Category Archives: Secretish Show

Feist “Secret Show” at Del Monte Townhouse in Venice

September 2, 2011
The Del Monte Townhouse
Venice, CA

Feist Secret Show

Feist Secret Show

“Welcome people of the Internet! This is what the inside of the Internet looks like. . . ” Feist said pointing at the stage and band surrounding her. Feist knows the truth: there are no secrets on the Internet. As tweets about last night’s “secret show” at The Del Monte Townhouse in Venice began to circulate in the late afternoon, Feist initiated her own tweet: “Anyone in Los Angeles will probably have a good time tonight if they can find this place by 10pm…”, along with a picture of the venue.

Feist debuted songs from her new album, Metals (available October 4, 2011) at the small venue which served as an illegal  speakeasy during the Prohibition. It doesn’t take long for word to get out on Twitter and by 9:45pm the room was packed, the venue and upstairs bar were at capacity, and a line of fans hoping to get in extended beyond sight.

When you see Feist, you know she’s doing exactly what she’s meant to be doing.  Everyone who was at this show (celebrities included) was a huge fan of Feist.  Many people inside the venue and even more people outside the venue were alerted about the show merely hours beforehand. They cancelled plans, they drove across town, they sat in traffic on a holiday weekend, waited for hours in line or at the bar.  Moreover, they’d waited years to see Feist play again. Inside the venue it was hot.  Not just temperature hot, stuffy hot.  If you were standing beyond 10 rows deep or were under 5’10”, chances are you couldn’t see.  The sound of the DJ upstairs interfered at times with the sound of Feist.  There were a lot of elements to overcome.  What impressed me the most, in addition to the music of course, was Feist’s ability to unify the audience.

Feist literally took the hot, uncomfortable audience on a journey to a place where they forgot about everything but the music. It was done with intention. You could feel it.  She kicked off the set with “A Commotion.”  It made a statement that imbibed: “Yes, it’s true. I’m here. You’re here. This is music. Let’s go.”  Upon bringing the audience to a place of complete presence,  she moved into some more “mellow” songs, joking, “It’s this new punk rock concept called a ballad.” People settled in, the talking in the back of the room began to fade away, we were on our way to another destination.   By the time Feist brought us to “Woe Be,” which offers words of wisdom and caution, with an edge of humor, about people who fall in love with songwriters, we arrived somewhere else.

“We’ve gone through the vortex and entered another dimension. You can feel it,” Feist exclaimed joyously.  The crowd cheered in unison and agreement.  “Sea Lion Woman” set off a dance party that carried us through the remainder of the set.

“We’re only going to play a couple more songs for you,” Feist said, managing the crowd’s expectations.   “You know what they say about staying in another dimension too long.  Your face may begin to fade from the pictures, like in Back To The Future,” she continued.  “I don’t want to be responsible for forever changing you,” she added, leading into “Comfort Me.”

Female folk trio, Mountain Man, harmonized and played a variety of instruments that added greater depth of atmosphere and playfulness to the set. They, along with Feist and the entire band, provided the fuel that carried us through the vortex and back.

By the time the show ended, “Feist” was a trending topic on Twitter in LA. Fitting, given her intro, and the fans’ entrance, to the show.

Video cannot replace the live show. It doesn’t replicate it. It simply serves as foreplay so you’re ready for Feist when she tours this fall:

Set list:

Feist set list

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Butch Walker and The Black Widows: “If you have to work tomorrow. . . SORRY!”

August 22, 2011
Santa Monica, CA

Butch Walker

Words cannot describe the fun you’ll have at a Butch Walker and The Black Widows show, so consider these pictures and videos from their show Monday night an appetizer.

You can see Butch Walker and The Black Widows on tour beginning October 6th. Tour dates and info are posted on their Facebook page.

Butch Walker and The Black Widows’ new album, The Spade, comes out August 30, 2011. You’ll want to get it before you see them live so you can sing along with the rest of the crowd. http://butchwalker.com/

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Butch Walker & The Black Widows: Rock & Roll and Beautiful Girls

March 7, 2011

Butch Walker & The Black Widows

Butch Walker & The Black Widows

. . . and alcohol.  What more can you ask for in a live show?

I dare you to not have fun at a Butch Walker show. It’s not possible. Even if your date is despicable, daft, or flirting with someone across the bar, Butch Walker will have a song to help you celebrate it.

Butch Walker and The Black Widows have been playing songs from their upcoming album, at an underground location, in what has become a Monday night residency of sorts.  Even if you know where the venue is, when you arrive, the first thing you see is a sign that says: Shhhhh.

Cheers

Cheers

As the Black Widows take their positions on stage, Butch Walker reminds everyone why they’re here: “Let’s have some fun, alright? We’re going to play the album straight through.  That’s all we’ve got for you. . . unless we get drunk later and it’s someone’s birthday and we sing a bunch of cover songs or something.” They did get drunk, it was someone’s birthday, they played the album straight through, and a good time was had by all.

Butch Walker

Butch Walker

It’s a rock & roll show: shots of whiskey are delivered from the bar, round upon round; there are rafters for the band to swing from. . . and they make good use of them; there are beautiful women on and off stage; guitars fall – or get knocked over – by beautiful women who are just trying to be helpful (so no one really gets upset about it); there are other beautiful women perfectly positioned to let the band know that equipment is falling; and not a drink goes untouched.

Ladies: you know what Butch Walker & The Black Widows, whiskey and beautiful women, bring to a venue? A bunch of cool men.  Live music and a hell of a lot more fun than a speed-dating event.

Butch Walker & The Black Widows

Butch Walker & The Black Widows

If you eavesdrop on band members after the show (they really tell the truth if they don’t know you’re listening), you’ll hear every single one of them say, “It’s a lot of fun!”  The show feels like a great house party just before the cops arrive as a result of numerous noise complaints, but with an amazing band as opposed to “that neighbor kid and his friends”.  The band is having fun on stage and it transfers to the audience. If you see Butch Walker & The Black Widows play, you will have a good time. Guaranteed.

I have several HD videos of the show and a lot of Butch Walker fans asking me to post them.  Initially, I considered that these are new songs, that the album is still being recorded, that perhaps something should remain a surprise.  What fun is it if everyone knows all the songs before they’re even released?? Then I remembered the first Butch Walker show I ever attended.  It was many years ago (not too many though because none of us is “old”).  It was an album release show at The Hotel Cafe.  Brand new songs.  In fact, it may have even been a week or two before the album was released, as a “warm-up show” to kick off a tour.  Regardless, it was a sold out show. People had driven in from Atlanta and Arizona and flown in from New York. It felt like a pilgrimage to hear these “new” Butch Walker songs, but the most striking thing happened when Butch Walker played: everyone already knew the words and they all sang along.  That show introduced me not only to Butch Walker, but to his fans, who are among the most dedicated, loyal, and passionate fans any artist could hope for.  Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend didn’t exist at that time, or surely I would have written about that show.  That said, Butch Walker’s amazing fans have been a significant part of my experience of every show, so I wrote a bit about that here.

Anyway, here are a few videos for people who love Butch Walker – they deserve it:

This has become one of my favorite moments every week:

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Filed under Hotel Cafe, Secretish Show

Butch Walker and The Black Widows, F*ckit

February 28, 2011
Shhhhh Los Angeles

A week or so ago Butch Walker (@butchwalker) tweeted this:

11:11

And I responded with something like this: “I wish @ButchWalker would do another residency. . .”

Amazing musician? Great songwriter? Brilliant producer? That’s all merely a front – Butch Walker is a mother f*cking genie!

Playing Angry Birds on stage

Tonight marked the second of four Monday night shows by Butch Walker & The Black Widows.  The songs are so new, Walker has the lyrics readily available on an iPad.  At the same time, Walker and The Black Widows know the set so well, the setlist is merely a placemat for the whiskey.

“Is this too loud out there?” Walker asked, leaning into the crowded room.  “I feel like it is, but f*ck it. . .”

The picture of rock & roll

The Black Widows played for about an hour, trying their new songs out on friends and family, before they head into the studio to record an album.  The music is fun.  There’s a song that takes you on a Bryan Adams flashback, and you somehow come out feeling okay (that’s genius).  There’s a song about being sucker-punched and the corresponding story about how Walker secured this Monday night venue (surely, there could have been a less-painful way).  The songs are more “upbeat” than some of Walker’s previous work, although there are some thematic similarities.  If you’re a Butch Walker fan, this all makes sense. If you’re not familiar with Walker. . .  chances are nothing I’ve said makes sense anyway.  Wiki him and you’ll find you do know Butch Walker.

The Black Widows

The venue? The drinks were strong and affordable.  In fact, they served me the strongest drink short of those I’ve made myself.  Cover charge? There isn’t one. I can’t tell you where it is, but I’ll give you the following hint: it’s one of few places in LA where the AT&T iPhone seems to get reception.

Thank you for making my wish come true, Butch.  If we don’t count “no line in the women’s room” and “free parking”, I get two more, right?

The Black Widows:

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