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The Hills Were Alive

"Hippie chicks with boob jobs." That's how a (male) pal inaccurately described the annual Topanga Days fest in the Santa Monica hills this past memorial weekend, when I asked him what the scene was like. Well, I didn't notice too many big chests, faux or otherwise, but I did see more dreads, flowy Indian fabrics, hairy armpits and naturally tanned skin than I'm used to at outdoor festivals. This event sure ain't no Sunset Junction that's for sure.

Never been to the Topanga area before Sunday, and I gotta say, the houses are nice in an earthy, clubhouse-in-the-trees kinda way. The air is cleaner too. Yes the locals do have that unwashed yet moneyed look, like the Black Crowes Chris Robinson, who was seen hangin' out all weekend., but there's no attitude or pretense with these people.

This was an outdoor party filled with kids running about, drum circles breaking out, belly-dancing, hula-hooping, music, beer and every now and again, sweet herbal aromas wafting amidst the breezes. Kinda reminded me of the days when my parents would take me to the jam sessions at Griffith Park in the '70's. Pops played the congas and I'd dance my little ass off.

Topanga Days Sunday lineup had a decidedly country flair with John Doe (who sang both X songs and Beatles covers!), a reading from Pamela Des Barres and the Sin City All Stars with guest appearances by Michelle Shocked and Lucinda Williams. All sounded swingin'.

Apparently there were more tats and less cowboys hats on Saturday with acts ranging from Taylor Hawkins' Chevy Metal to Veruca Salt. I hear the hipsters actually outnumbered the hippies.

My nights are hip enough though. For a day off, it was nice to leave the lip gloss at home and just chill with friendly folks and my family. There will always be another Hollywood barbeque, ya know?


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