Archive for September, 2012


Los Angeles’ Allah-Las….

Most bills for me consist of one act. The others are filler to warm-up for a headliner, or stronger than whoever the hell is at the top of the bill. Rolling maybe your way is an excellent double bill — I was fortunate enough to take it in this week. One part the electrifying Nick Waterhouse and the other part Allah-Las. The former, or the headliner of this tour, vouched more than once for his openers. Due to Spotify, and my usual go-to resources for new music, rarely will I bother with an opener. My musical collection is large enough. But a co-sign from one of my favorite artists this year woke me up, luckily, to this surf-inspired quartet taking us back to a simpler time.

A record you can lose yourself in. It’s the melodies that drift you off to another place and set you on a wave; a sound upbeat enough to energize you but tranquil, too; this simple smoothness reminds you to take a step back, slow down for a few, and bask in the little things.


Nick Waterhouse & the Tarots takeover the Larimer Lounge…


Some acts exude that live performance persona; an aura that on record speaks of a potential confidence in front of a live audience. Nick Waterhouseno stranger ’round these parts as of late — through his song crafting abilities put into my head he’d smoke in a club; something about striving for that true throwback sound, a vibe that fought for 110% at all moments. The showman who wouldn’t stop until the room’s walls were dripping with sweat that originated from the intensity of the bodies and feet shuffling, swaying in time, and jiving like this was the last night of their lives.

Well, the dapper  young Los Angeleeese conductor of all things hip and electrifying transcended anything I could have begun to envision….

To jump start an evening consisting of a one-two Los Angeles soul revivalist punch, MHSC warmed up the Larimer Lounge’s dancing feet by showcasing their wide breadth of soul knowledge. Allah-Las, a fresh surf-inspired Los Angeles act, presented their freshly pressed self-titled debut. A record with melodies reminiscent of ocean waves, tales of passed loves, and a yearning to bring yesterday’s sound back. By the finale of Allah-Las’ set, which headliner Nick Waterhouse accompanied on organ, the Larimer Lounge’s feet and blood were ready for the 50s R&B powerhouse that is Nick Waterhouse & the Tarots. The dapper 26 year old confessed to the crowd that this tour was “the realization of my dreams”. The inaugural show of a 22 stop national tour, Nick and his Tarot’s blazed through a set with a fierce intensity and precision.

Though its his sound, the man knows when it’s time to pay the heroes of yesterday respect. The finale of what could most likely be the performance of 2012, was a cover of “It’s All Over Now”, a track originally performed by Bobby Womack. The bandleader and his Tarots were accompanied by the Allah-Las to form the ultimate 10 piece act. The pure musicianship and desire to corroborate my hopes for what his live show could be, were smashed. Time’s All Gone has been in constant rotation for months; what was presented though, wasn’t that same record. Songs were intensified, vocals were notes hit right the first time; the passion exuded from this sextet wasn’t what you expect from a man with a debut record, on a Wednesday night, kicking off a tour. In Denver. But the passion of a man, perhaps a movement, who’s looked into the future and knows what it takes to be one of the greats.

Hallelujah! I’m A Bum…

The CTA is an integral unit to the behemoth of a puzzle that is Chicago. Without it, the city might crumble, figuratively. Without the thunderous rumble of the L, Scott Lucas, one half of hard hitting, concept inducing Local H, wouldn’t be crafting his seventh full length. Hallelujah! I’m A Bum, like its predecessors, continues with a central focus laced from start to finish. H’s focus this time is the city that bred them: Chicago. Lucas shares via Chicago’s Sun-Times his public transit habit:

Train Tracks

Besides the theme of the city that has given me timeless records, H’s latest permeates with political leanings. Chicago has harsh winters, a season where words like depressing, dark, endless, etc. are strewn from Chicagoans’ mouths. From the cover, with the canine fresh from a frolic in the cold snow of Chicago, to the back of the record, one with a fresh blanket under the L tracks, this record, like Chicago winters for most, has a bleak tone. Its tone paints the picture of a country in disarray.

Even if Scott Lucas feels our nation is in a chaotic state, Local H hasn’t lost a step. Less than a week in, I foresee H’s latest trumping most all other records I’m spinning in 2012. And the year has been no joke. 


(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do…

Back in ’97, the combination of Filter’s industrial midwestern rock and Crystal Method’s big beat LA electronica sound created a synthetic cool. Something hip at the time. A combination that was forward thinking. “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do”, still excites me like it did a decade and a half ago. It’s the murky EKG-like bass grumbling underneath that hits me first. Filter’s Patrick possesses the throaty, yet initially apathetic sounding approach to his delivery. Crystal Method understands a trippy build-up; then that dynamic explosion and a frenetic beat half way in turns Patrick’s vocals upside down and sets his voice a blaze.

Off the Spawn soundtrack, one that had the impressive collaborative potential of the Judgement Night OST, the track below continues to circulate back into rotation. One that seems perfect for mashing on the motorway…

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September 2012