I haven’t really gone anywhere, I just wanted to reference Kelly Clarkson while also alluding to the fact that I have not written on my little blog that could in 42 days. But, I haven’t (just) been laying on the couch watching Twin Peaks and eating only the chocolate bits from various bags of trail mix (although there has been that). Here are some music and non-music (but mostly music) related things that have happened in the last month and a half:
Pamela des Barres Made Me Blush
A passive brag is that my job involves talking to relatively famous people semi-frequently. Honest to god, few people besides Chris Robinson and Clay Matthews have ever made me as nervous and blushy as Pamela des Barres, goddess of all groupies. She was doing a reading of her book Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses at an event called “Groupie-paloooza” at Wacko in Los Feliz, and I went down there and lurked around until I had worked up the courage to have her sign two glossy photos (one for me, one for Layla) of herself standing naked in a riverbed maybe forty years ago.
She was sitting behind this table and I rolled up all sheepish like heyyyyy ma’am can you sign these photographs for me pleeease and she looked at me and said, “you’re beautiful!” and I blushed and grinned like an idiot, which I feel is the appropriate response when one of your rock and roll idols gives you a compliment. She signed my photo “To a beauty doll!” and then read a segment from her book about how although the word “groupie” has been tarnished by haters and common sluts, a true groupie is essentially a person who has no musical talent but loves music so fucking much that they devote their lives to being around it. These efforts, she said while standing in a pink spotlight and looking fantastic, had worked out very well for her. I felt the same way about my own luck and walked out of the place feeling major groupie pride. The naked photo of her is framed in my living room.
Cocktails. Noon. Nick Waterhouse
I met Nick Waterhouse at noon on a Wednesday in the upstairs bar at the Ace Hotel Downtown. I had a bourbon old fashioned; he had tequila and soda; we talked for an hour and a half. The overall feeling I got from the conversation was a sense of existential dread about the state of youth and entertainment culture. I think Mercury had just gone into retrograde, which probably contributed to the weirdness. Nick was tremendously cool: thoughtful, serious, well-spoken, well-read, someone who is coming to terms with the notion that, despite his massive talent, to be and remain relevant, he must be marketed and commodified and subjected to often unpleasant scenarios (like out interview, for example) not of his own making.
I left the hotel feeling a touch woozy and a bit depressed, but it was one of my all time favorite interviews. I wrote this story about Nick, and although he said he wasn’t going to read the piece, he texted me a week after it came out to say that he had, and that he found it “a fair assessment.” That made me feel really good.
I Saw Spiritualized By Myself on Valentine’s Day and it Was Awesome
This Spiritualized show at the Ace (again!) was apparently a very big deal (tickets were going for $500 or something rude on Craigslist), which is why the PR company could only give me one, which is how I ended up going to see Spiritualized perform their All Time Great breakup album Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space alone on Valentine’s Day. It was tremendously beautiful. A real rock experience. I don’t have better words for it than that, (except maybe a few in this review) but here is a photo I took of a segment of the show when a disco ball lowered from the ceiling and I sat watching in awe while covered in goosebumps and on the verge of tears.
I listened to these songs so many times:
- Todd Terje - Inspector Norse
- Wings - Let Me Roll It
- Jealous (I Ain’t With It) - Chromeo (just me or does this track sample the Ghostbusters Theme Song?)
- Scandalism - Alex Metric
- Dark Horse - Katy Perry (no regrets, just love)
- Come Alive (Grum Remix) - Chromeo
- Waves at Night - Moons
- Car On a Hill - Joni Mitchell
- Good Mistake - Mr. Little Jeans
- The Language - Drake
- Trophies - Drake
- Comin’ Through - The War on Drugs
- Aerosol Can - Major Lazer feat. Pharrell
- Get Low - Dillon Francis & DJ Snake
Pete Tong Spoke to Me, Briefly
But he was in a cab rushing to LAX because he was running late for a flight to Moscow and had to finish the interview via email. It was, however, a very pleasant two minutes.
Schoolboy Q Played Down the Street From My House
So Casey and I walked down there on a rainy Saturday evening to see him. I didn’t really enjoy the show that much (sorry rap fans, sorry), but I got nice and sweaty on the dance floor during Them Jeans’ set. There was just the right amount of tequila involved.
Absurd NorCal Karaoke
Meg, Layla and me converged in Yosemite and spent one glorious Thursday evening at the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, CA, where we went to have one drink after playing bingo with 15 elderly people at the local Lion’s Club. One beer turned to several beers plus shots of whiskey which is how the three of us ended up onstage singing karaoke with many Groveland locals.
High points (and by high points I mean low, low points) included Layla and I dueting on Paradise City (the video Meg took of this performance is amazing, and no one besides the three of us will ever see it), Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (Laylers was Tom Petty; I was Stevie Nicks), and Dirty Diana, which, in a night of great bad ideas, was the best bad idea of them all, because this song is really hard to sing, especially when one is slightly drunk and has not been blessed with any vocal talents. I would have sang Total Eclipse Of the Heart if the guy running the karaoke machine had not dropped the CD with that track on it into a crevice between the wall and the stage. But maybe it was better that way. At one point while singing Sweet Home Alabama, I looked out into the bar and saw no one but the bartender, because everyone else in the Iron Door was onstage singing Sweet Home Alabama.
The night ended with Layla hooking up her iPod to the bar’s speakers and the three of us and some townie folks dancing our asses off. It was an all time great evening, and despite ourselves, we were up early the next morning roaming Yosemite Valley, which proves that you really can have it all.
This story about this guy from SoCal who was going to become a pro-golfer but became a shaman instead. And this story about The Glitch Mob. And this story about how that drug bust at Lightning in a Bottle last year was total bullshit. And this story about the official Born in the U.S.A. dance remixes, which is a topic very close to my heart.
I Drove Down the Coast in Big Sur at Sunset Listening to Cassadega
Because someone important passed away, and it was one of his favorite albums.
I Got a New job
At Insomniac. Holy shit.