A Year of Concerts: 2014


Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Concert Review & Photos]

Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Setlist & Video Clips]

Jamestown Revival, Nikki Lane & Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Concert Review]

Jamestown Revival | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Nikki Lane | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video] Continue reading

The Weeks | The Satellite | 2/21/14


The last, and first, time I got to hang out with the fellas from The Weeks, I got drunk, rocked my face off and got late night taco-truck tacos with some of them after the gig. This time, I decided to take a more professional approach.

I had asked for permission to take some pictures during their sound check and show using a DSLR camera a buddy loaned me, and the day before the scheduled event, Alex “Admiral” Collier (the keyboardist), texted me letting me know that I was good to go. Making the hour and a half long drive in traffic, I thought that I had arrived too late for sound check, but luckily the band was still setting up. Upon retrospect, I’m glad that the band let me come early to snap some pics because the lighting during the show was extremely low. Even with a decent camera, you still need light.

A couple of the fellas seemed to have remembered me from their last L.A. gig, and that was a pleasant surprise. What was even more of a surprise was that they let me hang out with them and their friends after the sound check, before the show. Admiral got me an “all-access” sticker, presumably left over from their international touring dates with the Kings of Leon, and I slapped it on my chest with pride.

The guys treated me like one of the crew and it revealed to me how down to earth and gracious they were. They included me in their group conversations, lit my cigarettes and had me laughing with some of their observations about California living. While waiting in line for tacos at the taco-truck parked outside with Dee Bone (the bassist), I found out that my after-show taco excursion with them the last time out was not an anomaly, since Dee Bone truly loves tacos and gets them whenever he has the chance. I found out that Admiral’s hand was in a cast because of a car accident he was in (not his fault), and only recently joined the band on tour as he was recouperating. I wished Uel-Dee (the guitarist) a happy birthday as he autographed my vinyl copy of “Dear Bo Jackson” (their latest album) and I found out that Shelly Colvin was getting into town to perform with the band coming from a gig she had in San Diego the night before, making me giddy with the possibility that she’d perform her duet with the Weeks titled “Bad Enough”, which is one of my favorite cuts from the album.

By the time the band got on stage for their set, I was glad that I had staked out, and stood in, my spot up front. The packed crowd was tipsy with eager anticipation for the southern rockers to take the stage. A  girl, and her friend, squeezed in next to me, as she professed her love of the band’s music to me with her alcohol tinged, warm breath watering my eyes. The couple right behind me told me that they had travelled from Ohio to catch the band play in Los Angeles.

Most of their set came from “Dear Bo Jackson”, but they did include songs from their critically lauded album “Gutter Gaunt Gangster” and “Rumspringa”.

  1. Lawman’s Daughter
  2. King-Sized Death Bed
  3. The House We Grew Up In
  4. Gobi Blues
  5. Brother In The Night
  6. Bad Enough
  7. Slave To The South
  8. Ain’t My Stop
  9. Chickahominy
  10. Wo Is I
  11. White Ash
  12. Steamboat

The music rocked big and loud, with everyone in attendance throwing up their hands and dancing in what space they could find. The vocal mix could have been a little louder, at least from where I was standing, but it really didn’t matter all too much since the concert-goers around me seemed to know all the lyrics to the songs anyways, singing along when they could. Funky, steady and thumping, once again, like that night at the The Three Clubs, I was particularly impressed with Dee Bone’s bass playing. Equally impressive was Admiral’s playing on the keys with essentially one hand. His work on “Slave To The South” sounded superb.

After the set, I snagged a setlist from the stage, and shmoozed a bit with some of my friends that had attended the show. On my way out, I had the band members, and Shelly, sign the setlist. I had a long drive ahead of me, so I stepped outside to take off when I noticed that the taco-truck was still parked out front. I wasn’t drunk, so I wasn’t in the mood to eat, but I decided to buy an assorted plate of tacos for Dee Bone. When it was presented to him, his eyes widened with joy.

So I didn’t get taco’s with the band after show, but my parting words to them was, “Next time.” And I certainly hope there will be a next time sooner rather than later. The taco-trucks are waiting.

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not currently available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos.

A Year of Concerts: 2013


Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.

Stevie Wonder | Songs In The Key Of Life | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/21/13

Shy Girls | The Spare Room and Bootleg Bar | 12/12/13 and 12/13/13

Snoopzilla and Dam Funk “7 Days Of Funk” Record Release Party | Los Angeles Exchange | 12/10/13

Thundercat | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Moses Sumney | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Pearl Jam | Los Angeles Sports Arena | Nov. 23-24, 2013

Ben Harper | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 11/18/13

The Record Company | The Satellite | 11/15/13

The Janks | The Satellite | 11/15/13

Nine Inch Nails | Staples Center | 11/08/13

Iron & Wine | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Laura Mvula | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Hiatus Kaiyote | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Moses Sumney | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Hanni El Khatib| El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

Bass Drum of Death | El Rey Theatre | 10/25/13

Tijuana Panthers | El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

The Secret State | Loaded Hollywood | 10/13/13

Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013 | Echo Park | 11/10/13 – 11/11/13  (Wooster, Tiny Ruins, Maya Vik, Iza, Medicine, Jacco Gardner, Gemini Club and Great White Buffalo)

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 10/7/13

Depeche Mode | Staples Center | 9/29/13

M83, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Phantogram | Hollywood Bowl | 9/22/13

The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | Santa Monica Pier | September 21, 2013 (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Maceo Parker, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc)

Laura Mvula | El Rey Theatre | 9/17/13


Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)

Girl in a Coma | The Echoplex | September 12, 2013

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

The Dustbowl Revival | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

FYF FEST | L.A. State Historic Park | August 24 and 25, 2013 (Mikal Cronin, Charles Bradley, The Breeders, Devendra Banhart, The Locust, Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Orwells, Pional, How To Dress Well, No Age, !!! (ChkChkChk), Shlohmo, MGMT, Solange, and Holy Ghost!)

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band |Burton W. Chace Park | August 17, 2013

The National | Jimmy Kimmel Live | August 12, 2013

Hanni El Khatib | Twilight Concert Series | August 8, 2013

Hiatus Kaiyote | The Bootleg Theater | July 31, 2013

Geographer | Getty Center | July 27, 2013

Tijuana Tears | The Virgil | July 24, 2013

Savages | El Rey Theatre | July 23, 2013

Alabama Shakes | Hollywood Palladium | July 17th, 2013

Rodrigo y Gabriela | Hollywood Bowl | July 14, 2013

Young, Gifted & Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone | California Plaza | July 5, 2013

BET Experience | R. Kelly, New Edition & The Jacksons | Staples Center | 6/30/13

BET Experience | Snoop, Kendrick Lamar & J.Cole | Staples Center | 6/29/13

BET Experience | Beyonce | Staples Center | 6/28/13

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters | Shrine Auditorium | June 26th, 2013

Nina Diaz | Hotel Café | June 9th, 2013

Ink-N-Iron Festival | Queen Mary | June 8, 2013 (Girl in a Coma, Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, Kaleigh Baker, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys and Iggy and the Stooges)

Illumination Road | The Roxy | June 4, 2013

Make Music Pasadena 2013 | June 1, 2013 (The Record Company, The Peach Kings, YACHT, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Haunted Summer and The Likes of Us)

A Night For Jolie; A Night To Remember | Henson Recording Studios | May 31, 2013

Hanni El Khatib and The Black Angels | Mayan Theater | 5/21/13

What Made Milwaukee Famous | Central SAPC | 5/19/13

Dead Sara | El Rey Theater | May 9, 2013

New Build and No Ceremony/// | First Unitarian Church | April 27, 2013

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Friday (Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Palma Violets, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Stone Roses and How To Destroy Angels)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Saturday (Ben Howard, Pucifer, Violent Femmes, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Franz Ferdinand and Phoenix)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Sunday (Alex Clare, Rodriguez, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave, Wu-Tang Clan and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Toddchella | Part I | Tijuana Tears

Toddchella | Part II | The Record Company

Toddchella | Part III | We Were Indians

The Weeks | Three Clubs | 3/29/13

Nik Kai | 12 Year Old Guitar Prodigy | The Future of Shredding

The Night Hiatus Kaiyote Blew My Mind At The Del Monte Speakeasy 3/23/13

Jose James | The Del Monte Speakeasy | 3/13/13

Morrissey | Staples Center | 3/1/13

Orange Tulip Conspiracy |El Cid | 2/22/13

Soundgarden | The Wiltern | 2/16/13

The Robert Glasper Experiment | The Roxy | 2/8/13

Social Distortion | The House of Blues (Sunset) | 01/26/13


The Weeks | Three Clubs | 3/29/13


I’m extremely grateful that my friends – most of my friends – have good taste in music.

On 3/28/13, a buddy of mine shoots me a text at 11:22am about a show that he’s planning on going to in Hollywood on 3/29/13.  He tells me that a friend of his is managing a band based out of Nashville called The Weeks.  He described them as “Shit kickin Southern rock” and that the band had recently signed to the Kings of Leons of record label, Serpents and Snakes. My buddy knows I’m a fan of Kings of Leon, so he was basically telling something that would peak my curiosity.

I check out the band’s Facebook page and I am immediately impressed with what I hear.  Their latest release, “Gutter Gaunt Gangster” definitely has a Southern Rock feel to it, but it also definitely had catchy hooks and clean production value.  It’s only 8 tracks, (with one track only 50 seconds long), so it wasn’t long before I had streamed the album 4 or 5 times in a row. It’s a loud and fun album that feels like a party.

I do a little research online and read that the band hails from Mississippi, and they are, in fact, currently signed to the Kinds of Leon’s record label, but they definitely have a sound distinct from KOL.  They remind a little bit of We Were Promised Jetpacks but with a little more funk, and a little bit like Band of Horses but with more edge on the guitars.  Mind you, I based this on only the one album I was listening to.

The songwriting is solid.  Each member of the band may be in their early twenties, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it from the their songs on this album.  The album opens with “The House We Grew Up” which seems to be their statement to the world that they’re on a mission with this music thing. The rest of the album seems to follow the general theme, with the band singing about looking for something better and confronting those things that have tried to hold them back.

If you listen to the lyrics on this album, a lot lyrics seems to come from an intense place.  They use religious references freely, but it isn’t preachy.  Rather, it just adds to the intense emotions they are bringing to the music.Take for example the following lyrics in “Stigmata” which has an uplifting chord progression that seems to contrast with its heavy lyrical content:

“I met the man who raped my childhood/ Oh well, we were never young it’s true/ But when everyone around you keeps dying lord,/ What the hell are we supposed to do. […] I blame the devil, what else could it be/ I blame Jesus, he ain’t answering me/ Don’t call me depressed, don’t call me sad,/ I’m giving up on this life I had”

But I digress.  This isn’t supposed to be a review about the album though.  Just trust me that it’s really good.

I text my buddy back and let him know that I’m going to make the show.  It was a long work week, so I try to figure out a way to get to the venue without driving. I ended up getting a ride from a friend who was heading the same direction, where I spent a greater majority of the ride trying assure the person driving, who also was happening to have a bad week, that things will get better, and that they had to keep pushing through the hard times … kind of fitting, right?

“Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.”

It had been a long, long time since I had been to Three Clubs, and I was surprised that I totally forgot about the portrait of Billy Dee Williams with a Colt45 gracing the end of the bar in the performance area.  It was definitely a sign of good things to come. I met up with my friend, and after briefly meeting some of his friends, I made a b-line to the bar to grab some drinks: a shot of Jameson and a Dewars on the rocks.

Shelly Colvin, a singer songwriter, was opening for the band while I ordered my drinks. Her smooth, laid back vocals helped the shot of Jameson go down quite smooth. I sauntered back out to the patio to catch up with my friend.

As I went back in later to get another drink, Shelly was finishing up her set. I got another shot of Jameson and Dewars con rocks and made my way to the front of the stage.  As the band took to the stage, they took a minute to adjust the position some of their equipment. It was a really small stage.  Shelly sang back up vocals a few songs, and her mic had to be set up off-stage left, and the keys had to be pushed to the far back to make way for the drum kit. The stage may have teeny, but the band worked every square inch of it.

Damien Bone killing it on bass.
Cyle Barnes rocking out.
Cyle Barnes rocking out.

I had only heard the songs from their latest EP, but they seemed to have played their older (and maybe newer?) songs in their set as well. It really didn’t matter that I didn’t know all of the songs in their set though.  The band took that little, teeny weeny stage and made it their bitch.  Imploring the crowd to move closer to the stage, they fed off the crowd, and themselves, and really kept the set moving with their energy.

The energy in that club was electric and the rising temperature of the room vouches that statement. The music hit hard, fast and frenetic. The Southern rock roots, laced with funk and soul, made the it easy to dance to and the crowd in front of the stage was moving to the rhythms. The live show was groovier than I expected.

It seemed like the set flew by, and that was because everyone was having a good time.  By the end, my shirt was sticking to body, drenched in sweat.  I made a b-line to the merchandise table to pick up a vinyl copy of the album. I caught the band on the patio cooling down and took a few pictures of the players from the evening.  This one was my favorite… Probably because Shelly is a cutie.

Shelly Colvin and Sam Williams relaxing after the gig.
Shelly Colvin and Sam Williams relaxing after the gig.

I offered to buy a round of drinks and Damien and Shelly accepted.  I did a shot of Jameson with Damien and Shelly had glass of champagne.  She appreciated the gesture, and kindly gave me a copy of her latest CD: “Up The Hickory Down The Pines”. I say I got the better end of the deal.  Another of their fans was getting autographs on a T-Shirt, and after she was done, I borrowed the permanent marker to see if I could get all of their autographs on the LP I had just purchased.  In my boozy haze, I think I may have missed a few. LOL. But I did like the fact that one of the guys had “branded” the LP with an “LA 2013”. A rock and roll time-stamp, if you will. Click here if you’d like to see some more of my music treasure.

Partially autographed LP.
Partially autographed LP.

It turns out that some of the band members wanted to grab a bite to eat, and my buddy suggested a nearby taco truck that was supposed to have some of the best pastor soft tacos. Ended up getting tacos with Alex Collier (keys), Damien Bone (bass) and Sam Williams (guitar).  We grubbed it up, and afterwards, headed our separate ways.

Getting late night tacos with Alex Collier (keys), Damien Bone (bass) and Sam Williams (guitar).
Getting late night tacos with Alex Collier (keys), Damien Bone (bass) and Sam Williams (guitar).

The guys were continuing on their tour, and let me know they would be opening for Kings of Leon over the summer in Europe.  I wished them the best, and they told me to pick up their upcoming album when it gets released.  I assured them that I would.

Here’s their official video for “The house We Grew Up In” from “Gutter GauntGangter”

Here are some video clips from the show that I took.