Where to See Free Music in L.A. in May

All the music residencies (most of them free!) in the city of angels

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Star sightings? Check. Moshing? Highly likely. Tuba? Yup. For L.A.’s live music fans, May residencies have a bit of everything. Here’s where to go and who to see this month.

Torches at the Echo (Every Monday: May 6, 13, 20, 27)
The rock duo is celebrating their new EP If the People Stare and the one-year anniversary of their debut album. The residency will include an evening billed as “Torches Do Arcade Fire Covers” featuring a string section – an ambitious concept for a free concert.
THINK: Melodic indie rock in the vein of a heavier Death Cab for Cutie
LISTEN: via BandCamp

Robert Schwartzman at the Satellite (Every Monday: May 6, 13, 20, 27)
The dreamy pop of Schwartzman’s first solo single, “All My Life,” fits well with the songwriter’s work in local band Rooney. Between his fame as that band’s frontman and his family ties (he’s the brother of Jason Schwartzman and the cousin of Sofia Coppola), expect this to be the hottest of the free tickets in May.
THINK: A combo of rock and wit last seen in Weezer and early Ben Folds Five
LISTEN: via Soundcloud

Criminal Hygiene at the Bootleg Bar (Every Monday: May 6, 13, 20, 27)
The band bonded over cheeseburgers and alcohol, according to its bio. One listen to the messy garage rock/punk of tracks like “Dirty Knees” and “Teeth” and that origin story makes a lot of sense. The band’s debut album was released in January and the trio has been featured on websites like MTV Hive and Filter ever since.
THINK: A tornado of punk, leaving behind smashed instruments and a Descendents t-shirt
LISTEN: via Soundcloud

King Washington at the Silverlake Lounge (Every Monday: May 6, 13, 20 and 27)
King Washington, who lost a good portion of the late-’00s mired in record label politics, is making up for lost time. Its debut album, The Gears, came out in 2012 and the band is already at work on a followup to their first guitar-driven pop effort.
THINK: Classic 1960s harmonies and songwriting filtered through modern alt-pop
LISTEN: via SoundCloud

Larry Goldings at the Blue Whale (Most Wednesdays: May 1, 8, 22 and 29)
Mixed in with the original tracks on Goldings’ recent album In My Room are interpretations of songs by Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys. The pianist takes a weekly seat at Little Tokyo jazz haven Blue Whale with different themes and special guests for each performance.
(NOTE: Tickets for Goldings’ residency are $15.)
THINK: The ultimate utility player, adaptable to multiple styles of jazz and pop music
LISTEN: via SoundCloud

Dustbowl Revival at the Mint (Every Wednesday: May 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29)
The roots and jazz collective just released a new album, Carry Me Home, on April 18. Favorites of the speakeasy performance circuit (the band’s sets at Sassafras are the only things better than the bar’s Old Fashioneds), the group is also playing Del Monte Speakeasy and Villains Tavern in the month of May.
THINK: A natural opening act for The Lumineers or Mumford and Sons
LISTEN: via SoundCloud

Rainbow Jackson at the Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club (Every Thursday: May 7, 14, 21 and 28)
Likely the best band named after Bo Jackson, Rainbow Jackson has had a big 2013 with performances at South by Southwest and as openers at residencies for A House of Lions (Echoplex) and THEblack&THEwhite (Central). Their new song, “Flamingo Starr,” features a video with cheap beer, a crowded rehearsal space and walls lined with gig posters – a perfect fit for the band’s garage rock sound.
THINK: The power-pop sensibilities of the New Pornographers with some old fashioned grime
LISTEN: via SoundCloud

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