Sunday, April 19, 2009


Coachella was about two things for me:

1. Sir Paul McCartney
2. Other Stuff

I've already waxed on about how Macca stole the show, from loving tributes to Linda (on the 11th anniversary of her death) to the fireworks spectacular of "Live And Let Die" to thousands of people singing "Hey Jude" in perfect unison, but in the category of "Other Stuff," we have:

- M.I.A. (well, mostly her dancers and Rye Rye, who was thankfully there to pick up the rap slack left by M.I.A.'s underperformance)
- Hipster craptards who spent the entire day in the VIP area drinking, admiring one another, and waiting for Jared Leto to sulk by, instead of actually checking out bands
- Horn section from Antibalas + Tunde's badass Latin shuffle = another great TVOTR performance
- Peeing in an air conditioned bathroom behind the stage, only to emerge into a delicious photo op with Kanye "Fishsticks" West
- Getting a contact high at the Fleet Foxes show
- 10pm pizza salvation


When Tanya and I checked in to the Hilton Garden Inn in arid, beige, geriatric Hidden Valley Rancho Mirage, California, we were told that our room was given away due to our checking in a day late (never mind the fact that management okayed the late check-in). We sulked, we pleaded, we finally got a room. Before we left the front desk with our hard-won room keys, Snarky Front Desk Guy slipped us each a small grey bag that said "Welcome." He kind of smirked and half-winked and sent us on our way.

When we arrived in the room, it was a suite...with one bed. There was certainly a pull-out couch, but considering it was upholstered with slippery old-man-polyester circa 1972, we thought it wise to ask for a room with two beds, instead. Snarky Front Desk Guy said that the hotel was booked solid, and shooed me off. I sulked back, buoyed only by the promise of Macca later in the evening...and the "Welcome" bag of free stuff. You know how much I like free stuff.

Tanya peeks in hers - "Eh. Coupons." I look in, shampoo/conditioner samples, ponytail holders, Aleve, Pepcid AC, and...

What? No. What?? Noooo. What???

....Silky Glide K-Y Jelly. For Her Pleasure.

Needless to say, upon checkout, we both left our samples for the housekeeping staff.

The next day, Tanya and I hopped into Ruby to pick up Cornflake and head over to the festival. While admiring the relative non-tackiness of Cornflake's room, we saw a menu of spa options for Spa Esmerelda. Curious, we opened it...and then saw this offering:

Experience this romantic treatment in the spa garden and enjoy the warm desert sun, flowering gardens, and the soothing sound of cascading water. Your therapists will prepare a private bath of herbal elixir to soothe. While soaking, you and your partner will be able to "play in the mud" with an interactive facial mask. Your treatment sanctuary will be adorned with rose petals as you enjoy an aromatic massage.

Two questions immediately arose:

1) How exactly will you and your partner "play in the mud?" Why is "play in the mud" in quotation marks? Is the massage therapist hanging out with you? In the mud? "Playing?" Is "playing" just a euphemism for "sexing?"

2) What exactly is an "interactive facial mask?" While you're "playing," are you using your pointer finger to trace funny things in your partner's facial mask? Is the therapist tickling you while you have the mask on?

I think that my friends who went to the Michael Jackson auction exhibit today were less creeped out than I was after reading that.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Ridiculous Amount Of Time It Took Me To Get Home From Culver City At Noon Today: 50 minutes

Ridiculous Amount Of Time It Took Me To Drive From My House To Just East Of Palm Springs Today: 4 hours

Artists I Wanted To See At Coachella But Missed Because Of Said Traffic And Also Because The Stupid Hotel Totally Screwed Up Our Reservation And Wasted Thirty Precious Minutes Of Our Time: The Black Keys, Leonard Cohen

(Supposedly) Gay Celibate Husband I Finally Got To See Perform For The First Time And During Whose Performance I May Have Immaculately Conceived Said GCH's Baby By Way Of Osmosis: Morrissey

Reason All That Driving And Shit Was Worth It: Paul McCartney

I wasn't even going to come out to the desert at all (keywords: desert, dry, hot, people on drugs flailing around with glowsticks), but then tickets and super VIP passes magically worked their way into my paws and I couldn't say no. Tanya and I piled into ole Ruby and crawled across the 10, only to arrive at our hotel and find out that they gave our room away due to some front desk misunderstanding/malfunction.

We missed the Black Keys, and we arrived just in time to catch a few Leonard Cohen songs. What I did hear was deep and dark, and did nothing to belie his 73 years. Break it on down, brotha!

Then on to the main stage for Moz, a man I've pined for since the Smiths served as part of my high school trifecta of mopedom. My impressions, you ask?

a) Morrissey is one hot bastard
b) His voice is still panty-droppingly torchified
c) Multiply that by 20

The only odd moment for me? When he started pinching his nose and grimacing and cutting short lines to his songs, explaining, "I can smell burning flesh, and I hope to God it's human."

Dude, I know you're a veggie, but a) that was creepy, and b) have you never performed in a festival setting before where there's meat a-cookin'?

He ducked offstage, presumably to vomit, then returned and said, "The smell of burning animals is making me sick; I just couldn't bear it," then proceeded to swagger around, grimacing a bit. It totally unsexed the whole thing for me...and oddly, caused me to crave an In N Out Burger, plain, protein-style.

But Paul, OH PAUL!
If you've never seen Paul McCartney live - which I haven't, until tonight - you MUST. He is the consummate performer, he has a catalogue spanning over 40 years (and he performs songs from across the spectrum), and his band kicked all of the ass.

Ok, and there were fireworks. Fireworks always win in my book.

But really - Paul McCartney? PAUL MCCARTNEY?


I must admit that I kind of wrote him off in the "old guy milking his iconic status for dollars" category, but tonight - all three hours, three encores of it - proved me entirely wrong. His performance was simply the best rock show I've ever seen. EVER.

I just want to hug Paul McCartney and never let go.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


When I think of Ryan Gosling, my mind naturally darts to The Notebook - not because I have some sort of estrogen-wired theatrical hard-on for chick flicks (I don't), but because I met him on the set of that movie.

I answered an open call listed in the Charleston City Paper, and though I had to pass up the opportunity to be cast as Nurse due to a work conflict, I was later granted the meaty roles of Moviegoer, Soldier's Girlfriend, and my pièce de résistance, Swing Dancer.

Yes, Swing Dancer.
You had no idea that I could swing dance?
Oh...that's because I CAN'T.

I was on set one day, preparing to channel the inner-workings of Carnival Girl's soul, when the casting director started pointing at me, then walked over to me, followed by director Nick Cassavetes.

Casting Director: We like your look. Can you shag*?
Dumb Me: No.
Nick Cassavetes: Well, can you swing dance?
Quickly Wisened Up Me: YES!

* If you're not familiar, shag is a type of dance popular in the Carolinas (esp. mid-century), popularized by the most awesome Phoebe Cates vehicle of the same name

And so I found myself wearing half-size too small shoes from the 40's, working with an impatient choreographer who assumed I actually knew how to swing dance when I said "Yes" to Nick Cassavetes.

One day, we were rehearsing some very important background dancing for a carnival scene in which the Ryan Gosling character dangles off of a Ferris wheel, trying to get the Rachel McAdams character to take him up on his offer of a date. In between scenes, Ryan planted himself at the side of the stage and worked his way through a cup of ramen noodles.

Shy Stupid "Oh, wow, he's so cute" Me: Oh, ramen noodles! Yum!
Ryan Gosling: Yeah, they're pretty good.
SS"OWHSC"M: Man, I just LOOOOOVE ramen noodles!
RG: Right. It sounds like it. You can get some in the catering tent if you're hungry.

And then I walked away, mortified by the exchange that had just occurred.

I saw Ryan oot and aboot once at a photo show here in L.A., and my gut reaction was, "OH SHIT, that's the guy I orgasmed over ramen noodles to." Then I remembered that I was probably one iota of one speck of his memory, and I slunk away.

Long story short, I'm thinking about Ryan Gosling because he has a band, Dead Man's Bones, with Zach Shields, and they posted a new video just this week, and it's pretty great.

On a visual level, the vid totally appeals to my undying desire that Alfred Hitchcock rise from the Great Beyond and continue making cheeky, yet haunting noir (dream setting: Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery). I keep hoping for a starring role when this film is made, but sadly, ole Hitch probably hasn't seen my epic turn in The Notebook, and also, he's still dead.

On a musical level, the song is a lo-fi, funereal barge of beauty that morphs into a tambourined clap-along folk barbershop revival, then transitions back into a raw tape-rolling, wind blowing twilight lament.

AND it features the children's choir from the Silverlake Music Conservatory. Five outta five stars for this alone.


DEAD MAN'S BONES - "NAME IN STONE" from biz3 publicity on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today I earned the privilege of becoming Headmistress of the School of Stupid Stupids.

I received an unsolicited package in the mail yesterday from I sized it up, gave it a few squeezes, and concluded that it kind of felt like a package of sanitary pads, which would technically make sense coming from, even though I never have and never will order pads from the internets.

Curious, I ripped through the weird mylar baggie envelope-y thing the pad-feeling things were wrapped in and I was pleased to find that inside, it was decidedly NOT pads, but rather a set of photo-coasters that my mom sent.

[My favorite photo-coaster, you ask? The one featuring my lil sister and I sporting our Ralphie For The Modern Era very shiny Candies tracksuit pajama Christmas presents. At the time the photo was taken, my sister put hers on and said, "I feel like a 12-year old Mexican girl." When Kevin saw that particular photo-coaster, he said that she looked like Lady Sovereign. Six or a half dozen, I say.]

Anyways, back to that Headmistress of the School of Stupid Stupids business.

I keep a shredder in my office so that all of those identity thieves prowling the dumpsters outside my apartment can't, you know, steal my identity, and I use it to shred anything with my name and/or address on it. The weird mylar baggie envelope-y thing containing the photo-coasters totally qualified as bearing both.

Before feeding it into the shredder (the 2nd cheapest one available at Target, by the way - I figured the cheapest one wasn't a good idea, but also didn't feel like springing for anything moderately expensive, so 2nd cheapest won out), I paused - should this go in there? Should I just go mental on it with my scissors to prevent identity theft?

No, no, no. The only way to keep my precious personal information private would be to put it in the shredder. I'll just fold it a few times and pass it through.

So I feed it in slowly...and the shredder starts chewing at it...and chewing...sloooooowly...and then I notice a bubble forming at the top of the weird mylar baggie envelope-y thing...and it begins to feed even mooooore sloooooowly....

And then it just stops.

I try reversing. I try using another piece of paper, then an envelope, then a folded-up cover of some magazine I got from Mo's swag bag at SXSW. No dice. This bitch is stuck.

It dawns on me - maybe I shouldn't have stuck a weird mylar baggie envelope-y thing into a paper shredder.

I unplug it and look at the 6 diagrams printed on top of the shredder and decipher their meanings, in order to see if this guy was meant to handle anything other than paper:

- Danger! Warning!
- Don't put babies in here
- Don't high-five the machine while in operation
- Don't put neckties in here
- Don't put 80's hair metal bands in here
- Don't spray paint graffiti on here

Long story short, I ended up sitting on the floor for well over 15 minutes, using a dull pair of scissors to dig out every last stretchy piece of weird mylar baggie envelope-y thing from the shredder's teeth. Eddie Cat Halen watched on in fascination.

If a piece of machinery indicates that you shouldn't feed it babies, neckties, or 80's hair metal bands, you probably shouldn't feed it weird mylar baggie envelope-y things, either.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Local Natives opened the show I attended at Spaceland last night,but due to working late on ye olde podcast and driving around for what seemed like ten hours looking for a parking spot, I missed them.

Thankfully, Laurie saw them and told me how amazing they were, so I checked them out online today and was incredibly disappointed...

...that I missed their damn set yesterday.

I'm sure they get the Fleet Foxian (and possibly even Bon Iverian, during their slower moments) comparisons (sparse songs, harmonizing), but thought I really love both of those artists, Local Natives have something a bit different goin' on - more of a pop sensibility, a bit more flair for the percussively dramatic, and the potential to be anthemic.

NEXT L.A. SHOW: Bordello, Wednesday, April 8 (tix)

This vid is them doing one of their songs ("Airplanes") acoustically in an abandoned floor of a NYC building. Pretty, sparse, haunting, and kinda down home all at the same time...


Sometime the buzz'll gitcha...

And then it will toss you off, half-baked, unsatisfied.

Such is the case with half of tonight's show at Spaceland - a post-SXSW double-bill of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Austin's own White Denim, both highly recommended to me by various friends and hangers-on during (and after) the festival. When Laurie mentioned that she was headed out to see them both tonight, I parted with $12.25 and joined her, stage left, ready to fulfill the promise of palpable, frenzied capital B-U-Z-Z.

Sadly, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were just...good. A quick flip of the ole dictionary will tell you that Good ain't Bad, but it's definitely not Great. I like shoegaze, I like a buzzy synth. I like double-guitar attacks. What I don't like are slightly-too-precious-and-shy twee vocals that are nearly inaudible, and when a band has all the stage presence of my grandma taking a nap.

(Love you, gramma.)

South-By Strikeout, sadly.

But White Denim made up for it with their space-rock blues, entirely captivating, even when they tread a wee bit too close to the fuckin'-rockin'-out vs. totally-jammin'-dude line.

Guitar Guy had an array of pedals, including a much-lusted-after Boomerang that I stared at for most of one entire song, and he used them to dive into psychedelia and layer on sounds no doubt culled from teenage years spent immersed in 70's prog rock.

Drum Guy sat front and center and threw alla his weight on the floor tom and the crash, making delightful loud noise after delightful loud noise. Though I called these guys out as being "space-rock blues," Drum Guy didn't dwell in the blues-rock ghetto, and though I loves me a good blues-rock experience, he spanked the blues with a hint of punk and I loved it even more.

Most surprising to me was Bass Guy, who looked like he was swept out of algebra class at the Rock n' Roll Middle School For Clean-Shaven, Ruddy-Cheeked Androgynes, but he ground into his four strings like he was having his way with Carmen Electra or something. You know it's a good show when you're noticing the BASS PLAYER.

No offense to all of you bass players, but really - who watches the bass player at a show? Unless you're a bass player yourself, or you're the mother of one, or you're hoping to bone one because neither the singer nor the guitarist are available and the drummer is just too crazy-seeming, NO ONE pays attention to the bass player.

So kudos you, Pat. Or Sam. Or Chris. Or whatever your name is. Kudos you.