Showing posts with label The Human Value. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Human Value. Show all posts

Friday, September 12, 2008

Xu Xu Fang and The Human Value at Spaceland

Xu Xu Fang and The Human Value teamed up for Club NME night at Spaceland. It wasn't the first time seeing this dynamic team up of bands as they had previously played together at the Viper Room in June. A waft of fog quietly started to build as the members of Xu Xu Fang took the stage.

Xu Xu Fang

It is extremely easy to get lost in a Xu Xu Fang performance. Their magical combination of ethereal keyboards, droning guitars, hard-driving drums and rapturous vocals wraps around your ears just like the fog that slowly rolls across the stage. The Mourning Son is one of the top psychedelic releases this year that finishes with the epic "Terra Scura".

Barbara Cohen (Vocals) walked on to the stage as the band had already started to find its groove. Jenna (Keyboards) was surrounded by a few keyboard controllers dialing up various watery patches and swirling Rhodes keyboards. I took some pictures identifying some Z. Vex Fuzz Factory pedals and a Wah Probe. I also spotted a red Fuzz Face that I suspect was modified by Death By Audio due to the old school knobs on the fuzz and volume controls. Xu Xu Fang recently covered The Cure "Fascination Street" on the stellar tribute album Perfect As Cats with such artists as Bat for Lashes, Kaki King and Tara Busch from Analog Suicide.

The Human Value

The Human Value have yet to fail me in putting on an energetic live show. Turu (Vocals) started the evening triggering various glitches from a miniature Korg Kaossilator before tearing into "Pleasant Town". Hiram Fleites (Guitars) filled Spaceland with his split signal running into a Ampeg Bass Cab and Fender guitar amp. The Human Value will soon release their album Push And Pull in the states with a special vinyl release that includes a few bonus tracks.

"Pretty Mouth" continued the fierce storm of noise as Turu banged on her stand alone drum and would occasionally drop to the floor. Turu recently started up Pretty Mouth records to sign a slew of bands they discovered in their stint out in the UK. The Human Value even worked through "All These Years" which is one of the bonus tracks from their album. "I Don't Care" closed out the evening in raucous fashion with stage looking like a whirlwind had made its rounds. The Human Value will be at the Eagle Rock Music Festival on Oct 4th at the Kingsize Labs stage so make sure to check them out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Xu Xu Fang and The Human Value at the Viper Room

The fog rolled into the Viper Room as Xu Xu Fang was celebrating the release of their album The Mourning Son. The Viper Room was closed for a few weeks for renovation but only had some subtle differences to the inside decor as it largely retained its darkened vibe. The future of Indie 103.1 Monday's Check One..Two Viper Room shows seems to be up in the air as a new booker has been hired. They have some big shoes to fill as I have witnessed many amazing line ups at the Viper Room.

The Sagittarians

There was something familiar about The Sagittarians that I just couldn't put my finger on. A trio of musicians had gathered on stage led by Neil Busch (Keyboards/Vocals) who plotted through a handful of brooding piano riffs. I would later uncover that Neil used to play bass in And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead. The Sagittarians would fall on the polar opposite of his prior band with references to older bands as The Doors and the cabaret element of The Dresden Dolls. The new shroud of the Viper Room complimented the darkness of their accompanying tunes very well. I didn't see any news of a full length album but there are quite a few tracks on their Myspace page.

Xu Xu Fang

Xu Xu Fang seemed right at home on stage at the Henry Fonda when they opened for Swervedriver. The Viper Room stage could barely contain the members of Xu Xu Fang but the smaller stage meant a greater effect for the fog machines as the fog crept across the stage. It was so foggy that I was unable to get any pictures of Bobby Tamkin (Drums) who is the engine in the muscle car that is Xu Xu Fang. The Xu Xu Fang immersed the crowd in sound with a fuzz wash of "Sweeten The Ride". The trio of guitarists continued to lay the foundation by conjuring up the walls of psychedelic drone for "The Mourning Son". The lighting dimmed after a few songs as the Fang really found their groove and I found myself lost in a swirl of noise. One of the many highlights of the set was the incorporation of a Z. Vex probe that was mesmerizing and had me green with gear envy. "These Days" was another hypnotic jam that slowly navigated through a maze of haze. I anxiously await the next Xu Xu Fang experience.

The Human Value

The fog had quickly lifted as the hurricane trio known as The Human Value took to the stage. The Human Value impressed me a few months ago when they closed out Spaceland during The Pity Party Residency. The Human Value should be releasing their album Push & Pull domestically and played a large portion of material from the album. Hiram Fleites (Guitars) was all over the stage rocking out on his Epiphone guitar covering a wide sonic spectrum by splitting his signal. Turu (Vocals) was completely unhinged from the first note immediately captivating your attention. "Hold Of Me" had winding guitar riff that was immediately dragged in fuzz as Turu would grab a drumstick and start tapping on any object in her path along with the beat. The swirling phaser action of "Pleasant Town" was hypnotic as Turu would end up writhing on the floor while singing. The Human Value will be playing the Prospector on June 24h as well as the Beauty Bar in San Diego on July 16th with the Pity Party.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pity Party at Spaceland

If was difficult to miss The Pity Party debut Monday residency show at Spaceland. I was flattered that Spaceland took my review of their New Year's performance at Little Radio as an advertisement to attend their residency this month. The Pity Party is also celebrating the release of their new lovingly handmade EP "Orgy Porgy". I was also interested in checking out some their musical comrades Karin Tatoyan, Twilight Sleep, and The Human Value.

Karin Tatoyan

Karin Tatoyan set the bar high early in the evening. Bronson from the LA Times was impressed and I would agree. Karin combines various elements of classical and electronic music to forge an eclectic sound. Karin's musical stew contained elements of French Horn, Cello, MicroKorg keyboard, and Theremin. The main ingredient though would be Karin as she is an extremely compelling performer writhing on the ground at moments exorcising her demons in the form of song. I was impressed with her band though as they provided the framework for Karin's sonic tapestry. Andrew Carter (Cello/Theremin) added some nice flourishes of cello to add the odd juxtaposition of classical and electronic music. Andrew's cello strings were literally smoking at the end of the show. Karin's EP "The History of Stains" is available for download from itunes. She is on the verge of bigger things.

Twilight Sleep

Twilight Sleep has come a long way since I saw them open for the Silversun PIckups back in December of 2006. I was even more impressed by their performance with Great Northern back in August of 2007. Twilight Sleep blew me away this time with a batch of tunes from their upcoming EP "Race To The Bottom of The Sea". Tracy Marcellino (Vocals/Keyboards) seduced the audience with her sultry voice as the keyboards laid you down into a literal twilight sleep. "Broken Record" was one of the new songs that was absolutely hypnotic with percolating synths and dreamy delayed guitars.
"Don't Fire Your Guns" was a faster paced song with slightly overdriven guitars countered by cloud like synth lines. Twilight Sleep will be having an EP release party at the Echo on March 6th. I recommend that you swing by and pick it up.

The Pity Party

The Pity Party continues to pull out surprises and new tricks that makes seeing them live a new experience every time. Heisenflei (Vocals/Drums/Keyboards) started the evening hunched over her augmented keyboard rack that included a microKorg keyboard along with her trusty Yamaha DX7. Heisenflei was conjuring up a new theme to the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland with a downright spooky track entitled "Every A.M.". It seems like The Pity Party continue their refusal of sonic classification with my only description being they sound like "The Pity Party". M (Vocals/Guitars) had an weird Effector 13 tremolo pedal for which I couldn't find any information on to add even more complexity to his already baffling guitar sounds. "Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons" had its usual drunk shuffle with an excellent exchange of vocals harmonies between M and Heisenflei. "H.O.T.S" from their "Orgy Porgy" EP is one of my many favorite songs from the Pity Party and borders on punk intensity with its off kilter guitars thrown against a flu stricken hi hat shuffle. The Pity Party will continue their Monday night residency on the 18th with Film School. I still can't believe it will be free.

The Human Value

The Human Value didn't mess around. They rocked the audience from start to finish holding a good majority of the Spaceland audience with an all out performance that I have rarely witnessed in the late slot. The Human Value is composed of the dynamic duo of Turu (Vocals) and Hiram Fleites(Guitars). Hiram was carrying the sonic load with his Epiphone hollowbody guitar that doubled as guitar and bass. "Pleasant Town" from their album "Push and Pull" served as the first punch to the face with its brutal guitar/bass lead as Turu raced around the stage manically. The Human Value would fall into the realm of high octane garage rock with gothic inspiration from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Turu pulled out the cowbell and stated she won a Grammy for "Pretty Mouth" as they continued to bludgeon the audience with Hiram's heavy riffs. Turu also grabbed Heisenflei in front of the stage and gave her a personal dedication as they tore into song. Their set had a sense of unpredictability and danger that is rarely seen in live shows. I especially enjoyed Hiram's leap from his amp to punctuate the set. That is what I call a rock and roll show.