So like, six, damn near close to seven years ago I moved straight from Beer City, NC to Venice, CA. To be truthful, I hadn’t been making my home in Beer City for about four years prior, but I did come back from the best university in the world to spend a quick summer in what once was my room but now is my mother’s office space. Obviously that scene was no good for a young extrovert such as myself. I needed to split the slowed down pace of B.C. and spread to somewhere just as grimy, but surrounded by faster distractions and less doublewides. That somewhere was Venice, CA.
I came upon this conclusion half by circumstance, half by instinct, and it’s proven to be a decent decision, regardless of the means to the end. When I moved here I’d recon to say that about 80% of the reactions I got from people in Los Angeles, and outside Los Angeles were ones of hesitant questioning in my choice of residential destination. There was a stigma surrounding the neighborhood, it was dangerous, there were drugs, it’s the “ghetto” by the Sea. Furthermore, it was quite a drive (ed. note: and/or public transportation) from both prissy ass graduate institutions that I’d chosen to attend for the durations of three and two years respectively.
Those bastions of education in particular were filled with skeptics, and as a matter of fact, knowing that someone was from my side of town could be a good barometer of whether or not I wanted to talk to them (ed. note: horrible, yes I know, but I only say it in retrospect, going through the numbers, I didn’t utilize the measure at the time)(ed. note: I don’t think I did)(ed. note: consciously). At any rate, these people (ed. note: “who is these people?),” were always like “oh, Venice, hmm… That hmm was never followed by “that’s awesome,” if you get my drift.
So what then you ask does any of this have to do with the Jam Van, other than the fact that the Jam Van sleeps in Venice? Well, this Saturday we had the pleasure of filming the Eastern Conference Champions, Skyline Drive, and Otis Heat (ed. note: more on them later), in the lot of the Cenral S.A.P.C.. The Central used to be 14 Below, but has since been repurchased by the owner of the Mint and has lately become a little bit of a hot spot for decent music on the westside. For starters, the place isn’t a pain in the ass, there’s good parking, it’s relatively cheap cover-wise, drinks are priced like drinks in LA, and the space is good for watching a band. I’ve seen several Jam Van acts heat up the Central, and in fact we’ll be hosting our own concert residency there in October. So needless to say, it’s a decent spot.
Thanks to Brandon and Matt who are kind of spearheading this movement over there to get some music overflow to the Westside. It seems to be a contagious situation, not sure exactly who started it, probably was myself. Regardless, everyone I met at the Central that day, everyone I’m meeting lately, everyone my roommate’s coming home and telling me he met so and so at work, they all seem to be moving in down the block, across the street, long story short, seems now people are saying “Venice, hmm, I live there,” or “hmm, that place is sweet.” Pretty wild migration in six years if I do say so myself.
It’s a double edged sword. My daily fight against wanksters just got a whole lot more 300ish, and I gotta dodge way more cars in the streets when I’m not paying attention with RZA hooked up to the bike, but at the same time, there’s a lot more ones floating around that don’t look to be infected with a germ and we’re getting a lot of cool shit to entertain us at night.
Now, I was sick, so I missed out on this, but our geologist went on a recon mission and told us that Feist at the Townhouse was also sick, but in a different sort of way. It’s awesome in general that she popped up at that location. As much as I hate the place, as much as they conformed to the wank, I gotta respect their effort to step up the downstairs speakeasy. It was only five bucks to get in as is the usual, and Feist ripped shit up for hours, a full set list. The video looked like a lot of fun, and our Geologist reported that after the fire department scared off the sissies, Feist came back out, the venue stopped charging cover, and it wasn’t too crowded. Pretty cool.
The back lot of the Central was pretty cool on Saturday as well. Eastern Conference Champions started the day off with a hell of a lot of energy. They put on a performance of Atlas in that Van that is going to blow your minds. A shit-load of drum banging, a shit-load of good rhythm, excite you type music. It even brought our friends in blue out to check on our fever (ed. note: you know, cause I was sick and shit was hot). Luckily Derek Thomas from Skyline Drive alerted the officers to a Bum Fight that was taking place across the street (ed. note: no joke). They immediately diverted their attention to that action. As did it seemed, a good amount of other Santa Monica civil servants, it was quite the scene for a little crack-head fisticuffs, but it got the fuzz off our backs for the rest of the afternoon, so thanks bums.
Anyways, the day rolled on, Skyline Drive slowed things down with a lovely five song set. I think folks are going to really enjoy hearing this other side of the former 60 Watt Kid front-man Derek Thomas. It’s simple, just a pedal steal, a guitar, and a voice, but it’s really nice.
The closer for the day was Otis Heat. Their set was short and nasty, and had the Van bouncing up and down on its suspension like only few have made her bounce. They channeled Primus with their sound which is both unique and catching. One ventures to guess that these videos are going to come out extra funky. All are things to look forward to.
Thanks again to the Central SAPC, we’ll be there Wednesday, when the Muddy Reds tear that shit down, like the Berlin Wall, all historic an’ shit.
Labor Day Monday ain’t that bad chicken heads, ain’t that bad at all…
Quote for the Day: Commentator talking about how wicked, nasty, God-like fast Denard Robinson is – “You can’t teach 4.3”
Los Angeles, these are our suggested shows for the week of 9/5-9/11:
9/5 – FYF Fan Appreciation Show at the Echo, it’s free and it says “very special guests X3” so probably pretty cool… Starts at 5, so like, in an hour.
9/8 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at the Detroit Bar for 10 bucks they will put on a hell of a show I bet.
9/8 – Jim Jones Review at the Echo for $12.00.
9/9 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at the Troubadour for $14.00
9/10 – The Kills at the Wiltern for $25.00
9/11 – The Joy Formidable at the Detroit Bar for $16.00.
Links for the Day:
– Feist at the Local in case you missed it in the post above… (via Prefix)
– More from Bon Blake (via Scenestar)
– Hippity-Hop Music (via Prefix)
– Damn this Pearl Jam 20 Year Concert looked awesome (via Prefix)
– More of the same awesome (via Glide)
– Good Download from a good band (via Clarks Originals)
– New AA Bondy Album stream, nice/heady/smoove (via NPR)
– St. Vincent Album Stream (via Under The Radar)
– Some heady live ish from the Civil Wars (via KCRW)
– NaSty NaS (via Prefix)
– New Blitzen Trapper video (via Scenestar)