Sunday, February 7, 2010
MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT in the SOUTH BAY
It is fair to say that everyone loves music, some genre or style speaks to each individual in its own way. The South Bay community must be full of music lovers when you sit back and think of the long line of live music venues that have been housed along the beach cities. The most popular was once "Anabelles," which changed to "The Strand" and had its final days as "Club Caprice" before closing its doors at the turn of the millennium. The same place that was once the Plush Horse, a steakhouse of sorts, later became the biggest night club in all of the South Bay. Many of you know what I am talking about, but to some what you now know as Bristol Farms on the corner of Palos Verdes Blvd and PCH was once a place that I would work all hours of the night alongside amazing talents in a room filled with tobacco smoke, bopping around to the sounds of harmonious melodies and bass filled beats.
There are memories I will always hold with me, memories that will make me smile every time I drive past the Bristol Farms that is now in place of where I spent most of my evenings in the mid 90's to the early 2000's. I had been a patron of "The Strand" as a tween and in hindsight I scored a pretty amazing job for a high school kid when I became the Head Hostess at Club Caprice. My daily income was not only dependent on how many hours I worked, but it was mostly based upon the talent we showcased and where I sat my guests. We always had a few tables we would hold aside, ready to be the prime spot for the highest bidder. The most memorable experience for me beyond the music and meeting Keanu Reeves or Kevin Bacon etc, would be working New Years Eve 1997 in a smoke filled cloudy bar and going back to work on New Years Day of 1998 to the first day that I would never have to work in a room filled with smoke again. It was an amazing change. I was actually able to breathe and see the artists on stage from my humble little hostess desk. Thank you California!
Music Talent from the South Bay
Various musicians have come from the South Bay, why the majority of those that made it were from the Hardcore Punk and Alternative genre is perhaps in relation to the beach culture that adopted the surf and skate sports that have labeled our local scene. The most successful and universal of the talents to claim the South Bay as home would be the Beach Boys, staking their stomping grounds to be the city Hawthorne. Much of what we know today to be South Bay music got their influence and start from Black Flag who also created a label that got a lot of other kids in town their start to stardom. Other South Bay based artists are Pennywise, The Deviates, 98 Mute, Circle Jerks, The Descendants and more.
Music Now in the South Bay
There are a dozen or so venues now in the South Bay where you can go to enjoy local talents and some that house big names for a night. Nothing out there is quite like what my corner used to be, but there does seem to be something for everyone.
My new favorite location would have to be Saint Rocke, not only do they have an impressive line up, but they offer a delicious menu, friendly service, fair ticket prices and the ambience is comfortable and catered to those that dress smart and want to have a good time. My first time was for a night of dueling pianos which is always fun, and shortly after I went for a Halloween costume extravaganza put on by Scoop magazine. SR has showcased many local talents as well as those like Ziggy Marley.
You can watch the sunset at the beach, walk along the strand, have dinner at an old classic on the Pier and then end your night with some live music at Brixton on the Redondo Beach Pier. Although there has been a heap of turnover in this seemingly underground location, the talent that has been housed in this venue with no windows may surprise you. I know a couple of people that went to see Sheila E perform and were surprised when the man formerly known as Prince appeared on the stage and surely shocked those that went to see some cheap entertainment. Just recently they had the English Beat and they will soon be having Shawn Colvin.
The venues are vast and varied and there should be something to suit the tastes of everyone around. If you want more Blues or Funk and Soul then Cafe Boogaloo may be the right place, there are an abundance of bars housing DJ's on nearly every night or you can even go to a small strip mall hole in the wall on Tuesdays for Open Mic night at Suzy's bar. To end it all, what was once the hottest club in the South Bay for live music may be gone, but there are still a lot of choices to bring music to your ears and a beat to your step.
You can visit a few websites to see what is coming soon to the South Bay.
*there are many more out there, but these are a few favorites*