Walking the plank

LowBallAssChatter has known all along that they were doing not-so-legal in-store rock & roll shows at Pirate Records, Fountain Valley's new for-the-kids-by-the-kids record store on the corner of Brookhurst and Heil; we just didn't want to tell you. God knows what sort of degenerates flip through this paper on a regular basis, but there's probably a few cops and council people sandwiched between all the pervs, punks and pinkos, and the less they know about not-so-legal rock & roll shows, the better. But the Man found out anyway. On Sept. 29, apologetic Fountain Valley police delivered the “Sorry, son . . .” speech and pulled the plug. After all, there's only so much harmless between-bands loitering a community can be expected to take. It's one more in a pile of frustrations young owner Jordan Salazar has had to endure: unlike most record-store creeps, he's a fresh-faced 20-year-old just brimming with idealism—until the darkness fell. He'd worked on a business plan for Pirate all during high school and even got the Small Business Association to shop it around to potential investors. But when the suits figured out how old he was, they pulled out, and Jordan had to (gulp) pull Mom and Dad in. Business was just shy of too quiet until the free weekend in-store shows began, including biggish acts like Bleeding Through and Taken (“People here know people,” explains first mate Colin O'Brien). A regular clientele snowballed, but now the Pirate crew are worried that the bucks will disappear with the bands. Jordan says they're looking at a $1,250 application fee for a live-performance permit, so if anyone's looking to buy $1,250 worth of Blood Brothers and Death Cab for Cutie records . . . “The worst part is that we've been getting a lot of offers, like Sense Field wanted to play an acoustic set,” says Jordan. “And now we're not sure what we're going to do. We're pretty bummed. I'm going to talk it over with my dad this weekend.” (Chris Ziegler)


Okay, so maybe the much-ballyhooed closure of Linda's Doll Hut wasn't really so final after all—at least when it comes to all-important drinking activities. While the last night for bands was indeed back in August, the bar has actually remained open every weekend during the between-owner transition period (commonly known as “escrow” in the real-estate world; not that we'll ever know this firsthand—on what we make, we'll be renters for life). Soon-to-be-former owner Linda Jemison says the buyers of her club are “a local couple that met at the Doll Hut nine years ago” and that they should be taking over around or about Oct. 20, with a tentative grand opening slotted for sometime in early November. (Who these folks are and what they plan to do, we're not yet sure, though rumors suggest the club will become a haven for classic car aficionados and will continue to host live music in some form.) Meanwhile, Jemison is selling a final limited-edition Doll Hut T-shirt on the club's still-operational website, which features a list of some 300 bands that played her tiny roadhouse over the past 12 years—jump to it at www.dollhut. com. What we really want to know, though, is this: What's to become of that balls-out punk rock photograph of Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski that hung over the bar for years? Can we have it? Or buy it on eBay? (Rich Kane)

Miss Janet if you're nasty


So there we were at the Pond for Janet Jackson's Sept. 29 show (no snickering, please—it's just that sometimes making your sweetie happy is more important than making yourself happy) when we were nearly struck dumb during her first number: “My God—that bitch is lip synching!” we somehow managed to blurt, astounded that this rapidly aging diva was charging her adoring, worshipful fans upward of $80 a pop to basically re-create a video, lame-ass choreography and all. Ms. Janet was absolutely miming, too (we know a Milli Vanilli when we see one, thanks to being raised on MTV), and it didn't take us long to figure out her tricks: when she donned a headset microphone for certain songs—all the better to pull off her exhausting dance moves—her “voice” was high and studio-perfect clear; when she grabbed a hand-held for other numbers, her vocals mysteriously got huskier and deeper, as if she were using, y'know, her actual goddamn voice to sing the goddamn songs, like it oughta be! Really, during the tunes with the obviously canned vocals, we found great humor in watching Janet's mouth move one way while the lyrics she was ostensibly singing went another. The whole thing made us appreciate even more the Madonna show from a few weeks earlier: Madonna had only three costume changes, while we lost count of Janet's sometime after five; Madonna sang complete, entire songs, while Janet did only parts of some of her most popular hits, opting to chop them up into grotesque little pieces, kind of like what her big bro Michael has done with his face; and, well, the free tickets we had for the Madonna show were waaay better than the free tickets we had for Janet. But bad seats aside, even if Janet's show had been slightly less canned, maybe we wouldn't have walked out halfway through—as we did. We should've just stayed home and played the CD—as she did. (RK)

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