04/21/2011

Easter week 2011 brings with it Spring break, and thousands of dusty, road weary heads crawling back from the desert and the Coachella Music Festival.  Here’s what the Eastside has to offer this week to continue the musical buzz, albeit a little less to the east than Indio.

Thursday April 21st Kurt Vile and The Violators will be performing at the Echo.  You may recognize some of his stylings as the end credit song for the TV series “Eastbound and Down”.  His airy, arpeggiated guitar and soft vocals seem to be blown about in the breeze, but in the end come together with direction and momentum. Most of the tunes are slower paced, but dreamy and combined with enough effects to create wispy, delicate dynamics.  The faster tunes are echo filled layers of guitars bouncing along over steady dance-able drum beats.  The energy is constant, and the lyrics are like an animated conversation.

Often compared to guitar heroes like Springsteen and Petty, Vile has come into his own with his latest release, “Smoke Ring For My Halo”.  The album has garnered him a listing on Billboard Magazine’s Heat Seekers charts, and the national attention of fans and critics. The album was just released on March 8th, so this is a great chance to catch him while this batch of songs is still fresh.  The show is $12 pre-sale, and $14 on the day of the show, 18 and over welcome.

Also at the Echo on Friday, the 22nd, Agent Orange will headline what looks like a 5 band show, for $10.  Five punk rock bands might be a bit much for the uninitiated, but an Agent Orange set is a So-Cal staple that no Eastside music lover should miss. Their roster has changed over the years, members bouncing around from other legendary OC bands like Social Distortion, The Adolescents, and way too many other bands to list here.

This is a band who has never been afraid to break out of musical boundaries, and some of their songs, like “Bloodstains” have become legitimate anthems in punk rock circles. The guitar work dances around surfy middle eastern and even latin scales, reminiscent of quieter surf rock.  Mostly punk rock, but tame by today’s extreme standards, the songwriting and energy shine through over the aggressive side, and the result is pure So-Cal early 80’s energy. The show is 18 and over only, and $10.

The M Bar in Boyle Heights has a couple of shows posted for this weekend, along with a couple of shows for the band Opus X.  I can’t really find a lot of information on any of the bands, and it seems as if the bands are smaller local bands. This bodes well for musical exploration, as the bands that are relatively unknown can quickly become well known and even develop into national acts.  Opus X promises a mix of Cumbia, Hip Hop, and Rock, a tasty mix waiting for good execution.  It takes skill and discipline to mix music well, so this could be a test for the up and coming band. Opus X is performing Friday, April 22nd, and May 13th, if you’re interested in checking out some NEW music.

One issue I ran into was that the bands here are using names that apparently are already taken by other more well established bands.  AOD for example, I thought was going to be an old school punk band, but are in fact a Hip Hop group.  Again, this sounds like a great spot for musical exploration, and checking out some bands that are just starting out.

AOD’s show Friday April 29th is their record release party, and that usually means a good crowd as friends and family cheer the band on. All I can tell from the M Bar’s website is that this is a hip hop group,and the bands I did see on their calendar represent a wide array of styles, so the venue’s tastes seem to be unafraid of variety.

Saturday night, the Show Cave in Eagle Rock hosts 3 bands for $5, starting at around 10pm.  The show cave is the brain child of art lovers, and its eclectic and varied blog reflects that sensibility. Artists see the world in a different way, they say, and this venue’s history of shows certainly fits the bill. Everything from noise core to art shows in all disciplines, the mix and variety can almost be intoxicating.  The venue takes it’s inspiration from the modernism movement of both coasts in the 70’s and 80’s and packs it into a small corner building venue on Eagle Rock Blvd.

The Violet Tremors will be headlining, performing a mix of beat focused electronic music. The group uses vintage gear in their performance, so tech heads should really get a kick out of the ladies putting their synthesizers through their paces. For those looking for bass and other worldly mixes of sound, noise, and beats need look no further.

Monday The Bootleg Theater hosts the last night of Rumspringa’s residency there. The Surf-Psychadelic Rock band has had quite the buzz about them for some time now.  They have also gone from a quieter two piece band to a full fledged rock band, albeit with more soulful vocals at times.

Joey Stevens singing along to his guitar strumming reminds me of post funk rock, almost tapping into an R&B feel, but with the up front stance of rock and roll lyrics. Throw in some jaunty rhythms that get the foot tapping and the head bobbing, and this is one band you will come back for again and again. The Bootleg Theater is 21and over, but this particular show is free.

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