Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adventures in Burlesque

2 people I have become very fond of in my life are Walter and Carolina. I've known them both for a couple of years.
She's a burlesque dancer and he's a sax maniac. He put me onstage to read some of my poetry. I demured which is as unattractive as boasting. At least on me. Walter has continued to encourage my writing and performing.

The band at Eastside Luv : Bjørn, Asa and Walter

It's all about the Mariachis in Boyle Heights on a Saturday night. Carolina in the middle.
Mark, Carolina and Liinda.
Liinda, Guillermo, Daniel and Carolina!

At least once a month Walter and Carolina do this cool "four shows in one night" where they start at one venue, do 2 shows, then hustle to another venue for a set at midnight and finally returning back to the original location for the finale!
Carolina and Bjørn after an ESL gig.

This past weekend, I decided to travel with 'em. The two venues are approximately 6 miles apart. Walter does the driving. I initially met them at a rum bar in Hollywood packed full of pretty people. They serve Mojitos in punch bowls with ladels. The motif of the place is supposed to look like an authentic night spot in Cuba — it kinda looks like the beginning of the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride.

The second venue is a place I've been a lot and I always have a good time. Mostly East L.A. locals, dressed upscale and decidedly un-Hollywood, this is fast becoming one of my favorite places to go in all of L.A. It's lack of pretentiousness makes it cool in itself. The playlist is eclectic, with everything from classic 80s (Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode) to soul oldies (James Brown, Northern Soul), 50s rock 'n roll and songs I've never heard in éspanol (but with lots of Morrisey in the mix!).

Walter's band at Eastside Luv is Asa and Bjørn, a couple of guys I have known for years and see many times a month (Asa plays drums at The Floor and with The Toledo Show, Bjørn plays bass at The Floor and plays in a variety of bands. He has played in many groups at Harvelle's. notably with Jessie Payo and Leroy Powell). This trio were the "Bongo Fury" band at Harvelle's supreme - but defunkt - show, a couple of years back (Victor Orlando played bongos and congas). This is where I met them all, as a regular patron of the Tuesday night burlesque revue, and where Walter would first put me onstage to read some poetry.

Molly and Carolina do Eastside Luv to a most appreciative audience.

Walter kicks ass at La Descarga with dancer Valerie Soto!!
Cheers to Liinda, Mark, Daniel, Alex, Guillermo & Charlie at ESL, little monster Molly D'Amour, and dancers Valerie Soto, Eva LaDare, Nina McNeely, Sascha Escandon and Molly's friend Graham (who had cool Keith Haring tattoos).
And as always, thanks to Walter and Carolina.

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