D.I.Y.: BOOK CLUTCH

Do you dream of having a secret room open up by pulling a decoy book lever? Can you settle for a smart-looking vessel to hold your cash or phone? Maybe something a little discreet to hide tampons or a spare key? Besides hiding things, this D.I.Y. could make a great last minute gift (or clever “wrapping” for a gift) for the literati in your life. Use a small book like us for a wallet, or scale up for a clutch.

MATERIALS:
-hard cover book (we used a small, thin book that could easily accommodate a zipper without needing extra fabric)
-zipper
-felt or other lining fabric
-hot glue gun + glue sticks
-razor/exacto knife
-scissors

STEPS:
1.Carefully cut off all the pages at the spine. If your blade is really sharp, make sure it doesn’t pierce through the cover or spine. (I made that mistake. Old books are especially brittle/delicate.)

2.Keeping your zipper zipped, begin hot gluing the front side of the fabric part around the edges of your book. For the second side, you’ll have to glue the zipper to the book by “closing the book.” Do the best you can to get the zipper down in the right place; you can always unzip the book and reenforce the second side with more glue. Keeping it zipped ensures the two sides of the zipper will line up in the end. (We started with the end of the zipper at the bottom of the book.)

TIP: Cut your zipper some slack by gluing it down in a more gradual, less sharp angle. It’ll allow for easier zipping, which means better functionality.

3.Measure/cut your felt (or lining fabric of choice) to fit across the inside of your zippered border and glue it down.

4.Zip up. Enjoy.

NEW DIGS: NICHOLAS BOWES

This past Saturday we ventured to the fashion district to check out Nicholas Bowes‘ new DTLA boutique and Holiday Party. Upon entering, we were greeted with a glass of wine and a southwestern-inspired interior, including various cattle skulls, reclaimed wood furniture pieces, and lovely leather apparel. Simply put, we felt right at home. If you’re looking for custom, LA-Made quality clothing and footwear, this is the place. Nicholas Bowes, an Australian-born designer now based in LA, has raised the bar for the ubiquitious essentials that every LA resident needs; we’re talking next-level leather jackets, comfy basic tees and rugged lace-up boots. Take a look with your own eyes and head down to Spring and 8th St in DTLA…

 

For more info: http://www.nicholasbowes.com/
More photos from the event can be found on our Facebook: http://facebook.com/LACANVASmag

{ text ASHLEY TUTTLE | photos CAPTAIN }

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THE METHOD: BALLET BARRE WORKOUTS

In Los Angeles, we are constantly surrounded by options. Where to live, eat, shop, and even workout. At the moment, barre classes are on the rise claiming to firm, tone and slim your body at record speed. You want to try one, but with so many options, how do you choose? Being a dancer, who has worked years and years achieving my shape, I had to find out what these classes were all about. So here’s some insight into four of the most popular barre classes on trend right now to help decide which is best for you.

The Bar Method, Pure Barre, and Pop Physique are all barre classes with a similar structure. Warm up into upper body, lower body into abs and then a final stretch. The only class that does not follow this exact pattern is Cardiobarre. The most important thing to remember in every one of these classes is form, alignment and technique. They are low impact work outs with body parts sometimes only moving about an inch. These ballet inspired classes are designed to elongate the muscles and sculpt the body into a dancer’s physique. All classes use of course, the ballet barre, as well as free weights.

So what sets these classes apart? Here’s the scoop. The Bar Method, a technique fusing dance conditioning, isometrics and the science of physical therapy, is a slower paced class that’s easy on the joints. But don’t be fooled, you will encounter lots of burning and shaking during what feels like a million reps executed at the barre. Pure Barre, another isometrics focused technique that includes elements of pilates, has great hands on instructors and moves at a slightly faster pace to upbeat music. Pop Physique, a fairly new exercise, is a ballet inspired isometrics class that starts kicking your butt within minutes. They also have an assortment of really great music. I mean, who doesn’t want to do ab work to hip hop? And lastly, one of the most unique of the barre classes, Cardiobarre truly integrates ballet with continual motion. A fast paced, low impact, full-body work out that not only strengthens and lengthens the muscles, but also burns fat.

No matter which one of these classes you choose, you are sure to get a body sculpting workout that is still safe on your joints and muscles. Don’t be ashamed to make unpleasant faces or minor grunts at any point because you will certainly, “feel the burn”. Be good to your body and take some extra time with stretching or a hot bath after class, as soreness tends to be prominent the next day. And now you know, you don’t have to be a ballerina to get their slim, toned bodies!

text + model Sarah Rodenhouse

photo Kelly Mustapha

RECAP: METRIC AT THE FOX THEATER


Instead of staying in this past Sunday night and inevitably watching TLC reality TV shows, we headed to the Fox Theater in Pomona and saw our favorite Canadians put on nothing less than an amazing performance. Metric, the indie/electronic band with a healthy splash of rock n’ roll, lit the stage with some innovative synth and vocals by Emily Haines, guitar by Jimmy Shaw, bass by Josh Winstead and drums by Joules Scott-Key.

The crowd’s awe-inspired gaze quickly turned into a burst of energy by the first note of the first song. People of diverse ages, genders, lifestyles and fashion inspirations made their way to the show, reminding us how many different people can be reached and inspired by Metric’s sound and lyrics. Mind you, the line to get in was two blocks long, and the fans towards the front of the line were waiting for almost three hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metric kicked off the concert with songs from their latest album Synthetica, a much more mature and developed record with indie-synth anthems coming straight from the gut. Through the middle of the concert, they paid homage to their more electronic-punk albums, playing songs from Fantasies and Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? Every base was covered when delivering the setlist, appealing to the older fan and to the new listeners of the beloved indie rock band.

 

 

As the dreaded end of the show came upon us, Metric left the crowd with acoustic version of “Gimme Sympathy,” performed by Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw. The crowd quickly joined in, leaving the theatre with a hard-to-match electricity. We truly urge any indie/rock/electronic lover to check out Metric; a versatile and iconic band 12 years in the making.

 


~Words & Photos by: Ashley Tuttle~

 

 

D.I.Y.: GILDED ANIMAL ORNAMENTS


It’s that time of year, when hand made is revered. The best time to let your inner Martha out and make ginger bread houses from scratch, or knit a set of matching sweaters for everyone in the family. But in case you don’t have the time, or the skills, or the ambition, here’s an easy start to your own handmade holiday. When we saw these little animals on our way to picking up some string lights at CVS we thought they would look good as ornaments—if they were gold. It’s a perfect holiday blend of kitsch and glamor, and so easy to make. Put on your guiltiest pleasure movie (why isn’t You’ve Got Mail on Netflix instant watch??) and by the end you’ll have a mess of handmade ornaments.

 

MATERIALS:
-plastic/rubber animals
-wire ornament hangers (you could probably substitute paper clips)
-wire cutters (or heavy weight craft scissors)
-needle nose/jewelery pliers
-paint (we used FolkArt Metallic acrylic paint in Antique Gold, Pure Gold, Champagne, and Silver Sterling)
-paint brush
-straight pins/small nails
-hammer (optional)

STEPS:

1.Snip your ornament hangers in half (with ours, this left us with two hook shaped pieces of wire) and strip a few millimeters of the plastic coating off the straight end of the wire (this is the part you’ll jam in your animal).

2.Using a straight pin and needle nosed pliers (or a hammer if you prefer), make a pilot hole in the back of your animal where you want the wire hanger to go. Wiggle it around to make sure you can fit the wire.

3. Using the pliers and holding close to the end of the wire you’re inserting, force the wire into the animal. Get it in as far as you can.

4. Paint. You will probably need a few coats. If we were smart, we would have bought primer, but after 2-3 coats your animals will be sufficiently gilded. The metallic finish will definitely work in your favor.

5.Hang up. Enjoy.

BITE THIS: BESTIA

 

In what feels like a slew of restaurant openings every other month, 2012 has been a very good year for LA diners, particularly if you’re spending more time Downtown. As the renaissance of the city center continues so does its food scene, coming leaps and bounds in the past few years ever enriched by a growing network of some of LA’s finest dining establishments.

Enter Bestia, preceded by its reputation thanks to a series of Test Kitchens, a lot of hype and restauranteur Bill Chait, it is undeniably one of the most anticipated openings this year. The $1.2-million, 140-seat trattoria comes to DTLA headed up by Ori Menashe (Angelini Osteria) delivering finely curated modern Italian fare. Chances are you’ve already dined at one of Bill Chait’s establishments, in the last four years he’s opened some of L.A.’s best restaurants (Short Order, Sotto, Rivera, Picca) and if his current portfolio is anything to go by, Bestia has all the makings to live up to the excitement the restaurant has so far seen.

 

 

Nestled deep within the Arts District, neighbored by the 7th St Bridge and some very interesting company, a strip club no less, Bestia is hidden in an unassuming alleyway. Staying true to its environment and mixing the industrial with soul, the veins of the once factory are left exposed with metal pipes drawing a grid across the roof of the restaurant while leather booths, floor to ceiling windows and hanging lamps give light and warmth.

Bestia feels personal, like a tiny community in huge contrast to its immediate surroundings. This is felt even more so as you sit at a communal table and watch the open kitchen with awe as chefs slice fresh meats and swiftly arrange them with precision on charcuterie boards. The menu reads like an Italian dream with seafood lead antipasti such as steamed mussels, griddled sardines and white fish crudo; while rich handmade pastas and pizza delivered from the Acunto pizza oven (direct from Naples itself) combine traditional and modern elements presenting an interesting take on the classics. Each dish is sophisticated in its own right yet accessible enough to be simply enjoyed, a highlight is the Cassoela Milanese, a classic winter dish of braised pork & veal ribs, pork sausage, winter greens and cabbages appealing straight to the heart of the greatest carnivore and the perfect dish to welcome Bestia to the world. And for those who like to dabble in the latest food trends, the menu offers you a journey through of the moment roasted fare like bone marrow, beef heart tartare and pan-roasted chicken gizzards.

 

If it is a drink you prefer then you will find solace in the fact that Bestia is just as much a drinking establishment as it is a restaurant. Find yourself sitting at the magnificent open bar, a spectacle connected to the exposed kitchen where chefs and bar staff work fervently alike. Indulge in an ever changing schedule of artisan cocktails or a perfectly executed classic, thoroughly entertained by some of the most well-dressed mixologists L.A. has seen.

Bestia sees the L.A restaurant scene end 2012 on a highlight. Only time will tell if it can live up to the hype, but for now it is an exciting venture into one of the most interesting parts of our town and anything that breathes life into the hidden treasures of this city is alright by us.

 

by Emma Gogonovski

 

Wintersalt Festival Giveaway

This dreary weather got you itching to get your dance on? Wintersalt Festival, presented by EYEHEARTSF, is going down NYE weekend, December 28th and 29th. Performances by the likes of Diplo, DJ Shadow, Dillon Francis and more, will be intrinsically altering minds at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.

Lucky for you, we have two extra one-day passes for Saturday, which Diplo will be headlining. But, we aren’t just going to give these away. You are going to have to WORK for it. Get on your Instagram and post your best concert shot ever with the hashtag “#wintersaltLAC”. By the 11th of December, we will pick ONE winner. You and whomever you deem a worthy human being will be headed to Wintersalt! Get ready to “Express Yourself” and “Pick your Poison” because you may be going to Wintersalt…See what we did there.

 

 

Ripped: Expressions from the Underground

 

Concert tees are more than just cotton shirts with printed graphics portraying “no f**ks given” attitude. They are an example of the early DIY movement and, according to Lydia Lunch, a staple figure in the No-Wave movement.  “They Remind us of a time, not so long ago, when what you actually said and did–the music and art you actually made yourself–and a spirit of real rebellion were far more important than the number of idiots you could connive into coming to the show.” The Ripped: Expressions from the Underground Exhibition is an exceptional showcase of punk rock memorabilia, curated by Cesar Padilla, a writer, punk rock enthusiast, collector and self-proclaimed troublemaker. Lucky for us, Cesar’s obsession with attending concerts also meant he culminated a huge collection of tees from concerts and a wealth of stories behind them.

The meticulous assortment was collected personally by Cesar, whose relationships with the music industry included the musicians themselves, to managers, and even groupies. The collection truly encompasses the pre-internet era of promoting a movement and the communication between show-kid and musician. Every tee we encountered had a story, leaving the writer in disbelief many times. Wandering around the exhibit, we happened upon a simple tee for the band Green River. Its story: Cesar invited Green River to crash at his home after a show, after finding out that they were broke and touring on a budget. This little-known band would eventually become the now-famous rockers, Pearl Jam.

 

 

This rare collection of memorabilia also included a personal tee from Nancy Spungen, who was notorious for her tumultuous relationship with Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Another tee that perked up our interest belonged to Cynthia “Plaster Caster,” the world’s most famous groupie, who from the late 1960s to early 1970s was known for taking plaster casts of various musicians’ genitalia. The exhibit also had a section displaying the history of punk and post-punk, educating viewers on the genre’s influence on today’s enormously popular genres, like Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

 


Whether or not you’re into punk, the Ripped exhibit is well worth checking out for any die-hard music fan. The exhibit’s showcase of memorabilia and history is remarkable and nostalgic. For those of you who admit to having band pins on their school backpack, owning a pair of Doc Martens and having a questionable haircut at a certain time in your life, this is definitely the exhibit for you.

***

Ripped is housed at the FIDM Museum located at 919 South Grand Avenue, Suite 250, Los Angeles, CA and will be open through to December 22, 2012, 10am–5pm Tuesday through Saturday.

{ photos by ASHLEY TUTTLE }

OPENINGS: PROJECT GALLERY + ESPRESSO

On an uncharacteristically rainy Los Angeles Saturday night, Project Gallery + Espresso opened with an inaugural show by young San Francisco-based artist Zio Zeigler.The brain child of Sarah Gough, originally from Kentucky via Miami, Project is not a coffee shop with art for sale; there are no tables or chairs and certainly no wifi. It was developed to be a gallery first with an artisan espresso bar to breach the gap between the art world and the passer by. A concept so simple you’d wonder why it hasn’t been done before.

 

 

Sarah imagined the concept while working as an event planner in various art galleries and observing the way the museum-like spaces intimidated their audiences. “Project started as a multifunctional space,” Sarah tells LAC, “I wanted it to be all about the art but there was something else added into it. It’s an art gallery that just happens to have an amazing espresso bar in it.” Rain or shine, Sarah has succeeded in creating a welcoming space; warmth is emanated through exposed brick and the barn wood bar which holds the magnificent espresso machine in the rear of the gallery. The aroma of coffee drifts out onto Cauhenga, drawing you in, while the small act of holding a coffee cup makes you dawdle around the gallery, wanting to stay, not ready to leave.

With the intention of ‘keeping the space active,’ Project is a blank canvas for book signings, charity events, film premieres and the like. The gallery has already been propositioned by a tattoo artist to showcase his talents in the front window, an idea that speaks to the breadth of possibilities the space offers.

 Zio Zegler’s work brings vibrant energy to Project’s debut, a fitting showcase of color-drenched canvases and murals that are almost deceptive in their detail. Creating an illusion of simplicity from afar, Zio’s work is incredibly intriguing, drawing you closer (coffee in hand of course) to discover intricate patterns and stories. He works both in the studio and on the street, and you can see a collision of these two worlds in each of his works. One half of Project has been blessed with an enormous mural painted straight to the wall by Zio and completed in six hours, impressive considering the elaborate complexity and sheer size of the work. It will be a bittersweet moment when “Lost Illusions”  closes and the mural is painted over, but Zio’s work is now ingrained into Hollywood forever, his murals dotting the walls along Cauhenga—a completely unplanned yet  ingenious preface to the opening of Project.

 

 

So the space is great and the art resonates, but what of the coffee? Sarah’s “Espresso Master” Toby believes Project has all the makings to be the best espresso in LA. “We have the machine, we have the talent, we have the roaster, we have every ingredient right.” The beans are sourced from a micro roaster who produced a blend specifically for the gallery, and in that vein the men behind the machine are also working on a signature ‘Bourbon Vanilla Latte’ as a throwback to Sarah’s Kentucky roots.

Project is an exciting moment for the LA art and coffee worlds alike. It is a space for all, with infinite possibilities to walk out feeling all the richer.

{ Photos by Captain Chris. }

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING HERE.

FEATURE: 55DSL + CANADA’S “BEYOND MOUNTAINS, MORE MOUNTAINS”

55DSL ‘Beyond Mountains, More Mountains’ by Canada from Partizan on Vimeo.

55DSL may be best-known as a Diesel spin-off label, but this small, hands-on company actually has a lot more to it. Founded in Italy in 1994 by Creative Director Andrea Rosso, 55DSL uses street wear as a platform to support and collaborate with up-and-coming artists–and vice versa.. LAC sat down with Rosso to discuss the label’s third short film called “Beyond Mountains, More Mountains,” directed by acclaimed music video directors CANADA. The beautiful, charming video look-book flawlessly showcases the lifestyle brand’s AW’12 collection by documenting a young couple’s journey across the Italian countryside.

 

 

How often do you do these limited run t-shirts in collaboration with artists?

I’ve always done small collaborations and limited edition products. This 1055 is the number of t-shirts we produce for each artists, and it’s now our 5th anniversary that we’re going to present next season. People love to see different new artwork, new placement, new subjects.

How long have you guys been doing video look books?

This is the third video that we produced. The first one focused on this traditional festival that takes place in Sicily, the second one was done in Rome, and this one with CANADA was filmed all around Italy from North to South.

How do you come up with the concept and the treatment, is it based off of the collection?

This A/W ’12 collection is really inspired by Italy. Usually we go around the world to find inspiration, but this time we just went to Italy and drew from stuff we always pass by but never really stop to look at, like graphics from old pharmacies, butcher shops, or restaurants. The iconography of Italy in the 50’s is very strong; if you go to Rome, Florence, or small towns, all the signs are still dirty from that time, and the faded colors and the fonts reflect that time. So all of the typography in the collection is based off of the heritage of Italy.

What was it like working with CANADA on this project?

They’re very talented people. We like their style, it’s an honor to work with them. Between us, when we talk about good film, they are at the top of the list. So to do this with them was a pleasure. In the beginning I have to say that I was kind of scared, because I thought the story was too romantic, but the way they did it was perfect. Graphically and even musically, they really know what they’re doing.

How would you describe the difference between Diesel and 55DSL?

We definitely have a more graphic approach, we use more high-impact color, and we also have more of a sports heritage. From the beginning in ‘94-96, we were really into action sports, snowboarding especially, because we were very close to the mountains. And also surfing and skateboarding. But with time we moved to a more street approach.

But our target is very niche, it’s not mass-market. We are a small company. The energy and integrity you have working with a small team is very strong, and I’d like to keep that.

What’s next for you guys? She mentioned you’re going to Texas?

Yes. We’d like to shoot the next video Italy, Texas. It’s nice to connect a name with a scenery that’s nothing like Italy. We like the contrast.

Inspired? Enter the 55DSL Instagram Contest here.

 

VIDEO: ANDREW STEIGER x CLADE

Former Roark Creative Director Andrew Steiger has just debuted his first solo video project. Entitled “Transcendence,” the one-minute-thirty-second clip showcases the FW’12 – SS’13 collections from LA-based menswear label CLADE. The film premiered last week at an event hosted at one of our favorite LA boutiques,  Akai Ito Boutique. LAC caught up with Andrew and convinced him to spill his guts…

 
 

So, what’s up?

Constructing second tree fort, sweet fleet foxes, and nursery rhymes.

 Can we get you something to drink?

Yes, I will take a jar of sweet iced tea puhlaease.

 What are you wearing?

Ripped up Roark (Collective) tank, and big billowy aladin pants.

 Are you single/taken/bummed/indifferent/hopeful?

Single, I actually had a vision the other day of this femme fatale and she said, “you have to wait a little longer”.

Do anything last night?

Composed then went to RR Gallery and drew pictures and watched my friend CW drill holes in giant outline of the word FUCK for his own personal art piece.

How late did you stay up? 

2 am

Meals or snacks?

I fancy both, a snack allows me to feel like a field mouse, or perhaps a grazing caribou. Meals are for family time.

How often do you consume alcohol?

Rarely.

You kissed a girl and liked it?

Oh WEEW yess!

Has anyone seen you naked recently?

Hm… perhaps a helicopter?

Please don’t touch that.

MOUSE.

What’s on your feet?

Wiggley riggley toes of joy.

Blue or black ink?

Black.

Ever sit down in the shower?

Always // lights off.

When was the last time you really froke out at someone?

A couple days ago , at my friend Bever but I love him and he understands.

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?

My sister was talking about eyelashes, and I remarked (from the next room) that getting extended eyelashes would be like a frog paying to change its spots.

Are you listening to music right now?

“The Sound of Silence”  – live…Simon & Garfunkel.

Will you text the person you like today?

I mean, yeah.

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?

Paint, specifically “Buoy Orange”… and then several pomegranetes and fabric– of the woven wooly variety.

Last 3 google searches?

1. Flesh eating beatles for sale in LA

2. Owl goddess mythology

3. 1950’s tea party ettiquette

What are you doing later?

Probably eating stew from last night, and then contintuing to write this damn script.

Can we come?

All hands on deck.

TRENDING: #oxbl00d

Maroon? Nah. Crimson? Sorry. Cranberry? Nope!

Apparently, “Oxblood” is short for oxygenated blood…not the blood of an oxen. (#gostupid)
  
Back in 2010, we called  it ” burgundy,” but since we’re on that re-branding tip, oxbl00d it is. (#dark)
We’ve been so good this year…

{ picks by Becky Young }

Editor’s Pick Event: Wine Riot

Wine confuses me. If I ever have the luxury to look beyond the cheapest glass on the menu, I will be woefully unprepared to make a selection. For starters, why is Two-buck Chuck or Whole Foods brand “Three Wishes” a more innocuous and socially acceptable wine then say, Yellow Tail? Why is Yellow Tail  MORE expensive? Why does Yellow Tail make me sick? (Don’t get me wrong, I’ll drink it, gladly).

I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I’ve found a place that does, and it’s way more exciting than Wikipedia.

Wine Riot is a fun-filled five hour wine-tasting/crash-course/revolution/party going down in DTLA this Saturday, November 10th, from either 1pm-5pm or 7pm-11pm.

For $50, you get unlimited tastings from over 250 bottles of wine and the chance to explore different wine regions and grape varieties through mini-seminars. There will be experts roaming the floor to answer all of your questions and a healthy dose of frivolity in the form of DJs, fake tattoos, a photo-booth, and food vendors.  You could say I haven’t been this excited to go to class since I was enrolled in weekly “Free Time.”

Buccaneer Days: A Chronicle of Shame

It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and across from our mooring at N7 in Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors, the orgy has commenced. Those participating are all things considered very discreet. Though they’ve been masquerading naked a top the cockpit of their sailboat for the past hour, they are subtle compared to the wild revelry of the hundreds of binge drinking people dressed like pirates surrounding them in the harbor. It is Buccaneer Days, an annual Pirate Festival on Catalina Island and across from us, three couples in their late fifties are fucking and sucking at a slow-tease pace that seems to coincide with the vaguehrely erotic roll of the ebbing tide beneath us.

Difficult as it is, I will attempt now to explain the concept of an annual Pirate Festival held in a sleepy, insular island town every year for over twenty years. The appeal is simple: go to Catalina, camp out, dress and act like a pirate, drink to excess and abuse whatsoever drugs you find appropriate. Then try not to act like a dick. If you have to barf, do it in the ocean. There is little intrusion by the Coast Guard and less from LA Sheriffs who only seem to give a fuck if you’re beating the shit out of someone. Buccaneer Days is open source madness. Everyone contributes to an air of absurdity in a hyper reality built on popular nostalgia for the secluded whoring, plundering and boozing of the Spanish Main.

What really boggles the mind is how so many people who you might ordinarily classify as dingle berries hanging by a modest hair from the anus of life and just above the threat of drowning in the toilet bowl of mass stupidity could possibly coexist and survive such an ordeal. Later, the true mind boggler will be when you realize you are the greatest dingle berry of all.

***

Two days prior, on Thursday at about 1:45 p.m., I sit in the Catalina Ferry Terminal beneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro. It is deathly still. A pervasive quietness, save the occasional premature “argh” haunts the space that will soon serve as the most popular gateway to Buccaneer Days. It’s the only choice for mainlanders like me without access to a seaworthy vessel. In twenty-four hours, a surge of makeshift pirates will flood the Terminal like a proverbial buccaneer’s Ellis Island. Those without the foresight to drink to the very doorstep of blackout will uncomfortably shuffle with the eager anticipation of the bar aboard the ferry. Those already blacked out will repetitively scream the same pirate slogans and teeter back and forth. Despite the drug-sniffing dogs, many in line for the ferry will slip onto the boat with enticing bags of poorly cut coke, shake weed and cheap ecstasy.

But fuck that Johnny-come-lately noise. It’s still Thursday and the massive influx of walking/talking refutations to the theory of natural selection have yet to descend on me like the hoard of insects they are. It is calm and after driving pedal to the metal down the twenty odd miles of the 110 from Downtown to San Pedro I eagerly await the bucolic serenity and relative isolation of Two Harbors.

To call Two Harbors a city would be a gross overstatement. Two Harbors is the sort of demi-village that the aquatically-minded and island-hearted have trickled into over the past thirty years to escape the ongoing cultural apocalypse of fast-living and stunted social evolution on the mainland. To spend time in Two Harbors is to live, if only temporarily, in some alternate world where the Ruskies already dropped the bomb and the relative provincialism/closed minded vibe is a small price to pay for not having to live amongst the genetically mutated back in Long Beach. It is all-in-all a lovely Faustian bargain. Trade isolation for peace of mind and irrelevance in the modern world for the slow life.

I cannot help but fixate on this notion when around 9 p.m. I stumble to the top deck of our sailboat, Carnival, and look north towards the mainland. For the five hours I’ve been in Two Harbors, I have been abusing aforementioned shitty shake weed in conjunction with a steady regimen of cheap beer and a bottle of “Meritage” wine called Dr. Jebediah Drinkwell that I purchased at Trader Joes because it looked unrepenently shitty.  Punishing oneself with shitty booze seems apropos.

On clear nights the sky above Two Harbors is replete with stars. The Milky Way lactates across the heavens and you can actually convince yourself that there is a God above and he still gives a fuck about us. As you shift your gaze from pure zenith down many degrees towards the port of Los Angeles twenty odd miles distant the light pollution of a 24-hour-a-day port burns through the atmosphere like a false dawn. It is at this moment that any rational viewer, or those imbued with the special truth divining ability provided by chemical intoxication, can deduce that Two Harbors sits somewhere between true paradise and the industrialized hell we’ve brought about this earth.

In a frenzy of premature cabin fever, my two companions and I dingy to shore in search of steady ground where I can accurately differentiate between my sea legs and the bizarre marionette steps I take in my near black-out state. The dedicated drinkers are already at work in the indoor bar, but we are stoned and motivated so we opt to retreat from the glow of civilization to the north and trek the two odd miles to the other side of the isthmus.

We stumble past the last unlit buildings down an unmarked dirt road pointing more or less towards the cove and deep water on the opposite side of the island.  The road sidles and snakes between slopes in a clear, narrow valley not more than a half-mile wide. In the light of a now-setting crescent moon the shadows and accompanying stillness become ghostly and ominous. I was once a rural beast, but after years living in Downtown I am an urban monster. Things like stillness and quiet are no longer contemplative and serene. They’re terrifying harbingers of impending doom. The gentle slopes remind me of something out of the Bible, some sort of awful valley of the shadow of the death, where I refuse to lie down in green pastures and the promise of goddam quiet waters is the only thing motivating me forward.

I move deliberately in paranoid silence. Every bush is a killer buffalo laying in wait; every dip in the road some sort of island-made pangee pit filled with feces, smeared spears and a little note at the bottom that says “locals only.” Again, I cannot stress the importance of the aforementioned shake weed.

The hills flanking the harbor on the backside are awash in strange shadows. There is glowing phosphorescence out in the harbor, the source of which we can’t see. I wholly expect some sort of Travis Walton type alien abduction scenario to await us over the crest, so I pound the rest of my Coors Light in what I assume is the last moment of my terrestrial anal virginity. But instead of E.T. our eyes slowly focus on what is just an asshole in an elaborately lit boat corralling countless fish into a trawling net. I down another beer.

Around 4 a.m. I awake from my slumber to a full-blown, skull-fucking hangover. I am face up in the forecastle cabin staring up through the hatch as Venus flies back and forth with the pitching of the boat in the rising swell.  My stomach rumbles and I gently massage what I assume to be a burp out of my lower belly. But the burp has a terrible liquid weight behind it. I have just enough time to remove my wallet from my pants so as not to drop it in the water and pull half my body through the roof hatch before my mouth and throat fill with vomit. In a rather gymnastic maneuver I heave myself belly first onto the deck and crawl barf-mouthed to the rail where I spew into the otherwise unblemished water. After a few extraneous spasms of my throat reflex I collapse on the deck and admire the sunrise to the North. When I remember the color spectrum is just light pollution I vomit more Coors Light, Meritage wine and carne asada onto King Neptune’s playground below.

***

Some people have the motto “No Bad Days.” Publicly I say good for you to those people. Privately I say fuck off.  Friday is a shit day. Sure I’m on an island watching my friends drink on a plank hanging off a sailboat in an idyllic harbor, but the reverberating hangover headache causes my motor skills and IQ to drop a good 30%. I am in a stupor for a good deal of the day.  I could have seen a mermaid or been adopted by a pod of dolphins and not have given a shit.

The afternoon passes uneventfully. More friends trickle in and more beer is inserted into our respective stomachs to mixed results. A thunderstorm moves through around 3 and washes the shame and dander off my body.  Despite the greatest display of lightning I have seen in my seven years in California, I do not attempt to move.

Hours pass and the storm moves through leaving hundreds of high level, little fluffy clouds in the sky. I recognize the irony and wanting to be direct in all things, especially music, I put on the song “Little Fluffy Clouds” by the Orb. Some acquaintances of the boat owner have rafted their rented sailboat alongside ours. I suspect that I will hate them because they insist on playing some piece of shit Chris Brown song so loud it drowns out my own symphonic selection.

The sun begins to set. The wildest colors possess the myriad clouds above turning the sky into some psychedelic masterpiece of modern meteorology. A mindless chorus of domestic violence apologism repeats endlessly “Live Your Life! Live Your Life!” from the speakers on the other boat.  One of the stunted man-children points at the sky and yells over the four on the floor holocaust “This is the photo of the trip dude! Mad love for Catalina!” I smile mindlessly back at him, masking my disdain. Later at the bar when one of my friends nearly chokes him out for hitting on his girlfriend, I will smile one of the most genuine, heartfelt smiles of my life.

There is something about Buccaneer Days that is conducive to cuckoldry. Older gentlemen dressed in fine red coats and powdered wigs accompany wild-haired women dressed as whores. The wenches pinch your nipples and ask coarsely when “you’re going to fuck them.” Then they’ll grab you or your friend by the balls and make you dance with them as their husbands watch. They’ll pull you closer and whisper in your ear for you to grab their ass or finger them, but it’s not about you. You are only an object. When you finger them and they moan and ask “do you like that?” they’re not asking you, they’re just mouthing words at their foppish husbands who look on and try to swallow their sobs of emasculation.

Despite the sheer volume of intoxicated people there are few fights. Most conflicts are resolved with the purchase of grog or a hearty, shared “argh.” The displaced bikers mind their own business and the inland empire crew does their best to black out without too much destruction of property.

There’s a pirate band. I should mention that.  They’re actually a hard rock band from San Diego named Damaged Goods, but for the intents and purposes of Buccaneer Days, they are a pirate band. And what sort of music does a pirate band play? They play hard rock covers, of course.   When they open their set with a Cure cover someone in the distant bar screams “Faggots!” The musical pirates get the point and by 10 p.m. they’re playing “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” a slap-happy, demented piece of 90s rock by Primus.

I have never heard this song covered because most audiences find it gauche or even repulsive, but their song selection here of all places has hit home. Pirates and wenches flood forward and applaud heartily when the song ends. They then launch into “Killing in the Name Of” by Rage Against the Machine and the most respectful mosh pit of all time erupts. LA County Sheriffs smile and let the controlled violence continue, because unlike everything you ever heard about Woodstock ’99, these hard rock fans are just trying to get their kicks without raping anybody. It is a slice of sublime anger.

Around this time, my friend nearly chokes out our douche bag drunkard acquaintance. We use the promise of his girlfriend’s body to lure the choke artist through a crowd of cuckolds and wenches to the dingy dock where the fucking boat won’t start. We end up flooding the engine and attracting the attention of a crew of Coast Guard patrolmen.  We are all stinking drunk, attempting to operate a water-borne vehicle in the state of California. This is of course illegal, but so long as we promise to be cool and bring life jackets back the Coast Guard will let us go.  They are more interested in the drunken pirates fucking in the sand fifty feet distant.

My drunk, choke out buddy angrily tries to start the outboard motor. For cosmological reasons I will never understand, the fates choose to reward him by starting the motor on the first pull. He begins to scream, “get in the boat you fucking fuck dicks! Get in my fucking boat!” The Coast Guards shine their lights on us and attempt to interfere, but we gun it out of the dock and make it into the labyrinth of moorings before they can catch us.

***

 

Imagine Buccaneer Days as the last party on Earth, the type of wild catharsis the entire world would engage in if they knew a giant comet would obliterate us all in a week. In 2011 this concept isn’t far-fetched.  Doom saturates the consciousness. It’s this sort of insipid, all-encompassing paranoia that makes dressing up like a pirate and drinking till comprehension is beyond the faculties of the mind seem like a rational response to the world equilibrium. It’s this sort of dread that makes having an orgy with two other couples in public seem reasonable. It’s this sort of thirst for escapism that makes you tap the keg at 9 a.m.

Which is what we do. We tap the keg at 9 a.m., because the world is strange and fucked-up and from the perspective of someone who wakes up deeply hung-over on a sailboat surrounded by people wearing pantaloons and spots of vomit from the night before, the only way out is deeper through this god-awful rabbit hole. Deeper, further until the white rabbit of hope and satisfaction is caught and slaughtered mercilessly by confused, coked out pirate mongoloids as Damaged Goods plays a Nirvana cover in the distance.

“Is that ‘Rape Me?’ No? Well who gives a fuck? Smear some more bunny blood on my face, babe, and suck my dick because the whole harbor is watching.”

It is one of the most beautiful mornings of my life.  The sun comes up like a ball of hope, only to illuminate a harbor of shame. There are people passed out on the sand at the beach when we to pick up my friend Jake who chose to sleep with a cougar named Karen. The early morning refuse of a Buccaneer Days party looks like an awful time warp where all the extras for the Papa Roach video “Last Resort” were sucked up in 2000 and dropped off dressed as pirates eleven years in the future.

One major concern for those of us pirates still clasping desperately to what’s left of our souls is hygiene. Yes, there are showers at Two Harbors. You put in seventy-five cents and get ninety seconds, unless the power goes out, in which case you get nothing. When you’re surrounded by water you just don’t see the logic in paying for it. We opt to bathe in the ocean. Considering the amount of boat sewage dumped in the harbor over this weekend this is not wise, but we do not care about these particulars.

I do, however, have another slight problem and that problem is swamp ass. It feels like someone sewed sandpaper to the inside of my ass cheek, which is not beyond the realm of reasonable concern at Buccaneer Days.

I am a man of innovation and being without proper soap or bathing instruments I ask my friend Jake to pump some dish soap down my asscrack before I jump into the ocean. It’s a gamble, but it pays off. With a little scrubbing and a lot of salt water douching, my ass feels next to normal.  Thank God on high.

The day could be considered a grand success. Thirty or so friends including the members of Damaged Goods join us on the boat throughout the day as we binge drink and watch an orgy. It’s good old-fashioned spectator sport. I can feel myself devolving as I watch 50somethings plow each other out and I discuss the relative merits of Neil Peart versus Danny Carey. I glance over the side and the reflection of my face in the water below has a far more pronounced brow than I remember having. When I attempt to stand my knuckles drag on the deck. I attempt to protest, but my voice box and lingual organs can only produce odd grunts and moans. I am becoming ape.

A lovely blond who is strangely pure-looking and yet tolerant of amateur pirating borrows my camouflage jacket. She checks the pocket and finds a condom and my AARP card. She is oddly unoffended. I realize that she doesn’t think I’m a total dirt bag and even if she does, she’s ok with it.  I begin to think too much, which makes me want to piss.

In a microcosm devoid of rules and imbued with a seemingly lax tolerance for exhibitionism, public urination is strangely still a faux pas. Beneath deck my esteemed colleagues are polishing off the rest of the tequila and a line six-deep has amassed to use the last working head on board. I am desperate and have no other course of action. In a very casual maneuver, I pocket the tequila bottle and retire to the forecastle cabin where I piss so much I nearly fill it.The PlayBox hd application has got many awesome features and has loads of amusement for you and your family. It is worked with a remarkable interface to see rapidly. playbox for android is concocted brimming with choices to get additional enjoyment with no cost. Sky HD is another free application; you can make Sky HD download for watching films and every single other toon, and so forth on any gadget.From somewhere I hear faint strands of “Last Resort” being blasted through boat speakers. Someone up top says “P. Roach! Classic!” Things could not get any stranger.

Someone gives me a handful of mushrooms, which I swallow. This will be the only time on psychedelics I encounter a landscape so naturally foreign and absurd as to render the mushrooms ineffective. The combination of Buccaneer Days and Psilocybin was like an existential double negative. The paradox was too much. Mind and liver could not possibly foist any stranger paradigm on my consciousness so both shut down. I spend the night in a haze of apathy. I forgo hand washing. I listen as my coked-out friend tells me how much he loves the world because of its “potential.” I let Skip, the bass player from Damaged Goods, tell me to follow my heart and then I return to the boat where at 3 a.m. I witness three drunken bastards fall into the ocean and I do nothing.  Blessed sleep washes over me.

***

The general consensus on Sunday morning is fuck pirates. This shit has got to end. I am exhausted and without even the slightest landmark of sanity with which to draw a bearing. I opt to take the ferry home and I spend the entire ride wondering what the fuck is wrong with me and if indeed that foul smell in the boat cabin is me, which it is.

At Buccaneer Days there is no middle road to tread. There is no moderation and there is no thoughtful reasoning about the paths of righteousness. There can only be madness. Such is the brutal truth of the matter. In 2011, the only way to escape a mad world is to descend further and further into madness. We all stoke the fires of insanity in a foolhardy attempt to put out the scalding embers of our age with greater flames while the onlooker with the bucket of water is labeled a heretic. I wonder what will become of us. I wonder how big we can get the bonfire before it consumes us all. I have so many questions and, after a weekend like this, absolutely no answers.

I write this now for posterity. It is a cautionary tale. Mothers tell your children not to do what I have done. But yet no matter how stupid and ill-advised and juvenile and cathartic and electric and exciting and completely necessary it was I can’t help but feel silly telling you not to go, if only so I could have it for myself.

by Dan Johnson | @evolvesticker