by Brad Roberts
I've become so used to welcoming in each new year with The Henry Clay People at The Satellite (Spaceland in December 2008 at right) that it is with great relief I announce that they will be doing the same for 2013. Wow, am I already getting nostalgic over something that's only four years ago? This year it will be the culmination of a month-long residency at The Satellite which begins this Monday night. It's also their ten year anniversary and they have amazingly not lost the ability to whip a sold out room into a frenzy. Cheers to them! I bought my ticket for the 31st this weekend and urge you to do the same to avoid being shut out.
BuzzbandsLA is presenting a program called "Modern Music" at The Satellite on Wednesday with some really remarkable bands. Seven Saturdays are an instrumental ensemble with a real feel for beautiful, trance-inducing music that sounds like it's placed somewhere between Earth and Jupiter interrupted by random radio signals. Bring your kaleidoscope glasses. Now with a new lineup and adding vocals to the mix, they will be presenting new music. The vocal wizardry of Spencer Berger's band Auditorium is a fitting opening for the night which also includes a new project called Western Lows (no link) whose pedigree inspires confidence.
Alright Alright became one of my favorite band all of a sudden on Saturday night when they played Lot 1. On Thursday they play at Silver Lake Lounge so I may go try to catch them again. And a wide selection of shows from Jason Simon (of Dead Meadow) to The Lonely Wild to Sufjan Stevens to Manhattan Murder Mystery.
Monday, December 3
- The Henry Clay People, So Many Wizards, Steelwells, Future Ghost @ The Satellite
- Toy Bombs, Seven Saturdays, E-Train @ The Central
- Handshakes, Warships, The Golden Racial, The Vapes @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Aerosmith, Cheap Trick @ Staples Center
- SuperSoul Monday w/ Jason Joseph & The Spectacular w/ special guests, Childrens' Hospital
Benefit Show w/ Hudson w/ Shawn Hook & Juliana Joy @ Hotel Cafe
- Jhameel, More Amor, The New Limb, We Are/She Is @ Bootleg Bar
- The Dead Ships, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Wake Up Lucid, LA Font @ The Echo
- "School Night!" w/ Alexz Johnson, Oren Lyons, Robert Raimon Roy, Teammate @ Bardot
- Brown & Blue, Slam Dunk, Heroes & Heroines, Astral Jubilee @ The L.A. Fort
- Jeans Wilder, Spirit Vine, Barbarian, Kim Free @ Echoplex
- Mountair @ Pehrspace
- Tapioca and the Flea, Color @ Harvard & Stone
Hallelujah, December brings us a residency by The Henry Clay People, celebrating their tenth anniversary, which will make it tough to stay home every Monday night. They take Christmas eve off, but return a week later to pick up their old tradition of throwing, maybe, the best New Year's Eve Party in town. I was there when they helped us usher in 2009, 2010, and again in 2012, and the memories of those nights are burned into my brain. Tonight they begin the residency with So Many Wizards, The Steelwells and Future Ghost who form a potent bill. Let the party begin.
Other good shows tonight include The Dead Ships' residency with Manhattan Murder Mystery at The Echo, Wake Up Lucid and LA Font, and Warships at Silver Lake Lounge and Seven Saturdays, written about above, at The Central in Santa Monica.
Tuesday, December 4
- Sufjan Stevens, Sheila Saputo @ The Fonda Theatre
- No Doubt, Best Coast, Kitten @ Gibson Amphitheatre
- Linda Ortega @ Bootleg Bar
- Howie Day w/ The Colony, Harper Blynn, Fort Atlantic @ Hotel Cafe
- Jareb Liewer and Rucky Punch @ Lot 1
- Monsters Calling Home, Baywood @ The Troubadour
- The Fine Line, Grit, The Radiorelics, Color @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Zak Waters, Mystery Skulls @ The Central
- Black Apples, And And And, Rainbow Jackson @ The Satellite
- How To Dress Well, Born Gold, Beacon, Groundislava, Bago, Ille @ Echoplex
- Jail Weddings, The Starvations, Detective, L.A. Drugz @ The Echo
- Valente, Marvin Etzioni @ Bootleg Bar
- Soft Serve, Black Lullabies, Lucas Lanthier @ 3 of Clubs
Sufjan Stevens is in town with his month-long concert tour entitled "Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice" at The Fonda Theatre tonight. Tickets are gone. No Doubt continue the Gibson run with Best Coast and Kitten. Locally speaking, Jail Weddings are at The Echo and The Black Apples are at The Satellite.
Wednesday, December 5
- Seven Saturdays, Auditorium, Pretend Electric, Western Lows @ The Satellite
- D Henry Fenton & The Elizabethans, Chantelle Barry @ Hotel Cafe
- Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone @ Bootleg Theatre
- "Desert Nights" w/ Chris Pierce, Brandi Emma & Charlie Clark, Justine Bennett @ The Standard
- Head for the Hills, Smooth Hound Smith, Shoemaker Brothers, Nocturnal Youth @ The Mint
- Nightmare Air, Tennis System, Jason Simon (of Dead Meadow), Smelly Tongues @ Silver Lake Lounge
- Tom Morello: The Nighwatchman, David Rovics @ The Troubadour
- Vim Victa residency w/ Cotillon, L.A. Witch, Washing Machines @ Lot 1
- COYOL, Fancy Me Yet @ Bootleg Bar
- Paul Banks, The Neighbourhood, EFG @ The Fonda Theatre
- Shuggie Otis @ Echoplex
- The Passengers, Thunderbird Motel, Fast Otto, John Wayne Bro @ The Central
Here's a really good night, but I think I'll take in the BuzzbandsLA show at The Satellite. It starts with one of our most astonishing new bands, Auditorium, opening at nine and who possess a vocal prowess few can rival. The headliner is the instrumental band Seven Saturdays, who's hypnotic world of futuristic ambiance wrapped the audience up in a soft haze back in Sept. 2010 at Bootleg, when I first saw them. It's almost therapy, and it's for free! There will be a lot of truly beautiful music on display here; the first band is like a choir and the latter is like an orchestra playing the soundtrack from some non-existent movie in your head. Comparisons to The Album Leaf are not unwarranted.
Jason Simon of Dead Meadow hits the stage at Silver Lake Lounge early (at nine) with a solo act that truly is a must-hear for fans of that great band. Also on the bill are Nightmare Air and Tennis System and it's nice to see that venue up and running with a full schedule again.
Thursday, December 6
- The Polyphonic Spree, Gustafer Yellowgold, Wild Wonders @ The Fonda Theatre
- Demetri Martin @ Largo at the Coronet
- Brendan James w/ Brian Jarvis, Kyle McNeill, The Far Country, Garland @ Hotel Cafe
- Biffy Clyro @ The Satellite (8 PM)
- Bad Weather California, Red Pony Clock, The Blank Tapes @ The Satellite (10 PM)
- EMT, health!, David Hermann, Quincy Blaque Trio @ Lot 1
- Alright Alright, The Cold Start, ZaubNasty @ Silver Lake Lounge
- JD McPherson, Bronco @ The Troubadour
- No Doubt, Best Coast @ Gibson Amphitheatre
- The Lonely Wild, The Far West, Freedom Fry, The Wild Reeds @ The Echo
- Charlie Wadhams, Cassandra @ Bootleg Bar
- M.H.V. 7" Record Release Show, The Natives, TraPsPs, No Knees @ The Smell
- Nightmail, Aftergloam, Facts On File, Clues and Codes @ El Cid
I was dazzled last Saturday night when I presented Alright Alright at my Lot 1 show. That's where I took the shot at right. It may have been one o'clock in the morning but they just knocked me dead. Overwhelming power-pop supremely well presented with a super-charismatic frontman in Michael Sweeney, and assist from a multi-talented crew in both the instrumental and vocal categories. They're back on stage again tonight at Silver Lake Lounge at ten. You should not miss this.
Whoa! Don your white robes and head over to The Fonda for the travelling quasi-cult-like band that resembles a rolling circus as much as a rock band, The Polyphonic Spree and they'll spray their good-vibes out over the audience and leave you feeling bolstered by positive energy.
The Lonely Wild have been one of the busiest bands this year and they always deliver a top-notch set, so expect tonight to be no different. They've polished their performance skills to a shiny brilliance with no extra fat. They are paired with another The Far West, whose strong vocal skills with a decided alt-country twang are an appropriate compliment at The Echo.
Friday, December 7
- Tony Lucca & Justin Hopkins, Erin Willett EP Release Show, Katrina Parker, Caitlin Linney
Record Release @ Hotel Cafe
- Bloc Party, Dum Dum Girls @ Hollywood Palladium
- David Bazan Band plays Perdo The Lion's Control, Stagnant Pools @ The Troubadour
- Kinky Friedman, Brian Molnar @ McCabe's
- Streetlight Manifesto, Hostage Calm, Lionize @ Mayan Theatre
- The Chris Robinson Brotherhood @ El Rey
- Blac Jesus & The Experimentalists, Ancient Animals, Spoken Folk @ Litos Corkroom
- Gaby Moreno w/ special guests, Katie Boeck, Zachary James @ Bootleg Bar
- Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Benefit w/ Moses Campbell, Wide Streets, Dream Boys, Steppe
People @ Pehrspace
- Kopecky Family Band @ The Satellite
- Pacific Air, Night Terrors of 1927, Black & @ The Echo
- The Diamond Light, Smooth Hound Smith, The Dustbowl Revival, Black Crystal Wolf Kids @ The Central
Moses Campbell are part of a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Benefit at Pehrspace to help drum up support for this worthy cause. The Dustbowl Revival play a set out at The Central as well and the Kopecky Family Band are at The Satellite on this fairly quiet Friday night.
Saturday, December 8
- KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2012 @ Gibson Amphitheatre
- Bob Weir solo acoustic, Jackie Greene @ The Wiltern
- Lindsay Rae Spurlock @ Room 5
- Owl Paws @ Origami Vinyl
- Uncle Daddy w/ special guests, Audio Absinthe Presents Jesse Woods, Ruthanne, The Walcotts, The Ragged Jubilee @ Hotel Cafe
- David Wax Museum @ McCabe's
- World/Inferno Friendship Society, O'Death, Bobby Joe Ebola @ The Troubadour
- Cosmic Gate, Emma Hewitt, Cary Brothers, W&W, Jerome Isma-Ae @ Hollywood Palladium
- Signal Hill, The Littlest Viking, Tad Piecka @ Pehrspace
- The Gaslamp Killer, MORRI$, Sun Araw, Dam-Funk @ The Central
- Turbo Fruits, White Lung, Big Eyes, Audacity @ Los Globos
- Yacht 10 Year Anniversary w/ Jacques Renault, David Scott Stone @ Echoplex
Lots of music today as the annual 2-day KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas gets underway at Gibson Amphitheatre, featuring a wide range of bands from Rise Against to Youngblood Hawke on today's menu. Grateful Dead's Bob Weir appears in an acoustic solo performance at The Wiltern. There's also a nice variety represented in various sets across town like Signal Hill at Pehrspace, Sun Araw at The Central and the Yacht 10th Anniversary Show at Echoplex. A few years back I saw an amazingly lively show by O'Death at Spaceland, so I can heartily recommend their show at The Troubadour while they're on tour with the equally genre-defying World/Inferno Friendship Society.
Sunday, December 9
- KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2012 @ Gibson Amphitheatre
- Garland Jeffreys @ McCabe's
- Tashaki Miyaki @ Origami Vinyl
- Benefit for Covenant House California w/ Act As If, Alexandra and the Starlight Band, Davis Fetter, Everyday Animals, JAYA, Story of the Running Wolf, Sweetwater and the Satisfaction @ The Satellite
- Blue Scholars, The Psychics, Brothers From Another @ The Troubadour
- Sweet & Tender, Hooligans, Flaamingos @ Echoplex
- The Babies, Grass Widow @ The Echo
- Dirt Dress, Mtns., No Paws, Norse Horse @ The Smell
The second day of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2012 has Jack White, Grouplove and Neon Trees to entice you over to the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, or if your out for something a little less HUGE, there's The Babies at The Echo and Dirt Dress at The Smell.