Yeah, we know you love L.A.

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Local H – California Songs

Local H lead singer Scott Lucas cuts a solitary figure as he carries two guitars on to The Call’s elevated stage and nestles each into its respective stand. Task completed, he disappears behind a curtain that divides what passes for the green room from the rest of the now defunct Providence, Rhode Island club. Moments later, he returns to tune his instruments, alone again.

It’s the summer of 2004. Lucas and drummer Brian St. Clair, who replaced original kitman Joe Daniels in 1999, are playing out the string on a career that appears bound for the floor. (The Chicago Tribune will name them 2008 Chicago Band of the Year after the release of Twelve Angry Monkeys, but critical acclaim doesn’t translate to sales.)

The duo tour in support of Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles, an enjoyable if forgettable album that includes the non-hit single, “California Girls.” The days of roadies, prompted by the success of 1996’s As Good As Dead are gone. On a stage in a venue that soon will be converted to luxury condos, Lucas twists his own tuning pegs, fading away before your eyes.

He disappears once more, returning with St. Clair in tow. Local H begin playing. Loudly. Incredibly so. Ten or 15 men jump up and down with the band. They do so for the entire set. Lucas is no longer alone.

After playing his last chord, the singer lays down his guitar, supermans headfirst into the crowd where he is suspended horizontally at eye level, held by a dozen pairs of sweaty hands. He points to the front of The Call. Local H’s fans, quite literally supporting the lead singer, carry him 30 feet to the bar where he rips shot after shot in true rock star fashion.

Clark Kent didn’t forget how to fly, but sometimes he needs a push.

[Purchase Whatever Happened To P.J. Soles?]

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