Balcony Lights

May 31 2013

In order to get on the bus in Las Vegas, your skateboard has to be in a bag. This usually means pulling a plastic grocery bag out of the bus stop trash can and draping it over the wheels enough so that the bus driver just gives up and nods you on. I took the Rainbow bus south from my house to my best friend’s house, then we’d take the Tropicana bus east to Maryland Parkway to Balcony Lights.

The shows were always on punk time so they wouldn’t be starting for another hour, at least. We’d go upstairs and read zines or comics in the zine library, our impressionable minds fascinated by the revolutionary ideas of CrimethInc.

We saw Kaospilot, Van Johnson, Bafabegiya, Curl Up and Die, This Virus Makes Us Human, Zann, D’amore, and End of a Year, maybe all in one summer. These shows were the first time I can remember feeling like a part of something bigger than myself, crowded together with dozens of sweaty bodies, moshing around with the restrained aggression of angry punks that wanted to fuck shit up… without knocking any of the records off the wall. We had a really cool secret, avant garde and hardcore.

I picked up flyers there for crazy house shows that I’m still not sure how I convinced my parents to drop me off at. Later, I dropped off flyers there for my own shows. Later still, I came to help clean up and pick through the last of the records as the record store that raised me, closed its doors.

I love Balcony Lights.


My Mom, a schoolteacher, is allergic to kumquats. As a kid, she and I always liked when the music truck would drive through our neighborhood. Imagine my surprise years later when I found out the music truck served ice cream. I love her, and my Dad who showed me how to be man.


I’m embarrassingly proud of my friends that do impressive and creative things:

Get inspired by Darcie Burrell’s book ‘Fine.’ or ‘Sorry Mom’ on her website. I’ve known her since middle school.

Watch Oh Nickel on YouTube tell more awesome stories and make original music videos. He came with me to Balcony Lights.

Wear Labyrinth Clothing, made by my friend Nader Boraie

Listen to my buddies in the bands Caravels and Leather Lungs.


To Do (Good):

Learn about how Monsanto is the absolute fucking worst.

Read ProPublica online and Howard Zinn offline.

Microfinance; Kiva makes it easy.

Eat less meat. Add nutritional yeast and Bragg’s aminos liberally, to everything.

Take a theater or improv class. We’re all just acting here.

Vote(?) and do something about it.

Couchsurf, obviously.

Give trees as gifts – Arbor Day Foundation.

Set SMART goals. Classify and prioritize them like this: 1) Low Work, High Reward, 2) High Work, High Reward, 3) Low Work, Low Reward, 4) High Work, Low Reward.

Recognize which of the balls you are juggling are rubber and which are glass.

Invest in the places you spend the most time. Remember, you’ll spend a third of your life in bed too, so get a good one.

Visit Tribu Hostel on Isla Holbox with someone you love.


Call my Google Voice +1(810)373-2677 or go to dialadream at blogspot, especially if you have a cool accent. It’s a project I started but never finished. I’ll call you back if you want!

Email me with links, bands, vegan recipes, and travel recommendations, especially warm places with waterfalls.

I’ll have Google Fiber soon, so come visit.

Thanks for the incredible honor and pleasure.

Quinn Bott @quinnbott
[email protected]
Kansas City, Kansas, USA

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