Posts Tagged ‘loch lomond’

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.

Sasquatch recap Day 3

May 31, 2009

Monday, Memorial Day (5/25/09). I woke up to the sounds of Modest Mouse playing on a nearby car stereo. Bliss.

Aftermath

Aftermath

All things considered for the previous night, I didn’t get up too late. In fact, I actually got into the festival for all the first bands playing that day. It was the day of animals: Deerhoof, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Horse Feathers, and Blitzen Trapper if you stretch it just a little. I also caught Loch Lomond (mellow violins), Pica Beats (mellow 60’s flutes and rock), Bishop Allen (peppy, preppy rock), School of 7 Bells (dance beat infused Cocteau Twins sound), Gogol Bordello, Dutchess and the Duke (folky), Monotonix (wow! for the Speedo wearing, crowd-surfing, drum moving performance piece), BLK JKS (loved the ska/speedmetal bass lines and who doesn’t love a strong South African lilting voice?),  Girl Talk, The Knux, Silversun Pickups, Beach House and Tobacco! Phew! That’s a whole lot of listening!

And I totally fell in love with Other Lives, a band from Stillwater, Oklahoma. I will be searching out their music, for sure.

Although I caught a little of Erykah Badu and Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 (relentless is an excellent word to describe the new hard driving band sound), my evening really ended with Explosions in the Sky. Ahhh. Like Radiohead and my favorite LA instrumental post-rock bands Signal Hill and Beware of Safety, time passes too quickly when listening to them. They’re done? No! Play more!

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky

When I got back to my campsite, Ben Harper playing against Chromeo’s DJ set, the girls from Oregon were gone, but the frat boys down the way were drinking again. One came over to bum a cigarette. Their camp was high, drunk and ornery, and security came and checked on them numerous times, especially as one member kept trying to “escape” by getting in the car to drive off, and the other members would take the car keys away, as she was in no condition to drive. As the evening progressed, various people came by to mention parties taking place, and one woman ran through the campgrounds announcing it was the last night of Sasquatch, “No one would be sleeping!”

At midnight, I put earplugs in, and fell asleep. Like the night before, it sounded like a riot was taking place nearby, but I couldn’t identify where. I felt like I was in an Hieronymos Bosch depiction of hell, and kept trying to remember what movie I had seen that had a similar background of Bacchanalian noise. I woke numerous times, as people kept leaving at all hours. Finally it was time for me to leave, to make it to the ferry to Victoria. Didn’t feel very awake for the next two days, despite coffee. I was looking forward to flush toilets and showers and electricity once again….

On the Ferry from the Olympic Peninsula

On the Ferry from the Olympic Peninsula