Photos+Videos: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis | El Rey Theatre | 4/3/15

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

There is a strong love of the rockabilly/ska genre in southern California, so it seems that Kitty, Daisy & Lewis had the proper foresight to close the U.S. leg of their tour at the El Rey on April 3, 2015.

Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil | Redwood Bar | 10/21/14 [Photos, Videos & Tacos]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Uncategorized

There’s aren’t many bands that’d I’d see four times in one year. Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil is the only one that I’ll have on my list this year.

Not only are they really cool dudes, but their music also rocks. This year, I saw them twice at Ink-N-Iron and personally arranged for them to play a gig at the Garage. When they told me they had a weekday gig in downtown L.A., I didn’t hesitate to put it in my calendar.

I get pumped to see these guys live, because they have an absurd amount of stage presence. From Jack growling into the microphone, wildly dancing while jamming killer riffs, to Pete’s eye’s menacing, almost possessed, look while he smashes the drums, these guys, at least to me, embody rock and roll. As a wanna-be photographer, getting chances to shoot bands like this is a thrill. If I can capture a moment of the pure, unrelenting joy that these guys perform with … that’s something that would make my day.

I got to the venue a little early, and the fellas were our front hanging in their tour van. Jack was greeting friends and Pete was munching on a slice of pie from California Pizza Kitchen. I told Pete that I liked some of their pizzas, and he told me that he never realized that California Pizza Kitchen was an actual restaurant. He always assumed that it was just a frozen pizza. I got a chuckle out of that.

Set times were running a little late, and friends, fans and the band were getting antsy. Jack, while puffing on a cigarette, was already making plans for after the set.

“Tacos, man,” Jack said while flicking out his smoke, “I need tacos.” Taking recommendations from friends, he already had location in mind. In a Pavlovian kind-a-way, I started craving tacos too.

Got to meet some of Jack and Pete’s friends, including a photographer named Jason who was touring with the band as a friends and roadie. This was one of the dope pics he took at the gig.

The light was dim and I had put pump the ISO on my camera (even though I know that the pics always come out noisy at a high ISO with my old-ass camera), but I still think I got a couple decent shots.

Again, they rocked (check out the video clips below).

After they had packed, the band, and some of the fans, made a short trip to the late-night taco stand. While waiting to order L.A. deliciousness, we noted a multi-storied, retro-fitted building across the street that was for lease. We started talking about what we would do if we could afford to buy the classic looking building. As we sipped on horchata, and devoured out grub, we fantasized about which floor would be rooms and which floor would be the studio … but I think we were all in agreement about having the ground floor be a performance venue/club.

Dreams and tacos. A perfect end to a terrific night of rock-and roll.

Do yourself and follow them on Facebook. You’ll want to catch their live show if they end up in your neck of the woods.

VIDEOS

Chris Robinson Brotherhood | Way Over Yonder | Santa Monica Pier | 9/27/14 [Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

THE ACT: Chris Robinson Brotherhood | Facebook | Twitter Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: Chris Robinson, the Black Crowes frontman, has been recording and releasing music “solo” since 1993 and has at least 10 albums since 1993. Founded in 2011, Chris started the Chris Robinson. Though I don’t have all of the band’s albums, I do have “The Magic Door” (released in 2012) and that album is a solid album that jams with the best of them. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood didn’t let me down. It was a great, mellow vibe that I can only imagine audience would have experienced at a Grateful Dead show back in the day.

SETLIST (Unverified):setlist-image-v1

PHOTOS:

 

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

The Lone Bellow | Way Over Yonder | Santa Monica Pier | 9/27/14 [Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

THE ACT: The Lone Bellow | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: These guys were great to watch live. This Brooklyn-based group of transplanted Southerners have a brand of Americana (a rocking and rolling, country sound) that is a perfect soundtrack for a beautiful summer afternoon by the sea. Having released an album in 2013, the group is planning to release their sophomore album in early 2015, and it was produced by Aaron Dessner, a member of The National who writes the majority of their music (Listen to the track by CLICKING HERE). Look, if The Lone Bellow are good enough for Mr. Dessner, it’s good enough for me.

PHOTOS:

 

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At Way Over Yonder, CLICK HERE!

Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil | Ink-N-Iron | 6/7/14 [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER ACTS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT INK-N-IRON

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Fresh off their late-night gig in the Queen Mary’s bar the night before, Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil took to one of the main stages at the festival to bring their raucous sound to the masses. I could recognize faces from the night before, and they filled the previously empty hall with the others who joined in to catch them play.

Their performance from the night before must have been a warm up, cause they took it up a notch for their late afternoon set, and tore the stage up. Their music was loud and rocking; their energy relentless and unstoppable. As they played their set, more and more people kept trickling into the room. Clearly, it was the music that was drawing them in.

Now, I love taking pictures, but I’m far from a “professional”. I still tinker with settings during sets, and I end up taking tons of pictures – thank god there’s digital, or I’d be spending a years salary on film. I’ll kick myself in the ass every once in a while when I miss a shot. The featured shot of this blog post was a shot that I almost didn’t get. Granted, I had to mess with the photo’s setting to enhance certain aspects, but of all of the “imperfect” shots I’ve ever taken, this is one my favorites.

At that moment, the crowd was going nuts. It was the last song, and the crowd was whooping and hollering all throughout, watching the Handsome Devil standing over, and smashing, his drum kit. The finale reached its climax when he mounted his drum kit- all while playing – and on the last beat, jumped into the sky. I could feel the room hold its breath. Everyone’s eyes were fixated on the tatted up drummer leap through the air, and there was a collective exhale when he landed, followed by instant cheers from fans old and new.

To me, that moment was surreal. This two man band commanded a stage that 10 piece bands had occupied the other day, and they filled the room with an insane energy that people couldn’t keep talking about after it was all said and done.

I overhead people in the audience proclaim,”That was the best thing I’ve seen in a while,” and “That’s got one of the best sets of the weekend”. I wasn’t going to disagree.

Follow them on Facebook. They’re my favorite band that you’ve never heard of. I want to see if I can change that.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER ACTS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT INK-N-IRON

 

Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil | Ink-N-Iron | 6/6/14 [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

Concerts

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER ACTS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT INK-N-IRON

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The first time I saw Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil perform live, it was Ink-N-Iron in 2013. I saw them perform one other time since Ink-N-Iron 2013, so when I heard that they were playing TWO sets this year, I knew that I had to catch both of their sets.

The first set they played was a late night, after hours gig in one of the bars of the Queen Mary.  In fact, it was so late night, that it was literally the last act to perform that day. Drunk festival goers who were lucky enough to book a room on the ship had all congregated to the bar to top off their buzz. They were in for a treat.

Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil ripped into their set and bar patrons took notice. Heads at the bar turned as soon as the loud blues/roots rock blasted through the speakers. The music must have attracted others from the down the halls of the legendary ship as more and more people kept filing into the room to join the party.

I spent most of their performance enjoying the show, so I didn’t take that much video or snap too many shots. I figured I’d make up for it, as they were going to be the first band that I checked out the next day.

Do yourself and follow them on Facebook. You’ll want to catch their live show if they end up in your neck of the woods.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER ACTS I WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT INK-N-IRON

 

Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil | The Garage On Motor | 2/25/14

Concerts

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The first time I saw Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devil perform, it was at the Ink-N-Iron Festival in 2013, and I only caught the last few songs of their set. A two man band that plays hard hitting blues/roots rock; heavier hitting than the Black Keys, and more aggressive than Jack White. They are a band based out of Portland, so ever since I saw them for those 15 minutes live, I’ve been keeping tabs on their tour schedule to see when they would be playing in Los Angeles again.

I noticed on their Facebook fan page that they were playing gigs down the Pacific coast, but to my dismay, there was no scheduled gig for Los Angeles. Having had their album “Hopeless Love, Shallow Hearts” on repeat since I saw them that first time, I messaged them to as why they weren’t playing in L.A. They got back to me quick, letting me know that a show they had scheduled had been cancelled at the last minute, and that they were bummed they weren’t playing in Los Angeles. In passing, they also added that if I could find a place for them to play on the following Tuesday (which was in less than five days), that they would make the stop in Los Angeles to play. Maybe they were just throwing it out there for the hell of it, but bands should never underestimate the lengths their fans will go to make sh*t happen.

I logged off Facebook, and picked up my cell phone. The rolodex in my brain started going through the people I knew, and I started punching digits. After a few calls, I had a spot lined up. It was a make-shift venue … in fact it it would be the first time a band would ever be playing there … but a gig is a gig, and the wheels to make it happen went in motion.

When the band got to Los Angeles, they met up with my buddy Rob (hopefully, I’ll get a chance to tell some of his stories on this blog, because his life is total rock and roll) who offered to help out and work sound for the band. Even though the event was set up last minute, a decent sized crowd showed up to watch this hard-rocking duo from Portland do their thing. It was loud. It was raw. It was awesome.

That night, I not only got to appreciate some kick-ass music, but I also felt a sense of accomplishment. It was the first time I ever really “hooked up” a band with a gig, and – if we’re speaking frankly here- it felt good. It reinforced to me the notion that what indie band’s need most are fans that are willing to get the music out there. It’s gotta be something more than just posting a song on Facebook or sending out a Tweet (unless you have an obscene amount of friends and followers on Facebook or Twitter). If you’re a fan of an indie band’s music, and you are always wondering why they haven’t caught on with others, maybe you can help them out by being more proactive.

Setting up the gig was only part of the work. I also called and texted a bunch of people, and a handful of them made it out; letting me know afterwards that they were really impressed, bought merch, and even told me that they would let their friends know about the band. A fan here, a fan there … at the end of the day, even though it was a small gig, a fan is a fan. For me, that was perhaps the most gratifying part of the evening for me.

Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil are back in Los Angeles area for this years Ink-N-Iron Festival at the Queen Mary performing on the 6th and the 7th. The photos below aren’t very good, and I hope to have better pics (using a new camera) when I see them later this year.  I’ve included their latest video in this post because it was loud at the gig and the sound in my video is a bit muffled. If you watch my concert snippets, a word of warning …. It’s LOUD. Lower your volume accordingly.

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not available on mobile devises. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK, to get redirected to the set of photos. If the slide show below isn’t working, the Flickr has disabled their embed option for WordPress, which totally BLOWS! If you can see the slide show below, hooray!