Friday, October 25, 2013

Ali Does Something Every Night For Six Nights In A Row ended on Tuesday night. When people ask me why I love Los Angeles, one of my go to answers is that there's so much going on here that you could do something wonderful every night and still you'd be missing about 90% of what's happening in this city. So I did something every night for six nights. Mostly these events were concerts because I love concerts because they are my dance dance dance. Anyway:

Thursday, October 17th--
We have a graduate student reading series at USC, so that's what I attended on Thursday night. Because I love feeling like our community here really is a community. Because Los Angeles is so spread out and being at USC feels nothing like being at Utah where any time any of us used to get together, it was basically all of us getting together, like 30 people in a room or at a park celebrating summer celebrating winter celebrating Halloween celebrating the free food at the department holiday party. We don't have a department holiday party at USC and I rarely hang out with more than 2 people in my program at a time because everyone lives in East Hollywood or Echo Park or Glendale or West Hollywood or Culver City or Santa Monica or Downtown or Atwater Village and it's just too hard to find a reasonable home base for everyone when people live in that many different neighborhoods that far from one another. But at least every once in awhile, we all get to come together and hear each other read. And I love hearing my friends read. Because they are so fucking talented. 

Friday, October 18th--
A couple months ago, L told me that she and C were going to see a band called Sleigh Bells the same weekend we were all also going to Animal Collective. And thus far it seems like L and I like all the same music, since we end up at all the same shows. So even though I hadn't heard of Sleigh Bells, I bought a ticket anyway. Which was hard because the show was sold out and I had to wait and do my loophole thing, which I can't tell you about because it's a secret. But not really. So I showed up at El Rey and had absolutely no idea what to expect, except that L had said that Sleigh Bells puts on a great party show. Holy. Fuck. She was completely right. That show is absolutely in the top five shows I've ever been to. Which I didn't think was possible for a band I'd never heard of. Because I knew none of their songs going into this, but I left with all three of their albums. I think I broke through some sort of wall that night. Not literally. But somewhere inside me, something snapped. In a good way. I felt like me again, really, really like me and not like an idea of me. I danced so hard. Afterward, we ate icky food at the HMS Bounty in Koreatown. And I've been listening to Bitter Rivals ever since. I drive down Vermont blasting it, falling ever more in love with Alexis Krauss. 

Saturday, October 19th--
When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts a lot because we had season tickets to their theater productions. Lately I've been missing theater a lot. It used to be my entire life in high school, and I always looked forward to the shows my dad and I would see when I lived at home. I still remember so many of them. I saw N in Midsummer last month, and that only made me want more. So a couple weeks ago, L, C, and I saw a show L's friend wrote. And this past week, I saw a show my friend K was in. It was at a lovely, small theater off Santa Monica Blvd. There were two main sections that people sat in, and it seemed like people who had come with others all sat in one section, while those of us who came alone congregated in the other section, but not too close together. There were about 5 of us in that section, spaced apart by a few seats, and by the end of the show, each of us had tears running down our face. K was incredible. And I was so grateful to see good theater yet again in Los Angeles, especially after being told so many times that theater out here is no good at all.

Sunday, October 20th--
This summer in Ohio, in Kentucky, my life was not a movie or maybe. Or actually, it was. I met A and we discovered that all this time, we've both gone through a movie that is our life, and then we went through that movie together, briefly. He made me a mix and put one of my favorite Okkervil songs on it. I've seen Okkervil play once before, in Denver, and I remember that it was one of the best shows I'd seen at that point in time. It was right after they'd released I Am Very Far. The show I saw last week was great, too, but it didn't have the power of that first show. Maybe because now I've seen Sleigh Bells and my standards for what makes an epic show are much higher. But they did play "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe." And I screamed the words. And I danced. And I smiled. And I thought of A, far away, and wished he were there with me, and knew, happily, that he kind of was.

Monday, October 21st--
I'd wanted to see Animal Collective live for a really, really long time. But I never seemed to be in the right city for the right dates. So when I finally had tickets to their show in LA, I was psyched. And the stage looked amazing. And I knew that visually it was going to be trippy and awesome like the Colorado hippie in me loves. But I think there was something wrong with the sound the other night, because all I heard was musical soup. Which is tasty, but not exactly what I'd wanted or expected. I still got to dance a lot, though, and look at crazy visualizations and a stage that looked like a mouth throwing up rainbows. So that was nice. And at least we got to take the train to and from The Wiltern. A show is always 10 times better when I don't have to find parking before I can enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 22nd--
I've seen Starfucker like four or five times at this point. And I will keep going to every show they play near me for the rest of time. If the photos above aren't enough of an explanation as to why, then you and I probably won't see eye to eye on a lot of things. The first time I saw Starfucker, I really knew nothing about their music other than that a friend from undergrad whose musical tastes I trusted once told me she was going to see Starfucker. And I remembered the name, and when they came to Salt Lake City, I bought a ticket. Tickets were only something like $5 because they were playing at Kilby Court, which is a converted old garage across the street from my SLC apartment in the Granary District. It was 2010. I had just gotten dumped two and a half weeks earlier. It was cold as fuck outside. I rode my brand new bicycle around the block over to Kilby. And I danced so hard with about 75-100 teenage LDS kids, because that's who frequented shows at that alcohol-free, all ages venue. And it was AWESOME. I started listening to their album constantly. Eventually I started listening to the song "Holly" on loop. My second year in SLC, I named the facebook album full of my photos from that time after lyrics from that song: anyways the sun still shines through. And when I moved to LA, I named my first Los Angeles facebook album after lyrics from that song: LA/LA hasn't killed me yet. Technically, those lyrics come before the other ones, but not much in my life happens in order anyway. So. When I saw Starfucker here last March, it was right before I was supposed to go to Berlin. Right before my breakup with the same goddamn person. But even though my breakups with R seem to constellate around Starfucker shows, I've somehow managed to keep Starfucker free from upsetting associations. I listen to them and I dance. I speed down the 101 freeway and I blast their music and I dance in my seat. I go to their shows, again and again, and I dance and I play with the balloons and the confetti that they always release now that they play bigger venues. And I'm always impressed. This past show was the first time I've seen them without a corresponding breakup/breakup type experience nearby. MTV filmed this one. Everyone ended up on stage by the end. I rode the train home at midnight. My clothes clung to my skin. Sweat everywhere. 

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