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The Plugz, The Eyes, Controllers, Deadbeats @ Echoplex 11/11/07

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Sunday was the book release party for Live at the Masque: Nightmare in Punk Alley. It was fully sold out, and even those who are in with the in crowd were embarassed to be left standing outside, waiting for a friend to get them in. The party went on all afternoon, all evening, and all night. Everyone seems to have forgotten that we aren't 17 years old anymore. By the time we arrived at 7:30, hoping to see The Eyes and The Plugz, people looked as though they had been at a Grateful Dead concert all day. Almost everyone was burnt out and some people were already taking off. The band schedule was all fucked up, big surprise. So we could only hope to see some of the Plugz set before I had to bail at 1130 for work. Of course, my breath of fresh air, Tequila, can somehow party for days at a time so she got me all revved up.

The first band we saw was the Controllers. I had always put them in the same category as the Skulls and didn't think I liked them, but I was really into them. Really into them.

(Lots o pictures after the jump)

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The room was large and dark, with low ceilings. The lights were down so low you had to squint at passers-by to see if you recognized them. The squinting was exacerbated by the fact that this was kind of a 30 year reunion, so people were trying to peer beyond beer bellies, wrinkles and bald spots.

See how big and dark this place was. And sweaty. Just like the good old days.

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The monotonous blackness was occasionally broken up by plush circles of hell

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It was really hard to get anywhere near the front of the stage for the Controllers.

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We found Annette Zalinkas, Linda Kite and Justin Thyme to hang out with. When we could see people, there were actually a lot of familiar faces.

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And then I found my darling Tequila, fresh as a daisy after hours of rockin out.

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The real draw at this event was "The Book." Seriously. It was a BOOK. Not one of these little We Got the Neutron Bomb paperbacks. This was a huge coffee table book, and people were treating it like it was the bible. Thank God they didn't start signing them like high school yearbooks. But it definitely explained why none of us had been able to get review copies.

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The fabulous Miss Trudie, stairway model of the Masque.

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I was so excited The Eyes were going to play. (Go-Go's guitarist Charlotte Caffey, the Metro Squad's Joe Ramirez and X drummer D.J. Bonebrake) It took them a few songs to get their groove on some shaky covers, but pretty soon they had it tight. I usually sidle into the crowd from the side, but there was just no way the crowd was parting for this. I just couldn't get my shots.

There was a gigantic slampit, almost touching the stage. I finally went for the last resort and just threw myself right into the slampit.

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I have been pushed and jostled and punched by the slampit, but I have never intentionally stepped into one since I was 15. Once you are swallowed up in the vortex, you had better get with the rhythm. Once you are actually in the circle, you better move with the circle. So I fucking slammed my 41-year-old ass off. It is just like riding a bike. Luckily these guys were older and knew proper slamming etiquette, so they just pushed and elbowed - no punching. A few guys gently took me by the waist and led me around the circle. Like boy scouts helping an old lady across the street. As soon as the vortex neared the stage, I hopped off at the next station. I got some pretty good shots. Not to mention great pictures of all of the guys flying over my head. Priceless.

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I made DJ blue just like me. Now he and Diana will have to raise me as one of their own.

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At some point the Billybeats played, which is probably while we were outside getting cooled down a little.

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Bass player and DJ Adam Bomb/Pat Hoed cannot keep the girls off of him.

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And of course, punk rock documentarian film-maker Dave Markey was on hand.

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We also ran into FEAR frontman Lee Ving, and Mary, who looked like she'd had just about enough reminiscing for the night.

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I saw Masque stairway model Hellin watching the band, so I looked over and sure enough, Paul was on keyboards. The Deadbeats! Yeah! Bob is so in love with their Kill Hippies song he sings it in the car, which I find very disconcerting because it sounds just like Kill E-lise, Kill E-lise.So I snapped a photo of Hellin and ran off (photographing people is a form of greeting in my country. It is like aloha. It can mean both hello and goodbye). Now that I look at the pic, is appears that Hellin was with Miss Shimonee's brother. So there was Lorna, and Don Bolles - the only Germ I did not see was Pat.

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Of course, Pat may have been hanging out over in the giant plush circle of hell.

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As I neared The Eyes, I was stuck about three people from the stage. It looked hopeless. There was no slampit to dance through. I didn't know how I'd ever make it to the stage. Suddenly, a hand reached out, grabbed me by the collar and pulled me out of the masses like a drowning child. It turned out to be my wild set-list collecting friend, and she just set me up right in front of that stage. No one said shit to her.

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Paul and another Deadbeat

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After a day of very quick stage changes, it took forever for them to set up the Plugz drums. We were all getting antsy. They hadn't even set up the pedals yet.

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Brendan Mullen got up onstage to say a few words, mostly, "Where the hell are the Plugz?" They ran out, plugged right in and were ready to go. Some guys can just plug right in like that. No pedals at all. And Tito has a rad stage presence. Lots of intensity, sprinkled with jumps and poses.

Oh yeah, Tito, that's right, it's just you and me in this room, just you and me.

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The bass player, Barry, taped his set list on the mike right where it would cover his face. Little did he know the danger to his face with my maniacal little set-list snatching friend so close.

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When he was not hiding his face, he appeared to only show up like black light posters from the 70s. Weird.

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So OK, let's all just swoon over Tito some more. Hiiiiii Tiiiiito!!!!

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Sadly, I had to bail mid-way through the Plugz historic set. And they were going to play Electrify Me in its entirety! It is a tragedy. And even more so now that I am considering the fact they may have had a secret Germs show in the works. I had thought it was bullshit when Cake started on about that. But I have a mortgage to pay, so off I go to the salt mines. I guess we'll just have to leave it to the next generation...

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All photos by Elise for LAist