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 been a bit of carping that this year's Sunset Junction fest seriously skimps on the real rock & roll — you know, the REAL rock & roll. Well, fret not, fiends, 'cause Spaceland's proffering this super-rocking alternative of the three most authentically rocking and indeed rolling rock-rock-rock bands that L.A.'s ever rocked forth fearsomely. The mighty BellRays bring you the ferally ferocious garage and soul revue featuring vocal powerhouse Lisa Kekaula. These Inland Empire vets haven't been seen 'round these parts too much lately (they're arena-level in Europe), so grab this chance to feel 'em right in your face, and do locate a copy of the BellRays' latest, Hard, Sweet and Sticky (Anodyne). Nickel & Dime artist Angus Khan reshapes the universe with towering twin guitars and wicked-witted frontman Dirty D in a ruff 'n' rocktastic ride on the boss hog of ... ROCK. The Superbees trade in Stooges/MC5/Saintstabulous garage & grease shock & roll, catchy/melodic division. Anyone with a Sunset Junction wristband gets in free; tickets for those without are a mere five bucks. (John Payne)
EATS TAPES, C.L.A.W.S. AT SHOW CAVE
If you're already familiar with L.A.'s organic rhythm renegades Lucky Dragons, it may be easiest to imagine a darker version thereof — something that dwells inside warehouses whose insides never see light and that, after dark, become the stuff of underground raves. That's Eats Tapes, the San Francisco–based duo of Marijke Jorritsma and Gregory Zifcak, a pair of electronicists who enlist modified video-game systems, bent drum machines, hardware sequencers, synthesizers and cassette decks to their undoubtedly evil ends. The songs like "Yes You Didn't" and "Face Shredder" straddle the gap between trance thump and experimental skronk, and it's no wonder they've collaborated with Kid 606's Tigerbeat6 label, home to the likes of Kevin Blechdom and Drop the Lime. Fellow Bay Arean C.L.A.W.S. cuts a more subtle swath between those same influences, delivering something more minimal and less prone to unexpected freak-outs. Think Matthew Dear, but made for an Oakland house party. (Chris Martins)
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Category: Community Venues
Region: Los Feliz
2200 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Out of Town
Also playing Saturday: AL GREEN, THE POINTER SISTERS (see Q&A) at the Greek Theatre; BEN SOLLEE at Bootleg Theater; BOSTICH + FUSSIBLE, MR. VALLENATO at California Plaza; USELESS KEYS at Casey's; DESCARGA at El Cid; KAZAI REX, BODY PARTS, RABBITS RUNNING at Echo Curio; LOS CAMINANTES at Gibson Amphitheatre; SARAH JAFFE at Hotel Café; LA SANTA CECILIA at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; TIGER IN THE NIGHT at Long Beach Terrace Theater; HEPCAT at the Music Box; ROBEDOOR, GENTLE, WOOM, FORMER GHOSTS at the Smell.
SUNSET JUNCTION STREET FAIR IN SILVER LAKE
Day two's highlights at this weekend festival are all over the map sonically, ranging from the dub-soaked pronouncements of Jamaican reggae kingpin Lee "Scratch" Perry to the trippy Americana of the appealingly folksy collective Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Texas post-punk trio Girl in a Coma, despite a name inspired by a Smiths song, doesn't really sound much like Morrissey, pairing singer Nina Diaz's romantic musings with soaring, euphoric alterna-rock riffs. Mayer Hawthorne & the County are steeped in soul, while local rodeo sweethearts Leslie & the Badgers write great pop songs that are influenced by Dolly Parton yet still sound fresh and immediate. The subtle, contemplative R&B/soul explorations of Meshell Ndegeocello might not seem like the most obvious sound track for a sunny outdoor festival, but the immensely talented singer-bassist also has a freaky side with her gorgeously adventurous remakes of songs by Jimi Hendrix. The day's lineup also includes sets from Australian singer Sam Sparro, Long Beach acid-rockers Crystal Antlers, indie-rockers the Deadly Syndrome, longtime R&B singers the Whispers and many others. (Falling James)
Also playing Sunday: BOATS, ENLOW, MEKA LEKA HI'S, CUM STAIN at Echo Curio; JOHN MAYER at the Hollywood Bowl; THE SPAZMATICS at Key Club; AGENT RIBBONS at Origami Vinyl; CHRISTIAN SCOTT at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; BEACH BOYS at Pechanga Showroom Theatre; YOUNG THE GIANT, HAIM, KITTEN at the Troubadour.
TWILIGHT SLEEP AT THE SILVERLAKE LOUNGE
The local band Twilight Sleep live up to their name with a shadowy sound that feels fuzzy and foggy, as if one is trapped between the worlds of reality and dreams. Their new EP, Elk, glows with synth-heavy tracks like "Comme Il Faut" and "Broken Record," which combine the atmospheric wash of New Order with singer Tracy Marcellino's yearning lyrics. The self-described "chronic daydreamer" lists "robots, the light sculptures of Olafur Eliasson and airplane cockpits" as her chief influences, and the band's icy soundscapes are spacey yet danceable. Although Marcellino hails from San Francisco, there is something geographically untraceable in her diction and melodies, with the group sometimes sounding more European than Californian. This moody sense of dislocation is what sets Twilight Sleep apart from most local indie rockers. (Falling James)
FOL CHEN AT THE ECHO
When we last tuned in, Highland Park's arcanely artistic Fol Chen had just released remix EP The Holograms (featuring Teen Daze, Primary 1, Hard Mix and FUR) and a wondrous, weird video watchable on YouTube. This had further warped the bizarrely beautiful bounties of their recent album Part II: The New December (Asthmatic Kitty), which itself had segued smoothly from the schizo saga set amid crackedly harmonized and steamily synth-strewn stew they'd begun on 2009's infamous Part One: John Shade, Your Fortune's Made. The latter tells a story too complicated to get into here but brought giant loads of brain-pinching textural/textual play amid several supremely hummable toe-tappers. Fol Chen are very advanced, musically, and they've got a sophisticated humor. For example, last week, audience members came onstage to record live samples for their next album, and soon after, a press release announced, "Fol Chen Replaces Itself With Metal Band, Singers Found on Craigslist!" Meaning that the band will wrap up their August Monday-night residency at the Echo by featuring Viscera, in performance of the music of Fol Chen. Or something like that. (John Payne)