Monday, October 27, 2008

The Power of Negative Thinking

I've been trying to fight the lethargy I've been feeling lately. I've been restless, sleepless, loveless. Opted out on all social activities this weekend, and instead, tried to work on fall fitness (triumphantly) and the enrichment of my eroding mind (disastrously).

1. Watched Godard's La Chinoise with Color Scribble who wanted to see if it could pertain to her dissertation. It was maddeningly syntactic, so presumptuous, so torturous in politics, so obsolete yet absolutely necessary for today (like a nice grad school class). The self-mockery of the bougie youth, though as pretty and charming as it is, does have its limits. I won't go into my personal view of communism (as that will bore and offend some others) but the best thing about this movie is how visually stunning it is in HD. I'm in love with primary colors again.

And then luckily, Shadey had to take a piss so we got to take a break from that tedious didactic. It was hard to resume... like really hard.

2. Then, I finally got around to listening to the entire Jesus & Mary Chain's "The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides & Rarities" box set Kathy gave me last month. Jesus. This is fucking good. A mammoth collection that almost put me weak in the knees. Another pair of heroes reaffirmed.

listen to this
and this
and this

3. Then Kathy and I went to see Rachel Gets Married which was probably the worst movie both of us needed right now in our "delicate" state. We both thought we were going to see a romantic comedy with (my fave) Anne Hathaway but we got something else. The hand-held camera made us dizzy and the relentless subject matter was a bit too dear to both of our hearts; it messed up us all night.

4. And then Alex ichatted me tonight (on tour, he must have been bored in a lonely hotel room somewhere in Ohio) and told me to "go to London and start your own solo project." That's in the works Al... in due time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mr. Bickerson

The Ex, who will now be known as Mr. Bickerson [or one half of the (former) Bickersons] gave some insightful reminders tonight:

1. "This belittles your blog. You're not into cartoons."
Mr. Bickerson is referring to my last post of The Simpsons. He's right, I'm not the biggest fan, or rather, I really don't know anything about this cartoon series, never having seen one full episode. I only posted it because my friend made it and I find it clever. Well done Gregory.

2. Mr. Bickerson reminded me that the Spectrum version of "True Love Will Find You In The End" is actually the best. That's debatable but this is good, excellent rather. Listen and find out for yourself now.

3. Mr. Bickerson reiterated the genius of R Kelly. THIS IS GENIUS! YES IT IS! I teared up, that's for sure...

...And then I got this serious warning from Wiggles... (Mr. Bickerson thought this was complete nonsense.) This is for my former colleagues, so fresh + so young, and first-time voters(!); you could be me and that would seriously suck...

3am In Springfield

I don't know much about The Simpsons at all... but this is quite amusing...

Springfield, USA. - Sen McCain's robodialing has spiraled out of control. Residents, including the owner of a local powerplant, and a community religious organizer, have reportedly received an endless string of automated calls, many of them in the middle of the night.

Watch the full video report at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I went to the Disney Hall to see Antony & the Johnsons last week. It was very special, one of those few experiences you know is more than just a show, more than just music, it really gets in there. And I don't think I was the only one who sobbed the entire time. I can't describe how this has touched me in ways indescribable, how the last five months were brought back all at once, all blue skies and fluffy white clouds but ultimately, just blue.

Two live radio versions, accompanied by the brilliant Bernard Butler...
My Lady's Story
Hope There's Someone

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Silent Ceremony

I had the privilege of attending Jonas + Katherine's wedding. It was a silent ceremony. The sweet smell of sage lingered throughout that windy night in the hills of Echo Park and captured everyone's hearts. Such tenderness, such fire, I was overcome with emotion, how could I deny something so pure even in my current state... as the Gay Divorcée?

A Silent Ceremony but not a Quaker Ceremony. C'mon now, we are in California, not Pennsylvania.

Michael made the gorgeous flower arrangements of course. He never fails to amaze me.

It was pleasant catching up with former colleagues of mine. It's been an entire month now!

Kids just don't get it these days (as lovely as they are). Alex & Andrew, a bit bewildered with the setup but they got it together just in time...

Jane, my favorite actress. Me, as her adoring fan bordering on the obsessive (though I'm really her "unofficial" manager). She's gonna be massive I tell you. Just massive. A natural talent, a superstar!

The gay toast!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

It's been a while and I'm a bit rusty with my djing skills but am super excited to be helping Wiggles & Mary with their party tomorrow night. Mary, I'll play some of your requests but cannot accommodate your love for Sophie B Hawkins' "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" even though I really wish it is the case!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Always Sunny with Jeremy & Jamie...

I received the most precious package in the mailbox this evening from Jeremy & Jamie... The twelve months contained in this exquisite calendar made by J&J is bursting with their love of whimsy, fable, wanderlust, song and tenderness.

If you're an Owley fan, then you must be a Atherton Lin fan too! If you're lucky (and good) enough this Xmas, you'll receive this from me... But if you're not, then I guess you must get your own...

Make Cupcakes Not War...

Yummy cupcakes from this evening's debate gathering...

"America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people."
- Gloria Steinem

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week in Review

Images from the last week or so... Don't want to get too heavy on you blog anymore. It's been a bit much eh? Not gonna let those Seasonal Blues creep up on me this year. (It's kinda fab referencing old entry posts; it's a sizable archive now, quite respectable...)

Ended up at Philly's new Khyber, Johnny Brenda's (as Mickey professed) in Fishtown. Saw a couple of bands play; venue was more memorable than the bands. That's how it goes most times...

The Green Room. Yes it really is a green room. Was instructed by Mickey to really, like seriously, shut my mouth and downplay my excitement that the Dodgers were in the NLCS with Philly. I was in the wrong town and neighborhood especially for that kind of dirty talk. F**k that, like that has ever stopped me from saying what I wanna say. GO DODGERS!!!

Somewhere in the suburbs of PA, I found myself here and saw the loveliest bottles... totalement mon style.

Then back in Cali, visited the folks in Little Saigon and had what else, the yummiest Vietnamese food in this country. Always packed, just Viets and no one else.

The special (I opted out of the shredded pork to simplify the flavors). So good. So so so good.

Saw my faves, My Barbarian's abridged version of "Non-Western" at UCLA (my beloved old campus, it was good to walk the grounds again; North Campus is now Northern Lights! wtf?) Bunche Hall, my old Hx building, is as penetratingly jolie-laid as ever!

Alex & Malik were part of my first ever musical collaboration back when we were students and we did this art musical performance at my ex's senior thesis show at Highways! I must remember all the details to blog as I think it was quite a good story!

They are doing four performances this month, only three left now. Go. See it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rain drips off of the awning... distorts all four chords...

And I'm not distorting how I feel inside...

Separate Cars.mp3

It's coming up to two years now... The Last Tour. I knew it would be my last tour even before I had even set off for this Great Land. And as the autumn air finally sets into LA, I've been thinking a lot about those five weeks (or was it six)? It left me with permanent battle wounds; life has been surreal since then, lucid but surreal. Touring N.A. is tiring, it leaves you hard-bitten. So much that an European tour was canceled last minute due to exhaustion; I just couldn't be bothered regardless of how much better it was going to be... or how amazing Scandinavia was going to be!

But now there is only nostalgia. And I'm really proud of this song. It's one of the best songs the band has ever done. It really encapsulates that time and the band as a whole (bittersweet as it may be now): he and I, our history, its presentness (even now in small but important ways), LA, our musical references, our production inclinations, the instrumentation, my best playing yet I think... I remember recording my Mellotron, Rhodes & organ parts that winter night, I was having a hard time and couldn't get them the way I wanted them to be; it was several takes too many. But it sounds almost decent right now.

[Normally, as a rule, I would never put something like this up on my blog but I'm compelled to tonight and I mean in it in the most sincere way.]

Sunday, October 05, 2008


First there was the MBV show which I had expected to help my deteriorating hearing further atrophy. There was the choice, ear plugs to help stop the hemorrhaging of the bodily organs but the undeniable melody underneath all the noise would be completely muffled. I did both.

But that was just the prelude to what I heard two days later. Lou Reed with Ulrich Krieger & Sarth Calhoun at the RedCat, performing an hourlong set of "unclassified" music. It was a private, more intimate affair. Never one to be a massive fan of the saxophone, Ulrich did things to it I never thought could be done: the bellowy feedback was marvelous, his stooped posture was inspiring (I was falling for him), it was a total commitment to the music, out of control but always in control. It made me miss playing live, where nothing else really mattered. Sarth's deep demented keyboard tones tested me at times but Lou's contented grin made everything alright. There were beautiful, just absolutely gorgeous & quiet melodies at times unexpected, through all that regal energy, that misshapen noise. It was modern day baroque music. I loved it.

I left with a new context, a redefinition of what I thought melody and noise should be for me. Noise has always been challenging for me; I've always opted for more apparent melody, something sweet and harmonious, something more balanced, like a 3-chord traditional song! Some friends have said I'm into a specific kind of esoteric but this "obscure" indie rock/pop music I've been obsessed with since a twee teen is rather "mainstream" I think, based on the popular, the folklore. I mean I love Top 40 Hip Hop and the new Killers song is just awesome! Now this noise is something different; it's been there for a while but I've never been able to appreciate it until now. I guess it took a crazy German dude (like this one) to get me to open my damaged ears to something more...

Then the week ended back to the familiar, those simple melodies made for simple people like me. The Japanese Motors were fun to watch and have improved tremendously while first time viewing of the Sian Alice Group was a good gap between art noise and sweet contemplation. Give me Melody or give me Death!