Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yes Means No

Okay... Firstly: I'm sorry--I hate pitching my own band like this, but secondly: I need to do this to make the next few blogs all the more interesting. So yes, this is my former band Yes Means No.

If you notice, we only play shows in black and white... Nah, I'm just messing with you. We enjoy things electronic, like Photoshop and MIDIs, as is represented in the music we write. To sum up what our music sounds like, I'll just say that we took a guy who writes electronica/dance club music and mixed him up with a guy who sings folky/acoustic. Some might say, isn't that what the Postal Service is? Well yes, I'd have to agree, but somehow we sound nothing like them. Probably just more words-per-second. But here on our myspace you can listen for yourself.

So let me give you a little background as to how it all fell into place. My best friend Robert and I grew up together as next door neighbors. As children we bounced around from hobby to hobby until we eventually landed on film making. We loved it! we filmed movie after movie and some of them didn't even suck all too badly, considering they were produced by 10-year-olds. But one fateful day, as we were halfway through production on a thrilling gang war, blockbuster, our video camera broke. We didn't have $90 to fix it, but what we did have was a guitar laying around. So that's when our new hobby revealed itself to us, and we eventually became Yes Means No. Thought it was a cute story, and I figured I'd share it.

The part I want to emphasize with this blog though, is that as we started to want to play shows, Robert and I recruited the help of some of our more musically talented friends which consisted of Jeffery Mahachai (pre- Meals for Children), Maxwell Strachan (pre- Histories) and Luke Silas (pre- Histories, and a shit load of other bands I'll talk about later). That's the three of them there on the right. The five of us began hitting the L.A. scene and we did a pretty mean number on it. You can read articles about us in CMJ or Vain magazine if you want to know more (I'm too modest to want to say anything more on the subject. Now-a-days, everyone from Yes Means No has other side projects they're playing around with, so I can't say you'll see a flier for any upcoming YMN shows anytime soon, but I just mention the band because it was the starting back bone to a lot of the bands I've mentioned and have yet to mention. But anyway, that's about it. Remember those names, because they'll be coming up again. Believe me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Alright alright alright! Now that I've given your 'acoustic buds' something to snack on for a while, I've decided I'll be fair to the other side of the indie rock spectrum, and submit to you lovely readers a gentleman with a little more 'electronic advancement' to him. Today, I bestow upon you Will Wiesenfeld's Post-Foetus.

Will Wiesenfeld is to Post-Foetus, as Connor Oberst is to Bright Eyes or Marc Bianchi is to Her Space Holiday. One boy building music through keys and chords and wires in his room. Fortunately though, Post-Foetus delivers to us something that neither Oberst or Bianchi (or anyone for that matter) have delivered in a long long time. Post-Foetus strings his songs together with lyrics that most would consider unconventional and taboo. It really reminds this reviewer of a modern day Sting in the sense that he too wrote about subjects that many have felt but don't want to admit, let along sing about. Things like being attracted and intrigued by a child you're babysitting as can be interpreted in Post-Foetus' Weirdo. Or the story of a young wolf cub being initiated into a new pact, then later being raped by its leader, as is witnessed in the epic twenty or so minute long Half Lids (which can be seen being performed by Wiesenfeld and Orchestra below). But before we continue, as always: here's a link to the Post-Foetus myspace so you can listen for yourself.

Left to say is: He's just an exceptional conveyor of music. Honestly, I think he's been writing and making music longer than I've been listening to it. I can't even count the number of LPs and EPs he has under his belt, (I believe it's somewhere in the double digits if we count unreleased and side projects) and he's only 18 years old! But what's wonderful, is that I am now introducing him to you just as he has come out with a new EP dubbed: The 1st Will Wiesenfeld EP, that I honestly consider is some of his best work to date. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's available in a physical format yet and you would have to get in contact with Mr. Wiesenfeld to get a hold of it, but he's a nice guy and I'm sure you should have no problem.

I'm not sure if there are any upcoming Post Fetus shows at present. I'm sure he's busy with his side project (which I'll talk to you all about next week) but that he'll also continue coming out with new Post-Foetus, because frankly, you just can't turn some machines off. If you'd like any more information on Post-Foetus, look at their website, it's pretty impressive and user friendly. Please enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Histories

Hello again! I haven't much to say in terms of 'hellos' today because I really want to talk about this new band. I should state, however, that I hope you enjoyed last week's pick (Meals For Children) fore you see, this week I have chosen the band I did because they are in fact going to be playing the same Troubadour show in March with Meals. So, in case any of you guys and gals decide you really like either or both of these L.A. local bands, you'd have a chance to catch both at the same time. So, submitted for approval of the midnight society, I present to you... The Histories.

The Histories (pictured above) Huh.. how do I describe them? Well here, I'm going to cheat again and give you the link to their myspace so that you can listen while you read and see if what I say translates. (Might I suggest such hits as 'Everything Has its Own Backyard' and 'This Beard is a Humble Bear!'). It's definitely all played on an acoustic guitar, but to say it 'sounds acoustic' wouldn't make sense, because I'm sure when you hear "acoustic" you think slowed down and melodramatic. But if I were to say, "no man, you don't get it! It's a pumped up happier acoustic..." You'd think, oh... quick, drunk strumming and yodeling. But shoot! That's not The Histories at all. Hmmm... Haha--seriously, the only thing that comes to mind to describe them is the music of a liberal, urban cowboy in a dark blue hoodie.

The Histories is most entirely the work and music of Maxwell Strachan (I'm proud to say a close friend and former band mate of mine). Tailoring the backbone melodies and lyrics to his songs alone in the modesty of his room, he brings them out to his band to record in all the drums and horn sections, making for a delicious blend of lively-ness and soulfulness, all of which should be coming out on their upcoming EP (pictured below). But you know, don't take my word for it--Give 'em a listen, I'm sure you'll agree. You can also read more on them (and Meals) in this interview with

But in all, I deliver the Histories to you because I feel they stand as a wonderful direction for music to stream down, and I want you guys to be amongst the earliest to hear it. And really, if you enjoy them, and you enjoyed last week's band, then try and make it out to Los Angeles March 14th for what I can only imagine is going to be a great show at, what is by far, my favorite L.A. venue. I hope you guys can get there, lord knows I will be. Much love friends.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Meals For Children

Happy Valentine's day everybody! Especially those of you who are without someone to share it with. Don't worry, I'm in the same boat, so you can all be MY valentine this year, and we'll go burn down a local Hallmark together. Anyway, this Valentine's day, I wanted to give all of you something special, and so I present to you, a lovely little band dubbed, Meals for Children.

Meals (pictured above), in my mind, is how a light hearted Death Cab For Cutie would sound. You know? Like if Ben Gibbard didn't get the girl again but realized 'Hey...There's plenty of fish in the sea'. They definitely give off that same cool desert/warm ocean vibe, though, with a softer, dryer acoustic sound, and not to mention the striking resemblance between Gibbard (pictured left) and Meals' front man/song writer Mario Luna. Don't get me wrong, they're definitely still an underdeveloped band. They don't have the strongest recordings or the luxury of producers' side notes, but that only means everything you hear is completely their own, which is what I started this whole blog to bring you--new talent. But I understand that it's hard to know what I'm talking about in regards to how Meals sounds in sense of deserts and oceans, and if you've never heard Ben Gibbard then you definitely have no idea what I'm talking about. So let me just link you to their myspace so you can listen to them yourself and decide whether or not you like them enough to invest reading on about them. Might I suggest starting with hits such as Feverish Browsing and Geebot. They also have a purevolume, but who the hell purevolumes??

Moving on!...

Meals For Children is a young college band I was lucky enough to run into about three years ago, back before there was even really a band formed to meet. Most everything on their first LP, We Bid on Stronghold Mountain, was written and composed by, and in the bedroom of, Mario Luna, who is now, I'm proud to say, a really good friend of mine and a really tremendously musically talented individual. I have to admit, that from what I've been hearing and seeing, Meals might be on somewhat rocky grounds. It's hard to tell whether they're coming or going. Luna is currently pursing other side projects (which I'm sure we'll get into at a later date), but is also, from time to time, giving us children fans our well loved musical meals. But, in any case, this is a band I really wanted you guys to hear and discover before it could possibly be too late. If you happen to be in Los Angeles around March 14th, Meals for Children will be playing at the world renowned, Troubadour theater in Hollywood, which I'm going to be doing my best to make it down for.

Anyway, I hope you can hear and find that something special in this band that I did. I also hope you're having a great new year thus far. Lot of good stuff coming up: new president, new batman film, new chance for music to redeem itself, new... eh, whatever. Much love. Keep happy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

L.A. Concrete

I guess this is the part where I say hello and explain why and for what purpose this blog has been created. So... Hello! and welcome to L.A. Concrete.

It is on this day that I, Reid Goldin, have decided that I am going to man up, take charge and zip up my pants, and start the internet's 362,800,764th music review blog. But frankly, who the f**k am I to start a music review blog with intentions of anyone reading it, let alone taking it seriously? Well, let me tell you a little bit about myself, and then what I intend to do with this here blog.

I was born in Los Angeles and have resided there until only about half a year ago when I moved up to the Bay Area. But while in Los Angeles I did my best to follow into it's music underbelly, taking in shows of many of the local bands, a lot of which sounded like they weren't so much a part of the underbelly as they were excrements dropped from the belly itself. I took such an interest in music that I decided to make some myself and I, with the help of some friends, formed a rock band (as pretty much everybody does at one point or another) and I entered into the music scene in a big way. See? That's us up there! It was only later that I moved on to reviewing music. I took a 'per gratis' job reviewing concerts and CDs for the weekly Los Angeles newspaper Campus Circle, taking in and talking about bands ranging from The Blood Brothers to The Album Leaf. So there, that's me in a musical nutshell. If it helps you trust my review more, great! I'm glad. Either way, I'm glad you got this far into the blog. I didn't realize I'd be writing a novel. Anyway...

L.A. Concrete... Let's start with the 'why'. I'm sad to say that I had to live through the dust bowl year of music. 2007 I think easily racks up as being one of the most disappointing years for the independent rock music scene. A year where in exchange for bands like Paul Baribeau and Beirut (check them out if you don't know them already) we had to sacrifice so much. All the greats just began producing and releasing such shit. Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, The Decemberists' Crane Wife (made me want to eat my own ears off), Bright Eyes' less than desirable Cassadaga, and even the Blood Brothers who, not only released their less than desired Young Machetes, but broke up during the terrible 2007 music holocaust. I'm just saying that in a year where the biggest billboard chart topper is f**king High School Musical 2, something has gone George Bushly wrong. Anyway, this terrible year, and my love for music and all of you innocents, has led me to begin L.A. Concrete.

L.A. Concrete is a music review blog devoted to bring you some of the secret gems of music based in and around Los Angeles. These are the bands that helped give me hope during that terrible terrible year and I'd like to now share them with you. I'd rather not plug my own band, and I apologize if it gets in there at one point, but as I said, I went head first into the scene and so I got my hands into everyone (no...not like that). Anyway, I shall begin running through my catalog post-haste and shall have a new and lovely piece of music to start you on your way in 2008--may it bring us hope and comfort us as we send off all the indie forefathers lost in that terrible, terrible year.