Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seat Flipper #1.5 + Little Things #1.3

Here's the third sheet, everyone – a mash-up of Seat Flipper #1-1/2 and Little Things #1-1/3. It's even interactive, so you can fill in if the good guys win on April 25 or not.

Here's a high-res jpg, and also a two-up pdf if you want to print some out and distribute them. Please do, and thanks! Just one vertical cut and you're done! (Also here's Seat Flipper #1 and Little Things #1.)

As before: NO ONE asked or paid to be included. This is all by me. Don't like it? Don't blame them (and tough shit).

More to come. Drop me an email if you like. Mike B. April, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Little Things #1 + Seat Flipper #1

I've been doing flyers and fanzines going back to the mid-1980's, but these are the first that are specifically political. And I've never really donated money to politicians before or gone to weekly meetings – so that's new, too. But these are truly different times.

Here are the first issues of Little Things and Seat FlipperThey're 1/2-page fanzines (4.25" x 11"). Enjoy, share, and if you like them feel free to print and distribute them (see the pdf). And hey, if you want to go start your own thing – whatever it is. Here are high res versions of Little Things #1 and Seat Flipper #1, and a two-up pdf of both you can print copies from.

Note: NO ONE asked or paid to be included. This is all by me. Don't like it? Don't blame them. (and PS - Tough shit.)

All the best, and more to come. Drop me an email if you'd like. Mike B. March, 2017

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bullshit Monthly - Issues from the 80's!

Yo - relive the 80's - or enjoy Hardcore news and shit from from the 80's without having to actually have been there. 12 issues for you to freely read, download, whatever. Cool or what?

Bullshit Monthly #4 (March, 1985) - Agnostic Front, Rights of the Accused.
Bullshit Monthly #5 (April, 1985) - Articles of Faith, Aggression, Psychos, Sheer Terror, MIA, Never More
Bullshit Monthly #6 (May, 1985) - Adrenalin OD, Damage, Ill Repute, Cro-Mags, Venom/Slayer/Exodus at Studio 54 review by Howie
Bullshit Monthly #7 (June, 1985) - Bodies in Panic, Exploited, Malignant Tumor, No Remorse 
Bullshit Monthly #8 (July, 1985) - Battalion of Saints, Sand in the Face, Tank, crossword puzzle (good fucking luck with that...) 
Bullshit Monthly #9 (August, 1985) - Broken Talent, Scab, Letch Patrol, Upright Citizens 
Bullshit Monthly #10 (Sept, 1985) - Murphy's Law, Crumbsuckers, Horror Planet, False Prophets, Token Entry, "Some Records is now a store" ad
Bullshit Monthly #11 (Oct-Nov, 1985) - RKL, A.P.P.L.E, Ultra Violence (Note: I just turned 17!)
Bullshit Monthly #13 (July, 1986) - DOA, Ludichrist, Doggy Style, Circle Jerks, Agnostic Front
Bullshit Monthly #17 (Dec, 1987) - Leeway, Krakdown, Necros, Murphy's Law, Nausea, Desecrator (?)
Bullshit Monthly #18 (April, 1988) - Sick of it All, Underdog, SFA, Sheer Terror, Icemen
Bullshit Monthly #19 (April, 1989) - Lotsa news and shit, S.H.A.R.P. interview
Current Bullshit #1 (Jan, 2013) - My thoughts and observations and shit like that.
Hey - here's newer issues BSM #26, (Aug, 2013), #27 (Oct, 2013), #28 (Jan, 2014), #29 (Apr 2014) and #30 (Jan, 2015). too.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bullshit Monthly #30 - Plenty o' Hardcore

Hey - I hit the 30 year anniversary of my first hardcore show, so doing Bullshit Monthly #30 seemed liked a no-brainer.

Five full pages again. The focus is almost exclusively on current bands making good, solid, hardcore music, & there's also an interview with Martin Crudo on Needles.

It's tough to write the reviews and have them not all be "here's a great hardcore band, check them out" but y'know, BSM is about finding good solid hardcore bands and letting you know about them, so there ya have it. I'm spending a little more space on each band - hope that comes across. There are links to all the bands in the PDF. (Here are JPGs, too - pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

So, here we go again. Enjoy! (And share the link)

Hardcore for life – Mike Bullshit

PS - To read/download a dozen issues from the 80's – and learn the secret origin of Bullshit Monthly – click here. Like Bullshit Monthly on FB, too.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bullshit Monthly #29 - Hardcore, and lots of it!

Drum roll please... (followed by mosh part) - here's Bullshit Monthly #29!

Five full pages this time, chock full of great hardcore bands. If you can't find anything here that moves you you're either deaf, or confused, or both. There are in-person interviews with Anti-You and Ali who ran shows at The Swamp for 4 years The PDF has links to all the bands and shows. (Or here's JPGs, too - pages 1234, and 5)

Share the link, support the scene, support the bands, support zines. Fanzines forever! Start your own. And also check out BSM #28, 27, and 26. (#26 has links to BSM issues from the 80's, when I was 16-20 years old and said "Rad" a lot.)

Getting into Bullshit Monthly isn't tough. Assuming your band doesn't totally suck, just contact me via the Bullshit Monthly FB page, or email me or whatever. Mail anything physical you want reviewed to: Mike BS. P.O. Box 59321. San Jose, CA 95159.

All the best - Mike Bullshit

PS - UPDATES: Oops – forgot once again to focus on San Jose's long-running Anti-Social (around since 86!). They fall on the punkier side of the punk/HxC spectrum, are worth checking out. Also the Brotherhood LP mentioned on page 1 is in process of being REISSUED right this second! Look for it. And lastly… word on the street is there's an upcoming Coke Bust show, like really soon, in a rather unlikely location. Watch for it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bullshit Monthly #28 - File under "H" for Hardcore

It's January, 2014, and here's Bullshit Monthly #28 - a new issue with lots of bands featured who you may or may not have heard of. If you're into HARDxCORE you'll find some real gems here. THE PDF HAS LINKS, both to bands and to shows. So click away and check a band out. (The jpgs don't have links, but are easier to read on some devices - page 1, 2, 3, 4.)

Enjoy. Share with yer pals. Check out #26 and 27, too. (#26 has links to a buncha back issues from the 80's.)

BSM doesn't take ads and is totally free. Contact me if you want your band included - either via the Bullshit Monthly facebook page or by email or whatever. Fell free to toss any records or CDs or whatnot to review to: Mike BS. PO Box 59321. San Jose, CA 95159.

And I really AM trying to write neater. Seriously!

All the best - Mike Bullshit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bullshit Monthly #27 - The fanzine continues

Returning with Bullshit Monthly #26 in August was a surprise - to everyone, including me. And now I've gone from TWO pages to FOUR, with some short interviews - Noah from Stressors, Sid and Chris from Mental Abuse, Stephanie Chang (who books shows here in San Jose); plus news, pics, tour stories and other bullshit from Fast Asleep, Judge, No Statik, Sheer Terror, Zero Progress, Venkman, etc. - and even a section of record buy/sell/trade lists. So here's Bullshit Monthly #27 (pdf) (or jpgs p 1, 2, 3, 4)

And check it out: I added some LINKS in the pdf, so if you see a band mention or review you can click and be brought to them. Pretty cool huh? (If you're reading the jpgs you won't have that.)

As always, contact me on FB or via email if you want to be be mentioned or have news or gossip or whatever, or you want to submit photos and art. And check out the Bullshit Monthly FB page. And send anything physical to be reviewed to: Mike BS. PO Box 59321. San Jose, CA 95159.

PS - Share this link. Having 800 blog hits on issue #26 was rather awesome.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bullshit Monthly #26 - The fanzine returns

Well, all the bands from bygone days seem to be coming back to life, so why not fanzines, too?

I haven't considered doing another issue of Bullshit Monthly for over 20 years because I wasn't connected to the scene, but y'know I kinda am now - so here we are. I grew up doing BSM , turning from a dorky 16-yr-old to a dorky 21-year-old. Doing a fanzine allowed me to share my opinions and write and do art, and at the same time support bands and people. It isn't profound - but it never strived to be or said it was. Anyway - TA DAH! Here's Bullshit Monthly #26 (pdf).(Or page 1 and 2 as jpgs.)

BSM always mentioned whatever bands I ran into, so if you want to be mentioned in it, it isn't very tough. Email me or contact me or BSM on Facebook, or run into me in person. New recording? Going on tour? Need a drummer? Show coming up? Misc drama? New haircut? Whatever. Send anything physical you want reviewed to: Mike BS. PO Box 59321. San Jose, CA 95159.

I know I definitely can't do it monthly anymore (it's more work than it looks like, trust me). But if nothing else it's great to connect with people again. - MBS

Bullshit Monthly #26 (pdf) (August, 2013) (Or page 1 and 2 as jpgs.)

PS - I wrote the No Mistake song "Copied Folded and Stapled" about fanzines. You can find it here.

Bullshit Monthly #4 (March, 1985) - Agnostic Front, Rights of the Accused.
Bullshit Monthly #5 (April, 1985) - Articles of Faith, Aggression, Psychos, Sheer Terror, MIA, Never More
Bullshit Monthly #6 (May, 1985) - Adrenalin OD, Damage, Ill Repute, Cro-Mags, Venom/Slayer/Exodus at Studio 54 review by Howie
Bullshit Monthly #7 (June, 1985) - Bodies in Panic, Exploited, Malignant Tumor, No Remorse 
Bullshit Monthly #8 (July, 1985) - Battalion of Saints, Sand in the Face, Tank, crossword puzzle (good fucking luck with that...)
Bullshit Monthly #9 (August, 1985) - Broken Talent, Scab, Letch Patrol, Upright Citizens
Bullshit Monthly #10 (Sept, 1985) - Murphy's Law, Crumbsuckers, Horror Planet, False Prophets, Token Entry, "Some Records is now a store" ad
Bullshit Monthly #11 (Oct-Nov, 1985) - RKL, A.P.P.L.E, Ultra Violence (Note: I just turned 17!)
Bullshit Monthly #13 (July, 1986) - DOA, Ludichrist, Doggy Style, Circle Jerks, Agnostic Front
Bullshit Monthly #17 (Dec, 1987) - Leeway, Krakdown, Necros, Murphy's Law, Nausea, Desecrator (?)
Bullshit Monthly #18 (April, 1988) - Sick of it All, Underdog, SFA, Sheer Terror, Icemen
Bullshit Monthly #19 (April, 1989) - Lotsa news and shit, S.H.A.R.P. interview
Current Bullshit #1 (Jan, 2013) - My thoughts and observations and shit like that.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rorschach Demo Tape (1989) - 5 songs, 3 unreleased

The story has been told many times, but here it is again:

I started booking weekly hardcore matinees at ABC-No-Rio in NYC at the end of 1989. CBGB's had stopped their matinees due to an incredible amount of violence. The space had been found mid-year by Brendan and Gavin, who did an SFA/Bug-Out Society show.

I ran ABC for the first 6 months – booking the shows, running the record distro, pulling in anyone who wanted to volunteer and be involved, starting the ABC Collective (which still exists today, over 25 years later), salting and chopping the ice, etc.

I booked bands I liked, bands I didn't like, bands who had no draw whatsoever. I called everyone I knew in the scene to play – which was just about everyone, since I had been doing Bullshit Monthly for 5 years at that point – but most bands in the NYHC scene were just NOT interested.

In Dec, 89 Charles and Nick from Rorschach dropped by the club with a practice tape in their hands. They gave it to me, and asked for a show. I took the tape, looked down at it, and said “How about in 2 weeks?

They had expected to get some runaround, common for bands when they first start out. But not that day.

The show was them, Citizen’s Arrest, and 2 other bands. The other 2 bands dropped out, so the sign on the door listed the show as “CxA, Rorschach, and whoever else wants to play.” It was $2 to get in. 24 people paid. It was a fun show.

No one besides me has heard this tape, which is a shame. 3 of the songs have never been released, ever. The first track here, “Checkmate” is a great version of my favorite song of theirs. (They even relearned it so I could sing it when they played out here in California in 2012. What sweet guys.)

So, I’m really, really happy I booked them, way back when, and I'm really, really happy that they're my friends – and am really, really happy to share this tape with the world. Enjoy.
  1. Checkmate
  2. Jury of One
  3. What’s Important
  4. Sidestep
  5. Exist

Here’s Rorschach, and some ABC pics from back in the day, and the Bullshit Monthly FB page. Check here to read and download about a dozen issues of BSM as PDFs! (PS - I was in GO! during the time this was all going on – and again from 2006-2011 – and was later in No Mistake.)

BIG thanks to Marc Schummer for the mastering and mp3 making, and Justine Demetrick for the awesome pic!

Mike Bullshit 2016 
(As of March, 2017 over 5,800 have viewed this post.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Growing up with New York Hardcore and Bullshit Monthly

I started going to CB’s in Nov, 1984, right after I turned 16. I saw an article earlier that year in the NY Newsday (in Queens) – a full-page on the Nihilistics and “slam dancing” (with photos, even). Within a couple of months I was going every week, twice if there was a Saturday HC show, too. And then other shows would pop up at the Lismar Lounge, Pyramid, Nameless Theatre, Rock Hotel, Ritz, and so on.

Between bands I could go around asking everyone what was up with their band for the next Bullshit Monthly. So and so needs a bass player, or is playing May 30th, or is recording an EP, or got signed to a label, or was planning a tour, or needed a new drummer, and so on. Sometimes I would interview bands right there. I took pics with my little beat to shit $5.99 camera held together by duct tape. (As you can see - they often didn't photocopy so nicely. Oh well.) People and events were also included. Both the birth of Moon's twins and Alexa's little one were announced in Bullshit Monthly. Click on any of issue to download the PDF. (Agnostic Front Feb, 1985 interview in BSM #4)

So then I’d come out with an issue and sell them – usually 25¢, 30¢, 40¢, some even 50¢. At a Rock Hotel show I could sell 100-200 copies and everyone would be reading it between bands. I’d end up with my pockets bulging with change. By 1986 I was selling 700 copies of each issue. There was some mail order, and some stores would carry it (Bleeker Bobs, Venus, the wonderful zine store See Hear) but for the most part I sold each one person by person, show by show. And so BSM was pretty much made to be read and discarded, especially being on taller, legal-sized paper.. Now all these years later it's wonderful to be able to share the issues with everyone - although I wish I could still walk around selling fanzines for 25¢ or 30¢ and meeting everyone in the scene.

There were plenty of other zines also coming out at the same time – Hard Times, Guillotine, Tse-Tse Fly, Worthless, Attitude, Free, Constructive Rebellion, Last Daze, and shortlived ones like Grinsnip and Alexa's classic Lifestyles of the Poor and Homeless. Lots of us fanzine editors knew each other. Donny the Punk even put together an organization by and for punk media types, the APRC.

You saw the same people every week, so it was possible to really get to know people, make friends. Hardcore was such a small thing in the 80's, esp before the straight edge thing took off. We were like freaks, with ripped jeans, and punk t-shirts, shit written on our clothes, strange haircuts, pins and studs on our jackets, tattoos (which NO ONE had back then). Once SxE got more prevalent in 86 and 87 there was less of a ‘freak’ mentality. At the time I wasn't as involved with that scene - and it shows in the bands I featured in BSM. (I have some regrets now about that, but, y'know - tough shit on me.)

If a bigger band, like Flipper, Suicidal, Agnostic Front, Youth of Today, would play, CBs would be just fucking jammed. No idea how all those people squeezed in. And then the right mosh part would happen and the place would just explode, and hold the fuck on somehow. There wasn’t as much of the tough guy “karate” style dancing back in 84-89, but it was still pretty raw, very primal, and a lot of fun.

There was definitely violence. Someone would just get picked out and beaten the fuck up. I saw a horrifying "fag bash" incident across the street. Just fucking bloody, and I was scared shitless. I couldn't do a damned thing. Gang of "us" just pummeled the shit out of this guy, left him bleeding in the street. I never understood the violence, and I guess was immune to it all since I knew everyone. Even when I came out of the closet in Bullshit Monthly #20 (June-July, 1989) I still went to CB’s every week and just about never got shit from anyone. Even people known to be really violent were cool with me. Even though I was the biggest fucking dork and openly gay.

After CB's stopped doing shows (the first time) I started booking the weekly HxC matinees at ABC-No-Rio so the focus shifted to that scene. 7 months later I was on tour with GO!, then I was studying anthropology in Texas, followed by 6 months in a squat in Germany and 3 years on a commune in rural Missouri.

Going through the NYHC scene was like a rite of passage. Whenever I run into people from back then now, there’s a reconnection, even if we haven’t talked for 25 years. And rightfully so. What an amazing time.When I read these issues of Bullshit Monthly it totally comes back to me. Hopefully it will for you, too. (And visit "Bullsh*t Monthly" on Facebook. Lots of pics and misc. LIKE it and get the occasional post.) PS - Here's my band No Mistake (totally 80's style HC) - listen to and download free music, too.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Writing songs with Mike Bullshit

(for those – if any – who are interested)
Having a band again forces me to write new lyrics and y'know, I love it. There were 3 years between when GO! stopped recording new material & No Mistake came together and since I didn’t have a reason to write, I didn’t. But needing lyrics makes me open my eyes and my mind, allows me to creatively process everything going on around me. Having that awareness back is awesome.

I mean, I’m just always frikkin writing lyrics. It doesn’t turn off. I was listening to a pledge drive on the radio on the way home a coupla weeks back and just wrote this. It’s all worked out with stanza, YOT-style moshy chorus build-up, bridge to chorus. I knew right away how it went and how to sing it.
Pledge Drive
Begging for funds
All dried up
Matching gifts
Ain't pulling them in
Be a monthly subscriber
Get a t-shirt & a mug
And Keep... Us... Alive!
We can't can't exist without your support
Your funds Keep... Us... Alive...
In the past I sang everything I wrote (over 100 recorded songs). But it is really different now cos Greg sings like 80%+ of the time, and there’s only some songs where we share vocals. So my focus is not only what subjects to write about but how he would make the song his. I need to be careful because I can sing faster if need be (I’m one of the few who can sing “Pay to Cum” and get all the words in), but he sounds better at a medium pace so I need to put a point across more succinctly. With GO! I tended to sing kinda “off” from the music at times, which I have to really resist when writing for No Mistake. And I need to figure out which parts I do sing – and not to make them too long cos he’ll be bored just standing around when I’m singing and he’s not.

On the songs where we share vocals the mix really is great, like on We Stole Hawai’i. Our singing voices are so different they work well off each other - both in the chorus we sing together and the seperate parts we individually sing. (Here's We Stole Hawai'i.) I’m definitely into giving each of us blocks of text, not going back and forth line by line. (Usually not so into when bands did that.) Sometimes I’ll sing the back-up / sing-along part. In an ideal world all you out there will knock Greg down and grab the mic to shout along at that point.

With GO! Aaron and I split the music writing – often he would come up with music and I’d whip open my book of lyrics and make something fit. Or we’d combine a stanza part he wrote with a chorus part I wrote and pull together a bridge or intro and that would more or less be it. I miss that. At this point I write like 90%+ of the music so there’s more pressure. Trying not to make all the songs sound the same really pushes me. I have to pay more attention to the guitar parts and song structure than I ever did before. I’m happiest when an absolutely killer part evolves, like the middle section of Crossed Words. In our video you can see me moshing with my guitar during the bass intro (at about 8:00). Coolest thing I've written in a while.

So what have I been writing about? We Stole Hawai’i retells our overthrow of their traditional government in the 1800’s. Unlucky You is my wildlife conservation song. Expiration Date is about the pollution and nuclear waste we’re leaving behind as our legacy to future generations. We Are Enemies is the “Hey, asshole!” song I never got a chance to write. FBLA is about the next generation of 1%ers. Crossed Words is about humanity’s need to know the answers to all possible questions. The Death of Democracy in the United States is about the Supreme Court's horrendous Citizens United decision. I need some fun songs, too, I know. And of course Pledge Drive... :^) Here's some No Mistake songs to listen to.
Y'know, it's not tough to write a "Well, ok, this is what sucks and this is why and here's a mosh part and see ya later" type song. Unlucky You, departing from this, ends urging the listener to take action and support those doing conservation work. There are real people acting now to make a change. Like WildAid. And I'm working on a song about respecting people and looking up to them. But it's tough. So much easier to write something bitchy, isn't it?
Anyhow, whatever.
Note: When I say "write songs" that generally means guitar & vocals. I usually have a sense of how the basic beat should go but not always and have relied on the awesome drummers I've played with to come up with their usual stuff. And I usually leave it up to the bassist to do what he wants.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mike and Ken go to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball

When I said that I had gotten tickets to see Lady Gaga live, everyone who had seen her told me how amazing and unbelievable a show it was. But what does that mean, really?

So I went in tabula rasa – with a blank slate – not knowing at all what to expect. And she truly was amazing. I can say without a moment’s hesitation that if you ever, ever get the opportunity to see Lady Gaga, do it. Even if you don’t like her music. Even if it’s too much money. Just frikkin do it. The experience of a full two hours of Lady Gaga performance art and music is worth it.

One of this biggest shockers for me was that the music was completely different from what I expected (and I have all her CDs and the new single, “Born this Way”). Live she really, really rocks. I mean rocks. Her drummer is insane, pounding away with all his might, beating the shit out of the drums, adding fills and energy to the songs. The guitarists wailed. Long guitar leads and long guitar solos right up with the vocals, throughout the songs, totally overtaking the songs – which seemed to be rewritten and expanded to take advantage of the extreme guitar work. All the musicians were right at the front of the stage, working the crowd, rocking out. These people were not holding back, hiding behind Lady Gaga, the dancers or the sets.

What this accomplished was to turn songs that were the least interesting to me on CD – like “Boys Boys Boys” and “Dance in the Dark” – into savage rockers that blew me away.

And of course… there’s her. One has a certain feeling of “Oh my god, am I really here? Am I actually seeing her in person and not on some TV award show?” and yeah you are and there’s the incredible outfits and her awareness of every movement she makes and what effect it will have on the audience, and the dancing and dancers – incredibly hot and awesome – and the occasional kitschy bits of drama thrown in every so often to try and create some thin “plot” for the show (they’re trying to find the Monster Ball but their car broke down and they have to take the train and eventually they find the monster, etc). She comes across as a talented, sweet but bizarre young woman with a big heart who is really into art and people, loving and being loved. And did I mention the outfits? The one that looked like a sheet of plastic folded over her with panties underneath (see pic) was just one endearing outfit.

Surprisingly, the first five or six songs contained none of her hits. I mean, she’s had so many hits she could’ve tossed one in, but you had to wait. When the opening notes from a real hot tune like “Just Dance” or “Telephone” were heard people went wild.

Between songs (and even in the middle of songs) Lady Gaga would sometimes go on for a bit, talking – often rambling – about this or that, chatting with fans, reading some of their signs and responding to them. One sign said “Lady Gaga please sign this” so she had the security people pass it to her. She spoke often of how creative her “Little Monsters” are.

She is so gay-positive it’s mind-boggling. At one point she was gyrating beneath one of her dancers’ legs and said “This is Thomas. Do you know why I love Thomas? Because he LOVES Bay Area women” and he licks his lips exaggeratedly. And then she says “And do you know why I love Thomas? Because he LOVES Bay Area men!” and he’s all seductive smiles. For “Boys Boys Boys” – which she dedicates to the gays in audience – the four guy dancers come out wearing so little – essentially jock straps and some mummy-type wrapping on their torsos – and are grabbing their crotches and well, I think you really had to be there and, sorry – is it hot in here?

And y’know, lots of performers talk about being yourself and its ok to be a freak and let it all hang out tonight at the show and blah blah, but you have to give her credit for being so over the top with it. It’s her whole thing.

She talked about being bullied in school. She talked about homeless youth and how so many were gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. She talked about her little monsters. She talked about how the last time she played in Oakland there were 50 people there, looking at her like she was nuts, but we were all born superstars, we were all born this way (a recurring theme for the night) and we can all be what we want to be, who we are. There are definitely worse messages to have. At one point she spoke about how there are some who say that Jesus only loves people if they are a certain way, but she knows that Jesus loves everyone. Not quite for me, but a sweet message nonetheless.

The monster on stage for one song (see pic) is based on that charming character from the way depths of the sea with the huge teeth and the little light that hangs out in front of its eyes like a pole that you see in popular culture every so often. (If you don’t have The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian. I highly recommend getting it.)

We got there at 8:00 pm to see the Scissor Sisters, who went on at 8:45 and only played six songs. Lady Gaga went on an amazingly late 9:45 and played for TWO SOLID HOURS! Often after a number of songs a white curtain would go down and bizarre Dada-esque Warholish movies featuring her would be shown while behind the scenes they were completely changing the stage set to something even more outrageous than had already been there. Each set was unique, creative, detailed and over-the-top.

I was surprised that she played some instruments here and there (didn’t know she could), including a slow, soulful version of “Born This Way” in the middle of the concert on piano with light, soft accompaniment from the other musicians.

Due to the late hour some people left after the main set. But I am a firm believer that if the houselights haven’t gone up they’re obviously going to come out again so you might as well stick around and see all they’ve got – especially since tickets are so high and even parking was a (still trying to breathe) ridiculous $35. So people who left before the final two numbers missed intense, spectacular versions of “Bad Romance” and “Born This Way” – her new single which is now #1 for the 5th week on iTunes and is so frikkin gay it should be painted pink and carry a purse.

Note: It’s easy to focus on the $35 parking, the $6.50 bottles of soda, the $40 t-shirts and $30 programs. And these things should be brought up because they’re insane and disgusting and you’d think that with all she’s saying she might be able to help mitigate that some. But if you bite the bullet on the parking, sneak your own food in, and pass on the program (OK, I bought one) and focus on the show and the experience, it’s tough to walk away without being moved and astounded.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weird Arachnophobia Woman

OK - I couldn't even make this one up if I wanted to:

I'm on a bike ride, last leg, almost home, and there's this car parked on the side of the road, warning lights flashing, both doors straight out (the last of which, of course, is of most concern to me since I'm on a frikkin bicycle.) As I'm about to pass, this sobbing hysterical woman asks me to stop, which I decide to very very cautiously do.

She tells me that she has sever arachnophobia and that she thought she saw a spider in her car so she had to stop and get out before she crashed.

Uh huh.

Well, I played along a little bit - stopping my bike, reaching into her car door to feel around and glance in (I did not get in the car, of course, or even really lean into it) and backed away, saying some comforting things and heading on my merry way.

Was this some scam? Was she for real? Damned if I know and I never will know (unless she turns up on the news or something). But if nothing else, is just shows how interesting and random life can be. You think you're going for a simple bike ride and then here's looney tunes spider-woman.

Can't beat that.

Elegy for that Possum

Poor possum guy. Picked you up this morning first thing, you being stiff and in the middle of the street, some red splattered around you. You all live here, we live here – but we’re not so good at sharing space. Your life ended too soon–nothing you or I could’ve done about it.

I’m so sorry. I’ll apologize for us – someone should, but no one does. None of us chooses to accept responsibility. But you’re still dead and I truly am sorry.