Your guide to the Red Bull Music Academy music series in LA.
Throughout the month of October, Red Bull Music Academy will host concerts, conversations, and club nights with musicians and creatives across Los Angeles. The West Coast chapter of the acclaimed festival, which took place in New York this past spring, will bring life to defunct LA spaces via performances and repurpose existing ones.
From lectures with musical icons and directors to technicolor projections in a Paramount studio lot and 3D cemetery parties, it’s nearly impossible to narrow down our top choices; in case you can’t make it to every show, though, we’ve highlighted 10 absolute must-sees.
October 6: A Conversation with Alice Bag
Alice Bag—educator, activist, musician, author, and feminist archivist—was born in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. Her band, the Bags, which she formed with Patricia Morrison in 1977, made a huge impact on the LA punk scene. On October 6, in partnership with the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC and the Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. exhibit, she’ll discuss how she “keeps her punk spirit alive.” Venue TBD.
October 7 - St. Vincent: Fear the Future
WHERE: Paramount Pictures Studios
Grammy award-winning Annie Clark, AKA St, Vincent is a musical virtuoso. She stunned us in June with the release of her emotive single, “New York,” and has us eagerly awaiting her fifth full-length album which will feature Cara Delevingne. Clark also recently directed her first film, a horror short called The Birthday Party, and released her signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar (it’s available in black and “Vincent Blue,” a color she hand-mixed). For her RBMA performance, she’ll be collaborating with Willo Perron and showcasing her work in technicolor at a Paramount Studios back lot. If Clark is in our future, we’re not afraid.
Uncle Jamm's Army
WHERE: The former Skateland USA in Compton
The seminal electro/rap group whose members included Ice-T, Egyptian Lover (pictured above), and Arabian Prince will reunite for one night only at the now-closed Skatetown USA in Compton where they performed in the ’80s. Prior to the performance, Ice-T will give a public talk discussing his role as an MC in Los Angeles in the mid-’70s. Performers include Egyptian Lover, Ice-T+The Glove, Bobcat, Arabian Prince, Alonzo Williams of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, Dr. Funkenstein, and L.A. Dream Team.
October 14 +15 - Flying Lotus in 3D + Thundercat
WHERE: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Often expanding the limits of multimedia performance, Flying Lotus shocks in both audio and visuals. This year his film Kuso, which was promoted as “the grossest movie ever made,” premiered at Sundance Festival. FlyLo will perform “in 3D” alongside Brainfeeder label-mate Thundercat, a Grammy-winning bassist, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
October 16: A conversation with Edgar Wright About Music in Film
The director who brought us such feel-good cinematic gems as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, the BBC series Spaced, and most recently the summer blockbuster Baby Driver, Edgar Wright will discuss the role of music in film, as part of Red Bull Music Academy’s Director Series.
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October 21: Todo Es Metal
WHERE: Los Angeles Theatre
Celebrating community and highlighting the intersection of metal bands from Mexico and Southern California, Todo Es Metal will feature Mexican and Latinx-led LA bands playing side-by-side at DTLA’s Los Angeles Theatre. The lineup includes Transmetal, Disgorge, Thanatology, Sadistic Intent, and Terrorizer.
October 15: Ryoji Ikeda - A [For 100 Cars]
WHERE: Downtown Los Angeles
This is something we’ll need to see to believe: in a parking garage in downtown Los Angeles, Japanese audiovisual artist Ryoji Ikeda will create the world’s largest synth orchestra. In conjunction with 100 cars and their owners, this performance will be a continuation of Ikeda’s series which explores the frequencies of the A note. Vehicles will be hand-selected based on the quality of their sound systems. The audience is invited to see the installation of the cars, which will start at 3 p.m., followed by a 5:30 performance.
October 29: The Ecstatic World of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
WHERE: Cooper Design Space
Jazz pianist, organist, harpist, singer, and composer Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda made music from the ’50s to the mid-’80s. The wife of saxophonist John Coltrane, Alice’s compositions combined the gospel music of the Detroit churches she attended in her youth and Indian devotional music of her religious practice. Alice also held Sunday ceremonies at her Sai Anantam Ashram in California, which inspired this upcoming celebration of the late artist’s legacy. Performers will include the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers, as well as soon-to-be-announced special guests.
October 11: A Conversation with Floria Sigismondi
Floria Sigismondi’s directorial credits include music videos for Rihanna, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Sigur Ros, Bjork, and many more, as well as two episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Sigismondi was born in Italy and raised in Canada by her parents, opera singers Linda and Domenico Sigismondi. During her discussion as part of RBMA’s Director Series, she will give audiences the chance to see music through her eyes, as she explores the process behind selected clips from her vast and varied portfolio.
October 20: A Conversation with Bappi Lahiri
Credited as bringing disco to Indian cinema, Bappi Lahiri’s career spans five decades. An artist, performer, and persona, Bengali-born Lahiri, AKA the “Disco King of Bollywood” will give a rare appearance when he discusses the path and influence of his career, from playback singer to filmi music composer.