04 June 2007

With my stomach on the mattress and you whispering from above….

Los Angeles is a tough crowd. I’ve seen a ton of shows here at various places large and small and no matter what or who you are – it’s a rough place to lay your hat on a stage and sing your heart out. Many a famous performers have been quoted as saying that L.A. is their least favourite place to play. People pay good money to go see a show and they talk loudly all the way through the set thusly distracting the other attendees and the people on stage. But this is L.A. and these are important people so whatever they are saying is more important than whatever the person on stage is saying – and as long as you get that you’ll be ok.

Friday night we went to The Mint to see my friend Emma Hill – I had met her through myspace and she’s one of the few people who has actually been in touch and wasn’t reaching out just to hopefully gain a new fan. She did - but that’s beside the point. She was friendly, communicative, and I told her to let me know if she was ever going to play in L.A. – so we exchanged some emails, kept in touch, and there we were at The Mint. I was excited to be there – even though all I knew of her music was what I heard on her myspace page I knew it would be a good show.

The Mint is a very cool place. It’s small, intimate and the food smells amazing. I like it because you feel like you could be in a club back east with it’s long, wooden bar, low ceiling, and dark feel. Emma came to say hello before the show – or rather – I found her and she graciously hung out as we all waited for the place to fill up a little before she took the stage.

She went on around 7.45 and played for about forty-five minutes. Poor thing. I felt bad for her. And for the idiots in the audience who wouldn’t shut up and missed out on a great show. Her first gig in this town, at one of the cooler places around, and most people talked through her set. Typical. We didn’t, neither did the folks up front or Michelle Shocked who sat just to our right. I explained to her that it wasn’t a personal thing, in fact most everyone at least clapped after every song, it’s just that this is how this place is – and whether you’re Sting, Joe Jackson, or Patty Griffin – this is what you get. Hopefully she felt better.

So yeah – about that great show. I’m not lying. She has a beautiful voice, she plays well and her songs harken back to the days of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and early Shawn Colvin. She is folk through and through. She does it well and does it with heart, soul and a dash of sad optimism. I got the feeling that this Alaskan native has seen more than she’s letting on and at the tender age of ‘I’m not old enough to drink in this bar’ she seems wise beyond her years. This is clearly evident in her music and her writing. She also happens to be a very nice person and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with her before and after the show. I offered her my couch the next time she’s in L.A. or wherever I happen to be in the future. In the meantime – check her out: http://www.myspace.com/emmamariehill

Well folks, it’s that time of year – birthday parties, divorce parties, working on a house, and heading to my favourite places. I’m going to be a bit busy this coming week and will be taking a little break from the blog. I won’t be around next Monday but I hope you’ll look for me in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out my new CD, NUMB, at

Thanks for tuning in…until the next Monday…CHEERS!!

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