Recently I was given shit by my friends for *still* partying at Ghost Town. (Ghost Town, you know, that big brick warehouse on 25th & San Pablo where Shannon & The Clams played like every weekend in 2009, but now it’s covered in graffiti and no one goes there anymore.) I mean, I know some of the people who live there still, and every once in a while I’ll engage in some 2009-when-Shannon-&-the-Clams-still-played-there-esque type partying (if you know what I mean). But they’re right – what am I still doing partying at Ghost Town in 2012? Sometimes I wonder if some of my newer party friends even know the social significance of Ghost Town. How it once used to be the Oakland scion of all the best parties ever worth going to. A big, 2 story warehouse, dark and maze like, with a suspiciously overpriced bar and only the best of garage rock bands on the bill.
The demise of Ghost Town seemed to coincide nicely with the fall of garage & psych rock from the forefront of musical popularity in Oakland. Fuzzplex is gone, too, and if I were to list the number of underground venues that have gone under since I started partying here in 2004, this would become a rather long winded and boring post. This is just a touch of social commentary on the evolution of the party scene in this beloved city we live in, and as popular tastes in music shift from a 70’s inflected guitar sound to more electronic, integrated, 2012 music, it’s time for everybody to admit that a party with Antwon headlining at Rec Center is the epitome of partying in Oakland today.
As I continue to cross paths with old friends from the Oakland Garage Rock Hey Day, one thing’s for sure: the drugs. Oh my god. The drugs. You do not know how many people have bounced in and out of rehab, go to AA meetings, are schlepping through the gutter on a heroin addiction or have just plain blown their brains out with blow. Garage Rock partying seemed to favor opiates, of the intravenous and smoke-able variety, and the holy grail of drugs: cocaine. Alcohol and pot being givens in any party situation, but the garage affinity for heroin seemed to be, at the end, what really put it all over the edge. What made everything fester. What made it disgusting.
In the modern day incarnation of the party scene, it seems that Xanax and molly is the en vogue intoxication cocktail, with a daily prescription for Adderall and the omnipresent baggies of cocaine also being generally acceptable.
You know, drugs are fucking whatever. People who talk/rap/tweet/write about the drugs they do – that’s some amateur bull shit, y’all. As is addiction, and everybody else is pretty much just counting the days before the prettier ones in the scene start modifying their behavior and the rest start falling off. The party carnage out there is getting gruesome, and for those of you who are not equipped with the skills to wage the war of your own self destruction – well, I highly suggest you invest in some 5-HTP & Milk Thistle supplements as soon as it’s convenient.
In the meantime, remember that cigarettes make you wrinkly, alcohol makes you fat, cocaine makes you chronically cantankerous, ecstasy makes you depressed, Xanax makes you an ungodly ball of fried nerves, heroin makes you in constant pain, Adderall makes you a tweaker, and all of those characteristics in one person makes for one hugely unfuckable bundle of saggy hot mess repulsiveness. Know your limits.