Cab Fare: Hope Swings Eternal

Even amid the economic meltdown and collapse of the music industry, hope springs wherever there's a microphone, green grass and baked goods. This Saturday, at Culver City's Woodbine Park, a new recording label launches with a DIY fundraising event. "A Day in the Park" features Orange Cab Records' debut singer Elle Niles, who'll bend some R&B and rock classic to families sampling food, a yard sale and a raffle. It doesn't get any more grassroots than this.

As this information might suggest, Orange Cab is not thinking in terms of acquiring a Sunset Strip office suite -- nor even of becoming another indy hit machine that may one day get bought out by a top-heavy corporation. Instead, it's a collective of community-based artists and marketers, who, conscientiously taking its cue from Barack Obama's Change Campaign, are using this particular cab as a vehicle to educate performers on how to create alternative paths to advertise and distribute their work. We know Orange Cab's not planning on going mainstream because one of its stated rules is "to pay artists promptly . . . [and] to spread the wealth evenly within the company as it grows."

The revolution begins at noon; Elle Niles performs at 5 p.m.; free. 3409 S. Vinton Ave., Culver City. (310) 613-9306.

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