Little Dragon Tap Into Their Eclectic Tastes on Nabuma Rubberband

Categories: Bands We Like

09-music-A-LittleDragon_PhotobyMarco_van_Rijt_2-550px.jpg
Marco van Rijt

Yukimi Nagano, singer of Little Dragon, is kinda, sorta from Orange County.

The vocalist's SoCal roots is a surprising discovery, given the electronic band has been Sweden's pride and joy since its eponymous set came out in 2007. Nagano was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a Japanese father and an American mother, but as a kid, she lived in Orange County for a year with her grandparents in Santa Ana. "I don't really have Swedish blood, but I chose Sweden because that's my home and that's where I was born," she says, "but this is totally home to me, too."

It makes sense, when you consider how it all started for Little Dragon in Southern California. KCRW was the first station to play their breakthrough hit, "Twice," off their debut. It ended up getting TV air time as well, featured on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Revenge and The Vampire Diaries.


More »

Yellowcard's Ryan Key Lifts Himself Up After Tragedy, Writes An Inspiring Album

Categories: Bands We Like

yellowcard1.jpg
Katie Hovland
Yellowcard's Ryan Key never expected to fall in love while on tour in Europe back in 2012. Yet when he met Alyona Alekhina in Madrid, the two became mutually smitten, then practically inseparable. But as Key and Alekhina prepared to take their relationship to the next phase, the Russian snowboarder was injured in a training accident; she was paralyzed from the waist down.

The front man remained at Alekhina's side throughout her time in the hospital, culminating in their marriage while she was still in the ICU. Though her condition has been a challenge, her grit and determination have inspired her singer/songwriter husband. For Yellowcard's ninth studio album, Lift a Sail, Key wrote about the positivity in moving forward in life, even when the most difficult situations arise.

More »

Relax, It's Okay to Like Weezer Again

Categories: Bands We Like

WeezerEmilyShur.jpg
Photo by Emily Shur
Weezer
By: Corey Deiterman

"Take me back," singer Rivers Cuomo intones in the chorus of Weezer's latest hit single, "Back to the Shack." It's a familiar sentiment from him, going all the way back to the early portion of his career when he sang "I've got to get back" in Pinkerton classic "The Good Life."

Is "Back to the Shack" the return to form he's pining for in its own self-referential lyrics? Not quite. It's maybe the worst out of the recently released singles from their new record, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (in stores now), yet it does a pretty damn good job of sounding like the old Weezer, something the band has consistently failed at for the last decade. Recently the band swung by Fingerprints in Long Beach for an in-store performance with lines around the block.

More »

Puig Destroyer: A Virtual Hardcore Band For Real Baseball Fans

Categories: Bands We Like

puigdestroyer1.jpg
Riley Breckenridge, best known as the drummer of Thrice, geeks out to baseball as much as he does to percussion. He's in three fantasy leagues, one of them is a keeper league. He reads Baseball Prospectus and verses himself in experimental statistical analyses of the game--SABRmetrics for those in the know--as if he scouts players for Billy Beane's Oakland Mathletics.

The song "Centerfield" by John Fogerty, however, is a different matter. "I hate it," he says. "It's awful."

Rock and roll and baseball haven't much crossed paths over the course of time, which is kind of weird if you think about it, as distinctly American as they both are. Aside from "Centerfield," there's one verse in Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" that mentions high school ball--and that's about it. If ever there were a niche that needed filling.

More »

JEFF the Brotherhood Cover Classics In a Coat of Grunge

Categories: Bands We Like

jeffthebrtotherhood1.jpg
Jo Mccaughney
Total party music. That's what JEFF the Brotherhood's songs are. Crunchy, guitar-driven singalongs, tub-thumping drumrolls--if you were old enough to remember the heydey of grunge, their sound is eerily reminiscent of Weezer/Nirvana/Mudhoney/Teenage Fanclub's early days. Yup, totally fun!

Their self-produced EP of covers called Dig the Classics includes JEFF the Brotherhood's versions of songs by the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Teenage Fanclub.

The two-piece band made up of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall are actually too young to remember grunge when it was all over MTV, but their psychedelic punk-garage-pop leanings (that LA Record's Chris Ziegler dubbed "heavy Wipers-guitar-meets-Thin Lizzy-rhythms") took root during David Geffen's high times.


More »

Interpol Return To An Indie Rock World That Desperately Needs Them

Categories: Bands We Like

interpolpresspic1.jpg
Courtesy of Interpol
Bands who reunite, whether it's for one night or 100 more, are used to hearing a specific type of roar. For Interpol at FYF last month, that moment was the deafening squall that followed the tight opening notes of "Slowhands" at the very end of their set. The massive 2004 hit was many people's introduction to the band's mechanic, four-on-the-floor dance rock, and 10 years later, it proved to still be potent. Facing an ocean of sunburned festivalgoers, Paul Banks, Sam Fogarino and Dan Kessler manned their instruments as though they were sharp-dressed (in black shirts and suit jackets), unshakable robots. It was a true, fashionable return to form.

Along with fellow New Yorkers the Strokes, the National and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol helped to usher in the post-punk, indie-rock era of the early aughts. Their first two albums, Turn On the Bright Lights and Antics, propelled the band from a local favorite to a critical and commercial success.

More »

Well Hung Heart's New Documentary Captures the End of an Era

Categories: Bands We Like

well-hung-heart-1024x688.jpg
When we last caught up with Well Hung Heart, they had just put the finishing touches on their debut LP Young Enough to Know it All. Since then, they've won multiple OC Music Awards, continued building their production company, and of course, writing music. Initially, they thought they'd have some loose ideas that would be enough for an EP that would be recorded at Secret Ninja Studios. What they didn't realize was that the acclaimed studio was shutting it's doors at its current location after the building was sold. The duo knew they had a responsibility, as the last band to record at the same place as bands far ranging from Kyuss to the Righteous Brothers.

"It was a very emotional time for Ryan, the studio's engineer, since he's been at the studio for 12 years" Davey says as he and Valenti hustle around preparing to shoot a video for the band Bush on Monday. "We didn't have any songs ready to record, but we had a band, and we went in to see what we could do."

The band went in for the maximum amount of time they could afford--10 days--and ended up recording their second full-length, Go Forth and Multiply, which was released two weeks ago. Some days, they'd start with bits and pieces of songs, other days the well was dry. But the constant was the tireless days and long nights they spent putting together compositions they'd record live. On one day particular day, Well Hung Heart recorded three new songs from scratch.


More »

Phantogram Laughed Through the Dark Times, Now They Party With Rap Stars

Categories: Bands We Like

phantogram.jpg
Press Photo
"We toured the country multiple times, just the two of us," says Josh Carter, one-half of electropop duo Phantogram. "We'd sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots. Playing for five people every night was a success then. The first time we sold out Bowery Ballroom--that was a huge success. It's constantly building, and for that, I'm really grateful."

Vocalist Sarah Barthel looks back on those early days fondly, when she and Carter were forced to grind it out. Their highest point, she says, was their first tour. "We realized we were going to tour, and it was the smallest tour ever," she says, laughing. "We went to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh, and we played in front of the other band, but we were so pumped--like, it was great, so crazy. We had to sleep in our car that night, but it was awesome because we were doing it."

More »

For Fucked Up, Everything is All Right

Categories: Bands We Like

fuckeduppic.jpg
Toronto-based hardcore outfit Fucked Up never expected their band to go very far when they formed in 2001, let alone all the way to Brazil. A few weeks ago, they played São Paolo for the first time, opening for Dinosaur Jr. For singer Damian Abraham, it was a landmark moment in a career filled with critical acclaim and accolades. Even if they were only there for a total of 27 hours.

"One of the goals of the band when we started was to play in Japan and Brazil," he says. "It was great to walk in the same footprints of the bands I love. When we said, 'One day, we'll play Brazil, one day' . . . Getting to go down there was a check-it-off experience for this band."


More »

Little Daylight Are Seeing Brighter Days on Tour

little_daylight.jpg
The trio, in their synth-poppy glory
I first saw Little Daylight when they were opening for Marina and the Diamonds in Seattle. At that point, they didn't even have enough original music to really fill a set list, but their live performance was amazing: Nikki Taylor's vocals were hypnotic and engrossing, and Matt Lewkowicz and Eric Zeiler rocked the stage like they owned it.

Now, one and a half years later, the synth-pop trio from Brooklyn have an EP and an album worth of material to work with and are headlining their own national tour in support of their latest release, "Hello Memory," a studio length album full of the modern indie electro pop that made their name as well as more 80s-influenced synth ballads. Tomorrow, they'll finish their tour with a show at the Troubadour.

I had a phone call with Nikki while she was having lunch to discuss everything they've done thus far.

More »
Loading...