After a 13-year-long hiatus, the Deltron 3030 super group has reunited for a full LP, some festival shows, and… a couple of free in-stores? Pretty damn cool that the heroic trio of Dan The Automator, Del The Funky Homosapien, and Kid Koala would play a Long Beach record shop. But after a long day of travel and press, they had to eat. Good thing Berlin is connected to Fingerprints.
Left to right: Dan The Automator, me, Kid Koala, and my pal Paul Kwon scarfing an early dinner at Berlin. How cool is it that there is a coffee house that serves high-end food connected to the record store? Brilliant and tasty, too. Del didn’t eat with us because he was busy practicing his ollies and had some cheese pizza coming to him. No artisan flatbread slices for Del. He’s a purist.
Paul and I did talk to Del for a little bit after dinner, and we noticed that his board and shoes had a lot of mileage on them. Someone please provide the underground legend with some flow before Deltron hits the road. How many skate videos have his songs been on anyway? Meanwhile, Dan is ready to travel with his 35-year-old NBA All-Star bag with West Coast baller Paul Westphal’s name embroidered onto it.
Oh yeah, there was a show, too. Mixing new classics with old favorites, the set was brief but tight. These guys are legends and even an informal reintroduction to hardcore fans was loaded with precision, atmosphere, and energy. The guys were both sharp and slamming, and more than ready for their proper tour. Not only is there the prospect of some of the great new album’s guest stars showing up (Zach De La Rocha, Common, David Chang, Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt…) but a full orchestra in certain cities. Check out dates at Deltron’s official Facebook page…
A couple of nights later I went to the Satellite to catch Red Hare, featuring three members of Swiz including Shawn Brown from Dag Nasty and Jason Farrell from Bluetip. We don’t get to see DC punk on the West Coast very often so this was a big deal to my friend Ben and me. Why wasn’t the bar packed? Red Hare was great. As you’d expect, Jason Farrell’s chops are perfectly rocking and Shawn Brown sings with his unique phrasing and power that fans love him for. No BS, all awesome.
Headliners Coliseum play a technical yet heavy form of punk with a dark, pounding side that reminds me somewhat of Killing Joke. This was my first time seeing the Louisville band on a proper stage and they were rad. They crushed songs nonstop except for when singer and guitarist Ryan Patterson stopped tuning to say that playing to half-filled venues is not a problem when he’s playing music that’s meaningful to himself and helping personal heroes like the guys in Red Hare get seen. Punk rock!
BONUS FOOD REPORTS WITH DIRTY BEACHES AND SISU
What, you want more pictures of me eating with bands? This is your lucky day. Alex from Dirty Beaches and Sandy from SISU have been hanging out in L.A. following their tour and I met up with them a couple of times…
This afternoon we went to Class 302 in Rowland Heights. It’s decorated like a Taiwanese classroom with desks for tables, a chalkboard with specials, and bookbags holding chopsticks and napkins. The wait staff wears school uniforms but not in a pervy way. The menu specializes in small dishes that the Taiwanese love so much and they were extremely flavorful, although Alex said that the stinky tofu could have been stinkier. He and Shub liked the congealed blood a lot. Sandy and I dug the ultra sweet potato fries, crisped mushrooms, fried (non-stinky) tofu, and BBQ corn.
But the true reason people go to Class 302 is the dessert. The SGV spot had the frozen condensed milk dialed in way before Fluff Ice came around, and the mango strawberry version is the bomb. And not even a gut bomb when shared by four. Who says you can’t have frozen dessert on a rainy day? Thumbs up from Shub, Alex, Sandy, and me.
On Friday we went to Roy Choi’s rice bowl joint in Chinatown, which is trendy like a new nightclub and deserves every bit of attention. The mix of flavors is unreal, practically conceptual, yet priced and presented in lowbrow form and cost. You could have a full-0n tastebud-pushing and culture-clashing experience for less than 10 bucks but then you’d miss out on the Tres Leches and Sriracha Bar. Four more thumbs up (Shub was away for this outing but Alex went back to Chego on his own a couple of days later).
Chego is conveniently right across the street from Castelar Elementary, so we were able to pick up my daughter from kindergarten right after getting coffee from my favorite cigar shop/lotto ticket seller/junk food spot. I do aspire to make Eloise’s school the next Vince Lombardi High but that’s another tangent for another post…