I’m trying to figure out what I can do with Storify. Bear with me.
Friday June 21
Underground @ Grand Star Jazz Club
I’m back at Underground this Friday night and we’re doing a tribute to one of our Britpop heroes, Jarvis Cocker. Larry, Diana and I will be playing our favorite Pulp tracks, plus a lot of other hits from the U.K. and beyond. RSVP on Facebook or through Underground’s website for free entry before 10 p.m. and $5 entry thereafter. Without an RSVP, the cover is $8.
Saturday June 22
Beat Swap Meet
On Saturday afternoon, I’ll be back at the Grand Star with a few stacks of vinyl for Beat Swap Meet. This is one of my favorite events in L.A., a record swap meet that takes over Chinatown every couple months, and was so excited that I was asked to play for this event. I should be on the decks at around 3:45 upstairs at the Grand Star. Even more exciting is that Free Moral Agents is playing live. Make sure you catch their set. Beat Swap Meet is free with a canned good donation. Check out Facebook for more info on the event.
Saturday, June 29
Remember how we did a couple goth nights at Underground? The response was so good that we decided to let Shadowplay go off on its own. Our first proper Shadowplay party is June 29 at the Grand Star in Chinatown. Larry, Diana and I will be digging into our record collections once again for the spookiest tunes we own. RSVP on Facebook or through Underground’s website to get in for free before 10 p.m. Otherwise, the cover is $8 all night.
Saturday August 3
Club Microwave @ CIA
This is a ways off, but you might as well mark your calendar now. I’m DJing at Club Microwave on August 3. This is a cool event from the fine people behind 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer and I’m excited to be playing it. RSVP on Facebook.
Last night, I played Zerox, a monthly party at La Cuevita in Highland Park. It’s an ’80s night, but not your standard one. Resident DJs Eric Dead and Ralphie Nigma play a lot of interesting punk, goth, new wave, ska, etc. I took the opportunity to bust out some tunes that I don’t normally play in my sets, along with some of my favorite hits. Thanks to Eric and Ralphie for having me play last night. Also, thank you to those of you who made it out to the party. It was a great time!
Here’s my set list:
If I were to rank the shittiest years of my life, 2007 would be at the top. I was struggling to finish grad school on an almost non-existent income so that I could get a good job in an industry in which good jobs had suddenly ceased to exist. The resumes I submitted went unanswered. The query letters I sent for freelance work were met with rejection emails. The music magazine that I was editing folded. The DJ gigs had all but completely dried up. I was working part time at a law office with the sneaking suspicion that filing paperwork would be the rest of my life. Nothing I could make would even come close to paying off that grad school debt, plus the lingering loans from undergrad. On top of that, my dad spent nearly the entire last month of the year in a hospital bed.
At the dawn of the new year, my dad came home from the hospital and I decided that I needed a change in my life. Up until then, I was strictly a music writer. I interviewed bands. I wrote record reviews. I used the words “burly” and “ethereal” far too often. Music writing was getting to be a bore. The stories I wanted to write– the ones about electronic and experimental artists getting all philosophical with their approach to remix culture– were the ones no one wanted to buy. The ones that were a market success were run-of-the-mill short band profiles that hit when the album or tour did. Sometime during that first week of 2008, I was goofing around online at my day job when I stumbled across an anime convention, Anime Los Angeles, that was taking place in Burbank the following day. It looked interesting and, at the very least, I could probably find those Paranoia Agent DVDs that I wanted there. That Friday, after my office shift was done, I headed over to the Burbank Convention Center in a godawful January storm. I stayed there until late in the evening and was so inspired that I wrote about the experience for a Razorcake Magazine. That was my first convention story.
It was sometime late in the afternoon or early in the evening. My friend Tony and I had spent the whole day wandering around L.A. Pride, where I was working on a story for L.A. Weekly. We were tired and sunburn and about ready to make the long haul by foot back to Astroburger, where we told my husband to pick us up at the end of the day. We were trudging through the grass, maneuvering our way in between crowds of people. I stopped.
There was a girl on stage dropping verse after verse about all the problems you incur when people confuse you for Madonna. I know, it’s rough, especially when…
“I’m not Madonna. I’m not Madonna.”
The girl on stage had backup dancers. They were moving together, not quite vogueing, but heading into some sort of structured formation.
We stayed put for the whole song, swaying our exhausted bodies back and forth to the beat. At the end, we agreed, this was a jam.
I don’t know why I have never heard them before today. They sound so much like what I would have played back when I was DJing at The Parlour. They are fantastic.
The clip above is “I’m Not Madonna” from a performance at Mustache Mondays. Hope you like it too.
More from Pride:
We had a blast at our second Shadowplay party at Underground last night. Thanks to all of you who came out and got spooky on the dance floor with us. This summer, we’ll be spinning off Shadowplay as it’s own, monthly party. Stay tuned for more details.
Here are my set lists.
Downtown Las Vegas looked like downtown Los Angeles was a decade ago, a city center on the cusp of gentrification. There’s an art district, some hip bars and buildings that might house lofts. Still, there’s a seedy vibe that gets stronger as we veered closer to the Marriage Bureau. At 8 p.m. on a weeknight, the neighborhood was nearly desolate. There were a few stragglers here and there. They looked familiar, as though I had seen them on Cops.
Inside the Marriage Bureau, the line was short. At most, five couples stood in front of us. They were mostly touchy-feely, but not enthused. There’s a distant look in their eyes. Whether that’s the result of jadedness or the glare of casino lights remains unknown. They were wearing flip-flops.
The previous afternoon, we decided to go to Vegas and get hitched. We had just enough time to get a ring and some new outfits, score a deal on a room at Paris and squeeze in haircuts before we gassed up the car and headed out to the desert. It took about five hours to get to Las Vegas, another hour to settle into the hotel room and change into our wedding clothes and about a half-hour to find the Marriage Bureau. Now we were filling out applications in pencil. Sober. I later learned that this is not how you get married in Vegas.
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.
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.
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.