A Night out in LA (4)

Went to All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock last night to partake of the Eagle Rock Bowling and Drinking Club, held in the bar area of the bowling alley, only to hear that April will be the final installment! Boo-hoo! Another LA (well, Eagle Rock) tradition going by the wayside. Okay, so usually attendance is a little sparse, I myself have only gone to two events, but it isn’t for not wanting to, it has always been a conflict of my time. The events are usually once a month, on a Sunday, and I just frequently have other places to be on Sundays, truth be told. So I am sad to hear these events are not going to continue and apologize if my not attending in the past has in any way contributed to its not continuing.

So last night featured three bands: Go West Young Man, Arms and Sleepers, and WALK. I went because I had heard Go West Young Man on myspace and thought they were worth checking out, but truth be told, of the three bands, they were the one I least liked. Not to say they were horrible, just of the three, I liked the other two more. Then again, they were in the midst of being filmed (thus making it easy to take photos of them, since the lights were up) but making it annoying to fully enjoy with the camera crew walking back and forth, obstructing the view, and at one point a makeup person came and wiped noses and foreheads before the next song was played. And what I found most frustrating was how they sound on myspace was not how they sounded in person. The usual dichotomy of live versus recorded. One never knows which way it will go. I’m sure I could grow to like them more, and perhaps the performance was not their usual, because they were being filmed. I’d have to see them again to know for sure. The bassist certainly had a way with his bass, making me wonder if perhaps he is a sign twirler for his day job. And as I often find the case to be, the lead guitarist had the more low key, less active motions as if he were the stereotypical bassist.

Go West Young Man at All Star Lanes, Eagle Rock

Go West Young Man at All Star Lanes, Eagle Rock

Arms and Sleepers was up next. They took a while setting up, since they wanted it dark. All the neon signs advertising various beers were turned off, and a couple of white sheets were put up behind the band before they took “the stage.” (The flat area in the center of the bar in which they were playing. Actually adding the sheets caused more movement, as there was now a behind the stage area, so people used the back hallway entrance to the restrooms, which they weren’t previously when there was no backstage.) And the sheets and darkness were essential because they had video playing as their backdrop. But we couldn’t see the musicians, it was so dark. For their music was as if accompanying a movie, coordinating with the images on the screen, often in full orchestral mode. So it all seemed appropriate. Three musicians, from Boston, their myspace page says they are in the midst of a month and a half long tour of the United States. Drummer and bassist/keyboard/synth and synth/accordian player. Worth checking out, if, like me, you like the music to roll over you and set you to lolling in reverie.

The Left-Handed Bassist of Arms and Sleepers, setting up

The Left-Handed Bassist of Arms and Sleepers, setting up











 WALK was last. Another LA band, they didn’t seem as polished as the other two, but that was in part some of their charm. The drummer and lead guitar/lead vocalist were comfortable in their roles, able to make it up as they went along, while the bassist and keyboardist seemed hard at concentration remembering their parts to play. Or so it seemed to me. I think this band will be much more awesome live once all the musicians are at the same comfort level performing. While listening to them, I started thinking about my reluctance to listen to lyrics. For whatever reason, I was having trouble even making out words being sung, and how I view lyrics and singing in general, as merely another instrument to be played. That’s why I have always enjoyed Cocteau Twins or Sigur Ross, because that is obviously the intent. Lyrics? Who knows! But the voice is an instrument, and when played purely and without distraction, it can be appreciated as the equal instrument that it can be. So whether that was WALK’s intent or not, that was how I took the singing, and enjoyed it as not competing with the music played on the instruments, but as complement to by intertwining with it.

WALK at All Star Lanes

WALK at All Star Lanes

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2 Responses to “A Night out in LA (4)”

  1. gary Says:

    is bowling a really big thing in LA????
    the dude abides…

  2. redroomsalon Says:

    I don’t know. But I used to bowl at least once a year when working, as we had our Annual Bowling tournament, departments against one another. We were the combined Participations/IT team, and frequently placed pretty high. Those IT guys, were solid bowlers. Our department even bowled at the place they filmed Big Lebowski, before it was torn down. 😦
    And there are frequent Big Lebowski parties, held in bowling alleys, drinking white russians, bowling….
    Aren’t movies great for creating trends?

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