Friday, July 28, 2006

The Pre-Funk Mailout by Olivia De Campo: #2 in an occasional series

Oh, Saturday Saturday, wherefore art thou Saturday?

Cannot wait for this week to be left like the blithering pile of shaken shit it certainly is!

Hope the week is treating you all well, long live Marissa Cooper.

Once again in this fantabulous town there is more on than one person could possibly hope to do in the one day with only one body to call your own...
I've narrowed it down to the following events in hope you can come along for the merry journey through the seedy and not so seedy sides of a Saturday in the inner north!

The kick off point for the day festivities shall be The Spanish Club for they are hosting the first ever Rock and Roll Garage Sale! It's happening from 11-5 with free entry, bundles off stalls promising buck spending goodness as well as tapas and Bloody Marys! Lordy!

Long before the awesome folk that equal the radness that is Popolice, the total brain melt that is aleks and the ramps and the gorgeous splendour that is Flywheel even set eyes upon a sign reading Scotchmer Street, The Cheats will be taking over the Tote front bar for one final performance! They kick off the first of two rock and roll crammed sets at 5pm, so come down and check them out! Remember it's FREE! As always some very special guests will be joining the duo in kicking out some heart pounding originals and choice covers.

And finally, getting to the heart of the evening... what do you say we get to the Empress early and enjoy one of their delicious hearty meals before the nights festivities take Saturday to an entirely other level?

If not before, here's hoping to see you about 8pm for some nourishing fare!

Until then...

de Campo XX

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Pre-Funk Mailout by Olivia De Campo: #1 in an occasional series

Second last chance to get frisky in The Tote front bar!

It's been freaking ages!!

So, this Saturday it's The Cheats second last fiery front bar show! 5pm kick off, FREE, so come on down!

After The Cheats have packed away their amps and the ear plugs have been pocketed (man, it is LOUD!) and it just ain't time to hit the Old Bar yet, we'll be heading back to the homestead with the fundamental intention of some totally rad and vastly overdue PRE-FUNKING! Oh yeah! Perhaps even thrown a Napier or Raffles meal in there for good measure.

Whatever! Come on! Let's kick this one in the nuts!

See you Saturday! Somewhere, sometime!

de Campo XX

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dr Fock

Weekend just gone was my first with the new haircut. I'm also still reeling over the fact Matt Friedberger and I use the same shampoo (a tea tree-infused liquid oil). Taste the radness, as De Campo says.

Since opening in 2000, Doctor Follicles have managed my hairdo. They were there for me through my awkward Hedi Slimane phase (envisage a quail and a kingfisher doing the wild thing atop one’s noggin)

We finally saw Hidden Sunday morning. I was very impressed, but I don’t know if I got much pleasure from it. It’s pretty torturous viewing for what is, for the most part, a non-violent movie (there are two grisly scenes). I don’t know how Haneke does it. I remember feeling sorry for Isabelle Huppert after seeing The Piano Teacher. Such actorly conviction, I wondered, is bound to linger long after the shoot ends ('How will she ever recover?'). This one is even more disturbing because its about watching and being watched and the voyeuristic aspect implicates the audience in the terror. A preternatural tension bordering on the gratuitous consumes this picture. Stillness is a crucial aspect, so of course some asshole behind us is crinkling paper the entire third act. Seeing a movie of such killer intensity at 11am Sunday morning shot our Saturday night hangovers straight into the stratosphere, which was cool.

After that, boy did I feel like shopping. Bought a pair of trousers and the Essential Blue Oyster Cult; the former for its aesthetics and comfort and the latter for Burning for You, tied with Flywheel’s Minimum Amount of Fuss as my fav all-time cut. Shooting Shark, a middle of the road 80s ballad was an unexpected treat. Choruses don’t come any bigger:

Sick of hauling your love around
Wanna run the train alone
But the engine tracks straight through your heart
And weighs me like a stone

Three times I’ve sent you back from me
Three times my bones gone dry
And three times I’ve seen the shooting shark
Lighting up the sky

Monday, July 17, 2006

Galaxies' Guide to Razor Clamming

1. State your full-name and relationship to the interviewer?
Mother (do I have to admit it?)

2. Where do clams live? How do you know when to strike?
Clams are found in the sandy shorelines (Oregon Coast) about a foot or so beneath the surface. You can dig them with a curved shovel or a clam gun made especially for clamming.

3. What’s a good time to clam dig?
You dig for clams when there is a low tide so you can get to the clam beds.

4. What do you wear to the dig?
Whatever you like depending on the weather. Just be comfortable. It is not necessarily a dirty sport unless you dig for clams in the surf with a shovel. You will need hip waders for this because you will certainly get wet.

5. What are some of the conditions that prevent clam-digging?
Stormy weather is not the best time to dig for clams unless you are willing to get cold and wet. A wild surf sometimes makes it hard to spot a clam hole. If you go clamming after dark you will need a lantern to spot the holes.

6. Describe your clam-extractor. Do you have a name for it?
It is a clam gun, a long slender cylinder with a handle across the top and a small hole for suction.

7. Size-wise, most impressive clam ever dug?
I would say ten inches.

8. Have you ever outperformed your husband?
Always (not really but I have been clamming since I was a child. He didn't learn to clam until we were married. I can still spot a hole faster.)

9. Is there anything better than clam digging?
I can think of a few things.

10. What do they taste like?
Some say a piece of rubber that smells but you have to acquire a taste for them. If cooked right they can be a delicacy.

11. What is a good recipe for clams?
They have to be cleaned, remove the shells and all of the sand and digestive system. We flour them and dip them in egg and them bread crumbs and fry them slow to a golden brown. Salt and pepper and serve.

12. Why did you torture your youngest boy with unpleasant green vegetables when he was small and defenceless?
I used other things too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sleater-Kinney Rd Exit 108

They named their band after an exit just outside of Olympia, WA where the used to practice, and now the world's greatest live band has decided to exit stage left. Why the break-up? Was it Corin's motherhood? The bludgeoning that they took at the hands of Dave Fridmann as they recorded their magnum opus "The Woods", or did they simply want the time off to hone their trivia skills in order to take out Stephen Malkmus and Joanna Bolme at the neighborhood watering hole? Endless battles over whether the correct answer is Moors or Moops. We will probably never know. There have been rumblings about break-ups and commitments for awhile. I believe that the band who made the term 'riot grrrrl' actually palateable, chose the perfect time to call it quits. How could they have possibly followed up the ball tightening turgid tumult of "The Woods"? By taking it up a notch? That notch would involve disemboweling Sally Struthers for a mere 88 cents a day. For the price of one cup of coffee, you can have your head bashed in by Brownstein. Words and Guitar. The only other viable option would be to release an MTV unplugged album. Instead of Meat Puppets and David Bowie covers, it would consist of Polly Styrene and Exene. Bonus tracks include: an acapello version of "Oh Bondage, Up Yours". Retirement was the only viable option. Cash the 401k in.

There will still be Sleater sightings in Portland. They will be spotted at the gigs, Powells Books and Tuesday night trivia. I will refrain from slurring insipid questions at them like I drunkenly did while Janet Weiss was in the spectral presence of Elliot Smith at a Death Cab for Cutie/Maroons show at EJ's circa '98. They will be around. They just won't play anymore. It will sink in at some point.

They have announced one more show for Portland. Tickets were impossible to get with my dial up settings. The $12 face value tickets are now going for $300 on Ebay. I will continue to check Craigs List. Too dismayed to speak, I went on a journey to Jackpot records and picked up the only Sleater product I could afford, copies of Dig Me Out (my initiation to them, obscurely enough it was a Rob Sheffield review in Details magazine that turned me on to them) and Hot Rock (my personal favorite) on vinyl.

Ten years down the road they will announce a reunion tour, and like the Pixies and Dino JR they will sell out venues that were impossible before. However, unlike the Pixies show, I will not be surrounded by douche bags in Audioslave t-shirts with old skool ball caps on backwards with their only reference point to the band being that scene in Fight Club when the buildings crumble. Words and Guitar.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Triple Stage Darkness

"What is Elvis Costello doing on the floor?" De Campo asked upon waking up, her face distorted beyond comprehension, her eyes two small coin slots. Darned if I knew. Last thing I remember I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. Oh for heaven’s sake, I haven’t taken my Don Henley meds.

AnyHOO, instead of hanging on the wall like a good print, Elvis was on the floor upright a far cry from its hook. Who moved the King, goddammit? How? Why? Spooky. The picture is pretty spooky itself, Elvis leering out with big, goofy spectacles. De Campo said another print had been relocated too, from a shelf to the couch in the lounge. Two tampered prints and then I discovered a drawer in the study open and papers and books strewn all over. Triple stage spooky darkness. We mentally retraced our steps from the night before. De Campo fell asleep on the couch. I read the New Yorker in bed until about 4, some article about Mugabe that I now have no retention of, although I do remember thinking Gee frigging Wee and him should get a flat together. And before that? Well we raged with Matt and Eleanor Friedberger, The Fiery Furnaces, literally the hottest ticket in town. The Furnaces played a set of complicated emotions and pyromaniacal axe slaying and afterwards Jason Loewenstein gave me his beer, Eleanor gave me her cold and Matt gave me haircare tips. This was Sebadoh on a death wish, James Dean in a psycho-motorcar, Devo on the Highway to Hell, etc. This was rock that inexplicably rummaged through your drawers and fucked around with your prints. Meanwhile all Toby could think about were the Cannanes. Spooky Dooky.

"I feel like a Lee Marvin breakfast," I announced, post-poltergeist. “Something tells me that involves a lot of steak,” remarked De Campo. I chortled heartily, embraced her tightly and kissed her passionately. After a Bloody Mary and pancakes, I dressed up like a drunk Morman (inadvertently) and we moseyed down to the Rob Roy for sweet tunes on the rocks. Driving Past were playing their fourth show in ten years and Flywheel, who play more regularly, have a new effects pedal that was set to orgasmatron our aurals. It was an afternoon gig that was potentially as spicy as my lips, but hey you can read all about that in the next issue of Guns and Ammo.

Later, Brad dropped his pants at the Napier Hotel. "I can't believe no one noticed,” he squealed with delight. “I believe they did Brad, but no one’s ever going to believe that someone is dropping their pants at 7.45pm. “ Brad soon left.

Blake Menzies was there questioning whether the spectre, given access to otherworldly powers, would use it in such a trifling manner. Indeed. I got to hand it to you Blake, you made a really good point there, but man, your reputation took a dive when, five minutes later, you described Australian actor Jack Thompson as "enigmatic". But hey, I loved wearing your grizzly and drinking wine from your beakers back at Kerstin Thompson’s love shack. I love you like Timothy Treadwell loves Sergeant Brown.

Finally, last night I encountered a white-tail spider for the first time. A female with the disposition of Debra Winger racing across the bathroom tiles. I sprayed her with poison but she clung to my pyjama top like it was Richard Gere in The Officer and a Gentleman.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Band Of Horses at the Doug Fir in Portland, OR

Tickets sold out. I didn't get a scalped ticket.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Catcalls for "Pavement Boy" Mark Ibold

...rang out at the Roseland Theatre in Portland, OR, as Sonic Youth took the stage on Saturday night. Mark Ibold has replaced Jim O'Rourke as the 5th member of Sonic Youth's current tour. It could be worse for Ibold, he could have formed a band called Preston School of Industry. Sonic Youth then announce that they remember this venue from 8-10 years ago when they played here with Bikini Kill. I saw them in'98 at the Roseland. I don't recall Bikini Kill. Must have been 10 years ago. I digress.

Thurston barrelled into "Incinerate". Kim shimmied through "Reena" in a white silhoutted dress, showing off legs that would spasmodically send Ike Turner into syphlitic fits. They were in great spirits. Thurston bantered about the crocodile tears that were shed by Posh Spice as David Beckham and England were bounced from the World Cup. With perfect timing, they then launched into "What a Waste". Mariah Carey was spared for the night, they had found another sacrificial lamb.
Their set primarily consisted of material from Rather Ripped. With every third song being a classic from their vast cannon. The highlights for me included Thurston shamanistically chanting over the plink plink, 'Do you believe in rapture, baby?' Which could alternately be titled "Do You Believe In the Bush regime, Baby?" The biggest crowd pleaser of the night was when they launched into "Schizophrenia" from their album Sister. It still remains a timeless masterpiece.
They ripped through two encores, and bestowed upon the crowd the highest compliment, that as a collective crowd we kicked Seattle's ass. We had passed the litmus test. They probably told San francisco the same thing the following night.
It was the type of set that inspired one to grab the night by its balls, to go out on an all night tomato eating bender with Dan Asawa. Madness. I tripped over my lair of beer cups as I ambled toward the merchandise table. In euphoric indecisiveness I purchased two T-shirts and a frisbee. I don't play frisbee.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Barry Hannah’s Hot and Cool Electrics

Ever since we took out a weekend subscription, I have stopped reading the newspaper. Not sure if I am going bonkers or what. I just prefer to slow dance with De Campo after about four afternoon beers and a pot of chilli. Echo, the neighbour who gave me four dollars to use my lighter so he could burn the edges of his new carpet, I shot him in the thigh. Why I am talking like fifth-rate Barry Hannah, oh perhaps it's because I've been reading the infectious master…


Barry is a Southern poet and he knows it, tall grass and he mows it, loves his wife and he shows it, etc.

Initially I wanted to express my adulation for the book ‘Sabbath's Theater’, which I heartily devoured recently. It’s one of the most sickeningly brilliant books ever, but the material is so distasteful and I don't know whether my mother still reads this blog; she already disapproved of the content once and the idea of me writing about Mickey Sabbath’s envelope-pushing hi-jinx in the bedroom and on his ex-lover’s grave is probably better left unexplored. Instead I will rave about Barry Hannah, who’s 119-page novel ‘Ray’, I finished more recently (8.35am Friday morning on Tram #75).

I discovered Barry Hannah in the only issue of The Believer I ever bought. I'm not proud of this it's an excellent magazine. Inside there was an interview with my idol Stephen Malkmus that quoted his friend DC Berman, who writes poetry for The Believer, but is better known as one of the best songwriters in the universe, fronting the Silver Jews. The interviewer says to the interviewee bet you’re a Barry Hannah fan and Malkmus, who dabbles in tough love and gets very coy at the best of times says, ‘ah yea, back when I was 18’ (as if today it was beneath him). The cheek! Malkmus feigning precocity like David Nichols saying he was over White Heat /White Light by age 4 (I suppose all the stars do it). Malkmus mentions how DC, a Southern dude like Mr. Hannah, made a pilgrimage once and discovered a grizzled dude in a black leather jacket riding a big motorcycle and dripping with an off-putting masculinity.

Biker chic notwithstanding my curiosity was piqued, I picked up his first novel 1976’s Geronimo Rex. I read it, slapped my thigh and said GERONIMO! proceeding to fall off the Empire State Building and into the arms of…you guessed it: Ned Beatty. But I digress.

Reading G. Rex, I instantly identified the Hannah/Malkmus literary connection during a rite of passage sequence, in which the main character, if memory serves, persuades a young lady to go down on him on the last day of high school. “Suck…CESS!” he repeats. It sounds awful, I know, but as I recall, it worked really well. On Pavement’s first album 1991's Slanted and Enchanted, Malkmus sings, “I was dressed for success, but success it never comes.” THEN on an alternate version of the song found on the S and E Redux reissue from a couple years back, Malkmus changes the phrasing, wailing: “I was dressed for SUCK!..cess it never comes…”. Voila! The connection was made.

Oh dear. I just realised this would only be of interest to my mother.

I need a nap.

An unreliable Geronimo Rex prĂ©cis in 92 words: Harry Monroe excels in trumpeting and poetry. His music teacher, a wise jazzbo, is his mentor, but Harry quickly surpasses him in cool by donning a scarf ala French Romantic and brandishing a pistol. There's villainy and all kinds of suspense involving crackpot losers, a blubbery villain who has a hot wife and owns the town, plus a classic parade sequence and guff about marching bands. It’s Raise the Roofbeams, Carpenters meets Confederacy of the Dunces meets Look Homeward, Angel meets another novelist who writes in stunning poetic truths - Denis Johnson.

Stylistically, Ray reminds me of D. Johnson’s Jesus’ Son the most. Funnier, but less poignant. Screwball non sequiturs recalling early McGuane. Doctor Ray works at the hospital. He’s a boozer, a user, a sex machine, irresponsible prescriber of meds, vigilante, poet and a local legend who races around in a Corvette. He’s also easily distracted (at one point he falls into a women's privates during a routine appendectomy). People die in the township usually from a gunshot wound. Ray has a gun and he likes to use it. Ray is a complex man. I think the Village Voice, in 1980, said it best: “Ray is a song…about the electrics, cool and hot, of being alive.”