By Nadine Levyfield, 14, Eagle Rock HS
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Nadine’s favorite indie bands are The Shins, the Unicorns and Interpol.

When I heard about Lollapalooza being canceled, I knew that one of my summer concert plans had gone down the drain. Lollapalooza had everyone good playing—Morrissey, Modest Mouse, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth and so many more. I would have to search for other ways to find good music.

With the cancellation of this amazing summer tour with more than 30 bands, I wanted to see if any other good concerts were approaching. Every Sunday I would check the back page of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section to see the upcoming concert listings. One day I was looking it over and I saw a notice for Curiosa, a huge concert with two of my favorite bands, The Cure and Interpol. I immediately called my best friend, who was on vacation, and told her that I was buying tickets for it. She agreed to go with me even though it was more expensive than Lollapalooza ($57.50 compared to $30) but it seemed worth it—we both love those bands.

Meanwhile, my friends and I started looking around L.A. for good shows. I ended up going with friends to the Hollywood Bowl at least five times to see all different kinds of music—Simon and Garfunkel, Afro-Cuban jazz, even an ABBA tribute band with several of the original band members (because I was so desperate to hear live music) and a few other shows. To be honest, most of the shows sucked, but the atmosphere of the Bowl is so fun that it doesn’t really matter. At the Bowl, I always end up bumping into people I know and sitting with them. Plus, you can get the $1 seats and then move down to better seats if it’s not crowded.

The swing dancers were crazy

I also hung out at the Autry Western museum once and saw a swing band contest for $5. Basically I was dragged there, and it’s not my kind of music at all, but watching the swing dancers was fun. They get really into it, and come all decked out in 50s clothes and even drive cars from the 50s. I actually thought it was kind of sad, how they are so into an era from 50 years ago, but it was fun to watch. I also went to the $10 show at the Sunset Junction Street Fair in Silverlake in August and saw the Unicorns and Ima Robot. They were amazing live. Both are upbeat rock bands rapidly gaining popularity and the turnout was huge. I got stuck smack dab in the mosh pit without meaning to and I almost got trampled. But the concert was so well-performed it was worth it.

Over the summer, Amoeba Music in Hollywood had lesser known bands play on weekday nights for free. Artists like Rilo Kiley, Auf Der Maur, Concrete Blonde, Zero 7 and Blonde Redhead all performed there this spring and summer. Smaller venues like the Echo on Sunset had more affordable shows of bands like the Donnas for $14 and the Unicorns for $12. But some shows there are 18 and over, so if you’re planning to go, call first at (213) 413-8200.

In her quest for cool tunes, Nadine snapped some great close-ups of the Unicorns' Alden Ginger, drummer Jaime Tambeur and Nicholas Thorburn.
Photo by Nadine Levyfield, 14, Eagle Rock HS

Meanwhile, what happened to all the bands who were going to be at Lollapalooza? My friends and I noticed that many of them made other plans. Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth and the String Cheese Incident all formed new tours. But tickets to just one of their shows were about the same price as general admission to Lollapalooza, so we didn’t go. It didn’t make sense to see one band when we could go to a bigger event and see multiple bands for the same price. Since Lollapolooza was canceled only three weeks before the tour began, it was sad to see that many bands did not have time to reschedule tours and spent their summer doing other projects.

Curiosa, which was held at the end of August, was fun, but it definitely could have been better. The whole concert started two hours late and was pretty disorganized. I was disappointed that Interpol’s set was so short, and that they didn’t play some of my favorite songs like "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," and "Obstacle 2." The Cure’s set was very long, but they also didn’t play some of my favorite songs and focused a little too much on stuff from their new album. While some new songs, like "The End of the World," are incredibly good, others are just not as catchy as previous Cure material and they are boringly slow. Even so, Curiosa was an awesome experience because I saw two of my favorite bands in the same night. Overall, the summer music scene wasn’t that bad.