Cutty Flam Is Your New Favorite Rockabilly-Meets-Prom-Punk Band

Categories: Bands We Like

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Cutty Flam
Since they first met as sophomores in high school deep in the San Fernando Valley, Jose Varela and Ashley Stuart were interested in playing music. Though their interest and participation in the local punk rock scene initially led them to become part of the Los Angeles Experimental Orchestra, called KILLSONIC, which played jazz and orchestral free jazz allowed the longtime friends the opportunity to collaborate. When that project reached its end, the duo were left to ponder where their next sonic journey would take. The result was an undertaking that has seen them exceed even those initial hopes and expectations.

After attending the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly festival and shooting a documentary surrounding the event, the duo were inspired by the scene and sound that encompassed the event. Mesmerized and smitten with the scene, Varela decided he wanted to take what he enjoyed from that festival and start a new band.

Now, a few years later, he goes by Cutty, who sings and plays guitar and Stuart by Bang Bangs, apropos due to her handling the drumming. Those alter egos properly fit their rockabilly-meets-prom punk sound. Inspired by vintage 1950s pop culture a la the diner scene in Pulp Fiction, the band goes by Cutty Flam, and has added a bassist, Chewy Lewy. They liked the idea of that era because "when you went the movie theatre, you had to dress up" and wanted to bring that vintage feeling to their live set. When it came time to come up with their theatrical show, changing their names to reflect this presence felt natural.

"The names were Bang Bangs' idea," Cutty says. "We wanted to create another world beyond ourselves and our normal life, and take the band in a different direction. We wanted to be more theatrical and came up with some fun names."

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PHILM's New Album Roars Across Metal Genres

Categories: Bands We Like

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Courtesy Alex Solca
Far from being a typical three-piece anchored by a famous drummer, PHILM--the power trio forged by Dave Lombardo--is creatively audacious in its own right. The Los Angeles-based band is rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Gerry Nestler and Pancho Tomaselli on bass.

Together, like eccentric laboratory scientists tweaking new concoctions, they explore new realms rooted in heavy, pulsating rock but daring enough to dabble in thrash and jazz.
"It's definitely not a side project, it's a band," Lombardo tells the Weekly. "We all have the same goal and are working hard in continuing the creative process." The musicians are all-in on PHILM, with Lombardo departing from Slayer in 2013 and Tomaselli leaving as bassist for funk band WAR earlier this year. Hectic tour schedules no longer get in the way of their goals. "We made the decision to be able to focus 100 percent on our band once and for all," Tomaselli says.


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Fu Manchu: Still Kings of the Road and the Riff

Categories: Bands We Like

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Courtesy of Fu Manchu
When O.C. rockers Fu Manchu perform this Saturday night at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa, the gig will celebrate twenty-five years of fuzzed out hard-driving riffs. It will also celebrate a band that is quintessentially Californian.

During their rise to major-label prominence in the '90s, the group was lumped in with the desert-rock scene birthed by acts such as Kyuss. But Fu Manchu's inspirations were more firmly rooted in the band members' coastal roots.

"My entire upbringing revolved around the beach," says Fu Manchu vocalist/guitarist Scott Hill, the driving force and remaining original member from the band's early '90s roots. "I remember being a kid about to enter the fifth grade...walking up to the Huntington Beach Pier one day and seeing a guy in an El Camino. There were surfboards hanging out the back and he talking to a pretty girl. I remember wanting all of that."

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Inglewood eXPERIENCES U2 at The Forum

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U2 performing at The Forum. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
U2
The Forum
May 26, 2015

[Editor's Note: Sources have confirmed that U2's longtime tour manager Dennis Sheehan died of a massive heart attack in his hotel room early this morning after the band's show last night. Sheehan,who was in his 60s, had worked with the Irish rockers since 1982. Our deepest condolences to the band and their crew.]

If T-shirts don't lie, then U2 sold out every US date on their "iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE TOUR." For, the words "Sold Out" are stamped next to the names of each of the seven cities listed on the official souvenir shirt for their current tour. Considering The Forum, in Inglewood, has a capacity of 17,500 people, and given that even people sitting in some of the lousier seating areas were paying upwards of $250 a pop, it is safe to say that this tour was a success before it began. Regardless, the band put on a great concert.

Visually, the show was incredible. A two-tier catwalk stretched the length of the stadium and was book-ended by two stages, and while both the upper and lower catwalks could be clearly seen with the house lights on, LED walls of imagery alternately concealed the upper catwalk and revealed specific spots along the way, where lead singer Bono would periodically strut. The imagery on the LED screens ranged from stylized artistic vignettes of small town neighborhoods (seen moving as though the audience was looking out the window of a moving train) to dynamic shots from the concert's closed-circuit video feed.

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Before Delta Spirit Go on Hiatus, They'll Give Us One Hell of a Show

Categories: Bands We Like

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Matthew Pandolfe
For the better part of the past year, Delta Spirit have been as busy as they've ever been. Touring behind their fourth--and highest-charting--effort, Into the Wide, they're relentlessly zig-zagging the country. Though not yet a household name, the group retain a fervent fan base. Before they take a break, singer Matt Vasquez and his band mates--already known for their dynamic live shows--determined they wanted to give fans something that celebrates what Delta Spirit have done for the past decade.

"Knowing that we're not going to do our own show for a while, we wanted to do something that was unique," he explains while taking a breather in Austin, where he's writing a song with friend Robert Ellis. "We thought, 'Why not bring some friends along and jam instead of having an opener?'"

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The Resurrection of Refused is Good News for the Revolution!

Categories: Bands We Like

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Dustin Rabin
Rumors of Refused's death are greatly exaggerated. The Swedish hardcore punk band wrote their own epitaph in 1998 after breaking up telling the world in a final communique that "Refused are fucking dead." The incendiary leftist group arose from the ashes for a reunion show at Coachella three years ago and toured after the festival. But no new musical manifesto followed. That is, until now. Vocalist Dennis Lyxzén and his co-conspirators returned without warning in April to announce Freedom, their first album in 17 years.

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Hiatus Kaiyote Do Some Future Soul Searching

Categories: Bands We Like

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Wilk
Hiatus Kaiyote have been described as "future soul," but all sorts of nonsensical names could be concocted to describe their genre-mashing style: alt-funk, indie jazz, Afro trip-hop--take your pick.

The Melbourne, Australia-based band's first album, 2013's Tawk Tomahawk, earned a Best R&B Performance Grammy nomination for the song "Nakamarra" and praise from elite artists such as Questlove, Erykah Badu and Pharrell Williams. Choose Your Weapon, the follow-up released May 1 on Sony imprint Flying Buddah Records, is somehow both twice as long and twice as interesting. We spoke with drummer and producer Perrin Moss about the new album and the band's current American tour, which includes a May 21 stop at the Observatory's Constellation Room. (Note: Some answers have been condensed for clarity. All answers should be read in a pleasant Australian accent.)

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John Brown's Body Have Boston Roots, Kingston Souls

Categories: Bands We Like

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Heather Ainsworth
In the backdrop of Orange County's sunsets, surf and palm trees, reggae music is a staple, and East Coast act John Brown's Body are worthy of any beachside playlist. The octet has been bridging the sounds of Jamaica with modern reggae for nearly two decades, snagging fans worldwide with live dubs, layers of brass and a solid rhythm section. On Wednesday, they'll fill the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano with their trademark future-roots sound.

"I love touring here," saxophonist Drew Sayers says of Southern California's reggae-friendly crowds and atmosphere. "The roots of our identity are definitely in upstate New York, Boston and New York City. But people in Southern Cali definitely have their own thing going. There's special vibes coming from here, and it lends itself well to what we do."

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Joel Gion Finds Inspiration Outside of Brian Jonestown Massacre

Categories: Bands We Like

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Amanda Boe
Before his late night set at Austin Psych Fest last Thursday night, Joel Gion didn't know what to expect. Playing with Collin Hegna, Dan Allaire and Rob Campanella, his bandmates in Brian Jonestown Massacre, the sold out show in downtown Austin was beyond what he ever imagined.

"They were a great bunch of kids who hung out 'till 2:30 a.m. for the show," he says. "It was great and they were really responsive. It was the first time I had people up in the front singing the lyrics, which is what we're accustomed to with Brian Jonestown shows, but now they're doing it for my music. It was super fun."

Gion is known to many as one of the longest tenured members of Brian Jonestown Massacre. The percussionist is probably most recognized for his role in the 2004 cult documentary Dig! a film he says is one of the last true moments in rock. Looking back at his role in the doc, he can't help but laugh.

"They're probably thinking who were these crazy motherfuckers," he says with a chuckle. "You can't really live that way in rock 'n roll and can't just get arrested. You don't know anyone who is doing that now or who is worth knowing because it ain't happening. It was the last time no one gave a flying fuck."

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Deap Vally's Julie Edwards Destroys Drums and Builds Female Equality at Desert Daze

Categories: Bands We Like

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Courtesy of Julie Edwards
By: Candace Hansen

Julie Edwards is the bad-ass drummer you wish would have played in your garage rock band in high school. Her cool, Bonham influenced grooves make up ½ of the DIY feminist blues-rock duo Deap Vally, but don't think she's just a drummer. Edwards is a songwriter, knitter, and part of the Moon Block collective that's bringing Desert Daze to Southern California this weekend.

Edwards has always been a musician; she played violin and piano as a kid, sang in musical theater, and even belted out some serious vocals as an alto in her school choir. Eleven years ago, Edwards picked up sticks for the first time after beating a friend to the drum kit in a rented rehearsal studio. She forged her drumming style while playing in the LA based 2-piece band The Pity Party, where she played keys and drums at the same time. "I learned to play drums 3-limbed," Edwards says, "I played keyboard with my left hand, and played drums with my right arm and legs; that informs a lot of my style [now], including my weak left arm." Since then, Edwards has developed into a dynamic, soulful, percussive artist. Her simple-yet-intentional, musical, and often linear grooves have the aesthetic of 1960's shuffles on acid.

See also: Desert Daze Grows into the Anti-Mega Fest

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