Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#8 The Troubadour

#30 Hollywood Walk of Fame
#29 Yamashiro
#28 Hollywood Billiards
#27 Genghis Cohen
#26 Piano Bar
#25 Shmutzville
# 24 Loteria
# 23 The Griddle
# 22 Proximity
# 21 Hollywood Freeway
#20 Kitchen 24
# 19 The People
# 18 Sushi Eyaki
#17 Raymond Chandler
# 16 Jumbo's Clown Room
#15 Skooby's
#14 The Arclight
# 13 The Well
#12 Runyon Canyon
# 11 Canter's
#10 Hotel Café
#9 Body Factory

#8 The Troubadour

I just realized that this entry is kind of bullshit. Technically, I won't really be missing the Troubadour—it is the best music venue in LA and next time a band I like is playing, I will have the same desire to attend as I do living in Hollywood. Essentially, me moving will play little-to-no role in how often I visit the Troubadour. Furthermore, the geographers in the room will be quick to point out that not only is the Troubadour not in Hollywood (it's in West Hollywood), but it's not even in near West Hollywood, it's on the border of WeHo and Beverly Hills. These two very legitimate facts make the statement "The Troubadour is my eighth biggest sacrifice in Hollywood when I move downtown" utter bollocks. I apologize for these two elephants and now plan on moving on as though nothing is wrong and this paragraph—nor the contradictions to the spirit of this blog—exist. Thank you.

Anywho . . . The Troubadour is a fucking legendary venue on the corner of Santa Monica and Doheny. It's special for a million reasons. For one, it's the most intimate venue you'll ever visit. I don't mean coffee shop intimate. I mean rock and roll, loud sound system, grungy bar, a-list performers, right on top of the band intimate. I mean that I have seen Ben Kweller fucking destroy the place and recently saw Rhett Miller dominate an area the size of my apartment with 250 friends.

Secondly, it's been around since the dawn of rock and roll and has always featured some of the best acts in music. Upstairs there are pictures of Tom Waits and Carly Simon backstage. The Strokes played there. Metallica played there. Guns n Roses played on a stage that could be confused with someone's living room. This isn't your father's small venue . . . wait maybe it is—My mom fucking saw James Taylor there. JAMES TAYLOR! As far as legendary venues go, there's CBGB which is gone, and the Troubadour, which is not only still there, but hanging onto everything it was forty years ago.

And finally, it's just one of the most Hollywood experiences you can have. That stretch of Santa Monica features two of the most famous restaurants in town: The Palm and Dan Tana's; both of which are primo celebrity "they're just like us" places. The outside of the venue looks like what an artist would draw if you said to him, "do me a favor and draw me a picture of what you think an awesome concert club would look like in Hollywood." The ticket prices—usually around 15-25 dollars—means that the crowd is fans, not bullshitters with tickets, and the line outside is always a group of people just like you, which dealt with parking just to see the same band you like. And the inside is just as perfect. Exposed wood all over, a small balcony, the front bar, the back bar, the upstairs "backstage," the legendary photos all over, that combination of beer and sweat in the air that is a cloud of cigarette smoke away from being utterly perfect, the sound, the band, the people, the not-to-overpriced drinks, everything just comes together at the Troubadour.

Again, this is hard, because in reality, I won't be missing it. In fact, come March 4th, a mere two weeks after I have moved downtown, I will be going to see Mike Doughty at the Troubadour. Nothing will have changed except the commute, which, though significantly longer, will not really have an effect on the night. So instead of harping on how much I won't miss the Troub, I'll let you know that whenever I do leave LA, the Troubadour will always have a special place in my heart. It is one of a kind, and the greatest place on Earth to see a show.

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