By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The Gossip’s set was satisfyingly gem-packed, and, more important, they doled out these kuntry-punk blues-bent jeremiads like it was the first time they ever played ’em. Per usual, the smoldering sexuality of Ditto’s preternaturally powerful lungs cut to the bone. Oh, and when the Gossip say, “We have two more songs,” they really mean it, man. There was no encore, despite five minutes of chanting and stomping. The band’s indifference elicited some boos from the yahoos, but those folks are always the first ones to come running back. (Andrew Lentz)
YERBA BUENAat the Century Club, July 25
The silicone wasteland that is Century City’s Century Club is no environment for the sweaty bedlam of New Yorkers Yerba Buena. Yet here they were on a Friday night, a side attraction in a self-congratulatory fest thrown by Latina magazine that attracted most of Latino L.A.’s beautiful people but apparently none of the sonically smart ones.
The nonet started their set as they do every performance, with wailing Santería incantations, bubbling conga smacks, and the seraphim horns of saxophonist Ron Blake and trumpeter Rashawn Ross heralding the twitching entrance of singers Xiomara Laugart, Cucu Diamantes and the bearded Gumby known as El Chino. And then the fun really began: Each Yerba Buena member individually could launch a thousand salsa combos, but together they formed a delicious dialectic. The instrumentalists’ let’s-tumble-across-the-Caribbean jumbles created more than enough fuel to propel Laugart’s, Diamantes’ and Chino’s jiggles — the trio must have danced the equivalent of a 5K run by night’s end. These Supremes of Afro-Cuban fusion sang as if they’d just arrived from Batista-era Cuba, sidestepped in choreographed anarchy, and concluded the clacking “Electric Boogaloo” with Laugart showing the world how fast she could fire her piston hips. Harness Yerba Buena’s energy and California would never suffer a brownout again.
But no one in the oh-so-exclusive audience seemed to give a fuck. Sure, the dance floor became progressively steamier as Yerba Buena delved into their hip-hop/rumba repertoire. But even more people bypassed the band for the chance to read Latina’s sophomoric articles and drink rivers of booze to accompany their complimentary Twix bars. The supreme insult to Yerba Buena, however, came when the curtains inexplicably closed during a hurricane-ish Blake solo — and no one raised a fuss. Canned DJ inanities soon filled the room, and then the chuppies cared. (Gustavo Arellano)