(photo by Anthony Crawford)
I was listening to a solid state jukebox and talking to another musician in a kitchen in Laurel Canyon late last night when he asked me if I'd heard about Ben Keith. I kind of stammered for words... smiled nervously... and immediately felt a chill over my entire body. I first met Ben over a decade ago, when Neil introduced him to me as "Long Grain." I always figured it was a play on Uncle Ben's long grain rice, but Ben was such a lanky fellow with long legs and long arms... the name just fit. He was tall and gentle, with long spidery fingers. Fingers meant to hold a slide and pluck steel strings. And, fingers that lent melody to Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" as well as countless classic records. Ben was found dead yesterday, and even though he was 73 years old, I am finding it hard to wrap my head around it.
When I heard the news last night that "Silverlake Walker," Mark Abrams passed away at age 58, I was overwhelmed with sadness and disbelief. He was a constant in an ever changing neighborhood and for me, somehow, seeing him walking everyday, shirtless and tanned in his green shorts helped me and made me feel a sense of comfort. I remember seeing him for the first time in the summer of 1998 when the band I was in at the time came out to L.A. from Louisville, KY. We rented a recording studio in Silverlake and spent a couple of months in the neighborhood. I saw Mark walking everyday and like everyone else in the neighborhood, I became slightly obsessed with him and wanted to know his story. It wasn't until 2002 that information about bits and pieces of his strange yet ordered life became public. He gave an interview to a neighborhood paper and I remember reading that the reporter had to join him on his 15 mile daily route in order to get the interview. The man was dedicated. I found out that he was a Doctor who spoke several languages, read 5 or more papers a day, always ate dinner at midnight and logged some 200 miles per week at an average of 5 mph on foot.
Here's a link to some great shots taken by photographer Matt Eisman in NY. This was the 2nd or 3rd show of the tour. The crowd was so warm and inviting. Thanks folks. Can't wait to come back in October.
Here are a few shots from that night.
Here's a link to the Day Trotter site. They just posted the live performance we did for them during SXSW. Check it out. Thanks to everyone there for all the help and hospitality.
On our way to the great state of New Jersey to start our second leg of our Summer tour with Minus the Bear. We're also finding strange things in the vast open nothingness that compel us to capture it and show it to you. This is what we think is a bar. There was an out of place "Bud Light" vinyl sign hanging from the fence. This was the impetus to us turning around. We thought "We've got to have a drink inside that 2001 Space Odyssey lookin' space ship bar". After we turned off the road and journeyed down our 1 mile long back track mission to the "bar", we found some great old real bars that have since past away. Great pic opportunities. When we got to the space ship that resembled Hal's own Discovery One, we were saddened to find it closed. We were pissed.
I Just got turned on to this band (thanks Kevin). They're called Tame Impala. Youngin's from Australia that remind me of the Swedish band Dungen crossed bred with MGMT. Stoners meet the dancers.
check em' out. http://www.tameimpala.com/
Thanks to Brad and Radio Free Silver Lake for this great review!!!!
by Brad Roberts
Everest-4 Wow, that was an amazing show that caught me by surprise. And it shouldn't have. I've been loving Everest's new album, On Approach, for a while now, but just didn't expect such a powerful and moving set from a band I've seen about ten times already. At Amoeba Music on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, I literally had to choke back tears, I became so emotionally involved. This will be a review that can, literally, write itself and I'll just hold the pencil.
Not having seen the band since last September at The Troubadour, I hadn't heard many of the new songs live. Unlike their first album, Ghost Notes, which was recorded quickly and featured songs they had worked on for over a year at numerous live shows, On Approach, was a more difficult, but more rewarding, birth.