ASK DR. ROCK Say you've done a lot more practicing than primping. Your bandmates are starting to bore themselves with their uniform of New Balance kicks and give-away T-shirts with busted-dot-com logos. So how are you supposed to come up with a look or even, jeez, a show?
Dr. Rock feels your fashion-free pain and took up the issue with the party starters of Gravy Train!!!! Not for nothing did the Bay Area raunch peddlers title a tune off their new album, All the Sweet Stuff (Cochon), "The Hair Stare."
SONIC REDUCER Anyone who's thumbed through the oodles of zany organ, squealing chipmunk, and queasy-listening albums from the '50s onwards knows this to be true: every generation has its version of Muzak, whether its members like it not thanks to clueless parental units. And the class of 2025 will undoubtedly have vibe 'n' synth instrumental renditions of "About a Girl," "D'yer Mak'er," and "Cherub Rock" dancing in their heads no thanks to the Rockabye Baby! Read more »
SONIC REDUCER "Fuck Lars Ulrich he can play drums on my balls with his teeth!" Them's fighting words from the beefy bruiser in a tinsel page-boy wig, perhaps provoked only by four wannabe skids' burning need to cover Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" at last week's first but fortunately for your inner and outer sketched-out Priest hooligan with a nonironic mullet, prematurely weather-beaten mien, and herbally truncated short-term memory not last "Hesher" night at the Parkside, where it's now semioffi Read more »
FILM Angelina Jolie in blackface and a decent film? Both seem remarkable when one considers the cinematic caca generated by the Tomb Raider franchise star since her Oscar win for Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Decidedly weightier and more ambitious than the screwball Mr. and Mrs. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Once upon a strange, overly prepared, possibly paranoid post-9/11-related time not so long ago, I'd bring my lunch to shows at Shoreline Amphitheatre, thenConcord Pavilion, and all those other mammoth Sleep Trainsponsored yet intrinsically antisnooze behemoths. I'd pack a heaving Dagwood of cold cuts and assorted cheeses and energy bars into a backpack for random spates of balls-out rockin' in burbs and office parks. What was I thinking? Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Where have all the outlaws gone? Now that Paris Hilton seems like the highest-profile sorta-one-hit wonder to run afoul of the law, it's easy to believe that pop's rep for rebellion is seriously in question. (And with Warner Bros. jettisoning the overexposed jet-setter, who knows if she should even make the tally?) Yet just how disturbing or subversive is it to glom on to corporate punks like Good Charlotte or hitch your fortunes to soaking-in-it onetime gangstas like Snoop "Soul Gravy Train" Dogg? Read more »
SONIC REDUCER As the Summer of Love turns 40 with a whiff of the haven't-we-been-here-before birthday blues and a soupçon of marketing bluster if you can't trust anyone over 30, as one boomer so succinctly put it, well, doesn't 40 seem beyond the pale? Look out, big five-oh! one wonders less about where all the good times went than how we can look ourselves in the eye while we try to resurrect a past, now conveniently viewable through the rosy-hued granny glasses of nostalgia, after writing off the real thing. Read more »
SONIC REDUCER I may have gotten straight Cs in critics' college, but I can't tell you what works for you. You are the only one who knows what makes you put down the channel changer, sends thrills down your spine, sets your disco ball spinning, and brings that mischievous sparkle to your eye. Or do you?
When it comes to e-mail subject line come-ons, one man's "Ciali$ CHEEEP" is another woman's "Ever wanted a bigger penis, Kimberly?" and one stud puppy's "Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Cum to my cam! Read more »
ART BOOK Any ole body can start a LiveJournal or blog these days with the flick of a mousing finger and a peck on a keyboard. But how many people can undertake a project such as the one documented in The 1000 Journals Project (Chronicle Books, $22.95)? Read more »
SONIC REDUCER Afraid to leave home? Worried about breaking away from the pack? Terrified of alarming the animals? Don't be baaah'd.
Now that the few days of spring heat have descended on the Bay, baking our brains and filling our tenderized minds with thoughts of possibility, freedom, and escape, we begin to contemplate new adventures, new paths, a new life without you.