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summer 2013

FREE, THURSDAY NIGHTS, 7-10PM

Preview Guide


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Make some noise Twilight Concert Series returns

T

he Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series is a celebration of sound as much as sand and surf, so it's no wonder that two of the Southland's biggest noise makers, KCRW and 98.7 FM, are attached to this year's series as media partners. Let's turn up the volume. A long-time sponsor, KCRW is joining us again and some of their famous DJs are on deck to host every concert. It’s a good reason that we've been partners with KCRW before. The station has always been a supporter of arts and entertainment in Santa Monica and the Westside. And who can forget the community element. What radio station has been more involved and influential in the city by the sea? KCRW's diverse taste in music is the stuff of legend. Music shows like Morning Becomes Eclectic and the Guest DJ Project showcase the station's wide taste in performers and its preference for getting local bands, up-and-comers, and giants from other mediums into the studio.

We are pleased to add to our own eclectic mix another radio station as media partner, 98.7 FM. The station is one of the Los Angeles area's alt rock giants, and features a format of classic and modern alternative rock. Honestly, it was only a matter of time before 98.7 joined up with the pier. Aside from being active in the local concert scene, the station is already on every social media platform you can think of, not to mention online or in your car with iHeartRadio. Consider us another element to add to 98.7's already amazing mix. KCRW and 98.7 are joined by a cast of partners that are as dramatically diverse as the artists on stage, and each one has a unique connection to the series. Chili Beans Eyewear might be headquartered in Brazil, but their sunglasses were built for the beach. Could Santa Monica's own beach-front music show find a better set of shades? The Shore Hotel is practically ocean-side, and it's our exclusive hospitality partner for

2013. In other words, all the artists performing on the pier will be staying here. It's the place to stick visiting friends and relatives this summer, and a night there might be the perfect vacation for SoCal natives trying to get away from it all without getting too far away. TCS is teaming up with the Australian Consulate, too, as well as G'Day USA, Quantas Airways, Cotton On, Mambo and Tourism Australia — is it any wonder that Australia Rocks The Pier night has been a crowd favorite for so long? And yes, before you ask, it's back again this year. Longtime partner Cirque du Soleil is back as well. Anyone who's seen them knows no one does show and spectacle better than Cirque. And if you haven't seen them, their new touring show TOTEM is a great place to start. There are just too many partners to mention, so now it's up to you. Show up Thursday nights this summer and make some noise for them all.

Twilight Concert Series Partners Myspace Cirque du Soleil KCRW OneWest Bank 98.7 FM G'day USA Quantas Airways Shore Hotel Chili Beans Eyewear Michelob Ultra LA Weekly Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Mambo Cotton On Australia.com

Loaded Boards Rum & Humble Spaceland Laemmle Santa Monica Daily Press Drum Workshop Uber Barefoot Wine Sabian WSR Creative Bagavagabonds Heal the Bay Del Frisco's Grille Mariasol City of Santa Monica Pacific Park of Santa Monica Studio 16 City TV Whole Foods Buy Local Santa Monica For more information, visit

www.SantaMonicaPier.org

Twilight Concert Series Schedule July 11

Surfer Blood July 18

Meshell Ndegeocello July 25

No Age Aug. 1

Xavier Rudd Aug. 8

Hanni El Khatib and Bombino

Aug. 15

The English Beat Aug. 22

Nick Waterhouse and Boogaloo Assassins

Aug. 29

Trombone Shorty and The Dustbowl Revival

Sept. 5

Mr. Little Jeans Sept. 12

Jimmy Cliff

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2013 Twilight Concert Series

Surfer Blood

July 11

Surfer Blood with Terraplane Sun When you think of Palm Beach, Fla., what comes to mind? Palm trees swaying gently in the balmy breeze? Scantily-clad bikini buxom babes Rollerblading down an infinite slab of coral-colored concrete? How about anthemic, bombastic, life-affirming indie pop?

If the latter didn’t occur to you, let us introduce you to Surfer Blood: they call West Palm Beach home and, while still in their early 20s, have penned “Astro Coast,” an album’s worth of catchy, summery indie songs that even the most hook-laden power pop band would rightfully be jealous of. Members JP (dubbed “The Mastermind” by the rest of the band), TJ and Thomas met one fateful night at an after party for Miami’s Ultra Festival, though they didn’t attend the festival

itself. After discussing music (what else?) for the remainder of the night, JP decided to recruit the other guys to perfect some songs he had been working on, and thus, the band was formed. From then on, things moved at a breakneck pace. A mere two months after they met they started touring outside of Florida in July, up to New York in August and then to Chicago in September. On a recommendation from a friend, they started recording “Astro Coast” at a studio in Port St. Lucie, but when they only finished the

drums at the end of a two day session, Tyler and JP decided to take matters into their own hands, spending the next six months tracking and mixing the record in JP’s apartment in Boca Raton with a copy of Pro Tools which Tyler procured for “dirt cheap” through a community college where he was studying in Orlando. JP asserts, “It gave us the opportunity to give our album the time and thought it deserved.”

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FROM PAGE 4

July 18

Meshell Ndegeocello Following the release of 2011’s critically acclaimed “Weather,” Meshell Ndegeocello announces the release of her 10th studio album, “Pour ne âme souveraine” (“For a sovereign soul”), a dedication to fellow musician Nina Simone. Joined by musicians Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Deantoni Parks (drums), the singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist reworked some of the tracks made famous by the iconic musician. Guests on the album include Sinead O’Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT. To celebrate the release of the album, Meshell is sharing the iconic track “Be My Husband,” which just premiered on NPR. Flush with stomps, claps and chants, Meshell is accompanied on vocals by New York singer-songwriter Valerie June. After only 10 days in the studios of guitarist Pete Min, the album was born, reflecting Meshell’s admiration for the pioneering work of an artist who refused to be owned by genre, industry, or expectation. As Meshell describes, this album is “a dedication to Nina Simone and her incredible influence but it is also a dedication to the single, interior life we all experience.” Revered by Meshell, Nina Simone was a powerful influence both musically and politically. Her music was highly instrumental in the

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fight for equal rights in the United States. “She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible,” Meshell said. “She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”

WATCHING THE SHOW from the beach tonight? Don't forget to recycle your glass bottles and aluminum cans.

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July 25

No Age Forever cascading forward in a positive direction, gleefully instinctive, No Age erupts out of your speakers, blasting away the clouds above the smoggy cityscape to reveal a solar flaring sun. With an ecstatic force bubbling around and beyond their music, they release contagious energy like they’re main-lining a field full of whirring wind turbines, while tuned into an ancient celestial power source. No Age is the duo of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall, they are on a constant journey to explore the furthest reaches of sound. They set out with one particular rule in mind: To write songs that we would be psyched to listen to. On a first listen, discovering each new dose of their alchemy is exhilarating — they produce perfectly crafted songs, underpinned by infectious melodies and ear-piercing cacophony. This swirling mix of unstoppable momentum is catapulted into the stratosphere by sweeping bursts of symphonic growls. Their power is enunciated through their ability to take their core of catchy song-writing and expand its emotional influence through tone, structure and noise. “Everything in Between,”

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Meshell Ndegeocello

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Aug. 8

Hanni El Khatib with Bombino

No Age

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their third album and follow-up to 2008’s “Nouns” has now arrived. The pair has now shifted far beyond their L.A. skate-punk origins, accentuating their development in each and every creak and crack on Everything in Between. The record represents a bold step in their creative evolution, it documents their lives and their artistic progression more prominently welded into a permanent union. It is a culmination of reflecting upon life’s ruptures and triumphs; the process of moving through these moments banged and bruised, yet better off for the wear and tear.

Xavier Rudd “Rudd’s status as one of Australia’s most talented artists has been reinforced” 9.5/10 Tone Deaf Xavier Rudd is back with his #2 ARIA debut album, Spirit Bird. With an identifiable array of guitars, yidakis (didgeridoos), stomp box and percussion, Rudd’s has reintroduced Australians to the sounds and stories of the land’s original owners, while introducing the rest of the world to an entirely new sound altogether. Over the course of a decade, he has taken

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Xavier Rudd this sound to every corner of the globe; producing seven studio albums, two live albums, multiple ARIA nominations and a global fan-base of like-minded souls. From 2002’s To Let, his first studio album, through to 2007’s White Moth, Rudd gradually refined his globally-influenced collage of world music - a matchless mixture of reggae, funk, blues, folk, and nearly every other sort of song with the ability to stimulate people’s spirits. With 2008’s Dark Shades of Blue, the world was welcomed into a darker, more somber side of Rudd’s music. The album was indeed musically rich, with an international influence still inherent; however, the overall aura carried a different tinge compared to that of his previous work. “Dark Shades Of Blue was something that I didn’t realize at the time. It was like I could feel the shudder of an earthquake, but I didn’t know it was coming” explains Rudd. That metaphorical earthquake manifested in the form of the most tumultuous year in Rudd’s personal history, and one he was more than happy to put behind him when starting to pen 2010’s Koonyum Sun. This album was a new awakening for Rudd, perhaps because it was his first with bassist Tio Moloantoa and percussionist Andile Nqubezelo under the unified banner of ‘Xavier Rudd & Inzintaba’. Thanks to the input of Inzintaba, Koonyum Sun presented a staggering amount of vigor to this release that Xavier Rudd fans hadn’t seen to date. Which brings us to 2012’s Spirit Bird. Already producing Rudd’s highest-selling single and most played radio single to date with Follow The Sun, 2012’s Spirit Bird is Rudd’s deepest and most explorative album. The album saw the ever socially-conscience Rudd delve into his musical and spiritual ancestry and took him from the threatened landscape of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, to the hills and lakes of Canada. The Spirit Bird sees Rudd to sell-out shows and festivals across Europe, UK, Australia, US and Canada. Xavier Rudd is a singer, songwriter, multiinstrumentalist, a surfer, environmental and cultural activist, and one of Australian’s most iconic voices. Spirit Bird is out now through all good retailers.

When Hanni El Khatib started out, he was just a skater kid playing the world’s worst guitar and singing by himself. Inspired by a long line of determined do-it-for-themselves musicians winding back through punk and psychedelia to rock ‘n’ roll and early R&B and finally the first scratchy years of the blues, he’d record song after bare-bones song — in between day jobs and night life — just because he had things he wanted to sing about. Then in 2010 from a chance meeting, up-and-coming indie label Innovative Leisure recognized that there was something huge hiding in those little songs. And so El Khatib made his official fullpower debut (on vinyl too) in 2010. Soon his music would overtake him completely. By the time his first album “Will the Guns Come Out” was released in 2011, he clawed out a space of his own musically and left his job as creative director at streetwear label HUF as well as his hometown of San Francisco to become part-owner of Innovative Leisure in Los Angeles. It had been the kind of year where anything that could happen would happen.

Bombino Omara “Bombino” Moctar, whose given name is Goumar Almoctar, was born on Jan. 1, 1980 in Tidene, Niger, an encampment of nomadic Tuaregs located about 80 kilometers to the northeast of Agadez. He is a member of the Ifoghas tribe, which belongs to the Kel Air Tuareg federation. His father is a car mechanic and his mother takes care of the home, as is the Tuareg tradition. Bombino was raised as a Muslim and taught to consider honor, dignity and generosity as principal tenets of life. Bombino spent his early childhood between the encampment and the town of Agadez, the largest city in northern Niger (population about 90,000) and long a key part of the ancient Sahara trade routes connecting North Africa and the Mediterranean with West Africa. One of 17 brothers and sisters (including half brothers and half sisters from both his mother and father), Bombino was enrolled in school in Agadez, but he demonstrated his rebellious spirit early on and refused to go. Bombino’s grandmother took him in to keep his father from forcing him to go to school, and, like most Tuareg children, he grew up living with his grandmother.

Aug. 15

The English Beat Dave Wakeling is a hell of a nice guy! Dave loves to tell you the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years and that’s what you’ll hear. Never mind that Dave is the singer/songwriter from two of the most popular bands of the end of the millennium, The English Beat and General Public, he’s a stand up man from Brum. Whether it’s the personal as political in “How Can You Stand There,” making politics personal in “Stand Down Margaret,” taking a stand against global warming as he did making Greepeace’s Alternative NRG, or helping little kids stand tall with “Smile Train,” Dave has always stood for

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LINE-UP FROM PAGE 6 something. And like the mighty Redwoods of his adopted home of California (dude!), it’s easy for Dave to take a stand because of his strong roots. Hailing from working-class Birmingham, England, Dave and The English Beat entered the music scene in the troubled times of 1979. When The English Beat rushed on to the music scene it was a time of social, political and musical upheaval. Into this storm they came, trying to calm the waters with their simple message of love and unity set to a great dance

SANTAMONICAPIER.ORG beat. Over the course of three albums, The English Beat achieved great success in their home country, charting several singles into the top 10. In addition to their UK chart success, in America the band found a solid base of young fans eager to dance to the their hypnotic rhythms and absorb their message of peace, love and unity. Their constant touring with iconic bands such as The Clash and The Police helped to boost their popularity in the States. Despite his huge success, Dave didn’t stop singing and acting on the problems caused by what he called the “noise in this world.” The band donated all the profits from their highly successful single version of “Stand Down Margaret” to the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament. Boogaloo Assassins

Aug. 22

Nick Waterhouse with Boogaloo Assassins

Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse is the new breed — an R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny oldschool sensibility with a charged, contemporary style. At just 25, he joins the ranks of a growing cabal of similar acts and producers of recent times — Mark Ronson, Mayer Hawthorne, the Daptone Crew et al — that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage 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. He combines an astute attention to detail with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.

When asked to pinpoint the sound or style he strives for, Nick Waterhouse simply shrugs and responds, “American music. And I know that’s pretty general, but it is what it is. I have spent so much of my life immersed in this stuff, because I wanted to figure it out, [yet] all I figured out was that there was no plan.” In other words, whatever musical style Nick may choose to espouse, it’s not done because someone else did it, but done for the same reason someone else did it. Growing up in the Southern California, Waterhouse eschewed his surroundings and found emotional authenticity in the vintage wax of Ray Charles, Roy Head, Little Willie John and the whole panoply of American music, where feel so often trumps technique.

Boogaloo Assassins The Boogaloo Assassins’ name might hint at homicide, but their efforts are strictly life-saving. Dedicated to re-creating and re-interpreting the boogaloo craze that swept East Harlem, the Latin Caribbean and South America from 1965 to 1969, the Los Angeles nine-piece band attempts to do to R&B, doowop, Afro-Caribbean jazz and salsa fusion what the Dap Kings do to classic Stax soul.

Aug. 29

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with The Dustbowl Revival

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

LINE-UP FROM PAGE 8 Since the release of their Grammy-nominated 2010 debut album, “Backatown,” Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue have grown creatively while winning hordes of new fans performing nonstop on five continents. Their latest album, “For True,” offers substantive proof of their explosive growth, further refining the signature sound Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews has dubbed “Supafunkrock.” “There was excitement from everywhere,” said Andrews of the experience on the road and how it fed into the creation of “For True.” “We did over 200 shows in the last year and a half, and every night we allowed the music to take us over. Musically and creatively, we wanted to shoot for some different things.” The band — Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax and Tim McFatter on tenor sax — stirs together old-school jazz, funk and soul, laced with hard-rock power chords and hip-hop beats, and they’ve added some tangy new ingredients on “For True” as they keep pushing the envelope, exploring new musical territory. “We never sat down and really thought about concepts and what we wanted our music to sound like,” Andrews explained. “It’s just that, over the years, we allowed each one of the band members to bring their influences and taste in music into our music. Anything we hear or are influenced by, it naturally comes out in what we’re trying to do. It’s just our sound, and it happened naturally.” Andrews wrote or co-wrote all 14 tracks on the new album, including collaborating with the legendary Lamont Dozier on “Encore,” while this time playing as much trumpet as trombone, as well as organ, drums, piano, keys, synth bass and percussion. Indeed, he played every part on the swaying, Latin-tinged “Unc.” He’s

also come into his own as a singer, honoring the hallowed legacy of the great soul men of the 1960s and ‘70s. Like its predecessor, the new album turns on a rare combination of virtuosity and high-energy, party-down intensity.

The Dustbowl Revival The Dustbowl Revival is a Venice, Calif.based collective that merges old school bluegrass, gospel, jug-band, swamp blues and the hot swing of the 1930s to form a spicy roots cocktail. Known for their inspired live sets, The Dustbowl Revival boldly brings together many styles of traditional American music. Imagine Old Crow Medicine Show meeting Louis Armstrong’s Hot Seven Band in New Orleans or Bob Dylan and Fats Waller jamming with Mumford & Sons on a front porch in 1938. Growing steadily from a small string band playing up and down the West Coast (hundreds of shows in the last two years), DBR has blossomed into a traveling collective featuring instrumentation that often includes fiddle, mandolin, trombone, clarinet, trumpet, banjo, accordion, tuba, pedal steel, drums, guitars, a bass made from a canoe oar, harmonica and plenty of washboard and kazoo for good luck. With an enthusiastic and growing national following, DBR released their first LP “You Can’t Go Back To The Garden of Eden” to rave reviews. Their tune “Dan’s Jam,” received Americana Song Of The Year honors by the Independent Music Awards (Tom Waits, Ozzy Osbourne judging). The group has placed songs in several independent films and TV projects including “Made In China” (IFC) which won SXSW, and in an upcoming episode of “American Idol.” National radio play includes L.A.’s KCRW and KCSN, Austin’s KGSR, San Francisco’s KPFA and Seattle’s taste-making KEXP.

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Mr. Little Jeans


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Sept. 5

Mr. Little Jeans Meet Mr. Little Jeans, a.k.a. Monica Birkenes. She is small and Norwegian and she makes music that will leave you reeling. Her pop dances left of center, a curious thing of equal parts organic magic and buzzing electricity. She has worked hard to get to this place, traveled far to find it. On some unmarked pasture between St. Vincent’s prettiest moments and Debby Harry’s wilder inclinations, she stands fronting an army of bright ideas and sharp sounds, a shipbuilder’s daughter with a voice that could part a sea. Monica grew up in the middle of the woods in a seaside town called Grimstad. Her dad built catamarans and her mum was a secretary whose love for music was infectious. They didn’t have much money, but put their daughter through years of piano and voice lessons which she’d attend wearing her mother’s oversized outfits from another era. There were four black cats called Missy, and some neighbors who killed a man, but otherwise it was all Nancy Drew, dancing through the trees, and singing to mum’s records. Her first instrument has always been her voice. Monica sang in the church choir at 5, then around town wherever and whenever her mum saw fit: malls, old folks’ homes, theaters, even on local television once or twice. At 10, she recorded a cassette of children’s classics and shopped it around to gas stations mainly.

29TH ANNUAL By 15, she was singing in bars, clearly underage but backed by a band of boys in their 20s. She focused on music in high school, then relocated to London to study drama. A year later, Monica was on her own in England, having left college to chase singing leads gleaned from the “wanted” pages. Mostly she spent an endless string of years as a terrible waitress and, after an exploratory trip to Los Angeles, a couple more years sofa-surfing, country-hopping, and racking up credit card debt as she wrote with different producers — Peter Moren (Peter Bjorn & John), John Hill (Santigold) — and shaped her sound into that of the inimitable Mr. Little Jeans we now know.

Sept. 12

Jimmy Cliff

spanned almost 50 years and includes his native Jamaica’s highest honor, the Order of Merit. In the autobiographical “Reggae Music,” Cliff recounts going to see famed Jamaican producer Leslie Kong in 1962 to convince him to work with him, releasing Cliff’s first hit, “Hurricane Hattie,” when he was just 14. “Jimmy is one of my musical heroes and I’ve been responding to his music my entire life,” said Armstrong, who had never met Cliff before, but was once recommended to him by mutual friend Joe Strummer of The Clash. Gathering Armstrong’s studio band, the Engine Room (bassist/percussionist J Bonner, drum/percussionist Scott Abels, organ/percussionist Dan Boer and piano/lead guitarist Kevin Bivona), the first song they tackled was a cover of Rancid’s “Ruby Soho,” a ska- tinged number from the band’s 1995 album “... And Out Came the Wolves” about a musician hav-

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ing to tell his lover he’s headed for the road. “I had no idea it was one of Tim’s songs, but I liked it and could identify with the sentiments,” said Cliff. “I never really had the opportunity to hear his music, but it was a great thing how we hit if off in the studio.” They also worked on a cover of The Clash’s “The Guns of Brixton,” a song about the growing tension in Brixton at the time. Ironically, Strummer’s last session ever was with Cliff on “Over the Border,” a song from Jimmy’s 2004 album, “Black Magic.” It was at that time Joe talked up Armstrong as someone who might make a good collaborator for him. “It was inspiring working with Tim because even the sound of the album feels like we went back to the ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Cliff. “I had forgotten about a lot of the sounds and the instruments we used then, and we brought that all back.”

“I got one more shot at the goal/Straight from my soul/I’m in control,” sings reggae legend Jimmy Cliff on “One More,” the lead track from “Rebirth” the new Universal Music Enterprises album from the Grammy-winning musician, actor, singer, songwriter, producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, produced by punk icon Tim Armstrong, of Rancid and Operation Ivy fame. The release, his first studio album in seven years, is the next step in their collaboration on last year’s “Sacred Fire” EP, an effort Rolling Stone called Cliff’s “best music in decades ... [his] tenor still soars.” With the groundbreaking 1972 film “The Harder They Come” celebrating its 40th anniversary, Cliff — who starred in the movie and contributed the title cut, “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Many Rivers to Cross” and “Sitting in Limbo” to the soundtrack — is still going strong in a career that has Jimmy Cliff


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Twilight Concert Series, Preview Issue: July 4, 2013