Written by: Ryan Fu @fu_beatz
Fuck all the fake ass people you meet on the daily, talking about industry bullshit, sexting their lives away on their crackberry. Every time I talk to someone in Holly-weird I feel like I’m talking to a robot with their generic answers about how they feel about life and their bullshit 9 to 5 jobs. Take it from Neo; you can’t experience life from a cubicle. Fuck all the tourists and the annoying paparazzi with their flashing lights. KimYe and Paris are overrated.
Fuck their dress code and fancy attire,
Fuck the fake smiles and the lies they tell you. The streets aren’t paved in gold but in the blood of people’s dreams that are smashed in year after year.
But if you’re tough and determined enough, you just might make it in the Jungle we call L.A.
One Friday night, I might have found a band that might be tough enough for the mean streets of Cali and can find success in Hollywood. I found myself far away from the hated Hollywood scene to check out Midnight Cities at the Lot 1 Café in Echo Park. If you lived in Los Angeles for a little but you’ve probably have heard about Echo Park. It’s not much of a tourist attraction with the exception of the park but you wouldn’t come here for anything else except if you worked or lived here.
This is why I like to come to Echo Park because it is far away from all the Hollywood bullshit. You get that feel of “Locals Only” as soon as you step into Lot 1 Café. There is no waiting in line, no ugly bouncer, no rude greeter at the door, just alcohol, real people and good music. This is where I met and heard the sound of Midnight Cities.
The bar is small as fuck but it feels like home with no weird funky drink names. You ask for a beer and you get a beer, no bullshit. People, who live around the neighborhood, gather there with their friends for a drink and to listen to good music. Not once, while I was there did I hear anything concerning about the Crapdashians or any Hollywood jargon. It was real people having real conversations about life. The music was the same way with each band playing from their hearts regardless if anyone was listening to them or not. Midnight Cities is one of these bands playing tonight.
If you thought the bar was small, the room where the bands played where even smaller. Just imagine a rock band and a dozen of your friends playing in your Master Bedroom.
But I liked it.
Just four walls, a couple of lights and a band that’s all you really need. There’s something personal and romantic about watching a band that is seriously two feet away from you. I was right in front, two feet away, watching Midnight Cities killing it.
They are much louder and play faster then the rest of the bands I heard that night. You could hear that their music is heavily influenced by bands in the 90s like Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana. The band consists of Nick, the drummer, Martin, the bassist and the leader/singer-songwriter, Simon Cardoza.
Nick is the straight forward, no nonsense type of guy. When he asks for a beer, he gets a beer. This is how he plays the drums with confidence and the bravado of a man, who knows who he is and knows want he wants. He has a day job but want he really wants is just to be a musician and play in a good band. Right now he is crushing on the drums, adding the thudding sounds of Midnight Cities. You can hear the pain, the frustrations and the love as he beats the living the hell out of the drums, trying to leave everything he has out there on the stage like a samurai on the battlefield.
Martin, a warrior himself, is more elegant with his instrument as he looks like he’s playing on a cloud. If Nick is the heart of the band with his beats then Martin would be the spirit of the band. As he plays so effortlessly and without a care in the world even though he just found out he just got laid off from his job, that doesn’t deter him from having a good time and play good music. He is very philosophical in the way he lives his life and how he plays music as he goes with the flow musically and spiritually.
But it wouldn’t be Voltron without their captain and fearless leader Simon Cardoza. Simon formed this group and he is charge of everything, from the music, the marketing and even when they should eat a grilled cheese sandwich or not before performing. He is a man with a plan. This plan involves playing music for a living and not as a side gig. He wants to make music that people will love and enjoy. Music is his passion in which he would gladly risk it all and put himself out there to see one person enjoy his music. Just like Nick and Martin, Simon is there for the love of music and you can see it when they perform.
Far away from the broken dreams of Hollywood Boulevard, I saw a band still trying to reach for stars. There’s something awesome about watching a relatively new band performing in a small room with only a couple of people watching them, playing their asses off like they were playing on the Main Stage at Coachella. This is why I think Midnight Cities is going to be a successful band. With the Simon’s passion about music and his band member’s work ethic, this band is ready to launch into to space and into the stars where nothing matters except for the things that really matter to you. But for now I like knowing Midnight Cities before they become rock stars, it’s like a “Local’s Only” thing.