I love LA. Love it love it love it (except when Indie 103 gets tossed off the airwaves). One reason: nights like tonight, when the music offerings are so far-flung and wide-open that my proto-punk gene is being pulled one direction, my turntablist strand is being pulled another, and my disco-house booty is wanting to check the beats.
Three things going on tonight that make me love LA:
The Monks were a bunch of American G.I.'s living in Germany in the 1960s, and created one of the great classics of the garage era, an amazing track called "Black Monk Time." It's an insane song, way more punk than, say, the Talking Heads or Patti Smith, because you can hear the chaos and you can feel the danger. (Don't get me wrong -- I adore the Heads and, um, Smith.) Tonight the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax will screen the documentary, Monks: The Transatlantic Feedback, which tells the story of the Monks and their time spent in Hamburg in the 1960s. Check the trailer above to understand.
Across town at Little Temple, Root Down will celebrate the release of DJ Dusk's Root Down Soundclash DVD with another in their clashes, this one between Haircut and Dibiase. What's a sound clash? Check out the clip above, or read about the history of the series from one of the co-founders, Miles Tackett (he of Breakestra and Funky Sole, among others):
"One night in 2001 after the Rootdown party, sitting on the couch listening to some jamaican sounds, the late great Dj Dusk turned to his boy Music Man Miles (Breakestra band leader & Rootdown co-founder) & said"We need to have a beat maker soundclash at Rootdown like they do in J.A., but with beat makers on drum machines going beat for beat instead of Selectahs!".they decided that while whatever happens naturally in the way of braggin',boastin' & friendly rivalry or crowd response,there would not be a winner. More of an exhibition of how it's done in front of the folks & the added flavor of hearing unreleased beats unveiled live onstage for the first time.
"That was it & for the next hour or so they worked out the details & made wish lists of who'd they'd like to see live on stage .On the top of the list were folks like Cut Chemist, Shadow, Madlib, Pete Rock, Premier, J Dilla & on... Soon after, the Rootdown Soundclash round #1 was scheduled featuring Cut Chemist & Madlib.
The anticipation was felt in the weeks leading up with word spreading wide and after honorary referee DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat junkies tossed the coin giving Madlib the decision to kick the first beat or not, it was till the breaka dawn.
Round #2 followed the next year, pairing Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am with People Under the Stairs' Thes One. Two years later Stones throw records beat maker OHNO went head to head with Dj Exile. Fortunately, these soundclashes were caught on tape by hip hop documentary filmmaker B+ ...
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Unfortunately in 2006 we lost our Brother DJ Dusk (Tarek Captan) tragically at the age of 31 after he was run over by a drunk driver. In the spirit of Dusk's "We're not done,We're not done" quotable quotes, we are compelled to keep the Rootdown & the Rootdown soundclash movin'!"
And, finally, for the disco house freaks out there, Scion is hosting one of its great DJ nights, this time at the Roxy featuring newest DFA signing Yacht, John MacLean of the Juan MacLean, Tim & Tim of DFA, and Classixx.