Now that it's looking more and more like my move to WordPress is postponed at best, and since I think I'm finally inspired enough out of my writer's rut, I wanna get back to the old days, when I wrote like nobody was reading, if you don't mind. I may never get back to most of those 4 months of photos, but I don't want to keep putting off the present because of the past. I was trying to break my writing into digestible, tagable, and web-searchable nuggets, but fuck it. My brain doesn't work that way and it's been so long since I've really wanted to write, so now you get a deluge.
With that said, last week, once recovered from Street Scene was a pretty good one. Click 'keep on reading' to read all about it.
Bad Veins at The Casbah, 2.1.09
My post-Street Scene adventures started on Sunday when I went to Jimmy's party with Josh Damigo. Jimmy hosts open mic at Lestat's and it was a beautiful day among warm people. I recognized a few faces- photographer Steve Covault was there, with his new bride Sweet Joyce Ann, Sara Petite, and others had gathered to celebrate the birthday. Dat Phan was there and naturally when at a party, one doesn't leave a conversation with a comedian. He had us in stitches until it was time to go. On the ride home I snapped Josh singing along to his music. Next time he better be careful or I'll shoot video.
Monday was eaten up with projects and stuff and just as a break, I walked over to Lestat's to catch Josh for a couple songs during open mic, which is where that video for "Indescribable" that I posted last week came from. I stopped into Lou Jones, too, but Tuesday was another early day for me so I didn't stay long. Let me tell ya, though, if you ever want total extremes, go to Lestat's for Open Mic Mondays, then to Lou Jones to visit Chrystal on Metal Mondays.
Tuesday night was all about the Casbah for me. LoveLikeFire from San Francisco opened the night and sadly my photos are beyond terrible. But they're really great with a highly energetic female guitarist vocalist up front.
I was there for two more bands living on the Dangerbird label that for me, so far at least, can do no wrong (Silversun Pickups, Eulogies, Dappled Cities). On this night, it was Bad Veins and Division Day who are co-headlining the tour. As I mentioned last week, I've been listening to both albums religiously and I was not disappointed by the live performances. Bad Veins, being just a two piece, rely on prerecorded beats that are usually played through a reel to reel, but "she" broke the night before so they were bummed they had to iPod the stuff, but I don't think it made a difference to the crowd.
I'm not gonna lie. The crowd was much thinner than I expected. And much, much smaller than I'd hoped. These are some incredible bands doing really great things and I guess me saying so can't get someone like Daye convinced that it's ok to miss Big Brother. I especially felt bad for Division Day because my city wasn't very courteous to them when they played Bar Pink during NPMT. In fact, apparently there were some not nice words from the drunks at Pink that night when DD said they were from L.A. Maybe Bar Pink should charge a $20 cover to anyone with a True North stamp on their wrist as a filter.
Regardless, the band performed a great set and hopefully will be back soon. I noticed Bad Veins is booked at Soda Bar in October, so perhaps more shows will excite more people about them.
Since I was pretty sure the few photos I took sucked (as evidenced above), somehow I convinced the boys in Bad Veins to pose for me after the show so at least I could get them with some light.
Wednesday I took it easy, going to dinner at Tita's Kitchenette, a filipino place in National City with Jake, but deciding that a night at home wasn't a terrible plan. Plus I had work to do. When I talk about 'work', btw, I'm still not working, but I'm hoping some shit falls into place soon and the 14 or so hours a day I'm online actually turn into the kind of work that pays money. So there that is. Haven't brought that up in a while, have I? Money or not, an email inbox with hundreds of emails crying for attention, to me, is still work.
Naturally Thursday I was ready to hit the nightlife again, so I was back at Casbah for Local Natives and Heartless Bastards. If the show didn't sell out, it was pretty damn close, but I was there to see Kelcey and the band once again. This was my third time seeing the band (this time without the girl), and they're the kinda band where you almost shouldn't check out their music beforehand, because while their EP is good, it really does no justice to their live shows. I especially dig when the band busts into 4 part harmonies. They just got picked up to tour with White Rabbits which makes so much sense because they're so percussion heavy. Maybe Britt Daniel will jump on board when they put out a full length and get them the attention they deserve. Though I should say they're touring their asses off and when they're not, they're playing Spaceland residencies and such, so it's not like they're being ignored.
Heartless Bastards headlined that night and while they sounded great...man, does that chick have a powerful voice, or what?...I was more into chatting with Local Natives and Andy in the back bar. No photos. I don't think I could've gotten through that crowd anyway. I had gone to the show with Jeff and he loves Heartless Bastards and was stoked they played an extra long set. From Casbah, we checked out Expressway To Yr Skull, Mario's Thursday night thing over at Soda bar, and as Soda Bar goes, bands were still playing, though no appearance by Crocodiles as listed.
Friday was tough because as much as I wanted to see The Styletones at X1FM, it's been a couple years since I've seen Pete Yorn and I'm really digging his latest record, Back & Fourth. I also had an afternoon meeting with a label rep who gave me an advance of Break Up, his album with Scarlett Johansson that comes out next week (9/15), so I had even more incentive to go. When I got to the track, we stopped by the 91X booth, and got hooked up with wristbands for the patio and even got a pair of tickets to The Honey Brothers.
We had time to kill and bet on a couple races. (My girl, Kicking Vixen held on to her lead for the first half mile before burning out). 3 races later and we found our spots on the patio to wait for Pete. And wait. And wait. It was about 7:45 before he finally started, but it allowed for more people to see him and he kept gushing about how playing Del Mar is his favorite gig of the summer. Judging by the 21 song, hour and a half set that he played, I would say he was being truthful, and it was worth the wait. And maybe the wait wasn't even that long, but we were surrounded by those loud-talking track drunks who brag about how much money they won or lost in their khakis and polos and it was just nauseating. Unfortunately it is to be expected. What can ya do?
Anyway, I was pleased because Pete played a variety of music from all of his albums, focusing mostly on his new album and then reverting back to his debut, musicforthemorningafter, a lot, but also throwing in some tunes from the in-betweeners. Since we were in this VIP patio, we were above and behind the stage. Here was our view:
After the show I looked for setlists but no luck, but someone who did get one was kind enough to let me take a picture. A couple notes: "Social D" is Social Development Dance from the new record. Bizarre Love Triangle is the New Order song, played more like Frente's version but not quite that slow. Fans should know that "Chain" is "Life on a Chain" and "Crystal" is "Crystal Village". Super great set.
From the track, we stopped by Subtext but had already missed Swim Party's set. It was my first time in the gallery, however, and the building is beautiful, as is the driveway/common area where the band played. We hung out for a bit to chat with friends for a while before noticing it was already past 10:30.
We headed to Bar Pink to check out The Weight and fortunately for late band sets, we arrived before they started with time to spare. I wrote about them last week, too, so I don't need to say much more except that they're "from Brooklyn", which means they're all from all over the place...the singer having lived in Athens and Atlanta, and everyone else from Connecticut, Jersey, PA, wherever. As they said, "Nobody in Brooklyn is from Brooklyn, unless you're Puerto Rican." I guess I expected them to look a little less Brooklyn and a little more countrified like their sound, but what do I know.
Their set was incredible and it was nice to bump into friends who were just at the Bar to hang out gushing about the band by the end of the set. Comparisons to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, The Band, and The Rolling Stones were thrown around. I have their record "Are Men" (as in "The Weight Are Men") and if any of those musical influences turn you on like they did me or Andrea or Tim, go pick it up or buy it off iTunes.
After their set I introduced myself because it's what I do when a band's publicist takes the time to write me a personal email about a specific show and I couldn't help but adore how Joseph said hi and gave me and awkward hug, then immediately excused himself for sucking at conversation and for not being good at talking with strangers. I asked him about the tour, about their hometowns, and incidentally, he doesn't suck at conversation.
We stayed a bit for Bartender's Bible but the bar got packed quickly, and usually I can tell the A/C is on there, but that night it was out or too crowded to feel a thing, so we decided to bounce. We decided to check out Ruby Kitchen and got burgers, though we were disappointed that the "late night comfort food" menu has been suspended for now.
With that, I'll close out. I want to write about Saturday in a separate post because it was that awesome. And shit. Did I just write until the sun came up again? Dammit. See you tonight at the SDMA's.