Tuesday, I walk down the hill past a house with an open door and, inside, Antonio Carlos Jobim playing (I’d say blasting if it weren’t bosanova) "Corcovado." Then past some neighbors who were discussing a herd of cats who live from house to house. Apparently one of the cats is getting a bath – today probably. My destination is next door to the cats. The sun is dipping fast as I knock on the door of Beer Wine Fish, a discrete recording studio (location downplayed because of security concerns over recording equipment and instruments), where the Silversun Pickups recently recorded. I am greeted by Eric, a young musician, and a waggling, super-charged brown pit bull and then three much calmer but also friendly musicians – The Shakletons, who are recording at the studio with Loveless Records producer Sam Jones. (Jones made the documentary "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" about the band Wilco's legendary recording of the CD "Yankee Foxtrot Hotel." He is now a partner at Loveless Records in Seattle.)
I am here because Sam Jones is a friend of a friend and the magic words Echo Park arose in conversation. I have been curious to see the inside of the secretive studio down the street, and the indie-guitar Shakletons have a good chance of becoming a significant band. But at first glance they seem like sweet, nerdy kids, wound up, waiting – it’s in-between time when I arrive. They are getting ready to get ready to record. No one in the band is over 22, and the youngest member, Sean, the drummer, is 16 years of age. His parents are not at the studio but they came with him to Los Angeles, and probably to New York, too, where the band, which has toured extensively on the east coast, played CMJ recently.