Fiction. Based on an Indie Rock Night on Sunset Blvd.
Written and photos by Grace Canning
Splash photo by Pexel [x]
The light from the skyscrapers of downtown in the distance lit up a little street corner even though there were no street lights around. Meg and Dan walked up to a grunge indie venue that looked to Meg like it had a maximum occupancy of 7 people. She looked hot. Light wash skinny jeans, tiffany blue colored J’s, a blood-red backless top, and a fluffy faux wool jacket. No makeup. Hair in a half updo high ponytail.
She laughed to herself when she realized she couldn’t even remember the last time she was on a date with a white boy. She looked at him walking, he had a runner’s build with dirty blonde prince charming helmet hair. Classic.
They each paid 6 bucks to the Latino guy in the chair by the entrance and walked in. It was a cute venue with 2 open rooms and no stage- the band was just set up in the corner of the far room. The audience was friends and family.
The Fucking Sad Truth
Meg and Dan started head banging to indie rock beats. Indie rock was her first love. Hearing those beautiful, beach-like, peddled chords was like transcending reality into the ultimate euphoric paradise. The singer was a classic SoCal boy named Corey. Like you see in a Disney movie. Long hair, bare feet and a Hawaiian shirt. He was a friend of Dan’s, who had told Meg he just picked up a guitar one day and started a band.
For a while they sat down and talked about creativity within humans. Meg always thought it amazing that people could translate their innermost thoughts and conflicts into something beautiful like melodies and poetry – something she could never do. She looked at it as romanticizing pain. She thought of how all the people she looked up to the most in this world were people who had been criticized for romanticizing pain, but she understood them. After all, it was their pain, who is society to tell them what they can and can’t do with it? They might as well use the catharsis of creation and make something that not only helps them, but other people as well.
“Turning pain into something beautiful is really the best we can do, kind of like a last resort to try to make the good outweigh the bad,” Dan said. Meg totally agreed, she listened to his story of Corey, the lead singer and guitarist, who produced his art from a life-long struggle with depression, stemming from his father leaving the family. Meg was interested by the juxtaposed edifice of the art (a dark endless pit of sadness) with the stylistic production – which was upbeat and euphoric, like she’d felt when she first walked in the venue and heard the music. Dan said, “that’s just the type of guy he is; one day he reached this point where he was like ‘I’m over it,’ and started using his past to fuel his personal fulfillment.”
“Do you think that ‘I’m over it’ moment happens to every depressed person at one point?” Meg asked.
“Nope. Some people never escape,” he answered.
The fucking sad truth, she thought.
There was a short intermission so they went outside to smoke. They talked to this one guy named “Fish” who had a clunky silver ring on all 10 fingers. Meg asked him if he had ever clocked anyone with them. “Yeah, I mean how else do you think I got the respect to get a name like Fish,” he said.
Fish was in a band too, born and raised LA. Meg loved meeting the people of Los Angeles. Southern California seemed to be this starting point for legends. And if you weren’t a legend, you had a shit ton of cool talents and things to talk about. It was so stimulating compared to the suburb where she was from. You could learn from these people and take advantage of what they created, but you had to go out and talk to them.
The show started up again, a different band this time, same mood though. Meg and Dan ordered a tall glass of beer each. The small venue doubled as a local art gallery so they rated every painting on the walls from coolest to lamest. Dan’s favorite was a white canvas with a bunch of primary colored squiggly lines twisted around to somehow form a man playing a saxophone. Meg’s was a dark and mystic portrayal of a jungle at a nighttime. There was a lush, baroque feeling. There were twisted vines and tropical flora – all colored by a different shade of green. She wanted to be consumed by the jungle. She wanted to eat shrooms and put herself in the middle of that painting. Then, maybe she could achieve inner peace.
Before she realized it, she was on her third beer. Now the vibrations of the guitar chords were a bit stronger as they moved through the air toward her. She could feel the music- it was the medium of gaining insight into the mind of the singer.
They started dancing as the beat picked up towards the chorus. This band was more rock n roll, unlike the strict indie rock band that played earlier. They reminded her of the Rolling Stones. Hell yeah. This was the shit she liked to get down to.
Suddenly, the cops came and shut down the show. Lame. It was a Thursday night so the surrounding residents probably called and complained. Everyone started filing out but Meg and Dan stopped to talk to the lead singer of the guy from the rock band. They just asked him what his deal was, told him he was awesome, etc. He stood there for a second, said, “wait here.” He bolted behind them, ran to the other side of the room, and then ran back with some CDs. “You guys take these. We sell ‘em for $10 but you should just take them.”
They were in the car on Sunset towards the Westside. Their new rock CD was blasting as Meg watched Dan change the gears of his Subaru. “You know I can teach you how to drive stick if you want,” he said.