Monday, March 30, 2009

LA Music Week/end: Downtown to West Hollywood and Back

Did you ever have that feeling that you're reliving your life in a way you've lived it before? Not exactly deja vu, but that *how* you were living your life matched something you've already done? Well - if not - I swear that I am! Check out this post-weekend entry from 2007 and then read onward to this one about my recent adventures...

Tuesday: My friend Nick (from Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter) and I had a jam session scheduled. He's out in the Hollywood area so we decided to get our dinner from one of Hollywood's iconic restaurants: Palms Thai. It's definitely a place I'd recommend for good food and a great environment - I mean, who can't love an Elvis impersonator?

Thursday: My friend Jeff (who's a singer in the Long Beach Camerata) and I spent Thursday just chilling around Koreatown a bit. We tried out some soy garlic chicken (yum!) and rice cake (spicy!) from Bon Chon Chicken and learned something new that I will relay to you (so you don't look as dumbfounded - maybe just dumb - as we did/felt). The waiter brought out these white capsules that look kind of like butter mints and a little bowl of water. We went through the logic mutually - is the water to dip something in? Is it water? Are the capsules mints?

Luckily, we're not too embarrassed to ask questions. So we called the waiter back, who - amused - dropped a capsule into the bowl of water. Voila - it became a durable little gauzy towel for your hands post all that fried chicken.

Saturday: Enjoyed the summer-like weather and roamed out to the Coffee Bean at Wilshire/Vermont Metro Station to enjoy some sunshine with my work time. Then I followed up the day with a lovely evening at LA Live. As a GRAMMY Museum member, I received an invitation for a pair of free VIP tickets for Madeleine Peyroux w/ William Fitzsimmons at Club Nokia. As a result, my friend Melissa and I had a lovely evening with dinner at the Farm, a great show, and New Zealand ice cream for a nightcap (I even had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon!).

William Fitzsimmons is not only a great guitarist and singer, but he has a very funny sarcasm that balances out some of the more somber songs of his repetoire (I also got a photo with him and his autograph!). Madeleine Peyroux and her band were absolutely fantastic. Their "street" sequence, reminiscent of Madeleine's days singing in Paris, reminded me of my brief stint in New Orleans and the French Quarter a few years back. Only minor complaint of the day was the row of chatty girls that appeared right in front of us. They were there early for the next concert - which happened to be PRINCE. I was jealous that they were obviously there for that, but not very happy they had to put a damper on the show I was attending!

Sunday: I had a very eclectic music Sunday. I began it with the beautiful sounds of the choir (directed by Jonathan Talberg) and world's largest church organ (with S. Wayne Foster at its helm) at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Then after lunch, I roamed around with my ipod listening to Utada Hikaru's second English album "This is the One" with its pop/hip-hop beats.

Then my evening was spent listening to Rasputina at the Troubadour. I'm a big fan of artists who just enliven the crowd with great jokes and references. Lead singer Melora Creager was able to play off of Rasputina's unique repertoire of music and historical sources of their songs. While I greatly enjoyed the original pieces of their recital, I did have a special place in my heart for their cover of "Bad Moon Rising".

Monday: So my LA adventures are not done (are they ever done?). I'm headed out tonight for the Inside the Fender Custom Shop event at the GRAMMY Museum, which I'm really excited about (No guitar loyalties really, but in addition to my ukuleles, I do own a Fender Squier).

So I end this entry, like I ended my similar post two years ago: whew!

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

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