Photo by Matt OttoMy poor, poor mother. As I stumbled out of the house this morning, yawning and rubbing my eyes—I'd spent Sunday night mesmerized by roaring, masked 19-year-old art punks beating drums and thrashing around at Cero's in Anaheim—she glanced up from watering the lawn and, noticing my unforgivably disheveled hair and two-weeks-past-laundry-day outfit, asked, "Did you get enough sleep last night?" I bit my lip and dodged her gaze, intuitively understanding that the question was veiled momspeak for "Honey, are you really going to work looking like that, and will you be going out again tonight, and when, exactly, are you moving out?"
But evidently, these aren't just the concerns of a parent with a 22-year-old barfly living rent-free—and with state-of-the-art laundry facilities!—under her roof because last week, a package of green tea arrived at the office. It was from Debbie, the mojito mistress at the Bamboo Terrace, who had expressed concern for my well-being at the Program a few weeks ago. "I've been reading your column," she began. "Do you go out every night?" I bit my lip and dodged her gaze, waiting as she continued, "Because you must be feeling run-down," before adding, "Could I fix you some tea?"
When bartenders begin talking all crazy-like in momspeak and offering to make you tea—and not of the have-fun-remembering-tonight-sucka! variety—you know it's time for a night in. And so last Thursday, I turned off my cell phone, crawled into bed at 9:30 p.m., and slept for 12 hours. But the following evening, with the phone back on and a hankering for lemon-ginger martinis, it was off to the Avalon Bar for some great tunes—will every DJ play Bowie's "Fashion" for me every time I walk in a bar, pretty please?—and even better drinks. (Their berry martini takes you back to the fifth grade, when you'd sit in class before recess, planning how you could convince your best friend to trade her can of sugary-sweet Hawaiian Punch for your generic-brand apple-juice box. It's that good!)
On Saturday, KCRW hosted their free concert, Next Up, at the Town Center Park in Costa Mesa. After circling South Coast Plaza three times looking for the alleged park, my best gal and I arrived during Tom Brosseau's quiet set and headed for the VIP booth. And by VIP booth, I mean the rather large foyer inside one of the park's rather large neighboring buildings, filled with KCRW's "Angel" subscribers—$500 for free radio? Why, bless your written-off souls!—and a slew of friendly waitresses serving decadent Absolut Vanilla cosmos and food so thoroughly delish that my newly vegan pal enjoyed two of Z'Tejas' duck-filled mini chimichangas before realizing that she was not, in fact, eating beans. Still, by the time the 88 took the stage, it was awkwardly apparent that while the KCRW folks had thrown a fantastic party, we were nonetheless at an indoor party for an outdoor concert, so we ditched the Angels and joined the hipster mortals boogying outside on the grass.
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Now, my mom reads this column, and I don't want her—or Debbie—to worry about me any more, so I won't write about the party hosted by the Mark Taper Forum that I went to later that night in Culver City. But if you want to hear about what happens when you mix gorgeous young playwrights with free bottles of Heineken, then I suggest you join me on Thursday as the Liquid Lounge finally throws a proper grand opening for its '80s night, New Wave. Lara Scott from Star 98.7 will be on hand to dish out what will hopefully be heaping earfuls of the Smiths and the Cure. On Friday, if you're not headed over to South Coast Plaza for their Block Party—RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org—then by all means sample some sonic offerings from the Ginger Baker, Jr. Trio at La Cave. Then on Saturday, Memphis' Special People's Club—the only place where you can hear "Hot for Teacher" followed by "Thriller" and understand the fundamental connection between the two—returns to Costa Mesa, followed by special guest DJ Gus Gus at the House of Blues' Detour on Sunday night. Don't miss Monday's Living Science Foundation show at Detroit Bar—or barman Steve's pineapple-upside-down shots—a gig that will undoubtedly leave you in need of a night at home with your cell phone off on Tuesday. Lastly, round off the week on Wednesday as the girls from Mr. Airplane Man visit the Liquid Den. But shhh! If you see me there, mommy not know!