Posts Tagged Morrissey

Idea: Smiths/Morrissey Rock Opera

30 March 2010

My ever-growing “to do” list is my neurotic burden to bear.  As I work through ways of letting it go and learning to live more in the moment, I am struck by some patterns I see.  Someday I may really cut the cord and delete my list altogether, but unless and until that happens, I’m looking for new ways to shorten the list… or at least combat it somehow… as it grows by like 10 lines a day.  So anyway, one of these patterns is that several items on this 3,500-line list are snippets of ideas that I know now I will never, ever get around to doing.  My options are to do something with them (which as I just said, I will probably never find time to), delete them and forget them (not a tragedy in most cases, but there would be the occasional lost bit of genius), or share them with the world (and thus let me delete them off my list).  So I’m starting a new category here of “Ideas I’ll Never Get Around To.”  Not because you will always find them interesting to read about, but because I think it will allow me to let them go and move on with my life.  Some will be big ideas, some tiny.  Some genius, some not so much.  So without further ado…

Who among us isn’t familiar with The Who’s “Tommy?”  And I know you’ve all seen “Moulin Rouge.”  A couple years ago, I myself watched “Across The Universe,” and though at the time I hadn’t yet immersed myself in The Beatles, I was moved by the overall presentation and the way those songs were woven together into a relatively coherent plot.

What I’m getting at is that I think the Smiths/Morrissey catalog is ripe for a similar musical film or rock opera.  I realize that compared to The Beatles, our beloved Smiths have a tiny — if devoted — following.  But I’m confident the mainstream could learn to love the music too if they were exposed to it in the right way.  The Smiths had what, 72 songs in their short five-year career?  And Morrissey’s been solo for over 20 years now, amassing another must be around 200 songs, right?  Now, I imagine most of you reading this are devout Smiths fans like I am.  And I’m sure if you’re on my wavelength right now, you can imagine vigintillions of possibilities.  So many songs about longing.  So many British and Italian landmarks referenced.  Every song is a story in itself, but also broad enough to be applied to nearly anyone.  I think this music lends itself extremely well to be meshed into a film.  Of plot, I’ve given almost no consideration.  And I lost my personal interest in screenwriting long ago.  I’ve envisioned much more the production and the presentation than the substance.  But someday, I hope someone with the interest and the talent will do a project like this.  At the very least, there would be a small army of Smiths cultists rallying for it.  And if it were ever performed live, I can think of a few musicians who might volunteer their services.

“Well they’re all playing lead aren’t they, all of them.  John Entwistle’s playing lead bass, Keith’s playing lead drums, Townshend’s playing lead guitar, and Roger’s fuckin’ the lead vocalist.  It’s insane.”

— Noel Gallagher on The Who

Lazy Sundae

18 January 2010

Cold Stone to be exact.  It’s no Baskin Robbins, or even Swensen’s.  But it’ll do in a pinch.  And as expected, as soon as I ate it, I wish I hadn’t.

Today we (me, Booty Lou, and the Balls Family) were supposed to be seeing Conan O’Brien live in SF.  This was all planned and in the works well before this latest drama happened with him and late night.  Just when I thought we were going to be in the right place at the right time.  I mean, what are the chances we’d be seeing Conan precisely when the world spotlight is on him (see: David Bianculli)?  Well, slim as it turns out.  Needless to say, he called it off and there was no Conan today.  I don’t blame him.  But I did I hear he got a $30 million check from NBC today.  Good!  Fuck ‘em.  Go Conan!

So instead we had dinner in the East Bay, later the aforementioned Cold Stone, and eventually saw Daybreakers which wasn’t bad.  This weekend has also included sushi, Guy Ritchie’s slick Sherlock Holmes with Shel, and an 80’s dance party for charity.  Normally, I’d never do the corny dress up thing, but I’ve been dying for an excuse to peg my jeans, and I so totally did.  And also won a staggering three raffle prizes on only five tickets.  I think Shel must have rigged it.  As the night wore on, the 80’s party dwindled, and the bar turned into the Jersey Shore.  When the fist pumping began, we split.  Anyhoo, the three-day weekend isn’t even over yet!  More big plans for tomorrow…

The music in Sherlock Holmes got me thinking of The Dresden Dolls and what a great experience it was when I first saw them.  That got me to thinking about my favorite (or most life-changing?) concerts of my life so far.  I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but the say top three that come to mind right off the bat are:

  1. Erasure on the Union Street tour (5/11/06).  Quite possibly the best live show I’ve ever seen.  I mentioned this at the time, but I’d always considered them disposable synth-pop.  Suitable for dancing and not much else.  But this show changed my mind about them completely.  To this day, I listen to that CD regularly.  Two pieces of applicable trivia.  First, this show was at the Herbst Theater which is where I was supposed to see Conan.  Second, the next date on Erasure’s very limited tour was at the Showbox in Seattle, where TCB just played on New Year’s.
  2. Morrissey.  It’s hard to pick the best one.  They were all amazing for different reasons.  I might point to the first time I saw him live, with Jessica in Berkeley (9/14/02) where we cried along to “There Is A Light,” or the Stockton show (4/27/07) where I first got close to the man himself, spoke to him and touched him even… both of these shows recounted here.  And then there was the magic of the Hollywood Bowl show (6/8/07), footage of which was eventually used for the “That’s How People Grow Up” video.  Applicable trivia:  As I was in the front row for that show, my massive head — along with Sus’ and Nick’s — can be clearly seen a few times in the video.  Can you see me?  So many Morrissey memories these past few years, it almost doesn’t seem real.  To think how much my life has changed in the last five or so.
  3. The Dresden Dolls on New Year’s Eve at the Sea Of Dreams (12/31/05).  It may have been a combination of all the weird things I saw that night, the burlesque, the holiday, I don’t know.  It was one of the weirder nights of my adult life.  But what I do know is that I was blown away by their show.  Applicable trivia: I went to Sea Of Dreams again the year after, and it wasn’t nearly as good.  I hear this year though, both Olin as well as Maya (and friends) went.  Go figure!

OK, that’s all for now kiddies.  You may be wondering what happened to that “year in review” I planned on, and that I’ve done for several years.  It may still happen, but I’m just not feeling like taking stock lately.  We’ll see.

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!

Makin’ Lights

30 November 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: busy busy

A very merry unbirthday to you all.  Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  I did!  Got to relax and visit lots of friends in what was probably the least traditional Thanksgiving of my life so far.

Before I forget, Morrissey on Wednesday, bitches!  I’ll see you all there, I’m sure.  He comes by so rarely these days, you know.  Who knows when we’ll get another chance!  In other news, due to an unfortunate ticket mishap, I will most likely miss the Cranberries on Saturday… unless I come across some reasonable prices and soon.  Fiddlesticks!

The Popscene show was fun as usual.  We stuck to the Smiths and we stuck to the hits, mainly to keep it accessible and efficient.  Rest assured though that we’ve been extra busy learning new songs, and we should have plenty of surprises for the next show (Red Devil Lounge on January 8th).  At this moment, we’re just six songs away from knowing all 72 Smiths songs.  Holy shitake, that’s amazing, is it not?  Anyway, yes the show was fun.  Lots of friends showed up.  Not my luckiest night though.  Ten seconds into “How Soon Is Now?” I broke a string… normally I’d stop the song, but that’s not one that you stop once it starts, you know?  Luckily we got through it relatively unscathed.  Then while cleaning up, my main gitter (that black 335) fell over or was knocked over.  After assessing the damage at home, it’s got a new ding on the side, and a tuner was yanked halfway off the headstock.  Tuner’s shot and its screw holes are stripped.  So that’ll be $65 in parts and ??? in labor to get it fixed, damn it.  At least it’s got more character now, right?  That’s what I’m trying to tell myself.  And for the hat trick, I went to load in my car as I left the club only to find my car with a flat tire!  Thank God for AAA and real men.  Could I have changed that flat?  Of course, but why am I paying for AAA?  Let them come out and do in five minutes what it would have taken me a half hour to do… at 3am… in the cold Thanksgiving night… alone in a back alley… after wearing myself out at a show.

The good news there was that Big-O replaced it free, aside from the cost of my time the next afternoon.  While I was out driving that next day, I caught my self weaving in and out of traffic a lot around the city.  I had to wonder, do I really drive that fast?  I don’t generally care if I’m zooming along at top speed, I’m just concerned about makin’ lights.  (I gotta make those lights, son!)  It drives me nuts to miss a light because someone else is not paying attention.  For some reason, the city was full of the clueless this weekend.  And while I’m rambling about city driving, I saw a guy on a Van Ness island asking for spare change/food… and talking on a cell phone!  I mean, was someone making a political statement here?  Was this like performance art?  Or was it real?  Because I think it was real.  I thought it was pretty shameful, but am I just out of touch?  I guess maybe a cell phone really is considered a bare necessity these days?

And now, a dedication to a friend who just moved to Oakland this weekend…

So I finally finished Goddard’s Mozipedia — all 500+ pages of it — and I am happy to report that it was well worth the effort.  It took me August through most of November, but I learned a ton.  I really enjoyed the tidbits on songs that never were.  Some of my other favorite entries were the ones covering Mozzer’s more controversial viewpoints, and in fact my favorites were the entries on vegetarianism and Margaret Thatcher.  If you read only a few entries, I recommend those.  I wish I could reproduce them here for you.  Powerful stuff, I thought.  My only criticism of this massive textbook is that it’s a little heavy on the actors/movies/television influences, all good stuff to know, but not always so interesting to read about (speaking personally).

And finally, a question I’m afraid to ask: is MySpace dying?  I continue to prefer it to all those other sites.  I like the flexibility, and I like the robust music infrastructure.  But I can’t deny that in recent months I’ve noticed a rapid and growing lack of activity among my friends here, while Facebook seems to become more popular.  I don’t see the appeal of having to rebuild everything for yourself over there when it’s already in place here.  What happens when the next big site comes along and FB dies (remember Friendster anyone)?  Then off to a new site?  Rebuild your whole network again?  All these competing social networking sites just seem to dilute the value.  If a site came along that could “talk” to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. so you’d have a one-stop-shop, now that would be valuable.  Then you wouldn’t have to maintain statuses on several sites, etc.  I know, I know, one world currency, communism, etc.  Whatever.  I’m just saying… too many cooks spoil the broth.

“Lord, I confess I am not what I ought to be, but I thank you, Lord, that I’m not what I used to be.”
— Maxie Dunnan

… in which I battle tempests, earthquakes, and the FDA.

19 October 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

Getting right to it… a couple weekends ago… is kind of a blur at this point, but I remember that I somehow ended up eating at Chevy’s twice in the same weekend.  I also had the longest day I’ve had in a while.  It included selling a pedal board to a church, shopping at Target, a birthday dinner in Oakland, Club Gossip, Delirium, some warehouse, and driving some drunk guy home.  It was nearly a full 24 hours awake, followed by two full nights’ sleep within the next 24 hours.  This bizarre shift in my sleep pattern led to me getting up for work early that Monday.  I stuck with it and arrived early for work all week, which never happens.  I’m trying to ride that wave as long as I can, because it’s got a lot of benefits.  Among other things, I saw a sunrise.  It occurs to me that in my lifetime, I’ve seen more sunrises before going to bed than I have just leaving for the day.  Starting my day that early always reminds me of vacations.  The only time I usually ever start my day that early is when I’m catching a flight or beginning a long drive somewhere.  Something else I noticed… it’s crowded downtown!  Usually, by the time I’m rolling in, the FiDi seems pretty quiet.  But when you’re out there early, there’s considerably more hustle and bustle.  Makes me feel more a part of things down there.  Me gusta!

Oh, and it rained cats and dogs for one day.  More rain in one day than we usually get in the month of October, apparently.  And over 200 car accidents in the Bay Area that day.  Nice.  Luckily it remained clear the rest of the week and most of this last weekend, allowing me to spend a Saturday shopping with Majik, Booty, and Mr. and Mrs. Balls.  Not to mention seeing Dad’s new band for the first time… a great show in Santa Cruz that was followed by a delicious return to Mobo Sushi and its colossal menu.

Surely most of the people reading this will be aware that Morrissey is coming to town.  I’m curious to know if we’ll be hearing some new songs.  I was fortunate enough to have the incomparable Sus locate a pit ticket for me, so that’s where I will be.  I won’t tell you what it cost, but it was a lot.  Way too much.  It’s the fault of those scumbags the ticketbrokers.  I ranted about that once before, so I’ll spare you this time.  But suffice it to say that in the context of luxury problems and as a fan of live music, I consider these guys to be the scum of the earth.

You may also have heard that last Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Holy shit, I’m old.  I was living in the South Bay in those days, and I was what, 10?  I don’t have a lot of clear memories about the event, but I think I was playing “Legendary Wings” on Nintendo.  And we spent the night at Jonah’s house.  And the schools were closed for a day or two.  I can’t even imagine what it was like for people living here in the city at the time.  Now that I live here, it’s hard to comprehend some of the damage that San Francisco suffered at the time.  (Do you remember where you were?)

We’ve lost a lot of celebrities these last few months, but I wanted to mention one that may have been overlooked.  Wrestling personality Captain Lou Albano died last week at the age of 76.  He was one of the biggest icons in the mid-80’s when I was into it, and of course the tie-in with Cyndi Lauper and The Goonies.  R.I.P.

We’ve also lost Reno 911, which I’m very sorry to report was recently cancelled.  It’s one of my favorite shows on T.V., not least because it includes ex-members of The State (such as Thomas Lennon, Moz fan and misguided SATH fan).

Watching that Goonies video reminds me that Halloween is coming up pretty quick here.  What are the plans?  I know that Zombie Morrissey night is happening that weekend, which could be fun.  I’m not necessarily jazzed about dressing up, but it’s not out of the question.  What’s going on for Halloween folks?

The quote of the week is one of my favorite horoscopes yet from The Onion:

“You’ll struggle to find a sympathetic ear this week when the FDA lowers its recommended daily intake of your goddamn bullshit.”

DIVERSION – Only I Am I

14 September 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: crazy restless

Nothing profound to report at the moment, kiddies. I just wanted to point out something that recently occurred to me: Morrissey has written a lot of songs with a certain song title theme. Do you see it?

  1. I Am Hated For Loving
  2. I Am Two People
  3. I Can Have Both
  4. I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me
  5. I Don’t Owe You Anything
  6. I Don’t Want Us To Finish (unreleased)
  7. I Have Forgiven Jesus
  8. I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
  9. I Keep Mine Hidden
  10. I Knew I Was Next
  11. I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday
  12. I Know It’s Over
  13. I Know Very Well How I Got My Name
  14. I Know Who I Love (unreleased)
  15. I Like You
  16. I Misses You (unreleased)
  17. I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish
  18. I Want The One I Can’t Have
  19. I Will See You In Far-Off Places
  20. I Won’t Share You
  21. I’d Love To
  22. I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now
  23. I’m Not Sorry
  24. I’m OK By Myself
  25. I’m Playing Easy To Get (unreleased)
  26. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
  27. I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty

So that’s all I had to say, really. The quote of the week, appropriately enough, is an ingenious epitaph Mozzer once proposed for himself:

“Well, at least he tried.”

Thirty, clumsy, and shy.

26 May 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:  busy

Well, it’s official.  As of tonight, I have only one month left of my twenties.  It’s coming up so fast.  I can remember distinctly thinking that I have a year left, six months left, three months left, two months left, and now here I am.  I have a feeling it’s all gonna go by in a blink.  I mean, all of 2009 is almost half over already.  Holy shit!  Holy shit!

I was looking through some old saved song files on my computer the other day, and looking at my Morrissey folder, I saw that the timestamp on many of those files is back in 2001.  This would have been the time that I really got obsessive about tracking down each and every song.  My point though is just to think that Morrissey’s been a huge part of my life for eight years now.  I’ve been listening for longer, but that was the time it really started becoming part of my personality.  I know that to some of you, that’s not a very long Moz obsession, or even band obsession period, and that’s fine.  Personally, I look back at 2001 and think how big a turn that was for me.  How might I have turned out without that influence?  And eight years.  That’s a long time.  I can still so clearly remember those days of discovering Moz b-sides for the first time.  Each one such a revelation.  And that was eight years ago.  Again, gone in a blink.

Morrissey turned 50, you know.  The Slim’s show was a big success, I think.  The opening bands were both great, and totally appropriate for the bill.  We played well.  The turn out was great, and it seemed like I couldn’t turn around without running into someone I know.  Damn near everyone I can remember ever coming to an SF show came out of the woodwork.  Friends I haven’t seen in months and even years.  It all added up to one of my favorite shows yet.  The radio promo was fun too, but a little rough.  We were all more nervous for that than we were for Friday!  (You can download a podcast of the radio show here.  We start at about 80 minutes in.)

The rest of my long weekend was all relaxing and recuperating.  When I hit up El Beach Burrito, I was reminded to go next door to Other Avenues (hippie grocery store).  I forget if I mentioned this place before, but they’ve got all kinds of great stuff that I can rarely find elsewhere… fake beef jerky, carob, apple butter, insanely expensive organic trail mix, etc.  For all their organic/local/green hippiness, ironically, they carry Mrs. Meyers cleaning products (owned by SC Johnson!) instead of the locally-based and infinitely greener Method brand.  But alas!  Anyway, I was tempted once again by another brand of peanut sauce, and again I was disappointed.  Tell me, is it impossible to find that Thai satay peanut sauce in a grocery store?  Can this only be had in a restaurant?

This weekend, TCB has another couple of shows, and these ones are way up north!  Those of you in the know may be aware that I haven’t been too keen on travel lately.  So this is gonna be a big trip.  I expect it will go fine though, and when it’s all over, I’ll have something to be happy about.

 

I’ve got much more to say, but it’s gonna have to wait till next time.  I’m busy this week, bitches!  The quote of the week comes from Morrissey, on mortality:

“People don’t last, and it’s the thinnest of lines that you step over and make that final journey.  When you’re younger, you feel that it’s a great leap to take, but it isn’t.  It’s the batting of an eyelid, and you’re no longer.  And all this brain matter that you’ve been working on for the past 50 years, perfecting, and all these elongated words that you now know and use… it comes to nothing, and you’re rubble.”

The Songs That Saved Your Night

19 April 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:  sore

I’m sure you are aware that Morrissey was supposed to play Oakland last night, but cancelled the day of.  The official story was that he was sick, which is certainly possible.  But given his history, rumors of low ticket sales, the events the day before at Coachella, and the fact that he was sighted at the DNA Lounge, I call shenanigans!

So yesterday morning, we’re all bummed (some of us had pit tickets!), and Sus (who by the way caught Moz’s entire shirt at Coachella… I’m serious) and Orlando start hatching plans to play a free show for the many stranded Moz fans who travelled to the Bay Area and now had nothing to do.  Now, none of us were really ready to play a show… having not played together in the last month, and having other plans already in the works (such as Booze, Broads, and Hotrods).  But with Orlie’s blitz to find a venue to host us on literally just a few hour’s notice, and Sus’ stand at the Paramount to redirect traffic to us, we were able to get the Bat Signal out and pull off a last-minute show at the Blackthorn.

It was a lot of fun, and there was no time to stress in the rushing around to get things ready.  We had some of our old friends in attendance, but also many Moz fans from far and wide who were looking for a place to drown their sorrows.  Hopefully they found it with us.  One of Moz’s security crew was in attendance.  It wasn’t Morrissey, but we did our best to be second best.  Hope you all had as much fun as we did.  Many of us ended up at Sparky’s afterwards including some of our new friends.  And holy shit am I sore from last night.  But anyway, so that’s the story.

By the way, check out Sus at about 4:14!

On to other topics… I hate to say this, but it may finally be time to join that other social networking site.  My impressions so far are that Facebook attracts older people, whether that means your coworkers, or your grad school friends, or even your mom.  Also, it seems to be more stalker-friendly.  I think it’s lame, and I’d be happy to never sign up.  But what it comes down to though is that some of my friends are on there now either exclusively or at least they maintain their profiles better there.  I’ve been resisting a long time, but just to be able to keep in touch with these friends and have sad digital substitutes for human contact with them, I at least want a presence on there.  I don’t have the time or the energy to maintain profiles on both sites.  MySpace is my home, and Facebook will be merely a placeholder for me to maintain a connection to my non-MySpace friends.  (Side note: what a weird time we live in.)

Friday night, I caught Wanda Jackson for the first (and possibly last) time.  She’s getting up there, but she seemed super sweet, and she could still get her voice to do what it was doing 50 years ago, so no complaints here!  There are a couple pics up (from Mari) in my tagged photos, in case you want to see how I look standing next to fun-sized rockabilly royalty.  Today, it was almost 90 degrees in some parts of the city.  Where did all this come from?  The only positive was that intense heat in the Mission and beyond usually means cool and thick fog in my neighborhood, and today was no exception.  Ocean Beach was packed, causing *GASP* actual traffic on the Great Highway.  Had a picante dinner with Jamie.  I was finally forced into going digital with my cable today… which apparently everyone else in the nation has already done.  I’m not thrilled about having to turn on more than one device at a time, but this real time guide is neat.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time.

Remember last week I was talking about Highway 1?  Well check this out.  Talk about several drives that give me a heart attack just thinking about them.  But you know, as with playing that unplanned show last night, that spur-of-the-moment choice to take a road home that I never take really was valuable.  These are little things, but they are steps in the right direction.  That spontaneity is important.  Being open to those opportunities not only make me a more well-rounded person, but also fit right into my recent thoughts about not wasting life doing the same thing twice.  These unexpected events are life-enriching.  Even if these things had been disasters, the stories I took from them and the experience I gained would have still made them more valuable than had I taken the same old predictable path.  And the fact that they turned out great, well, all the better!

“A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.”
English Proverb

If you can’t think of anything nice to say, come sit here by me.

18 February 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

Finally a break in the rain… hallelujah!  My umbrella(-ella-ella) has been working overtime, but at least my car’s clean now.

Hope you all had a nice Valentine’s (a.k.a. “Singles Awareness Day”).  The Reverend show was great… he played a few new songs that I guess will be on the next album.  Some stuff with a slide, with kind of a “Sleepwalk” vibe.  We ran into some friends there, and ended up in a tiki bar down the street with them afterwards.  I have to mention too that the John Cameron Mitchell event on Sunday was amazing.  I knew basically zero about him outside of the Hedwig movie, but it turns out he’s really funny.  And hearing some live acoustic renditions of some of the Hedwig songs was really moving.

The big news of the week, however, is that the new Moz album “Years Of Refusal” was released.  If I can nerd out for a moment, the album’s got some impressive credits.  Guest guitar by Jeff Beck on “Black Cloud.”  Guest vocals by Kristeen Young and Chrissie Hynde (on one of the b-sides, but still).  Mastering by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch, basically the godfathers of digital remastering, having done a ton of such work for Rhino Records.  Five songs by Alain, four by Boz, three by Jesse.  On paper, everything looks good.  So how’s the finished product?

I must say that I’m on the fence.  As a big fan, that’s an uncomfortable to be.  The stand-out tracks are all great.  My far-and-away favorite is “Something Is Squeezing My Skull,” and he’s crazy if he doesn’t release that as the next single.  After my first couple listens, I was concerned.  The band is at 10 the whole time, and the drums are at 11.  Lots of plain power chords and the sounds of somebody beating the hell out of their drum kit.  There’s some pastiche, and some questionable moments to be sure, but after having listened to it for the better part of this evening, I’m pleased to report that it’s growing on me.  Some of the vocal melodies took some time to appreciate, but I’m getting there.  I had much more to say about it earlier… my less-than-stellar first impressions of many of the songs… but after sitting with it a while, I think I ought keep my mouth shut until I’ve really had a chance to let it sink in.

On a side note, I swear that a few weeks back, I was reading a Moz interview from a few years back, and the unusual phrase “… after years of refusal…” appeared.  I instantly thought this must be where he got the album title from.  Now I can’t find the interview to save my life.  Oh well.  Moz was on BBC One recently, and thus so were Sus and I!  Look at the blue faces in the top left corner at about 1:51 – 1:53.

OK, it’s late.  From nerding out, to oinking out, I’ll leave you with some news on snack moratoriums.  Do you guys know/like Kettle Chips?  They had a flavor once upon a time called “Cheddar Beer” which tasted exactly like it sounds, and it was fucking delicious.  I guess it wasn’t that popular, because they did away with it last year.  Kettle is still the brand as far as I’m concerned, but another in a long line of foods I loved that have gone the way of the dinosaur.  But I told you that story to set the stage for this one… are you sitting down?  Kellogg’s has purchased the bankrupt Mother’s Cookie brand and all its recipes!  And they expect to be back in stores by June of this year!  And with the backing of the same folks responsible for Keebler, I think we’re in good hands.  Hallelujah, indeed!

“Something is squeezing my skull!
Something I can barely describe.
There is no hope in modern life.”

That’s like… the EAGLES of Death Metal!

8 February 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:  blah

Well, I was unable to rally for New Wave City this weekend.  Seems like everyone was sick or otherwise not into it.  Ended up being a pretty quiet weekend, all things considered.  I did catch the Eagles Of Death Metal at the Fillmore last week though.  Sold out!  The place was as packed as I’ve ever seen it; in fact, I was barely able to squeeze into the main hall!  People were singing along!  Somewhere along the way, these guys got huge I guess.  I still remember the first time I saw them years ago (opening for The Cramps, actually).  I think I was the only one in my party that liked them.  How times have changed…

That reminds me of something else.  I think the EODM did some work with the Bikini Bandits once upon a time.  Back before YouTube, I remember the Atom Films website was the place to go for all sorts of independent film and animation shorts.  Back in those years, the Bikini Bandits were huge, and that shit was hilarious.  Since then, I don’t know what direction that franchise has gone in, but if you’ve never seen them, go check out the site.  (I recommend the Magic Lamp episode.)  I think I even got introduced to a few bands through them… including the now-defunct clown band Greasepaint.  OK, enough reminiscing.

The new Moz album is out soon, and I’m looking forward to it (duh!).  I’ve so far resisted the urge to listen to the leaked album, as I’d rather savor the moments of buying the disc, unwrapping it, and hearing those tracks for the first time in full CD-quality sound.  Now paradoxically, this won’t be news to anyone who’ll care… but Moz was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night.  Some friends (including Booty Lou) were there to see the taping live, including some songs that didn’t air on the show.  Among those was a version of “This Charming Man!”  This would be, I believe, the first time his solo band has ever attempted it.  I wondered if they would ever take that one on… not because I don’t think they could do it but because it’s one of those few Smiths songs that seems so quintessentially Johnny that it would almost be in poor taste for them to cover it.  Does that sound ridiculous?  I mean shit, Moz wrote the words to that song, he ought to be able to play it whenever he wants.  And the irony that I myself play that song live all the time does not escape me.  I don’t know… I’m trying to imagine Johnny playing that tune in particular with anyone other than the Smiths and it just seems like… well, he wouldn’t right?  Oh well, don’t listen to me.  I’m sure it was great, though I hear they put a very different kind of punk rock spin on it.  Hopefully we’ll get to hear it soon.  If you did watch Kimmel the other night, you would have heard Moz give a quick shout out to The Cramps’ Lux Interior, who sadly passed away this week.

Speaking of me playing This Charming Man, don’t forget it’s just a few short weeks until our 25th anniversary weekend when we’ll be playing the whole first Smiths album live in Sacramental and FresYES.  And with a certain other tribute band having followed our lead in Fresno and tried their hand there, it seems like the locals smell a rivalry.  I’ve seen mentions now here, here, and here.  Ridiculous!

I’m about to get tickets to this… anyone else planning on going to see Blue Öyster Cult at Slim’s next month?  They hold a special place in my heart, and they were actually the first band I ever saw at Slim’s.  I’ll happily go alone, but I’d be interested to know who else this interests.

“All I’m selling is these sacks o’ sand.  And this magic lamp.  Up in this mutha…”

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