Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Mother fuckin' Van Halen, that's what. Not Van Hagar or whoever that guy was after him, but Diamond Dave era Van Fuckin' Halen.
In my opinion, they had it all. Great songs - catchy melodies, fierce guitar... They could do some clever pop stuff and then rock with their cocks out, and you loved it all. How could you not? They were (mostly) talented musicians, with great senses of humor and huge egos, which meant awesome stage presence and memorable moments left and right. Their music was both silly and skillful, infectiously fun yet still badass.
Guys wanted to play like them, girls wanted to sleep with them, everybody had that hair.
And they had the best logo ever. How many school notebooks was this symbol scratched onto? How many tennis shoes and jeans sported the emblem? Lockers and denim jackets?
Even towards the end of Dave's era, when they were becoming too goofy, there was still an element of fun that took you along for the ride. The ultimate party train, with naked girls and booze on board.
Rock and roll, indeed. Thanks for doing it right, boys.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Straight from Sweet Adeline... Elliott Smith lives on.
New Monkey Studios opens!
It's so awesome to share this message with you. Joel Graves from Earlimart and his partner, Robert Cappadona bought Elliott’s New Monkey Studios from Elliott’s family (rumors were that Aaron Espinoza from Earlimart or members of Grandaddy bought the studio, but they were actually great supporters of Joel and Robert to buy the studio!) Anyway, over the last year, Joel and Robert have been putting a lot of work, money and love into fixing the studio. Elliott bought a lot of vintage equipment for New Monkey, so a good number of it was half working and Elliott was spending a lot of time fixing the equipment while he was recording there. Well, Joel and Robert (along with other smart recording techs and engineers) were able to continue the work Elliott had done and help bring the studio into the working condition they thought Elliott would have done in his memory.
They are happy to announce that New Monkey Studios is now open and it would be so awesome if we could help get the word out to musicians and engineers so it can help them keep the studio open forever. Here is what Joel sent me to give you so you can have more info about the studio if you or you know people who are interested in recording there. If you would like to check out their MySpace page, please go to: http://www.myspace.com/newmonkeystudio
"New Monkey Studio in
I can tell you that Joel & Robert are extraordinary people, with loads of heart and soul to offer. So go record with 'em already!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
It's that time of year. The time when people start making up their Top Ten lists and handing out awards left and right.
Here's a ballot that you can vote on, and it's one of the more interesting ones out there. It's the PLUG awards. A whole bunch of indie types (bloggers, writers, musicians, fans, etc...) are chosen to pick out a whole bunch of nominees for a big ole ballot, and then anyone with a care in the world (and internet access) can vote. They tend to nominate interesting acts, and those doing the nominating are interesting as well. This year, the panel included kids from Pitchfork, Aaron Axelson (music director of San Francisco's Live 105), Mark Willett (Music For Robots), Christopher Weingarten (CMJ music editor), Noelle Corcoran (Waterloo Records), Dave Eggers (McSweenys etc...) comedian David Cross, and my other little brother (who took my post at KALX), the lovely Shawn Reynaldo.
Here's a sampling of the nominees:
Album Of The Year
|Animal Collective - Feels (FatCat)|
|Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)|
|Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (Vice)|
|Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Self-released)|
|Dangerdoom - The Mouse And The Mask (Adult Swim/Epitaph)|
|Devendra Banahrt - Cripple Crow (XL)|
|The National - Alligator (Beggars)|
|The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (Matador)|
|Sleater-Kinney - The Woods (Sub Pop)|
|Spoon - Gimme Fiction (Merge)|
|Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)|
|Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary (Sub Pop)|
So go here and vote already! Thank you very much.
PS: And vote for KALX and WOXY - two of the best radio stations you should have ever heard. Thanks again.
Monday, November 21, 2005
An Evening with Billy The Mime, at Sacred Fools Theatre
ending Tuesday, November 22nd
Billy The Mime is a true artist who is not afraid to tackle controversial subject matter and stretch the very boundaries of the art of mime with such routines as Dreams Of A Young Crippled Boy, JFK JR. We Hardly Knew Ye, The Abortion, A Night In San Francisco: 1977, Slave!, Close To Her: Memories of Karen Carpenter, World War II, Terry Schiavo - Adieu, A Man Named Manson, A Day Called 9/11 and The Little Clown.
"Silently Offensive" - USA Today
"Hilarious" - London Times
"Outrageously Funny! Will have you close to tears!" - Boston Herald
"The only mime I've ever laughed at." - Philadelphia Weekly
Sunday, November 20, 2005
As it happened, it wasn't nearly so painful as I'd imagined. In fact, it was not long before I found myself being blatantly seduced by all of the most decadent aspects of the region. It is that insidious. I had been in San Francisco a total of three days when I agreed to enter a hot tub with three other naked humans. My will, not to mention my mind, had eroded that much already..." - excerpt from "California" in Mainlines, Blood Feasts & Bad Taste, by Lester Bangs.
It was 87 degrees here in Los Angeles today. We have a short week, what with Thanksgiving coming up. The past week has been unseasonably hot, with a return of the Santa Ana winds (and the wildfires that inevitably follow) and nippy nights that remind us that winter is just around the corner. But the seasons in California are false: a tree here or there will change color, you get some rain (last year, more rain than ever) and some cold, but nothing like what most people are used to. In fact, most Thanksgivings and Christmases in California are sunny and warm affairs.
I was thinking today that it was weird for it to be so hot about this time of year, and I was reminded of a Thanksgiving two years ago which was just as boiling. I rmember because the night before I had gone to see the Twilight Singers at a practically sold out show, gotten trashed with my friends, went back to the Short Stop (Greg's bar) and continued drinking, wound up naked in a friend's hot tub, passed out for a few hours, and then woke up at 9am to stumble back to Greg's house for breakfast. I remember the walk (a few short blocks) was scorching, and the rest of that Thanksgiving Day remained that day. We all just kept drinking simply to stay refreshed.
And one Christmas not too long ago, I was in Melbourne, Australia. It was summer there, and the weather was pleasantly warm and crisp. Then it started to pour - thunderstorms which quickly flooded the area of Brunswick where I was staying. I called my parents to wish them a Merry Christmas... "Yea, it's warm here but it's raining like crazy..." "Oh?" said my mom. "It's really beautiful today. Kind of hot."
"...my heart cried out for you, California - Oh, California, I'm coming home... Oh make me feel good, rock and roll band, I'm your biggest fan, California... I'm coming home..." - Joni Mitchell
I don't think I could ever leave.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
"LOST" GETS THE MOST DOWNLOADS ON iPODS
"Desperate Housewives" may be ABC's most popular show on the small screen, but "Lost" is the winner on the REALLY small screen.
After one month of offering downloads of ABC's two favorite shows for viewing on iPods, "Lost" has sold the most, said Stephen McPherson, ABC entertainment president. He had no sales figures, but Apple has already said it has sold more than a million copies of ABC shows.Desperate Housewives" pulled in just under 26 million viewers on TV, while "Lost" had 20 million last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.
I'm a bit backwards. I've never purchased an iPod, and one was given to me, but it's still sitting in it's box. I just don't know what I would do with it.
So who is watching TV on theirs?
I know I've become addicted to text messaging. If I'm waiting in line at the store, or I'm waiting to meet a friend somewhere, or at the airport, I scroll through saved messages. I guess I could imagine watching a video or something while passing the time. Maybe you could download some Sesame Street to pass on to a screaming kid at the supermarket to make them shut up?
But an 45 minute episode of "Lost?" On that tiny, tiny screen? My brain hurts just thinking of it. Remember how your parents used to tell you not to sit to close to the TV or you'd go blind or something? Well, watching TV on your cell phone display has GOT to be similar, don't you think?
And I'm amused by the fact that gadgety people will probably be really into watching TV on their cell phones... until they get home and switch on their giant plasma wall TV. I wonder if anyone's pupils will just explode after too many adjustments.
I just remembered, however, that in 1983, my little brother had this digital watch that you could play Space Invaders on. It was awesome. I kicked ass at the Digital Watch Space Invaders. My thumbs got sore, but it was F-U-N.
I guess I'd rather my thumbs got sore because of Space Invaders than a Blackberry, though.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I DJ around town alot. DJing can be really fun, or can be really annoying. Often it's a combo of both. The fun part is when the crowd is into the music, people are having fun dancing and singing along and whatnot. The annoying bit (for a girl DJ like myself, anyway) is that inevitably, men come and hit on me because I'm playing the music and can't get away from them. A captive audience, in a sense. Icky. Rarely am I approached by anyone interesting, nor do I have any particular interest in meeting a potential partner at a bar. That's not really how I swing.
But I have made plenty of friends through the DJ gigs, and that's quite alright.
This past Halloween, the Burgundy Room in Hollywood was decked out like a pirate ship. There was a large ship's wheel above the bar, and the usual skeletons wore pirate hats, held telescopes, that sort of thing. Since Halloween fell on a Monday this year, and I was DJing on a Saturday, people were dressed up for about 4 solid days. I tried to do a wenchy thing to go with the boat theme: a long flowy gypsy skirt, stiped lace up top, boots, loads of jewelry, a wig of long wavy dark hair, fake eyelashes, etc.
During the evening, I noticed that Hunter S. Thompson was sitting at the booth to my right. The guy had on long shorts, a print short sleeved shirt, the cigarette holder, sunglasses and hat. It was great. I hadn't see that yet. He noticed me noticing him, gave me a nod, and I gave him a thumbs up.
Later, Hunter approached the bar for a drink, and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and found that I was at least a foot taller than the guy! (And I ain't that tall.) He offered to buy me a drink, and complimented the music. Then he asked me if I ever made to Orange Country, and if I did, I should look him up. "My name's Marco," he shouted. "You can find me at Sharky's. I manage it." "Oooh, sounds good!" I said.
Sharky's is a fast food Mexican food chain.
Anyway, it was much nicer when he was in character, although what he didn't have in stature he seemed to make up for in attitude. Very gonzo.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
One of the things about Hollywood that I find incredibly lame and do not understand at all are The Characters. And by this, I mean the people dressed up as celebrities or superheroes or Muppets and shit like that. I mean, it's one thing if you go to Disneyland and pose for pictures with Mickey Mouse or Goofy or Snow White or something. Disney employs some serious quality control. On Hollywood Boulevard, you just have random crazies who pick up a Spiderman costume from Target and start cruising for opportunities. Well, I guess alot of would be superstars start out in a similar way.
The majority of The Characters hanging around the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, and mainly congregated outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre since all the tourists go there to compare their handsize with John Wayne's or someone, are pretty skanky. Their costumes are ill-fitting, the make up bad, and the impersonators don't do a great job impersonating. The other night as I was walking by with a friend, we noticed a Mexican Elvis shaking hands with a family for who he had just posed for a picture. "Yea, thanks alot, " he was saying. My friend turned to me and goes, "Oh, come on now. That's just wrong. I mean, how much effort does it take to say a little 'thankyouverymuch?' Stay in character,man!"
Absolutely. I have more respect for the skinny Spiderman doing various poses silently on the steps of the El Capitan movie theatre than that particular Elvis.
Some of these Characters are up to no good, though. I once had the shit scared out of me by a particularly good Pinhead, and in front of my relatives no less. A Charlie Chaplin type leered at me so obviously that my mother went up to him and said: "Stop looking at her like that! You're disgusting!" (Imagine that with a heavy Spanish accent and you'll understand how effective it was.)
Recently, there have been a spate of altercations and cons on Hollywood Boulevard. Not so unusual, really, except that it all seems to be happening amongst the Characters. They fight over turf, tips, costumes and attention. Like most actors. There have even been reports of them teaming up to steal wallets.
Most of the tourists don't mind them, though. The other day, I saw two little kids calling "Batman! Batman!" excitedly as the caped crusader cruised by. He didn't stop though; guess he was on a beer break.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
First off, Cats In Sinks. Obscenely cute pictures of cats. In sinks.
Second, from the braniacs at Bad Cat, it's... My Cat Hates You. (And, trust me, my cat certainly DOES hate you.)
And, finally (because my cat Tristan is featured in the "nature" section), Stuff On Cats.
My cat, Tristan, likes to drive around with me in my car. He loves it. When he was a kitten, he'd sit in the back and people on bicycles would tap on the glass and he'd play. Anyway, here's a little story about a cat that really went on a trip...
BON VOYAGE... WISCONSIN CAT SAILS TO FRANCE
APPLETON, Wis. - When Emily the cat went missing a month ago, her owners looked for their wandering pet where she had ended up before — the local animal shelter. This week they learned Emily sailed to France.
Lesley McElhiney now figures her cat went prowling around a paper warehouse near home and ended up in a cargo container that went by ship across the Atlantic Ocean and was trucked to Nancy, a city in northeastern France near the border with Germany.
Employees at a French lamination company found her in the container, checked her tags and called Emily's veterinarian, John Palarski, in Kimberly, just east of Appleton.
Palarski called the McElhineys Monday to tell them their pet was safe, if a little hungry.
"It probably had access to food and water," Palarski said. "I doubt if it went three weeks without it. There must have been a lot of mice on the boat. Even if it was in the cargo department, you would assume there was water down there. She had to have something."
Palarski faxed French authorities with the cat's vaccination records to help remove her from quarantine, but the family is wondering how they will retrieve the pet.
Emily will need a health certificate from France to return home, and she will have to go through quarantine again on entering the United States, Palarski said.
The friend of a co-worker is going to Germany next week, but that's a country away.
"The only thing we can think right now is buying a plane ticket," McElhiney said. "She already cost us some the first time we got her from the humane society. She's getting to be an expensive little thing."
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Lady Mo & Rachael will be spinnin' the tunes at this lovely downtown dive Thursday night, November 3rd - We'll be rockin the soul, new wave, funk, electro, hip hop, and anything else you can shake your ass at!
Thursday Nov 03, 2005
at 10:00 PM
107 West 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
The place has a beautiful bar, glorious decor (of animal heads and Mexican wrestling masks) and a dance floor even! If you haven't been to this space yet, check it out (http://bar107.com/). It's a classic old LA bar (open since 1913) with fabulously rowdy new owners who want to meet YOU.
Bar 107 is downtown on 4th Street between Spring and Main.
If you're a DJ or have a band and you're looking for a place to play, check them out, as they are looking for you too.
And check us out this Thursday for the first night of our November residency... we just wanna have fun, that's all. Goody goody, and a shot of tequila on top!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"STAR TREK" ACTOR GEORGE TAKEI COMES OUT
LOS ANGELES -
George Takei, who as helmsman Sulu steered the Starship Enterprise through three television seasons and six movies, has come out as a homosexual in the current issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community.
From what I understand, Frontiers is the kind of magazine that does not tackle space exploration or sci-fi issues, but engages in debates regarding the differences between metal or rubber cockrings.