Archive for March, 2012

March 28, 2012

There’s a new kid in town….

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It looks like my most recent entrepreneurial fantasy (read: suicide mission) to open a country-western bar, will be usurped by The Tavern. At the former Candlelight location, the latest venue to attempt to fill the ears and bellies of music lovers may actually have a chance at succeeding. Though not exclusively a country bar, it could fill the small void left by downtown Ventura’s most recent casualties: J’s Tapas and Crave.

With its masculine, aged-leather and wood decor, and plans for, of all things, a honky-tonk night, I’m personally excited to welcome another comfortable hang that features great music. The management appears to have experience operating a successful venue and plans to offer a mix of local and out of town bands as well as a gaming area (Wii) and plenty of cozy, warm lounge space. The Tavern has a decent menu and a wide selection of beer, including locally crafted, and specialty drinks.

See ya there….

With a massive glass etching of a tall ship behind the bar (leftover I’m sure from Landmark 78) how can you go wrong?

March 14, 2012

New crimes: moshing and other forms of “expressive dance”

Being old school, I still consider the term “mosh” the way I think of Ron Wood as the new Rolling Stone.  (That’s right, I was “moshing” before it was mainstream–call me a hipster.) Back when I was one small vein in the throbbing mass of meat and mischief that seemed to expand with each hardcore (again, refer to your old school punk rock glossary) show at the Olympic Auditorium, there was a certain code of conduct everyone followed. Today the pit seems a bit more, uh, energetic than in years past, or it’s just the change in perspective that comes with age and achy joints.

Anyway, it seems that aggressive moshing and  similar forms of “expressive dance” have gotten on the Boston PD’s last nerve, so it’s cracking down, vowing that “dance- floor mayhem will not be tolerated.” In the cops’ cross hairs is the House of Blues in advance of a Flogging Molly run for St. Patrick’s Day.  Yes, I too can imagine the possibilities when you add Flogging Molly fans to St. Paddy’s in BOSTON, but is all this enforcement really necessary?

What say you?

March 1, 2012

The Monkees: a message to their madness

I remember when my dad was in his 40s and 50s and people he’d grown up with, or public figures he admired, began leaving this dimension with alarming frequency. I remember wondering what it would be like for me. Which of my idols would die first, whom among my friends… and the dreaded, when will it be my turn?

It seems with each passing of an icon from my childhood, a crease gets a bit deeper, gravity bears down a little more.  In the same week that I learned the original costumes from my beloved Saturday morning Sid and Marty Krofft TV characters  are being stored only a few miles from me, Davey Jones left this world.

In the early ’70s, the Monkees were my gods. Despite their goofy exploits, they were always  seeking justice in some form. They were, to some degree, missional or at least purposeful in their message, and while Mickey Dolenz was the apparent mastermind (Mike Nesmith was more like the man behind the clear shower curtain),  Davey Jones was the ambassador.

My crush back then was Dolenz (though now it would probably be Nesmith…. Tork was simply too blonde).  I never had the hots for Jones but I understood, even then, why he was necessary. Sure he was talented, but it was his charm (aided by fiercely boyish good looks and an engaging British accent) that brought a sense of civility and honor to rock ‘n’ roll (we could argue all day about whether or not the Monkees were rock n roll, but let’s not).

At a time when rock musicians were still regarded as dirty hippies, the Monkees made it clean; but not in the antiseptic, robotic and compliant way that later boy groups would. Even still, one always sort of knew much of their creativity and hilarity was nourished by THC and probably other substances. (What was it about the 70s that allowed  innocence and drug use to occupy the same public space? That shit would never fly today.)

I thank Davey Jones and those Monkees for everything they did to shape me, for using media even as media thought it was using them, for being so delightfully subversive–all of which become more salient in these times of shadow governments, corporate power and censorship.

As I come to terms with my own mortality, I realize it’s the death of things–principles, liberties, literacy, thinking, questioning, individuality– that disturb me more than the departure of people and the loss of my youth.  Davey Jones is in heaven; the world he leaves behind….is not.

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