This past weekend I headed to the Smell in Downtown L.A. to attend the annual Women Fuck Shit Up Fest. Over 50 bands from all over the U.S. came out in support of the Alexandria House, a non-profit transitional residence for women and children.
The festival opened at The Smell, a narrow DIY venue that appeals to the all-ages crowd as there’s not a drop of alcohol in sight. Around 9 p.m., the neighboring Five Star Bar hosted comedy, zine reading, and several additional bands, several of which were not included in the lineup—which was just as well, since some of the bands that were on the lineup never took the stage, which was consistently about 30 minutes behind schedule. But with a massive lineup like that and a DIY style event, I can assume that cancellations and running behind just comes with the territory.
This past Thursday I ventured to the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles to catch Black Marble, co-headlining with Uniform at the Union—a nightclub tucked away between a residential neighborhood and shops, that also allows the audience to get up close and personal with the performers.
This President’s Day (#notmypresident), I appropriately caught an all-female lineup at the Echoplex. Stef Chura and Alice Bag opened the show for Washington D.C. based post-punk outfit, Priests.
People began to filter in during Stef Chura, a Detroit based indie rock group as the trio filled the room with dreamy lo-fi sounds. The crowd was really excited to see L.A. punk icon, Alice Bag on the Echoplex stage. She was one of the founding members of the Bags, and was really essential in putting the Los Angeles punk scene on the map. Born and raised in East L.A., Bag’s music and lyrics are reflective of her upbringing, and her message inspires political activism. She sang some originals from her 2016 solo album, as well as some songs from The Bags, including “We Will Bury You” – a message she dedicated personally to the Tump administration. Her daughter even joined on stage as a backup singer, and it was a tender moment when Alice Bag made a brief but touching shoutout to her. In between songs, she spoke about feminism, consent, education, and Chicano and human rights. It was quite a movement of a set, and she and her band really brought the energy to match through catchy, punk rock tunes.
Another month full of musings! From lineup-filled springs to new releases from faves Real Estate and Mac Demarco, and maybe a bit of love in the air, February was chock-full of musical inspiration. Without further ado, here are some of my feb faves:
Mac Demarco – “This Old Dog”
I could listen to this on repeat anytime, anywhere. It’s everything one would expect in a new Mac Demarco track – reserved, composed, and luminous. This track and others will be included in his forthcoming album, which is set to be released on May 5th of Captured Tracks.
Priests – Nothing Feels Natural
I was gifted the discovery of Priests when I was assigned to review their latest album for mxdwn.com, and I was delighted to discover this gem! This is indie rock at its finest. Check out my album review of Priests – Nothing Feels Natural here. My fave would have to be the title track.
You can also catch their upcoming show at the Echoplex on February 20!
With so many to choose this month, I have selected my top show destinations to share with you.
If you’re looking to get political… ACLU Fundraiser with Surf Curse, Care, and Kuromi @ The Smell – Feb. 19
If you’re riding the darkwave… Black Marble @ the union – Feb. 23
If you’re looking to get femme-spired… Moon Honey, Alina Bea, Liphemra, and Hour of the Time @ Non Plus Ultra – Feb. 25
If you’re ready to psych out… Desert Daze Caravan @ the Regent – March 4
So what has inspired you this February? Please share below!
If there was an anthem for millennials, this would be a front runner. With driving tracks clocking in at no longer than 3 minutes and track titles like “Doom Generation” and “All is Lost,” Nothing Yet caters to its disengaged youth.
Reno-based lo-fi, surf rock duo Jacob Rubeck and Nicholas Rattigan’s music captivate and inspire from open to close in Nothing Yet. Sure, there are plenty of groups like this around, but Surf Curse has a rawness and tenderness in its tracks that can only be uniquely described. Continue reading
This 3-day music festival invaded the Bootleg Theater in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, January 27-29, 2017. This year, Girlschool LA teamed up with Play Like a Girl (PLAG), NastyGal, and Lyft to put together a lineup featuring all female-fronted bands including headliners Chelsea Wolfe, Deap Valley, and the Bird and the Bee along with speakers including Shirley Manson from Garbage. All of the proceeds for this $45 a pop event will go toward the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, encouraging young women to empower themselves through music.
I arrived on Friday night just in time to catch Shirley Manson’s interview with Eve Barlow in which the Garbage singer shared about sexism in the music industry and gold nuggets of wisdom including, “Women’s sexuality is the most powerful currency in the world,” so be careful who and where you show your body to.
“Women have to have each others’ backs.” –Shirley Manson, Garbage
She was also asked about the influence of celebrities in this political climate, to which she responded that change is more likely to happen at the grassroots level, and how the older she got the more she stopped trying to change people, and instead decided to be the change. Continue reading
Fans of dark wave and dream pop will unite over Black Marble’s sophomore album, Immaterial. Self-Described as “just New Order played through a trashcan,” it’s clear that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously and are truly humbled by their following.
I first heard Black Marble while watching the movie, Men, Women, and Children, in which “A Great Design” really struck a chord with me. I immediately Shazam’ed it and proceeded to spend the next month listening to A Different Arrangement in it’s entirety.
This year I’m starting a monthly post of some of my favorites—artists, tracks, discoveries, shows, and videos that really shined during the month. Without further ado, here are my January musings:
I was pleased to hear about this show for the first time this year, “Midnight Mass,” which caters to the DIY punk scene in Long Beach. With headliners like The Garden and The Spits, and a lineup featuring some of my faves, Feels, Walter, and The Buttertones, and taking place at an artist colony venue “The Packard” on Anaheim and Long Beach Blvd., this Christmas-themed festival was sure to be a huge draw for locals of all ages.
When I arrived a little past 2:00 p.m., the Nectarines were onstage outside to a fairly empty venue. Right away, I noticed that I’d probably be one of the eldest attendees (even though apparently I look 21 ;-)), but I didn’t let that deter me and just made a mental note to step aside from the riff-raff because, let’s face it, my moshing and crowd-surfing days are well behind me. Continue reading
Feeling all the feels? Holiday season got you feeling some type of way? I know I broke down after seeing Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life (which is why it starts and ends with Sam Phillips). But the year is coming to a rapid close, and I, along with this playlist, encourage you to feel all your feelings and get ready to let go and make room for a grand new year, because 2016 was rough af. (Title & inspiration credit: Tuesday Bassen) Continue reading