Not ready for prime-time players
Hmm, that Ashlee Simpson certainly toppled Courtney Love as the queen of punk rock. Simpson’s appearance on Saturday Night Live last weekend, when she began singing without a microphone—or her voice started coming out of the speakers while her hand holding the mic was by her side—was sheer genius. And then, at a moment when a less-seasoned performer might have slunk offstage like an oft-berated dog that just got apprehended snout-deep in its master’s refrigerator, Simpson broke into a spastic dance that was two parts Michael Flatley jig and one part Ramones pogo—before, ahem, slinking offstage.
Now, some people are saying that Simpson may be the pop-music version of a certain participant in the recent presidential debates. Looking at both of them in a fair and balanced manner, however, gives the impression that, while both of them may be postmodern media creations, there is a certain amount of “substance” to them (fair and balanced principles prohibit us from naming that substance, but it most assuredly is there). Simpson has a solid No. 1 pop debut, the Geffen Records CD Autobiography, to her credit, while the other fellow has four years in the White House to his.
Most right-thinking Americans may be enamored with the above-mentioned incumbent, but some people are not happy. Fired up by the war in Iraq, rumors of an impending draft and other triggers of dissent, the get-out-the-vote effort this year appears to be huge. Locally, one event aimed at the so-called youth vote will be staged at 6 p.m. this Friday, October 29, at the Grand ballroom, at 1215 J Street. Erstwhile local music hero Jonah Matranga (Far, Onelinedrawing, New End Original and Gratitude) will host the second of the two-night Pollbooth Knockdown! events, which will feature a screening of Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election followed by performances by local acts Larisa Bryski, the F-Bombs, Raigambre, Honeyspot and Brother Nefarious. (The first event occurred on October 15.) Tickets are $7 in advance or $9 at the door.
Among the speakers will be Cindy Sheehan, a Vacaville woman whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April 2004. Sheehan filmed an anti-war ad, “A message to George W. Bush,” for RealVoices.org; it can be viewed at www.moveonpac.org/donate/sheehan.html.