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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Anthony Kiedis - PHOTO BY TIMOTHY NORRIS
When L.A. Weekly recently compiled our list of the 20 best songs ever written about Los Angeles, we discovered that the songs our city has inspired are almost as misunderstood as the city itself. Take, for example, the fact that "I Love L.A.," which is blasted over the speakers after every win at Dodgers Stadium, is actually an ironic dig about how much L.A. sucks. (Blonde bimbos! Homeless people!)

But perhaps the most hotly debated song on our list is "Under the Bridge," which, ever since its release in 1991, has prompted countless investigations as to the location of the infamous bridge in question.

That mystery was purportedly solved in 2012, when Vulture writer Mark Haskell Smith (who, by the way, did not get the irony in Randy Newman's "I Love L.A.") claimed he'd found the bridge where RHCP singer Anthony Kiedis nearly gave his life away shooting heroin: in MacArthur Park.

But after doing our own research and consulting with countless drug and gang experts in Los Angeles, we found enough evidence not only to prove Smith wrong — but to definitively state where that bridge is.

Yes, we said it. We know where "the bridge downtown” is — and it's not where you think.

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Mystic Braves headline the Echo on Friday. - PHOTO BY HARRISON ROBERTS
  • Photo by Harrison Roberts
  • Mystic Braves headline the Echo on Friday.
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, December 19

Fishbone, The Bots
THE TROUBADOUR
“I cannot be me without everyone I see/I am a reflection of my whole community,” Angelo Moore declares on Fishbone’s recent song “Interdependent.” As Rocky George unrolls a superbly slinky funk-guitar riff, Moore concludes, “We’re intrinsically intertwined with our reality.” Fishbone calls upon that community for the local funk-punk band’s third annual Crazy Glue XXX-Xmas show, which also includes the funked-out New Orleans vibraphonist Mike Dillon (Les Claypool, Karl Denson), Weapon of Choice “rubbabox” maestro Lonnie Marshall and the accurately named tribute group Rap Sabbath. The new generation is well represented by L.A. duo The Bots, who gleefully smash through genre barriers, juxtaposing melodic-pop jangle (“No One Knows”), furious hardcore punk (“Northern Lights”), hard rock (“All I Really Want”) and metallic funk (“5:17”). Much like early Fishbone, The Bots find the connection between youthful punk rebellion and free-flowing, funky expressiveness. — Falling James

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PHOTO BY HEIDI MAY
  • Photo by Heidi May
[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 a week into my visit to Central Asia. Besides a two-day excursion into Tajikistan, I’ve been here in Uzbekistan.

The border crossing from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan was one of the coolest and strangest I have made.

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Lighting in a Bottle 2014 - PHOTO BY DANIEL ZETTERSTROM
  • Photo by Daniel Zetterstrom
  • Lighting in a Bottle 2014
Lightning in a Bottle, the Burning Man-esque alternative to more mainstream EDM festivals like EDC and Hard, has announced the dates and location for its 2015 incarnation.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Infrasonic Sound head mastering engineer Pete Lyman in front of his workstation. - PHOTO: THEIS DUELUND
  • Photo: Theis Duelund
  • Infrasonic Sound head mastering engineer Pete Lyman in front of his workstation.
When the vinyl resurgence hit the mainstream a few years back, major record labels were scrambling to meet the demand from new audiences craving music in a physical format. The only problem was that, while the music industry had engineered plenty of innovative new technology, the production of older formats such as vinyl remained largely unchanged.

Making a record still requires a lathe (a workbench-like apparatus that cuts the lacquer master plates) and a vinyl press, two devices as old as the format itself. In other words, in order to produce a record in the first decades of the 21st century, you need ancient equipment and the increasingly lost knowledge of how to operate it.

That’s where Infrasonic Sound comes in. The independent L.A. operation has been cutting records since before it was popular (again). And with vinyl sales up another 49% this year alone, business is booming.

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Charles Wright - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy of the artist
  • Charles Wright
[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.]

Before becoming a global anthem, the NBA’s theme, and the sampled loop of one of N.W.A.’s biggest hits, no one believed in “Express Yourself.”

In hindsight, it seems baffling that anyone could be unswayed by the delirious soul supplied by the horns of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band or the inspirational shouts of its leader, Charles Wright. But that’s exactly what happened when Wright shopped his now iconic standard in the spring of 1970.

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SPV
  • SPV
Even in the digital music age, eye-striking cover art is still incredibly valued in the heavy metal genre. But the line between ridiculously awesome and awesomely ridiculous often gets walked very precariously. We present to you this year's metal album covers that crossed that line.

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Many people think pot should be legal but don't want to smoke it themselves. - FLICKR/TRAWIN
  • Flickr/trawin
  • Many people think pot should be legal but don't want to smoke it themselves.
With the tide of public opinion rapidly turning against the dangers of reefer madness, you’d be hard-pressed to find an Angeleno who considers marijuana to be the deadly gateway drug portrayed in D.A.R.E. class and alarmist after-school specials. And yet there are many people in our fair city who, while they still support the legalization of recreational cannabis, have struggled with addiction to weed.

Last week, Toke caught up with one such person, a 30-year-old creative type we’ll call Jonathan, who began attending Marijuana Anonymous meetings six months ago and hasn’t gotten high since.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ty Segall - PHOTO BY DENEE PETRACEK
  • Photo by Denee Petracek
  • Ty Segall
Most publications' year-end best-of lists are the product of group-think, carefully tallied from the lists of individual writers and editors in an effort to achieve something resembling consensus. While there's nothing wrong with that approach, we decided to make this list a little more personal — and therefore, perhaps, a little less predictable.

Instead of asking for lists, we asked L.A. Weekly music writers to pick just one album by an L.A.-based band or artist from 2014 that really stood out. Their absolute, bar-none, hands-down favorite of the year.

In the end, only 10 albums got mentioned. Several will probably surprise you, but shouldn't that be the point of these lists? These were, for us, the best albums of 2014. What were yours?

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Support Local Reggae at the Puente Hills Mall. - PHOTO BY DAVID GARCIA
  • Photo by David Garcia
  • Support Local Reggae at the Puente Hills Mall.
Very rarely does someone go to the mall expecting to hear live reggae music. However, Vince Peña of Cali Vibes Clothing hopes to change that for anyone who comes shopping at the Puente Hills Mall.

Located in the City of Industry, Peña opened Support Local Reggae back in mid-November as both an outlet for his Cali Vibes Clothing brand and a place for reggae-influenced musicians from all over Southern California to showcase their talents. The location features live, in-store, acoustic sets every weekend and is currently booked through December.

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