Canada can't do Mexican food. L.A. sure can. I even had vegan Mexican. in regards to lard, I just didn't want to know.
I crashed everywhere from mansions behind the Marmont to Echo Valley apartment floors...and I'll say this: L.A. homes are niiiiice! Art Deco and Mexican influence! Easy on the allergies.
So after a coupla days I did Club Dingaling which is a Tuesday night thing put on by Don Bolles and Nora from Fancy Space People. It's a pretty special night where they get as wild and freaky as possible. I met Don many years ago where we bonded over records, he had talked me out of some LPs by an odd eerie female Christian ventriloquist that I saw as a child who forever scarred me. Don's got quite the Christian children's record collection. Much of the music he spun at Dingaling crossed over with what I'd spin at my Feelings nite, so it felt just like home! Maybe L.A. is. He also showed some insane VHS projections, usually of cheap puppets in Christmas pageants.
At this Dingaling I was performing solo doing a recitation as The Romantic. Sometimes when I perform solo I think that I am doing worse than I actually am. The sound was odd: I thought everyone was talking when it was actually the cigarette smokers outside audible through an open side door just off the stage! People told me later that the place was hushed! When I asked "Should I wrap this up?" a woman yelled, "Yes!" I replied, "I love it when women say yes."
I walked off feeling vulnerable.
But it actually went over well. People were into it. One fella came up to me and said, "I'm jaded and I really liked that."
But my act was weird for the too-cool-for-schoolers. I didn't think people finding a slow talking hushed romantic to be weird but it was! I honestly don't think of what I am doing as weird. I don't black out onstage or get naked anymore, I try not to push or force things. But it still comes off as weird.
With Hallmark I was striving for ballad oriented songcraft but people were saying that even Hallmark is weird! And I was trying to be normal and natural! I guess that's just the way it is.
Anyways I wanted to unwind and stick around at Dingaling to watch Shazzula Nebula from France play her set but my ride wanted to leave: bummer....
Back to Hallmark. Playing with people who are all totally committed to music, right into it, is such a good feeling! All five of us were crackling. Scott had flown out from Vancouver just to make this happen. We are an LA/Vancouver/Toronto group. The shows went smashingly! We were actually set to play Dingaling the following Tuesday but, alas, the police came crashing down and said that the club didn't have the proper paperwork for live music. It was completely out of our hands but we couldn't help but feel depressed.
A few days later we played a gallery and it went super well. Don showed up and after a few of our songs he started mad texting to set us up a show! And he did! We played on a terrific bill at a venue a few days later called Showcave. Don said we were like Jobriath if he was good, ha ha! The opening act was a guy called Richard Sax Ross, a lone man singing over backing tracks and playing electronic sax bathed obscured in blue lights...Night music. Had an 80s ballad style to it but his own rather earnest take. He had stopped playing music due to personal tragedy but people like Ariel Pink have encouraged him to go on and the world is better for it! I was amazed by him, simply amazed. I strongly urge you to check him out. We also played with seminal LA synth punkers Nervous Gender and a catchy set of songs by Steve Moramarco of Abe Lincoln Story! It was a great bill!
It truly felt great to play.
Someone was telling me how a lot of bands just don't have intensity and it's true. Both LA and Toronto are immersed in a kind of limp indie pop. Ten years ago I proposed the theory that if people dressed up to perform, the music would get interesting. I have been proven wrong many times of late. I wound up at one show with some indie popper in a long elaborate coat looking completely awkward singing his limp songs.
I want to perform great songs and make them crackle! And connect with the audience.
I so loved playing again, we all want to play again soon, maybe December in Vancouver, February in LA, I hope so, we love it, the Hallmark album sounds good and we want it to see the light of day! We believe in it!
I was also on a couple bills doing comedy.
Wayyyy out in Santa Monica is a house that converts its' garage once a month into a venue called The Comedy Carhole replete with chairs and lights! An AM radio is turned on and off for the comedians' entrances and exits. I luckily got the final bars of "Something" by the Beatles. The place was packed! I wandered into the house and saw maggots on the ceiling! Why? I don't know. Back to the garage. My set went super well but I had to jet away and on to the bus! Yes, the bus. They run in LA. They're actually not bad! Comfy seats, TVs, and every stop is announced, I made my way around mostly okay!
Of course I got lost and a lovely lady that I met picked me up and made sure I was okay, bless her heart!
Where did I have to jet off to? To see Kim Fowley sing "They're Coming to take Me away Ha Ha" at a birthday party.
Giddle Partridge introduced me to this looming figure with a pretty 20-something on his arm. I asked him how long it took him to record side two of Outrageous. "Fifteen minutes." He then told me that one man went mad and another committed suicide from making that album. Luckily I brought some grains of salt with me. It was an odd party. Rather aloof. People tripping out. Everyone dressed all freak beat. I felt under dressed. A fella said I looked like Holger Czukay from Can. Someone else at a Hallmark gig said I looked like Werner Herzog in the 70s. This felt good and alleviated all doubts about me shaving my moustache. It stays! The moustache stays!
But enough about me. This is my blog.