Events

Local Natives Record a Live Version of Their Unreleased Album

The LA band Local Natives have done the unprecedented and recorded a live preview of their new album, set to be aired on Morning Becomes Eclectic on January 11th, 2013.

Classically rock music seemed to hint at a possible alternate existence outside of workaday society. In the late '60s and early '70s, the music and lyrics of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, or the Grateful Dead seemed to imply that there was a viable alternative to the humdrum existence of a 9-5, that there was still something mysterious left to find in the world if you looked hard enough.

As time passes and music has increasingly become a heading under the category of the mantra “follow your dreams", many times fueled by well-to-do parents, rock bands have proliferated that have little to do with alternatives and are more about being a tongue-and-groove soundtrack to the situation humanity has found itself in. Rock songs used to be about how cool the world could be, now they’re just about how goddamned boring it is.

Drugs are played out, government has failed utterly to have any imagination whatsoever, science has promised everything and delivered nothing, and technology has increased communication but somehow also made us intolerant of difference. Things are okay in this situation as long as they’re knowable and predictable -- genuine weirdness is most definitely not okay.

This general cultural ennui leads inevitably to nostalgia. When all possibilities are known, when all artistic forms are exhausted, the past looks much rosier than it actually was. Nostalgia is what underlies all current movements in music and fashion. The Urban Outfitters catalogue is a love letter to a bygone era of comfort, fulfillment, and safety.

On stage, Local Natives is a band that looks like its members stepped out of the latest UO catalog. But this is certainly not a put-down of them. They write well-crafted songs, and despite what seems like a mass movement in indie music towards harmonies and the ubiquitous use of the phrase “la, la, la" in choruses, they do them as well as anybody.

PopMatters was invited to an in-studio recording of their soon-to-be-released album Hummingbird for live broadcast on Los Angeles’s premier music program, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. It was recently announced that KCRW has become Spotify’s only radio station partner and will select much of the new music they promote to their 20 million users. The Local Natives program is set to air at 11:00am PST on January 11th, which will also stream live for those not within reach of the radio waves bouncing around the LA basin.

The set list consists of more than half the tracks off of Hummingbird, plus some of the well-known songs from Local Natives’ first record Gorilla Manor. Since Hummingbird won’t be released until January 29th this live session serves nicely as an album preview.

While you’re on KCRW’s site on January 11th, make sure to browse their selection of archived live performances. There are some true gems, including an all-acoustic set from Sean Rowe, whose performance of his song "Jonathan" is a haunting reminder of what music can be when stripped of pretense.

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Garcia

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image