I did manage to get out over the weekend, just as the rain and cold set in with a vengeance, but thanks to having the use of a Zipcar for a few hours, I stayed warmer than I'd been in a while. I looked in on PATRICK HYNES, celebrating his - well, I guess he's getting to the age where I don't need to give an exact number - birthday with his lovely wife ERIKA (the two of them together run LITTLE TYPE MAIL ORDER, and of course many of you will know Patrick from his days as the magnificently pompadoured guitarist of THE POTATOMEN, or, if you can't forgive him for that, as one third of LOOKOUT RECORDS during the 90s glory years.
Patrick was in fine fettle, apart from nursing a sore head as a result of getting beaned during his afternoon soccer match. I stayed longer than I'd intended, which meant I arrived at my next destination, JANELLE BLARG's holiday party, just as everyone was leaving (at least that's what they said, i.e., they swore they weren't leaving just because I'd arrived.
And it wasn't really just Janelle's party, although she gets top billing because she was the one who invited me. Dozens of prestigious East Bay scenesters were also in attendance, and a few even stayed to visit after I'd arrived, though mostly, I suspect, because they lived there. There was, for example, the inimitable HUNX, of GRAVY TRAIN fame, and now fronting his own fast-rising combo, HUNX AND HIS PUNX. Hunx was clad in an authentic 1970s dashiki, of the sort once favored by full-figured African-American women; on Hunx's skinny frame, it looked more like priestly vestments, though perhaps not from any church you'd want your son attending.
Hunx also shared with us his spectacular new video. Here, have a look for yourself:
It's worth noting that the video's awesome animation segments were the work of none other than Miss Janelle herself! This is a multi-talented house party we're talking about, as further evidenced when the elusive RICHIE BUCHER came strolling in. Richie, who you'll know from a long line of East Bay bands, including the immortal SWEET BABY and his artwork on, among other things, the cover of Dookie, is often heard of but seldom seen; his appearance at last summer's INSUBORDINATION FEST in Baltimore providing the first evidence to many of his admirers that he actually existed!
Then, as if Hunx weren't enough, in came RUNX! Otherwise known as MATT RUNKLE, he's the author and artist behind a really cool comic called Runx Tales, which you'd be well advised to pick up first chance you get. Then there was this lady whose name I tragically can't remember just now, but who I'm sure must be a prestigious designer, or will be soon. She had this amazing purse she'd made which I can't really do justice to with words: it was decorated with a series of hanging rings that turned out to have been fashioned from zippers, and that was only the pièce de résistance of her ensemble. I had to pinch myself to remember that we were hobnobbing not in the hallowed precincts of Fifth Avenue but in the nondescript backstreets of Oakland!
Well, there were lots more names and faces I could wow you with, but some of them demand anonymity and others, well, they'll just have to wait because it's really past my bedtime now, even out here on the three-hours-behind West Coast. Oh, but before I go, let me give a further shout-out to my friend KRISTINA (yay!) who was up from Los Angeles and to the new CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (boo! - mostly for the shockingly exorbitant price of admission) that we visited. I seem to recall that at the old CAAS, you could just walk in from the park and stroll around looking at the fish, etc. At this one, they fleece you for 25 bucks (three bucks off if you're an AAA member or came on public transportation, but still) to look at some fish, etc. Ask yourself how many kids from the ghetto are ever going to see the inside of this joint. Museums should be free for all, all the time. On that sour note, good night.