Viva! Pomona

Viva! Pomona

Allah-Las met while working at the biggest of all the L.A. Record stores, but they became a band in an even more rare and special space—a California basement, dug out somewhere between the mountains and the beach. They began gigging shortly after their conception in and around Los Angeles in the later part of 2008. It wasn't until three years later that they would find the proper environment to record their first single "Long Journey" which now bookends their self-titled release. These were the kind of songs that bounced between London and Los Angeles, the kind of thing that could have come from Mick Jagger or Arthur Lee or both at once, with crystalline guitar and slow-mo drums that recalled the way the waves take big bites of the beach at night. This was mystery music from the strange and ancient-modern California fringe, more Night Tide than Easy Rider. Allah-Las were a reflection of a reflection, an echo of an echo, a band that was psychedelic not because of reverb or shredding through pedals but for the simple way their songs seem to extend to infinity. (Chris Ziegler)

Milk Music

A very loud, and electric power trio lends a fuzz blanket over classic american songwriting in the vain of Dinosaur Jr., The Feelies, Hüsker Dü. Unlike other underground bands tackling pop via hardcore today, MILK MUSIC strays from the commonly generic reverb and surf sound to strengthen their no bullshit policy of presenting good songs, and for that they come off as a real band in an era of genre biting.

The Lovely Bad Things

Brought together by time and fate—they’d all known each other since high school, but finally made a band together in 2009—and named by some kind of esoteric computer filename error too complex to further explain, Orange County’s The Lovely Bad Things are the hyperactive omnitalented and relentlessly hilarious garage-pop band who crowdfunded their way to an encore performance at the world-famous Primavera Sound festival and whose new album The Late Great Whatever was titled during a dream at the suggestion of their spirit guide, who happens to look strangely like Dinosaur Jr drummer Murph. Was that a lot to take in all at once? Then now you can sympathize with the cop who pulled them over on their way to the UFO museum in Roswell, New Mexico: “‘Who here has ADD?’” Brayden Ward remembers him asking. “And we all raised our hands.”

The Lovely Bad Things are Brayden and brother Camron Ward, Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius, each a multi-instrumentalist and each devoted to a bottomless knowledge of ridiculous pop culture and comprehensive appreciation for the Pixies, though if you dismantled their songs and their record collections both you’d find Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, the B-52s, the Wipers and of course Redd Kross, whose sense of humor and sense for a hook the Bad Things have inherited. They mostly come from the city of La Mirada, but their true home is the Lovely Bad Pad, a converted suburban garage—converted personally by the band members—that’s hosted truly legendary backyard punk shows, up to and including a surprise set by Peter, Bjorn and John, who know a good thing when they hear it.

It’s this combination of D.I.Y. spirit and off-the-wall luck that carried The Lovely Bad Things from that backyard to a cassette release on trendsetter label Burger Records that would be called one of the best L.A. punk releases of 2011 by the L.A. Weekly. And from there they ricocheted into a surprise slot at Primavera Sound festival, crowdfunding and benefit-showing just barely enough for airfare to get there and winning over their audience forever once they did. Now, after building a fan base show by show and person by frothing-at-the-mouth person—a guy once came all the way from Belgium to see them play one special song—The Lovely Bad Things have finished The Late Great Whatever for Volcom Entertainment.

The Late Great Whatever was started just after the release of the maxi-EP New Ghost/Old Waves, until now the Lovely Bad Things’ signature release. Although they’d released a full-length called Shark Week in 2010, the album that would become …Whatever was going to be something new, they explain: “Our first real full-length,” says Tim. At least half of Shark Week’s songs were written in … oh, about two minutes, calculates Lauren, because back then Lovely Bad Things were just discovering the knockout sugar high that came from just playing music with each other. But this would be different: “How do I say it and not sound like a super-cliché musician?” asks Camron. “More mature, I guess?”

So what’s that mean? Not one but two Star Wars references on the tracklist, Bigfoot on the cover, a shout-out to Macho Man Randy Savage and a relentless collection of the strongest songs The Lovely Bad Things have ever done. What, did you think “mature” meant? They were going to get all mopey and slow? (“Just say it’s ‘globular’ and ‘shapeshifting,’” suggests Camron.) Produced by Jon Gilbert in the studio built and run by Crystal Antlers’ frontman Jonny Bell, this is a record by a band who’ve developed a telepathic language of their own, with songs that stop and start and turn inside out in ways you just can’t play unless you know exactly what everyone else in the studio with you is thinking.

On The Late Great Whatever, Lovely Bad Things roll out just about anything you’d want about 15% faster than you’d expect. Do they do it all? They indeed do it all. They have stormers like “Kessel Run” and the stand-out “Randall the Savage,” which is all jittery post-punky guitar and gradually building insanity. Then they have sweetheart pop-punk like “Maybe I Know,” which is born for the best mixtapes of 2013. They have surf’s-up guitar (“Styx And Branches”) and wah-wah guitar (“Oozin It”) and oh-my-God-I’m-being-attacked-by-furious-bees guitar (“Kessel Run”). They have Frank Black-style spoken-word stammer (“Fried Eyes”) and cooled-out Kim Deal back-ups. And those heartbreaker harmonies that are part of what make The Lovely Bad Things so special? Pretty much everywhere, thanks to Lauren’s gift for melody, but why don’t you go right to “Rope Swing” if you need ‘em right away? And if this still seems like a lot to take in at once, don’t worry—down some (or too much) caffeine, roll down the windows and let The Late Great Whatever take the wheel. Just watch out for the cops on the way to the UFO museum. When they hear music like this, they pay way too much attention.

Mrs. Magician

Mrs. Magician hails from the pilings of various San Diego piers. Like those pilings, their sound is encrusted with salty hooks drenched in waves of reverb and barnacled, fuzz. These pop songs are massive and betray the beach shack bummer of the summer posture that these hoodad's exude.

"Strange Heaven" is the band's debut album and magnifies the cacophonous lullabies of the their four previous singles. This record is for connoisseur's of fuzz, distortion, echo and reverb who prefer their noise to be tempered liberally with minor key, bubblegum and (at times)haunting melody. Recorded and produced by John Reis (of Hot Snakes, RFTC, Night Marchers, Drive Like Jehu) in the same way of the old masters in order to achieve a more musical hiss and crackle. The result is a timely and hopefully timeless artifact.

Colleen Green and I both lived in Boston, Massachusetts during the early part of this century. My Brain Hurts and Milo Goes to College were listened to. Alcohol was consumed outdoors. Colleen fronted a pop-punk band whose drummer suffered from what must have been a form of narcolepsy. Eventually, she left town for points west. Not long afterward, I heard she'd released a homemade tape called Milo Goes to Compton. She sent me a copy, and I was floored: Her Ramones-driven songwriting hadn't lost a step, but in the process of going solo she'd whittled away most of the the genre trappings. What remained was sparse electric guitar, a tinny drum machine, and Green's gorgeous voice, which sounded more confident than ever. The tape sounded like it had been made in haste; intimate in a way that pop-punk typically is not, and it came with a funny comic about smoking pot. She had retained the self-awareness and disdain for frills bestowed on all New England natives, but it had been tempered some by California's dreamy slacker romanticism. It had turned into something new.

Upon arriving at a Brooklyn loft show in 2010, Green arrived armed with her tapes and CD-Rs of what would come to be her first Hardly Art release, 4 Loko 2 Kayla. Fast forward a couple of years and another perfect EP (2011's CUJO), and Green is ready to release Sock it to Me, her debut LP for Hardly Art. What used to sound sparse out of necessity has been honed into an intentional, Young Marble Giants kind of austerity focused on giving her voice the room it demands. The constant presence of time-tested four-chord progressions and Green's faithful drum machine keep Sock it to Me grounded in pure pop, but her breathy, emotive vocals have taken an enormous leap forward, evoking all-time heroes such as Rose Melberg and Tina Weymouth. "Time In the World," especially, recalls the way Weymouth's Tom Tom Club combined straightforward, relatable lyrics about the experience of really liking someone with earworm bass lines that end up being the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning.

Green has been known to perform a cover of The Descendents' "Good Good Things" so slow and intense that it's almost uncomfortable. Being so aloof and laid-back that it exposes the personal, honest sweetness in a song like that is Colleen's M.O. in a nutshell. Colleen Green encapsulates the best parts of the Northeast and the West Coast. Colleen Green always wears sunglasses onstage. Colleen Green is long hair and getting high. I listened once. I will listen forever. Sock it to me.

-Joe Bernardi

Sea Lions are a garage / pop band from Oxnard, Ca. Active since 2007 with various line up changes the group now consists of Adrian Pillado and his closest friends Mattew Urango, Kyle Zufolo, and Roman Gonzalez on drums. Their debut lp, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask, is avaible now via Slumberland Records and on cassette courtesy of Burger Records.

Moses Campbell

Tomorrows Tulips

Tomorrows Tulips formed on August 15th when alex bought a piccalo snare drum at the thrift store and handed it to Christina. The two spent 3 nights at Mike McQ's distillery studio organizing some sort of an idea on how to play together. While socializing with Mike and discussing what to call the group it became vaguely clear what to do. The duo consists of stripped down pop that often disregards professionalism in anyway shape and form. Absolute Fearlessness prevails in creating songs that revolve around subject matter that consists of flowers, happiness, love, haircuts, friends, and un-macho-ism. TT will continue to make songs on cassette tape and post them on the internet until the release of the full length album that will be recorded at the distillery in late September and released on vinyl, cassette and cd in October 2009. Then with a vw bug tour across America to follow.

San Pedro El Cortez

Wild Pack of Canaries

Wild Pack of Canaries is from Long Beach, CA. They formed in 2009, playing with a variety of different members until forming the current lineup (which still changes from time to time.) They play a form of heavily layered rock with psychadelic latin overtones.

2010 saw the release of the Canaries' first full length, 'The Coroner Can Wait'. They've toured the west coast in support of this album and have more tours planned in support of Free Moral Agents and Avi Buffalo.

Surf Club

"When original Craft Spells member Frankie Soto didn't follow the band to Seattle, he gathered his Stockton crew of Eddie Zepeda, Alfonso Robles, and Jose Medina to create sentimental and earnest songs that treat twee rock styles with serious attention to guitar forward rock and roll. Spotted at both this year's Noise Pop and SF Pop festivals, Surf Club is the best news to come out of Stockton since Pavement. Their record Young Love marks the first release ever on the new label Death Party Records, an imprint founded by Portland's Michael Avishay of Ghost Animal." --Impose Magazine

Late Nite Howl

Grmln (at the Flyway at the Fox)

Born in Kyoto, Japan and raised in Southern California, 19-year-old Yoodoo Park is the man behind indie rock outfit GRMLN. In the summer of 2010 in between sessions on his surfboard, Park began recording guitar-driven dream-pop in his garage to soundtrack the journeys in his car. Park chose the name GRMLN to echo the feelings of otherworldliness and disconnect he felt during those summers. Currently a student at the University of California Santa Cruz, Park pens songs there when he's away from his makeshift recording studio and his live band, in which he plays with his brother. Entitled Explore, Yoodoo's debut EP is just that: a young artist inspired by the scenery of his coastal surroundings, discovering and developing his singular voice to create a wistful palette of blues, greens and golds.

On Explore, Park pairs clean, jangly guitars and strong backbones of bass with his yearning, muted vocals that employ reverb to soften, not distort. GRMLN's sound may be unmistakably Californian, but there's a sense of nostalgia that pervades Explore, hearkening back to Park's roots in Japan, where he still spends every summer. Tracks like album opener "Relax Yourself (Dolphin Cry)" and the slow-burning "Live.Think.Die" encapsulate the wistful aesthetic of Explore, with twinges of heartbreak and melancholy tales of wasted youth darkening the album's summertime mood. "Patio" brings Explore to a close on a restless note with one of the album's most soaring melodies, bolstered by haunting harmonies that build a feeling of despair lingering on far after the album's final minor key. Explore is a bittersweet portrait of a young man, making music to catalogue his memories as they slip away with every passing California sunset.

$15.00 - $17.00

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Viva! Pomona with Allah-Las, Milk Music, The Lovely Bad Things, Mrs. Magician, 100 Flowers, Colleen Green, Sea Lions, ...

Saturday, July 27 · 5:00 PM at The Glass House