by Brad Roberts
Interesting week with few big shows as most larger venues are shuttered this week, but a vibrant local scene takes over with a bunch of stellar lineups at some terrific shows. The Western States Motel (at right) is our band of the month over at LaBrie's every Tuesday beginning this week. After a quiet period in which they've been finishing up a new album, it will be great to welcome them back to the local stage, and to hear the new material. See Joe's fact-filled interview with Carl Jordan here.
It was wonderful to return to concert-going after my long flu hiatus with the super show put on with The Monolators, who burned up the LaBrie's stage with a fiery performance at our last RFSL Free Tuesday of January. Walking Sleep performed one of the rockingest sets I've ever seen them give (with Hunter's laryngitis lending a raw raspiness to the songs, many of which were new), and Sara really shined as her smooth vocals took the edge off of the contrasting sounds coming from Hunter. In fact the whole band really rocked out. The World Record opened the night with their new band members, including Ross Flournoy of The Broken West, and with each song they won over the audience more and more. Also great to hear new material from them which made for a rich night of local talent.
I'd had a ticket for months to see Iron and Wine at The Wiltern on Wednesday, so out I trooped again despite my sapped energy and landed in the pit where a wonderful low-key audience was sitting on the floor waiting for the show to begin. The quality of The Low Anthem and Iron and Wine made my exhaustion evaporate and I was swimming in a sea of like-minded fans transfixed by the music. I'll be reviewing the show in full here on Thursday. Then on Saturday was the hugely entertaining "best show ever" billed Lord Growing "704" show at Pehrspace where the amazing line up of Vanaprasta, George Glass, Cody the Band and Manhattan Murder Mystery made for a night that was as unforgettable as it was very well attended.
Actually, I was wrong about the major venues, as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have a sold out show at El Rey with our local soon-to-be-superstars, The Belle Brigade on Friday, and Cat Power is at The Fonda on Saturday. Sorry, again, to keep updating this column is such a haphazard way...but I just found out about a show at Lot 1 Cafe on Friday night hosted by AD and JAXART, starring Pageants (made up of former members of Avi Buffalo, Rebecca Coleman and Arin Fazio) Honey Loving Cells and Dirty Gold. I'm going to have to try to hit two shows that evening.
This week, in addition to The Western States Motel, WALK and Burial At Sea on Tuesday at LaBrie's, I'm not looking forward to the choice I'm going to have to make on Thursday between Shadow Shadow Shade with Great Northern at The Satellite or We Barbarians, LESANDS and The Union Line at The Echo. More below...