Wednesday, February 23, 2005

r u the Corn Clown?:

look, it's not as if i didn't know the dodgers were starting spring training. it's that i still can't stomach the thought of a life without Shawn Green. and i'm not kidding you when i say that i cried.

and i know damn well i'm not alone. the dodgers without shawn green is like the beatles' discography without 'let it be'--maybe a bit more solid, but so much less fun.

no, i'm not ready to talk about the dodgers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

disturbing email today from paul mccartney... he's going to start selling some of his solo catalogue to commercials... i am confused about this: why make an announcement? why not just do it?

and why do it in the first place?

i thought one of the rewards of becoming rich was not having to warholinate your art.

i fear he may think this is the only way young people will come to know his music. why this man has any insecurities about music at this point is one of the seven sad mysteries.

just because all the young people are doing it doesn't mean it's good. and they're just doing it for exposure and/or money, neither of which paul needs.

oh, paul.

i have spent the past month listening almost exclusively to ram and red rose speedway.

i just read ozzy saying he's been spending qt with mccartney (the first solo one; awesome... 'ooo you!')

and he just played the superbowl.

how can paul be insecure?

oh, PAUL!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Speaking of cute guys who make my life better every day, every week through their sheer radness (see also: "OC" entry below): This is Evan Williams (right, with Tony Pierce). He is not only cute, he started Blogger. Can you say Angel? Can you say Genius? Can you say Wow?

Thank you Evan Williams for helping me start a new life just when i needed it.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

can you live without this? you can? i can't.

Top 13 reasons I love The OC, or, "Anaheed, you were so right!"

1. you know how on normal soaps, no one ever watches tv? on the OC, people watch TV all the time... and they do it with the same glazed look normal people have when they watch tv.

2. summer's favorite show is a teen drama called "the valley" about a kid who just doesn't fit in in tarzana. "The valley"'s season-one dvd came out the same week as "the OC"'s, and she made her new bf watch it.

3. you know how in real life no one ever goes over to someone's house to talk about things, they just call each other or email? on the OC, people ALWAYS go to each other's houses, or meet at some picturesque spot on the balboa boardwalk. it's fake but makes for great tv.

4. seth cohen stops eating and sleeping when he's obsessing over his ex, summer. he embarrasses himself horribly in front of her. and when he found out she and her new guy hadn't had sex yet, he got a beatific look, spread his arms wide and laid back on his bed in satisfied silence.

5. summer and seth's relationship rings true to me.

6. we never see summer's parents. they're like parents on the peanuts. it's actually a joke.

7. the parents are even more fucked up than the kids, which is a sad truth we never see reflected on tv.

8. marissa, the main female character, is a bit of a drunk. as much as i loved "bev 90210," they never dared make a main character that complex. marissa is complex, and she drinks for plausible reasons: she has utterly dreadful parents.

9. summer is still in love with seth, but she is a realist and does not stand for any self-indulgent nonsense that hurts her heart. she moves on as best she can, making seth suffer in a medicinal way.

10. white people are rarely cool enough to generate pop cultual fun such as catchphrases. "the oc" generated the phrase "the oc," which even people in oc now use.

11. bev never dared to make a main character gay. marissa is in a lesbian relationship now. the scene tonight when she told her best friend, summer, was so sweet and real. and the actress who plays her love interest really looks at her with genuine lust.

12. like a real normal neurotic creative kid, seth is so obsessed with his own romantic tragedies that he is completely totally oblivious to anything going on outside himself, including his parents' recent marital troubles.

13. marissa reads MOJO.

there are more reasons, such as the show's infatuation with comic books; or the marvelously nuanced relationship between seth's parents; or its complex take on the worst kind of oc greed and corruption. (dig that dude who just got indicted for fraud today! straight outta the oc!)

(the show is probably best known for its indie rock soundtrack; and while it's great they promote independent, unknown musicians, I actually i think the music could use some work.)

anyway. the show is made with as much care and attention to detail as the simpsons or, heck, MOJO magazine. knowing what that means, and what it requires, and knowing how few tv shows do that, makes my heart go out to them. i honestly don't know how they do it every week.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

my mom just told me... i was reading her some mars volta song titles, and she said it reminded her of when she was in high school in pipestone minnesota, farming town pop. 5,000 near the south dakota border, in 1951, she and her friends had a literary journal called "psychotica," with heavy poetry and such.

dig my mom. wow.
well i have no idea what i just did but i did the rss thing. what does it mean?

also this podcasting idea. i would need a computer, a microphone, and protools of some sort to do that, wouldn't i? oh, and that other thing i've heard about, that "time" thing?

who wants to be my engineer so i can just sit and talk into a mic and drink irish coffees?

Monday, February 14, 2005


andrea: what's an rss feed?

cara mia: i feel you, lady pie. i feel you! the only comfort in this situation, which seems paltry but is actually the whole deal, the whole turkey sandwich with a snapple, is that your gut tells you it's right. your gut.

sole brother ben: you are 2 much!

everyone: i love you, ya lil fuckers.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

anonymous commenters, as mentioned previously, are welcome to fuck themselves. thank you nicely. anyone can write anything they like in the comments so long as they have the courage to put their name on it, as i do, and any normal commenter.

and now, enough negativity.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

hey beautiful

i got a new job, as editor of the LA Weekly music section. i can't talk about it too much because A) i'm too busy doing it to talk about it and B) i got a fortune cookie that said "speak less of your goals, you will accomplish more of them."

this has to do with the physics of work. remember when i was doing my radio show? no? well, that's because i never blogged about it when i was doing it or getting ready to do it. same deal.

same with boys; you don't speak of such things at the beginning.

anyway i'm tickled pink about it and having fun. plus, my office is awesome. i have a window overlooking a really seedy stretch of sunset blvd. with an old prostitute motel across the street that they have to turn into a historical landmark. and the old "tired showgirls"--my nickname for those long tall skinny palmtrees that always list toward the west... reaching toward sunset. i got a whole row of em out there in the sky.

got to run



Friday, February 04, 2005

hey sunflowerman:

welcome to friday!

just a little side note for future reference: anonymous commentors to this blog are welcome to fuck themselves. (tony, teach me how to block them, pretty please?) and by the way, of course Lester Bangs was an editor at Creem. I'm so sure. He was also a freelancing slut who would write for anyone who'd let him, and he was the very best.

sorry for spitting.

i love matt welch.



Wednesday, February 02, 2005

sorry all absent and schnitzel, but I was traveling and discovering the abundance of the universe. i'm home again and happy to be here. as i drove in from lax and hit east sunset in echo park, the deep perfume of night blooming jasmine, mock orange, lemon and orange blossoms (all of which essentially smell the same: like magic) filled my car and nostrils and i knew again for certain i live in a special place and time. i can only imagine how it must have smelled around here back in the days when it was all orange groves. the entire basin must have been a giant perfume-bowl. specially at night.

my mom's finishing her new novel, about a young girl's life in san diego during wwii. it's called "gardenias." gardenias are also magic flowers.

on a nearby street to mine there stands an old one-story ghost cottage so run-down, with old peeling olive-green wood siding and tattered curtains... no lawn, straight outta the dustbowl like it hasn't changed since 1936... i used to call it the woody guthrie memorial childhood home, even though i knew he didn't grow up here.

yesterday i discovered a photograph of woody guthrie and one of his wives and two kids in 1936, sitting on the beat-up front stoop of a house in l.a.... with an address one block from me. i couldn't believe they actually gave the address in the caption.

it's funny because sometimes when i'm sitting here a block away in this old cottage with my kinda crappy 3/4 size guitar, and i wanna sing something, but i feel silly, i think about woody guthrie. no subject was too small for him and he didn't mind singing simple melodies and jumbles of words. he didn't judge himself too harshly and he considered his life to be decent song material. it's always inspiring and makes me feel braver. he said he stood against any music that made people feel small.

maybe he wouldn't have approved but when i think about him, i'm likely to start singing some nonsense about all-night phone calls, hipbones, hot dogs and sunshine.



"california stars"

by woody guthrie

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd like to lay my weary bones tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd love to feel your hand touching mine

And tell me why I must keep working on

Yes, I'd give my life to lay my head tonight

On a bed of california stars

I'd like to dream my troubles all away

On a bed of california stars

Jump up from my starbed and make another day

Underneath my california stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine

And warm the lovers' glass like friendly wine

So, I'd give this world

Just to dream a dream with you

On our bed of california stars

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hi Guys!!!

I am writing in response to commenter Joe, with whom I engaged in a debate on commercial pop music when I sat in on his arts criticism university class, which my dad teaches.

Joe and I argued about the relative merits of pop music and music created (supposedly) without concern for popularity.

Of course, you all know where I stand on that.

Anyway, Joe: I felt kind of bad afterwards for jumping down your throat about the Archies. The thing is, you have a spark in your eye and passion in your throat about music, and that's really the main important thing at this point, as far as I'm concerned. (I hope that doesn't sound patronizing, either.) You don't have to agree with me, and I don't have to agree with you. However, since you wrote such an EXCESSIVELY LONG comment here I'm going to respond in kind here. :)

First of all, your facts are hinky.

1. The White Stripes do not only cover Delta blues songs; perhaps their most famous cover is "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," written by Burt Bacharach, who was one of the many contract hitmakers at the Brill Building (also home to Jeff Barry of "Sugar Sugar" fame, Carole King et al.).

I would like to direct you to read a little of the history of the Brill Building. As you'll see in the songwriters' bios, these were all compulsive songwriters to their marrow, the kind of people who start writing songs at five years old and give up school and security in order to follow their much riskier bliss.

Songwriting is the riskiest and most painful of paths. I have never heard of a successful, wealthy songwriter who did not get there through the most humiliating kind of muse-wrastling, sweat-and-blood-letting and frightful financial cliff-jumping. Even Diane Warren, possibly the cheesiest pop songwriter of all time, has that kind of story.

The best music of the Brill Building reflects real soul, real heart, real sexuality and definitely real musicianship. These writers were an enormous influence on the Beatles and, of course, made the music of Brian Wilson possible.

2. The Beatles were a commercial endeavor from the get-go, really the big bang of pop-group marketing/merchandizing/mass media exploitation. This was all possible because their music was calculated to be excessively popular. That does not diminish its quality a bit. (Shakespeare's plays are full of crowd-pleasing gimmickry. Populism is not inherently bad.)

My friend Liam Lynch took songwriting from Paul McCartney in Liverpool several years ago, and Paul told him that he and John were so competitive and so mercenary in their songwriting, they'd actually say to each other before sitting down to write: "I'm going to write a yacht today," or "I'm going to write a Bentley." They weren't really joking, either. I don't see any problem in this, because their populism never cheapened their music or kept them from taking risks.

Likewise, if you think Chuck Berry wasn't shooting for mass-market popularity, you're a little naive.

3. You said in class that bubblegum music is like a Big Mac, "programmed" to be popular. It may be produced to sound like a seamless, perfect product, but believe me, there is no computer program that can write a good hook, invent a lyrical catchphrase that's going to really stick. People write all these songs.