Chapter Sixteen

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Emily stood in Jesse's kitchen, looking around at the clutter in every corner that had replaced the mountain of boxes she'd seen on her last visit. Black road cases were piled high against one of the walls. A stack of dishes peeked out of one side of the sink, and open bags of cookies lined the kitchen countertop, along with an empty bottle of Don Julio and five shot glasses. The scent of stale cigarette smoke permeated the room.

She wrinkled her nose, knowing Jesse couldn't see her with his back turned to her. In the span of a week, the band house had gone from an unpacked box warehouse to something that resembled a college frat house much more than it did a home for five men in their thirties.

"Maid forgot to come, huh?" she asked.

"Five guys in a house, you know how it goes." Jesse picked up a bowl from the counter and placed it on top of the other dishes in the sink. He waited to see if it would stay put.

"Looks like I missed quite the party." She moved a newspaper from one of the kitchen chairs to the table, then sat down.

"We were celebrating a couple of things. Check out the entertainment section in that newspaper you just had in your hand."

Emily opened the newspaper and rifled through its pages until she saw the bold headline for the entertainment section. Setting the rest of the newspaper aside, she scanned the front page.

"Next page, top right corner," Jesse told her. She turned the page and saw the music reviews column.

Ashes of Brooklyn Sets L.A. Ablaze

There are a lot of bands that move to L.A. with stars in their eyes and dreams of making it big. Many of those bands would have been better off staying in their hometown, playing to their devoted fan base and keeping their day jobs, rather than calling in every favor owed to them for an 8 p.m. gig at whatever neighborhood dive bar in L.A. they can book.

Ashes of Brooklyn is not one of those bands.

The four-piece alternative rock act is newly relocated to L.A. after years on the New York City and east coast scene. In and around Hollywood, the band may be best known for its lead guitar player, Jesse Cinder, who has found himself a place in the celebrity gossip columns as of late. If you don't keep up on entertainment news, Cinder emerged into the spotlight following a well-publicized kiss with Emily Watts, who'd been dating Blistering Twilight singer Cory Sampson until Cinder moved to town.

It would be a shame if that was all this band was known for, since their songs have great hooks and catchy lyrics. Most importantly, they put on one hell of a show. In between songs, taking in the exchanges between Cinder and singer Cole Brooklyn, one might wonder if they'd actually arrived at a musical comedy night.

They have all the usual offerings of an indie band: the catalog of hastily recorded CDs and EPs available on their website, Amazon, iTunes and the like; and of course, the requisite Facebook page. I've listened to a few of their recorded tracks, and while decent, the probable production and post-production time spent on these—and by that I mean lack thereof—is evident. Do yourself a favor while you wait for these guys to be signed and start recording in the big leagues, and keep your eyes out for a live show. If their performance last night was typical of their usual live offering, it's a pretty safe bet that they won't disappoint.

"Nice review," she commented, looking up from the page. "You didn't tell me you had a gig."

"It was a last-minute showcase. I didn't know there was anyone from the press there. Let's hope the A&R guys liked us as much as this music reviewer did."

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