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Monday, October 20, 2014

  • File photo, courtesy of Elektra Records
  • Randy Newman
Much like you, dear reader, I was shocked and astounded that Randy Newman’s delightful 1983 pop gem “I Love L.A.” was left off of our “20 Best Songs Ever Written About L.A.” list. Imagine my dismay when our new editor, Andy Hermann, informed me that it hadn’t been left out of the hearts and minds of our writers; no, it was a deliberate omission on his part, because he hates the song.

And what Angeleno could blame him, really? Newman’s built the last 30 years of his career on playing this song. A song that, by the way, is about how L.A. kind of sucks.

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Warren G had to "Regulate" in "DJ West's" wake. - COURTESY OF G FUNK MUSIC
  • Courtesy of G Funk Music
  • Warren G had to "Regulate" in "DJ West's" wake.
Last week, iconic hip-hop label Def Jam Records celebrated its 30th anniversary with a gigantic concert at New York’s Barclay Center. While the New York-based label's storied history has been told repeatedly in film, television and books, there’s one part of their three decades of dominance that often gets left out.

Did you know that there was a Def Jam West?

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  • Photo by Williams & Hirakawa
  • See Tuesday: Banks
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, October 20

L.A. post-post hardcore crew Aeges’ new Above & Down Below (Mylene Sheath) finds the band in newly inspired and jacked-up mode, with a new drummer and guitarist kicking it into gloriously high gear on tracks that, as on their much-praised 2012 debut album The Bridge, feature melodic and even semi-anthemic tunes that don’t skimp on slamming riffage and massive low-end boom. Above is one of the most well-produced records you’ll hear all year, awash in great, nonstandard power chords and supremely satisfying bass tones. But all this inventively crafted heaviness can be savored at the band’s live shows, too, which stomp like a veritable beast. This free show is part of Aeges’ monthlong residency at the Silverlake Lounge; tonight also features The Vitals, True Rivals and Hellbenders. —John Payne

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Adventure Club performing at Safe in Sound - PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH PURKRABEK
  • Photo credit: Sarah Purkrabek
  • Adventure Club performing at Safe in Sound
Safe in Sound Festival 
Hollywood Palladium
October 18, 2014

On Saturday night, the first annual traveling Safe in Sound Festival drew hundreds of bassheads to L.A.'s Hollywood Palladium. Presented by Bassrush (an Insomniac brand), the newest show on the EDM circuit caters to fans who love bass.

The L.A. stop of the tour featured artists Terravita, Caked Up, Destroid, Adventure Club, and Flux Pavilion. The festival's producers partnered with PK Sound, which debuted a 150,000 watt sound system for the tour. They promised "quality, precision, intensity and a feeling of immersion in the experience," according to Insomniac.

They did not disappoint.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

  • Photo courtesy of Robert Cifuentes
  • Daniel Wright-Fresco
This February, Daniel Wright-Fresco, the homeless man who serves as the unofficial security guard of downtown DIY venue the Smell, was arrested. He was charged with the crime of making "criminal threats" after allegedly threatening Ignacio Nava, an employee at a used car dealership nearby. Nava had claimed Wright-Fresco flashed a knife held in the waistband of his pants after verbally assaulting him.

Before the date of his trial (which was set for July 4, 2014), Wright-Fresco accepted a deal with the District Attorney's office. He pled guilty to possession of a knife, but not guilty to the charge of criminal threats — a non-strike offense. He was sentenced to serve 486 days in prison.

As of October 10, however, Wright-Fresco is a free man.

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The 10 Best Prog Metal Bands

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Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 3:30 AM
Dream Theater
  • Dream Theater
Progressive metal, unlike other sub-genres of heavy metal, borrows heavily from hard rock, classical rock and early heavy metal influences. Although several of the bands on this list might not technically considered metal, we group hard rock and metal under the same umbrella for the sake of clarity.

Progressive metal (prog metal for short) is less about brutality and speed, as is the case with extreme metal or thrash. And the focus is not so much on evil or satanic themes, much like black metal. Instead, listeners can hear everything from classical music, symphonic metal, speed metal, power metal and traditional heavy metal in many "prog metal" bands. The focus has always been in the proficiency of the musicians, epic songwriting, and sounds that aren't neatly categorized into only one type of metal. As this list will show, even extreme metal bands can lean more towards the prog metal side. We now present our list of the 10 best progressive metal/hard rock bands.

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The Black Tides - JASON LEE
  • Jason Lee
  • The Black Tides

Los Angeles’ oldest tiki bar, the Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge, knows how to scare up intoxicating fun all year ’round. This time of year, its annual Monsters & Mai Tais bash takes the usual tropical-themed revelry to a terror-ific level, with a parking-lot party featuring vendors selling Halloween-themed art, tiki mugs and accessories, a costume contest, drink specials, food and music inside the bar and out.

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Fanatic! we are so excited to bring you this show. A few weeks ago, I took out a stack of singles and flipped them to digital so we could get them onto the show. I thought it would be great to have a show with a lot of stuff that would be a bit more difficult to play.

I am currently in Grand Rapids. It’s a night off. I was onstage last night at the Baird Theater in Washington, DC being interviewed by Q and Not U’s Chris Richards. He is now a music writer for the Washington Post. It was part of a series the Smithsonian is doing. I thought it went very well.

I am listening to the songs as I write this and I am really digging it.

I am out in the world for another week or so but when I get back to the office, I will pull out more vinyl that might not be in the digital world and we can get more of that happening for November. I would like to do more shows with the vinyl component. It takes a lot of time but if I can get it into the schedule, I can do it.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Last Night

Southern Lord Records Showcase - Los Globos - October 15, 2014

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Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Baptists in the blur. - PHOTO BY PAUL T. BRADLEY
  • Photo by Paul T. Bradley
  • Baptists in the blur.
The Power of the Riff Presents: Southern Lord Showcase
Excel, Goatsnake, XIbalba, Obliterations, Baptists, Torch Runner
Los Globos
October 15, 2014

Better Than...
getting punched in the mouth with a fistful of battery acid. 

For your average workaday shred-head, Wednesday day is always full of those "Hey humpday!" / "Week's half-over!" B.S. coworker-small-talk-platitudes. So a Wednesday night of getting repeatedly kicked squarely in the eardrum by six bands worth of slash-genre metal and hardcore is a welcome relief. And Southern Lord Records did that oh-so-perfectly last night. 

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  • Photo by Koby Ben-Shoshan
  • The Kokoro
[Update: For today only (Friday, Oct. 17), Culture Collide is offering 2-day wristbands for only $10, while supplies last. Visit the ticket booth at Taix to score your tix.]

Now in its fifth year, Culture Collide continues to be a kind of international Echo Park Rising. It's still accessible at $30 dollars for a three-day pass, and like Echo Park Rising, the festival takes over Sunset Boulevard with enough music, craft beer and munchies to cause a riot. 

But Culture Collide also offers a unique element of discovery that's now missing from major music industry gatherings like SXSW. This year alone, you'll be wigging out over avante-garde EDM from Israel and Korean rock 'n' roll that doesn't sound like homogenized, plasticky K-Pop — minds blown, right? 

In all, over 60 bands from around the world will invade Echo Park for three days, October 16-18. Which means there's a lot to see when you're not getting blitzed in the beer garden — or trying to figure out what an Aussie BBQ is without missing the next set. But that won't happen, because you'll just take this list with you. Here are the five acts you simply cannot miss at this year's Culture Collide.

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