By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldWhen I was 17 and the coolest chick in continuation school (that's right; I was a bad mother), all us little hoods used to cram into the girls' room during passing period and hand around five or six cigarettes, the better to get them smoked in the minute we had to spare. Every time the security guard came in, the cigarettes got dropped quickly onto the grubby, filthy tiles—and picked up again as soon as she'd collared some hapless nic-fitter and left the lavatory. And then you know what we'd do? We'd bust into choruses of "Blister in the Sun," like we were in one of those chick flicks (First Wives Club, anyone? No? Me, either) in which everyone starts group dancing around the house to show how much darn joy they're filled with! And now I shall skip about and hold a hairbrush like a microphone! Yes, it is gross.
However! If you've got to have a drippy, perky sing-along of the shrill 1982 Violent Femmes classic, the least vomitous route is definitely a gaggle of underage bad girls in way too much eyeliner. We would have slit our wrists before doing the fake-microphone thing—and some of us probably did.
So who was populating the June 14 Femmes show at the Galaxy Concert Theatre? A bunch of drunk girls in too much eyeliner smoking on the patio and flirting way too suggestively with my boy, Jimmy Freestyle. Hey, Drunkie! He's 6! Oh, well. At least none of them were in kitty-cat costumes stroking their tails at him between their thighs, like the goddamn stripper Poolguy Brian brought to my house at Halloween. I hate that girl!
The Femmes, despite being terribly, terribly old now, were in excellent form, playing in a house packed like a Harvest revival but with nicer people. (Ever actually been to the Harvest Festival? Last time I was there, a big tattooed mofo kept screaming and cursing at the poor usher who'd accidentally given away his seat, and I almost saw three fights break out from people smashing into one another and cutting one another off. It's practically the Weenie Roast!) Singer Gordon Gano—a tiny little Davy Jones-lookin' motherfucker—sounds as fresh and twerpy as he did 18 years ago, and the trio (with help on percussion and horn) are doing a cool Cake-like bluegrass thing, along with extended avant-garde noodling that left me longing for a song with some damn words in it—preferably a song with words in it from the first album. Fair-weather fans are so cool, aren't they?
Before the show, my favorite big thug of a bouncer (the same one who upbraided an underling some weeks ago when he reminded said underling that I am ALWAYS allowed backstage, which I'm almost positive is not official Galaxy policy) brought over some earplugs for my boy, which turned out to be unnecessary, since the Femmes are on a pretty groovy mellow tip and probably don't want their tinnitus to become any more acute than it already is, plus there were all those drunk bodies to absorb the sound. But wasn't that sweet?
I was doing my best to binge at Saturday's grand opening of the Paul Frank flagship store, since I now limit my jags to the weekends, and damn it! I want to make them count! But the omnipresent energy drink Red Bull apparently neutralizes vodka, so it took a really long time.
The Paul Frank store is in a bizarre location, hidden among the industrial parks swirling around the Costa Mesa/ Newport border on Monrovia. Nobody will ever be able to find it—except the moneyed Japanese kids and Eurotrash who will doubtless make pilgrimages to the sacred site to pray to Julius the Monkey and that new sloth character Paul's got. Remember: Paul Frank is your friend.
The store itself is a charmingly spare and dinky space with elegant cavalcades of goofy, reasonably priced purses and yellow monkey pajamas after which I'm mooning like Fan Girl moons for A.Jay Popoff. Hi, Fan Girl!
The superexclusivo party for 600, held under a tent in the parking lot (look, Ma! We're grown-ups!), was full of Moseleys running amok and people we could have sworn were Morrissey, Bruce Willis and Leif Garrett. It was also swarming with pretty girls in outfits bought just for the occasion, on whom my new hairdresser friends Pedro and Jennifer bagged ceaselessly. Watch out for hairdressers: they will cut you until your veins run dry, and then they will laugh and dance on your brittle bones!
I knew it was bad form to wear an ensemble three months past its expiration date, but I was glad to find out I can also mock people for wearing clothes that are too new; several girls were in leather pants so new they were still mooing. Ahhh! A whole new world!
In between slicing to shreds 11-pound females desperately in need of a cookie (it's a good thing the camera adds 10 pounds, bringing the poor little Popsicle sticks up to a reasonable 21), Jennifer and I kept sending Pedro to fetch us handsome men with whom to chat; Pedro, invaluably, complied. One such babe of the first water turned out to be Surfer publisher Kevin Meehan; shortly after he came over, a pretty blonde swooped in on our conversation, her back to me, while Kevin tried several times to introduce us. Miss Swoopy—or Cheryl from Quiksilver, as she's probably better-known—turned out to be both bright and charming once she actually realized another person was standing there. Hi, Cheryl!