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.
Next Wednesday Borders, the giant book shop on South Dixie, stages an open mike for poetry and short fiction. Excerpts from anthropological studies not welcome. Call 665-8800 for details about the 7:00 p.m. event.
Mike Boudet (ex-blind profet, now with Insides), Jeff Rollason (Mr. Tasty and the Bread Healers), Raul Rodriguez, and Eddie Theosevis have baked up a new recording studio, called the Breadbox. Set to open in a week or two, the studio features sixteen-track analog, 64-track computer and live-to-DAT, four live rooms, control room, and lounge. One room will also serve as a rehearsal space. That's fine, this is unbelievable: Opening rate, with engineer, is only eight bucks per hour (rehearsal space is six dollars per hour). Call 232-0500.
Tuesday nights at Velvet are happening thanks to Kevans from Le Coup, who's promoting. He's now bringing Broward bands (Slang last week, Le Coup itself this coming Tuesday) in for some county cross-pollination (sorry, Rat, but it looks like the Dade-hates-Broward-and-vice-versa shtick just ain't working). Le Coup also plays tomorrow (Friday) at the Ambassador.
This Saturday Mind Mural plays the Plus Five.
Super Bowl? What Super Bowl? My season ended when West Virginia beat the 'Canes. The Yankee Clipper (1140 Seabreeze Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale) celebrates the big game all weekend, but we're mentioning Saturday night because that's when Inner Circle contributes to the festivities by performing a free live show at the resort. For the dope, dial 800-229-4758.
Another Super alternative: Paul Roub, Dillon Partin, and Marshall Wilner have formed a band, Crash Basket, which debuts Sunday night at Plus Five.
The New 2 Live Crew has a slab due out this week. Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4 features Rudy Ray Moore (Dolomite), along with former 2 Live Crew members Fresh Kid-Ice and Luke Campbell.
This Saturday Jack Off Jill plays the Zoo in Davie. The band is finishing up its latest recording, at Studio 13 in Pompano Beach. Tentative title is Don't Wake the Baby! and they hope to issue it March 15.
Rose's appears serious about its commitment to live music of the highest caliber -- let's hope the public responds. Tonight (Thursday) the South Beach club stages the great Hilton Ruiz.
Mike Huggy Burrell comes out of the closet! My ex-lover is now writing his column for XS under his real name, Ted B. Kissell. Smoke Dog really is dead. Teddy says he originally took the pseudonym so he could be snotty in his column and still get city council types to take his calls. The nom de plume, he says, "was the worst kept secret in town."
Drive Choir rolls into Reunion Room tonight (Thursday).
The Dark Room hosts a showcase by Forget the Name this Saturday. Sundry industry hotshots will be there to scope the band. You might want to be, too.
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Uh-oh, looks like they're starting to drop like flies, these damn rock and roll clubs. The Square, Cactina...what next? Button South, the venerable mousse-and-mosh spot in Hallandale that once was an Agora Ballroom, shuts down next week. I was never a fan of the place, but I saw many, many shows there, many of them great. Word on the street is that the venue will go gay and/or dance.
Butthorn of the week: Telephones. Can't live with 'em, can't throw 'em out the damn window. We have a new phone system here, installed while I was on vacation, which means I lost all 784 voice-mail messages I had stored, as well as any new calls that came in while I was out. That's why I haven't returned your calls. Try again, please. Also, why in the hell do the Yellow Pages list psychics under the heading of "Palmists." Palmists? Who the hell would ever think to look there. And another thing...geez, I'm starting to sound like Andy Rooney. Shoot me, quick.
The media circus: I'm certain the CIA created the California earthquake to take the spotlight off the Iran-Contra report. As far as I know, only the New York Times and National Public Radio stopped rehashing earthquake "news" to give the scandalous report its due coverage.