Tweeting Up and Geeking Out
Heard Mentality: The best of the music, arts & culture blog for the week of Aug. 10-16
Time is running out on Costa Mesa-based singer/songwriter Billy Kernkamp’s Thursday-night residency at the Gypsy Lounge, and it’s worth making the trip down to the now-engulfed-in-construction Lake Forest venue.
Kernkamp isn’t as big of a name as prior Gypsy Lounge residents this summer (the Union Line in June, the Living Suns in July), but he makes up for it, putting a different spin on each free show this month, whether it’s guest appearances from fellow local musicians such as Justin Suitor (from Honeypie and Railroad to Alaska) or focusing on different genres.
But maybe the best reason to go is the undeniable and, uh, unique onstage charm of Kernkamp himself. During his Aug. 13 performance, he profusely expressed his manly love for opening act Jameson and informed the crowd about a group of women in the audience whom he identified as being from Croatia—saying that folks should chat with them since their homeland is more sexually liberal.
On Heard Mentality, I detailed a recent excursion with Kernkamp to several local comic-book and toy stores, where he agonized over which of two seemingly identical G.I. Joe action figures to purchase (he went against my advice and later regretted it; always take my advice when it comes to buying toys).
Kernkamp’s so good at being a goofball it’s sometimes easy to forget he’s also quite proficient at the music thing, too, doing surprisingly earnest old-school country/Americana—check out “Whiskey by Moonlight” or “What Good Am I” on his MySpace (www.myspace.com/billykernkamp).
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Sad news broke late last week that Allen Shellenberger, drummer and founding member of Fullerton band Lit, died Aug. 13 at the age of 39. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2008.
The origins of Lit go back to 1990, when the band was still called Razzle and played glam metal. They changed their name to Lit in 1996 and hit big nationally in 1999 with “My Own Worst Enemy,” the type of song alternative-rock radio stations will seemingly never stop playing.
The band’s official statement read, “Words cannot begin to express how much he will be missed. This was our brother, and not a day will go by that we won’t think about him. Right now, we’re trying to find the balance of mourning his loss and celebrating his life. Allen has experienced more in his 39 years than most people dream of in 10 lifetimes.”
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The most exciting thing to happen to us last week was undeniably rapper Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em tweeting a link to Ben Westhoff’s “Top Five Little Known Facts About Soulja Boy.” The dude has 1,335,369 followers as of press time, which puts him at No. 25 on the twitterholic.com rankings. (So, below Miley Cyrus, but above both Time and NPR.)
The blog tied in with his show that night, opening for Lil Wayne at the Honda Center in Anaheim. During that gig, 50 Cent took the stage for “OK, Alright,” “I Get Money” and “Turn My Swag On”—something I learned from, duh, Soulja Boy’s Twitter.