In the past I’ve always glanced over Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast as decent yet strong albums.And to be honest Doves have always seemed to straddle the line between Shoegaze and Britpop without committing to either side or attempting to make a statement. The task of trying to build a sound that simply brings out the best in both genres is nice, safe, and just okay, but not as convincing or rewarding as taking a risk with new ideas while maintaining your musical personality in every song.
Fortunately, Doves Made album #3 their perfect record that cuts and swerves through all genres while at the same time sounding completely fresh. The only band that came close to making a sonic leap from their last record in this fashion while still sounding ”new” was Deerhoof. It was close and both bands made incredible albums garnering new fans and blowing the minds of longtime followers.
Doves recorded an album that doesn’t owe so much to The Flaming Lips, Slowdive, and Joe Jackson as they do to themselves. They’ve always been masterful at creating mood and soothing melodies, but Some Cities is edgier, catchy, and mesmerizing all the way through. No album this year is this consistent and uplifting while sounding like they’ve stumbled into new pop territory. There’s also a nice balance between sound manipulation and instrumental arrangements, see “One of these Days”. Doves consistently introduce new sounds without relying on specific effects, studio trickery, or some tired 80’s trend. Tracks like “Snowden”, “The Storm”, and “Black and White Town” are so perfectly different, unique, and even accessible. Not that accessibility is the best quality in a song but even The Beatles still appeal to kids and adults all over the world. This is one of the few albums I can still listen to all the way through since it’s early 2005 release and still feel excited about what this band has in store for us.
This place is mega-good because they have mega-everything. They completely obliterated the once essential Aron’s by carrying tons of good vinyl, hard-to-find music, and bringing in weekly performances from touring bands. I call it “The Home Depot of music”. Hell yes you can quote me.
Best Festival: Arthur Fest
Olivia Tremor Control, Cat Power, Sonic Youth, Sleater Kinney, and Yoko Ono…!!! And there’s more? How these folks got hold of such a stellar lineup is beyond me. The place had such a great vibe, a relaxed environment, and security was hassle-free, the way it should be. Next year please give Kevin Shields a call, and don’t forget the MALO taco stand.
Tomorrow wraps up our "Best of.." lists, including the top 20 albums of 2005. There are still a couple of great gigs to attend before the year is up, check our listings.
Best Radio Station in Los Angeles: KCRW
KCRW has such a great variety of DJs who aren’t afraid to play whatever they want. They also bring in the indies, unsigned artists, and majors for live studio performances & interviews with video footage. I love this station.
Most Overrated Radio Station: Indie 103.1
Okay I get it, you guys love The Ramones, The Clash and The White Stripes. I do too, but that’s all you seem to play everytime I try and listen to your station. I thought this was supposed to be a valid and exciting alternative to the mediocre KROQ? Remind me again how spinning punk bands and jock-rock-emo all day and night is “indie”.
"You have much to learn young padouin." - Ben Kenobi
Best Online Radio: Little Radio
DIY with great musical taste. Listen for yourself and you’ll be amazed, I promise.
Best Radio Show: Gary Calamar, The Open Road – KCRW
I’ve heard this guy play Steely Dan, Brian Eno, Olivia Tremor Control, and The Beach Boys all in a row, and that’s a normal night for Mr.Calamar. Dragnet was a close runner up and deserves some serious attention as well for focusing on seminal rock/indie bands of the 70's through the 90's. Gary Calamar consistently plays great music and mixes the experimental with the classic.
It was nice to see the hustle and bustle of daytime EchoPark packed with families walking the sidewalks together. I have never experienced that area during the daytime. We’re so used to parking on darkened streets nervously walking to the club with our keys clinched ready for battle. But on this bright sunny afternoon two incredible bands played twice in one day and everyone seemed happy to be together sharing the sweaty-cramped space of The Echo.
Shellac and Autolux rocked for the fans and they played harder and crazier than ever. The crowd was eager but still maintaining their cool, everyone’s hanging around making new friends while reminiscing about their favorite Shellac/Autolux moments. Todd Trainer is the scariest looking guy and hardest hitting drummer I’ve ever seen. And Autolux are the world’s best example of how a band can sound organic, fucked-up, and serene all at once. They are the most progressive rock band in the world right now. I felt lucky to be there.
2. Doves:House of Blues/Anaheim
3. Caribou & Brad Laner: Spaceland
4. Dinosaur Jr: Spaceland
5. Deerhoof: The Echo
6. Broadcast: The Troubadour
7. Phillip Roebuck: The Echo
8. Eskimohunter & Marjorie Fair: The Silverlake Lounge
1. This just in from Sir Denswoth of Autolux: "The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles has asked Autolux to take part in a new audio exhibit that invites musicians to create a soundtrack to one of their first floor galleries. Visitors will then listen to the compositions on headphones as they explore the collections in each gallery: Dinosaur Hall, Cenozoic Hall, North American Mammals Hall, Hall of Gems & Minerals, the American History Hall, etc. Thus, these classic galleries will remain unaltered but be transformed by music. Since each gallery displays a different aspect of science and history, they are being represented with a spectrum of musical genres. So far, the artists that are involved are Sun Ra Arkestra, Nels Cline, Matmos, Madlib, Jon Hassell, David J., and Autolux. This event opens on February 3, 2006."
2. Autolux are also confirmed to play on the Jimmy Kimmel show, January 4th. Go herefor tickets.
"Between our tours and throughout 2005, SY have been working on new music for their next LP. Initial recording for this new LP has commenced at legendary Sear Sound Studio, where Sister, Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, and Thurston's Psychic Hearts were recorded. Songs recorded in the first days of the sessions linclude 'Pink Steam', 'Do You Beleive in Rapture?', 'Or' and 'Sleepin Around'. Look for a release sometime in 2006."
After a successful UK tour with Rogers Sisters and a new record deal with Beggars Banquet, San Francisco's Film School will bring their urgent, dreamy rock to Los Angeles on the heels of their forthcoming album. Their self-titled full-length drops on January 24th. Catch them at Cinespace on 1/23 and The Troubadour (with Austin's amazing Sound Team) on 1/25.