April 2007

CD Reviews From The Attic of Doom

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At a recent barflies staff meeting, I mentioned that I missed getting free review CD’s. Jen basically said, “You want CD’s? I got CD’s. They’re in the attic.”
One rickety ladder and a dropped box of her valuables later, I ended up with these. They are all from 2005, so they’ve probably been there since before she went to Ireland.
Be careful what you ask for.

Abdel Wright s/t
This is mostly harmless – folksy, slightly bluesy, reggae influenced pop. The prominent acoustic guitars and harmonicas are nice, but there’s too much drum programming and synthesizer stuff to retain any truly human elements. It’s almost like those fake steel-drum bands that play along with backing tapes at corporate sponsored, tropical-themed company picnics. The lyrics are “political-lite” – too much “Why?” and “What about the children?” and not enough “Down with the Man.” This CD is perfect for soccer moms that have “Meat Is Murder” or “Celebrate Diversity” bumper stickers on their SUV’s.

The Fleshtones – Beachhead
Now THIS is more like it. It’s about time we heard some rock and roll. These guys still have the bad haircuts they had in the 80’s and they’re still churning out great three-chord “would-be-hits-in-a-perfect-world” garage rock anthems. Somewhere along the way, they’ve lost the cheesy Farfisa organ and I’m glad. The songs are short, simple and to the point. There is no ambiguity here. Their philosophy is clearly defined in their choruses – “Let’s get serious about not getting serious”, “I want the answers and I want them right now”, “I am what I am and I like it”. I like this a lot.
To paraphrase the opening song of this album – it’s nothing new, just bigger and better.

Midnight Bombers – Evil Streets
The packaging on this CD is very good. It’s very slick and professional looking. The music sounds okay – hard, fast, and metallic with lots of fiddly bits, but there’s something missing. I don’t know what it is and I’m not going to waste any time trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, this came with a lyric sheet. Bad move – the lyrics are terrible. All the songs are about feeling sorry for yourself, violent crime, and how horrible the world is. It’s like bad poetry that teenagers put up on My Space that gets them kicked out of school and arrested.
And the band wears hooded sweatshirts. Oooooooh, I’m scared.

t.A.T.u. (on their logo, the “u” is backwards)
Dangerous and Moving.
This is absolute shit. I can’t imagine why anyone would like this.
You know those stories about lonely American men that arrange for foreign brides from Russia or Albania or someplace and it turns out to be a scam? They exchange torrid emails for a year and send them thousands of dollars for plane tickets and mysterious medical expenses before they find out that the sexy woman in the pictures they got doesn’t even exist. This sounds like that.
If you’ve fallen for that scam more than twice, you will buy this CD. If you’ve fallen for it more than five times, you will visit them at www.tatugirls.com and propose marriage.

The Vandals
Shingo Japanese Remix Album
This is interesting. The Vandals have made a Beastie Boys album. I can imagine this being played in a mall clothing store. That makes it both frightening and subversively brilliant. Maybe it’s a parody of a Beastie Boys album, I don’t know.
The samples of smooth jazz and Lawrence Welk caliber swing music clashing with clickety clackity drum machines seem to work well with the Vandals vocal tracks and really enhance the comedy of the lyrics, especially on “Appreciate My Honesty” and “Disproportioned Head.” There are some retro 70’s style synthesizer squawks and squeals that are also used to good effect.
This really funny at first listen, but the novelty does wear off.

ET Sessions Volume 2
Mixed by Scott Hardkiss

Various Artists
Expansion Team

What is this? I don’t get it.
Both of these compilations alternate between really boring, soft, slow, new age type fluff and thump-thump, buzz, and elephant fart disco rave trance/dance music. I don’t know which one is more irritating. I don’t take drugs. I don’t have two-day stubble on my face and wear a wool cap pulled over my ears. I don’t like this.
I'm confused and angry.
The last track on the Expansion Team CD is a conspicuously out-of-place song by some guy who used to be in some Canadian punk band. He tries to sound like the Stooges. Big deal. Anybody can try to sound like the Stooges.
Somebody hold me, I'm sad.


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File under FYI, this one is for the analog scrappers I know:

New website: Scrapblog.

My friend Cindy Li is now illustrating for Scrapblog and has gotten several folks involved in it.

If you are a scrapbooker who has yet to take to any of the online services, might want to try out Scrapblog and let us know what you think.

American Nightmare 4 -- May 4 2007

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DemonCrew Website
The Glasshouse
200 W. Second St.
Pomona, CA 91766
(909) 865-3802 or ticketmaster
$15 pre sale and $20 Day of the festival

Chibuku (Germany) - 11pm - 11:45pm
Barnyard Ballers (San Diego) - 10pm - 10:45pm
Pagan Dead (Utah) - 9:15pm - 9:45pm
The Howlers (Los Angeles) - 8:30pm - 9pm
Dexentonados (Los Angeles) - 7:45pm - 8:15pm
Bamboula (Los Angeles) - 7pm - 7:30pm
The Astounding Roy Gorbisons (Orange County) - 6:15pm - 6:45pm

Secret Benefit Show Tonight

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Alice In Chains, Alanis Morissette, The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave), Ben Harper and Cypress Hill are supposed to be playing tonight at The Hotel Cafe at 8:30: http://www.hotelcafe.com/

This is a benefit series of secret shows so the band lineups keep getting switched around. Who knows what bands or artists will actually play tonight. Proceeds go to Axis Of Justice: http://www.axisofjustice.org/

Hello music-likers,

Did you guys have fun this weekend? Yes? Why’s that? Went to a party? Oh.
Awesome. When was that party? Friday? Oooooooh. I get it. Wink wink, nudge

It’s a weird week for musics. I am tired from work, and we’re gonna get
through this. I have two more meetings to go to before I get to eat
dinner. No time to dink around, friends.

1. Frog Eyes – Tears of the Valedictorian (Absolutely Kosher)
This is one of them Spencer Krug bands (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown). He’s
not chief songwriter, but if you enjoy the theatrics of those other bands,
this may have a little ear-hug for you. Frog Eyes is sort of a halfway
point between Wolf Parade and Xiu Xiu. The indie song-styles of Wolf
Parade, but with some (SOME) of the histrionics and artiness of Xiu Xiu.
This release actually seems less over-the-top than past Frog Eyes
releases, which may have them finding new fan recruits. Recruits in the
Frog Army. An amphibian fighting force of undying loyalty to overly
theatrical indie-rock. (Fun fact: I was salutatorian of my Junior High. I
was close to being valedictorian, though. Do you think I’m smart now? I
need you to think well of me. I NEED IT. I NEED IT.)

2. Karl Blau – Dance Positive (Marriage)
OK. Facts. There was this band called “D+”. It had Karl Blau, Phil Elvrum
(the Microphones/Mount Eerie), and Bret Lunsford (Beat Happening) in it.
They are all from Anacortes, Washington. Karl Blau puts out a MONTHLY CD
in a mail-order club called “Kelp”. For the January edition, he took a
selection of lyrics written by Bret Lunsford and re-recorded them,
transforming them into a bizarre organic-electro hybrid (heavy on the
organic) that only a guy who rolls with Phil Elvrum could really come up
with, and released it on Marriage Records. It’s like an ocean-bottom dance
party up ins. Wanna get your boogie on with some fish? It is my
understanding, darling, that is is bettah down where it’s wettah. Take it
from me.

3. XBXRX – Wars (Polyvinyl)
I don’t know if this CD is going to get any play. It’s a hard left turn
from a lot of the stuff I add/you guys play. If you’re unfamiliar, XBXRX
is some sort of hybrid of, in my mind, Gravy Train!!! and the Locust. The
type of band that opens for the likes of Holy Molar and Peaches. One of
the members, Vice Cooler, is the force behind Hawnay Troof, whose
hypersexual electro-fuck anthems you may be familiar with. XBXRX has
frothing youth-energy and synthesizers and noise and so on, in that
fashion. This is a less new/no-wave affair than some of their previous
work, having more guitars and such, possibly due to the inclusion of
Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers) into the band. I’m just naming bands
and people at this point. Sorry. Funfact: Wesley Willis wrote a song about
this band. God rest his soul.

4. Feist – The Reminder (Cherrytree)
It’s totally pretty lady-singin’ and romantic and emotional and such. (Hey
guys! It’s the new Feist album!). Not to be confused with Faust. That’s
something different.

5. Pterodactyl – Pterdactyl (Brah)
The “Brah” imprint of the Jagjaguwar umbrella is fronted by members of
Oneida, and specializes in ROCK. It’s a sort of fun, drunken,
tongue-in-cheek type of thing. I believe their slogan is “If it doesn’t
suck, it’s probably not on Brah.” I mean. Shit. The label is called “BRAH”
for God’s sake. Anyway. The band. They come out of Brooklyn and the label
compares them to Racebannon, Boris, and Hella. Meaning: it’s a nimble
little noise-making post-punk rock outfit. It’s not nearly as heavy as
those three band comparisons will let on, though. Knowing that Oneida
fronts the label, adding in influences by those bands, you can probably
mentally calculate what this band sounds like. It’s pretty durned legit. I
hope you cats like it. You won’t. But. I hope you do.

6. All Smiles – Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird)
New project of the guitarist from Grandaddy. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

The Ticketmaster Boycott (A Rant)


So, I have had a Ticketmaster boycott in effect for about 4 years now, I think. Admittedly, there have been a couple of times where I have caved in, but I think I've succeeded, personally, in that time. I don't attend concerts where I need to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, meaning I either don't go, or find another local show where I can avoid the company.

I was reminded today why I started doing this in the first place. Looking up ticket prices for the upcoming Sage Francis shows, I discovered they were $18. That's a bit more than the average I normally pay for concerts, but it's a more popular group at a larger venue, and that's to be expected. I have no problem with that. It should be a good show, he's playing with a live band, there are several acts, and that simply requires more money all around. Sadly, both local shows are at Ticketmaster venues. Just to see what the damage would be, I clicked through the Ticketmaster site. In addition to the $18 ticket, there would be a $2 venue fee, and a $7.95 "convenience" fee. I am now spending $28 on an $18 show. The Glass house show "only" had a $1+$5.50 charge. You'd think a socially conscious gent like Sage "Fuck Clear Channel" Francis would do his best to avoid working with a company which effectively has a monopoly on the live music industry and can basically charge whatever it'd like for no discernible purpose (venues don't need to use them. More on that in a bit). I mean, he helped found Knowmore.org, the "People's corporation watch project". Perhaps it's a testament to Ticketmaster's pervasiveness that you simply can't tour in larger venues without working with them. Hell, knowmore.org's article on Clear Channel contains the following paragraph:

The experience of going to a concert has gotten more expensive, too. In 1999, the average concert ticket cost $36.56; four years later, the price skyrocketed to $50.35, an increase of thirty-eight percent. And that's only part of the total. Clear Channel's extra fees have outpaced even ticket prices. When Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard testified in Congress against Ticketmaster in 1994, the battle centered on a $3.50 service charge. Today, Clear Channel regularly charges more than twice that. For the May 27th Cypress Hill show at Detroit's 1,400-seat Clutch Cargo club, tickets cost $30, but there's also a $7.20 "convenience charge" and a 75-cent facility fee.

Sage Francis has never even received mainstream radio play. I would hate to imagine what they charge for mainstream acts. Wait....let's see. OK. Justin Timberlake, at the Staples Center, has a $15.05 convenience fee on a ticket that is already over $90. Amazing. In 10 years, Ticketmaster has gone from charging $3.50 to $15.05. A 330% increase, if I'm not mistaken, for the EXACT SAME service they've always provided (I'd imagine Pearl Jam in 1994 to be roughly comparable to Justin Timberlake today, fame-wise, agreed?). I understand things get more expensive over time, but if you'd like to play devil's advocate and explain what possible increased expenses they've had in the last ten years to warrant that increase, I'd love to hear it.

I know it's possible to avoid using them. I've only broken the boycott two or three times in four years, and I see a greater amount of concerts than the average citizen. Granted, I go in for smaller bands which makes it easier, but it still should be possible. The Troubadour has a fax-in ticket service IN ADDITION to the Ticketmaster website which avoids the massive charges. Other venues use services like "Ticketweb", who have charges that are usually less than half of what Ticketmaster charges. They provide the identical service, but are somehow able to cut the charges IN HALF.

Though, in the end, I have to acknowledge that it's a silly battle that I will not win. I don't suspect I can get enough people to join the boycott to make any discernible difference. I'll ask you to help, though. If you have a choice, go to the show that doesn't use Ticketmaster. Vote with your dollar, help out companies which challenge the monopoly.

Tiki Treasures & Polynesian Pinups

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And just when you IE'ers thought we'd forgot about you ;-P (is Cucamonga IE?? well, close enough lol!)

April 28, 2007
Tiki Treasures & Polynesian Pinups
Live Music by The Smokin' Menehunes
6:00 pm


California Screamin 2 - May 12

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Spend the day with Tink in El Segundo @ one of the coolest events this year. California Screamin' 2. A menagerie of hot rods, very cool art and people. There will be an after party at the Purple Orchid - 221 Richmond St. El Segundo. For more info: Gasoline


The Small (Love) Object

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Stop It. Stop being so damn adorable. It makes me crazy. It makes me want to kiss you on the mouth. That's how I feel about these insanely cute rubber stamps from The Small Object.


Yes, rubber stamps in the shape of an acorn, a squirrel, and holy crap, a hedgehog. The Small Object is the cottage industry of Sarah Neuburger who makes "artwork, limited editions and handmade goods for everyday that are fun and quirky." Chances are, Sarah's not trapped in a cubicle somewhere, wincing under the flourescent lights. Or maybe she is.

When I get stressed, I imagine stamping these little fellows on my staff reports, time sheets, and performance measurements. And life gets better. And so much cuter.

Sublime Stitching

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Jenny Hart over at Sublime Stitching (who is my craft Idol) has made embroidering hip again, with her amazing art and must-have patterns.

I've been embroidering since I was a little girl, so I'm no stranger to the medium. In fact, this is the one craft that really relaxes me and mellows me out - with each pull of the needle I can feel my heart rate slowing.

So everytime Jenny comes out with new patterns, I collect them unabashedly, sometimes buying in sets of two (one to store, one to use). Her new collection is one of the cutest: Bon Voyage (Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal), Word Balloons, and Camping Images, but all the sets are adorable - precious chihuahuas, Olde English letters, fierce roller derby babes, luchadores. There are more patterns than there is time to embroider!


As a special treat, Jenny is featuring Kurt Halsey as a guest designer. Kurt's designs are "twee and sad" (to paraphrase Jenny) and I can't wait to embroider them!


Love Struck

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Should I be surprised that a Huntington Beach company has finally come out with Punk Rock scrapbook supplies? I've been waiting for a while for paper crafting to get really cool, because really cool means really cool products. And it's been happening slowly... slowly... with more really gorgeous papers and more fun embellishments.

So it stands to reason that I'm delighted with Creative Imaginations new lines: Marah Joneson's Lovestruck and CI's Caution Girl. As I sift through the fabulous photos from 2007 Punk Rock Bowling, I'm excited about using these products to create something truly unique, something that can be shared at next year's PRB.

Creative Imaginations can be purchased online through their webstore and at better scrapbooking stores.

Hi, I'm Panda

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So, Jessa tells me that she saw Kimya Dawson play Sunday night, and naturally, Dawson had her baby, Panda, with her. According to Jess, Panda is really cute -- you know, like a panda, but maybe not as big, or as smelly, or as prone to eating an entire bamboo tree -- but more like a baby panda, which is really damn cute.

And then we thought about how when Panda grows up, she can say things like, "Hi, I'm the Executive Director of Human Resources, Panda Dawson," or "Pleased to meet you, I'm Panda Dawson, Vice President in charge of Marketing." But really, Panda is more the type of name that makes you think she'll be saying, "HI! I'm Panda, and I'll be your server tonight at HOOTERS. Let me tell you about our HOT WINGS SPECIAL."

Yes, I'm afraid that Panda is more a curse than a blessing and as cute as it is now, it will not be cute when she is 45.

Barflies: Here's my KUCI new music word-vomit party. Enjoy.

Welcome, tiny warriors of justice and love.

I trust you all had lovely weekends. I did OK, seeing both Kimya Dawson
last night (anti-folk love) and Lightning Bolt on Friday (they're in ur
eardrumz destoyin ur brain.) Friday also gained points as being a mission
of diplomacy and goodwill towards our sister station at UCSD. I’m sure you
recognize “mission of diplomacy and goodwill” to mean “I totally drank
beers with them at the pub before we kicked ass at a rock and roll show.”
Kofi Annan would be proud. But, at any rate, they are now part of our
gang, and we are part of theirs. If they ever get into a fight at monster
truck rally, we are to get their back. They will, of course, return the
favor. Good kids, all.

Enough of my rambling old man horseploopy.


1. Calvin Johnson & The Sons of the Soil - Calvin Johnson & The Sons of
the Soil (K)
Shock of shocks: Kyle makes a K Records CD his #1 pick of the week. In
case you failed “Rock and Roll History one-oh-AWESOME”, Calvin Johnson is
the lead singer of Beat Happening and co-singer in the Halo Benders with
Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch. He also founded K Records (it was nice of
him to release his own album). This release is a collection of past solo
songs as recorded with a full band (including members of Little Wings,
Yume Bitsu, and Jason Anderson). If you can’t get passed his voice, you’re
listening to music wrong. There. I said it.

2. Joanna Newsom – Joanna Newsom & the Ys Street Band (Drag City)
Dude. “Ys Street Band” wins for most ridiculous/genius title of the year.
I don’t suspect I will need to sell this one very hard for you to play it.
Again, this is another solo artist releasing past music recorded with a
full band. This EP has one new track, one track from “Ys” with a full band
(Cosmia), and one from Milk-Eyed Mender (Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie). More
intensely epic harp-folk from everyone’s favorite woodland songstress.
(You probably already know, but it’s pronounced “ease”, not “wise”. Just
want to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about on the air.)

3. Charlotte Gainsbourg – 5:55 (Vice)
So, I think that when your dad is a musical legend like Serg Gainsbourg,
you sort of HAVE to record some albums too, right? Like Jacob Dylan before
her, sweet baby Jesus knows that this doesn’t approach the dad’s
greatness. Though, unlike Jacob Dylan, this CD doesn’t make me want to
slam my dick in a car door. Oh God. I just actually imagined that.
Normally I can say things like that without thinking about them, thereby
sparing me from any consequences but that was just awful. Jesus. Anyway.
The music isn’t especially FRENCH (though some songs are in French), but
rather a sort of low-key pop affair. The band Air collaborated on music,
Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker assisted with lyrics, and Nigel Godrich produced it
(he also produces all the Radiohead albums, for the record). Seems a bit
difficult to fail with that pedigree, don’t it?

4. Various Arists – Bridging the Distance (Arena Rock Recording Company)
Easy: A bunch of Portland, OR bands recording coversongs with the proceeds
going to P:EAR, a non-profit dedicated to assisting “transitional youth”
with education, art, and recreation programs. You get the Decemberists
covering Fleetwood Mac, Thermals covering Led Zep, Vice Voce covering the
Alan Parsons Project, Minders covering ELO. Holy shit. There’s a NIGHT
RANGER cover on here. Did you feel that? That’s the power of TED NUGENT.

5. The Oh Sees – Sucks Blood (Castle Face)
So, Sam of Wonderful Rainbow got all super pants-pissy over this album. I
knew that meant that it was either a band with 3,000 drummers that was
just balls-out crazy, or totally trashy garage-rock, possibly involving
the dude from Coachwhips. Turned out to be the second one. Super not my
thing but if you want lo-fi trashy garage music, I got a cure for what
ails you, baby.

6. McCarthy Trenching – McCarthy Trenching (Team Love)
Conor Oberst’s Team Love label puts out an alt-country album that is more
“alt” than “country”. Enough so that it ends up in the rock section of the
KUCI library, where I rule with a cotton candy fist. But, if a twangy
album that Mr. Bright Eyes gave his blessing to sounds like your thing,
I’d say check it out. Good songwriting, rural feel, etc. Give it a shot.
Cusrive’s Tim Kasher pops up on two tracks playing accordion. Go figure.

7. Mando Diao – Ode to Ochrasy (Mute)
This totally sounds like the Strokes to me.

8. The Veils – Nux Vomica (Rough Trade)
These dudes come from the land down under. I think they sound like the
Divine Comedy if it were darker/less poppy and grew up listening to Joy
Division or something. But don’t take my word for it... (READING RAINBOW,
DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDES!!!!!) Uh oh. We’ve reached the point in the blurbs
where I totally stop giving a shit.

9. Johnny and the Moon – Johnny and the Moon (Kill Devil Hills)
This band is from Canada. They sound like Sunset Rubdown/Swan Lake but FAR
less histrionic (see? I’m smart. I can use fancy words sometimes. It’s not
all dick jokes.) A little more Okkervil River, a little less Frog Eyes.
You know? That’s indie kid math! This one should probably be higher on the
list because it sounds pretty dang good. But, as we all know, I have a
strict “no editing” policy with this crap.

10. Small Sails – Similar Anniversaries (Other Electricities)
The promo company describes it as “stop-motion-stuttering aural
hopscotch”, and compares them to Album Leaf, the Books, Caribou, and
Animal Collective. Thanks, Nice Promotion. My job’s a lot easier when you
suckers do it for me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go obtain cheap sandwiches, and then
convince the new training class that I’m “dope”.


Back to the Beach 2007

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9th Annual Back to the Beach
Saturday, April 21st, 2007
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

music by:
11:00 am - Randy Rich
12:00 pm - DynoTones
1:00 pm - Dustin Chance and the All Nighters

Ventura County Fairgrounds
10 W. Harbor Blvd. Ventura Ca 93001

Pre 1969 American cars, American & British motorcycles and Antique Motorcycle Class

Miss Jen's Birthday!

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Miss Jen's Birthday is almost here! We'll be celebrating at Alex's Bar on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 with the Flametrick Subs and The Irish Brothers! Come on down and wish Miss Jen a happy 29th!

My Obsession

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I'm going to blame my stepsister Sari, because she gave me a Tarina Tarantino bracelet and started my obsession. Of course, back then, it was just a kind of "this is high end fashion jewelry that you'd see in Elle or Lucky" feeling, not an obsession; I felt really favored to to own something "nice" without paying Ben-Amun prices.


Of course, later I appreciated the whimsey of the Pink Head designs without really feeling like I had to have any, the way I appreciate delicate candies made with marzipan, but seriously, I don't ever want to eat them.

But then Tarina had to go and come out with the Queen Alice collection. And here I blame Sir John Tenniel, the original illustrator of Lewis Carroll's classic, the Downtown Disney Vault 28 store (honestly, people - "Kingdom Couture?" Designer Disney? that is an entirely 'nother post) for carrying the collection, and fashionistas everywhere.


All of a sudden, I can't stop thinking about Tarina Tarantino. Not in a "please-be-my-best-friend, what-are-you-doing-right-now-can-I-come-over-too-late-I'm-already-outside" creepy kind of way, but in a "gosh, I'm in love with that necklace and I just know that if I were wearing it, my day would be better and my skin would be brighter, and I'd probably look thinner and sexier" kind of way. And then I started dropping in to the website every other day, just to "visit" my favorite pieces (still not on sale). And then I started seeing it everywhere, on models, in magazines, on people at Alex's Bar in Long Beach, for God's sake. And even Avril Levigne and Paris Hilton can't make me hate it.

Of course, my obsession with punk couture started long ago, with Vivienne Westwood, and continues to this day, but not in a Forever 21 kind of way. No, in a seriously-scary-I-love-couture kind of way. And I'll never be able to affort that stuff, because, let's get real, people. I need to eat and pay the mortgage. So, I'm giving up. I'm taking all my cash (about $250, so no, I'm not getting that $600 necklace I've been dreaming about, or even the $325 Dia de Los Muertos Swarovski belt buckle) and going to visit Tarina Tarantino's boutique on Melrose.

I'm leaving the credit cards behind and taking a friend known as The Voice of Reason. Wish me luck.

Craft Magazine Subscription

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Kindly Jess got me a subscription to Craft Magazine for my birthday, and I've been patiently waiting and waiting for it to arrive. Based on the arrival time of my other magazine subscriptions, I seriously think the mail lady steals my magazines, reads them, and then delivers them. They all arrive 3 weeks after the magazines hit the newstands.

But behold my delight when my first Craft magazine arrived in the mail today (for some reason I got Craft: 02 and Craft: 03 at the same time - thanks mail lady!), and the cover story featured these tiny kitties you can stitch from felt!

I'm not lying, I almost started crying. That's how cute these damn kitties are. I'm going to try to make them, as well as the punk rock reconstructed t-shirt and let you know how it goes. Thanks, Jess!

Don Ho R.I.P.

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Girl Power

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Normally, I would have been annoyed at a show starting 35 minutes late, but since I’d gotten myself lost (of course) on my way to The Mint Thursday night, and wasn’t there promptly at 8pm anyway, it wasn’t such a big deal. And I was really looking forward to its all-female lineup, starring Elana James and the Continental Two, and featuring Amy Farris and Brandi Shearer, so I was relieved to learn I hadn’t missed anything, despite convincing myself that I’d missed the turn onto Fairfax and driving in the wrong direction for two miles.

Brandi Shearer proved herself to be a promising young talent with a great sound and great look, but unfortunately lacked a connection with the audience - I didn't feel like I knew her any better at the end of her set than I did at the beginning.

A very pleasant surprise was Amy Farris, who started her set with a Bruce Robison song, so you know I loved that. An exquisite fiddle, mandolin, and acoustic guitar player, Amy sounds a lot like Bruce’s wife Kelly Willis, whom she’s provided instrumentation and harmony vocals for. She also performed a bunch of songs she wrote with Dave Alvin for her Anyway CD, so you know the stamp of genius was all over those. Go see her when she performs at the Cinema Bar next month – she’s a doll.

Although the first two artists suffered from poor acoustics that often drowned out the lead singers’ voices, the sound guy got it right for Elana James and the Continental Two, after much correction during soundcheck. Elana James (formerly Elana Fremerman of The Hot Club of Cowtown) was certainly no disappointment. Having struck it out on her own, she’s making music and performing just as good, if not better, than her Hot Club days. The bluesy throatiness of her voice and her growing confidence on-stage make her a both playful and seductive artist, but the real star of Elana’s show is her fiddle-playing, which is quite simply…mad. Assisting the virtuosity of her show were the fantastic sidemen Whit Smith and Beau Sample, making this “new” trio a “can’t miss” act.

6 Reasons One Should Reside In Glendale

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Reason # 6: I live there! At least come and visit the Rock and Roll house that I live in. Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch used to live there.

Thread Show San Diego

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Check out this event in San Diego: http://www.threadshow.com/

This Sunday, April 15th from 11am-6pm

Fashion, Music, Art and Lifestyle show!

RSVP and get in for $7 instead of $10: http://www.threadshow.com/sandiego/rsvp.php

Pavilion of Wings Opens Sunday!

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Photo courtesy of Natural History Museum

The 9th Annual Pavilion of Wings takes flight April 15 at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles! Enter a world of free-flying butterflies in this enclosed, lush habitat. More than 30 species — including giant swallowtails, monarchs and the American Painted Lady — flutter throughout the grounds. The Pavilion of Wings is made possible in part by support from Macy’s and entry fee is $3 for Adults, $2 for Seniors, and $1 for children ages 5-12. Hours of operation for this exhibit are from 10:00am to 4:30 pm. Don't miss it!

The Accidental Artist

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I recall reading/hearing somewhere that Shag never intended to become an artist... it was just a bit of a fortunate accident. Fortunate for us as well because WE LOVE SHAG :-) If you're interested in a brief peek at the man behind the mid-century madness, Josh Agle, check out The Sophisticated Misfit at the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival. Get your tix asap because I have a sneaking suspicion that - much like the coveted canvases at Shag's gallery shows - this event will sell out before the doors even open!

The Sophisticated Misfit
Thursday April 26, 2007
7:30 pm
$10 film / $45 film + soiree

If you've yet to catch a Charles Phoenix event, this is the time to do it-- 3, count 'em 3 upcoming shows through April and May:

April 13-15, 2007
Charles Phoenix in LA LA Land…
A Krazy Kaleidoscope of Southern California Kulture in Kodachrome
Curtis Theater
Brea, CA
8:00 pm Fri-Sat
2:00 pm Sun

May 11, 2007
John Anson Ford Ampitheater (888) 464-2468
Box Office(323) 461-3673
8:30 pm

May 27, 2007

Charles Phoenix’s “Disneyland” Tour of Downtown Los Angeles
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Dice Magazine Book Release Party

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Sat. April 14, 2007
Dice Magazine Book Release Party
Starlite Room
2220 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA 90814

Also featuring pinstripers Makoto, Mr.G, and Jet Wrench.

Album Cover of the Week

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LA Derby Dolls - April 14 & 21

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LA Derby Dolls Roller Derby
333 S Alameda (Alameda & 3rd St) Los Angeles
Little Tokyo Shopping Center - Top Floor

April 14, 2007
live music by:
Reagan SS
The Eyeshadows
Josie Cotton
Devilicious featuring The Hells Belles Dancers
6:30 pm

April 21, 2007
6:30 pm

Punk Rock at the Drive-In

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Featuring Grindhouse and The Hills Have Eyes
Check Mission Tiki Drive-In Website for other features also showing.

Friday Apr 13, 2007
Punk Rock at the Drive-In
Mission Tiki Drive-In
Montclair, CA
5:30 PM

Tiki Farm Spring Parking Lot Sale

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Ah.. spring is in the air... and Tiki Farm is having their spring sale just in time to get your lanai ready for luau season.

Tiki Farm Sale
Live music by the Glasgow Tiki Shakers (1-3pm)
Sat. April 14, 2007
1305 Calle Avanzado
San Clemente, CA
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

New music to KUCI for 4/10/07

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Hey, Barfliers: This is the latest edition in a limited set of emails from me (KUCI Music Director) to the DJs. Your reading it is a type of voyeurism that doesn't involve naked Japanese girls.


Uncle Kyle had a heck of a weekend, full of mojitos, Brazilian BBQs,
badass concerts, etc. Then, he is doing some serious work in the job that
actually pays him (I cannot pay my rent with love, I’m afraid). So, do be
kind if these blurbs don’t deliver the goods like normal. I’m tired and
cranky and full of pistachios so I feel sort of ill.

1. The Blow – Poor Aim: Love Songs (K)
Musical pet peeve numero UNO: you buy an album, and then, years later, it
is re-released with numerous bonus tracks. Your reward for being on top of
things, music-wise, is getting dicked over by the same bands you support.
Grand. When the Blow changed their (her) sound to the chart-topping
electro-jamz you guys totally dug into on “Paper Television”, she started
on a tiny EP on States Rights Records, teaming up with Y.A.C.H.T. Now that
EP is out of print, but K Records were thoughtful enough to repress it for
all of you who aren’t as cool as I am. Not only that, they doubled the
length of the EP with 7 new remixes. Your sloth has truly paid off. (This
is what a bitter jerk looks like.)

2. Blonde Redhead – 23 (4AD)
Hey everybody! Look! It’s the new Blonde Redhead album!!

3. Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities – Lucas (Ghostly)
So, I guess these kids used to be called “Skeletons and the Girl Faced
Boys”, but they’ve changed it for no discernible reason. This is some
unusual stuff. Sounds like a cross between Fog, the Unicorns, and Animal
Collective. Yes. I am pleased with that description. Now have some serfs
bring me some mutton, for I am THE KING OF MUSICAL DESCRIPTIONLAND!!!

4. Au Revoir Simone – The Bird of Music (Our Secret Record Company)
Comin’ from the mean streets of BK comes some serious fucking cop-killing
rap. And by “serious fucking cop-killing rap”, I mean all-girl synth-pop
in the vein of Camera Obscura with a touch of Hot Chip. (For the record,
the girls in Camera Obscura did 10 years in Folsom for killing a cop.
That’s a little known indie-pop funfact.)

5. Various Artists – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
Colon The Soundtrack
(Williams Street)
This is, shockingly enough, the soundtrack to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force
movie. There are things you’d expect on this soundtrack (aka MC Chris,
Schooly D, etc), and then, for God knows what reason, a bunch of metal
like Mastodon and Andrew W.K. (the latter you, of course, cannot play on
KUCI). Do you like Dadaistic cartoons? Heavy metal? Nerd rap?
Anthropomorphic fast food? Enjoy.

6. Bill Callahan – Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)
Remember that EP I added by this guy the other week? No? Why not? Oh,
because you don’t read these things? Fair enough. Well, here’s the rest of
the Smog-dude, Jim O’Rourke-y, Joanna Newsom-lovin’ album.

7. Pop Levi – The Return to Form Black Magick Party (Counter)
I guess this guy used to be in Ladytron, but this doesn’t sound much like
that at all. Though, he IS wearing black and has eyeliner on the cover,
so, there’s that. This is more of a junky Of Montreal meets Olivia Tremor
Control raw words gritty etc.etc. adjective garage adverb electronic
touches verb words etc.

8. Laura Veirs – Saltbreakers (Nonesuch)
What? Girl with glasses who sings folk-pop? And is smart enough to have
studied both Chinese and geology in college (and acted as translator on a
geological expedition)? And rolls with the Decemberists? And more weird
rhetorical questions that have no real answers? Yes.

9. Kite Operations – Heart Attacks, Back to Back (KOA)
I think “shoegaze” is a pretty evocative genre name. It’s descriptive. The
label of this describes it as Sonic Youth, Slint, Built to Spill, and
Sunny Day Real Estate. Guitar plus some pop plus some decent trance-y
repetition. Does that work for you? Good. I’m done.

Thumbs Down on Casa Vega

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I'd like to preface this very negative review by saying that I'm writing this with a heavy heart. I'd much rather write about pleasant experiences that stand out in my mind as things I'd rather do again, as opposed to experiences that were not so memorable. However, I also feel I'd be doing a great disservice to not only myself, but also you, my readers, by NOT reporting unhappy circumstances, as well as happy ones. So, let the negativity fly!

Tonight, I had a "date" with Some of the Women Who Inspire Me at the family-owned restaurant Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. There was to be a group of five of us who would meet at approximately 6pm for drinks and appetizers. As sometimes happens with gatherings like this, only two of us had arrived by 6pm, and were informed that we could not be seated at a table until our entire party arrived. Not a problem, and Denise and I ordered our first round of margaritas. Approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, two others arrived, and the four of us were seated. More drinks, and a round of appetizers. Tracy had to leave around 7pm, at which time Pam arrived. You guessed it - more drinks. By this point, we were all having a fabulous time.

No sooner than 8pm - less than two hours after the first two of us had arrived - had our otherwise enjoyable evening turned sour. Tonya and Pam excused themselves to use the ladies' room, at which point a gentleman, who we later were informed was the manager, informed Denise and I that because of the many people waiting for a table, we were invited to leave whenever we were ready. Denise angrily asked for the check, both of us astonished that we'd effectively been kicked out of the restaurant. When the manager returned with the check, Denise informed him of her indignation, while unbeknownst to us, a waiter removed Tonya and Pam's unfinished drinks from the table. When Tonya and Pam returned, Denise and I informed them of our ill treatment, but when we tried to complain to the waiter, he simply shrugged and suggested we talk to the manager - the man who had just asked us to leave! It was at this point we noticed the missing drinks, and realized that we'd been charged full price for them. Tonya tried to complain to the manager, to no avail. He simply advised us to look and see how many people were waiting for a table, a suggestion that seemed to us to be not our problem, especially since our total bill was $120. Adding further insult, we noticed that the two young ladies apparently in their early 20s, who had been seated at a table for much longer than us, were not being invited to leave and open their table for other patrons.

Needless to say, my first dining experience at Casa Vega will also be my last.

Just in Time for Spring....

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...Bed, Bath, & Beyond has come out with these impossibly cute terry-cloth, baby-doll shower wraps that are not only adjustable, in three adorable colors, but also so-oo affordable. Even my grandmother, who is the Queen of Finding Cute Bathrobes, couldn't do any better than this.



Recently, I had a yearning to do something different for a change...to "get close to nature". I'd only visited the Wild Animal Park once before, about 10 years ago, on a very hot August day. So hot, that we were prompted to stay only 2 hours. But, there is so much more to see than 2 hours worth of this park.

So let me tell you about it!

The San Diego Wild Animal Park is a zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in the city and Southern California. The Park houses a fabulous array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. It's in a semi-arid environment, based around Nairobi village in Kenya, and one of its most notable features is the large Wgasa Railway which explores 700 acres of range exhibits. These enclosures house such animals as cheetahs, antelopes, lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, horses, rhinos, and bonobos. What is Bonobo you ask? Bonobos are complex beings with profound intelligence, emotionality, and sensitivity. They are most closely related to the human race. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture to display, because they were hiding the day I visited the WAP. Wind has a profound affect on animals and they like to stay out of it. However, we were very lucky to find so many animals out and about regardless of weather conditions.

Park Avenue - The new swank in food!

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Recently, a friend took me to a fairly new eatery in Stanton, CA, near the cross streets of Beach and Katella. I have to say I was very impressed with the style and atmosphere of old 40's style design. From the ceiling lamps to the signage, Park Avenue is class at an affordable price. If you sign up on their email list they will send you special offers and keep you updated on their latest brunches, etc. Make Park Avenue one of your stops along the way for great dining out. Did I even tell you how wonderful the food is? The food makes your mouth water and you savor every bite! My recommend for lunch is the Grilled Skirt Steak Salad.

Park Avenue


A True Outlaw

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Billy Joe Shaver's Greatest Hits CD was released in stores today. And what is the King of the Outlaws doing? Well....suffice it to say that today's country artists have so-oo much to learn.

Meanwhile, I will be ordering my "Free BJS" t-shirt. And the CD.


Ontario Gem Faire starts this Friday!

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This coming Friday marks the start of a weekend long event - April, 6, 7 & 8th. Many of you crafters may want to check out this large and amazing event at the Ontario Convention Center. I have never been to a gem faire and hope to get out to one soon! http://www.gemfaire.com/

As a side note, Lone Star Gems out of Texas has an official cut for the state called the Lone Star Cut. Check this beauty out. It's a blue topaz.


New music to KUCI for 4/3/07

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The latest in my series of emails to KUCI DJs about what is new in the library. These will never end until I die or quit. Whichever comes first. Probably quit.

Hey all,

Welcome to April. More importantly, welcome to the new KUCI quarter of
scheduling. If you’re a new DJ, congrats. My name’s Kyle. I’m the music
director. You don’t have to get on my good side because I have no power
over whether you have a show or not. I WILL talk trash about what you play, though.
Because I am a huge jerk. Please remember to submit your playlists to
playlists (at) kuci (dot) org. It will be ever so much help to me in deciding what to
add every week. Not that I pay attention to anyone’s opinions but my own,
anyway. (I DO A BAD JOB!)


Also, there’s a new issue of the Hipsterbookclub up at hipsterbook.com. My
self-promotion: it is shameless.

1. Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position (Low Altitude)
It’s about time. This album’s been out for about two months in Europe
while fans of amazing electro-influenced violin-heavy pop have been
slathering for it in the States. Fact: this album is amazing and will
probably be number one on KUCI next week. Young master Wolf has abandoned
his faux-Dickensian street musician vibe for one of, if the cover art and
promotional photos are any indication, a bizarre homosexual circus (widely
believed to be the best kind of circus). Little glitch-pop touches
bubbling away beneath wonderful, well-orchestrated pop songwriting. On my
mental “Top 10 of 2007”, this one is already kicking significant ass, and
I’d venture to say anyone who’s heard it would be inclined to agree.
Unless they were STUPID. Yes. I am resorting to namecalling.

2. CocoRosie – The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (Touch and Go)
Is it possible that these sisters are getting weirder on every damned
album? What the hell does that title even mean? Some kind of fucked up
children’s book about undead equines and dead babies? I would not read
that to a baby. You know what, though. Darn it if this isn’t possibly
their best album yet. Some tracks have their old school freak-folk feel to
them: all cooed and squeaky vocals with toy piano accompaniment. Others
take on a type of electo-Bjork vibe, with steady beats and unusual
rhythms. I think this may be their most listenable yet. I think it’s safe
to say that albums like this will never be usurped by the mainstream.
Let’s put it that way. Eccentrixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

3. Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond (Fat Possum)
This one maybe skirts that grey area of KUCI music policy, so be sure to
send me angry emails if you disagree with my choices. This is another one
of those bands that there is no way you’ve never heard of if you’re a fan
of college radio. After a lengthy hiatus, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and company
get back together and play the type of catchy, guitar-centric rock songs
that the entire indie scene was based on. Gotta know your roots, kids.

4. Thee More Shallows – Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)
Next up in the ongoing series of Anticon trying to break away from their
legacy of esoteric hiphop: Thee More Shallows. The OCD part of me (78% by
volume) is sort of panicking about where this is going to end up being
filed alphabetically. T? M? T makes more sense to me, due to “Thee”, and
the fact that given this band name you wouldn’t think to look under M. I
dunno man. Anyway. The music: laid back, fuzzy, “for fans of Modest Mouse,
Why?, and David Bowie”. Keyboardy, hazy, catchy hooks, and pretty damned
good. I’ll add M83 into that mix of bands due to the fuzzy droney
keyboardiness of this album. I’m also going to add a lime, because I think
that is an underused fruit, and I think lime should be in more things.

5. The Icicles – Arrivals & Departures (Microindie)
OK, new kids. Listen. I know you think I’m super awesome, and completely
virile. The beard gives that effect. And you’re right. I am so virile, I
can impregnate girls just by THINKING HARD about it. But, inside of this
carved-from-stone exterior lies a gentle (ask anyone) fellow who fucking
loves pop songs about hugs. This. Album. Is. Ill. When Rita, Emily, and I
have our Supersecretpopandkiteflyingtreehouseclub meetings, we totally put
this on our little califone record player and discuss the positive
attributes of sweaters and scarves. That is how we roll. And we will CUT
you if you front, because twee is punk. You have no idea.

6. Kings of Leon – Because of the Times (RCA)
I have no damned clue what this dude is talking about. I swear to God he
has marbles in his mouth. This is what I DO know: these dudes love
guitars, they probably each have a couple copies of Surfer Rosa, and are
generally lumped in with folks like the Libertines and the like. It’s that
sort of thing. I don’t know much about them because if it doesn’t have a
white guy rapping, I don’t listen to it.

7. Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti-)
This here is your “I hate everything else you added this week so give me
something different” release. It’s produced by Ry Cooder (which will
probably let you know to check this out, if you know who that is). This is
like, socially conscious gospel/blues/rock. Mavis, formerly of the Staple
Singers, brings you some downhome comfort songs with the “everything’s
going to be all right” vibe, as well as the “we have to fight for what we
want” vibe which SEEM like they won’t get along, but manage to mesh so
well into the “when we get together, we’ll accomplish everything we want
and things WILL be all right” vibe that makes me be sort of stoked on
life. I dig it.

8. Peel – Peel (Peek-a-Boo)
I’m sort of at a loss as to how to describe this one. Not because it’s
some revolutionary sound, or some out-there Jandek thing, but just because
stuff like this always sort of does it’s own little thing. It’s
“pop-indie”, but in a way that kind of smears the edge of it, I guess.
They’re on a label that’s released some of Spoon’s stuff, if that helps.
This is pop-indie at it’s core, but with keyboard squeaks that kind of
slop the focus all over. Kind of a mildly noisier, less inhibited Kinks.
Dude. I should probably write something funny here. I’ve been
all...informative today. What the hell?

9. Lesbians on Ecstasy – We Know You Know (Alien8)
If people like two things, it’s gay sex and drugs. That was proven in a
Gallup poll. So, what happens when you put those two things together?
You get socially and politically conscious LeTigre-lovin’
electrodance-rock that you can burn things to (be they effigies of Bush
or dancefloors). I’m giving myself two points for the cleverness of
that sentence. Go me!

10. Cloud Cult – The Meaning of 8 (Self-released)
This album is a total mashup of tons of styles. Mellow Album Leaf-esque
orchestra-rock, glitchy electrical touches, Modest Mouse-y guitar
chug-pop, and so on, in that fashion, until I’ve described what they sound
like and never get to go home and eat dinner.

11. Ral Partha Vogelbacher – Shrill Falcons (Monotreme)
The only person who may recognize that band name as a reference to
something is “Fake British Accent Theater” Mike. That dude gets all my
geeky references. This one is SO geeky that I’m afraid to say that I even
recognize it. Though, to my credit, I only thought “why does that sound
familiar?” until I read their bio and felt my entire high school life
coming rushing back at me. At any rate: music. It sounds like a
grittier/rawer Andrew Bird. Actually, the more I roll that around, the
more apt it feels. Like, if Andrew Bird spent the whole weekend drinking,
and you saw him first thing Monday morning and you were all, “Jesus,
Andrew. You look like crap.” And he’s like “Ugh…I know. You should see
your mom’s room though, after what I did to her.” ZING!

And with that, I vanish like POOF.


Dead and Deader in LA: American Zombie

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American Zombie on MySpace

And you just thought half this city "acted" braindead....

Is that... waffle you're wearing??

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Speaking of Pretty Darn Sweet, I have a feeling wearing Pancake Meow's adorable and scrumptiously scented (!) accessories might be more temptation than a chronic dieter like me can handle... but if you've got the willpower, check out their selection of tinier-than-life charms and pendants. Each item is a mere 3/4" inch to 1" in diameter and comes with your choice of fragrance. Drool......

pancakemeow_cupcake.jpg pancakemeow_waffle.jpg
pancakemeow_powdereddonut.jpg pancakemeow_icecream.jpg