Friday, April 28, 2006

"fuck art, let's....fuck"

Yes, that's right.

Elizabeth just texted me, as she was walking the streets of Chicago, her soon-to-be stomping grounds... she saw a sign that said that.

Fucking righteous.

Oh and did you hear? My most favorite sex goddess snagged (wait, "snagged"? yeah....that's about right) the cover of People's "Most Beautiful People"? Ha! Love that all those namby-pambys who *subscribe* to that rag, who hate her, get to hold it in their hands.

She's smoking hot. Deal with it. (right, James?)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

"bring on the backlash;" they beat you to it; this one's fer Jeremy, you cynical bastard

Oh! They've really gone and done it, now!

Arctic Monkeys come out with a 5-song EP, "Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys" and they get to it. Fuck all y'all about that backlash crap--they're aware...

Maybe too aware.

Who cares? It's brill. The lads are fucking smart. Give 'em that. Alex is just an observer... a crafty fucking observer.

I only know of getting it through itunes, right now. I think it's gonna be released on May 9th...(it came out in the UK on the 24th)

"Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?"

We all want someone to shout for
Yeah, everyone wants somebody to adore
But your heroes aren't what they seem
When you've been where we've been
Have I done something to trigger
The funny looks and the sniggers?
Are they there at all, or is it just paranoia?

Everybody's got their box
Doing what they're told
You pushed my faith near being lost
But we'll stick to the guns
Don't care if it's marketing suicidal
Won't crack or compromise
Your do-rights or individes
Will never unhinge us
And there's a couple of hundred
Think they're Christopher Columbus
But the settlers had already settled
Yeah, long before ya
Just cos we're having a say-so
Not lining up to be playdoh

Oh, in five years time, will it be "Who the fuck's Arctic Monkeys?"

'Cause everybody's got their box
Doing what they're told
You pushed my faith near being lost
But we'll stick to the guns
Don't care if it's marketing suicidal
Won't crack or compromise
Your do-rights or individes
Will never unhinge us

(La la la la la, la la) (La la la la la, la la) (La la la la la, la la)

All the thoughts that I just said
Will linger round and multiply in their head
Not that mad to start with
I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed
It's not you it's them that are wrong

Tell 'em to take out their tongues
Tell 'em to take out their tongues...
It's not you it's them that are wrong
Tell 'em to take out their tongues
Tell 'em to take out their tongues

And bring on the backlash!

It's not you it's them that are wrong
Tell him to take out his tongue
Tell him to take out his tongue
It's not you it's them that's the fake
I won't mess with your escape
Is this really your escape

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Don't Tell Me It's a Beautiful Day and Mary, Don't You Weep

Had a very necessary rock experience last night. Saw Ike at the Turf–my millionth time, I think.

He is, by far, the musician I have seen the most times in my life. I lost count years ago. The first time I saw him was about six-fucking-years ago. Since then he’s come back to town every few months, and I rarely miss him. Seeing him at the Turf is the way it should always be, too...
So, it was just him and Phil last night–the Duo... They set up stage at the side of the bar, with the greatest back drop behind ‘em. That battered green wall with the paint coming off in chips, covered in x-mas lights that look like barbed wire. A perfect backdrop for Ike and his anger. Yeah, that steely-green-eyed anger of his. Rock ‘n’ roll, sexy anger. He brought that with him and it worked. It fueled the audience. Oh, his hardcore fans. The ones that know every word to every song. The ones that get so very wasted so very early. There was this chick at a lil table right up front who was out cold. Had her head on the table for the whole show. Ike and the crowd were talking about her--she never moved a hair.

Ah, the songs; the great songs where the words all tumble out and it makes you feel like it’s all for us and we all understand each other. He did some oldies: "Lust Song 78,"but a totally different arrangement (t used to be so punkrock!). When he did "Garbage Day," he pulled a Bob Dylan and changed around the pronouns and completely changed some of the verses. Love that. One of the last songs he did was Bobby Darin’s "Dreamlover"–shocker! For me, Darin is one of the greatest songwriters, singers, performers that ever lived. Ike done good with it, too.

"Crave" was a great treat–couldn’t help but think of Elizabeth when she told me she thought it was the most romantic song she’d ever heard (whilst reminding me that she doesn’t like romantic songs). When "The Assassination of Sweet Lou Diablo" had the crowd all raise their glasses, whoopin’ and singing, chanting along: "Now we’re drinking to your assassination," with serious smiles on their faces (mine too) it felt like needful commiserating, but it was also empowering and darkly comedic.

To see Ike, with his commanding presence, with that stance, that stare into the crowd, all superfuckingtough, is inspiring still. He just always looks like he can get things done, a take-care-of-business kind of man. He swaggers.

At the show, I had Bruce on my mind. I rushed home yesterday to watch the DVD side of the Seeger sessions disc. I tell you, I could not peel the smile off of my face as I watched it. They cram all the musicians in Bruce’s house in Jersey (the horns are in the hallway, you get it). It’s this...Hootenanny. It sounds like New Orleans, the Civil War, the 1960s folk scene and pure Bruce all at once. I am totally in love with how joyous and full and celebratory it feels. With all the shit in the world, it feels exactly right. What else are you gonna do? Dance and drink and screw? Heh. Bruce had "Devils and Dust" and it was...dark. *That* was his anti-war sentiment. I still thought it was fucking great, but most of it is not a *pleasure* to listen to.

These traditional folk songs, the way Bruce arranges them and breathes life into them *are* a pleasure to listen to. They deal with the presence of the war, for sure, by the nature of the folk/protest song. But, they are not necessarily making some grand statement. It's more about the music. The music of joy and community and familia and laughing and drinking and fucking--in the face of misery and war and death. My favorite so far is "O Mary Don't You Weep," totally gospel, totally a REVIVAL...makes you wanna go to church! It’s been in my head, nonstop.
Speaking of Hootenanny… and music that inspires drinking and fucking…I think of Ike.

And though Ike *hates* this fact, it’s true: Bruce and Ike have this brotherhood between them. (There’s a substantive rumor that "Springsteen’s a big Reilly fan." I am not kidding). There’s that stance they plant in their black boots, with the shirt sleeves rolled up, and the crosses around their necks, those catholic boys that they are. It’s a passionate toughness, but there’s smarts and intent behind their eyes.

Speaking of catholic boys, Jim and Ike were all adolescent boys, getting rowdy outside the bus, after the show. Hitting each other, giving each other shit (and praise) about their basketball game they had played in the afternoon. I asked Ike what they’d been listening to on the bus ( Johnny Cash and the Ronettes, awww) and then it became a Bruce debate. Man, those can get heated. I know from many past experiences. I fully admit how crazy I can get, but damn–when you hate Springsteen, you really hate him...

Ike has always been so dismissive and almost defensive when the subject of Springsteen comes up...and with me and Jim –it inevitably does. Somehow Dylan entered the subject (this makes sense, it connects them both). I talked about accessability and the esoteric obscurity of Dylan versus that engaging, you can come to the-party-too of Bruce. Ike, in turn, brought up how his kids don’t like (I think he actually said "hate") Bruce Springsteen and how young they were when they were listening to and loving Dylan.

Hey–there’s no question. Dylan is god-like. Hell, to a fuckton of music nuts out there, he *is* God. Bruce has something else entirely. I think it has a lot to do with the simplicity of most of his music and the personal accessability of his lyrics.

He just doesn’t see it. He used to like him he says, but "he lost me around 1987." Humph. But, as I pressed him about it, hey–Tunnel of Love is this great, dark, record about the death of a marriage, he totally made fun of Springseen’s lyrics. But you know what?

He fucking knew ‘em all.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Let's Impeach The President" and "We Shall Overcome"

"Let's Impeach the President," can't get more direct than that. It's the name of the already publicized song (the one where he has a choir of 100 people behind him) off of Neil Young's new anti-war record. I am so fucking excited for it to come out. He's rushing it--my dad can't get over how much it feels like when "Ohio" was rushed as a single.

This is a random gem. It's an impromptu interview outside of Capitol records with Neil. I have *never* heard him more lucid, focused and articulate before. I mean, he's a super bright man, but I think he's usually pretty stoned in interviews (then again, that really could be his medication for his epilepsy--I know this from Erica...). Here, he's really impassioned, but calm. He discusses (the interviewer--a stereo typical HotChickTalkingHead surprises you and is a very solid interviewer) how strongly he feels about Bush and the "war we're living with," is how he puts it, I think. It feels really inspiring. Check out the great little dig (with a smile!) from Showbiz what-ever-the-fuck Dude says at the end! It's golden.

My other hero comes out (today!) with his anti-war sentiment. Bruce Springsteen made his first-ever album of covers, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions." And dig this great lil' line I caught while pursuing E.W.:

"On his latest album, Bruce Springsteen taps back into what he does best: making music that's as grand and mythopoetic as the country itself."

Good 'un, E-Dub!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Ramones invented it

Saw Kid Rock last Thursday night at the Xcel (for free, thank gawd). Haven't been to a big rock show in a long-ass-time. It is such a different animal than the small club show. That goes without, very obvious. It's just that there is so much more disconnect between the concert-goer, in their arena seat and the performers who seem miles away. The same plastic seat that people get wasted and root for the Wild or whatever, and the performer who, for most attendees, is just a blip on the stage. Because *most* people are far away, *most* people experience the show by watching the JumboTron. So, they're just watching TV, I guess, huh?

At Kid Rock, it was beer, TV and strippers, actually. (After the show it was "whiskey and cocaine," apparently. That's what Kid "scratched" out as his answer on the turntables, anyway. Hey--mebee he just chills with a good book and a snifter. Heh. Sniff. Sniff.) Oh, and speaking of scratching out answers...regarding his attendance at Elton John's wedding the question was asked, "how do you explain that?" (!?!) he "replied," "I li-li-li-like-lik-lik-like PUSSY." A collective sigh rushed through the crowd as we all heaved in unison: "whew. he's not gay, now! thank the lord he still likes the pussy."

It's a bit painful to actually write much about the show. Overall, it was entertaining, totally worth going...the price was was also really quite disturbing at times. The level of masturbatory references (actually seemed like propaganda/indoctrination) to himself ("what's my NAME!!?!?!" followed by the flashing of "KID ROCK" on the ol' Tron behind him) or to the city he's from...y'know, the same as Motown, somehow... There were so many (most of, actually) songs I had never heard before. They were all quite awful, too. Staggeringly so, sometimes. The songs I did know were largely covers. "Drift Away," had the JumboTron flash images of "fallen" heroes, musical ones. This was one of the most fascinating aspects of the show. Pictures of John Lennon, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Tupac, Biggie, Johnny Cash loomed over the stage. In a way, it was sick--really exploitative. In another way, it was just silly set-padding. But, the feeling I left with, was that he just came off as this total Fan. He digs music, man. Which, you know Robert Plant does too (he still goes Camden-record hunting), Jeff Buckley was a musicfreak, too (claimed to be a human jukebox, loved crazy eclectic music) and there are plenty more...but, it's always been fascinating to me which musicians, particularly songwriters who are obsessive about listening to others' work. Y'know as opposed to those crazy-genius types who can only handle the music they hear in their heads--Brian Wilson and Bjork are the ones that first come to mind.

It feels like festival season......

Listening to Blink 18-fucking-2 for some reason. Actually, I know the reason. I was friends with this awesome chick in middle school–like, 7th, 8th grade, mainly and then later in high school. She was really fucking funny and smart and loved great music. The three main bands we were into together were: The Beastie Boys, Blink 182 and Goldfinger. I completely lost touch with her after high school, but ran into her a few years ago. She had just gotten *married* and was living within blocks from me, but it felt like we had moved to different planets. Recently, I found her again through MySpace (insert joke or complaint here. Actually, I will: saw a t-shirt for the first time today downtown, "MySpace ruined my life." This one's for you, E), and she "posted a comment" about finding an old mix tape I had made her, and mentioned Goldfinger.

Well, coincidentally, pop punk and punk happen to be some of my very favorite spring musical choices (perfect for when you think the rain just might start, feels right for festivals). So, I pulled out that Goldfinger record and the best Blink record--"Dude Ranch" and plugged 'em into my iPod this morning.

I've listened to a handful of songs from both records *all* day long.

I remember thinking there were some duds, some for-sure-skippers on "Dude Ranch," but now, somehow, at the age of 24, I realize that I dig every fucking song on there. I hate (not really) to repeat this yet again, yet I must: I am more like a 14-year-old boy now than I was when I was actually 14. What. The. Fuck.

Ha. It's kind of great, though. Re-discovering the mediocre music of your youth; realizing that maybe it wasn't as mediocre as you remembered it to be. Now, I have always thought of Blink 182 of one of my ultimate guilty pleasure bands. Always was pretty ashamed to like music that was that poppy and almost-emo. Also, the heightened level of immaturity was pretty disgraceful, too. (Shudder-worthy lyrics include: "She's so important/ I'm so retarded")

But, now, I say fuckit. It's great. They have a little bit of Metallica in 'em: those super-tight, fast, precise riffs; plenty of Ramones: really juvinille lyrics and the songs usually clock in around 2 minutes. Gawd, what was it about B O R E D O M that made kids wanna play their instruments so fucking fast!? I love it! I absolutely *love* that about punk. I love that the faster, the better. I love that disgust and frustration with the BORRRRRING things in life. Like, fuck school. Fuck sitting still. Fuck my suburban bedroom--I'm gonna sniff some fucking glue or pop some speed and play my guitar really fucking fast and loud. It's so honest, full of vigor and angst.

It is a total pleasure to listen to. Pop-filled, harmonies abound! Really makes me wanna be in high school again, hanging out with skateboarder boys and driving around on endless hot summer nights.

Specifically, it makes me remember sitting in the backseat of my friend Emily's car, with her kick-ass-cool-and-sexy-as-hell sister, Roxy sit
ting in front of me. We had to endure a six-hour epic journey to see Warped Tour in 1998. The coppers were stopping everyone, doling out minors and open bottle citations. So, that was pretty much everyone. So, that took about 5 hours longer than it should have. Well, we listened to to "Dude Ranch" roughly 5 million times. We all sang along to every word.That association will forever be seared in my brain.

Incidentally, that was the big highlight of the summer....We got backstage--thanks to the feminine wiles of Roxy---and got to meet a few of the bands. The magic moment for me was meeting Lars and Tim from Rancid. I still have the picture of me and Tim--me beaming my fucking face off--on my bedroom wall. Ah, youth.

I will leave you with this. Words of wisdom from those rascals in Blink:

"I'll open my eyes/ I've got something inside/ I'll just jack off in my room until then...."

(Can't get enough of this shit, people. I might need help...)

**ALSO: I still firmly believe that listening to "Different Class" by Pulp is like reading a brilliantly written novel. But it rocks.

give it up for The Little Man in the Canoe

From Jessica, by way of McSweeney's.... Thank you.

Too fucking hilarious.

A N O P E N L E T T E R T O M Y F I R S T F I V E G I R L F R I E N D S .

June 16, 2004

Dear Holly, Kathy, Kelly, Nicole, and the other Kelly,

Look, I'll come straight to the point. I'm sorry I didn't know where the clitoris was, or, more to the point, where your clitorises were. I was a horrible wreck of dry humping, fingering teen lust who pinned you to couches and carpets and danced all around your deserving buttons of love without so much as grazing them, without even inquiring as to the location of your hidden high-school treasure, without even thinking that you might not be liking the way I was swizzling my hand around in your nether regions.

You were patient with me. You let me slip you the tongue in the field behind the shopping center. You allowed me to reach second base in the bathroom at Phil's party—you remember, the one where we drank all that peach schnapps and watched The Wall on Phil's mom's big-screen TV. Heck, you sat still in the back of Scott Parsons' sweet-ass Honda Prelude while I rooted around in your shorts like a frat boy working a couch for spare change.

While I'm at it, I'm also sorry for letting Brandon smell my fingers. That was immature and uncool, and even though you never found out, I feel badly about it. Really, I do.

To be honest, you should be pissed at my dad. We never "had the talk." I had no diagrams to work from, no explanation of the intricate workings of the little man who steers the canoe. Everything I knew about sex was gleaned from Cinemax's presentation of Emmanuelle in Bangkok and this old Betamax porno Bobby stole from his dad. I watched the latter one three times. Other than making me uncomfortable to be around my dentist, it didn't help.

I asked my father why he never clarified the finer points of clitoral massage with me way back then, but he just said that wasn't really part of polite conversation and he'd prefer not to discuss it. So I asked him if he knew where Mom's clitoris was and he hung up on me. I took that as a no.

Anyway, sorry about that. I'd have done you right if I'd had any idea what we were both missing.


Emlyn Lewis
Boston, MA

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dig That Moonlight

When I type in "angels" in my iTunes, these three songs come up:

*Robbie Williams’ "Angles"
*Ike Reilly "Angles and Whores"
*Ted Leo and the Pharmacists "Angel’s Share"

All are fucking great songs, yeah. Which one do I chose to listen to first? Robbie. That scamp.

[Oooh, but Ike has that bit, "Money undress me and money molest me; as the suburbs suck the punk off of my lap" makes me all goosepimply all over, like.]

Andy Nicholson (bass) from the Arctic Monkeys said it best, when answering a question about "how it is now, playing shows [now that you’re this phenomenon in England–at the time they blew up]," in that Sheffield burr, he replied, "Well, once when we did Mardy Bum, some bird was on this bloke’s shoulders, singing along. It was a very Robbie Williams’ moment," and then his normally stoic face broke into a grin.

I think the moon is full or some shit tonight, because it’s fooking huge. I spied it when I was walking back from the Y tonight. I had a good sweat and then a good soak. I hoped it would be storming tonight, so I could traipse through it all. Although I was wishing for rain, the weather is far too amazing to complain about. Whew. It’s mood-alteringly wonderful. I dig, I dig.

I stopped, and kinda stared at the moon for a whille. It made me wanna just keep walking, enjoy the night. Then a cop cruiser drover by. And then I felt that tinge of War Zone Minneapolis that I felt Friday night, walking to the Dirtbombs’ show on Saturday night. And I kept on walking.

Oh, my. The Dirtbombs. At the Entry. Was sublime. Perfect rock show: We got right up on the left side, up against the stage and near that random case/box/platform thing that always resides there, at the 7th Street Entry. We staked our claim, and it was good. And then, the Black Lips come out (they opened for the band in Chi, too) and these drunken buffoons (maybe not drunk, actually. but, very buffoon-y) are shoving and falling all over us. And then they’re throwing bottles on the stage. And then it’s take a swig of MGD and spit it all over the stage. Oh, how very, very Sid of you. Thanks, I think I got some of your swill on my fucking face.

Ha. See? A perfect rock show, so far. (Just to prove to you the perfection: I got to meet most of the band and I walked out with a righteously damaged drum stick).

When The Dirtbombs came out, I knew right away it was gonna be better, gonna be different. First of all, the lovely, tough, precious, bass player, Ko Shih (who has the word "F U Z Z" on her strap, perfect cuz she slaps out those super-rock, fuzzy bass lines) situated herself right in me–like, her bass coulda swung a little more and fit me the face. In a rhyming way, just like that. And at the Entry, that’s really where you should be. Because you can.

But, it’s Mick Collins (wottta great, mick name for a black rocker, huh?)who is the muthafucking heart of this rock band. (Jesus, I’m seeing a lot of bands from Detroit, lately...hmmm). He transforms himself into Mr. Soul, with those black sunglasses (where is he looking? Is he looking at me!? I think he’s looking at me! Ha!) And then he does this totally crowd-manipulating little shake of his hips and ass. He was also extremely pleased (he said so) at all of our shaking it up at the front, too. He likes it when you dance and get sweaty like he does (he soaks right through that same "SINGLE COILS" tee, changing into a different color). You get the vibe that they are having fun from those joyous smiles they exchange. That is what rock shows should always be about.

When Mick read my mind and launched into the primal-sexy-spasm of "Can’t Stop Thinking About It" and I freaked like I was 15. Or, more accurately: I felt like I did when Beck played a song I yelled out the first time I saw him at First Ave. (It was "I Get Lonesome," off of "One Foot in the Grave," and it was glorious.)

On Sunday night I was one of the judges for this battle of the bands thing for JACK FM–a totally surreal, fun, worthwhile experience. And one of the things we scored (besides free booze and food) was Kid Rock tix for this Thursday. I can’t hardy wait to see that trashy, scraggly man who wishes it was 1976 and his last name was VanZant.. Oh, and the strippers. One can only assume that there will be lots of t & a bouncing around. Can’t wait to see what the crowd is like...I will report back to you on this. But of course.

Maybe it’s the weather...but, I’ve been listening to a lot of :

New Order
Bloc Party

AND....still can’t stop with the Arctic....just so you know. I still have the habit.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tell them soul-suckin' preachers to come on down and see

By now, you've all heard this.

It is a great, great time for us, the most distrusted minority. Heh.

Can't help but think of the song, all day yesterday and today... One of my very favorites by Bruce, a Christian...go figure.

Part man, part monkey

They prosecuted some poor sucker in these United States
for teachin’ that man descended from the apes
They coulda settles that case without a fuss or fight
If they’d seen me chasin’ you sugar
Thru the jungle last night

They’d a called in that jury and a one two three said
‘Part man part monkey, definitely’
Well the church bell rings from the corner steeple
Man in a monkey suit swears he’ll do no evil
Offers his lover’s prayer but his soul lies
Dark and driftin and unsatisfied

Well hey bartender tell me what’d ya see
Part man part monkey looks like to me

Well the night is dark the moon is full
The flowers of romance exert their pull
We talk a while my fingers slip
I’m hard and cracking like a whip

Well did God make man in a breath of holy fire
Or did he crawl on up out of the muck and mire
Well the man on the street
Believes what the bible tells him so
But you can ask me mister because I know

Tell them soul-suckin’ preachers to come on down and see
Part man part monkey, baby that’s me

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spike Lee still matters and Jodie Foster's legs should be worshipped in a temple of hot

Lucky enough to see "Inside Man" (for free) last night. What a wonderful popcorn flick--I really should say SpikeLeeJoint...!

The way the film opens-- a gorgeous quick tour of New York City proper, done Lee-style, is pure pornography (for those of us who adore NYC, that is). Think more realistic, modern version of that spectacle of an opening of Woody's "Manhattan," with a great, haunting Bollywood song (!?), "Chaiyya Chaiyya" playing behind it instead of Gershwin.

The film has touches of film noir and even a little Hitchcock--brilliant, lovable criminal (the hot, hot Clive Owen. Man, Cynthia was so right about his hotness--he simply smolders on the screen). The cast is just phenomenal. Jodie Foster is this great, unexpected ice queen presence. And, let me tell you something about Ms. Foster's gams: they are exceptionally
toothsome, like I want to touch them. They are perfectly toned, atop high stiletto heels, tanned, shiny and oh-so-smooth. Humina. Lee seems to want you to look at them, and who can blame him? The picture above is the closest I could find that shows them off at all...At least you get a peek.

Oh, and then there's Denzel. *He's* not attractive or an amazing actor or anything. Psssh. He is this beacon of justice, realism, hotness and get this: there is this one scene, in its context, where his character totally evoked Atticus Finch. I know, I know--major weight there, but I felt it.

The film is thrilling, funny, clever, surprising and something I really, really want to see again, already. It contains these total clusterfuck moments, where Lee uses paranoia, racism, and distrust to slap you in the face.

Sure, it might be kinda mainstream-y (it's slick and pretty, but still gritty) at times, but Lee's voice is so still *there*. There are themes that echo the distrust of authority and addresses the ever-present issue of "cover up" in affluent/governing level of society.

Some ass character in the movie actually calls Foster's character a "magnificent cunt." How does that taste wih your Junior Mints?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

See the way he walks down the street

Gene Pitney died.

He wrote one of my all-time-favorite songs, "He's a Rebel," which I discovered early, by way of getting really into Phil Spector's stuff.

Of course, this brings me back to thinking about Darlene Love--the lead vocalist on that classic song (usually when recordings say "The Crystals," it was Darlene and various back-up singers). She barely got any credit, and Love was one of those (there were many) who was fucked over by Crazy Phil, financially and psychologically.

I always put this one on mixes for dudes. It was *so* punk rock to me, when I was younger.

Darlene's powerhouse, soaring voice coupled with that jangle, those lyrics, it's so happy and hot and defiant and teenage. It still has total attitude and gets me in my gut everytime I hear it, still...

(Gene Pitney)
The Crystals

See the way he walks down the street
Watch the way he shuffles his feet
How he holds his head up high
When he goes walking by-y-y-y-y-y
He's my guy
When he holds my hand I'm so proud
'Cos he's not just one of the crowd
I bet he's always the one
To try the things I've never done
and just because of that they will say -- Hey!

He's a rebel and he'll never ever be - any good
He's a rebel 'cos he never ever does - what he should
And just because he doesn't do what - everybody else does
That's no reason why I can't give him all my love
He is always good to me - always treats me tenderly
He's not a rebel, no-no-no
He's not a rebel, no-no-no - to me-e-e-e

If they don't like him that way
They won't like me after today
I'll be standing right by his side - when they say

He's a rebel and he'll never ever be - any good
He's a rebel 'cos he never ever does - what he should and just because he doesn't do what - everybody else does

That's no reason why - we can't share a love
He is always good to me - always treats me tenderly

He's not a rebel, no-no-no
He's not a rebel, no-no-no - to me-e-e-e (he's not a rebel - no-no-no)
No-no-no (he's not a rebel - no-no-no) (he's not a rebel - no-no-no)
No-no-no (he's not a rebel - no-no-no)

Monday, April 03, 2006

They didn't save my life. But Beth Ditto makes everything better.

Beth Ditto is one of the nation’s most talented, exciting rock stars, but it’s almost a well-kept secret. She sings in the three-piece soul, punk rock band The Gossip-from Olympia, WA by way of Arkansas. The band played to a packed, all-ages crowd at the Triple Rock on Saturday and it was a real Rock Revival type of show. Life-affriming.

Dark bangs, hanging low–obscuring her eyes in that pure Chrissie Hynde fashion--ripping with soul and sweat, Ditto is a powerful, but totally unaffected presence on stage. She’s gay and she has this great tattoo of an anchor on her upper arm with Elizabeth’s ultimate, favorite term of endearment on it–"Mama." Magic.

Thing is, there just aren’t that many "out" female lead singers around. It’s refreshing when she says things like "You know we love the dykes, right? Well this song is for the fags." She is short and precious–she calls herself "fat," and the woman does have rolls and when she dances, she shakes it and it is captivating, sensual and raw. In the between song-patter, she comes across totally humble, a sweet Southern dumpling. Well, also a strong, beautiful woman that could kick your ass with the sheer power of her fucking voice, that is.

After the show, Jessica and I watched this hilarious Ramones dvd I recently acquired (I in the kick-ass comic book box set). Thinking about what it would be like to actually attend a Ramones show in the 70s. That locomotive rumble they all talk about...I felt that kind of shock and awe it played out before me (RIGHT before me, we were front and center) at the Gossip show–the band just tears right through those 2-minute-blitzes and left us all stunned and speechless--wondering what we just got hit with.(Beth did comment on that, "Y’all are so crazy when we’re playing, but then you get all quiet between songs!" We’re stunned and pleasured, Beth. Give us a sec...

I was worried that there wouldn’t be dancing–after all, the band’s declaration is forcefully clear: "We started a band 'cause we were bored. Our mission is to make you dance, and if you're not gonna dance, just stay at home and listen to the oldies station." But everyone around me was shakin’ their ass. It was a joyous celebration--Ditto’s lyrics are filled with themes of feminism, woman to woman love and longing and betrayal. The fans belted out the words and shook their heads in disbelief when Beth would just...unleash. That’s what it was, too. Totally untamed, unrestrained, her voice soared. Made Jessica (and me) realize, that as great as the records are, the live experience of hearing her voice is far more intense (of course) and more muscular and sultry than the recording. In "Coal to Diamonds," a bit of an angry ballad, Ditto let her soulful, slow-burn side come out and it just knocked the room out.

Oh, and the rest of the band is *incredible.* (All together, they look kinda like the really cool kids in a John Waters movie.) Can’t forget the other two talents. Hannnah Blilie, is the cool-as-a-cucumber, Charlie Watts-style drummer-- clean, militarily attractive, healthy fit looking woman with a mohawk. No contorted facial expressions, never even broke a sweat. She maintained this cool, hard look out to the audience that was part come-on, part fuck you. Brace Paine, the guitarist/bass player (he would change it up, depending on the song) is completely absorbed in the music, but managed to dance–toes turned inward, knees touching. Reminded me of a more "arty" Paul Weller. Or Townshend, even.

Before their encore, Beth talked mentioned it was the second day of her period and how she was feeling a bit under the weather. Days like this, they do something little special. She launches into "Boy, I been watchin’ you/ like the hawk in the sky up high," just *channeling* soul through the 1998 Aaliyah song, "Are You That Somebody." (yep, off of the "Dr. Dolitttle" soundtrack. fuckyes.)


After the show we needed to replenish our sweaty, danced-out bods. We went to Taco Bell, that’s just down the way from the Triple Rock. The chick taking our order said, "So, you ladies going out to the club, then?" I told her where we just were and she gave me this look–straight through me. "I have ‘Movement’," she said. She loved the Gossip and was totally upset that she had missed the show, cuz she totally had to work at Taco Bell.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT? ....Rolling Stone magazine should really do a feature on this band. The kids at the Taco Bell dig ‘em and their songs have a beat–and you can dance to it.