Friday, February 22, 2008

End o' week musings

Ahhhh, Friday, the sound of the word makes me get all tingly. Guess I'm just looking forward to the weekend and for good reason... but that's later...

Last Saturday I went to the Scottish Festival at the Queen Mary and had a great time. I watched and listened to some of the bagpipe competitions and cheered for my favorite drum majors. I also caught some of the bands inside the ship- they were pretty good. In the park, I enjoyed the sheep herding-- boy! do those dogs ever love what they do! And I watched the highland games for quite a while. ...

This leads me to my big question- how can a culture that invented one of the most graceful sports ever - golf - have some really stupid competitions? OK, maybe stupid is a harsh word, but I just didn't understand the guys trying to throw a huge weight backwards over a bar behind their heads. It looks like something a bunch of drunk guys would make up on a dare. And it certainly doesn't look safe. I wouldn't want to get whomped on the head if my throw was bad! If you do this sport, please don't be offended, instead explain it to me...

Before leaving, I bought a book on fairies for my mother for her birthday. She has been asking for one, as the illustrations are adorable. And then, I purchased a dagger with a fork and knife in its hilt for myself. Cool beans as they say!

Saturday night my brother, Jason, and I headed out to House of Blues, Anaheim to see the HorrorPops. The all-girl band Rocket opened and they were very good. Perky, cute, fun lyrics and, best of all, they can play their instruments.

Pink Spiders followed. My brother didn't care for them, but I liked their punky pop grooves and attitude. I have one of their CDs and it's been neglected on my shelf for a while, but now I definitely need to give it a few more listens.

I love the HorrorPops. Patricia Day makes me proud to be a grrrl. She's strong, smart, sassy and can play and sing with finesse. Her bandmates are pretty good too... actually, they're quite good, as are her dancers but my focus was on Patricia. The band offered up lots of good stuff from their new release, "Kiss Kiss Kill Kill," plus plenty of past - and still - fan favorites.

The HorrorPops' music is gently evolving from straight-on punk pop rockabilly to include touches from across the board- surf, metal, new wave and even disco. And it works. Each tune is a vinette with a tale- some funny, some sad, but all intriguing. The best part is that you can also dance to their music and that always scores well with me.

On Wednesday I interviewed Peter Kiesewalter of the East Village Opera Company. The group mixes opera and rock. Yes, it sounds weird, but it's actually really cool. You can check them out live because they're currently on tour. And, you know what, your mom would probably dig them too.

Wednesday evening I trekked out to Rio Hondo College in Whittier to see Gilli Moon. I'll be honest and serious for a moment here -- I almost didn't go to the show. Rio Hondo's campus is undergoing construction and the parking was a mess. I don't mind a bit of a walk, but the only parking left was in a dimly lit parking lot and I had to walk down a dark road (the lights were out) with no sidewalks and lots of speedy students driving by. The road is between two slopes lush with bushes and trees- the perfect hidey-spot for a bad guy (you know what I mean). It was scary because there wasn't any security out there either. Someone needs to fix this situation before something happens to a student or visitor.

Back to Gilli. Gilli Moon is a star in the indie music sky. She started Songsalive!, an organization for songwriters and composers (you can see their postings here often) and she owns Warrior Girl, a record label and publishing company. She's a musician, a songwriter, an author, a lecturer, an entrepeneur, a painter and more. Heck, if you look up DIY in the dictionary, you might see her photo!

Gilli's show was wonderful and too short. That means it was really good because you always want to leave your audience wanting more. She sang tunes from several of her albums, including one she hasn't released yet. All were presented with her no-holds-barred, all-out-emotion way, which is what I find so endearing. Moon is not afraid to let herself go during her performances, which in turn, brings the audience even closer into her world. To describe her sound can be hard, as it's pop, yet reaches across the genres for an eclectic mix. Just check her out at

Tomorrow I will be going to the Bellydance Superstars show at Caltech in Pasadena. I'm excited to see these talented women with their awesome costumes and cool choreography. Perhaps I'll get some ideas too.

On Sunday, you can meet me and see part of what I do (unfortunately no swords allowed):

Sunday Shimmy Showcase

7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24


Coffee Haven

1708 E. Broadway

Long Beach

Photos we got 'em: Enjoy these pics of the HorrorPops shot by my brother Jason Mills at the House of Blues, Anaheim, as well as one he took of Joe Walla during his NAMM showcase party.

In rotation this week: Orange Sky, Arjen Luccassen, HorrorPops, Faster Pussycat, Beautiful Creatures, "EuroGrooves," Jose Feliciano, Joe Walla and East Village Opera Company.

Thought of the week: Make each day sunny. It's back to the rain here, so today I decided to fight the ongoing gloom in my office by wearing a bright orange shirt and rainbow tights with a slinky black skirt. I gothed out my makeup a bit with orange and black eye shadow and donned my coffin nail choker. I may sound sorta mixed, but I did notice a few of my co-workers' grins when they saw me. And dressing fun made me feel better. If you can't do this, put on your favorite undies, it works almost as well.

Keep on rockin'

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