Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Grace E. Simons Lodge up in Elysian Park last night 9:45pm
Dodger Game let-out in full effect as we drive aimlessly up and down Elysian Park (the street, unfortunately, we are not anywhere close to being in the actual park itself). Bright orange cones inhabit the path to our eventual paradise. Paradise is definitely too strong of a word at the moment as it is much more purgatory at the moment. Gas light came on while trudging through traffic in WeHo (God, I hate traffic. Oh, I hate WeHo as well). The usually patient boyfriend is jaw-clenched and faux-patient and I am at wit’s end. This melodramatic scene plays without end in my head—will I miss them again?

Alessandro Way, Turn Right on Riverside Road, Right on Stadium 10:05pm
Frantically calling friend, simultaneously asking for directions, I am within arm’s reach to where I want to be, where I’ve wanted to be for the last week and a half, where I should be by now. We miss the turn! I say “ Ay Dios Mio” or maybe I say “Fuck this shit!” but I mostly think, “we’ve missed them.” Boyfriend channels Doc from Back to the Future, steps on his DeLorean (an Audi whenever we break or drive under 30 mph). “We are not missing it,” gritting teeth. “Soft Circle is playing right now” says my musical friend. “Where are you guys?” AY DIOS MIO!

Grace E. Simons Lodge 10:15pm
Ok, we’re here. Music so far is, subpar but loud. Then again, I’m still making my way up from the parking lot and all I see is a dark cloud of smoke (the plague of youth mortality rates) and skinny pants? Are these pants? Or have the denim epidemic gotten so severe that our skin has developed a mutation of blue/black denim scales? Regardless, unyielding, indulgent, ridiculous fun is near!

Soft Circle, aka Hisham Bharoocha of Black Dice, is like the guy from Mary Poppins, the guy who’s body is strapped with a variety instruments—except he’s got the electric drum pads, a regular kit, guitar, and all the techie stuff I am ignorant of (laptop maybe?) He canonizes inspiring musicians/bands in his 25 minute long tribute of continuous cacophonic harmonies, his unduly response to simple drumming (he flails his arms! He flails! Broken forearms anyone?) and his music, like the white noise machine I’ve always wanted, drowns out even my dirtiest thoughts (think boyfriend, whip cream, hot wax, and really sensuous bubbles).

No Age 10:45pm
Just to see them makes driving the roundabout way worthwhile. Two man band, Dean and Randy, headline in auditorium. There is about 25 people at this point, standing around, gripping beers-free-of-charge, expecting fireworks. Of course, with No Age, you get more lightening bolts. B says that they killed it at the Smell. Of course, I missed that. I heard they killed it at the Smell (months ago) and yes, I missed that also. Seeing them live was a treat, the sound (though marred by the bad acoustics and weird technical problems) live was fulfilling. You don’t get this kind of stuff at a magazine issue release. You get this at the end of a long night, touched by confusing directions, Dodger gamers, and more nerves. A friend was wearing a No Age shirt and that, completed my night. I almost missed it (the boyfriend would have been disappointed) and I would have been obligated to fill this entire essay with parenthetical complaints and expletives.

The End.

Monday, June 4, 2007

post punk

I must digress from fashion for a second. These days, while the eyes have still been wandering from rack to rack, my mind has been pondering on all the great music we are fortunate (and have been) enough to listen to. These days, I've been tickled silly by the likes of the Moonrats and No Age, two bands that frequently play Los Angeles. Time to thank Mom and Pop for not immigrating to buttfuck-nowhere, where shows come few and far between. Look at any tour schedule for any band and you will see that Los Angeles/NYC/SF are always covered. Night after night, we find ourselves front row, dead center, hair wet from sweat, body pulsating with intense musical bliss. The cacophonic screams are almost pleasant sounding when accompanying basslines, drumbeats, and handclaps. Los Angeles is its very own stage with a bill that continues to draw out the best of the best crowds and sometimes, the worst of the worst (ever been to the Smell on a industrial punk night? Yea. Nuff said).

Anyway, enough I HEART LA-speak, I just want to talk about a band I've grown to really appreciate and love. MAXIMUM JOY, a post-punk band of the 80's whose music has influenced much of the sound popular today. The band has fused jazz, reggae (or so they say), punk together for a sound unique to their not so complicated counterparts at the time. I'd say that some of it is very Police-esque, but a little weirder, more obscure. Sometimes you hear this stuff and you think, what the hell? But mostly, you are impressed by their desires to liberate themselves from post-punk hell = electronic pop. But mostly, you think -- this sounds like the Rapture in neolithic garb. Oh yea, they're pretty fashionable too. I think.

Anyway. Look them up, buy the re-release of their cd from Crippled Dick Hot Wax.