(L to R: Marion Hodges, Jules Medeiros, and Sandra Vu)
As the esteemed curator of this very music blog put it recently, “It’s going to be a good year for L.A. music.”
With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite local bands you shouldn’t miss if you’re Austin bound for South by Southwest this year!
Sisu is the brainchild of Sandra Vu who moonlights as the drummer of Dum Dum Girls.Fellow Dum Dum Jules Medeiros helps to round out the band that also includes Ryan Wood, Nat Keefer, Tito Echevarria, and David South.
All together they create deeply satisfying alternative rock gems. That is to say, they harken back to when “alternative rock” was something truly great, and their refusal to tie themselves too specifically to any particular era or genre gives their undeniable affinity for the recent past a fresh ambiguity. Plus, they’re nice folks to DJ with (see picture above).
Davenport is a recent L.A. transplant, but with the help of his pal Jessica Espeleta he’s already put together a sort dream team band of great L.A. musicians who play in the bands of your favorite L.A. musicians including Andres Renteria (Mia Doi Todd, Jose Gonzalez, Flying Lotus).
The two songs that I’ve heard so far from Davenport’s forthcoming album “Physical World” send me to my happy place. It’s feel good, uncomplicated, power pop that makes you want to spin around and around until you collapse on the floor dizzy with a huge grin on your face. Davenport’s natural crooner voice and wistful lyrics take it to the next level.
Cherry Glazerr make the kind of music that, to quote LCD Soundsystem, “Makes you want to feel like a teenager, until you remember the feelings of a real live emotional teenager, then you think again…”
Thankfully (for us) the members of Cherry Glazerr are real live teenagers, and while there is inherent emotion in many of the songs written by high school junior Clementine Creevy, the songs are most notable for how straightforwardly they capture what a weird and funny place the mind of a teenage girl is to occupy.
Fittingly, one of the standout tracks from their new album “Hazel Princess“ “Teenage Girl” was originally written to be a theme song for Rookie Magazine, which was founded, and is mostly maintained by 17 year old Tavi Gevinson.
Check out Cherry Glazerr’s recent interview with KCRW’s local Morning Edition host (and the band’s namesake) Chery Glaser.
Oddience are an L.A. based trio who make weird, funny, catchy (i.e. great) hip-hop.
I assume at some point they’ve been mentioned in the same breath as the Odd Future collective due to their name, location, and clear connection to internet culture. I would also assume that they’ve been compared to De La Soul once or twice for their use of esoteric samples, offbeat sense of humor, and overall funky, get down and have a good time vibe. But really, they just sound like… Oddience; a great local band that you should be partying with.
Stream my personal favorite Oddience track; their gleefully weird and hilarious ode to “the only fly they can relate to” Jeff Goldblum.
I’d be remiss to not spotlight someone who will be in Austin representing the spectacular DJ talent pool that we have going in L.A. right now, and Goldroom is quickly becoming one of the biggest fish in that pool. He’s remixed tracks from KCRW favorites like Poolside, Penguin Prison, and Gigamesh. Not to mention receiving a ton of attention for his original music, including last year’s strikingly beautiful single “Embrace”.
Goldroom will be in doing DJ sets at South by, and he truly excels in that department. His selections are deep, and often have an emotional core, but never at the expense of making you dance. These are mixes mostly highlighting nu disco and synthpop sounds (my personal sweet spots), and they proceed with minimal bells and whistles.
Check out a short, sweet and snazzy minimix from Goldroom that you can download for free!