By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldYou know that sense of relief you get when your doctor tells you those sassy little bumps on your inner thighs aren't in fact genital warts but merely inflamed follicles? Us, too! Whew!
Well, that's the kind of relief we're feeling now that Valentine's Day is well and truly over, at least for another year. We don't particularly like Valentine's Day. It's not that it makes us weepy or resentful; we don't sit alone with a balled-up Kleenex and a copy of Hope Floats. We just, you know, don't like it. Which is why we went down to Blockbuster and stocked up on Kleenex and Hope Floats.
Avoiding all things loverly was a bit tough this week, drowning as we were in FTD commercials (and they really ought to change their name to something less contagious-sounding) and hourly reminders from Whoopi Goldberg to send our sweetheart one of those terribly romantic Internet gift certificates. Nothing says amour like a personal e-mail, non?
But we headed for the least romantic places we could think of and did a darn fine job of it. Better that than wallowing in the dedications on KOST-FM 103.5, the soft-rock station for which Valentine's Day is Christmas, New Year's and D-Day rolled into one. We particularly like the dedications begging straying lovers to come home for the sake of the baby, cleverly segueing into Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All." We believe the children are our future. Ouch!
Least Romantic Place No. 1: Club Mesa. Don't get us wrong: Club Mesa can be a very sexy place, in that sleazy, sticky, borderline-anonymous way that gets lots of 37-year-old punks all in a bother. But drinks at sunset at the Pelican Hill clubhouse it ain't. The floor is as sodden as the set of a bad porn flick, and the lighting ranges from smack den to dentist's office. Still, there's usually a bit of action to be found over by the pool tables or next to the sound booth.
We stopped in Feb. 12 to check out Lisafer, who opened for the old-school JFA. Lisafer turned out to be full of piss and fire, fronted by a blonde who snarled real good and would have been Joan Jett-in-her-prime gorgeous if she hadn't sported one of those stupid fringe haircuts usually worn by slightly post-pubescent Nazi girls.
We didn't stay for JFA, as we had to head up to downtown LA for a loft party thrown by our buddy Kedric Francis, who writes the Beach Buzz column for the local business-lifestyle mag OC Metro. There, someone promptly spiked our drink in a very ill-making way, so after less than half a beer, we were stumbling and weaving and cold-sweating and hiding in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes, all while wearing a disgracefully short skirt, so we got the added humiliation of everybody thinking we were a stupid hooker who couldn't handle her booze. Oh, happy day! Whoever dosed us apparently has some real hip and happening and cutting-edge ideas of romance. Be still our heart!
Least Romantic Place No. 2: the KUCI-FM 88.9 studio. While KUCI doesn't have the same grubby chic Club Mesa does so well, it does have bad lighting and stained gray carpets, which is nice. We headed in Feb. 13 for Dead Air, hosted by Mike Boyle. It didn't take long for unsolicited disgruntled gossip and vitriol aimed at a certain KUCI DJ who is higher-profile than most to pour from the long-suffering Boyle's lips off the air while we spun cuts by Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos, Shave, Tex Twil and Lo Fi Champion. What fun! Boyle is also working on a cable show and a zine, so keep your eye out; he's a nice guy, and he cares about educating people beyond the commercial. But be careful: that entails him playing lots of real loud "experimental" shit.
Least Romantic Place No. 3: Sloppy Joe's in the Irvine Spectrum. Sloppy Joe's isn't grungy like some places on the list, but it does have a corporate soullessness all its own. The post-Action Sports Retailer party on Feb. 7, held during the regular Monday-night Club Chemistry, featured a guest list of 1,400, though not quite all of them showed up. Still, there were plenty of 19-year-olds getting double-teamed on the dance floor by extra-sauced and extra-graceless morons. The 19-year-olds seemed to think that was par for the course and didn't even try to escape. It was like watching sad little girls at a frat party, desperate for any kind of male attention. So drunk you can't see? Choose me!
Between jamming sets by DJ Daniel pumping out hip-hop and R&B, some incredibly bad bands —Capital Eye in particular—played very, very loudly. Isn't that whole Limp Bizkit thing done yet? Please?
Club Chemistry, baby of promoter Aaron Parrish, is superfun, and we're not just saying that because Parrish let us have our very own guest list, though that did help. It's all about being made to feel as though you're one of the A-list, even if the A-list includes 1,400 other people, while the B-list comprises a dozen or so paying customers who simply aren't old enough to get in anywhere else.