Results tagged “Michele Reverte”

Interview: Sean Nelson of 'Nelson Sings Nilsson' and Harvey Danger

When Sean Nelson takes the stage in Largo at the Coronet's Little Room this weekend, the majority of his song choices will come from the Harry Nilsson songbook--from which he painstakingly selected 15 tracks for his unreleased album, Nelson Sings Nilsson. Although the record is still in search of a label, those in search of a great live show need look no further. Nelson has crafted a fresh and fitting look back to a talented man who was ahead of his time. Plus, it's not hard to imagine that if Nilsson were alive today, he'd probably be playing at Largo. In addition to the Nilsson project, you may also know Nelson from the band Harvey Danger (best known for "Flagpole Sitta"), as the co-owner of Barsuk Records, or from his work as a journalist, screenwriter and actor. LAist chatted with Nelson last Sunday from his home in Seattle, during which he candidly spoke about Nilsson, Largo, Harvey Danger and Proustian minefields.

Interview: Singer/Songwriter Brett Dennen Offers 'Hope for the Hopeless'

Brett Dennen's latest album is called "Hope for the Hopeless," and with this singer/songwriter, those aren't empty words. He is just as well known for his charity work as he is for his music. Although he's moved from opening act to headliner over the last couple years, Dennen remains down-to-earth and continues to support the Mosaic Project and other non-profit groups. And when it comes to his music, he's really hit his stride. "Hope for the Hopeless" is both fun and thought-provoking, and after one listen, you'll be humming songs like "Make You Crazy" for the rest of the day. LAist recently sat down with Dennen at a practice studio where he and his band were getting ready for his current tour. During this time, he opened up about the album, his unique dance moves and his favorite part about living in Santa Monica.

Interview: Sean Watkins of Fiction Family

The songwriting process for Fiction Family's first record didn't follow standard procedure, and that's probably one of the reasons why it's such a fun and fascinating album. When Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot decided to write music together, they knew they'd have to do much of their songwriting while one (or both) of them was on tour. So they established something of an electronic pen pal system for writing the music and getting each other's feedback. Along with that, they established some ground rules: 1) no tuning of vocal tracks, 2) no amp simulators, 3) no shlepping of gear back and forth, 4) no pussyfooting around each others musical feelings and 5) no crap. Thus they began a collaboration that would have been technologically impossible 20 years ago, while making sure they maintained an organic sound. The result is Fiction Family's self-titled debut, which was released on Jan. 20. Last Friday, LAist spoke with Watkins to learn more about the new record, surfing, Guitar Hero and Fiction Family's gig at Largo at the Coronet this Saturday night.

Interview: Singer/Songwriter Lex Land Talks About Her 'Orange Days on Lemon Street'

One can't help but be intrigued by Lex Land's voice. She deftly navigates fervor and vulnerability in a manner that usually takes a lifetime to cultivate, and yet she's only 22. Since the release of her debut record, Orange Days on Lemon Street, comparisons have already been made with Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple and Liz Phair among others. But Land takes it all in stride. Last Thursday, LAist sat down with Land at Peet's Coffee in Studio City and spoke with the Southern California native about her whirlwind year, her three tattoos, the craziest experience she's ever had on LA public transportation, and her gig tonight at the Hotel Cafe.

Video of the Day: 'Mellodrama' Trailer

Thanks to this intriguing trailer, LAist already can't wait for the DVD release of "Mellodrama," a documentary about the Mellotron, a keyboard instrument that for decades has made a dramatic impact on rock music. The film includes interviews with musicians such as Brian Wilson and LA-based Largo regulars, Michael Penn and Jon Brion.

Interview: Erin McCarley, a Songwriter You've Heard on TV

In recent months, Erin McCarley's music has been featured on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Privileged and One Tree Hill. The movie trailer for He's Just Not That Into You includes her song "Love, Save the Empty." And tonight, she'll appear on the Late Show with David Letterman. Not bad for an artist whose first album debuts today! LAist recently chatted with McCarley a couple days after hanging out on the set of her first music video shoot. During the conversation, she opened up about the new record, the best advice she ever received, and why she might take up grocery shopping as a hobby.

Midnight Movie: Aimee Mann's Christmas Carol

This year, Aimee Mann gave a Christmas gift to the world by sharing videos from her third annual Christmas show. These four gems are just as good as their 2007 counterparts, and the 2008 cast includes guests such as Mann's talented husband, Michael Penn, a hilarious Michael Cera spouting f-bombs in protest of being cast as Tiny Tim, Paul F. Tompkins as a ghost who has technical difficulties delivering his message via Skype, plus John. C. Reilly, Tim Heidecker, Grant Lee Phillips and John Krasinski.

LAist Interview: Maria Taylor

In 2005, Maria Taylor received national attention when songs from her first solo album, 11:11, were featured on Grey's Anatomy. Of course, longtime fans of her music weren't surprised in the slightest. Over the years she's become known for her layered songwriting and meltingly beautiful vocals in bands such as Little Red Rocket, Azure Ray and Now It's Overhead. LAist recently caught up with Taylor at LA Mill in Silver Lake to chat about her next album, the theft of her instruments earlier this year, and her upcoming one-night-only Azure Ray reunion at the Troubadour on Nov. 30.

Photo Essay: 'The Blue and the Gray' Civil War Reenactment, 11/9/08

Each November, Civil War reenactors gather in Moorpark to take part in Southern California's largest yearly Civil War event. And they keep it real--from the clothes they wear to the campsites (yes, they even sleep there during the event!) During "The Blue and the Gray," attendees are treated to good food, one-of-a-kind shops and educational demonstrations.

LAist Interview: Peter Salett

To say that musician Peter Salett is a busy guy would be an understatement. A true "multi-hypenate," Salett is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, actor and film scorer. The recent release of his fifth solo album, In the Ocean of the Stars, reveals a singer/songwriter at the top of his game. In addition, his soundtrack work has included Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the new film Role Models, which opens in theaters tomorrow. LAist caught recently caught up with Salett over apple pie and green apple sorbet at Hal's in Venice to chat about the new album, film work and his move from NYC to LA.

LAist Interview: Leona Naess

In one respect, Leona Naess' current album, Thirteens, could be described in numbers. She spent four years crafting 13 album's worth of songs from which she carefully selected 11 for her fourth album. But Thirteens could also be described in terms of raw emotion. For Naess, music became an outlet through which she could channel her grief after the tragic death of her father in 2004.

LAist Interview: Lisa Hannigan

Although it sometimes takes two or three listens to truly appreciate and feel familiarity with an album, Lisa Hannigan's debut, Sea Sew, is a different story. Hers is a rare record that feels comfortable on the first listen--sort of like slipping on a pair of warm, fuzzy slippers and curling up next to the fire on a blustery day. LAist caught up with Hannigan last week to chat about sewing, venn diagrams and what it feels like to be drenched in chocolate.

Russell Brand to Perform at Largo at the Coronet in November

Although many people know Largo at the Coronet as a music venue, their comedy lineup has always been strong--and over the years the venue has hosted everyone from Tenacious D to Flight of the Conchords. In November, Largo will feature comedian and Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Russell Brand, who quickly became an audience favorite during a Greg Proops Chat Show last summer. Brand's upcoming gigs are scheduled for Sunday and Monday, Nov. 2 and 3...

LAist Interview: Amie Miriello

Although Amie Miriello's first solo record, I Came Around, was released in September, this singer/songwriter already has quite the resume. She first made her presence known as lead singer of the band Dirtie Blonde, and opened for musicians such as Teddy Geiger, INXS and Gavin DeGraw. Once the band dismantled, she set off on her own and received support from some of today's top record producers as she crafted her debut. LAist recently caught up with Miriello and learned about the new album, her gig at the Key Club this week and the time she had to play the part of the actual yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz

LAist Interview: Jason Reeves

Although you might not realize it, chances are you've hummed a Jason Reeves song at some point in the last year. For example, he co-wrote 10 songs, including the ubiquitous "Bubbly," on Colbie Caillat's debut album. Last month, Reeves struck out on his own with his first album on the Warner Brothers label. LAist recently met Reeves for lunch at the Aroma Cafe to discuss the new album, robot pianos and Reeves' current tour with Tyrone Wells.

LAist Interview: Jonatha Brooke

On her sixth solo studio album, The Works, Jonatha Brooke lends her unmistakable timbre and solid songwriting skills to lyrics penned by Woody Guthrie more than 50 years ago. With the blessing and assistance of Guthrie's daughter, Nora, Brooke scoured the Guthrie archives to create one of the most intriguing albums of the year. Throughout the 13 tracks, Brooke's style intertwines with Guthrie's words to reveal a man who was at once passionate and flawed, frightened and brash.

Is Dancing With the Stars Turning Into Survivor?

With recent news that Misty May-Treanor is probably out of the competition due to an injury she sustained to her Achilles on Friday, and reports that dancer Derek Hough was rushed to the hospital after blacking out in rehearsal on Saturday, it almost appears that the secret to winning DWTS this season is avoiding (or surviving) injury!

Midnight Movie: Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy on The Soup

LAist was on hand for this week's taping of The Soup, which included the above clip of Dancing With the Stars contestant and Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. According to stories posted today by MSNBC and E! Online, May-Treanor injured her Achilles tendon the following day during a DWTS rehearsal and it is not yet clear how this will affect her status on the show. More info after the jump.

Protecting Our Pelicans

Last week, LAist ran a heartbreaking story about 11 pelicans that died after their wings were deliberately broken in Huntington Beach. The following photos, all of which were taken in Santa Monica this month, illustrate just how comfortable pelicans can feel around humans. Although people on the pier were reaching out and petting this little guy, he didn't even flinch when they did so.

LAist Interview: Sabina Sciubba of the Brazilian Girls

It's been said that one of the tracks from the Brazilian Girls' latest genre-traversing record, New York City, would fit in perfectly on the new James Bond movie's soundtrack. I'd like to take that one step further by suggesting that the band members themselves would make fantastic secret agents. Herein lies the proof: First, they are masters of misdirection, because although their name is "Brazilian Girls," not one member is Brazilian and only one is...

Photo Essay: LA County Fair Animals & Attractions

The LA County Fair is now in its second week, and LAist again returned to snap some photos of the fun. Some of these photos were taken just as the fair was opening, before the hordes of people and the long lines. The "FairView Farms" area is always a highlight, and this visit included mischievous goats, the Budweiser Clydesdales and various animals giving birth. The fair continues through Sept. 28 and is open Wednesday through...

LAist Interview: Jesca Hoop

It's fitting that singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop got her big break via KCRW's morning show, because there's no more fitting way to describe her music and her life than the word "eclectic." From her early years performing in her family's "station wagon choir," to becoming a homesteader in Northern California and Wyoming, to working as a nanny for the children of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Hoop has used this diverse background to craft Kismet, her fresh debut album.

LAist Interview: Brandon Schott

Golden State isn't just the name of LA-based singer/songwriter Brandon Schott's second album, it's also a great description of his outlook on life. Schott's two albums are infused with a thoughtful optimism, and when he was diagnosed with germ cell cancer last winter, he turned that experience into a new organization, Artists for Healing, through which musicians give back to the community. Now cancer-free, Schott is getting back into the LA music scene with a benefit this Sunday at Safari Sam's, from which all the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. LAist recently caught up with Schott over espresso floats at Mel's Drive-In on Sunset to chat about his two records, his recent battle with cancer, and life as a musician in Los Angeles.

LAist Interview: The Boxmasters -- J.D. Andrew, Mike Butler & Billy Bob Thornton

The Boxmasters are a great study in juxtapositions. Their band's sound is a fusion of 60s British Invasion and hillbilly music. Their original songs range from poignant to tongue-in-cheek. They are serious musicians, but their record is undeniably fun. And on their tour--including a performance at the House of Blues in Hollywood this Sunday--they serve as their own opening act (more about that later in this interview).

'Wicked' Lottery = Wicked Awesome

Although tickets to Wicked are available through Ticketmaster, most people don't realize that there's a way to get some of the best spots in the house for less than the price of the nosebleed seats. Before each performance, 26 front row seats are made available through the "Wicked lottery," which takes place next to the ticket booth at the Pantages. So with a little luck, some persistence and $25 cash, you could find yourself front and center for one of the final performances.

Largo at the Coronet Announces Summer Lineup

If you haven't caught a show at Largo at the Coronet yet, now might be a good time. Their recently posted, insanely good schedule for the next three months includes performers such as Randy Newman, Loudon Wainwright III, Joan as Police Woman, Maya Rudolph & Fred Armisen, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Brion, The Ditty Bops, Colin Hay, The Watkins Family Hour feat. Fiona Apple & Dan Wilson, Greg Proops and Flight...

LAist Interview: Greg Laswell

As of late, Greg Laswell and his music have been everywhere--such as a recent stint across the United States and Europe during the Hotel Cafe Tour, a GarageBand feature on the Apple website, and his music being played on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Smallville, One Tree Hill and Cold Case. This year has already seen the release of one Laswell EP, How the Day Sounds, and his new full-length record, Three Flights from...

Tickets Still Left to See Flight of the Conchords' Secret Show (and Headliner Jon Brion) Tonight

As LAist announced yesterday, rumors have been swirling that the Flight of the Conchords will be joining Jon Brion during one of his Largo at the Coronet shows tonight. Today's message on the Largo phone line confirmed that Brion's first show at 8:30 p.m. will also feature "a couple of crazy bastards from New Zealand." Some tickets will be available for $30 cash at the door, and those wanting a confirmed seat should probably arrive...

Greg Proops, Jon Brion, Tony Visconti, Russell Brand & John C. Reilly @ Largo at the Coronet, 6/14/08

Saturday night's inaugural Greg Proops Chat Show at the new Largo at the Coronet Theater was a fun three-hour ride featuring music, storytelling and, of course, comedy. The venue was close to being sold out, and the show began with one-man band Jon Brion, who threw a few Largo newbies for a loop. Some giggling people unfamiliar with his work must have figured that his sitting behind the drums was some sort of set up...

Event Preview: 6th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival @ iO West

I'm convinced that the Annual Improv Festival at the iO West (Improv on Olympic) Theater is one of the best-kept comedy secrets in Los Angeles. How else could I have scored tickets over the last two years to see the likes of Eric Idle, Harry Shearer, and the casts of MadTV and The Office in such an intimate theater? This year's festival has already begun and will continue through June 7. If you're looking for...

LAist Interview: Newton Faulkner

British musician Newton Faulkner has been compared with everyone from Eddie Vedder to Jack Johnson, but I think Rolling Stone said it best when they declared, "If Prince was an English hippie who was obsessed with Bobby McFerrin-esque percussion and had long cinnamon dreadlocks, you'd have Faulkner." His first album, Hand Built by Robots has gone double platinum in the UK and is picking up steam in the United States. Faulkner will play the Troubadour...

LAist Interview: Jim Bianco

Jim Bianco knows how to captivate an audience. You can't help but be drawn in by his charisma, and you never know what to expect when he takes the stage. Bianco's new record, Sing, is the first album to be released by the Hotel Cafe record label. Like his previous albums, Sing showcases his playfulness. "I Got a Thing for You" is destined to be a hit with burlesque troupes, and lyrics from songs like...

LAist Interview: Jessie Baylin

When you see singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin perform, there's something familiar about her. Sure, it could be the fact that her posters now grace the bulletin boards of many local Starbucks, or it might be because she's been a regular at local venues such as the Hotel Cafe and the Mint. Then again, maybe it's just the fact that Baylin seems to be an old soul. Though still in her early 20s, she's already so...

Photo Essay: LA Lineman's Rodeo, 5/17/08

Over the weekend, teams of electrical linemen gathered at the Department of Water & Power in Sun Valley to compete in the 2008 Lineman's Rodeo. Hosted by the DWP and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, electrical journeymen and apprentices showed off their incredible agility and raced against the clock in various competitions.

LAist Interview: Tee Sorge (American Gladiators Season 7 Winner)

With the Season 2 premiere of American Gladiators airing tonight, LAist caught up with Tiziana "Tee" Sorge, the last woman to win an entire season of the original American Gladiators series (season 7, 1995-1996). In the interview below, she shares insights into the toughest challenges of being a contender (including that annoying spandex), compares the new show with the original and talks about one of her passions--small dog rescue.

LAist Interview: William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons isn't your average singer-songwriter. A multi-instrumentalist who holds a Masters degree in psychology, Fitzsimmons draws from his unique background to create music that reveals new, subtle facets with each subsequent listen. LAist recently sat down with Fitzsimmons (who will perform at the Hotel Cafe Monday night) during one of the last shows on the Hotel Cafe Tour to discuss the songwriting process, his favorite moments from the tour and, of course, beards.

LAist Interview: Aimee Mann

On June 3, Aimee Mann's new album, @#%&*! Smilers, will be released on her SuperEgo Records label. Throughout the 13 tracks, Mann delivers a musical experience that packs an emotional punch. The songs hint at her playful side and deliver melodies you'll want to hum for the rest of the day. LAist caught up with Mann to get the scoop on her new record.

Concert Review: Hotel Cafe Tour @ Henry Fonda Theater, 4/12/08

39 days • 12 musicians • 1 bus Though this may sound like the setup for "The Real World: Singer-Songwriter Edition," it's actually the description of the Hotel Cafe Tour--a traveling showcase of some of the best musical talent in the country, most of whom are LA residents and regulars at the Hotel Cafe on Cahuenga. You might think that with so many creative people packed into such a small space, drama would naturally...

LAist Interview: David Sandholm of The Rollo Treadway

Every so often you come across a CD so good that you enjoy every track--and this discovery is made even more precious when you find it before it's played on KCRW or included on a Paste sampler CD. For me, The Rollo Treadway is such a band. Their self-titled CD blends dark and melodic pop with surprising lyrics and a Beach-Boys-meets-The Zombies vibe. Although they haven't nailed down their LA tour dates yet, we figured LAist readers might appreciate getting to know them before they come to town. We recently spoke with The Rollo Treadway lead singer and songwriter David Sandholm to get the scoop on their self-titled debut CD, the songwriting process and what he's looking forward to when the band comes to LA.

LAist Interview: Michael J. Nelson of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000

LAist catches up with Michael J. Nelson, a former host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as he talks about his latest project, RiffTrax. In the interview, he also gives us the scoop about political ads, bloopers and a possible live event in Los Angeles.

LAist Interview: Cary Brothers

It's shaping up to be a busy year for singer-songwriter Cary Brothers. With the fourth annual Hotel Cafe Tour beginning in just a few days and his first full-length CD, Who You Are, getting great reviews, things won't be slowing down for him anytime soon. Brothers first received nationwide attention when his song "Blue Eyes" was featured on the Garden State soundtrack four years ago, and his fan base has grown with the release of...

Concert Review: Billy Joel @ Honda Center, 2/23/08

The piano man is also a guitar man I'm not ashamed to admit that somewhere among my Jon Brion, Of Montreal and Vampire Weekend albums, you'll find a bunch of Billy Joel CDs. Although I wasn't even born when he first hit the airwaves, I've always had a soft spot for his music. Since I didn't get to see him perform during the days when he was releasing and performing new music, I was...

Concert Review: 826LA with Zooey Deschanel, Julie Buxbaum & Paul F. Tompkins @ Largo 2/16/08

As far as live variety shows go, it doesn't get much better than the 826LA Book*Smart events at Largo. The event, which usually takes place once a month, features an author, a comedian and a musician. Saturday's event centered around headliner Zooey Deschanel, who blew the audience away with her vocal chops and helped raise funds for 826LA with sewn duck heads (it'll make sense as you keep reading).

Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart to Perform @ House of Blues on Friday

First Amoeba Music scored a "secret show" featuring Paul McCartney, and now Ringo Starr is coming to town. Amoeba announced tonight that Starr and Dave Stewart will play an exclusive short set at the House of Blues this Friday to promote the release of Liverpool 8, Starr's new album. In order to be guaranteed entry, you must be one of the first people in line to purchase the new CD at Amoeba Music on Tuesday morning. The only other way to reserve a place is to win a pair via a KLOS on-air giveaway. All others must wait in line at the HoB beginning at 9 a.m. Friday morning.

Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp: The Perfect Gift for the Millionaire Guitar Hero Addict Who Has Everything

Oh, to have unlimited resources and $8,000 to blow. My perceptions of rock 'n' roll fantasy camps forever changed this morning when my eyes skimmed an e-mail touting the mother of all rock experiences. My skepticism led me to open the e-mail and I was genuinely shocked by the caliber of the special guests and "camp counselors," which include Brian Wilson, Nick Mason, Cliff Williams and more. The Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp will take place Feb. 15-18 at a recording studio in Los Angeles and will include an on-stage performance with Cliff Williams at the House of Blues.

Ricky Gervais Tix on Sale Tuesday

Even though "Extras" has ended, you can still get a Ricky Gervais fix when he comes to the Kodak Theatre in 2008. Though his people originally announced that tickets would go on sale Dec. 25, the date has been moved up to tomorrow, Dec. 18, at 10 a.m.

Photo Essay: Holiday Shopping and Nine Courses of Costco Food Samples

It's become a bit of a tradition. Each year, my co-workers and I spend one of our November lunch breaks at Costco. The seven of us help each other shop and have a fun time trying to find some deals. The first year we did it, someone posed the question: "But doesn't that mean we'll miss lunch?" Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to the little food sample stands set up...

Ricky Gervais to Perform at the Kodak Theatre in 2008

Start saving your pennies now. Today it was announced that Ricky Gervais--podcast king and star/co-creator of The Office (U.K.) and Extras--will be coming to the Kodak Theatre next summer. Here's the official word from his website: Overpaid, Over-Fed and Over There Ricky Gervais will shortly be announcing stand-up shows across America in July 2008. Tickets for the coast to coast tour will go on sale at Christmas and will include dates at New York's...

Giving Thanks for...

Family Such as a grandpa who was awesome enough to teach a 12-year-old me about binary as well as the difference between analog and digital. People Who Adopt I wouldn't be here were it not for a kind couple who opened their home and their hearts to my foreign-born mom and her siblings. Really Thick Books Along with other reading, I've been working my way through Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Even if I only...

Photo Essay: "The Blue & the Gray" Civil War Reenactment @ Tierra Rejada Ranch, 11/11/07

I've been hearing about Civil War reenactments for a while now, but until this year I had no idea there was one a few miles from LA County. According to the official event website, this particular reenactment (hosted by the Richmond Howitzer Battalion) is the largest in Southern California. The participants, many of whom are veterans, pay the expenses themselves and the attention to detail is amazing. This year, the event took place Nov....

Amy LaVere, Bryan Master and Libbie Schrader @ the Hotel Cafe / Of Montreal @ the Avalon, 11/8/07

Thursday night was a busy one and I probably could've used more of a decompression stop between the Hotel Cafe and the Avalon to give my brain ample time to switch genres, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It all began at 7 p.m. at the Hotel Cafe with Amy LaVere. I immediately knew I liked her when she took the stage with an upright bass that had a Bass (fish) sticker in the middle...

Theatre Review: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers @ Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

It certainly doesn't sound like a musical from the 50s. Among other things, it includes kidnapping, a dance-off, literal shotgun weddings, one woman moving in with seven men, and an opening number in which the main character expresses thanks for an unknown woman's beautiful "hide." But these elements come together to create the thoroughly enjoyable musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. For the last two weeks the Cabrillo Musical Theatre Group has presented this energetic...

Brandon Schott @ Bordello, 9/22/07

Brandon Schott's CD release party at Bordello in downtown Los Angeles last Saturday night was like something out of Moulin Rouge! Backed by a string quartet and 11 other musicians, Schott--a singer and multi-instrumentalist--performed his new CD, Golden State, in its entirety and threw in a few surprises as well. And did I mention there were belly dancers?...

Watkins Family Hour @ Largo, 9/13/07

Thursday night's Watkins Family Hour performance at Largo was a humdinger. At one point, they must have broken some kind of a Largo record, because they fit NINE people on that tiny platform. Throughout the three-hour set, eight additional performers joined Sean and Sara Watkins on the stage. The lineup included Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Glen Phillips, Greg Leisz, Mike Elizondo, Willie Watson, Jay Bellerose and Dave Rawlings. They performed more than 20 songs...

"CHESS: The Musical" Coming to the Ford Amphitheatre This Monday

It is the best musical you've (probably) never heard of. It boasts music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA, and lyrics by Tim Rice. Its rich songs fuse classical Broadway influences with sprinklings of disco. And it's the only musical gutsy enough to include songs like "One Night in Bangkok" alongside the beautifully patriotic "Anthem." The musical is "CHESS," which tells the story of Victor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer-esque competitors in a...

Breaking News: Fire Reported in Simi Valley

A fire has just been reported in Simi Valley and it appears to be near the 118 freeway at Madera. Those planning to travel to or from this area in the next two hours might want to adjust your route. A couple photos after the jump....

LA's Red Light District (Not That Kind)

If you live in LA, you're probably familiar with the on-ramp traffic lights that limit the number of cars entering a freeway at any given time--usually allowing one or two cars per green depending on the number of lanes. But some people don't notice these bright lights. In fact, twice in the last two months, I've nearly been hit by drivers who apparently failed to see the traffic signal. The first person was in an...

Largo: The Film

Over the last few months, there have been rumblings about a possible Largo concert film. And 24 hours ago, a trailer popped up on YouTube that confirmed it all. Produced by Largo owner Mark Flanagan and Andrew van Baal, the film will be sure to highlight the intimate magic of this unassuming venue on Fairfax Ave. Featuring snippets of performances by Jon Brion, Fiona Apple, Paul F. Tompkins, Zach Galifianakis, Nickel Creek, Grant Lee...

Avis Won't Take Your Word for It Anymore

If you'll be renting a car anytime soon, take heed: You'll want to keep your final gas receipt or it could end up costing you an extra $10.50. While waiting for a flight at LAX yesterday, I chatted up an Avis employee who told me that, as of this week, the company is implementing a new gas policy. They now require a receipt upon the return of a rental car as proof that the...

Great Cause + Tax Write-Off = Pit Tix

It doesn't get much better than this. For those of you looking to score a (legal) break on your 2007 taxes, 93.1 Jack FM is offering 50 pairs of tax-deductible pit tickets for "Jack's Second Show." The concert will take place on Aug. 18 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and will feature Stevie Nicks, ZZ Top, Sugar Ray, Stray Cats and The Pretenders. The first 50 people to purchase a pair of $500 pit...

Sit Back...and Relax?

I was one hour into a four-hour flight out of LAX that had been delayed multiple times. Just as the beverage cart was making its way down the aisle, the girl in front of me put her chair all the way back so that the tray was nearly in my lap. I figured a nap sounded like a good idea, so after I finished my drink, I decided to lean my own chair back...

Aimee Mann to Play Three Shows at Largo This Month

They're sure to fill up soon, but as of 9 a.m. this morning, you can still make reservations to see Aimee Mann at Largo on August 22, 23 or 24. Seeing her in such a small venue is a rare treat, and the cover charge will probably be only $20 (plus a $15 per person food minimum for dinner reservations). As soon as the mug graphic appears next to the dates in the Schedule...

Crowded House @ The Troubadour, 7/17/07

Tuesday's Crowded House show was, well, just that. I've never seen so many people squeeze into the Troubadour, and concert organizers even opened the doors of the Loft (their VIP lounge) in an effort to fit everyone. The crush of people was worth it, though, and thankfully, it wasn't too hot. The Crowded House guys put on an energetic show that was a mix of their well-known stuff peppered with songs from their new...

Concert Review: Flight of the Conchords at the El Rey, 7/11/07

After performing in a number small venues last year (Largo, Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, etc .) the Flight of the Conchords made their triumphant return to Los Angeles this week during a sold-out show at the El Rey Theatre on July 11. The growing popularity of the group was apparent in the weeks leading up to the gig, during which people on Craigslist were offering upwards of $300 for a pair of tickets. On...

Spoon Secret Show Update & New Tour

It's been a busy week in the world of Spoon. The biggest news, of course, is that they released their new album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga on Tuesday. Then next Monday, the band will perform an intimate show for the first 150 or so people who purchased their new CD at Amoeba Hollywood. According to a Little Radio myspace bulletin sent last week, it appears their venue will be hosting the exclusive event:...

This IS Rocket Science

Each year, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena opens its doors to the community for a two-day open house. Prior to this year, I had never heard of the event. On a recent Sunday morning, a scientist friend whisked me off to JPL at the last moment. Armed solely with my RAZR phone camera, I tried to capture the sights as best I could. The JPL website described the open house as: This popular...

Spoon to Play Secret Show in LA on July 16

Amoeba Music announced this week that the first 150 people to purchase Spoon's new release, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, on July 10 will receive admission to a "secret show" by the band on July 16. Though it's hard to imagine the show being much of a secret after the attention Amoeba Hollywood has received since last week's free Paul McCartney show, it continues to cement their reputation as one of the coolest record...

"Civil Emergency Message" Issued for Ventura County; 911 Service Unavailable in Ojai

We're all used to tests by the Emergency Broadcasting System, but, thankfully, rare is the occasion when you hear those sounds, see that screen, and it's NOT a test. That all changed today when I was eating a little lunch and the above image popped up on my TV screen. And it could not have been more nebulous. What this alert told me was that we were having a "civil emergency." Unfortunately, there was...

To Catch a Predator: Mannequin Edition

The year 1987 marked both the release of the movie "Mannequin" and the final season of the children's program "Today's Special," which featured a mannequin that came to life every night and entertained kids. Obviously, both media ventures were marketed to very different demographics, but what if they had decided to cross-promote? I think I found the answer to that question while shopping yesterday at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park. I had...

Concert Preview: Keren Ann at the Troubadour on Sunday Night

Though it might be tempting to stay home tomorrow night and embrace the melancholy void left by The Sopranos, I'd like to suggest an alternative that'll at least get you out of the house. A little more than a year after playing a hypnotic set at the Hotel Cafe, Israeli-born French chanteuse Keren Ann will be performing Sunday evening at the Troubadour. Though initially known for her gorgeous, laid-back French songs, her last three...

...I Just Play One on TV

I knew he'd caught me. It was the first time in a long while that the 405 had been wide open and I was taking full advantage of that delicious opportunity. A few minutes into driving way too fast, I spotted the black and white in my rear view and knew my happiness would be short lived. But then...he moved into another lane! As he drove past me, I noticed the words "Movie Car"...

Concert Review: John McGrew and Until June at the Hotel Cafe - 5/26/07

I've often found some CD gems while browsing through music stores and choosing albums selected at random. Last night, after my original plans were canceled, I decided to apply that same theory to a live event and catch a couple shows at the Hotel Cafe without knowing in advance who'd be performing. At 8 p.m., John McGrew and the Sit Backs took the stage. It struck me as amazing that all five members of...

But Is It a Hybrid?

Californians are known for being early adopters when it comes to embracing alternatives to gas-guzzling transportation. I spotted an example of extreme fuel efficiency as I was driving in the valley and had to smile at this man's ingenious method of moving his sofa. Who needs to rent a moving truck when you have a VONS down the road? Photo taken by Michele (with a RAZR phone. While waiting at a stoplight.)...

Flying with the Conchords

I first encountered Flight of the Conchords when they opened for Jon Brion at Largo in March 2006. The group, which is comprised of Jemaine Clement (perhaps best known in the U.S. for his Outback Steakhouse commercials) and Bret McKenzie, introduced themselves as "New Zealand's fourth most popular folk parody duo." Their folk-comedy ditties/rap battles endeared them to the audience--and even made a fan out of Brion who stated at the beginning of his...