The Heavy @ The Wiltern Sat 6/26

The Heavy @ The Wiltern Sat 6/26
The Heavy opening for Sharon Jones + The Dap Kings

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday August 23rd - Kirk Fletcher Band _ Harvelles - Santa Monica, CA

Heading out to the show after a little Kayaking - down by the Pier.
Here's to 30 Shows in 60 Days!!!

Go See Live Music - Once a week Once a Month - 30 Shows in 60 days - just go.

Ok, so I went and caught my 30th Show in exactly 60 days - Actually it was more like 32 Shows in 60 days but since 2 of the Shows took place with in a couple of hundred feet of an earlier show on the same night, I decided not to count them towards the official tally.

The Fu Dawgs played two great shows after Pier Concerts, they got billing in one post but could have easily been considered a show on their own. While the ground rules were set

- A Show must be at least an hour of music (can be multiple bands).

- 1 Venue = 1 Show (Headliner & any opening acts count as 1 show total)

there were some challenges to be considered - ultimately a few shows occurred in the same day as other shows but all criteria above was met.

And now onto the final show.......
Show #30 - was not what I expected - Kirk Fletcher and his band played some long instrumentals - his 1st song of the 2nd Set lasted about 15 mins. But with a few songs with Vocals mixed in - 2 by songstress Lisa Forman, the set was actually quite well rounded.

I'm usually tied up with my Monday Night Poker Game and unable to pop into Harvelles - but it was nice to be able to stroll into my favorite neighborhood blues Establishment and saddle up to the bar for a cold beer and some groovin tunes.

I had to work hard to keep up the pace of seeing a show every two days. It sounded so easy when I came up with the Idea some 60 something days ago.... but in the grind I realized it was going to take perseverance and dedication to the task at hand. The Tour was filled with a variety of shows, big and small and some medium sized ones too. Several Venues played host to multiple shows - The Hollywood Bowl, The Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Park racetrack, Star Party Cruises out of LBC, while others had room for just one stop on the tour. All the shows were special - some more than others but all unforgetable thanks to this blog.

I will continue to post upcoming shows that I attend here - complete with photos and reviews. Music enriches my life - and for the 60 hours or longer that I listened over the last 60 days I'm proud to have made the effort to go see Music in it's purest glory - live and in person. Rock on Los Angeleez.......

Sunday August 22nd - Cliff Wagner & the Old No. 7 - Cinema Bar - Culver City, CA

Cliff Wagner and the Old No 7 are always entertaining to watch - individually they are all top notch musicians and that alone would be worth it - even if their collective effort was only mediocre. But the cool thing is collectively the sums add up to a Whole that is better than all the parts - Marrying Mandolin with banjo and acoustic guitar with a driving stand up bass is great.... now drop in vocals that stand alone and harmonize and things start to really take shape. As an acoustic outfit a lot of nuances are added by stepping closer or further away from the microphone, filling the small confines of the Cinema Bar with many layers.

My history with Cliff and the Old No 7 goes back almost 10 years - Cliff turned me on to Bluegrass Music - a genre I had heard before but never paid much attention too. After drifting away a few years later it was Cliff who once again brought me and lots of other people back to Blue Grass music. The Band landed a spot on a show on Fox called the Next Great American Band. I was working on my computer with the TV on in the background - when going into a commercial I saw " Coming up next Cliff Wagner & the old No. 7". Out of over 10,000 entrants Cliff and the Boys went on to #4 and gained a quick glint of popularity. Their renditions of Bob Dylan and Elton John classics stole the show - however the Hillbillies had no chance with the 3 Jonas Brothersesque - Clark Bros charming the judges and the teenage girls who called in to vote.

It's very fitting that Cliff was one of the last shows of the 30 Shows in 60 days tour - I was lucky enough to shoot the Cover for his upcoming CD, and our photoshoot took place in the early days of the Tour - same day as the Tubes Show at Brixton.

If you haven't seen Cliff perform - do yourself a favor and mosey down to the Cinema Bar on a Sunday Night. They are usually there every Sun from 7pm - 9pm.

Saturday August 21st - Short Fuse - Starboard Attitude- Redondo Beach, CA

Short Fuse is Zack Schary on Guitar & Vocals - Johnny Mastro on Harmonica and Vocals, Lisa Cee on Vocals and a bass and a drummer - Saturday Nights Bass and Drum was great - Steve on kit and Charlie(?) on bass - but there job was to build the foundation the true flashes and crests in the music would be from 1 of the 3 players mentioned at the top of this post. While Lisa sat in the wings - Johnny and Zack traded off on leads and vocals - At one point in the evening Zack introduced a Cat from Mississippi that he said he's played with for a long time. The change in players and tone made the evening feel like a variety show with a little bit of something for everyone. When Lisa Cee came out to close each set - the vibe changed again and yet resonated the blues.

The Starboard staff are always there with a smile on the faces and with the mellow scene its a fun spot to go and see live music.

Thurs August 19th -Bettye Levette, with Tom Nolan Band - Twilight Dance Series - Santa Monica, CA

Tom Nolan Band opened the show and brought a soulful presence to beach. As the sun was setting Tom and the Band were belting out classic soul numbers. As they exited the stage they announced they would be playing at Rusty's Surf Ranch after Bettye's Set, sounded like a plan too me.

Bettye brought some soulful stylings of her own. She sings with a power that not many singers today can match - Sharon Jones comes close but still has years of performing to go before she will have the command that Ms. Levette displays. After several songs off her new album INTERPRETATIONS: The British Rock Songbook and a few well placed classics of her own the crowd was asking for 1 more - and true to form Bettye Levette gave the people what they wanted.

Thank you.......

As an added bonus Tom Nolan band played a set and a half of their bread and butter hits - and had a special appearance by Tom's son - who's name escapes me at the moment, but his rendition of Ophelia by the Band and Lepeorad skin pill box hat, by Bobby D. was terrific. He revisits Rusty's after the Twilight Dance Series Finale - Dr. John Thurs - Sept 2nd. Check back for updates of both shows.

Sunday August 15th - Blue Oyster Cult, Warner Center, Valley somewhere - LA, CA

1st time down to the Free Summer Concerts at the Warner Center Band Stand - pretty cool set up - people bring beach chairs and blankets and sit back and enjoy the show. Some even brought light sabers with them.

Blue Oyster Cult took the Stage around 6:30pm and made several references about their NY roots - I gave a "lets go mets" cheer after the band asked if there were 1st any Dodgers fans, hardly an acknowledgement, then any Angels Fans, again hardly a peep from the crowd, any mets fans out there..... Roar from this guy and then the aforementioned "lets go Mets".....

The show was entertaining - we knew going in what to expect -

Burning for you, Don't fear the Reaper and Godzilla, and they all delivered but my favorite was Godzilla as it rocked a bit harder than the other 2.

The rest of the songs sounded good but just didn't have the hooks and familiarity of their hits. All in all it was an entertaining show and experience a new venue was nice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday August 14th Part 2 - Billy Idol - Palladium- Hollywood, CA

After shooting some pix and taking in a upbeat show with the Luminaries earlier - I was pumped to catch Billy Idol at the Palladium. With a last minute change in plans the Ecousable crew was in tow and the destination was Hollywood Blvd.

Arriving a few minutes later than planned I walked in on the second song and started" Dancing with myself". Flesh for Fantasy, Eyes with out a face, White Wedding, Rebel Yell all followed with a a new song and a few Gen X songs mixed in. A Cover of the LA Woman, was one of many highlights that peaked during the Encore Mony, Mony. Billy and the Band seemed to be enjoying themselves and the crowd was quite responsive. Steve Stevens (Fellow Long Islander) took charge and was there to lay down his signature riffs and stand up to Billy's raw power.

"to the audience Thank you for making my life so Great and to Steve Stevens Thank you for making my life so Great" Billy's sincerity echoed thru the rafters and you could feel the gratitude that Billy was exalting on his brother in arms and musical compadre for around 3 decades.

The Fans were rewarded with a great show some even got to go home with Autographed Plates/Frisbees that billy and band threw out to the crowd. Some came to get married and pose for photos.

Great Show - Probably in my top 10 for the year

Saturday August 14th Part 1 - Luminaries - Whole Foods- Venice, CA

When someone says - Yo Dawg lets go see some live Music- the 1st place I think of is not Whole Foods, however on Saturday, Whole Foods was exactly the spot to catch some great local Music, in an Organic, temperature controlled environment for free.

Whole Foods hosted a special event to help spread the word about 2 great causes - Venice for Venice, residents of Venice CA, raising money for residents of Venice, LA, one of the hardest hit areas of the gulf oil spill. And reducing the impact of Plastic on the environment with distibuting music downloads with the purchase of a reusable stainless steel water bottle, making a larger impact by ctting out single use water bottles. Featured were some great local musicians who believe music can effect change. The Luminaries were surprisingly at home in the frozen foods section of the market. The crowd that gathered didn't seem to notice organic english peas were on special or that about 30lbs of organic coffee beans from around the world were being freshly roasted within a foot or two of the guitar player over the coarse of their 120 minute show.

The Music had a freshness or Poignancy, that made it easy for anyone in earshot to find something positive in it or something that they could smile about. The Luminaries brought there A- Game and layed down some funky lines. The crowd was shopping, shuffling, jumping and grinding (coffee beans and there booty's).

This was the 1st show on the tour that I actually brought my camera to - it's always fun to combine two of my passions - music & photography. All the other photos & videos on the tour have been taken with my Blackberry Bold and it's 3.2 mgpxl camera

Special shout out to the girls in the smokehouse & Edizen of Venice Paparazzi - who was there shooting and keeping it real.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday August 13th - Johnny Mastro & Mamas Boys - Blue Dog - Long Beach, CA

After the blues cruise with Lisa Cee there was talk of stopping in to catch a set from Johnny and the boys. Arriving at the Blue Dog a few minutes before 11pm I caught the beginning of a set something that rarely happens in club shows and me. An hour plus later the band was still ripping it up and I had just registered another show in the tour - number 23 to be precise on day 50.

Friday August 13th - Lisa Cee & Beast of Honey - Blues Cruise

As I raced for the boat - I was glad I called ahead and reserved my ticket. Once I boarded the boat and settled in the engines started up and we backed away from the dock. The band started to play, and from that moment on the boat was rockin and a rollin. Zac, Bobby and Steve had things moving along and when they came up for air, Lisa Cee was ready to take over the helm.

Lots of songs stood out as great but the song that stole the show was a stirring version of Love Light, "a song made popular by the Greatful Dead" cooley stated by Lisa Cee as she went on to take ownership all for herself. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Thurs Aug 12th -Soulive & Breakestra - Twilight Dance Series - Santa Monica, CA

With a scaled back plan, the 27-04 Crew set off on bikes for the Pier - a few minutes later we were set up on the beach with cold bevvies and jammin tunes. Breakestra did it's job of getting the crowd going. The LA Band had some funky grooves and good control of the crowd even on the beach.

When Soulive took over the sun had set and they rose to take on the challenge of following a funky set by Breakestra. Soulive started with a few instrumentals which is what they are best known for, and then a vocalist joined for 3-4 songs and gave a different prospective. The show was great the music loud enough to enjoy from our perch on the beach. The crowd was mellow and so was the bike ride home.

Weds 8/11 Buddy Guy & B.B. King- Hollywood Bowl

With a double bill of perhaps the 2 biggest names in Blues, you know the bar was set pretty high. And tonight it would be the big blues bus that would deliver us to Salvation. I guess it was about 4 years ago that I discovered the "Bus to the bowl" and while I have arrived by car a few times since, the idea of letting someone else deal with LA Traffic is pretty appealing. Getting the Party started on the go has become an integral component of the Margie March - it makes the journey more festive and enjoyable, and with the Bus "March" friendly, the March has become quite "Bus Friendly".

When Buddy took the stage the band had already warmed up the crowd - Buddy jumped in and notched things up a bit. I've seen Buddy a few times, mostly at Festival Shows where the layout is wide open and you feel like your there with 50,000 people, well this show was not like that all. The pleasing confines of the Hollywood Bowl made for an intimate evening of many hushed moments that gave way to audience participation and stern proclamations : "I just got back from Tokyo and they nailed that, got it perfect, you guys just Fucked it up" Buddy's words after the Bowl Audience didn't recite the words when Buddy bowed the Mic towards them. The night continued on with Buddy paying tribute to many of the blues greats that he got his start with and played alongside for many years as some of the blues Stalwarts, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin Wolf.

With some dazzling horns BB's band went to work laying the foundation. After 2 numbers BB made his way out and took his place center stage. BB engaged the crowd with stories and questions and worked through his set effortlessly. BY the end of the Night we knew we just witnessed to two legends perform and the evening was complete.

for more photos courtesy of the
OC Register
click on the link below

B.B. King performs Wednesday night to an overjoyed crowd at the Hollywood Bowl. : Entertainment Photo