“Night of Champions” is Saturday; never accept substitutes, never take the moniker lightly. Don’t ever kid yourself.
It’s outstanding when you’re alerted to three parties in same proximity, or for that matter four, the kind of social devolvement that distorts fundamental logic, and at its apex, results in mind-bending bouts of drunken devastation crossed with hospitable exuberance.
My night actually started at the El Rey, the venue Camera Obscura was playing, a cool band from Glasgow, Scotland.
The ticket was another of many additions to my New Year’s resolution of “less clothes, more shows.”
Portastatic opened, a band that a heckler next to me called Porto-potty half-way through their set, a comment that made me laugh but earned dirty looks from the ones reciting lyrics by heart. I’m glad I have better things to do with my time.
Lead vocalist Mac McCaughan did his best with wispy lyrics, eliciting a couple yawns from my mouth and a glance at the time on my cell phone.
Margaret White showed off her excellent instrumental skills.
Finally they left the stage, allowing me to scurry off and grab a cocktail before cramming my way towards the front.
This led to the highly anticipated Camera Obscura, the crowd receiving them with a frenzied applause and cheers, some of it coming from my own excitement.
They’ve been around since 1996, and their comfort together comes through in their performance and how well they play off each other.
“Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” sounded better live than digitally, proof as to how solid a band they are.
Traceyanne Campbell, the lead singer, asked politely if someone in the crowd could hook her up with a cocktail, so huge fan guy in my area quickly hit the bar for three scotch and waters. The band was grateful at the kind gesture.
For the first time ever the gig memory card in my camera tilted onto full, a reckless result of little attention paid to computer upload assistance. At least the deletes necessary to make space weren’t tragic.
My mood was lifted positively higher by the smoke and catchy tunes. Camera Obscura put on a great show, albeit one on the short-side, which long-term meant that I was able to infiltrate all the possibilities that existed outside the El Rey.
Three bashes in Venice, all within crawling distance of one another, a possibility for greatness around every corner.
My top obligation was hitting my friend Dani’s going away party, so it was Bash #1. She was moving back to Hawaii in couple weeks, so her friends and family decided to send her off right with a full on surprise party.
Kristy alerted me to the trials and tribulations that were thrusted on Dani when I arrived, that she quickly shifted into a shell of her self, becoming completely anti-social and resisting the touch of anyone unless it involved holding her hair back while guts got puked out.
Nikki was to make an appearance but didn’t, the same going for Lara who pulled a no-show. I personally didn’t mind at all, but it was fascinating to hear others at the party talk about them in disparaging ways for the shine. Focusing animosity on a no-show takes valuable time away from enjoying a Bash properly, and the negativity lacks use when the people there should be the focus. Knowing the no-shows are missing out is more than enough.
As for poleaxed Dani, she was magnificently disheveled for the hot second I saw her, escorted indoors by her sister and friend, then back out the door to an undisclosed location. This party was over.
So I walk two blocks to Drew’s pad off Pacific and Venice, a block away from Bash #1 if that, and it was hopping with wall to wall bodies. I know I’m at a worthy party when I’m able to enter and just post up in the kitchen. The best people often gather there, plus the ebb and flow of usual party movements mean that you’ll be acknowledged effortlessly when acquaintances unavoidably collapse on the kitchen. It’s inevitable, like when Mike Winslow appears.Raj had already been to Bash #1 and was continuing his rampage, leaving no stone unturned, his habitual confidence being exhibited profoundly on the scene.
I got to see Winslow in action, once again dominating with his unique variety of suggestive chitchat, with the timber of his eyes focused on the close. He vanished later, a victim of the fray, drunk on the vibe of hot-blooded women bent on making things happen, like this flirty dame.
Steven seems to be back around emotionally, with the feel of someone who has momentarily forgotten about the girl he lived with, the one deeply cherished for years. By putting her on the furthest back burner to never return, he's a recent success story for the infomercial.
I polished off my 40 of High Life and decided Bash #3 had to happen immediately. I earnestly began the recruitment process for the short walk. Tina, in the middle, was my first recruit from Bash #2.
Her decision was straightforward, helped along by her experience at that particular house less than a year ago, a legendary event for certain. I’m absolutely aided by my reputation in reliably providing good bashes with good people, a flawless forte exemplified by clear consistency to date. For those that know me, the sell isn't very hard, Ricky Roma would be proud. Raj cut out during my recruitment process, saying he’d meet me there in a slurred tone. After a five minute walk with five on it, we were there.
I was shocked coming across The Detonator, built into what I first thought was creative emulation of Baron Samedi from “Live & Let Die.”
Geoffrey Holder was also the 7UP “un-cola” dude and Punjab in “Annie.” The Detonator’s fronts were more shocking than his deliberate debauchery.
It’s amazing how well he carries himself regardless of the absurdity quotient.
Then I’m reminded that he did win “Basher of the Year” twice . . . he’s sort of the Tom Hanks of Bashing.
It’s also not often you see a passed out Ghostbuster.
And it was another night for sights for sore eyes, in this case legendary liar and cheat Mr. Chris Sendrey, adorned in appropriate Mardi Gras attire, with an ornament of distinctive beauty placed comfortably into his clutches.
I liked her a lot, couldn’t tell where she began and ended. Numbers in his wasteland of whores continue to grow, and I’m surprised by very little he does. Girls tend to like him for some dumb reason.
I believe all the outlandish stories I’ve been told, mostly because I’ve personally seen some of the best/worst unfold right before my attentive eyes. He is also a past "Basher of the Year" winner, a title that should be revoked due to being evil.
I’m glad I had another 40, since 30 minutes after our arrival the place went dry, clocking in at 2:36am. I poured The Detonator a cup of High Life, his hands jittery with an unquenchable thirst staring me down. Sharing booze is acceptable when the falls run dry. Sometimes The Detonator scares me with his overtly brazen behavior, not that I feel fear for myself, more so for others around. Watching the train wreck has never been more entertaining than when The Detonator is provoked.
There was an accidental Bash earlier in the night that Raj stumbled on, so we collectively decided to go check it out, make it a glorious four party night.
My charms weren’t enough to woo favor out of the snobbish party host, a bizo with lofty self-esteem issues cloaked in rude nuance. It’s been a while since I came across someone with their guard way up, a wasted vessel with a steel barrier sealing off any hope of meaningful conversation or lighthearted banter. You’re supposed to be smiling at your own party. There should also be more women.
So I chatted up the make-shift living room band and chased their worthless talents with a shot of hot whisky. I ejected after that, returning to Bash #2, and people were still up and around and Bashing.
They marveled at my return, so I showed them photos of the damage done, including passed out Ghostbusters guy.
The walk back to my car was sketchy, for Venice late at night is a hub for violent illegal activity, lawless ruffians whose view of the world skews towards anarchic desires. I would’ve felt more comfortable equipped with my trusty knife, if it weren’t for Bash stragglers staggering in my direction.
I finished the night with questions, bombarded by relations known to have immense value, but suddenly everything has achieved a level that was never expected, couldn’t have been foreseen. The Gods would agree.
I began my hangover today at 4pm, and now I’m hoping the new album from !!!,"Kwaidan" and "Half Nelson" get me through the day.