Geoff Geis

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Steppe People + Alone at the Five Star Bar

Last night, I went to see my friends’ bands perform at the Five Star Bar downtown. I took a couple of pictures but I took them on my old crappy phone and put them through Instagram filters so they’re pretty worthless for actually seeing what’s going on.

The Five Star Bar is pretty cool, I guess. It’s next to Jalisco Bar, which is very cool.

It’s also the kind of bar that plays the entirety of albums like “Damn the Torpedoes” and “Exile on Mainstreet” between bands. It’s very loud. Yes, I realize that bars are supposed to be loud — but the Five Star Bar has tile floors and seldom very many patrons, so the sound really bounces around in there in a nasty way. Always bring earplugs if you go to the Five Star Bar.

The Steppe People.

The Steppe People.

Anyway, the between band album choices were a perfect compliment to the Steppe People’s music. This is a very “rock n roll,” rough n tumble band… although their song structures are more novel than Petty or the Stones. There are big drum fills and hella guitar shredding, but it’s not tacky because there aren’t any extended solos and the songs are still nice and short.

Onstage, they seem kind of like how I’d imagine the Replacements were on a good night, but I’ve heard that the Replacements were typically very messy and these guys weren’t messy except in demeanor. Their repertoire is also pretty varied, which I appreciate.

But yeah, this band is really good. Here’s a recording of them live at Pehrspace at some point in the past:

I’m listening to that recording as I type this and really giggling at Bill Gray’s between-song banter. The two of us apparently ask for the exact same thing when we go to the barber shop. For the record, Bill, I think that your hair looks really good.

After the Steppe People came Alone, which features my friends Sean and Liz. They seem to be really in tune with each other when they’re onstage and they’re engaging to watch.

Alone

Alone

Alone presented a very different vibe than the Steppe People.  Sean plays acoustic guitar through an amp, sometimes with a lot of crunchy fuzz, and Liz plays stand up drums with mallets. Before they began to play, Sean asked for a “shitload” of reverb on his voice, and that’s what he got!

Like the reverb on Sean’s voice, Alone’s music is made to wash over you. And last night, it washed over me good. I realize that saying that someone’s band put me to sleep doesn’t SOUND like a complement, but it actually is. They lulled me, and brought me to a very peaceful place; I’ve had insomnia lately so I appreciated it.

I started each song with an attentive attitude, but by the middle of every one I’d become immersed in the vibe and I was starting to drift away… but in a pleasant way. It was really great, actually, and I took the vibe home when me and fell right asleep.

Is that what heroin’s like? I’ve never done it.

Here are two nice Alone songs from Soundcloud:

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Update!

The picture above is from my show at Pehrspace on August 1st, which was the release party for my album Princess. It was an exciting show, and I’m really grateful for all the amazing people who came to see it. Sean Carnage has more photos on his website.

I’ve been doing a lot to promote the album, but probably the most fun thing has been this interview I gave to Mark Givens (of D.I.Y. heroes Wckr Spgt) for his massive electronic literary zine, MungBeing. Mark let me talk – a lot – about my musical history, my ideas about digital distribution, and Marcel Duchamp (of course). If you like that kind of stuff, you should read it! If not, you might want to check the nice little mp3 sampler that comes along with the interview – it includes some rare and unreleased jamz from my solo act, Big Whup, the New Motherfuckers, and Pizza!

Speaking of Pizza!, we just released this new video for our old song “Be a Man.” It was directed, beautifully, by our friend Blaine Ludy. When will we finally release new music? Sooner than you’d expect…

Oh yes, and there are also a couple of live shows to promote. One is this party at 5 Star Bar to celebrate the anniversary of the Summer Fun Time Society, an event production crew headed by my pal Vivian. You can RSVP on Facebook. Here’s a flyer for that one:

Finally, I’m organizing an event with FMLY on Saturday, Aug 27 at Tierra de la Culebra in Highland Park. It’s a “stripped-down” affair, and it will feature semi-acoustic performances by the likes of the Monolators, So Many Wizards, Dnonkong, Seasons, and Magick Orchids. You can also bring an instrument if you’d like to jam as well. Here’s the Facebook invitation. A flyer is forthcoming.

Filed under: Events, geoff geis, get excited, mp3, pizza, princess, Reviews, vanity projects, Video, , , , , , , , , , ,

Princess reviewed in LA Record

Earlier this year, I recorded an album called Princess that will be released July 15 via Vanity Projects. I was really happy to see that the album had been reviewed, by Mr. Walt Gorecki, in the new LA Record. Here’s what he said:

Geoff Geis Princess review in LA Record

Geoff Geis: Princess review from LA Record #104

Filed under: geoff geis, princess, Reviews, vanity projects, , , , ,

In LA Record: My new column, and a review of Kid Infinity in 3-D


LA Record #100 is available now.

I’ve had some stuff published in LA Record recently.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, you should check out the hundredth print edition of the paper. It’s a 112-page extravaganza, and it features my new column, “Heart of Darkness,” which is all about the “D.I.Y.” underground in the city. This edition focuses on Moses Campbell and the group’s involvement with the Smell.

I also did a live review of Kid Infinity’s recent 3-D show at the Smell, which was published online today. Unfortunately, larecord.com is having some problems; a lot of people (including me) see a “Warning: Reported Attack Site” disclaimer when they go to the site. Anyway, I’ve published the review of the show here, in case the LA Record link doesn’t work for you:

Click here to read my review of Kid Infinity in 3-D

Filed under: Human Interest, Reviews

Video Free Silverlake

I was recently asked to fill in for Jed, the editor of Radio Free Silverlake‘s weekly column Video Free Silverlake, who is on vacation. I didn’t particularly feel like hyping up a bunch of Silverlake bands by posting their most recent videos, so I did a little tour of Top 40 Radio instead. Here is the article, including videos by Kelis, La Roux, Lady Gaga, and more…

Album of the year!

Filed under: Features, Reviews, , , , , ,

in LA Record: Review of “Love Songs for When You Leave Me” by So Many Wizards

I recently wrote a review for LA Record of So Many Wizards’ excellent new EP Love Songs for When You Leave MeIt can be read here.

So Many Wizards will be joining my bands Big Whup and Pizza! at Big Whup’s 7″ Release Extravaganza Party at the Smell on Saturday. Please don’t miss this one, for your own sake.

Filed under: Reviews, , , , , ,

In LA Record and on thefmly.com – Features on Kid Infinity

Last week I went to go see Kid Infinity’s new video “P.Y.C.O.” debut on the big screen at the Downtown Independent. I really had a great time at the show, and the video is pretty damned awesome too. I wrote about the show for LA Record, and you can read my review here.

I was also just added as a blogger for the FMLY, and I used my debut post on thefmly.com to pimp KI.

They deserve it!

Filed under: Esoteria, Reviews, , , ,

In LA Record – Review of Kyle Mabson’s Birthday Party

LA Record recently published my review of Kyle Mabson’s Birthday Party at Pehrspace. Click here to read it. It features my perspective on Signals, Breezee One, XboxRox, and Abe Vigoda. I think that it came out really well, although there are two typos that I made and didn’t catch before I sent it to the editor. I won’t tell you where they are.

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In LA Record: Porchfest Review

Click here to read LA Record‘s review of Porchfest.

I participated in this show and helped write the review with my friends Daiana and Pablo. Morgan made the excellent illustration at the top. Thanks to Drew, Jon, and Morgan for making this  party happen!

Filed under: Reviews, ,

Julian Casablancas

A lot of people have been saying that Julian Casablancas’ new solo record, Phrazes for the Young, is underwhelming. I don’t agree. I’ve been listening to it a lot recently, and I like it – it’s certainly not a classic, but it continues a comfortable aesthetic that I’ve been enjoying for years and seems like a pretty predictable follow-up to First Impressions of the Earth. That record, too,was panned as underwhelming at the time and I was also not sure why. It seems to me that the only reason anyone would be underwhelmed by a Strokes record is if their expectations were informed by all of the hyperbolic hype about “saving rock music” from which the Strokes benefited (or suffered, depending on who you ask) in 2001. If you just look at them as a regular rock band, I think that there’s a lot to like on all three of their albums.

But anyway… Casablancas gets pretty much all of the songwriting credit in the Strokes, so a solo record from him is interesting because it shines light on the creative process within the band – what, exactly, do the other Strokes do? From this record, it would seem that their main role is to edit him. Most of these songs are sixty to ninety seconds too long (single “11th Dimension” is the exception – it should only be thirty seconds shorter), and I can’t help but think that this would be better not as an eight-song record but as a ten-song LP of the same length.

Casablancas’s lyrics are getting better and more straightforward. On the last record he was all like “I have nothing to say, I have nothing to say!,” yet he opens this one with “Out of the Blue,” a pretty honest expression of regret. I particularly like that song and “4 Chords of the Apocalypse,” which is musically like his “Oh! Darling” but is lyrically chill – instead of breaking down and crying he’s rational and calm: “I’d give you anything, but I’d give you problems. So be with anyone you want – it’s alright with me.” Dude’s good at being flippant.

My favorite song is the single, though. It’s good and it’s way catchy. If it weren’t so “indie” in execution, it could probably be a famous sports anthem.

Filed under: Reviews, , ,

Music

This is Soft Sailors! We're a new band from Los Angeles. We don't have any upcoming shows scheduled, but you can hear us online:

Also, here are some solo songs I've uploaded recently to Soundcloud. I'm playing solo July 19th at the Pickle Factory at 647 Lamar Street in Los Angeles and September 1st at Los Globos in LA for a KCHUNG benefit.

In 2011, I released my first solo album, Princess. You can listen to it and download it on Bandcamp:

From 2005 until 2011, I was in the band Pizza! This is our album We Come From the Swamp:

From 2008-2010, I was in the band Big Whup. Here's one of our songs that I sang, called "Cover My Eyes:"

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