A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening, in twelve parts

Elysian Park ~ Echo Park, Los Angeles

Elysian Park ~ Echo Park, Los Angeles

Part XII: An Elysian Park Sojourn, The Club Formerly Known as Spaceland and The World According To…

Under normal circumstances, as pleasurable as a vacation is, by the end of it, one is usually looking forward to going home. In my case, however, the vacation was weird, at times stressful and bizarre, at other times like a pleasant daydream filled with warm, engaging people — and I sincerely dreaded returning back to my life as an East Coast recluse. I don’t know why, but things just seemed easier for me there. Even as I struggled to find a happy balance between getting some promised work done, seeing bands, connecting with old and new friends and trying to support my haunted host, it still seemed to flow far more naturally and it all made sense somehow, when things in my life often don’t.

Elysian Park

Even the approach to this mid-city oasis was dramatic and spectacular. On my way up to Elysian Park, taking a left off Sunset Boulevard and then onto Morton Avenue, I was suddenly up on a high perch in a hairpin turn with a heart-stopping view of Los Angeles below. I had a nice head-clearing walk through trails and processed the past twelve days, trying to reconcile how a place that seemed to offer so much for one person could be such an oppressive hell for another. The vastness of a big city can surely be overwhelming, and just as there are a myriad of healthy and vibrant scenes that you can be an integral part of, so too are there smelly little cesspools of despair that you can fall into, if you’re not vigilant. Surely the same is true everywhere. I stand by my assessment that Boston is, at its heart, aggressive, stifling, conservative and not the most welcoming place for an alternative lifestyle. Which is not to say you can’t do it, of course. Some people thrive in adverse conditions. Sometimes “easy” doesn’t always mean “best.”




The Satellite (a.k.a. Spaceland) with Infantree and The Diamond Light

Infantree at The Satellite

Infantree at The Satellite

My final evening in L.A. was spent as my trip began — with some fine, loud rock music. I’ll always know this legendary Silver Lake club as Spaceland, even though it’s now known as The Satellite. Though they changed the name, they’ve kept the distinctive back curtain, because some traditions are important to uphold. On this particular evening, a band called The Janks were playing and came highly recommended by some musician friends. Unfortunately I was feeling pretty wiped out and had an early flight, so I had to bail before they came on. Apologies to them, but I’ll include a bit of their music below, as a consolation prize. I did catch Infantree, who were quite good, and whom I’ve written about here. I had no idea they were playing; it was another of those “happy accidents.” I also caught a few songs from The Diamond Light, though by that time I was seriously fading, so I can’t really give a review that would do justice. I can, however, give you a sample of their music.

To all the cool people I met during my nutty but wonderful trip — I promise to see you again soon.



The World According to Peter Choyce

The inimitable Peter Choyce, in his infamous Echo Park digs.

The inimitable Peter Choyce, in his infamous Echo Park digs.

The time has come for me to introduce you to my generous Echo Park host, Mr. Peter Choyce. Former TV Star and on-air DJ at KXLU in Los Angeles, I am happy to report that he has now successfully extracted himself from his personal hell and is now living in Asheville, North Carolina — healthy (more or less), drug-free and clear-headed with his two loyal companions, Unshkins and Sparky. Healthy and happy? Not exactly. He’s just as angry, sarcastic and unfathomable as ever, but I think maybe some of us prefer it that way.

You can follow Peter’s exploits and commentary (including his hilarious and spot-on “fact-finding mission” from L.A. to Asheville ~ 10/14-10/19) on The Peter Choyce Facebook Page. Coming soon, “Carjacked by a Crackwhore.” Best of luck to you, Peter. It’s never easy. Nor should it be.

Unshkins

Unshkins

Sparky

Sparky

I hope you enjoyed my “Lost and Found” series. Coming soon will be more musings, longer musings, possibly incomprehensible musings. Stay Tuned. But until then, we’ll return you to your regularly scheduled bands.

Late to the saga? Catch up on what you’ve missed ~ Lost and Found: A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening (in twelve parts) ~ Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI

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