Arts & Entertainment

A look back at the 2009 Southern California music scene

Nosaj Thing performing in downtown Los Angeles
Nosaj Thing performing in downtown Los Angeles
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If 2009 was any indication, the coming year could be a great one when it comes to music in Southern California. Chris Martins covers music for Spin, the L.A. Weekly and The Onion. He stopped by KPCC's studios to share some music from his favorite local bands.

Martins began with Foreign Born, a band that got its start in San Francisco but relocated to Los Angeles a few years back. He says they're a classic example of the eastside indie rock scene. "There's less focus on tinkering with electronics, more on good playing and solid songwriting."

Watch Foreign Born's video for "Early Warnings," shot on Catalina Island:

Next up, Martins shared the music of a guy who goes by the name Nosaj Thing. If you read Nosaj backwards, you'll notice it spells Jason – the first name of the 24-year-old from Pasadena who is Nosaj Thing. His music relies heavily on his computer and also involves a visual component in the form of images projected on a screen behind him. Electronica artists like Nosaj, Martins explains, are often bound to laptops. "So they've worked on different ways of making a live show more enticing."

Watch Nosaj Thing's video for "Coat of Arms":

Finally, Martins brought in an example of a trend he calls "hypnagogic pop." Martins descibes it as "a woozy vibe characterized by lo-fi '80s-style synthesizer, drum machine sounds and hazy, swoony vocals all topped off with this warmed over, warped cassette vibe." As an example, he shared a song by Ramona Gonzalez, aka Nite Jewel.

Watch the video for "Artificial Intelligence" by Nite Jewel: