PUNK AIN'T DEAD, IT JUST RIDES A BICYCLE NOW
(photos from Los Angeles, including the Choppercabras Spring Thing, a larger gallery from the event here)
My trip to LA was pretty interesting. I liked it way more than I expected to, and found various groups of amazing kids out there who made my trip way more fun and social than I had anticipated. There was also a fair bit of Brooklyn crossover, with both the Vivian Girls and Japanther playing at The Smell (on different nights) while I was there. DJ Dirtyfingers also made an appearance prior to his gig at the Getty (you'd be a fool to miss that one if you're in the vicinity). I was also lucky enough to catch the Choppercabras Spring Thing bike event. The demolition bike derby was a new one, and the inclusion of melee weapons as part of foot down was a funny addition.
I wasn't really going to do a list for LA, but I already wrote it out, so what the hell:
- Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown LA is my new favorite restaurant. Any place I can eat weird deserts next to an indoor waterfall with fake bears fishing and lightbox images of forests is going to win major points.
- A lot of self-promo hustling going on in LA, from guys on the street offering you their headphones to listen to their demo to hand-painted signs simply declaring someone's myspace profile address posted on a highway off-ramp.
- The Getty Museum is a window into the future, and they have art too.
- Little Joy is my new favorite dive bar.
- I went to see improv comedy for possibly the first time, and I think I liked it.
- Meeting Crazy John, eating ice cream and hanging out in front of his garage. He gave me a handmade whistle that he makes out of scraps from a nearby metal shop. All that just because I stopped long enough to say hi as I was passing by.
- Hanging out with LA's top party photographers, Ellei and Jiro.
- I didn't eat any tacos from taco trucks, whoops.
- Being constantly intrigued by the beauty of the landscape.
- Hearing the theory that people's friendliness in LA may be due to a different social dynamic based on the fact that people suspect that you may be important/able to help them. So until they get to know you and you prove otherwise, they are likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
- Hanging out at the Food Not Bombs house.
- Going to the Choppercabra's Spring Thing on my last day with just enough time to get to the airport for my flight home.
- On the bus to Union Station, the bus driver had her daughter standing next to her in the front of the bus. Besides asking questions over and over, her favorite game was to stomp on the gas pedal whenever her mom stopped to pick anyone up. Which didn't happen a few times while I was on the bus, she would be so busy texting on her Blackberry that she actually drove right past two people, both elderly and frail looking of course.
I went to the Getty Museum while I was in LA. Besides basically showing you what the future looks like when you get off the little tram thing, they also had an exhibit of video art made by California artists from the 70s to present. Included in the exhibit was a collection of videos made by Joe Rees of Target Video. The videos chronicle early punk bands playing in San Francisco. Included with footage of The Cramps playing at a mental hospital, The Weirdos playing at a school for the deaf, and Crime playing at San Quentin, there was also footage of the short-lived and way-ahead-of-their-time band The Screamers. I was first introduced to them by an old roommate who made the best mix tapes ever (yes, ever). So not only am I going to share some tracks from this amazing band, but you can also see clips from all the videos in the exhibition online. Pretty sweet, even if you don't get to go into the future to see them.
• The Screamers - 122 Hours Of Fear
• The Screamers - The Beat Goes On
A band's place in myspace.