Posts Tagged ‘All Points West’

Just Another Day in LA

July 23, 2009

7/12/09: Today was a busy day, as I found several things to see and do.

First, off to find some arts and crafts fair that had been mentioned by some graphic artists at the ArtWalk. They had been sketchy as to the actual location, someplace called California Mart or something, that was at 9th and Olympic. The only problem with that was Olympic and 9th are parallel to one another. So what was the cross street? They didn’t know. I said I would find it, I’d just walk down one or the other.

And what a beautiful day it was, perfect for picture taking.

Penthouse View of Downtown LA

Penthouse View of Downtown LA

I found the California Market Center easily enough, and the event was on the 13th floor, the Penthouse. It was the Renegade Craft Fair, the first year it has been held in Los Angeles, as previously it had been held in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Chicago. The organizers are based out of Chicago, and now actually have a store devoted to the spirit of the fair. Surprisingly, many of the artists and participants were not from Los Angeles. Many were from the Pacific Northwest and New York City area. I wondered why it wasn’t being held in Seattle or Portland. Why LA? And they will also have a tent at All Points West Music Festival, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, the first weekend of August.

But for Sunday in LA, the turnout was quite good, considering I had seen absolutely no advertising for it, and had only just inadvertantly heard about it myself. There were a lot of Etsy craftspeople there, and not afraid to let us know about it! The entire point of it being different from other craft fairs is the whole DIY vibe, a mainstay of Etsy folk, I’ve noticed.

I managed to find a gift for a friend, a T-shirt with the phrase “Don’t you know who I am?” something my friend and I joke she should have on her business cards. Not that she is famous, that’s the point. Who doesn’t want to throw that line around and see what results they get? There was another shirt that said “You’d blog about it too if it had happened to you” for myself, but opted instead for a button that said the same thing. I didn’t want to call too much attention to myself with a T-shirt like that. That’s what makes it fun to blog, being not known for it, as the observer. There were buttons and posters and T-shirts and stuffed animals galore, and plates and mugs and coasters, oh my! The main point of it was there was so much creativity expressed. I could be an artist too, if only I could draw or sculpt or paint or something…. Something that I could tangibly make, and be able to sell to others.

Afterwards, as I was walking down the street to go get coffee,

Random Signage in Downtown

Random Signage in Downtown

I spotted an interesting sign that may have been decals affixed to a sign, or an actual sign added to other signs. Anyway, I took a picture. A man approached me as I did, and exclaimed he had been standing there all day (there was a filming going on, I think he was security), and hadn’t even noticed it. What had me notice it, just walking by? I couldn’t say, other than I have an eye for that sort of thing. That artistic eye. If only I could draw….

I got my mocha, and sat writing until they closed,  when they wanted the chair and table I was working at. (Again, Sunday+downtown+Mocha +after 5 pm is a wash.) I wandered off towards home, taking more photos, and gave my cat Hamlin his gift I had picked up at the Crafts show: a skull and bones fabric fortune cookie, stuffed with organic catnip.

Organic Catnip Fortune Cookie

Organic Catnip Fortune Cookie

He was a junkie in no time, and it was covered in cat drool enough to be damp to the touch already, plus his stray furs, when I took it away from him, afraid of the consequences of unbridled useage, as we were warned by the classic on my knowledge of addictive drugs, Reefer Madness. The fire escape door at the end of the hall was open, who knows, he might have gone plummeting to his death from too much!

And then it was time to get yet another outfit on, and head out to Spaceland to catch Loch Lomond. They had played at Sasquatch Music Fest and had been excellent, and here they were in LA to be viewed and enjoyed again.

Loch Lomond at Spaceland

Loch Lomond at Spaceland

The audience was tiny, I felt so bad for them, but they played excellently, and energetically, just as they had when I had seen them in Washington, with hundreds in attendance. The only consolation was this time I could see them very well, so up close and personal.

They’re one of those bands that the musicians are constantly trading positions and instruments, each able to play more than one thing. Keeps their sound lively and unpredictable. Okay, so the violinist only played violin, but she sang too. And the female vocalist did tambourines and beat on drums too. But the drummer would come out from his drum set and stand to the left of the violinist and play the clarinet. And the other percussionist also played the banjo, guitar and vibraphone.

The lead vocalist has a unique high-pitched singing voice, that makes the songs sound old and sad. Melancholy. As serious, sad and strained as he appears when singing, he has a ready laugh and easy grin when not singing. He tried to lighten things up by telling little stories and jokes, and they were amusing at how often they didn’t work or weren’t appropriate for the situations described. But frequently the awkwardness and inappropriateness turned into catalysts for songs. As his bandmates ribbed him for his eccentricities, I did notice no one else wanted to be the front man doing the segue patter, as much as they gave him crap. In fact, announcing the band’s merchandise turned out to be something that day’s loser of whatever contest had to announce.

Here’s a sampling.

Apparently, the band pares down for tours, since there are more members in these videos than I saw.

And then they were done. I wanted more, more, more. But it was instead time to go home and get some sleep. It was a Sunday, after all, and filled to the brim. Walk, crafts, views, catnip, mocha, live music. And it was now officially over, whether I wanted it to be or not.

What Have I Been Doing with My Days?

April 9, 2009

I keep getting asked that question, and I really have no idea.

Yesterday, I inputted in an excel spreadsheet all the artists performing at the four music festivals I have tickets for (Lollapalooza has unfortunately not announced their lineup yet, won’t until April 21 and that would be number 5), sorted them correctly alphabetically (no The’s or A’s at the beginnings of names unless it is actually said) for each festival, then compared who was performing where and if there were any repeats. Now when set times are announced, I can make actual educated decisions about, well, perhaps if there is a conflict at this festival, I have a chance of seeing this band at a different festival. Or, this is their only performance.

This is what I do for fun. I play with excel spreadsheets. It helps me learn my new Excel 2007 version, since it is rather different from previous versions. And since most other people I know who are using Excel don’t use this version yet, I’m kinda on my own figuring it out. Some really basic simple things I used to know how to do, I no longer have a clue how to do, because I haven’t figured out where to access it. So it is very good practice. Maybe my expertise at Excel 2007 will get me employed.

And this is what I can tell you about the overlap of the four festivals Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo and All Points West:

Crystal Castles, The Knux and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are the only three bands to play at all four festivals.

Fleet Foxes, The Gaslight Anthem, Girl Talk, Silversun Pickups, St. Vincent, The Ting Tings, and TV on the Radio are all playing at three of the festivals.

While A.A. Bondy, The Airborne Toxic Event, Alberta Cross, Animal Collective, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, The Black Keys, Blitzen Trapper, Bon Iver, Booker T (with and without the DBTs), Cage the Elephant, Calexico, Chairlift, The Decemberists, Electric Touch, Erykah Badu, Etienne de Crecy, Ghostland Observatory, Gogol Bordello, Grizzly Bear, Jenny Lewis, Lykke Li, MSTRKRFT, The Murder City Devils, M. Ward, My Bloody Valentine, Neko Case, Nine Inch Nails, of Montreal, Okkervil River, People Under the Stairs, Ra Ra Riot, Santogold, Shearwater and We are Scientists all play at two of the four festivals.

That leaves everyone else playing only at one of the festivals, so a more urgent need to try and catch them if I have interest in seeing them perform. But some I’ve seen before, and some I have no idea what they are like, so that leaves me to begin my research about the bands I don’t know, and to prioritize which ones I want to go see. Because if I enjoyed them before, maybe I want to see them again. But I also like to open my ears to bands I don’t know. Such a conundrum. Thus the reason for research. That and arranging where to stay, or what to get for camping, or taking care of my car to enable all that travel.

It’s exhausting all the work I need to do to be a music festival groupie, ya know? To be a prepared music festival groupie.

And in the meantime, I screwed up my perfect chance to be a Bonnaroo Pre-Festival volunteer, as I didn’t get my payment in on time (was waiting on a check to make sure I had the money to cover it) and all the positions got filled. But fortunately for me, since they couldn’t transfer the ticket I was purchasing through the payment plan over to the volunteer group (i.e., I would be buying two tickets, and only getting refunded one when I finished my volunteering gig) I still have a ticket, with no volunteering obligations attached. All my concerns about missing the bands I want to see thus erased. Just not the financial situation I had been hoping for. And I am still waiting to hear if the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the following weekend after Bonnaroo, will have me as a volunteer. This time I am not purchasing anything until I hear back from them, as I don’t have to drive through Colorado to get home. It would just be nice to have a place to stay for a few days down time before continuing the trek home, and this certainly seemed pleasant enough. I especially like the prospect of a Bluegrass combo performing only Radiohead songs.

So this, plus the classes I take, the weekly phone calls I am on, the volunteering I do, the arranging in advance of travel details, and purchasing tickets and following up on unresolved details, and keeping track of my finances, that’s what I do with my time. I’m also researching cars, so if and/or when my car dies, I have a backup plan of what car to purchase next. Because I like to have backup plans to my backup plans. It has come in handy previously!

APW 2009 Announced

March 30, 2009

Darn it. I had it in my mind that I go to the three music festivals I have tickets for currently, with my little month long road trip and visit the folks in Montana, Western States and Canada only, hang up my hat, let my car keys dangle and settle down by mid-June. With a job. To replenish my dwindling funds. But then this shows up in my inbox:

Monday, March 30, 2009 

Friday, July 31: Beastie Boys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire
Weekend, The National, Fleet Foxes, MSTRKRFT, Q-Tip, The Pharcyde,
Organized Konfusion, The Knux, Ra Ra Riot, Seasick Steve, Telepathe,
Shearwater, Heartless Bastards, Flying Lotus, College Humor Live, Arj
Barker, Eugene Mirman and Bo Burnham.

Saturday, August 1: Tool, My Bloody Valentine, Gogol
Bordello, Arctic Monkeys, Neko Case, The Ting Tings, Yelle, Crystal
Castles, St. Vincent, Tokyo Police Club, The Cool Kids, Kool Keith,
Cage the Elephant, Chairlift, White Rabbits, Electric Touch, The
Postelles, Black Gold, College Humor Live, Tim & Eric, Judah
Friedlander and Jim Jeffries.

Sunday, August 2: Coldplay, Echo & The Bunnymen, MGMT,
The Black Keys, Elbow, Silversun Pickups, Mogwai, We Are Scientists,
Ghostland Observatory, The Gaslight Anthem, Etienne De Crecy, Lykke Li,
Akron/Family, Steel Train, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, College Humor
Live, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter and Todd Barry.

Tickets for ALL POINTS WEST go on sale Friday, April 3 at 12pm EST
http://www.apwfestival.com

I have never seen the Beastie Boys. And in their home turf area. Never seen Tool. Never seen Coldplay. Never seen Echo and the Bunnymen or Mogwai. Enjoy Fleet Foxes, St. Vincent, Gogol Bordello, Arctic Monkeys, Silversun Pickups and Vampire Weekend. Janeane Garofalo will be performing? And last year’s show was nicely laid out, with its three stages only set up. You could actually see everyone. Crowds weren’t too evil. And this year the festival is the weekend before Lollapalooza, rather than the other way around it was last year. But if I’m already on the East Coast….

Need to focus. Need to get a job. Need money. Correction, all I need is a source of funding, and that does not actually require a job. Just, that’s the way people normally go about it, myself included. Hmm. Tantalizing conundrum.