As published by L.A. Record:
FRIDAY, NOV. 30: L.A. RECORD loves you, which is why we’re bringing you the second installment in our monthly musical medley of amazingness. This month features a lineup of the kind of real-deal rockers whose energy inspires people to pick up their first guitar. When you experience the cosmic event of seeing Moris Tepper live, it’s easy to see why musical geniuses like PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Frank Black and Captain Beefheart (whose Magic Band included Tepper on albums like Bat Chain Puller and Doc At The Radar Station) gravitate to him. Spanning genres from artsy blues rock to rollicking alt-country to funky pop, Tepper’s music is fun yet sophisticated without being pretentious. Rounding out the bill are the deliciously experimental raunch-rawk sounds of Crooked Cowboy and the country tinged, foot-stompin’ stylings of Restaurant. Small Town Talk, the Los Angeles-based DJ collective of Chad Brown, Jed Maheu, and Zach Cowie, will be spinning favorite records (it is called L.A. RECORD PLAYER, after all) to ensure a night of joyful raucousness, and $3 Dewar’s all night long can’t hurt none, either. As it did last month, the show will take place at Charlie O’s, located on the bottom floor of downtown’s historic and haunted Alexandria Hotel. (LL)
As published in L.A. Record:
Local duo No Age is what the early Velvet Underground would’ve sounded like if Lou Reed were a happy punker (just try and listen to the rhythm of “Everybody’s Down” and not think of VU). Guitarist Randy Randall and singer/drummer Dean Spunt blast LOUD, raw, enthusiastic, experimental punk rockage fused with melodic pop, using fuzzed-out guitars over incessantly pounding drums with layer upon layer of cymbal crashes and feedback loops and angst-ridden lyrical mantras like “Well, I hate you/ I hate you/my life’s alright without you” and “Everybody’s down/every soul in every town/everybody’s got me going oooh-ahhh ooh-ahh ooh-ahh oooh,” and yes, I realize this is a run-on sentence, but it pretty much sums up the intense whirlwind feel of a No Age show. Though the Troubadour crowd is notorious for exploring how motionless it can be at any given time, expect to see manic crowd surfing at any other venue No Age plays. As for the evening’s openers: I completely missed the Mae Shi (sorry guys) and Moris Tepper, whom I try to see at every opportunity, was amazingly kick-ass as expected, though I missed (damnit!) all but the three last songs.
As published in L.A. Record:
Holy god, Moris Tepper is my new hero. Though familiar to me as former guitarist of Captain Beefheart and colleague of PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Robyn Hitchcock and Frank Black, I had never before heard his solo work. And to think I almost missed out on last night’s show, nearly falling into a lame TV-induced coma on my couch. But thanks to my friend Keith, I was jolted back to the realm of the conscious upon receipt of an intriguing cellular text message: “are you going to the echo tonight? I saw him with beefheart the night I was born.” Now I had no choice but to go, if not just to find out what the hell he was talking about.
Once I got there I was immediately transfixed by the amazing sounds coming from the stage – raw, impassioned and loud. Along with a phenomenal bass player and amazing drummer (whose names I regrettably didn’t catch), Moris’ set flowed in and out of genres, from garagey punk to artsy blues rock to country and back again, executed with exceptional skill and precision.
After that beyond amazing set I finally heard the story behind the lovely text message that praise to God and all Creation got my ass to the show. After a Captain Beefheart show at the Whiskey one December night in 1980, Keith’s parents went happily home, only to leave again a short while later to the hospital and welcome their new baby into the world. Joyous an occasion as it was, they couldn’t help but be somewhat bummed to have to give up their Beefheart tickets for the following night’s show. So they gave their tickets to some friends along with an LP to be signed by the band. Transcribed with messages like “To the mother” and “Love over Reagan ’80,” it still hangs on their wall.