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Sofar LA Brings The Sweet Sound Of Live Music To The Westside

Sofar LA Brings The Sweet Sound Of Live Music To The Westside

Criminal Hygiene performs at Sofar LA's Venice pop-up show at VNYL Records on Abbot Kinney.

Criminal Hygiene performs at Sofar LA's Venice pop-up show at VNYL Records on Abbot Kinney.

On a recent trip to Nashville, we spent our days exploring the city's great eats and our nights at legendary honky tonks listening to three-piece bands belt out harmonies on the same stages that made country music legends like Pasty Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and "The King" himself, Elvis Presley. After experiencing the beat of Music City, it was hard to return home without a touch of the blues. Why isn't there more of this kind of live music on the Westside?

Sofar Sounds answered our plea Wednesday night with a pop-up show on Abbot Kinney, a pocket of Venice where you sip on whippersnappers and shop for things like technical cashmere and designer socks, but maybe not the first place you'd expect to hear great sets from emerging bands like Criminal Hygiene, an L.A.-based trio with stripped down pop melodies and a gritty punk streak reminiscent of The Replacements. 

The happy surprise was made possible by Sofar's LA team (Sofar's in 185 cities around the world), which organizes pop-up performances at secret locations throughout the city. It was an intimate gathering of about 65, including the bands that performed, hosted by Venice's new neighborhood record shop VNYL.

The evening opened up with Australian singer-songwriter, Jordie Lane, accompanied by fellow Aussie, Clare Reynolds, and closed with L.A.-based Pearl Charles. The show lasted about two hours, and at the start of each set, doors were closed on the cozy Craftsman bungalow to focus everyone's attention on the acoustic sets and shut out techno beats drifting in from a nearby opening party.

Another Westside show is scheduled for November 11, which will take place in Mar Vista. You can apply for a ticket and wait until you get invited, or to bypass this guest list process, you can buy ticket(s) at a cost. A single ticket is $20, a pair is $35, and three are $50. At all Sofar shows, no one knows the exact location until details are revealed the day before the show, and the artists who will be performing also remain a mystery until you arrive. They range from up-and-coming acts to surprise appearances from star-status bands and artists like Hozier, Karen O. and Bastille. Past buzz-worthy bands that have played Sofar L.A. also include Saint Motel, Meg Myers, and The Colourist.

Check out more upcoming shows here. And if you'd like to support the effort, you can get involved by hosting a gig at your own home or business, performing as an artist, or volunteering. Find out more here.

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