Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Hi Hippies:

Life is beautiful.

Whiskey is beautiful.

The Hotel Cafe is beautiful.

Went there a few nights ago, so tired I was almost hallucinating. Me and my GF Tracy first went next door for Bushmills shots at the empty Burgundy Room, where a group of seven randoms were all singing along to "You're Just What I Needed," and even the lonely old man at the end of the bar was nodding his head. Nobody can deny that song. (You know, the Cars.)

Then we went back to the Cafe, and we ordered yummy tea and shared a piece of chocolate magic cloud silken immortality pie. Well, I don't know if that's what it's really called, but you get the idea. Then I heard some music that flipped my wig twice, it was so good. I don't wanna tell you what it was, because some friends of mine from competing papers read the blog and they might get some funny ideas. I'm being paranoid, but last night at the Cafe the guys told me that now the LA Weekly is going to do a big, two-part feature on the Cafe and Gary Jules. (I did a column on them a few weeks ago that they posted on their website.) Good for them, as long as they do it good.

I cried at the Cafe quite a bit that night. Key changes and good lyrics can do that to a person. It wasn't sadness at all; it was just a physical response to beauty. I haven't witnessed raw, unannounced brilliance like this since the night I first heard "White Blood Cells" accidentally, not knowing who it was. I tell you, I've seen a star. A real star that doesn't need any fame, any buzz, any money or record for everyone in the room to know.

This is why my new job rocks: I get to write about this NOW. The New Times doesn't give a shit if a musician has a record, or even if they have a demo. They don't have to have a buzz, they don't even have to have apparent "mass appeal." If I think it's important, I get to write about it.

Can you even believe?

Sorry for gloating like this, but if you knew me over the past three years you would say, OK, you can gloat a little.

So tonight I'm going to the Rustic. That's what happened last year. I didn't talk to anyone but I gravitated instinctually to our old bar and, sure enough, everyone was there. We were pretty dazed, like everyone. All I remember is seeing Walter Cronkite on TV and going, Walter Cronkite's still alive? Where's he been all this time? I also remember talking with Ken Basart and Kim Thigpen, talking about dumb shit, and feeling comforted by that. That was the night I realized that Ken is a good and strong man, the kind of man who knows how to act during a crisis. That was also the first time I realized how important that quality is in the people you are close to. The quality of your life is determined in large part by the quality of the people you surround yourself with.

I'm learning how to surround myself with good people, and to let go of the downers.

And one thing I need in people is a kind of gentle solidity, the kind that really helps in a crisis.

So that's it for now. I hope you have a good night.



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