David Bowie turned 66 this week and he celebrated with a new song and video, plus an announcement of a new album. Naturally, Bowie has been on my mind all week. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan and have been pretty much since birth. (Seriously, my mom’s a fan too, his is some of the first music I remember hearing.) I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to see him live at the Forum back in 1995. He’s spectacular.
Since I’m playing at Underground on Friday, I wanted to channel all this Bowie energy into my set. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll play a lot of his stuff. Rather, I want to piece together tons of artists who have been influenced by him. Check out the videos below for a sneak preview.
Underground is at the Grand Star in Chinatown. It’s 21+ and $8 all night unless you RSVP. An RSVP is good for you and one guest to get in for free before 10 p.m. and $5 after that. You can RSVP via Facebook or by emailing email@example.com . If you have a birthday that you’d like to celebrate at the club tomorrow night, contact us on Facebook or through that email to make arrangements.
I usually play all vinyl. However, last night was Suede Nite at Underground and, the thing about Suede (who I still refuse to call London Suede), is that it’s incredibly difficult to get their releases on vinyl in L.A. I had one 7″ and one 12″ single. After spending hours walking around Hollywood and Highland Park, I now have three 7″ singles and that one weird “Everything Will Flow” remix 12″ that I randomly found in a cheapo bin at Amoeba years ago.
That said, I played CDs last night and it was fun. It was a different experience and I think the set list is far from what I normally spin in part for that reason. It’s basically what I played at Bang! back in 2000 and 2001. I even got The Avalanches in there.
Some friends asked about the cover of “Da Da Da” that I played last night. It’s from Elastica’s second album. “You know, the one no one bought,” I answered. The album is actually called The Menace and the “Da Da Da” cover was something I played a lot at Bang! when the album was new. Go look through the used CD bins and I’m sure you’ll find it for cheap. Continue reading →
Maybe someday soon I will tell you about the awesome madness that went down at Underground last night, but I’m going on four hours of sleep, so let’s just stick with a set list. Three sets, mostly old stuff, but songs that are rarely, if ever, played at Underground. Had the floor going before 10 p.m. That never happens at a party that opens at 9. Ever. Continue reading →
I had just turned 15 when I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees. I think I actually used birthday money to buy my ticket. It was at Universal Amphitheater, the place now known as Gibson. I wore a purple dress that I bought at Saturdays. It was corpse purple, I thought, and therefore an appropriate alternative to all-black. My friends and I did our make-up all spooky. To be honest, I looked a little tragic, an ungraceful, awkward gothling. I knew that when I walked into the show and saw all the beautiful people with their perfect MAC faces and thrift store velvet dresses. I had a lot to learn.
That was the only time I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees. They toured again a couple years later, after I had figured out how to dress and dance like a proper goth, but I missed it for some odd reason or other. I saw The Creatures, Siouxsie and Budgie’s side project, several times. In fact, I met them when they played Coven 13. I thought I might faint. I’m kind of a big Siouxsie fan. Continue reading →
Okay, it’s not really breaking news. I just wanted to add some urgency to this all-important reminder that yours truly is celebrating a birthday for an undisclosed age very soon.
This year’s Birthday DJ Gig will take place at Underground on December 14. It’s not my actual birthday (that’s December 8, for those keeping track), but it’s the next date I’m scheduled to play at the club. All are welcome to attend, as long as your 21 or older.
In the coming days, I’ll let you know the theme for the night and RSVP details.
Just got this press release and can think of a few people who will want to know all the details. Amanda Palmer is playing on New Year’s Eve at Terminal 5 in New York City. Here’s all the pertinent information in bullet point form.
Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra will be playing Prince’s landmark album Purple Rain. The whole album.
Palmer and the band will also be playing a set unrelated to Prince’s album, including music from Theatre is Evil.
Jherek Bischoff and Simple Pleasure are opening.
There’s also a “super secret guest.” Let the guessing games begin.
In the press release, Palmer offers this statement about Purple Rain: “The members of the Grand Theft Orchestra (me, Chad, Michael and Jherek) all come from very different musical backgrounds and have wildly different tastes, but there is ONE THING on our venn diagram that overlaps in the ‘perfect album’ department, and that’s PURPLE RAIN. We all grew up worshipping this record. Everybody already knows the songs cold (Jherek used to actually be IN A PRINCE COVER BAND) and we’re all going to take turns singing and swapping instruments. The band will, of course, be dressed in our finest Prince-esque finery, covering all aspects of Prince, his facial hair, and his various eras of nudity. We’re also encouraging the entire audience to ‘come as your favorite era of prince.’ I want to run around counting people in ASSLESS CHAPS, and maybe give them door prizes for bravery. New Years Eve is cold.”
From Palmer’s statement, one can deduce that there will be many Prince-a-likes at the show and, hopefully, some bare bottoms.
Photo: Painting inspired by “The Living Room” by Cynthia Von Buhler. Taken at PoptART for Amanda Palmer’s L.A. Kickstarter event. Read my story about it on L.A. Weekly’s arts blog.
I’m writing this while listening to Words and Music, the latest album from Saint Etienne. It’s the U.S. exclusive, the one with the bonus disc that was sold on the tour that just ended. I bought two copies. Technically, there was a one per person limit before the show at the Fonda or the Music Box or whatever that venue is called today. I had my boyfriend stand in line for the second one because I had promised my friend that I would score a copy for her after she was unable to get one at the New York show.
Words and Music is all about people like us. There are songs about the moment you fall in love with music, songs about hitting the clubs, songs about getting ready for the big concert. I interviewed the trio from Saint Etienne once, not long after I graduated from college. We spent a lot of time talking about record shopping. They might be more like my small group of pals than any band I’ve ever met. Continue reading →
I’m on the decks and Underground tomorrow night and have a lot of cool stuff in store. There is a brand new Cold Cave 7″ in my crate. I’m also getting ready for new music from ADULT. by bringing some of my own old favorites. More importantly, I have two openings on my guest list and they could be yours. The first two people to leave their first and last name in the comment section will be on my list tomorrow night. That means you and one guest will be able to get in for free all night. The catch is you must be 21+ to enter. If you’re underage, you can’t get into the venue. Your spot on the list is only good for November 2, 2012.
Underground is at the Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown (943 N. Broadway) and is across the street from the Gold Line. We open at 9 p.m. The cover is normally $8. However, if you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP for free entry before 10 p.m., and $5 entry thereafter.
Back in early 2011, my then-editor at LA Weekly handed me a CD from a guy called Bei Ru and asked me if I wanted to do a story on him. Of course, I did. The CD, Little Armenia (L.A.) was gorgeous, made by samples of Armenian music, grounded in L.A. hip-hop. It immediately became one of my favorite L.A. albums. I felt an immediate connection to Bei Ru, we’re both Armenian-Americans from the Valley who were obviously influenced by our city’s always-awesome underground music scenes. The story remains one of my favorite assignments (it’s also one of the only articles that everyone in my family read) and Bei Ru is still one of my favorite local musicians.
Right now, Bei Ru is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his next album. It’s a more ambitious release in that he’s planning on working with other musicians and recording engineers. Because of that, he’s looking to raise $10,000. You know the Kickstarter drill by now: Bei Ru has to hit the goal by November 26 or he gets nothing. If you pledge, there are some really cool incentives, including Bei Ru releases, lots of limited edition art and even a 2-hour live Bei Ru gig at your house. Check out Bei Ru’s Kickstarter page for more info.