Friday, April 27, 2012
So Mr. Hamilton Peters finally relented with the interview he promised me. I initially gave him the choice of locale, but he kept insisting on here, and while he may be correct in stating that said venue is the only place where you can get a buttery nipple for under $3 (sometimes even free), my fragile heart can't handle the intense amounts of orgone energy that place produces. So we finally just settled on the FLaRNtown/Union residency show at Casey's.
X: Hey there, FLaRNsteader!
X: Right off the bat you're gonna be grouchy? Look, I bought you a drink.
HP: Did you drug it?
X: Time will tell
HP: What is it?
X: Shirley Temple
HP: You're lucky I actually love this drink.
X: No surprise there
HP: You want some of my stuffed taters?
X: I don't eat fish
X: Alright, are you ready to do this thing, or what?
HP: You feelin' alright?
X: Of course I do. Why?
HP: You look a little run down
X: Is that concern you're showing?
HP: No its a fact I'm stating. I don't wanna catch no old man flu or something
X: Look, a die-hard butter & egg man such as myself may fluctuate hither and thither, but when it comes down to game time, we morph into beast-mode. You feel me, right Hal?
X: OK let the interrogation begin!!!! How long have you been an obsessive, elitist music enthusiast, and what got you interested in the art of dashing the hopes and dreams of aspiring artists the world round?
HP: Well first I'm gonna have to reject just about everything about that question, because I'm not an elitist and I'm definitely not an "enthusiast.”
X: Weirdo, then?
HP: I'm an obsessive, about lots of things I guess--Latvian pornography, the connection between Acutane and suicidal depression, the Garfield assassination--
X: Garfield, eh? I would peg you for a Mckinley man, myself.
HP: Mckinley was a putz!
X: He fought in the Civil War, not to mention the fact that he led our country to victory in the Spanish American War!! He was a razor sharp warrior!
HP: If he was so goddamn sharp, then why did he get killed in Buffalo?!
X: HE WAS SPEAKING AT THE PAN AM EXPO, YOU FLARNTRARIAN!!!
HP: ANYWAY, before you interrupted my sentence, I was about to say that I’m not really an obsessive regarding music. Sure I got a f@#king bigger vinyl collection than you got, and I got refined tastes, but I don't think that makes me obsessed. I just like to get jacked on hard lemonade and go out and haunt weird old second-hand shops where I just buy every record they got, generally cuz they sell them for like ten cents each, and for every 100 "Dancin' Johnson" by Ray J. Johnsons, you'll stumble on some Throbbing Gristle or something. Though that's kind of a bad example cuz "Dancin' Johnson" is pretty superb if you accept it on its own terms. But you know what I mean.
X: No, I have no idea what the FLaRN you’re talking about.
HP: And c'mon old man, I got no interest in dashing the hopes and dreams of aspiring artists. The people whose hopes and dreams I dash when I write on your blog ain't aspiring artists. They're just losers who couldn't get laid on their own merits and so they decided to start bands to trick people into making contact with their genitals.
X: Didn’t you try that once?
HP: Only once, but it don’t count! I was twelve and I played an accordion with my best friend who played the clarinet.
X: So you’d just destroy aspiring musicians dreams?
HP: They ain’t aspiring musicians. I dash the hopes and dreams of aspiring sex-havers, and why wouldn't I be interested in that? Jeez.
X: Whatever you say! Let’s move on. Tell us a little about yourself.
HP: Like what?
X: JESUS!! Do I really have to hold your hand? You know the drill. Give us a quick-capsule review of how you came to be one of my most important minions.
X: YES! Where are you from originally? How did you end up following the music over here if you're stationed in Pomona?
HP: Why don't you tell 'em? You know the story as well as I do. I was f@#king around on the internet one night and drinking my favorite malt beverages and I fell down one of those worldwide web rabbit holes where I started out looking for photos of 1970s Eastern Bloc pubic hair and somehow I ended up on the Buzzbands blog. Don't ask me how. Anyways I saw that someone named X had left a kind of cool, well-deserved hateful comment on one of the posts there, so I clicked on X's name and it linked me to your blog, and I gotta be honest, it was pretty disappointing.
X: What the hell did you just say?
HP: For someone who claims to be a hater you were showing way to much kindness with a heaping side of a sort of winky, cutesy, look-at-me-ain't-I-a-stinker bullflop.
X: Unlike you I’m not completely heartless, you turd-swallower!
HP: It was all too darn good-natured. So I sent you an email telling you that you needed to learn how to really, really bring the hate and you wrote me back and said that if I thought of myself as such a "tumescent fount of vitriol" then I should contribute. So I did. And my contribution hurt too many feelings I guess, so you banned me. Then you realized how boring your stupid blog was without me, so you invited me back.
X: I created the universe you thrive in, just remember that, you pee-hole!
X: Where the FLaRn were you born?
HP: I'm from Pomona originally. Grew up here, went to school here, got a job here. Don't really want to go anywhere else. What's the point? I can't even get meth-mouthed Inland Empire tramps to sleep with me, so I doubt the chicks in Los Angeles or Paris would be any more accommodating.
X: Sounds like a personal problem. But the music is a joke over there. Why not move over here where the music is slightly less FLaRNey?
HP: What makes you think I follow music in Los Angeles? The only music I follow is what's in my own head. The only reason I ever listen to the bland and derivative bands that are noise-polluting your neighborhood is as a favor to you. I never even would've heard of the Airborne Toxic Events if you hadn't sent me their video, and they're apparently quite a big deal or something.
X: It’s imperative you are versed on all the cancerous cultural anomalies that pop up around you.
HP: I do have to admit that there was a time years ago when I heard enough about LA actually having an interesting music scene going on that I got kind of intrigued. Lots of young creative people coming together to make something that's all beautiful and new or what have you. So I drove to Echo Park after work on a Monday and went to a show and...let's just say it was a rough night. Maybe the worst night of my life. As far as the music goes, I felt like I was back at My Gym except there was a lot more cocaine.
X: Where did you go in Echo Park?
HP: I don’t wanna talk about it.
X: Why not?
HP: I said I don’t wanna—
X: Just tell me the name of the venue, jerk!
X: On a Monday? You went to Sean FLaRnage night?
HP: That’s all I’m giving you, old man!
X: Fine fine. I dunno why you’re so touchy about—
HP: JUST DROP IT!!!
X: Fine, Jesus Mary and Elvis! Moving on. You and I have something in common in that we seem to be the only people in this city who feel it necessary to offer a dissenting voice in the LA music scene. What are your thoughts on the way the local scenes are evolving and progressing?
HP: I think I probably take a longer view on this question than most of the dickless weirdos you ask. For better or worse LA was a hotbed of drugged out creativity in the '60s. In the '70s and '80s it saved punk and kept it weird and dangerous. Later it invented gangsta rap. But jeez louise, based on the stuff you send and the stuff I see on the Buzzbands blog or whatever, today's bands are happy to just ingest the feces of their local ancestors and spew it out as some sort of tired barf-poop hybrid that they try to pass off as the next thing in music. I guess this is evolution but I don't think it's progress.
X: See? I spend all this time putting up with your putrescent driveling and then you go ahead and say stuff like that and totally redeem yourself. Well played! Do you feel better?
HP: Not really?
X: Good. Now you often mention your bouts with loneliness and depression.
HP: The F@#k are you talking about?
X: Come now, son. You’re not fooling anyone.
HP: You must be reading way too deep between the lines, Haterus. Or maybe you're just projecting, cuz loneliness and depression? That ain't me. Just cuz I'm a loner don't mean I'm lonely. I know I'm an ogre who's mostly unfit for human companionship and that's just fine. I have my hard lemonade and my Kate Bush poster and that's gonna have to be enough for me. Ya hear me? I'm not depressed, I'm self-aware. There's a big difference.
X: Is this a byproduct of your intense affinity for G.G. Allin?
HP: GG Allin has nothing to do with it. The fact that he was a prophet hasn't got nothing to do with me.
X: A prophet? He ate his turds, kid? You ever see that footage of the girl peeing in his mouth for his birthday?
HP: Yeah, so?
X: Yeah so……Mother of Mercy! Ehhh….Ok how about your obsession with Paramore? One might say that an elitist who loves Paramore is a hypocritical scat-muncher. Your thoughts?
HP: Like I told you before I ain't an elitist. You're the elitist for being too blinded by your so-called hate to be able to recognize that Parmore is one of the only groups out there that knows how to write a perfect pop song.
X: Oh now I’m a hater. Just a minute ago you were calling me soft.
HP: Except when it comes to Paramore!!! Years ago I was driving my little sister Madison Peters to school and on a whim I let her pick the radio station and the last thing I expected was to hear that kind of perfection coming out of my speakers. I asked Madison who it was and she said it was a super-lame band called Paramore. I pulled over and explained to her point by point why she was wrong and why she herself was the super-lame one and why this Paramore group was actually super-awesome. It made her late for school but I think I taught her more than she would have learned in f@#king sex-ed or whatever it was she missed.
X: You should be ashamed of yourself. Let’s move on, shall we? Who are your top 3 favorite ACTIVE local bands?
HP: Heh heh, nice try. Are Flo and Eddie still around?
X: Answer the damn question!
HP: Moving on.
X: Don’t do what all those FLaRNy bands do to me, do ya hear? I expect more from you. Who are your top 3 favorite local bands who have since disbanded?
WX: The FLaRNms? Pat Smear wears dresses for godsake!
X: Well, I give you points on the Go Go’s. Those girls were insatiable groupie-mongers in their prime. Next question. Who, in your opinion, are the top 3 most overrated bands in Los Angeles?
HP: Who are the 3 highest rated bands in Los Angeles?
X: Well played. Next, if you could interview any currently active band...either local or national, who would it be and why?
X: Jesus, enough with the Paramore!!
HP: What? I want to prove to the doubters that they know exactly what they're up to and how important their music is and that they have a deep appreciation for their place in the history of popular song.
X: Fine. Paramore. If you feel secure enough to stand by that answer, well….fine. Next. To what extent do you agree with my conclusion that Los Angeles is a dead-star-black-hole-wasteland teeming with vile musical putrescence?
HP: You're the expert. The better question is to what degree do you agree with your conclusion? I think you're a secret softy.
X: This softee is about to serve a cane right into your grill if you don’t shut that tartar-ravaged mouth of yours! Lastly, can you extract anything from your little drugged out, communism-addled, granola-clogged minds that might convince me that your group transcends the stale garbage being peddled by your peers as "music"?
HP: I don't make music, you senile old dunce. You're reading off the wrong question card.
X: Whah? Whadaya mean you don’t make music?
HP: Are you F@%$ing with me right now?
X: I’m sorry I get confused sometimes, Harrison.
X: Right. Lets just move to the LIGHTNING ROUND.
X: The Airborne Toxic Event: horrible band OR musical AIDS?
HP: AIDS jokes are lazy. Horrible band.
X: Spoken like someone in need of an AZT break. Next. No Age: next local band to break OR Commie bastards?
HP: They haven't broken yet? Or do you mean break as in "fall apart" or "become inoperable"? If that's what you mean, I hope so. They should just stop messing around and have a dog bark over their music. It would be equally as pleasurable as their singing. Anyway. Commie bastards.
X: Next. Lord Growing: second best blogger OR Boner-Grinder?
HP: Never would have heard of the guy if it weren't for your weirdo rivalry/love affair with him. I've only ever been able to read like the first two sentences of any given post of his before I get bored. So he's defo a boner-grinder. Seems like the kind of guy who only goes to concerts for the frottage opportunities.
X: Watch it there, buster. That guy gave me my big break.
HP: Break, as in fall apart?
X: Shut it. Next, and this is important, so think carefully before answering. Hater X: mad genius OR like a father to you?
HP: If you knew my father--Bushrod Peters, USMC--then you'd know that like a father to me is the last thing I'd want anyone to be. So I'll say mad genius even though we both know I don't believe it.
X: You don’t?
X: Not even a little?
HP: You amuse me. That is all.
X: FINE!!! Mouse from Classical Geek Theater: Flim-Flammer OR domesticated pet rapist?
HP: I don't know who that is and I refuse to find out.
X: You should. Nice kid. A bit weird about his cats, though. Next. Manhattan Murder Mystery: future local legends OR swamp dwelling hillbillies?
HP: Even you seem to secretly like those guys which is one major sign that you ain't as tough as you pretend. Swamp dwelling hillbillies is being waaaaay too kind.
X: Next. Torches In Trees: Quality music OR Zygote Hippie Scum?
HP: You sent me one of their videos to review once and I couldn't sit through it, so I guess they're gonna have to be zygote hippie scum with a "sexy bassist" caveat.
X: She’s mine. Step off. Moving on. The Pity Party: bad to the bone OR squirrel fuckers?
HP: Does that band really exist? I thought they were some sort of unpleasant urban legend.
X: They might as well be. Those little bastards won’t return my phone calls. Jerks. Next. The Lonely Wild: great tunes OR fart smell??
HP: Great tunes! Of course I've never heard any of their songs, but I'm sure they're a groundbreaking encapsulation of everything that came before and at the same time they blaze a new trail for music to take deep into the 21st century. Everyone who hears them is swiftly brought to orgasm.
X: Heheh! Moving on. Kevin Bronson of BuzzbandsLA: the origin of sin OR the origin of origins?
HP: Seems to know what he's doing. I wouldn't want to have to pretend to appreciate three or four new bands every day. I'd rather get my balls waxed three or four times every day. So I give him mad props. Origin of origins, I guess.
X: We’re getting close to the end.
HP: Thank Christ.
X: Scott of Surfing on Steam: Smarter than he looks OR Homunculus Mongoloid?
HP: Is he the guy who came up with the word "chillwave"? That guy's ok.
X: No that was the two gentlemen who star in Portlandia. Last but not least.....Harold Arlen: great songwriter or greatest songwriter?
HP: He gave my grandmother the clap. Besides that I can admit he was a great songwriter.
X: Take it back.
HP: Take what back, I said he was a great songwri—
X: TAKE IT BACK YOU LOVELESS TROGLODYTE!!!!
HP: I’M OUTTA HERE!!!
X: GET OUT!! You going to call me on Monday though, right?
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Heya Pallys!! This weekend is teeming with so much FLaRny musical putrescence, I’m actually considering spending an entire weekend downtown. You heard me right. The place to be this weekend is over at Casey’s Irish pub, where we have two hot-to-trot residencies in full effect.
FLaRNtown/Union – These crazy roots rock turd-smellers have been hoisting the indie-underdog banner in the local scene for a good few years now. And while they’re still a secret to those apathetic docile masses who flood the Sunset Strip, their brash bar-rock reeks of confidence. Or is that bourbon sweat? Either way ya slice it, they definitely smell. So come join me this Friday evening at 10pm. Buy me a drink. Break some beer glasses, then take the band home with you and make whoopee. Isn’t that what they’re calling it these days? Whatever Bob Eubanks says, goes.
Modern FLaRn Machines – This Saturday evening at 10pm, night number two. The last time I saw these FLaRny fellows over at The Satellite, I was blasted on Hooch and couldn’t find the balance to listen with an unbiased ear. Lordy informed me that for some reason I kept yelling some nonsense about how they paled in comparison to The Limelighters and the Kingston Trio. The only way to make amends this time around is to drink way more than the last time, therefore cancelling out the past. Lets judge them together, shall we?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
-Heya Pallys! Here's yet another new FLaRNy buzz band with a stupid goddamn name! Really? Really guys? When you were jamming in your garage and thinking up band names, all your other choices were WORSE than the one you settled on? How the FLARN is that possible? You sonsabitches! And to all you fans of this band, let me just thank you from the bottom of my colon (pun intended) for playing your part in perpetuating the myth that this band is worthy of anyones time. I hate all of you.
-In case you were wondering, Beth Coast is almost ready to release the follow-up to her smash-hit premiere LP. Can you tell that I’m excited for all the high drama this entails? All the cliff-hanger questions will finally be answered! Will the infamous SNACKS finally guest as a guitarist on the new songs? Will Bethy’s Mexican ladyfriend BOB be offended by SNACKS? Has Bethy expanded her guitar chord lexicon from 3 chords to 5? Your guess is as good as mine. But one thing we shall not be guessing is the track list:
'The Only Place'
'Why I Cry'
'No One Like You'
'How They Want Me to Be'
'Do You Love Me Like You Used To'
'Dreaming My Life Away'
'Let's Go Home'
'Up All Night'
'Why I Cry'
'No One Like You'
'How They Want Me to Be'
'Do You Love Me Like You Used To'
'Dreaming My Life Away'
'Let's Go Home'
'Up All Night'
One way to spot FLaRNy songwriting before actually listening to any music is by inspecting the song titles. By the looks of things, I would say Bethy spends about as much time on her song titles as she does improving her musicianship. But don’t fret Bethy. You can get away with more than most, especially now that you’ve got the apathetic docile masses clamoring for the putrescent musical sputum you produce. I know….I know, Bethy. The truth hurts. Hey, if it’s any consolation, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. And this thought saddens me. A pox on thy cat!
-Speaking of new albums, Lilith Fair survivor, Fiona Apple, has a new one on the way as well. It’s title is once again some big long run-on sentence: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do. Not if you use that rope to hang yourself, dear Fiona. I will give the girl credit, though. She sure can put away the booze; and all without administering any insulin shots. I used to be a regular over at the old Largo, and wow! She loved to hang out there and get sauced more than anyone I ever saw. Word to the wise, in between vodka Gimlet number 8 and 9, eat a goddamn sandwich, lady!
-Geisssssss strikes again! Don't ask.
What the hell is wrong with Jack White?
What the hell is wrong with Jack White?
In case you're wondering why Hamilton Peters isn't handling the music video duties like he usually does, well...I interviewed him recently with the intention of using said interview as fodder for one of my posts. I kinda pissed him off and he hasn't been returning my phone calls. He can't ignore me forever though. It's not like he has friends other than me. The guy smells like pickled herring for FLaRnsake.
Sigh….Bradford, Bradford, Bradford.
-Ladies and gentlemen, there is someone in New Jersey who is named FLaRn FLarNstein.
-Your local music pun of the day: "I Duniven wanna think about Duniven ever again, much less hear his FLaRNy music."
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Heya Pallys. So for the sake of branching out, let me present to you a new segment I'm calling LORDY'S LOUNGE, where Lord Growing will be sent out to a familiar East LA haunt with some of the greater minds of our time. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Oh X. Great minds? Really?" And to that i say REALLY!! I have connections, Hippies. And the good thing about our pally Lordy, he works for booze. I told him I set up an interview I needed him to administer. He was hesitant, as he always is, but when I promised him he would be stimulated intellectually by an old friend of mine, he eventually agreed.
The following transcript was taken on Monday April 16th, at the So Many Wiznards ECHO residency.
LORDY: So, wow. Mr. Chomsky, may I ask how you know Haterus?
CHOMSKY: He took a linguistics course from me back in the 70's. He kept in touch.
LORDY: Yeah but, you're Noam Chomsky. How did he get you to take time out of your busy schedule to meet with a local music blogger in Los Angeles?
CHOMSKY: Off the record?
LORDY: Of course.
CHOMSKY: I just want him to stop calling my office.
CHOMSKY: What is this place?
LORDY: This is a local music venue.
CHOMSKY: I see.
LORDY: So...uh...can I buy you a drink?
CHOMSKY: I'll have a Roy Rogers
LORDY: Ha. That's funny.
LORDY: I dunno. Here ya go.
CHOMSKY: Thank you.
LORDY: Uh, sorry. My "boss" didn't really tell me what I was supposed to ask you.
CHOMSKY: Whatever you ask, you might want to hurry this along.
LORDY: Right, right. Um.....So....what are your thoughts on the local musical climate?
CHOMSKY: Well, in our society, we have things that you might use your intelligence on, like politics, but people really can't get involved in them in a very serious way -- so what they do is they put their minds into other things, such as music.
LORDY: Yeah. Yeah music definitely helps make all the awful things in life bearable.
CHOMSKY: You're trained to be obedient; you don't have an interesting job; there's no work around for you that's creative; in the cultural environment you're a passive observer of usually pretty tawdry stuff; political and social life are out of your range, they're in the hands of the rich folks. So what's left?
CHOMSKY: Well, yes...one thing that's left is music -- so you put a lot of the intelligence and the thought and the self-confidence into that. And I suppose that's also one of the basic functions it serves in the society in general: it occupies the population, and keeps them from trying to get involved with things that really matter.
LORDY: Ok. Hey do you mind if I go have a smoke.
CHOMSKY: Of tobacco?
LORDY: Well yeah, but if you have any pot...
CHOMSKY: I do not.
LORDY: Oh. It's ok. I prefer cigarettes anyway.
CHOMSKY: One might ask why tobacco is legal and marijuana not. A possible answer is suggested by the nature of the crop. Marijuana can be grown almost anywhere, with little difficulty. It might not be easily marketable by major corporations. Tobacco is quite another story.
CHOMSKY: It is.
LORDY: Do you ever try drugs?
CHOMSKY: I don't see the point. My impression is that their effect is and has been almost completely negative, simply removing people from meaningful struggle and engagement.
LORDY: Well yeah, that's the whole point.
CHOMSKY: Just the other day I was sitting in a radio studio waiting for a satellite arrangement abroad to be set up. The engineers were putting together interviews with Bob Dylan from about 1966-67 or so, judging by the references--
LORDY: Watch it...
CHOMSKY--and I was listening closely. I'd never heard him talk before -- if you can call that talking. He sounded as though he was so drugged he was barely coherent, but the message got through clearly enough through the haze. He said over and over that he'd been through all of this protest thing, realized it was nonsense, and that the only thing that was important was to live his own life happily and freely, not to "mess around with other people's lives" by working for civil and human rights, ending war and poverty, etc. He was asked what he thought about the Berkeley "free speech movement" and said that he didn't understand it. He said something like: "I have free speech, I can do what I want, so it has nothing to do with me. Period." If the capitalist PR machine wanted to invent someone for their purposes, they couldn't have made a better choice. Wouldn't you say, Mr. Growing? Mr...Mr. Growing? Hello?
LORDY: (walks to the front of the stage and begins bobbing his head)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Heya pallys! I've been at County Hospital for about three weeks now on account of my Rectal-Cortez. It's worse than I thought. Hard to believe that this place is more hellish than the Home where I'm usually stationed. All they feed me here are peanut butter & honey sandwich squares with Grits for breakfast, cold spaghetti for lunch, and some weird meatloaf substitute for dinner that smells like The Missing Link's anus. Talk about cliche old people food, Jesus Mary & Joseph. I would blow this pop stand if I could, but I'm afraid that in my weakened condition I could take a nasty spill down the stairs and subject myself to further radio silence. Luckily I talked the widow Pendergrast into bringing me her laptop computer. Now I have a way to make contact with you Hippies. I feel like the nurses are spying on me. I refuse to be lobotomized like McMurphy.
So I have a roommate in this hell. His name is Harold. Harold has failing kidneys. Harold also farts in his sleep constantly. He literally never stops farting once his R.E.M. cycle starts. His FlaRny kidneys may or may not have something to do with this, so I ignore the urge to slip a pillow over his dumb face and press down with all my might. What can I say? I'm a nice guy. I'll give Harold one thing though. The guy's got good DNA (not counting the flatulence gene). Every morning his dizzy little twenty-four year old granddame brings him breakfast. She's quite a beauty. She never misses a morning, and neither do I. I mean, she wears pig-tails for FLaRnsake. The only thing keeping me from recruiting her to aide in my escape is the fact that she's always sporting a faded 1974 WINGS World Tour Tee. I'm not exaggerating when I say that she wears that goddamn thing every goddamn day, which makes me wonder if she smells like her Grandfathers tuckus. This saddens me because for the most part she seems quite clean and smooth. Who the hell wears a Wings shirt anyway? Let's be real, you're making two subliminal yet completely obvious statements with a shirt like that. You're stating that you:
A) actually enjoy McCartney's post-Fab-Four output (punishable by death)
2) own a Beatles shirt but never wear it in public for fear of being stripped of your zygote hipster status so you settle on the less-popular-less-talented-secondary band to impress people who don't know any better (punishable by rapey death).
I must say this now and I will not repeat it so listen up. NEVER WEAR A GODDAMN WINGS SHIRT! DO YA HEAR ME??? This crime cannot be overlooked, so of cours, I do what any warm-blooded American would do in this situation; I pretend to be asleep while still gawking through flitted eyelids whenever she shows up to shovel lukewarm applesauce into her Grandpa's FlaRny Farty Face!!
I'm going stir-crazy.
I got up at 2am to go urinate and as I walked back to my room an hour and a half later (it takes my prostate time to wake up) and I hear the nurses mumbling something about needing to clear me out because they need my bed. Or at least I thought that's what I heard. Who knows really. It was 2am and I can barely hear as it is. Plus it's not like I'm fighting to stay at this FlaRn Feast! I got shit to do. As soon as my Rectal-Cortez heals, I'll be on my way. But I'll be damned if I'm gonna be rushed out the door like some goddamn Red Chinese.
For some reason they changed the dinner menu tonight. I'm nervous. Why do I have a big slab of prime rib slathered w/gravy sitting in front of me while Ol' Harold over there still has the same stale meat-log? And why is the prettiest nurse sitting at my bedside trying to feed me? Something's not right here.
Ah, what the hell. I never get to eat prime rib at The Home. One little bite won't hurt.
Where the hell am I? One minute I'm chomping on steak in a lumpy hospital bed, the next I'm stuffed inside a shopping cart on skid row with an I.V. needle sticking out of my arm. Oh well, at least they had the decency to dress me in my street clothes.
I smell pee.
What luck! An olfactory putrescence plus the faint sound of an accordion led me down an alley and right into The Smell. It's not just a clever name. It reminds me of the Home. I've heard many a tale about this venue and this is my first time gracing its structural visage with my greatness. Walking through the door I notice a dame playing an accordion. I guess she calls herself Blood Orange. Word on the street is that she used to play with local FLaRNsteaders, Moses Campbell, but now she lives in Portland. From the first few songs I can easily say that I don't care. Not because the poor little dear isn't worth my time, but I wasn't really paying much attention. I was pacing around the perimeter, trying to figure out the sneakiest way to drink sips from my hip flask. What kind of all-ages venue doesn't allow alcohol or hard drugs? America, you shame yourself. Anyway, Blood Orange. Meh. If you're gonna go solo with an accordion, you better be as amusing as this guy. And if you're not, well then you better be pushing an accordion/burlesque shtick rife with boobs and feather boas and lap dances for this ol' so & so! Ya hear that, Blood Orange? The "blood" in your name is misleading! I was hoping for a gang fight.
Speaking of gangs, the next act coming up is one that I've been DYING to see. Pun intended. Le Cos is new to the scene and guess who happens to be a member??? HAH!! I have to see this.
So about two songs in, I can safely say that Lordy's new band are a bunch of degenerate sissy-nannies pretending they're tough by playing dress-up in FLaRNyard animal masks and singing about killing. Now while I agree that most of the vermin on this planet deserve to be murdalized, I say you don't earn the right to sing songs about it until you've felt the last breath leave the neck of a Red Chinese soldier on the beaches of Inchon. And that's the truth!! I am now throwing bottle caps dipped in glass at Lordy's stupid masked head. And what the hell kind of an animal is he supposed to be anyway. From what I can gather, it looks like a cow with enlarged testicles instead of utters hanging from its chin. These background singers have gotta go. They're made up of two dames and a crum-bum on one side of the singer, and then Lordy and some other dame on the other. The dame next to Lordy is dressed as Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. I'm not sure why.
Geisssssssss is up next. He's working a guitar and some sort of computer rig into his performance, so it's not just him and his ipod anymore. Expansion is always welcome. I'll hand it to the kid, he knows how to keep a crowd interested...what with his mincing around and gyrating. He's playing a bunch of songs I don't really recognize, but also "Jeremy" and a couple other songs from his solo album, Princess. He's closing with "The Lonesome Part," by request. I tip my hat, take a swig and approach the kid when he clears the stage.
X: (nudging Geissss' shoulder)
GG: Um, hi.
GG: My name's Geof. I'm not sure we've--
GG: --No way!
GG: Well if it isn't Mister Hater himself, finally in the flesh. I thought this day would never come.
X: Yeah, yeah...enough with the melodramatic introductions. I'm here to tell you that, compared to Harold Arlen, your show stank!
GG: Well how could I ever live up to an Icon of such magnitude?
X: Good answer. Ya see that? That's respect! That's why I don't hate you as much as I do the rest.
GG: Thank you
X: I still hate you though.
GG: I'm flattered.
X: You're welcome.
GG: Well what can I do for you, Haterus?
X: I heard the news about your Pizza!
GG: Ah yes.
X: Would you be into a quick guerrilla-style interview?
GG: Why not!?
X: Ok. So lets go straight to it. What the FLaRN happened? Pizza! disbanded? You guys were sitting on an album this whole time, and then when you finally get around to releasing it, you do so after breaking up?
GG: It happens.
X: When did you finish the album?
GG: We actually finished it a while ago. We recorded the parts in 2009 and 2010, and had it mixed by Dan Long in late 2010. In the meantime, we stopped doing the day-to-day things that bands need to do to stay vital -- we weren't rehearsing regularly or writing new songs, and I think that all of us started getting tired of playing the same material when we did occasionally play live. We should have written a whole new album in that time, but we didn't.
X: A bunch of slackers!
GG: It wasn't for a lack of trying. We planned to reconstitute in 2011, write some new material, and then release the record once we'd gotten back into the swing of things. We made a little bit of headway on that, and we came up with some cool ideas that would've been awesome had they been realized. But nothing got finished, and the sessions kept getting further and further apart, and I think that each one of us individually came to the conclusion that we just weren't a band anymore. So when we did finally have the conversation, no one was really devastated or surprised.
X: I'm devastated.
GG: Aw...are you?
X: Of course. That's a well of hate material that just dried up in the blink of an eye.
X: So it was just a matter of what then? Why not write a bunch of songs and bring it to the group.
GG: Pizza! was a completely collaborative effort. No one wrote full songs and brought them to Pizza! - we all tossed ideas into the pot and then saw how they developed in the group setting.
X: Bunch of communists.
GG: I love that way of creating, and I think that we made a lot of unique music as a result of the process. It worked really well when we all lived together between 2005 and 2007, but then we stopped living together and the process got slower. We had to schedule time to be in the same place as each other; we couldn't just sit on the porch playing a riff on acoustic guitar and expect someone else to pop out and join in.
X: You all lived in the same house?
X: How droll.
GG: It had its advantages, but once that changed, our songwriting eventually just ground to a halt. I can't speak for anyone else, but I felt stifled. We talked a bit about changing the process a bit.
X: If it's broke, why fix it....is what I always say.
GG: Words to live by, I'm sure.
X: What about your other bands? Was the process that much different?
GG: In Big Whup, Drew and I would write songs on our own and then we'd develop arrangements as a band. We talked about doing that in Pizza!, but it never really materialized. In the moment, it frustrated me that we couldn't do that. In hindsight, I realize that the essence of Pizza! was that we didn't write songs that way. But we weren't writing songs our way either.
X: So now you hate each other, right?
GG: No, no. It was an amicable split.
X: So then its out of the question to expect some trash talking?
GG: Most likely.
X: Well, you're no fun. So do you feel like the band was just D.O.A. in every area? You seemed to have a nice buzz there for a while amongst the zygote hippie contingent.
GG: We weren't really getting any attention.
X: If attention is the main reason for a band to stay together, then 90% of you bastards are wasting your time.
GG: It's not the main reason, but it helps. We had a bit of momentum a few years ago, after we released our first record. But it took us too long to come up with another one. We paired with Manimal Vinyl, but eventually they lost interest. And I can't really blame them -- we kept them waiting for a while. Maybe one of the reasons that we broke up was because we really didn't have any wind at our sails -- we felt like we were starting from scratch.
X: Getting buzz off of your first release is rare in itself. At least you had that.
GG: That, we did.
X: What the FLaRN are you kids gonna do now?
GG: I don't know anybody's plans, but I can tell you what folks are doing.
GG: Duncan just finished scoring his first feature film, "The Most Fun I've Ever Had with my Pants On," written and directed by Drew Denny.
GG: Alex is playing in Fol Chen.
X: Goddamn Chinese.
GG: Tyler is working hard on his debut solo album, for which we all recently sang background vocals.
X: Stupid Tyler.
GG: Why stupid Tyler?
X: I have a reputation to uphold. You understand.
GG: Right. Last but not least, Rand is at USC, pursuing a PhD in Robotics.
X: Robots, eh? Sounds like u bunch of newfangled BullFLaRn to me. And what about you? Obviously you're keeping busy.
GG: Well, I joined my favorite local band, So Many Wizards, on bass guitar. We're releasing our debut album June 15 via Jaxart.
X: Well looky there. Jax is actually putting something of substance out again. Good for her.
GG: She's a sweetheart.
X: I proposed to her via email and she never responded.
GG: I'm sure it had nothing to do with you.
X: I know this. We woulda made great music together. And by music I mean copulation.
X: So is that it? You're just handling bass duties for So FLaRNy Wiznards?
GG: I'm also working on a new solo album, which is shaping up to be quite good.
X: Another solo album, eh?
X: So it looks like you really made out in the wake of this devastating breakup.
GG: I'm doing okay.
X: What are the possibilities of a reunion in 2022?
GG: Anything's possible.
X: Be still my anticipation.
GG: You look bothered.
X: I hate this place.
X: Is it hot in here? Would you help me take my jacket off?
GG: Sure thing
X: Good man.
GG: Um, Haterus. Why do you have an IV?
X: The IV at the end of my name stands for "the fourth," son....thought you woulda figured that out by now.
GG: No not that. You have an IV needle taped into your arm.
X: Oh that. Long story, kid. Want some hooch?
GG: I'll pass, but thanks. You gonna watch the next band?
X: Traps PS? Yes. But first I'm gonna go to the alley and get some fresh air.
GG: You might miss them.
X: They're still on their second song. I have time
So the damn Traps PS band only played for fifteen minutes. What the FLaRn is that about? Damn hipster jagoffs think I'm made of money? I did get to catch the end of their set though. Everyone was getting rowdy and moshy. I considered entering with my cane and swinging for the fences, but that would just be bad form. I'm a gentleman. I’m also wise enough to know I need to take my time and not overdo it. I am fresh out of the convalescent pokey, ya know? Time to sit back, drink my hooch flask, and enjoy the scuttle sound of all you hippie scum!! Yessir, its good to be back.
I still smell pee.