Sunday, October 31, 2004

Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love

My friends are the coolest. This is what they did with their kid for Halloween. Too rad.

I Heart Jen & Brandt & Jonas!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2004

In Case of Emergency...

My cat would never do this. Mostly, he just sheds. And I wuv him!

Thursday, October 28, 2004


A terrible thing happened to me at work the other day. I was slaving away busily on my computer when someone from our "creative" department handed me a little boxed set. Of the Bee Gees. "Too Much Heaven: Songs of the Brothers Gibb."

I don't think this is actually being sold to anyone - the company I work for administers the publishing for the Gibbs and we sometimes pitch their stuff to movies and TV. People want to use "Stayin' Alive" all the time. This collection was to send out to our clients to remind them of the vastness (and early undisconess) of the Gibbs catalog.

If I were a true indie snob, I would tell you that the disco part sucks, and the collection's strength lies in the early pretty pop days of the Bee Gees. When they were doing stuff that was more noted for vocal harmonies and all the kids who still wear straight-legged pants and ride scooters will tell you about. The liner notes in this thing are written by Brian Wilson and George Martin for chrissakes - those guys know pop.

But I'm not a true indie snob, and I love the disco.

And you know what else I love about these CDs? The third disc features little brother Andy, a boy who was hunky enough for me to have a crush on but also had enough hair on his chest to scare me into worshipping Shaun Cassidy instead. I suspect Andy was the first of my many Australian crushes. This third disc also has songs by the Gibbs performed by others, which leads you in to the fiery hell of Babs "Mecha" Streisand and Kenny Rogers and even (gulp!) Celine Dion. Shudder.

I listened to this all the way home. Really enjoyed "You Should Be Dancing" (c'mon, it's kind of a scary dance number) and "More Than A Woman." However, it was Andy that really had me rocking in the car. I love "Shadow Dancing!" My worn out 45 can attest to that. "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" - also extremely enjoyable.

There. I've confessed. I know now that you think less of me, so I'll tell this: That same evening, I went to see the Secret Machines/ Interpol show, then afterwards zipped down the street to catch Greg Dulli & the Twilight Singers. Tell you more about that later, but great shows.

I leave you to ponder the following: Andy Gibb & Heath Ledger. Both from Australia. Did mom or dad fool around? Is there something in the water? Heath Ledger - the lost Gibb brother? You tell me...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Peel Sessions Have Ended

This just in...

John Peel, legendary Radio 1 and Radio 4 presenter, has died suddenly on holiday in Peru. For more info, check here.

I have always highly respected John Peel and his always interesting and intriguing selections. His "session" recordings were great and he was presented challenging music to his audience, and genuinely loved it. One of the best DJs ever. His death is a great loss to the music industry, as there were few willing to take a chance on new, innovative, artists.

(Nic Harcourt WISHES he could be John Peel.)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Oops! I Did It Again

Sorry, still fascinated by the Ashlee thing. But I'm not the only one. Those wacky Aussies have already set up an entire website about it.

Is this the end of the current teeny bop wave? Will the new "grunge" emerge? Just kidding. Kinda.

Cat's In the Cradle

Okay, I'm lazy. You get pictures and links. But they'r FUNNY links, I tell you!

For some reason, these stompy kittens crack me up. Watch and be afraid.

My cats aren't afraid of water, and neither are these.

Ciao for now!

Blame it on the...

In case you didn't hear, Ashlee Simpson lip syncs. Duh. Now if only we could get Jessica to start doing porn like we know she was born to do...

(I couldn't resist. Thanks to Danwho and Tale of Two Cities.)

We Are Family

His home town endorsed Kerry, and now even his relatives won't vote for him.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Love & Happiness

PBS is running a poll on Gay marriage for Bill Moyers "Now" program.
Please vote then pass it on to everyone you know!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Stray Cat Strut

Yesterday, a friend emailed me at work to let me know that Greg Dulli and the Twilight Singers were live on Seattle's KEXP, and that they were doing a cover of Martina Topley-Bird's "Lying."

After their sad, rainy day rendition, Greg mentioned that this song had been left off the domestic release of her album, so you really weren't gonna hear it ever. I was floored. Greg had introduced me to her Quixotic CD last summer, and that song in particular is a stand out - really beautiful stuff. But leave it to the US to fuck things up, right? The domestic version of the album, Anything, has a sexed up cover and a rearranged song list excluding three great tracks. (For those of you in the dark on Martina Topley-Bird, she sang most famously on the Tricky albums, and I'd highly recommend that you pick up the UK edition of her beautifully sexy nighttime music.)

He talked about his friendship with Elliott Smith and baseball, and then the TS crew did a pretty version of My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep" seguewaying into "The Rose." (Greg is the master at covering what you didn't think could be covered.) They are playing here in LA next Wednesday the 27th at the lovely El Rey - and Greg knows how to put on a show, believe me. Go.

My friend Scott used to play bass with Greg in the Twilight Singers, and is currently pursuing all sorts of things. (He used to also play with Camp Freddy and Jane's Addiction and other bands I can't even think of now.) He's been doing some kick ass photography, and one of his shots is of Greg with the infamous Clyde - his cat. Clyde is a scraggly black beast who does what he wants when he wants, and likes the ladies. Uh, he's alot like his owner. Greg is actually allergic to cats, but one day Clyde walked into his life, and Greg didn't sneeze, and it's been true love ever since. Least that's what Greg told me.

(Greg and Clyde; photo by Scott Ford @ Mediacandy)

Well, I had a cat that looked almost exactly like Clyde. Her name was Chloe, and she was pretty bad ass. She was a cranky old lady cat by the time she came to my life, with a mysterious past and a torn ear and a freckle in her eye (which I have too). She pretty much always let you know what was up. Very cool cat. You decide if they were seperated at birth:

Chloe. Kick ass.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Question Mark

Elliott Smith, October 21st, 2003

Still wondering what happened, really. This mural is up the street from my house, and there have been candles burning and flowers left and graffiti scrawled (a la Jim Morrisson's grave) for the last year.

For news of other tributes, check here.

Thanks for the tunes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Girls On Film

Ummm, yea, it's another Duran Duran posting. But I'm not as bad as some, really. I have been recently enlightened as to the fanatics that follow the boys around. I love 'em, but I don't think they're putting out any earth shattering stuff or anything. They make me remember my teen years fondly, they dress great and make fun white disco trash music, and they've most likely led me to have questionable relationships with musicians. But it could be waaaaaaaaay worse.

For example:

Last Friday, Duran Duran were autographing their new CD at a Virgin Megastore in West Hollywood. A friend of mine flew down from San Francisco to be there, armed with the new CD, the new CD/DVD pack, the new album (yes, the vinyl), her book of photography by Nick Rhodes, and her Duran Duran board game (I also own the Duran Duran board game). And she commented on the fanatics in attendance.

There were two different wristbands distributed. One was "guaranteed" and the other was a standby one. 500 of the "guaranteed" ones were distributed with 250 of them going out when they did a midnight onsale 3 days prior. People started camping out at 6am the morning of the onsale just to buy the cd.

After I got the wristband I went outside and joined the lineup. First
person in line arrived on Thursday at 4:45pm. The signing wasn't until
Friday at 7pm.

Security was quickly hastening everybody along the table to get out rather quickly. Very little time was allowed to make small talk or smile, nod or in the case of one woman... cry. No, that was not me. I heard one woman had to pulled aside and forced to sit down because she was so nervous that she was trembling and worried the event staff. That wasn't me either.

So next up: I ditched work today to go to a taping of the Ellen DeGeneres show. She wins Emmys and stuff, I guess... bigger than Oprah, perhaps? Regardless, it was my first talk show taping and it was exhausting. And I was there because the musical guest was - you got it - Duran Duran. Susan Sarandon and Dermot Mulroney were also there, but whatever. Academy award winner? Just give me John Taylor!

Because I'm a lucky girl, a friend of a friend worked on the show (she was also the drummer for Luscious Jackson) and got us on the VIP list. This meant we got to sit inside while it was raining outside. Non special people waited under a tarp. I felt kinda bad, till Duran Duran started soundchecking behind the wall that was keeping us from seeing the soundstage. "Sunrise" and "Hungry Like the Wolf." Occasional comments like Simon saying, "Oh, is that me? Sounds awful." Priceless.

Eventually we were seated. Most live show tapings have a comedian come on before hand to get you warmed up, and the Ellen show also had dancing. You were expected to get up out of your seat and dance like a maniac for however long it took to get the show started. It was all booty jam 80's stuff, which I'm not super into. The writer/comedian/VH1 commentator, Greg Fitzsimmons, threatened to move anyone not dancing to the back of the seating area, so my friends and I stood up and re-enacted the song that was spinning, "Copacabana." People were amused by this. We did not get moved.

(John Taylor and my friend who took me to the taping... except about 20 years ago. Dig the hair!)

The show is taped in real time, and you are cued to yell and scream and clap constantly. Between takes, you are forced to dance again. I was wiped out about 15 minutes into it, but held on to see my boys.

When they performed, they were maybe 20 feet away. It was awesome. They looked great. Well, actually, I think John's hair is thinning and he's sporting a "oops-got-my-finger-in-an-electrical-socket" look. Simon, however, looked trim and sexy - and I'm not even a Simon girl! Roger looked like my neighbor, but it was nice to see him after all those years away.

(Notice John has gone back to hats... but not GOOD hats... sigh...)

After their first song, the sixty something lady next to us turned to my friend and said, "I don't understand why they didn't put us in the front. My daughter has loved this band since 1981! We flew all the way from South Carolina for this!" Wow - I just lied to my boss about a dental appointment. Then after the second song, a girl in front of us started bawling. Like shaking and crying. One of her friends turned to us and said, "We flew her here from Florida. She loves Duran Duran and has never seen them, and she's dying of cancer." Jesus! I felt like a poseur amongst these women. I mean, just because I listen and own most of the music and had lots of posters up and see them live all the time, regardless of quality... for me - it's always been fun. For them, it's a part of waking up and breathing and stuff. Damn.

And afterwards, Ellen gave everybody a copy of her new book and the new Duran Duran CD. Which was nice, because I was waiting for the promo copies to start flooding the used bin before I got one. See? I love them, but I'm like that.

Oprah gave everyone a car at her show... you listening, Ellen? I guess the show airs Thursday the 21st; I'll be the girl dancing with two cute gay boys and not wearing hot pink with acid wash.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Politics of Dancing

Is this message understood?

Watch the video. It's goofy.

My name is She B Mo, and I approve of this message.

Uh, Sydney would be nice...

(Cartoon by the oh-so-awesome Don Hertzfeldt.)

Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog

Since I'm terribly busy but I don't want to leave my audience of three without anything to read today, here is a parable of sorts submitted by my dad. My dad rocks.

Oh, and a happy, happy birthday to Warren!

Dubya Goes To Hell

While walking down the street one day, George "Dubya" Bush is shot by a disgruntled NRA member. His soul arrives in heaven and he is met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. "Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem: We seldom see a Republican around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in; I'm a believer," says Dubya.

"I'd like to just let you in, but I have orders from the Man Himself: He says you have to spend one day in hell and one day in heaven. Then you must choose where you'll live for eternity."

"But, I've already made up my mind; I want to be in heaven." "

I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to an elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a lush golf course; the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, the temperature a perfect 72 degrees. In the distance is a beautiful clubhouse. Standing in front of it are his dad and thousands of other Republicans who had helped him out over the years: Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Jerry Falwell. The whole of the "Right" is here, everyone laughing, happy; casually but expensively dressed.They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at expense of the "suckers and peasants." They play a friendly game of golf, then dine on lobster and caviar.

The devil himself comes up to Bush with a frosty drink and says, "Have a Margarita and relax, Dubya!"

"Uh, I can't drink no more, I took a pledge," says Junior, dejectedly.

"This is Hell, son... you can drink and eat all you want and not worry, and it just gets better from here!" says the devil. Dubya takes the drink and finds himself liking the devil, a very friendly guy who tells funny jokes and pulls hilarious nasty pranks, kind of like a Yale Skull and Bones brother with real horns. They are having such a great time that, before he realizes it, it's time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves as Bush steps on the elevator and heads upward.

When the elevator door reopens, he is in heaven again and St. Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit heaven," the old man says, opening the gate. So for 24 hours Bush is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people who enjoy each other's company, talk about things other than money, and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or frat boy joke among them; no fancy country clubs and, while the food tastes great, it's not caviar or lobster. And these people are all poor; he doesn't see anybody he knows, and he isn't even treated like someone special! Worst of all, to Dubya, Jesus turns out to be some kind of Jewish hippie with his endless 'peace' and 'do unto others' jive.

"Whoa," he says uncomfortably to himself, "Pat Robertson never prepared me for this!"

The day done, St. Peter returns and says, "Well, then, you've spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. Now choose where you want to live for eternity." With the 'Jeopardy' theme playing softly in the background, Dubya reflects for a minute, then answers, "Well, I would never have thought I'd say this -- I mean, heaven has been delightful and all -- but I really think I belong in hell with my friends." So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to hell.

The doors of the elevator open, and he finds himself in the middle of barren, scorched earth covered with garbage and toxic industrial waste...kind of like Houston. He is horrified to see all of his friends dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime. The Devil comes over to Dubya and puts an arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers a shocked Dubya. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and we ate lobster and caviar and drank booze. We screwed around and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looks miserable!"

The Devil looks at him, smiles slyly, and purrs, "Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted for us."

Monday, October 18, 2004

Oliver's Army

Sssshhhhh... Amoeba Music in Hollywood has a very special in-store performance lined up for tomorrow, Tuesday the 19th. Elvis Costello. 6pm. (Wonder if Diana Krall will show?)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Run Rabbit Run

A few weeks ago, I was treated to a special night out by a good friend who was visiting for a few days. The special night was in Beverly Hills at a swanky steakhouse called Mastro's. My friend and I just love a good steak.

This particular joint is known for great food, a fantastic bar and (of course) famous patrons. It's the sort of place where you have a great meal and realize that the guy who suggested your dessert is a regular on some TV show, and the men hanging out at the bar are old, old, old school bigwheels. The place has only been around a few years, but they try to pull off that swingin' bachelor pad vibe of yesteryear, playing Rat Pack music over the speakers and lining the walls with chunky stone and dark wood. You can actually order a $4000 bottle of wine with dinner if you felt like it. The waiters are all comedians and the food is amazing.

One of the fun parts of living in LA is to be exposed to little treats like this place. Everybody was terribly nice and friendly, but it was soooooooo Beverly Hills. And by that, I mean most of the folks there were rich. I'm excluding myself, of course. But you could practically smell the old money - it was kind of bizarre.

As we were leaving the joint, I had to run to the restroom and my friend went to the other side of the bar to wait for me. This meant that once I went to find him, I had to walk the gauntlet through a crowd a much older men who were all dressed to the business casual nines. Most of these men had lovely younger ladies with them, but I was still a bit of a distraction, it seemed. But in a polite, older guy way. And just before I popped out of the crowd, the gentleman who turned to greet me and excuse himself as he moved aside with the tiniest flourish and a crooked smile was really familiar. Wasn't till I passed him that I realized who it was.

Yep, the king of the Playboys himself, Mr. Hefner. Figures - he knows a thing or two about meat.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

She Wore Blue Velvet

I had to go to the dentist today. I have fangs, and they need to be dealt with. It's a long story, and the fangs aren't super obvious, but the goth kids always notice right away. "Heeeeeey, did you get that done? They're cooooooooool..."

My dentist is in Santa Monica. He was a professor once, but now he's just in regular ole private practice in an average office off a main drag in a not so swanky building. My insurance pays him, a friend recommended him. Like most dentists in LA, I'd expect him to have a celeb in his patient list. Maybe two.

My dentist sees the David Lynch posse.

As we were discussing my impending dental work, he asked me if I wanted to change the shape of my fangs. I said no, they weren't causing me any problems and I sort of like them. I've had these slightly funky teeth all my life and it's part of who I am. This led him to tell me a story.

"Oh, yes, I have this patient... she's an actress. Roselli? Do you know? Oh, Isabella Rosellini. I'm bad with her last name."

"Yes, yes, I know who she is."

"Oh, yes, Isabella. David brought her her when they were making Blue Velvet, about 20 years ago, and I still see his cameramen, and sound people, Dennis Hooper - uh - Hopper, yes, all of them. I saw Isabella and I told her, 'I can fix those front teeth' because her front teeth are kind of crooked. But she said no, that she was already a successful model and she liked her crooked teeth. Now everytime I get off the plane in the airport, I see posters of her for that makeup she models - uh - Lancane? Lancome. Yes. I see posters, and there is that tooth, right in my face!"

(Isabella and her teeth.)

Anyway, I had a talk with Kristin Hersh last summer about teeth. She likes to remind her kids of who I am by saying, "You remember Mo... the lady with the cool teeth..." She said that she was always bummed that her parents had made her get her teeth fixed when she was a kid, and she was always jealous about other people with slightly fucked up teeth. Well, I don't have a British smile by anyone's standards, just slightly funky and endearing, I think. So the fangs stay.

Hell, if Isabella can make it glamorous, why can't I?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The California Kid

The roomie is pulled from retirement to blog another day. Check her out as she full-on represents for the City of Angels.

California's new quarter comes out next year. I'm soooooo looking forward to it! I even got a sneak peek - wanna see?

Kidding! My friend John made that. But I really wish it were our quarter, cuz it would be the most accurate, that's for damn sure.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This Is Ground Control to Mr. LeBon

"Barbarella, your mission: Find Duran Duran and use all of your incomparable talents to preserve the security of the stars..."

I am a freak about Duran Duran. Regular readers know this. I will always enjoy this band, happily and with a guilt free conscience. John Taylor is a total babe.

So their new CD, Astronaut, with the original lineup once again intact, came out today. I'll get it soon enough. The new video has already hit the VH1 cable waves so that former new romantics like myself can indulge. It features Nick Rhodes in a spaceship, making mannequins come to life. Rad. (Hmmm... who has better floppy hair... Nick Rhodes, or any of the guys in Franz Ferdinand? Hmmmm...)

Speaking of Franz Ferdinand, check out this hilarious interview with Simon where he mentions those guys and how much he loves the Killers.

Simon and Nick were always very cool about their musical tastes... D2's European tour last January featured the Scissor Sisters and Goldfrapp opening for them - handpicked by Simon & Nick. Nicely done!

And you've gotta read this interview with Time Magazine also... ridiculously funny. Here's an excerpt:

TIME: Is the entire band married to models?

Simon LeBon: Someone's got to keep the models happy.

And about the new CD? From Entertainment Weekly: Either Simon LeBon has become one fine singer, or recording engineers have discovered an anti-adenoidal button. That's just one of the surprises on the first album in 21 years from the original lineup of new wave's steeliest mannequins. Glistening zero-gravity synth-funk that's mostly unembarrassing and at times shockingly vital (the proto-Faint squall of "Want You More!"), this is so '80s you can almost taste the freebase. B --Doug Brod

What? I could have a drug problem or something, you know. Let me have my little obsessions...

Monday, October 11, 2004

Talk About... Pop Music

I have been fortunate enough in the last week or so to be bombarded with a helluva lot of new music. So much that I have to make myself take my comfort food out of the CD player and give these newbies a spin or two. Usually on the hour long 10 mile drive to and from work.

I thought I would share, if anybody's interested.

!!! Louden Up Now

Love it. Totally fun. Crazy, but fun. Although
!!! is often lumped into the recent New York dance craze with acts like Hot Hot Heat and The Rapture, I think they may have more in common with the post-Clash outfit, Big Audio Dynamite. They are their own unique beast, however, a group of nerdy white kids with the ability to create music for the dirty dancing college crowd, respected by funksters and stoners alike. There is very much a kitchen-sink element to them; they throw in new wave tinkling with heavy percussion and intense vocals with infectious results. Dig it.

Radio 4
Stealing of a Nation
Moving Units
Dangerous Dreams

I listened to these two CDs on the same day, which was a mistake. Why? Well, once I had finished up, I thought to myself, "Gee, I really like Gang of Four, and I'm sort of over this Gang of Four rip off thing." This is not to say that these albums aren't good - hell, I'd be shakin' my ass like nobody's business on the disco punk dance floor (where the boys would all be wearing white jeans - you KNOW that's true). There just isn't really anything new here. The Moving Units CD is pretty much a continuation of the EP they put out ummm... two years ago. I certainly dig some tracks ("Birds of Prey," "Submission," "Available" are all good screamy angular dance fun), but I've heard it before. The Radio 4 boys are pushing more in !!! territory, but !!! has more of an organic true funky sound, and these guys sound like they're trying to work their fab "Dance to the Underground" thing a bit longer. Again, there are definitely tracks here I really like ("Party Crashers," "The Death of American Radio," and "No Reaction"), but they sound like they are trying a little two hard. And they're making it political, which is always kinda tricky. And am I the only one who thinks that singer Freddy Frogs sounds like Joe Jackson?

Nancy Sinatra

Okay, Nancy can't really sing... you know that, right? And other people wrote her a bunch of songs to not really sing. They realized that she's one of those talk singers, and she can do the little girl voice, and that's what they did with her. The big fuss is that Morrissey wrote (and sings backup!) on a track, "Let Me Kiss You," which is (I think) the best track on there. It's quite pretty, in that Morrissey swoony way. Jarvis Cocker wrote a couple songs, Thurston Moore did a suitably creepy one for her (which is hil-AR-i-ous to listen too), and the boys from U2 also presented her with a torchy number called "One Shot of Happy, Two Shots of Sad" which really use her talents to the best of their ability.

The Hidden Cameras Mississauga, Goddam

I wanted to like this more than I did. I wanted it to be the sparkly, jangle pop with clever lyrics that I heard on the radio from time to time. It made me think of New Zealand pop from the 80's/90's, kinda fresh and fucked up at the same time. Instead it was a little too silly for me, and kinda repetitive, but still very cute. They're like a gay pop choir from
Toronto. Kinda. (Actually, that's exactly what they are.)

The Datsuns Outta Sight/ Outta Mind

Speaking of New Zealand... these Kiwis are a guilty pleasure of mine. They do that rock thing just fine. And on this CD they continue making dirty rock and roll which isn't awesome, but is fun.

Interpol Antics

Who am I kidding... I've had this CD all summer because my roommate is cool. At first listen, I thought it was okay. There is nothing as grand and beautiful as "NYC" here. But after a few more listens, I realized I liked it a lot. Then I loved it. "Evil" & "C'Mere" are my current favorites... still pretty, somewhat aggresive, and Paul sings more, doesn't he? Give it a few listens; I'm addicted.

The New Year The End Is Near

What Bedhead became. Nice, pretty, a little too slow for me. I'm sure the Bedhead kids love it, though.

Pedro the Lion Achilles Heel

Another sad, sensitive offering from Pedro the Lion, once again intelligently rendered and emotionally perceptive... I always like this guy more than I mean to, because I'm a dork and get turned off by his "spirituality" aspect and am not a fan of story songs (although I have no problem with either of these things when it comes to Nick Cave... see below).
Musically, the album is a pretty melodic affair, a little quieter than past efforts. He bounces it up a bit more with a country-ish "Foregone Conclusions" and "Keep Swinging." Bazan's voice is one of those that is not beautiful but emotive and endearing, making the lyrical delivery sound all the more honest. So I liked it.

Mellowdrone Go Get 'em Tiger

Initially a one-man show by Jonathan Bates, my homeboys Mellowdrone released a couple melodic EPs before Bates picked up some bandmates to fully round out the sound he was going for all along -- a dreamy yet thoroughly engaging kind of rock, not out of place with the likes of Ride, Swervedriver, and Beck in his Sea Changes phase. Majestic at times, full of swooning orchestration and hypnotic rhythms, Mellowdrone's work wears its love of Radiohead proudly on its sleeve on tracks like "Bonemarrow" and "Pretty Boy." Way, way nice.

Charles Douglas Statecraft

This got handed to me because Joey Santiago plays guitar on a lot of it. It's okay, sounds like A sort of Superchunky (but not rowdy) thing. Maybe I think this because Chapel Hill is mentioned a few times. He also mention rolling joints, but it's not a stoner record. Lyrically kinda dorky, musically very sweet. It was ok.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus

"This is a song about a girl..." I have to be totally honest with you: I haven't listened to these entire CDs more than one time apiece. Why? The very first track on Abattoir Blues, "Get Ready For Love," kicks serious ass. It's totally rockin'. It's like someone lit a fire under Nicky to get him to stop being the croonmeister he's been for soooooo many albums now... I like the way Nick Cave sings, whether he's screaming or swooning. I've often said that if someone could sing to me like Nick Cave, I'd marry him. But even this sappy romantic of a girl got a bit tired of all his reflective, somber croonfests. So right off the bat on this album, he jumps right out of the box and gets rowdy, "Deanna" style except creepier and with a gospel choir. Of course. There's also a groovy calypso number, some warped "Carny"-esque stuff and the pretty songs. My best friend commented: "I didn't think he could write songs like that anymore." I haven't been this excited about anything Nick Cave has done in eons. And from this man, I can handle story songs.

The Concretes s/t

Another CD I really wanted to hear because it reminded me of the twee side of New Zealand music, but it turns out they're from Stockholm. I like those bands too. I've become addicted to this one in the same way a kid might eat Skittles till he pukes. Singer Victoria Bergsman has kind of a Hope Sandoval thing going on, which usually annoys me but in this case doesn't. The music is like Mazzy Star meets the Velvet Underground to hang with the Supremes in an opium den. Very pretty and weird, sometimes cute, and I even like the words.

Rogue Wave Out of the Shadow

This CD is excellent all the way through. For fans of Elliott Smith, Earlimart, The Shins,You Am I, Beulah, Irving, etc... Dreamy hooky quirky pop, sweet vocals, lovely orchestration, endearing lyrics. This is like, the billionth time these songs have been released in the last 2 years and these guys are from my adopted hometown (San Francisco), and they've finally come into my life and I'm very glad. A really wonderful CD I'll be listening to for a long time.

That's wave one. I still have another stack of CDs to go...

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Hooray for...

Hmmm... just testing this pic feature with the view outside my lovely windows... Yea, sometimes I can be a little brat, I know.

Him Dancing

Guess what I'm doing for Christmas this year?

Support: 50 Foot Wave (feat. Kristin Hersh)
Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NYC
Saturday, December 18, 11:59pm

I'll be lucky if my head doesn't explode after this show. Two of my favorite artists of all time, on the same stage, on the same night? The only way this evening could possibly get any better was if Duran Duran was playing some secret 3am show at a club nearby, with Interpol opening, so we could white trash disco the night away. Then as we blearily wandered into a nearby coffeeshop afterwards while the drugs are wearing off, Johnette Napolitano would be there singing and playing guitar for a small but appreciative group as she comes down from the previous night's drinking jag.

But I'll settle for just the Pixies and Kristin Hersh for now.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Bloody Red Eyes Go to Nausea...

Oh my God, this made me laugh till I puked. Thank God it's Friday.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Groove Is In the Heart

I got this email from a friend the other day...

For the past year, I was living in a film archive run by this complete anti-social nutcase. Stayed inside all day and, from what I could tell, was completely socially autistic (found out later he probably had Asperger's syndrome). He would yell at my friends for ringing the doorbell too loud. He had a fetish for vintage pornography and was crazy sexist. But we got along great. The vast ocean of his off-the-wall wackiness completely diluted my own social phobias. I'd look at him and think, "This guy's fucking nuts and he seems to be able to navigate the world reasonably well. What the heck am I so worried about?"


The roommie and I saw "Dig!" the other night. If you haven't heard about it, director Ondi Timoner started this documentary out thinking she was going to cover the career paths of ten different bands over the course of a certain period of time, but was commanded by Brian Jonestown Massacre founder Anton Newcombe to just follow him and the other greatest band in the world, the Dandy Warhols. So the film follows Anton and Courtney Taylor (and the rest of their band members) around for about 7 years, watching the Dandys achieve some level of alternative success (videos by Dave LaChapelle and headlining European music festivals) and charting the struggle (and occasional self sabotage) of Anton and his crew.

What this film really turns into is a character study of the mad genius versus the industry. While the Dandy Warhols are extremely talented, they are also rewarded for playing by the rules (making pouty videos, kissing the right ass, etc) and they have a record deal - albeit somewhat frustrating at times - to show for it. BJM, on the other hand, is driven by Anton's fierce DIY ethic, and, unfortunately, his whims... Which (as depicted in the film anyway... And I've seen my share of BJM shows that were similar) led to fights with band and/or audience members, studio engineers, label types... You name it.

Anton Newcombe has created some really amazing music. He knows it, and will be the first to tell you so. A friend of mine went to a BJM show recently and reported back, "Anton started the show by abandoning the band, playing DJ for a bit, then got on stage and preached on about the war in Iraq and the loss of life... This went on for 45 minutes, and eventually they played three songs. And those three songs were the best songs you felt like you'd ever heard in your life."

That's the thing with Anton. He is powerfully creative, and pretty nuts. Watching a BJM show sometimes has the same appeal as watching a car wreck. You can't tear your eyes away. So it was easy for him to become the focal point of this film, because he behaves in such a self absorbed way(including some serious substance abuse... Surprise!), and is so confident in just about everything he does, that it's absolutely fascinating material. He pretty much always does what you secretly wish you could do. But all this crazy, unchecked behavior makes you forget that there is real talent there, and at least the movie (and Courtney Taylor) try to keep reminding the viewer of that.

So this got me thinking... Doesn't it seem like there are a disproportionate number of artistic nutjobs out there? Beautifully creative people with insane drug habits and completely irrational behavior? Why is that? I've hung out with people like this over the years, and possibly the most talented, creative person I've ever known was also the funniest, intelligent and completely horrible person - all at the same time. You never knew when you walked in if he was going to make you laugh or try to make you angry. He liked to antagonize people just as much as entertain them. It was difficult to be friends at times, and incredibly rewarding at others.

Well, I guess these people are fucking nuts and seem to be able to navigate the world reasonably well. And we get this great art on top of it. What the heck am I so worried about?

Reality Bites

Does this mean people will actually start writing for TV again? Creating a whole new batch of potentially interesting (or not) TV shows and new television celebrities? I hope so... although all I ever watch these days is HBO, IFC or Comedy Central. Oh, and Adult Swim - cuz it RULES!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

California Dreamin'

Yet another reason why I love living in California. I don't even mind the occasional earthquake. (Think I'll go buy a new sweater after work...)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Goin' to the Chapel...

"... And thanks to my wonderful husband Mark. Someday soon we can get a legal marriage license and you can make an honest homosexual out of me." -Emmy winner Tony Kushner of "Angels of America" for writing in a miniseries, movie or dramatic special.

Didn't have time to say anything about this when it actually happened, but YES!

Remember when Britney got married for like, 4 minutes, and everyone thought it was so funny? And how J. Lo keeps getting married and how Liz Taylor has been married about a million times and no one seems to mind? It's just more fodder for the tabloids. Well, why can't gay couples do that too? You see, Britney's 30 second nuptials don't exactly shout "preservation of the sanctity of marriage" to me. However, my friend's uncles, together for 38 years or so, have a relationship that I could aspire to.

My parents have been married 37 years. I have very few friends who still have their original set of parents. In the last few years, I've come to realize that I know of quite a few gay couples who have been together over 10 years, some more than 20. And I have a few friends with a gay parent who has been with their partner much, much longer than that.

Anyway, check out Margaret Cho's Marriage Equality website. I used to not be able to stand this chick, but I now realize it's just her comedy routines I don't care for. Her political views are pretty solid though, and she's organized a very resourceful and informational site for those in support of equality on the marriage front.

Because I think anybody should be allowed to get married in Vegas and then have it annulled 55 hours later, godamnit!