Arnold Uber Alles!
Back in 1985, John Easdale sang about a crazy ex-wife on the Dramarama hit "Anything Anything (I'll Give You)." Now he offers a tune inspired by insanity of another kind: this month's gubernatorial recall. Easdale, a La Habra resident, takes a jab at Arnold Schwarzenegger on the recently re-formed Dramarama's blistering new cover of "California Über Alles," the classic Dead Kennedys punk diatribe originally penned with Jerry Brown in mind. Easdale says Arnold "had me laughing since the first day of his announcement [to run]. I thought the whole recall effort was silly." The impromptu remake came about after Easdale got a call from a friend who suggested it was a great time for an update. "I hadn't even thought of that song, but it was too perfect," he says. Easdale quickly penned fresh lyrics the weekend before the Oct. 7 election (sample: "The Golden State is getting worse/Need Mr. Universe/I am a movie star/And drive the biggest, dumbest car/ This hero always wins/Conveniently forgets his sins/ Jumpin' from the master race/And always wears a happy face"), got the band to record it on Sunday—complete with sampled Schwarzenegger campaign dialogue—e-mailed MP3s of it on Monday, and, of course, we had a new state leader by Tuesday. Dramarama recently reunited for a VH1 special and KROQ's Inland Invasion concert. They'll release their first new music in a decade—the Absolutely, 100% Made in N.J. EP—soon via the website www.johneasdale.com. (George A. Paul)
Francis: Success victim
GOODBYE TO THE HUB, FOR NOW
The Hub Café, Orange County's oldest all-ages room for local bands—if you count nine years as "old," that is—closed Oct. 30 for up to eight months for an extensive remodel. And when it reopens, Hub owner Sean Francis says it will no longer resemble the funky little Fullerton coffeehouse/club people have grown to love. Instead, it will be transformed into a larger restaurant, with a music-memorabilia décor that can be best described as an OC-only Hard Rock Café. "It'll be more personal than a Hard Rock, though," Francis says. "We'll have items from OC bands on display, stuff from local musicians who have made it. I've already asked a few if they'd be into loaning us some items, and so far, everyone has been on board." Francis says the move is necessary for the Hub, which has become a victim of its own success. When it opened in 1994, the downtown-Fullerton area was still relatively sleepy, even on weekend nights, with just a few dive bars sprinkled about. Now the area along Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue has a serious nightlife seven nights a week, with good restaurants, upscale bars and great venues for live music. The Hub helped make that happen. But with blessings of new commerce have come the curses of rising property values. "Our rent was $700 per month when we first started," says Francis. "Now it's $1,500. We can't continue just on coffee and bottled drinks. So if I don't make some sort of move, the Hub will be gone one way or another, which is why we need to take it to the next level. But that's a positive thing. We need to grow with the rest of downtown." Most important, confirms Francis, the new Hub (the name might change) will still be a free, all-ages music room when it reopens. "You'll still be able to go there and see local bands, with no cover charges. We probably won't be piling five bands in there on a Friday night like we sometimes did, but the patio will be bigger, the stage will be better, and you'll still be able to go there in the middle of the day and have a cappuccino." (Rich Kane)
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