The Space is Dead! Long live the Space!

Photo by Rebecca Schoenkopf "Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay."

—Ralph Macchio

It was a sad call from Kelly O'HanlinThursday night. The Space was dead. Long live the Space.

Where will all the musician boys live practically rent-free, with all the imported beer they could drink? (And what do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless!) Where, for a donation to cover the Newcastle and the guys checking your ID, will we now watch 12 or 20 bands on three stages, with the sexy LBC artsy girls dancing at the front? Where is Kelly O going to have a chance to attend 12 fancy-dress balls a year, each with a theme allowing her to tog up as some variation on a warrior princess?

And where the hell am I gonna score some shrooms?!

Saturday night's wake was a sad one. Six years back, we'd watched its former incarnation, Bong Leach, come and go (one fine New Year's Eve with Skeith DeWine in handcuffs on the hood of his truck, until the fuzz finally saw all the other partygoers arriving, and decided we weren't there to buy crack), but the Space came along to replace it, bigger, faster, uncut. Now, if someone comes along to fill the void left by the Space and their perfect parties—think Martha Stewart, if Martha Stewart was all underground-high-school-art-teacher and beautiful rock & roll—will they by necessity be young and fresh and full of beans? Will it be strictly for the younger set? Is Mary Reilly going to start getting the invites that once were strictly mine?

Or an even more hideous thought: Will the party promoters overtake Long Beach, with their street teams and their guest lists, making the city safe for ho's from Huntington and Paris Hilton?

We bopped our heads moodily through Brett Bixby's pretty, minor-chord set; we danced at the front like sexy LBC artsy girls for the Celtic/country/salsa of Jim Biancho; we felt The Rock for Long Beach supergroup The Dibs. Then we kind of started to snicker, because Dibs super-singer Chris O'Hanlin was emoting like Bono, and pumping his fists in the air while he emoted like Bono, and talking about how music is our common blood while he emoted like Bono, and then we thought he'd say something like, "This one goes out to Martin Luther King!" and we didn't even remember at the time that it was Martin Luther King Day Weekend, it just seemed like it would be the proper Bono thing to say.

Oh, don't get mad, Chris! It was funny! In the name of love!

I sneaked out at 1:30 a.m. without goodbyes. Shhhh. Daddy's gonna pay for your crashed car.

Now, if OOTS (Out Of The Streets) could just take over, say, nine more industrial spaces in addition to the one they have, make friends with a bunch of musicians in addition to their Disney illustrators, and put in a recording studio and three or so stages, we might have a very nice new clubhouse, even better than the real thing. But was it the donation they were asking for Saturday night (yes, we were busy bees) to come in and attend what was after all an art show, that kept the madding crowds away?

It wasn't the work: Doug Kingsbury's ballpoint-pen portraits of Malcolm X and Robert E. Lee on phonebook pages were swell, as were some other co-op member's nasty little cartoon monsters and some beautiful geometric cityscapes. The DJ was good. And there was cake!

What there wasn't, particularly, was a party. Please, OOTS, get Kelly O'Hanlin on it, stat!

You know what else I did Saturday night? Pretty much everything in the world, including heading up to Downtown for a fashion show so fancy, they comped the parking in the pay lot. Free parking? Did I just win the lottery?

Well, yes and no. The fashion show—for Voom—was filled with pretty people of the exact ethnic makeup of a Benetton ad or a Long Beach elementary school, which was great. (For those of you keeping score of Long Beach elementary schools' ethnic compositions, that would be approximately 30 percent white, 30 percent black, 30 percent Latino, and 10 percent Hmong.) There was wine, but you couldn't get to it past the firetrap that was the seating. And there were bee-yoo-tiful models, all with either crazy-big beautiful corkscrew-curl perms or long slick hair, and after the organizers put down a thick carpet for them so they wouldn't get shin-splints, they did this bizarre stomping walk that our new queer stylist friend told us is how all models walk these days: you know, like Frankenstein goose-stepping.

It's a look.

You know how really, really skinny models make you feel like a big, fat asshole? Well, these models were so skinny we didn't feel like big fat assholes, because for the most part they were so skinny, the clothes looked bad! I'm pretty sure, for instance, that the pretty sundresses in opalescent greens wouldn't have slipped down to their waists as much if they'd had breasts to keep them up, and all of a sudden I felt like everyone there must have been envying my adorably protruding pot belly hanging insouciantly over the top of my pants.

Still, the girls were really, really beautiful. And mad-looking. And the clothes—embroidered gaucho pants and ice-cream-rainbow dresses—were mostly adorable. You could buy them if you so chose. That is, except for the brown-leather bikini bra worn over a wifebeater; that was, like a Kate Hudson film, trying for kooky—or perhaps Derelicte—way too hard. You know what they say: Derelicte . . . my balls. You know: in the name of love.

Do you know me? well do ya, punk?


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