It's exciting to be in Los Angeles. There is so much going on here and I'll have many new musical discoveries to share. Growing up, I used to knock Richmond for its struggling scene. Venues such as the Flood Zone closed right as I entered high school, leaving a gaping hole in the music scene and my adolescent concert-going experience. For nearly a decade no venue took its place, and the occasional big-name act that came through usually played in the field of an office park. Things were so spare that I found myself jumping to see Toad the Wet Sprocket or whatever decent act came to town (no offense to Toad the Wet Sprocket, but still...). I got used to the long drives to shows in DC, as well as Charlottesville and Norfolk, which wisely filled the void that Richmond left. The success of live venues in both cities only further illustrated Richmond's incompetence, as any touring act passing through the city on I-95 has to go out of their way to get to Cville or Norfolk.
The city itself had no lack of talent or creativity, just a good venue to host local and national acts. The local artists found their outlet in coffeeshops, house shows, and artspaces, evidenced in the vibrant underground scene. But now things for Richmond are looking up. In the past year two new venues have opened- The National theater and Toad's Place, drawing national artists and providing a more prominent stage for local ones. Leave it to Richmond to get its act together just as I leave.
I really grew to love Richmond, though, despite (and perhaps because of) its struggles, and I'll always consider the city home. And as my sister pointed out, the title of my blog can be read 'Oddly RIC', a fitting name that I unknowingly gave. I really look forward to life in LA and all it has to offer, but I'll always take pride in Virginia and the experiences there that shaped me.
A Trip To Southern California- A poetic introduction to Weekend Edition's episode on Los Angeles.
"Millions from across the world begin new lives here in places like Pasadena, West Covina, East Los Angeles, and Compton...Most people in LA are not in the film business, but almost no one, anywhere, is immune to the dreams that are hatched here."
The Hollywood sign on a clear day