Category Archives: The Mint

Benefit Concert Thursday Feb 23: Telstar, Wires In The Walls, Little Red Lung, Kevin Bronson (Buzz Bands LA)

February 15, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

Please join Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, Telstar, Wires In The Walls, Little Red Lung and Kevin Bronson, for a special benefit concert to support LA’s homeless population, Thursday, February 23rd at The Mint. All proceeds from the door will be donated to PATH (People Assisting The Homeless).

GET TICKETS NOW: http://www.themintla.com/show/detail/56568

Doors: 8:00pm
DJ Kevin Bronson (Buzz Bands LA): 8:00pm
Little Red Lung: 9:00pm
Wires In The Walls: 10:00pm
Telstar: 11:00pm

The Mint: 6010 WEST PICO BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA 90035

The Inspiration: 
I was on a conference call while driving to a show in downtown Los Angeles, during an unseasonably cold December night. The show was taking place at a venue that was new to me, so I enlisted the help of my vehicle’s GPS to navigate.  “Turn left onto South Boyle” the GPS instructed. “Left onto Whittier Blvd” the digital voice continued.   “Guys – I’ve gotta go!” I interrupted our conference call and hung up abruptly. My GPS routed me directly through Los Angeles’s Skid Row, one of the largest populations of homeless people in the United States. It’s estimated that more than 4,000 people sleep on the streets of LA’s Skid Row every night.

I didn’t hang up the phone out of fear. I’ve walked through the area at night previously. I hung up the phone out of respect.  The content of the phone call was business. It was important.  Yet, my mind could not handle the juxtaposition of what I was seeing on the streets with the discussions about business ringing in my ears.  There was a van in front of me, driving exceptionally slow.  I watched people set up their tents. They have a system. People seem to be well aware of their individual role in the community.  During my drive, I witnessed how LA’s homeless population works together as a means to survive.  The slow-moving van in my path forced me to take it all in.  “Look at what’s happening here. . . This happens every night. . . You need to do something,” thoughts raced through my head. By the time I made my way through the area, I had witnessed a small city being built before my eyes.

Skid Row map

“What can I do, beyond what I’m already doing?” I pondered as I continued to make my way toward the venue.  I felt so blessed. . . and so responsible.  My life is exceptional. Everything and everyone I’m grateful for sparked in my mind, rapid-fire. I couldn’t keep up with my thoughts.  “I just turned up the heat in my car, on my way to a show, to have drinks with friends, and enjoy an amazing night of live music. I need to do something. . . ” So I called upon some of the friends who popped into my mind as I was giving thanks for all that I have and the people who contribute so greatly to my life.  “What do you think about doing a benefit concert, in support of LA’s homeless?” I asked.  One-by-one, and without hesitation, they agreed.

Also among those I gave thanks for that night is YOU.  We’ve shared live music experiences, anecdotes, and #overheard humor here, on Twitter, and YouTube.  Many of us have met in person and cultivated friendships that extend well beyond a “like” button. I would love to share this evening with you, my community, as we lend much-needed support to LA’s homeless community. Details about the artists, charity, and venue are below.  Tickets are available here:  http://www.themintla.com/show/detail/56568 Please share with your friends, invite them to join us. Thank you!

Kevin Bronson of Buzz Bands LA:
Kevin and I initially met several years ago at a Buffalo Tom show at The Troubadour. At the time, Kevin was an editor/writer at Los Angeles Times. He knew more about the music scene in Los Angeles than most people I had encountered up to that point. We  hung out long after the show ended, talking about music and bands including Mercury Rev, The Shins, and Beachwood Sparks. We’ve been friends ever since. Currently, Kevin heads up BUZZBANDS.LA, an independent website focused on music made and played in and around L.A., offering news, reviews, interviews and song downloads. Buzz Bands has become the go-to source for fans seeking what’s new and who’s cool. Kevin also hosts a weekly radio program on KCSN, Sundays 7pm – 8pm (Pacific Time).  If you want to know what’s happening in music before it happens, this is your guy.  It’s an honor to have Kevin DJ this event.

Wires In The Walls:

Wires In The Walls

Wires In The Walls

LA-based quintet Wires in the Walls explores a textured space between Americana, anthemic indie rock, austere post-punk, and pop. Since the band’s formation in 2009, they have played many of LA’s top venues and toured the east and west coasts, with their well-received 2010 EP “Call Signs” receiving local and national college radio play. Wires in the Walls takes a hands-on DIY attitude to their promotion, including the screen printing of all of their own merchandise. The band spent 2011 writing and recording their debut full-length album New Symmetry, released October 25, 2011. Wires in the Walls is: Warren Sroka (vocals/guitar – NYC), Nick Tracz (bass/vocals – upstate NY), Bryan King (drums/horns – Virginia), Dave Irelan (guitar/vocals – Oregon), & Dave Sicher (everything – Illinois).

“We’re really excited to be a part of this show for a such a good cause. Los Angeles as a whole has been super supportive of us and our music throughout our brief life as a band, and so it’s great to be able to give back in some small way to the larger community. Plus the lineup is fantastic, so it’s like a double-whammy of awesomeness.” Bryan King said when asked about Wires In The Walls’ participation in this event.

Telstar:

Telstar

They are among my favorite people in the world. Chris Unck, Eva Gardner, and Stew Heyduk (“Telstar”) have “official bios” and credits that include P!nk, Feist, Mars Volta, Butch Walker, and Veruca Salt. Why do I love Chris, Eva, and Stew? They are amazing, kind, supportive, brilliant artists, not constrained by convention. They have a way of simultaneously existing in the past, present, and future, like a living time machine. The energy and spirit of their live shows has been the highlight of nights full of highlights. They’re playful, funny, and experts in creating, as well as participating in, the party.  Chris and Eva are also talented visual artists and will be displaying some of their work during the event.

I’ve written quite a bit about their music and live shows, some of which lends insight into the people they are, but none of which can substitute for you experiencing Telstar yourself.

The Mint
It was during a show at The Mint in 1999 or 2000 that I decided I wanted to work “in music”. There were only 8 or 9 of us at the venue. As I watched an unknown musician play in a nearly empty room, I had a strong feeling he would go on to be quite successful. “If I could get paid to do this. . . to experience music, help support it, and tell people about it. . . ” I resigned from my movie studio job the following week. As soon as the musician finished his set, I approached the man who booked the venue at the time. “Who was that? You need to book him here again,” I said. “I would love to keep booking him, but he doesn’t draw (an audience),” the man responded. “What’s his name?” I pressed. “Jack Johnson,” he replied.

Needless to say, I have a long history with The Mint. It’s a wonderful venue, with a great team of people behind it.  You can enjoy a clear line of sight to the stage from nearly any point in the venue.  The bar is perfectly situated for optimal efficiency. They have great food.  I’ve seen artists including Frank Black, Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Joan Osborne, and Tom Morello play The Mint.

What I love most about The Mint is the people who work there and their ongoing commitment to the community as a whole.  There’s a sense of Southern hospitality at The Mint.  If you’re there, you’re family.  As an organization, The Mint is dedicated to giving back to the community.  They’ve hosted numerous fundraisers and are generously opening their doors to us on Thursday, February 23rd as we come together to lend support to the homeless.

PATH (People Assisting The Homeless):
During the last six months of 2011, PATH helped 544 people in need move into permanent housing. PATH’s mission is “To break the cycle of homelessness by empowering people with the tools for self-sufficiency.” They do this by helping homeless individuals and families find work, save money, secure housing, and empower their lives. PATH provides numerous essential services to the homeless including counseling, legal advocacy, housing services, employment and outreach services. All proceeds from the door during our event will be donated to PATH. For more info about PATH, you may check out their fact sheet here: http://www.pathpartners.org/factsheet/files/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20PATH.pdf

Tickets are on-sale now:  http://www.themintla.com/show/detail/56568

I look forward to seeing you at the show!

Colette

[Updated: February 17, 2012]
We are pleased to announce an addition to our line up: Little Red Lung. “Why such high praise? Well, perhaps because vocalist/keyboardist Zoe-Ruth Erwin has seemingly been summoned from the collective wombs of Tori Amos, Amanda Palmer, and Florence Welch with as much artistic depth of her own to gain the type of devoted following each of those women have. Yet there’s something a bit more sinister about the musical magic this band conjures up, a seductive witchery of waltzes that would incite even the most devout crossbearer to do the devil dance. They’re brilliant. The band is releasing free tracks up until the release of their new album through Bandcamp. You need to download them all.”
– la-underground

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Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Joan Osborne and Tom Morello, at The Mint for Babette Ho Cancer Relief

September 19, 2011
The Mint, Los Angeles

Ben Harper & Friends Benefit For Babette Ho

Ben Harper played a special benefit show at The Mint in Los Angeles to raise cancer relief funds for Babette Ho, wife of legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys / Zephyr surfboard maker Jeff Ho.  Harper was joined by numerous special guests, including: Jackson Browne, Joan Osborne, Tom Morello, and Tal Wilkenfeld.

It was a brilliant night of music and community; an evening that cannot be summed up in words.  For now, here are some videos from the amazing benefit show last night.  I hope to add more insight later.  Then again, you kind of had to be there:

WATCH THIS:

Huge thanks to The Mint, Ben Harper, all the participating musicians, and the amazing community of fans who were there!

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Matt Morris and Justin Timberlake at The Mint

January 19, 2010
The Mint, Los Angeles

Matt Morris

Matt Morris

It’s a rare occasion that Justin Timberlake performs at a venue with a capacity of less than 200. So what brought Timberlake to The Mint last night? Matt Morris.

Justin jumped on stage to lend backing vocals on Morris’s tune “Bloodline.”  Portions of last night’s Matt Morris CD release show were broadcast live on Justin.tv – you can watch the archives there.

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Meiko and Frank Black?!

Not together of course.

Meiko performing at LP33.tv

Meiko performing at LP33.tv

Tuesday kicked off with an interview and live acoustic performance from Meiko at LP33.tv. After exchanging information about some of the restaurants we frequent in LA, Meiko, one of my favorite musicians from The Hotel Cafe family, chatted with LP33.tv about overcoming stage fright, her musical inspirations and writing process, and getting ready to record her next album.  She then performed “Boys with Girlfriends” and her rendition of “Super Freak.”  After Meiko sang “Boys With Girlfriends,” one member of the LP33.tv  team was overheard saying, “that gave me chills!” A little close to home, eh?

Black Francis performing at The Mint LA

Black Francis performing at The Mint LA

Later that night, I headed to The Mint to see Black Francis (aka Frank Black) perform. That was cool for several reasons.  For one, he’s Frank Black.  It was a nice surprise (for me anyway) to hear him chat between songs.  I’ve seen The Pixies and Frank Black perform previously and I don’t remember him being quite so chatty… or perhaps I wasn’t paying close enough attention before. Anyway, he talked between songs and he was funny, which is important because otherwise I would have wished he didn’t talk between songs.  (Remember when Flaming Lips played Coachella and rambled on about politics through 3/4 of their set?! All I can recall is that Wayne Coyne came out in that bubble, played 2-3 songs and then talked for an hour.  Such a disappointment.  And yet, I’m still going to see them at The Greek Monday night).

Frank Black... on and off stage (one of the look-a-likes)

Frank Black... on and off stage (one of the look-a-likes)

Anyway, back to Black Francis.  He played a nice mix of  some old Pixies favorites along with his solo stuff.  It’s a good thing I was sober-ish or it could have been a very confusing show – there were at least 3 Frank Black look-a-likes in the audience.

Meiko performing “Boys With Girlfriends” at LP33.tv. Just a teaser, the Meiko feature is being edited:

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