The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever hosted a hot night of badass women this past Monday evening. Getting the energy whirling were LA local faves, Kera & The Lesbians. I honestly can’t get enough of these artists. Led by the ever-spicy Kera Armendariz on vocals and guitar, their music does not disappoint. As a showman, she and her devilish smile ultimately slay. There is truly not one way to even describe her mastery. One second she’s making intense eye contact with a member of the audience, the next she slivers at the sound of a killer bass line and almost electrocutes on one leg into another realm. She instantly shocks any new listeners in the room. The sound of their music couldn’t be more unique. With Kera’s stinging, jumpy vocals, you somehow travel with her through the stylings. They describe themselves as “bipolar folk rock” which I definitely find to be clearly understood. There’s a strong sense of liveliness in their genre. This being my third time seeing them, I just knew to expect a mind-blowing performance. This set in particular shined one of a kind with some added harp arrangements and guest vocals, proving Kera & The Lesbians will most-likely never stop evolving.
The sold-out crowd couldn’t have been more attentive at this point and cheered as Hurray for the Riff Raff made way to the dimly lit stage. The folk/blues/rock project of musician and outsider, Alynda Segarra is back in support of their latest release, Navigator; and solid is this record. Despite Segarra’s small stature on stage, she is anything but. Once the guitar strings start strumming and she begins singing you are instantly mesmerized and curious to hear what she has to say. Her music is very narrative of her intricate background. Having grown up in the Bronx to an I Love Lucy and West Side Story watchin’ Puerto Rican family, Segarra has many stories to tell. Her Louisianan bandmates back her up and create this ultimately complete circle of sound which brings her art to life.
Making it a point in each of their sets to connect, Armendariz and Segarra stated their concerns with the present-state of events in our country. In unison, the two musicians wanted the listeners to know they are only hoping to continue to enlist a safe place for humans to simply exist.
Hurray for the Riff Raff ended their set with the extremely powerful ballad cry off Navigator, “Pa’lante” which translates in Spanish to “Keep on going.” I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the house as this song rang so true to each listener. When it comes down to it, all we really can do is keep on going and be something and do something. Hollywood got an incredible live show which left them speechless. Stay strong, friends.. and definitely keep enjoying music.
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein