Walking into Los Angeles’ Hotel Cafe, at the very least, I know I’m in for musicians of hunger and genuine love for the music they play. The double doors open and the blonde, twangy chick belting on stage is plain fucking cute. The crowd is generous and seems to be getting excited for the next round of sound. A quiet steadies over the scene and it’s only inevitable that I notice the red hue practically screaming from the cut out bulbs hanging from wires — and I finally see the man I’ve come for.
Mister Rob Laufer enters, quiet and serene. He instantly reminds me of some wearied fisherman. Sad. Sweet. Just wanting to be heard. He begins to tune his guitar on stage, and out come the other two members of his band — and here my excitement builds as Scott Babcock pulls out an enormous viola. Ummm, YES, PLEASE. Drummer, Carl Sealove, takes a seat, and with that, Rob gives the audience a definite look of “Shhhh,” and the show begins.
This bass beat comes in from their first song choice, “Broken Record,” and I immediately think I can place pieces of it in some feel good Crowe flick like “Singles”… You know, something that’s true and is there to teach you something. Laufer croons, “They’ll always beat you til you change.” Amen to that.
Laufer, a mixture of Dave Matthews‘ mellow tones-Eric Clapton-”Secret Garden“-style-meets the 90′s, speaks: “Now we’re going to get into the Excruciating Bliss part of the program,” Rob’s way of announcing his new album’s release. To this, those in attendance give a loud and pronounced “WOO!!!,” which warmed my heart to know that they were, indeed, there to support.
I hear an opening like the ocean…waves and distortion and smoothness just like I like it. “Under the sheet of ice / there’s a deep blue sea…she’s a child of the moon.” Rob strums that guitar like his child, Babcock’s drums kick into steady gear, Sealove’s bass of the grandest stature hums, all in unison, to the tune of, “That’s the thing about angels, they don’t give a fuck really.”
All ends on a marching, upbeat note:
“Sunlight / baby / it’s gonna happen / … / everything’s gonna come ’round”
There’s something simple and honest about this and about him, and it makes me want to put this record on in the background and type that letter that I’ve been meaning to send for years. And even though love is the last thing I wanna be in right now, this stuff makes it seem pretty damn appealing.
Where to check Rob out:
Post by Samantha Ray