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Minor Notes - the blog of ESTROGENIUS internet radio [Archive]
Links Hom e Contact Me About This Weblog estrogenius dot net Estrogenius Live365 Station Page The NEW Minor Notes blog Login Pause for the Cause: The Raymond Theatre
Friday, August 5, 2005, 16:15

Since I have still not follow ed through w ith making a page at estrogenius.net for "causes & issues", I'll just use this space for that purpose. (An idea w hich only just occurred to me; yeah, it takes me a w hile to catch on, but once I do, I'm ALL over it.) Today's cause is primarily of interest to Southern Californians: The fight to preserve the historic Raymond Theatre in Pasadena.

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Interior of the Raymond Theatre The preservation group Friends of the Raym ond Theatre w as founded in 1988, and they are still fighting to protect this historic landmark from being gutted or demolished. Considering how many times the Raymond has faced imminent destruction, it w ould seem as if the City of Pasadena has become obsessed w ith seeing to its demise. That w ouldn't be unusual for most cities in the greater L.A. area, but it is unusual for Pasadena, w hich to my know ledge has undertaken other redevelopment projects w ith an eye tow ard preservation. Go If you're a local, or just someone w ho is interested in architectural preservation, then I encourage you to visit the Friends of the Raymond w ebsite (that's a link up there in the bold text) and learn all about it. Better still, use the PayPal link on the site to donate to the cause, and you'll make Friends of the Raymond Theatre's President, Gina Zamparelli, very happy. And now I must recognize the person w ho brought this issue to my attention: Pasadena resident and ESTROGENIUS artist A Girl Named Jaen. Her first CD Dusk is available now , and I just found out that she's w orking on her new album as I w rite this! So, good on ya Jaen and Gina, and I hope that both of your endeavors are successful.

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Most Recent Brynne Johnson Thursday, January 19, 2006, 21:05 hey!! My name is brynne too!! David Lech Monday, January 16, 2006, 02:11 Your not Kidding Jenae is Great ,and... RED Monday, October 17, 2005, 15:06 Aw w w w w w w ! That w as so sappy and sw eet,... Arhythm ius Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 16:03 ...w hile it may seem to the dedicated... RED Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 12:42

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I haven't been avoiding...

Minor Notes - the blog of ESTROGENIU…

Most Recent The Minor Notes Archive VERY New Artist: Sara Oliveira New to the Playlist: Sarah Cracknell Squeaky F-w ord Gets the Grease Here's A Cogent Thought: Fuck! New Pick! Plus & Minus Handling Shipping Dow n With Irony Jenae: Flow er in the Frost

A Girl Named Jaen (photo by Rollie)

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She's a Peach
Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 15:10

Anya Marina (photo by John Brinton Hogan)

In the all-important clever lyrics category, here is another independent artist w ho really shines. Anya Marina is that rarest of birds: An unknow n solo artist w ho landed an on-air job at a commercial radio station. That’s right, Anya currently w orks at San Diego’s FM 94/9. Musical talent and a job playing great local music on a real radio station? Good thing I’m not the jealous type. The strength-of-personality that got Anya Marina the radio gig is plainly evident on her CD, Miss Halfway. Normally, I’m just not into the solo-acoustic sound – that is the domain of my friend Red – but great lyrics alw ays draw me in, no matter w hat genre the song is. I first heard Anya Marina w hen a clip from her song “Clean & Sober” w as played during a recent episode of MTV’s The Real World – Austin (Mrs Arhythmius is a dedicated view er of that show , and indeed any show that features catfights, backstabbing and human discord). MTV producers have alw ays had an incredible knack for music placement on their show s, and indeed the background music on show s like The Real World is alw ays better than w hatever’s on TRL – and really, those are your only options for hearing any actual music on “Music Television” these days. Anyw ay, the lyrics from “Clean & Sober” that prompted me to order the CD w ere: I hope you die a fiery death / I love you. God, I need you yeah. Clearly, I could not go w rong. As I said, the style is mellow , mostly featuring Anya on acoustic guitar, w ith some occasional percussion arrangements. Her voice is sw eet and breathy, reminiscent of Julianna Hatfield, or an aw ake Julee Cruise. Stylistically, though, Anya Marina’s w ork is more along the lines of someone like Jill Sobule; although many of the songs are quiet, they still have a sense of fun or w himsy – even if the

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underlying subject matter is a bit darker. In the title track, a sort of rage against low self-esteem, Anya sings All my friends in LA got jobs on Melrose Place / I play Replacements songs and sigh – a Waitress in the Sky. Conversely, “Sociopath” is about the curious predilection – w hich most w omen share – for dating major assholes: I’m pathologically addicted / To what you call a dickhead / Cheaters and liars seem to light my fire / And God, I’ve gotta get clean. And the opening lines to “Morning’s A Peach (Come Back to Bed)” are on their w ay to becoming my email signature: Morning’s a peach/Night is a pitbull / Either way I get a bite. Finally, in a case of magical synchronicity, there’s a track on the album called “Space Monkey”. What the artist couldn’t have know n is that I’ve been compiling a list in my head of the top five greatest songs w ith “monkey” in the title, and I’ve been having trouble rounding it out. Anya Marina to the rescue? Well, let’s see how the list stands now : 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) “Shock the Monkey” by Peter Gabriel “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies “Monkey to Man” by Elvis Costello “Space Monkey” by Anya Marina “Monkey” by George Michael

I’m not at all sure about the last one, although it does have the lyrics Why don’t you do it / Why don’t you set that monkey free / Why don’t you do it / Do you love your monkey or do you love me? Yeah like I said, that one’s open for replacement. If anyone has any better ones, let me know . The rules are that it must have the w ord “monkey” in the title, and “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees” doesn’t count. Sorry, but I just don’t love “Brass Monkey” the w ay you people seem to. Umm, w here w as I? Oh, yeah – Anya Marina. Well, the album’s cool, and she’s cool, and I dig the fact that she got a job w here she can provide radio exposure to deserving artists. Whoa – déjà vu.

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Mitsu Taiko
Wednesday, July 13, 2005, 13:33

UPDATE: Som e sharp readers have uncovered m ore inform ation on this topic. See the com m ents section for details! So, I'm desparately trying to find out w ho the all-female taiko group is that's featured in the new Mitsubishi Eclipse TV commercial. And so far, I've come up w ith exactly jack squat. For those of you not up on your traditional Japanese music history, taiko is a type of large w ooden drum made in Japan -- although the w ord also refers to a musical group consisting of multiple such drums played simultaneously. An all-female taiko group is notable, since taiko has historically been an all-male art form, in an already male-dominated society. So the emergence in recent years of part-female or all-female taiko groups is pretty special. I play several utterly fantastic Japanese artists on Estrogenius, and I think it might be interesting to play a taiko track; at the very least, I'd like to look into it. The only problem is, I have no idea w ho the group in the Mitsubishi commercial actually is (see screen capture below ). The reason I think it's an actual group, as opposed to musicians w ho w ere "cast" for the commercial, is that taiko isn't something that a bunch of strangers can pick up after a few hours of rehearsal. I doubt that the director w ould be able to "cheat" a good performance, even given the quick cuts of the commercial format.

The mysterious Mitsu Taiko I w as not able to find any background information at Mitsubishi's site (although you can at least view

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the commercial by clicking on that link); and the ad agency's (BBDO) site doesn't even list Mitsubishi as a client! (They just became one in March, and from w hat I can gather, the Eclipse campaign is BBDO's first for Mitsubishi.) There are a few all-female taiko groups in various parts of the w orld, including Okafu Taiko; but none of them mention appearing in a major advertising campaign on their w ebsites. Thus, I guess that the identity of this particular taiko group -- if it even is a group -- w ill remain a mystery for the time being. And, for now at least, the playlist w ill remain taiko-free. But I still love the idea of a bunch of w omen pounding on drums -- especially in a formerly males-only art form.

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Tag-Team !
Friday, July 1, 2005, 13:09

Let's do the important stuff first: Go to the Pick of the Mom ent page at estrogenius dot net, and read about Ana Lovelis and Tippi, the tw o fantastic artists w ho are currently featured. Yes, that's right: For the first time ever it's a TAG TEAM Pick of the Moment! Speaking of tag teams (dynamite segue, that broadcasting school is really paying off!), this past Wednesday I w as lucky enough to be at the Mayan Theater in dow ntow n Los Angeles to w itness Lucha VaVoom's Greatest Hits! Lucha VaVoom is the entertainment phenomenon that features Mexican masked w restling AND burlesque dancers; and for those of you w ho didn't know , the show is co-produced by my sister Rita. They w eren't kidding about "Greatest Hits", either. The show featured w restlers Los Gallineros (my second-favorites), Cassandro, Super Porky (w ith his very ow n Mini-Me, Que Monito), Elvis, and crow d favorite Tsuki. Although this w as my third Lucha VaVoom, I'd never seen Super Porky before, because he w as alw ays scheduled on differnt nights. He definitely is super. And porky. But even more remarkable is Que Monito, w ho is a tw o-foot-tall guy dressed in a purple gorilla suit. Good times. But I so w ish I could give you a picture of the guy. Most importantly, Greatest Hits marked the latest appearance of my all-time favorite luchadores (or should I say luchadoras), the incomparable Poubelle Tw ins. This time, Bibi and Fifi got in the middle of a scrap betw een drunk ringside fans and security staff -- w hich could only be stopped by the tw ins' trademark high leaps off the turnbuckle and onto the offenders.

The Poubelle Twins Considering their humble beginnings as "The French Maids" w ho cleaned-up after the Velvet Ham m er girls, w ith no previous w restling experience (that I'm aw are of), it's incredible how skillful and entertaining these sisters have become. There w ere quite a few celebrities at the show , but none impressed Mrs Arhythmius more than Jamie from MTV's Real World San Diego. No, Jamie is not technically a "celebrity", but she is an ispiration to Mrs Arhythmius as a beautiful Asian w oman on prime-time TV. One of the very few , I am ashamed to say. Jamie w as nice enough to give Mrs Arhythmius an autograph, so I thought I'd return the favor by putting her image out there. Thanks, Jamie!

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Jamie Chung, MTV's The Real World - San Diego

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Asylum Seekers
Monday, June 27, 2005, 16:50

Here’s a cool project I came across a w hile back, and then inexplicably forgot to w rite about. (After all of my complaints on the subject, it turns out that I’M the reason good bands don’t get the success they deserve! Go figure...)

The band is Sm ith Island, and they’ve gone and created a rock opera. Yes, a ROCK OPERA. Once a curious relic of the “Yes, there’s such a thing as too creative” 1970’s, the concept of rock opera w as once again thrust into the public consciousness by the success and acclaim of Green Day’s American Idiot. So much so, in fact, that you probably never w ant to hear another rock opera ever again. Normally, I’d be w ith you on that – hell, I never w anted to hear one before -- but w e w ill all have to make an exception for Smith Island. The story of this rock opera is the now -classic tale of a young w oman w hose dreams of Hollyw ood are shattered by the reality of drug use and casting-couch abuse, w hich quite literally drives her insane. “Smith Island” is the fantasy asylum in w hich the heroine, Zelda Zardoz, takes shelter. By the end of it all, Zelda’s adventures make Jenny from Forrest Gump look like Marie Osmond. A couple of things, really quick: I live in Hollyw ood, and w hile it is now inhabited almost entirely by elderly Ukranians, in the 70’s you couldn’t sw ing a cat w ithout hitting a Zelda Zardoz-type (don’t try to start doing the math; this w as the late 70’s, and I w as very young). So the material is thematically true to the period. In fact, Smith Island gets major points for the direct reference to Zardoz, one of those completely messed-up 70’s movies that my dad insisted on taking me to. A Boy and His Dog, The Magic Christian, Putney Swope -- for some reason, he loved that w eird shit. It w as like a freaking miracle w henever my dad actually took me to a normal, major-studio release in the 70’s. Maybe it w asn’t him maybe the movies just sucked overall. Er back to Smith Island. Sorry about that.

A I said, the material is thematically true to the period. But more importantly, it’s pretty damn true to the period aurally as w ell. Smith Island sounds like a cross betw een Blondie and Iron Maiden, or any of the countless rock bands that Spinal Tap w as sending-up. But Smith Island isn’t necessarily a spoof project – or if it is, then it’s a very loving one, as This Is Spinal Tap w as. There may be only five tracks, but the

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quality is too high – from Gabrielle Stubbert’s vocals to the spot-on arrangements – for this to be a throw aw ay project. Would you like to find out for yourself? Well, here’s the best part: You can dow nload the tracks in their entirety from Smith Island’s w ebsite! But I linked to the CDBaby page above, because that’s w here you w ill BUY the album once you’ve decided you like it. Right? Or you can listen to ESTROGENIUS, w here I've added the Smith Island tracks "Asylum" and "Starfucking Your Way to Now here" to the playlist.

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