05/12/2011

Visit The Eastside Luv on Thursday May 12th for a performance by Fernanda Ulibarri.  The Mexico City native has spent the last 13 years in Los Angeles as a student of music.  Her studies have paid off, with touring slots on a Julieta Venegas tour, and a slew of gigs throughout the Eastside, including a performance May 2nd at Cal State L.A.’s Student Union Building.

This Thursday’s show is the premiere of a new video for her song “Se Satura Mi Cabeza”.  The song is a poppy, piano led song that really shows off Ulibarri’s songwriting style.  Most of it is set to a dance beat, very radio friendly.  The hook is almost bigger than the song, and takes the listener somewhere they didn’t expect to go. Be sure to catch show up early as the ESL site says she really packed the house on her last night there. 21 and over only, doors are at 8p.m., and the show is absolutely free.

May 12th through May 14th the guys from Old Time is A Good Time will be hosting their 6th ever Los Angeles Old Time Social.  If you’ve ever been to an Old Time Is A Good Time event, then you know it’s like being transported back to simpler times, when the only way to listen to music, was live.  I spoke with Ben Guzman, one of the organizers for the event, and got some details on the days’ events.  There will be Square dancing, homebrew, workshops on how to actually play the different instruments and styles, and of course, MUSIC. Lots and lots of music.

Old Sledge will be one of the featured bands, hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this group performs old time music the way it was intended.  I had a hard time placing the time period for old time music, as it certainly wasn’t that old timey.  It wasn’t classical, or native music, so I needed help delineating that time line.

Guzman gave me a very interesting way to define it.  “Most folks think Old Time is bluegrass.  The truth is, old time is the ROOTS of bluegrass. . . The easiest way to say it, is it’s from before the radio, and thus before the radio stars were born. Some of the tunes and songs played in old time can be traced back over 200 years to England and Scotland!”

The event kickoff party is on Thursday, May 12th, at HM 157, in Lincoln Heights at North Broadway and Eastlake.  This show will feature Walter Spencer, The Driftwood Singers, and others.  The show continues Friday the 13th in central L.A. with a concert at the Panorama Theatre, and returns to our northeastern corner of Los Angeles for a finale at Nomad Studios in Frogtown. There’s so much to see and do, so much historic music, this will be a learning experience for even the most seasoned music lover. For example, Guzman told me about one of the performers, Tom Sauber, who has been performing his set of songs for over 50 years.  He said, “Tom knows songs that nobody sings anymore – and he can pick a guitar better than most. It’ll be a treat to see him on stage, front and center, guitar in hand!” The event ranges from $5 to $15 depending which show you attend.  See flyer for full details here.

Also this weekend, The York will feature the Sarah Kramer Project on Sunday, May 15th, a jazz ensemble fronted by a female trumpeter, you guessed it, Sarah Kramer.  She has been featured on the title track of Leonard Cohen’s “Dear Heather”, invited to perform with such renown musicians as Bo Diddley, and now featured in our own neck of the woods.   The York had been without live music for some time due to a construction project, but now that it is complete, they are ready to get the tunes rolling out and the live  music on calendar for this hometown pub.

This little local favorite spot has quickly absorbed the Highland Park crowd that doesn’t venture out towards Figueroa.  They have been hosting musical performances for some time now, and with the neighborhood lacking in venues for local talent to perform, it will be interesting to see what The York can put together for the Highland Park locals. I didn’t get a lot of information on the two bands performing, and ran into the familiar problem of not being able to get any more info from the bar’s website.

Thing about the York is, this is a spot for locals. It’s not exactly the kind of spot you would drive across town for, unless it was a really special show.  Still, it is the kind of spot that a local can grow to love, as many in Highland Park already have.  Many in the neighborhood swear by this bar.  The argument would be between Johnny’s bar, down the Street, and The York.  If the York adds a solid music calendar without interrupting the gastropub, they may have a winning formula on their hands.

The Death Set will be performing at the Bootleg Theater on Tuesday May 17th, just one stop on their 22 date tour of the US with opener Win Win, who it appears will join them on all dates. The Death Set is a mix of electronic music and punk rock that takes noise and melody and uses them as instruments.

It’s difficult for a lot of people to see noise in music as a good thing. The Death Set bridges the gap nicely with their layers of heavy guitar and electronic effects on just about everything, synth sounds and microphones customized for the singer’s sound. The feel of the music is not as far from the catchy pop of the charts, but the DIY noisy approach this group takes to their music, is what makes it art, pure and simple. This show is $10, 21 and over.

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