Line And Circle
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Line And Circle

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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Line and Circle makes music with the arena-sized vision of the Verve, Oasis, the Smiths and R.E.M. — sweeping orchestral rock drawn with broad melodic strokes and detailed with intricate string and guitar arrangements. It’s an aesthetic that may have sounded cool in 1996, but amid today’s lo-fi hipster flavors of the month, it’s a challenging sell.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever been cool,” frontman Brian Cohen says. “We go for songs that might be a little bit bigger and broader, so maybe the less cool we are the better off we’ll be. We’re just trying to have the courage to do we what we do.”

||| Exclusive download: “Radio, You Let Me Down”

This month’s residency at the Silverlake Lounge, which ends tonight, has been a study in that. Cohen and his principal songwriting cohort Brian Egan have been in L.A. almost four years, having had flirtations with big labels and name producers and self-releasing a very good digital album last year.

Those recordings came to the attention of drummer/producer Joey Waronker — whose lengthy resumé includes his current gig as Thom Yorke’s skins man. “Working with him has been the best thing for us,” Cohen says — plus, the latest batch of Line and Circle songs include strings arranged by Foreign Born’s Lewis Pesacov and performed by the Sonos Quartet.

Cohen and Egan are Ohio natives (Cohen grew up across the street from Joseph Arthur in Akron) who met at the University of Michigan whose musical interests — the Velvet Underground, Guided by Voices, the Smiths, the Beach Boys, Adorable — eventually commingled. Cohen leads toward more “brooding, intellectual, if I can not be afraid of that word,” compositions, he says, while “the soundtrack to [Egan's] life is a lot more sunny.”

Both are evident in the new recordings they’re making with guitarist Christopher Brezina, drummer Steven Nistor (who’s worked with Daniel Lanois and Aaron Embry) and bassist Evan Nistor.

“We’re Midwesterners — all we can do is dream,” Cohen says. “People who are from here grew up jaded. But all we can do is gaze.”

||| Live: Line and Circle winds up its June residency at the Silverlake Lounge tonight, supported by the Minor Canon and Wet & Reckless.
- Buzzbands.la


A lot of people send me music, but when I got an email from locals Line and Circle on Friday, I was instantly impressed with the track attached and sent it on to Anne Litt, who played “Radio, You Let Me Down” on her show over the weekend.

The band finishes up a month-long June residency at Silverlake Lounge TONIGHT, June 28. They just finished recording songs with Joey Waronker (REM, Beck, Thom Yorke) on board as producer. They’re selling the new music at shows if you want to get an early listen.

The band is made up of a set of brothers and childhood friends from the Midwest who settled into LA a few years back. Vocalist and guitarist Brian J. Cohen really shines on “Radio, You Let Me Down” and the sophisticated, layered arrangements took me by surprise.

As somewhat newbies to the city, I thought it would be interesting to find out Five Things They love About LA. Check it out below:

1. Pacific Dining Car: As non-native Angelenos, we’re still slightly seduced by the noir-ish atmosphere of this place. It’s easy to imagine Chandler-esque characters boozing it up here in the ‘30s and ‘40s, when it was already well up and running. Then again, perhaps we also just enjoy an obscenely decadent omelet at 4am on a weeknight.

2. New Beverly Cinema: Sometimes it’s tough to choose between devoting your attention to the evening’s double feature or to the homeless dude down the row fashioning a garment out of newspaper and tinfoil scraps.

3. The Lovell Health House: We find a lot of L.A.’s architecture inspiring, especially this Richard Neutra house in Los Feliz. It’s bright and forward-thinking, yet also surprisingly beautiful in its simplicity. There’s a lot of lessons about making music to be learned from this house.

4. Galco’s Soda Pop Stop: Something about this place’s nostalgic, family-owned wholesomeness appeals to our native Midwestern-ness. The slew of vintage soda and candy, combined with the spot-on soundtrack of ‘50s malt-shop oldies, remains a constant lure. Marty McFly would approve.

5. Hunter’s Hollow Studio: Our rhythm section lives upstairs now, and this has since become our musical sanctuary to rehearse and record. Sure, there were raccoons and other creatures living inside at one point, but the acoustics are fantastic, as is the view of the surrounding green hills of Glassell Park.

(Editor’s Note: check out this excellent piece on the band from Kevin Bronson at Buzzbands.la)

- KCRW


Discography

LPs
Line And Circle (2009) (self-released)

Singles
Radio, You Let Me Down (2010) currently receiving airplay on 88.9 KCRW in Los Angeles

Photos

Bio

LINE AND CIRCLE

Fall 2010

Midwest-raised, Los Angeles-based band Line And Circle consists of vocalist and guitarist Brian J. Cohen fronting his childhood friends from Ohio, Brian Egan (piano) and Christopher Brezina (guitar), and a set of brothers from Detroit, Steven (drums) and Evan Nistor (bass). After forming in the summer of 2008 and playing regular gigs around L.A., early recordings found their way into the hands of noted drummer/producer Joey Waronker (REM, Beck, Thom Yorke). With Waronker enlisted as producer, the band soon commenced a new series of recordings, assisted in the studio by engineer Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Air). String arranger Lewis Pesacov (Foreign Born, Fool’s Gold) also contributed orchestrations, which were performed live in the studio by the Sonus Quartet.

The new recordings marry the band’s melodic acumen with an increasingly sophisticated sense of arrangement. Lush strings, chiming guitars, and aging upright pianos lay a foundation atop which harmonium, junk shop keyboards, and white noise are layered. Tension is built with a thoughtful eye to detail—rhythmic flourishes and sharp countermelodies abound. Yet the material also contains the raw immediacy of the group’s most revered influences.

While recording, Line And Circle has continued to perform regularly and was recently tapped for the influential Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge for June 2010. The ASCAP-affiliated group has also begun securing prominent synch licenses, including the online TV drama “Quarterlife,” which subsequently aired on both NBC and Bravo.

Line And Circle is currently garnering airplay on Los Angeles’s 89.9 KCRW as well as USA Today’s Pop Candy podcast and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

lineandcirclemusic@gmail.com
myspace.com/lineandcircle