Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for June, 2006

Mississippi Mudsharks Roll On!

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

First things first.

Future Rock Star of America:


Baby Ryan is eight months old. Soon we can buy him his first drum set.

In Other Than Radiohead news, My brother’s band the Mississippi Mudsharks have just released their new CD Train Rolls On and it just got reviewed in the San Diego Union Tribune here. I am having my first listen right now and this CD ROCKS. And I’m NOT just saying that because it’s my brother playing drums on there. Nobody plays the blues like Tom, Scottie and Mike do.

In celebration of this release the Mudsharks are playing at Winstons here in OB from 6 – 9 this Sunday. Hmm… could be kind of crazy. Good thing I have Monday off. All my local readers should come to the show and visit me at the CD table where I will be selling CDs for the band and drinking wine. Or you can just buy the CD from Double Barrel Records by clicking the Mudsharks link above. As you can see, coming to the show and hanging out with me is a much better option, because then you’ll see them LIVE which of course is always the best possible way.

The band will be touring Europe in late summer … and the schedule (so far) is HERE. You have to scroll down to find the dates. I just know all my European readers want to fly to Belgium to see the Mudsharks AND the Blasters at the Gevarenwinkel Blues Fest! No one parties like the Belgians do. (Joke. I think.)

Down is the New Bliss

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

A little preface to today’s entry. Readers take note: you might only want to read this if a) you never ever miss one of my entries or b) you are totally into Radiohead or at least like them somewhat. The only person I know for sure reads every entry AND loves Radiohead is my brother Jay, so JAY – THIS IS FOR YOU.

Before I get into the total and complete awesomeness of last night’s show please have a look at my new favorite song. This is not from the shows I’ve seen but it is from this tour and I am TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH DOWN IS THE NEW UP.

My god. It has it all. It is funky. Thom’s vocals are fantastic. Jonny does that crunchy thing with his guitar that I love. And that plaintive wailing sound that Ed does on his guitar… it kills me. And the DRUMMING. I have seen them play this live twice in the past two nights and it is so fantastic live. Wow.

That clip ends before the song does but you can listen (and try to watch) the whole thing here. It is worth it to hear Ed’s guitar weirdness at the end and watch Jonny on both guitar and drums.

As for Monday. In retrospect I wonder, if all those loud filler fans were bugging me so much, why didn’t I move? Ah, I tell myself, because you were on the rail and that is a pretty hard thing to give up. It’s sad though, some of those girls that got crushed in the front and had to be pulled out by security post on some of the message boards I read. There are accounts of fingernails in flesh and kicks in the legs… all to get to the front. And those girls were the ones waiting in line for twelve hours to get on the rail. I should consider myself lucky I guess.

One good thing that came out of Monday’s blah-ness was, I was too bummed to go out and party, therefore I had a great deal of energy for yesterday’s show and the aftermath, and I was gonna need it.

There were a few of us hanging out at last night’s show. Mark was there, my friend Jen, David, and a guy I met at the Sigur Ros show in Austin, Juan Carlos. I had this intense conversation with Juan Carlos at an Austin bar about Radiohead and he is pretty obsessed too so having him there last night was really cool. Like when we were sitting outside the venue drinking wine before the show and I said “I predict they will open with Airbag” I could get an answer like “definitely possible. They opened with Airbag in Berkeley and Chicago.” And then of course when they DID open with Airbag I had someone to look at with that knowing look.

I know. We are freaks.

So anyway, once again I went into the venue only fifteen minutes before Radiohead went on, but this time went over to Ed’s side. I stupidly asked Mark to go get me a drink, as of course when the band went on there was no way he was going to get close to us again. Me, Juan Carlos and Jen managed to get very, very close. Not quite this close – but almost:


Jealous much? I am like, totally jealous of MYSELF right now. I am serious. I could see Ed for every single minute, and that guy is HOT.

The crowd around me at this show was great, really cool and mellow people who were totally into it. And respectful, and didn’t sing, or scream CREEP. There were a couple of obnoxious girls who pushed their way in, created some havoc and then very quickly removed themselves, but other than that it was all good. I had no desire to try to make it to the rail even though I couldn’t see as well (the above picture was probably taken by a six foot five dude, many of which were standing in the way.) I just listened and watched what I could through the forest of necks and sometimes I just looked up at the sky and thought to myself, it is really, really great to be alive, and much of that is due to my love for this band.

Here are  more pictures from the show. Many thanks to May May and Shoestar for these.


May May got this one of Jonny playing his guitar with a violin bow during Pyramid Song.


Another of May May’s photos of Thom and Jonny.


A good shot from the front by Shoestar.

The whole show was so fantastic. Like I said yesterday, all the new songs sound so sweet live. I got my Pyramid Song, I got my Like Spinning Plates (though some dude sang it next to me pretty badly, but I was in the kind of mood where that was just kind of funny.) Bones is probably my least favorite song from The Bends but when they played it last night, it was like, MY GOD. I mean, when Ed, Thom and Jonny are all RIPPING on their guitars it is just, well, beyond thrilling. Another highlight for me was Climbing up the Walls, it sounded so intense and so lush and it was hot and humid and the sky was the color of bittersweet chocolate. I’ll say it again – WOW. THESE are the moments I live for.

After the show I bought a shirt and some Stanley Donwood notecards . I am a good letter writer, and I need to write some letters in those puppies. But first I need someone to write to. I remember after the Radiohead show at the Greek in L.A. in 2000 I wrote someone a four-page letter about it. Guess I have my blog now, where I can at least edit myself.

After the show we all went to Joe’s Crab Shack and had a drink and where Mark tried to piss everyone off by saying it wasn’t that great of a show (“go kick that guys ASS” I jokingly told him when some youngster with a bad sixties hairdo gave him shit at the bar for it) and then just me, David and Juan Carlos went to, of all places, Dick’s Last Resort, a place I would have NEVER gone to if it hadn’t been the only place serving food at midnight on a Tuesday night. Still, nachos and a bottle of cheap Merlot seemed to round off the night nicely.

And I still have one more show. Last night I was an exceptional person: someone with an L.A. ticket. Fucking A. I am still waiting for Black Star and The Tourist. We shall see.

You can listen to both shows, for now anyway, HERE.

Let Down

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Well. I almost held off on writing about last night’s Radiohead show to do one post about both shows. But I don’t think I can do that. I think I have to write about this one now, and then put it behind me, and move on.

I wish I could say it was the best night ever, but I can’t. I can say that Radiohead put on an insanely great show, but I just couldn’t let myself go. Not the way I wanted to. It makes me really sad that I was, well, really sad at last night’s show. It’s so funny, here I am thinking “oh please don’t let me break an ankle or crash my car before the Radiohead shows” and instead this other kind of sadness comes.

I was a little stressed too. My ticket did not arrive in my hands until fifteen minutes until the band went on, which was uber-stressful in itself. The few hours waiting outside by the venue were pretty fun. Had a couple of drinks at Joe’s Crab Shack and then some wine outside. There were lots and lots of people in line, and when they opened the gates people were RUNNING in to get a good spot. Well, I entered the venue ten minutes before the show started and weasled my way up to – I kid you not – very close to the amps on Jonny’s side of the stage. I had a pretty good view of Thom, Ed and sometimes Jonny. The rail was super close and so over the first ten songs or so I just took every opportunity to get over there and finally, I WAS ON THE FUCKING RAIL. At a RADIOHEAD show. This is the closest I have ever been to the band. It should have been, like, the best night ever. Thankfully, once I got to the rail, the other people on the rail were really cool, but sadly, there was some mountainous chick next to me who thought herself an opera star and sang the lyrics to every song she knew. So the new songs the band played last night were the best for me, because I didn’t have to listen to her off-key screaming. To make it worse she kept screaming “CREEP, CREEP” at the top of her lungs. Homegirl, I hate to break it to you but the chances of them playing Creep are extremely slim, so shutthefuckup. On our side, there wasn’t much pushing but in the middle it was pretty tight and I saw quite a few girls being pulled out and literally carried out by security. And there were some youngsters behind me who kept talking. In a perfect world I could have put all of this out of my mind but I couldn’t and this is very disappointing. It is my fault, for getting myself so in a frenzy about these shows.

As for the show itself, it was very good and people were very into it. I am enthralled with some of the new stuff. I have been listening to it on the internet, but all those new songs just sounded so awesome live. I love Down is the New Up and Videotape and the song 4 Minute Warning, played during the second encore with the band all around Thom at the piano… well that was really special. Thank god mountain woman (and most of the audience) didn’t know any of the lyrics to the new songs. It’s one thing to sing along to Karma Police but come on… every freakin’ song? Argh.

They played How to Disappear Completely, Lucky, and Just. Now I am praying they play them again on Friday… once was not enough.

So tonight I am going to take a deep breath and see the show from a different angle. I got the up close thing out of my system last night and would like to see the entire stage this time. Also, if motherfuckers be talking or singing I am going to move somewhere else.


I Won’t be Wrong

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I’m so excited I can barely sit still. I tried to sleep in, but I couldn’t. This week is just going to be too awesome. My stomach is all crazy, I am going to try hard to take care of myself, but it is going to be really, really hard.

David called me last night from the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, so I got to hear one song from Radiohead’s show. It was really hard to hear, basically it sounded like the ocean, with a bit of Thom Yorke’s vocals here and there. And clapping. I think, but I can’t be sure, that it was the new song “15 Step.”

New songs! Holy shit, by the end of next week I am going to know them REALLY WELL.

Anyhow last night’s set list was pretty freaking awesome. “Pyramid Song” followed by “Like Spinning Plates” would be the end of me. I would basically fall down and die from happiness right there. So it’s probably good that I wasn’t at last night’s show. My brother Jay is going tonight, so I hope he is not bummed that he is not going to hear these two songs… I remember driving from San Francisco to my grandma’s house near Temecula a few years ago listening to I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings over, and over, and over. Just knowing that Jay will be there tonight, and David, makes me feel better that I will not. When Radiohead was here in 2003, Jay called me from the show at the Shoreline Ampitheater and I listened to the ENTIRE SHOW through his cell phone. But tonight, I will be at the Pink Martini show, so that ain’t gonna happen again. At least not on this tour.

So. Once again it is Ocean Beach Street Fair day. So to celebrate this fact, I am going to quote some dude’s review of The Vine on the Beer Advocate website:

“Ocean Beach is a funky part of town — sandwiched by the Pacific Ocean to the West, Mission and Pacific Beach to the North (across the San Diego river channel), and Point Loma to the South and (sorta) East. Each of those communities have their own vibes, but none can even get close to what Ocean Beach has going on. Mix three parts Haight Ashbury, three parts Surfer Bum; two parts Psycho Neo-Eco-Vegan, two parts drug-manufacturing Hells Angel, one part Int’l Backpacker, one part homeless Bum, one part Goth Chick, one part Antique Dealer, and one part Yuppie, mix `em all together, and put the mix into a 7-11 Big Gulp cup you found in the trash can, and you start to get the idea of what Ocean Beach has going on.”

That is the perfect way to put it, dude. And the OB Street Fair is: two parts A.M. drinking, one part Corn Dog, one part crappy but fun carnival ride in the parking lot where the Bank of America ATM kiosk has eighteen people waiting to use it, six hundred and fifty parts 420 (not me though, I gotta stay reasonably sober), fifteen parts happy cop, two thousand eighteen parts sunscreen applying just a little too late, six parts OK bands, two parts really good bands, sixteen parts afternoon drinking, eight thousand two hundred fifty three parts future hangover.

Thankfully (I think) I am leaving early this year. My brother works at Humprey’s, where Pink Martini is playing tonight. So I’ll get out of major harms way at about five, and hang out over there until it’s time for the show. I have not heard from Timothy, the wine bar guy I met in Portland, but he has my number and also knows where I am sitting, so you never know…

I am getting heart palpitations from all of this. It’s kind of crazy. Could there be a more perfect week ahead?

One Beautiful Day Please, but Hold the Tourists

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Today is the first day of Summer, though I have been feeling like it’s been Summer for a while now. Living at the beach in San Diego, it’s sort of hard to identify “Spring.” You can kind of identify Winter, and you can sort of identify Fall. But it is always easy to identify Summer here in Ocean Beach, because, basically, it is the worst time of the year to be here.

I think it is pretty obvious to anyone who reads my blog on any sort of a regular basis that I adore where I live. But, I have to say, and especially on the eve of the real and true Summer, that it can get pretty tiresome around these parts this time of year. I suppose it is the same on the Jersey shore, and I reckon that the locals on the Amalfi Coast are pretty happy when October 1st arrives. In Summer, if you are where people want to spend time in the Summer, you are going to suffer. Your city or village or town isn’t yours anymore.

I guess I am kind of cranky because last night there was a riotous party on my street. On a Tuesday night! There is a group of four ugly two-story houses that stay empty for most of the year until the owner can price gouge a bunch of youngsters who want to live by the beach for a while. Now there are twenty? thirty? fratty types milling about down there. Last night, it sounded like they were all bobbing for apples with a bunch of porn stars or something. It was LOUD. And I am laying in bed at midnight thinking, oh fuck. Here we go again. Summertime. It’s just too damned hot to close the window and shut them out. Trapped with the whoo hoo’s of the Duh Generation for at least two months.

There are, of course, lots of good things about living here in the Summer…. the warm nights sitting by the ocean with that salty spray hitting your face, that lethal but super-fun combination of wine and heat, watching the sunburnt tourists and the setting sun through the windows of The Vine. The sound of fireworks at Sea World. Really tan, practically naked young men walking down the street. Girls, too. And I guess I sometimes wonder, was I as clueless as these kids when I was their age? Was I as loud or as unconscious of my ripple effect on the world around me? I don’t think I was, but I could be wrong.

I’ll get used to it all over again, and then the cool wind of October will blow, and I will once again walk down the street in my own town again. I’ll never stop smiling, living here. But then, that first day when I know they are all gone, I’ll look like the fucking Joker.

Tonight Chicago, tomorrow the World

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year, and Radiohead is coming.

I about died when I saw the lighting in this video from last night’s Chicago show. It’s AWESOME. I PRACTICALLY LEVITATE every time I see it.

The calm before the storm… fog, no hangovers, just chilling and getting ready for what is going to be an unbelievable week, starting Saturday. The OB Street fair, then Pink Martini… then RADIOHEAD. Only three of the four SoCal shows, unless something crazy happens.

I can’t wait.

Practically Levitating

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Interesting night last night, all the way around. Very, very interesting. Fun, too. Let me say right here and now that on Tuesday I had a little email flurry with Janet Zinn after she got home from the Radiohead show at Madison Square Garden. In one of these emails she wrote that she was “practically levitating” during Idioteque. Practically levitating! Henceforth, you will be seeing this quite often, and always in caps. At least for the next few weeks.

Anyhow, last night me and Mark went to House of Blues to see The Walkmen. I wish beyond belief that I could copy the picture on the home page of their website where they are all in the Western garb, but alas, I cannot. I love that picture and I recommend you click on that website just to see it. If it is true that rock stars are cool (which, I have found, is generally a hit and miss theory) then The Walkmen prove it (maybe) in that photo. I am totally fascinated with it for some bizarre reason, to the point of considering bean and noodle portraits.

It’s a good thing that last night’s show started late, because we decided to take the bus downtown, since it a) stops half a block from my house, b) also stops a half a block from House of Blues, c) takes only half an hour and d) is only $2.00 to ride, instead of $25.00 for a cab. So it all sounds good, only the friggen bus never came. Well, it eventually came, but instead of getting downtown at 8:20, we got there at 9:30. NINE-THIRTY. We waited for the bus for an hour and ten minutes! I felt like I was back in San Francisco, waiting for the 22 Fillmore to arrive. Once we got on the bus, I was shocked at how skankified it was. I sort of thought, it being a San Diego bus, it would be kind of nice. Not! It was skanky. Also, there was a weird kid who kept playing with his veins and also, looking generally out-of-his-mind. Eventually the weird kid moved to the back of the bus where he proceeded to ask two guys back there if they were talking about Jesus Christ. (They were.) So then Heroin Boy says something like “Don’t look for heaven in the water, because the fishes got there first. And don’t look for heaven in the air, because there are birds already there. You have to look for heaven in yourself.” Having the added bonus of some heavy duty psychedelics or opiates may or may not help in this quest, but whatever. I nodded my head in agreement and Mark, in the seat in front of me, looked at me and said “you are fucking crazy.” To me, not Heroin Boy. Hey, whatever it takes to get through a bus ride, bring it on.

So finally we got downtown (AT NINE-THIRTY) and since The Walkmen weren’t going on until 11:15 we went into the bar at House of Blues and had a drink and some really lame food (I hate the food at that place, I don’t know why I pay for that crap) then went into the club where the second act was playing. I went up to the front and strategically placed myself in a spot where once the opener was done, I would be able to squeeze myself right on the rail. Which I did, with no problem, and thank god because that was one of the worst crowds I’ve ever witnessed at a show. So it is good that I did not have to look at them. I just got the impression that they were all a bunch of dickheads and losers, and usually my instincts are right. Except for – I kid you not – HEROIN BOY from the bus, who was right up in front, looking so out of his mind that I made Mark go talk to him to make sure he was OK. Heroin Boy was the coolest guy there. Pretty crazy.

So, The Walkmen. (PLEASE look at that picture.) It was a good show. I think I have been spoiled by my three previous shows at House of Blues, which were all so overwhelmingly stellar that I automatically think EVERY show there is going to be that good, which of course, it could never be. I will say, I am fascinated by the band, who have a pretty unique sound and also, write some songs that I think about all night (as in, are so catchy I can’t stop thinking about them.) I was sort of intrigued going in by Tom Breihan’s assertion that The Walkmen’s singer Hamilton Leithauser looks (bullshit) like (lies) Britt (what planet is this guy living on) Daniel (total fucking bullshit.) Hamilton Leithauser does NOT look like Britt Daniel, and I don’t think Britt Daniel would EVER wear a preppy Izod shirt like Leithauser was last night. I guess it is possible that Britt once wore Izod shirts, like in 1987 or whenever but he doesn’t wear them now. I would be willing to bet a lot of money. Then there is the hair, face and body.

Yeah, as soon as I saw that Hamilton Leithauser didn’t look like Britt Daniel he already had two and a half strikes against him. Just kidding. Maybe.

Really, though, they were pretty great and really and truly it made for fascinating watching. The drummer, a smallish dude, was so energetic I thought he would drum his way to the core of the earth. He was PRACTICALLY LEVITATING. At one point some chick screamed “TELL THE DRUMMER TO SIT DOWN” and it’s true, he really seemed to be sort of flying above his kit banging on his drums. The bass player and the keyboardist traded off every other song (so who IS the bass player, really? and who IS the keyboardist? hmmm…) and the one, bearded bass player was playing his bass so furiously I thought he was going to keel over and crash into the drums. So that guy and the drummer were energetic enough to keep the whole thing going, and they actually broke a sweat which the other three dudes (hello – Britt SWEATS and it is HOT) never seemed to do.

It could be the relentless tour schedule this band is on that makes them sort of lackluster and sullen, or maybe that is the way they are generally. By the end, they did start smiling a little, especially the guitar player, but for the most part they looked at each other and not much else. They are all really cute and it sounded good and there were moment – but just moments – of brilliance. It was a cool show, even with the lack of interaction.

So then it was over at only 12:30 so me and Mark went to Tony’s Bar where we ran into my brother Tom. This is where my brother uttered the following classic line: “What you have to understand about us Essas is, we are ALWAYS right and if you say something stupid, you’ll get a slap.” At which point both of us started laughing uncontrollably. GOD I love my brother.

And on that note, take care what you say. Heh.

Five Years of Slowtrav Awesome-ness

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Today is the 5th anniversary of www.slowtrav.com and the Slow Traveler’s Community. Trish from Baton Rouge put together this little collage of us all hanging out in front of the Sorrento webcam. Crafty!


The Slow Travel Community is AWESOME. For those not in the know, Slow Travel is travel utilizing vacation rentals (like villas and apartments) instead of staying in hotels. Also, Slow Travelers take it SLOW. Like, two weeks in one place. For lazy people like me, Slow Travel was a way of life before there was ever a name for it.

The creator of www.slowtrav.com, Pauline Kenny, has really done something remarkable – she has somehow created a place that not only brings people together, but keeps them together. I have made SO many friends through the message board, www.slowtalk.com.

I already posted this on slowtalk today, but here it is again. I am on a couple of music message boards and recently I posted an invitation for some Radiohead fans to come by and eat some food here the day before the first Radiohead show. Someone accused me of being a murderer and a rapist! As if! I’ve just been to so many cool Slowtrav gatherings that it didn’t even occur to me that inviting strangers over is weird. At least on Slowtrav, they know I am not a rapist, just a drunken slut. (Just kidding. Maybe.)

Ruth and I could not have written Chow! Venice without the Slowtrav folks. Well, we could have written it, but we might not have sold any, or at least it would have been harder. They are a very supportive group. They also like to drink wine and party. I feel very honored to be among them.

So, Happy Anniversary Slowtrav! Because of Slowtrav, a gazillion journeys have been more colorful and way richer. And for that, we are all very thankful, because an enthused traveler is a citizen of the world and a better person all around. Plus they are better lovers. Right? Right!

The Two Sides of Johnny Kat

Monday, June 12th, 2006

This evening I have been catching up on some Spoon action. For some reason, I didn’t check out the new video of The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine until today. Why? I have been playing Spoon a bit here and there but lets face it, it’s all about Radiohead right now, and the Walkmen who I am seeing Friday at House of Blues.

Check this out. There is a HUGE and MAJOR surprise coming.

So I am watching it, and at first I am like, hey, that guy in the suit looks like Johnny Kat, this dude I know from San Francisco. So then I watch the guy walk into his house and I am like, wow, that kind of looks like Johnny Kat’s house. Then he started dressing in drag and I am like “HOLY FUCK, THAT IS JOHNNY KAT!”

First, I walk into a wine bar and the owner is in Pink Martini. Now, someone I have partied with on numerous occasions is IN A FUCKING SPOON VIDEO. The end of the video is filmed at Trannyshack, so I bet there are others I know in there. I think I saw Heklina, the hostess of Trannyshack, but the images are a little too quick and spotty for me to be sure.

Sorry about all the yelling but I am a little excited right now. Laurie Bushman, did you know about this, and if so did you tell me when I was drunk or something? ‘Cause I way don’t remember if you did.

Man, this is too cool. I wonder if Johnny Kat knows about my Britt Daniel bean and noodle picture that our mutual friend Jason made for me. I wonder if he GOT TO MEET BRITT DANIEL. Yo, Johnny, HOOK A SISTER UP. I want to be in the SEQUEL.

Well, I was all ready to write about Christian Rock tonight but heck, I am just way too excited for that. Calm down, calm down…

Everything in it’s Right Place

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

Today is my four year anniversary of living in Ocean Beach.

I still love it here. I mean, I REALLY love it here.

In my life, I have been in love with three places: San Francisco, Venice, and Ocean Beach. And I have lived in all three. My love affair with San Francisco lasted a long time, but it was sort of crash and burn with Venice. I still love Venice, but not like I did. It was probably too intense to keep that one going.

But Ocean Beach is different. Ocean Beach’s call is sweet, easy. Never exactly intense. Damp on the skin, but never very cold. It’s a small town inside of a big city on the edge of a vast sea. It’s really awesome here. I swear.

Today I did what is easy to do in Ocean Beach – nothing. Nothing by the sea. Now I am going to eat Macaroni and Cheese and Ice Cream to celebrate my anniversary here. Thank you, Ocean Beach, for letting me in.