Secret Pop

Sep 19, 2004

Nobody walks in L.A. Nobody lives in Devore.

Today was a lot of road trip sandwiching a day of Inland Invasion. Morrissey didn't show. Like a jerk. And Ian Brown of the Stone Roses sang just slightly offkey the entire time he was on stage. And he also broke the news about Morrissey, which must have upset the highers up, because when his set was over they started rotating the carousel on the stage as he was still singing, and they shut his mic down when he was trying to say, "Thank you very much." I kind of felt bad for him. But I also felt bad about his performance. So that's a tough call. His band sounded great. I wonder if when they all got backstage they beat the shit out of him.

I missed Muse. Again. This is the third time I've not seen them. What gives? We arrived at the beginning of X's set. And then we went and bought Chinese umbrellas.

I love The Killers. I bought their CD months ago, but seeing them live today renewed my thrill. Because I am shallow, and the lead singer is hot.

Dr. Drew and his clan had seats two rows back and to the right of us. Beulah noted how much he was enjoying his popcorn. Seriously. But he enjoyed Devo along with all of us. And it may have been the fault of substance abuse, but I could not stop laughing at how old those guys all look. Mark Mothersbaugh is awesome and a hero of mine, but he was all grey in the hair and paunchy in the paunch. As were a few of his compatriots. It was like watching your friends' parents parody a rock show.

Tears for Fears are a band again, didn't you know? Curt Smith is all slim and distinguishedly grey now. Roland Orzabal's hair is the same, but a little too black. Beulah said,"Oh. He's gone all basset hound on us, hasn't he?" It's true. He has. When they played Sowing the Seeds of Love, I was reminded of how that new song and the album it came with made Tears for Fears sound to be shamelessly alluding to the Beatles. And today, Curt was wearing a Beatles tee shirt, and playing a Hofner bass. And when they played a song from their new album, Roland sounded so much like John Lennon at one point that Beulah had to say so. And we kept noticing from bridge to bridge that we were hearing pieces of other Beatles hits all over the place. Beulah asked if it was just a Beatles medley. And she was right to ask it. Taking stock of all the clues, she whispered to me, "They're giving away all their secrets." They were very clever, though. Curt said that we may not be used to hearing Tears for Fears cover other people's songs, but they were going to do this one anyway. "It was made famous by Gary Jules." And then they played Mad World, and everyone was glad.

My feelings for Franz Ferdinand are no secret. And they gave another great performance. Over the delightful din, Beulah and I yelled a conversation to each other about the problems inherent in liking guys with that foppish style that Alex Kapranos (also hot) sports so dandily. Maybe I'll only ever fall for gay men, but I can't change what looks good to me.

Billy Fucking Idol. Okay. Let's at least say that the man did not disappoint. I had no idea what to expect. What he would look like these days. What sort of show he would put on. If I would have to be embarrassed for him. I mean, there was, after all, that horrible dreadlock phase that shouldn't be forgotten. But thankfully, he has returned to his classic appearance. He is beautiful to look at and egotistical as all get out. And we couldn't wait for him to get shirtless and were not complaining when he did. Steve Stevens was also a sight for sore eyes. I'm glad he's still wearing the black pants with all the hardware and the mess of hair and the black nail polish. I'm glad he's reliably cool, if bafflingly petite. And I'm glad I got to see the show in such a HUGE venue. I would have felt sort of sorry for him if I were seeing him in some tiny little club that might as well be called The Has Been. But enormous as the place was, Billy Idol romanced the crowd shamelessly. All of his song lyrics seemed suddenly dirtier. All those faces he was making. That cocky grin. (He looks a lot like Paul Bettany, don't you find? It makes sense.) That knee-weakening flrtatiousness. If I hadn't had to pee so bad, I would have come in my pants. And that could easily be another story that won't be told here.

Siouxsie Sioux was artfully gorgeous. Another artist I've never seen live and have always wanted to. Her music brings back so many memories for me. And they span two decades.

Beulah and I made each other laugh so much today. We were strangely in sync. And I don't mean menstrually. We kept having to say, "I was just about to say that." I'm a fan of when that happens.

And on the way home, we were all losing our minds when we got stuck at a railroad crossing being crossed by the longest and slowest train in the history of rail travel. Hitting the freeway at last was such a relief. Justin said something about fireworks that was so funny I'm still laughing about it right now. And it's been hours.

It wasn't as hot as we thought it was going to be. It wasn't as stressful as we worried it might be. It wasn't anything but great. And I'm glad it was how I spent my day. I posted pictures to my moblog. It was the best I could do. Cameras weren't allowed, so the phone was my only documentary tool.

The drive home was long. A lot of singing. Often in harmony. I'm plenty tired. But that's as it should be. Being tired because you've earned it through toil or good times or some other exertion is awesome. Being tired because you can feel all your cells dying and taking stock of it saps your will to live is the opposite of awesome.

And all this renewed, feverish fandom. I'm going to be downloading a lot of songs. And none of them will be by Morrissey.

If I could change your mind, I'd really love to break your heart.

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