Thursday, November 20, 2008

Last Tuesday at Boardner's

An air of sweet melancholy hung over the garden at Boardner's as I walked in on Tuesday (November 18, 2008) as the Automatic Drawing played their pretty, infectious rock. I soon realized it was just as it had always been. Joe Fielder was, once again, finding bands I'd hardly heard of and I was soon airborne, hanging on every note.

By the end of the evening, the melancholy had been replaced by the satisfaction that I had attended so many of these special nights. But instead of feeling like an ending, it felt like a page was turning to reveal something new. What "Let's Independent!" has wrought is a flood of free shows across L.A. (well, the East Side, mostly) that reproduce with such regularity that the competition is becoming a delicious dilemma for the music lover.

With a nice combination of instruments (guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and a ukulele) and some sweet harmonizing, Automatic Drawing played indie-rock of the solid variety which I enjoy very much. Lead singer, Drew Kirkpatrick, reminded me a bit of The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman, but has a strong vocal style of his own. Intelligent lyrics, nice melodies, with a touch of sadness, perfect for the occasion.

Met the members of the band and bought their very nice EP, The Captain and the Sea.
By now there seemed to be a steady stream of people filing into the club which continued throughout the entire evening. So many of the bands that have have played this event were there, many more than I could recognize but among them were Rob Danson of Death To Anders, Christian Biel of The Transmissions, One Trick Pony' Randolph, Mary Monolator, Andrew Spitzer of Radar To the Sky and so many more. It was a night of difficult choices but I was glad I was there.

Next band was The Broken Remotes and they gave a high energy jolt to the proceedings. Not completely unlike the terrific set I saw last week by The Frontier Brothers with a solid lead singer who easily commands your attention. The audience seemed to pay close attention to the music as I detected less bar chatter than usual. Or maybe everyone was feeling a little solemn.

They had everyone bouncing to the music and forced a good mood onto us. Clever song writing from a band whose members are Jon, John P. and John C., plus Amy and Mark Lane; who are also Mr. Wood, Mr. Wood and Ms. Wood, plus Mr. Leahy (that would be Jon) and Mark Lane. Fate brought them together and The Broken Remotes led us up to the nest band, Pizza!.

Boardner's was pretty full by now and it was nice to just occasionally survey the crowd and see how many showed up. Joe seemed pretty pleased with the attendance and bands will be forever grateful for the opportunities he gave to so many. See the fabulous video that Jacob Summers of The Rhone Occupation shot (here). For someone so passionately devoted to the local music scene, there's no doubt we'll be hearing from him soon.

Finally I got some Pizza!. What a party band, and what a perfect capper to the whole shebang. I can see why this band is often asked to close a show, because they bring the whole place to life with their energetic music and style. That's also why I've never seen them, since they often go on at 1am.

Their myspace page describes them as Tropical/Surf/Crunk and I think that about says it. They obviously worship at the alter of Frank Zappa and they let their imaginations fly in a kind of Zappa Rap. They took our heads and bounced them around the walls of Boardner's like so many superballs. It was a lot of fun. And you were left with that wonderful "Let's Independent!"-afterglow, three great bands, lots of great people, a perfect finale to an amazing run of over two years.

Here's to whatever comes next, Joe!


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