Yeah, I know, I know that this journal entry is a long time in coming…even longer if you knew that I typed it out twice, didn’t save it, and lost it both times when my laptop shut down. So anyway, since I was out in Oaktown a couple of weeks ago where you can literally FEEL the MC Hammer influence, I will “break it down”….
VIPER ROOM AND WEST COAST SWANG
Contrary to what some might have thought, my first appearance on the Sunset Strip was NOT on the street corner of Sunset and La Cienega, thankyouverymuch! I was thrilled to be a part of the Noise in the Basement series at the Viper Room and want to thank Drew, Ben, Melissa, Andy, and sounguy Eric for a putting all together and making it happen. I also want to thank my hosts in Los Angeles, JK, CK, and GK (thanks for the stickers for my guitar case, Georgie!), as well as everyone who showed up from far (Vegas and San Fran.) and near (Sherman Oaks and Doheny Street, which is like 3 streets over from the Viper). The place is pretty much as cool as they say it is and the downstairs is an extremely intimate setting. For the performers and the audience!
So speaking of Oaktown, I got to catch up with Tim there for the David Gray show at the Paramount Theater (or Theatre, depending on how pomp…I mean, “formal” you want to be). It was a killer show in a beautiful old-but-renovated theater/theatre. Phallic symbol above the entrance aside, it’s quite a place to see a show. Makes it more of an event, rather than just a concert. Of course it helped that those guys put on an incredible performance. I’d thought they were excellent the last time I saw them in Boston, but this show even blew that one away. I highly recommend Gray’s new record Life in Slow Motion. I know I’m gonna get hell for saying this, top to bottom, I think its stronger than White Ladder. Go ahead, kill me for that. Anyway, the songs sounded even better live.
CAFÉ TAZZA, PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND
It’s pronounced Tat-tsa, not Toz-za. Ok, so Providence is NOT West Hollywood and Café Tazza is NOT the Viper Room, but let’s not get all snotty now. The set at Café Tazza last Wednesday was one of the most enjoyable in a while. My good friend Jesse Denson played guitar, as it was a duo acoustic show, and did a fantastic job. I was especially impressed since we only had one proper rehearsal the night before, in addition to going over the songs quickly right before the show. If you recognize Jesse’s name, it’s because he co-wrote “Lying and Stealing” (Did you know that Matt?). It was great to see some old faces I hadn’t seen in a while that night.
GREG HODDE AND THE BLUE MIRACLES
So I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few little (or not so little) dreams come true lately and last Saturday evening was one of them. I went to see my good friend, former guitar teacher, and always musical spiritual guide Greg Hodde play. I had never had the opportunity to get up and sing with Greg (but always secretly…or not-so secretly, wanted to). Greg was kind enough to ask me on stage to do Jumpin Jack Flash. It was indeed, a gas gas gas. Thanks Greg.