10 must-see acts at Coachella 2015
Picking out these gems was mostly an exercise in reading medium-to-small font—tough on our eyes and tough to choose only ten.
Burger Records' annual music fest, Burgerama, is really stepping up its game in its fourth year. Expect two days of pretty incredible music, from headliners Weezer, Ty Segall and Fidlar to classic psych rock god Roky Erickson. Other notable acts include Ariel Pink, Dengue Fever, metalheads Witch and, incredibly, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Burgerama has gone south to the Observatory in Orange County this year, but everything else about this fest is on the up-and-up.
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Live music in April
French/Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz roll into town singing their songs in both English and the Nigerian language Yoruba (in which "Ibeyi" means "twins). Daughters of famous late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz of the Buena Vista Social Club, the two followed in his footsteps, studying the folk songs of their father's Yoruban culture. Now the two are working on an eponymous debut full-length album, due out this year. In the meantime, the ladies will perform an intimate show at Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge.
Local guitarist Kaki King moves effortlessly between punky, spiky fretwork and dreamy, moody playing. Here she turns up with her recent multimedia work, The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, which served as inspiration for her new album of the same name. The mystical Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever serves as the perfect venue.
Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" 50th anniversary
Rich with folk-style tunes, the famed Arlo Guthrie is harking back the 1960’s with a commemorative 50th anniversary tour that’ll have us missing our bell-bottom hippie garb. The soulful icon will strum his guitar to the 1967 hit “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” “Coming into Los Angeles,” and a myriad of other folky ballads in all it’s acoustic splendor at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Andrew McMahon's new solo reincarnation—Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness—is a deeply personal project. Known for his work with bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, this new chapter of his musical life was inspired by life experiences both bad (battling leukemia) and good (welcoming a baby girl). McMahon's eponymous solo debut was recorded all throughout Southern California; soaring single "Cecilia and the Satellite" is an ode to his new daughter. Now he'll sing his heart out and pound away on his piano to a sold-out crowd at the Roxy.
More live music in LA
Check out live shows coming through town over the next two months.
Free concerts in LA
You're in luck—music (aside from film, possibly) is the city's most abundant form of entertainment.
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These LA dance clubs will feed your need for everything from hip hop to salsa, Sunday through Saturday.
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The sprawling strip of Sunset Boulevard takes the cake for both quantity and quality of music venues in LA.
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The best lingerie stores for everything from eco-friendly fabrics to lacy bra-and-panty sets.
The 50 sexiest songs ever, baby
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Improv, sketch and stand-up comedy events in LA
Opening Night Musical
Like Broadway stars, the performers in this show spontaneously break into songs that you'll continue singing all the way home. Unlike in musical theatre,...
For anyone wishing musical theater wouldn't take itself so seriously, there's Diamond Lion. A simple set up—the cast performs a series of improvised scenes...
Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including...
The Armando Show
Chicago's longest-running improv show finds its LA home at iO West. Each week, a different guest monologuist begins the show with a true, personal story....
This is one of the most buzzed about improv teams in town: A month's run of weekly performances sells out after each calendar is posted. The structure is...
One of the newer clubs in Hollywood, Sound has quickly made a name for itself among serious househeads and music lovers by delivering high profile acts that were doing dance music well before EDM hit the top 40. Sure, the new space has the markings of a typical Hollywood super club scene: 8,000 square feet of playspace with a sunken dance floor and elevated DJ booth, fancy 3D mapping visuals and a custom Funktion One sound system. But where it emerges ahead of other Hollywood clubs is its focus on the music (hence the name)—not by flaunting celebrity patrons or by playing into the hottest bottle service contest. Acts like Stanton Warriors turn out a Monday night crowd at Social—the 17-year-old landmark party has just set down roots at Sound—and burners find a second home at the club’s Friday party, where face painters, neon-clad dancers and green screen booths bring the spirit of La Playa to LaLa Land. The 500-capacity crowd basks in perks such as burlesque dancers, impromptu celebrity visitors and a frequent 4am closing time, all without the overcrowded feeling of a mega-club.
King King descends from a legendary, smoke-filled Chinese restaurant on South La Brea Avenue that used to host everything from acid jazz bands to DJ-driven parties that felt as illicit as they were artistic. It was a place of reprieve from a (then) metal-heavy Hollywood. The red-lit Hollywood reincarnation is larger and more mainstream but is still billed an intimate, single-room space, complete with backdoor entrance, that retains its Chinese heritage via lucky red and black decor. The King King has become a go-to space for cabaret, theatre and live music performances, but we love it most for the DJs and electronic music nights it features. Legendary house music pioneers like Miguel Migs and Mark Farina drop in to play house and Detroit techno sets at stalwart parties like DJ Marques Wyatt’s Deep and West Coast Soul Events. Of course, the music comprises only half of what makes a magical night out: King King has a friendly staff, wallet-friendly covers, and a rare-in-Hollywood, come-one-come-all inclusive door policy (Dude rolling solo? Come on in. Not-so-svelte house music lover in a t-shirt and sneakers? You’re good to go). Hence, the crowd it attracts keeps an old legend energized with packed dance floors and friendly vibes.
By the sheer look of the place, Lure has the makings of another slick Hollywood club, where bottle service and bodycon dresses spur a sit-and-stare vibe. Consider the pulsating LED walls, galaxy of glowing moonlike orbs that hover above the dance floor, gorgeous honey-lit VIP bar and elevated DJ stage—all framed in a massive open room where everyone and everything can be seen. Then, venture out to the expansive patio, where you’ll find winding, white tufted banquettes in cabanas framed by green, living walls. The hostesses are remarkably hot, and beautifully lit palm trees and footbridges over ponds also disorient— it feels more like a 5-star resort than a Hollywood club. It almost seems like a trap for big spenders in shiny shirts looking for no more than a little bump and grind. But Lure is also where some of the best DJs and acts are throwing down, both for the Thursday nights' Luresdays and for Fridays' Private Label. This summer alone, world-class DJs and acts like Viceroy, Poolside, The Rapture’s Luke Jenner, Bixel Boys and LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Wang have all killed with their sets for Private Label alone. Beneath its beautiful façade, Lure is all about the beat. No cultural ground is being broken, and it can be expensive, but the casual and sexy LA vibe is certainly in full bloom.
The Sayers Club
Live music fiends used to get their fix by entering The Sayers Club via an unassuming hotdog shop. But SBE has commandeered the former Green Papaya to make for a more grown-up precursor to The Sayers experience: the Front Room. It’s fashioned after a neighborhood bar and lounge—the kind of place where you can order a woodfired pizza or a mean old fashioned. But the gunmetal tin-tile covered walls, which are punctuated with framed guitars, serve as a not-so-subtle tell: serious music lies just beyond its back wall. The actual club is a place where cozy Turkish rugs are piled atop hardwood floors, and whiskey leather couches, exposed brick walls and industrial touches make for a cozy (and exclusive) mancave away from home—well, if that man cave happened to belong to the most connected music buff in town. In this case, that buff is Jason Scoppa and he rules the musical roost. Famous for orchestrating Bardot Sessions, now Sessions at The Sayers Club (in which both up-and-coming and world-famous musicians play cover tunes), Scoppa has recently selected Hollywood progeny Rumer Willis to perform a weekly residency on Tuesdays and is reviving a new incarnation of his Sunday Jazz Night (which he originally brought to the famed Green Door). Of course, it’s the performances from beloved groups like The Black Keys, impossible-to-see-outside-of-an-arena musicians like Prince and actors like Emmy Rossum that seal The Sayers fate as the best little room in Hollywood to catch major—and sometimes unexpected—talent.
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Bust out your leg warmers and warm up your Roger Rabbit—it’s time to hit the ’80s disco of your dreams.
House party, BBQ, wedding party or just a bedroom disco, we have the party playlist you need to get the place moving.