Monthly Archives: April 2010

Joni on Madonna

Joni Mitchell rips Madonna and Dylan in this great interview Matt Diehl choreographed between her and John Kelly, her impersonator.

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Coachella Recovery

Sorry for no Coachella report, but the weekend was exhausting, and I got sick from breathing so much dust and jasmine (I’m allergic), that I’m just now starting to come up for air again. The weekend was great, though not life changing. Lots of really good music: MGMT, Gossip, Raveonettes, Thom Yorke, Jay Z, Muse, Aterciopelados. Felt like I missed as much as I saw, but that’s how it goes each year. I’ll try to write more later, but first, I have a thesis to polish and final papers to write. And a book review.

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Deadmau5 Head

I sort of got a sneak peek at deadmau5’s Coachella stage set for the LA Times. We talked for a long time; I’ll share some excerpts next week. (Warning: The article subhead is wrong; he’s from Niagara Falls, Canada.)

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Lita Ford Gets Cross(word)

I was walking past my neighboring deli today when I overheard an older man asking his grown son for help with the New York Times crossword: “What’s a four-letter word for the guitarist for the Runaways? – – – – Ford.”

“Lita,” I replied as I cruised past.

“Thank you!” he laughed, then asked me how to spell it.

I swear this really happened.

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See "The Runaways"

There are precious few movies about women rockers: The Girl Can’t Help It, What’s Love Got To Do With It, The Rose, Dreamgirls, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. This paucity is just one of the reasons that Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways — which opens nationwide today — is so important. The first-time film director hones right in on the feminist issues of the Runaways’ story — sexism, sexploitation, girl love, etc.  It’s also just a really fun, raunchy roll through the LA glam/pre-punk scene. Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie have a hot kiss to the Stooges’ “I Just Wanna Be Your Dog.” What else do you want?

Of course, while that titillating scene generated a lot of publicity heat for the film, it might also have kept the hoped-for Twifans away. As has been reported elsewhere, the planned wide release of the film has been scaled back to art houses after disappointing turnout at its initial foray into major cities. This isn’t really a big surprise and is probably where the R-rated movie should have started anyway. Rock films rarely make big bank. Unfortunately, The Runaways is now tainted with a cloud of disappointed expectations. All the more reason you should see it. Support girl love, as the Riot Grrrls used to say.

I have serious issues with the film as a historical document. But as a feature film, it’s pretty great. It shouldn’t be called The Runaways, as it leaves out the stories of band members Sandy West, Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue, Kari Chrome, etc. But if it were called The Cherie and Joan Show Starring Kim Fowley, I’d retract my reservations and completely endorse it.

I talk about the film, my LA Weekly story on Sandy West, and other matters on this weeks Podlicks podcast. Listen, and then go find your local art house this weekend and do rock and women a favor.

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The Gospel According to Erykah Badu

I heart Erykah Badu. She takes her longtime interest in disrobing (I remember her slowly revealing her scalp in one Miami concert) to the extreme in her new video. I interviewed her a couple years ago for Interview; she’s such a smart eccentric.

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Malcolm McLaren, RIP

Malcolm McLaren played as fundamental, and evil, a role in the creation of the Sex Pistols as Kim Fowley did for the Runaways. Yet the Pistols rarely get discussed/dismissed as puppets of a Svengali in the way the Runaways do. Sexism, methinks? Just as Jett, West, Ford, et al. were a direct influence on the Pistols, McLaren undoubtedly took tips from Fowley.

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