By Kathryn Pinto
The other day I was reminded that I interviewed my first band (Avi Buffalo) for Radio Free Silver Lake eight years ago. When I agreed to "rock a phoner," I had absolutely no idea how long it takes to transcribe an interview, or I might not have been so eager. A lot has happened since that first call; I don't have as many free mornings to type out conversations with bands and there aren't as many people blogging about music. Still there are new bands, new venues, and a scene that has always been vibrant is ever-changing. Already this year has seen some promising activity: a weekend of Girlschool, the women-led music and ideas festival at the Bootleg and Buzzbands stage at the Chinatown New Year Festival are kicking off festival season. This week in Video Free Silver Lake I share some bands and solo artists I'm looking forward to seeing in the coming weeks.
- No Age
Thursday March 8 at the Highland Park Ebell Club
The metal and jazz loving Ben Ratliff, former pop critic for the New York Times turned me on to the art punk duo in a Times review before I ever lived in Los Angeles. Per Mr. Ratliff, what at first listen sounds like disorder and punk impulse reveals structure and pattern and a satisfying payoff on attentive listening, but overthinking never gets in the way of the sweaty fun.
Saturday March 19 at the Teragram Ballroom
Guys from Detroit who seem too rough around the edges to say something this smart. Protomartyr are fronted by Joe Casey, a guy who seems to have temporarily put his career as a what--building super? HVAC technician? (actually doorman at the Gem Theater in Detroit) on hold to come out of rock n roll retirement to play with guys ten years younger. They started as a lark, a goof, but it stuck.
- The Blank Tapes
Monday March Residency at the Echo
A garage band trio fronted by Matt Adams, who cross pollinates his songwriting with just about any style from folk to psych to surf. The Blank Tapes are musician's musicians who have been generous and active in the Los Angeles music community for long enough that they draw from a deep pool of talent and bring some excellent bands to play in support on their residency: Joel Jerome, Avid Dancer and Imaad Wasif just to start the list.
- Nada Surf
Saturday May 12 at the Teragram Ballroom
In the mid 2000's they were the band that had survived being a one-hit wonder of the 1990's alt rock era, and being dropped from their record label and had returned to form flying slightly under the radio as a moderately successful touring band. About this time I fell for this band hard. They were one of the first live shows I saw solo, and it sold me on the particular pleasures of going out without a plus one.
- Angel Olsen
Tuesday April 17 at the El Rey
Angel Olsen has a way of seducing the audience with her voice and with a sidelong glance that seems to be directed at you specifically. She has managed to hold this intensity, this revelatory performance and connection to the audience as the size of the rooms she plays increase.