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Curtain Up: Come for the Art, Stay for the Rock


Published Jul 1, 2008 8:00 AM

The Deadly Syndrome, which plays the Hammer on July 10, is an L.A.-based band known for its high-energy live performances. Copyright © Photos Courtesy of the Hammer Museum

It's no secret that the Hammer Museum is a wonderful place to check out up-and-coming artists. But in the summer, it adds the art of budding rockers to its repertoire, as well. "Also I Like To Rock: The Indie 103.1 New Music Showcase" returns to the Hammer Courtyard "to foster emerging talent, and bring different artists to the public," says Claudia Bestor, the museum's director of public programs.

On four consecutive Thursday evenings, hear back-to-back performances by two buzz bands selected by the rock gurus at Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1.

Now in its third year, "Also I Like to Rock" previously featured then-emerging talent including Rocco Deluca and The Burden, Shiny Toy Guns and Silversun Pickups. This year's highlights include "something for everyone," too, Bestor says. That's hardly an exaggeration: On July 10, The Deadly Syndrome will appeal to fans of Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and even the Police with their hook-y keyboard and guitar riffs and whimsical lyrics; as an added bonus, they've been known to playfully smash things during their notoriously energetic live shows.

The equally catchy — but slightly darker — female-fronted io echo commandeers the courtyard July 17. Describing their music as "full of rage but with good manners," they're reminiscent of '80s neo-punks Siouxsie and the Banshees — tinged with pop-influenced, experimental electronica.

In addition to the music, the Hammer's galleries will be open Thursdays until 9 p.m., notes Jason Shelden, the series' organizer on behalf of Indie 103.1. "So come on out, grab a beer, tour the museum, and see some live music for free."

The complete "Also I Like To Rock" lineup:

July 3: Nico Vega, The Growlers

July 10: The Deadly Syndrome, Miss Derringer

July 17: io echo, The Duke Spirit

July 24: afternoons, Tokyo Police Club

— Randi Schmelzer

Also I Like to Rock: The Indie 103.1 New Music Showcase. Thursdays in July, 8 p.m. Hammer Museum Courtyard, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Free. For more information, call (310) 443-7000 or go to or

According to the group's Myspace page, frontwoman io of io echo, the fast-rising new indie band, "writes songs in a late hour in a bedroom situation."