L.A. is Flooded with Free Concerts in January

The 12 days of Christmas have passed, but the 12 residencies of January are now upon Los Angeles–and most of them are free.

The 12 days of Christmas have passed, but the 12 residencies of January are now upon Los Angeles–and most of them are free. A dozen different bands have set up shop at clubs across town for month-long stays, whether it’s punks in Echo Park or ‘90s stars in Hollywood. For music fans wanting to discover new acts or watch favorites stretch themselves, the first month of 2014 will be hard to top. Here’s a rundown:


Speak at the Bootleg Bar (January 12, 19, 26)
The Austin-based quartet will be using its three-week residency to perform new songs from an upcoming full-length album. Its last EP, Girlsongs, featured a cappella takes on female-written and performed tracks like Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.”
Think: Upbeat indie-rock with a synth influence, they’d be a perfect opening act for Grouplove.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: Free  


Criminal Hygiene at the Echo (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
The band returns to the residency life after a run at the Bootleg Bar in May of 2013. Since then, the trio played the College Music Journal festival in New York and released its full-length debut, CRMNL HYGNE, which was named one of the best free albums by music blog Ground Floor Go.
Think: Somewhere between early Nirvana’s punkish roots and the Seattle band’s later grunge rock sound.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: Free 

DWNTWN at the Satellite (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
The synth-pop quartet returns to the residency circuit after performing on Tuesdays last April at the dearly departed Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club. Since then, they’ve garnered attention from Hype Machine, played at the Roxy, and opened for Capital Cities in several western states.
Think: A more grounded, accessible version of Imogen Heap.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: Free  

Vanaprasta at the Bootleg Bar (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
A favorite of L.A.’s indie music scenesters since the band formed in 2008, Vanaprasta headlined the Satellite’s “Camchella” last September, played with the RZA at Bedrocktoberfest, and toured up and down the west coast. The question: Does a January residency mean that the group is ready to follow up 2011’s Healthy Geometry with a new full-length album?
Think: Arena-ready indie rock replete with hand-claps and crowd-pleasing harmonies.
Listen: via Spotify
Cover: Free  

David and Olivia at Silverlake Lounge (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
2013 was busy for the Americana duo with the release of its debut EP, On the Sea, and gigs at wineries, on a Hollywood Hills balcony, and anywhere else two people and a guitar could fit. The six-track extended play release has gotten raves from both national outlets (like AOL’s “The Boot”) and international (the U.K.’s We Are Unseen).
Think: The last dance at a southern high school’s prom.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: Free  

Peg Leg Love at Club Los Globos (January 6, 13, 20, 27)
What Peg Leg Love frontman and mastermind Ilir Zeneli seems to care about: death, punk rock, the Cramps, playing music quickly. What he doesn’t seem to care about: Enunciation, consonants.
Think: If the Ramones had grown up listening to records by the Ramones.
Listen: via BandCamp
Cover: $3 


Hudson at the Viper Room (January 7, 14, 21, 28)
Frontman David Hudson has pop success in his blood; his older sister Katy ditched the family last name for “Perry” and has since sold millions of records (you may have heard of her). Hudson and his co-conspirators thus far have only one three-song E.P. to their name; on the upside, they’ve never married Russell Brand.
Think: Anthemic pop that would have felt at home on a Dishwalla or Goo Goo Dolls album.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: $10 

Tall Tales and the Silver Linings at Club Los Globos (January 7, 14, 21, 28)
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Trevor Beld-Jimenez started Tall Tales and the Silver Linings as a side project in 2007. It now has up to nine members playing during live shows and a full discography of full-length albums, singles and extended plays (including “Besides,” coming soon).
Think: Driving down Mulholland on a foggy night in a car that only gets AM radio.
Listen: via BandCamp
Cover: $5  


Eric McFadden at The Mint (January 8, 15, 22, 29)
Guitar virtuoso Eric McFadden has toured the world both as a solo player and as a performer with stars like George Clinton. He spent the end of 2013 on a European tour with the Animals and returns to the states for this residency, playing with different backing bands each week.
Think: Roots rock with a hint of P-Funk written for the roadhouse set.
Listen: via Spotify
Cover: $15 


Spain at the Hotel Café (January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30+)
Led by Josh Haden (the only member still around from the group’s 1993 beginnings), the current incarnation of Spain released The Soul of Spain in 2012, the band’s first new album in 11 years. The band’s consistent ballad-like tempo made it one of the leaders of the 1990s “slowcore” movement.
Think: The yin to Mazzy Star’s yang.
Listen: via BandCamp

Cover: $10


Shyboy at the Hotel Café (January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31)
Best known as a regular DJ at Bootie L.A., one of the city’s most popular club nights, Shyboy is also an accomplished songwriter and performer, as his debut album “Water on Mars” demonstrates. Dance music fans can expect to see a different side of Shyboy at the Hotel Café while alt-music fans can expect some fun surprises.
Think: A stripped-down M83.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: $10  


Heather Reid at the Hotel Café (January 4, 11, 18, 25)
The ex-Murmurs singer/songwriter is prepping her first solo record, a mere 20 years since “You Suck,” the biggest Murmurs hit, made the charts. The new album’s release party will also be held at the Hotel Café on Valentine’s Day.
Think: The alt-pop aesthetic of the 1990s run through the prism of solid gold AM radio.
Listen: via Soundcloud
Cover: $10