Dropping Some NYC

>>> New York City might not strike some as the primo locale for a nice, relaxing, unstressful holiday weekend getaway. But when your main gig involves fending off incoherent rantings from assorted doofi who have nothing better to do with their sad, cursed lives than to chastise you for scribbling nasty (but true) things about their favorite-yet-wretched-all-the-same bands—well, the push and shove of midtown Manhattan just seems soothingly Zen in comparison. So there we were in Times Square on the final Friday of the millennium, hanging out in the 24-hour McDonald's and waiting for the world to end (again!) with all the other tourists who thought nothing of paying 7 bucks for a Big Mac Value Meal, when we noticed the rather large crowd of people hooting, hollering and carrying on in front of the Viacom building at 1515 Broadway. Then it hit us—my God, Total Request Live (TRL) is taping now! We raced over and joined the throng—which numbered perhaps 400 people—that had gathered on the sidewalk below the second-floor MTV studios. We then plugged our ears and gawked in wonderment at the hordes of slobbering, wide-eyed teenage fangirls who shrieked, drooled, waved quaint, misspelled homemade signs, and openly expressed their carnal bloodlust for . . . who? Who was the rock star/celebrity being lauded on this day? 'N Sync, perhaps? Fred Durst? A Backstreet Boy-toy? We stood around for what seemed like 30, maybe 35, looong seconds, but all the adulation was merely for ditzy TRL host Carson Daly, who could clearly be glimpsed through the studio's floor-to-ceiling windows—not unlike a Bloomingdale's mannequin and just as plastic-looking. As for those signs, most of them pleaded to be let up to the studio and were adorned with pitiful verbiage that each bearer will surely regret ever having produced in a couple of years—stuff like HEY, CARSON! WE'RE BOOGERS! PICK US! and CARSON—I'M COLD AND I HAVE TO PEE—PLEASE LET ME COME UP! Ugly, ugly, ugly. You know how you sometimes see something on the tube and think things can't possibly be that bad in real life? This was worse—much, much worse. After a bit, a swarm of NYPD Blue came along and rudely told us to move along because we were blocking pedestrian traffic. With the memory of the Amadou Diallou shooting in our minds, we figured the best plan was to comply. We love New York—especially now that we can write the whole damn trip off on our taxes. God bless America! (Rich Kane)

>>> REPAINTING THE LBC After a seven-year absence, the original members of Primitive Painters got back together for a surprise reunion gig at Long Beach's M Bar & Grill late last month. Although the Garden Grove-based atmospheric alternative rock band only released one official CD (1992's Dirtclods), they had an impressive live reputation back in early '90s OC and were a mainstay at the old Bogart's in Long Beach, as well as the Fullerton Hoffbrau. The Painters' blissful acoustic set (and a well-attended one at that, especially for a weeknight) was highlighted by a haunting take on “Other One,” but unfortunately, the plug got pulled before a planned Lloyd Cole cover was unveiled. Singer Dennis Crupi (who now fronts the group Moses McCartney) said a Painters rarities disc is in the works. Hey, guys: the sound was so flawless fans wouldn't mind more one-off gigs soon. (George A. Paul)

>>> GRAMMYS MAKE US WANNA PEE And now, LowBallAssChatter proudly presents the First Annual Grammy Award Nominations Laugh-Off—join in! Ready? Go . . . 'N Sync's “Bye Bye Bye” for Record of the Year? Mmph! Paul Simon's You're the One as Album of the Year? Haw haw! Papa Roach for Best New Artist? Eh-heh-heh-heh—ho-lee shit! Britney Spears up for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance? Hoo-hoo-hoo! Uh-haw-haw-haw-haw! Paul McCartney for . . . Best Alternative Music Album?!? HA-HA-HA-HA-HAW! (SNOOOOORT!!!) HAW-HAW-HAWR! Aw, jeez—look! The frikkin' Baha Men even got a nod!MMMPH! Mwuh-huh-huh-HUH! And Oscar de la Hoya for Best Latin Pop Album? BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!! Sigh . . . whew! Well, we sure needed a good long giggle like that. Next year, though, when we do this again, we'll have to remember to bring along a change of undies. (RK)

>>> BREAKING IN THE HOB Lit will actually not be the first band to play the new Anaheim House of Blues this Friday. Nor do first-night honors go to Big Sandy & the Fly-Rite Boys or the Tiki Tones, who played sets at a private shindig there on Jan. 10 (a party sponsored by some sort of freaky “alternative” newspaper or something). That said, let it forever be acknowledged that the First Band to Ever Play the Anaheim House of Blues was none other than Sparklejets U.K., who hauled their gear to the new House of Blues (located in the Vegas-like Downtown Disney “shoppertainment” center —also known as a mall) on Jan. 7 specifically to help the room's sound crew deflower their mixing board. That wasn't all the training going on: we also glimpsed gaggles of cocktail waitresses taking fake orders from random hangers-out. Funnier still, in a perfomance-art sort of way, were the House of Blues staffers who pretended to be drunken, idiotic louts by shoving the beefy, yellow-shirted security forces around and trying to leap onstage, at which points the security folks swarmed on their play-acting asses. Hey, security needs practice, too, and with upcoming shows by Social Distortion and NOFX, they'll use it. As for the room itself, we were impressed: it's a cozy, two-leveled club with an open floor in front of a chest-high stage; an upstairs balcony features wooden stools and church pews for seats; and it's arranged in a square shape that guarantees great sightlines. Dcor is standard House of Blues fare: lots of folk art and paintings of black blues musicians, as well as authentic-looking, cracked, peeling paint to give the joint that weathered, aged look. Sparklejets, meanwhile, pounded out their usually excellent set—we hope they'll get invited back to play for a real crowd next time. (RK)

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