"We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." ~ Charles Bukowski
X opens their show at The Casbah, 11-27-15: this was said to be the first time X had appeared on stage since Billy Zoom had been in chemo treatment. They chose the warm and inviting safety of the naugahyde-padding lined stage of The Casbah for their re-emergance. It was a powerful performance by this legendary band. Here’s the moment Zoom walked on stage and was joined by Exene Cervenka, John Doe and drummer DJ Bonebreak. Formed originally in 1977, this band has meant and still means a lot to countless lovers of their music, punk rock mixed with Americana/rockabilly and poetry, and over the years they’ve been through so much. It was great to see X play this night.
Video by the totally amazing Reviewer Rob, Editor@ReviewerMagazine.com, of course.
You should be able to click the pic below for full frame.
A Close Time Schedule And A Crowded Freeway Are A Bad Combination
by Reviewer Rob
Freeway traffic between San Diego and Los Angeles has been out of control for years, decades now. Southern California is in dreadful need of a better system of mass transit. Preferably one combining an elaborate network of trains with sleeper cars where late-night business riders can snooze in cubby-holes for an extra fee, ones that have wifi for regional commuting between cities like LA, San Diego and San Francisco.
In the photo below that’s me checking my tires for bald spots in Tustin. I’d just had a close call on the 5 freeway northbound.
On this night Interstate 5 was bumper-to-bumper traffic interspersed with sections of road where you could make 50 mile-per-hour progress for short distances.
It was in one of these open zones where I got distracted and looked off the side of the road at the sign for a new music store and was musing it could possibly be a good drop spot for the magazine. It was only for a fraction of a moment but when my eyes returned to the road the cars ahead of me had stopped and I was coming up fast on them with maybe 70 feet between us. Brake peddle to the floor immediately — I had to lock them up in the fast lane, screeching for about 30 or 40 feet to avoid a rear-end collision with the car ahead of me stopped suddenly in the heavy traffic. The skid seemed to go on and on forever but my van came to rest with its front bumper inches away, maybe less than a foot from the tailpipe.
I was amazed at how calm I felt afterwards considering I narrowly escaped totaling the Reviewervan. I was skidding for so long I even had time to swerve slightly to the left and then to the right in an attempt to absorb momentum. I even had time to go over my options for the after-crash scenario: whether or not I’d be injured or need to go to the hospital, or if not how I’d get home to San Diego, what I’d do with the wrecked van. So many things flash though your mind so quickly. The vehicles to my right and also in the carpool lane to my left must have had people freaking out. It was so bad a cloud of my tires’ smoke covered us as I came to a stop. Kudos to the almost-victim driver ahead of me for pulling a good move by popping the clutch or accelerating slightly at the last moment as I approached in the rear-view. That small bit of distance may have been what saved us.
Don’t ever daydream or get distracted while driving, kids, ever but especially on the freeway.
My tires looked okay, but then I noticed I was really hungry and needed to find some food and also change into a clean t-shirt because I suddenly felt sweaty.
This update is adapted from an Instagram post of mine on October 6th, IG @reviewerrob.
A Hand of Glory was a tool used by malefactors in the criminal underworld of yesteryear. Think of it like a kind of supernatural roofie used by burglars and other such nefarious bad actors. Taken from the corpse of a hanged man, the hand was dried, pickled and mummified according to a special process and then it made a thieves’ job easier by eliminating resistance from the occupants of house or building they wanted to rob. Some accounts also said they allowed entry through locked doors.
This of course made it an object of immense value to a certain social element. According to one account, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy sees a Hand of Glory in Borgin and Burkes, the dark arts specialist shop, and is told that it “gives light only to the holder.” He buys and later uses it in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. These purported special power may be why one was reportedly found secreted inside the wall of an old house in Yorkshire, England, recently. Perhaps it was put there long ago for safe-keeping or for some other “magic” reason. The California Institute Of Abnormalarts in Burbank has a Hand Of Glory among its strange collection of occult kitch if you’d like to see one in the beef-jerkied flesh. According to the owner Carl Crew, “it tastes like teriyaki.”
Hand of Glory:
A grisly magical charm popular with thieves in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the hand of glory was a candle made from the dried hand of a hanged convict through a complicated recipe that also included herbs, horse dung, peppers, and salt. The hand would be carefully mummified, and then joined to or turned into a candle using tallow from a hanged corpse. (whether this is from the same corpse is apparently irrelevant). Set alight, the hand is said to have the power to render the occupants of a household insensible, making burglary a simple task.
Pictured below: The Hand of Glory under glass and on exhibit at The California Institute of Abnormalarts, 11334 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91601. When asked about its provenance CIA proprietor Carl Crew would only say it was dated from 1709 and of Scottish origin. Asked how he got it, his pointed reply was “I’m an art dealer, man.” Photo by ReviewerPhoto.com.
Really glad I went to see these guys on opening night. Reminded me I need to get out from under earbuds, and out from sitting in front of a computer screen for something other than to see a band play. Very interactive play, The Halfwits’ Last Hurrah, about a hapless circus ringmaster and his troupe. You might feel threatened with something falling on you sitting up front. The stage-sweeper clown tried to climb under my feet as I texted pre-show and people finished taking seats. The group puts on a real show too. You feel the energy of their heartfelt albeit hokey story. It’s funny and dramatic and you’ll be rooting for them by the end. Go see them, especially if it’s at another Hollywood Fringe festival. That whole scene looks like it’s an undiscovered box of fun.