A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Sunday, February 29, 2004


I just finished reading a recent interview with Morrissey in Index magazine. There seems to be a lot of interest in his music again, with a new album due in a couple of months and a lot of young bands mentioning his influence. Part of me feared that reading this interview would just sadden me, make me embarrassed for him. He has been a bit spotty in the last few years, turning down record deals that he claims didn't pay enough, getting political in songs like "Mexico" where he sings about the cruelties inflicted on Mexicans by the rich and white from his massive house in California, where, ironically, he is rich and white (though British, so does that make it okay?). His album press release notes that he has yet another song whining about critics, and his first official website borders on self-parody in the space of a single image. (Though, this one would have done just as well.)

Morrissey then?

Thankfully, the interview wasn't cringeworth, but it did seem completely absent of anything new. Morrissey discusses glam rock, life in L.A., a lack of intelligent radio programming--he's always crashing in the same car. The article is by a couple of music biz fans, you'd have thought they'd know all the answers to these questions.

Which, one could maybe hold out hope that the interviewers sucked, and maybe Morrissey does have something new to say. Except my biggest problem with his last two records--Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted--is it felt like he had taken the arrested development shtick too far. It was time for him to act his age, you know? Surely he can be just as interesting about middle age as he was about adolescence, and let's be honest, his core audience probably is ready for the commentary. (Though, if one bought the singles, one discovered there were plenty of good songs hidden there, as if he were trying to keep them from the common man and save them for his fans only. Or were his sensors that far off that he honestly thought they were secondary?)

Morrissey now?

So, we'll see. New songs aired on previous tours don't suggest there should be all that much hope. "First of the Gang To Die"--more fetishizing violent, young, ethnic boys. "I Like You"--standard romance politics. "The World Is Full of Crashing Bores"--yes, but can you say you aren't one of them? Only "Irish Blood, English Heart" stood out. Political, but without the ironic hypocrisy of "Mexico." It's scheduled to be the first single from You Are The Quarry, which seems disastrous to me, but at least gutsy.

I know amongst many fans I am needling an icon unnecessarily. I have certainly drawn flack in the past amongst the local chapter of gladioli bearers, and I spend the occasional moment on morrissey-solo.com being willfully trollish--but when it gets down to it, I am an honest fan, and so can only really be disappointed in the man's performance in the way a true fan can. Is it so wrong to want him to try harder? One wonders, since a tiny nugget of an indeterminate substance fell on the Index cover, leaving a stain--a tiny, greasy tear--under Morrissey's right eye when removed. Did I make him cry? Am I the litter to his Iron Eyes Cody?

Current Soundtrack: Morrissey, "Boy Racer" CD1, "Roy's Keen," "Satan Rejected My Soul"

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Thursday, February 26, 2004


I hit send about an hour ago. The project is done. Gone. I proofed and rewrote twice. I actually liked it better the second time. I plan to lay on the floor this weekend and let DVDs massage my brain.

Tuesday I went out to 23rd Avenue Books and saw Brad Meltzer read. He is an affable public speaker, and the stories he told before reading from The Zero Game were probably better than the chapter itself. After, a bevy of local comic book luminaries went out for dinner. Greg Rucka, Matt Wagner, Oni publisher Joe Nozemack, and visiting cartoonist Colleen Coover with her partner, writer Paul Tobin. Brad probed me for my future plans. He is truly one of the sweetest men alive.

My next goals are to write the short comic story Andi Watson is going to draw for an upcoming anthology. I also have a short story idea rolling in my head. And have two different ideas for possible graphic novels that I need to outline. And some novel or something I've been writing for a century.

Current Soundtrack: Simpsons rerun

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Sorry to be giving such short and unexciting updates, but I haven't got anything weighty to say. Too buried in work. But...

Augie De Blieck Jr. gives my "Can You Picture That?" column a really nice review in his Pipeline column at Comic Book Resources. Be sure to go read the whole thing, but if I may, here is a relevant quote: "Jamie S. Rich started up a new monthly DVD column at the Oni Press website this past week. It reminds me why I don't dip my toes back into those waters anymore. While I have done a couple of DVD review columns in my lifetime, I couldn't elevate it to the level Rich does here. Not without a couple of years of film school, at least." Thanks, Augie!

I posted a review of Love & Poison at Amazon. Some of you may be sick of reading about that book, so I will let you go read the piece there. Seriously, though, buy this book. And when you do, be sure to get to it through my link, coz Amazon gives me a kickback if you do. (Thanks to the fine folks who have done this is the past.) And give Dave Barnett's band The Boyfriends a spin, while you're at it.

Been listening to Franz Ferdinand the last couple of days. Someone sent me "Darts of Pleasure" last year and I wasn't blown away, but the self-titled album is growing on me. Very '80s, like a smashed together version of The Strokes and the first two albums by Jack.

Current Soundtrack: Duran Duran, Decade

Thursday, February 19, 2004


Okay, so the word count on the project I have been working on is around 33,500, done in 10 evenings and one morning. I honestly wonder what I could have done if given two solid days to dig at it.

I was hired yesterday to do a quick copyedit on a reprint of a seminal '80s comic book title. Fast job, needs to be done in about a week. No heavy-duty grammar cop penal code, but leniency, focusing on the worst-case felons. You can speculate on said comic as you wish.

Current Soundtrack: Spiritualized, The Complete Works

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


My first installment of "Can You Picture That?", a monthly DVD column for Oni Press, is now online. For the initial go-around, I go in-depth on the existentialism of Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest and get all giddy over a handsome Alice in Wonderland

I've also been flapping my lips over at Newsarama, in a joint interview with James Lucas Jones on Oni in 2004. (For the record, I will be doing no conventions this year. It's the Jamie S. Rich N'04 world tour, not coming to your town.)

I finished the first draft of the project I was worried about, with two weeks to spare. Not bad. I was going to give a word count here, but for some reason between the rtf file leaving my home e-mail and arriving at my work e-mail, it became a completely unnavigatable dat file. I've got a few cross words for some people.

Current Soundtrack: Suede, Dog Man Star live @ the ICA, 2003

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Saturday, February 14, 2004


I've been devouring Dave Barnett's Love & Poison, the authorized biography of Suede. After some delay from Amazon, it's finally in my hands, and I can't get enough of it. I'll avoid ridiculous statements like "it's taking me over" and such.

It's amazing, though, reliving the time when this band entered my life. I'm actually just past their first American tour, including their performance on Jay Leno--elements of the story I was a part of. What a wild time in my life. I was just out of college when that all hit, twenty-one (though I didn't drink). I supposedly had a job at Dark Horse Comics, I was poised on the precipice of...something.

I had missed most musical movements in my youth. The Smiths had just broken apart when I discovered them, and though The Stone Roses would cause a revolution, I wasn't feeling it the same way as others did. It was amazing music, and songs like "Going Down" and "Made of Stone" mean a lot to me to this day, but it was a different kind of headspace. It didn't speak to me in overtly personal ways. I also couldn't have honestly given a shit about Ian Brown, and though I found John Squire interesting, he certainly wasn't a hero (and when I'd meet him years later, when he was with Seahorses, the sight of his Birkenstocked-feet would have destroyed my faith in guitar gods forever had I held him in higher esteem). There wasn't a sense of, "This is me. This is who I am now." The Trash Can Sinatras were close, but that was more of a private revolution. I was in Southern California, which may have been the place of their greatest fame, but there was no hysteria around it. I saw TCS gigs right around the same time I saw Suede, but there was something more personal about it. When I spoke to the band at the gigs, they were much more like guys that could be my buddies than icons.

Keep in mind, this is the tail end of 1992 and 1993. There was no internet for most people. The ease with which we get music and information now was not available then. So, initial rumblings of Suede seemed to be just that. Put your ear to the ground, and you could hear the whispers. Meaning, I had heard about them long before I had seen them or experienced a note of music. Q magazine was probably the first place I ever saw a picture of Brett Anderson. I was intrigued by him there on the cover, but it was Christmas break, and I had no money, I didn't buy the mag. But it started the need to find out. (According the book, while it was certainly a catalyst for the band and the changing face of Q, it was actually the worst selling issue of a magazine more associated with the old thing than the new thing. Go figure.)

My first magazine with Suede on the cover was Select. Another famous one. The one with Brett in all black, leather that didn't quite fit, exposing his midriff long before it was the norm for poptarts. He was posing in front of the Union Jack, and a new wave of British music was being touted. The book mentions this, too, and I honestly can't believe the line-up of "up and coming" Brit bands it apparently trumpeted (I still have this in storage somewhere, and I'd snag it now if I could)--The Auteurs, Pulp, and Saint Etienne. Shit, yeah, we were on the precipice of something. And Select would be my most beloved guide book for years to come.

The first time I heard Suede, it was a BBC version of "Moving" that came on a Melody Maker cassette. It was raw, it was different. The lyrics were strange. Belly, Ride, and Stereo MCs were on that tape, too. But Suede sounded nothing like them. Then we started to find stuff. My friend Ben had "Metal Mickey" on a tape someone sent him from Scotland--played, strangely, first at normal speed and then again sped up. Then I think Ben got the three-disc charity thing that had them covering "Brass In Pocket," which was lilting and lovely and so very different (Ben had bought it for the Aztec Camera track). A picture was forming. On one side it was guitars and warrrrhhhh, on the other this flowery thing, like smoke twisting in the air.

I was in my dorm one Sunday night and Rodney on the Roq on KROQ was debuting the new single "Animal Nitrate." I was able to get it on tape. He played the B-side, "Painted People," and then "The Drowners," too. Holy fuck, I was hooked. I was so excited, I was dancing while styling my hair, and the energy got a little out of control. I actually banged my head on the tiny mirror on my dorm closet door. I had a bump on my forehead for a couple of days. It was ludicrous, but it was also so right. I was being knocked around by this. I had found something, and it was mine. It was new, I was there as close to the beginning as one could possibly be, it felt like.

I hunted for all the singles, which was no mean feat in Long Beach, California. I think I found the European "Metal Mickey" first, the one with the b-sides for "The Drowners" instead, so I got "My Insatiable One" and "To The Birds." I bought it with "Certain People I Know," possibly the rarest Morrissey single. Your Arsenal was pretty fucking mega, too. And now that I think of it, I had heard Morrissey cover "My Insatiable One" before I had ever heard the name Suede. I would get "So Young" and I think the proper "Metal Mickey" a bit later, in Hollywood, along with a bootleg tape of a concert where Moz did "Insatiable," and I would use the credit card I had only for emergencies, because it was necessary. This wasn't the kind of emergency my dad had talked about, but it was an emergency to me. And that first "Metal Mickey" would be the thing I would carry with me to the first gigs to get the band to sign. It only made sense.

I'm not sure, why don't you show me?

The week Suede came to Hollywood was mad. Their Tonight Show appearance was first. I got down there at something like six a.m. and was one of the first five people in line for tickets. After getting the ticket, we had to go wait on another line, which was the line to get in. A ticket was no guarantee, really. So, we hiked over to the entrance and all took a seat. Me and these two kids who were brothers were first. A group was behind us. I would get to know all these people in the coming months. I had seen them before at gigs. It was always the same people down front, the fanatics who sat outside all day. I was kind of the oddball, the kid who lived out of town and drove in by himself. But I was always right there.

The brothers and I lucked out, because we were the perfect number to be in the front row, in the box over by Jay's couch. It was a prime seat. I was able to hit up the cue card man, for instance, and get the cards that introduced the band. And because we were right there, I was the guy who, in the commercial break after the raucous (but tinny) performance of "Metal Mickey," called over to Brett and actually got him to come talk to us. He got in trouble with the crew, but he promised he'd be back, and when he said it, he put his hand on mine and let it slowly brush off. I may have squealed. As promise, the band (minus Bernard) did come over after. Cue card signed! (I'd get Bernard days later in San Diego.)

(One myth that went through the Hollywood circle: as the band is being introduced by Leno, someone in the audience screamed "Brettttt!" You can hear it on the show. Somehow, it got out that it was me. It wasn't. I'd go to shows, and it was like, "You're the dude who screamed on Leno!")

After the taping, a group went out to the parking lot gates where we figured the band would exit. Sure enough, a white van came through, carrying the band. We rushed it, and I actually got my head through a window--it wasn't a roll-down window, but one of those that gets pushed out, and I squeezed my head through. Here was this pale California kid with a blonde quiff popping through their window, completely out of his mind...and the things that came out of my mouth! Brett actually reeled back, eyes wide. Everyone kept asking me what I said, and I wouldn't tell anyone. I never did. Perhaps because I never repeated it, I'm not entirely sure what it was now. I think it had something to do with the fact that now I could die happy.

The taping was on a Monday or Tuesday, and I am pretty sure the show wasn't until that Friday or something. It was at a non-venue on Hollywood Blvd., someplace no one had heard of. I drove my hour and a half into town, probably got there at 7:30, and was already like tenth in line. This line of kids sat there all day. You had to. If you wanted to get in the front row, you had to be through the doors first thing. You had to run and not pass Go, just get there. A year later when I'd get to Portland, I'd be shocked when I'd go to shows and there'd be no line. Blur would come to town, and no one would give a shit. I never forgave this town for claiming to care about music when it so clearly didn't. It didn't, no one worked for it. (Though, with the competition zero, I met all the bands I wanted to meet, was always front row.)

I think most of us didn't eat that day. We barely had anything to drink. Places in line were precious. You didn't want to lose them. You also couldn't spend money until you knew how much merchandise cost. You couldn't be caught short. And what if you missed something? The band walked by during soundcheck. Thank goodness I was there! All sorts of crazies came by, too. One woman in particular came up and informed us all that in the future, we would be turned into little dolls and displayed in shop windows. She used her fingers, held them about an inch apart, to show us just how little we would be. "You'll all be little dolllls." As she walked up the street, she'd stop, look back, point in a shop window, and then hold up the fingers, driving home that we would be little dolls, and we'd be in there.

It's funny, because all those times I camped out for stuff, by the time the shows start, everyone is fucking exhausted. We are starving and grouchy and miserable, but as soon as the doors open, all that disappears. The euphoria takes over. Ben had come down, and we ran like hell and we were front, just to the right of center, where Bernard was, and thankfully close enough that when Brett stepped out on the riser to grab hands, we could get in on it.

I had been to general admission shows before, but never ones this crazy. We were packed in, barely a centimeter to move. I had gotten lucky and a particularly attractive young lady had ended up behind me. I remember her long, dark blonde hair and her striped top. She actually spent most of the show on top of me, pressed on my back. And, really, if you're going to be crushed, that was the way to go. She was brilliant. She wore a candy necklace, the kind with the small round sugar pieces on an elastic band. This girl would take the necklace and place a sugar piece between her teeth, and nibble off just enough to loosen it from the band, and she'd fire the candy from her mouth like a sling shot, using the elastic. It would shoot all the way to the stage. I loved her. Had she asked me to run to Vegas and get hitched that night, no doubt I would have. If Brett Anderson had asked me to do filthy things, I would have, too. They could have shared me. (Part of my love for Suede and how they fit my life was a new attitude about my own sexuality that I came to that last year in college. I was still Morrissey-influenced celibate, but Brett's infamous "I'm a bisexual man whose never had a homosexual experience" quote was so how I felt, it made him my soulmate or something. I was the wife of the acrobat.)

Before the show, a photographer filed into that section between the barrier and the stage, and someone saw his NME pass and asked him who he was. "Kevin Cummins," he says, and the whole front row gasped. He couldn't believe it. Everyone knew he was. Of course we did! This guy took pictures of The Smiths! He was Kevin Cummins. He told us to keep our ears out for a little band called Verve (before they got the "The"). In fact, there was a general shock amongst the Suede crew about how much we knew. I remember a woman traveling with Suede being entirely amused that someone had asked her if she was Anick, Brett's girlfriend at the time. I heard her telling everyone, "They asked me if I'm Anick. How do they know about Anick?"

The show itself was amazing. It was everything that was promised. They sat down on amps for "She's Not Dead." Bernard was right in front of me, and he shushed everyone. The song was so beautiful, I honestly cried. I wept. I told Bernard afterwards, and he told me I was sweet. It was glorious. We chatted up the opening band, Suddenly, Tammy! and they put us on the guest list for the next night in San Diego, and we drove down for it. The brothers would later start a fanzine called Our Insatiable Ones and I would write for it and try to proofread. It was the start of something. Britpop was coming up around the corner, and it would be massive and exciting, but Suede were always the first, and they were always the best.

Suede, live 1993. This is what it looked like.

The amazing thing about Love & Poison is how much Barnett captures all that. He was there, too, though on the other side of the world. But it was the same all over. Southern California is not really representative of the rest of the nation, far too many of us Anglophilic weirdoes were in one place, but our hysteria was the exact same as the kids in London. We all had the sense that this was important, that it would mean something to us later on, and at least for me, we were right. And even though in the rock scheme, Suede may end up a side note, having never played the stadiums like so many lesser beings, that will be for the best. They weren't supposed to. They were coming from the outside and only looking in to give the finger.

Current Soundtrack: Sharkboy, The Valentine Tapes; Suede, Sci-Fi Lullabies disc 1

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


The Pulse has announced six new titles from Tokyopop for the summer. One of them, Abenobashi: Magical Shopping Arcade, is the book I was working on--and struggling with--last year that I couldn't talk about. It's a pretty crazy series, and was quite a challenge. I'm interested to see how it comes out.

Current Soundtrack: Spiritualized, Let It Come Down

Sunday, February 08, 2004


Spent a couple of hours at Starbucks last night digging into the new work-for-hire project. It's more prose than comics, so it's a bit more intensive, and the end of the month deadline is looming pretty large. Getting sick (and the cold seems to be fighting to come back right now) postponed the start date a bit, but really, there hasn't been much time since the actual thing came to me. My biggest concern is not whether or not I will be able to finish on time, it's more a worry that I won't have time to really go over it and rewrite. I know the first 20 pages or so in particular need another eye. There is a narrative element--the narrator talking to the reader--that comes in after that mark, and I'd like to go back and introduce it earlier. Plus, it took me about that long to get the groove of it.

I also wrote a quick review of The Zero Game for Amazon. I like doing an occassional piece and posting it there. It's a no pressure sort of thing, and I can experiment a little, practice. Here it is:

It's tough to review a Brad Meltzer book. Any discussion of the plot is going to give too much away. Over drinks, I was attempting to tell a friend about THE ZERO GAME. She hadn't started reading it yet, and I was midway through. "Oh, you're going to love it,: I said. "The premise alone is enough to hook you."

"Don’t tell me," she said.

"No, no, seriously," I pushed. "I won't ruin it. You see, these guys who work in congress as aides and stuff, they have this game. It's super secret, and they bet on legislation, guessing the outcome of votes and stuff."

"That's too much, stop."

"Well, you can imagine from that all the different ways Meltzer can take it."

"Seriously. I don't want to know anymore."

"No," I said. "You don’t get it. That's information you get just on the first ten pages. I didn't spoil anything. The book is packed with twists and turns, probably more than any of Brad's other books. By page fifty, you’re going to be so sucked in; you're never going to want to put it down."

And it's true. In the first fifty pages of a 460-page thriller, there is already one turn of events so shocking that you start the next chapter fully expecting to discover Meltzer is messing with you. "No,: you say, "he CAN’T do that." But he does! And at that point, THE ZERO GAME is just getting revved up. The rest of the novel is a mad, breathless dash to find the answer to the sort of convoluted plot only people who are part of the US government could dream up!

THE ZERO GAME is full of Meltzer's usual narrative tricks. Shifting points-of-view, untrustworthy characters that switch allegiances at the flip of a page, young idealists, and a hero (or two) pushed out of their comfort zone, suddenly finding themselves on a run for their lives, having to scramble to find the strength and skill to survive. It boggles my mind that there hasn't yet been a movie adaptation of one of Brad's books. THE ZERO GAME was easily more exciting than any modern film I saw last year. It's a popcorn thriller, an action-packed suspense story that doesn't need special effects or the chiseled features of a $20M paycheck to excite. Proof positive that there's nothing like a good book to get the imagination--and the adrenaline--pumping.

And that really does some up how I feel about it. As writing, Brad's prose isn't my first choice. I tend to like things a bit more lyrical. But, just like a good action movie can be a nice break from all those subtitled Criterions, a thriller is nice every once in a while. Sometimes it's good to be simply entertained. And there is much to be gleened from a book that is so adept at plot dynamics.

Current Soundtrack: MTV (yes, they play videos--isn't that joke tired?)

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Saturday, February 07, 2004


Ahhhh...sweet Low.

The quiet ones returned to Portland last night, playing Dante's. Not the ideal venue for them. Poorly designed floor plan puts the bathrooms in the center of the two-room space, and a lot of the floor is taken up by tables, and I swear they oversell any time there is a popular show, because it's always so cramped. But I think as a Low fan you learn to deal with shit. Whenever they play a bar-type venue, you're going to get stuck with louts who talk too much, who haven't got the good grace to just shut up and listen. But you also are part of a fanbase that isn't afraid to say, "Hey, fuckmonkey, shut your goddamn hole." Last night was no exception to this, but we had the added bonus of the second room bar where people were just socializing and flapping their gums. There are places in this town (like Berbati's) where people seriously pay the cover charge to hang out and be seen and talk to friends. Hipsters literally paid $15 last night to be crammed into the bar and be at the cool place. There was such a vast sea of bad facial hair I was tempted to go buy razors and pass them out, but then I realized at least this meant some of the idiots in the world were marked, so why end that? (One guy...oh this guy...he had on a thick scarf and stocking cap and I swear to you, he pasted his moustache down and tried to give it curls on the ends. I wanted to ask him where his biplane was, when take-off time was scheduled for.) More appalling were the number of people who were going to cut out early to go see Thin Lizzy. Thing fucking Lizzy?!? Ignoring that they weren’t all that great to begin with, the one dude who made them worthwhile has been dead for 25 years or something. Seriously...but who the fuck ran over your head with a truck that this was the hip thing to do last night, jackass.

Okay...deep breath. Take comfort in the fact that a young couple standing behind me stood there and critiqued everyone for how hard they were trying to be indie and special, reminding me of myself and my partner. There is a new generation of bitter folks on the way!

And...sweet Low.

Low were amazing. The set was made up exclusively of songs from Trust and new material as yet unreleased (though, I include the two tracks from the hard-to-get Murderer EP in that category)—excepting the special request of "Sunflower" in the encore, an old Mimi solo track ("When You Walked Out On Me"), and what I assume was an Elliott Smith cover, performed solo by Alan and his acoustic guitar, dedicated as it was to someone from the Portland area who was a great inspiration and who had passed away. In general, this meant it was a night of complicated angles and noise, occasionally breaking off into heavy riffage that seemed inspired by Alan's side projects, the Black-Eyed Snakes (one new song was nearly hard rock!). Trust's "Canada" was given an extended bass intro, over which Alan sang nearly the whole first verse of Outkast's "Hey Ya." It was an example of a newer, looser Low. Gone are the days of the troubled self-loathing when perceived mistakes occurred onstage, replaced by a band willing to laugh about it, to joke and punctuate a bad note with an arena-rock finger-point. As Alan noted, back in the day when it was cool to not sound professional, they took it all way too seriously; now that polish is back in vogue, they are falling apart. Love 'em for it!

Favorite song of the night was probably "Little Argument With Myself," for its sheer power and emotion. The music climbs to a stark cacophony, while Alan's vocals scream with doubt and hatred. It's the visceral attack on the heart that makes this band special. Sometimes they do it with the softest of efforts, and sometimes they jam the sounds in with a mighty force. Power comes in many disguises.

Current Soundtrack: David Bowie, Lodger (Rykodisc edition); misc. Low rarities

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Friday, February 06, 2004


Last night's concert: Starsailor @ Berbati's Pan

This was the second time I'd seen Starsailor. I think the last time was covered in an early blog entry, but I am too lazy to look. The previous time had been in Seattle, they were opening for the Charlatans, and their drummer had hurt his arm, so it was mainly an acoustic set. What struck me then was how powerful James Walsh's voice was. The guy opens his mouth and it fills the room. With all three of his band members backing him up last night, it was no different. Not even the cavernous sound of Berbati's could dull it. People (usually from the legion who hate Starsailor and always go out of their way to tell me so) wonder why Phil Spector would come out of nutball retirement to work with this band, and I'd say that your answer is in the pipes. I can't imagine not wanting to provide a backdrop for that voice.

And the band was no slouch either. They all performed really, really well. The bulk of the set was off the first album, Love Is Here, and we were treated to most of the singles ("Fever" was to be part of the encore, but got booted). "Poor Misguided Fool" and "Lullaby" are still beautiful, and maybe only "Alcoholic" didn't have the swerval goodness of the original. Sprinkled in amongst the familiars were songs from Silence Is Easy, their not-as-strong follow-up--though, it's grown on me and I did enjoy the tracks much more with the live muscle behind it. Like The Thrills last week, there was a rougher energy surrounding a lot of the tunes. It was like they had the crusts cut off to go down easier, quicker, and it gave the songs a ragged glory. The set was well-constructed, too, starting quieter and building, closing with the loud numbers like "Four to the Floor," "Tie Up My Hands," and "Silence Is Easy," where the big sound of the voice was matched by the music. Equally great was the encore of "Good Souls," still their best tune.

An unexpected highlight was an acoustic run through of the first verse and chorus of U2's "All I Want Is You," easily that band's best song. As with the Pet Shop Boys cover of "Where The Streets Have No Name," it seemed evident that U2's material is serviced best by someone else. Replacing Walsh's elegant vox for Bono's tired croak would be an easy decision.

Low point of the show was some of the audience. I'd seen the phenomena before. English people in America seeing an English band. They have this need to declare themselves to their countrymen, as if they should instantly be buddies, shouting out where they are from or something about Football or whatever. Generally, the Britpop poseurs will join in, both acting as if they know what the English guy is talking about and throwing out their own bullshit to be part of the group. (Worst ever, at a James concert in '93, some girl who kept screaming, "Madchester!" until Tim Booth said, "Fuck Madchester!") These are the same poseurs who work words like "loo" and "lift" and, God forbid, "lorry" into their regular speech, just to be extra embarrassing.

Sad thing is, in Portland, there are, like, three British people and they're all friends and they go to all the shows. And they don't shut up. If they don't get noticed, they keep being obnoxious until they do; if they do get noticed, then it's exactly what they want and they keep digging for more attention. Last night was no different, and we learned that one was from Yorke, another was from Leeds. Between every song, it was more nonsense, and I guess football eventually came up, because Walsh noted that whatever team one supports in Wigan actually beat Leeds last time around. This fact seemed to physically pain the guy from Leeds, and I am not sure what he said in the next go around, but it inspired a response of "Fuck off with your shit football team," and eventually, a total breakdown, as Walsh explained to the audience, "Everywhere we go that isn't England, there's some English people who can’t help but tell us where they are from, and all I can think is, 'If it's so great, what the fuck are you doing here?' Now, shut up and quit ruining it for the people who are here to listen to music." Cheers followed, and it seemed to largely work. It was one of those moments where there was this huge relief. Someone actually finally said it!!!

Current Soundtrack: Erasure, Hits!

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


I knew it was too good to be true, getting this far through the winter with no flu, no cold. Thursday night, I should have paid attention to the signs, to the dry mouth that could not be gotten rid of, not even with the extra-strong ginger ale taken from my girlfriend's last place of residence, left by a roommate, so strong it nearly chokes me as the bubbles travel to my nose. Spent the weekend on cold medicine, trying to be entertained without demanding too much of myself (Beat the Devil, starring Bogart, directed by Huston, written by Capote). What could be taken in chunks, before konking back out again. All the while, this new Tokyopop thing looming. I only have a month left to sail these unchartered waters.

Sunday night, feeling better. Actually began to tackle the Tokyopop, getting the easy beginning out of the way. Moved up to a subtitled film (Happy Together by Wong Kar-Wai, and now I've seen his entire filmmography). Skipped the gym Monday morning to be safe, and headed in to work--only to come plodding back midway through the day. Funny how safe in your home bubble you start to feel better, and as soon as you leave, the elements take their toll. So, didn't even try today. Now the head is a little large and I'm wishing I could remember the grand revelation, the simple equation of life that I thought would be so good for The Everlasting, that came my way this morning and has now moved on to a more conscientious caretaker.

Current Soundtrack: score to Two for the Road composed by Henry Mancini (on old, scratchy vinyl)

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website

Sunday, February 01, 2004


The final installment of "Chance Meetings" is now online.

Current soundtrack: Bob Nanna covering Morrissey's "Tomorrow" (it's not very good)