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Arrah and the Ferns CD Release Party at The North Star Sept. 3

Lead singer Arrah Fisher is reminiscent to Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino in that her strong vocals and ruminations on miscommunication with lovers past are often the focal point of her songs. Her band, Arrah and the Ferns , is more upbeat indie pop than beach punk, with softer vocals and bouncy guitar lines. Materialized at an open mic in 2005 with newfound friend Carl Stovner, “the Ferns” have since added and lost members, but their new lineup will be ready tonight for the CD release party for their sophomore album All the Bad in One Place at the North Star Bar as well as their upcoming east coast tour this fall. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 9pm, $8, 21+ - Katie Bennett

XPN’s “Free at Noon” w/Birdie Busch at WCL Sept. 3

Birdie Busch will be bringing her mellifluous voice to the airwaves today when she performs at XPN’s “Free at Noon”. Swing by or tune in and you’ll be treated to some atmospheric folk from her latest release the optimistically titled EP Everyone Will Take You In, which was inspired by her hometown. It’s the flagship album from Be Frank Records, a local startup indie label brought to you by WKDU’s programming/music director Fred Knittel. She’ll also be performing at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday, Sept. 13 with the musical family of Hezekiah Jones. World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., 12pm, Free, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman

Album Review - Grand Lake: Blood Sea Dream

Grand Lake explore familiar waters on their latest release, Blood Sea Dream. Fuzzy guitars, clean melodies and vocal styling that sway between Win Butler, Thom York and on occasion, Jeff Buckley are featured throughout the debut LP from this Oakland foursome. Recorded and co-produced by Jason Kick (Maus Haus), Blood Sea Dream contains 10 new tracks along with 2 re-recorded tracks from their 2009 EP Nevermint [500 Records].

One of their signature songs, "Concrete Blond On Blond" gets slightly re-vamped recording and a new title that reflects a bit of their East Bay roots: "Concrete Blond On Blond (880 South)." It's certainly one of their strongest tracks and without question the track that will have your roommate popping his head in your bedroom door to ask "hey dude, is that the new Arcade Fire?"

Highlights form the album include the thundering and emotive first single "Louise (I Live In A Fantasy)" and the bittersweet swaying lullaby, "Our Divorce." The somber subject matter of "Our Divorce" is lightened by the melodic and playful arpeggio exchange between the violin and guitar which feels almost deceptive when paired with lyrics like "may our divorce be trimmed and neat / limbs sawed off of family trees."

Grand Lake will be touring the Bay Area extensively in September starting with a show at Ghost Town Gallery in Oakland this Friday, September 3rd. More tour dates are available on their site. Check out "Oedipus Hex (Hwy. 1 North)" below.

 -Nicole Leigh

"Oedipus Hex (Hwy. 1 North)"


The Honors EP Release, Friday at Great Scott

The Honors release their debut EP, "xoxo," Friday at Great Scott.  The EP is riddled with hooks, often sounding like retro pop filtered through modern sensibilities:  the vocals in the opener, "New Girls," are a well-timed and thoughtfully catchy corner-of-the-eye glance at new romance, yet they're soaked in reverb and play against short bursts of distorted guitar.  The songs are punchy and concise, with a solid, danceable rhythm section and some nicely playful guitar lines.  It's the relationship between oldschool songwriting and newer sonic textures that seems to guarantee an electrifying live show.  The vocals often steal the limelight - there's a serious ear for melody evidenced here - and it's the verse of "Call Me From California" or the chorus of "Driven By Strangers" that will leave the club with you.

Their EP release show is part of a Pill event, so take your dancing shoes and expect there to be plenty else to stay on the floor for.

10pm / Great Scott

- The Deli Staff


J Irvin Dally croons Sept. 7th at the Silverlake Lounge

J. Irvin Dally by Anthony Giurlani

It was inevatable, LA is a musical magnet. J. Irvin Dally (Fun Fact: The J. stands for Jordan) made the choice to relocate from Spain to town a few months back and I don't think there is cause for anyone to regret it. I was able to get a hold of his EP, Despistado, and it's one of those collections of songs that make my ears smile. Dally's haunting, soulful, howls ride on a the sea of folk guitar and percussion. Within seven songs you get the feeling he's been lost, found, and reborn - a pretty spectacular feat for someone in their early 20s.

J. Irvin Dally is embarking on a little tour, with one of his first stops at the fantastic Silverlake Lounge for a 21+ show on Sept. 7th.... GO!


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