Daedelus stays plugged in
My, what a busy month lies ahead for Daedelus. One of the L.A. underground's foremost experimentalists — "More like a mad scientist," says collaborator and fellow member of the Dublab collective Mark "Frosty" McNeill — the 28-year-old DJ, composer and avant-jazz mixologist starts a string of shows tonight at Spaceland touting Tuesday's release of his eighth album, "Denies the Day's Demise." Then, on May 20, Daedelus marries fiancée Laura Martin.
The album's title harks back to L.A.'s rave scene of the '90s, when parties seemed unending "and there was something apocalyptic about it," says Daedelus, who was born Alfred Weisberg-Roberts and has changed his name to Alfred Darlington. But the music remains characteristically sample-heavy, while achieving the swoon of an artist influenced by "all those great film composers who made their best records when they went to Rio."
"I'm from the pretty electronic side of electronic music," says Daedelus, who in solo shows plays a sequencing contraption called a Monome (mono-mee). "To be honest, this is me trying to represent dance music from my perspective, though it can still sound techno-y and still have things that go bump in the night."
As for his busy schedule, which includes an in-store appearance at Sea Level Records on Saturday and a release party at Dublab haven the Little Temple on May 16, only days before his nuptials? "It just worked out that way," he says.
Taking it one chord at a time
Crossing the Big Sky state in a 12-passenger van, halfway between gigs in St. Paul, Minn., and Seattle, Jeff Baron of the Essex Green was in good spirits. There had been plentiful thrift-store action in Billings, Mont. And the first few shows of a three-week tour bringing the Brooklyn band to Spaceland on Sunday had gone well. But he was keeping a level head.
"The attention that we're getting now is inspiring, but it's hard to say how far it's gonna go," said Baron, who sings, plays guitar and formed the band in the late '90s with singer-keyboardist Sasha Bell and singer-guitarist Chris Ziter. "We've been doing this for a while. We're happy that we've made a record that we're proud of. If a decent crowd shows, even better. And if we can pay our rent, then we're really happy."
"Cannibal Sea," the band's second CD for Merge, is a quaintly affecting slice of tambourine-tapping pop awash in '60s innocence, Irish folk, Mersey musings and neatly overlapping vocals.
"It would be really hard for us to get a song on major corporate radio — that's not even an option," Baron says. "But the way they do it with songs now, they shop it around and bands seem to make more money on commercials and movies than they do selling records. That'd be fine with us. We're not going to change our style to try to get on corporate radio, but if people like it, well, we'll be happy."
A few words about a handful of upcoming releases:
Tony Gilkyson laid out a fine spread of Americana on Tuesday night at the Silverlake Lounge in setting the table for this month's residency by the Brokedown. Gilkyson, the ex-X and Lone Justice guitarist, plays McCabe's on May 19 in support of his upcoming release, "Goodbye Guitar."
Eugene Edwards tips his guitar to the past next week when he releases a cover of the Cowsills' "Is It Any Wonder?" — a tribute to the two members of the '60s pop group who died recently (Barry, in Hurricane Katrina, and Bobby, after a lengthy illness in Canada).
"Endless Winter," the full-length debut from Run Run Run, will be out May 16, and the quartet gives it a proper send-off with a West Coast tour, including tonight at the Viper Room.
Quincy Coleman brings her tales of love and mystery to Hotel Café on Tuesday for the release of her sophomore CD, "Come Closer." You could probably fill the place with support players just re-creating the album's dramatic music hall vibe.
And Beth Thornley's debut, "My Glass Eye," has a fine shimmer — she takes the stage Saturday night at the Gig.
-- Kevin Bronson and Frank Farrar
Watch the video for Daedelus' "Sundown" at www.mushrecords.com/release.phpREAID89
Stream the Essex Green's "Snakes in the Grass" at www.myspace.com/theessexgreen