by Brad Roberts
In my lifetime I've witnessed a number of moments that bring everything to a complete stop. Something happens globally or nationally or personally that makes everyone freeze in mid-step and you have to sit down and take stock of where your life is now and how do we move forward. I was 13 when President Kennedy was assassinated and a lot older when 9/11 happened, but Friday was another one of those days with that same overwhelming, all-consuming impact. Emotions are running from despair to horror to rage and each news update brings a new wave of reactions.
With the impact of the slaughter in Connecticut last Friday foremost in everyone's mind, not one person with any degree on empathy is going to get through this holiday season without a heart that is heavy with a certain amount of grief. I'm not going to get political here, but some answers are so obvious that we, as human beings, should no longer continue to ignore our stupidity as a society.
The magical healing power of music was of more value than I can describe on Friday night when I decided to venture out in the cold and the rain to go to see DeVotchKa at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (photo at left). My ticket was for the late show at 11:15, as they had quickly sold out the 7:30 show and scheduled this show for disappointed fans. Together with a 7-piece Chamber Orchestra, DeVotchKa transported another sold out house out of themselves and to another conscience and a happier place. It wasn't until near the end of the show that lead singer, Nick Urata, acknowledged the tragedy by saying how difficult a day it had been for everyone. As he passed by after the encore I reached out my hand to him and said "Thank you very much" and he stopped and shook my hand and looked me in the eyes, smiled, and said "And thank you very much". Slight as the encounter was, I felt my heart swell.
Sorry for the brevity of this week's column, but it feels false to become too enthused while feeling so deflated. Still, music can distract and comfort, so here's to some good places and shows to share with friends. By next weekend, things really slow down leading up to Christmas day on Tuesday with almost no shows for three days.
Monday, December 17
- Local Natives, @ Origami Vinyl
- Handshakes, Nomadics, Mojo Stone, State to State @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Jhameel, Leonard Friend, Gavin Turek, Tempest @ Bootleg Bar
- The Henry Clay People, Incan Abraham, The Monolators, The Sklar Brothers, Matt Braunger, Jonah Ray, Matt Dwyer @ The Satellite
- The Wow, Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devils, Davion Farris @ The Central
- "School Nights!" w/ The Mowglis, Peace, Torches, Davis Fetter @ Bardot
- Manimal Vinyl Monday Night Residency w/ HOTT MT, Baron Von Luxxury, Miss M.E. @ The Echo
- The Dead Ships, Dengue Fever, Mean Lady, Brian Posehn, Dave Koechner @ Echoplex
- Sean Carnage presents Ratchet Set XXXmas Party @ Pehrspace
- SuperSoul Monday w/ Jason Joseph & The Spectacular w/ Special Guests @ Hotel Cafe
Local Natives (at right) have a free show at Origami Vinyl that requires jumping through hoops to attend, owing to their huge popularity these days. The Henry Clay People bring Incan Abraham and The Monolators to their Satellite residency, while "School Night!" at Bardot features The Mowgli's and Torches.
Tuesday, December 18
- Harper Blynn, Act As If, My Name Is You, All Spots To Black, Commercial @ Hotel Cafe
- Broken Anchor, Monroe, Roofbeam Carpenters, Tijuana Bullfight @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Lifehouse @ The Troubadour
- Valente, Omniflux, Garland @ Bootleg Bar
- Zak Waters, Jhameel, Monroe, Sharkitecture @ The Central
- Feed Your Head presents LoveyDove, Runson Willis, The Sixth Son, Brendan Constantine @ Lot 1
- Bell Gardens, Kind Heart & Coronets, Fort King, Brad Laner @ The Echo
- MellowHype, Trash Talk, Antwon, Rotting Out @ Echoplex
- Moses Campbell, Nana Grizol, Your Heart Breaks, Gina Young @ The Smell
- Pat Mahone, Juan Maclean @ Dim Mak Studios,
- Tribute to The Rolling Stones w/ Michael Des Barres, Brian Whelan and Mitch Marine, Brett
Anderson, Chris Shiflett, The Dustbowl Revival, Harlan, The Sister Ruby Band, The Far West @ The Satellite
- Volks, The Mud Howlers @ Los Globos
When LoveyDove asked me to host their show at Lot 1 tonight, I jumped at the chance to present a band that the L.A. Weekly described as "very high-grade modernist pop". Azalia Snail and Dan West have each played one of my Feed Your Head nights at Lot 1, so I'm mighty proud to offer their collaboration, along with The Sixth Son (a recent fantastic discovery) and Runson Willis. Between sets Brendan Constantine will be providing "action poetry" making for a very esoteric evening of entertainment.
And that's not all. Fort King play with Kind Hearts & Coronets and Bell Gardens at The Echo and Moses Campbell is at The Smell, while The Satellite hosts a tribute to The Rolling Stones with a line up that includes The Dustbowl Revival and The Far West.
Wednesday, December 19
- "Desert Nights" w/ Dave Gleason, David Serby, and Rachel Dean @ The Standard
- The Silverlake Conservatory of Music Winter Solstice Recital 2012 @ Bootleg Theatre
- Larry Bagby, Steve Tombstone, Jimmy Nash, Rugged Glory @ Hotel Cafe
- Haim, The Damn Sons @ The Troubadour
- Leftover Cuties @ The Mint
- Western Scene, Great White Buffalo, Kenan Bell @ The Satellite
- Robert Francis, Trevor Hall, Brian Wright @ The Roxy
- The Vim Dicta, Blac Jesus & The Experimentalists, Echo & The Sound, Hobart W. Fink @ Lot 1
- Watkins Family Christmas Gathering @ Largo at the Coronet
- Nightmare Air, Great Northern, Between the Cities Are Stars, Cinderella Motel @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Tauk, d'Artagnan, Judson, The Picture and the Frame @ Los Globos
- The Lonely Trees, Brannigan's Law, Hugh John Noble, Action Index @ The Smell
Nice show at Silver Lake Lounge with Nightmare Air bringing Great Northern (at right) back to the stage for an opening set. Rumor has it that Great Northern have been working on some fresh music and I would love to hear it as I haven't seen them in a while. In West Hollywood, Robert Francis is at The Roxy and Haim plays The Troubadour.
Thursday, December 20
- Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter, Ringside, Clark Graham @ Hotel Cafe
- Franklin Bruno, bikos, Trotsky Icepick @ Echo Country Outpost
- The Bloodhounds, Pool Honeys, Death Lens, Little Ms. Shapen Figures @ Lot 1
- The Merry Minstrel Musical Circus w/ Jonathan Wilson, Mike Campbell & Friends, Bob Weir,
Jackson Browne, Benmont Tench @ The Troubadour
- Faded Paper Figures, Cinderella Motel, The Georgia Sand, The Long Fall @ The Satellite
- Psychic Ills, Gap Dream, Regal Degal @ The Echo
- Shlohmo, RL Grime, Groundislava, Ryan Hemsworth, D33J, Juj, Nick Melons @ Echoplex
bikos is a wonderful band and they are on the bill at Echo Country Outpost tonight and The Troubadour has The Merry Minstrel Musical Circus which features oldsters Bob Weir and Jackson Browne and a host of other fine musicians.
Friday, December 21
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Restavrant @ The Troubadour
- Joe Rogan, Joey Diaz, Doug Stanhope, HoneyHoney @ The Wiltern
- LA Witch, Twin Owl, Dirty Orca, The Zermatts, Tall Tales & the Silver Lining @ Lot 1
- Rufus and Martha Wainwright: Christmas 101 @ Royce Hall
- Doom Dong, Mothers Of Gut, Gnarbaby, Josh Boyd @ The Smell
- Jingle All The Whiskey with performances by David Serby, Dan Janisch, Rod Melancon, Bliss
Bowen, Grant Langston, Walter Spencer, Ben Reddell, Susan James, Jason Heath, Nicole Gordon, Fur Dixon, Greg Felden, Groovy Rednecks & more TBA @ The Satellite
- Judson, Vaudeville, Salt Petal @ The Echo
- Mike B.'s Record Release, Leland, Jazz& TheGiant, Julia Harriman @ Bootleg Bar
- Vallens, The Faraday Trippers, Dargar/Lord Time @ Human Resources
- X, My Jerusalem @ The Fonda Theatre
- Planets, Alpha/Beta, Orange Tulip Conspiracy, Ninja Betty and The Nunchicks @ El Cid
Judson has his first show in a while at The Echo which I hope to check out. Also Tall Tales & the Silver Linings at Lot 1, the annual X Christmas show at The Fonda and Rufus and Martha Wainwright play host to a holiday show tonight at Royce Hall with a high powered guest list: Emmylou Harris, Van Dyke Parks and Carrie Fisher. This sounds like quite the event.
Saturday, December 22
- Marissa Nadler, Guy Blakeslee @ Bootleg Bar
- Shine So Hard, Palms, Peg Leg Love @ Lot 1
- Big Black Delta, Lavinia Slaughter, Dekades @ The Satellite
- P R O T E C T M E, Mr. Wright & The El Salvadorians, Cat 500, Mutant City @ The Smell
- Space Waves, Old Toy Trains, Heroes and Heroines, Nicholas Chacom @ 5 Star Bar
- Very Be Careful @ Los Globos
Christmas takes its toll as the town winds down to a whisper of shows. You can take a trip with Space Waves (at right) down at the 5 Star Bar or see Very Be Careful at Los Globos, as most everyone else heads out of town.
Sunday, December 23
- The Neighbourhood, DJ Fournames @ Bootleg Bar
Be safe and kind to each other.