse the air with a clean pure energy. His sound is a buzzing, echo-filled experience perfect to get down to with just as much spontenaeity as your limbs allow.
See Groundislava tonight at The Loft at UCSD!
Free Salamander Exhibit is the name of a very effing weird art rock/prog rock band based in Oakland California. Notorious for wearing matching salamander(?) costumes made of burlap sacks and cardboard that alone would be worth seeing. How they manage to rock out in some clearing uncomfortable fashion statements is beyond me, but somehow fascinating. Featuring Nils Frykdah, Michael Mellender, Dan Rathbun, David Shamrock and Drew Wheeler this group of musicians have been making music since 2010. There sound is wild and sporadic and even at times exhausting, but regardless it’s interesting enough to check out.
See Free Salamander Exhibit tonight at the Casbah!
Take one second, right now, to clear your mind of emotion and feeling. Now, imagine the last time you got into the ocean. Whether it’s true or not, try to imagine that you’re swimming out far. Get some serious quality distance from the shore; you can still see it, but it’s far. The few people on the beach are nothing but dots. And you realize no one knows how far out you are, where you are at that precarious moment. Now, you begin to feel the dark depth below you and your curiosity spikes and you begin to wonder what’s below you at THAT particular moment. You attempt to surpress the photographic image of a great white shark from your head, but it’s there lurking. You know this thought process is useless yet small moments of anxiety cause your chest to tighten as you attempt to surpress the small waves of panic that make your adrenaline pump forcibly through your veins as you begin the long swim back to shore. That is the summary of Crisis Arm.
From Hemet, California, three roommates, Patrick Capinding, Kevin McVey and Cameron Puleo united and became Crisis Arm. Utilizing two guitars, whispered vocals, a drum kit and ridiculous amount of distortion this group has created an impulsive, disorganized plague of sound that feels transformative. Their experimental rock tells stories like the one above that take your being and blast it with so much reverb that it actually gives you a physical reaction (of course, performed live the effect is so much more potent). Their style borders along shoegaze, post punk, psychedelic and noise rock with a styling that is cohesive. There are dark and light moments in their music that guide you through moments of relief, satisfaction, curiosity, panic, claustrophobia and dismay.
See Crisis Arm at the Che Cafe for an art show that starts at 6pm and music starts at 7! Performing with The Plurals and Unconditional Arms!