By Alfred Montez
The South by Southwest music festival attracted bands from around the world to perform earlier this month at the famous Austin, Texas showcase. But music fans who could not travel to the Lone Star State can still hear some of what they missed as some of the same SXSW bands make tour stops in the Los Angeles area before heading back home. As a result, it’s a good time for music in and around the Eastside, with great shows to catch from performers we otherwise might not get to see all that often.
Tonight, March 24, The Hours will be in from London on their own tour around SXSW to play at the Bootleg Theater in Historic Filipinotown. This Brit Pop. guitar-driven band features Antony Genn, who previously joined the legendary Joe Strummer in forming the Mescaleros. The Hours possess the same sense of driven, inspirational lyrics set to backbeat-conscious rock music as Genn’s previous project. Their song “Ali In The Jungle” was featured in a Nike short film and the EA Sports FIFA 08 video game specifically because of those inspirational lyrics. The Show is $10, 21 and over.
Sharon Van Etten, Little Scream @ The Satellite
KCRW Presents Sharon Van Etten at The Satellite in Silver Lake on Friday March 25. Probably not what you would expect on a Friday night, Etten’s music features softly strummed guitars accompanied by dreamy, sweet vocals. Definitely worth the cover if you’re looking for something less than deafening to kick off your weekend.
Also performing is Little Scream, a deceivingly simple band comprised of acoustic or clean guitar with a female vocalist delicately interlacing her timbre vocals with the bouncing rhythm of the guitar strum. The result is an interesting musical conversation. Cover charge is $12.00, 21 and over to enter.
Thee Oh Sees @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts
As for the Northeast L.A. , on Friday night, self described “hyphy” psychedelic band Thee Oh Sees will be performing at the Eagle Rock Center for The Arts along with a mysterious “very special guest.” Thee Oh Sees are from San Francisco, hence the “hyphy,” a term I was recently educated on, which means a cross between hyperactive and fly. The band definitely fits the bill, with trancy, sharp 12 string guitar riffs over thumping bass and drums. The vocals are nasal at times, and the guitar droning, which somehow makes for a hypnotic rhythmic loop with plenty of texture. Add to that backing vocals and keyboard for extra depth, which also gets broken down adeptly at times.
With a special guest that could really be just about anybody at the moment, considering all the out of town talent, it could indeed be a very special guest. Either way it’s worth the $10 pre-sale, $12 at the door. All ages.
Black Fag @ The Boulevard
If you’re looking for something loud and lewd on the Eastside for a Friday night, The Boulevard Cafe and Bar in East Los Angeles has a show that’s right up your alley with Black Fag, the Panties, The Shrooms, and Henchmen 21 taking the stage.
If you haven’t guessed or heard of them, Black Fag is a legendary tongue in cheek, hyper effeminate stab at a Black Flag cover band. The band cranks out renditions of Six Pack that are disco infused, complete with Village People style antics and, yes, outfits. Definitely not for the less than open minded, but still all ages, the show is $8 and doors open at 8pm.
Aussie BBQ music fest @ The Echo
The Aussie BBQ music festival will run all day at The Echo in Echo Park on Saturday March 26, with a whole day of Australian bands who have been touring as a music showcase from down under. They are fresh out of Austin, one week after their SXSW engagement, and will be taking the show to New York before heading back to the other side of the world. They may not be bands you’ve heard of, but they definitely are not bands you will get to see every day. The bands start early, running from 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. See flier for full lineup and set times.
The event’s music ranges from blues-infused twang and straight pop music to a DJ set by Sampology, a DJ who blends audio and visual samples to create a “Visual Smackdown”, all the while keeping the dance floor swaying in the groove. According to the flier, the Novocaines go on at about 7:15 p.m. Definitely a group to watch and a powerful sound from a band who has been gigging nonstop, which is always good for the sound.
I can’t be too sure about the line-up, because I did see that one of the headliners, Hungry Kids of Hungary, have dropped off the bill due to a personal family matter. Bummer. They sound like a fun band, but hey, there are a dozen other acts on the bill, so I’m sure they will fill the time in nicely. The show is all ages, and $15 at the door.
There’s a lot of music out there. Eastside Mix will help guide you to noteworthy shows and keep you up to date on Eastside venues, bands, artists and labels. Did we miss something? Send an email to hello@theEastsiderLA.com.