Soulful indie-rockers Nightmare & the Cat, the Los Angeles-based quintet masterminded by British brothers Django and Sam Stewart, will headline the LA Weekly Local Music Stage at the kickoff to 2013’s Chinatown Summer Nights on Saturday, June 15.
The evening’s festivities will celebrate Chinatown’s 75th Anniversary — and, in a special nod to the area’s rock ’n’ roll legacy, will feature a performance by the re-formed rock quintet The Furys, who played the first rock show at the historic Madame Wong’s in October 1978. Rainbow Jackson, Jutty Ranx, Sister Rogers and Cobalt Cranes round out lineup on opening night.
KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Liza Richardson will spin in Chinatown’s Central Plaza, where a statue of Bruce Lee will be unveiled and dedicated.
Chinatown Summer Nights will continue July 20 and Aug. 17. Full lineups will be [click to continue…]
Johnny la Rocha knows his classic rock — whatever fertile soil he’s overturning. He does business as Ocha la Rocha, and “Ocha Scores,” his forthcoming album on JAXART Records, demonstrates the he would be equally comfy jamming with the Marshall Tucker Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers or any number of cowboy country guitar-slingers. The album was made with assists from the likes of producer Kristofer Sampson, J.T. Hall (Ponderosa), Chandler Rentz (Snowden), Milton Chapman (Barreracudas) and Lee Harraway on pedal steel.** Fans of L.A. stalwarts like Beachwood Sparks, Spindrift and I See Hawks in L.A. will want to lend an ear; over the course of the album (out Aug. 6), la Rocha doesn’t wear the same hat too often, and everything he tries on fits.
||| Stream: “Sing the People’s Song” and “Tunnels and Lines”
||| Live: Ocha la Rocha plays May 29 at the Redwood Bar and July 14 at Grand Ole Echo at the Echo.
** An earlier version of this post had an incorrect list of contributors to the album.
New York City-based quartet the Dig made plenty of friends in Los Angeles last July, when they summered here and pulled a residency at the Silverlake Lounge. The fact that the foursome of David Baldwin, Emile Mosseri, Erick Eiser and Mark Demiglio brought with them an armload of propulsive, dreamy rock ’n’ roll didn’t hurt, either. The material on their 2012 album “Midnight Flowers” drew from the best ’90s alt-rock influences and moved the dial into this decade. Baldwin, Mosseri and gang are at it again — their new EP “Tired Hearts,” produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, The Apples In Stereo, Swans, Antony & The Johnsons), comes out June 4. Chugging over a wobby synth line, “Without Your Love” turns a little bit of heartsick shoegazing into hurts-so-good.
||| Stream: “Without your Love”:
||| Also: Stream “Angeline”
||| Live: The Dig plays the Bootleg Bar on June 20.
In a broad view, the music of Seven Saturdays is all about Los Angeles — the emotional and geographical sprawl, the grandeur and the grit, the language the city speaks if you hold still long enough to listen. Native Angeleno and composer Jonathan Haskell embraces it all on “Seven Saturdays” (out next week), a collection of broadly cinematic electronic rock that represents a big step forward from his early excursions in ambient instrumental music. (See 2011′s “The Snowflakes That Hit Us Became Our Stars” for more headphones-worthy tripping.) To realize his new vision, Haskell brought in a staggering list of collaborators and voices, among them: Daniel Farris (St. Vincent), Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), Rain Phoenix (Papercranes), Rachel Stolte (Great Northern), Dan Schwartz (Sheryl Crow, Jon Hassell), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates), Jim Evens (Helen Stellar), Vanessa Fernandez (Octover), Alex Lilly (Touché), Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Billy Joel), Genevieve Artadi (Pollyn), Jacqueline Santillan (Wait.Think.Fast) and Mike Garson (David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins). Some of the album’s themes — fear of isolation, the need for human connection, the struggle for identity — get a gripping treatment from director Chad Michael Ward in the video for “One in 3″ (featuring Evens on vocals), which stars Daniel Cox and Andrea Margaret.
||| Live: Seven Saturdays play the Silverlake Lounge on May 30.
Coming off their first major local headlining show Wednesday at the Avalon, Youngblood Hawke has been added to the lineup for Make Music Pasadena, a free day of live music throughout Pasadena on Saturday, June 1.
The L.A. electro-pop quintet, which in April released their debut album “Wake Up,” join a formidable list of headliners including YACHT, We Are Scientists, Robert DeLong and Tanlines. The multiple-venue festival also features the likes of Taken by Trees, Superhumanoids, Las Cafeteras, Hunter Hunted, the Peach Kings, the New Limb, Radar Bros., Torreblanca, High Places, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, the Dustbowl Revival, the Record Company, Draemings, Freedom Fry, Haunted Summer, Tashaki Miyaki, Yellow Red Sparks, Eagle Rock Gospel Singers, A House for Lions and Salt Petal, among many others.
► Queens of the Stone Age headline a sold-out show at the Wiltern in a show that will be webcast by NPR.
► L.A. indie-pop octet the Mowgli’s [pictured] whose major-label debut “Waiting for the Dawn” will be released June 18 on Photo Finish/Island Records, headline the Roxy Theatre, where they’ll be joined by American Authors, Hunter Hunted, the Lucky Lonely and the Black 22’s.
► Swedish indie-poppers Shout Out Louds [see their video for "Illusions" here] do the first of two nights at the El Rey Theatre behind their new album “Optica.”
► The Presidents of the United States are on the road playing their 1995 debut album in full (along with other nuggets from their five-album career), and at tonight the tour hits the House of Blues.
► And United Ghosts, continue their residency at the Silver Lake Lounge, supported by Cultures, Tennis System and Spaceships.
The spiritual uplift of communal folkies Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros is in full force on “Better Days,” the first single off the 11-member L.A. troupe’s forthcoming third full-length. The album, a self-titled affair, will be out July 23 via Community Music, and this single finds frontman Alex Ebert and crew dispensing their Summer of Love vibe in energetic but stripped-down fashion. “Down with history / up with your head,” Ebert sings. An interesting, if debatable, road map to “Better Days.”
||| Stream: “Better Days”
||| Live: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros play Aug. 4 at the Hollywood Bowl.
► Electro-rockers Youngblood Hawke headlines the Avalon behind their debut album “Wake Up,” which came out in April.
► It’s Morrissey’s Unhappy 54th Birthday Celebration with the Sweet & Tender Hooligans at the Fonda Theatre.
► Daughter is back for a second sold-out night at the Troubadour, with Jeremy Messersmith opening, and the British folk-rock band also plays a 6 p.m. in-store at Amoeba.
Jubilee Music & Arts Festival — formerly known as Silver Lake Jubilee — reveals its set times for Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8. As previously announced, the Drums, the Black Lips, Free Energy are among its headliners; local acts such as Bleached, Cayucas, Trash Talk, Pangea, the Dead Ships and more were added to the lineup shortly after. Although the festival has moved to downtown L.A. in between Santa Fe Avenue and 6th Street, its stage names (Sunset, Myra, Hoover, Santa Monica) remain the same. You can make your own customized schedule at the festival site. Below are set times listed for each stage on both festival days. Our Jubilee mixtape here.
Camera Obscura return with “Desire Lines” to follow up their beloved “My Maudlin Career,” and once again the Glasgow quintet manages to dole indie pop tunes that stomp as much as they sweep. With Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, R.E.M., Sufjan Stevens) on production, ballads such as “Fifth in Line to the Throne” with a depressing subject matter come off angelic (contributing vocals from Neko Case may be a factor) while songs like the jangly pop number “Do It Again” serves as a perfect foil. After four years, loyal fans are bound to grow deliriously giddy over the new pop record that wears its heart on its sleeve. With lyrics like “If you want me to leave/Then I’ll go/If you want me to stay/Let it show” and charming melodies, you’d never know vocalist Tracyanne Campbell was singing about someone in an unhappy relationship with consequences affecting her monarchic future. “Desire Lines” is slated for a June 4 release on 4AD.
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