Apr 23, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

On day three of Coachella My Bloody Valentine threatened to burst a thousand eardrums. As we entered the festival site around 12:30 PM they were handing out complimentary earplugs in anticipation for the aural attack. Other highlights included a blood-splattered Fucked Up, an energetic Friendly Fires, and the incredibly strange Throbbing Gristle. More

Apr 20, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Day two of Coachella 2009 failed to top day one, in part because of a weak headliner. But the second day did feature strong sets from M.I.A., Jenny Lewis, and Fleet Foxes. More

Apr 18, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Coachella 2009 kicked off with strong sets from living legends Leonard Cohen and Paul McCartney, as the crowd adjusted to a desert heat that was forecasted to get even hotter as the weekend went on. More

Apr 14, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Friendly Fires, of St. Albans, U.K., is still riding high on their self-titled debut. The album, released in the fall of 2008, showcases confident, kinetic songwriting that matches their growing reputation for high-octane performances. Frontman Ed Macfarlane’s winking histrionic delivery plays nearly perfectly against the tight, road-honed sounds of Jack Savidge (drums), Edd Gibson (guitar), and Rob Lee (bass) making for a kind of smart, indie-rock response to Duran Duran. More

Apr 14, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Los Angeles is a great place to see many of your favorite bands. However, Los Angeles is also the worst place to see many of your favorite bands. Local duo The Bird and the Bee played a barter show for the Echoplex last week after they used the venue to shoot the video for their new single, the David Lee Roth tribute “Diamond Dave” there. Unfortunately, the venue’s charm was marred by a bunch of L.A. scenesters who couldn’t shut their loud mouths or look up from texting long enough to listen to a single note of the mellow band’s performance, even during a cappella moments. More

Apr 02, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band launched their 2009 world tour at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Wednesday night with a 26-song show that opened thunderously with the 1978 anthem “Badlands” and featured five songs from Springsteen’s much-debated latest album Working on a Dream.

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Mar 31, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Day two of SXSW for us began where day one ended, at the Central Presbyterian Church. The night before we had seen there the appealing trio of Department of Eagles, St. Vincent, and Camera Obscura. This night we also saw three bands at the venue, but only one was great. As we had missed M. Ward the night before at the same venue by not allowing enough time to navigate the long line, we were determined to arrive in plenty of time for Grizzly Bear’s 8:30 P.M. slot at the eMusic showcase. That meant that we had to sit through two other bands we had no interest in seeing, including one we’d never even heard of before. More

Mar 28, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Fresh from its SXSW appearances just days ago, Melbourne’s The Temper Trap blazed through an eight-song, 40-minute set at Spaceland in Silver Lake on Monday night, rousing a packed room of curiosity-seekers and latecomers with its blend of anthemic soul and tempestuous, guitar-charged crescendos. More

Mar 28, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

SXSW is a guessing game. There are many hundreds of bands playing at so many different venues, that you can have a fantastic or a lousy time depending on who you see and how well you second guess how long it will take to get into each venue. The goal is to spend most of your time seeing as many great bands as possible, and as little time possible waiting in line or sitting through sets from bands you don’t want to see just to make sure you’re in the venue in time to see the bands you do want to see. Your enemies are late set times and the varying degrees of sound quality at Austin’s many venues. More