sunday was eh on the warm front, but undelightfully muggy and gray. by the time midday had reached it was nothing short of oppressive--the sort of summer sky i associate with the midwest and midatlantic--browny gray sky, humidity hanging heavy in the air, and a listlessness that is infectious.
still didn't stop me nor my friends bekki and dave from venturing downtown to the warehouse space of little radio, where eskimo hunters, the tyde, and dios were set to play (as were the willowz but they pulled out, due to every rumour in the universe including someone quit the band, someone walked out of the band, they all walked out of the band, they're all in a new band).
in between sets there were several inflatable wading pools, a slip 'n' slide, and bouncy castle set up in the parking lot, along with a dj booth, barbecue pit and bar. it was sort of amusing watching all the hipsters (or hippies?) lounging around the astroturf thrown on the pavement that was probably giving them nasty rug burns; everything and everyone was far less glamourous than one imagines the In The Know to be and had that stinky, sinister edge that american apparel adverts have that turns me off, but others on. still, no one called me out for being Unlike Them, so props to you, my chilled out hippysters. or maybe i look unwashed.
the music was good--i especially enjoyed the tyde as they sound much like one of my all time favourites, felt, by way of oxnard, that sort of summery jangle pop with a noodly organ and bit of pathos thrown in via the lyrics. but dios was interesting, especially the drummer; he was Dramatic with a capital 'Melodrama' and powerful (dios, btw, is being sued by ronnie james dio for so-called copyright infringement on dio's name; such a crock of poo paté i tell you, but i think the band now may be called dios malos because of it). can't explain the music, i was too busy watching the drummer. however, the most interesting thing about the shindig was the strange bouncy jousting platform where people hit each other with giant padded q-tips in order to win a pair of radiohead tickets. or maybe they did it because the heat, sweat, and alcohol just really made them a little loco.
why do you come here? and why-huh-hi-huh-hi-hi-hyy why do you hang around?
as it did to me, as i agreed to go to hollywood to the smiths/morrissey convention at the music box. maybe it was the sun, maybe it was the jousting, maybe it's because i still have a greek-issue 12" of "bigmouth strikes again" autographed by the mozzer himself, but i was rather excited to go. maybe i just wanted to be taken out that night, where there's music and there's people who are young and alive....i was slightly bemused that i got the equivalent of an all-access/backstage pass to this thing (courtesy of bekki, dave, the lovely sarah and the very cool lawrence), but somewhat relieved as i didn't want to seem like the oldest, most tragic person there--if i was backstage i could pass for a roadie or something. shyness is nice, but shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to. (it's starting already)
i'd never been to the music box theatre (i think it's known officially as the henry fonda theater now), which was once a movie house, then in my day was mostly a venue for dramatic plays, but has hosted music gigs and special events lately. it's a fantastic building, a sort of ornate spanish colonial style that was prevalent in the late 'twenties. it's relatively small, they've ripped out all the seats, but kept the elaborate facade around the stage which makes it a good-sized, good-looking venue for gigs. the thing i like the most is the patio directedly behind the marquee, and overlooks hollywood boulevard.
however, the absolute best thing about the gig was that besides a small handful of people, the entire audience was latino. i know the whole mexican-morrissey thing is a well documented phenomenon, but having never actually seen it before, i was well and truly agog. the entire audience was made up of latinos of every age, social background, and belonging to every group--i saw well-turned out black coiffed rockabilly boys and 'forties era turned-out girls, gangsters, emo boys, mothers with their mozzer-dressed babies (!), whole families together in their support for All Things Morrissey. fan-bloody-tastic, or should i say ¡que maravilloso! i didn't feel the least bit out of place, even though by rights the only person who truly belonged was the young boy crouched by the garbage can, alone and uncomfortable. morrissey himself would have approved of such isolation and antisocial behaviour.
i wouldn't exactly call it a convention, as there were just a few tables with smiths/morrissey related merchandise, and another selling merchandise for red lightning, a band fronted by alain whyte, guitarist for morrissey's current band; red lightning also performed, along with the ever so fantastic mexican-fronted smiths cover band, sweet and tender hooligans. which i would love to talk more about but i may have had a trancendental experience at that point, i don't know. if a double decker bus crashes into both of us to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. or maybe not. still, the light never goes out.
also, there was a morrissey lookalike contest, which i didn't watch, but perhaps this guy should've won. i'm not sure what they were looking for--mozzer then or mozzer now? because frankly, he looks like a gentleman irish farmer these days. as does fake morrissey above, come to think of it.
ah, mister stephen patrick morrissey, never fear--you will always be loved. at least in southern california. as for me, nothing's changed, i still love you, oh, i still love you...only slightly, only slightly less than i used to, my love.
¡viva la moz!