Photo by Tenaya HillsDank is so last year, so when it cametime for last weekend's Quiksilver holiday bash, they moved it quick like a bunny from 2003's cavernous warehouse with hand-decorated muslin backdrops to 2004's boogie lounge with darkened disco balls: Long Beach's V20 the Venue—capacious and warm, with free gimlets and ample smoking areas. Capacious is the new dank.
And apparently, repetition is the new "completely wasted," this year's theme for guests. It works okay in song, and it's great in newspaper stories—repetition is really great in newspaper stories—but it's not so great in large groups of somewhat-wasted people.
First, last and always were the hats. Hats everywhere, as if it weren't one of the warmest holiday nights on record. For the ladies, the occasional knit cloche; newsboy caps galore as if Jennifer Lopez never existed; and for the Stevie Nicks rerun stirring her beer in time with the Sonic Youth-fully inclined Autolux, a Greek fisherman's cap. (Thanks to Autolux and headliners the Moving Units, the crowd on the dance floor was Fields of Nephilim meets Sublime. And you can dance.)
Guys weren't much better, with all in fedoras: tan canvas models with green and red Gucci-colored bands; black ones; herringbone ones; and for the guy in the tattersall shirt, what else but a tattersall fedora? He was a living, breathing moiré.
Then, just when the vodka started to kick in, they all started to talk at once—and she was looking for Daniel. "I think I see him," she screamed, all but in my ear as I leaned against one of V20's many varnished railings. It's like the Queen Mary up in there, all teak and oak. Nice. "Daniel! Over here, Daniel," she hollered, when what she really needed to do was call him on his cell phone and it would go to voice mail immediately—how the Weekly staff keeps in contact.
Unless the band is on and you're trying to get to the front with an Amstel Light and another free gimlet—then we simply rub up against people until they move out of the way. It's a form of communication, too, one I nearly had to resort to when I ran into the Cardboard Robot people again—they don't sleep—on the second dance floor, where reggae lives. This was an industry crowd: mainly young and good-looking—sometimes old and dour and only here 'cause we have to be—and not unappreciative of the beach club reggae vibe the DJ was giving off. The guy in the camp shirt with Bob Marley silk-screened on the back was particularly in the right place.
And I was in the wrong place once Autolux finished a great set and the P.A. immediately segued into Rush's "Tom Sawyer," so I sloshed outside to the smoking area, thinking thanks for nothing—only to get bombarded by the second DJ spinning the Police's "Can't Stand Losing You."
It was okay, though, 'cause a group of Asian guys in parkas—and hats!—wanted to get me high. "Do you smoke weed?" the leader demanded, when all I wanted was to get by. "Not right now," I had to tell him 'cause I needed my intellect to impress girls who looked like Kelly Gray 20 years ago and their boyfriends who looked like Jason Bateman, who might actually work in the surfwear industry.
I trudged inside, where besides free gimlets, the consolation prize was fortune cookies—and, as always, you add the words "in bed" at the fortune's end. My first? "You will be the next spokesperson for Viagra." In bed. Will Bob Dole please pick up the white courtesy phone? It tasted fresh, though, and I reached for another.
It read, "You will be CEO of Quicksilver in one year."
So now I'm starting a company named Quicksilver, and we're going after Quicksilver the computer-game developer—and also some surfwear company named Quiksilver. In bed.