Eastside Mix: Baseball Project swings through Echo Park

The Baseball Project peforms at The Echo tonight

By Alfred Montez

If you couldn’t get tickets to today’s Dodger season opening game, how about a rock show all about our national pastime?

Tonight,  The Baseball Project will be performing down the road from Dodger Stadium at The Echo in Echo Park.  This baseball themed supergroup includes Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, both of R.E.M., and Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate.  They have crafted two albums full of great baseball stories, and situations any fan of the game would be familiar with.  Tunes like “Chin Music” and “Fair-Weather Fans” are woven like fables, timeless stories about baseball etiquette, and how the game should be played.

They also draw upon some of the more interesting moments in the game’s colorful history.  Take for example, “Buckner’s Bolero”, all about Bill Buckner and his famous mishandling of a ball that cost the 1986 Boston Red Sox the World Series.  These songs are like folk music for sports nuts, but they still rock, as do the stories themselves.  A real treat for any sports fan, the show is $13 advance, $15 at the door, 18+.

Los Difuntos @ The Boulevard

The The Boulevard Cafe and Bar is hosting two shows this weekend that really show how far this little spot in East Los Angeles has come in its first couple of years.  First, on Friday, April 1, Los Difuntos headline a night of Pychobilly and Punk Rock featuring six bands local to the area, and known to assault the eardrums on a regular basis.  This show is only $5, 18+.  Then, on Saturday, April 2, the Star Fucking Hipsters, Union 13, Nino Zombie, Battle Flask and Professor Panyck take over to continue the bombardment.  This show is also 18+, and $10.

This venue, from what I personally remember, has only been open maybe a couple of years, and has really upped the ante for heavy music in or anywhere close to the Eastside.   At first crowds were sparse, like any new bar or club, but soon they were packing the hall in with ear shredding material from all over the southland.  Now it appears they’ve caught the eye of touring acts, and have even been accepted in the Über-picky underground metal circuit.

These two shows this weekend, you would expect in Hollywood, or maybe the Showcase Theatre in Corona, for the old hardcore heads.  Instead you can cruise down Whittier Boulevard right in our own neighborhood, and arrive at what is one of the few places anywhere that can host such a brutal calendar.  The Eastside needs more established venues like The Boulevard.  Bands like underground heroes Union 13 came out of playing backyards in Boyle Heights in the mid 90’s.  Now they have somewhere they can come back to and play to their own neighborhood, without fear of police breaking up the show.  As loud as these guys can get, it’s a legitimate concern.

Common Rotation & Dan Bern @ Bootleg Theatre

On Sunday, April 3 The Bootleg Theatre in Historic Filipinotown will host a night with Common Rotation, a talented indie rock band fronted by Adam Busch, of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame.  Common Rotation will have the stage to themselves for about an hour, warming up the crowd for headliner, Dan Bern, whom they will also be backing up.
Bern is known as a prolific songwriter, having penned over 600 tunes, ranging from straight acoustic folk to bubble gum pop, but always with a singers songwriter’s sensibility about his lyrics.  He’s another artist with several songs about baseball players, or baseball moments, such as Galarraga’s perfect game that went down the drain when the umpire Jim Joyce missed a call.  Seems like the perfect show to catch on Sunday after the opening day madness winds down, and the freeways return to the tolerable levels of traffic, like we’re all used to. This event is 21 and over, $12 pre-sale via ticketfly, and $15 at the door.

Walking Sleep & The Satellite

The Walking Sleep (Formerly the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra)  takes up residency at The Satellite LA on Monday April 4, bringing their brand of catchy, pop infused, rock to the Silver Lake  crowd.   The group’s vocal sound is airy, the harmonies and interplay between Sara Radle and Hunter Curra providing for a much bigger sound than the simple sum of the two parts.

Radle’s upper register lines dance around Curra’s baritone on softer songs, and on some of the louder tracks they make for an energetic chorus full of life and vibrance.  At quieter moments the band follows the vocal’s lead, for serious, introspective material.   Other times they crank out playful, robust jaunts into a lighthearted songwriting style.  Their residency continues every Monday night in April, be sure to catch this up and coming local band as they make their way to the top.   The Satellite is 21 and over, Doors are at 8:30 p.m., and this event is FREE.

There’s a lot of music out there. Eastside Mix will  help guide you to noteworthy shows and keep you up to date on Eastside venues, bands, artists and labels. Did we miss something? Send an email to hello@theEastsiderLA.com.

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