Friday, February 28, 2020

Tejon Street Corner Thieves, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, Bridge City Sinners at The Black Sheep

Posted By on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 1:22 PM

Bridge City Sinners bassist Scott Michaud at the Black Sheep - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Bridge City Sinners bassist Scott Michaud at the Black Sheep
The term "punk rock hootenanny" came to mind on Monday, Feb. 17, when locals Tejon Street Corner Thieves joined Portland, Oregon folk/bluegrass squad Bridge City Sinners and Brooklyn, New York genre-shifting punk cabaret circus The World/Inferno Friendship Society at the Black Sheep. Check out our photos of this killer lineup!
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Soulfly, Toxic Holocaust, Madzilla bang heads at The Black Sheep

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 5:14 PM

On Feb. 4, 2020, The Black Sheep hosted a stacked lineup of heavy metal bands, featuring Soulfly, Toxic Holocaust, Madzilla LV, and more. The Indy sent photographer Griffin Swartzell to capture the show. Check it out below!
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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Valentine’s Day playlist for lovers who love love

Posted By on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 1:00 AM

Love, as The Captain & Tennille once sang, will keep us together. Were truer words ever spoken?

Granted, people may stay together for other reasons, like, for instance, the children, or financial considerations, or codependency.

But since you love Valentine’s Day every bit as much as we do, let’s just set all that aside for the moment and enjoy this lovingly curated holiday playlist:

“Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
It’s only fitting that the most soulful contender for this year’s Best New Artist Grammy would record this single for Atlantic Records, a label that will forever be associated with Aretha Franklin. Lizzo’s churchified vocal performance, which contemporizes the Queen of Soul’s sound without compromising it, combined with X Ambassadors’ brass-heavy arrangement, add up to an R&B love song that’ll surely stand the test of time.

“Je t’aime” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
Once described as the pop equivalent of the softcore film Emmanuelle. “Je T’aime” was banned in America and other countries where virtually no one speaks French. But the two singers’ whispers, sighs and moans make it obvious that lines like “Je vais et je viens, entre tes reins” are anything but platonic.

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
In which the consummate soulman makes an unimpeachable case for love and longevity. According to legend, Al Green wrote the lyrics in 15 minutes, then recorded the song in a room full of neighborhood drunks. But it still sounds like he’s singing it just for you.

”Computer Love” by Zapp and Roger
Before Autotune, there was the Vocoder, which Zapp leader Roger Troutman took to appropriate extremes in this musically and lyrically prescient electro-funk tune. Key lyric: “Oh won’t you keep me warm tonight / You are such a sweet delight / I will cherish the memory of this night / Yes I found my computer love.”

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
“That’s not a love song, it’s a suicide note,” said Brian Wilson’s father when his son first played it for him. He was wrong. Regardless of whether it’s sung by Brian sitting alone at his piano — or by his brother Carl in the baroque-pop rendition that appears on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds — this is still one of the most beautiful love songs of all time.

“Ben” by Michael Jackson
Forget the Captain & Tennille’s “Muskrat Love,” this is the only rodent song that truly matters. A sweetly romantic ballad, it was recorded for the soundtrack of the comparatively creepy film Willard, but taken out of context, you’d never guess that Michael Jackson was singing to a rat.

“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer
Although this wasn’t Donna Summer’s first hit about love — that came earlier with “Love to Love You Baby” — it’s arguably the best, with Giorgio Moroder’s arpeggiated sequencers and Summer’s breathless vocals soaring into the disco stratosphere. In the decades to come, the dance floor diva would release more than two dozen songs with “love” in the title, including “Cool Love,” “Unconditional Love” and “Supernatural Love,” but none of them can surpass this one.

“Miracles” by Insane Clown Posse
Because Juggalos need love, too.
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A Valentine’s Day playlist for people who hate love

Posted By on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 1:00 AM

‘Love is overused and has no good rhymes,” lamented the Grammy-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb.

And that’s true. Think about how many artists have been reduced to rhyming “love” with “glove” in at least three songs. There’s Elvis Costello, Barenaked Ladies, George Jones, Badly Drawn Boy, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Marc Almond, Motörhead, Sting… you get the idea.

Best of all was Frank Sinatra, whose repertoire went there at least half a dozen times, resulting in such timeless lyrics as: “Bump into things like someone in love / Each time I look at you I’m limp as a glove.”

And that’s not the only thing wrong with love, especially when it involves actual people. But while we like to blame social media apps for our growing sense of isolation, it’s also worth remembering that social alienation goes back much further than Silicon Valley, or Hallmark greeting cards, or even the incarceration and execution of Saint Valentine himself.

So if you’re not feeling the love this Valentine’s Day, cheer up! You’re not alone. And since nothing takes the sting out of hating love quite like listening to songs about hating love, here’s a holiday playlist just for you:

“This Is Not a Love Song” by Public Image Limited
Never one to understate the obvious, former Sex Pistol John Lydon howls the line “this is not a love song” more than 40 times on this strangely uplifting anthem that, seemingly against all odds, went on to become their best-selling single.

“Sorry” by Beyoncé
An unapologetically scornful electro-pop masterpiece that’s about as far from “Crazy in Love” as you can get. Key lines: “Suck my balls, pause, I’ve had enough” and “He better call Becky with the good hair.”

“A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” by The Persuaders
The New York City R&B group’s sublime mix of orchestrated soul and close vocal harmonies is so pretty that you might overlook lyrics about an emotionally abusive man who comes home at 5 in the morning and wakes up in the hospital.

“Love Like Anthrax” by Gang of Four
“Love’ll get you like a case of anthrax,” declares Gang of Four, “and that’s something I don’t want to catch.” The influential post-punk band may be stretching the truth here — the CDC has yet to classify anthrax as an STD — but it’s as good a metaphor as any.

“Is She Really Going Out With Him” by Joe Jackson
Marshall Crenshaw and Joe Jackson both wrote songs about watching out their window as their ex walks by with another guy, but Jackson wins out for doing it first, and with way more vitriol.

“What’s Love Got to Do With It?” by Tina Turner
In which the post-Ike soul legend poses the question “What’s love but a second-hand emotion?” The recording was subsequently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, where it resides alongside Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and Louis Armstrong’s “What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue.”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
Because it can, but only if we let it.
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