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“fujiya, miyagi, fujiya, miyagi, fujiya, miyagi”
5 March, 2009, 4:03 PM
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In my typical fashion, when Pop Levi walked past me outside of The Echo on Tuesday night, I didn’t recognize him… while I had JUST been looking at his photos. Hmm. So does it surprise you that I cursed out (under my breath, of course) who I believe was F&M bassist Matt Hainsby and then he was jamming in front of me. Argh. It was one of those nights. Besides seriously needing sunglasses because my eye was so irritated by the blinding light, my camera did not save the video footage 😦

Pop Levi at The Echo

Pop Levi at The Echo

Pop Levi was a delight, performing “Blue Honey”  and “Wannamama” during the set. The Zambian songster has a look reminiscent of Johnny Depp and seems like they would have similar personalities. Levi was not afraid to get down (literally) and wrestle the notes from his beast of a guitar. One to watch.

 

Fujiya & Miyagi at The Echo, March 3, 2009

Fujiya & Miyagi at The Echo, March 3, 2009

In the moment, the show was a blast. However, there’s only so many “R”s for David Best to roll… and I felt like it was a cult seance, hypnotized and repeating “Fujiya, Miyagi, Fujiya, Miyagi…” Best has some funky skills on the guitar, I think Lee Adams looked  a little bored with drumming by the end, Steve Lewis hitting the keys deserves some more attention. The band definitely teases with extended progressions and then catapults to a climax; fun to groove to, but my mind wanted more stimulation. I always find it a little cheesy when the band’s video features “Fujiya & Miyagi” going across the screen, and they had a lot of domino sequences and Pac-Man on the run. Good time, but I didn’t buy the tee-shirt.

David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi at The Echo

David Best of Fujiya & Miyagi at The Echo



The List: Part One, Baby!

“We rocked the shit out of it,” said Eric Ronick about Black Gold’s third live show (ever!) as openers for Panic at the Disco in front of 10,000 fans. If listening to “Plans and Revelries” is not enough to bolster that statement, here’s some food for thought: RCRD LBL heralds their just released debut full-length Rush as, “what may be the WARMEST and MOST CHARMING indie pop offerings in recent memory.” Holy God, I thought; the remix of “Plans and Reveries” by the Teenagers hit me like a sonic tidal wave. This BK duo expertly plays with a range of genres and influences–think psychedelia and Hot Chip–to concoct a dazzling and trend-setting sound all their own.

>>this is a must download<<


L.A.’s The Bird and the Bee have an album release show at the Museum of Natural History tonight for Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future. From the lush “Baby” to the magnetic “Love Letter to Japan” to the coquettish “Polite Dance Song,” this album screams “I am yours, I am yours.” Irana George brings the house down and it’s one big love affair.

 

Ben Kweller, you have my number on speed dial. Not only did I listen through his new album Changing Horses nine times when I got it last Sunday, but it is E X A C T L Y what I want to hear right now *ahem* when I am in a folksy mood and not bopping around. There’s nothing over-produced about the sound, and Kweller delivers quality lyrics and tunes for a breathtaking collection of majestic songs. While I would have preferred opening track “Gypsy Rose” elsewhere on the album, “Old Hat” draws listeners in and shimmers, “Sawdust Man” is dynamite, and “Ballad of Wendy Baker” is swoon-inducing.

That girl’s a crook,

got my heart in her pocketbook,

oh, she don’t even want to be my friend,

she just wants me wanting her again

-Kweller on “Wanting Her Again”

 

Certainly, most people write about what they know, and K’naan did just that for the “KickED PushED” video, which is an assemblage of actual footage from the arrest of K’naan’s manager, Sol Guy, in Sweden after being attacked by the police. The lyrics, penned by K’naan to Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick Push (Instrumental),” hit home because there is an uneasy tension in the air when we live in a liberal democracy with tons of discrimination and racism. On a brighter note, I’m just loving the rollicking “ABCs Featuring Chubb Rock,” and “Dreamer” is catchy party song. Troubadour drops 24 February with a performance at L.A.’s Roxy on 17 February. 

“I think I felt you in the wind today,” a soulful K’naan croons on the “Going Away” duet with Nelly Furtado. Check it:

 

Monday night I saw Nightmares on Wax and, unfortunately, I couldn’t get close for a good picture/I was having too much fun. So, this was the first L.A. appearance of the Leeds-based DJ Ease (aka George Evelyn). The set was on the shorter side, but it was a Monday night and the music was moving. The crowd was a little dysfunctional when it came to hollering back to the performers. I don’t go for the crowd, and I advise you to turn it up for a mind-blowing moment.