Local Bands and Upcoming Shows that are Worth Your Time (Because Most Aren’t)

There is something to be said for small, less-expensive, potentially bad concerts. Now, that may prompt immediate questions of what exactly the point is. The point is that small, local shows provide an opportunity to make something of your free night, or to potentially discover some cool new music, or simply go somewhere new or do something different to break up the week. And while that may seem like the biggest cliche on the face of the Earth, it’s worth finding out for yourself. Not all concerts have to be sold-out venues of your favorite artists. This should be prefaced by saying that “local”, when you live in Los Angeles, has a different meaning than when you live in Wyoming or just about anywhere else. Many famous artists have come out of Los Angeles. But for the sake of this argument, local means rookie kids, and that’s what makes it fun. 

First on the list is the Inky Scratches, an indie/alternative band made up of four recently graduated teens, meaning they no longer perform live. Their songwriting skills are unbelievable in relation to their age, as is their ability to put on a good show. I was able to see the last show they performed before they went off to college, and although I’d only just started listening to them, I was drawn to the sincerity of their goodbyes. 

When I was in middle school, I came across a band called Pinky Pinky. It was made up of three teenage girls, and the singer was the drummer, which for some reason blew my mind. My sister and I went to every show we could. Devastating to my thirteen-year-old self, they broke up after a few years. Two of the members then formed a new band called Tchotchke, which is also very much worth checking out. Tchotchke might have the majority of the members of the old band, Pinky Pinky, but they have a totally different sound. Me, having no credentials or experience in music reviews whatsoever, will leave you with this: trust me on this one. 

With those informal but passionate suggestions out of the way, we can move on. When looking for new music, it can be worth looking at venues instead of actual bands. Los Angeles has countless: The Troubadour, The Roxy, The Whiskey a Go Go, The Echo. You don’t have to know the band to go and enjoy it. With tickets generally ranging from $15 to $30, going to a show doesn’t have to be a huge investment. Of course, huge stadiums filled with people and superstars have their place, but smaller venues lack stressors like getting totally lost, looking for parking for hours, and being a mile away from the artist. And, when talking about venues, there must be something said for house shows. While they’re a great excuse to go dance and listen to music made by high schoolers, and are usually very cheap, they are massively informal and should be navigated with a sense of confidence and safety. I digress. 

To repeat myself for the umpteenth time: get out there. Go to a show, even if you have never ever heard of the band in your whole life. Take a friend, for fun and for safety. Dance. Afterwards, talk about how great, or how terrible that band was and how you’ll never listen to them again. Then do it all over again. With school and sports and whatever else you have going on in your life, try to take some time to do something new, something you’ll remember. Please, enjoy yourself.