Amoeblog

PUSSY RIOT Benefit Show Held at The Smell With Vivian Girls and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 22, 2012 05:38pm | Post a Comment
pussy riot benefit show vivian girls

At some point in the past few weeks, Pussy Riot became the most important band in the world. They’re not “important” in the 9.0 review on Pitchfork kind of way. Rather, Pussy Riot is a band that reminds us that music can, and does, have a very real worldwide impact.
 
I won’t attempt to re-report the tons of great coverage the Russian feminist punk band has received since reaching international attention, but here’s a summation: the Moscow-based band has held public performances wearing colorful masks and clothing while playing songs that directly criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the politics of the Russian Orthodox Church. These quick concerts are filmed and then put online, having appeared in places like the band’s livejournal page. One such performance, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, on Feb. 21, 2012, landed three of the collective’s members in jail, and after a widely publicized trial, they were found guilty of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred against the church. 
 
The verdict has been widely criticized as overly harsh. The United States State Department, The U.S. Embassy in Russia, U.S. President Barack Obama, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, among others, have expressed disappointment or disgust with the decision. Artists including Bjork, Madonna, Tim Minchin, Zola Jesus, Patti Smith, Paul McCartney and others have expressed public indignation over the decision, while on Aug. 16 a demonstration was held in New York, where actress Chloë Sevigny, writer Eileen Myles and others read writings and court statements from the detained members of the band — Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samucevich. Vice Magazine editors got tattoos of the word “hooligan” in Russian to show their support. The Guaridan (U.K.) edited together a montage of Pussy Riot supporters with their song “Putin Lights Up the Fires.” Marches and protests have been held around the globe, with supporters donning similar attire to that worn by the band during its performances.

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Valley Concert Space TakeOff Holds Fest at the Smell

Posted by Billy Gil, April 25, 2012 04:29pm | Post a Comment
takeoff van nuysTakeOff in Van Nuys is one of those great DIY spaces that comes about out of necessity. In an otherwise dreary part of Van Nuys, near the airport, the small warehouse space is a gulp of fresh air, offering Valley kids an all-ages concert venue, self-screen-printed T-shirts, cassettes and records from local bands, new and used clothing — “pretty much anything that has to do with music, art and skateboarding,” according to Jordan Espino, the young entrepreneur behind the space, along with longtime friend and co-owner Luis Castillo.
 
“Luis and I decided to open TakeOff when we needed a new practice space,” Espino explains. “When we found the spot, we immediately decided we should have a little store front because of the size and weird industrial location. We do all the booking and pretty much keep the space running.”
 
The space is celebrating a full year of existence with a benefit show April 26 at the Smell in Downtown L.A., featuring a number of great local artists: Dunes, David Scott Stone, Cat 500, Protect Me, Mutations, Stripper Pussy, Parallaxscroll and DJ Zen Mafia.
 
When they opened the venue last March, Castillo said it was to have a headquarters for all of their projects, whether it was their band, silk-screening or hosting local skate sessions.
 
“After a couple of months, we started realizing that kids around the valley DID want a space and DIDN'T want to drive all the way to L.A. for it,” he said. “We hope we can stay open, continue to have shows and break the stereotype that people have on The Valley.
 
TakeOff Fest starts at 8 p.m., is $8 and is all-ages, with a limited number of free TakeOff mix CDs. The Smell is at 247 S Main St. in Los Angeles.
 
Take Off is located at 15100 Keswick Street #A Van Nuys, CA 91405. Email them at takeoffvn@gmail.com for show info and store hours. More info at takeoffstore.blogspot.com.

10 Records From the FYF Fest Lineup

Posted by Billy Gil, September 2, 2011 05:10pm | Post a Comment

FYF Fest is this weekend — tickets are still available here — at the LA Historic State Park Saturday. The lineup features Descendents, Death From Above 1979, Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene, Guided By Voices, the Dead Milkmen, Girls, No Age and more. Check back here later this weekend for my review of the event, including a preview show at Los Globos (!) tonight with Chromatics and Glass Candy. F yeah, indeed. (BT dubs, I'll always link to a record first, then a CD if I can't find it on record.)

In preparation, I made a list of 10 great records from the lineup of the show. Check it out.

Guided By Voices – Propeller

Lots of people know Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand (get them now if you don't!) but Propeller is another solid-to-great GBV album with great shoutalong chorus four-track gems like “Exit Flagger.” They'd release stronger material later on, but this charmingly lo-fi album was self-released at the same time Nirvana's Nevermind and a bunch of grunge albums would change the alternative landscape forever. While out of step then, it sounds positively prescient now.

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