The Getty Center
Saturday, September 14, 2019
When Ex Hex exploded onto the scene with their unfettered brand of rock and riffage, the power trio for a new era had finally arrived. On vocals and guitar is Mary Timony, a beloved figure of the D.C. indie and punk scenes known for her bands Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag, a collaboration with Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss. Joined by Betsy Wright on bass and vocals, and Laura Harris on drums, Ex Hex's 2014 debut Rips was a gleaming collection of tightly wound gems that scored widespread acclaim including "Best New Music" honors from Pitchfork. Near-constant touring throughout 2015 and 2016 established the band as a force to be reckoned with: an audacious three-piece distilling rock music to its essence with formidable skills and a reputation for frenzied and unabashedly fun live shows. Their music is a powerful new take on the ebullient and nostalgic sounds of 80s big-hair, glitter-covered hard rock, reclaimed for today's generation. The group's highly anticipated follow up, It's Real, arrived this spring with their signature larger-than-life riffs, unforgettable hooks, and swaggering guitars, refined and amped up.
Also performed: DJ King Tuff
Saturday, August 24, 2019
San Cha is a singer-songwriter known for her explosive, visceral and emotional live performances. Her name is derived from the Spanish word sancha which translates to 'mistress', and is also a reference to the title of 'San' given to male saints in the Catholic tradition. With a background in DIY and club scenes, San Cha filters a unique edge through her renditions of traditional Mexican rancheras delivered with a powerful stage presence and fabulously exaggerated aesthetics. Following the release of her record Capricho Del Diablo in 2018, San Cha was tapped by the Red Bull Music Academy to kick off their 2019 Los Angeles music festival. There, she debuted a two-act multimedia performance in downtown LA's revamped cathedral, the Vibiana, inspired by the melodramatic telenovelas she devoured as a child. With a romance, a wedding, and a betrayal, this theatrical concert will be re-envisioned for the Getty courtyard stage, and double as a celebration of San Cha's forthcoming album of new music. Special guests and DJs will start the party for what will be an over-the-top and unforgettable performance.
Also performed: La Mera Candelaria and DJ Brown Amy
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Lala Lala is led by British-born singer-songwriter Lillie West, who moved to Los Angeles as a teen and later enrolled in the School of Art Institute of Chicago, gaining inspiration from the DIY music communities of both cities. The band's perfectly simple indie rock blends post-punk with dream pop influences and incorporates vibrant synths and churning guitars that strike a balance between light and dark. These dynamic and intimate songs become a framework for West to explore inner complexities with a startling honesty that is both raw and angsty, as well as empowering and relatable. Written while grieving the death of a friend, recovering from a home invasion, and finding sobriety, West's second full-length album The Lamb strikes a tone that Pitchfork describes as "both intimate and galactic, like a handwritten letter read aloud from a space shuttle." Released last year by Hardly Art, Sup Pop's sister label for propelling undiscovered bands, Lala Lala joins the ranks of breakouts La Luz, Tacocat, Shannon and the Clams, and Chastity Belt. Lala Lala lands at the Getty after hitting the road with Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, opening for their acclaimed collaborative project Better Oblivion Community Center, as well as dates with indie-titans Death Cab for Cutie.
Also performed: DJ set by Harmony Tividad (Girlpool)
Cate Le Bon
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Hailing from rural West Wales, singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon creates uncanny folk songs tinged with a dark fragility, all delivered in her beautifully haunting voice. After opening for fellow Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals in 2007, Le Bon released four full-length albums across the next decade with her distinctly inventive guitarwork and surreal lyricism. A move to Los Angeles in 2013 saw collaborative relationships grow with Kevin Morby, Perfume Genius, and psychedelic rocker Tim Presley. Le Bon returns to the stage with her just-announced album Reward, written during a year-long stint living solitarily and learning to handcraft furniture. The result is a collection of new music every bit as stylistically varied, artfully constructed and tactile as those in her back catalogue, but also intensely introspective and profound—her most personal to date.
Also performed: Opening performance by master Ghanaian xylophone player SK Kakraba. DJ set by Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) and Boom Bip
Saturday, June 22, 2019
L'Rain is the sprawling sparkling pop project of Brooklyn's Taja Cheek. Making her Los Angeles debut, the songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer borrows equally from 90's R&B, musique concrète, and ambient soundscapes. Her first album, released in 2017, grew out of loose recordings patched together to form a tapestry of musical moments often intermixed with sound collages, evoking the expansive otherworldliness of Sigur Rós or Grouper. Her supremely creative approach to music-making aligns with a rising group of musicians like Kelsey Lu and Sudan Archives, who connect classical, R&B, and experimental influences. Written after the passing of her mother, L'Rain's songs translate grief and healing into triumphant expression that embodies both pathos and joy. Flippantly celebratory and lusciously introspective, she has said her music is a meditation on Amiri Baraka's quote: "New Black Music is this: Find the self, then kill it." In addition to her music, she is an assistant curator at MoMA PS1, where she co-organizes the ongoing Warm Up series and Sunday Sessions, cultivating a robust community of experimental musicians, performers, and artists. With new music on the horizon, L'Rain performs on the heels of an artist residency at Brooklyn's National Sawdust and touring dates with veteran indie-rock band Deerhunter.
Also performed: DJ set by No Sesso
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Los Angeles-based polymath Sasami Ashworth first made her name as the synth player for indie garage-rock trio Cherry Glazerr, and by contributing vocals and arrangements to albums by artists like Vagabon, Wild Nothing, and Hand Habits. Her debut solo album, SASAMI, blends synthesizer decay and guitar reverb into a set of irreverent, playful, and joyful songs. Relaxed, introspective, silly, and sincere, Sasami's songs filter emotional complexity through both expansive and delicate moments. Evoking the synth-pop of Stereolab and Broadcast, the album enlists help from plenty of friends including Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils, Devandra Banhart, and French singer Soko. FADER has named her the "next big thing in rock," and Pitchfork hailed the album as "Best New Music." With several touring stints supporting rising stars Mitski, Snail Mail, and Japanese Breakfast, as well as for stalwarts Liz Phair and The Breeders, Sasami has joined the ranks of a new league of young women redefining independent rock.
Also performed: DJ set by Linda Nuves of Chulita Vinyl Club
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Vagabon is the indie-pop project of Laetitia Tamko. Tamko moved from Cameroon to New York City as a teenager and was inspired to begin recording and performing her original songs after discovering the DIY scene at the Bushwick venue Silent Barn. Tamko's cultural duality and engineering background informs her inspirations as a musician and a producer. Blending elements of west and east African music with punk and electronic-leaning instrumentation, Vagabon's powerfully personal songs, buoyed by a soaring, emotional tenor and intricate guitar work, explore questions of community and family from her distinct and original perspective.
Also performed: DJ Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Rooted in Colombia and based in New York, Combo Chimbita create a dense tropical futurism. These four first-generation New Yorkers—powerhouse vocalist Carolina Oliveros, synth and bassist Prince of Queens, guitarist Niño Lento, and drummer Dilemastronauta—have backgrounds in heavy rock, metal, and psychedelic funk and soul. They add highly danceable elements from cumbia, salsa, reggae, 1970s funaná from Cape Verde, and Haitian kompa, mixing guacharaca with futuristic-yet-retro synth sounds.
Also performed: DJ Maieli
Saturday, July 28, 2018
At sixteen, Lola Kirke discovered Gram Parsons and the "Cosmic American" genre he defined. Despite being a New Yorker by the way of London, Kirke felt a strong connection to his country rock sound. Emerging as a new voice in indie music (although a familiar face from the Golden Globe-winning TV show Mozart in the Jungle as well as recent films), Kirke leads a band with beautifully plaintive songs, twanging guitar melodies, and smoky vocals. Echoing the current wave of updated-Americana singer-songwriters including Jenny Lewis, Kevin Morby, and Angel Olsen, Kirke's warm and upbeat music marries the spirit and charm of Dolly Parton with elements of '60s counterculture and a contemporary edge. Her new album, Heart Heads West, comes out this summer.
Also performed: DJ King Tuff
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Native Los Angeles FEELS is a psych rock band fronted by the electrifying Laena Geronimo. Their bold, edgy pop music and high energy live shows match raw power with authentic emotion. FEELS walks in the footsteps of PJ Harvey, The Slits, and Patti Smith, while joining the ranks of fellow L.A. noisemakers Oh Sees, La Luz, Cherry Glazerr, and Ty Segall, who produced their self-titled debut on Castle Face Records. Seemingly destined to play music, Geronimo is the daughter of "human metronome" drummer Alan Meyers of DEVO and played classical violin with the Los Angles Junior Philharmonic before she transitioned to louder enterprises. She is joined in FEELS by guitar and keys player Shannon Lay, bassist Amy Allen, and drummer Michael Perry Rudes.
Also performed: DJ Boss Harmony
Peaking Lights Family Band with Onochie Chukwurah
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Peaking Lights is electronic dance music duo Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, whose five albums and many recordings combine elements of dub, reggae, Krautrock, disco, and psychedelic pop. For Off the 405 they are appearing as the expanded Peaking Lights Family Band with a group of 15 musicians and dancers based in Los Angeles, including drummer Onochie Chukwurah of Fela Kuti's original band. A celebration of diverse rhythms and sounds, their music is a combination of electronic and African rhythms and psychedelics, dubbed out through Peaking Lights' "echodelic" filter.
Also performed: DJ Aquarium Drunkard
Saturday, May 19, 2018
California pop and garage rock revivalists Allah-Las formed in 2008, when the members were working at L.A.'s legendary record store Amoeba Music. Forging a sound steeped in sun-bleached nostalgia, they pull inspiration from the British Invasion, West Coast psychedelia, surf, and garage rock. They recorded their third full-length album, 2016's acclaimed Calico Review, on vintage equipment at the revived Valentine Recording Studios, a storied spot used by the Beach Boys, Stan Kenton, and Frank Zappa. Recording early on with noted L.A. producer Nick Waterhouse, Allah-Las have risen to play major fests like Coachella and Desert Daze in recent years. Most recently, Allah-Las released Covers #1, which wields an "inherent lightheartedness, but the weight of a certain melancholy is palpable," a VICE critic wrote, comparing it to the quintessential paradox of life in Los Angeles: "a place where the nightmare of rush hour coincides with the ethereal beauty of golden hour."
Off the 405 x Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Celebrate Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA at a special extended Off the 405 event! This afternoon to evening program features artist interventions, a program of rare experimental short films, curator-led tours, and DJ sets, leading up to a 7:00 p.m. concert with the mesmerizing cosmic melodies of Ecuadorian-American electronic musician Helado Negro.
Also performed: DJ set and performance by Maria Chavez with an installation by Krysten Cunningham
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Savoy Motel is heavily steeped in a '70s nostalgia with an intensely orchestrated hybrid of glam rock, soul, southern boogie, and showmanship. This revivalist Nashville quartet features the interplay of three lead vocalists combined with intense fuzz guitar and rhythms of clockwork precision in each song, resulting in a sizzling style of funky rock.
Also performed: DJ Baby Donut (Allison Wolfe/Bratmobile)
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Acclaimed New York-based singer-songwriter Steve Gunn brings guitar-forward rock to the courtyard stage with his signature blend of country blues, underground, and psych. His continually unfolding compositions have evolved through numerous notable friendships and collaborations with musicians like Kurt Vile, Meg Baird, Lee Ranaldo, and British legend Michael Chapman. Guitarist James Elkington performs a special opening set.
Also performed: James Elkington, Mary Lattimore
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Internationally renowned musician, beatboxer, and comedian Reggie Watts brings his formidable voice, looping pedals, and vast imagination to blend and blur the lines between music and comedy. Bandleader of the Late Late Show with James Corden, Watts has joined the likes of LCD Soundsystem, DEVO, Regina Spektor, and Jack White for music projects and tours, and performed stand-up specials on major networks. LA's conceptual pop band YACHT joins for a DJ set.
Also performed: Yacht
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Proving that depth and fun don't need to be mutually exclusive, La Luz combines bright, snappy surf music, retro girl-group harmonies, and indie rock into one smart package. Led by frontwoman Shana Cleveland, La Luz's fuzzy and lo-fi doo-wop might initially transport you to cheerful vision of a sun-drenched beach in a bygone era, but there is an undeniable undercurrent of deep intensity and knowing lurking in these evocative songs.
Also performed: Honey Power Club
Saturday, June 10, 2017
The jangly, modish cool of The Kinks collide with flowery San Francisco bohemia in White Fence, the central project of the multi-faceted musician Tim Presley, who updates his '60s influenced brand of psychedelic rock with a punk and garage edge.
Also performed: Jessica Pratt and Matt McDermott
Saturday, May 20, 2017
The 2017 season kicks off with Los Angeles electronic pop artist Nite Jewel, who brings her mesmerizing, gauzy dancefloor hits to the outdoor courtyard stage. Celebrating the release of her new album Real High, Nite Jewel channels her unique, delicate voice for expansive, moody love songs that cycle through a nostalgia for the '80s and '90s, encompassing everything from disco, R&B, shoegaze, and lo-fi art rock.
Also performed: DJ Cole M.G.N.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Acclaimed British electronic music duo Demdike Stare brings their bewitching, textured, and immersive sound to an original live set created in response to the atmosphere of the Getty and the exhibition London Calling: Bacon, Freud, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj. Their captivating and cinematic music is offered up as a kind of soundtrack to the exhibition, reflecting the intensity and horror of Francis Bacon's distorted faces, the psychological complexity of Lucian Freud's portraits, and the rich and varied styles of the bold "School of London" painters.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Diane Coffee is the androgynous alter-ego of Shaun Fleming, best known as the drummer for 1960s flower-child throwback rockers Foxygen, and with the character comes a performance loaded with '70s glam and theatricality for a vamped up, contemporary take that touches on sounds from Rod Stewart's Faces, Queen, to T. Rex, and David Bowie's Aladdin Sane.
Also performed: DJ Roger Paz
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Orange County's Burger Records, whose prolific distribution of irreverent jangly garage-rock and exuberant surf and pop music, largely through cassettes, has become a phenomenon among SoCal youth. In a special festival format, it presents The Muffs, The Garden, Jessie Jones, Gap Dream, and VAJJ.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
L.A.-based folk-rock singer/songwriter Kevin Morby blends his Dylanesque voice and world-weary lyrics with a beautifully structured indie sound, resulting in a meandering atmospheric quality and palpable emotional complexity that is both eerie and sweetly gentle.
Also performed: DJ Zach Cowie
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Los Angeles phenom Moses Sumney brings his incomparable style, blending prismatic digital layers of vocalizations with breathy, intricately phrased singing, for a dynamic live performance that infuses a guitar-based indie-folk with a honeyed soulfulness.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Best known as the one-fourth of LA-based rockers Warpaint, jennylee brings her solo project's alluring mix of epic dream-pop that toys with elements of 80's goth and New Wave-tinged dance beats to kick off the 2016 season of Saturdays Off the 405.
Mac McCaughan + The Non-Believers
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Iconic indie-rocker Mac McCaughan is known for his signature impassioned vocals and joyfully buzzy guitar as a founding member of the intrepid Chapel Hill band Superchunk, creators of adventurous indie and punk music since 1989. McCaughan appears at the Getty in support of his deeply personal and sophisticated solo record of gorgeous pop songs, the first released under his own name in his 25-year career.
Also performed: DJ Justin Gage.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Hundred Waters' four members played together in various formations as far back as middle school, but only after living under one roof years later did they develop a communal mentality and coalesce as a band. The music they found was a beautiful blend of contradictions: mournful yet colorful, introverted yet aware, and draws loose comparisons to Stereolab, Four Tet, and Bjork. Their soft combination of organic and electronic sounds attracted the most unlikely of label bosses, Skrillex, who signed the band to his OWSLA label that same year and gave the album a full-scale release, with remixes by Araab Muzik, Star Slinger, and TokiMonsta. Since then the band has taken its live show around the world, touring with artists such as Grimes, Julia Holter, alt-J, and The xx.
Also performed: DJ Shannon Cornett (Blundertown).
Tropicalifornia featuring the Do-Over All Stars
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Founded by DJs Haycock, Strong, and MC Aloe Blacc, the Do-Over started as a backyard Sunday BBQ and has now spread its top-notch vibes to nearly 40 cities across the globe. For this very special engagement, they have assembled the ultimate live-band tropical dance party to cover classic Do-Over jams alongside a spin on modern day anthems.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Following the dissolution of his previous band, Port O'Brien, in 2011, San Francisco-based, Norwegian songwriter Van Pierszalowski journeyed to Oslo to kick-start and develop the sound of the new power-pop project Waters. Now a fully formed band featuring guitarist Brian DaMert, bassist Greg Sellin, drummer Andrew Wales, and keyboardist Sara DaMert, Waters' sophomore album What's Real was released in April. It features songs that playfully fluctuate from quiet, emotional lyrical moments to bouncing pop beats and powerful bursts of drums.
Also performed: DJ Cuz'n Roy.
Shannon and the Clams
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Listening to Shannon and the Clams is a bit like tuning in to your favorite oldies radio station, only to find it possessed by a bizarre ghost of the counterculture era. Led by brassy bombshell Shannon Shaw, the Clams inject a cocktail of gritty garage-punk mixed with the weirdness of mid-60s psychedelia into the familiar sounds of doo-wop and rockabilly Americana. But their complex melodies and song structure do more than emulate genres of the past. No mere vintage novelty, Shannon and the Clams bring an irresistible charisma and irreverence to the stage for a raucous and rousing live show.
Also performed: DJ Chris Ziegler.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Simultaneously echoing Swedish pop, nineties trip-hop, and indie dreamwave, San Francisco-based duo Cathedrals features deeply soulful, R&B rooted vocals by crooner Brodie Jenkins juxtaposed with Johnny Hwin’s styled and intense beats. Cathedrals brings the gorgeous geometry that defines their kaleidoscopic debut EP to kick off the outdoor concert season in the Museum Courtyard.
Also performed: Tunji Ige, DJ Eli Glad.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The Los Angeles-based group Kan Wakan arrive with a striking breadth of vision that immediately places them among modern pop's most beguiling and inventive new artists. For this concert they add strings to complement their startlingly original and utterly contemporary amalgam of psychedelic soul, electronica, and orchestral pop.
Also performed: DJ Seraphina Lotkhamnga.
Caught A Ghost
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Caught A Ghost is a new project from Los Angeles songwriter and producer Jesse Nolan, featuring Stephen Edelstein on drums and sultry vocals and percussions from actress Tessa Thompson. A modern take on blue-eyed soul, the tracks feature elements of classic Motown and Stax/Volt compositions with influences from dubstep, '90s rap, and contemporary electronica.
Also performed: DJ Travis Holcombe.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Chicano Batman are "the Eastside L.A. fusionists whose sabor simmers with cumbia, Mexican ballads, Brazilian tropicalia, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and Cream" (LA Weekly). They put on a polyrhythmic, funky show, their songs peppered with breaks of all shapes and sizes designed to enthrall audiences and uplift energies.
Also performed: DJ Ervin Arana.
Kuenta i Tambú
Saturday, June 21, 2014
With what Rolling Stone describes as "a go-hard blend of peak rave synths and traditional Afro-Curaçaoan tambú music," Kuenta i Tambú creates high-energy dance music inspired by protest and ritual traditions from the island of Curaçao, and the partying energy of the European club scene. With a clever balance between electronic samples and hypnotizing beats, they are guaranteed to set off some serious movement on the dance floor!
Also performed: DJ Boss Harmony.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
With tremendous musicianship, North Carolina native and Echo Park mainstay Jonathan Wilson makes highly crafted songs that investigate the vibrant 1970s rock landscape. He revitalizes the nostalgic sounds of the Laurel Canyon folk-rock tradition and the epically orchestrated psychedelic prog-rock genre with contemporary relevance. His 2013 release, Fanfare, is both intensely personal and abundant in relaxed, sunny vibes, and features collaborations with likes of Graham Nash, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, and members of Wilco and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
Also performed: DJ Farmer Dave.
Big Black Delta
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Armed with a laptop, Jonathan Bates sound-designs and circuit-bends to break rules and make gravity-defying music in Big Black Delta. Straddling genres with darkly romantic songs tied together with otherworldly electronics, guitar, and dueling drummers, the music spans the scale from "heartfelt" to "frenetic sonic attack," hitting everything in between.
Also performed: DJ Neil Schield.
La Santa Cecilia
Saturday, August 24, 2013
La Santa Cecilia, named after the patron saint of musicians, is deeply rooted in Los Angeles's immigrant community. The band's dance-friendly mélange of rock, funk, cumbia, punk, samba, son jarocho, and klezmer is woven together by singer La Marisoul's sunny, earnest vocals. Performing in English and Spanish, the band's playful biculturalism shows in covers of classics such as "Tainted Love." The band's new album, Treinta Días, featuring the hit single, "El Hielo (ICE)," adds a socially conscious dimension to their exuberant sound.
Also performed: DJ Hoseh.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Indie-rock band Geographer took us to other realms with analog, electronic, and acoustic sounds. Named one of SPIN Magazine's "Three Undiscovered Bands You Need to Hear Now," Geographer is led by vocalist Michael Deni, who sings about the harder moments in life, while Nathan Blaz and Brian Ostreic use their multiple talents on the cello, drums, and synthesizers to make it hit home.
Also performed: DJ Mario Cotto.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
When Pickwick formed in 2008 as a folksy Americana crew, they saw minor success in their hometown of Seattle. After reworking a few Grateful Dead tracks with an R & B jolt, something clicked, and the band matured with a neo-soul sound. The passionate vocals of lead singer Galen Disston becomes incendiary when paired with anxious guitars that evoke Television and T. Rex. Their lyrics are "Tom Waits sinister," with Disston "dragging out his vowels with a longing that belongs somewhere between church and a dirty basement" (Seattle Times). Their new album, Can't Talk Medicine, was recorded in a living room, giving it a raw urgency that lingers long after the tracks are over.
Also performed: DJ Howie Pyro.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Electronic musician Robert DeLong blends drums, rock 'n' roll, and video-game peripherals to show off his multi-instrumental talents. His complex, layered sound is loaded with body-moving beats, and his debut album, Just Movement, combines the fervor of Dan Deacon with the pulsating depth of Boards of Canada.
Also performed: DJ Paul Boston.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
When Robin Hannibal met Coco O in Copenhagen in 2009, it was magic at first sight: Quadron was born. The two are both part of the Boom Clap Bachelors. Coco O is equipped with a smooth, soulful voice, and Robin, with multi-instrumental talents. Together they create electronic soul with twists of R & B and folk. Quadron draws its inspiration from Lauryn Hill, Sade, Jill Scott, mixing their sounds with all kinds of modern instruments.
Also performed: DJ Travis Holcombe.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Cold Cave, a darkwave music project of Wesley Eisold, is influenced by both Eisold's years playing in hardcore punk bands and his interest in industrial music's programmed aggression. Joined by London May, Hunter Burgan, and Cody Votolato, Cold Cave's music gives way to brooding electronic pop music that is filled with melodic synthscapes and jackhammer beats.
Also performed: DJ Mario Orduno.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
On record, Poolside is composed of the duo of Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise. In a live setting, however, the band is a four piece. With Nikolic on lead vocals and bass and Paradise on electronics, the duo is joined by drummer and percussionist Jason Pipkin and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gold. Fleshed out with congas and old analog keyboards, there seems to only be one way to describe Poolside's style: daytime disco music.
On July 9, 2012, Poolside self-released their first album: Pacific Standard Time. "Creative" does not come close to describing the medley of songs that make up the new album, which contains 16 tracks that range anywhere from a Neil Young cover to a collection of perfectly constructed instrumentals. Don't be fooled by the recent techno-and-dubstep trend that has taken over the Los Angeles DJ scene. LA Weekly describes Poolside's Pacific Standard Time as "anti–dubstep: self aware and playful." "You're not catering to a dance floor anymore," says Poolside, "you're catering to a vibe that frees everything up."
Also performed: DJ Travis Holcombe.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Vintage R & B revivalist Nick Waterhouse combines an uncanny old-school sensibility with a charged, contemporary style. His muse is the over-modulated sound of 60s R & B, and his take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit, and Memphis in their heyday. Waterhouse's live performances, backed by the Tarots, thrill with his pure and undeniably raw and rhythmic take on American music. They'll perform songs from his forthcoming full-length album, Time's All Gone, the follow up to his wildly successful self-produced 45 record Some Place, which sold out almost instantly.
The Chicago Tribune praised his SXSW performance: "Also terrific: Nick Waterhouse. With the face of an engineering student and the voice of a soul assassin, Waterhouse sounded anything but retro as he channeled the unvarnished energy and drive of 60s R & B. He was backed by three singers, a swinging rhythm section and a saxophone blurting mad commentary."
Also performed: DJ Chris Ziegler.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Janka Nabay is the undisputed king of bubu, a style of dance music that is characterized by a frantic pace and has centuries-old religious origins in Sierra Leone. The Bubu Gang, featuring members of the Skeletons and Gang Gang Dance, among others, is a posse of musical collaborators Nabay has hooked up with in the US. The Gang creates a wild, high-octane juggernaut of call-and-response vocal interplay, juddering dance-floor rhythms, synths, and guitars.
The New York Times writes: "There was also an African apparition: Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone, wearing a straw skirt and singing and dancing to recorded tracks of what he said was a 500-year-old tradition called bubu music. The tracks were modern, and the beat, fast and skeletal and driven by bell taps, was unstoppable, demanding wider dissemination."
Also performed: Dub Club's DJ Tom Chasteen.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
With a voice that belies his young age, Allen Stone is a "pitch-perfect powerhouse" (USA Today). The smooth falsetto vocals on his wildly successful sophomore album integrate classic soul, catchy pop hooks, R & B beats, and folk roots with lyrical matters of broken relationships, poisonous politics, and the age-old topic of simple, pure celebration. Stone got his start singing at his father's church in small-town America, but it wasn't until he was introduced to the greats of soul music—Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and the confessional lyrics of singer/songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s—that he found the passion that would eventually carry him to a musical home.
Also performed: DJ Clifton shared rare gems from his collection of vintage soul and funk vinyl.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Kicking off the 2012 Saturdays Off the 405 series was Dum Dum Girls, a fuzzed-out pop band fronted by gifted songwriter Dee Dee. "I've always wanted to be in a loud rock-and-roll band and still maintain some feminine sound," says Dee Dee. Her moving and deeply personal songs are rare for this style of music and surely gives the Dum Dum Girls its uniqueness and emotional impact. Their signature blend of the girl-gang eyeliner punk of the Shangri-Las, the trashy propulsion of the Cramps, and the moody atmospherics of Mazzy Star has won over a world of fans during their massively successful headline tours. All that time on the road has molded Dum Dum Girls into a very formidable rock-roll band, giving the music an undeniable force. Also performed: DJ Neil Schield, owner of Origami Vinyl spins from his impressive record collection.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Thundercat's bassist and frontman Stephen Bruner uses his well-honed chops to turn out sunny yet layered ear candy on his debut LP The Golden Age of the Apocalypse. LA Weekly raves that Bruner "melds astral jazz and forward thinking electronic music... His falsetto is soulful, but what really stands out is his bass playing, which is the most virtuosic most of us will hear all year." Also performed: Low End Theory's DJ Daddy Kev.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Surfer Blood calls West Palm Beach home and, while still in their early 20s, have penned an album worth of catchy, summery indie songs that even the most hook-laden power-pop band would rightfully be jealous of. They met as Ivy League astrophysics majors and recorded their debut album, Astro Coast, in their dorm room. Pitchfork called it "a relentlessly catchy, classic indie album" and named their breakout single "Swim" number 37 in their Top 100 Tracks of 2009. The guitar-based melodies have attracted serious fans, and they've been touring nonstop with their anthemic and bombastic indie pop.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Charles Bradley's voice has evolved from a lifetime of paying dues, having nomadically labored for decades at various day jobs from Maine to Alaska—singing and performing in his spare time—before settling in his hometown of Brooklyn and eventually finding a musical home at Dunham Records. His distinctively rough-hewn timbre showcases the unmistakable voice of experience—each note and gruff inflection a reflection of his extended and sometimes rocky personal path. Bradley's first full-length record, No Time for Dreaming, features instrumental soul revivalists the Menahan Street Band and is the inspired sound of an awakening. Also performed: DJ Clifton, the resident dj at L.A.'s Club Underground and Funky Sole, spun from his collection of classic & funky soul.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Michigan-bred L.A. songwriter Ben Schneider, also known as Lord Huron, creates music that is an auditory travelogue. Evocative of many places, but tied to none in particular. Afro-Caribbean percussion and lush harmonies inspired by Calypso singers, folk traditions, and the American frontier fused with modern experimentation to create an expansive sound.
Also performed: DJ Boom Bip, aka Bryan Hollon, is an innovative DJ/producer/musician whose music roots are in hip-hop, electronic, and jazz. Boom Bip spins a hard-to-define mix of minimal techno, heavy bass grooves, and beyond.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Best Coast is the latest musical endeavor by perennially cool, self-described "weird girl" Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Born when Cosentino decided to come home to L.A. after a time in New York City, she was inspired by the '50s and '60s aesthetic of the Beach Boys and the Everly Brothers. With a nostalgia for the California of Gidget and dates at the soda fountain, Best Coast's surf rock manages to balance pop and underground sensibilities that has made her sound so unique. Their debut album, Crazy For You, was named one of the 40 Best Albums of 2010 at Spin and the Los Angeles Times dubbed Bethany one of the Queens of L.A.'s lo-fi scene.
Also performed: DJ Kevin Fitzgerald, aka Kave-In, spun from his collection of old and rare soul, garage, and girl group 45s.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Dengue Fever, whose exotic blend of Cambodian rock, Afro grooves, surf, and garage psych returned to the Getty with songs from their newest release, Cannibal Courtship. Featuring songs sung in English and Khmer (Cambodian), the band's unique take on '60s Cambodian pop and American surf rock has garnered praise and attention from fans and critics alike. Deftly balancing the wide-ranging influences that inform their sound, Chhom Nimol's haunting vocals and the band's spooky, kinetic, mood-swinging sound are like the tropical malady that gave the band its name. Complements the exhibition Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia. Also performed: DJ Mahssa, part of the B-Music/Finders Keepers collective and founder of the LA-based Cureation parties, spun psychedelia, fuzz, funk, and rock from around the world!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Avi Buffalo was once just the kid named Avi. Years of 12-hour days attacking the guitar, getting lessons from iconoclastic local blues musicians and learning to record on his laptop, revealed a natural talent for creating bent but lovely pop sings. Snatches of Wilco’s easy early 2000s amble, Built to Spill’s curly fretwork, and Shinsy shuffle turned up everywhere here, and occasionally all at once. Also performed: DJ Kevin Bronson of BuzzBands LA, known for tipping readers to myriad unsigned artists, spinned a mix of local indie bands and summer party music.
Tom Tom Club
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Beloved for its funky club beats and art-school rap, the Tom Tom Club's iconic new-wave sound has been prominently sampled in both hip-hop and pop music. Founded in the '80s as a side project of the Talking Heads, husband-and-wife team Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth played their polyrhythmic smash hits completely live without sequencers or backing tapes, and alongside remixed tributes to the band's dance-happy classics.
Also performed: DJ Paul V.—an LA dance-club favorite, a former Indie 103.1 FM DJ, and the creator of Smash Mix—spun his signature mashups and eclectic, alternative-electro-indie dance tunes for our last Saturdays Off the 405 of the year!
Check out Mara Gladstone's recap of the show and download the 405 playlist on our blog, The Iris.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
"My purpose for music is positive social change," says Orange County California native Aloe Blacc. "Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will." Blacc's compassionate lyrics, energizing beats, and addictive harmonies place him directly in the framework of modern soul yet inspire comparisons to John Coltrane and Marvin Gaye. He shared songs from his upcoming album, Good Things, a project he describes as his report on present conditions.
Also performed: The Do-Over DJs, Jamie Strong and Chris Haycock, brought their backyard-boogie sounds to the Museum Courtyard. Summer's not yet over!
Aloe Blacc talks about how he creates music that makes you think but doesn't bring you down--and about the awesomeness of L.A's own Do-Over DJs, who'll be appearing alongside (at 4:05 in the video). If you caught Blacc at the Getty back in 2006, make sure to check out his comparison of what you heard then to what you'll hear Saturday (at 4:47).
Saturday, August 28, 2010
With a "skyscraping blend of the ambient and the anthemic," the Antlers make music that is at once simple and immense—dream pop with an epic storyline. The critically acclaimed trio crafted its delicately powerful melodies with a fervent, artful earnestness that captivated listeners with lyrical surges, sweeping strings, and starry, sonic layers of postrock.
Also performed: Dublab founder, L.A. stalwart, and host of Celsius Drop and KPFK's Future Roots Radio, DJ Frosty was back again, mixing beautifully genre-bending and progressive new music.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Straight out of Bogota's exhilarating underground electronic music scene, Bomba Estéreo brought an explosive dance fusion of hip-hop and dub to the Getty. With Afro Colombian cumbia and champeta rhythms deftly layered under surf guitar, keyboards, and bass beats, singer Liliana Saumet's fierce dance hall vocals fired up the fresh coastal sounds.
Jorge Verdín (Clorofila), of the acclaimed Nortec Collective also performed, colliding banda and cumbia with drum machines and electronica in an ecstatic, tropical Nortec ("norteño" and "techno") style.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Dawes is a folk-rock rookie true to its Cali roots with music in vintage Laurel Canyon style: full of twangy melodies, dusty singalong, and ripping lead guitar. Fusing intimate introspection with bursting optimism, the band has won fans on the road with standout lyrics and evocative indie-folk harmonies.
Also performed: L.A.'s best music blogger, Justin Gage of Aquarium Drunkard, spun an eclectic set that bridged the gap between indie, folk, country, New Orleans funk, r&b, soul, and vintage garage.
Mayer Hawthorne & the County
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Mayer Hawthorne sounded like magic: a new-school soul sensation whose sweet crooning revels in retro, while break beat riffs inspired by years spinning vinyl revived the legends of Motown. Not simply a classic soul throwback, Hawthorne's hanging-by-a-string falsetto and self-taught, multi-instrument skills mingled with hip-hop drum loops, brilliant harmonies, and heartfelt nostalgia.
Also performed: DJ Clifton, the resident dj at L.A.'s Club Underground and Funky Sole, blended a retro-rhythm-rockin' smorgasboard of underground indie and funky soul.
Les Savy Fav
May 8, 2010
Post-punk provocateurs and former art-school denizens Les Savy Fav brought a concoction of dissonant pop defined by driving bass, disco drumming, bratty guitars, and spastic vocals; the band put on one of its much-storied performances for the Getty, featuring the vivid antics of frontman Tim Harrington.
Additionally, Philly-born KCRW DJ Mario Cotto spun a kaleidoscopic mix inspired by strong coffee, Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades, the NuYorican Poet's Café, Blade Runner, Repo Records, metropolitan railways, and golden-age hip hop.
Didn't make it to the show? Read Mara Gladstone's blog entry about it on the Iris.
October 10, 2009
Dent May brought his unique vocal style—part crooner, part falsetto, and all showman—to the Getty, along with an infectiously enjoyable combination of ukulele, drums, pedal steel, violin, horns, and bass. L.A.'s own DJ Nobody also took the stage as part of dublab's 10th anniversary celebration.
Rain Machine with Kyp Malone
September 26, 2009
Kyp Malone brought his much-anticipated solo project, Rain Machine, to Saturdays Off the 405. Malone's new work is unflinchingly original, mixing elements of modern jazz, bluegrass, and blistering guitar-driven rock into a refreshing new sound. Defiantly personal, Rain Machine is the sound of an extraordinary artist emerging into his own.
August 8, 2009
The Dodos filled the Museum Courtyard with their psych-folk sound, which has been described as "joyously taut indie-rock" reminiscent of the Violent Femmes, Clinic, and Roxy Music. Sets from DJ Turquoise Wisdom opened and closed.
July 11, 2009
The DJ collective—featuring Lengua, Hoseh, Ganas, and Enorbito—unfolded their international music selections and transformed the Museum Courtyard into a hot spot south of the border. DJ Lengua handled the laptop, while the rest of the crew took over the turntables. Also on tap was pan-Latin-and-Caribbean quartet Domingo Siete.
June 20, 2009
Brooklyn-based trio Chairlift performed their unique blend of synth-pop. Band members Aaron Pfenning, Caroline Polachek, and Patrick Wimberly wove together keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and some killer tambourine to perform songs from their debut album Does You Inspire You. Opening and closing were Dublab DJs Frosty and Ale.
How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.