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Stepping Out With The Perfesser, Part 2
By The Perfesser

Welcome back, intrepid readers! First, I must say that I've acquired quite a taste for this "nightlife" thing you normal folk seemingly indulge in seven days a week. I rather think it's become more than just a lark for me. I think I'll be doing this much more often
Second, I have no idea what this "strap-on" contraption is that Ms. Blunt speaks of, though I'm sure it's some sort of toy only a true vulgarian would own. As for "bum rush"--Ms. Blunt, I'm surprised you're not down with the lingo I'm slingin'. I would have sworn you'd be quite familiar with da 'hood. Word up yo mama.

*Ahem* Third, some may have noted that I seemed a bit "out of character" in my last column. Regular readers will of course know that I have occasionally tipped the ol' elbow in the past before writing, so feel free to chalk it up to another bout of in vino veritas. It's not like I sit in my Tower worrying about what the common mind thinks, anyway….
Now that the preliminaries are disposed of, let's talk International Pop Overthrow, or IPO, as it's known in the vernacular.

IPO is a yearly festival celebrating a musical genre known as "pop." At first, I dreaded what I might hear, as "pop" to me connotes tripe such as Britney Spears , N'Sync and their poofy-haired ilk. Thankfully, IPO's definition of "pop" is more palatable to my refined tastes. It's not Mozart, but then again, I can't be seen drinking beer at The Los Angeles Philharmonic. I have a reputation to uphold, you know!

IPO runs two weeks and presents nearly 150 bands. Here are my impressions of what I heard and saw by IPO night:

Night 1: The venue: Lush in Glendale, a new-ish place I found to be comfortable and conducive to a night of frolicking and fun. Sort of reminds me of The Crush Bar in Hollyweird, but without the seedy vibe. Not that I frequent seedy places, mind you. Bonus about Lush: free iced tap water for you drivers and teetotalers. Potables prices: absurd, as usual. Parking: free in the lot, and free on the streets.

Being fashionably late because I am nothing if fashionable, I missed a few acts. I did walk in during The Mood Elevators set and found it rather enjoyable. Next was Semion, a band from England. Semion's set was a lot of fun, with great musicianship and good songs. They have a CD available called "Get a Grip" that is most worthy of your consideration.

Up next was Steve Barton, a man who rocks as much as he did when he was in Translator. Which is to say, he kicks major ass (hmm…I'm really enjoying this "slang" thing). Local luminaries Lisa Mychols and Robbie Rist joined him onstage to provide a solid rhythm section (bass and drums, respectively) for Steve's great, slightly off-kilter songs. I apologize that I didn't catch the name of the other guitarist, but he was very good as well. Barton manages to be super-focused on his performance while at the same time connecting with the audience, a tightrope act that would cause lesser men to falter. Barton is not a lesser man, though. Check out http://members.tripod.com/~stevebarton/ for more information and to order his excellent solo record, "The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around The World."

Then came New Bitter Pop Stars. I did try to give them a chance, but I couldn't make it through a whole song before I was bolting for the smoking section outside the club. And I don't even smoke. In fact, I'm highly allergic to smoke--makes me break out in hives, it does. "Bitter" is the only accurate word in the band's name, as that's how I felt after having to suffer through its music. The songs aren't saying much new, and "pop stars" they're not. 'Tis a pity.

The final act of the evening was The Andersons, local faves full of fun and energy (and occasionally piss and vinegar, so I've heard tell). Tonight, in a perfect parody of pop pap, they debuted their new "act"--they're the MAN version of a boy band, baby! The boys donned headsets and outré tops and out-N'Synched N'Sync. The dance moves were impressive, and most of the time, they were even in synch on the dance steps. Pun intended, so just shut up. It was funny! No, wait: It was DA BOMB DIGGETY. Of course, they went straight back to their instruments and played the tight power pop music they are well known for, removing all traces of bitterness from my palate from the previous act.

As I straggled to my car in the wee hours, I felt nearly as giddy as an undergrad does upon discovering college life is nothing but a booze-filled haze of parties, with an occasional class interrupting the proceedings. Those were the days! Now all they do is harp, "Publish or perish! Publish or perish!" like a whacked-out parrot on steroids. But enough about me for now. We can talk more about me in my next IPO installment, coming soon to a computer screen near you! Until then, as always, yours…the Perfesser.

 

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