ANOTHER OCCUPY MOMENT, SORT OF
Santa Monica, CA – My friend John Diaz was in the Right2Know March late last year and from there with just a brief stopover at his house (and a ‘Welcome Home’ from wife Suzanne) he opened up his no-GMO table at Occupy Los Angeles where we met. The fact that we met at all is a wonder, given the ‘3 ring-big top’ atmosphere at the foot of the south City Hall stairs in downtown LA. Even the LAPD used to joke that all the ‘serious occupiers’ were on the north side of the Daily Planet building. Well Sports Fans, even the cops didn’t have a clue on this one. Everyone at OLA was serious with karma was bringing together the people who needed to meet. Because I met John, I got to see a revolution in Zanzibar, a human revolution.
First though, let me give you the skinny on Zanzibar, the club. As I stood there in the mostly empty parking lot watching my ride there pull off into the night, I received a confirmation from John, the tennis pro and the initial reason for my LA Valentine Holiday. He was on his way to the Club Z. On his personal voucher, I was there to see an artist that he became friends with during the R2K march, see Occupy archives. “You’re gonna love this guy, I can just tell from the (type of) music scene you have told me about,” John had said over the red phone when the invite first went out. “If you can just get to LA, don’t worry.”
I walked across the street to the Zanzibar Club at 1301 5th Street in Santa Monica, a city that previously I had only been to for its famous beach boardwalk and Ferris wheel. Tonight Lu Fam Pro Entertainment was starting their Luminous Movement project to ‘activate yo booty chakra’. This premiere event featured the CD release party for the album Small Town by The Human Revolution with Amae Love. What is The Human Revolution? It is a band and an organization raising conscious awareness about the natural wonders of the world.
After talking to two young women who were also waiting to see the headliner, again, in their case, I got a clue about the fan base. Simply put, the crowd is reminiscent of the core Java Joz/Cuppy’s Burner bunch that would practice spinning poi in front of the fabled Murrieta coffee shop venue. What is a burner, you ask? See the picture below for the 1000 word explanation.
John pulls into the parking lot with two buds. One is his partner for an upcoming tennis tourney and the other is a camp-mate from OLA. The four of us roll up into the Zanzibar Club, a name that seems a dusty memory from some music group story but just as familiar somehow as the sight of the ‘Daily Planet’ city hall building. So much of LA and the surrounding area has been featured in the public eye that being in the city seems like being on a movie set. It’s pretty trippy, folks, and enchanting.
The club has a ‘been there for a while’ feel to it, but not the shopworn look like The Roxy. In fact, the inside of the club has a definite hipster edge to it. The crowd is young city types who dress clean, but not bro style. The spotlight graphics beaming over the long front stage are abstract designs, not pictures or images that are political or cosmic.
The long front stage runs the length of the club’s side wall and bends around the back wall. The drum riser fits into the corner ‘V’ comfortably while the first half from the door back showcases the two DJs with more than ample space. The rear half proves to be enough room to handle all the members of the Human Revolution. The front-man who also strums a big acoustic guitar is Human. He looks barely 25 but as I find out later he has released six CDs, two of which I picked up that night.
Small Town is the latest, with The Love Revolution the 2008 release. Both CDs are excellent but exhibit quite a range of musicianship in style. Neither album is similar to the other in material and I can’t wait to see John again since he bought 4 that night. I’m anxious to sample the earlier releases but for now that’s in the ‘save something for the sequel, Rocky’ category. Both albums I obtained contain some chart toppers and toe tappers but it is the lyrics that have some meat on them, an observation that I shared with my radio DJ friend, Catter, recently. However, I didn’t buy two albums because of the lyrics. It was the live stage performance that sold me, that and the crowd reaction. Before the last song played, I knew that John pegged this one right on the nose, er, ear.
Also performing with Human was a fiddler who played the instrument like it was a violin; drums, percussion, bass, a lead electric guitar that sometimes dueled for the solo with said fiddler, and Amae Love, also on vocals. Together this band, more a tribe, really rocked it. After I left the front of the stage [watching the band] when the set ended, I got a chance to meet Human as he was chatting it up with John. i shook his hand on a fine show. He is very cordial and accessible, a pleasure to meet. Definitely an ensemble musician, Human is extremely adept at gathering other artists talented in their own right to make his music come to light as art.
However, most of my readers know many of my stories are not one dimensional and the same is true here as this 2007 award-winning music video shown below will testify.
Before our little group returned to the parking lot for a ‘safety meeting’ with added member Michelle, a leggy Romanian recruited by John to the label GMOs [John is a babe magnet with a purpose] petition effort, I asked Human if he knew the last name of Mary Jane, the personalized moniker for marijuana. He stared at me with a quizzical expression on a smooth face that doesn’t seem to want to grow much hair yet. “Green. It’s Mary Jane Green. But hey, you already knew that,” I said with a sly smile.
We hugged as brothers, parted, and I followed the crew out to the parking lot after copping the aforementioned CDs. I love LA!