Hi, my name's Taylor and I'm in a rock band out of LA called Vanaprasta. On any given night, you can probably find one of us at the Echo, the Satellite (fka Spaceland), Silverlake Lounge, Bootleg Theater, Pehrspace, or wherever the fuck there's some good bands playing. We'll be going to SXSW in Austin in a couple weeks, be recording some new material after that, and then we'll head out on a west coast tour in April. So if you're not familiar with us, check us out on facebook, twitter, bandcamp, myspace (that's more of a last resort these days, amiright?). Here's a music video of us doing stuff in regular speed and sometimes in slow motion:
Basically, we're all over the internet (and real life). But enough about me (or, us). This entry is about exposing people to some other LA bands that you may or may not have heard about yet. Either way, you SHOULD hear about them, and hear them you may:
1. Summer Darling - My Reminder
Summer Darling is another band in Los Angeles we like to classify alongside ourselves as "guitarwave." Lots of interlocking guitarwork, heavy, complex rhythms, brilliant songwriting in a Built to Spill-esque package. This is one of my favorite songs off the album they released on Origami Vinyl last year. This was also one of my top albums of 2010. Oh yeah, and you can download it for FREE off their bandcamp. If you don't like this band, you have no soul. Harsh? Yes. True? Yes.
2. White Arrows - Save Me a Place
White Arrows are blowing up right now. They just got booked for a sold out Sasquatch and are about to embark on a west coast tour with Cults and Magic Kids after SXSW. One of the coolest, nicest group of dudes in the entire LA music scene, too. They recently played this song "Save Me a Place" (a Fleetwood Mac cover) live for the first time...they'll be releasing some newly recorded material soon, and it's going to be bad ass. Scoop their EP off their bandcamp page, it's got a couple of sweet remixes on it too (including an RAC remix). WHITE ARROWS
3. Hands - Magic Fingers
If you live in LA, there's usually not a week that goes by where you can't catch Hands live. For me, it's an angular, beat-centric Foals meets Yeasayer vibe. They have tons of gear, trigger pads, analog vocal delays (controlled on stage by frontman Geoffrey Halliday), extra percussion, the whole nine yards. Fun live act, great songs. They'll also be in Austin for SXSW, so check them out if you're there.
4. Voxhaul Broadcast - No Better Reason
It's been a long time coming for Voxhaul, but they'll finally be releasing their debut album "Timing is Everything" this month, and it looks like they'll finally be breaking the way they should be. In our band, we've always really admired and looked up to Voxhaul as they are well established LA music vets by now. They're one of the BEST rock bands around, and David Dennis' voice is just straight the fuck up cool. They also will be at SXSW. Above is quite possibly my favorite song I've heard of theirs to date.
5. Seven Saturdays - Early Morning Fog Bank (Sun Airway Remix)
Seven Saturdays is Jonathan D Haskell. We originally came across his music at a show we did with him at Silverlake Lounge months ago, and we fell in love with his sound ever since. Absolutely gorgeous headphone music. Totally engrossing, and this remix is pretty god damn incredible, too. This dude should probably be composing soundtracks.
6. Beatnik Jr. - Beatnik Jr.
Beatnik Jr. on Facebook
When Steven, the lead singer of Vanaprasta, and I were in our first band together, these were one of the first other bands we encountered that really made our jaws drop. That was a few years ago. Now they've retooled their lineup, have written a bunch of new songs, and are back to really make a name for themselves. Seriously talented musicians, and Johnny Maro is perhaps one of the most captivating songwriters and frontmen I've seen in Los Angeles.
7. Eastern Conference Champions - Common Sense
I first became a huge fan of ECC years ago after they released, in my opinion, one of the best under-recognized albums of all time, Ameritown. The song above is a barnburner off their EP from last year entitled Santa Fe. They'll be releasing a new album in April that I'm dying to hear.
8. The Deadly Syndrome - Wingwalker
This is from another one of my top albums of last year titled Nolens Volens. You rarely find an album with this much sincerity and depth. It's something you have to listen to in one sitting, front to back, over, and over, and over again. There's a lot to be explored here.
9. Kissed Her Little Sister - Cocaine
Another solo project, we had Jeff of Kissed Her Little Sister play right before us on the last night of our Echo residency in September. You can also get his album for free on his bandcamp page. Pretty eclectic mix of songs...there's some sampling at work here, but there's also a lot of really stripped down acoustic material. Overall? Very addicting.
10. Superhumanoids - Persona
Besides having one of the best band names ever, Superhumanoids craft some pretty catchy pop landscapes against some really interesting tones. And we're all about tones. Tones for days. Drummer plays a cocktail kit like a madman too. They've already done some pretty sweet tours in the US and the UK, and I'm sure they'll be doing tons more after they appear at SXSW.
11. Robotanists - Wait A Minute Here
Like Ben and Heather of Summer Darling, this band is also led by a married couple. They recently covered Radiohead's King of Limbs in 24 hours (you can get that off their bandcamp page), and also just completed a very successful residency at Silverlake Lounge in February. This is one of their older songs, and my favorite of theirs. Be sure to catch these wonderful (and hilarious) people at SXSW.
12. Future Ghost - Brace Yourself
This 3 piece crafts some seriously bold, seriously loud indie rock. This is music that's all about passion, and it really comes through in a live setting. I think sometimes LA gets pigeonholed into having a "folkier" sound, which is kind of totally bullshit. This is what LA sounds like.
And that's just a taste. There are tons of amazing acts in Los Angeles that I could in no way include in a list of just 12. Brooklyn's cool and all, and while LA may have a LOT of musical options to explore on any given night, it's not really about the quantity. In order to survive as a band or a musician in LA, you have to be good. People want something they can connect to, and the LA music scene has a great community of artists. I grew up here, I live here, and I'm fuckin proud of it.