The Silverlake Lounge is a low sitting dive bar type venue; dimly lit, tall tables and peppered by an eclectic bunch of Californians. The centerpiece of the bar is a theatrically reminiscent stage with a bright red curtain. You just sit waiting for the frog from the WB to come out kicking his legs like the Rockettes and singing “HELLO MAH DAHLING, HELLO MAH HONEY HELLO MAH RAGTIME GAL!” So the crowd was attentive, the bartender friendly and the songwriters were top notch.
First on deck was Justina Johnson of LATO. She's one of my good friends from back home, a fellow transplant from the East Coast, she came to LA just like me, to pursue music. She’s tall, charming, pretty, sports a mean punk pompadour and her voice sounds somewhere between Pink and Etta James. Her songs were personable and engrossing and the stories she tells prior make them hit you all the more hard right in the heart. She has a very magnetic energy and despite her no B.S. attitude, she's one of the easiest people to get along with and to like on the the stage. She got a soaring applause for her earnest and open performance.
Listen to LATO’s “Guilty” LIVE
Next up was Cassie Holt. Her hair was like Tim Burton pin-up model and she had a powerful yet extremely unassuming stage presence. Her voice was the powerful soul-rock siren type like Grace Potter and Joss Stone. Her voice is transportive, it will bring you back to previous decades, you’ll wish you were born in the 70’s and want to stand up and throw a chair…but not in an angry Limp Bizkit kind of way….more of a Pentacostal Church excitement kind of way. But she put us in a time machine and gave us a healthy dose of deeply-stirring soul that you seem to only find in listening to songs a few decades ago. The crowd loved it.
Listen to Cassie Holt and the Lost Soul’s “Jaded Past”
The third singer to the stage was Thrift's frontwoman “Anna Carmela”. Another spectacular singer…she had a range that immediately shut every chatty bar table up and all eyes went front. She slayed a cover of Bill Withers “Use Me” one of my personal favorites and a song I cover at my shows too. Bill would have been very pleased. Entrancing to the highest degree, she proved that night that she's completely capable of being a one woman show, her powerful vocals, her sense of emotion bending songwriting chops and her devilishly hypnotizing coal black look. Another homerun....the pressure was really mounting on me since all of these women absolutely can sing and write...I felt like Ben Folds at an opera audition.
Listen to Thrift's acoustic original of “Dirty Lover”
Ok...plot twist...so I actually played before Thrift Noise but for the sake of not turning this blog into a Charles Dickens novel, I’m shortening the story….I actually went up twice, because we had some extra time and Anna was kind enough to let me get back on stage after her to play a couple more. so I'm going to omit my first performance because it went very smoothly and was well recieved and tell you about the second, because it was a few moments away from become a booty shorts riot. You'll understand what that means in a minute.
So I go up….I play some originals, throw in a looping cover song….the crowd is loving it. I see smiles and eyes….that’s always a good sign from the stage. About 20 minutes goes and all of the sudden I get a weird feeling….something is happening. I notice in the corner of my eyes a growing number of hispanic men in booty shorts with their arms folded. A man who looks like he owned a small island was sitting on the side of the room looking very displeased (by this mean I was dressed exceptionally well in a suit that looks like it was made of silk and silver thread). Our bartender had disappeared and was replaced with another who did not have the same friendly demeanor. This is like one of those scary psych thrillers where the person does a double take in the mirror and the second time they see the shadowy figure behind them..what the heck is going on!?
I was prefacing a new song I had written called “Samurai Dave” which is about a samurai who goes on a blind date and then I thought the bartender had turned off my sound so I nervously said “well, this is quite awkward, I guess that’s if for me” and I Riverdanced off stage. Oh boy….please tell me I didn’t make a Mexican joke and not realize it.
A few moments later when I could see the room clearly without the blinding stage lights, I quickly realized I had run overtime into the next show’s prep time….by a good 20 minutes…which was why so many of them looked less than thrilled. ..and it just so happened to be a male strip dancing performance. Oh….boy. So I'd like to apologize on behalf of me being a musician and the only time I can keep track of time is during a song. Thank you Silverlake Lounge for hosting live music and next time I'll be sure to get off the stage before the extended canes come out to pull me!
The moral of this story is: know what time your show ends. The end.
Listen to my song “The Chesapeake”. Give it a like on youtube if you would have saved me in this situation.