Monday, September 16, 2002

Hello, Dark Lords:

Sorry for total crapitude lately. It's partly the fact that Blogger is being a Little Bitch and won't post anything I write, and partly due to some column/blog confusion in my lemon-sized Usable Brain Sector. Dunno---I'm trying to figure out how to write a cool column that feels like a blog, and also have a blog--it's all a bit writer-wanky to describe in detail. Unf the major casualty of the confusion is the blog.

Oh yeah also I've been going out like crazy, for my new job. (Which is so not a job. Lately I've been calling the whole shebang "my new life" cuz that's how it feels.)

Good things have been happening:

1. Wonderful party for Greg's art show--Emmanuelle and Tony already documented it. (sorry I'm too lazy to link proper and all.)

2. Blogger/L.A. Press Club party after which me and some conspirators went on a hunt for L.A.'s best jukebox. We found it, too, and then ended the night with overpriced yummy diner food at Swinger's at 2:30 a.m. That night Jane's Addiction was on all the jukeboxes--Ocean Size, Standing In the Shower ... can't recall what else. It reminded me of being in Minneapolis on a night when the jukeboxes are playing the Replacements for no particular reason except they're the great local band in everyone's hearts that night.

3. Driving the kids thru Hollywood that night I turned on Jim Ladd on KLOS, America's last full-time freeform DJ in commercial radio. He's become a terrible angry windbag in recent years and plays the most awful blues-rock horrors. But I still love the man for his passion about freeform radio. He was on his soapbox as usual that night, talking about the precious nature of radio freedom, and he said, "So some guy wrote in and asked me to play zydeco. I can't play zydeco, man! It's not in the format!"

Then he played a zydeco song and said, ettouffee. (sp?) (what does that even mean?)

This was all right.

4. Then the next night, driving home from Orange County on the 5 after a weird Morrissey show, I turned on KROQ. They were playing the "woo-hoo" song by Blur (which the Hives rip off totally for "Hate To Say I Told You So"). They continued to play popular songs that also happen to be great (White Stripes, some weird interesting techno thing--maybe Daft Punk?), and mixed them in a sexy way--no station ID between every goddamn song, no idiot DJ trying to sound "cool" and "casual." Just a string of songs that really didn't fit together stylistically except that each one had the urgency of fresh excitement. (That's how it used to be a lot on KROQ a long time ago.)

Of course, at 10 p.m. it ended and I found out it was a specialty show--a Friday night mix show by Mix Master Mike. So check it out next Friday, yo.

Mix Master Mike is a great DJ, but you know, most of KROQ's regular DJs could put together a happening Friday-night party mix like that--because they're all real passionate music people, far as I can tell. They're just completely muzzled by the evil overlords and the really old station manager who has no idea what young people want at all. He has no concept of how tired people are of slickness. Just how really dumb and boring and silly it is to try and make "perfect" radio with no mistakes, no weirdness, perfect production and flashy sounders and commercials and the whole muck--

What a total bore.

They'll figure it out of course but they'll never be genuinely cool until they let their DJs choose music and stop caring about making billions of dollars.

5. Yesterday I went to the beach way up north of El Matador with my friend Kristine. Man alive, was it fun. There were seven 15-year-old Latin boys bugging us nonstop, and they were very beautiful, and we didn't really mind at all. They were charming as hell, in a secret way.

6. Rotting Scone just gets more and more pukable with every issue. Last time they managed to ruin a potentially good cover story on the Vines---good band, great writer (Rob Sheffield)--with awful horrible editing. (I assume that was the problem, anyway.) Who the FUCK is editing covers over there? Rob Sheffield is one hundred and fifty MILLION times smarter, funnier, hipper, and more soulful than that article. What's really sad is that they don't get it that it doesn't matter who they put on the cover--if they don't let their writers rock like rock stars, they're still gonna be lame as fuck.

6 1/2. I predict Rolling Stone's gonna go bust within two years.

7. The one thing I liked was Rivers Cuomo talking about getting exotic massages. The lead singer of (now defunct) Buckcherry told me he does the same thing because he just can't deal with groupies anymore. He said he always attracts psycho-chicks and if he's not in love he just goes to Asian massage ladies. This guy gave me some lovelife-advice too (prolly two years ago now). He said that I needed to go to Al-Anon, because I was codependent. I guess that was when I knew I really had a problem. I mean, when the lead singer of Buckcherry tells you that you need to go to a 12-step group, you know you've hit rock bottom.

I didn't go to Al-Anon but I read a few chapters of "Codependent No More." It was pretty cheesy. And it just made me miss Minnesota.

So now I have to write, for Christ's sake--so here is something that Jonathan Gold wrote to me about Jane's Addiction. I found it interesting.

"...Eric Avery was the soul of the band. Which I have never heard anybody say before, but...

In maybe '89, I traveled with Jane's Addiction for what ended up being more than a week (a story in the late, unlamented California magazine), on a secondary-cities swing that ended up being the last real tour that the band ever played. (By the time they got around to Lollapalooza six months later, the performances had rotted into the stuff of mannerist tragedy.) The tour was total chaos, even by the standards of the rock 'n roll road. Eric and

Dave were working on their one-month NA chips, and couldn't stand to be around Perry, who was on a spree that left him legally dead a couple of times. (Stephen, who is just about the most amazing drummer ever, although

you can barely hear him on any of the Jane's recordings, was like a friendly puppy who just wanted to be loved by both sides.) In Indianapolis, they played what may still be the best rock n' roll show I have ever witnessed, a show so improbably filled with love by the time they got around to Jane Says that everyone was weeping tears, hugging strangers, practically floating above their seats. But the band couldn't stand one another.

Eric was accusing Perry of having stolen his youth, and was more than a little creeped out that the quiet, no-amp strummings of lonely moments in his bedroom had become something that required nine semi-trailers to support. He wanted out. Perry, who had come up with the idea for Lollapalooza just a couple of weeks earlier, knew that Eric's departure was the death of the band, and had already started talking about what would become Porno for Pyros. Because there was this: Whatever Eric played sounded like Jane'sAddiction. And even God knows how many milligrams into the wind, Perry knew it. And he knew that Eric hated him for everything he had done, but also for everything he hadn't.

That being said, it must be admitted that 1) Perry always came into the studio with the music and lyrics already written, recorded on crude demos; and 2) Eric has never done anything remotely listenable on his own. Also that

the pre-Jane's band Eric and Perry were in, Psi-Com, was just horrible.

But for a brief moment, which is what we're trucking in after all, Avery's rolling basslines were the whole of the world."

Far out, J. Go!



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