Friday, April 30, 2004

I'm Lookin' For A Real Love...

I think I have found my ideal man. Thank God for the internet.


The most email I ever got for doing anything on this blog was when I posted the star sightings. Oh, I got a few when my cat died, but nothing like the star sightings. I used to work in a record store, so a bunch of them come from there. Here's some sugar for you:

Johnny Depp: he was in full hobo mode, with gold teeth and everything. Just shopping for jazz and being polite to the people who worked in the store. Oh, and he was BEAUTIFUL. Meow.

Winona Ryder and Jimmy Fallon: also shopping in the store, but more with some prancing around. There was alot of running in the aisles, like they were in a musical we couldn't hear the soundtrack to. Winona was wearing a really cute white strappy sundress. It was kinda see-through, but even if it wasn't we still woulda been able to figure out that she was wearing bulky guys boxers underneath. Now THAT'S a pantyline, ladies!

Laurence Fishburne: buying snacks at Jack in the Box. He bought french fries and gave change to the crazy guy standing nearby. He's only about 5'10.

Keanu Reeves: at the Twilight Singers show the day before Thanksgiving. He looked HOT and I'm not even a fan or anything. My pal Kerry went up to him and said, "I'm already a fan, and seeing you at this show has made me an even bigger fan." Or something like that.

Vince Vaughn: actually hanging out and talking loudly at the 101 Cafe in the Best Western on Franklin in Hollywood. FYI: this is the same cafe they used in Swingers, I think when he was making eyes at the chick with a kid.

Drew Carey: at a Togo's sandwich shop in Hollywood. I made some goofy remark to the girl who made my lunch and he laughed. He wasn't wearing glasses, so I had no idea it was him till he said something in a Groucho Marx voice. He was very silly.

George Clinton: He was perhaps stoned and wearing a bright turquoise tie dyed Paraliament t-shirt. Hey man, work your product! The woman he was with was wearing the same thing, and had big colorful dreadlocked/ braided hair just like him.

Matt Dillon: My teen dream in real life loves Cuban jazz. Good choice! He was record shopping for salsa and 78s. So over the edge! Yes!

Charlize Theron & Stuart Townsend: going to the movies while holding hands and giggling like high school kids. Super cute, really.

Brad Pitt & Ed Norton: standing in the concession line and yapping at Radiohead last fall. They got hot dogs with lotsa peppers. (Okay, I didn't see this one, my friend did. But it's a good one, right? The Fight Club digs Radiohead!)

That's all for now - I'm off to Coachella to collect more stories for you!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Two Weeks Notice

You only have about two weeks left to listen to one of the coolest commercial radio stations to ever exist. Well, in my humble opinion, anyway.

From the WOXY website:

We had anticipated that the last day of our terrestrial broadcast at 97.7 FM would be around May 1st, but things sometimes take longer than expected, so it now looks like it will be closer to, but no later than, May 13th.

That's the good news … the bad news is that it might also be our last day broadcasting on the Internet...


This is a tragedy. WOXY has been around since 1983, playing an astounding mix of alternative music to the greater Cincinnati area and anyone who happened to find them on the internet since the whole cyber thing began. In a world of dismal radio (thanks FCC!) this is truly a huge loss.

So zip over and listen now! Check out their playlist, you won't be disappointed. Find out why Rain Man chanted: "Bam! The future of rock and roll!" before it's in our past.

Stealing Beauty

Somebody stole all my dinner plates.

The only reason I'm even writing about this is because I'm hoping that by putting it out there in public, I'll go home and find two wine boxes tucked away in some corner I haven't already looked in and I'll feel like a dummy. But a dummy with dinner plates.

I shouldn't say they are all gone because I actually have two. The two out of four that I bought at Target in 1991. The other two are gone. The set of 4 my mom gave me are gone. The beautiful hand painted set (which made me salivate at the sight of them) from Brazil that my friends and former co-workers gave me before I moved to LA are totally gone. And the ones I collected over the course of 10 years, working at KALX Berkeley, which were especially made to commemorate the station (a different design every year) by Bay Area artist Sherry Olsen (and she even made one especially for me) are waaaaaaay gone.

They actually got stolen a couple months ago, and I'm only realizing it now. My roommate and I were lax about locking our garage and somebody broke in. So I was kinda asking for it. But when I found out, it appeared that the thief in question had just thrown our spare clothes around and walked out with my space heater. Now that my roommmate and her dinner plates are moving out, I had to collect mine from the garage, and they were nowhere to be found.

I know they were just things... but I LIKE my things. It's always like that when something gets stolen though... You know the jackass that took your wallet grabbed the cash and the cards, and then just chucked your goofy picture of your brother or note from your girlfriend that you had in there for sentimental reasons. Even my old roommate was bummed to hear about the KALX plates - they were THAT special.

So here's to you - asshole who thought those two boxes were actually Charles Shaw wine... I hope somebody steals your mom's engagement ring and breaks her heart over it. Then maybe you'll get it, if you even care about such things. Cuz you probably just sold my memories at a garage sale, punk.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Idol Chatter

I'm not a fan of "American Idol." I never watch it... Well, I saw the finale of the first season because my roommate was hooked, but it was just so Up With People (if you don't know what "Up With People" is, you're better off, trust me) that I was eternally grossed out by it. Later, my clever younger brother pointed out to me that the time to watch "American Idol" is at the beginning of the competition, when all the sorry ass hopefuls who have only ever sung along to their boombox karaoke machines at home are still in the running. Yes. That would be entertaining.

Evidently, there has been some controversy of late because a very talented young woman was voted off. Recent guest judge, Elton John, actually came out and said that the voters were racist. Host Ryan Seacrest made a plea to the viewers that the show was supposed to be a talent contest, not a popularity contest.

Ummmm... there is some truth to what they say: America is still a racist country in many respects, and when has any contest not been about popularity? But really... The United States is not a place known for its culture - unless culture for you consists of McDonald's french fries - excuse me - freedom fries, Nikes and Britney Spears. Did you know that Britney Spears is currently Hugh Hefner's ideal woman? And I bet it's because she's such an amazing singer!

I'm not completely bagging the States - I'm a Californian through and through and have loved each city I've lived in here (which a lot of Cali kids can't say, actually). There are some wonderful things about this country: the beaches I grew up with, rock and roll, New York City, movies, the right to vote the Bay Bridges, jazz, New Orleans, legalized abortion, country music, and most of all - what has grown from the mix of so many different people.

So I'm always a little shocked when I'm confronted by someone who looks at me - something that has grown from the mix of so many different people (I've got one grandmother from Egypt and the other is a Daughter of the American Revolution - and that's just for starters) - and treats me like I'm an idiot based on my olive skin. I'm always a little shocked to be reminded that there are people who would throw me out of their house if I spoke out against George W.

But I'm not shocked at all that there are people who would vote off really talented singers from a prime time talent show if someone else had better boobs or something. I mean, that William Hung kid just released his debut (and let's hope only) CD and it entered the Billboard 200 charts at #34. The next week it only dropped one notch. That's crazy! That equaled a drop in sales of like, 5%! I understand it's a novelty, and I also trust that my fellow Berkeley Alum William is going to use the money wisely so he won't have to really utilize that engineering degree he's picking up, but really... don't chastise the audience for "American Idol." They're probably doing their best.

After all, quality is not what Americans are known for. We're known for being the fat, drunk ones yelling to our friends while spilling ketchup onto an ancient ruin. Mmmmm... ketchup... somebody get me a beer!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Queer Guy for the Straight Gal

I am a fag hag. And proud of it.

It's not like I chose this, it's just who I am. I think it may be genetic. My mom is a fag hag too.

You know what a fag hag is: the girls who are hanging with the boys who would never actually want to sleep with the girls. We are spunky and goofy, sometimes a bit bitchy, and have all the same John Waters or Barbara Streisand references. (You are not a true fag hag untill you've seen Female Trouble and What's Up Doc. At least.)

We have straight girlfriends and guy friends, but really looooove our gay boyfriends. They shop with us and tell us the truth if something makes our ass look too big. They are great dancers and look good out there on the floor. They dress well and love "Sex & the City." We can check out guys together and they'll be more objective about my potential choices. And they give great sex advice - I mean, come on... they are experts with their own equipment and don't mind talking about it. How weird can a conversation about sex be between two freaked out straights? Ladies, isn't it just be a lot nicer to come to bed with a little bit of inside knowledge gleaned from your boyfriends? Seriously, one of my favorite books in the world is Sex Tips For Straight Women From A Gay Man by Dan Anderson & Maggie Berman. I showed it to a boyfriend and he gave it a good read - and recommendation!

One of my best friends is gay, but we didn't know that when we met in high school. At least, we didn't acknowledge it. Not that it was terribly surprising once he came out. I was one of the first people to know, so whenever I'd come down to LA from the Bay Area to visit with him, we'd head out to all the gay bars. I usually had fun, but early on there was one bad experience... We were at a place called the Motherlode in West Hollywood. This was about 13 years ago, so I have no idea if the place is still this girl unfriendly... but I was at the bar ordering a beer when a guy standing next to me looked me up and down, plugged his nose with his fingers, and said: "Ewwwwww... who brought the fish?"

I was the only girl in the place, and, coming from a town where skanky gals are referred to as "tunas," I put it together pretty quickly. I was bummed out, because I didn't think I was offending anyone with my quiet albeit estrogen-y presence. My friend was having a great time, so I just sat at the bar and kept drinking. Eventually, I had to go to the bathroom, where there were no doors on the stalls. I must have looked panicked enough, because this guy volunteered to block the door while I went, and chatted me up the whole time. He & his boyfriend wound up being my pals the rest of the evening, so I didn't need to worry about the one with a distaste for seafood anymore.

This came to mind recently when I was reading Bob Mould's blog. Bob Mould, former leader of great guitar bands Husker Du and Sugar, with some stellar solo recordings also, has been out of the closet for some time now. There had been a bit of debate on his blog because he had been bitching about the presence of some fag hags at a pretty much man-only night at a club he frequents. (Go here and scroll to April 13th.) For me, reading it, I didn't take offense to the term "fag hag" as others did. I was somewhat offended by the notion that I would not be allowed to go to this place. His statement was that sometimes, the girls have no place in the "man-pit." Evidently, a place as primal as the one he was at is Testosterone Only.

I guess this is why I pissed off the guy at the Motherlode. No ladies allowed. But I hate that... I am the one who crashed a bachelor party a few months back, after all. I was part of a Girls Only Oscar Party, but didn't get upset when a boy showed up. I would hope that the presence of a friend, who happens to be a little different, can't truly upset the balance of things that much. But I guess sometimes boys just wanna be boys and girls just wanna be girls.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

L.A. Not-So-Confidential

I didn't meet Russell Crowe once. This is my tale.

You know how movie stars do the rock band thing? Well, Russell is no exception. His band is called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts (pulled from that Virtuosity movie he was in with Denzel), and after that phenomenom that was Gladiator, he decided to tour the States with the boys.

Now, I love Australia, people from Australia, and have a soft spot for thugs. (I've only recently accepted this fact.) I also was doing promotions for the Fillmore, the venue where TOFOG (Nice acronynm, huh? Not!) was going to play, so I wrangled myself a little pre-show DJ gig playing all sorts of cool Aussie indie rock.

Russell & co. were finishing up soundcheck when I arrived. I was supposed to start DJing at 7pm, but nobody told anyone to set things up so I wound up doing it myself. That was a thrill and a half, as the system was absolute shit. It was also balanced on a podium on a stage, so the whole setup would sway like willows in the wind with every step I took. Not fun when you're mostly playing vinyl. Anyway, while the guys were having dinner, I was trying to get someone to find me power for this lovely piece of equipment.

Just inside the main entrance to the Fillmore is a wall consisting of one of a kind paintings and screenprints commemorating the more "special" shows (these are different from the posters that get passed out after shows). One was done for this special night, with a painting of Russell Crowe in his gladiator outfit, singing and playing guitar quite earnestly. It was funny, and not tasteless or tacky. Anyway, Mr. Academy Award disapproved and demanded that it be taken down. I was very disappointed... the first Australian I'd ever (not) met who didn't have a sense of humor...

I played mostly Australian rock (trying to lure any Aussies who may have gotten a ticket before the soccer moms in attendance swallowed them up) and got a couple bites from guys who were really happy to hear You Am I or Hoodoo Gurus. I met a couple of the crew guys who had come with the band and said ole Russell was a little edgy because he was drinking a lot on the tour and was in a perpetual state of hangover. Like I couldn't tell. The guy was as pudgy as he was in The Insider and hadn't shaved in a couple days so he had that "perhaps I haven't bathed either" look.

So the show was alright; they are basically a blues-rock pub band... Fabulous Thunderbirds come to mind. That kind of thing. I'm sure the ladies in attendance were totally pleased. He was pretty hilarious on stage: told lots of goofy stories, begged women not to throw their underthings at the band, played "Name That Tune" with the trumpet player. Towards the end of the gig (a couple cases of Coors later), he got a bit beligerent. He yelled "Shut the fuck up or leave!" at the people chatting over a by the bar, which mostly consisted of husbands who'd been dragged to the show by their wives. He also went after some woman near the front who yawned.

And his opener is now of note: Miss Danielle Spencer, now his wife/ baby momma.

But um... I still woulda liked to have met that bad ass romper stomper. Would curiousity have killed the cat?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bedtime for Democracy

I hate Bush. When he was running for President the first time, I remember my mom saying to me, "Oh, I can't stand even listening to that guy talk. Doesn't he sound stupid? I think maybe he's retarded." Looking back, that is quite an insult to our mentally challenged friends, but I know my mom didn't mean it that way. I mean, that "special" kid from "Life Goes On" would do a helluva better job than W is doing.

So yea, let's get this asswipe out of office. Here are some links you might enjoy if you're a commie pinko liberal like me. (Oh yea, and I went to Berkeley. I do, however, shave my armpits.)

An idea of his term so far.

These guys have been my heroes ever since Bill got that blowjob.

For the kids.

For the kids with mohawks.

A educational film courtesy of Bing Crosby & Co.

I, for one, want to feel like I still have a choice. In regards to politics, religion, who I sleep with and if I want to have an abortion or not... That Born Again Freak-O ain't choosing for me.

That's all I've got time for today. Just get that lameass out of office.

Monday, April 19, 2004

We Love The Rock

There's been a lot of rockin' & rollin' in LA recently.

Last week, I went to not one... but TWO Twilight Singers shows. Greg Dulli is about as Super Rock as one gets these days. "Even if you don't think you're all that, you gotta make people think you're all that, and they won't fuck with ya. Of course, I AM all that." Yes, Greg's ego was definitely in attendance. Very fun shows; that boy always makes me laugh.

50 Foot Wave - Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses) practically spitting blood. This new band of hers has more in common with Metallica than REM. I love to see chicks rock with authority. Especially while wearing a pajama top covered in brightly colored racecars.

So what's coming up?

Well, for all you stoner rockers, Queens of the Stone Age is releasing a very limited edition compilation of some sort which will only be carried at select stores. Like all Towers and Virgin Megastores. But also the fabulous Lou's Records, located in my hometown of Encinitas, California. Lou's rules. Anyway, if you love the Queens, buy this tomorrow because they'll be gone buy lunchtime.

And for you indie rockers, Actionslacks finally releases Full Upright Position (after a 3+ year wait) on the Self Starter Foundation label. It's chock full of rock guitar goodness as well as lovely mushiness; I guess that's what happens when guys in indie bands get married! Like a cross between Sebadoh and Wilco with a little Gary Newman thrown in. Worth the price of admission alone for the epic and beautiful "Close to Tears," although the jaunty "Simple Life" and sweet jangle of "Moneypenny's Theme" are pretty awesome too. And I'm thanked in the liner notes.

And if you're in LA, check out Tim Scanlin, the fearless leader of the 'slacks, at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on Tuesday night. It's early, and I'm glad cuz I need more sleep...

PS: I happily scored tix to see the Pixies in my other hometown, Berkeley, in September. Vamos!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Top of the Pops

At my lovely (most insanely boring on the planet) job, I get to do something I really like: go through the Billboard charts. Doesn't that sound great?

Well, actually, it really is for me. When I was a kid, I'd listen to Casey Kasem's Top 40 countdown every week. My Dad & I would head off to church (I went to Catholic school and sang in the choir since I liked that better than actually paying attention to the Mass) and I'd make him listen to the countdown on the way there and back, and I'd tune in the second we got home. I don't know why, but I thought those chart movements were pretty dishy.

I work in music publishing now, and get the honored task of going through the charts and extrapolating our writers from them so that everyone at the company can see how well we're doing. I love to see indie bands - no matter how much buzz they may have - cracking the esteemed Billboard 200 charts. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs alongside Justin Timberlake, the Postal Service and Franz Ferdinand sandwiching the likes of Avril Lavigne... But today - what do I see? The new Modest Mouse CD DEBUTED at number 19! Wha'? That's crazy! So I had to check the numbers...

Good News For People Who Love Bad News debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at number 19, having sold 68, 778 CDs. That's insane. But in a good way.

Did all the indie kids save their allowance for this one or do more people have good taste?

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

That's Educational!

For the dorks...

Here's what the Pixies played at their first show last night, their first in a gazillion years, in Minneapolis.

The full set list was:

• 'Bone Machine'
• 'Wave Of Mutilation'
• 'U-Mass'
• 'Levitate Me'
• 'Broken Face'
• 'Monkey Gone To Heaven'
• 'The Holiday Song'
• 'Winterlong'
• 'Nimrod's Son'
• 'La La Love You'
• 'Ed Is Dead'
• 'Here Comes Your Man'
• 'Vamos'
• 'Debaser'
• 'Dead'
• '#13 Baby'
• 'Tame'
• 'Gigantic'
• 'Gouge Away'
• 'Caribou'
• 'Isla de Encanta'
• 'Velouria'
• 'Wave Of Mutilation (Surf)'
• 'Where Is My Mind?'
• 'Into The White'

Lucky kids. Thanks Steve!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Cars That Go Boom

The front axles on my Honda want to fall off, but I need them to stay on until I can get the cash together to fix 'em.

I don't drive a beater car, but my precarious financial lifestyle since moving to LA hasn't exactly allowed me to pour money into its upkeep either. I love my little car, dorky as it is, and I want to keep it around. For the time being, I won't be driving the freeways, but I never do in this town anyway. I much more enjoy taking the surface streets and looking at shops and neighborhoods as opposed to looking at other drivers behind the wheels of their status symbols while stuck in a traffic jam, while heat radiates from the road and people act oblivious because they're yapping on their phones to pass the time.

Today I was singing loudly to whatever I was listening to (yes, if you saw me driving, you'd laugh at me because I get very into my music), when I pulled to a stop at a light. Behind me was another slightly ragged 10 year old Japanese car, a practical yet stylish Toyota. There was a cute guy driving. It's always nice to see a cute guy in the car behind you. I was tapping my hands on the steering wheel when I noticed that he was sort of laughing. I figured he was either listening to talk radio or was on the phone and I couldn't see the little earplug thingy people sometimes wear while driving and using the phone. Then he tipped his sunglasses down his nose and gave me a big smile. Most definitely gave me a big smile.

Oh really? I thought. I'd never engaged in cross car flirting before, but there was a lane merge ahead so we were gonna be inching along for a bit. So I started flipping my hair around, then he was sort of tucking his behind his ears, then I was looking over the rim of my sunglasses into the rear view mirror, and then there wasn't much more to do. Luckily the traffic got going again, and before he made that fateful right hand turn that would separate us forever, he gave me a wave. Should I start checking the "missed connections" section on Craigslist?

Nice way to start the day, at least!

Monday, April 12, 2004

When Cute Guys Grow Beards...

I went to see Jason Falkner play last week and ran into a buddy I hadn't seen for a couple months. This guy is one of the most adorable boys on the planet: a talented songwriter, guitar & piano player, funny, kind and very very cute. Of course, I've had a crush on him for ages.

Then he went and grew a beard. Argh! There is no better way to crush this girl's libido then by growing a bushy, scraggly beard.

Now, some guys totally work the facial hair thing and I don't mind it at all. I have a couple guy friends with nice goatees (a girlfriend of mine used to call them "the man snatch," and, well, if you think about it...). I have a few other guy friends with nice trim beards, even a couple with more Grizzly Adams types that aren't horrifying in the least. I mean, I'd probably never feel compelled to make out with them, but they look fine. In most cases, these beards fit the personality of my friends also, and that makes them work.

But lately, there has been a trend amongst the cute skinny indie boys to grow the borderline Rumplestilskin-esque beards that are just so... ew. Is it because without the facial hair, they look like they are twelve years old? Because with the facial hair, they just look like hippies. I mean, come on - the puffy 70's jackets over vintage t-shirts and cordoroy pants and Pumas... Just add the beard and the VW bus will come to you, with pot smoke billowing out the sliding door.

I blame it on Grandaddy and Iron & Wine. As soon as those acts got cool with the kids, you could practically hear the beards growing. It makes me sad: I've seen loads of perfectly good looking guys get buried under their facial hair. Maybe one day I'll see them again. My ex-boyfriend was doing it too, so I'd sing tracks from Jesus Christ Superstar to him whenever I'd see him because well, he kinda looked like Jesus. His comment was, "Hey man, the Jesus look is timeless."

Now when I was with this guy, he'd sometimes get a bit grizzly but was generally good about shaving. Early on he was kind enough to ask if his potentially growing a beard would be a problem or not, and since I had just hacked off my hair from about the shoulders to just below the ear without anyone's permission, I figured I couldn't really tell him what to do with his facial hair. But thank God he never grew the beard which he nutured after we broke up - damn, what a turn off!

Ah, why do cute guys grow beards? Hopefully the next time I see my now "ex" crush, he'll have shaved and made himself crushworthy again. Sigh...

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Everybody Is A Star

Living in Los Angeles causes your friends who don't live in Los Angeles to ask you if you see famous people. The answer is... Yes. All over, all the time. Well, not all the time, but regularly enough. Pamela Sue Anderson and her kids (ALL of them) at Target. Jason Biggs (the American Pie guy) at a sushi place in a mini mall in the Valley. David Duchovny leaving his yoga class (meeeeeeow!).

I thought I'd list some good celebrity sightings for y'all. Some A+ ones; those already mentioned are probably Cs.

(FYI: And by having once worked in a cool Hollywood record store, we got to see tons of celebrity types, so we may have an edge on some folks.)

Benicio Del Toro, stoned out of his mind at the Rhino record store in Westwood, with a gorgeous blond on his arm. He was asking the clerk about a certain record, and the clerk said, "Have you tried Amoeba Music? We hardly ever see that record used." And Benicio said, "Whoa man, that place is way too overstimulating. I just can't go in there yet."

George Clooney, as the passenger in a somewhat tattered black Cadillac (mid 80's model is my uneducated guess), riding doggy style: his head was out the window on a very hot day with his tongue hanging out (someone in the car was laughing loudly) while cruising Beverly Hills at Little Santa Monica & Rodeo Drive.

Leonardo di Caprio at the Hollywood Farmer's Market, throwing a tantrum over asparagus and directing it at his supermodel lingerie wearin' girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen. He's much, much taller than I expected. Like actually tall man size.

Joe Perry (of Aerosmith) and Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin) shopping the used rock section together, at Amoeba in Hollywood, surrounded by their entourage and wearing shirts unbuttoned down... to... there. I hope someone asked them what kind of hair products they use to keep those locks so darned flowing.

Winona Ryder stalking Paul Westerberg. She was actually asked to stay 200 feet away, as his restraining order dictated. Her eyes were not quite focused - that's all I will say about that. And this occurred after the shopping incident.

Barbara Streisand and James Brolin at the Hot Dog on a Stick at the Westside Pavillion, trying to decide if they wanted the regular lemonade or the cherry lemonade. At first, my friend and I just thought they were some regular older couple, dressed in comfy, dumpy sweatpants and sweaters with thick glasses. But that nose - that voice... Helllllllooooooooooooo, gorgeous! As my dad put it when I told him, "That's more than a star sighting. She's won every award there is." They got regular lemonade.

We'll tell more later. Ciao for now!

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Lust For Life

Alright, the first thing you should know is that I'm absolutely, positively OBSESSED with the film "Trainspotting." The second thing is that I’ve told this story before, but that was over a year ago. So now I'll begin my tale.

My evening began at at little cafe/pub called Hotel, a place where I booked musicians from time to time here in Hollywood. Tonight a friend named Luther was playing (one of those Country guys I've somehow become mixed up with since my arrival here) and he had some guest performers. One of these performers was a magician named Mike, who wowed me with a slight of hand involving fifty cent pieces from 1964. (You should also know that I happen to be a coin dork - so the fact that he had fifty cent pieces from 1964 was enough to wow me.) My reaction to the magic was such that I was called upon to be an assistant during the magic show itself. This involved me standing on stage and doing a little Vanna White action with an envelope. Alas, I'd hoped to be sawed in half. Sigh.

After the magic, Luther's friend Jason Falkner came in and did a little set. I'd been introduced to Jason a couple times, and love his music, but I never expect him to remember me. Now he’s my Friendster. Anyway, I had to leave because a friend of mine was having what he called a "mellow" birthday party - which implied lots of pot. Just before I left, my friend Iiad said to me, "Are you going to the party?" "What party?" "At Christina Ricci's?" "Well, if you tell me where it is, then I'll go." Not having any paper on me, I wrote the address and directions along the length of my left arm.

Rachael and I went to our friend's house, where an intensely mellow party was happening. Mellow music, mellow drinks, and discussions of what mellow meant to each of us (which was actually quite amusing, but not the point of this story). Just before 1am, when the line between mellow and tired had definitely blurred for my friends fortunate enough to be employed (I was jobless at the time), Rachael & I left. "Are you really going to go to that party?" Rachael asked. "Yes!" "Wow, you have balls!" I think this implied that I was, essentially, crashing Christina Ricci’s party. "Well, I figure I'll look for someone I know, and if I don't know anyone, I'll leave."

So up into the Hollywood hills I drove. It was sort of like going to a party in high school... I drove along, and as I got closer, I started listening for the party sounds. Then I saw Iiad's car, so I parked and started walking up the street towards the noise. I was stopped by a couple cars: "Hey, do you know where the party is?" Always guys asking. I told them - I figured, hell, I don't know anyone there. Why not tell anybody? It's a Hollywood party, after all.

I found the house, and there were two guys sort of passed out on the sidewalk out front. I know them. It's a guy named Loomis (who is part of the "Jackass" crew if any of you watch that crap) and Jerry. Jerry was slowly melting into the lawn, telling me that I have really cool hair. Then he fell onto someone's BMW, and the alarm went off. Loomis said to me, "Do you think a cab would pick us up here?" And I said, “Yes...” because I knew we were minutes from a major street and it was only about 1am, and the boys probably could have walked to the Mayfair a few blocks away had they not been so fucked up. Oh, wait, Hollywood party.

I walked into this beautiful 1930's Spanish house, built into the hill. As the evening progressed, I found that it had 4 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, a dining room, a library, an indoor theatre (seating about 80 - authentic deco decor), lots of spiral staircases, huge kitchen, converted basement, pool, jacuzzi, treehouse the size of the master bedroom, and an outdoor kitchen with firepit. Oh, and a sauna/steamroom that had nonstop orgy action pretty much all night. I only know this because it was adjoining a bathroom which people had to use, and well, folks weren't being discreet. And you know there were naked people in the pool and jacuzzi too.

I found my friends in the backyard, and Iiad is lusting after this sort of mod girl, so we are trying to figure out how to introduce them. Then Jason Falkner shows up with a bunch of people, and we start talking. Then someone comes down the stairs, announcing that naked dancing is going on upstairs in one of the living rooms. For some reason, I burst out in a fake British accent, "Tits and bums upstairs! Let's all go look!" Jason brought a couple Scots, who latched onto me and wanted to go upstairs for a look.

The Scots are Dougie & Kelly. Except at first I think she's said "Kerry," then I think "Kewry" or something warped like that. Only about the eightieth time to I realize she's said "Kelly." We go upstairs to find the naked people, only to discover that it was just these 4 Asian girls who were walking around in outfits so lacking that we'd seen most of it anyway. We felt jipped, so we headed to the bar, and started on the 7&7s.

Somehow, Kelly became my companion for the night. We talked about strip clubs (rather, my education in Tijuana nudie bars), liquor tolerance, modern art and literature, blowjobs, traveling and more that I can't remember because of the drunken haze... But at some point in the evening, I realized that I was not just talking to Kelly – but to Kelly Macdonald, aka Diane from "Trainspotting." (She's also been in "Elizabeth" and "Gosford Park" and currently "Intermission" with Colin Farrell.) I figured it was just best not to say anything; I didn't want to make her feel weird by letting her know that her voice had been on my answering machine at one point... "What's the matter, boy? Cat got your tongue?" Or tell her that I'd seen that movie so many times that I couldn't even count it anymore...

Later, we had somehow gathered in a gazebo (Jason, Kelly, Dougie & myself) and were having a conversation about very long road trips with cross generational passengers, and what to do during them. Kelly said that her family was very into singing in the car, but her last trip across the island consisted of her, a good friend, a younger cousin, an older aunt, and a grandmother. What on earth could they all sing? Turns out the song everyone knew was “Raspberry Beret” by Prince. Who'd a thunk it? So, of course, we all sang the song under the light of the firedancers in the gazebo.

This silliness went on till about 5am, when the liquor ran out and everyone started to head home. A bunch of us were standing around talking when Iiad said, "Oh, you're Scottish! I had such a crush on (insert Scottish actress here) when I was in high school. Oh, and the girl from Trainspotting." We all started laughing, and Jason said, "Oh, but she was really Irish, wasn't she?" Then Kelly (Diane) said, "I've met her! She doesn't look so good in real life!" Iiad looked confused and said, "Oh, I really thought she was Scottish." Then Kelly goes, "Oi! It's shite being Scottish!!" We were laughing when Iiad pulled me aside and goes, "Maybe I'm really drunk, but what's so funny?" I realized he was serious. "Well, Kelly IS that girl from Trainspotting." To which Iiad was horribly embarrassed, but Kelly just laughed and we all went on our way for the night.

Oh, and I only saw Christina Ricci once. She had a big head and a little body. Sorta freakish. And it wasn't even really her house.

(PS: Click here for more Trainspotting fun. I'm addicted. Ha.)

(PPS: LA residents should check Jason Falkner out at the Troubador on Thursday April 8th!)

Monday, April 05, 2004

Got To Give It Up

In case you hadn't noticed, today is the 10 year anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. Or so they think, since his body was found days after the fact. We are being reminded of this by news articles on the internet, radio tributes, magazine covers (was he ever really gone?) and columns by journalists aplenty proclaiming: "What if?"

I think about that too, because I loved Nirvana just as much as anybody else in my peer group at that time. I still love them. I remember seeing them in dank little clubs in San Diego and San Francisco before Nevermind happened. Me, my brother and my best friend saw them perform with Pearl Jam (openers) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (headliners) at the Cow Palace in SF for New Year's Eve, 1991 (Nevermind was just a couple months old) was becoming 1992 (Nevermind topped the Billboard charts and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was a phenomenon). It was a pivotal event for all bands, and I rarely saw Nirvana after that - they were too huge. But I loved them anyway.

I remember what I was doing when I found out Kurt had killed himself - I was running a candy store, placing an order for gummi bears. I called my indie rock boyfriend. We were both stunned, but not surprised. We worked on the UC Berkeley campus, and I left early to have a beer with a couple other shocked music dorks. My boyfriend had band practice that night (they got nothing done in their also bewildered states) and I walked to the movie theatre down the street and saw "The Age of Innocence." It was beautiful and I cried like a baby. I don't usually do that.

There is another equally important tragic death to be remembered at this time; the 20th anniversary of the death of Marvin Gaye. I haven't seen any magazine covers for him, though.

On April 2, 1984, Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father, a minister, for allegedly being so coked out of his mind that he was endangering the family. While Cobain was no doubt important in the world of rock, Gaye was hugely influencial to rock and and gospel and soul artists alike. Born on April 1st , 1939 (yep - killed the day after his 45th birthday), he left his dad's church choir to hook up with the likes of Don Covay and Billy Stewart to do r&b vocals, and later doo-wop under the tutelage of Bo Diddley. In 1960, Gaye hooked up with Motown as a session drummer and singer, but with an awesome future to come.

He started off doing dancey numbers and got sweeter ("How Sweet It Is" in fact, in 1965) as time went by. His partnership with Tammi Terrell produced some of the best soul duets to date ("Your Precious Love") until her untimely death in 1970. Terrell actually collapsed in Gaye's arms onstage during a performance after developing a brain tumor. Her loss caused him to get reclusive for a bit, but then he came out with the amazing What's Going On - a beautiful soul album showcasing Gaye's spiritual and sensual side - an album Motown didn't want to release but became Gaye's most successful piece of work once they did. His work just got more groovalicious and aware as time went on; commenting not only on love & sex, but God & politics as well. He was a literate, creative, intelligent, soulful musician. And he was a total cokehead.

As with Cobain, inevitably insecurity, fear and drug abuse make for a deadly cocktail. I've argued with a friend that it's that artist mentality that does it, the extremes of creativity that seem to make them crazy and self destructive - but he pointed out that for every overdose or suicide, there are 10 equally talented artists who are still with us, or lived to a ripe old age while remaining vital. I suppose it's the loss as well as the contribution that makes them legend.

So yes, as you raise a glass to Kurt today, remember Marvin too. Those boys are equals in my book.

Friday, April 02, 2004

So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star?

I've been busy. This is why.

There's a pirate radio station here in LA called Little Radio. It originally launched for a test run back in February, and it looks like the kinks have been pretty much been ironed out and it's be back on the air for good(or till the radio police come). Keep checking at 104.7 FM. It was running last night and still seemed to be on when I came to work this morning! For those of you who can’t get it in, it' streaming right now. We don't have DJs yet, but we will soon!

On Wednesday nights, starting in April, Little Radio is going to have showcases at Fais Do Do here in LA. If you’re a band of the indie rock, pop or hiphop genre and can draw 100-150 people, then here is your chance to book a show.

If interested, e-mail or . Yea, that would be me. So desperate for good music in LA that I'm willing to be part of an illegal outfit! If they ever find us...