Welcome to The Listening Station, The Eastsider’s dose of must-listens from local bands. Get to know your community by getting to know the music they are making.
“Can You Get To That?” – The Living Sisters
The Living Sisters elicit the giddy smiles of delicate kitsch; and live and die these ladies do by that fickle friend, harmony. This supergroup of Inara George (The Bird and The Bee), Eleni Mandell, Becky Stark (Lavendar Diamond), and Alex Lilly (Touché) coexist among the blythe, bouncy harmonies of a swinging ‘40s girl group and the Opry-esque banter that carries their live shows. “Can You Get To That?” comes from The Living Sisters’ second studio album, this year’s Run For Cover. This rendition of Funkadelic’s 1971 hit, and the EP’s overall collection of standards, particularly showcases the ‘sisters’ knack for witty and surprising arrangements. -Marni Epstein
“If We Were Banished” – Radar Bros.
At the Griffith Observatory there is a large string that represents a timeline of our universe and toward the end is a small slice of material that is supposed to represent all of human existence. Radar Bros. sound like they glimpsed this fact, marinated on the idea, briefly considered what it meant and went on to make some music. Jim Putnam has had a steady cast of players with Radar Bros. since 1993, often times imbuing the avalanche of guitars with a sullen tone of wonder. Their sound has matured over the years, and then gone backwards, earlier recordings are of a young man attempting to converse about big topics while more recent material has a youthful exuberance. On “If We Were Banished” the detail of Putnam’s voice is washed out, but the grand harmonies that accompany him sound full of hope, and maybe even have a plan for what the future holds. Radar Bros. have been making music in Los Angeles for some time now, but in the grand scheme of things it’s only a few seconds. – Nathan Solis
“In the Morning Room, I Saw” – Big Search
Out of the camp that brought us the groups Foreign Born, Papercuts, Glasser and tropical outfit Fool’s Gold comes Big Search. This time around the sounds are measured, drawn out with pedal steel, haunting the higher register on “In the Morning Room, I Saw”, with singer Matt Popieluch’s voice pitched high enough to shine through the fog but never eclipsing the moody atmosphere.
Remnants of those previous groups linger throughout Big Search, a party vibe that calls from the other side of the apartment complex, a sort of sugary sound that billows down the stairs like a cartoon scent calling to us in our dreary homes. There are grand ideas that flush out the corners of Big Search, a ’70s travelogue of some forgotten folk poet, a pack of artists living on the fringe of society, occasionally checking in to buy guitar strings. – Nathan Solis
Let us know what Eastside bands or performers – in any genre- you are listening to by sending an email to hello@theEastsiderLA.com. Follow Eastsider Music on Twitter or Eastsider Music on Facebook for more stories and sounds from the Eastside music scene.
Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries. Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.