Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What I've done on my vacation so far

1) Howlin Rain at the Echo-Side project of one of the greatest bands I've ever seen in a live setting, showcasing their love of everything northern California in the late 1960s, Cosmos Factory, and the good parts of the Black Crowes. Played mostly new songs which rocked. And a few oldies from their first one that rocked even more. The "You Keep Me Hangin' On" encore (Vanilla Fudge?) was appropriate.
2) East Silver Lake-The part of town where all the cool kids live. I went on a nice little ridiculously strenuous walk up and down its hills, up "streets" that are actually alleys, populated by little dwarf houses that only gnomes or Japanese would be content enough, or cool enough, to live in. The tour ended with a stretch of Richard Neutra houses. If you come see me I'll take you on the tour.
3) Food-San Gabriel Valley dumpling and Vietnamese shops. Little Tokyo sushi. Chinatown. In-n-Out. A burrito shack or tacqueria on every corner, literally.
4)The Huntington Library-Didn't make it to the actual library. But the Japanese gardens and the jungle gardens full of trees that look like muscles and trunk bases as big as small houses was fairly awesome.
5) Sonic Youth playing Daydream Nation at the Greek Theatre
I've heard Daydream Nation at least 50 times, but it was still a bit chill inducing when the four of them came on and launched into that little intro that precedes "Teenage Riot." It was all over from there as melodies and guitar drives died and rose again out of noise heaps for the next hour and a half. For me, the best thing about these guys was always that they could sound like they had just bent their strings or guitar necks into trash heaps one instant and sound like the Beatles the next. Midway through "Eric's Trip" I looked to my right as a guy that looked like Mark Ibold walked up the steps by me. I looked back, to the walkway behind me: "Hell yeah, that is Mark Ibold." I guess he just wanted a different view. It got me to thinking about his amazing ability to land great jobs. You may know about his first gig. Now he gets to travel the world with what may be the greatest band ever, and all he has to do is come on and play bass for 3-7 songs in their encores. I wanna do that.
6) Dodger Stadium-Some dumb out-of-towner Mets fan called it the "dirtiest, shittiest stadium" he'd ever seen as as we sat and watched BP. This from a guy who probably watches his home games at Shea Stadium! I actually found its immense parking lot, palm trees and bleachers in the outfield, relative lack of bells and whistles, and retro fonts kinda charming in the era of all those new stadiums that are supposed to look like old stadiums. It helped that the Mets kicked the shit out of the Dodgers. There was a classic Dodger fan sitting--er, moving around constantly in the seats around us. You know how they talk about great broadcasters like Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully and they say that their entire broadcasts were endlessly captivating conversations with themselves? That's how it was with this guy. Only the conversation was influenced by significantly heightening levels of beer as the game wore on. At one point he started yelling at Shawn Green and calling him a Dodger reject, and I swear that Shawn looked up. Later, when Andre Ethier or some other Dodger hit a liner to Green he started yelling (at Ethier) "YOU'RE THE QUEER, YOU'RE THE QUEER" and then deftly turned the taunt to Green when he bobbled the ball with a separate "YOU'RE THE QUEER, YOU'RE THE QUEER." The whole game, he maintained an intense focus on the action, seemingly oblivious to the wave and other communal attempts at Dodger unity. It made me sad when he finally moved to a better seat. The little Latino girl who was complaining that he smelled like beer was probably happy though.
7) Long Beach Dog Beach-Pudge in the ocean.
8)Amoeba-IMMENSE. Kind of like if Tower had 5-6 used copies of Siamese Dream or Marquee Moon in addition to all the overpriced new copies. But the new copies at Amoeba aren't even really overpriced. HUGE DVD section with Italian horror, Silent stuff, a separate Criterion section. Lots of Sun Ra records.

On the docket: My first Frank Lloyd Wright house (tomorrow). Obon Festival in Little Tokyo. A self-guided James Elroy tour. Griffith Park Observatory. The Getty. A self-guided NWA tour. Inglewood with Jules.
And then I have to start actually working.


Blogger kenniebloggins said...

Were you stalking Crogers in Silver Lake? That Amoeba is ridiculous. I almost never buy anything when I go to Amoeba because it's too fucking big. I just get distracted and after 30 minutes begin thinking about how I could spend my life savings with no problem and still not buy everything I want. You and your woman should hit up Saddle Peak Lodge in Malibu, and Neptune's Net on the PCH in Malibu. Also, the taquerias around Los Feliz Village are awesome and cheap, but you probably already know this.

7/25/2007 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just did one of those tacquerias in los feliz yesterday, right next to a car wash. and yes, it was awesome. i'll take your advice on the other places. didn't you go to that pinkberry place too? i see them everywhere but have not been yet.

7/26/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger deuce deuce said...

yeah, props to the amoeba records in l.a., too. it kicks the ass of the one in san francisco --as does the city of l.a. kick the ass of san francisco.

7/26/2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger kenniebloggins said...

I dunno about that one, deuce deuce. I like both of them for different reasons. However, Los Angeles does have Pinkberry, which I can't believe I didn't mention, and San Francisco doesn't. Pinkberry is the shit. I ate it a couple of times while I was there. Get the 8 oz. (I think ) with three toppings. San Francisco has Zante's Indian Pizza, which is incredible. John, I ate at the taqueria by the carwash. Isn't it Muchos tacos, or something to that effect? You should totally hit up the Red Lion in Silver Lake, too. It's an awesome German beer garden/restaurant. You should also get in touch with crogers. Now that his bro moved to the East, Crog is a safe bet for a good time.

7/26/2007 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just went to pinkberry for the first time today, in west LA, kinda near santa monica, on a street that's basically full of japanese restaurants and a few giant robot shops. anyway, thanks for the rec. it was awesome. you can actually taste the yogurt. i got a large with mango, kiwi and blackberries. the little taco shack is called machos tacos...close enough. i like their little garden trellis eating area, and the fact that the guy eating next to me looked like he was actually trying to be a kato kaelin lookalike.
can you send me crogers' email?

7/27/2007 12:25 AM  

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