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Object Lesson: No Age forges its path through the evolving music frontier

March 07, 2014|By Craig Rosen
  • No Age performs Friday, March 14, at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts.
No Age performs Friday, March 14, at the Eagle Rock Center… (Courtesy of Sub…)

From the very beginning of their career, Los Angeles-based noise-pop duo No Age has dug into rock's past, while side-stepping many of its clichés. The band, which consists of guitarist Randy Randall and drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt, was spawned from the Smell, a downtown L.A. all-ages performance space that didn't sell alcohol. Following that tradition, the band's show Friday, March 14, at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock will have no booze for sale, but concert-goers can indulge in vegan food provided by Pure Luck and Clara's Cakes.

"Dean and I are both vegans and we've been vegans for many years," Randall says. "In the past, we've always done the best that we can to really try and create an interesting show environment, whether it's playing these sort of unconventional spaces like the L.A. River bed or vegan grocery stores or movie theaters behind the screen, we go out of our way to kind of create an interesting live show. Having vegan food for sale there is kind of nice. It's something that you're not necessarily going to find in a bar or at the Henry Fonda [Theatre]."

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While Randall has no problem with drinking, he says the band doesn't necessarily want to be involved in the sale of alcohol. "There are plenty of places you can drink," he says. "You can drink at sporting events, in restaurants, anywhere, but as a punk or an independent-minded person doing it yourself, the amount of paperwork and the headache isn't worth it ... As the promoter of the show or the band playing the show, I just don't think my job is selling you beer."

Although the lack of alcohol may seem out of the norm for a typical rock show, No Age does draw on rock's past musically. With its distorted guitars, tribal drumbeats and monotone vocals, you can hear traces of such seminal punk and post-punk bands as the Ramones, Sonic Youth and the Jesus & Mary Chain in No Age's music. Yet when discussing "Running From A-Go-Go," a song from the band's fourth and latest album, 2013's "An Object," Randall goes even further back in the classic rock continuum to explain the song, which chronicles the boredom that often accompanies life on the road for a touring rock band.

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