L.A. Girlfriend

L.A. Girlfriend creates a reckless ambiance of passion on "Regina"

Sydney Banta embodies everything we love about the 80s. Banta, who goes by L.A. Girlfriend, creates an illuminating and reckless ambiance of passion, female empowerment and electric pop-punk. She exemplifies all of those on her latest video for "Regina,"  a three-part, larger-than-life visual that is as moving as it is entertaining. Her choreography provokes the audience but her lyrics pull at your heartstrings, and I can’t stop listening.

Banta’s lyrical enlightenment has me itching for more, and as a listener, I crave storytelling through lyrics. But she doesn’t stop there - she passionately holds onto the things that make her unique, and we, as an audience, should praise her for that. And lucky you, LA Girlfriend will be playing at The Echo on April 9. Catch her if you can. Kayla Hay


Live Review: TÜLIPS at Non Plus Ultra 11/14

The TÜLIPS release party last Saturday night was DIY tight — a full Doom & Bloom experience from dizzying start to shoegazing finish. L.A. Girlfriend Sydney Banta DJ'd and slipped in some new tracks from her upcoming LP Neon Grey, while San Pedro girlfriends Bombón worked the house with some frothy surf rock jams. As Angie and Taleen took the stage, they gave shoutouts to their producer Greg Katz way back in the audience, and introduced Jen Spazmaster to dance as the crowd got up close and cozy. And then TÜLIPS roared, had everyone spinning from "Vertigo" to the oscillating dregs of "Hopefully Hopefully". 

Terminal A's heavy synthpunk noise closed Non Plus Ultra, and we walked home feeling pretty sweaty. TÜLIPS are currently on tour; stream and purchase their new album Doom & Bloom, cassettes available via Lolipop Records- Ryan Mo


Artist to Watch: Mean Dream

Female-fronted bands are being celebrated tonight at The Lexington. Headliners HOTT MT will be joined by L.A. Girlfriend, Haunted Summer, as well as new artist to watch, Mean Dream. They recently released a two-song samplr on bandcamp. Mean Dream Samplr is drenched in lo-fi scuzz, 80s teenage ennui, and peppered with dreamy, listless vocals reminiscent of Chrissy Hynde. The opening song, "Swamp Thing," stutters and starts, yet maintains a hypnotic bass line that tethers you to their madness. At times the edges are so rough, you feel as though you've been dropped into the midst of a heroin haze. Miraculously, they seem to slide right back into the groove making you realize they never really lost their way in the first place. The band proves their true pop prowess with "Full of Holes." The lighter companion to the shadowy opener, this tune's driving beat never quits. Just as you get lost in the rhythm, they hit you with the lines, "you can get in and out of my bed," shoving you off the seesaw of indifference. Mean Dream perfectly combine elements of the silly, the spooky, and the twee, with the ever-so-seriousness of shoegaze for a delightfully visceral experience. Catch them live tonight at The Lexington. - Jacqueline Caruso


First Annual XMAS FEST featuring local favorites

If you’re looking for an all-day, all-out, end of the year party showcasing every local band worth your time, money and sweat, then get tickets now for the First Annual XMAS FEST presented by underStory and Galaga 2331 at The Echo Country Outpost. With a full 12 hours of live music on 2 stages, catering by Lot 1 Cafe, Go Go Dancers, and a chance to snap a photo on Santa’s lap, this is also a fundraiser for the LA Mission and Toys for Tots. The lineup features an exhaustive list of local favorites including, Races, Gothic Tropic, Raw Geronimo, LA Font, Nick Diamonds, Tommy Santee Klaws, Voice on Tape, Tes Elations, Criminal Hygiene and The Janks. Check out the Facebook event for set times, and instructions on how to buy pre-sale tickets.While you're at it, check out our playlist filled with the best songs from some of the bands on the lineup. - Jacqueline Caruso