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Bordello Bringing a Music Scene Back to Downtown

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, November 16, 2007, at 06:49PM
IMGP5521.JPG Ed Fuentes

Back in the yesteryears of the Arts District (and before my time in L.A.) Al's Bar was one of the centerpieces of the L.A. music scene. Its closure left a void, and to date no Downtown venue has really stepped up to capture that place as a site for shows. Over the last few months, though, Bordello's impressively packed lineup of acts has signaled its intent to bring the Arts District back as the spot for shows.

There was a time when I was a regular patron of the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, wandering out to see music sometimes a couple times a week. I used to joke that if the Hotel sold a monthly pass I'd be there most nights. Then I moved Downtown and really wanted that local place I could walk to and hear music. Aside from a few packed shows at Cole's, it just wasn't around to find. While Bordello may be slightly out of walking range from the Historic Core, it's great to see such a full slate of acts Downtown. Shows are booked seven nights a week, with a typical night hosting three or four acts.

Recently Ed and I stopped by on a Thursday night to hear Sally Jaye, whose album Amarillo had been on solid rotation in my iTunes for the past few weeks. It was a great show, and I thought the shape and size of the venue was right on target for the sort of intimate shows I enjoy going to see.

Tomorrow (Saturday) night one of my favorite L.A. acts takes the stage at 8:30pm, and Bordello's a venue that might as well have been tailor made to go along with Jim Bianco's vibe. I've always thought Jim was the perfect act for anyone putting a music night into a seedy dive bar, with a sleazy voice to match the setting and musical chops to bring in the crowd. If you haven't made it out to check out a show at Bordello, this is the one you should use as your introduction.

Bordello: 901 E. 1st street. 213-687-3766. 10/17: Jim Bianco @ 8:30; Jenny Owen Youngs @ 9:45; Sean Hayes @ 11

Photo of Jim Bianco by tammylo. Bordello photo by Ed Fuentes.

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