Loss Leaders

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Spinto Band's Guest List Giveaway

Download the Spinto Mask here!

The Spinto Band has devised a nifty way to get to see them on their current tour (partially in support of some band called Arctic Monkeys -- has anyone even heard of the Arctic Monkeys??):

"Hey Folks... We realize that perhaps you got screwed when you attempted to buy tickets to see us open for Arctic Monkeys in March. Well, here is an attempt to make a few people feel even better. We will be offering two guest list spots to the following show"s:

San Francisco Cafe Du Nord 3/12/06
Los Angeles Spaceland 3/14/06
Chicago Metro w/Arctic Monkeys (sold out) 3/18/06
Chicago Schubas 3/19/06
Toronto Phoenix Theatre w/ Arctic Monkeys (sold out) 3/21/06
Montreal Le Spectrum w/Arctic Monkeys (sold out) 3/22/06
Boston Paradise w/Arctic Monkeys (sold out) 3/23/06
Wash. DC 9:30 Club w/Arctic Monkeys (sold out) 3/27/06

Just follow these steps:

1. Download and Print your own Roy Spinto mask, which can be found here.
2. put the mask on.
3. Take a photograph of you or someone you love wearing the mask.
4. email the photograph to: spintoband@gmail.com

The spinto band will be judging the photographs, and the one they feel is the most original, interesting, and bodacious will win 2 GUEST LIST SPOTS. The deadline for the competition is March 10th, so get started!

Check out the band's MySpace site with some songs.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Aesthetic Apparatus Poster Retrospective & Reception Tonight!

Subliminal Projects has invited the cool indie design team Aesthetic Apparatus to put on a retrospective of their indie rock poster design at 3780 Wilshire Blvd #210. The show runs from February 25 to March 25. But the kickoff reception is tonight Feb 25. The A.A. guys did a similar show recently in St. Paul, MN and showcased their 225 posters they've designed for the likes of Spoon, The Go Team, Josh Ritter, Stereolab, etc.

Check out video of the St. Paul retrospective to see what to expect. I have it on good authority too that Dan and Michael from Aesthetic Apparatus will be at the reception tonight.

Here's a map

Of Montreal videos

Kevin Barnes continues to make yummy ear and eye candy!

Check out the new Of Montreal video for Requiem for OMM2

And the previous videos for So Begins Our Alabee , Wraith Pinned , and Disconnect the Dots

Friday, February 24, 2006

My favorite Los Angeles Song

Download Los Angeles Blues . I would have included a link to buy the record from Amazon but it is not available! I bought a copy at Amoeba so I didn't think it was out of print...

The record is one Peggy's coolest concept records from the 1960's. Produced by Quincy Jones, "Blues Cross Country" is a set of upbeat blues about various American cities. Peggy Lee combines more general travel songs like "Come Fly With Me" with specific geographic standards like "Basin Street Blues," "St. Louis Blues," "I Left My Sugar (In Salt Lake City)," "Goin' to Chicago Blues" with original collaborations with Q on "Los Angeles Blues," "New York City Blues," and "The Train Blues." One thing that makes "Blues Cross Country" special is that Peggy Lee wrote lyrics for 4 songs on the record which was rare for a singer known more an interpereter of other's material ...

"Los Angeles Blues" is my favorite song about LA because the lyrics express that the City of Angels is the best city in the US of A and does so with a nostalgia that is especially touching in the year of the demolishing of the Ambassador:

"If you have sunshine and beaches how can that be so hard?
And maybe oranges and grapefruit growing in your own back yard?
If you had mountains and the ocean and a great big smiling sky...?
There is very little that is blue here so the blues pass Los Angeles by.

Everybody has a BBQ. Everyone goin' swimming too.
With that kind of living how can you be blue?
You can go to a mountain and ski down the side.
You can go to the beach and take a surf board ride.
City Of the Angles has a lot of pride but the blues have passed it by!

And the folks are nice in the tropical clim' although they talk about the weather lots of the time.
They call it unusual if the rain comes down.
They don't believe in blues in this old town.

You can go to the desert in an hour or two.
Where the sun and sand are so good for you.
Where living's that easy how can you be blue. Yes the blues have past it by.
You can live in the valley where the grass is green.
Or you can live on a hill with a view to be seen.
People do say that on a real clear day you can see Catalina (though it's pretty far away).

Oh you can watch the Rams or Angels or Dodgers play on a sunny California smog-free day. If the boy's are winning it's easier to say that the blues have passed Los Angeles by!"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mates of State - "Bring it Back" is best ever!

The Mates of State are back with a steller new record following the great "All Day" EP. Kori and Jason's new CD will be released by the awesome indie Barsuk in March after putting out 2 records and 1 EP on Polyvinyl (one of Loss Leaders' favorite labels). The new collection of songs is their best so far. As I first listened to it I imagined I was finding a greatest hits album in a store where every song was new to me! "Bring it Back" is the first MOS record where the confluence of their strongest songwriting and more adventurous production exists on the same project. "Think Long" reminds me of a Phil Spector/Brian Wilson-esque anthem with a crunchy meoldy and a powerful chorus that is guarenteed to be the highlite of thier forthcoming live shows. "What it Means" "Like U Crazy" and "So Many Ways" are standout tracks. In a way the new record is to MOS as "Plans" is to Death Cab. Long time fans should be happy to hear a new album that progresses forward without deviating too far from a familiar sound. More importantly, "Bring it Back" is likely to be a well-deserved commercial breaththrough for MOS.

Download Fraud in the 80s from Barsuk. (Hint: reload the page after the error message.) This song sounds like a perfect climatic anthem for a John Hughes flick with a little sprinklings of Yo La Tengo and the Go-Gos. YUM!

Also go to their web site!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ming Tea returns! (sort of) Susanna Hoffs / Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs have teamed up for a primer of 1960s pop called UNDER THE COVERS VOL. 1 due out in April on Shout Factory! This is the first project they've colloborated on since teaming up to be Austin Powers’ on-screen band Ming Tea. For this project, however, they take the moniker Sid & Susie (at least online -- the record has their real names. Susanna and Matthew are two truly under-rated songwriters and performers and are scholars of the pop craft of the late 1960s. The tracklisting looks impressive too. A great compaion piece to Children of Nuggets , on which (it is NO coincidence) songs from both Matt and Sue appear.

Their MySpace page has full versions of 3 songs:

The Beatles' And Your Bird Can Sing
The Bee Gee's Run to Me
The Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning

1. I See The Rain (The Marmalade)
2. And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles)
3. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)
4. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (Fairport Convention)
5. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young And Crazy Horse)
6. Alone Again Or (Love)
7. Warmth Of The Sun (The Beach Boys)
8. Different Drum (The Stone Poneys)
9. The Kids Are Alright (The Who)
10. Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground)
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young And Crazy Horse)
12. Care Of Cell ..44 (The Zombies)
13. Monday Monday (The Mamas And The Papas)
14. She May Call You Up Tonight (The Left Banke)
15. Run To Me (The Bee Gees)

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Flaming Lips song!

Last week I got a present in the mail -- one of those treats that makes me super glad I do what I do for a living: an adavnce of Flaming Lips' "At War with the Mystics." The cd is one of those super-protected, encoded numbers. Stereogum posted an MP3 of the "Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" which the Lips performed for the second time at the wrap party for Adam Goldberg's film I Love Your Work for which Steve Drozd composed the score.

NME has details about the new Flaming Lips video and the official site confirms Lips appearances on both Saturday Night Live and Letterman as well as SXSW the home of their most creative experiments .

The first Lips record since Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, 'At War With The Mystics', will be released on 4 April 2006 in the US and 3 April 2006 in the UK.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Stop Dancing and Cry" - a Violet Valentine at the Echo with Dntel, Nobody, etc.

A night of DJs at the Echo (9pm / $5 / 18+)

with the Long Lost...and more morose musicians with depressing discos played by: Jimmy Tamborello, frosty, Nobody, Tommy DeNys. Free teardrop face painting...boohoo.

This sounds like a fun night out on Valentine's Day. Hit "The Strip" (eastside) and hear some great music by two of my favorite LA DJs (and a few more!), get a photobooth shot at the Shortstop, play a little Galaga... A night of technopop, poetic electronic moods and someone special? If you haven't heard Nobody's cover of the Flaming Lips "What is the Light" fix that now. My favorite Figurine song (one of Jimmy's projects) is sort of a Valentine's song: "Let's Make Our Love Song "

The Echo homepage
Dntel MySpace
Nobody's MySpace
Plug Research

Downtown: REDCAT, McSweeny's and The World Explained

The exploration of downtown Los Angeles continues...

We took the Gold Line from our home station to Union Station and then the Red Line one stop to Civic Center to see the local premiere of McSweeny's "The World Explained" at the CalArts REDCAT theater. Disney Hall (the beautiful home of the REDCAT space) was visible from the station entrance but hunger called so we headed one block south and then 4 blocks east to the corner of 2nd and Werdin to Pitfire Pizza. The walk was pleasant and the streets were virtually empty. The well lit "Daily Planet" (City Hall) provides a nice point of orientation by the way. The Pitfire is a highly recommended spot for a downtown meal on a downtown trip like ours. Collectively we ordered three personal pizzas: BBQ chicken, Sausage and Veggie Deluxe. We also ordered pasta and a salad and, while they looked tasty, turned out to be less exciting than our pizza. The soda bar seemed like a good deal but there's also a good selection of Jones soda and pink lemonade. (Still no beer but a pending liquor license was posted in the window!) The bathrooms were clean, the staff was friendly and the clientele was a diverse mix of downtown denizens / families and nighttime visitors like us. The music was a fun mix of 80s and 90s (ok I can only remember one REM song. But it was enjoyable without being painfully hip. (Pitfire offers KCRW members a 15% discount and also one free entree after you buy 10.) Safe to say that we'll be back for our next downtown night on the town.

The McSweeny's show was awesome (though not without some slow parts and what seemed like an illadvised intermission) and was hosted / MC-ed by comedian Patton Oswald and included inspired musical interstitial by Jon Brion . The night began with two clips from McSweeny's new DVD video compilation including a brief visit by a Hovercraft and a Dutch performance artist who sings classic rock songs (in this case "Stairway to Heaven") but with an interesting twist. Satirical comic strip artist David Rees shared some of his new strips and his revelation that maybe -- because of Up-State NY grocery shopping and spacious truck space -- our invasion of Iraq was worth some young men's lives. Rees ended with a strip of alienated office workers who ride motorcycles around their offices prompting Jon Brion to do a great instrumental version of Gary Numan's "Cars." Other highlights included the editorial staff of Yeti Researcher discussing Teddy Roosevelt’s obsession with Sasquatch, Mike Colton recounting his coming of age with his mom (as heard on This American Life), and McSweeny's own Eli Horowitz leading the debut fashion show of plural / multi-user garmentry !

My favorite visiting scholar of the night was world renowned John Hodgman who discussed the history of the late great Furry Old Lobster with musical accompaniment by the brilliant andferall mountain man Jonathan Coulton. His web site includes a version of the song Furry Old Lobster

To top it off the event was a fundraiser for the LA chapter of the great non-profit writing / tutoring program 826 LA. FYI: other benefits happen from time to time at Largo.

Our night ended with a pleasant walk from Disney Hall through Little Tokyo to Union Station where we hopped the last train home, which is 12:52 am. (Seriously the MTA needs to re-extend service until 2:30 am so people can actually make use of downtown all night long.)

REDCAT directions / parking
REDCAT Theater at Disney Hall map
KCRW downtown restaurant discounts
Red Line Schedule
Gold Line Schedule
826 LA

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Of Montreal - Polyvinyl re-releasing 3 albums

Big ups to Matt and the crew at Polyvinyl for re-releasing THREE (3) out of print Of Montreal records previously on the now defunct Kindercore: The Bedside Drama: a Petite Tragedy, The Bird Who Continues to Eat..., and The Early Four Track Recordings. Each one is $10 but there is a Buy Three special for $25. One of my favorite bands also has a remix project in the works and is playing at the Echo this Saturday.

Buy tix to the Echo show:
Echo Tix - Saturday

Downloads tracks:

"Just Recently Lost Something of Importance "

"If I Faltered Slightly Twice"

"Dustin Hoffman Thinks About Eating The Soap"

Buy CDs

NPR did a good feature on the Sunlandic Twins album recently.

Listen to NPR's Feature

Of Montreal - official site

TV Alert: Weepies and Submarines on One Tree Hill

Anyone see the Submarines and the Weepies on "One Tree Hill" last night?? Two of our bands at Nettwerk in one episode. Both songs were used in creative ways and were featured prominently. For those who think TV is selling out, the Weepies shot to the top of theiTunes charts -- #1 song and #1 album!

B.Fleischmann's new album

The Humbucking Coil drops in Germany this month. The domestic is due in March. It's a fabulous electro pop dream.

"Static Crate" is a crunchy, melodic fuzzy gem. Listen to it:

Static Crate

Morr Music
B. Fleischmann home page


It took me a long time to get back into the online blog thing. I co-founded the webzine Jam! Online out of NYC in 1995. We did some cool features on indie bands and some major label alternative groups too. Our claim to fame was that we were one of the first to include online music files and were one of the first online "leaks" of a record when we posted two songs from the Sneaker Pimps. Those downloads nearly shut down our host server!

One of the issues that has kept me from launching a blog is some perfectionist desire to have some predetermined blog concept, a spiffy logo and generally an awesome, sexy blog from day one. Well, obviously, will is some growth here before Loss Leaders is the next Stereogum. And honestly, I'm not sure if I even aspire to that...

Loss Leaders will spotlight cool, new musical happenings in and from Los Angeles, California and will celebrate the special sounds and emerging talent from my hometown, the City of Angels. Occasionally some topics that my favorite blogs tackle will appear here too: yummy restaurants, the Dodgers, best bar jukeboxes, etc.

Richard Scarry rules.