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Events / Alternative/Rock (6)

Sunday, February 7

Tuesday, February 9

PENGUIN PRISON

El Rey Theatre

5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

9:00pm

Penguin Prison's self-titled debut album garnered substantial critical acclaim across both mainstream and indie media: ROLLINGSTONE.com cited his "excellent" songwriting and "sleek, modern production style [that] recalls Phoenix, Scissor Sisters and Hot Chip," while SPIN.com called the album, "one of the catchiest concoctions" (10/14) and KCRW said he's "so damn good." Since releasing his debut LP, Chris has been praised by BBC for "turning out immaculate remixes for Marina and the Diamonds, The Temper Trap and Dirty Vegas..." as well as for his DJ sets with live vocals which have been described as "some of the most engaging on the Williamsburg scene" by the NEW YORK TIMES. Chris added a full band to his live show in 2011, playing high profile shows all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe, including multiple showcases at the world-renowned SXSW, sold out dates with Girl Talk, Temper Trap, and Miike Snow and festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Governors Ball, Firefly Music Festival, Virgin Free Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, TomorrowWorld, Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Budweiser Made In America, Splash House, Full Moon Fest, Culture Collide and more.

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Sunday, February 14

The Wild Reeds

The Echo

1822 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

8:00pm

The Wild Reeds can be defined by one word: Harmony. However, the music is nearly indefinable. The sound from this LA based band fronted by Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva dips in and out of multiple genres - some etherial folk, a hint of country twang and some rock and roll rhythm (from Nick Jones and Nick Phakpiseth), but it all comes back to the root of this band's power: the fact that Lee, Howe and Silva harmonize like triplets separated at birth. 

In the past year, the Los Angeles based band supported such acts as Noah Gundersen, Langhorne Slim, Della Mae, Spirit Family Reunion and Israel Nash and they've made appearances at Way Over Yonder Festival, The Bluegrass Situation Festival at the Greek in LA, Outside Lands, Echo Park Rising, Claremont Folk Festival, and Lightning in a Bottle.

The Wild Reeds released their formal debut album "Blind and Brave," in August 2014 at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. The album, produced by Raymond Richards at Red Rockets Glare Studios (Local Natives, Parson Redheads, Honey Honey, Dustbowl Revival), expounds on loss, love, growing up, and the experience of artists and workers alike pursuing their dreams. 

The start of 2016 finds The Wild Reeds crafting new material for their second release in Los Angeles, resting after full US tours in the fall with stops at the AMA Festival in Nashville in September, The Bluegrass Situation Festival at the Greek Theater in LA and the CMJ festival in New York in October, and gearing up for a busy year on the road. 

 

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Monday, February 15

Sondre Lerche

LARGO at the CORONET

366 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

8:30pm

An artist's capability to transform suffering into great work is one of humanity's great phenomena. When considering the "divorce" subcategory of suffering and the "music" subcategory of art, the manifestation has traditionally tended toward the dirge (e.g. Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks," Mitchell's "Blue). "Please," Sondre Lerche's stunning new album, however, is a different animal: despite aligning with a recent divorce from his wife of eight years, it is brimming with crisp electronic flourishes, bold, economic production, and an infectious new energy and sense of purpose. 

The juxtaposition of romantic idealism and the chaotic struggle to live up to said ideals is meticulously explored: for the first time in his career, Lerche is presented unraveled. The moans and wails are unedited, and the cutting room floor is clean. The first evidence of this (on opener and first single "Bad Law") is Lerche's witty self-awareness as his voice cracks while singing "it all sounds unlikely...." 

Lerche has always written about love, but never in such a primal, sexual way. Lerche's well-proven melodic instincts are sharper than ever, but he's moved from the brain to the body, from the soulful to the physical. 

A recurring theme is control -- or lack thereof -- often symbolized by hands. "Held on to you / almost held my own," (Lucky Guy). "I'm not holding on to innocence," (After The Exorcism). "You were under my thumb," (Logging Off). "My defense scrawled on my hand," (Bad Law). "Cut off my hand as I reached for the fire," (Crickets). We are watching Lerche deal with the loss of control that results from embracing total honesty and self-exposure. 

"Bad Law" establishes Lerche's vocal vulnerability and struggle with control, but also establishes another theme that runs throughout the record: the darkness that rises when love and law collide, building to the musing, "When crimes are passionate, can love be separate?" Later, in "At Times We Live Alone," Lerche revisits this theme with the clever double entendre of "commit": both committing a crime and committing to a relationship. 

A perennially optimistic and love-laden writer, Lerche takes a much different route on standouts such as the heartbreaking "Sentimentalist": "Tying the knot...Dying to not rot...I'm no sentimentalist," a rumination that recalls Kurt Cobain's "married...buried." 

Lerche doesn't just transform his suffering into art on "Please" -- which was recorded between his hometown of Bergen and Brooklyn, his home-of-nine-years -- he shows us how he's doing it. Trying to see things from every possible angle, he sings "say it to yourself in a different voice" ("Crickets"). The multi-layered vocal arrangement sounds as if we're simultaneously hearing several different Sondres arriving at the same dead end. This search for understanding continues in "At Times We Live Alone." It's unclear as to whether he's addressing himself or his subject when he repeats the mantra-like, "Try 'I love you,' try 'get angry,' try 'go fuck off,' call a friend.'" These short-lived solutions are futile and in vain. The struggles themselves become the songs. 

Lerche has been incredibly busy since the release of his 2011 self-titled LP and his 2012 live album, "Bootlegs." Aside from touring internationally and releasing his 2013 Scott Walker-cover "The Plague" and "Public Hi-Fi Sessions," a collaboration with Spoon's Jim Eno, Lerche spent 2013 creating the celebrated score for his then-wife's (Mona Fastvold) directorial debut and Sundance hit "The Sleepwalker." 

At once both Lerche's catchiest and most emotionally intricate offering, "Please" is an altogether different kind of divorce-record, a masterful work unlike anything he has crafted before.

 

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Wild Wild Horses

Echoplex

1822 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, 90026

8:30pm

Not all studio musicians were meant to stay in the booth.

Boasting a diverse set of musical backgrounds, the four members of Wild Wild Horses have collectively worked with almost every major indie-pop artist in the past half-a-decade. Yet, not content with staying behind-the-scenes, frontman Jack Edwards had a different vision—a vision to make his own name, out of the shadow of others.

Originally from Kent, England, Jack signed with LA-based Buskin Records in August 2014. As the sole founding member and songwriter, Jack returned to London to form his dream team. Finding studio musicians of a similar pedigree, Wild Wild Horses came to include Brit­ish-born Billy Adamson (Jess Glynne, Amy Winehouse) and Jonathan Harvey (Mika, Elle King) on bass, with the American Gregory Rogove (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Latin Grammy Winner) on percussions.

Named after the eponymous Rolling Stones song, Wild Wild Horses compose stirring alternative pop-rock tracks. With subtle electronic interjections mixing into the band’s powerful, catchy riffs, their music carries the vibrant beat of today while aspiring to the lofty heights of the classics.

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