This is how you rave, babies

Rave Review

“Enter the Tech” by Rock the Discotek
March 1st

Rating: 3.5 pieces of candy
How-to-catch-James-Woods-ooh-piece-of-candy-family-guy

Negatives:

  • 18+ …still weirds me out no matter how nice the kids are
  • Some DJs were obviously underprepared
  • Too much publicity = too crowded
  • Too crowded = long ass lines
  • Too crowded = vandalism & early shut down, apparently

Positives:

  • Several projectors with visuals
  • Great sound system in both rooms
  • Most DJs were creative
  • Being able to dress up to get in for free
  • 2 rooms = less overwhelming
  • Bathrooms weren’t bad at all, if that matters
  • Casual atmosphere (e.g. friendly security)

Overall, I’d go again as long as they continue to keep the entry cost low.

I think a lot of us have been hoping for the “rave” scene to expand in SD. I’m no veteran raver but I’ve been tracking underground EDM events around town for the past couple of years and I can speak for everyone when I say we were all bummed when Gage’s warehouse basically shut down.

Since then, there hasn’t been much in the way of conveniently located regular underground events (that aren’t hyper-commercialized trash…No thanks “Somewhere Loud”) so driving to Mira Mesa actually sounded like a cinch. Event page said: “dress like Bruce Lee, get in free” which is a dumb and impossible, but Katelyn confidently put me in a cheongsam-inspired top and a tutu and said it would count.

tutu rave fishnets furry legwarmers

I did NOT know it was an 18+ event, so I was a bit stunned to see so many youngins in the line and probably accidentally gave some of my pre-party Ancient Age to a child. And it was a line. The event was over-publicized, and they invited teenagers, so it was no surprise it took at least an hour to get through. Nevertheless, I ran back to the car to grab my whiskey and made fun out of the time.

Our dedication to dressing up was rewarded when an organizer strafed the queue, shot fingers at us with a big smile and, “You are getting in for free and you are getting in for free.” Pretty much at these things if you look the slightest bit fun say to the gatekeepers “I was told I would get in free because of my costume” and gesture emphatically. It’s worth a shot. There were tons of dudes in gray sweatshirts and jeans without even a speck of adornment, not even Mardi Gras beads, which is beyond disappointing. Again, teenagers.

The neat thing about partying with kids is that it makes you feel like you can reach out and indoctrinate them while they’re still young and impressionable. I felt like I needed to “community build” or some sappy shit so I ran off and collected glow sticks to put on a guy’s crutches and broken foot. It really did help people stop tripping all over him. Then I found some girl who could barely cope with reality and tried to entertain her for awhile, until I realized I was probably over-enthusiastic to the point of being scary and dropped her off with her friends.

The gig did get shut down early at 3am. Yes it was fully permitted and the noise wasn’t an issue (sounded good and loud from the inside, yet barely audible from the street), but some asshole tagged and broke windows of the surrounding businesses. I would say that’s what happens when you invite teenagers to raves, but I suspect it was the 30-something guy I saw trying to sneak in, pissed he couldn’t trick his way into the over-packed venue.

It didn’t occur to me that shutting down was what was happening, so when the music stopped I sat in the middle of the floor and shouted, “MASSAGE CIRCLE.” I was going to save this rave. 2 people joined me. “C’mon babies, this is how you rave,” I yelled. Soon we had about 10 people and next thing I knew we were playing some sort of crowdsurfing leapfrog hybrid.

crowd-surfing-leapfrog

Katelyn had seen the cops, so she came in and told me it was time to leave. “Do we have to?” I said. Boy, I would have liked to see that thing go til 6am.

Why San Diego is Awesome

Ok, so, this video is not why I think San Diego is awesome, but it’s so spot on that I had moments where I forgot that it’s a parody. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to that Rigoberto’s…

And I don’t even need to write a comment because Michael here had the same thought:

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 3.54.10 AM

Obviously, as a gay female feminist, ‘bro culture’ is not my most favorite thing. When bros are going on bragging about taking advantage of women (or trying to score blow jobs) I tend to get kicky. Otherwise, I’m usually amused by the way they talk and their gentle sort of simplemindedness. Oh, and I love when a brah grasps for those profound thoughts, I really do. Have you ever noticed how their faces soften, their mouths start to form the o-shaped awe of their childlike wonder?

Also, turns out the ridiculously blissful weather is not why SD is particularly awesome, though of course I admit I’m completely dependent on it and I would be utterly lost if it actually snowed ever. I would be embarrassed for myself, except I really don’t care that some people out there are proud of themselves for being “rugged” and “weather-wise” — if I move and need to deal with the realities which come from a variety of precipitation falling from the sky, then fine, I’ll learn. Otherwise I’m busy focusing on weighing my ambitions with my social survival needs — not fantasizing about some zombie apocalypse where my ability to light a fire with a shoelace is going to be important.

All the flowering fruitless plums? That's "snowy" enough for me.

All the flowering fruitless plums? That’s “snowy” enough for me.

Anyway, the weather is not my “big deal” here.  I don’t see a lot of daylight anyway. Not only because my schedule keeps me inside on a computer most of the time but I’ve also kind of elected to avoid the sun and outdoor activities. For example, of course I have surfed (has any local never surfed? Tell me in the comments) but I didn’t really get into it because 1) my glorious princess hair turns to ratty straw with all that sea water 2) I sunburn in 13 minutes when the $4-per-ounce 110 SPF sunscreen is finally battered off my skin by waves & sand and 3) I’m not really a meditative person so I don’t get “totally stoked” to sit on a buoyant piece of foam covered in fiberglass for hours not talking to anyone and collecting skin cancer.

And before the 5th person gives a "helpful suggestion" I *do* own a rash guard.

And before the 5th person gives a “helpful suggestion” I *do* own a rash guard.

Most people will tell you SD is awesome because it’s relaxing, “nice,” friendly… They laud the small town atmosphere and remark that it seems like everyone knows each other (they don’t, but it’s okay, we like pretending).  Also, most importantly, it’s “better than LA.” Which it’s really not, and anyone who says so probably lived there and submitted to the soul-crushing forces and insecurity that comes from being surrounded by beautiful, successful people. I’m honestly not sure how well I’d fare in our city’s big sister but I will say it’s lovely to feel like a big fish in a little lake (or a whale’s vagina).

Those kinds of conversations, about how SD is so nice and the weather is fucking rad, are immensely boring to me.  I’m too young to be grateful for a pleasant atmosphere to the point of making it my perpetual focus of small-talk. (I’d rather just take it for granted.) In fact I willfully throw myself into the chaotic fires of the night. Turns out, this is not a bad place to do that.

The underground scenes in SD are cushioned from the watchful eye of the media and/or your catholic grandparents because everyone is too busy defending how “pleasant” this place is.  They call our city a “town” and drink in the big clear skies and hum the word “quaint” as a daily mantra. The fact that the only problems with this town are First World Problems (although the crumbling sidewalks are fucking shameful) gives us a kind of cushion that allows us to build hidden lairs of resistance.  Or just, you know, dens of sin.

Slowly we will start to face the kind of scruple laid on places like NY and LA, but for now, expectations are low or nonexistent. It’s quite easy to squirm your way out of conversations where you’ve said too much about what happened last night since the imagination factor for the “normals” out here is quite scant.

I think many a creative mind lashes out against the ennui here, and we make our own fun out of thin air. We build playgrounds in the desert, we have subterranean punk shows, we put tails on and dance in warehouses. After two years (I was less cool in college) of paying attention, I finally know where to look. I’ve found something awesome in San Diego.