I don't why this city gets the rap that it does. I have been here for less than a year and I have truly enjoyed it. There are some great music venues and great artists come through on a weekly basis, but recently, I keep reading about artists going on tour in support of new music and skipping over LA.
Here is a breakdown:
Elvis Costello. I love this man. I have loved everything he has ever done (except for North, which was unbelievably dissapointing). One of my greatest live music memories is of Costello at the State Theater in Detroit. It was just him and Steve Neive (from the Attractions). They played for hours and had 5 encores! Costello did great renditions of classic songs with the help of just Nieve. Two years ago, when I heard that he was basically doing the same thing, recording some of his hit songs with an orchestra I looked all over the internet for orchestral versions of songs I loved. I found a couple, but really looked forward to some official recording. Stereogum reminded me that it is coming out at the end of this month. He is doing a short tour and going to San Francisco, but not LA. Let's hope for a Hollywood Bowl summer show.
MP3: Elvis Costello - Shipbuilding (Live at the Royal Festival Hall, London 10/11/03)
MP3: Elvis Costello & The Metropole Orkest - Watching the Detectives (from Stereogum)
Cloud Cult. Central Village and Brooklyn Vegan wrote about this CD before I randomly found it in a used pile with some other great CDs. Immediately upon listening to it, I loved it and was one of my favorite records of last year. It was one of those albums that no one really heard, but if you did, it was impossible not to love. I read that they booked a west coast tour and got super excited only to find out that they are skipping over LA. I emailed them and they said they just don't have the fanbase in LA. Should have written about them sooner.
MP3: Cloud Cult - Living on the Outside of Your Skin
MP3: Cloud Cult - Mr. Tambourine Man (live on KEXP)
Destroyer. I bought this CD last week and can not stop listening to it. Dan Bejar, the man behind the album is a part time New Pornographer and has put out some stellar albums of his own, but nothing I have really gotten into. I was given one of his earlier albums last year (Streethawk: A Seduction) and liked it, but wasn't blown away by it. This on the other hand has really been making me happy. When the Fiery Furnaces opened with songs over nine minutes on Blueberry Boat, I thought it was bold and cocky, but Destroyer's nine minute opening track is one of the strongerst on the album. Go figure. Destroyer goes on tour at the end of March and is hitting up the west coast, but not LA.
MP3: Destroyer - Painter In Your Pocket
Metal Hearts. Again, I have to thank Jeff at Central Village for his great post about this band. I had never heard of them before, but totally connected on the music time and place idea that he wrote about. Its a great CD, that is produced really well. I have listened to it a lot in my car, but I can tell this is a great headphones album. Imagine trying to sleep with calm whispers in your ear all night long. That is this abum. Again, the Metal Hearts are on tour prepping for SXSW, but are not coming anywhere near the west coast. Hopefully one day soon they will.