As he stepped aboard World Fare’s “busTAURANT” — a deluxe catering truck that parked, with some difficulty, in the heart of L.A.’s Miracle Mile on Wednesday afternoon — Alejandro Escovedo asked this reporter with a grin, “How’s this for a gimmick?”
Austin’s Americana icon Escovedo was in town for a Wednesday night show at the El Rey Theatre up the street, where his friends Lucinda Williams, Peter Case and Ryan Bingham were scheduled to join him, and for some TV dates. But to promote his new Fantasy album “Street Songs of Love,” the label rented out the double-decker restaurant on wheels for a pair of short on-the-street showcases.
A midday session at Yahoo! Center in Santa Monica apparently proceeded without incident, but the advance work for the Mid-Wilshire “street songs of lunch” left a little to be desired. When the appointed hour of 2:30 rolled around, no less than 10 lunch trucks lined the much-coveted block between Masselin and Curson, where the catering vehicles serve the neighborhood’s office workers (including some of Variety’s staff, no doubt — the paper’s offices are two blocks away). So Escovedo’s stage-cum-eatery was forced to circle the block a couple of times; by the time two spaces could be cleared for the large double-decker vehicle, it was 3 p.m.