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Music Related: At Echo with Kitten + The Postelles

“Kitten with a Whip” via:

The Skinny:  On June 28th, I finally got to see Kitten the band at Echo along side with The Postelles, Pageants, and Pan Am.  I arrived 2 acts late with a group of friends but we got there just in time for Kitten, The Postelles, and some beer.

The Good:  Kitten’s Chloe Chaidez and it’s pride of instrumental beasts, were everything I thought they were going to be.  They rocked out like overachieving child prodigies  infused with some Rage Against the Machines, making people over 30 feel even older with their long bursts of energy.  Their music was melodic when it needed be and controlled chaotic when it was time to let their youth shine through.   It was just a fun experience and I couldn’t help but smile like as if I was watching a bunch of kids achieve something people twice their age could never.  They are a talented and hungry group and the more crazy they acted on stage, with their hair twirling about and their sibling love punches towards each other’s backs, the more engaging the show got.  They also sound completely different from their recordings.  Their live sets, like “Chinatown” and “Kitten with a Whip” had more raw energy, as it should, and I loved it.   I’ll be looking forward to seeing Chloe Chaidez rise to fame and into hearts of young aspiring musicians younger than her.

The Postelle were solid too, and if weren’t for a few helpful loud female fans in the way front, I think their time spent at Echo would have been a dud.   Their music was melodic and for some reason it reminded me of when Michael J Fox played at his mother’s prom in “Back to the Future.”  I thought they had that classic 60’s rock sound at times and I read somewhere that they were like The Kooks and The Strokes.  Since I’m unfamiliar with those bands at the moment, all I can say is that I just liked how their music sounded.   It’s just too bad their vocals got drowned out by the bad levels in the speakers.  And on a side note, one of their band members looked like Jim Halpert from The Office.  It was kind of humorous….if you’re into the whole “who looks like who in the world of television sitcoms.”

The Somewhat Bad:  While watching Kitten play their set, one of Chloe’s friend, who was drunk off his rockers, got on stage with her and had a nice personal moment.  After that, he got back to the floor and started slamming into the female section of the crowd like as if it was a mosh pit.   I shouldn’t judge…much, but that was pretty weak and I think he even dropped his butterfly knife in the process.

“Hey Chloe’s buddy, if by some small random chance you read this….if the knife is yours and you want it back, the bartender at Echo has it.”

And the only somewhat bad thing I have to say about the Postelles is that, since I was standing in the center and near the stage, lead singer Daniel Balk; who comes across looking like Screech and the Artist formally known as Prince, kept on indirectly looking towards my direction, lifting up his shirt and exposing his man boobs.  It was pretty uncomfortable, so I had to hide behind one of my friends so she could endure the blunt of that awkward glare.

The Bad:  While Echo usually has great opportunities, at cheap prices, to see up and coming music acts, the place suffers from painful levels in the sound system that range from blood piercing high pitches to drowning out lead vocalists.  Either their equipments are just old and decayed, the venue is too small, or their sound engineers just aren’t that good when there are too many instrumental elements or band members to take care of.

Would you come back again? Despite the sound system, Echo is still a great place to find good live acts, street tacos, and easy parking…so yes.

More Info:   The Echo | Kitten | The Postelles

MJ

p.s. Nico Vega, Kitten, and Two Door Cinema Club……are off the bucket list, next up….yeah yeah yeahs!


Music Related: Nico Vega @ The Roxy

via: 

Went to the Roxy, saw Nico Vega on May 23, 2011, loved Aja Volkman, and was blown away by their drummer….. Dan Epand.

– MJ


The Naked and Famous @ Echoplex (04.09.11)

“Girls Like You” Via

“Youngblood” via

So after failing to see The Naked and Famous the night before, I Saw them on April 9th and had front stage view.  I was actually worried that they wouldn’t be very good live, but they turned out to be just great.

www.thenakedandfamous.com

MJ


El Flamin Taco + Xoia Vietnamese Eats

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The Skinny:  On April 8, 2011, I was suppose to go on a food crawl with some TMF247 people and end the night watching The Naked and Famous perform live at the Echoplex in Echo Park.  However, one by one, people started to drop out and so I ended up going there by myself.

While I was at Echo Park waiting for the show, I hit up El Flamin Taco Truck and Xoia Vietnamese Eats since they were close by.   I usually drive by the El Flamin Taco Truck  when I’m on Alvarado Street and on the way towards the Dodgers Stadium.  It would be my first time eating there that day.  Xoia is a fusion style restaurant that serves up Pho and Vietnamese influenced Street Tacos.

The Good:  The truck that wears “El Flamin” decals proudly all over it’s body, was quite impressive.  It had television sets playing Napoleon Dynamite, a LED lit sign greeting costumers in different languages, a rotating spitfire for their Al Pastor, and a full open salsa bar.  They obviously must be doing something right to have their colorful truck to be pimped out like that.

While I was at El Flamin Taco Truck, I ordered the Buche and Al Pastor tacos, 2 of each.  From the Salsa bar, I added the red sauce and some of the Cilantro Onion mix on all of them.  I definitely liked the Buche because it was clean tasting, had a nice texture, and was flavorful.  The red salsa was nice, but for me  it didn’t really add much to the tacos themselves.   Their hand made fresh tortillas were a first for me, but unfortunately I couldn’t really taste the difference.

At Xoia Eats, I got the 3 Chicharones Tacos combo and Vietnamese Iced Coffee.   The Chicharones Tacos were tasty and the Iced Coffee was Vietnamese style strong.  The red salsa that came on the side was a good palette cleanser.

The Bad:  First off, I’m just not a fan of Al Pastor at the moment.  I just don’t get it or at least I haven’t had some where I understand that “that is what Al Pastor is supposed to taste like!”  Not too long ago, I had some that tasted like Chinese style BBQ Pork, and I liked it.  The first Al Pastor Taco I had at El Flamin was kind of bland, crunchy from a piece of gristle, and greasy.  It reminded me of  Korean Pork Bulgogi that is void of sugar.  However, for some reason the second serving of the Al Pastor had better pieces of meat and it tasted much better than the first.  The grease became greasy in a good way and the marinated pork was tastier.   Weird.

At Xoia Eats, the Chicharones Tacos was disappointing because I was expecting pieces of Crispy Pork in it.  Instead, the Pork seemed to be regular cuts of meat fried up in a pan.  If there was Vietnamese style seasoning on the meat, I didn’t notice it.   The tortilla the Chicharones came bedded on had the texture of thinly sliced re-hydrated stale corn chips and I just wasn’t a fan of it.

The Fail:  So after killing 2 hours of time in Echo Park and waiting in line for 2 more hours for the Naked and Famous show, it turns out my ticket was for the following night.  I did see them the next day, and they didn’t disappoint as a live band.

Would you come back? Yes on both accounts.  I’m sure the taco meats and other items at both locations are worth exploring, especially since I’ll be coming back to The Echo/Echoplex for other shows.

More Info: 

El Flamin Taco Truck:  www.elflamintaco.com | yelp

Xoia Vietnamese Eats:  www.xoiaeats.com | 1801 W Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 | Cash Only

– MJ


Khai T Nguyen x QUEST CREW x LMFAO PARTY ROCK ANTHEM

Behind the scenes with Khai , LMFAO, and Quest Crew.

“Every day I’m shuffling!” Haha this catchy tune has got everyone at mainstream clubs doin the Melbourne shuffle…which is a dance style that people used to only see at Hardstyle music events or Massive events like Electric Daisy Carnival. LMFAO and the Party Rock Crew have made this their signature style and have kids all over Hollywood Shuffling. Personally I think the dance looks a little silly but our boys from Quest Crew can make anything look good(Hok did the choreography for the new LMFAO music video), and Choreographer/videographer/socialite extraordinaire KHAI T. NGUYEN perfectly captures all the hard work that went into making the music video! Take a LOOK!  Watch the LMFAO’s Music Video here.

Echo


Music Related: Etienne De Crecy + The 12s

myspace.com/etiennedecrecy

This guy’s been in the electro game for a minute….and what can i say…I love French Fries…French Bread…and French ELECTRO.  This guy will be playing this FRIDAY (3/25) at CONTROL@AVALON.  Ryan Jaso, another electro head, 
and I talked about this guy at North Hollywood’s now closed Red Room over a couple of beers and we both agreed he’s definitely a rising star in the electronic music scene.  Keep an eye out!

 

Drop The Tough Groove Armada” – myspace.com/thetwelves

Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk, The Twelves, are coming to Coachella and you guys should definitely see their set!  Here’s an awesome remix of theirs.

Echo


Music Related: The Joy Formidable

Why Ritzy Bryan, what big blue eyes you have.

Why Ritzy, Rhydian, and Bryan…what great energy you Northern Wales People have.

www.thejoyformidable.com + Myspace Music

MJ


DTLA: Wood Spoon

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The Skinny: Half-asleep on Main St. in Downtown Los Angeles, the restaurant takes its laisse-faire attitude seriously. There’s no sign for the restaurant, just a big wood spoon. Seats? Couches. Napkins? Flower-patterned squares of fabric. Music? Acid jazz or euro-trash beats. Come early or in a small party, the atmosphere is comfortable because the space is cozy. Order a collection of ethnic side dishes (kibe, Portuguese croquettes, coxinha fries, plantains) if you’re feeling adventurous, but its all comfort food under the guise of Brazilian cuisine.

The High: The chicken pot pie stands alone: a classic, hearty dish. Flakey crust that breaks into dark meat with buttery notes that would make Paula Dean proud. Vegetarians or those on a healthy tip should try the beet salad. This dish heaps cubes of fresh beets, a generous portion of avocado, kicks it together with a light lemon salt.

The Low: Vegetable soup was a viscous orange liquid of boiled yams. It’ll take a hard-core sweet potato lover to enjoy its sickly sweetness and the harsh kick of cilantro. On certain days, service can be very very “casual”.

The Snobbery: A fellow fein (caffeine) addict told me about Wood Spoon’s Brazillian coffee. “It’s delicious and thick and sticks to your bones!” The coffee was indeed thick and robust, but comes already sweetened and creamed (that’s what she said). Most Brazilian coffee roasts are sweeter, fruiter, and have lighter-nuances, but there’s no way to fully appreciate it here. All I could notice was the brew wasn’t burnt. Washes down quick and a great way to conclude a meal, but fellow snobs may gulp it down and turn up their nose.

Would you come back again?
Yes, for days when you want no-nonsense comfort food in your mouth, with a possibility for more. This ain’t a one trick pony or a one-night stand venue. I’d hit it again.

More Info: Wood Spoon. 107 W 9th Street, Los Angeles, California 90015. Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Sat 9am-9pm

Seechou


Music Related: DEADMAU5 at AVALON

This video is from last Friday in Hollywood at even called CONTROL@AVALON.  My buddy Ryan Jaso run’s the night with Mr White and they do a great job bringing through some seriously sick special guests….DEADMAU5 popped up from under a bedsheet ghost costume to rock some tunes during Tommy Lee and DJ Aero’s set.  Pretty amazing being that he’s playing this weekend for 100 bucks a ticket at the new Belasco nightclub in Downtown LA. Hmmm Ghosts make’s me think of PacMan….makes me hungry….wakka wakka.

Echo


Music Related: Gravity by Nico Vega

Nico Vega is a Los Angeles rock band that formed in 2005 but I just recently discovered them the other day.  I know I heard their one song “Gravity” on the radio a few times, but I never got the chance to hear who the artist was behind it.  It would usually come on when I’m driving and the song is halfway done, which sucks because I wanted to like the song even more.

Years later,  after browsing a music blog that’s dedicated to Women in Rock, I came across Nico Vega.  Being the noob that I am, I thought Nico Vega was the lead singer, but it represents all three members.  I have no clue what the name means but I now have “Gravity” on repeat and the more I watch Aja Volkman bounce around and fiercely address the crowd with her diverse set of vocals, the more of a crush I have on her.

Along with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs Concert being on my bucket list, I’m going to have to add a Nico Vega show on it too.

www.nicovega.com | youtube | interview

MJ


Music Related: “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies

Just to wash the hippie burrito out my system….I need to listen to some Bassnectar in Dubstep definition.  I love the pixies…ever since Fight Club I’ve always associated this song with catastrophic destruction.

Echo


Music Related: Open Sessions with Young the Giant

Islands

Strings

Discovered this band thanks to Kroq’s Local Only section.  After I heard their music and saw that their live show was dirt cheap at the Roxy last year, I went to see them for just 10 bucks!  I consider them to be another great live band and I’m happy to see them selling out shows everywhere.

Youtube Channel + Myspace

– MJ


Music Related: Charlie Sheen by Jin, Dumbfoundead & Traphik

Charlie Sheen by Jin, Dumbfoundead, and Traphik.  Produced by some of TMF247’s friends.  Now, let us all give thanks to Charlie Sheen and his gifts as they are used as sound-bytes and inspirational material.

Check out Jin’s YouTube Channel and site:
www.youtube.com/user/AyoJinTV
www.ayojin.com/
www.twitter.com/ayojin
www.facebook.com/mcjinhk

Check out Dumbfoundead’s YouTube Channel and site:
www.youtube.com/dumbfoundead
www.dumbfoundead.com
www.facebook.com/dumbfoundead

Check out Traphik’s YouTube Channel and site:
www.youtube.com/TimothyDeLaGhetto2
www.TimothyDeLaGhetto.com
twitter.com/traphik

Catch Adventures 2011.
www.catchadventures.com

Producer: Tatsuro Miller for GlobalCityMusic
Director: Kevin Boston


Music Related: Feats In Inches

A band a few of my friends help out with and consider a labor of love.  There’s nothing hipster-ish or pretentious about these musicians, just a whole lot of willingness to work hard in creating good solid melodic songs.  Along with the Steelwells, I hope the kids of Feats In Inches blow up big so they can continue to do what they love.  So support them!

www.facebook.com/featsininches + www.featsininches.bandcamp.com

– MJ


Music Related: "Lemonade" by Braids

Not sure why I like this band….but I guess I just do.  Some of their other songs are pretty repetitive and at a snails pace, but their style in projecting a melody is chill and their dream like vocals keep me interested. Plus, they remind me a bunch of weird kooky art students who are awkward and yet are still likable.  myspace.com/​braidsmusic + blogotheque.net

– MJ


Music Related: Chloe Chaidez of Kitten

 

Bieber is everywhere.  Bieber Bieber Bieber.

I don’t hate the kid, but force him enough upon adults and one can’t help but be annoyed with him.  It’s okay if he was just a successful child pop-star with connections up the gazoo, but to put him on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CSI Las Vegas, in the NBA All-stars, on the script of the Rock’s return to WWE, and every damn place that isn’t just for tweens; his handlers are asking for it.  There’s no doubt he doesn’t suck at what he does, but that won’t matter when he’s there like news about Charlie Sheen with his cocaine, Britney Spears when she was off her meds, and Lindsey Lohan going to jail….again.  It has become a matter of “I don’t care and yet America thinks I should.”

So what’s an alternative that will flush the Bieber right out?  How about 16 year old Dexter fan and musician, Chloe Chaidez from the LA band Kitten.  Rather than glamoring it up with the socialites in the bling industry and catering to tweens, Chloe and her band-mates have been working the grind by touring with (one of my favorite bands) Young the Giants. Inspired by the likes of Karen O, Bright Eyes and Cat Power to write songs, she has already performed with Bands of Horses and Midlake when she was just 11.

While it does feel silly saying that I listen to a 16 year old in a band called Kitten, her music is anything but childish.  She got vocals that does remind me of Karen O and according to a friend, Meiko.  I haven’t seen any of her live acts, but it’s been noted by music fans at SXSW that she can throw down like a veteran rock-star.  And while the comparison to Bieber shouldn’t be made at all since they are just different, the best part Chloe Chaidez is that we aren’t commercially forced to believe she’s the second coming of Michael Jackson.  Instead, we can just watch her grow as an artist and improve as a performer….and hopefully have a full life that isn’t damaging to the liver.

myspace: check out the Winona Ryder Demo.

MJ


Music Related: “Colours” – Grouplove

It’s been proven, that Hipsters kill taco trucks…..but not all Hipsters are taco truck killers.  Hopefully these guys support local taco trucks found in front of local small “mom & pop” venues.

www.grouplovemusic.com


Music Related: Mr. Little Jeans (aka Monica Birkenes)

Has some Karen O vibe going on in that song.   Monica Birkenes is a Norwegian born songwriter who is now residing in Los Angeles.   When talking about music, she says ” “Personally, I don’t think there’s a standard for what a classic song should have, cause there’s a huge variety out there. But I think Michael Jackson was right when he said melody is king. Melody and a nice tone to the voice…and some good chord progressions!”

Her other song, “Rescue Me,” can be heard in the latest Honda CR-V 2011 commercial.

More info at ChinaShop and on her Myspace page.  I’ll be waiting for news about her live shows in the meantime.


Music Related: “All Of This” by The Naked And Famous

New music video from an Indie band from New Zealand that won the APRA Silver Scroll Award….maybe last year?  The Naked and Famous is lead by front woman Lisa Xayalith…and they’ll be back in LA to peform at the Echoplex on April 9th.  Yay for me!

“Young Blood” is still my favorite song by them.

– MJ


Salakot – Sizzle & Grill Restaurant

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The Skinny: Salakot is a Filipino restaurant found in the heart of Los Angeles’s own Historic Filipinotown.  The place serves popular Filipino dishes like Adobo, Sinigang, Lumpia, and Pancit.  They even have a 2nd floor dedicated to those who love to eat and party with a karaoke machine.

I actually discovered  Salakot when I went to go see the indie folk-rock band The Steelwells, a great live act with 2.5 kick ass drummers, at the Bootleg Theater. The restaurant itself is about a block away from the venue and I took a mental note of it because one of my co-workers was looking for a Filipino one.  It turns out, he had already discovered the place on Yelp, so we went there for lunch along with a few other colleagues.

The High: Of the 5 things we ordered and shared, the Spicy Sisig and Chicken Adobo were the best.  The Adobe was unapologetic about the strong Filipino flavors and ingredients it had in it. The chicken was cooked on the bone and tender enough to use a spoon and fork to peel the flesh right off.  The smell of vinegar was strong, but it hardly bothered me in terms of flavor.  It did however repel one of my co-workers who couldn’t even hold the dish due to the sour pungency.  I don’t really have a gauge on what is a really good adobe, and although it was complex, the chicken Adobe tasted fine to me.

The Sisig was what I was anticipating but it wasn’t what I was expected.  The first time I saw the dish was on TV during the travel show No Reservations.  The host Anthony Bourdain went to the Philippines and had the popular Sisig at a late night pub.  It was suppose to be made out of crispy gelatinous pig ears and snout mixed with fat and pieces of actual meat and potatoes.  I was hoping to get that but instead received salty vinegary steak-ish pork bits with green peppers and onions.  It wasn’t bad, but if I didn’t have rice to eat it with, I’d have a hard time enjoying it.  It was tasty though, maybe a little bit too tasty.

The Low: We also ordered shrimp fried rice, Pancit, and Lumpia.  The fried rice, with just 5 pieces of shrimp, was whatever.  I only appreciated it because it helped mellow out the saltiness of the Sisig.  The Lumpia was filled with a rather bland pork filling that only picked up flavors once you dipped it into a sweet chili dipping sauce.  I’m sure it would taste even better during a drunken state of mind.

With Pancit, I’ve always found it a bit bland whenever I eat it.  Salakot’s version of it didn’t make me think otherwise either.  At first, all it’s flavors were found at the bottom of the plate because we didn’t mix the noodles and condiments together well enough.  However, when we did mix it properly, it still didn’t make a difference.  The Panci was just an one note dish of blandness with only a few hints of citrus to break up the monotony of it all.

Would you come back again? Yes! Even though some of the dishes were more misses than hits, the Crispy Pata looks really good.

More Info: Yelp it!

MJ


Boxes by The Steelwells

I think The Steelwells should have named themselves Beards Papa since they all have full on facial hair, well except for the Korean keyboardist who has a peach fuzz pornstache thing going on.  It’s also so they can get sponsored by Beards Papa, the Japanese cream puffs store, and make it rain pastries on the crowd!

Anyways, even though the Rolling Stones magazine did put the ever so annoying Justin Bieber on their cover and asked him douchie questions about rape and abortion, it would be nice to see these  talented bearded kids on it instead.  So rate them with 5 stars at the Rolling Stones website. Link


Music Related: The Steelwells

The Steelwells is an Orange County band that competed in the OC Music Awards.  They are the winner for Best Song in 2010 and the Asian guy in the the band is my friend’s younger cousin.  Anyways, they just make great music and kind of remind me Local Natives and Passion Pit….but not really.    Expect these guys to blow up as well!

Watch out for them them on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night for the ‘Rolling Stone’ Band Contest (2/14/11) or tomorrow (12/16/11) at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.

MJ


Music Related: “Stuck on Repeat” – Little Boots

Artist Website


Music Related – Foster the People

Pumped Up Kicks MV

Live  @ The Echo

The Skinny: I came across Foster the People’s EP “Pumped up Kicks” a few months ago.  It was catchy, fun, and easy to listen to.  Then I finally had a chance to watch a free show at Echo with them as the main act and I’m on board with them as being legit artists.  They are Los Angele’s answer to France having Phoenix and Boston being the home of Passion Pit.  They sound 100 times better live than Connecticut’s MGMT and know how to bring their drum beats to life.  While the lead singer does have nasally vocals that Oprah would not gush Twinkie-fillings over, it is distinct and smooth like well aged tequila. People can catch them live at Coachella and while they haven’t really signed on to any official record label because of personal preferences, I can  see them blowing up in the near future.  Also expect to hear blowhards and music snobs get offended and butt-hurt over who they sound like the most.  As far as I’m concern, they sound great….well…if you’re into that kind of music.

– MJ


VTM#2: Beef Noodle Soup MV

Starring married Food Bloggers Noodlewhore and Oishiieats. Made by Joel Kuwahara.

Song is “Place To Be” by Nick Drake