Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Encores Are Like Dolphins…

My wife and I went to the Glass House in Pomona to check out Be Your Own Pet on Saturday night (Oct. 21). We arrived a little after 9 p.m. to avoid the opening bands and noticed immediately the lack of pedestrian traffic in the area. Usually, Second Street is cluttered with concert-goers milling about between sets or waiting for opening bands to end. The Glass House is one of the few venues that I know of that allows "Ins-and-outs."

Once we got inside, we realized that the lack of people outside was indicative of the lack of people inside. The house had bisected the room but even that left plenty of room to stand around waiting. Since either Awesome Color or Tall Firs was still playing, we left the venue to check out the Glass House Record Store. Nice store, good prices, enthusiastic employee. My wife picked up a used copy of A Far Out Disc by the Toy Dolls and a Toys That Kill ep for a total of $13.

We sat outside until the opening band ended and then entered the venue. There were probably fifty people in attendance. While we waited, as an apparent concession to the minimal crowd, the band moved all of their equipment off the stage and set up on the floor.

And then the show began. With only two feet (maybe) between the crowd and the band, the show felt like a house party or, at the very least, an instore. The band was great, a tight three piece. And Jemina Pearl is an amazing front-woman, physically pulling the audience into the set and starting the pit by herself. They only played for approximately 35 minutes including "Damn Damn Leash," "Adventure," "Thresher’s Flail," "Bunk Trunk Skunk," "Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle," "Wildcatt," "Stairway to Heaven," and "Bog."

Of course, after such a short set, the audience demanded an encore, which the band granted with Jemina’s caveat "Encores are like dolphins, in other words, gay."

With that, I beg you to check out one of the more interesting debuts of the year and one of the most invigorating live acts around.

Here is the latest from my iPod:

1. "On Your Side" by Pete Yorn
2. "Capers" by the Birthday Party
3. "Ch-Check It Out" by Beastie Boys
4. "Scarlet Pussy" by Prince
5. "Vibrations in the Woods" by Robert Pollard
6. "Misinformed" by Soul Coughing
7. "See You" by Foo Fighters
8. "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" by the Smiths
9. "Warrior" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
10. "Adult Books" by X

Friday, October 06, 2006


I worked at Tower Records from April 1990 to December 2000. It was fun for about two or three years, then it became a job. And for five years or more it was a good job. Then it became a bad job and eventually I quit. And when I quit I sent an email to the whole chain, every employee, explaining why I quit and what I thought the company was doing wrong. I don’t know if I was right, but I know Tower Records is shutting its door and being sold off piece by piece.

I wanted to take this opportunity as a music fan to say that Tower will be missed. Sure, I hadn’t shopped there as much as I used to, preferring Amoeba and online shopping but Tower was still a good place to find stuff when you needed to.

More importantly for me is the memories of the time I spent there. I had some great times. From my first day when I met Greg Creel and Matt Libatique. I was trained on the register by Michlle Motta. She had the word “Skins” tattooed the inside of her lower lip. There are too many great times that might not mean anything to anyone else. Even going to the bank to get change with Mark Yourst was a blast. We’d go the liquor store on the way back and by junk food, soda and, sometimes, alcohol. Because, it was okay to drink the back room. Mike Hogan was my almost-first roommate, but his apartment was where I began to drink in earnest.

We went to a lot of shows when music was very interesting: Nirvana, Primus, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, the Ramones, Bad Religion, Hole, Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, Fugazi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, Rollins Band, Firehose, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Metallica, and more, more, more.

I worked at three different stores: Brea, Costa Mesa Lab, and Anaheim. All were different but all had their moments.

I just want to thank the people I worked with for a one of a kind experience. Greg "Grog" Creel, Matthew “Mutt” Libatique, Mike Hogan, Pete Graham (wherever you are), Tommy Hoyt, Mark Yourst, Larry Salzman, Steve Miller, Craig Larsen Ballam, Schnoz, Michelle Motta, Dave Reyes, Martha Lopez, Melanie, Linda Meacham, “Jill“ Watts Yoshizawa, Carolyn Kitchens, Shannon, Jim, Leann, Royer, Diane, Kari, Justice, McMillan, Jamie Lurtz, Hiba Kulazovic, Tyrone Flournoy, Tim Schwab, Heather, Cathy, Rodney Metoyer, Venus, Alex, Dave, Rick, Brian Q, Kim and whomever I have forgotten (I am sorry). It is amazing how many names I have forgotten. I picture faces but it is a big blur.

Of course, two of my best friends I met at Tower even though they didn’t work there at the time: Craig and Ty (they were sales reps).

I could go on, but ultimately, I grew up at Tower Records, I met friends, met girls, heard new music, saw great shows, and it will be missed.