Echo Park Scenester Blaque Chris Breaks It Down
Blaque Chris isn't in a band, but seems to know them all, and is a ubiquitous presence on the L.A. music scene. He's always at shows, and describes himself as a "motherfukin party animal" in his Twitter bio. But that might be understatement. The 28-year-old Echo Park-ian is constantly dancing onstage, raging backstage, spinning tunes with friends like Ty Segall at his weekly Cha Cha night Full Time Punx, or snapping disposable camera photos for his Cultist column "Bee Cee's Blackouts", for which he captures his inebriated capers.
In his skin tight pants and pin-strewn jacket, Chris is instantly recognizable: walking down Sunset Boulevard people call out "looking good" or "Bee Cee!," his nickname. He shouts back in a voice that's part gravel, part lisp. En route to a friend's karaoke night, Chris spoke with us at Sunset Beer Company about music, partying, and vagina birthday cakes.
How would you describe your position in the L.A. music scene?
I don't know really, I just have a lot of friends. I've been going to shows since I was like 13 or 14 years old, so it's been half my life. In the beginning it was mainly punk bands, now it's really most bands that come through town.
How do you feel about the term "scenester"? Do you see yourself as one?
I don't know, I get that a lot honestly. But I guess if a scenester is just somebody who goes out a lot and parties a lot then I guess, yeah fine.
How many bands are you close friends with at the moment?
Well there's Bleached, Jennifer and Jessie [Clavin] are two of my best friends. I've known them since I was like 14. We all grew up going to the same street-punk shows. There's the Audacity dudes, Pangea, Fuzz are good friends of mine. A lot of the bands in L.A., to be honest. It's because I've been around for so long.
Are you from L.A.?
Born and raised. I'm from Baldwin Hills, just a little bit north of the airport. I moved to the Silver Lake area in 2009.
Do you remember what your first show was? How did you get from there to knowing so many musicians?
D.I. and The Dickies at The Troubadour, I think that's what it was. It's all kind of fuzzy. I was like a freshman in high school. So I just kept going to shows and then I met Jennifer and Jessie at a show in Pomona. They hadn't started Mika Miko yet, they hadn't started their first band even. We've been friends for fourteen years. So it's just being around forever and knowing good music... no posers. And getting to know the people at the venues, like the people at the Echo, who are always so sweet to me. That's my favorite venue. I'm just a facilitator for cool shit, I put on shows and like good bands. If your band is good I'll want other people to hear it.
You must have to go out a lot. Do you think you can party forever?
I hope so! I go out almost every night, because I'm in a position where it's always fun and easy. Get wasted off free booze. If I wasn't having fun anymore, I wouldn't do it. But sometimes I take a night off. I actually didn't go out last night because the night before was too much. I ended up leaving my pants in the back of an Uber car.
How did you lose your pants in an Uber car?
(Silence, stares up at the ceiling wearing a half-grin.)
Can you at least tell us about one of your craziest nights out on the town?
My birthday last year was fucking gnarly, actually. My friend made me this cake covered in a giant vagina. Me and my friend Larry Susan had a joint party at the Cha Cha that ended with me smashing my birthday cake, walking down Glendale with my pants around my ankles, and laying in the middle of the street. Then I went to some apartment in Hollywood with the Dune Rats from Australia and kept partying until the sun came up. That ended with me walking around Gelsons on Franklin drinking rum from the night before, and waiting for my friends to pick me up at the gas station.
Is that usually what a Blaque Chris birthday party is like?
Well, it goes on for about a week and a half.
Do you have a day job?
People think I just party all the time, but I work. I work at a law firm in an assistant position. I also promote shows with Blundertown.
What are your favorite bands in L.A. right now?
Just a lot of my friends that are making good music: Bleached, Fuzz, Pangea, Fidlar, Chad & the Meatbodies, Obliterations, Mynx, Doses, Groovy Temple, Audacity (even though they're from OC), Youth Code, Criminal Hygeine, Tijuana Panthers. I'm sure there's more rad bands but I'm kinda hungover so that's all I can think of.
Do you ever get star struck?
No, not really anymore. Oh, except one time I rode in an elevator backstage with Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian. I was texting my friend like "l'm going to die right now."
I'm guessing that Blaque Chris isn't your real name. How many people know your name?
A lot of my friends don't even know my real name. People that know me will call me Bee Cee. One time I went to a show with William from Pangea and I gave my real name for the guest-list and the girl was like "it's not on here" and so I said "Blaque Chris" and she was like "ohhhh."
Any chance you'll tell us your real name?
Blaque Chris hosts Full Time Punx Sundays at Cha Cha Lounge.
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