I’m going to LA next month, seeing CA for the first time in my adult life… is there any must sees or must dos for someone into music, electronic music, synths, records, and things of that nature?
Stay inside, is my advice.
Check out Amoeba Music in Hollywood, it’s a massive record store.
You’ll have to wear a mask indoors in LA right now. Hmm, I suppose there’s Perfect Circuit. It seems like a cool spot to check out lots of gear in their showroom. Amoeba Music in Hollywood (if it’s still there) is also a cool place to check out for tons of vinyl, movies, etc. There are probably a lot more things going on (I haven’t lived there in 14-15 years).
That’s too bad.
I’ll hit you with 2 that are easy…
Check out Perfect Circuit in Burbank, it’s a great place to play around with synths.
The hike in Runyon Canyon is easy and a must if you’re a tourist visiting Hollywood.
Take a car along Mulholland Drive so you still have zero understanding of what the film is about.
Same with Sunset Blvd.
Try taco al pastor at least once - assuming you’re not vegan/vegetarian.
There’s this one place I was taken to once, in Hollywood. It had two towering trompos in pretty much a parking lot. No seating. Big condiments spread. Damn good tacos for $3 each. People in expensive looking business suits standing in line with college students, manual laborers, etc.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology springs to mind, it’s weird. Not really music related, just a thing to see. Closed due to Covid, but go past it one day if u get the chance.
+1 on Perfect Circuit. The showroom is awesome if you want to try out basically every good synth on the market right now, and the folks there are very nice.
Also, Book Soup on Sunset is a great independent bookstore. Pinks on Melrose/La Brea if you like chili dogs. Future Music on York in Eagle Rock for used vintage synths and gear (not great prices, but fun to poke around in the piles of stuff). Reel Inn on Hwy 1 in Malibu for fresh fish. The Getty for art (if it’s open these days). Hae Jang Chon in K-town for Korean bbq.
A tricky thing about LA is that a lot of the best stuff is kinda below the radar and hard to know about. Especially right now with covid and everything. A lot of live venues are kinda closed or barely hanging on. Here are some things to google/follow on social, etc, to see if you can find shows or other things goin on:
Modular on the spot
Check out la DJs on NTS and follow them
It’s kind of a lot of work to find out what’s going on out here, haha
Amoeba and Jurassic are must sees too.
Ohh… I just remembered a new spot for vinyl that just opened up in Granada Hills called Deadly Wax. Brews Brothers is a great spot for games, food & beers in the North Hollywood area.
There was a time when Amoeba Hollywood was the pinnacle of my musical world (though I got to Amoeba SF and Amoeba Berkeley much more often). That time has passed. The last time I was there, I left without buying anything, and it was like some huge gate had slammed shut.
Jurassic is a bit precious. One probably had to go in the first year it was open. Like so many places.
Have some Korean food, definitely.
You might hit Chinatown in the same spirit.
The Bradbury Building, featured in Blade Runner as JF Sebastians place. Across the street is a Mexican Yerberia, medical herb shop, that has a corner shrine to Santa Muerte, Saint Death, worshipped by narco trafficantes.
Also the Velveteeria, velvet painting gallery is great.
Museum of Jurassic Tech in Culver City is a must see.
Skip Venice Beach, it’s a homeless camp
Tbh, I wouldn’t recommend going to Future Music unless you need a repair on your synth.
I went there and the place was locked. I had to knock on the glass door for the guy to let you in. Once inside, it’s very dark - I don’t even think they have lights inside.
Everything is very expensive, and nothing is plugged in; and I may be a bit judgemental, but they may not want you to plug anything in unless you’re seriously considering buying.
ONLY go there if you need your Roland synths repaired. They do good work and their rates are decent…
Yeah, I probably wouldn’t buy anything there. But there’s something I love about that kind of shop where shit is just piled up everywhere. You just don’t see those kinds of places often anymore. Plus, in my experience the guy who runs the place is fun to talk to, but YMMV. I have a high tolerance for cranky people…
And there’s plenty of stuff to eat and look at along York, so not a bad afternoon excursion.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
I second all that about future music. Weird unique place, things may be priced high but you have greater odds of seeing something unusual than at a regular music shop.
Plenty else to do within a few blocks.