Elizabeth (sistinas) wrote,

Short but Sweet Vacation (LA/Long Beach June 2011)

I flew out from BWI to LAX last Wednesday after photographing (at least the first half) of our current director’s “going away party” as he is moving to Pittsburgh next month. Left at 3 PM to avoid beltway traffic and got to BWI in plenty of time. It was a nice uneventful Southwest flight – we didn’t even have the obligatory screaming baby onboard! – though I had to change planes in Las Vegas and wait an hour there. Met up with Jennifer once I reached LAX & picked up the rental car and off to the hotel in Hollywood which thankfully had let her check in early.

Thursday was “art day”, we got to the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) when they opened and took in the Tim Burton show. Enjoyed it much more than the one at MOMA in NYC as they had a lot more space and it wasn’t so crowded (I’ve never seen a museum as packed as MOMA was for that) so we were able to take our time & enjoy everything and really see it all. Plus a few things had been added such as the maquettes for the stop motion remake of Frankenweenie that Burton is currently working on, and some large format polaroids. Picked up a set of hatpins for my Mad Hatter chapeau in the gift shop & drooled over the $500 boxed set of all of Danny Elfman’s soundtacks that comes with its own zoetrope and must figure a way to raise the fundage for. (Thankfully I already have the big “Art of” book signed with the limited print by Burton)

Wandered over to the gorgeous Japanese pavilion only to be thrilled to find out that opening THAT DAY was an exhibit of demon themed prints by my favorite Japanese Woodblock printmaker, Yoshitoshi. Sigh, they even had he one I covet most of Jigoku Dayū (Hell Courtesan). Enjoyed their amazing netsuke collection too.

Afterwards we went next door to the LaBrea tar pits & the Page museum to see the fossils and bones and cheesy aged animatronic mammoths =)

Then stopped at Kat Von D’s art gallery “Wonderland LA” – they still had the Kevin Llewellyn show up and I was able to get another of his limited prints, this time the one of Kat’s hands holding a human heart signed by both Kevin and K. (Paula liked my Kevin Llewllyn “Virgin Mary” print I got last time which is now framed & hanging in the foyer but gave me the “this is too disturbing” comment on this one so if I frame it I gotta find a spot for it in my room with the other stuff that is too weird….)

Had a wonderful lunch at California Vegan (its gotta be good if even a carnivore like me loves it!) and pondered what to do next. We had applied for tickets to see the taping of Jimmy Kimmel that night but were still on the “pending” ticket list even though it it flipped back and forth from “sold out” to “pending” and eventually stayed at pending. We wondered if it would be worth stopping by in case we could get in. Since the hotel was just a few blocks from where they taped we dropped our stuff of there & headed up to the theater and asked the fellow outside. He said we could check and see if there was a standby line and gave us directions to where it would be around back. We found the line and asked the woman there & she told us to wait a bit. The theater was already filled but there were seats left for the guests of that night’s guests and they would be filling up the seats with studio audience members if they were not taken. In the meanwhile they gave us blue wristbands in case we could get in and told us that if we didn’t get inside we could watch them tape the concert footage in the back parking lot. Fair enough, I thought, as I didn’t think we’d even get that far. But I REALLY hoped we could get in as J.J. Abrams was one of the guests that night, with his science fiction homage to Spielberg “Super 8” opening the next night.

Well a few people were let in, and then a few more, and finally the two right in front of us and then it was full. We were so close! They invited us to see the concert taping and gave us yellow wristbands for that. But when we went to enter they said we couldn’t bring our bags/cameras etc. so I told Jennifer to go ahead since she’s a big Kimmel fan and would at least get to see him come out and introduce the band and I could meet her back at the hotel. I didn’t mind missing a band I’d never heard of (Friendly Fire? Something like that)

So went back and chilled & got a text from Jennifer…. While waiting for the band to play they could watch what was taping on a big screen. J.J. Abrams asked the audience if they wanted to see Super 8 and when they screamed yes he said “how about tonight? I have buses outside”. You bet!!!! I high tailed it up to Hollywood Blvd to check it out and sure enough there were several buses parked outside the theater where Kimmel taped….I texted Jenn back and said, yep, the buses are here, come around front.

The studio audience was coming out the front door & getting on the buses and we took off the yellow concert wristbands and made sure the blue studio audience ones shows & filtered into the line and on the bus, I felt like a high school kid getting away with something!

Once on the bus they told us they’d be taking us to the Arc Light theater for a special screening just for us and as we got off we were handed tickets, a coupon for free popcorn and rocket popcycles! Whoo hoo! So even though we missed seeing J.J. in the flesh (aside from his back half a block away when he was signing autographs) we got to a preview of Super 8 as his guests and it totally rocked, a love letter to those great films of the 80s like E.T., Stand By Me, The Goonies, CE3K and a dash of District 9 perhaps…. Absolutely brilliant, the man can do no wrong in my mind (well maybe aside from the last episode of LOST but after everything else he’s done I’m willing to forget that)

Slept well aside from being woken at 2:30 AM by the front desk clerk telling us we had to move our cars as the city of LA would be paving outside the parking garage and we wouldn’t be able to get out the next day! We went down to the front desk very bleary to meet a few more people being told the same thing, and the clerk called the Days inn around the corner and they said we could park there for the night. So mildly annoying to be so rudely interrupted but at least we got it settled. The hotel had only found out at 8 PM and had tried to call earlier when we were at the movies. But somehow I think they could have handled it better than waking us at 2:30 AM!

Friday we went shopping and hit Gallery 1988 where I got a cool Rhys Cooper poster of a particularly evil looking Cheshire cat from their themed art show based on American McGee’s Alice in Wonderland, and got a neat shirt & poster at the Tokidoki store and then up to Wacko’s/La Luz De Jesus where I saw the Glenn Barr exhibit and scored a cool Axel ring I found in a case in the back. Also enjoyed the wacky kitty art in the “Kitties and Ice Cream” theme show at Japan L.A. – I just love this proliferation of themed group art shows!

In the early evening we headed down to the Troubadour in West Hollywood to catch the first of Nick 13’s record release shows for his solo country record that had just come out (lucky Jennifer had caught the free show that Tuesday at Amoeba before I was able to fly out). Traffic was insane due to the big gay pride fest a few blocks over & some road closures but we still made it to the front of the line with many of our friends – Thomas, Miquel, Rosaria, Jeff and Janice. And once inside found Rachel and Alex and Louie Bones!

The opening act was Lynda Kaye who was quite good and very inspired by Patsy Kline in her gold lame dress and matching gold glitter Gretsch with a huge beehive hairdo that would make any Baltimore hon proud.

Then time for Nick 13, going all the way country style in black cowboy boots and a Nudie-esq nicely tailored black & red pinstriped western style suit with his back up band –Johnny Bowler from the Guana Batz on upright bass ( a gorgeous metallic lime green glitter version of my pink King Double Bass Sparkle King!), Storm on guitar and some older gentlemen in drums and steel guitar (I am afraid I did not catch their names) The songs from the new CD are wonderful live and really showcase his beautiful voice although some of the crowd were bit rude the first night screaming incessantly for Tiger Army, hopefully they were placated by the new honky tonk version of” Cupid’s Victim” and by the song that started this whole direction, “Outlaw Heart”.

Got some very nice photos I put up on flickr -

June 10, 2011 - Nick 13 at the Troubadour

June 11 2011 - Nick 13 at the Troubadour

Afterwards, as always, a group of us headed over to Swinger’s Diner to eat and hang out. Missed that place and my west coast friends, LA is like a second home to me as I have been there so much over the last half dozen or so years

Got back to the hotel late & was too tired to even look at my photos! No interruptions this time.

Saturday morning I was so pooped I stayed in and edited & uploaded pix and took a nap while Jennifer walked up to Hollywood & Highland for some shopping. Glad I was better rested and ready to enjoy night 2 at the Troubadour! A different opening act this time, Miquel Garcia and the Vaquetones, a Mexican country folk band, reminded me of the ones in Desperado.

(and the 2nd night Nick had a dark brown suit with a cream shirt under it. He had a purple suit at Amoeba. We are taking inventory of his suits and are hoping to see the purple one again when he hits the east coast next week!)

Crowd was much better behaved the second night, both nights Nick 13 got a huge response. I really enjoyed these shows – ya know, it’s really nice to see a band and not have to worry about mosh pits and crowd surfers and getting kicked in the head….

Very glad I’ll get a chance to catch some more of his solo shows next week in Philly, NYC and here in DC at the Black Cat. REALLY hoping Tiger Army does another OCtoberflame Halloween show, it’s become a tradition!

Sunday AM we checked out of the Hollywood hotel early & drove down to Long Beach for the Ink and Iron tattoo festival held aboard the Queen Mary (and spilling over into the parking lot beside it). I had really missed seeing Laura and Ashley at the Nick 13 shows as Ashley could not make it & Laura was busy manning the booth she had at Ink and Iron selling her artwork. Was great to see her paintings in person and I got prints of two she had done (one of Davey Havok from AFI and one of Mark from the Unseen), she also makes amazing hairpieces of animal skulls and bones.

We had fun shopping as there are so many cool booths at that show. Found a “Creature from the Black Lagoon” wallet for Paula and got a painted skull from Los Calaveras (the folks who made my cool fridge magnets I’d picked up there before). Got a neat Day of the dead style ring from Femme Metale and a cool modern replica of an old Mexican biker ring from a jeweler visiting from London.

Checked out the tattooist on the Queen Mary and got a cute page of cat themed flash from Dear & Departed singer Dan Smith of Black Cat Tattoos and a stunning Asian style dragon print from Jorge Henning to go with the Tiger print I’d picked up last time.

Ogled the wonderfully restored vintage cars and hotrods on display….oh sigh!

And that evening caught Anti Flag and The Buzzcocks on the main stage. My friend Louie Bones was working for Anti Flag and hanging out with a dear friend of his he had told me a lot about – none other than London May! (London was the drummer for Samhain for the November Coming Fire period and for Tiger Army on The Power of Moonlite!) Had heard a lot about him but never met him and Louie pointed me out to London and they waved from the side of the stage and after the Buzzcocks’ set I ran into him & he introduced himself and was very cool. Shameless fangirl moment for Liz!

We found a cheap hotel near the airport ($45 on hotwire for the Ramada – yay!) and I had to fly home the next morning. Hard to go home but I know I’ll head back when I can, always great to have trips like this to look forward too and the chance to go shopping for cool stuff and see all my friends out there!

Art In LA


Page Museum & La Brea tar pits

Nick 13 at the Troubadour - June 10, 2011 1st night

Nick 13 at the Troubadour - June 11, 2011 (night 2)

Ink & Iron Tattoo festival misc pix

Ink N' Iron Kustom Kar show

Anti-Flag live at Ink N' Iron

The Buzzcocks live at Ink N' Iron

Topiary deer from Edward Scissorhands-

Japanese Pavillion at LACMA

La Brea Tar pits

Klaus Kinski portrait by Glenn Barr at La Luz De Jesus

Opener Lynda Kaye

Nick 13 -

Nick & Storm

Johnny on bass

Nick 13 merch:

Cool Calaveras, took me a while to pick out a white one with a black rose on its forehead

stuff for sale at Ink N Iron

My friend Laura at her booth

her artwork

nice portrait of Mark Unseen

Anti Flag

The Buzzcocks!

a sunburned Liz with London May from Samhain (and Tiger Army!)

The Kevin Llewllyn print I got of Kat Von D's hands -

Rhys Cooper Cheshire cat print -

Dan Smith cat flash-

Henning Dragon -

Tags: art, hollywood, ink & iron, kevin llewellyn, lizjunk, nick 13, tattoos, tim burton
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