Thursday, March 31, 2005
And then the band got back together, maaaaan. But then he died.
(He's the blond.)
This doc was a real treat, focusing on the "rock and roll Frankenstein" that was Kane, a gentle giant who oozed kindness, sincerity, and the true desire to rock. It is a bittersweet tale of the taste of success, and what failure can do to a person. At his height, he had groupies in limos. At his depth, he drunkenly abused his wife and threw himself out of a third story window to end the madness. In his recovery, he sent for the Book of Mormon.
Other members of the Dolls had success on some level... Sylvain Sylvain continued to play, Johnny Thunders & Jerry Nolan became the Heartbreakers, and David Johansen did some acting and that Buster Pointdexter stuff. Arthur Kane just sort of disappeared... although that wasn't what he was going for.
He never comes off like a born again weirdo or a Scientology robot, just like a guy who loved being in the New York Dolls, found something to do with his life when that was over, and yearned for it to happen again. Then Morrissey came along (and he gets a lot of screen time in this doc - a rare treat for Moz fans since the man is terribly reclusive) and asked them to get together for a festival he was curating in London. The interviews with members of his church are priceless (two old nuns claiming they are now "Killer Kane" groupies) as well as the footage of the band's reunion... very touching.
And about two weeks after he returned from this triumph, he got the flu. Well, he thought it was the flu, and he died two hours after being diagnosed with leukemia. Of course, this gives the documentary a punch it wasn't expecting to get. When "New York Doll" comes to your town (and it will, eventually), it's worth getting to... To understand the influence this band had on many, in a world of Jethro Tulls and Emerson, Lake & Palmers... To get an idea of what it might be like, living that "dream"... And to see a little story about a very sweet man, who went through some major shit but still kept the smile on his face.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Man Killed in Freeway Crash Is Believed Shot
A man died Tuesday afternoon after apparently being shot as he drove on the Harbor Freeway in South Los Angeles, where he lost control of his car and crashed into the center divider, Los Angeles police said. "It appears that he was just driving down the freeway and someone shot him and he ran into the center divider," said Los Angeles Police Department Det. Roosevelt Joseph. The gunman may have fired from another car, he said. "We found bullet casings on the road," Joseph said. "It also appears that he suffered gunshot wounds, but that hasn't been confirmed yet."
Oh please, this is so 1986. I really, really hope that people don't start shooting at each other on the freeways again. Didn't you ever see LA Story? I love the movie, but once Steve Martin's done it, it's played out. "Oh shit! Rush hour! Grab the gun! "Do bullets go bad?" "No - they're not milk, they don't have expiration dates." "He said it's the first day of spring." "Oh shit! Open season on the LA freeway!"
I never take the freeway anyhow. A true Angeleno knows how to navigate the surface streets - we are nothing without our shortcuts. And bulletproof windows.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
By the time these guys broke up, I was a freshman in high school. Which means my kid brother was eight. But it was my brother who got me into the Misfits, a few years later when I was in college. I had a boyfriend all throughout high school who was into the Dead Kennedys and the Circle Jerks and Social Distortion and the Toy Dolls and stuff like that, which I was okay with, but I was way more into Duran Duran and the Cure and OMD and that kind of trash (I use the term lovingly). So I kinda shied away from the punky stuff.
(Odd that later I'd allow myself to be happily crushed in Pixies throngs... but go figure.)
Anyway, I came home from college for a holiday break or something, and my brother was all up in my face about the Misfits. He made me a tape and forced me to listen to it. And I liked it. Now, these guys were really making my mother think that my brother was becoming the spawn of Satan (hell, that's basically all they sang about, all that horror business) and she was completely convinced that her little darling was going to become a serial killer or something. Who could blame her? Look at the guys. Zombie punk greasers singing about aliens and dead people. In case you're not familiar, here are some song titles: "Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?" "Die, Die My Darling," "Bloodfeast..." You get it.
I gotta tell you, I loved singing along. To me, they were like Sha Na Na on speed. "Last Caress" is a rad 50's song, and it's soooooo fun to sing to. (They even covered "Great Balls of Fire" and "This Magic Moment.") And I know I'm not the only one. I DJ out sometimes in Hollywood at a place called the Burgundy Room, and I (along with just about every other DJ there) know that if you play a Misfits tune, people go batshit. They shout every word. Eespecially if you play "Where Eagles Dare," which has the useless chorus: "I AIN'T NO GODDAMN SON OF A BITCH!" Watch the Pabst flow!
I could have written about some other M bands I like... Magnetic Fields, electronic artists Matmos, or another band that involuntarily makes me mosh - Mudhoney, but the Misfits... Well, y'all should have the "best of" album at least. I think I enjoy them more now than I did ten (or 15) years ago.
Besides, Danzig lives in my hood.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Unfortunately for me, it was a ten minute phone interview, so I didn't have the luxury of either turning beet red or hyperventilating in the presence of the Hot One (who was terribly nice, by the way). My teen crushes never die, apparently.
Tuesday, January 11th, 2005
John Taylor: Hello Mo! Mo, Mo, Mo, Mo!
Mo: Hi John, thanks so much for taking the time to do this today.
JT: Where are you?
Mo: Sitting on the floor in my living room.
JT: No, what city?
Mo: Oh, Silverlake.
JT: Ah! Are you keeping dry?
Mo: We didn't really suffer too much from the rain, what about you? Aren't you on the Westside?
JT: Yes. We thought some houses might fall off the cliff, but everyone's okay. The rain has stopped, but nobody wants to leave home.
Mo: I was leaving home during the rain, I wasn't afraid.
JT: Nobody goes because nobody knows what to do, do they?
Mo: That's just Los Angeles, though; that's just California. I lived in Northern California too and when it rains up there the same thing happens - everyone just sort of freezes. So, I have some questions to ask you before we get bolted off the line... The upcoming tour: you're hitting up stadiums this time?
JT: Actually, they're not stadiums, they're arenas.
Mo: Ah, arenas, arenas...
JT: I think a stadium implies the outdoors, and in LA we're playing the Staples Center, which is pretty big.
Mo: Alright, you're playing really, really really large venues.
JT: (laughs)Well, yea, we did a British tour like that last year.
Mo: Yea, and I remember that you had both the Scissor Sisters and Goldfrapp opening.
Mo: And I wanted to give you guys props for having those two bands and knowing about those bands, especially at that time for the Scissor Sisters, because no one outside of New York City really knew who they were. What kind of openers do you think you're going to have this time around?
JT: We haven't firmed it up yet, but it's gonna be good.
Mo: I remember reading about those shows, and Goldfrapp especially. She has such an amazing voice.
JT: She's wonderful.
Mo: Yea, an incredible singer. How is this tour going to be for you guys? When was the last time you played venues this large in the United States?
JT: We did a couple radios shows like that before Christmas, but it wasn't our show. To tell you the truth, I'm quite comfortable. I love to play... just let me at it. It's a drag if you love something like that - what I do - better than anything else, that two hours on stage... I love that, I feel that's my thing. I'm lucky to get to do that these days. A lot goes into a tour, I mean, it's extraordinary. A ten week tour! I mean, who the hell does ten week tours? I'm sure no British band! (laughs) But it's very, very exciting. I think the reason we don't have an opening act yet is because they're all a bit frightened! (more laughing) Really, it's going to be a tremendous opportunity because you're going to be able to grow so much. The band that plays the last date will be a completely different band from the one that played the first date. There's no short cut, you know. If you're a performer, you want to be a great act. If you want to be a player, you've gotta play.
Mo: I'm sure that you're selling lots of tickets to this because the album has been doing great. I've really been enjoying it! What have you noticed about your fans? They've grown up with you guys, I think. So how has it been, since Roger came back and the original lineup has gotten back together? How has the audience been?
JT: It's galvanized everybody. Everybody that was kinda sorta into the band has come out, has come back, has said, "Fuck it, I don't mind!" And time and trends have helped us as well. The last couple of years have been like, "Whew! Well, it's okay to like this band." And I think when people actually do come to the shows, and they feel a part of the crowd that is very... it's like... Ok, maybe 20 years ago we would have pooh-poohed the idea that people who are interested in fashion and style and all that stuff, but we've become such a fashion and style oriented society that now, if you're in a Duran Duran audience and you look around, you go, "Wow, this is where the cool kids are!"
We used to feel this tremendous... what we used to call "audience envy." We'd look at the Rolling Stones audience or the Guns and Roses audience and say, "Why isn't our audience as sexy as theirs?" And now we don't have that anymore because we've got the coolest audience. We've got teenagers right up next to the gorgeous, gorgeous forty somethings, a really good crossover.
Mo: Speaking of having all the cool kids at your show, I have to ask about the celebrity fan quotient and I was just wondering if you had any interesting stories... like I hear that Gwen Stefani is a big fan, Jennifer Aniston loves you, or the entire band The Killers, and of course Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray...
JT: Gwen is a big fan and I really love her, and I'm a big fan of her as well. I think having their support and their interest has meant a lot to us. But really, we're a band's band. There's a lot of personalities in our band. Most bands today, I think, have somebody, who was influenced by a member of Duran Duran. You know what I mean? You know, whether it's like, Korn's singer, or the Killer's bass player, Franz Ferdinand's drummer... Everybody's band was influenced by one of us. We're not like a band where it's really all about one guy and everybody else plays his songs. We're very, very democratic; we're very sum of the parts. I mean, if you wanna be a bass player, chances are you're gonna check me out (laughs), along with other bass players! We've always shouted our musical identities out loud.
Mo: So back to the tour, your schedule has been really hectic. How is Andy [who was out during the shows played in December due to illness]?
JT: We had a pretty intense schedule, and when we were finishing up the album I went back to LA for a week and spent a bit of time with my kid, but Andy kept at it. He stayed in the studio. I didn't really mind when he called up in December and said, "Hey, I gotta check out." It was quite challenging getting someone up to speed in about 48 hours. When you have to ride something like that, it's very frustrating, but it kind of makes you stronger. We all took the holidays off and then we got back together last week and started playing again, and the work that we had to do with the stand-in guy paid off, because Andy was back and we'd done a lot of work in the meantime.
Mo: Now when you tour, do you bring your family along or do they meet you along the way?
JT: Yea, they do. But they're so fucking blasé! Like my daughter in particular, she's really fucking blasé. "Oh, whatever. Maybe I'll come out..." You know, she's gotta have her own suite. My wife's kids [Taylor's wife is Juicy Couture co-founder, Gela Nash-Taylor], they're really into music and into the mechanics of music; how songs get written. They've seen a lot of it. My daughter's like, "Six days dad, that's the most!" I'm like, "Come on, come and spend some time with me on the road." "Aw dad, really? Do I have to?" They're just at the age where they want to be with their friends. And it doesn't matter that I'm like, "But I thought I was cool!" "It's not that - it's not personal. I just want to be with my friends."
Mo: (laughing) That puts a bit of perspective on things, doesn't it?
JT: Yea it does. Humility.
Mo: Before I wrap it up, I was curious about what kinds of acts the band is into now. Does anyone have any particular favorites?
JT: Well, it's just been so great to be doing this, making your own music, and um... I'm all about me right now! (laughs) If you'd asked me two years ago, I would have given you a roll call of music I was listening to, but when you're in your own band and you're playing every day... that's it, baby.
Mo: So right now, you guys are the shit.
Mo: Excellent! Are you looking forward to the tour?
JT: Oh god, yes.
Mo: And where do you kick off?
JT: Fort Lauderdale. And we end in the Garden.
Mo: Nice! Well, there's that somewhat infamous statement from the beginning of Duran Duran that within a certain number of years from the formation of the final lineup of the band, that you would be playing to a sold out Madison Square Gardens.
JT: It took us longer this time around to get there! Simon joined the summer of '80, and within 4 years, we sold out 2 nights at Madison Square Garden. This time, hmmm... we've worked together... oh anyway, who's counting! We're glad to be back.
Mo: Well, I'm glad that you guys stuck it out and that everyone's come back together. It has galvanized fans, at least that I've seen. I've been a big fan since... well, as long as I can remember.
JT: Longer than you can remember!
Mo: Sorry, college drinking has interfered with what I remember (laughs).
JT: So what are you listening to, what's your favorite album?
Mo: My favorite album? I go back and forth between the first two.
JT: No, no, what music are you listening to at the moment?
Mo: Oh, my favorite album of last year was Interpol, Antics. And my second one was the Delays, Faded Seaside Glamour.
JT: Oh, I've never heard of that!
Mo: Faded Seaside Glamour, rather, the Delays, is sort of like the Las meet the Cocteau Twins; it's really beautiful and I'm a sucker for melody, so that pulled me right in.
JT: So your favorite Duran records are the first two?
Mo: Yes, the first two, and the other ones go back and forth on my turntable. Well, I still have a turntable!
JT: I got one for Christmas, actually. It's been such a long time since I've used one!
Mo: I still DJ around town, so I can never give them up.
JT: Oh, you do? Where?
Mo: Sometimes at the Burgundy Room out in Hollywood.
JT: Cool. I like the Burgundy Room.
Mo: Yes, it's fun and I have to tell you, "Careless Memories" is always a big hit!
JT: Yea, that's a good song.
Mo: And of course, everyone likes "Girls on Film."
JT: Of course!
Mo: Well thank you for talking with me this afternoon, stay dry and have a good tour!
JT: Thank you and ta ta!
Friday, March 25, 2005
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I helped Dax finish some music for a movie soundtrack during my stay, at his request. His eyes lit up at the sight of his trusty laptop and the multicolored ProTools waves. "Dark Heart" will contain four original instrumental Dax songs. They're sublime. Music is everything to this man. There's more to come.
There are benefits being planned all over the world. Dates will be posted on the website, but here are some of the locations and artists involved.
London, Munich, Berlin, Zurich, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Vancouver.
Chris Cunningham, Four Tet, Hood, members of Super Furry Animals, The Notwist, the Morr Music label, B. Fleischmann, Def Jux, Fog, Rhymesayers, Alias, Why?, SAGAN, Boom Bip, Mush records, Frog Eyes, Atmosphere, Sage Francis and more.We love our Dax!!
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
It is with regret that Cocteau Twins announce they will not be performing at the Coachella Valley Music Festival on April 30th as had been planned. Due to personal reasons, member Elizabeth Fraser has decided that she is unable to participate in the reunion, and apologies for any inconvenience that this has caused.
I had been wondering about this reunion. I always liked the Cocteau Twins, thought they were really beautiful to listen to... so dreamy! And sometimes scary. But always kind of a bedroom thing. At night. Or on rainy days. They were fun to sing along to because you could sing, or yodel, anything you wanted since Elizabeth Frasier never really sang anyway. In fact, I stopped enjoying them as much when she started singing words and stopped being another instrument contributing to the layers of sound. I saw them in 1988 and it was very nice, in a symphony hall on a college campus, very pretty.
I've been trying to figure out how they were going to do at this giant desert festival, filled with half naked and completely fucked up people, many of whom were infants when the Cocteau Twins were a defining force in 4AD's existence. Most people I know who are crazy into the Cocteau Twins are gay men, ethnic goths, and painfully intelligent girls. Will they be at the show? A skinny Asian guy shouting "Sugar Hiccup!"... A girl with cute glasses and a Buck Fush t-shirt calling for "Oomingmak!"... Or a nicely toned gay man in a white wifebeater yelling, "Frou Frou Foxes In Midsummer's Fires! FROU FROU FOXES IN MIDSUMMER'S FIRE! YEA!"
I appreciate the diversity of the Coachella lineup, and I know there were plenty of people excited about seeing the Cocteau Twins. But on a giant stage under the twilight palm trees... would their ethereal presence just waft into the air? Guess we'll never know.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Lois Maffeo. She's my "L."
She's pictured there with Brendan Canty, the drummer from Fugazi, who did an album with her a few years back. A really good album. Anyway, Lois used to be roommates with Courtney Love (or so the rumor goes) and she named her band after her because she was so obnoxious. Of course, Courtney threatened her with bodily harm or something, so after a couple singles, she renamed her project just "Lois." She's been around for a while, from her college radio days in Olympia championing her riot grrrrrl pals to her folksy lo-fi love rock she does these days, she's always been pretty true to herself and her punky roots. She played around with the Dub Narcotic Sound System cause she's pals with Calvin Johnson and had a band with Rebecca Gates, pre-Spinanes. So, basically, she's got lots of indie cred. Her lyrics are sweet and pointed, her songs jangly and sparse, and she's got a sense of humor. What's not to love?
Sunday, March 20, 2005
I was sitting next to a guy who looked awfully familiar, but I wasn't sure why. He was funny funny funny, and turned to me and said, "Well, I don't know anybody here, what about you?" I said, "Him," while pointing to my best friend, who was chatting up a cute guy across the table. "But I think I've been abandoned." My new pal Dan & I had a lovely evening talking about drag queens in black face, the kind of guys we want to date and then the kind we wind up with, and college rivalries. (Turns out he went to Stanford, and I went to Berkeley. Somehow, we worked through it.) Then someone asked Dan if he'd been on the "Tony Danza Show," and he replied, "Yea, he's had all of us on there. It was fun, but I'm doing a 'Will & Grace' thing next week which should be a blast." "It's about time," said another guy at the table. "They've been using you for years so they should at least pay you for it."
Oh! I thought. This guy was that kid on "Who's the Boss!" That Jonathan kid... Danny Pintauro!
We exchanged email addresses because Dan had some things to send me. I was intrigued by a "singer," he told me about, a Chinese woman living in New Zealand named Wing, who was absolutely incredible. Behold: WING.
I gave her a listen. She's the Mrs. Miller of our generation. Mindnumbingly awful and charming.
And how on top of things is Dan? Well, check out the synopsis for this week's episode of South Park:
Character tentatively called "Wing" does not speak, rather only sings songs. Wing is the only client of the South Park boys' talent agency. She is captured by the Chinese mafia and put in precarious spots. Wing recordings will be used. Go to www.wingtunes.com to hear the recordings used in this episode.
Oh yea. It's crazy cool. I'm watching for sure.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Bay Area home prices hit new record
MEDIAN PRICE OF $569,000 IS NEARLY 20 PERCENT HIGHER THAN A YEAR AGO
By Sue McAllister, Mercury News
For all those waiting for any home price ``bubble'' to explode: It hasn't happened yet.
Prices of Bay Area houses rose nearly 20 percent over the 12 month period ending in February, reaching a new record median price of
| ||Chg. from||Median||Chg. from|
|Bay Area total||4,905||-0.4%||19.5%|
|Bay Area condos||1,457||-7.0%||18.9%|
Of course, I left the Bay Area after 15 years... but LA home prices ain't much better. Do I still want to live here forever? Yep. It's a state of mind, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
For a brief time in 1996, I worked for Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation. I was always a huge fan and loved some of the classics that came out of there: Nick Park's "Creature Comforts," "Bambi Meets Godzilla," "Tin Toy" by Bill Lasseter. They were always fun, sometimes bizarre, sometimes beautiful, sometimes hilarious. My sister even does the voice of one of the characters in "Hut Sluts;" she's the skinny slut.
The Mellow Manor offices are based in La Jolla, and I was home earning money between semesters after my jaunt to Europe. I worked in the office doing basic secretarial stuff and drove all over town dropping off schedules and posters. I got to intro some of the shows and play music before the gigs (all held at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art). It was a blast. Till Spike came back to town.
Mike died ages ago. Spike is an asshole; it's kind of legendary. I quit because I was at a show selling t-shirts and videos when Spike pointed to me and said to the head of his promotions crew: "Stick Mo out on the street. With those tits and that ass, I'm sure she can give away a fuckload of flyers." I was back in Berkeley a week later. I'm not hyper sensitive or anything - if I thought he was kidding, I wouldn't have cared. I'm pretty lowbrow most of the time. But he wasn't - he was just an asshole.
I didn't catch the festival as much after that, but my brother kept me hopped up in warped cartoons. Some are online, some aren't. I'd encourage you to check out any of Don Hertzfeldt's stuff; he's the god of stick figure fun (for which I have a particular fondness). I dig "Aeon Flux" (not the Charlize Theron version), "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "Sealab," Miyazaki films (although I guess that would be anime), "Rocky & Bullwinkle" and "South Park." Just about anything on Fox and Adult Swim. Online, I'm really loving the Teen Girl Squad - which is completely ridiculous. Watch Episode 8; it's my favorite so far - all about their girlband called "Kissyboots." They all die in fun ways every episode. Totally random.
And click here if you want to hear my brother do the "vocal blandishments" for a little something called "Mantelope." (Go to the index and hunt for "Mantelope.") He makes weird noises like this all the time, so he was called to create the Mantelope's signature sound. Just know that it makes him gag.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
They were the Super Brits of the British Invasion. (This is why the mod kids still love them so, right?) The angry and dorky popster younger siblings of those other British musicians, in a way. They were actually banned from playing in the US from 1965 - 1969 by the government - too British, I suppose. The Kinks could be rowdy and obnoxious, nostalgic and introspective, nerdy or beautiful, and over the years have proven successful with many different styles. I'm a huge fan of The Village Green Preservation Society myself. Give a listen to the song "Big Sky" from that album and tell me that Robert Pollard didn't lift it for a Guided By Voices track. And I don't know anyone who doesn't love "Waterloo Sunset."
Oh yea, and don't forget about the ever dueling Davies brothers. Those Gallagher twits ain't got NOTHIN' on these two.
And they're funny. Check out this blurb taken from an interview done by Scott Cohen in Circus Magazine back in '74:
Circus: What's "Money Talks," a new Kinks song or is it an album?
Ray: It's a record being put out in the Kinks name, but in the show, the hero, or villain, which ever you like, sings that song with his floozies. Do you know what a floozie is?
Ray: It's a loose lady who hangs out in bars.
Circus: Oh, I know a few floozies.
Ray: Well, "Money Talks" is their anthem.
Circus: Did you know that "Lola" is the Gay Liberation's song? It's their anthem.
Ray: No, but I had a suspicion it might be. That's nice. "Lola" is several people really. I tried to analyze it because I do think she's several people. Suppressed love.
Circus: Is it true that the Kinks feel that groupies are ruining the rock scene.?
Ray: They can't ruin the industry, but they've ruined a few musicians.
Monday, March 14, 2005
From the Music Business Registry Newsletter:
The Financial Times reported 'Warner Music, paid its top five executives more than $21m in salary and bonuses following last year's $2.6bn acquisition of the US music group by a private equity consortium.' The article continues that of the top management, Edgar Bronfman Jr, the Chairman who led last year's buy-out, received a $1M salary and $5.25M bonus. Lyor Cohen, head of the US recorded music business, received $1M and $5.24M in salary and bonus, respectively. Paul Rene Albertini, head of Warner's international operations, was paid $1.25M in salary and a $3.15M bonus. Departing Warner/Chappell CEO, Les Bider, received a $2.44M total payment. These payouts include further guaranteed bonuses or change of control payments. According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, last year's total executive remuneration was more than three times higher than Warner Music's $7M operating income for the 10 months to September 30th.
The management payments reflect Warner's success in cutting costs following last year's sale of the Music Group by Time Warner. The company expects to deliver $250M of annualized savings by May this year, achieved mainly through 1,600 job losses. What is so truly disturbing here is that it speaks volumes about the value system of an owner of a company that would pay its top-five Record Executives more than three times the amount of operating income for a ten-month period while dismissing 1,600 employees. What the article failed to mention was that in addition to the employee layoffs, Warner Music Group also dropped 93 of the 193 artists signed to Warner Labels in the US, approximately 47% of the artist roster during this same period.
And then this Saturday in the LA Times:
In the year since Warner Music Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. and his fellow investors bought the once venerated company, they have eliminated 1600 positions, pared wages, slashed investments in new artists, shut offices and quadrulped employees' health insurance premiums. The reason: They've been getting the company ready for Wall Street. On Friday, Warner filed papers to raise as much as $750 million through an initial public offering of stock, ending months of speculation about the compnay's future. Warner Music said it would use the IPO proceeds to pay down part of its 2.5 billion debt load and for general corporate purposes.
I highly suspect this still means I won't be getting a raise any time soon...
Sunday, March 13, 2005
And tonight, indie rock gods Slint... the precursor to Tortoise and the Rachels and June of 44 and their ilk... I think I was one of 7 girls in the crowd of 1500 or so. And the other six girls had been dragged in by their boyfriends. They were terrific, in that slow, plodding, just about ready to explode way.
But I am a girl, so I was completely distracted by the fact that Gavin Rossdale was standing a few feet away, rocking out (as much as you could rock out to Slint). That man is just too damn beautiful! Oh, it's embarrassing. I've seen him around town a few times (always sans Stefani) and he's gorgeous every time. I could just imagine him telling Gwen he was going to the show: "Oh Gwen, I'm heading out with Mike to the Slint show." "Slint? Is that the new line of Urban Decay makeup? Ooh, maybe I should go!" "No, sweetheart, Slint is a heavy indie rock band from Kentucky who made a couple of staggering mathrock guitar albums in the early 90's and influenced... well, nevermind. Have fun with the harajuku girls." "Okay, honey!"
Friday, March 11, 2005
I don't own an iPod. Blasphemy! you cry out... Well, it's true. I don't own one. I never had a discman either, but I did have a walkman until about 3 years ago. I used to DJ on a radio station and made many tapes over the years of my shows and could listen to them on my walkman while I was on the bus to or from work, or while I was walking the couple miles home from work if I decided to do that.
For Christmas this year, my father gave me a gift certificate towards a large electronics purchase of my choice. "I thought maybe you'd want an iPod, " he said. My dad is kind of a gadgety guy, and is very computer savvy. So is my brother, who got an iPod from his girlfriend and immediately filled it with a hundred million songs, or however many it takes before it gets maxed out. So I asked my brother, "When do you use it?" "Well, on the plane, or at work, or I just hook it up to my computer when I'm at home." Thing is, my brother works with computers - he's on them all the frikkin' time. And he travels more than I do, and takes public transportation in the city where he lives (San Francisco). I know people all over the planet have iPods and love them.
Basically, I'm trying to envision when I would actually use the damn thing. I don't work out, so I wouldn't use it in the gym. My drive to work is about 40 minutes, so I usually pop in a CD and listen to it and that's about it. At work, I listen to online radio stations like KALX, KEXP, WOXY or Little Radio. When I'm at home, I listen to my records or CDs.
A lot of my friends who have them are over them already. It feels kind of like a fad to me, actually. I noticed that one friend of mine had his iPod sitting on a table in his office for months. "Don't you use your iPod anymore?" "Nah, it exploded or something." "Well, can you get it fixed?" "I don't care about it that much." Another friend had incorporated the iPod into his DJing; imagine having 10,000 songs at your fingertips as well as whatever records and CDs you carried? I thought that seemed pretty cool. But he gave that up because the sound wasn't right, and it didn't work so well after all - at least for him. I've seen Jason Falkner do a couple shows backed by an iPod - he recorded all the other parts ahead of time and then played with himself. At one show, the iPod skipped or some other malfunction, and he quipped, "Damn band!"
So I think I'll use this gift certificate to get a compnonet piece for my stereo that allows me to burn my records & tapes to CD. I think I could also do this if I tricked out my computer, and neither method seems very forgiving (like cassettes are), but in my case - it seems most practical.
Or maybe I could just do like this guy (Indian Spiritual Guru, His Holiness Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, Mysore, India) and use my iPod to power my spiritual healing.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
The things that we've learnt are no longer enough
No language, just sound, that's all we need to know,
to sychronise love to the beat of the show
And we could dance
Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio... Joy Division
There is a radio station here in LA called Indie 103. When it started, I was filled with distrust. It sounded good: lots of Pixies, Interpol, Queens of the Stone Age, Le Tigre, Bauhaus, LCD Soundsystem ... alternative type stuff that I like. But the Pixies on commercial radio? I figured it was just a ploy - that they were trying to lure me in and then they'd start with the Good Charlotte and Unwritten Law. And then they brought in Steve Jones (whose tag line is "formerly of the Sex Pistols") to do the lunchtime show, and he was a rambling mess of a DJ. Ugh.
The rumor mill around Indie 103 said that it was a pawn of Clear Channel, the radio beast that already owns the legal limit of stations in LA. This was kind of true - the station, owned by Entravision, entered into a deal with Clear Channel which allowed the giant to sell the ad time, bundling it up with time on their higher profile stations, which would profit both entities. Michael Steele, the program director of Indie 103, came from a Clear Channel station. There was also talk that the whole reason CC got involved in this deal was to take listeners away from alternative mainstay KROQ, owned by rival Infinity. In fact, although Indie 103's signal is weak compared to the KROQ monster, the last posted ranking did show that it has won the coveted 25-34 market.
Thing is, Indie 103 stayed interesting. Steve Jones got really good. I was listening to commercial radio. Not all the time, but it was one of the three presets I bother with on my car stereo. After eons on the left end of the dial, it was shocking to me that I could like a commercial station that much... A good friend was visiting last October, and as we drove around on October 30th shopping for Halloween costume gear, we heard the Dream Syndicate's "Halloween" on the radio. He was floored. When was the last time you ever heard the Dream Syndicate on commercial radio? Never?
The thing I hate about deregulation is that one company can own a whole lot of radio stations, and then they import all the same programming into them. So listening to a commercial station in LA is basically the same as listening to a station in Philadelphia which is the same as listening in Austin. Cookie cutter format - all the pop stations have the same playlist, as do the hard rock, alternative, urban, and so on...
Indie 103 actually became very LA. You hear local bands in the mix (Autolux, Earlimart, On the Speakers, Rilo Kiley), they have a country show (with more local acts like Soda & His Million Piece Band, Susan Marshall, John Doe), an alternative Latin music show, and a dance show (hosted by the Crystal Method). The station also picked up some local personalities to do some DJ time, and in this town, that means celebs. Courtney Love hosted an evening show for a while during her rehab period, Henry Rollins too, Rob Zombie, Danny Masterson (That 70's Show guy), and Nina Blackwood (yes, she's still alive, and has the same hair), for example. One night, Jane Wiedlin was guest hosting and proclaiming herself a member of the Church of Slushitology - "more booze, less guilt." Wonderful.
And the programming got very wacky, in a good way. Steve Jones is a big fan of early Roxy Music, it turns out, so I would love to hear the early 70's British glam or first wave ska he'd throw on. You could hear the Plugz or the Weirdos on Rollins show, maybe even get to hear Dolly Parton's "Me & Little Andy." There's nothing creepier. One morning, my alarm went off to Shaun Cassidy. In my world, that's a GOOD thing.
But the party is over for Indie 103, as the FCC is actually enforcing its own rules and has interpreted said rule in such a way that the business deal Clear Channel has with Entravision means they are part owner, giving them interest in 9 stations, which they can't do. By April 1st, Clear Channel's involvement with Indie 103 will end. Which leaves Entravision with the question: to continue on as an alternative channel, or go for the big bucks chasing the ethnic market? Spanish-language stations make a killing here, and the radio gossip boards are predicting a Korean station.
Oh well - I'd finally warmed up to it, and now it's going away. I guess we couldn't trust it after all?
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Okay, I didn't write this - I just think it's funny. And my parents are both teachers, so I'm trying to do my part.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and colorful words in the English language today is the word "fuck". It is the one magical word which, just by its sound, can describe pain, pleasure, love, and hate. In language, "fuck" falls into many grammatical categories. It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John). It can be an action verb (John really gives a fuck), a passive verb (Mary really doesn't give a fuck), an adverb (Mary is fucking interested in John), or as a noun (Mary is a terrific fuck). It can also be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful) or an interjection (Fuck! I'm late for my date with Mary). It can even be used as a conjunction (Mary is easy, fuck she's also stupid). As you can see, there are very few words with the overall versatility of the word "fuck".
Aside from its sexual connotations, this incredible word can be used to describe many situations:
1. Greetings "How the fuck are ya?"
2. Fraud "I got fucked by the car dealer."
3. Resignation "Oh, fuck it!"
4. Trouble "I guess I'm fucked now."
5. Aggression "FUCK YOU!"
6. Disgust "Fuck me."
7. Confusion "What the fuck.......?"
8. Difficulty "I don't understand this fucking business!"
9. Despair "Fucked again..."
10. Pleasure "I fucking couldn't be happier."
11. Displeasure "What the fuck is going on here?"
12. Lost "Where the fuck are we."
13. Incredulty "UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE!"
14. Retaliation "Up your fucking ass!"
15. Denial "I didn't fucking do it."
16. Perplexity "I know fuck all about it."
17. Apathy "Who really gives a fuck, anyhow?
18. Suspicion "Who the fuck are you?"
19. Panic "Let's get the fuck out of here."
20. Directions "Fuck off."
21. Disbelief "How the fuck did you do that?"
* ed. note - my favorite was left off the list, so I add it for you now: Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Now that's got it all, doesn't it?
* ed. note - my favorite was left off the list, so I add it for you now: Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Now that's got it all, doesn't it?
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
The latest update on the Dax front is that he is now going to move on to the next stage in his recovery process. This will be happening at The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation in Houston, Texas. They are expecting him sometime next week. You can check out them out at their website: http://www.tirr.org.
This is an excellent facility, one of the foremost in the world... people come from all over the US and the world to recover here. Dax is going to be in very good place and receiving the best of care. So, there is now a new address:
The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
Attention: Dax Pierson
1333 Moursund,Unit 5
Houston, TX 77030
We don't have a room number yet. But mail should get to him. They will not forward mail from the ICU in Omaha (it will be returned to you, however). And, as a last note, www.daxpierson.com should be up on Monday, where you can sign up for email updates, get the latest, and, soon, donate if that is within your means.
Love & Peace.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
To all those who are concerned,
On Thursday February 24th at approximately 1 a.m. in Atlantic, Iowa, our tour van hit "black ice" and overturned off of the highway 80. There were seven of us aboard, we were doing 40 miles per hour and slowing down. Patrick Scott was driving the vehicle when it hit the stretch of "black ice", which caused us to skid out of control. Patrick temporarily regained control of the vehicle only to be pulled off the highway by the weight of the equipment trailer we were towing. Fortunately for us, the weight of the trailer then saved all our lives by stopping the vehicle from rolling over multiple times.
The crash was 10 seconds long. All of us were wearing our seat belts except for Alex who was lying down in the back seat. We all hit against the roof of the van upon impact. Six of us sustained minor cuts and bruises. Dax Pierson, however, broke his neck upon impact. His head was then pinned beneath the front row of passenger seats. Upon dislodging his foot from what looked to be an unnatural position, Dax's air passage way was cleared and he began to breath and communicate with us. He told us immediately that he could not feel his lower body. We were met quickly by another motorist, the local sheriff, and an EMT team. The EMT's and firefighters carefully removed Dax from the overturned vehicle. He was then taken to Cas County hospital in Atlantic, Iowa. One hour later he was emergency air lifted by helicopter to Creighton University Hospital in Omaha Nebraska for X-rays and treatment.
(In a 15-minute window three trailer trucks and another passenger van all overturned on the same 10-mile stretch of highway and black ice.)
Dax is currently recovering at Creighton University Hospital in the intensive care unit where he will remain for the next three weeks at least. Fortunately Dax is completely covered by his health insurance provided by Amoeba Music in Berkeley California. So all of his care is being paid for and will continue to be covered through out his healing process. Both Dax's mother and father were contacted as soon as possible and arrived at the hospital in Omaha within 24 hours.
Dax shattered his c5 vertebrae, which is located at the base of the neck. When his vertebrae shattered it bruised his spinal chord and caused severe swelling around the c5 and adjacent vertebrae. His broken vertebrae were his only injury. Dax is currently experiencing paralysis from his nipple line down. His paralysis is very severe the muscles used to breathe and operate the lungs are located below the nipple line. As a result he is on a ventilator to help him breath. The ventilator is a tube that runs through Dax's mouth and into his lungs to facilitate respiration. It‚s presence coupled with Dax's inability to use his hands makes communication for Dax very difficult at the present time. Dax has remained conscious and cognizant throughout the entire process.
While broken bones can be mended, the spinal cord does NOT regenerate itself. There is new research into ways this might be achieved - specifically stem cell research - and a good many of these avenues of research are very promising. For now, however, we can pray for a miracle - and miracles DO happen - while at the same time learning to deal with the reality of Dax's new situation
On the 25th at 10 am Dax was taken in for surgery. His 4th and 6th vertebrae were fused in order to create a functional neck for Dax. All broken bone debris was removed and the spinal chord where his c5 broke was encased in a cage of sorts that will protect it and allowed the 4th and 6th vertebrae to be fused on either end of it. The operation was successful and there were no complications. Since then the swelling around the injury has decreased.
Dax's injury is now contained and the healing process has begun. The first major hurdle is to have Dax heal enough to be taken off of the ventilator. If this happens he will be given a tracheotomy. The tracheotomy will enable Dax to move his lips and communicate with those caring for him.
This step will be huge for his mental and physical comfort and will take all the strength and love he and those who cherish him can provide in the coming weeks. The end of Dax's stay in intensive care will hopefully coincide with him being weaned off of the ventilator and being given the tracheotomy. Due to the "open" or intensive nature of the surgery Dax underwent to have his vertebrae fused, that wound must heal completely and be free of infection before they can open a new wound when giving him a tracheotomy.
After his stay in intensive care Dax will be moved to a rehabilitation center for the rest of his recovery. It will most likely be in Texas as to be close to his mother who will be caring for him through this most difficult leg of his recovery. The rehabilitation process could range anywhere from 2 to 24 months. The process will be long and challenging for Dax, his strength, and the strength of those around him, both near and far.
In case it is unclear...Dax's mind is completely healthy and everything above his nipple line is in perfect working condition, so he can shrug his shoulders and move his arms slightly, it is only the presence of the ventilator tube in his mouth that prevents him from communicating verbally. His eyes are wide and his heart is strong.
To all of you who are sending him love and prayer, keep doing so it is working, and all of our concern and love remains utterly necessary. The physical healing process for this type of injury takes serious time patience and courage.
We are now organizing/preparing for Dax's immediate future care and rehabilitation as well as fund raising benefits. We appreciate everyone's patience as we prepare for the long road ahead of Dax. It will be important for all who love him to be present and offer aid not only while the tragedy is before us but when recovery is before us as well.
And recovery may be some time from now. As a result we will be establishing a web site for Dax that will allow everyone to enter his or her contact information for future contact and aid. This site will also provide health update information as it becomes available to us.
As you can imagine Dax's care, healing, treatment, and return to his "normal" life will be very expensive. We will do our best to keep all those concerned updated on both his health and how they can help, in the form of both monetary donation and sheer love.
There is a crowd of beautiful people gathering behind Dax... The overwhelming outpouring of love and concern for him has already begun to work its magic on his mental and physical strength...so please keep it coming...and thank you all.
This just in:
March 2nd: dax was taken off of the ventilator...he is now talking and smiling.
All flowers cards and positive thoughts can be addressed to:
c/o Creighton University Hospital
601 N. 30th St.
Omaha, NE 68131
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
FR: Paramount Pictures, TV
This one hour pilot for the UPN network is a comedy-drama about a group of twentysomethings in the hip Hollywood community of Silver Lake, some of whom play in a band.
Scene: as Kevin Bacon is being interviewed, a surreal moment occurs in which Kevin is mouthing the words to the song as it is playing on the jukebox.
Yea, I live in Silver Lake. So does Karen O of the the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Greg Dulli of the Twilight Singers/Afghan Whigs, and - currently - Inxs. There are tons more artists, actors, musicians, designers and such who live in this neck of the woods and I just can't think of who they are right now. But you know what? LA is a big place, and those types live all over town.
Silver Lake does attract the hipster element though. A few months back, local (read:Silver Lake) band Rilo Kiley did an instore performance which had the biggest draw Amoeba Hollywood has ever seen. When talking with some former co-workers about it, I said, "Man! I don't understand why this was so packed! I mean, they're just a local band." And my friend said, "Hey, I thought it was great. I cruised over to Silver Lake and robbed a few houses because everyone was here." Another friend of mine hates the cool crowd so much that he asks me to refer to my neighborhood as "Los Feliz adjacent," referring to the almost as hip, but a bit more upscale area just slightly west. I listen to WOXY.com while at work, a station based out of Cincinnati, and every time they play Earlimart or Autolux, they precede it by saying, "From the trendy Silver Lake part of Los Angeles..."
I love Silver Lake. I love the mix of boutiques, crazy thrift stores, cafes, bars, taco stands, church socials, and used car lots. I love my view of the Hollywood Hills and everything down below them. I love that the two gay men who bought the place a few doors up have done some crazy landscaping, and that the Mexican family of a twenty across the street blasts ranchero music at dinner time just about every day. I love the murals. I like the farmer's market. I love the church bells that ring on Sundays. I like to walk around the hills and look at the houses that were either built in the 1910s or the 1970s. I even love the "Silver Lake," which is actually a reservoir which is fenced in and no one can even get to... but you can look at it.
There's a lot of history here too - the Hollywood kind. Hollywood isn't right along the coast like most people may think, it's actually about 20 miles east. Back in the day, early film tycoons built their fancy homes east of Hollywood in Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Pasadena. They filmed stuff out here too: Laurel and Hardy did their infamous "Music Box" talkie here, lugging a piano up & down & up & down some equally infamous stairs,
and the house where Barbara Stanwyck's femme fatale in Double Indemnity lives with her soon-to-be late husband is just up the hill from the reservoir. Raymond Chandler even wrote about it and it later showed up in Bogie's The Big Sleep, under the pseudonym "Gray Lake." Rudy Valentino supposedly had a little cabin in the hills for his "boys only" events, as did other celebrities when entertaining same sex situations, earning us the nickname of "the Swish Alps."
Anyway, I like the neighborhood despite it's stigma of total hipness. I am not a total hipster, just a little. I like alternative music, I have earrings made out of guitar picks and a belt stolen from a Cadillac, and I know lots of people in bands... but that alone does not a hipster make. About a year ago, my roommate was living a few blocks away and got trapped on her street because Aaron Spelling was in town filming a show about hipsters, and now it's finally hitting the little screen. I'm very curious to see how my hood will be represented (or, rather, misrepresented). It reminds me of the time I went to visit my relatives in Colombia and they were disappointed that I didn't talk like Pauly Shore.
So Silver Lake is coming to a television set near you. And evidently, Kevin Bacon will be there too.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Quite simply, the Jam is one of the best bands ever. Intelligent lyrics, catchy tunes, quality musicianship, Paul Weller's stellar blue eyed soul voice tinged with workingman's anger... They burned bright for a bit and flamed out. As they should have.
So I leave you with their words, still meaningful today...
Some people might get some pleasure out of hate
Me, I've enough already on my plate
People might need some tension to relax
Me, I'm too busy dodging between the flak
What you see is what you get
You've made your bed, you better lie in it
You choose your leaders and place your trust
As their lies wash you down and their promises rust
You'll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns
And the public wants what the public gets
But I don't get what this society wants
I'm going underground...