Somewhere at my mom’s house, there’s a closet filled with handbags that belong to me. There’s also a small stash of them inside my own closet. There are no purses, at least there haven’t been any since a wise friend advised that “you purse your lips, not your handbag.” Each bag was, at one point in time, an object of obsession, something I used daily for months on end, until the inside became a mess of gum wrappers, receipts and other crap.
Last year, the job of carrying around Liz’s junk fell upon a medium-sized, soft leather bag– maybe a satchel, maybe a hobo bag, not sure that even matters– found at Target. It is less than a year old. It looks as though I’ve owned it half my life. That’s not intentional, that’s because I’m a slob. Continue reading →
Every now and then, I get a bug to catch some band that I didn’t get to see back in the day. That’s what we did last night. I went with my husband, Carlos, and my buddy, Roo, to go see The Ocean Blue. It was the final engagement of the band’s two-night stint at Satellite, a Silver Lake club that we used to know as Spaceland.
The Ocean Blue were pretty well-known amongst alternative radio listeners around the cusp of the 1980s and 1990s, before grunge was a thing. They had some hits on KROQ out here in Los Angeles, songs like “Drifting Falling” and “Between Something and Nothing.” Back when those tunes were all the rage, I was a few years away from a driver’s license, so there were no Ocean Blue concerts on my calendar back then. Continue reading →
We’re sitting on a second-floor patio of a building on the side of Chinatown near Union Station. We’re high enough above street level to watch ant-sized cars creep downhill from Dodger Stadium. I wonder if there is going to be a mad rush into this neighborhood to grab a French dip sandwich at Philippe’s before they close in another hour or so. If that happened, I didn’t notice. The streets are already lined with parked cars. Maybe people just left after the 7th inning to get their sandwiches.
Inside the club, the bands– Secret Society of the Sonic Six and Deathstrip– are sound checking. It’s loud enough where we can hear the music clearly on the patio. We’re also near a glass door, so it doesn’t take much of a stretch to peer inside. It looks and sounds like this is going to be a special night. It is.
Sometime after 10:30, Deathstrip heads towards the stage for the actual performance. This is the band’s first live gig, but you wouldn’t notice that. The singer is Fate Fatal from The Deep Eynde. That’s a band that has been ruminating in the L.A. goth scene for well over a decade. Fate was actually amongst the first group of musicians that I interviewed, way back when I was a college kid hosting a radio show on KXLU. I got to talk to him a bit before the gig, which was great. We hadn’t seen each other in years. Continue reading →
Previously, I mentioned that I have two DJ gigs this week. That’s changed. Thursday night’s Zerox party has been postponed. The new date is June 13. The venue, Le Cuevita, has not changed and I will still be the guest DJ that night. RSVP on Facebook to keep tabs on what will certainly be a fun party.
I am, however, still playing at Deadcadence on Saturday and am incredibly excited about this gig. I’ve been attending Deadcadence parties for a long time now and have a great admiration for the promoters. They are dedicated to booking interesting, underground talent. It’s an honor to be playing with them. Continue reading →
Back in high school, I would listen to “I Am a Poseur,” the X-Ray Spex song, with absolute fascination. Here was the frontwoman of one of the crucial bands of the punk era saying that this is all a facade. The irony is that it wasn’t. Poly Styrene was the real deal, someone who started a band just because she thought she could. She was a feminist icon for the weird teenagers of my generation, kids who came up in the age of Riot Grrrl.
This song was running through my head when I looked through the photos from the Met Ball that’s celebrating punk or something like that. Those images from last night championed the facade. That’s it.
Los Animales is back. Today marks the beginning of Nadarave, the second story in the webcomic series that I created with my pal Jeaux Janovsky. I’m really excited about this story. It’s a little different from Fours on the Floor, our first chapter, in that it’s more of an ensemble piece. The characters look a little different too. That’s because we didn’t want the designs to get too static. You’ll see Manda, Dani, Pedro and the rest evolve throughout the series.
In other news, I have two DJ gigs coming up this week. On Thursday, I’ll be playing at Zerox. This is a monthly club at La Cuevita (aka Little Cave) in Highland Park hosted by my pal Eric Dead. We’ll be playing a mix of underground ’80s tunes ranging from punk to new wave to ska to psychobilly. I’ll be digging up some of my favorites and hope to play at least a few jams that you haven’t heard in a while. This party is free. It’s also 21+. Check out the Facebook invite for more information.
On Saturday, I will be playing at DEadCADENCE, a monthly party at Roberto’s in Chinatown that focuses on death rock, minimal synth, post-punk, etc. I’ll be joining DJs Tony-X, Andy Smith and Juann Alternativah. There will also be live performances from Death Strip and Secret Society of the Sonic Six. This will be a very exciting show and I hope you can make it. This is a 21+ party and the cover is $5 before 10:30 p.m., $7 thereafter. More info on Facebook.
Last night was Underground vs. Amoeba. Larry G. and Diana M. played at Amoeba in Hollywood early Friday night. At the same time, I was playing a pretty hefty opening set at the Grand Star. I was just thinking about how cool it would be to do a split-screen webcast of something like that. Regardless, Larry and Diana joined us at the Grand Star later that evening and we traded off sets as normal. It was a fun night with a good crowd. Check out what I played. (Note: I tweeted the above photo while I was packing my crate. Ended up playing two out of six of those selections.) Continue reading →
Here’s my set lists from Underground on Friday night. We celebrated Robert Smith’s birthday by playing The Cure and other related stuff.
Best moment of the night was when I played “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry. I only brought it because “Boys Don’t Cry,” as I’m sure you know, is also a Cure song. Wasn’t expecting it to do well, but people were all packed on the dance floor dancing with imaginary lassos. Continue reading →
When people talk about the “Comic-Con Effect,” usually, they mean it terms of movies getting a big boost from their high-profile appearance at the San Diego convention. In fact, here’s an article from Deadline asking whether or not the movies that get all the buzz at the convention actually benefit from it in the theaters. That’s not how I see the Comic-Con Effect.
Comic-Con’s influence on pop culture goes far beyond the convention itself, far beyond comic books, television or film. That said, the actual Comic-Con Effect is when the sort of big-budget marketing techniques that overrun the convention seep into other industries, other events.
That happened last night at Coachella. I wasn’t there. Ultimately, I’m glad I wasn’t there because I detest the desert. For a moment, though, I felt a pang of remorse when a friend shared a video of the video that played on one of the big screens in the middle of a polo field. A trailer for the new Daft Punk album had been unveiled. Even back in L.A., watching a video of a video on YouTube, I couldn’t help but totally nerd out.
I go to San Diego Comic-Con every year. Although I no longer go to Coachella, I’ve been to the event so many times that I can’t remember who I saw which year. They are very different events. At Comic-Con, you wait for hours to get a chair in a room so that you and a couple thousand other people can start screaming over a new trailer or other teaser footage. At Coachella, you wait in line for hours so that your skin can fry while you’re running to catch favorite bands who will always be playing up against each other on opposite sides of the field.
But then Daft Punk– arguably the nerdiest duo to ever make dance music– changed that. They captured the crowd in Indio and online with a trailer. A freakin’ trailer.
That’s the Comic-Con Effect in action.
I’m a pretty big Daft Punk fan. If you read my webcomic, Los Animales, you probably know that. Every time Daft Punk pulls a new stunt, I love them more. After seeing the video of last night’s trailer, I’m more excited for Random Access Memories than I thought I could be and it’s not solely because of the music. The only way the music industry can thrive in this era is if they borrow the marketing techniques of the fan convention world. Daft Punk obviously knows that and, for that reason, Radom Access Memories deserves to be a blockbuster. Daft Punk knows the future of music marketing and it’s up to them to show others the way.
A funny thing has been happening at Underground lately. People have been going nuts for the old L.A. goth club staples. Clan of Xymox gets people running to the dance floor. We get requests for Xmal Deutschland. It’s a little unexpected, but we decided to go with it and throw a party called Shadowplay last night. We said it was our goth night. It’s really a lot more than that.
We had a full dance floor before 11 p.m. I remember seeing my friend Tony walk into the club and I wanted to play this Creatures song, “Right Now,” for him because we used to always dance to it together back in the days of Helter Skelter and Coven 13. Then I looked at my phone and realized it was way too early for “Right Now.” I waited.
I got my start as a Coven 13 DJ. I’m incredibly grateful for that gig because that’s where I learned to work a dance floor. The gig also put me in touch with the bands who I would bring up to my radio show for interviews. That led to writing. So, Coven 13 played a pretty important role in my career.
After I graduated from college, I left Coven 13 and left the goth scene behind. I started playing at other clubs, playing different styles of music. Sure, I still went to the clubs here and there to see my friends play, but I was preoccupied with other stuff. Last night was probably the closest I’ve gotten to playing a goth dance party in over a decade. It was a lot of fun. I think my favorite moment was when I played “She Sells Sanctuary” and the whole room just went crazy on the dance floor.
I had too much music for last night. I cut my picks in half. Then I cut them in half again. Filled a crate as tightly as I could. I still played less than half of what I brought. We really need to do this again. Continue reading →