Days of Lore

You’ve got mail
One of the perks of this job (aside from the six figures and the attention that I so very much enjoy) is the mail—countless packages, letters and e-mails—that I receive on a weekly basis. They’re not all addressed to me, mind you, but I do end up with a lot of whatnots and what-have-yous that demand immediate attention.

Singer-songwriters and the PR people who love them
I must admit, I still get excited when I see my box stuffed with manila envelopes containing new music, even though I know damn well there’s a 90 percent chance it’s going to be some horrible singer-songwriter with an even more hideous bio—for example, this one from Jason Reeves “It’s as if the blood flowing through his veins is composed of bits and pieces of poems that give him life and that he, in turn, shares with the world.”


I have received in my hands some decent music in the past two weeks, including
The Arctic Monkeys’ latest release—which I ever-so-lovingly handed over to associate editor and Monkey-lover Meredith J. Cooper.

Two discs that have made it onto my desk, where I stash all of the good CDs like a little tree squirrel, come from the Pacific Northwest. Das Llamas is sort of a rowdier version of Interpol … and not so gloomy. The trio will release their third record, World War, June 12. In the meantime, check out their MySpace page (, especially the song “The Others.” Das Llamas vocalist Kerry Zettel has also released a solo record under the name See Me River. Not bad, but you’d be better off sticking to the former.

Another disc that’s been getting some play around here is the self-titled EP from Portland’s The Friends of Rock-N-Roll, a lovely, sleazy mix of AC/DC and Slade. This is fun stuff. Notable track: “I Wanna Get Dirty With You.”

“This product may cause gum disease and tooth loss”
But it’s not all rock ‘n’ roll, all the time, here at the CN&R … we also get drugs! We recently received an interesting package that included samples of the latest innovations in smokeless tobacco, two tiny green boxes that beckoned me like a child in a candy store.

The first was for a product called Stonewall, a hard snuff tobacco that comes in the form of a vitamin-like pill made of compressed tobacco. Simply pop it in the ol’ boca and let the little guy dissolve in your mouth. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT chew or swallow whole! Miss J. Cooper, being the good sport she is, decided to take one with me. Neither of us could finish one, but I’d love to shake the hand of whoever invented a spit-free tobacco tablet.

I don’t feel so good.

Helping Hands
All of the really gnarly e-mails don’t always come directly to me … but they always seem to end up in my mailbox. Like the press release for the seventh annual
Masturbate-a-Thon, which will be held May 26 in S.F. in honor of National Masturbation Month. (I must mention that May is also Mental Health Awareness Month and National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.)

The event is put on by The Center for Sex and Culture, a nonprofit sex-ed center (also in S.F. … shocking) that tries to educate non-judgmental sex education outside of the unrealistic teachings of finger-wagging Bible-thumpers.

Oh yeah … the Masturbate-a-Thon! It’s exactly how you might envision it. It’s a live-group event where participants raise money through individual sponsorships for “every minute they masturbate, or for each orgasm claimed.” Guess they use the honor system. Hmmm … gets me to thinking, the City Plaza is free on Sunday nights. Anyone?