Posts Tagged ‘Eagle Rock’

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

A Perfect Day

March 6, 2009

Or, In Which I Celebrate a Birthday.

Well, I had postponed my Monday birthday to Thursday, since I had several things on my plate that had to get done that day, and could not be postponed. The beauty of celebrating one’s birthday by oneself is of course it can get postponed, so postponed it got. The other beautiful thing I learned a long time ago, was the fact that if I myself could not give myself the perfect day and birthday presents, who on earth do I expect will? Or to do better?

Today was filled with treats and the end of coveting (of at least a few things). I have about a two year covet list. I see something, covet it, drop hints about it if anyone is listening, and if it does not happen in the meantime, it gets placed on the I will fulfill for myself list.

So first was my mocha fix at the expensive but delicious Intelligentsia cafe in Silver Lake. Next was off to Studio City to fix my pierced nose ring (at the Ye Olde Tattoo Shoppe with the pirate theme where I originally had it done, as it comes highly recommended and is just so fun to look at), for the ball had fallen out and so the ring has just been sitting in my nose but wouldn’t move, so I had suspected I needed my nose re-pierced. I was correct. Then right next door to get my hair washed, trimmed, and what the heck, let’s throw in some color too to hide those increasing grays. (Vanity, vanity, thy name is vanity.) Back to Silver Lake to actually buy my birthday present to myself, because the store had not been open when I left at 10 am. Ah, the store was open! I bought myself a nifty composter, designed especially for apartments, and able to compost dairy and meat, so it claims. Don’t really care about the meat part, and can’t say that I ever have any scrap dairy lying around, so completely useless to me, but hey! I could if I needed to.

Like I said, I had been coveting this item for a couple of years when I first saw it at the store Kelly Green. It comes with a special formulated thing kinda like kitty litter that you layer between your food that makes it non-smelly and super effective. So now I can get my window sill garden boxes going, now that I have a renewable compost source. Yay!

Then it was off to a birthday meal, at a restaurant — again, I had heard about it for more than a couple years, dropped hints that I wanted to go there when asked where I would like to eat, — and had yet to make it out there, to beautiful Eagle Rock. The name of the place is Auntie Em’s Kitchen, and finally I made it there. Part of the problem was I couldn’t remember how to get to Eagle Rock, I only ever end up there by accident. And I also didn’t have their address, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that be a problem. (I never have in the past.) Let’s try Eagle Rock Boulevard, the main drag, and see if it can be spotted somewhere along the way. Sure enough, I found it.

I had an egg salad sandwich, lentil vegetable soup and a fizzy drink. They are quite known for their desserts (and breakfasts, but it was too late in the day), and I ordered the grapefruit cream butter cake, picture below, and it was perfect. I really don’t like that much sweet, and so the grapefruit that I was hesitant about, was the perfect complement to sweet frosting and creamy butter. Yummm. I think I will have to find a recipe for that, since I can see that being a birthday cake option in the future. Really, I never have had a major sweet tooth, and birthday cakes for me growing up were frequently strawberry shortcake, angel food cake or cheesecake. Not usually white or chocolate cakes. Don’t know why.

Grapefruit Cream Butter Cake at Auntie Em's Kitchen

Grapefruit Cream Butter Cake at Auntie Em's Kitchen

Anyway, cake, present, new hair, it was time to take care of some business matters. Made a few phone calls, took care of some bidness, and off I decided to explore a little, see where Eagle Rock Boulevard could get me. I had the choice between Pasadena to the right or Glendale to the left once it intersected Colorado Boulevard. I chose Glendale, once I noticed it was the beginning of rush hour time. And followed this road and that, and here I was, in Atwater Village, and thus back to Silver Lake again, and drove myself home to park.

Because, I thought tonight was the big artwalk in downtown LA, and I wanted to know where I should head to partake. But in looking online, I discovered it is next Thursday. Oops! Well, I still have one other place I have been meaning to check out, and that is the Golden Gopher. It is the oldest bar in Los Angeles, or the oldest bar with a take out liquor license, (or the only bar in LA with a take out liquor license?) and is supposed to be quite the experience. And look, happy hour is good for another hour today, I shall see if I can catch it to truly end my birthday with a shot of good cheer!

Golden Gopher finally spotted

Golden Gopher finally spotted

So I got to soak in the atmosphere, but with it being just myself, the bartender and the security guard and this during happy hour, I just was not feeling the party vibe. There’s just only so much party I can generate by myself, alone. I stayed as long as I did nursing my drink because there was a movie on without sound I vaguely recognized. It turned out to be Singing in the Rain. By the time I left, others were finally arriving, but I wasn’t in the mood anymore. Yes, there was a dress code, and others were coveting my spot. I did not feel welcome. So it was off to my stand-by bar, since I was already downtown, off to Bar 107. It is a neighborhood dive bar, there are regulars, people go there to drink and laugh and watch sports, sometimes bring their dogs, and there is all sorts of kitschy stuff cluttering up the space. You can sit and brood at the bar, or read a book in a booth, and no one bothers you. I know this because I have done both. I am by no means a regular, but I feel welcome there, and it doesn’t matter what I wear, either. And the drinks are cheap, always a plus. I knew there was a reason I liked it there.
One drink there, leaving when the Blazers vs. Nuggets were finishing up their first quarter, (yay, Blazers fans!) and then I began wandering home, taking a different route to see what was new in downtown. There’s always something new. I took many photos, but having to hold a camera very still with no bracing for a while to get the exposure right does not lead to wonderful photos. Still, I was home by 10, and it had been a full and delicious day.