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
“There’s all of this amazing stuff happening in technology at the breakneck speed of light,” says Robertson, “and art will be created in the same way. Boulez really embraces this; he uses the technology to do things that without the technology would be impossible to realize, even if you had a whole army of musicians. It’s a bionic type of thing.”
“Concrete Frequency” contrasts these orchestral interpretations with another musical series, drawn from the world of contemporary rock, folk and pop. The series’ curator, Johanna Rees, brings in a widely varied crew, including Norwegian avant-romantic tunesmith Sondre Lerche, ex-Hüsker Dü singer-guitarist Bob Mould, Inara George of the Bird and the Bee, infamous gadfly arranger-composer-pianist Van Dyke Parks, John Doe, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, Biirdie, Zooey Deschanel, Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, and several others. They’ll perform on January 8 in a living-room, informal kind of format, each delivering single songs accompanied only by piano or guitar.
“The festival is centered on how the urban environment influences and inspires and affects the artist,” says Rees. “I asked artists who’ve all been living city to city, as touring artists; I chose not to go for any rock stars, as such. They’re continuing to tour and play live; at some level, they’re going in and out of cities anonymously and not really knowing where they are the next weekend or next day.
“It’s hearing what those types of things have to say in terms of how it affects their songwriting, and really having an urban existence. It’s not so much that I wanted them to write a specific song about Chicago or New Orleans; however that manifested itself in song, that’s what I wanted.”
An additional night of electronic music, on January 17, features perhaps two natural choices in a more literal sense: England’s laptop duo Plaid, and Cornelius, from Tokyo — the most densely populated city in the world. “His music is rooted in city life,” says Rees. “There’s such an edge to it, and such an unpredictability and spontaneity about it. If you went to Tokyo, and you had the soundtrack to that city, this is what it would sound like.”
For a complete schedule of “Concrete Frequency,” see www.laphil.com/tickets/calendar.cfm.