Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Four Horsemen Of Acapulco

18 December 2009

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: tired tired

It’s been a strange couple of weeks, no doubt.  Drama and changes with friends, “friends,” work, you name it.  Things appear to be settling down though, and I’m looking forward to the holiday break.

I boosted my holiday spirit last night by seeing El Vez and Los Straitjackets.  I’d never seen either of them live, but I was at least familiar with LSJ’s music.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was still surprised.  The Independent was as packed as I’ve ever seen it, and the show was hilarious.  Fun, but very, very weird.  LSJ was acting as El Vez’s backup band.  They’d occasionally break in with a Christmas instrumental, and the encore was mostly just them.  El Vez went through several wardrobe changes during the course of the night, from a Santa zoot suit to a shiny black jump suit with monstrous faux fur cuffs.  At some point he was dressed as a toy soldier, and there was also some sort of full body rainbow shiny suit that made him almost too reflective to look at.  He was at all times flanked by the two Elvettes, who sang as well as performed small bits of campy theater with El Vez and LSJ that reminded me some of a burlesque show.  The music was mainly mash-ups of Christmas songs and oldies, with some pop songs mixed in (such as Oasis’ “champagne supernova in the sky” though sang as “super Chevy Nova in the sky”).  So to recap, the stage was a mix of many things that you don’t normally see together… surf music, suits and lucha libre masks, Christmas music and iconography, sung by a flamboyant Mexican Elvis dressed in sparkly lamé, joined by two pinups singing, dancing, and joking.  All overtaken during the final encore by a pair of giant inflatable Santa and Frosty.  My favorite moment of the night was El Vez trying to introduce the band… “these are the four horsemen of the apoc… acop… copa… Acapulco.”

(Maybe the strangest part of the night was the crowd.  It was surprisingly older and kinda nerdy.  I guess maybe this is the “novelty act” crowd?  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like the crowd we saw at Tenacious D a few years ago.  Now that was a nerdy crowd.  That reminds me, I know they’re played out now, but I saw the Tenacious D movie on TV recently, and I’m sorry but those guys are fuckin’ funny.  They are still underrated in my book.  And is that Dave Grohl as the demon?  But I digress…)

Well Christmas is here yet again.  I know I say this every year, but this must have been the fastest of my life yet.  I can’t believe we’re here again, and that it’s almost 2010.  Even though it went by in what seemed like an instant, looking back I can see a lot has changed for me in the last year.  Panic is largely behind me, and I’ve had some fundamental shifts in my outlook on life, what direction I want to go, and what I might be ready for.  Maybe I’ll get more into that next time, but yeah… hello and goodbye 2009.  We hardly knew ye.

As I have in recent years, I continue to discourage Xmas shopping for me.  I too will be doing precious little shopping for anyone else this year.  The economy still sucks.  Many of my friends and family are out of work, or have been.  And as always, I have too much crap as it is.  For those few who are close enough to me that you’d even consider getting me something, believe me when I say I’d be just as happy to grab brunch or dinner with you.  So let’s do that instead, umkay?  But to keep the tradition alive, as I did in 2007 and 2008, I put together a list of some of the silly material things my heart secretly desires this Christmas.  So if you’ve got loads of cash and you’re looking to buy my love, look no further… this is between you, me, and Sandy Claws:

  1. A 2010 monthly calendar for my wall at work.  The theme of 2008 was bulldogs, and 2009 was wildlife.  2010?  You tell me, Santa.
  2. A fretboard belt buckle.  These unique creations are available at Black Crow Arts, and though they’re a little on the unnecessarily expensive side, I can’t deny I still want one.  Ideally one set up to match my main guitar, that 335.  I think some configuration of the GB-FV2 model ought to do it.
  3. An Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.  With a compass in the stock, naturally.  (Which reminds me, how are we a week away from Christmas and I’ve not heard a single mention of this movie on T.V. yet?)
  4. Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards: Funk & Disco Grooves.  This is a tab book that covers a bunch of Chic songs, and I would love to get my hands on it… but they don’t sell it outside of the U.K. and will not sell it to me.  I’ve tried.  I may have to call in a favor from some U.K. friends.  Who can find it here:)
  5. A pair of “convertible” mittens.  I have never actually seen these in person, but I’ve heard rumors of their existence.  Apparently these are mittens that you can somehow fold back to expose you fingers for temporary dexterity.  This is great, because my hands are always the first things to freeze when it gets cold out, and regular gloves don’t really seem to help much.  Mittens though I think would do the trick.
  6. A new storage solution for CDs.  Any ideas?  After nearly two decades of collecting, I think I’m pushing a thousand, and I’m about to start putting them in cardboard office boxes.  Someday, a simple (if large) shelving unit would be the answer.  You know, if I had like… a den.  But until then?
  7. A plane that loops the loop, or perhaps a hula hoop.  Oh come on, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
  8. A 1979 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe.  Goldtop, please.  I’ve fancied the idea of getting a guitar from the year I was born.  You know, to grow old with.  And I’ve also wanted a goldtop LP with P-90’s.  So with this combo, I could kill two birds with one stone.  Made for only a few years, and surprisingly not too popular on the vintage market.  They pop up on eBay, but rarely.  (Alternatively, I wouldn’t mind one of those bronze, steampunk creations by Scott Walker.)
  9. Any number of things from that German rockabilly site.  You know, this one.  I particularly like the Sun Studios and Wanderers belt buckles.  And though I don’t want it, I love the fact they have a replica Wanderers jacket for sale.  Their prices aren’t bad, but here’s the catch: the shipping is astronomical.  How do I get this shit to the U.S. without paying more in shipping than the items themselves cost?  Santa, of course.
  10. A professional painted portrait of myself.  Big enough to hang over a mantle someday.  Ideally, I’m thinking something in a dramatic Soviet-era propaganda style, but photorealistic like something by Alex Ross.  Because yes, underneath it all, I really am every bit as egotistical as I let on.

Speaking of Xmas shopping, I must confess to doing a little for myself.  For reasons I’ve mentioned here before, I generally avoid buying DVDs these days… but on Amazon, the complete series of Kids In The Hall fell to about $40, and I figure even if I only watch it once, that’s worth $40.  I’m looking forward to vegging out with that sometime soon, maybe over Xmas vacay.

Oh yeah, so I’ll be off on vacation between Xmas and New Year’s.  I think that’s too late to catch the Dickens Fair (which I missed again this year), but I still plan on taking full advantage of this time off.  Sleeping in, visiting with friends and family, seeing all those movies I’ve been meaning to, and above all just relaxing.  If you’re gonna be in town and want to make some plans, let me know!  I might even be down to travel some.  Maybe SoCal?  And then near the end of this little break, it’ll be time for TCB in Seattle on New Year’s Eve!  More on that next time, but should be a blast!  If I don’t get to it before next week, hope y’all have a great Christmas, Hanukkah, whatevs!

“When she calls me, I do not walk, I run.”

Prêt-à-Porter

4 December 2009

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: tired tired

My chief fashion consultant took me shopping the other day because I needed a few new work shirts.  By “work shirts,” I mean button down Oxford style shirts, a.k.a. “consultant wear.”  In my consulting days, the rule was always to dress one level more formally than your client.  So I was basically always dressed in these shirts.  Even though I’m in a stable cube farm these days, and could easily get away with jeans every day, I’ve never given up my habit.  It’s become like a uniform to me… I never wear street clothes to work, and I never wear work clothes other than to work.  I think it helps me mentally keep those two worlds and sets of responsibilities separate.  Anyway, because I view them strictly as “work clothes,” I don’t worry too much about them.  Simple solid colors.

You see, I have exactly five of them in my rotation.  The means I have a Monday shirt, and a Tuesday shirt, and so on.  So if you only ever meet with me on Tuesdays, you might think I wear the same shirt all the time.  I realize that even introducing one more, a sixth shirt, would skew that whole cycle so this Monday’s shirt will be next Tuesday’s shirt, and the following Wednesday’s shirt, etc.  But again, this isn’t a fashion show.  It’s just my work clothes.  I don’t care.  And in fact, some of these shirts are 12 years old.  I’m not kidding.  As they’re getting a little frayed, I figured it was finally time to get some more.  The last time I bought shirts was like 2005, and they were around $60 which I thought was expensive.  Do you know that she helped talk me into buying a pair of shirts for $250!  I know there’s been some inflation, but what just happened?  I guess with the amount of use I appear to get out of my work shirts, it’ll average out to like $0.02 per use, but still, that was a hard pill to swallow.  And they’re both purple.  This is the kind of power some people have over me.  It’s mystifying.

I now have six viable shirts in the rotation, which means my five-day cycle is broken.  It’ll be anarchy, but I think I can handle it.  In response, I think I need to finally relent with my consultant wear and just do casual Fridays like a normal person.  The thing is, Converse and tattoos at work?  It seems like a CLM (career limiting move).  Subconsciously, I think the constant consultant wear gives off a vibe of heightened professionalism to my coworkers and management.  Dress the part and all that.  What happens if they see me in cuffed jeans?  The spell could be broken for them, even just subconsciously.  Thoughts?

In other news, I’m almost done with Stephen King’s latest short story comp Just After Sunset.  Notice these pages are flying by, unlike the Mozipedia.  It’s an interesting and I’d almost say more “mature” collection.  Highlights so far include “The Things They Left Behind” which is a really moving story around 9/11, and the profoundly disturbing “N.” which deals with OCD and slipping into madness.  Maybe it just hit too close to home, but I found myself having to put it down a couple of times.  Pretty powerful stuff.

Alright, holy hell, I write about some boring things sometimes.  I’m knocking it off right now.  Goodnight!

Because we must.

3 December 2009

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: contemplative contemplative

Well this time, he didn’t cancel.  He wasn’t sick.  He didn’t collapse.  He didn’t smell any meat.  No one lobbed a cup at him, and he didn’t tell anyone to go fuck themselves.  It was a real, honest-to-goodness show!

Since this was Morrissey’s only Bay Area show, people came from far and wide to be there, and I saw a ton of people I know from around here as well as Sacramento, Fresno, and beyond.  I ran into friends, coworkers, ex-band members, and several folks from TCB shows.  Damn near everyone I can remember coming to a TCB show ever was there it seemed.  It was like “TCB, this is your life!”  It was great to visit with them, and meet the friends of friends.

We had the best seats in the house, and when I say that, I literally mean we had the first seats on the center isle, front row.  The actual and literal best seats the venue offered.  We have only Sus to thank for this magic.  I’d never heard of the opening band “Dolls & The Kicks,” but they were fantastic.  I can’t think of many occasions where I buy the opening band’s CD, much less get an autograph but I did both.  Apparently this was their first time out here?  We need to get them on Popscene’s radar ASAP.  I particularly fancied “Doll.”

Of course as soon as the opener finished their set, everyone in the pit started suspiciously eyed one another for one moment of stillness before someone stirred and spooked the lot of us into action, as we all rushed to stake out our own piece of stage-front real estate.  Sus, Shel, and I were right there, chest to stage to the left of Moz’s monitors.  And me a head taller than everyone else.  I could not have dreamed a better situation.  So as we’re all standing there waiting for the first band to move off the stage and Moz to start, we notice that my massive head is the only thing tall enough to cast a shadow on the backdrop (which you can see in my “skyline” profile picture at the time of my writing this).  I later heard from several friends seated all over the venue that my head was all but in the way throughout the show.

When Moz came out and the show started, it was wonderful of course.  Being so close to him really is mesmerizing, as silly as that sounds.  His voice was strong, and his spirits seemed high.  During the course of the night, Shel got her Cemetry Gates, Shel got her Loop, we all got Ganglord, and we all three got handshakes from the man himself.  Sus got a drumstick, and we shook some band members hands at the end as well.  For any other band, I’m the first to admit that this would be ridiculous and indefensible sycophancy.  But this is different because it’s Moz.  Among the best — if not the best — of my Morrissey concert experiences so far, and that’s saying something considering the charmed 2007 I had on that front.  Amazing… thanks Moz!  Thanks Sus!  Thanks Shel!  Thanks Balls family!