Last night, I got a call from my friend saying that their buddies’ band was playing, did I want to come up and have dinner and see a show. In spite of not having my camera with me, I feel inclined to share my experiences with you, in the hopes that you will get to enjoy these hidden treasures (pleasures) someday, and perhaps even take photos.
I joined my friends and a guest of theirs at a vegetarian Indian restaurant called Paru, which is an experience all by itself. You need to push a little button at the front door and wait to be buzzed in. We sat in the patio which was pretty and had a tapestry/ tent-like roof, so it really felt indoors. One wall of the patio is literally the outside wall of a person’s apartment. This feels like a secret destination, even though it has been here since 1979. If you like vegetarian Indian food, check this place out. The super pancake is delicious in spite of the fact that it does not come with a cape. It had chunks of onion and a perfect flakey brown crust. I believe its hidden identity is a potato pancake.
From Paru we drove to the Bootleg Theater, to go see Firewater. The bootleg theater is a small venue with a few cocktail tables in the back. Actually, they are beer and wine tables, since they don’t serve hard alcohol. This is a standing only kind of club, which is perfect for seeing Firewater, because from the moment they started playing, the crowd didn’t stop bouncing and frolicking till the final number.
The singer; Tod A. (Formerly of Cop Shoot Cop) is a cross between Tom Waits and Joe Strummer and looks like that actor Peter Krause. I will attest personally to the fact that he is a likable and down-to-earth dude because he was the guest that ate with us at the Indian restaurant. At some point when I saw him work his magic on stage over the audience and keep the entire crowd involved, I thought to myself, “Thank God I didn’t know this guy was such a rock star or I would’ve felt weird during dinner.”
Self-described as “world punk” , you could call firewater’s music “Ska” because of the horn and percussion, or you could call it “Punk” because of the driving rhythms and political lyrical content. Their record label says Tod is influenced by Klezmer music, Wikipedia says they’ve been embraced by the genre called “Gypsy punk”. All I know is if somebody told me I was gonna go see a band where the trombonist was going to kick ass like a guitar solo, I certainly would’ve told them they were out of their mind-until last night. Seriously, the fact that every song is a masterpiece and Tod A is a poet makes this show worth the price of admission, To see the trombone player kick ass and the percussionist get up and dance around beating his drum is just icing on the cake.
It doesn’t look like there’s going to be any L.A. shows in the near future, but when Firewater comes around again I will be there, in the meantime, they’ve got six albums I need to familiarize myself with. Don’t miss out see you at the next Firewater show I’ll be there, far too busy dancing to take pictures.
Due to my inability to foresee that I would be having a life altering experience, and therefore did not bring my camera, the photos included in this article (except the one “borrowed” from Wikipedia) were shot with an iPhone by my friend; Dr. Melissa Wilson