Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Like my brownhouse:
   southern fried rock 'n' roll really
Tuesday, January 30 2001
Nikolai, my old Charlottesville buddy who is now a minor Hollywood rockstar, had invited me to see a performance of his band Moth tonight at the Knitting Factory. He'd invited me to a show there once before, but I hadn't been able to attend. Tonight though I'd convinced John to go. Part of my reason for wanting to go was so that I could pick up my credit card and driver's license from the Troubadour, where I'd accidentally left it on Saturday.
I hadn't really remembered, but it turns out that the Troubadour is just barely in West Hollywood outside of Beverly Hills, just to the east of Doheny on Santa Monica Blvd. Tonight there was a big crowd of kids standing in line waiting to see Southern Culture on the Skids. What always strikes me about Los Angeles subcultures is how amazingly uniform they are even when they turn out in great numbers. I've already discussed the sideburns and Buddy Holly glasses worn by all the indie kids of Silverlake. These SCOTS kids were an entirely different breed. For the most part they wore black leather jackets and big black boots. Some of them had a retro-50s rockabilly-punk thing going on, complete with coifed hair. Anyway, I barged past them all to the enormous Jabba-the-Hut bouncer dude and told him my credit card predicament. He redirected me to the box office, suggesting that I should have called beforehand. I'd actually tried that but the Troubadour's phone system seems to be entirely run by robots.
I only had to wait for a few minutes before someone brought my cards out to me. Behold, my tab had only been $30.
The Knitting Factory is on the north side of Hollywood Blvd. in the heart of the part of Hollywood that most people think of when they think about Hollywood: stars on the sidewalk, lots of neon, expensive parking, and a good sprinkling of homeless pan handlers.
What with its clean spaciousness and schteveish young-adult-friendly ambiance, the Knitting Factory is just a little too much like a Hard Rock Café (from what I can tell by having seen the outside of a few) for my liking. But this was where we were going, so I was determined to have a good time.
Almost the moment we got in the door, John ran across one of the teachers from his former job in the Beverly Hills school district. She was a youngish woman and though she wasn't especially attractive, I could tell John would have liked to take her for, you know, a ride. His bitterness about the reality of his de facto present relationship seemed to be intensified by the sheer numbers of nubile young ladies. So many women, so little time away from the ball and chain!
According to this particular teacher, John might be gone from the Beverly Hills District, but he is far from forgotten. All the teenage schoolgirls still talk about him on a daily basis, referring to him endearingly using a variation on his Italian last name in which "-otti" has been replaced with "-hottie."
John's teacher friend and all her various male friends knew each other from various places back in Ohio. Considering that Nikolai had said good things about Creeper Lagoon, the band that would be opening tonight, I figured the crowd tonight would be your typical pensive indie-kid throng. But most of the people showing up tonight were not of this ilk. They were stylish in their own way, but not excessively hip. There weren't a whole lot of baseball caps, but other than that this looked like a fairly mainstream crowd. I'd naturally assumed that most people were here for Moth, but everyone John and I talked to had come to hear Creeper Lagoon.
After a few Creeper Lagoon tunes, it soon became painfully clear what was going on here. Though the band occasionally had an almost post-punk Sebadoh quality, for the most part the music they played was not very different from straight-up rock and roll. Indeed, to my ear it even had something of a southern rock and roll flavor. I could easily imagine these guys opening for Hootie and the Blowfish or even The Allman Brothers. John didn't like them at all, saying (in reference to "Death, Obscure"), "your 'April, May, July and June' is much better than this!"
After Creep Lagoon was done, the place just cleared out. Sadly, it turns out, the throng had been nothing but a bunch of Creeper Lagoon fans. Poor Nikolai and the rest of Moth were forced to perform before a largely empty audience. In all fairness, the Knitting Factory is a pretty big venue and it takes a lot of people to pack it as thoroughly Creeper Lagoon had just done. It started to dawn on me why Nikolai had taken such special pains to ask me to come out tonight (calling me at work and even erroneously telling me he'd place me on the guest list): he knew that filling the the Knitting Factory would require every Moth fan in town.
Despite its whimpering conclusion, John and I still had a good night. We drank a lot of alcohol: top shelf $8/glass tequila, bottom & top shelf whiskey, and beer. We also met some people, most of them very superficially. John eventually gave this one gay dude his "digits" just because the guy seemed like he was cool and well-connected.
As we were leaving, I decided to buy the Moth CD from that French girl who seems to be Nikolai's girlfriend. She was staffing the teeshirt table through both hell and high water.
Unfortunately a pizza shop on Hollywood Blvd., the only place in Los Angeles where John has ever bought good pizza, was closed, so we were forced to satisfy our hunger with chips and salsa back at out house (as usual). At least we had a new Moth CD to play.

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