Amoeblog

Margaritas At El Conquistador

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 23, 2007 02:42pm | Post a Comment
The first thing you’ll notice about the Mexican restaurant El Conquistador is that it is gay, but in an old school Mexican way some of us grew up on, like that mustachio tio who liked to wear tight Mariachi pants yet never played Mariachi music. The tio your mom said was married but we never met our Aunt. It was that same tio that always brought a male “friend” to family functions. When I go to El Conquistador, this is where I imagine my gay tio hanging out, having Margaritas.

El Conquistador is in Silver Lake, a throwback to when Silver Lake was all Latinos and gays with a few bohemians scattered about. The main attraction is not the food. In fact, skip it all together; your stomach will thank you later. The star of the show is their Margaritas. When you absolutely, positively, want to forget everything on your mind, this is the place.

El Conquistador does not have the best Margarita. El Compadre's infamous “Flaming Margarita” is the best that I have had so far. But if you try to light a flame in one of El Conquistador’s Margaritas, you’d make a Molotov cocktail instead. Yeah, it’s that strong. After a hard day of work or a bad break-up, El Conquistador's Margaritas works better than the Lacuna procedure in the movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Whatever your flavor, order your Margarita “Rocas con sal.” That’s the way to have it. Blended just doesn’t cut it, ever. I like the cross section of people that go to El Conquistador -- Leather Daddies in chaps sitting next to the Alterna-moms with their babies in carriages, sucking down margaritas, trying to forget motherhood for a few. Then there's Retro-rockers looking like they stepped out of a Uriah Heep album next to newly in-love couples sharing eyes and a margarita with two straws like a milk shake. Of course, don’t forget, along with our gay tios is our gays tias hanging in strong. I didn’t have a gay tia in my family, so when I have children, I’ll have to adopt one.      

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Jury Duty - Excuses Are Like _______, And Everyone Has Them

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 23, 2007 01:10pm | Post a Comment
It’s been three years since I had to report to jury duty. The last time I had to go I sat in a jury waiting room reading Walter Mosley books until they dismissed us at the end of the day. I love Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series because it all takes place in Los Angeles, mainly South L.A., not too far from where I grew up. Much like reading other Los Angeles writers such as Raymond Chandler, John Fante and Charles Bukowski, I try to imagine what Los Angeles looked like years before I was born. Some of the areas that they wrote about that were once suburbs are now ghettos. Other areas, mainly downtown L.A., once inhabited by immigrants, cutthroats and hustlers of all kind, have now been replaced by unimaginative people with money displacing anyone with flavor.

I took the Gold Line from my place in Cypress Park and transferred to the Red Line that dropped me off right at Civic Center, where the courthouse is located. Once in the courthouse, the woman in charge giving the instructions for the day lost it after 10 minutes of repeating herself several times. People just don’t listen. She told people to fill out the green portion of the summons and soon several people were filling out the purple section. She told people not to ask questions until after the end of the instructions and soon several more people were coming up to her to ask her the same questions she just gave the answers to. People who work in this field must cut their life expectancy by ten years with all the yelling they have to do.

Immediately, we were called into a courtroom for jury selection. No Walter Mosley for me today. The judge explained that this particular civil case was expected to last from 30-60 days. A collective groan came out of all us potential jurors. The first thing we had to go through during the section process is going through the hardship cases. Out of a room of ninety people, seventy-five of us had excuses why we could not be on a jury for that long of a duration. The judge was reasonable. He dismissed people that were going to school, caregivers for the elderly or parents with a single earner income. Others tried to stretch the truth by adapting other people’s hardships to their own in hopes that will get them out of jury duty. At this point you've got to wonder about the intelligence of some people. You are going before a judge, a person that has to differentiate truth from fiction EVERY DAY! Do you really think he's never met a liar before? This just made the judge upset. He dismissed the liars and made them come back the next day, thus continuing jury duty for at least one more day. Those idiots left grinning, thinking they pulled one over the judge, not knowing that 90 % of us will complete our jury service in a matter of hours.

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patrick wolf live at cafe du nord...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 23, 2007 10:23am | Post a Comment

So last night we went down to the beautiful Cafe Du Nord to see the brilliant Patrick Wolf. Curt had never been there! So I was excited for him to see it. The bastard has only been to San Francisco once about five years ago. I missed that show and have been waiting ever since to see him live. I have loved all 3 of his albums and have been waiting patiently to hear how they sounded live. I was a little worried that he would disappoint.  It was hard to imagine him pulling off the brilliance of the albums in a live setting. But he literally blew me and everyone there away. I was expecting some over the top outfit and of course he met my expectations in this regard at least. I thought maybe some suspenders and a jaunty cap with a feather. He came out with a blue wig, shiny gold suspenders and little school boy shorts. He reminded me of a young Liza Minnelli mixed with Mccauley Culkin's version of Michael Alig. Maybe with a little Marc Almond and high school musical thrown in there. He even made a costume change half way through the show. He was joined by three young men on stage. Stand up bass, drums, and of course electronics. His violin player had gone back to England because of the "weather." The songs sounded great live and he was quite the little show man. He interacted with the crowd and told some great little stories.
 
He played a lot of my favorites from the first two albums. The live version of "To the Lighthouse" brought some little tears to my eyes. The highlight of the night was right before he came on stage. Five bears walked right in front of us to find their spot for the show. While a couple of them were obviously dragged to the show. The fact that they were there made me happy. It was overall a very stylish indie crowd. But its nice to know he has crossed the boundaries into bear territory. And I swear I saw George Lucas and Catherine Zeta Jones in front of me as well. The best thing about the show was how positive he was. He could have easily been a little mopey depressed emo goth on stage complaining about how horrible and tragic his life was. But he instead remained positive and optimistic. He shared not only his music with the audience but also a little bit of love. I left the show with a big smile on my face.

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DUTCH HAND CABARET ARTIST FINDS GLOBAL AUDIENCE

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2007 10:01am | Post a Comment
131,577 YouTube viewers can't be wrong! Well, actually, they can, as some videos with questionable entertainment value get repeated viewings on the popular video website. But not so in the case of the cute, highly-entertaining, and skills-a-plenty turntablist Lejo dj who, as of May 23 @ 8:04AM Pacific Time, had gotten 131,577 well deserved hits for his 53 second clip "Lejo DJ," in which the simple-but-brilliant, four-fingered/two-bugged-out-eyes hand puppet character cuts up the vinyl on his miniature gramophone.


Nearly as entertaining are other, less-popular clips by the four-finger artist as "Lejo: Magic Trick" and "Lejo: Accordian" -- his dueling accordion duet with a look-a-like hand-character. Simply called "hand cabaret" and using only bare hands, bits of wood, no dialogue (just music), and a lot of animated imagination and humor, the Netherlands based Lejo has been entertaining Dutch audiences for many years. He even appeared in short-film form on the Dutch kids TV show Sesamstraat (yeah, just like Sesame Street). You can email the artist at: info@lejo.nu.

the albums coming out today 5/22

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 21, 2007 07:29pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the new album by Erasure. Yes, they are still putting out albums. It seems like they are putting out a new album every year or so now. Almost as often as their best period in the late 80s and early 90s. Vince Clark, one half of Erasure, is for sure one of my heroes. After helping to form Depeche Mode and create one of the first brilliant synth albums "Speak and Spell,"  he went on to create two brilliant Yaz albums. Then came Erasure with such brilliant albums as "Wonderland, "The Innocents," "Wild," and "Chorus." Erasure has actually surprised me a couple times over the past couple years by creating some still brilliant songs. They basically invented synth pop back in the 80s. I can't really imagine where I would be without them. They have wrote some of the catchiest songs of the period that still remain great songs.

This new album is about their 13th full length album. Maybe their 15th if you count "Crackers International" and the brilliant ABBA cover album "ABBAesque." They have continued to make accessible dance albums over the years. However, with 13 or 15 albums there are bound to be some ups and downs. "I Say I Say I Say" really marked the end of the great Erasure albums, for me at least. Some might say it ended with 1991's excellent album "Chorus." In 2005 they ended up making a great comeback album, "Nightbird." I have to admit that I am still impressed with Erasure and their new album "Light at the End of the World." It may not have as many great songs as their albums of the past. But Andy Bell and Vince Clark still have the magic to make a catchy pop album. It is easy to find yourself singing along to most of the songs on the album. It might just be my memories of albums past that has kept me an Erasure fan after all these years. But they still have me under their spell. They created a lasting genre that has affected millions and influenced many.

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