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Going Abstract with Ty Segall: Southern California Rocker Rips in Three Sold Out Nights at Teragram LA

Josh Homme and Pals Support Segall’s Rockin Show

By DONNA BALANCIA

Night Three of Ty Segall at The Teragram Ballroom was even better than the rest as fans and friends crowded into the sold out house to see the master of the abstract do his rockin thing.

Promoting his new album, Drag City, Ty brought on some new tunes as well as some old favorites — he’s the only musician we can think of who puts his set list on tissue paper.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo of Ty Segall © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty has only gotten better with age and cuts an impressive figure calling to mind all the greats — is there any genre of music this guy can’t play?  If Paul McCartney, Neil Young and The Stooges had a baby it would be Ty.

Ty’s new album Drag City is one for the collection. Check out the single”Break a Guitar.”

Ty Segall and the Signature Blend

His signature blend of avant garde that mixes with punk, garage and the blues — there are even times when Stevie Ray Vaughn comes to mind — blows the crowd away. Crowd surfing and moshing go hand in hand with Ty’s shows.  People even feel comfortable enough to jump on stage with him and announce their birthdays, as is what happened last night.

But there was no time for chit chatting and socializing, except maybe backstage where Josh Homme and his wife were among the music pals who made a visit to their longtime friend.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall: ‘One of the Best’

“I’ve seen Ty a bunch of times and every time he’s great,” said a fan who drove up from whence Ty hails — the county of Orange. “He’s one of the best out there.”

The fans don’t overexaggerate.  It’s Ty’s sixth session at Teragram Ballroom since it opened, employees estimate, and he’s probably the closest thing to a house band the DTLA music staple has.

The toilet paper set list was punctuated with some standards as well as new tunes, all of which left the crowd of all ages stunned and stammering.

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

We particularly liked his style of dress — sort of a dark Mariachi style resplendent with red flowers adorning the arms, his flying blonde hair and moves like Elvis a stark contrast.   But isn’t the contrast that what it’s all about with Ty?

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Ty Segall tuning – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

VIDEO: Tom Morello, Jack Black, Jackson Browne and Audioslave Play the ‘Anti-Inauguration’ Show

Prophets of Rage Perform on Inauguration Night at Teragram Ballroom

Tom Morello led his band Prophets of Rage, along with Jackson Browne, a reunited Audioslave and Jack Black in a night of surprises and protest at Teragram Ballroom.

Across the nation people expressed their opinions about Donald Trump taking the highest office in the land. But few gatherings were as entertaining and packed with talent as the group of musicians staging the “Anti-Inauguration” concert in downtown Los Angeles.

Check out the Instagram video images from Alyson Camus and Margarito Granados, at last night’s “Anti-Inaugural” Concert at Teragram Ballroom.

 

 

 

Seeing Tom Morrello pull off some #guitar wizardry felt like a religious experience. #audioslave #music #concert

A post shared by Margarito Granados (@grahmcracker13) on

 

 

Chuck D of Prophets of Rage!!!! Take the power back ✊🏼🔥🎸✊🏾

A post shared by Alyson Camus (@alysoncamus) on

 

 

Trump made Audioslave reunite!! Tom Morello played all night long! 🎸🔥🤘🏼✊🏼⚡😍

A post shared by Alyson Camus (@alysoncamus) on

Eagles of Death Metal Rock, Josh Homme Goes Solo, at Teragram Ballroom Fundraiser for Dave Rosser

Josh Homme premiered a song or two and covered others in acoustic set - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme premiered a song or two and covered others in acoustic set – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins and Pals Play for a Cause

By DONNA BALANCIA

Eagles of Death Metal, The Gutter Twins, Josh Homme and more top musicians donated their time for Afghan Whigs guitarist Dave Rosser.  Rosser has stage 4 colon cancer.

The Gutter Twins opened with Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan and were joined by musicians including Duff McKagan and Petra Haden.

Greg expressed his concern over Rosser’s condition and thanked the audience for participating in the evening. Many of the audience members paid for VIP tickets and the money goes to the care Rosser and expenses he’s incurring from what doctors say is inoperable cancer.

The Gutter Twins and friends took the stage - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins and friends took the stage – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Gutter Twins

To call The Gutter Twins alternative is like calling Beethoven a piano player. The band had its faithful in the audience who sang along to most of the tunes in the set, including “Belles,” “God’s Children,” “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” and Twilight Singers cover “Number Nine.”

The voices and guitar work by the remarkable musicians were intertwined to present a collaborative effort that appeared long-rehearsed.  The end result was obviously made with love and respect for Rosser.

Eagles of Death Metal – “Save A Prayer” LIVE from Teragram Ballroom LA here:

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Headliner Eagles of Death Metal put on an excellent and appropriately raucous show that covered the bases. The set didn’t kick off until 11 p.m. and two set lists later.  Jesse wore a white suit with trademark suspenders and was his usual friendly self, greeting audience members with handshakes and blowing kisses.

Josh Homme and Matt Sweeney - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme and Matt Sweeney – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Josh Homme

The star of the night was Josh Homme who did a acoustic set and was later joined by Matt Sweeney.  He was relentless with the kid in the pit right in front of him, named Diego.  And try as he may have he could not censor his language and that was a source of many jokes. He played “Villains of Circumstance,” and with Matt performed Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher,” and Johnny Cash mining song “Dark as a Dungeon.” One of the highlights of the set was “Spinning in the Daffodils.”

The Eagles of Death Metal came on a 11 p.m. and put on a crowd pleaser - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Eagles of Death Metal came on a 11 p.m. and put on a crowd pleaser – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

And Josh swigged from a bottle and joked during the night but said Rosser’s affliction was a sad matter and he appreciated the audience coming to celebrate his friend.

To contribute to the Dave Rosser GoFundMe page go here.

The GoFundMe page reads:

“Every once in a while a human being comes along that transcends everything: life, art, friendship, wit, music and love. They are among the true ‘one of a kinds.’ Dave Rosser belongs to that category.  A New Orleanian for nearly 25 years, he is widely considered to be a true virtuoso guitar player by some of the most influential artists in the industry.

Jesse Hughes, AKA Boots Electric of Eagles of Death Metal - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Jesse Hughes, AKA Boots Electric of Eagles of Death Metal – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“He has toured the globe extensively with The Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, Mark Lanegan and Marc Broussard.  He’s worked on projects with Ani Difranco, Joseph Arthur and a list of who’s who in music.  He’s played with local bands too numerous to mention.  A working man’s musician.  If that wasn’t impressive on its own, he is also one of sweetest human beings on the planet.  His sense of humor and generosity rival his musical prowess.”

 

 

“Save A Prayer” VIDEO

King Khan and BBQ Show Other Musicians How It’s Done: Travel The World, Perform and Play

Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

King Khan – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – King Khan and BBQ play outside the sandbox and they like it that way.

At first glance, they seem to be an unusual duo, the tall King Khan and his pal Mark Sultan, two Canadians who have carved a living out of performing their music all over the world.  They’re artists who put on an engaging show and they’re the perfect illustration for young up and comers. How do you get the music out there to the fans?  Play, play and play some more.

Dripping with Talent, KKBBQ Are Playing Minstral Music Right

King Khan and BBQ are a little unorthodox, at least visually. At a recent show at The Teragram Ballroom, King Khan was dressed in a turquoise bikini, and matching satin cape, a glittery silver codpiece, and brown Beatle boots topped off with black bondage belts (around his not-so-slim) torso, a blonde wig, and a black mask.

Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Mark Sultan – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

His partner in chime, Sultan, known as BBQ, is equally outlandish with a similar getup, except opting for the black body tard. He’s a musical quadruped as he strums his guitar wildly shaking his head, keeping time and stellar percussion on the drum kit with his bare feet.

It’s all fun and games until we hear the songs and realize these two are really talented. Bad News Boys (2015) is the most recent of the duo’s strong album collection.  Their previous records include Invisible Girl (2009), What’s For Dinner (2006) and King Khan and BBQ Show LLP (2004).

King Khan at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

King Khan kicks out the jams at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The performance is a cross between Chuck Berry on acid and the Salvation Army band, with King Khan hopping around and BBQ furiously strumming away on guitar with bare feet blazing on the drums.  The music is a mix of be-bop, punk and undeniable soul, which in a different time and place could hold up on its own, rather than take a back seat to the getups. Yes I agree with the guys, they must be from another planet or place in time.

The high energy music is great, but also, King Khan and BBQ aren’t joking around about their approach to their business.  They continually tour all over the world and have amassed an impressive fan base that goes beyond their famous “Fish Fight” anthem they play almost every show. They are not mainstream, they will never be, and they’re proud of that.

Young musicians should take a look at King Khan and BBQ to see how they’re doing it.  They’re traveling the world, selling merch and records and really connecting with the fans.  Not bad work if you can get it.

Nick Waterhouse, Music’s Businessman, Brings Down The House at Teragram

Nick Waterhouse performs at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © Donna Balancia

Nick Waterhouse performs at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA — Nick Waterhouse blew away the packed house at the Teragram Ballroom Saturday night, giving an uncharacteristically rowdy crowd an upbeat show that the fans went crazy over.

Waterhouse brought his Orange County swagger — and his pals — to downtown LA in one of the most dynamic performances in a long time.  He works with great musicians and he has good taste.  He writes catchy tunes and creates a good time for all.

Coolness Factor

But Waterhouse is more than a cool guy on the stage with a guitar and good songs.

The spectacle-sporting Waterhouse, 29, has the looks and sounds of a rocker, but the mind of a keen businessman.  He knows a good opportunity and that’s clear from his business decisions, and the artists he produces and promotes.

Pearl Charles and her band perform at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © Donna Balancia

Pearl Charles and her band perform at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © Donna Balancia

The excitement of the evening was marked by a lot of audience participation in the form of dancing and singing. Clearly, the Waterhouse fans are devoted, with the majority of the people in the audience singing along with Waterhouse word for word on each song.

There was even a brief — and stupid — fight that caused Waterhouse to halt the performance as security guards jumped in and broke up a ridiculous argument allegedly caused by two women and then whose boyfriends jumped in.

“It’s so weird to have a fight at a Nick Waterhouse show,” said one concert goer in the lobby after the show. “I think they continued the fight outside afterwards.”

Security had the matter well in hand and Teragram Ballroom is equipped with high tech cameras that are so good someone said “The video equipment they have makes a picture so crystal clear you can see their fillings.”

Paul Bergmann performs at Teragram Ballroom - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Paul Bergmann performs at Teragram Ballroom – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Waterhouse is so compelling it’s hard to take your eyes off this Buddy Holly-esque hipster.  The audience ranged in age from early 20s to late 50s, which is to be expected as the music from Waterhouse is appealing across the board.

The resemblance is where any comparison to Buddy Holly ends, though, as Waterhouse, one of Southern California’s favorite sons has built his career to major success, much in a succinct businesslike fashion.

His song, “Time’s All Gone” is used on the Lexus CT Hybrid commercial and that spot is played over and over again, many times a day.

“He is so smart that he did that,” said a fan. “That is the thing that we dream and hope for today.  It’s so hard to make a living as a musician or an actor.  To land a major commercial, that is a lot of money.”

SEE THE LEXUS NICK WATERHOUSE SPOT

waterhouse-ad-posters

And apparently Waterhouse is using the money for good. He’s writing with other artists, with two of them — Paul Bergmann and Pearl Charles — playing on the undercard of the Waterhouse headliner.

Pearl Charles has a nice quality and her band carries through in almost a country rock sway.  She has a melodic voice and her All-American style was appealing to the audience.

Bergmann’s tempo was mellow, but the talented guitarist-harmonica player-singer is an Echo Park local who admits, this gig was probably the biggest he’s played. He is on the Fairfax Recordings label.

The Nick Waterhouse show at Teragram Ballroom was upbeat, exciting and among the most fun evenings to be had in a long time.

The Teragram Ballroom, by the way, is a hit on all levels: Courteous staff, great sound, good food and a fun time.  It’s downtown LA, but there’s parking across the street, on the street when you can get it, and there are a few other parking lots in the area.

Renaissance Man Tom Verlaine Social, But Not Through Social Media

Tom Verlaine - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Tom Verlaine – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Teragram Ballroom Review Tom Verlaine

By DONNA BALANCIA — Tom Verlaine and Television don’t want to be labeled, but successful is one term they will have to accept.

Verlaine may not have attained the kind of superstar status deemed acceptable by today’s corporate music world, but he and his partners in Television have achieved something more important.  The band has influenced many young artists over the years — maybe more today than ever before.

Verlaine takes it all stoicly in stride and continues to play his tunes, as he did at the Teragram Ballroom last Thursday and Friday, before legions of post-20s-aged fans.  His music has deeper appeal today than it did when Television came to prominence in New York City in the 1970s.

Television was founded by Verlaine, Richard Hell, Billy Ficca and Richard Lloyd.  The group had a major influence on music and could be found mainly playing gigs at CBGB, which was considered home. The music has a richer value today but the music scene is different than the 1970s in many regards.  Mostly in the way of getting the music — and the message of the music out to the public.

The message that Television was playing LA did get out there as evidenced by fans aged 20 to 70 years old, who packed the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles (#DTLA).

Television - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Television – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Verlaine doesn’t have a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, nor does he participate in any of the social-media mind clutter on which many people spend time today.  “They” say you’ve gotta have social media. Verlaine doesn’t listen to what “They” say.  He never has.

It’s not that he’s not open to the ideas, after Thursday’s show he was open to conversations about his audience and his methodologies. But he comes from a place where exchanges are more personal in nature, as evidenced by the sold-out show Thursday night at Teragram Ballroom.  The new Los Angeles venue seems to have been designed almost with Verlaine in mind.

Teragram Ballroom is a 600-person venue that generates sound seemingly to each individual listener.  The construction of the venue is unique and the team that keeps the new concert hall running is not only experienced but they are respectful of guests, the musicians, and each other.

Verlaine is a soft-spoken person whose humble appearance belies his extensive accomplishments and world travels.  He’s jovial when talking to his band members on stage, and none of the punch is gone from the songs like Marquee Moon and others he made famous more than 30 years ago.

Back in New York, at places like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, he and other renowned artists like Lou Reed and the Talking Heads were turning out an entirely new genre of music.  The music was introspective and thought-provoking at a time when Top 40 Radio was playing The Village People, Gino Vanelli and “Le Freak” by Chic.

Tom Verlaine Always Tuning - Photo © Donna Balancia

Tom Verlaine Always Tuning – Photo © Donna Balancia

Was it really considered anti-establishment or punk?  To actually put the music of Television in either of those categories is incorrect.  Influential?  Yes.  Punk? No.   In fact, there are few “punk” performers who consider themselves to fall into that arena.  But it’s a non-issue all these years later, particularly for Verlaine, who loves to play music.

During the performance to a sold-out house at Teragram Ballroom, Television, complete with Jimmy Ripp, Fred Smith and Billy Ficca, enjoy sharing the stage with each other.  After the show, Ripp said he was happy the Los Angeles audience was so warm, compared with some other LA experiences the band had.

Well, they’re East Coast guys, Television, and it’s not only obvious from their accents, but their attitudes.

Has Verlaine achieved commercial success?  Today the answer that the all-powerful “They” would render would probably be no.

If he had the opportunity to fight a Spotify or some technology that gives away artists’ creations, he would probably do it. But he might not have the clout of a young hitmaker to pull it off, and likely he would never get involved with something that didn’t communicate directly to his audience.

Diane from Teragram - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Diane from Teragram – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Verlaine thinks about the future, with his team he discusses upcoming gigs, merchandising opportunities, art and design.  It’s more in his line of thinking compared to clicks and hits and uploads and downloads. It’s not likely any of his future opportunities will come at the hands of a techie.

There’s a common concern for artists whose audiences are getting past the age where it’s de rigeur to buy the latest music. And in the past, record deals were made with a handshake and an advance, not based on Facebook “likes” and click farms ploys.  It should be noted that musicians are not the only ones who have had challenges as a result of the use of evolving technology.

All media — newspapers in particular — suffered substantial losses when TV came along, prompting many writers and editors to ditch the printed word and take jobs in TV.  Since that medium stuck, it’s a natch that Snapchat will stay, so veterans and freshmen alike better learn it. Right?

Phoebe Bridgers - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Phoebe Bridgers – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Thursday night’s performance by Phoebe Bridgers was a nice opener as her humble stance and familiar songs piqued further interest in this innovative songstress.

As for Teragram Ballroom, the local decendent of the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge in New York, there are websites, social media, calendars, analyses, the latest in sound design and young and veteran club people alike teamed together in downtown Los Angeles.  And though clubs come and go, it feels like The Teragram Ballroom has already etched out a space in a crowded arena. Its two bars have familiar faces hanging above every type of liquor you can imagine, and there’s a menu that’s set to take off, with reasonable prices and served with a smile.

Teragram Ballroom is a warm, welcome respite in a world gone crazy sterile. It’s proof there are some things that are more important than pushing buttons.  At least to music lovers and lovers of great ambiance.

In all, Teragram Ballroom was the perfect setting for Verlaine and his well-loved melodies and companions to spend some time.  And the timing was perfect for Teragram Ballroom to host his artistry.

And yes, by the way, history has proven that Television is here to stay. After you experience Verlaine and his band, no truer words could be said.

LA’s Teragram Ballroom Books Hottest New York, International Lineup

Teragram Ballroom Latest Downtown LA Hot Spot

By DONNA BALANCIA – Tom Verlaine brings Television to the Teragram Ballroom Thursday and Friday nights.

Television led the New York charge in the punk-alternative genre in the 1970s and early 1980s. The band’s appearance at the Teragram Ballroom is not be missed by any fan of “old guard” avant-garde.

Television is comprised of guitarist and vocalist Verlaine, Fred Smith on bass, guitarist Jimmy Rip and Billy Ficca on drums.        READ REVIEW HERE 7/3

Television leads an all-star lineup of hot acts set to play at The Teragram Ballroom, LA’s newest venue.

Verlaine is considered one of our premier guitarists and writers, achieving admiration of punks and scribes alike since he started Television with co-founder Richard Hell in the early 1970s. Hell left the band and went on to front Richard Hell and the Voidoids and enjoy an eclectic and artistic career (including starring roles in the films Blank Generation and Smithereens).

Verlaine, who paid his dues at CBGB with the likes of Patti Smith, Blondie, The Talking Heads and The Ramones, has varied little from his well-known style over the years. His East Coast roots continue to show through.        READ REVIEW HERE 7/3

So it’s appropriate that Television takes the stage at the new Teragram Ballroom venue, which could be considered a younger and greener cousin of the clubs that basked in the East Coast spotlight back in the day.  Teragram Ballroom is the brainchild of N.Y.-based Michael Swier, the power behind the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge.

Opening for Television on Thursday is Phoebe Bridgers and on Friday, Miya Folick takes the stage first.

Television has been touring Europe and recently performed the band’s 1977 debut album, Marquee Moon.  After L.A., upcoming U.S. dates include the Warhol at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.

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