Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Music

28
Mar
12

Alejandro Escovedo and Friends at the Continental Club: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

I found myself for the first time in days able to take the morning on a slow start path. My host Mike was up and was kind enough to make coffee for us both. He had hooked me up with a great place to stay and inadvertently introduced me to new friends. We finally had time to get to know one another. Of course we related to one another how crazy Southby is and each of us recounted stories as it related to the previous weeks events. We stumbled upon the topics of Rhett Miller. Mike is a fan and a friend. We concurrently experienced The Old 97’s during the 90’s in Dallas. He remembered and recounted things I had long forgotten as he elaborated on Rhett’s career and talent to me. I could only endorse his sentiments with occasional flurries of my own observation of that time in Dallas. There was a part of me that wished we’d had this conversation 2 days earlier but it was such a good feeling to have this connection right then and there as we traded stories in his living room. It appears that Rhett played his last Austin-ish gig in Willie Nelson‘s cowboy town 40 miles outside Austin. That show would have been a sweet ride! Mike was totally cool and it was really nice to get to visit during the decompression part of SXSW.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My next move was more exploration. I had Mexican food on my mind. It was the return to the taco theme I had earlier in the week. I cruised South Congress diverting to South 1st Street on a deeper level of exploration to happen upon El Tacorrido. The only Taco joint I know of that has 2 drive thrus. I was smitten! I wanted to use the drive thru but after a bit of a wait and a keen desire to hook up, I settled for the walk up solution. The menu was slightly different form most Tex-Mex feeds and that really drove my curiosity. I ordered a gordito and a breakfast taco. I explained it to my friend Jonas like this: “This taco stand is really different for Mexican food in Texas. I can’t say it’s truly Tex-Mex. I’m having difficulty pin pointing exactly the style but it’s more south and inland. Or in other words it’s not the kind of food you find on the border or made for American taste buds.” I was completely satisfied when I headed over to Bouldin Creek for my morning coffee. I spent a few hours organizing photos on my computer as a way to bide my time before the big send off show.

Soon the hour was upon us and I headed over to pick Karen up and to share a little pre-celebratory happy hour at her hotel. I have to say, I was a bit antsy now knowing how both Mike Mills and Peter Buck were showing for tonight’s performance at The Continental Club. I count myself extremely fortunate that the first year I attended SXSW I was made aware and got to experience Alejandro Escovedo and Friends at The Continental Club. I have Karen to thank for that! It’s a cozy environment and the place is ran well. Now it’s an irresistible tradition. It’s such a great way to say farewell to Austin and SXSW. As we rolled up Alejandro was outside visiting with folks. He’s very approachable and a nice guy. It was nice to be inside The Continental Club where Karen and I turned into fans. Miss Melvis was playing. We enjoyed the show but we considered another Happy Hour moment was in order out at my car. We scored the cups at Zen next door and we were on our way. You could hear the sound of clunking paper cups and a toast if you were close or maybe, just inside the red Ford Focus. It was a nice bottle of red wine. Usually, I’m not so inclined to drink red wine but this was pretty good stuff. We then joyfully returned to the club locked in for the rest of the night.

By the time we returned Jesse Malin of D Generation had taken the stage and was entertaining everyone. I continued my Happy Hour on a little longer by drifting to the back bar that I favor the most. I bumped in to Lenny Kaye as the star-studded event bubbled with a who who’s in the back. Again I moved up front I staked my place near the front when the young musical team called Ghost Wolves started a short and energetic set. Konya on drums/vox and Carley on guitar. They started out their set on each other’s instruments and then flipped after the first song. Karen wasn’t feeling it, but I was kind of feeling it. It was like Loretta Lynn singing for the White Strips. By this time Kimiko had join us. It was good to see her. She’s got a cool way about her. She was representing Rosie Flores who would play later that night. This was her reason to be at The Continental Club on this fine evening. She smartly drifted to the back to await for Rosie appearance. Karen and I were up front when Garland Jeffreys took the stage: I mean he took the stage hostage! This man knows what he’s doing! Photo op after photo-op. I’m not familiar with the man’s material but was I was surprised how much his music sound like early to mid Rolling Stones. He did a riveting version of “? and the Mysterian” 96 Tears. He was one of highlight of the evening: a ball of energy and passion. I drifted to the back as did Karen, eventually, where we sat near the threshold of the door. It was time to cool off from the hot and tightening room. Tommy Stinson was taking the stage, I guess, just fresh from the G&R’s tour. I was drinking beer in the back again. I managed to come up for Barfirld (The Tyrant Of Texas Funk). The brother was funky with ranch fresh Cowboy look. He kept it funky and showed us his James Brown dance, except no leg splits. It was good stuff: comedic and entertaining. Damn good drinking music. So I headed back and drank again. At this point Karen spotted David Fricke, I saw him too, from Rolling Stone at the back door. Before long Kid Congo Powers (The Gun Club and The Cramps) would attach himself to the stage and I was all over that! I’ve been wanting to see Kid Congo for years and tonight it would be consummated. How romantical! Kid Congo spread his freak flag far and wide in the Continental Club as I squeezed to the front to catch his much of anticipated act. The former Cramps alumni kept us all completely entertained. He refered to Lux Interior, no, not Nick Cave, at one point when he said there was visionary who told me, “One day Kid you will have your own band and you’ll call it Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds”. I think his time in the Cramps were well spent because he kept us engaged in much of the same way the Cramps would have had they been there. After Kid Congo left the stage was about the time the lock down happened: no ins or outs! There was some speculation Bruce Springsteen would appear. I now believe it was for Mike Mills and Peter Buck. I headed to the back where I had to say hi to Kid Cango and take a few photos. I mentioned to him that Lux had jumped a couple of rows of people one time at the Spirit Club in San Diego and had tongued me. Then I told him that after that people thought I was pretty cool. That made him laugh. Then when I tweeted it, I found later, he had re-tweeted it on Twitter. I was honored he’d bother to do it and it made me laugh too. Then a little later I spotted Rosie and asked her for a photo or two. Once again I drifted to nostalgia. Rosie was at one time very much part of the LA Rock scene. She was one of the main forces in the Screamin’ Sirens. I know I’ve seen them perform. I think if was at Janice DeSoto’s club or maybe Cat House. But what was on my mind at that moment was the Hollywood Hillbillies. The band had a chicken in it. I loved it at the time. I mentioned Hollywood Hilllbillies to Rosie. Her response to me was she was in that band early on, for 3 weeks. I hadn’t remembered she was in the band. Then she qualified it by saying, “I was in the band before the chicken”. She knew about the chicken! That was a great moment. Only someone in the scene would know that! I chuckled. We finished and I decided to hang towards the back in stalker fashion. I was thinking when Mike and Peter enter I’d spot ’em. At this point we’d entered the home stretch where Alejandro and the Sensitive Boys played till they closed the place down. It’s always one of the best parts of the whole proceedings. I had seen Lenny Kaye learning the word to a song while leaning up against a car. I know because I ask him. I thought he’d gotten a ticket and he informed me other wise. It must have been one of Neil Young songs because he performed an engaging version “Like a Hurricane”. I found myself singing along to “Like a Hurricane”. Then Rosie Flores was announced and join the fun up on the stage. Rosie sang, “If I Could Only Be With You” and then followed it up with a duet with Alejandro with a her and Dave Alvin wrote together called, “Goodbye Again”. The crowd was enthusiastic and riveted. In this time some how, some way, both Mike and Peter got past me. Strangely, Mike Mills started doing this hula move during the cover of a The Troggs “Love Is All Around”. Peter Buck was channeling Michael Stipe hiding in the back corner when Mike Mills strapped on his bass to lead us in a sing-a-long of “Don’t Go Back to Rockville.” I had waited all night for this moment and was pleased I’d made it. As quickly as they had arrived they departed. I pushed through the crowd to catch them, but poof, they were gone, gone, gone! Sniff! Alejandro finished the set with Waco Brothers member Jon Langford for a rousing version of The Clash‘s “Rock The Casbah”. Karen found me and indicated it was a good to leave. I agreed. It was a long week followed by a long day capped off by many amazing performances. It was now time to take the gold home and prepare for long travel day before us both. Here’s to next year: a bigger better SXSW and going for more Hipster Olympic gold!

09
Nov
11

Eve To Adam: Taki Take Me with You!

I was recently able to extract myself from a maelstrom of activities here on the “Eastside” of Los Angeles to meet and photograph East Coast Rock music phenomenons Eve To Adam. Taki Sassaris fronts this power driven Alternative Rock ensemble hailing from New York. The Eve To Adam party started in earnest at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on a Wednesday evening just before their very first gig at the historic Whisky A Go Go. I would tell Taki later that it’s quiet an accomplishment to book a gig at the Whisky and a milestone in any bands trajectory to the top of music entertainment. So as the energy built to the gig we were treated to 3 of  The Rainbow’s 4 food groups: Pizza, Wings and Booze! I have to say The Rainbows pizza is really good and I’m not much of a pizza fan. So there was 3 of us photogs waiting in the wings and it was on for the photo ops, in that friendly competitive drive to catch the great shots, as we do. So we headed to the parking lot of the Rainbow to do group shots with the talent and the suits. I have to admit records execs aren’t as “Suity” as film execs. Eve To Adam were true pros when it came to photo ops. Taki is a natural for the camera and was always on it! Taki brought it much in the same way Moby had a few weeks back at Kopeckian Gallery for me. We all were standing there when Sebastian Bach strides up to the Rainbow, Rocking his Rock N’ Roll gear. He was about to enter the Rainbow and turns to blow the guys a kiss, only within seconds to find himself in the midst of paparazzi photog flash heat. Talk about another pro, Sebastian took control, much to eveyone’s joyous response, jumping right into the middle of our set-up, delivering all the Rock god poses and looks! I got some awesome shots of Eve To Adam with Sabastian. From there on I followed Sebastian to lock in a classic shot of him and Mike Weber at the entrance at the Rainbow. The party continued on the well known front patio. We photogs haunted the front entrance of the Rainbow for a bit talking of NYC fashion week and whatnots. Then I wanted to soak up a couple of cocktails and hang with my home girl, Karen. I guess that was a good idea because I was soon hearing stories from the guy that made the Ratt‘s (aka, Mickey Ratt) Round and Round video. Hearing the story of Ratt’s wrap party at the Rainbow for the Round and Round video that stared Milton Berle would have curled hairs. You know me, just a fly on the wall, sucking in the details. Soon after that I got together with Taki to shoot some specific shots. I brought up his new Romantic advice blog “Ask Taki” at The Comet. We shared some stories getting to know one another while having a few laughs and snagging some choice photos! I noticed that Stephanie Mata was running the door of On The Rox at the Roxy. I hadn’t seen her in forever. I had to drop by for a quick catch up and a few fun photos before we all headed to the Whisky. I first partied at On The Rox with “White Trash Wins Latto” by Andy Prieboy and Rita D’Albert of Lucha Vavoom in an after party after the White Trash performance and before the real after party up in the Hollywood hills at Dave Foley‘s house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The cornerstone of what Eve To Adam has to deliver is in their live performance. It was a big night at the Whisky with some 6 bands in the line up with ETA set for an 8;30pm show. The place had good attendance with a mix of young and old ready for the music. Being a veteran of the Whisky, I perched near the back stage door on the balcony. I wanted to get an overview of the action from there first. Besides, that part of the Whisky is nice and dark keeping it on the downlow for that room. I ate up the first 3 songs on top with ETA laying out the groove, guitars blazing and drums pounding with Taki commanding the stage with songs from the new CD, Banquet For A Starving Dog. It showcased Taki’s power driven vocals with ETA’s hit “Run Your Mouth” with its hooky course and “Fault line” with it’s Randy Rhoads influenced riffy guitar leads were shaking things up! Then I joined in on the Rockin’ on the floor. As they say, I was up above it and now I was down in it! Taki is a great front man and the band had tons of energy to spare to take charge of the stage. The crowd, some of which were already fans, and those who were being won over by such a solid and Rockin’ set; all pulled in closer and tighter.  Taki took a moment to reach out to the audience, taking about the music and conversationally relating to everyone there how he was digging the LA scene. There’s one thing I know for sure about New Yorkers, they know how to party! ETA brought it! New Yorkers are brisk, big hearted and a hell of a lot of fun! I know because of my friend Pat Giordano bassist of Last Days and a New York “Club Kid”, Toni Koystyan, I dated for a while. Taki kept it “New York Real” and launched in the the last part of Eve To Adam’s set keeping it dynamic and energetic. Favoring us with every element of his vocal ability, bringing the power and beauty together with his voice in the songs like “Stay” and “Glasses High”, while proving he had grit and passion in songs like “Little Say” and “Reach”. “Reach” closed the set delivering a sucker punch that made the fan howl and cheer!

I was fortunately over to the right side finishing up the photo work when ETA closed where Chuck Zito of Oz and Charlie Sheen‘s ex-body guard was soaking the last drops of this hot set. Chuck was totally ready for his photo op too. I shot a fast one then headed out to shoot everybody vibing off of the Strip and the Whisky A Go Go! The band and Chuck locked arms to Rock the corner of the Whisky, rallying memories for me of all of those epic bands that have shaken the walls of the music institution for the last half century. Once the photographs were done Taki and crew spent time with their fans for autographs and photos. Chuck Zito broke down some DL on Charlie Sheen. So it was quite a star studded evening and event that burned bright on the Sunset Strip that night. I enjoyed getting to know this New York based band who has the chops to make it big and to catch them balls out Rock us with their song craft, towering stage presence and to take in Taki’s vocal prowess. A good time was had by one and all!

[s

09
Oct
11

Culture Collide Blowing Up the International Indie and Alternative Music Scenes in Silver Lake: Saturday

After making a late night and an early morning of it crunching a blog, sifting through, optimizing photos and making concert video I met up with Sandra at Taix. It was considerate of Sandra to save a place for me at Taix’s bar. We had just missed the Swedish showcase because we were running late. Thus missing the complementary Swedish beers. We caught up on the latest and discussed the upcoming line up for the next 2 days at Cultural Collide . Lanksies had a false start, which we found startling and funny. Then finally The Lanksies jumped in with their French version of Brit Pop: like Bloc Party, Adam Ant, XTC and Blur. It was hella fun! They were clever talented musicians that wrapped everything in a smirk and a wink. It was also very fun to hear the lead singer talk English with a slight French accent with an even heavier Scottish brogue. His pronunciation cause major confusion between Sandra and myself in the midst of our deducing Lanksies’ point of origin, even though they were introduced to be from France.  They gave a lot of bang for the buck. The closing song was a funny ditty called Client Eastwood is Dead. It was a snappy performance that made them memorable.

I headed over to the Methodist Church to catch my ole pal Carina Round who was supported by the amazing keyboardist Zac Rae. I love to hear her sing. She has such a beautiful and powerful voice. Her song writing and her composition are always superb. She was in fine voice this night; although, Zac had a buzz in one of the processors of his keyboard affects that was more distracting to them than the crowd in the church. It was an acoustic set with electric piano. Her fans were entranced and eating up the whole thing. She finished her set with Back Seat. It’s truly one of her most beautiful songs. She asked everyone to sing along. Then everyone joined in. I find that Back Seat is a powerfully sweet and sentimental that I choke up on it every time I sing a long. It was a great closer. I went up and got my free hug and briefly chatted. She had fans a waiting and who am I to stand in their way. Keep you eyes open for the upcoming Puscifer tour of which Carina will be an essential part of Puscifer’s show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I was off to Descartes a Kant. I had no idea what to expect. Woa, was I in for a surprise! The easiest way to describe them would be to compare them to The Plastics meeting The Tubes. They mix Doo Wop, orchestral mayhem, avant garde performance art and theatrics. I was bamboozle, flummoxed, befuddled by their colorful stage antics. The girls in the band through glitter on the crowd and sprayed eveyone in the audience with sudsy stuff while they pantomimed pouting, rage, surprise, horror, evny, wicked joy and revenge with all the mellow drama that could be mustard by three overly emotive gals. At times it was a drowning oral cacophony assault similar to the Locust with hyper amounts of estrogen poured on it. I found them thrilling, enthralling and hilarious! They had us by the balls and they were squeezing them tighter and smirking! There whole set was like listening to Gang of Four‘s He’s Send In The Army tied to a laugh. They are a must see performance on anybody’s book.

I then hunted up and down Sunset looking for the elusive space called 826LA. I was lucky enough to receive misdirection many times. But then I struck gold finding You Say France and I Whistle from Sweden. They were a mix of Love Is All, Weekend and Everything But The Girl with one exception, the male singer sounded like Robert Smith. So I would imagine when he sang I listening to Love Is All with Robert Smith would joining in for harmony at pivotal points in the sings. Odd,  but not repulsive, just odd. They had 3 singers two keyboards, a bass, a guitar and drums laying some smooth tasty Pop down with a little edge. I enjoyed the set and the crowd kept close and focused in this tight space as the music pumped out. It wasn’t a dramatic end to the evening, as I had hoped for, by finally seeing Isobel Campbell after 3 year of waiting. It was still a fabulously relaxing thing to do at the end of a long day of running around Silver lake.




Follow Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,925 other subscribers


%d bloggers like this: