Wounded Lion, Nothing People, Bad Trips, Bipolar Bear at Mr. T's in LA

Nothing People live at Hemlock 2007, photo by <a href=
Nothing People live at Hemlock 2007, photo by Canderson
posted Saturday Jan 24th, 2009

During the harsh winter weather, sometimes finding a decent show to go to can be a challenging thing. That is hardly the case in Los Angeles, where the effect of winter weather hardly impedes your mobility and the chances for a shut-in Saturday night are near nil. Especially when, in a city like LA, there seems to be a blossoming scene of bands who are delving into the sonic waters of the underground and pulling up truly unique sounds. This Saturday in beautiful Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles at Mr. T's Bowl, the defunct bowling alley turned rock club will host an showcase of exclusively local acts that is promised to be a great time. The openers, Skull Kiss are a two-piece act that seem to wallow in the corniness that makes for an entrancing live set. Playing a weird sort of goblin-disco, but declaring themselves to be gospel, they cover everything from old gospel standards to the Misfits. And if the crowd isn't too into them, they have it covered by piping in their own applause tract.

Bipolar Bear holds the next slot on the bill and play ultra angular songs that are reminiscent of the sort of music that seemed to morph into Glue Wave a couple of years back. With futuristic tones, detached, voluble vocals and whirling song structures, Bipolar Bear's sound comes off with a welcomed bleak flavor and really seems fitting for the times. Just releasing their second full-length release on Yosada Records titled Mountain Dewd, this month, they'll probably have a copy at the merch table waiting for you.

The real treat Saturday is up next. The Bad Trips are the latest venture from Grady Runyan, who made his roots way back wrestling a guitar neck into blazing, galactic reverberations in bands like Monoshock and Liquorball. Here he is nearly twenty years down the road, and he is still strangling mind-blowing psych out of the ever expanding ion tail the of the genre, with his newest cartel of misfit pedal freaks and feed back droids. Bad Trips' music is a loud celestial bending voyage and seeing them live will probably fuck up your unborn/preconceived child's eardrums, and will undoubtedly be worth it. The next act, Nothing People, probably could owe some of their sound to Runyan in one way or another, but don't let that take away from their rare talent for mixing in the kaleidoscopic cauldron of modern drug music. There's simply no denying the mark they've made on the subterrestrial sound scape of underground music. Melding droning rhythms with serrated vocalizations and coming up with something that lands in the barren fields between Chrome and Wire is something someone should have thought of a long time ago. If their debut full-length, Anonymous didn't make your Christmas list, there's something wrong with you, but don't fret because you can probably pick it up right from the band on Saturday.

The Headliners, Wounded Lion caught our ears last year with their charmingly self-conscious sounding and jaunty misfit pop. Their debut released this past fall on S-S Records proved to be one of the years best, playfully bouncy, perfectly clumsy tunes that shine through the bullshit with a stalwart and proud flavor of awkwardness that is impossible not to dig. Keep your eyes peeled for their second single coming out on Down In the Ground Records early this year.