Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weird Dreams Inside The Goldmine

"We're doin' bloody Eddie Cochran songs? 'Ere, mate! I was looking forward to playin' 'The Cartographer Of Love!'"
I never remember my dreams, except they're always weird as hell. But sometimes, you have one so odd, you have to write it down. Such as the one I had Friday night.

It's my last night in Austin, before I move back to L.A. (No, I know I left Austin two years ago for Tucson and then Phoenix, before finally settling on L.A. This is clearly a parallel universe. Just follow along.) The latest lineup of The Hormones (again, I know this never happened!) are playing our farewell show at Emo's. Only Emo's looks oddly like a bar my Denver friend Adams took me to my first day in town, a week ago. The rest of The Hormones have decided to not play the gig. I'm sitting at the bar, contemplating a solo acoustic set and not relishing the idea, when who should walk in but my old buddy, Keith Richards? (Because, y'know, Keef and I are sooo tight, and he's frequently in Austin.... *rolls eyes*) It's been awhile since Keef and I last hung out, him being busy with his modestly successful lil' rock 'n' roll band and all....

We're all smiles, laughter, and boozy bonhomie, buying rounds and playing catchup. Then Keith asks when I'm going onstage. I explain the situation of The Hormones downing tools.

"Well, fuck those bastards!" Keith roars. "Let's you and me play the gig! Right now! I'm sure we can find a drummer 'ere!" And sure enough, we just so happen to find Television drummer Billy Ficca wandering around (because he hangs out as much in Austin as Keith, apparently). After a quick word, he's as excited as Keith to be a Hormone for the night.

We agree to do a set of Eddie Cochran covers, since we all know those songs. And just as we start up "20 Flight Rock," I look up and see that Keith and Billy are not set up onstage with me. They're on the floor, playing from the audience.

"No, no, no, guys!" I yell, an impatient bandleader. "Get up here with me!"

So, naturally, they're having to tear down and set up with me on the Emo's stage. Keith, of course, is having a lot of problems with this concept, as he's had a road crew for 40 years and has forgotten how to hump his own gear (even though all he has for this gig is a Gibson ES335 [the blonde dot-marker model, ala Dave Edmunds] and a little 15-watt Fender Pro Jr. combo). As my slumming all-star Hormones lineup begin setting up onstage, I proceed to explain to the sparse crowd that, although this is our last gig as an Austin band and I will be leaving for L.A. tomorrow, the other guys didn't want to play. "But hey! Who cares? May I present Hormones guitarist for tonight only, KEITH RICHARDS!"

To which absolutely no one applauds. I opt to forgo introducing Billy, or saying another word to these cold fish....

Finally, Keith and Billy are ready. "Let's rock!" Keith rasps. He then begin churning out the opening riff to "20 Flight Rock," sounding really great and Keef-ish.

And then I woke up.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh, Lord! The 2012 elections are already a tractor pull....

Michelle Bachmann responds to the news that she can "has cake."

That sound you hear is that of my eyes rolling out of control. Why? Seems congresswoman Michelle Bachmann - the Tea Partier's Tea Partier who placed the battle of Lexington and Concord in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts, blamed Obama for bird flu, and totally erases whatever goodwill the state of Minnesota engenders for having given the world Bob Dylan, Husker Du, and The Replacements - is being considered a serious contender for the Presidency. And Donald Trump is considering a run.

Jesus, people. Can you please stop it? My eyeballs are bruised from all the spinning you're inducing.

By this point, it's well-known I'll listen to a George Michael box set on permanent repeat for the rest of my life before I'll vote Republican. I've also arrived at the conclusion, in my old age, that it doesn't matter what your party or ideology is -  you have to have a monumental, hyper-delusional ego to even want the Presidency. (And we all know Trump has that in spades.) You also probably should not be trusted, outright, again regardless of your affiliation or philosophy. I've also concluded that America really does not know what's best for it, thanks to the erosion of our educational system and its trust in Fox News as a source.

But damn, people. Do you really take either of these people seriously enough to lay your trust in their doing a good job running things? Especially in Bachmann's case?

If so, I'd best start pricing tickets to somewhere, ANYWHERE, that isn't America. You're on your own, dumbasses....

And yes, I hope you have a good day, too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greetings from Denver

Yeah, I know. It's been much too long.

Simply put, I've had too much negativity hitting my life the last few months. And it doesn't help regular blogging whenever you (very stupidly) leave your laptop on the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western. Nor does it help your sanity/serenity/stability when your entire living situation goes pear-shaped, and you literally find yourself with no place to make a temporary landing in the city you've made your home.

Hence, I took what may seem a circuitous survival path, which was really the path of least resistance: I transferred to my longtime (off-and-on) employers' offices in Denver, where I have at least four long-running pals living. One of those pals offered his couch for as long as I need it.

So, after a long bus ride through some of the reddest of American red states (I shall never forget the site of the Chevron station, just over the Utah side of the Utah/Nevada border, decorated with what seemed like thousands of deer heads!), I'm finding myself landed in the town that birthed both Jello Biafra and The Fluid, and gave Jack Kerouac residence for a spell. I shall be here several months, putting a dent in Charlie's couch and saving a considerable nest egg for my eventual return to L.A.

Thing is, I am tempted to stay here. This town seriously reminds me of the Austin I moved to and fell in love with in the '90s, the Austin that didn't need a "Keep Austin Weird" civic campaign. That funky, creative, low-cost vibe is everywhere. Mom-and-pop businesses still rule here, living is cheaper than I've seen in awhile (and the air more breathable), killer touring bands pass through, the women are gorgeous and comment favorably on my funny striped trousers, and I'm seeing lots of well-preserved '50s neon all about. My final decision will be influenced by certain musical and female factors, of course. But I'm being seriously seduced by Denver life.

Meantime, I'm only this much closer to a new laptop. I need a paycheck or two under my belt first. But this space will see far more action than it has this year so far, thanks to access to Charlie's computer. So, goodbye for now. Good to see you again, too.