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Current Mood: 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:
- A 2010 monthly calendar for my wall at work. The theme of 2008 was bulldogs, and 2009 was wildlife. 2010? You tell me, Santa.
- 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.
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.”