At eight on a Sunday morning, when the world is still a little fuzzy around the edges, you may be in the mood for grass-fed bison, heirloom tomatoes, and raw milk cheese, but you are sometimes not in the mood for music, particularly the sort you hear at the farmer's market.
That said, once you're there, filling your cloth bags, you accept a little bitter–caterwauls and castanets–along with the sweet–samples of pluots, peaches, and plums fanned out like jewels in a case. After all, it's the farmers market, a community, a place where everyone comes together, where you may shop and others may work. Turn the page for five of our favorites based on our last visit to the Hollywood Farmers Market.
1. A heavily tattooed man squatting between stalls, bashing out chords on his acoustic. He had a huge bottle of water at his side, but he sang with the hoarseness of someone who sips sandpaper, heaving, in a flash, rather brilliantly, from “Folsom Prison Blues” to “With Or Without You”. He didn't sound so dreamy, but he was amazing once we stopped to watch, weirdly riveting as he swayed around, giving himself to the performance as if he were on a stage in a club, not outside, squeezed between stalls, competing for change with a bumper crop of bell peppers.
2. A dude in dreads playing bongos and a hi-hat and belting out nursery rhymes to amuse two or three kids and their mothers. Swaying and dancing, the mothers were more entertained than the bleary, slack-jawed toddlers. One lady was hopping back and forth from one foot to the other. We didn't realize she even had a kid until she shifted slightly to one side, turning to reveal the bump, a baby-filled snuggly strapped under her jacket.
3. A small Japanese man with long hair and a hat bellowing about “pain pain pain/and bruises” while couples wearing FCUK jeans and futuristic shades buy treats for their hyper-active kids. That's good enough, but his name is Hisao Shinagawa, and he's kind of famous.
4. Two cuddly codgers on banjo and guitar, warbling old-time classics. We thought they were fine, but the security guard standing near them kept shaking his head and taking little steps further and further away until he was practically sitting in a tray of olives.
5. A guy dressed all in black, setting up an amp and a dainty cocktail drum set. We escaped to the parking garage.
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