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Friday, August 12, 2011

Community Theatre

I’ve been a fan of Dan Bern for years. If you are not familiar with his music, I urge you to check him out.  He is an amazingly prolific songwriter possessing an unusual ability to weave comedy into poignant lyrics with a voice & attitude akin to Bob Dylan. Why is this relevant to eastsidedigs?  Because I dig Echo Park, and I now have one more reason to espouse its virtues.


I had the rare opportunity this week to sit in a comfortable chair, surrounded by other Dan Bern fans in a room decorated slightly more quirkily than, but in the same vein as, the rec-rooms I recall from the 70s.  The venue was wedged into a commercial space in Echo Park next to a very cool frame store. In this uncanny space, I was treated to an amazing acoustic set, sans amps and mics. Dan performed a few feet away from me with an awesome group called Common Rotation

Common Rotation

Being a fan, I get an email every once in a while from Dan’s headquarters alerting me to his concert schedule.  It seems that even though he lives in LA, he doesn’t often play here.  I missed his last performance at the Bootleg, but noticed that he was going to be showing up at this enigmatic venue: The Echo Country Outpost. I arrived early and, to my surprise, found a no-cover, no frills room filled with chairs  and  couches from just as many yard sales.  I was offered a beer at no charge and took my seat.  Where the hell was I?  No line?  No duchey door guy? No cover?  Free beer?  Friendly, engaging people lacking the typical vapid, annoying attitude you might have also have come to expect from our city… Utopia?  No.  Echo Park... If you have the opportunity, go see a show here.

It was in incredible evening.  I left the event bolstered by a feeling that there is an unusual sense of community developing in EP.  Once known for its roughhewn edges, it’s now considered one of the up-and-coming hoods in our city.  Gone are the days when you would only go to Echo Park to see a baseball game and then just as quickly get the hell out!

Echo Park: It’s not just for baseball anymore!  Now you can push your stroller down the street, see live music for free, eat well and feel safe.  I was at The Echo a few Sundays ago... during the day!  There were several decent bands performing... and young children running through the crowd.  

If you are in the market to buy and haven’t considered Echo Park, you might be surprised by the steadily increasing home prices.  Take a walk on Sunset near Alvarado on any night of the week.  The energy is palpable.  The feeling of community is growing.  The neighborhood is alive and vibrant!  Don’t be surprised if you get back in your car and think, “hey… I want to live here!”

As for Dan Bern, Common Rotation and the Echo Country Outpost, put them all on your to-do list. 

Of course if you want to add Echo Park to your home search, I can help you with that!  Give me a call or email anytime! (310) 991-3808