Minstrels Anonymous on Bandcamp

Friday, December 26, 2008

Smell Check 2008

As a subscriber to GQ Magazine I can tell you that I don't need to be told Puff Daddy is the epitome of fashion. I KNOW I dress better than that circus monkey even on a bad day. But GQ has a terrific feature especially around Christmas time, and that's tons of ***COLOGNE ADS*** within the pages of their august periodical. Those slices of slick Paper Heaven with their scratch and sniff goodness really sends me, and I'm here to pass my expert opinion on what stinks real good and what just plain stinks! Contained herein is my appraisal of ads torn off the recent issues of GQ Magazine:

L'Homme (Yves Saint Laurent): This was a slam dunk. The minute I smelled this light, fruity aroma I was hooked. Pricey but worth it, it smells of class and sex, just like a lot of YSL products. Even after death Yves still has it!

Versace Pour Homme: Kind of a lazy lemon-lime mixed with crotch (fish) odor. If you're the kind of girl who likes to lick Sprite off your boyfriend's dick this one's a sale and a half.

Boss Pure (Hugo Boss): The ad shows a picture of a dude power diving, and the name of the fragrance is Pure, so just imagine...it smells kinda like man-sweat, with a very weak citric base odor. Pass!

Prada Infusion D'Homme: Available in Eau De Toilette, Shower Gel and After Shave, it smells like clean soap mixed with lime. I have spray cans of Glade that had more allure than this. Prada don't have game because they spend more time making sexy clothes for chicks. Hey Prada, guys is people too!

Polo (Ralph Lauren, duh!): Ultra-mega Meh! Ralph's been rockin' the Polo line for 15 years now and it's time to shoot that ol' horse in the head. Chaps was better, way better. He's advertising two lines now, Polo Black and Polo Double Black. The great irony is that it smells like vanilla, which is as white as it gets! What an idiot. Get back on your horse, Ralph.

Acqua Di Gio (Giorgio Armani): The ad shows yet another Italian bottom looking intense. This one was good, a little chemical-like, but I'd buy it.

Dolce & Gabbana The One: Chronic pothead Matthew McConaghey models the ad for D&G. Blaze another fatty, Matty! This one was blander than that bomb he shot with Goldie Hawn's daughter.

Perry Ellis: Beautiful bottle and it smelled of sex, like my lithe body was laying naked in silk sheets expecting to rob some winsome maiden of her precious, uh...sorry, I was getting carried away there. Which is exactly what a good fragrance should do. I think I'll buy their "body shampoo" and dream of ravishing a mermaid.

9 IX (Roca Wear): Greatest ad ever: a hot black girl in lingerie lies in bed dreamily embracing her man's dress shirt while he's out. I think my wife does that while I'm at work (tee hee). The ad's the best thing about it. The smell is weak and forgettable, just like Jay Z (the founder of RocaWear) music. If that hot chocolate cookie's sniffing a shirt it's probably got that foxy Perry Ellis scent.

So there you have it: all the stink that's fit to print. I wish the internet had a scratch and sniff option. Wouldn't that be great? I wonder what Facebook would smell like?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have A Merry Scary Christmas

If there's one thing glitter rock loved it's Xmas. Good songs, scary visuals. Enjoy!

P.S. The band on top is Roy Wood's Wizzard, and the band below is Slade. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silverlakers, Part 2

It was just another manic Monday at the boiler room, phone calls being made and none coming back in, like all bill collectors know only too well...

"Hello, Mrs. Hernandez", the thirty-something guy with a cool soul-patch sternly directed, "you're about three months behind on your payments, and we wanted to-"

"Steve!" his equally shaggy partner, Kim, in the next cubicle waved him down. "Get off the phone. This is like way urgent!"

Steve hung up in the middle of a serious verbal beat-down by Silvia Hernandez, unemployed mother of five on the other end of the line. It was just as well; she would have hung up in his ear anyway.

"You know, bro, I was just thinking on the way in to work today...you know, Aqualung by Jethro Tull has some heavy statements to make. Valid as Hell!"

"For reals, Kim", Steve said, hoisting his stained coffee cup. "I’m steamed about Volkswagen using that Nick Drake song in their ads. Dang, dog, what a sell out!"

“That made me throw up in my nose!”
“Well, that made me throw up in my pants!”

"Word", burped Kim. "Church!"
"Ghetto slang, bro. The real pimp's Englizzy".
"Wow, you're really down with that. For a second I didn't know what you were saying!"
"GET BACK TO WORK, YOU ASSHOLES!" Their boss thundered at them as he stormed by.

Kim picked up the phone, and a minute later, said, "Shit, got an answering machine!" Speaking slowly, as if to a deaf person from China, said, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Eleanora Purvis, this is Mr. Obama asking you to vote for me this coming November, and more importantly, please call me back at (888) 669-385. It's about your outstanding balance with Sears Roebuck".

Friday night at the Anti-Club the joint was buzzin' because it was SHOWTIME: Steve's band Bag Of Ice and Kim's awesome sonic combo The Awful Truth were doing a gig together. Shit, they were both so jazzed!

"Dude, we are so pulling in a crowd!" Kim gloated. "Damien mentioned our show on KXLU. We're getting the mad spillover from the people going to the Nick Cave show at The Wiltern, the Jane's Addiction secret gig at El Cholo and Fall Out Boy at Staples Center. Stardom is nigh, my friend!" he hoisted his lemon slice topped-bottle of Dos Equis beer for victory.

"Not to mention the $2 off with flyer discount", Steve added. "Good thing I parked early, it's a gonna be a madhouse!"

The opening band took to the stage with the packed club resounding in cheers. Why, it's none other than that all-girl group "Kitten Klaws". They've only been together for two months, but who cares when all you’re wearing is a slip and clear heels?

"Look!" Steve pointed at a portly hipster with early male pattern baldness racing by. "There's Imax, the editor of 7 Inch Rock Magazine".

"Dude, how's it going?" Imax shoved Steve out of the way to get to the front of the stage. A crowd of nothing but guys stood dutifully to the front of the stage. Some even shoved girls away from the front, and many were brandishing cameras their parents bought them for Christmas.

Kitten Klaws tear into their opening number, "I'm Mad At My Boyfriend". The song countdown is in Japanese! The guys look thrilled!!!, but the girls in the club looked pissed and gave Kitten Klaws stink eye.

"Well, you got a tiny dinky and you never seem to satisfy. You couldn't raise a bridge even if you tried", the lead singer whined.

"We are so pawned", Steve gushed. "Game over."
Kim moped big time. "Yeah, they're pulling out their "A" material. We're fucked, son."

Kitten Klaws forgot their way around the song two minutes later and all the guys in front of the stage blushed and giggled. AAAwwwww. Ten minutes later (Yeah, 10!) they finished their set and the whole audience left to hit the bars and party. There were only ten people remaining in the club.

To fortify himself before his set Kim ordered some French Fries and dug into them. Imax walked by the table and Kim lit up.

"Dude! Hey!" Kim yelled, "hey, want a fry? It's totally like vegan, y'know? Fried in canola oil, man".
"Oh, cool."
Imax sat down by Kim and tore into the French Fries, moaning like a dying moose in orgasm as he plowed through the fries. "MMMMMMOOOOOAAAAWWWWWMMMMMTTTH". he moaned as he chowed.

Kim nervously made his move. "Bro, I was thinking...can you do a big one for me? Will you kick down a righteous write-up about us in your zine?"
"I'll give it a ponder, man", Imax responded without looking up from the fries. "Got any ketchup?"

Bag of Ice began their set with Steve looking dignified and majestic with his acoustic guitar and perfected Tim Buckley in a house dress act. Somehow the impact of his stage act was lost to everyone because there was only ten people in the club. Plus after three songs the sound man interrupted his song over the PA, "That's your last song, man. Kitten Klaws went into your overtime. Sorry, my brother!"

Steve was so dejected he slunk off the stage still in his mother's house dress. Kim put his arm around him. "It's okay dude, check it out, Shawna the bass player from Kitten Klaws stayed for half of your first song."
Steve's face lit up. "Score! She digs my sounds. I knew it!!!"
With no more French Fries to eat, Imax walked by them ripping out a burp so loud they smelled it from across the club.

Kim's band The Awful Truth played to no one except Steve and his bass player, who was waiting for his ride. It was 1:30 A.M. and bouncers were making themselves busy turning chairs up on tables and dragging rubber garbage cans around the club while Kim played.
"What about the starving kids in Deeeeeehhhh-troit, that's what I want to say?" he sang to the percussion of beer bottles smashing into rubber garbage cans thrown by the sullen bouncers.

One month later, back at the boiler room, Steve snuck a look around the office to make sure his boss wouldn't catch him.
"Read it and weep, my man!" he boasted to his work-mate, room-mate and gig-mate, "I hold in my hands the newest, chillest ish of 7 Inch Record zine. Just dropped today, dog!"
Kim whispered, "Did Imax cover our gig like he promised?"
"Did he? Check this out, son", he thumbed through page after page until he got close to the back cover, "Right here, on Page 97, Concert Reviews, Kitten Klaws were awesome and foxy. Bag Of Ice played clean-up at their gig. Good job, guys!' Dang!"
"They didn't even mention my band. And I even sacrificed my fries. Shit! You get all the luck."
"Dude, I promise I'll do you a biggie! I'll even mention you to Shawna, promizzle."
"GET BACK ON THE PHONES, YOU ASSHOLES!" Their boss barked as he thundered by their desks. It gave Steve such a start he dropped his zine and it fell in the trash can.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bicentennial Summer With The Sex Pistols

When Bicentennial Summer (July 4, 1976) was just around the corner everybody was unfurling their flags and fireworks, but I was reading about fireworks far, far away. A band in England called The Sex Pistols who looked like four Richard Hells were screaming at apathetic rock fans all over their country and raising hell. During an era when bands basically pissed on their audience with a snobby holier-than-thou attitude it was refreshing to hear kids in England saying fuck you to bands like The Eagles, Yes and Led Zeppelin. Even the pompous pussies in New York like Lou Reed, Television and The Talking Heads thought their shit didn’t stink. I was going to celebrate America’s 200th birthday by going to Europe.

After visiting obnoxious cities like Amsterdam, with their smelly hippies smoking their smellier dope, the French Riviera, where they still have Hitler’s sperm on their lips, and Venice, the world’s biggest church yard, I was ready for the angriest band in England. My first show was at a movie theatre that began at midnight and was going to go all through the night. Tickets were only one pound ($2.50) and the opening acts for The Sex Pistols were The Buzzcocks and The Clash. All I’ll say about The Buzzcocks was that Pete Shelley had the crankiest guitar sound and Howard Devoto reminded me of Frank Gorshin (The Riddler). All I’ll say about The Clash was that they looked like five G.I. Joes on stage. (Keith Levene was the third guitarist).

Intermission consisted of watching endless Kenneth Anger film loops between bands and glitter records played over the PA. Since the first punk rock record (“New Rose” by The Damned) wouldn’t be released for another few months glitter records like Roxy Music, Gary Glitter and Mud played while Siouxsie Sioux danced topless on stage. (FYI: I’ve seen farm animals with better knockers). Billy Idol at the time wore vintage suits with little Ray-Ban sunglasses poking through his short black hair, and enjoyed shoving people at the slightest provocation. (20 years later I saw him at a book release party with a beer belly and a slobby Star Trek t-shirt on. Ha!)

The movie theater was packed with fans but irony of ironies, a show that begins at midnight after two great openers and Siouxsie Sioux half-naked (“Peek-A-Boo” indeed) leaves Johnny Rotten and yobs on stage for show time by 4 a.m. It would be fair to say half the audience was already crashed out in their seats in a Punk Slumberland! They opened up with “Anarchy In The U.K.” flashpots exploding and Johnny so excited to be let loose he knocked the cap off his front tooth with his microphone. After the song was over Johnny sent Nils The Roadie (future Banshees manager) over to the front of the stage to search for his cap. This delayed their "concert" by about ten minutes but it was funny watching Rotten cuss Nils The Roadie out.

Next song was “Liar”, a blatant rip-off the NY Dolls’ “Puss N Boots”, and after many more songs and taunts from Johnny Rotten they left the stage, only to return for a barely asked for encore of “No Fun” (“You didn’t ask us back but we’re going to play anyway”). Fans were getting woken up and kicked out of the theatre by the ushers. I walked back to my hotel room as the sun rose, dawn's early light shining on British garbage cans.

A week later I saw the boys play The 100 Club and met Malcolm MacLaren who gave me a cool press-kit (pictured below) and also met his then girlfriend, Vivienne Westwood. She designed clothes for their store in Chelsea, “SEX”. Malcolm introduced me to drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones (“Jonesey’s Jukebox”), great guys, down to earth, fuck yeah.

The day after the show I went to “SEX” and bought a rubber t-shirt and a leather t-shirt, as well. The rubber t-shirt lasted about two years because I didn’t keep it in a refrigerator, so it ended up melting! The leather t-shirt I eventually gave to a Scotsman named Owen. I still have photographs of myself modeling them. It was actually a great week in London; I can understand why several of my American friends moved there. Music and fashion is more important there than television.

It was exciting watching The Sex Pistols early on because they hadn’t made a record yet and Sid Vicious was still in the audience (I eventually met him a year later and he did me and my friend a big favor; he was a lot of fun). And, of course, Malcolm hadn’t yet become the big thief he turned into, stealing from The Pistols and my band***Arthur J. And The Gold Cups, we did punk covers of old standards. When Malcolm was in town during the infamous Winterland show (Jan 1978) he saw us play, and surprise, soon after put out “The Great Rock ‘N Roll Swindle”, an album of punk versions of old standards. Thanks for the steal. No, he didn’t remember me. I didn’t expect him to. Fame makes a fellow nearsighted, don’t you know?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What We Do Is Lousy

A Review of The Germs Biopic "What We Do Is Secret"

In the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" the film ends with a highly glamorized movie about Pee Wee's exploits starring a heavily-coiffed and dashing James Brolin with his tomboy girlfriend Dottie played by TV soap ubervixen Morgan Fairchild. While it was one of the many funny moments in the film, life, as they say, imitates art.

Just like the Pee Wee movie the roles of the anatomically incorrect Germs have been cast with actors a little too anatomically correct. While Darby Crash hasn't been cast with James Brolin, he is portrayed by a bizarrely mugging Shane West who pitches Darby at a Jack Lemmon-meets-Jello Biafra intensity level, delivering the Darby manifesto with a Ryan Seacrest style of enunciation. Never mind Crash had one of the whiniest gay voices pitched at a super-nelly lisp, his gay sexuality is only hinted at here and left, of course, in the closet. Pat Smear is one of the tallest guitarists around, so it's funny to see Darby tower over Pat in the movie.

The movie begins with The Germs struggling for attention at The Orpheum Theatre, but I remember the earliest punk gigs were promoted by The Nerves at the Sunset-Gower Studios. There's no mention of drummers Cliff Hanger or Donna Rhia in the movie, but instead have been replaced by some bookish girl composite of them. Cliff Hanger was quite a flaming terror and should have gotten a smidgen of face time in the movie, but that's part of the problem with the film. Homosexuality barely even exists in the film, a real crime because The Germs as well as the original L.A. punk underground had a sizeable gay presence. The silent treatment it gets in the movie is unforgivable. The fullest extent of Darby's homosexuality shown in the film is a futile attempt to make out with Rob Henley in one scene. Wowie zowie!

Kickboy Face, Rodney Rodent Bingenheimer, Amber, and The Screamers are recreated perfectly for the flick, but others aren't so well imitated: Brendan Mullen never had long hair when he ran the Masque, Belinda Carlisle was overweight until The Go-Gos broke up (she's Heidi Klum-skinny in the movie), Lorna Doom was rather chunky, too, and never tried to make out with Darby, etc. The gigs depicted in the movie were also incorrect. If The Germs are listed as technical consultants for the film they must have done a bunch of bullshitting (big surprise! heh), because I was there and remember things differently. Such as:

* The Halloween gig at the Hollywood Roosevelt didn't have bikers for bouncers; I don't know who came up with that brilliant idea, but that didn't happen. Actually, after four songs into the set the Hotel cut the PA off and Darby threw a temper tantrum screaming, "They won't let us play anywhere!" and smashed a mirrored post with a tire chain and ran out of the club. Since it was Halloween the band all wore KISS masks and finished the set playing instrumental versions of their songs. It was actually quite brilliant. The movie didn't show this!

* The Xmas show at The Whiskey A Go-Go didn't culminate in a fist fight on stage because Don Bolles jumped on stage. It was because Pat started a fire on stage and when a bouncer tried to put it out from the floor Pat kicked him in the face. When another bouncer tried to intervene he hit him upside the head with his guitar, and then HE ran out of the club. After the show bouncers were accosting us asking us where Pat lived and what his real name was. They were out for blood. It was not the John Wayne punch-out the movie showed. That was laughable!

* The Darby Crash Band show at The Starwood generated more boredom from the audience than genuine hostility. Darby's downfall was more than just lonely nights at Oki Dog, it was the way he threw himself into the Adam & The Ants glam trend which was quickly rejoindered by new kids in town Black Flag who planted stickers all over Hollywood screaming "Black Flag Kills Ants Dead!" . The newer wave of bands and kids from Long Beach and Orange County were seriously homophobic and weren't having any of this gayboy Germs-Screamers-Black Randy nonsense. The newer punks were scary and fascist in ways that Darby only played at.

If the director of this film reads this he'll probably be very defensive and say he did the best he could, yeah maybe. As I said, The Germs are pathological liars and might have taken him for a ride, treating the whole project like a joke. Maybe a movie can't reproduce what was musical lightning in a bottle. I just can't help thinking what Gus Van Sant or Gregg Araki could have done with the same material. Now that would be the Darby Crash movie I'd like to see.