Friday, December 31, 2004


Happy New Year!

I'm about to head out, but wanted to dash off a few thoughts regarding the past year...

I have awesome friends. 'Specially Rachael, Iiad, Courtney, Kent, Kerry, Steve, Doug & Warren.

I love LA. From my hilltop apartment in Silverlake, you can truly see how beautiful it really can be.

Blogging is fun, and thanks for reading. I hope you've been enjoying it as much as I have.

And how stoaked am I that I got to see the Pixies 8 times this year? Thank God for reunions!

May 2005 not suck. Till then...


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Stuck On You

Mmmmm ... and F is for... Failure.

I have had a big and somewhat embarrassing crush on Ken Andrews (the guy in the green) since about 1993. I've met him many times and he never remembers me. Sigh. I've interviewed him three times, have friends who have recorded with him, have friends who have co-produced and mixed with him, even gone out to Mexican food with him. Still nothing. Obviously, I'm a little disappointed at my lack of impact on the guy, but this doesn't lessen the fact that I loved his band. So I will now slip out of whiny groupie mode and tell you about Failure, and why I love them so.

A friend introduced me to Failure in early 1992 via a song called "Dipped In Anger" on a 7" found at a radio station we worked at. To me it sounded like (early 80's band) Japan funneled through that era's grunge factor, and they were from the smoggy depths of LA. Their first CD, Comfort, was ok - a bit thumpy, but that was the work of producer Steve Albini. Andrews took over that job on the next two records, Magnified and Fantastic Planet. Andrews and Greg Edwards, the druggy half, switched guitar and bass duties, did some keyboard work and even some of the drumming. The songs were beautiful spaced out heroin jams, waves of melody working influences like Kyuss and Depeche Mode. Their love of cinema was reflected in the music too, as incidental tracks were included to transition you along to the next song, since they were all about listening to the album as a whole. True believers in pop, experimentalism, and all out rock, Failure's music was heavy and gorgeous at the same time.

When they finally busted up, the rumors claimed it was because of Greg's drug abuse. Seeing the band live was a testament to that; I remember being afraid that Greg was actually melting into the floor at some shows. The lyrics were very drug heavy, which further supports that theory. Since the bust-up of Failure, Andrews has done tons of production work for the likes of Creeper Lagoon, Pete Yorn, Icarus Line, and BRMC among many, many others. He also did a fabulous solo project called On - which I loved for being unabashedly new wave - and another band called Year of the Rabbit. Edwards, on the other hand, has been playing around with a band called Autolux for the last few years, a band that - in typical LA fashion - has been living off the hype of a demo that's been floating around since about and has finally released their first new CD (which, of course, contains the demos). And they're awesome live. As is Ken.

But I'm biased.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Can I Get A Witness?

I have been incommunicado for a while because of two things: I had The Flu and I left New York City to visit relatives in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. They live in Amish country. Hardcore.

My relatives aren't Amish (well, one uncle is actually Pennsylvania Dutch), but in regards to their modes of communication; they might as well be! It was very sprawling lawns, woods, deer, barns and the whole horse and buggy thing. My relatives live in Lancaster County, which includes those charming townships with names like Paradise, Bird-In-Hand, Blueball and Intercourse. You have to go through Intercourse to get to Paradise. Really.

A bulk of the movie "Witness" was filmed in Intercourse. This was the terrain of my holidays, which would have been quite nice except for the fact that A) I had The Flu and B) I am a city girl. So I was somewhat delirious and bored all at the same time. Perhaps if I had been in better health, I would have been able to enjoy myself. Instead, my relatives all think I'm a snob. Oh well, what can you do?

Relive the fun that got you in trouble in the first place!

I was lucky enough to have my brother and sister meet me in New York for a couple days before I was stricken with The Flu. They arrived Monday, after I had already Surrendered the Ass.

Sunday night, I was having a post Scissor Sisters duck meatloaf at a diner described to me as "hip and trendy" in the meat packing district near my friend's flat. I was being told how to handle snow: "It's worse once it has stopped snowing. Be careful when you walk around, because it will start to melt and freeze up, creating ice patches you really can't see. And when you fall, don't try to catch yourself by putting your hands out - that's how people break their wrists. Just let yourself fall - Surrender the Ass."

This was especially funny coming from two gay men, but we'll let that pass for now.

By 10am the next day, I was walking through the East Village on my way to Veselka for breakfast when I Surrendered the Ass. It was totally involuntary; my feet just went out from under me and I didn't even have time to potentially place my wrists in a boneshattering position.

Having survived that, living through the rest of the day was a cakewalk. Never mind that it was about 12 degrees the entire day, an unheard of temperature in this California Girl's past. My poor little sister had just returned from a 2 week vacation in Fiji, so she was in a bit more shock that I was. We hung out with a friend from Berlin (and her friend from Boston) and wandered around the Lower East Side in a thwarted attempt to get to Guss' while on a pickle hunt, had vegan cheesecake at Moby's Teany tea room (and how insane that it was extremely tasty cheesecake? And I love me some cheesecake!), visited with some specialized toys at Toys in Babeland, shopped for more specialized toys at Toy Tokyo, had some pizza at Ray's, went to Williamsburg to have dinner with Interpol's photographer (my brother knows everybody, I guess), and finally went home to thaw. We were assured by our New York friends (as well as the Berlin-ers and Boston-ers) that it was truly a cold, cold day, so we were quite proud of ourselves.

I didn't last much longer after that. A quick run of one of my favorite buildings, the Chrysler Building, the windows at Macy's, some Central Park and a visit with a friend (yo, Esme & Gary!I hope I didn't make you sick...)and I was out. While I faded in and out of consciousness, my brother and sister hit up the new MOMA and shopped H&M - two highlights my heart still aches about missing. At least I was around for the Pixies.

Next time, New York. Turn on your bright lights - I think you owe me one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Take Me Out

So what does a California girl do in New York City? Ummmm... freeze her ass off! Just so you know, I've endured my first snowfall AND subzero temperatures since arriving, and I'm still alive. Not even chapped or anything. Gotta helluva a cough, though.

Adventures? Well, let's see...

Saturday night. Death to the Pixies.

The last Pixies show of the tour happened at the Hammerstein Ballroom, with the lovely wall of sonic noise that is Kristin Hersh's 50 Foot Wave opening. I was up front stage right so that my partner in crime for the night could be within spitting distance of Kim Deal once she hit the stage. The Wave rocked it hard, played tight and quick, and wowed some while annoying others. I called Billy (Kristin's hubby/ manager) just before they went on stage... He answered by saying, "Are you really here?" I responded, "I couldn't turn down Kristin AND the Pixies." He laughed, yelled to Kristin that I was there, and said, "You know, our son Wyatt was just asking about you." (Cozy as I may make this sound, that was actually very random.) "You're kidding! What did he say?" "He said, 'Hey Mom - remember that time I met your friend Mo?'" Very momentous, as you can tell.

And the Pixies? Well, they all looked like the cats that ate the canaries. Smug and smiley, almost phoning it in, but phoning it in better than any other band. This was the 8th Pixies show I've been fortunate to see this year - and I'm assuming last - unless they decide to pull an X and just keep on "reuniting" for years to come, eventually playing such show stopping locales as Koncti Harbor in Kelseyville, California and the like for their wine swilling fans. Anyway, I was indeed crushed up against the barrier in front of Kim Deal, unable to move except for the occasional uncontrollable thrashing for "Isla De Incanta" and "Vamos." (The Spanglish tunes always make me the rowdiest.) Joey did a pretty awesome "Vamos" solo, with the now standard "watch me play my guitar with a drumstick!" (ah, and the days of yore when I watched him play with stilettos) but also unplugging his guitar and feedbacking with his cable and other connectors. Rock me Joe!

My favorite part of the show? Early on, third song or so, they did "La La Love Ya." Each member of the band took a turn saying the "I love yous." It was really fun and super cute and a total treat. I love you too, guys. And thanks for a groovy year.

Okay - Sunday night? The Scissor Sisters sold out homecoming show at the Hammerstein. As Ana Matronic put it, "You know how each homecoming has a queen? Well, this one has four!" Since I was hanging in NYC with my gay posse, where else for a fag hag to be but disco dancing with her boys at a tea dance? With the exception of Ms. Ana's seemingly endless babbling about "being in the city that INSPIRES us, this dirty city filled with PASSION and LOVE" and her token mention of words like "cock" and "motherfucker" and "balls" just to get the shrieky "wooooos!" from the crowd, they were really fun and bouncy and sounded great. They did a fabulous slowed bluesy version of "Take Me out" (it's floating around on the web if you want to try and find it) and the 16 year old boy next to me wearing the Franz Ferdinand shirt in attendance with his two dads went absolutely nuts. They ended in a sweaty tranny glitter orgy; a group of naked friends in glittery thongs and headdresses (boys and girls and probably boy-girls alike) took the stage and danced around before dogpiling and dry humping on stage. It was adorable.

Other things we did? Saturday - Drinks at the Algonquin Hotel, quoting Dorothy Parker while having martinis (I did tell you I was with gay men, right?)... More drinks at Gotham... More drinks in the meat packing district at Hell on it's last night - many sad beautiful gay boys in attendance, having their last Wicked Bitch before the neighborhood hang shut down for good. (I wish there was a place LA called Hell; it was fun calling people and saying, "Yea, just meet us in Hell!" "How do you get to Hell?" "Go to Hell and I'll see you there!" The best.) Drinking Sunday afternoon at the wine bar next to the Rockefeller Christmas tree after a little shopping at H&M, Italian food in the East Village, and the first snow.

The first snow? I walked out of the Scissor Sisters show with my Australian friend Mark, and said, "You know, this is the first time I've ever really seen snow fall." He huddled up into himself a bit more and said, "Great. Let's get the hell out of here."

Friday, December 17, 2004

Hot In the City

It was 77 degrees here in LA today. I'm off to New York City in a few hours, where I believe it's in the high 30's. What does a through and through California girl do when it snows? Find out in upcoming posts!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Lap Dance, Baby?

Ummm... maybe for the no-longer-so-special-guy you kicked out of your life? Those damn Japanese think of everything!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Your Parents Still Tell You What To Watch.

"My vote for best media/television story of the year goes to one you may have missed. Mediaweek reported on Dec. 6 that of all the "indecency complaints" to the Federal Communications Commission in 2003, a startling 99.8 percent of them came from one conservative group, the Parents Television Council.

And through October of this year, apart from complaints over Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction," a full 99.9 percent of the complaints about indecency have again come from the Parents Television Council. That means a small group of highly mobilized conservative watchdogs has essentially driven the "moral values" campaign directed at the FCC.

Hey, blue staters, this is a much smaller picture than you ever imagined. Forget about looking at that depressing election map and feeling overwhelmed, like you're on a cultural island apart from the rest of the country. The sad fact is, while you've been pouting -- and prior to that, when you were watching Jon Stewart and gloating -- you let a small group of reactionary conservatives set the agenda."

What? Go here to read more about it. And do something.
(Thanks, Spean!)

Monday, December 13, 2004

E is for ... Elliott

Yep. Elliott Smith.

I've always thought Elliott Smith's music was very sweet, pretty, intelligent and sad. It all kind of sounds the same, distinctly his, but the same nonetheless. So I never got super into him, and I always felt a little bad about that.

One night I said to my roommate, "I like Elliott Smith, but all his stuff sounds the same." To which she replied something like: "Blasphemy! Elliott Smith has never written a bad song in his life!" (He was still alive at the time.) Again, I felt bad. Deep down, I knew all of his lyrics would hit me a certain way, that I enjoyed every song I heard from him, so what was I holding back for?

And then he died. And I surprisingly had these strange connections to the event, living in the same part of town, knowing his sister and some friends... The loss hung heavier than the smog.

The memorial went up on the mural at Solutions, a electronics repair shop up the street from my house. When friends come to visit, they often want to pay their respects. It's just as vibrant today as it was when it suddenly came to life.

And I don't take Elliott for granted anymore.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

Hey - big ups to my boy Frank cuz it's his birthday today! I know he's dead and all, but you gotta pay The Voice some respect, aiight?

Frank was indeed one of a kind, a thuggy musician - my favorite kind. Others try to sing like him, can't. Others try to cop his style, can't. Others try to cop his attitude - forget about it! He was the leader of the pack, had charm & charisma, and could sing the pants... uh.. skirt offa ya.

In 1938, when Frankie was 23,he got busted for taking a young girl across state lines. Since you can't see it on this mug sheet, I'll tell what the crime is listed as: "Seduction."

What a badass. Tain't nobody like him!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Girls on Film

Well, I told you the pix would be kinda lame, didn't I? And these are the best ones! Anyway, if you watch VH1 this Tuesday, you'll see this except so up close that you'll be able to identify what kind of foundation Nick Rhodes is wearing.

These were proclaimed to be Nick's "balls." Ahem. Yea.

Simon spins round and round...

Thank you, and good night!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Our Lady of the Flatbed Truck

I live in a predominantly Latin neighborhood. I like this, because it means I have access to great food pretty much all the time, handy little markets and tons of cheap clothes. I also get to hear Spanish pop or mariachi music blasted from several different living room windows on the weekends, but I don't mind.

It also means I am often reminded of my Catholic roots, and yesterday was a Holy Day of Obligation. It was December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, to be precise. This is the day Catholics honor Mary's conception of baby Jesus without the fun of having had sex first. (Because sex is not fun! Remember?)

When I was in Catholic school, this date troubled me. I took it literally (things in the Bible should not really be taken literally... but still, we are surrounded by a variety of religious wars). I thought, "If Mary got pregnant on December 8th, and had Jesus on December 25th, then she was only pregnant for 17 days? Or if she got pregnant on the 8th, and had Jesus on December 25th the following year, then she was pregnant for over a year? Does God require a longer gestation period? That would suck!" But Catholicism is all about suffering, after all.

So why would I be reminded of this because of my neighborhood? Well, our Lady of Guadalupe, of course! In 1531, the Virgin Mary herself came down from Heaven to tell a Mexican peasant (just outside of Mexico City) to build a temple on the hill. Then she imprinted an image of herself on a his battered old tilma - a cloth made of cactus - which still exists today. I guess the image is so good that you can see images reflected in her eyes! (Take that, Shroud of Turin.)

When there is a Mary-centric event, my hood takes notice. On the way home from work, I saw that a vacant lot had been lit up with holiday lights and there were tables and tarps set up to keep the rain off everyone. People were dishing up home cooked food and hanging out, chatting and playing music. And displayed in the bed of a truck was a large painting of the Lady of Guadalupe.

This reminded me that a couple years before while working in a record store in Hollywood, I had noticed a crowd of people with flowers gathering across the street in front of the Jack in the Box. We were trying to figure out what was up, when a flatbed truck drove up with the same giant painting in the back. Everyone got up and followed it away. I guess it was part of the "parade" route, leading everyone back to what is now my neighborhood, Silverlake. A small pilgrimage to honor the Lady.

Another reason why I love this town.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I'll Swallow Your Soul!

Lots of kids today know of director Sam Raimi because of his SpiderMan franchise. But lots of 80's children knew him because of his other franchise - The Evil Dead one. The most hilarious grossout films ever. (Well, till Dead Alive came along...)

I remember the first time I saw the Evil Dead... I was in high school, in a friend's living room, and the Tree Scene was about to start. People starting chanting, "Tree scene - tree scene - tree scene..." and then well, a tree sorta rips this girl apart. But it was funny. You have to see it.

And then there was Evil Dead 2, one of the few movies I find myself quoting at opportune moments. I'm really bad about remembering lines from movies, except for this one. Maybe it helps that I've also seen it a gazillion times. "You're going down!" or "Who's laughing now? WHO"S LAUGHING NOW?!" or "Give me back my haaaaaaaaand!" or, my favorite, "Groovy."

And then there was Army of Darkness, which was just plain silly.

These movies made me have a little dorky crush on Bruce Campbell, because he had to be a pretty awesome to play a part that ridiculous, you know? He was the perfect idiot who thought he was a cool guy. He was over the top and hilarious. But will he star in the remake?

Yea, evidently, Sam Raimi wants to remake his own movies. Kinda. Evil Dead is under construction once again, but with new management. While keeping the original producers (Campbell, and Rob Talpert), Raimi is developing the movie but isn't planning to direct it. Ummm.. what? I just can't imagine why - if it ain't broke, you know...

Sam, I've got one word for ya: Chainsaw.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Welcome to the Terrordome

I'm talking more about this Duran Duran thing, for the LA stylings of it. I know some of you don't live here, think it's awful, and I'm willing to feed that beast... just for a moment.

At the show, the floor was sectioned off into three parts. My press pass had been mixed up at the entrance, so I had a "regular" admittance pass. (I got my VIP later.) Anyway, I was concerned that my incorrect pass gave me a less than stellar view, because there were a whole bunch of people up front, and roped off. Nope, I couldn't go there. That was for the fans and seatfillers.

So today, I went to the Duran Duran forums for the first time, and read some interesting things (which I later had verified). Another reason to believe that Los Angeles can truly live up to it's reputation:

"...We arrived and waited at least two hours in the cold (ed. note: our evenings have been about 40 degreees, weird for LA). Various people were being pulled from the line and were taken in beforehand. When we were finally let in, the audience was sectioned off into three areas. The people (1/2 of who were not fans, but I recognized many people who utilized this service to get in who were fans, so that was a good thing) were in the front surrounding the stage. The middle area was reserved for Bailey's people and the fans from ddmusic were placed in the back. Needless to say I was very dissappointed, angry is more like it. Yes, I should have been thankful that I was even there, but to know that the fans were placed in the back really pissed me off. I asked three people from VH1 what was going on and who was responsible and did the band have anything to do with the placement of the fans. Two had no idea what I was talking about and the third production staff I spoke to said that "because this is a TV show, we need actors and model types in the front for the camera".

"...I think it is worth noting that probably 60% of the seatfillers were hardcore fans (i was one of them) who happened to be industrious and signed up. That was the only way for us to get to go to the event, if you weren't a member of Everyone around me knew all the words to all the songs. I think you will see that when the show airs. I just don't want some misconception going around that most of the seatfillers were not big fans, because that is not true."

"...After a long walk to the soundstage, we're told we HAVE to check our coats before we go inside because they want it to look like "warm, sunny California". I looked at the guy and told him I'm not checking my coat. (I had a leather, tailored coat on) He tried to tell me they wouldn't let me in. I laughed at that and told him if he wanted to put me up front, I'd check my coat, otherwise forget it. So we walked in and there were a shi*tload of people already in there. We were literally at the back. They then ushered in a bunch of corporate people in between us and the seatfillers. If I hadn't been in heels, I would have seen precisely ZIP.As for the seat fillers, perhaps the ones up front were fans, but the ones in front of us stood there like deadwood through most of the show and when the fans in the back got excited over anything they, along with the corporate folk, threw looks over their shoulders and rolled their eyes. The real kicker was walking out after and being behind two females wearing VIP lams. Her comment to quote it directly:
'Can you believe those fans that were pissed off because they were in the back? As if anyone wants to see their fat wrinkly asses on tv.'"

So when John Taylor made that crack about everyone being from Central Casting... I guess he wasn't kidding.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

D Is for... Duh!

If you ask me to name a band whose name starts with D, I'm gonna name these guys:

Duran Duran. Founded in 1978, they were an art school band fronted by Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy (remember that 80's song "Kiss Me?" Yea, that guy). Nick Bates was on keyboards, Nigel Taylor on guitar. There was even a clarinet.

Stephen leaves, drummer Roger Taylor joins, Nigel switches to bass and starts using his middle name, John. Nick changes his last name to Rhodes and starts wearing makeup. (This is later the reason that Andy Warhol decides he wants to meet Duran Duran when they first came to the States in 1981.)Andy Taylor is flipping burgers at the Rum Runner, a hip Birmingham club, and joins on guitar. Simon Le Bon's girlfriend is a waitress at the Rum Runner and recommends the drama student for the singing gig, and Simon wins the guys over with his pink leopard skin pants and vocal style.

Duran Duran becomes the house band at the Rum Runner (where Nick also DJs) and within a year, they are signed and off to America. They make good on their promise to play Madison Square Gardens within 2 years of forming this particular lineup. Videos, yachts, supermodels and tons of hair dye follow.

Roger leaves the band after the 1985 performance on Live Aid, the last time the original lineup played together until 2003. Roger, Simon & Nick did Arcadia; Andy & John did the Powerstation, then Andy bailed. John left the band in 1996.

But then they all got back together. I was lucky enough to meet John Taylor and chat with him a tiny bit about it a couple years ago. This evening, I almost got to meet them all.

Last week, a friend from In Touch Magazine (lots of pictures, few words - those few words are usually followed by exclamation points) assigned me to a story: Go to the taping of the new VH1 concert series, this one featuring Duran Duran, and have 20 minutes with the band afterwards. I almost fainted.

Now understand, I am pretty much an indie rock girl. I love a wide range of music, but my journalistic past dealt pretty much with alternative type bands and electronic outfits just on the cusp of Spin magazine level or something. I got to interview artists like Failure, the Chills, Kristin Hersh, Rocket From the Crypt, the Geraldine Fibbers, Discount (who went on the become the Kills), Creeper Lagoon (they were practically my house band at KALX), Shonen Knife... stuff like that. Oh, and Tracy Lords. I got to interview her about electronica though, not her filmography. Bummer, I know.

But my weakness for Duran Duran runs deep. I spent the week in a mild state of shock. I figured out what to ask them in a few minutes, but it took me days to decide what to wear. At one point, I realized I had to wear my ex boyfriend's brown denim jacket. So I called Diego Luna ex, and left him a frantic message begging for his jacket. He brought me the coat in question and wished me luck (since he had been there when I met John Taylor and almost hyperventilated). Eventually, the hair was good, the outfit chosen, the recorder functional, the camera loaded, the new Sharpie pen and Creem magazine from 1983 ready to be autographed... and off I went.

It rained like crazy today. Californians say they like rain, but they don't react to it well. As a result, Duran Duran was cranky. Andy Taylor was out due to "exhaustion." The sound stage was freezing, and at sound check, the band was worried that turnout would be low. Once the show was ready to go, perhaps 2/3 of the people invited had showed, and we were all bundled up and a bit wet. There were diehards there, and I'm pretty into Duran Duran - but I ain't a diehard. I can still laugh at them as well as with them. They played and sounded great - they really are tight and clean and rowdy... one person nearby thought it was a lip sync, but Simon's antics soon proved that it wasn't.

The show will air next Tuesday, December 14th. I'm sure that some bits of dialogue will be cut out though... Like John telling the crowd that they were so good looking that they must have come from Central Casting, and Simon retorting, "Yea, just do what we do. Act like you're enjoying yourself." Or later in the show (once everyone had warmed up a bit), Simon enthusiastically yelling to the crowd, "Is our fucking drummer hot shit tonight?" (Um, he was.)

I'm lousy at recalling setlists and such, and I'm sure their website will have all sorts of that. We heard some new stuff and some old stuff. Okay, okay... I was really happy to hear "Planet Earth," "Girls On Film," "Careless Memories," and even "Wild Boys," which I used to hate but now really get a kick out of. "Notorious" was awesome as usual, and we were treated to a beautiful rendition of "The Chauffeur," always haunting and amazing.

And then it was over, and the Wild Boys in question were tired and cranky and no press got to hang out with them. So I didn't meet them. I'm going to do a phoner either with just Simon or the whole band later this week, but that's not quite the same. Although I'm not upset about it. I'm sure I would have held it together had I met them (just barely), but after that, then what? A question still not answered, but perhaps to be answered another day. Besides, I've gotten this close, and I ain't even trying.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Candy Girl

The letter C is for...

Connie. Francis.

Okay, this obviously comes from the school of mom. But I have a guilty pleasure thing about Connie Francis - I really like her voice! Really! "Stupid Cupid!" Come on - it's cute!

What's funny to me about Connie Francis is that the thing I always liked about her is what I now like about old school Mexican divas like Lola Beltran... She can really belt it out. Dramatically. Connie Francis sang in many languages (besides English, she did tons in Italian, some German, Japanese (!), Jewish tunes, Spanish... probably more I can't think of) and regardless of whether or not you understood what she was singing, you felt it. I bet girls all over the world cried while listening to some of her stuff.

She sang in many different styles also, which is what kept her afloat after the whole Beatles thing and rock & roll truly kicked in. A true pop singer who successfully dabbled in country, jazz, standards, and even did a couple kids records. Not that I ever heard any of those.

She did some acting, which almost made me hate her, actually. She was in this horrid movie called Where The Boys Are (you know the song, I know you do!) which was about some adventurous young girls heading off to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. They flirt and stuff, and one of them gets gang banged. Of course, this is represented by the most outgoing girl entering into a room with a bunch of guys who start to make advances, and then the next time you see her, she's with her friends and practically catatonic for the rest of the movie. No one ever discusses it, but I believe the other girls wind up with cute boyfriends while the flirtiest one winds up with post traumatic stress disorder and lifelong nightmares or something. There's your lesson learned, sassy gals! (Ironically, Connie was raped in 1974 in a hotel room after a show, and became an advocate for victims of violent crime as well as public safety.)

So give Connie a break. My brother and I were listening to one of my mom's collections of Connie Singing In Italian, and there was a song on it that could be a companion piece to Siouxsie & the Banshee's "Dazzle." Really. Not bad for an Italian gal from New Jersey.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Day It Rained Pigeon Shit

I was driving to work this morning... my usual route, all the way down Melrose into Beverly Hills. You see many different aspects of LA on this path. I drove my visiting relatives down this path so they could see the shops that intro the TV soap Melrose Place (although Wacko is now in Silverlake): all the trendy knock off places and tattoo parlors, trendy cafes and vintage shops. As you head west, the shops get fancier: Fred Segal's, serious antiques, Betsy Johnson, etc...

But the first part of this drive, the part that leads you away from my place, is the very eastern end of Melrose that starts in Silverlake and passes under the 101 freeway. This is the part with the trashy streets, homeless guys and stray dogs. This morning, I was stuck at a stoplight with about a million other cars. This morning, there were an awful lot of pigeons perched on the wires above us. I'm talking Alfred Hitchcock amounts of birds.

This morning, all those pigeons let loose on us.

It was pretty incredible. It really was like rain, because I thought we'd been splashed with a sprinkler at first. But no, it wasn't water. And for the remaining 30 minutes of my morning commute, I had to peer at the sunny streets through poorly windshield wiped bird shit. Thank God there is a guy in the garage at my work who washes cars, so that the morning will be a distant memory when I get back into my car tonight.

So this reminds me of a story.

Jon Wahl, frontman of the insane superrock band Claw Hammer (I don't think they exist anymore, but my friends & I used to see them all the time because they were so NUTS), told me a story about the time he was working at Epitaph. He worked in the mailroom (this was not so long ago, during Claw Hammer's productive period) in some scummy part of LA. One day, he came out to his car, and it was completely covered in bird shit. Like, so bad that everyone made fun of him for it. People left notes on his car about it. So, of course, he wrote a song about it. The song was cleverly titled "The Day It Rained Pigeon Shit" and involved a whole lot of yelling.

(No, this was not a roundabout way of doing the band for the letter "C." That's still to come...)