Over the weekend I went to see The Unlovables and three other bands in the Thrillhouse Records basement.
I'd say it's been around fifteen years since I have been to anything like this type of show, i.e., a dusty-basement, low-ceiling, fire-hazard, dirt-floor, byob show where the donated door money is collected in a just-emptied Bud Light carton by a girl with a studded hoodie who draws a sharpie X on your hand.
It was fun and I liked the bands.
To my surprise, a good dozen of those in attendance were the same people who would have been there at a similar show fifteen years ago: Jane and Jesse Luscious, Pat and Erika, Mike Lucas, Paul Curran, Janelle, Al Sobrante, and a few others, even Hal from Sewer Trout.
It was like going back in time. How weird, I thought, that they are still going to these! On the other hand, that's probably what they were all saying about me, too.
Anyway, here's Frank Unlovable, Erika, and yours truly:
In other day-late-and-$-short news, I'm really digging this song, "Gay Parade," by The Gullibles, which you can hear on their myspace page.
Andrew Sullivan quotes what has to be the greatest poem ever written about being an author. It's by Clive James and can be found here and in this (ironically?) out-of-print book. "The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered"
Here is an excerpt, but read the whole thing:
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".
A reader forwarded me this kind review of the British King Dork from a free commuter paper in London known as the Metro.
Also, I happened on this rather thorough review on what appears to be a high school teacher's website.
A lot of people out there seem to think this guy would make a good Sam Hellerman.
In Australia, there is a Golden Inky and a Silver Inky.
Mitch Clem drew a swell six page comic illustrating the lyrics of my old song "Checkers Speech." And here it be.
...that the comments are buggered again. Not sure why, but I'll look into it.
Chris Thompson writes in the Village Voice about the death threats and intimidation that followed his East Bay Express articles on the Your Black Muslim Bakery crime syndicate (#1 here, #2 here.) YBMB thugs were threatening Chauncey Bailey's life in retaliation for articles he had written at least as far back as 2002, when Thompson interviewed him for his story.
Also, this article tells the story of the horrific carjack-torture-kidnapping of a mother and daughter on their way home from a bingo parlor, for which Yusuf Bey IV and two YBMB associates were charged yesterday. This attack occurred in May; the arrests were made last week in the Chauncey Bailey sweep. I presume this case would have been investigated and prosecuted eventually even if the Bailey murder hadn't been on CNN and in the NYT. But there is a cynical part of me that wonders. The list of the broadly similar activities these people have largely got away with till now is pretty substantial and impressive. Christopher Hitchens has the wrong end of the stick when he tries to bring sharia law and jihadism into it, but his point about "complacency amounting to collusion" on the part of city authorities rings true. Thompson makes the same point even more forcefully about "official Oakland."
In the carjack-kidnap-torture case, they threatened to set one of the women on fire and of course that made me think of poor Sandra Tellis. I assume that case is still unsolved, whether or not anyone has been actively trying to solve it. Television crime dramas have based their plots on far more tenuous "leads" than that, but I know this is real life. At least I'm pretty sure it is.
"A group of Berkeley neighbors is preparing to file a lawsuit to stop the Trader Joe's project approved last month for University Avenue." What's the matter, neighbors? Trader Joe's not snooty enough for ya?
Neighbors for a
n even Scuzzier Livable Berkeley Way explain:
“Are you all so dazzled by the prospect of food and liquor that you can’t make a rational decision to save Berkeley’s neighborhoods for future generations?” he asked. “This project is an elephant dressed up in a Trader Joe’s T-shirt uniform. And as everyone knows, an elephant sits wherever and destroys whatever it wants.”And then there's the guy who is worried that this elephant might "further hamper revenue for local grocery stores." What's he talking about? Fred's? Not the 7-11, surely? Or it could be Andronico's - it's kind of a hellish walk, but it would certainly be SUV-able from there. Anything to keep it livable.
God bless 'em, or something.