((ON TOUR IN LA)) We talk tacos, ultimate frisbee & LA 'hoods w/ REAL ESTATE'S Alex Bleeker. (3/11 @ Fonda)
((Features)) - Oh My Rockness
This is a good song.
In anticipation of Real Estate's upcoming show at The Fonda Theatre on Tuesday, March 11, Patrick and Real Estate's Alex Bleeker swapped emails to talk about the band's favorite things to do and places to go while in LA on tour.
P: Hello, Real Estate. This is Patrick from Oh My Rockness. Thank you for taking the time to do our first ever interview by email (or by any other means) on the site. When you're on tour in LA - where is your favorite place to eat tacos? If you don't like tacos, please explain your curious position and cite sources. You may also discuss burritos if you wish.
A: Man, this is a tough one. I like a lot of spots. My favorite Mexican food in LA is Tacos Villa Corona, the breakfast burrito spot. Tacos Delta is kind of our original place. I used to drop the van at the jiffy lube and eat while I waited for the oil to be changed. There's a lot of love for Taco Zone in the parking lot of VONS, that truck in front of the Walgreens on sunset, El Atacor #11 for potato tacos, and Huraches in Highland Park. I like tacos a lot.
P: When I'm in LA I like to go on hikes sometimes. Do you ever do that? If so, where? If not, what alternate activity do you engage in to blow off steam and consider the beauty and vastness of the earth?
A: I've never hiked in LA but I've heard about all of those weird stairways to nowhere.... the remains of the infamous LA public transit system. I run on tour now, so I've done that a few times in LA. One time a few of us drove out to Anaheim to catch an Angels game.
P: What's your favorite place(s) to unwind with a cold beverage that's not the venue in which you just played?
A: Definitely Rob Barbato's house. I don't go to many bars in LA, seems like people just hang at each other's houses. If you don't know who Rob Barbato is, you should.
P: Have any of you guys ever played disc golf? Did you know the country's very first disc golf course is near Pasadena? It's called Oak Grove. And it's the best. You should play it. And I should mind my own business.
A: I never got into disc golf but back at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, NJ, I was on the ultimate frisbee team, the ultimate warriors.
P: Finally. You have to move to LA. I don't know why. You just have to. Which neighborhood do you pick to live in and why? Money is no object. Happiness is.
A: Matt just moved out there and he lives in Highland Park so I guess that answers that question pretty firmly. I like that neighborhood a lot but I still romanticize places like Topanga Canyon and other off-the-beaten-path hippie neighborhoods.
P: Thank you, Real Estate. I really like your new songs. They make me feel better about things.
Written by Patrick McNamara
YES. More loud music made by Toronto punker rockers. Man...what is it with that town these days, anyway? Why do they get all the good loud punker rockers? Save some for 99.99999% of the rest of HUMANITY, man. I mean...METZ...Greys...The Soupcans...Odonis Odonis...and that’s just naming the bands I’ve recently profiled. (Granted, naming four other bands doesn’t make it seem like Toronto is the center of the punker rocker universe...but I’m sure there are others...I just don’t know them….yet. But give me time, dear Rockness reader. Give me time.)
These four guys are more than just loud punker rockers. I’m not trying to pigeon anybody’s holes here. In fact, maybe they’re not even punker rockers. Maybe this is just straight pop (shouted not sung) that rides the crest of a thrash-y, clamorous wave. Sure, there may be high decibels involved but these high decibels are accessible, man. (Wait. Did that “wave” nonsense from before make it sound like these guys have some of that “surf” sound in them too? Because they definitely don’t have that thing going on. PUP will not make you think Brian Wilson or Phil Spector. At all.)
So who will PUP make you think of? (that solid segue assumes you know how to read parentheses). Well, I’d rather let them tell you that. “Built to Spill, Weezer, The Bronx, Queens of the Stone Age, Hot Snakes…” and then they go on to list some more influences. This is all from their Facebook “About” page, btw. Because this is hard hitting music journalism. This is a music blob. This is serious. This is real life.
In closing, if you like your bands to be good - you will like PUP. Now I’m going to chill out, maybe take a shower, (I’m not dirty I just deserve the pleasant break), and then wait for another good loud punker rocker Toronto band to fall in my lap and further support my theory that that city is totally not fair to the rest humanity. Some provinces get all the luck.
Written by Patrick McNamara
Hop Along are a good band from Philadelphia. They make punk pop that’s not pop punk. It’s epic and cathartic and tortured and just a really good goddamn listen. So listen to them, will ya? But not yet. I’ve still got a few more words to say to you about Hop Along. So take your coat off and settle in for a second.
This trio is a lady (that’s Frances Quinlan on vocals and guitar!) and two gentlemen (over there is Tyler Long on bass! and that’s Mark Quinlan on drums! and yep they are siblings! Frances and Mark, that is! Not Mark and Tyler! reign it in now! things are getting confusing!) and they make songs about trouble and lament and Tibetan pop stars. At least that’s what the titles to some of their songs suggest off their excellent album, “Get Disowned.” I don’t really do that whole “listen to the singer” and then “critically interpret” the “words” they are “saying.” I just write down pieces of song titles and pretend it's original analysis. Just kidding! I know exactly what that album is about. It's about love, man.
Now, I don’t like to use the word “awesome” unless I really mean it (i almost always reserve the term for sunsets and chicken pad thai). But I have to tell you something right quick. Frances Quinlan’s voice is AWESOME. (and I hardly EVER make use of the CAPS LOCK so you know things just got Triple Dog Dare). Her vocals sound perfectly pleasant sometimes. That's where the pop comes in. And at other times, she sings like pitch perfect sandpaper. That’s where the punk comes in. It's too good.
(Mark Quinlan and Tyler Long are very nice players too. I got you, Mark and Tyler. I got you.)
I’m going to do something really kind, dear Rockness reader. I’m going to find Hop Along’s album somewhere on the internet and then I’m going post it here for you. Hold on.
OK. Back. Whew. I saw some things on the tubes, man. Here’s the album. Listen to it right..... NOW.
(gosh I’m so happy you’ll be so happy soon!)
SELECT SHOWS ADDED TO THE SITE THIS WEEK
3/03 Glasvegas, The Darcys, Howler, Gang of Youths @ Bardot
3/03 Maria Bamford, Joe Mande, James Adomian, Zig Zags @ The Church on York
3/04 Warm Soda, Corners, Big Tits @ Diego's
3/05 Warm Soda, Big Tits @ Origami Vinyl
3/06 Ava Luna @ Origami Vinyl
3/08 The Coachwhips, Mary Ocher, Hyenaz, Hott MT @ The Smell
3/10 Mutoid Man (mems Converge & Cave In) @ The Observatory
3/23 Broncho, Gothic Tropic @ The Satellite
3/31 Francis and the Lights @ Troubadour
4/01 Neil Young @ Dolby Theatre
4/02 Incan Abraham, Vanaprasta @ Bootleg
4/02 Neil Young @ Dolby Theatre
4/05 Trentemoller @ The Fonda Theatre
4/10 De Lux @ The Echo
4/10 Bad Suns @ The Observatory
4/16 Sam Smith @ The Belasco
4/16 Jon Spencer Blues Explosion @ The Echo
4/16 Peelander Z @ The Viper Room
4/18 Elliphant @ The Echo
4/19 La Femme @ The Roxy
4/23 Moving Units @ The Observatory
4/26 Jim Jones Revue, The Black Tibetans, Wake Up Lucid @ The Viper Room
4/29 Tokyo Police Club @ The Observatory
5/01 Bernhoft @ Troubadour
5/07 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Fear Of Men, Ablebody @ Troubadour
5/09 Chuck Ragan (and the Camaraderie), The White Buffalo, Jonny Two Bags @ The Fonda Theatre
5/16 Connan Mockasin, Kirin J Callinan @ The Echo
5/16 Iggy Azalea @ The Wiltern
5/18 Damien Jurado @ Bootleg
5/20 Band Of Skulls, Deap Vally @ The Observatory
5/22 HelloGoodbye, Vacationer @ Troubadour
5/23 HelloGoodbye, Vacationer @ The Glass House
5/23 Matt Pond PA, The Lighthouse & The Whaler @ The Roxy
5/25 The Slackers @ The Observatory
5/28 First Aid Kit, Willy Mason @ El Rey Theatre
5/29 Die Antwoord @ The Fonda Theatre
5/31 Goldroom, Kauf @ El Rey Theatre
6/05 The Faint @ The Observatory
6/06 Little Hurricane @ The Echo
6/06 The Faint @ The Roxy
6/11 EELS, Chelsea Wolfe @ Orpheum Theatre
6/14 Dawn of Midi @ Bootleg
6/28 Sharon Van Etten @ El Rey Theatre
This is a good song.
We have three pairs of tickets to giveaway to see REAL ESTATE with THE SHILOHS and KEVIN MORBY at The Fonda Theatre on Tuesday, March 11th!
The winner will also receive a very special copy of Real Estate's new album, Atlas, signed by the band!
Enter your name and email address below for a chance to win. Only one entry per email address will be accepted. Winner will be randomly selected on 3/7. Good luck!