Let me get this straight, I paid 12 bucks to listen to The Heavy at The Echo? In a worse recession then this, I would have taken this deal. This was the deal of the month as far as I am concerned. Being part of what was their second show in Los Angeles, I can honestly say this, I was blessed to have been been there.
The Heavy set had a message and a band that was thrilled to be playing in Los Angeles. And the message was simple: we're The Heavy and we are here to rock your pants off. Part of it was the lead singer falling in love continuously with the LA Ladies in the audience, but really the show was about a crowd that was just amped to see The Heavy back in Los Angeles. The band teased us with a positive message of change, but delivered with a set from rock to blues, with just sheer energy, growing in strength and their connection with us at every song. The Heavy continued playing and a packed Echo crowd continued wanting more.
As I stood there next to the stage, I could not help but smile.
I'm supposed to cuss less these days. But shit...I was tired from a Southwest flight back from Chicago earlier this evening where I was berated by the guy next for me for being a leftist Marxist. Oh well. As I pounded about four slices of pizza into me for my daily nutrition, I ventured straight into the LA Night to seePop Levi absolutely fucking explode and deliver at The Echo last night. Pure combustion, in the form of an energetic, burning musical call-to-arms, I was awakened as this trio crushed their set last night. Rock and roll is not just about music, it is a state of mind and Pop Levi wowing the crowd with a sound that tickled deep into this mans' tired, very tired, body is what rock and roll is about.
Pop Levi delivered through a set with a resounding drum and bass the oozed pure rock that brought me back to a different era. The power of a show like last night's is that when you shrug off the day you just had, the mere thought of experiencing a set like last night, actually motivates you to push to another level, like their set did last night. With a voice that resonated off the storied Echo stage, a crowd was left needing more. A short set delivered with a hard-hitting drummer that kept on coming and coming, setting a rhythm that just took hold of you and would not let go. Last night Pop Levi's performance re-confirmed something I have always known.
You are either rock and roll or you are not. You are really born into it, it is a gift and you cannot fake it. These guys dripped rock and roll, that state of mind that lets the peeps in the audience hear every note as if played for them only. You know that feeling you get, when you feel that you just witnessed something special. So very special, you wish it would not have ended. Here is to the Southwest crew that got me home earlier then expected so I could listen to Pop Levi.
Camera crapped out so I only got a few videos. But I am actually happy it did, so I have to go see these guys live again. With a solid group of followers and a sound all their own, The Gray Kid will easily get me out to see them again. Man, I am really liking this creative force going on through Los Angeles and the sounds of The Gray Kid are another example of the power of live music.
Last Pop Nation @ the Silverlake Lounge, doing their first ever show. With an intimate little crowd, it was our own private show at the lounge. Set to a two piece band, with a probing bass and a singer with an acoustic guitar on vocals, Last Pop Nation is a tiny band with a large, very large and penetrating sound. These guys are accompanied by a power of sounds through a little Mac that sets a temporary mood for you that left me wondering, if this was their first show, dam what are their next shows going to be like since this one made me special to have seen their first one.
There is something, very 80's happy pop, last day of the school year, tones to their music. Almost carefree and honest about their music, as if listening to Last Pop Nation could take your mind off all your worries. Last Pop Nation is true to what they are trying to do and it was evident during heir set last night. They are simply making music they want to play and taking people along with them. And you know you will start seeing Last Pop Nation pop up all over town shortly which is great for the ones that did not have a chance to hear them like we did last night.
Dam. With a sound that could have blown the roof off the Staples Center, these Echo Park rockers killed, absolutely killed their set @ the Silverlake Lounge last night. My ears are still ringing. I am talking about Molino.
Do not listen to these guys without ear plugs because they will leave your ears and the rest of your body reverberating like their sound does on stage. I wanted more last night only to realize their sound is TOO big for the spot they played at. Seriously, Molino has sheer power coming out this four piece band and well worth checking out.
It has got to be special to drag me out to the east side of Downtown. Really special. Downtown is a mystery to me even after all these years. Downtown on a random Thursday evening? Yet there I was last night, determined not to miss The Polyamorous Affair at Bordello. Like A fool, I got there an hour early before the first band even went on and sat myself at the bar, sipping Whiskey just to make sure I would not miss them. Again. Just a few words on what I experienced last night.
Simply put, the duo known as The Polyamorous Affair is a band on a mission. It is as if they are determined to achieve a past success but with a deeper appreciation for what it will feel like this time. Driven in the background by dueling dj's lacing the beat that would move an AARP convention, The Polyamorous Affair is trying to build a sound, a movement all its own. Driven by an organic approach to music that lets them create, produce, and deliver their own, unique brand of pop-infused, pulsating dance music, the duo, headed by Eddie and Sissy are cultivating a sound that moves people to actually put their drinks down and dance. They stand behind their music, asking people to come along with them for a little part of their night as they take you on a music journey that just makes you feel good.
As I sat there listening to The Polyamorous Affair last night, I envisioned an LA Band that will need to leave us for a bit as they take their sounds and mission to other cities across the US. If a movement, one that brings more and more people into its grasp is too survive and flourish, then The Polyamorous Affair is on its way to attracting loyal followers to its cause. A cause that is evident by a band that goes into another zone as they perform, in a trance like state of fun, energetic, and tight music that leaves you wanting more, and more.
I am now glad I had missed their last few shows in Los Angeles. Listening to The Polyamorous Affair last night made me appreciate them even more, made me forget all that was on my mind, and even made me forget I was in Downtown by myself. Good music does that. It can be a beautiful escape that opens you open to new things, people and emotion. I got all of that last night listening to them. Music has got to do that, make us escape into a realm previously unknown to us and The Polyamorous Affair succeeds in helping us along the way by showing us something new and vibrant. After all, that is all I really want from music and last night The Polyamorous Affair delivered, turning me into an even bigger fan. Stay tuned because they have upcoming shows and we will let you know via Loudvine.com. Go out and see them, feel what I did last night, a positive force, The Polyamorous Affair.
Speechless. Really, what can you say about a three piece ensemble with a collection of instruments that would make any kid proud? And did I mention, one guy wears an old TV on his head as he performs in a experimental haze of expansive sounds? Yep, another night in Los Angeles, listening to the bands that are truly doing their own thing. This is Solar System doing it their own way. I do not even know where to start so I will let you decide.
Then it hit me. The human side of what we are truly trying to do here at Loudvine.com. Stay connected. Through live music. Bands, are just a compilation of atoms like the rest of us humans. They might seem a bit cooler in their every day, but shit they do laundry, feel insecure, deal with bullshit like the rest of us. While the rest of us dream of hurting our bosses or quitting our day jobs and other forms of healthy voyeurism, they dream of tour buses, free booze and travel but really, they are just in tune with their real escape. Thats why we like them.
They create, sometimes for us, sometimes for themselves, but really who cares as long as our fabulous city keeps providing them this canvas and we are all open to the Pollack moments that at first might seem weird, but usually leave you at a glimpse later in your week, saying wow, that was cool. The power of live music is evidenced through moments like last night at the Silverlake Lounge.
Creativity is wild, it manifests itself in tiny little packages, sometimes the boisterous ones are not great and the quiet ones, are the ones that belt out something that sticks with you. Take Monster for instance. I saw them last night at the Silverlake Lounge. It was a random Tuesday evening, rather empty room, a couple of couples on dates and me with my dig camera listening to the band Monster. With a lead singer who looks barely old enough to be out of high school, the band has got something. I have not really put my finger on it. It will hit me eventually. But a monster, at least vocally, might be what is truly inside the lead singer, Alex. Through the tune-up, the preparation, she seems detached. Then she starts singing, and it hits you. Dam. She simply sings and plays guitar with lyrics and tones that fluctuate in a sexy raspy way. She hooks you. Yet there is something about her, as if she is wondering what to do with this cool voice of hers, as if the voice is too big for her. But that is so cool. She is exposed when she sings and her band is the support she needs to connect.
I was left wondering, who the hell is this girl. True, Monster has been around for a while. But there I was, have to admit, just fixated by her. I noticed the band labels itself as pop on their myspace, but that is probably just to screw with people that think they know music. I hear psychedelic melodies with really a range of vocals that cover more then just that. And with a voice that wont let me be even as I write this, I am left wanting to listen to them again. And again. But then really who cares if I cannot figure her out. I have last nights performance to guide me until I do and I am very glad I do.
A quick video recap of last night's show at the Silverlake Lounge. Performing is a band from Pasadena called My Name is Guy:
Rest of their show is here: I did it this way so it will load faster for you guys.
Last few days I have been feeling a bit disconnected from everything. I felt like I needed to do something last night to snap out of it. It was down to two options. Either drive around LA and take down the "Country First/McCain-Palin," signs I am seeing or go to Tangier to listen to One Trick Pony. One would surely get me arrested. The other would surely help me in some other way. So I decided to roll to Tangier. Good call.
The thing about today's d generation, everything is open for us to browse. To discover it some way instantly. Whatever we want. And bands definitely fit into that realm. Yet there is still something great about not knowing everything. Sometimes not knowing everything besides the fact you have heard literally one, maybe two songs by a particular band that caught your attention is enough to make you go see them live. We should still allow ourselves to be surprised even though we are all about instant gratification.
I have come to this conclusion. It is ok, I personally do not need to know everything about every band. LA is massive and so is the music scene with so many great bands, it is tough to truly keep up with everyone. I ride an instinct that dictates me where to go on any given night and to what random venue I go to listen to live music. And I was dead on last night as I listened to One Trick Pony.
I have come to realize you also cannot believe the hype or the profile views on certain bands that says one band is better then another. Forget the pre-show hype. We need the hype after we have each had a chance to listen to these bands live so we can pass it along, after we have seen what the band has offered us live. Its like sharing a great gift with your buddies. You get excited and you want everyone to know what you got. Its has to be about seeing these bands live and just being willing to be surprised as you listen to them perform for you.
A few weeks back I mentioned One Trick Pony on my newsletter. Last night I was at Tangier to see them in person. And that element of surprise, that so often evades me was there again. All I am going to say about One Trick Pony is this, WOW. One Trick Pony, a three piece band made feel connected last night. It made me aware that something is going on musically in Los Angeles and again I am blessed to be part of it. There are bands that are reaching beyond the typical bullshit and making powerful, honest music. And One Trick Pony is one of those bands. One Trick Pony with its blend of folksy lyrics and its penetrating violin dug deep into my skin last night and made me smile for the first time in a few days.
There is something sad, almost troubling tones to their songs. Their words are real, lyrically driven to make you listen to each and every word. The power of the violinist and drummer accommodate a lead singer whose vocals range, and range, in some Gumby-like, totally flexible melodies that bounced off the stage at Tangier. One Trick Pony's melodies offer the band a free range to experiment on a whim with a lead singer whose voice has such a presence that you feel every fucking note. One Trick Pony is also a bit haunting and this is set by the power of the live violin. There is something very confident about the lead singer. He pokes fun, at you, at himself, darkly, though he knows he can pull it off, and he does not mind being totally exposed musically. In a set that consisted of a little serenade off stage and without a microphone, you get the impression One Trick Pony echoes within people long after shows because the lead singer is willing to take chances and takes you along for a little experience each time he sings. Its reckless and totally inspiring.
The beauty of this band's music is that it reverberates from the seamless cords and slight tickling of the strings of the guitar, drum and violin working in total, sweet and sensual harmony. It touches you like a rain as you clench the sky above asking to be drowned in water as it is that refreshing. You want One Trick Pony to soak you endlessly. Their songs linger with you long after you leave Tangier and it made me realize how special what I had just witnessed was last night. As I sit here and write this, I know what I saw at Tangier last night is definitely a band capable of connecting me to great music for a long time to come.