I posted this back in April, to a private thing. At the time, I didn’t want to stir up any real trouble. But I think everyone has sorted themselves out a bit more by now. By way of editor’s notes, Chiaroscuro was a “goth/industrial” club in DC and Spellbound, in their own words, is “Alternative, Darkwave, and Industrial”… a Goth/Industrial nightclub.
At Spellbound this week, I had a regular attendee question me. They came up to me multiple times, and asked why I was there. I wasn’t dressed right, so I obviously wasn’t goth. I shouldn’t be there. So why did I go there?
Surprisingly, my first reaction wasn’t “Dude… you’re getting in the way of my intoxicated white guy dance, and numerous attempts to get shot down by that hot chick!” But aside from pointing out that I obviously had dressed up for a night out, I generally ignored him. What are you supposed to say, to such a ridiculously immature question?
I could argue that I’ve been attending since the night it opened, when I came out in support of a friend’s involvement, and Chiaroscuro before that. I could point out that Spellbound doesn’t bill itself as strictly “goth”. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important these clubs had/have been to my life.
People I met in Chiaro turned into some of my best friends. At least one of them was wearing a pink suit at the time, no less. (And years later, as a wife and mom, she is still more of an awesome badass than any chain-draped, boot-wearing, pierced freak I’ve met since.) In fact, probably 95% of the people I’ve met at these clubs have been the sweetest, smartest, most interesting people I know. People who’ve supported me, comforted me, challenged me, protected me, changed me.
When I found out my father was in a hospital about to pass away, I had 16 hours until my flight, so I went to Spellbound. One awesome lady who didn’t even know what was going on in my life sat with me at the back of the bar all night and cheered me up.
More than once when I couldn’t deal with the crap in my own life, I was able to go to Spellbound and stare at the dance floor, listening to music I love… and just zone out for a while. As someone said to me this week… “attain a zen state”.
When I first started drinking, rather late in life, this was a safe place for me to learn. I felt safe, both with the staff and the people around me.
It’s brought me friends. It’s brought me business. It’s brought me lust and love. It’s introduced me to music and lifestyles and art I never would have known otherwise. I’ve been to other types of clubs, bars and events, and awesome as some of them were, they still didn’t match up.
With the help of their teams, Kelowna and Lori Beth created wonderful places to go, that have led me directly and indirectly to a place where I am very happy with my life.
So that’s kind of why I go.
So… drunk guy… you’re saying you go primarily to look like a cool goth?
Saw another Since Antarctica show out at Fat Tuesday’s. Wonderful time. The music was, of course, awesome. The hipsters were a bit much, bouncing in front of me every time I went to take a photo. Amanda (sparklypoof) thoughtfully offered to kick their ass, for me, though.
My bar scars have mostly worn off. I picked them up on Monday night at the Black Cat, for a show by Juliette and the Licks. A good rock show by any definition. But some of the stuff going on around the show kind of stuck out. The Juliette headlineing this band is Juliette Lewis, of many, many seriously fucked up movies. I first heard her sing on the Strange Days soundtrack. And she’s pretty good. But they aren’t exactly on TRL yet.
So when they tell me at the door that I can’t use my camera, (I know!) I thought it was awfully conceited. The “no still photo” thing at concerts is pretty stupid to begin with, since it doesn’t actually affect the performers bottom line in any way. And for the most part, it can only build grass roots support. And I’ve never met a band yet that tries to sell their own concert photography. So… you know… whatthefuck? Especially from a third string band on their first US tour playing a second string club on a Monday night.
When the Licks finally come on stage around 10, the entire band came out and took their place except Lewis. She followed in an incredibly forced entrance after the band started playing. Her “show lines” came out like lead weights between songs. Only when she seemed to forget her lines, or stop caring about them, did she seem at all interesting or real.
The show only truly excelled when she shut the fuck up and started singing. Angry, skinny, little woman songs about being … well… and and horny. Good shit, that is. Thankfully that’s all that’s on the CD I picked up afterwards.
But you always pay for it the next morning. There really should be some service that comes around after club nights and picks up your laundry for you. That mixture of cheap cigarettes and expensive beer is nowhere near as charming the next day.
Reminder: Monday is the Juliette and the Licks show at the Black Cat. I’m going, and would hate to go alone. I’m not above guilt trips, if it comes to that. Don’t make me do it, man.
Monday. Opening band starts around 8:30. Tickets are $13 at the door.
I ran into the prostitute in the laundry room today, talking on her phone. Someone mentioned that her and her roommate do laundry every day. That had never really occurred to me, but it makes sense. Especially this time of year, with the sweat and the juices, and the whatnot.
In addition to some johnny cash, marilyn manson, and patsy cline, I picked up Miranda Lambert‘s album yesterday, on the iTunes music store. (Gift certificates are our friends). My uncle had bought the CD–which is a pretty strong recommendation in its own right, as previously, the last album he’d bought was only available on vinyl and 8-track–and played it repeatedly while I was down there. She’s pretty good. Country, but not to the point of parody. She has a little bit of folk singer in her voice. And always a good sign: not all of her songs are about love. Looking over her website, it’s some pretty sickeningly blatant marketing by a record label. That journal sounds like it was written by an ad exec trying to sound like a 13 year old girl, not a 22 year old professional musician. But so long as the marketing doesn’t affect the music… we’re good.
Okay… political question: Do you ever wonder how a US President who lied multiple times to invade 3 countries resulting in over a hundred thousand deaths, can keep a straight face when acting outraged that the Iranian President may have been involved in taking hostages 25 years ago?
Food for argument.
I maybe shoulda gone out tonight. Kier tried to drag me out to Dollhouse, at the Black Cat. At the very least, I would have like a chance to see Kelowna, (smart, interesting, attractive). But after 2 seperate cover charges, the fact I almost never dance, and that it’s being held in the dungeon known as Backstage, I decided to stay home. I think God is on my side though. Ju7st as Kier stepped out of the subway, he got nailed by the biggest rainfall we’ve had in weeks. Told him that a storm which comes on so fast will dissipate just as fast. He didn’t believe me, and made a run for it. Within 5 minutes, it had pretty much stopped raining.
I was so very tempted to go buy an Airport Express today. So often when I’m working with my laptop on the couch, I want to listen to some music that I have on my machine, but I either don’t have it on disk or don’t feel like burning one. The Express would let me wirelessly stream the music to my stereo. Not to mention print wirelessly. But after spending 8 bucks at Radio Shack for a couple of AV splitters, I now have what I need to plug in my laptop from anywhere in the apartment. Compared to the $120 Express… not a bad compromise. Not to worried about the printing. If I’m printing, I’m gonna have to get off my ass soon anyway to mail, fax, or assemble something. Oh… the store? Crap. No less than 4 employees sitting around on top of the boxes talking, waiting 10 minutes before asking me if I needed assistance. (I couldn’t have cared one way or the other… but, you know… common courtesy…)
Today? Massive laundry day. Tomorrow? Massive kitty litter day. My life is so glamorous.
How could I not love this woman? That’s Rachel, from Visqueen. The unwitting love of my life for the last year an a half. She just doesn’t know yet that she’s really in love with me. *shrug* In the mean time, they have a flickr account now, with much goodness. More than a few shots I recognize from their live shows here.
Yes. I’m back. Survived 4 and a half days without wifi. Somehow. (Okay… so the 400 k/s ethernet wasn’t bad). Survived my family, which is a bigger feat. Sadly there were no fights or embarrassing acts of a physical nature to record for posterity’s sake this years. As Michele said, “it all seemed to go by so fast”. I had even gone up a day and a half early, so that I might have some time to myself, to think deep thoughts (and download porn). Being my one year anniversary of the self-employment thing (*knock on wood*), I want to find time to go over everything I’ve done, and figure out what’s next. But all that damn meaningful family crap got in the way in Texas.
I’m trying to think of how to describe the good things about seeing family. It isn’t coming to me. It’s not the wild and crazy shit your friends and you do. It’s the people who won’t kick you out because they disturbingly understand and sympathize with the stupid shit you’ve done and the dumb-ass you’ve acted like. You share some common history of trauma, and aren’t disturbed when the other couple’s baby looks a bit like you.
A former co-worker with a obvious Australian accent made a comment once about his cross country commute, to the effect that he never unlocked his car doors while driving through Texas. “Yall’s not from ’round here, is y’all?”. Of course he was overly paranoid. It’s not like he was in the back woods of Mississippi or something. But even so, some shit down there disturbs even me. You can be guaranteed of a couple half-hushed racist comments or discussions, involving Blacks or Hispanics. I don’t get too worked up about this one. Racism, at it’s core is about opinion and attitude. And even if I happen to think its an opinion best left to inbreeding mental defectives, no matter which direction it’s coming from, it’s still their opinion, and they’re free to speak of it. I just excuse myself from the conversation or room.
The level of ignorance was a bit disturbing though. Particularly about the government and wars. It was like they were reading right from the White House press releases. Freedom. War on Terror. Those people. The monsters in that region that just wanna kill everyone. Iraq is gone… we’re safe from them now. Iraq equals 9/11. Even heard how Bush is a wimp and we need a more aggressive president. (Both Bush Jr and Clinton launched more military actions than the previous administrations for two decades back).
SO… you know… patriotism scares me. Patriotism has become loving your country no matter what. Love it or leave it. Growing up I loved this country because I believe it when they told me how free and caring we were. How we stood up and protected oppressed people, and fought back against the bullies who picked on us. If we lived up to just half of our marketing slogans…
Yeah… I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m gonna go back to looking at that picture of Rachel.
So yeah… I rambled on for a while there, about the Visqueen show, didn’t I? I really wanted to get something down that night, when it was all still fresh. But looking back… yeah.. just crap.
The show really was amazing though. I’ve never seen a better live rock band. They’re channeling the spirit of Chrissie Hynde, (who isn’t dead yet.. but you know… still…). The band takes off like a rocket with the start of each song. The music they play is so irresistible that you can’t help but rock and bounce to it. And between songs, Rachel cracks jokes and pulls stunts like your 8 year old cousin, only without the lisp. (Waiting to start one song, she started playing bongos on Ben’s snare drum. Ben was the only one not smiling.)
It was all over way too soon. Maybe too soon for Rachel too, since she was still wired when she sold me a copy of their new album. She’s kinda cute, like a Snickers bar is kinda sweet.
I’ve listened to the new album 10 or 12 times now. It’s one of those that you find something new, and it gets better with each listen. There’s a little more variety in this album, presumably showing off a bit of Rachel’s range, (as Kim has nothing to prove, and drummers seldom get the spotlight). Nearly every song in there has a great hook. There’s so many potential radio smash hits. The only thing that mystifies me about the album, besides the disappointing cover art, is the arrangement of the songs. The first song is good, but probably the least memorable of the bunch. Not something I would lead off with. And while I really like the last song, it’s really as close to a downer as you can get with pop music. Do you really wanna finish off on such a depressing note?
Then again, it’s not like I won’t spend most of my time listening to this set on random on my iPod.
No sophomore jinx here.
So I was listening to music at random last weekend. Belly’s Feed the Tree came on. For the first time, I realized Tonya Donnally was singing about dying. And tonight I realized just how weirdironicfunny that is. I went to a Belly concert back in the mid-nineties, with Anita. That song always stands out when I hear it, because that concert was when i realized Anita and I were drifting apart for good. Probably the last chance I had to really spent time with her.
And then she died in the plane crash.
And for years, unbeknownst to me, I am reminded of her by a song about death.
And speaking of morbid, I briefly talked with Jill the other night, for the first time in probably a year. I still get that oh-so-pleasent feeling of the ex who would rather cut your various organs out with a rusty spoon but have decided that they will behave like an adult. It’s really kind of sad. Well… scary, and then sad. Given time, I can accept that the “dating” thing wasn’t gonna work out for X reasons. But we started ‘dating’, or whatever you’d call it, because our talks nearly every night were so amazing. I’ve unfortunately proven that I can go without sex like a camel can go without water. But to lose someone I can really talk with… that breaks my heart.
I managed to stay good friends with Sara afterwards. And even Kelly and I seem to hold no hard feelings anymore. (Granted… they both lasted considerably longer). But if I ever felt like someone was giving me the evil eye over the ‘Net, it would be Jill.
In the range more of coming back to life…
I got an email last night from Erin. Erin, from college, who I haven’t seen nor heard from in over 7 years. Erin who now seems to be very successful and very attractive. Not necessarily in that order. (Don’t look at me like that… I haven’t really talked to her in seven years; so I won’t vouch for her personality).
God bless Google. Every time I look up someone from my past, they inevitably have irretrievably disappeared. Even Allison, who is supposedly working just a few blocks from me, at the FBI headquarters. But I found an online sighting dated February of this year. A little more searching got me and email… and *bang*.
Now about these other women…
- Allison Miller — last rumored to be working for the FBI in the Washington DC area
- Janie Hyler — Last known to be in California with her dad, or Amsterdam with her mom
- Anna Koblinski — no clue as to her whereabouts
- Michelle Rink — now married with a new last name, living somewhere in the south after leaving the military. Had a letter from her once, but I lost it
Anyone have any clues? I really have so many people in my past that I lost touch with that it’s insane.
Sorry… Drew Carey is hosting a talk show. But at least he’s talking to Zack Braff about Garden State; which if you haven’t seen — drop the baby and go now.
Just got back from the Velvet Lounge. Finally got to see Visqueen. Two words: Absolutely Fucking Amazing. (Bite me! I can’t count.) I kinda went brain-dead when I saw them loading from their van out front. ‘Cause Kim Warnick is someone I’ve only ever seen in pictures, on many, many CD covers. Suddenly, there’s a whole person there in front of you… moving. (This is as opposed to the time I saw Donald Rumesfeld… cause he more sort of rumbles rather than moves.) There were times where Kim really seemed to be enjoying herself up there. Something you sadly don’t see much of from touring bands.And yes… Rachel is even more beautiful in real life. Incredibly cute. Terminally hopped up on caffeine or something. And a real smart-ass attitude like the future rock-goddess that she is. Ben… not much to say… but he beat those drums like the eternal red-headed stepchild. He goes absolutely apeshit back there.
The velvet lounge is really sort of a neighborhood dive. Looks like it could have been an eyeglass store 30 years ago, before it got taken over by drunk people with markers and paint who like loud music. The bar looks like something you’d find in a dorm room. the upper level is probably better looking in the dark, since there was no real ceiling or anything, and a questionable floor. The stage takes up about a third of the room. This, I didn’t find to be a bad thing. It means I got within sweat-slinging range of the band, who actually urged people closer.
Were they loud enough? I don’t really know, because I lost my hearing completely about halfway through the set.
My only regret is that Rachel still doesn’t seem willing to admit how much she lusts after me. I’m sure it will come to her someday. I’m patient.
And oh yes… damn right I bought the last copy of their new CD which comes out tomorrow. Then I got the fuck out of dodge before the people in line behind me found out.
And yes… I come home and geek out for a while to Sara, who can understand my unnatural addiction to music. Check my email, and find out Xtrememac is sending me a replacement belt-clip for my iPod case, free. Go Xtrememac! Their cases just kick ass, and their customer service has always been wonderful.
Okay… it will soon be 2 AM, and I want to get up early tomorrow to go see the parade of Indian Nations on the Mall. Must… sleep. Damn. ringing in my ears.
I can think of worse ways to go deaf than listening to Visqueen live.
The iPod went on a pretty good streak this afternoon. Right up until it hit a Hole song. I love Courtney Love, but it’s not exactly music you listen to as a means of inspiring cheer or mellowness.
Zeromancer ― Neo-Geisha
Jean Bach ― falling into atmosphere
Sinead Lohan ― Diving To Be Deeper
Laura Cantrell ― I Still Miss Someone
Belly ― Feed the Tree
Dusty Springfield ― Son of a Preacher Man
Blondie ― Call Me
While I was outbound, listening to music and admiring many beautiful women, I stopped at the used book sale hosted by the Cleveland Park Public Library. A bit anemic, but they had a reasonably large science fiction section. Picked up Rudy Rucker’s Software, and a first printing of Phillip K Dick’s first novel, Solar Lottery. I also found a copy of Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, which I read this summer. Since they were only charging 10 cents for SciFi paperbacks, I picked it up, and am sure I can find someone I can pass it on to. Should have grabbed the copy of Canticle for Liebowitz, as well. Hell, for 10 cents a book, I should have grabbed anything vaguely interesting.
It’s a rather quiet weekend for me. Some friends are away. Some are ignoring me. Some went to the Renaissance Faire. Would have liked to gone to the faire, but the trip was being organized by Autumn, and she currently hates me. Come to think of it, that’s probably why Kier is offline.
I’m really looking forward to Monday night anyway… enough to make me wish I could blink my eyes and be there. Visqueen is playing a local club, for the first time since I started listening to them. One of their only two shows even remotely in the area. I invited many people, but Kier is the only one who showed any definite interest. Don’t really care… for Visqueen, I would go alone. And since the show is on a Monday night, there’s probably no danger of not being let in.
I think my brain has just gone to bed for the night. Best sign off now.
You know what I like about doing laundry, besides the smell disappearing? Sometimes, when you walk into the laundry room, there is an attractive college girl, facing away from you and bending over to load the washer.
You know what I dislike about doing laundry, sometimes? The eighty year old woman, facing away from you, bending over the washer, loading her clothes.
I looked up a little while ago and noticed it had started snowing. That nice kind of snow that gives everything outside a muted, fuzzy look. When I had downloaded enough porn, I stood up to stretch my legs, and saw for the first time how much snow we were really getting. There is already a good inch to an inch and a half on the ground. They’re already towing the cars parked across the street, because I live on an emergency route. When I started typing this, I saw the first snowplow. This city got blindsided.
Of course I know this snow won’t amount to shit. I wouldn’t even take a bet as to it still being on the ground in the morning. But there won’t be any school tomorrow. Probably some city offices closed as well. Damn I wish we would get smacked by a blizzard. Nothing really makes me happier in winter. Well… nothing I’m gonna tell you about.
I would love to be snowed in, just me and Pixel, with movies, hot food, and music. And maybe a certain woman. I just haven’t told her yet.
If you like music… if you have liked any music released in the last thirty years, then you will buy the album King Me, by a band called Visqueen. They really came from nowhere and blew me away. The group first caught my attention on NPR when I heard the name Kim Warnick. She’s former lead singer for a band called Fastbacks, who I also loved but admit is not for everyone.
I actually hated Visqueen for a few hours, for having been the cause of the breakup of the Fastbacks, who survived nearly 30 years in music. But then I heard their music. Amazon.com has free downloads of their songs Vaxxine and My House. (Vaxxine is far better. Although My House is my least favorite song on the album, it is still good. When was the last time you liked a whole album?) The band offers up links to some live performances as well, on their site.
It’s punk. It’s pop. It’s real rock ‘n roll. You wanna call it one thing or another, but it crosses more genre’s in three minutes than you can keep up with.
Their lead singer, Rachel Flotard, is amazing. I haven’t heard such a distinctive voice since Eddie Vedder. (No comparison in styles though, so shut the fuck up already). She drives it home on every song. None of it sounds over-rehearsed or uncommitted. She can go from a cute riff, to a wail that you can physically feel the pain in. Listen to what she claims is her first acoustic performance on those live shows from their website, and you’ll see it is in no way studio magic. This is the real thing.
I ordered their CD straight from the band, through the website. The day after I wrote to complain that it didn’t show up, their drummer Ben Hooker sent out a new one. He was a very nice guy about it all, and promised to castrate the mailman.
At least go listen. Every single person I’ve subjected to this has liked the band and asked where they could get a CD.
I’m gonna go back to watching them tow cars.
I like it when it rains in the early evening. The rain itself is enough to make Sara happy. But if it’s summer out and a quick rain came in the early evening, then when it passes, you get the return of a half-light. It’s no longer day, but there’s a dawning after the storm.
Well… I like that, and the smell of hot asphalt as the first rain hits it.
I’m an easy boy to please. Now if I could just get Rajee to send me that damn hooker.
I really hate work right now. I hate questioning every day, why I am still there when no one else lasted. I hate going through the same shit with the requisite new set of people. I hate having so many ideas and so much experience and so many plans… and knowing every time I bring up the crappiest little idea that will keep us from looking like the completely disorganized baboons we are, it will be trodden upon, spit upon, watered down, and ignored. I hate looking the new guy’s face, listening to his enthusiasm and hope and expectations, and keeping my mouth shut, even though I can write out right now, word for word, what he will be complaining about in 4 months. And what he will be arguing about in 9 months, and why he will be gone in a little over a year. But of course… I’m just a bitter old-timer. It’s not like I know what’s going on.
I’ve been picking at something on my iPod. Off and on, while I listen to music, I’m thinking of a mix tape… or soundtrack. Usually soundtracks, because I can see the people and motions that go along with them. So far, my favorite soundtrack includes, in no particular order:
Meg Lee Chin — Bittersweet and Sour
Sleater-Kinny — The Last Song
Pigface — Kiss King
Bjork — Violently Happy
yeah… that’s all I can remember right now. The Pigface one is special. A song you could never find from a well known group or your favorite band, because you would be listening to them too much, instead of the music. Kiss King is just one of those song’s where I pulled the Pod out of it’s case and said “what the hell is this?!”.
Record labels offer MP3 test for 99 cents
And the computer literate word takes a consecutive deep breath and says in one voice…
“It’s about fucking time”
This is all keeping in mind of course, that Vivendi Universal already has owned Emusic.com for a while. Emusic is the shit. Unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of songs for 10 bucks a month.
Now if Universal could just be the six hundred pound gorilla that drags the rest of the recording industry into the 21st century.
what is getting on my nerves at the moment? (well, it’s a shallow day… nothing important).:
contemplative rock bands.
you seen em. They play what passes for hard rock, with a meaningful look on their face, talking about their relationships.
Rock is not meant for a conservative discussion. It is meant to piss people off.
These singers go right along with the currently fashionable male models, all of whom look like they could get their ass kicked by a one-legged Omish grandmother. What is so cool about sickly little runts?
“The Heineken Foundation supports the development of urban-influenced music by offering financial support for the creation of this art form. Each year, the Foundation will develop a new CD highlighting emerging urban artists and featuring established ones. A portion of the sales will go toward non-profits like VH1 Save the Music — providing additional resources for urban school music programs.”
Okay, I’m in no mood to post, but I can’t leave that feel good crap of my last post just sitting there for people to read. My family and friends will start thinnking I’ve gone soft.
I guess work was good for a Monday. Didn’t wanna drag my butt out of bed this morning. Which means I was runnignb behind and never got my exercises done on my ankle. And here I sit again, puttin them off untill I fall asleep.
Ambition is a wonderful thing. I’ll have to try it someday.
The boss is back from vacation tommorrow and I am trying to decide if that is a good or bad thing.
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for music, my recommendation for this month is a band called Boss Hog. They sort of take Blues, and rip it apart and recombine it as Rock and Punk. Well, that’s as close as I can get to a definition. They’re nowhere near as homogenous as most modern rock. Good shit.
Picked up two books tonight on my way home from work — Brave New World by Aldus Huxley and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. The first was just to fulfill my sick facination with those ‘future gone wrong’ stories ( a la 1984, It Can’t Happen Here, and Farenheit 451. I picked up Fear and Loathing, which was my original intent of the trip, out of a general fascination with the gonzo journalists, especially since I started reading Transmetropolitan.