Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN... Stuff for Angelenos to Do on the 90's' Fave Holiday

Your 90's-ologist loves Halloween. I am a big fan of the season of autumn, as many who come from the Northeast are, and Halloween reps autumn quite like no other holiday can (Does Columbus Day do it for you? Methinks not). I even love it as an adult, although it seems once a girl hits puberty, she is relegated to wearing a "sexy" costume, as many a blogger has complained before me, so let's not dwell on it. Let's dwell on what there is for Angelenos to do in the scary city that they call home.

The 90's is very excited for the Haunted Hill concert featuring blunted rappers Cypress Hill at the Wiltern. I will be in attendance, so if you recognize me, don't hesitate to offer treats :-) Check out Live Nation's website to find out more about this probably sold-out gig and get insane in the membrane!

Citysearch has rounded up a lot of cool things to do in Los Angeles, including the West Hollywood Halloween Parade on Santa Monica Boulevard. Apparently, this thing attracts over 300,000 people every year; I will probably swing by and find out tonight myself before Cypress hits the stage.

Next on their list is the HARD Haunted Mansion party,

which is sold out, but looks worth bugging a more famous and fabulous friend to get you on the list for. Pretty much every good dance act that you can think of is playing this event, including Justice, Soulwax, Simian Mobile Disco, Crystal Castles, 2 Many DJ's, DJ AM, and many more into the wee hours, I'm sure. These folks may not be 90's, but the 90's advocates shaking your booty, so find a way to get into this if you have the need for speed, so to speak. Check their very funky website here.

Click here to see the rest of the Citysearch list, which includes Halloween bashes and costume balls on the Queen Mary, Catalina Island, LACMA, and Knott's Berry Farm.

Marilyn Manson, a 90's icon if there ever was one and one of my favorite people ever, is hosting a Halloween bash at The Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard featuring Mixmaster Mike of 90's whiteboy rapper faves The Beastie Boys and DJ Danny Masterson. Yes, Danny Masterson, of one of my favorite late-90's TV shows, "That 70's Show." You know you want to get next to Danny. Go dressed as Jackie and see if he bites. More info here.

This last Halloween party tip that I have for you is a bash that is presented by D.A.S.K. Productions and is celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the 1978 John Carpenter film, "Halloween." It's going to be at the Music Box - Henry Fonda Theater at 6126 Hollywood Blvd. Click here for more info.

I'm going to leave you with some of my favorite Halloween/goth-themed music...Have a BOO-itful night!!

Ministry - Everyday is Halloween (1984)

Type O Negative - Black No. 1 (1993)

The Misfits - Halloween (1981)

Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus (2004 cover of Depeche Mode's 1990 hit)

And a special treat:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baby I Love Your Way: Annie Lennox - "Don't Let It Bring You Down"

Annie Lennox covered Neil Young's 1970 tune "Don't Let It Bring You Down" for her 1995 cover songs album, "Medusa" (which also produced the very fine "No More I Love You's"...a song once featured prominently on an episode of the rightfully-mourned defunct 90's TV show "The Sopranos"). This being all well and good, what really pops into my mind every time I think of this version of the song is Kevin Spacey getting ready to (unknowingly) deflower Mena Suvari in the 1999 film "American Beauty.

This cover meshed so well with and lifted what could have been a very creepy and depressing scene up to a sensual and emotionally moving place. In short, it's hot. It has what all the Neil Young covers I've talked all about so far share: a demonstration of the sexiness that was formerly somewhat latent in the song.

Here is Annie Lennox's "Don't Let It Bring You Down" coupled with an American Beauty slideshow. I wanted to post the actual clip from the film but am having trouble finding a good one, so this will have to do:

And Neil Young playing the original live in 1971:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby I Love Your Way: Type O Negative - "Cinnamon Girl"

Metal band Type O Negative recorded their version of Neil Young's 1970 hit song "Cinnamon Girl" for their 1996 record, "October Rust," an album I played so often that all I had to do was think about it and the CD jumped up and landed in the disc holder and played itself. Type O Negative was the 90's salvation of around-the-way NY goth girls. They projected both a tough, Brooklyn-bred, muscle-bound hardcore image, but also a blackly dramatic romanticism that lent itself to visions of vampires and bloodstained hankerchiefs dancing in our heads. Like Ministry once said, everyday was Halloween to these guys, and we sopped it up with butter and jelly.

Their cover of "Cinnamon Girl" was part of what had kind of become Type O's formula up until that point...their "out-of-left-field," unusually vulnerable cover song on each of their records is what kept the girls reaching for frontman Peter Steele's 1995 issue of Playgirl (click here if you want to know what I mean-NSFW!!). Though I believe that their cover of Seals and Crofts's "Summer Breeze" from their 1993 classic record "Bloody Kisses" is superior to this particular cover, "Cinnamon Girl" is a fun song that is almost impossible to eff up. Enjoy!!

Baby I Love Your Way: Saint Etienne - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"

In honor of my rilly super bummed out disposition at the Forum Neil Young show being cancelled, the next few "Baby I Love Your Way" features will be 90's band cover versions of classic Neil Young songs.

English band Saint Etienne rose to the attention of American audiences in the 90's with their dynamic dance cover version of Neil Young's 1970 hit single, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," featured on their very cool 1991 record "Foxbase Alpha."

I love this cover because this version is just so amazingly different from the original, but it brings out the essence of the song and molds and shapes it into this incredibly crisp and driving tune. The band very knowingly assert with their highly rhythmic version that it can be just as lonely surviving a breakup while dropping pills in a nightclub as it is downing brews at the local dive bar. I am a big fan of this early 90's house music style as well, it just speaks to my need to shake my thing. Take a listen, then listen to Neil Young's signature whine afterward:

UPDATE: Upcoming Show: Neil Young at The Forum, Inglewood, CA - October 30--CANCELLED

I'm super bummed, you guys. So I just found out that the Neil Young concert at The Forum in Inglewood scheduled for tomorrow night, October 30 is CANCELLED. The reason heard through the grapevine is that Neil will not cross the picket lines of the workers' strike at The Forum. Here is that political outspokenness that I mentioned before. All power to the people, but I was really looking forward to hearing "Cinnamon Girl" live.

Upcoming Show: Neil Young at The Forum, Inglewood, CA - October 30

Hey y'all 90's fans! My computer has come back from the dead after a long crash just in time for Halloween! If you're anything like me, the holiday season's starting to kick up and invites are piling up waiting for RSVPs...let me throw some more events on you just to make it even more confusing! Fun!!

In the Nineties, Neil Young enjoyed a renewed interest in his music, leading some enthusiastic critics to coin him the "Godfather of Grunge." In truth, this perplexed me quite a bit at the time, because a.) I hated the term "grunge," as it was a corporate misnomer that Seattle musicians famously lampooned, and b.) who was this codger Neil Young, anyway? Well, I definitely got to know this terrific musician over the years he spent playing and recording with Pearl Jam (who covered his excellent tunes "Rockin' In The Free World" and "F*&kin' Up," as well as collaborated with Neil to produce the 1995 album, "Mirrorball"), organizing the Bridge School Benefit concerts (The Bridge School was founded in order to help kids with physical impairments and other complex communication needs), and being generally politically outspoken and codger-ish, in an awesome way. He also has a habit of being covered by almost diametrically opposed bands (sound-wise), producing highly interesting and nearly unrecognizable versions of his popular songs. Also, he's Canadian.

This leads me to pleading with you to do yourself a Halloween favor and see Neil Young tomorrow at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. He's appearing with late 90's indie fave Death Cab for Cutie and newbies Everest.

For a visual illustration of why Neil Young was the Godfather of Grunge, I have two awesome clips of Neil Young performing an acoustic show live in 1971 that, I swear, if you just slapped an MTV logo on the bottom right corner and added some obnoxious commercial breaks, could be an episode of "Unplugged." Seeing him in these clips reminds me of when J Mascis and Dinosaur Jr. were really blowing up back in the 90's, the critics kept comparing J to Neil Young. Here is why:

Neil Young - "Heart of Gold" (Live 1971)

Neil Young - "Old Man" (Live 1971)

Look at the girl gazing adoringly at him at minute 1:38. That cracks me up. I know how she feels. Damn rock stars and their sensitively wounded yet guarded masculine charisma.

Here is the heavily-aired-at-the-time 1993 MTV Video Music Awards Neil Young and Pearl Jam performance of "Rockin' In the Free World." For those of you that missed this show, this was a good one, back when MTV was still relevant. I believe this was the same MTV Awards that had Nirvana playing "Lithium" and Krist Novoselic throwing his bass up in the air and landing on his head instead of in his hands, knocking him to the ground, and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing "Give It Away," with like a gazillion people onstage (including Angelo Moore of Fishbone), all in a row. It was awesome:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flux Cinema Tuesdays October 21 Screening of "Synedoche, New York" in Hollywood, CA

I have mentioned both screenwriter Charlie kaufman's directorial debut, "Synedoche, New York," and the Flux collective's free Cinema Tuesdays in Hollywood here on Damn The Man before...Now here they are, two great tastes that taste great together. Please head here if you want to RSVP for a free screening of the film on Tuesday, October 21 at 8pm.

The Roots want you to register to vote! Oh, and see them at The new Hollywood Palladium on Friday.

I have to admit that I have been a tad distracted by the presidential campaign, culminating in last night's final presidential debate between Senators Obama and McCain. I hope that if you have not registered to vote, that you will please listen to Philadelphia hip-hop group The Roots and register here. Here is a brief message from the band themselves:

If you need to know more about voter registration in your state (including deadlines), please consult the Declare Yourself website. Please indulge in this right as an American citizen, whether you are for Obama or that other guy. No matter which candidate you support, your fellow citzens who may not get to the polls in November will thank you.

In non-political Roots news, they are playing a show at the newly revamped Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA, this Friday, October 17. Almost everyone I know has seen The Roots at least once, but if this is your first time, enjoy yourself, it's a celebration, biatch!

The Roots - "You Got Me" (Live) (from their 1999 joint, "Things Fall Apart")

Soundtrack of Your Life: Brand New Heavies - "Dream On Dreamer/Never Stop"

In a way, I wish all R&B could float as effervescent and light as the UK's Brand New Heavies. Like Soul II Soul before them, listening to their music feels inspiring and motivational...something a cynic like me needs every so often. Though singer N'Dea Davenport's vocals weren't as technically wowing as some of her American counterparts, there's just something really sophisticated about the pairing of her voice with this incredibly adept acid jazz/funk music. These songs would take me away to my second life on the French Riveria, wearing big black sunglasses and a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, waiting for my foreign lover (Italian, Greek, whatever--he doesn't speak English and I don't care) on his Vespa. Enough of my Continental fantasies, here are the songs:

Brand New Heavies - "Dream On Dreamer" (1994)

Brand New Heavies - "Never Stop" (1991)

The image at the top of the post is from their 2006 record, "Get Used to It," which has recently been remixed by the legendary Tom Moulton (American originator of the remix and the 12-inch single), and is available as "Get Used To It - The Tom Moulton Mixes" (2008).

Upcoming Show: Everlast at the Downtown Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo, CA - October 24

For you Central Coast Californians, there is a special 90's treat for you on Friday, October 24: Everlast, late of House of Pain and formidable solo artist in his own right, will be performing at the Downtown Brewing Company in lovely San Luis Obispo. Everlast threw "Jump Around" fans for a loop when he had a heart attack, picked up a slide guitar and released the 1998 album "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues." The oddly touching single "What It's Like" came from that record and the rest is hip-hop history. Everlast to me is the authentic version of 90's guys like Uncle Kracker or Kid Rock. He maintains the gruff persona he cultivated in his rap days, but he's plopped in a lovin' spoonful of da blues to supplement it. I'm going to cheat a little and let you hear my fave track off his 2000 album, "Eat At Whitey's" entitled "Love For Real," which features N'Dea Davenport of the 90's English R&B outfit, Brand New Heavies:

(IMAGES NSFW - While I appreciate this fellow's subversive slideshow, you cubicle dwellers ought to look over your shoulder before playing)

And you 90's fans must view Everlast performing "Jump Around" live at the Hiro Ballroom in New York, September 2008...I love how he doesn't have to even really do the rap if he doesn't want to, the crowd will fill in for him:

Mellow Man Ace Album Release Party at Knitting Factory Hollywood - October 17

If you were in junior high in the late 80's/early 90's, then you remember the cassingle. This was the cassette of a single hit song. I had an enviable collection of these, and one of the crowned jewels of said collection was Mellow Man Ace's 1990 single "Mentirosa." This is why it excites me to tell you that the former member of Cypress Hill (like early, EARLY member, before they even came out...he's Sen Dog's brother) has a new album titled "La Familia Vol. 1" that will be celebrated at a record release party this Friday, October 17, at Knitting Factory Hollywood. It's got B-Real and Sen Dog of Cypress on it, if that is at all important to you.

I loved this song back in the day. It was the first bilingual rap song that I can remember, and it definitely got me in a deep conversation with my Mom about Santana, I'm sure (it samples his 1969 song "Evil Ways"), she's a big fan. Here is the video for the curious:

Mellow Man Ace - "Mentirosa" from the 1989 album "Escape from Havana"

Don't Cry For Me Argentina: Madonna and Guy Ritchie To Divorce

Wedded 90's icons, Queen of Pop, Madonna and British director of 1998 film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," Guy Ritchie, are soon to be unwedded, according to them. I can't imagine why the final Obama/McCain presidential debate wasn't postponed to deal with this shocking news. I guess all the stirrings of Madonna cavorting with A-Rod had a grain of truth in them. Here is my serenade to the heartbreaker herself, Madonna:

Madonna - "Bad Girl" from the 1992 album, "Erotica"

Who is the faux-Defoe actor at the end of the video that kills her? I'm referring to Willem Dafoe, of course, duh! That's funny since Madonna ends up starring opposite Dafoe in the 1993 thriller film "Body of Evidence." That film was so stank it deserves its own category here on Damn The Man. Stay tuned.

See You At The Show: Monster Magnet at Central Maine Civic Center, 1998

You know, in posting about the upcoming Danzig show, it got me to thinking about memorable metal days, and one show that I saw at the Central Maine Civic Center stood out. It had White Zombie as the headliner, and what I believe was Slayer, with Monster Magnet as the opener. My college boyfriend and I had alot of fun laughing at Dave Wyndorf's egomaniacal stage persona. I mean, you were supposed to laugh at this preening guy with the impossibly big guns that was actually obviously a geek of some kind. It perfectly matched the outsized 70's Southern buttrock style that Monster Magnet played at the time.

Enjoy the edited version of the 1998 hit single, "Space Lord..." I chose the edited version because I find the phrase "motha motha" quite amusing. This video is a great confluence of the two musical genres that ruled the 90's. Plus anything ranking on P. Diddy deserves its place:

I also kind of have to prove that these guys weren't one hit wonders...Here's a live version of "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" from the 1995 album, "Dopes to Infinity:"

Upcoming Show: Cypress Hill at The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA - October 31

For you all that need something to do on Halloween night, Cypress Hill has a suggestion for you: They're having a show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on October 31. Bring your favoritest tiny bowl!

There's not much that can be added to the affection for the first Latino musical group to go multi-platinum, so here is the video for "How I Could Just Kill a Man" off their 1991 debut album, "Cypress Hill:"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Upcoming Show: Danzig, Dimmu Borgir and Moonspell- "Blackest of the Black" tour at Gibson Ampitheatre, Universal Citywalk, November 5

Oh man, was I ever excited to blog about this when I found out...So Danzig is leading the "Blackest of the Black" tour, featuring black metal gods Dimmu Borgir and Moonspell, which will be landing at the Gibson Ampitheatre at Universal Citywalk (universal City, CA) on Wednesday, November 5. These tickets are incredibly cheap at $29.50 each (if you contact me I can direct you to an even deeper discount)...That's what I always loved about metal: more bang for your buck.

A former boyfriend surmised that you either loved or hated Danzig, there is no in-between. This truth pretty much still holds as he enters his billionth year of awesomeness. All three of these bands, actually, made a big impact on me in my 90's adolescence. Many bad decisions were made to the tune of Danzig's howl or Moonspell's rad female vocals in "Raven Claws." I miss it.

So here is the video for "Bodies" off of Danzig's 1992 album, "Danzig III: How The Gods Kill," whose H.R. Giger-designed cover (it's his 1976 painting, "Meister und Margeritha") is shown above. I hope to step lightly with you back into the 90's period of Danzig for a minute:

And "How The Gods Kill," of course:

"It's Coming Down" from Danzig's 1993 album, "Thrall-Demonsweatlive:"

(WATCH OUT - NSFW!! This video exhibits the very 90's habit of adding hardcore S&M/bondage fetish imagery. Avoid if you are squeamish!!)

And a great live version of "Going Down to Die" from their 1994 album, "4p:"

Danzig's attempt at NIN-style industrial = a trip to Awesometown: "Cantspeak," from "4p:"

I would love to assault you with Danzig all day, but there are other things to talk about besides the Dark Prince. As laughable as some may find Glenn, this man is a legend in several musical genres, not least of which is as former leader of consummate punks, The Misfits. I want your skull, mothasuckas!

Portugese band Moonspell was an important part of my metal existence, especially their first two albums "Wolfheart" (1995) and "Irreligious" (1996). They practice the kind of gothic metal that would become one of my favorite types of metal to listen to: highly symphonic death/black metal, often with soaring female vocals that contrasted with the heavy sonic surroundings. This sound got absorbed and deflected back to the masses through more pop-oriented bands like Evanescence, but it can also be heard in heavier bands like Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation and Nightwish.

Here are the two Moonspell jams that made our 90's metal day...First up, "Opium" from their album "Irreligious:"

And, finally, the great "Raven Claws," from the same album:

Ah, growing up Goth.

Baby I Love Your Way: M. Doughty - "Real Love"

BIG MOUNTAIN - "BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY" (1994) (Cover of 1975 Peter Frampton hit)

I bet you love how that video was mixed with "Reality Bites" (1994). I do too, kids. I do too. One of my favorite parts in that film is when Ethan Hawke mockingly sings "Baby I love Your Way" to Winona Ryder because he caught her making out with Yuppiehead Ben Stiller in the car to that song. It just made you want to jump his bones and belt him in the mouth at the same time. Unlike that particular emotion, "Baby I Love Your Way," is a feature where I will focus on a uniquely delightful cover song by a 90's musical artist.

M. Doughty - "Real Love" (2000)

Seeing how I mentioned Mary J. Blige and her seminal 90's record, "What's the 411?" (1992), I just had to throw in one of my very favorite cover songs ever. M. Doughty, of 90's crazy beatnik NYC one-of-the-best-ever band Soul Coughing, recorded this song in 1996 for what would eventually become his first solo record release, "Skittish."

Now, I could go on and on about Soul Coughing, because I was maniacally in love with their sound. Imagine Cake, but really, REALLY good. But what it comes down to is this: Lead singer and lyricist Mike Doughty is just so damn likeable. So likeable, in fact, that though I was on the receiving end of very cold coldness when working as part of the publicity team for his poetry book, "Slanky" (2003), for a small press that shall not be named, that he was having problems with, I loved him anyway. Nothing personal. He's a New Yorker that I relate to, being able to convey the sadness and isolation that comes with trying to forge a deeper-than-a-hookup relationship in the city that never sleeps. He took that talent and wrapped it all up into one cover song, "Real Love."

Another reason that I really appreciate M. Doughty and this cover song is that I always really liked how, in Soul Coughing and his solo work, he always gave a nod to the black music of the city; a true understanding of how the music not only informs the music of NYC, but American music in general. This is not something that can be underestimated in a white band that played an effed up fusion of R&B, jazz, hip-hop and whatever else you got, kitchen-sink style. Otherwise you have Cake.

Please enjoy a live video of Doughty playing "Real Love" at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ in 2006:

If you like what you see and you live on the Right Coast, M. Doughty will be playing Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ (1039 Washington Avenue) on New Year's Eve, December 31, at 10pm. It is never too early to figure out where you will be realizing that you are never going to make any resolutions to better yourself, let alone keep them.

Upcoming Show: Mary J. Blige at Gibson Ampitheatre, Universal Citywalk, Oct. 19

I like this picture of Mary because this is what I think of when I think of this fellow Yonkers, NY native and her music: raw, unmitigated power and emotion. My friends and I listened to Mary J. Blige right alongside our Hatebreed and Notorious B.I.G. I would be incredibly remiss as your 90's-ologist if I did not mention that Mary J. will be playing Universal Citywalk's Gibson Ampitheatre, Universal City, CA, on Sunday, October 19th at 7:30pm. If you are in CA, please do try and check her out.

I leave you with a gem of a video: Mary performing "Real Love" from her 1992 album, "What's the 411?" (a milestone record not just for Mary herself, but for hip-hop and R&B as musical genres; this record saw more traditional R&B singing style mixed with hip-hop beats and attitude in a way that had not been so effective before), on "Showtime at The Apollo." Check old-school Rosie Perez introducing Ms. Blige:

P.S. She's appearing at the Gibson Ampitheatre with Robin Thicke in tow. I love Robin Thicke, but he ain't 90's, so check him out here, if you will. His music is alot cooler than the video makes it out to be.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record - Meat Beat Manifesto - Satyricon & Upcoming Show


UK DJ Jack Dangers (AKA Meat Beat Manifesto) is the man. He will be appearing at the Knitting Factory on Hollywood Boulevard on Thursday, December 4 (my Dad's b-day!) in support of his new album, "Autoimmune." Here is a very efficient review of said album cribbed from Amoeba Records' blog has a nice article here chronicling the last 20 years for Mr. Dangers. I recommend that you try your very best to see this amazing electronic artist live. In the meantime, let's discuss his excellent record, "Satyricon."

Where to start? I was mad over Meat Beat Manifesto in the 90's. Through industrial music and more mainstream techno like Prodigy and Chemical Brothers, I was becoming more and more drawn to soundscapes and experimental noise. It's an ongoing journey, which has led me into the hands of composers like Steve Reich and John Cage, and dub/ambient geniuses like Bill Laswell and Lee 'Scratch' Perry. I found Meat Beat Manifesto because 'zines like Industrial Nation often filed it under a genre called "Industrial Hip-Hop." I found this intriguing and gave a listen to what I think was Jack Danger's "99%" album. From the track "Psyche Out," I was hooked:

Meat Beat Manifesto - "Psyche Out" - 99% (1990)

I made a co-worker buy "Satyricon" for me, as I can recall. Some kind of Secret Santa nonsense. Whatever. All I knew was I needed that sweet, sweet, head-pounding noise. Jack Dangers is awesome because he manipulates an impressive number of conflicting sound elements, but it never sounds totally incoherent. The bassline groove is never lost in the mix either, keeping the anthems fist-pumping enough that you wonder why he wasn't name-checked in the Streets song, "Weak Become Heroes." Check that out here. (Make sure you watch an unedited version of this song. I don't know what they're playing at deleting all the drug references in this tune. In non-90's news, Mike Skinner, AKA, The Streets, has a new record out on Vice Records called "Everything is Borrowed." If you're a fan of UK dance music, I'd say go for it. He was great live.)

I hate dancing about architecture, so here's a video for "Mindstream" off this record. Unfortunately, I cannot show it to you here at my blog, but you need to hear it, believe me. Oh my god, PLUR...I'm just reading the comments to this video, they're too funny and spot on. Here is "Original Control (Version 2):

For the converted, here is an interview (by with Jack Dangers himself:

Interview with Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto) - 04/2008 - Part 1

Interview with Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto) - 04/2008 - Part 2

I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record - Life of Agony - River Runs Red & Upcoming Show


This is a hybrid: A.) Life of Agony will be playing in NY, NY at the Blender Theater at Gramercy (127 East 23rd Street) on Sunday, December 14 for you Right Coast NYHC fans. B.) Let's talk about my soft spot for LOA and their debut album, "River Runs Red."

I mentioned how hip-hop is in the blood of native New Yorkers; well, so is hardcore punk and metal. In fact, many of my NY brethren listened to both with equal devotion. Life of Agony, who hail from Brooklyn, hit me in the little metal sweet spot in my heart. They were hard and angry, but the songs seemed to stem from a genuine place of loneliness and hurt, like they were just kids wanting to be understood (unlike some of the more superficially testoterone-driven metalcore of the period), which was exemplified in the voice (and lyrics) of singer Keith Caputo. I think Caputo was as formidable a singer as any of that early 90's period, including Layne Staley of Alice in Chains and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Check him out on the title track to test me, if you will:

Life of Agony - "River Runs Red" - River Runs Red (1993)

And here's the video for "Through and Through" off this album. Please check out the entirety of River Runs Red if you are a burgeoning metal fan, you will not regret it:

LL Cool J Remix Competition at

I was unabashedly a rock chick back in the day, but being a little black girl from New York, New York, hip-hop is in my blood, literally. My father was born in NY and raised in the Bronx River housing projects, the epicenter of early hip-hop. My parents went to the block parties where Kraftwerk was mixed with street beats, and my Dad still has Afrika Bambaataa on speed dial. There's no avoiding hip-hop on this blog, not especially that the 1990s are considered a golden age of hip-hop culture.

I think the prize for this competition is cool, so I decided to let you know: is hosting a remix competition as part of Def Jam's release of Uncle L's new album, "Exit 13." The two best remixes will win a new Denon DJ DN-S1000 CD/MP3 Player. Please head here if you want to participate. Here's one of the tracks available for remixing, "You Better Watch Me."

LL's 90's incarnation began with the venerable album, "Mama Said Knock You Out" (1990), and because the 2008 film "The Wackness" played out my beloved "Around The Way Girl," I'll offer you an alternative:

LL Cool J - "Jingling Baby" - Mama Said Knock you Out (1990)

LL in the mid-90's after he fully admits that he was a sex addict is my preferred choice when I'm riding in my red convertible, top down:

LL Cool J - "Doin' It" - Mr. Smith (1995)


Upcoming Show: Chris Cornell at the House of Blues, Anaheim, CA - October 28

OK, so Chris Cornell doesn't really look like this anymore. But I sure do like remembering him like this in his Soundgarden days.

This is more accurate. Chris Cornell is playing a solo gig at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on Tuesday, October 28 at 7pm. Chris has been the subject of much talk in the rock community lately because his latest solo record, "Scream," which is to be released later this year, was produced by hip-hop genius Timbaland. Some are getting their panties in a bunch about supposedly straying from his rock background by singing over dance beats and whatnot, but I say 'get over it' to these people. The man can't sing just "Black Hole Sun" like a living, breathing karaoke machine for the rest of his life, OK? In any case, here's a sample of the title track for you to decide:

To me the music sounds like Phil Collins-era Genesis, which in my warped opinion, isn't an entirely bad thing. OK, well, bad, but in a good way.

I've always really enjoyed Chris Cornell's solo songs, where he wasn't as concerned with being fully ROCK as just conveying the emotion of the tune. Here he is performing "Seasons" (off the splendiferous 1992 "Singles" film soundtrack, a future I Can't Believe You Don't Own This Effin' Record) live at the AT&T Blue Room Sessions:

And the very sexy song "Sunshower" performed for Live @ MSN:

Finally, a 2007 live version of the scrumptious "All Night Thing" off the Temple of the Dog album (1991), my favorite from that record:

Chris Cornell. Sigh.

I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record - Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary


It's weird to think that Weezer's Blue Album (or more technically, "Weezer") came out the same year as Sunny Day Real Estate's debut album "Diary," which was released on the famous and very 90's indie-rock music label Sub Pop, out of Seattle, WA. What's funny is that you hear the name "Weezer" spoken in the same breath as the word "emo" far more these days than Sunny Day Real Estate, though theirs is the band (along with Rites of Spring) that I think of when I think of what could possibly constitute emo.

I listened to Diary far more than was healthy back then. Certain scenester friends of mine and I agreed that although the songs tended to be somewhat same-y after a while, there was something we really loved about SDRE's sound. First off, lead singer Jeremy Enigk's voice belongs in its own very special place in heaven once he goes. His vocals had what we have now come to understand as a dreamy yet ragged Thom Yorke style quality, contributing to the 'emo' tag that the band labored under. The fevered guitars and hardcore pounding of the drums served as a effective contrast to the open wound quality of the vocals, a mode that would come to influence bands like Thursday, Killswitch Engage and Poison the Well.

Though every tune is worth a listen on Diary, my personal babies were the first two songs, "Seven" and "In Circles." I have them here for you to enjoy:

Sunny Day Real Estate - "Seven" - Diary (1994)

Sunny Day Real Estate - "In Circles" - Diary (1994)

I'm just finding out that SDRE performed "Seven" live on "The Jon Stewart Show" eons ago. This recording is poor quality, but please enjoy:

And if you're young and can't remember this band or "The Jon Stewart Show," and you're hooked, please click here to see them perform the song live on MTV's "120 Minutes," another show that you were too young to stay up to watch.

Upcoming Show: Weezer at The Forum, Inglewood, CA - October 14

Throw up those 'W's 90's fans...Weezer is back to rock those of you who can forgive their last few albums as a temporary lapse in reason. They are playing The Forum, located in Inglewood, CA, on Tuesday, October 14. That's in 4 days, so step on it and show that you're a true fan!

I hate to post obvious choices in videos, but this is one of my fave tunes, like, ever:

Weezer - "Say It Ain't So" - Blue Album (1994)

And some live in Japan steez:

Weezer - "My Name is Jonas" - Blue Album (1994)

According to Weezer folkore, it is almost certain that Rivers Cuomo went buck wild on some Japanese groupies that night.

Upcoming Show: Blues Traveler at House of Blues, Anaheim, CA , November 13 & 16

Hey y'all...Since I mentioned "jamband lite" as an unofficial 90's musical genre in reference to Blind Melon an entry ago, we'll stay that particular course with an announcement of Blues Traveler's Disneyland-approved November 13 and 16 at the House of Blues in Anaheim. I always appreciated John Popper's white guy-soul singing and superior harmonica playing. His yoyo-ing weight provided Oprah-style drama to the mix as well.

Here's a clip of Blues Traveler playing the 90's hit "Hook" live at their very own H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) Festival that ran from 1992-1998:

Blues Traveler just put out a new album called "North Hollywood Shootout" in August 2008. They also released a sort of best-of album called "Cover Yourself," filled to the brim with acoustic versions of their hits.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stuff That Sucked in the 90's: The O.J. Simpson Murder Trial

Look at that big-headed O.J. Simpson. This guy made my life a living hell from 1994-1995 with the highly publicized murder trial from hell.

The only reason that I even bring it up again now is that the Juice was recently found guilty of all charges in a Las Vegas robbery and kidnapping case that will have him up in the hoosegow for anywhere between two years to life, which will be determined at the sentencing on December 5. This deliberation came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her special man friend, Ronald Goldman. The heat's been on O.J. since then, and certain parties are overjoyed at this conviction, which brings us around to the full magnitude of the suckiness which is the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

One reason why this whole thing bothered me back then was because I didn't know who O.J. was, and I didn't care. I am not a sports fan, so I, to this day, don't get it. Second, I didn't know the guy, nor his ex-wife or her lover, nor Kato Kaelin, for that matter. So why this case was so mindbogglingly popular was beyond me.

People were transfixed on this gross spectacle from minute one. One thing that I will admit was kind of cool was the car chase that preceded this whole debacle. It was definitely like watching a Terminator movie, aerial view, like in a video game. Check it out, young 'uns:

I mean, there was something genuinely dramatic about the guy running, threatening suicide and pleading that he loved the lady he was married to. That I get. But this trial. Oy vey.

Everyday, I'd come home from school, and my family would harangue me with the latest story on this thing, like it was "Days of Our Lives." Here's your cast of characters, for the uninitiated:


Whenever I could bring myself to watch this trainwreck, I thought he was actually kind of boring, though I suspect that alot of us now believe that he bears some resemblance to "Team America: World Police" character Kim Jong Il:



To most of us, Marcia Clark was remarkable for her extremely insecure self-image, leading her to change her look for the cameras say, every other day. I found several photos of her looks, some during the trial and some post-trial:

I have to say that ol' girl nailed the suave brunette look (today known as "The Palin") after a while, but went the insecure route yet again and nailed us with peroxide blonde. Stop the insanity!


"If the glove does not fit, you must acquit." I had to give Johnnie that one. Johnnie to me was the only person that actually deserved to be watched out of this whole mess. He was wicked smart, handy with the clever wordplay and led an incredibly flamboyant defense team made up of guys like F. Lee Bailey, Robert Kardashian (yes, Kim's dad), and Alan Dershowitz. No wonder the Juice won. Marcia didn't stand a chance. Johnnie checked out and shuffled off this mortal coil in 2005. R.I.P. dude.


Then this guy. I was going to talk about the witness Mark Fuhrman, the LAPD detective, but anyone who knows me knows how I feel about cops, and this, to paraphrase Bob Ross, is a happy little blog. Instead I'll skip right to the inanity, which actually made my butt itch much worse than Fuhrman ever did.

My Mom and my brother insisted I listen to what they learned about Kato when I would come home from school. In my mind, I'm thinking Green Hornet, right... but was I ever wrong. He was the seemingly "special" houseguest of O.J. Simpson who not only overstayed his welcome, but was completely useless as to solving the murder case, as witnessed by some classic testimony:


So back then (hell, even now) it was that if you were black, you were for rooting for O.J.'s acquittal, and if you were white, you were dreaming of O.J. getting put under the jail. I didn't know what happened if you were Asian or Latino. Me, I just wanted it to stop, I didn't care how. They stopped everything at my all-girls Catholic high school (a place where the outside world is not always very important) to put the TV on and let us watch this verdict. As a 15 or 16-year old, I was actually dumbfounded by this. Seeing the space shuttle Challenger explode? Sure. O.J.? I don't think so. All of this was really taking away from coverage of my love interest of that moment, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, anyway.

O.J. skated by back then, but he's up in it now. Does anyone really care? Journalist Dominick Dunne cared enough to attend O.J.'s robbery trial despite a serious health issue, and got sick enough in the courtroom to have to be carted away to a hospital. This is just silly, methinks.

Thanks but no thanks, O.J. The 90's wants you back. And take your little Kato with you too.