Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It was great seeing a lot of short acoustic performances packed into one night. Hotel Cafe is really tiny and somehow they managed to fit in a huge list of musicians (and one "poet" though he seemed more like a comedian) onto the small stage. They didn't manage to get all the people who bought tickets in, but I was lucky enough to get in because me and my friend Joyce got there fairly early (7:30-ish).

Some of the acts that started the set included an Elvis-like crooner, a band of girls singing acoustic songs starting with a cover of "Wild Horses," a bass heavy Kills-like band (with a male singer and female bassist) complete with scantily clad dancing girl, more acoustic stuff by Dios Malos (who I kind of recognized from a Cafe du Nord show a long time ago), a singer named Sean Williams who had a sparkly jacket and a guitar/banjo player backing him, and a thin red haired female singer, who the audience wouldn't shut up for.

The talking audience became an especially big problem during Nick Jago's set because he really noticed it enough to stop playing "Under A Veil" after starting it twice. He started his set with a Spanish song which he dedicated to Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and El Salvador. His songs were pretty good folky tunes, with some nice hooks to them. He was being kind of sarcastic to the audience by saying how he loved hearing them talk and half joked that the whole performance would be recorded and on YouTube... and it turns out someone from the BRMC forum recorded most of the set and put it there:

Nick stopping his song

Nick stopping his song again

Nick's new song

another new song

Suede cover of Asphalt World

Nick's cover of Suede's "Asphalt World" was a nice addition to the set, he said he wished he could sing like David Bowie or Brett Anderson before he sang it. Here's the video I took of the end of the song:

Not long after Nick's set was an amazing 12 string guitarist named Alain Johannes. He is formerly of QOTSA, now with Spinnerette or Eleven. He totally captured the audience's attention with no words at all, just some fantastic guitar playing. I think everyone was pretty much blown away by his performance, which also made me think how lucky Nick was to go on before him. Jason from Dead Meadow went on after with just an acoustic guitar and a harmonium player backing him. He was pretty good, I'm used to seeing him with lots of effects and his band. Without them, his songs were still pretty good.

In addition to the music, there was some artwork (photos and paintings) displayed on the walls of the venue. It was very cool to see some nice artwork to accompany all the good music that was played that night. Despite the Duke Spirit and Josh Homme not playing the show, it was still cool to see a lot of talented musicians performing. I did feel bad for Nick about the rude audience, but he responded with a pretty bad attitude and didn't seem to make a good impression. Aside from that, his music was pretty good. Here's a link to the pictures I took on Flickr. It's mostly Nick and a couple other acts.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wasabi Jewelry, Painting, Web Design + M83 Review!

I went shopping this morning at the annual Wasabi Jewelry sale in Pasadena. It was at a really nice house up on a windy mountain road. The house was really modern and well decorated and the jewelry was nice and half price or 75% off! My friend ended up spending a lot (a little more than she had because of tax) and I spent a lot more than I usually would because it added up really quickly. I got a lot of good deals on 6 bracelets and 7 necklaces, one of which was normally $69 but was 75% off, so only $17.50! That was my most expensive purchase, the bracelets were a lot cheaper, like as low as 3 for $10. I'm not sure if I'm going to give the jewelry as gifts, but I might since it would be excessive for me to keep it all for myself.

When me and my friend Joyce got back to her house, she gave me some acrylic paints and books about painting since she has too many. Awhile ago, I bought a 12 pack of 14x14 canvases for only $30 at Art Supply Warehouse and some cheap paintbrushes at a Soyodo Book Store in Hacienda Heights/City of Industry. Anyways, now I have everything I need to start painting! I still have to worry about finals and finishing projects for my web design classes, so I'll have to wait until that's all over. Still, now I have something to try during my break, in addition to picking up my knitting and possibly practicing guitar. Tomorrow morning, I have to decide what classes (if any) to take next semester.

Yesterday, I met with some people about working on a website for a Christian clothing store. So far, they just want me to make a drop down menu on a template for the site, but I think they may later on want a complete site re-design. I was thinking of taking some graphic design classes next semester since a lot of web design seems to require graphic design. The only thing is that I'd have to probably take day time classes and they'd be for the full semester. The nice thing would be that they'd be on Macs. I was also considering taking classes on Computer Games, but considering all the trouble I've had with Flash this semester, I may stick with Graphic Design.

Anyways, that's been my weekend so far. Also, I picked up some Brie Cheese and Water Crackers from Trader Joe's in Brea. I had the hardest time getting into the parking lot and then driving into a spot. I know I must have annoyed some people by blocking their cars for awhile. The nice thing was that I got out of the parking lot much easier. I only went to that store because I was in the area after my meeting and I've discovered how cheap brie is at Trader Joe's. There is a closer one to my house, but it's in Whittier (a more unfamiliar area to me). Well, I guess I've gone on long enough, I guess I should work on stuff now!

UPDATE: I forgot to include my review of the M83 and School of Seven Bells show at the Henry Fonda. The pictures are very nice and professional because the editor (who I met at the show) is a real photographer who's been doing it for like 17 years!