Author Archives: Rock Is A Girl's Best Friend

Writer, traveler, diver, explorer, music lover.

Greg Laswell “Comes and Goes in Waves”. . .

literally.

I’ve been watching Greg Laswell perform for a couple years. The first time I saw Greg was an accident. I was at Hotel Cafe to see somebody else perform (notice I don’t remember who) and happened to still be at the bar when Greg took the stage.  There were only a handful of people in the room at the time and it’s a good thing I was at the bar because the songs he was playing could depress even the happiest souls.  Not that I’m advocating drinking as a band-aid for depression but, that night, it helped.

Considering the number of shows I see,  I always pay attention when somebody moves me – when they can overtake my happiness or my sadness or my wandering mind – whether there are 5 people or 30,000 people at the show.  I stuck around for Greg’s show and then wondered how long it would take for people to catch on, for him to sell out a room like the Hotel Cafe…

Well, all things considered, it didn’t take long at all.  Greg started filling the Hotel Cafe toward the end of last year, and earlier this year he played 2 back to back sold-out nights at the Hotel Cafe. Then, on Thursday, August 6th Greg played to a sold-out crowd at The Troubadour.

Oh, The Troubadour. Some of my favorite performances have taken place at this venue.  The White Stripes used to play 2-3 back to back nights at The Troubadour – and we’d go every year.  Ryan Adams played there during the tour for Heartbreaker.  The Strokes played there before the US release of Is This It. Queens of The Stone Age. Jackson Browne. Damien Rice. I’ve been seeing shows at that venue for 12 years.  So it was really fun to see somebody, whose career I had watched build up to this point, play at a venue that has so much nostalgia, not only for me but for musicians and fans at large.

Laswell sitting in with Elizabeth... and The Catapult (not pictured)

Laswell sitting in with Elizabeth... and The Catapult (not pictured)

Elizabeth and The Catapult, a band I’d never heard of, took the stage first.  Actually, there may have been another opener before them, but I wasn’t there for that,  so relatively speaking, The Catapult was first.  As I watched this group from Brooklyn captivate the audience with a fantastic performance, I thought about how amazing it must have been for them to play to a sold-out crowd at The Troubadour.  I have a feeling they’ll be doing it again.

Up next was Greg.  This was the last stop on his US tour. . . and he sounded better than ever.  It’s interesting to watch someone play a small room and think that they’re really good.  But when they finally play a stage that’s more their size, you realize just how good they are.  (Note: the converse is also possible).

Meiko and Frank Black?!

Not together of course.

Meiko performing at LP33.tv

Meiko performing at LP33.tv

Tuesday kicked off with an interview and live acoustic performance from Meiko at LP33.tv. After exchanging information about some of the restaurants we frequent in LA, Meiko, one of my favorite musicians from The Hotel Cafe family, chatted with LP33.tv about overcoming stage fright, her musical inspirations and writing process, and getting ready to record her next album.  She then performed “Boys with Girlfriends” and her rendition of “Super Freak.”  After Meiko sang “Boys With Girlfriends,” one member of the LP33.tv  team was overheard saying, “that gave me chills!” A little close to home, eh?

Black Francis performing at The Mint LA

Black Francis performing at The Mint LA

Later that night, I headed to The Mint to see Black Francis (aka Frank Black) perform. That was cool for several reasons.  For one, he’s Frank Black.  It was a nice surprise (for me anyway) to hear him chat between songs.  I’ve seen The Pixies and Frank Black perform previously and I don’t remember him being quite so chatty… or perhaps I wasn’t paying close enough attention before. Anyway, he talked between songs and he was funny, which is important because otherwise I would have wished he didn’t talk between songs.  (Remember when Flaming Lips played Coachella and rambled on about politics through 3/4 of their set?! All I can recall is that Wayne Coyne came out in that bubble, played 2-3 songs and then talked for an hour.  Such a disappointment.  And yet, I’m still going to see them at The Greek Monday night).

Frank Black... on and off stage (one of the look-a-likes)

Frank Black... on and off stage (one of the look-a-likes)

Anyway, back to Black Francis.  He played a nice mix of  some old Pixies favorites along with his solo stuff.  It’s a good thing I was sober-ish or it could have been a very confusing show – there were at least 3 Frank Black look-a-likes in the audience.

Meiko performing “Boys With Girlfriends” at LP33.tv. Just a teaser, the Meiko feature is being edited:

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