If You Close the Door

Photo by Amy TheligIt wasn't the real after-party; that was either at the Booby Trap or some tiny cabin up on the boat or the (alleged, but if they pulled it off, salute!) Wolf Parade deal on the Russian sub, tipping back Scorpions on the Scorpion. This was the diversionary after-party, the one where the girl up front would wrinkle her nose and glare and go, “What? Who are you?” but all that your clunky lies would get you was a wristband—and one for that friend and one for that girl and one for this girl; she's famous, hey, she's, um, Lou Reed's personal photographer!—and admission to the best middle-school dance of the semester. People were shuffling shoulder-to-shoulder on worn carpet—looked like an internment camp—and then Tone Loc on the PA, longhairs on the floor fist fighting over a girl (Ana-HEIM!), sneaking beers past the chaperones? It was cruel, but at least you could finally sit down with 47 beers in front of you and take a rest.

LA party generators non pareil Steve Aoki and Frankie Chan made a rare south-of-the-405 appearance (Cinespace maker-happener Jason Stewart was also running around somewhere; you could tell because he's tall), with Mark the Cobra Snake (nee polaroidscene.com; he's the dude who looks like Giorgio Moroder) schmoozing around somewhere, too. The lights were low, but there was no one to look at anyway, and Steve and Frankie were playing Tom Tom Club, and the old-man bartenders went from pissed to resigned as people kept swiping free cans of MGD and not even stopping to flip 'em a tip. It was less hellish than the VICE 10-year-anniversary in NYC last month, but the claims of hanging out with Lou Reed—at that very moment, supervising the dismantling of his band's five-string fretless bass—and the Shins or whoever were (not unjustifiably) exaggerated. MAYBE Peaches was there. Peaches is short and nice. Didn't see her, but, you know, she's short. As a party, it was as dead-in-the-water as our boat, and as indie-celeb dishville, it was . . . what's another thing big boats do when they break? At least notable Long Beach locals made a noble showing, sneaking in with Xeroxed wristbands (“I can't believe it worked,” says the guy, sort of sadly), but after 40 minutes, even they were already making plans to leave, bags with 47 beers over their shoulders. And then they kicked us all out at 1 a.m. anyway.

Apropos to the name of the magazine that sponsored it, you felt a little like you were being filtered. Like the real deal was gonna pop sometime and where would you be? Nowhere because who were you, anyway? Kinda existential. But then again, as everybody schlepped down the gangplank (just kidding; it was a regular sidewalk), the dispossessed got wise: “Fuck it, I got an open bar at my house.” Which is an advantage rarely held during middle school, if an anticlimatic ending to an anticlimactic first day of All Tomorrow's Parties.

Saw Frankie Chan the next day—if anyone would've been at the party!—and asked how it really went down. “Not that exciting,” he said and smiled sympathetically.

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