by Brad Roberts
This is a busy week for the active concert-goer. I have two trips to the cemetery in my future (well, three actually if you count the ultimate one) to see The Mountain Goats (at right) on Wednesday, and DeVotchKa (at left) on Friday. The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery is hosting these shows the day before each moves over to The Troubadour for a second night, on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
As excited as I am to see these two bands again, I've seen them both many times now, so my excitement is trumped by the show with Horse Feathers on Tuesday, who I've only seen once before. This band came crashing into my consciousness last March at The Echo and I've been playing their music almost non-stop ever since. So, yeah, this is the show of the week for me. Indie/chamber/folk at it's finest.
Except for the Christmas festivals and benefits that are beginning to crop up. The Country Christmas Concert over at The Satellite on Thursday night is crammed with some truly talented female singer/songwriters from the local scene. Another noteworthy event is the 10th Annual Holiday Benefit Show going on at Hotel Cafe for Song For Kids Foundation on Friday and LAFD's Spark Of Love Toy Drive on Saturday. Best of all is the 1st Annual X-mas Fest in downtown L.A. on Saturday at Project Infest with great bands from the Echo Country Outpost crowd.
Monday, December 10
- Handshakes, Future Dancing, Wires in the Walls, Bedcake, Orange Umbrella @ Silver Lake Lounge
- The Henry Clay People, Sons of Stan, TS and The Past Haunts, Song For Kids hour w/ Josh Rifkind,The World Record, Brian Whelan, Harley Cortez @ The Satellite
- Super Soul Monday w/ Jason Joseph & The Spectacular, Dominique Pruitt, Maria Del Pilar, IAMEVE @ Hotel Cafe
- Bonhom, Purdue Avenue @ The Central
- Jhameel, Young Hunting, Mind The Gap @ Bootleg Bar
- The Dead Ships, Eastern Conference Champions, The Bixby Knolls, The Reflections @ The Echo
- "School Night!" w/ Willy Moon, Madi Diaz, Harper Blynn, Pop Levi @ Bardot
- Lamps, Doses, MYNX, Roman Milk @ Pehrspace
- Manimal Vinyl Monday Night Residency w/ The Child, Hammered Satin, Young Girls, Fan-Tan @ Echoplex
Well, this is a nice mess. I want to see The Henry Clay People more than once during their Satellite residency, but I said I'd try to see Handshakes (at right) tonight for their Silver Lake Lounge run with Future Dancing and Wires in the Walls, and Eastern Conference Champions are at The Echo for The Dead Ships' residency. But since I have three more shows this week and have to spend two hours in a dentist's chair tomorrow, I'm going to have to let these all go.
Tuesday, December 11
- The Damnwells, Harper Blynn, Current Swell, Nicole Eve Emery @ Hotel Cafe
- Atlas Genius, Blondfire, Beat Club @ The Troubadour
- BuzzbandsLA presents Second Tuesday w/ Wages, Fairbanks, Christopher Hawley @ Lot 1
- Graham Parker & The Rumour record release, Ryan Adams, Lindsey Buckingham @ The Roxy
- IronTom, Deluka, Omniflux, Toy Bombs @ Silver Lake Lounge
- John Cale, Cass McCombs @ El Rey
- Horse Feathers, Frank Fairfield, The Cerny Brothers @ The Echo
- Zak Waters, Monte Mar, La Mer @ The Central
- Valente, Boys School, Pop Soda @ Bootleg Bar
Tonight I get to go see one of the best bands I found out about this year. It was March and I was hotly pursuing Fort King as they made their way around town with their new line up, landing at The Echo on a bill with Horse Feathers (at right). I really knew nothing about this Portland band so was unprepared for the magical and emotional response I had to their music. I bought their most recent album, Cynic's New Year, on the spot and the following day went to Amoeba to pick up two of their earlier works.
Deeply chamber, they fit neatly into the genre which includes Lost In The Trees and Choir of Young Believers, with their penchant for gorgeous orchestral flourishes, sometimes so overpowering that the music drops over into classical or so subtle you barely notice their presence. Horse Feathers has it's own built in chamber accompaniment in three permanent string players, each a seeming virtuoso.
Also on the bill tonight at The Echo is a favorite artist who I haven't seen in a long time, Frank Fairfield, whose irresistible journey back to an early American dustbowl sound reveals a true time-traveller who takes you along with him. Throw in The Cerny Brothers and you have a first rate show!
Wednesday, December 12
- Jessie Payo, The Young Romans, Julia Price, Libby Koch @ Hotel Cafe
- "Desert Nights" w/ Willie Wisely, Kristin Mooney, Claire Holley @ The Standard
- JMSN, Meg Myers, Nylo @ The Troubadour
- People from Venus @ Bootleg Theatre
- Ruby Friedman Orchestra, Boys School, Sweetwater & The Satisfaction @ Los Globos
- The Mountain Goats, Matthew E. White @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
- The Sword, Gypsyhawk and American Sharks @ El Rey
- The Vim Dicta, Ingenue, Criminal Hygene, Honeybear @ Lot 1
- Alt-J, Wildcat! Wildcat! @ The Fonda Theatre
- Busy Living, String Fellow Hawks, Neon Hymns, Jesse Kivel @ The Central
- Dunes, Thrones, Kim Free, P R O T E C T M E @ The Smell
- Radio Free Silver Lake presents Nightmare Air, United Ghosts, Night Mail, The Vigils @ Silver Lake Lounge
- The Soft Moon, Group Rhoda, Vinyl Williams @ The Echo
- yOya Tapioca and The Flea, Das Tapes, Boom Forest, LA Font (DJ set) @ The Satellite
Tonight marks the beginning of a run of shows by The Mountain Goats following the October release of Transcendental Youth. One never knows what will come out of John Darnielle (at right) next and this release follows that unpredictable path. Filled with his trademark tumultuous lyrics your mind races to keep up. But the rewards are both pungent and curiously emotional.
These attributes should only be amplified by playing so near all the dead laying nearby. Shows at The Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery are always fraught with strange spirits that hover over the place and I've never seen anyone there whose performance wasn't affected by that. Something strange and wonderful always happens at a show there.
Thursday, December 13
- John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) @ Origami Vinyl (6 PM)
- Broncho @ Origami Vinyl (7 PM)
- Meiko, Early Morning Rebel, Robert Patrick and The Passengers, Emily Oman, Gideon Brown @ Hotel Cafe
- Races, Hands, Jenny O, Hot As Sun @ Los Globos
- A Country Christmas Concert w/ Angela Correa, Claire Mckeown, Jillinda Palmer, Sara Radle and more @ The Satellite
- Scott Ryan & the Thunderbeast, Loretti, Glan Martin, Nura Creitz @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Social Distortion @ House of Blues
- The Mountain Goats, Matthew E. White @ The Troubadour
- Vaud and the Villains, Quinn DeVeaux @ The Mint
- Jesse Ware, Jerome LOL @ Bootleg Theatre
- King Tuff, The Lovely Bad Things, Zig Zags @ The Echo
- Mike Watt & The Missingmen, Cosmonauts, Twin Steps, The Quiet Americans @ 3 of Clubs
- OneRepublic, The Cab, Delta Rae @ Hollywood Palladium
I should take the night off, but that may not be possible with all these temptations. Great show over at Los Globos with Races, Hands and Jenny O presented by BuzzbandsLA, PUMA and The venue. Also highly attractive is the Country Christmas Concert over at The Satellite with some of our finest local female vocalists including Claire Mckeown, Sara Radle, Angela Correa among a formidable crew. Nice local show at 3 of Clubs with Mike Watt & The Missingmen. On the schedule for The Mountain Goats is a free in-store at Origami by John Darnielle (solo) at 6 and then at The Troubadour with the full band later at 10.
Friday, December 14
- 10th Annual Holiday Show w/ Buddy, Erin McLaughlin, Oak & Gorski, The Young Romans, Brother Sal and more @ Hotel Cafe
- DeVotchKa w/ Chamber Orchestra @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (7 & 10:30 PM)
- Betty White, Sheer Scoundrels, Isaiah Navarro, Monster House @ Lot 1
- Flavia Watson and The Red @ Bootleg Bar
- Jackshit Holiday Extravaganza @ McCabe's
- Passenger, Kate Earl @ The Troubadour
- Batwings Catwings, Casy & Brian, Washing Machines, You, Me & Us @ The Smell
- Dante vs Zombies, Wounded Lion, The Dagons, The Hallucinations @ The Echo
- Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary w/ Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, Trans Am, Man Forever @ Echoplex
- Uncle Neil Christmas w/ Crazy Rust featuring members of Dios, Franklin for Short, Tall Tales and the Silver Lining, Seth Pettersen and the Undertow @ Taix Lounge
- Vanaprasta, Beach Party, Le Blorr @ The Satellite
- Wide Streets, Twin Steps, The Dining Dead, Charlyne Yi @ Pehrspace
- Young Girls, Spaceships @ Bootleg Bar
Advantage is being taken of the fact there's only one more Friday night between here and Christmas. So many holiday celebrations are on the docket tonight there's no shortage of choices. From the 10th Annual Holiday Show at Hotel Cafe, which takes place tonight and tomorrow, with a terrific line up of Cafe regulars like Erin McLaughlin, Oak & Gorski and All Spots To Black to holiday shows at McCabe's and an Uncle Neil Christmas tribute to Neil Young at Taix Lounge.
But tonight belongs to DeVotchKa for me. This is one of those bands that have grown on me steadily over the years and their amazing live performances are always among the very best of any year I've seen them. They are consistently even better than their recordings. And to get the chance to hear them with a 7-piece chamber orchestra AND at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery was enough to get me to shell out the bucks to see their hastily scheduled 11:15 show, after the 7:30 show sold out in a flash. It'll be a late night but well worth it. If you've never heard Nick Urata sing live, you don't know what he really sounds like.
Saturday, December 15
- 1st Annual X-Mas Fest @ Project Infest, 3201 Maple Ave. L.A.
- Ukulady's Holiday PartyShowFun @ Lot 1
- Invisible Children Holiday Show w/ DeVotchKa and 7-piece enemble, White Arrows, Whispertown, The Colourist @ The Troubadour
- 10th Annual Holiday Show w/ All Spots to Black, Broken Anchor, Madi Diaz, Harper Blynn, Sweet Talk Radio and more @ Hotel Cafe
- HOTT MT @ Origami Vinyl
- Anthony Green, Geoff Rickly @ The Fonda Theatre
- Jackshit Holiday Extravaganza @ McCabe's
- Monster Paws, Cardoza, Cayucas @ SAC Studios
- Social Distortion @ House of Blues
- Ty Segall, Bleached, Night Beats, Pangea @ El Rey
- Astronautalis, Busdriver, Jel @ The Satellite
- DIVA, Eternal Tapestry, In Tents, Suzi Star @ The Smell
- Peter Pants, Colleagues, Tony, Charlyne Yi & the Mackey @ Pehrspace
- Poor Moon, Pure Bathing Culture, The Union Line @ The Echo
- TV Girl, Blackbird Blackbird, So Many Wizards @ Bootleg Bar
I'm not totally certain about the facts of this 1st Annual X-Mas Fest, so I would check the links closer to the date, but with artists like Races, The Janks, Tommy Santee Klaws, Gothic Tropic and Fort King and about 25 others involved this is my favorite festival recommendation of the week. I think it was originally going to take place at Echo Country Outpost, but now appears to be downtown at Project Infest at 3201 Maple Avenue. This is an all-day affair that starts at noon and goes till 3 AM. Bring warm clothes.
Sunday, December 16
- Mimosa Brunch at Federal Bar w/ Family of the Year, The Silver Lake Chorus, Cliff Retallick @ The Federal Bar (11 AM)
- Brunch at Lot 1 w/ Steffaloo, Swan, Phoebe Bridgers @ Lot 1 (noon)
- March Fourth Marching Band, Diego's Umbrella @ Echoplex
- Nic Harcourt & 88.5 KCSN present Joan As Police Woman, Kita Klane @ Hotel Cafe
- Cum Stain, Mordern Kicks, The Ugly Kids @ Lot 1 (8 PM)
- M Geddes Gengras, Sullivan/ McCann, NOW @ L.A. Fort
- People Under the Stairs, Revolutionary Rhythm @ El Rey
- ReasonsBE, Ryan Saliman and the Band of Strangers, The Breakups @ The Mint
- The Neighbourhood, Buffalo Blackfoot @ Bootleg Bar
- Scott H. Biram, Restavrant @ The Satellite
- The Slits Nite @ The Echo
After all the events of Saturday, instead of going to bed, why not just head over to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood at 11 AM for the Mimosa Brunch for champagne with Family of the Year (at right) for an earful of lush hippie/folk harmonies wrapped up in anthemic melodies. Then you can go home to sleep.