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Detours 

Wednesday, Oct 11 2006
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Detours

Wednesday, 11:15 p.m.: I am totally crying. This is embarrassing. Peripheral vision reveals my boyfriend suppressing a smirk as I bawl through Billy Bragg’s encore at the Fonda. The audience is united in a choral outpouring, singing in unison with the silver-haired Brit: “I don’t want to change the world/I’m not looking for a new England/I’m just looking for another girl.” It’s powerful and sweet and laced with a nostalgia that is too heavy to bear. I blame the tears on PMS, but it has more to do with, eh . . . abandoned dreams and romantic idealism. Later that night, we break up, and I accept the fact that I will die alone.

Thursday, 9:36 p.m.: My friend Andy needs cheering up, I need a bitch session, and we both need alcohol. Meeting up at Little Joy’s weekly Echo Park Social(ist) Aid & Pleasure Club proves to be the ticket, as Arthur magazine’s editor and contributors play the good stuff, like Jamie Lidell and some Captain Beefheart. Drinks are cheap, the booths are tattered, and the clientele is refreshingly erudite. Andy experiences beard envy.

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Thursday night, 12:47 a.m.: A dash to Spaceland is rewarded with the last 50 seconds of Man Man, whose stage is cluttered with sleigh bells, a marimba and, if memory serves, some toy ducks. As they wrap up their rollicking gypsy-tinged mania, the crowd peels away, and one man sighs in post-coital fashion: “That was, like, The. Best. Show I’ve ever seen.”

Friday, 11:32 p.m.: Tonight I’d planned on attending the Darker My Love/Asobi Seksu show at The Echo, but as I’m newly dateless, I stay home, eat cookie dough and consider adopting a few dozen cats.

Saturday, 8:04 p.m.: My companion at the L.A. WeeklyDetour Festival shrieks into my ear: “Ohh, just wait till the gorillas come out!”

Saturday, 8:06 p.m.: The gorillas come out. Basement Jaxx are playing, and though the founding twosome is temporarily pared to one (the other’s a new papa), they employ an impressive backup militia of squealing horns and soulful vocals over throbbing electronica. Monkey-suited mayhem erupts just as my comrade predicted, and a team of dancing gorillas pour onstage, climbing the support trusses as a dense crowd pulses below. I’ve just had a stiff drink on an empty stomach, but this feels delightfully more like an acid trip.

Saturday, 9:02 p.m.: I attempt backstage access. My L.A. Weekly employment is apparently not a passport of entitlement, and a wall-of-flesh bouncer scoffs at my insufficient wristband. Moments later, a newly acquainted, tragically fashionable scenester speculates that my cableknit sweater ultimately got me rebuffed. I look up expecting his wry smile, but he’s serious.

Saturday, 9:32 p.m.:Beck plays. There are puppets. A man next to me warns his friends that he may cry, and I feel better about my Billy Bragg outburst.

Sunday, 9:38 p.m.: My sister’s in town, and we’re straight pumped to catch Cabaret Voltaire’s Hollywood trivia contest at Safari Sam’s. The winner receives half of the door money, and I need groceries. But en route, my sister accidentally navigates down Highland, and two full hours are lost to Hollywood Bowl traffic. In despair over missing guest host Taylor Negron (also known as “the Weird Mailman From Better Off Dead”), we determine that Satan must have been on the transportation board when they drafted Highland, and go for sushi.

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