Tag: concerts

has it already been almost half a year?

Outside of a few posts about bread (and even those have dropped off) and the normal list of books for the year, I haven’t been writing much here this year.  Well to be honest, I haven’t been writing much anywhere this year.  I’ve been full of a lot of ideas but not a whole lot of action…or at least not sustained action.

So what’s been going on this year?  Well, Alicia and I are dating again and as of May we’re living together, so that’s one big change.  Alicia’s best friend (and her boyfriend) came down over Easter weekend to visit (and see this show).  We went up to visit my sister in Berkeley (and I finally got to meet her boyfriend after two years of Christmas travel headaches) at the end of April.  I’ve been continuing progress towards building my moving fund (current progress is in the sidebar).  I’m still pretty much on track for my book goal for the year (greater than or equal to last years 80 books).

There has been some surprises though as well.  The biggest so far came on the morning of May 9th.  I went to work like any other day even though I was feeling a little off.  I continued to feel a little off and even told Alicia that my right arm was feeling a little twitchy.  The next thing I remember, I woke up in the hospital to see my sister’s boyfriend (who lives in Berkeley, but happened to be on So. Cal. that day).  I had a seizure and had been taken to the hospital via ambulance.  I was kept overnight for observation and released the next day with a prescription and instructions for follow up appointments with my regular doctor.  So far, the medications are working without any noticeable side effects and my tests are coming back normal.  So it seems to be one of those fluke things that just happened.  Something the doctors won’t be able to fully explain.

Before releasing me, the doctor’s at the hospital advised me that I shouldn’t drive and that they were required to notify the DMV.  The letter of re-examination from the DMV came a few days later.  For that, I would need to have a form filled out by my doctor by June 4th or my license would be suspended on June 5th.  This being LA, most people I tell this story to think this is the worst part.  But for me, its just a minor inconvenience.  I was already commuting to work via the subway and vanpool.  My work provided bus pass allows me to get around other places, and I can always let Alicia drive my car for the trips public transit doesn’t work as well for.  The specialist I saw told me as long as there are no more seizures in the next three months, he’ll fill out and sign the form.  A much nicer time frame than the six months to a year the hospital doctors told me.

I think that brings things pretty up to date.  The summer is starting to fill up though…going to see the Timbers play ChivasUSA at the Home Depot Center tonight.  Next weekend, we’re going to spend a night at a bed and breakfast in the San Jacinto Mountains.  The weekend after, we’re going to Portland (where I’ll be going to watch the Timbers vs. NY Red Bulls match with Elizabeth and Austin as part of the Timbers Army!).  In July, we’re going to Temecula to see the Avett Brothers perform.  The “big” trip this summer is in early September though.  We’re going to Brooklyn for my buddy Mike’s wedding!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/has-it-already-been-almost-half-a-year/

Alexi Murdoch @ the El Rey 4/8/09

Thanks to the fine folks at Losanjealous, I was able to head over to the El Rey to see Alexi Murdoch last Wednesday.  I had conflicting plans the last opportunity I had to see him perform (at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland a few years ago).  I arrived a little after 9pm, to a pretty full crowd already standing around (and sitting on the dance floor).  The opening act, the Portland Cello Project (or PCP as they joked), consisted of 5 cello players and a percusionist.  They played a wide variety of interpretations of songs from such diverse artists as Dave Brubeck and Pantera.

After a short break out came Alexi.  The place was completely quiet as Alexi began his set, and really for the most part remained that way throughout the entire set.  He played a nice mix of songs from his LP and new songs from a forthcoming “long EP or short LP.”  A nice surprise was that they had just received a limited run of this new materials that were hand stamped and individually numbered (I ended up getting number 26/5000).  I’ve got to say, Alexi hasn’t missed a beat with the new songs.  Of them, the one that’s been played over and over again is called “Through the Dark.”  The album should be in stores in a few months.  He doesn’t tour often, so if you get the chance, go see him.  It’ll be worth it.



Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/alexi-murdoch-the-el-rey-4809/

The Sweet Remains @ The Roxy

One of the guys in The Sweet Remains, used to attend the same church as I do in LA.  So when his band was booked to open for K’Naan and Mishka at The Roxy in West Hollywood, a bunch of folks from church decided to go.

I got to the club a little early, and asked someone who looked like they worked there if he knew when they would be selling tickets.  He asked for which show, and I said tonight, to which he responded…”I think tonights sold out.”  Since I hadn’t eaten yet, and there was still plenty of time before anyone I was going to meet was going to be there, I decided to walk down Sunset in search of some food (I hadn’t eaten yet.)

Around 7pm, a few of the folks I was meeting showed up, and the ticket office opened.  We tried to get our ticket and were told that sorry, the show was sold out.  It was looking kind of bleak for awhile.  Eventually, a couple of the folks in our group who were on the list, were able to get in and talk to the guy in the band, who was able to talk to the folks at the venue and they let us purchase tickets (though we were supposed to leave after they played).

Most of my group filtered out after The Sweet Remains were done, but I hung around, curious about Mishka and wanting to see at least a little bit of K’Naan’s set.

Mishka, was celebrating the release of his new album Above the Bones, his first release on Matthew McConaughey’s record label.  Matthew was of course in attendance as well.  I hadn’t heard of Mishka before, but I enjoyed him quite a bit.  He’s got a mellow reggae style…definitely influenced by the beaches and “roots reggae.”

The last act of the evening was K’Naan, who I was first introduced to when he opened for Stephen Marley at the Roseland in Portland.  He’s a Toronto based, but Somali born Hip-Hop artist.  His music is definitely influenced by the rhythms of Africa and reggae as well.  In fact, he recorded the majority of his new album at Bob Marley’s home studio in Jamaica.

K’Naan is a blast, and I had wished it wasn’t a work night, so I could have stayed for the whole set.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/the-sweet-remains-the-roxy/

Club Nokia: Michael Franti & Spearhead

I’m really behind in posting things…but I feel like procrastinating right now…so here we go…

Thanks to LA Metblogs, I was able to check out Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Club Nokia on Jan 30th.  Club Nokia is part of the newish LA Live development next to the Staples Center.  It is designed to complement the much larger Nokia Theater.  It is still a fairly large venue, holding up to 2,300 people.  It has two levels…the main floor and a balcony.  For this show, the main floor was open floor space, and the balcony provided seats (Most of which were also general admission).

My friend and I staked a claim to a couple seats in the balcony to enjoy the show in a more relaxed setting than the “pit” of fans directly in front of the stage.  Despite getting there shortly after 8pm (when the show was supposed to start), the second opening band was already on stage.  The first thing I noticed, was how incredibly good the sound quality was.  The mix was spot on for the space.  No distortion, and the vocals weren’t overpowered by the instruments.  Second, there really isn’t a bad seat in the place.  The balcony seats all still feel very close to the stage, so for such a large venue, you still get the feel of an intimate show.

Franti & Spearhead were amazing.  They came on around 9pm and played for a little over 2 hours.  I wouldn’t have been disappointed at all if I had paid for tickets.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/club-nokia-michael-franti-spearhead/


Relentless7 is Ben Harper’s new band.  They announced two shows around noon on Wednesday at The Mint, a small venue near my house.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a ticket to the Thursday night show and check it out.

Technically the Thursday show, was actually on Friday, as the doors opened at midnight and the show was scheduled to start at 12:30am.  Thankfully, the show started pretty much on time.  I found a nice spot near the middle of the stage, with only a couple of girls in front of me.  Basically I was no more than 3-5 feet from Ben Harper.

The show was fun.  The band played an 11 song set.  It’s a little more “rock” oriented than his stuff with the Innocent Criminals.  There were a few issues with the sound, but I think that mainly was because of the venue.  Too many clubs have the mains up so loud, and then the guitars/bass/drums up so loud, that the vocals can get drowned out.  A few songs into the set, Ben had them turn around one of the monitors to use it as a vocal field.  So yeah, the mix wasn’t great in the venue.

I’ve got a couple pictures from my Blackberry, that I may upload later, I haven’t had a chance to see if they are worth putting out there.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/relentless7/

Sketch 44

It has been an interesting week.  Of course the big happening of the last week was the election (if you couldn’t tell from my earlier posts today).  Over the weekend, I saw two shows by Ray LaMontagne (in San Diego and Los Angeles respectively), look for more on that in a future post though.  A friendship has changed (sadly).

I am hopeful this week though.  I’m still in disbelief in some ways about the election.  Both the fact that Obama was elected President, and that the state of California pass Prop 8, eliminating the right of marriage for same-sex partners.  I am hopeful though that eventually all of the citizens of California (and the US) will be treated equally when it comes to marriage.

I’ve been in my new apartment for about a month now.  I’m really happy there.  My roommates are great.  The only bad thing is I’m watching more TV now…but oh well.  I do want to get back to some more creative pursuits however.  I need to make that a goal this month.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-44/

Sketch 43

Did I mention I voted?  Have you?  Less than a week to go!!!

I took a friend to a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday.  It was the first show for both of us at the Disney Hall.  The concert was part of the Songbook Series put on by the LA Phil.  The theme of this concert was “Country” and featured Vince Gill.  It was intimate affair (despite the grandiose of the hall itself), with Vince front and center with only a rhythm section trio backing him up.  In between songs, Vince related stories about where the songs came from, and in the second half of the show, invited the audience to shout out requests.  All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable show.  I’ll leave the rest of the details to the LA Times review, if you are more curious. (The reviewer liked it as well.)

Other than that, not much happened in the last week.  I’m going to San Diego for a concert on Saturday and then going to a show at The Wiltern on Sunday.  More about that next week though.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-43/

The Avett Brothers @ The El Rey 3/30/08

Thanks to the kind folks at Losanjealous, I was able to see The Avett Brothers last night at the El Rey Theatre. It was my first time seeing them, as the couple times I had planned to see them in Portland, it ended up falling through.  The brothers were full of energy, which was good for me as I had just returned from Salt Lake City, and was a little tired.  It was my first time seeing a show at The El Rey, and its a pretty cool venue.  Anyway, if you like bluegrass/alt-country, check out The Avett Brothers, they are great live.

Here is a clip from their show Saturday night in Solana Beach, CA (there weren’t any on youtube from the the LA show yet):

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/the-avett-brothers-the-el-rey-33008/

A Few Weeks in LA

I’ve been in Los Angeles almost three weeks now and it still really hasn’t sunk in that I actually live here.  I don’t know if it is a result of my only furniture being a borrowed Aero Bed and a small bookshelf or the fact that I don’t yet have a car.  Whatever it is…it still just feels like a long vacation or perhaps more correctly business trip since I have been working since the 15th.

Not having a car in LA is definitely a much tougher thing than in Portland.  There is public transportation but for some reason it just doesn’t feel as accessible.  Perhaps that is more of just the general mindset of the city around me.  I do have a lead on getting a car from a friend, but currently that’s on the back burner.

I’m living a few blocks from USC in a pretty nice townhouse.  The rent is pretty much double what I was paying in Portland, but for the area, its proximity to the University (and therefore less need of a car)…its a pretty good deal.  The neighborhood is pretty interesting.  The immediate area is largely the college crowd, however a few blocks away the neighborhood becomes largely Latino.

Most of my explorations of the city so far have revolved around food.  There has been a lot of eating out these first few weeks.  The highlights are the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen at La Barca (in the neighborhood) for under $9 and some amazing ramen at Daikokuya in Little Toyko.

I’ve been to the beach (and got the resulting Norwegian Sun Tan…ie redness).

I saw Diana Krall at the Hollywood Bowl, which was a great show at a great venue.  Probably the best sound at an outdoor venue I’ve experienced.

I’ve been to a club in Hollywood (for DJ Heather & DJ Collete @ Deep)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/a-few-weeks-in-la/

Mind Control

Last night I saw Stephen Marley perform at the Roseland Theater.  He’s on tour supporting the release of his first solo project.  I do find it interesting that as Stephen (and his older brother Ziggy) age, how much more he sounds like his father.  The show was a good mix of stuff from the new album and Bob’s stuff.  Stephen also had his younger brother Damian “Jr. Gong” along for the tour, so there were a few songs from Damian’s latest album done as well.

So all in all…a great show…the people around me seemed to have a great time as well…even the people without the red tired eyes 😉

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/mind-control/