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There's a cozy time machine quality (shag carpet) to eVocal, throwing it back to the years when the people who'd begun in retail in the late '60s (head shops) went a little bigger and legal-er, maybe to sell T-shirts, hats, pants? Maybe even denim.
This makes it sound like the Gap—which began almost exactly that way—and which kinda sucks right now. But eVocal doesn't; feels like the owner Brett Walker evolved—not devolved—like he has his own hold on things like "recycle and reuse," like he's here until they throw him out.
Walker does almost everything, from children's painting workshops on Saturdays to late-night art openings to record release parties. This Friday he hosts the rather raw-sounding rawk of Parker Macy Blues—like Black Keys on 'ludes. Only not as loud. Unless Black Keys are on 'ludes, in which case take two yourself and call me when your Delta's in Venus. Or when your old man splits.
And it all works the way it did in the late '60s/early '70s when you could have Hendrix and Sha Na Na on the same bill—which died a little, circa Prince getting booed opening for the Stones.
The idea of using events to draw customers is old—it's just that, by going its own way, eVocal has revived it. There aren't many places on 19th Street where you can hang out, buy a shirt and hear a new record after dark. But this is sure one of 'em.
Record release party for Parker Macy Blues at eVocal, 814 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-4548. Fri., Call for hours.