Wax On, Wax Off: Japanese Motors at Echoplex on Friday, Growlers on Monday

Perhaps after our last interview with Nolan Hall of Japanese Motors, you were left with a hankering for the scruffy, dimly-lit, semi-surf-related-but-not-really Indie scene that has rooted itself in Orange County's underbelly. Perhaps this weekend, you'd like to tear a hole or two in a t-shirt, roll up your pants, skip a few showers and check out some of the musical happenings from the wonderfully reeky post-pop underground

Formerly self-described as “sun-bleached garage pop,” Japanese Motors has made a name for themselves playing their own brand of dance-friendly, surf guitar-laden tunes. But at their exceedingly fun shows, you'll notice they've expanded on the simpler, more heavily beach-influenced sound of their first album, drawing from such influences as Spacemen 3 and Wire to create new songs that plunge a little deeper into the underground. The fun, sun-bleached quality is still there, but you'll find a broader range of tunes, including some of the songs they've been recording for their next album. Catch them in L.A. this Friday at 8:30PM at the Echoplex with the Sonics, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, $22.

On Monday, the Growlers continue their weekly residency at the Echo. Their psychedelic vibes have made them a favorite for a long time now in our local music scene. At every one of their shows, you can be sure a group of their die-hard fans will show up and pack the place out. They have preserved the seemingly lost art of being an awesome live band, too, perhaps better heard in person than on your Ipod. Check them out this Monday, and on other upcoming mondays at the Echo.

If you can come early or stay late for either of these shows, be sure to check out the scene on the street in Echo Park. Across Sunset from the Echo and down a few doors, you'll find El Prado, a dim bar where you can drink artisan beers and snack on such delicacies as marinated olives, rare cheeses and freshly cracked nuts. Sounds upscale, but that's one of the places to be before, after and between the show. Also popular and exquisite is the pizza place next door to the Echo, called Two Boots. You'll see some of us there for sure. Lots of people, including us commuters, hang out in town before and after the show, so come check it out.

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