“I’m just as fucked up as they say, I can’t fake the daytime, found an entrance to escape into the dark”, sang Emily Haines as Metric opened up with the first track, Artificial Nocturne from their newest record Synthetica. I doubt many of her fans would agree with her since the outpouring of love and excitement came as soon as the lights went down and didn’t let up for the whole show. I for one have been a huge fan of Metric’s music since I first saw them open up for fellow Canadians, Stars back in 2003 at the now closed Knitting Factory in Hollywood.
The laser light show over drummer Joules Scott-Key started when they played the title track Synthetica and as soon as the first notes for Dead Disco came on, the crowd jumped into a dance frenzy, not that it wasn’t before. While Emily is an amazing performer (I challenge anyone to do her trademark 80′s aerobic dancing for an hour and half), she has very few words for the crowd, that is until the encore. “I know it’s a cliche… moving out to CA to fulfill your dreams, but I’m so glad we did it… carrying gear when it’s not freezing cold… contrast to Canada… music trumps all the talking in the world.” With just James Shaw on acoustic, the pair ended with Gimme Sympathy which turned into a sing/clap-along as the rest of the band joined them onstage for the last half of the “lullaby”. Check out their new video for Breathing Underwater for a behind the scenes glimpse at what their Synthetica tour was like.
Shirley Manson from Garbage sings to an adoring fan, “Why do you Love me?” at the San Manuel Casino on December 6, 2012.
It was a long trek in rush hour traffic from Los Angeles to Highland, CA to see Garbage‘s final headline show of the year at the San Manuel Casino, but well worth it! I was lucky enough to catch their “rehearsal” back in early April at the Bootleg Theatre and I can tell you that even after touring most of the year (Shirley announced that this was their 100th show of the tour), they still have incredible energy and power and obviously love playing together.
They performed songs from their new record Not Your Kind Of People and of course many hits from their entire catalogue. During the opening of Stupid Girl, Shirley went down and did 20 perfect push-ups sharing with the crowd that she’s still in amazing shape after all these years. I’m sure I’m not the only one that would pay to see Gwen “Abs of Steel” Stefani and Shirley Manson in a push-up contest. Shirley went on to dedicate, #1 Crush to Bean from KROQ’s Kevin & Bean morning show stating how incredible and brave he was. Bean recently underwent kidney transplant surgery to help long time KROQ staffer Scott Mason, It was actually one of the most touching song dedications I have ever heard at a concert.
Garbage heads to New Zealand and Australia starting in February, 2013 so definitely check them out if you’re able to!
John Cale founded The Velvet Underground back in 1965 with Lou Reed and he’s been going strong ever since. The living legend turned 70 earlier this year and yes, he’s been making music for almost 50 years! His fifteenth solo album, Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood came out this past October on Double Six Records to great reviews.
You can still get tickets for tonight’s last stop of his West Coast tour at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles with opener Cass McCombs via Ticketmaster. He also has three special performances in January, 2013 (A tribute to Nico and Paris 1919) at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music. Check out the video for Face to the Sky and do what you can to make it to one of these rare shows.
Check out the smoky, goth-tinged new video by Los Angeles’ own Cold Showers that premiered earlier this week on Noisey. “BC” directed by Brian Davila is “an homage to films such as The Hunger, Society, and Night Of The Comet”. Their debut LP Love and Regret is out now on Dais Records and they’ll be heading out on the road with Veronica Falls starting in March of next year. You can also catch them in Los Angeles with Black Marble at the Echo for Part Time Punks on Feb. 24th, 2013.
How To Dress Well performing at the Echoplex, December 4, 2012
It’s late Tuesday night… VERY late, well it’s actually almost 1am on Wednesday morning when Whitney Houston sings out from the speakers and Tom Krell aka How To Dress Well makes his way onto the Echoplex stage. Ten candles burn at his feet and beautiful video projections illuminate him and his backing band when his voice, a beautiful haunting falsetto hits my ears and my head starts thumping to the beat.
Playing songs from Total Loss, his newish record out now on Acéphale and a few from his debut album Love Remains, the heartbreaking, but beautiful set highlighted not only his voice, but his talent as a songwriter. When he sang the song Set It Right, it rang out like an R&B version of the late Jim Carroll‘s, People Who Died with the names of friends and family who have passed or not in his life anymore.
Sweden’s Kate Boy are set to release their debut EP Northern Lights on IAMSOUND Records on January 22, 2013. They have kindly released two songs in advance, one a video for Northern Lights and the other, a b-side called In Your Eyes via SoundCloud. Both songs are infectious and have been on repeat since they landed in my inbox late last week.
Paul Banks hasn’t left Interpol, but Julian Plenti‘s first solo project is now called Paul Banks. Confused? I was at first when I forgot that Julian Plenti… is Skyscraper, the record he released back in 2009 was actually Paul Banks. The single, Games for Days still rings loud in my head as if it was on Interpol’s first release, Turn on the Bright Lights which had me hooked from the first note. By the way, Interpol is about to release the 10th anniversary edition of Turn on the Bright Lights on Matador Records. Has it already been ten years? Anyway, Paul Banks’ new album Banks came out last month on Matador and is a must buy!
Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster for his show at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles next Wednesday, Dec. 5th and his show at New York’s Webster Hall on Dec. 14th (a make-up date due to Hurricane Sandy) before he heads to Europe next year. Check out his video for Young Again directed by Sophia Peer from his new album Banks and grab a ticket to one of his upcoming shows.
Twin Shadow, Summer Camp, St. Lucia, and Milo Greene were just some of the shows I had to arrive early to so I could see sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana, collectively known as Haim (they’re surname) rock out! They released their Forever EP earlier this year and have been performing non-stop ever since. With every new show came a more composed and powerful group as well as a throng of adoring new fans. They just completed their first European tour and are heading back out to support Florence and the Machine on her arena tour of the UK. Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster for Haim’s headlining date at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, Dec. 15th, but their homecoming show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on Dec. 19th is completely sold out.
Check out their video for Don’t Save Me that had over 200,000 views in just two days and make sure to pre-order a copy of their limited edition single via Neon Gold before it sells out.