Throw Rag

Some bands can’t help but embody whatever geographic region spawned them, and Throw Rag is one of those bands. Hailing from the Salton Sea, a wasteland of trailer homes and meth labs 60 miles southeast of Palm Springs, the grizzled sextet look and sound like they just crawled out of the desert, sandblasted, sun beaten and completely out of their fucking minds. There ain’t a trace of pretension in their amphetamine cocktail mix of the Stooges and the Cramps; like their trashy forebears, the band is smart enough to know hard rock ‘n’ roll is best served on a greasy, unsanitary platter, and they’ve got one of the dirtiest in the current punk underground, all clenched-fist power chords, snarling vocals and a vague rockabilly swagger. And frontman Captain Sean Doe has a knack for crazed showmanship on par with Iggy Pop and Lux Interior. Unlike their predecessors, though, Throw Rag’s sonic chaos isn’t shambolic, but tight and punchy, with some bizarrely catchy hooks that explode onstage like landmines buried in mountains of grime. Catch the shrapnel at the Troubadour on May 26.




Long before Nine Inch Nails made it palatable to a mainstream audience, industrial music’s greatest ambassadors were Chicago-based brutes Ministry. Led by the enigmatic Al Jourgensen, the group spliced unmercifully loud guitars with grinding electronics to create a sound almost unparalleled in sheer abrasiveness and brain-bleeding power. It’s important to remember, though, that it had a groove, too — a trait leftover from their days in the early 1980s as a synth-pop act. By the arrival of the so-called “alternative revolution,” the band had morphed into a clanging, screaming beast, yet managed to wring some commercial success out of the country’s sudden fascination with all things left-of-center. Of course, what was once unusual became the norm as major labels and MTV swept it all up under one comfortable blanket. Unwilling to compromise and play those kind of industry games, Ministry’s public profile dimmed exponentially as the 1990s dissolved into the new millennium, and the group was beset by suicides and drug addiction. Ever resilient, however, Jourgensen has re-emerged in recent years with a string of new albums, and has hit the road not only with his most famous outfit, but also with recently resurgent side project Revolting Cocks. The MasterBaTour (har har) hits the House of Blues in both Hollywood and Anaheim on May 19 and 20, respectively.



The Fall

Fronted by the inscrutable Mark E. Smith, British institution the Fall has proven to be the most durable and hyper-prolific of all the groups to emerge from the initial post-punk movement. With a sound that has shifted so many times it’s impossible to pin down — from twitchy agit-dance to jagged funk to melodic pop — the band has become one of the most cult-ish of all cult bands, releasing bazillions of albums since their formation in 1977. Over time, members have come and gone, but at the foundation has always been Smith, whose unshakably cynical lyrics cut straight to the core of punk’s nihilistic worldview. And in these tense times, he’s more relevant than ever. The living legend and his backing musicians perform at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood on May 13.



Secret Machines

With a booming, head-tripping sound that invokes memories of strobe lights long since burned out, Dallas-based trio Secret Machines are among the strongest and most authentic of the new breed of neo-psych rock bands. Boasting drums that pound like the inside of John Bonham’s tomb and atmospherics that rise in a way few groups nowadays can muster without coming across as spectacularly disingenuous, the Machines have become one of the most talked-about buzz bands in recent years. On their debut Now Here Is Nowhere, the band painted massive soundscapes that were expansive without being laborious. Epic? Damn right. That progressive ambition continues on their newest album, Ten Silver Drops, for which they are currently touring. The band’s promotional road trip hits the El Rey Theater on May 4.






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  1. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 21 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  2. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 23 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  3. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 23 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
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    August 23 @ 7:00 pm - August 25 @ 8:30 pm
  5. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 23 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  6. Divas!

    August 23 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
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    August 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  9. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  10. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    August 26 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am

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