Noted

Sussing out the Soul of Rock and Roll in Los Angeles

NAKED AFTERNOON DANCE PARTY

Is a headline most commonly referred to as click bait. It’s also how I spent a chunk of time this past Saturdaydancing, naked, with a bunch of other also naked people in the woods on the La Jolla Indian Reservation. 

Let me explain. 

The festival was called Youtopia, and it was a Burning Man decompression event (the running joke among people who didn’t go being “you guys are still decompressing? HAHAHAHA!”) I was there with B and Dave and a crew of rockstar artists, all of whom together created a camp called Art Temple, which was exactly as it sounds. Even better than it sounds, actually. It was divine. The artists drew and the models modeled and a woman named Talulah stopped by and played the most achingly gorgeous song on her violin and there was a talk on psychedelic advocacy and a talk on conscious breathing. There were also many dirty jokes. 

I got in around midnight on Friday, set up my tent, had a pretty woman with a knife cut some decorative holes in my leggings and was then whisked away to a camp called Ego Trip, where the music was some glorious fusion of house and hip hop. Here I took a shot of whiskey, chased it with some pickle juice (the bartender’s idea), ate a pickle (my idea) and danced and danced and danced before strolling through over the river and through the woods (literally) with some good old friends. I then moseyed back to camp, where I drank beer and made yo mama jokes with Dave and the guys until some early hour of the morning that I can’t be specific about because I had turned my phone off immediately upon arrival at the festival and thus had no idea what time it was because what time it was didn’t matter at all. The stars were particularly twinkly, and not just because I was fairly drunk. 

This event wasn’t as intense as Burning Man for many reasons that I don’t feel like being entirely explicit about right now but which include the fact that it wasn’t nearly as hot or dusty on the La Jolla Indian Reservation this past weekend as it was in the Black Rock Desert in August. I still got dirty from dancing around barefoot and whatnot, so it was a godsend to learn that the Dr. Bronner’s camp was nearby. 

The concept at this camp is simple and completely fucking genius. You arrive, take off all of your clothes, get inside a huge shower with a bunch of other people, get wet under the shower heads and then get sprayed with soap hoses by people standing above you on an elevated platform. You then dance around in the shower while accidentally (or not, I suppose) sliding up against the other naked soapy bodies around you. Then the people on the platform spray you down with a hose. When you are sufficiently rinsed, you leave the shower and move to the adjacent dance floor, where there is a DJ and an area to brush your teeth, slather yourself in lotion and drink cans of yerba mate while drying off in the sun.

I imagine that some might say this all sounds gross or fringy or distasteful, but I’m here to tell you that that was not my experience at all. I felt safe and respected and surprisingly unselfconscious. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that there are places in the world where I’d be killed for dancing to bass music in my underwear amongst a crowd of naked (albeit extremely clean) people. This thought made me feel lucky. Obviously not every woman, (or man) would want to take part in this scenario, but I appreciate that I got to.

There were many other highlights of the weekend. I laughed so hard with B in my tent on Saturday morning that my throat actually still hurts. I got down to the grimiest dubstep set I’ve been to in forever in the woods on Saturday at dusk. I looked at the stars. I did not once look at my phone. I finger-painted. I watched two guys who couldn’t have been older than 21 play a killer trap set with more enthusiasm than I’ve seen from most any DJ I’ve seen play in the last year, and I have seen a lot. I left with B on Sunday evening and we listened to Innocents by Moby on the drive out as the sun was setting over the hills. There was a moment I thought I might cry from the beauty of it all, but in the end I didn’t, and that was fine too. 

Today is Eminem’s 42nd birthday. The first time I heard this song I was 15 years old and sitting in my high school algebra class.

We’re all getting old. 

Happy Friday. 

current mood. 

current mood. 

Penny Lane: You’re too sweet for rock and roll.
William Miller: Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark and mysterious, and I am pissed off! I could be very dangerous to all of you! And you should know that about me. I am the enemy.

Penny Lane: You’re too sweet for rock and roll.

William Miller: Sweet? Where do you get off? Where do you get sweet? I am dark and mysterious, and I am pissed off! I could be very dangerous to all of you! And you should know that about me. I am the enemy.

track of the day: 

There are many words I could use to describe this track by Swedish singer Seinabo Sey, but I really only need four: epic seduction, with gunfire.

Sunset and Westerly Terrace, Silverlake

Sunset and Westerly Terrace, Silverlake

Hands on your knees, ass in the air, back upright, and let’s move it.

— Big Freedia, giving me advice during an interview we did about twerking and other things

I, along with the posse of badasses that is the Insomniac editorial team, wrote this review of Beyond Wonderland 2014, a festival of revelry and confetti explosions that happened in San Jose, CA at the end of last month. The above photo is of me “working” during this same event. My job is bananas, guys. 

I, along with the posse of badasses that is the Insomniac editorial team, wrote this review of Beyond Wonderland 2014, a festival of revelry and confetti explosions that happened in San Jose, CA at the end of last month. The above photo is of me “working” during this same event. My job is bananas, guys. 

THE LAST TWO AND A HALF WEEKS, IN FIVE SONGS

A non-comprehensive summary, because why not.  

1. Lil Wayne — A Milli: There were many special and thrilling moments during the glorious spectacle of hip hop and male camaraderie that was  the Drake vs. Lil Wayne show at Hollywood Bowl, but as someone who has been practicing rapping along to “A Milli” since Tha Carter III came out (holy shit six years ago), Wayne absolutely crushing this song towards the end of the night was a fucking tremendous high point. And for real guys, my rapping was on point. Here’s the review I wrote about the show

2. Iggy Azalea — Fancy: I know that I did a lot of dancing at my sister’s wedding in Wisconsin —which happened two weeks ago today— but for some reason this is the only song I distinctly remember getting down to. I was on the dance floor with my mom and my cousin and my sister and my brother and his girlfriend and it was towards the end of the night so we were all fairly tipsy and Candace (who organized a legendary wedding and looked like a million dollars at least) had loads of beer soaked into the bottom of her gown and didn’t care at all because we were having so much fucking fun. It had been years (and years) since this particular group of people had been together, and I happen to love this group of people more than any other, so while I’m reticent to say that I had a profound moment to an Iggy Azalea song, I’m just going to go ahead and admit it, because it’s true. My sister also had the violinist play this as we all walked down the aisle, FTW. 

3. Diplo — It’s All Part of a Bigger Plan: For reasons I’m not going to discuss in detail here because that would be fucking tacky, the last two and a half weeks have included a pair of rather profound disappointments. I had a sort of vision about the way things were going to be, (they were going to be so fucking awesome), but as it turns out, the idea I had worked out in my head is not the way things are going to be at all. Intellectually, I understand that this is all for the better, but emotionally my comprehension has been about ten steps behind. You can ask my mother or Ali or Meg or Lo or Layla or Lien, as these are all of the epic friends I’ve both whined and cried to in this recent portion of life. But, as Layla told me more than once, sometimes the luckiest thing that can happen is to not get what you want, and of course that’s true in this case for reasons I totally get and, I’m sure, for reasons I can’t even see yet. This song has helped lift me from my funk, so thanks Diplo. Thanks to the Notorious BIG too, because Sky’s the Limit has also been doing the trick. 

4. Mapei — Don’t Wait: As I literally just mentioned, I have the best fucking friends in the world. This song sort of summarizes how I feel about all of them. I think it’s the sweetest. It’s been on repeat. 

5. Autre Ne Veut — Counting: Last Saturday was a gorgeous day in LA, and as people in LA have been known to do on gorgeous days, I went to the beach. The person driving the car played me this song as we were driving north on PCH, and the view and the music and the overall scenario was altogether pretty fucking dreamy. We hung out at El Matador, but not for long, as I made the (ultimately poor) decision to climb on top of a rock sticking out of the ocean and was immediately knocked off by a wave and thrust on top of another (sharp-ass) rock just underneath the surface of the water. My right leg was cut and bloody and had a bump so large and alarming that an executive decision (not mine) was made that we had to leave. It was a very nice day nonetheless. My right shin is currently a deep shade of purple. The end. 

TONIGHT. 

TONIGHT. 

That’s a picture of me eating nachos with12th Planet, because sometimes it is my job to do such things. 
Here’s the story. 

That’s a picture of me eating nachos with12th Planet, because sometimes it is my job to do such things. 

Here’s the story