In A Tired Week, There Is Jolene

Posted by Miss Ess, May 24, 2007 07:04pm | Post a Comment
Oh, what a week.

The View is self destructing right there on live tv for everyone to see.

America's Next Top Model is over.

                                                                            Even b-b-b-boring American Idol is over.

What else is there?

Well, there's a new video for the White Stripes first single from their forthcoming album, Icky Thump.  You can watch it here: Icky Thump Video Hottness

Please note that Jack White got a long-needed haircut and looks amazing.  Oh yeah, the song's killer too.  I like Meg's fake eye.  I like the Mexican whorehouse setting.  I like that Jack gets vaguely political in the song for the first time ever.  He's always been outspoken about avoiding that sort of thing so it's curious he put that line about America and immigrants in there.  Good stuff.  It's going to be so interesting to hear if the album sounds like the first single.  Last time with Get Behind Me Satan "Blue Orchid", its first single, ended up sounding totally different from anything else on the record.  We shall see what they have in store for us.

I know I have written about The White Stripes maybe too much but hey I am exhausted today and they are one of my favorite bands, what I am attuned to right now, so there you go.

These new Dolly Parton reissues are pretty great.  I have Just Because I'm A Woman and (speaking of The White Stripes) Jolene.  Isn't "Jolene" one of the best songs ever?  Dolly played the Hardly Strictly  Bluegrass Festival a couple of years ago I was there and she was so amazing she brought tears to this jaded record store employee's eye.  Even afterward when people who were closer to the stage told me she might've been lipsyncing I still didn't particularly choose to believe them or care either way.  Her presence alone is phenomenal.  She sang "Jolene" for us that day, among many other of her songs, newer and older.  In her turquoise dress she looked like she was ready to play some music and then go ice skating, show us some of her tricks.  She played dulcimer, guitar, banjo-- and her flying V electric guitar matched the shade of her dress exactly!  Oh that Dolly, she's the consummate performer! 

Watch this!:

I just love Dolly's description of her girlfight -- I believe she could kick some little green eyed redheaded woman's ass anytime!  Any gal from the backwoods of Tennessee with 11 brothers and sisters can certainly hold her own. I bet she takes her earrings off before she fights and digs her nails and heels in!  But the best is that she wrote the song about it and it rules so much and she made megabucks off of it!  Sweet revenge.

Just for comparison, and if you are not totally sick of hearing about them, here's The White Stripes' version of  "Jolene". 

I think it is so super hot that Jack White doesn't change the genders of the characters in the song.  That YouTube version is not the greatest vocal performance ever, but you get the idea.  The White Stripes released that song as the B side to "Hello Operator" back in 2000 and I love how often their B sides are better than their A sides.  Well, "Hello Operator" is a strong song too.  They are just full of singles and tight tracks.  And tight pants.....

OK, no more.....I gotta stop.


Posted by Billyjam, May 24, 2007 05:29pm | Post a Comment
When at the beginning of last week the United States Post Office quietly but significantly raised its rates (yet again), small struggling music companies that depend on mail-orders to generate important cash-flow particularly felt the pinch. Among them was Washington DC's Dischord Records, the longtime, legendary, anti-capitalist label founded by Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye. As a result of the USPS rates hike, the label was forced to abandon its long-running, customer-friendly, postpaid policy whereby, until just last week, when someone bought, say, a mail-ordered copy of a Fugazi album or CD for $10, the price included all shipping and handling costs. But not anymore! 
"For the first time in our 27 years we decided that we can no longer cover for the Post Office because we've always had a postpaid price. We always operated like 'this is the price including postage' but they keep raising the price at a maddening pace," said Dischord's Ian MacKaye who is equally known for his membership of such bands asTeen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, Pailhead, and most recently, The Evens.
"We were before just barely breaking even," said MacKaye in an interview with me on WFMU last week (listen to archive), in which he suggested that something even criminal is afoot with the latest USPS price hikes. "This most recent increase, I think, is completely insane and it is a crime. Someone from Time Warner and similar kinds of corporations has gotten involved and they've managed to create a situation in which their rates have not gone up or they have gone up insignificantly and yet the smaller publishing companies, and that includes Dischord and other labels, our prices for shipping went up 30%, so if we were selling a CD for ten bucks and charging a $1.60 to ship it, it's now gone up to something like $2.20. It's quite an increase."

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.      

Toni Smith, you down?


El Conquistador
3701 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 666-5136

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.

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.

A nice pleasant surprise was the opening band for Patrick. A perfect match and complete opposite at the same time. No Bra is really hard to explain unless you were there seeing it as it happened. No Bra is basically one very unique lady and some pre recorded synths and drum machines. She reminded me of really early synth bands like The Normal and Cabaret Voltaire. She really had the crowd wondering if they should think she was the worst thing ever or brilliant. I quickly decided I was going with brilliant. Her dead pan delivery mixed with the minimal electronics somehow worked. And of course, she was wearing no bra.  She was also wearing no shirt. The song "Munchausen" stole the show. It is basically just a conversation between two hipsters showing off who they know and what they know. It reminded me of the recent Saturday Night Live skit where the woman tries to out do everyone by claiming to have done something even better that what they have done. It just might turn out to be the most unlikely song of the year. At least for me.
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