Written entirely by Kaz Mirblouk (known from LA bands Numb•er and Hooveriii), “Careless by Contrast” is an album that delves deep into psychedelic krautrock and angular post-punk, and embodies a sound that makes the listener deeply nostalgic for nights out in LA, inevitably catching a band like Froth or Feels at The Echo or Bootleg. The record is mixed by Wyatt Blair, and features a cast of LA talent, including Oliver Pinnel (Jay Som), Shaugnessy Starr (Frankie & The Witchfingers), and Jeff Fribourg behind art direction. Today, we’re pleased to give you the full listen of “Careless by Contrast”, along with a special list of top 10 LA food spots that keep Kaz Mirblouk sane during the pandemic,
Over the past seven years, Kaz Mirblouk, a Los Angeles-based native, has played throughout North America and Europe with his solo project, and as a member of Hooveriii and Numb•er since 2017. While attending school in Davis, Mirblouk started performing at local house shows as a two-piece along with Greta Soos on drums. He began touring the summer of 2014 along the west coast with Joey Kaufman.
His first EP, Through the Glass, was released in 2015 on Lolipop records. A year later his first record, Imitate, Intimidate, was also released on Lolipop and toured the US and Canada. After graduation, Mirblouk moved back to LA. Six Tonnes De Chair released Sidestep as a 7-inch in the summer of 2017. The pair of songs represented a departure from the surf and psych-rock styling of his collegiate releases.
The new record, Careless by Contrast, was written throughout late-2017 and early-2018. Mirblouk enlisted the help of Louis Cohen to co-produce the record.
𝐸𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑠𝑡𝑦𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑒𝑠, 𝑀𝑖𝑟𝑏𝑙𝑜𝑢𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐶𝑜ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑝𝑢𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑥𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑠𝑚 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑒 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑔𝑖𝑎.
Between touring internationally in 2018 and 2019, Mirblouk self-recorded the record, featuring friends like Spencer Hoffman, Oliver Pinnel, and other bandmates to create his most refined and layered work to date.
Produced by Kaz Mirblouk and Louis Cohen, ‘Careless By Contrast’ Vinyl LP is out today, January 22nd, via Mock Records.
Top 10 LA food spots keeping Kaz Mirblouk sane during the pandemic:
Taco Zone – “TACO ZONE!”, joyfully yells over the phone via the wonderful ladies at my favorite taco truck in LA. First and foremost, this is THE staple/old reliable for me, luckily located around the corner from my house. I don’t think I’ve ever had another food spot on speed dial. They were closed for the first couple of months of quarantine and I was so worried that the neighborhood had lost yet another important institution. Luckily they survived the initial shutdowns and are back! My go-to order has been a suadero burrito, but their mulitas are many people’s shining star dish. Rightfully so!
Mandarin Noodle House – My mother grew up in Montebello/Monterey Park. Not sure when they stumbled upon this place, but it has been a staple for mandarin-style Chinese food since I was a kid. I’m still trekking across town to get their Stir-Fried Rice Cakes, pan-fried dumplings, and my favorite item the onion pancakes. I could easily down at least two of those myself. The owners’ son has taken over most of the day-to-day for the business and is one of the most friendly people ever. I can’t wait until we can dine-in again and have some tea with our meal.
Oh My Poki – My wife used to do graphic design work for a cannabis company in the arts district. At least once a week, I would come to meet her for lunch at different spots around downtown. A coworker at the time had turned her on to a poke spot tucked away in the little Tokyo galleria market. This is hands down the best poke spot I’ve ever been to, at least in Los Angeles.
Night + Market Song – For the longest time, my partner and I liked to joke about riding the Night Swans (the swan boats in the echo park that run at night during the summer months) and then eating at Night Song. As one of our favorite Thai spots in LA, it seemed fitting to finally pull off this doubleheader the night I proposed. Their gai tod naeng noi (fried chicken) and khao pad pu (crab fried rice) are a must!
Pho Cafe – Hungover, sick, feeling lazy, rainy day? Pho Cafe is the answer. Tucked away in a strip mall next to the ever bougie Moon Juice, this signless Vietnamese spot is everything you could ask for from a local spot. They are lightning-fast! Despite calling in my order as I’m driving the short five-minute route, they always have my Cha Gio (fried eggrolls), Pho Tai (pho with thin rare steak), and the occasional Bahn H Xeo, ready to go. I recommend getting extra noodles— the broth goes a long way!
Alimento – From the outside, this little Italian spot off of Silver Lake Blvd looks more intimidating than it is. A friend of ours, Ivan Barros, was the chef de cuisine at Alimento and a regular at a coffee shop down the road that my wife used to work at. One perk of the service industry is everyone hooks each other up. So when we were finally brave enough to go in, we were met with some of the most astonishing food we’d ever had. Throughout quarantine, they featured wonderful tasting menus and eventually moved back towards a more regular, albeit simplified, menu. Every time we’ve ordered food from here during this pandemic, even if it’s for a short moment, there was a sense of normalcy like we were back in a nice restaurant.
Silverlake Ramen – I’ve been going here since I was in High School! After the long bus ride across town, there was nothing more rewarding than the hot and intensely savory broth. While I don’t miss the sometimes two-hour wait times to get a table, I do miss their incredible lunch special. If you’re not from the area I’d suggest a bowl of their spicy tonkotsu ramen with the pork belly. Despite being a phenomenal ramen shop, funny enough, I do find myself ordering the equally amazing chicken karaage bowl more often for lunch.
Sticky Rice – I’d overlooked this spot for a long time. Whenever I’d play a show across the street I’d always walk by and the place was always packed. When I finally chose to branch off from my normal neighborhood Thai spot, I became hooked. I usually order the Salted Pork Ribs and Khao Pad Koa Pow (Spicy Basil Fried Rice), but if I’m in the mood for a nice cocktail their Thai tea gimlet pairs excellently.
Maury’s – We had my wife’s sister and partner stay with us for a month last fall, and leave it to the out-of-towner’s to find an absolute hidden gem nearby. Maury’s is a little bagel shop tucked in a quiet neighborhood south of Silverlake by the 101. While I’m a ride or die Everything Bagel kind of guy, I was surprised to find that their Salt and Pepper bagel is truly a shining star. Pro-tip: If you’re willing to head a bit northeast, there is an amazing seafood stand at the Atwater Farmers market that carries the best hot smoked salmon. Pairs well with any bagel, but especially the ones from Maury’s.
Beverly Soon Tofu House (RIP) – Last and honorable mention, the Beverly Soon Tofu house was a phenomenal Koreatown institution that we sadly lost to the pandemic. If you were lucky enough to eat here before the pandemic, you were met with delicious Banchan, a tall pitcher of iced green tea, the absolute best hot stone bibimbap, and kimchi soon tofu soup. We got to order one last giant meal the last week they were open, and they will be forever missed.