July 12, 2009

Dan and I are driving to Burbank. On Sunset I see a tall skinny guy in his thirties who is wearing a white wifebeater and black suspenders. He and his friend are smoking and looking at the bulletin board that is shaggy with fliers for bands in the tunnel next to Guitar Center. I hope that this board and placement on it is important to someone, maybe this guy and his friend.

In Burbank we are driving and ahead of us, laid out one next to the other because of the way the road bends, is a strip of six red cars and trucks. It seems like a day full of signs and wonders but it just seems that way because I’m exhausted.

On the way back home “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” comes on the radio. I was just thinking about this song the day before for no reason while shaving. LA is a place where the radio dictates reality and vice versa.

A car in front of us has a license plate reading “Philles.” I wonder if it is a reference to Phil Spector’s record label and decide that it probably isn’t. Phil Spector is a creepy old murderer but you cannot fuck with his music or his influence. I read a book about him last year and the biggest revelation was not that he was a deeply sad man living in a freezing castle full of bitter regret, but that his music happened in the early-and-mid Sixties, overlapping with the Beatles and stuff, which is weird, because you think of songs like “Be My Baby” soundtracking dudes cruising around town in cars with big fins. It feels very aggressively like the Fifties, in my head, anyway.

Another license plate: “Mibrid.” Like, My Hybrid. Oof. Liberals, come on guys, we’re a mess out here.

I am in the process of programming the numbers one through six on my stereo to tune to different radio stations. Right now I am being extremely generous and if I have ended up on some anonymous station in the middle of the band and a song I like comes on, that’s enough. You have it very easy at the moment, Los Angeles radio stations. One good song gets you in. It’s like the first week of college when you are taking people’s phone numbers for no reason beyond you both like Kevin Smith movies. This will probably not be a lasting friendship, but you don’t know that at the time.

We have had to go back and forth to Burbank seemingly several times a day for the past few days and there’s this snare around the Hollywood Bowl that always ruins us and makes going out there take forever. I attempt to bypass this snare on the way back with Dan, but as often happens, we are fucked by getting fancy. My detour I thought was so slick ends up taking us straight up into the hills where the roads will barely admit one Jetta, much less two cars going in opposite directions. It ends up probably taking longer than if we had just stayed on the traffic-y main road but hey, nice to feel like we were in Europe for a minute.

We are driving back out to Burbank later in the day, this time in two cars. I’m in Donald’s car and he is playing a mix from a DJ event here in L.A. a few weeks ago. The DJ’s MC-ing is recorded along with his music choices so it’s a weirdly day-specific mix. He will occasionally say things like, “If you get hungry, be sure to go inside, get yourself a plate of food!” Which, even if you aren’t listening there that day in the present tense, is good advice.

Dan texts me from the other car. They are going to try this other route, getting on Cahuenga before the traffic Vietnam of the Hollywood Bowl. We follow them. This proves miraculous and cuts maybe twenty minutes off our trip. Say what you will about driving everywhere but it does add another area of your life where you can feel like you've won or lost, which is awful when you’re losing and just great when you win.

At the post facility we are in a room with bad reception so Dan asks me to take his iPhone outside so an e-mail will fully send. I do this and for a second I have two iPhones so I feel like that guy in a rapper’s entourage that has a million communication devices and is, by design, the only organized dude.

A phrase used in post-production discussion that could also be the name of a shitty conscious hip-hop band: “Wack Artifacts.”

I have that iPhone app Shazam that hears songs and tells you what they are. I love it. It makes me feel like we may yet see The Future. Secretly my favorite part is when you stump it and it doesn’t recognize something. Then you REALLY want to know what the song is, even if you only sorta wanted to know before. Now it’s an unknown classic. If you gave me a mediocre song on a vinyl single with the label peeled off and I couldn’t tell who was performing it and this iPhone app didn’t know and no one who I played it for knew and I made it into an mp3 and put it online and no one on various music-enthusiast message boards or anyone could recognize it, that song would become my all-time favorite song, even if I only actually liked it okay at first.

Dominic and Donald and I are doing improv at the UCB LA at 11 and Dominic and I speed home from Burbank so I can change my shirt. When we get in the car, the radio station is playing an early Springsteen club show in its entirety. Later the DJ will inform us that it’s a recording from the Roxy in LA in 1978. If you have not sped around blasting a live young Springsteen on your way to perform for the first time in your tenure in a new city, you should try it. It is beyond good. There’s a great crowd at the show and we have just a blast and meet lots of really nice people and even get to talk to Appel for a while.

After the show I go in the dressing room backstage to use the bathroom. There is a sketch show after our show so people are getting their props and costumes together back there. I am puzzled because the bathroom door seems like kind of an insubstantial plywood slat. I shrug and go in. It is only afterward when I’m walking out of the bathroom that I realize there was a larger door that I could’ve closed and gotten much more complete privacy. Dear girl dressing up as a terrorist: I’m sorry. You did not need to see a sliver of my back as I peed.

The UCB neighborhood smells great. It’s the perfect temperature outside. I even drink a beer after the show. What a good good night.

Posted by DC at July 12, 2009 03:13 PM

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