Jonny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars released their fourth album in October, yet Kaplan admits they are not well known in the U.S. He's looking to change that.
To that end, you'd think they would play in a large venue, well, at leastbigger than the Harp Inn in Costa Mesa. But Kaplan is looking forward to Friday night's show with great anticipation because he believes it will create a unique atmosphere at the small bar known for live music throughout the weekend.
The Lazy Stars feature keyboardist Rami Jaffee, known for his work with the Foo Fighters and the Wallflowers, and Dave Krusen, the original drummer for Pearl Jam. The band also includes bassist Jokin Salaverria and guitarist Dan Wistrom, as well as Jessy Greene on violin. Greene also plays with the Foo Fighters.
"Here's the thing, man," Kaplan says. "We've all done a lot of different things [separately] and then played a lot together. With this new record coming out, we're just jonesing to play. We'd rather pack a small place than play a bigger place and not sell many tickets. We're not really doing any of this for money. We're just doing it to have a rocking, packed show."
John Joe Lyons, the owner of the Harp for the past 12 years, is very excited about the show. Lyons says it's "cool" that such quality talent is coming to a small venue. He says he is planning for extra security and has upped his usual $5 cover charge to $10.
The show starts at 9:30 p.m., but Lyons says people will need to show up earlier to make sure they get in. Singer Karly Moreno will open for Kaplan and the Lazy Stars.
"This is a small place," Lyons says. "We can get a good crowd, but we can't overdo it."
The crowd will be coming to listen to a band that has a classic-rock sound. The band released its fourth album, "Sparkle and Shine," in October.
"I would just call it rock and roll," says Kaplan, whose songs have appeared on TV shows such as "Graceland," "House" and "Grimm." "It's like a bit of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Rolling Stones. The new record is very diverse … it's so much fun to play."
Kaplan and the Lazy Stars are among some of the bands coming to the Harp through Tightrope Entertainment. Lyons says he went to the group for new acts to liven the atmosphere at his bar with the hopes of better business and staying competitive with the rest of the spots on 17th Street, as well as the improvements at the Triangle.
Lyons realizes he can't be content with the same business formula, especially when the bar is empty at times before the weekend. New bands have a lot to do with that.
He has kept '80s cover band Flashback Heart Attack, which has a great following and usually packs the place. The band will play at the bar on Valentine's Day, when Lyons plans to have drink specials for women.
Next month, the Harp will feature Trooper Thorn on St. Patrick's Day, when the bar opens at 9 a.m.
If You Go
What: Jonny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars
Where: The Harp Inn, 130 E. 17th Street, Costa Mesa
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday