Greetings from Laurel Canyon!
There’s something about the quality of the darkness. Certainly tonight could not be as dark as the darkest nights of winter?
The second half of October is a magical time in California. While the east coast has the color of the changing seasons, the west coast has the “light.” Maybe it’s just me getting used to the transition from the westerly summertime sunsets to a quicker nightfall, but the nights this time of year seem darker.
And as all hallows rolls into the canyon, the psychedelic creatures of the night begin to emerge. It’s a wonderful time to have a party of the psychedelic kind, and for the next two weekends southern California is hosting two Psych Fests.
It’s Rocktober and we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see spaced out rockers White Denim at the Fonda on Tuesday, October 21—along with a show poster and a signed vinyl copy of Corsicana Lemonade. Not bad, hm?
This mind bending band continues to morph and change their sound, yet keeping one thing a constant—insanely good rock n’roll. This album is the perfect blend of the out-there-kitchen-sink feel of Fits, with the more tightly produced D.
The term “jam band” has become a dirty word in certain circles—ok, pretty much every circle outside of the jam band community—but what the term refers to is simply experimentation. What you hear on a White Denim album will be stretched, twisted, and morphed into a very different orchestration within a live show. This is a group of gentlemen with a complete mastery of their instruments who are not afraid to take liberties, although there’s no “noodling for noodling’s sake” in their set—guitar solos, yes—noodling, no.
Above all, White Denim is simply a guitar driven rock and roll band, and they could be the band that saves the term “jam band” from drowning in the granola.
This year for its fifth anniversary, Culture Collide, “a convergence of inspiration,” will not only be invading our fair city but also our sister to the north, San Francisco, as well as New York City with a series of stages and even more bands than years prior.
The festival’s name reflects its international line up and the bookers have searched far and wide to bring some of the most interesting underground scenes from around the globe to converge in one arena. It’s a rock ‘n’roll United Nations—and these are but a few of the bands we have our sights set upon.
MØ – 10:30PM at The Echoplex
There is something in the water in Scandinavia that is turning out perfecto electropop. I do love these songs and although some of MØ’s album can be thrown into the indistinguishable electronic pop pile—there is LIVE music going on here, including a horn section, which gives anyone an automatic 7, sight unseen in my book.
I have never seen her live, but anyone who can rock a side ponytail, a sports bra, and leggings, has a horn section, and is known to crowd surf on a regular basis may catapult themselves to an 8.5—sight unseen.
PHOTOS: TAMEA AGLE | Breaking in America is a VERY big deal for British bands. I think it’s the imperialist spirit coming from a country that at one time conquered nearly 50% of the world which has given UK bands the work ethic to cram into and play tiny clubs in U.S., despite possibly being quite used to sold out arena crowds and private planes at home. Kasabian’s first album came out ten years ago and ten years of crushing live shows and excellent albums have earned them the coveted feather in the hat of being a Glastonbury headliner. So, what’s left to do after that? Whatever the F*&^k they want!
Not to knock my current hometown of Los Angeles but it has been notorious for relatively un-energetic live music crowds—but this crowd was full of fans, Americans, and some rowdy British ex-pats.
Kasabian did not mess around or think about scaling down their arena sized set for the Wiltern Theatre. They kicked off an all out aural assault launching into “Bumblebee” from the recently released 48:13. Outside of their natural habitat (of playing huge shows in Europe and Australia) they did have to work a little bit harder to earn the energy of the audience—and here’s the thing with artists this seasoned—they know and have perfected the art of working a crowd. Vocalist Tom Meighan and guitarist Sergio Pizzorno effortlessly traded off to get the crowd going.
Greetings from Laurel Canyon!
Back in the Canyon from NYC for one more blast of El Nino 2014. I have to say, the weather is fairly impressive. Warm, clear, and breezy—very nice if you were on holiday. Although this week’s Idelic Hour inspiration has little to do with fair weather, the mix does riff on a holiday.
It’s actually the second week in a row where I’ve found myself meditating on the Jewish high holidays. Although I’m far from a practicing Jew, I do like the concept of a “day of atonement.” OK, I’ll refer to it as a “restart.”
I also like the idea of Yum Kippur. Taking time out to remember those relatives and loved ones who have passed away over the following year is cool. This week’s Idelic Hour is a musical reflection on a number of my favorite musicians who passed away over the last year.
Greetings from New York City!
October has always been my favorite month of the year in my hometown of NYC. Great city weather, the changing of the seasons, and Halloween. Along with Spring, it’s just a great time to hit the streets!
As a matter of fact, I only find myself here this week for a couple of days. Running these city streets always reminds me of the those sounds of …yes, the ’70s —a time when “boom boxes” were one of the hottest street trends. In those days I hung out in a schoolyard, smoking thin joints (pins), and developing my jump shot, hoping to break into the street ball game.
The sounds were dominated by a “box” owned by a wiry character named Larry. His claim to fame was he was on the road crew for the Commodores (or so he boasted).
Maybe it’s the unnatural heat of fall in Los Angeles, or the encouragement of the mass consumption of beer with the highly celebrated and numerous Octoberfests around the city, or the winding down of the festival season that brings a heavy concentration of rock to LA. This is the first installment of some of the most Rocktober shows this month.
The War on Drugs | October 2 and 3 at the Fonda | Last time the War on Drugs were in town they did two sold out nights at the Troubadour (a 650 person room) and now they are doubling that and moving up to the 1,300 cap Fonda and success could not be more well deserved for a band who put out one of the best records of the year.
It’s atmospheric but feels deeply personal, and I cannot wait to see how big their wall of sound will grow as they move to larger venues.
Kasabian | October 8 at the Wiltern | What do you do after headlining Glastonbury? Manifest Destiny my friends. Kasabian are headed west to tear their way through our amber waves of grain and conquer America.
Yes America, Kasabian is a BIG BIG band, maybe not here in the States yet, but everywhere else in the world they are massive and have a colossal anthemic sound to match.
KELSEY HENG FOR TVD | Friday night at the Troubadour, the sold out venue witnessed nearly two hours of a gritty, blues-drenched rock revival. With plenty of vintage ’70s live performance nostalgia, the five-piece Long Beach rockers, Rival Sons manage to bring relevance and a new modern perspective to the best aspects of rock and roll.
Jay Buchanan leads in classic rock manner with a charisma steeped in gut wrenching attitude and style. Audience members in a rushed effort to place some godlike comparison, call out to the singer as Jim Morrison. And certainly the comparison holds, as Buchanan sets the tone for each song as a unique and forceful hypnotic experience.
In leading into the anarchic anthem “Burn Down Los Angeles,” Buchanan used his control to get the crowd in a frenzy and cheering for Long Beach—a part of LA but very much separate and different than these outside streets of Hollywood.
Greetings from Laurel Canyon!
By way of the Jewish calendar, today is the first day of 5763. I’ve never actually been a “practicing Jew.” With my wife and son being part Cherokee Indian, I like to think of our family as “Schmo-hawks” of a “spiritual kind.”
Yes, I’m happily a very new age Californian. I claim myself a spiritual being while riding the 134 to the 5 to the 605 to the 405 to the 73 to the 55 to the sea. There I look west towards the grand Pacific Ocean to meditate on the past year and pray for the future.
I do it in my own way and thank my Jewish ancestors for keeping track all these years. Rosh Hashanha 5763 reminds me to stop working, emails, and making radio shows for a day and reflect…
Ok, I did that yesterday.
Every now and again we find ourselves in the audience at an event so special and unique that the experience easily defies the normal concert going affair. Such was the case last month as we took in Big Star’s #1 Record and Third performed in their entirety at Washington, DC’s premier venue, the 9:30 Club. As we wrote back in August:
Once a decade or eon or so, an LP comes along that is simply too tortured and nakedly honest for human ears. 1978’s twisted and raw Third/Sister Lovers is such an LP. The final offspring of the seventies’ incarnation of Memphis, Tennessee power pop band Big Star—which never dented the charts during its lifetime but has achieved cult superstardom in the years since—Third is anything but a catchy power pop record.
As such, Third is every bit as nakedly powerful a work of art as Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Crack Up,” or heroin- and booze-ravaged Charlie Parker’s tortured 1946 Dial Records take on “Lover Man,” which he couldn’t even stand on his own to record and which was followed by a long “vacation” in California’s Camarillo State Mental Hospital.