By Alfred Montez
Easter week brings with it Spring break for many and thousands of dusty, road weary music fans crawling back from the desert and the Coachella Music Festival. Here’s what the Eastside has to offer this week to continue the musical buzz, albeit a little less to the east than Indio.
Kurt Vile and The Violators @ The Echo
Tonight, April 21, Kurt Vile and The Violators will be performing at The Echo in Echo Park. You may recognize some of his stylings as the end credit song for the TV series “Eastbound and Down.” His airy, arpeggiated guitar and soft vocals seem to blow about in the breeze but in the end come together with direction and momentum. Most of the tunes are slower paced but dreamy and combined with enough effects to create wispy, delicate dynamics. The faster tunes are echo-filled layers of guitars bouncing along over steady, dance-able drum beats. The energy is constant, and the lyrics are like an animated conversation.
Often compared to guitar heroes like Springsteen and Petty, Vile has come into his own with his latest release, “Smoke Ring For My Halo.” The album has garnered him a listing on Billboard Magazine’s Heat Seekers charts, and the national attention of fans and critics. The album was just released on March 8, so this is a great chance to catch him while this batch of songs is still fresh. The show is $12 pre-sale, and $14 on the day of the show, 18 and over welcome.
Agent Orange @ The Echo
Also at The Echo, Agent Orange will headline what looks like a five-band show for $10 on Friday, April 22. Five punk rock bands might be a bit much for the uninitiated, but an Agent Orange set is a So Cal staple that no Eastside music lover should miss. Their roster has changed over the years, members bouncing around from other legendary OC bands like Social Distortion, The Adolescents, and way too many other bands to list here.
This is a band who has never been afraid to break out of musical boundaries, and some of their songs, like “Bloodstains,” have become legitimate anthems in punk rock circles. The guitar work dances around surfy, middle eastern and even latin scales, reminiscent of quieter surf rock. Mostly punk rock, but tame by today’s extreme standards, the songwriting and energy shine through over the aggressive side, and the result is pure So-Cal early 80′s energy. The show is 18 and over only, and $10.
Opus X @ M Bar
The M Bar in the south end of Echo Park has a couple of shows posted for this weekend, along with a couple of shows for the band Opus X. I can’t really find a lot of information on any of the bands, and it seems as if the bands are smaller local bands. Opus X promises a mix of Cumbia, Hip Hop, and Rock, a tasty mix waiting for good execution. It takes skill and discipline to mix music well, so this could be a test for the up and coming band. Opus X is performing Friday, April 22, and May 13, if you’re interested in checking out some NEW music.
Violet Tremors @ Show Cave
Saturday night The Show Cave in Eagle Rock hosts 3 bands for $5, starting at about 10 p.m. The Show Cave is the brain child of art lovers, and its eclectic and varied blog reflects that sensibility. Artists see the world in a different way, they say, and this venue’s history of shows certainly fits the bill. Everything from noise core to art shows in all disciplines, the mix and variety can almost be intoxicating. The venue takes it’s inspiration from the modernism movement of both coasts in the 70′s and 80′s and packs it into a small corner building venue on Eagle Rock Boulevard.
The Violet Tremors will be headlining, performing a mix of beat focused electronic music. The group uses vintage gear in their performance, so tech heads should really get a kick out of the ladies putting their synthesizers through their paces. For those looking for bass and other worldly mixes of sound, noise, and beats need look no further.
Rumspringa @ Bootleg Theatre
Monday The Bootleg Theater hosts the last night of Rumspringa’s residency there. The Surf-Psychadelic Rock band has had quite the buzz about them for some time now. They have also gone from a quieter two piece band to a full fledged rock band, albeit with more soulful vocals at times.
Joey Stevens singing along to his guitar strumming reminds me of post funk rock, almost tapping into an R&B feel, but with the up front stance of rock and roll lyrics. Throw in some jaunty rhythms that get the foot tapping and the head bobbing, and this is one band you will come back for again and again. The Bootleg Theater is 21and over, but this particular show is free.
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 [email protected].