The DIY Spirit Is Alive In LA With Potty Mouth Popping Up For Madame Munchie Ramonda Hammer and Slugs Also Get In On The Fun!
LOS ANGELES, CA- To say that Covid 19 has changed everything would be an understatement. Life has changed, and these days we have to get more creative and be more willing to find ways to get back what has been lost. Music has been especially hit hard. Bands are living in a state of a constant state of limbo because the surge of Covid variants has really messed up a big chunk of their livelihood, particularly concert events. With the on-again, off-again nature of tour routing, and beloved venues either shuttering their doors or restricting dates and/or occupancy, these days it’s like pulling teeth finding willing vendors to host events, even following all of the recommended safety protocols.
Fuck it. Just do it yourself.
That’s what Devin Davis of Ramonda Hammer decided to do. Having not played a live gig in front of a crowd for over a year, Devin took the initiative and worked with Madame Munchie to host an invite-only, “vaxxed or masked”, outdoor concert event in downtown Los Angeles for friends and fans. Originally on the bill to perform were Potty Mouth, Ramonda Hammer, and Koji (from Philadelphia).
The RSVPs were plentiful, and as masked or vaxxed guests arrived, I immediately felt a real sense of community develop. The independent, Los Angeles music scene came out in force, and it was a real joy not only seeing a lot of familiar faces but making new friends who want the indie music scene in L.A. to thrive again.
Due to what I’m assuming were Covid related travel restrictions, Koji wasn’t able to make it for this gig. Luckily for us, Slugs stepped in to save the day. Marissa Longstreet (guitar and vox) joked that they were planning on coming anyway, so they said, “Why not?”
Slugs played a stripped-down set as a duo, with Sarsten Noice joining Marissa on bass and vox. They played a six-song set that I was mostly familiar with, but there were two songs I searched for online the day after, “Factors” and “Swallow Me”, that I couldn’t find. I’m assuming that those are new songs.
I really enjoyed their performance. While a drum track obviously gives their songs a pulse, I thought that this performance really showcased their vocal harmonies and had a really organic feel. As a mid-afternoon set, you really couldn’t ask for a better primer to get you in the musical mood. A song like “I Can Do Better” has a really different feel without the keys and drums from the recording, and that difference gives it a new, refreshing life. I certainly wouldn’t have minded if they had played a few more songs.
I’ve been waiting for Ramonda Hammer to give us a new EP since they dropped their Sara Tudzin (Illuminati Hotties) produced singled “Big Hands” back in April 2020. I know they’ve got it hiding somewhere… Man … the wait is killing me. LOL. At least I got a little taste of what’s to come with their performance on this day.
They played an 8 song set playing one song off their debut EP Whatever That Means (“Goddamn Idiot”), a handful from their debut album I Never Wanted Company (“Destroyers”, “Hoax”, “Better View”, “Everlasting Love” and “Who’s The Narcissist?”) and a couple of track off what I hope will be their next album, including “Big Hands”. One song was so new (“All 4 What”), Devin had written out the lyrics on a piece of cardboard for reassurance. I tried to snag the lyrics after the gig, but Devin resisted my advances saying that the lyrics could very well change. I took a picture of it though… I hope she doesn’t get mad about that…
Watching Justin, Andy, Mark, and Devin shred through their set had the good feels coursing through my veins. I’ve been keeping tabs on these guys for the past 5 years, pre-Mark, and to see them back in their element really gave me that sense of normalcy that I’d lost the past year. Now if they only dropped some news about a new album/EP, that’d be just what the doctor ordered.
Also, mad props to Devin and Ramonda Hammer for curating the day. Like their music, they kicked some ass.
The last show I attended at The Satellite before it permanently shut down because of the pandemic had Potty Mouth as the headliner. I’m not gonna lie, I really had a cathartic moment watching Potty Mouth perform at this gig.
I’m not sure how many people know this, but I was supposed to have my photography exhibited at The Satellite for the month of April 2020. It was something that I had spent a ton of time (and money) organizing and preparing. Then it was all snatched away from me. In some weird cosmic way, I got a strange sense of relief watching Potty Mouth rock their nine-song set for Madame Munchie. It was a real sense of existential closure.
Their set was filled with a lot of fan favorites. From “Smash Hit” to “Cherry Picking” to “Liar”. They included their recent 2021 release “Let Go”. But the highlight of the set was the closer “I Wanna”. It was during this song that the crowd really started to let loose. Bodies started to move a little wilder, and tentative moshing commenced. When lead singer/guitarist Abby Weems decided to bump bodies in the crowd while playing her guitar, for those last few moments of the song, it really felt like music and concerts were back to normal. Sure people were still wearing masks, and maybe we were just a tad more hesitant, but the spirit was there. I could feel it. And it felt good.