Although the band had been hatched nearly four years ago, CATSIGNS wasn’t officially “full time” until the beginning of this year when Anthony Perry departed from his long time friends and band The Growlers. And boy what a year. With years of material ripe for recording, Cat Signs started laying down tracks at Perry’s house on an old Tascam. But the final final album, The Fine & Mellow, recorded by Kyle Mullarky at his Pump House, will be their official debut. For now, check out their single “New Colour”, an older song with a taste of what’s to come.
The new single from L.A. garage-rock trio Billy Changer represents a monumental leap from anything on their 2014 debut album. “She’s Good To Go" is a taut, muscular rocker that gallops through three minutes over barbed-wire guitar, an ode to a “requiem dreamer” who’s ready to leave Los Angeles. The song is the first single from Billy Changer’s forthcoming album Best of Fortune. The album finds the band — Robert Cifuentes, Jimmy Ramirez and Wyatt Blair — working with producer/composer Michael Andrews, known primarily for his work in film and TV (Donnie Darko, Me and You and Everyone We Know) but who was a guitar fiend back in the day. “I wanted to get back in a room and play some electric guitar, produce,” Andrew says of the recording sessions in September at his Glendale studio. "It’s a departure from my recent work but right in my sweet spot from another era….Old school.” Here’s to that school.
plus very special guest Distractor
Synth Pop, Post punk. A band that doesn't leave the garage much. UNTIL NOW.
DJ Johnny Basil
Everyone who knows Johnny Basil pretty much says the same thing: “One of the heaviest cats I know. You should see his record collection. Awesome.” Color me intrigued (and jealous; I’ve seen it).
I first encountered Basil by chance at the Costa Mesa Memphis Café in April. He was spinning one of his too-infrequent DJ sets during the Abstract Workshop. But his set was unlike any I’d ever heard there, or anywhere. Basil was laying down strange, beautiful, rarefied prog rock; spacey, alien electronic pieces from the ’70s; groovy, quirky library music; and the odd Herbie Mann cut, just to keep things a bit … grounded. I soon started trainspotting and asking questions. I discovered in Johnny Basil a real-deal, underground-culture guru.
The tall, longhaired, Italian-American 40-year-old strikes a heroic figure in person. But Basil is humble almost to a fault and not prone to self-promotion. Living in relative anonymity, he works part-time at Costa Mesa’s excellent Ubiquity Records, filling orders in the warehouse and curating the label owners’ huge vinyl stash. He’s also been taking courses in 3-D computer design and serves as a consultant for Los Angeles vintage boutique Tabloid and the L.A. Record free weekly. He creates music that’s as intricately detailed and surreal as the finest Dalí paintings. And, as noted, Basil occasionally DJs.
While Basil claims his influences largely lie outside music, as a youth he loved Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Frank Zappa. “Miles Davis showed me the way as far as attitude and exploring with a menacing quality,” he says. “I love the tension, darkness and the grooviness of Funkadelic.” Other factors that shaped Basil’s aesthetics include such avant-garde composers as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Morton Subotnick and Tod Dockstader; guitarist Lenny Breau; and soundtracks to “groovy films” and giallos (bizarre Italian horror flicks).