Category: Live Music Los Angeles

Alright, I’ll come out and say it, and please don’t hate me, but when it comes to hard rock, my bar for female vocalists is set pretty fucking high.  It’s a rare lady who can bring the sort of angst I crave to progressive rock and other hard genres, and that’s why last night’s Good Hurt show with Lucid Fly, featuring Nikki Layne on the steel, was light years beyond a pleasant surprise.

Simply put, Lucid Fly is the real deal. Their music, combined with their extreme professionalism and drive, is going to take them places that most bands only dream of.

Two phenomena that are pretty much common worldwide are music and the summer solstice. While the summer solstice has marked a period of festivity for several hundred years amongst various cultures, it’s evolved into a day for worldwide celebration of music.  France spearheaded this movement with its Fete de la Musique holiday, which was established in 1982.  Since then a wide variety of cities have held music festivals on the same date.

Los Angeles is one of the latest cities to join the global phenomenon, as a local chapter has organized several free musical events throughout the LA area in coordination with the celebrations around the globe.

Here’s your weekly list of the best concerts happening around the Los Angeles area..

Featured Show Of The Week:

  • 11/18:  Rebelution @ Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, CA.  10:00pm.  Listen>>

Hollywood Park is typically known for its casino and the gambling that takes place on the race track, but it’s also a great place to watch an outdoor live concert.  This Friday, November 18th, Santa Barbara reggae outfit Rebelution will preform on the track immediately following the night’s races.  Although it’s been cold in Los Angeles, Rebelution’ll make it feel like summertime.

For the past 22 years, local alternative rock station KROQ has been organizing annual events around the holiday season, dubbed “Almost Acoustic Christmas” (which, during the live performances, translates to “not acoustic at all”).   These events showcase the groups that are typically played on the station.  Today, KROQ announced the lineup for night one of the two day event.  Performing at the Gibson Ampitheatre on December 10th will be Young The Giant, 311, Social Distortion, New Found Glory, Incubus, Chevelle, Bush, and Blink-182.  These choices are not surprising, as they compose the 90s and 2000s-era bands that have consistently earned significant airplay on alt-rock stations around the country, especially KROQ.  Young The Giant is perhaps the only unexpected choice, considering the group is relatively young.  KROQ usually reserves night 2 for the younger, less established alt-rock groups.

Donald Glover is probably having a mixed week. Saturday, he played a show that people who are Donald Glover would have to consider a major success. The show was good, and I’ll get to that in a moment. The rapper/comedian/actor sold out the Nokia Theater at LA Live, while doing only the first of those three things under his Childish Gambino moniker. Tuesday marks the release of Camp, his first full-length album, the future of which looks promising given the small-sample response that was this show. Today, though, NBC announced that the third season of Glover’s show, Community, would be shelved indefinitely at midseason. NBC has promised all 22 episodes of the show’s third season will be filmed and air at some point, but still, this is not great news for the critically acclaimed and audiencely unwatched series. I can’t say I feel bad for Glover in particular – dude figures to be OK – but that has to put something of a damper on an otherwise celebratory occasion. Anyway, Saturday’s show.

I thought emotionally-charged heavy music had fallen off the musical map ever since “emo” became a dirty word, but there’s a whole new crop of emotional post-hardcore (yes that is a euphemism for “screamo,” basically) bands that are young and extremely popular.  I found out about Touché Amore, an LA-based hardcore group, a couple of weeks ago.  I bought tickets to their 11/13 show at the Echoplex because I liked their latest album, Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me, so much.  Luckily I bought tickets early, because the show eventually sold out.  Apparently more people than I suspected are still listening to this type of music.  And it’s much better than it was 10 years ago.

Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers are often criticized for strolling into the stadium around the third inning and taking off before the seventh inning stretch (among many other not-so-nice things).  Many critics blame this on a lack of love for baseball in comparison to the prideful fans in, say, Boston or the north side of Chicago.  But this phenomenon of indifferent fans is by no means exclusive to baseball.  It permeates throughout much of LA culture… especially the music scene.  Set times for concerts are often posted prior to the show, and self-important “fans” stroll in minutes before the headlining act is supposed to preform.  This consistently happens at various venues and at concerts of various styles throughout the city.

Lots of live shows around LA this weekend… Here are the best.
Thursday, 11/10:
  • Indian @ Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA.  7:00pm.  Listen>>
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Music Box in Hollywood, CA.

Friday, 11/11:

  • Iration @ House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA.  7:00pm. Listen>>
  • The Expendables @ Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA.  8:00pm.  Listen>>
  • B.B. King @ Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA.
  • iliana Rose @ Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA.  8:00pm.  Listen>>
  • Jillian Ann @ Secret Bass Haven in Los Angeles, CA.  11:00pm.  Listen>>

There’s a legend in the music industry that Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax were so pissed when Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 that they threatened to get an ax and chop off the power supply.  Once you’ve heard what people can do with modern, electric (and digital) musical technology, it’s easy to dismiss those and the many other folk purists that felt betrayed by Dylan’s electric set as wrongfully backwards.

Local concert promotion company Goldenvoice is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year.  The company, which promotes concerts throughout California as well as in Hawaii, Nevada, and Alaska, is a subsidiary of AEG Live, one of the world’s largest concert/show promoters.  Goldenvoice is most prominently known as the organization behind the annual Coachella festival in Southern California.

On December 16th, 17th and 18th, Goldenvoice is teaming up with local rock station KROQ to throw three nights of 30th anniversary shows.  The event, dubbed GV30, will feature some of LA’s best (and most historic) punk bands.