When morning came in L.A., we began to get out of bed to find the house littered with the remnants of the night’s party. Stepping over bodies, beer cans and strewn instruments, a few members of the band gathered their stuff and headed up to Malibu where Lee has family. They planned on spending the day by the beach and taking it easy before our final show in California that night, but the rest of us decided to stay behind and spend some time with our friend Mike Shapiro.
We walked down to Sunset Boulevard and found a vegan restaurant where we got some lunch. Continuing down the road toward Hollywood, we came upon the painted wall where Eliot Smith’s album cover for Figure 8 was shot, and took a moment to snap a couple of photos before walking to Los Feliz where we saw a movie.
Anticipating the 17-hour drive to Denver that we were in for that night and the next day, we were happy to relax a little and conserve our energy. We’d played every night of the tour, and several days with two shows, and had been traveling at a pretty rapid pace. Just over the halfway point of the tour, the fatigue of being in a traveling band began to catch up to us, and it was really nice to have a day where we could have some quiet time and catch up on some rest.
After the movie, we walked the couple miles back to Silverlake and up to the house. We executed a mass cleanup session, disposing of all the casualties of the party and mopping the floors. Mike and I made some salad from leftovers from the party and we waited until the Malibu contingent returned.
Then we loaded all our gear in the trailer and drove the short distance to El Cid, a flamenco bar/music venue on Sunset Boulevard. We didn’t have to play until a couple of hours later, so we busied ourselves in the neighborhood for a while before loading in.
El Cid has a really cool atmosphere: The door level is on Sunset, but the bar and stage is down terraced stairs with fountains and Spanish architecture. The venue is kept at low red lamplight with seating all around. We filed in and set up in front of the stage, planning on playing a short set and then regrouping later to finish.
The crowd impressed us with their enthusiasm. Los Angeles seemed to warm to us the longer we were there, and their reactions just got better. People clapped along from the balconies and called for more when we left the stage. But we promised we’d be back to play more.
On next was Ben Pringle and the Endless Awesome, featuring two members of The Rentals. While they were playing, a few of us became aware that the comedian/actor Andy Dick was in the venue, his loud slur carrying around the room. Soon enough, a rumor started that Elijah Wood and David Spade were there as well--but they never materialized.
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After Ben Pringle and the Endless Awesome, Willy Wisely went on and did solo acoustic songs with some keyboard accompaniment, and later with some vocal stylings by Andy Dick, drink in hand. It was a strange and snappily dressed Hollywood spectacle.
Finally, we went on to perform the last half of our set and the crowd was even larger and more engaged than for the first half. We packed up feeling that we’d done good work in California, winning over people who are so saturated with music all the time.
As we tried to rally the band to head for Denver, Adam was approached by Andy Dick, who insisted that Adam drive him in his car (because he was too drunk) to hang out with Isaac Brock and the rest of the Modest Mouse crew. His friends tried to drag him out of the club but he seemed to have his mind pretty set on Adam escorting him to the Modest Mouse party.
Unfortunately, we had to get on the long road to Colorado so Adam politely excused himself and we piled in, leaving Los Angeles at 1 a.m. and heading into the desert. --Justin Spike and the rest of Mount Righteous