For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting the Echoplex, or its apt-named sister-club 'The Echo', it's an experience. I once found $5 on the floor there, so I'm biased.
The place was packed, but in a really subtle, stoner way. We waltzed in, got drinks and barreled our way as close to the stage as possible. CSS showed up promptly at 10:30pm and were awesome.
One thing I noticed is that they have become SUPER good at playing their instruments. I'm not being obtuse by saying this, so many bands these days disappoint when you see them live. It's refreshing to see a band actually embrace the art of being technically good at their instruments. CSS were rocking out 1970s air-guitar/mullet style, but for real and without the mullets. Their bass player, Adriano, totally looks like Super Mario.
Lovefoxx evokes a Bjork-esque vibe, but with her own distinct style. She was wearing a huge Native American headdress at first, and then switched to a wig that looked just like my aunt's Renette's hair in 1975. I also marveled at their expert use of weird laptop-produced sounds, a harmonica and a keytar! All played while drinking beer.
However, returning to the aforementioned commonality of CSS, a Polaroid camera and Christina Aguilera - I really wanted to bring my Polaroid camera to this show. I don't have a digital camera, and my cell phone is only a cell phone, so I was really counting on my Polaroid for some choice shots.
I ran home before the show, grabbed my 'roid and headed over to the local CVS to get some film. I haven't purchased Polaroid film since 2003, but that's relatively recent, right?
I sauntered over to the CVS photo-counter (FYI-there's never a line at this counter and you can pay for stuff here) and there was a huge row of film staring at me. As I was picking up a box, 10 shots per box mind you, my eyes caught glance of the price - $19.99. I stopped, blinked and looked again. Twenty dollars for a 10 stack of Polaroid film. Incredible! You can buy an entire digital camera key chain for $4, tax not included. Needless to say, I did not make a purchase. I dejectedly left the store with my empty camera hanging limply by my side.
When I got to the show and starting ranting about how the local Silverlake CVS is price-gouging on Polaroid film, my friend said "Well, you know, they're not manufacturing Polaroid film any longer. The industry is dead."
What? Polaroid, dead? My entire life flashed before my eyes. No more Polaroid film. I felt like Rip Van Winkle in that moment, like I'd been asleep and had missed all these important changes.
Polaroid cameras revolutionized our lives. They allowed us to experience true immediate gratification for the first time and sparked our hunger for instant access to every media format imaginable. Before camera phones, laptops and twitter, we had the Polaroid.
Aren't these cameras gorgeous? I have so many fond memories of playing with, and subsequently breaking, those huge, beautiful cameras. Sunny afternoons spent frantically waiving around Polaroid snaps in excited anticipation of the silly photo I was about to produce. Writing illegible scrawls on the bottom in the caption frame and then accidentally smudging them with my thumb.
Everybody reading this blog should go to Ebay right now and try to get some of this precious commodity while it's still around! This stuff is literally going to be worth more than diamonds in ten years.
Anyhow, on to Miss Aguilera. We were at the show, rocking to the Electro-Nintendo beats of CSS, when my friend nudges me and says, "Look over there. Guess who that is". I look over and who is sitting in a side booth next to the stage, bearded hubby in tow, sippin' on a chilled bottle of chardonnay, but none other than Christina Aguilera herself! She's a CSS fan!
Somehow, I find it oddly heartwarming that Christina was at the show. You really know you've made the big time when Christina Aguilera is a fan. We kept stealing glances over at her corner, and eventually she moved away.
After the concert, my friend and I went out to the smoking patio. We were there for 5 minutes , engaged in friendly conversation, when a brawny security guard came outside and bellowed "Everybody Outta Here, Five Minutes!". We were startled and promptly left that joint. 5 minutes later, standing on the street curb, we look over at the smoking patio that we were just booted from and there's Christina sitting with her man and that bottle of Chardonnay. Damn.
She has the best car. It's white, shiny and looks like soft-serve ice cream. She parked it right outside the club and it was obvious that she - and only she - out of all the people in Silverlake, could possibly have that car.
So that's my story. Check out CSS if you ever have the opportunity.