Tag: Long Beach CA

New Audio: Psychic Temple Teams Up with The Dream Syndicate on a Trippy Motorik Chug

Chris Schlarb is a Long Beach, CA-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, best known for being the founder and creative mastermind behind Psychic Temple, a recording project/cult. Since the project’s founding back in 2010, Psychic Temple’s sound has shifted from avant-jazz to folk and soul and psych rock while featuring a rotating cast of collaborators that includes Tabor Allen (lyrics, drums). Avi Buffalo’s Sheridan Riley (drums), Minutemen’s Mike Watt (bass), Kiri Tiner (trumpet) and countless others. During that same period, Psychic Temple has shifted its creative process to more adventurous songwriting. 

Psychic Temple’s Chris Schlarb has long believed that “there is no double album that would not be improved by removing its worst songs and making it a single album.” In 2016, Schlarb opened BIG EGO, a commercial recording studio in the same Long Beach neighborhood where he grew up. Within its first year, Schlarb produced albums by Terry Reid, James Gadson, Swamp Dogg and Jim Keltner — and by the following year, he began working on Houses of the Holy, his attempt at solving the double album puzzle. 

For many the double album stands as the ultimate creative indulgence, an instance for an artist to make a grand statement on four sides of vinyl. But most of those double albums feature a song — if not more — that fans and critics consider filler. Schlarb’s solution was to take four different bands and lead them into the realm of Psychic Temple. And the end result is Schlarb’s double album Houses of the Holy with Cherry Glazerr, Chicago Underground Trio, The Dream Syndicate, and poet Xololanxinxo.

Acclaimed Los Angeles-based act Cherry Glazerr teamed up with Schlarb for Side A. Recorded in the Joshua Tree desert, Cherry Glazerr’s side, titled Songs of Love! Tenderness! Madness! Suicide! features five, whiskey-fueled songs touching upon love, madness and suicide. Side B, which is titled Songs of Family! Music! Poverty! Dreams!features the recently reunited Chicago Underground Trio playing songs written by Schlarb, Jerry David DeCicca and James Jackson Toth. Side C, which is titled Songs of Rebellion! Isolation! Hope! Escape! finds Schlarb teaming up with The Dream Syndicate, who have managed to released some of the most forward thinking and trippiest material of their collective, lengthy catalog in the past couple of years. Side D, which is titled Songs of Spirit! Triumph! Unity! Reflection! features cosmic street poet Xololanxinxo backed by a full orchestra, double rhythm section and gospel choir.  

The album’s first single, Psychic Temple’s team-up with The Dream Syndicate “Why Should I Wait” is centered around a forceful, motorik chug, soaring organs, a steady backbeat and a shimmering, reverb-drenched and expressive guitar solo and a soaring hook. Sonically, the song finds the two acts in a Vulcan mind-meld in which both acts create something that sounds radically different than anything they’ve done before — but while rooted in their individual idiosyncrasies. 

 “I think The Dream Syndicate are one of the great rock bands of our time,” Schlarb says in press notes. “Plugging myself into their circuitry was an otherworldly experience and a privilege that I don’t take for granted. The more I listen back to what we recorded, the more I learn.”

Houses of the Holy is slated for a September 25, 2020 release through Joyful Noise Recordings. 

New Video: Rising Hawaii-born Los Angeles-based Artist Lionel Boy Releases a Lysergic Visual for “Lately”

With the release of  critically applauded singles “Summer Fun” and “Lost” earlier this year, the rapidly rising Hawaii-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Lionel Boy quickly received attention for crafting a unique sound that mixes spacey synths and breakbeats with bedroom-produced pop.

Building upon a growing profile, Boy’s highly anticipated debut EP Who Is Dovey? was released last month through Innovative Leisure Records. The EP’s third and latest single “Lately” is a slow-burning and breezy, yacht rock-like track featuring twinkling synths, soulful horns, blown out backbeats, shimmering guitar and Boy’s plaintive vocals. But despite its nostalgia-inducing vibes, there’s something much murkier under its placid surface.

“Last year (2019), we had a week of rain in Long Beach. It was then that I wrote ‘Lately,’” Boy says in press notes. “I just begun learning how to incorporate samples into my songwriting, and ‘Lately’ was the first project I was able to complete doing so. There was gloom, smoke and a feeling of monotony in the air— I think that comes through in the music. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I was feelin some type of way.”

The recently released video features some cinematically shot and trippy footage shot while the rising Hawaii-born, Los Angeles-based artist were on a road trip to visit friends, and as result, it evokes the song’s wistful nostalgia — with a sense of doom just underneath it all. 

“Two summers ago, Casey (Lui Liu) and I drove up the Oregon coast to visit some friends in Seattle,” the Hawaii-born, Los Angeles-based artist explains in press notes. “We documented our drive with the intention of making a music video for a completely different project but the clips didn’t end up working. Nearly a year later, when I had just finished demoing ‘Lately’ from home, Casey decided to mess around with the old footage to the song. She threw up a 20-second clip on Instagram for fun that we pretty much forgot about until the single‘s release this past June. With not much else to do on lock down, we decided to play around one more time. We had all of these random clips of Casey running or kicking sand and I guess I spent 5 minutes filming a flying kite. When we found a way to fit them into the video, it was a really accomplished feeling. We were such different people on that trip and yet, I guess not much has changed. What we ended up with was a visual representation of the moments that make up a great trip.”

New Audio: Rising Bedroom Pop Artist Lionel Boy Releases a Yacht Rock-like New Single

With the release of  critically applauded singles “Summer Fun” and “Lost” earlier this year, the rapidly rising Hawaii-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Lionel Boy quickly received attention for crafting a unique sound that mixes spacey synths and breakbeats with bedroom-produced pop. 

Building upon a growing profile, Boy’s highly anticipated debut EP Who Is Dovey? is slated for a June 26, 2020 release through Innovative Leisure Records. The EP’s third and latest single “Lately” is a slow-burning and breezy, yacht rock-like track featuring twinkling synths, soulful horns, blown out backbeats, shimmering guitar and Boy’s plaintive vocals. But despite its nostalgia-inducing vibes, there’s something much murkier under its placid surface. 

“Last year (2019), we had a week of rain in Long Beach. It was then that I wrote ‘Lately,'” Boy says in press notes. “I just begun learning how to incorporate samples into my songwriting, and ‘Lately’ was the first project I was able to complete doing so. There was gloom, smoke and a feeling of monotony in the air— I think that comes through in the music. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I was feelin some type of way.”

New Video: Long Beach’s O ZORN! Releases a Sludgy, Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

O ZORN! is a Long Beach, CA-based post-sludge trio led by Bill Kielty (vocals, guitar) and currently featuring Danny Walker (drums) and Billy Mud (guitar). Comprised of grizzled vets of Long Beach’s underground scene, the band formed in 2010. And since their formation, the trio have developed a reputation for a sound and songwriting approach that draws from and meshes elements of doom metal, sludge, hardcore and psych rock into a roaring and pummeling sound centered around enormous riffs and fiercely focused angst. 

The Long Beach-based post sludge act’s sophomore album Your Killer is slated for a March 6, 2020 release through Hard Drugs Records and the album, which was recorded at theFoo Fighters’ 606 Studio finds the band crafting the most boldly ambitious, focused and diverse material of their catalog to date. “Casket,” Your Killer’s first single is centered around enormous, power chord-driven riffs, relentless and thunderous drumming, mosh pit friendly hooks and Kielty’s anguished howls. And while bearing a resemblance to Screaming Life/Fopp EP and Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden, Melvinsand others, the song as the band explains “depicts a story of a Marine that survives the Vietnam War against all odds, only to come home and his watch his wife battle cancer. In an ever changing World, now with fewer wars than ever before, the story of ‘Casket’ is a dark reminder that the ‘Rolling Death Machine’ of war is still a haunting memory for those on the battlefield and those at home fighting their own personal hell.” 

The recently released video employs an extremely DIY approach — footage of the band performing the song, shot on two iPhones and a GoPro, with a couple of strobe lights and a fog machine. 

Comprised of Tony Davia, Lou Connor and Lauren Potts, the Long Beach, CA-based indie pop trio Younger Hunger can trace their origins to night of playing Nintendo 64 and drinking milkshakes — and unsurprisingly, the trio’s sound is influenced quite a bit by old video games to further emphasize their material’s themes of nostalgia, young adulthood and its seemingly prerequisite anxiety. Additionally, the band’s sound and approach is influenced by The Teenagers, The Smiths, and MGMT among others.

The Long Beach, CA-based pop trio’s Adam Castilla-produced debut EP is slated for a December 7, 2018 release and the EP’s latest single, the strutting “Dead Inside” is centered around a slinky and sultry hook featuring cowbell, a propulsive bass line, twinkling keys and boom bap-like beats — and while there may be some video game influence, the song to my ears sounds as though it were influenced by The Killers, The Rapture and others, as it’s a radio friendly banger that could rock a club; but underneath the song’s sleekness, the song’s narrator expresses anxiety about love, selling out and not quite knowing what he wants from his life — things that actually are concerns throughout most of our lives. As the band’s Tony Davia explains in press notes, We were all at this party and I was having a bad night. So we all left to go hang out at our studio and play some N64. We ended up jamming and that’s when we wrote the hook over an old cowbell loop. We wanted all of the synth tones to sound like Street Fighter II style arcade sounds to commemorate the night. The whole thing came together really quickly, and it does a good job of representing our EP.”

 

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstays The Coathangers Perform “Hurricane” at Alex’s Bar — Long Beach CA

Over the bulk of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Atlanta, GA punk rock/garage rock band and JOVM mainstays The Coathangers, and as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of Julia Kugel (vocals and guitar), Meredith Franco (bass), and Stephanie Luke (drums) have released a handful of singles, three EPs and five full-length albums during 12 years together — and each album has found the band carefully refining their sound and songwriting approach, while balancing a brash, raw and seemingly spontaneous simplicity with a feral and biting urgency.  Interestingly, the band’s last two efforts 2016’s 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend and 2017’s Parasite EP found the band writing some of the most rousingly anthemic hooks they’ve ever written.

I’ve had the pleasure of catching the Atlanta, GA-based JOVM mainstays twice over the years, and live their set is frenetic and furious, and there’s a palpable sense of love, loyalty and intimacy between the bandmembers that makes their sets feel like an enormous punk rock love fest — and now, the members of The Coathangers have put their live sound to wax, with the release of their first live album, aptly titled Live, slated for a June 1, 2018 release through their longtime label home Suicide Squeeze Records. Now, as you may recall, Live was recorded during a two night stay Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA, and the album’s latest cut is a loose, jammy and feral barn burner-like rendition of “Hurricane.” Much like the live album’s first single “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron,” there’s accompanying live footage that captures the band’s frenetic, high energy live set.

Live Footage: The Coathangers Perform “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron” at Alex’s Bar — Long Beach, CA

Over the bulk of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Atlanta, GA punk rock/garage rock band and JOVM mainstays The Coathangers, and as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of Julia Kugel (vocals and guitar), Meredith Franco (bass), and Stephanie Luke (drums) have released a handful of singles, three EPs and five full-length albums during 12 years together. And with each album has found the band carefully refining their sound and songwriting approach, while retaining a brash, raw and spontaneous simplicity balanced with a feral urgency and biting urgency — although with their last full-length album 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend and 2017’s Parasite EP found the band writing some of the most rousingly anthemic hooks they’ve ever written. 

I’ve had the pleasure of catching the Atlanta, GA-based JOVM mainstays twice over the years, and live their set is frenetic and furious, and there’s a palpable sense of love, loyalty and intimacy between the bandmembers that makes their sets feel like an enormous punk rock love fest — and now, the members of The Coathangers have put their live sound to wax, with the forthcoming release of their first live album, aptly titled Live. 

Slated for a June 1, 2018 release through their longtime label home Suicide Squeeze Records, Live was recorded during a two night stay at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA, and the album’s opening track and first single “Gettin’ Mad and Pumpin’ Iron” off 2009’s Scramble, and the single is a feral and blistering mosh pit friendly barn-burner that clocks in at 91 seconds. Interestingly, along with the recording, the band has released live footage from that show, which accurately captures the energy of their sets. 

Over the better part of the year, you may have come across a handful of posts featuring Holy Wars, the recording project fronted by the Connecticut-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Kat Leon. And a s you may recall, Leon initially developed a reputation for writing material that focused on her obsessions with death and the occult as one-half of the Los Angeles-based indie electro pop act Sad Robot, with Long Beach, CA-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Nick Perez.

With both of her parents suddenly dying within months of one another. Leon plunged into a period of profound grief, and after taking time to grieve, Leon started Holy Wars, largely influenced by what may arguably be some of the darkest days of her life; in fact, Holy Wars in many ways was a way for Leon to extrapolate the tumultuous feeling and thoughts she had during that period and express them creatively — with the release being the critically applauded debut EP Mother earlier this year.

Building upon the buzz of the Mother EP, Leon will be releasing her debut effort Mother Father on November 3, 2017. Naturally, the album is dedicated to both of Leon’s parents — and while the material may be at points dark, moody and heavy, it’s not mean tot be to overly depressing or nihilistic either. And while Mother Father‘s first single “Back to Life” may be among the heaviest singles Leon and company have released to date, as it manages to nod at Tool, A Perfect Circle, Paramore, and others, thanks to enormous power chords paired with propulsive, downtuned bass and stormy drumming; however, much like the preceding singles Holy Wars has released, the slow-burning dirge manages to possess the sort of cathartic, arena friendly hook that you could envision kids lustily shouting along to. But underneath the rousing hooks and catharsis is an adult angst, full of the bitter recognition that death is an inconsolable and permanent parting, of which you have to figure out a way to move forward without your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Visceral Where the Wild Things Are-Inspired Visuals for Holy Wars’ Latest Single “Orphan”

Arguably best known as one half of  Los Angeles, CA-based indie electro pop act Sad Robot, with Long Beach, CA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentalist Nick Perez, Connecticut-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Kat Leon developed a reputation for material that focused on her obsessions with death and the occult. With both of her parents suddenly dying within months of one another, Leon was plunged into a period of profound and heartbreaking grief. And after taking some necessary time to grieve, Leon began her latest, solo recording project Holy Wars, influenced by what may have been some of the darkest days of her life to date; in fact, the project in many ways to her is a way to extrapolate the tumultuous feelings and thoughts she had felt and thought during that period — with the result being her Holy Wars debut, double EP Mother, which will released at the end of this month and Father, which is slated for release later on this summer. Of course, both EPs are dedicated to her respective parents and while being dark and at points foreboding, the material isn’t completely nihilistic; in fact, Mother‘s first single “I Can’t Feel A Thing”is a cathartic release, rooted around an anthemic arena rock-like sound reminiscent of Paramore —but with profoundly adult angst, from the recognition that death is a permanent and inconsolable loss, a wound that can never really be healed, and that the only thing anyone can do is figure out a way to move forward.

Mother‘s second single “Orphan” is a slower burning, mid-tempo track that focuses on what may be the darkest, saddest and yet most true aspect of life: that everyone you ever know and love will one day die, and the survivors reeling from inconsolable loss have to piece together their lives, and with her backing band, Leon pairs that sentiment with a stormy and forceful arrangement within a 90s alt rock structure — quiet verses, stormy and loud choruses; however, much like “I Can’t Feel A Thing,” the song isn’t completely negative. Yes, it’s a weary acceptance but within that acceptance is a paradoxical vulnerability and strength.

Based on a concept by Katherine Pawlak and directed by Jeremy Cordy, the recently released visuals for “Orphan” is seemingly influenced by Where The Wild Things Are, Peter Pan, and The Lost Boys as Leon leads a troupe of orphans, who she ultimately gives a voice to express themselves. And much like the video for “I Can’t Feel A Thing,” the visuals are gorgeously, cinematically shot and incredibly visceral. 

Arguably best known as one half of  Los Angeles, CA-based indie electro pop act Sad Robot, with Long Beach, CA-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentalist Nick Perez, Connecticut-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Kat Leon developed a reputation for material that focused on her obsessions with death and the occult. With both of her parents suddenly dying within months of one another, Leon was plunged into a period of profound and heartbreaking grief. And after taking some necessary time to grieve, Leon began her latest, solo recording project Holy Wars, influenced by what may have been some of the darkest days of her life to date; in fact, the project in many ways to her is a way to extrapolate the tumultuous feelings and thoughts she had felt and thought during that period — with the result being her Holy Wars debut, double EP Mother, which will released at the end of this month and Father, which is slated for release later on this summer. Of course, both EPs are dedicated to her respective parents and while being dark and at points foreboding, the material isn’t completely nihilistic; in fact, Mother‘s first single “I Can’t Feel A Thing” is a cathartic release, rooted around an anthemic arena rock-like sound reminiscent of Paramore —but with profoundly adult angst, from the recognition that death is a permanent and inconsolable loss, a wound that can never really be healed, and that the only thing anyone can do is figure out a way to move forward.

Mother‘s second single “Orphan” is a slower burning, mid-tempo track that focuses on what may be the darkest, saddest and yet most true aspect of life: that everyone you ever know and love will one day die, and the survivors reeling from inconsolable loss have to piece together their lives, and with her backing band, Leon pairs that sentiment with a stormy and forceful arrangement within a 90s alt rock structure — quiet verses, stormy and loud choruses; however, much like “I Can’t Feel A Thing,” the song isn’t completely negative. Yes, it’s a weary acceptance but within that acceptance is a paradoxical vulnerability and strength.