I have always had mixed feelings about Los Angeles. The weather is perfect. The air quality is…not trustworthy. The Pacific is to die for. The traffic is also murderous. Fruit grows everywhere. The Korean food is amazing. Amazing. So good. And the people…?
The people are pretty great, too. I had such a blast this July sharing a night with friends: one of my closest friends, Charlie Faye, performed solo – along with her Califone spinning a vinyl copy of her rhythm tracks from her newest album You Were Fine, You Weren’t Even Lonely, and then a newer friend of mine, Steve Postell, played a set of his songs with local friends of his. I got to do one of my favorite things ever – learn someone else’s songs and sing some harmony. It was very sweet of Steve to trust me not to wreck his set, and I think it sounded great. I did the late night honors, closing out the night with Steve on guitar…and a surprise guest joining in as well.
A couple friends I haven’t seen in a while surprised me completely by popping in for the night – and one of them joined me on stage. Yes, that is Laurence Juber hiding in the background of that photo. He and Hope sweetly made the trek over to that tiny corner of the Cinema Bar, and I was so overjoyed to see their very missed faces. It was really, really amazing to hear him play (I twisted his arm to play a few instrumentals) again, and I was having such a blast when he and Steve took turns taking incredible solos on my songs.
Oh, and the photo? It’s taken by my high school and college friend Edith Hwang, who has moved from Texas to L.A. to learn more about film and photography. She’s always had a knack and an eye, but she’s honing her skills among the best now (Want to know a secret about Edith? She played a ripping Strat in college, and all of us called her BluesMama).
I realize this post probably sounds like a name-dropping bazaar, but really, what I want to say is just how thankful I am for friends who take the time and energy to make me feel loved, even when I am 1400 miles from home.