First Friday is always a treat, as the galleries offer up their new exhibits with snacks and drinks. I made an early start on the day, seeing some shows before the official kick-off, in order to beat the crowds.
An early reward was coming across the new location of "db" on main street and getting to sample the high-end stereo this electronic boutique offers. Tyler Wilson, the owner, graciously demonstrated his sound systems and showed excellent taste in musical selections. Definition of excellent taste is taste in agreement with mine. Tyler played the Grateful Dead, when they were still the Warlocks, Pink Floyd and many others I bought on vinyl long ago, in my youth. It was another favorite, a live recording of the Cowboy Junkies that lured me into the shop.
The outside speakers had extruded aluminum casings, were sleekly modern and had a high, clear sound. The inner pair, with shorter, wooden cabinets had a mellower sound, produced by technology developed in the 40s. The first pair sold for $6,000, and the latter for a mere $1,350. My vow to end desires was challenged, as I coveted the entire system. All you rich people out there, if you're looking for a good sound system, nay an excellent sound system, go to db and talk to Tyler. You won't find better equipment or a more comfortable place to compare systems.
Next, my wanderings took me to Dauphine's, where I found Thomas Pendarvis, of Good Neighbor Policy, alternately playing the drums and noodling on his guitar.
Back on Higgins, an activist extolled shoppers to pressure elected officials to keep their campaign promises. It was a sample of old-time soap box oratory. Many folks aren't old enough to remember what it meant to "climb on a soap box," or why someone might tell another to "get off the soap box."
For First Friday, Authentic Creations, a hip, hemp clothing store, featured live music by Luau Cinder, and I'm afraid many missed the pun in the band's name. The year I was a freshman at Pepperdine College, there was a freshman at UCLA named Lew Alcindor. He would later change his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. That was the first year the freshman basketball team beat the varsity at UCLA.
In the above photo, Phil Stempin is on the bass, with Aaron Talley drumming behind him. Below is Lance Irven, who plainly enjoyed his work. Phil also plays with Reverend Slanky.
Someone made a beer run after 8, reviving the crowd and the band, who proceeded to play until almost 10pm. Their rocking, but smooth, updates of 60's and 70's hits pleased this old man greatly.
Speaking of this old man, I was making my own political statement that evening with my t-shirt. When photographed, I was on my way into the Union Club to see Russ Nassett and the Revelators. I discovered Russ has peaked out in age and is getting younger. He was rocking pretty good, and the crowd was reaching fever pitch.
His son was doing a Roy Orbison routine at the other end of the stage. They did a tribute to Bo Diddly by playing Bo's signature song.