Finding Beats Before Your Deadlines, On Campus and Elsewhere

As we crawl toward the end of the semester, it’s always fun to watch how the impending turmoil of finals and deadlines exerts its force on our social habits. Campus events and parties tend to take on a weird kind of desperation right before the weeklong library hibernation sets in. Luckily, there’s no shortage of great ways to blow off some steam these next two weeks, both on campus and off.

Tonight, I imagine most agendas will include a stop at the perennially-sloppy Yule Ball in Frary. Usually I don’t cover 5C parties, but with Table Manners vets Fruitbat and Dairy Kween (aka Grace Lamdin PO '17 and Ali Goss PO '16) on the wheels of steel, it’ll be a proper bash of club tunes galore. If you’re like me and want to get your kicks in the city instead, I’d have to recommend Ryan Elliott, who’s playing at the newly established weirdo basement venue Sisterhood. A resident at one of the most renowned clubs in Berlin (and, well, the world), Panorama Bar, he’s sure to bring the house down with his brand of trippy, catchy techno. One of my favorite New York deejays, Physical Therapy, is opening as well, so the whole night should be ace.

Tomorrow, the massive 5C collaborative band Details, which TSL profiled in our last issue, is playing in Dom’s Lounge at Pomona at 9:15 p.m. Their lowkey indie vibes will be a perfect fit for your Saturday evening, and I’ve heard from a few other student musicians that there might even be a surprise opening set from a newly-formed, as-yet-untitled jam band. Next Friday evening at 4 p.m., KSPC, the Motley and Noise Floor are hosting a Sunset Study Break Show in the lovely Margaret Fowler Garden at Scripps featuring Toby Foster and Nana Grizol. Both longtime KSPC favorites, their lo-fi folky feels should be a nice way to break up the tedium of reading days. Plus, who doesn’t love hearing great tunes in one of the coolest spaces on the 5Cs?

Later that night, Ninja Tune is throwing part two of their 25th anniversary party in the Masonic Temple at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. London dub destroyer the Bug is playing a special one-off show with drone metal giants Earth and ambient folk hero Liz Harris (otherwise known as Grouper). If the idea of hearing them together on a massive soundsystem doesn’t already have you foaming at the mouth, William Basinski, master of tape loops and creator of the classic ambient record “Disintegration Loops,” is opening. Honestly, it’s one of the most compelling, unique combination of artists I’ve seen hit Los Angeles in my time here. It should be a very special show.

There are simply too many shows to mention Saturday night, so I’ll just give you the highlights. Most importantly, apparently the Kidz Bop Kids actually tour and they’re playing at Club Nokia, so if bizarre postmodern spectacles are your idea of fun, you know where to go.

Otherwise, Beach House is playing at the Fonda, where I imagine Victoria Legrand’s luscious voice and Alex Scally’s dreamy guitar lines will soothe even the most restless of souls. They’re coming off the back of two fantastic albums this year, so they have no shortage of material to work with.

If you prefer your catharsis sweaty and noisy, HEALTH is playing the Teragram Ballroom. They’re a bit of a harder sell nowadays than they were back in 2009, but their “comeback” record from this year, Death Magic, shows them still atop of their catchy, aggressive synthpop throne.

Finally, if you’ve been needing a little more groove in your life, Dâm-Funk at the Echoplex has you covered. Constantly underrated, the LA funk head deserves to be mentioned right alongside artists like Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, or even Kendrick Lamar. Just check out his new record, Invite the Light, if you need some convincing. With one of the best hip-hop deejays in the business, Peanut Butter Wolf, opening, I have no hesitation recommending this one.

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