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Q & A: Where to see Rock this Friday Night

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There is a damn good line up of bands happening this Friday night over in Glendale at The Scene at 9:00 p.m. And despite the Valley club's interesting change in direction with membership, this Friday is still the spirit of the old scene as it is the second-to-last show booked under old management. Friday's line up includes Death to Anders, Fol Chen, Solar Powered People and Layer with the Squaregirls will be DJing between sets.

The event is being put on by The Central Second Collective and Classical Geek Theatre. And that's where we had to dig deeper. Who are these two event producers and how is they are producing such a rocking show? We asked. They answered.

Below, Rob Danson, frontman for Death to Anders and co-founder of the Central Second Collective and Ben “Mouse” McShane writer of Classical Geek Theatre talk up their plans for this Friday and music in Los Angeles. The show is $5 or $3 with a MySpace RSVP.

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Classical Geek Theatre? Central Second Collective? What are these?

Mouse: Classical Geek Theatre is a culture blog that mostly chronicles one giant dork’s journey through the Los Angeles music scene -- and all of the bottles of Amstel Light, Galaga machines, and band crushes that he encounters on the way.

Rob: The Central Second Collective was created 3 years ago by Death to Anders, The Happy Hollows, The Transmissions, The Henry Clay People, One Trick Pony and Die! Rockers Die!, who all realized the importance of playing shows and promoting one and another's music as a community. The main goal in the collective was to see each other's bands, not as competition, but as a valuable system of friends, networks, and inspirational talent that all bands can benefit from.

All the bands would co-promote shows, share fan-bases, and even coordinate benefit concerts such as last year's Killradio.org benefit show at The Echo, where the Collective raised over $1,000.00 in funds for Killradio with only a five dollar cover charge at the door. Within the last two years, every collective band has grown into the larger Silverlake / Echo Park music scene, while applying its fundamental values (ie - positive community thinking) into the larger music arena of Silverlake and Echo Park.

Although the collective is now more a philosophy than an actual "club of bands," these six original bands continue to spread their devotion to the music scene by supporting a wide range of other Silverlake and Echo Park bands, bloggers, radio stations, and fans. Most recently, The Central Second Collective was featured on one of Radars to the Sky's residency nights, when Death to Anders, The Henry Clay People, and The Transmissions all shared the same bill.

What's happening over at The Scene?

Rob: Its hard to say exactly what's going on at The Scene. From what I know, they are offering a membership service, where if you pay a certain amount of money per year, you will be entitled to free shows, discount drinks, etc...

Mouse: The Scene has new management and they're sprucing the place-up a bit. Maybe "The New Scene" will be really cool! But amongst some of the bands and regulars there's a lot of apprehension, I think, and fear that their old standby isn't going to be the same. But we should withhold judgment.

Best music venues in the Los Angeles area and why?

Rob: The best music venues in LA would be The Echo, Spaceland and The Silverlake Lounge. All three venues offer a friendly, intimate environment where you can see local talent almost every night without paying too much money. Every Monday is the residency night at each of these venues. What this means is that one local band headlines the bill every monday for an entire month. The residency nights for all three venues are FREE and its by far, the best place to see local music.

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Mouse: I'm partial to the fuzzy-buzzy sound in Spaceland... but if you want to dig for your music, Pehrspace or any DIY (Do It Yourself) spot is where the real magic happens. Sometimes the larger venues are where people who secretly hate music lurk. Those DIY joints are Music Lovers Only, though.

A preview of Friday night's line up

What does the local LA music scene need, music infrastructure wise?

Rob: It really depends on where you go. I feel that the Echo Park and Silverlake area is pretty good infrastructure wise. The sound, bookers, cover charge, atmosphere, parking, etc... are all reasonable. Its probably the Sunset Strip that needs the most work. Parking is horrible. The meters run through the night, and paid parking is usualy $10.00 to $15.00. Add that to the cover charge, and $7.00 for a Bud Light, and you'll have a pretty expensive night.

Also, many venue on the Strip don't consider having like minded or "genre specific" bands playing the same bill. Thus, you will most likely end up with disjointed and unorganized nights where fans for one band will leave before the other bands start to play. If anything, the Sunset Strip should begin to follow the Echo Park and Silverlake Model: Keep shows interesting throughout the night, keep prices down, have good sound, and most of all, HAVE FUN!!!

Mouse: LA music just needs more attention. I feel like the nationally-read blogs have their sights on the Austin (redundant!) and NYC (shallow!) scenes. I'll take thirty different Echo Park bands, live and on record, over Vampire Weekend any day of the week.

I think, on a national level, LA has failed to prove that it has more to offer than the aspiring Fall-Out Boys and Guns n' Roses geezers on The Strip. There's this amazing thing going on in Echo Park / Silverlake / Eagle Rock and every national publication just writes us off and says "Pfft! Los Angeles is full of plastic surgery clones!"

Name some local bands that no one's heard of that everyone needs to hear?

Rob: Fol Chen, Mad Greggs, Queen Kwong, Manhattan Murder Mystery

Mouse: I have such a terrible sense of what's on normal folks' radar... but I saw The Health Club, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and Die! Rockers Die! play for thirty people at Echo Curio and it was maybe the best show I've seen all year.

You want to be on the Fol Chen bandwagon (come to our show!). And I have a total nerd-crush on Pizza!, who are giving away their album for download.

Photo of Rob Danson by Caleb Coppola via Death to Anders' MySpace