TVOTR at Garvanza skatepark


Music video shoots can be pretty lame. The same song played over and over again while the band lip syncs and the audience pretends to be stoked. But when TV on the Radio called out for extras to attend a local shoot on an afternoon that I happened to be free, I went for it. Yes, I love the band but Kyp Mallone was also an actor in Scumrock, one of my favorite movies by one of my favorite directors and people, Jon Moritsugu. How could I pass up this chance to gush about how much I loved him in that flick?


Somehow I made the cut and brought a book with me in preparation for a lot of waiting around, but it turns out the shoot was not boring at all. It took place at Garvanza skatepark, was directed by Atiba Jefferson, and featured an A-list of rippers: Koston, Howard, Malto, Caples, Reynolds, Kennedy, Mountain, Holmes… (The latter going doubles, above). Nonstop shredding, like the best sesh ever. Which is pretty much the concept outlined by Atiba at The Berrics.


Oh yeah, the music. No lip syncing by the band at all. Just jamming for hours in the hot sun through amps as if they were at a house party. I attended the Fonda show the week before, and this afternoon included all of it, plus the songs I wanted to hear but didn’t make the cut, and then some. I wish I could remember the interesting cover they pulled out and I wish there was a set list, but they just charged through pretty much everything they knew. It was awesome. At one heated moment, Atiba got a young woman to volunteer to stage dive from where the band was playing into the crowd in the bowl below but the group vetoed it. Singer Tunde Adebimpe said something like, “We’ve been to that show and it was a bad one…”


As if that weren’t enough, there were also free slices from Pizzanista! At the catering tent, I did indeed strike up a conversation with Kyp Mallone, who seemed busy but politely humored my fanning out after I name-dropped Jon and his wife/conspirator Amy Davis. I also talked to Koston for the first time since interviewing him for Giant Robot issue 12 way back in 1998. He claims to remember that day, and this time we talked about being parents. That happens, right? And so do perfect days at the skatepark. I’m usually happy to leave without broken bones but this time I got much, much more.

If the embedded video/link above doesn’t work, go to the Complex site. Tour dates, merch, and more band info is at And of course there’s but his Instagram is much more fun.

Cool shows: The Dream Syndicate, Mike Watt & The Secondmen, Baja Bugs, King Tuff, TV on the Radio


Cleaning out the SD card and airing out some of the better photos before they are banished to the hard drive. Above: The Dream Syndicate freaking out at the Echoplex (November 22, 2014).


Froth at the Echoplex (November 22, 2014). They opened for The Dream Syndicate and were kind of like Phaseshifter-era Redd Kross with more droning.


The Dream Syndicate at the Echoplex (November 22, 2014). So noisy, so refined, such perfect songwriting and execution by the self-described “just a punk band from L.A.”


The Dream Syndicate at the Echoplex (November 22, 2014). Key songs: When You Smile, Tell Me When It’s Over, Halloween, Medicine Show, That’s What You Always Say, Days of Wine and Roses.


Backbiter at Cafe NELA (November 21, 2014). The Raji’s regulars ended their sludgy-but-never-dragging set with a badass cover of “Kick Out The Jams.”


Mike Watt & The Secondmen at Cafe NELA (November 21, 2014). Loved their Echoplex set earlier in the week, but this one was much cozier and heavier and they played “The Red and the Black”! Afterward, I handed them flyers and said thanks for the next Save Music in Chinatown show that they’re playing…


Neverland Ranch Davidians at Cafe NELA (November 21, 2014). Stripped-down, and sweaty punkabilly trio led by Tex Mosley.


Baja Bugs at Rebecca’s in South Park (November 8, 2014). Saw our pal Hector Penalosa (My Revenge, The Zeros) play with his ripping early Beatles band at a benefit for cats and dogs. So much fun, such a great guy.


Colleen Green and La Sera at the El Rey (November 6 2014). Perfect openers for King Tuff’s homecoming show. Musically cool as a cucumber and sweet as sunshine, respectively.


King Tuff at the El Rey (November 6 2014). Recently saw KT at Amoeba (and the car wash) but had to see him again in a full-on concert. The new album is awesome and his live show is a blast.


TV on the Radio at the Fonda (November 22, 2014). After digging TVOTR at the massive Hollywood Bowl a couple of times, I got to preview the band’s great new songs in a theater. Instant classics along with old favorites, and later I got to meet the great Kyp Malone from Jon Moritsugu’s Scumrock, too. But that’s another story for another post…