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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Got Beef?

Think Morrissey Is a Douche? Go Join the NRA

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Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:45 AM

No meat on his watch hahahaha
  • No meat on his watch hahahaha
The Staples Center will be meatless for Morrissey's show tomorrow, says Morrissey. Um, well, not exactly, says the Staples Center. Um, yeah, counters Morrissey.

His declaration that the place will be meat-free "was not reviewed by anyone in the building," adds Cara Vanderhook, flack for the Staples Center. She notes that, nonetheless, the dressing room and backstage catering for the show will not have meat, vegan items will be for sale to those attending, and McDonalds outlets within Staples Center will be closed on the evening in question (though she declines to say at whose behest).

However Michael Roth, another PR rep for the arena, seems to imply that the situation may be evolving a bit. They "will likely provide more details on Friday," he writes in an email. Tantalizing!

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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 Saturday KCRW broadcast.]

At my age, state and station in life, I balance the great and utter futility of most action with the fact that, for the most part, I do what I do because I don't have much else going on. Cram a chunk of that into your Sartre bong and spark it.

See also: Henry Rollins: Still Angry After All These Years

The idea that life is what you make it was never a truth to which I gave much thought. It was right up there with "It is what it is" and other traction-free gatherings of words. Acceptance and responsibility for your existence allows you to pick up a lot of speed and have some laughs along the way.

Now, you might be wondering why I am coming at you all world-weary and pseudo-intellectual with such trifling piffle. Good question. First off, I believe everything I just stated to be true. Secondly, just a few hours ago, I was lying on my left side with a hose up my ass and I wanted to find the right way to tell you.

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Denzel is a bad, bad man
  • Denzel is a bad, bad man
The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" is the movie soundtrack song that won't die. Martin Scorcese made a cliche out of it decades ago, but since then it not only hasn't gone away, it's become more prevalent in movies and TV. Sure, it's a good song, but mango popsicles are good too and we don't want one of those every time we go to the theater!

To illustrate our point, here are but six of the movies in which the track appears. It's mostly during crime scenes and similar high-drama situations. Because the Stones are so very, very edgy.

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The album cover for All My Love in Half Light  - CREDIT: PAPA VIC PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Credit: Papa Vic Photography
  • The album cover for All My Love in Half Light
For our latest music feature, we profile L.A.-based experimental dream pop singer/songwriter Lady Lazarus, nee Melissa Sweat. Although still relatively unknown, Sweat's recently-released sophomore LP All My Love in Half Light has received glowing reviews.

See also: Lady Lazarus Rising: Singer-songwriter Melissa Sweat released her inner artist through great trial and tribulation

We kicked it with her a few times, including last month at the HMS Bounty in Koreatown. In a back booth, over glasses of red wine, she talked art, life, romance and her creative process. Here are some outtakes that didn't make the story.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yay for Humanity

Here Is Some Adorable Cassette Tape Art

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Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM


Paris-based artist Benoit Jammes makes darling art from old cassette tapes. Each precisely cut and painted piece is 100 percent handmade, and, the artist says, "hard work but so nostalgia!" Jammes' cassette tape series includes pop culture references (The Matrix, The Simpsons, Kill Bill), meta fine art tributes (Mondrian), and all sorts of other cutesy themes like: The zoo! And rocket ships! And luxury goods! The pieces are made from recycled cassette tapes including those by Michael Jackson and Ace of Base.

Check Jammes' work here and find additional designs and purchase information on his website. (While the actual pieces are going on exhibit soon and are not currently for sale, signed prints are available).

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Michael Bolton was before my time. I know this because Office Space had a character who was ashamed to share a name with him, and because half the laughs for his surprise appearance in SNL's "Jack Sparrow" skit were Because It's Him, and because I haven't actually heard any of his own music. I think it's supposed to be bad, which I assumed was because it's "soft rock" (can you believe those words were once combined?) or sappy, but a quick YouTube lesson reveals it to also have a Pat Boone component. I didn't know he sang R&B, and not just any R&B--his first hit was 1988's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," and he added a hair metal guitar solo. (Sidebar: he didn't "steal the real artists' money," guys. His bland middle-age fans never would've bought Otis Redding records in the first place. They're buying for the whiteness. Anyway.)

R&B is back or whatever, and "Jack Sparrow" revealed him to have that marketable Healthy Sense of Humor (a la Wilson Phillips in Bridesmaids), so naturally he's making a move for '10s legitimacy with his new Ain't No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville, a Motown covers album. I'm now going to listen to it right now without...what did George Michael call it?...prejudice.

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The Top 5 Punk Rock Guitarists

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Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Somewhere along the line, punk rock's amateurish enthusiasm became conflated with a dearth of talent.

That's OK -- anything to keep the squares out -- but it's not entirely accurate.

Indeed, it was hard paring this list down to just five.

While you might complain that your favorite isn't on here, it's hard to dispute that these are five titans in the world of punk rock guitar.

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  • Credit: Rebekkah Castellanos
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

When Edrina Martinez was a little girl, she wanted to be an astronaut or a rock star. Two things got in the way of the 21-year-old electronic producer who calls herself Astronautica: lack of science skills and the Low End Theory.

"I was always enamored by space and how big and massive it is...except I sucked at math and science," Martinez remembers of her early years in San Dimas, home of the most excellent waterslides but not exactly a hotbed for ethereal and aqueous beats. Today wearing a scoop-neck tee and black leggings, she is olive-toned and of Filipino, Mexican and Nicaraguan ancestry.

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I sent shirtless cell phone shots of myself to, like, I'd guess 300 people in 2010.

I was 29, and in the best shape I'd ever been in. In the morning, I would literally roll out of bed and onto the floor into push-up position. I could do more than 100 without stopping. I installed a pull-up bar in my garage (20+, easy). I ran two miles every day (<12 minutes) and was able to bench press 160 percent of my own body weight. I never got very big -I don't think I ever exceeded more than 135 pounds--but that's because I only ever wanted to become Skinny Strong. So that's what I became. I don't think I owned a shirt that year.

But today? Eww. Gross.

My precious six-pack abs have been replaced by a bulbous, splotchy ponch. My arms used to look like they were carved out of wood. Now they look like when you leave cereal in the milk for too long. My legs are barely even legs anymore --they're just blobby masses that happen to have kneecaps.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • James Minchin
[Editor's Note: Fuck Guilty Pleasures celebrates the over-produced, commercial, artless, lowbrow music that we believe is genuinely worthwhile. Like, among the best music ever.]

Ahead of West Coast Sound's 20 Worst Albums of the '90s poll next week, let's talk about the Barenaked Ladies. When I tell people I love Barenaked Ladies, the first thing they usually say is, "I'm sorry." This is because I typically only bring it up after one of my friends has launched into a mini-rant about how much Barenaked Ladies suck. I mention my love for the band to stop the rant before it spirals into ugly territory, the way a formerly overweight person might interrupt a fat joke to say, "You know, I used to weight 300 pounds."

Generally, however, I keep my love of BNL to myself, because most of my friends are bigger music snobs than I am and Barenaked Ladies are one of those '90s bands that, like Spin Doctors and Hootie & the Blowfish, inspire a kind of overzealous hatred that seems totally out of proportion to whatever musical crimes they may have committed. Here, for example, is something Britain's New Music Express wrote about them in 1999:

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