Thursday, August 09, 2007

On The Town

Where have I been? Rockin' and a-rollin', pretty much.

I recently became unemployed. The company I worked for declared bankruptcy on June 1st, and then it was just a waiting game before the doors were locked. For a while it looked like we were gonna make it, but alas... Actually, I hated the job. I was totally into the idea of doing no work and scoring the paychecks, you know? While looking for a better job.

Luckily I scored a pretty cool freelance gig which allows me to work from home. I cannot even begin to tell you what having NO COMMUTE means to me... As long as I've lived in my plush Silverlake digs, I've had to drive to work on the westside. For you non Angelenos, this means a 12 mile drive which takes about an hour and a half. Each way.

My car loves hanging out in the garage now.

So I roll out of bed and get to work, take a break for a walk and when the sun comes blasting through my window. Then I can work some more in the cool evening breeze. It rules.

And without that drive, I've got more time and energy to spend with friends. That also rules.

So I went to some shows!

Dappled Cities came to town, taking a night off from their tour with Tokyo Police Club to do a show of their own at the Echo. I had seen these boys play at the Hopetoun Hotel in Sydney back in January, and was looking forward to seeing them while not under the influence of various substances because they seemed really good. And nice. And they were! Kind of a Modest Mouse/XTC flavor, their quirky indie pop is just accessible enough to not be alienating and still just off kilter enough to keep it interesting. I got to interview them just before the show, but sadly I couldn't use it because the band playing downstairs drowned out some of their clever responses. But I can say that they are nice, silly, and living in the States for the next few months so catch them the next time they are in town - which will probably be in the fall. Oh, and they dropped the "Fly" part from their name because "we've grown up since then." Cute.

Then Kevs, Ritchie & I went to check out Machine Gun Blues. The boys had seen this Denver band at a YMCA or something at the South Park music festival a year ago, and I'd heard nothing except raves for these rowdy rockers who worked the crowd up into such a frenzy that everyone was a sweaty naked mess by the end, running into the snow for relief. Well, that didn't happen at the Knitting Factory that night (does anything quite like that ever really happen in LA?), but the bands rocked with their cocks (almost) out, writhed on the floor, and generally made me feel like slamming my body into something hard. Which is a good thing.

The next night, Raquel and I went to check out the 5 O'clock Somewhere show at the Echo. They had been doing a residency which was turning into alot of fun. The band consists of a bunch of people from other bands, most of whom are also bartenders at eastside watering holes, doing a bunch of country songs (originals and covers, as far as I can tell). I got to do a little waltzin' with a big dude, which is a-ok by me.

And then, M.I.A . So the BFF, Raquel, Kevs and myself hauled ourselves to the EchoplexBoyz, and got sweaty real fast. I had somehow scored tix to the second show at the Echoplex, the first having sold out in milliseconds. She played quite a few new tracks (XR2, Bird Flu, Jimmy) and a smattering of old. The old ones, of course, got the crowd beyond pumped. The new ones, though, were a bit more challenging for the average dancers in the crowd, as the beats were pretty erratic at times. Is her new genre Difficult Dance? I'll have to wait for the CD. It was a good time anyway!

A couple days later, I get an email from Kevs: "Are you going to You Am I on Wednesday?" WHAT? I wasn't keeping track of those Aussies since I've already seen them 6 times this year, and before that, I'd seen them twice over a period of 10 years. They never came to this country, and now suddenly they won't leave? No problem! So Kevs, Ritchie and I set out for NME night at Spaceland, where the Wombats and the Redwalls filled out the bill. The Wombats were very cute and British, extremely poppy with tight little harmonies that they showed off acapella style from time to time. The Redwalls were garagey at times, Big Starish at others. But I was there for you Am I - who ripped out the rock and roll just as riotously as I've seen them do at every other show this year, and had a good time in the process. It was especially fun being there with fellow Aussie Kevs, who would yell out some Oz slang occasionally in as thick a brogue as possible for the benefit of the band. I love my mates.

Time to take a little break now, as Sunset junction is coming next weekend and even though the lineup is quite ho-hum this year, it is literally on my street so I will still be checking it out. And then off to the east coast for a little bit to remember what "humidity" really means...