I’ll be honest — 2013 was a bitch of an “all work and no play” year, but the times I did get to cut loose with some fine music were pretty spectacular. There were a few really nice festivals (not a format I’m typically fond of), an intimate backyard deck show in Echo Park and the swan song of a beloved L.A. band. What might have lacked in quantity was well compensated in quality. Due to my work circumstances, I had to select carefully, so what you’ll find here are mostly old favorites. As the year winds down, it does so on a rather ominous note, and I’m not entirely certain what the future holds. Ok, no one is ever certain; I’m especially not certain. If there’s anything in a musical vein that I hope for in 2014, it’s that however my life changes, it does so in a way that I can experience a wider range of musical delights in the new year. For a comprehensive overview of top recordings released in 2013, visit Ryan’s Smashing Life for his ’50 Best Albums of 2013.’ Meanwhile, here are six of my personal live performance highlights, in chronological order.
Tag: The Henry Clay People (Page 1 of 3)
A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening, in twelve parts
Part VII: Boardner’s in Hollywood to Los Globos in Silver Lake… and back again.
It was now Day 6 in my bleary haze of broken sleep and beautiful sights and sounds. Tuesday night — must be time for my personally-curated “Julie’s Eastside L.A. Welcoming Party” (or so it seemed). Former members of Death To Anders, Rademacher, Radars To The Sky and The Henry Clay People, all in new projects at two different clubs at opposite ends of town. It was also the night when I wondered why, despite all our technological advances, transporters haven’t yet been invented.
A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening, in twelve parts
Part V: Echo Park Rising, An Evening at the Echoplex
On this first evening of Echo Park Rising, it was all about The Henry Clay People. This was a band I first discovered in 2009 when they toured with The Airborne Toxic Event. Actually, it was before that, early on in 2008, as I was bouncing around from band page to band page on MySpace (remember MySpace?). If there was any band that captured the feeling of good ol’ classic rock ‘n’ roll and that careening out of control, celebratory and reckless spirit, it was HCP. Sadly, theirs was another one of those “almost but not quite” success stories. Here was a band that really seemed poised for at least the semi-big time, especially after major tours with Airborne and Silversun Pickups. But it didn’t happen as much nor as quickly as it needed to happen, and other important life events had to take precedence. So here we had their final performance, at Echo Park Rising, and Echo Park did indeed rise to the occasion.
Here we are, then — the final installment of my last Eastside L.A. Round-up. How appropriate that I’m trying to stay awake to finish this on the eve of the Echo Park Rising festival, which I’m happily attending this year. The festival was first conceived last year, and rose from the ashes of the freshly defunct Sunset Junction Street Fair. This year, there are 19 stages with bands performing over two days (including The Henry Clay People’s Swan song). Incredible. If you’re anywhere in or around L.A., most definitely check it out. Oh yeah, it’s FREE.
A very big “thank you” to all the wonderful bands I’ve been enjoying since 2008, and for those who are still alive and kicking, I’ll continue to cover their exploits individually. Support your local bands! Peace out.
Some sad news today, as I continue work on my final Eastside L.A. Roundup, and realize that there are now at least a dozen truly wonderful Los Angeles bands I enjoyed so much who are no longer with us since I first started these little band updates back in 2009. The Henry Clay People, one of my “top ten,” announced today that they would be playing one final show (at the Echo Park Rising Festival) and then going their separate ways. This is a band that has so much heart; for me, they’re what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Fortunately everyone is leaving on good terms and with some exciting future plans, but I’m still going to miss them. I can’t help thinking that the HCP are one more fine band that the music industry shit-show has chewed up and spit out. The music biz just plain sucks on every level, whether you’re playing little bars and setting up your own gear, or with a manager, booking agent and publicity people, trying to get to the next level and not lose what you worked so hard for and thought you had.
Lots of fine memories though, even as a relatively new fan of theirs. I’ll wish them all the best, and include today’s announcement below. Plus a couple of videos. First up, something from their last wonderful release, Twenty-Five for the Rest of our Lives. And then one of my fondest memories, from a very special gathering back in 2009 of a handful of awesome L.A. bands, at a little Clifton Park, NY dive called Northern Lights. Bands break up, bars change names, but we’ll always have our YouTube videos. Thanks so much for all the wonderful music, guys. See you one last time in Echo Park!
By The Henry Clay People
The Henry Clays play August 17th at Echo Park Rising music fest. It’s free. We’ll be playing in the early evening…
In the past, we have been sort of doomsdayish with our “this could be it for the band” insinuations. Yet here we are.
This one may be different. This may actually be “it” for the following exciting reasons:
Eric is now a proud papa bear and one test away from being a legit architect.
Andy is going back to school.
Joey is moving to the east coast to go back to school.
Harris is currently touring the country/world with other rock and roll bands.
Noah has a rad new band called The Pretty Flowers.
If the August 17th show sucks, then we will probably have to do another to redeem ourselves, but it might not be until 2020: Thirty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives.
It’s been fun. We miss you. We miss playing. It’s kinda sad and happy at same time. Let’s make this one special.
The Henry Clay People
Same rules apply. If the last update was last summer and not a word since then, I’m going to call the band MIA and assumed gone or on extended hiatus, unless I hear otherwise. Confirmed as defunct: Shadow Shadow Shade and Walking Sleep.
We continue now with the rest of our roundup. Good night, and good luck. >>
The Henry Clay People today unleash another of their raucous adventures of screaming, distortion-laden guitar, furious punk energy, and playfully sardonic sung-spoken-shouted lyrics. Fueled by the kinetically careening Brothers Siara (Joey and Andy), they’re joined by original drummer Eric Scott and new bassist Harris. On Twenty-Five for the Rest of our Lives (TBD Records) the Henry Clays take a fond look back at their twenties from the wise vantage point of their thirties. No actually, it’s an angsty, bratty scrapbook, full of cynicism and wistful regret. As they themselves say, it’s a ‘quarter-life crisis,’ brilliantly executed, with more cohesive and well-crafted arrangements than on their previous recordings. Nice job, guys!
Continuing on with part II of my Eastside L.A. Bands 2012 Roundup. Again, I’m only including artists who either are doing significant touring this year, or who have a new album just out, very recently out, or are working on something. If I’ve missed anyone or something big, please let me know. I’m going to bed now. Goodnight and good luck.
A trifecta of new music from some of my favorite L.A. bands today. Last but certainly not least is the latest from The Henry Clay People, whom I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing. Several times, in fact, and always a great rock ‘n’ roll celebration. The song is “California Wildfire,” the first offering from their upcoming five track EP, This Is A Desert, due out in May from TBD Records. There’s lots of noisy guitar, some wacky effects, frenetic drumming, and Jordan’s rollicking honky-tonk piano. Serious fun. Can’t wait to see these guys again! For those of you lucky enough to attend Coachella, they’ll be performing April 15th.
For those new to ‘musings’… Often referred to as the ‘Silverlake region’, the Eastside of Los Angeles seems to have a ridiculously disproportionate number of awesome bands that call the area home (or at least, that’s where they regularly play). In addition to Silverlake, this also includes the neighborhoods of Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, Highland Park… These artists comprise many different styles and personalities, having one thing in common – they’re all really good! I happened upon these guys (and gals) after first listening to The Airborne Toxic Event on MySpace back in January 2008, and then deciding to check out their friends’ bands, friends of friends, etc. Very glad I did. Here’s a rundown of those bands that had albums (or EPs) out this year. Some are well-known and touring internationally now; others not (yet).
For those not new to ‘musings’… My last Eastside L.A. update was way back in February, and I announced all these cool things coming up. Then, well, this year happened. What can I say? I lost the plot. Here it is again.