On Friday night I had the pleasure of watching Red Circle Underground rock out at the Air Conditioned Supper Club in Venice, California. Yes, I have had a little road trip!

It was my first introduction to the LA scene of music, so it was super cool to begin with, without the bands even starting. The club was a fairly tiny place, but inside its had a pretty cool vibe.

Shattered Sons opened up the night; they were pretty cool. They had moments of coolness,  so I gotta support them.

Costa Nova also played before RCU. They were also pretty good, definitely with some more moments of greatness as well. I liked them more than Shattered Sons. They all rocked it pretty great, and they also totally supported all the other bands playing as well, which was super cool to see.

Then came on Red Circle Underground. My friend that invited me to the show had previously played me some of their stuff, and I was already a fan, but when I heard them sing live and got to see them right there, I was amazed. To me, they stood out from the rest easily. Just their sound, creative juices you could feel. Props to all the fellas of the band, you guys killed it.

Kevin J. Witucki on the drums was just amazing. Rattling off very cool beats that most definitely weren’t something you buy in plastic wrap. Jonah Grey on vocals also took the stage with the same fury. He has a killer set of chords that I think take this band higher.

They did however share a lot of the vocals, and Ali Mills, who by the way had some killer moccasins on, added a very good twist, further amazed me with the quality in Red Circle.

Jonathan Stipp held the band together with some very solid bass, squished into the corner with Britton Sparkman killed it on lead guitar that when mixed with the harmonica of Dylan Grey gave RCU not one moment of suck, purely enjoyable music these guys and gal put out for my ears.

I felt this venue was to small for this band to be honest. Their sound is way larger than what they were packed into, and they needed more space to fully explode their sound, and let it fully be heard. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys. However, due to the size of the venue,  I was able to hang with a few members of some of the bands afterwards. Totally great group from RCU and Costa Nova which I totally felt all the love that these guys have for one another and the scene they are apart of. So much support, I’m amazed with and happy to see.

After Red Circle played their set, a few burlesque dancers came out and did a couple fansy numbers. I’ve never seen this before, and I think that this is something that should be done a lot more in more venues. Totally adds a whole new spice to the show, and makes it super cool in between sets, while the band takes down and sets up for the next. I want to make a note now also of apainter who was doing live paintings as all the bands and the hubbub was going on around him, right in the club, who was eager to talk to me. His art was super cool, and I’m definitely going to be watching his stuff gain in value. I wish I would have been able to buy one of his works that he did, totally had a Bua feel to it.

Nu Savant came on after. They had some moments of glory where they totally nailed it as well.

To be honest, I felt that Red Circle Underground stole the night. I’m super excited for what they’re doing, and am proud to call them my friends. Can’t wait till they come to a town closer to me!

All the coolness of the night was bottled and packaged by a crazy cool photographer  Angela Holtzen, who took some amazing photos, that you must all check out. The photographs on this page are all hers.


I have embarked upon a trip south to the point of LA, which was routed along Highway 101 and 1 depending on which one was closest to the ocean (you may also know of them as the pacific coast highway or the oregon coast). It began 6 days ago on a stormy monday morning bright and early from the port of Vancouver, BC now I come to you from the beautiful banks of Malibu, California. I have been here for nearly 3 full days now, going around and checking all the interesting things to see in the area. Things I’ve heard about so much but have never seen. Yesterday I did the last stretch of the coast I will most likly be doing, which took me down to Huntington Beach, California where I was sucked in by a Greenpeace advocate to join the cause; I truly am shocked our Gray whale population is only 800 in the world.

While in Huntington Beach, I got the idea in my head that I wanted to get a skateboard, specifically of the longboard variety. So I found one I liked and noticed it was made by Arbor, which is a company based out of Venice, California, which just happens to be right next to where I’m staying in Malibu. After researching the location of the head office, I headed there today and this is what I got:

So, I am the new proud owner. The cool thing was the guy in the shop had the exact same board… I was like “SOLD”. 🙂 After driving around with it in the back seat for a few hours, I decided as I drove by Beverly Hills residential district, that the streets I was seeing were simply gold for cruisin on the board. So on a residential street, amongst the Bentleys, BMWs, Jaguars, and Mazeratis I tried out my new board! It was a bit wobbly at first, not being used to the trucks etc, but I managed to escape without any tumbles. The streets were simply beautiful to rock on. I would go to one end of the road at Sunset Blvd, and then cruise for a good 5 minutes all the way down to Santa Monica Blvd. I was simply cement surfing. So cool.

That was the main excitement for me today, but there was more. This is going to be my third night staying at this campground, the Malibu Beach RV Park. I think its one of the most beautiful campgrounds I’ve ever stayed at, and the prices are cheaper than most of the other places that I have stayed at along the road down. Yes, I am tenting, so they have me way up top with a birds-eye view of the whole cove. Basically the only sounds that I hear are the waves crashing. I can see the coast line for miles, which right now are lit with scattered house lights (Its pitch black out right now).

Today I also made it to the Hollywood hills, took a nap in Griffith Park (kinda just dirt and some clumps of grass), I cruised Hollywood Blvd and saw a model having a photoshoot in a phone booth, Sunset Blvd was also cool and I saw a tonne of film studios. I then took Santa Monica Blvd into Beverly Hills and further onto Santa Monica where I got a little lost but soon found my way back to Malibu. Thats just how I roll.

I ate dinner at a pizza joint in Beverly Hills, which was interesting because I was in some sort of gay district as it seemed to be only guys there holding hands. I think I saw about 5 couples of men holding hands…. I honestly don’t think I saw more than a handful of women…

Yesterday I got to hang with a cool friend from down here and watched Red Circle Underground at the AC Supper Club in Venice, CA. This band seriously rocks some major coolness. Through my friend, I was introduced to the whole band, and commenced partying with them the whole night long. We closed the club down. Totally awesome introduction to the LA art scene, and I totally learnt some cool stuff about how things roll down here. They had a burlesque show, believe it or not, that performed before the final act. I felt that RCU should have been the main event EASILY. Check them out any chance you get. They were so cool and gave me a 3 song EP! I was/am stoked.

There was also a painter in there, doing some live on the spot painting which was also totally cool. It kind of takes on one of my dreams of having art being created on the spot as it gets inspired by the music, also as part of the show. Very cool.  Who says that a concert must simply be a feast for the ears?

The point of this trip was to find a reason, to find something that has been missing from part of my existence that I haven’t been able to grasp. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it sounds like it is. Maybe its just a little bit more meaning to why I’m doing what I’m doing. Or maybe its just to explore the coast. In one of my books I’m reading, I fall upon a quote all the time: “Man spends eternity searching for an understanding of himself, but never have I met a person who understands himself fully.” I think its more of a sequence of events that leads a person to enjoy their life to the fullest, and appreciate every day to the utmost possible region of gratitude. I think this is more what one searches for: A reason or will to live.

Today has finished with a smile on my face. Sometimes it only takes a good mood to turn things around. I was sitting on the beach, playing my guitar and watching the sun disappear behind the mountains and a very nice girl after a while was leaving, loading her kid into her car. I think her sister or friend had another 3 in tow, and we started talking, and as she was leaving, she came over and offered me a half of a bottle of French Champaign. I was totally floored by the kindness of this girl, and I wish I wouldn’t have been so speachless and flustered to have offered her a gift in exchange.

Today has filled me up with non-stop similar such kindness’. LA has reminded me that life takes a smile to make it better, and trust me, life is worth smiling. That is all.

I’ve been thinking lately about how the speed at which time flies to quick. Ideas and plans, designs and goals come into ones head at break neck speed, and in-spite of all the plans and precautions, they still slip by.

What brought this on was looking at flickr photos, and realizing that I’ve got old photos that I’ve promised people I would post. But its not just that, theres ideas involving light painting, plans to read books, arts to check out, the list goes on.

Sometimes it works itself into such a frenzy that I begin to find a panic button badly in need. I always look to the folks at exerciseandmind.com , where they have great ideas on how to keep the mind focused. Its tough though. Sometimes you just want to follow your day(s) dream. In a way, I guess that this is a good thing. Ideals, ideas, goals, etc. are always changing in the path of life, and so should your direction. I guess for me its just sometimes sad, or I feel that I’m forgetting something when I don’t look into projects I’ve got in mind.

I recollect various interviews where the interviewee says something along the lines of: ‘I’ve been working on this project for so long now, its taken x years to get everything together, but its finally here and its so worth it.’ I can totally relate to this. Its just something that happens.

I guess the secret to it all is to keep lists to remind yourself of what needs to be done.

I had the ultimate pleasure of seeing the Band of Skulls preform at Venue, downtown Vancouver BC on Sunday night. It was an awesome show. As of late, I’ve been trying to focus on my own thing and not go to as many concerts as I’m used to for sometimes one has to focus more on creating than being influenced. Sometimes the balance is needed.

The Venue is a nice and small venue, newly done over from whatever it was before, I forget now. I thought the sound could have been turned up, but thats just me..

To open up the show was a band called Saint Motel. They ruled. They are a band from California who could rock and had character. Really fit the bill, sometimes you get opening bands that are kinda not all good, but these guys were rocking. Check them out any where and any chance you can get. They had this totally cool video on repeat in the background, clearly they put in some time to make it, it had a bunch of vancouver references. It was very sexual in content, which increased desire! Their drummer really killed it with some amazing drumming. I thought he was spot on the whole night.

The second opening band was Silver Starling. They are from Montreal, and at least one of the members is from the group Arcade Fire, Marika Anthony-Shaw I believe. Marcus Paquin could really sing and did present a lot of leadership on the stage.  Check out their bio on the page listed. Pretty cool webpage. They rocked, and truly did give me the feeling of an Arcade Fire-esque influenced band, but this is to be expected, since they do play the same scene… somewhat.. or did… Listen and tell me what you think?

The main event. Band of Skulls . These guys rocked. Came out, put together a great show. I read an article on the show, and the guy was complaining that ‘once they get more professional, they wont find the need to turn their backs to the crowd’ bullshit. Me, I dig that, it means their really trying to groove together, their really feeling it. Russell Marsden was frequently playing with his amps feedback, trying to get it right, and wammying away with splendor like a guitar hero he will go down as.

Emma Richardson just plain out rocks. Her voice is just as beautiful as Russell’s is but more controlled. Russell seems to have more finesse if you will. But Emma is like what you’d expect a Ramones sister to be like: tall, long black hair with bangs in the front, and a seemingly shy or sublime demeanor to her.

In fact, they both had that feeling to them. Russell was singing through his hair the whole night, but this did not effect their show at all. In fact, it was great to hear some awesome music coming out of the speakers. Like I said before, I wish they would have turned it up.

I was standing right next to the stage the whole night, right by where all the commotion of set-up/take-down went on, so it was kind of fun to see all the band members scurry around setting up, breaking down the set. I’m a musician so I like to see how they do their thing.

I found that all three bands I was wanting them to play more songs. Keep on going, extend the songs, do a freek out solo, etc. etc. But thats just me.

All in all, it was a great Show. I’ve seen a lot here in Vancouver, and this one is one of the cool ones. All three bands impressed me, I had real close seats, only for a few songs there was an annoying girl beside me flinging her hair stupidly so that it would hit me, but I made it known I would appreciate her to move the hell away from me. I think the boyfriend knew I was annoyed and he kind of dragged her to the side after a while.

I always wonder if a band looks out at the crowd and gets to know the people directly around them. I guess in the end were all human aren’t we?

For my birthday, which just happened to be on the same night that Charlotte Gainsbourg opened her American tour in Vancouver, I had the pleasure of being entertained by said jewel.

You may have read my earlier post where I gave a brief review and a little biography, but this time I saw her live in concert. Odly enough, I wrote that blog before I had bought the ticket to this show.  Oh was she ever beautifully magnificent.  A lot of her songs she found herself holding the mic off the stand in her hands, intimately close where she could whisper her lyrics into the mic, just like I love her to do. Really, it perfectly topped off my day and sent me into a blissful haven.

Sometimes, at these shows that are sitting down, you get people that stand up directly in front of you, annoying you and their cheeryness….. but at this show, I think she controls the mood greatly with her persona so much so that everybody is just sitting there mesmerized by her. Very delicate and… hmm. Maybe its her French accent.

When she came out, you could hear people in the crowd gasp as they looked on at her, amazed by her presence, persona.. all of it combined. She came out with these striped pants, that had leather pockets and back side to them, which were bizarre in the most incredibly sexy way, and yes, I’d love to know where she got them from. She also had on this thin strip of a black scarf like thing that just hung around her neck, contrasting with her white tank top.

Her band was a pretty amazing crew. They all had character, even the bass player hidden in the back corner, and all playing with instruments of all sorts to get the sound of Charlotte. She had this fuzz pad thing, not sure what its called, but depending on where you touch it, and how you touch it, it creates space effects, which in my mind give her sound extra goodness.

The opening act that came on was AM, who were pretty damn good. I had heard about them before going to the show, and when I was there, I really enjoyed them. I love when a band pulls out the uke, which they did, and swelled my heart.

Another band came on after them, which I’m not sure was a official band with a name, but they fooled around, I suspect in pre-arranged song format. It was one of the guitarists for Charlotte and a DJ playing with knobs and a laptop. I forget their names, but I really enjoyed the singing of the DJ. I hope he start singing more. This act really bordered on a electronic act, if it weren’t for the fusion guitar that was being belted out. There were times where it was a little hard to handle, but others where I was quite enjoying it.

The whole night, all three acts were very soft spoken, personable, and cute. They all seemed very humble, and I most definitely would jump at the opportunity to meet any one of them again. If your reading this trying to debate whether or not to go to the show, GO. Buy your ticket now. Its just a shame that you all weren’t able to catch the show on Sunday April 11th with me, because it was the perfect venue, Vogue Theater, and a perfect night for myself, and I’m sure all the rest of the folks in the theater.

A cool fact that Charlotte mentioned is that the night I saw her, was her first show in America of the tour, her first tour, and her first time in Vancouver, so needless to say I felt incredibly honored. For more of her tour schedule, and to see if she’s coming near your check out her webpage. Charlotte, if you happen upon this blog, I wish I could shower you with big hugs in thank you for what you’ve given me, keep on truckin girl.

As a side note, I’m slowly starting to go to concerts again. Its been almost a half year since I’ve stopped, to hopefully focus on my own artistic interests, and it was a really nice way to get back into it again. I am trying to keep it to shows under $30, which Charlotte wasn’t! Neither will Jack Johnson, but what can you do…

Did anybody else go to the show? Love to hear what you thought about it.