....how do American kids cope?
No drinking until they're 21. No clubbing gigging (on the whole) until 21. What do they do? Where do they go? How the f**k do they cope????
If you're not 21 over here you seem to be royally screwed.
I remember coming over here in '94 when we were launching Valkyrie magazine at GenCon when it was still in Milwaukee. I met up with loads of the old Nightfall crew (then actually already part of Wizards of the Coast). Hard drinking Scotsmen. I remember some of them pretty much being confined to their hotels because they couldn't come and party because they weren't old enough. These were guys in their late teens/early twenties who were heavy drinkers!
It's no wonder that I saw a group of kids (punks) down the road from The Viper Room last night gettin g bored and getting in to fights pretty much because they had nothign else to do and no where to go.
So the night finally came. The main reason why I'm still in America and in LA in particular.
The Sisters of Mertcy @ The House of Blues
The House of Blues is actually a really nice venue. It's a very good size - slightly smaller than The Forum in London - and has two levels. The stage is pretty large (again about the size of The Forum) and they have a great sound system.
The first two things that struck me was having to produce (a given in many places out here) and then going through a security check with metal detectors. Never had that experience at a gig before!
Also gigs over here start later. the support came on at 9pm and the Sisters came on at 10.15 and finsihed around 11.50.
First up were The Warlocks who were very good (which is surprising from past experience with Sisters support bands). They were similiar in sound to The Jesus & Mary Chain/The Wedding Present and band sof that ilk. Will certainly try and catch tghem again at tomorrows gig and also pick up some of their stuff when I get home.
The Sisters of Mercy - currently a three piece - came on and von Eldritch started doing his stuff. The first part of their set seemed to consist of quite a few new tracks I've not heard before (does this actually mean we *may* see a new album in the future...? Surely not...) with a sprinkling of older classics (Alice, Anaconda, etc). The arrangements of some of the old songs has been fiddled with, but then I'm sure they were last time I saw them too.
American gigs (or at least The Sisters gig) are not like their British counterparts. On the whole people weren't dancing and their was a lot more 'whooping' from the crowd. There was absolutely no gothy arm-waving and mosh pit that I'm accustomed to. In fact it's safe to say that I was pretty much the only one to do any real arm waving and got several very strange looks :p Although a more gothic girl near me ended up coming over to sway a bit too.
Largely due to the crowd the gig felt a lack of passion that many Sisters gigs usually have. Certainly von Eldritch belted some of the songs out which would have caused a frenzy in the UK.
Overall I enjoyed it, but I'm leaving my jacket at the hotel tomorrow so I can go and show the Americans what a Sisters gig should really be like! :p
I should say at this point that not all involved were Americans. I bumped into a girl in front of me who was from Leeds and now lives over here with her hsuband. I spent quite a bit of time chatting to them until The Sisters were about to come on when I moved nearer the front. I also met a Brit next to me at the bar and a third/fourth at the t-shirt counter. So there were a few ex-pats there.
I also REALLY like the feeling of being able to walk 100 paces and be *home*. Must arrange hotels near gigs more often - or just move next to a venue! hehe...
Part one completed roll on tomorrow.
Oh, I believe that both The Sisters and The Warelocks are staying at the same hotel as me. Thinking of heading up to the bar/outside for a smoke to see if I can run into any of them :p
Damn hot sweaty gigs and dehydration. I've just raided my minibar....
I also seem to have become a beer drinker over the last couple of nights. Why it's BudLight is beyond me but hey, they don't have cider and spirits are a bit on the pricey side with the speed I drink them.
Every time I visit the States I try and catch at least one film at the cinema. Usually these films are weeks, if not months in some cases, away from their UK general release. Things seem to have tightened up this year though. Pretty much all of the films here (at least the ones I'm interested in) are already on big screens in the UK already. We're even ahead in some cases as Lucky Number Slevin still has not been released Stateside and is still being trailered as a forthcoming release.
With this in mind I decided to go and see 'V For Vendetta' which was released on both sides of the pond last Friday and which a number of you have already seen and commented on in your LJs. Whereas some of the reviews in the media seem to have been pretty negative from your reviews and comments on your LJs the vast majority of you guys and gals who have seen the film have really enjoyed it.
Anyway, I asked at the front desk and scouted the internet and it seemed that a cinema here in LA called The Arclight (on Sunset and Vine) was one of the best places to see it. It turns out that The Arclight is actually one of the best - if not THE best - cinemas in LA so I made a good choice. V For Vendetta was showing in several screens but also in their 'Dome' screen. The Dome screen was originally built back in 1963 and the current screen is 32 x 86 feet! It is a lovely screen and you even get a compare before the film welcoming you to the screen and remidning people to switch phones, etc off, as well as a bit about the movies background and the actors within it. Fine stuff.
Now whilst it has been many years since I last read V For Vendetta I can honestly say this was a very good translation of the comic. Sure it's been updated and tweaked in places, but times have changed since the 80's and as with many films it had to appeal to more of a mass market that the comic ever had too. It manages to make these changes and still maintain much of the original source material.
V's voice was a little disconcerting from behind the mask initially but I soon got used to it. The acting, on the whole was good, and certain scenes managed to get the laughs that they were intended to (he says without giving any spilers away :p). I really enjoyed the film and, more importantly, so did most of the rest of the cinema. I was a bit unsure how some people would take to the subject matter (after all the film is about terrorism from a terrorists point of view) but I needn't have worried. Hopefully many of the viewers will walk away enjoying the film but also thinking about the meaning behind the film and how it relates, in part, to their own governments today.
School Report: B+/A- (Almost positive this will achieve a high rank in my end of year Top Ten)
Tonight is my last night in LA. I get up at an ungodly hour Tuesday morning to fly to Montreal and then transfer onto a flight to London. With all the time zones involved it means I'll be arriving in Londonround 7.30am Wednesday morning. I pretty much loose an entire day!
Anyway, I splashed out tonight on ordering room service from the in-house restaurant (a very nice one too) as it's raining outside and I couldn't be arsed to go out and hunt down some food. In a few moments I will be heading out though as it's night 2 of The Sisters of Mercy gigs.
It'll be good to see The Warlocks again too. Despite my administrations last night I will be taking a coat with me. The venue might only be 100 paces away from the hotel but, well, it's raining. Yeah, I know I'm a pansy! :p
I may update again before I leave but if not then the next you'll be hearing from me will be when I'm back home in the UK. Apart from then playing catch up I want to try and track down a few of you new friends (both on LJ and Myspace) who live in London to meet up with and put faces to names and all that.
Take care dear readers. Speak to you all soon....