It’s time to briefly check in with a favorite L.A. band, Fort King. They created a simply stunning video tribute to two Los Angeles legends, Charles Bukowski and the Hollywood Park Racetrack, scripted to the soundtrack of their lovely and haunting song, “Everything Falls Apart.” Singer-songwriter Matthew Teardrop (of Manhattan Murder Mystery) stars as Bukowski. The video is directed by Mike James and features cameos by Rob Danson as a bartender at Lot 1 and Ryan Fuller as a racetrack janitor.share this:
Tag: Manhattan Murder Mystery
A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening, in twelve parts
Part IV: Echo Part Rising, Saturday Afternoon
I woke up on a floor in Echo Park to discover it was Charles Bukowski’s birthday. The public radio station KCRW, broadcasting from Santa Monica, was airing a special in honor of the legendary author, short story writer, novelist and poet. As I listened to his friend Harry Dean Stanton’s beautiful reading of the stark and gorgeous Bluebird, I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to prepare for the Echo Park Rising Festival than with streetwise and poignant words from this prolific Angeleno.
In the aftermath of the reading, I thought of my first few days in Los Angeles. There was the massive decompression at Echo Park Lake from so many layers of stress, and just wandering around the streets of Echo Park and Silver Lake in contemplation and what I’ll call “life evaluation.” My friend’s barrage of stories of his current state of mind and recent miseries, his supporting characters of the kind that Bukowski might like to write about, if he were still here. There was the young and naive female sub-letter he found on Craigslist, who put his belongings in bags and tossed them out into the yard, crashed his car and ran back to Pennsylvania after just a few days in the big city. The crack addict and “crack whore” hooker, who stole the car and took it on a joyride. The police. The disorientation. The restless days, locked out and temporarily among the lost and the homeless, out on the streets. The crack addict’s ex-wife and her ominous warnings, and other sordid and sundry characters who had come in and out of his life, wearing him down, taking, not giving, and leaving just a hollow shell in their wake. And through his and my sleepless nights, mysterious packs of barking dogs, like roving canine gangs. Interwoven with the dogs were the ubiquitous ghetto birds. It was horrible and yet gloriously romantic grit.
Besides just the joy of being there (and not being on the East Coast), there was that which strengthened and sustained me: a neighborhood that was relaxed, easy-going and filled with working-class Latino families. Bright, never-ending sunshine. The Tribal Cafe a short walk down the street, with their vegetarian Mexican dishes, amazing kale salads and powerful energy drinks. All of it dirt cheap and in a casual, bohemian setting. Tired as hell but strangely energized, I grabbed my things and headed out for an afternoon and evening of fine music with some old and new friends. It was time for Echo Park Rising.
This is a continuation of my two-part “Silverlake Band Update – part 1 and part 2” with bands that I’ve listened to or heard of since then and wanted to give a nod to. Note that these aren’t “new” bands – most have been together for at least a few years now – but they’re newish to me, as most just perform around the Los Angeles area or the West Coast – plus the fact that I’m a hermit and I don’t get out much. If there’s anyone I haven’t gotten to who I should know about, please let me know!
Also, three more blogs to check out: (newish) This Ain’t A Scene and (not so new, but I forgot last time): Surfing On Steam and When You Awake, a very cool place dedicated to the country, alt-country, folk & roots scene.