Watch: Liza Oppenheimer Channels ‘Midnight Cowboy’ in Music Video for ‘Los Angeles’

We here at Aural Standards are particularly partial to songs about our city, and “Los Angeles” by friend-of-the-blog Liza Oppenheimer is a new fave. We’ve also got a certain affinity for all (er, most) things Dustin Hoffman, so upon learning that the Dee Robertson-directed video for this folksy jangler would pay a little tribute to Midnight Cowboy, well, we were elated. Check out the clip below, and then learn a little more from Liza after the jump.

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Full Time with SPIN, Senior Writer, Los Angeles

Alright, enough with the third person. I am very proud to share that after nearly three years of freelancing for the very publication that inspired me to scribble about music in the first place, I am going full-time with SPIN starting now with the title Senior Writer. (Unofficially, you might also refer to me as West Coast Dude.) So that means fewer updates here, but it also means virtually all of my work will be appearing in one place anyway, so who needs a blog? Read SPIN. Gonna be a lot of news stories, some shared songs and videos, and a great deal of old school reportage, so keep up over there as we kick off a new chapter of web dominance. Match me, Sidney! So begins my year(s) of living dangerously.

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Passin’ Me By: The Pharcyde Look Back 20 Years On

First things first. Twenty years ago, friends, this happened:

We were a tender 10 years old at the time, but Bay Area born and bred, so you best believe those lovelorn, summertime emanations beat on our rap-seasoned eardrums. Which is why it was a particularly special pleasure to interview Fatlip and Slimkid3, responsible for the most memorable verses on “Passin’ Me By,” as well as producer J-Swift and Delicious Vinyl head Mike Ross, about the birth of that unusual ode to unrequited love and its legacy since. Our favorite insight:

“I found Quincy Jones’ ‘Summer in the City’ and a second loop that I can’t remember. We were gonna do two beats and Bootie Brown was like, ‘Man, let’s just combine them.’ So we did that, and then we ended up renting The Doors. We were on shrooms or some shit, all wigged out watching Val Kilmer transform into Jim Morrison, and right after, Fatlip walks into the booth and starts screaming like Morrison: ‘She keeps on passin’ me by!'” — J-Swift

So if you haven’t already, bounce over to SPIN to read the entire thing.

SPIN Premieres: HOTT MT Kidnaps Wayne Coyne, Growlers Diss Uncle Sam, Nick Waterhouse Slays

Been doing some blogging for SPIN lately, which included wrangling a trio of super sweet premieres from West Coast up-and-comers. Included: L.A. weirdos HOTT MT, who forced the lead Flaming Lip to do their bidding on camera; Costa Mesa beach bum kingpins the Growlers, who’ve dubbed America’s top-hatted human mascot a “dick”; and Nick Waterhouse, a San Francisco neo-greaser whose brand of soul revival won’t make you gag. Click below to dig in:

And some bonus Waterhouse for your troubles:

SPIN Visits the Hidden Bunker Where Liars Recorded Their New Album, ‘WIXIW’

WIXIW is a shoo-in for our top five albums of 2012, so it was a particular pleasure to visit the strange space where it was created — well, at least in part. There are a few tiers to this story, and a decent amount of subterfuge, but the stuff that keeps us guessing is the stuff that keeps us coming back. Furthermore, WIXIW happens to be the most accessible work in their catalog to date, so find out what osmosis and singing underwater has to do with it. Read at SPIN.

News: Electric Daisy Carnival Promoter Arrested — Is This Part of the War on Raves?

Bad news (read here), but I’m hopeful for Pasquale Rotella. Seems to me he’s a good guy committed to giving EDM fans something special. This is an unrelated but tonally relevant quote from an interview I conducted with him last year:

“I’m gonna stick in there. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. The worst part about having to deal with this stuff is I just want to produce the best experience possible. I want to create something that’s really special, where people leave with something memorable. I definitely look forward to the day when there’s less politics in the way. I’ve had to put on a suit more than once this past year and be the politician. I’m not passionate about that role. When you work on an event year round, get it all set up, and the gates are about to open … that’s what I love. I want to lose the distractions.”

[photo by Caesar Sebastian]