Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Two Thousand Jive Wrap Up

Well, I know that the year isn't quite yet over, and I'm about to embark on a last quickie journey of the year to my former home, my home away from home, Berkeley. I'll be there for about a week, and I know it'll be a blast.

However, I'm wrapping things up now. Memory wise. The good stuff from this year. My top ten, as it were... Top Ten Moments of 2005.

10. DJing at Radio in Oakland back in June. I was getting over a cold (which later developed into something else because I wouldn't give myself time to breathe) but I flew up to Oakland anyway, put on the knee high black leather boots, and DJed the night away with Mr. Joe Quixx. Friends came, people danced, the bar rocked and rolled. A good time was had by all, especially me!

9. The VIP Lounge at 8MM, Berlin. I was drunk. Like really drunk. My friend took me back to 8MM, where we had been the night before. This is the bar where the hip band kids DJ after they play Berlin (the only guy I can remember is Carlos D of Interpol). We were drinking with a couple of Australians and I got up to use the bathroom. On my way out, I was grabbed by a guy named Constantine. He took me into the back room, and swore me to secrecy about going back there. Turns out a couple people were playing pool on the secret pool table. I met the folks back there, pretended like I could play pool for a minute, and then went back to the bar because I felt bad for abandoning my friends. I immediately told them about the secret room, and later saw one of my billiard buddies, who also happened to be a hip young German film star. But I don't remember her name.

8. The last 10 minutes of the series finale of Six Feet Under. One of the best television shows EVER. Gorgeous piece; I can't hear that Sia song without crying. After I watched it, I wanted to call the guy I was dating and say, "Let's just run off and LIVE! LIVE LIFE!" I didn't.

7. Sharon Jones live at Sunset Junction with my friend Iiad. We had margaritas at my house, walked down to the street and danced our skinny white asses off to the hardest working woman in show business, Miss Sharon Jones. She royally shook our groove thangs.

6. The first DJ gig at the Short Stop. It reminded me of what I love about DJing for people: having fun, dancing to just about anything and being happy and excited about it, and good vibes. Oh yea, and lots of free drinks and cute boys. For me to play with.

5. RIP RFTC. The final Rocket from the Crypt show ever, on Halloween night, in San Diego.One of the best shows I've ever seen in my life, hands down. I still haven't written about it, because it was too awesome for words. It was sweaty, loud, crazy, sweaty, rockin', out of control, tight, and sweaty. I think I lost 5 pounds in 2 hours. And boy, was my hair frizzy.

4. Dating an awesome guy. For the first time in a gazillion years, I let myself date someone who was quality. Really wonderful, sweet, and goofy. An all around good person and human being.

3. Dumping the awesome guy. Why? Because I recognized that he didn't have the time for me that I needed, so rather than settle for what I could get, I said, "Let's just be friends." And it was the right thing to do, and has worked out swell.

2. Accidentally meeting an old friend on a random flight home. When I flew back from Berlin this fall, I had to connect to my LA flight in New Jersey. As I stood staring at the display screen showing me my flight information, a man walked beside me to check out the same screen. It was someone I'd known for a few years, who had been in and out of my life for various reasons. He was flying back from Italy where he had been touring. He saw me, I saw him, we laughed and reconnected (literally - on the same plane). We both realized that life kept throwing us in the same place, so we'd better just kiss & make up and stay friends. And it's been golden ever since.

1. Buzzily riding bikes around a couple of lakes in Berlin, at night, with one of my closest friends in the whole world. It was kinda scary and pretty neat, and certainly not something I'm ever going to get to do in LA.

Goodbye, Two Thousand Jive. Welcome, Two Thousand Sexy!

Monday, December 26, 2005

X Marks the Spot

Musical alphabet. We're at X. So, uh...

Someone explain to me how Exene Cervenka was able to marry both John Doe AND Viggo Mortenson? Cuz she's a kooky little woman, and they are insanely hunky sensitve men. Must be that "sensitive" part.

X rules. They even ruled during he first round of their reunion period when Billy Zoom re-joined the band. In fact, I saw the two years ago at our local street fair, and they were still ruling. I'm just jaded.

Nobody has sounded like them. Nobody harmonized like Exene and John Doe because she didn't know what the fuck she was doing. They were one of those early "punk" bands that was actually filled with melody, and you could tell they had a country thing goin' on too... before it was cool for punk bands to go outlaw country and shit. They were political and caring and in your face and friendly and rowdy and great.

Besides, the song "Nausea" rhymes with my real name. My friends used to sing it to me all the time. Those were the days.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Whatever

May The Holidays Be With You.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Whoa There!

In my musical alphabet recounting, I've reached W.

And I want to remind you all that this is just what pops out of my brain at the moment someone says, "What musical act or thing or whatever do you think of when I say W?"

And today, that would be Waylon & Willie. (Uh, Jennings and Nelson.)

They recorded a classic album back in 1978 (called Waylon & Willie), which included that one song "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." Thing is, when these guys did this record, they'd been pals for a while and were leaders of the outlaw country movement for their hard drinkin' and smokin' and fightin' and livin' and lovin' and drinkin' and stuff. But that movement was already on the wane, and this record, classic as it is, was not really their best stuff. There were a couple solo Willie tracks, and a couple solo Waylon tracks, as well as the duets, but this album wasn't the most amazing thing ever by either artist. But it was fun, and it is classic, and the guys were already rock stars, so who how can you not love it?

Monday, December 19, 2005

When the Cat's Away...

Well, I was following this story, anyway...


By RYAN NAKASHIMA, Associated Press Writer

Thu Dec 1

MILWAUKEE - Emily the cat is back — after flying home in the lap of luxury. The curious cat who wound up traveling to France in a cargo container touched down at the Milwaukee airport on Thursday, greeted by her family and a horde of reporters.

A Continental cargo agent handed her over to 9-year-old Nick Herndon, son of the cat's owners, Donny and Lesley McElhiney. Emily meowed and pawed at reporters' microphones as the family answered questions.

"She'll be held onto a lot all the way home. And then when we get home, too, she'll be cuddled a lot," Donny McElhiney said.

Her sumptuous return in business class on a Continental Airlines flight was a sharp departure from her trip to France, where she was found thin and thirsty but still alive.

"She seems a little calmer than she was before, just a little quieter, a little, maybe, wiser," said Lesley McElhiney, 32.

Emily vanished from her Appleton home in late September. She apparently wandered into a nearby paper company's distribution center and crawled into a container of paper bales. The container went by truck to Chicago and by ship to Belgium before the cat was found Oct. 24 at Raflatac, a laminating company in Nancy, France. Workers there used her tags to phone her veterinarian, who called the McElhineys.

Continental offered to fly the cat home from Paris after Emily's tale spread around the world and she cleared a one-month quarantine. "This was such a marvelous story, that we wanted to add something to it," Continental spokesman Philippe Fleury told AP Television News at Charles de Gaulle airport. After one Continental employee escorted Emily from Paris to Newark, N.J., cargo agent Gaylia McLeod accompanied the cat aboard a 50-seater from Newark to Milwaukee.

"I know it's close to the holidays," a tearful McLeod said. "I'm happy to be a part of reuniting Emily with her family."

On her flight home, Emily passed up a menu of peppered salmon filet and "opted for her French cat food" and some water, airline spokeswoman Courtney Wilcox said.

Apparently all that French food did Emily some good. "She's bigger and heavier than before," Nick said.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Don't You Forget About Me

Dax Pierson, a wonderful human being paralyzed in a car accident while on tour last February, is still working on recovery. Since the holidays are coming, and you may want to buy something for the slightly experimental music lover in your life... Why not make it a gift for two? All proceeds go to Dax's recovery fund.

Irreplaceable Hand: A Benefit CD for Dax Pierson featuring brand new, exclusive songs from Odd Nosdam, Matmos, Nurse With Wound, A.C. Way, High Vulture, Thomas Carnacki, Galena,, Barely Human Dancetheatre, Sleep On It, Moe!Staiano, Petit Mal, & Lucifer Meltdown

For more info, check out Dax's webpage.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Speed and Sleep

There is this other blogger out there in the blogsphere that I'm into reading when I have the time... Her name is Kristin Hersh, and she fronts a band called 50 Foot Wave. She also does brilliant solo stuff and used to co-front this college band with her sister.

Yea, I love this woman's music. No matter what. Anyway, check out the Throwing Music website, see what's new, download some free tunes. She is one of the real ones, a true talent that isn't in it to make money, just wants the music to be heard. She and her wonderful family are a band of kind hearted gypsies I am fortunate enough to have befriended over the years and can assure you - she is worth supporting.

Here's a bit of her blog. Go here to read more. She's pretty funny, actually, although this isn't one of her funnier moments. It sort of touches on why her music continues to resonate with me, as it seems to do with her.

22 November 2005


I want to take this particular minute and address the shared concern some of you have expressed to me -- that I seem to hate my old songs, particularly Throwing Muses songs. I'm in London this morning, having played an entire set of Throwing Muses songs at the Scala last night and I want you to know that I truly enjoyed every song I played, though I was close to tears for a few dangerous moments.

These old songs are difficult, prickly and angry and I can handle that. The problem, I believe, is one of relevance, and not in the way you might think: it's that they are STILL relevant. If I could leave these feelings and stories behind me, I could fly through the material like a cover band: wheeeeeeeeeeee! But those same goddamn feelings are ongoing and so is that same goddamned story. I'm ashamed of this, to be honest. I had big plans that did not include being the same person who wrote those songs 20 years after the fact.

Solo acoustic and 50FootWave songs move me just as hard, tear me the hell apart, in fact, but in a GOOD way. And I don't have to remember anything but the music when I play them. To be in the middle of an old Throwing Muses song is to be living in my car again, pregnant, diagnosed schizophrenic and subsequently drugged, cutting myself, sleeping on floors, hiding from stalkers I wasn't famous enough to deserve, getting felt up at the bar, fighting for the $50 in gas money the band earned per show (club people regularly pulled guns on me), each new song a Sheherazade story keeping me alive only to hear how it ends.

So, I'm not whining, I'm just saying that life was unpleasant back then and was actually about to get much, much worse. Life is real hard...duh-uh.

And now, I gotta say, life isn't easy: I work harder, I care more and if I was ever crazy, well, then, I feel the same as I always did, so I guess I've got that going for me, too. But life is amazing. Really amazing.

I appreciate your concern, but I'm nobody to worry about.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Quote of the Day

The discovery of two large pieces of the Titanic's hull on the ocean floor indicates that the fabled luxury liner sank faster than previously thought, researchers said Monday... Explorer Robert Ballard found the bulk of the wreck in 1985, at a depth of 13,000 feet and about 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. Ballard was not impressed with the expedition's find.

"They found a fragment, big deal," he said. "Am I surprised? No. When you go down there, there's stuff all over the place. It hit an iceberg and it sank. Get over it."

Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You

Beastie Radio

Thursday December 8 @ 12 noon (PST) we launch our newest show on Little Radio.

The BEASTIE BOYS - Adam Horovitz (King Ad-Rock) ~ Adam Yauch (MCA) ~ Michael Diamond (Mike D) will begin hosting their own show exclusively on They'll be spinning music, talking and basically doing whatever the fuck they want.

So tune in.

Rockin' on a Schoolnight!

Brought to you by Ladies Mo & Rachael, at the beloved Shorty:

10pm - 2am
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
The Short Stop
1455 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Um... what records do we have to play... stuff like M.I.A., Sly & the Family Stone, Elastica, Kayne West, Tones On Tail, Marlena Shaw, Stone Roses, Spencer Davis, Lady Sovereign, Janet Jackson, Supremes, Soft Cell, Deep Purple, LCD, ODB, ELO, Kasabian, Gang of Four, Rufus & Chaka, you know. The guilty pleasure stuff we no longer feel guilty about. Come dance the night away with us! (Or at least drink with us - jeez!)

Not So Secret BRMC Show... at the Hotel Cafe!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club:
acoustic. 2 shows. 1 night.

Thursday, December 15th.
Early Show 830pm (Doors 7pm),
Late Show 1030pm (Doors 10pm)

Presale tickets are available at the hotel cafe during regular business hours.
(7pm-midnight, 7 days a week)

A Limited # of tickets will be available at the door.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Black Sunday

I went on a picnic today with a friend, since the weather was so nice and surprisingly warm this early December. We met up at Bronson Park, just under the Hollywood sign in a small grassy area off a little road. My friend had quite a spread: some cheeses and hummus and pita and fruit, etc... And, of course, booze. We plowed through a bottle of champagne while making pals with a black pug also visiting the park with his owners, a group of black clad, high laced boots wearin' black metal cholos.

They were so hardcore, even their dog was black. Get it?

Well, the pug, it turned out (a very friendly little thing as pugs seem to be) was named Frankenstein. I was giving him a good backscratch when his mom came up and apologized for his intrusion. "Come on, Frankenstein, let's go." And then Frankenstein let loose a loud rumble that would do Napalm Death proud. I was floored. No wonder they picked this dog. But, obviously, he wanted to hang with us. So he did for a bit, then wandered back to his picnic area.

Then my friend and I were approached by a young couple who wanted to take a picture of our "location." My friend asked what they were talking about, and the guy said, "Well, we're taking stills for a presentation of a film we're doing, and we need a picnic scene, but we didn't bring any picnic stuff, so we wondered if..." "So," I interrupted, "You want us to take pictures of you sitting with our stuff, pretending it's yours?" "Yea." "Oh. Okay." We took some pictures of them pretending to be eating our olives and pouring our wine, and then they were off.

In the meantime, the nice death metal kids were setting up a pinata. It was a stumpy bride, with a bloody wound over her heart and a glow-in-the-dark hockey mask over her face. It was, hands down, the creepiest pinata I've ever seen. My friend and I immediately got up to take pictures and cheer them on. Only the girls were hitting the pinata, and they were doing so with a studded club.

They busted one leg off, then the other (the club kept sticking in the pinata), and finally they tore it down. It was filled with little ziplock snack bags which had tabasco sauce in them. My friend said, "Hey, is that supposed to be blood?" And one of the guys said, "We thought it would break when they hit it." I go, "Maybe next time put it in the lining of the pinata." "Yea! Hey!" Then they strung up the groom equivalent pinata. I didn't feel right intruding on their bridal bash party for anymore pictures, besides... Frankenstein was eating out pita bread.

(I really tried to get a picture of Frankenstein, but he was very wiggly. It just would have been a blur of big googley eyes anyway.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Last year, I decided to go through the alphabet musically. I just realized that I did "T" twice. Oops. And I already did "U," so I guess it's time for V. What's that mean?

Mother fuckin' Van Halen, that's what. Not Van Hagar or whoever that guy was after him, but Diamond Dave era Van Fuckin' Halen.

In my opinion, they had it all. Great songs - catchy melodies, fierce guitar... They could do some clever pop stuff and then rock with their cocks out, and you loved it all. How could you not? They were (mostly) talented musicians, with great senses of humor and huge egos, which meant awesome stage presence and memorable moments left and right. Their music was both silly and skillful, infectiously fun yet still badass.

Guys wanted to play like them, girls wanted to sleep with them, everybody had that hair.

And they had the best logo ever. How many school notebooks was this symbol scratched onto? How many tennis shoes and jeans sported the emblem? Lockers and denim jackets?

Even towards the end of Dave's era, when they were becoming too goofy, there was still an element of fun that took you along for the ride. The ultimate party train, with naked girls and booze on board.

Rock and roll, indeed. Thanks for doing it right, boys.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Somebody That I Used to Know

Straight from Sweet Adeline... Elliott Smith lives on.

New Monkey Studios opens!
It's so awesome to share this message with you. Joel Graves from Earlimart and his partner, Robert Cappadona bought Elliott’s New Monkey Studios from Elliott’s family (rumors were that Aaron Espinoza from Earlimart or members of Grandaddy bought the studio, but they were actually great supporters of Joel and Robert to buy the studio!) Anyway, over the last year, Joel and Robert have been putting a lot of work, money and love into fixing the studio. Elliott bought a lot of vintage equipment for New Monkey, so a good number of it was half working and Elliott was spending a lot of time fixing the equipment while he was recording there. Well, Joel and Robert (along with other smart recording techs and engineers) were able to continue the work Elliott had done and help bring the studio into the working condition they thought Elliott would have done in his memory.

They are happy to announce that New Monkey Studios is now open and it would be so awesome if we could help get the word out to musicians and engineers so it can help them keep the studio open forever. Here is what Joel sent me to give you so you can have more info about the studio if you or you know people who are interested in recording there. If you would like to check out their MySpace page, please go to:

"New Monkey Studio in Van Nuys, CA is now open for business. After a year of renovation and vintage equipment repair, we're ready to officially open the doors. The studio features an early 1970's trident a-range mixing desk (one of 13 in the world, we've had it re-capped and ultra-sonically cleaned in the last year), an mci 2" tape machine (as well as 1/2" & 1/4" two-track machines, & the 8-track 1/2" machine), a nice selection of vintage and new outboard gear (1950's stereo fairchild 670, vintage teletronix la-2a, urei 1176, ua 175, sony dre-s777, api mic pre's & eq's, and much much more), and a great selection of microphones (neumann u48, u87, a pair of coles 4038's, soundelux u95, plus all the standard utility mics). The studio consists of a good-sized control room, a live tracking room, a small lounge (with tv, fridge, coffee maker, microwave, bathroom), an isolation room, a mic locker/machine room, and a hallway that can be used as an isolation booth. There is also free wireless internet throughout the studio. Artists who have recorded in the studio include Elliott Smith, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Elected, Troy Von Balthazar, & Peter Walker. We're working to get a website online soon, but in the meantime you can send us an email ( with any booking questions. A complete list of recording equipment and instruments is available for serious inquiries. The studio was purchased from the estate of Elliott Smith in august of 2004, and we're doing everything we can to make sure that this will always be Elliott’s place."

I can tell you that Joel & Robert are extraordinary people, with loads of heart and soul to offer. So go record with 'em already!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Just Gimme Indie Rock!

Hey all...

It's that time of year. The time when people start making up their Top Ten lists and handing out awards left and right.

Here's a ballot that you can vote on, and it's one of the more interesting ones out there. It's the PLUG awards. A whole bunch of indie types (bloggers, writers, musicians, fans, etc...) are chosen to pick out a whole bunch of nominees for a big ole ballot, and then anyone with a care in the world (and internet access) can vote. They tend to nominate interesting acts, and those doing the nominating are interesting as well. This year, the panel included kids from Pitchfork, Aaron Axelson (music director of San Francisco's Live 105), Mark Willett (Music For Robots), Christopher Weingarten (CMJ music editor), Noelle Corcoran (Waterloo Records), Dave Eggers (McSweenys etc...) comedian David Cross, and my other little brother (who took my post at KALX), the lovely Shawn Reynaldo.

Here's a sampling of the nominees:

Album Of The Year

Animal Collective - Feels (FatCat)
Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (Vice)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Self-released)
Dangerdoom - The Mouse And The Mask (Adult Swim/Epitaph)
Devendra Banahrt - Cripple Crow (XL)
The National - Alligator (Beggars)
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (Matador)
Sleater-Kinney - The Woods (Sub Pop)
Spoon - Gimme Fiction (Merge)
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary (Sub Pop)

So go here and vote already! Thank you very much.

PS: And vote for KALX and WOXY - two of the best radio stations you should have ever heard. Thanks again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Scary Monsters

Like most people I know, I'm a bit scared of mimes. But this one sounds interesting:

An Evening with Billy The Mime, at Sacred Fools Theatre

ending Tuesday, November 22nd

Billy The Mime is a true artist who is not afraid to tackle controversial subject matter and stretch the very boundaries of the art of mime with such routines as Dreams Of A Young Crippled Boy, JFK JR. We Hardly Knew Ye, The Abortion, A Night In San Francisco: 1977, Slave!, Close To Her: Memories of Karen Carpenter, World War II, Terry Schiavo - Adieu, A Man Named Manson, A Day Called 9/11 and The Little Clown.


"Silently Offensive" - USA Today
"Hilarious" - London Times
"Outrageously Funny! Will have you close to tears!" - Boston Herald
"The only mime I've ever laughed at." - Philadelphia Weekly


(Thanks, Russ!)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

On Such A Winter's Day...

"I was actually afraid to go back to California. I was afraid that all of the men would look like Robert Conrad or Richard Gere or both at once, and all the women of course would look like Farrah Fawcett, that every soul I met would talk like the zombies on TV, that my congenital hosility would be pushed so far past any line of socialized containment that I would end up murdering every living thing in my line of sight instad of coming back to New York and building a terrorist army of concerned citizens like the adult I thought I was.

As it happened, it wasn't nearly so painful as I'd imagined. In fact, it was not long before I found myself being blatantly seduced by all of the most decadent aspects of the region. It is that insidious. I had been in San Francisco a total of three days when I agreed to enter a hot tub with three other naked humans. My will, not to mention my mind, had eroded that much already..." - excerpt from "California" in Mainlines, Blood Feasts & Bad Taste, by Lester Bangs.

It was 87 degrees here in Los Angeles today. We have a short week, what with Thanksgiving coming up. The past week has been unseasonably hot, with a return of the Santa Ana winds (and the wildfires that inevitably follow) and nippy nights that remind us that winter is just around the corner. But the seasons in California are false: a tree here or there will change color, you get some rain (last year, more rain than ever) and some cold, but nothing like what most people are used to. In fact, most Thanksgivings and Christmases in California are sunny and warm affairs.

I was thinking today that it was weird for it to be so hot about this time of year, and I was reminded of a Thanksgiving two years ago which was just as boiling. I rmember because the night before I had gone to see the Twilight Singers at a practically sold out show, gotten trashed with my friends, went back to the Short Stop (Greg's bar) and continued drinking, wound up naked in a friend's hot tub, passed out for a few hours, and then woke up at 9am to stumble back to Greg's house for breakfast. I remember the walk (a few short blocks) was scorching, and the rest of that Thanksgiving Day remained that day. We all just kept drinking simply to stay refreshed.

And one Christmas not too long ago, I was in Melbourne, Australia. It was summer there, and the weather was pleasantly warm and crisp. Then it started to pour - thunderstorms which quickly flooded the area of Brunswick where I was staying. I called my parents to wish them a Merry Christmas... "Yea, it's warm here but it's raining like crazy..." "Oh?" said my mom. "It's really beautiful today. Kind of hot."

" heart cried out for you, California - Oh, California, I'm coming home... Oh make me feel good, rock and roll band, I'm your biggest fan, California... I'm coming home..." - Joni Mitchell

I don't think I could ever leave.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tiny Telephone

Now, help me out here...


"Desperate Housewives" may be ABC's most popular show on the small screen, but "Lost" is the winner on the REALLY small screen.

After one month of offering downloads of ABC's two favorite shows for viewing on iPods, "Lost" has sold the most, said Stephen McPherson, ABC entertainment president. He had no sales figures, but Apple has already said it has sold more than a million copies of ABC shows.Desperate Housewives" pulled in just under 26 million viewers on TV, while "Lost" had 20 million last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.

I'm a bit backwards. I've never purchased an iPod, and one was given to me, but it's still sitting in it's box. I just don't know what I would do with it.

So who is watching TV on theirs?

I know I've become addicted to text messaging. If I'm waiting in line at the store, or I'm waiting to meet a friend somewhere, or at the airport, I scroll through saved messages. I guess I could imagine watching a video or something while passing the time. Maybe you could download some Sesame Street to pass on to a screaming kid at the supermarket to make them shut up?

But an 45 minute episode of "Lost?" On that tiny, tiny screen? My brain hurts just thinking of it. Remember how your parents used to tell you not to sit to close to the TV or you'd go blind or something? Well, watching TV on your cell phone display has GOT to be similar, don't you think?

And I'm amused by the fact that gadgety people will probably be really into watching TV on their cell phones... until they get home and switch on their giant plasma wall TV. I wonder if anyone's pupils will just explode after too many adjustments.

I just remembered, however, that in 1983, my little brother had this digital watch that you could play Space Invaders on. It was awesome. I kicked ass at the Digital Watch Space Invaders. My thumbs got sore, but it was F-U-N.

I guess I'd rather my thumbs got sore because of Space Invaders than a Blackberry, though.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Everyday is Halloween

It's a Halloween story I keep meaning to tell.

I DJ around town alot. DJing can be really fun, or can be really annoying. Often it's a combo of both. The fun part is when the crowd is into the music, people are having fun dancing and singing along and whatnot. The annoying bit (for a girl DJ like myself, anyway) is that inevitably, men come and hit on me because I'm playing the music and can't get away from them. A captive audience, in a sense. Icky. Rarely am I approached by anyone interesting, nor do I have any particular interest in meeting a potential partner at a bar. That's not really how I swing.

But I have made plenty of friends through the DJ gigs, and that's quite alright.

This past Halloween, the Burgundy Room in Hollywood was decked out like a pirate ship. There was a large ship's wheel above the bar, and the usual skeletons wore pirate hats, held telescopes, that sort of thing. Since Halloween fell on a Monday this year, and I was DJing on a Saturday, people were dressed up for about 4 solid days. I tried to do a wenchy thing to go with the boat theme: a long flowy gypsy skirt, stiped lace up top, boots, loads of jewelry, a wig of long wavy dark hair, fake eyelashes, etc.

During the evening, I noticed that Hunter S. Thompson was sitting at the booth to my right. The guy had on long shorts, a print short sleeved shirt, the cigarette holder, sunglasses and hat. It was great. I hadn't see that yet. He noticed me noticing him, gave me a nod, and I gave him a thumbs up.

Later, Hunter approached the bar for a drink, and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and found that I was at least a foot taller than the guy! (And I ain't that tall.) He offered to buy me a drink, and complimented the music. Then he asked me if I ever made to Orange Country, and if I did, I should look him up. "My name's Marco," he shouted. "You can find me at Sharky's. I manage it." "Oooh, sounds good!" I said.

Sharky's is a fast food Mexican food chain.

Anyway, it was much nicer when he was in character, although what he didn't have in stature he seemed to make up for in attitude. Very gonzo.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

La La Land

When you wander around Hollywood, you see lots of freaky things. It's trashy. Sure, there are parts of town that are kind of cleaned up and clubby and stuff, but - like the movies - that's often just a facade.

One of the things about Hollywood that I find incredibly lame and do not understand at all are The Characters. And by this, I mean the people dressed up as celebrities or superheroes or Muppets and shit like that. I mean, it's one thing if you go to Disneyland and pose for pictures with Mickey Mouse or Goofy or Snow White or something. Disney employs some serious quality control. On Hollywood Boulevard, you just have random crazies who pick up a Spiderman costume from Target and start cruising for opportunities. Well, I guess alot of would be superstars start out in a similar way.


The majority of The Characters hanging around the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, and mainly congregated outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre since all the tourists go there to compare their handsize with John Wayne's or someone, are pretty skanky. Their costumes are ill-fitting, the make up bad, and the impersonators don't do a great job impersonating. The other night as I was walking by with a friend, we noticed a Mexican Elvis shaking hands with a family for who he had just posed for a picture. "Yea, thanks alot, " he was saying. My friend turned to me and goes, "Oh, come on now. That's just wrong. I mean, how much effort does it take to say a little 'thankyouverymuch?' Stay in character,man!"

Absolutely. I have more respect for the skinny Spiderman doing various poses silently on the steps of the El Capitan movie theatre than that particular Elvis.

Some of these Characters are up to no good, though. I once had the shit scared out of me by a particularly good Pinhead, and in front of my relatives no less. A Charlie Chaplin type leered at me so obviously that my mother went up to him and said: "Stop looking at her like that! You're disgusting!" (Imagine that with a heavy Spanish accent and you'll understand how effective it was.)

Recently, there have been a spate of altercations and cons on Hollywood Boulevard. Not so unusual, really, except that it all seems to be happening amongst the Characters. They fight over turf, tips, costumes and attention. Like most actors. There have even been reports of them teaming up to steal wallets.

Most of the tourists don't mind them, though. The other day, I saw two little kids calling "Batman! Batman!" excitedly as the caped crusader cruised by. He didn't stop though; guess he was on a beer break.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Purr Purr Purr

It's time for some more Kitty Porn.

First off, Cats In Sinks. Obscenely cute pictures of cats. In sinks.

Second, from the braniacs at Bad Cat, it's... My Cat Hates You. (And, trust me, my cat certainly DOES hate you.)

And, finally (because my cat Tristan is featured in the "nature" section), Stuff On Cats.

My cat, Tristan, likes to drive around with me in my car. He loves it. When he was a kitten, he'd sit in the back and people on bicycles would tap on the glass and he'd play. Anyway, here's a little story about a cat that really went on a trip...


APPLETON, Wis. - When Emily the cat went missing a month ago, her owners looked for their wandering pet where she had ended up before — the local animal shelter. This week they learned Emily sailed to France.

Lesley McElhiney now figures her cat went prowling around a paper warehouse near home and ended up in a cargo container that went by ship across the Atlantic Ocean and was trucked to Nancy, a city in northeastern France near the border with Germany.

Employees at a French lamination company found her in the container, checked her tags and called Emily's veterinarian, John Palarski, in Kimberly, just east of Appleton.

Palarski called the McElhineys Monday to tell them their pet was safe, if a little hungry.
"It probably had access to food and water," Palarski said. "I doubt if it went three weeks without it. There must have been a lot of mice on the boat. Even if it was in the cargo department, you would assume there was water down there. She had to have something."

Palarski faxed French authorities with the cat's vaccination records to help remove her from quarantine, but the family is wondering how they will retrieve the pet.

Emily will need a health certificate from France to return home, and she will have to go through quarantine again on entering the United States, Palarski said.

The friend of a co-worker is going to Germany next week, but that's a country away.

"The only thing we can think right now is buying a plane ticket," McElhiney said. "She already cost us some the first time we got her from the humane society. She's getting to be an expensive little thing."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Wanna Boogie With You

Now you know where to find me:

Lady Mo & Rachael will be spinnin' the tunes at this lovely downtown dive Thursday night, November 3rd - We'll be rockin the soul, new wave, funk, electro, hip hop, and anything else you can shake your ass at!

Thursday Nov 03, 2005
at 10:00 PM

Bar 107
107 West 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

The place has a beautiful bar, glorious decor (of animal heads and Mexican wrestling masks) and a dance floor even! If you haven't been to this space yet, check it out ( It's a classic old LA bar (open since 1913) with fabulously rowdy new owners who want to meet YOU.

Bar 107 is downtown on 4th Street between Spring and Main.

If you're a DJ or have a band and you're looking for a place to play, check them out, as they are looking for you too.

And check us out this Thursday for the first night of our November residency... we just wanna have fun, that's all. Goody goody, and a shot of tequila on top!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Where No Man has Gone...

Oh wait, they've gone there. FOR SURE.


George Takei, who as helmsman Sulu steered the Starship Enterprise through three television seasons and six movies, has come out as a homosexual in the current issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community.

From what I understand, Frontiers is the kind of magazine that does not tackle space exploration or sci-fi issues, but engages in debates regarding the differences between metal or rubber cockrings.

Go George!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005


You know that Cobrasnake dude? He's this kid who has made a name for himself crashing hipster parties, and then taking candid photos of said hipsters while they are fucked up. He'll write some cute little captions on the pictures and stuff. He started his own little website, and got all hip himself, and now he has a regular column in the LA Weekly and just had a piece written on him in the LA Times.

We had a party once that got crashed by a bunch of Vice Magazine people. They trashed our apartment, and the Cobrasnake was here. He took pictues of a lot of people, but my roommate and I weren't cool enough to make the cut, it seems. We only cool enough to have our belongings tossed out the window and our building pissed on.

Can you tell I'm still bitter? These people were just so... disresepctful. They didn't even bring beer. They were like locusts. Locusts that pee on your stuff.

Anyway, a friend of mine has been proposing that we make a spoof of the Cobrasnake page. Slam the hipsters. Fight snark with snark. And another friend of mine got mad enough after reading the LA Times piece to hop onto MySpace and rant. I love funny ranting:

Oct 27, 2005 9:28 PM
a poignant quote from the fucking Cobrasnake guy

did anybody read that ridiculous (front page!) article about the Cobrasnake guy in the LA Times? for all who didn't, you may now drink from the wine that is his philosophy of modern life, and be filled with inspiration:

"That's what so exciting about the time we're in right now. There's so much space for creativity. Our parents' generation had to deal with wars and Vietnam and all that. Ever since the '80s and '90s, it's been a real good time." - Cobrasnake guy (LA Times Oct 05)

it was actually my friend Stacie who had the vision to drive this guy's words out there on the information superhighway... pretty bracing stuff, you'll agree. for someone who doesn't spend as much time at hot tub parties and lingerie shows as this guy, I'm just gonna have to take his word for all that. "dealing with wars" and stuff sure must be a bummer -- fortunately THAT'S all over with. (I think the last one was "Vietnam".) and if you wanna know what creativity is all about, just check out the guy's pictures...!

I love my friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Do the Mummy!

Halloween is upon us, and the Europeans are mad.

Why? What on earth is wrong with Halloween? It's my favorite holiday, but then again, I also love theme parties. The whole dressing up thing is fun, even if I can never, NEVER figure out what to dress up as. I have a bunch of wigs, so I usually slap one of those on and head out for the evening.

And I love carving up pumpkins. LOVE it. One year, I did about 8 of them, all in a cat theme, with a big white pumpkin as the centerpiece. I lived in a neighborhood of old cat ladies and they went batshit. They took pictures of them and asked if I had patterns, and then got all nutty when I said I did it freehand.

I also very much enjoy passing out candy to little (and bigger) kids. I really do. It's fun to make the older kids work for it - and I get a kick out of playing something creepy like Bauhaus or Nick Cave in the background all night and having the occasional parent identify it.

So the Europeans think the Americans are further invading their nations with our witches and candy and jack'o'lanterns and stuff. .. the mayor of Rankweil, a town near the border with Switzerland, has launched a one-man campaign disparaging Halloween as a "bad American habit" and urging families to skip it this year. By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief.

Ah well, that's too bad, but I understand. To each their own. I'm still waiting for the day when I get to Oaxaca or the island of Janitzio for some serious Day of the Dead action.

There's plenty of stuff to do here in LA this weekend, and here are some of the goodies. I wish I could attend them all...

Miss Kitty's Erotic Discoteque & Cabaret presents Halloweekend!

when: Fri 10.28 & Sat 10.29 (9pm)
where: Dragonfly (6510 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood)
price: $20 per night

One word of advice this Halloween weekend: Don't get into a drinking contest with a transvestite dressed as Tina Turner — you will lose. This is a lesson many have learned the hard way at Miss Kitty's. This consistently shocking club has enough John Waters-type sass, S&M drama, Mad Max fashion, and burlesque swagger to make you reconsider your sensible life choices. Redoubtable host Miss Kitty leads you through an entire weekend of post-apocalyptic, rockstar-style debauchery, including a Saturday performance by burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese. Bring your nipple clamps, squeeze into your latex, and be prepared to dance and drink whenever Miss Kitty says so.

Hollywood Forever's Day of the Dead

when: Sat 10.29 (4-11pm)
where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd, 323.469.1181)

The absolute coolest party in Hollywood... hell, they've even got vocalist of the undead Yma Sumac on board to sing as the sun goes down! How wild is that? The event features Jack Skellington look-alikes, tasty treats, Aztec dancers, and mariachis. While you're at it, check out the uber-creepy LifeStory kiosks and don't miss the "Women in Black" — they're self-appointed mourners for Rudolph Valentino.

Gomez & Morticia Addams Groove Up the Burgundy Room!

when: Sat 10.29 (10-2am)
where: The Burgundy Room, Hollywood
price: your immortal soul

Well, it ain't actually the Addams family, just me & my pal Iiad. But we'll be dressed up, and the bar will be in drag as well... as a ghost ship! So expect me to be a dead passenger from the Titanic or something, in a ball gown with blood dripping from me and seaweed in my hair, while spinning the likes of Bloc Party, the Supremes, X, BRMC, Ladytron, Joan Jett, the Descendents, and a whole lot of rock and roll. I guess we should throw in the Cramps, Bauhaus, the Cure, Siouxise, and Electric Frankenstein cuz, it's like, almost Halloween. Duh.

Get carving, you pumpkin killers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

A couple of my friends are currently in New Orleans, finishing up a record and taking stock of what's left. The studio my friend has been using was in the French Quarter, and is ok. My other friend has a home which narrowly escaped the floodwaters (they crept up to his back porch) only to have a tree fall on his roof during Strike Two. And all of their friends are ok, save a few lost homes. They were pretty lucky.

Today, I was sent these pictures, and I'm sharing them with you. Remember, it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Neither Fish Nor Fowl

Beware Bodega Bay.

Thu Oct 20, 7:03 AM ET
BODEGA BAY, Calif. - A surfer received a bad gash Wednesday when a 14-foot shark bit her leg in the waters off northern California and pulled her underwater, authorities said. Megan Halavais, 20, was paddling into the water off Salmon Creek Beach in Sonoma County around 11 a.m. when the shark attacked her from behind.

Evidently, there have been a couple snippy sharks in Bodega Bay in the last few years, mistaking those kids in wetsuits for seals. Perhaps.

Bodega Bay is a beautiful part of the Bay Area, just north of San Francisco. It's a small quaint town with an artisic sensibilty, cute shops, outdoorsy things to do and it's really close to all kinds of neat stuff. Oh, and great views from all around.

It's also where Hitchcock filmed The Birds. So if you visit, make sure you pose like you're dead on the steps of the schoolhouse, which still stands. Hell, it all still looks just like the movie.

And if you visit, watch out for the wildlife. Seems the creatures in Bodega can get a bit ornery.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Come On, Get Happy

Before I went to Berlin, my friend who I was flying out to visit said to me, "Oh man, you're going to blow their minds out here."

"What? Why? I'm not all kooky or anything."

"Oh, you will. Trust me."

I suppose I kind of did, but not because I'm a terribly outlandish individual or anything. I'm just different from most Germans. And my father's family is German too, so I've got a little of it in me, but I'm a California girl through and through with a heavy Latina influence and a smattering of glamour just by virtue of living in L.A. (A tiny smattering.)

Here's an example of why someone like me can stick out like a sore thumb there:

Feel-good ads target dour Germany

All you mutterers with knitted brows, listen: It's time to get happy. We're talking $35 million worth of feel-good, throw-your-shoulders-back giddiness. The future is yours, don't despair, things might be in the dumps, but this is the land of Beethoven, Einstein and all those giggling little garden gnomes.

Perk up.

Such is the message trilling through Germany's largest-ever public service campaign. The aim is to lift the country out of its funk with a blitz of inspirational TV messages from famous soccer players, actors, figure skaters and various wild-haired geniuses... This nation seems less in need of platitudes than a collective Prozac. Unemployment is high, consumer confidence is low, the government came together only after weeks of public bickering. Germans have a high quality of life and their country is the world's leading exporter, but they have been unable to shake off a deepening national gloom.

Sooooo... why did I feel like a bit of a circus sideshow at times? Because I DID get attention. Occasionally, little old ladies would walk right up to me and stare at me, puzzled, and walk away. I look kind of exotic, with a healthy SoCal tan, and clothes that were ordinary but not reflective of a bad thrift store circa 1985.

Mostly, it was just me. I talked a bit loudly, but not in a obnoxious way. I'm just a bit animated. And too illustrate that point, I hand gesture like crazy. I hardly saw anyone else there do that at all. Anytime my hand fluttered about, somebody on the train took notice.

But lastly, and most obviously, I laugh. Loud, and often. I have been complimented on my laugh, and I have friends who sometimes call me up just to make me laugh because they like to hear it so much. I know it's not a bad thing. I started, however, to feel self-conscious about it while I was in Berlin, though, because when I would laugh it would startle someone. Not in a bad way, more in a "how curious" way. I tried to tone it down. When I explained to a friend that I was doing that, that I felt I was starting to hold myself back, she said, "Oh no, don't do that.They love it. It's just different for them but it's also fascinating in a way. Don't stop being yourself."

And I couldn't. I kept laughing and gesticulating and yapping like I always do, trying to not feel as aware of the staring. I got used to it by the time I left.

After I had been back in the States a while, I got an interesting email from my friend. He said that recently, he had read a newpapers report based on a random poll which discovered that most Berliners feel there aren't enough interesting people in town to interact with. I met plenty of interesting people while I was in Berlin, so I don't know what they are talking about, but this is a land with a diminishing population, so perhaps they think the fun people have left.

Nah - they're there. Listen for the laughing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, No...

I was running around work today like a crazy person when I heard my boss' line ringing. Since she'd stepped away, I ran over and grabbed it. "Hello - So & So's office..." And a husky masculine voice on the other line said, "May I speak to her, please? It's Eddie Grant." So I yelled for my boss, who was around the corner. "It's Eddie Grant!"

She said, "Oh, goody!" and started to sing, "We're gonna rock down to - ELECTRIC AVENUE..." as she went back into her office.

I was surprised."It's THAT Eddie Grant?"

"Of course," she replied.

"Wow," I said. "I thought he was dead."

"Oh, that's nice, Mo!"

"No, really, I swear I'd heard that he got killed over drugs or something."

"Oh no, he's not like that at all!" she gushed.

I should tell you that I work in music publishing and we administer Eddie Grant's work. It's not unusual to get calls from well known songwriters. However, I was convinced this guy was dead. I hopped on the internet to find out that not only was he totally alive, but did a hell of a lot more than just that one song. He was in a biracial British ska band called the Equals in the 60's which scored some chart toppers (now that's first wave, kids), he did production for the likes of Prince Buster, had a label in the early 70's promoting reggae, and owned his own recording studio. During this time he had a heart attack which nearly killed him (hmm, maybe that's where I got the idea) not due to a party lifestyle, simply a hectic one. He was well established by the time the 80's hit, having also pioneered soca music and become a political singer, and then he hit on that Killer on the Rampage formula that got him those gold records and stuff.

After that all faded, he had already started a studio in Barbados. He was also mentoring rising soca stars and created ringbang, yet another style of music. He started a music publishing company which mainly consists of old calypso and Carribean artists, and provides their back catalog to a thankful audience.

This does nothing to change the fact that "Electric Avenue" is one of three songs I hate more than anything else in the world. The other two are "Carribean Queen" by Billy Ocean and "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Really. I hate them all. Very much.

Sorry Eddie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In Honor of Shopgirls Everywhere

Well, that new Steve Martin movie is coming out soon and I CANNOT wait. Shopgirl. Yay!

Why can I not wait? Because I have been a shopgirl. A long suffering shopgirl. And I love Steve Martin movies. And I love Steve Martin stories. And this particular novella was pretty darned good, I thought, so I'm fine with it as a movie.

So here's something I wrote a while ago, which seems appropriate now.

And it's also a Happy Birthday to Warren, who observed me in some classic shopgirl moments many years ago.

Rantings of an Annoyed Shopgirl

If I were to be elected President of the United States, I would institute a law that would make it mandatory for every citizen of our fair capitalist nation to work, for at least one year, at a customer service job. Retail, food, information, gift wrapping, whatever. Everyone should do it. I guarantee that had Bush done this while he was babbling about points of light, we may actually have seen a kinder and gentler nation.

Perhaps you think I’m kidding. Well then, you obviously have never worked a customer service job. These types of jobs are necessary and tedious, mildly entertaining and extremely convenient for the consumer. In these times of financial prosperity, people are starting to realize the importance of having folks employed in these jobs. Have you ever waited a bit too long for a refill of coffee because there was only one waitress serving the entire room? Wanted to try on shoes only to wait 20 minutes for a salesperson to appear? Tried to lodge a complaint against your landlord but there was only one person handling the desk and thousands of complaints to be filed… oops – that’s just Oakland politics. Anyway, many have experienced the frustration of people leaving these types of jobs. And why should they stay? Customer service jobs suck.

If you are the kind of person that would get angry in any of the scenarios described above; you have most likely never worked in a job serving the public. Because if you had, you would understand the strain those few workers are under. Having worked back and forth in the retail world for more than half of my life, I think I’ve seen quite a bit. There’s the regular stuff like customers treating you like you haven’t a thought in your head, to the more exotic like having a guy slap his dick onto the counter. Needless to say, the establishment I worked at did not take Penis as payment.

First of all, THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. They usually do not know the policies of the store (because they haven’t read the information on a plaque on the wall next to them). They think their platinum card places them above such pedestrian things. Just because they had to reach two feet above their head for a handblown glass vase, which broke when they failed to grasp it, doesn’t make it their responsibility to pay for the item, does it? I mean, the shop put it up so high… And if you ask to look at “that,” it would help if you actually told us what “that” was. A blanket? A stereo? Your lack of common sense?

I am amazed when I see men order 110 LB girls to carry a couch to the SUV. I have witnessed professors screaming at counter help to “WRAP FASTER,” as if intimidation is actually key to the whole process. And I have seen women buy a $2 item and then ask for boxes, ribbons and bags to go along with it, complimentary of course. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask, but no need to get pissy if we say no. And please, most of us girls aren’t really there for you lonely guy types to ask out. Sorry to be harsh, but we’re required to be nice to you.

Try to imagine what it is like to spend 8 hours a day on your feet with people treating you like an idiot. Then remember that you need those people behind the counter as much as they most likely need that job, so be kind. The girl showing you earrings could be your brain surgeon ten years from now, and you might be purchasing that waiter’s best selling novel, the one he’s writing while paying his rent by mixing your salad, as a Christmas present in 2008.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Um, I forgot about my alphabet thing. You know, how I'm going through the alphabet musically? Well, I went to Berlin and completely forgot about it.

I believe I've left you hanging at the letter T.

Martina Topley-Bird.

You may know her best as the vocalist on the Tricky albums, but she put out a really beautiful album all by herself back in 2003. Well, with a little help from her friends.

In August of 2003, I was lying on the floor in Greg Dulli's living room, drinking Maker's in the middle of the day and playing with his (dearly departed - RIP, Clyde)cat. He had some movie on (ah hell, it was probably porn) but he was really dorking out over music. He'd been playing DJ for hours. I was kinda of contributing to the conversation, but mostly these sort of afternoons were more about Greg being really jazzed on something he'd just found or just heard and he really wanted you to be equally as jazzed. This particular afternoon, he finally got the "OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS" reaction out of me that he hadn't gotten so far.

"Okay Mo, you're really gonna love this," he said, picking up a CD off the cluttered coffee table while I said, "Uh, huh... yea" and kept on scratching Clyde. He cranked up the stereo, and a crackled bluesy old man voice echoed out... "Too tough to die!" And then a really deep groovy bass kicked in, and a woman's cackly soulful not-quite Billie Holliday voice kicked in: "I always wonder why my mama left town..."

I was no longer lying on the floor. "Dude, what is this?" Greg sat there nodding and grinning like a Chesire cat. I listened a bit more and couldn't believe how great it was... "Is this the Tricky chick? What's her name? Marina?" "Martina," Greg said, exhaling cigarette smoke and looking very pleased that I was pretty much losing it over the one song. "Yea, my band's gonna cover this song." "How?" I said. I genuinely could not see how he could possibly cover this song... it was just so... hers.

I checked out the liner notes to find that this CD, Martina Topley-Bird's Quixotic, had been released only a month or so before in England. Greg had a copy because his friend Mark Lanegan (and current collaborator on a project called the Gutter Twins) made an appearance on the CD, along with Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, on the second track "Need One." The track I was currently going ga-ga over, "Too Tough To Die," was a bluesy rocker co-written and produced by David Holmes, a sort of cinematic dark hop artist of the late 90's who has gotten regular work scoring Steven Soderberg films (like Ocean's Eleven) and more recently tripping the DJ lights fantastic with sixties style blue eyed soul electro remixes.

So after that track, Greg goes, "Okay - you've gotta hear this one." He skips to a tune called "Lying" which puts Martina's voice back in the familiar context of the Tricky songs I was accustomed to hearing (and most people reading this have at least heard "Makes Me Wanna Die" from Pre-Millenium Tension). It was a pretty, contemplative number with somber beats and her breathy yet earthy voice, and words like this: "I walked out of the house in your girlfriend's clothes... They fit me better than I would have supposed..."

"Man!" Greg said. "I wish I'd come up with that. Isn't that fucking excellent?"

We listened to the whole CD, many times over, for the next couple months. I was too broke to buy the import, but he'd burned me a copy anyway and finally I saved my pennies and got one. In the meantime, I'd been turning other friends on to it. It made my Top Ten list of last year. Then the album was released in the States under the title Anything, and the cover is now a bit sexed up. A few of the songs have been dropped too, including "Lying"(so buy the import anyway).

Oh, and Greg did cover the song on his last covers CD. I like Martina's better, though. Sorry, dude!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Better Late Than Never

Oh, where did I go? Too busy to blog, and I already have quite a schedule! It certainly has been a ROCK-tober so far, and there are stories to tell, but today, I let a friend do the talking...

The adventures of Cristina, going to school in Austin, having an up close and personal Rock'n'Roll moment.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I got hit on by the bass player from Slipknot!

I am kind of a congenital jackass, and so as a result, I am often in situations where I don't really understand some very important aspect of what's going on. Being hit on by the bass player from Slipknot the other day was definitely one of those times.

Wednesday morning, I had a random craving for a bagel at the Einstein's on Guadalupe, across from campus. My plan was: go get a bagel, sit at the cafe, study until my sociology class at 1:00. I walked in to the cafe and joined the end of the line, and as I was putting My Precious, El iPod away the person next to me says:

"So, you have an iPod, huh?"

I look over. A very short man completely bald of any hair on his little head had fixed a pair of big brown eyes on me, expectantly. He seemed kind of anxious about something, or a little intense, or just a little too tightly coiled for a conversation about an iPod. Not wanting to exacerbate whatever was vexing him, I say, "Yeah, I just got it. But I think it's already not so cool anymore." I smile, hoping he'll relax.

"Yeah, I have a Nano," he says, with a small smile and a sense of satisfaction. "It holds 1,000 songs. What about yours?"

There ensues a brief conversation about how many megabites or gigabites or whatever hold how many songs or something. He claims to be explaining how this all works; I smile politely and resist the urge to reach down and pat him on his bald little head. I realize that he is missing four front teeth, and I wonder if it's hard for him to eat? Does he have dentures? That's a lot of teeth to be missing...

I tune back in as he asks me where I'm from and what my name is. Cristina from Arizona, I tell him. He says he's from Iowa, but he's been to Arizona because his band has toured there.

Riiiiight, I think to myself. Your "band" has "toured" there. Who in Austin doesn't have a band? Probably 40he people in the cafe at that moment had bands that had been on tour to random places like Arizona.

Strangely however, he continues with his whole 'I'm-in-a-band' schpiel by saying that his band is currently on tour and they've stopped in Austin. In fact, they're playing the Frank Erwin Center that night.

"But the Erwin Center is huge," I say, not bothering to hide my surprise.

"Yeah, well, that's the only building around here that would fit all our fans," he says, puffing his teeny little chest out a little.

"Really?" I ask, puzzled and openly skeptical.

Just then, it's *finally* my turn to order my bagel. I tell him good luck with his show, and think that will be the end of the conversation, and hope that now I can order my low-carb bagel with cream cheese and tomato in peace and go study.

Somehow though, we end up talking more as I wait for my food. He starts in again on the whole I'm-in-a-band thing, and so just kind of out of boredom with this line of conversation, I ask: what's your band's name?

"Slipknot," he says, putting milk in his coffee. Somehow, when he says 'Slipknot,' my mind flashes on an image of that word in red paint streaks on a black background-- like it's art from an album cover that I might have seen somewhere? But I'm not sure? It certainly seems like that word is somewhere in my consciousness already, so this can't be a totally random local Austin band. Right? I think? I'm a little taken aback, and struggling to put words together, so I say:

"Oh, wow, I think I've totally heard of that band somewhere!"

He nods and sips his coffee, big eyes fixed on me now. "Hi, I'm Paul Something, bass player from Slipknot." He extends his hand out, and I shake it, in a kind of shock. Still completely out of ideas for what I should say, I dig the hole a little deeper.

"Well, good for you!"

He sips some more, nods.

"That's great! Really, congratulations."

"Can I tell you something?" he asks.

"Sure," I say, wondering if he's going to ask me how I got to be such an asshole.

"You're gorgeous as hell," he says.

Well, that totally throws me for a loop. OK, he's five feet tall and has no front teeth, but when was the last time a bass player from a band YOU had vaguely heard of told you in no uncertain terms that he found you attractive?

Laughing into his coffee, he calls me on my embarassment: "You're blushing like crazy."

More conversation somehow happens here about what I'm studying, speaking Russian, and his thoughts on going to Buffalo Exchange that morning.

"Buffalo Exchange is kind of lame," I offer, realizing how bad that sounds. "Well, I mean, I don't know, they're in every college town, so it's kind of passe." OH MY GOSH, who *am* I? I attempt recovery: "I mean, but you never know, maybe you'll find something interesting there."

He nods, and again upends the conversaion with: "Can I ask you something?"

"OK," I warily assent.

"When I told you you were gorgeous as hell, why did you look at me like I was crazy?"

"Well, I just don't hear that very often."

"No? You should. It's true. How old are you?"


This is the first chink in his armor-- he was obviously not prepared for me to be 28. His head actually recoils and cocks to the side as he apraises me anew. "Oh, I thought you were younger. You look younger."

Torn between the flattery and a rising feeling of being pissed that this midget of a toothless man has the audacity to be nonplussed by my age, I say: "um, thanks?"

He says I should come to the show, that he can hook me up with tickets, backstage, etc. I say, well, sure, it was nice to meet you, but I've got a low-carb bagel with my name on it. Take care.

We part ways. Whew. That was the weirdest Einstein's encounter ever. Of course, I can't study, and end up calling an ex-boyfriend who was into extremely harsh music, thinking he'll know what Slipknot is. He does, and before I can tell him what's happened, he offers "I think they're from Iowa, and they're on tour right now, I'm pretty sure." I call Rachael, the Music Guru, for help in interpreting what's just happened.

Then I look up Slipknot on the Internet, and that adds a whole new dimension to the encounter. Paul, the bass player, wears a Hannibal Lecter mask on stage when he performs. The band plays songs with lyrics like:

The system has failed and you have failed with it
No time to care, just time to say "Who gives a shit?"
My mind boils as I've decided I'm through
Fuck your position in life. I'm taking vengence on you

Apparently, this band is really heavy, for people who like songs about self-mutilation and suicide. Which is OK. I certainly enjoy Nine Inch Nails once and a while, and in high school, I thought about Trent Reznor more than I should have and was surgically attached to my copy of Pretty Hate Machine (it's true! getting it detached was way more painful than when I got my eyebrow pierced). But I really wonder if he would have started talking to me if he had known that I have LL Cool J, Pink, and Jennifer Lopez on my iPod...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stray Cat Strut

Do a good deed! I'm a cat dork, so read on:

Mega Yard Sale to help feral cats in L.A. AND LA!

Clear out your closets and cupboards!

Please contact me at for drop-off information. All saleable items accepted.

If you want to shop, the sale will be held at 8818 Dorrington, just west of Robertson, just south of Melrose on Saturday, October 15 from 9-3.
(We also need volunteers on Friday night Oct. 14 for set up and on the day of sale).

For more info, check out The Feral Cat Alliance. Muchas gracias.

Monday, October 10, 2005

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Or Berlin, actually.

I've been sleeping like absolute shit for a couple of months now, with the exception being my time in Berlin. I guess my friends' crashpads set me more at ease than my own lovely, lovely apartment. Or perhaps it was just the fact that I was on vacation.

Last night, after being awake half of the evening, I finally dozed off for a few minutes of sleep. And I had a dream which featured (former Screaming Tree/Queens of the Stone) Mark Lanegan. I ran into Mark Lanegan with another friend at the airport where I was making a connecting flight to Los Angeles after my arrival from Berlin. He and my friend were arriving from Italy, and were on the same flight back. Go figure! My friend went to get us some drinks, after introducing Mark & I, and I tried to chat him up a little but he was very quiet. I got the feeling I scared him a little, which my friend confirmed later.

So, it was somewhat mysterious that he turned up in my dream.

It went something like this: I was at work, and trying to convince my boss that I just had to change my schedule around a bit to suit my vampire lifestyle. He wasn't having it, so I walked outside and Lanegan appeared, acting as if he were the wise man on the mountain, saying "If you truly had a calm mind and a calm spirit you wouldn't be so restless all night" or something like that. And I said to him, "Wow - I thought I totally freaked you out at the airport by yapping too much." And he closed his eyes and shook his head at me, because he realized what a poor misguided soul I was...

I emailed the details of this dream to the friend who introduced us, and he sent back this:
"If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is inside you, what you do not bring
forth will destroy you."
- Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

The Gnostic Gospels, to the best of my understanding anyway, are
early Christian texts with a "divine" understanding (as opposed to
actual witness) of religious events. The Gnostic Gospel of
Thomas in particular claims knowledge of Jesus' secret teachings.

First of all, my pal sure does know his religion. Second of all, was
Mark Lanegan channelling Thomas to let me know that my stress
was fucking up my sleep? Strange coincidence, and itrequires a bit
more thinking from this lapsed Catholic.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Son of the Morning Star

I have some good friends here in Los Angeles with major ties to New Orleans. They have property there, record music there, and have lived there (and I mean LIVED). New Orleans is a city that inspires many. It's creative and wild, sleazy and fucked up, joyous and frightening. There are not many places in the world like it, and I fully expect it to recover from its current state of devastation.

Last week I was making dinner for a friend who has just found out that his house had survived the floods. In a satellite photo, you can see the waters creeping right up to his back porch... "Well, I guess now you have a pool," I said. "I had a pool." The second storm knocked a tree over onto his roof. One of his housemates was finally able to get back to the house and reported back that they were lucky - damage was minimal.

Another friend of mine, who has lived and routinely records in N'Awlins, is headed back this week for about a month. "How do you know it's safe to go back? I mean, is there water yet and shit?" "Mo, when the cops in the French Quarter are beating the crap out of old black men, then New Orleans is back, baby." "What?" And so he showed me the AP footage of a bunch of cops beating up an old drunk black man till blood flowed from his head to the gutter.

The Big Easy is a place that routinely looks the other way when it comes to drunks, drug dealing, and fights. I think they are generally trying to prevent murders - it's an extremely dodgy place. And yes, the police have been under unimaginable strain. But a bunch of white cops smashing up an old drunk man? And then threatening (ON CAMERA) the AP reporter who was happening by with his cameraman?

I've been arrested once (and after living in Berkeley for 14 years, that's kind of a feat). It was for protesting after the Rodney King verdict came in, and those LAPD cops got off for beating the shit out of him. There was a rally on campus, and then everyone took it to the street and wound up on the Bay Bridge, royally fucking up traffic. I remember, however, people in their cars cheering us on, and I'll never forget the camaraderie that all of us felt on the bridge - the 300 protesters and the people honking in support from the cars - before we all got hauled off in buses to Santa Rita.

While in Germany, what I heard from people was that the US was no better than a third world nation, yet trying to pretend that it was way better than that. That the "bungled rescue" of New Orleans, as my friend put it, was more evidence of our fast slide down the slippery slope. I'd like to thank those cops for just pushing us further down the toilet.