Archive for the ‘LA Music’ Category

Bloomfest 2009

July 24, 2009

7/18/09: Today was Bloomfest, an annual acknowledgement of the contributions of Joel Bloom to the Arts District of downtown LA, although he is no longer with us. After the Arts District got going, Joel was also the unofficial Mayor of the area. So in honor, it was a full day of local bands, and all free. In the Arts District.

It centered at Hewitt and 3rd Streets, the stage set up opposite of where Bloom’s General Store once resided. A statue of Joel Bloom was seated outside the former store, and writing on the pavement stated how much he was still loved.

Joel Bloom Statue in front of former Bloom's General Store

Joel Bloom Statue in front of former Bloom's General Store








Bloom's Store Awning, and Heart Shaped Earthquake Bolts

Bloom's Store Awning, and Heart Shaped Earthquake Bolts

More Joel Bloom Love

More Joel Bloom Love

It was hot that day, so it took me a while to get out of the hot apartment to go out into the hot streets. I managed to make it to the area in time for the 2:10 band, Garland. Not a lot of people in attendance, but then I realized everyone was just glued to the shadows, so the audience was spread for more than a block. The local cafe had some trees out front, so the patrons at the tables outside had an excellent view and shade. I sat on the curb behind and opposite the stage, and every once and a while had to stand as someone tried to park beside me. In fact, I seemed to be sitting on the band staging area, as a number of bands and their instruments lined up the shady side of the street.
Daytime Default Band Staging Area at Bloomfest

Daytime Default Band Staging Area at Bloomfest

A few local artists had set up along the same sidewalk, some just to sell their wares, and one who was actively painting as the performances took place. The most popular place to be seemed to be a sausage kitchen, Wurstkuche, where they also sold beer. Tables and chairs moved as the shade grew from the buildings, and slowly the audience was actually sitting in front of the stage. Then the sun set. And it got cold.
The bands continued to play: Firebug, then The French Semester, Seasons (who even gave out some free CDs), Spirit Vine, Black Kites, Tawny Ellis (the entire band dressed in matching outfits), Robotanists (with their own banner to make sure we knew who was playing and admit it, it’s a cute name), AM, and boxViolet.
Robotanists and their Banner

Robotanists and their Banner

One more band was scheduled to play, but I was cold and had all my layers on at that point, it was time to go home. The funny thing was, once I turned a corner and was walking, I was so much warmer. Since we were actually sitting in a street, all I could figure was the wind was coming down the street, making it cold. Given it was so hot most of the day, who knew I would be driven away at the end because I was cold? Welcome to LA’s famous temperature drop once the sun set.
boxViolet was actually the band I came out to see, since I knew their sound, having seen them perform a few years ago, at one of their first shows and having been taken by them then. And I had heard of The French Semester, Seasons, Spirit Vine and Black Kites, all of which perform at the local clubs I frequent, but somehow I always managed to miss their shows previously, even the free ones. So this was a good day, to see all these local bands all at once. And I liked them all, I did, to varying degrees. 
That’s one thing about my ear, is that if I listen long enough to any band, I usually find something I like about them. Like I have said before, it is extremely rare I like a band on first song, first listen. For most bands, it just takes time. Usually at about song three, I’m beginning to warm up, get used to a band’s sound. Song 5 or 6, I’m into them. Since these were all 40 minute or so sets, most exceeded the 5 or 6 songs I need, to happy results.  
boxViolet at Bloomfest

boxViolet at Bloomfest

No Coachella?

April 16, 2009

For those still in Los Angeles, and not out at Coachella, there are still plenty of interesting things to be doing. Or, since it is currently 50 degrees both here in LA and out in the Coachella Valley, for those who decide it just isn’t warm enough to go to the desert, and they’d rather be warm at home, there are some indoor things to do.

The Semi-Annual Brewery ArtWalk: The Brewery is an artist’s community of several hundred working artists all living together, in what used to be an actual working brewery, and twice a year they throw their studio loft/living spaces open and let the public see what they are up to. Not only do I see great art, but I get great ideas for how to better multi-utilize small space and make it feel open and welcoming. Or I get jealous of the ones with the huge loft spaces, the high ceilings and all you can do with that. It’s happening again this weekend, is free and there are more artists to see in one compact area, than there are at the monthly downtown gallery walk. I wish I could go….

Kissing Cousins: playing at Pehrspace, an art gallery/performance space in Filipinotown/Echo Park. I didn’t actually get to catch them on a recent bill, but they sound interesting, and it fits in with the emphasis on art these recommendations seem to be following.

Well, the next obvious place to check is another art gallery/performance space, and that is Echo Curio, who has multiple bands playing every night that Coachella is taking place. Their line ups and nights are most clear on their myspace page, pick a night, any night and have a good time.

So yes, the world of Los Angeles music does continue during the weekend of Coachella, despite everyone else claiming that they will be two hours to the east, out near Palm Springs. Don’t believe them. Someone goes to these shows in LA, I know they do, because I too used to be oblivious to Coachella, and LA never seemed any different to me, despite the 10s of thousands of people elsewhere. Maybe traffic was just a wee bit lighter in town, but maybe not.

A Night Out in LA (5) part 2

March 13, 2009

Since it was only a little after 10 pm, I hurried on to my next destination.

My Tuesday Night continued, Part 2: Fish Circus again

Thanks to myspace, I knew that Fish Circus was playing once more at R Bar. And having taken the Metro to get to Hollywood & Vine, I noticed that if I switched off the Red Line and got on the Purple Line, one stop more and I would be at Normandie and Wilshire, a couple blocks from where the R Bar is. I had no idea I could actually take a Metro line to my nearby bar. I always forget about the Purple Line, since all but two stops are the same as the Red Line. Though it might still be quicker to walk at night, since the waiting for the Metro is agony enough, since frequently there is no time table to refer to when the next train is. It’s an LA thing, to always be late, or not to show up at all for things, blaming the traffic or lack of parking, but to not have time schedules for those of us avoiding using a car, thus increasing the chances we too will be late, or at least wasting our time like everyone else? Whatever! We are definitely not equivalent to the cities in Europe, where if a train was late by a minute, the gathered boarding crowd would start to grumble. I have seen it. Later than a few minutes, and I would expect a riot in Europe, from the respectable business folk trying to make meetings on time.  But no one kicks up a fuss here in LA. We just tack on an additional half hour or hour to make sure we get to places on time. Or don’t predict when we will arrive.

The myspace notice had said they were doing a double set, starting early at 9:30 pm. Having watched them set up the last time, I suspected I could make it to their second set no problem, as I guessed they would start late.

I walked in, there was silence, and I asked, and sure enough, they hadn’t started the second set yet.

I had another reason to seek Fish Circus out, besides the fact I enjoyed them so much the first time. On my computer, there is a feature that scrolls randomly through all the photos I have saved on my hard drive and displays them as I play on my computer. One day, after seeing Fish Circus the last time, I noticed that the violinist sure looked like the guest member of another band I had snapped pictures of, Ninja Academy. And when I had seen Fish Circus set up last time, I had that feeling the violinist looked extremely familiar, but I couldn’t place from where at all.

Here was my chance. I saw him and asked.

“Did you perform with Ninja Academy when they performed at Spaceland recently?”

“Was that with the King Crimson band?”

The Great Deceivers? Yeah.”

“That was me.”

“I knew you looked familiar!”

 Dan, Sarah. Sarah, Dan. We shook hands.

“Do you recognize the drummer?” he asked.

No, I nodded, puzzled.

“No, you wouldn’t because they wear their ninja masks. Anyway, the drummer here is in Ninja Academy.”

Fascinating. The music world is a small place. The LA music scene is an especially small place.

Fish Circus played their second set, making it up as they went along. This was a smaller audience than last performance, but I think more appreciative. We did not talk during the performance, for one (a major pet peeve for me. Why go see a band and then talk through their show?) I saw at least one person dancing, and more than one of us swayed energetically to the beat. The singer was once again mesmerizing, especially her eyelashes. They were super long and fake, and white speckled, like white speckled bird feathers. I am fascinated by what she chooses to wear and how she presents herself.

Fish Circus at the R Bar March 10th

Fish Circus at the R Bar March 10th

And then, it too, was over. Time to walk home, back along the same route I walked earlier in the day, for the third time.

For a night out in LA, I did extremely well. Action packed, enjoyable, filled with sights and sounds that were exquisite and unique. Total cost? $2.50, and that was strictly for transportation. How awesome is that, in one of the nation’s more expensive cities? And isn’t the internet a marvelous thing, letting me know that these events were to be attended? Gotta love technology.

A Night out in LA (4)

March 9, 2009

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

Fish Circus

February 26, 2009

So last night was Mardi Gras. I planned on celebrating.

But where to go, what to do? I was not in New Orleans, nor in Buenos Aires or Venezia to properly celebrate Carnivale and all. I am firmly in Los Angeles at the present.

Thank god for myspace. I have linked myself to various local bars and bands that I like, and sure enough, one of my local bars invited me to come out for Mardi Gras to hear Fish Circus. Fish Circus? Never heard of them. But the R Bar, over in Koreatown, is definitely within walking distance, even with heels, for me. I previewed a few songs of Fish Circus, and decided they sounded fun and appropriate for Mardi Gras. Drum, bass, trombone, accordian, violin, vocalist and ocassional keyboard. Violin, accordian and trombone? Let us all eat King Cake!

As usual, I was far too early. But they still made me say the secret password to get in. The bartender and doorman were both outside for a smoke. The band was barely inside, just starting to get set up. It would be a while before they started playing, here it was nearly 9 pm and it looked like just me, the staff and the band were there. Maybe I would have a drink when the bartender returned.

The R Bar is a classic LA dive bar, the kind that is unmarked, anonymous and you have to be in the know about it to even know it is there. The doorkeep frequently stands inside, and looks through the peephole, but he does at least open and close the door for you, everytime. There is no velvet rope, there is no sign. You just gotta know. Probably the smokers clustered outside and the din of music from inside would be give aways, but I was inside, happily listening to the music, and so wouldn’t know.

I like the R Bar. It is dark and has private corners and various different areas. There are dim chandeliers everywhere, a CD jukebox, glassy surfaces that separate areas, but some are mirrors and some are glass to confuse, and there are drapes of fabric and wide planked wood floors, a granite countertop bar, and an old fashioned cash register. It strives to straddle a different time, a different era, perhaps a speakeasy. It is not as much of a dive bar as I had hoped, I realized when I got my bill. My amaretto sours were $8 each, I found. True dive bar would be cheaper than that, but considering every time I attend, I am listening to music I enjoy, I think they know their own value. In the dreamworld I spend time in, I can imagine the decor and arrangement of the R Bar lending itself just as easily to my nighttime hours only cafe, where bands and audiences come AFTER the bars have closed.

But anyway, the band. As they were setting up, I heard the drummer was recuperating from having had all four wisdom teeth removed, and was concerned about his swollen face. The vocalist was trying to deal with a stuffed up nose.  But one would never guess that either musician was under the weather. They played two sets, and once they added their vocalist, they really shined.

She is a true performer. Batting her super fake eyelashes, she squeaked and squealed, shook and shimmied, and straddled audience members at times. She could be a punk rocker, a hip hop artist, a belly dancer, a 1920s vixen or simply a singer in a band. Betty Boop came to mind, with her saucy minx ways. She had the moves and attitude of whomever she decided to channel for the moment. All my pictures with her in them were a blur. Then again, the violinist refused to hold still either. He performed the role of lead guitarist, complete with effects pedals. And we all know what a sucker I am for pedals, especially delay. Even the trombonist doubled doing scat lines and shouting angry lyrics at the growing crowd. At the end, the singer reminded the audience to buy their merchandise or else the trombonist would kill us. A plausible threat, I thought, as he was a sizeable man, not to be trifled with. And that trombone. Who knows what he would be willing to do with that!

I left before angry trombone attacks could happen, and happily walked home again, a little tipsy for my efforts of supporting the venue. All in all, an appropriate celebration to the spirit of Mardi Gras.

Fish Circus at R Bar

Fish Circus at R Bar

A Month of Music in LA (3)

January 30, 2009

As I mentioned, the previous night I went and heard some bands. I was on the guest list at Spaceland, the club I pass every day I go for my walks around Silverlake Reservoir, on the guest list for the club’s artist in residence. Cool.

However, since I met my class group, I was already late for the start, and so walked in during the final song of the first band, Pink Mochi. Nice dress, was the only thing I noticed of the lead singer. It was real rock star, black and shiny vinyl and cut outs here and there. Oh, and the boots with killer heels.

In fact, clothes were what I was really concious of at the club. For some reason, I noticed very distinctive people by their clothing. Wow, what a dress to wear to a club, I thought of a salmon, velvety ruffly number. Maybe I should wear things like that more often at clubs, if other people wear them. Instead of the skirt and loose top I am wearing. Turns out that everyone I thought was dressed distinctively turned out to be a member of one of the bands playing. Isn’t that interesting? Apparently I want to dress like an indie musician.

When I was at the New Year’s Eve party, it was the band members that I noticed at the party and thought, they look like cool people, wish I could hear what they’re talking about…

If I dressed like a cool indie rock musician, would people think I was cool too? 🙂

Next up was Learning Music, a music collaborative in the size and instrumental capacity of the Polyphonic Spree. I counted at least 14 musicians up there on the stage, (but may have missed a few from the columns and people blocking my view), a couple of violinists, horns, guitars, drummers, etc., etc. The great thing about large bands that I have noticed, is the energy. With so many people happily playing away joyfully on stage, the energy and enthusiasm for their music is infectious. Makes ya wanna join a band just for the sheer fun of it!

Next up was Sara Lov, the actual artist in residence the club was sponsoring, she of the salmon velvet dress with ruffly short sleeves. She had a great voice, reminding me of Aimee Mann or Sam Phillips, strong female vocalist with her trusty guitar, backed up with a full band. You could see how her music would lend itself easily for her as a solo performer or with a full band, and what a treat it was for her to perform with a full band.

And last was Modwheelmood. The table at which I sat, the first available seat I saw when I walked in, I shared with a young man with whom I had tried to engage in conversation every break in bands. I had asked him if there was a particular band he was there to see. He said no. I asked why he was there, he said just to hang out. He never moved, he didn’t drink, it seemed odd he was just there because. Maybe he lived down the street. However, the gentleman sitting at the table next to us immediately engaged him conversation, and just in overhearing, he actually lived in Chicago, he was here to see the final band, and they were both Nine Inch Nail fans. Not knowing anything about the band, I had no idea that had any significance. It wasn’t until I got home and looked up  their myspace account, that I understood. One of the members, Alessandro Cortini, was the keyboardist for the last few years and latest tour of NIN, so when I saw them in Chicago at Lollapalooza and again at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans, I had seen this musician then. Hunh.

All I can tell you was I really really liked this band.

One thing that always amazes me is how worth it is to see all the bands on a bill. You never know who you will discover. Sara Lov had the largest audience, perhaps because she was the catalyst for the event. A significant portion of the crowd left when she left the stage. Perhaps it had to do with the hour at that point, it was after 11 and it was a school (or work) night. Also the public on street parking in that area ended at 11, so perhaps that left just us locals who knew where to park or those in valet.

Anyway, this final band? Well worth the wait until midnight to hear them. They were a mix of polish and pop and electronica and an unexpected treat. As I mentioned, I checked them out once I got home, and they have no other performances scheduled. No wonder the guy next to me from Chicago was there to see them. Who knew when they would be in public again? This was a band composed of two men who had other things on their plate, so coordination of schedules was probably their biggest issue. Not that they didn’t want to perform, they just were busy.

And I got to see them.

And was happy I did.

Month of Music in LA – Night 2

January 24, 2009

I have decided to practice a month of music going of the local music scene. For those of you keeping track of the expenses of the unemployed, it is usually equivalent to the cost of a mocha here in town, or close to. Plus a little gas. Do you realize going to see live music is cheaper than catching a movie here, even at matinee prices?

So, Sunday night the venue was Echo Curio. Echo Curio is a unique feature of Echo Park, an art gallery and curiosity shop that doubles as a venue at night, $5 donations strongly encouraged. Conveniently located across from a liquor store on Sunset, the fact that it is not a bar is not an issue, as the policy is BYOB. Me, out and driving by myself, means I don’t drink. So a non-bar is a great venue for me to attend, no one thinks a thing about me not drinking anything. And as the musicians set up, you can wander about the shop and look at the art. Love it!

Art Interlude, at Echo Curio!

Art Interlude, at Echo Curio!












This was the line-up: Corridor/Voice on Tape/Spirit Photography. I was looking forward to Voice on Tape, whose music I had stumbled upon on myspace. But all were good.


Corridor, by the light of Sunset's streetlights at Echo Curio

Corridor, by the light of Sunset's streetlights at Echo Curio

A single singing musician, with acoustic guitar amped, and a cello, and a whole mess of loops and effects. Whenever I see a single artist get up and do his/her thing, just them, their instrument(s) and the audience, no one to bail them out if they make a mistake, just them, naked and alone up there, I am always so impressed with what it takes to be a performing musician. Successful or not. It takes guts. (Or so I think. I think it is a matter of courage to perform in public, being an introvert. Thus why I prefer writing-no obvious public involved! 🙂 ) Fortunately, Corridor was good. In addition to courageous.

Voice on Tape aka Lou.

Lou, with White Loafers, at Echo Curio

Lou, with White Loafers, at Echo Curio

Another single singing musician, with acoustic guitar amped, just he, his guitar and his voice. If Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash or Buddy Holly never existed, would Lou choose to dress and style himself this way? Black hair, parted on the side, with a question mark down the forehead, super thin sideburns, white loafers, and black jeans. He has the indie musician look down. In fact, he reminds me of Elliott Smith, in all the good ways. Great musician, funny, articulate, a little discombobulated, only making him more endearing. He used modern technology to help himself with his set list, texting it to himself on his cell phone. At one point he chose not to sing the next song, starting and then going, “Ya know, you start singing and then you remember why you wrote the song, and you just don’t want to go there again…” Another song he prefaced with a girlfriend admonishing him to write at least one happy song, and the first line of it went “Everyone dies in the end…” The audience laughed. I seem to remember Elliott having similar audience interactions through his painful shyness when he used to play venues in Portland, Oregon. Still miss you Elliott…..

Spirit Photography at Echo Curio

Spirit Photography at Echo Curio

Spirit Photography a guitar and guitar duo, with drum beats and a few other gizmos. One of the guitarists also sang. The guitarist on the left sang, while the one on the right never stopped moving. This was the best I could do with my super unadjustable shutter speed. (I don’t use a flash when a band is performing, if you hadn’t figured out why all my pictures of bands suck so bad.) I’m afraid there are those bands that I prefer their music to their singing. This group straddles that category, and fortunately they spent the majority of their songs playing instruments. Then again, I’m a person who never listens to lyrics for the most part anyway, so perhaps my opinion of bands that are better musicians than singers would change if I bothered to make out the lyrics. But I’ve enjoyed music this long without bothering that hard, why change now? Anyway, the fact that I can’t remember that much about them does not say anything bad about them, it was nearly two weeks ago when I saw them, and at least I remember not hating them! (Faint praise indeed!) Probably one of those bands that I could see a few times before I grow to really like them. Few bands do I instantly like the first time I hear their sound.

A fourth band was supposed to play, but apparently something happened. Whether three or four bands, still an excellent bargain, and in such lovely surroundings!

More Curiosities at the Echo Curio

More Curiosities at the Echo Curio

And that closed out the evening. Off to slumberland, after a very enjoyable night of local music at one of those clubs that the locals are in the know about. Well, and the rest of the world these days, what with Myspace. And if it weren’t for Myspace, I certainly wouldn’t know about it either, truth be told. The difference is, the locals can get to it, while the rest of the world actually has to make the decision to transport themselves there. So, the locals are in force.

A Night out in LA

January 13, 2009

So, been sick for over a week, runny nose but brain works fine, bored out of my head, felt like I should do something to reward myself for being good in taking care of myself (though it hasn’t seemed to have changed the mind of the cold lodged in my body!) and decided I should go out.

A band I had been attempting to see was playing at a club I had never been to, and so I took myself there. $5 cover charge, I could even afford it! Merely the cost of that expensive mocha over in Silverlake instead, and I get four hours of band entertainment for a night.

The first band up was Clevis. Now at least I finally find I had been pronouncing the band name wrong, it’s a short e sound eh, not a long e ee. They are a drum and bass duo, and as the best of those duos go, the bassist is more than a mere single note or chord player at a time, but covers the roles of bass and lead guitar all at the same time. That and with three sets of pedals and effects, including a looper, and one would never know there were only two musicians on the stage. The bassist’s fingers crawled like frantic spiders up and down the keyboard. Here’s a short clip of their performance now that I have resolved technical difficulties:

Clevis in action

Clevis in action

The second band was another drum and bass duo, Batman vs. Predator. This band had a lot less toys to play with. But as soon as I saw the drummer take his long-sleeved shirt off to reveal a T-shirt before he sat down on his stool, and noticed he was wearing shorts, I figured the drumming would be extremely vigorous. And I was not disappointed. If anyone believes drumming to be a passive activity, they need to see this band in action. I kept trying to get  pictures of the drummer and the numerous facial expressions he had, and this was the best I could get:

Batman vs. Predator

Batman vs. Predator

You can see a little bit of a smile. I counted four throughout the performance. Otherwise it was all intense looks of  concentration, grimaces and sneers.
They played one, long, continuous song with multiple parts. It was all energy. Furious, whirlwind manic but controlled energy. Just watching, I felt as if I had ridden on an insanely fast roller coaster, death potentially imminent. When done, the audience paused and then applauded enthusiastically, calling for more. That’s when they told us they only had the one song. “Play it again!” shouted someone. “”Backwards!” “Remixed!” as they packed up their gear to make way for the next band. I wondered if I got a rush just from watching, how the band members felt. How do you come down from an adrenaline rush like that?
Next up was Head of Destiny. They added a singer and a guitarist. Since the stage was tiny (not really, but since it is normally a jazz club and there was a grand piano already there on stage, there wasn’t enough room for a band, amps and microphones), the drummer and singer set up in front of the stage. Which meant I had to move out of the way, give up my fine seat closest to the stage, since that was where the drum kit now was. 
Head of Destiny

Head of Destiny

After the first song, the drummer took his shirt off. Again, a sign of vigorous drumming ahead! But it was the singer who could not work off his energy. After experiencing technical difficulties setting up, the singer walked, stalked, sat, paced…. Needless to say, he was pretty impossible to get a decent picture of.
And last, but not least, was Bastidas. Drum, bass, guitar. Both guitarists sang. Half way through the set, they switched their instruments. The male guitarist took his cue from the singer of Head of Destiny and could not stay vertical or stationary. As he lurched towards the audience and other band members, I feared for his safety and ability to remain upright, and the other band members and all the furniture and audience members. I could just imagine a trip over one of the cords, falling headlong into a table’s edge, blood spewing, death and the end of the set. Apparently some of the audience felt the same, as an entire table suddenly got up and moved to the side of the crowd. The people who sat next to me had an entire table to protect them, and my only saving grace was being on the side, there was no reason to head towards the wall behind me. Not mere music, it was a performance piece too!


That rounded out the evening, and for such a small price, I was glad I went. It took me several hours to wind down enough to even attempt to fall asleep, fortunately it was Sunday the next day, with nothing in particular planned.