Ringing in the New Year with Jagged Baptist Club, Ramonda Hammer and UHGG: A Night at Permanent Records Roadhouse Thoughts+Photos: Jagged Baptist Club at Permanent Records Roadhouse 12/31/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- As the final hours of the 2023 ticked away, I found myself at Permanent Records Roadhouse, a venue pulsing with the promise of raw, unadulterated music. I arrived at venue a little early to purse their vinyl racks, and spent a good amount of time talking with one of their employees talking about Numero Records discography. Pretty solid record store.
As the crowd started to arrive, I saw a bunch of friendly familiar faces. Kalynn was there shooting New Years polaroids. Jules was there spinning some groovy tunes on the 1s and 2s. Good ol’ reliables, Gary and Austin were in attendance. It was great seeing some familiar faces. This New Year’s Eve was not just a farewell to the year but a vibrant testament to the power of live music, celebrated with friends and strangers alike, all united by their love for the rhythmic heartbeat of local music scene.
The evening’s festivities began with Ramonda Hammer taking the stage. It had been a considerable time since I last saw them, and it was truly a joy to finally see them perform again. The departure of Marc for CheekFace had reshaped their dynamics, but the essence of the band remained untouched. Justin, Devin, Andy, and their skilled new drummer Josh Florian delivered a performance that was both nostalgic and novel.
Their set, a mix of familiar anthems like “Destroyers”, “Hoax”, “Big Hands” and “Better View,” along with newer- to me- tracks, was a reminder of the band’s versatility and enduring charm. Witnessing them live was a stirring experience, rekindling memories and creating new ones, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for us for 2024
Then came UGHH, a band previously unknown to me but immediately captivating. One of their members, Jonny, had a history with Spare Parts For Broken Hearts, and it had been a minute since I’d seen his shred with a bass in his hands. In fact, the last time I saw him play was back in April of 2022! His transition to UGHH was seamless, and it was awesome to see him get down… literally!… with his axe.
UGHH’s performance was a terrifically fun – a blend of punk energy and garage rock ethos that demanded physical participation. The moshing and exuberance they incited were infectious, perfectly encapsulating the spirit of New Year’s Eve. Their collaboration with Blake Stokes, the lead singer of Jagged Baptist Club, for a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” was a standout moment, a thrilling fusion of talent and raw energy.
As midnight approached, Jagged Baptist Club took the stage, their set heralded by the traditional countdown. Among local bands, they’ve always been highly recommended, and rightly so. Their performance was a rollercoaster of emotions and energy, with tracks like “Running on Synthetic,” “Bull on a Chain,” and “Chop” showcasing their unique sound (which is a melding of punk, garage and indie rock) and lyrical prowess. Their live performance was strong, marked by an intense and engaging stage presence.
Jagged Baptist Club seemed to demonstrate a commitment to maintaining the authenticity and spirit of rock music and what I’ve seen with their growing popularity is a testament to their talent and their ability to connect with fans through their music which was clearly evident on this night.
Reflecting on the night, it was more than just a celebration of the new year. It was a testament to the enduring power of live music, its ability to bring people together, and the way it can magnify our joys and soothe our sorrows. In a world often divided, music remains a universal language, a bridge between hearts and minds. As I left Permanent Records Roadhouse, the echoes of the night’s performances lingered, a sweet reminder of the unifying power of music and the endless possibilities it holds. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year in music.