Tuesday, May 20, Books Inc., San Francisco
After rehearsing for this coming Thursday’s show, I had a couple drinks at daddy’s, then the 2 for 1 at Midnight Sun, equaling five, sinking disdainfully into more self-hatred, smoldering at the hideous face of Adam Sandler illuminated on giant screens just above me. Finding my way eventually into Books Inc., whereupon I eagerly listened to author Alistair McCartney reading from his first novel. I sat in a folding chair and watched quietly as faggot after faggot not altogether quietly snickered at me for apparently stinking of vodka. “I’d like to know what the hell they were all douching with!”
Apparently, our young Mr. McCartney, Alistair, (not to be confused with his make believe nemesis, also Beatle, McCartney, Paul, and referred to with no small amount of enmity and spleen under the letter “M”.) was quite the young obsessive, hunkering over many a volume of The World Book Encyclopedia , a young boy in his native Perth, Western Australia, imagining far too much, stoking the fires of his own horrid pessimism and putrid sexuality
You just don’t know if he’s yankin’ ya, gankin’ ya, or just plain making shit up. He is clearly no stranger to the fine art of exaggeration or embellishment.
Alistair McCartney’s first novel, The End of The World Book, is an encyclopedic romp through the author’s faggoty and often beguiling memory, intertwining fiction, memoir and even some cultural history. For instance, and beginning alphabetically with the letter A, which stands for Adelaide, the author’s mother’s hometown, wherein occurred the murder spree of young boys whose bodies are discovered in champagne crates, or the letter “M” for Macramé, “The most significant art form of the decade known as the 1970’s, was undoubtedly macramé, that coarse lacework produced by weaving cords into a pattern.”
Layered like a prose poem, cleverly obsessive and foreboding, it’s been called an alphabetical guide to the apocalypse. From Kafka, Franz to Krueger, Freddy, McCartney meanders through history, antiquity and the very near future, stopping now and then to perversely look up the pant leg of a particularly hairy uncle or to admire the sunburn lines left by a hooligan’s wife beater.
He’s not from San Francisco, although he lives in Los Angeles with his partner artist Tim Miller, so not a lot of sense in regards as to why I’m writing about him for World Famous in San Francisco. I just wanted to give a shout out to independent bookstores in our fair city.
Girl pictured above says: "i hate u u just ruined the song i luv this song stuupid retard!"
Mariah Carey - Bye Bye OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
I've been causing trouble in Internet land with my "OFFICIAL VIDEO" for Mariah Carey's new single (official-offical video is not out yet). And I know Elton Tom and Jeremy Smears hate everything I love about Mariah, so what better way to come back to WFISF (cool SF music blog) after my extended absence than to post about Mariah Carey?
I first became familiar with Timothy’s work more than 15 years ago, now nearer to 20. I was living in Los Angeles when he and a friend of his had traveled in a van to L.A. from Albuquerque to show his work in a West Hollywood coffee shop. I must admit here and now that I was quite taken by Mr. Cummings, and of course his work. His earlier works included small paintings and brilliantly detailed puppets constructed of bleached and painted tree branches from his own back yard in New Mexico, dressed in a colonial-style, comedia del arte, flamenco dancers, etc. We kept in touch a little while after that, but then I moved to New York and we lost contact. Years later when I moved to San Francisco, I was talking to a very good friend of mine who mentioned the name of Timothy Cummings. “Could it possibly be the same Timothy?” I thought. Well it turned out in fact that it was. Timothy’s paintings have evolved magnificently in the years. I’ve seen him work in a 19th Century portraiture style to flat-out surreal scenes of the macabre. His darkly imagined nymphs tweak each other’s nipples, they fly in the magical realism of baby blue skies, they disappear, they reappear, their skin full of holes, their eyes full of fire and disdain. A child, masked, runs down a long empty azure hallway, recalling De Chirico and of course Dali. Since that time in L.A., Timothy’s lived in San Francisco and his work has been seen the world over. He’s become avidly collected and shows in major art institutions, here and abroad.
I don't know anything about this other than my friend Matt is DJing:
Expect terrifying sounds and loud rock music from him! Check out his podcast if you want an idea of whats in store.
Sew High Presents: Dope, Hoes & Scrilla
@ Down At Lulu's
6603 Telegraph, Oakland
5/2 from 7 - 10 PM
I was talking to Freddy of Hard Place about a show they had recently done with a band called Pizza!; I had been drawn in by the band name. On one hand it seemed like they put no effort into the name ("What do we call the band?" "I dunno, Pizza?") but on the other, who hasn't screamed like a child at the thought of ordering pizza? You're a cold hearted bitch if you don't get excited about pizza.
At any rate, Freddy said they were great and the proceeded to quote some awkward/dorky lyrics they have about there being fags of every sexual orientation. Betrayal!! This band used to be called The New Motherfuckers and that seems a lot more accurate, luring you in with promises of pizza and then delivering lyrics about social issues. Immediately I felt like I was back in the nineties -- the bad part of the nineties where I was in some basement at a house show that Sweep The Leg Johnny was permanently playing with a bunch of SXE hardcore bands whose scene was 'inclusion' (but were always made up of a bunch of white guys, funny how that worked out) and one band I wanted to see.
Betrayed or not, not only did Freddy say Pizza! was pretty good but Elton Tom said he always liked The New Motherfuckers -- he always turns me on to good stuff. Also, this album is free so I downloaded it.
So you don't get party jams, or feel good times, or anything remotely resembling pizza but you do get a good record. The band deals mostly in cold, new wave pop songs that generally stay the course but intermittently flare up, spazz, or do something you wouldn't expect. Its the aural equivalent of a facial tick. They have a strange way of arranging a song to offset their lyrics, which deal more with 'society' than 'personal issues', so that occasionally you think you might be watching a demented musical (this is especially true of the first song on the album, "Bird Dreams" and "Houses" and "Bloo Moob" towards the end).
At times I think they sound like an American version of The Passage, who I'll let Trouser Press describe:
Keyboardist/vocalist/composer/producer Dick Witts was the Passage, regardless of lineup shifts (at first a quartet, later a trio). A former percussionist with a noted classical orchestra, Witts and his fellow Mancunians made records that defy pigeonholing, evoking comparisons to Keith Emerson and Weather Report on one hand and Wire, Gang of Four and Joy Division on the other. The reviewer who sat them smack between early Soft Machine and the Fall may have come the closest of all.
Maybe its just me though, I've been listening to The Passage a bunch lately. But the synths and the lyrics... listen for yourself:
Pizza! - Griffith Park Fire
The Passage - The Half of It: Sissies
Ironically, it turns out that the song Freddy quoted from is my favorite. "Repress Yourself" is herky jerky new wave synth work out that switches gears into nineties guitar spazz and I'm sure you can figure out what its about. The lyrics are hilarious: "You say that god made you free/But you're retarded!"
Pizza! - Repress Yourself
Definitely check this out! You can download it here.
I think maybe this should be filed under World Famous in LA given that Anavan is a totally LA affair. If you're not familliar, imagine you started an ESG inspired dance band but you were weened on nineties post punk/post hardcore weirdness (well, Anavan were on GSL). Also you're really taken with that whole nu rave scene going on (or do I mean ravesploitation). Throw in some football helmets fitted with mics for a good electro aesthetic and you've got Anavan. I swear!
Anyway, last month they visited TransAm -- speaking of, its that time again. TransAm is this saturday with Ex-Boyfriends -- and pretty much brought the house down. Maybe those helmets were more literal than I thought, it was like they were running plays out of their retard football playbook: running around, rolling on the floor, and feeling up the boys in the audience. Oh, and playing their hearts out.
I had a great time at the show, but I'm getting less mileage out of the tour EP. It has more to do with being over the ESG sound after the great post punk boom of the early 2000's than anything to do with the EP proper. I'm not overly familiar with Anavan's past albums, but this EP does feel like the band is sniffing around for a new trail to follow. I like the new wave explorations of 'Not Sure' the best, but I'm going to put up a song called 'Traumatology' as I think it sounds the most representative. Look and listen!
Anavan - Traumatology
Me thinks, as usual, the corpses are stinkin’ to high heaven! Alas, let’s begin with a force-feeding of that ridiculous mess of a front man who was, quite fucking literally, stomping on my very last t-cell! That crap you’re failing to deliver as freeze dried death has taken a shit on the stage for the last time. Put away your horns, which must certainly shirk, at the site of your rancid and putrid lips being placed on their undeserving blowholes. I found myself wanting magically, sadistically, for that grand piano you were diddling like a pederasts’ pre-pubescent prize, to swallow you up and spit you out, all clotted mascara and swill, a big fat dump into The China Basin. The “burner” on tub-bass and “drums” should just as well have stayed home and masturbated into a dirty tube sock. And ahhhh yes! The girl. Her electro noise riffs were adequate at best when sparse, but mostly out of place and wayyyyy overly indulgent. And might I suggest, my love, duct tape? Girly girl…you cannot fucking sing! So just…just…god damnit… just STOP!
M. Lamar was a completely different story. I’ve followed his career for some time now, and I truly must say, he has become quite the performer and damned good. He’s taken his Avant-Diamanda references far beyond even Ms. Galas. He is a singer, who always leaves me wondering inexplicably, “Did he mean to be that flat?” and/or, “are my ears bleeding?” Surely, if not for the obvious and sheer sincerity and heart-felt delivery, it cannot all be a certain lack of intonation, Lamar holds and trills his guttural utterances with the marvelous fortitude and surety of a Nina Simone or a Patty Waters. Wearing his blackademia on his form-fitted leather sleeves with equally tight-ass jeans, Lamar places the listener into often uncomfortable situations. I thought at times, bloody black fetuses might climb out of the piano’s guts, slither downstage, sit and stare accusingly at me. Like Kara Walker, or David Hammons, Lamar confronts with history, shuns with narrative, pricks our noses with shameless recall, all the while smiling, his eyes turned to the floor, waiting.
Look, we've posted a lot about BRIDEZ: about their videos, reviewing their shows, and bringing you live footage. We even put them on our muxtape. Obviously, we dig 'em. So we're pretty excited because now BRIDEZ are releasing an album on Gifted Children Records (under construction, should be up monday!!!!)). Pretty cool, here's the cover and an mp3:
BRIDEZ - Live Forever
Anyway you know what we have to say about it, here's the official word:
BRIDEZ: Consisting of Will Ivy, Liza Thorn and Abe Pedroza, BRIDEZ hail from San Francisco and cite seagulls, the beach, poppies, drugs, teen angst and expensive everything as influences. Hobbies include: recording, writing songs, doing acid and shooting music videos. “Ideally we’ll shoot a music video for every song because they’re all hits,” says Thorn. (Take her word for it). With their trash brat lo-fi brew of fuzzed out noise pop, this duo will have you humming their melodies while rinsing off the grime in the shower.
Preorders available at http://www.myspace.com/giftedchildrenrecords
$10 CD and giftedchildrenrecords.com
We're having a 1 year anniversary party to celebrate 1 year of World Famous In San Francisco. There will be drinks, prizes and a private screening of Stephen Kijak's documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man. This film does not have US distribution. The director, a close friend provided a DVD for personal use. This is a private event. E-mail for details.
Where: The Vortex Room (South of Market)
When: 8 pm (film at 9)
How: Please RSVP, limited seating
If you RSVP we'll send you the address. RSVP to our e-mail or myspace.
hope to see you!
Tom & Jeremy
This week the Nothing People are our myspace page of the week. I picked up their first seven inch, Problems, at a show sometime last year and then promptly forgot about it. I found it a few months ago and it rules. I've seen some of that stuff compared to Chrome which I kinda hear, but it sounds more like Chrome if covered by Sonic Youth (which isn't a bad thing, I think SYs cover of Crime's Hotwire My Heart is fantastic). The other seven inches aren't as claustrophobic or alien and have more of a seventies avant rock feel to them (there's a Roxy Music cover on one of them).
Check their song "Army of Ideal" right here: http://www.myspace.com/nothingpeople
You can see them this Friday:
4/25 @ The Hemlock
Crash Normal (all the way from France garage/psych/fall-esqe/weirdness)