Win Tickets to Peter Hook and the Light 9/14 or 9/16

Rafael Tovar's photo used through Creative Commons license

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 30 years since Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) were released. For those of us whose formative years were the 80s, Joy Division was emblematic of a dark, introspective aesthetic that was, at the time, almost self-parodic. Even now, the quality of the music itself can be eclipsed by the specter of hipster couples with matching skinny jeans and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” tattoos in script on their forearms. Nonetheless, if you can look past the silliest of the fans, and give them a fair listen, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Joy Division’s music is just damn good. Closer and Unknown Pleasures are among the very best post-punk albums ever.

And guess what, kids? You have the chance to hear Peter Hook, who once upon a time was Joy Division’s bassist and backing vocalist, and the Light perform either Closer at the Music Box on Wednesday the 14th or Unknown Pleasures at the El Rey on Friday the 16th. And, to make it even more special, Moby will be singing a couple of Joy Division songs at both shows. I have a free pair of tickets to the show of your choice to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which show you’d prefer to see. A winner will be chosen randomly by the end of the day Monday. Please be sure to leave a current email address when you comment and watch your email Monday night/Tuesday morning. Enjoy (or something).

Win Tickets To See Bruce Cockburn At The El Rey!

Photo by Burns! Image gets bigger with a click; the tiny guitar doesn't.

Bruce Cockburn is coming to the El Rey in Los Angeles next week in support of his 31st studio album, Small Source of Comfort. Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, Blogging.LA has your free tickets. Read on…

Cockburn is one of my favorite recording artists, but when I mention him friends are often unfamiliar. He has a pretty solid fan base here in the U.S., but north of the border, in his native Canada, Cockburn is a legend.  In a career spanning four decades he has received 13 Junos (Canadian Grammys,) seven honorary doctorates, he’s in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame, and next month will be featured on a postage stamp issued by Canada Post.

Cockburn often tours solo, but this time out his deep, soulful lyrics and virtuoso guitar playing will be backed up by a full band. Opening the show will be violinist Jenny Scheinman, also featured on Small Source of Comfort. (Samples of the new album can be heard at that link, by the way.)

It seems Bruce Cockburn only passes through Los Angeles every few years, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a truly fantastic performance.

Want to join me at the El Rey next Tuesday night? I’ve got a few pairs of tickets for lucky B.LA readers. Just leave a note in the comments section below telling me why you want to see this show. Winners will be chosen at my whim and notified via email.

What: Bruce Cockburn live
Where: The El Rey Theater
When: Tuesday, 31 May 2011. 8:00pm.
Win: Leave a comment below

Don’t want to wait for tickets? There are still some available for purchase here.

Win Tix to Sleigh Bells on Wednesday, Oct. 20

When I first heard Sleigh Bells‘ single, “Crown On The Ground,” on pitchfork, I was beset by equal parts revulsion and amazement. Squelching, overpowering guitars rattling out a stattaco, distorted-into-the-red rhythmic melody, accompanied by flattened vocals that provided more of a melodic layer than the guitars themselves–as if the vocals were a synth texture–was almost unlistenable, with producer Derek Miller utilizing the blown-out-speakers sound as a defining feature of the duo’s sound.

But it was unlistenable in that bracing, so-intense-it-hurts kind of way, the way I love that first ice-cold sip of Diet Coke because it hurts so good going down my throat. Sleigh Bells make your ears bleed, in an irresistible way. Alexis Krauss belts out anthems like a raver-cheerleader, her one-note vocals providing additional audio textures, as if Derek is using her voice as yet another layer of instrumentation.

Sleigh Bells are fucking amazing.

I’m really excited about this show, and apparently everyone else in LA is too, because it’s SOLD OUT. So blogging.la is now one of the only ways to score tix.

Wanna win your way into the show? Leave a comment telling me what you thought the first time you heard Sleigh Bells. We’ll pick one lucky winner to get a pair of tix to the show.

Info on the show is here.

Win Tickets For Punch Brothers At El Rey!

With the help of the Internets, it seems “popular” music covers an ever widening spectrum of genres. The sad fact is, we just don’t get enough bluegrass. Next week that will be remedied, as Punch Brothers come to the El Rey. They will be joined by their very special guest, super producer and L.A.’s Friday night favorite, Jon Brion.

Punch Brothers feature, among others, the mandolin of Chris Thile, formerly of Nickel Creek. They will be bringing their modern bluegrass sound to the El Rey on Tuesday, 12 October, and I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to share some great music with you, Los Angeles. Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, I’ve got several pairs of tickets for some lucky Blogging.LA readers.

Just leave me a note in the comment section below, telling me you want to see this show. I’ll pick a few readers at random, and each will get a pair of tickets for Tuesday night’s show. Contest ends Sunday, 10 October, 6:00pm pdt.

Don’t want to take a chance? You can buy tickets online now.

Win Tickets to the Adolescents at the El Rey Friday March 12

This has been a great, great season for revival shows. The Damned and Scream played last month. The Specials are playing next month. And this Friday, the Adolescents are playing at the El Rey. Word. Doors are at 7:00. Show is at 8:00. Youth Brigade is opening (as are The Crowd and Blockage). I am super excited. I don’t need to tell you guys how awesome the Adolescents are do I? I mean, if you know punk rock at all you’re already a huge fan, and if you don’t know punk rock you won’t like the show.

As for the whole “adolescent” thing, the humor is not  lost on us. Who would have guessed we’d all live this long? In fact, I believe Frank Agnew’s son is part of the touring line up. Oh the irony. Punk’s not dead; it’s just long in the tooth. Adolescence is a state of mind, I figure. And in that spirit, if you want tickets, leave a comment telling us the most adolescent thing about you. Winners will be chosen randomly. We have one pair to give away. And of course, if you don’t supply an email address, I have no way of contacting you, so um…supply an email address.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR_kfTTZpoY&feature=fvw[/youtube]

Win Tix to The Dodos with the Ruby Suns on Sunday

DodosThe brainchild of Meric Long, The alterna-folk Dodos are known for their creative instrumentation (Logan Kroeber has no bass drum in his drum kit and Keaton Snyder, the newest Dodo, plays vibraphone). This Sunday they’ll be playing the El Rey with fellow indy rockers, The Ruby Suns, whose latest album, Sea Lion, includes ukulele and pots and pans, along with some more conventional instruments. Rounding out the trio of fun is the really lovely Sian Alice Group, who are described variously as “art rock,” “avante-garde,” and “post-rock.” It’s a show you’ll want to be on time for. All three bands are great. And you’re in luck, we have a pair of tickets we’re dying to give away. Just tell us in the comments what unconventional instrument you’d play in your fantasy band.

Get details on the show and purchase tickets here.

Take My Tickets To The Hold Steady Tuesday July 7

I hate you people.

See, I only have one pair of tickets to give away for The Hold Steady next Tuesday. If I had two pairs, or even three, I could use one for myself. But I only have one. So I have to give it to you people.

Photo by Marina Chavez
Photo by Marina Chavez

The Hold Steady is one of my favorite bands. Introduced to me by a bartender friend (quelle surprise), at first they rubbed me the wrong way. What the HELL is up with him shouting over the songs?

Then I listened to what he was saying, and the lyrics melted into the music and became the sound of the rust belt rocking the night away in dim bars, the sound of hell-bent tours to crappy clubs around the country, the heir to Kerouac, to Springsteen. The piano made me think of the Mississippi River.

So, you jerks, tell me your favorite thing about The Hold Steady. Or your favorite story about them. One lucky winner, who will not be me, will get to go to the show.

Just kidding about hating you. I love you all. Please take me as your plus-one.* Continue reading “Take My Tickets To The Hold Steady Tuesday July 7”

Win Tix to The Walkmen at the El Rey May 20

thewalkmenEver since their 2002 album “Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone,” I’ve had a music crush on The Walkmen. The delicacy of that album, the wistful tinkling layers of piano swirling through the vocals, blew me away. It’s good to see them back, and they’ll be playing on the 20th at the El Rey with The Morning Benders and total hound. Wanna go? Tell me your favorite album YOU ever listened to…on a Walkman.

Think about it. The Walkman is now obsolete technology, like an 8-track or a Victrola.

Info on the show is here.

Win tix to see the Moving Units at the El Rey this Friday, 3/6!

Locals-made-good the Moving Units play this Friday at the El Rey with Rumspringa, All Leather and HAWEsome local DJ Them Jeans. Should be a fantastic show. And we’ve got tickets to give you! IF you enter a comment, that is.moving-units1

Drop in a comment below telling me who YOUR favorite local DJ is. If they have a website or myspace page please do include a link. Tell me why they’re awesome, where you first heard them, and where they usually spin.

And if you’d like, you could twitter this post so people can see your listings of all these local DJs. How ya like them apples?

Info on the show is here.

Win tix to The Delta Spirit with Everest & The Romany Rye 1/16

Kicking off an insanely ambitious US tour, The Delta Spirit start with a show at the El Rey this Friday. Dig their jangly, alt-country-inflected indie pop? Or maybe you’re a fan of Everest‘s Elliot Smith-meets-Neil Young thang. Or both. Either way you can check ’em out by telling me your biggest classic Americana influence. The Byrds? The Burritos? Let a girl know.

Wanna try to buy tickets (I expect this show to sell out by the day of the event)? Go here for more info.

Win Tix to People Under the Stairs at the El Rey 12/19, Friday!

Local cutups-made-good the charming People Under the Stairs (yes, charming–they’re funny and put on a fun show) bring their kicka** brand of underground hip-hop to the El Rey this Friday and you should go see ’em. If you haven’t heard them, go here to listen to a few tracks. They jokingly refer to themselves as “Fun DMC” and it’s a great way to describe their sound–they’ve got a little Tribe Called Quest, a little Jurassic Five…good times. Wanna go? We have free tickets for you. Just tell me your favorite classic hip-hop cut in the comments below & we’ll choose a few lucky winners to go party at the show. woot!

Wanna buy tix instead, oh ye of little faith? Here you go.

Win tix to Mercury Rev & Imaad Wasif @ the El Rey Tuesday 12/16!

VK Red Duvivier
photo credit: VK Red Duvivier

Yep, we’ve got tickets and you haven’t seen Mercury Rev in FOREVER, have you? Nope. To win tickets, tell me your favorite song by the band and why you love it so much, whether it’s because you kissed your now-spouse to the bridge of “Nite and Fog” or you love the strings section in a particular track; we’ll randomly pick a few winners to go to the show. Also, I’ve had trouble with winners actually getting back to me in time to get their names on the list, so if you enter please leave your real email addy in the comment form and check your inbox regularly to see if I’ve gotten back to you.

Wanna buy tix? You can here.

Win tix to Jonathan Richman 12/3 at the El Rey!

Our boy from the Modern Lovers continues to craft sweet and spirited pop songwriting with a folky, heartfelt inflection.

That there’s my “music writing” blather. Really, I just want to say that I loved his work with the MLs and now my heart belongs to him anew, once I heard “Our Dog Is Getting Older Now” a few years ago. I know he got a few new fans with his cameos in “Something About Mary,” too.  So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Wanna go to the show? So do we all, my friend. So do we all.

Oh! You want to know how to win? Right. Yes. Hmm. Howabout you ‘splain me what a huuuuge fan of Mr. Richman you are, and why you should deserve to go, instead of my shiksa ass.

If you simply must go and can’t risk attempting to win this silly little contest, you can go here and cover YOUR shiksa ass.

Win tix to Kaiser Chiefs…or Copeland!

los chiefs de kaiser
los chiefs de kaiser

Ayup, they’re BOTH playing tomorrow night so you’ll have to choo-choo-choose! Kaiser Chiefs play with Hockey at the Fonda and Copeland plays with Lovedrug, Lydia & Lights at the El Rey. Both shows should be fantastic. I’d go if I wasn’t still exhausted from working at Bats Day (report forthcoming). Because I’m exhausted & very very busy (yay Monday!) I’m going to ask you hopeful winners to leave a comment stating which show you’d like to go to & tell me what you were for Halloween (still in the Bats Day mood, you see). We’ll randomly pick a couple folks to go to each show. woop woop!

…annnnnd win tickets to Dar Williams & Shawn Mullins at the El Rey!

We’re just chock-full of FREE STUFF lately! In addition to Stereolab, below, I’ve got tickets & cds for Dar Williams’ show at the El Rey tomorrow. This cutie patootie will be onstage with the charming Shawn Mullins. Isn’t she just adorable?! You know you want to go. Enter your favorite silly nickname (“Dar” was Mullins’ sister’s mispronunciation of “Dorothy”) in the comments & if you win we’ll give you tickets & a cd. Info on the show is here.