January 24, 2010
Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles
Radiohead for Haiti
Yes, you read that correctly – Radiohead played the Henry Fonda Theater (capacity 1,300) last night. The band announced on their website Thursday afternoon that they’d be playing this intimate show to raise funds for Oxfam, to provide additional relief to the people of Haiti. Tickets were available by auction only, with the minimum bid being $475/each when the auction closed Saturday morning. $572,754 was raised as a result of this one night event.
As you will see by the set list and videos below – you had to be there. The guys played a dream set and performed one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen (and that includes the numerous other phenomenal Radiohead concerts I’ve attended).
They had a stripped down stage. No big light show. Just arguably one of the best bands in the world, playing their songs at full throttle, while raising a significant sum of money for a country in dire need.
While I have tremendous appreciation for the elaborate lighting and stage set up experienced at most Radiohead shows, being able to see and hear the band without the lights was spectacular. Typically at a Radiohead concert, you’re immersed in a sea of light and sound, which hits you in waves and layers. Last night, it was simply an aural symphony. Without the lights, I became even more tuned in to how the band builds each song, layer by layer, sound by sound. The people standing around me mentioned multiple times that they never realized how many of the sounds are created by Ed. If you had any doubts previously, this show enabled you to see the crucial role each individual member plays in creating the music. It’s one impressive thing that a band can compose and record this music; it’s another thing entirely that they can play it live, with perfection.
Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood
Radiohead literally ROCKED last night and they seemed to have fun doing it. At one point Thom commented, “You guys are getting all my jokes tonight. . . I’ve died. . .” Well, the way you played, so did we.
Here’s the set list. Some videos are posted below the set list, and judging by the number of cameras in the audience, many more can be found on YouTube.
Joseph Arthur is coming back to Los Angeles this week for two shows at The Troubadour (January 22 and 23). I’ve been seeing Joseph perform live for 11 years.
One of my favorite Joseph Arthur shows took place in the small room of the Knitting Factory in Hollywood several years ago. There were technical difficulties during the show which gave Joseph some time to hang with the audience while the tech issues were resolved. I was surprised and excited when Joseph pulled a notebook out of his backpack and began an impromptu show and tell of some sketches he had done. As with his songs, he had a captivating story behind every sketch. Arthur is not just a brilliant songwriter and performer, but also a talented visual artist.
I was pleased to learn that Arthur has been inspired to bring back his live stage painting during his shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with 100% of the proceeds donated directly to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Paintings will be sold immediately after the performance at the merchandise booth in a “make an offer” system, with a minimum bid of $500. Seven paintings were recently sold in Seattle and Portland, with Joseph creating more backstage to keep up with demand.
January 19 & 20 – San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Shop
January 22 & 23 – Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
Joseph’s paintings will be exhibited this year at Sundance, and Peter Gabriel hails Arthur’s work as exhibiting “strength and a visceral quality,” connecting “Expressionism, Art Brut, Basquiat and the Graffiti movement.”
January 20, 2010
Haitian Relief Benefit
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Thom Yorke after a solid DJ set
There are many things I love about LA. One of them the weather (although a traffic nightmare this week), the ability to surf and then ski all in the same day, and last-minute benefit concerts featuring Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Gaz Coombes & Danny Goffey (Supergrass and The Hot Rats). Yes, Maroon 5 was there too, as were a slew of celebrities.
The reason for this impromptu gathering of creative sound purveyors was to raise money to provide additional relief to Haiti. The night offered the utmost gratifying experience as we simultaneously danced and generated funds for the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
Maroon 5 played in the front room (aka the hotel lobby converted into a private space), while Yorke, Godrich, Coombes, and Goffey spun tunes in the bar. The DJ sets were a diverse blend of soulful classics, dubstep, hip hop, and hard hitting dance tracks. I spent the entire evening in the back room (aka Teddy’s) dancing, while overhearing occasional reports from the front room.
Two tips for next time, and then off to bed:
1. Thom Yorke is not a wedding DJ. Don’t go up and request songs – he knows music (dare I say) better than you
2. If you can’t find the bar, it’s time to stop drinking. Yes, toward the end of the night a woman actually walked up to the DJ booth, cash in hand, to order a drink. She was very disappointed to see her “bartender” replaced by Thom Yorke.
Only in Hollywood…
Many thanks to everybody who made the night what it was and for your contributions to providing relief in Haiti.
Perhaps it’s time to return to Coachella afterall:
FRIDAY APRIL 16: Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Them Crooked Vultures, Vampire Weekend, Deadmau5, Public Image Limited, The Specials, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Benny Benassi, Fever Ray, Grace Jones, She & Him, Erol Alkan, The Avett Brothers, Calle 13, The Whitest Boy Alive, The Cribs, La Roux, Yeasayer, Lucero, DJ Lance Rock, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Proxy, Ra Ra Riot, Deer Tick, Wolfgang Gartner, Aeroplane, Iglu & Hartly, Sleigh Bells, P.O.S., Baroness, Hockey, Little Dragon, White Rabbits, Wale, Kate Miller-Heidke, As Tall as Lions, Jets Overhead, Alana Grace, Pablo Hassan.
SATURDAY, APRIL 17: Muse, Faith No More, Tiësto, MGMT, David Guetta, The Dead Weather, Hot Chip, Devo, Coheed and Cambria, Kaskade, 2Many DJ’s, Major Lazer, Dirty Projectors, Gossip, Z-Trip, The xx, John Waters, Les Claypool, The Raveonettes, Mew, Sia, Camera Obscura, Tokyo Police Club, Porcupine Tree, Old Crow Medicine Show, Aterciopalados, Bassnectar, Frightened Rabbit, Dirty South, Flying Lotus, Corinne Bailey Rae, Pretty Lights, Shooter Jennings, RX Bandits, The Almighty Defenders, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Craze & Klever, Zoe, The Temper Trap, Portugal. The Man, Band of Skulls, Girls, Beach House, Steel Train, Frank Turner.
SUNDAY, APRIL 18: Gorillaz, Pavement, Thom Yorke????, Phoenix, Orbital, Spoon, Sly and the Family Stone, De La Soul, Julian Casablancas, Plastikman, Gary Numan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sunny Day Real Estate, Yo La Tengo, MUTEMATH, Deerhunter, Infected Mushroom, Club 75, Matt & Kim, The Big Pink, Gil Scott-Heron, King Khan and the Shrines, Florence and the Machine, Yann Tiersen, Little Boots, Miike Snow, Talvin Singh, Ceu, B.o.B., Babasonicos, Owen Pallett, The Glitch Mob, Mayer Hawthorne, Local Natives, Rusko, The Middle East, Hadouken!, The Soft Pack, Kevin Devine, Paparazzi, Delphic, One EskimO.
If you’ve never seen Sara Bareilles perform, then you’re missing out on more than just music. You’re missing great comedy, authenticity, diversity balanced with consistency, and the coolest chick ever. This is why I’m choosing to write about a show that took place last year – because it was that good.
I was backing up some of my video files earlier today and revisited the footage I shot of Bareilles’s secret show at Room 5 in December. Her “Gravity” intro still makes me laugh, while her performance of the song continues to give me chills. I was happy Bareilles’s Grammy-nominated and “fuck off record label” tune, “Love Song,” made it to the set list even though I’d heard it countless times before. Her freshly penned song about the show Jersey Shore, written with a holiday twist, had everybody in the audience doubled over in laughter.
Bareilles’s guest appearance at Room 5’s weekly songwriters-in-the-round gathering was spontaneous, playful, and fun. You almost forgot you were there to see music. . . and then Bareilles would sing. When she sings, you’re quickly reminded why you’re there. When the show is over you’ll start thinking about when you can see Bareilles next.
Why is Bareilles the coolest chick ever? She can write, she can sing, she will make you laugh, she’s genuine, she’s unique, she’s got attitude and style. . . But what makes Bareilles cool is that she’s all that AND one of the most loyal and kind people in the world. She’s had a lot of success, has nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, and she stills shows up for her friends. She continues to play shows at Hotel Cafe to raise money for charity, even though she can sell out The Wiltern. She supports her friends, drops in on their shows, and plays for free. Rather than cancel a previously scheduled performance in Los Angeles when she was given the opportunity to appear on a TV show in New York last year, she flew across the country immediately following the TV taping and played two shows back to back the same night. You can support Sara Bareilles for her music; you can support her because she makes you laugh; or you can support her simply because she’s a good person who deserves all the success in the world.
Bareilles seeks the definition of “tie one on” and then teaches everybody the meaning of “Gravity”: