I’ve been wanting to be friends with Kerry Caldwell since she came into my work and silently drank a Firestone Walker Double Jack at the bar alone. Then, she got hired at Belmont Brewing Company, found a fiancé and now is to be up at 4AM to brew kick ass beer unlike anything the restaurant has ever served (no offense, Blackwell). This schedule severely cuts down on girl hangout time, but does not diminish my admiration for her and all her pink booting! You go, girl!

Q & A With Kerry Caldwell, Assistant Brewer at Belmont Brewing Company: Updating Classics, Bragging Rights + How To Be A Lady Brewer

kerrycaldwell1.jpg
Sarah Bennett

In the late 1990s, Long Beach’s Belmont Brewing Companywas at the top of its game. With a longtime homebrewer named David Blackwell at the helm, beers from BBC — which is the oldest operating brewpub in Southern California — began picking up awards at local and international contests. Soon, its Strawberry Blonde became one of the first L.A.-area beers to be bottled and sold in stores.

Since then, however, the craft beer world has changed drastically and BBC’s decade-and-a-half-old pale ale, stout, golden ale and amber recipes — once on the forefront of the industry — have been little competition for the aggressive flavors and experimental styles of modern-day brewers.

Kerry Caldwell — Blackwell’s assistant brewer since last summer — is slowly changing all that.

As one of only two female commercial brewers in the greater Los Angeles area (the other, Caldwell’s friend Hayley Shine, is the brewmaster at Rock Bottom Long Beach), the Idaho-via-Placerville transplant has brought about some small but much-needed updates to Belmont Brewing’s beer program, which today also extends to a sister BBC — Bonaventure Brewing Company, inside the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A.

From suggesting different yeast strains for their year-round brews to making new seasonal beers based on her own recipes (think: black IPAs and British-style old ales), Caldwell is coaxing the independently successful BBCs back into craft-beer relevance.

We caught up with Caldwell early one morning as she watched over a boiling kettle of beer (while wearing pink rain boots) and talked about being a new female in the industry, breaking Blackwell out of his shell and why BBC will probably never brew a triple IPA.

READ MORE AT LAWEEKLY.COM

So all of the papers I’ve been writing about Sublime have for the first time paid off in a published piece for the OC Weekly music blog in which I took a moped tour of all of the Long Beach locations mentioned in the police chatter in the song “April 29, 1992” and wrote a piece about the meaning of it all. I think it turned out really well and it was also probably one of the weirdest ideas I’ve ever had.

A previously unpublished photo of my moped in front of the former site of On’s Junior Market (now A-Cherry liquor) on Anaheim St. in Long Beach.

We Check Up on the Long Beach Addresses in Sublime’s Riot Song “April 29, 1992 (Miami)”

Yesterday marked 20 years since the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King incited several days of violence and looting in South Central Los Angeles. But it’s also been 20 years since a similarly motivated uprising erupted in nearby Long Beach, resulting in numerous arrests and causing extensive damage throughout the central and northern parts of town. This rarely gets mentioned in reports of the infamous L.A. Riots.

Chuck D of Public Enemy once famously said that rap music is the black CNN, but in the case of this civil unrest in oft-forgotten Long Beach, it was local ska/punk/reggae/hip-hop/everything band Sublime’s song “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” that became the city’s own news network.

Released on its 1996 multi-platinum self-titled album, the song reports on the burning buildings and felony committers of the band’s hometown in the days following the not-guilty verdict. Using actual Long Beach Police Department radio transmissions and verses that describe personal involvement in the pillaging, it gives a localized account of the Long Beach riots (complete with street addresses of the destruction).

To some, it might seem inflammatory that pseudo-reggae white boys would write a song about participating in racially motivated violence and looting (our friends at the SF Weekly recently wrote that they were “piggybacking on a riot”). But the rioting Sublime writes about is not the iconic Normandie and Florence chaos that continues to define the days following the end of the Rodney King trial. The song is about how the riots affected them and others in Long Beach, a city nearby yet worlds apart from neighboring South Central (and its pent-up racial tension). If you’ve ever been to the mostly working-class port city of nearly 500,000 people — which remains the most statistically diverse city in the country — you know what we mean.

READ THE REST AT OCWEEKLY.COM

thesis vomit #3

March 4, 2012

Segregating Sound was an interesting book to me conceptually as it aimed to expose “the truth” about racial politics in Southern music. We continue to see music in dichotomies–black/white, urban/rural, folk/pop–but Karl Hagstrom Miller exposes these dichotomies as having no basis in reality, plaing them instead as concoctions of a music industry that we also recently read about in David Suisman’s Selling Sounds. In the process, Miller uses songs from the era to expose the South as a place that was more racially fluid than we would like to believe, where musians who were able to “play fast and loose with musical styles and show a conscious disregard for the color line that was coming to charactarize the Jim Crow South” were regarded as professionals (p. 54).

But of course, the idea that blacks and whites BOTH listened to blues and BOTH listened to pop music wasn’t a popular selling point in a social world so defined by skin color. So critics, historians and the music industry as a whole resorted to the easiest way to tell this story–emphasizing the differences between these two groups instead of the shared culture that was apparent at the time. Folk “maintained an assumption of isolation…and separated it from its surroundings” (p. 87), which is a completely false assumption since no art is created in a vacuum.

I feel that my research on Long Beach is grappling with a similar dillema of erasure and feel that it is my work to expose the true origins of music and reinsert it into the discourse like Miller. The few artists from Long Beach that have made it into the mainstream are marketed as “authentic” working class musicians, but no attention is given to the hidden histories and intersections that led to these diverse and hybrid working-class sounds. Like those blues musicians who also loved and performed pop music in the Jim Crow South, bands such as Sublime and artists such as Nate Dogg are never recognized for their deeper influences of roots reggae, pop songs and gospel music, all of which swirled throughout the city in the 1980s.

This erasure (or prehaps a never-written) of Long Beach’s music history was constructed similarly by the industry as a way to sell sounds without bogging down Sublime in Rastafarian rhetoric or Nate Dogg in uncool gospel and white-written new wave jams. It’s not, at least, for lack of their own admittance. There is a great interview with Nate Dogg in Vice Magazine where he talks about the gospel influences he picked up from his grandma’s–even proclaiming that he has “a gospel voice”–as well as the fact that he had equal love for the Thompson Twins and New Edition. At the time of gangster rap’s height in the early 90s, the emphasis became on the aggressive black vs. white themes that seemed to arise out of the police-hating genre. MTV didn’t want to admit that a Crip listened to the Thompson Twins, so it was just left out.

VS

(also note that “These Days” is a song about how hard it is to not be in a gang, the antithesis of gangster rap)

Same thing could be said for Sublime, whose singer Bradley Nowell loved, idolized and worshipped Jamaican dub and reggae artists just as much as he did East coast rappers. In Long Beach, Nowell’s love of black music seemed normal, but that fact that he was a former punk rock white dude probably didn’t bode well for record labels trying to map out a publicity scheme. White boys playing reggae living half a town away from gangster rappers hating on whites? The industry probably could not wrap its head around how to explain it, so just like Robert Johnson playing pop songs from New York, it just didn’t.

thesis vomit #2

February 15, 2012

David Suismans Selling Sounds is an in-depth look into the first few decades of the music industry. It dissects the organizations and businesses that helped turn music into a cultural commodity, thus changing the way America listened to music. Arguably, we are witnessing a revolution of similar proportions in the music industrythe internet is altering musics value and changing our listening habits.

But are these changes really so new?

Earlier this week, I met with Avi Zahner-Isenberg, the frontman and “weird little genius” (as my friend put it) for Avi Buffalo, one of the few Long Beach bands to make it outside of the citys music scene since the 1990s. At 18, the members (then seniors at Milliken high school) got signed to Sub Pop Recordsthe Seattle-based home of Nirvana and Sonic Youth, among othersreleased a self-titled record and toured the world.

Despite Avis far-reaching musical influences, he admitted to me that he wasnt very tactile with his music and mostly downloaded it online. This surprised me, mainly because of my experience with other Long Beach musicians (see my previous post on Dennis Owens) and their voracious vinyl collecting.

Reading Selling Sounds, though, has put this assumed consumption in perspective. Music recorded on discs was not the traditional way music was listened toin fact, music was always fixed in a certain time and place of its performance, not embedded in objects. But we have lived for more than a century with music being audible in so many environments and with the economic value of music so extensively and meticulously cultivated (p. 240) that imagining a world where recorded music becomes intangible is almost blasphemy.

Avi, of course, doesn’t see this intangibility as another “affront to the integrity of the listening experience” (p. 245)as many critics of mechanization in the musical soundscape argued in its early years. Instead, he just sees it as a way for him to be able to have multiple musical experiences he wouldn’t have otherwise had. In actuality, the internet and music downloading have reverted us back to the time periods covered in Selling Sounds in two ways.

In one way, we are returning to a time of musical temporality, where live performances created music that existed in the consciousness of those who experienced it similar to the way that music is stored in the ethereal “cloud” of the internet. Today, as then, music does not necessarily exist physically. In another way, however, downloaded songs have reverted us back to the Tin Pan Alley days of single-song consumption. Avi’s generation is not downloading entire albums, but individual songs, similar to how sheet music and 45s were sold in the early days of the music industry.

Whether or not the music industry “created a culture of degraded listening” (p. 255) is still up to debate, but what is certain is that today’s music consumers are still consuming. It may not be in the material way that we have grown accustomed to (the foundations of which are laid out in Sounds), but it is still consumption. Now what to make of Spotify…?

thesis vomit 1

January 30, 2012

My thesis is currently a lead sandwich in my stomach, a thorn in my side and a big pounding headache that prevents me from doing anything else except stare at a blank page and attempt to write it. Luckily some of my other class material coincides with the various things I’m thinking about and I am required to blog about it. So consider this first in a potential series of idea vomits that are helping me trudge through both my thesis and my class simultaneously.

Tia DeNora’s “Music in Everyday Life” focuses mostly on the findings of field work conducted among indvidual listeners and their interactions, uses, embodiments and semiotic relationship to music. Because my research interests lie prior to fan interaction–in the people and places that result in the creation of music–I became discouraged that this book would have little to help me as it was looking at the process through a different lens entirely. But through interviewing Long Beach musicians for my thesis, I realized that all music creators are also music listeners and if I thought of musicians’ outputs as extensions of their musical selves, then DeNora’s concept of a musically constructed self is extremely useful.

Though we are all not defined exclusively by our musical tastes, there are many ways in which “musical materials are active ingredients in identity work” (p. 68). DeNora’s book does not specifically analyze the importance of place in these musical/identity practices, however, she does acknowledge that if someone listens to a wide range of music, it is in “relation to their self identity and socio-cultural situation” (p. 73). To me, this takes into account the fact that listening to a wide range of music is a socio-cultural privelage, based on access to different kinds of music either through traveling, internet familiarity or interaction with various musical forms in everyday life.

For musicians from Long Beach, I see it as a combination of the three. In honor of DeNora’s use of field work quotes, I will let the words of one of my thesis subjects, Dennis Owens, prove this point for me.

“People always talk about how the Beatles were a paradigm shift and they were, but James Brown is equally as important. It’s apples and oranges. To me, he’s my Beatles. That was the music that changed me and blew my mind initially. That and punk. They’re both energetic music. Punk is moving at its most basic level, just look at the dancing involved in it. It makes kids lose their shit. Made me lose my shit. Fuck, man, when you’re 14 years old and you listen to Bad Brains and Minor Threat, that shit is the best music in the world. You can’t even fuck with that. Everything else sucks. Except for the Specials and Selectra and all that. When I first heard Group Sex by the Circle Jerks and In God We Trust, Inc. by Dead Kennedys when I was a kid, I can’t even describe it. I’d never heard anything like that. I just knew when I heard it, this is for me right here. This is it. Everything else on the radio just doesn’t compare.”

With so many different styles of music influencing him so greatly, Owens is a consummate Long Beach musician. Growing up in a diverse port town attached to the growing International city of Los Angeles in the late 80s/early 90s, he had access to a wide array of music with which to use as a “material rendering of self-identity” (p. 69). He was provided with “material markers of his multi-faceted personality that allowed him to spin the tale of ‘who he is’ to himself and others” (p. 72) and with that musically formed identity, Owens went on to influence others through his musical endeavors. Since 1990, Owens has remained a pillar in the music scene first as the singer for influential 3rd-wave ska band Suburban Rhythm, then as a DJ at his monthly funk club Goodfoot and currently by playing bass for the experimental jazz/hip-hop/dub/indie-rock band Free Moral Agents.

In shorter terms, Owens’ identity as described through the music that affected him is comprised of classic funk bands, local and national hardcore punk bands and underground 2nd wave ska. And the music he has made reflects that diverse identity, formed through his listening and meaning making of the music he discovered as a teenager.

Below is a sonic result of Owens’ musically formed identity, an early song by Suburban Rhythm–the best Long Beach band that never made it! (Owens is crowdsurfing in the photo on the album cover).

BA MAG

January 20, 2012

Finally had a chance to scan in my first two bylines for Beer Advocate Magazine, which is the monthly publication of beeradvocate.com. Since they don’t put their mag’s stories on the website, I have to scan them in for non-subscribers to read, but if you’d like to subscribe, it’s pretty cheap and each issue contains a wealth of craft beer information including trends, interviews, beer reviews and more!

The January issue features lots of Long Beach love including an interview with Julian Schrago at Beachwood BBQ and BRewing (not done by me) and a roundup of local bars and bottle shops as part of the magazine’s “Destinations” series (done by me). I also wrote a little side bar about creative funding methods for upstart breweries that was used in the main feature story about new breweries that opened in 2011. Next up for me and BA: a feature on the intersection of craft brewing and craft distilling. Keep an eye out for it in the March issue!

CLICK THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER IMAGE

back to the roots

November 23, 2011

As published in the December issue of City Beat.

Kwanzaa—the creation of a Cal State LB professor and activist—showcases the importance of African culture

Though its history is much younger than the other holidays celebrated during this time of year, Kwanzaa is by no means less significant. Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a way for African-Americans to honor their shared heritage and culture, the seven-day celebration (Dec. 26 to Jan. 1) has become an important holiday for blacks worldwide.

The word Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza (which translates roughly to “first fruit”), and the holiday’s template is loosely based on traditional pan-African harvest festivals. But that is where any precedent stops. As an internationally celebrated, non-religious, non-heroic, non-political African-American holiday, Kwanzaa is a unique experience that encourages unity among those of African descent and attempts to preserve common African culture.

Dr. Karenga—a leading theorist during the ’60s Black Power Movement who is now a professor of Africana Studies at Cal State Long Beach—organized Kwanzaa around a set of communitarian African values, called the Nguzo Saba. These seven principles include Umoja (unity), Kujicahgulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujama (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). Each day of Kwanzaa focuses on one of these driving principles and is expressed through the lighting of colored candles, dancing, reciting poetry and the giving of appropriate gifts.

In addition to the daily celebrations, Kwanzaa calls for a central place in the home to be dedicated to the construction of a Kwanzaa Set—a display of the holiday’s symbolic objects. Central to this is the kinara, a candleholder that carries the seven candles—three red, three green and one black—as well as a Unity Cup, the filling and sharing of which is a central Kwanzaa ritual.

While Kwanzaa was originally directed at a small group of activists, it gained popularity as interest in multiculturalism expanded in the late 1980s and has since coexisted alongside Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations for both black and white families nationwide. Though estimates of the number of people who celebrate the holiday worldwide vary—from 250,000 to 40 million—Los Angeles has multiple Kwanzaa celebrations, several of which take place in Long Beach including one at the Long Beach Senior Center and another annually organized by Village Treasures, an African art store near downtown.

sitting in a waiting room

October 17, 2011

Originally published online here.

Album Attack: Fugazi’s 13 Songs at The Prospector Saturday Night

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David Thornton

Album Attack, Fugazi’s 13 Songs
October 15, 2011
The Prospector

As has become the custom in Long Beach, a hodgepodge-supergroup of local musicians took the stage at The Prospector on Saturday to play through an influential indie album in its entirety. In the spotlight this month–Fugazi’s 13 Songs.

The monthly shows–know as Album Attack–are performed by a one-time-only band, curated exclusively for each show by the concept’s creator, current cover-and-karaoke-band guru Jesse Wilder. Long Beach’s Fugazi included singer Warren Woodward, guitarist and singer Josh Teague, bassist Travis Laws and drummer Thad Paulson, four seasoned area musicians who were chosen for their ability to execute the frenetic energy found in the post-hardcore band’s first full-length release.

But before they ripped into the seminal 1989 album, opening act Sassafrassprimed the crowd by channeling chugging riffs and scratchy wails like early Black Sabbath or Motorhead. Though they were down a member–the Mike Watt-recommended bassist was apparently at a high school reunion–the two guitarists switched off bass duties, dropping keys mid-song as if it were their schtick.

About halfway through their set, my cohort explained that there are two types of bands that play guitar-driven cock rock: guys with too much testosterone and stoners. Judging by Sassafrass’ sped-up funk lines and prog-guitar tendencies, we both agreed they were definitely the latter.

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Sarah Bennett

Our homegrown self-described Fauxgazi came out next, confidently tearing into 13 Songs despite the nervousness they must have felt playing such a defining album for their generation. Debates had raged earlier in the night over other Fugazi albums that should have been covered instead, but the band’s spot-on rendition of opener “Waiting Room” was a reminder of why 13 Songs won out.

It might not be a solid compilation of Fugazi’s finest work, but 13 Songs is an early testament to their raw sound of latent punk energy as it crashed into melodic emotionalism on its way out of ’80s hardcore. It shows the unrefined-yet-controlled style that initially drew listeners to Fugazi and, as an early recording, is fitting source material for an Album Attack band that barely has a month to find their own dynamic.

All veterans of the local music scene, the members of LB’s Fugazi replicated the 13 songs with ease.

Paulson nailed all of Brendan Canty’s aggressive rhythms, Teague’s masterful shredding turned his black cowboy shirt into a sweat-swimsuit, mop-topped Woodward sang some of Guy Picciotto’s lyrics while staggering into the crowd and Laws’ intensive bass-playing ensured if any mistakes were made, no one would stop moving long enough to hear it. The band even went beyond their required setlist and played two extra Fugazi songs, “Reclaimation” and “Blueprint.”

While maybe not an “authentic” punk rock show–no one started a pit and no one left shirtless–the intimate venue and talented local musicians made the fourth installment of Album Attack a success. Though rumors are floating around of a Rentals-album rehash in the future, we can only look forward Wilder’s next announced move–November’s Album Attack will be The Replacements’ Let It Be.

Critics Bias: I’ve been looking forward to this show since the Album Attack series began.

The Crowd: Enthusiastic thirtysomething friends of the Fugazi band members and the regular crop of whiskey-swilling Long Beach musicians.

Overheard in the Crowd: “This is fucking rad!”

Random Notebook Dump: The rhythm section is killing it!!!

concrete canvas

September 23, 2011

HELPDESK wheat paste on the side of the Acres of Books building on Long Beach Blvd.

With stickers and posters, street artist HELPDESK finds space for his works everywhere

as published in the october 2011 issue of city beat long beach

If you’ve walked, biked or driven around Long Beach at any point in the last year, then you’ve seen the bleeding cameras, hooded children and hand-painted nautical scenes from local street artist HELPDESK.

“It’s instant gratification,” the artist says of his growing number of posters, stickers and stencils found in public view around the city. “People try all their lives to become artists or photographers and see their work on a billboard or in a gallery. I could pick a spot and put a poster there and see my work.”

It’s this immediacy that still draws HELPDESK—a lifelong photographer-turned-street artist who likes keeping his true identity anonymous—to see utility boxes, stop signs and abandoned buildings as part of his own urban canvas. And in Long Beach particularly, the canvas is pretty blank.

From Latino gang tagging in the ’70s to the skate-punk inspired images of the ’90s, Los Angeles has always held a crucial role in pioneering new styles in the street art world. But until recently, Long Beach seemed destined to live in the shadow of the thriving scene to the north. Even Long Beach’s most famous contributor to the medium—Skullphone, so called for his signature image of a floating skull holding a phone—only received recognition once he started focusing his efforts in L.A.

Stickers hand printed with HELPDESK's signiture image, the bleeding camera.

HELPDESK is part of a new generation of local artists coming up in Long Beach’s post-Skullphone wake, but he is one of the few creating colorful, large-scale artworks by hand, many of which are custom-designed for the spaces where they are eventually placed. And while he says that recognition from the L.A. community is always nice—he has put up several big pieces along Melrose that have appeared on local art-watch blogs—his real passion for street art lies in its ability to alter the landscape of his hometown.

“You changed your element,” he says. “You changed your life in this city. Not only that, but you changed somebody else’s experience through that chunk of world. They saw something they wouldn’t have seen without you. Whether they like it or not is a different story.”

“When I started doing this, it was purely selfish,” he says of his intentions in creating his HELPDESK persona. “I started making stickers. Stickers turned into posters. Posters turned into giant posters and putting stickers on stop signs turned into climbing roofs and running through the oil fields at night. It was a completely natural evolution.”

Humble about his talents and hesitant to become a spokesperson for the local street art community, HELPDESK is the first to dismiss any clear-cut interpretations of his art. With simple images and minimal text executed in often time-consuming displays, his repertoire varies stylistically and thematically. Unlike politically charged street artists such as Banksy, however, HELPDESK’s pieces always maintain a personal, artistic element and provide a glimpse into one person’s unique vision of a more vibrant Long Beach.

“It’s so bizarre that I’ve gotten any recognition at all because that’s just a bonus for me,” he says. “I’m just doing my thing and if it pays the bills, sweet. If not, who cares? It’s just butcher paper.”

(SIDEBAR INFO)

Certain areas of Long Beach are understandably more tolerant of street art—such as 4th Street’s Retro Row, where HELPDESK often places new pieces—but not everybody approves of putting up artwork in public spaces. In addition to efficient city clean-up crews and vigilante buffers who paint over pieces with their own can of spray paint, the greatest threat for street art in Long Beach is the law itself. “Bottom line, it’s vandalism,” HELPDESK admits. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. There are rules, and we work around the rules and over the rules.”

first oc weekly in-print!

September 2, 2011

‘That Was a Good Club’

The Good Foot ends on a high note

originally published in september 2 issue of oc weekly and online here.

“Last night was a reminder of why I do what I do,” DJ Dennis Owens says the day after spinning rare classic funk and soul records at a set at the Long Beach Funk Fest. “I was playing James Brown, and I saw little kids B-boying. That’s the power of funk. It still speaks.”

Owens—once a ska-band front man who cites Dead Kennedys as a major influence—discovered funk with his best friend Rodi Delgadillo. The two have been spreading the power of the timeless genre ever since founding Good Foot, a monthly dance club that will end its epic 13-year run on its anniversary next week.

Before the Crosby blared Free the Robots through its boombox wall and Detroit Bar let Steve Aoki spin onstage, Owens and Delgadillo were making feet move every second Friday at Long Beach’s Que Sera as resident DJs of Good Foot.

“It’s hard to believe it has lasted for 13 years,” Delgadillo says via phone from his home in Osaka, Japan, where he moved six years ago, “but we definitely accomplished what we set out to do and even more than we ever imagined.”

It was mid-’90s clubs such as Santa Monica‘s drum-and-bass night Science and Garden Grove‘s Golden State Soul Society that first inspired the two budding record collectors to start spinning themselves. They watched in awe as DJs threw on rare tracks and people lost themselves on the dance floor, thrashing around as if no one were watching. For Owens, the primal energy was reminiscent of his punk days, that intangible feeling of uncontrolled, youthful movement.

“That’s what music should do,” he says. “It’s such an empowering thing, and so if I have this access to music I think is great, and people are feeling it, it’s a win-win situation.”

The idea for Good Foot, then, was simple—re-create the atmosphere they witnessed in their own club experiences by playing a spontaneously curated mix of classics and deep cuts to a diverse crowd of scene-rejecting twentysomethings. Through years of relentless fliering in both Los Angeles and Orange County, it worked.

People came from all over Southern California to shed their inhibitions to infectious beats by everyone from Bill Withers to Fela Kuti. Que Sera’s set-up makes Good Foot’s focus on the music, with the off-to-the-side, elevated booth rendering the music master nearly invisible.

“Our goal was to make people dance and forget about the problems of their everyday life,” Delgadillo says. “Even if you can’t dance, it doesn’t really matter. Nobody’s trying to impress anyone.”

The consistent popularity of Good Foot is seconded only by the consistency of the night in general. Since the beginning, it has remained in the same location on the same night and, until just a few years ago, was unfailingly attended by both of its founders.

Though Delgadillo now lives in Japan—where his wife is from—he deejayed every month until his departure and still spins while in town during the holidays, specifically at Good Foot Christmas, a special version of the club that will continue to happen at Alex’s Bar every Dec. 25. Owens has missed a few months at Good Foot because his latest band, Free Moral Agents, have been playing more shows. On its final night, thanks to a friend who works at American Airlines, the best-friend DJ team will be reunited at Good Foot once again.

“I don’t want to overstay my welcome,” Owens says. “I feel like me and Rodi did something good, and we’re ending it right. Whenever anyone looks back on Good Foot, I want them to say, ‘Yeah, that was a fucking good club.'”