First on the list is Ms. Gina Gershon's performance last week at the Crocodile. I'll admit flat-out that I went to the show fully expecting it to suck--Gershon playing an aging rock singer in Prey for Rock & Roll is one thing, but actually balls-out performing at the Croc is a whole damn other. However, with the authentic Girls Against Boys backing her up, the set wasn't nearly as bad as I'd hoped it might be (atrocious cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" notwithstanding), and afterwards, when GVSB's Scott McCloud introduced me to the actress/singer, I was surprised to observe that she's no taller than I am--5'4". On stage, dressed in a T-shirt, a pair of not over-tight red jeans, and Converse All Stars, Gershon didn't ham it up like she does in the movie (aside from the obligatory leather jacket, which was doffed early), looked way younger than her 41 years, and had facial features that weren't nearly as exaggerated as they seem on screen. And, I may be mistaken, but I think her guitar was turned way down because there was one part when she had a bit of a solo and, if you were close to the stage like me, it didn't seem like much was going on there. The Croc was full but not packed, although Paul Allen's ass took up a lot of room--his butt was stunningly gigantic.
What do Echo & the Bunnymen, Dashboard Confessional, Belly, Catherine Wheel, Foo Fighters, James, Throwing Muses, Longpigs, and every last goddamn Pixies album have in common? Mega-producer Gil Norton, and if you were at the Cha Cha last week, you might have noticed the jovial Brit tossing back a few with Alien Crime Syndicate's Joe Reineke. Norton was in town doing some pre-production on ACS' forthcoming album, and I caught him laughing when Boston came on over the sound system, recounting how he'd seen that band come out of a SPACESHIP, for crying out loud, when he saw them live back in the day. By the way, Norton loved Sullen's Paint the Moon (see last week's column), comparing singer Shanna Kiel to Brody of the Distillers, another of his many clients.
Speaking of back in the day: Forty-four-year-old Dogtown and Z-Boys star Tony Alva may be a legend to some, but to me, he's GA-ross. His reign of terror began Friday night at the Cha Cha, of course. (Note to the baldy with the longboard: I asked you to move your board so I wouldn't break my dang neck on it, not because I was oppressing you.) Alva continued his revelry Saturday night at Graceland, where he caught the Lights' set and, before heading back to Pine Street, reportedly hollered something about being in town to "eat pussy." As he continued clubbing, I'm told he helped himself to, eh, some lucky gals before getting his hairy ass thrown out of Kincora. Alva was last seen getting into a cab with some ladies....
That same night college kids stormed the afore-aforementioned Cha Cha in search of "band members" as they played out some bizarre scavenger hunt. That no one was murdered is a miracle, because providing the answers to "Where was Nirvana's first show?", "When did The Stranger start?", and "Can I get a receipt for that $2 Pabst?" on a raging Amateur Night is above and beyond the call of duty for bartenders who'd sooner throw a drink on you than serve it.
Yeah, I stuck up for him a few weeks back, but that doesn't mean I didn't cringe, gag, and recoil in horror while reading grizzled rock scribe Richard Meltzer's new book, Autumn Rhythm: Musings on Time, Tide, Aging, Dying, and Such Biz. One word: boogie.
And, congrats to Pretty Girls Make Graves, who grace the pages of November's Elle, and have sold more than 11,000 copies of The New Romance since its September 9 release.