The Best Free Concerts in L.A. This December
Photo by Artemis Thomas-Hansard
Monday, December 1
Minimalist punk darlings Girlpool return to Los Angeles after touring Europe this month to kick off their Monday night residency at the Echo throughout December. Since we profiled them back in April, the duo's star has been on the rise — though catapulted may be more accurate — opening for Jenny Lewis and nabbing a deal with Wichita Recordings for the re-release of their self-titled debut EP. Trust us, these girls are kicking ass and taking names, and this may be your last chance to see them so that you can say "I knew them when..."
Mereki, Riot Horse, Cult Fever, Dark Waves
Dark Waves has been quickly gaining attention after his kinda-creepy-but-super-sexy track "I Don't Wanna Be In Love" was featured on the CW's The Vampire Diaries. RiotHorse, meanwhile, features the twin talents of singer-songwriters Madi Diaz and Emily Greene, who made a splash on the indie blogs with their first track, "Rabbit Hole."
Monday, December 8
In support of his album Flesh and Machine, Daniel Lanois — studio collaborator to U2, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno, who calls Lanois "just about the most musical person I've ever met" — brings his ambient electronic expertise to Amoeba Records for a free performance at 6 p.m., followed by a record signing.
Saturday, December 13
L.A.'s own jangly, dark-pop, flower children White Dove celebrate the release of their latest 7", which features "Caroline," the kind of song you might play while frolicking through a meadow in the rain (listen below), and the sad but lovely "Sarah's Song."
Courtesy of the artist
Tuesday, December 16
A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt — A Benefit for Parkinson's Research
Tragically, legendary singer Linda Ronstadt recently revealed how Parkinson's disease, which she was diagnosed with in August 2013, has "stolen her voice." Though Ronstadt may no longer be able to sing, several local artists are gathering at the Satellite on December 16 to pay tribute to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Presidential Medal of Arts award-winner by giving voice to her songs again.
Friday, December 19
Nayanna Holley (Holiday Jazz Trio)
The Original Farmers Market
As the daughter of Dorian Holley, who was once backing vocalist for Michael Jackson, Nayanna Holley has been a music industry veteran almost since birth. The R&B singer-songwriter, who herself has backed up such luminaries as Carrie Underwood, John Legend and Cee-Lo, brings a young spirit to an old jazz vibe with a voice that's both fresh and rooted in eras past.
Sunday, December 28
Celebrating the release of his fourth LP, Restoring Darkness, Christopher Payne, also known as noise-folk act Whitman, completes a trilogy of records focused on collaboration. But despite joining with the likes of EMA drummer Corey Fogel and Chelsea Wolfe/Gowns violist Ezra Buchla, Whitman maintains a desolate, distressed and solitary sound, evocative of a day wandering through a distant hinterland.
Monday, December 29
Kissing Cousins, Fakers
Local lo-fi rockers Kissing Cousins made a distinctively heavy shift from the reverb-drenched, Richard Swift-produced Pillar of Salt to their latest EP release, Unfortunate End, in which the group lyrically explores the tragic downfalls of four female protagonists. Joining the quartet for the final night of their December residency are Fakers, featuring members of iconic indie-punkers The Henry Clay People and local darlings Vanaprasta.