by Brad Roberts
So now we're Radio Free "America's Best Hipster Neighborhood" according to Forbes Magazine. Well, I'm not surprised. Their list of the top twenty hipster neighborhoods lists all the usual suspects, but of the ones that seem to have recognizable music communities; The Pacific Northwest's Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, Austin Texas and the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn all seem to pale in comparison with our magical Silver Lake musical community. So I think we should take the honor with pride and put any false modesty aside. I've been saying it for years. I sometimes feel like I'm sitting in a volcano surrounded by all this explosive creativity and it's just nice to see that it is not going unnoticed.
This week more than proves the point while acknowledging the fact that the city of Los Angeles has a lot to do with it as well. Our major venues around the city are filled with some astonishing acts coming through town and the local clubs are bursting with home-grown music. I will be out nearly every night this week.
There could not have been a more appropriate way to celebrate our notoriety than a 10 Year Anniversary concert by The Monolators at, of all places, Pehrspace on Saturday night, with so many of the wonderful people that have passed through the scene for the past six years that I've been around. Recreating many of the bands previous incarnations, the performance amounted to a living documentary of their musicology. I asked them to pose for a portrait against their stage backdrop of their posters, so I could put that at left.
It's a big week with Menomena , The Album Leaf and Amanda Palmer coming through town, while long-time local favorites Earlimart and Lavender Diamond fill out my dance card. All these bands have new albums.
Then next weekend film history is made as the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood presents a festival of Cinerama films. I have tickets for three of them and will also be attending concerts each night as well. I'm taking Friday off of work to accommodate all this. This is going to be so much fun.
Monday, September 24
- Lavender Diamond, Diva @ The Echo
- The Lonely Wild, The Chevin, The Hectors, The Steelwells @ The Satellite
- Ryan Fuller (of Fort King), Ruthann Friedman @ Los Globos upstairs
- Owl City, Matthew Koma @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Mike Taylor, IronTom, IAMEVE @ The Central
- SuperSoul Monday w/ Jason Joseph & The Spectaculars w/ special guests, Elliott Yamin, Aaron Akins @ Hotel Cafe
- Local H, Ambassadors, Scott Lucas @ The Troubadour
- Meg Myers, DWNTWN, Illusion of Self, No Duh @ The Viper Room
- Pat Metheny Unity Band @ The Broad Stage
- "School Night!" w/ Django Django, Blondfire, Button:Pusher, Icky Blossoms @ Bardot
- Gothic Tropic, Emperor X, Dream Panther, Spaceships @ Pehrspace
- Kitten, Sanglorians, Rumpsringa, Mystery Skulls @ Bootleg Bar
- Ladyhawke, American Royalty, DJ Vice Cooler @ Echoplex
- Animal Raps @ Bar Lubitsch
Tonight I'm going to go to the Lavender Diamond final residency night at The Echo on the eve of their new record release. Unfortunately I had to miss the last two weeks of their engagement, so I'll be sure to be there. And congratulations on their gorgeous new album, Incorruptible Heart. Cover at right. I heard a lot of it at a recent show at Hotel Cafe and it was stunning in its impact.
So many other great shows with The Lonely Wild wrapping up their smashing residency at The Satellite with The Hectors, who have a new album due out in January, and Ryan Fuller of Fort King with Ruthann Friedman playing an early show at Los Globos. Animal Raps is playing something that is billed as his final performance... whatever that means, at Bar Lubitsch.
Tuesday, September 25
- Dum Dum Girls @ Origami Vinyl
- Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Beach House, Dustin Wong @ The Wiltern
- Bravesoul, Jake Newton, Aaron Hendra Project @ Hotel Cafe
- Dragonette, The Knocks, Frank + Derol @ El Rey
- The Muddy Reds, The Dustbowl Revival, Hargo, John Wayne Bro, Audiobytes for Autobots @ The Central
- Ferraby Lionheart, Drug Cabin, Fire Chief Charlie @ Bootleg Bar
- Dani Shivers, Tropical Popsicle, Ganas @ Echoplex
- Spirit Animal, Jutty Ranx, Busy Living @ The Satellite
Tonight is Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra (at right) at The Fonda. Last time I saw Amanda she was touring with her husband, Neil Gaiman in an intimate show that featured just the two of them performing solo and in tandem material from both their careers in both music and spoken word. Some newer songs ended up on Amanda Palmer's next album, the self released Theatre Is Evil. Tonight she's stopping by on her national tour and the grand theatricality of her presentation is always adventurous and exciting making her one of my favorite live acts.
Wednesday, September 26
- D Henry Fenton record release, Jackie Does Joel, Gooding, Lots of Love, Florence Hartigan @ Hotel Cafe
- Indian School @ Origami Vinyl
- "Desert Nights" w/ Phantom Tortoise, Justine Bennett, Angelo De Augustine @ The Standard
- The Killers @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Beach House, Dustin Wong @ The Wiltern
- Hey Champ, The Peach Kings, Torches, Weapons of Audio @ The Roxy
- Nocturnal Youth, Alphabet, Skylar Funk @ The Central
- The Features, Army Navy @ The Troubadour
- Cab 20, Santoros @ Lot 1
- Django Django, Vinyl Williams @ The Echo
- Hands @ The Library at The Redbury
- Harlan, Madi Diaz, Warships @ The Satellite
- Emerson Star, Loretti, Karmic, Deccatree @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Taken By Trees, Big Search @ Bootleg Bar
- Jamestown Pagans, Animal Games, Jonny Polonsky @ 3 of Clubs
Hands are having a show at The Library at The Redbury in Hollywood, while down the street Jonny Polonsky plays the 3 of Clubs. Eric Fabro and Bridgette Moody of Torches are celebrating dueling birthdays this month with a show at The Roxy before heading out for the month of October on the road to grab their share of fame and fortune. I took the shot ar right at their Echoplex show in August.
Thursday, September 27
- Menomena, PVT @ El Rey
- Conor Oberst @ Royce Hall
- So & So record release, The Goods, Quinn Devaux and Meklit Hadero, Ruby Jane @ Hotel Cafe
- Band of Horses, Tyler Ramsey @ The Troubadour
- Cinjun Tate, Abandon Jaloby, Guardian Ghost @ The Viper Room
- Ryan Bingham @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Lonesome Heroes, The Far West, Ben Redell Band @ Echo Country Outpost
- Dum Dum Girls EP release, Dunes, Tremellow, Tamaryn (DJ set) @ Los Globos
- Fallen Riviera, Rene Breton, Kid Cadaver @ Bootleg Bar
- Kisses, Savoir Adore, Blondfire, Captain Cuts @ The Echo
A weekend of almost constant activity awaits me beginning tonight as I ping-pong between music and movies with a highly anticipated concert by Menomena at El Rey. I first saw them at an unforgettable Friend and Foe show at The Troubadour on June 12, 2007 where they just sizzled with their abundant display of looping dexterity and multi-instrumental talent. They weren't nearly as good when I saw them at El Rey touring for their album, Mines, in 2010 and I now know they were in the midst of losing one of the three founding members, Brent Knopf. Danny Seim and Justin Harris have forged ahead as a twosome and if the new album, Moms, is any measure they have lost none of their musical inspiration. It's a wonderful album that continues to expand their adventurous musical boundaries. I expect Menomena to work their magic tonight as they stop by El Rey on their current world tour.
Friday, September 28
- Hi Ho Silver Oh, Paula Frazer, James Apollo @ MorYork
- Holmes record release, Loquat, Ryan Darton & The Wildebeast, Brown & Blue, Tiny Television @ Hotel Cafe
- Bebel Gilberto, Forro in the Dark @ Royce Hall
- Citizen Cope @ The Wiltern
- Dave Stewart & Friends @ The Troubadour
- Jon Brion @ Largo at the Coronet
- Matt The Electrician, John Elliott @ McCabe's
- Ten Year Aniversary of Light In The Attic Records w/ Rodriguez, Shin Joong Hynn, Michael Chapman, Stephen John Kalinich @ El Rey
- Cab 20, The Blank Tapes, Goldenage, Corners @ The Smell
- Earlimart, Blake Hazard, Blonde Summer @ The Satellite
- Firewater, Wedding and Funeral Band @ Bootleg Bar
- Speedbuggy, Black Monday, Custom Made Charlie, Hellbound Eddie ,Double AA Ranch (Lucky and Lx of Los Creepers) Sammy & the Addiction @ Mr. T's Bowl
- Tall Tales and the Silver Lining, Seth Pettersen and the Undertow, Babies on Acid @ Pehrspace
- The Holloys @ The Del Monte Speakeasy at Townhouse
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Cinerama!" Today marks the opening of the world's first Cinerama festival that presents all the features made in the original 3-panel Cinerama process and projected with three projectors simultaneously. Our Arclight Cinerama Dome here in Hollywood is one of only three locations in the United States equipped to show these films and is also showing some single projector films that were presented in Cinerama in the mid to late '60s such as 2001: A Space Odyssey. As a child I was taken to see Cinerama films as millions of other kids all across the country were. Dressing up and going into the city for a special afternoon. Today I'll attend an afternoon screening of South Seas Adventure, which especially interests me as it has a music score by Alex North, one of my all-time absolute favorite film composers. And Cinerama films have some of the best stereophonic sound film has ever had.
Still high from that afternoon screening, I then head over to The Satellite to see Earlimart. I saw this current version of Earlimart in August when they opened the memorable Granddaddy show at The Fonda. Here, on the eve of the release of their first album in four years, System Preferences (which is available for download now, and will be in stores on October 15th), they're playing a nice intimate show at Silver Lake's hipster hangout The Satellite. Blake Hazard of The Submarines is one of the warm-up acts. Cab 20 and The Blank Tapes are at The Smell tonight as well.
Saturday, September 29
- Cardoza, The Picture & The Frame @ Los Globos upstairs
- The Album Leaf, Drew Andrews @ The Satellite
- The Dustbowl Revival, The Far West, The Eagle Rock Gospel SIngers, John Wayne Bro @ The Mint
- Northern Youth record release w/ Ralph Torrefranca & the Outlawed Sons and DJ A/J of Saint Motel, Coby Brown, Wisecub, The Trouble with Templeton @ Hotel Cafe
- The Go-Go's, The Psychedelic Furs, The Motels, Bow Wow Wow @ Hollywood Bowl
- David Choi, Clara C, Jacob Luttrell @ The Troubadour
- Val McCallum @ McCabe's
- Alt-J, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Cayucas @ Bootleg Theatre
- Balcam Acab, Wake, J99, Matthewdavid @ The Central
- Colleen Green, Platuaus, Summer Twins, Wonder Wheel @ The Smell
- Killsonics, AK & Her Kalashnikovs, Walelu @ Redwood Bar
- The Woolly Bandits, Mo-Odds, Pu$$y Cow @ El Cid
The Album Leaf are on a short tour and stop by The Satellite tonight. Now a four-piece unit, they are promoting the digital release of their newest album, Forward/Return (which I believe [hope] will be available in physical form on this tour. A concert by The Album Leaf (at right) is always a trace-inducing experience as the ambient nature of the music eventually works its way right into your bones. And their music is so universal, even my mother has one of their albums.
There are also about a dozen other bands to check out tonight, like The Dustbowl Revival with The Far West at The Mint, or Cardoza at Los Globos, or The Go-Go's and The Psychedelic Furs at Hollywood Bowl, just to name a few.
Sunday, September 30
- Grand Ole Echo w/ Dave Gleason, Rich Mahan, Greg Felden @ The Echo (5 PM)
- Tropic of Cancer, DVA Damas, Collin Gorman Wieland, Flaamingos @ The Echo (10 PM)
- Priscilla Ahn, The Parlour Suite, Communist Daughter @ Bootleg Bar
- Slutever @ Origami Vinyl
- The Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show featuring Mary Gauthier @ McCabe's
- Jarabe de Palo, Bang Data, Sonsoles @ The Troubadour
- The Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble featuring Mayer Hawthorne, Bilal, Coco, James Gadson @ The Mayan Theatre
- Wilco, Joanna Newsom @ Hollywood Bowl
- Mister Loveless, The Cigarette Bums, A Girl I Know @ The Satellite
I am sure Joanna Newsom will transfix the entire Hollywood Bowl audience as she has that rare, truly incandescent quality that can put literally thousands of people in the palm of her hand. It's a quality she shares with Andrew Bird, who I have seen do just that at this very venue. She is opening for Wilco, whose audience will, I hope, appreciate the artistry and accomplishment of the extraordinary Newsom.
As for me, I'm going to go see It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World this afternoon, projected on the gigantic Cinerama screen and with that overpowering seven-track stereo sound. I've certainly seen this movie about twenty-five times by now, but rarely in a theatre and never in Cinerama before. And it has that brilliant title sequence by Saul Bass. I'll illustrate it with a poster from my own collection which I've saved since I was 12 years old.