Roadkill 2: Why not?
That is how our whole night started. Andrew and I had just picked up two bags filled with take-out from the Taco Grill, ready to eat our weight in delicious carb-loaded shrimp burritos. But before I could even take that first glorious bite, our good friend Jack sent Andrew a cryptic text about some “art-show-concert-event” happening “somewhere-towards-the-beach-I-think?” That was good enough for us. Why not?
Fifteen minutes later we were all packed into Jack’s new car, headed up PCH in search of something out of the ordinary, but not really sure what. All of our jaws must have dropped in unison when we sped past a giant U-Haul truck parked right besides dog beach, back-end reared up to a huge crowd of people, it’s metal belly purging smoke and Christmas lights. We couldn’t believe our eyes!
Now, I haven’t been to many of these things. Andrew and I only met three years ago, and our childhood "scenes" were sorely disparate. He was some odd combination of a punk and a hipster: urban exploring, running a blog, and if nothing else just being a normal reckless teen. I, on the other hand, was totally a closet punk. I never actually went to local concerts or hung out with angsty kids, but I really wanted to. The cons of being shy are plenty! But I still hid in my room listening to Iggy Pop and Against Me! more times than I can count, drawing shaky sketches of mohawks and ripped jeans. Embarrassing, I know.
But this show was put on by Andrew and Jack’s rad friends, who are hellbent on keeping the local art and music scenes alive. And who could disagree? There was insanely creative art topping every booth, and equally good music bouncing off our eardrums. Artists like Ratfuck and Way-way (who organized the event), WOZ, Jack Bass, Praze, Hanvan, Kameradschaft, LRW, Joneil, Colson, and Owen Sweeny all brought their best. Who knew that our local So-Cal community was so talented? There were boundless paintings, zines, and handmade items for sale, my personal favorite being the Hilary and Trump lizard-people painting crafted on opposite sides of flippable blinds; All you had to do was pull a string to see the double-monstrosity.
Aside from that, there was a surprisingly gnarly lineup featuring Moon Orbit Symphony, Blind Visuals, Coda, Sandcrabs, and Cous-cous. I was particularly fond of Coda, who bore a striking resemblance to The Dead Kennedys, even rocking what seemed to be an ironic patriotic guitar riff. I always fall head-over-heels for those.
But even more entertaining than the live music and fantastic art was the crowd! Angsty teenagers are the absolute best subjects for people watching. They always keep the energy high, whether it be by throwing bottles, lighting huge fireworks, yelling out car windows, brawling, or stage diving into incredibly unsafe human conglomerations. The show was encouraged to be a costume party, so I’ll simply list some of the great costumes that managed to catch my eye: spooky clown, David Bowie, Gene Simmons, vampire (x10), sexy male Twix bar, straight-up lingerie, and who could forget the headless white mannequin that was not a costume at all but an actual mannequin. Why not?
And, as a nice attempt to end the night right, The Spaghetti Boys—a local rap group—rolled up in old-school sweatsuits (minus Nelson, who wore a pink Disney princess windbreaker atop a white turtleneck), cranking beats from the windows of their shanty car. They rapped with no microphones about the classics: butts, Osama Bin Laden, and every other lewd topic imaginable. Why not? I mean, in all honesty they were fantastic...not to mention very brave.
All of this brash, unbridled, spooky fun inspired the moral of this article: why the heck not! What’s stopping you from rolling up the door to a rented U-Haul on the side of the road and throwing a massively successful art-party? Probably the same thing that’s stopping me—courage. That is a hard trait to learn, but it really pays off in the end, as I can now clearly see after attending Roadkill 2. Friendly faces and good music could unite the world, alongside airborne Sugar Babies and risky skateboard stunts. It’s all about living in the moment. So why not?