Papa Give Props To Some Music Stores That “Made” Them In Los Angeles

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Los Angeles’ Papa have played three awesome shows at their Locals Only residency at the Bootleg Theatre and tonight’s their final hurrah.

A few weeks ago, we checked in with Darren Weiss and Danny Presant before their soundcheck to learn a few of their favorite Los Angeles haunts. Last week, they talked to us about their favorite places to grab a bite; this week, it’s all about music and culture.


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DarKRoom
7302 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 931-3800

Danny: “That’s my buddy’s bar and I personally like it the most because it’s walking distance from my apartment. But it’s also pretty much the only place I go on “school nights.” Basically during the week, I’m kind of a shut-in. Not really. My friend’s would say otherwise, but by my standards I’m a shut in. By his standards I would not be [points to Darren]. I do like the DarKRoom…good music, cheap drinks, and a good vibe.”

Santa Monica Museum of Art at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 586-6488

Darren: Santa Monica Museum of Art at Bergamot Station. It was a train station that they converted into a bunch of bunker galleries and it was right across the street from where we went to high school, so we’d go to lunch there but it was also cool because sometimes they’ll have major works, like I went to go see some Jasper Johns or something, but we’ve had friends that have art shows there so it’s a great mix of established artists and up-and-coming artists in a nice, casual low-key place that you can experience different kinds of art. I can’t think of another place like it in the city where it’s free to go. That’s the other main thing. Great art and you don’t have to pay to go there and it’s available to the public, but it’s galleries.”

Danny: “It also has a lot of respect. We grew up with a lot of friends doing graffiti in and around Los Angeles; they’ve since then stopped and moved to New York and become artists. But, one thing, is that that was one of the first places that would give these young kids an art show…It was just awesome to see.”

Iliad Bookshop
5400 Cahuenga Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 509-2665

Darren: Iliad’s a bookshop in the Valley that I can’t really think of another bookshop like it in Los Angeles—it’s a pretty strange looking place from the outside and for some reason whenever I’m there it reminds me of the library scene in Ghostbusters. It’s just like packed and dusty but there’s so many great things that are there that older printings of books and things that you maybe wouldn’t find other places. It’s a cool place to go without a list and just look around and find something.”

Darren: Vista’s just a really old, beautiful movie theatre here on sort of the Los Feliz/Silverlake border. Sometimes it’s stressful to go to a big Cineplex movie theatre where there’s thirty-seven screens…you feel like you’re in a shopping mall. I love the Vista. They play one movie at a time and it’s beautiful in there and they have like quality control over what they play. And very rarely they’ll have concerts there—which I’ve never been to but I hear it’s very special when they do.”


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Amoeba Music
6400 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 245-6400

Darren: “Amoeba Records, when that opened, that was like a really big deal because that was the cool records that I couldn’t find growing up at  Blockbuster Music or Warehouse and when I wasin high school my mom used to give me five dollars a day for food for the day, but she’d also pack me a lunch, which I never  understood but I was happy because I would pocket the five dollars and then just eat what she made for so that by the end of the week I had $25, by the end of the month I had $100. I’d save up every day then the last weekend of every month my brother and I would go to Amoeba and I’d spend my $100 that I had saved up over the course of a month on records and then I would just close myself into my room and just go over liner notes and study everything and Amoeba was like the school for me. More than high school was.”

“Bands that you could find at Amoeba that you maybe couldn’t find at Tower Records that were important to us were bands like Les Savy Fav, the Murder City Devils, the Catheters, Pleasure Forever, the Jesus Lizard, Hot Snakes; those bands that were around and touring but maybe you could find some of their stuff but not everything. “

California Vintage Guitars
5244 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
(818) 789-8884

Danny: “California Vintage Guitars…I went there once and was like, ‘This place is too expensive but my buddy started working there and started fixing up my basses there. Before I knew it, I became friends with one of the owners. And they have an amazing selection. I know I can’t afford much right now there, but their selection is very proper. And I have a lot of respect for the things that they bring in there.”

Pro Drum Shop
854 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 469-6285

Darren: “Pro Drum Shop is my favorite drum shop in Los Angeles. It’s kind of a historical place. They made me a custom snare drum which I love and I use on a lot of recordings…they care about the history of drums.”

Trutone Music
714 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-8232

Danny: “Trutone is one of the best places in LA to get pedals in my opinion. If you’re looking for a specific kind of pedal, they’re very good at helping you. They don’t have that many vintage pedals and things like that but they have a lot of new ones; basically, if you’re in a rush and you need a good pedal, cruise by there and they can help you.”

Freakbeat Records
13616 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 995-7603

Darren: “I think aside from Amoeba is my favorite record store in Los Angeles; it’s really , really different. Or one of my favorite record stores in LA, there’s a lot of great new ones that have been popping up but Freakbeat’s in the Valley. That was special that there was somewhere to buy vinyl in the Valley. It was a big deal to me growing up. And, it’s again, sort of like Iliad…It wouldn’t make that much sense to go with a list. They don’t have the newest pressing of everything, but they have a great selection of vintage vinyl and it’s pretty well-priced. It’s just these two sort of grouchy old men that work there that just stand around talking sh*t all day, It feels like a little bit of a culture there.”


Papa performs tonight at The Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. For more info, check out their Twitter and Facebook.


–Nadia Noir, KROQ Los Angeles

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