To say that I was looking forward to taking Parlour to Parlour to L.A. would be the understatement of the year. Excitement was high for my visit to the city of angels, for I would be crashing with Evan and Brette Marie Way of the Parson Red Heads, one of the bands that had completely rejuvenated me last year. The couchsurfing aspect of the project began here.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, I immediately drove over to what has become my favorite landing pad in L.A. – Tsunami Coffee House, on West Sunset Boulevard in the city’s Silver Lake district. It’s quiet, they serve yummy soy chai and desserts, the staff are friendly, and they have free wi-fi. What more could anyone want from a cafe?
I set out to finish a review for one of my other gigs, and at some point I got a call from Evan. I hadn’t been sure yet whether I’d be meeting the band at their practice space or at the gig they had that night in Oxnard. In the end, I decided to stay behind to finish my review and meet the band at the gig.
The directions were easy enough to follow, but finding the venue proved to be a challenge. Called the Kenji Shack, it was far off the side of the road and hidden well enough that, unless you already knew where it was, you’d end up passing the place by three or four times before finding it. That’s exactly what happened not only to me, but to the band as well. If it weren’t for the smoke emanating from the bonfire outside the venue, there might not have even been a show! The road was mostly unlit, and beyond a few residences, appeared to be completely empty, running through open fields.
When I finally pulled in to the unpaved lot by light of automobile headlights and bonfire, I saw Evan approaching me as I left my vehicle. “Are you ready for a weird show?” he asked. At that point, I was ready for anything.
I’ll let Evan, Brette, and guitarist Aaron Ballard tell the rest of the tale, which is the main focus of this week’s episode. Suffice to say, the weekend was adventure-packed to the point where one episode could hardly contain it all. So next week we’ll get more of a laid back show-and-tell around the house.
The performance footage, by the way, was not shot under the best of circumstances. Lighting was bad, sound was spotty, and, well, you’ll see the rest. Even with such glaring flaws, this clip is priceless.
The Parson Red Heads – “When You Love Somebody”