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SXSW Homegrown: Los Angeles 2016

The GRAMMY Museum is bringing its popular Homegrown series to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 18. The showcase will be held at Tap Room at the Market (319 Colorado St.) beginning at 8 p.m. Launched in 2011, the GRAMMY Museum’s Homegrown series spotlights local, Southern California-based musicians.The lineup is as follows:

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Stangers You Know - 8pm

We all start out as strangers before we meet and that’s exactly how the band formed. Grady Lee snuck into Coachella. Adam Haagen was at said music festival with friends and Lee wandered over. They went their separate ways after this chance encounter, only to find themselves at the right time and the right place four months later. They formed a connection over synths, beats, guitars, lyrics, and melody, leading to their first EP, Something to Someone, followed by 2015’s What Happened. What Happened is theatrical; there’s never a dull moment in the sound. Everything comes together with no gaps. It’s rich and eclectic. It’s a collaboration of two musical minds one from Santa Barbara (Lee) and the other from West Los Angeles (Haagen). But the music isn’t about California; it’s about amalgamating their influences that range from folk to rock to pop to electronica.

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PHASES - 9pm

Los Angeles-based quartet of friends Z Berg, Alex Greenwald, Jason Boesel, and Michael Runion formed a band together in 2009. Releasing an album as JJAMZ in 2012, they returned to Los Angeles in 2013 after touring to an uncertain future. Creatively confused and encountering some interpersonal turbulence, the fate of JJAMZ seemed doomed. Feeling like it was a hopeless case, Berg announced that she was moving to Nashville to pursue a folk career. The trio carried on and began writing fresh new material, subconsciously hoping the changes would convince their singer to stay. The new upbeat sounds made their way to Berg. Around this time, Boesel was sitting in his kitchen when he was struck by an idea: the quartet, including Berg, would make six demo songs and play them for the esteemed A&R man and producer Mike Elizondo. Once the songs were finished, they made their way to Elizondo. And just as the dream had promised, Elizondo was instantly sold, signing the band to Warner and even booking them in his studio to record an album and co-produce. The result, 2015’s For Life, is a party album culled from all the best moments of its players’ favorite decades, a cosmic validation of shared creativity, and turning past struggle and strife into excitement and pure joy. 

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Grizfolk - 10pm

Formed in 2013, Venice, California-based alt-rock quintet Grizfolk draw on wide-ranging backgrounds both musical and geographical — frontman Adam Roth, bassist Brendan Willing James, and drummer Bill Delia hail from different corners from the U.S., while keyboardist Sebastian Fritze and guitarist Fredrik Eriksson come from opposite coasts of Sweden. The band textures its songs with a heady mix of graceful melody, sprawling guitar work, and lush but edgy electronics. And on their debut album Waking Up The Giants, Grizfolk deliver an arena-ready sound honed partly through recent tours with artists like Bastille and X Ambassadors, while steadily building a warm, intimate mood that echoes the closeness of their collaboration. With its roots in an old nickname of Roth’s (“Griz Adams”), the band’s moniker refers to “folk not as a genre, but as in the idea of a community of people working together,” explains Fritze. To that end, Grizfolk began as a laid-back but earnest attempt at creating a fresh new hybrid of electronic music and rock.

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Kitten - 11pm

A lifelong music obsessive, Kitten lead singer Chaidez learned to play bass at age 10, eventually picking up guitar and drums. At 14, influenced by everyone from Velvet Underground, Sigur Ross and Madonna, Chaidez began throwing herself into songwriting, working intensely with her co-writer and musical partner Chad Anderson on honing her craft. In 2010, while still unsigned, SPIN named Chaidez and Kitten the “best new discovery” of SXSW and in 2013 Rolling Stone proclaimed Chaidez a "top 10 artist to watch," with Time magazine anticipating Kitten's debut as one of the "top 11 albums to look forward to in 2013." In 2014, after releasing a trio of highly acclaimed EP's, Kitten released their self-titled debut full length album, produced by co-writer Anderson with Gavin Mackillop, which Rolling Stone hailed as a “triumph” promptly placing it in the “top 20 pop albums of 2014.” The following year marked the debut performance of Kitten at The Smell, a downtown all-ages venue and hotbed of the L.A. underground. Continuing to play The Smell, Kitten released Sunday School in 2010, and ultimately landed tours with bands such as Paramore, Garbage, Twin Shadow and Charli XCX as well as the Neighborhood, No Doubt and Courtney Love. Huffington Post says that “Chaidez is at the forefront of an impending female rock revolution,” and the Los Angeles Times anointed her “as sure shot to be a rock star as L.A. has produced.” 

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SWIMM - 12am

SWIMM makes music with the concepts of weightlessness and fluidity as the common elements in their genre-blurred sound. Deciding against the status quo of practicing apathy, SWIMM pours every bit of themselves into their music. They recently moved from Florida to Los Angeles and have been throwing DIY shows that have built a reputation for ending in sweaty, mylar twirling dance parties.

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The New Regime - 1am

Multi-instrumentalist and San Diego, California, native Ilan Rubin is best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves and a brief stint with Paramore. But it can be argued that his best work happens when this one-man-band is fronting — and backing — The New Regime. Exhibit B is the name of the New Regime’s new eight-song EP, which Rubin wrote and recorded almost entirely while touring with NIN in 2013-2014. The album was recorded partly in Rubin’s vastly equipped home studio and partly in hotel rooms equipped with little more than a computer, MIDI controller, a bass and a guitar. Some of the album’s sounds hark back to an analog-synth era while others pay homage to the spirits of fuzz pedals past all while feeling fresh to today’s modern ears. The first two New Regime releases, 2008’s Coup and 2011’s Speak Through the White Noise, were cohesive albums, thought out from top to bottom. For the 2013 release Exhibit A, “the songs were very different from one another, in the sense that I could have taken the style of any one song and written a whole album based around that.” The same holds true with Exhibit B, and will with future “exhibits,” which may or may not be limited by the number of letters in the alphabet. Reinventing the drum is only a little less novel than reinventing the wheel. But what Rubin is really reinventing is how a virtuosic musician can approach his career, as a critical member of multiple collectives as well as being the maestro and master of his own regime.