Category Archives: LA

peaktrough in Hollywood

A field trip to the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood is both a peak and a nadir in any musician’s routine. Here are some photos to thrill and depress you.

Flier seeking members to form The Biggest Band In The World

Flier for a band called “Cockeyed Optimist”

Flier for a band called 'Cockeyed Optimist'

Bronze reliefs of Dimebag Darrel and Miles Davis on the wall of fame, together at last.

Dimebag Darrel and Miles Davis, together at last.

Flier for a band called “Race Card”. Bad band names are profoundly depressing.

Flier for a band called 'Race Card'

Hyperion show tomorrow night 9/10; Where/MMM snafu

Beer before bed

Tomorrow night, Thursday 9/10, I’ll be playing the all-acoustic night at Hyperion Tavern in Silverlake. Three new tunes since the last time I played there. Set time probably 10pm. So c’mon and goof off at the bar. You know you want to have a beer before bed.

In other news, the Friday 9/11 show at Where/MMM is temporarily off. One of the other acts flaked out at the last minute and I figured it was better to reschedule than limp along.

Here’s the map to the Hyperion:

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old time night at Redcat Lounge thurs 6/18

Lucas Gonze in Americana night at REDCAT Lounge

Next Thursday 6/18 I’ll play at the downstairs bar at Disney Hall, called REDCAT Lounge. It’s an early bill from 6-9 to accommodate working people, the kind who don’t go out late during the week but would dig having a drink after work.

This is a night that I did the booking for. The other acts are fine local musicians who I play with pretty often —

* The inimitable Dick & Jane.

* The invincible Triple Chicken Foot

* A couple players from Sausage Grinder, which does jug band songs like Mississippi Sheiks in an authentic style with all the details.

Where? 631 West Second St., Los Angeles! But here’s a map:

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Triple Chicken Foot:
Triple Chicken Foot

YouTube magic lantern release ball Thursday aka tomorrow @ Hyperion Tavern

In order to celebrate and mark the most august and celebrated magickalous mysterious movin’ picture I just put up on YouTube of the most august, celebrated, and twisty five-step waltz known as Dodworth’s Five Step Waltz there will be a husking frolic tomorrow night in Silverlake.

Now don’t get Hornswoggled! I swan to mercy, a huckle- berry above anyone’s persimmon. Some pumpkins, a caution, 100 percent certified by a Philadelfy lawyer. If not, dad-blame it, I’ll hang up my fiddle, and you can sass me, knock me into a cocked hat, give me jesse, fix my flint, settle my hash, ride me out on a rail and have a conniption fit, you cussed scalawag!

I’ll allow that George Elias, RootHub, The Artists, and L. Gonze will play all on one stick and in that order, with the Prof. Gonze playing almighty huge last of all at the dark hour of 10:30 after which you can absquatulate all you want. So don’t be a coot and do c’mon out and get slicked up to have a brick in your hat with the g’hals and b’hoys at the Hyperion bucket shop.

Yours All Exfluncticated-like,

L. “soup greens” Gonze

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p.s. I’m not too piss proud to allow that this 19th century slang came from A 19th Century Slang Dictionary Compiled & Edited by Craig Hadley.

party like it’s 1929

A festival from the heart of LA’s arts community
to celebrate the worst financial crash since 1929.

Where: at the A+D Museum, 5900 Wilshire Blvd. (across from LACMA)

I’ll be doing two half-hour sets: On the hooverville (plaza) mainstage from 8:30-9 and then on the plaza sidestage from 9:30-10 too. The mainstage is a “stop-and-look” situation and the sidestage is more atmospheric for passerby (unless it’s way packed with people, in which case there’ll probably be a stop-and-look crowd in both locations).

It’ll be a huge party with stellar people-watching in an atmosphere of depression-era decadence, including sexy flappers and tons of booze.

Inspired by the similarity of the economic crisis of 2008 to the Market Crash of 1929, artists will seek to immerse our merrymakers in the excess of the privileged elite and the grit of bohemian urchins below.

In the ballroom our fatcat partygoers will dance and celebrate in luxury while sipping fine beverages, watching burlesque beauties tease them to the awesome grooves of ANACRON, and reveling in decadence and excess. Outside on the plaza, partygoers will slum it with Hooverville tramps and bum cigarettes from Vaudeville acts as they listen to a junkyard band. All around them will be performance environments from dozens of LA’s most innovative companies. The evening culminates in a dynamic ballroom finale where past and present collide in a mash-up not to be missed. All Angelinos are invited to discover their inner tycoon amidst the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008 8pm-2am. $20 admission, $10 open bar access

in the woods yesterday, on art walk Thursday

I played a strange and amazing gig yesterday in deep woods north of LA, put on a by group called Natural Stage that describes the shows this way:

Hikes without Mics is an event usually held on the first Sunday of the month (but always check the calendar as that may change). Locations vary but generally involve a mild 1-4 mile (roundtrip) hike to a “Natural Stage” where a concert occurs. Some concerts will include a mix of short folk, jazz, classical, experimental, etc. sets by various performers.

In practice what this meant was a longish walk on a barely-visible trail by a creek, at the the end of which was a pretty waterfall with a woman standing in front of it to sing indie-rock type songs while she accompanied herself on ukelele. I did the hike with my Estralita on my back in a gig bag for bass, and instead of the bowler and brogans I usually wear I had a coonskin cap and psychedelic emerica sneaks. I ran into Pamita halfway up the path. She was rocked out in cowboy boots, a dress, and fishnets, which is an outfit that’s just slightly better adapted to scrambling over boulders than the corset she usually wears.

There was no real crowd to speak of, but there were plenty of musicians there to play and play for. The acoustics out in the forest were special and listening to the other acts was a profound pleasure.

Because the issue is lurking, I should point out that this was not a Grateful Dead setup like a drum circle. These people knew irony. The tactic is along the same lines as a dance party on the subway, where a group meets up at a subway car and dances to electronic music on a boom box for a few stops, then gets off and disperses. This was an acoustic flash mob.

Next show for me is on Thursday night 6:30-7:00 on the Hippodrome bus on the Art Walk in downtown LA:

WHAT: The Hippodrome, a rolling curated salon on a custom vintage school bus

WHEN: Every Second Thursday (October 9, November 13 etc.) during downtown LA Art Walk, 6-10pm nightly

WHERE: The shuttle route circles Gallery Row (Main and Spring Streets between 9th and 2nd Streets)

If you live in LA and you haven’t done the art walk, you oughta. It’s the closest thing to vibrant street life downtown. The people watching is untouchable, and hanging out on the Hippodrome gives a sense of connection and community. The whole thing is the opposite of the Bergamot Station / Santa Monica vibe for looking at art.

It’ll never make sense to play resonator guitar on a street corner or on a festival stage, but then again it’ll also never make sense to set up a drum kit in a rolling curated salon on a custom vintage school bus, or to drown out a little waterfall with electronic riffage from a laptop. I love getting to make art in these deeply un-digital situations.

livin easy @ Hyperion Tavern Thurs 9/25

I’ll do a solo set at 10:30 tomorrow night at the Hyperion Tavern at 1941 Hyperion Ave, in Silverlake, Los Angeles, California. Also on the bill: Dick and Jane (before me) and the Homebillies (after me).

There’ll be sheet music of my transcription of “Living Easy” by Irving Jones to give out to anybody who wants to learn the song, and of course I’ll play the thing myself. This song disappeared almost instantly on publication in 1899, was never recorded as far as I can tell, and has left only three impressions in the historical record:

1) Charles Ives recalled having heard it in the early 1890s, sometime around the birth of ragtime in 1893.

2) In the mid-1890s when Scott Joplin lived in Sedalia, Missouri there was a local band named after a line in the song — the “Pork Chops Greazy Quartette.”

3) Copyrighted and published in 1899.

And that’s it. It was a hot underground ragtime tune very early on, and as soon as it got a bit of commercial support it went *poof*. Until tomorrow night in Silverlake in the year 2008, 109 years later.

Musically I’ve been on a roll lately, and if I don’t break my streak it’ll be a fine night of hella old music, so c’mon by. If you haven’t done one of these Hyperion shows the thing to know is that it’s a tiny place with cheap beers, no cover, and no electricity to to amplify the music and drown out your conversation, which is better for you than me but what the hell.

The situation is low key to an extreme. Dick and Jane and the Homebillies and myself all play there regularly, and the crowd is generally heavy on musicians and people in the music business. Here’s review of the place:

Two outlandish chandeliers, a shelf full of legal tomes, and a bathroom marked “slave toilet” are all part of the casual punk rock aesthetic of this friendly, intimate tavern. There’s no sign outside, so the crowd tends to consist of scruffily hip creative types already in the know about the space. Only open late at night, the bar uses various themes like ’60s pop culture and “Guitar Hero” video game night as a draw for the inexpensive beer.

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Here’s Dick and Jane’s flyer:

Dick and Jane's flyer for gig at the Hyperion Lounge 9/25/2008

August shows

On Friday 8/29 I’ll play at Arnie’s cafe in Tujunga with my friends David Orser, Scott Boyd, and Fred the drummer. This will be a slacker jam of old time music. I imagine the highlight will be David’s ragtime piano playing, which is amazing.

I’ll do a solo show at an Obama fundraiser on Sunday August 31st. It’s a garden party in Silverlake, Los Angeles, held by a woman named Jane Cantillon with a reputation for putting on great parties. Jane and her husband Dick are a lot of fun, and it’ll be a good time for a fine cause.

I’ll also be playing with Madame Pamita at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on Tuesday the 19th. This is a cabaret style event where I’ll be playing in Pam’s band and doing a solo song.