The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part VI
Our penultimate installment... prepare for tomorrow's stunning conclusion!
Best reason for the Chili Peppers to go on indefinite hiatus: All due respect to L.A.’s long-running band of Californicators, but for all the records they’ve sold in the last decade, Flea has never sounded better than he did providing a rump-shaking, robo-funk backbone to Thom Yorke’s as-yet-unnamed live band. Don’t worry about where that leaves Anthony and the others, surely there’s a Chickenfoot out there for everybody. (Chris Barton) Photo credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / Los Angeles Times
Best John Bonham impression: Dave Grohl with Them Crooked Vultures at the Wiltern. The songs might not have always been there for this high-wattage power trio with John Paul Jones and Josh Homme, but if this puts Grohl one step closer to getting the call if/when that long-rumored Led Zeppelin reunion comes together then it’s done its job and then some (sorry, Jason Bonham). (CB) Photo credit: Dustin Rabin
Best long-form improv not found in the UCB Theater: The Necks at REDCAT. Using piano, bass, drums and a whole lot of concentration, this category-defying trio from Australia delivered a spellbinding, all-improvised set early in 2009, somehow making two ever-evolving, 45-minute creations glide by in what felt like minutes. Come back soon, please. (CB) Photo: Holimage
Best mini-farewell tour: Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor retired his Nine Inch Nails as a live concern this autumn with intimate club shows in New York and Chicago before officially wrapping up with four stops in L.A. For the first outing, at the Hollywood Palladium, he played the band’s landmark 1994 album “The Downward Spiral” in its entirety before launching into some B-sides and an onstage collaboration with New Wave icon Gary Numan. For the last performance, at the Wiltern, Numan turned up once again, as did Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and bass player Eric Avery, in addition to other guests. There was no question it was a special occasion: the almost always bare-chested Navarro wore a garment that closely resembled a shirt for the show. (Gina McIntyre) Photo: Ann Johansson / For The Times
Most hubristic R&B single: Trey Songz, “I Invented Sex.” Songz had some stiff competition from Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex,” which re-imagined Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s SNL ode to lewd Christmas gifts as a deadly serious seducers’ anthem. But “Invented” wins because of the sheer biological impossibility of its premise. Did not Mr. and Mrs. Songz discover the act beforehand, at least once? (AB) Photo: Getty Images
Best new concert tradition (if we’re lucky): The Angel City Jazz Festival took its notion of “rethinking jazz” to new heights at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater this Labor Day, and while attendance could have been better, here’s hoping it continues to prove L.A. wants – needs – another outdoor festival that not only celebrates our city’s rich tradition of jazz but also points to its wide-open future. (CB) Photo: Ann Johansson / For The Times