Tuesday of last week, some friends of mine invited me to go see The Henry Rollins Band with them at the Fillmore that evening.
I've mentioned before in this blog that I kinda don't pay attention to what's going on out and about town much anymore, so I hadn't even been aware that the band was playing in town. However, somewhat coincidentally, I happened to have been chatting with someone the week before who was here in SF visiting, and she mentioned having just seen Henry Rollins in Florida. She also mentioned the tour the band was on was a benefit tour for the West Memphis Three. I'd heard about that case, as I'd seen the documentary "Paradise Lost" several years ago and have occasionally checked in at the WM3 website to see if there's anything new in the story. (As explaining what the West Memphis Three case is all about would be a bit complicated, I refer you instead to this article on Blogcritics, which describes the background to the West Memphis Three story as well as Henry Rollins' reasons for doing this benefit tour for it -- Blogcritics.org: Rollins Band/WM3 Tribute Tour).
So, when my friends told me The Rollins Band was playing at the Fillmore last Tuesday, I figured they were in town on the same benefit tour I'd just heard mentioned. And, yup, that's what it was.
The band for this tour also included Keith Morris from the Circle Jerks as well. Morris sang some of the songs and Rollins did the others. Already practically felt like it was a wee bit of a punk "Big Chill" thing or something with just those two sharing the stage -- not to mention many of the songs they did were old punk band covers -- I recall at least one Dead Boys' song as well as a couple of Ramones' songs.
Towards the end of the show, Rollins announced they had a special guest to bring out. And out comes the Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra, who talked a bit and did a song. (Perhaps not so surprising they'd have him come on stage here in San Francisco, considering ....)
Boggled my little mind to see such an array of "ghosts of punk past" this way. Definitely thought it was a great show and I had an absolute blast.
I also found it a little funny, on a personal note, to observe that before this show, I hadn't actually seen a show at the Fillmore since the early 80s -- and the show I'd seen at the Fillmore way back then just happened to have been the Dead Kennedys.
Odd coincidence, especially considering that at one point in my life, I did go see many, many bands play in many, many places here in SF. But then again, maybe not that odd as I know that the reason I saw so few shows at the Fillmore was that somewhere in the mid-to-late 80s, the Fillmore closed for a while and went through some renovations and changes. For a short while in the 80s, they even tried to turn it into a dance club, renaming it the Elite Club. I went a couple times when it was this dance club, I remember -- a short-lived phase for the Fillmore, fortunately. By the time they turned it back into a live music venue -- and I don't remember offhand when that was -- I had stopped going to see live shows much.
Anyway, San Francisco was the band's last stop in the U.S. and they're off to finish the tour out of the country now. And I'm just pleased I ended up seeing it.
Beginning to think that maybe I should glance at the music calendar listings on occasion, eh? I'm sure there are other shows I'd be glad to have seen, too, if I bothered to look up what's going on in a given week ....
But I think I kinda like being accidentally dragged off to things these days. Makes it more random. And I do enjoy the random.
Among the goodies on Lileks' site is this: LILEKS (James) : Institute: The Peculiar Art of Mr. Frahm
This peculiar series of illustrations features startled women whose pink panties have just accidentally fallen to their ankles. The women usually also always happen to be holding a bag of groceries in which a bunch of celery is always present (an anomaly Lileks points out and analyzes at length).
As Lileks points out in the introduction to his presentation:
For starters, their entire premise is untenable: underwear simply does not fall down like this, unless the wearer has no hips and the panties no elastic.
Well, yeah. Ordinarily, I'd agree. In fact, I did agree the first time I looked at Lileks' presentation of Mr. Frahm's art, which was some months ago.
Then, as if invoking a curse upon myself by laughing at those silly women with their wayward panties, not very long after, I started having trouble with my undergarments of a disturbingly similar nature.
And I hadn't even been in possession of any celery at any time.
It all started when I had just gotten back from New Orleans in April. If you read the highlights of my trip there, you'll have seen the mention of a tattoo I got while there. I know I didn't happen to mention where said tattoo had been placed on my anatomy (and the little pic of it doesn't really show the part of my body in context either). Well, the tattoo happens to be on my outer upper right thigh.
For a few weeks after getting that tattoo, I tried to accommodate the healing of said tattoo by trying as much as possible to avoid wearing things that would unduly chafe the skin where said tattoo was located. Thus, for a couple weeks or so, I wore a lot of loose skirts with stockings underneath.
And one day, outfitted thusly, I left my house to go somewhere and halfway down the block, I felt the panties I had on slipping downwards. Unlike the women in Mr. Frahm's art, though, my facial expression didn't betray any startled look. More one of irritation. But then my panties weren't pink nor did I have any celery. And I caught the damn things before they got around to even getting a half-inch below my skirt. So, with a highly irritated expression on my face, I trod back home to correct the problem while firmly holding up one side of them through the fabric of my skirt to prevent .... the celery thing from fully happening.
Because of course that's what flashed through my mind -- "Damn it, so it does happen. But I don't even have any celery."
Being of a pragmatic nature, especially in regards to underwear, I blamed the incident on the undergarment -- they were old; the elastic, upon closer inspection, seemed like it probably had become too worn out to be serviceable anymore. So, I promptly threw the garment out.
But, alas, that was not the end of the Celery Curse for me. A few weeks passed. My tattoo had healed, and I was able to wear other things. I tend to wear black tights at times -- under shorts or skirts or whatnot. Apparently, a pair of black tights I had in my possession decided to go the way of the Celery. These tights had the irritating habit of rolling downwards if I walked any distance in them. An insidious habit because they would not start doing this until I had gotten several blocks away from home, but once they began to do this, there was no stopping them. I just had to spend what should have been a pleasant walk stopping every couple of minutes to yank them back up into place again. And again. And again. Those damn tights fooled me twice like this (as I had stupidly forgotten to toss them out the first opportunity I had to remove them the first time). And as one pair of black tights looks much like any other .... I unfortunately ended up accidentally putting them on again another occasion only to have my ordeal with them repeated.
I did, the second time I went through that with that pair of tights, remove them when I finally returned home and immediately cut them into little bits (cursing celery, Lileks, Frahm, art, and garments in general as I did) and put the bits in the garbage at once, so I'd never accidentally put them on ever again.
So far, rending those "celery tights" to bits like that seems to have ended my curse of the Celery Tights and, happily, my clothing has returned to being cooperative with me lately.
But I cannot help but remain a little wary now of re-encountering the curse of the Dratted Celery Tights another day. I know now they can attack without warning.
So, yeah, look at Lileks' section on Mr. Frahm's art, but I warn you of possible consequences of reacting to the illustrations with too much hubris. Celery or not, things can happen to your underwear if you do.
Today happens to be the Marquis Déjà Dû's birthday. Earlier today, I started to compose him a simple email happy birthday message and decided to compile him a quick little list of interesting calendar trivia that had happened on his birthday. But as I looked through the usual historical trivia reference materials I regularly use to find interesting calendar trivia, I collapsed into peals of laughter as I could hardly believe what I saw: even the Marquis' birthday, like the cur himself, would end up being ever so "terminally french."
Let me explain about "terminally french" (intentional lowercase "f'). It's something I called the Marquis some years ago when I was asked to come up with a short description for him. It does not refer to nationality nor ancestry nor lineage, but more to a state a mind. The Marquis liked the description quite a bit and even once wrote about in his old Intimate Diary.
Certainly, he will like his birthday calendar trivia very much as well. Because -- well -- it is just so him.
Thus, with tiny fanfare and in honor of the Marquis' birthday, I do now present the best highlights for July 27th, the Day of the Terminally French:
Terminally French Notable Birthdays (besides the Marquis')
Alexandre Dumas fils, born July 27, 1824. His most famous work "Camille" is most definitely terminally french. Cough, cough, cough.
Charlotte Corday, born July 27, 1768. Famous French Revolutionary figure who acquired her fame for terminating Marat. And for allegedly blushing after her head was cut off. Now, that's terminally french.
(See Décolleté ~ The Terror & The Guillotine for more about Corday and Marat. It's the best gallery of beheadings ever, but of course I'm biased as the gallery is by my other Sepulchritude co-editor, Kallisti.)
Terminally French Deaths for July 27th.
July 27, 1844
Guilbert de Pixérécourt dies. Pixérécourt was famous for writing dozens of melodramas for the théatres des boulevards, which if you think about it could kinda be seen as the dive clubs of his day. Okay, so I'm stretching this one a bit. But it's still terminally french.
July 27-29, 1890
Vincent Van Gogh commited suicide (in France) by shooting himself in the chest on July 27th. He died from the infected wound two days later. Tardy and terminal, n'est-ce pas?
July 27, 1946
Gertrude Stein died (in France) with Alice B. Toklas by her side. Their reputed final conversation was Stein apparently inquiring of Toklas about the meaning of life by saying "What is the answer?" When Toklas couldn't or wouldn't reply, Stein then asked "In that case, what was the question?"
Ah, what indeed is the question? Je ne sais pas.
But this I do know:
Violà, this entry is for you, my dear Marquis! Je t'embrace and Merry Merry!
July 31, 2003 moon phase: Waxing Crescent
Well, I'm entirely chagrined to admit that my last lovely little entry contains one huge glaring error. Namely, I screwed up in remembering the Marquis' proper date of birth. His is the 28th not the 27th -- which when I was reminded of this did seem to ring more of a bell with me (and explained why no one had ever before noticed Charlotte Corday shared a birthday with our Marquis ....heh).
But my calendar program had the incorrect day for it, so that's what I get for relying on technology. Heh.
So, might as well let the lovely terminally french calendar trivia stand as is, and perhaps next year I'll do the proper day's calendar trivia for the Marquis. Although the Marquis informed me that:"My favorite FunFact™ about 7/28 is that it is the day Bach died. If he hadn't died, I would have certainly killed him by now for he makes my fingers and my brain ache most wretchedly."
[The Marquis happens to play piano, and I've heard him practicing Bach in the past ....]