Thursday, May 5, 2016

Newsletter #3


Mateo here.

Now is when things get challenging.

I had novelty on my side when I was writing the March and April newsletters. I was excited to share about Miedlena Records, and all the different stuff we get up to. Yesterday, however, I sat down to write the newsletter for May, and it felt like I was just making a list of upcoming shows and albums. Most significantly, it felt like a list. I don’t want this to be a list. I would like this to be something that is nice to read, so this time I’m going to write about a show, and see how that feels. Scroll to the bottom for a list of upcoming shows, releases, and etcetera.

The story:

April 23. Early afternoon. We started packing gear into the van, here at my house in Silver Lake. Next thing I knew, the van was also packed with people. It’s a big van.
I was the driver, and though I knew that the freeway was the fastest route, I saw a clogged artery of Los Angeles traffic as I approached the 101 and it spooked me. I improvised, and wiggled my way through Korea Town, Macarthur Park, and the tall buildings and cranes that populate downtown Los Angeles. For a short while a small mosh-pit seemed to break out behind me in the passenger seats as I navigated through Saturday afternoon traffic in the aptly-and-yet-ironically-named Diamond District, and the stark humanity of Skid Row.

We were on our way to the Broke L.A. festival. It used to be called Brokechella, but the lawyers over at Coachella thought the name a bit copyright-infringing, while the lawyers at Brokechella thought nothing at all, because they don’t exist. So we were on our way to Broke L.A.
As I said before, the van was full of people. We had a 50/50 split between performers and friends. I was hoping that I could get guest list spots for the friends, but texting with the event coordinators while navigating metro buses and slam-dancing passengers gave me little hope. We arrived at the front gate, where we were redirected to the rear gate, only to be told that the front gate was, in fact, the true place to go.

Upon returning to the front gate, we piled out of the van, noticeably pumped about the quality of Weezer tracks and the bold decisiveness of the many moving violations I had committed on the way there. The Broke L.A. staff hustled the lot of us to a table, where the friends were given a rainbow of access-granting armbands, and the performers were given birth-name-revealing artist badges. As I left the parking lot to park, alone in an empty van, I was impressed by the casual professionalism of the staff. I navigated my vehicle over a curb, so as to avoid the empty cop-car that had so discourteously blocked the driveway since our arrival.

We (Miedlena) were slated for two sets. First to play was the Nashville Brothers. Next was me,
Mateo. The comedy stage was our place. The festival took place in a typically worn-down warehouse complex that you might come across  downtown, just east of the Los Angeles River. There were outdoor stages and open-door warehouse stages. Uniquely, the comedy stage was set in a creepy little upstairs room. One comedian described it as a good place to shoot heroin and die. It was the perfect setting for what we had to offer.

I’m not going to describe the sets here. Prose won’t do them justice. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, somebody said. All I will say is that they were very good.
After we were done playing, we visited the Church of F.U.N., which had been rented out for a satanic-themed wedding. Residents and friends of the house as we are, we were allowed to hang out, mingle with the satanists, and take advantage of the open bar. As Ice Cube would say, “It was a good day”.

OK. That’s my story. Thanks for reading.


Matthew Teardrop @ Some rooftop downtown: May 5. // 9 pm. // 857 S. San Pedro Street. 90014. // Accessibility info: Elevator from ground level to third floor, then one flight of stairs to the Rooftop.

Kick a Ten Year Old in the Head @ The Church of F.U.N. // May 7. // This will be the last Los Angeles screening of the inimitable Bike Smut film festival. KATYOITH is the only musical act.

Nashville Brothers, Circus of Books, and Kick a Ten Year Old in the Head (KATYOITH), @ Bike Fest LA // May 8. // Grand Park. 200 N. Grand Ave. 90012. // Music starts at 2 pm. Link about it. 


MKID was released in April. Mouser wrote a disgustingly nice review. Read it here.

Taylor, of Kick a Ten Year Old in the Head (KATYOITH), is going to be in town, so he and Donnie and I are going to sit down and work out the details for an official release from them. Look forward to that, if you wish.

Matthew Teardrop and I sat down for dinner at El Compadre with the good people at Indiscretion Records to eat Mexican food, listen to live mariachi, and talk about the forthcoming release of a new Manhattan Murder Mystery album. They seem like good people. You’ll probably hear about this more in the future.

If you want to read past newsletters, you can do that here.

Ok that’s it for now. Feel free to hit “reply” with whatever you’ve got on your mind. Even better, send a letter or a postcard. I love getting mail. I’ll probably send you something back.

1069 Sanborn Ave.
Los Angeles, Ca.

Best wishes,

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