Thursday, March 6, 2014

NO. @ Fingerprints Records

When: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Where: Fingerprints Music, Long Beach
Accompanied by: Solo venture
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative

Set List:  Another Life, What's Your Name, Monday, So Scared, Last Chance, The Long Haul, Leave the Door Wide Open, Stay With Me, North Star, Hold On

NO. is a band that my friend, Colleen told me about a few years back. They were performing at a little hole in the wall art show in Long Beach one night so we made it a date and ventured out into a strangely isolated industrial area of North LBC. That was my one and only time being introduced to their sound.  Fast forward 2 years later and NO. was booked to debut their new full length CD "El Prado" at Fingerprints Music - which being just five minutes down the hill from home made it a must attend event.  And I'm so glad that I did.  

I'm not one to write reviews. That's not my thing. I go to shows to absorb the sound. Embrace the mood. Transition my soul. Last night was no exception.  Even more so since my phone died about 5 minutes into the show, so I spent the entire time soaking up every moment of the music. A ten song set list. Can't say for sure how long it lasted, but I would have been happy with more. There isn't one particular other band that NO. reminds me of. Maybe kinda sorta Black Keys, but with six members versus just two, that's not really accurate. Kings of Leon. Maybe, but not really. They are definitely rock. With a mix of folk. The lead singer, Bradley, has a voice that is hauntingly beautiful.

Found this posted on Youtube from LAToyBoy:

Afterwards, the guys stuck around to meet, greet, and sign CDs, posters, and what not. They could not be any nicer. Extremely gracious and seemed genuinely happy to be in the moment.  After a little bit of chit chat, each of the guys signed my CD, poster, and the set list that I snagged from the stage.  All in all, a damn good night in the LBC.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants

When: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Where: El Cid, Los Angeles 
Accompanied by: Kathryn Knox
Genre: Honky Tonk, Country

Set List: Good Time Charlies, King of Fools, Wham Bam, I'm Gonna Break Every Heart, I'm Tired, Walk Through This World With Me, Live Fast..., Bull By The Horns, Bottle Let Me Down, Grand Tour, Happy Part of Town, Guitar Pickin' Man, Skid Row, Swingin' Door, A Woman Like You, Are You Sure Hank...?, Playboy

I am pretty sure the last time we saw Chris and his Dead Peasants, it was last year in Long Beach for the show at Alex's Bar and the CD Release party at Fingerprints. Both shows were good...but what was missing at that time was the undeniably talented Marty Rifkin

Fortunately, tonight's show, Marty was in the house and there is just something about him that adds to the authenticity of the band. Not that I know a thing about country music, because I don't. But I know what sounds good. At least what sounds good to me.

El Cid is an amazing venue. It was my first time there and it was like being transported back in time. What first started off as a cafe in 1925, later converted into a theater playhouse in 1932, it became a supper club and bar in 1963, as a replica of a 16th Century tavern.

And while we were there for the music, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the menu at El Cid boasts the BEST crispy brussels sprouts in the the world!!  Fried brussels spouts dressed in a lemon vinaigrette and topped with sliced Spanish almonds. Unfreakin' believable. And I don't even like brussels sprouts.

As I've stated in all the past posts after seeing Chris, I'm not a fan of the country music. But we go because we support Chris is his outside Foo Fighters endeavors. And to be honest, this sound has grown on me over time. I'm not rushing out to follow other country acts, but I can appreciate the genre that Chris is keeping alive. All in all, a damn tootin' good night. And given the opportunity to see other acts at El Cid, I'd definitely be down...if just for the brussels sprouts alone.
Chris & the Dead Peasants (c) Flaska 2014
Photo by Debbie Flaska (c) 2014

Chris & the Dead Peasants (c) Knox 2014
Photo by Knoxy (c) 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brody Dalle @ Alex's Bar

When: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Where: Alex's Bar, Long Beach
Accompanied by: Lara, Juls, Tiffany, Lisa & Anthony
Genre: Punk, Rock

Setlist: Rat Race, Don't Mess with Me, Meet the Foetus, Die on a Rope (Distillers), Dismantle Me (Distillers), Dressed in Dreams, Blood in Gutters, Ghetto Love (Spinerette), Sick of It All (Distillers), Sing Sing Death House (Distillers), Bullet & Bullseye, Coral Fang (Distillers), Underworld

Living in Long Beach has its perks.  Alex's Bar is definitely one of them. Just a mere five minutes down the hill from home, we were honored with the presence of Brody Dalle (from The Distillers and Spinerette) for a sold out night.

QOTSA, Sin City & ShenaniLaraJuligans 2014

When: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Where: The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas
Accompanied by: Lara, Juls, Jane, Gabrielle, Will, & Anthony
Genre: Rock n Roll

Set List: all but 3's &7's ----->

I love Vegas. I love Queens of the Stone Age. So, back in December when it was announced that the boys would be performing at The Joint in February 2014, there was never any doubt that I would be there as well. Better yet, the dream I had of me and Lara meeting up with our 6'5" ginger ninja in Sin City was the beginning of what eventually became ShenaniLaraJuligans 2014

Nearly 2 months to the day (2/8/14), Lara arrived on my doorstep and the very next day we picked ourselves up our very own Welsh chickie, Juls from LAX and proceeded to dive right into the BEST EIGHT DAYS EVER!!

Granted, QOTSA in Vegas was the catalyst for this entire escapade...and trust when I say, Queens were fuckin' amazing (although from the rail, the sound wasn't entirely up to par. yet, if that's the price for being at rail, so be it.)...but this was so much more than a Vegas gig. This was love. Pure love and friendship. And it was perfect.

Aside from both Juls & Anthony each scoring a set list...One of the best moments in Vegas happened a few hours after the show ended. Lara, Juls and I were grabbing a bite at Mr. Lucky's when we saw Dean Fertita stroll by. Liquid courage prompted me to politely stop him to let him know how much we enjoyed the show. I explained that Lara had traveled from Australia, Juls from the UK and me from Long Beach. He seemed genuinely pleased as he extended his hand out and said, "hi, I'm Dean..." that just tickled us. Seriously, such a nice guy.

Vegas Memories...
Beyond the drunken shenanigans in Vegas...we enjoyed time at Crystal Cove, Bolsa Chica State Beach for an impromptu Saturday night bonfire, lots of amazing food, kept the economy flowing with way too much shopping, and were able to enjoy an evening close to home to see Brody Dalle perform at Alex's Bar in Long Beach, where Juls had her moment with Josh, and Brody kicked ass.

After 8 days, we sadly dropped Juls off at LAX. The saving grace was another 6 days with Lara which we filled with more shopping, catching Book of Mormon at Pantages, hitting up the Kogi Food Truck, and many many many cocktails and homemade cookies. 

I don't know what I did right in life to deserve such happiness...but I try not to question it too much. All I know is that moments like these make for the very best memories and while I'm truly sad for them to end, I know that more are right along the horizon, just waiting to begin.

Now if I can just get Jane to commit to QOTSA/San Francisco in April.  The wild ride can continue....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Is For...Absolutely Amazing

A is for... serves as an ally and advocate for organizations working to protect reproductive rights; we are a unifying forum utilizing social media to spotlight issues and encourage activism. A is for All of us.

When: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Where: Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles
A is for...
Accompanied by: Kathryn
Genre: Comedy & Music

Line Up: Retta and Laura Kightnlinger (hosts), Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, Jen Kirkman, Tiffany Haddish, Josh Homme & Matt Sweeney

So, one day a few weeks back, I received an email from Largo at the Coronet announcing an upcoming event. Quickly scanning the email, all I saw was "...blah, blah, blah, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age...blah, blah, blah..." I hopped over to their ticket site and quickly purchased a ticket. No questions asked. Never once bothered to look at any of the details. Inevitably, it's a good thing that I'm not conservative and am 100% pro-choice.  This is not to say that you can't be both, but generally the two do not go hand in hand.

It turned out that this was going to be an evening of comedy. A fundraiser for the organization A is for... The specific cause was to help raise money for women's rights in Texas, or as it was publicized "Benefiting Texas Abortion Fund."  I can understand some people taking issue with it, but to be honest, it never once entered my mind that this was going to be anything other than an incredibly amazing night.  And that's exactly what it was.

But it wasn't without having to get past the protesters and being told how sick I am...and yet it was oddly humorous when you see the backdrop for these signs of damnation.

For the life of me I can't remember any one particular funny moment that stood out from the rest. It was all funny. Each comedian brought their own element of funny.  A few favorable moments:

  • Sarah Silverman asking if Kathryn and I were a couple.
  • Zach Galifianakis zeroing in on my coughing fit and claiming that I was infecting the room
  • When a few girls from the audience yelled out to Josh that they loved him, his response was "what". As they said it again, he responded, "oh, I couldn't hear you, I was talking."

While the comedic portion of the night was on fire, we all know the reason I was there and Josh did not disappoint.  As the final act, JHo took the stage with Matt Sweeney, both with acoustic guitars and ready to rock.  

A four song play list that was absolute heaven and perfect for the crooner side of our Ginger Ninja.

  1. Memories are Made of This by Dean Martin
  2. Down in the Mine (or as the guys humored it up with "down in the vagina")
  3. In Dreams by Roy Orbinson
  4. Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway
Largo at the Coronet are strict with the no photos, no video rule. So unless someone out there is hoarding their contraband, the above will reside only in my memories. But oh, what sweet memories they will forever be!!

Afterwards, in the tiny Largo courtyard, we were able to enjoy rubbing elbows with a handful of familiar faces...Michael Sheen, Ellen Page, Keith Carradine, Andy Richter, Martha Plimpton, Kate Beckinsale and others that for the life of me I cannot recall.

And of course, the highlight of my evening was getting a few moments of Josh's time for a photo, and his signature on a Jermaine Rogers print, titled "Red", and the back of a t-shirt that was made just for the occasion (designed by arminsfrozenpeas).

Once the night was over, upon reflection of all the people - celebs and non-celebs- that were in attendance, it is good to know that I will be in good company should one day we all find ourselves in hell.  And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 In Retrospect...

Well, so much for "now that I have a mortgage, I won't be able to go to shows anymore..." 2013 was a damn good year  (winning tickets is one of the keys to making this type of year possible)! To be honest, I'm not sure if 2014 will be able to live up to the hype, but it will certainly be fun trying to see what we can make happen!! 

Favorite moments of 2013: TWO troubadour shows - Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. That's pretty epic. Rail for NIN resulting in a foot across the face and a set list. Seeing Dave Grohl & Taylor Hawkins induct Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Front row for a Q&A with Getty Lee & Alex Lifeson. 3rd row seats for Depeche Mode. Paul McCartney for free on Hollywood Blvd.

*1/23 Muse @ Staples w/ Gabs
*1/26 Muse @ Staples w/ Steph
1/28 Sound City Players @ Paladium w/ Gabs

2/17 The Hives @ HOB Anaheim w/ Gabs

3/1 Morrissey @ Staples w/ Kathryn & David
3/5 Sound City Players @ Kimmel/Hollywood Blvd w/ Gabs
3/10 Milk & Bookies @ Skirball Center w/ Kathryn & Nic
3/27 KLOS Rock Against MS Benefit @ Whiskey A Go Go

*4/6 KROQ April Foolishness @ Gibson w/ Steph
4/16 Q&A with Getty Lee & Alex Lifeson @ Archlight Theaters w/ Jill & Gary
4/18 Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony @ Nokia Theater w/ Susan, Jill, Lisa & PJL
4/20 RSD Jimmy Eat World @ Fingerprints, Long Beach w/ Tiff, Lisa, Jazz & Mark
*4/26 Depeche Mode @ The Troubadour w/ Nic
4/27 Chevy Metal @ Maui Sugar Mill Saloon w/ Kathryn & Jane

MAY (7)
5/3 Rolling Stones @ Staples w/ Rosey
5/4 Stewart Copeland @ LACMA w/ KJ
5/5 Tenacious D @ Bootleg Bar w/ Gabs
5/11 Face to Face @ HOB Anaheim w/ Steph & Susan
5/15 Rolling Stones @ Honda Center w/ Rosey
*5/18 KROQ Weenie Roast @ Verizon Wireless, Irvine w/ Steph
5/23 QOTSA @ The Wiltern w/ Nic

JUNE (3)
6/2 Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants @ Echoplex w/ Kathryn & MJ
6/15 Playboy Jazz Festival @ Hollywood Bowl w/ KJ
6/29 Chevy Metal w/ DG @ Costa Mesa 60th w/ Steph, Tiff, Jill & Paula

JULY (3)
7/2 Chevy Metal (Maui Ola Foundation Benefit) @ Laguna Beach w/ Gabs
7/29 QOTSA @ Kimmel Live w/ Kelly, Tiff, Lisa & Anthony
7/30 Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants CD Release @ Fingerprints, Long Beach w/ Kathryn

8/8 Hall & Oates @ OC Fair/Pacific Amphitheater w/ KJ
8/11 Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants @ Alex's Bar, Long Beach
8/17 QOTSA Birthday Show @ Gibson w/ Kathryn
8/25 Steely Dan @ Nokia Theater w/ KJ
8/30 Trombone Shorty @ Hyatt Regency, NPB w/ KJ

*9/3 NIN @ The Troubadour w/ Anthony (he won, but I consider this a win cuz I was his +1)
*9/23 Paul McCartney @ Hollywood Blvd/Kimmel w/ Mark Ward
*9/28 Depeche Mode (THIRD ROW) @ Staples w/ Gabs

10/26 Bridge Benefit Night #1 w/ Tiff, Lisa, Sarah, Cosmo, & Debbie
10/27 Bridge Benefit Night #2 w/ Tiff, Lisa, Cosmo, & Debbie

*11/7 NIN @ Kimmel Live w/ Cass
*11/8 NIN @ Staples w/ Anthony, Will, Daylin & Judith
11/23 Pearl Jam @ LA Sports Arena w/ Lisa, Dion & Tiff

*12/7 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night #1 @ The Shrine w/ Tiff
12/8 91x Wrex The Halls @ San Diego w/ Sarah, Maria, Steve & Katz
12/20 Camp Freddy Night #2 @ The Roxy w/ Gabs, John, Nic, Debbie & Kathryn
12/31 Sheila E./Sergio Mendes @ Disney Hall w/ KJ

*Won Tix (Thanks KROQ)

Life is good. Thanks to all of my amazing friends for helping share in the addiction. Looking forward to many more adventures and shenanigans (or in the case of Feb 2014, ShenaniLaragans). Bring it on, baby, bring it on!!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NYE with Shelia E & Sergio Mendes

When: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Where: Walt Disney Concert Hall
Accompanied by: KJ
Genre: Brazilian Bosa Nova, Jazz & Funk

Set List: unknown

New Years Eve plans are generally spent low key and at home. But this year, KJ decided that this show was something he wanted to do. And while this isn't necessarily my particular musical choice, I knew that I would enjoy it all the same. 

To be honest, the fact that Sheila E. was opening the show was what had me sold on looking forward to this show. I can only hope that when I'm 56 years old, I look that good. We've seen her perform a handful of times over the years, and she never ceases to amaze me. And she makes it look so easy.

As for Sergio Mendes. I can't tell you much. I recognized one song that was from the 80s and was super cheesy then. And is still super cheesy now. Overall, it was a fun show, and I'm glad that we were able to end the year doing something that we both could enjoy.