((Features)) - Oh My Rockness

Band We Like
April 21, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

Boston’s Kal Marks are a band of three dudes (Carl Shane! Mike Geacone! Nick Egersheim!) that play epic eccentro-pop with good ol’ boozy indie rock ‘n roll propensities and the lingering feeling that we're all gonna die. Yee-haww! Think some band meets some other band meets this meets that. Then stop thinking and start listening. Because you ain’t heard nothin’ like Kal Marks before. Get ready for feel good musical malaise and a bunch more contradictions.

I am now going to totally contradict myself and make a band comparison. Remember when I recently wrote about that band Krill? Sure you do. One doesn't forget dynamic band profiles that run on too long so easily. But click their name if you need a quick refresher. Refreshed? Remember now that Krill is the band that has their own theme song? Cool. So if you like Krill - you’ll like Kal Marks. Am I just saying this because both bands run around in the same Boston circles and are on the same dynamic label (Exploding in Sound - home to Grass is Green + Fat History Month + Ovlov + Porches + lots more goodness) and the singer of Krill also sings on the Kal Marks album's title track, “Life is Murder?” No way. That’s totally my own unique band bridge I just built right there.

(Kal Marks also sound like early Modest Mouse. And I was the first one to build that band bridge too. I’m so so so seriously sure of it.)

Below is the band’s latest album “Life is Murder.” Go ahead and stream it. And then I want YOU to tell ME what Kal Marks is all about. Besides being awesome. That’s a given. (If you don’t think Kal Marks is awesome - there’s the door to some other web portal and I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR).

I have taken the liberty of preparing some discussion questions for you as you listen.

How do you feel while listening to this excellent record? What do you think Carl Shane means by the title, “Life is Murder?” In the song, “All I Want In Life Is A Solid Porch,” what emotions do you think Carl is feeling when he sings the line, “I’d be happy just being alone?” Why is Carl so mad at the sea in the song, “The Fucking Ocean?”

Take a minute to jot down a few thoughts and then email them to me. By NOON tomorrow. No exceptions. Turn them in one minute past 12 or your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower.

Band We Like
April 21, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

L.A.’s Upset = singer/guitarist Ali Koehler (she was the drummer in Vivian Girls and also Best Coast before she got kicked out and yo, that be COLD, B) + drummer Patty Schemel (she was in some band called Hole - not familiar) + guitarist Jennifer Prince (La Sera - whatever will be, will be). Together, they play instantly appealing pop punk that’ll put a bounce in your step as you walk around carrying all that alt lament.

There’s a little bit of that good old ‘90s guitar crunch going on over this sunny catchiness. Think about The Breeders and Veruca Salt and Belly and, you know, good old bands like that. Then stop thinking about the past so much. Live for NOW, goddamn it. Seize the Day. This is Your Captain Your Captain speaking. And that’s an order.

Upset are probably indeed upset. There is some heartbreak going on in these songs. So try not to feel these words TOO much. Let's be fragile with our delicate selves. Instead, just listen for that snappy peppy sweet jingle jangle and chorus you can crush in the shower. We don’t need anybody going around feeling sad now. They will be plenty of time for that later........much later.

Upset released their debut album on the mighty Don Giovanni Records a little while ago (do you really need a specific date, dear Rockness reader?). It’s called “She’s Gone” and it’s really good. I’ve been wearing that record out. So too, by association, have my upstairs neighbors. I hope they like it. I’ve never asked them. Sometimes it’s best to have a don’t ask / don’t tell relationship with your neighbors, you know?

Here’s a song from “She’s Gone.” Guess what it’s called? “She’s Gone.” Woah. That’s some spooky shit.

Just Announced
April 18, 2014


4/22 Upset (performing after the talk) @ Loyola Marymount University - Hannon Library
4/24 Dean Wareham @ Amoeba Music- Hollywood
4/24 Reggie Watts @ The Church on York
4/27 Juana Molina @ The Church on York
4/27 The Lovely Bad Things, Surf Curse, So Many Wizards, Post-Life @ The Smell
4/30 Cate Le Bon @ Amoeba Music- Hollywood
5/06 Hamilton Leithauser @ The Hotel Cafe
5/13 Jerome LOL @ The Echo
5/18 London Grammar, Jaymes Young @ The Wiltern
5/19 Coldplay @ Royce Hall (UCLA)
5/23 Baths, Young Fathers, P. Morris @ The Observatory
5/24 The Intelligence, Protomartyr, LAMPS @ Bootleg
5/30 The Lovely Bad Things, GRMLN, Dustin and The Explosions @ The Smell
6/04 Kelis @ El Rey Theatre
6/06 Megafauna @ Los Globos
6/07 Pujol @ The Echo
6/08 Uh Huh Her @ Troubadour
6/10 Joseph Arthur @ Troubadour
6/14 Failure @ The Glass House
6/15 Mount Eerie, Bouquet @ The Church on York
6/18 Failure @ Mayan Theater
6/19 Failure @ Mayan Theater
6/21 Brother Ali, Murs, Talib Kweli, and more! @ The Observatory
6/22 Talib Kweli @ The Echo
6/22 Immortal Technique, Raekwon, Souls of Mischief, Zion I, and more! @ The Observatory
6/24 Spanish Gold (mems of My Morning Jacket, City and Colour, Brownout) @ Troubadour
6/27 Veruca Salt @ The Roxy
6/30 Ronnie Spector (Behind the Beehive) @ The Roxy
7/03 Reigning Sound @ The Church on York
7/08 Robert Francis @ The Observatory
7/13 Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, The Beat Junkies @ Santa Barbara Bowl
7/13 The Antlers, Yellow Ostrich @ Troubadour
7/14 Venetian Snares @ The Roxy
8/08 The Good Life @ The Observatory
8/30 Made In America Festival @ Grand Park
8/31 Made In America Festival @ Grand Park
9/05 Atmosphere, Prof, Dem Atlas @ Hollywood Palladium
9/11 Swans @ The Roxy
9/13 Passenger @ The Wiltern


Get instant concert alerts for the bands you care about. Sign up for a FREE My Rockness account.

Follow us on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for more show announcements.

Festival Guide
April 18, 2014
Festival Guide
April 18, 2014

Celebrate Record Store Day with free in-stores and DJ sets!

April 15, 2014

This is a good song.

Band We Like
April 14, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Yeeoww! Plague Vendor is a super solid post-garage-punk band (sure why not) from Whittier, CA (home of the ghost of Tricky Dick and the exterior Hill Valley high school scenes in "Back to the Future" - yeah - I do #research for these things - I'm not just talking to myself on here - a music blobber prepares). This band is anguLAR and rocks the wailing SWAGger. And I’ll tell you this much, bub. If you go see Plague Vendor live, you’re gonna laugh your ass straight to the BANK (?).

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Named after a Mexican folktale called “The Pulque Vendor” (#research), these four dudes - Brandon sings! Luke drums! Michael plays bass! Jay’s got the guitar! - have been at it for a few years, playing the small dark places that would have them. However, things currently are on the up-up-and-away for these guys. Plague Vendor recently signed to the mighty Epitaph Records and are set to release their debut album, “Free To Eat.” You're going to want to listen to that. It's really good. And oh yeah. Plague Vendor will play the 2014 WARPED Tour. Which is weird. Because they don't suck.

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Below is a great song off that debut album. It's called "Black Sap Scriptures" and you need to stick with it. Wait for the Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bams. And then wait some more for their return. Because the Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bams pull everything together. You won’t regret it.

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

(P.S. they also sound similar to Detachment Kit on just about every song on "Free To Eat" except this one - and for this muzik blobber - that's called #praise.)



Get new LA announcements, free show info, ticket giveaways and more...