June 8th, 2012 | by CHRIS STAMM Music | Posted In: Columns, Upper Extremities

Upper Extremities #36: The Lost Los Angeles Issue

     
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[This issue of Upper Extremities was meant about a month ago. Instead, it runs now! -Ed.] Portland, I miss you. No I don't. I'm in Los Angeles this week. It's impossible to miss anything here, because everything is here. But I envy you a little bit, because there are some killer shows happening inside of you this weekend, and I wish I could be there to get down with you. No I don't. But I still care about you, so I put together this brief little blast of a playlist highlighting four of the best bands getting rowdy in my ever-so-distant-seeming hometown over the next few days.

PS: I have a suntan and I just sold a screenplay for three million dollars. Kisses!


Youth Avoiders, “Boredom Airline”
I can't get enough of Youth Avoiders' Time Flies EP. You'd think the hours I've spent with its four tightly wound songs on infinite repeat would have rendered me capable of wrapping concise words around this French band's hyperactive sound, but I'm sort of at a loss still. What I hear is a band with a record collection evenly split between eighties hardcore, nineties Fat Wreck Chords skatepunk and pretty much every awesome thing Dirtnap Records has released in the last five years. That's the best I can do with words. Youth Avoiders do it much better with music, trust me.
LISTEN!


Hole In My Head, “Not Here”
This 25-second panic attack was all I needed to hear before falling in love with Vancouver, Canada's Hole in My Head. It's the best short song Crass never wrote, and Crass never wrote it because Crass wasn't a bass-and-drum duo with song titles like “Noodles & Chips” and “Space Junky”, but I think you get the idea. The rest of Hole In My Head's output doesn't lean so heavily in the anarcho-punk direction, but there's a sneering, gobbing old school spirit here that sets my teenage heart to beating eagerly and angrily.
LISTEN!


Criminal Code, “Wandering”

I wrote about Criminal Code's Cold Thought LP a couple months ago, but in my haste to spill love all over this Washington band's sui generis take on moody hardcore, I mistakenly tagged them as an Olympia band. Turns out Criminal Code is from Tacoma, which, okay, a ninety-mile mistake isn't a huge deal, but have you been to Tacoma? Olympia it is quite fucking not. And when did Tacoma last get any love for growing sounds as good as this? Consider this plug for Criminal Code a tardy correction, then, and crank it loud. Listen to that flange! My god, it burns so good.
LISTEN!


Hooded Hags, “Hide”
This is another tune I've written about before, but local music this menacing and gorgeous deserves a second helping of praise. There are quite a few bands playing surf-tinged punk these days (Night Birds' surf-hardcore is blowing up in a big way), but I haven't heard much out of this resurgence that gets my goosebumps to growing like Hooded Hags' “Hide”. Do you ever drive blind on stormy nights? Down dark roads with unfamiliar names? Into woods with black trees and hidden lakes? Toward wet assignations with vaguely defined shapes? You shouldn't. That's all really unsafe behavior. Listen to “Hide” instead. It'll freak you out in that shivery way you crave.
LISTEN!

 
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