Black Moth Super Rainbow Concert at Lodge Room Highland Park

Black Moth Super Rainbow made a second appearance at Lodge Room Highland Park Saturday night after selling out their Friday show. Supporting their May release, Panic Blooms, the Pennsylvanian act - singer Tobacco, synth players The Seven Fields of Aphelion and Pony Diver, bassist Steve SLV, and drummer Iffernaut - drew a crowd as eclectic as their names. There was even a young child sleeping along the wall.

BMSR sounds like listening to psychedelic electronic music under water. Their unique lo-fi sound conjures images of refracted sunshine dancing on skin below the surface of a swimming pool. This is largely due to frontman Tobacco (also known for his solo work) exclusively singing through a vocoder. But beneath this veil of summertime simplicity lies something darker. As with much of the best pop music, BMSR juxtaposes radiant and joyful melodies with dismal lyrics. The first true LP since 2012’s Cobra Juicy, Panic Blooms, continues this trend in their work. In fact, a press release announcing the album described it as an “f-ed up and bleeding account of depression and the shadow side of human frailty.”

And live in the shadows they did. Sandwiched between two layers of projection screens and shrouded in near total darkness, the musicians sole purpose was scoring the visuals. The drummer wore a ski mask; nobody ever addressed the crowd. It was purely music and the weird, projected world we lived within for the duration of the set. From video of an endoscopy and rotting teeth to more calming shots of the woods (until what appeared to be an anthropomorphic owl crossed towards the camera), attendees were forced to take in the visuals by Kevin Jackson. I doubt anyone minded.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Wild Nothing Concert at The Regent

Wild Nothing played a sold out show at the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles Friday night. It was dark. It was sweaty. It was a good time.

Click the photos to scroll through them big. Shot for Grimy Goods.

Desert Daze 2018

A departure from its typical home in Joshua Tree, I made the trek out to Lake Perris in Moreno Valley for (the now inappropriately named) Desert Daze. The irony amplified when the first night was cut short - after Tame Impala was a mere three songs into their set - due to a severe lightning storm. But as the fest’s new saying goes, no lightning no glory; day two and three electrified what remained of the patrons with sets from Slowdive, Kikagaku Moyo, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Death Grips, My Bloody Valentine (that had a really lame no photo policy), and loads more.

Shot for FLOOD Magazine. Click an icon to scroll through ‘em big. Photos are in reverse chronological order by day (except these 3D gifs).

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Spiritualized Concert at The Orpheum

Touring their latest release in six years, And Nothing Hurt, Spiritualized brought grandiose space rock to the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles Wednesday night. The sold out show set to begin at 8 was pushed to 8:30 due to the immense volume of empty seats. As more people arrived, the civility of the patrons was almost overwhelming. The lobby was quiet enough to hold conversation, the lines at the bar tame. With the median age of the crowd easily pushing 35, a percussion section including timpani waiting on stage, and the beauty The Orpheum lends, it wasn’t hard to imagine we were waiting to see the LA Phil.

That placid vibe did not last. Opening with the crashing “Come Together”, people were out of their seats despite signs that advised otherwise. After playing a myriad of other tracks off both Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space and Laser Guided Melodies, the signature morse code of And Nothing Hurt appeared and “Perfect Miracle” began the dive into songs off the newest album.

And Nothing Hurt has been applauded by critics for its ability to connect listeners to the more mundane and pedestrian side of Spiritualized's mastermind Jason Pierce without losing the complex sonic landscape he’s known for. This feat, the ability to make a topic as mundane as lying about a broken cell phone to excuse ghosting someone lush and cinematic, becomes even more staggering upon the realization that (for the first time in his career that spans over 30 years) Pierce conceived and recorded the majority of the album on a laptop in his east London home.

Wednesday’s performance hardly resembled a bedroom composition. Spiritualized was joined by Wordless Music Orchestra (known for live scoring screenings of new and classic films as well as performing with acts such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Flying Lotus, and Oneohtrix Point Never) and the LA-based DC6 Singers to generate that full-bodied, monumental sound they’re known for. This was demonstrated in the expertly cacophonous “On The Sunshine” and the final song of the evening, “Oh Happy Day”.

When you go to as many shows as I do, you have to be pretty religious when it comes to protecting your ears. But there are some shows worth the hearing loss. Some shows are just meant to be felt. This was one of those shows. Sorry, mom.

Click the photos to scroll through them big. Shot for Grimy Goods.

Rémy Martin Producers Series Season 5 Finale

Rémy Martin and Live Nation had me out to the Belasco to shoot the finale of the fifth season of the Producers Series. The grueling beat battle-based competition hosted by DJ Envy culminated in Big Sean and DJ Mustard chaining the winner, Milo, who will head into the studio for some one-on-one time with duo.