Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rainy, Blurry LA Weekend

The past two days have been a little like looking at the landscape through the window of a speeding car. I woke up at 5 am last Friday (that's 4 am California time), got my family out the door, walked the dog and drove across the desert through a glum, gray drizzle. I showed up early at The Echo, excited to try on my new role as MC. When the doors opened, people poured in: fashion-forward music fans, lumberjacks and hard-looking punks with sweet, generous dispositions. The 'Help Mike Atta' show was on its way to becoming a big success!

The gray-haired punk brigade was there, many of them turned out to be the parents, relatives or friends of the younger punk bands. It reminded me that the most valuable things we leave behind are the little seeds of inspiration we manage to plant in the young.

I was not feeling particularly inspired that night, running up and down the stairs between the two stages, announcing bands, forgetting names and generally being my most un-charming. I had watched a Kathy Griffin show a few days prior and I thought to myself, "I'm funny - I can do that!" Wrong. I'm funny in a family setting. I've decided to leave the MC profession to other, more charming and witty hosts. I mean, I actually got the first band's name wrong and called them White Light, White Stripes and finally their correct name: White Night. Que verguenza!

A big, huge thank you to all the bands who participated in the Help Mike Atta concert. The amount of respect and cooperation between musicians was lovely to behold, everyone worked as a team and at one point the stage manager smiled at me and said "I can't believe it - we're a little ahead of schedule!" The Echo/Echoplex team was flawless and professional. Special thanks to Lisa Fancher, Liz Garo and Mike Patton who spearheaded the organization of this benefit.

I got home at 2 am, chatted with an old friend until three, woke up and went into the recording studio to work on a project I'm doing with Robert Lopez. Later, I stopped for dinner with my pals, Tracy and Angie Skull and started the gradual shift back down to Arizona speed.

Heading back across the desert, I had several hours to contemplate the beauty of friendship: musicians and artists who come running from all directions to help a friend in need without thinking twice, old friends who open their homes to host me whenever I come to town, friends who come up with spur of the moment creative projects that somehow become reality.

My friends, my hometown, my community. I love you, L.A.


birdhauslady said...

I was thrilled to see you up there. you were amazing. I think you should have a talk show. And when i saw you dancing like crazy up there, I was inspired to come back and stand up with the band like i used to.

Alex Ramirez said...

L.A. loves you to ...

mike watt said...

ms alice,

you were righteous... I was so nervous - you singing for the bags was the first punk gig me and d. boon ever saw it was PROFOUND on us!

you helped make me what I am today w/music.

sure glad we all got together to help mike atta last friday.

respect to you.

on bass, watt

koffee-kommie said...

I was out of town; otherwise, I wouldn't have missed this!

theebrandenburgs said...

thank you alice. i was sorry i couldn't say farewell. but i would imagine it was a very long day for you.

you were a spectacular mc. what you needed was a bullet train to shuttle you back and forth up to the echo and back down to the echoplex :)


Alice Bag said...

Gabi, it was great seeing you too! I'll see you again this month, I hope.

Alex, thanks, it's nice to be welcomed back.

Koffee Kommie, you have several chances to get your red ass to one of my LA appearances in February!

Watt, I'm honored that I took your punk virginity! Thank you making us all come together and dance like it was 1977 again.

Tony, I've always love you and the Adolescents. I watched your whole set from the back of the club. I'm planning a cover record: Pass The Inhaler, I Think I'm Tony. Whaddya think? ;)


theebrandenburgs said...

i think that is brilliant, i am still laughing about it. *choke*gasp*

on the miracle of life's intersections and it's a small world, too: gabi taught all three of my children to swim and opened to them a ahole new world.