Every now and then, I get a bug to catch some band that I didn’t get to see back in the day. That’s what we did last night. I went with my husband, Carlos, and my buddy, Roo, to go see The Ocean Blue. It was the final engagement of the band’s two-night stint at Satellite, a Silver Lake club that we used to know as Spaceland.
The Ocean Blue were pretty well-known amongst alternative radio listeners around the cusp of the 1980s and 1990s, before grunge was a thing. They had some hits on KROQ out here in Los Angeles, songs like “Drifting Falling” and “Between Something and Nothing.” Back when those tunes were all the rage, I was a few years away from a driver’s license, so there were no Ocean Blue concerts on my calendar back then. Continue reading →
We’re sitting on a second-floor patio of a building on the side of Chinatown near Union Station. We’re high enough above street level to watch ant-sized cars creep downhill from Dodger Stadium. I wonder if there is going to be a mad rush into this neighborhood to grab a French dip sandwich at Philippe’s before they close in another hour or so. If that happened, I didn’t notice. The streets are already lined with parked cars. Maybe people just left after the 7th inning to get their sandwiches.
Inside the club, the bands– Secret Society of the Sonic Six and Deathstrip– are sound checking. It’s loud enough where we can hear the music clearly on the patio. We’re also near a glass door, so it doesn’t take much of a stretch to peer inside. It looks and sounds like this is going to be a special night. It is.
Sometime after 10:30, Deathstrip heads towards the stage for the actual performance. This is the band’s first live gig, but you wouldn’t notice that. The singer is Fate Fatal from The Deep Eynde. That’s a band that has been ruminating in the L.A. goth scene for well over a decade. Fate was actually amongst the first group of musicians that I interviewed, way back when I was a college kid hosting a radio show on KXLU. I got to talk to him a bit before the gig, which was great. We hadn’t seen each other in years. Continue reading →
Previously, I mentioned that I have two DJ gigs this week. That’s changed. Thursday night’s Zerox party has been postponed. The new date is June 13. The venue, Le Cuevita, has not changed and I will still be the guest DJ that night. RSVP on Facebook to keep tabs on what will certainly be a fun party.
I am, however, still playing at Deadcadence on Saturday and am incredibly excited about this gig. I’ve been attending Deadcadence parties for a long time now and have a great admiration for the promoters. They are dedicated to booking interesting, underground talent. It’s an honor to be playing with them. Continue reading →
Back in high school, I would listen to “I Am a Poseur,” the X-Ray Spex song, with absolute fascination. Here was the frontwoman of one of the crucial bands of the punk era saying that this is all a facade. The irony is that it wasn’t. Poly Styrene was the real deal, someone who started a band just because she thought she could. She was a feminist icon for the weird teenagers of my generation, kids who came up in the age of Riot Grrrl.
This song was running through my head when I looked through the photos from the Met Ball that’s celebrating punk or something like that. Those images from last night championed the facade. That’s it.
Los Animales is back. Today marks the beginning of Nadarave, the second story in the webcomic series that I created with my pal Jeaux Janovsky. I’m really excited about this story. It’s a little different from Fours on the Floor, our first chapter, in that it’s more of an ensemble piece. The characters look a little different too. That’s because we didn’t want the designs to get too static. You’ll see Manda, Dani, Pedro and the rest evolve throughout the series.
In other news, I have two DJ gigs coming up this week. On Thursday, I’ll be playing at Zerox. This is a monthly club at La Cuevita (aka Little Cave) in Highland Park hosted by my pal Eric Dead. We’ll be playing a mix of underground ’80s tunes ranging from punk to new wave to ska to psychobilly. I’ll be digging up some of my favorites and hope to play at least a few jams that you haven’t heard in a while. This party is free. It’s also 21+. Check out the Facebook invite for more information.
On Saturday, I will be playing at DEadCADENCE, a monthly party at Roberto’s in Chinatown that focuses on death rock, minimal synth, post-punk, etc. I’ll be joining DJs Tony-X, Andy Smith and Juann Alternativah. There will also be live performances from Death Strip and Secret Society of the Sonic Six. This will be a very exciting show and I hope you can make it. This is a 21+ party and the cover is $5 before 10:30 p.m., $7 thereafter. More info on Facebook.
Last night was Underground vs. Amoeba. Larry G. and Diana M. played at Amoeba in Hollywood early Friday night. At the same time, I was playing a pretty hefty opening set at the Grand Star. I was just thinking about how cool it would be to do a split-screen webcast of something like that. Regardless, Larry and Diana joined us at the Grand Star later that evening and we traded off sets as normal. It was a fun night with a good crowd. Check out what I played. (Note: I tweeted the above photo while I was packing my crate. Ended up playing two out of six of those selections.) Continue reading →
Here’s my set lists from Underground on Friday night. We celebrated Robert Smith’s birthday by playing The Cure and other related stuff.
Best moment of the night was when I played “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry. I only brought it because “Boys Don’t Cry,” as I’m sure you know, is also a Cure song. Wasn’t expecting it to do well, but people were all packed on the dance floor dancing with imaginary lassos. Continue reading →
A funny thing has been happening at Underground lately. People have been going nuts for the old L.A. goth club staples. Clan of Xymox gets people running to the dance floor. We get requests for Xmal Deutschland. It’s a little unexpected, but we decided to go with it and throw a party called Shadowplay last night. We said it was our goth night. It’s really a lot more than that.
We had a full dance floor before 11 p.m. I remember seeing my friend Tony walk into the club and I wanted to play this Creatures song, “Right Now,” for him because we used to always dance to it together back in the days of Helter Skelter and Coven 13. Then I looked at my phone and realized it was way too early for “Right Now.” I waited.
I got my start as a Coven 13 DJ. I’m incredibly grateful for that gig because that’s where I learned to work a dance floor. The gig also put me in touch with the bands who I would bring up to my radio show for interviews. That led to writing. So, Coven 13 played a pretty important role in my career.
After I graduated from college, I left Coven 13 and left the goth scene behind. I started playing at other clubs, playing different styles of music. Sure, I still went to the clubs here and there to see my friends play, but I was preoccupied with other stuff. Last night was probably the closest I’ve gotten to playing a goth dance party in over a decade. It was a lot of fun. I think my favorite moment was when I played “She Sells Sanctuary” and the whole room just went crazy on the dance floor.
I had too much music for last night. I cut my picks in half. Then I cut them in half again. Filled a crate as tightly as I could. I still played less than half of what I brought. We really need to do this again. Continue reading →
There’s a movie called Disco Godfather, or The Avenging Disco Godfather (thanks, Josh). It stars Rudy Ray Moore. Disco Godfather has just about everything I can ask for in a ’70s movie. There are big dance numbers, epic martial arts sequences and freaky hallucinations.
Moore plays Tucker Williams, an ex-cop who becomes a hot shot nightclub impresario. He runs a cool club, DJs with finesse and has more than a few martial arts moves at his disposal. The latter comes in handy when his nephew gets messed up on angel dust. Tucker Williams, introduced as the “Disco Godfather,” is a cool dude. He doesn’t just turn up in the booth for his set, he dances his way through the crowd before taking over the ones and twos. I want to party with Disco Godfather.
The club in the movie is called Blueberry Hill. It doesn’t look a think like the Blueberry Hill I imagined when I first heard the Fats Domino song. The exterior looks like pretty much every aging bar that dots main streets from the Valley to the South Bay. We’ll call it California Ranch Mini-Mall.
There’s a $3 cover for Blueberry Hill. As cheap as that is, I would rather be on the guest list, just so I can hustle up to the door in my disco leotard, bow tie and fedora and say, “I’m on Disco Godfather’s list.”
I want to slide across the beautiful black and white dance floor and spin under the disco ball. When Disco Godfather screams, “Put your weight on it,” I want to thrust all however-many-pounds of me into one sweeping grand jeté.
Mostly, though, I want to spin vinyl in Disco Godfather’s DJ booth. The equipment probably isn’t too great. After all, this movie was made in 1979. But– omg!– the booth lights up into sparkly disco patterns. I’ve danced on glittery floors but have never once played in a booth with all those little tiny lights. Can you imagine the walls surrounding you shimmering like stars as you drop a Sylvester track? Can you think of any club moment more amazing than that? I can’t. I think this has been my dream since I was a little girl playing with a Lite-Brite. I just didn’t realize it until last night.
I had budgeted $40 to spend at Beat Swap Meet this weekend. Yesterday, I spent $30. So, with a leftover $10, plus a single I found at the bottom of my handbag, I headed back to the record shopping event in Chinatown.
Overall, I preferred yesterday’s selection, which was pretty heavy on synthpop, new wave and indie rock. Still, I managed to come out of the event with four new purchases that cost a grand total of $8. Here’s what I got.
Tapps “My Forbidden Lover” 12″
This was my big $5 splurge. I saw it at the back of a very small synthpop/italo disco section at one of the vendor booths inside the Grand Star. I grabbed it. Fortunately, I bit my tongue before I started screaming with glee over the sound system inside the bar.
This jam has been on my mind a lot lately. It started with my friend Andre playing it in his sets and continued when Carlos and I heard it Sirius. I might spend the rest of the night dancing to this song. Continue reading →