Experience a live visual music sensation on Friday, April 22nd courtesy of The USC School of Cinematic Arts and Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative for FREE! Rhythms+Visions-Expanded+Live! is an exciting outdoor event with performances spanning animation, experimental documentary, social commentary and abstract visual music. UK audiovisual collective D-Fuse and Los Angeles artist Scott Pagano will perform live. Additionally, giant 3-D stereoscopic animations will be projected onto the building facade, interacting with the audience and the architecture. 3-D glasses will be provided.
Rhythms+Visions-Expanded+Live! is this Friday, April 22nd from 7:30-11pm at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex. Admission is Free. A lively panel discussion will follow the performances. Facebook event page here.
If you’ve been anywhere near the internet this week, you’ve probably seen the new, innovative video from local band OK Go. The group is well-known for its viral one-take creations, most notably “The Treadmill Video,” in which the guys did a fairly complicated routine on four treadmills for their song “Here It Goes Again.”
To promote their third studio album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, which is a fantastic, Prince-inspired record, OK Go has pushed the DIY music video to a new level. Teaming up with L.A.-based creative powerhouse, Synn Labs, the band’s ambitious concept involving a massive Rube Goldberg machine was brought to life.
The engineers were tasked with creating the device with the requirements “that it had to be interesting, not “overbuilt” or too technology-heavy, and easy to follow. The machine also had to be built on a shoestring budget, synchronize with beats and lyrics in the music and end on time over a 3.5 minute song, play a part of the song, and be filmed in one shot. To make things more challenging still, the space chosen was divided into two floors and the machine would use both.” The geniuses of Synn Labs spent a few months in a warehouse in Echo Park creating a physical manifestation of the band’s vision.
Indie rock slash synthetic pop, with electrically charged guitars and pianos, is all the rage (blame Hot Chip). So is an inexplicably newfound turn-of-the-decade appreciation for Hall & Oates (blame our current fascination with the 1980s and/or Hugh Grant in Music & Lyrics). Mash the two together and you get The Bird and the Bee paying tribute to Hall & Oates this Friday at the El Rey. And guess who has tickets to give away?
For those unacquainted, the singing Bird is Inara George and the instrumentalist Bee is Greg Kurstin, and together they symbolize flowers and de-flowerings. They’re also homegrown – both hail from our fair city of Los Angeles. The pair have popped up on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack (before you hold this against them, The Postal Service was that show’s poster child for quite some time); they’ve opened for Lily Allen; and, after two albums, they will release a tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates later this month. The pre-release concert in support of the record is this Friday at the El Rey, and, as I mentioned, we have tickets to give away. To win, all you have to do is post your favorite Hall & Oates song. Include your email address, one that you check often, because that will make it easier to contact you if you win.
Full details of the show are here, but, as they say in the sweepstakes world (or, this is what I would say if I was in the sweepstakes world): enter first, buy later. Good luck!
The English Beat returned to Los Angeles to perform in front of a packed house at Club Nokia at the LA LIVE complex on Friday night. Although originally from Birmingham, England, band leader Dave Wakeling has made his home in southern California for the last couple of decades, so this was a show for the hometown crowd. The Beat definitely did not disappoint.
From the moment Wakeling and company took the stage, the crowd was electrified. Pockets of dancers began spontaneously skankin’ around the room, while the center of the floor became one big mosh pit. At one point, though, Dave did note that it was “probably the most polite mosh pit” he’d ever seen.
Amanda Palmer is ostensibly on vacation. After nearly a year of touring in support of her album “Who Killed Amanda Palmer,” she is taking some much deserved time off. Of course, time off for Amanda means playing shows at the Troubadour (last night) and hosting occasional Tweet-ups on the beach for friends and fans.
Often the venues that Amanda plays are 21+ or 18+, so her younger fans don’t get a chance to see her perform or interact with her. She uses Twitter to alert fans to what amounts to flash mobs in public spaces: “LA ninja beach gathering is going to be a winner. today, 4 pm, hermosa beach @ end of 16th street. bring flowers, ninja clothes.” And the fans happily obey, as evidenced in my photo set from that afternoon. (Careful. Amanda is very, shall we say, “free?” A few of the pics in that set, while tasteful, are NSFW.)
Amanda tweets and a hundred people show up at random locations on a few hours notice. One reason for that is her unusually deep connection to her fans. The marketing benefit for “Amanda Palmer™” seems to be a pleasant, almost unintended consequence of who Amanda Palmer really is. They heap adoration on her, but more importantly she’s very open with them, and genuinely loves them back.
Tom Jones opened his set Tuesday night at the House of Blues with “I’m Alive” from his latest studio recording, 24 Hours. No one in the sold out audience needed a reminder. The tension had been building since early in the evening, and when Jones took the stage, the crowd erupted.
From the moment the spotlight hit him, Tom Jones had everyone in the room in the palm of his hand, but that should come as no surprise. In a career that has spanned five decades, Jones perfected his craft long ago. But while some performers might be content to rely on the hits of their early career, Jones has managed to remain current, hip even, by continually stretching as an artist. He still writes new material, covers popular hits and adds his own style to them, and collaborates with other top artists and producers. For example, “Sugar Daddy” from 24 Hours was co-written with Bono and The Edge of U2.
More about Tom, projectile panties and a pleasant surprise; just follow me past the jump…
Remember when we had a contest for tickets to the Robyn Hitchcock/Nick Lowe show at the El Rey?
Well, we had a winner, his name is Mark, and here’s his review of the show:
The Nick Lowe/Robyn Hitchcock show at the El Rey on 4/11 drew in seemingly every fortysomething nerd in all of Los Angeles. I’ve been a fan of Hitchcock since I was a teen and had seen him headline a half-dozen concerts already, so I was wary about his “opening act” status (although he received equal billing, it was clear that most people were there for Nick Lowe). Hitchcock emerged alone on the empty stage with an acoustic guitar and launched into an old favorite, “Heaven,” followed by what is possibly his best-known song,”Balloon Man.” Over the course of his 45-minute set, he trotted out a couple of newer tunes along with at least one real rarity (“The Ghost Ship,” the B-side to “Balloon Man” way back in 1988), and treated the audience to his usual assortment of funny surreal stories and one sudden, unexplained departure from the stage, mid-song, for about 10 seconds. Was it just a joke? Maybe.