Thursday, October 10, 2002

Yo, Babees:

The lost weekend continues.

I wrote about the weekend but it got lost. So, to sum up: Friday night, Axel played his new songs at Rick Royale's, and then me and Ax and Os and some other freaks stayed up all night playing guitar in Os's garage, until the sky was blue.

It changed my life.

(for real.)

Saturday night I went to see Rooney, who are the cutest band in America, at the Roxy. I'm really not kidding about the cute thing. They are simply the cutest band in America.

They are going to be rich and famous, too, you can just smell it.

I'm not saying this is a good thing. Just true.

The guitarist is going to become a drug addict and get laid like way beyond his silliest junior-high fantasies.

I think that I would not want to really hang out with these boys. They're too young.

The show was great, and they write wonderful, Beatlesque pop songs with great hooks and harmonies and everything. But by the end, I felt hungry. This band is excellent at what they do, but what they do is incredibly safe. And when I hear young people play, and go to a show populated by high school kids singing along to every word, what I want is a little madness and danger, and perhaps even a touch of ugly-beauty. This band did not make me feel the slightest bit challenged.

And so I want to know: Why do young kids like it so much?

Maybe to them, having been raised on grunge and rap-metal, it sounds really fresh and different.

To my ears, these guys are one degree away from fitting in on Kiss FM.

Anyway. Judge for yourself.

Sunday was another beach revelation at Malibu with my GF Kristine. Kristine is gradually liberating me, taking me to the beach and teaching me that I can wear a bikini and walk around. Kristine liberates me in so many ways. She went to Rooney too. She is a lawyer but all she wants to do is party and rock out, get high and go to the beach, eat hamburgers and sushi and drink whiskey.

Aren't I lucky to have such a friend?

(Needless to say, she is from Minneapolis. But she loves living in "SoCal," as she calls it.)

Monday night Axel dragged me out to the Rustic.

There was a boy there I fancied, but I only met him on the way out. So after I dropped Axel off, I went back to the bar and hung out with him.

In the process, I also met a guy named Xander.

As soon as I met him, I knew it: Jake (my roommate) and I bought shrooms off him at age 17. The first shrooms I ever did. The legendary shrooms. Jake and I ate them and then turned on the radio, and heard Lenny Bruce for the first time, probably on KPFK.

Back then, my high school GFs were all dating drug dealer musicians: One was a jazz musician drug dealer/junkie (BAD); one was a hippie drug dealer/ticket scalper girlfriend-hitter (WORSE); one was a junkie rock star sociopath (ICK) who probably would have been a drug dealer if he wasn't in a successful band.

I never fit in with this crowd but they had their uses, especially when me and my normal sweet Jewish high school boy/friend Jake and I wanted to be hippies and shroom.

You don't forget your first shrooms. And you don't forget a name like Xander.

Xander was wasted on Monday night and not at all attractive, but I liked him for his honesty. He said many ugly and controversial things and spoke candidly about sex.

It turns out Xander is in the Circle Jerks.

You would never guess he's a punk rocker by looking.

Xander was OK but the cute boy was way cuter and he had a freshness I liked. Freshness is not a matter of age, mind you. I know young people who are just terribly damaged and worn, and older people who have an ageless spark of curiosity and hope that will not die.

Last night was the LA Press Club party, which was pretty good. We ended up once again in Os's garage, singing and making up songs. Os and I started a song for Molli and Greg's baby Sean, who was born yesterday.

Happy birthday, beautiful baby Sean!

Welcome to our planet.

Congratulations, Molli and Greg and best wishes for a happy new-baby time.

I have to stop typing because my wrist is fucked. So I'll make this brief.

Tonight I went to the Doves show by myself. Wow. I had never really heard them before, and man alive, was it a beautiful, romantic, heroic, unpretentious, fun show. I love them now. I especially feel a kinship because they played no fewer than three songs written in 6/8, my favorite time signature. Another song is 4/4 but with triplets that give it a waltz feel.

I love them.

They write new-wave riffs that feel like the Jam, or the Cure, but the music is very Manchester guitar rock. It's lovely.

At the end, they had everyone come up onstage and dance and throw chairs around. It was fucking glorious.

That's how you do a show. You don't taunt your audience for being in Los Angeles, and make them feel like assholes. (Many bands do this. The White Stripes kind of did it. i hate it. I'll write about it later.)

The best part was that I ran into my beloved and special Rivers before the show and he bought me a vodka and 7-Up, which I forced him to share with me (who the hell wants to drink alone? I'm so sure) and we got a chance to catch up. We watched the band from the very top row of the balcony for a while, which reminded me of the night I first met him, when we sat at the balcony of this wonderful theater in downtown Detroit--the St. James?

Anyway, Rivers makes me happy. His smile makes me happy. Their next album sounds really fun and way cool, as always. All I'm going to say is, Rivers has always liked Limp Bizkit a little too much. I think they appeal to his trashy-metal roots. But if anyone can get away with anything, it's Rivers. Maybe Rivers and Beck.

I asked him about the exotic-massage deal (I mentioned it earlier--something he said in Rotting Scone, I mean Rolling Stone) and things of this nature, and he filled me in. Men are so weird.

After the show there was a party backstage that was actually fun. It seems like backstage parties are really boring and lame and uptight (clearly, I don't know any cool bands), or else spiritually corrupt, and I always just want to go home and hang out with my real-people friends, like Axel and Ken Basart, who know how to drink proper and talk smack and let loose and be normal.

But this party was great. I think it was the influence of the English people. There was one guy there who I've had a distant crush on for ages, the singer of the Charlatans. I guess he lives in L.A. It was nice to his his crazy wild face up-close.

I met a wonderful English woman who is doing a film about an inner-city music program in a high school in South Central--specifically, a teacher whose work is literally saving the lives of his students. All the kids in his program have a 100 percent graduation rate, and they all get scholarships, apparently.

Needless to say, as soon as I heard about this, I was salivating. This is precisely the kind of thing I wanted to cover in my column.

I feel so sad that I can't do this kind of good, helping-people writing as easily now. This is 90 percent what I want to do. (The other 10 percent is glamorous dumb stuff for fun and profit!)

I want to celebrate the humanity and surprise of the real L.A.

Anyway, blah blah...

Today the fundraiser on KXLU was hilarious. I love it when DJs abuse their listeners and call them phony assholes for not contributing. You'll never hear that on KCRW or KCET.

I donated enough money so I could get the KXLU lunchbox and boxers. There's a boy I want to give the boxers to for Christmas.

I don't know if they read my article on KXLU in the New Times, but I think they must have, because this one DJ said exactly what I said about Jim Ladd--he said he's so sick of Jim Ladd claiming to be the only freeform DJ in L.A., and he wishes that instead of playing so much Doors, Jim Ladd would play Doors-related music such as Iggy and the Stooges, Velvet Underground, and X.

When he said that, I thought, wow, I miss my column.

Today I heard Queens of the Stone Age on KROQ and had to admit, it's fucking awesome. This one song is, anyway. I had a prejudice because one time I was interviewing Ulrich from Metallica, and he said he was obsessed with Queens of the Stone Age. I was like, "Note to self: never listen to Queens of the Stone Age." Also today Jed played A.I. for his Catch of the Day, and that was nice, with a strong Jane's Addiciton vibe.

My wrist is on fire so I have to go, plus I have acupuncture tomorrow and if I stay up too late they'll give me shit again for partying too much, and tell me my pulse is too lame for words.

I'm sorry for namedropping so much tonight, but sometimes it's just fun. Like tonight.



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