Thankfully, we didn't have to rush down to Los Angeles for this show. In fact, we left the SF Bay Area a day early, thus having a ton of extra time to get our heads right for this gig. After a fun several hours of visiting Amoeba Records downtown and Griffith Park, we headed over to Cafe Nela in pretty relaxed moods. Now, our set, however, was anything but. Inspired by emotions still somewhat raw from our very tense gig at Muchmore's in Brooklyn last year, we really let it all fly out. A version of Spirit Aligned Truth morphed into some pretty crazed spaces. Mika and Eli were especially blasted on this set. Crazy, fun and very much laid INTO. I had a great time playing my "Acid Jazz" kit, too. The other acts on this bill were equally weird and cool. Cafe Nela is a great, funky place. Go there when you're next in Los Angeles.
Below: Small kit with big sounds; 3/4 of Cartoon Justice at Griffith Park Observatory
Above: audio only, second half of set at Cafe Nela.
Cartoon Justice-Furstwurld, Joshua Tree CA; 3/22/19
Cartoon Justice rolled into Furstwurld and its very funky desert art environment pretty early on the evening of 3/22. I was wondering if anyone would be at this show, as it's pretty well out of Joshua Tree proper. Thankfully, some folks showed up for it. After a cool set from Emily Hay, Lucio Menegon, and Danny Frankel, we managed to get our set going, even with some technical difficulties. I was having trouble hearing Mika and Kersti, as the stage was set up so that Eli and I were basically "in another room". Even so, we managed to pull together a pretty manic set. It seemed as though we cleared the room, but apparently Eli got some good feedback from people. I just recall digging in and going for broke with my drums, in tandem with Eli. The end of the evening featured a groovy collaborative Lingua Incognita set from all of the evening's players. That was really cool!
Below: Eli awaits the onslaught
Man, I thought Furstwurld was out of the way, but damn The Palms is out in the middle nowhere! Totally surrounded by desert scrub! Its interior is wicked cool though, full of strange acidic Funk Art and dusty ambiance. A really neat place for sure. Cartoon Justice hooked up with Emily Hay for this one. She did a bit of a short set with Eli on bass and me on drums. This proved to be pretty satisfying, albeit somewhat truncated. Cartoon followed, and we played two sets of very free and loose grooves. Spirit Aligned Truth emerged again, along with Elegy de Amazonia. We got all over the map, playing soft, loud, and all points in-between. After the previous two evenings' playing, I felt suitably amped up and inspired. Not a ton of people there, but we did get some folks to watch. After our sets, I overheard one guy saying that our music "goes nowhere", and yeah, I can dig that. I guess it's about being in the moment. Improvised music is certainly not for all people. I wasn't mad at the guy. It seemed pretty "somewhere" to me, but maybe I'm just biased.
Below: Cartoon Justice at Joshua Tree National Park
Heading back up to Northern California, I left Joshua Tree way before sunrise on Sunday. The 210 freeway is a lot easier before 7 AM, that's for sure. I got over the Grapevine by 8:30 and found myself back in Richmond in the early afternoon, satisfied with another trip with the Cartoon Justice crew.