Monthly Archives: May 2008

Holy shit, I am getting old.

28 May 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  exhausted

I tell you, it’s never been more apparent to me than when I looked at my desk at work today.  In my younger years, I would almost never get sick.  I almost never took any kind of medicine.  I had no aches and pains.  I was full of energy.  Over the last year or so, I’ve watched my “medicine cabinet” in the corner of my work desk grow steadily… first tissues… hand lotion… Purell.  Then Ricola… Advil… fucking Tums!  Today I added table salt.  That’s not even the whole list.  When I was a teenager, I used to wonder what it would be like to be in my 30’s and have my body start to deteriorate.  How would it happen?  Do you just wake up one day to find that you not as quick as you used to be?  I couldn’t imagine it.  Well I’m finding out the answer… it creeps up on you.  Day by day, you find you don’t bounce back as fast.  Your joints start to crackle and pop.  Sleep is the most appealing thing to you after a long day’s work.  Soon, you’re carrying Tums around in your pocket.  Holy hell.

To help combat this, I’ve gotten into a semi-regular regimen of running/walking around the lake.  It’s been nice to zone out for an hour or so, get some fresh air, and let the day’s stresses attenuate for a bit.  Reset myself, if you will.  It’s all very Zen.  And probably healthy too, right?

This blessedly short work week was preceeded by a very busy weekend.  Louder Than Bombs was fun on Moz’s birthday last week.  Orlie and I fought our way through a couple of acoustic numbers along side some other interesting interpretations of Smiths/Moz songs by local artists.  (That night my car was dinged while parked.  After “escaping” the Mission a few years ago — partially to save my car from the dangers of being parked on the street — I find it ironic that the first night I’ve had a reason to park in the Mission in I don’t even know how long… BAM!  Oh well.  That’s what insurance is for…)  I had lunch with Kaminski and her husband, who as you may recall,  moved to Oregon a few years back.  At the time, I thought we’d all still see a lot of each other.  As it turned out, this was the first time I’d seen her since she moved!  I also had a great BBQ with some close friends, drank myself almost sick, ended up at Nightbeat again (the Duchess Colin was in town!), had brunch with Shel in the Haight, saw Indiana Jones (the kid’s a greaser!), and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.  But yeah, busy busy.

Certainly the most bizarre event of the weekend was seeing Cluster at The Great American Music Hall.  Jamie’s bro helped book it, so we had the hook up, as they say.  I guess these guys are a big deal to the history of electronic music.  And I’m sure at one time, their ambient soundscape Casio-noodling was very provocative.  In the here and now, however, it was a single hour-long “song” that was hard to get into.  Which is to say it was not really my thing.  The opening acts were of a similar style, but it was all interesting to see, and I’m very glad I went.  Big thanks to Jamie and her brother for having me along!

All this experimental music reminds me to include this (Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman,” which was brought to my attention by Nick… erm, extremely weird):

There are a lot of good shows coming up… that I actually already have tickets for no less!  R.E.M. and Modest Mouse this weekend, The Black Angels next weekend, Billy Idol in the near future, and The Legendary Shack Shakers in the not-too-distant future.  What I want to see though is a Deadbolt show.  Hope they play NorCal again before too long… else I might have to make a special SoCal trip for them.  Oh, and if you like the Smiths, you might consider this Friday’s TCB show in Santa Cruz:

And finally, when did New York become the cool place to go all of the sudden?  Two different coworkers just got back from separate NYC vacations, Monica also just got back from one, and Jamie just left for one.  I gotta be honest, it’s never really interested me that much.  Maybe your stories and slideshows will sway me.  Any good lakes to jog ’round?

“Now you on the run, son.”

Happy Birthday, Morrissey!

22 May 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood: cynical

Steven, you bastard.  I love you.

Just checking in…

19 May 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  exhausted

I just wanted to check in with you kiddies since it’s been a while.  This’ll be a quick one…

I guess the biggest news to mention was that we sold out Café Du Nord again!  It was an awesome and high-energy show.  We played a lot of the harder stuff, and had friends and fans come from hours away to see it, by which we’re honored.  Thanks everyone for making it such a great night!  I hope we did justice to the songs we all hold so sacred.  And thank you to The Ghost Of Curtis for putting on a fantastic set as well… we heard a ton of great feedback and will hopefully get to play with them again soon.  If you haven’t seen it lately, check out the gallery on the TCB website.  I just added about 100 pics the other night, so you can catch up on what we’ve been doing since last June!

By the way, until the other day, I don’t think I had heard of a Quarter-Life Crisis, but now that I have, I’m pretty sure I’m in the middle of one.

I’ve been running around a lot… saw Ironman and Forgetting Sarah Marshall which were both great.  I saw Juno too, which was pretty good but I think maybe overrated.  In terms of live shows, I did make it out to a couple of good ones… I saw Little Bitches do their Weezer thing and was reminded how tight those guys are.  We need to play with them again.  Their opener though was who I was mainly there for… it’s a Devo tribute that will be joining us next week in Santa Cruz for our Blue Lagoon show.  I didn’t know what to expect, not being a huge Devo fan myself… but they seemed to do a good job and it was a memorable show if nothing else.  I guess you Devo fans can be the judges.  And then a group of us saw The Bad Plus at the Palace of Fine Arts the other night.  It’s not often that a jazz group is able to hold my interest for long (it’s just not my thing), but these guys did.  Particularly that drummer… he was getting just about every sound you can get out of drum kit… twisting this and flipping that.  That was worth the price of admission for me.

I think I also made it to Club Gossip somewhere in there.  I fully intended on making it out for that Doo Wop night too, but I was just too beat that weekend.  Next time for sure.  Went to a BBQ by the ballpark.  Sold my FlameKat finally (which means all the gear I was trying to sell has been sold!).  Brunched and dined with good friends.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff.  This is what happens when I let so much time go by.  You just get a checklist instead of deep analysis of my goings-on.  I don’t know what else to tell you.

So… Jessica Hagy.  I don’t know what you’d call this.  Office humor?  Graph humor?  I saw her book recently, and it had me cracking up.  Check out the “Indexed” blog for hours of entertainment.  One example:

Coming up this Thursday of course is Morrissey’s birthday.  Louder Than Bombs will be taking place at a new venue (The Knockout) to honor it, and the usual DJ fare will be augmented by some casual live music in the form of guest singers from many beloved local bands doing Smiths/Moz covers.  Yours truly may be providing some acoustic backing for at least one of the guests who you know well.  Among the other guests is Ted from The Music Lovers.  Should be a good time… if you’re in or around the city, come check it out.

Speaking of that, the other day I was on Molo (apparently this is the hip new shorthand for “Morrissey-Solo.com”), and I saw that Moz’s new single is coming out in several formats including vinyl… and that certain b-sides will only be available in vinyl format!  Heresy!  I’m sure they’ll appear on some CD compilation in the future or something, but it’s the principle of the thing.  In this day and age, is it not fair to say that a good portion of youer average audience no longer owns a turn table?  Or that vinyl is a way less efficient format to eventually transfer to your iPod or other preferred listening device?  Or how about listening to it in the car?  I can see offering vinyl as an option, but why would you offer songs exclusively on vinyl?  I love you Moz, but I’m not going to buy a turn table for you.

And finally, the band Kingmaker has been rocking my socks for weeks.  They were clearly heavily Smiths-influenced.  If you’re looking for one of those “how did I ever miss these guys” kinda bands, you should get in on this.

You say you’re built for comfort.
Well, I’m obviously built for speed.
But we’re all bound for the same…

… in which I meet Duran Duran.

4 May 2008

CONVERSION NOTICE: This is one of 250+ blogs that originally appeared on MySpace. I’ve done my best to represent it with as much historical accuracy as possible, but there are limitations. Read about it in the FAQ.

Current Mood:  pleased

Well, last minute on Friday, one of Orlando’s connections got us tickets to the Duran Duran show in Concord.  By the time we all (Orlie, Sus, Shel) made it out to the venue, which is in relative BFE, the show was almost half over.  The crowd were mostly in their 30’s and brought their little kids along.  The seats were great, and it was nice to see all the original boys (minus Andy Taylor) in full throttle.  There was some of their new stuff of course.  Some techno versions of their classics.  Some leather pants.  Some sleazy dancing.  Pretty much what you’d expect, though at times it bordered on the Depeche Mode “It’s No Good” video.  Also, the guitar player did what apparently was his Michael J. Fox in Back To The Future impression during his guitar solo, but other than that, they all seemed pretty on.

So part of the connection was backstage access.  The four of us relaxed there after the show, along with several women who were clearly making themselves “available” for the band.  The guys came out, and we got to meet them.  We tried to be respectful of how tired they must have been, but they were all very nice and accessible.  Sus and Shel got pictures with their living pre-teen fantasies, and all was right with the world.  On the way home, stopped at a Denny’s in Emeryville.  It was apparently prom night, and we saw some colorful outfits.  And somebody stopped me because of my Smiths shirt… always nice to meet Smiths fans, especially in unexpected places.

It’s been a weird week of celebrities.  In addition to Rose McGowan and Duran Duran, I swear I was walking next to Rob Rotten while on my lunch run at work the other day.  What he was doing in SF or hanging out at a construction site I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it was him.  He has a… distinctive look.

Speaking of looks, I have cropped my hair.  Call it my summer pomp.  Shedding my winter coat, as it were.  But despite the fact that I’ve been having such good hair days lately, it was getting a little too big and Elvis for me, so it’s way shorter on top now and I will let it grow out again over the summer months.

Last night was New Wave City of course.  It was a Cure-themed night, but I made sure to represent in a Moz shirt… my subtle middle-finger to the DJs and the night’s theme.  I also donned the white jacket, which by the way is here to stay.  Women hate white denim, almost universally.  At least at first.  But you all come around sooner or later.  You are… drawn… to its power.  (To get the full effect, you’ll have to imagine that last line as spoken by Ricardo Montalban.)  Anyway, the crowd wasn’t too weird.  I saw plenty of friends, had a few drinks, and danced just about till closing time.  Then we headed over to Sparky’s to round out the evening… or morning I guess.  I lazed around today, had lunch and talked politics with the folks, and tried out a Vox AC30 (me gusta!).  Good times.

Blessing of the Information Age, No. 684: MailBoxMap.com.

This last Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of seeing Craig Ventresco play again.  I can’t remember if I mentioned him long ago when I lived in the Mission and first met him, but this guy is possibly the greatest living ragtime guitarist, and he plays right here in the city all the time!  He has appeared on the soundtracks for Ghost World and Crumb among other things.  I hadn’t seen him play in years, but ran across his name by accident and saw that he had this regular gig.  Anna and Sean and I had a great dinner in cozy North Beach cafe, chatted with some of the regulars, and enjoyed the show.  If anyone’s interested, the food, drink, company, and entertainment were wonderful and I plan on trying to make it out there every few Wednesdays to check it out.

So in a couple weeks, we’ll be back in the city for the first time this year.  This Charming Band will be supported by the amazing Ghost Of Curtis as we take on Café Du Nord once again.  This is such a great swanky venue, and remember we sold out this place last time, so you may want to look into getting your tickets ahead of time.  I heard the tickets for that night are already starting to go!

The quote of the week comes from Shel, which needs context.  So we’re in the back stage area at the Duran Duran show talking about how we need a picture of the four of us.  One of us joked that it would be funny to ask Simon Le Bon to take the picture.  Without missing a beat, Shel turns around and asks this guy:

“Will you please take our picture?”

Yeah, that guy was Duran Duran’s sax player.  Shel swears she didn’t recognize him, although we all did… and exchanged horrified glances… and yet still posed for the camera.  So… I guess thanks for the picture… erm… nameless saxophonist!  Sorry you brass guys get no respect.  Blame Shel!