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Local music blogger the Indie Peddler (www.theindiepeddler.blogspot.com), a.k.a. Kim Conlan, writes about local music in a studied, literary manner. Aside from revealing her true identity on our blog, she’s also launching 100 copies of her handcrafted journal at Detroit Bar on June 17. In a Q&A, she talked about getting inspired at UC Irvine and more.
On OC Music: At least we aren’t focused on who Paris Hilton is dating. It’s rotting our minds.
On the inspiration behind her blog: I went to school at UC Irvine, and I didn’t realize when I was applying for my major that literary journalism was on the list. The program was brand-new, and there were only 60 kids in it [at that time]. I had teachers who had written for Rolling Stone and Harper’s. It was weird to get advice from people with that kind of experience. Writing creative nonfiction like Hunter S. Thompson is a newer style of journalism, and I couldn’t picture myself at a 944 or something like that. . . . I realized I wanted to switch into the artistic community. That’s where I felt at home.
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On OC Bands: I’ve been obsessed with music since I was really young. It’s always been part of my life. . . . I used to go to shows by myself and stand by a wall in the corner and take it all in. I could be quiet, watch and absorb the music.
On the moniker Indie Peddler: I’ve been writing about bands and continue to live locally. My name doesn’t come from listening only to indie music because I like all kinds of music. . . . Everyone has his or her own taste in music. I didn’t want to criticize bands or tell people what music to listen to. That’s the idea of Indie Peddler. Everyone should have a chance to decide what music they like for themselves rather than being told what to like. From a June 7 Heard Mentality post by Danielle Bacher.
STP STRIKES BACK
Last week, we published a guide to the Weenie Roast. We talked about which bands you could miss, along with the bands you shouldn’t. Stone Temple Pilots were thoroughly dissed, but after spending the whole day in Irvine, I pretty much ate crow. The night was dominated by acts who were rock stars before the Internet made grandiose gestures and memorable performances unimportant.
Here are the lowlights:
• Sublime With Rome were a disappointment. Once I got over how uncanny it was that Rome Ramirez sounded exactly like Bradley Nowell, I got pretty bored with their performance. All they did was stand there and run through a list of Sublimehits, with some B-sides thrown in (literally, they just ran through their set—no fireworks, no crazy stage antics. They could’ve been in a garage for how much they sought to entertain the crowd). It seemed the audience’s need for Sublime to be the Sublime they remembered from albums and college dorm rooms was the only thing propelling the band’s set above cover-band level.
• Hole (which really was just Courtney Love and a backing band) seemed like amateur hour. It was a sloppy performance, and her “fuck you, fuck me” attitude, coupled with all her talk about fucking guitar players and giving blowjobs, seemed like an endless perpetuation of the ’90s neo-feminist stereotype.
• Stone Temple Pilots: Nostalgia act or no, STP killed it, maybe performing better than they’ve had in the past 15 years. Scott Weiland was surprisingly sober and still looked hot, even shirtless. The DeLeo brothers played their greatest hits from the Core and Purple records (“The Big Empty,” “Plush,” “Interstate Love Song,” “Dead and Bloated”), plus three new ones from their latest disc, and each song was on-point and executed with proper rock-star precision.
• Devo’s was my favorite performance of the night. I never knew how dynamic they were onstage and how seminal their sound was until it was all up in my face. Their light show, which projected 16-bit illustrations of their songs, reminded me of Kraftwerk’s, as did the synth work and the costumes. But their sound was goofily more accessible, full of clever, self-deprecating lyrics and intelligent hooks, like Ween or They Might Be Giants.
• While Paramore won’t be on my iPod any time soon, there’s no denying they’re great performers. Vocalist Hayley Williams doesn’t just carry the band with her voice; her onstage charisma is also undeniable. And her bandmates are so well-practiced that they have every aspect of their performance down, even the nuanced, choreographed headbanging. It was riveting. From a June 7 post.
This column appeared in print as "The Indie Peddler, Revealed: Music blogger Kim Conlan publishes her journal, but it’s nothing like Pamela des Barres’."