- art and museums
- getting lost in downtown Los Angeles/Skid Row
- the most amazing party known to mankind that we had the privilege to attend
After that Jake and I said our temporary goodbyes to his family and headed out into the midst of L.A. to find an elusive "listening party/laser show" put on by The Brian Jonestown Massacre's record label, the Committee to Keep Music Evil. The purpose of the party was to celebrate the release of The Brian Jonestown Massacre's new album, "Aufheben," and it was implied that the band would be there in person--with the band's leader and mastermind, Anton Newcombe, DJing prior to the actual laser show. Being loyal, huge fans of the band and their music (especially Jake, but I'm working my way up there) we were understandably stoked. However, there was little to no information about this event; I happened to stumble upon the Facebook page advertising it about a week before the trip, but the page itself was cryptic and confusing. The address simply said:
"IN DOWNTOWN LA
240 W. 4th St. (at Broadway) - 2nd Floor
Downtown Los Angeles 90013"
Okay, I guess that's pretty specific. But hear me out! Jake and I are anything but Los Angeles locals. Thus, we wandered aimlessly down the one-way streets of downtown L.A. for about an hour, desperately looking for a club or some kind of venue that would host such a party. We passed the venue at least six times. The Facebook page also said that they would stop selling tickets at 6 P.M., so we had rushed out of the Getty around 4:30 to ensure our attendance. Naturally, this did not work as as planned. At one point, we made a wrong turn onto Skid Row... and that was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Literally. There were people lying in the street and shuffling down the horrifically dirty gutters. It looked as though not even a street sweeper had been down the street in at least six months, and there were no police officers to be seen. Shopfronts appeared to be occupied, but there were no lights on or people inside. I swear it was like we had driven into the Biblical apocalypse. Needless to say, we jetted out of there as fast as we could, but the images are still burned into the back of my brain. NEVER AGAIN!
Eventually, we decided to park in a parking garage at 4th and Broadway and walk around, knowing that we would have a better chance finding it on foot. We discovered another parking garage across the street with the exact address on the online flyer almost immediately (of course) and started up the stairs to the second floor, as directed. Standing at the top of the staircase was a doppelganger of Ryan Gosling, I shit you not. Down to the hipster glasses and blond, '50s-vibe wave of his hair. And it was at that moment we knew we had found the location of the party!
Soon after, we met three wonderful people, whose names I'll exclude for privacy reasons. At any rate, they were the next group of people to show up, and they had experienced similar frustrations (such as driving in circles with no idea where they were going). It turned out that they had parked in the wrong parking garage too--right across from our car. They also had an Arizona license plate on their car though they were from Las Vegas. At the end of the night, Jake and I retired to a cheap but awesome hotel about two miles away, and guess who showed up about half an hour later? All of these strange coincidences make me believe that we are kindred spirits of some kind. Or something like that.
Anyway, Anton DJing before the actual laser show was awesome. I didn't recognize the vast majority of the songs he spun for the crowd, but he did play a Burial track right at the end of his session, which was kind of the greatest thing in the world. Actually syncing up as far as music tastes with a musician as incredible as Anton? Greatest feeling in the world. And when he wasn't DJing he was walking back and forth between the "stage" (I use the term loosely because there wasn't even a microphone or platform, just some turntables) and his entourage/fellow band members/wife, often stopping by the crowd of 100-150 people to shake hands or give hugs. I'm still sad that neither Jake nor I mustered up the courage to talk to him, but I firmly believe we'll have another chance some day. In addition, tambourine man (and probably one of my heroes) Joel Gion was standing within ten feet of us for most of the party. Jake went to the washroom on the first floor of the parking garage and saw Matt Hollywood in there. All I'm saying is that the party was ridiculously intimate. We felt like VIPs the whole time.