Calvin Love Residency

Calvin Love is striving to be a demigod of the highway. An artist driven by a vision which seems to haunt and seduce him. That could be the word. Seduction, as opposed to the banal force of production. People make music. The person reading this probably makes music. Or maybe some other kind of art. Who knows. For you, and for me, and for everyone lucky enough to be familiar with Calvin Love is the quintessential artist as inspiration. A person who peers into himself to reveal something about the world that might otherwise go unarmed, or perhaps merely felt and never properly articulated. I see Calvin at an intersection in every city on earth, unmasking the hidden wonder, the past as construed by movies and the archetypes that populate our minds. The hitchhiker. The gentle, supple poet whose aim is to elucidate humanity for the weary denizens of the weary world. He proves that in the form of cartoon darkness there is a reality beyond that which is fully amenable to basic speech, and so must be corralled in a blind faith in a palette. All great artwork depends on a palette, on the choices that one makes in pulling the shades of that palette into ones control out of a sense of belief that I don't understand. Watch videos of Calvin practicing. Go see his shows. He is a rare gift that more than so much of what we're forced to consume offers a vision.

Maxim Ludwig

At 27, Maxim Ludwig has lived ups and downs and weathered it all. In experience and attitude, he is a man of extremes — the honest instigator in the tradition of R.P. McMurphy, Warren Zevon and Norman Mailer — more heroic in demeanor than in action, irreverent to all but his craft.

As one of Los Angeles' most promising young acts at 19, Ludwig was hyped early by the L.A. Times as "ready to take on" Bob Dylan's legacy with a Hollywood residency likened to "Buffalo Springfield's early gigs at the Whisky." But he followed bad advice, signing too many contracts because he liked how his name looked in ink, and soon wound up packaging deluxe edition CDs and box sets as an assembly line foreman at a downtown factory.

Four trying years later, Ludwig is now recording under his own name exclusively for the first time. More inspired and motivated than ever, he's producing his best work to date with a clearer vision of himself and the world around him. On All My Nightmares/Assembly Line, his Hit City U.S.A. debut and the latest in the label's For Immediate Release singles series, Ludwig chronicles this poetic descent — tracking true disappointment and the reality of being a college drop out, drained of creative vision before he's barely legal to even buy a beer.

"All my nightmares start as dreams/all my whispers turn to screams," he sings on "All My Nightmares," backed by a full band, the melody lifted by a three-part saxophone section. On the b-side "Assembly Line," he slows things down, dipping into heavily medicated Philly soul chronicling his blue collar day-to-day. Wondering where things went awry, Ludwig croons out into the cavernous factory, "Want to be more than me / more than what has come before," closing with the refrain repeating, simply, "I'm so depressed."

Throughout it all, Ludwig has managed to hold on to his almost mythological fascination with the rock and roll and stay steadfast in his artistic convictions. Rather than conceit defeat, he understands he brought this own hardship on himself striving for greatness and living as a man.

Deep Fields

Orange, California


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