Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hell Yes

We take a break from our regularly scheduled reminiscing about the Bay Area to bring you this festival update:



WHERE: Echo Park (The Echo, Sea Level Records, Taix Restaurant and the Jensen Rec Center)
WHEN: Saturday, July 2

For practically no money at all, you can wander around lovely Echo Park, see some great art (because the fest showcases that too) and some awesome bands. I mean, Dillinger Four! Giant Drag! The Rolling Blackouts! The Mean Reds! And there are some great dive bars on the street for a quick fix, if ya need one. And yummy Mexican food.

Just trying to help you Angelenos plan your weekend, and support the locals!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Foxy Little Girls In Oakland

You know, I went to the Bay Area about a month ago, and had the best vacation I'd ever had in my entire life. And I've had some pretty cool vacations. It's just that it was a combination of things... The weather was perfect, crisp and clear and sunny. The people were, as always, friendly and interesting and nutty. The entertainment was endless, it seemed. There was no traffic (everyone leaves the Bay for Memorial weekend) plenty of parking, and lots of great food and shopping. What more could a girl want?

So, Day One: Oaktown. I drove up and went straight to my friend's shop, Zosaku, where any cool piece of jewelry I own came from. My crashpad, Kitty, wasn't home yet, so I blew some time shopping on 4th street in Berkeley till she called. 4th Street (a few blocks from the fabled Gilman Street) was an industrial area under the freeway near the Berkeley pier for a long time, filled with squatters and artists and a diner here or there for the fishermen working during the day. Some warehouses started fancying themselves up for the public, and then the next thing you know it was all cute and full of boutiques and restaurants. I started working there along with some other friends. We were the tattooed kids with piercings and fake hair... At the time, I had platinum hair (for a Latina with jet black eyebrows and olive skin, it made an impression), tattoos and a nosering. Okay, I still have the tattoos and the nosering, but they are very subtle. Most of my friends that worked on the street were in the cafe or diners, also fiercely tattooed and scruffy looking. The rich folks just loved to mix with us. It was very: "Oh, they may look scary, but they are very nice. That one serves me mocha every day!"

Once Kitty got to town, we hit up Telegraph Ave. for a little bit of thrifting and had dinner. Then we went to Ajax's for some BBQ and soft rock. Ajax and Russ were really rockin' the soft rock, as friends stood around the firepit just chillin'. It was hilarious. Hilariously SATISFYING, that is. After that, we zipped over to some Oakland warehouse space called The Breathing Room, I think. There was some art, there were some bands, there were some people... so we took them with us to Radio and The Golden Bowl in downtown Oakland. The Golden Bowl had dancing, but Radio was the dive bar where we made our home. DJ Joe Quixx was spinning, member of the Oakland Faders and compadre of DJ Shadow. We hung out there till we got kicked out... which was late since we knew everyone working at the bar. Bonus!

It was awesome. The East Bay felt really alive and vibrant that night, and I wasn't even drunk most of the evening. There was so much creativity around town, people hanging out, good feelings... It made me really sad to have left the place. So if you ever go to the Bay Area for a visit, don't dismiss the East Bay as just a parking lot for SF. It fucking rules.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Goody Two Shoes

I got my first (and so far only) lap dance almost 2 years ago. It was bought for me by Linda Perry, the woman from 4 Non Blondes who writes and produces for everyone these days... Pink's "Get The Party Started," Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful..."

Anyway, I was potentially going to work for her. A mutual friend thought I'd be kickass for the job, as I'm responsible, quick, very music savvy and very easy to get along with. And I looked just like her ex girlfriend. Kidding, kidding! That wasn't actually a plus.

I'd met her once or twice over the years as we'd both been in the Bay Area for a long time as well as in Los Angeles. We knew some people in common, so it wasn't terribly farfetched. I remember my friend Greg (also a musician/songwriter) said to me, "Mo, if you start working for Linda Perry, I will never be able to speak to you again." "What? You're lying." "No, Mo, I would never lie about that."

My "interview" with her consisted of me, her and our friend hanging around the studio, doing shots and drinking beer and telling stories. Pretty cool, huh? She was a very intense person, but fun to hang around. Then she decided it was time to go to the titty bars. I wish I could remember which one she liked, because they had hot chicks in there, but all I remember was that it was in the Valley along with a million other titty bars.

Once inside, we all sat at the stage and kept drinking. I was the only straight girl in the place, which was filled with men and my two lesbian companions. I was watching this one girl in the schoolgirl outfit with little pigtails do her thing, when Linda started grabbing my knee. "Mo, let me buy you a lapdance." "Really? I don't know what to do." "Oh, you will, you will. You like her?" She pointed at the schoolgirl. "Yea, I guess." "Okay, I'll get her for you." And she did.

The schoolgirl led me to a small back area, with a doorframe but no door, and three stalls with stools in them. I sat in one and she began writhing on top of me. I said, "I really don't know what I'm supposed to do." She goes," Oh, don't worry, I love giving lap dances to girls. It's much easier." "Really? Do guys ask for certain things?" "Not really, but they talk dirty to you and expect you to do it back, or they start grabbing at you without realizing it and you have to push them away without making them feel embarrassed. You have to pay a lot more attention." "Wow," I said, "I hadn't really thought of that." We talked a bit more and my dance was over.

I went back to our table and Linda was glaring at me, shaking her head sternly. "Thanks, that was cool, " I said. She sighed loudly. "You don't TALK to your lapdancer!" she said. "Man, you are sooooo straight!" Then she bought a lapdance for my friend, and one for herself, and we went on home. On the way, she asked me about how to handle the ex girlfriend, because not only did I look like her, but I acted like her too (except for that whole straight thing, I'd hope). She also decided to give the job to her niece.

About a week later, Greg called. "Mo, are you working for Linda Perry?" "No, I was too straight. She did buy me a lap dance, though." "Oh, good, because I wanted to talk to you. Can you swing by? You can tell me all about that lap dance..."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The High Priest of Hip

"Permit me to introduce myself, the name is Mr. Kicks -
I dwell in the dark dominion way down by the River Styx.
The devil has sent me here because I'm full of wicked tricks
And I'm such a popular fellow among all you lunatics..."

It has only now come to my attention that, over the Memorial Day weekend, one of the coolest cats you may never have heard of passed away. Permit me to introduce... Mr. Oscar Brown Jr.

A Chicago activist who accidentally became a musician, Oscar became known for the lyrics he penned to popular jazz instrumentals like Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" and more notably, "Work Song" by Nat Adderly (a version made extremely well known by Nina Simone). His originals also became standards: "Signifyin' Monkey" was memorably recorded by Johnny Otis, Mahalia Jackson brought fame to "Brown Baby," and y'all have heard "Watermelon Man" at least a couple times in your lifetime.

His lyrics were pretty much always about politics and bein' black. He was a poet from the ghetto, and he wrote and sang about it with such style that he was thrown into NYC by his neighbor, Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote the play (and later film) "A Raisin in the Sun." Before that, Oscar had mainly been doing radio... Granted, it was the news and he was the first Negro newscaster doing a specialty program called "Negro Newsfront" which he sprinkled with poetry by the likes Langston Hughes. Once in New York, he started playing at the Village Vanguard and was noticed almost immediately by the Beat Kids. "But I Was Cool" and "Somebody Buy Me A Drink" were anthemic to that crowd, along with "Mr. Kicks." His clever word play and poetic raps made him a favorite, and he toured with the likes of Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, and Coltrane. At the time, he was also a card carrying member of the Communist Party, which he would later give up because he was "to black to be red."

He wrote plays and music for theatre for years, and continued to release an album here or there. I was lucky enough to meet him back in 1996, and he was a well spoken, intelligent and extremely charming man. My friend and I practically swooned after we spoke with him for a few moments. He had appeared most recently on Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam (and had I known, I would have been GLUED to the set) and continued to contribute to scores of African American projects in television and film.

His finger snapping bravado conveyed the kind of intelligent swagger that the Rat Pack would adapt for comedy's sake years later. Check out some of his tunes and see if you don't enjoy his music also - he was a classic.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Down With the Sickness

I got a cold a couple of weeks ago, but I tried to pretend like I didn't have it. One day, I sort of couldn't function, so I didn't go out that night. Other than that, I continued on my hectic schedule of travel and shows - because I am a girl who hates to miss ANYTHING.

So yesterday when I was brushing my teeth, I realized that I was about ready to fall over. I knew that I was still sick, ridiculously congested and achy, but had been in denial until that moment. Well, deny no more - off to the doctor!

I've been diagnosed with Pharyngitis. It's not that big a deal, just a mild infection of the tonsils and the sinus and a little ear stuff. They loaded me up with anti-biotics and sent me on my way. The part that got me was the little conversation I had with my doctor after he told me what I had...

Dr: Open your mouth... Oh, yes.
Me: Uh?
Dr: Yes, yes. Let's see your nose. Mmm hmmm.
Me: Just a sinus thing?
Dr: Well, a little more than that. It's pharyngitis. I see you never had your tonsils removed.
Me: Is that bad?
Dr: Not unless you get infections all the time. Do you?
Me: No.
Dr: Then it's fine. This isn't so bad - just an infection antibiotics can take care of in a couple days, although it could linger a couple of weeks. I rarely see it in adults, though.
Me: Really? It's a kids' thing?
Dr: Yea, I see a lot of 3rd graders with this. Have you been hanging around with a lot of 3rd graders?
Me: Actually, on Sunday I went to a children's play in a park with a whole lot of kids.
Dr: Either your plane ride could have irritated your cold and caused this, but more likely it was the kids.
Me: Great.

Kids, the ultimate germ factories. Lucky me. At least my doctor was cool enough to give me some drugs that should have me rockin' & rollin' by the 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Girls Can Tell

Last night was about the rock. The indie rock. This means I am at work trying, really really trying, to stay awake.

We saw Spoon at the Avalon, to a sold out crowd (I was later told that this was approximately 1500 people). I was also told by the absolute Spoon fanatic that I went with (a passion for a band that rivals my own for the Pixies and Throwing Muses)that the show was very Girls Can Tell heavy. Isn't that the greatest album title? As my friend also said, Elvis Costello is kicking himself repeatedly for not having come up with that one.

I can tell you which songs I liked that I knew... "I Turn My Camera On," "The Way We Get By," "Chicago At Night," "Metal School," "Fitted Shirt," and, um... "Everything Hits At Once." They sounded great - my friend and I had found a spot over the stage on a balcony that no one seemed to be standing on but us, which made everything sound even better.

After the show we went backstage for a while, which is this teeny tiny little space, and we stole little bits of the bands' rider. I like that they had water, beer, and Swedish fish readily available. Actually, there was an awful lot of candy backstage - which I appreciate and wholeheartedly support. The Spider Club was taking place upstairs (this is a notorious Hollywood starlet hang - you can't turn a corner without bumping into anorexic teens currently splashed all over tabloids) and we all wanted to get out of Dodge.

The band went to check out Cinespace, a nightspot lousy with hipsters on Tuesday nights. After about three seconds, drummer Jim Eno said, "Okay, my head is going to explode. Where are we going now?" Daddy's was suggested, a low key swanky joint a couple blocks over, which appropriately has Cary Grant's star right out front. We blew time there till they closed, and then the band had to get back on the bus and go to Tucson. "We'll be home in four days!" Jim kept saying during the evening.

Good show, good guys, good times. And now I'm REALLY tired.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Way You Can Tell Is...

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - New research indicates parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety are switched off when a woman is having an orgasm but remain active if she is faking.

In the first study to map brain function during orgasm, scientists from the Netherlands also found that as a woman climaxes, an area of the brain governing emotional control is largely deactivated.

"The fact that there is no deactivation in faked orgasms means a basic part of a real orgasm is letting go. Women can imitate orgasm quite well, as we know, but there is nothing really happening in the brain," said neuroscientist Gert Holstege, presenting his findings Monday to the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

So, boys, if you're ever wondering... pay a little more attention - or check out her brain scan!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Pluck Your Magic Twanger

Just flew in from Oakland, and I need to rest... so, go watch some TV!!

And now that you've watched that cleverly sick little piece of programming, go here to find out what the hell it was all about.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Look No Further

Here is game for your Friday...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Streets of Bakersfield, Part 3

I know, I know! How can I get this much mileage out of a 16 hour trip to Bakersfield? Hell, I still haven't even had time to write about my Memorial Weekend trip to the Bay Area, which was quite possibly the best vacation I've ever had in my whole life. I digress... One last foray into the California hipster farmland.

Before we left town, we went to a diner which was recommended to us by the guy at the gas station. My friend asked where we should get breakfast. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey, do you know a good place for breakfast around here?"
"Uh, yea."
"Do you know what it's called?"
"The breakfast place."
"Uhhh, where is it?"
"Oh, about a mile and a half north."

Turns out Zingo's was approximately 3 blocks north. Maybe that's a mile if you're trippin' on gas fumes, but it was an okay enough place. Very much a truck stop, filled with big grizzly men in baseball hats talking to each other (none of them were sitting together, they just yelled from table to table) about truck parts and keeping their cabs clean and stuff. There was a really old lady who wandered around asking if anyone there had won the lottery, and occasionally a waitress would tell her, "Well, if I won it, I sure wouldn't be here, would I?" The place was decorated in James Dean posters and paintings, most of which lit up. Elvis came in a close second on the wall art. (And yes, he lit up too.)

We ordered breakfast from a hundred year old ostrich with a smoker's hack. My friends went to call his family and the food arrived, and she joked to me "Well, your friend isn't allowed to complain if it gets cold! Hahahahaha!" I was all, "You betcha!" She made an impatient gesture at my friend and scolded him ever so slightly when he returned to the table.

We hustled out past the Harleys and semis. Goodbye Bakersfield... I'll be back for thrift store shopping and dinner some other time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Streets of Bakersfield, Part 2

As a mentioned earlier, the one of the reasons my friend and I went to Bakersfield was to eat food. Particularly, Basque food. There is a large community of French and Spanish Basques in the area, with a smattering of quality restaurants and bars in "International Square" (as it's called) . The most notable of these is the Noriega Hotel, but we didn't eat there because the one meal of the night was served at the same time Buck was going on stage. So the Noriega will have to be another day.

After leaving the Crystal Palace, my friend and I went to "International Square" in search of any open tapas bars. What we found were... tumbleweeds. Blocks and blocks of closed up buildings and empty streets, and it was only 9:30 at night! Then I noticed a place that was open, but there were a couple sketchy guys hanging out front so we passed it up.

We doubled back, and I saw some inviting neon lights. It turns out it was the Pyrenees Cafe, a huge French Basque place still serving drinks at its long bar. The bartender (Joel) , chef (Gilbert) and owner (Robin) were all sitting around shooting the shit, as a large party had just left. There were two other guys in the bar, and us. That's pretty much how it stayed for the next two hours while my friend and I got drunk with the locals.

We'd heard of a particular Basque mixed drink, which my friend said was called "Pisco" and I kept calling "Picasso" because I just couldn't remember. Turns out it is called "Picon Punch." It's a whole lot of Torani Amer - which is a sort of orange bitters - grenadine, soda water, and brandy. I thought it was nasty. I opted for a couple Moscow Mules instead, because I saw they had copper cups. When I called it a girly drink, the bartender made sure he'd mixed it REAL strong for me. Then there were some shots of something. I was a goner.

We hung out and drank with the gang, and Joel's wife showed up later. They told us about the various Basque festivals which happen over the course of the year, including one coming up called the "Sheepherder Carnival," I think. Lots of homemade food and drinking in the street. In fact, this particular establishment was so old that they were allowed to put your drink into a "to go" cup if you needed to take it home with you.

We all got kicked out around 11:30, with friendly drunken hugs and kisses all around from our new best friends. On the drive home, my friend told me that when I had gotten up to go to the bathroom, Joel had asked him if we were swingers. My friend said, "No, we're not even a couple or anything" and Joel responded, "Well, it never hurts to ask!" I suddenly understood why Joel had given me his card at the end of the night and said, "In case you come back..."

Whoa! Oh, Bakersfield. Now if local resident John Doe had been asking, I might have been singing a different song...

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Streets of Bakersfield, Part 1

This weekend a friend and I took a little jaunt to Bakersfield. I didn't realize until I got there that my California life experience has pretty much been on the beachy side... not too much time in the country. My grandparents had a farm in Lakeside, with goats and orange trees and a creek and everything, but it wasn't all that removed from San Diego proper. You were only minutes away from SDSU.

Bakersfield felt a bit more removed than that. We had two reasons for hitting it up: Basque food and Buck Owens. It turns out that there is a big French & Spanish Basque community in Bakersfield (which is a little over a hundred miles north of LA) and some great restaurants and bars featuring Basque specialties. Then there is the Crystal Palace, a sort of House of Blues type space, except all countrified, where Buck Owens & the Buckaroos play. Ole Buck built it himself to be his own museum and venue. We decided to hit the Crystal Palace, because Buck is gettin' mighty up there in years.

We had heard that Buck doesn't perform a whole show anymore, but jumps onstage with his band for a couple songs and then is done for the night. Our server took our order of beer and steak, and told us Buck probably wouldn't go on till about 9pm. It was 6:15.

Along the wall were display cases featuring photos, gorgeous old nudie suits, gold records and paraphanalia relating to Buck's 40+ year career. He is sort of the mayor of Bakersfield, with his own street and radio station and music scene, basically. When he got to Bakersfield in 1951, it had a thriving country music scene with the likes of Tommy Collins and the Maddox Brothers & Rose calling it home, and Bob Wills working there extensively. Buck's "freight train" sound got audiences jumpin' and put Bakersfield on the map musically. It sort of meant this hardcore honky tonk music, the Bakersfield sound has since been embraced by what the kids call New Country Traditionalists (or so I've been told) like Dwight Yoakam & Marty Stuart. Those two sort of brought back the musical memory of Buck (since most people only knew him as that guy from Hee Haw at this point) by recording his songs. Dwight even took Buck on tour with him.

So Buck opened up the Crystal Palace for himself. And after exploring the walls, I went to the gift counter (no shop, surprisingly, just a little counter). I was surrounded by huge bronze statues of country legends (I was a little afraid of them - Johnny Cash guarded the door and Elvis stood just inside, with George Jones) while looking for the pin my friend had asked me to pick up for him. I found it, a little red, white and blue guitar with the word "BUCK" across it and went to pay up. I was scrounging around my wallet for change when I looked up to the cashier and saw that ole Buck was standing there, black cowboy hat and a black suit, next to her. He was looking right at me, all confused. So I just smiled real big and said, "Hi!" He smiled back, nudged his cashier, and said, "This one's on me, honey." Then he walked away.

Well, the rest of the night was anti-climatic after that. Buck played for almost an hour and a half, and loads of people danced. Guys dressed like Garth Brooks, girls in flashy halter tops and pony tails and hats, little kids, jocks and square dancers, the whole shebang. My favorite dancers were on opposite ends of the spectrum: an old, old skinny guy, with pants pulled up to his nipples, a bolo tie and cowboy hat, shakin' not much more than his ass and his fingers and wearing a huuuuuuuge smile... And a girl who was about seven, wearing a pretty cool dress and boots with fringes, occasionally bursting out into aerobics style movement and ending her routine with an attempt at doing the splits on the dance floor.

Buck allowed people to bring up requests and announcements. Anytime someone had an anniversary, his co-hort on stage would read the congratulatory note and Buck would yell, "40 years! Well, that's the dumbest thing I ever heard! Who wants to look at that same face for that long! Damn, that's dumb!" He introduced one of his waitresses for a song, and said, "She's a great singer, but we can't do anything about her looks." It sort of became a "Shut up and fiddle, Buck." And he did.

Well, it was fun and all, but the whole thing made me realize... I am SUCH a city girl!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Mystery Ingredient

This one's for Rachael.

She forwarded me a link about "food." I put the word "food" in quotations because, well, it is questionable that the items described at this site are actually "food." See, even the creators of the recipes subscribe to the "quotation" rule. For example, the following:

Of course, the use of quotations is extremely important here because enchiladas have nothing to do with toast, the cornerstone to this particular recipe. Hence, "enchilada."

(This sort of reminds me of the time my brother's friend decided to try to make pad thai by mixing spaghetti, peanut butter, fish oil and dried jalepeno peppers. Didn't work.)

This website contains a very amusing collection of Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974. Check it out; they weren't afraid of carbs...

And, the perfect companion piece to these recipes would be the tale of a fellow who ate mysterious items actually sold in the store. Items like potted meat, natto, and cuitlacoche.

Steve, don't eat it! Oh, but Steve did, Steve did... (Thanks to Scotty for that one!)

Feeling icky inside yet? Just doing my part to help keep my friends on their diets. Bon appetit!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hang On To Your Ego

Now it is time to end this week of Pixies reminiscing... but with one more story.

Once someone asked me if my head would explode if I ever met the band. "No, " I replied. "I don't ever want to meet them." "Why?" "Because they're nuts."

In late 1994, promoting his solo CD Teenager of the Year, Frank Black came to my college radio station. We were all excited, and my friend who was going to interview was one of the best we had. He is the kind of guy who can hold a conversation with anyone, knows everything about any kind of music, is clever and funny, multilingual, and a talented musician himself. There was no way he wouldn't have an interesting interview with Frank Black.

We were alerted to the fact that this was going to be a "special" interview when Mr. Black's manager faxed us a release, asking the interviewer to sign a statement saying that he would not ask Frank about two things: 1. The Pixies. 2. His weight.

This left us a bit puzzled: we could understand why he wouldn't want to talk about the Pixies, having recently come out of a relationship with the band in a bad way (yea, breaking up by fax is a bad way), but his weight? Were we going to be so hard up for questions that we'd ask about his weight? The release was signed and returned.

Frank came in for his interview, and he was a total ass. He would speak in gibberish rather than answer any questions, strummed his guitar and made up weird little songs, and kept referring to the station as "your cute little radio station." (Never mind that it is still one of the 10 best college radio stations in the country, but whatever.) He got a bit friendlier when he wasn't on mike, picking out music to be played, but once the microphone was on, he was back in character. Towards the end, my friend asked him, "So how do you handle the rumors that you're a homosexual?" And Frank spit back, "I have a girlfriend in France!" End of interview.

Later, Cult of Ray came out. It is practice at our station for someone to listen to a new CD, slap a sticker on it and write a review. After that, anyone who listens and wants to write alongside that review can do so. The review comments for this CD went a little like this:

"Cult of Ray- Frank Black: Former leader of the Pixies keeps going with the surf and space thing and comes up with another album sort of like the last one. Ho-hum."

"All I can think of when I listen to this is how fat he is."

"He is one fat fuck."

"The problem with this disc is that I can't hear how fat he actually is."

"Obviously, you aren't listening hard enough."

"This space is actually for a review of the album; which is an average attempt of what he's been doing for the last couple years."

"Aside from getting really fat, the fat fuck."

I'm doing this from memory, but to this day, I still refer to him as The Fat Fuck. As do most folks from that era at the station. I have since learned that before that interview, he had a Q&A with Dave Thomas, leader of Pere Ubu (whom the Pixies once toured with) and fellow Big Man. Dave repeatedly asked Frank questions about his weight and told him to embrace being a large frontman, which I guess left Frank pretty traumatized. I also recently had a talk with a swell guy who told me that he has had many a meal with Frank, who was always very pleasant. Well, maybe age has mellowed him.

Although a friend of mine interviewed him back in September, and said he was a nutjob. So who knows? I just love the Pixies.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tales From the Pit

When I see the Pixies, I am generally up front getting slammed around with everyone else. I can't help it - I hear the music and I get all nuts. I run up to the front and have to be with the other rowdies. Now, I'm not thrashing around hitting people or anything, I'm usually happy to jump up and down a lot.

There's always something memorable in the Pixies pit - ummmm, any pit. Well, sit right down my wicked son, and let me tell you a story...

October 25, 1989: I took my little brother to his first concert, the Pixies playing with Bob Mould. It was at UCSD and my brother was 14 years old. We all went right up to the front, started dancing around and getting all into it, and I sort of forgot about my brother. Then there he was, crowd surfing above me. And then the next thing you know... he was asking me to drop him off at Danzig shows. Oops!

December 18, 1991: The Hollywood Palladium, opening for Jane's Addiction. Someone threw a shoe at Perry during the intro to "Mountain Song," and he fell right over. No one had noticed at first, as the whole crowd yelled, "THREE FOUR" in anticipation of the song... He didn't get up for a minute, then was helped off the stage. A poor roadie was sent back out to tell the crowd that the concert was over, thanks to whoever threw that shoe. A riot ensued. Like, really. I think it's documented in "The Gift" which I have yet to see. I lost the people I'd come with, got so thoroughly stomped that the steel was torn from my boot and the next day I found out I had a greenstick fracture in my foot. But I still went to the next show (I'd already been to 3 that week). By the way, as I stumbled out onto Sunset Boulevard, I did find my friends.

April 16, 1992: The frat boy show at the Warfield in SF. I used to hang out with a lot of frat boys, even though I was weird indie girl. These frat boys were all in the same house, and a guy I'd pretty much grown up with had joined that house, so I was there a lot. They weren't date rape types (well, not all of them) and the house almost got de-Greeked because they were so anti-social, but I talked a bunch of them into going to see the Pixies with me and had my own bouncers for the night. They were a rowdy crew and it was a blast.

June 2, 2005: The Wiltern Theatre in LA... There is no moshing or stage diving around. But a guy that kinda looks like that dude from Anthrax was shoving people around anyway. A tiny little man with big hair got in punker dude's face, waved a finger and yelled, "Stop it!" Punker dude shrugged, and started doing it again. People were all excited, and nobody really cared, except for the little guy, who got all up in pinker dude's shit and practically got postal on him. "I said STOP IT!! What do I have to do?" I leaned over to the punker dude and said, "Somebody needs to take that guy out." Evidently, this was seen as a come on, because when the pit really kicked in, the punker dude swung over to me, put a hand on my chest and the other on my back, and swung me out into the mess. It was a nice fluid move, all the way up to the second my foot slipped on ice from somebody's drink and I went straight up and back down onto the floor. I put my hands up and was immediately thrown right back onto my feet.

Good times, good times. Celebs I spotted at the past few shows? Karen O, Dennis Miller, and Tracy Ullman. They were all standing right next to me, and Tracy Ullman introduced her kid to Dennis Miller's. Tracy is a Kim fan, and she was rockin' it pretty hard. Who wasn't? It was the Pixies.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

They Were Panoramic

Okay, I'll start going into the Pixies now.

I saw them 6 times last week: 2x on Monday, May 30th in San Fransisco at the Warfield, 2x on Thursday, June 2nd and 2x on Friday June 3rd at the Wiltern here in Los Angeles. If I could have taken another day off work, I would have seen them in San Jose too.

They were having fun, sounding awesome - totally ripped it up. I went a little bit nuts at times. As one of my many Pixies dates said to me, "You were totally rockin' it out." Yea, but out of 6 shows, I only have one bruise and one scraped elbow to show for it, so we weren't rockin' it out very hard. We're old.

Details next post. Here are the songs I think I remember hearing over the course of my pilgrimmage:

Bone Machine, Break My Body, Something Against You, Broken Face, Gigantic, River Euphrates,In Heaven, Where Is My Mind?, Cactus, Oh My Golly!, Vamos, Brick Is Red, Caribou, Isla De Encanta, The Holiday Song, Nimrod's Son, Levitate Me, Debaser, Tame, I Bleed, Wave of Mutilation (both versions), Here Comes Your Man, Dead, Monkey Gone to Heaven, Mr. Grieves, Crackity Jones, La La Love You, There Goes My Gun, Hey, Gouge Away, Into the White, Dance the Manta Ray, Winterlong, Velouria, Allison, Is She Weird, Blown Away, Stormy Weather, Planet of Sound, Alec Eiffel, The Sad Punk, Head On, U-Mass, and Subbacultcha.

I think that was everything I heard. It's all one long, happy blur...

Monday, June 06, 2005

We Dance Mechanik

Yes, I know you're wondering how the Pixies shows were, considering that I went to 6 of them. Last week. I'll talk about those plenty, but right now - the dance music.

Yes, my friends, there was a lot of dancing the last couple of days. It started on Saturday night at Spaceland, with the Uptown Lights. This is a straight up cover band which happens to be the alter ego of the entire Twilight Singers band with a girl singer crooning along with Greg Dulli. It was a rollicking good time; I don't think I've ever seen Greg so psyched up, and I've seen him plenty. They cover mostly soul stuff - "I'll Be Around" was seguewayed nicely out of "Backstabbers," I think... Oh dear... We were all a bit drunk and I get terribly in-the-moment and forget what I've just done at things like this. I also remember an awesome rendition of "Wang Dang Doodle," the surprise inclusion of the Twilight Singer's elusive b-side funk-out "So Tight," and the night ended with the whole place screaming along to the Face's "Ooh La La" as done by Dulli & Co. Honestly, the best part of the whole show was the fact that the band was having a ball; Greg likes to take people on a ride and this evening was no exception.

Afterwards, a few of us went to the Shorty, co-owned by Mr. Dulli and a good friend of mine. We had drinks and did some more dancing, but as the sun started to creep up, it was time to go home. Most of the boys were out for the night, and I had a long week of Pixies fun and needed to rest up for the next show on the agenda: Kraftwerk.

Monday night, under the Hollywood stars of the Greek Theatre in the Los Feliz hillside of Griffith Park, those wacky Germans hit the stage. It was more like a presentation: four older men, standing at podiums, with laptops (or items that looked like laptops) pushing levers, turning knobs, hitting buttons, all that. With these guys, it was all about presentation. There were terrific images up on screen for every piece, from that bicycle fetish they seem to indulge in oh-so-much, to flashing numbers, 50's archival fashion footage and lovely cars and trains from way back when... except then they thought these things were very futuristic. So, yea, it was very future retro. Does that make sense?

Oh, and robots. There were definitely robots.

Kraftwerk is one of those bands that has been around so long that you don't realize how many of their songs you actually know. "Fun fun fun on the autobahn..." That song is so... stupid, but it made me really happy to hear. And it made me want to rent a car so that I can drive real fast when I hit up Germany this fall. And the graphics for "Pocket Calculator" were so goofy that I laughed every time, and I mean every time, the little cartoon hand musically pressed the keys of the aforementioned pocket calculator. You can see some of these displays if you go to their website, and they are interactive as well! Oh, those Germans...

Music, non-stop!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Celluloid Heroes

Over the weekend, I was able to take one of my dearest friends to one of our guiltiest pleasures:

The show will actually air on Thursday, but I could tell you now who won everything. Actually, my memory is not that good, so I can't, really.

The event was held in the Shrine Auditorium on the USC campus, which is where they used to hold the Academy Awards. It's a beautiful theatre, with gorgeous Moroccan style deco flourishes and massive (and colorful!) chandelier hanging from what appeared to be a fabric ceiling. The seats, however, were built for teeny tiny little people, as I'm only about 5'5 and couldn't even put my legs down right in front of me. My friend is about 6 feet tall, and there was absolutely nowhere for her to go, except to cross one leg almost yoga style and hope she wouldn't lose all circulation.

Supposedly, people spend all their time at the bar at these events. Tapings (no, it won't be live) are a drag, with set changes and technical flubs and whatnot. We were there a good 3 and a half hours, and that's not how much you'll see. One of our friends was dancing (she was dressed as a superhero in orange with a big Afro)and was onstage the entire time, which was fun. We saw some itty bitty (and I mean that in size) celebrities, lots of teenagers dressed as if they were going to the sluttiest prom ever, some fun montages, and Eminem, Mariah Carey (I'm still trying to purge that one from my mind), Yellowcard and the Foo Fighters. (The Foo Fighters were apparently a last minute replacement for Nine Inch Nails, who withdrew from the show after MTV vetoed their backdrop, which was some sort of anti-Bush thing. Aye, juevos grandes, MTV!)

So as not to spoil anything, I'll just tell you my favorite parts of the evening:

-Some guy yelling to Ben Stiller, "You're hot!" And Ben Stiller going, "Oh hey, thank you."

-"The Breakfast Club" getting honored... I'm a child of the 80's; what can I say?

-Dustin Hoffman. Never thought I'd say that, actually.

-The Foo Fighters breaking into a spot on rendition of Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" for about 30 seconds, then stopping so Dave Grohl could say, "Sorry you aren't going to hear that because the record label wants us to play something from the new album in order to promote the product."

-Ryan Gosling: DREAMIER THAN JAKE? I don't know, but he certainly got my panties in a twist with his little performance.

-And finally, when Lindsay Lohan hit the stage,she was sort of twittering and giggling her statement when some guy yelled, "Eat a hamburger!" She giggled the comment away.

Well, Jimmy Fallon was occasionally kinda funny. Tom Cruise: weird. Katie Holmes: weird. Nicole Kidman: tall. I wonder if they hung out together backstage? All in all, an okay time - thankfully I had very good company to while away the dull spots. And also, in a way, the evening was dynamite.

Well, that's your big clue in regards to the winners; now you don't need to watch.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Let's Get Physical

You know how I write about my friend Dax from time to time, that awesome guy in a horrible car wreck which he is currently recovering from? Well, this guy has made me want to live. Seriously. He is so positive and upbeat and just goddamn in-spir-A-tion-al!

The reason I tell you this kind of relates to an experience my brother-in-law had. He died once. Motorcycle accident practically tore his entire left arm off between the elbow and the wrist, and then on the table, he died. While dead, he felt he was in a black hole being pulled from two sides (note there was no white light). In the living world, he had been dead long enough to get covered with a sheet and rolled into the hallway, where his dad was standing when my brother-in-law suddenly bolted upright screaming. His father yelled, "Re-attatch that arm!" They did. They told him he would never have use of his hand, and would probably have limited feeling in his arm.

Cut to 10 years later and he's fully functional.

When I told him about Dax's accident (I ran into my brother-in-law in Hollywood where he was tripping on mescaline), I had only found out about it the day before. He said, "Don't believe the doctors, they'll just tell you the worst. The body can restore itself in ways you'd never think of." Then I think he looked around the room of the bar we were in and went, "Whoa, cool" or something.

Anyway, here's a little flick he and some friends made to be shown at benefits (although I think this one is for The Eagle Tavern in SF - a place that was known as a hang out for hairy men in chaps but has expanded to having indie rock shows for the kids AND the hairy men in chaps). Dax's recovery is incredible, given that the doctors thought it would be lucky if he were able to turn his own head.

"The body can restore itself in ways you'd never think of." Mescaline wisdom - rockin'!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I drive a Honda CRX-Si. It's an awesome, peppy little thing that looks kinda like a space pod and has custom rims (put on it by the previous owner) and a sun roof and a fucked up paint job and a loud cassette stereo system. I am SOOOOOO with it.

It's also got less than a year to live.

When I bought the car in 1994, I knew it had been in a wreck before it came to me. I later came to learn it had been totaled before it came to me. I guess that shortened it's life by quite a few years. Hell, I still get great gas mileage, but it's burning up oil like college students smoke pot at a Radiohead show.

My car has been looking kinda skanky for a couple years now, which is nice because then nobody wants to break into it. Nobody wants to valet it either. About a year ago, the front bumper started to fall off, so I strung it up with a giant rubber band until I could take it in to my friend's body shop. He put a big screw on either side and we called it Frankenhonda. Recently the cover of the left turn signal fell out, and the whole electrical works would come sliding out, hanging there like a dislocated eyeball. Sexy!

On my drive back from the Bay Area this past week (a wonderful trip I'll have to write about later), I stopped about a hundred miles from home to gas up. The guy in front of me kept looking at my car funny. Finally he said, "Um, your car..." "Oh, "I said, "Is that thing hanging out again?" "Yes, " he nodded. So I went to shove the light fixture back in and saw that it wasn't hanging out... Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the entire underside of my car was hanging on the ground. Not the actual pieces, but the huge piece of plastic that covers the pieces. I shoved it back onto something, hoped it would stick the last 100 miles (and did I mention I drive 90 on this particular route?) and jumped back on Interstate 5.

Well, it didn't, but it didn't completely disengage either. I dragged the thing in to the mechanic this morning, heads turning all the way because my car sounded like the roar of the ocean during a storm due to that wedge of plastic dragging on the asphalt. I pulled in and the guys waved at me. That's when I knew: it's time to get a new car.

Considering I have no money to do such a thing at this point, I'll just hobble around town in what I've got. It's good as long as I don't go long distances. I don't know what qualifies as long distances yet, but hopefully it's at least 30 miles or so. I don't go much further than that these days anyhow. And maybe when I get a new car, I'll get one of them hybrid things. The Honda Insight, I'm thinking, since they're back on the market. As soon as they make them with a sunroof, I'm there.