“I don’t get itI don’t get it at all. . .”
-- Hanoi Rocks
Last Thursday I went out to check out the Green & Wood/Gypsyhawk/Bastard show. It was a killer set. I actually missed Bastard because of the work being done on 1st St., and I went on a nice tour of that part of town trying to get back across the “river.” I was pretty bummed on that because I like those Motorheadesque, irreverent hucksters. However, I finally got to see Gypsyhawk do their too-short set, then Green & Wood. What a good night of music for $5.
Not only was that a good show, but as we reported there were two others that night. Also as we’ve reported before, we see this as a renaissance happnin here. As we’ve said before, in the shadow of birth place of hair metal, we get to hear a lot of music that sounds like that sad detour (at least for the fans) never happened.
Most depressing is that not a whole lot of people seem to be noticing. Like Michael Monroe said in ’84: “I don’t get it at all.” I mean, Thursday night I saw Gypsyhawk pull off an incredible sting of tunes replete with Lizzy-esque guitar harmonies and a crisp sound all around with a nary an off note. These were good songs about good times and living life. Delivered with a mix of humility, attitude and respect for the music. Delivered to three dozen people.
This is one of the most populated cities in the world. A lot of supposedly smart people end up here. So who was at this gig? Maybe 100 in and out all night. Tops. In a city of millions? Millions reading the “LA Weekly” and the “LA Times” thinking those critics are going to turn them onto what is really happening in town? People standing in line at the LA Times Book Festival to buy a corn dog or at the Getty. Are they that clueless? Millions of people. If 1% had a set of brains and a set of gonads, there would have been over 10,000 folks at that show Thursday. But I guess they don’t have those things. Actually, I know they don’t.
This has always been a tough live music town, ask any touring band. People care more about movies and record deals than records. But with vigilance, a scene can flourish. The haters say it’s too expensive (it’s not – that’s New York.) They say they don’t have enough time. Well, they do. It’s not easy, but they do.
I don’t want to toot my own horn too much (if only I was that limber), but over 15 years or so I’ve added some stresses to my life and ended up right back where I was happiest 20 years ago: standing at some bar watching a good band. I know you’re all busy. Your boss is a dick. You started drowning your sorrows after work and came to Monrovia. Your girlfriend is on the rag or your boyfriend smokes dope and plays video games all night hoping to be promoted to manager at Kinko’s. It all fuckin sucks, which is exactly why you need to be out watching live music.
Here was my Thursday (before almost falling asleep in my car): I worked all day as a lawyer fighting guys who want to crush me with paper. Then I went home and had dinner with my kids. Starting around 7:30 I drove from Pasadena to Hollywood to hang with a friend a couple of hours. Somehow, we started talking about Def Leppard’s High and Dry. Then I went to see some killer bands on the East side of downtown LA. I had a couple drinks, drove home around midnight and was back in downtown LA at work the next morning by 9.
Am I better than you? NO. But here’s the point: if you like live music or the arts or whatever, get out and check it out. There’s no excuse not to in this town. You can add the job, the significant other, the kids, the suburbs… and you can still get out to see a band. Here’s what you don’t do: don’t turn on the TV. You will kill your evening. Don’t “check your email” or start watching porn. Surfing the Internet… that’s what work is for. Don’t do a bunch of bong hits after dinner with your buddy that has the manbreasts. .
That’s about it for me tonight. All I can say is: support your local heavy music bands. This is a good scene right now. It might last, or it might not. But there’s some quality riffage out there right now. If you read this far, you’re part of the solution and not the problem. Still, I’ve gotta preach to someone, even if we’re down to the choir.