Downtown Las Vegas looked like downtown Los Angeles was a decade ago, a city center on the cusp of gentrification. There’s an art district, some hip bars and buildings that might house lofts. Still, there’s a seedy vibe that gets stronger as we veered closer to the Marriage Bureau. At 8 p.m. on a weeknight, the neighborhood was nearly desolate. There were a few stragglers here and there. They looked familiar, as though I had seen them on Cops.
Inside the Marriage Bureau, the line was short. At most, five couples stood in front of us. They were mostly touchy-feely, but not enthused. There’s a distant look in their eyes. Whether that’s the result of jadedness or the glare of casino lights remains unknown. They were wearing flip-flops.
The previous afternoon, we decided to go to Vegas and get hitched. We had just enough time to get a ring and some new outfits, score a deal on a room at Paris and squeeze in haircuts before we gassed up the car and headed out to the desert. It took about five hours to get to Las Vegas, another hour to settle into the hotel room and change into our wedding clothes and about a half-hour to find the Marriage Bureau. Now we were filling out applications in pencil. Sober. I later learned that this is not how you get married in Vegas. Continue reading →
Somewhere at my mom’s house, there’s a closet filled with handbags that belong to me. There’s also a small stash of them inside my own closet. There are no purses, at least there haven’t been any since a wise friend advised that “you purse your lips, not your handbag.” Each bag was, at one point in time, an object of obsession, something I used daily for months on end, until the inside became a mess of gum wrappers, receipts and other crap.
Last year, the job of carrying around Liz’s junk fell upon a medium-sized, soft leather bag– maybe a satchel, maybe a hobo bag, not sure that even matters– found at Target. It is less than a year old. It looks as though I’ve owned it half my life. That’s not intentional, that’s because I’m a slob. Continue reading →
Every now and then, I get a bug to catch some band that I didn’t get to see back in the day. That’s what we did last night. I went with my husband, Carlos, and my buddy, Roo, to go see The Ocean Blue. It was the final engagement of the band’s two-night stint at Satellite, a Silver Lake club that we used to know as Spaceland.
The Ocean Blue were pretty well-known amongst alternative radio listeners around the cusp of the 1980s and 1990s, before grunge was a thing. They had some hits on KROQ out here in Los Angeles, songs like “Drifting Falling” and “Between Something and Nothing.” Back when those tunes were all the rage, I was a few years away from a driver’s license, so there were no Ocean Blue concerts on my calendar back then. Continue reading →
We’re sitting on a second-floor patio of a building on the side of Chinatown near Union Station. We’re high enough above street level to watch ant-sized cars creep downhill from Dodger Stadium. I wonder if there is going to be a mad rush into this neighborhood to grab a French dip sandwich at Philippe’s before they close in another hour or so. If that happened, I didn’t notice. The streets are already lined with parked cars. Maybe people just left after the 7th inning to get their sandwiches.
Inside the club, the bands– Secret Society of the Sonic Six and Deathstrip– are sound checking. It’s loud enough where we can hear the music clearly on the patio. We’re also near a glass door, so it doesn’t take much of a stretch to peer inside. It looks and sounds like this is going to be a special night. It is.
Sometime after 10:30, Deathstrip heads towards the stage for the actual performance. This is the band’s first live gig, but you wouldn’t notice that. The singer is Fate Fatal from The Deep Eynde. That’s a band that has been ruminating in the L.A. goth scene for well over a decade. Fate was actually amongst the first group of musicians that I interviewed, way back when I was a college kid hosting a radio show on KXLU. I got to talk to him a bit before the gig, which was great. We hadn’t seen each other in years. Continue reading →
Previously, I mentioned that I have two DJ gigs this week. That’s changed. Thursday night’s Zerox party has been postponed. The new date is June 13. The venue, Le Cuevita, has not changed and I will still be the guest DJ that night. RSVP on Facebook to keep tabs on what will certainly be a fun party.
I am, however, still playing at Deadcadence on Saturday and am incredibly excited about this gig. I’ve been attending Deadcadence parties for a long time now and have a great admiration for the promoters. They are dedicated to booking interesting, underground talent. It’s an honor to be playing with them. Continue reading →
Back in high school, I would listen to “I Am a Poseur,” the X-Ray Spex song, with absolute fascination. Here was the frontwoman of one of the crucial bands of the punk era saying that this is all a facade. The irony is that it wasn’t. Poly Styrene was the real deal, someone who started a band just because she thought she could. She was a feminist icon for the weird teenagers of my generation, kids who came up in the age of Riot Grrrl.
This song was running through my head when I looked through the photos from the Met Ball that’s celebrating punk or something like that. Those images from last night championed the facade. That’s it.
Los Animales is back. Today marks the beginning of Nadarave, the second story in the webcomic series that I created with my pal Jeaux Janovsky. I’m really excited about this story. It’s a little different from Fours on the Floor, our first chapter, in that it’s more of an ensemble piece. The characters look a little different too. That’s because we didn’t want the designs to get too static. You’ll see Manda, Dani, Pedro and the rest evolve throughout the series.
In other news, I have two DJ gigs coming up this week. On Thursday, I’ll be playing at Zerox. This is a monthly club at La Cuevita (aka Little Cave) in Highland Park hosted by my pal Eric Dead. We’ll be playing a mix of underground ’80s tunes ranging from punk to new wave to ska to psychobilly. I’ll be digging up some of my favorites and hope to play at least a few jams that you haven’t heard in a while. This party is free. It’s also 21+. Check out the Facebook invite for more information.
On Saturday, I will be playing at DEadCADENCE, a monthly party at Roberto’s in Chinatown that focuses on death rock, minimal synth, post-punk, etc. I’ll be joining DJs Tony-X, Andy Smith and Juann Alternativah. There will also be live performances from Death Strip and Secret Society of the Sonic Six. This will be a very exciting show and I hope you can make it. This is a 21+ party and the cover is $5 before 10:30 p.m., $7 thereafter. More info on Facebook.