Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sweaty Pitts and the Thorns of Life

It's 4:30 in the morning. My birthday. A few hours ago we saw The Thorns of Life, Blake Schwarzenbach's new band. It was no Jawbreaker, but it was sure fun. The drummer is Aaron Cometbus and wouldn't you know it...he was an exhibitionist. He had his shirt off almost the whole time, and he kept pursing his lips like he'd just sucked on a lemon. The dude dyed his hair blond and wore tight European knee pants. He drummed pretty well, but then again, I'm rhythmically deaf. After as the crowd exited, he asked me and Baddicusfinch if we had some matches.

As for Blake, he looks good for a 41-year-old although some annoying bug behind me said he looked like Patrick Swayze. I weaseled my way up front even though I feared getting boinged in the head by moshers. But it turned out to be peaceable gig since the bulk of the audience is teetering on 40. There's arthritis and bad backs to think of.

I have to say that I got really close to him when he brought out a gym bag and started hawking band t-shirts after the show. I was the second one he served. I asked for a medium and a large for ten bucks for Jeremy who got me the ticket for my birthday and one for me. Then later, I noticed that the medium was really a large size and the large size an x-large. I hate it when that happens. Blake was in mid-conversation with his pals but I marched up and tapped his arm which was sopping wet from his t-shirt.

I don't know what happened but I ended up touching his pitts. Yuk! But sicker, I actually contemplated sniffing my digits. Anyway, I told him the medium was too big so I wanted small. He said very nicely, "We only have large and mediums but if it doesn't fit, I can refund you you're money." I said, nevermind. I never wanted to steal a kiss from a sweaty rock star before. As I told my friend, Sonia, I'm too shy to be slutty so I just slinked away and left him alone. Did I mention how much I loved him?

Anyway, that's it. That's my brush with Blake. I just have one small beef. The name of their band, The Thorns of Life, sounds like a right-wing church band. Couldn't they have come up with a better name? Oh well. I'm still buying their album when it comes out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Mexican's Mexican

On the way home from work yesterday I picked up a couple things from the new Mother's Market in Santa Ana. This supermarket has grown on me like organic mushrooms...I dig their pick-your-part burrito counter with the soyrizo chomps.

I'm pretty sure I saw Gustavo Arellano, the OC Weekly rockstar who cranks out the regular Ask a Mexican column, stocking his yellow shopping basket. He was at the opposite end of Aisle 7, so I could be mistaken, but he sported the signature guayabera shirt.

Nice timing because the previous night I had read his carefully researched article, The Assassination of Sheriff James Barton by the Mexican Juan Flores. Wow...this was a clipper. I enjoyed learning more about old-timey Orange County history, and Arellano showed how facts get twisted by lazy historians, journalists, and academics.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Arellano.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Boston baked books

I had a blast in the Boston area visiting family last week. About a block away from Ray and Dan is Newtonville Books, where I took refuge from a snowy-windy day and browsed the books about local stuff.

Also while in Boston I finished up Cometbus 51, with Aaron Cometbus detailing the history behind the legendary Moe's/Cody's/Shakespeare & Co. bookshops in Berkeley. What a great read.

Got me thinking...Orange County is pathetic when it comes to book stores. So we have Libreria Martinez in Santa Ana (which announced today they'll be moving next door rather than closing up), and Reuben Martinez has worked hard promoting literacy and hawking books, but that's about the only shop worth mentioning from a short and sad list.