Assignment #23 : The House Party

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“I grew up watching all these videos of house parties” says Migraine Boy, between sips of Indio beer “and I always wanted to have my own behemoth house party were things get broken, music is performed and every one ends up demolished.”

The warm August trashes a few solo cups. Mixed with the gust of wind is the smell of weed, tobacco and a the usual recalcitrant pollutants floating in the air. It’s the last day at Migraine’s House of Pleasure (TM). Everything has been moved out, except a precarious supply of toilet paper and a few iceboxes. The OXXO in front of the house would have its biggest sale in history, allowing the owner to retire before her 47th birthday.

From the outside, it didn’t look like much. A tiny, lowlit garage. A pair of girls asks Yair about the party inside. He answers and promises a member of Fobia will come and perform. I assume he’s joking. The girls smell the dank smell of sarcasm and merrily walk away, as if we were perverts in a white Econoline van ready to put them in the back of milk cartons.

“Dude, you pushed it” I say to Yair while handling him a beer. “No, really, a dude from Fobia will be around in a while.” We drink up and I make my way upstairs. It’s weird seeing the place empty. There’s a lonesome Radiohead poster in a room that will be occupied by food vendors (organic & artisan, obviously), the bathroom will go the way of Kevin Smith’s The Golgothian after hour number 2 and the living room, conjoined with the kitchen, is the stage.

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And the stage might be a lonely place, especially when it’s your duty to open the festival. That there one man army, Caos del Té, relishes the openness of a living room with good acoustics, raising with clenched fists transients, harmonics and the many bleeps of a drum machine.

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Some numetal follows, with the brisk chug-a-chugs of Día de Furia MX shoving along the small pogo dance that started with Caos del Té. An upside-down Mexican flag, as a way of a distress signal, hung lonely by the amplifier while the bass player wore a hockey mask with the number 43 scrawled upon. Politics and nu-metal, intertwined if you wish them to.

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Diversity keeps things moving. To some, it’s the sign of a schizophrenic line-up, to others, it’s the sweet relief that gives life its flavour. Muuk brings out the synths and a trusty cd mixer and create this rarefied atmosphere. A dashing mix of live electronics and post rock sensorround-like atmospheres.

When I was taking pictures of Día de Furia, a guy kicked my beer, spilling it all over. I said it wasn’t a biggie (they were cheap ass Tecate cans.) He actually looked for me and gave me an ice-cold dark Bohemia. Who says people are pricks?

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The ice cold beer cut through my throat just as Acidandali was starting to connect, tune and pray to a higher deity for inspiration. As they received no answer, they decided to do all miracles themselves. I’m always amazed at the intensity this trio brings to the stage. No technical bravado, no filler, no finger gymnastics, only scorching waves that hit you with an intensity made in the stars. Caos Del Té joined them for the last song and that’s when the moshing got too rough for this old body of mine. I think two members of Acidandali died that day under a human tsunami. Thankfully, they are ethereal beings and can phase back into existence at a moment’s notice.

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I made my way to the rooftop and had a beer with Migraine Boy. This is where we started, isn’t it? The Thin and The Trendy (TM) were spread along the roof, mingling and having a good time. Conversations about drugs were plenty and I took a certain interest on a young couple discussing the pros and cons of trying cocaine. They noticed me and asked if I’ve ever tried it (which is guess was their way of trying to score some.) “I only do caffeine and wine gums” I replied and they scoffed. And they say sarcasm is the shackles of youth, uh, huh. Or was it irony?

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The house was like a convection oven. You could see the heads of many a guest ready to pop like a kernel in a microwave. The lights went out in the middle of Belafonte Sensacional‘s intense set. It mattered not. CFE had the plant but we had the power. Singing along to ‘Lo hice por el punk’ and ‘Valedor’ in an acoustic form spoke louder than anything else. The lights came by and some jerk threw uncooked chorizo links. Then they were thrown again. A part hit me straight in the shin and you could see the little bits of processed meat explode in slow motion as the music intensified.

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Lights were dimming again as Joe Volume & The Hijinks took the stage. I’ve seen him live before, but the close quarters nature of a house gig amplifies the energetic punk blues of the band. The acumen and ferocity of a suicidal messerschmitt is the best analogy I can give y’all. ‘Lies’ and ‘The Kids (still waiting)’ came out from retirement. Even Fobia‘s Paco Huidobro shook off the mothballs and played in a few tracks.

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The ending was absolute chaos. Everyone moshing, guitars being passed, drums being beat like a bloodthirsty tribal dance. It was the ultimate moment and although no windows were smashed and no drums were destroyed, it felt like that approximation to the house parties depicted on the videos was accurate.

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I drove back home alone. The radio was blasting The Payroll Union‘s ‘There’s a light’ and I get back home, wondering when was it that I ripped my denim jeans at the crotch. Was it during Acidandali’s maelstrom? Bits of chorizo inside my pants confirmed that The Rupturing of the Old Navy Blue (TM) happened before Belafonte Sensacional. What a night, what a night. I checked the usual social networks. The ever so salty Journalist of Rock dissed the event, saying that “nowadays all hipsters meetings are called fests.” Aw, was your invite lost? Funny enough, this person was digging to get information on attendance and band performances. Why?

It doesn’t matter. As I dictate this review, I’m driving briskly through Lomas Verdes. I can see the spot where yesterday I saw a dead guy besides his car. Today, the dried oil and blood are caked together, slowly becoming one with the concrete floor. It’s a stark reminder that we will pass on from this life sooner or later. This is the only thing that brings me down from the non-lethal overdose of excitement I had from Migraña Fest.

Words & Photos: Sam J. Valdés López

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