Alright, before we get into it, just a quick update from yesterday. Budaphest returned with this response from our boy Edwin: “I’ll see if I can find Michael.” Yeah, you see about that dink. I’ll see about coming to find you again once we inevitably don’t hear from either of you two weasels again…
Ok, now to the “officialness.” So for those of you (ed. note: Deez, Jay Eatadali, Dordick, Philthy, our boys Brent and Tommy WV from the Facebook, maybe a couple more, sheesh) who have followed the Jam Van throughout most of its (ed. note: our) journey, you are well aware that it hasn’t always been the smoothest of rides. We’ve dealt with cops, engine malfunctions, camera issues, sound issues, weather issues, basically just issues. Therefore, we’ve been like chemists in the lab for the past six months perfecting our formula, working out all of the kinks, dialing in our process, making sure our team isn’t infested with ass-bags and worm-warts, until finally, we got ourselves a well oiled machine. Our perfection of this process for filming bands in a van lead us to our biggest shoot yet which took place yesterday behind the world famous Wiltern.
We arrived early for a change (ed. note: also part of our learning curve). It was 2PM and the headliner whom we were there to film didn’t go on until 10, but there was already a line wrapping around the block. Apparently, and I say apparently because I had no idea, but apparently that’s because that’s how big this band was/is. The band in question is named Switchfoot, and I had never heard of them up until about two weeks ago when our friends over at 98.7 FM made mention to us that they were putting on a Switchfoot show and that it would be pretty cool to get them to film a couple of songs in the Jam Van. A quick Google led me to the information I needed to mull this one over. You see, it seems that I’m one of the only people who hasn’t heard of these guys, because everyone I talked to knew about them and because Switchfoot has roughly 1.6 million fans on the Zuckerbook. For those of you not familiar with the Zuckerbook fan/like system, that’s a shit ton. We have 525 right now. We’re like a freckle on Switchfoot’s ass-cheek in terms of Zuckerbook fans. So it was a no brainer that we wanted them in our rig. That’s because getting them in our beast means that many more people get to feel the joy that is Jam in the Van.
So since I didn’t know them prior it’s pretty obvious that I was not a Switchfoot fan going into yesterday’s shoot. However, having met and interviewed guitarists Jon Foreman and Drew Shirley yesterday during their very intimate acoustic Jam Van session I can safely say that I still am not super familiar with Scwitchfoot’s music (ed. note: although the 2 acoustic cuts they played, “Dark Horses” and “Vice Verses” were subtle but nice), and that I doubt you will see me at a Switchfoot show in the near future, but that the guys of Switchfoot, at least Jon and Drew, are really top quality fellas who seemed to have a pretty good time hanging with us in the Jam Van in a back alley, and that’s pretty damn cool considering that they had a mass of people swarming around the venue just to see them, and also since they usually play arenas, not 1980’s Winnebagos… So stay tuned for those sessions Switchfoot masses. They will be a different sound than you are used to hearing from this band, and so you should be excited by that, if you aren’t just excited by the word Switchfoot (ed. note: judging by the crowd at the show it seems most of Hot Topic’s clientele are excited by the word Switchfoot)
So that’s how we got official all overnight and stuff. We’re filmin’ the big boys and the little boys now, and we’re doing it in places that we previously had to buy tickets on ticketmaster to get access to. I don’t know much for certain, but I’d venture to assume that this will only spell bigger and better things for our little baby Jam Van, papa’s so proud.
Now, since that shoot was so professional, and we got in and out like the father figures on 16 and pregnant, we still had some time and energy to get some more music into our evening. So after a brief stop in the no-parking-zone at the grove, where we dropped off our Switch-footage to our editor Dave Y., we then headed back to the best side of Los Angeles and over to the Central S.A.P.C., the soon to be site of our first ever, world famous Jam in the Van Presents Concert. It was Escalator Hill’s residency night at the Central, and that’s another band that I don’t really know, so they weren’t our reason for attending. We showed up to check out a solo set by our buddy Andy Siara, lead singer for the Henry Clay People, whom if you don’t already know, are our featured artists for this week.
So I walked into the room at about 930 PM and Andy was alone on stage with his golden guitar. Joining me in said room were literally 2 other bodies. It was one of those really depressing yet stoic-type music scenes, where you’re looking at a really talented dude give it his all on stage, and the stage looks really lonesome because he’s playing by himself and because he’s playing to nobody. Andy did a couple Henry Clay songs, and a couple of great covers (ed. note: we got a NOFX and a REPLACEMENTS “CAN’T HARDLY WAIT!” and I fucking love that song!), and all the while he was jumping around and enjoying the show just as much as he seemed to enjoy jumping around in the Jam Van, and just as much as he seems to enjoy playing to a packed house, when I’ve seen him play to packed houses. That is to say that it seems Mr. Andy Siara just enjoys making music regardless of who’s there to watch.
Seeing him hop around by himself on that stage, in that little dark room, with little green flashy specs of light flickering across his personage made me think about how it’s funny that when you hear good live music being played by someone who isn’t necessarily a star it’s really easy to get lost in their performance. It’s real easy to have the thought that “damn, this person is gonna get big in this music game.” Yet if you live in Los Angeles for long enough you come to the realization that for most of these dudes and chicks and their guitars, that dream of getting big ain’t gonna happen. So they’ve gotta jump around on stage and give it their all when there’s two people in the room just as much as they do when there’s 2000, because no matter what, if you love your music then you just want to play it. So on that note I will say thank you Mr. Siara, you ended up with about 8 heads in the room listening, but I can promise you at least this one really appreciated it.
Quote for the Day: Andy Siara right before his NOFX cover – “I dedicate this song to people who grew up riding skate boards and listening to shitty but wonderful punk rock music.” – And a big cheer from Mr. Gorilla was heard round the room.
Track for the Day: The Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait,” off of Pleased to Meet Me. Not sure if this was track for the day before, but hearing dude’s version of it last night makes me want to post it again. Play it on repeat, play it on loud, play it cause it’s fun.
Links for the Day:
– What if I start a band called the Takers and challenge these dudes to a machete fight? (via Daytrotter)
– Hipsters cover cool… (via Gorilla vs. Bear)(ed. note: how is that even a battle? Gorilla would smash a bear)
– Nostalgia for you old heads... (via Relix)
– Some heady free music ish… (via American Roots)
– The lead singer here looks like Andy Siara, but it’s not… (via Prefix)
– Please call me, please Jam in the Van, such a strong “one” she is… (via Stereogum)
– These guys piss me off, but I like this song... (via Indie Shuffle)
– Fuck these guys, time for them to be Odd Past already… (via Stereogum)
– RJD3 gettin’ all icey... (via Prefix)
– Some real pretty shit from some corporate taco merchants… (via Chipotle)