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Deaf & Dead

Monday, 9:18 p.m.: “What has 1,000 legs and two tits? A heavy metal audience!” Yes, the crowd is overwhelmingly male, but there are at least four hooters in the house, as my sister and I are in attendance at The Jägermeister Monsters of Mayhem Tour at House of Blues. We incur hearing damage and watch a hornets’ nest of angry male whippersnappers wallop one another to the thrash melodies of Exodus’ “Deathamphetamine” and “44-Magnum Opus.” As Hatebreed thunders on, we head to the backstage bar, where Al Jourgensen fails to appear, and I awkwardly decline marriage proposals from a man who wants to name our first child Lucifina.

Wednesday, 11:42 p.m.: “Industry buzz” around Cold War Kids is so deafening, it muffles the music. The Whittier boys have been known to bound about like caffeinated toddlers, their salty, countrified pop and Jeff Buckley whine creating a memorable spectacle. But tonight’s appearance at Spaceland’s Club NME seems subdued and underwhelming. The capacity crowd bears a heavy Hollywood musk, possibly from a surfeit of aspiring film auteurs seeking to court the lads for soundtracks before Zach Braff can. The vibe is decidedly more business than pleasure. In line for the valet, I’m not shocked to bump into a “filmmaker” ex-boyfriend, and learn that he now owns a Mercedes and is dating a “very famous” “blonde.” On the drive home, I consider moving?to Portland.

Thursday, 8:57 p.m.: I’m generally not one for sketch comedy, but a member of the Exploding Pajamas troupe has just uttered the line “Condi Rice gives head like a tiger” with truly impeccable timing during a United Nations farce at The Complex.

Friday, 10:36 p.m.: A creepy sudden rainstorm materializes on Friday the 13th. Jonesing for terror, I opt for the dual horrors of seeing a corpse and driving to the Valley. The California Institute of Abnormalarts in NoHo lures me with a burlesque show and the mortal remains of a fully made-up clown in a glass coffin, and as I enter, a lightning bolt cracks in the sky, and I pass a girl in a shirt that reads “I dig dead dudes.” The tiny circus-themed curios museum is packed and humid, and patrons’ teeth glow under black light. After an excruciatingly long raffle that would have made even Gandhi irate, the striptease presentation commences. It’s ungainly at best; still, I haven’t seen so many corseted goths assembled in one place since my college days of cloves and blue-black hair, and it’s comforting to be surrounded by aloof Tim Burton nerds. I brave the dead clown for a peek and a shudder, then duck out after a man in zombie makeup asks if I’m there for the “Girls and Corpses” porn auditions. That’s about all the creepy I can take.

Sunday, 11:18 p.m.: The Section Quartet has reduced Spaceland to a den of emo. The all-string foursome is eking out Radiohead’s OK Computer track for track, note for note, and the fragile strains of violin are enough to prompt open weeping in several spectators. Rampant heart clutching is also observed, and at one point, during “No Surprises,” a man is on his knees at the foot of the stage crumbled into his own feelings and holding his head in pained wonder. Shut up, it was awesome.


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