Lorna Doom, Bass Player for the Germs has Left the Stage

Lorna Doom of the Germs. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Today it was announced on several Facebook posts, including that of Germs drummer Don Bolles, that Germs bassist Lorna Doom “left this mortal coil today around 1.” Born Teresa Ryan in 1958, Doom passed away after a short illness. Out of all of the women I have ever known, there was none punker than Lorna. The Germs formed in 1976, and although they had a relatively short run they left their mark as one of the very first punk bands in LA. It’s hard to believe she was only seven years older than I am. That seven years meant everything when it comes to punk rock. The Germs were the vanguard.

The band was featured heavily in the “Decline of Western Civilization,” and a biographical film came out in 2007, “What we do is Secret,” starring Shane West. They reformed the Germs for a short time with Shane West singing. I attended their movie-opening afterparty where the re-formed Germs first played, and Lorna was as punk as ever. I couldn’t handle the intense slam pit and climbed onto the corner of the stage to shoot. “As I was busy taking pictures, I felt a nudge. Then another nudge. There was definitely a toe poking me in the behind. I looked up to see Lorna smiling at me charmingly. She gently kicked me again, still smiling. It was very clear that she didn’t care who I was or what I was doing there. I needed to get my ass off her stage and back into the pit where I belonged.”

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Movies Till Dawn: New Year, (Mostly) New Movies Part 2

Suspiria” (2018, Lionsgate Home Entertainment) Timid American dancer Dakota Johnson enrolls at a prestigious dance school in Germany, where her training by a formidable Tilda Swinton gradually reveals a more sinister intent. Like last year’s “Hereditary” and “Mandy,” this audacious revamp of Dario Argento‘s psychedelic shocker by Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name”) works both sides of the horror coin, offering a feminist perspective on its occult trappings and semiotic debate on art and politics for arthouse viewers while also satisfying the grindhouse/gorehound faithful with berserk, blood-soaked violence. It’s also wildly pretentious, and ultimately a bit of a drag (e.g., an unnecessary subplot about Holocaust survivor guilt), but it’s beautifully lensed and boasts an incredible performance by Swinton in two (maybe three) roles, a gorgeously eerie score by Thom Yorke and a touching cameo by original “Suspira” star Jessica Harper. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray includes making-of featurettes and profiles on the special effects and choreography.

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Flesh Eaters Rise Again In 2019! Chris D Reveals Secrets Of Their Un-Deadening!

LA has been invaded by the 1981-era Flesh Eaters once again, and in 2019, these horrifying creatures are no throwbacks. This collection of serious players from the old school – comprised of Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman of the Blasters, John Doe and DJ Bonebrake of X, Steve Berlin from Los Lobos and vocalist and bandleader Chris D (nee Desjardins)- have emerged from the grave with what could be the most terrifying prospect imaginable: THE BELOVED OLD BAND WITH A NEW ALBUM! Like, be still my heart!

But Chris D, for his part, claims not to have botched it. On the phone from his home in LA he sounds positively giddy talking about the new album, I Used To Be Pretty, released today on Yep Roc. The band will be performing at the Echoplex this Saturday, January 19, along with Mudhoney, whose patronage inspired the first unlikely reformation of this crew back in 2006 via an invitation to perform on their curated bill at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in the UK. Since then, there have been two additional sets of live shows, each featuring some minor modification to the set list. But 2018 marked the combo’s first return to the recording studio since making the earth-shattering LP A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die.   

“I’ve thought about it,” Desjardins says when asked if he’s tried to get this band to record previously. “But I’ve always felt that it was going to involve too much wood shedding beforehand, and the guys weren’t going to have time.” That’s an understandable side effect of having players of this caliber, who all remain busy and popular. Continue reading

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Broadway and Film Star Carol Channing Takes her Final Bow

Photo by Brian Donnelly.

Early this morning, B. Harlan Boll, publicist for Carol Channing, announced the actress’ passing at 2:31 this morning, January 15, 2019, of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage. She was 97.

“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon – Miss Carol Channing. I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life,” said Boll. “It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”

Carol Elaine Channing was born on January 31, 1921 in Seattle, Washington. Unbeknownst to many, her paternal grandmother was African-American; the rest of her family was German. She started off modeling in Los Angeles, majored in drama and dance at Bennington College in Vermont and in 1949 starred for the first time on Broadway in “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” going on to star in “Hello, Dolly!,” as well as countless films and television shows, from “Thoroughly Modern Millie” to “Hollywood Squares.” Channing was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995. Her autobiography, “Just Lucky I Guess: A Memoir of Sorts” was published in 2002 (IMDB and Wikipedia).

Tomorrow night the lights of Broadway will dim in her memory.

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John Blyth Barrymore: Sex, Drugs, and all his Stage, Screen, and Real World Roles!

Photo Courtesy of John Blyth Barrymore. Photo by Annie Appel

John Blyth Barrymore knows his stuff! A near apparent expert on everything from Los Angeles history, to finance, he has played a noted amount of roles, not only on stage and screen but in the four-dimensional world itself!  To register the wide-ranging tenor pertaining to the ebb and flow of his career, one might surmise his very existence was that of an actor on the world’s vast stage, playing not only an actor, but every character said actor might portray—up to and including somewhat of an M.C. Escher-esque personage as the circuitously, all commanding architect of his own life story.

We are supposed to be attending some sort of Sunday champagne mixer on the first of many patios in Downtown LA’s captivating Bonaventure Hotel, but if you’re talking to John Blyth Barrymore and don’t forget the champagne altogether, you’re really just not doing it right!

Barrymore greets me on the ground floor of the dizzying day-to-day domestic rental establishment in casual, somewhat laissez-faire, but punctually professional fashion.  Continue reading

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watt’s picture of the week – wednesday, january 15, 2019

teachers on strike yesterday at san pedro high.

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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11th Annual No Pants Metro Ride

    Participants of the No Pants Metro Ride pose for a group photo on the steps of the Hollywood & Highland Center on Hollywood and Highland on January 13, 2019. (Photos by Andrew Bell for the Los Angeles Beat)

It was the big annual No-Pants party of the year. People came to different rendezvous points around the greater Los Angeles area and Pasadena on a cloudy Sunday afternoon to de-pants and ride the Metro. Ride captains briefed participants on the mission, as well as answering any questions, before instructing them to de-brief and head to the next destination: Union Station.

Pantsless participants came to Union Station to meet with other participants and casually mingle, grab a bite to eat, take photos/video, and take in the wonderful architecture that is Union Station.

The next phase of the mission began with participants going to Hollywood and Highland. The beauty of this mission is that people will wonder what’s going on. Answers to any questions about our lack of pants are usually simple, if not hilarious.

Heading up the stairs of the Hollywood & Highland Station, we were given a briefing by the lead agents before heading to the Pig’ N Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard for the after party. Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Stan & Ollie” Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

Steve Coogan (Left) and John C. Reilly at the screening of Stan & Ollie” at the AFI FEST Presented by Audi at the Egyptian Theatre Hollywood, December 14, 2018. (All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat.)

A biopic about one of the greatest American comedy duos of the 20th century is long overdue. In all, the comedy duo released 106 films between 1921 and 1951. “Stan & Ollie” is the vehicle to tell their story—not of their epic rise to popularity, but regarding the demise and reconciliation of the duo. Both were veteran Vaudevillains, but Stan Laurel, played by Steve Coogan, was the detail person, the idea guy, and the storyteller, passionate and devoted to the craft of comedy. While Oliver Hardy, played by John C. Reilly, was more undisciplined, frivolous, and there for the party—often distracted by women and horses, the vices that often led Hardy to marital troubles and financial woes.

You get enough of the back story on them to grasp the dynamic of the duo and to pick up the pieces 15 years later, where the story resumes with their last tour of stage shows. This rekindles old feelings of animosity and warmth on a less than glamorous theatrical venture baited with the prospect of a new movie venture at its end. This last tour is a set up for heartaches and laughs.

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Harry Cloud and Paul Roessler’s New Album “Permadeath”


All Photos by Deb Frazin

Harry Cloud and Paul Roessler (Gitane Demone Quartet, The Screamers) have collaborated on a new 2-record set specifically written and recorded for artist Tanja London’s sol(e)menace-sculpture audio tour “Ancestral Stress and Trauma” (a part of Jason Watson’s Permadeath residency at Utah Museum of Modern Art). It’s an avant-garde collection of creative, hypnotic and sometimes chaotic instrumental pieces that piques your imaginative faculty from beginning to end.

Permadeath takes you on a kaleidoscopic journey through the human body. It starts off a bit quietly/slowly with “Reproductive”, but don’t let that fool you – it’s just the calm before the spectacular storm that’s about to arrive.

“Ligament” slowly lures you in, then after a couple of minutes, it suddenly breaks free, and spins off into a frantic, deranged ride that eventually sends you spinning straight into the gurgling, spooky, mysterious  sounds of “Digestive”. I love the entire album , but my favorite cuts are on the 2nd record. It’s a bit tribal at times, psychedelic in spots, and there are repetitive, steady blasts that make you feel like you’re on a runaway train. The final track (my favorite) “Nervous System” slowly propels us off into the fog with the lush blend of Roessler’s keyboards and Cloud’s stinging-hot guitar licks.

I really enjoyed listening to this brilliant, ambitious album through my earbuds while I took my daily walks (that way I was able to really concentrate on it with no distractions). If you’re a fan of experimental, avant-garde music like I am (Coil, Throbbing Gristle, etc), then I think you’ll enjoy Permadeath as much as I did. I’ve listened to it about 15 times so far, and I can’t wait to listen to it again.

The album and digital download is available for purchase on Bandcamp. There is a limited-edition of 100 red-vinyl 180-gram lps. The records are to be played at 45 rpm, and because the grooves are wide, the sound is mindblowing!

You’ve gotta get Permadeath into your ear holes ASAP!


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Movie Review: ‘Vox Lux’ Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

Courtesy of NEON

“Vox Lux”, the second feature film from edgy director Brady Corbet, is disturbing and anxious, yet luminously gilded. From a nest of tragedy, hope blossoms and finally dissipates in tinsel. The main character, Celeste, played by Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland, Snow White and the Huntsman), as young Celeste, and Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V for Vendetta), as adult Celeste, enjoys a story arch that opens in her teens and closes in her early thirties.

The opening scene that blows open the narrative of Celeste’s life is startling, brutal and unapologetic in its realistic portrayal of a school mass shooting. As the scene played out I gasped more than once. The violent opening starts you on an unpredictable ride, the ending of which is absolutely inconceivable. The storyline leads you along Celeste’s path as she rises from the ashes of death and tragedy to ride the dragon of pop culture as a bright, shiny and fragile vessel.

The movie is made up of vignettes that are each divided by a synopsis narrated by Willem Dafoe. They are a matter-of-fact and creepy manner to his interpretation, but then, he is Willem Dafoe. Every episode places Celeste deeper in the plot, older, and closer to the center of unrelenting fame. The first part of the story recounts her meteoric rise as she is sucked into the pop music industry and molded for success. Her manager, played by Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, The Young Pope), who is nearly unrecognizable in this role, shepherds her through these narrows of pop stardom as Eleanor, played by Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac, High Rise), her sister, acts as a guardian of sorts for Celeste. Celeste’s relationship with Eleanor frays under the pressure of her burgeoning success and the relentless pressures of road life. Celeste’s manager becomes the nexus of her survival for the next decade in the crazy bejeweled world of pop stardom. Continue reading

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