I've been hyping the Austin music scene a lot lately, but there's an equally incredible scene in a city that, for years, I have derided as culturally vacant. Yes, Los Angeles is making a comeback, at least as far as music is concerned.
The punk explosion born out of the New York City/CBGB's scene in the mid to late 70's was a much needed cultural shift in the musical landscape that eventually made its way to Los Angeles, infecting its youth and thus creating a thriving underground scene that birthed some of the most influential bands of the modern musical era including Black Flag, The Germs, Minutemen, Saccharine Trust, The Weirdos, X, The Circle Jerks, The Descendants, Fear, Suicidal Tendencies, etc., etc. It was also home to the greatest, in my opinion, underground label ever - SST Records - which was founded by Black Flag guitarist, Greg Ginn, and responsible for an array of 80's classic albums such as:
Bad Brains - I Against I
Black Flag - Damaged, My War
Sonic Youth - Confusion Is Sex, EVOL, Sister
Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me
Descendants - Milo Goes To College
Meat Puppets - II, Up On The Sun
Husker Du - Zen Arcade, New Day Rising
Minutemen - Double Nickels On The Dime
Yet, since the grunge era of the early 90's, the underground music scene in L.A. seemed pretty dormant until now, as a new crop of bands are once again putting Los Angeles back on the map. Young and experimental, these bands which include No Age, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko, and my personal favorites - Health and Ariel Pink - are not only making great albums, but their live shows are some of the most talked about in music circles today. I saw Health for the second time last week and they are absolutely amazing live. Health further impressed me with a recent blog they posted on their myspace page:
AUSTIN KIDS PLZ READ -- AND FUCK CIGARETTES
IF YOU WERE AN UNDER 18+ KID THAT GOT TURNED AWAY AT THE EMO'S SHOW
PLZ EMAIL US YR FULL NAME TO: email@example.com
EMO'S IS ALWAYS ALL AGES, BUT THE AESOP ROCK SHOW NEXT DOOR BEING SPONSORED BY CAMEL CIGARETTES FUCKED OUR SHOW WITH A SUPRISE AGE LIMIT. (DUE TO PATIO CONNECTION)
EMO'S IS GONNA GIVE YOU 2 FREE ADMISSIONS TO OTHER SHOWS, AND THE NEXT HEALTH SHOW IS FREE. ALSO INCLUDE YR ADDRESS SO WE CAN GIVE YOU SOME STUFF.
AND FUCK CIGARETTES
P.S. BE HONEST
And just when I thought the youth of today were getting away from the punk ethos...anywho, if you haven't heard of these bands, go check them out.