Live Review: Gardens & Villa and Jonathan Rad...

Live Review: Gardens & Villa and Jonathan Rado at El Rey Theatre 3/8/14

The Foxygen boys Jonathan Rado and Sam France are at it again. Saturday night at the El Rey only Rado was on the bill, but when he hit the stage France was sat behind the drum kit. Rado’s genre and format are sort of ambiguous; you never know what you’re going to get. This time, draped in a black robe-like cloth, Rado introduced the group as Gnome. Each song would begin each song in shambles, as if the four-piece had decided to start the band that day. After about 15 seconds of scrambling, the songs would come together with Rado and his crew shredding through some 60s psychedelic inspired fuzz, then disintegrate into pieces again. Like Foxygen, its pretty unclear where this will end up, if anywhere at all. But, it was fun while it lasted.

It’s been far too long since a Gardens & Villa release, but the Santa Barbara boys finally came back to hit the El Rey with tunes from their new album Dunes. Like the album, the band opened with “Domino”, getting the crowd swaying from the start. Who knew someone could make a bamboo flute sound so cool? G&V’s Chris Lynch sure as hell can, using the unconventional instrument to punctuate the tropical tune. At first the five piece remained in silhouette, backed by a blue-ish tinged haze, setting a mysterious mood to perfectly match older songs like “Black Hills” and “Orange Blossom”.