One night in March, I walked up the stairs at The Rainbow Bar & Grill, a legendary LA establishment where I often grab dinner before a show at one of the many clubs nearby, or drinks after. It’s the spiritual ground zero for all that the Sunset Strip is, whether you find it charming or skeezy. LA’s finest somebodies are sure to be seamlessly co-mingling with LA’s finest nobodies, and many nights, Lemmy himself would be in his spot at the end of the bar, playing the now-sacred Mega Touch game. On this particular night though, there was a special attraction; Open Hand was playing in the odd space in a more-upstairs area above the upstairs area, where there’s not a stage so much as a section of the attic with just enough space for a band to set up.
Open Hand has been one of our favorite LA bands for many years now, since they released their second full-length studio album You And Me on Trustkill in 2005. They eventually followed it up with an independent release called Honey, and ever since then we’ve been waiting on a third album, to be called Weirdo.
Despite a few false alarms in the past, we can now confirm that Weirdo is finally coming in 2016. The band is up in the Sound City complex, finishing up the re-recording of a pile of demos we’ve had the pleasure of hearing, and we’re really excited for this one.
Meanwhile though, in preparation for the release, Blacktop Records have been digging through frontman Justin Isham’s own personal live bootleg collection, and remastering soundboard audio from some of the band’s live sets. They’re going to be releasing that set from the Rainbow as a live album on April 1st. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp now, but we’ve gotten our hands on You And Me, for an exclusive preview.
This unreleased gem will be available for the first time ever on iTunes, Spotify & all other major digital retailers this spring. We’ll keep you posted on Weirdo as well as the live releases.