Monday, June 26, 2006

Recuperating


Well, for those of you who couldn't be there and were wondering: the show was an absolute and total blast!! It truly could not have been better.

The week before was a clusterfuck of trying to pull 7 people with disparate lives together to rehearse. When you're already in a band together you create a rehearsal rhythm. When you haven't been a band for over a decade the scheduling tends to make you want to pound your head against the side of a Marshall stack. We actually got only one rehearsal (at soundcheck) with the entire band together, everything else was piecemeal--each rehearsal was missing at least one member. In the three days beforehand Pete (Lord Roadkill) was calling the girls every hour to post a new update on who was going to be where. Rik Rocket stepped in a measly two days before to fill in on second guitar for our friend Esko who ended up not being able to make rehearsals (Esko was replacing Bobby Gustafson who lives in Florida and couldn't get here this particular weekend). Rik blew us all away with his guitar prowess and ability to get the songs down so quickly, and he made us look just that much cooler onstage.

So we managed to get five songs together and were completely overwhelmed by the reception we received upon stepping onto the stage. The room at Delancey is the size of a postage stamp but the roar sounded like a stadium to me.Words can't tell you how touched and grateful I am for the love that we received. The room was so jammed with old friends that it felt like a class reunion. Our former soundman and good friend Brian "Cycle Boy" Christian came in and made the room sound amazing, and as an extra treat my sister flew in to NYC for the weekend. So she and I got to hang and be silly (i.e., drunk) like we used to, which meant a lot to me. And my AOD crew was right up front along with all the fashion kids I work with at Patricia Field, most of whom had never actually been to a rock show and who were very excited to learn how to use the devil horns properly.

As for performing itself, it was an absolute ball. One of the cool things about getting older is that you tend to feel more grounded and "in the moment". I was able to enjoy my friends onstage and my friends in the audience much more now than then. When I was a kid every show was a cause for panic. Now it's like, who cares--I just don't wanna look fat in the video! And we actually didn't screw up, it went off without a hitch. I think we rocked the place pretty fucking hard and it was well worth the effort.

So thank you, thank you to my friends that were there and to everyone that sent good wishes, and hopefully now I'll be able to plow through the pile of mail I've been ignoring for the last two weeks.



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You Had Me at Welcome to the Jungle

First of all, there is SO much to discuss re the big Axl/Tommy Hilfiger blowout at a birthday party for Rosario Dawson (the worst actress in the world) that happened Thursday. But I feel that Tara will be the better blogger for that incident so I will leave it to her. Plus I know some of you have been expecting a blog about the actual Guns n' Roses themed karaoke show that happened this week, and you know I'm happy to oblige. So here's my half of the story...

A couple of months ago, as soon as I heard tickets were going on sale, I called my ex Jesse and told him he had to take me to the show. I knew it would sell out right away and that he would have enough juice to get us in on the list. Jesse hates all 80's metal and rock but agreed to go because he's a nice guy and because he owes me after countless hours of forcing me to sit through things like 3 hour Springsteen shows, countless viewings of Mean Streets and Apocalypse Now, and enough Lucinda Williams to choke any serious rock fan. You know, all the shows and movies that will slowly kill a rock and roll vampire like myself. But though we have very different aesthetics we are tight and he is a generous soul and I knew he would take me to GnR regardless of whether he wanted to see the show or not.


We went on the last night, the 17th, with his manager Diane, who is very cool and fun to be around. On the ride over Diane was kind enough to inform me that my most hated arch enemy from "back in the day", who had actually slept with Axl and lorded it over the rest of us until she got dissed majorly the next time he rolled back into town, and who was largely responsible for my going to jail one night, is now working as a prostitute in LA. This pleased me to no end and portended a good evening (insert evil laugh here).

In any case, when we got there it turned out there were only two VIP wristbands instead of three, and because the show was such a jammed up clusterfuck, no amount of talking on Diane's part could get us another one. The VIP is great at the Hammerstein: you can stand in one of the opera boxes on the side of the room, which always afford a great view and listen. It's definitely the place to be, but overall the entire place is pretty decent for shows so it wasn't a real problem to be excluded from the boxes, and we went to the mezzanine to look around for a spot. Unfortunately, because the show was sold out and we got there pretty late, there was no standing room at the railing and the only seats were in the back, which meant the sound was muffled and you kind of had to duck to see the back of the stage. But whatever, I just wanted to see what Axl was going to do, it's not like it was really GnR and I didn't have my heart set on an amazing show. I've already been lucky enough to see the real thing in smaller venues and I know that no hired band will ever come close to those shows.


The night opened with "Welcome to the Jungle", the first tense na-na-na-na of the guitar starting for a second, then silence, then starting again, and building up slowly into a roar. It was a pretty strong way to open: my stomach jumped a little and the crowd went nuts. Then Axl came out and it was on for real.


He looked great, in my opinion (and from the back of the room): he's in decent shape and he keeps those cornrows in a ponytail so they're not too obvious. The rest of the band was a mishmash of visual styles and types, but rock and roll enough to be watchable. Richard Fortes (ex Psychedelic Furs) looked the best, like an extra member of Backyard Babies or something equally cool, and he brought a little more NYC realness to the band. Tommy Stinson looked uncomfortable and the most like a hired gun in a grey button down shirt. I never got why girls go so nuts for him, he's cute but just not flashy enough for me, plus I've always hated the Replacements (another band Jesse forced on me with regularity). The second guitar player looked like the token grunge guy w/long hair and a knit cap, but seemed cool (I think he's the one from NIN?) and could play, and the final and main guitar hero was a tall freak with long hair, a beard and red suede boots. He reminded me of the Doctor from Dr. & the Medics (look it up, kids) and Diane thought he was sexy. Plus he could play his ass off. They all could...you get what you pay for! The rest of the band--drummer and keyboards--were pretty much invisible to me throughout the show because they were on a second tier in the back which I couldn't see unless I really ducked down.

I expected to feel removed but as soon as Axl leaned, stretched his arm out and bent his head sideways into the mike I was sucked in like a mooney preteen and my heart swelled like the Grinch's. What can I say? I love the man. He could be 90 years old, weighing 300 pounds and sporting yarn extensions and I'd still show up with flowers. I finally understand Michael Jackson's fans. And he sounded great. I think there was something shifty going on with the vocals in the sound booth because the vocal volume went up and down, but the man was running around and screaming it out for real. And 90 percent of the songs were off Destruction. I was verklempt.


So I clapped and squealed and and turned to Jesse (who was looking at his watch) and said, "I wish he would just suck it up and call Duff and Slash. He'll never get Izzy but those two would come back." As soon as the sentence left my mouth Izzy walked on stage and the crowd went insane. I was so excited I started texting any friends I thought would be even remotely interested. The band jumped into "Think About You" and people screamed in ecstasy and Jesse said, "What's the name of this song? Do you want a beer? I'm going to the bar."

Diane went to scout out the VIP section to see if she could find another wristband but came back and reported that the area was jammed up with models and no one had an extra band. She was really tired from a long drive the night before and wanted to go home, so she gave hers to Jesse and left. At that point I felt someone banging into my chair from behind and took a moment to look around. To my horror I realized that we were surrounded by screaming, drunken Jersey mooks in sports jerseys and mom jeans acting like it was the first time they'd ever gotten drunk. I was terrified one of them would vomit near or on me. Plus their witty banter ("Booooottttoxxx!! Paradise City!!!!!") was distracting and not a little irritating. 

I turned to Jesse and said hopefully, "Lets go check out the VIP, maybe the sound is better." He looked at his wrist half-heartedly and raised it up to show me he'd lost the band. And then he started making phone calls. Sigh...I was on my own for this one. But I was loving the show and didn't care too much: Sebastian Bach came out and sang My Michelle, looking like a giant next to Axl and of course singing his ass off, Kid Rock came out for Night Train, there was Knocking on Heavens Door, Patience (Night Train and Patience featuring Izzy again), Live and Let Die, Mr. Brownstone, November Rain, pretty much everything an old school GnR fan could ask for. Well, everything except the actual band, I suppose.


I texted Axl's friend Vegas just to say I was loving the show. He sent one back saying, "So you got your tix okay at willcall?" I freaked. I never hit him up for the list because I don't really know him and didn't want to count on it. And he had put me on anyway, without my prompting and I'm sure with my own goddamn wristbands which I could have shared with one of my screaming girlfriends who would have loved the show as much as me. I am an idiot and really must start trusting my own mojo more often.


Anyhoo...Jesse, who was still squirming like a five year old in church, had gotten a text from a girl who runs a party in town that was host to the big afterparty. Vegas sent a second text that that's where they were going, so I was psyched. Great show, I had my friend-of-Axl (FOA) connect and my well-connected and generally fun to hang out with ex-boyfriend to drag to what was sure to be a great party. It was the last night of the shows and pretty much anyone with anything to do with rock and roll was in the Hammerstein at that moment, so I had no doubt it would be raucous. Yippee!


Finally Paradise City, the last encore, started amidst blasting flash pots and flying confetti. People cheered and Axl screamed and I shouted "Whooo!" and bounced happily. Jesse said, "Last song, lets go!" and started walking towards the exit. I looked at him in disbelief and horror, so he sighed and stood in the aisle waiting for the song to end. But as soon as the last chord sounded he was off and running again. We were out of the building before anyone else and he ran like a man possessed into the middle of 34th Street frantically waving at the first cab passing by. 

I ran behind him breathless and cursing, and as we sat down he said to the cab driver, "We're going downtown." My heart sank--the party was not located downtown. He turned to me and said, "You're going home, right?" I opened and closed my mouth like a fish. "You didn't want to go to that party did you? Its gonna suck." Damn it. I knew I was beaten...I didn't have the heart to force him so I sucked it up and said, "Aw, Christ. Drop me off at Cups." At the very least I could get a beer with my friends to assuage the sad fact that I would be missing a room full of partying and aged rock stars, half of whom I knew personally.


Thank God Maya and Rocket were both working. I sat down at the bar to begin the commiseration but quickly realized that I was about to be moshed into by two wasted frat boys pretending to be rock types and slamming each other around the room. I got up and tried to dodge them to get to the safety of the other side of the bar, but one of them did the old fake slam-into-you-cop-a-feel thing, which is a move that pisses me off to no end. It's so pointless. And who do they think they're fooling? 

So before I had a moment to process any thoughts I had him by the neck and pinned to a column. His eyes bulged in disbelief and I snarled, "Do not touch me, fucker." It is never wise to cop a feel with an ex Cycle Slut who has just had a rocking afterparty featuring Mr. Axl Rose snatched out from underneath her. He grabbed my wrist with a decent amount of strength and I came to, realized what I was doing and let him go and walked to the end of the bar with as much dignity as I could muster.


So I got my beer and detailed the evening to Rocket while my boy sulked and threw looks. I felt a little badly about humiliating him in front of his friends. I still do, I always feel shitty about touching people, no matter how they are behaving it isn't within my rights to get physical. But whatever, I improve with time but I will never be a saint. And I wasn't going to let something that silly ruin what was, to me, a really fun show. Regardless of whether I went to the party I'm glad I went to the concert. It wasn't GnR, but it was a nice bit of noise. And when Axl finally does do the right thing and calls Duff and Slash, I will be there with bells on, and hopefully with a handful of wristbands and a posse for the afterparty!

Okay, take it and run, Tara!


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Thursday, June 15, 2006

3 Broads, 5 Songs, A Lot of Alcohol


All righty, friends and family, I'm getting some nice emails and a few questions so here are the details you've been asking about...

Venus P. Crusher aka Betty aka Vas Kallas will not be performing. I'm not going to give you any comment on it except to say that I love all my ex-bandmates and respect the choices they make. I also want to make it clear that this is a purely-for-fun gig at a party hosted by our good friends Rik Rocket and Supermorgan, which is why there is no pressure on any ex-members to participate if they're not feeling it. It's going to be a short set and the theme revolves mostly around getting liquored up and making some noise with old friends. As for the line-up, all members performing are ex-Sluts, except for Esko on 2nd guitar. He was in the Creeps with Gini, Pete, and I though, so he was practically a Slut.

Showtime is 1 am. But get there earlier and you'll get to see the most worthy Honor Among Thieves.

Ahem...and to those who are already bugging me about the guest list, there isn't one because it's 5 bucks and I don't want to have to struggle to remember everyone who doesn't want to pay. However, there may be some kind of senior citizen discount for those who were around to see us in our heydey.

And as an added bonus June 24 is Jonny Tingle's birthday, so we will also be celebrating the fact that he was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world on this date about 90 some odd years ago. Please bring canned goods and warm clothing to donate, and if we're lucky we may be able to coerce him into coming up and singing Beer with us.

Okay, I think that's it. I've got to go try to squeeze into an old pair of hot pants now.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Rambly Update About This and That


Some random items just to keep anyone interested in my tiny life caught up...

My mom was in NYC, she came to work on some signature cell healing courses in NJ and then stopped at my place for a week. It was nice to have her here for a little while and she got to meet a few of my friends. We went to Alex Grey's gallery up on 27th Street (waaaay West) and it was worth the trek. His artwork is absolutely incredible and if you are in NYC you def need to see it in person. You can google him and see most of the paintings online but they're very large so the impact is much stronger in person. My mom also helped me drag my old couch into the hallway, she's more of a man than half the boyfriends I've had in my life.

Mike and I went to see Wolfmother last night. We were both skeptical and Tara warned me that it would be yet another case of me standing in the middle of the room complaining that there's not one attractive guy onstage and the rock star is extinct (Plea to the 20-somethings out there forming bands: Can you please, please put the donut down, stop with the gay emo haircuts and put on a decent pair of jeans?!). But we were very pleasantly surprised. The band rocked the fuck out and were much sexier than they look in photos. It was mostly Deep Purple redux and the Jack White-ish vocals can wear thin after a while, but they played with conviction and it was nice to hear some real riffs for a change. Thank God people are starting to mine the 70's now because if I have to hear one more 80's ripoff band I'm going to get on a roof in Williamsburg with a gun and start taking out hipsters. Yes, I'm talking to you Interpol!!

And in pet news, Drew left town for a week and so of course I took the opportunity to sneak yet another cat into my one-bedroom apartment. So now we have:


My beloved Monty Lemieux...


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The long suffering and extremely patient Lila Lemieux...


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Winter the Berserker...


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And the new guy, who was named Alexander the Great by the rescue people, we are still not sure if that name will stick...


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He is very skinny right now, they found him on Coney Island and suspect that he was kept in a cage and used for breeding. Drew wanted to kill me when I told him there was one more live being in the apt, but as soon as he saw Alexander he forgave me. The cat is really cute and a total character. But I have been absolutely forbidden to drag any more needy furry things into the house.


And since I'm on the subject of needy furry things, I feel I must do a public service announcement on the animal crisis out there. Especially since Tila Tequila just tried to buy a fancy little dog and then decided not to when it turned out he was sick. She is now on the market for a new puppy mill dog, it's so frustrating that someone with that much internet power is so completely ignorant. I don't have a fraction of her readers (though I like to think that mine are far more intelligent) and I know I'm preaching to the choir, but just so it's said:

There are SO MANY animals out there in need of homes. Thousands of them are euthanized every day. Other thousands are sitting in cages, hurting for love and attention. Please people, STOP BUYING PETS. You are only feeding a sick money machine and often in the process getting pets that are genetically damaged. If you like a particular breed there are all kinds of rescue agencies for purebreds, it just takes a little more time and research. And if you have pets, SPAY OR NEUTER. Yes, puppies and kittens are cute. But there are already too many out there. For every puppy you bring into the world that is one more dog in a cage somewhere that won't get a good home.


We don't think that our own personal actions have much impact on the world but they do. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as autonomous and separate from the rest of the world and start making responsible choices. I am in the middle of my own little personal crisis because it has suddenly dawned on me that everything I purchase comes from somewhere and has an energy. This is really difficult because I am a beauty product junkie. I went into the Duane Reade yesterday to get astringent and I had to put everything down and go to the health food store for it instead. It was the weirdest thing, I kept picking up bottles and feeling sick. I just can't hand money over to companies that pollute or test on animals anymore. And all of the major brands are owned by giant corporations that just don't give a shit about the planet or its inhabitants.

And I'm feeling the same way about food as well. The energy of what we put in our bodies becomes our own energy. It's so simple but its so true--we are what we eat. So now I'm getting way more fussy about what I'm eating and it's becoming a pain in the ass. But it's like my eyes have opened and I can see very clearly how all things, people, actions are interconnected, intertwined, and as Alex Grey expresses in his paintings, all one large grid in which the movements of one affect the movements of all.

Oh, and lastly, yes, we are doing a MINI Slut reunion at Dirty Bomb on June 24. I say mini because we are missing one girl and are only doing 4 songs. It's purely for fun and none of us want to feel too pressured out about performing like pros. It has been a while since we've put on the vinyl bras and screeched in unison. But stay tuned for details.

So to recap: Wolfmother cool, too many pets, I am a treehugger, old broads getting back onstage.

I hope everyone is feeling good and I'll try to get a fun story out in the next week or so.