As a newly minted 29-year-old I've noticed a few things about myself. One, I have a very deep wrinkle between my eyes that seemed to appear overnight, like a birthday present. (It's from frowning, says my dermatologist. Apparently I frown a lot.) Another, is that every time I run across a youngin, i.e., anyone younger than 29, I give a side eyed 'pshh' and wonder at the naiveté of their youthful assertions.
Such was the case Wednesday night when one smiley, gangly, Sean Carlson, he of the F-Yeah Fest, Mess with Texas, and Beaten-at-Hollywood-Bowl fame, came galloping down the sidewalk like a pony, limbs akimbo, carrying a sack of Mexican food for the bands and crew inside the Eagle Rock Center for Arts, where Sleepy Sun was having its record release party and Entrance was set to play. "I'm pretty sure I'm the oldest one here," I smirked.
"No way," he smiled, stuffing a chip in his pinch-worthy cheeks, "It's a thirty-and-older crowd inside. It's not the Smell." I shrugged, a little crestfallen, and shuffled in with my cup of iced tea. When I entered, however, there wasn't anyone in there a day over 21 (Keith Morris excluded). My smug assumption that Sleepy Sun, Slang Chickens and Entrance in Eagle Rock would draw a bunch of youngsters rang true. (Be careful what you wish for.)
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Slang Chickens opened, and were perhaps the most exiting band of the night. Not that they were necessarily better than Sleepy Sun or Entrance, but rather, the Chickens were an unexpected surprise. They play a brutal mash of surf punk and rockabilly with a hint of sludge metal, the sound crisp and bass thumpy and unlike anything I've heard going lately. Sleepy Sun played their own brand of psychedelic hesh, and rocked a solid set. The porn/horror projections playing behind them added to the overall experience for sure, at times causing the crowd to make giant collective "eww' face when the screen turned gross.
Entrance churned out an epic, brass-knuckles performance. Contorting sounds and expectations and pulling out the long chords like honey stuck to a spoon, sweet and thick and melodic in all the ways you want. It was an exercise in humility, all these little ones in Eagle Rock. I tried to smile as much as I could, keeping a firm hand on my frown wrinkle as the youngins passed around me, fluttering like colorful fish in a clear pond, gliding past the old one and rejoining their school. I suddenly yearned for an older companion, perhaps a blind German Shepard or Miss Havishham. In any event, I made it home alive, ate my Metamucil and rocked out in my jimmies till the sun came up. Sleepy was the night indeed.