By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Next stop was a show at the Derby, the swing-dancing club in Los Feliz. At the door they were carding. Gadi had left his ID at home, but the doorman let him slide, with this admonition: "If the cops come, they line everyone up against a wall, and if anyone's under 27 and doesn't have ID, they ask us why we didn't check them out. Then we're fucked." I guess a youth riot was out of the question, unless they happened to be on the bill. The crowd's median age was probably 32. This was a new definition for the term "all-ages show."
We thought we saw Slash in the crowd, though I doubt he's fallen on such hard times that he'd wear a calf-length black leather jacket with the word JAZ written on the back. I definitely spotted former Germs drummer Don Bolles. These days he looks like a wan Asian man you might run into in a dangerous back alley in Bangkok. Later, Bolles walked hurriedly up the street in front of the club. "I'm going to see the giant ewok," he said. Actually, it was a giant beaver. Someone dressed in a full-body costume had arrived just in time to join the third band of the night onstage.
The band's name was Bluebird. Going through the records on the merch table, I found one release on the famed Huntington Beach hardcore label Revelation, though I've since read dismissive reviews from the punk faithful: "This one's a definite curve ball as far as what I expect from Revelation. Bluebird plays an odd brand of math rock with emo-rock influence, as well as what seems to be a little jazz influence . . . It's nice to hear something a little different. I can tell this won't please everyone, though -- approach with caution." I liked their sound. It was driving, earnest and intense. Jazz? Well, there were no saxophones.
Halfway into Bluebird's set, the lead singer grabbed at the bed sheet that hung over the stage, revealing two intense spotlights that blinded the crowd. Eventually the sound guy turned them off, but there was definite hardcore potential.
"This song is dedicated to those who owe us money," said the singer, introducing the next song. "It's called 'Fuck You, Pay Me.'"
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city