Saturday, August 30, 2008

Radiohead @ Hollywood Bowl

W called them 'noise' and I'd have to agree. They were loud and screaming and their stuff sounded like some sort of mix of goth, metal, punk rock. Their drums were catchy and I liked that another guy was also playing drums, but other than that, I just didn't get their music. I got so bored after awhile. W said it resembled early The Rapture stuff, but maybe I blocked out their early music because I barely recall it resembling anything like that besides the screamy singing style.

So, I'm not as obsessed with Radiohead as W and S are. Luckily, K wasn't either. She was listening to In Rainbows up until the show started. :P I was mostly there to be a part of history and say I saw Radiohead live. Don't get me wrong, I still like their music, I just don't know all the words like they do. I prefer the early albums like Pablo Honey and I love The Bends, so I was really excited when they played quite a few songs from The Bends. And OK Computer kicks ass too, so it was great hearing those songs. Hearing Talk Show Host and Karma Police were definitely highlights of the night. They put on a fantastic show. I'm so glad we sat as close as we did because onscreen they just played these abstract images of themselves on stage and you couldn't always see them. Since we were sitting so close, we got a chance to see Thom Yorke get really into the music and I loved his exciting dancing. And ok, hearing In Rainbows live was pretty damn good. The stage looked great. It had these gigantic wind chime-like things that set the mood really well for each song and displayed the lighting perfectly and made rain look quite realistic.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cicada Club

So, I was reading The Best of Los Angeles Downtown and what immediately caught my eye was Cicada Club under the category of something like "Best Flashback." I went to the website right away and I just knew I had to go there. The building looked amazing and they do a swing theme almost every Sunday and LIVE swing music. I LOVE swing music! and I love watching people dance. I knew I'd be in heaven there. Here's the description off the website:

With the grandeur of a classic Hollywood musical from the thirties, famed showman and impresario Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club is a most unique experience that transports you back in time to the glamorous days of Hollywood's golden age of nightclubs.

Featuring the finest vintage dance orchestras and entertainment, Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club is unlike any night on the town you have ever experienced.

Situated in the famed Art Deco Oviatt building, downtown Los Angeles' historic Lalique palace, the Cicada Club is a place fitting for experiencing an elegant romantic evening.

Originally built as a top-of-the-line haberdashery in 1928, The Cicada Club retains much of the original design that the French designers and artisans of the time created. This spacious nightclub features fine dining on the main floor as well as the mezzanine that overlooks the entire club, an Art Deco mezzanine bar and lounge plus patio seating in the forecourt lobby.

No setting in the entire city is more spectacular. The opulent dining and showroom, with giant old-growth oak columns that feature pairs of angels holding bells and gold-leaf ceilings, compliment the fine vintage entertainment and patrons dressed in their elegant evening attire.

Jennifer Keith was going to perform. I had heard some of her music on the site and I really liked her voice, which is rare for me because I tend to dislike female vocalists. Something about that high pitched screaming really annoys me. I don't know how people tolerate it.

Anyways, I mentioned the place to my sis and managed to gather 6 people total to get dressed up and head over there last Sunday. I was so excited. I've never had a chance to dress up for anything since I never went to prom. Plus, this is my favorite time period.

So, we pulled up to the building and saw the lobby, which looked gorgeous. People were taking pictures before they even went into the building. We looked around as we were being led to our table. The interior was beyond my imagination. It did look a lot bigger in their online gallery, but it was still just as beautiful AND there was an old fashioned mic on the stage.

A few couples were on the dance floor before the singer came out. I loved watching them dance and it's always nice to see dancing that doesn't involve some sort of pseudo sexual act. *shivers* And we were some of the youngest people there besides kids. :\ I loved seeing some of the outfits, but this couple wearing a polo shirt and sundress almost broke the whole illusion for me. I don't even know how they got in. Pfft. They stood out SO much. What they were thinking. Pretty much everyone there knew how to dance except for us and the little kids, but it was still fun.

Jennifer Keith was sooooooo glamorous when she came out to sing. Her voice was amazing live. All the music was fantastic. AND I got to dance to one of my favorite songs, "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen", LIVE. I never thought that would ever happen. We stayed for both her performances. We decided to have dinner there, but you can just go there to dance and listen to the music. There's a full bar on the mezzanine and no cover. It was a really fun and memorable night. I never thought I could find a place so anachronistic in LA. It was like being in the Bradbury building. I love thinking about what it was like to be alive during the the these buildings were at the peaks of their usage. And now I can say I've gone out for dinner and dancing.

Bombaster and Big Lovin' Panda @ Universal Bar & Grill

I was a bit concerned when we got there early and saw guys wearing cowboy hats outside and chatting with southern drawls. The bar wasn't at Universal Citywalk like Wing kept claiming. Instead it was across the street from the studio, right next to the LA River. It was a bit more rundown than I thought it would be and the inside resembled a dive bar.

It was the first show where they had a bassist. I wasn't sure if it was the sound or not, but it just sounded really muffled on some of the songs and on others, the bass filled out the songs very nicely, especially on their last song "Love is for Lovers." Oddly enough, this is the loudest and clearest I have ever been able to hear the vocals. I could actually hear all the words in the songs!

My sis and contributed some clapping to "Tick Tock" when we could (Wing had trouble teaching it to us even though she's played the song so many times!). It has a cool beat to it. It's one of my fav songs. And my sis' friend has a mancrush on Ryan and thinks he's an amazing singer and guitarist. :P I'd say they put on a pretty good show that night.

Big Lovin' Panda
I had only heard them play a bit once at a party and the singer was sick that day. Even then, his voice wasn't too bad, just raspy. This time his voice was very clear and good. He does put on a good show. Although, he got really into their last song (which I have no idea why they chose that as a long song because it wasn't as good as the previous) even though it didn't seem fast enough for him to get THAT into. It's really obvious that they are all very talented, which really makes me wonder why they're playing stuff that sounds like old Incubus. Even the singing style was similar. All they needed was a DJ and they were pretty much retro Incubus. With their expertise their music could be so much more intricate and unique, but instead they sound a bit recycled. It was catchy; it's just that it felt like I had already heard all of it before.