Hopefully we can start a new tradition at Dave Travis’ Cafe NELA. Dave has been in the scene forever. I met him in 1985 on our way to see Black Flag in Tijuana. So there is no better place for the annual punk rock revival.
Cafe NELA has a huge back patio with couches and a cozy but semi-spacious room to watch the bands. Plus there is a giant hot dog man on the back patio in keeping with the BBQ’s hot dog theme! Perfect! No hard liquor, just beer and sodas. Maybe wine, I’ve never ordered any. But there is a killer taco truck a block away.
Starting off the fun at 3pm is Herbert, the nonagenerian who is spending his golden years playing his organ and crooning through his artificial larynx for grateful audiences everywhere. Next up is two-bit whore, with Mark Segal, David McIntyre and Steve Reed at 4pm. Swedish radio described them as a cross between Zappa and Santana. At 5pm, host Dave Childs’ band, Lawndale, will wow you with their instrumental punk-flavored surf music.
At 6pm prepare yourself for one of the premiere shows of One Square Mile, which refers to the size of Hermosa Beach. South Bay Locals Rob Holzman (Bobby Ho), John Mccree, Noel R Neville and Earl Liberty came together after they were inspired by bands like FLAG and OFF!. Their first single, “Judge Jury & Executioner,” has screaming vocals that punctuate the message, begging you to throw your fist in the air. A fast intense guitar and deep fuzzy bass swing between a steady beat and superfast thrash. 1sm is a punk throwback with its own sound. Their live shows are definitely going to explode. Stay out of the slam pit! You don’t want to break a hip!
Everybody’s favorite comeback kid, Randy Stodola, will be rocking out and singing with his new Alley Cats as if 20 years haven’t gone by. The Mecolodiacs close out the night at 8pm with their freeform punk/jazz/funk fusion. Led by Joe Baiza, whose guitar always seems like it’s trying to fly away while he’s playing it, the band often invites guest performers to the stage. Each permutation brings a different sound, but there is always a steady backbeat which allows the other musicians to soar.