This all started a week ago, the Sunday before New Year’s.
Operation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE
See, I need a day job to keep eating, writing, and performing. This is LA. Unless you’re JT, Katy Perry, Jimmy Iovine, or a trusty, a day job is necessary. A two-fold plan, this GET THE MUSIC business. Part one: during the day, attack Craigslist—mostly for education, English teaching-type jobs, and some office-y positions—craft cover letters, send resumes. So far, this has yielded three interviews, and from those, I’ve been asked for two second interviews. Both went well, and so now I’m in that hurry-wait-and-see-oh-please-hire-me-now!-limbo land. Since I don’t wait very well, I keep trolling Craigslist, sending resumes…
Part two is the fun: open-mics and music-scene-mix-it-up, a.k.a get acquainted with LA double quick-like. Thank Google for their maps! For reals, there’s at least one open-mic every night of the week, so I’m getting down the venues, streets, and freeways and how they all link up (or not!) in different parts of the city. I’m getting it, this City of Angles. And it’s fun.
Last Sunday, part two of Operation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE began when I ducked into the Thirsty Crow waiting for the Silverlake Lounge’s open-mic sign up to get rolling. And that’s when I met Princess Frank, a one-man whirlwind of a band who has a
Sunday residency at the Crow. Princess Frank. Think Prince-meets-Jack-White-meets-Stevie-Nicks for a bar top whiskey-drinking, porn-romp roll ’round. He’s sexy, sassy, kind of gender bender-y, has a great voice and won an award from the adult film industry for a little ditty called Rock and Roll in My Butthole.
I can’t make this up.
There’s a movie, too…
Princess Frank has many friends. Installation artists, musicians, a local, organic hipster chef, actors, a make up artist, and porn stars, who are driven and focused on their passions, which makes this eclectic ensemble all the more real, solid, down to earth, and engaging. His bass player friend, Joey, has been all over the world with some heavy hitters. But I didn’t know any of this. Not yet. Not sitting at the bar in this first Princess Frank encounter, just being my Emily Dickinson-loving, non-pornstar self, enjoying this very new life unfolding. The wanna be open-mic queen, the LA newbie, hanging out and having a hoot with Princess Frank and his entourage.
And then later in the week Joey invites me to an Un-poppables gig in Pasadena. Addi, the leader of the three piece (drums, bass & Addi), is a balloon artist. A professional balloon twister guy with a show on TLC. He’s figured out how to get music out of a balloon with a Piezo mic, a gynormous board of pedals, and an electric tooth brush, and actually, it’s way more musical than you’d think. You can definitely move to it, though that a-tonal, avante garde jazziness does figure in. But it’s Joey and his bass that really help keep it together. He’s got pedals, dextrous fingers, a bow, and keen intuition guiding him through the changes and slight onstage hiccups inevitable when rubber and electricity are focal points of music-making. Of course, the drums help, keeping it smooth and toe-tappable.
So, yesterday, Sunday, when I received this text:
ok me and my landlord are going to Hollywood farmers market…and we are gonna put on a cccchicken cccostume and a rabbit costume and terrorize!
I knew I had to be there.
And so I went, and it wasn’t long before I spotted Joey and Suzanne. Suzanne also happens to run a booth at market every Sunday. She makes hand-crafted, organic jerk sauces and pirates elixirs. With acoustic bass in-hand, the rabbit and the chicken were working the
crowd guerrilla marketing-style with a song in favor of jerk pork. Not jerk Chicken! Not jerk rabbit! I’m not sure they understood, but the kids seemed to dig it.
Somewhere in all the market mayhem, Suzanne hollers out, “Princess Frank is shooting a music video this afternoon at the Crow. We should all go!”
And suffice it to say, I spent my Sunday afternoon, evening, and night partying with rockstars.
LA rockstars. Who work really, really hard and are oddly humble and nothin’ but(t) real.
Ooperation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE