Lee Fields and the Expressions at La Santa

One of the best soul men of all time

June 14th, 2019
Lex Voight

Lee Fields, perhaps one of the very last soul legends still alive, touring, and producing music, just stopped by the LA area last week and treated a sold-out show at La Santa, Santa Ana to classic soul showmanship and unbelievable pipes. His new record, It Rains Love, embodies the very best of his Al Green-style songwriting with Charles Bradley-esque energy. Check out the photos after the jump.
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On Amanda Palmer and the Meaning of Music Heroes

Amanda Palmer fights for us all.

Lex Voight

There is a war going on right now. For the world, for the environment, for our rights.

And we are losing.

We are losing ground every day. The rash of anti-choice legislation being rammed through state courts and the appointment of anti-choice judges by (republican controlled) senatorial appointment are just the latest and among the most egregious examples of our loss. But there are heroes in the battle for the heart of American culture fighting for us.
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Beachlife Fest in Redondo Beach

Willie Nelson steals the weekend.

May 16th, 2019
Lex Voight

It’s already been a week and Beachlife Fest feels like its only barely wrapped up. The beach-set California culture festival spanned three days of incredible artists and surprisingly incredible amenities, but the clear and inarguable highlight of the entire weekend was Willie.
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La Dispute/Gouge Away at the Regent

Panorama opens at the Regent

Lex Voight

La Dispute touched down the other week at the Regent, bringing their brand of literary post-hardcore to a sold-out show. I have seen the band countless times over the years, but each time they bring their absolute a-game, weaving their complex, compassionate narratives with a fervor live. At the Regent they played to a fully immersed audience; longtime fans who’s rapturous attention was carried away as much by songs from their recent full length Panorama as from their oldest releases.
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Back to the Beach 2020 Wishlist

One of my favorite things to do after attending themed festivals is coming up with hypothetical bills for the next year’s iteration. Back to the Beach this year was an absolute blast–so much so that I am already fully planning on going again for next year’s. But who would make for a great show? Here […]

May 1st, 2019
Lex Voight

One of my favorite things to do after attending themed festivals is coming up with hypothetical bills for the next year’s iteration. Back to the Beach this year was an absolute blast–so much so that I am already fully planning on going again for next year’s. But who would make for a great show? Here is my wishlist.
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Louise Lemon on her new album

A Broken Heart is Open Heart — out now

April 30th, 2019
Lex Voight

We are less than halfway through the year and already some of the spots in my end-of-year list are starting to solidify. A Broken Heart is an Open Heart fell unexpectedly in my inbox and I truly have been unable to stop listening. A dark, sultry, doom-influenced pop powerhouse that inhabits a confident middleground sonically between Lana Del Rey and Chelsea Wolfe, albeit with the kind of pipes that would put just about anyone around to shame.
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Knocked Loose/Harms Way/Acacia Strain at SOMA

and you thought Game of Thrones was heavy.

Lex Voight

On the heaviest stacked tour of the very early summer so far, current scene darlings Knocked Loose headed a bill of hardcore’s hardest bands including Harms Way, The Acacia Strain, Sanction, Higher Power, and Absence of Mine. Check out the photos after the jump (obtained from a safe distance, gratefully)
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Interview with LA’s The Hollow Legs

Be sure to catch them at Beach Life Fest

April 25th, 2019
Lex Voight

Beach Life Festival is coming up next weekend, May 3-5, touting a lineup that should be the envy of just about every other festival around. Not only does it boast to be hosting two certifiable living legends in Willie Nelson and Brian Wilson, but a veritable who’s-who of headlining acts with heavy California ties including Ziggy Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler, Violent Femmes, Everclear, and Donovan Frankenreiter. That’s an insane list by any means, but there are some incredibly exciting acts appearing further down the list as well…
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Interview with Go Betty Go

LA Punks are back and better than ever

April 22nd, 2019
Lex Voight

Go Betty Go have been a mainstay in LA’s punk scene for almost 20 years. They recently have been on tour, playing shows with more regularity after a time of sporadic activity. Coming up in the early 00’s class of punk alongside bands like Tsunami Bomb, The Distillers, and The Explosion, the band released two full-lengths on Side One Dummy during the label’s absolute peak. They answered a couple questions for me, check out the interview after the jump

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Show Review: Metric @ The Palladium

Canadian indie rockers deliver guitars and grooves

March 14th, 2019
Lesley Park
Category: Lead Story, Review

Canadian indie rockers Metric are no stranger to LA or The Palladium for that matter, having played the venue previously in support of 2015’s Pagans in Vegas several years ago. Unmistakable feeling of déjà vu aside, when a band’s seventh album is as danceable and slickly produced as 2018’s Art of Doubt, it’s difficult not to want to see how it’ll fare live, particularly given Metric’s stellar live track record.

As I watched the quartet confidently taking the stage at The Palladium to the tune of “Love You Back” off the aforementioned latest release, I suddenly remembered that this is a band who has been at it for over 20 years. You’d be forgiven for not coming to that realization immediately, though; the carefree energy they exuded was raw, youthful, and infectious.

Art of Doubt fans were well-satisfied here with close to half of the set being comprised of new material the highlights of which include a blazing rendition of “Dark Saturday” which I correctly suspected would translate insanely well live and “Now or Never Now.”

Their sprawling, seven-album catalog is rife with fan favorites such as “Gold Guns Girls” (dat guitar intro though) and “Synthetica,” both of which the audience ate up with relish. The flip side though is that it has now gotten to the point where there are, by necessity, notable omissions from a packed, 18-song setlist. Pour one out for “Youth After Youth” and “Too Bad, So Sad.

Still, for longtime fans there was plenty to love. In a memorable moment, the audience was asked to vote between “Dead Disco” and “Gimme Sympathy.” After delivering a seriously stunning rendition of the latter per the crowd’s choice, frontwoman Emily Haines briefly paused before announcing “Fuck it, we’re playing ‘Dead Disco’ too,” transporting all in attendance to 2003.

“Cascades,” a track I recall falling in love with the when Metric was touring 2015’s Pagans in Vegas has settled nicely into the band’s older material with its dreamy hook and groovy vibes. And I’d be remiss not to give props to “Black Sheep,” which was featured as the memorable introduction to the secondary antagonist of cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Envy Adams (played by current Captain Marvel, Brie Larson).

But of course, the big crowd pleaser remains “Help I’m Alive” which the band played to close out the encore. If there’s a song that better shows of Haines’ vocals or spirit, I’m hard-pressed to think of it.

Although I’m no stranger to the live Metric experience, they continue to impress every time they play. Their track record for being a reliably fun time is well-tested and spotless. If you, like me, consider a night of dancing to no frills, fun indie rock to be a night well spent, then you best catch them the next time they roll through.

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Metric