Results tagged “Michele Reverte”

Catching Up With Eddie Izzard Before He Takes Over The Hollywood Bowl

LAist caught up with boundary-pushing comedian Eddie Izzard to get the scoop on his Hollywood Bowl show, and learned why those in the "cheap seats" will want to arrive early.

Johnnyswim Showcases Their Chemistry on Debut Album 'Diamonds'

Los Angeles-based band (and couple) Johnnyswim just released their debut album, "Diamonds," and the result is well worth diving into, and checking out tonight the El Rey.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench Takes Center Stage With Debut Solo Album

Earlier this week, Benmont Tench—a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers—reached a major milestone with the release of his first solo album, "You Should Be So Lucky." The sideman has become the frontman, and on this record, he's joined by friends such as Petty, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. Earlier this month, LAist caught up with him in his Tarzana home to get the scoop.

PAPA Talk About Their Debut Album 'Tender Madness,' Drumming Barefoot & How They Got Their Name

Even though their first full-length album, "Tender Madness," won't be released until Oct. 8, L.A.-based band PAPA has already established a presence as commanding as the capital letters in their name.

Get To Know Phoebe Baker and Lou James of Six-Piece Australian Band Alpine

In looking at the music videos for Australia-based band Alpine, one gets the impression that frontwomen Phoebe Baker and Lou James would be a blast to hang out with. Yesterday, LAist confirmed that fact during an interview with the pair. We got the scoop on the band's debut album, A Is for Alpine, which was just released in the United States.

Meet The Olms: Pete Yorn And J.D. King's New Album Is The Perfect Summer Soundtrack

While the Olms may be a new band, Pete Yorn and J.D. King's vocal and songwriting styles mesh so well, it's as if they've been collaborating for decades. Each melody has the potential to stick in your head throughout the day, and the band's sound is a mix of their favorite influences—from Britpop to bluegrass—with a modern twist. Catch them at the Troubadour tonight.

20 Of Our Favorite Finds From Unique LA's Spring Show

More than 14,000 people attended Unique LA's fifth annual Spring Show, which featured 350 handpicked designers and artists, many of whom are Los Angeles-based. The event, which was held May 11 and 12 at the California Market Center in Downtown LA, also raised $3,000 for the Downtown Women's Center.

'Arrested Development' Cast Dishes On Behind-The-Scenes Details From The New Season

Only a week remains until Netflix releases all 15 new episodes of "Arrested Development," and the coming days are sure to be filled with "Final Countdown" references, along with banana stand and stair car sightings.

'Arrested Development' Cast Reveals New Details About Their Forthcoming Netflix Season

Ever since Netflix announced the resurrection of "Arrested Development," people have been hungry for information about the new season. Although the cast has been tight-lipped in recent months, LAist got some fresh Bluth scoop during their press conference last week.

Record Store Day at Origami Vinyl to Feature Silversun Pickups, Nick Waterhouse and 10 DJs

Origami Vinyl in Echo Park has an incredible lineup for Saturday's Record Store Day event, including a Silversun Pickups performance. LAist sat down with store owner Neil Schield to learn more.

Bagavagabonds' Traveling 'Art Migration' Showcases Awesome Local Art And Music

In recent years, the Bagavabonds have hosted some of the best art-centric events in the city. This year, their popular Art Explosion has evolved into a three-city Art Migration. Tonight's free event will feature a silent auction that will include six pieces by Matt Maust of Cold War Kids, with all proceeds benefiting Room 13 L.A.

Singer Tift Merritt On a Lifetime of Making Music, What's On Her Mixtape, and Her Favorite Spot In L.A.

Whether revealing the certainty in subtlety, or the question in a foregone conclusion, Tift Merritt's music is arresting in the best possible way. LAist caught up with her last week to learn about her duet with Andrew Bird, her favorite guitars and her shows this week in L.A.

Magician Jon Armstrong & Writer Mike Costa Create Comic Book Magic in 'Smoke and Mirrors'

Watching people flip through an issue of 'Smoke and Mirrors' is almost as entertaining as reading the comic book itself. It's not uncommon for a reader to gasp or exclaim, "How'd he do that?" The comic combines compelling storytelling with actual magic tricks, and LAist caught up co-creators Jon Armstrong and Mike Costa to learn more.

Author Neal Stephenson On His Latest Book, Video Game Sword-Fighting And The Light In Los Angeles

Tonight, speculative fiction author Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, Anathem, REAMDE) will appear at Skylight Books to discuss his newest book, Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writings. LAist caught up with him last weekend to get the scoop on the book, his new video game project and one of his favorite things about Los Angeles.

Musician Blake Mills Talks About Opening For Fiona Apple, Getting Half A Manicure And His Favorite Local Guitar Spots

Musician Blake Mills has quickly become one of the most sought-after guitarists and producers in the music industry. He has performed with everyone from Lucinda Williams to Band of Horses, and tonight he'll pull double duty at the Hollywood Palladium as Fiona Apple's opener, as well as a member of her backing band. When LAist spoke with him, the conversation turned to guitars, improvisation and his debut album, "Break Mirrors."

So Say We All: Highlights From The Battlestar Galactica Panel At Comic-Con 2012

Battlestar Galactica will celebrate its 35th anniversary next year, and enthusiasm still runs high. This year's packed panel at Comic-Con on July 12 delighted fans of the original series as well as the reboot.

The Strange And The Sexy: Photos From Comic-Con 2012

We caught everything from a naughty Thundercat to a chill Rainbow Brite wandering the halls of the convention center Friday and Saturday at Comic-Con.

Comic-Con Photos: Colorful Costumes & Characters from Day 1

We're just getting started, but here are a few sights from Thursday, July 12, the first full day at Comic-Con 2012. Among other things, we spotted Waldo and caught Starbuck hanging out with She-Ra. Which costume's your favorite?

Folk Musician Ben Howard Talks About His Stunning Debut Album 'Every Kingdom'

LAist sat down with UK musician Ben Howard a few hours before his first-ever (and sold out) L.A. shows at the Troubadour. We got the scoop on his debut album, the curious cows that tried to eat the props in his music video, and the tree that inspired a song and came close to taking his life.

Echo Park's Origami Vinyl Turns Three

It's hard to believe it's been three years since Origami Vinyl first opened its doors. Since then, the record shop/box office/concert loft has been embraced by the Echo Park community, and has hosted some unforgettable events. LAist sat down with store owner Neil Schield to chat about tonight's cupcake-filled anniversary celebration, the latest vinyl trends and Origami's plans for Record Store Day on April 21.

The Dude Abides at LACMA: Jason Reitman Directs All-Star Live Read of 'The Big Lebowski'

Director Jason Reitman's live read of the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski at LACMA's Bing Theater was the hottest ticket in town on March 29. The L.A.-set cult film capped off Reitman's Film Independent series, and the casting was inspired: Seth Rogen (The Dude), Rainn Wilson (Walter), Christina Hendricks (Maude), Hank Azaria (Donny), Jason Alexander (The Big Lebowski), Catherine Reitman (Bunny), Fred Savage (Brandt), Nick Kroll (Jesus) and Sam Elliott reprising his role as The Stranger.

Catch 'Voyageur' Kathleen Edwards at the El Rey Tuesday Night

Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kathleen Edwards wrote her fourth album, Voyageur, in the wake of an unraveled relationship, and recorded it as a new one blossomed. These 10 songs stick with the listener as they traverse roads both familiar and less traveled.

China Forbes Previews Pink Martini's New Year's Eve Shows at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Any evening with Portland-based "little orchestra" Pink Martini is a party, and their two New Year's Eve shows at Walt Disney Concert Hall will be the perfect way to welcome 2012. Yesterday, LAist spoke with Pink Martini lead vocalist China Forbes to discuss her recent vocal cord surgery, why she loves L.A.'s music venues, and what to expect on New Year's Eve.

Shadowcaster Christine Marie Will Create 40-Foot Shadows During 'The Fifty Year Sword' This Halloween

Christine Marie's performance art has a way of eliciting wonder from children and adults alike. Though many of her tools are simple—lights, fabric and everyday objects—she's able to create entire worlds by blending ancient traditions with new ideas. This Halloween, she and her team will return to the REDCAT Theater for The Fifty Year Sword.

Lisa Hannigan Returns to L.A. With Stunning Second Album, 'Passenger'

Dublin-based musician Lisa Hannigan has crafted a sophomore album just as strong as her first. "Passenger" explores themes such as travel, home and the passage of time—and no matter where you listen to the music, this album will make you yearn for the home Hannigan describes. Tuesday night, she and her band will take the stage at the El Rey.

A Park a Day: Paramount Ranch, Agoura Hills

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces—big or small—in the Los Angeles area.

Interview: Keren Ann Tackles Film Noir Folk-Pop on '101'

With the release of her sixth solo album, "101," Keren Ann uses her deft sound-weaving skills to give the listener a glimpse into the lives of others. This is film noir folk-pop that sticks with you long after the music has stopped. Although she has also released French material in the past, this all-English record proves that her voice is hypnotic no matter which language she chooses.

Tonight's 'California'-Themed Bagavagabonds Art Explosion to Raise Funds for Room 13 L.A.

If you're still looking for something to do tonight but can't decide between art, food, charity and music choices, check out the Bagavagabonds Art Explosion where you'll find all of the above. The theme for this Art Explosion is 'California,' and scores of art pieces will be available for sale via silent auction, with prices starting at $10.

Interview: Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars

Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars met during a professional blind date after drawing straws at a 2008 songwriting workshop. It didn't take long for them to realize they were meant to make music together. Their debut album, Barton Hollow, has garnered praise from critics and fellow songwriters alike, and this week they're set to perform at the El Rey and Largo at the Coronet.

Interview: Tony Ruland of The Lonely Forest

With the release of their third album, "Arrows," there are 12 new reasons to explore the sonic landscape of The Lonely Forest. This Pacific Northwest-based band will be Death Cab for Cutie's opener at the El Rey tonight. LAist caught up with guitarist Tony Ruland last weekend to get the scoop on the new album and the band's adventures on the Oregon Trail.

Exploring The Final Frontier At The 2011 Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open House

With each passing year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open House in Pasadena becomes a "can't miss" event for more and more people. This year's theme was "The Excitement of Exploration," and the two-day event hosted 38,000 visitors. The Spacecraft Assembly Facility was one of the most popular attractions, as it showcased the next Mars rover, "Curiosity," which is set to launch in November.

L.A. in the '60s: Gallery Show to Feature Guy Webster's Iconic Rock Photography and Motorcycles

Legendary photographer Guy Webster's life story is a study in timing and talent. After bluffing his way into teaching a photography class in the Army, it turned out he really was good with a camera. A few years later, he became of the most in-demand rock 'n' roll photographers, shooting artists such as the Doors, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys. A new exhibition combines his best shots of the '60s with three of his prized motorcycles.

Get to Know Alt-Country Songstress Lindi Ortega and Her 'Little Red Boots'

In the title track from her forthcoming album, Lindi Ortega claims, "You're going to know me by my little red boots..." That may be true, but you won't soon forget her voice either. "Little Red Boots" is a mix of country, folk, rock and pop—as well as her own Mexican/Irish heritage.

Lomography LA to Showcase Local 'Prophecies of the Analogue Future' This Friday

The plastic cameras at the Lomography store in West Hollywood may look innocent, but spend a little time with one and it may quickly become an obsession. This Friday, the store will celebrate the beauty of Los Angeles as captured through a Lomography lens with the opening reception for the "10 Prophecies of the Analogue Future" competition. There will be an open bar, free food, tarot card readings, stunning photos, and the chance to buy one of three new cameras with proceeds benefiting the relief efforts in Japan.

'A Winter Tale' in Spring: Singer/Songwriter Bobby Long to Play McCabe's This Friday

Don't let the title of Bobby Long's album fool you. 'A Winter Tale' features music you'll want to listen to in every season. This British singer/songwriter followed in the footsteps of some of his heroes and recorded his debut album with a live band--using the vintage equipment in music producer Liam Watson's analog recording studio.

Origami Vinyl Celebrates Its Two-Year Anniversary and Announces Record Store Day Plans

Two years ago today, LAist ran a feature about a little record shop opening in Echo Park. Many people wondered if it would weather the rough economy, but since then it's not just survived--it's thrived. In addition to its choice selection of new and used vinyl, Origami has become one of the smallest LA venues to host some of the biggest names.

Make 'Time' For The Bagavagabonds' Art Explosion Tonight

The Bagavagabonds are at it again and tonight's "Time"-themed Art Explosion at the Dietch Arts Continuum will showcase some of the best creative energies in LA. Original art by established artists as well as newcomers will be on display and available for purchase, including a piece by author Dave Eggers.

Interview With 'Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays' Producers Joan Stein and Stuart Ross

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays is an event that could only happen in a city like Los Angeles. Since Dec. 6, this weekly performance has combined the talents of actors and playwrights to shine a spotlight on the issue of marriage equality. The writing is compelling, thought-provoking, humorous and relatable—regardless of one's background.

Interview: Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall of 'Best New Artist' Grammy Nominee Mumford & Sons

Last week, London-based band Mumford & Sons received "Best New Artist" and "Best Rock Song" Grammy nominations. If the Grammys had a category for "Best Live Show," they probably would've scored that as well—as anyone who attended their recent show at the Hollywood Palladium would probably attest.

Interview: Joshua Radin Switches Up His Sound on 'The Rock and the Tide'

Joshua Radin's music has a way of arresting one's attention, which is probably why his songs have been used in more than 75 television programs and films over the last six years. But it's his full albums that offer the biggest payoff—they definitely live up to the promise of an initial taste. Radin's third full-length album, "The Rock and the Tide," showcases him at his most ambitious and playful, and proves he's just as adept at straight-up rock as he is at "whisper rock."

Interview: Jeff Norman of The Veterans Project Previews Friday's Event at Largo Featuring Matt Taibbi, Nomi Prins and Michael Penn

Friday night's lineup at Largo at the Coronet will bring together a journalist, a whistleblower and a singer/songwriter, and the results will be nothing less than riveting. In addition to the intellectual stimulation, a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Veterans Project, a local non-profit committed to helping military veterans reintegrate into society when they come home.

Interview: Gabe Witcher of Punch Brothers

Punch Brothers' music is the sound of synapses firing. The band's mix of unpredictability and virtuosity means there's always something new to uncover in their original pieces. And upon listening to one of their covers, you'll be hard-pressed to imagine Bach's Brandenburg without banjo or Of Montreal's "Gronlandic Edit" without mandolin. Don't miss them tomorrow night at the El Rey with opener Jon Brion.

Photo Essay: An Afternoon at the 2010 LA County Fair

The LA County Fair ends this Sunday, and the above photos are just a taste of this year's attractions. If you're headed to the Pomona Fairplex, keep in mind that it can get pretty hot, so be sure to pack some sunscreen and keep hydrated. When temperatures do get too high, there's plenty to do inside where it's a little cooler. Keep reading for a few suggestions.

Interview: Peter Murray and Jennie Wayne of John Heart Jackie

It seems fitting that Peter Murray and Jennie Wayne of the band John Heart Jackie recorded most of their debut record at a vineyard. The nine soft-yet-striking songs pair perfectly with life's most delicious moments. The new album also features special guests such as Luke Reynolds, Ryan Dobrowski & Luke Ydstie of Blind Pilot and Mat Davidson of The Low Anthem.

Interview: LA-Based Singer/Songwriter Hayley Taylor on Art, Acting and Her Debut Album

Hayley Taylor's debut record, "One Foot in Front of the Other," is a bright, tender and saucy collection that'll keep you coming back for more. LAist caught up with her last week to learn more about the new album, her early acting role opposite Barbra Streisand, and her record release show Thursday night at the Hotel Cafe.

'Dream' for a Good Cause: Bagavagabonds' Art Explosion to Feature Affordable Art, Live Music and Ping Pong

Saturday night will mark the Bagavagabonds' fourth Art Explosion—an all-ages multimedia experience and art show at the Brick Building in Culver City. This Art Explosion's theme is "Dream," and the group extended an open invitation to anyone who wanted to participate. All art pieces will be sold via silent auction for $50 or less, with proceeds benefiting Los Angeles-based charity Make Something.

Interview: Richard Hughes on Keane's New 'Night Train' EP

Keane's latest EP, Night Train, is essentially a microcosm of their touring schedule these last few years. The UK band recorded and mixed the album's eight tracks on planes, on trains and in seven different recording studios around the world—from Berlin to Brisbane. Last week, LAist caught up with Richard Hughes to learn more about the new EP, his tour photography, his work with Amnesty International, and the band's gig tonight at the Greek Theatre.

Interview: Ben Heywood of LA-Based Band Summer Darling

LA-based band Summer Darling has extended an irresistible invitation for you to get to know their music. Throughout the month of July, tickets to their Monday residence at Spaceland are free. And to top it all off, the full digital version of their latest album, also called Summer Darling, is available free of charge via their website.

Interview: Marina and the Diamonds to Make LA Debut at the Troubadour Tonight

London-based Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds is a pop artist with presence. The songs on her just-released album, The Family Jewels, are both sonically and lyrically intriguing. From her deft combination of Kipling and cutlery on "Mowgli's Road" to the fun-yet-vulnerable "I Am Not a Robot," 24-year-old Marina has proven she's in it for the long run.

Interview: Exploring Josh Ritter's New Album, 'So Runs the World Away'

Listening to Josh Ritter's new album is like reading a satisfying novel. Whether it's a spry tune like "Lark" or the tale of a mummy who falls in love with an archeologist in "The Curse," Ritter's wordplay and melodies reveal new facets upon each listen. That's probably one reason why Stephen King is a fan, and why Paste Magazine included Ritter on their "100 Best Living Songwriters" list.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show Release Stunning 'Songs for a Sinking Ship'

April Smith and the Great Picture Show's fan-funded debut album, "Songs for a Sinking Ship," is chock full of toe-tapping retro pop with a decidedly modern spin. LAist caught up with Smith last week to learn about some of the band's unique instruments, their history of cursed tour buses, and their gig Thursday night at the Hotel Cafe.

Photo Essay: Behind the Scenes at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Open House 2010)

For one weekend each year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena opens its doors to the public for a massive open house. This year's theme was "Worlds Beyond," and the event took place May 15 and 16.

Interview: Dianna Dilworth, Director of 'Mellodrama', a Must-See Film for Music Geeks

When the Chamberlin keyboard made its debut more than 50 years ago, Harry Chamberlin intended for it to revolutionize home entertainment. Little did he know that his invention would change the landscape of rock 'n' roll forever. By incorporating eight-second sound clips into an electro-mechanical keyboard, he essentially created the first music sampler. Read on to learn about the new documentary featuring this fascinating instrument.

Photos/Concert Review: LIGHTS (and Her Keytar) at the Fox Theater and Club Nokia

When LAist interviewed songstress/comic book aficionado/World of Warcraft enthusiast LIGHTS last year, she had just finished traversing the country on the Warped Tour. Earlier this month, she came back through town with gigs at the Fox Theater and Club Nokia in support of Owl City (who just remixed her song "Saviour"--see below for the video).

Upcoming Largo at the Coronet Lit Events to Feature David Mamet, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis

It's going to be a great couple of months for book lovers in LA. In addition to the Festival of Books this weekend, it's just been announced that David Mamet, Chuck and Bret Easton Ellis will be taking the stage at Largo at the Coronet this May and June. These won't be your average book readings--they'll include special guests, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit PEN Center USA.

Interview with Neil Schield: Origami Vinyl Celebrates Its First Anniversary

In celebration of Origami Vinyl's one-year anniversary today, the shop will feature free concerts, free beer and cake, and 10 percent off everything in the store. Yesterday LAist sat down with shop owner Neil Schield to talk about some of the best moments from the past year, the 826LA "Chickens in Love" project, and the fact that Origami will soon be stocking used records to complement its selection of new vinyl.

Interview/Photos: Scottish Band Biffy Clyro Returns to the US With the Release of 'Only Revolutions'

It's no surprise that Biffy Clyro's fifth studio album, "Only Revolutions," made many of the UK's "Best of 2009" lists. The Scotland-based trio has crafted an engrossing record that thoroughly rocks while remaining melodically intriguing. Today marks the release of "Only Revolutions" in the US, and it's sure to become a top pick here as well. Last Friday, LAist sat down with lead singer/guitarist Simon Neil and twins Ben Johnston (drums/vocals) and James Johnston (bass/vocals) on the set of their new music video.

Interview: Actress Jill Hennessy Returns to Her Singer/Songwriter Roots with 'Ghost in My Head'

Jill Hennessy's music career has followed an unlikely trajectory. Prior to her high-profile acting gigs on shows like Crossing Jordan and Law & Order, Hennessy's dream was to become a musician. She's never relinquished this passion, and in recent years her music has come to the fore. LAist caught up with Hennessy earlier this week to learn about the new album, her strangest busking experience, and her gig Monday night at the Hotel Cafe.

LAist Goes Shopping/Interview: 'Society of the Spectacle' in Highland Park

When LAist stumbled upon the gorgeous 20s bungalow that houses the Society of the Spectacle eyewear boutique in Highland Park/Eagle Rock, we fell in love. LAist recently caught up with co-owner Katie O'Connell to learn about the history of the shop, tips everyone should keep in mind when selecting new eyewear, and why Highland Park is such a fantastic and "mysteriously convenient" neighborhood.

Fiona Apple, Jenny Lewis, Sarah Silverman and Aziz Ansari to Headline Three Haiti Benefits at Largo at the Coronet

In the coming days, musicians and comedians from around Los Angeles will gather at Largo at the Coronet for three very special shows to raise funds for the ongoing humanitarian efforts in Haiti. After the charity events, Largo will update attendees on how much was raised and how the funds are being used to save lives.

Interview: John McGrew, Graham Fisk and Jeff Kerestes of Apollo Run

Although Brooklyn-based band Apollo Run has yet to release a full-length album, word of mouth is spreading fast. These guys know how to have a good time. Whether it's through an old-fashioned stomp, robust harmonies, or a show-stopping trumpet solo, the audience is taken in by the music and the charisma. LAist caught up with the band last week to learn about their forthcoming album, their love for In-N-Out and tonight's gig at The Mint.

Interview: An Exclusive Preview of Largo at the Coronet's 2010 Schedule

Throughout 2009, the music and comedy shows at Largo at the Coronet continued to surprise. LAist recently spoke with Largo owner Mark Flanagan to get a sneak preview of the venue's 2010 lineup. Read on to learn about Jon Brion's new monthly schedule, Largo's bluegrass festival in March, and upcoming shows for adults and kids.

Talking After Midnight: LAist Interviews Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist Hawksley Workman

Hawksley Workman just may be Canada's best-kept secret. The Juno Award-winning musician has already released 10 records and has gained a following across Canada, Europe and Australia. When Workman sat down with LAist after his recent set at the Hotel Cafe, the midnight chat covered such topics as the songwriting process, the evolution of car design, "Croc-offs," and the long-awaited release of his debut album "For Him and the Girls" in the United States.

Interview: Brandon Schott to Host Tomorrow Night's 'Turning Toward the Sun' Concert Benefiting i[2]y

When LAist interviewed Brandon Schott last year, he related the story of his battle with cancer and the charity efforts that arose from his struggle. Friday night at Molly Malone's, he and other singer/songwriters--who are also cancer survivors or advocates--will raise funds for the I'm Too Young for This! Cancer Foundation. The "Turning Toward the Sun" benefit and will also include a silent auction, door prizes, drink specials and more. LAist caught up with Schott yesterday for a brief chat about his new album and tomorrow night's event.

Interview: Singer/Songwriter/Animator Meaghan Smith Releases 'The Cricket's Orchestra'

When Meaghan Smith decided to quit her career as an animator and pursue the singer/songwriter path, she took a big leap of faith. Thankfully, the leap was well worth it, and in October she released her first full studio album, "The Cricket's Orchestra." Though it may sound contradictory, the album is a throwback ahead of its time. By combining underappreciated instruments such as the mellotron with her fresh take on love songs, Smith has crafted her own batch of modern-day standards. And she has even returned to her roots to animate her own music videos.

Interview: Comedian Rob Tannenbaum of Good for the Jews

The holidays seem to start earlier and earlier with each passing year. Soon after the Halloween decorations are taken down, cities become wrapped in tinsel and holiday music takes over the airwaves. However, amidst the grand seasonal spectacle, sometimes Hanukkah receives only a token decoration or the occasional play of the "The Dreidel Song." It is for that reason that Rob Tannenbaum and David Fagin formed Good for the Jews, a musical comedy group determined to "put the Ha! in Hanukkah."

Interview: Over the Rhine to Celebrate Twenty Years of Music with Two Nights at Largo

When couples celebrate a major anniversary, it's often said that they've been making beautiful music together for a long time. In the case of Over the Rhine, that description is literally as well as figuratively true. The core of the group, which was named after a neighborhood in Cincinnati, is comprised of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Linford Detweiler and his wife, songwriter/vocalist Karin Bergquist. This year marks the band's 20th anniversary.

LAist Interview: LIGHTS Opens Up About Her Intergalactic Music

If only there could be more pop stars like LIGHTS. The Toronto-based 22-year-old is a refreshing change in an industry where young singers are often better known for their exploits than for their talents. Not only does she make synth-driven "intergalactic music," but she has also created an alter ego called "Captain LIGHTS." The character first appeared in a comic book series on LIGHTS' website, and she has recently taken it to the next level with a short animated series on MTV called "Audio Quest: A Captain LIGHTS Adventure."

Interview: Singer/Songwriter Melody Gardot's 'One and Only Thrill'

The sound of Melody Gardot's voice feels like a swath of dramatic black and white, evoking images of film noir and mint juleps. In describing her demeanor and jazz-tinged music, words such as vamp, moxie, sass, and verve can't help but emerge. However, Gardot's easy delivery has been hard won. Six years ago, when her involvement with music was more of a flirtation, she was struck by a Jeep Cherokee while riding her bike.

Late-Night 'Largo' Film Screening to Benefit Autism Speaks

For the last 15 months, "Largo: A Film" has traveled the worldwide film festival circuit, and next week it's finally coming home. This award-winning documentary captures the spirit of the old Largo on Fairfax Ave., offering up the venue's signature blend of music and comedy. The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 29, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10, and the proceeds will support Autism Speaks.

Interview: MST3K Fans Rejoice! Joel Hodgson and the Cinematic Titanic Crew to Riff on Five Films at Largo

In the years since Joel Hodgson's departure from Mystery Science Theater 3000, rumors of his return to riffing have continued to surface. Then in 2007, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of dreadful B-movies, Hodgson and members of the original MST3K team returned to the riffing game under the name Cinematic Titanic. Thus far, they've released seven DVDs and expanded into live events Later this month, they will take over Largo at the Coronet to riff on five films in five nights.

Interview: Fisher Releases Shimmering Fourth Album, 'Water'

Chances are, the music of Fisher has made a major contribution to the soundtrack of your life--whether you've realized it or not. The band first made their mark 10 years ago when they became the most downloaded band on the Internet when released their song "I Will Love You." In July, Fisher released their fourth studio CD, "Water." Recorded after the tragic death of Fisher's father, the album tackles grand themes with a personal touch, and Fisher's velvet-laced vocals bring it all together.

Interview: Glen Phillips of Works Progress Administration (WPA)

If you want to see the epitome of collaboration, you need look no further than the band Works Progress Administration (WPA). This new folk-pop supergroup, named after FDR's New Deal agency, was born out of many Largo at the Coronet shows and impromptu post-show jam sessions. Over the last year, it has evolved into an "expandable collective" of musicians who can individually and collectively make your jaw drop with their skill and improvisation.

Photo Essay: An Afternoon at the 2009 LA County Fair

Although one could spend days exploring the LA County Fair, LAist was surprised to find just how much can be packed into one afternoon. In the past, we've shared images of fried food, ice cream and a massive brick of cheese fries. This time around, we turned our attention to rides, games and engaging activities for kids, such as the Jurassic Planet and Under the Sea buildings.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers to Perform at Largo at the Coronet Next Week

LAist has just gotten word that a handful of tickets just became available for the three sold-out Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass performances at Largo at the Coronet next week. These exclusive LA concerts will take place Tuesday (Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.) and Wednesday (Sept. 30 and 8:30 p.m.) Martin, who released his first full-length banjo CD earlier this year, recently performed with the Steep Canyon Rangers on...

Interview: Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini

One of the songs on Pink Martini's forthcoming album, "Splendor in the Grass", includes the line, "Life's a lot richer with a healthy mixture...not to mention lots more fun!" In addition to capping off a great musical romp, this statement also encapsulates the essence of Pink Martini. Over the course of 15 years, four albums and one live DVD, this little orchestra has crafted a sound that's both modern and retro, and Saturday night they'll take the stage at the Hollywood Bowl.

Photo Essay: Day 1 at Comic-Con 2009

It's that time of year again, when many LA residents (along with others from around the world) make the trek to Comic-Con in San Diego. Given that 125,000 people are attending the convention this year, navigating the Comic-Con exhibit hall is an event in itself. And although the main costume spectacle will take place during Saturday night's masquerade, today's crop didn't disappoint!

Interview: Jewel Releases Soothing Seventh Studio Album

This year has been a busy one for Jewel. She recently released her first independent album, "Lullaby," which is an ethereal collection of three classic tracks and 10 originals. The self-penned material holds its own among the standards, and after listening to this disc, it's hard to imagine a voice better suited for lullabies than Jewel's. Last week, LAist spoke with her to learn why she hopes her new album appeals to adults and children alike, and what she has in store when she takes the stage at the Hollywood Bowl this Friday and Saturday.

Interview: Juilliard-Trained Violinist Christina Courtin Steps Into the Singer/Songwriter Realm

Christina Courtin first captured attention as a Juilliard-trained violinist, playing everything from the classics to a piece that ends with a smashed violin. Yet all the while, she harbored a secret desire to sing, and as she branched out into this arena, she began building a fan base that started with fellow musicians and quickly grew. Courtin will be playing Largo at the Coronet on Tuesday night, and LAist spoke with her earlier this month to get the scoop on her new CD.

Largo at the Coronet 'Duets' Benefit for St. Jude's to Feature Fiona Apple, Jon Brion, John C. Reilly and More

Largo at the Coronet has hosted many benefits over the years, and the one this Saturday will feature Largo's first-ever evening of duets, with the proceeds going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Largo owner Mark Flanagan told LAist that the evening will include a number of duets that Fiona Apple and Jon Brion have been working on, in addition to pairings featuring artists such as John C. Reilly, Tom Brosseau, Mike Viola and a surprise guest or two.

Interview: The Lovell Sisters

Last month, LAist caught up with the Lovell Sisters, an acoustic/Americana/bluegrass group comprised of three siblings who have amazing voices and musicianship to match. Although they're a young band, the sisters have already established themselves in virtuosity and songwriting--winning everything from the Prairie Home Companion Teen Talent Contest to the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Over artichoke spinach dip and mint smoothies at Kitchen 24, the sisters opened up about touring, their new album, Time to Grow, and what they love about LA.

Interview: British Songwriter Ed Harcourt to Play 'Russian Roulette' at Bordello Bar This Monday

Although London-based multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt is hard at work recording his next album, he'll be playing a special one-night-only US gig at Bordello Bar on Monday night. Ever since his Mercury Prize-nominated album debuted eight years ago, Harcourt's music has consistently balanced the dark with the light--rock and pop with instantly hummable depth. His most recent release, an EP called "Russian Roulette," covers the emotional and musical gamut.

Interview: Pat McGuire, Editor-in-Chief of FILTER Magazine

In an age when music publications are folding left and right, FILTER magazine soldiers on with five full issues and five Good Music Guides per year. The content of the publication is driven by its tagline, "Good music will prevail," and recent features have included everything from a major interview and photo essay with Morrissey to a nine-page spread about the history of Slayer. LAist recently sat down with Editor-in-Chief Pat McGuire to chat about everything from Morrissey to the rapidly changing magazine market.

Neil Schield Talks About Origami Vinyl's First Two Months and Today's Sonic Youth Takeover

Two months ago, LAist interviewed Neil Schield, owner of Origami Vinyl in Echo Park, to learn about his passion for vinyl records and his decision to open a record store amidst a tough economy. In the weeks since, the store has flourished, and today marks a very special occasion. For one day only, Origami Vinyl has been transformed into "Sonic Youth's House of Shifting Plates and Ridiculous Juice" in celebration of the release of the band's new album, "The Eternal."

Photo Essay: 826LA's Echo Park Time Travel Mart

Although it may look like a convenience store from a distance, as you draw closer, it's obvious that 826LA's "Echo Park Time Travel Mart" is something special. After all, it's not every day you get to purchase items that appear to be from the distant well as the future! Some of the products are so whimsical that first-time visitors often ask, "Is this actually for sale?" Items range from "Robot Milk" to "Barbarian Repellent," and once inside the store, you can't help but feel like you've stepped into a space-time way station.

Interview: Mark Flanagan Celebrates Largo at the Coronet's First Year at Its New Location

In Los Angeles, being a Largo person is much like being a Mac person--those who experience it can't help but buy into its philosophy and talk about it to everyone they know. Under the watchful eye of Belfast-born owner Mark Flanagan, this music and comedy venue has evolved through the years, with each iteration nudging it closer to Flanagan's ideal. One year ago, Largo moved from its previous location on Fairfax to the Coronet Theatre on La Cienega. The historic theater, which features both a large and a small stage

Mini Interview: Peter Salett and Larry Goldings Begin Their Largo Little Room Residency Tonight

Last year, LAist sat down with singer/songwriter/film composer Peter Salett, to discuss his solo albums and his scoring work on films such as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Role Models." Salett's new project is a collaboration with celebrated jazz musician Larry Goldings, who has released 10 solo records and worked with everyone from Madeleine Peyroux to James Taylor. The Salett/Goldings partnership got a kick-start when they met up one day to "maybe write a song," and it quickly turned into a full record. Their upcoming "Carriage House Sessions" album is a collection of originals with a few American songbook selections sprinkled throughout the record. Tonight, Salett and Goldings will begin a weekly residency in Largo at the Coronet's Little Room. LAist caught up with Salett earlier today for a mini interview about this new collaboration.

Photo Essay: Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open House, 5/3/09

As LAist has mentioned in the past, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Annual Open House is one of the best free events in town. This year, kids and adults alike enjoyed exhibits, demonstrations, 3-D Mars photos, dancing robots and more. Plus, it's not every day you get to ask a rocket scientist a question!

France and Nigeria-Based Singer/Songwriter Asa Redefines World Music

Singer/songwriter Asa was born to make music. From her birth and later years in Paris to her formative years in Nigeria, music has remained her constant companion. In an effort to grow as a musician, she secretly enrolled in music school, bought a guitar and carved out a distinct sound that's unmistakably Asa--a blend of reggae, folk, soul and jazz. She weaves many themes throughout the 10 tracks of her self-titled debut, and the way she communicates emotion is further heightened through her use of English and her mother tongue, Yoruba. LAist recently sat down with Asa at Caffe Etc. prior to one of her recent gigs at the Hotel Cafe. Over espresso, she opened up about the meaning of her name, the beauty of Nigeria and her thoughts on Los Angeles.

Interview: Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek Releases Her First Solo Record

It's not often that an accomplished Grammy-winning musician waits two decades to release a solo album, but in the case of Sara Watkins, the timing has worked out perfectly. Watkins has been performing professionally since the age of eight, and in the years since, people the world over have fallen in love with her emotive voice and adept fiddle playing. In addition to the 18 years she spent in the band Nickel Creek with brother Sean Watkins and Chris Thile, LA residents may also know her work from one of the best shows in town--the Watkins Family Hour evenings at Largo at the Coronet. When Nickel Creek went on hiatus in 2007, Watkins crossed paths with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, who told her he wanted to be the one to produce her first solo record. The result of this effort is Watkins' self-titled solo debut, which combines original songs and instrumentals with inspired covers. Her voice absolutely shines throughout this disc, and her most brilliant moments are those when she is somehow able to convey a sense of hopeful melancholy. LAist spoke with Watkins last week to learn about the new album, where she likes to shop for clothes in LA, and her gig at Largo this Thursday night.

Interview: Katie Melua Talks About the US Release of Her Third Album, 'Pictures'

UK-based singer/songwriter Katie Melua has sold more than 10 million records, performed for the Queen and headlined at Wembley Arena. Even though she can sell out larger venues, Melua still enjoys playing more intimate spaces. Tonight, a lucky few will have the opportunity to hear her play a set at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Melua's current tour coincides with the US release of her studio third album, "Pictures," which mixes jazz, folk and pop influences. LAist recently spoke with Melua to learn about her childhood in the country of Georgia, the new album and her favorite roller coaster in Southern California.

Interview: Singer/Songwriter Vienna Teng Explores a Vast 'Inland Territory'

Earlier this month, Vienna Teng released her fourth studio album, "Inland Territory." At first glance, it's a surprising title given that Teng has spent most of her life on the East and West Coasts. However, further inspection reveals this record to be her most introspective. Throughout the 12 tracks, she pushes her own boundaries to paint new chamber pop landscapes that highlight her strong vocals and signature instrumentation. LAist caught up with Teng earlier this month to chat about her new disc, her background in computer programming and the Vienna Teng Trio's gig tonight at the Roxy.

Interview (Part Two): Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer Jon Brion Talks About Dylan, Davies, Largo and Los Angeles

It's always fun to spot the first-timers at one of Jon Brion's Friday night shows. They're usually the ones with their jaws hanging open as they try to figure out how he's looping instruments into a 10-layered live performance, or how he's using the piano as percussion. Perhaps the greatest moments of awe occur as they realize he's improvising something that's never been heard before, and will probably never be heard again. It's no wonder some people have seen his show hundreds of times and keep coming back for more! LAist's two-part interview with Brion followed the same pattern as his live show--which often starts with a solo set, then incorporates other musicians during the second half. In part one of the interview, Brion discussed his early experiences with music and improvisation. In this second part, he talks about some of his favorite musicians--from the 60s to the modern day. In addition, LAist asked him about his sock collection, how he discovers new music and why he loves Los Angeles.

Interview: Elizabeth Ziman of Elizabeth & the Catapult

Two years ago, Elizabeth Ziman of the Brooklyn-based band Elizabeth & the Catapult revealed in the song "Waiting for the Kill" that she's "just a good good girl with a troubled mind." During her call with LAist last Friday, those words still rang true. As she sat outside her practice studio, she declared it to be one of the most beautiful days of the year. A few seconds later, she noticed she was surrounded by pink goo as a result of illegal dumping—courtesy of a chemical plant across the road. In the end, her good humor prevailed and she commented, "Well, maybe this means I'll become one of the X-Men!" For the time being, Ziman and her bandmates Danny Molad (drums) and Peter Lalish (guitar) have left the pink goo behind to tour in support of their forthcoming album, Taller Children. In typical Elizabeth & the Catapult style, the band has thrown off the restrictions of genre and created a full-length debut that both cleanses the palate and serves up a satisfying meal. Over the course of her conversation with LAist, Ziman opened up about the band's name, flirting via the songwriting process, and tonight's gig at the Hotel Cafe.

Interview (Part One): Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer Jon Brion Talks About His Early Experiences With Music

Describing the breadth of Jon Brion's career can be a trying task. He's a man who wears many hats--among them multi-instrumentalist, producer (Aimee Mann, Kanye West, Dido), film scorer (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love) and singer/songwriter (Meaningless). But to Brion, it's all one body of work, and he's most happy when he's making music. Brion is also one of the reasons why LA residents can call themselves geographically fortunate, thanks to his weekly gigs at Largo. Each Friday night show is its own animal--a chemistry of sound that includes everything from one-man-band live looping to special guests. It's a rare opportunity to hear new takes on old classics, as well as to witness the creation of new music on the spot. Earlier this month, LAist sat down with Brion a couple hours before he took the stage at Largo. As the venue began to come to life for the night, he opened up about his early experiences with music, his first night at Largo and his love of improvisation.

Interview: Neil Schield of Origami Vinyl (Which Opens Its Doors Today)

When Neil Schield was in high school, one of his teachers asked him, "What do you want to accomplish by your 10-year reunion?" He answered without hesitation, "I want to open a record store." Today is the realization of that dream with the grand opening of Origami Vinyl. And although it didn't happen in time for his high school reunion, Schield feels the timing is right. Getting to this day has been a bit of a journey. After college, Schield worked for Sony and Interscope, then started the Origami Music label, which puts artists in the driver's seat allows them to retain all their rights. And today he is adding Origami Vinyl to the mix--an eclectic store stocked full of new vinyl records. The second level of the shop will serve as a space for live music, and Origami will also be a place to buy tickets for Spaceland, the Echoplex and the Echo. LAist sat down with Schield at Masa to discuss his love of vinyl records, the visit Pete Townshend recently paid to the store, and why Echo Park is such a thriving community.

Interview: Juliette Commagere Talks Keytars and Her Debut Solo Album, 'Queens Die Proudly'

Up to this point, Juliette Commagere has been best known as the keytar-playing frontwoman of the band Hello Stranger, which has opened for everyone from the Foo Fighters to Kings of Leon. And although "Queens Die Proudly" is her first solo outing, she's still surrounded by friends and family in this effort--including guest performances by legendary slide guitarist Ry Cooder, his son (and Commagere's high school sweetheart) Joachim Cooder, and her siblings, Robert Francis and Carla Commagere. LAist sat down with Commagere for dinner at Oaxacan restaurant Monte Alban to learn about the new record, how she's bringing the keytar back and the process of creating an orchestra via Craiglist.

Interview: Inside Margaret Cho's New LA Show

Comedian Margaret Cho has never been afraid to push the envelope, challenge stereotypes and use humor to make some stunningly valid points. This year, Cho is embracing a new role--that of a singer/songwriter. She's now working on her first full-length music album, with the help of some well-known friends. Of course, Cho infuses the songs with her unmistakable wit, so it's safe to say her lyrics are just as memorable as her melodies. You don't have to wait until her album release to hear the new music. She's incorporated some of the new tunes into Fingerbang!--her exclusive comedy/variety show hosted at Largo at the Coronet. This month's show on Tuesday, March 24, will include guests such as Susie Suh and Grant-Lee Phillips. LAist recently caught up with Cho and chatted about her Largo show, songwriting and burlesque.

PaleyFest 2009 Preview: Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Horrible, True Blood, Pushing Daisies and More

This year's annual William S. Paley Television Festival (also known as PaleyFest) will feature some LAist favorites. The up close and personal television event is sponsored by the Paley Center for Media, and begins April 10 at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome. Tickets go on sale to the public Sunday at 9 a.m. and they're likely to sell out within 24 hours, if not sooner. Most PaleyFest events treat fans to clips from each program (sometimes never-before-seen material) and include a panel discussion with questions from a moderator and the audience. In addition, each panel page on the PaleyFest website now includes an option for fans to submit questions prior to the event. This year's lineup is a strong one and it features: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 90210, True Blood, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, Desperate Housewives, Unaired Pushing Daisies Episodes, Battlestar Galactica, The Hills, Big Love, Fringe and Swingtown.

Photo Essay: GBK Oscar Gift Suite

Gifting events have long been a part of Oscar's history, and this year--more than ever--gift suites are going green and giving back. LAist attended the GBK "Circus of the Senses" event at the SLS Hotel on Friday, Feb. 20, to become familiar with the charities and artists involved with the event. Oscar nominees, presenters and other notable figures were given special wristbands that enabled them to receive goodies throughout the suite. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the event benefited four charities (more info below). In addition, each charity was given a gift bag to auction off, and each celebrity in attendance was given the opportunity to give all or part of their gift bag to the charity of their choice.

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