There was no question, we were GOING to see fireworks on the 4th of July.
It was 8:45pm on Sunday, and 10 of us were sprawled around my boyfriend’s living room having just finished Wet Hot American Summer. We had been drinking, eating and generally making merry since 2pm and were all in various states of food coma/nap. Only one thing would get us all mobilized, even at the very last minute: fireworks. There was no real decision made to go, it just was – a mad dash to all settle on a place, piling into cars and then in just 15 minutes or so we were there. Even with 5 cars – some coming from other directions – we managed to find each other atop a winding hill in some park off Duquesne with much of the population of Culver City.
It was rushed, it was stressful, but in the end – it was magical. The one little bit of magic associated with celebrating our nation’s birthday, and the one thing that sets this summer holiday apart from the others – because if you think about it both Labor Day and Memorial Day are filled with BBQs and pie. From our vantage point we could see bursts of color happening all across the city – some close, some far, and of all different shapes and sizes. When I was little the entire town would gather in the field next to the middle school to watch the fireworks there. We’d lie on blankets and stare straight up at the sky and everyone there would “ooh” and “aah” like a cult.
With the mix I tried capture the feel, pattern, rhythm of a fireworks show with a dash of magic…
Happy Birthday USA: Explosions in the Sky by tadpole of july
Marina and The Diamonds will be playing Lilith Fair tonight at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. Info and tickets here.
The Happy Hollows at the Los Angeles Zoo on August 6 with Voxhaul Broadcast, Useless Keys, The Lonely Wild, Walking Sleep and Slang Chickens. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and you can get ’em here.
And if Broadway is your bag (and even if it’s not) I recommend checking out In The Heights now playing at the Pantages, and starring Tony-winning composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda. You can get tickets here, or if you’re a Goldstar member (free to join!), you can get them half price.
But the thing with traditions is that there are always so many memories wrapped into them, specific only to you. Like watching fireworks on the middle school field. Or watching your dad almost blow his hand off lighting off a few roman candles in the back yard.
Last October my boyfriend and I made the trip to San Francisco for the Treasure Island Music Festival, and on the first night Girl Talk closed their set with an incredible mashup of “Tiny Dancer” and a killer fireworks show. Poor MGMT had a hard act to follow:
Now whenever I hear that song I will always remember that amazing night and think of fireworks.
And just for fun, the video for Marina and The Diamonds “Oh No!” which just came out in the past couple weeks. Sadly, I missed her sold out show here in LA, but you don’t need to see her live to know that she’s pretty fierce.