Burned By The Sun........
Music. Life. Los Angeles.
Saturday, August 30, 2003
I have a big weakness, and there's a store here in town that exploits my weakness mercilessly. That store is called Amoeba. Some days I wake up surrounded by cellophane wrappers and CD cases, with an ungodly amount of money missing from my wallet and no recollection of the night before. Yes, I have a problem. But surely I am not the only one. So I came up with an organization designed to save myself and others like me from our compulsive music buying habits. Ladies and Gentlemen...I present Amoebaholics Anonymous.
Welcome to AA!
Amoebaholics Anonymous is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the weak-willed, er, we mean compulsive shoppers curb their tendencies to spend way more than they can afford at the world's largest independent record store, Amoeba Records. Here are some frequently asked questions:
Q: So how does this work anyway?
A: AA meets on Wednesdays at the Hollywood and Vine subway stop. The order of business is as follows:
-Welcome new members
-Break into small groups (of 3 or 4) and set up the week's spending budget. Members of your group are responsible for making sure that you do not exceed your budget. The amount that you set up in this meeting is your budget for the week and cannot be altered in any way, shape, or form. Also, in these groups you will exchange phone numbers so that in case you are stupid enough to go to Amoeba at some other time by yourself, you can call one of the other people in the group so that they can talk you out of any ridiculous impulse purchases.
- If there is time remaining, members may discuss the previous weeks purchases. Let's face it, who else would give a shit about your out-of-print Smiths single? If you would like more time to discuss such topics, please look into the music-geek division of our ‘No One Understands Me’ Club.
-Then, everyone will go to Amoeba. Everyone will scatter to do their own shopping, then meet back in the amount of time agreed upon by their group. Then, you will show your group what you intend to buy. You must present three good reasons why you need each item. Your group will decide if these are sufficient, and they will make sure that you stay within your budget.
-When this is finished, you will all proceed to checkout as a group, and you will leave as a group.
Q: But what if my group decides to give me shit and say the reasons for buying an item aren't good enough?
A: Well, just threaten to give them shit on their purchases. If that doesn't work, use your veto. You get two per month.
Q: Hey, couldn't I just wait until everyone leaves and go right back in? Or go some other time during the week?
A: Of course, we have no way of stopping you. But AA is only as effective as you'd like it to be. You have to want to help yourself. And going to Amoeba without the group would only hurt you.
Q: But what if I see something really, really important? Like a super rare boxed set that exceeds my budget? Isn't there some kind of emergency clause?
A: Due to popular demand, we have set up an emergency plan. At the beginning of every month, you have the option of setting up an emergency fund of up to $20. Then, if at some point during the month you need the money, you use it. But once it's gone, that's it.
Q: Cool! But what if I don't use my emergency fund? Does it carry over to the next month so I can have $40?
A: No. You can only have $20 in emergency funds per month. The reason for this is that in the past we have had people save up the emergency funds only to go on a binge. As you can guess, it got completely out of control and before they knew it they were sitting on the curb surrounded by CDs and cellophane wrappers after pissing away their childrens' college money. It wasn't pretty. Binge buying is detrimental to your rehabilitation, and just plain dangerous, therefore we cannot allow it.
Q: What if you're buying a Britney Spears CD and you're too embarassed to show your group because those snobs will make fun of you?
A: Too bad. You shouldn't be listening to Britney Spears anyway, you loser. Perhaps you may be interested in our "Banishing Shitty Music From Your Life" seminars.
Q: Where do you have chapters?
A: Right now, we only have a Hollywood chapter. However, if it does well, AA may expand to Berkeley and San Francisco.
Friday, August 29, 2003
Well, this morning was, um, interesting. After watching the wonderful film Manos: Hands of Fate, I heard this woman just outside my window yelling, "GET YO' ASS OUTTA MY TRUCK!" She yelled this about ten times, at the top of her lungs, despite the fact that everyone in the damn neighborhood was trying to sleep (it was 3 am). Then she demanded that the "crackhead" she was with find her "goddamn keys". At this point, the crackhead got in the truck and started honking on the horn. "YOU TRYIN' TO GET THE POLICE TO COME?" she demanded. They just repeated this over and over for about a half an hour. I wonder what their problem was. Wouldn't it be great if they were drug dealers? In my neighborhood, you never can be too sure. I think that would be a good tv show...World's Dumbest Drug Dealers. I wonder what would have happened if the police had come. I'll bet hilarity would have ensued. I've really gotta find the number for the police, just in case this happens again.
In other news, a study finds that suburbanites are less fit than city dwellers. They weigh an average of six pounds more and suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. That's not too surprising, but what I'm waiting for is a study that reveals that people in the suburbs are more likely to suffer from mental illness. Being from the suburbs, I can assure you that a frighteningly large number of people have some serious issues. For example, here in LA, I have never heard of anyone who has done any of the following:
-Ran away from home with a stolen gun, stole a car, robbed a gas station and made a run for the Ohio border
-Chased people or their cars if they say, "Hey dude"
-Pulled a gun on kids who brought sleeping bags into a store and said they were gonna spend the night
-Mistaken a tampon for anthrax (A CLASSIC police blotter!)
-Bought a Lamborghini and refused to make payments on it, and before the car was repossessed, challenged cops to races.
-Got drunk, stole fishing supplies from Wal-Mart, and stumbled down a highway, all because he really likes fishing.
Well, that's all I feel like listing. But you get the idea.
Woo hoo! The Rapture are going to be at the El Rey on Nov. 15 and 16!
If your name is Crazy J, get working on your blog, dammit!
I can't get over how beautiful the song "Love Hurts" (the Gram Parsons / Emmylou Harris duet) is. It's the kind of song you can just hear playing from the speakers of an old car driving down a deserted highway on a clear night. Timeless, heartbreaking, and simply gorgeous.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
I completely forgot about the MTV Video Music Awards being on tonight. As much as I hate MTV, I usually watch, just to see how abysmal it will be. Unfortunately, that won't be happening this year, since I have no TV. Though, I have to say it'd be cool if Johnny Cash won everything he was nominated for....oh wait a second. I'm looking at the website and it appears that some of the awards have already been handed out...though it seems that video of the year is still up for grabs. Anyway, I'd like to see Johnny Cash win, if only to piss off all the twelve-year-old Justin Timberlake fans. But I'm sure Eminem will win anyway.
Moving on, the Polyphonic Spree is touring again. I would encourage anyone to go check them out (especially my friends in Detroit, the show is Oct. 2 at the Shelter). The shows are just pure, joyful exuberance from two dozen or so people who look like a cult of some sort. In most cities, it seems that they will be playing pretty small venues, but here in LA we get to see them at the enormous Universal Ampitheater (Nov. 22). Great.
Wanna hear the new Strokes single but don't want to have to listen to some shitty radio station to hear it? It's available here .
Edit: That link is no longer working, here's one that has the song on three separate mp3s.
Cool. The Thrills are going to play the Troubadour on November 4.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
The purpose of this site, I think, is to write about music I enjoy and the interesting experiences I have here in L.A. Hopefully, I'll have this page customized by this weekend (I'd hate to let my newfound HTML knowledge go to waste), and I'll have some things to write about. Until then, to get an idea of some of the music I like, I will leave you with my top five musical performances of 2003 (in no particular order):
-The Stooges (4/27 @ Coachella)
-The Hives (4/26 @ Coachella)
-The Libertines (4/27 @ Coachella)
-The Datsuns (4/12 @ Troubadour)
-The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (4/18 @ Henry Fonda Theatre)
The Raveonettes (4/8 @ Troubadour)
The Polyphonic Spree (4/27 @ Coachella)
Wilco (7/2 @ Comerica Michigan Tastefest)
Hours of Fun
Burned By The Sun