Walter Mencken 9:52 a.m., Aug. 1
YouTube Gems, Weird San Diego, Virtual Balboa, plus URLwatching: Local Website Reviews
Local Concerts In Your Living Room, Weird Viral Videos, Trippy Toons, and a Big Steamin' Pile of Shat
Local Concerts In Your Living Room, Weird Viral Videos, Trippy Toons, and a Big Steamin' Pile of Shat
1 - Local Shows In Your Living Room
2 - Videos: Weird San Diego
3 - Videos: Virtual Balboa Park
4 - A Pile Of Shat: Bill Shatner VidFest
5 - Videos: Trippy Toons
6 - Kitsch Family Robinson
7 - Cartoon Rockers
8 - Browsing The Boards
9 - Craigslist Funnies
10 - URLwatching: Local Website Reviews – moshking.com, pepperland, cityvibz, etc.
1 - LOCAL SHOWS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
SO you missed these terrific shows around town? Not to worry: Someone’s always there to record and post it online for you!
Middle-Earth Ensemble formed as a result of a variety of musicians coming together to perform for the Bellydance Showcases at Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge, starting in 1999. Founder and drummer Frank Lazzaro describes how the band chose its name. "Besides being an obvious rip-off of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the name also describes the style of music we play. Looking at Earth from space, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe all come together in the Mediterranean, literally meaning the 'Middle Earth.' A lot of our music is derived from the Middle East. Also, Led Zeppelin had an influence on us. They had a lot of Middle-Eastern elements in their music, as well as many lyrical references to Tolkien...we do instrumental covers of a few Zeppelin tunes."
VIDEO: Clash music, with a FLUTE?!? Middle-Earth Ensemble covers "Rock the Casbah" by the Clash at Claire de Lune, February 2008.
Nautical Disaster plays bluesy pop with a dose of '80s new wave. The band says it "hopes to inspire a return to that brand of rock that bares its soul, gets drunk, and passes out on your couch, only to make you delicious coffee in the morning and hoping the demons from the past evening hold off 'til sundown." The group's debut album, Sevens, features "tales torn from Cap'n Rehab's Diary of Debauchery." Songs concern psychotic love, botched potential, late-night misdeeds, serial killer stalkers, the Napoleonic undead, time travel, drinking debts, and a long sad drunken train ride that you hope to God never ends.
VIDEO: Nautical Disaster, playing “The Littlest (Revamp)Ire” live at Scolari's Office.
Creedle was an avant-jazz-punk-art band. They released three full length albums on Cargo Music/Headhunter Records in the 1990s, along with numerous 7" singles. Members of the band continued on to record and perform with the Greyboy Allstars, the DaoSon For, Morricone Youth, Pretendo, Fluf, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Tones. They reunited 12-30-07 at the Casbah.
VIDEO: Creedle reunion 12-30-07, opening songs.
“I bring exploding foam, snow machines, confetti cannons, pinatas, and remote-control space ships,” says Mono Mono’s one-man bandmember Jeffrey Beringer of his “interactive, inflatable stage show.” Interactive? “The lights and other special effects are operated by radio control, and I give control boxes to the audience,” he says. “In my show, you touch and are touched. I dress in drag and sit on your lap, and you will suck and touch my fake boobies and scream. You will blow my clothes off with my leaf blower and I will run naked through the venue.”
Okay. Inflatable? “I put on an inflatable Sumo costume and blow up like a huge, obese marshmallow man, and [audiences] squeeze, hug, grind, hump, and bounce me,” he says. “I have an arsenal of inflatable monkeys, sex dolls, and blow-up toys…Sometimes [audiences] jump on my toys and destroy them. I place balloons into the crowd, they hold them on their lap, and we jump on each other, exploding the balloons.” Musically, he says “I have help from my iPod and my computer…The vocals are live, and the music and sound effects have been electronically programmed. I use Reason and Ableton Live loop-sequencer programs.”
According to Beringer, “Over 20 of my inflatable monkeys have been kidnapped at shows…Now they appear in photos all over MySpace.”
VIDEO: Medley of samples from some wild Mono Mono moments.
VIDEO: Mono Mono plays with his “Pink Ball” – man, this guy is awesome! Filmed at the Brass Rail, Hot Monkey Love Cafe, San Diego Pride Festival and Kadan at the Borders Collapse event.
"Our band blends the f-ck-it-and-just-play mentality of punk with the theatrics of cabaret," says Tragic Tantrum Cabaret singer/guitarist Zephyrus Rex. The performance-art duo composes songs around a melodica and a toy xylophone. "There's a lot of unexplored territory there. With punk music, you can perform and entertain and deliver a message whether or not you have a wealth of musical know-how. In a way, it's sort of an underground music for the people, though not necessarily music for the masses."
"I think there's also an element of circus to our act," says singer/lyricist zOe. "There's something about painting your face that allows your true self to come out. With both Zeph and myself having a background in theater, it was a very natural thing to fall into. If our show were a dessert, I think it would be Red Hots mixed with chocolate, strawberries, and licorice. Hot, sweet, tart, and manufactured."
VIDEO: Tragic Tantrum performing "Swan Song" at Lestat's West on 9-2-07.
VIDEO: Queensryche performing “Bridge” at House of Blues 2-21-08.
Elan is a female Latin performer based in San Diego. Her 2004 Street Child CD (sung in English) was self-written and recorded on Elan's Silverlight Records ("a home studio in my apartment in La Jolla"). The album earned the then-22-year-old two Rolling Stone en Español awards in 2004. "Some fans who've followed me for years thought it was weird, having Slash on the record and in the video [for Street Child]," says Elan of the album's guest guitarist. "But I grew up on hard rock; the first rock concert I ever saw was Guns N' Roses in Guadalajara, when I was, like, eight years old." Elan says the Velvet Revolver guitarist "definitely likes to drink beer, he's into it! He always had one in his hand."
VIDEO: Elan at ‘Canes 4-25-07.
Tristan Prettyman graduated Torrey Pines High School in 2000. Two years later, while attending MiraCosta College, she began performing around town and decided to pursue music full-time as a career. She became a rare breed among San Diego's growing crop of acoustic crooners by being signed to a major label, Virgin. The Del Mar native won "Best Acoustic" at the 2004 San Diego Music Awards, and her song "My Love" was featured in an October 2004 episode of the WB's shortlived television show Jack and Bobby. A former model for the surfer apparel company Roxy, she's toured the country opening for Jason Mraz, G. Love, and John Mellencamp.
VIDEO: Tristan Prettyman at 4th & B on12-11-07.
Big Toe bassist Mark Goffeney was born without arms and plays with his feet. When they appeared as contestants on the TV show Star Tomorrow in 2006, Grammy-winning producer David Foster said “It’s impossible to truly evaluate this. I mean, what this guy does is amazing, he’s a good bass player…he doesn’t sing great but he’s a phenomenal human being. You should be able to use anything to get there, whatever the gimmick is.” The band also appeared on the 2007 show Next Great American Band.
VIDEO: Big Toe play Stand Down 7-13-07.
Local-boys-made-good Switchfoot (their website header reads "Diego Rock USA") earned double-platinum sales with 2003's The Beautiful Letdown. The album landed two singles in the top-five Billboard charts ("Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move"), as the band scored gigs on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show. Switchfoot is in the CD rack right there between Matthew Sweet and System of a Down, and their Live in San Diego DVD has been certified RIAA gold in sales (no small feat for a music DVD).
VIDEO: Switchfoot playing “San Diego Song” at 91X Loudspeaker concert.
VIDEO: Foo Fighters playing “Best of You” at Cox Arena 3-3-08.
BONUS VIDEO: P.O.D. with Carlos Mencia, “BeanerMan” - On the May 13, 2007 episode of his Mind of Mencia TV show, comedian Carlos Mencia aired P.O.D.'s first new music video to feature returning guitarist Marcos Curiel. The song is not from their new album; it's a superhero spoof done with Mencia called "BeanerMan." A video was also made and uploaded to YouTube. Check out guest appearance by local Saved by the Bell vet Mario Lopez, playing “Dirty Sanchez” (also the name of a vile sex act performed on video by his Saved co-star Dustin Diamond).
2 - WEIRD SAN DIEGO
Lovely animated video that takes you soaring through the skies all around San Diego, created in a computer program called Softimage 3D:
July 1 2006 – UFOs over Miramar?
Gaslamp fight makes Court TV’s “Most Shocking Videos”:
Mocking costume wearing patrons at Comic-Con:
Turtle love at the zoo – I can’t tell which one is making that weird moaning noise…
3 - VIRTUAL VIDEO: BALBOA PARK
Checkitout, there’s Mark from the band Big Toe, playing a Tom Petty song. Tho born without arms, Mark is a terrific player, and he can sing pretty good too!
I love these guys! The Wrong Trousers performing the Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star” – discovered this at www.sddialedin.com (Thanks, Rosey!)
Uh oh – title says it all: “Kids risk minor injury…San Diego Jugglers”:
Some busking by Kevin Allshouse (fiddle) and Michael Eskin (Uilleann pipes), 4-30-07:
Hey, I know that song – it’s from the Crocodile Dundee soundtrack. Or was that Kangaroo Jack?? No, it was from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo!
What, you don’t remember the Skippy TV show? Not even the time she played drums with a rock band named the Bush Rangers that was practicing in a nearby cave???
This guy at the park…well, your guess is as good as mine.
Whoops, hang on a minute --- I’ll be right back (this video is an actual Park toilet)...
It’s getting dark, so let’s checkout the Organ Pavilion for some live music from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Okay, that’s enuff for today – maybe next time, we'll explore Virtual Ramona!
4 - A PILE OF SHAT: BILL SHATNER VIDFEST
All the Shat you can eat (and THEN some)
For as long as I can remember, I've been in awe of Bill Shatner. And not just because he had the best pickup line in the universe ("Have sex with me, it'll save the planet"). Here's a Shat film fest I programmed from YouTube...
Shatner raps shakespeare:
Shatner sings Harry Chapin's Taxi on the Dinah Shore show:
Legendary clip of Shatner melting down after messing up on a '70s TV gameshow:
Shatner's animated video for Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (opens with the Enterprise! And checkout Sgt Shatner's Lonely Hearts Club Band!) - this is the best of the 3 different vids I've seen for this song.
Shatner and Sulu in a short clip from the rarely seen Starfleet Academy show!
Clip from Shame, actually a rather good Roger Corman film about a racist stirring up a southern town:
Shatner & Nimoy on the Muppet Show (never really happened, this is a fanmade stop motion vid)
And of course the complete Rocket Man -
STRAP MEETS SHAT
Locals Shoestring Strap appear in the upcoming film Circus Of Life. “Our mandolin player's dad Bert Tenzer is a film and TV producer in L.A.," says Shoestring Strap singer/guitarist Dave Lowenstein.
"He's been working on this movie since the ‘60s, when he shot footage with Casey Kasem, [British comedian] Terry Thomas and the guy who did voice-overs in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. He added some newly shot scenes around 2006 with William Shatner and Doug Llewellyn, of People's Court fame."
The band is seen in their scene dressed as clowns, miming to their song "If Jesus Was Whiskey (I'd Be A Saved Man)." Mixed with ‘60s and ‘70s footage of L.A. strippers and strip clubs is new footage of William Shatner as a hippie-haired cartoonist pornographer.
5 - TRIPPY ‘TOONS
Remember the '70s TV show Make A Wish? Here's the theme by Tom Chapin (Harry's brother):
I hadn't seen the show in 30-plus years! I forgot how psycho-psychedelic the theme turns after the first minute and a half! Crazy trippy cartoons by Al Brodax, who worked on Yellow Submarine, while the music fades in and out with sound effects like some crazed Frank Zappa/Pink Floyd freakfest! Chapin DOES sing "Take a trip" and then "Fly high," right before he floats into the air and flies off...hmmmmm....
Another amazing Brodax 'toon, a 7up commercial:
The most druggy, trippy, insane intermission cartoon of the '70s:
Peter Max animation for the American Cancer Society:
And a cool bicentenial tripfest by Vince Collins:
Finally, there’s certainly no mystery as to what Cheech and Chong were all about – but, hey, didja know ol’ lonesome George Harrison is playing guitar on “Basketball Jones”???? Here’s the rarely-seen ‘toon, at one time banned from In Concert, Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert AND the Midnight Special (though it DID air several times on Soul Train).
Far out, man - talk about yer 8-track flashback...
6 - KITSCH FAMILY ROBINSON
Wow, when you watch all the Lost In Space TV show intros at once, you notice weird stuff - like how, in season one, the Robinson family (and Major West) is all tethered together, except Will and Penny following in a saucer.
(Did they cut the space line and cast the family adrift to die in space? Or is the family trying to escape from Will and Penny....).
The next season, the siblings are tethered with the rest of the family, but Will is tied up in knots (despite being the smart one, not the klutz), apparently in his death throes, and SMITH is the one trailing in a saucer - tho Smith suddenly pops out of the saucer and fires a raygun point-blank at the family, presumably murdering them all -----
Plus, it's really weird how gay Major West acts in the spacesuit (whenever the camera pauses on him, he strikes a pose that looks more like MAE West than Major West!)
And what’s up with the way Penny’s head pops up from Will’s lap in the spaceship? What was her face doing in her brother’s lap???? Yikes ---- maybe I don’t really wanna know……
I really should have better things to do...
7 - CARTOON ROCKERS
The Super 6 cartoon from 1966 - checkout the guitar-wielding hero, not to mention the theme song that sounds like 13th Floor Elevators meets the Dave Clark 5!
I forgot how MOD Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles were ! So much cooler than the lame Groovy Goulies, tho certainly no Josie and the Pussycats.....
The Beagles - sound kinda like Denny Laine/Moody Blues! Rare cartoon, only exists in kinescope..."Trouble makes 'em shout!"
Another rarity - animated theme/intro for "It's About Time," which I actually recall seeing on the air in the 60s --- ep directed by Richard “Superman” Donner!!!!
I do NOT recall this VERY odd Schoolhouse Rock vid, Little Twelvetoes! WTF?! That's Bob Dorough singing, and he supposedly still performs this on occasion ---
Very disturbing Chipmunk "rock" video, with scantily clad Pussycat Doll girl chipmunks - watch when Alvin strokes his harp up and down at waist level until a stream of glitter shoots out of it --- don't gotta be Fellini to figure THAT one out....
Hey, that girl Bugaloo is kinda hot, but she couldn't play guitar for crap...
No way these Beagles/Beatles robots are licensed to do "Paperback Writer" at Chuck E. Cheese! Somebody tell Yoko's lawyer!!
The Jetson rock – “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah!” Zoom, daddio, zoom!
Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp had ANOTHER secret life – as a member of the rock band Evolution Revolution. Tho this song mocks hippies visually, the tune totally rocks! Sounds like 3 Dog Night meets Blood Sweat and Tears! And checkout that organ riff - $20 it’s ol’ lonesome Al Kooper!
From the shortlived Pebbles & Bamm Bamm show, their band sings a song about the Zodiac! The murderer or the flaky superstition? Watch for the clues….
What do you get when you cross Kiss with Fonzie? The Krofft Supershow, by the same wacky spudmeisters who brought you HR Pufnstuff and Lidsville!
The Partridge Family 2200 AD! Partridges in space, in the future! Not just ANY future, but George Jetson’s future! Danny Bonaduce and Shirley Jones did their voices…
They also shot Josie and the Pussycats into outer space!!!!
8 - BROWSING THE BOARDS
One way to read the pulse of the local music scene is to skim the message forums and bulletin boards at websites like sonicspot.com, sandiegopunk.com, craigslist.org, swingorama.com, socal-raves.org and sdmusician.com.
Bobsax loves a parade: "Tuba or sousaphone player wanted for startup brass band (think Rebirth or Dirty Dozen Brass Bands). Lineup is horns and drums only...must be able to play consistent, driving, sometimes repetitive lines and have endurance to keep going. Occasional marching, this will be rare."
Bagingkle loves a funeral: "Bassist sought for dark/heavy/melodic metal band...our style is a mix of hardcore/thrash/death/and doom metal, very aggressive at times and very mellow and atmospheric at times as well. We play at c#, our vocalist has a very harsh, aggressive sound, and our music is very original and dark, especially for San Diego."
Swingstitious is into Jesus: "We are Christians, and our bassist just quit on us...not to provoke some theist/atheist debates on here, [but bassist] must be a Christian (we're a Christian band)...wanting to play emo/indie/screamo rock, ministering as a Christian band, spreading a positive message, portraying ourselves through music."
Dudeski is into meetings: "I am a singer/frontman/songwriter looking to front a slammin' band. Something like Lenny Kravitz meets Led Zeppelin meets Incubus meets the Chilis meets Soundgarden meets Al Green. I definitely have my own style...Chris Cornell meets Bono meets Michael Hutchence meets Al Green."
Epiphany is axe hunting: "Still looking for a guitarist. Applicant should be creative, innovative, textural, professional and not be afraid to play out of 'the box.' " James SatChild replies "Epiphany, maybe you need to start looking in other realms of existence...like have a seance and raise Chet Atkins from the grave. I think he'd fit your bill quite nicely!"
Anniewarbucks is man hunting: "I'm looking for a guy in San Diego. This is really vague, but any help that anyone can give me is great. He is a hip hop DJ, in his early 20s, first name is Chris. I don't know his DJ name. He was recently on a MTV show called Dismissed."
MusiMitch knows what he wants: "Drummer...desiring versatile and eclectic collaborative but understands niche markets (ala, rock, funk, hip-hop, etc., etc.). No chips, chumps, chimps, or wimps (if you're sensitive and/or female, fantastic!)."
SanDiego21 knows you suck: "We know you're a terrible bassist and/or singer...that's fine. We can barely tune our instruments and our drummer is on Lithium. He drools a lot, but keeps good time surprisingly. We play primarily punk...need a bassist and singer to finish up. Gotta have gear."
Unitypunkrocka knows punk: "I think a lot of the stuff Nirvana did wasn't very interesting. Just because he uses 1 4 5 1 chord progressions in songs and other 'punk' progressions doesn't mean that the songs are punk rock. If you wanna be that theory oriented about punk...most of the drum beats were just plain rock and roll beats, nothing particularly punk about them."
StraightEdgePetey knows nothing: "@#%$ Kurt Cobain, druggie piece of @#%$. Because of him, kids take heroin...I suggest either banning all Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis records. That's something that needs to occur if we wish to conquer the war on drugs."
Clumsystupid is lonely: "I think my last roommate moved out because I kept saying 'The world ain't round it's square' and getting liquored up and playing Tammy Wynette and the Troggs and beating the sh*t out of him."
Olly The Limey is angry: "I just read this big article in this week's LA Weekly about raving and how it's dead and how it's all commercialized...I was like ready to punch the friggin writer by the end, for ruining my day."
Pond/pie girl is nervous: "I don't know what it is about you fellow dancers but every time I am out it hasn't failed yet that I have fallen, tripped, or managed to injure another...please tell me that I am not the only one that this happens to. I seriously make a fool out of myself at every event."
Katherine A. is dangerous: "I've given and received some blows...there was the huge knee bruise I got a few weeks ago; the time I poked poor Tom in the eye; hit Paul in the face with a fingernail; clobbered Kermit in the face; stepped on feet; tripped over my own feet...there are just so many!"
Mikey S wants to aim high: "I'm a punk singer/songwritter looking to start a band...I write lyrics but I need music writers. Good punkereds willing to grow as musicians, I have high goals. Punks only please."
Kjude wants to get high: "Looking to start an Irish Pub-style band. I'm 28 and a self taught guitarist (3-4 yrs) who doesn't know much about Irish music. With the right people though, figuring it out could be half the fun. I have a job and don't want to be a rockstar, but free beer would be cool."
AdNauseam wants to rock: "I'm moving to San Diego in about two months and I will be starting a band. Hard to describe the sound I'm looking for...Lo-fi, no-fi, no-wave punk...I am very dedicated and need people in generally the same vein of music. I am more concerned with this rather than what instrument you may play."
Joe Scandal just wants to fck: "Fck the corporation, fck the money, fck the internet, fck this computer, fck McDonalds, fck this fcked up world."
9 - CRAIGSLIST FUNNIES
Some excerpts from ads placed in the San Diego Music section of www.craigslist.
“Heroine addicts need not apply.” (So no Supergirl collectors)
“Need female dancers…no flukes or groupiers please.” (We’re allergic to fish)
“Must be god centered and ready and willing to spread only positive massages.” (Yeah, negative massages never have a happy ending)
“CD artwork…can provide samples on speculum.” (Said the freelance gynecologist?)
“Every day that goes by without a gig, [I] get closer to killing everyone in my neighborhood.” (Another reason to avoid living next door to a drummer)
“Looking for female dancer who sings…vocal talent not necessary. Must weigh 9 or 10 on hottie scale.” (Pounds?)
“We are revalutionery street poets none for our acapollo freestile raps.” (Turn off Showtime At The Acapollo and go buy a dictionary)
“Heavy singer looking for heavy band to make heavy music.” (What, is Meat Loaf outta work again?)
“Bing Crosby needs Bob Hope. Singing comic or funny singer needed to put together variety act…don’t be stuck up.” (Unless you're El Vez)
“Tired of playing with yourself? Let me help.” (Groupies-R-Us?)
“Metal guitarist looking to form or join group…not into Cookie Monster sounding vocals.” (So forget about me playing that Dr. Teeth reunion)
“Funeral vocalist. Fill your loved one’s farewell with heavenly music....Classical, popular, traditional. Military burials (National Anthem). At chapel, funeral home, graveside, in-home.” (Can I get that to-go?)
- URLWATCHING: LOCAL WEBSITE REVIEWS
CITYVIBZ.COM<p>Cityvibz.com features "urban entertainment guides" with recreation and restaurant directories for about two dozen U.S. cities, including San Diego.
According to the mainpage, "CityVibz is about discovering the perfect nightclub or bar, something unique, or eclectic, or just up your neighborhood...[finding] a sightseeing tour that is all about you, discovering the arts including music, dance, theatre, and visual arts."
The project was launched by two "consulting industry" experts, Nirav Shah and Dale Pope, after the duo found few nightlife guides while working for firms in California. "We realized that people like to know what’s going on in their city. They want to know popular places to dance, to drink, to dine, to see live music, but they are also interested in looking for those unique, offbeat, and eclectic places that are hard to find."
Selecting a club category reveals a list of venues judged to fit broad definitions like college, Latin, pool hall, all ages, comedy, eclectic, pub crawl, Asian, live music, sports, brew pub, cruises, lounge, tavern, cabaret, dance club, cigar bar, gentlemen/adult, neighborhood pub, theme, dinner/dancing, Irish, offbeat, wine bar, house, dinner/music, karaoke and piano bar.
Browsing the "San Diego" section paints a surreal picture of the city's nightlife. Not necessarily inaccurate - just amusingly selective.
Clicking "after hours" results yields a sobering message reading "Sorry, no bars/clubs found of type after hours." Apparently, all those dusk till dawn raves you thought you attended were contact-high hallucinations due to close proximity to X-addled teenyboppers.
By the same token, our city also lacks any venues catagorizable as "gay," "lesbian," or featuring a "drag revue," which must come as some surprise to dozens of Hillcrest business owners and patrons. Someone in Toronto cybersluething in advance of a visit to our fair city would think us a dull lot indeed.
The site lists several clubs that are now closed – some for years. Another weird glitch happens when you click on “Music,” to open a page upcoming concert events. At this writing, all the concerts that pop up are happening at the House Of Blues…in Cleveland.
I know most HOBs are indistinguishable from each other...unless you're in Anaheim, which is now a heavy metal-free zone, by order of King Mouse...but is it possible those wacky webmeisters running this site don’t know the difference between San Diego and Cleveland?!?
PEPPERLAND @ http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palms/4096/
John and George are dead. Ringo’s on the same moldy-oldies tour circuit as KC And The Sunshine Band. Paul’s possibly dead and replaced by a plastic surgery-altered double…either that, or he’s addled by weed to the point of near-incoherency (tho if I had an ex trying to hoover a hundred million outta my pocket, I’d wanna buzz too).
So where on the www can one relive those hazy, hopeful days of Sgt. Pepper, love beads, and Nehru jackets, and how does one recreate in the mind’s eye the smell of smoking bongs and burning bras?
“You are at the intersection of Abbey Road and Penny Lane” is your greeting when you trip onto local webmaster Gary Ng’s Pepperland site, a densely packed Beatles tribute set up so visitors can take various “tours” through moptop history, both real and imaginary. The sixties psychedelic homepage graphics load quickly. Animated “Hard Day’s Night” photos of the lads pop up, while a yellow submarine spins happily and lyrics scroll across the page. “Turn off your mind, relax and float downsteam [sp] ...”
Click on the Flying Glove of Love, and you’re taken on a tragical history tour of the band’s career, integrated with crisply reproduced photos - one of them an outtake from the notorious “Yesterday And Today” sessions with the group covered in dismembered doll parts and raw meat.
Not only were the Beatles (as John once blurted out) “more popular than Christ” at the time, but the bloody death-fixated imagery rivaled that of the Savior’s own PR crew. This seems to have upset an awful lot of people at the time, judging from the hysterical historical accounts offered here.
“What If The Beatles Never Broke Up?” is the premise of a detailed fictional tour which has fun imagining what solo songs would have ended up on Beatles LPs of the seventies. Author Joseph Giammanco is certainly obsessive and somewhat retentive, but definitely an imaginative fan/expert.
Collectors’ tips are offered in another section. Recent news can be accessed, tho it’s not very recent, and there’s a list of links to Beatles clubs and related sites, including San Diego’s Come Together and their annual BeatleFair.
Short but somewhat loud soundclips open along with most pages (“I’m Ringo and I play the drums” on the “Ringo News” page, for instance). Hardcore fans can find scholarly bootleg reviews, though these are offered with the caveat “Don’t ask me where to buy them! Find your own source and bring your checkbook.” Another caveat: pay close attention to where your curser wanders.
“Whatever you do, do not press this button.”
“You’ve detoured into Yoko Land.”
“Enter at your own risk.”
Herein lies Yoko poetry. A Yoko bio. An Anthology-era interview (sample: “It [Anthology] was something that I thought would be more counterproductive to stop”).
“I told you not to push that button.”
If Yoko’s not to your taste, Yoko Land does offer many link opportunities to “Get back to where you belong by clicking on the following tours.”
Many will greet these escape-hatch links with a hearty “Thank Christ” - who hopefully doesn’t still hold a grudge about that whole “popularity” thing, even if events over the last quarter century indicate that He may still be exacting His righteous revenge on the Liverpool lads.
MOSHKING.COM<p>Moshking.com calls itself "The best source on the net for information on all metal and guitar driven hard rock concerts, events, and local bands in the Southern California area."
It appears hair farmers and metalheads have so many places to bang their heads that Moshking's "Metal Concerts" page is updated constantly. Around 125 hard rock heavies from San Diego are listed on the "Local Bands" page, with self-penned profiles ["No more than 80 words"] and links to their own websites.
To earn a listing, the King Of Moshing insists "The band must be metal, not some funk/reggae/alternative/salsa/jazz fusion band with minuscule elements of metal mixed in. The band must have a website with MP3s, or other media, of their music. The band must be on active performance status [and] has to have played a show within a year and a half's time."
It's entertaining to read the words of locals describing their own musical endeavors.
"Cage has the conviction and integrity to make people once again feel the awesome power that only heavy metal music can provide."
"Out of the depths of blackest hell, Warface has risen, breeding a new genre of death metal, combining furious technical riffing and brutal pounding chunk. Disturbing the weak minded with a new brand of lyrical content. Warface is a San Diego based trio that exploded onto the scene with the intent to support and add to its brutality."
"Mixing the intensity of bands like Carcass and Discordance Axis, Cattle Decapitation redefine the 'goregrind' genre using highly disturbing and provocative subjects such as cannibalism, genocide and vegetarianism."
"Cessation Of Life...think of a train rolling down the tracks with almost an unmeasurable level of power. Then think of a bullet leaving the muzzle of a long-range rifle. Then add a cocktail of inner city stress, bumper to bumper traffic, toxic waste, tele-marketers calling you and then you realize it's only Monday!"
"Inner Adiction [sp] is five angry p*ssed-off musicians generated from a melting pot of influence...determined to drive heavy music back to the masses."
"From driving rockers to dark ballads, Krush's music pulses with intensity and conviction. Interwoven through all of their music is the message of salvation and new life in Jesus Christ. Krush's motto is 'Shout it from the mountain tops, and if they can't hear you, use a really loud PA!' "
Those who post on the site's "Message Board" wax philosophical about weighty subjects such as the thread topic "SoCal Sucks ss." Username LK opines that "Everybody is competitive, and nobody talks to each other." Hellcat replies with a possible solution - "Metal will benefit from the selfless contributions of all." No further postings take this train of thought any further so the consensus among metalheads seems to be that SoCal still sucks ss.
RE "Handicapped Discrimination at Rock and Roll Shows," Trashed says "A friend of mine can only purchase one extra seat in the handicapped section at several venues in Southern California...is it discriminatory to limit the number of seats that a handicapped person can purchase for a show, when the general public is allowed to purchase 4 or 6 tickets in the area adjacent or adjunct to where they have designated the handicapped may sit?" The thread ends here for now but it's a thought provoking topic worth following up on.
Unfortunately, the majority of message board postings are along the lines of "Please Check Out My New Tunes" by FreddyMedal. "I did get some response from Long Paul at KNAC for my song about the 2000 election," he says, adding "My song 'She's Got You (By The Balls)' kicks *ss!"
Of course, he later claims "I sing in the style of Danzig/Gene Simmons," so whether FreddyMedal's song kicks ss or sucks ss is open to interpretation.
The message board also offers hookup opportunities. Guitarchic is looking for a bassist and guitarist, but can't seem to make up her mind whether she wants her band to be popular or not. "Wanting to create material with depth. None of that mainstream over exploited packaged bull****. Although wanting to appeal to all audiences (musicians/mainstream)."
Burningthecross can't seem to make up her mind either. She's a female drummer who says "I am looking for death metal or doom metal, or a combo of both...I am also looking to work with nice people who are friendly and creative and open minded." Good luck.
Jamelle is a death metal singer dying to find a band. "I just have to sing...I gotta get it out. So if you like death metal, and like to play death metal (I.E. Morbid Angel, Obituary, Malevolent creation, etc.) give me a try." Don't expect Jamelle to kill himself for the gig, though. "Not willing to travel more than an hour."
Axeman is looking for a drummer and a singer. "Guitarist and bass player looking for musicians to form Megadeth tribute band. We have equipment/transportation, want to hook up with fun people and have a good time, play some gigs. No drugs, ego, attitude, etc." This begs the question "How can you impersonate Dave Mustaine without ego?"
Links appear and disappear. For awhile, one lead to "The Metal For Jesus Page." "On this site you will find lots of links to Christian metal bands, a comparison chart that compares Christian and mainstream metal bands...and lots of other cool features."
"The Bunghole" website is referred to as "The world's first exclusive Metal Search Engine," apparently for metalheads with the urge to search a Bunghole for kick ss music that doesn't suck ss.<p>LongHairedMen.com profiles “men with long hair and the women who love them," while CaliforniaLongHairs.com is "dedicated to the longhaired freaks of California." Organizers of the latter even throw parties to bring together the people who frequent or are featured on the site, perhaps so they can compare notes on how to clean hair clogs from the shower drain and whether brushes made of horsehair or fiber are better for keeping curls tight.
Concert reviews usually include fan-shot photos and setlists. The only show writeup recently uploaded to the site seems to be Slayer at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 8-24-07 (“The show started with a pentagram filled white curtain...”). Most other concert reviews look to be a year or more old.<p>Moshking.com bumper stickers are available in exchange for a self addressed stamped envelope. It appears this process is quite complicated to the average metalhead, judging from the site's detailed instructions:
"1. Take a regular 4 1/8 inch x 9 1/2 inch envelope, address it to yourself, and stamp it. 2. Take the first envelope, fold it up, put it in a second regular 4 1/8 inch x 9 1/2 inch envelope, and address the second envelope to: 2 Free Bumper Stickers Moshking.com Entertainment P.O. Box 1605 Glendora, CA 91740 3. stamp the second envelope and send it off. Again, please follow the instructions above carefully."
Um, perhaps some (many?) metalheads need someone to read the directions aloud FOR them?
IMO, here's the funniest pre-Spinal Tap metalhead spoof ever - Blotto, doing "Metal Head," from the classic USA program Night Flight.
And another pre-Tap classic - UK's Bad News, with members of the Young Ones, destroying Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
PEPPER & SUPERVILLAINS AT HOUSE OF BLUES: 1-2-09
[SHOW PHOTOS BEING UPLOADED SHORTLY]
Nearly-famous former neighbors Pepper returned to San Diego tonight for a homecoming set at the downtown HOB, backing up their buddies in the Supervillains. Awhile back, Pepper relocated to Kailua Kona, Hawaii, but many locals still consider Pepper to be hometown heroes. The show was open to all-ages.
“The first leg of the Law Records Tour was insane every night, and this one is shaping up to be even crazier,” emailed Supervillains singer/guitarist Scott Suldo shortly before the show. “Supervillains are direct-supporting Pepper, and our horn players make cameos all over Pepper's set. Being Slightly Stoopid’s hometown as well, there's a chance we might bring out Kyle [McDonald] because he appears on our new album [Massive], but I don’t know if they're gonna be in town or not.”
Our freelance photog-on-the-spot Sage Robinson (www.myspace.com/yourmoneylady) has been reporting live from the concert, along with her friend Sylvia, though she says they didn’t think much of Pepper.
“Pepper’s drummer’s girlfriend took away our photo pass, apparently because she was jealous of us taking pictures,” according to Sage. “Pepper was not friendly to help us at all…they were complete a-holes! We were not even allowed to take photos of them!”
“Supervillains rocked, though Kyle from Slightly Stoopid didn’t show to play with them. Passafire opened the show, and they rocked. They were very down to earth, with great music!”
As this report is coming in, just after the show, Sage and her friend Sylvia are hanging out with Passafire at Sage’s place.
“I asked them if they Overheard in San Diego anything funny or dumb for your comic, and they said not until they got to my place!! Anyway, they were dancing prom style like a penguin with my girlfriend Sylvia. She is wasted right now…at the moment, she is singing Boys II Men’s ‘Legacy’ while dancing penguin style with Cliff (lead guitar for Passafire), who happens to play white reggae with the band. Picture to be uploaded shortly!” Pepper landed its first big break several years ago, when L.A. DJ "Jed the Fish" got his station (KROQ-FM) to play the reggae/rock trio's "Give It Up." That airplay spurred other stations across the country to play the song, which in turn launched a label bidding war over the band (which includes guitarist Kaleo Wassman and bassist Bret Bollinger). "There were, like, five labels," Pepper drummer Yesod Williams told Blurt (June 30, 2005). "Columbia, Interscope, Maverick...we went with Lava/Atlantic because they only release, like, 13 records a year. Capitol releases, like, 300." Lava gave the band a three-album deal. "Nowadays, no one gets huge advances," admits Williams. "But we're happy with the deal, to say the least." Pepper moved to Vista from Hawaii in 1999, eventually landing a deal with Volcom Entertainment. They started working with Matt Phillips of Silverback Management (Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone) in 2003. Phillips took "Give It Up" -- originally released in 2002 -- to KROQ. "It was similar to 'Date Rape' by Sublime," says Phillips. "That song was around for three years until it took off [via radio airplay]." The 2007 Warped Tour included Pepper and fellow locals As I Lay Dying. In their ten-year existence, the Supervillains have taken their resurgent ska and reggae sound from Oakland CA to all over the world. Since the 2006 release of their debut album Grow Yer Own on Law Records, the band has logged over 400 shows. Their patented sound is generated by a rock-solid rhythm section including two vocalists in band founders Scott Suldo (guitar) and Dominic Maresco (drums). Bassist Daniel Grundorf provides the low-end super-glue that paves the way for the fiery horn section of Jonathan Cestero (tenor sax) and Ricardo San Jose (trumpet). Their "anything goes" live performances give way periodically to their onstage musings and commentary, which often times is as memorable as the music. Capitalizing on the many different musical influences of the band members, their sets usually volley between Operation Ivy-style speed-punk and Studio One-era reggae punctuated with southern harmonies and Latin brass. The Supervillains’ newest album Massive was released November 25 on Law Records, in conjunction with Silverback Entertainment's new umbrella Controlled Substances SoundLabs (Sony RED).
More like this:
- Tattoo Rock & A Pile Of Shat — Feb. 13, 2008
- Undercover Chronicles #1 - I Was An Undercover Ticket Scalper — Nov. 19, 2007
- The Day Beach Boy Brian Wilson Got Busted in Balboa Park — Sept. 18, 2007
- Red Bull race plane collides with Pylon — Sept. 11, 2007
- Trash in the City — Aug. 30, 2007