Monday, February 28, 2005

This One's For the Sexy People



Winner Will be Featured in Maxim Radio Promotional Spots and IDs and Receive $1000

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES - Are people willing to pay to listen to your voice? Do total strangers call your answering machine over and over again just to hear you say you're not home? Then Maxim Radio wants you!

Maxim Radio, heard exclusively on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, is holding simultaneous open casting calls in New York City and Los Angeles to find the "Sexiest Voice in America" on Wednesday, March 2nd.

Here is one contest where it does not matter what you look like, how you sing or if you can kiss up to Donald Trump! One sultry woman's or smooth-talkin' man's voice will be featured on Maxim Radio promotional spots and IDs while taking home a cool $1,000.

Contestants are invited to bring 30 seconds of their own material to read at the auditions - it can be anything from self-help to War and Peace (as long as there is no cursing or vile language).

Maxim Radio celebrity hosts will comment on the entries in terms of sexiness, uniqueness, delivery, tone and suitability for use. Beginning March 7, 2005, visitors to Maxim Online ( for one week will be able to hear audio clips of the finalists' entries and click their votes. The winner will be announced on Maxim Radio on Monday, March 21, 2005.

Bud Light is the official sponsor for Maxim Radio's search for the "Sexiest Voice in America."

Contestants can bring their sexy voices to either one of the two casting calls:

* NEW YORK CITY: SIRIUS Satellite Radio, 1221 Avenue of the Americas (at 48th Street). Auditions start at 9 am ET. No more people will be allowed on the audition line at 2 pm.

* LOS ANGELES: House of Blues, Sunset Strip. Auditions start at 11 am PT. No more people will be allowed on the audition line at 3 pm.

Contestants must be at least 21 years old to enter and legal residents of the United States. The casting calls occur rain or shine.

**I'm gonna go and read the lyrics of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard. What do you think?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

For Dax, My Friend.

From Lex Records:

"The Subtle tour bus was involved in a road accident on the way from Denver to Minneapolis on 24th February. Dax Pierson was injured in the accident and has been taken to hospital in Omaha. The last news we had was that Dax was awake and in intensive care. Our thoughts are with him.

The other members of the band (Adam Drucker, Jeffery Logan, Alex Kort, Marty Dowers and Jordan Dalrymple) are very shaken but not seriously injured. The band were at the start of their 2005 North American and European tour which was scheduled to last until May. All forthcoming Subtle shows are postponed until further notice."

Dax, it turns out, was pinned under the band's equipment after their bus flipped on an icy road. Some of his vertebrae were shattered. He is going to live, but will most likely be a paraplegic.(*As of 2/28/05 - Dax will most liely not be able to move anything at all below the neck.) This has opened up a whole train of thought for me about quality of life, that whole Christopher Reeve crusade, at what point can you choose to say goodbye to your friends, etc... a whole bunch of things I didn't think I'd be thinking about while preparing for a fancy little party with some friends.

The accident happened Thursday, although most of us didn't know the details until his parents had been contacted. Dax is an incredible human being, ridiculously talented and sweet, one of the cuddliest bears in town, and an all around star. I know he's not reading this, but it feels right to put my thoughts, and the thoughts of his many friends, out there... to say he fucking rocks, and we all want what is best for him and that we love him. You never take shit from anyone or anything, so don't let that stop you now.

To Dax.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Down In It

10050 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills. Mapquest it - that's the Tate murder house. Where the Manson gang did their deeds. Actually, you can't Mapquest it because it got torn down 1994, and now the closest thing to it is 10066 Cielo. The last person to live in the Tate house (and she & Roman were only renting anyway) was Trent Reznor while he was recording The Downward Spiral. Rumor has it that he stole the door that had been graced with the word "PIG" spelled out in Sharon's blood when he heard the place was being torn down.

Anyway, I bring this up because it is one of those Hollywood legends, but people forget about Sharon Tate otherwise. Not that she was a great actress or anything, because she wasn't, but she is rarely identified as anything other than a tragic murder victim.

There is an exhibit in LA that is ending this Saturday which you should check out if you want to see her in another light... Photographs of Sharon, I think taken on the set of The Fearless Vampire Killers. They were taken by Roman Polanski and, quite simply, are just sweet and beautiful. I'm going to actually use the word "enchanting" in association with them.

There is also a series of shots taken by Jay Sebring (hairdresser and fellow victim) the week before the murders. They show friends frolicking by the pool, Sharon happily displaying her 8 months of pregnancy, stuff like that. Peeking into someone's life... you know.

And then in the back room: the crime shots. See Sharon sliced up, because that's how we remember her, unfortunately... Dreamy and scary, all at once, kinda like Hollywood.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Up On The Catwalk

While in Florida this past weekend, I watched a marathon of "Project Runway." I'm not a fan of reality TV, but it was on because my friends were hooked. And their two year old really loves it when a montage is shown of people working, and then it's sped up. This just makes him laugh and laugh... So, in this environment, I fell victim to "Project Runway."

I didn't want to watch this show because, really, I'm surrounded by enough melodramatic divas in my life without having to resort to watching them on TV. And while there was definitely some of that action, I found myself sucked in by... the pretty clothes. That's right. If I had the cash, I'd be a fashionista. Since I don't, I'm simply a Mervynista. Oh well.

The ideas were fantastic, more often than not. And it gave me some girly insight to myself: watching what I liked, realizing it was already kind of my style, and re-iterating that I am a big ole fag hag. I got home from a work function this evening, chatted on the phone, fixed some dinner, and flipped on the TV... the very last episode of "Project Runway" was starting. Oooh, and Parker Posey was a guest host. (That girl will do ANYTHING, won't she?) I was in.

The winner was Jay, a gay (surprise!) guy from Pennsylvania who designed sort of intergalactic ski wear. I liked his stuff, he was cool. As always seems to be the case with fashion, I doubt I - or anyone I know for that matter - would actually ever wear his stuff in public, but it was fun to watch.

During commercials while I flipped channels, I came across an episode of "Doggyfizzle," only one of the greatest TV shows ever. Snoop Dogg and all his zany stoner pimp action? How many times can you use the word "ho" in one show? (I'd use "bitch" as an example except that we all know Dave Chappelle has stolen that crown from Snoop by now.)

Where am I going with this... how on earth can Snoop Dogg and "Project Runway" have anything in common... Well, this weekend in Florida, the twain did meet. In a strip mall, there was a clothing store called "Fashizzle."

Oh yeah. Dat's da shiznit.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gettin' Jiggy

Have just flown from the Golden State to the Sunshine State and back. That would be from California to Florida, for those of you not hip to state nicknames. I flew out to Melbourne, Florida for a looooong overdue visit with some dear friends who have gone and had a baby (who's two) since I saw them last. And because I spent four days catching up and immersing myself in the Wiggles and Sesame Street (dude, I am all about those wacky Aussie Wiggle guys now), I was totally out of touch with anything happening in the rest of the world.

So imagine my surprise when I flew back to LA (after several storm delays due to actual weather in Atlanta) and found that the biblical rains had struck again! This time, the 101 freeway by my house was shut down because it was flooded with nearly three feet of water! That's more than half my size. Nuts.

And that Hunter S. Thompson had gone gonzo on himself with one of his many guns! I'm surprised he lived this long, but he sure did keep things interesting on his journey here.

Anyway, the weekend in Florida was pretty mellow. I was in a sleepy little beach town, chock full of strip malls and the ghosts of hurricanes past. Like this past summer. There were still torn up fences, missing signs, and patches of buildings waiting to get fixed... and I'm not slagging them: in the Bay Area, they are still fixing up after that Loma Prieta quake in '89.

We went to the beach and ran around, went to check out the manatees (which I didn't get to see, but they're about the size of an Escalade and like to cruise to the piers to say hi), fed a giraffe at the zoo, and hit up a Catholic school fundraiser. Mostly, it was great to just hang out with my friends - hopefully they'll return to our rockin' earthquake state once they are able to shake those hurricanes. Hell - why should I try to convince them to leave? They can actually buy a house in their state!

Perhaps the mellow weekend was to prepare me for my apocalyptic return into hel-La, with waters raging and work stressouts and journalistic suicides all around. Hmmm... wonder if any of that rates on the Rapture index? Just in case any of you were thinking about the end of the world while fishing your car out of that sinkhole on your block.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

White Punks On Dope

There's this thing that happens in Northern California every year called Burning Man. You've probably heard of it. It started out as a gathering of crazy bohemian types out in the desert putting up all sorts of random, temporary art to stare at while taking acid. It has since become a gathering of people who want to get naked, do drugs, act like losers, and break stuff while out in the desert with 50,000 other people who are interested in the same thing. Last year my brother went. I teased him about it; he said he'd been forced to go. Someone bought him a ticket. So he decided to brave the desert heat, lack of water, dust, raves from dusk till dawn, drunks vomiting on other people's stuff, people on drugs running over other people's stuff (not actually people - this year; that's so 2000), and people you don't want to see naked... all for the art. He said the best thing about it was the art and the patchouli smelling hippies, who were really nice.

So I asked him about this picture. "What's up with the Barton Fink get up and the sign?" (If you can't see the sign over his head, it says: "Come on in and have a nice warm cup of... SHUT THE FUCK UP!")

He responded: "That pic was at Burning man, it was a morning after shot- the place I was at I called 'Punk Rock Pancakes' because they served pancakes every morning but they were really surly with you the whole time, and you had to take your pancakes however they made them, the butter had dirt in it, and sometimes they would put cereal or goldfish crackers or mixed salted nuts in your pancakes, and they would mix the most disgusting drinks ever and make random people in the line drink them while they yelled at you. They were cool, thus the title 'Punk Rock Pancakes.'"

Awesome. I'm re-evaluating Burning Man.

But I still won't go.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Well Done, Medium, or...


Since I'm on the subject of wacky characters about town, I thought I'd give a shout out to my peeps in Berkeley. There are LOTS of freaks wandering the streets up there. When I moved to LA, I had to readjust my thinking in order to understand that all the disembodied voices I heard having conversations with themselves around me were actually folks talking on their cell phones, not lunatics like I was used to.

The entire decade or so that I lived in Berkeley, I was aware of a particular street guy we called Rare. Why? Because he used to walk around and people would yell to him, "How do you like it?" And he'd yell back, "Rare!" And vice versa. I'm positive that he's still wandering Telegraph Ave doing that.

He was usually shirtless in jeans, with scraggly longish hair. He'd drop and do one handed push-ups on the sidewalk for no reason. He provided lots of entertainment for the frat boys. Oddly, in his lucid moments, he'd rattle off sports statistics and talk athletics with all the knowledge of a seasoned sportscaster, and he also was obsessed with music. In his not so lucid moments, he'd run around rambling about God knows what.

There were lots of rumors around Rare, but the one I remember most vividly was the one about him once being a major college baseball star, and then getting smacked in the head with a fastball and going nuts as a result. I had a couple personal encounters with him. He came to volunteer at the radio station I was managing, KALX Berkeley, with the intention of working in our sports department. He had a friend (caretaker?) with him when he came by, and he was very sincere about doing it and very interested, but after 6 weeks or so I saw him ranting on the streets again.

My contact with Rare continued when I moved to LA. I worked in a record store which had started in Berkeley and I was at the Hollywood branch, working the information counter. Rare used to call there looking for stuff because he had talked one of the owners into bringing merchandise back to the Bay if we had it. "You know that one Byrds album? It was really great, when they started with the country thing, and other rock bands weren't doing that, and that's why the Rolling Stones started doing that, and that guy OD'd or something, and they reissued it and put extra tracks on it but I just want that first version, the original one, on vinyl, you know?" He remembered me from the radio station. Sometimes.

He doesn't give a fuck, he's living under a truck
You know it coulda been me, I guess that's just my luck
But I swear I hear the voices singing to me-
Keep on keep on keep on...
Concrete Blonde

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Still In Hollywood

And on the bus today I met the Queen of LA -
At least she said she was, and who am I to say?
... Concrete Blonde

Today I'm going to write about Torrance.

Torrance is the doorman at the Burgundy Room, a bar that's been in the seedy-now-swanky part of Hollywood (Hollywood is a really trashy place, so swanky ain't all that). The Burgundy opened its narrow door in 1919, became a speakeasy during the Dark Ages, and was bought by a very dear friend of mine several years ago. I used to DJ there regularly, and still do sometimes.

Torrance has been working the door for many, many years. He is a tall (like, 7 footer) thin black man, with thick broken glasses and a cap. He has a long face and long hands and a voice so low the ground rumbles a bit beneath you when he talks. He's a bit of a drunk, and he's wickedly intelligent when he wants to be (Howard grads often are), but he's also convinced that the toy skeletons hanging above the bar speak to him.

"Mo, why don't I see you anymore?" he often asks me in that beyond deep baritone of his. "Because I have a real job now, Torrance; it's hard for me to stay up drinking with y'all like I used to when I first moved here." "Well, yes, yes..." he rumbles, "but I sure did appreciate you being here. You know how to play black music for black people." He'd shake his head sadly.

When I DJ'ed at the bar, I always made sure to sneak in some old school soul for Torrance. Toss on a little Lyn Collins or the Temptations, and he's sure to come in and boogie. But at the end of the night, after a few shots of tequila and once the doors are closed, he'd put on my headphones and listen to the Rolling Stones do "Wild Horses." And sing along.

I guess it makes sense then, in a way, that Torrance got snatched up to do some shows with local country thrashers, Soda and His Million Piece Band. Their recent turn with Torrance on college station KXLU got rave reviews and earned them a house packed with hipsters at the Echo in fashionably dingy Echo Park. You know how people say the BellRays are like the MC5 fronted by Tina Turner? Well, this is a bit like a rowdy Squirrel Nut Zippers fronted by Lou Rawls.

And Torrance will be back at the bar tomorrow, doling out his street wisdom to anyone who will listen, and letting only the right people in the bar. If he knows your face, and likes you, you're golden. And he's actually quite a doll.

When I got dumped while I was still working there, Torrance's comment to me was, "Uh uh, if that ex-boyfriend of yours comes around here, you know what I'm gonna do? You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna treat him like a customer." Whoa. Ultimate dis.

Hollywood takes all kinds; Torrance doesn't.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Six Degrees of John Taylor

Ok, you know how every once in a while you find a dorky game so fun that you can't stop playing it? And you think about its possibilities when you aren't playing it? Well, thanks alot, Scott Stereogum, because you linked me to a game that actually made it possible to connect my current alt rock crush - Ken Andrews (Failure, On, Year of the Rabbit) - to my teen dream - John Taylor (Duran Duran, duh). In 9 moves. It took a few more to connect the Eagles to Bikini Kill, but it could be done. IT COULD BE DONE.

Thank God for computer nerds who are also music geeks, or I wouldn't be able to get my goober factor so high.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Plug It In

If you need to know about new music, learn about current music, or rediscover old music, I have some guidelines for you. Brought to you courtesy of PLUG.

"PLUG is a collection of music lovers: writers, DJs, webmasters, artists, filmmakers, managers, indie retailers, and most importantly - fans, who gather togther each year to celebrate the artists who live and flourish in the margins..."

The PLUG peole have voted, and these are the results:

Album of the Year
TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (Touch And Go)

Artist Of The Year

New Artist Of The Year
Arcade Fire

Male Artist Of The Year
Tom Waits

Female Artist Of The Year
Jean Grae

Hip-Hop Album Of The Year
Madvillain - Madvillany (Stones Throw)

Punk Album Of The Year
Bad Religion - The Empire Strikes First (Epitaph)

Metal Album Of The Year
Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine (Relapse)

Electronic/Dance Album Of The Year
Mouse On Mars - Radical Connector (Thrill Jockey)

Americana Album Of The Year
Iron And Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop)

Indie Rock Album Of The Year
Interpol - Antics (Matador)

DJ Album Of The Year
RJD2 - Since We Last Spoke (Definitive Jux)

Avant Album Of The Year
Liars - They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (Mute)

Record Label Of The Year
Definitive Jux

Live Act Of The Year
Death Cab For Cutie

Record Producer of the Year
Danger Mouse

Album Art/Packaging of the Year
Arcade Fire – Funeral (Merge)

Music Website Of The Year

Magazine Of The Year
The Wire

Specialty Show Of The Year (Commercial Radio)
KDLD, Los Angeles, "Dead Air” (Indie 103.1)

College/Non-Comm Radio Station Of The Year
KEXP, Seattle, WA

Internet Radio Station of the Year

Record Store of the Year
Amoeba Music, Hollywood, CA

Best Music DVD of the Year
Rock Against Bush, Vol 2

If you think your radio sucks, and want to hear something different, do some research with the folks who won (or were nominated) for these awards. Oh yea, and weren't the Grammys tonight?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Shoot That Poison Arrow

When the postman don’t call on Valentine’s Day
And Santa Claus don’t come on a Christmas Day
That umbrella won’t work on a rainy day
Don’t ask me, I already know!

It was pointed out to me that Valentine's day is Monday. I used to work in a card and candy shop; I think Valentine's Day is dumb. I thought that before I worked there, though. My boyfriends are lucky - I expect nothing on that day. The rest of the year, however...

With your heart on parade and your heart on parole
I hope you find a sucker to buy that mink stole
School for scandal,
Guess who’s enrolled?
So ask me, I already know!

When I was growing up, I got a present from my Dad every year on Valentine's day. Usually a little box of candy and a little Valentine themed toy... A tiny stuffed horse, one of those bitty clingy koala things, stuff like that. It would be sitting on my nightstand when I would wake up that morning. That stuff ended when I hit high school and probably was freaking my Dad out by doing things like having a boyfriend and growing boobs. Poor guy. But I always thought, and still think, that it was really, really sweet.

Other than that, Valentine's day is dumb.

So if you really love your partner, tell them all the time. Or get them this:


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bow Wow Wow

I am a cat person. Like, a raging cat person. But a friend of mine sent me one of those dorky online quiz things and so I HAD to try it out... and find out what kind of dog I am.

Turns out I'm an English Cocker Spaniel.

"Number one dog in popularity in Britain during the 1930's through the 1950's. Originally from Spain, the Spaniel derives its name from the word Espagnol. Cockers got their name for their expertise in flushing woodcock and other small game while hunting."

Yep, that's me alright. Great at flushing woodcock.

Take the quiz, which happens to be related to some independent movie I don't know jack about. But the quiz is pretty neat-o!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Take the Skinheads Bowling

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude, takin' her easy for all us sinners.- The Big Lebowski

I got this email from my pal, the Dude, today. Like, the real Dude. I only saw "The Big Lebowski" once, and I was a little bit stoned, but it was funny (not just because of my condition). It's got quite a following, and since this event is happening here in LA this year, I think I have to go and watch people get all batshit over this really sweet bear of a guy.

So if you're interested, here are the deets (from the Dude himself):

Just wanted to let a some of my friends and associates in LA know about this upcoming Lebowski Fest thing which really is a hoot. It is on Friday and Saturday March 25 & 26. You can come either night or both nights.

The Friday night part usually involves a fair amount of drinking, some bands playing, and then they show THE BIG LEBOWSKI with the Greek chorus joining in.

The Saturday night event is always at a bowling alley. About a quarter of the folks come in costumes which are often hilarious and inspired. Check out the website photo gallery from past fests.

No need to come in costume or be a good bowler- almost all the folks are alot better drinkers and talkers then they are bowlers. This is not a bunch of Trekkies (ed. note: I heart Trekkies)--these folks have to be smart and have a good enough sense of humor to get Joel & Ethan's sense of irony.

It sells out very fast so you might want to get tickets now. Especially the bowling night which they have to cap off. It's real cheap too!

No -- I don't make any money on this--it's just a helleva lot of fun. Browse through the website and you'll see.

Hope you can party with us. It's fun to go to with a couple of your friends who like to laugh and hang out.

the Dude abides!

And go here to check out something related and totally absurd. Don't ask how I found it. This is fun too. Is this Lebowski thing kinda culty or what? Oh, whatever. White Russians for everyone!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Do You Know Me Now?

I love going to the movies, but it has been a tricky thing for me. Sometimes, it's hard to find the time for the event that is going to the movies. I could rent, but I'm not home enough, or don't necessarily want to rent on my own. I was spoiled by having had a boyfriend for about a zillion years who loved going to the movies, and renting them too. We'd watch just about anything, from 40's noir to current indie to musicals to silent films to seventies blockbusters.

So I'm finally getting out to the movies again, but I've already seen one of these films twice. And it's a documentary. And I happened to see it for the first time last November at the AFI fest, with my movie boyfriend (now an ex) while he was visiting from his current home in Germany. And then I happened to see it tonight with my gay best friend. And it's about a gay German guy.

Go figure.

The Nomi Song is a bittersweet documentary about Klaus Nomi, the beyond avant performance artist who emerged on the New York scene in 1978. He came from Essen, Germany to New York City via Berlin. His debut in Ann Magnuson's new wave vaudeville show quickly led to packed club gigs all over the city, peaking with an appearance on Saturday Night Live doing backup (and makeup!) for David Bowie in 1979.

What was his schtick? He sang opera in falsetto to electronic music while dressed like an alien. Well, his interpretation of an alien, I suppose.

The documentary has some great archival footage of the time in NYC, as well as the fervor around such a bizarre little man (who was also quite the pastry chef, it seems). After the Bowie thing, he finally got his record contract. While he was a minor player on the American New Wave scene, he was - of course - huge in Europe. Especially in France.

And then he became one of AID's earliest known casualties, gone by 1983.

Sometimes I wonder if something as bizarre and imaginative and just plain weird as Klaus Nomi can ever happen again. Would it just freak people out? I mean, he played successful shows in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas... all over the country. I just can't imagine that flying today - I feel as if we've gone very backwards sometimes in this country.

I mean, would an opera singing disco homo in black and white makeup wearing a giant plastic tux fly in today's world? I hope so. That would be fabulous.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I Send A Message

When I started this A-Z music thing a few months back, I decided that when I picked a letter, whatever name popped into my head first would be the chosen subject for the day. Imagine my surprise when the letter I rolled around and I did not first think of Interpol, but INXS.

Maybe this isn't so surprising, given my Australian leanings or new wave background. And, actually, my job is going to relate to the remains of this band very soon.

INXS was a band that emerged during that early 80's new wave thing, but didn't really sound like that. They didn't really sound like anything; maybe because they came from Perth which is - according to an Aussie I know - the last outpost of civilization. The tip of South America is closer to Perth than Sydney is.

Anyway, I guess a funky blues rock band would kind of describe them, but with that synthy edge. But you've heard 'em. They even recorded with Chic's Nile Rogers for "Original Sin" which is still a tune that makes some of my girlfriends swoon. Personally, I'm a "Don't Change" swooner. Michael Hutchence was always a pretty sexy singer, at least vocally.

So Michael Hutchence was found hanging in a hotel room in Sydney, and the rumor has always been autoerotic asphysixiation. That was pretty much the end of the band. I thought.

Leave it to reality TV to bring something back from the dead, eh? "Rock Star" is the name of the show which will feature INXS auditioning for its new lead singer. The winner will then take Hutchence's place, and they'll record an album and everything. I get to work with them clearing the music they will be using for the show. The manager and members of the band I have met have been really nice, interesting guys.

Still, the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think that's a tad disrespectful, but since when has reality TV been anything else? The least the band could do, I think, is change their name. But then, how could they cash in?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Memo to Paul McCartney Tim Carvell...

To: Paul McCartney

From: The N.F.L.

Re: Super Bowl halftime show

THANK you for coming by this morning; my wife was very impressed to hear that I got to meet a former Beatle, especially one who isn't Ringo. She wanted me to ask if you remember her. She saw you at the Milwaukee Arena in 1964. She says she screamed "Paul!" throughout your show, and that you looked over and winked at her. She was wearing a red hat. Anyway, if you do remember her: She says hi.

Moving on. We've reviewed your set list and dance routine, and we have just a few notes:

We like the simple shirt and slacks that you have chosen as your outfit. However, to prevent even the slightest possibility of a "wardrobe malfunction," we were wondering if you could maybe wear something extra over your outfit? Or maybe under it? Like an extra pair of underpants over your usual underpants? Or maybe a sweater, and a second pair of pants over your original pair of pants? Nothing too noticeable - just a little insurance. I'm sure you understand.

"Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da": Is there something you can say after "life goes on" that's not "bra"? The word still makes us a little nervous around here. Thanks.

"Blackbird": "Take these broken wings and learn to fly"? It's a lovely image, Paul, but: Children are going to be watching this. No parent wants to have to explain injured birds to their children, especially not on Super Sunday. Can you sing around it so the bird's wings aren't broken? Maybe the bird could take its "bucket o' wings" and learn to fly? KFC may pay for the product placement. Just a thought.

"I Saw Her Standing There": "Well, she was just 17, you know what I mean"? I am fairly certain that I do not know what you mean, but I do know that she'd better be at least 18. Make that 21. Or 25. She was just 25. That works fine.

Sorry to circle back to this, but we've been thinking more about your outfit. Maybe you could wear both the extra underpants and the sweater and extra pants? You know, just to be safe? Also: Some of us are a bit worried about the hip motions while you're dancing. They seem a tad suggestive. Could you maybe dance without moving your hips? Or your feet? You may, of course, continue to use your arms.

"A Hard Day's Night": We're a bit concerned about the line about how, when "I get home to you, I'll find the things that you do, will make me feel all right." That is upsettingly vague, like the things that she does might be rated, you know, more than PG. Maybe you could sub in something more specific and G-rated, like: "But when I get home to you, I find the board games we play will make me feel all right." It's the same general idea, I think you'll find.

"A Day in the Life": "He blew his mind out in his car"? No, Paul. No, he didn't.

"Get Back": So let's see: Our hero, Jojo, "left his home in Tucson, Arizona, for some California grass," and our heroine, Loretta Martin, "thought she was a woman, but she was another man." And here I thought Ringo was the funny one! You really had us going for a minute there! (Um, if you weren't joking: No.)

Just got back from a meeting with wardrobe, and they want me to ask: How would you feel about a suit of armor? As I understand it, you've been knighted, so you probably have one lying around, yes? If not, we can provide one for you. Just ask!

Well, that's all we've got for now. If anything else comes to us, we'll let you know. Can't wait for the big show! Rock 'n' roll!

(Tim Carvell is a writer for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.")

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Master and Servant

Since I don't like festivals, I came up with my own. It'd be called "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery" festival. The "ISF Fest" for short. Think that's catchy?

Anyway, here's the lineup:

DAY ONE (post punk dance punk party): headliners - Gang of Four. Also: Hot Hot Heat, the Rapture, Radio 4, !!!, Moving Units and Bloc Party.

DAY TWO (post punk quirky punk thrashy): (co-headliners) XTC and The Fall. Also: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, the Futureheads, Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Louis XIV, and Kaiser Chiefs.

And in the Tent for the midnight "rave" portion? Well, they would all be sharing the same keyboards and videoscreens, and it would be: (co-headliners)Depeche Mode and Gary Numan (with Tubeway Army). Also, the Faint, Ladytron, Fischerspooner, Adult and I Am Spoonbender.

This is already happening anyway... David Byrne performed "Naive Melody" with the Arcade Fire in NYC the other night. My festival will happen. And when it does, I'll be there to spray you all with water cannons.

Everything old is new again. Right?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

That Was Then, But This is Now

So Coachella's lineup has been announced. Big whoop.

I kid, I kid! As usual, it's an amazing slew of bands. I went last year for the first time because the Pixies were playing. That was the only reason. It was hot, crowded, expensive and confusing. I saw some great performances and had some fun. All in all, it was ok. The Pixies were awesome. I have no reason to go back.

I've never really been able to get into festival shows. I always have a hard time seeing over the teeming masses, while sweating and covered in dust and stepping over a person passed out in their own vomit to see a speck of a band I like. Or rather, watch it on the big screens. So I'm okay with missing them, really. But when I was about 12, I remember being really, really really heartbroken about missing the US Festival. "Woodstock West."

The US Festival took place in 1982 and 1983. It was created by Steve Wozniak, the mastermind of the Apple computer. It took place in Glen Helen Park in San Bernardino, which is just about as hot and dusty as Coachella. Except that these guys set up a half acre of showers and had water cannons to spray the crowd with, as well as plenty of water fountains.

Here was the lineup in 1982: DAY ONE - The Police (headliners), Talking Heads, B52s, Oingo Boingo, English Beat, Ramones, Gang of Four. DAY TWO - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (headliners), Pat Benatar, the Kinks, the Cars, Santana, Eddie Money, Dave Edmunds & the Joe Sharino Band.

Okay, what about 1983? This was the year I tried to con any adult I knew into taking me 90 miles north of home so I could see these bands. I'm still a little dead inside because I missed it. DAY ONE - The Clash(headliners), Men At Work, the Stray Cats, Flock of Seagulls, English Beat, Oingo Boingo, Wall of Voodoo, Inxs & Divinyls. DAY TWO - Van Halen (headliners), Scorpions, Triumph, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, & Quiet Riot. DAY THREE - David Bowie (headliner), Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, the Pretenders, Missing Persons, U2, Quarterflash, Berlin, & Little Stephen. Keep the year in mind, people. 1983. This was the apex. "Sunday Bloody Sunday." "Too Young to Fall in Love." "Dance the Night Away" with Diamond Dave. "The One Thing." "The Metro."

But take note: Gang of Four played the US Fest in '82, and they're playing Coachella in '05 - only 23 years later. Ironically, that's the only band I really want to see anyway. Sigh. I'm OLD!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fear and Loathing In Echo Park

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, for my sister and I this weekend, it was the chicken in form of chicken tikka masala and coconut curry at a friend's house in the Hollywood Hills. Little did we know the egg was still to come.

My sister was visiting from San Diego, and I had several birthdays to celebrate. (And more to come - you damn Aquarians!) The main part of our evening was to be spent in Echo Park at the Short Stop, a bar once owned by an ex-cop (or so legend goes) which was sold after the Rampart police scandal. The scandal involved the "discovery" that a bunch of corrupt LAPD officers were falsely arresting people, dealing drugs, giving perjured testimony and framing innocent people. Stuff like that. Very L.A. Confidential.

Anyway, the Shorty was a cop hangout till that happened (there are bulletholes in the walls somewhere, but it's too dark to see them). Then a couple years ago, some hip, young, music industry types bought the place and made it cool for hip, young folks. These were all great guys who just love a good dive and a good time, and that's the kind of place the Shorty is today.

So my sister and I parked about two blocks down the street, and got out of my car to start our little jaunt up the hill. We were barely past the car when there was a whizzing noise and a slam, and I was hit on the side of my chest with something. This is scary in Echo Park, because it isn't the safest of neighborhoods. There used to be a lot of gang activity and the nearby lake would get dredged regularly for missing persons. My sister and I both yelled, barely noticing a car that had also raced past. "Fuck, that hurt!" I yelled, holding my side. "Was that ice? It looked like a snowball or something." My sister looked around, "Shit, I think it was an egg." "What?" She looked at my jacket and goes, "Wow, I guess it just ricocheted off you onto the wall. Lucky it didn't break or you'd be really nasty right now!" She found this pretty funny, but that's a sister for you. Actually, since I hadn't been shot, I found it pretty funny too. But weird - I didn't think people got egged anymore. it seemed so '78 or something. Maybe even '68. But what do I know?

There were signs of the evil-doers all the way to the bar. Just another Saturday night in Echo Park? Oh no, it happens on Mondays too. At least, this past Monday.

I met some friends at the Echo, a live music/ dance venue also in Echo Park, surrounded by a cultural center, some quickie Mexican food places and thrift stores. Stuff like that. I went to see two terrific local bands - the Electromagnetic and Helen Stellar. It was a good crowd, really into the dream pop these kids from the school of rockin' shoegaze were playing. Even Cameron Crowe (aka Mrs. Nancy Wilson) was there, cozied up to the bar and swaying to Helen Stellar. A girl in the audience went up to thank him for Say Anything and Almost Famous, and asked him if he knew the band, and he responded that he was a big fan. Go Cameron - a true music lover, that guy.

On my way back out to the car, I saw fresh evidence of fowl play on the sidewalks and walls. It seems as if the culprits were still at large. Grade AA large, by the looks of it.