OG Punk Musicians Record Anthem for Flattening the Curve

Musicians Frank Meyer and Bruce Duff, formerly of The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, have written and produced “Flatten the Curve” (or FTC, which sounds way more punk), about social distancing and staying safe at home. Released in May, the song was recorded with an all-star lineup. Remotely, of course.

Unable to continue recording and performing live with the Cheetahs, Frank also lost his job at Fender due to the pandemic, according to Los Angeles Daily News. So, he got busy writing songs, and recorded his part for this song in only two days before sending it around to the other musicians.

The video for the song was just released, and it’s a fun game of “spot the musician.” Watch for Cherie Curie of The Runaways, Tony Reflex of the Adolescents, Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers, Lisa Kekaula of BellRays, Dimitri Coates from OFF! Steve McDonald from Redd Kross, Josie Cotton, Chris Freeman of Pansy Division, Deniz Tek of Australia’s Radio Birdman, Fishbone’s Norwood Fisher and The Beat’s own Mike Watt. Also appearing is Suzi Moon from LA Machina, who our Music Editor interviewed just two weeks ago. Proceeds from the song will benefit the Jubilee Consortium and the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. So, it is, as Frank commented, it is a kind of punk rock “We Are the World.”

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The Rundown: This Week in Brief 07/30/2020

Photo by Tony Pierce

Shepard Fairey Posts “American Rage” Around Town

New Shepard Fairey posters have been popping up around town. The above print, “American Rage” recently showed up in Little Armenia. The image is based on a photo by Ted Soqui taken during the LA riots in 1992. Currently a huge installation of the work is on display at 234 9th Avenue North in Seattle.

Support for our International Students

When the ICE announced early this month that international visa-holding college students would not be allowed to stay in the U.S. if all their courses went online, activist and UCLA grad Sumana Kaluvai created a class-swapping Google spreadsheet in order to help those students find on-site classes (Los Angeles Magazine). Thanks to social media and UCLA students Yuliana Barrón Perez and Noah Hernandez, the spreadsheet spread like wildfire, and prompted the creation of the website Support Our International Students, where available California university classes are listed, as well as other resources. Although that ICE rule was mercifully rescinded on the 14th, the website will continue to help international students, because who knows what else might get thrown at them in these volatile times? – Simone Snaith

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My Vinyl Treasures: Yes L.A.

“My Vinyl Treasures” record posts are a result of one of my ongoing covid-19 self-quarantine projects, cataloguing many records of various genres I have acquired through the years. It should go without saying, that whatever I post here, I like and you should check it out.

Yes L.A. – The Los Angeles 1979 punk response to the no wave “No New York” compilation of songs released in 1978. Short and to the point, Yes L.A. features first wave L.A. punk bands: Bags, Eyes, Alley Cats, Black Randy, X, Germs. (why no Screamers?). All six songs on one side only with text and graphics on the flip side. Issued by Dangerhouse Records. Purchased in San Francisco in 1979 or 1980, can’t recall where.

©Judy Ornelas Sisneros. All rights reserved.

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Virtual Lollapalooza Festival Weekend Happening on YouTube

Lorde at Lollapalooza. Photo by Liliane Callegari from Flickr Commons.

Starting today and continuing through Sunday, August 2, 2020, Lollapalooza will take over YouTube with four days of free music, comprised of the best sets from Lollapaloozas past as well as new live performances. The virtual festival will feature 150 performances and appearances by the likes of  Paul McCartney, Outkast, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metallica, and Arcade Fire. New performances will include a David Bowie tribute with pianist Mike Garson, the first Porno for Pyros reunion in 24 years, and special sets by local Chicago musicians.

Lolla2020 will also “highlight causes important to the festival’s history, community and home of Chicago.” Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will be hosting conversations with Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell and hip-hop legend LL COOL J throughout the event.

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“Miss Mercy” Fontenot February 15, 1949 – July 27, 2020

“Miss Mercy” Fontenot. Photo by Lucretia Tye Jasmine.

Miss Mercy, an original member of 60s rock legends the GTOs, died Monday, July 27, at the age of 71. SuperGroupie, bestselling author, and BFF Pamela Des Barres made the announcement last night via social media.

Originally from Los Angeles, Judith Edra Peters emancipated herself when she was 15, named herself after a song (Don Covay’s 1964 “Mercy, Mercy”), joined one of the first all-girl groups, Girls Together Outrageously (produced by Frank Zappa), and never ever looked like anyone else. She wore several belts, like a gun-slinging badass, adorning herself with thrift store couture. Mercy worked at the Goodwill in Hollywood for the last thirty years, and was clean and sober for almost twenty-two years.

Mercy told you what she thought, even if you didn’t like it. Mercy was authentic. I never ever saw her conform! She was a pioneer.

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Movie Review: “Helmut Newton: The Bad and The Beautiful”

Isabella Rossellini states in the Helmut Newton documentary, The Bad & The Beautiful, “Helmut explained… (he) exposes a lot of the man(’s) feelings. You know, I don’t think his comments are about the women as much as his own feeling(s) – I like you, damn you! I like you and why I shouldn’t like you… like, you’re weapon!” Prior to Isabelle’s statement, at the opening of The Bad and The Beautiful, Anna Wintour declares, “I think, of course, a Helmut Newton woman is very strong. She was provocative. She was in charge. She was often tall. She was blonde and she had that strong lipstick…Unmistakably a Helmut Newton woman!” I find both statements definitive in grasping and distilling the essence of Helmut Newton’s messaging and the aesthetics in his photographic work. The body of his work was the playground of the naughty boy.

My first experiences with Helmut Newton’s photographs came with my own amazement at the audacity with which he characterized women. He created these women with a simmering and dominant sexuality that both enticed and punished the viewer’s imagination. He had a way of capturing the women he photographed in powerfully arresting, sexually-charged positions, he portrayed them as menacing and in control. Newton offered a heightened sense of women’s sensuality in his provocatively-charged fantasies, with strongly contrasting objectifications that were both boldly sexual and frightening severe. I vividly remember the first time I saw “Saddle I, Paris.” I remember how I struggled to process it. Later returning to it to digest the obvious and interpret the symbolism he brought to that image and his other photos. I believe my first experience with Helmut’s photos was in Wet Magazine. The photo was curiously unsettling and fetishy–very sexually enticing. I was simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by the image, but it left me wanting more.

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Quarantine Goals to Learn French or Finally Read Anna Karenina? LA Public Libraries Can Help

The City of Los Angeles Public Libraries are here for you! With a calendar of remote events that encompass yoga, meditation, exercise classes, gardening, language learning, knitting, and writing classes, plus a film series, story time, and world sing-alongs for kids. There is so much for both kids and adults to do, learn, and enjoy, especially during the pandemic.

And book-lovers, the news is good: books can be checked out, and those books have been cleaned per pandemic protocol. Basically, to order a book, you can log in to your account, place a hold through the LAPL online catalog, select an available pick up location, and then wait for an email notifying you that your hold is ready. After you get that email notification, call the library to schedule your pickup. Library staff will advise you on what to expect when picking up your materials. (Please wear a face covering while picking up your holds.) Loans can be returned at any book drop at our pickup locations. You can also access an extensive library of E-books and other digital content, like podcasts, movies, and online learning.

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Get your Virtual Kink on with “Up Your Alley!”

T-Shirt $15 on event site.

Folsom Street Events, promoters of the epic Folsom Street Fair in Central Ca. are producing Up Your Alley, a virtual leatherfest this Sunday. The event will be livestreaming DJs, BDSM demos, GoGo dancers, discussions, trivia contests and everything your kinky little heart desires.

Have fun at the Queer Naked Dance Party, shop in two virtual vendor halls, cruise profiles for like-minded individuals, and watch sexy videos. There is even a virtual play party hosted by Nasty Kinky Pigs. You need to sign up ahead of time to play.

Suggested $10 donation. 18 and over. All activities are safe, consent-only, and sex-positive. “Come fight, fuck and be free on July 26th, 2020!”

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watt’s picture of the week – saturday, july 25, 2020

raccoon looking down at me from up on warehouse fiftyseven here in my pedro town during my hobble a couple of crack of dawns ago…

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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Movies Till Dawn: Unique, Eccentric, Exceptional

” (2020, Magnolia Home Entertainment) If you weren’t aware of civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis, who died on July 17 of this year, this documentary is the right place to start. Director Dawn Porter‘s film provides a basic primer on Lewis’s life and accomplishments, first as a civil rights activist in the 1960s and later, as a 17-term member of the House of Representatives. Lewis never shied away from a challenge – his 50+ arrests, brutal beatings as a Freedom Rider and a 2016 sit-in over gun control are all recalled – and remained determined to his cause until the end, which is praised in the film by Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others. One wishes that more depth was offered instead of the now-famous clip of him dancing to “Happy,” but as a movie Cliff’s Notes on Lewis’s extraordinary commitment, “Good Trouble” delivers.

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