Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Trip To The Past At Boardner's

There was an incredible show a couple of weeks ago that I didn't want to get by without comment. Although it's been almost five years since I was last at Boardner's in Hollywood, on Tuesday, August 20th when I walked back in it was like time travel. Simply walking into the garden area where concerts are held was overwhelmingly nostalgic. The same tiled pool of water sat in the center of the space, a pile of burning candles still lit the center of the pool and the stage still had that look of a makeshift renaissance stage. Memories came flooding back. George Glass (in photo) was on stage raging through a familiar number and the sound was fantastic. Turns out this was just the sound check, which was cool since there was almost no one there yet.

(George Glass at left) In 2006, I was a mere baby in the local music scene when I began going out to see shows, first for the bands whose music videos I had seen, national and international acts like Super Furry Animals, Matt Pond PA, Low, The Bats, The Dresden Dolls, Fruit Bats, Elbow. I began to feel the presence of the local music scene through a video I had recorded for the song "Heaven Adores You" by Earlimart. They became an early favorite and I began seeing them every time they played. Earlimart led me directly to a couple of shows in March that year at King King on Hollywood Boulevard where I saw Great Northern and Irving for the first time, and the fuse was lit. I tried to speak to each band everytime I saw them and we eventually became friendly.

Thus, I followed Great Northern to a show in Hollywood which was the inaugural show for a new series hosted by Radio Free Silver Lake to take place on a Tuesday night each month at the old Hollywood club: Boardner's. On the evening of September 26, 2006 Joe Fielder presented The Movies, Great Northern and The Western States Motel for the first "Let's Independent!" event.

The evening was very special, the music was great, the audience was friendly, and the ambiance couldn't have been more welcoming. There was even a Truffaut movie playing silently high up on one of the walls. I was completely enamoured with The Western States Motel and chatted with them after their beautiful, energetic set. Sat with Rachel Stolte and Solon Bixer before their soaring set. I was equal parts thunderstruck and confounded by the manic energy of The Movies, which I learned was not an unusual reaction.

(Wet & Reckless at left) Over the next two years I attended many a show from this series and it was here that I cultivated many of the friendships that endure to this day. Jordan Huddock and Vivien Cao helped me fish my wayward wallet out of the fountain one night. (In fact it was because Vivien wrote about me on her blog, that I decided to start this blog in the first place) Hunter Curra and the crew from The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra became fast friends. Rob Danson and I kept bumping into each other repeatedly at shows so we needed to become friends. Same with Matthew Teardrop. It was here I met the other new bloggers in town, Ben McShane of Classical Geek Theatre and Travis Woods of Web In Front, Joe Fielder, Ashley Jex, and then Los Angeles Times music writer, Kevin Bronson.

(Midnight Cities at right) The community surrounded me and swallowed me up. And I was more than willing to go. It opened up whole new worlds and set me up with a big new assortment of ambitions. Pretty heady for a person who was at the age when I believed human beings were supposed to begin slowing down. Time, instead of flowing downhill, had suddenly reversed course and was defying gravity and flowing uphill. My brain was suddenly firing on all cylinders again. That has remained true ever since.

Back to 2013, the evening was hosted by Kitty Kitty Bang Bang and featured Midnight Cities, Wet & Reckless, George Glass and Pretty Flowers (at left). All but one of the bands featured members of bands that had played "Let's Independent!" shows, so the sense of reunion was potent. All the bands played terrific sets, and the audience filled up with familiar patrons from past shows like Jim Saunders, Andy Siara, and Matthew Teardrop, and Ian Baumeister, just back in town.

I did get to meet the Boston blogger who has a keen eye for our local music scene, Julie Stoller, in town for a week or so, and was glad to see Mr. 704 Blog there as he was yet to join us back when this was "Let's Independent!" headquarters and he appreciated the quality of the environment. The whole evening was a pretty magical affair and a reminder that there's more to the scene than just the East Side. The pictures tell the story.


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