In many ways, Blonde Redhead bear little resemblance to the Sonic Youth-inspired band that exploded onto the post-rock scene in the mid-90s.
The Blonde Redhead of yesteryear were a force to be reckoned with on stage, with front woman Kazu Makino’s blood-curdling screams and guitarist Amedeo Pace’s jigsaw guitar work always keeping the listener firmly on edge. But a lot has changed since the band’s formative years, and its present incarnation favors airy melodies over atonal chaos and electronic ambiance over electric guitars. As the crowd gathered to watch the trio at House of Blues on Sunday, it was treated to something that was much more soothing than scathing. Continue reading…
After returning to San Diego from Berklee School of Music, Sean Davenport wanted to get a band together, so he got in touch with his old friend Diego Rojano. In late 2009, Davenport and Rojano recruited local songwriter Tommy Graf (guitar) and Carlos Ortiz (drums), and they formed Gun Runner.
Since then, they’ve drawn from a variety of influences — including Wilco, Pavement, and Sonic Youth — to create a unique sound. This year, they released the excellent EP Bad Neighbors, an interesting work that evokes the psychedelic blues of Bob Dylan’s 2007 masterpiece, Time out of Mind.
Davenport’s soulful voice isn’t much like Dylan’s though, and that’s a good thing. Tracks like “Zelda” find him repeating “I can make this all better for you,” as if he’s been telling it to a few beers. Meanwhile, the reverb-laden instrumentation frames his half-drunk delivery. On the nostalgic “2 out of 3,” where choral intro harmonies are juxtaposed against Rojano’s lilting bass and Davenport’s voice, Gun Runner creates a kind of zombie R&B. It’s well worth a few listens, and you can stream it on MySpace or purchase it on iTunes.
It’s been over a year since ragtag teenaged punkers Be Your Own Pet parted ways, and they’ve been missed. Luckily, former front woman Jemina Pearl has just released her first solo album, the aptly titled Break It Up, to help fill the void. The album finds Pearl continuing to imbue her raucous pop ditties with refreshing doses of optimism and heart. Pearl has just released the video for album highlight “I Hate People”, a duet with none other than James Newell Osterberg, Jr., aka Iggy Pop.
Unfortunately, Pop doesn’t appear in the videoâ€”except in photographed formâ€”but apparently less is more: Thurston Moore, to be exact. The Sonic Youth front man appears on Break It Up and costars in the video as a haplessly skittish coworker at Pearl’s diner. Pearl and Moore previously collaborated on a cover of The Ramones’ “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” for the edgy CW series Gossip Girl.
We’ve got the video for you, as well as Pearl’s tour dates, after the jump. If you’re lucky, she might spit on you during the show. I speak from personal experience when I say that being spit on by Jemina Pearl ain’t so bad at all. Continue reading →