Category: Zack de la Rocha

Live Review: One Day As a Lion at Eagle Rock's Center for the Arts


When the stage crew set up a large screen behind the small stage at the former Carnegie library that is now home to the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock, audience members might have anticipated some sweet multimedia. One Day As a Lion, the project combining the talents of Rage Against the Machine town crier Zack de la Rocha and ex-Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, was about to play its second-ever live show. A barrage of images, maybe ripped from news sites on the Web, would complement the band's political lyrics and multi-directional avant-rock sound.

The screen remained blank, though, after De La Rocha, Theodore and keyboardist Joey Karam tromped onstage to excited applause and began a 40-minute set. It was merely there to block the sunlight streaming through the large glazed window behind the band. The late-afternoon sun still found its way in, lending a beatific glow to De la Rocha's wiry mop of hair. He looked about as happy as a restless 40-year-old rock star could be.

One Day As a Lion released an EP in 2008, but didn't play any live shows. It seemed that the project might only serve as an experiment for its two principals -- a kind of two-man retreat through which each would rethink the already challenging rock sounds they'd already developed in their better-known groups. But this set and the one ODAAL performed the previous afternoon in Pomona featured new music alongside the song from their debut -- and a new member, Karam, who freed De la Rocha from his own keyboard, allowing him to step out and stir up the crowd while delivering his rapid-fire verbal flow. This trio was fully armed for present and future assaults.

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Zack de la Rocha's One Day As a Lion will play two shows this weekend

When I interviewed vocalist/provocateur Zack de la Rocha about his new project, One Day as a Lion, in 2008, he promised that the duo would soon bring its incendiary drum-and-buzz sound to the fans, live in concert. For Zack, apparently, "soon" is a relative term. One Day as a Lion just announced its first live dates ever -- taking place this weekend at two undisclosed locations.

Saturday, de la Rocha and drummer Jon Theodore will appear in Pomona; the next day brings a Los Angeles date. Joining the pair will be Joey Karam, keyboardist for the Locust. Maybe he'll wear his usual stage camo. Masked or fully exposed, this band can be counted on to raise an unholy racket.

Tickets for the two shows will be sold starting at noon Wednesday, online and at two solid-ground locations: Origami Vinyl in Echo Park and the Glasshouse Record Store in Pomona. (Hm, might that latter location point to where Saturday's show will take place? Just guessin'.) Check out announcement for more information. 

In the meantime, read my review of the One Day as a Lion EP here and my chat with De la Rocha here.  I'll be there, fist in air, for the L.A. show!

-- Ann Powers

Twitter: @annkpowers

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Conor Oberst draws line in the sand over AZ boycott

Conor Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst and Phoenix-based concert promoter Charlie Levy are in the midst of a very pointed dialogue over the real impact of Sound Strike, a coalition of artists including Oberst, Zack de la Rocha, Nine Inch Nails, Pitbull and Maroon 5 boycotting Arizona over the notorious immigration law SB 1070.

Sound Strike's members hopes to use their artistic platform to hit Arizona in its pocketbook and help force a repeal of the law. But in a recent editorial in the Arizona Republic, Levy argues that the real victims are struggling Arizona entertainment-industry workers, and the state's forums for cultural life that might be allies in their efforts to overturn the bill. Levy writes:

By not performing in Arizona, artists are harming the very people and places that foster free speech and the open exchange of ideas that serve to counter the closed-mindedness recently displayed by the new law.

The people who will feel the negative effects of the boycott the deepest are local concert venues, including non-profit art-house theatres, independent promoters, fans and the people employed in the local music business. If the boycott continues, it is all but guaranteed that some of these venues will be forced to close their doors. 

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Zack de la Rocha 'brings out the youth' in protest against Arizona sheriff


Reporting from Phoenix -- Zack de la Rocha, lead singer of the rock band Rage Against the Machine, helped lead a rally through the streets of Phoenix today in a bid to end the practices of an Arizona county sheriff who Rocha said had “deputized vigilantes” and created a “state of terror” for local Latinos.

Thousands of people marched about four miles from the Steele Indian School Park to the U.S. District Court of Arizona on Washington Street, chanting “No more Joe” and “Arpaio escucha, estamos en la lucha” –- which translates from Spanish to “Arpaio listen, we’re in the struggle.”

At issue is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s enforcement of federal immigration law. Some activists say he has unfairly targeted the Latino community. Arpaio says he is simply doing his job and told The Times in a phone interview that today's protest would not "deter" him from fulfilling his duties.

“Without the proper warrants, he raids the homes and workplaces of janitors and gardeners,” De la Rocha told demonstrators at the end of the rally. “At routine traffic stops he detains and deports mothers, violently separating them from their children, who are left abandoned.”

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