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

Archive for November, 2005

Brittorio D.

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

It all started with a dream. As the summer progressed, it became an obsession. Now, the heat has died down a little, but I am still in love with Britt Daniel.

Next time someone asks me “any men in your life?” I’ll just tell them the truth – I am in love with a rock star and regular dudes just don’t do it for me anymore. The cool thing about being in love with a rock star is, you can just listen to their records and you’ll never know all the bad stuff. For all I know, Britt Daniel is a total wanker. But I can listen to his records over and over and I will always love his music. There is a comforting certainty in that.

After all these months of obsessive behavior, I was a little unsure about how I would feel at last night’s Spoon show at Cane’s. I was borderline underwhelmed at the June 21st Avalon show, but that was pre-dream. I’d read that Spoon sucks live, I’d read that they were awesome live, and my previous experience was somewhere in between. So I spent the day almost fearful that I would be underwhelmed, that my obsession would stop (which it will, it has already started stopping, but I prefer to let the love morph into something lasting without the intensity, if that makes any sense.) Yes, I was fearful. And nervous. And very, very excited. Isn’t it great to be alive?

I went with Mark. Even though we broke up over a year ago, he remains my live show buddy. His girlfriend is cool with it, but it seems to perplex some of his friends who can’t understand the whole breaking up and remaining friends thing. The great thing about Mark is, he puts up with me. And you have no idea what a pain I can be at shows. I have to “get my spot.” Once in my spot, it “must be guarded, never left.” Then I “must have another Absolute Mandarin and Soda, please.” Many, many people would be like, chill the fuck out. But Mark understands, and he goes with it with humor and grace. This is the sign of a true friend.

So, we got to Cane’s early and went up to the restaurant on the roof they have there. There were lots of people eating and when we sat down for a drink I scanned the whole roof for Britt. I told Mark I knew he was up there – I just KNEW. And he WAS. Mark went over and found a table that was, seriously, ten feet away from the man himself. I went over and I was facing him. Holy fuck. I could barely look. He was eating fajitas and talking to a girl with a hippie skirt and flip flops, not looking too enthused. Then he got up and left. I was almost relieved. Flip Flop Girl looked totally dejected when he left. Britt Daniel has a bit of a reputation, at least on the internet, and this girl couldn’t have been a blip on his radar. Me and her have that in common.

Mark and I then went into the club, right when the doors opened, because I had to “get my spot.” And my spot at Cane’s is awesome. There is a little raised area that has a railing just to the left of the floor. From there, you have a full view of the stage just a few feet away. This could, in fact, be the best place to watch a show in the entire universe. And I had it, and I wasn’t going to move.

American Music Club opened and they were awesome – so good that I am kind of shocked they were an opening band. I was totally fascinated by the drummer. The guy had a “I’ve Lived and It’s Showing” look but he was such a brilliant drummer – understated, unique, perfect. I could hardly take my eyes off him.

Then it was time to get ready for Spoon. All of a sudden, the place was packed with a handful of real fans and a gazillion chicks who “love that song they played on the OC” and a bunch of dudes who “like that Camera song.” THIS is why I stake out the perfect spot WELL in advance. I was on the rail, looking down at all these people. If I would have been down there I would have hated it. As it was, I wanted to smack many of them upside the head. I didn’t know there could be a worse crowd than an L.A. crowd. Wrong. Pacific Beach crowd wins.

But, I wasn’t about to let the constant text messaging and hair flipping get to me. It was on my radar though. Bad crowd, no donut.

Then there was Britt. And I can say, the love ain’t going anywhere. It was a totally inspired, fun show. The whole band was into it, Britt was into it, even the lame ass crowd was into it, when they weren’t text messaging each other. After five months of listening to Spoon practically constantly, it was like the sountrack of my life played loud, hard, and well. It was AWESOME. I fucking LOVE Britt Daniel. I love his raspy voice and his bedhead blond hair, I love the fitted shirt soaked through with sweat. Sometimes he would turn around and empty his guitar of sound with his back turned to the audience for what seemed like hours. I am not sure anyone noticed but me, and this is what I love – the wall of sound only an electric guitar can give. I love the smile of a man who is doing what he loves and is doing it perfectly. The combination of those two things? Doesn’t get any better than that, unless you throw in a bottle of Owen Roe Pinot Noir. Perfect song after perfect song, it went on and on. I didn’t even mind Britt’s obvious flirtation with practically every girl in the front row. My love is deeper than a one-night stand.

I didn’t want it to end, but end it did. Now I have to take a nap, so I can be fresh for the Dandy Warhols show tonight. Please let me dream again.

Vodka and Fireworks

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

I’ve lived in San Diego for almost three and a half years, but I hardly know this place. Really, truly. It’s kind of embarrassing. Ocean Beach is my home, and I don’t get out much, or if I do, it’s to other places besides San Diego. So it’s always a trip to go down to the Gaslamp District and see the madness there. A fully yuppified, trendified, and fake-tittified madness. People everywhere. A colorful, Baywatchesque glimpse of the American Dream. Scary.

Last night the Rolling Stones played at Petco Park, and I got tickets when they first went on sale a gazillion years ago. Why? Why did I buy tickets to this show? It’s not really my thang anymore, these huge concerts. Before I turned 21 and could get into clubs, maybe it was. Still, I bought the tickets and last night, me and Keith, Andy, Brian and Mark (from this point known as KAMB) headed downtown.

First, we all met at the Vine at a very early hour. The guys seemed to be on a mission to see how fast one of them could turn sixteen again. They were really putting them away and the flowage didn’t stop there. Somehow, we got a cab on Niagara Avenue after numerous calls to various cab companies all telling us, basically, to fuck off because there were never going to be any cabs in OB on this insane Friday night. Once downtown, we had to go to Yuppified Central – the Yardhouse Bar & Grille. As soon as I stepped inside that place I was like DUDES, GET ME OUT OF HERE. I must have been making some serious faces because Mark told me to chill out. But it was horrible. I guess that place might be OK on a Tuesday night when you absolutely must have some onion rings, but on a Friday – blech.

Thanks god Brian and Andy led me out of there and to a bar two doors down called The Local. Now that place, despite it’s lack of decent wine, was my kind of place. How is it that I have lived here so long and The Local wasn’t even a blip on my radar? I felt I had found the Promised Land after a long (10 minutes) stint in Hell. Then the real drinking began. Absolute Mandarin and Soda, one after the other, appeared in front of me, and by the time we left there, I was feeling a little loopy. Yes, you can be a drunken sixteen year old again. If you believe.

At some point the guys we met up with at the Yardhouse showed up, and when we all left the plan was to go to Petco immediately. Only, some of us were in no hurry (like me, it was only 7:00 for fuck’s sake) so we ended up going to an expensive steakhouse where a friend of KAMB’s works. A snotty blond hostess told us the lounge was full, but clearly she didn’t know she was talking to four veterans of the San Diego restaurant scene with something like 107 years of experience between them. Keith had a word with someone backstage, and within seconds we were past the snotty hostess and into the lounge, which was NOT full. There were some pretty freaky people in there though, go into any trendy steakhouse lounge near a venue featuring the Rolling Stones and you will see exactly what I am talking about.

So, I ordered up another Absolute Mandarin and Soda, but the bartendress gave me something pink. So, I said NO. ABSOLUTE MANDARIN AND SODA. This time I watched her as she made me a fat, perfect drink but then proceeded to pour a shot of Cranberry Juice in. Huh? Not wanting to make waves twice, I tried to drink the drink, but after drinking half of it the sweetness got to me. Another bartender was standing there, so I asked for an ABSOLUTE MANDARIN AND SODA, NO CRANBERRY JUICE PLEASE. I wasn’t asking for a free drink, but I think homie was accustomed to these mistakes and he pushed my money away. The bartender who made me the wrong drink twice gave me a look. Oh well.

So, eventually we made it to Petco, and I was happy that from our seats we could actually see the stage, as I had purchased the cheapest seats (to the tune of $80 each) flush with stage right. Plus, there was a video screen facing us, so the partially blind and/or enebriated could see things a little closer if they couldn’t focus on the stage.

What can I say? I am glad I paid too much for the experience. The Rolling Stones were predictable, but fun. Everyone makes fun of them about their ages, but I hope that when I am sixty something I am doing something cool. As I looked down on a sea of heads, and I mean a SEA, I was happy to know that next week I will be seeing two shows where I can actually see the faces of the performers. This show was obviously a “destination” for a lot of people, and the Stones did not disappoint. There was a massive stage, with some crazy Vegasy curliques and many levels, and there were pyrotechnics, and lots of Mick Jagger strut action. A ticket for the last Coldplay show was eighty bucks, and I reckon a lot of the people that went to that show, were at this show. At least with the Stones, for eighty bucks you got fireworks included. Also, a memory, because that pre-show party action was pretty memorable, for lots more than I have described here. I have to be somewhat cautious, to protect the guilty. Now I am going to eat some tofu with spinach and peanut sauce and get some sleep, because tomorrow is my first meeting with my baby nephew Ryan. Ryan, who will someday accompany me to a sold out Spoon show at Petco Park. Yeah, right. Well, maybe.


Sunday, November 6th, 2005

Once upon a time, in a different world, I had a conversation with someone who I’ll never forget but probably will never see again, and that conversation basically came down to this: my friend (who was extraordinarily bright) had once been institutionalized, and when he was in the loony bin, the feeling was that the INsane people were IN, and the other people, like the nurses and doctors, were OUT – or, as my friend said, OUTSANE. In this world, described to me so eloquently, the real world was inside the ward, and all the patients were the rational ones. The crazys and the true psychotics were the people on the outside. The Outsane.

I am not an outsane, or an insane, I don’t think. I guess I like to believe I am on the perimeter of something resembling sane. But what is sane? Lingusitics, basically. Insane? Outsane? How do you describe these, personally? The inability to deal with emotions, or the total lack of emotion? A blank stare? A careful answer? A raw look? A sharp fingernail in your jugular? Pissing in your cereal?

We are all capable of all of these things. We are all insane, and outsane. OK, maybe you are a little unsure that you would piss in someone’s cereal, and I agree – I am too outsane to ever do something like that. But what I think I really want to get at here is (getting back to ME), by spending too much time alone (which I have been doing alot of) I am cutting myself off from what makes me fucking write in the first place.

Tonight I met, out of the blue but kind of not, a man who told me so many things about his life that I felt I should be charging an hourly rate. But, his stories were well-told and sort of riveting. I asked him why he was telling me all this stuff, and he said, you never know where you are going to get information from. That, faithful reader, is what it is all about. WHERE is that random insight coming from? It could come from anywhere, it could shoot out from around a fake tree at a lame hotel, it could come from a busboy refilling your coffee in a diner in Nowhereville. It can come from anywhere. These total randoms don’t know how strong I am, they just see right through my shit. Yours, too. Don’t try to hide. Hiding is a human condition, and we are all guilty of it.

I ended up telling my stories too – brutal, harrowing, Iwassofuckedup stories. And in the end it came down to one thing, a response from a therapist to my new friend, in a cab in Milwaukee, to the question “what.” (I say, just “what,” because that is the question, basically. Just add on whatever you want to “what.”)

People just want to love, and be loved, is what the therapist said. It is easy to poke holes in this, as a single woman with no intention whatsover of getting into a relationship at the moment. But, there are alot of other kinds of relationships and alot of other kinds of devices to get love. Some of which I am guilty of, I think.

Is this what it comes down to? Loving and being loved? Probably, it is. When I think about love, the love I have for my family and my friends, or when some stranger in the bar reminds me about how important love is, I just want to lay down my sword – and it is big – and let love in. I’m not scared but, I AM scared. Life is scary, whether you are insane, outsane, or inbetween sane. Love, even if it makes people totally, uh, insane, is what holds us all together. It’s fucking crazy.

Random moments of Uber-Laziness

Friday, November 4th, 2005

I hardly made it out of the house this week. I seem to be in some kind of nesting/laziness mode. Also, it has been a little hard for me to write in my blog lately. I guess I also have a bad case of brain-freeze. It’s a good thing I am not a professional writer or I would really be freaking out.

Tomorrow I have to go back up to L.A. to drive author Kevin Zraly around to some events and tastings. It should be cool – he seems pretty chill and we get to stay at the uber-fantastic Hotel Figueroa. Of course, the famous author gets the Medina Suite and I just get a regular room. He should trade with me! Yeah, right.

After tomorrow night’s tasting and class, I might just have to drag him to Philippe’s, home of the French Dip. Have you ever been to a funky diner with sawdust on the floor and $4.00 sandwiches, but also Silver Oak Cabernet by the glass? I friggin love that place. Whenever my company has a trade show to attend in L.A. we go there, order seven different wines by the glass, and then we get them all mixed up. “Is this the Chimney Rock?” “No, that’s the Chimney Rock.” Of course after an hour or so it doesn’t really matter any more.

I don’t know why people diss on L.A. so much. I kind of love it up there. There are these little gems like Philippe’s and the Hotel Figueroa. Of course, I am the one who is always whining about the L.A. people at shows.

A few years ago, there was another author in L.A. – Tom Stevenson, a really great wine writer and a cool guy, too. This really weird paparazzi guy who loved Champagne (Tom is a Champagne expert) got Tom to have dinner with him and a bunch of his cronies at this incredibly tiny, expensive Sushi place on Rodeo Drive. Well, me and my bosses Elliott and Donna went with him, but they pretty much gave us the boot. Elliott had brought some of Tom’s books because the paparazzi guy asked him to, and then proceeded to SELL them to everyone (did the guy think we were just going to leave them there?) It was all kind of bizarre. Anyway, we left and went right down below the Sushi Place to a steakhouse for dinner. After a couple of hours, we needed to get Tom out of there, so Elliott called the Sushi place and asked for Tom (“urgent call from London” or whatever.) Then we told Tom I’d be up to get him in ten minutes. When I went up there, the paparazzi guy, all smiles now, greeting me warmly and then said, “thank god, you got rid of those AWFUL people.” Meaning Elliott and Donna. So I said, in front of the white-male between 62 and 65 crowd of ten guys, “oh, you mean my PARENTS?” Paparazzi’s guy’s jaw dropped. Tom Stevenson loved that. I hope tomorrow is as fun as that night was.

Day of the Alive

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

Things are suppose to slow down in the Fall – aren’t they? But they aren’t this year. The whole year has been one big crazy fun party-type situation. And there is no end in sight. There are a bunch of shows this month – Rolling Stones (that one is going to be interesting), Spoon, Dandy Warhols, and then Super Furry Animals on December 1. Plus by some excellent twist of fate I have been asked to find a place to take the Furries after the show, so they can play some records and hang out with their uber-fans (like me.) This is a tough, and also scary, situation to be in. For one thing I don’t go to downtown clubs that have turntables, so I don’t know where to look, and for another I’ll maybe have to talk to them, and really and truly, I am kind of shy when I am around the bands I love. If I don’t love a band it is no biggie to be around them, I can talk about whatever, but if I love the band then I get all tongue tied and my chest turns bright red and I get all sweaty and nervous.

Thankfully, I played the new Furries CD for my brother Tom on the way to my grandma’s house on Saturday, and he loves it, and he’s really hard to please. So now he is going to come with me and it will all be fine, because he is a musician and doesn’t have these foot-in-mouth problems that I have around musicians. Assuming it all works out the way it should, and if I can figure out where to bring them.

It is really hot here. November 1st and something like eighty degrees. It was insanely hot in L.A. yesterday and I drove home at dusk and it was one of those inky purple dusks that just wraps itself around you and makes you all sleepy.

Sunday, there was another Slowtrav party, like the fifteenth this year or something. It was held at the home of Liz, and seriously, that house made me crazy. Outside of the flat I used to live in with Leigh and Laurie in the Castro, I think this house was the coolest I have been in, ever. Liz loves the same colors as me and she has all kinds of trippy paintings and ceramic ballerina figurines from the ’50’s (I think, don’t hold me to the decade) and other things to look at. I love it when a place can totally occupy me for hours just looking at all the trippy shit. The dinner, people, endless supply of wine, early sunset; a perfect Fall day.

Now I have to write constantly between now and December 3rd for the slowtrav contest. And on the 13th I get to go up and see Baby Ryan. Last night my mom said, it’s like being in love, and it is.

Crazy Fall days…