DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Attack Cat: Sunset Junction, 08/28/05 - Pt. II

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sunset Junction, 08/28/05 - Pt. II

For the week or so before this past weekend, the weather here in Los Angeles was pretty mild. The blazing heat died down for a little while and took mercy on the baked souls of this city. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who was looking forward to spending 2005's Sunset Junction on a warm Southern California weekend. This, of course, was not to be.

It decided to get hot and it was an angry kinda hot. People from other parts, like to say we have it easy because it's a dry heat and usually that's true. This weekend was hot and dry... hot and dry like the inside of a kiln. It was also nice and clear, so there was no relief from the sun.

Luckily, Sunset Junction doesn't start at sunrise and end at sundown. As the sun starts to drop on the western end of the Junction, blinding the audience for the Eagles of Death Metal, the heat begins to dissipate. Granted, even after the last band left the stage, it hadn't dropped past the high-70s, but by contrast the darkness and slight breeze was a relief.

The other effect of the night is that it changes the complexion of the city, especially the mile's worth of Sunset Blvd. blocked off for the street fair. Where there were once unattractive metal-framed booths, now there was a brightly colored stream of light moving up and down the street. The somewhat sinister looking carnie rides trailered in look a lot more inviting at night with their lighting effects in full gear.

There's something undeniable attractive about a well-lit building or sign. Think how much a daytime concert is different from a nighttime show with lots of lights flashing, tracking, strobing and pulsating. The best example: What's the point of daytime fireworks?

So, a lot of what follows here are what I was able to capture with my woefully obsolete digital camera. Anything that looks like it's supposed to be artsy is probably more on the fartsy side of Sears. That goes especially for the concert shots. The colorful shots of food, those I was really trying to do.


I don't think I captured it exactly as I hoped to, but you get the idea. At night, even these banal looking plastic containers come to life.

Fruits of the Night

If you learn one thing from reading through all of this crap, let it be this: There are few things more refreshing than a cold limeade, ladled from one of these big glass jugs, on a hot summer day or night. It's better than lemonade. It's better than soda. It's better than beer... yes, even better than beer, and since I'd already finished off a few liters of water, a couple of limeades were a sweet, tart, green treat.

Speaking of sweet tarts, next, we have the Suicide Girls...

Suicide Hula-Hoop

I've only ever seen pictures and a couple small Quicktime movies of the Suicide Girls. Of course, I was an instant fan. After their short performance on Sunday, I may have to become a member.

The girl above, her trick was the hula-hoop. She managed to get out of most of her clothes, all the while working her hoop. Now, for those unfamiliar with the SGs, they do a burlesque show, not a strip show. Sure, they take off most of their clothes, but it's about the tease and about the routine and they have both down pretty darn well.

Suicide Girls of Death Metal

After the girls did several one and two girl numbers, the Eagles of Death Metal took the stage again and backed up an all Suicide Girl finale. It was like the finale of Live Aid, but mostly with girls in lingerie.

Panty Aid

So, by the time the SGs took the stage, I was pretty close, maybe about 15 feet from the stage and getting ready for the New York Dolls. This is where the assholiness peaked. Maybe I'm getting older, but I don’t think crowds were this shitty back when I was a kid.

I got up to about 2 or 3 people deep from the stage. I'm not stupid, I know it's going to get tight and people are going to get jostled, but there's the enthusiastic surge and then there're the fuck heads who wait until a band starts and then decide to push through the crowd violently to get up to the front. I don't care, I can take my licks, but inevitably I see some little girl who's getting her ass kicked by some asshole who doesn't care about the music, but instead is drawn to the stage, like a very stupid moth to a flame.

Though it wasn't just the Dolls who drew out the fuck nuggets. While still a ways back from the stage during the Eagles of Death Metal, this dipshit showed up. (I'm talking about the dumb chick in green, not the dude in the Speedo.) Luckily a friend of this idiot shot a picture of her, so I can share it with you all. Well, out of nowhere, she blasts into a loosely packed portion of the crowd and starts a spastic kind of mosh. Thing is, for most of it, she's the only one moshing, and instead of just exuberant dance inspired by the rock & roll music, she spent most of her time hitting, pushing and pulling at the crowd around the edge of her sad little pit.

Now I was in my share of mosh pits before graduating high school and it seemed like there was some order to the anarchy then. If you're in the pit, you're in the pit. If you're not, you're not. Sure, every so often inertia would carry the occasional punky into the crowd and he or she would be helped back into the pit. The one thing you didn't do was aggressively attack people outside of the pit. I guess once the mosh pit spent some time in the suburbs (and I include myself in that class of part-time suburban punks) it became all about the violence and less about the fun. It's kind of like a Chinese whisper, the structure's still there, but the content's all fucking wrong. So, for being the supreme example of this kind of stupidity, this girl gets my "Dumb Ass of Sunset Junction Award."

I stayed up front for several songs, managing to hold on to a couple LA Weekly posters and my newly purchased hat, at the same time staying on my feet and shooting pictures. All of the snazzy looking swirly lights in these pictures are mostly thanks to me getting knocked around by a crowd being rocked by the Dolls.

The New York Dolls brought to you by McDonalds

I believe all that remains of the pre-1977 Dolls are Johansen and Sylvain. This is one of the only pictures where anyone's recognizable.

Bumped to the Right

Nice Light Show

I must have almost gone down for the count as I was shooting this. Tres squiggly.

After moving to the back of the crowd, I managed to enjoy a little more of the Dolls set without the bump and grind.

To finish off the evening, I walked to the opposite end of the fair to enjoy the end of Chaka Khan's set. It was a slightly smaller crowd and certainly more mellow. Not to say that they weren't enthusiastic. I shouldn't be surprised that just because I don't know the words that other people wouldn't. It was a nice way to end the day. After Chaka left the stage, I took my tired dogs out of there and hit the road back to the real east side.


Anonymous witz said...

Have this tattooed on your lower back: Sunset Junction is always the hottest weekend of the year.

1:23 PM  

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