Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Free Music

Here's Who to See at Echo Park Rising

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Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 3:54 AM
  • Photo by Logan White
  • Matthewdavid
Now in its fourth year, Echo Park Rising isn't held in one big corralled area; instead, it takes place in some 35 different spots, all over Echo Park.

There will be great food, comedy, art, and, of course live music, 300 artists or so in total. It runs today through Sunday, and it's all free!

Here's the complete schedule. Below you'll find our specific suggestions for what you should check out. 

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Bar Sinister's sweet things. - LINA LECARO
  • Lina Lecaro
  • Bar Sinister's sweet things.

Bar Sinister knows how to celebrate! Gothly delights and great goodie bags will be on hand for the dark and decadent bash’s 16th anniversary this Saturday, including free tees designed via fan contest (Suede Souls of Carved Souls won), plus sultry swag from Medusa’s Makeup, the Stock Room, Shrine, Vampire Freaks, Pan Gallery and more.

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Fanatics! This is our annual deep dive into Punk Rock, affectionately known as our Case of the Punks broadcast. It is a thing of greatness. We tried to pack it as full as we could. Hopefully, we got all these songs in, if not, maybe next time.

As you can see from the brevity of the notes, I am extremely short on time and running at things as fast as I can. I have shoot days and press this week, no days off, so I have keep it together and not be late.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Last Night

Le Butcherettes - The Roxy - August 13, 2014

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Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 8:49 AM
  • Photo by Artemis Thomas-Hansard
  • Le Butcherettes
Le Butcherettes
The Roxy
August 13, 2014

Usually when a singer stage dives into the crowd and surfs on their back while playing their instrument, it's a show highlight. For Le Butcherettes, who opened for Mars Volta spin-off band Antemasque last night, it was just the beginning.

Since forming in 2007, Le Butcherettes have become notorious for their borderline-insane on-stage antics. Raw meat, fake blood, and 1950s housewife attire have been staples of the Mexican garage punk band's performances, led by frontwoman Teri Suarez, who's even been known to violently cut her own hair while playing. 

She recently began to distance herself from her gory Teri Gender Bender persona, so, on the heels of the act's new album Cry Is For the Flies, it wasn't clear what the show last night  would entail. 

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[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]

I am in my second week in Las Vegas. It is a hell of a thing to be getting familiar with intersections and places. It is a big city in a small town. Besides a 72-hour timeout for an injection of culture in Los Angeles several days ago — when I interviewed the great Syrian musician Omar Souleyman at the Grammy Museum — I have been here.

To feel the full effect of Las Vegas, I think you have to get off the street and spend as much time as you can in an air-conditioned, windowless, dimly lit hotel casino, until you lose track of hours and minutes altogether. This gives one the potential to enter into the sanity-challenging reality bend that Hunter S. Thompson experienced in his Fear and Loathing period.

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The Zelig of West Coast Hip-Hop

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Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 3:32 AM
  • Photo credit: Deviyon WIlliams
  • A.W.
You've likely never heard of A.W., but he's a Zelig-like figure who was there every step of the way during the West Coast hip-hop glory years of the '80s and '90s.

The man born Anthony Williams knew Ice-T "when he was stealing cars," palled around with Dr. Dre in his pre-NWA days when he was performing at Willowbook club Eve After Dark, and fended off Suge Knight's blood-thirsty German shepherd at Death Row Records. 

He also helped birth the genre itself on our coast. 

Along with an impresario named Duffy Hooks III, he launched Rappers Rapp Disco, which spawned the hip-hop song regarded as the first from the West Coast to get airplay, Disco Daddy and Captain Rapp's "The Gigolo Rapp," which you can hear below.

The 1981 track is so old that folks hadn't even decided how to spell "rap" yet.

He and Duffy also helped establish a viable national distribution network for local hip-hop music, which doesn't sound sexy, but was critical in helping L.A. artists establish themselves. 

On Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Williams hosts the seventh annual West Coast Hip-Hop Awards, honoring Tupac, Nate Dogg, and Eazy-E. Scheduled live performances include Too $hort, Spice 1 and Kokane. 

Ahead of the show, we talked to A.W. about early West Coast rap. 

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See Saturday: Smokey Robinson - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Photo courtesy of the artist
  • See Saturday: Smokey Robinson
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, August 15

The Sonics
If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were really about rock & roll, The Sonics would have been one of the very first bands inducted. The ’60s garage rockers from Tacoma managed to inspire not one but two separate musical genres — punk rock and grunge — and such disparate folks as The Cramps, Bruce Springsteen, The Pandoras, The White Stripes, The Fall, L7, Nirvana and The Flaming Lips have either covered their songs or cited them as primary inspirations. Practically every original tune (“The Witch,” “Strychnine,” “Shot Down,” “Psycho”) on their landmark first two albums now is considered a classic, although it took the mainstream rock establishment nearly two decades to appreciate them. On the group’s new split 7-inch single with their acolytes Mudhoney, Gerry Roslie howls “Bad Betty” with a Little Richards swagger, prodded along by Rob Lind’s leering sax and Larry Parypa’s savage guitar. —Falling James

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Freeway Rick Ross - KRISTIAN C. LIBMAN
  • Kristian C. Libman
  • Freeway Rick Ross
Freeway Rick Ross was one of the most successful and famous drug dealers in American history. In the '80s he sold an estimated near-billion dollars of cocaine.

The South Central former kingpin inspired not one but two rappers to name themselves after him, Philadelphia heavyweight Freeway, and Miami hitmaker Rick Ross, who is literally a heavyweight, and whom the real Ross sued over his name. 

Things don't look good for that case, but after being released from prison in 2009 following 13 years inside, things are looking better for Ross himself. Having exited the drug game, he now does speaking gigs at fancy schools around the country, and though until he went to prison he was illiterate he recently self-published a memoir, Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography, with Cathy Scott. It seems destined for Hollywood. Nick Cannon's apparently interested in optioning it.

The book is a good read, and taught me something new about the man: He was a high school tennis star. Hipped to the game by a generous local psychiatrist who bought him equipment named Doc — Ross won't divulge his real name — he eventually used his aunt's address to enroll at Dorsey High School, where he became one of the best singles players on a team stacked with talent. 

Recruited by Long Beach State, Ross's career was derailed when the coach found out he couldn't read. He eventually started selling drugs, buying wholesale from a Nicaraguan who funneled money to that country's rebel Contras. The CIA looked the other way, the Nicaraguan ratted on him (which is how Ross ended up behind bars), and a groundbreaking journalist killed himself. 

Boring! What I wanted to know, as a former high school regional champion myself, was: Could Ross still play tennis?

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Rapper/ reality TV star Chanel West Coast - PHOTO BY RYAN ORANGE
  • Photo by Ryan Orange
  • Rapper/ reality TV star Chanel West Coast
It’s a Tuesday afternoon in late June, and rapper/reality TV star Chanel West Coast is walking briskly through the Grove, tossing her straightened blond, sorority-girl hair, when a teenager sitting at La Piazza Ristorante Italiano shouts out, “Chanel!”

When she sees it’s a young fan, someone who probably has seen her on MTV’s Ridiculousness or Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory rather than streaming her rap songs, she continues walking.

“These people that watch our MTV shows, they’re not music fans,” she mutters in her raspy baby voice. “They’re people that are lazy on their couch and want to watch funny videos or whatever.”

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  • Photo courtesy of Roc Nation
  • DJ Mustard
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. Follow him on twitter and also check out his archives.]

The HARD Summer electronic dance music festival was only slightly different from the South Central high school pep rallies, West L.A. Sweet 16s and ’hood house parties DJ Mustard once rocked. The contrast between them and HARD, which took place earlier this month, was primarily shades of color, considering the latter’s preponderance of white sorority girls in neon bikinis and fishnet stockings hoisted onto the shoulders of fist-pumping bros.

But all good parties are created equal. Since he was an 11-year-old apprentice for his uncle, DJ Tee, the 24-year-old born Dijon McFarlane has mastered the art of crowd movement. The radio-monopolizing producer understands what you want to hear, before you have the chance to request it.

“Apart from working on music, I’d rather play big festivals than almost anything else,” Mustard says, speaking from the wood-paneled studio where he’s recording near the Beverly Center, a few days before setting off a riotous dance party at HARD.

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