The valley is balls hot. Go to Saticoy to drop off rent for the band and our posh crackhouse lockout. Looked for Tenacious D’s cars. Don’t think they were there. Traffic is horrible. Everyone is going north. Like birds in the summer. The valley is balls hot. Tried every way I could think of to circumvent traffic. None work. People are scrambling to find some open asphalt. The 101 is like the lower decks of the Titanic after it dryhumped the iceberg.
Eventually we are in Calabasas. My girlfriend is car sick and Thomas is reading dirty jokes on his iPod. I am just uncomfortable with the temperature. The valley is balls hot.
Grab a haircut. It’d been months. Watch 9 innings of Dodgers with some beer. Manny is back. He’s 0-3 with a walk. We win in spite of that. Drank the first Coors Light I’ve had in probably over a year. Two things. One, Coors Light is not beer. It is beer flavored Gatorade. Two, who needs a cold activated can. It’s not like knowing if your steak is cooked medium-rare. It’s not a space shuttle landing. Do I really need a mountain to turn blue to know my beer is cold? How about just pick it up. If it feels cold, then that would be an indicator that your beer is cold.
Sweet Manny, what have we become?
Morning run on the fourth. Dude is wearing a cool shirt with the American flag in it. Call my friend. He’s about to propose to his girlfriend. We are in on this. We drive up Outpost to the Mulholland look out point. Briefly remember my old producer boss who died somewhere up here. Drove his Ducati off a cliff. He’s been dead for something like 7 years. I miss him and his late night eccentric script calls. I still have mixed emotions when his picture is in the credits of a very popular movie that will remain nameless.
It is hot on the top of the mountain and the view is the reason we as a nation decided to move west. You can see right into the Hollywood Bowl. We’ll be there tomorrow. Discussion about Artest to the Lakers and what it will mean for their perimeter defense. Holy shit. I forgot why I was here. Panic. My buddy is about to take the plunge and I am talking basketball.
His unsuspecting bride to be shows up. My girlfriend throws up a smokescreen. I complain and act self-centered. She doesn’t have a clue. We reach the vista and boom. The question is asked, the answer is yes. It’s pretty overwhelming.
We’re all at the Beverly Hilton in various rooms and suites. There is a very random woman with the plastic surgery face sitting in my cabana chair. Part of me thinks she is dead. I want her to go away. She scares me. Her eyes seem strained from an inability to blink due to the sheer force of her facelift pulling her lips and eyes closer to her ears. Eventually she runs away. Well, lurches. She is a part of some strange party of people that are playing non-stop Michael Jackson. There is also one dude who is wearing his boxers really, really low while pretending they are a bathing suit.
Thomas keeps giving me Margaritas and I keep drinking them. The rest of the night is spent between the pool, Trader Vic’s and our room. It really ends up being an amazing 4th of July, especially given the opportunity to be a part of a proposal and then to celebrate it among all our favorite people. At some point I wake up in the morning confused with Federer and Roddick about 20 games into the 5th set. Federer wins. He plays it aloof. Swiss bastard.
Play it close to the chest all day after eating some Cecconi’s for breakfast. It is pretty arrogant there with lots of dudes in Bentleys and really low v-cut shirts. And like dog tags. Oh yeah. They wear sunglasses inside, which is just so strange. Unless you just got your pupils dilated, what does this accomplish? They don’t hide your face, in fact, they make more people look at it. If I walk into a room and get stared at, the odds are my junk is out in public view or I have forgotten to take off my sunglasses. I mean, when I go inside and have them on, it’s dark. Try it. Put on your glasses. A lot harder to see, huh? Makes you wonder why you’d wear them inside. But I digress…
That night, we go to see Death Cab at the Hollywood Bowl with Tegan and Sara and the New Pornographers. NP is great, but plays it low key. Knowing Destroyer is onstage I wonder if everyone knows the second craziest guy in this city in on stage in front of 10,000 people. The only dude in the city that is crazier is the guy who dresses in little league clothes and dancers in front of that store on Robertson near Le Pain Quotidian and American Apparel. My girlfriend had the amazing idea to pick up picnic baskets from Tavern, something I feel most of the city doesn’t realize is going on yet, and they were awesome. Fried chicken, ribs, succotash salad, watermelon, cobbler, cornbread all for $25 dollars. A gourmet gut-buster to be sure, and really cool summer food for the best summertime music venue ever.
Tegan and Sara were funny and brought some good energy to the show. I was not super familiar with their records, which was good. It is nice to sometimes just check out something new, or rather, new to me.
Death Cab killed it. I admit it has been a while since I was jamming on them. The Photo Album and Transatlanticism are sentimental favorites from a different period in my life, but they have accompanied me on many late night drives and two-pack-of-cigarette writing sessions (when I used to smoke and be cool).
They played with the Philharmonic and it was really a great show. Got to hear some classic tunes, especially Movie Script Ending which got me through some gnarly times when I was young and learning a lot about how to fight a real battle. It was cool to take that journey musically. I could see my girlfriend was doing the same thing.
Two spotlights made an X across the summer sky above us and the moon seemingly rose just over the treeline to sneak a view of 9,000 humans swaying in the night breeze like seagrass. The set ended with Transatlanticism and a perfectly timed fireworks show. The kind of thing you know you will only see once. You drive around with music all day and pictures go through your head, usually more grandiose than what exists for us all on a day to day level. But tonight, as the lead guitar bellowed so uplifting and sad at the same time, bright white rockets flew up into the smoggy night air and for once, life looked the way it felt.