By Alfred Montez
A great London band with a nasty name, Yuck, will be performing at The Satellite in Silver Lake tonight (April 14). If you’re a fan of the more experimental and sometimes noisy side of alternative, this band will provide a feast for your battered eardrums. The guitars, bass and even the vocals are often liberally distorted but obviously stacked on top of each other with the bigger sound in mind.
When I read into the band I saw a lot of comparisons to Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Junior. With the guitar work on the recordings, I can hear why. I think perhaps Yuck has less of the melancholy monotone vocals or angst filled lyrics. The melodies are more sing along, if you can make out the lyrics through the distortion. It will be interesting to see what the band can do live on stage without a multi-track, but I can also imagine the band has nurtured and fine tuned the songs’ structures beyond what they were at studio time. Given the band’s noisy and experimental nature, that could make for a very dynamic show. 21 and over, $10 pre-sale, $12 day of the show.
Chop Suzy @ Mr. T’s Bowl
Right off when I found out about Chop Suzy it was really hard to take them seriously. There are a lot of bands out there that mask lack of talent with humor. Let me start with the members’ names. Beau Girardeau on vocals and guitar, Manual Automatic on the bass, and Tony Turbo on the drums. Their own self descriptions are too ridiculous to repeat here. All my preconceptions were destroyed when I hit play in their album, Made For Lovers.
The album switches it up, at times straight radio friendly rock, sometimes slide guitar led bluesy numbers. The thing that struck me the most about these guys was how serious the record was, in contrast to how ridiculous their website was. Don’t expect a comedy act from these guys; they do take their music very seriously. Also performing at Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park are The Lost Marauders, Triple Dog Dare, Fat Girlfriend, Pigmoney, and Adam West and The Bat opening it all up. Mr. T’s Bowl is 21 plus, and the cover charge is $5.
The Blue Agave & Violeta Moreno @ Eastside Luv
If I could only go to one show this week, I would have to give it to Eastside Luv on Saturday and their presentation of The Blue Agave, along with an art exhibit by local painter Violeta Moreno.
Melding the sounds of different cultures is something musicians have done naturally, with some frustrated musicians saying it’s “all been done” or that everything is derivative of some other body of work. A band like the Blue Agave not only takes and mixes the sounds of different cultures and times, they do it with wit and a skill and grace that is channeled from the guitar all the way out to the Eastside Luv’s little smoking nook in the back. They are living proof that there still are new mixes of rhythm and tone that have not been explored, and their recorded work is a great example of that.
Andy Abad, the creative force behind the group, is a highly regarded guitarist, both in studio and on stage. The band’s rhythms play off of each other, calling and answering each other with their instruments to create songs that get you moving. The slower, reverb-drenched tunes are almost surfy but with enough flamenco and Latin rhythm to make you wonder how this group got together in the first place. Their cover of “Yo No Naci Para Amar” hurts to listen to, but in a very good way. The song is stripped down to a painful conversation about dreams forgotten and painful memories.
Abad is from a family that appreciates the arts, and Boyle Height’s Eastside Luv will showcase that passion for creativity on Saturday night as Abad’s cousin Violeta Moreno will exhibit her art to accompany the band and set the mood for the Blue Agave. Her images are familiar, almost comforting with their tones and compositions. Her vibrant, colorful images jump out of the canvas, and I cannot wait to ponder Moreno’s work while listening to the Blue Agave on stage, sipping on my favorite sangria in town.
I’m hoping to post a review on the group with pictures and song samples, as I don’t have any really good video to share with you. The show is free and early (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.), so even if you already have your late night planned, this would be a great spot to kick off your Saturday night. .
Zane Musa @ Dinner House M
On Sunday, April 17, jazz saxman Zane Musa will take over the Dinner House M in Echo Park for a night of smooth soulful fusion and straight jazz. Musa is a staple in the Los Angeles jazz scene, and has a residency at Dinner Club M every Sunday, leading a pro’s jam session. Best thing about a jam session is you never know what you’re going to hear. One thing is a given, this month, on Sundays, Dinner Club M and its old school, horseshoe bar will be filled with jazz, fusion and possibly some blues. Musa has been credited with helping develop the L.A. sound, and that takes a lot of jamming. Expect some skillful stretching of the musical chops when these guys get together. There is no cover listed for the event (jam sessions are usually free) but you still have to be 21 to get into this unique little venue. Dinner Club M is usually swinging by about 9, and I imagine the band would be nice and warmed up by then.
Low End Theory @ The Airliner
Every Wednesday night, The Airliner continues it’s foray into the depths of bass and deep bass with the Low End Theory. This is your chance to catch a musical movement as it develops. Dubcore, Dubstep, Reggaecore, are all new genres of music that are being developed by DJ’s and sample crazed producers as we speak. The focus is on bass and slow, grinding beats. If you’re a fan of old school dub, or just like to get your ears pounded by high pressure bass, this is Lincoln Heights spot for you.
The venue strains to keep the crowd in at times. It’s a hot muggy little room upstairs, and people still line up to get inside. This speaks volumes for what DJs Daddy Kev, Nobody, Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles and Nocando have done to cater to the tastes of their crowd and scene. Not just spinning vinyl anymore, turntablism and performances on drum machines have turned the role of the DJ into that of the creator. These DJ’s are at the peak of their game at the moment and have the attention of the city and their scene.
The Airliner itself has been showing signs of improvement as well, with a spiffy new neon sign and frequent lines stretching halfway down the block. It’s only a matter of time before the resident DJ’s take their club to a larger more capable venue, so if you’re a fan of taking in your music locally in an intimate setting, highly recommend you check out a night of Low End Theory.
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.