This is the album art for “Costa Mesa Plays Itself,” a piece I’m including as bonus material on the tape edition of “Ben Seretan.” Fifty three glorious minutes of organ drones.
The art is by super-talented comic book artist MJ Robinson (website).
Pre-order the cassette tape from Hope for the Tape Deck, right effing here.
Here are the liner notes:
These sounds are dedicated to the great city of Costa Mesa, California. Crown jewel of Orange County and Venus-in-the-clam shell of the Pacific. May your cheap motels, plentiful and varied types of malls, dive bars, Del Tacos, and lack of crosswalks live forever.
Fifty three glorious minutes of subtly changing synthesized organ, duplicated to tape and re-digitized for that sweet, sweet tape hiss and compression.
Inspiration due to Thom Andersen and his wonderful film “Los Angeles Plays Itself”
Early in high school some friends of mine and I went out for dollar bowling at Kona Lanes (my Mom dropped me off - dollar games, dollar shoe rental). I was in a bowling league there when I was a kid, they served terrible food, and the lanes were vaguely South Pacific-themed, kinda like Tiki Bar Lite. A relic from the days when all advertising in that area was done from roadside signs. And later that night we ran into my brother doing karaoke in the bar. He was stoned and singing Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” He hopped around on the stage, throwing his skinny fist in the air.
Later on, my high school band got a chance to play at the Galaxy theater, a black-carpeted rock venue that inexplicably served dinner. It was the first time I ever played a show with a dressing room, or even a backstage. And we were all pretty impressed to find what was obviously puke stuck to the ceiling. We harassed the promoters endlessly to let us play and filled the room with 16 year olds.
There is no place on Earth quite like the movie theater at Triangle Square in the world, where I saw the Mortal Kombat movie when I was very young.
And the moment I turned 21, I walked 3 blocks to a 7-11 to buy a six pack of beer and drank it in the dark in my mother’s living room.
My friends and I used to go to Norm’s all the time - a 24 hour diner on Harbor Blvd. We went there for breakfast after partying all night before our last night of high school. We went there a few times on New Year’s Eve, and the wait staff let me and my buddies do the countdown over the loudspeaker. They gave us tiny glasses of champagne, winking at us. The great thing about Norm’s is that they never close. In fact, a while ago a car hopped the median and crashed through the walls, taking out a good section of booth seating. No one was hurt, so they threw up some tarps and kept serving tuna melts during construction. They never closed.