Travis’ Two Cents (In Five Parts)

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Hello, I’m the new DJ at KCRW. My name is Travis Holcombe.  You’ll be able to hear me Wednesday mornings from midnight to 3am.

Nice to meet ‘cha.

This is the first of a series of columns I will write for the KCRW Music Blog. I haven’t really thought of a snappy title for this column yet, so if you have any suggestions, pray tell; I’m all ears, as they say.

Basically, I’ll be writing long-form twitter-style observations about music or whatever pops up in my brain in one easy to digest column every week. That’s the plan, anyway. That’s about all I can handle or else I’ll totally over-think my writing and I won’t write anything (just ask RR, our patient master blogger and music publicist here at KCRW; I promised her a review of the Cymbals’ Unlearn album for our Artists You Should Know feature back in April and I’ve been brain-locked about it ever since). I’ll try to stick to music-related topics, but I may veer off course from time to time and cover other topics in the future.

I’ll probably use this soapbox to say a lot of stupid stuff that I’ll regret soon after I see it published on the blog, so take everything I say here with a grain of salt. Maybe that’s what I should call this column: Travis’ Grains of Salt (nah…I don’t even know what that means).

Here it goes…

1) The Drums have a new album out called “Portamento”. It’s pretty great. I was a big fan of their first album and even though it generally got favorable reviews, I still feel like it flew a bit under the radar. “Let’s Go Surfing” is a modern day classic that I think our kids will re-discovering and rocking out to 20 years from now. “Money” (listen here!) from the new album is my favorite track on “Portamento”; on the hook, the singer goes, “I want to buy something, but I don’t have any money” — I think we’ve all met someone we’ve fallen head over heels for and had a similar thought about when we checked our balance at the ATM.

2) Glass Candy, the Italo-disco tinged electro pop act out of New York, just put out a new single last week. I think one YouTube commenter put it best when they said of “Warm In The Winter“, “I feel all sunny on the inside!!! ya ya woo ho!” I couldn’t have expressed it better myself…They also played a killer FYF Pre-Party show at Los Globos last Friday that was truly one for the ages. If they swing through LA again, do yourself a favor and get there.

3) I’m not really sure what to make to the news of Lou Reed collaborating on a new album with Metallica. Clearly, Lou Reed has enough personal capital stored up that he can do whatever he wants for the rest of his life and he’ll still be cooler than any of us, but Metallica seems like an odd choice. But that’s just one man’s opinion. Maybe they’ll surprise me and crank out an album as timeless and resonant as The Velvet Underground & Nico or Transformer — who knows? Seriously, I just thought of an amazing Lou Reed collaborator — BECK. Make it happen, guys.

4) The Allah-Las wrapped up a residency at the Echo last month. It was pretty fantastic. I would have told you about it when you could’ve still gone, but I didn’t have this column yet. They’re local though, so don’t worry — you’ll probably have an opportunity to see them in the coming months again, I’m sure. For now, they only have one 7″, produced by Nick Waterhouse, someone else you should keep an eye on. Here’s a taste and check them out at the The Roxy on September 15:

5) To the people who run FYF Fest: Well done. I’m gonna go ahead and say it — the first two years at the Los Angeles State Historic Park were kind of a disaster. They really hit their stride and learned from the past mistakes (lines, dust, lines) and pulled it off really well this year. The perfect weather didn’t hurt either. The lineup has always been on point, but the logistical stuff was lacking until this year. I will be going back every year from now on without a doubt.

— Travis Holcombe

Editor’s Note: See a very comprehensive review of FYF Fest over at

Glass Candy by AlbanoPower via Lastfm (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)