They’ve been one of my favorite LA bands pretty much since the moment they stepped on the scene and now Chicano Batman performs a sold-out show this Friday at the El Rey! It’s been fantastic to watch the band’s star rise solely by virtue of their distinctive blend of EastLos Soul and Tropicalia tinged Psychedelia. Of late the band has been in the studio working on new tracks and are likely to debut a number of new songs at the show Friday. If you want to go courtesy of Melting Pot, make sure to e-mail me by 3pm Wednesday August 26th at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com!!!
2015 has been quite a year for the band, a tour with Jack White and an appearance at Coachella, where this video was shot of “Itotiani”:
The video for the song “Cycles Of Existential Rhyme” was filmed in DTLA, primarily at La Cita, where Chicano Batman has played more than a few shows:
Finally, here is “Black Lipstick,” the latest song from the band, who seem just about ready to bless us with a new release:
Another dynamite show and another dynamite giveaway for you readers and listeners of Melting Pot. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Chef Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, released August 1, 1995. To celebrate the principal voices on the album Raekwon and Ghostface Killah are doing a nationwide tour that culminates with a final show here in Los Angeles. This show might be even more special since there’s a chance that Adrian Younge and/or Bad Bad Not Good might join the MCs on stage, since both outfits will be in town. Not to be missed. If you want a chance to see the show, make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com before Monday at 5pm, which will be when I pick the winner.
Hearing the production from this album still sends chills down my spine, with “Criminology” perhaps being my favorite track on the album:
Here Raekwon & Ghostface perform “Criminology” in Chicago during one of the early stops of this anniversary tour:
Founded in 2006, Low End Theory has been a safe-haven for forward thinking beat driven artists and listeners here in Los Angeles. The night has proved to be an incubator for some of the finest instrumental music of the 21st century, with residents Gaslamp Killer, Nobody, D-Styles, Nocando and Daddy Kev, along with frequent guests Flying Lotus, Teebs, Daedulus and Thundercat. This weekend almost all of the many DJs, producers and musicians associated with this scene will performing at the 2nd annual Low End Theory festival, this time at the Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds this Saturday August 8th. You and a guest can bear witness to what should truly be an experience if win this giveaway. Make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 5pm Thursday, August 6th, for your chance to win!
In recent years, Flying Lotus has really added a significantly more theatrical element to his live shows, as this video from a show at the Wiltern can attest to:
Not sure if Gaslamp Killer will “just” be doing a DJ set, or it will be the full-on GLK Experience, but no matter, any performance is not to be missed from this man. Here’s a little video from his show at Grand Performances earlier in the Summer:
Aside from Gaslamp Killer and FlyLo, I think I’m most excited to see what Thundercat has cooked up for this special night, here’s a clip from a performance a couple years ago here in LA:
Finally, here are some highlights from last year’s festival, which was held at the Echoplex:
It’s hard not to think of Desert Daze as the “Anti-Coachella,” since the daylong fest embodies everything that Coachella does not in it’s current form. Desert Daze provides a truly diverse, multi-genre, independent array of talent for your listening pleasure, spread out throughout a single day, this year featuring Warpaint, The Budos Band, Minus the Bear (performing “They Make Beer Commercials Like This” start to finish), RJD2, Chelsea Wolfe, Carlos Nino & Friends and about 30 other acts. If you’d like a chance to escape LA for a day and see all of this music for free, make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com before 5pm on Thursday.
Headlining the fest will be Los Angeles’ very own Warpaint, and there probably isn’t a better band to see under the stars in the cool desert night:
The Budos Band’s heavy and dark sounds ought to lend themselves nicely to the Desert Daze stage as well:
Chelsea Wolfe is another artist whose sound is just built for the night, wide open spaces and starry skies:
Quite possibly the only good thing about Coachella is that there always seems to be a beloved band from the 1980s or 1990s that returns to the stage for the festival. Even better, these bands often play shows in the LA area in the weeks around Coachella. This year that band is Ride, one of the crown jewels of the British shoegaze movement (such that it was a movement), and certainly one of my favorite bands from that period of time (along with Swervedriver, of course). Ride will be playing a “localchella” show here in LA on Wednesday April 8th, if you’d like to attend courtesy of Melting Pot, e-mail me TODAY (April 6th) via michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 5pm!!!
I think “Leave Them All Behind” might have been the first song that I heard that I associated with Shoegaze and it’s still an epic listening experience, full of all the things that make Ride special.
Hearing Ride’s version of “How Does It Feel To Feel” eventually led me to discover the Creation, who recorded the original. I love both versions, but Ride’s version has a bit more of the hazy lazy to it that I do adore.
The next to last album from Ride produced my favorite song from the band, Birdman. While I can’t be sure, I feel like there’s a likely influence from McDonald & Giles song of the same title, though the sound is very different between the two songs. I’ve always loved the opening, perhaps my favorite intro of the 1990s.
To say that I was overjoyed would be a massive understatement, when word came out that Swervedriver was not only reformed, but here in 2015 would release a brand new album of brand new material AND tour the US! Swervedriver for me was the crown jewel of the “shoegazer” sound out of the UK, with a sterling emphasis on quality of sound perhaps best exemplified in the swirling twin guitars of Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge and the propulsive beat of the many, many drummers associated with the group. This week the band will land here in Los Angeles on March 5th, for one of their earliest shows here in the states at the venerable Roxy. If you’d like to see this band, and get lost in the sound, make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com before 5pm Wednesday, March 4th for a chance to win.
My first experience with the band was watching this video, jaw agape in shock, on a recording of 120 minutes back in the early 1990s. No other song compares to the thrill of driving on a clean stretch of highway to this song:
Here the band performs “Deep Wound,” the song that would eventually be the first single from their latest release, I Wasn’t Born To Lose You, from a recent performance at KEXP. This gives you a sense of what you’ll experience on Thursday if you make it to the show:
While the first single from the new album gave us the impression the band was focused on a tough “Mustang Ford” return, the second single, “Setting Sun” gives a better representation of the sound of the current band. A song that could have easily found it’s way onto any of the other previous albums from the band, representative of the classic sound and many joys of Adam Franklin’s songwriting, singing and playing:
Earlier in the year Josh Haden and his group Spain released their fifth studio album, Sargent Place, overseas and this week the album received a stateside release via Dine Alone records. Though 2012’s The Soul of Spain marked the bands return after a decade long absence, in some ways Sargent Place should be considered the proper return of the band. I say this primarily because the vast majority of the songs on this album were written by the group in the run up to recording and changed form in the process of recording the album.
Spain will be playing a free show tomorrow at Amoeba Hollywood at 6pm and in connection with that we’ve been given a few copies of the new album, signed by Josh Haden, to give to readers of the blog. E-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com if you want a chacne to enter into the giveaway. I’ll be choosing winners on Friday, November 7th!
Of the many noteworthy songs on Sargent Place (including “You and I” which features the final recording of Charlie Haden, the legendary father of bass player/vocalist Josh Haden), one of the most beautiful is surely “The Fighter,” featuring strings and harmony vocals from Haden’s sister Petra.
The band has even released a rare video for this album, for the lead track, “Love At First Sight”:
One of my favorite indie-pop outfits from outside of the States, Allo Darlin’, is gracing us with a rare show this Thursday over at the Echo! Featuring Aussie Elizabeth Morris on the lead vocals, guitar and electric ukulele, the band released one of my absolute favorite late Summer songs a few years ago and are just about to release (like tomorrow!) their latest record, We Come From The Same Place, once again for Oakland’s Slumberland label. If you want to see them courtesy of Melting Pot, drop me a line to michael[at]meltingpotblog.com before 5pm, Wednesday October 22nd.
Here’s the first single from their new record, “Bright Eyes,” a vocal duet, back and forth kind of song that is beyond infectious:
I’d hoped to bring the band in to record a session at KPFK, especially since they’re not likely to be around again for several years, but instead, we’ll have to make do with this session at KEXP from 2012:
I’ve posted it before, but there’s no reason not to post it again, here’s one of the greatest end of summer songs I’ve ever heard, “Tallulah,” featuring Elizabeth Morris’ lovely voice and unique accent (Australian with a little British and something else mixed together) along with a bit uke strumming along:
This one is a bit last minute as a extra pair opened up…Mark Kozelek/Sun Kil Moon will be performing here in LA on Thursday, October 9th at the Fonda Theatre. Most people know Kozelek, by name or by sound, as the main force behind the much beloved Red House Painters. For more than a few years now he’s recorded music under the moniker Sun Kil Moon that remains connected to his past work, but also presents elements that were only hinted at with his prior band. Of late he’s especially grown fond of playing an Acoustic nylon string guitar and the results have been beautiful, particularly on 2010’s Admiral Fell Promises. Benji, his most recent release, includes some of the most personal songwriting of his career, and it’s likely that this show will feature mostly songs from that album, but who knows. With a body of work as rich and varied as Kozelek’s there’s no telling which songs he’ll perform or what mood he’ll be in. I’m sure it will be a night to remember, and if you’d like to go courtesy of Melting Pot, send me an e-mail at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 5pm today for a chance to win!
Not sure if tomorrow’s show will be a solo one or he’ll have a band backing him up, but either way the results are extraordinary. Here’s Sun Kil Moon with a full band back Kozelek, for the song “Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes,” from the most recent album Benji:
I very rarely will feature a cellphone video on this site, but I highlight this one, because “Church Of The Pines” is one of my favorite recent songs from Sun Kil Moon, and also to showcase just how extraordinary Kozelek sounds when he performs solo:
I’d heard they’d broken up, that we’d seen the last of King Khan & the BBQ show, but clearly those accounts were greatly exaggerated cause they’ll be playing here in Los Angeles on Tuesday October 7th at the El Rey. In contrast to the expansive sonic fury when he’s backed by his 10 piece (at least) band the Shrines, Khan’s work with BBQ show is stripped down and bone raw. BBQ Show would be a draw just by himself, with his one-man band percussion set-up, jangly guitars and vocals, but you add in King Khan and it ups the intensity and insanity levels far past 11. If you’d like to see them courtesy of Melting Pot, make sure to send me an e-mail to michael[at]meltingpotblog.com before 5pm on Monday, October 6th!
Just as an introduction to the sound of King Khan & the BBQ Show, here’s their video for the song “Fish Fry”:
And for a better idea of what’s in store for you if you go to the show, I think this video just about sums it up:
On Thursday, October 2nd, one of the most respected underground rappers in the game right now will be here in LA performing at the Troubadour. Brother Ali returns to our city to perform here at the start of 30+ date tour of the US and Canada…if you’d like to see him courtesy of Melting Pot, send an e-mail to michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 5pm, Wednesday October 1st!
Here’s an example of what’s potentially in store for you, from a live performance that Ali did on the radio station KEXP with a full band:
Here’s the video for one of my favorite songs from Brother Ali…2012’s “Mourning In America”:
The Sonics, one of the most influential garage bands of all-time, will be performing here in Los Angeles at the Roxy this Friday night, August 15th!!! The Sonics were one of several bands that put the Pacific Northwest sound on the map back in the early 1960s. They set themselves apart because of the raw energy and power of their performances. It’s not hyperbole to saw that whole scenes of music and legendary bands like the Gories or the Cramps might not have even been formed without the music of this band. Having reformed a few years ago, with original members Gerry Roslie (keys/vox), Larry Parypa (guitar) and Rob Lind (sax), even though the boys are now well into past their 60s, they’ve lost none of their verve and fire. If you’d like to go courtesy of Melting Pot, make sure to e-mail me by 5pm on Thursday, August 14th at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com!
I’m not sure there’s a greater song from this period of time than “Strychnine,” certainly it features some of the greatest opening lyrics of all-time:
Baby…you driving me crazy!:
Now if you’re not convinced that you should see this band here in 2014, just take a gander at this video, recorded earlier in the year:
Bass virtuoso Charnett Moffett is coming into LA for two shows at the Catalina Jazz Club this Friday and Saturday, July 11th and 12th! I’ve never seen a more dynamic and awe-inspiring bass player as Charnett Moffett, he may very well be the best bassist to emerge post-Mingus and post-Haden. Raised up in the musical Moffett household and named “Charnett” by his father, drummer Charles Moffett, as a tribute to Ornette Coleman, the man has been thrilling audiences since his emergence as a teenager in the Moffett family band. Since then he’s played with all of the big names of the past 30 years, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock just to name a few. Last year he released two albums on Motema Music and these shows will showcase his “Spirit Of Sound” trio. If you’d like to see Charnett Moffett perform live (and believe me YOU DO) at Catalina’s Jazz Club on Saturday July 12th, make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 12noon on Friday!!!
Here’s Charnett performing a song from one of the two albums he released in 2013, “The Bridge,” on solo bass:
This one is from a few years ago, but showcases the dynamic style of Moffett, on both upright and electric bass, watching him perform it just doesn’t seem possible for one human’s hands to move that fast:
Though they were obscured for over 20+ years, the proto-punk Death, thanks to reissues from Drag City and an ace documentary called “A Band Called Death” have rightly taken their place amongst the iconic bands of Detroit Rock City, including the Stooges and the MC5. The Hackney brothers have been performing together for the last several years and their sound has lost none of its potency from the 1970s, as you’ll find out when they perform here in LA at the Roxy on July 3rd. If you’d like to see Death, courtesy of Melting Pot, make sure to e-mail me at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by Wednesday, July 2nd at 12noon!!!
If you haven’t seen the documentary yet…what are you waiting for!
Here’s one of my faves from the groups original EP from 1974:
And here’s a taste of what you’ll get when you see them live here in 2014, this one recorded at the 2013 Afropunk Festival:
Will Holland aka Quantic is a true artist, a master DJ and master musician. His explorations through his many recordings (with the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Flowering Infero and Ondatropica, to name just a few) and as a compiler (The Panama collections on Soundway are required material) have almost single-handedly shifted many DJs, collectors and listeners to dig deeper into the sounds of Latin America. He’ll be here in Los Angeles bringing his unique blend of funk, cumbia, reggae and so much more to the Roxy on June 25th! If you want a chance to go courtesy of Melting Pot, e-mail at michael[at]meltingpotblog.com by 5pm on Tuesday June 24th!
Here’s Quantic performing with a relatively small combo earlier in the year:
And here’s some older footage of Quantic with a larger group perforiming “Descarga”:
Here’s also the video for one of the newer songs, “Duvido” from Holland’s latest release, Magnetica on long time label Tru Thoughts: