Showing posts with label The Happy Hollows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Happy Hollows. Show all posts

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bloodcat Love and The Happy Hollows at the Detroit Bar

Bloodcat Love has been on my radar dating back to October 2006 when I saw them open for Jet at the House of Blues in Anaheim. When I saw the flyer announcing a Bloodcat Love residency at the Detroit Bar, I knew were I would be spending my Monday nights for the month of July.

The Happy Hollows

Are you a card-carrying member of "The Hollowbodies"? The Hollowbodies are a burgeoning collective of dedicated Happy Hollows fans that attend multiple shows. I would like to think I qualify, as this was my fifth time catching the Happy Hollows. They played an astonishing set at Spaceland during the Afternoons residency. "Meteors" had jangly guitars shower the room as Sarah Negahdari dipped into her vast array of stage moves. "Flower Children" is an explosive jam that borders on punk rock with a Happy Hollow twist and space age keyboards. Another unreleased tune "Shark" was caffeine fueled varying time signature romp that had Sarah blow me away with a batch of guitar harmonics reminiscent of Burning Airlines. "Colors" had the requisite tambourine toss mid song as the band was roaring in overdrive. "My Wet Tongue" and "Lieutenant" was worked into the set before they closed it out with a blazing version of "Monster Room". The Happy Hollows will be dropping by the Prospector on July 19th with the Transmissions and Forcefield On.

Bloodcat Love

It is hard to fully appreciate Bloodcat Love until you have seen them live. Only Dreamers Left Alive is their debut EP and delivers the soundtrack to a high-speed car chase from the era of Kojak. Myles Hendrick (Vocals) is a compelling performer who sweats out his soul on the stage. After a few members shake ups, Bloodcat Love looks primed and ready to take on the world with their dirty martini secret agent rock tunes. The bass drum started to thump followed by a grooving bass line as "Dirty White Fingernails" kicked off their set. The dueling guitars of a Fender Jazzmaster and a Fender Telecaster seared the ears of the audience as Myles was frantically dancing and moving around the stage. "Get Me Out of Here" continued the furious pace as the crowd from the Detroit Bar had started to move in closer to check out all the action. "Yeah Yeah Sweet" starts off as a mid paced number before it burns into overdrive during the fiery chorus. "I Promised You A Lie" was a new tune that they debuted to the crowd that showed they have quite a few musical tricks in their bag. The cowbell never gets old as they bolted through the infectious melodies of "The Fever". I try to make it to a number of different residencies in the course of the month but I need another fix of Bloodcat Love on July 21st with Rumspringa.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Afternoons at Spaceland

I was flattered when Spaceland took my review of The Afternoons to promote their Monday residency at Spaceland. I was hearing reports that the Afternoons had packed Spaceland every week. I can confirm Spaceland was packed on this particular night.

The Boxing Lesson

The Boxing Lesson are space rock purveyors hailing from Austin, Texas. They were an intriguing trio with just guitars, keyboards and drums. Paul Waclawsky (Vocals, Guitars) had a Fender Jazzmaster dialed into his Roland Space Echo with a bizarre Triwave 4ms pedal in his signal chain. Paul's guitar tone would switch from light breeze to Texas tornado as he had a wide spectrum of frequencies to cover since they don't have a bassist. Jaylinn Davidson (Synthesizers) would not be outdone by Paul as she had a Korg MS2000, Novation keyboard and a MiniMoog Voyager. Jaylinn had her left hand on the Moog playing bass lines while using her right hand for atmospheric pads, and leads. The Boxing Lesson played a majority of songs from their new album Wild Streaks & Windy Days. "Dark Side Of The Moog" had hints of Failure, The Album Leaf and Airiel as the band soared through different galaxies with dense melodies. It was good to see Texas representing with some space rock.

The Happy Hollows

Was this The Happy Hollows Spaceland residency? No, but The Happy Hollows played liked it. The room was nearing maximum capacity as the Happy Hollows blazed through a set that was peppered with new and old songs. Some of the new songs such as "Labyrinth" and "Shark" were atypically typical tunes that whetted my appetite for a new album from the Happy Hollows. "Colors" was a crowd favorite as all band members chanted the various colors named off in the song. Sarah Negahdari gives Juliana Hatfield a run for her money as she wielded her Gibson SG like a battle axe. It is up for debate if the band is trying to keep up with Chris Meanie (Drums/Vocals) or if he is trying to keep up with them. Charlie (Bass/Vocals) crushed his vocals on "Delorean" to slam dunk the ending of their ferocious set. I see many big things ahead for the Happy Hollows once they release their next album if the thunderous applause and chants for an encore are any indication at the end of their set. I am excited to see them again in a few days with Bloodcat Love at the Detroit Bar on July 7th.


I got a feeling watching Airborne Toxic Event at Spaceland that they were going to break out into the national scene. The Airborne Toxic Event were playing as if their life depended on it. I got this feeling once again after watching Afternoons demolish the stage at Spaceland. Afternoons charged right out of the gates with "Love Is A Western Word". Claire Mckeon (Vocals) voice crosses over into Theremin territory with its astounding vibrato. Afternoons mastery of the guitar jangle was evident during "The Intervention of Daniel Fields". The gentlemen of Afternoons have intently studied the playbook of Johnny Marr and John Squire. "Say Yes" rivals Arcade Fire in intensity of performance as some members of the Silversun Pickups assisted by banging on some drums. I also have to mention the multiple keyboards on stage including an Arp String Ensemble. "Line Em Up" had Claire's haunting background vocals meshed against interweaving guitars and bashing drums. The Afternoons will be opening for Tokyo Police Club at the Hammer Museum on July 24th. Tokyo Police Club better bring their "A" game or Afternoons are going to steal the show.

The Movies

The late night slot at Spaceland can often have some people make their way to the exit. This was not the case for The Movies. It is hard to believe I haven't seen the Movies since February 2007 at the Echo. Timothy James (Vocals) is a natural born front man that commands your attention. Sporadic jumps, a cadre of bizarre faces and jerky moves are some of the many tricks in Timothy's arsenal. Jessica (Bass) seemed to have lost herself in her performance as she pounded on her Danelectro bass. Brian Cleary (Keyboards) has augmented his Kurzweil keyboard with another Yamaha keyboard as he pulled out a variety of intriguing patches to go with their quirky songs. "Rock In The Slingshot" welcomed the audience into the bizarre indie rock of The Movies. "Nam" was just as hilarious as I remembered it, but even better in the dynamics department. The stuttering keyboards of "Missed Opportunities" played like a call to arms as the song could actually be used in a motion picture. Based On A True Story is The Movies soon to be released album that may prove to be too smart for the average listener. I also need to check out some of their side projects Tables and Chairs and Very as well as helping out Adeline and the Philistines.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Happy Hollows at the Echo

Charlie circa Viper Room

The Happy Hollows impressed me with their performance at the Viper Room. I was determined to check them out again so I stopped by the Echo on Friday night. The Happy Hallows had some competition on Friday night as Club Underground was playing some stunning video footage of one of my favorite bands Lush directly above the Happy Hollows. The Happy Hollows prevailed as they played a crisp twelve song set that has me eagerly anticipating a full length release.

Sarah Negahdari (Vocals/Guitars/Socks) reminded me a bit of Juliana Hatfield as she wielded her Gibson SG like a sonic machete. One can detect elements of the Pixies and Sonic Youth but I wonder if the Blake Babies have ever been sited as an influence. My Juliana Hatfield suspicions were heightened as Sarah started singing a new song in French that reminded me of "Fleur De Lys" from Juliana Hatfield's classic album "Only Everything". Charlie Mahoney (Bass/Keyboards) walked over to his Alesis Ion Keyboard to dial up some Devo inspired keyboard patches as he ripped into "Flower Children". Both Charlie and Sarah sang on this power pop punk jam which needs to be released on their debut full length. "Meteors" was equally pleasing with it sing along chorus from their "Bunnies & Bombs" EP release. "Vietnam" is great live as it is played much faster and propelled by Chris Meanie (Drums). "Colors" snares you with its high bass notes and its jagged rhythms. "Delorean" was another new song that served as a social and political commentary with the band singing, "We all need a Delorean to take us away". The Happy Hollows will be playing with The Pity Party on February 4th at Spaceland which will be a packed house.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Hollows, Great Northern and The Spores at the Viper Room

It was a holiday party spectacular at the Viper Room sponsored by Indie 103.1 Monday Night's Check One,Two with another great line up consisting of the Happy Hollows, Great Northern, and The Spores. It seems like I have been going to the Viper Room every Monday for weeks now.

Happy Hollows

The Happy Hollows played a short but sweet set when I saw them with the Silversun Pickups in October. I was dazzled by Sarah Negadari's (Guitars/Vocals) rapid two handed tapping skills on her Gibson SG. I thought Charlie M. (Bass) was mimicking Steve Harris from Iron Maiden with his intricate busy bass lines. I remembered a lot of their songs from the time I saw them at the Wiltern which is a very good sign. "Colors" lives up to its name sake with the naming of various colors as they construct a sonic kaleidoscope to accompany the lyrics. Charlie led the band during "A Man A Plan A Canal" which had art damaged guitar lines meshed with a grooving bass line. "Monster Room" was a spastic jump up and down on your bed good time that closed out their set perfectly. Their EP "Bunnies and Bombs" is their latest release and on itunes.

Great Northern

Great Northern has toured relentlessly in support of their amazing debut album "Trading Twilight for Daylight". I can attest to their hectic touring schedule because I will have covered them eight times this year. I particularly enjoyed their set at The Belly Up and Hollywood & Highland. Great Northern were bathed in red lights as they worked through selections from their album. The song "Home" is as soothing a cup of hot chocolate on a cold evening. Solon Bixler (Guitars/Vocals) had his Fender Telecaster Deluxe alternating between his glistening and dusky tones. Great Northern also debuted a new song that started as a echo delayed loop with dual vocals by Rachel Stolte(Keyboards/Vocals) and Solon. Great Northern also re-released their prequel EP "Sleepy Eepee" available on itunes. Eight is not enough as I look forward to seeing Great Northern many more times in 2008.

The Spores

The Spores closed out the night with their self described "Doom Pop". Their sound featured moments of Queens of the Stone Age, The Lovemakers, Burning Brides and Hole with a dash of the theatrics. Greg Biribauer (Guitars) was rocking his Epiphone Flying V guitars for some peanut butter crunchy riffs. Eric Pearson (Drums) had his headphones to help guide his percussive onslaught. Molly Mcguire (Vocals/Bass/Puppets) appeared on stage in a Kabuki mask before she later moved onto her Fender Bass. As their show continued, the theatrics heightened with appearance by a puppet on stilts controlled by Molly as she used a megaphone for vocal distortion. The puppets were funny but I was more impressed with the music. Their album "Doom Pop" is available now and can be downloaded from itunes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Silversun Pickups at the Wiltern Theatre

The Silversun Pickups have had a spectacular year. They opened for the Foo Fighters and Nine Inch Nails in Ireland and made high profile appearances on late night television. It is fitting that they played to a packed house at the Wiltern on Saturday night. I remember when they played a sold out show at the Echo and Brian Aubert (Vocals/Guitars) had a certain look of disbelief when he appeared on stage. I saw this look of awe again when the Silversun Pickups came out to a large ovation.

The Silversun Pickups have been supporters of the local music scene and had the Happy Hollows from Los Angeles open the show with their spastic uptempo pop rocks influenced indie rock. Sarah Negadari (Vocals/Guitar) was ferocious onstage. When she wasn't two handed tapping on her guitar like Eddie Van Halen, she was running into the drum set and commanding your attention. Charlie M. (Bass/Vocals) was handling the bass lines but also managed to work out some synthesizer action on his Alesis Ion. Some audible influences include the unhinged moments of Sonic Youth, Pixies songwriting dynamics and a smidge of Pavement angular guitars. I am regretting missing their recent residency at the Echo.

I think I have seen Midnight Movies about five times this year. The Midnight Movies opened for The Silversun Pickups before last year at the Troubadour and it was nice to see that the Silversun Pickups offer them the opening slot again. The Midnight Movies are still touring behind their album "Lion The Girl" and seemed very comfortable on the Wiltern stage as it gave them the space to recreate their psychedelic headphone mandatory tapestries. Gena Olivier (Vocals/Keyboards/Drums/Guitars) hit up almost every instrument on the stage and pulled it off without a hitch. Larry Schemel (Guitars) must have had smoke coming from his Fender Telecaster Deluxe when he did the guitar solo. Ryan Wood (Guitars/Keyboards) had his mysteriously blue box theremin working overtime during the beginning of "Patient Eye". I need to find a picture of his mini noise making box. The crowd received them well and they will be playing a free show at Hollywood and Highland on November 3rd.

The Silversun Pickups were beaming when they hit the stage. I have been to the Wiltern many times and would say that this was the most intimate show of the year. Brian Aubert (Guitars/Vocals) had his Epiphone Hollowbody guitar ready to go as he strummed the opening chords of "Melatonin". I have mentioned it in prior write ups but will reiterate that his guitar tone is in the upper tier of guitar players. Brian's guitar tones are widened with the atmospheric overtones of Joe Lester's keyboard work and Nikki Monniger's bitting Gibson Thunderbird bass lines. Christopher Guanlao (Drums) was hitting his drums so hard that his super hi-hat cymbal fell over during the show. Paul Wilson (Snow Patrol) came out to add some extra fuzz on "Lazy Eye" and "Common Reactor". Brian was pacing the stage and seemed right at home as he would occasionally recognize people in the pit below. The Silversun Pickups played all of their phenomenal debut album "Carnavas" and reached back to their "Pikul" ep for an extended rousing encore. They ended their set a cover of The Movies "Creation Lake" that features Nikki's sweet vocals. They left the stage giving high fives to the audience members in the pit making it a night to remember for all those in attendance.

Silversun Pickups setlist at the Wiltern theatre (10/20/07)
"Well Thought Out Twinkles"
"Dream At Tempo 119"
"Rusted Wheel"
"Waste It On"
"Little Lover's So Polite"
"Future Foe Scenarios"
"Kissing Families"
"Three Seed"
"Lazy Eye"
"Common Reactor"
"All The Go Inbetweens"
"Checkered Floors"
"Comeback Kid"
"Creation Lake"