Tag Archives: Southern California

16th Century, Anyone?

17 May
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Welcome to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

Ahhhhhh, the Renaissance Faire.  Actually, I should call it by its real name, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which is much more descriptively accurate.  I feel the majority of people out there have preconceived notions about these wonderful festivals.  Maybe they think this alt-world cosplay gathering is on par with the dungeons and dragons stock in the dork/nerd/dweeb class of life.  But, you’ve got the wrong idea guys, the wrong idea.  It’s fun.  Just fun.

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Washer Women.

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Danse Macabre March.

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Everyday life.

After parking you ascend upon a new world and a different land.  The people talk funny and wear funny clothes.  They are walking around with feathers in their hats and flowers in their hair.  It’s something similar to Coachella, but classier and with better fabric.  You are transported to another realm and another time.  There are even rumors that there are special appearances by Star Trek characters and Dr. Who, just to put another genius spin on the whole space-time continuum of things.  I say let’s dress up as Bill and Ted and really show ‘em…

There are many shows and activities you can partake in whilst  attending the fair.  They have a pub crawl, a joust, a wench show (which is awesome) and tea with the queen, as well as a falcon show, knife throwing, archery and plenty of people singing and performing.  There are goods for sale, so if you’re in the market for leather, tea, garlands or blown glass you’ll be coming to the right place.

Joust arena

Joust arena.

Dance

Dance.

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Hey, Owl. During the Falcon Show.

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A Lady.

Not sure what she is

Not sure what she is.

If you’re planning on going, why not browse the internet and brush up on your Renaissance language skills.  And you should add this Insult Generator to your research – my favorite one so far: Thou puking elf-skinned flap-dragon!  Yeah!  I kind of feel like it’d be worth getting in a fight with someone if yelling this was the origin…

The Wenches!  So funny!

The Wenches! So funny!

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The Queen!

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Look at this awesome yahoo.

Garlands for Sale!

Garlands for Sale!

There’s plenty of food and drink.  The whole turkey legs are famous and it’s a trip to see these things towering over those that are eating them.  The beer is plentiful, well-priced and they have some decent brands on tap.  Not just the normal light whatever water that’s normally served.  Don’t get me wrong, they have that too, but at least they are offering options.

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You know you want one.

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No turkey leg for this one.

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The only thing she and I have in common is our love of ice cream.

Music

Music.

Advertising

Advertising.

If you are someone who likes people watching, drinking and boobs – you will hate yourself if you don’t make this happen.  Mark my words.  It’s amazing how both the people who work there and the patrons assume their chosen characters.  They are shockingly and wonderfully committed.  There are lords, ladies, fairies, vikings, pirates, wenches, soldiers, knights, etc.  You are encouraged to interact with them and doing so will only enhance your experience.

There are many different “Ren Faires” as they are commonly called, but the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California is the oldest having had its first Fair in 1962.  This particular fair depicts a fictional Elizabethan England town, Port Deptford, in the 1580s.  There are now many fairs being held across the country (and some internationally) that draw hundreds of thousands of people each season.  A season is usually anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months and held primarily during the spring or fall.  Click here for a little more history.

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Viking!

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Pig from the petting zoo.

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I don’t know how to describe this guy, but I like it.

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Fairy.

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A man and his goose.

IT’S THE LAST WEEKEND IT’S HERE!  Only $25 to buy a ticket when you get there, or $23 to buy ahead of time at designated locations (pick one up at Walgreens); the hours are 10am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday.  Click here for their website which will give you all the possible information you may need and then some –

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True.

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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

9 May
Welcome to the Swap Meet.

Welcome to the Swap Meet.

The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet has really taken hold of the tribute band circuit by continuously hosting many different kinds of faux rock legends.  What is a swap meet you ask?  It’s like a flea market.  What is a flea market you ask?  Well, it’s “a gathering at which enthusiasts or collectors trade or exchange items of common interest.” So mixed in with the sunglasses, bunnies, nuts, ladies clothing, kids’ toys, vintage action figures, tutus, beer and hats you will find some surprisingly entertaining music.  They hosted what may be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen for $1 – which is the entrance fee to the Swap Meet.

People getting into it.

People getting into it.

I was unaware of the underground (does it count as underground if I just don’t know about it?) world of phenomenal and very serious “tribute” bands.  I put tribute in quotes because of the couple I’ve seen, they are good enough to stand on their own.  However, instead of doing so they offer up their musical talents and pay homage to those that came before them and impacted them so fiercely.  I mean, it’s not just any day that one decides to completely embody another man so devoutly and fanatically.  It is a strange parallel universe, that’s for sure.  And let’s be honest, the band names alone make it worth it.  A majority of the time the wordplay bridge melding the names of the original band with the tribute band is fucking genius.

During my first foray into tribute bands at this “venue” I saw Led Zepagain, which I hope you’re picking up is a Led Zeppelin Tribute Band, and they were mind-blowing.  In a good way.  A really good way.  (Is it weird that the lead singer might be better than the current Robert Plant??)  So when I had the opportunity to see Bonfire, which is the not-as-obvious name of an AC/DC Tribute Band, I was 100% into it.  These guys are pure entertainment.  You don’t know if you’re laughing with them or at them, but the important part is that you’re laughing. Talk about pouring your heart and soul out onto a stage!  They were wild, loud and took advantage of their opportunity to shine in the spotlight.  They hit all the high points – hair, school boy uniform, duckwalk, devil horns, energy and everything that comes along with it – the “Angus Young” runs through the crowd and performs on tables for goodness sake!  Even though these guys originated in Los Angeles, the lead singer even had an Australian accent.  Real?  Not real? We’ll never know, but I think it says something about their commitment level.

Be warned – In some of the below photos you will see topless men of a certain age…

yeah!

Yeah!

Horns.

Horns.

A stint in the crowd!

A stint in the crowd!

Tandem

Tandem

"Angus"

“Angus”

Did I mention the groupies?  I didn’t?!  Well, they were an integral part to the whole retro experience!  The big hair and remnants of the once young, screaming AC/DC fans and panty throwers was a highlight.  Speaking of people watching, there was a lot of it.  Interesting crowd at the ol’ Swap Meet.  Plenty of tattoos, lots of kids and lots of people rocking both AC/DC and Bonfire T-shirts all making for a very watchable audience.

Awesome Hair.

Awesome Hair.

Thanks for the tip.

Her button says, “End Slavery Now.” – Thanks for the tip, Obvious Police.

Having a grand time!

Having a grand time!

Nice.

Nice.

A fan.

A fan.

Colors of the rainbow.

Colors of the rainbow.

Yep.

Yep, this picture sums up my experience.

They play three hour-long sets with one hour breaks in between.  During these breaks is a good time to explore the above mentioned Swap Meet merchandising. It takes about an hour to get there from L.A. in traffic.  So go get a churro and have a good time.

Coming up on the horizon this summer:

MAY

Hard Days Night (Tribute to the Beatles)

These Handsome Devils (Tribute to Morrissey and The Smiths)

JUNE

Red Not Chili Peppers (See above wordplay comment)

No Duh (uh huh, Tribute to No Doubt; this might by my favorite one)

Electric Funeral (Tribute to Black Sabbath)

Aeromyth (See above wordplay comment)

JULY

Pyromania (Tribute to Def Leppard)

The Rising (Tribute to Bruce Springsteen)

Damage, Inc. (Tribute to Metallica)

Lyvyn Skynyrd (Tribute to Lynryd Skynyrd)

Click here for Bonfire’s website – Click here for the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet’s website13963 Alondra Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA  90670

Out!

Out!

Out!

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