The Like: Don't Hate

[Mental Notes] Also, Sublime With Rome to Roam, Thom Yorke Makes Peace

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
It’s tempting to hate on LA’s The Like, who played Alex’s Bar on Feb. 28. The group features four attractive young women, with three original members born into the music business (parents: a former Geffen A&R man, producer and a drummer for Elvis Costello, respectively). Those kind of connections probably—okay, definitely—helped the Like land a major-label deal. Their debut full-length (Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?) came out on Geffen in 2005. And there’s gossip linking drummer Tennessee Thomas to super-producer Mark Ronson, whom Wikipedia says helmed “their new album . . . due out in 2010.” So, yeah, we can see why people might dismiss the band based solely on their privileged backgrounds and boyfriends. But here’s the thing: The Like’s music, while a tad formulaic and a bit frothy, possesses an undeniable allure, recalling the famed girl groups of the 1960s—if they wrote their own songs about fleeting relationships and recorded the material in a garage, or at least sans Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. Front woman Elizabeth “Z” Berg exudes a winning combination of pluck and vulnerability, deftly selling songs about conquest and heartbreak. The band’s guitar-led melodies are memorable without relying on sugary hooks. And there are those wonderfully trippy organ runs that sound swiped from any number of fantastic Nuggets selections. Plus, it’s always fun to hear a woman threaten to murder some cad, which Berg does with charming aplomb on the psychedelic standout “Wishing He Was Dead. From a Feb. 23 Heard Mentality post.

WHEN IN SUBLIME WITH ROME . . .
We called it last month, but Sublime—now, post-legal battles, officially known as Sublime With Rome—have formally announced their spring tour, Web Editor Vickie Chang reported. Founding members Bud Gaugh (drums) and Eric Wilson (bass), hit the road with their new front man, 21-year-old Rome Ramirez. The singer first performed with Gaugh and Wilson in 2009, including a one-off at Smokeout and an appearance at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas. The estate of original lead singer Bradley Nowell, however, wasn’t too pleased: Nowell’s wife, son and father issued a statement supporting Wilson and Gaugh—just not under the Sublime name, which Nowell had trademarked. Now that everything has been settled, the Long Beach band have a new name and website (SublimeWithRome.com) and will embark on a six-date tour (so far, at least) this spring, starting with an April 20 date (yeah, they know their audience) at the Palladium in Los Angeles. Huntington Beach-based band the Dirty Heads (featured on this page) are scheduled to open each show. From a Feb. 25 post.

 

THOM YORKE MAKES PEACE
The Coachella poster should now read, “Atoms for Peace” rather than the confusing (and annoying) “Thom Yorke ????.” That’s the name the Radiohead front man has given his self-described “other band,” the one featuring Flea (bass), Nigel Godrich (keyboards/guitar/percussion), Joey Waronker (drums) and Mauro Refosco (percussion). “It has been decided that we call ourselves Atoms for Peace,” Yorke wrote on Radiohead’s Dead Air Space blog. “Hope you like the name. It seemed bleedin’ obvious.” He also announced three more California dates. In addition to playing Coachella on April 18, Atoms for Peace have scheduled the Fox Theater Oakland April 14 and 15 and the Santa Barbara Bowl on April 17. From a Feb. 25 post.

wtatangelo@ocweekly.com

 
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