Army Navy, one the finest bands to come out of Los Angeles in probably the last 10 years, has put out a new video, directed by veteran young writer/director Mark Schoenecker and featuring Martin Starr(Freaks and Geeks.) The well respected group has enjoyed steadily increasing popularity since they burst onto the scene several years ago. Their latest video, for the song titled “World’s End,” is a refreshingly unassuming masterpiece. In this era of illiterate Ke$ha softcore, and perplexingly popular yet total cheeseball songs like “I Wanna Be A Billionaire,” director Schoenecker refreshingly manages to capture the golden age of Sunset Strip innocence and combine it with 21st century, contemporary appeal. Stylistically, “World’s End” is seemingly modeled after the old music variety shows like Shindig, which once dominated television airwaves and introduced many famous musical acts. Yet, this is not really a “retro” video. Rather it represents a return to lost fundamental standards of taste, and attention to long abandoned qualities like color usage, ambiance, and subtlety. In other words, it is the future we now live in, the way we’ve always hoped it would be.
The plane landed rather hard and kind of awkwardly swerved a few times on the runway. The pilot even joked about it over the loudspeaker “And after that crash landing… welcome to L.A!”
I caught a cab to Mark Schoenecker’s place on Sunset and LaCienega. It’s hard to believe he’s lived there 10 years, but swoosh! Just like that, there they went. I hopped the fence, and the first thing I noticed was that it’s not as sturdy as it used to be. The thing is held together by like twist ties now, and feels as though it could collapse at any moment while you’re climbing it. Old habits be damned, I’ve decided to use the gate code from now on.
When I got into his apartment, Mark wasn’t home… naturally. I attempted to play a 45 record, “Turn Down Day” by The Cyrkle. It played the song at a slightly slower speed, and then the record player died. Apparently the motor is bad but every three months or so you can turn it on, and it will manage to play half of a song. I had dinner at Poquito Mas(studio plate) and wandered around Sunset for a bit. Drank a tall can of Pabst blue ribbon and fell asleep in the mustard yellow living room chair, until Mark got home and woke me up.
Saturday was the party at VJA’s house in Malibu that I flew in for. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time. I met some new people I’m not likely to see for quite a while and wish I could see more of. Sitting on the deck, overlooking the beach I thought to myself “There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.” I love old friends. I never forget them, and the ones who never forget me are the ones I love the most.
Sunday, after riding around in their Volvo listening to “Sounds of the 70’s,” (whoa-ho it’s magic…you knowwww”) I had lunch at the Beverly Center with Greg and Mark. We talked about that rapper dude “Dolla” that got shot there, and Schoenecker floated some of his own theories about the unresolved death. We walked around Melrose for bit, went into some stores but didn’t buy anything. Sunday evening we were lucky enough to have dinner with Alex Berg at Cafe Med. She discussed her dating misadventures, and we listened attentively and occasionally chimed in with some bad advice or the sort of useless insight you’d expect out of the type of guy she’s probably never been involved with. She wanted us to go with her to The Darkroom, but Mark absolutely would not go. I really did actually want to go, but it just didn’t materialize.
Monday I met up with Kathy and we walked for a long time and then had brunch somewhere on Melrose before she drove me to the airport. I tried to wake Mark up to say goodbye, but he didn’t awaken. So I left him a note on his fridge that said something like “Thanks Mark! Be sure and go down on someone on my behalf love, b.a.” Knowing him that note will probably fossilize itself there for several years.
So I got to see Neon Indian last night, which was great. It was crowded though and smokey so I left after a few songs. Man. people in Austin LOVE to smoke cigs. They are all so oblivious about it too. They are just like “hey I’m Texas! Fuck y’all. Eat my smoke!” It’s annoying because inhaling all their carbon monoxide wreaks havoc on my sinuses and makes me all mucousy.
So, as I was walking down 7th street toward the Beauty Bar, who did I run into but my old friend and roommate Abe from Treasure Mammal…who I lived with at Del Rio in Fall 2003. He was in town playing some shows. He asked me if I was playing, but I told him I was just here promoting stuff.
Also something amazing happened on Friday night I was strolling around 6th street in tourist hell…and I saw a dude that looked just like someone I knew back in the day…guitarist Dan Flynn. So texted Mark Schoenecker and told him there was a Flynn doppelganger at South By Southwest…and he was like “That’s Him!”
So I went up to him, and we bro’d out for a bit. Turns out he was here with his band “Kings Go Forth” to play a bunch of shows. They are playing at The Galaxy Room tonight so I have to remember to go. One time when we were kids he went to school with a girl that I liked…so I told Flynn to make up this story about how he and I were at a party together and that “some fresh girl was on my tip” in order to make her jealous or create the illusion that I was likable to the opposite sex. BUT what ended up happening is when he told her that in the cafeteria she was like “Brandon! I fucking hate that kid.” And she tried to get people to kick my ass…but they didn’t because one of the guys’ girlfriends went to MY school and she lived by me so I gave her a ride home everyday. True story.
Finally, last night the most outlandish thing happened: It was late at night, around 2 or , and I was watching drunk broads come out of the bar and eyeballing them…when a sober girl came up to me and said “what’s up”. So I said hi, and then she was like “Are you from Phoenix?” and I was like “yeah.”
She said she’s seen me around a lot, especially at Casey Moore’s! She thanked me for making the trip all the way out here and we high fived…which is as close as I got to a make out session last night as I wasn’t in the mood to bottom feed or settle because that just gives you buyer’s remorse later and makes you want to cry in the shower.
Today is cold as balls! and windy too
For some reason, I have had the Tears For Fears song “Head Over Heels” in my head for a couple days, which reminds me of the hallway scene from Donnie Darko, a movie which I remember when it was being filmed. I knew it would become sort of a cult classic, and I went ad far as to research the casting agent and try to get on it as an extra but wasn’t ever able to get ahold of anyone.
I did however manage to be in several scenes of the Kirsten Dunst movie “Crazy Beautiful”(which at the time had a working title of “At Seventeen”) which did not become a cult classic and is a mostly forgotten piece of shit. In fact, I was so poor at the time that the money I spent on the bus back from Palisades High School where it was shot, was literally my last dollar.
One of the scenes that my friend Mark Schoenecker and I worked on in this film, was in the bleachers of a high school football game. And they made us stand there and hold up these cardboard people to make it look like there were more people in the stands than there actually were. After about 5 minutes, Schoenecker was like “Fuck this, man, let’s get out of here. I’m not going to be holding up one of those cardboard MF’s.” So put down our cardboard counterparts, and we just up and left without getting paid or anything.
I still have never seen the film, as there were a couple close up scenes.. and I was so malnourished in that era that I’m mortified of what I must look like in it if they used any shots that I was in.
The first thing i noticed while i was back in L.A. this weekend, was that the guys were all the same as i remember, but all the girls i once knew were nowhere to be found. They have all been replaced by a newer and younger generation of 16 and 17 year old girls. Friday night i drank a ton with Schoenecker, and went with Britt to spider club where we did not stay very long. Then i went back to mark’s and drank more with mark, peter, alex, gia, dylan etc. Saturday Victoria called me and i went out to eat with her, and hung out with her for a few hours. We almost died a couple times in her car, but it would have been worth it to die hanging out with such a remarkable young woman. Anyway, sunday night i ran into mike runion at star shoes. I heard someone yell “no way!” and then call my name i turned around and it was him. The last time i saw him was 3 years ago when i lived at defacto death camp on santa monica and fairfax with mike, dallas, dean, jacy, the egyptian, etc. and i stole stuff from them, owed them money, packed up and moved out while they were asleep. Mike said it was all water under the bridge though and that “it fit in with my character to do something like that anyway”. It’s amazing how some things never change, among my many thousands of walks down sunset years ago, i’ve had millions of things yelled at me by the ignorant masses… everything from “look it’s beck! he looks shorter in real life” to “hey gay guys, wanna’ buy a stereo?”. Then alas, sunday afternoon i was minding my own business when a kinda pretty but dumb girl drove up and told me i was “really hot for a gay boy!”. I told her i was “very flattered but indeed not gay”. She asked me to marry her. I said i would but when she motioned for me to come with her, i was too shy, so she blew me a kiss and drove away. Hmm, and can someone please tell me how i can eat at Poquito Mas three times in one day, and still only weigh 125? So i shall save up my money to move back to Los Angeles as it is clearly the place i belong. I figure i shall need around $20,000 which means i need to release my album on the double and sell my soul again. In other news i noticed i have a gihugic hickey on my neck, and i also moved today into abe’s old room. Who loves the sun? bah bah bah bah…. not just anyone.