Days of Lore

Turning journalese
A journalism conference is an interesting place, especially when it’s of the alternative-weekly variety—young men and women wearing glasses and shoulder bags mingle together while a few grizzled vets with awkwardly located parts in their hair and wing tips on their feet walk around with beleaguered looks on their faces (I fall somewhere pathetically in the middle).

These seekers of truth have one thing in common: They are never seen without a cup of coffee or a glass of alcohol in their hands. And there seems to always be a slight scent of competitiveness that hangs in the air like a fart in an elevator. But these things really invigorate me … journalism conferences, not farts.

I got so wrapped up in learning how to uncover evil corporations’ shady dealings that I didn’t even make it to see Vampire Weekend on Friday. And tickets to the band’s March dates in San Francisco sold out in minutes, only to promptly end up on eBay for twice the price.

Instead I saw a free show at Edinburgh Castle the following night, and the entire experience proved that I am not so smart. Here’s a brief synopsis of the performance that night: horrible, shabby, dreadful, stinky, gross, awful, god-awful, crummy, horrendous, shitty, atrocious, ghastly, appalling, abysmal and hideous.

It wasn’t really that painful; I just wanted to see how many synonyms for “bad” I could use in a sentence.

People, I got somethin’ to tell ya!
Well, I’ll be damned. Here’s something else that qualifies as horrible, shabby, dreadful, stinky, gross, awful, god-awful, crummy, horrendous, shitty, atrocious, ghastly, appalling, abysmal and hideous—which is what makes it so effin’ good.

I recently caught wind of a compilation of epic proportions. Someone with a lot of time on their hands has put together a collection of Paul Stanley’s bestest between-song banter, titled People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest. This 86MB download includes 70 tracks that highlight the KISS frontman getting the Army to its feet with 35 years of some of the coolest stage rappin’ to ever come from a pair of lipsticked lips. You have everything from the Starchild yelling about guzzling “Cold Gin” to him pontificating political on the “evil people who hate the United States of America for the wonderful lives we have here.”

At times funny; at others just plain painful—and I’ll bet good money more people own this than Paul Stanley’s solo album released last year. Sigh … now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go weep like a little girl.

Eurothrash guys
I’m glad to see that some rock ’n’ rollers of the metallic kind are getting out of the country. The Makai (who have been absent from this column for a while now) are gearing up for a European tour to support their first full-length, The End of All You Know, which was released last year on Seventh Rule Recordings.

The band will kick things off with a couple of local tour-benefit shows, the first taking place Friday, Feb. 8, at Nick’s Night Club. It should be a mother of a show with music for all tastes including West By Swan, S.F. ska punkers La Plebe, Sleazy Earl Ray and the 2 Drink Minimum and DJ Matt Loomis. The second show is at Monstros Pizza Saturday, Feb. 16, with MADMOM, The Americas and Redding’s The Red Robot.

The Makai will ship off to the Netherlands Feb. 27, and end up in Germany March 22 (I wanna go!)—so throw them some money, brassieres and good cheer.

The Big Show
A tribute to Matt Hogan will be held Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Chico Elks Lodge (1705 Manzanita Ave.). The performance will include a slew of local musicians who have befriended and played with Hogan over the years. It all starts at 1 p.m. and goes till whenevah.