April 24, 2008 10:55 AM   Subscribe


I used to cover local music in Ann Arbor. Now that I've moved to LA, I'd like to engage in some more blatant localism, to cop from JFA. I read the Weekly, City Pages, Onion and Record. I keep up with a couple of local blogs. Still, I want more, especially based on the WEST side, including West LA, Westwood, Santa Monica, Venice and Culver City.

Please tell me: Their name, where they're based, WHAT THEY SOUND LIKE, whether they have shows coming up, whether they have records out, WHETHER THEY HAVE FREE SAMPLE MUSIC UP ANYWHERE.

I tend to favor weirdo punk like No Age, Crystal Antlers, Underground Railroad to Candyland, as well as pop, hard rock, jazz (preferably freakout/skronk jazz), metal and rap. But the important part is that they're local and they're playing out, and, ideally, I don't have to drive for an hour to see them.
posted by klangklangston to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The thing about the West LA is scene doesnt exist. The venues are too far apart and not cool enough. That being said...I'm in a band based on the Westside. We are from the Santa Monica/Venice area.

We are called Other People. Please download our first album for free on our blog:

(indie rock, radiohead, modest mouse, arcade fire, etc, etc)
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I really like I Make This Sound, though it's been a long time since I've seen them. They have an interesting mix of instrumentation and a compelling live show (as i recall). According to their Myspace, they're playing the Echo, the Viper Room, and the Silverlake Lounge in the near future.

I'd reco my own band but we haven't managed to get booked anywhere (all the members being busy tech industry people doesn't help).
posted by thedaniel at 11:20 AM on April 24, 2008

Crap, I didn't follow the instructions. They have a record out as of February, there's sample music at (click on the above linked site), and they are well-arranged melodic indie music with lots of instruments.
posted by thedaniel at 11:24 AM on April 24, 2008

The best local bands I know of are:

Bodies of Water
The Meemies
The Nightbirds (know them personally, but they're good. Playing tonight in Hollywood I think)

But yeah all of them play mostly on the eastside. if you're not willing to come out to Spaceland or the Echo, there is no point in trying to write anything about L.A. music.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2008

posted by snofoam at 11:37 AM on April 24, 2008

Los Angeles is such a large place that it should be able to support multiple "happening" areas of cool. Unfortunately the westside has largely been ignored, despite several eligible commercial strips capable of supporting a live music scene and plenty of great bands from the area. Also independent record stores....there are none of them west of the 405.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 11:41 AM on April 24, 2008

Not based on the west side, but so worth the trek: The Monolators (or on myspace). Looks like they'll also be playing the Silverlake Lounge, Echo, etc. They also do a show each month @ Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park. Hmm...interestingly, looks like an upcoming show is billed with I Make This Sound!

Disclosure: Band members and I share a family tree by marriage -- but honestly, nobody makes me listen to them, and I do!!! Delightful people, delightful quirky garage-y tunes.
posted by shelbaroo at 11:44 AM on April 24, 2008

Mika Miko is the super-hot weird noise punk outfit in LA right now. They've got music on MySpace.

The venue you're looking for is The Smell.

You're basically out of luck on the Westside.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:51 AM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: To clarify, folks: I know about The Smell, The Echo, Tiny Creatures, Knitting Factory, the Ukranian Neighborhood Center, and a handful of house venues. I go to them pretty regularly. I tend to know about folks who headline there, though I'm curious about people who play supporting gigs. Mika Miko is already in my rotation, though if you've got more bands like that, I'd be glad to hear 'em.

There's actually a pretty great record store west of the 405: The Record Surplus on Pico at Barrington. Heavy on vinyl, not so much on the new releases.
posted by klangklangston at 12:29 PM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: But, again, if you have more bands that are local and good: Tell me what they sound like and where I can hear them. I don't mean to discourage good answers, just cut down a bit on the "Try the Echo."
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2008

Seconding The Smell.... but I'm in Austin.

also, be sure and catch a HEALTH show before they blow up too big. They are mindblowing live.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2008

Westside venues are just more kcrw-ish in general (Troubadour, Temple Bar, The Mint, McCabes, etc).

This blog is a litany of local bands.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:50 PM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

we're holed up in the studio for the next 6 months, but we play in LA a lot... occasionally on the west side.

we're an indie rock/pop unit: Fight From Above. Some unfinished live tracks from the upcoming record on MySpace along with the old EP (but the sound is taking a departure from the older stuff, more towards the indie corner... god that's a cliche but it's true).

I know you'd rather see bands on the circuit on at the moment, but we'll be out for a big push come the end of the year.

In the meantime, check out the Mae-Shi. They're a good, fun LA band in the vein of what you're looking for. Also check out the Good Hurt in Venice as a west side venue. Not sure on the quality of acts typically, but you can get lucky there sometimes.
posted by rooftop secrets at 12:51 PM on April 24, 2008

Are you into folk/psych/drone type stuff? If so, you should check out Antique Brothers. They're Los Angeles based, but I don't know exactly where. No shows as far as I can tell, but befriend them on MySpace and hope for the best.

Raven Chacon recently moved out of LA, but he'll probably be back, seeing as he's got a couple of LA based projects on the go. KILT is one of these projects and they do the noise thing that they do so well. You can find a very informative interview with the man on Foxy Digitalis, an interview which will give you many other recommendations as well.

Last (for now, I have to go, sorry), but certainly not least, we have (VxPxC). As Byron Hayes wrote in Foxy Digitalis (hey, I love that magazine): "The music of (VxPxC) is emotionally charged, but in such a way as to evoke a variety of moods. It’s menacing yet comforting and solemn yet blissful." Get thee to their MySpace, have a listen.

Sorry I couldn't give you any tour dates. All these bands have records out, though.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:51 PM on April 24, 2008

There is a place called the timbrespace that i saw several shows at...i would recommend that as a start.
posted by schyler523 at 1:39 PM on April 24, 2008

Oh, I think they may be defunct, but check out Anchors for Architects...
posted by schyler523 at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2008

This link is better for listening links...for the Anchors for Architects.
posted by schyler523 at 1:44 PM on April 24, 2008

Response by poster: Re: Foxy Digitalis

I need to read that more often; I really like most of the music they cover, but often don't like the writers that they have.
posted by klangklangston at 2:41 PM on April 24, 2008

Um. My friends, The GO DUO, are based in north San Diego. My band, HappyFunSmile, is playing in LA on July 28th.
posted by billtron at 3:46 PM on April 24, 2008

Devon Williams, guitarist for Lavender Diamond and formerly of Osker and Fingers Cut Megamachine. His new stuff that I've heard is reverb-y string-heavy indie-pop. He's got an album coming out next week and then he's going on tour with Destroyer. I played with him at the Knitting Factory last year, but I think he plays at The Smell and Siverlake Lounge a lot.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:26 PM on April 24, 2008

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