Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Darts of Pleasure

While I was taking my walk today, I noticed (between the hoots of Mexican gardeners and leers of rich old white guys in convertible Porsches) quite a few little girls on various neighborhood corners selling lemonade and/ or Girl Scout cookies. I think this means that spring is here, right?

So with the arrival of spring comes the crisp, clean air, blooming flowers, miniskirts, and raging hormones. And I am not immune, because last night I fell in love... with Franz Ferdinand! The band, silly, not the dead guy who sparked WWI (yea, who knows their history?). I had heard them, liked them, went to Amoeba to see them play for free, and then... LOVED THEM. There were many boys in the audience who loved them too. I think I have to admit now that I like just about any band that sounds like Gang of Four, cuz they do. And they were angular Scottish guys with short nerdy haircuts; what girl (or gay boy, I guess) can resist that? Anyway, I highly recommend them to anyone who is into that sort of angular dance pop with quirky vocals.

I was struck by the fact that they reminded me of pictures of my dad in 1966 or so. You know; skinny with cropped yet kinda floppy hair and buttoned up short sleeved shirts... All except for the one that looked like Kyle MacLachlan's little brother. I kept thinking that back in the day (whichever day, you choose) these guys would get their asses kicked. But they are playing cool music, so they have boys and girls fawning at their feet. I think they were just as surprised about that as I was, actually.

When I first started getting into what I think of as "indie rock," the bands were absolutely not attractive. They looked like they just got out of the factory, had been drinking since they were 5, lived in an apartment on top of a garage, and only fully showered and shaved if they had to go to a wedding or a funeral. Bands like Husker Du, the Replacements, the Meat Puppets, R.E.M., and of course - Throwing Muses. (The Muses seemed rather clean, though... I think they all still lived at home. They were in high school, you know.)

Husker Du were amazing to me, because they loved the rock and the pop, because they could take a Germs song and filter it through the Beach Boys. I was never one much for punk, but I love melodies and I also love anything remotely rowdy, and those boys did it for me. And their lyrics meant something too... I remember playing "Green Eyes" on my radio show for the green eyed indie boy who had broken my heart, and it is quite the love song . You see, the hard feelings hadn't set in yet.

And I'm a big ole fag hag, so I was pleasantly surprised years later when I found out they were gay. Well, I still don't know if all three of them are gay, but I remember hearing that Bob & Grant had a thing gone wrong, and that's where a lot of those lyrics came from. And Bob is definitely out & about these days.

I met him about a year ago, when the Throwing Muses were doing the reunion shows supporting their absolutely final album. They were doing an instore performance, and since I had helped set it up, I was dorking out in the green room talking with Kristin Hersh about something and he was sitting next to me. I didn't realize it because he was so thin and I hadn't seen a photo of him in ages. She introduced me and said, "Bob is my kids' favorite babysitter." I said, "Really? Why? Can you keep control over those rowdy kids?" And he said, "Yea, my partner (points to a hunky blond guy playing with one of the children) and I have a secret weapon." "What's that?" "Salsa dancing." Go figure!

A friend was kind enough to point me to Bob's blog. Turns out he & I enjoy the same tastes in blogspot too, as we share a layout. Great minds...