Saturday, July 30, 2005

Alt.Coutry >> Alt.Folk.Primadonna >> Alt.Ambigutrex.Alt

Image hosted by
Some lazy went down at El Cid on Friday night. Matt Costa (above, center) opened. He was wonderful, enough. The lilting beauty of this young folk singer was transifxing. Earnest tremblings and subtle asiatic features on such a gorgeous, crushing, charming face. And the music was pretty good too. Anders Parker played next, but we took in that set from the outdoor patio, where the conversation become more important than the music. The headliner, Richard Buckner, made quite a scene. Strumming his nylon string guitar, listening, then strumming the steel string, listening, leaving the stage, coming back, leaving. Then he said to the audience, grovelly and moody, "You guys got fucking ripped off!" It was already late. He wasn't pleased with the sound but the audience could give a shit about the technicalities. Buckner finally came back, tall and brooding and not loved tonight, grumbling about a sound check and two marriages. That's when the lanky, hoodied black bouncer at the back started tossing some jewels of realism. "It's no wonder he's had two marriages, fool can't make up his mind." Buckner finally started. And that's when we left...

The scene outside Akbar was much more jovial than the alt.coutry vortex El Cid had been transformed into this evening. From a kind of small town, civil night of quiet, seated (many on the floor) appreciation of rock subtlety (and in the case of Buckner, inanity), to the now very drunk smoking scene on the corner of Sunset and Fountain. Just a block or so of buffer sees all kinds of fluctuations. And the dancing was fun. And there was a woman wearing a shirt that read: No Zionism Any Time (above right). Not sure where she was going with that or what she meant if she meant anything at all. But I had to take a picture.

Do not...

Image hosted by

Luther, Luther, Luther...

Image hosted by
Finally, someone said it. Of course it takes the British to out and say that Luther Vandross was gay, not verifiably, but it was just assumed. American tributes allowed only that he was a "lifelong bachelor." Oh really now. The Guardian UK has the balls GO THERE, girl:
In the United States, black men who feel deeply are an endangered species, for the country loves and embraces its black males if they are tough like Mike Tyson or crude like 50 Cent. Classically poised, sensitive and smart is not an image that is always rewarded, but Luther persevered and embraced contradiction. He was a major iconic figure for black gay men and, although he never disclosed his sexuality, it was generally assumed that he was gay.
Though, the snarly British PopBitch, tossed the Vandross faggy dish three weeks ago:
>> On a trip to London, Luther requested that his record company provided him with young men dressed as Grenadier Guards, complete with furry hats.

>> Luther once toured with En Vogue. The mean girls and their crew taunted him for being gay - and made up "no gayness" stickers featuring a man bent over with his trousers around his ankles, with a red line across him, which they stuck everywhere.
Not cool, En Vogue. Not cool.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Image hosted by
There’s a new television station coming to L.A. in the fall, whimsically called the Local Television Network. Its website says the channel will be geared towards an 18-34 year old audience. Shows in their lineup include “Ballin,” “Dialed In,” “City Vibe,” “Belle du Jour,” and “Red Light.” Video clips are available on the website. The show “Night Guide” will give viewers an insider’s look at bars, clubs and restaurants. The totally excited yet understated female co-host says, “This is Tantra’s dining room, but we’re going to eat in the lounge because that’s more our style.” Holy shit. That’s how I play the night scene too! I’m such a lounge guy. I want more. Perhaps after LTN gets rollin’ they’ll add new shows like “Vatos,” or “Leather Daddy Daily,” or “Art Damage,” or “Gentri Fried!” I wish I watched television now.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jesus is SO Last Century

Image hosted by
So I saw this girl Amy wearing the above shirt and I nearly lost my mind. Why not live life through the moral lens of Anna? Ask yourself: Is it FUR? Will it look good on ME? Is he or is he not more adorable than those Proenza Schouler demigod designer boys? NO ONE'S MORE ADORABLE THAN THOSE PROENZA SCHOULER BOYS!!!!! >> end Anna Wintour interior monologue now please thanks

The shirt is a call to arms, an incitement for all who bear witness to it to really think about how well or shoddily they're put together. No one CARES what Jesus would do anymore. Jesus is definately OUT. It's all about Anna. C'mon, the President's into Jesus. Once the MAN, the true, true apotheosis of the MAN is into something, it can't be cool. Am I wrong? Look what the President owning an iPod did for that device's cachet. Turns out Amy (who's living in Long Beach on summer break from NYU), along with her friend Michael, made the shirt and they're selling them! $25 via paypal (that includes shipping). Just email:

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wong Kar-Wai, Way

Image hosted by
The loose-sequal to Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood for Love" is coming to L.A. August 5 and it is highly anticipated by me because, well, this guy's films are the best being made in the world right now. Period. There's an interview with the director in the LA Times with a good quote up at the top:
When asked, though, what he might do if he weren't making movies, he doesn't waste time. "I'd like to be a bartender," he said. "It would be very specific: It would have to be happy hour, or else very late at night. People go to bars to speak up — to tell you their stories." Happy-hour patrons would be full of boasting, flirting and good cheer. "And by the time it was late, they would be quite drunk," perhaps overcome by loneliness and despair. "They would tell you something quite deep — or else nonsense."
Lonliness and despair... Of course.

But honestly, Tony Leung (pictured above) is just so stunning. He was all repressed in "In the Mood for Love." I want to see him get some this time around. He's so gorgeous photographed by cinematographer Christopher Doyle who was interviewed recently in the Guardian. Doyle's choice quote goes thusly:
"In my world," he asserts, "talent is an insult. If you say, 'Where is the talent?' you mean 'Where is the stupid bitch?'" It's perhaps not surprising that when I ask Doyle to teach me a few words of Chinese, the number one most useful phrase he comes up with is: 'You stupid cunt.' He seems offended that I have no plans to use it. "It's a term of endearment," he insists.
No one said the man with the best images in world cinema was a pushover or even a nice guy or even comprehensible. But if you've ever seen his work, you might forgive his brashess because the images he captures reveal a rich, angular perfection that defies language.

Full Moon Fever Dream

Image hosted by
Thursday night, FULL MOON, lesbianic fever deam at Little Pedro's. J D Samson of Le Tigre spun some hard to dance to licks. Lots of M.I.A. I recall. Though I recall very little because the moon was strong as was the heat. Couldn't find a rhythm. When I did I kept bumping butts with a fiesty lesbian in a "wife beater." When I turned to give her a grinning, friendly shove, she wasn't having it. She retreated into her womb of friends and scowled. But then, as a friend explained, "Little Pedro's has this way of being both a perfectly undefined scene with the right mix of people and only two or three steps away from something nasty going down. Theft, fights, whatever. Pure L.A." Definately pure and sweaty and moody.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Art Show Me Your Junk

Image hosted by
Thursday, July 14, saw the L.A. Vs. Montreal Group Art Show opening at Jeff Electric Gallery in Silver Lake. The front room of the gallery space was divided in half. To the East was offerings from the L.A. contingent, more violent, but still quaint works. To the West, the Montreal kids, who weren't actually present, had their wares, more cute, slightly more aesthetically developed works of collages, sketches and prints. The Montreal artists are a part of the Young Peoples Foundation. Pointing to the various pieces, a scetchy young man from North Carolina talked of each of the Canadian artists with fondness, spoke of the week they spent crashing at his pad a while back, spoke of the "magic." I suspect the magic was the ability of the "artists" to swindle a crash pad in L.A. for a week, but you never know. Canadians might well be less discriminate of wary, annoying characters than I am.

But the real art was out back where the DJs were spinning and free Redstripe, sangria, and screwdrivers were dispensed to a flawless hipster crowd. The vectors created by the lines in the angular haircuts constructed a fractal web of lines so complex and stunning, the scene itself became a kind of installation piece. Standout was the skinny latin boy in short-tight white jeans, white sleeveless shirt, little black fanny pack to the side, and a black leather fedora pointing to the night sky perched on a mound of wild curly black hair (I faltered as I watched him enter the outdoor area and saunter up to his equally impressive fashion-boy friends and embrace them with long, grasping, wistful hugs).
Image hosted by
And all the way in back, if there was any question as to who exactly the winner was in this L.A. Vs. Montreal battle of the indie art, Argee Geronca's "I Am My Brother's Keeper," delivered the mighty victory blow for Angelinos. The large painting of a Centaur holding a machine gun with the head cut out for photo ops and fun times. It was perfect. Anyone who could climb the stepladder at the back of the painting could be a strong, mythic, guerrilla protector. I did. So too did Geronca pictured below. Art battle won, easy.
Image hosted by

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Eastside Fantasia

Turns out the Jesus of Echo Park didn't come as the white flyers said. At least the whole ordeal got some press. Ben Ehrenreich tells the tale in the LA Weekly. Crazy lady Olga spent $2,000 plastering the area for months, telling locals to meet Jesus in Echo Park. That's a lot of money for photocopies. Did she dispatch day laborers? Regardless, she was depicted more gently than the ironic-mustached hipsters who showed up to gawk:
The hipsters arrayed themselves in a semicircle around her and asked questions with polite, tittering condescension.Olga answered eagerly. Jesus had been talking to her since she was 7, she said. If the birds had come, she was supposed to feed them.

“How much birdseed did you bring?” asked a baseball-capped young fop with an ironic mustache.
Is nothing sacred? But then, are the hipsters not allowed to show up and have self-aware, meta experiences in the Park? Is that wrong? And the overstated hipster hating dished by Ehrenreich makes me wonder whether or not he was dealing with his own inner turmoil over issues of regional kitsch, and the depiction thereof, when he decided to report this event.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bisexuals Are (NOT) Gay

Image hosted by

The NYT has an article on a new study about bisexuality today.
People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it.
Very intriguing. Since when is it okay for the New York fucking Times to quote “some gay men.” What is that supposed to mean? Who are these gay men? Have they ever even lain a woman? Doubtful. The article is ultimately balanced (though contention gets buried many paragraphs down) and when you read it through you realize that the study is limited and inconclusive.

The problem with studies that put electrodes on penises and show subjects porn is that these studies deny the synthetic, ambiguous nature of desire and attraction. These things are NOT empirical. This is not news. Man, I’d love to cruise a room with all 101 Toronto boys tested for the survey discussed. You know, for science.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

She Laughs at People Falling Down

Image hosted by

Rei Kawakubo, 62, of the greying pageboy, of the all-black, of Japan, of deconstructed amorphous fashions, designer/owner of Comme des Garcons (“like some boys”) gets the full New Yorker profile treatment this week (unfortunately not online). Writer Juduth Thurman teases out the depth in Kawakubo’s fashions.

Of Comme’s early work Thurman writes:
The palette was monochrome, with a little ash mixed into the soot, and one hears it said that Kawakubo “invented” black—it is one of the “objective achievements” cited by the Harvard school of design when it gave her an Excellence in Design Award, in 2000. What she objectively achieved was the revival of black’s cachet as the color of refusal.
So when we hear the tired phrase, “is the new,” which has its genesis, I presume, with “the new black,” let us think on this. “Is the new” is OLD. Let us snarl at the usage. If Kawakubo’s black was the original “new black” and hers was the “color of refusal,” can we PLEASE refuse to encourage, tolerate, utter that asinine phrase? Can we stop it? Or read the best quote from the story:
I duly asked her what she laughs at, and she answered deadpan, “People falling down.”
Don't be one of those people.

The Night Was One Big Giant Drag

Image hosted by

Tokio, Thursday night. A bar on the dreaded Cahuenga Corridor in Hollywood. I guess the place is closing down. The Japana-bar/lounge thing didn’t work out. Sushi and Red Stripe don’t mix well after all. L.A. Hipster paparazzi Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter was there, “documenting,” really working it, weaving around, firing off pictures rapid fire, sharing his Mexican food with kids. It’s as if his camera says, “you’re famous! You’re famous! You’re famous!” with every picture he takes. It sort of does. But who cares. My friend who brought me is from NYC and she wasn’t impressed with the fashion on the kids dancing on stage. The boys wore these short, white boat-y shorts that referenced a miniskirt. I was pleased. I also noticed what seemed to be a gaggle of Cobrasnake copycats. They consitiuted a press corps of dorkey guys with huge cameras dangling near their bellies. They stuck together, whispering into each others’ears.

Giant Drag played. They killed me. “Oh… did you forget… all the words you ever spit… Love love love… this isn’t it… Love love love…you wouldn’t know… if it hit you…” blubbered singer, Andy Hardy. She has this impish girly voice and a cherubic face that belies the dour lyrics, fullness of their sound, her sexual emotivity, and bent banter delivered between songs. The sound: crunchy, full guitar, sick (in a good, propulsive way) drumming, and melody, girly sugary melody. She said things like, “When I was 11, I cut my vagina on a painting. That’s what I know about art.” And a night was redeemed, made glossy, but by the time the set was over, the gloss already began crackling at the surface. Never mind the “hipster elite” infestation all around. All smiles and glad to meet you in their flawless outfits, angular hair, booze. Never mind them. The night was one big Giant Drag. For sure.