I love going to shows at Fingerprints. It’s free, close, early, and I can leave whenever I want. Joel Jerome and Wild Pack of Canaries on January 8, 2015 was all that and more. Wild Pack is a six piece featuring Rudy de Anda on vocals and guitar. If you've never been, Fingerprints is a large record store in downtown Long Beach with big open ceilings and signed framed posters from all the in-stores they've had over the years. I used to work there over 10 years ago at the Second street location and I like the new location much more.
With Matisse Ibarra on electronics, J.P. Bendzinski on guitar, and Miguel Vasquez on bass as well as London Guzman on Saxophone, they play a style of rock that blends Pink Floyd and Elliot Smith, at times straight up rock and roll at others mixing in strange electronic sounds and saxophone blasts. A female vocalist, whose name I missed, performed along with them providing some pleasant contrast with de Anda’s multi-facted lead vocals. They played 8 songs the first was a funky song with Spanish lyrics, the second was called “Brace Me”, and the third: Vazio was dedicated by an emotional Alfred Hernandez, drummer, to Long Beach’s own Ikey Owens who played keys on this song on the album Agua Amarga.
I had a difficult time taking pictures because I wanted to get some good shots, but had just acquired some new lenses because the previous one that had come with the camera was broken. I struggled taking good photos. Rand Foster, the owner of Fingerprints was nice enough to let me go on the stairs that go up to a loft area that's closed to the public and take some shots from there, but I still couldn’t get that great a shot and switched my lenses a few times trying to figure out how to be a photographer. Rand even gave me some pointers on the staircase white we watched Joel Jerome.
Joel Jerome showed up with a six piece band. He opened with a cover of T. Rex’s Cosmic Dancer. The sound filled the room. Although the event was held for the release of Jerome’s album, the Long Beach heavy crowd thinned for Jerome’s appearance. I stayed for five songs mostly, I’m assuming, from the new album. Jerome’s band sounded like a much more mature Dios (Jerome’s former band). I actually saw them up in San Pedro over ten years ago. The band featured two percussionists along with a keyboardist, a bassist, a rhythm guitar and Jerome on guitar. I'm not sure who the supporting band was. Probably the babies on acid, but they didn't look like babies as a couple of the guys had ample lamb chop sideburns (Joel Jerome and the Babies on Acid was one of Jerome’s previous monikers). Jerome seemed to dial up each song on his ipod-like device in front of him. There set was super groovy mixing a Beach Boys vibe with Jazz, 70s rock, and chill wave. I had to go sell a bike though and my phone died and I was frustrated about the whole camera thing anyway. It was super fun though. Chris Baker DJ filling in the breaks with some kind tunes. And I saw Bill who I used to work with and my friend Morgan who does the sound for all the Fingerprints shows. It was good times.