When I first moved here from England I swore I would never ever say two things: “CUTE!” and You Guys!” both of which are now firmly and unfortunately ensconsed in my vocabularly. Living in New York was not a problem in regards to said words, but California has wreaked it’s own special havoc on the way I speak. The first phrase, the seemingly innocuous “You Guys!” Every American uses this couplet with little thought, “Are you guys going to the show?” etc etc. I understand the use of the word ‘guys’, it’s seemingly gender neutral, even though it shouldn’t be, it’s used in the plural as if it is, so it makes life easier when dealing with a mass of friends or whatevers. It’s one thing that I know I am going to be mocked mercilessly in regards to when I go back to England in two weeks, it makes me think of over enthusiastic bosses at team building sessions and also the Christian metal fan from Beavis and Butthead cartoons. “You guys!” People that don’t understand that they are viewed as a separate entity from the group trying to affiliate themselves with said group. Cute is totally a hideous word when used to describe anything that isn’t a baby animal, unfortunately, especially in California clothes are cute, houses are cute, neighborhoods are cute, and so it goes on and on. I understand that a puppy is cute, as is a baby polar bear, but why do I find myself describing a certain part of town or an old trolley car in that way? The Californification of the way I talk started a long time ago being that my mum is from Southern California, but I have no excuses for the fact that my conversation is essentially Fast Times at Ridgemount High at all times nowadays. It just makes me laugh that the two phrases I swore would never encroach upon my vocab are now used without thought.

I ran into Golnar on the street yesterday, I was waiting for pizza, she was getting photobooth and she told me with alarm and horror in her voice that she used the word Hella whilst on tour with Condenada and no-one even noticed. She didn’t mean to use the word obviously, it just slipped out, but I guess that is a sure sign that it was time to leave the West Coast. One thing I know she will miss about living in SF is not knowing what washed up grunge lite band are playing at The Independent, the venue across the street from MRR HQ that seems to only feature washed up jam band stalwarts and grunge couldabeens. Candlebox anyone? Sometimes the band names are so ridiculous it’s hard to believe it’s not in actual fact an SNL paraody of some hemp wearing hacky sack jock rock, but no, the people that partake in that particular lifestyle (the frat hippie stoner douchebag jam band planet) clearly just have an even more gruesome vocabulary than me and all my friends combined. I am not sure if I already wrote about this but me and my friend Gabe went to see one of those Bridge School benefits that Neil Young does, which is basically a big meeting of everyone from different generations of that type of crowd to watch various people play their music acoustically. We went because of a) NEIL YOUNG and b) I was still in the throws of my Brian Wilson obsession, and he was gonna play Pet Sounds acoustic. I can assure you however that watching Dave Matthews was not something I ever wanted to experience. And the actual act of watching him affirmed that I was right in my prejudice. Imagine if you will a million different colors of khaki swirling around in one big ecstatic hacky sack match/dance, people losing their shit over what I would hesitate to call music at all. I mean it was basically just a collection of random howls and world beat colonialisms and jazz funk fusion unfortunates, really no order or need for a tune at all. And you are reading the words of someone whose favorite music is early 80s hardcore. We spent the set lying on the floor, eyes closed hands on ears like 5 yr olds stuck at a board meeting.

I also went on tour, albeit briefly, in fact I abandoned my roadie duties pretty speedily. I ‘roadied’ for XBXRX on their east coast tour; my best friend Helen’s band Squids were playing their last ever show with XB. That was the main reason for my heading out there having never seen her band play in their two or three year existence I thought it was about time. They were really great, reminded me of the secret basement girls only meet up stylings of the Raincoats, thanks to Sonya’s drumming they also kind of reminded me of Delta 5 or the Bush Tetras, that propulsive rythmic style. Sonya used to be in the awesome Meltdown, who were a mid 90s all teenage girl no wave band from DC who are simply AMAZING. They were inspired by the Scissor Girls, and have an LP and a 7” which you should totally get. (oogaboogastore.com has the LP, the 7” might be available from Dischord still) Helen and me were/are in Petty Crime together, we did a 7” on Slampt records when we were teenagers, and will hopefully play more this summer. Because you know, we never broke up, just moved to different towns. Kristen who played bass and guitar in Squids was in this rad Detroit band Red or Dead, who should release their jams for sure. I think another all teenage girl situation. Squids have a new CDR which you should send off for, it’s totally great, and of course they have a myspace.com/squidssquidssquids I think will get you connected to a CDR.

After Boston I headed to NYC and rolled deep with the original MZA. We drank the best bubble tea available anywhere at Saint’s Alp, and obvies spent a lot of time hanging out on Saint’s Mark (we renamed Saint Marks in honor of the bubble tea place) getting our bootleg GG Allin shirts together. I watched Lightning Bolt play a boring Amphet Reptile circa 95 style set to a crowd of ecstatic drunk college boys,, and watched XBXRX too who actually really reminded of Clikitat Ikatowi for some reason. Maybe the new drumming style is kind of Mario-esque? The show was in this hideous euro rave club in Williamsburg, which was pretty much like an Urban Outfitters store in neighborhood form. Generic blank hipster © times, no one with any sense of adventure, just the skinny jeans pointed glae armies of darkness. Last time I was in NY I was considering moving back there, and this time though i was only there for two days, my mind was changed. I love San Francisco as a place, and now can’t imagine moving. I like not living in what is essentially an outdoor shopping mall. Going there makes me nostalgic for my brief time living in NYC, but seeing Lightning Bolt in a shitty club play boring rock jams made me think of seeing them in shitty dive bars 7 million yrs ago and actually not knowing where they were going to play in a venue, watching the audience run to wherever the sound was emanating from instead of having their huge amp set up make it super explicit that they were playing in the audience! Crrazy!

Anyway that’s about it.

Top Ten

1. Laukaus demo.

2. Messthetics best of comp.

3. Golnar and Britton’s Dead Moon offshoots obsession.

4. the fact that Fred and Toody’s country band has a myspace! So ridic.

5. Dag nasty with Shawn singing.

6. Mika Miko 666 EP.

7. Christina Billotte’s voice.

8. Rites of Spring.

8. Ruby Andrews- You Made a Believer out of me.

9. Matokie Slaughter-Big Eyed Rabbit.

10. Pizza.

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