Join us for a very special Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF) edition of The Standard, Hollywood’s weekly Desert Nights! This week’s Desert Nights is held in conjunction with the opening reception of, THE DOORS CHECK-IN TO THE STANDARD, an exclusive photography exhibition featuring iconic images of SSMF honorees The Doors taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. To honor the night, each of this week’s Desert Nights performers will feature covers of some of their favorite Doors songs as well as some of their own music.
Anny Celsi: Anny Celsi (pronounced “Chelsea”) began her musical upbringing in the shadow of the Portland freeways, infusing its rain-soaked, caffeine-rock culture with the girl-pop sounds of Phil Spector, Dusty Springfield and Ellie Greenwich. She spent her teenage years as a writer and vaudeville performer with the acclaimed avante-garde Storefront Theatre, after which, several inches short of the Las Vegas showgirl minimum, she turned her attention to songwriting. She was a founding member of the L.A. boy/girl pop-rock band The Tearjerkers, which released a 7” single back in the 1900’s now highly prized by collectors. Anny’s next band, Annyland, released an independent CD, She Walks In, which garnered rave reviews and college radio attention, while their video of the title song became a staple with indie video programmers… After Annyland, Anny continues to write, record and perform, drawing bandmates from the vibrant pool of musicians and songwriters lining the star-paved streets of Los Angeles…
Susan James: Susan James returned in 2011 with high praise for her latest CD “Highways, Ghosts, Hearts and Home”, which reached the top 15 in the JamBand Charts. She is presently working on her new 2012 release, another full length CD to be ready in September 2012. For her upcoming 2012 album, James has teamed up with producer Ryan Ulyate, who has worked in the past with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison. Ulyate is just one of the many talented people who James attracts to her projects. The new recordings include legendary L.A. drummer Don Heffington (Lone Justice) and guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Band, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals), Eric Heywood (Ray LeMontagne) and other fine musicians.
“…a singer/songwriter can make his or her rep on two things: excellent songwriting and an eye for small musical details. Fortunately for Susan James her fourth LP Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home has both…Even when James isn’t messing with the formula, she’s still a step above her contemporaries.”–Blurt Online.
”In her 45-minute opening set, James shows that she is already a master at exploring the emotional and sonic possibilities of the minimalist format of voice and acoustic guitar …James long blond hair and folk-based songs have caused her to be compared to Joni Mitchell. The inventiveness of her eightsong set, however, showed that James is perhaps most like Mitchell because she is like no one else.” (Los Angeles Times)
Brandon Mayer: Originally from Florida, Brandon Mayer moved to California with his family during high school. He went on to study music and documentary film at UCLA. After living in Spain and New York, he returned to California and, while working as a schoolteacher, made the beautiful full-length Sea of Stars, which was self-released in the fall of 2000, soon after followed by the EP Palm Tree and Culver. As an ensemble and solo artist, Mayer has toured and performed extensively. Also a composer, he has written music for theater and films that have been broadcasted on television and performed/screened at festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Mayer lives and works as a teacher in Los Angeles; he also serves as a music lecturer at UCLA.
What is Desert Nights?
Desert Nights is a weekly gathering at The Standard, Hollywood, hosted by KCRW’s DJ Valida. Every Wednesday, Valida curates three acoustic musical acts to perform a set in the Cactus Lounge. The vibe is warm and intimate, evoking an impromptu jam in a musician’s living room. The music begins at 7:30pm, it’s always free and always a good time. Guaranteed.
For added fun, make sure you check out our Desert Nights Summer Playlist here!