REVIEW: Jeff Mangum At Irvine Auditorium

BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER In 1998, Neutral Milk Hotel released an album of hallucinatory folk-rock called In The Aeroplane Over The Sea that is, it can be said without fear of exaggeration, nothing short of a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, it is lightning caught in a bottle, one of those rare perfect albums that come along maybe once a decade. Or once a lifetime. In 1999, Jeff Mangum — Neutral Milk’s singer, songwriter and primary guitarist — disappeared from public life without explanation, declining all entreaties to perform or discuss the album […]

CONCERT REVIEW: Social D @ The Electric Factory

BY ARTHUR SHKOLNIK Friday night I arrived at the Electric Factory and saw gray-haired grandpas, hawked and studded teens, and everyone in between standing side by side; three generations of concert-goers with one thing in common – an abiding faith in Social Distortion — a legendary band that, for over 30 years, has both defined and transcended the rebellion and attitude of punk rock while remaining fearlessly unabated in the face of its own evolution. This is undoubtedly due to the hardships a now 48-year-old Mike Ness has faced on his long and arduous path through love, loss, and drugs, […]

CONCERT REVIEW: Drive-By Truckin’

BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER The Drive-By Truckers have a well-earned rep for consistently delivering grungy Southern rock operas set in places where red meets neck, where dubious characters lead self-inflicted lives of quiet desperation: unanswered prayers, unrequited love, and unmitigated semiprivate disasters. The DBTs’ just-released The Big To-Do is no exception, although it is quite exceptional in its capacity to sketch out the private hells of jaded pole workers, homicidal preachers’ wives, and modern drunkards in high-def whiskey-hued vérité. Everyone’s on something – booze, pills, God, or all the above – and before all is said and done, […]

CONCERT REVIEW: The Pet Sounds Of Brooklyn

[Photos by TIFFANY YOON] BY DIANCA POTTS AND KYLEE MESSNER Last night’s sold out performance by Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear — the It Band of the moment — opened with a set full of ethereal indie rock compliments of opening act (and fellow New Yorkers) Here We Go Magic. Spearheaded by front man Luke Temple, Here We Go Magic’s performance flowed over the calm and composed crowd like a balm, sounding like a revamped resurrection of the Shins circa ’01 and a tamer Animal Collective with a side of forlorn folk. Describing their own sound as “a lovely ruckus,” Here We […]