Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Parson Red Heads at Spaceland

The onslaught of Monday residencies in January continued with a lot of difficult decisions to make. I had to opt for The Parson Red Heads. The deck was stacked high with support from Everest, the Mezzanine Owls, and Light FM.

I have a problem with Everest. They are too good. If Everest takes off, what will happen to the other stellar bands they play in? Davey Latter (Drums) is an integral part of Great Northern with his rock solid drumming. Jason Soda(Guitars) and Russ Pollard(Guitars/Vocals) help make the Watson Twins one of the more underrated bands on the Los Angeles scene. I won't even start about Rob Douglas and Joel Graves and their contributions to Earlimart. Everest is not far from The Watson Twins with their endearing alternative country roots. "The Trees" is one such polished gem in their arsenal with its propulsive guitar riff with acoustic countermelody. "Rebels In The Roses" is another quiet acoustic spun jam that places you on a back porch during a hot summer day with a large glass of lemonade. I was also envious of Jason Soda's Fulltone Tube Tape Echo and extraodinary guitar playing skills. I will catch them again with the Radar Bros. next week.

Mezzanine Owls have had my attention ever since I caught them at Little Radio during Summer Camp. Jax is lucky to be releasing their new EP which features "Snowglobe" and "Ghost Ship". Since I have seen the Mezzanine Owls five times previously, I can testify that this was their best show yet. The new songs were louder, faster and played with strong conviction. Jonathan Zeitlin (Guitars) was abusing his tremelo arm that it popped out. Jonathan was undeterred as he banged on his guitar even harder. I highly recommend you go to their myspace page and check out "Snow Globe". It has all the essential ingredients in all the right places. The song opens with a Korg MS2000 shower of sound mixed with a thumping bass line coupled with a soaring guitar line blended to perfection with Jack Burnside's vocals. I hope the world is ready for the flight of the Mezzanine Owls.

The Parson Red Heads have gained momentum since I last caught them in September of 2007. Their album "King Giraffe" finished on a number of "Best of" local releases in 2007 and landing a Spaceland residency is a good way to start your year. It was difficult to track them again with their massive stage presence but the music is still the focus point as they produce a lost chapter of Sixties inspired sunshine pop seasoned with kick of country. If you attend a Parson Red Heads show expect a lot of clapping, tambourine shaking and a good time.

Light FM came out throwing punches. "16 Below" immediately grabs your attention with its propulsive bass line and siren like guitars. Josiah Mazzaschi (Guitars/Vocals) had a perfect blend of distortion and overdrive coming out of his Gibson SG. Josiah's use of octaves and occasional use of the Wah pedal reminded me a tad bit of Ned's Atomic Dustbin. "Save The Drama" played like a cross between the Rentals and Weezer with its swirling synth action and crunchy guitars pinned with a tight song structure. "Switchboard Control" was a showcase for Kim Haden (Synths) an she dialed up some synthesizer goodness on her Korg MS2000. Light FM plays with the Pity Party on February 4th for a super stacked line up with The Happy Hollows and Rademacher at Spaceland. It looks like February residencies will be bustling.

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