Tribute to the Kinks, Love and the Byrds at Safari Sam’s 2/22/07

Last night couldn’t have been more adorable.

Depite the rain, psychedelic rock lovers from all over the city came out to Safari Sam’s for this month’s Club Tribute! series celebrating the music of The Kinks, Love and The Byrds.

Jess and I arrived during Naughty Bird’s lo-fi set. The trio’s lead singer, Solvej, belted out her impressive vox with the gusto of The Gossip’s Beth Ditto.

Up next were the Beatle-boot, retro-suit donning boys of The New Fidelity. Needless to say, they looked absolutely delicious, and their retro sound went perfectly with the theme of the evening.

Velvet Ratio (aka Andrew Scott and a female partner whose name I didn’t catch) then took it down a notch with an acoustic set. Andrew performed a gorgeous rendition of “Alone Again Or” which in itself was worth the price of admission (that is, had I paid – thanks for the listage, Amber!). At the end of their short set, the duo gave out long-stem red roses in memory of the great Arthur Lee to those of us in the audience who weren’t too timid to go up and get one.

Next, Silver Lake locals The Digs went all out in psychedelic garb, performing mainly Kinks tunes.

Kind Hearts & Coronets took the stage at midnight, but after their amazing set Jess and I were too tired to stay for the final act. But though I left early, I was entirely impressed how each band went all out and truly made the show worthy of being called a tribute to three of my favorite ’60s bands.


Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker at Safari Sam’s 2/14/07

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day after Valentine’s than to celebrate my love of Camper Van Beethoven and its extended family.

Hailing from Santa Cruz, Camper Van Beethoven formed in 1983 and quickly gained a large cult following with their violin-infused blend of pop, acid rock, ska, punk, folk and country. After disbanding in 1990, singer David Lowery founded Cracker, best known for their massive radio hit, “Low.”

Last night Matt and I arrived at Safari Sam’s having just missed the openers (sorry, Kind Hearts & Coronets). Cracker took the stage first, and I – a devout CVB fan – patiently waited through their hour-plus-long set to hear my beloved Camper tunes (although hearing longtime favorite “Low” live was a treat).

After a short intermission, David Lowery (guitar, lead vox), Frank Funaro (drums) and Victor Krummenacher (bass) again took the stage, this time alongside Jonathan Segel (violin) and with Greg Lisher replacing John Hickman on lead guitar. Each member a master of his instrument, the band was even more phenomenal than anticipated. Hearing CVB’s exquisite cover of “Pictures of Matchstick Men” was the absolute highlight of the evening.

The band ended an amazing set complete with double encores, and upon leaving I was shocked to see that it was already 1 am! Though the bands had played for over three hours, we left wanting more. I’m definitely going to do my best to make it to this year’s Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout.