FROGTOWNS AND RIVERBEDS: Things have been going well for Chris Lynch ever since he and his crew of local boys Gardens & Villa transplanted to L.A., where they re-rooted to record their newest album, Music for Dogs, out this week on Secretly Canadian. Nesting in a riverside Frogtown warehouse, the formerly Santa Barbara–based act has found boundless inspiration and excitement in the diversely sprawling nooks and crannies of that “zombie apocalypse” of a city.
The product of their process has both band and label alike abuzz with excitement. Hailing it a return to their roots, Gardens & Villa tracked Music for Dogs live to tape over the course of the week, giving it a fresh feel. “This record is us reclaiming our space and our sound and what it is we actually love,” Lynch said. Relocating, it seems, has rejuvenated the band, after reinventive preconditions thinned under the familiar atmospheres and economic stresses of S.B. life.
The move has given Lynch a space to explore concerning themes of contemporary life, such as drones (featured in their recent music video, “Fixations”) and our widespread addiction to phone screens. “It’s so overwhelming, and it’s so much a part of our everyday lives, but we haven’t really discussed the whole. Part of me feels it’s the job of artists to navigate that sea and expose some of those questions and get people talking about it,” he said.
When not making music or scrutinizing society’s tech dependence, Lynch enjoys a relaxed life by the riverside, watching the sunrise on the concrete banks in lawn chairs, taking long strolls at night, or lounging at home in a kimono with a cold beverage. “It’s liberating,” Lynch said of his new L.A. life.
SHOWINGS AND GOINGS-ON: Tonight, Tall Tales and the Silver Lining bring musical truth-lightenings and lie-whitenings to the Goodland Hotel, where they will perform prior to August 21’s KCSB in-studio performance with Ted Coe. The sweetly voiced acoustic rockers bring to mind the lighter contemplative rock of the 1990s, of bands like Blind Melon with something like Fleet Foxes thrown in for good measure. But really, comparisons are a fool’s errand, and you’d do better to just hear their catchy little ditty “Something to Believe In” and believe again in the power of good-hearted pseudo-hippie alterna-rockers to stir the soul.
On Friday, August 21, SOhO continues its fundraising 20th anniversary concert series with Venice. Once called by David Crosby “the best vocal band in the country,” Venice has been repping that West L.A. neighborhood through acoustic melodies so breezy that they have blown all the way to the Netherlands, where they continue to enjoy chart-topping success performing what Europeans call “West Coast music.” It’s certainly evocative of that kind of California AM soothe first heard in the soft rock and folk of the ’60s and ’70s. They will also perform as their cover band alter egos, Pine Mountain Logs. For fans of classic rock, this will be your best bet Friday night
Downtown on Saturday, Zero Platoon hosts a concert to help lift the minds and spirits of veterans recovering from war traumas, as well as the minds and spirits of those who love them. Rocky Votolato, Dave Hause, and Chris Farren will play at The Garage in Ventura, where they will help raise awareness of depression and anxiety among soldiers — suicide has been the leading cause of military deaths every year since 2012. Votolato himself has dealt sensitively with the subject of suicide, both lyrically and in candid interviews.