by Brad Roberts
Boy, it's going to be hard to ignore the elephant in the room this week and think about the music scene. But hopefully, on Wednesday, the elephant will have left the room! (O.K., that's it for my 'politics-speech' this week.) As I'm in the middle of a three night run of shows, I'll do my best to get this post done before I head over to The Fonda for Divine Fits tonight (Sunday).
The rugged face of Leonard Cohen graces this front page because it looks like the face of America to me (kind of like it belongs on Mount Rushmore), and he's back in town playing Nokia Theatre on Monday, election eve.
In the Valley Below begin a November residency at Bootleg Bar and this band it rising fast and this is a perfect opportunity to get to know them. Sea Wolf land at El Rey on Saturday and this is one of the most anticipated events of my week. Little Red Lung, Dirt Bird, Blitzen Trapper, Aaron Embry, Barbra Streisand, The Henry Clay People and The Monkees are among the wide range of performers available in Los Angeles this week.
And Divine Fits (at left) was a perfect show to see so close to the election. Loud, aggressive, vitriolic rock was the appropriate fit to match the fear and frustration over this bizarre circus known as the 2012 presidential campaign. Everyone was anxious to let go of all the anxiety and there was such serious head-bobbing going on, it resembled dancing! Who says indie rock fans don't dance.
Don't forget to do your civic duty and vote on Tuesday.
Monday, November 5
- Saul Williams, SuperSoul Monday w/ The Teddy Campbell Band w/ special guests, Benny Marchant @ Hotel Cafe
- Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Emily Lacy, Madame Headdress @ Echo Country Outpost
- Aer, Yonas and David Dallas @ El Rey
- Drive He Said, The Brixtons, Paige Stark + TBA @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Leonard Cohen @ Nokia Theatre
- LP, The Diamond Light @ The Troubadour
- Princess Pangolin, Mighty Forces, The Royal Us @ Lot 1
- Refused, The Bronx @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- "School Night!" w/ Clare and The Reasons, Troup, Heloise and The Savoir Faire @ Bardot
- Dark Dark Dark, Emily Wells @ Echoplex
- In the Valley Below, Sanglorians, Cayucas, Kiven @ Bootleg Bar
- The Abigails, Exploding Flowers, Tomorrows Tulips, Methdone Kitty & The Daily Dose @ The Echo
- The Record Company, Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants, Rachel Goodrich, Warships @ The Satellite
- Rudimentary Peni cassette tribute release party w/ Nicole Kidman, Torn Humorist, Exit Bag,
Shivering Window @ Pehrspace
Some terrific November residencies start up tonight with In the Valley Below particularly impressive, for a Bootleg residency so soon. Congratulations. I took their picture at right at The Bootleg in August. The Record Company are at The Satellite and The Echo has The Abigails. Party it up tonight, for tomorrow could spell the beginning of doomsday. Paige Stark is part of a good bill at Silver Lake Lounge, as well.
While we're on the subject of doom, Leonard Cohen back in town for a night at Nokia Theatre. His sometimes dark and dour take on life is happily contradicted by the joy he obviously gets from presenting his music to a vast new audience. My god, the man has turned from a recluse into a performing superstar as he nears octogenarian status. He's played here, what, four times in the past two years? It's a testament to the preservative power of a passion for music and art.
Tuesday, November 6
- A Post-Halloween Election Day Horror in Blood, White & Red @ Echo Country Outpost
- Calvin Love @ Origami Vinyl
- The Vespers, Brent Puls record release, When The Broken Bow @ Hotel Cafe
- A Place To Bury Strangers, Bleeding Rainbow, Matthewdavid @ The Troubadour
- Check Yo Ponytail 2 Year Anniversary w/ Andrew W.K., Icona Pop, Diamond RIngs, Cherie Lily, Aleister X + Special Guests @ Echoplex
- Gavin Turek, Noa Dori, ORCA TEAM, LA Girlfriend @ The Central
- Jens Lekman, Taken By Trees, Big Search @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Programmed for Pleasure, Cardboard Lamb, East of Sweden @ Boardner's
- The Fine Lines, The Radiorelics, Grit @ The Satellite
- the Moth & Flame, COLOR @ Bootleg Bar
- The Janks, Tijuana Tears, The Heavens and The Earth, Gemeni @ Silver Lake Lounge
Wednesday, November 6
- Joe Firstman, Bronze Radio Return, The Endangerment, Brandon Coleman @ Hotel Cafe
- "Desert Nights" w/ Trevor Menear, Song Preservation Society, Alaska Reid @ The Standard
- Herculon, Rare Monk, Roshambo, Badass Magic, Cogito @ Silver Lake Lounge
- JJAMZ, Mini Mansions, Thrillionaire @ The Troubadour
- My Satellite, Leda Atomica, Tremor Low, Ballerina Black @ The Central
- He Met Her, AK @ The Satellite
- Jonny Polonsky and band @ 3 of Clubs
- Metz, Batwings Catwings, Vinyl Williams @ The Echo
- Mr. Gnome, Little Red Lung, Eighteen Individual Eyes @ Bootleg Bar
- Orca Team, Summer Twins, Meow Twins, Suzi Star @ The Smell
Whether your celebrating, or whether you're depressed, the city is alive with the sound of music to chase away the blues. Little Red Lung is back in town from a successful short tour and playing for the hometown crowd. Check out this unusual blend of the sensual and the operatic at Bootleg Bar. JJAMZ and Mini Mansions are part of a high profile show at The Troubadour. I was blown away by the set Jonny Polonsky (at right) played for my show at Lot 1 last Saturday night, and that was a solo acoustic set. Tonight he's at 3 of Clubs with a full band, so I'll be there. This should really be something worthwhile.
Thursday, November 8
- Cat Power, The Goat @ Hollywood Palladium
- Delta Spirit, FIDLAR @ The Wiltern
- Kate Earl, Graham Colton w/ Sooner The Sunset & Mikey Wax, Suzanna Choffel, Gin Wigmore,
String Fellow Hawks @ Hotel Cafe
- Murder Ballads: A Tribute to True Crimes of Passion w/ Black Hole Oscillators, Bloody Death Skull, Dirt Bird, Geronimo Getty, Restavrant, RT N' the 44s and others @ Echoplex
- Tulips, LA Girlfriend, Heavy Pedal, Gooding, Machine Learning @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Japandroids, Bleached @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Old Man, Christian Letts @ Church of the Angels, Pasadena
- Smoking Popes, Luther, The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers @ The Troubadour
- Title Fight, Pianos Become the Teeth, Single Mothers, Whir @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts
- Titus Andronicus, Ceremony, The Henry Clay People @ El Rey
- Carina Round, Rosi Golan, Chris Stills @ The Satellite
- Hobart W Fink, Cotillon, Never At Night, Cecilia Peruti @ Lot 1
- Sweetwater and the Satisfaction, The Ten Thousand, Them Howling Bones @ Bootleg Bar
- The Dead Ships, Future Ghost, Blonde Summer, Miner @ The Echo
Cat Power at Hollywood Palladium, Delta Spirit at The Wiltern, Japandroids at The Fonda and Titus Andronicus bringing The Henry Clay People to the stage of El Rey make up the big shows of the night. But what an opportunity to get creeped out by going to Echoplex for Murder Ballads: A Tribute to True Crimes of Passion featuring RT N' the 44s, Restavrant, Geronimo Getty and Dirt Bird, who are creepy enough, but singing death ballads? Give me chills.
Friday, November 9
- Kris Orlowsky, Alexandra & The Starlight Band, Ruthanne, Von Grey, Big Tree, Alto @ Hotel Cafe
- William Pilgrim & The All Grows Ups (acoustic set) @ Origami Vinyl
- Barbra Streisand, Chris Botti, Il Volo @ Hollywood Bowl
- Afghan Whigs, Van Hunt @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Brandi Carlile, Blitzen Trapper @ Orpheum Theatre
- howardAmb, Dreamers, SheKhan, Sandy Yang, Emily Lacy, Wimp & Shrimp @ The Smell
- John Spencer Blues Explosion, Quasi @ El Rey
- Minus The Bear, Cursive, Girl in a Coma @ Club Nokia
- Tilly & The Wall, Icky Blossoms, Guy Blakeslee @ The Troubadour
- Y La Bamba, Ramshackle, Seasons, Steve Taylor @ The Central
- ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Octopus Project, The Technicolors @ Echoplex
- American Royalty, Blacks & Hindu Pirates @ The Echo
- The Woggles, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Knitts @ The Satellite
- Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Jarrett Killen @ Bootleg Bar
There's been so much going on that I hadn't even noticed that Blitzen Trapper are playing at The Orpheum, opening for Brandi Carlile. I would probably have tried to get a ticket except it's a seated show and the good seats must be gone. Another big show (that may sell out) takes place over at The Central with Y La Bamba (at right) and Seasons, who are about to record a new album, and Afghan Whigs start a two night run at The Fonda and Barbra Streisand returns to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time in 45 years, for the first of two scheduled shows. That's history. I'll talk about this on Sunday.
Saturday, November 10
- Spain, The Legendary Duo, Miracle Parade @ The Echo
- Marc Broussard @ Hotel Cafe (7:30 & 10 PM)
- Sunbeam Rd @ Origami Vinyl
- An Evening with The Monkees @ The Greek
- Afghan Whigs, Van Hunt @ Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre
- Laurence Juber @ McCabe's
- Mumford & Sons, Dawes, Aaron Embry @ Hollywood Bowl
- Princess @ Largo at the Coronet
- Sea Wolf, Hey Marseilles, The Donnies The Amys @ El Rey
- Those Darlins, Pangea, Heavy Cream @ The Troubadour
- Whispering Pines @ Pappy & Harriet's
- Dirt Dress, Peter Pants, Surf Curse, The Aquadolls @ The Smell
- Prolific Pigeon presents: ART OPENING with Sea Camp, Django's Tiger's, W-H-I-T-E @ Pehrspace
- Sera Cahoone, The Parson Red Heads, Judson McKinney @ The Satellite
- The Sea and Cake, Matt Friedberger @ Bootleg Theatre
I have a ticket to go see Sea Wolf (right) at El Rey and I will finally get to hear their sparkling new album, Old World Romance, live and I can't wait. It is without question one of the best releases of the year.
Elsewhere, the amazing Aaron Embry is playing at Hollywood Bowl as an opening act for Mumford and Sons and Dawes. Can you believe it?!! Just a few months ago I saw him play The Greek...and now this. Is there anything more gratifying than seeing an artist get the attention he deserves?
And the wonderful Parson Red Heads are back in town for a show at The Satellite. Now that Evan and Brette-Marie Way have become parents, let's see what effect that has had on their music. It's great to have them back in town, no matter how short a stay it is.
Sunday, November 11
- Lydia Lunch w/ Retrovirus, Crazy Band, Phantom Family Halo @ The Echo
- Tom Freund @ McCabe's
- Young Future Lovers Record Release Show, Andrea Gibson, Monte Mar, Two Bulls @ Hotel Cafe
- Barbra Streisand, Chris Botti, Il Volo @ Hollywood Bowl
- Jack's Mannequin, Matt Thiessen @ El Rey
- Travis Shettel, Adam McGrath, Billy Brown & Pete Curtis, Silver Snakes (acoustics) @ Lot 1
- Necular Animals, Neonates, Magic Johnson, Sad Horse @ The Smell
My Barbra Streisand story is this: When I was 13 years old in early 1964, my mom was crazy about the young New York singer named Barbra Streisand and we heard she was coming to Boston for the out-of-town tryout of the new musical Funny Girl on its way to Broadway. I remember the ticket price was $5.50 for orchestra seats and she bought tickets for my brother, herself and me. The seats turned out to be near the back of the theatre, the demand to see this electrifying new talent was so stiff, but it's an experience I've never forgotten. It's also another of the major reasons I'm so enthused about seeing live performance. Believe me, it is the one thing that never fades with time. I remember like yesterday, what it as like to see her stamping around the stage, hilariously funny and yet with this magical voice that added such poignancy to her performance. That's my program that I saved from the Shubert Theatre in Boston in the photograph. I was a born archivist. (Nicky Arnstein, Omar Sharif in the movie, was played by Charlie Chaplin's son, Sydney Chaplin, in the original Broadway show).
Barbra Streisand deserves the tag 'living legend' and if I had an extra $800. I might go see her at the Hollywood Bowl. But no, I will relish the memory of that $5.50 performance 48 years ago and be satisfied. Well, that's this week's trip down memory lane.