For the past few months, The Evangenitals have been making a steady habit of playing at Mr T’s Bowl in Highland Park and the consistency is working a number on my heart strings. I really do love that joint. Mr T’s Bowl is where the Evangenitals first stepped on the stage (at Arlo’s Open Mic night) and sung our first tender tunes in public. It’s where we got our first “big break” (booked to headline at El Cid by promoter Michael Anderson), and it’s where we’ve met, made, and converted some of the most dedicated Evangenitals friends and fans imaginable.
In the olden days, all of the Evangenitals (there were only 3 of us at that time) used to live in Highland Park, IN THE SAME APARTMENT BUILDING, which made band practice a breeze & Mr T’s Bowl was just a few blocks up the street. Almost every night of the week, you could find one or more of the Evangenitals at the Bowl, either playing the open mic, on the night’s lineup, or supporting our friend’s bands like The Natural Disasters, Fascinoma, Unpoppable, Killsonic, Cousin Junebug, Eagle and Talon, Cat Hair Ensemble, Artichoke, Ukefink, Hidden… it was a real family affair.
Then manifest destiny kicked in and we started venturing West, exploring new neighborhoods and venues all over Los Angeles, from the Derby in Los Feliz to the Knitting Factory where we opened for Trainwreck. We were regulars at Highland Grounds for a bit before it closed down, and even made it all the way to the ocean to play at O’Brien’s Pub in Santa Monica. Everywhere we have played has it’s charms, though none of ’em have the same home-baked feeling of Mr T’s Bowl.
Well, some months ago, the booker of the bowl, Gus, decided that the Evangenitals had drifted away from our ‘ol home base for far too long and it was time to get back to our roots. We, roots-loving folks that we are, were in total agreement and made a commitment to play the first Wednesday of every month. It has been good, and I hope we keep on going into ’09 with it.
If you don’t know the joint, not only is Mr T’s Bowl an infamous and important staple in the Los Angeles music scene (“Beck used to play there!” is one of the more popular pieces of evidence toward it’s cool/less factor)… the sound man, Arlo, is one of the best in the business, and plays some of the greatest in-between-acts tunes imaginable. For example, after we closed out our set last night with a rousing version of Gasoline (I even did a cartwheel into the audience, it was THAT rousing!) he turned on John Coltrane‘s version of “My Favorite Things”.
Hells yells! 🙂
So, as the year begins to come to a close, it seems that I’m having a kind of nostalgia that goes both backward and forward, simultaneously. I’m loving where the band has been, all the adventures we’ve had (like the epic Road to Oprah tour with The 1 Second Film!) and I’m REALLY excited about the FUTURE!
I adore the current incarnation of the Evangenitals, the ways in which we are growing, evolving, changing, the new music we are making, the revisioning of old songs, the addition of new instrumentation and players, and especially the LOVE that keeps bubbling up, flowing through me, and spouting out like a big ‘ol fountain of joy. I dig it. And it seems I’m not the ONLY one that is digging it… word on the street is that we are pretty cool.
What’s your word?
All my lovin,