by Brad Roberts
What ever happened to OK Go? (at right) Back in 2005, they were one of the very first bands to pull me back into the current music scene. Music videos were my only window into what was going on and that coincided with the release of their now legendary music video for "A MillionWays" that took the world by storm. Their heartfelt, yet pathetic dancing abilities endeared them to millions, and the song was downright catchy as well. I was videotaping (remember VCR's?) music videos from TV during that time as my source for learning about new music and that was one of my early favorites. So when I decided to go back out to concerts after a more than twenty year hiatus I saw that OK Go were playing a sponsored show at The Roxy on December 14, 2005 and I wanted to go. It was only the third show I attended and my first trip to The Roxy in almost thirty years and I loved their lively performance. Above all, this band is smart and fun!
I saw them a couple of more times, at The Troubadour and Safari Sam's, when they appeared poised on the edge of superstardom back around 2006 but then they seemed to fall off my radar. But they were never gone. I had failed to notice their continuing excursions into innovative and hugely popular music videos and the political activism of lead singer, Damian Kulash, on a variety of causes, who wrote op-eds for The New York Times and testified to the House Judiciary Committee. Had I been paying attention I would surely have tried to get a ticket for one of their shows this week at The Troubadour on Tuesday or The Echo on Wednesday, which are, naturally, sold out. Having so effectively and creatively straddled the divide between independence and commercial success, they are worthy of respect and admiration.
There's a huge number of shows this week with each night offering about 10 or more shows . I'm going to try to keep the recommendations to a manageable amount. Here goes: Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel on Monday at the Corners residency at The Echo, The Happy Casualties, who I haven't seen in too long, are over at Lot 1 on Tuesday, two new favorites, Broken Arrow and Wages both play on Thursday night at appropriately staggered times so I can get to both sets at Hotel Cafe and Silver Lake Lounge, respectively.
Was down with a cold last week so only got out to one show, but it was a doozy. The Album Leaf presented their new documentary about the 2011 tour of China and Japan, Beyond There, which was entertaining and informative, but the live set they played afterward was really gorgeous. In the atmospheric confines of The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery they cast a powerful spell last Tuesday night.