Archive for December, 2008

By Simone Stenfors

Best live concerts/gigs:

1) Bad Manners

2) The Sonics

3) The Urban Voodoo Machine

4) The Jim Jones Revue

5) Rebel Yell

6) Girlschool

7) Autorama

8) The Glitterati

9) The Helacopters

10) The Delinquents

My Top CD’s:

1) Sixx A.M., The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack

2) The Barbarellatones, The Devil’s Dildo

3) London Egg, In The Beginning

4) The Jim Jones Revue, The Jim Jones Revue

And my tip for 2009 is:

The Ruby Friedman Orchestra
from Los Angeles.

Simone Stenfors is a writer, photographer, and muse on the London music scene. She is currently writing a memoir.

Best Gay Lady Albums

By Trish Bendix

Jennifer O’Connor, Here With Me
Folk rock with the focus on her guitar, JOC sings about her relationship with her girlfriend, and even puts her on the cover. The video for the title track is adorable – also starring her girlfriend. Someone is in love.

An Horse, Rearrange Beds
Australian duo with lesbian singer Kate Cooper, AKA Sara Quin’s new favorite band. Mine too. Dare I say, like Tegan and Sara’s brand of charming indie pop but better?

Sia, Some People Have Real Problems
Another Aussie but with some ridiculous pipes. She has as much quirk in her as she does soul, which is an interesting mix, especially on songs about her leaving her BF because he was on drugs. No gay-type songs about her new love JD yet, but I’m holding out hope for 2009.

Joan as Police Woman, To Survive
Bisexual chanteuse that’s still kind of under the radar; still prefaced in every review with “dated Jeff Buckley, played behind Rufus and Antony.” Still ruling on several instruments, including the viola.

Amanda Palmer, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?
Will anyone care that the Dresden Dolls broke up as long as Amanda Palmer is still making music? Highly unlikely. This album is proof that she is/was the creative mind behind the operation. (Extra points for St. Vincent cameo.)

Yo Majesty , Futuristically Speaking…
Shunda K and Jwl B are apparently on the outs right now, which is the saddest news since their debut full-length was hot. It’s nice to dance to music about making eyes at chicks without it being blatantly misogynistic.

Kaki King, Dreaming of Revenge
I’m so glad Kaki broke up with someone to write this record. Serious points to whomever inspired her to want to be “pulled out alive.” Glad she’s keeping up with the lyrics and vocals because her writing is just as pleasant as her playing.

Missy Higgins, On A Clear Night
Australia = musical mecca of totally gay women. Missy Higgins gave Grey’s Anatomy a boner, and this album was originally released a few years ago. Ahead of the times, this Aussie.

Ponytail, Ice Cream Spiritual
Oh.my.god. Serious heart attack having. So good, so spastic, so refreshing. Molly Siegel owns Yoko Ono. Art rock for people who hate the term art rock.

Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair
My favorite song is “Athene,” sung by lesbo Kim Ann Foxman (who is, by definition a stone cold fox). The whole CD, though, is contemporary disco that is so queer, even straight people like it. They get all hypnotized by the hip electronicness of it all.

New Bloods, The Secret Life
Rumor is they are breaking up. I will not have it, because this PDX trio is punk riot grrrl modern and I am feeling it. I wanted to see them in a cage match with Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and some other Disney bitch. Raven Symone?

Bound Stems, The Family Afloat
A gay lady among men in this Chicago-band, Janie Porche is so obviously a dyke when she’s singing on this record. I might be able to tell it from her instrument playing, too, but I am too busy thinking how gay she is when she’s singing a duet. More Janie, B.S.!

The Organ, Thieves EP
Fucking teases. Way to release a post-humous EP that is amazing melodramatic Smiths-esque indie rock. You’re dead to me. (Your own fault.)

Thalia Zedek, Liars and Prayers
I find Thalia kind of scary, which is why reading her lyrics makes me want to cry. Her husky voice is perfect for her guitar-playing, though, which is pretty inaccessible. She’s the antithesis of any other lesbian singer-songwriter ever.

Tracy Chapman, Our Bright Future
I don’t know all the lyrics to “Fast Car.” I am an anomaly. But I also think Tracy’s genre-mixing on Our Bright Future is interesting, even though it’s been done before. Still, she brings something to the country-tinged tracks and the Broadway-infused rhythms on the song, “I Had It All.” I didn’t hate it.

By Carrie Waite

Best Albums:

Beck, Odelay (Re-issue w/ Bonus Disc)
The Black Keys, Attack & Release
Calexico, Carried To Dust
The Dirtbombs, We Have You Surrounded
Dr.Dog, Fate
Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Flight of the Concords, Flight of the Concords
Have Gun Will Travel, Casting Shadows Tall As Giants
The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
Rebekah Pulley, Back to Boogaloo
Will Quinlan & the Diviners, Navasota
Sun Kil Moon, April
Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
Wye Oak, If Children

By Nikki Navarro, guitarist, Giddy-Up, Helicopter!

Top Albums (in no particular order):

1. The DodosVisiter
2. Land of TalkSome Are Lakes
3. Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes
4. Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line
5. Wolf ParadeAt Mount Zoomer
6. Des ArkWXDU Volume Two
7. Mount Eerie, Julie Doiron and Fred Squire Lost Wisdom
8. MirahThe Old Days Feeling
9. DeerhunterMicro Castle
10. First Aid KitDrunken Trees

Top Concerts:

1. Sunset Rubdown @ Empty Bottle (Chicago)
2. The Breeders @ SXSW
3. The Dodos @ SXSW
4. Ra Ra Riot @ SXSW
5. Black Mountain @ SXSW

Top Singles:

1. Land of Talk “Some Are Lakes”
2. Ra Ra Riot “Ghost Under Rocks”
3. Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal”
4. Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
5. Rihanna “Disturbia”
6. Estelle & Kanye West “American Boy”

By Deborah Frost

Lists are for pedants to make and for –I don’t know what you can even call anyone who actually reads them– a SUB-pedant?

If this is what editors are still ordering to be served up in daily or any other kind of publications, NO fucking WONDER they’re all hurting, if not going directly out of business. Who wants and/or needs this crap?

The only lists that should be allowed should be grocery and to-do ones. And frankly, I think the grocery list of Joe the Plumber woud be a million times more interesting than any combination of recording artistes — whether as mass as Britney or as esoteric as any smartypants can dream up just for the sake of someone thinking they actually LIKE this shit (and maybe they do, but I usually don’t want to hear it and neither do most listeners over the age of two who are perfectly capable of making up their own minds) — printed out by any rock critic in the world today or in history. And I’m talkin bout writers who once ACTUALLY had SOMETHING 2 say.

By Gina Vivinetto

Top Albums (in alphabetical order):

1. Deerhunter, Microcastle
2. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
3. French Kicks, Swimming
4. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of Understatement
5. Ra Ra Riot, The Rhumb Line
6. Santogold, Santogold
7. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
8. Wye Oak, If Children

Best singles:
1. M.I.A. “Paper Planes”
2. Santogold “Lights Out”
3. Rihanna, “Don’t Stop The Music”
4. whatever singles the Black Kids released

Best reissue to DVD:

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Actually, it’s never been on DVD before and this is why it took me nearly three decades to see it: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, a great little dramedy about the exploitation that goes on in both the media and the music industry. Best line: When teen age rock star Corrine Burns (as played by a 16-year-old Diane Lane) snarls, “I think every citizen should be given an electric guitar on her 16th birthday.” Another plus: great feature characters played by Fee Waybill of The Tubes, Paul Cook and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and Paul Simonon of The Clash.

Most interesting people:

Barack Obama: I can’t believe a black guy won.
Rachel Maddow: I can’t believe a lesbian hosts an MSNBC show.
Lindsay Lohan: I can’t believe a starlet came out of the closet.
Sarah Palin: I can’t believe this imbecile ran for VP.

By Cathy Wos

I was born a Soulless Media Whore. I was weaned on TV and Music is my Therapy.
One day I decided to use my powers for good not evil and I became a librarian.
Last year I moved to Seattle and I was like a kid in a candy store when it came to live music. When you live in Florida, most bands don’t make the extra trek down south.
It is hard to say no to a live show, but my money and schedule can only permit so much. I’ve attended Bumbershoot twice and love it. There are criticisms about the festival becoming too mainstream and expensive, but seriously I think the pros outweigh the cons. Some of my favorite moments at Bumbershoot are the unexpected, like the intimate show by John Wesley Harding in 2007 or Sherman Alexie’s performance and the tribute to Hall and Oates by Ellen Forney in 2008:

So here’s my Top 5 Concerts for 2008:

5. Old 97s
I saw the Old 97s twice this year – once at the Showbox and again at Bumbershoot.
I love this band. I don’t care how self-absorbed Rhett Miller is or how disillusioned.
Unlucky in love? You’re gorgeous, rich, famous AND married to a super model.
Yet, somehow I always buy it.

4. The Wedding Present
Considering that David Gedge lived in Seattle for a spell, I anticipated a bigger crowd for this gig at Neumos. Granted it was a Tuesday night (what I consider the “Hipster Day of Rest”) but there were probably only a hundred people at this show. Seriously? Is Seattle so jaded by the live music scene? Luckily for me, The Wedding Present wasn’t and put on a phenomenal show. Gedge takes it all in self-deprecating stride. When I remarked on how my friend saw him in Tallahassee he joked that he must of been the only one. Someone please tell me why this band hasn’t gotten their due.

2. Gogol Bordello
The gypsy punk band was the highlight of my Bumbershoot 2007 experience, so I had to check them out when they headlined at the Showbox Sodo. They did not disappoint with 2 hours of non-stop music and spectacle.

2. The Dodos
Fellow Sweaty Bitch Julie Garisto clued me into this San Fransisco band after she saw them in Portland. I had had a chance to see them at the Capitol Block party and they were phenomenal. They are so tight and really just a breath of fresh air. My only complaint? That they couldn’t play longer.

1. Jaguar Love
Jaguar Love consists of former members from Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves. I was able to catch them live at a secret show right before their European tour. It had the feel of seeing a high school band play in your grandmother’s living room, yet it was so loud and intense that I couldn’t hear for days and I waxing poetically about them for weeks. It was hands down the best show I’ve seen in Seattle so far. Look for these guys when they tour the States. I expect nothing less than World Domination.

By JG

Best Albums:

1. The Dodos, Visiter
If this decade were good for anything, it was for inspiring musicians to strip down and make much of little. Here’s a duo and a half (well, third member, Joe Haener, just became official) that create hypnotic and passionate pop with finger-picking guitar, fast tribal-like beats and ingenious twists, such as the tambourine taped to drummer Logan Kroeber’s foot. What’s more, Meric Long’s singing sounds timelessly great, I mean really great – a signature appeal also for band No.’s 2 and 3 on my list – hopefully signaling the demise of the mumbling indie rocker. San Francisco’s the Dodos, around since 2005, make folky rock and create an old-meets-new vibe that not only get your toes tapping, but they reach into your guts and heart and give them a long, hard tug too. “Primitive” and “visceral” get tossed around a lot, but if you take these qualities and combine them with the melodic sweep of Paul Simon or the Finn brothers, you’ll find yourself saddled with the unique and underrated genius of the Dodos.

2. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Sparklingly catchy and timeless pop, vocals you can sing along to. Every song sounds like a radio hit. That doesn’t happen often.

3. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
Not since the Beach Boys has a band harmonized so wondrously.

4. Throw Me the Statue, Moonbeams
I might be the only writer putting this plucky young band from Seattle on my list, but like Bobby Brown says, “That’s my prerogative.” TMTS combines the eccentric charm of early new wave, especially Talking Heads, and gloms on keyboards and strummy acoustics. The result is dark, light and swirly – a stunning contrast of moods and sounds.

5. She and Him, Vol. 1
My favorite male vocalist of nowadays, M. Ward, teams up with Hollywood sweetheart Zooey Deschanel for a duet masterpiece. I especially like their cover of the Beatles’ “Should Have Known Better.”

6. N.E.R.D., Seeing Sounds
This is way beyond the conventions of hip-hop and R&B. Pharrell and Co. give us a fun and funky amalgamation that doesn’t lose its soul and integrity in the translation.

7. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
The all-out rock, balladeer charm and glam luster of early ’70s Bowie on a high-tech 21st century platform – Robo Ziggy!

8. The Breeders, Mountain Battles
I love how Kim Deal’s voice has gotten rougher and raspier. It just adds to the raw mystique of the Breeders, a band that’s always had a knowing attitude while not taking itself too seriously to be weird. Theirs is a righteously cool evolution, and this album is proof.

9. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
Soulful, bizarre, topical, danceable. A super record from one of this decade’s supergroups.

10. Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer
Wolf Parade seemed like another fancy, esoteric Canadian band at one time but has won me over with its soulful, gutsy rock, sweetened by indelible melodies and intelligent lyrics.

11. The Delta Spirit, Ode to Sunshine
12. The Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead
13. The Old 97s, Blame it On Gravity
14. Lykke Li, Youth Novels
15. Dr. Dog, Fate
16. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
17. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel, Dual Hawks
18. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords
19. R.E.M., Accelerate
20. Duffy, Rockferry

On my list to check out further:

I’m thinking that if I had more time with these, the results could possibly skew a bit:
Common: Universal Mind Control; Q-Tip: The Renaissance; Thurston Moore: Sensitive/Lethal; The Rosebuds: Life Like; Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago; Beach House: Devotion; Langhorne Slim: Langhorne Slim; and Okkervil River: The Stand-Ins.

10 favorite singles:

The Dodos “Fools”
Flo-Rida “Low”
Fonzworth Bentley feat. Kanye and Andre “Everybody (Don’t Stop)”
Lykke Li “I’m Good, I’m Gone”
Throw Me the Statue “Lolita”
Common feat. Pharrell “Universal Mind Control”
People C’mon “The Delta Spirit”
The Breeders “Bang On”
M83 “Kim and Jessie”
Pictures and Sound “It’s You”

By Carla DeSantis

It’s December and thanks to bloggers and the free subscription my mother has somehow ended up getting from Rolling Stone, I’ve been looking over what I’ve missed this year on the annual “best of the year” lists.

Since ROCKRGRL’s demise at the end of ’05, I work at home and have musically become a bit of a hermit. I thought that maybe perusing these “best of” lists from friends and colleagues in-the-know would introduce me to music I might have missed and enlighten me to what’s going on outside the wheels in my head.

Anyhow, I’m looking at all these lists from all these people with very eclectic tastes and can’t help thinking: What happened to the rock? You know, the stuff that has been horrifying parents for generations.

Duffy and Fleet Foxes and Coldplay are fine, I guess, but their music has all the angst of a lullaby. Did angst go out of style when I wasn’t looking? How can this qualify as rock?

The current crop of buzz bands sound like rejects from the Lilith Fair tour. And I’m talking about the guys. Everything sounds like Jewel circa 1994. (And I hate Jewel.)

I know I risk sounding like one of those doddering elderly people waxing nostalgic about the good old days. Fair enough. But what I’ve always loved about rock is the raw power and emotion behind it. I need edge. And I don’t mean the guy from U2.

I just can’t believe that with the internet offering a world of variety, the baby-voiced singers on iPod commercials and television processed American Cheese Idols are the best we’ve got.

All I want is one artist, one song, that will make me excited about listening to music again. Despite her demons, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is the last album that really did it for me. And I love Adele’s “Cold Shoulder” (produced by Winehouse’s producer, Mark Ronson) but the rest of the album is just sort of…eh.

So please, tastemakers, just find me the one artist that I will still love ten years from now. That’s all I ask. In the meantime, I think I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled hibernation until it’s safe to scare my parents again. Especially since Rolling Stone is after my mom to subscribe.

Carla Desantis is the former editor of ROCKRGRL.

By Gina Vivinetto

I read a recent article about The Vines canceling their tour because of frontman Craig Nicholls‘ deteriorating mental health. Nicholls was diagnosed with Aspergers in 2004 after his behavior had grown increasingly erratic and violent, but it looks like he’s getting even worse.

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For the record, I’m not sure Aspergers makes you act manic and out-of-control– Nicholls attacked a photographer among other things– but admittedly I don’t know an awful lot about the disease. Still, it sounds to me like Nicholls is suffering from full-blown bipolar disorder. Or schizophrenia.

Which brings up of a subject I find interesting: the notion of “outsider artists” in rock ‘n’ roll. There have been endless debates about artists like Daniel Johnston, whom I attempted to interview in 2003, a schizophrenic and bipolar musician whose behavior is often dangerous and combative – Johnston was once arrested for attacking his friend with a lead pipe because he believed him to be the devil, and also the late Wesley Wills, a schizophrenic black man who grew up in Chicago foster homes and later recorded childlike songs about Batman that white indie rockers adored. (Willis died in 2003 of chronic leukemia. He was 40).

Wesley Willis.

Wesley Willis.

There is ample footage of both men, Johnston in the acclaimed 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston and Willis in the 2003 documentary The Daddy of Rock ‘N’ Roll, where cameras followed him around as he talked to himself. (Another documentary was released about him this year).

I think it’s worth repeating that Willis sang his goofy songs to mostly white audiences, often college-age frat boys who were happy to oblige Willis when he asked them to bash their heads into his. Willis enjoyed head butts from fans so much, he walked around with a permanent knot on his forehead. For many reasons (which include the nefarious history of race relations in the United States), this image bothers me.

For as long as “outsider musicians” have been involved in the industry, critics have asked the question: is it okay to profit off these people? Or are we exploiting them?

Certainly, there are red flags that these artists have not always been taken care of by their management. Despite his indie rock cult stardom, Wesley Willis, who recorded over 1,000 songs and played to huge sell-out crowds, died with a total life savings of $300.

Where is Willis’ money? That question has still never been sufficiently answered.

Even more interesting to me is the criteria for an outsider artist. Which mentally ill musicians – and there are plenty – are to be considered outsider? Why are musicians like Brian Wilson and the late Kurt Cobain, no strangers to the manic and the depressive, considered mainstream artists when others are relegated to the musical looney bin?

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Where does Britney Spears, who had the world’s most public nervous breakdown, fit into all of this?

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The world monitored Britney’s bizarre behavior for all of 2007 and 2008. And now it’s acceptable to push her lucrative ass back on the road? Why? Because an untold amount of people make their living off her performances?

Britney attacked a car with an umbrella. She shaved her head as the paparazzi snapped pictures. Shouldn’t Britney be the Queen of the Outsider Artists?

That question would be easier to answer if Brit were not in such elite company. Many of the biggest musical stars of the last 20 years have suffered from mental illness (including bipolar disorder and depression): Spears, Cobain, Axl Rose, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and I’ll leave it up to you to diagnose Madonna and Prince.

This is nothing new. The connection between creativity and mental illness has been written about for years.

But the music biz is not just about creativity, it’s a business. Like it or not, Britney Spears and Daniel Johnston, Kurt Cobain and Craig Nicholls, crazy as they may be, are products that we buy.

I don’t know how to determine who’s well enough to be in the industry and who’s not. Or which damaged people should be marketed as such and which should not.

But I applaud the decision made by The Vines’ members and management and I hope in the future, others reflect on it. Craig Nicholls may be a product, but he’s a person first.

We remember John Lennon

Posted: December 8, 2008 by ginavivinetto in music, politics
Tags:

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We’re sending love to Yoko today.

By Deborah Frost

I once walked into the dressing room of a very huge metal band — well, they were not quite as huge then as they are now, oh what the hell, they are probably the biggest band in the world — Metallica (and they didn’t get that way without airing their own dirty laundry very publicly from revealing in various cover stories tales of the drummer being fellated under the stage nightly during the bass solo to the somewhat drippier venereal complications).

Metallica in the late 1980s.

Metallica in the late 1980s.

Anyway, they were somewhere in the middle of the bill on one of those late 1980s “Monsters of Rock” concerts at RFK Stadium in Washington, I think it was. There was a lot of waiting around in the days they were all lumped together without their own private jets or drivers and everyone seemed to be in a grumpy mood, particularly James Hetfield, who was sitting next to two fairly unattractive girls who could have been models — only for one of those “BEFORE” acne-medication ads.

Instead of his usual warm greeting, James barely grunted at me that he was doing an “interview.” Which was a little strange, given that he was not really even having a conversation with the skinnier one of the two girls, who was not equipped with any of the usual tools of the trade, like a tape recorder or pencil or piece of paper, only a flimsy little sun-dress which was only remarkable in its cheapness and that it was fairly inappropriate for the weather but did reveal all of her other lack of equipment in every other department.

James suddenly got up, jerking her by the wrist, and disappeared toward the bathroom where other members of the crew and band were, eager to try out the brand new little video cameras (they had just come on the market) they had been playing with. Kirk Hammett also grabbed what I called my Helen Keller camera — one of those point and shoot 35 mm things (this was in the pre-digital era) that even she could have operated.

There was a great deal of commotion when James discovered that Kirk was holding them both over the top of the bathroom stall — where — well, several months later, when I had forgotten all about it and the prints came back from the developer, I was shocked to discover, right in the middle of some happy family vacation, exactly what he was doing with this young lady crouched on the toilet and could not believe that I had not been arrested for pornography. Then again, maybe that only happens if it involves pictures of children and it was VERY clear in vivid living color that James was NO child.

It was almost the end of Metallica as we knew it, when James suddenly roared out of the bathroom, grabbing Kirk by the throat with one hand and the video camera, from which he ripped the film, with the other, before stomping on it and practically smashing the guitarist’s head against the wall as he begged for mercy.

Dokken in the late 1980s.

Dokken in the late 1980s.

How my camera was handed off to me in all of the commotion I have no idea, but the drummer from Dokken swaggered into the bathroom just as the girl was coming out. Before she had a chance to make it to the sink, he grabbed her (they seemed to have been previously introduced) in a most amorous embrace, practically sweeping her off her feet– you might have thought it was one of those old fashioned romantic movies if only they’d had better costumes– as he shoved his tongue down her throat.

“Congratulations, ” I said, “You just blew James Hetfield!”

Legendary rock music critic Deborah Frost is the leader of the Brain Surgeons.

By Stephanie Koppel

A few days ago, I had absolutely no interest in seeing a film about teenage vampires, but as soon as I heard that the film’s star, Kristen Stewart, had been cast as Joan Jett in the upcoming Runaways biopic, I knew I needed to see Twilight.

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Stewart’s overall performance wasn’t terrible, but there was one scene at the end where she is stammering and I watched — I watched painfully. The Twilight producers wanted me to cry tears of sorrow here, but I nearly cried tears of laughter. And then I got a little scared — and not because of the creepy blood-sucking stuff. I asked myself: could I ever envision this girl playing the toughest chick in rock ‘n roll? (Let’s review Stewart’s recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman).

But then I realized, avid Runaways fans like myself are going to be Stewart’s toughest critics. Even if she’s handled by the most astute stylists — who will replicate Joan’s signature leather getup — and treated by skilled make up artists, who will bury her in eyeliner, we will probably never be satisfied. Even if Stewart becomes our Joan, we’re still going to critique her voice, her swagger and her guitar playing; we’ll probably even dissect her scowl.

In any case, Twilight is an enormous hit; it raked in nearly $70 million in its opening weekend, and as a result, Stewart has gained a huge teen fan base. Almost all of the Twilight fans I interviewed had no idea who Joan Jett was (and the few that did had never heard of The Runaways), yet nearly every single one of them told me they would see The Runaways just because of Stewart’s involvement in it. They are so Kristen-crazy that they’d also run to buy her album if she decided to release one. But this promising legion of Stewart fans may be completely shut out if The Runaways receives an R rating (and sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have never really been PG).

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The Runaways will be directed by famed music video director Floria Sigismondi and executive produced by Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna. Reportedly the filmmakers have secured the music rights. This makes me wonder: will Kristen and the other Runaways actresses lip synch or will they try their hardest to nail “Cherry Bomb”?

“I’d prefer lipsyching so the real Runaways music can be heard and enjoyed by the masses,” said one long-time Runaways fan. The majority of Runaways fans seem to be hoping for the Milli Vanilli route, whereas Kristen Stewart’s fans, unsurprisingly, want to hear her sing in the movie.

Hopefully The Runaways will turn out to be an exciting and accurate account of one of my all-time favorite bands. And since Joan is in the producer’s chair, I know I won’t be disappointed.

So who do you think should round out the rest of Runaways? Which actress do you think is worthy of squeezing into Cherie Currie’s corset?

By Eve Naskale

(Editor’s note: We asked Eve to share this story with us after we saw this item about a sewing machine signed by members of Metallica. Big whoop. Eve got John Waters to sign her pink KitchenAid mixer).

The best thing that has ever happened to my dream future kitchen is breast cancer. I know that’s not a nice thing to say, but it’s true. I own a ton of pink kitchen things, and as soon as we can get into a house where a pink kitchen will work, I will put it all out and paint my cabinets pink.

The center piece for said future pink kitchen is Betty Whipple, my Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer. I don’t get to use it much, but I stroke it lovingly every time I walk by it. Especially now that it’s a marvel of kitsch pop-culture history.

John Waters, the director of cult classics like Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Serial Mom and (my favorite) A Dirty Shame, came to town to perform his man show called “The Filthy World.” Essentially he goes through the ins and outs of how his crazy ass movies were made, the pitfalls, the insane stories, and people he’s met along the way. Afterwards, there was to be a “memento signing”.

I didn’t want any CDs signed, and I don’t collect DVDs. I have a couple of signed CDs and they just get tucked away along with the rest of my musical library. I did want him to sign something, but I wanted it to be special. I wanted to take something ordinary and create a museum piece. At the risk of ruining it, I decided on Betty Whipple.

At the time I was recovering from a shattered elbow and was in a horrible arm brace, but I put it in a big bag and lugged it along. For those of you who may have one of these mixers, you know they aren’t light. At all. Thankfully I had a couple of friends with my, and they helped me carry it.

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When I brought it up to his desk, he didn’t bat an eye. He went after it with his Sharpie. I smacked his hand away and gave him a paint pen I got for this occasion, as I didn’t think a Sharpie signature would last. John happily signed it and did a beautiful job of it. Other than making him switch pens, I don’t even know what I said to him, I was so excited. I was a babbling idiot. As my friends and I walked away with it, I could feel the mad jealousy of fellow John Waters fans who wish they brought their mixers too.

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Although I’ve wondered what it would now sell for on eBay, I’ll never know because it will have to be pried from my cold, dead hands. John Waters created an heirloom for me, and I love him even more for that.

Eve Naskale is an avid mountain biker who wants to be the Karaoke Queen of the Universe. She and her husband Daryl and their two dogs are forever renovating their house in St. Petersburg, Florida. One day she dreams of having a pink kitchen and an infinite supply of colorful socks.

By Nancy Quatro Glass

I was only 15, on tour with the The Pleasure Seekers, and quite innocent to the ways of musicians.

Nancy Quatro with tambourine performing with The Pleasure Seekers, 1966

Nancy Quatro with tambourine performing with The Pleasure Seekers, 1966

Does anyone remember the band Iron Butterfly?

Iron Butterfly in the 1960s.

Iron Butterfly in the 1960s.

Picture me walking down the hotel hall to my room, all of the doors open with the smell of pot all around, and out walks the guitar player from Iron Butterfly into the hall wearing only a towel and carrying a watermelon.

He bends down to roll the watermelon down the hall to me and his towel drops. He is standing there buck naked. (That is the first time I ever saw a man’s penis).

I turned and ran the other way cause I thought it might do something scary to me!

I learned very quickly that I would see many more musicians in much the same way as they seem to want to bare all as often as possible.

Nancy Quatro Glass spent her teen years singing and playing bass in The Pleasure Sisters, a popular 1960s all-female Detroit garage rock band formed by her sisters Patti, Suzi, and Arlene. Nancy and Patti went on to form the hard rock band Cradle and are currently at work reissuing an album of Cradle’s music.

By Gina Vivinetto

Have you had a gander at the album cover for Morrissey’s 2009 release Years Of Refusal? Check it out:

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Why the hell is Morrissey holding a baby? Is this his inner child? Is it merely another installment in a series of Pictures of Morrissey Doing Things We Never Thought Possible, for example, his 2004 album cover for You Are The Quarry in which he’s brandishing a tommy gun.

A tommy gun, fine, but a BABY? That’s just creepy.

And what’s with the ink on the kid’s forehead? And Morrissey’s arm? Is he a cutter now?

What’s going on?

Do you have an interpretation?

By Gina Vivinetto

Some pranksters are circulating “videos” of David Lee Roth‘s bare vocal tracks from a few of Van Halen‘s classic tunes. It’s pretty weird listening to him yelp and squeal and holler without the accompaniment of thunderous drums, thudding bass and Edward Van Halen‘s guitar wizardry.

For example, “Runnin’ With the Devil”:

It’s nice to finally make out some of those lyrics. As far as Dave sounding lousy, I don’t agree at all. I wish he sounded this good when I saw the band in concert earlier this year.

What do you think?

By Vanessa Briscoe Hay

Back in 1980 or so, my band Pylon was on a short tour through the Midwest and parts of Canada with post punk legends the Gang of Four. The two bands have been friends since the summer of 1979 when we had opened for them in Philadelphia and in New York City on our first trip out of Athens, Georgia.

Pylon performing in the 1980s.

Pylon performing in the 1980s.

Both bands had stopped for the night at an enormous Holiday Inn near the Canadian border. The generic corridors seemed to stretch for miles. The next day, we were making our first trip across the border to our first Canadian show. The members of Pylon and our roadie/soundperson were all staying in one room. Guys two per bed. I got the rollaway cot, but it was my own bed and not the floor. We were used to sleeping on floors. Actually getting to stay in hotels for the whole tour was a huge step up for us.

Hugo Burnham (the drummer for the Gang of Four) and his brother Jolian, (GO4 tour manager), invited us to come watch TV and hang out in their room. I noticed that Hugo had a nicely typed-up list of their equipment and serial numbers sitting on top of the TV. I became worried because we hadn’t done anything like that. I brought it to the attention to the rest of the band so we could make an equipment list too. I remember drinking beer, chatting and watching a documentary about Jimi Hendrix on the television. I’m sure that some Rebel Yell was available too. All great fun!

The British band Gang of Four.

The British band Gang of Four.

After awhile, most of the members of Pylon had drifted back to the hotel room. Curtis Crowe (Pylon’s drummer) and I remained behind. Eventually realizing that it was getting late, we decided to head back to our room. I guess we were inebriated — as a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that we were! On arrival to our room, we suddenly realized that neither of us had a key. We banged on the door for awhile to no avail. Our fellow bandmates were sleeping pretty deeply and obviously didn’t hear us. Curtis and I put our heads together and decided that we should go back to Hugo’s room and ask if we could sleep on the floor.

Heading back down the hall, we passed an open door. On the bed lay Jon King (the lead singer of the Gang of Four) fully dressed and sleeping on his back with the lights blazing overhead. Curtis and I both agreed that Jon wouldn’t mind. He was our friend! It was very convenient, too. We carefully locked and latched the door for him and turned off all the lights and crawled into the other bed fully clothed and went to sleep.

Sometime, early the next morning someone was shaking me. I blearily opened my eyes. Cold, early morning light was pouring through the window. Ouch! A guy was angrily yelling “Who the fuck are you?!” Curtis and I both sat up and looked at each other and realized, yikes! THIS WAS NOT JON KING! Just someone that looked a little bit like him.

We jumped up. Apologized. And ran back to our room. This time when we knocked on our door, someone woke up and let us in.

Vanessa Briscoe Hay is the lead singer of both the influential alternative rock band Pylon and the more recently-formed Supercluster. Vanessa is married to musician Bob Hay. They have two daughters.

By Gina Vivinetto

In an earlier post, we wrote about Spencer Elden, the little baby on the cover of Nirvana‘s Nevermind album who’s now a 17-year-old young man.

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Well, we just found an recent interview with Heather DeLoach, the little Bee Girl from Blind Melon‘s whimsical 1993 “No Rain” video.

Let’s refresh your memory:

Heather is now a 25-year-old actress living in California. Here’s the Bee Girl all grown up:

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Heather appeared in the flicks A Little Princess, Camp Nowhere, Anywhere But Here, and on the television programs Tracey Takes On, ER, and Reno 911.

Heather says, naturally, people don’t recognize her as the Bee Girl:

“When I casually meet people, they don’t know and I don’t display it to them,” she says. “But within an hour, someone is bragging about it, like my boyfriend or my friends, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s you?’ “

But she doesn’t mind:

(It’s) the best thing that happened to me. At 80 years old, people are still going to be wondering what I’m doing,” she says. “It’s opened so many doors with acting and my personal life, it’s been a blessing.”

Nice to catch up with you, Bee Girl!

By Gina Vivinetto

If you’re in New York tonight, please consider swinging by the 3rd annual Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls auction at 6 p.m. at the Zipper Factory. Everyone’s favorite showbiz personality Murray Hill will emcee the live bidding, with proceeds going to the camp’s scholarship fund.

The show cost $50 to get in and features live performances by the always riveting Meshell Ndegeocello

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and super-talented Erin McKeown:

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To learn all the details, check out this flyer (Click the title of this post to expand the page):

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To lear more about Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, click here.

Remember, these little girls are tomorrow’s Sweaty Bitches of Rock ‘N’ Roll.

By Cherie Currie

Predators.

Now this is a subject where I feel things that jerk me from my seat, want to grab my gun and check out the newest torturer devices online. Movies like Saw and Hostel 1 and 2 start flipping through my head at lightning speed and I have to calm myself before my heart explodes. Yep, that’s me when I think of a predator. Screwdrivers, a ball peen hammer and pliers come to mind FIRST. Then the gun.

Child predators. Hell, all predators are pure EVIL and deserve the harshest of punishment. When I hear of these children gone missing, found but no longer with us, woman maimed and worse, all I can think of is how much I’d like to introduce the low-life scum that inflicted this horror to my two best friends, Smith and Wesson.

Nope. I’m not the forgiving type. No, I’m not the understanding ‘He’s sick and we should feel sorry for him’ type.

Yes, I am the vigilante type that wouldn’t blink as I ended the life of the man that hurt my child (or anyone else’s child for that matter) or loved one. I mean, I wouldn’t blink.

So, instead of hoping it wouldn’t happen, praying it doesn’t happen, I took steps with my child to make sure it would NEVER happen. The way I raised my child was with pure love and selfishness. I knew that if anything ever happened to him I wouldn’t survive. I mean NEVER and frankly, I would have to take on the Jodie Foster role in The Brave One before I met my maker.

There is nothing more gut-wrenching then the loss of a child at the hands of a motherf*cking, low-life scum bag. There isn’t a day gone by that I don’t thank the lord for not having to say, ‘How could this happen to me?”

I made sure of it, as sure as God made green apples. I made sure my son Jake knew as early as he could understand that they are out there, they are waiting and they would hurt him and bad. We can talk about Teen Sex, but if we lose them because we didn’t want to “scare” them, what’s the frigg’in point, right?! We have to keep our children ALIVE!

It’s not always the scary looking guy our kids have to fear. It’s the lollipop toters, the ice cream men, and the puppy peddlers that lure these unsuspecting innocents right from under our ignorant noses!

This is MAJOR people, as major as it gets, and, in my opinion, parents don’t give their children the credit they deserve. Kids are smart and the earlier you teach them the less affected they will be when all the other tidbits of life come marching through.

My own story:

I had my first close encounter with a scum demon when I was 10-years-old walking from the market with my girlfriend Kelly, who was 8. He pulled up to us in his VW Bug, pants-free, with evil, bad intent. I had to pull my friend away from his car as she was transfixed on the ‘thing’ between his legs that she had never seen before. He followed us as we ran home, chasing us, cutting us off at street corners. He was so calm, so unaffected by our fear. I’ll never forget his eyes. He had dead, scary, vacant eyes. Like that line in Jaws: “and when they bite you, they roll over…” Yeah, those eyes.

We called the police and the two young officers had to contain their giggles as a crying Kelly told them he had no ‘pee pee hole’. ECCHHHH! GOD! Traumatized she was, educated she wasn’t. I shouldn’t have had to drag her from the car. She should have known we were in danger. Worse yet, had I not been there: easy pick’ins like fruit from the vine.

You don’t leave a child to wander alone around a swimming pool. You gate it, lock it up, and you teach the child to swim. A no brain-er. Why is it so taboo — and some parents think cruel — to teach a child the fundamental facts of survival at a young age? Life’s not all Cinderella and Scooby Doo, people! That’s the fantasy we so wish for our children, but the truth? NOT!

Let them enjoy the cartoons and play time. But, educate them on the TRUTH. A little fear they can take! Not the horror they will face if not given the absolute facts. The boogie man is alive and well just outside the door, at in the parks, in the malls, the playgrounds. Never, I mean, NEVER leave your child alone, not even for a second. That’s all it takes, and your life, as you know it — all the hopes, the dreams — are over.

Be selfish! I had a woman tell me she thought I was a bad mother for “scaring” my child. My response was, “I’ll have my son when he’s sixteen. Will you?”

Though Jake’s school was just across the street I watched him till he got there safely and never let him go anywhere alone. I told him about the Bad People and the terrible things that could happen to him. He asked a lot of the questions. I gave him tough answers. Was he scared? Yes. That fear turned into awareness and with awareness came contentment. You do the right thing, the safe thing and you have a better chance of survival.

Give your kids a fighting chance.

I have seen it all first hand. Experienced the fear and brutality close up and personal. I survived because I was lucky. My friend David said to me today, “The past will shape us. We don’t have to let it control us”. Words to live by as long as you pay it forward and share your experience.

Killer bees, pit bulls, the West Nile virus, they all get the much-deserved headlines. They are killers, they’re out there. We tend to forget The Night Stalker, The Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy and the John Wayne Gacy‘s of the world (who dressed up like a clown to lure his victims). Believe you me, they are still out there in force with different faces, stalking, waiting, and they have their sights set on your children. And you!

If I could put people with Uzis around every school, park, community pool and Chuck E. Cheese with a banner that said, “Come On You Pedophile Rapist Punk! Make My Day!”, I would. But society won’t allow it.

Ozzie and Harriet are long gone. Sold their house to Freddy Krueger . The days of sending your child to the corner market for milk are over.

You say you don’t want them to grow up too fast? NOTHING will strip away a childhood like the hands of a predator. Don’t let it happen to your child. They will thank you for it. Jake thanks me to this day. He is observant and tactical. Best of all, he’s undamaged, he’s alive. And so am I.

Be safe! NOT stupid!
Love your child enough to scare them smart!

Cherie Currie was the lead singer of The Runaways. She’s a professional musician, actress, author, and one of the few women in America who create chainsaw art. She writes Cherie Currie’s Guide to Life because she loves you.

By Carrie Waite

Monet   Monet (last sold for $80.4 million)
Stradivarius (last sold for $3.5 million)

Stradivarius (last sold for $3.5 million)

Crusty Ass Sex Pistols T-Shirt (last sold for $375)

Crusty Ass Sex Pistols T-Shirt (last sold for $375)

I’ve been obsessively mulling over the sales from the Punk/Rock Auction at Christies last Monday. Note that’s Punk/Rock, not Punk Rock. The majority of the auction was your typical Beatles/Elvis memorabilia. And does a violin signed by The Three Tenors classify as either Punk or Rock? Um, no.

The cultural implications of this type of auction didn’t really register when I first read about it last week in the New York Times.  Then the headline came across my RSS feed reader again today and I was curious just how much someone would pay for an original Clash Poster ($2,750 apparently).  I mean, Christies Auction House symbolizes the tippity top of the upper-echelon, right? Who else could afford to pay $13.5 million for a Basquiat that used to belong to the drummer from Metallica?

If the hippies became the yuppies, then what have the punks become? The puppies? Yeah, I know, that’s stupid.  I think we need a new term for the former anti-establishment. Any ideas?

As it turns out, after looking through the lots, it’s obvious that the upper-crust isn’t ready for the filth and the fury. Most of the “Punk” items sold for far less than their estimated value, except for the photo of Debbie Harry which sold for more than 5x the estimate.

A few highlights:

The highest selling “Punk” item of the auction, an autographed photo of Debbie Harry , sold for $8750 (estimated value $1,000 – $1,500).

The first two issues of “Bomp“, sold for $63 (estimated value $500 – $700).

Limited edition signed photo of Lou Reed from the cover of Transformer by photographer Mick Rock, sold for $1875 (estimated value $2,000 – $3,000).

The lot I wish I’d been there to purchase, a pair of rare Patti Smith poetry books, sold for $125 (estimated value $300 – $500).