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Arts and Entertainment

My Little Underground w/ Evan Way, Sarah Negahdari, Timothy James, Andrew Spitser & Mikel Jollett @ Bordello, 7/8/08

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Last night, the frontpeople for five of the best bands in the local indie music scene, Evan Way from The Parson Redheads (MySpace), Sarah Negahdari from The Happy Hollows (MySpace), Timothy James from The Movies (MySpace), Andrew Spitser from Radars To The Sky (MySpace), and Mikel Jollett from The Airborne Toxic Event (MySpace), participated in the inaugural edition of My Little Underground at Bordello (MySpace) in Downtown LA.

The show was presented by Travis Woods from Web In Front and Mouse from Classical Geek Theatre, and with LA-Underground, Joe Fielder from Radio Free Silver Lake, JAX from Rock Insider, Elaine Layabout, and Kevin Bronson in the audience, not to mention a Squaregirl manning the DJ booth, the music blogger contingent was impressive.

Besides bandmembers from The Happy Hollows (aka "The Sad Solids"), The Movies, and Radars To The Sky supporting their respective frontpeople onstage, among those in attendance were bandmembers from The Airborne Toxic Event, The Afternoons (MySpace), The Henry Clay People (MySpace), The Monolators (MySpace), and The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra (MySpace), not to mention music photographer Simon Cardoza (MySpace).

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Not only were original songs performed (Jollett explained after some prompting that his audience was originally a neighbor's cat), but stripped-down versions of band favorites (e.g. The Movies' "When I Was In 'Nam" and "Missed Opportunities") and covers (e.g. Way's Red House Painters, Negahdari's "Heart Of Gold" by Neil Young, James' "Clouds" by Joni Mitchell). According to JAX, "The standout performance of the night though was Mr Tim James of The Movies. Part comedy, part vaudeville, part drunken tomfoolery - Tim had the audience in stiches from start to finish and positively SLAYED a cover of Joni Mitchell's 'Clouds.'" Indeed, he started his set by the bar with a cover of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", asked a woman in the audience to sit by him onstage, and even ad-libbed during one of his songs that "By the way, 9/11 was an inside job." All without a setlist and entirely improvised, yet completely entertaining.

More after the jump.

Afterwards, Jollett answered, when asked why he selflessly goes out of his way to praise other local bands and music bloggers, with the very succinct "karma," but no, there's more to it than just that. There's a network of astonishingly talented musicians out here who genuinely respect and support each other, practically like family, and to see that comraderie and warmth last night was extremely refreshing, especially given the cutthroat nature of the music industry. Which is why the show felt like an intimate coffee house or "living room" performance, with Way gushing that "I'm excited to play with my friends," Negahdari explaining that "This is experimental night, we're all friends here," and James confiding that "I'm so fucking nervous right now" and "I haven't played a guitar in ten years."

Woods and Mouse mentioned that they'd like to make My Little Underground a regular event, but the only problem is that bar was set so high last night that it's going to be extremely tough to beat. But that's a good thing.

Special thanks to Evan Way, Sarah Negahdari, Timothy James, Andrew Spitser, Mikel Jollett, Web In Front, Classical Geek Theatre, and Bordello.