Thursday, April 18, 2013

NO at The Library at The Redbury - April 17, 2013

An unexpected surprise greeted me as I attended the first Wednesday at The Library at The Redbury that I have ever been to, on Wednesday night, April 17. I walked up to this new structure on Vine Street, next to the Avalon (where I attended my first concert in 25 years: Super Furry Animals in November, 2005) at an address that used to be an empty lot. I heard music pounding down onto the pavement as I walked up to the front door of The Redbury, that told me I was in the right place. I supposed that I would spent the evening alone, as sometimes the Hollywood audience can be thin on Eastsiders, but immediately I ran into Paulie and Cristal Pesh, an unexpected and pleasant surprise, along with discovering a nice new venue.

I have wanted to attend one of the shows here since it was a venue I'd never seen, and it is so close to my home, that I decided that NO was a good enough reason to introduce myself. (NO above) I'd seen a report that Aztec Roosevelt was actually Incan Abraham, but I foolishly didn't make a point of getting there on time. But when door opens at 6:30, there's little I can do since I work till 6 most days. I got there just as Incan Abraham (aka: Aztec Roosevelt) were finishing their set and I'm sorry to have missed it. This is a band that I'm very excited about as the last time I saw them at The Satellite they blew me away. Fortunately, I got to hook up with Spencer Mandel later in the evening for a brief chat and a request for them to play one of my Lot 1 shows.

Wardell played next (good singers, tight band), and after a couple of songs I decided to explore some of the nooks and crannies of The Redbury and see if I really was in a library. The bands play on the outdoor rooftop that sits between the twin towers that house the hotel portion of the building. Even though the structure is new, it has a vintage feel. The indoor bar is in the "library" portion of the layout. That's "library" in the Hollywood sense of the word. Fake books, artfully arranged on shelves with candles (electronic?), and even a full body skeleton standing between some shelves. It kind of had a "Davy Jones Locker" feel. Pool tables and clusters of seating areas dot the room.

Bradley Hanan Carter (NO's lead singer, at right) came up to me to chat and I was so surprised and pleased that he knew who I was I got a little tongue tied, but I held it together. I have long wanted some of their recorded work, so I asked to buy a CD. Then it was their turn to perform and as I have missed many of their recent shows, this was like discovering them all over again. I had a grin pasted on my face from beginning to end.

Bradley, with his gruff baritone and natural stage swagger, can't help but bear comparison to The National, and the music has a similar dark tone, but what sets them apart is their songwriting that stands on par with that famous band. There's a hint more pop in NO's songs, but a similar urgency and restlessness keeps the music just edgy enough. And the rest of the band more than hold up their end. Their playing is polished and passionate, never mechanical, and they sing harmonies that make the songs soar.

Among the numbers I recognized from the set when I got home and played their Don't Worry You'll Be Here Forever EP: "Another Life", "Big Waves" and "Stay With Me". Popularity and fame already appear to be stalking this band and their engaging and charismatic stage presense will serve them well. Get these guys out on tour, NOW! This was a nice evening in a great new venue and the mix of the Hollywood crowd with East side music lovers struck just the right balance. It was all over by 9:45, making for an early night and helping me to be sure to get over to Taix Lounge tonight (Apr. 18th) for Many Embers at 10:30. MUST SEE MORE SHOWS! MUST WRITE MORE!



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