L.A. Record Player #1 @ Charlie O’s 10/11/07

As published in L.A. Record:

An astrologer told L.A. RECORD’s Phil Hoelting that he shouldn’t be a writer—instead, he should focus on producing events. Phil, though you know I love your brilliant words, I must say that your astrologer is on to something. Phil organized the first-ever L.A. RECORD Player night at Charlie O’s, and the event—taking place on the bottom floor of downtown’s historic, haunted Alexandria Hotel, featuring a killer line-up of Long Beach’s finest, and, importantly, offering $2 PBRs all night long (of which I was a most willing partaker)–could not have been more awesome. I arrived a little late, unfortunately missing Blank Blue (Nobody and Niki Randa and drummer Andreas). But sweet Jesus—Crystal Antlers more than made up for my tardiness. It’s pretty much useless to try to sum up their genius in words, as they are an act that MUST be experienced live, but here goes: possessed with an inexplicable energy at once manic and controlled, the band’s hypercharged garage-y soul blends insanity with melody in a way only an ensemble comprised of two keyboardists (one of which was Mars Volta’s Ikey Owens) and two drummers could…and they’re quite possibly the only band who could get me to venture outside of my Silver Lake/Echo Park/Hollywood bubble to catch a show way out in Long Beach. Closing out the evening were Free Moral Agents, also featuring Owens, who threw it down hard with droney trip/hip hop-laden funky soul-filled soundscapes. I don’t recall much after this, as I meandered a few blocks down to the now-closed speakeasy that’s doomed to become the future site of a gas station or parking garage. But this much I know: the night was nothing but good times. (LL)


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