Showing posts with label Everest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Everest. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2008

Everest and Henry Clay People at the Echoplex

It was an impressive turnout for the reboot of Indie 103.1's Check One.Twosdays at the Echoplex last week with Earlimart and the Afternoons. This week boasted another strong assortment of bands with Nico Stai, The Henry Clay People, Everest and Dazzler.

Nico Stai

After a prolonged soundcheck, The Echoplex opened nearly thirty minutes late to throw off the evening's festivities. Luckily, it didn't take too long for before Nico Stai hit the stage. It has been quite awhile since I saw Nico Stai earlier this year at the Paul Gleason Theater. The Victory Of Miss Friday How To Bury Your Heart and Five Songs To Die For is the longest titled EP of the year and contains five songs.

The weathered jangle of "You Came Around" filled the Echoplex, as Nico seemed more comfortable with his full backing band compared to his stripped down performance at the Paul Gleason Theater. "Covered Too" was another propulsive guitar jangle jam accented with Nico's smokey vocals. Nico Stai will be opening for the Movies during their Spaceland Residency on December 15th.

The Henry Clay People

I regretted not attending the Spaceland record release party for The Henry Clay People. One can almost smell the whiskey in the air that permeates from their new album For Cheap or For Free released by Aquarium Drunkard's record label Autumn Tone.

My prior reviews of The Henry Clay People at Little Radio, The Echo and the Prospector were alcohol fueled furies. Realizing that they were heading down the fast path to cirrhosis, The Henry Clay People played a sobering set that demonstrated how well their songs are carefully crafted.

The ragged guitars of "Rock and Roll has Lost Its Teeth" had plenty of bite as the Henry Clay People delivered a large helping of boozy rock. Joey Siara (Vocals/Guitars) was switching between two homemade Fender Telecaster shaped guitars while Andy Siara (Guitars) was in full rock twang mode on his Fender Telecaster.

"This Ain't A Scene" had Andy coming up with the bluesy metal slide riff, as the song could easy fit on a Tom Petty record. An extra speedy version of "Working Part Time" convinced me that the Henry Clay People need to be packaged on a national tour to take their message to the masses. The Henry Clay People will join up with the Pity Party for a New Year's Eve show at Spaceland that is guaranteed to start your 2009 on the right foot.


It might be an understatement to say that Everest has had a whirlwind year. Their year started quietly by opening up for The Parson Red Heads during their residency at Spaceland. Everest would later open for the Radar Bros at the Echo in February. I also caught their prior appearance during a Check One Two show at the Viper Room in May. Everest would later tour with My Morning Jacket and Neil Young.

Ghost Notes will be criminally overlooked on many best of lists for 2008. An animated backdrop of falling snow juxtaposed the warm guitar tones of "Stumble Waltz". Jason Soda had a drool worthy twelve string Epiphone hollowbody guitar that cemented their way of sound. The soft twang of "Trees" was hypnotizing, as Russell Pollard (Vocals/Guitars) seemed to be happy to be playing in front of a hometown audience. Everest was extremely well rehearsed and worthy of their opening slot for Neil Young.

It was a nice surprise to see the Watson Twins assist Everest as Jason and Russell used to perform in their band. There is a reason why "Rebels and The Roses" has 62,000 plays and counting. Your extra credit homework assignment is to give it listen, preferably with headphones. Everest will be playing the El Rey Theatre with Delta Spirit on January 16th and I suggest you get your tickets soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Film School and Everest at the Viper Room

The pairing of Film School and Everest at the Viper Room proved to be to good to pass up as I have reviewed both multiple times. Both bands are located far apart on the sonic spectrum but therein lies the beauty of the Monday Night Indie 103.1 sponsored Check One.Two.. curated shows.


Castaneda fired up the crowd and their synthesizers with their dark wave influenced pop rock. "Pixels" was the first tune they offered that was propelled by their drummer who was rocking out with a full knee brace on. I don't think the doctor recommended he bash the drums for rehab but he was unfettered as the guitars diced the airwaves. Rob (Synthesizers) had a Korg MS2000 stacked on top of a Roland Juno as he washed the audience with various synthesizer patches. "Perfect & Pretty" was another good mesh of atmospheric synthesizers laden with hazy guitars centered around the crisp vocals of Vega (Guitars/Vocals). Your next chance to see Castaneda will be at Spaceland with Gran Ronde on May 27th.


It seems like only yesterday that I reviewed Everest at the Spaceland opening for the Parson Red Heads. A lot has happened since this time as their debut album Ghost Notes has hit the streets on Neil Young's Vapor Records. Everest had a lot to celebrate as it happened to be a birthday celebration for Joel Graves (Guitars) complete with a cake brought out from the crowd. I feel vindicated for mentioning in prior reviews of Everest of the guitar wizardry of Jason Soda as he nailed a solo during the show that garnered a huge ovation from the crowd and a wide grin of approval from Russ Pollard (Vocals/Guitars). "Into Your Soft Heart" and "Rebels in The Roses" were well received by the crowd as the Viper Room was packed to the gills. Everest will be back at Spaceland on June 16 opening for the Afternoons and I highly recommend this bill as it may be the last chance to see Everest for free.

Film School

What can I say about Film School? I have covered them numerous times and honestly never get sick of seeing them live. Film School had just drove in from Colorado as they were wrapping up their cross country tour with British Sea Power. I know I mentioned how sharp they are live and they continue to add new elements to their live show. "Sick Hipster Nursed By Suicide Girl" wrapped the audience in a fog of noise as the lights were out in the Viper Room. Greg Bertens (Guitars/Vocals) continues to surprise me with his dynamic stage presence as he was literally scraping the paint off the Viper Room walls with his Fender guitar. Greg even handed his guitar to an audience member as he violently tweaked his pedals for a storm of feedback. Film School will be back on tour opening for the mighty Swervedriver at the Henry Fonda on May 31st. I can't wait to hear Film School on the Fonda house system. Bring your earplugs.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Radar Bros at the Echo

The Radar Bros closed out their Monday night residency in grand style at the Echo with a super stacked line up of Everest, Brian Aubert and Adeline. The Radar Bros were celebrating the release of their latest album "Auditorium".


Russ Pollard and Jim Fairchild from All Smiles

Everest impressed me when I reviewed their show at Spaceland when they opened for the Parson Red Heads. The Echo was decidedly more occupied when Everest took to the stage. Everest upped the ante and turned in a markedly tighter set. "Into Your Soft Heart" had a sharp edge with Jason Soda (Guitars/Keys) adding Rhodes keyboards to the syncopated guitar riffs of Joel Graves (Guitars) and Russ Pollard (Vocals/Guitars). I was on Jason's side during the Spaceland show and was impressed by his guitar work. I opted for Joel's side during this show and was equally impressed. Joel also had a massive pedal board that he effectively used for some different overdrives and textures. The highlight of their stellar set was Jim Fairchild of All Smiles took a guest turn armed with an acoustic guitar. Jim doesn't need any introduction due to his contributions to Grandaddy. I remember going to two nights in a row at the Wiltern to see Pete Yorn, Grandaddy and Year of the Rabbit in 2003 and having my mind blown. Everest will be playing at Boardner's on Feb 19th which I recommend you attend before they start playing larger venues. Everest may be a Spaceland residency away from bigger things.

Brian Aubert from the Silversun Pickups

"Carnavas" was my favorite album of 2006. When I caught wind that Brian Aubert would be doing an acoustic set, I thought it would be based on some solo material. It turns out it was a fierce rendition of the well known Silversun Pickups tunes. I originally caught an acoustic set from Brian back in December of 2006 at Fingerprints records that I reviewed here. I can honestly say that his Echo performance was astounding. "Well Thought Out Twinkles" was the first song that Brian tackled as he managed to make the song sound full without the waves of fuzz that normally accompanies the tune. "Rusted Wheel" was next on the docket and was performed flawlessly. Nikki Monninger (Bass/Vocals) soon appeared to lend her vocal talents on "Kissing Families". Irony was in the air as they covered "Creation Lake" from The Movies as some of the band members from The Movies looked on. "Big Time Sensuality" translated very well into an acoustic based song as Brian played very softly during some parts of the song. "Common Reactor" is easily my favorite song from "Carnavas" and was outstanding as Brian explained they were going for a John Hughes film vibe that I think they managed to capture with lyrics of "a colorless picture in a heart shaped frame". Jim Putnam from the Radar Bros would help Brian cap his set with a duet of "You And The Father". Did I mention this show was free? I felt I needed to pay someone at this point.

Brian Aubert from the Silversun Pickups setlist at the Echo (1/28/08)
"Well Thought Out Twinkles"
"Rusted Wheel"
"Kissing Families"
"Creation Lake"
"Future Foe Scenarios"
"Big Time Sensuality" (Bjork Cover)
"Lazy Eye"
"Common Reactor"
"Shadowplay" (Joy Division Cover)
"You And The Father" (Radar Bros)

Radar Bros

Radar Bros have a rich history with Jim Putnam (Guitars/Vocals) being a founding member of Medicine. "Auditorium" continues their enrich the sonic territory that they have covered with songs like "Hearts Of Crows". Radar Bros don't wallop you over the head with sound but instead take the softer is louder approach of rocking you softly. It was easy to close your eyes and let the music take control as you gently swayed or taped your foot in time with the music. Radar Bros would fit nicely along side of your Grandaddy albums. "Papillon" was a crowd favorite as Jim gently strummed through the song. I have been to a lot of shows at the Echo and can state that I have never witnessed a two song encore during a residency on a Monday. The Radar Bros will be playing the Orange County Museum of Art on February 21st in which I plan on doing a double show review when I bolt down to the Detroit Bar to catch The Album Leaf for a night cap.


Adeline came on stage sometime after 1:00 a.m. and it seemed like the Echo consisted of local band members and myself at this point. Adeline is another local super group consisting of members from The Movies, Le Switch, and the Radar Bros. When do these people get the time to practice and write? I forgot that they are extremely talented and manage to find time. Adeline (Vocals/Guitar) immediately reminded me of Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star as she started singing "Where The Bees Don't Bite". Jim Putnam (Bass) and Aaron Kyle (Guitars) provided the all star rhythm section as Brian Cleary (Keyboards) added the atmosphere via his Kurzweil keyboard with drum shuffling courtesy of Stevie Treichel (Drums). Adeline could easily make it on the Everest fast track if they keep playing around town. I only wish more people could have witnessed the magic on stage.

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.