Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014


Lady Casa: Queen of the Ravers

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Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 7:52 AM
  • Photo by Dahn Le
  • Lady Casa
Lady Casa is perhaps the country’s most famous raver, and something like a cult leader to her tens of thousands of fans. When the Miami native makes a pilgrimage to L.A. and hosts an event on Venice Beach the day after seeing DJ Armin van Buuren, it quickly turns into a mob scene.

Not far from the guy who walks on glass and an Italian tour group, hundreds of ravers wait for hours in a snaking line to get Lady Casa’s autograph, hear her wisdom and, most importantly, hug her. The event is billed as her 26th birthday party, as well as a benefit for local animal shelters.

“I’m so nervous right now!” says an awkward 20-something when he finally reaches the front. “You’re awesome,” she responds, writing a personalized note for him on a decal. She ends it, “Namaste, Lady Casa.”

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See Wednesday: Lisa Fischer - PHOTO BY CHIAKI SATO
  • Photo by Chiaki Sato
  • See Wednesday: Lisa Fischer
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, September 15

Mia Doi Todd
Calling her an “L.A. singer-songwriter” doesn’t quite do the job when it comes to describing this local jewel. Mia Doi Todd is a valuable presence for her gracefully conceived, wonderfully intimate songcraft, often in the art-folk mold, gingerly plucked on acoustic guitar and sung crystalline, like a dewy flower petal reflecting sunlight. Yet it’s her sonic point of view over several solo albums that reveals Todd’s intriguing range and depth, from Chilean folk tunes to gentle variations on Afro samba to rather radical remixes in collaboration with electronic/DJ artists. She’s just released the album Floresta (City Zen), a miraculously spare and pure collection of classic Brazilian songs by Caetano Veloso, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Tom Zé and other greats. Todd doesn’t just sing these songs, she confesses them, and it’s a thing of beauty. —John Payne

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  • Timothy Norris
Porter Robinson
The Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall
September 13, 2014

It was clear from the minute his set started that Porter Robinson's performance at the Shrine was going to be more than just your typical EDM event.

Robinson is on tour in support of Worlds, his first album and a massive change from what his fans had come to expect from him based on his hard-hitting EP Spitfire. While Spitfire was bass-heavy, Worlds relies more on pretty melodies and influences from Japanese anime to create an alternative, more ambient sound. 

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Courtesy of the artist - JANET JACKSON
  • Janet Jackson
  • Courtesy of the artist
So what if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a bunch o' hooey? People still care about its inductees, and it's perhaps the highest achievement a musician can have on his resume.

Or her resume. Of course, the Hall is very light on women, not to mention women of color. 

But there's always a chance to get it right when it comes to Janet Jackson, whose career as a trend-setter and hitmaker should speak for itself. 

Here's the shocking thing: Despite being eligible since 2007, she has never even been nominated. 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014


Kate Nash On Her L.A.-Based Girl Gang

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Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:30 AM
The first Girl Gang meeting - PHOTO CREDIT: TESSIE NAVARRO
  • Photo credit: Tessie Navarro
  • The first Girl Gang meeting
Now a fixture on the L.A. punk scene with her all-girl band, Kate Nash is a London born and bred singer.

She was just 20 when she released her platinum-selling debut album Made of Bricks in 2007, shortly after being discovered on Myspace and championed by Lily Allen. Then chubby-cheeked with shaggy ginger-colored hair, Nash at the time was best known for her catchy break-up song “Foundations.”

But, having moved to L.A. in January, Nash nowadays rocks fishnet stockings and a black-and-blonde pin-up ‘do. She's stopped crooning about pasty-faced boys and started shrieking about the girls who “make shit happen.” Her bass-heavy female anthem “She Rules” sounds like something Bikini Kill might have recorded in the early ‘90s.

Last year she covered the Fidlar song "Cocaine," changing the lyrics and calling it "Girl Gang." It's an extension of her growing interest in feminism, punk rock and activism. In fact Girl Gang is also an actual, real-life crew, and their first event will be this Sunday at The Smell, with performances by bands including Colleen Green, Death Valley Girls, Cherry Glazerr's Hannah Uribe (a DJ set), and Nash herself.

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Fred Armisen as Ian Rubbish - SNL SCREENGRAB
  • SNL Screengrab
  • Fred Armisen as Ian Rubbish
Punk supergroup Dead Men Walking features members of The Damned, The Alarm, and The Stray Cats. When they perform this Sunday, September 14 at the Troubadour they will count among them a bunch of guests, including Duff McKagan and Fred Armisen. 

Armisen, of course, is known as the musician-turned-comedian-turned-musician who once ruled Saturday Night Live as punk legend Ian Rubbish. He took a break from filming Portlandia to talk to us about playing with his heroes, as well as a jerk who lives near him in Silver Lake.

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For the Record presents an evening inspired by Baz Luhrmann, featuring Pretty Little Liar's Janel Parrish - PHOTO COURTESY OF URBAN + ALLEN
  • Photo courtesy of Urban + Allen
  • For the Record presents an evening inspired by Baz Luhrmann, featuring Pretty Little Liar's Janel Parrish
The immersive cinematic celebration known as For the Record moved from Rockwell in Los Feliz to DBA in WeHo a few months ago, and the new venue really is a perfect fit, as the club has strived to create escapist environments since it opened. FTR pays tribute to different directors via a soundtrack-infused stage show, which always becomes a party. (We’ll never forget the Paul Thomas Anderson “Boogie Night,” that’s for sure.)

Some directors’ work seems made for reinterpretation in a club environment. Good example: Starting this Friday, a limited engagement of the acclaimed evening promises major spectacle inspired by the films of Baz Luhrmann. Watch Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet and The Great Gatsby, and you’ll see the kind of glitz this one will bring.

Stick around after the show for the equally outrageous dance party known as Cat Face, a feline-themed fete where whiskers and a triangle nose are the only dress code you need to worry about.

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Fanatics! As you hear the show Sunday, I will be in Belgium, working on a film. Not for long, I will be back in a few days.

I was very busy over the last several months, working on 10 Things You Don’t Know About for the H2 Network. To the point to where I got very behind on listening to music. All of a sudden, it was September and I was still somewhere in April. The hours we were working, it was hard to listen to many records because all I could think of was sleep and preparation for the next day.

I have been doing my best to catch up, which has been quite enjoyable. The last few nights, I have been getting up to five albums listened to before my ears wear out. It’s been great!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tech Shit

Lip-Synching Is a Plague Ruining Live Music

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Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Rihanna and Eminem at the Rose Bowl - JEREMY DEPUTAT
  • Jeremy Deputat
  • Rihanna and Eminem at the Rose Bowl
Do you enjoy live music? So do we. But a great deal of what you're hearing these days is not live at all.

In fact, backing tracks — recordings that performers lip-synch to or ghost-play to on-stage rather than performing live — have become more common than ever. 

We wrote about this at the recent Eminem and Rihanna concert at the Rose Bowl, but they are far from the only offenders.

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  • Photo by Nicole McDonald
  • Crash
Christopher "Crash" Richard tells his story of leaving New Orleans for Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina in the song "High Wall," a sparse and soulful tune, sung over emotive organs and aching guitars. 

"It tells the story of me coming here,'" says the former Deadly Syndrome frontman and current Magnetic Zero, who released his first solo album, Hardly Criminal, this summer on Community Music. He adds that, yes, the high wall in question is the levy, but there's more to it than that.

"It's more like: when disaster comes, when tragedy happens, can your protective wall ever be high enough? All the treasures we store and things that feel so important — at the end of the day they're just gone." 

He would know.

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