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
POWER OF THE RIFF FESTIVAL AT THE ECHO AND ECHOPLEX
Never has the promise of an entire day filled with absolute gloom and utter despair sounded so damn enticing. The Power of the Riff Festival is a free, all-ages affair that promises to deliver 12 hours of hard, heavy, doom-y music. Naturally the event is put on by L.A.'s own Southern Lord Records, the label founded by Sunn O))) guitarist Greg Anderson. His older band, the quintessential late-'90s stoner-metal band Goatsnake, will be one of the headliners, riding high on a set of supersweet deluxe vinyl reissues that includes 1999's Sabbath-inspired Vol. 1. The label will be hosting a pop-up shop at the event, naturally, and so will the likewise thrash-loving Tee Pee Records, and Vacation Vinyl, the Silver Lake record store co-owned by Southern Lord's (friendly) cross-town rivals at Hydra Head Records. The other big name on the bill is the deliciously sludgy and quite legendary Corrosion of Conformity III, alongside Nashville hardcore pioneers From Ashes Rise, Iceburn spinoff Eagle Twin, and L.A.'s own blues bashers Night Horse. (Chris Martins)
3790 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Category: Music Venues
Region: Out of Town
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Category: Community Venues
Region: Los Feliz
W.A.C.O. AT THE ECHO
Singer-pianist Steve Gregoropoulos has always been a little bit ahead of the curve. Back in the mid-'80s, when he fronted the Boston band the Wild Stares, he continually pushed the group into more adventurously atonal and, eventually, heavily electronic experiments, even as presumed alterna-rock rivals like the Dream Syndicate were indulging in safe-as-milk Eagles regurgitations. When the rest of the underground eventually caught up to him, and electronica became commonplace in the rock scene, Gregoropoulos stubbornly unplugged the Wild Stares (who'd relocated to L.A. in the early '90s) and reconfigured the group as the Wildstares Acoustic Chamber Orchestra (W.A.C.O.). While symphonic-style rock bands are commonplace these days, W.A.C.O. was a startling shock in the supposedly hip Silver Lake scene because Gregoropoulos didn't use strings and cellos for lush ornamentation. Instead, he paired his wickedly subversive lyrics (such as the cinematic revisionism of "Take Your Gun to the Movies") with ambitiously artful string arrangements that were more edgy than prettified. There was never a band quite like W.A.C.O. — then or now — and tonight at Part Time Punks they make a rare return to the stage, with Gregoropoulos promising to reprise the original arrangements from W.A.C.O.'s brilliant, if overlooked, early albums Darling Clementine and Sylvania. (Falling James)
Also playing Sunday: LISA LOEB, ALICE WALLACE at Coach House; LOS ANGELES JEWISH SYMPHONY at Ford Amphitheatre; MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER, HONEYMOON at Grove of Anaheim; RENT feat. WAYNE BRADY, VANESSA HUDGENS et al. at the Hollywood Bowl; MAGNOLIA MEMOIR at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; BLONDIE, GOREVETTE at Pacific Amphitheatre; JOHN WIESE, CORE OF THE COALMAN, MINCEMEAT OF TENSPEED, HIGH CASTLE, KIT at the Smell; YOUNG THE GIANT, THE UNION LINE, GROUP LOVE at the Troubadour; CABO VERDE CRETCHEU at the Waterfront.
WHITE ARROWS, LOST IN THE TREES, WAIT. THINK. FAST., TOMORROW'S TULIPS, VANAPRASTA AT SPACELAND
Current residency holder White Arrows is a fine proposition taken all on its own. With ties to local indie-psych legends Dios (Malos), the band specializes in a sometimes blues-informed brand of out-there pop, but this sextet is its own beast, swirling bits of electronic dance and clean Strokesy garage rock into the mix. Even so, the presence of Chapel Hill's Lost in the Trees (see Saturday) sweetens the deal immeasurably. Also playing: local cinematic post-punkers Wait. Think. Fast., hippie-folksters Vanaprasta and Costa Mesa sand-gazers Tomorrow's Tulips. (Chris Martins)
BRAHMS AND SMETANA AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
The L.A. Phil with guest conductor Bramwell Tovey and pianist Stephen Hough tackle Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 and Smetana's The Moldau and The Bartered Bride Overture; Three Dances. Tovey, music director of the Vancouver Symphony, acts as principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and offers particular expertise in operatic, choral, British and contemporary repertoire. A prize-winning composer, he also happens to be an excellent jazz pianist. Hough is the highly regarded pianist-composer-journalist and MacArthur Fellowship recipient (2001) who records prodigiously, has been nominated for several Grammys and is quite eager and unafraid to take on behemoth works such as tonight's Brahms piano concerto or Czech composer Smetana's "nature and nationalism" tone poem, The Moldau. (John Payne)
Also playing Tuesday: TOTAL ABUSE, RATS EYES, SEMEN SUNDAE, SPIDER FEVER at the Smell; THE RICHARD GLASER JAZZ BAND at Waterfront.
LADY GAGA AT STAPLES CENTER
If it's true that "Alejandro" represents Lady Gaga's superobvious bid at her own "La Isla Bonita" — and there's no doubting that it does — then consider this: Where Madonna took four years to go from her first big hit to her Latin-crossover jam, Gaga's only taken two. That's a remarkably speedy ascent, even when you take into account how completely the Internet has overhauled the worldwide star-making process. Judging by reports from the road, Gaga's current arena show — the Monster Ball, as she calls it — suits a diva of her proportions, with backup dancers, numerous costume changes, a flamethrowing piano and what Rolling Stone described as "a fountain of blood." Oh, and a new song, too, in the form of "You and I," which sounds like it was inspired by the singer's duet with Elton John at this year's Grammy Awards. New York's trash-glammy Semi Precious Weapons open. Also Thurs. (Mikael Wood)