Monday, August 20, 2012

where to begin

how does a healthy artsy addiction start?

well, my warm and fuzzy feelings for live music were robustly nursed when i made the move up to los angeles, some 31 months ago now. when i lived in orange county, the idea of going to see a show was never at the top of the list. a rarity that usually meant i was there to support a friends' band, carrying drum heads through the back entrance of a dive bar. there just wasn't a whole lot to see, or so i thought. tickets to stuff i knew and mustered some sort of interest in were expensive and i was a perma-broke college student. i also listened to a lot of obscure, older music - many of the bands were long gone, never to tour again. plus all of the good shows are in LA - who knew :)

the first three months of la living were done in true hobo fashion - crashing in on my good friends' (a couple) 1 bedroom hollywood apartment. quarters were tight, but their couch was heavenly and they were wonderful enough to put up with me. half of the couple is one of my best girlfriends j, who at the time worked as the publicist for an indie record label based in santa monica. she knew about most shows, most of the time. and she had opportunities to go to many of them, so occasionally, i would venture out with her...get a little time away from my couch-home.

many times, the shows were free and even though i rarely knew the artists playing, i always had a good time - jammin' out and bouncing around by the end of a set, whistling and woo-ing for just one more! i could go in, exhausted from a long day, possibly cranky and hungry, and my mood would always become elevated. i noticed a bliss, a real release, at these live shows. they were usually smaller venues...the bootleg, the viper room, the echoplex, and so on...and there is just an intense amount of energy circulating in small spaces like those. magical, palpable, emotional energy - jutting out of these artists and shooting out to the listeners, where it would meld and create more, from whatever energy the crowd gave up. lights lowering, beads of sweat on their faces, breathy smiles, and a sense of peace, knowing they were creating something that might touch even just one person that night. goosebumps, teary eyes, the biggest outpour of expression. it's all very romantic, the live show. a meeting between music-maker and listener, a too-sweet connection that makes it so easy for a dreamer like me to fall head over heels.

other friends i've met up here have a special place for live music in their hearts, and many of them are musicians themselves. after those first three months, i moved in with my now current roommate and one of my best friends (yay craigslist win!). she is a musician, and so in hanging out with her, i've seen even more shows, met even more musicians, and music-enthusiasts alike. la breathes entertainment, and live music is the loud, driving pulse.

i've just been trying to get as much as i can, and can afford, ever since. luckily there are A LOT of free shows, you just have to know where to find them. pouring over countless music show emails from venues, looking artists up on soundcloud or spotify, excited at the potential of seeing them all in a live format. true foreplay for the live-music junkie.

this blog will cover the live shows i go to, simple as that. who, what, when, where...and then the color. the dreamy, bright, bold, sparkly stuff that makes live music so much more than it appears to be.

i'm going to leave you with a list of only *some* of the incredible musicians i've been lucky enough to see play live over the last 2.5 years, as well as some photos of a few of them.

until next time! xx

kristen cook
the living sisters
massive attack
glitch mob
beats antique
portugal. the man
roger waters (the wall)
mumford and sons
arcade fire
the chemical brothers
norah jones
randy newman
fitz and the tantrums
little dragon
fear mia
city city
the presets
arctic monkeys
snoop & dre
the black keys
explosions in the sky
ben harper
ziggy marley
boys noize
the mason affair
milo greene
the punch brothers
swedish house mafia
girl talk
toots & the maytals
damien marley
tallest man on earth
abby posner
willie nelson
sean hayes

EOTO @ the el rey

ziggy marley @ reggae night, the hollywood bowl

roger waters' "the wall" @ the coliseum

abby posner @ room 5

fitz & the tantrums / ben harper @ the hollywood bowl

kcook and co. @ irish times

willie nelson @ the pacific amphitheater

tallest man on earth @ the wiltern

MiMosa @ exchange LA

ill.Gates @ exchange LA

ben harper @ del mar race track

radiohead @ coachella '12


  1. I'm sure Ryan will agree that Radiohead is so good live that you gotta list them twice ;)also, GUH JEALOUS OF THIS LIST. i miss LA *sniff*

  2. <3 come to LA and we'll go to shows together!! and YES...esp since they triple-encored at coachella this last year - epic! xo

  3. Awesome, Jillie! Love it :) Joshua Radin will be in LA Nov 16 @ Wiltern (?) and in Newport Oct 13 @ Balboa Beach Fest... I nominate you to go to one of his shows! I'm going in Houston Nov 12 yay!

  4. oh sweet i'll have to catch him at balboa!! and thank you!

  5. Also, I think that if this takes off for you then you should move to Austin and be a music blogger/writer there. It is the live music capital of the world! Now here I go to try that captcha thingy again... wish me luck!

  6. I love this Jill!! You are a beautiful writer! I'm excited to read about the shows you see so I can live vicariously through you. The only live music I've been able to find in our city is old people singing obnoxious Chinese opera songs in the park...not quite as awesome as Snoop and Dre.

  7. thank you jen - so nice of you to say! xo