News bits: Admiral Radley, AM, Sweaterfest, Pixies


[File under: Things I have seen, heard or read:]

jasonlytle-jeffhaweThere is plenty of intriguing music in the cooker for 2010, but one release I’ll be particularly interested in hearing is the album made by a band called Admiral Radley. The foursome is a collaboration between Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray and Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle and Aaron Burtch. Espinoza and Grandaddy go way back, of course, to their days in the Central Valley. The music was recorded at Espinoza’s studio, the Ship. Lytle’s first solo album, “Yours Truly, the Commuter,” came out in ’09 on Anti- Records.


Riding on Air: Singer-songwriter AM’s recent Hotel Cafe show was pretty impressive – he performed like the kind of guy worthy of landing a big tour slot. Which he has, with the French duo Air, beginning March 13 and ending March 28 at Disney Hall. AM’s album “Future Sons & Daughters” will come out Feb. 9 on Filter’s label. At the Hotel Cafe, he did songs from that album as well as tunes from his EP “Holiday Happiness & Cheer,” including his twist on Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here.”

pityparty-sweaterfest08Worst sweater wins: It’s a crazy-busy weekend for shows and parties, especially benefit concerts, so I hope the third annual Christmas Sweater Festival on Saturday at the El Rey doesn’t get lost in the mix. (I know all you cool kids will be at the LA Record Xmas Party at Bedrock, but I hear they’ve closed RSVPs for that.) The Sweaterfest benefits the Children’s Hospital of L.A. cancer program Teen Impact and features the Deadly Syndrome, Eskimohunter, Castledoor and the Pity Party, among others. The Deadly Syndrome and Eskimohunter gave great performances at the El Rey at Tarfest earlier this year, but the most fun reason to make it out is to check out the hilariously gaudy sweaters everybody seems to dig up. Heck, the Pity Party [see photo of M from last year’s event] knits their own. Talk about the needle and the damage done.

And if I plan the evening well, I can hit Space 15 Twenty on Cahuenga to catch the LA Ladies Choir at the “Take My Treasures” benefit for the Children of the Night programs. Besides song, the event includes a silent auction with items ranging from Flea’s bass guitar to original sketches from the film “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Join the Pixies: Want to make music with Joey Santiago and David Lovering of the Pixies? You can. As the Everybody, they have an album called “Avatar” and are selling the royalty-free album stems so enterprising fans can fashion them into their own tunes.

Also forthcoming: Bay Area-based quartet the Morning Benders (three-quarters of whom are SoCal-bred), a longtime Buzz Bands fave, have signed to Rough Trade, which will release their sophomore album “Big Echo” on March 9. The album was co-produced by frontman Chris Chu and Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor. … I’d heard L.A. duo VOICEsVOICEs was working with Prefuse 73, and now Surfing on Steam has connected the dots. … Hardcore fans, note: Joby Ford of the Bronx is producing the album by This Drama, a Spanish punk band that hails from the Canaary Islands. They play Jan. 19 at the Viper Room.

Nights in the museum: The Natural History Museum has announced the lineup for its First Fridays events, which start again after the first of the year. Good stuff, too – Bradford Cox’s Atlas Sound and Tune-Yards on Jan. 8, and Yeasayer and Warpaint on Feb. 5, for starters.

And finally: Hadn’t heard of this collaboration – Broken Bells, which is James Mercer of the Shins and Brian Burton, whom you know as Danger Mouse. Their debut album is due March 9. And I’ve marked Monday on my calendar – that’s when the first single, “The High Road,” is supposed to debut. on

Photos: Jason Lytle by Jeff Hawe; AM by Laurie Scavo; the Pity Party by Bronson