Yellowbirds, Eric D. Johnson
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Yellowbirds is the moniker for the latest musical exploits of Sam Cohen—guitarist/songwriter/vocalist in the psychedelic collective Apollo Sunshine. Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab grey Astros jerseys of the 90s, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to: Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys. It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.
It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Sam Cohen created Yellowbirds' The Color. Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound. As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West. This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."
Eric D. Johnson
Sometimes a story can take a long time to tell. Eric D. Johnson, who has recorded and performed as the Fruit Bats for a decade now, had a story like that, a chance encounter that had rattled around his head for years. He's tried to write it as a short story, a play, a movie…yet until now couldn't get it down just right. Finally he decided to make a song out of it, and the result is "Tony the Tripper." It's the song at the heart of his fifth album, Tripper, setting the tone for a bittersweet meditation on hitting the road, leaving the familiar behind and reinventing yourself.
The story goes like this. Just after turning 20, Johnson boarded a train from Chicago to see his sister in Olympia, Washington. A grizzled vagabond—Tony—took the seat next to him for the ride to Fargo, North Dakota. Over the next 12 hours the two developed a strange relationship, the cantankerous oldster alternately bullying and befriending Johnson. A decade or so later, Johnson is still bemused by the encounter, wondering what he could have learned from this broken, frightening, but fascinating character. The song "Tony the Tripper" imagines the two of them heading out on a road trip, the idealist and the outlaw cutting a swath across America.
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