Oliver Brink

Album artwork by Raymond Pettibon!

What happens when four musicians record an album in three days? Well, as luck would have it, something amazing happens. At least, that’s the case for the debut release of Big Walnuts Yonder. Though they prefer to consider themselves an anti-supergroup—in that they consciously rebel against the cliche of bringing their known sounds to the group—when your band consists of Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos), it is hard to resist slapping the “supergroup” label on them, but be warned, because this band is no mere supergroup, and they are full of surprises.

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New sonic explorations from one of the masters

While I’m familiar with most of the seminal works of Sonic Youth, the band members’ solo projects before and after the split were never very big blips on my music radar. I vaguely remember seeing a poster for one of Thurston Moore’s mid-2000s solo tours when I was in college, but not having the time—or the money being a working college student—to go to the show. So out slipped Moore from my consciousness, and thus the boomerang effect brings him back to me.

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Punk’s Not Dead Yet!

If you grew up in local punk rock scenes, it is impossible to not have heard about Punk Rock Bowling. The three-day festival has been bringing together a menagerie of fantastic punk bands in downtown Las Vegas for 19 years strong – that’s over half my lifetime – and this year’s line-up may be one of the best to date.

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The music explosion concludes!

Anticipation is a tricky thing. Much like hype, it can make or break whatever it surrounds. I don’t think I can even count the number of times my anticipation of something has utterly ruined it. I had built it up so much in my head that when it finally came down to it, it was mediocre at best compared to my anticipation. However, the third and final day of DRILL LA managed not only to surpass my anticipation, but crush it outright.

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The musical explosion continues!

If the opening night of DRILL was a taste of things to come, Day 2 was a build up to the inevitable explosion that appears to be in store for Saturday’s closing night. With use of the entire building, fans and festival goers had a plethora of choices on either stage. The stairs leading between the venues provided a nice amount of passive exercise as we would either hike up to The Echo or bolt down to Echoplex to catch whichever bands met our fancy. For my part, I ended up spending most of my night downstairs at Echoplex, but I did catch the first two acts at The Echo.

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Three days of music explodes in Echo Park!

Wire’s DRILL Los Angeles Festival kicked off with a three band night at The Echo (the smaller of the two venues living in the same building) with performances by Alina Bea, Immersion, and Bob Mould. As I’ve said before, I’m somewhat of a fan of The Echo (and its basement counterpart, Echoplex). The sound is almost always on point. The only downside of the upstairs is the lighting and small size of the stage leave a bit to be desired. It’s no surprise that most of the punk rock and smaller indie acts play upstairs while the downstairs houses larger bands and equally larger stage. That said, the intimacy provided by The Echo is its strongest point, and for the evening’s performances, that was a must.

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Festival Preview: DRILL Los Angeles

March 21, 2017

WIRE brings DRILL back to the West Coast for the first time in 4 years! When I was seventeen I went to “The Warped Tour” in San Francisco. I had never been to a festival and it was definitely a bit mind blowing. The concept of walking from stage to stage strategically placed in a […]

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Album Review: Wire: Silver/Lead

March 6, 2017

Another landmark release from the post-punk forefathers, Silver/Lead is a true treat for listeners new and old. Any band that can keep it going for longer than 20 years deserves a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The relentless love and pursuit of enjoyment through music is no easy feat, and many bands live […]

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Album Review: Crystal Fairy: Crystal Fairy

February 17, 2017

The garage-doom record you always wanted, but were too afraid to ask for If 2015 and 2016 were any indication, 2017 has certainly shows that supergroups are coming back to the forefront in a big way. While this is nothing new in the music scene, it has become more apparent, recently, that supergroups pose a necessity […]

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Show Review: The Black Queen with Telefon Tel Aviv and Vogel at Rickshaw Stop, 12/28/2016

January 9, 2017

Dark industrialists stun with spectacular visuals and dizzying energy It was a dark night at the Rickshaw Stop on 12/28. Droves of music fans, clad in black, funneled in throughout the evening to enjoy the darker side of synth music, and while some folks are near impossible to please, it was pretty obvious that this was […]

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