Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mr. Bubble

Occasionally, a vestige of my swiftly-receding east coast existence will intrude into the bubble that is life with (near) constant pleasant weather in a city built on a foundation of illusion as way-of-life. To wit, the Craftsman-style bungalow I noticed on a recent walk to the post office:

The structure itself is not particularly unusual -- you can hardly swing a dead project around southern California without hitting a Craftsman house -- but it is rare to see one completly decked out in good old Baltimore Formstone. Throughout the '50s and '60s, the concrete-like faux stone finish was de rigueur for any self-respecting rowhouse owner in Charm City. Barry Levinson's second film in his Baltimore trilogy, Tin Men, was originally about Formstone salesmen but the studio had him change their job titles because it was scared that nobody outside of Maryland would even know what Formstone was. Probably correctly. Alas, the city's gentrification over the past twenty years has resulted in the fake facades usually being the first thing that goes in any property renovation or rehab. Although, in truth, most residents aren't unhappy to see the underlying brick revealed. But lament the disappearing Formstone nonetheless as another sign that the city they grew up in has been lost along the way. Guess they'll always have Hollywood though.

For those who do live here in the bubble, local musical duo The Ditty Bops will be appearing in-store at Amoeba Music on Sunset next Tuesday (May 23) to promote the release of their new album, Moon Over the Freeway. Followed the next evening with a record release party at The Derby on Los Feliz. And if you don't live in the bubble, the Bops will be biking (literally) their way across the country on a tour in support. If you haven't heard them or seen their cabaret-style show, Amanda and Abby mix traditional folk with jazz, western swing, and skiffle to great and fun effect. For those so inclined, check out the site for details on joining the Bops in their cycling (which is supporting a few good causes, in addition to being good for you and our country's crack-like addiction to oil). Bop on.


  • I love Craftsman-style homes.

    My ex-boyfriend drove the Ditty Bops' equipment from Los Angeles to Dallas last summer. They paid him, gave him a signed picture and tix to the show in Dallas. He said they were really nice and cute.

    This summer, he's on tour with - lol - Peter Framptom.

    By Blogger shecanfilmit, at 7:40 PM  

  • I got to see the Bops last summer in Annapolis. Way fun and cute. Lots of great banter and extra bits between the songs.

    I would love a nice Craftsman home someday. And in L.A. that day will be when I have about a half a million dollars.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:00 PM  

  • The Ditty Bops are fabulous! I saw them at a free show at the Getty and became an instant convert.

    By Blogger Kira, at 12:28 PM  

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