How To Organize Your Outdoor Living Space

Whether your home has a lot of outdoor space or just a little, it’s possible to make good use of it. But in order to optimize your space, first you need to know how you want to use it. Not everyone wants to use their outdoor space for the same functions, and you want to have some idea of what function or functions it should serve for you.

If the space is large enough, divide it into zones. For example, you might have one area for relaxing with a book, one for a garden, and one for socializing with guests. Various types of lighting can help to transform each zone individually or your entire space. Perhaps you want soft ambient lighting, or maybe you want more functional lighting for reading or dining. Regardless of what you use your space for, a couple things are to be expected in any outdoor space, and those are seating areas and greenery. Choose weather-resistant materials such as wicker, teak, or metal and add cushions for improved comfort. Opt for plants that require minimal upkeep and grow well in your area.

Photo by David Hunter on Unsplash

January Home Sales Down, Prices Up

Across the Los Angeles South Bay the number of homes sold in January was down compared to December—way down. For the same time period median prices are mixed with most sales either flat or down.

Looking at sales volume in January versus January of last year, shows big increases in activity. However, that serves more to show how slow the real estate market was at the beginning of 2023, than how good it is today. Median prices were likewise up for most areas when compared to the same month last year.

From a historical perspective, looking back at 2019, still the most recent “normal” business year for real estate, we see sales volume overall remains 21% below that benchmark. Median prices, which shot up during the pandemic have stubbornly stayed up. As of January, median prices range from 25-30% above the 2% inflation factor the Federal Reserve targets.

The combination of inflated prices and mortgage interest rates testing the 7% level has created a stagnant market place. Typically a presidential election year would bring rosy news about a growing economy and low interest rates. At this point there’s only one month of data, not enough to make any forecasts, but 2024 is off to a slow start.

Beach: Sales Off 46%

Month to month sales volume in the Beach cities collapsed by 46% in January. After back to back increases in the number of homes sold for November and December, the huge drop was unexpected. Juxtaposed against the 13% increase in median price, it demonstrates the current market dynamic.

The only actual buyers are people who have no choice but to move, despite the low inventory and high interest rates. At the same time, most sellers are stalling because they don’t want to be sitting on the market for weeks. And, because most sellers are also buyers, they’re waiting for a better market with more homes available and lower interest rates for their replacement purchase. As a result, the number of available homes listed on the MLS is further depressed.

This has brought about a rare phenomenon, the “off-market” sale. Both buyers and sellers are actively looking for deals that can be consummated without the competitive environment of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Buyers love the fact there are no bidding wars. Sellers are glad to sell at asking price without endless open houses and dozens of showings. The properties usually end up on the MLS as history, but not as competition. How long this trend will last depends on the economy over the next few months.

The market at the Beach has clearly improved since last year. Sales from January of 2024 have climbed 30% compared to January of 2023. At the same time, median price has moved up 7%. Of course, as mentioned earlier, last January was far from a good market in real estate.

Given the turmoil of recent years, one is compelled to look back at 2019, before the pandemic with it’s rock-bottom interest rates and sky-rocketing prices. Using that metric, January sales this year fell 34% below January of 2019. Median price this January was 43% higher than it was in January of 2019. Clearly “normal” is still a long way off.

Harbor: Sales Off 13%

Month to month statistics from the Harbor area demonstrate a truism. Pointing the way toward stability in the market, many of January’s home sales came with a reduced price. The median price dropped 4%, rather than increasing as it did in the Beach cities. Those price reductions appealed to buyers and the number of transactions increased considerably. Correspondingly, the sales volume only dropped 13% as opposed to a 46% drop at the Beach.

Harbor area sales for January 2024 ended with 9% more transactions than the same month lin 2023 in an unsurprising response to the market collapse of last winter. Also on the positive side, median prices for Harbor area homes increased by 7%.

Pre-pandemic residential sales for January 2024 was mixed in comparison to January of 2019. Sales volume was off, with 16% fewer homes sold in 2024. At the same time, median prices were up 44%.

Hill: Sales Off 16%

November and December of last year looked like a bad thing was turning good, and then January 2024 came along. Home sales on the Hill suffered less than at the Beach or Inland, but a 16% drop in sales volume in an already moribund market hurt. Median prices on the Hill hit that “sweet spot” with no change up or down.

Compared to January of 2023 the number of home sales on the Hill went stratospheric climbing 50% for the month. Of course, having read this far you know last winter was a low spot in the market. Combine that with the comparatively small number of sales on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and it’s easy to have outsize percentages. While sales volume was up 50%, median prices climbed a more modest 8%.

January 2024 versus January 2019 in home sales on the Hill showed an solid improvement. The number of homes sold increased by 27%, in contrast to falling sales in the Harbor and Beach areas. With the number of home sales up, a 37% increase in the median price is a welcome addition.

Inland: Sales Off 36%

Home sales in the Inland area closely followed those at the Beach in January. Similarly, the month ended with a calamitous 36% drop in the number of homes sold—down to 67 homes from over 100 in both November and December. Likewise, the median price came in with an 11% increase, slightly less than at the Beach. This shows the effect of “sticky prices” where a lot of sales don’t happen because the sellers are resistant to lower offers and buyers are balking at higher prices.

On a year over year basis, January 2024 showed 8% growth in the number of sales compared to last January. Median prices continued following the long downward slide of 2023 and dropped another 6%.

Comparing the Inland sales to 2019, the most recent stable year, the number of homes sold has dropped by 39% leaving a lot of room for recovery. The median price has climbed 40% over that five years, roughly 27% greater than the “ideal inflation” sought by the Federal Reserve.

Beach=Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo

Harbor=Carson, Long Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City

PV Hill=Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates

Inland=Torrance, Lomita, Gardena

Photo by T Narr on Unsplash

Luxury RPV Condo – New on the Market

Ocean view corner end unit flooded with natural light in highly sought-after Palos Verdes Bay Club. Enjoy sunrise and sunset views from two private, tiled decks and floor to ceiling windows in living area as well as bedrooms. Although this unit is on the first level, the building itself is significantly elevated and the corner location affords open and expansive views. This unit has the Delaware B Floor Plan (See Listing Supplement). The Delaware plans are the only units in the complex with 2 view balconies as they are always end corner units facing the ocean. Double front doors lead to a foyer and great room with living and dining areas. Remodeled kitchen and baths with high quality features. Floors are waterproof wood-look vinyl, travertine, and tile. Washer/dryer hookups inside unit (washer/dryer not included) and community laundry just down the hall. Other upgrades include electronic custom-made blinds for floor to ceiling windows in living room and custom walk-in closet (instead of wardrobe closet in original floor plan) in primary bedroom. The unit comes with two subterranean parking spaces and two storage units. Recent improvements for this building include new roof and updated hallways with new carpet, wallpaper, and paint. Palos Verdes Bay Club offers two oceanside pools and spas, two tennis courts, other sport courts, a social hall, a fitness/game room, beautiful grounds, and walking trails to the ocean and nearby Terranea.

For additional photos see

Coming Up at the Grand Annex

Caro Pierotto
Pre-concert Wine Tasting🍷

Friday, March 15, 2024
8:00 PM
$25-$40 a person, wine tasting $16 or free for members

From the moment Grammy-nominated Caro Pierotto strikes her first note, her captivating warm voice energizes the room. Accompanied by her all-star band, you’ll hear covers and originals in Portuguese, Spanish, and English featuring elements of samba, reggae and soulful pop.

“The expressiveness and technical mastery in Caro Pierotto’s voice underscores Brazil’s tradition of great female singers – from Sylvia Telles to Gal Costa.”- Ernesto Lechner/Latin Alternative for NPR

Pierotto’s music has found audiences all over the globe. Her 2023 album, ‘Sambalismo’, has been cited as one of the Brazilian Music Albums of the year.

John Kraus & The Goers
St. Patrick’s Day Show

Saturday, March 16, 2024
8:15 PM
$25-$40 a person

Captain John and the band deliver vintage sea shanties and nautical tunes with Celtic-punk and pirate-rock swagger.

Kraus leads this merry crew of powerhouse musicians after years spent as a sea captain and growing up in a musical household. His pioneering band perfectly combines his love for music, the sea, and the legacy of seafaring storytelling. And, just so we’re all clear, John Kraus really is a captain – on LA Maritime Institute’s stunning Tall Ships!
The Goers are: Tim Weed on violin, David Dutton on the drums and jazz legend Bob Aul on fiddle and tuba. Paul Givant of Rose’s Pawn Shop shows up frequently to play guitar and banjo.

Roots & Rambles Workshop: Sea Shanty Stories & Sing-Along

Roots & Rambles is a concert workshop series featuring musicians dedicated to the preservation, artistry, and evolution of folk and traditional music in the United States. One hour before the concert. Please RSVP if you plan on participating. Concert tickets are required to participate.

Roots & Rambles is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Andy & Renee and Hard Rain

Andy & Renee at The Lighthouse

TUESDAYS @ 5:30PM — 7:30PM
The Lighthouse Cafe,
30 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
310 376-983

Andy & Renee-Banana Leaf

THU, FEB 22 & 29 @ 6:30PM — 9:00PM
Banana Leaf & Beach Cities Social,
1408 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277


Saturday, May 25th! Tickets on sale soon!
Torrance Cultural Arts Center

One of the largest Bob Dylan festivals in the world is being held for the 34 year. Organized by Andy Hill and Renee Safier, this all day event exclusively presents music created by Dylan and performed by 50-60 artists, some international and all well known here in LA.

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain at Wilson Park

Wilson Park,
2200 Crenshaw Blvd.,
Torrance, CA 90501

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain-Songs From Laurel Canyon

SUN, JUN 30 @ 8:00PM
The Grand Annex,
434 W. 6th St.,
San Pedro, CA 90731

SoCal favorites play originals and Songs from Laurel Canyon. Hear classic rock hits of the late ’60s and ’70s from Buffalo Springfield, Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, CSNY, plus a set of the band’s award-winning original songs culled from their 17 CDs. Get tickets at

Pro Songwriters’ Showcase with Jodi Siegel

Tue, Feb 20 @ 7:00PM — 9:00PM

PROJECT BARLEY BREWERY, 2308 Pacific Coast Hwy, , Lomita, CA 90717

This is a once a month (every third Tuesday) show that is designed as a listening room for world class songwriters, many with hit songs, long touring/recording associations with music legends ETC… to play their original music in an intimate setting. NO COVER BUT DONATIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURED AND GO TO THE SONGWRITERS. Project Barley serves excellent Food (Gourmet Pizza, wings, sandwiches, salads), wine, and award winning beer. Food served till 8:30pm. No reservations so arrive early to get a table. This month we are proud to present: TED RUSSELL KAMP, BLISS BOWEN, JASON FEDDY AND JODI SIEGEL

TED RUSSELL KAMP is an LA-based singer/songwriter, producer and Grammy winning bass player. He just released a new record called California Son that is already riding up the charts and receiving excellent reviews!

Ted writes, records and travels the world performing his own country / roots / Americana music from his eleven critically-acclaimed albums. Ted also plays live, records sessions, and collaborates on songs with A-list songwriters and musicians in L.A., Nashville, Austin and around the world. Ted often works out of his home studio — The Den — and has produced several well-received albums for fellow artists there. Ted has also had the honor of being a friend, collaborator and member of Shooter Jennings’ band for most of the last 15 years. Ted also played on the 2020 Grammy winning Country Album of the Year, Tanya Tucker’s While I’m Living.


Bliss Bowen is a singer-songwriter and writer who spent most of her childhood inhaling the salt air of the Atlantic Ocean and the folklore of the Pine Barrens of South Jersey (aka Springsteen country). She then rooted herself in the foothills of Sierra Madre in Southern California, where she finds abundant inspiration for her soulful Americana songs and stories. Bliss is currently preparing for the late spring release of her album Ghost Trees, which she has been recording with a crew of exceptional musician pals from L.A.’s Americana-roots community. Whether performing as Bliss Bowen & Friends with her rocking band or in duo and trio configurations for more intimate performances, she connects with audiences honestly via her powerful, heartfelt singing and storytelling and evocative roots music.,,


Jason is Laguna Beach CA Arts Alliance “Artist of The Year” 2019/20. He has worked as a singer/songwriter and guitarist ever since his school days, pausing only for 5 years as a morning jock on KX93.5, Laguna Beach, Ca’s local radio station. He is a central figure in the music scene of Laguna Beach, curating and producing the city’s numerous outdoor music series. His album of songs from the plays of Shakespeare and the show, “Shakespeare’s Fool” are critically acclaimed.


Jodi Siegel, originally from Chicago, IL, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Over the years Jodi has opened for and or shared the stage with many respected musicians including: Albert King, Robben Ford, Robert Cray, J.D. Souther, David Lindley, Fred Tacket and Paul Barrere (Little Feat) and countless others. Her songs have been recorded by Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Tommy Ridgley and Teresa James.

Understanding Prepayment Penalties

There’s a strong tendency to want to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible. There’s also a strong reason for lenders to not want you to do that — they get less money because you aren’t paying as much in interest. Because of this, they frequently use prepayment penalties. This is an extra fee for paying off your mortgage too quickly or before the term of the loan ends. If you’re simply paying the minimum amount anyway, this won’t affect you, but if you think you may want to pay off your loan early, you’ll want to know your options.

Different states have different laws regarding prepayment penalties, and some don’t allow them at all. In states where they are allowed, they come in two types: hard prepayment penalties, which are fixed fees regardless of the reason for prepayment and that are usually a percentage of the loan amount, and soft prepayment penalties, which are only charged if the borrower pays a large amount in a short time period. Even in states that allow prepayment penalties, not all loans will have them, and you may be able to negotiate with your lender for their removal. When shopping for loans, make sure to read all the terms of the agreement, and talk to a legal professional if there’s anything you don’t understand or want to learn how to negotiate.

Photo by Mari Helin on Unsplash

How Generational Preferences Affect The Real Estate Market

If you’re planning to sell your home, or just want to be informed about current trends, you may want to know about present day homebuyers’ preferences. The problem is that looking at general trends only tells you about the largest cohorts of homebuyers, which are Millennials and Baby Boomers. Not only do these two groups have vastly different preferences between each other, it also ignores Gen X and the admittedly small group of Gen Z homebuyers.

Knowing the demographic makeup of your region can help you to understand what the people in your area are looking for. Alternatively, knowing what other cohorts desire can help tailor your choices to attract people to your home. There are certain things you cannot change, such as the walkability or access to public transportation in your neighborhood and presence of nearby parks or schools. However, if you know which types of people are looking for the sort of things that exist where you are, you can base your decisions about things you can change based on that group’s preferences.

Currently, Baby Boomers are not in the business of buying large, fancy homes. They’re looking to downsize, or remodel a home to suit their personal needs. They also generally want a healthcare facility nearby, since their age can lead to medical complications. Gen X is looking for a mix of business, family care, and leisure. Many Gen X people are working and also spend time caring for their aging parents, which leads them to want either nearby parks or recreational facilities to improve their work-life balance, or a suburban or rural lifestyle if they work from home. Millennials are the largest cohort of potential homebuyers, but they also can’t currently afford expensive homes. Rising housing costs mean Millennials are currently transitioning from renting to their starter homes, since many of them have had their initial homeownership plans delayed. As for what they’re looking for, they’re big on technology and sustainability, and prefer easy access to employment hubs via either walkability or public transportation. The group of Gen Z homebuyers that are actually able to afford a home have probably not been much affected by delays, so their digital native and eco-friendly identity is even more pronounced than in Millennials. They prioritize energy efficient homes, smart technology, and cultural diversity.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Debunking Solar Energy Myths

Solar energy has been growing in popularity in recent years, and there are good reasons for that. Solar energy is highly sustainable, and isn’t subject to fluctuations in the market since the amount of available solar energy is not market-dependent. Some people aren’t convinced though, and that may be the result of some misconceptions.

A big reason people don’t even entertain the idea of solar energy is that they think it’s too expensive. While initial installation can be pricy, the savings over time allows the investment to pay off relatively quickly. This is especially true because utility prices are increasing, and solar panels don’t require utility payments, so your electricity bills may be cut out entirely. There are also government incentives in place that will allow you to offset the initial investment cost. Solar panels do have some maintenance costs, but they’re pretty minimal — just some regular cleaning is generally sufficient.

Others believe solar panels are only effective in warm, sunny weather. A more appropriate statement would be that direct sunlight enhances their efficiency. They still work perfectly fine in cloudy or rainy weather. Also, they actually work better in colder temperatures, not worse. This is because their efficiency is determined by a difference in energy between the photon particles in sunlight and electron particles in the panel — which have lower energy at colder temperatures — not the total amount of energy received. This means a hot, sunny day may result in the same efficiency as a cold, overcast day.

Photo by Gary Cole on Unsplash

Factors In Determining Your Maximum Loan Amount

You might think lenders would need to do a bunch of fancy calculations to determine how much money you can borrow. There are certainly several factors that go into the final calculation, but if you want a rough estimate, it’s actually relatively simple. Lenders tend to use one of two formulas, either mortgage payment as a percentage of gross monthly income, or debt to income ratio.

Both of these factors involve your gross monthly income — that is, the amount you were paid before deductions from social security and taxes and before making any payments or contributing to savings. Where they differ is what your gross monthly income is compared against. The first method calculates what your monthly mortgage payment would be based on actual interest rate and ensures that it doesn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. The debt to income ratio method compares your gross monthly income against your debts, such as credit card debt and other loans. These existing debts plus your new loan payments should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. Both these methods do require knowing the interest rate, which is determined by several factors, but if you know about where interest rates are, you can make an educated guess.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

2023 South Bay Real Estate: Fail

By every measure South Bay real estate failed last year. The volume was down from the prior year in every residential area, the median price fell from 2022 heights everywhere, and the double whammy of crashing sales and falling prices brought the total revenue down from 2022. Judging from early reports the same is true across most of the state.

Part of the story doesn’t read so poorly though. As we look back across the year, the second of half of 2023 was far better than the first half of the year. This in two respects: first, the month-over-month statistics for sales volume have improved. The median price is still falling, but that’s to be expected if we’re going to see a sales volume increase concurrent with continued high interest rates. The market is going to demand that some of the “overly enthusiastic” price increases come back down.

Second, the year-over-year decline in median price is slowing—not reversing—slowing. Roughly speaking, the number of homes sold for less than 2022 prices improved from 83% in the first half of the year to 45% in the second half of 2023. That signifies an approaching balance in the market. Buyers are still holding back, but some sellers are coming forth to meet them.

2024 South Bay Real Estate: Better Days Ahead

We expect to see continued slippage in the median price, accompanied by increased sales volume. The Los Angeles South Bay is somewhat insulated from the vagaries of national and international events, but 2024 is facing an active political climate. The continuing wars around the planet would be enough to rattle economic markets here. This year sellers and buyers also have to factor in a contentious national election.

While the Federal Reserve System is officially apolitical, history has shown a tendency for improved economic conditions during election years. The final quarter of 2023 saw a softening of the wild swings in home sales volume and pricing. With less than 10 months until the presidential elections we anticipate continued easing of interest rates and increased sales activity. Median prices have fallen by about 2% across the South Bay in 2023 and probably won’t drop a lot more in 2024.

Sales volume fell by 15% across the South Bay in 2023. Nearly all of that drop was in the first half of the year. The new year is expected to be positive with growth in sales across the board.

Beach: Strong Sales On Weak Prices

Comparing December to November, the number of homes sold at the Beach was up 13%. That increase in sales is on top of a 9% increase in November, a dramatic turnaround from the 27% drop in October. On the other hand, the month to month median price fell 5% in December.

December of 2023 was similarly mixed when compared to December of 2022. Year over year saw sales volume increase a staggering 39%. Looking back shows December of last year as the absolute slowest month of the year for home sales at the Beach. The median price plummeting by 10% certainly helped generate those December 2023 sales.

Year to date numbers, comparing all 12 months, showed the number of home sales off by 11%. At the same time the median price was down 4% for the year. Much of the annual decline in sales volume occurred in the first half of 2023, when monthly drops of 25%-35% put the brakes on prices. Beach area median prices have taken steep falls since February 2023. It may take a couple more months before the first stimulating news on the interest rate front, but it would appear we’re looking at the “bottom of the market” now. Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or a seller, this is time to reassess your options.

Harbor: Positive Across the Board

December versus November of 2023 saw sales volume go up 1%. During that time the median price went up 2%. Harbor area homes sales dropped precipitously through the third quarter when they suddenly found strength and were positve in the single digits for the last quarter. Monthly declines in median price have been the order until the final quarter when median prices appear to have leveled out.

Looking from the annual perspective, home sales in December 2023 were up 3% over the last month of 2022. Using the same comparison, median prices were up 13%. This suggests the Harbor area may already be seeing improved stability.

Summarizing 2022 versus 2023 for the Harbor area, overall home sales volume dropped 17% for the year. Looking from a longer term perspective, sales have fallen 26% from the ‘pre-Covid benchmark year’ of 2019. From 2022 to 2023 the median price fell 2%. Again over the longer term, median prices in the Harbor area are up 31% over 2019.

Hill: Median Price Down – Sales Up

December home sales increased on the Hill by 9% over November levels. For the same mnthly period, median prices were down 9%. This pattern is expected to shift over the first quarter of 2024 as prices stabilize and interest rates decline to allow more potential purchasers to enter the market.

Compared to December of 2022, December 2023 came in with sales of 22% more homes and a median price increase of 5%. A solid year over year growth for the Hill.

Taking a step back and looking at the full year, sales volume fell 17% from 2022. At the same time, median price fell only 1%.

Inland: Sales and Prices Still Sliding

The last month of the year brought no relief for the Inland area. The number of homes sold continued to decline with sales down 2% compared to November. The median price was down for the second month, this time 5% for the month.

Looking at the same month last year, gives year over year sales volume down 2%,and a median price that’s down 2%. The final quarter of the year has been a rough adjustment period for the Inland area.

In the broader year over year view, the Inland area again fell, with sales volume down 11%. Median price was flat for the period with a tendency toward negative. It’s a transitional period which should resolve into a firmer picture by the spring of the year.

Beach=Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo
Harbor=Carson, Long Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City
PV Hill=Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates
Inland=Torrance, Lomita, Gardena

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Coming Up at the Grand Annex

un-told. (mostly) true stories

A weekend of storytelling where both seasoned performers and brave novices get up on stage to share their (mostly) true stories in front a live audience. The mission of un-told is to connect people through community, laughter, and inspiration. We want to give storytellers a platform to share their stories in front of a supportive and amazing audience.

Performance Schedule:

  • Opening Night Friday, 1/19 at 7:30 PM
  • Matinee Saturday, 1/20 at 2 PM
  • Closing Night Saturday 1/20 at 7:30 PM

John Jorgenson Quintet

Sat, Jan 27, 2024
8:00 PM
Doors 7:00 PM

John Jorgenson is a multi-instrumentalist and master guitarist who is recognized across rock, jazz and Americana genres. As the leader of the John Jorgenson Quintet (JJQ) his musicality and virtuosity absolutely shine. The group’s style is inspired by the dynamic string-driven swing created by Django Reinhardt in Paris in the 1930s, yet Jorgenson’s compositions draw additionally from Latin, Romanian, Greek, classical, and rock music.

JJQ is the only American act to ever headline the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in France and has been featured at Django-celebrating festivals around the world.

In addition to his jazz laurels, Jorgenson toured for six years with Elton John, won a country music Grammy, and has collaborated with pretty much everyone from Barbra Streisand to Bonnie Raitt, from Brad Paisley to Luciano Pavarotti.

No Depression music magazine says, “John Jorgenson has a rare kind of genius in that he’s equally comfortable and capable of playing Buck Owens, Beatles riffs, or jazz leads…”

Renee Safier & Bob Malone

Fri, Feb 02, 2024
8:00 PM
Doors 7:00 PM

Grand Annex favorites Bob Malone and Renee Safier join forces for a night of classic jazz and blues standards. Renee is an award-winning versatile rock, blues, and jazz vocalist. Known best for her work with Andy Hill and their band Hard Rain, Safier has played her guitar and sung her heart out to devoted folk-rock fans for decades.

Bob Malone is known for his high-energy piano-playing hybrid of rock, pop, and blues. He’s has toured with John Fogerty since 2011, done session work with Ringo Starr and Avril Lavigne and has amassed his own a loyal fan-base through 25 years of touring and nine critically acclaimed albums. The New Yorker called Bob, a “keyboard wizard” and in 2018, his recording of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was featured in the trailer for the Illumination/Universal film, The Grinch.

Andy Hill & Renee Safier

Tuesday, January 16 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM — SoCal favorites, Andy & Renee, along with their band Hard Rain, have taken their unique sound and multi-instrumental skills to venues large and small all over the world. Named, “Best of The Beach” for many consecutive years by The Easy Reader, their seventeen CD and three DVD releases have also won them countless awards. They are known for their numerous energy-packed live performances and have made a name for themselves as producers and performers of Dylanfest, an 8-hour music festival attended by hundreds of fans and featuring many of L.A.’s top musicians annually in the Spring.

Check out this fabulous duo at the world famous Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach Tuesday, January 16 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM, or any other Tuesday! They play the Lighthouse nearly every Tuesday.

Andy & Renee at the Banana Leaf

THU, JAN 18 @ 6:30PM — 9:00PM Come try this venue out! Great listening room and both Indian and American food menu!

Banana Leaf & Beach Cities Social, 1408 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Andy & Renee and Hard Rain at The Lighthouse

SUN, JAN 21, 2024 @ 2:00PM — 5:00PM The Lighthouse Cafe, Don’t miss this spectacular show!! Andy & Renee plus the full Hard Rain band at one of the best known venues in the South Bay.

The Lighthouse Cafe, 30 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 310 376-9833, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Pro Songwriter Showcase – January 2024


JODI SIEGEL – Every month on the third Tuesday Jopdi brngs together a few professional songwriter friends to play some of their own music for a very attentive and appreciative audience at the Project Barley Brewery in Lomita, CA. Today is that day! Jodi will kick off the session sith a few of her own pieces followed by these fine folk.

HAROLD PAYNE IS A MULTI-PLATINUM SONGWRITER – He has written songs for such diverse artists as Rod Stewart, Patti LaBelle, the Temptations, and long time collaborator, Bobby Womack—literally from Peter Paul and Mary to Snoop Dogg. Most recently, Rudimental reached #1 on the UK album charts containing the Womack/Payne song “New Day”, “Daylight” charted with Kelly Rowland plus the CD “Bravest Man in the Universe” which was co-written by Payne, Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) & Richard Russell (XL Recordings) received the prestigious “Q” award in the UK for “Best Album of the Year.”

CHUCK ALVAREZ – Many know Chuck as a guitar player for jazz great Flute player Tim Weisberg and the soul band THE Emotions , but Chuck is a well know producer of many singer-songwriters and a wonderful writer too! He has been rocking audiences for 40 plus years and shared the stage with legends like Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, Deana Bogart, Little Richard, David Benoit and many more. If you live here in the South Bay you know and love Chuck!!

PAULA FONG – American/folk artist Paula Fong Paula Fong is an Americana/Folk singer songwriter based in Los Angeles whose voice and style of writing has been compared to the early songs of Joni Mitchell, but has also been heavily influenced by the raw soulful poetry of Patti Griffin and the honest candor of Gillian Welch. In the past, she’s sung with song/screen writer Tracy Newman and was part of a duo with Tom Kell (Skyboys, J.D. Souther) that released two co-written albums together; “Between Heartache and Promise” and “The Other Side of Sorrow”. Currently, she is preparing to release her first solo album in the Spring of 2024 and also sings and plays in Americana/Indie Folk band, Abby Posner and the Big Fall.!

NO RESERVATIONS. Get there early to get a table! Put it on your calendar and see ya there!!

Project Barley serves excellent Food (Gourmet Pizza, gluten free/vegan options, wings, sandwiches, salads), wine, and award winning beer. Food served till 8:30pm. 2308 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717

Tips For A Stress-Free Housewarming Party

With all the stresses of of buying a new home and moving in, hosting a party may be the last thing on your mind, even if you really want to celebrate your move. You may instead want to simply book a reservation at a restaurant, especially if you don’t feel like cooking. But parties should be a way to de-stress, not a stressful experience, and the same goes for housewarming parties. Besides, you’ll want to send the invitations far enough in advance that you’ll probably have had some time to accommodate to your new home by the time the date comes around.

Remember not to make things harder on yourself or your guests. Instead of planning a full sit-down meal, provide snacks and beverages that people can pick and choose from at their own leisure. Decor can be relatively simple. You don’t need to have already finished unpacking your Christmas decorations — even if you did buy in December.

Even though there’s no need to be overly nervous, you should still put some thought into it. Pay attention to how you set up the space for your celebration. The areas where you want people to mingle or pick up snacks and drinks should be easily accessible. You can also make less work for yourself later by checking out local grocery stores when deciding what you want to serve. That way you get to know the area better, and your new neighbors might also appreciate something familiar to them.

Photo by Jenna Stensland on Unsplash

Real Estate Investment On A Budget

Many people believe they don’t have the capital to initiate a real estate investment. While it does require some capital, the requirement may be lower than you think. This is especially true if you can find a group of people that want to pool money with you for an investment. You don’t need to demonstrate that you could afford it on your own in order to convince investors to pool money. But even if you aren’t crowdfunding the investment, with enough good research you can find something that works on your budget.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what that budget actually is. While there is always some risk in investing money, real estate is not supposed to be a high-risk investment — don’t try to push the boundaries of your financial stability. Research the market and connect with real estate professionals, or more experienced investors, even if you don’t plan to pool with them. You should also research loan options, and don’t be afraid to take a loan out on investment property, since the rent should ideally pay for the loan over the course of its lifetime. You can also save on costs with some DIY work.

There are a couple different ways to start off. One option if to find cheaper, smaller investments — including off-market properties, which are often at discounted prices — and work your way up after you’ve build up some equity. Another is to purchase a multifamily residence and live in one of the units, termed “house hacking.” This allows you to simultaneously only have one property’s payments to deal with, earn rental income, and accrue equity, with the tradeoff that multifamily properties have a higher upfront cost.

Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

Don’t Cut Corners On Your DIY Projects

DIY projects can save a lot of money. You may also be tempted to save even more money, or time, by skipping over important steps. It’s not worth it — if you make a major mistake, you’ll be out a lot more than if you simply got a professional to do it. You will still save money even if you make sure you’ve done everything right. Also, these are things the professionals would do anyway, so it won’t take any longer, though it may take more of your own time.

“Measure twice, cut once” isn’t just a figure of speech. It’s something professionals actually do, and you should as well. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to measure more than twice, especially if it’s not something you do frequently. But even before you measure and cut anything, you’ll want to know the exact layout of your home. That doesn’t just mean which rooms connect to which. Figure out where your pipes, electrical wiring, and supports are. You don’t want to accidentally damage the structure of your home by cutting or nailing into the wrong thing. When it comes time to figure out what you’re replacing parts of your home with, don’t skimp on the materials, and use proper tools. For many DIY projects, labor is the most expensive part, not the materials. Even for those projects with expensive materials, the higher price of quality materials is worth it, particularly since you can use the money you’re saving on labor to pay those additional costs. Finally, if you do end up making a mistake, don’t fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy. Just call a professional before you make things worse.

Photo by Finn Mund on Unsplash

Live Music at the Grand Annex

Tickets are ON SALE now for the new line-up of winter-spring concerts. They are moving fast, so it’s time to choose your favorite shows before they sell-out.

We have already booked a second Jack of Hearts The Music of Bob Dylan concert in April and added three Wine Tastings. Stay tuned for more shows to come!

We are thrilled to announce that 2024 is the 15th Anniversary of the Grand Annex Music Hall, your neighborhood home for live music. We look forward to celebrating with you at concerts throughout the whole year!


Saturday, January 27 / 8 PM

Grammy award-winning guitarist leads his gypsy jazz group known for their Django Reinhardt-style swing.



Friday, February 2 / 8 PM

Grand Annex favorites Renee Safier (vocalist of Andy & Renee & Hard Rain) and keyboard wizard Bob Malone join forces for a night of classic jazz and Great American Songbook standards.



Saturday, February 10 / 8 PM

Alt-rockers return with some of the best lyric-driven roots rock since The Band emerged from Bob Dylan’s basement.


To see the balance of the season bookings go to

Andy & Renee-The Lighthouse Cafe

SoCal favorites, Andy & Renee, along with their band Hard Rain, have taken their unique sound and multi-instrumental skills to venues large and small all over the world. Named, “Best of The Beach” for many consecutive years by The Easy Reader, their seventeen CD and three DVD releases have also won them countless awards. They are known for their numerous energy-packed live performances and have made a name for themselves as producers and performers of Dylanfest, an 8-hour music festival attended by hundreds of fans and featuring many of L.A.’s top musicians annually in the Spring.

Check out this fabulous duo at the world famous Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach Tuesday, December 19 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM, or any other Tuesday! They play the Lighthouse nearly every Tuesday.

The Lighthouse Cafe, 30 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 310 376-9833, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Songwriters Showcase – December

This is a once a month (every third Tuesday) show that is designed as a listening room for world class songwriters, to play their original music in an intimate setting. NO COVER BUT DONATIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED AND GO TO THE SONGWRITERS. Project Barley serves excellent Food (Gourmet Pizza, wings, sandwiches, salads), wine, and award winning beer. Food served till 8:30pm. No reservations so arrive early to get a table. This month we are proud to present: David Serby/Ed Tree, Nick Justice/Richard Stekol, Jodi Siegel and Barley Unplugged!


The Southern California-based country-rocker David Serby has made a name for himself with his evocative, gritty portraits of SoCal life that are both personal and universal. The LA-native has a unique perspective because he spent much of his childhood in a small farming town in Illinois before returning to Southern California as a teen.

Serby doesn’t shy away from Southern California’s many warts, as he demonstrates throughout his upcoming release, Low Hanging Stars. The record’s roadhouse rockers, country shuffles, and south-of-the-border two beats, are populated by a cast of maybe not quite losers, but certainly too lost to find the winners circle down-and-outers, and it is full of the clever word-play and heartfelt and introspective lyrics for which he is known.

This will be Serby’s sixth record with producer/guitarist Edward Tree. His previous, critically acclaimed releases include I Just Don’t Go Home (singer-songwriter); Another Sleepless Night and Honkytonk & Vine (roadhouse honky tonk); Poor Man’s Poem (folk); and The Latest Scam (rock).

Serby’s influences include the classic country artists played by his father on the family hi-fi- Roger Miller, Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and other Nashville stars – as well as the edgier country rockers discovered by Serby as a Southern California teen – The Blasters, Dave Alvin, Rank and File, X and Dwight Yoakam to name a few.

Serby has remained an active member of the vibrant Southern California roots music scene for the last twenty years, and he has twice played the Palomino Stage at the Stagecoach Festival in Coachella, CA, opening for among others, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, The Old 97’s, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson and Rodney Crowell.


Nick Justice hails from the Bronx, NY. He came out west in 1980 and fronted a few bands (Guns for Hire, Nick Justice Band, Chords of Fame) in the emerging cow punk era in southern California. Playing on bills with the Blasters, X, The Plimsouls, The Go Go’s, The Beat Farmers and The Bangles who were all going somewhere while he was going nowhere Justice fled to the Northwest living in Seatlle for most of the 90’s playing throughout the Northwest as a traveling troubadour for a decade mostly playing coffee houses, house concerts and juke joints. Justice came back to LA in 200o and quit the music business but never stopped writing. In 2015 he called up a few old friends like Greg Leisz, Bobby Cochrane and put out and EP “The Cry of the Street Prophet”. 4 records quickly followed in succession including 2019’s critically acclaimed “The Road Not Taken” with Richard Bredice (Jules Shear, Fallout Boy, Missiles of October, David Lindley) at the helm producing all 4 records. Justice’s newest release “Rope the Wind” charted at #1 on the Roots Music Report Top 50 Folk Rock Album Chart in April 2021.


Barley is feel good Americana band with a beach country vibe. Barley, who’s fearless leader lead singer/trumpet players and songwriter, Brent Reger, is also one of the owners of the three Barley Breweries located right here in the SouthBay. Barley, is a band of music brothers, with excellent harmonies, cool songs and seasoned musicianship! “It’s more of a family than a job. It’s not a job for us. We enjoy it and we have a good time together,” said Reger. There’s a lot of them in the band, eight to be exact: Brenton, Chris, Jason, Jay, Nate, Russ, Rusty, and Stephen. This band has stuck together for 10 years, playing all around the beach cities.

“Everything happens at the beach. We love the South Bay,” said Reger. Some of the members are from the South Bay and the rest have been here for years. It’s where they draw their inspiration from. Barley writes and performs their own music. Their sound they say is similar to the Beach Boys.

“Our music encapsulates that beach vibe. It’s a little folky. It’s a little beachy,” said Reger. They normally play with their full band – drums – guitars, bass etc….but for a few special shows, they do an unplugged type show where they sit on stools, and play and sing their songs accompanied by acoustic guitars. You can really hear the lyrics and their beautiful harmonies.


Jodi Siegel, originally from Chicago, IL, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Over the years Jodi has opened for and or shared the stage with many respected musicians including: Albert King, Robben Ford, Robert Cray, J.D. Souther, David Lindley, Fred Tacket and Paul Barrere (Little Feat) and countless others. Her songs have been recorded by Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Tommy Ridgley and Teresa James.

She has recorded two CD’S; Stepping Stone and her latest CD, “Wild Hearts,” produced by Steve Postell (Immediate Family, David Crosby, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Iain Matthews), is filled with great songs, cool grooves, intimate, smart lyrics and some of the best of the best musicians in Los Angeles today including; Mike Finnigan (organ, piano), Hutch Hutchinson, Abe Laborial Sr., Alphonso Johnson (bass), Russ Kunkel, Michael Jerome Moore, John Ferraro, Arno Lucas (drums, percussion), Joe Sublett (Saxophone) and Maxayne Lewis and Clydene Jackson (background vocals). Each song has a soulful delivery with an undeniable down-home elegance. It has received great reviews by Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers), Maria Muldaur, Walter Trout, David Mansfield (T Bone Burnett), Leland Sklar, Mike Finnigan and Doug Macleod to name a few.