Since 2005, the folks at the L.A. RECORD have been putting L.A.-based bands like No Age, Lavender Diamond, Cold War Kids, etc. on their covers way before anyone outside of L.A. ever heard of them. Each free ssue, which comes with a poster that doubles as the magazine’s cover (featuring rock bands re-staging classic album covers), is filled with reviews, previews, band interviews and helpful nuggets for any L.A. indie rock nerd. In addition to putting out said publication, the L.A. RECORD kids run a local music store, curate monthly live events and do a radio show and hold day jobs. Not bad. We asked editor Chris Ziegler to tell us which up-and-coming L.A. bands we should keep an eye on. And he did!
MOONRATS: Post-punk trio with Nathan Thelen (Pretty Girls Make Graves) on guitar and songs that are sometimes catchy and sometimes creepy. Posed full-frontal naked and covered in blood for our cover, too.
BLANK BLUE: Os Mutantes experimentalism with Broadcast beats and reverb on everything from Low End Theory resident DJ Nobody and Niki Randa.
ABE VIGODA: The hardest-working -- they played every single week this summer -- and the most hilarious band in L.A. (Except maybe for Mika Miko, still interview champs.) Sing-song no wave that somehow mixes the Beach Boys with Mars.
MAGIC LANTERN: Awesome long-form Krautrock-ism from a Long Beach five-piece we’ve reviewed probably every time they’ve played. Destined for double-LP gatefold greatness.
HEALTH: They reinvented their own version of Beefheart’s ‘Zoothorn’ and recorded their new debut full-length live during early mornings at the Smell. Nice guys off duty, rabid dogs onstage. Look for their record with Crystal Castles.
JAIL WEDDINGS: ‘Death doo-wop’ from a ten-piece revue: guitars, sax, and girls in glittery dresses. Gabe Hart sings like somebody on Sun and the band puts Phil Spector’s wall of sound around X’s Los Angeles.