Los Angeles Special #2 – The Worldy Folk Types (Free MP3s From Fools Gold, Avi Buffalo, Local Natives)

Following Monday’s look at the twisted underground of LA, time to introduce a brighter side to the city’s sound, those musicians and bands that encompass and absorb the perpetual summer and ethnic diversity of Los Angeles to produce pockets of sun-frazzled folk and world-influenced music.

Today we’re talking the sepia-tinted Laurel Canyon sounds of Avi Buffalo, the African-influenced, Hebrew-sung Vampire Weekend-in-kaftans melange of Fools Gold, Local Natives’ barbershop folk.

(Click this player to preview the second EP; tracks can be downloaded at the end)

While these might be the best known figureheads of this sound there’s numerous other groups spanning LA and neighbouring SoCal city Long Beach (grouped for our purposes as greater Los Angeles, much to Avi Bufflo’s chagrin below). 60 Watt Kid plough a very similar furrow to Avi Buffalo (watch them entertaining shoppers on the side walk here and download their track ‘2012’ here) as do Fort Wife. Superhumanoids are worth a click too.

As a bonus track I’ve also thrown in Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes’ ‘Om Nashi Me’. The sprawling group is based around ex-Ima Robot man Alex Ebert and they kind of fall between the cracks of today’s worldy types and yesterday’s subversives, but their pseudo-Krishna hippy folk is worth shoehorning in anyway.

Read on for interviews with Fool’s Gold, Avi Buffalo, and LA label Iamsound. Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, here’s Randy Newman.



Fools Gold

What is LA to you?
“Open space. Isolation. Beauty. Impossible and infinite sunshine. Bunna (Ethiopian coffee). The Lakers. Honey-scented suntan lotion. Night driving. Night dancing. Possibility. Tacos. Paradise. Home.”
What does LA sound like?
“Wind chimes. Mariachi music. A warm breeze shuffling through a palm tree. Distant lowriders. Seagulls. Bob Marley’s “Stir it Up” being played through a boombox on Venice Beach. Slow traffic. Spanish. Low flying jets. Fool’s Gold.”
What are the top 5 LA bands / artists and their best tracks?
Love ‘No Matter What You Do’
Randy Newman ‘I Love L.A.’

The Beach Boys ‘We’ll Run Away’


NWA ‘Express Yourself’


Captain Beefheart ‘Dropout Boogie’

What, if anything, makes you distinctly LA?
“LA gave us the opportunity to take our time making music. It provided the physical and mental space necessary for us to exist and develop. It also gave us musicians from all walks of life, all looking to find momentary shelter under the vast desert sun.”


Avi Buffalo

Here the band’s Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg answers our LA Q&A (really getting into the spirit of it):

What is LA to you?
“A city in California”
What does LA sound like?
What are the top 5 LA bands and their best tracks?
Luis Gutee – ‘Twenty Six More Cards’
60 Watt Kid – ‘Ociscnarfnas’
Fort Wife – ‘Whichever Way’
Amnion – ‘Heartbreathmagic’
The Monolators – ‘We Fell Dead’

What, if anything, makes you distinctly LA?
“I’m from Long Beach.”

Fools Gold are signed to hip LA label Iamsound Records, who put out the best of the city’s bands alongside a load of international stuff (including Little Boots). We asked them for their take on the music of the city.

Niki Robertson, Iamsound Records
What is LA to you?
“Sun, botox and taco trucks”
What does LA sound like?
“At the moment everything from Mariachis to dubstep.”
What effect does LA have on the music made there?
“I think there are so many artists, musicians, producers and DJ’s that have moved out here for the weather and space that it has made LA a really creative environment to make music. People are more inclined now to start writing or collaborating with other artists, which means there is a new band coming up through the ranks every few weeks, which is no bad thing!”
What are the top 5 LA bands and their best tracks?
Actually ‘Hush’
Local Natives – ‘Sun Hands’


Glasser – ‘Tremel’

We Are The World – ‘Clay Stones’

Fools Gold ‘Nadine’

What indicates an LA band?
“If they can drive a car and love Mexican food.”

Iamsounds are releasing a series of six 7″s from Los Angeles’ finest musicians, including Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes and Rainbow Arabia. Entitled The LA Collection, they each boast artwork from local painters Ingrid Allen and Elisa Saether which reveal a panoramic view of LA when lined up together. WIN all six 7″ showcasing 12 great LA artists by commenting below with your favourite LA band past or present. Winner will be picked Tuesday June 1st.

Avi Buffalo – ‘Remember Last Time’
Local Natives – ‘Stranger Things’
Fools Gold – ‘Surprise Hotel’
Fools Gold – ‘Surprise Hotel (Mad Decent Toadz remix)’
Fools Gold – ‘In The Tower Of Babel (Of Montreal remix)’
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes – ‘Om Nashi Me’

Download the EP

So, who did we miss?

Daily Download LA Special #1 – The Subversives
Daily Download LA Special #3 – The Smell
Daily Download LA Special #4 – The Psych-rockers
Daily Download LA Special #5 – The Otherworldly Oddballs