Doxa Sinistra – The Other Stranger
An example of a ‘Phenakistoscope’ from the Richard Balzer Collection.
TEARIST – Civilization
I just don’t have the time to give this band the words they deserve. I saw them play last Saturday and it was one of the best shows I’ve been to in ages. They are the real thing. The music seems to consume them when they are on stage. I was up front for the most of the show and I looked in Yasmine Kittles‘s eyes. She was was in an almost trance. I’ve never quite seen anything like it. If she’s faking it and it looks authentic, does that make it real?
While they are being lumped into the witch house genre (yes, fourth post on this page to mention this genre), I don’t think the label is totally appropriate. The scene at Show Cave where they played, definitely has an aura of witchiness about it and is known as the Los Angeles location for bands of this multi-named genre (the others being rape gaze, haunted house, drag).
I must admit, while I’m not much for scensterism, I actually felt quite comfortable there, lots of black clothes, asymmetrical haircuts, a sorta a urban gothic mixed crowd, gay and straight, White/Latino/Asian, young and old and people dancing. Yes, I said dancing and for real, like moving more than a few inches back and forth. Not even those crazy dubstep beats get the crowd moving all that much at Low End Theory (another Northeast LA club I frequent). There were dudes going crazy like apocalyptic dancing, in their black leather jackets and their dark hair flopping about. After awhile though, I stopped noticing what was going around me and got lost in the beats and Yasmine’s on stage acrobatics. And then out came the pieces of metal percussion she is becoming known for, her signature metal pipes that she bangs together in the most brutal and rhythmic ways.
At one point, she and the pipes come tumbling off the stage and land at my feet. She’s rolling around the floor with her mike, the sound coming out of her just as deep and vibrant as before. Then she jumps up and whacks the metal pillar I’m holding onto. Whoosh, the air rushes across my face and I jump back and smile. What a way to go, I think to myself, death by percussion. After, the song finishes, the circle of audience doesn’t move and looks at her metal percussion instruments strewn across the floor. She’s sitting on the stage. And there’s this weird moment where we all wonder if we should pick them up and hand them to her. It seems as if she’s waiting for this but none of us move. It’s almost like they are sacred objects not worthy of our pedestrian touch. After a minute she picks them up and the show is done. My friend says “Geesh, someone could’ve helped her out!” She doesn’t need our help.
Interview with Yasmine Kittles here.
TEARIST – Break Bone
From Locas II by Jaime Hernandez, Fantagraphics Books.
I could go on in really revealing and embarrassing ways about how much I love Love and Rockets. Wait, I think I already have. Lately, I’ve been re-reading the Locas series which can be found in two humongous anthologies recently re-issued. I’m almost done with Locas II and I’m reminded as to how influential the comics were in my early life. Quite honestly, I can’t even say they were influential as they felt much more documentary, as in my life often seemed to be reflected in the stories to the point where I wasn’t even shocked when I’d read almost word for word conversations I’d have in real life being said by the characters in the book. Re-reading the books now is almost like a source of comfort, the kinda life I have is so rarely reflected in the media spectacle that there is something to seeing one’s own experiences, including insecurities, being expressed by characters who have some commonalities. Commonalities…! They are CHICANA PUNKS FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, who lived in-between cultures, were superstitious, fell in love hopelessly (even with cholos), had crazy drunken street adventures, doubted themselves (for all the above reasons) and still managed to try and stay punk even when they weren’t anymore! I have way more commonalities with these things than I should publicly admit on this blog. See, I told you I couldn’t help but going on. Thank you Jaime Hernandez for bringing out the beauty of our everyday lives!
I met the Hernandez Bros. once at Golden Apple quite some time ago and tried to tell them in my gushing way some of what I just wrote. They answered “Yeah, it’s cause we peek in your window at night.” And at the time I sorta felt like they were mocking me which left me a bit confused. Also because Gilbert told me with what almost seemed like sarcasm that he was married to “a gringa.” And I remember thinking “What does that matter?” Maybe now, I would’ve understood what was happening but at the time, I was a too-cool-for-school twenty year old who thought she was meeting some kind of heroes and was sad to find, well, they weren’t. It was a very good lesson for me and later, helped me appreciate their work even more.
So if you’re looking for something awesome to read and start the new year off with, pick up Locas and Locas II. You can even check them out from the library but they’re nice to have around, so when you and your friends are having some funny or interesting conversation and you’re like wait, this seems familiar, and then be like, oh yeah Maggie said the same thing. My favorite is the one above, Maggie trying to explain how influential punk was in her life and in the end, just shrugs her shoulders and says “I can’t explain it.”
The Art of Jaime Hernandez by Todd Hignite just came out last year and it’s a gorgeous book filled with color strips, drawings, punk flyers (Nardcore!) and photos of Jaime and his brothers. The text is a bit hard-to-read and I wish there would have been more of Jaime’s direct quotes in the book but the book is, afterall, focused on Jaime’s personal drawing style which is universally recognized for it’s innovativeness and originality. Another great book to read in 2011!
Uncovered, cleaned of earth and grime. A small story made alive after years of being buried.
More on Mayan writing here.
Ka xi’ik teech utsil
Zoo Animals on Wheels from the TV show Get A Life
Chris Elliot was one of those comedians who a bit ahead of his time and because of that, very few remember his ridiculously silly feature projects like the movie Cabin Boy and his short-lived TV show Get A Life. Cabin Boy is one of the few movies I can enjoy through repeated viewings (Fancy lad! Sharky!). Many were disappointed when Fox canceled his Get A Life show in the early 90s.
I happened across this clip from the show Get A Life which features an anti-zoo message presented in musical comedy form. It was a timely discovery. Just recently, I was talking to a friend about our mutual dislike for zoos. What a horrible thing, we opined, to take a living creature from it’s environment and lock it up behind steel bars. Neither do I care much for the more “humane” enclosures which are nothing but a pitiful simulacrum of the animals’ natural surroundings. Funny though, we both conceded we quite enjoyed zoos as children. Nostalgic feelings aside, this Waiting-for-Guffman-ish musical theater spoof should be de rigueur for all future forms of political critique.
Living in a zoo can be very sad
People stare at you and make you mad
Oh how I wonder what they would do,
if animals stared at them like they were in a zoo
How do you like it when we stare at you?
It doesn’t feel good now isn’t that true?
Previous anti-zoo musings here.
Blossoming and fruiting
The amount of work it takes to make a handmade book is astounding. Even more astounding is the price, $3000! Whoa, a mass-produced version is available for much cheaper. It’s cool and all, but I bet Dover has cheaper clip art.
A food activist becomes a mistaken messiah!
“I don’t think a messiah figure is going to be a terribly good
launching point for the kinds of politics I’m talking about – for
someone who has very strong anarchist sympathies, this has some fairly
deep contradictions in it.”
Oil spills are aggravating
Oil spill feared on Great Barrier Reef
“The state government has been acting like snake oil salesmen spruiking
the riches to be made from exporting LNG (liquid natural gas) and more
coal, however they fail to acknowledge the environmental harm that will
be caused both on land and sea by these industries,” Capricorn
Conservation Council spokesman Ian Herbert said.
“OC life is not the life for me”
In theory this seems good, bring back all the old punk and hardcore bands for an autism awareness. I mean, how many of the old punks were suffering from autism and didn’t know it, right? But honestly, I want to preserve my memories of the band members youthful bodies,their frenzied on-stage energy and the loud, fast music. These reunion shows are stuffed with old dudes laboring through sets while trying to relive their glory days, the songs are slower and some even try to shove long metal guitar riffs into hardcore songs. Isn’t that what we were against? I don’t want sad new memories.
Orange County Punk Rock Picnic
Turkish Ice Cream Man
When I was 17, I was an ice-cream scooper at Thrifty’s, now Rite-Aid. I quit after a month because the weird guys from the nearby Hollywood halfway houses gave me the creeps, I kept breaking the sleeves of ice-cream cones making them unusable and I also didn’t realize part of my duties was to lug heavy cases of ice-cream out of the huge storage freezer down a flight of stairs. So much for my first job.
Trails Cafe in Griffith Park has some tasty eats for an after hike respite, vegetarian stuff too. It’s a bit on the pricey side so hike with money. I had a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a very nice lavender and vanilla cookie which I have not stopped thinking about, yum!
For many years I gardened using the square foot method. Initially (and subsequently, come to think of it) it’s pretty labor intensive but the rewards are high yields and less time spent thinning and wasting seeds. The soil must be double-dug due to the close spacing of plants but most gardening folks would recommend raised beds so as not to damage soil structure. I used a kitchen colander for soil sifting and two school rulers to measure my little plots.
I didn’t have a job at the time and would sometimes spend ten hours a day in the garden. Yeah, I was a little OCD. Now I’m the laziest gardener ever and my vegetable yields are representative of my work.
I saw The Runaways movie and was kinda disappointed. First off, I was a Runaways fan although I was the generation ten years later. I thought Cherry Bomb was the bomb, har har. I always wondered why none of my peers seemed interested in them. Perhaps it was because Joan Jett was already a pop sell-out by then and Weird Al Yankovic had already improved her music. I have always liked this song by Joan Jett though, maybe because it reminds me of a football chant.
Back to the movie…The production quality was cheap and not in a good, edgy way, just cheap. Like they’re supposed to be in Japan but the actors don’t look Japanese and “Tokyo” is a recognizable street in Downtown LA.
The actress Dakota Fanning who played Cherie Currie was just wide-eyed and goofy. If you see videos of Cherie Currie, she was hard, like chola hard. I mean she looked like she was 30 years old and tough. That did not come through in the movie at all. And Kirsten Stewart as Joan Jett, pfft, she’d try to do this rough thing with her voice and I wanted to laugh. It was like an after-school movie for rebellious girls but not too rebellious, you know. Ah, maybe I just compare these things to my own teenage years too much. Overall, the movie did not capture the spirit of the era nor was it evocative of something monumental as I imagined it set out to be.
Among the many t-shirt ideas I’ve had in mind to make “Los Angeles: Number One in Riots” is one of my favorites. According to this list, we’re number five and six which I think makes us number one as we are the only city listed twice. Oh yeah!
Ten of the Wildest Riots of All-Time
Celebration – New Skin
Crazy about the vocals and the organ on this song. You can hear more of them and get downloads too and this amazing music site: The Sound of Indie
one more song before the end of this long post…
I can’t believe this is Paul McCartney! Why? Because I actually like it and I dislike most anything having to do with The Beatles.
From the Daily Bleed:
April 6th is the birthday of ERICH MÜHSAM
German anarchist poet, murdered by the Nazis
I usually post these to Facebook and quite honestly, it’s FB that has pulled some of my attention away from this blog but I think this blog deserves better, don’t you?
(h/t LA Observed)
This is really bizarre…or is it? I don’t know anymore. Two reporters go to live with a Mexican family in MacArthur Park so they can learn Spanish and make this fancy website to document it. I haven’t read it all but they seem to mention cockroaches and cholos quite a bit.
It has a toilet, cutting board, bed/sofa and captures rain water!
I first became enamored with Joan Brossa when I saw a posthumous exhibition of his work at the Miro Museum in Barcelona. Iwas enamored and delighted by his visual poems or ‘poetic revolt’. An example are these two leaves paper-clipped together and called ‘Bureaucracy’
The XX – Islands (Delorean Remix)
I’ve really been enjoying this song. Oh, and this one too!
Today is Wilheim Reich‘s birthday (1897), the inventor of the orgone accumulator and author of The Mass Psychology of Fascism. I used to think if only more people read him, we’d all have less hang-ups and be a lot happier. I’m not as naive anymore but I’m still just as earnest.