Panache Booking’s Valentine’s Day ‘Village of Love’ For Planned Parenthood At The Teragram Ballroom, Wednesday February 14th 2018
Panache Booking’s Valentine’s Day ‘Village of Love’ benefit for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles was held on Wednesday night at the Teragram Ballroom, and with 13 bands performing a short set of essentially cover songs, the event felt like a marathon of music. However, it was done with so much love and dedication for the good cause that is Planned Parenthood, that, just after midnight, I had barely realized I had been standing up close to the stage for more than 5 hours. It was probably the feeling of every one around, with a large range of performers covering the classics and a few of their original songs…
The night began on a quiet side with Cones and a very sweet set of 2 songs, followed by Chad Ubovich of Meatbodies going solo and covering ‘Miss June 75’ of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Roky Erickson’s ‘For You’. Drugdealer also did an awesome cover of the Bee Gees’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, and I thought the rest of the night would be as low key as these soulful and relatively calm performances, despite Ubovich’s loud-quiet roaring guitar. And for a while, this was the case, as the indie artists were revisiting classic love songs as sweet lullabies with a moving a cappella cover of the Zombies ‘The Way I feel Inside’ by Shannon Lay, who has definitively an amazing voice, sounding like a new version of Angel Olsen’s own precious vocal chords. She followed with another moving cover, George Harrison’s ‘If Not For You’, and after this series, it was easy to understand that the night belonged to lovers on Saint Valentine’s day. ‘Who is not in love?’ nevertheless asked Shannon before doing an upbeat rendition of J. Geils Band’s ‘Love Stinks’, a great moment interrupting an ocean of loving syrup-ness.
Merge Records artist William Tyler played a few ‘failed love song’ without the singing part, but his dynamic guitar finger picking was so amazing that he didn’t need words to bring emotion. King Tuff, accompanied by a female trombone player, gave a low key rendition of Harry Nilsson’s ‘Turn on Your Radio’, the Beatles’ ’On our way back home’, and one of his own (‘I Love You Ugly’) a song ‘about loving people no matter how fucking butt ugly they are’,… and this had to be one the most sincere/comical moments of the night.
The humble Mikal Cronin did complete justice to Neil Young’s ‘Heart of Gold’, followed by two songs by Elton John and the Kinks, while giving us a very personal advice for Valentine’s day ‘Don’t buy anything, fuck everything’. Then Julianna Barwick enchanted us with her electronic-cathedral loops and her ethereal voice, followed by Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante, who covered Bob Marley’s ‘Mellow Mood’ with two female back up singers and a sweet gospelic vibe.
However the night definitively did belong to Ty Segall who seemed to be out of his mind. It was certainly a cover show, but it took it to the extreme, coming on stage with an iPad and no guitar (an unusual situation for Ty), and giving us a karaoke number like we had never seen one, hurling and hooting the songs, leaning over the crowd, screaming his love for the Doors, ‘the greeeeeeaaaaaatest band of the world’, swallowing or stepping on iPhones during ‘Touch Me’, letting people front row screaming in the mic ‘Light My Fire’ for a very special rendition of the song. He was on fire, and very funny, for sloppy renditions of Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, and the Doors’ ‘The End’. It was so over the top, so chaotic that everyone was amused and perplexed after seeing this side of Ty we had never seen.
Best Coast had a hard act to follow, but they did well with two Jesus and Mary Chain’s cover ‘About You’ and ‘Down on Me’, a very appropriate song for this day. But Bethany Cosentino had her little personal revenge on stage, dedicating her cover of Sheryl Crow’s ‘If it Makes You Happy’ to the ‘asshole’ who once wrote she was the ‘indie version of this woman’, ‘He made it as a diss, but he didn’t realize it was the greatest compliment ever’, she said. They only did one Best Coast song, ‘Something in the way’, and the night ended with Nick Waterhouse and his timeless swinging music accompanied by sax and style…‘Straight Love Affair’ followed by ‘Wherever she Goes’, ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’, his band was as tight as usual, bringing something very retro and terribly sexy – every time I see him I get a mental vision of a black and white footage of a dancing pin-up. They closed the show with one of my favorites, Mink DeVille’s Spanish Stroll, but the evening was also offering a raffle with fabulous prices including Coachella VIP tickets and a Fender guitar, plus comedian Neil Hamburger’s abrasive humor.
It was certainly not the night to attend to see your favorite bands playing their hit songs, but It was a cool and eclectic night of love songs, shook up by Ty Segall’s hurling karaoke, a very sweet moment he dedicated to his wife. ‘I love Valentine’s day!!’ he yelled several times, making every one laugh very loud. It was a village of love all around, and it was for a great cause.