I did have a little time to write so click keep on reading where I pick up on day two of the Luce Loft shows and the rest of that week.
The second night of the Luce Loft featured John Meeks & The New Mexicans and The Donkeys. Once again, the show was intimate and the sound was perfect in the loft. John and his band brought sweet Americana sounds. Since the last I’d seen John Meeks perform at the Marquee, the vibe wasn’t all that different but I think I’ve come to prefer the band in a quiet room. After seeing them play these types of spaces, a bar just doesn’t do them justice.
As for The Donkeys, it had been quite a while since I’d seen them live. Fresh off SXSW, they seemed happy to play in front of their hometown friends. And in their usual style, they switched up instruments and vocal responsibilities throughout the set. There's just something about their music that is so positive, it's hard to resist the smile that you get from ear to ear while they perform. Along with drums, piano, guitars, bongos, and piano, they threw in a eukelele and a sitar for good measure. This band is crazy talented.
After Luce Loft, I left downtown and went to Bar Pink to catch San Francisco’s Two Sheds.
I’ve seen them a few times before and always dig them when I see them but to be honest, I ended up only halfway paying attention to their set because I got a surprise phone call from a very old friend of mine who was in town from New York for the weekend. He showed up with our other friend who lives locally. They’re not exactly into indie rock, and knowing how they love hip-hop, after Two Sheds I suggested we check out U-31. Kind of a mistake because..well, I don’t do dance clubs, let alone places charging cover for a couple DJs, but we hung out for a while anyway before we bailed and called it a night.
Friday night I realized I had an obligation to a show that was happening at the House of Blues. I don’t take it lightly when I’m put on a guestlist, especially when I’m granted a guest and a photo pass, but I’ve had a miserable time in the past there, so I didn’t bother inviting anyone. This time was no exception. I was supposedly on the list for Angus & Julia Stone who were opening for Brett Dennen. I got to House of Blues just before 7, with the opener scheduled to start at 7:30 and yet again, I was told there was no list submitted. The first couple times this has happened, I thought it could’ve been the error of a publicist or a tour manager, but it happens EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It’s unfortunate because I have friends who work there: bartenders, security, and even sound and stage production, but nothing I can do or say has seemed to work to resolve the issue. I verified with the publicist that the tour manager had put me on the list but once 7:30 hit, there was no point in me sticking around. Too bad, too, because Angus & Julia performed a beautiful set a few months ago. You can see the videos on my YouTube page. (youtube.com/rosey928)
Fortunately I was already planning on hitting Luce Loft again, so I made my way to East Village, and circled the area far too many times before finally finding a place to park to walk to the loft. Fortunately they planned for people having a harder time finding parking, so I had time to hang out before Swim Party took the stage. After having seen the performance on Wednesday night from Black Mamba and Writer, the band practiced on Thursday working on ways to quiet their sound a bit, and what they came up with was phenomenal, including prearranging for the playing of bells and shakers by Frank, Dustin, and Daye from the balcony at the end of The Kids Are A Drag. Natalie has also stepped up to having parts through the entire set. Her mom would be so proud for the cute dress she wore onstage. Though they did adjust most of their songs for the quiet space, they did play their final song balls to the wall and it sounded just as great.
Swim Party was followed by a stripped down, four piece version of The Silent Comedy which was certainly a change from their usually raucous bar shows. Jeremiah played a new song that is absolutely stunning (check it out at YouTube.com/rosey928) and did a really intense version of “The Great American Novel”, a song written in the 60s but with lyrics hauntingly appropriate for today. The room was dead silent you could hear a pin drop…or someone in the upstairs bathroom taking an Austin Powers- style leak- which was a little funny, but the mood wasn’t lost. They let the audience choose between “49” and “Gasoline” and we couldn’t resist the singalong of the latter.
After the show, I stopped at The Corner to say hi to Abraham while he worked and some friends were there hanging out, so we chilled for a bit before I left downtown. When I did get home I was tempted to walk to the Ken to check out Lualta, but the coziness of home won over and I decided to take the rest of the night off.
My friend from NY was still in town, so Saturday I picked up Joe in Chula Vista, and we went to a BBQ at his parents' house for the afternoon. It's always good to catch up with high school friends in a chill setting and it was an awesome sunny day. Eventually the BBQ wrapped up and I hung at Joe's for a while, but I couldn't convince him to come out for the night, so it was off to Luce Loft for the fourth night. I'll save that for the next post.
I'll get back to the rest of the diary with regular updates soon. Till then, have a happy weekend.
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