Ears Wide Open: Bebopalula


The music of L.A. quintet Bebopalula will have old-schoolers diving to the back of their closets for bell bottoms and military-style peacoats. It’s retro, yes, but it’s far from the rock being made by the Ramones- and 13th Floor Elevators-worshiping bands that populate L.A.’s garage scene. Named for the classic Gene Vincent song that turned 60 years old this month, Bebopalula is more Harry Nilsson meets British Invasion — the kind of psych-pop perhaps imagined by John Lennon and Nilsson when they were drinking buddies in L.A. in the mid-1970s.

The band comprises Chris Price (once of the band Price and most recently producer of albums by Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs), Emeen Zarookian (of the band Spirit Kid), Alex Jules, Corey Perez and Ben Lecourt. The debut EP, recorded at Rhodes’ home studio and engineered by the man himself, is a starburst of tricky changes, sticky melodies, playful freakouts and cascading four-part harmonies. It’s fun, and so is Hollywood Panograph’s 360-degree video for “All Fall Down,” which was produced by Shawn Adams and directed by Jyrki Rantasuo and filmed at Salvation Mountain near Slab City. Click, drag, spin and, maybe, go back in time.

||| Stream: The Bebopalula EP

||| Watch: the video for “All Fall Down”

||| Live: Bebopalula plays the Live Music Stage at Chinatown Summer Nights on Saturday, June 18.