Posts Tagged Morrissey

Bad news on the doorstep…

2 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:  quiet

A little after midnight tonight will mark the 50th anniversary of the tragic Iowa plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.  Talk about some amazing careers cut short.  There was a lot of music left in those fellas, no doubt.

But to add a little levity here, did you all see the new Moz single sleeve?  Totally unexpected, and yet somehow it fits.  I guess he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve yet.  But before you even ask, don’t expect that pose from TCB on any upcoming flyers.  (Send your complaints via comment to the TCB MySpace.)

I actually had a pretty good weekend, myself.  Saturday night I dropped by that benefit show in Brisbane.  The music was alright, got to see some friends I don’t see too often, and meet some new ones.  Nick, Charlene, and Amy have all documented the night in pictures.  I liked the place too, so hopefully there’ll be an opportunity to go back sometime.  And then as much as I uh… wanted to catch the Superbowl… somehow I managed to skip it completely, and spend the afternoon comparing Smiths riffs with Peter.  It was one of the more rewarding Superbowl Sundays I can remember having, frankly.

Can I just make a quick mention of what is admittedly an easy target?  WTF is with Rod Blagojevich’s hair?  It’s somewhere between Anton Chigurh and Dan White, and that’s not cool even in an ironically hip way (though I’m waiting for this haircut trend to hit the Mission).  Why is it guys like that — and Donald Trump comes to mind too — who have the most ridiculous hair are also the ones who are so protective and fussy about it?  In all seriousness, I don’t trust anyone whose perception is that far off of reality.  If you are that defiantly guarded in the face of overwhelming evidence that you look absurd, well then… I don’t know what to do with you.  Kind of sounds a bit like some of Blagojevich’s other problems recently, eh?

“You’re so square — baby, I don’t care.”

Making The Scene

29 November 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:  sore

It’s been a busy few weeks.  And I’ve neglected you.  I am sorry.

A couple weeks ago, I was at the Knockout and I met the man behind the Couch Guitar Straps that I love so much.  His band, The New Fidelity, was playing.  Kind of a Kinks/60’s/Brit thing.  A lot of fun, and they were all swell guys.  Later was a Smiths night at The Catalyst with Deanna and her crew, considerably more crowded this time, with lots of beautiful folks.  It ended up being a sunny weekend, and I hit the Haight with Shel, got to lay out in the sun at some point (maybe my last opportunity this year?), and got an Olive Garden fix with Jamie.  Then last weekend was a bit more tame.  I saw the Music Lovers with Sus (and I think I liked them better this time).  Starla gave me a tour of the lake’s boat house area which I’d never seen in all my years here.  I think that was about it maybe?

Now this time, I fashioned myself a five-day weekend which is now just a day away from over.  But I think I’ve made good use of it.  On a rare weekday off, I got a haircut and made it out to Savor for a rainy day lunch.  On Thanksgiving, I had a nice brunch with Majik and Booty.  The Popscene show went well.  To be honest, I was dreading it somewhat based mostly on the venue, but in the last year they’ve done some big remodelling.  There’s now a green room with a private bathroom.  Me gusta.

I’m always left feeling strange after a Popscene show.  It’s an 18+ place, and they play all this cutting edge indie stuff.  I feel a bit out of place on that dance floor.  The way they all dress.  The songs that excite them.  I feel way out of touch.  Like maybe I’m about five years past my “use by” date.  So sorry hordes upon hordes of young Popscene girls clawing at me, as usual.  I’m afraid we don’t speak the same language.  Hey nineteen!

Speaking of being out of touch, am I the last person on earth to hear about the “massive” popularity of the ambigram tattoo?  Apparently, this is all the rage.  The real question is, does anyone I know have one?  Come on… fess up!  Check out this one from NastyBasty:

I forgot how heavy all my gear is.  When do we start getting roadies?  I woke up pretty sore yesterday after the show.  Fortunately, I went to SC for some R&R with my mar and par… and some other family members.  Had a day-late Thanksgiving complete with Tofurky, which got generally good reviews from all involved.  My two-year-old niece wore me out completely.  It’s like they put new batteries in her right before I come over.

So anyway yeah, it’s been a busy few weeks, mostly positive.  As for the bad news, there’s been plenty of that too.  Mitch Mitchell, one of my favorite drummers of all time, died recently as well.  The economy’s taking a shit of course, and it’s already been affecting those around me.  I’ve had friends and family losing jobs, and even the husband of a former manager was killed by a deranged employee, very tragically.

If there’s any good news on the economic front, it’s that gas prices are literally half of what they were a few months ago.  Seriously, it was under $2 a gallon over here this weekend.  So for reasons unknown, OPEC has spent the last year sitting pretty while oil prices went through the roof to record highs, and how does America respond?  We basically tell them to shove it, and demand falls off drastically.  Now, the OPEC cartel is scrambling trying figure out how to keep oil prices from falling and with little hope of succeeding.  This pleases me.

In other economic news, I didn’t have much success doing my duty as an American and buying myself a bunch of shit on Black Friday.  But I did do a little shopping, and when I was looking at t-shirts, I came across some fantastic band names that are worth mentioning.  Now, I don’t know any of their music, and in all likelihood, I’d hate it.  But I have to give credit where credit is due…

  • F Minus
  • Circle Takes The Square (as in Hollywood Squares?)
  • Acoustic Ladyland (an acoustic Jimi Hendrix tribute?)
  • The Ducky Boys (tell me this is a Wanderers reference)
  • The Red Chord
  • Guitarshop Asshole (as a guitarshop patron, this is by far the best one)

Well shit.  I was all amped to go out tonight and make use of my Saturday night, but I’ve been feeling crappy since I got home today.  I hope things turn around, but it’s getting later, and I don’t feel any better.  Blech!

The quote of the week comes from a bumper sticker I saw the other day, and it reminds me very much of a certain drummer’s girlfriend…

“It was on fire when I got here.”

K.I.T. Have a cool summer!

16 June 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:  sore

Fuckin’ balls.  Well it looks like the summer solstice is coming up this week.  It seems like the days were just getting longer, and already they’re going to start getting shorter again.  Oh well, the summer’s not nearly over.  There’s still plenty of time for Ocean Beach bonfires and Great America.  Assuming we can get our asses in gear and actually follow through on plans.

The last week’s been pretty uneventful (and yet I’m going to bore you with it anyway!).  I had a nice dinner with Jen in North Beach, and made it over to Cafe Divine to catch Craig Ventresco again.  I’m telling you, that guy is amazing, and the food and wine at this place is great too.  I highly recommend stopping in there sometime.  I caught the very creepy new release “The Happening” with Jamie the other night. Not quite what I expected, and left me with some disturbing images to carry around with me for a while.  I did manage to get up in time for a 9am breakfast on the beach with one of my favorite old co-workers on Saturday morning.  In the consulting world, I dealt with an ever-changing cast, so it’s always nice to see a familiar face from the past, particularly since I keep in touch with so few of them.  And he’s such a hoot… you may remember him as my partner in crime when I was stuck in Denver a couple years back.  Good times.

This is a guy does not own a car, but just bought a full 9-foot Steinway D Concert Grand piano.  That’s roughly a $140,000 instrument.  How can you not admire the balls that takes?  And to my (limited) knowledge, this is not a frivolous purchase he could make without flinching.  I hope that if and when I am ever in a position to make an investment of that magnitude, I can summon that kind of creativity and chutzpah.

Last night, I randomly came across this cat site, which in itself is not all that funny, but it led me both to the phenomenon called “LOLCats” as well as to this image.  Which will mean nothing to some of you, but will strike a chord with males roughly my age.  Magnificent!

Speaking of random sites, you know I still get email to my old site.  With a very few exceptions, I haven’t updated it for years.  But once in a while, I’ll go through it just for old time’s sake and God damn, I forgot how clever I used to be.  There’s some funny stuff out there, and apparently I used to be halfway decent at Flash and Photoshop.  I’m afraid those days are gone.  But it’s nice to look back on what I was capable of once upon a time.  Before I got old.

And speaking of old, we are less than two weeks away from my first annual 29th birthday.  Egads!

Last week, another Smiths tribute called “Los Esmiths” was in town from Calexico.  They opened up for Japanese Baby here in SF, and I went to check them out, along with Sus, Shel, and Deanna.  Ran into a few other locals including Bunnyman and Cary.  Los Esmiths did a good job, and it was interesting to see their take on some of that stuff.  Nice guys, too.  Singer probably has the best Moz hair of any tribute operating today.

The quote of the week comes from Dylan Bunnyman that very night, with this unsolicited and to-the-point comment on the between-bands DJ.  One of my favorite criticisms, maybe ever:

“Whoever’s picking these songs must really hate music.”

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 “”), 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…

Never Gonna Give You Up

3 April 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:  sore

Note: This one turned out to be really long.  I know not why.  But if you really loved me, you’d read it all anyway.  Every last word.

We’re a couple days past April Fool’s Day, but were any of you affected by the phenomenon known as getting “Rick Rolled?”  I didn’t dig too deeply into it, but I guess the website explains it best.  The gist of it is that you send a link to someone under the pretense that it’s a link to something else, when in fact it’s a link to a Rick Astley video.  The goal is to lead people to a Rick video against their will.  How bizarre is that?  But apparently it’s catching on and was all the rage this week for April 1st.  Well, if you’re going to do something like that, who better than Rick Astley, right?

Last week was Louder Than Bombs.  It was a big crowd, presumably for Gary Day (you sycophantic slags!).  It was great to see everyone and loosen up a bit.  By the end of the night, I was getting pretty tired, and I think I fell asleep in one of the Beauty Bar’s hair dryer chairs.  Actually, Christ… there’s probably a picture of that on someone’s camera.  Thank you for not sharing.  Then Friday, I ended up seeing a Western swing band at the Knockout with Orlando.  It was a really interesting crowd.  There were a lot of rockabilly (?) kids around my age, tattooed and all, but dressed more like Calamity Jane than like 1950’s teenagers.  The girls all had button up shirts, skirts, and cowboy boots.  The guys had button up shirts tucked into their jeans.  Very clean cut.  Looked like nice Southern boys from the 60’s.  Monica informs me that this is not uncommon in SoCal.  This same bar apparently has a monthly doo wop night.  Anyone interested?  I wonder what that crowd will be like?  Just think about all these groups of good people in the city that I never even knew about!

OK, so then Saturday was the Phenomenauts and the Lovemakers at Slim’s.  The Phenomenauts were great as usual, but it was an all ages show.  Lots of teens there who don’t have “show etiquette” yet.  Bumping into you and pushing past you rudely.  Generally loud and obnoxious, etc.  They all seemed to know the words to the Phenomenauts songs, so I guess there’s a big following there.  The Lovemakers were one of the opening bands… not in top form though.  They were visibly irate and defeated.  Losing that record deal has been quite humbling for them it seems.  For some reason, they had to do their soundcheck in front of the crowd immediately before their set.  The usual Flashdance water antics were augmented with some playful (?) splashing of each other that looked like it might just as easily been mean-spirited.  I couldn’t tell if they were actually having a passive/agressive fight on stage?  And with no keyboardist this time, there were a lot of things sequenced, which I wasn’t a big fan of.

Later that night someone destroyed one of my car’s sideview mirrors while it was parked and dining at Sparky’s with Shel.  I just got it fixed today and it’s fine, but it was some time and deductible money out of my pocket.  Thanks, dick.  On Sunday, I was planning on going to a surf show at that tiki bar in Alameda, but there was a ton of traffic leaving the city… then I heard there was a line out the door at the show, so I just stayed in the city and skipped it.

I feel a rant coming on… I apologize in advance.

I have spent ridiculous amounts of time and energy working out Smiths songs lately.  I think I mentioned before that Peter and I went back and forth on “This Charming Man” but eventually settled it?  Yeah, we had several more conversations about it, and I think all told I spent four consecutive nights playing guitar from the time I got home till the time I went to bed, working mostly on that song, occasionally ringing Peter for a conference call.  In the end, I am very happy with what was decided on, and I’m confident it is closer to what Johnny played than anyone else I’ve ever heard, tribute band or otherwise (and yes I occasionally take a peek at what the other tribs are up to).  And sad to say, there is only one tribute band guitarist out there who is even close, and it’s the guy from “These Charming Men” in Ireland.  Kudos to you guys.  Though I didn’t make it to the convention last weekend, I heard good things, and your YouTube videos, by and large, are ace.  Your guitarist is my new competition.

As for the other tributes, and even the solo guys on YouTube who are supposedly putting on a clinic for how to play this stuff… whatever else you think you have going for you, it does not include the correct “This Charming Man” guitar line.  Bitches.  (God, I’m an asshole.  Sorry.)  OK, so is it totally pathetic to be competitive in a tribute band?  I guess maybe it is, but the Smiths to me are a special case.  This music deserves the utmost reverence, and playing it half-assed is blasphemous.

The sad part about that is that realistically, no one will notice or care.  I’ve spent all this time lately revisiting the songs I thought for years I already knew, and finding parts I’d missed, changing this or that note, and improving on what and how I play.  I’m re-learning all this stuff!  And after all is said and done, there are three people on the planet who would even hear the difference: me, Peter, and Johnny Marr himself.  But hell, it’s fun I guess.  You know, over and over again, as the pieces fall into place and the bigger picture of what’s going on musically in a given Smiths song becomes clear, there is always that “ah ha” moment where you’ve finally sussed out what Johnny Marr was doing, and you think “oh Johnny, I got you, you sneaky bastard!”  Of course, you’re always wrong because there is always more to learn.  Always.  You seriously never have one of these songs figured out completely.  (And if you’re a non-Smiths fan guitarist reading this and thinking “it can’t be that hard,” I defy you to figure out This Charming Man or say The Headmaster Ritual.  It’s like WWII codebreaking.)  Anyway, that might make a good tattoo someday.  Just that phrase.  “Oh Johnny, you bastard.”  Although I suppose I’d spend a lot of my life explaining it to people.

It’s getting late.  As I re-read those last few paragraphs, I sound absolutely insane.  I will probably regret writing them in the morning.

Well at least I got my guitar.  Meet “Goldielicks,” of the Les Paul variety.  It’s heavy as fuck, with a thick 50’s profile neck… frankly, it’s just a whole lotta mahogany to strap around your shoulder.  But I spent a couple hours in the studio with it tonight, and it sounds amazing.  I guess it’s those pickups, but the full frequency spectrum is represented beautifully.  That separation and punchiness made it sound almost in stereo on its own.  It may not be my go-to for the more fleet-fingered arpeggiated stuff, but it’s definitely gonna add some serious balls to the overdriven numbers.  It is, as Wally might say, the mutt’s nuts.  Look for its debut soon!

So remember last time I was talking about the Johnny Cash cover of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” that I got stuck in my head?  Well when I was looking for that video, look what I found!  I started by just seeing this video (which it’s not going to let me embed unfortunately) but I appear to be the only one who’s never heard of Ysabella Brave?  Turns out she’s a YouTube phenomenon that got so much traffic and attention with her singing that a record label picked her up!  Holy moly… watch that video.  Smoking hot.  If any of you SoCal friends of mine know her, I command you to fess up!

On TV the other morning as I was getting ready for work, I saw a story/interview on a group called “Rescue Ink” which is apparently a group of tough biker types that go around fighting animal abuse.  And I guess when necessary, they resort to unorthodoxed methods of getting their point across.  I love the idea, but visiting their very polished website, I wonder how much of this is just publicity and show.  What’s the angle, I wonder?  According to the site, they’re all from the streets so they know how to operate in the streets.  And most of them are strict vegetarians too.  It just occured to me… I bet they’re trying to position themselves to get picked up for a reality show… fill “Dog, The Bounty Hunter’s” shoes maybe?  Well, they’re half way there — they have the fancy website and the professional photos.  I hope they don’t turn out to be fakes.

So kiddies… it’s almost the weekend.  This means two things.  First off, Saturday is Jamie’s birthday… so go wish her a happy birthday, bitches!  Second, New Wave City is happening on Saturday night, and though it’s supposed to be a Smiths tribute night, I think we both know they’re just gonna play whatever the fuck they want and it will not include any more Smiths than usual… but everyone’s gonna be there, and really what else is there to do?  See you there!

And finally, today I ran across maybe the best Smiths bootleg video I have ever seen on YouTube.  Check it out — you will be astounded!

Morrissey’s New Video, featuring… me?

18 January 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:  drained

So Morrissey’s video for the upcoming new single “That’s How People Grow Up” is culled from footage of last year’s Hollywood Bowl show.  Sus, Nick, and I were right near the front, and so my head is all over the place in this video.  It hasn’t been confirmed yet if this is the song’s official video, but if it is, we have been immortalized in the Morrissey catalog.

Morrissey – That’s How People Grow Up

Last night, I met a friend for dinner in Berkeley.  An old PeopleSoft buddy.  Lives out in Oregon, married to another friend of mine.  Experiences like this inevitably make me reflective… of things like how easy it is to lose track of people, and how much different peoples’ lives can diverge.  I feel like my life these days — the person I am today — is just miles away from the “me” of three years ago.  And of six years ago.  More and more, I’m learning that there just isn’t enough time.  There isn’t enough time to keep in touch with all the people you’d meant to.  There isn’t enough time to achieve all the things you wanted from life.  There isn’t time to excel in your career the way you’d wanted, and exercise like you know you should, and take those lessons you’d been meaning to, and write the next great American novel, and be the father/uncle/son you should be, and the boyfriend you should be.  And beyond this grand “to do” list of life goals and dreams and responsibilities, I have a literal “to do” list that I’m constantly working through.  Some things on that list are as simple as a quick note about something I want to mention in a blog, or a band I want to look up, or maybe more complex like a song I want to write, a friend I want to call and catch up with.  I add at least twice as many things to this list every day as I cross off.  I am slowly accepting that I will never finish my “to do” list.  It’s a constant process of doing what I have to to get through today and watching other things push further down the list until I forget about them altogether.  I have no choice but to prioritize and try to get the most bang for my proverbial buck, and sometimes important things… people… move down my list.  And disappear.  And before I know it, I’m having dinner with an old friend whom I’ve talked to maybe three times in the three years since he moved away.  And I’m making my niece’s weekend because for the first time in her life, I’m going to attend one of her birthdays… her eighth.  And I’m remembering I forgot to call Jared last weekend.  And I’m remembering that I forgot to call Mom last night like I promised.  And I still haven’t made plans with that childhood best friend that I recently reconnected with after 15+ years of no contact.  And I haven’t responded to the mounting emails from old friends and coworkers that have sat in my inbox for weeks.  And every day, that list gets a little longer, and my memory a little shorter.  (UPDATE: To further illustrate my point, I found out today — Saturday — that it was actually my niece’s ninth birthday.  Oh, and mom is in the hospital.  Don’t worry, she’s OK, and it had nothing to do with me forgetting to call her.  But holy shit, I am a bad person.)

Sorry, that ended up getting a lot heavier than I had planned.  Changing gears… but with all of that in mind, I returned to the city last night and went out to Louder Than Bombs with Sus, Shel, Orlando, Colin, and a host of other local scene characters.  Going out on a weeknight always sounds like a bad idea to me, and there are downsides of course, but for some reason, LTB has been good to me.  Alcohol has something to do with it.  I had only three drinks last night, but it was enough to make me almost sick, so you can imagine I was flying.  I remember singing loudly along to every song they played from the moment I arrived to the moment I left.  Dancing with friends, making new friends, whipping flowers around, making conversation with complete strangers, and completely forgetting the world outside that room for a few hours.  It felt right.  But after Sparky’s with Shel and Orlie, I got to bed around 4am.  And was up in time for work.  So almost no sleep and a mild hangover were my reminders of why weeknights suck to go out.  But in this case, it was worth it.

I’m glad this week is over, kiddies.  It’s been busy, but gloomy.  Things started out miserable, but got better near the end.  Hopefully that trend will continue.  And last night went a long way towards improving my disposition.  The weekend should be interesting… nieces’ birthdays, maybe go out tomorrow night, and SATH is in town.  I may actually catch their show on Sunday, if for no other reason than to remind myself why what TCB does is necessary.

Though there were many contenders, the quote of the week actually comes from a ~3 year old boy in my complex’s elevator tonight.  He was with his mom, and he babbled something to her in a foreign language I didn’t recognize.  They exchanged a few more words and she laughed.  She tells me:

“He says he likes your hair.”

… in which I try to catch up on the last month.

28 December 2007

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:  focused

I’ve let way too much time go by, and I once again find myself trying to cram a ton of stuff into one blog.  I will surely (and sadly) forget some things.  If you know of anything I forgot, please chime in.

First off, after battling a nasty flu, I’m back in action.  I’m still dealing with fatigue, but otherwise, I’m fine.  This was the sickest I’ve been in years.

Christmas was nice… got to visit with the family and see the cute baby neice.  I got some very thoughtful gifts from friends and family.  Jared was in town for a few days, so I got to catch up with him a couple of times at Savor, and both times we had wait staff that worked there back when we were in the neighborhood!  A few weeks back, Jamie and I made it out to Union Square to see the big tree with Sean and Anna.  I did what shopping I had to do and dealt with the same madhouses of crazed shoppers that I’m sure you all did.  But I survived.  We all did.

I bought my first set of dinnerware and flatware.  Black and white and beautiful.  The last strands of my youth slipping away.

On the movie front, I know I’ve seen a lot lately, but the ones I’m recalling… let’s see… I saw “I’m Not There” about Bob Dylan.  Very bizarre.  I liked it, but I couldn’t help but feel that I wasn’t getting a lot of the stylized metaphors in there because I simply didn’t live through Dylan’s prime time, and I don’t have the cultural context.  I watched “Hot Fuzz” which was a great, and also the very moving “New York Doll” documentary about Arthur Kane.

I can’t decide which shirt is cooler… the Slayer-style A.C. Slater shirt, or the Storm Shadow costume shirt.  Actually no, Storm Shadow wins.  In fact, let’s get one thing absolutely fucking straight.  After age 12, the most important thing in my life was music.  But before age 12, it was without question G.I. Joe.  And I haven’t forgotten that.  By the way, both shirts available at Stylin’ Online.

Recently, I saw Imperial Teen again, this time at the Independent… they were fun, but a little sloppy compared to when I saw them last.  And Jamie and I checked out local country stars Red Meat at a little surf bar in the Sunset called Riptide.  It was a Christmas show.  Interesting crowd, interesting show.  Very much a neighborhood place.

I had wanted to see the Reverend Horton Heat the other night, but like an idiot, I waited to get tickets and it sold out.  I looked around on Craig’s List, StubHub, etc., but the tix were just out of reach.  No me gusta anyone enough to pay $160 per ticket.  I should have just bought tix right away because I could have always sold them if we ended up not going.  Lesson learned.  🙁

Scalpers fucking drive me nuts.  If I had bought as many Social D tix as I could afford that day a while back when I got just the pair I needed, I could have doubled or tripled my money.  Which would be unethical, but still.  It irks me so much that those “ticket brokers” buy up tickets so fast and then immediately turn around to try to make a (huge) profit.  The band doesn’t see any of that money of course, and it just hurts their fans.  They’re total leeches.  If I were in a national touring act, I would do everything in my power to prevent scalpers from making money off my tickets and fans.  It’s a fucking shameful way to make a living.

For the record, “affordable” tickets did start showing up on Craig’s List the day before the show, as some real people realized they couldn’t go and just wanted to recup the money they paid themselves.  But by that time, I had other plans.  Too bad…

Shit, I’ve already run out of things to say.  I know more has happened, but I can’t recall it.  This is the price I pay for not religiously documenting things here on MySpace.  Less than a month later, I’ve forgotten weeks of my life.  And in the years to come, when I go back and read this (hello future me!), it will be like December never even happened.  God damn it.

Oh well, to drown my sorrows, a video that Jessica will appreciate more than anyone else on the planet.  The Johnny Marr guitar break kills me!

CONVERSION NOTICE: At the time of me converting this entry from MySpace, it seems whoever made this video has closed their YouTube account, and I can’t find another copy of it anywhere.  As I recall, it was a bunch of footage of The Sims game edited to be a music video for The Smiths’ “Sheila Take A Bow.”  The part I referred to above had a little Sims character of Johnny Marr playing guitar and stomping to the beat.  So sad this video is gone!  🙁

So I guess Moz has signed a record deal and will be releasing some sort of new greatest hits compilation… which will be interesting mainly because it will include two new recordings: “That’s How People Grow Up” and “All You Need Is Me.”  I believe the former is slated to be a new single as well.  I also believe that this particular track was written by Boz Boorer.  Now Alain Whyte’s involvement from a songwriting perspective is unknown for this next album, and of course I love his stuff, but I for one am hoping that this time around, we’ll see some more contributions from Boz!  Let’s not forget he is responsible for three of the absolute best Moz solo songs to date: “Now My Heart Is Full,” the initially overlooked “Jack The Ripper,” and the holiest of holies “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get,” which is the song that introduced me to Moz and the Smiths (by extension) back in 1994.  I owe it all to that awesome Boz hook.  So Edgar and Moz Krew, I have to ask… where is the Boz Krew???  I think I need to make a shirt of my own, mijas.

Speaking of Moz Krew, they are threatening to be on hand for this Saturday’s TCB show at the Red Devil Lounge.  We’ll be supported by Orlando’s Siouxsie & The Banshees tribute “Spellbound.”  In addition, the one competing show in town (The Psychedelic Furs) has been unexpectedly cancelled!  So those 80’s fans that were planning on seeing them, will now be seeing us, naturally!  All you need is us

The past couple of years, I’ve written massive new year’s blogs that were filled with reflection and hope.  I may still do that for this last year, but not just yet.  I’m just too damn busy.  If I don’t get around to it before the eve, Happy New Year, bitches!

A Simple Desultory Philippic (on Modern Art)

28 September 2007

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 shit, it’s been three weeks since I wrote anything in here.  I can’t think of a good excuse.

Before I go into my typical excursive stream of life’s recent highlights, can I just say that I fucking love Wikipedia?  Just look what I found there.  And in the many branches my surfing took from that point, I learned the answer to one of the biggest questions that plagued my youth… what is Bastian’s mother’s name!?  You remember at the end of The Never Ending Story how he calls her name out the window, but it’s loud and you can’t tell what he says?  My friends and I agonized over this question every time we saw the movie.  It turns out, the name that he screams into the night is “Moonchild.”  As I type that, I can feel an ancient weight lifted off of my spiritual shoulders.

OK, too much time has passed, so you get the Cliff’s Notes version… that Monterey weekend from my last entry also happened to be Anna’s birthday weekend which we celebrated with a birthday brunch at the St. Francis and I believe some Mitchell’s.  Later that week, I caught my old friend Danny’s surf quartet The TomorrowMen at our old standby Ireland’s 32.  I met up there with Jamie whom I hadn’t seen in a while, and we got to catch up.  That weekend, I spent a night with my folks and had a memorial service for my grandfather with our extended family.  I drove from there out to Fresno for our Club Fred show.  The hotel this time around was much nicer.  I had time to get cleaned up (and watch The Lake House) before showing up for soundcheck.  We (most of the band, band girlfriends, and Sus/Shel) all grabbed pizza nearby and for the first time in a long time, we were all together again like old times.  My favorite times with this band were those early days when we used to all hang out together before and after shows.  Nowadays, it’s hard to get everyone in the same room together, but the stars aligned that nght, and we had a great show.  The booker had done a ton of promo, and we sold the place out.  I got to meet Blanca in person.  Once again, the crowd there was a lot of fun… Club Fred is actually one of my favorite places to play for some reason.  Fresno… who knew?

That next week was Sus’ birthday which involved earth tones and ice cream cake.  Louder Than Bombs (the Smiths/Moz SF club night) had a special event that included former Moz bassist and present guest DJ: the very married Gary Day.  I didn’t chat with him too much, but Sus introduced me and I shook his hand.  It wasn’t the same as having a conversation with and receiving a drunken voicemail from Boz, or playing “Suedehead” alongside Alain Whyte at a Hollywood club, or having Morrissey hand me the microphone in Stockton… but technically I still met Gary, so I guess that completes the set.  Most of these are due in part or in whole to Sus, so thanks Sus!  Saturday we had our big show at Bimbo’s.  Not our usual crowd (Marina types), but I think we won them over judging by the fact that we had a full dancefloor by the time we finished.  It’s an awesome venue… I’d like to play there again sometime, but headlining so we have a room full of Smiths fans.  The rest of my recollection of that night involves Sparky’s and Jamie serving me an unfortunate room-temperature rasberry vodka cocktail.  Were I not so engaged in watching La Bamba, I might have been sick.

I went to the first and the last of last week’s four Morrissey Fillmore shows.  Last Sunday, I drove all the way to the Fillmore before realizing I had forgotten my ticket at home.  So that was a fun hour I spent going all the way home and back again.  But the show was good despite unusually low energy from the band.  Got a poster.  Then on Thursday, I was treated to some unexpected songs including “The Loop” and “At Last I Am Born,” both of which blew me away.  At one point, a guy got his little kid on stage, and Moz danced with him a bit.  There were a few drunken assholes pushing their way around in the crowd.  I saw a lot of people I knew afterwards.  Got another poster.  Looking forward to the Palladium on 10/13.

This week I saw “Across The Universe” which I guess is sort of like Moulin Rouge, but set in the 60’s and using all Beatles tunes.  Not quite what I was expecting, but it was pretty good.  I am not a huge Beatles fan, but listening to cast members combine for a six-part harmony on some acapella Beatles songs, well it gave me a whole new respect for the complexity of some of the things John and Paul created.

I promised updates, so I should mention that the spaghetti band is picking up, and I’ve taken on some vocals.  So far I think things are sounding pretty good, and it’s becoming more real every week.

You may recall that a while back, I was excited to hear of the Van Halen / David Lee Roth reunion coming up, and how I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Well they’re playing the Bay Area twice around 12/22, and tickets are around $150.  Sorry, I love you guys, but not enough to spend a buck-fifty just to watch you from the bleachers at some vast arena.

I think I invented a word the other day.  “Besnorkeled,” which is of course the state of wearing a snorkel.  If you’re curious, it came up in the context of a conversation I had with Orlando about possible improvements to our House Of Blues flyer.  I will use it in a sentence: “Our idea was to Photoshop in my besnorkeled head emerging from Rock Hudson’s suds.”

Today at work we had a team outing to the SF MOMA.  It was… provocative… impossible… subversive… obscene!  I really do love going there, though I must admit that I just don’t “get” a lot of it.  I saw a pile of denim jeans that filled up a room.  I saw a car made of ice, stored in a giant walk-in freezer kept at 8-degrees Fahrenheit.  I saw a plain white canvas and thought, “wait am I on Punk’d right now?”  I was literally living the stereotypical modern art gallery experience from the movies where there’s a giant white canvas with a single black dot and the main character doesn’t understand.  I saw a simple neon lamp, available at your local Walgreens, nailed to the wall and called “art.”  After much discussion with my coworkers, we decided that it’s not the actual skill of creating the art usually, but rather the art of coming up with a good explanation for why these ordinary or simple items and artifacts are art.  Usually there’s an explanation from the artist that let’s you look at the piece from a certain perspective that actually does usually give it a meaning.  Which are sometimes provocative… things that make you revealuate your accepted concepts of what art is or isn’t.  So again, the “art” itself may just be an ordinary lamp, but framed in the context that the artist provides, there is a weight to it.  Art snobs who might be reading this, am I on the right path here?  Is that the secret?  Did I just solve the puzzle of modern art?  The overall experience was way worth it though, as always.  My personal favorites included a large empty room with a fog machine going, and planes of light shining through the fog to make a “tunnel” of light… it was unlike anything I’ve seen.  Another was the room filled with monchromatic light, so that everyone in there looked basically black and white.  Also known to me as the “streetlight effect.”

Did I mention I love Wikipedia?  I mean, look at this.  Absolutely amazing.

OK, that’s enough.  I have shit to do tonight, you know.

Welcome to my life, Tattoo.

20 August 2007

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: drained

We’ve a long time together, me and you.

So, I finally took the time to do it.  As I had expected, it wasn’t really painful at all.  The whole hassle just involves taking care of it.  Which requires consorting with my old nemesis: lotion.  So far, so good though.  For you who care about such details: it was done by Tiffany at Black And Blue Tattoo, took about 45 minutes, and cost me $100.  She was awesome, and I have no complaints.  I designed it myself and brought in the printout, so I guess it was more of a “tracing” job, if that makes a difference?

In addition to that major event, the weekend in general was a lot of fun.  Friday night I met up with Amy and then Shel/Sus and some other folks for a big sushi dinner, followed by Orlando’s new band’s debut show (this is Spellbound, his Siouxsie tribute).  They were entertaining, though you may recall that I am not a Siouxsie fan.  But I wanted to make a supportive effort, so I did take the time today and go back and listen to her stuff on CD again, and if I’m being totally fair here, I think I am now at least a fan of the song “Israel” thanks to Orlie’s part on that one.

Miss Amy and I spent all of Saturday bumming around the Mission.  Eating good food and getting tattooed.  Today I met up with the folks for lunch.  I went with Sus last minute to see The Puppini Sisters tonight at Bimbo’s.  I hadn’t really heard anything about them, but it turns out they’re serious 1940’s revivalist vocalists.  Think “Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…” type stuff.  They were great at what they did.  Sounded really authentic to me.  And of course there were the very unexpected (at least by me) covers of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” and, believe it or not, The Smiths’ “Panic.”  All in that same style.  San Francisco delivers again (by way of London) a unique night of off-the-beaten-path entertainment.  I actually left early… I was exhausted and (forgive me Sus) losing interest in the show.  But I’m definitely glad I went!

Something did strike me there though… besides the several old and dorky-looking but talented swing dancers (not all swing dancers are old and dorky-looking, but these ones were), the vast majority of the crowd were the kind of folks I used to see at Little Minsky’s.  Total 1940’s revivalist types.  The girls were decked out in all the period-correct hairstyles and dresses.  The guys were all in suits and fedoras.  There were many guys dressed up in fancy World War II uniforms.  And as Nick once pointed out a while back, some of them even talk like 1940’s movie characters, e.g. “Say mack, what’s the big idea?”  And they say it in the tone of voice old movie actors used.  Sorry gents, I’m pretty sure people in the 40’s didn’t talk that way in real life, but what do I know?  Anyway, the whole scene reminded me of a Star Trek convention.  Albeit a much hipper one.  Here’s a group of grown men and women dressing up in costumes, almost in character, and acting as though the last 60 years haven’t happened yet.  Do you think they’d see the parallel?  Something tells me not.  Something tells me these swing kids would turn their noses up at Star Trek… and then turn around and Charleston their legs down to the knees to “Mr. Sandman.”

While those guys are busy resurrecting the 1940’s, I’m doing my best to (I realize now totally hypocritically) resurrect the 1840’s!  I met up with the potential members of my fledgling spaghetti western band tonight.  There are a lot of promising guys in the mix… some hacks like me and some ultra-pro jazz types.  Once we get going, we should have something worth hearing.  Or at least that’s the plan.

And finally, did you all hear that Moz has been confirmed for those four nights at the Fillmore next month, not to mention like ten consecutive L.A. shows (one of which sadly falls on the same night as our House Of Blues show)?  I will be at the Fillmore all four of those nights.  Will you?

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