We went with John to a supermarket where everything was $1 to buy junk to fill piñatas. Packets of candy, light-up Hannah Montana toothbrushes, Jonas Brothers calendars, cloth flower necklaces in the colours of the American flag, that kind of stuff. Going into this, I was so innocent that I hadn’t realised there would be piñatas. I was just a kid who had gone back to Los Angeles for the second time hoping to change her opinion of the city. I finished my menthol in the parking lot and we headed to a barbecue in Silver Lake, one of L.A.’s residential neighbourhoods, a cute rich ghetto with streets even straighter than in San Francisco.
A house like a museum, a big garden shadowed by trees, trash bins filled with ice to keep the beer cold, and a musician hooked up to 100,000 volts, both excited and anxious.
I had only heard two songs by Carina Round, including the one she sings on this video with the rain for a metronome. She doesn’t try to imitate anyone, her songs touch something in me; I love her intensity whether in anger or in sadness. I went to talk to her, and then I let Jeremy and Ryan do it. I smoked my menthols with a Corona in my hand, I blushed every time someone professed their adoration of La Blogothèque, and then Carina came out, sat in the grass, and we followed her, not forgetting our bottles of bubble fluid. It’s always something to see a musician sing with her friends. It makes you shiver, watching those know the words by heart and those who can’t help but smile, those who close their eyes and those who pick up a guitar.
And then we turned our attention to the piñatas, finally. Especially Carina.
If you’re in Hollywood on August 5, make sure you stop at the Hôtel Café.
Translated by Tara Dominguez