There was plenty going on for me in the land of music this past weekend. Here are the highlights:
Frankie Cosmos and Iji:
On Thursday, these two bands announced a show at Junior High in addition to their gig at the Echo, so I snatched up two tickets right away. Good thing, because the small space sold out. Junior High is a fantastic new venue, arts space, and storefront in Hollywood. This summer, our very own DJ Cory Lomberg facilitated a creative writing workshop there. It was a good place to spend a hot night drinking Tecate and observing an array of good haircuts and line drawing tattoos while seeing awesome music or art.
Iji is the Seattle, Washington based brainchild of Zach Burba (guitar, vox, saxophone), joined by an ever-rotating cast of friends. Inspired by indie rock, funk, disco, the arcade game Cruisin’ USA, and Steely Dan, their music is as bubbly as pamplemousse La Croix. Their cover of Cher’s Believe was truly magical.
K-Records-and-other-sweet-things-inspired Frankie Cosmos hail from NYC. The has band evolved from the drum and guitar two piece of bandcamp-only days to the full four piece, complete with bass and keys, that I saw Friday night. The guitar pop is no less sweet or sincere now that they have a real record deal. Their set at Junior High really put their new album, Next Thing, into motion.
Peanut Butter Wolf:
If you came out to our show this Saturday, thank you so much. We were so lucky to bring Peanut Butter Wolf, founder and owner of Stones Throw Records, into Sycamore Glen for a DJ set. Wolf rocked our world, but you rocked ours for showing up and dancing your butts off.
In case you missed it, PB Wolf played an awesome mix of tracks old and new, complete with curated visuals. He also brought along Stones Throw newcomer Sudan Archives, who accompanied parts of the set on violin. We got to christen our brand new light system as well. This show was what KOXY is all about: bringing artists that help Oxy students get down, along with supporting local artists.
Blood Bitch – Jenny Hval
I first listened to this record in the library’s archival closed stacks, and it was freaky. It’s cold, quiet, dusty, but you never really know if you’re alone. Jenny Hval is fearless and raw with her cooing vocals layered over pulsing electronic sounds. Listen on the full moon. Or right now.
A Seat at the Table – Solange
Solange’s new record is damn important and damn beautiful. Of the album, Kara Brown writes that “Solange’s fourth studio album, released last Friday, feels correct for the era—the sound and tone and subject matter an apt representation and balm for the Black Lives Matter era. A Seat at the Table delivers sumptuous funk-tinged R&B-at-the-MOMA, with a voice raised on the influence of En Vogue, Brandy and Diana Ross.” I highly suggest you read her article here
Mykki – Mykki Blanco
If you all don’t remember Mykki Blanco’s show in Sycamore Glen in spring 2015, it was unbelievably sick. Shortly thereafter, we were all devastated, but also intrigued and excited when Mykki announced they were quitting rapping to pursue investigative journalism. Now we have this gem of an album in our laps and I couldn’t be happier. Long live Mykki Blanco.
I also suggest that you watch this performance of Zoe Leonard’s poem:
Dusk – Ultimate Painting
This new album is simple and smooth. Nice solid indie rock all the way through, like a very mellow lovechild of Yo La Tengo and the Kinks. They groove along with reverbed guitars, droning bass and peppy percussion backing up chill layered vocals. Good for spacing out in the sun.
22, A Million – Bon Iver
I feel obligated to write about this record, but I don’t get it. The reviews all make sense, and yes, this record is an expansive new direction for Bon Iver, tailored to the 2016 musical landscape. But no one would be crying about it now if they hadn’t cried about For Emma, Forever Ago in ninth grade. This album can’t stand alone from what Justin Vernon’s falsetto recalls in our memories.