Photo by Jack GouldSometimes there are weeks that, despite the best, sweetest, most Pollyanna-ish, the-cup-is-half-full intentions in this whole big, beautiful world, you just hate everything. You're there! You're ready! You've got a smile on your cute li'l mug, preparing for another bout of easy summer fun, and then the sheer lack of fun begins, and drags on, and you look around at all the other people, and they're bored, too, and then you phone-tag your friends a couple of times and escape with them to some other fun-filled event, and it blows, too. But at least sometimes the dreariness is catered.
I should know better than to attend Huntington's surf contests. But I always brainwash myself with visions of sugarplums and hardbodied little surf boys. This time, I will not have to listen to young men talking about Black Flys parties and the porn stars they glimpsed there. This time, none of the 19-year-old women will be hideously beautiful, and no one will wear flowers in her soft, waist-length hair. This time, I will not be a wan impostor among the true heirs of Southern California sunshine. Fat chance, baby.
The Bluetorch Pro (www.bluetorch.com) opened the evening of July 18 with some kind of VIP-event-type thing at Duke's that I happily sneaked my way into.
The food was marvelous: bloody slabs of prime rib and mashed potatoes positively soggy with butter. But we weren't allowed to eat until Corky Carroll and Lisa Andersen finished making their speeches about how happy they were to be at yet another big ol' surf contest in Surf City. The change in sponsorship wasn't much addressed, or maybe I just wasn't listening, but OP's out. The dot-coms have sucked up one more real-time/real-space venture—though what will happen when all the dot-coms' basement printing presses run out of invisible ink for their virtual money is anyone's guess. Maybe former radio personality/current pathetic T&A sleazeball The Poorman could buy up the rights—cheap!—and get the surf contest broadcast on KCOPin the wee hours of the night. He could gussy it up with local bands under bad lighting, and they all could duke it out for the dwindling pool of insomniac viewers with infomercials about how to become a real-estate tycoon for only $99.99. Hell, remember when Baywatch was a midnight to 1 a.m. Channel 5 reject with a $47 budget? Poorman could go places! Maybe even places far, far away! Oh, that wasn't very nice! I take it back, Poorman!
Buzzband OC transplants by way of Nebraska or something Square played the comfy, couchalicious Lab Anti-Mall on July 19. I believe I lasted three songs, though it was difficult to tell, since their tunes seemed to meld into one another in a big prog-rock fantasy of avant-garde noodling and dystonal guitarathons. Hell, at least ELO had words in their songs and often stood while they played them. (I hear from other sources that Square also sometimes use words, but for the 20 minutes I stayed, they might as well have been a much less mobile Harpo Marx.) Still, for a pretty rockin' track by the band, check out the Weekly's comp disc Nothing but Treble. It's free.
So, faced with an evening of music as gray and featureless as the Nebraska skyline, I ducked out of the Lab and hit the Tap House for Surfing Girl Magazine's Bluetorch tie-in: a screening of the chick-surf movie Peaches! See how stupid I am?
Actually, the girl-centric evening wasn't at all offensive, and the peach martinis were delightful. But when even hedonistic surfer types have lost the ability to flirt, you know there's something amiss between the sexes. Nobody was making time. Nobody! Boys sat in big groups on the patio, girls stood prettily by the bar, and never the twain met. Even the Los Angeles Times has noticed the phenomenon, and that's saying something!
After trying unsuccessfully to flirt with a videographer (a very pretty miss from Quiksilver quickly swooped in on the conversation; why must everyone from Quiksilver be so goddamn cute and chatty?), I hit Thee Word Thing at Club Mesa. The venerable poetry-with-drunken-hecklers night featured the likable Lob's sound band, Instagon. The noise was excruciating, like Satan on chili, so I grabbed a zine from the lobby and was shocked to discover that Allen Wrench (whom I last saw squirting people from a pinhole in his Bud can a coupla Hootenannys ago) killed Kurt Cobain! When queried via e-mail, Dr. Wrench neither confirmed nor denied.
July 22 actually started well, with a tiki party thrown by Orange County Museum of Artmarketing director Brian Langston, his saucy wife, Elizabeth, and their uncannily gorgeous and smart daughter Justine. The food was great, everyone was charming and talkative, a hula dancer enthralled us all, and a fabulously muscular man ran around in little trunks lighting torches. Naturally, I left.
I had no choice but to heed the siren call of The Moseleys, splitting eardrums left and right at the discriminating rocker's Chinese restaurant of choice, Costa Mesa's Din Din at the Bamboo Terrace.
The Moseleys just might be the world's most dreadful band. Harvey, on percussion, collapsed with a cocaine-induced heart attack right in the middle of their set, and nobody seemed to care. Palmsley, the drummer, threw his sticks at the listless audience, perhaps in an attempt to provoke any kind of reaction whatsoever. Bunny, Rexand Grady, while undeniably sexy in their plaid golf pants, seemed unable to shake the funk of Bunny's rash. Is it any wonder I love them so?
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