Thursday, December 29, 2005

elvis show in hollywood soon... plus blablabla...

happy hoo yah to yall!!
we're playing the elvis birthday show next sunday night, 1/8/06, at the music box (henry fonda theatre) in hollywood. whoopee!! i'll have more details when art f gets home from vacation... we get to do two songs this year, & it's gonna be swell!!! :) if you plan on coming for the show, know there'll be scores of acts from little-known to roots-rockin' Known (james intveldt, the blasters, dave alvin, candye kane, dwight yoakam, groovy rednecks, etc. etc. have played in the past) & the music box is plush, plush, plush. brian p wants to stay the night so he can get hammered & hang out, so he'll be there throughout the evening, along with many many more... get your tickets soon to have a great evening while paying respects to memory of the king of rock & roll!!
here's a little couple pix from matt munoz of last friday's holiday deal (details below). thank you, mister mento! ... i spent the week in laverne with my friend & her kids, then hollywood with hubby & stepson. doggie roscoe went to stay in simi valley & got to go to the beach! cat stayed here & ate tinsel... the dog is sleeping right now, tired pooch, while fat kitty junior crashes around the house with a strip of green ribbon... while i was gone, i took my little friends to a movie, ate a bunch of great food (guelaguetza, clifton's cafeteria, the griddle, etc.), went thrift shopping & to aron's going out of business sale (record collectors mourn! but deals are to be had from now til end of feb!), stayed at the beverly laurel, saw the holiday lights at griffith park & autry museum, drove & drove & drove on the pretty windy streets & endless neighborhoods & freeways... driving driving & listening to music... is there anything greater? except being with someone cool & maybe having a pot of strong coffee, also?? i know there's lots more finery & joy & depth & meaning to life, but these things are pretty up there, in my book...
with the new year approaching, what is your resolution? mine is to not smash this blasted computer, which seems to run slower every day!! ...and of course, to lose 10 pounds. :) and to fly to mars, which is just as likely to happen. :) well, i'd better go unpack... feliz ano nuevo! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

run run rudolph, santa's gotta make it to town

well, no pix, but last night was super fun. we practiced with boy wonder (our very mature new 21-year old drummer, whom i hope doesn't mind my admiring poke), then packed up & headed for sandrini's (subterranean downtown nightclub). paul perez carried my keyboard downstairs: funny how much shorter the staircase seems with someone else hauling my keyboard & amp! the cave-like place was packed with drinkers & diners a-plenty. alejandro nunez opened the show with earnestly heart-felt spanish guitar & singing; between songs, he'd break into a boyish, braces-clad grin (mento buru was backing him up)... cesareo had agreed to lend drumming expertise, which bolstered brian p's & my duo quite a bit! we were up next & i don't know much what happened except i left the stage feeling like i'd ridden a rocking fun rollercoaster! for the first tune, rockin' winter wonderland, matt & the fellows played sleigh bells & added howls and laughs. next was blue christmas, with brian p's (deliberately) cheesy elvis vocals met by happy laughter & cat-calling from the audience. i was high on the fun of it, babbling like a fool non-stop, but when people are smiling, laughing, & enjoying themselves that much, i can't help myself. it was thrilling & heart-warming to see people bopping their heads, yelling encouragement, etc... we did rockin' around the christmas tree, christmas blues, christmas in jail, white christmas, jingle bell rock (brian threw me the solo, which i forgot i had. i yelled "save me!!!" to the cacophony of wrong notes), & run run rudolph. folks were dancing & prancing by then: exciting. when we were finished, i had to just reply 'thank you' to all the nice stuff folks said. it's unbelievable how responsive & complimentary people can be... brian p admonished, "don't let it go to your head," but i know it's not about me, but about having fun & sharing what we've got to offer. how fortunate that people seem to enjoy it!... we packed up, then listened to mento buru for a while. at corner stage, i had a great view of roberto, matt, paul, joe, david, and the rest, the blasting horns, congas, timbales, the crowded, masterly mess of merriment. if you haven't seen mento, they are bakersfield's most accomplished & fun-loving party band. thank you to matt munoz for inviting us, dear brian b, heidi, jaime, & everyone else who showed up to see us, as well as cesareo & the fellows for lending their bells, maracas, whistles, & percussive good cheer. merry christmas, feliz navidad, gud jul, happy hannukah, happy festivus, happy kwanzaa, etc. to all, and to all a good time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

blasters on art fein: "is it time to v-v-v-vamp?"

it's way too early to be awake, but i gotta write about last night! here is the dumbed-up groggy-headed stupidified sleep-deprived oh mama can you believe it version.
brian p & i left bakersfield for smellay late but only hit a tad of traffic, arriving at adelphia studio off the 5 and 2 in early evening. the blasters were already playing!!! they were just noodling around while the studio techs got their levels, which meant they were doing whatever popped into phil alvin's head... phil was in manic comedian mode, joking and singing and riffing in a laugh-out-loud manner, joyfully mad and whatta kick. they warmed up playing "whole lotta love," for instance, with phil's face tomato-red as he sputtered and cracked up singing the falsetto parts (he did it well, of course!). then he sang "my way" in a ham-handed lampoon of sinatra. art wanted a vamp intro, so phil kept stuttering, "is it time to v-v-v-vamp?" brian p told them we'd opened one of art's shows vamping on batman, so then they went into an extended and skewered version of that, then phil led "lonely, lonely nights," which my friends the blazers used to do, with the other guys peering at each other with gentlemanly amusement, wondering what phil would pull outta his ear next. he grinned and leered like bugs bunny, talked a mile a minute, cranked out the tunes, and when it was over, put his gear away while happily belting out altar boy liturgy in latin for quite a long time. i was glad he kept his beat-up old guitar turned way up cause i like his scratchy, melodious 30s-style vernacular playing... the show started and between art's questions the band played "milk cow blues," "4-11-44," "rock boppin' baby," their fantastic version of johnny paycheck's "precious memories," "daddy rolling stone," and finally "american music." the sound was just perfect; i hope everything, the practice, every word, was recorded. the blasters are geniuses and i got that wonderful feeling i was gonna go nuts from the excitement of the music and the great fun of the fellows' patter! then we all went to dinner at a nearby mexican joint where everyone squeezed around a little table, phil's humor got a little blue, jerry ate my potato taco and commented that with all the wise cracks and irreverent liveliness, "this is like a marx brothers movie!," art put his finger in my carne asada, then we hit the road back to bakersfield. i would write more, but i can't even think after this whirlwind and my resulting lack of sleep! i'll just say look for the show to air in LA, NY, Chicago, and other places. you can get more great info, too, at ... art took pix, which i hope he'll send! paxton's (one above) got a little fuzzed, but better than no shots a'tall. whatta night. whatta time. whatta whatta. wow. thanks, art!!! muchas gracias and molto grazie! whatta time!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! aaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!

if you're here, you maybe like real and indigenous american music stylings. if so, click to head for the most outlandishly outstanding place for free music!!!! a little warning -- if you love rockabilly, primitive R&R and R&B, blues, jump, bop, garage punk, country & western, hillbilly, doo-wop, and more, this might distract you from carrying on your "normal" daily activities... which could be not such a bad idea, you know? aficionados of pristine production should steer clear... this stuff is raw and alive, some songs are lopped off at intro or finale, and you can hear the you-are-there pop and hiss of needle on vinyl!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


the thanksgiving weekend this year turned out to be, as bomar said, "odd." i suppose yet another growing experience. "grown-up" life is full of such things. so last night, to see my friends & to abate the odd feeling, i went to 4 meetings in a row to celebrate the local drunk club being open now 53 years. at the 3rd mtg, an old man who'd been sitting in seeming anguish for hours, a passer-through town on the holiday weekend, blurted out that the state of texas had just executed his son. he burst into sobs & stumbled out the door. ed r, who was leading the mtg, stood right up and provided what my friend jani called "an old-timer minute": he followed that fellow right outside to help him. i've always kinda had a little platonic crush on ed, who's a tall, silver-haired, straight-standing southern gentleman type who plays honky-tonk barrelhouse piano. it became such admiration at that moment... it was just the right danged thing to do. i'm lucky to have made lots of friends in the past decade who are like that, bomar being a big one. they just do the right thing, no matter what; it's inspiring, & they're not doing it to show off at all, which just makes it more inspiring... i drove home, overwhelmed by my good fortune, to have been part of the human & humane events of the evening, couldn't sleep, thinking about Life, loved ones, returning monday to my kiddies at work, my newly healthy physical state & the "good witch" who's got me there, hepped up on caffeine, so i did the best i could - made a collage. it was too late to pound joyful heartache tunes on the piano or listen to some music, so this was the next best thing. when my soul is grateful, it hears songs. these pictures help me hear the music and remember to be grateful... & to want to share it with other people.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

kinky goes to hollywood

-> thanks to my kind doctors, i am beginning to feel consistently well for the first time in months, so i went to a little fundraiser for kinky friedman at lucie's in hollywood. kinky (top R pic), country singer-songwriter ("a**hole from el paso"), mystery writer ("god bless john wayne"), now politician, is running for gov of texas. how does that affect ca? queried kinky, whose heroes are mark twain & will rogers & buds are willie nelson & jesse "the body" ventura. well, if an independent takes the lone star state for the first time since sam houston, big money pols (the blues & reds) will be quaking in their loafers. right now, kinky's at nearly 23% in the polls -- far beyond what ventura had this time of year during his successful run for gov of minnesota.
-> kinky's from a family of teachers, like i am, & i was drawn by his outlaw-absurd reputation as well as a terrific recent new yorker article ( kinky's campaign started as pure satire, but people responded to his humor, openness, & down-to-earth populism. as a result, the jokester now finds himself possibly about to become an elected official... kinky's education program is called "no teacher left behind" & will require all education appointees to actually have "classroom time" in their background. "the teachers are getting screwed," he said, "and the good ones are leaving." sit an experienced teacher down & you'll hear the same. children aren't being instilled with a love of learning under the present system. "we're teaching the kids to pass tests, and that's it," said kinky.
-> the crowd included actors, musicians, artistes, texans, lots of tall folks & eclectics a-plenty -- chuck e. weiss, tony gilkyson, jimmie lee maslon, van dyke park, danny hutton from 3 dog night; ruth buzzi, bud cort, max gail, david steinberg; bill osco, director of "flesh gordon," etc. many faces looked familiar, & i relied on my friend art to fill me in. kinky's right-hand man, "little jewford" (jeff shelby, top L pic), wore a flashy elvis jacket under a beatific baby face & curls, but chuck e. weiss (bottom, with art) stole the sartorial shoe show with his spankingly fantastic teal and brown stacy adams wingtips. he said that mr. florsheim himself had made those shoes especially for him.
-> an interesting evening? most certainly, all y'all. as the candidate would say, "may the god of your choice bless you."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

better stay 'way from him, he'll rip your lungs out, jim

before you's a tiny pic from a halloweenish C&S biker party. the impromptu garage band played off the cuff 50s-60s tunes. i had to quit after a while; no stamina these days. the others kept going for hours. john smith, middle pirate & bassist for 70s' band duke & the drivers, led a very fun version of monster mash. the others are steve (knight) & johnny garcia (pirate) & two nice folks whose names I can't recall. the drummer, mike, was outstanding & very nice. wish i could've kidnapped him for the dusk devils.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

dem old sinus pain & exploding drummer blues

-happy birthday to bomar... 29 again! thank goodness for friends, family, and loved ones. no man's an island, etc. etc. etc. my latest movie recommendation is "j'ai ete au bal (i went to the dance)"... it's a documentary about the history of cajun/zydeco. exhilarating!
-in less exhilarating news, why why why? here we go again. drummer number eight. i was tempted to go into a drummer diatribe, a cynical slideshow, a la nicholson in "carnal knowledge," of the many who've passed by... but that wouldn't be kosher. not copacetic. not kind. it would be rudely satisfying only to me, and quickly followed by guilt, inappropriate... wise, warm, crackling-with-life sister b said recently, "if we knew all, we'd forgive all." of course, i don't know the full story of why number seven is vacillating in his commitment. i just need to get this band out of his way... & begin the search for number eight, i guess!
-i asked my friend ruben (guaderrama) if it'd be easier to find steady, enthusiastic musical buddies if i lived down south, but he replied grimly, "no, it'd just be more complicated." even he is going solo these days, after near-40 years playing with his right hand man & life-long best friend. even that has dried up! i hear mento's drummer caesareo (sp) wrote a blog on the topic of "the cat versus the..." canary? the committed music lover versus the leaf in the wind-- brian p knows. i'm sure it's well-worth reading. you could find the link through nl belardes' site, i'd bet!
-so where is the bako equivalent of jerry angel? bill bateman? lisa pankratz? jose, why do you live in orange county??? or even, why are we here in backwardsville? why don't folks just want to play traditional, fun, rocking music here, get together and stomp feet, pound and saw, yell and purr and growl, tell stories in song, make melodies, make folks jump, dance and smile? so many drummers we've had have been held back by Life stuff like money, disapproving other halves, the drive... it really stinks. i guess the days of sitting on the porch playing all night are long gone. que lastima, as some would say.
- anyway, jose plays with cattie ness. he is not just a great drummer, but a quick study and a nice dude, also willing to drive and drive for the prospect of putting on a fun gig. bruce jones, olen taylor, you're local, you're the best, come back! you've rested long enough... haven't you? ...........oh well. i'll just watch movies for a while to keep the joy level up, i spose. and celebrate halloween, and the beginning of holidays season... all is not lost...
-however, there's this other problem: for the past couple of months, i've wished i could somehow live without my head, a reverse of "the brain that wouldn't die" -- just a torso walking around and pounding the keys. the pain in my skull is constant. it moves, too -- one day in the face, next in my ears, then over the eye socket. i told a recent drummer, a happy kind of guy, i'm looking at sinus surgery & he asked, "will that change your singing voice?" didn't even consider that, but the pain must go! the psychic pain of daily life can be enough at times. (ha! spoiled middle class american complaining... i really have no right, yet i do it!) adding physical pain to the mixture... well, what for, if it can be avoided, what for? the pain -- be it in my sinus cavities or sitting on a drummer's saddle -- must go.
-ha! there's my cheap shot. see? now i feel guilty. shouldna said it, but i did. at least keith moon exploded after putting in hundreds, thousands of heavy-pounding shows.... but i suppose he was keith moon, & exceptional, committed musicians are who they are for a reason. that fire & dedication is what separates them, maybe... but again, doesn't anybody just want to get together and make some happy noise, some rocking country blues, some hepped up, melancholy, jumping life music, just to do it, just for the wonderful release and pleasure of doing it?... the weird captain howdy clown face on the bootleg cover reflects the music-less situation. he's dressed for fun, but just sitting there... waiting. oh well. life goes on... though i complain here, as long as you and i are upright and breathing, there's hope. so it's movies for now, til the music comes back.

Friday, October 14, 2005

i'll go down swingin

nl belardes just put up the podcast that i got to do with him recently. it's an about 30 minute radio show titled "honky tonk girl [sic], jenny angel." you can find it at
... i hope you enjoy listening, & happy weekend to all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

the killer, the king, the boss of the 88s

-WOW!!!!! elwood in sweden sent me a care package of cds, & i'm listening to jerry lee lewis at the star club and... ARRGGHHH!!! this is the kinda music that turned teens into rebels in the '50s, the musical equivalent of jekyll changing to hyde,... pure raw wild thumping raging rock & roll!!! if the other cds have this kind of primal power, respectable life as i know it is doomed.
-or i'll have to ration it... but how will that be possible???
-one of the first experiences i had like this, where my hair stood on end & my pulse pounded & my eyes bugged & i felt truly alive, was when i was about 16 & caught on public tv-kcet a showing of "don't knock the rock" (not to be confused with the bill haley-alan freed movie). it was a 1963 granada (british tv) show featuring (unbelievable, still) the animals, gene vincent, little richard, the killer, and more... the scenes with jerry lee are decadently thrilling -- he's leering, swaggering, swollen-faced, pot-bellied, long blond curls swinging, dancing and shaking on the piano like a go-go girl as teds and greasers adore him, pounding the 88s along with a sloppy, thundering band, looking drunk on star power, awesome, the greatest in that moment, the killer, the king... must... exhale...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

the rocking keyboard strikes, the ugly men of country are covered

- yesterday i got to do nl belardes' podcast, though solo. i'd've preferred the band to come along, but brian p's been m.i.a. (just became a granddad - maybe that's it :) ). the fellows ho showed up there (fattkatt, les paw, & of course, dj nick) (not the "ugly men" referred to at top, btw) asked, "why don't you go solo?" well, i much prefer playing music with others; it's so much more fun to be "a part of," & the guys i've played with are good musicians... but i do want to play music!! as is, the band has no openings to play for months & months. i've turned down many offers recently. other musicians drop their jaws when i tell them this. it does make me pause when three folks in past weeks have mentioned the "solo" thing. anyhow.
- i brought my little keyboard, the one dad bought me years ago to encourage songs i was writing at that time. got the keys set up, went to get some coffee since i've been so sick & needed perking up (saw students!), came back & they'd gotten all set up, so off we went. i started playing (no percussion, not even a wooden floor to stomp the foot), & the keyboard starting rocking back & forth wildly. messed up my time bad in a few spots...i'm no jerry lee, that's for sure! finally we stopped recording & took some time out & fattkatt fixed the stand.
- i think the interview went well, but i did pause when asked what the band's been up to... i do appreciate the others a lot, but a band's gotta play, or it's not a band, i don't think! hmm... maybe that's why candye kane goes solo. except that woman can SING! not to mention i just love hammering that piano, not really a solo kind of gig... i sing OK... when i can hear... & on the show today, les had the vocals dialed in well, so that was some fun. no effects, no band, 61 plastic keys on a wobbly stand & chair, in a room wearing headphones with 3 guys staring at me, but it was still better than not playing, so i took the opportunity and steamed ahead.
- between interview, i did four songs or so, then finally coaxed fattkatt into singing with me. we've done it before, & i love singing harmonies. we did really impromptu versions of songs by two of the most mythically ugly but strong-voiced singers i can think of, buck owens & roy orbison (well, the former's lost his voice, but in the don rich days, they sang soaringly, wonderfully): "tiger by the tail" and "pretty woman"... now, the first tune's no problem, but the second? complex! fun to sing, but getting the full-throated vocals AND the correct changes and rolls on piano with no practice... well, i'll just say there are some glitches. "that's what people love about live music," said les. "that's what makes it human!" amen, brother. he seemed like a real all-right guy, a solid type. :)
- thank you to nl belardes for the podcast shot & to fattkatt & les for being there. the show's supposed to be on-air/online next week, so i'll post again when it's up. maybe next time, the whole band will come.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

lunatics need love, too

well, just heard show with blasters for tomorrow has been cancelled. "everything went kerflooey." blah. poo. rats. dang. peas & carrots. .... art must be more disappointed than we are... maybe the great gods were saving us from disaster, right?... nah; i think it was just hard knocks... oh well! better to have found out now than when trying to get thru smellay gridlock on a friday-at-5! i will appease, amuse, delude myself here with a little lunatic fan-addict photoshopping... i just know this'll be the bill onea these days (click ruby slippers 3 times)... (both pix by bomar the great)

chicken lips & legs; rocking with blasters

a new article about our band is posted at from nick belardes, local writer and committed supporter of local artists. he took the pic you see here. i gotta go to work, so that's all i'll post for now... blasters show with art fein is tomorrow! woo-hoo!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

dead monitor blues don't get me down

as i seem to frequently write, last night's show was fun. you couldn't hear a dang thing, i had a dead monitor & weak mike, the sound bounced & reverberated off the dome's wrestling arena walls in a game of "find-the-beat, suckers," but it still was fun. we started playing, BOOM! and all these punk & emo teens came running out, trying to swing dance; they weren't sure what to do, so i yelled, "just jump up & down!!" later these same kids rolled & bounced off each other like puppies when the ramones-tempoed filthies played (heidi said they sound like green day, but i wouldn't know). mento buru's horns were so loud, your ears about bled (except paul perez -- he seemed to have the mike i'd gotten earlier, which was a shame). mento do that old oingo boingo song i remember off radio-- it says "who do you want to be today" -- at such a furiously-fast, slamming punk-ska tempo, with trombone & double sax/percussion, that if you don't move with it, call the morgue cause you're about-dead... the event was a sort of swarming, teeming one: about 20 bands, food out back, stupid jokes as the females ate hot dogs, musicians' tots with pink spikey hair & rocker clothes, black-clad, heavily tatted, heavily-gutted males guzzling suds & guffawing, skinny boys with eyeliner looking tres hollywood, etc. band dog jason observed the proceedings with a small smile, murmuring, "this is like the old days." every band of a certain age was there. yeah, lots of tattoos and mohawks. and us. ha!... anyway, when we played, it was great to see all those kids dancing uncontrollably, moved by the music. i wore some mardi gras rags & gave them to people in the crowd, later to jon-o & vince, who'd come "just to see you guys," they said. jerry drummer was being blasted by the keyboard monitor, so i said, "now, THERE'S a switch for ya!" i apologized to him later, tho it wasn't my fault (soundman jeff langston, brian p's friend, was there & saved us however he could), & told him, "your hearing'll come back, big guy. it always has!" brian p looked to be having fun, & his solos on "rock the joint" were spot-on. jason was, as always, cool as a cucumber... "the real" bruce wayne, local dj who looks like a movie star, gave us info on being on radio & offered me a swig of bourbon (not today, but thank you). in fact, i haven't been offered a drink so much in a long while. it was a good test. at about 7:30, ronna from bakotopia said she thought they'd raised about $2400 for the red cross -- not bad, not bad! nick belardes asked us to do his net radio show & took a pic of me that's either going to drive people away, or toward this band: lotsa leg! it actually was a pretty cool pic; nick is a talented photographer. well, better go now. adios, ciao, sayonara, hej da, see ya, good people!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

stage-divin' piano, trippin' with fein art, walkin' in LA

READ BELOW ABOUT THE HURRICANE RELIEF BENEFIT SUN 9/18... the other night brian p & i got a wild hair & did the open mike at fishlips -- i did i'll go down swingin, me & my chauffeur blues, then he came up & we did heartbeat, let's go (paladins), rebound, red hot. it was rough fun! we heckled jason, who sat at the bar. he returned the favor by conspicuously leaving to use the can for our set. i played my little 61-key yamaha, my starter keyboard, & at one point it tried to stage dive (the stand was real rickety), but we grabbed it & i kept on playing. that evening started a series of fun days i've been needing... next morning i hopped in the truck & drove to art fein's lovely mansionito by the hollywood bowl. he described the lush, winding enclave as "the beverly hills of the silent era," an apt, witty, succinct & therefore artish description. then i was treated to a few hours of music-listening & video watching & lunch-eating... on 4 hrs sleep, i felt about as witty as a gerbil, but the reptilian brain was in full function, so i was prime for the great rock & roll music & oddball screenings & tales art dished out. i like how his eyes get all glazed & wacky when he's in the moment. he says things like, "if i'da seen this footage when i was a kid, i woulda jumped outta window. my head woulda exploded." then he'd put on bo diddley or joe maphis or the sparkletones & we'd jump up & down & laugh like crazy. what fun. he sent me off with a generous package of music, heavy on his all-time faves, the heaters... dig the cool pic of art with the zydeco king himself. all i can say is wow!. . . like things couldn't keep being so great, i next went to hollywood book & poster where my friend scott just happened to be working & gave me a huge discount on a something weird dvd & directions to amoeba, so there i went, on an impromptu walking tour of hollywood on a lovely breezy day with bougainvilleas blooming all around & shopped for music for a few luxurious hours (the meter was broken -- free parking -- yowza!), then headed inland to the pomona area to visit my dear friend & her family (tho dad ruben was off playing music all weekend). art called about an extremely fun sounding event at wacko, but my friend wasn't up for it, & i was in george romero land by that time, barely able to breathe from lack of sleep, so i had to beg off, feeling like a stinking dud anyway. i passed out that night real early. well then tonight my friend was too beat, so i hit the LA county fair solo, loving the nighttime lights, the happy throngs, the music, soaring over the glittery laughing fair city on the scary, exhilarating sky tram, the cotton candy & barbecuey aromas, the shiny swirling rides, the blast of fireworks, the fair, representing so much that's good about america, man, i needed it. i didn't "do some huggin' and lovin' at the county fair..." but it was a happy & lonesome, wonderful time that filled up my heart & gave me hope, dang it, hope.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"haunted" dome hosts hurricane relief show

Hurricane Katrina Relief Show... See The DUSK DEVILS and at least 15 other live bands Sept., 18 2005 / The Dome Arena, 21st & V St., Bakersfield, CA 93301. Cost: $10.00... From Mento Buru: A Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert is in the works right now. Please mark you calenders and stay tuned as we get you all the details. CONFIRMED- Mento Buru - The Dusk Devils - Throatshot - Rocky Nash - Karmahitlist - American Standard - This Plain Morning - Esiah - Give Impulse - My Dysfunctional Me - Vanity Avenue..more bands on the way. DJ's spinning all day long: DJ Mikey (Reggaeton / Hip-Hop / Roc En Espanol), DJ Jake aka Lord Bovver (Ska / Reggae / Punk / Soul), plus more on the way. Please support the cause!! The Red Cross says this is the ONLY music event being organized in Bakersfield to help right now. Here's your chance to help out!! All of the bands listed have MySpace pages, so check 'em out at Call The Dome at 661-327-0190 for more info. (This was MENTO BURU's release, btw.) The Dome long ago was called "Strongbow" and "Strelich Stadium." It was a well-known wrestling arena, now home to music and sports events and rumored to be haunted. Owner Chencho poo-poos the idea. This show, with proceeds benefiting the Red Cross, will give ticket holders the chance to see a wide wide range of local musicians at work.

Monday, September 05, 2005

don't shake me lucifer

"the world's a mess, it's in my kiss..." i don't think the following'll make much sense unless you're down in the valley, too...
1. a stupid tirade: the whole wide genre called "blues" was born in pain, not fashion, from the little i know. all kinds of variations then arose from that core, like the wonderful new orleans acadian / shuffle/ cajun/ zydeco tradition. such a core should be respected, not aped. the "fashion blues" attitude is what i don't like about the whole "blues brothers" thing. all them salaried middle-aged suburban guys in their ray-bans and bowling shirts playing "authentic delta blues" and singing willie dixon and jimmy reed between leers, swigs and high-fives with their weekend-warrior buddies creep me out. people shouldn't perform songs unless they're authentically felt to the toes, not because they think "the blues" will make them look cool. enjoying the music, or relating to it, that's another deal, but once i take on a song to learn and it starts coming from my mouth onstage, i'm saying i'm a piece of that song or want to carry forward its experience. that's why, unless my despair deepened significantly, or drug-hell resurfaced, though i love her music, i would never sing billie holliday.
2. the unforgettable books "go cat go" and "man in black" describe how carl p and john c (respectively) dealt with the darkness. they walked and kept walking and didn't give up. i guess.
3. roky erickson said, "don't shake me lucifer"... sometimes it feels that way, tho i ain't religious. i like roky's brilliant hallucination lyrics. maybe that's the smartest way to deal with tragedy and despair. some native cultures think the clown or kashari to be the most sacred character around. better to laugh than cry: is that the ticket?
4. johnny cash said, "i'm gonna sit right here until i die"... or maybe this is the ticket? nah. i've done this, and you just have to get up after a few days to go to the bathroom or eat. speaking of cash, maybe i should transfer these feelings into disgust over the casting of two talented but inappropriate-for-the-roles hollywoodians as johnny and june in the new "walk the line" biopic.
5. a lot of hank williams' catalog was joyful, ebullient honky-tonk/love tunes or sad songs so beautiful, they pull you out of the despair pit cause HE FELT IT, TOO, & expressed it so awesomely... these extremes, i guess, are associated with the creative temperament. just imagine if the man had lived... knowing these talents lived at all can help a person not want to hang oneself, yes...
6. john lennon screamed, "how can you laugh when you know i'm down?" great song, but nah -- too self-pitying.
7. blablablablablablabla... this ain't me usually, but "blog" starts like "blab," doesn't it? sometimes the blabbing gets dark. this is one...
what a profundity: when the world's all upside down, anybody can get sad. you need the dark to see the light. etc, etc. duhh. i guess all a person can do is keep walking. and laughing. and trying not to say, "i told you so." the chinese proverb says, "fall down seven times, get up eight." time to get up. i'm gettin. i hope.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

b-o-p, bop, i said p-i-l-l-s: bop pills

today i was allergy-ill (of course), but had big music. first i went to record back-up harmonies along with jill egland for brit friend david nigel lloyd's latest irish-celtic LP, I mean, CD. on 58 east, we passed the turn off for caesar chavez' grave, then headed for dave odgen's clear creek studio at harte flat - nice mountain view, very state of the art equipment, very "live," they said. dave helped develop some akg mikes & so got this great spread as a result. we got going & i felt a little fish-out-of-water, but more comfortable on the last song, which is sort of bakersfield soundish. by the end, we were all laughing & adding in hollers and claps... after this, at home, i fortified myself with some peppy vitamins, put some girl clothes on, & headed out rosedale for larry mann's BD party. larry's played sax for little richard, bobby rydell, the comets, jerry lee, many you can name from that era. there were folks at the party from many bands in bakersfield -- i saw steve mayer and lou and bev marino, and met a bunch of others, too. jason never showed up, so, in a little richard configuration, two fellows named mark and herman BOTH filled in on bass... we were slamming!! we had to limit what we played, tho, so we wouldn't kill the bass players, & i couldn't hear well. as usual, i just shouted and pounded as best i could. we did about six songs, with larry sailing in on "roll 'em pete." afterward, folks were saying real nice stuff, so i guess it went over ok. and now, unfortunately, the vitamin hasn't worn off,... so here i sit... though not broken-hearted...

Friday, August 19, 2005

heartbeat-palomino-norselands, moolah

click here to listen to two songs... one's older (mean mean man) and one's brand new (heartbeat). you can even download them, i think. . they're both rehearsal tapes, but have good energy, i says.

this super cool pic is from the old palomino down south in 1976--that's rockabilly rebels jerry sikorski, wild-eyed ray campi, jackie lee waukeen cochran himself up front, colin winski. what a shot!

we are booking shows and collecting money for a trip next summer, hopefully out of this country. the farther north, the better, since bakingfield's so dang hot in summer. send your donations to & we'll send you a postcard in return. feliz tarde a todos...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"the singing bikers"

we just got back from a 2-week motorcycle trip. this pic was in creede, co... terry (blonde) had swisher sweets & we were about to skip down the street back to the no-tell mo-tel. (the wood tastes better than the smoke, i must say. L to R are me, ceecee, terry, & virgie.) the group of 11 joked i should go to internet anonymous--i never stopped jonesing, even sailing thru the gorgeous aspens, breathtaking red & green & purple mountains, fragrant sage & flowers, snowy peaks, copper canyons, lovely lonely desert, etc. etc. etc. it was a bit embarrassing & pitiful. we listened to ronnie dawson live at the continental club, esquerita, chuck berry best of vol 2, etc. (the last was from brian p, who made a welcomed 11th hour stop before we headed out, to bring me birthday CD rips.) had good cloud cover most days, only two monsoons. (i, pure chicken, sat inside a gas station for 1.5 hrs to ride out the storm whilst the much braver others stayed in their tents.) met a bunch of nice folks & traveled with great friends, ate fantastic meals in ojo caliente NM & moab, climbed on petroglyphs, stayed in a train car, took mudbaths & mineral waters, loudly sang "king of the road" at every stop, attended a bizarre mormon boatride tour, balanced zingers with propel water, didn't send one stinking postcard... for my BD, bomar got me a very cool little roll-up piano that weighs about 2 lbs & i played along a little with the campfire marathons at the serenity run, but they were doing a lot of folky-pop stuff, so it'll be fun to dusk devil-it again... each year, tho, the friendships are unforgettable, and so i am grateful & must again say "thank you" to dear bomar that i was able to make this trip for the ninth time.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

O2 deprivation, glamour girls, sweating bullets

(flyer at left for The Show That Ain't Gonna Happen)... i'm exhausted from last night's show with cattie ness & the revenge! there were about 15 bands at the "rock the tower" show, mostly young folks dressed up & hanging out in the big dressing room... i panicked for several days prior when cattie requested that we all wear turquoise... TURQUOISE!! but i found a "gown" and hope i looked appropriately like a revenger, tho i still didn't feel much glamorous! we were sweating all evening: first from the despicable & debilitating heat, then 'cause drummer jose called at 6 pm and was still in smellay!! had to work & four bums had called in sick on a saturday! driving at speeds certainly exceeding legal limits, he arrived at the tower & fell out of his car 15 mins before we were to be onstage... then the sound! same thing that happened at the elvis show cursed us: the drummer had no monitors! train wreck! by the end of the set, i thought, i might sprain both arms, but i'm gonna go for it! and pounded those keys like the sloppy little imitation killer that i sometimes delude myself i am... the audience cheered its head off!! so all in all, as bomar said, "you guys hung in there and pulled it off." and as cattie said, batting her glamorous eyelashes, "well, we looked good." i dig her punk rock attitude...

Saturday, July 16, 2005

read below about the show!

how it went

it was 104 degrees in bakingfield on the night of the link wray show... my biggest problem was my hands wouldn't stay on the piano keys due to the extreme heat/resulting sweat! at one point, my wet fingers slid clear off the keyboard, but the audience was laughing, dancing, enjoying themselves throughout. thank you to shawna & kipp for having us! soundman jeff dialed us in perfectly, so i was able to have some fun on the vocals. brian p. nailed all his solos with confidence, while jerry and jason were solidly in the pocket from start to finish. this tall bunch of fellows is one great band! afterward, even when link wray came on & shredded everyone's ears with his raw, delinquent sounds, folks asked for the dusk devils! lots of friends were there -- brian b, eric, lisa, heidi, jenine, gary & darrell, tim r., tim c., francis, henry, larry & co., rhonda, just a lot more people than i'd hoped. if i believed 1/4 of the compliments people gave me/us after the show, i'd be really stuck-up! one guy even wanted an autograph. imagine that! it was a rocking & successful show!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005

dusk devils & link wray fri. july 15

"link wray is the all-time legend" (conan o'brien)...
One night only... "Mr. Guitar" L I N K W R A Y
-- "The Godfather of the Power-Chord" --
"Rumble," "Rawhide," "Comanche," "Jack the Ripper" & more...
& bakersfield's THE DUSK DEVILS
fri. july 15 at fishlips 1517 18th st., bakersfield ca usa
call 661-324-2557 for tickets

Sunday, June 05, 2005

candye, candye, candye

what a fun weekend! we saw candye kane's show the other night, right here in town. she's a big beautiful blues-belter with a heart of gold, & while my feet were tapping away & spirits soaring, i kept thinking of words like "inspiring," "authentic," ones that don't usually jump to my mind at a rock'n'roll & blues-roots show. what a fantastic woman! i wish i had just part of her singing voice. we rounded out the weekend watching talented 8-piece local legends Mento Buru at the BBQ Factory... who knew this caliber of talent & fire was gigging away all the time here in bako & throughout the state?.... probably everyone except the fool who writes this! ... as mehitabel would say, be "toujour gai," everyone, "toujour gai!"

Saturday, May 28, 2005

reading material; hyperventilating

now that it looks like the DDs maybe are cooking with gas again, i'll list some past articles about us. The 1st quite, quite generously compared me to johnny johnson & wanda; the 2nd to johnny cash (Good Lord!); the 3rd is about 1st record/concert; the 4th is a review that cut us down to size. the 5th is my interview with phil alvin, fun for blasters & phil-atics like me cause it's uncut & therefore gives you a little window into a big, screwy mind. (i chatted with him at a recent blasters show at el cid & don't even remember what we talked about because all i could think was, "he's talking to me! oh my lord!!!"), but he gave me a hug & a peck on the cheek & DO remember THAT!!! then jerry, who's played drums with the blasters for over 10 yrs, said, "oh, jen. he's just a GUY," & boy i felt rightfully dumb.) here are the articles: El Beasto fanzine interview (in spanish, with some cool pix! get a literal translation thru babelfish & enjoy the hilarity), (path: Entrevistas, Dusk Devils); Tollbooth emag interview, ; My 1st record/concert, (go to march 05); Rockmag (Norwegian) review, ; phil alvin interview, ... i'll write more later about double-d developments. i better stop cause i might hyperventilate from the thrill of how good my band sounds right now. (this happened the other night after practice.) we're moving up many  notches musician-ship wise with our new band mate. a good memorial day weekend to all!

Monday, May 23, 2005

R&R & R&R

this has nothing to do with rock & roll, but has been my obsession since after the sat night show up north. all went well, but then a fight broke out after i left. (sing: "it was a knock-down drag out, you gotta find a place to hide!!") cattie looked great & i whooped it up by having a puff off a cherry-flavored cigar after our set. then home along dark 99 (though the moon was full) to dog & kitty and the next day i did nothing but eat crepes with wonderful chestnut spread (pictured) & surf for music on, not capable of much else, & grateful i had the luxury of a sunday off to R&R. even today, i feel a little groggy... guess educator hours & musician hours don't jibe 'less you're hearty as a sailor, and that ain't me! cool bands i heard... 16 horsepower & detroit cobras... also liked a few cuts on "blastered," a tribute to downey's finest, plus dock hobbs, cleo brown, big joe durkin (thanks for the tip, vince!).

Monday, May 16, 2005

cattie show 5/21; blablablablabla

cattie's bd party will be this sat, may 21, in fresno ca usa at club fred. (go to for a flyer) ... cattie ness & the revenge (i'm a revenger for this show) will play with deadbolt and the graveside rockers. it's a rock- & psychobilly show, except our set also will feature some honky-tonk (i get to be don rich on vocals -- yippee!!), a fats domino new orleans roll, and a bit of jerry lee, if my hand doesn't explode from the keyboard pounding. i play through the pain!! the music overrides the suffering usually, anyhow. :)
fun yesterday going down to smellay to practice with the southland branch of the band (fabi, jose, & their conversations about roosters and chickens) at a lock out in monterey park, right by one of those majestic clay-colored bridges in that part of town. rode down with cattie & john, listening to jimmy & johnny, ernest tubb, warren smith, stuff like that. we didn't get to eat at phillipe's, but to bypass dodger stadium traffic drove by union station , so my memories of lostangeles kicked in anyway and i was ok with plain old whatever-we-could-find road food. (not too hard these days, with the influx of suburbia eliminating the blank spots along I-5 from sta clarita to bkfld!) memories-- sometimes memories (different from fantasies or pipe dreams) are nearly as good as the real thing, i think.
a few weeks back, i got a beringer keyboard amp/PA for what seemed a bargain, so now if i can get my hands on a semi-decent mike (mine was stolen a few years back), i'll be in bizness. hard for me to be portable, and i've been called a "luddite" where gear is concerned, but i sure like this new piece of equipment and the idea that i don't have to rely on others for sound.
but don't ask me about how it works and all that! there seem to be two schools (gearheads and non); i'm just not into 99% of gear and probably never will be. however, i do like the look of the fender rhodes (action's not so good, though, i hear) and i used to have a wurlitzer that i could kick myself for trading... though i hear the blazers are currently using it, which certainly means it's being well used!
for me, too much gear can be a cover-up for lack of ability... i speak from experience here! i've had my own lack of ability disguised plenty of times with effects! really, though it's better to go bare, since you never know what equipment will be available, plus is seems somehow more honest -- also, there's the portability issue! (that said, i have to add that the "slap back" effect is purty cool.)
in an earlier band, i tried playing bass for a while (easier to carry than an electric piano), but the music just wasn't happening for me. it's much better now, playing the music i've always loved. so, all fired up from yesterday, i say if any musicians read this and live in the california latitudes between bakersfield and ventura, email me! let's play some music sometime. it's fun to play with different people and i just love playing, not a lot of talking, just music and energy. it's part of what makes life worth living, in my book.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

a blast from the past: i need to put some band pix up! even if they're over 1 year old! since our website died this past summer, there are few old shots left. this was at a show in fresno with our old bass player, who could be a load of laughs. note brian p's elvian jacket. this was drummer #74, i think.

another blast from the past: i always liked this shot. maybe because i'm the only one in focus. maybe because i don't look the "f" word. me, me, me, me, me. this was drummer #70, i recall. brian p wore an animal-print shirt, but fortunately no big game hunters were in the crowd that night.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

this is that picture described below, out front of sun.

i believe these four pix are being displayed in reverse order, so screen down and work up for proper order. this is part of the window display for tater red's on beale street in memphis. they sell kitsch, mardi gras, music, voodou, & all sorts of stuff, maybe a bit like tesoros in austin mixed with wacko in LA. the proprietor, leo, was real nice, as were the folks at a schwab's, an amazing 3-story 19th century general store where i got a religious candle, souvenirs for friends/family, and some fancy shaving cream for Dad. that night we ate at blues city cafe, where president bubba (& his saxophone, i suppose) eats when he's in memphis.

ha! are the kids on the right recoiling in horror? here's the apparently terror-inspiring brian b inside the actual sun studio, where surprisingly little was said of charlie feathers. musicians can still record here--only $75/hr. i stood right by the old house piano & got chills imagining the fingers that had worked those rails. the musician-guy guide mimicked a neat trick johnny cash once did. JC was going on the opry, which wouldn't allow drums (too much like "race music"), so he wrapped a dollar bill around the neck of the guitar to make that click-a-click sound you hear on "i walk the line." we had learned something, so we were happy. then we went in to "sun cafe" and bought malts. in walked steve buscemi in disguise shades & hat, but no one looked two times at him--just like we were in LA, or something!

this, of course, is out front of sun studios at 706 union in memphis. i hope i had jetlag, cause this ain't a great pic! oh well. memphis is historic american music ground zero, & folks showed us much southern hospitality. it maybe has usurped austin as my favorite american city. not that it matters to anyone but me. that was a big day: graceland, sun, stax, AND rock & soul museum.

recently we flew to atlanta to drive back in an ebay van brian b had bought. we were supposed to go with the band, but oh well: saw a bit of the south, anyhow. georgia, alabama, mississippi, tennessee, arkansas, oklahoma, texas, new mexico, arizona, then home: lots of rain, snow, wind, a little sun, & flowering land from east to west. this is from our visit to graceland. the "big elvis" suits had arms akimbo, so you wouldn't notice how large he'd gotten toward the end of his life. didn't matter. he was still the king. the place was amazing & we were moved, as you'd be or already have been.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

count the days i'm gone

we're learning 13 new songs! well, one of them is actually two -- one old, one new (hint: see picture) -- with similar around-the-horn progressions. i'm happy cause one of the other "new" ones is a hank ballard tune. one of my prized musical possessions is a dupe of a concert h.b. did with the blasters from way back when. i'm glad we were doing "let's go, let's go, let's go" when mr. ballard passed away. it seemed respectful to already have that in the repertoire... art fein posted something i wrote at, so go there to read musings from me and the fellow who wrote "the la musical history tour"!... i visited my dear friend donna in laverne & my friend ruben from the blazers last weekend... he is busy playing blues down in long beach and rehearsing with a new rhythm section and for a new LP... i am out on the latest cattie ness show (with big sandy)--on rehearsal day, my grandma had a birthday, and grandma comes first! oh well... just being able to tickle the ivories (or plastics) again is good enough for me! i'm sure cattie and co will have lots of fun at their fresno show with big s. go to for more information!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


we went to go house hunting in the slide areas of ventura last weekend, then to dim sum with stepson in downtown smellay... on the way home, stopped off at aron's, one of the greatest record stores there is, and there it was--the third boxset i saw--the COMPLETE ELVIS 50s SESSIONS BOX SET!!! one down, one to go (box set wise, that is...). i heard our drummer's paw is healing (he broke it), so it will be fun to practice SOON!!! i had injured my hand, too, but it's had a full month to recover and so certainly is ready to go do the messaround, i thinks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

to paraphrase the alien in the great movie "the hidden," "i want this record." there are a thousand more, but i have a pic of this one. the others i seek are everyday yet out of print: gene vincent capitol box set (i'm too cheap to order it from england) & the elvis complete '50s boxset. Posted by Hello


hello to all. here's a song written by count smokula (melody unbeknownst to me & maybe to him!). we were talking about shared love of mad magazine & dr demento (with whom he worked, turns out!) & i said oh no, i'm no hipster, just a life-long nerd. so he sent this along, & it's a bit big-headed for me to post it, but wouldn't you? what a compliment.
JENNY IS A NERD by Smokey Miles
Have you heard the word?Jenny is a nerd! have you heard the word? Jenny is a nerd! best news I ever heard / anything else would be absurd / she shakes but is not stirred! / oh that Jenny is a nerd!
Have you heard the news? / Jenny's got the blues! / have you heard the news? / Jenny's got the blues! / she plays and pays her dues / she wears her rockin' shoes / she shakes it through and through / but Jenny's got the blues!
Have you heard the tale? / Jenny sure can wail! / have you heard the tale? / Jenny sure can wail! / she looks a little frail / but she's rippin' up the rails / rock'n'roll she hails / yeah, that Jenny sure can wail!
Have you heard the word?Jenny is a nerd! / have you heard the word? / Jenny is a nerd! / best news I ever heard / anything else would be absurd / she shakes but is not stirred! / oh that Jenny is a nerd!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

at the elvis show last night, we got off to a rocky start on big hunk of love, but it didn't last too, too long and the audience response was heartening (maybe the mirrored shirt helped!). the lineup was eclectically enjoyable and the show, a fundraiser for the red cross, was said to be "tremendous" by art, who knows his stuff, i thinks. we were happy and fortunate to be a part. you can read all about it at Posted by Hello

this is count smokula, art fein and i at the elvis birthday show. art was looking styling in his western jacket, and i'm looking gee-whiz dippy. :) smokula works with troma films & wished a happy bd to the "kink." other especially friendly or interesting folks i spoke with that night were pianists skip edwards and rip masters, russell scott and his folks, ray campi, the blasters (especially my friend jerome the gentleman drummer), evie sands, linda kay, tommy sands (who hung out in the dressing room with us), rod of the tonemasters, levis and beautiful bernie dexter, the groovy rednecks, barry holdship, fur & steve, patricia sweet, as well as the staff of the henry fonda, who were un-hollyweird nice to the very last one. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 02, 2005

elvis show sat jan 8

happy new year!! the elvis show is upcoming... jan. 8, 5-9:30 pm, henry fonda theatre... i just learned the blasters will be there, too! wonder what song they'll do? whatever they do, don't matter, it'll kill. hope ours will sail -- "Big Hunk of Love" -- it's just such a terrific and fun song, so i hope we do it up right. don't know the rest of the night's lineup, but i imagine art fein will have it soon on his website at ... last year was lots of fun. fred willard (fred willard!! ruben and i were grinning like chimps!!) had on a flashy suit that would've made little richard blush, and i think he told us it was from that store in memphis where elvis would shop for duds with carl perkins and others. most memorable for me musically last time was candye kane belting it out, the tonemasters, rip masters, ray campi, then russell scott doing the most soulful version of "feel so bad (good?)"... dang -- it's the one chuck willis song that says "sometimes i want to leave, then again i want to stay."... i just read an entertaining little potboiler (needed a quick vacation read on roadtrip to colorado) marginally about the King, in fact called "The King is Dead"--got it at the dollar store! go out and get it! the comma splices put me off for a bit, but it's definitely worth a buck--a seedy, lively mystery full of outlandish but fun characters, and it's set in tupelo with lots of incidental info about southern pop culture and elvis (the mad murderer is obsessed with EAP), so it's educational, too, you see.

here's the two brians at fishlips in bakersfield (mr paxton seems to be mid-chew). mr. briggs was rather  popular with the gals at the blasters show that night--made him a little nervous, i think! Posted by Hello

this was the second show we did with art, where i stupidly said we'd love to cover "think" by the hollywood flames (instead of the five royales)... duh... they wouldn't allow pix in the studio, so here we are outside afterward, looking like we're about to be killed by industrial ladders, then it was on to barbecue chow in the valley at dr hoggly-woggly's... sweet potato pie.... (insert homer simpson drool sound here)

this is from the first art fein poker party show we got to do. art is hosting the elvis bd show jan 8 in hollywood. this was the day i learned red lipstick doesn't match a pink dress. brian p learned not to chew gum on camera. jason had been playing with us for five whole days when we did the show--not bad! Posted by Hello

oh, oh, oh, this is me with phil alvin... he recited some poem to me and kissed my hand. i was so gaga, i can't tell you more than that. a big day for me, nothing at all for him, i imagine, and that's just fine. Posted by Hello