EXPLORING THE MUSIC SCENE IN LOS ANGELES
A nightclub on Sunset Boulevard is trapped in adolescence, filled with outcasts and miscreants. Cut to the stage: A garage-punk rock band whirls and whips in total spastic grace, creating a maelstrom. Cut to the bar: two handsome young men provide raucous accompaniment. Cut to the crowd: Two make-out, a girl chases the rabbit down the hole; pas de deux with boy in chucks and girl in plaid. Cut to backstage: girl drinking in dressing room. Her partner lectures her, they go on, she is so lushed she trips over her own feet, falls across the floor, runs offstage. The manager storms back and yells, “Damn those drunken delinquents!” Cut back to the stage: Young frontman puts the entire audience in a trance with an extended solo. They seem to have a trouble growing up. Almost like they are the lost kids from Neverland. I couldn’t help but wonder – is Los Angeles a city that halts the ageing process?
“I never want to grow up. I’m a kid who can never sit and be quiet. I’m a genuine punk and quite frankly, I want no future,” Kourosh Erfanian tells me. Kourosh is a 19-year-old LA-based photographer who immortalises gritty youth in his black and white photographic tributes.
The scene clearly does not yield into capitalistic dynamics; it is merely fuelled by guitar-melting and percussion-pounding sounds. Bands like The Garden Twins, SWMRS, Kim And The Created and FIDLAR have an illusion of invincibility and no mind for consequence. “These are the bands that shape up our culture and they know how to keep the crowd entertained. They wreak havoc, for hell’s sake.” And he is right.
But the best part is the pragmatism and nonchalance in their appearance. It is honest. Not dictated by trends, or any other pompous nonsense. I ask Kourosh that burning question: why does it feel that people refuse to grow up? He looks at me and utters, “Because life shouldn’t be simple and thoughts shouldn’t be mature.”