Words by Bryan Crawford

Los Angeles, CA — Surely you’ve been to a house party that’s unforgettable. I’m not talking Chik-fil-a catered, or champagne party favors. I mean something along the lines of an eccentric renovating an old psychiatric ward so you and your drug addled/booze sodden friends can wander around and stare at his Kandinsky collection. Only, what starts out as a novelty has some very real repercussions as you find yourself stuck in an archaic elevator somewhere between what were formerly the solitary confinement and crisis stabilization floors. I digress.

Since 2004 the National History Museum’s hit First Fridays concept has brought concert goers in by the bucketloads because, who wouldn’t want to have a party there?


So far this year has proved no different. The season’s Inaugural First Friday kicked off January 7th, with a sea of shifty scenesters ambling up the main stairs just after dusk. KCRW’s own Anthony Valadez (and special guest, Garth Trinidad) provided inviting ‘urban-progressive’ tunes to assuage any fears that the fuzz might be about to bust things up.

And after the rooms could be packed no further, Swedish quartet Little Dragon took the stage. With what seemed like more people waiting in the wings than watching from the concert hall, it’s a wonder anyone was attentive, but Little Dragon has undeniably infectious, electro-tribal grooves. Yukimi Nagano, the coquettish front woman from whom the group got its name, and her band of close high-school friends played a short set, competing partly with the natural phasing effect of the rooms and their contents (e.g. giant triceratops & t-rex fossils). Needless to say, the band had their work cut out for them, but tunes like Blinking Pigs and Never Never worked despite the space, and incidentally, had been on heavy KCRW rotation leading up to the event.

The inescapable reality is that this concert series takes place in a venue that constantly vies for your attention, and is about acoustic as a boombox in a bank. That said, the fact that they even open the National History Museum (of all places) to host this hipster assemblage is reason enough to go. And you should.


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