10.12.18—Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles, CA (Screaming Females, Kitten Forever, Alice/Allison/Seth (fka Double Scorpio))
Woke early, as we have something like a six hour drive, but also 3:00 load in. Typical. It seems there’s always an early event at the Bootleg which requires us to arrive at some ungodly hour. With eight people milling about a small apartment, there’s not much room in terms of comfort, so I quickly pack everything up and toss it in the whip, while waiting for the others. Mike is of the same mind. I put back a couple wake n bake hits and get settled in. Coffee and weed is such a pleasant combo, and I embrace both with equal enthusiasm; I don’t need either every day, but who am I to turn down such offers?
Nothing exceptional to offer within the drive. It’s pretty standard. Everyone takes turns driving and sleeping. We do, at some point, run up next to the Clown Sounds van; Clown Sounds is Todd from Toys That Kill and the Railroad Candyland guys. True G’s and it’s a pleasant surprise to run up next to them. We’re gonna see them all in a couple days in San Pedro, so that’s gonna be tight.
Arrive at Bootleg right on time, and get the load in going. Our t-shirt scene is thinning down; we’ll get more in Pedro, but for now we have limited quantities of small and medium. Not a good sign for this city as it’s a heavy small/medium crowd. LA man, where every attractive person from every small town comes to make it, only to become the hottest person you’ve ever seen in a Sbarros.
I really like LA. It truly is a shitty heaven. It’s very pretty and the hills are goregous at night and everyone is cute and you can get a shit ton of dope food very late at night, and every drink or drug is available to you in a moments notice, and everyone dresses like their in “El Topo” and they all have a failed business that they’re still CEO of. The album of this city is neither “GI” or “Rumors” but it’s actually “Violator” by Depeche Mode.
I’m trying to meet up with longtime URL friend Roxy while I’m here, but I’m dubious as to that even happening. Seems like every time I’ve been out here over the past four years, our lives and schedules are out of sync and we don’t get a moment together. She’s nannying late tonight, but might come over to our crash pad after the show. Tonight we’ll stay with our friend Tuseday, who’s an awesome fashion designer. She also has two cute wiener dogs. We are all trying to hit this indian spot down the street from the venue, so we take a walk together. Laura from Kitten Forever and I stick by one another and chat about my time working for Steve and our mutual affection for comedy/podcasts. I generally don’t talk much unless addressed, so my ability to bond with tour mates is pretty weak, but it feels like we are all getting closer which is very nice.
No dice on the Indian spot so we hike back to the whips and drive into Echo Park. Driving through echo park, looking for parking on a friday is hell, but I keep seeing landmarks from last time Boo and I came down here; it’s strumming the old heart strings hard. We park on one of the steepest hills in Los Angeles and do the slowest walk down to Button Mash, and asian fusion/arcade that we ate at last year with our friend Lauren from Upset, whose since split to Australia. A shame, since she’s one of the coolest ever. Over noodles, and the sound of pinball machines, Mike suggests the next tour, we bring a Screaming Females pinball game. “We rolll one into each venue, let em try it out, and then when they love it, we’ll leave them with an order form. We’d move 500, easily.” Then the conversation turns to a smashed penny machine which—for 51 cents—will stamp a Screaming Females design onto a smashed penny. Everyone is on board with this, save for me, as I find smashed pennies to be incredibly stupid. But I do love the idea of a piece of machinery so heavy it’ll take all four of us to load it in together and that it could potentially ruin any merch table set out for us based on the weight alone. All for fifty one stupid cents.
I step outside of the restaurant for a moment, and notice a gang of people on the street, staring at the sky. Lightning. The rule is that in Los Angeles, if it rains, everything is off. Over. us being east coasters, find this trivial. It always rains, you just deal with it. Alas, any assumptions that “it’ll pass” are futile as it never lets up. As doors open, we wonder if anyone will come. Slowly but surely people fill in, but the rain never stops (we find out later that we were 9 people shy of selling the show out. Nine.)
This would normally be the part where I tell how good the bands were, but since this is the Bootleg Theater, the merch will be located in an entirely different room, about three load-baring walls away from the live room. I can barely hear them soundcheck, so I doubt I’ll know when they’re on. “Double Scorpio” is Alice Bag, Allison Wolfe from Bratmobile/Sex Stains, and Seth from Hunx & His Punx. They had a bit of a Le Tigre flow going on, but they mainly just tell jokes between the songs. Still cool though as it’s finally nice to meet Alice after doing a small amount of work on her last album. I keep running out of things, so I keep having to get back to the whip, and in turn get drenched by rain. Consider this foreshadowing. I step out during Kitten Forever’s set for a smoke and some joker is telling me not to sit down. Cuz I’ll get my pants wet.
“I won’t sit down.”
“Okay cool, just don’t want you to ruin your clothes.”
“Well you know I’m a gentleman” he says, in an attempt to impress his date.
“Yeah, you know it says ‘Gentleman’ on the bathroom door too right?”
Sorry chief, I couldn’t resist.
Screaming Females, for all I can tell, kill it. I can only guess they did, because I didn’t see a mad exit on after the first note. Rather, the people stayed, demanded more, and then demanded more from me in terms of merchandise, thus sending me back out into the cold, wet air. Its now One AM and i’m just finishing sales. I text Roxy. She just got back from nannying and is already in bed. Maybe we’ll have breakfast tomorrow. We make it Tuesdays home, embrace some tiny dogs, and enjoy one more cold one in the rain.