Don’t let me be misunderstood

Sometimes you eat the Chinese restaurant, and sometimes the Chinese restaurant eats you.

Which is another way of saying that the wild Saturday night I’d planned on writing about ended up being spent curled up in bed. I didn’t even get the chance to meander around Midtown and personally apologize to all those belly dancers I’d slighted in that piece on Second Saturday a few weeks back.

So here it is, in print: I’m sorry I included your art form, with its long lineage that extends from Alexander the Great’s time through Elvis’ 1965 film Harum Scarum to the present, in a not-so-positive observation concerning drunken frat boys and other rabble. It’s just that when you put on rather revealing silky outfits and finger cymbals and you sheik yerbouti in the festival square, you’re less likely to be greeted by chin-scratching contemplation—“Hmm, Madame, would that particular form of dance be classified as raqs sharqi or raqs baladi?”—than you are with the kind of enthusiastic approval also seen in audiences at wet T-shirt contests. So I apologize. I like belly dancing. It’s the extras from Idiocracy I was commenting on.

Ever go through a period where everything you write gets misinterpreted? Using the True Love Coffeehouse’s reopening a few weeks back as a scaffold to hang some thoughts about life as an extension of high school, and how some of us sometimes feel like outsiders, but those thoughts and feelings originate in our own heads, but get stimulated by our physical surroundings, apparently was a mistake, too.

Or so Kevin Seconds wrote on his blog ( He’s certainly entitled to his opinion, and he’s quite articulate in expressing it, even if he called me a “fucking jerk” while saying some otherwise nice things. No comment, other than I’ll own that insult and call him a talented songwriter, punk-rock legend and visionary entrepreneur in return, and ask that the True Love name a jumbo extra-caffeine mocha with mint and cardamom after me. Call it the Fucking Jerk. Ask for one soon!

Playing catch-up with a couple of fine local EPs: The first, It’s Only Temporary by the Inversions, features five songs reminiscent of the late 1960s that sound a little like some psychedelic bands did, before the drugs inspired them to extend their songs to album-side lengths and beyond. That style, with its martial beats and chord progressions that swerve back and forth between major and minor triads with a few sevenths thrown in, is what those psych bands came up with when they listened to equal parts British Invasion bands and folk revival acts. The tunes (written by members Will Comstock, Adam Varona and Ryan Offield) are quite winning, especially the Varona and Comstock-penned title track. The disc was recorded at Station to Station studio in Grass Valley by its proprietor Dana Gumbiner, who knows a thing or two about fine pop discs (

I’m quite enamored with a self-titled three-song disc by Desario, and if this is a taste of the forthcoming album the band’s still working on (Zero Point Zero, due in October from once-local indie Darla Records), it’s gonna be a real peach. “Cane Cola” is all gleaming chrome over pastoral sweetness, more melodic and soaring than the reworked Joy Divisionisms of Interpol, with John Conley’s friendly and inviting voice surfing over his and Michael Yoas’ intertwined clean electric guitars, with bassist Mike Carr underpinning the song while drummer Jim Rivas splatters around like Moby Grape’s Skip Spence on “Omaha.” The second track, “Fine Time,” continues the feel, while “Nautical Ways” has more jangle along with shouted background vocals. All three are winners; Desario has a sense of melody and dynamics that is captivating (