As part of my new rock and roll Los Angeles lifestyle, I attended a Smiths/Morrissey convention at the Avalon ballroom in Hollywood last night.
I asked a few friends to join me, but t they were above that kind of shameless display, so in the end I went alone, which was entirely appropriate.
I really didn’t know what to expect. In my head, I thought it would more like other record conventions I’ve been to, stacks of related records, bootleg DVD’s, t-shirts, and very little eye contact.
What I Found
I shan’t bore you with the blow-by-blow of Mozathon, but it essentially consisted of a rocking cover band from Dublin (These Charming Men, not to be confused with my personal favorite Smiths cover project, This Charming Band from SF*), a Smiths/ Moz karaoke contest hosted by the specialist outfit New Wave Karaoke, held on an unlit stage in an adjoining room, a room of PETA tables (hooray) and a few t-shirt salesmen and hawkers of various unlicensed Smiths paraphernalia.
In previous years, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke (the Least Famous Members of the Smiths, not like Johnny Marr) have attended, but that doesn’t seem necessary.
The con has separated from the mothership of relevance and continues, with people showing up to hang out with each other.
What They Looked Like
There were two basic looks: Pompadours and eyeglasses for the boys,and Hispanic Bettie Page for the girls. I joked with a fellow con attendee, who had traveled from Tuscon to check it out, that if he ever murdered anyone, he should come hide at a Morrissey event. He did not find this as hilarious as I did, and to be fair, who would?
I approached a nice person in this shirt and asked if I could take a photo, because this Morrissey/Mayhem mash-up was the funniest thing I’d ever seen, and still is, mostly, even after this.
My favorite part of all conventions is how friendly and approachable everyone is. Everyone is happy to talk, happy to talk about Moz, happy to be there. And that’s what I most enjoyed. That and watching a deadpan lesbian sing “First of The Gang To Die.” Those were my two favorite things.
I was sorry that I was not available to hang out long enough for the karaoke contest, but I was interested to see that Queen is Dead was on the songlist.
I am only familiar with Queen is Dead as a Baby Ketten Karaoke jam (with all instruments and vocals by Mr. John Brophy, Esq).
I followed up with a visit to the New Wave Karaoke in Bellflower, and was delighted to learn that they had acquired the selfsame version from a friend of Brophy’s in the O.C. (Kevin Karaoke, Natch)
The rest of the list is quite good, with more Bauhaus and Love and Rockets and Dead Can Dance than I’ve seen elsewhere, as well as nuggets like Dexy’s Geno, The Cramps’ Human Fly, and the goth dancehall classic once only available on the soundtrack for Married to the Mob, Q Lazzarus’ Goodbye, Horses*.
In other small world news, evidently the KJ is a friend of my friend My Young’s, who is from Plano, TX. It’s my world. Just to say, I already know everyone worth knowing, which is why I don’t need any friends.
*Trivia Fact: Although the original lead singer, the great Orlandissey, has left This Charming Band and has been replaced by a younger dude, I will still talk to almost anyone about my love for them at length.
**Trivia Fact: Because “Goodbye, Horses” was not featured on the soundtrack for Silence of the Lambs, in the pre-Internet age the only way to have a copy was to track down a copy of 1988’s Married to the Mob, until Kevin Smith used it in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. YOU CAN’T IMAGINE HOW HARD WE HAD IT!
Here’s a nice picture featuring myself, KJ Jay Tando, and the Baby Ketten logo on the Queen is Dead video.
I am writing to tell you all about Labyrinth, the film in which a great many Muppets talk directly to David Bowie’s crotch. It is showing this weekend at the Egyptian in Los Angeles, as a double feature with Dark Crystal. Holy Hoggle! What an Easter Treat!
Here are some questions that you might enjoy looking at the answers to.
Q. Where have I heard that whole “You remind me of a man. What man? The man with the power” business before?
A. You haven’t, but it was an old vaudeville bit Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, and Myrna Loy enjoyed in the film “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer”.
Q. Do you know the scene with the cleaners, where Hoggle’s voice changes for no reason and sounds exactly like Harrison Ford saying “You Sure Got His Attention” to Princess Leia in Star Wars? Do you think that George Lucas allowed them to sample the line from Star Wars?
A. Yes. I think so. I have no proof of this.
Q. Was it helpful that George Lucas was a producer?
Q. Who made the stupid baby-gurgle noises in the same “Magic Dance” song?
A. Dame David Bowie had to, because the baby they brought him was of the non-gurgling type.
Q. I notice that the baby’s name is Toby, and that the actor’s name is Toby Froud. Is this a coincidence?
A. No- the baby was supposed to be named Freddie, but the actor-baby would only respond to his own name, which is only part of why babies make such terrible actors. The baby was also played by the art director’s baby, because nepotism.
Q. Are you obsessed with the Magic Dance song?
Q: Did you one time see an adult Toby Froud sing Magic Dance at Baby Ketten Karaoke, the best karaoke in the world?
Q: Was Michael Cera also there?
A: I don’t think he was this time.
Q. Did you realize that Sarah invented nerd cosplay at the beginning of this film?
A. No, I sure didn’t! Thanks for pointing that out!
Q. If you buy the Jareth The Goblin King figurine, how do you prevent him from losing his crystal juggle-ball?
A. I had to glue mine on.
Q. What does the little elf-person who turns Sarah’s marked tile over say?
A. “Your mother is a freaking aardvark!”
Q. Did you know that the glass-ball juggler in the film is the inventor of what is now called “contact juggling”, Michael Moshen, who started juggling clear acrylic balls that he borrowed from his friend, fellow juggler Penn Jillette?
A. No, I didn’t know that.
Q. I didn’t think you did.
Q. Is Labyrinth still the best movie featuring David Bowie and Henson’s Creatures?
A. You bet your glittery, felt-covered muppet ass! Get out and see it!
Kevin Keegan, not a vegan
In Cockney rhyming slang, “I’m going to the Fatboy Slim” means “I’m going to the gym.” This is interesting, because as far as I can tell, Norman Cook’s fitness regimen is cocaine, which in cockney is “charlie.”
To call someone a “Berk” is short for “Berkely Hunt”, which rhymes with something that is the reason why the Mighty Boosh can never be shown in prime time in England, because the inoffensive-sounding “berk” is slang for something very dirty, something that rhymes with “hunt”, and starts with a “c”.
In cockney, to say something is Kevin Keegan, after the legendary footballer and coach, means that something is vegan. My tiny friend Emiko from Foodfightgrocery.com let me know this triv, that if you are at a party and pointing at various foods, asking “Zat Kevin?”, you are asking if it’s free of animal products, not made of an unlucky friend.
I took a picture of this sign at Nike, which makes me laugh but doesn’t make anyone else laugh, because it implies that the hallway is vegan. I think it’s Eddie. (eddie money=funny.)
Postscript: Like most of us, I was watching the Julien Temple short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, on the treadmill last night (sidebar: Bowie was 37 when this film was made, and in my opinion at the height of his personal awesomeness. Goals, people.) Anyway, in this film, when Bowie is portraying the most challenging role of his career, a scheming poster-hanger named Vic, he says “I’m a berk!”, which means that Bowie tricked MTV into letting him say “cunt” repeatedly on their network in 1984, which is just another reason he’s my hero.
What if you had to make a comedy show with only the use of your right brain? Watch for the robot Andy Warhol.
Sometimes I like to look at what drives traffic to Badinia.com. It’s like looking into your own bellybutton and finding eternity.
burning man costumes- Oh, I guess so.
virginia jones- Here!
leigh bowery- Of course.
dave vanian- Someone I think about a lot.
sisters of perpetual indulgence- Sure.
squirrel lamp- I’m a fan.
people who can not paid drugs- What?
open mic comedy portland- Yay!
burning man outfit- You again?
will.i.am trousers- I have thought about this.
silent hill halloween costumes- OK.
fighting squirrel artwork -More squirrel fans!
jock straps- What?
david blaine mother- I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned her. I don’t know why people are wondering about her, either?
mel flight of the conchords- My twin!
surgical mask porn- OK, seriously what the fuck.
japan lolita- Sure.
strawberry switchblade gothic- Naturally.
badinia dones- Of course.
baby spit- Don’t like it, don’t want it.
jackie kashian- My Homegirl.
claude tanner degrassi- Never Forget.
burning man costume- Oh, OK.
ian curtis dead- He sure is.
ron funches- Homeslice!
canadian comedy festival very fat comedian- Whoever this is, I feel bad for them. Their fatness was deemed Google-able. I hope it’s not Funches, who I love bunches!
brian j perez baby ketten- He has his stalkers.
auggie smith- What UUUP.
queen doris- Why, Yes!
capsule toys singapore- Sure.
french drag queen- Never have specifically written about one, but think about them a lot.
ameen belbahri- Aw yeah.
i close my eyes and walk out there and that’s where i start – Poetic! From Bill Hicks! If I google this and it takes me back to my own page, will I give birth to myself in space?
david bowie dressed as harlequin video- I’m proud to be a part of it.
why did lush discontinue goth juice?-THIS IS THE QUESTION OF OUR GENERATION.
donny don’t- My Pal.
virginia comedian portland- Sure.
dutch treats curious comedy- Of course.
famous mysterious actor bumbershoot 2011- Memories!
bridgetown comedy festival-A proud member.
transvestite maid- OK. Might be another person looking for Ryan Gosling.
virginia jones comedy- Sure.
scary big monsters killing people- I had never worried about this before, but now I’m worried! Are there scary big monsters killing people?
japanese amateur ass lady- How can you have an amateur ass?
open mic night comedy portland- Yay!
is billy bragg vegetarian?-I don’t know, is he?
dj rhienna portland- Yay!
bumbershoot mysterious actor- A living legend!
virginia lesbian comic portland – Uh oh.
mac and squatch- A fine film!
furious yellow band- Yay!
Wow, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, don’t you?
* I have gotten tired of people winding up here googling my ex-husband’s name, so I have replaced all incidences of it with Ryan Gosling’s name, because I am extremely mature.
Who doesn’t like a green screen, a free afternoon, and the Cure? Nathan Brannon stars as the ghost, filming and song by Tim Kohl. I did everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING. Well, I sang and lip-synched badly, and I made the ghost costume.
Postscript: At Helium last weekend, someone walking by yelled, “I Like the Ghost song!” This is one of many things I love about Portland, and about the internet.