Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Proper Mosh Etiquette: Mind Your Manners

A recent study by the American Music Recreation Foundation suggested moshing is the top contributor of bruises to the upper torso region of concert goers. While the study is in fact a fallacy, and no one in their right mind cares to do a study on the ill effects of moshing, I wouldn’t necessarily disregard the physical pains of moshing. Being an aficionado of the Lucha Libre, I’ve seen the resemblance between the tired faces of the rudos leaving the ring and those of moshers leaving the pit. In order to prevent being swallowed in the abyss of cheap black vinyl and sweat, I’ve put together, through the means of careful observation and half-assed assumptions, a few rules on proper mosh etiquette for all music fans to follow. First, concert goers must at all times remain alert for a mosh formation. A mosh pit initially begins with innocuous shoves from one individual to another, progressively growing in force and strength, ultimately leading to the participation of many in what can be deemed a carnal practice, traditionally in the form of a pit.
As a general rule, both men and woman should be allowed to enter the pit at their own discretion. Women need to be especially on-guard as they have been known to lose both teeth and articles of clothing within its parameters.

Once in the pit, participants must access the movement of the moshing. That is, if people are pushing in a clockwise motion, participants should follow. If the flow is moving from outer to inner circle, do the same. Don’t attempt to go against the flow of the pit. Salmon do this against the tide to lay eggs, and then die. Learn from the salmon.

Once in the pit, men can get over-heated and eventually wreak a stench so foul even Europeans would protest. In consideration for the fellow music patrons, deodorant should be a priority before leaving home. Also, any shirt removal should be left to emaciated musicians.The activities in the pit should always remain energetic and lively. While it is important to maintain the integrity of the pit, all should be aware that injuries may occur. Therefore, those attendees scared or angry the pit is forming within their space should take heed and move away. The collective within the pit should comply by the unwritten rules of: 1) no targeted rushes towards specific individuals, 2) man-down assistance, and 3) no intentional attempts to inflict pain. Lastly, those wishing to crowd surf within the pit must also comply with weight and height restrictions. A 6’1¨ 310 lb. man should keep both feet on the floor. That cracking sound might just be someone’s neck. Women of that size should also do the same, for many more reasons not to be discussed. Further, surf is a metaphorical term. There is no actual swimming in the pit, so there is no need to kick. Kicking may lead to someone’s Chuck Taylors hanging from the singer’s mic stand, compliments of other fellow moshers. As for the surrounding observers, those typified by their crossed arms and slightly bobbing heads so as to disguise any hint of actually enjoying themselves, they must learn to coexist with the pit. Keep all ice in the cup and find a good spot to watch the show. Moshers may bump into observers, but no offense should be taken. However, moshers should take caution when getting to the nucleus of the pit so as to avoid knocking innocent victims over. More importantly, this will deter any stray alcohol from hitting the floor, a true travesty. Ultimately, it is the courageous few observers who form the wall of the pit. It’s not exactly Berlin united, but it’s a nice partnership. Everyone should be allowed to enjoy themselves at a show and unfortunately, there is only so much beer to go around, so it’s up to concert goers to make it lively and entertaining in their own way. The coexistence of the rowdy mosher and the laid back observer creates an interesting dynamic. With the addition of good performers and good music, it will be memorable show that doesn’t include three stitches above the eye.
by Gee Padilla, contributing writer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Morrissey Hollywood Palladium October 11 2007

Jack the Ripper
Stop Me if you Think You’ve Heard This One Before
Sister, I’m A Poet
The World is Full of Crashing Bores
The Boy With the Thorn in His Side
I Like You
The Loop
Death of a Disco Dancer
Billy Bud
Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself
Stretch Out And Wait
One Day Goodbye Will be Farewell
Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me
I’m throwing My Arms Around Paris
That’s How People Grow Up
Irish Blood, English Heart
All You Need Is Me
Last of the Famous International Playboys
Life is a Pigsty
How Soon is Now

First of the Gang to Die

A funny thing happened on the way to the Palladium, aside from the usual traffic nightmare otherwise known as the 101 freeway… we get to the palladium and had make a right off Sunset Blvd to find a place to park. After a couple of laps around the block my friend Ronny and I agreed to pull into the lot right across the street from the Palladium, parking everywhere was $20. Ronny pulls out a $100 bill, because that’s the way we roll, and hands it o the attendant. The attendant sees his Benji and denies it, apparently he only takes exact change! Now, there are about a hundred cars already in the lot, and the guy only takes exact change??? Asshole. We had to make a stop at the CVS pharmacy across the street to hit the ATM and get some twenties.

Being the astute businessman that he is, Ronny sold the extra ticket we had (below face value mind you) and we recuperated our parking rip off and still had some cash left over for the first round of bud lights (which were on a tap from an ice chest? WTF?).

I’m a veteran of 12 Morrissey concerts. I caught Morrissey’s Marc Jacobs sweaty white shirt from his show at the Arrowhead Pond and a drum stick from the Wiltern show in LA a few years back. (I later sold the Morrissey shirt for $350 to a die-hard moz fan). So I knew what to expect. I knew it would be impossible to get close to the stage… that space belonged to the fans who either spent the night in line or got there really early that morning… I had actually done the ‘get there really early’ thing the last time Morrissey played the palladium in 1999… and it’s really a waste. You spend hours in line and get a decent place by the stage, but only to be pushed up against sweaty girls and guys as others who didn’t get there so early tried to make their way as close to Morrissey as possible… tonight, I much rather enjoy a few drinks and appreciate from a distance.

Kristeen Young was the opening act… not to say the group was a White Stripes rip off… because I wouldn’t insult the White Stripes… Ronny and I took turns making beer runs and chatted with some old work mates and by the time Morrissey was about to go on we must have been on round number three.

Morrissey took the stage at approximately 21:07 by my clock to a rousing applause by ¾-full palladium. Morrissey and the lads opened with ‘Jack the Ripper’… the setlist must have been among the best of all the concerts I had been to, about twelve years worth. Though, as Morrissey got through the first couple of songs something didn’t feel quite right. As he sang ‘Tomorrow’, I began to miss the old lads… Alain Whyte and Gary Day… even though for a while I had a slight grudge against Whyte because he was the reason Morrissey canceled his Las Vegas show at the House of Blues (apparent back spasms) that I had gone to… but I was over it and now I was wishing he and Day were there.

The opening riff to ‘the Boy with a Thorn is his Side’ played and made my night… I’d never thought I would ever hear that song live! ‘The Loop’ was also great to hear… Solomon Walker led the lads strumming his stand up bass as the band took front and center, and the palladium was rocking!

There comes a specific time in every Morrissey show, especially if you’ve had a few, that you’re singing along and a lyric hits you right in the heart… and you pull out your cell phone and you text the lyric to someone… “the sanest days are mad…” I typed, “don’t rake up my mistakes, I know exactly what they are… and what do you do… well you just sit there… I’ve been stabbed in the back… so many, many times, I don’t have any skin… but that’s just the way it goes”. Yes, I texted the entire thing… unfortunately she doesn’t know much about Morrissey and she isn’t much a fan of metaphors.

“Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me… no hope, no harm, just another false alarm”, ok so I was texting again! This time I texted someone I knew would understand. She did, “so tell me how long… before the right one…” she responded. How priceless are those random moments when someone in a far off place can know exactly what you are thinking!

For years Morrissey has been described as depressing, “the ambassador of angst” wrote the Los Angeles Times. To those of us who have been loyally following him for years, obsessively reading each and every word of each and every song Morrissey is an artist, someone so talented that is able to get inside our minds, our hearts and our feelings and beautifully put those feelings into verses, into songs… he leads us like sheep into the dark, lonely corners of our thoughts… and then fearlessly leading us to a happier place. It is without wonder that Morrissey can host a ten-night residency without regular maintstream radio support.

“That’s How People Grow Up” was a new song that Morrissey interrupted because of some kind of technical sound problem… for a moment I wondered if Morrissey would continue… I wasn’t that close to the stage to figure out if the problem was fixed, but nonetheless the lads continued on.

Judging by the reaction, I could see that I wasn’t the only one who got goose bumps when ‘The Last of the Famous International Playboys’ was played. “Dear hero imprisoned, with all the new crimes that you are perfecting” the entire palladium crowd sang along… and Morrissey kindly put his microphone down and let the audience take over “I’m the last of the famous… international playboys…” Morrissey was having fun… and the audience didn’t miss a word… “I never wanted to kill… I’m not naturally evil… such things I do… just to make myself more attractive to you, have I failed? To which Morrissey responded emphatically “YES!!!”

It was near the end of the night and we had run into my buddy Veronica and a few of her friends who were enjoying the show not too far from where we were standing. Though ‘How Soon is Now’ is a tired song… we playfully toasted what was left of our drinks and with smiles on our faces, we sang our hearts out “So there’s a club that you’ve got to go.. you could meet somebody… who really loves you… so you go and stand on your own… and you leave on your own… and you go home and you cry and you want to die!” It was the sixth Smith song Morrissey had performed tonight. After all, the Hollywood Palladium was the venue where the Smiths performed in their first visit to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles! Morrissey closed with The First of the Gang to Die. The Palladium, which was closing for renovation at the end of Morrissey’s 10 show run, nearly came down ahead of schedule! Stage invaders attacked, everyone jumped, pushed and dragged their way to the front, it was everyone’s last chance to get to Morrissey. Keeping with tradition, Morrissey took off his shirt and tossed it to the wild crowd. It was a fitting end to a great night.

On the way home Ronny and I exchanged ex-girlfriend stories. A Morrissey concert can do that to you. That night I laid in my bed… still playing and replaying each moment of the unforgettable concert… “You have never been in love… we are the pretty petty thieves… and you’re standing on our streets… Hector was the first of the gang… and he stole from the rich and the poor and the not very rich- and the very poor… and he stole our hearts away… ahey he hey…“ my friend and I texted each other back and forth, and though ‘it may all end tomorrow’, tonight, we shall sing ourselves to sleep.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Love and Betrayal- My Julieta Venegas Story

Love and Betrayal- My Julieta Venegas Story
Where art thou my dear Juliet...

Chapter 1 Pleased to meet you.

Julieta Venagas used to be the shit. She was a proud member of our mundorockero and lead feminine voice of all things sad and depressing... She penned the badass hit "pobre de ti" while with Tijuana No and in '97 she released her first solo album "Aqui". Many have forgotten how great this album is... filled with sadness, with "aqui" would be praised by critics and Julieta welcomed to the rockera circle. Dust off "Aqui " from your cd self and be prepared... pictured on the cover a melancholic Venegas... with a nose ring!
Como Se (from the album Aqui)

como se si lo que dices es verdad,
no tengo derecho a reprocharpero
hace tempo que presientoalgo grita y dice esto
no es asípodría ser de alguna otra forma la cosa asi
¿quien es que te vienes creyendo?
¿como se que si sonríes significaque nos conocemos demasiado bien?
pero hace tiempo que presientocuando miras así algo queda sin decirpodría ser más sencillo,
no es así como lo planeamos
¿quien es que te vienes creyendo?
no impora ya que no te gustecomo lo digo,
aquí lo tienesno impora ya que no recuerdes,
ya te lo dije, ahí lo tienes
Chapter 2 I (heart) you Julieta- the courtship

Armed with her accordian... Venegas went back to the studio, with help from her friends (cafe tacuba, Botella de Jerez, Santa Sabina, producer Gustavo Santaolalla) her follow-up album Bueninvento was louder, electronic, it was rock, it was everything... my crush was over... I was now in love with Julieta Venegas. I remember going to the house of blues on sunset to see her for the first time. I remember this because not only was it one of the first times a random hot chick bought me a drink (why don't hot girls ever buy guys drinks?)but i remember it because Julieta looked uncomfortable on stage... she wore a conservative top and grey slacks with tennis shoes... she hardly said a word to the audience... i loved her more. She was the shy girl from her album cover (check it out, she can't even look at the camera).
Seria Feliz (from the album Bueninvento)

Si pudiera yo tenerte aqui hablandome de nada
y cuándo más y cuando másseguro es lo que me falta
si pudiera recuperarlo que no me tocó porque ya no hay
porque llegue muy tarde
seguro es por ahi
Tiempo suficiente me falta cada vez
vida suficiente me falta otra vez
Si solo tuviera un lugarpara expresar
mi neceasidad y alguien escucharalo que tengo aquieso sería
si tuviera el respeto de quienes no me toman en cuenta
si solo vieran de lo que soy capazes eso lo que me falta
seguro así sería felíz
Tiempo sufieciente me falta cada vez vida suficiente me falta otra vez
Si solo tuviera el colorde quienes parecen disfrutar
si él mismo me pintara a mi parece es por ahíseguro seria feliz...
si pudiera solo tuviera un lugar
Julieta would go on to tour with Jaguares, Jumbo, and la Gusana Ciega in 2000 on la gira Revoluccion and would capture the hearts of many. I met her on this tour and I couldn't bring myself to tell her how great she was and how I secretly loved her.. hey my ex-girlfriend would have gotten really mad.
Chapter 3 We need to talk. I don't even know you anymore!..
WTF? After years of anticipation for your next work you return from Argentina after a fling with Coti and you have this.... Si??? with your coquetish pose and wearing a wedding dress??? WTF Julieta. Who are you...
Algo Esta Cambiando (from the album Si)

Me hablas, preguntas, si nos podemos ver después
razones me sobranpero aunque quiera no lo sé siempre hay algo más,
que a simple vista no se veserá que hay algo más,
que a simple vista no…
Te asusta la idea de lo que pueda suceder,
decirte quisiera algo que te haga sentir bien,
pero es que hay algo más,
que a simple vista no se veserá que hay algo más,
que a simple vista no se ve.
Pero siento que hay en míalgo que esta cambiandono se ve…
Pero siento que hay en míalgo que esta cambiando
No pienses que olvido,
lo que me ha dado tu quererlo llevo conmigo,
así me puedo sentir bienpero es que hay algo más,
que a simple vista no se veserá que hay algo más,
que a simple vista no se ve.
Pero siento que hay en míalgo que esta cambiandono se ve…
Pero siento que hay en míalgo que esta cambiando
Que más quisiera yo,
que ser feliz y darte amor,
amorque más quisiera yo,
vivir feliz y darte amor,
Fuck yeah! Algo esta cambiando... no shit! Take a look at yourself!! The last great piece of music to come out of Argentina was Babasonicos and babe... this aint no Babasonicos! Just because it's cheap to produce an album there it doesn't mean you had to reinvent yourself! I don't support this makeover. I don't like it. Regardless, I went to the Venegas show at the El Rey... in a relationship you really do go through hardships and this couldn't be any different. But what? Not one song from Bueninvento... nothing from Aqui?? Who are you? It feels like that episode of the wonder years when Winnie Cooper starts hanging out with the cool kids... and eventually starts dating that nerdo Roger... and poor Kevin is heartbroken... Julieta is now wearing pumps and short jeans skirts... say what?
Chapter 4 You betrayed me... how could you?

I stood up for you when my friend Oscar declined my invitation to go to your concert at JC Fandango because he insisted that he couldn't stand women singers because a woman could never understand his emotions (he's in my top eight if you want to talk shit to him). The fouth album Limon y Sal... typical case of 'Jumping the Shark' when rocker turned popstar chooses to collaborate with a hip-hop artist on one track... it happended to Paula Abdul (skat strut)... Mariah Carey (Heartbreaker, but it happened a few times with her).. Shakira etc etc.. and now i'nm listening to "eres para mi"... 'Limon y Sal' you say que me quieres con limon y sal... tal y como estas... you say que eres para mi... then all of a sudden "me voy"??? porque no supiste entender mi corazon???? WTF??? you betrayed me!
Chapter 5 I'm single... the rebound.

Today... with my Amy Winehouse cd in hand I say to you... forget you Julieta Venegas!!! I'm over you.