There’s a popular term in the DJ community called “cauliflower ear.” It’s when you wear big headphones – a.k.a. cans – so frequently that the cartilage in the upper part of your ear begins to knot.
I have a very specific habit of twisting the cartilage between my fingers in private, the way someone might dig into their nose at a red light or scratch at their privates beneath the dinner table.
My gnarled right ear is a souvenir from a past life. It’s a scar, a tattoo, a piercing that never fully healed over. It’s a reminder of the way things were when I was fully immersed into a particular scene, dunked fully into the exquisite cultural tank of all-things music.
The 88 are a four-piece rock band from Los Angeles known for their unexpected and powerful live shows. Their self-titled 6th studio album, out now, signifies a momentous return to their signature hooky and hi-energy sound. Together since high school, the guys seem to have a blast playing together and it definitely comes through both live and on their recordings.
The album is a great listen. Weeks after receiving a copy, I’ve still got it in heavy rotation. It’s a swaggering, strutting romp mixed with a few slow-slung ballads for good measure.
If you’re in LA, hope to see ya at the record release party! It’s Tuesday, October 12th at the Troubadour.
For this year’s Coachella Music Festival – a holiday of sorts for Los-Angelenos in the music industry – I chose to forgo the long lines, blistering heat and nutty ravers to spend a weekend of leisure in the desert area. And of course hit some pool parties along the way.
I think the decision to sit this years’ fest out was a blessing in disguise. I encountered many up-and-comers at these little parties – too small to hit the festival circuit, but absolutely rockin’ nonetheless.
When I returned to LA a couple of DJ friends at KCRW asked if I had managed to see any good acts. Nosaj Thing immediately came to mind. His glitchy, dub-step, sampled electro groove had the Imeem/Indieoasis party rockin’ and I was transfixed.
It was truly amazing to watch someone so young and forward thinking totally kill it. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
This tune by Greg Laswell was an important song for me last summer (July to be exact – for reasons I can explain later). So yesterday I was thrilled to be pointed towards the accompanying video. It co-stars Elijah Wood and was directed by Autumn De Wilde. De Wilde has worked with Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, The Raconteurs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and known for her work with Elliot Smith, most notably a book of intimate photographs and conversations with the artist.
I love this band so much. Their energy level is infectious and they’re all great musicians with a really tight sound. Admittedly we were short-staffed in the New Media department this day but successfully got the video shoot off the ground thanks to a lil’ teamwork. Check out the bands’ U.S. Debut below, taped live from the KCRW studios!