Photo by James BunoanSNEAKINGSALLYTHROUGHTHEALLEY
You know you've been at this gig too long when you can remember seeing a then-unknown band called Hoobastank play a tiny room in downtown Fullerton called the Backalley, and then, some five years later, be sitting in the Tuscany Club just across the street from where the Backalley used to be and enduring mangled karaoke renditions of "The Reason," the super-smash-boffo-megahit by . . . Hoobastank. "We also had Alien Ant Farm, and Hybrid Theory, who became Linkin Park," remembers James Barnum, who promoted Backalley shows during the club's weekends-only 1997-2002 run. But now the banquet hall that replaced the Backalley is gone, so Barnum's moving back to his old digs—at 139 W. Amerige Ave.—starting July 22 with a show by Underminded and Lorene Drive. Rechristened the Alley, the venue will be all-ages, with the possibility of a beer garden at some point, pending city approval. Barnum is re-entering a changed Fullerton downtown from the one he left just a few years ago. New bars along the Harbor Boulevard corridor seem to spring up almost every other weekend, and new nightlife options abound: the Maverick Theater debuted just last weekend; the Slidebar Caf is expected to open later this year where the old Hub Caf used to be; and—sometime before the decade ends, we hope—there's the long-awaited promise of the Fox Fullerton Theater. Keenly aware of this transformation, Barnum hopes to set up a deal with other downtown businesses where Alley patrons can take their ticket stub after a show (most will be over by 11:30 p.m.) and get a discount at a nearby restaurant or bar. "Since they'll already be there, let's let them live some downtown nightlife," he says. Bands interested in playing the Alley—ones salivating at the prospect of having drunk 50-year-olds sing their songs in karaoke bars sometime around 2011 after they get famous—should log on to Barnum's business site at www.impactpresents.com.
Eminem and 50 Cent bring their Anger Management Tour to the Hyundai Pavilion of Glen Helen in Devore July 23, but whatever music the pair make onstage won't be half as entertaining as what will be going on backstage, at least judging by their dressing room contract riders posted on thesmokinggun.com. Sure, Fiddy demands the basics even the grimiest of local bands deserve—stuff like "Working electrical outlets" and "hot & cold running water." But being a hip-hop superstar, he's gotta have his perks, among them: two cases of Heineken, two fifths of Hennessey, three bottles of Cristal champagne, one 24-piece shrimp cocktail on ice, one 24-piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken & biscuits, and two boxes of LifeStyles & Rough Riders condoms. Eminem is actually something of an environmentalist with his rider ("Please have clearly marked recycling bins in the catering area, and please, no Styrofoam!"). Plus, he's a health nut, what with wanting 12 cans of Myoplex low-carb drink, 10 low-carb protein bars and six cans of low-carb protein shakes (though this is suspiciously contradicted by the half case of Heineken and the assorted mixed candies and chocolates). Then there's Em's "game room": "This room should have an arcade-type ambiance such as video games, large television w/play station & games, masseur, ping pong tables, portable basketball hoop set up outside the dressing room area." A masseur, in a video arcade?
Confidential to the somewhat greasy chap who accosted us at the Sublime tribute CD release party at the Vault 350 on June 20: you know, we've written about major-record-label cartoon characters like you all our professional scribing lives, but until this night, we'd never actually metone. Then came you, ambling up to us and, once finding out what we do for a living, spewing a long list of famous people you're supposedly acquainted with ("I know Snoop, I went on tour with him!" "I grew up with Robbie Robertson!" "Lenny Kravitz is here, I'll bring him over to meet you!") before throwing in the kicker, "I'm a good guy to know, bro, what do you think?", which felt like a pickup line—sorry, you're not our type. While we'll surely contract colon cancer from all the smoke you blew up our ass, we actually did find something you said to be semi-plausible—the line about how Sublime is re-forming with the Vandals' Dave Quackenbush taking over lead vocals, and that they've been rehearsing somewhere in Downey for weeks—though highly unlikely. Anyway, you never brought Lenny over, so why should we believe you? But on top of all this blather, you had to take the clich over the top by doing the "call me" gesture with your thumb and pinkie. Hope you're not waiting by your phone, because even if you had remembered to give us your number, we won'tbe in touch.
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