Monday, February 28, 2005

More Huckabee Nonsense!

Idiot Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is being courted by Oprah?? I thought she was an intelligent woman! Maybe she's just looking for her next Dr. Phil.... This from the 3/7 issue of U.S. News. Thanks to Kevin for the tidbit.

Oprah is calling: The 2008 presidential bandwagon of Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is gaining speed. We hear that Oprah Winfrey is eager to get the Republican on her show when his weight-loss guide is published this spring. Don't laugh: He lost over 100 pounds, and his story, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle, is expected to be a big seller.

I guess I have to stop dismissing the Huckster's potential prez-bid and start pricing flights to Toronto....

Defamer on the Oscars

I've been looking forward to Defamer's liveblogging the Oscars report ever since the show started yesterday, and it doesn't disappoint. Some highlights....

5:57: The best thing about Robin Williams (besides the Ebonics Black Guy, the Phlegmy Jewish Guy, and the Lisping Gay that live inside him) is that he never makes an event all about him.

7:58: Beyonce and Josh Groban—go together like peanut butter and baby vomit. It’s a lovely duet, really. You have no idea how great a PB and BV sandwich is until you’ve indulged.

8:01: Prince presents Best Original Song, but can barely hide his contempt for people who don’t play all their own instruments while wearing ten-inch platform heels. The Motorcycle Diaries wins..

8:16: Charlie Kaufman wins for Best Original Screenplay! Sweet justice! Kaufman notes the 30-second shot clock that limits his speech, because Gil Cates knows that no one wants to hear writers speak (this might result in increased DVD residuals for WGA members). Kaufman meekly retires from the stage, glad that he wasn’t forced to accept his award from the back of the theater, staring at the bald spot on the top of the sound editor from Spider-Man’s head. Did we mention that Eternal Sunshine was the real Best Picture? It was.

8:05: Hilary Swank wins Best Actress (umm, duh)! Tragically, she wasn’t able to find a stylist to dress her on her big night, and had to settle for slipping into a three-dollar navy blue stocking from JC Penney cut down to reveal her toned ass-crack.

She goes to the “girl from a trailer park” thing, which is obscene for someone who’s just won their SECOND Oscar. Um, you’ve already overcome the Cheez Wiz sandwiches and GTOs on blocks in the driveway years ago? White trash cred expires after the first award, Hils.

She saves thanking Clint Eastwood to the end…then, as the music blares, erases any genuine Clint sentiment by loudly thanking “her best friend and publicist.” This will go down as one of the worst speeches in the history of spoken language. Can they get that statue back and hand it to the Botox-paralyzed Annette Bening, who won’t know she’s lost until the middle of the Vanity Fair party?

My sentiments exactly! On all of the above! Especially the superiority of Eternal Sunshine and the obscenity of Swank's feigning humility and thanking her lawyers in the same breath. I will give her one thing, at least she looked long have Halle Berry, Renee Zellwegger, and Natalie Portman been starving themselves to get into their gowns?

Here's a link to the whole "Liveblogging" post. All very funny, and it also mentions how embarrassingly drunk Dustin Hoffman was....

The sun's out!

Okay, so I've had therapy suggested to me a couple of times on the heels of Friday's dreary post. Don't be alarmed; the rain has held off for days now, and I have hidden away Marianne's bleak latest in favor of The New Pornographers to only further brighten my outlook! Yay! Much cheerier, in an ironic and cynical sort of way, of course. Sometimes you just have to yank those Smiths/Morrissey/Nick Drake/Elliott Smith mope-fest-type albums out of the CD player and lean on the po-mo-pop-disco for support!

Speaking of, the other day I had a great commute to work with the Moving Units CD, Dangerous Dreams. I've had it for a while, but thought it might be fun for a change. Yeah, those first three or four songs are, but the drive home got annoying, because after "Available," that disc takes a major nosedive right into the crapper! Forgot about that.

Don't worry; I'll be posting on the Oscars later. Right about the time you've reached saturation point, I'm sure....

Friday, February 25, 2005

Music post

My friend Jenny said she likes it better when I post about music, so I'll do my best not to alienate one of my handful of readers any further by giving what the people want!


MARIANNE FAITHFUL, Before The Poison: After calling on Beck and Jarvis Cocker to help her with her last album, Kissin Time, she turns to personal fave Miss P.J. Harvey, Nick Cave, Damon Albarn, and Jon Brion to help her with this one. It's really dark and depressing and not for unrelenting rainy two week stretches of crawling down the highway wishing you had a better job and wondering if you'll ever get any interest in your writing and resigning yourself to the fact that you'll never get a good parking space and stepping in a puddle and drenching your shoes and socks once you finally do park three blocks from your cold drafty studio apartment where your only remaining umbrella has been sitting unused since the night before because you left it there and forgot to pick it up on your way out the next morning like a completely unorganized inefficient dumbass who will never ever pay off his credit cards or make it to the gym on a regular basis. On sunny days it's somewhat more tolerable. Right now I'm liking the Nick Cave songs best, but the little Jon Brion chestnut with the tinkly kiddy piano, "City of Quartz" with lyrics by Miss Faithfull, has a real edge.

ROLANDO VILLAZON: You know I had to go get his two little nuggets of tortured tenority after seeing him in all his flesh-colored brief-donning glory in Romeo Et Juliette. His most recent one, featuring arias by Gounod and Massanet, is the superior of the two, but what do I know? I just put the things on and have 2+ hours of impassioned male operatic vibratto washing over me like waves of...could somebody stop me before I turn into an insufferable opera queen over here?

Spaceland's 10th anniversary is coming up with all sorts of concerts next month worth mentioning. Who wants to go with me to see one or more of the following?

White Out with Thurston Moore: 2/26
Brian Jonestown Massacre: 3/1
Xiu Xiu (at the Echo): 3/4
Moving Units: 3/12
The Unicorns (at the Echo): 3/12
Shonen Knife: 3/25
Midnight Movies: 3/30
Deerhoof (at the Echo): 4/8-9

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ah, finally!

A critic with some ideas about The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? that I can get behind! Steven Leigh Morris has some great insights into the play that I haven't seen articulated by other critics. Here's a sample:

The play is a sitcom with a sucker-punch ending, an Aristotelian comedy...and Albee has been laughing all the way to the bank since the play scooped up those Tonys in 2002. But it’s not a frivolous play, nor has it anything to do with bestiality, or sin, or betrayal — despite every character destroying somebody they love. I don’t believe for a moment that Albee gives two hoots about [main character] Martin’s morality, or anyone else’s. He’s far more entertained by their hypocrisy, which is largely why his play is so funny. Its structure is its theme — an extended confession, the transfer of experience into fiction — the awful ramifications of baring one’s soul.

“I don’t write autobiographical plays,” Albee told the Weekly in 2002, in New York, when The Goat was in previews on Broadway. He said then, “I write plays to find out why I’m writing them.” This is not a cryptic remark. It bolsters the idea that The Goat is really about the art of telling, and its dire costs.

I'm not totally convinced he's tapped completely into Albee's intentions, but who the heck can ever figure out what that guy's up to anyway? Regardless, this is way better than I was able to come up with. I still don't like The Goat very much, but Morris has made me think about it differently; I may have to write him an email and thank him for being so smart. In case y'all hadn't figured it out yet, this play has seriously frustrated me!

Morris is right, though, the play really is an extended confession; I figured there had to be some reason for all that repetition and restatement in the dialogue. But why does Martin have to confess twice? And can't Albee turn the supporting roles into characters, instead of props to move the story along? Most importantly, if we're to go with Morris' thesis, then is the didacticism of the last scene and the allegorical component just a smokescreen? If so, am I just being toyed with? That's not nice! Oh wait, maybe Albee's still figuring that out....

Anyway, a link to the whole article is here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Inside Deep Throat

Saw this yesterday. I was a bit surprised at how boring it was. It wasn't completely uninteresting, but one expects more out of a porn documentary, ya know? I started to get suspicious when I noticed that it rips off the Boogie Nights soundtrack twice in the first 30 minutes. Outside of that, you basically get a "shame on the religious right for supressing freedom of speech" message, which I sympathize with, of course, but it's a bit predictable. And it also seems strangely condemning of the feminist movement's attack on pornography. Helen Gurley Brown does give an endearing endorsement of semen-as-skin-care-product, though.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Romeo Et Juliette at the LA Opera is an absolute delight! I am so smitten with Rolando Villazon right now, you have no idea. I swear, in Act II (the "balcony scene", boy-gets-girl part) I teared up every time he made an entrance. And Anna Netrebko is adorable and wonderful as well. They are great together! As far as the storytelling goes, it's well-paced and nicely streamlined, and the music is all quite nice (Forget that Andrew Lloyd Webber comment in yesterday's post...the comment even reflects the change in tune). But the show is ALL ABOUT the leads. There were other good singers too, I think. Uhm...I forget their names...but no matter, because I love my little Rolando!! During the curtain call when Anna and Rolando were hugging and taking their bows and then dragging the rest of the cast in a handheld jog downstage to take their bows, I was tearing up all over again! As the curtain finally fell on them and you could see Anna jumping up and down like a teenager and hugging on Rolando some more, I exclaimed over the applause, "they're so CUTE!" I just wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me!!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I've been reading

so much Jeff Gannon news my eyes are about to cross! Frank Rich in the NYTIMES! Sidney Blumenthal on! He's not just on Wonkette anymore!

In other news, I'm off to the Dottie Chandler tonight for Romeo Et Juliette. My companion for the evening's performance refers to the composer (Gounod, btw) as "the Andrew Lloyd Webber of the 19th century." That's long as the leads are hot. Details tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Arkansas Celebrates Marriage!

Oh joy! Oh rapture! Oh bliss! has an article about moron Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's "celebration of marriage" rally at Alltel Arena that does a fairly good job of stating the sillyness of both the Huckabees and the "pro-marriage" movement. And by "pro-marriage" I mean anti-gay.... Here's a sample:

The highlight of the night was the Huckabees' conversion of their marriage [to a "covenant marriage"] and restatement of their vows, including Janet's pledge to "submit" to Mike. When they were done, they invited the audience to repeat their promises. Thousands of wives stood up and vowed to submit to thousands of husbands, and then thousands of people kissed and cheered.

There was only one interruption. During Huckabee's speech, a group of young activists unfurled banners saying "Queer Rights Now." As security guards moved in to hustle them out, two young men embraced. They stayed put as the rest of their group moved into the aisles, looking a little scared as they clung to each other as people jeered them and called for their arrest.

It was the most romantic thing I saw all night.

I'm so proud of all those protesters! Give that Huckster hell! Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Green Umbrella

I was back at the Disney Hall last night for a Valentine's concert of Debussy pieces, mixed in with some modern stuff. Emanuel Ax and Bing Wang were quite fun as soloists on a couple of pieces, but my favorite of the evening by far was this piece by a woman named Kaija Saariaho called Je Sens Un Deuxième Coeur. Here's a link to her bio, along with her description of the piece.

The evening was quite nice, overall, but a sonata by Steven Stucky that featured a harpsichord as the centerpiece was a bit of a snoozer. Sorry, but a harpsichord in that space is about as effective as my telepathic attempts to induce narcolepsy in the obnoxious pair of lovebirds sitting in front of me up in the terrace. Oh, guess who else was sitting in front of me in the terrace! None other than Ruth from Six Feet Under, Frances Conroy! Well, several rows in front, but still. She was wearing an orange beret! How cute is that? I kept whispering "I love her!" in a voice probably too loud, but if she heard maybe she didn't mind. Reminds me of that moment in Short Cuts where the two couples are distracted from the lovely chamber music performance by Alex Trebek's attendance at the concert. Such a typically trashy L.A. experience, huh? Whatever, Ruth Fisher is WAY better than that Jeopardy guy.

And I'm still reeling from last Thursday's performance of Salonen's Wing On Wing and Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring. Great stuff! And my Hila Plitmann was in the Salonen! She's so good! Salonen has such a theatrical sense with his music and performance, and not in any cheaply histrionic way, either. Simply by having his sopranos enter downstage towards the piece's climax as the orchestra is churning behind them, he created a riveting effect. Plittman and her fellow soprano, Cyndia Seiden, had been singing chairs off to the side, then they disappeared up in the nosebleeds, and then they finally enter from either side right up front and turn and face the audience, singing their siren song out to the audience with the music swelling and Gehry's recorded voice bouncing around the space. Goosebumps all over again!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Neal Pollack writes

in Salon about how in love with last night's Grammy broadcast he is. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how sincere he's being about the whole thing, but still...maybe I should've watched it after all! Read about it here.

Grammy BS

I'm not suggesting the Grammys mean anything by devoting a post to them, but they are all over the news today and I'm left with some questions and observations.

1) I still haven't bothered to find out who the hell Kanye West is, but he sure looks like an ass in those wings.
2) I'm so pleased that Loretta won a Grammy, and that Jack White helped her make that album, but why does White look worse with each public appearance he makes?
3) Bill Clinton won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word for My Life. Is there anything this man can't do?
4) Thank goodness Maroon 5 won a Grammy for Best New Artist. That award is a curse; rest assured we'll never hear from them again.

Post your own observations in the comments. If you bothered to watch...or if you're like me and care about the Grammys only in order to make fun of them the next day.

More Jeff Gannon!

Wonkette continues to tickle me with posts about Jeff Gannon (here, and here). This is apparently still news (and real news, no less); he was mentioned on NPR this morning in a spot about journalistic conflicts of interest. Regardless, has the Bush White House ever been so gay?

I'm back

Hey, took a long weekend to recoup from a bit of a cold and try to get some writing done to meet the Dirty Thirty deadline. I've got about 60 pages and it's due on Tuesday! Yikes! Wish me luck to finish.

David Larsen in the NYT

Hey, for all the CMU readers out there, did you see this article? It's about "jukebox musicals" and mentions Good Vibrations a bit, but it's most fun for the picture of David Larsen and company that accompanies it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Yes! All this reading of Choire Sicha's internet output is proving quite entertaining. Turns out he AND freakshow L.A. novelist Dennis Cooper BOTH love Destroyer as much as I do! Even if Brando and I passed out at their show at Spaceland last fall!

More on Choire Sicha

Liz Penn (aka "Surfergirl" for calls him "the Oscar Wilde of the Internet" on her website, The High Sign. So now I'm checking out his AND her websites (his is here). Too much to read!

P.S. Surfergirl's column for tickled me a bit. It's an investigation of the eroticism of William L. Petersen's Gil Grissom on CSI. You pretend you find the notion odd, but deep in the shame-filled recesses of your subconscious, you can relate.... Read it here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I'm too busy

reading about Jeff Gannon on Wonkette and Media Citizen to post anything substantial. Just as an aside, how much fun is Choire Sicha as guest blogger on Wonkette this month? Case in point.... It almost makes me forgive him for his profile of Christopher Shinn in a recent NY TIMES article! Alright, Alright, I should qualify by saying the piece is nicely written and Mr. Shinn seems on far better behavior than he was in his LAT interview last month.

I should also say that although I never plan to watch an episode of E.R. again after watching that bald asshole doctor lose an arm to a helicopter's blades, I share whatevs excitement that Twin Peaks' Shelly (Madchen Amick) is working again. I wish it were The Double-R, but honey, get it where you can....

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

More on The Goat

I love critics who imply they have achieved some kind of understanding of the work they're reviewing without offering any real insight to the reader. See James C. Taylor's piece in today's LA Times. Here's a quote, since it's subscription only and I can't link:

Some have said that "The Goat" is an allegory or metaphor for homosexuality — a reductive view, but certainly a fair reading of the play.... Lost amid the splattering of blood and laughter is the tragic marrow that lies deep within "The Goat" — a problem when one considers the play's Vonnegut-style subtitle: "Notes Toward a Definition of Tragedy." Albee has packed the play with allusions to classical drama (even the title is a play on the Greek roots of the word tragedy, which literally means "goat song").... This production only scratches the surface of Albee's complex, deeply flawed, but profoundly tragic work.

Gee, James, what's beneath that surface? You seem to know. Would you tell me? Looks kinda murky to me.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Blogging the weekend

Friday, 2/4 -- As You Like It at The Ahmanson

Saw the first preview of this touring show, directed by Sir Peter Hall and starring his daughter, Rebecca, as Rosalind. Not my favorite bit of Shakespeare, but a solid evening of good theater. A tad conventional (and not entirely clear, conceptually) but well-acted, and the story came through pretty well. I just want to know what kept poor Roz pretending to be a man for so friggin long!

Friday, 2/5 -- The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, at The Taper

In response to yesterday's article in The LAT about theater's potential to shock, I must say that the only thing I found shocking about this play was its lazy writing and muddled logic. Albee uses his typical "inadequacy of language" dialogue gimmick with all its stops and starts, countless corrections and pointless interruptions as if it means something other than the fact that he needs to rewrite and stop thinking he's so damn clever. From all I can tell, though, there's no greater attachment there to the play's larger theme...but then again, I can't really reconcile what that is, so what do I know? Is it "falling in love with a goat is okay; just don't cheat on your wife?" For heaven's sake, no; it's WAY more complicated than that. Oh wait, it's an allegory about tolerance disguised as high-minded realism...well, it seems to WANT to be that, but doesn't that just villify every single character but the poor misunderstood goatfucker? That's a little weird. And then there's the fact that it stretches about 10 minutes of action into 1-and-3/4 hours. Hey, at least he got it done without an intermission! Still, we basically spend the better part of an hour listening to the main character tell the same story TWICE while all the other actors either break things or utter shocked exclamations like "Jesus!" Speaking of, I think theaters should impose a limit to the number of times characters stuck in scenes with nothing to do can insert shocked interjections whenever the playwright is reminded of their presence. One only gets a laugh so many times, Mr. Albee....

Aside from all that, the acting was pretty great, especially from the two leads. No kidding, Cynthia Mace had me ready to slaughter that goat myself!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Laura Linney in Los Angeles Magazine

Have you all seen her with Javier Bardem on the cover of Los Angeles Magazine? Could she be ANY hotter??? I thought I couldn't possibly be more smitten, but she goes and pulls something like this. I bought it just for her picture...well, that, and I needed cash back and couldn't find parking near the ATM. Here's a link where you can check it out. Javi's cute too, but I keep getting that image of him all gray and quadriplegic from the trailer for The Sea Inside stuck in my head. Must stick Before Night Falls in my Netflix queue A-sap!

Not much to report, except that I'm going to see As You Like It at the Ahmanson tonight and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? tomorrow afternoon. Is there a football game this weekend? I heard something about that, I think. Whatever...maybe I'll catch a matinee of Being Julia.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Did anyone get to the back page of the Hollywood Reporter this morning?

Defamer writes about it Rob Schneider's AMAZING attack ad against an LAT journalist here. The one day I let HR sit in my in-box instead of flipping through it absently for the pictures while I wait for Defamer's "Trade Round-Up" to give me the highlights, something like this happens!

David Daniels at UCLA LIVE

I was in for some hardcore countertenor action the likes of which I hadn't seen since December's Chanticleer adventure. Mr. Daniels did quite well for himself; it was especially fun watching him screw up his face angrily as if he was a vicious killer before spewing forth his highest falsetto. It was fun also to watch him screw up his singing; during one of the pieces he got a little lost, stopped and asked the pianist something, then shouted out to the audience back in his falsetto, "Sorry!" After that he hopped over and looked at the music for a moment before starting the song over. Whoops! Overall, it was quite a nice evening, aside from his dreadful last encore, a maudlin song called "Blackberry Winter," the sentiment of which was something like, "it's cold...I'm sad...I'm lonely...I have to go on...." This, I suppose, is the sentiment of a lot of pop songs, but you expect a little more from your garden-variety-top-of-his-game-opera-singer, no? Other than that, the folk songs were the best. Except for the one about the devil stealing his wife. That was stooopid.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dale Peck vs. Rick Moody

Thanks to JSP for the insight about this rivalry in the comments section. For those of you who actually made it through yesterday's post about poor Mr. Moody, it appears as though I didn't do enough pointing-and-clicking. Enter these two names in google and you get a lot of good dirt! I had no idea who this Peck is or how infamous he is for his mean-spirited reviews. I'm still trying to find out info about their supposed fistfight, but the article JSP posted in her comment was so interesting I wanted to include it in a post. It's here.

New Malkmus Album!

Mark your calendars! It's out in May! The article is here. Thanks to Paige for the link.

Can't wait, as such news is about as close to a Pavement reunion as we're gonna get. It should be interesting, as he's Jick-free on this one, and I wonder how fatherhood will influence his songwriting? I'm a bit nervous about the touring prospects, though; having seen Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks three times in the past few years I can say that he's one of the most consistently satisfying live acts I've seen and I want to see him again and again. I vowed with a friend after his last stop at the El Rey a couple of Decembers ago that if he were ever playing in town in the near or distant future, we would drop everything and get tickets, no matter what. Here's hoping he comes back to L.A. this summer!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Rick Moody yesterday

I have been hemming and hawing about whether or not to include this, but I did some pretty entertaining reading about the merits of Rick Moody's fiction and criticism that I've been thinking about sharing. The blogging trail begins with a post on the L.A. blog I've newly discovered called The Elegant Variation. This post describes (but doesn't link to, surprisingly) a guest post by that blogger (Mark Sarvas) on another site called Beatrix, in which he slams Rick Moody's generalizing review of a graphic novel called Epileptic, by David B., and in that slam he links to a three-year-old review by Dale Peck of Moody's memoir, The Black Veil, in which the lead sentence is "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation." I have clicked my way across the cybersphere into each of these reviews, excited about all the literary hating going on, even if I've not read Epileptic (or any other graphic novel, for that matter), or The Black Veil, and a couple of things occurred to me:

1) Book critics are unrelentingly harsh. The sad thing is, while Moody may be guilty of the things Sarvas accuses him of, he writes a lot of thoughtful, knowledgeable commentary about a developing literary form and a history of French non-fiction, and that's all in the context of a flattering review of an interesting-sounding novel. And he gets SLAMMED for it. Not only does he get SLAMMED, his slam links to ANOTHER slam from three years ago that reminds blogstrollers like me that someone thinks a book he wrote once upon a time is evidence that he is "the WORST writer of his generation." The easy point-and-click accessibility of the web can be punishing, my friend.

2) That three-year-old book review sure is thorough, but Dale Peck spends how many words stating what a bad writer Moody is and doesn't mention Demonology or The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and Other Stories? Did he even read them? He seemed to read all of the other books just to talk about how bad they are; why couldn't he trash the short stories, too?

Oh, to paraphrase Holly Hunter in Broadcast News, "there's three, I just thought of a third."

3) Critics that write in absolute terms like "best" and "worst" are absurd and not to be trusted. With the exception of things like "best lists," which are written and read with the understanding that these are lists of preferences and not to be considered in absolute terms. But "the worst writer of his generation?" Are you kidding me?

The reason I went through all of this in the first place has to do with my early-mid-twenties Rick Moody phase, basically because of the gorgeous Ang Lee movie adaptation of his novel, The Ice Storm (the rare film that manages to improve upon its already fine source material). I kept reading Moody's prose, probably because of his experimentation with form and language, but somewhere around Demonology I picked up a short story of his, tried reading it, and just decided I was kind of over it. So to this day I would admit to mixed feelings about his writing, but I still think his long short story/short novella The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven is heartbreaking, as stories about junkies and sex addicts go. So sorry kids, I'd have to say that the "worst writer of his generation award" would have to go to, uhm...? See, this is a problem for me, because I'm no fiction expert. I have these kinds of strong opinions about playwrights, though. I wouldn't speak in such absolutes, surely, but can I hate on Neil LaBute a little? I guess I'll save that for other posts.

Coachella line-up

I know I'm a day behind on this, but I just thought I'd add my two-cents about how I don't know of any major act this side of a Pavement reunion that would get me to endure even one day of that recipe-for-heat-exhaustion another year.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Coachella Music Festival, it's a two-day indie rock geek's wet dream near Palm Springs in May, except the parking and traffic are almost as brutal as the desert heat. I went to Coachella on Saturday last year, ready to soak in all the up-and-comers and ended up soaking up more than my share of UV rays. I only saw about four of the acts I had intended to and probably lost about five pounds in sweat. The worst part of the whole experience was, if I had been 22 I would've been euphoric about the whole thing, but as I was in the dotage of my mid-late-twenties, it just made me feel old. Seriously, after almost smothering in a tent and watching people pass out in front of me while waiting for Beck to come onstage and goof off for an hour, I fled to the shade, downed three bottles of Arrowhead, and basically wilted like that fading flower I was, resigning myself to sitting it out on the grass with a book until The Pixies and Radiohead took the stage.

And I can't say that this line-up does much to disavow me of the notion that this is not an ordeal worth enduring a second time around. New Order's a pretty great offering, and I'd finally get to see The Arcade Fire and Fiery Furnaces if I went on Sunday, but I'm not sure I'd agree with the LA TIMES that this roster is the best yet. Let's not forget that The Pixies were last year, complete with media-annointed-rock-pioneer-status and in the beginning stages of one of the few successful tours out there last year. Maybe this year they have Bauhaus and Gang of Four, but The Pixies, people! Honestly!