Program Notes 41

All my life I always said I'd never live past age 36. That's how old was my personal savior, Marilyn Monroe, when she was murdered by the pigs or accidentally overdosed herself or -- and I really doubt this -- committed suicide. Besides, it makes a great excuse: So what if doing such-and-such will screw up my kidneys or whatever, who cares, I ain't living past 36 anyway. And if I do, it's all gravy after. But once you reach such a lofty age, you realize that -- there must be a cliche for this A dawn always follows the dark, tomorrow's another day, it can't get no worse so it'll have to get better. But I'm sitting here in my living room at 4:00 in the freakin' morning, reading an anthropological study in an effort to take off my mind two troubling things. I saw something moving under the desk. I go to the fridge for another beer, light a smoke, try to concentrate on the reading. Then I see it scurry along the baseboard behind a bookcase -- definitely a mouse, probably a hantavirused one. Rodents bother me, thanks to childhood traumas involving escaped pets -- a hamster once, a white mouse another time -- crawling into bed and awakening me. But what's really making me sad and aggravating my insomnia and depressing the hell out of me is that Wiley, one of our three cats, hasn't been home in 24 hours. He's a lanky young male who can be counted on to show up early every morning (for a big breakfast) and around the dinner hour each evening. But he hasn't shown, and there's no explanation other than that he's dead somewhere, crushed by a car or mauled by a dog or something. Sleepless on a worknight, pestered by vermin, not knowing Wiley's fate -- this, for me, is about as miserable as life gets in old age. Another beer, some more smoking, a couple of hours of fitful sleep. It's morning. In the kitchen our big black killer cat, Lenore, is prone on the rug, holding in her paws the offending rodent. I open the back door and tell the cat to take the corpse outside, please. On the back porch, lounging nonchalantly, just fine (if a bit famished) is Wiley.

Yeah, boy, good things happening everywhere, the Nine-4 gonna be a beautiful thing. Look what up:

This past Friday Mary Karlzen became the first local, unsigned artist to receive "Hot Pick" airplay on VH-1 with the clip for "I'd Be Lyin'," which is my favorite song on Hide. She's planning another tour -- she played the East Coast during November -- soon.

A nifty little band called Natural Causes is back in Criteria, recording new material after having shot two videos, for "Ain't Pretending" and "Release Me." A label boss I won't name tells me he saw a recent Causes show and was especially blown away by the group's new songs. A rumor flying around is that keyboardist Karen Friedman got married. If it's true, congrats. If not, congrats anyway.

A nifty little band called I Don't Know was selected -- not by me -- to play the New Times showcase at South-by-Southwest in Austin. Acts from Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Phoenix -- the four other cities where New Times, Inc. owns weekly publications -- will share the bill. I like blues maven Mark Weiser's fond description of I Don't Know -- Klezmer Conservatory meets the Clash.

A nifty little band called the Goods has also been invited to S-by-SW, which will coincide nicely with the band's first major tour, set to begin March 8 and take them up the coast through the Carolinas then west to Texas. And that will coincide nicely with the release of their next CD, Grow, slated for the end of February. The Goods play this Saturday at Churchill's Hideaway with the Elysian and the Niki Taylors, the latter of whom recently joined the Goods on the TCA management roster.

Duh, so I'm a little slow. Even though that anthropological study I was reading concerns various trajectories and matrices based on behavior patterns and activities in a big-city porno district, it took me until now to realize -- oh, okay, Young William sort of had to point it out to me A the theme of Screw's live music. You've heard about Screw's porno-based parties, its presentation of things sexual. Now check out who's played there: Erotic Exotic, the Stimulators, Love Canal. Concentrate on the band names. Get it?

Some sort of big AIDS benefit takes place tomorrow (Friday) at Young Circle in Hollywood. The event is organized by Hollywood Hills High School and will feature Zen Dog and others. Call 985-5225.

Muse is looking for a drummer now that Andy Dana's left. Call 531-1444 and ask for Jose.

Check out Lick tonight (Thursday) at Plus Five.
Anyone involved in a local band during the Sixties is wanted and welcomed to attend a big reunion at the Talkhouse on February 7. Call Fred (collect if you're poor) at 704-669-7238 (from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or 704-625-9744 after 5:00.

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