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 Buddyhead Holiday Party at the Hotel Café
The local indie label Buddyhead presents this “casual and intimate evening” with so many noteworthy musicians that listing them all would fill up my word limit. Potential highlights include the shambling psychedelic indie-rockers Dead Meadow, the relatively subtler psychedelia of Xu Xu Fang, the Entrance Band, Alain Johannes, former Marilyn Manson guitarist Jeordie White, the Duke Spirit (see Friday pick), former Black Rebel Motorcycle Club drummer Nick Jago and a whole slew of musicians loosely affiliated with the sprawling desert-rock scene (Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Sweethead and Birthday Twin, for starters). The intriguing lure is that most of these hard-&-heavy musicians will tone it town and reveal their softer, more reflective personas in low-key acoustic settings. (The serious drawback is that there’s likely to be a surfeit of sentimental, sappy/crappy holiday songs.) Since many of these performers are friends who’ve worked in an eclectic variety of past musical projects, it’s likely that there will be some unusual collaborations and combinations tonight, as well as some even bigger-name guest stars. The whole shebang starts early, at 7 p.m. (Falling James)
Also playing Sunday:
DAEDELUS, BUSDRIVER, ENTRANCE BAND at the Echo, 4 p.m.; THE VAQUETONES, B-STARS, DAVE GLEASON at the Redwood Bar & Grill, noon; AWOL ONE, DADDY KEV at Sam’s, 7 p.m.; ALL OR NOTHING HC, THE OUTSKIRTS, ANUS KINGS at the Smell, 6 p.m.; SUMMER DARLING, CORREATOWN at Spaceland.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22
The Polyamorous Affair, Vaginals, Halloween Swim Team at the Echo
For some strange reason, right now, as of this very moment, Manimal Vinyl appears to have absconded with the scene, i.e., they just plain own it. All of a sudden they popped up, all these way forward-looking, aesthetically challenging and sort of weird-but-rocking bands making the rounds, all having at the very least some kind of connection with Manimal, such as the conceptually brilliant Hecuba, the twangily polyrhythmic Rainbow Arabia, the wickedly exotic Gangi, plus the Chapin Sisters, Winter Flowers and a lotta others. The label also did that excellent tribute to Madonna compilation album called Through the Wilderness in 2007, and just out is this great tribute to the Cure called Perfect as Cats, which features many of the above-named up-&-comers and, needless to say, loads of others. I could go on, and on, but the point is that in Manimal’s ongoing residency at the Echo you have just about a 100-percent guarantee of witnessing something very special and nascent and just-about-to-be, which sensations the Polyamorous Affair, Vaginals and Halloween Swim Team will tonight ladle on with relish. Most likely, it’ll be very, very good, in other words. (John Payne)
Also playing Monday:
LIL WAYNE, T-PAIN, KEYSHIA COLE, GYM CLASS HEROES at Gibson Amphitheatre; TIN DRUM at Pershing Square, noon; JAKE LA BOTZ at the Redwood Bar & Grill; THE MOVIES, VOXHAUL BROADCAST at Spaceland.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23
Mike Stinson at Redwood Bar & Grill
The Virginia-born, Los Angeles–based honky-tonk man Mike Stinson has not one, but two tremendous advantages: He doesn’t sound like anyone but himself, and he writes songs with an economical yet communicative style worthy of a Harlan Howard or a Hank Sr. With his slightly cracked tone and tattered-at-the-edges phrasing, Stinson has an intensely expressive style — a mixture of offbeat perspective and heart-on-the-sleeve vulnerability — that’s singular to the point of being weird, but it serves as the perfect instrument to put across his frequently despondent ballads. He doesn’t jump in with the clownish zeal so frequently employed by his, er, colleagues, nor does he rely on recognized precedent. Instead, he seems to approach country with an almost jazz-type head, all instinct and emotion, and that allows him an unusually wide-open creative freedom. He has two first-rate albums (Last Fool at the Bar and Jack of All Heartaches) under his belt (and, mystifyingly, under the commercial radar) and a new one, cut down in Texas, on the way. Stinson’s no-bullshit, slow-and-steady legitimacy remains as refreshing and impressive as ever. (Jonny Whiteside)
Also playing Tuesday:
JON LOVITZ at the Canyon, 7 p.m.; CAMP FREDDY, DRIVE A, THE LEO PROJECT at the Roxy.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25
Good for the Jews at the Echoplex
There’s a debate going on today, and it’s not just about why we are celebrating the birth of Jesus on Christmas (the baby was a freaky Gemini). And it’s not even about the hypothetical question of whether he would come back as a Jew or a Christian. No, today the Jews have enough to argue about (and re-argue over a second helping of Chinese food): Like, is it the second, the fourth or fifth day of Hanukkah? Who knows if the music/comedy duo Good for the Jews will address those issues, but Rob Tannenbaum has another question to deal with: “Do Jews travel all the way from the Westside to Echo Park?” He and his partner, David Fagin, are hoping that hipster Heebs will come out since the price of gas is down; after all, they went down to Florida to get their grandparents to vote for Obama. Despite that win, GFTJ’s “Never Again” also means never forget, and their latest single, “Boca,” offers up the line “This is where the GOP stole an election, and half the population can’t get an erection.” Yes, it’s gonna be that kind of holiday! (Daniel Siwek)
Also playing Thursday:
CARL SAUNDERS & THE ALL-GRINCH BAND at Charlie O’s.