Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Wrap-Up

Our Most Popular Stories of 2012

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Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Elena Vladi from Demona Mortiss - PHOTO BY W.B. FONTENOT
  • Photo by W.B. Fontenot
  • Elena Vladi from Demona Mortiss
It was a great year for the L.A. Weekly music section and our West Coast Sound blog. On the print side, we offered well-reported profiles, news stories, and essays that helped our readers better understand the music they love. On the blog we wrote compulsively-readable pieces that started conversations and offered up alternative takes on the conventional wisdom. (Five times a day!) We sought to get away from the insider-y, boring critical dictums awash in cultural bias found in most music writing. We specialized in the music that folks in L.A. are actually listening to -- EDM, metal, hip-hop, Latin Alternative, K-pop -- rather than the listless indie shit the New York critics keep insisting on. Here, then, are our most widely-read pieces of the year.

Our most popular print stories

5. Everything You Wanted to Know About Metal but Were Afraid to Ask

By Jason Roche

Djent: Pronounced "junt," it describes a new wave of bands incorporating elements of progressive metal, thrash and death. The name djent comes from the sound of the genre's standard rhythm riff. Examples: Meshuggah, Periphery

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  • Sander Kleinenberg
Sure, there's no shortage of EDM clubs and nights in Hollywood these days (Avalon, Vanguard, Playhouse, Supper Club, Dim Mak Studios, ... ). But, considering that ours is a celebrity-focused and rockist scene, it's quite a treat when a venue owner comes along and decides to open a space 100 percent designed for dance music and DJ culture. It still feels rare to us.

That's the case with Sound Nightclub, which opens its doors to the public tonight with one of L.A. Weekly's top-ranked DJs in the world, Sander Kleinenberg:

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Friday, December 28, 2012

The thieves breaking into a band's touring van early on Christmas morning. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • The thieves breaking into a band's touring van early on Christmas morning.

UPDATE: Ruiz wrote in to tell us the band, thanks to a tip, has recovered the van. The interior was damaged and merchandise and gear are still missing. "The van will need repairs," writes Ruiz. "But the van is home."

"Downey Police forensics have recovered prints, and footage of the thief from the location where he abandoned the vehicle," continues Ruiz. "They chose to pursue the investigation, in support towards the Lynwood Sheriff's department."

Members of Lynwood act La Resistencia had about the crappiest Christmas morning you can imagine this year.

The skacore band has a recording and rehearsal space in Lynwood, where they normally keep their touring van off the street. On Christmas Eve, however, they moved the van to accomodate a neighbor's Christmas party. "It's only gonna be there a few hours," reasoned La Resistencia drummer Clemente Ruiz.

When Ruiz went to retrieve the van at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning, however, it was gone.

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  • Photo by Christine Taylor
  • Jesse Sykes
Each week in our print editions and every day on our blogs, the 13 Voice Media Group papers feature some of the best music writing in the country.

That's why we're excited to announce the winners of our first VMG music writing awards. The honor goes to the authors of one blog post and one print piece; eligible were any of our freelance scribes.

The envelope please...

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Ludacris -- See Sunday
  • Ludacris -- See Sunday
Friday, December 28

Fishbone, Quinto Sol


Fishbone have gone through a lot of changes since emerging from South Central L.A. in 1979, but the group can always be counted on for a funky good time. Lead singer/saxist Angelo Moore, bassist Norwood Fisher and crew have evolved from a ska-reggae combo into a wildly expansive outfit that hurls punk, funk, soul and hard rock into the mix. Pumped up by a brassy, sassy horn section, Fishbone keeps things lively and surreally ebullient, even when examining such heavy issues as war and racism; Moore sees no reason why saving the world can't also be a party. The band's Laurence Fishburne-narrated documentary, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, recently was released on DVD, and they were still in righteously freaky form on their 2011 EP, Crazy Glue. The East L.A. reggae collective Quinto Sol sets the mood with their uplifting reggae grooves. --Falling James

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Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God
  • Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God
A lot of monumental things in metal this year. Some of them involved actual music. Many did not. In honor of the year's end, we gave our notebook a good shaking to help us remember the most important stuff.

Top 20 L.A. Metal Albums of All Time

-Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe was jailed for a month over the summer in the Czech Republic, and faces manslaughter charges. A fan died after a show they put on there in 2010, allegedly because Blythe shoved him offstage. Blythe was eventually released on bail, and the band triumphantly returned to stages this past fall. A court date has been set for February 4th. Blythe told L.A. Weekly that he intends on returning to face the charges. Honestly, we're not sure we would do that ourselves, but it is admirable.

See also: Lamb of God - The Palladium - 10/31/12

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There was a moment a few years back when Steve Angello was leaving a hotel in his native Sweden and found a few reporters waiting outside. They asked him what his plans were for the day. He told them nothing much. The response made the front page of the next day's newspaper.

"That was the moment," Angello says, "I knew things were different."

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See Also: Henry Rollins: Led Zeppelin, All Powerful

Fanatics! Tonight we bravely launch into our last week in December, the last installment of our David Bowie marathon and as well, the last show for 2012.

We are already gearing up for our first show of 2013. Always looking forward!

Hour one is a crazy mix that starts off with quite a roar. Hour one went through many versions and there was quite a lot of listening, swapping songs in and out and order changes before we finally boiled it down to what waits for you.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • Haim
The new year couldn't come at a better time. Forget Superstorm Sandy, school shootings, Snooki's baby, Rihanna and Chris Brown's reconcilliations. Let's start fresh, and let's do it with some new music.

Here are eight fantastic local bands, all of whom are set to break big in 2013. The best part? You can catch most of them performing in town for less than the cost of a gourmet burrito.

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  • Insomniac
Thanksgiving is for turkeys and Christmas Eve for church-goers -- but New Year's Eve? That's the night for a party! It may be amateur night to many, but the promoters behind these are anything but. Here are the 10 most promising parties in the clubs planned for L.A. this Dec. 31.

Also see the Public Spectacle arts blog for more of the Best New Year's Eve Events in Los Angeles 2013.

10. LA Loves Techno

Insomniac offers this over-21 rave and rage in downtown with perpetual dance floor pumper Sasha (formerly half of "Sasha and John Digweed") along with Adam Beyer, Art Department and Damian Lazarus. At Exchange LA, 618 S. Spring St., dwntwn. Tickets and info at http://insomniac.com/eventDetails.php?event=951 Facebook invite here.

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