All posts by la_ben

Your musical week. . .

The weekend is nearly upon us and if any of you are like me, you’re thinking “oh crap! Tomorrow is the weekend! I should probably make plans for fun!” Well, I have a few suggestions on where you might find this elusive “fun” this weekend.

Friday night sees The Gris Gris playing at the Echo. Ariel Pink headlines with Indian Jewelry and Belong supporting as well.

I can’t even tell you how pumped I am to see the Gris Gris again. Here’s a a little clipping from the label’s website on the band’s recently released second album:

For the Season is the second album from The Gris Gris, the sorceress San Francisco outfit assembled by psychedelic shaman Greg Ashley. For the Season is the definition of modern psychedelia while providing the vehicle for Ashley’s catchy songwriting and complex arrangements.

I can’t endorse the other bands quite as strongly as I do the Gris Gris but it should be an entertaining night. If you don’t like it you can always go hang out with the hipsters up the street at The Little Joy or The Shortstop.

Other upcoming hotness includes:
Sunday: Eleni Mandell (How can you not be in love with this woman?) at The Fold/Tangier or
on both Sunday and Monday Jeff Tweedy & Glenn Kotche (of Wilco! !) at The Fonda
Also Monday you could go back to Spaceland for The Willowz and Wolfmother if you want to get your psych-rock on for free.
and finally, on Monday and also free at The Echoyou can catch The Cloud Room (who have a ridiculously catchy song called “Hey Now Now” that all the mp3 bloggers are up in arms about) with Hellen Stellar (who I’ve, admittedly, never heard. Sorry.)

If you can’t have fun with that list in your hand then you, my friends, are in trouble.

Do I feel better?

Apparently, this was released a year ago, but somehow I (and seemingly everyone I know) missed it. Regardless, it’s sitting at the front of this morning so I thought I’d mention it.

Shortly after 9/11, al Qaeda began planning to use shoe bombers to hijack a commercial airplane and fly it into the tallest building in Los Angeles, President Bush said Thursday.

The intended target of the attack, the Library Tower, is 1,018 feet tall. It was renamed the U.S. Bank Tower in 2003 and is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

I’m not sure if being told that people were actively trying to blow up a big building in my city (but were foiled by the government) makes me feel better or worse.

You want to see The Little Ones Tonight at Spaceland

I’m still kind of new here so most of you probably don’t know that I’m a pretty huge music snob. Because of this I’m going to claim that my hot musical tips should be taken very seriously.

Are you ready?

Tonight at Spaceland will see The Littles Ones play what will only be one of their first handful of shows. For those unfamiliar with the band, it features ex-members of Sunday’s Best (more info available at Polyvinyl Records), they throw down brilliantly-crafted and catchy pop songs. I’m really excited about where this band is going. I caught their first ever show a few months ago and every time I’ve seen or heard them since it’s been even better. This band is good.

So come by Spaceland and see The Little Ones and also the new Monday resident band for February, The Willowz . It’s Monday, it’s free, it’s early (they hit the stage around 10), plus I’ll be there. . . and I might even bring my dad! HOW CAN YOU RESIST!?

To learn more about The Little Ones, you can check them out on the web (there are a few mp3s) and on Myspace. I don’t care what LAist says, Myspace is life.

My cops are more high-tech than your cops.

Does anyone remember how Spider-Man had neat little GPS trackers that he could shoot on to bad guys’ bumpers so he didn’t have to chase them? Anyone?

Well, Spider-Man is no longer alone in his total badassery when it comes to tracking bad guys, believe it or not the LAPD is hopping on the Spidey-tracker bandwagon!

“The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will become the first law enforcement agency to outfit cars with a device that propels and sticks a Global Positioning System (GPS) onto a fleeing car.

The department will mount the StarChase LLC device in the grill of some squad cars in the fall. “Officers in the car would control a green laser light, similar to an aiming device that fixes on your target,” said LAPD Lieutenant Paul Vernon on Friday. “A small dart-like device is propelled from the officer’s car.”

The LAPD is hopeful the GPS device will reduce the number of high-speed car chases through the city. The department conducted more than 600 vehicle pursuits in 2005, up from 581 in the prior year, said Vernon.”

The article goes on to state that the GPS device is one of three new technologies that the LAPD will be deploying, unfortunately tasers and crime labs are not as cool as sticky GPS darts fired from moving cars.

My spider-sense is tingling.

Coachella Lineup! (for real this time?)

It looks like this one might even be official. Let the hating commence! (I’m so sick I can’t even read the whole list, but some of this stuff looks fun. . .right?)

Saturday, April 29th
Depeche Mode (headlining), Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, Common, Damian Marley, Atmosphere, Carl Cox, My Morning Jacket, Ladytron , Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tosca, Cat Power, Animal Collective, HARD-fi, Derrick Carter, Devendra Banhart, She Wants Revenge, The Walkmen, The Juan Maclean, Audio Bullys, Imogen Heap, Lady Sovereign, Deerhoof, The Duke Spirit, Editors, stellastarr*, Lyrics Born, Matt Costa, The New Amsterdams, The Zutons, Platinum Piped Pipers, White Rose Movement, Chris Liberator, Colette, Joey Beltram, Hybrid, Wolfmother, The Like, Living Things, Nine Black Alps, The Section Quartet, Infadels, Youth Group, Shy FX & T Power, Infusion.

Sunday, April 30th
Tool (headlining), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Paul Oakenfold, Scissor Sisters, Matisyahu, James Blunt, TV on the Radio, Sleater-Kinney , Mogwai, Coheed and Cambria, Gnarls Barkley, Coldcut, Phoenix, Digable Planets, Amadou & Mariam, Little Louie Vega, Mylo (DJ Set), Seu Jorge, Wolf Parade, The Go! Team, Kaskade, Metric, Art Brut, Dungen, The Dears, Jamie Lidell, The Magic Numbers, Los Amigos Invisibles, Jazzanova, Michael Mayer, Mates of State, Gilles Peterson, Gabriel & Dresden, The Subways, Minus the Bear, Be Your Own Pet, Giant Drag, Kristina Sky, The Octopus Project.

The Ambassador no more.

I know we’ve talked about the Ambassador Hotel before, but I come bearing photographs. I’ve got access to some amazing views of the (formerly) famous hotel. I wish I would’ve shot more of it as they tore it down. It’s a sad, sad sight.

Longest. busride. ever.

How do and all that. I’m one of the new guys, here to tell tales of both glory and woe. I’m gonna start with this image I captured on the freeway (cause that’s all people in LA talk about anyway, right?) This is the 101 heading North one lonely Sunday afternoon.

New York City Bus?

Now, I realize that my cameraphone captures images that are a little less than “high fidelity” but hopefully you can make out the MTA logo on the side of this bus and the words “New York City Bus” written on the side (I’ve enlarged it a bit down in the corner.) This sight wouldn’t have been near as confounding had I not been the ONLY PERSON on the 101 to see this. So, was I visited by the magical phantom NYC bus that haunts the LA freeways? I have no idea. Alone on the 101? NYC bus? I just kept on driving. . .what happens on the freeway stays on the freeway.