When I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I took photographs of No Age and The Smell. Cali DeWitt, who is mentioned in the the No Age piece, maintains an excellent photoblog here. Some of the people you see below, and others mentioned in the piece, appear regularly on his site in entertaining and unusual settings.
No Age's first live performance took place in January 22, 2006 at New Image Art, pictured above. A friend of the band, artist Rich Jacobs, was exhibiting new work when the band played. I am not sure if it was technically an "opening."
Above, Randy Randall stands in front of The Smell's Main Street entrance, which does not grant anyone entry. As of today, those words are still there and, yes, they were painted on. (No PhotoShop.)
The Smell does not serve alcohol. Patrons of age can go next door to New Jalisco to get a drink. While drinking, "you might bump into a lady with a five o'clock shadow," Randy reports.
This is Randy opening the back of the club, which is the actual entrance, on an alley that doesn't have a name (or not one that Randy knew).
This is what you see when the hurricane gate goes up.
This is the area immediately inside the doors. The benches were taken from a van. The communal bookshelf, at left, can be seen more easily in the photo below.
Above are some "exquisite corpse" drawings done by patrons of The Smell. (Beneath these drawings, out of view, is a bike rack.)
The poster above was created before No Age had played its first show. (Notice that the poster is not advertising an appearance or a product.)
This mural of hairy arms was painted by Cali DeWitt. (Below, his palms.) Not sure about the motto pictured after that.
Above is a poster produced for a benefit designed to help fund The Smell's relocation from its former site. Below is a small gallery of posters done by the same artist. Brandon Bussolini reports: "The artist who drew the Smell relocation benefit show poster is named Andy Ward. He used to play guitar in the band Antioch Arrow, who were from San Diego, and was a founding member of Get Hustle." I couldn't find any online gallery of his work or blog—and I actually tried! Again, any and all help appreciated.
Jessie Spears painted the mural above, as well as several others.
Above is a Spears mural situated between the existing bathroom (to the right) and the new, second bathroom (on the left), which is almost completed. Below, the interior of the existing bathroom and a sign next to the bathroom door.
Below is a selection of art hanging (or painted) on the exterior walls of the new bathroom.
Above, we are looking towards the main stage of The Smell. Beyond the stage, sunlight is leaking in through the Main Street entrance.
At the Main Street entrance, the windows are blacked out and the doors are permanently locked. The small space in front of those doors serves as a back stage area. (See above.) Below is the mural on the wall of the main room (partially visible above), and a detail of that mural.
Randy said that the man depicted at right is a homeless man named Daniel who sometimes "works" as "security" at The Smell. Dean formed a band that played one show with Daniel acting as lead singer. Randy did not see the show. Apparently, after being paid for the gig, Daniel disappeared for a while. Then he came back.
Last photo of The Smell. Above is a remnant of the painting that was on the walls of the space when it was a Mexcian grocery store. Below, the artist's signature, and the date of completion.
The backyard of the No Age house, above, and some selected highlights of the yard, below.
Below, the half-pipe behind the No Age house.
Randy with an old poster at the No Age house. Below, some posters that have fared better.
Above, a record cover that almost was.
Randy with a robot that definitely is.
Randy, Jim Smith—owner of The Smell—and Dean Spunt backstage before the Music Box show.
My kind of lame tribute to "Loveless."
We end with Dean and Randy enjoying a meal at Green Leaves, a vegan Thai restaurant that I recommend.
Posted by Sasha at November 16, 2007 12:52 PM | TrackBack