Midnight Movies elevates

What Midnight Movies' first performance lacked in polish it made up for in indie spirit. Two summers ago the band plugged in on a sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard and played to passersby at the sprawling Sunset Junction street fair. "It was about 5,000 degrees," drummer-vocalist Gena Olivier remembers, "and, no, we were definitely not tight." Fast-forward to 2003, when the band had an afternoon slot on the fair's huge stage on a bill headlined by the Dandy Warhols. "It wasn't that different," jokes guitarist Larry Schemel. "We were just higher off the ground." With the release of a six-song EP on fledgling Leftwing Recordings and a perch as the Monday-night residents this month at Spaceland (the packed club turned away patrons this week), Midnight Movies may go higher yet -- but not bigger. "We love being a three-piece," says Jason Hammons, who contributes guitars and keyboards to the band's atmospheric, Velvet Underground-influenced rock. "We bounce ideas off each other ... it's totally collaborative. We just get along really well."


Fast forward

Powerpop quartet Peachfuzz celebrates the release of "About a Bird" with a show Wednesday at the Bigfoot Lodge; the Jupiter Affect, whose likably quirky "The Restoration of Civilization After Genghis Khan" was released in September, joins the party.... Harmony-dripping Glaswegians the Cosmic Rough Riders visit the Viper Room on Tuesday.... The J Band marks the release of "The Africas and the Ithacas" tonight at King King.... Straylight Run, the new project of ex-Taking Back Sunday members John Nolan and Shaun Cooper, plays Anaheim's Chain Reaction tonight and the Roxy Theatre on Saturday.... Trippy experimentalists Maserati and L.A. shoegazers Run Run Run join Tsar for the second week of the latter's Monday-night residency this month at the Silverlake Lounge.

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