Thursday, April 28, 2005

Beach Baby

I was born and raised in Encinitas, California. That's in northern San Diego County, and all we did was play at the beach. Pretty much all of my friends surfed; in fact, my high school had (has) a surfing team who have remained champions.

The beaches back home are wonderful. When I relocated to the Bay Area, I missed those beaches a lot. I had one particular boyfriend, raised in LA, who used to take me to Stinson Beach and try to make me get in the water, but it was "too cold!" I'd complain. Not even the gorgeous shores of Santa Cruz could compare to home.

And then I went to Australia.

This is Coogee Beach in Sydney. Clean, wide shore... plenty of room for all... clear blue water... shark nets... Beautiful. There is also a walk along the beach and surrounding clifftops which link many miles of beaches, as well as roadside cafes, historical spots, and the amazing Waverly Cemetery. The sun bleached headstones against the blue sky and sea backdrop is astounding.

This is an old, old school cemetery, with lovely statues and crypts all along the grassy hillside. There isn't really the room to do this sort of thing anymore, so the Aussies are testing out a new style of cemetery near Melbourne, where they bury folks standing up, in body bags, in batches of 12 to 15 (people!) to minimize the cost. For those more environmentally friendly types.

Anyway, the walk ends at the famous Bondi Beach, which you may have seen on TV during the Sydney Olympics because the volleyball matches were held there. It's got cliffside pools and beach bums and surf rats (and the sharks) and patio bars and greasy food and all the lovely things one wants to find at a beach pit stop. A flip flops and bathingsuit kinda crowd, low key and hardcore.

The beaches of Australia felt like home (Melbourne's were just as good). I've lived in LA for 4 years now, and have not been to the beach once. They're crowded, difficult to get to, and just have a whole different vibe about them than the beaches I had growing up. Hell, I used to ride my bike to the beach, play around, cross the street for a chimichanga and then cruise home. Australian beaches felt like that, inviting and comfortable, friendly and fun. And that's probably the biggest reason why I'll go back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


The main reason I became interested in Australia was because of the music. I already liked some bands from there, and then I hooked up with this guy who was absolutely dedicated to bands from Australia and New Zealand, had gone to uni in Melbourne, and had friends from his school days dropping in on us for months at a time. So then I got to know even MORE about these bands. You got your Nick Cave & Midnight Oil, and then there are the Triffids and Blue Ruin and the Clouds and You Am I and the Easybeats and... I'm not gonna write about any of them.

Instead I'm going to write about 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. (Whom I saw once.) This band is just a glorified bar band, but happens to be headed by one Russell Crowe. And, whoa is me, they just broke up. I think. It's all abuzz on the internet, but the website is mostly about Russell's NEW SOLO WORK! Cool, huh? He's a singer songwriter. And if you go to the site, you can read all kinda of groovy messages from him about practising his musical craft, and a bit more.

About writing and the postponement of his current film with Nicole Kidman: I wrote a song called "Raewyn" (ed. note - available now on iTunes!) with Alan Doyle in Toronto in June or July, he happened to have planned his honeymoon for NZ and Aust in Jan/Feb, we hooked up after he and his wife had a grand adventure, he was going to be around, Eucalyptus fell over, I had time and we both had the inclination, stories just started to pour out.

About the media: Maybe I shouldn't write to you in this manner because it certainly gives lazy and petty people something to do with their days, however, all the other options are quite simply tainted.

And family: Suddenly after all this time, something had changed in my life and my grandfather and I, he being dead for 26 years , had something in common, a son called Charlie.

If you want to get up close and personal with Russell, go here to read more.

Anyway, I kinda heart Russell Crowe, even though I think he's probably an asshole. He's in that category of egotistical macho entertainers I can't help but love, like Robert Mitchum and Greg Dulli. They're guys who absolutely don't give a shit what anybody thinks, do and say whatever the hell they want, and are damned talented on top of it. And a lot of people hate them, but they keep (or in Bob's case - kept) putting stuff out that folks just eat up for dessert.

Just don't date them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


When I was in Australia a few years back, I always wound up talking with people about the animals. There are some really cute animals native to (and only found in) Australia - you know, those stoner koalas, badass kangaroos, the platypus (which is velvety soft!), wallabies... Cute cute cute! There are also not so cute animals. The tasmanian devil - not so cute. Even wombats charge at you and can be pretty nasty. Bird eating spiders. Then there's that whole shark thing.

I went wandering for hours in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney, which is along one side of the beautiful Sydney Harbor (great views of the opera house and the bridge). There were lovely plants, wonderful views, gorgeous beach shores, and loads of birds and bats. In certain areas that were plentiful in tallish trees, you could look up and see hundreds of dark pods hanging from the trees, and yes - those were bats. Big ole hairy bats. In other parts of the garden were signs advising people to not feed or attempt to pet the bats. I'm guessing that because these areas had smaller trees, trees that an ambitious person could climb, that someone had climbed them once and got the gift of rabies or something from a bat slapped out of its slumber.

There were also flying foxes out in the garden, but I didn't see any of those.

And the birds - crazy with birds, Sydney is. Mostly cockatoos. They are everywhere, and most of them are the size of a five year old. I'm not kidding, they're really frikkin' huge. And they scream. In flocks. My first evening in Sydney, I remember being really shocked by the sound of a woman being attacked outside my hotel room, and then I saw that it was a cockatoo sitting in a tree near my window. And they're mean. A poor tourist in the gardens who hadn't yet figured out that cockatoos in Oz ain't quite the same of the cute little things that ride your shoulder in the States was trying to feed one. The cockatoo slowly approached him, then glanced over it's shoulder, made a noise, and bit the guy while three of its friends came to pick up the crumbs that flew out of the guy's hand when he jumped back. Then these punkass birds turned around and mugged this other bird that was just standing nearby eating bugs or something. And this bird seemed to be bigger than these guys, but what can you do? Four against one.
Jabiru, the victim bird:

And the gangstas:

On the train ride from Sydney to Melbourne, I spent hours talking with this guy sitting next to me about how these animals came about. He had read some really great books about how Australia had been an independent land mass for so long, that things developed without influence of anything else (hence the platypus or echidna or sugarglider) and can't be found anywhere else. Or, they didn't develop at all (stromatolites). I took notes and wrote down the names of some books he recommended, him being a grad student or something in this subject. Then it was late, and we both dozed off, only he started grabbing at my ass and other parts under the guise of "sleep-roaming," so I slept-walked right to another car in a hurry and left my travel diary behind. Sigh.

Monday, April 25, 2005

He Just Smiled & Gave Me A Vegemite Sandwich

For the record, Vegemite is nasty. Or you really, really have to develop a taste for it, like they do in Australia, cause those kids love it.

I think I'm only gonna write about Australia this week. Why? Because it kinda rules. I like to think of Australia as England's South. We have our South in the US, with the cowboys and wildlife and adventurers and rednecks and great home cookin' and dodgy race relations and all that... Well, Australia's kinda of the same. They've got cowboys too, and their accent is a British one via Texas, in a way. Great food, scary outback residents, crazy animals, walkabouts for years on end, and questionable civil rights for the Aborigines (who were considered in the flora & fauna category of the land up until 1963 or something)...

But I do love Australia. And they are pretty badass there. Recently, a surfer got bit by a little shark, and it wouldn't let go, so he drove all the way to the hospital with it attached to his leg. I guess there, they just clubbed it off or something. And now this:

CANBERRA, Australia - A surfer fought off a seven-foot shark with his board at an Australian beach Saturday, and then continued surfing, a life guard said.

The surfer, Simon Letch, returned to Sydney's Bronte Beach 30 minutes after surviving the attack with a replacement board, despite the beach being closed because of the danger, life guard Aaron Graham said.

"He was pretty calm about it, very laid back," said Graham, who was on the beach when the surfer, aged in his 30s, rode his damaged board in.

Now, in California, there are the occasional shark attacks, but we're talking like once every other year or something. In Australia, they've got netting around the popular beaches to keep sharks out, because they are always in abundance. In fact, this guy got lucky: the last attack in Oz happened a month ago when a shark tore a snorkeler in half. Then, within a week span in December, 2 folks got it on Australia's east coast.

Either no fear - or really dumb. It's a Darwin thing, I guess. Ask me if I went into the ocean when I was in Australia. (Uh, that would be No.)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Grimly Fiendish

Tomorrow I'm losing my fangs. Well, not really, but kinda. You see, I was born without the two adult teeth that go next to your front teeth. On top. As a result, my adult "fangs" (I think they are actually called eyeteeth) grew in that space instead, leaving my baby fangs there for an indefinite time. Well, I'm older, and the baby teeth have to go. Many dentists have wanted to correct this over the years, but I never thought it was a big deal, and really - people don't notice unless I point it out to them. Which I do. In fact, I'm having new baby teeth made, so my "new" teeth will be identical to the old ones. Yea, call me crazy (you wouldn't be the first), but I like my smile the way it is.

Over the years, these teeth have really caused me no trouble. The only people who ever comment are dental junkies like my sister, or goths. They - of course - think I had it done on purpose and that it's way cool. It doesn't help that I have all the Anne Rice books, or like Bauhaus, but whatever.

I suppose we are all evil and stuff. Like the folks who wrote this article say we are...

Religion: Is Your Child a Goth?

Was Salem Correct?


Listed below are some warning signs to indicate if your child may have gone astray from the Lord. Gothic (or goth) is a very obscure and often dangerous culture that young teenagers are prone to participating in. The gothic culture leads young, susceptible minds into an imagined world of evil, darkness, and violence. Please seek immediate attention through counselling, prayer, and parental guidance to rid your child of Satan's temptations if five or more of the following are applicable to your child.

-Frequently wears black clothing.
-Wears band and/or rock t-shirts.
-Wears excessive black eye makeup,lipstick or nail polish.
-Wears any odd silver jewelry or symbols.
-Shows an interest in piercings or tattoos.
-Listens to gothic or any other anti-social genres of music. (Marilyn Manson
claims to be the anti-Christ, and publicly speaks against the Lord. Please
discard any such albums IMMEDIATELY.)
-Associates with other people that
dress, act or speak eccentrically.
-Shows a declining interest in wholesome activities, such as: the Bible,
prayer, church or sports.
-Shows an increasing interest in death, vampires, magic, the occult,
witchcraft or anything else that involves Satan.
-Takes drugs.
-Drinks alcohol.
-Is suicidal and/or depressed.
-Cuts, burns or partakes in any other method of self-mutilation.(This is a
Satanic ritual that uses pain to detract from the light of God and His love.
Please seek immediate attention for this at your local mental health
-Complains of boredom.
-Sleeps too excessively or too little.
-Is excessively awake during the night.
-Demands an unusual amount of privacy.
-Spends large amounts of time alone.
-Requests time alone and quietness. (This is so that your chid may speak to
evil sprits through meditation.)
-Insists on spending time with friendswhile unaccompanied by an adult.
-Disregards authority figures; teachers, priests, nuns and elders are but a
few examples of this.
-Misbehaves at school.
-Misbehaves at home.
-Eats excessively or too little
-Eats goth-related foods. Count Dracula cereal is an example of this.
-Drinks blood or expresses an interest in drinking blood. (Vampires believe
this is how to attain Satan. This act is very dangerous and should be
stopped immediately.)
-Watches cable television or any other corrupted media
sources. (Ask your local church for proper programs that your child may
-Plays videos games that contains violence or role-playing nature.
-Uses the internet excessively and frequently makes time for the computer.
-Makes Satanic symbols and/or violently shakes head to music.
-Dances to music in a provocative or sexual manner.
-Expresses an interest in sex.
-Is homosexual and/or bisexual.
-Pursues dangerous cult religions. Such include: Satanism, Scientology,
Philosophy, Paganism, Wicca, Hinduism and Buddhism.
-Wears pins, stickers or anything else that contains these various phrases:
"I'm so gothic, I'm dead", "woe is me", "I'm a goth".
-Claims to be a goth.

If five or more of these apply to your child, please intervene immediately.
The gothic culture is dangerous and Satan thrives within it. If any of these
problems persist, enlist your child into your local mental health center.

Man, these folks would really hate my fangs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I spent the evening in Hollywood, eating tasty Peruvian food at Mario's on Vine, and then heading to the local pub with a friend, where we indulged in a few Guinness. He had just returned from a month long tour of Spain with some stops in Berlin and Krakow, and we were talking about the music scene of Madrid, the scar of Auschwitz, why no one has tried to assasinate Bush... stuff like that. Something else that came up during this conversation was the fact that guys (he believes) shouldn't wear Harley-Davidson shirts unless they actually rode Harleys. Nor should they wear gearhead-ish clothing if they aren't really into cars. Girls are excused because, well, they're girls. (However, I think it's a good thing I wasn't wearing my white wifebeater with the word "Latina" scrawled across the chest in old English style script, because this guy knows my Spanish skills are pretty minimal.)

I did mention we'd had a couple beers? Hence the somewhat pompous conversation. You know.

Anyway, on our way outof the Cat & Fiddle, there was a commotion on the street. We were right on Sunset Boulevard, and we noticed that a whole lot of motorcycles were zipping by. Like lots of them - noisy, revving their engines, spewing smoke - literally hundreds of them. We watched them race by for a good 10 minutes or so. They all seemed to be what I call crotch rockets: those brightly colored bikes built in such a way that you have to lean over them, head practically nestled between the handlebars... There were loads of them, steaming up the intersections when they were stopped, and racing around any poor car that happened to be there.

My friend and I were a bit awestruck. What was going on? Was there some sort of motorcycle critical mass movement going on here? In a few moments, the police cars came. They roared onto the street from several different areas, lots of them, some heading in the same direction as the hoarde of motorcycles, others in the opposite direction. Part of me thinks something was going on, but the other part of me is pretty certain it was just another night in Hollywood. Hell, there's always some sort of show, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sensitive Male Alert

I've been obsessing on the Iron & Wine EP, Woman King, for well over a month or so now. Let me share.

When Nick Cave appears in Wings of Desire, his thoughts are heard in the black and white of the eavesdropping angels’ minds: "One more song and it's over. But I'm not gonna tell you about a girl, I'm not gonna tell you about a girl." Then it cuts to him in color, real life, onstage saying: "I wanna tell you about a girl."

This is applicable to Sam Beam’s Iron & Wine because he and Cave share songwriting similarities, except that Mr. Beam isn’t quite as heavy handed about it. Both enjoy biblical as well as the southern gothic imagery and both have a habit of singing about girls. Considering that the latest offering from the prolific Beam is called Woman King, we can safely assume that every song is about a girl. And they are: the fighter, the lover, the saint, the betrayer.

Iron & Wine has steadily developed with each release, starting with his delicately insular basement tape debut to a less lo-fi sound, yet still intimate. This, while very produced, loses none of that intimacy. The production, in fact, adds to the sound. The opening title track is a barnstomper of a song praising the glory of woman: “Someday we may see a woman king, sword in hand, swing at some evil and bleed.” Very Xena, Warrior Princess. “Freedom Hangs Like Heaven” conjures up images of the Mary and Child wandering through swamps while funkily toe tapping along to the picking of a banjo. Sister Sarah Beam returns for some angelic back up singing, while the additions of violins and pianos further flesh out the soundscapes. The real revelation here is the closer, “Evening on the Ground (Lilith’s Song).” Lilith was supposedly the first wife of Adam, cast out for not being subservient to him and replaced by Eve, and became the symbol of promiscuity and disobedience. The song sounds like a storm in the garden, punctuated by lines like “we were born to fuck each other one way or another” while (finally?) introducing the lightening like zing of the electric guitar to the Iron & Wine repertoire. And it works – man, does it work.

Geek out over for now - back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, April 18, 2005

This Is How We Do It

Tuesday night, I'll be the MC (sort of) for this:

The deal is that part of the proceeds for the night will go towards my friend Dax, partially paralyzed in a car accident over a month ago. I'll be introducing the bands and trying to make everyone enter the raffle, and encouraging people to buy pink hankies (remember - that translates to dildos up the ass, woo hoo!) to raise more money for Dax. Come on down, say hey, drop some cash. 6010 West Pico. Good cause, good music. I'm especially big on Soda - like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on crack or something.

Good times. See you there!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tales of An Unrepentant Raver

I guess my electronic fever really got started with the now faded decade of the nineties. I mean, as a child I loved disco (“How do ya like it, how do ya like it?”) and then moved on to the dancey new wave stuff of the eighties (“I could be happy, I could be happy”), but nothing has tapped into my inborn dance fever like the stuff that started popping up in the rave scene and has mutated into... well, all the stuff that’s floating around now.

In 1990, my best friend came out to me and my status as a fag hag was cemented. I was ecstatic, because I loved dancing and all the best dance places were gay clubs. Suddenly I had tons of guys to go with. The down part was that it was happening in L.A. and I was living in Berkeley. Damn.

Then a couple months later, my good friend and party buddy in the Bay Area came out as well. Wahoo! Another dance buddy! We hit up the dance clubs and grooved to the house music, but it wasn’t until we went to check out 808 State (with surprise special guest Bjork) in late 1990 that we heard what we had been missing. Not that 808 State was so amazing (although their track “Cubic” remains of staple of the movement), but the music that was played before and after the band had us moving in such a frenzy that we had never moved before. And we wanted more.

Our first “rave” was at a club on 6th and Mission. There were about 40 people there and one guy kept running around, saying, “Hi! I’m Robbie the Gnome! Thanks for coming!” He shook everybody’s hand. He was Rob Hardkiss, and with his brother Scott, was going to DJ the evening. (These two have gone on to become world renowned DJs.) Anyway, the music was kicking ass (and for many, the drugs kicking in) when one of the amps caught on fire. Wow! Pyrotechnics too? No, no... but I did end up becoming a member of a permanent guest list to make up for the experience at future “parties.”

Some of those songs are classics in the dance scene now... Eon’s “Spice” - which sampled the Who and the movie Dune... T99’s “Anasthasia” or the battle hymn from L.A. Style, “James Brown is Dead.” But these harsh electronic workouts began to give way to more grooving cuts like MI7’s “Rockin’ Down the House” which featured a drum’n’bass remix (in 1991!) and had a dub flavor, or the organ laden “Bombscare” from Two Bad Mice with the bassline that was so low, you felt it in the floor, which was exactly what I was doing by 1992 when it was all the rage.

At this point, the raves were starting to get huge, and my friends and I were out every weekend waving our arms in the air, rubbing each others hands because the drugs were “so great” and getting home at 10am. And I was a mellow one. (And I never wore flowers or floppy hats. Ick.) Lots of people kept it going for days at a time, never sleeping, just moving from party to party... I went to one rave where we all met in a parking lot on Berry Street in SF, were loaded up into Ryder moving vans and then taken to some empty warehouse and left there to dance till 6am. A friend once asked me, “Couldn’t they have taken you to a mass grave or something?” I was stunned. I’d never even considered it. So friendly and tight was the scene for so long that I couldn’t see anything bad coming out of it.

Of course, all good things come to an end. The place where you could dance in your own little world and just get into the music was replaced by parking lots filled with carnival rides and tents filled with DJs and guys trying to score on all the girls on ecstasy. 2 Unlimited was being played as the background music for sportscasters or the NBC sweeps period. The saddest thing for me was that there was no longer a place to go dance without getting hit on. Besides, at this point I had a boyfriend and I was starting to stay home a lot.

The upside was that the music continued to change and grow. More organic stuff got tossed in like bongos and saxophones. Early jungle was this frenetic mix of ragamuffin dancehall and speedy techno, which evolved into some of the drum and bass stuff out now. Slower, loopy beats were woven into ambient stuff or soul. The Bay Area actually has produced some of the more interesting sounds of the decade: Freaky Chakra and Single Cell Orchestra concentrate on the electric rhythms and the jammin’ Mephisto Odyssey serves up funky techno. Matmos delivers experimental squelchy groove. And today it's all over... The Chemical Brothers (formerly Dust Brothers) and Moby have pretty much been there since the start, now Death In Vegas, Crystal Method, Basement Jaxx and the like carry it on. I've always gotten a kick out the fact that if you travel the world, the unifying party music seems to be either Bob Marley or electronica.

There’s some fabulous stuff out there, and even though I can’t relive my glorious days of drugs and dancing, I can always take these things home with me, close the blinds, and turn up the music real loud...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

And I'm With Stupid

When I was surfing for pictures of the Pixies last night, I came across this:

I'll just leave you with that for the weekend. Sunny and beautiful here in LA, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Donde No Hay Sufrimiento

Don't make any plans with me from May 29 - June 2. I'll be moshing.


Wednesday, April, 13th, 2005
US Tour Announced
Plans for a summer US tour have been announced, with May and June dates announced. More dates are expected, but here is the initial list:

Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre (May 26, 27)*
George, WA - Sasquatch Festival (28)
San Francisco, CA - Warfield (30)*
Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theatre (June 2)*
Denver, CO - Red Rocks (5)
Cleveland, OH - Rock Hall Music Fest (8)
Cleveland, OH - Scene Pavillion (8)
Atlanta, GA - Midtown Festival (11)
Washington, D.C. Merriweather (13)
Long Island, NY - Jones Beach (14)
* two shows in one night

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

And You Shake It All About

My friend Dax was in a horrible car accident and is now recovering, although he has been partially paralyzed. Various fundraisers are being held for him, and all three Amoeba Music stores are selling pink bandanas to raise money for a wheelchair for him. Why a pink bandana? Well, Dax is a big hairy bear. And by that I mean a barrel chested furry gay man into other barrel chested furry gay men. He toured all over the country, and liked to try and hook up with other bears along the way... and sometimes, just wanted to be a bitch and piss people off by wearing the pink hanky from his right pocket, because in gay hanky code, this means "I am a bottom who likes getting a dildo up the ass." He liked to explain it to unsuspecting homophobes.

I've been teasing my straight friends who are wandering around the store with their hankies dangling from their pockets, because the code was a learning experience for them too. Now just about every employee at Amoeba knows what the pink hanky means. But what about other colors? Well, there are way more colors to this rainbow than I thought, but here are some examples:

black: heavy s&m
fuschia: spanking
lavender: drag (duh)
brown & white stripes: like Latinos
fur: animals included
lemon: enema
lime green: sex with food
red: anal fisting

And if you have a electrical plug hanging from your pocket, you're into electrical shock as foreplay. Or something.

You know how the gays are the first ones to do the coolest thing? Like symbolize their preferences with hankies? Of course, some straights have to come along and try to take that away. And in this instance, it's Christians and goths. No, seriously. So if you think snake handling is inspired by the Holy Spirit, then a green doily in your right back pocket is for you! Watch out for the kids with a crushed red velvet hanky though, because they're pretty sure they're actually vampires.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Walk the Line

There was a band in the Bay Area in the late 80's/ early 90's called the Reckless Pedestrians. I never saw them, but damn - what a great name!

I was digging around in my "stuff" the other day and came across this cartoon I had saved from the SF Weekly back in '96 or so because it was funny, cuz it's true.

Here's what it says:
"An open letter to you smug, self righteous Bay Area pedestrians: Exhibit A - Regular pedestrian. Believes that car/truck could squash her like a melon. Because of this, she remains aware and attentive, even while in crosswalk. Walks briskly, for safety, and as a sign of courtesy. Exhibit B - Bay Area pedestrian. Believes crosswalk gives him magical powers of invincibility and superiority. Believes he is making some grand anti-car "statement" by walking as slow as #@*X! humanly possible. Believes he is more powerful than car/ truck. Should look out for vengeful, impatient cartoonist in red compact."

The strip is called "Smart Feller," done by Eggers & Leon. Yea, that (heartbreaking and genius) Eggers. Kind of a nice piece of junk to have around.

Anyway, when I lived in the Bay Area, we jaywalked like mutherfuckas. People do in most other American cities I've been to as well. When I traveled abroad, I continued to do plenty of jaywalking (Mexico, Thailand, Europe, Australia, New Zealand...). Wasn't that big a deal, really. Just ran a bit faster when you saw a car coming.

But in LA? Forget it. I moved down at the same time as a lot of other Bay Area folks I knew, so we went through the adjustment period together. As one friend put it, "Jaywalk in the Bay, whatever. Jaywalk in LA, you die." Yea, pretty much. Because only a nobody walks in LA.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

When The End Comes...

... it will look like this.

Very funny apocalyptic cartoon, courtesy of God-Knows-Who. Similar to the "Jean-Jean" series, if you're familiar with that. If not - watch! Good stuff here.

(Thanks to Lance for the link!)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Because We Love You!

The official Dax benefits have begun. Some of them happen TONIGHT (4/8), so scroll down, find your city and please go out and show your love. So far we have benefits happening in Brooklyn, Chicago, Hollywood, London, Oakland & San Francisco. More shows to be added soon. Please keep checking back at for more info. Email with any questions.

Dear friends of Dax present:Dj Signify & Steinski (live)
Healamonster & Tarsier (live)
Erik Horversten (of A Minor Forest and Threnody Ensemble)(live)
and some special guest appearance byEl-Producto of Def Jux acclaim
April 27th@ Northsix. 66 N. 6th St, Brooklyn
12$-15$ tickets, doors at 8pm

BIZ 3 PUBLICITY and PUMA present:
dj sets byFADER MAGAZINEVS.PITCHFORK*all six editors going set for set
Friday, April 8@ Sonotheque
1444 Chicago Ave.
10pm-2am $10

BIZ 3 PUBLICITY and PUMA present:
Friday, June 10 @ Sonotheque
1444 Chicago Ave.
10pm-2am, $10

Subtle, Mush & Plug Research present:
Bus Driver (live)
Radioinactive (live)
Daedelus (live)Damon Aaron (live)
The One AM Radio (live)
Subtle (live)
May 2nd@ The Knitting Factory
8 pm doors, $10All Ages

Lex Records presents:
Chris Cunningham (dj set)
Four Tet (dj set)
Helena Costas (live)
Hood (Domino, live)
Hot Chip (live)
Richard X (dj set)
Super Furry Animals DJs vs Mogwai DJsTrevor Jackson (dj set)
May 9th@ Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, London
Doors 19:30 - MIDNIGHT
Tel: 0207 833 2022Tickets £10 advance, available from and Rough Trade Covent Garden

Why? and his full band
Bat Rays
The Bomarr Monk and Yet
DJ sets from odd nosdam, shaun koplow & more
Friday, April 8 @ piedmorow / The Sawmill Building 3403 Piedmont Ave (@ Broadway)#402 (4th floor, PLEASE USE THE STAIRS)
9:30pm, $8-$10 suggested donation (pay what you can)

Slug & Rhymesayers Entertainment present:
Atmosphere (live)
Greyskull (live)
April 9 @ Slims
9pm - $17adv/$20 door

Dax's closest friends present:
Jel & Alias(live)
dj doseone
April 25@ Bottom of the Hill
8pm - $12 all ages

Please spread the word in your locales!!!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blame Canada

Thursday evening at Amoeba here in Hollywood, Hot Hot Heat played a free show.

Tarted up little girls (we're talking ten year olds done up as Paris Hilton) started showing up with their moms at about 3:30pm, and the band was scheduled to start playing at 6pm. They politely asked if they could sit on the stage while waiting. By 5:30, the store was pretty packed with kids, mostly teeenage MTV types, curious older folks like myself scattered about. (I'm just lucky that I used to work there so I get to hide out with the staff by the sound board.)

About 10 minutes before these young Canucks were to hit the stage, I found out the show was going to be acoustic. Hmmm... I actually really love this band. Why? Because they rip off that 80's post-punk dance thing so well. They're fun. The singer is whiny and snotty and the music is kind of goofy. But acoustic? Well, that would mean that the whimsical keyboards and dancy drums would be gone... and what would be left?

Um, the singer who is whiny and snotty.

Well, he tried to tone it down a bit, but most of the kids who work at Amoeba are musicians and had something to say. Most folks were saying that his voice was a bit too affected to go with such a bright, shiny sounding acoustic guitar, and they were right. But Hot Hot Heat did ok. Their songs were still recognizable, but not as fun. And, cutely, the crowd sang along with "Bandages." The band didn't even sing the end of it, just let the crowd finish them out.

I have no idea why they decided to play this acoustic. Was it a press tour? Curious. Overall, an okay time, but I'm still gonna have to see them plugged in someday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Uh Huh - That's Right

Went to the Fischerspooner CD release party on Tuesday night at the oh-so-clever Cinespace in Hollywood. Sometimes it's fun just to be in the middle of all that Hollywood action, especially on a Tuesday night.

The Cinespace is one of those super hip places that charges waaaaaay too much for drinks while. Their schtick is that they show a cool movie and serve dinner for a whole lotta money, and after 10pm, it's dancing time! On Tuesdays, the hipster crowd takes over and you see lots of hair wax, vintage athletic wear and malnourished yet bronzed kids who also hang out at Spaceland. Steve Aoki of Dim Mak records spins with some help, and this evening that help included Casey Spooner of NYC's artier-than-anything electro clash ensemble, Fischerspooner.

I was lucky enough to have been invited by a friend who was on the guestlist with a plus one. I love being a plus one! And they were even serving free Vodka-crans till 11pm, so we each grabbed one of those babies. After that, we sort of wandered around and checked everybody out who was checking everybody else out. You know. We counted the number of early 80's Addidas sweatsuit jackets we saw on the kids (far too many!). We hypothesized about all the hair products on display in the living product ad we were in. I think me & my two friends were the only people in the room without some elevation on our heads.

Eventually, we were ushered into a nice side room where there was more free booze and - whoa - drugs! How rock & roll! It turned out we'd made it into the VIP lounge, because of the guy who put us on the list in the first place. This meant we could have our own audience with Casey Spooner, who was an extremely gracious guy.

He was very sweet and didn't have goofy hair at all, just a puffy pirate jacket of sorts which I sort of made fun of when I was leaving. No matter, I'm sure he thought I was high anyway - everyone else was.

I didn't get to see him DJ, nor did I see any famous types although I'm sure some were wandering about. I turn into a pumpkin a little past midnight these days, so I said my goodbyes and went home. But as I thanked Mr. Spooner for the lovely evening, he held my hand and stared into my eyes and said, "Where did you come from?" And I laughed because I thought he was kidding, but he still looked very serious. So I answered, "Oh, just down the street." (Something to that effect is usually my stock answer when I get asked that - which is often.) And he said, "No, really, thank you so much for being here. Thank you." He was rubbing my hands in such a way that I flashed back to 1991... Oh, he's on ecstasy! Maybe.

Or he was just really, really, stoked.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

New Religion

Another stolen piece... but I just love that Bill Maher! (Thanks to John!)


New Rule: Abstinence pledges make you horny. A new eight-year study just released reveals that American teenagers who take "virginity" pledges of the sort so favored by the Bush administration wind up with just as many STDs as the other kids.

But that's not all -- taking the pledges also makes a teenage girl six times more likely to perform oral sex, and a boy four times more likely to get anal. Which leads me to an important question: where were these pledges when I was in high school?

Seriously, when I was a teenager, the only kids having anal intercourse were the ones who missed. My idea of lubrication was oiling my bike chain. If I had known I could have been getting porn star sex the same year I took Algebra II, simply by joining up with the Christian right, I'd have been so down with Jesus they would have had to pry me out of the pew.

For a bunch of teens raised on creationism, these red state kids today are pretty evolved -- sexually, anyway, and for that they can thank all who joined forces to try and legislate away human nature, specifically the ineluctable urge of teenagers to hump.

Yes, the "What do we tell the children?" crowd apparently decided not to tell them anything. Because people who talk about pee-pees are potty-mouths. And so armed with limited knowledge, and believing regular, vaginal intercourse to be either immaculate or filthy dirty, these kids did with their pledge what everybody does with contracts: they found loopholes. Two of them to be exact.

Is there any greater irony than the fact that the Christian Right actually got their precious little adolescent daughters to say to their freshly scrubbed boyfriends: "Please, I want to remain pure for my wedding night, so only in the ass. Then I'll blow you." Well, at least these kids are really thinking outside the box.

There's a lot worse things than teenagers having sex, namely, teenagers NOT having sex. Here's something you'll never hear: "That suicide bomber blew himself up because he was having too much sex. Sex, sex, sex, non-stop. All that crazy Arab ever had was sex, and look what happened."

Well, that's our story -- of how faith and the party of smaller government combined to turn your kids into a generation of super-freaks. Which shouldn't be surprising: Prohibition didn't work, "Just say no" didn't work, and I understand there's a host of Americans who illegally obtain and smoke marijuana. They're the ones who've been giggling every time I say anal sex.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Your Silent Face

Ah, I've reached the letter N: New Order.

"Temptation" and "Ceremony" are two of the most beautiful songs. Ever. I still like New Order an awful lot. When I was visiting my friends in Florida, one of them said, "If I ever got the chance to put music in a commercial, I'd use that single from the last New Order CD, because it's THAT GOOD." (That track would be "Crystal.") The Afghan Whigs covered 1993's "Regret" while on tour. "Bizarre Love Triangle" has been done a few times, most notably in the twee realm of Frente (and before that, the same interpretation from Devine & Statton). Moby's doing "Temptation" on his new CD. And I think their new single, "Krafty," is really cute.

It's amusing that there have been quite a few songs in the history of New Order that have been cute or silly, when they are always associated with their morose beginnings as the post-Ian Curtis Joy Division, and they have this stoicness about them. Just standing there, playing their instruments, seriously, telling sad love stories in their songs... when the songs had words. They are an electronic band with much emotional depth, which I think people take for granted especially when they are slamming acts that are way into drum machines. It's all in how you use it.

I saw New Order for the first time in 1986, when they were touring for Brotherhood. The Fall was opening for them (I had no idea who they were, tragically, but Mark E. Smith was ranting about something the whole time anyway). I was excited to see them, but that died away pretty quickly, because they were a bunch of assholes. I've seen them since (on other bills, because I was mad enough not to want to pay to see them) and they were nice again... but this evening? Well, they kept calling the crowd slags and fuckoffs, and American bastards and stuff. They played with their backs to the audience and cracked jokes to each other. This may have been funny to them, but to a 16 year old who bought the ticket with her babysitting money, it was more than a drag.

Well, I got over it, they got over it, and maybe it was just that they were playing in San Diego at SDSU. That crowd can be kind of lame.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pass the Dutchie

Have you ever watched "Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law?" It's a hilarious cartoon where Harvey Birdman, a former superhero, has turned in his cape for a briefcase and represents other Hanna-Barbera characters in their time of need. Since I am a bit of a "Law & Order" junkie, how could I resist this courtroom drama? Is Fred Flintstone really a mob godfather? Will Race Bannon or Dr. Quest get custody of young Johnny and Hadji? Does Grape Ape use steroids? And what the hell do Shaggy & Scooby have in that van?

Anyway, I didn't write the following, but came across it recently and it seemed appropriate.

Top Ten Drug Using Cartoon Suspects:

10. Gargamel-- Most likely on LSD. Spends his life in pursuit of little blue guys in white outfits and mentally abusing his cat. What does he plan to do with the blue dwarfs when he catches them anyway?

9. Olive Oil --Probably Dexatrim abuse, maybe some amphetamines. Who is that skinny? She might even be anorexic, she IS always giving her burger to her friend. One side question, what the hell are Popeye and Brutus thinking? They almost made the list for courting her.

8. Snagglepuss --Can't explain it. Maybe it's the name, or the look, but he is suspicious.

7. He-Man --This is an easy one. I mean c'mon. Roid monkey #1. "BY THE POWER OF ANABOL!!!!!!" Makes me want to root for Skeletor. Alone in his castle, hitting the weights. And on top of that he even injects the shit in his pet tiger. Animal Abuse.

6.& 5. Yogi and Boo Boo --We all know what is really in those picnic baskets. They go back to the cave and trip.

4. Droopy --The number one downer abuser in toon land. Can't someone slip him an upper every year or two? The only time I ever saw him happy is when he sees the picture of the babe.

3. Dopey Dwarf --He openly admits it. The other dwarfs deny involvement, but they are under investigation. Allegations that Doc is writing some extra scripts for Sneezy and all the guys are partaking are afloat.

2. Daffy Duck --If he isn't using crack, Marion Barry is clean. He is so wired he bounces around on his head without pain. Blows his beak off all the time. Some symptoms might be from "daffiness," but Haladol wouldn't work for him. Might for his buddy with Tourettes, Porky, though.

1. Shaggy --By far the #1 suspect. His clothes, his hair, his bad goatee, and the boy converses with dogs. But all of this is nothing until you go to the Munchie Factor. Anybody who averages 9.3 dog treats consumed per episode smokes pot. And look at the way he and his friends painted that van!