Pasadena Daydream Festival, or: Gothchella

Posted Posted in Gothic, los angeles, music
Photo By Alexei Barrionuevo

This August, The Cure threw an end-of-Summer celebration at the Rose Bowl grounds. Who hates Summer more than Goths? Nobody.

I love the Cure, I love the Pixies, I was curious enough about Chelsea Wolfe and Mogwai, and I have never EVER seen Throwing Muses and was absolutely GAGGING to. Since the ticket was expensive, I steeled myself to going alone, but my friend Johnny Skourtis posted a self-pitying story on Instagram the morning of the show,asking if he should go see the Cure alone, so I had a festival buddy!

The Day Of:

It was hot as shit. 30,000 goths were sweating and drinking. They sold out of Donut Friend brand vegan band-named donuts. But everything else was great. Throwing Muses, also known as Some Dudes and Kristin Hersh, were tight and formidable and AGGRESSIVE and wonderful. The Pixies and their rotating Kim Deal impersonator were good, and The Cure have only gotten better at being the Cure. You want pedals? You want layered guitar? You want drone? You got it, babe. The band has gotten mainstream famous 40 years into their career, and Robert is wearing it well, and seems much happier than he was when he was 30.

Meeting New Friends:

I was wearing an ancient Cure t-shirt that my sister has been begging me to throw out, and instead of throwing it out, I had repaired it with lace scraps, and a child came to compliment me on it. He claimed that he was “the world’s biggest Cure fan” and that he had seen his first show in 2009. I told him I had seen my first show in 1986 at the Bronco Bowl, for Head on the Door, and he protested, I wasn’t even BORN then. That can’t be my problem, man!

Here’s the Cure’s playlist, including Just One Kiss, which was never played in the US before, but which I really like.

  • Plainsong
  • Pictures of You
  • High
  • A Night Like This
  • Just One Kiss(first time live in the US)
  • Lovesong
  • Last Dance
  • Burn
  • Fascination Street
  • Never Enough
  • Push
  • In Between Days
  • Just Like Heaven
  • From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
  • Play for Today
  • A Forest
  • Primary
  • Shake Dog Shake
  • 39 (Altered lyric from “half my )
  • Disintegration

  • Encore:
  • Lullaby
  • The Caterpillar
  • The Walk
  • Friday I’m in Love (with “Where Is My Mind”… )
  • Close to Me
  • Why Can’t I Be You?
  • Boys Don’t Cry

The Morning After:

The morning after, I was complaining to Johnny that although we had been drinking all day, it was so spaced out that I was never really drunk, but that I had a hangover, and then he sent me a video of myself singing to the Pixies that he believed disproved my theory. Anyway, it was nice having a friend for one day.

My Star Hits Interview

Posted Posted in comedy, Gothic, music
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Growing up in Texas but *with* MTV, I quickly identified myself as a New Waver and found the lifeline for all aspirational cool kids at the time, Star Hits magazine.  It was heavily influenced by its UK parent, Smash Hits, and was chock full of awesome photographs of the most important people in my life, including Duran Duran and the Cure.  They called Morrissey Mozz and Madonna Madge and they had advertisements for punk clothes and rare records and everything I dreamed of.

I always wanted to be interviewed by Star Hits, and realized that if I was going to be interviewed in that style, I would need to do it myself.  So, here it is.

I meet Virginia Jones in a coffeeshop near her Silverlake abode.  The coffeeshop also sells perfumes that are named for alternative rock hits but cost one gazillion dollars.  She is sitting on the patio, dressed head to toe in black, and drinking a Dirty Ginger, a soy milk latte with spicy ginger syrup in it.  She smiles slyly and says it’s her fourth. I greet her, take off my suit jacket, brush the shaggy blond hair out of my eyes, and set up to record our chat. She says she’s sorry but she only has half an hour before she has to go do comedy in the basement of a wine shop.

Who was your first crush?

Ohhh, this is weird but it was definitely Boy George.

Oh wow!

Yeah, I just thought he was spectacular.  I still do. When I was a twelve year old, I had a poster of Culture Club on my wall that I would kiss every night before bed.  When I took it down, George’s lips were clear with greasy little-kid Chapstick kisses.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The first single was Celebration by Kool and the Gang.  This was about ten years after it came out, but I heard it in one of my mom’s Jazzercise classes and I had to have it.

And the first LP?

Chipmunk Punk, obviously.

Obvi.

Which had no punk songs, but some new wave songs and some Billy Joel.  The weirdest inclusion was My Sharona, which was written about a 15 year old girl and has some semi-explicit reference to thighs, but the chipmunks DGAF.

What is your most treasured possession?

When I was living in Portland, I did a show on Christmas Day at the same karaoke bar where I did my first open mic.  This is probably ten years ago. It went, as I remember, horribly, but my friend Bri Pruett, who was KJing there at the time, gave me a card that permitted me to go next to sing karaoke.  That potential, the idea that I could be next, even in a bar that will one day close in a town in which I do not live, makes it one of my most prized possessions. Also, that Bri gave it to me.  I’ll never cash it in. I’m perpetually next!

Do you get presents from your fans?

Yes, isn’t it weird that people give you images of yourself?  But I have some awesome fan art, including a Barbie doll of me, an embroidery of my album cover, and a pen and ink rendition of me and my many interests. They are displayed proudly in my home. When I was in Portland, I used to be given a lot of weed, which I saved in a tin and forgot in my apartment when I moved.

How often do you wash your hair?

I like to wait at LEAST three days between washes.  If I can stretch to four, even better. My hair is long, so every time I wash it it gets tangled and dry and is basically a hot mess.  If you ever see me wearing a hat, you know it’s day four! Sorry.

If you were an animal, what would you be?  

I mean, I love the idea of a three toed sloth, but that’s not really my lifestyle.  I’m more like a squirrel, out there hustlin’, always starting projects and forgetting about them, and of course, looking adorable.

Oh, certainly.

Thank YOU.  

Ok, the last question, and this is a deep one:  Where do all the lost pens in the world go?

You know, I’m glad you asked me that, because it’s something I have thought a lot about.  The size and shape of pens mean that they take up space on the horizontal, but also they can slip through any hole or crevice, and we live on this earth full of holes, and which is always rotating, so if you think of the world as a big Pachinko game, and pens as the ball bearings, pens wind up:

(Flabbergasted) In the center of the earth?

Yes, precisely.  And that’s what magma is made of.  Melted pens. That’s what makes it so dangerous.

I effused my thanks to her as she killed her last inch of coffee and took off, yelling thanks and that she looked forward to the interview.  I had to take a second to catch my breath, and, folding up her paper coffee cup into my pocket to take with me, (don’t judge me!) went home to write.

If Jame Gumb Had A Personal Assistant

Posted Posted in artsy fartsy, comedy, gay, Gothic

buffalo-bill

MONDAY: It picks up the silk kimonos from the cleaners.  It checks the ticket very, verrry  carefully before it gets back into its Geo Metro, to avoid bringing home the wrong kimonos.  We do not want to punish It like last time.   It’s harder on Us than on It.

TUESDAY: It sorts tax receipts.  It puts mileage receipts in the blue envelope, it puts business purchases in the pink envelope, and it puts tattoo-and-piercing related expenses in a manila envelope.  IT DOES NOT SPEND ALL DAY FUCKING AROUND ON FACEBOOK!  Nobody cares what It ate for lunch, except that the food makes It look and smell disgusting.

WEDNESDAY:  It brings a fruit plate for Jenny’s baby shower.  It chooses a fruit plate with a lot of strawberry and pineapple and not as much melon or kiwi.

THURSDAY:  We apologize for saying that it smells disgusting.  It sometimes does not smell very bad.  We still need It to dust the house, and also to collect all loose teeth into a Mason jar.

FRIDAY: It gets paaaaid.  Yayyyy.  It can buy all the tacky blue mascara and Lee Press-on Nails it wants.  It cashes Its check right away, so that it does not appear outstanding on our bank balance.  It is on call all weekend, so It does not turn Its phone off!  Its phone is never off!

Practical Ghost Story- From HAUNTED, hosted by the amazing Rebecca Leib

Posted Posted in Gothic, portland

This is a real ghost story from Portland, OR.  I used to have a house there, and it was in a nice neighborhood, like, there was a brunch place in walking distance where they’d just put a basket of scones on the table when you sat down.  Just put ‘em there.  And when you got them scones, you’d need ‘em, cos you’d been standing outside for an hour, holding a cold coffee and a newspaper.  Technically, you coulda took a scone and left, but that’s against Brunch Code.  Before it was Fancy Brunch Place, it was an old bar where they would fry something that was technically breakfast and you could eat it while smelling every drink from fifty years before soaked in the wood paneling.  So that was the neighborhood, it was getting nicefied. I’m sure it’s even nicer now, but ex-husband lives there with third wife, so I don’t go.  That’s not the awful thing I’m telling. This is about another awful thing.
Anyway. No matter how nice a place is, bad stuff happens there.  A woman in my neighborhood had been kidnapped and kept in a basement for a couple of weeks, and she managed to stretch her restraints to one window and get one finger out of the blinds and was trying to signal for help, but nobody saw, not even my friend who lived next door.
My friend felt terrible, but in her defense, would have to be a pretty sharp eyed observer to see one finger scratching at a basement window and think, I should see if there’s someone down there.
This is not about that awful thing. This story is about another awful thing.
My next door neighbor’s house had been rented to a few groups of people, and then it was renovated and sold, and the woman who bought it moved in, and I tried to introduce myself to her a couple of times, but she always seemed tired and upset and kind of drawn-looking.  When a friend looks upset, it’s OK to say, hey, are you OK?  But when it’s a stranger, you’re too embarrassed to say, hey, you seem fucked up, are you OK?  Unhappiness is embarrassing.  Ask Facebook.  So, I avoided her.  She just never seemed to be in the mood for a chat. I didn’t see her much anyway.

One day that Spring, I see her in front, planting flowers and looking like a different person, and I went over to say hi. I introduced myself and we talked about the really boring stuff people talk about who have nothing in common except for living next to each other, and finally I say, I’m sorry this isn’t my business, but you look so happy and different! I’m glad you’re feeling better?  And she looked at me happily and said yes, I’m much better!  And then she explained: my house was haunted. And I said, how did you know?  And she said, the first night I slept there, a man appeared and beat the shit out of me.  And I said oh wow, did you call the police? And she said, no, because he was a ghost.  And that’s true. Police don’t come out for ghosts.  And she said, it happened the second night too, just for months, every night this ghost would appear and beat the shit out of me.  And I said wow that sounds bad, because what else do you say?  I didn’t know.  She said, at first I thought I’d sell the house, or find out if I could cancel the sale, but then I realized, what if the next buyer has a kid, someone who can’t defend themselves or take action, so I thought I’d have to take care of it myself.  And I said, what did you do?  And she said I found a great exorcist who smudged the house and BOOM!  The ghost disappeared and I’m finally enjoying my house!  I’m planting these flowers, and the next thing I need to do is get rid of some furniture and stuff, because it’s really too crowded in there, and I said, isn’t it a two story house that you’re in by yourself? And she said well yeah but. I couldn’t afford to get the upstairs smudged yet, and I’m afraid the ghost just moved upstairs, so I just stay on the ground floor.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Gothic American is EVERYWHERE!

Posted Posted in comedy, Gothic

Bandcamp: Listen for free, or order it for seven bucks!

http://virginiajones.bandcamp.com/album/gothic-american

Itunes for 10:

https://itun.es/us/uZwm_

Spotify:

Pandora:

http://www.pandora.com/virginia-jones/gothic-american

 

Top Review: 5*

Artful comedy with soul- Virginia knows who she is.  Her comedy is exactly what good art should be, the sum total of the artists’ experience, soaked in impactful emotions and presented with a cohesive voice honed from years of focus and dedication to the form.  Virginia’s fans know, and now you can learn just how smart, funny and willing to poke fun at herself this jewel of the comedy scene sis.  Even her dick jokes are original!  Do you know how hard that is?  Buy this album!