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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hip-Hop That's Nice

Jurassic 5 Is Somehow More Popular Than Ever

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Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 4:50 AM
Jurassic 5 - DANIEL KOHN
  • Daniel Kohn
  • Jurassic 5
In 2013, seminal L.A. hip-hop group Jurassic 5 united at Coachella. Founder Zaakir Muhammad had been working at Nordstrom.

In the year since, they've toured the world, playing headlining shows and festivals, and when we spoke to them not long ago at member Cut Chemist’s house in Glendale, their collective mood was bright.

They released their first song in seven years, "The Way We Do It" (below), to good reviews, and say they’re getting along fabulously.  

Ahead of their show at the Greek on Saturday — and following a nearly five hour rehearsal — we spoke to the group members about their current state of affairs, old beef, and potential for more new material.

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Terrorizer - 1989 line-up - COURTESY OF EMMA PINTADO
  • Courtesy of Emma Pintado
  • Terrorizer - 1989 line-up
Terrorizer’s 1989 debut album World Downfall showcased what would become trademarks of the grindcore genre. That is, extremely short bursts of aggression similar to punk, but amped up by distorted death metal riffs and the fastest blastbeat drumming imaginable, with all of it a backdrop for politically-conscious lyrics.

The album is now considered one of the cornerstones of the grindcore movement. But the L.A. group disbanded shortly after World Downfall was recorded, leaving a massive hole in the grindcore movement. 

On Saturday, however, vocalist Oscar Garcia will revisit many songs from World Downfall for the first time in 25 years. It will go down at Grindcore 2014, an all-day extreme metal fest held at  at 333 Live. The event will celebrate the life of Terrorizer (and Napalm Death) guitarist Jesse Pintado, who passed away in 2006 from liver failure.

In addition to a set with his main band Nausea, Garcia will perform for a one-night only set called “Terrorizer L.A.” featuring greats from today’s L.A. extreme metal scene.

Garcia admits that he was hesitant to revisit the seminal album at first, but having Nausea guitarist Leon del Muerte sign on helped him along. 

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DJ Dodger Stadium - PHOTO BY MAX MARTIN
  • Photo by Max Martin
  • DJ Dodger Stadium
[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.]

To feel the maximum emotional indent of DJ Dodger Stadium’s Friend of Mine, seek similar circumstances to those that inspired its creation. Stream the album in your ear buds, and then abandon your car for several hours and stumble at twilight up Alvarado, Bonnie Brae or another artery of the Westlake neighborhood radiating from MacArthur Park.

If you’re unable to do that, the video for lead single “Love Songs” sketches the trail for you. Cameras on a levitating drone float over the commotion of the park and persistent industry of the streets. The hook — a looped soul-disco sample — moans the isolated lament: “Lately, I’ve been singing love songs by myself.”

“Once we made ‘Love Songs,’ it set the tone for the rest of the album,” says Jerome Potter (alias: Jerome LOL), one half of DJ Dodger Stadium. He wears a week’s stubble and a mildly committed mustache, a Hundreds T-shirt and athletic sweats befitting the former Peninsula High basketball player. “We found the vibe and worked around it.”

“It had the raw soulful sound, which is what we’ve always been interested in,” adds his battery mate, Samo Sound Boy, whose birth name is Sam Griesemer. The New Hampshire-raised DJ/producer sports a shaved head and funereal color scheme.

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Miles Tackett - DURAN CASTRO
  • Duran Castro
  • Miles Tackett
Miles Tackett has been a professional musician for over 20 years. The 45-year-old Highland Park resident plays guitar, bass, cello and more. He’s played around the globe founded several influential, long-running weekly parties in L.A. and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s musical history.

Tackett’s solo debut, the independently released The Fool Who Wonders, is out this week. The guitar-centric record marks a return to his roots, after decades of playing other instruments.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Music Bidness

Why Doesn't UCLA Book Better Concerts?

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By

Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 4:21 AM
Tyga performing at UCLA last year - PHOTO CREDIT: ANDY TRAN
  • Photo credit: Andy Tran
  • Tyga performing at UCLA last year
For years now, UCLA students have been complaining about their on-campus concerts.

After all, tuition is an arm and a leg, and a portion of student fees — totaling about $150,000 each year — go toward speaking events, film screenings, and shows. 

So you'd think they'd be able to get some big names. And they have, from time to time, including MacklemoreLMFAO, and Kendrick Lamar. And they also get big names for concerts that are open to the public.

But, generally, the shows for students, which are put on by the student-run Campus Events Commission, tend to be underwhelming.

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Zorthian Ranch - PHOTO BY DANNY LIAO
  • Photo by Danny Liao
  • Zorthian Ranch
The parties Jirayr Zorthian threw at his ranch in the foothills of Altadena were invitation-only events, yet everybody in Los Angeles seemed to rub elbows there: Caltech physicists, modern artists, Pasadena bluebloods, jazz musicians, the famous and infamous, hipsters, hippies and hedonists of every stripe came to dance, drink and seek the divine under the moon. The parties featured bonfires, naked dancing nymphs, spontaneous art happenings, drumming that went all night and, of course, a roast pig borne by barechested men and blessed by a virgin. At the center of it all was Zorthian himself, a short, bearded Dionysus, who would take center stage clad in a red union suit and a bedsheet toga, and let the naked nymphs feed him grapes. The parties at the ranch raged for more than 60 years, until the old man died in 2004.

See also: Everybody Got Naked with Charlie Parker at the Wildest Party in L.A. History

A Turkish Armenian who’d emigrated to New Haven, Connecticut, as a youth, Zorthian came out West in the 1930s with his wealthy first wife, Betty, and bought 27 acres of scruffy land in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. They had three children and divorced — Jirayr was awarded the land in a settlement that is said to have made him the first man ever to receive alimony. He remarried and, with second wife Dabney, engaged in what Burners now call “radical self-reliance.” They grew their own food, including meat, slept under the stars, rode horses, raised five children and practiced sustainable living long before there was a term for it.

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fanlanders_headerrrrr.jpg
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her — confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Dear Fan,
My band is pretty popular here in the Pacific Northwest and so we get asked to do benefits at least one a month.

Shows are not our entire livelihood, but the bulk of it, aside from merch and some CD sales and Bandcamp revenue. We are politically-minded and community-oriented people, but our ability to play for free is limited.

How kosher is it to ask for a small guarantee for benefits? We are usually a headliner or a support headliner for touring bands. Some of the things we get asked to play are not very well put together, and so the success of the event rests on our fans showing up and rocking out.

Sincerely,
A Seattle Band

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Nas - DEF JAM RECORDS
  • Def Jam Records
  • Nas
Everyone seems to agree that 1994 was hip-hop's best year. We don't exactly disagree

But what was hip-hop's worst year? No it's not, as so many stick-in-the-mud hip-hop traditionalists say every year, "this year."

In fact, it was, unequivocally, 2008. And here's why. 

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Battle Rap

Rapper Who Threw Punch Faces Lifetime Ban

Comments (4)

By

Mon, Jul 7, 2014 at 8:51 AM
Dizaster and Math Hoffa in 2012 - YOUTUBE SCREEN CAPTURE
Last week we reported on a shocking rap battle at Los Globos. Headliner Dizaster punched the other headliner, Math Hoffa, in the face. A brawl then broke out.

Many wondered what exactly had led to this turn of events. After all, as you can see from the above 2012 image, the pair used to get along fine.

And beyond that, what will be the ramifications for battle rapping generally? The aftermath of the punch heard round the world is just beginning to come into focus. 

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Peter Murphy at El Rey Theatre. July 5, 2014 - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Peter Murphy at El Rey Theatre. July 5, 2014
Peter Murphy
El Rey
July 5, 2014


Better than...not much

Peter Murphy suspected the fans had come for the hits on Saturday night at the El Rey. After all, the legendary 56-year-old singer played the oldies last year on tour, including those from his former band, Bauhaus.

But this time around, the emphasis was on his post-Bauhaus work. There's a lot of that — he recently released his 10th studio album, Lion — though it wasn't enough to keep the crowd's attention. But that isn't what made the holiday weekend stop in L.A. such a bummer. 

The depressing part was watching the decline of a rock star happen right there on stage, inside a not-too-big venue with a not-so-packed crowd of former goth kids. 

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