“Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)” by Silversun Pickups

Old music video and track, but perfect for bringing Lesbian Tuesdays out of hibernation.

Suzie Vlcek‘s video for “Dots and Dashes” by Silversun Pickups is an abridged predecessor to Blue is the Warmest Color. Continuing the Silversun Pickups’ common theme of youthful exploration in Los Angeles, “Dots and Dashes” follows the short-lived but passionate fling between two teenage girls.

“Oh” and “True” by Mt. Si.

Not sure what Mt. Si. stands for. First impression was “Mount Sinai” but it could be “Mount Sithelie” because their/her/??? Soundcloud URL is mtsithelie. Is it a place? Is it a name like Nathalie? Not much more to discover from their/her/??? Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and YouTube profiles other than the fact that they/she/?? are/is from LA and a corrupt hard drive contains all the Mt. Si. recordings. Their music has only been posted 15 days ago. Similar to the SRSLY mystery.

The hi-hats are nu-disco, but the bass and synths are chillwave.

But it’s seriously the vocals that tie it together, somewhat reminiscent of Blondie’s Debbie Harry but airy and slower tempo-ed.

“Oh” begins with quick cymbals and the static of a shaker. Simple then a smooth buildup. A feel of the tropics somewhere inside all the synths. At 1:29, it slows down to almost an airy standstill with the shaker’s static noise holding it together. Almost a full minute of standstill is broken by an litany of “He don’t call” as Mt. Si. laments an absent male figure.

“True” begins with a mix of the tropical and the cosmic. Where “Oh” had a sound built upon a static feeling, “True” is neater, more controlled. “True” is slower. “True” is more direct.

BoxSpeaker Prediction: Mt. Si. will become an up-and-coming musician/band in a few weeks.

“Are You That Somebody” BANKS Cover

BANKS stopped by the BBC radio 1 Live Lounge to perform an acoustic cover of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” and an acoustic version of her latest single “Brains.”

Whether it’s produced with R&B beats or stripped down to only vocals and a guitar, BANKS’s performance is still soulful and amazing.

“Dear Santa” by Mr. Little Jeans

Just in time for the Holidays, Mr. Little Jeans released “Dear Santa” – a 1950s style Christmas track.

The cheery-sounding track has the twist of Mr. Little Jeans lamenting how amid all the festivities “on Christmas day, I’ll be the loneliest girl” due to a long-distance relationship (“A kiss on the phone won’t make up for being alone”). Reminds me of Figurine’s “IMpossible” and the line “These instant message conversations are filled with empty explanations. 12-point text cannot replace five minutes with you face-to-fact…”

Guilty Pleas EP by Night Terrors of 1927

Rilo Kiley alum Blake Sennett started a new band last year – Night Terrors of 1927. Today, they released their EP “Guilty Pleas” in a self-categorized “Dark Pop” genre.
“Fall into You”

Possibly the “dark” and sad counterpart to dream pop, Night Terrors of 1927 has a definite dark wave feel, especially with the beginning loops of “Fall into You.” However, the “pop” aspect of “dark pop,” fits in with tracks such as “Dust and Bone,” which has a happier, electropop sound – particularly at the 0:22 mark – almost a CHVRCHES “oohhh ohhh ahh ahhh” vocals-turned-to-electrobeats effect. While depressing in terms of lyrics, the crescendo of choir “ohh ohhh ahhh ohh” vocalizations and the female harmonizing of the ending chorus in “Dust and Bone” builds it into a more hopeful sounding track – like a dark Polyphonic Spree.

“Dust and Bone”

You can buy the EP on iTunes: http://atlr.ec/1iS1WkK

Concert Relive – The Colourist and Ghost Loft at Popscene

Are you in San Francisco? Did you go to The Colourist and Ghost Loft show at Popscene last night?

Relive the night with some of BoxSpeaker’s favorites by both bands 🙂

BoxSpeaker Favorite “Yes Yes” by The Colourist

“Fix This” by The Colourist

“Seconds” by Ghost Loft

“Heat Lightning” by Icky Blossoms – remixed by Ghost Loft

We Barbarians Bid Farewell

After 7 years as a band, We Barbarians have posted that they’re playing their last two shows tomorrow (September 19) at the Wiltern with Cold War Kids and on Friday at Culver City’s Paul Loya Gallery.

In 2010, I got to meet the band during their show at Spaceland with my friends Sucker for Pumps – who were also playing that night as part of a residency. The Union Line and The Fling also joined in that night of local performers.

It was really fun hanging out with the bands between their sets and asking them about their music. I also got some of my best photos from there. This was when I had first started blogging and photographing concerts. I was still really new to it all, and it was cool that these bands I hadn’t met before let me pretend to be a music writer while snacking on tamales that someone was selling near the door.

The respect I was given  as a “music journalist” (even though I was a complete amateur with posts containing too many exclamation points) by all the bands and especially by We Barbarians – who were the headliners was amazing and also very encouraging for me at such an early part of my music writing experience. For that, I’m extremely grateful to We Barbarians.

See ya We Barbarians – and thanks for the great music!

We Barbarians – White from WE BARBARIANS on Vimeo.