I caught PJ Harvey's "The Hope Six Demolition Project" tour at the Greek Theater here in Los Angeles. Allow me to tell you about that, and about psychic space, outdoor music shows, croaking for dollars, staying relevant in the face of increasing waves of nostalgia, First Aid Kit and Fiona Apple, retiring from live shows, people putting on a groovy act, jalapeno nachos and spinach wraps, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, cannibalism, Cirque du Soleil, voicemails and chirping of many kinds.
46 reviews in 50 minutes? How is that even possible, you may be asking. No wonder they call it an extravaganza! Well, that's what this is. Maybe not an extravaganza, but 46 reviews in 50 minutes, as advertised. Though, honestly, it may be more of an opportunity for me to complain about what I don't like about TV. There's a lot to like these days, don't get me wrong, but you know how it goes.
This episode is ostensibly about Snapchat taking over all the buildings in Venice, but it's really just an excuse for me to tell stories about living in Venice - where the debris meets the sea - a long time ago. You know , that and mucus, khakis, "Silicon Beach," wombats, sticky carpets, sleeping bags, Sanford and Son, empty beer cans and pizza crusts, pagodas, driving stick, failing to stay out of Los Angeles County Jail, heroin, radio knobs, Bentleys and Maseratis, Boyle Heights, Leimert Park, gentrification (yes, again), snowbirds and Publishers Clearinghouse.
Chaos and disorder fall upon a nation while millions march in the streets demanding...something. I'm just not sure what. So we may as well talk about protesting. And snakes, hot coals, stereo speakers, being polite, agitating, Century City, Reagan, patchouli, which hats are in fashion, Vietnam, the ERA, diet Coke, catastrophe and emergency, hypocrisy, mental illness, conscience, violent overthrow, economic pressure, Apartheid, inequality, having nothing to lose, lawyers, being part of the problem, being on the wrong side of the majority, lectures, solidarity and tacos.
It's Bukowski time again, sort of, and along the way we may or may not touch on hair again, hopping on pop, nuclear winter, Ronald Reagan, "Baby, it's cold outside," Christmas songs, Cap'n Crunch, slapping broads around, male privilege, Rudy Vallee, amplified ants, Vietnam, the looming Trump era as a glass-half-full kind of thing, how you suck at doing Christmas, Rupert Murdoch, Abel Debritto, tarring and feathering, reruns of Seinfeld, breaking people who don't want to talk, in praise of killing some trees, diseased pilgrims, Google cardboard and all virtual reality, ViewMaster, chirpwatch and pie and coffee.
You didn't think I'd let this presidential election pass without saying something, did you? Well, actually, I had hoped to, but the whole thing didn't exactly turn out the way a lot of us had hoped or expected, so here we are. As you may have noticed, the truth took a beating in the campaign and election. The way I see it, it took the death of the truth for Trump to triumph (try saying that five times fast), so that's what we're talking about today: how the death of the truth happens, and how those who wanted it dead carried out the murder. It's just like the NPR podcast "Serial," only it's a lot shorter and only my opinion rather than a lot of meticulous research and reporting. Otherwise it's just like it.
Thrill to the description of my DNA test results, and stay on the edge of your seat as I also provide grandiose oratory on Bob Dylan's Nobel prize, Leonard Cohen, Tony Orlando, Casper the friendly ghost, tar and feathers, lefse and lutefisk, astrology, whimsy, turpitude, sushi, Eve, culture wars, old white men, ISIS or ISIL or JIMINEY DING DONG or whatever it's called, women in the kitchen, David Copperfield, Criss Angel, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, our Ethiopian ancestors and A Boy Named Sue.
On Thursday night Cat Stevens played a 50th anniversary show at the Pantages theater in Hollywood. If you couldn't be there I have the rundown for you.
Bright ideas, Amazon reviews, everyday miracles, McMansions, Mark Lewisohn, anything for a quid, reading on a Kindle, how many books are too many, bar bands, Mozart, Ron Howard, take me out to the ball game, comparing politicians to pop groups, our magnificent political system, the fog of nostalgia, Chairman Mao, back hair, outsiders, your savior, cars and shuffling off to Buffalo.
I had a hard time titling this one because I'm more all-over-the-map than usual. I blame this brutal non-stop heat wave of a summer. But if you take a chance you will hear about soaking electronics in beer, the last VCR, digital cameras, the future, Ludwig von Köchel, (not) paying $150 for a CD, charming quirks vs. psychotic behavior, developing photographic film, trigger warnings, Vietnam, knolling and the end of the Internet.