Monthly Archives: June 2006

The road awaits

Heading out of town in a few hours, and am more than ready for this roadtrip to begin, already.
Dependent on connectivity, I’m hoping to post random updates from the road to this website, so you can see the trouble…er….clean wholesome fun we’re having. Drinking milk. In bed by 8pm. Never talking to strangers.

If anyone’s bored and near Joshua Tree Sunday and Monday, give me call or drop me a note here. We’ll just be hanging around the house, cooking up some fine food and drinking some wine and goofing off.

Some of you we’ll see in Vegas — rest up for Red Square, m’dears. And those of you in Irvine and Mountain View, be ready for the shows of your lives.

Anyway, I’m out. The West Coast tour begins…now.


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In Seattle July 5th? Free screening of a Strummer documentary

If you know me, you know that I still miss Joe Strummer every single damn day.

When I heard that Dick Rude was compiling his footage of Joe and the Mescaleros last tour, I was pleased to hear it, knowing that he’d catch things that other folks might not. When it was announced that this footage turned film would debut at Tribeca and it conflicted with another festival I was being sent to, I sent my trusty JG over to check it out and report back, knowing she’d get the scoop. When the film finally got picked up for DVD distribution, I literally cheered. When the release date was set, I pre-ordered immediately. But when the DVD arrived the other day, I just sat and looked at it, and I still have not been able to open it. Why? Because I still struggle to believe, deep down in the core of me, that Joe Strummer doesn’t walk this earth anymore, and watching that film sitting there alone on my couch, just feels wrong…

Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered that the EMP is doing a screening of “Let’s Rock Again!” at their JBL Theater, with Dick Rude coming to talk about Joe and the film and answer questions. Next, imagine me prying open the sealed window of my McCorporate office with only a pencil and a stapler (a red Swingline, of course) and attempting to throw myself out it when I learned that yes, said screening and talk will occur next week, while I am off somewhere driving the West Coast. Not nice, not nice at all! >>>Insert expletives here, and I mean *way* more than I normally use.<<< ***** EXCLUSIVE AREA SCREENING AND Q&A SESSION WITH DOCUMENTARIAN DICK RUDE! Wednesday, July 5th 7:30pm JBL Theater FREE LET’S ROCK AGAIN! is an intimate and fascinating portrait of JOE STRUMMER — the undisputed pioneer of punk and legendary frontman for The Clash. Directed by filmmaker and long-time Strummer friend Dick Rude, LET’S ROCK AGAIN! provides an insider’s view including touching personal interviews, revealing backstage footage shot in the 18 months leading up to Strummer’s death in 2002. The film begins with a montage of Strummer’s illustrious start as frontman for the iconic punk band The Clash and moves into his life years later as the documentary hits the road with Strummer’s new band The Mescaleros. Before the film, Dick will screen XEROX BABIES, a short documentary on the seminal first five years of LA Punk. Dick Rude will be available and in-person for a Q&A session after the screening. Please join us for this very exclusive and rockin’ opportunity! ***** Anyway, if you're in town, you really MUST go see this. I can't implore you enough, and you will truly thank me later. If you go, let me know what you thought, and let me know more about the Xerox Babies doc, which I've also been waiting impatiently to see. And maybe I'll throw the DVD into my suitcase for the roadtrip — watching it at the house in Joshua Tree, where we can throw the doors wide open, grab some beer and blast the sound as loud as we like, might be just the thing.

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The best glam soundtrack ever?

Just noticed this item on, and am still in disbelief that it will actually happen: 

"Love, Love Will Bring Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop Together Again”

Anton Corbijn is trying to blow our minds. It would have been exciting enough to hear that the renowned music video director is directing Control, a biopic about dearly departed Joy Division frontman, Ian Curtis, but he’s not stopping there. New Order fansite World in Motion reports that the film’s soundtrack will feature contributions from a truly stellar cast of musicians, including (and I’m going to break these down into bite-size pieces for you, so you don’t choke on them):

David Bowie
Iggy Pop
Lou Reed
Roxy Music
Sex Pistols

New Order themselves will score the film’s soundtrack, which will also include songs by (duh) Joy Division and that band’s predecessor, Warsaw.

The movie, which (according to
IMDB) will be shot in black and white, is set to start filming on July 10. Those of you who are keeping score will realize that’s only about two weeks from now. At this point, it seems appropriate to mention how much it sucks that movies take time to make. I mean, I think I could handle waiting two weeks for this movie to come out, but two weeks plus the months it will take to shoot, edit, and put the publicity machine in motion? What the hell am I supposed to do until then, Anton Corbijn, huh? Screen Velvet Goldmine for my glam rock fix? Fill in the gaps with videos from Corbijn’s Director’s Label until my eyeballs explode from overstimulation? Watch 24 Hour Party People?

Well, okay. I guess I can handle that."

Here’s hoping Corbijn can hold this crew together, for what could potentially be one of the best soundtracks every compiled. Period.

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let’s lose our minds and be set free

As a little girl, summer was perfection. Climbing a tree, reading a book all afternoon until eventually, someone came looking for me. Balancing my little tar-blackened feet on logs to cross the stream to the secret fort. Rollerskating and biking the streets before they became packed with folks coming home in the evening. Hanging out with a stack of records and the earphones, going through the pile and memorizing every little detail of the covers and credits while eating as many fudgesicles as I could sneak before my mom noticed.

Why the hell am I thinking about this? Is it because the weather’s been a little warmer than folks are used to here in Seattle? No, that’s not why. Two nights ago, in one of many sleepless hours, I realized that the hot weather was reminding me of the visit I made one summer to my Nana’s house.

My Nana (my mom’s mother) and I were, from the get-go, very different people. She was, and still is, one of the most unfailingly positive people I have ever met. I, on the other hand, was born with a little skepticism in my bones — something that’d I’d argue isn’t unhealthy in this day and age. Perhaps that little bit of static, that slight difference in character is what has never allowed us to extra close, I’m not really certain.

Anyway, one summer, when my parents went away on a camping trip with a few of their oldest friends, I was left to stay with Nana and my stepgrandfather. Without my trees, my records, my books, the fort, I was naturally more than a little pissed that I was being subjected to a week without my things, in a town where I knew next to no one, and there were very few kids to begin with. My attitude sucked, basically, and I look back at it now with more than a little shame. For that long week in her old yellow Victorian house, the stifling humidity, mosquitoes, cicadas buzzing as I read a book amongst the ferns next to the back door of the house, Nana tried to find me things to do. Trouble was, baking wasn’t appealing to me (I loved to cook, even then, but it was too hot), my reading didn’t make sense to her (she’s never enjoyed books), and we seemed to be at a classic impasse.

One particularly hot afternoon, I decided that it was the perfect day to build a small, shady fort amongst those same ferns at the back of the house. Nana was tired, hot, and surely at wit’s end with my bratty self, and came out to see what I was doing. Nearly at the breaking point, I figured that she was preparing to yell at me something fierce. But, she didn’t. That just wasn’t in her nature, even when I was being more than trying. Instead, she sat down and helped me, even getting a chuckle out of the fan system I was creating out of fern leaves, before finally joining me inside the finished place. We reached an understanding of sorts that day — one that didn’t last, but one that did pop into my head at 3 in the morning a few nights ago.

For the past few years, we’ve been dealing with Nana’s gradual slide into dementia. Her elder sister headed down that dusty path several years ago, so we knew what was happening as it started, and through the past 18 months or so, every day has been its own little surprise. My mom and aunt take the brunt of the damage, as they receive her multiple daily phone calls of things she’s told them only minutes before, or, in a newer twist, things that are blatantly not true. Whether she’s telling them about a friend who died of pneumonia and where she caught it (the friend died of a stroke), or that she’s telling other family members how badly she feels about me being left at the altar (oh, the puzzled/concerned phone calls my mom and I have had to field over that one — I just want to know who the groom is, so I can kick his ass and steal back the wedding gifts), it’s been a dark adventure, watching how her mind twists and turns itself every day. Through it all, though, I’ve been fairly at with peace with it, because she’s not young, and the fact that while the disease can be frustrating and heartbreaking to those around the her, I had faith that she’d have the same experience that her elder sister has had — fading into an existence that is content and lived minute by minute, with nothing behind or ahead mattering. Isn’t that kind of what we’re all supposed to be doing, anyway? I’ve been harboring a quiet envy of that, in a way.

My mom drove down to take Nana to a family anniversary this weekend, and I called on Sunday to check in, see how everything went. Above and beyond the love for and exasperation with dealing with the usual issues, she shared something new: Nana has become rude. This…well, it floored me. Nana has always been, since the first moments I can recall her when I was probably a year old, the kindest, most thoughtful, sweetest person I’ve ever known. They don’t make people like this anymore — that kind of old-fashioned goodness. Never heard a bad word about anyone or anything, no complaints, nada. (This has driven me nuts more than once in my life, believe me — her rose-colored world clashed with my punk-fueled ethos starting at age 13) To hear that she’s now become vocally and noticeably rude and almost mean is not only shocking, but it’s the cruelest development yet. Is this just an aberration, that will fade away, too? Or is it a part of her personality that’s always been there, that’s she’s been surpressing her whole life and now her mind isn’t strong enough to hold it back anymore?

Maybe, more than anything, it hurts because, despite all my skepticism and doubts about this world, I depended on her innate sweetness as a sort of beacon of reassurance that there still were people in this world who weren’t cold and bitter, who cared and didn’t fall low under the weight of the world.

I don’t have answer. Don’t know that I will, until we see what’s next for her mind.

So, I’m leaning a little harder on the folks around me these days, looking for the briefest glimmers of that same goodness, and I’m finding it in some unexpected people and surprisingly not in others that I was sure had it. That’s to be expected, of course, but I still find myself gravitating towards the ones who have it, all the same. I’m so damn thankful to have friends like these.

Headed to Joshua Tree, Vegas, and parts beyond later this week with two of those folks at the end of this week. JT has this same feeling in spades, and chocolate chip pancakes at Country Kitchen and a drink and some music at Pappy and Harriet’s should help shift me back to a someplace finer, as they always do. I promise, a lighter post about that trip later, before we leave.

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On the road soon…

and yet 7 days still isn’t soon enough…

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Martin

Classy, funny, private, never took himself seriously, and the ideal amount of dangerous charm, and a voice tinged with both heaven and hell — perfection.

Happy birthday, wherever you are.

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So long, Mr. Preston

Just heard that Billy Preston, rock and jazz pianist extraordinaire, has passed away.

Thanks for the tunes, sir. Must be one hell of a jam happening out there somewhere, and I’m sure you’re in the middle of it.

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