!!! (chk chk chk) rave up the Avalon

Posted: September 30th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Dance Rock, Events, House, Techno | 1 Comment »

!!! get rolling at the Avalon

!!! sends up their techno-fried funk at Los Angeles’ Avalon club. Photo by Electrohound.

On Wednesday, September 27th, my friends and I capped off the end of my day job at CBS Interactive with !!! (“chk chk chk”) at the Avalon. With a little VIP access thanks to backup singer Shannon Funchess, we grooved to the mad band’s electrofied punk funk from above the fray. Read the rest of this entry »

Arctic Monkeys bring their mental sound to Hollywood's Palladium

Posted: September 28th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Dance Rock, Events | 2 Comments »

Palladium reopens with Artic Monkeys

The Palladium reopens to a sold-out Arctic Monkeys show. Photo by Electrohound.

The Palladium in Hollywood reopened Tuesday and the Arctic Monkeys were the first headliners to test out the new digs. Can’t say it looked all that different from what I remember, but the sound system is a good deal clearer and stronger now. Read the rest of this entry »

LCD Soundsystem's journey from punk to techno

Posted: September 27th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Dance Rock, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

James Murphy DJs

LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy rides the wheels of steel. Photo by DFA Records.

London’s Fabric nightclub and imprint is putting out a DJ mix album by LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy and Pat Mahoney next month. A U.S. domestic release will follow in November. Perusing Fabric’s recent and very in-depth interview with the two, I found the following nuggets especially insightful:

James: My DFA partner Tim Goldsworthy, he came over with David Holmes to work on a record and I was like this is new, this is weird, nobody plays this sort of thing. It was a very different way of making music and then I went out and did ecstasy when David was DJing and heard Liquid Liquid for the first time.
Pat: James helped me build a rehearsal studio for Les Savy Sav, who ostensibly speaking, he broke up, and this was the genesis of LCD and also me leaving Les Savy Sav.
James: So I played bass and he played drums and it was just like Liquid Liquid, and we were trying to wrap our heads around making people boogie.
Pat: That was like ’96, with dubious results, totally foreign to us in a lot of ways because indie kids were not dancing.
James: No, they weren’t looking to boogie. But it was fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem in Los Angeles

Posted: September 27th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Dance Rock, Events, House, Techno | No Comments »

Arcade Fire's Win Butler at the Hollywood Bowl

Natural showman and band leader Win Butler keeps the fire burning in his belly. Photo by Electrohound.

The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem came to Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl last Thursday, attracting thousands of hipsters straddling the rising rock/dance pony. James Murphy’s LCD went first as the supporting act, hammering out “Get Innocuous,” “North American Scum,” “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” “Yeah” and “Us v Them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Simian Mobile Disco at the Echoplex

Posted: September 24th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Audio-Visual, Dance Rock, Events, Techno | No Comments »

Simian Mobile Disco

Simian Mobile Disco work their circle of analogue heaven at Pure. Photo by Vivahate.
Re-published under Creative Commons license.

Saturday night, September 22, 2007, Boys Noize and England’s analogue maestros Simian Mobile Disco tore up Los Angeles’ Echoplex. The magic duo of James Ford and James Anthony Shaw took a packed room for an unforgettable ride. Their baroque acid sound twitched and bursted over muscular beats, pounding and lashing the air with white-hot energy. Read the rest of this entry »

Underworld in Los Angeleeesss, makes gravity fall away

Posted: September 11th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Events, House, Techno | 3 Comments »

Underworld bring nature into technology

Underworld’s Rick Smith, Darren Price and Karl Hyde conduct their multi-sensory magic on stage. Photo by Mark_V_Socal.

Anticipating Underworld’s return to the world stage, Karl Hyde recently wrote at Underworldlive.com that they were eager to look again “for the spaces between the notes, between the beats, where gravity falls away.” And that’s exactly what happened Sunday night at the Hollywood Bowl under a big wide sky.

KCRW’s Jason Bentley gave a nostalgic introduction, calling back to Underworld’s first US appearance at Southern California’s Organic rave festival in 1996. I was there and I remember too the sheer sonic power of that performance. That time they played on the same stage as The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Meat Beat Manifesto. This time Paul Oakenfold opened, showcasing his underwhelming emo-trance. But it was clever to have Oakey play, ensuring a bigger crowd by mixing older, smarter cats with the new, less schooled.

There was no mega-burst of sound when Underworld kicked off their set. Instead, they made perfect use of the Bowl’s atmosphere, gliding in with hypnotic, percolating grooves. First off was their delicious new single, “Crocodile,” with its wicked sliding bass line opening up time in the mind. From their they cruised through trippy “Luetin” and “Kiteless.” Hyde was a perfect showman, bringing everyone into the vibe, his intro wordplay paying homage to, as he rolled it, “Los Angeleeesss.” Read the rest of this entry »

Underworld Rocks Bells at the Hollywood Bowl

Posted: September 10th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, Dance Rock, Events, House, Techno | 1 Comment »

Underworld montage

Photos and montage by Chiapetgirl.

I hadn’t seen Underworld play in maybe 7 years and last night at the Hollywood Bowl I could hear the past, present and future. They played a healthy blend of material from their upcoming “Oblivion With Bells” album and classic permutations. It was mind-bending, volcanic, wily, and wise. Underworld rocks bells!

Underworld's sweet "Oblivion"

Posted: September 8th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Audio-Visual, Breakbeat, House, Techno, Web Culture | No Comments »

Underworld under sunflowers

Rick Smith and Karl Hyde get some shelter. Photo by Perou.

The Los Angeles Times ran a nice article Thursday on Underworld’s return to the fray. It confirms the positive buzz about their new album, “Oblivion With Bells,” due out in October, and gives a quick preview of what to expect:

Ethereal offerings such as the lush, Brian Eno-esque “To Heal” and the cacophonous, brooding “Cuddle Bunny vs. Celtic Images” hint at Underworld’s recent soundtrack work (the band scored Danny Boyle’s sci-fi film “Sunshine”). Tracks such as “Glam Bucket” exemplify Underworld at its finest, full of ringing bells punctuated by discordant bursts of noise. But driving, hypnotic and percussive songs such as the eight-minute epic “Beautiful Burnout” will excite fans the most — imagine a tranced-out Depeche Mode after a weeklong bender in Ibiza.

Reporter Charlie Amter gets some nice quotes and perspective from Karl Hyde, who notes that the band has been quite busy since “A Hundred Days Off,” releasing three download-only albums and a series of 12 inches. The story also highlights Underworld’s “video jamming” and their progressively larger sound.