By Bruce Edwin
subliminal ∴ subversive ≅ subnormal
What have you done for us lately? Even though you selfish, greedy, one way road Hollywood like punks don’t deserve our love and kindness, we are giving it to you here with our talent, love, intelligence, and otherwise cool stuff…
"join the cult."
subnormal magazine 2012
coming soon to a screen near you
Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with the super hot dance DJ stars Nervo right here in the next issue of subnormal, at The Hollywood Sentinel.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve 2012 in Los Angeles is about as exciting as one can get. Imagine the most famous city in the world- Hollywood, California- which is already pretty wild- magnified by the energy of the world and all the hundreds of thousands of people descending out on the streets for one massive night of partying. Top that with the magical, mystical year when some believe the world will end, or others believe we will go through a spiritual shift...even if you don't believe either of those- its 2012. The year just sounds good! And so with the massive energy of one of the most exciting New Year's Eves I have experienced- I had to decide at the last minute- well- a day before, should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay home like a hermit and hide, maybe watch New York's Mayor drool over Lady GaGa stealing Dick Clark's photo opportunity, or, should I go out, and join the masses, trendily blending in with the swaths of humanity littering tinsel towns' neon soaked streets? I opted for GaGa. But then, I reconsidered. "I'll feel like a loser if I stay in on New Year's Eve," I thought- particularly since my girlfriends out of town and not here to keep me warm. Not that I needed kept that warm- it felt like eighty degrees out earlier in the day and despite the scammy prices of Con Ed, I had the central air on.
So I thought some more, and then some more. And then I did what any modern day party people do. I Googled. I found out that the subway was actually running all night on New Year's Eve- you know, like in a real city (they usually stop at ungodly early hours as if life does not exist outside of the nine to five crowd), and it was actually free until 2am. One point for going out- no drunk driver fiasco's. Next check- the hottest club in town- Bar Sinister at Boardner's was having a party and a band was playing. A great band. Two points for going out. E-mail band. Band e-mails back. Guest List. Wow. The excitement was on!
I decide to leave early, and get to Hollywood before people get too drunk. At around 8pm on the train- nearly 'everyone' on the car is drunk. A trio of lunatics harass me. "Hey you! Business man! Hey you, in the suit! Hey you in the pin stripes! Hey, I don't see any other man in a pin striped suit on this train, do you?! Hey! I'm talking to you!" I developed a firm policy in Chicago that if someone starts talking with me- a stranger- and I do not want to communicate, I keep my mouth shut. Especially when I'm on the cell phone, which I was at this particular moment on the train above ground. I go to another car. More drunks. On the next train, a different class of people- all mostly drunk. One semi decent dressed man walks on the car. He then promptly plops his rear down on the dirty train floor and wiggles around getting the attention of some well dressed drunks engaging in his psychotic behavior of doing witchy martial arts hand gestures at one drunk guy. Finally the well dressed drunks have had enough and one of the drunk men slurs at the loser- "Just chill man, chill, stand up!" What was more remarkable than a drunk man being lucid enough to spot a psychotic was the psycho's response- he actually chilled...until he started howling like an ape at which time before I predicted this and walked away near some more drunk people without detectable psychos present. Maybe a cab will be in order for next year.
I rush past the drunk revelers and hit the streets. Madness. Thousands of young- many hot people walking, stumbling, meandering about like fashion victimized zombies in party dresses- like lambs being led to the slaughter by fate at the alter of gluttony, sloth and greed- alcohol, drugs, cheap sex, and excess. It’s Party time!
Two young police men that look like Abercrombie and Fitch models roll slowly by in a dark, un-marked car with their windows down, down Hollywood Boulevard. Girls –some skinny and some fat- in tight, short skirts barely covering their rears exuding pricey perfumes and cheap rancid perfumes hang on to arms of semi muscly young men in their finest Ed Hardy, Gucci, and K-mart, reeking of more expensive cologne and yet more cheap, rancid rip off’s of cheap Old Spice. The sidewalks smell like a high school cafeteria- greasy wafts of smoky fast food, and hormones clashing beneath neon.
It’s Hollywood baby. I decide to dash into the Kodak, where the Academy Awards are held for a fast pit stop- why slip on club slime before I need to? Entry is blocked at the path I intend to go with red ropes and a doorman. I nod and give him an all star greeting. Like magic he lets me in and suddenly I'm on an elevator packed with sound gear and a half a dozen brotha's. "Hey man! I'm your DJ!" "Cool thanks buddy!” I say. "Hey how do we get to the fifth floor?" He asks me, "It won't go up there." I give him some advice, and then I'm off, past some more red carpet and red ropes as a ton of people eye me with envy or anger as they are waiting to get in to wherever I just came out of. I rush past more party people in wait near flashbulbs for some somebody’s or some wanna’ be’s and hit the men's room.
An African-American man is having a conversation with a stranger. "Hey man! Its New Year's Eve! Its 2012 baby! This is it man! this is the year! This is the night for everyone to be out! Hell, I don't care who you are," he says, "everyone who is any one is out tonight! I mean anyone! I'm sayin' no one has to work tomorrow! No one! Not on New Year's Day! Everyone can be out tonight! You could see anyone! You could see Paris Hilton!" I flush, rinse my hands and wonder where on Earth this guy came from. I don't even think he's drunk yet. I rush down the wide steps of the Kodak which makes a person descending them kind of stride super wide steps, and catch a glimpse of some Transformers and superheroes in plastic gear. I see some end of the world'ers waving signs telling others and myself my soul is doomed and at that I flash them my best Motley Crue wave which emits some wails that blend in to the traffic and thousands of party goers ready to go- somewhere.
Bar Sinister at Boardner's in Hollywood, California, New Years Eve Party 2012, Starring Gram Rabbit
I arrive- early. Club workers rush about. They move ladders and check lights. They test sound. They carry buckets of ice. They glitterize the floor. It’s quite quiet, dark, and still as if twas' the night before Christmas and parents were scurrying about making everything perfect for the kiddies before the excitement begins. Though serene, a chaotic energy of cheer and that feeling that 'anything can happen' charges the air before the doors are even open. The fog machine spits some streams of fog as a dark clad tattoo’d lad climbs up on stage and disappears beyond the trusses amidst colored gells with cabinets and sub woofers lined below. The stage is set. Finally a doorman that looks like he wants to kill tells me to move. I go next door and the vibe is weak in the restaurant area. I grab a table prepared to order some food and after twenty minutes, realize a waitress may never arrive, then she does, to set my table with hats and plastic 2012 ware but not asking me for an order nor even greeting me until another ten or fifteen minutes later but then still not asking for an order, so I count it as a sign to pass on ordering food. Blondie comes on. The music gets better.
Dick Clark ball drop is on a TV between bad commercials although I don't see Dick. Not even Gaga, but some retro years. Oh yeah, it's 1am in New York by now- oh well! Next song- Motorhead- Ace of Spades! Rock! I enter back in to the club. After a few minutes, a few souls trickle in. First, two chubby goth girls in part candy-striper outfits sit down with Emily style accessories on crack. Day glo twister sticks. They periodically stare and giggle at me. I ignore them. A woman over six foot with her platforms sashays in with her male chaperon, trying way too hard shaking her hips and giving an "I am better than you" ceiling gaze... Oh my goth!
An evidently gloved bar hand sneaks behind me and plops some dry ice into the fountain's cauldron behind me, gurgling smoke near a gargoyle's belly. I gaze through gauzy red silk curtains revealing dancers’ beginning to line the dance floor as a hot DJ starts to belt out dark industrial dirges. A hundred or more bodies pour in, each as interesting and sculptive as the first- most all unified by their uniqueness, and a common love for the music of the macabre and dangerous, soulful rock and roll. The dance floor transforms into a life of its own with rising peaks of energy at each hour. As the clock strikes eleven, the volume pumps more loudly, speaker air blasts passers’ by with rock wind that only the true die hard's can closely know. A go- go-dancer emerges from beyond another gargoyle and ascends a dance block. In platform heels, a mini, and half shirt, her tummy gyrates to the pulse of the beats as revelers dance and others look on un-bored. Depache Mode hits the airwaves and I stand up to get in the groove. The songs progress into sonic fury until- the DJ lapses in to a track by the BeeGee's which some punk looking kids continue dancing to while a few purists stay away in disco disgust. I sit back down.
Another DJ takes her place- resuming the heavy industrial, gothic punk beats and again the pace gets faster and faster as the energy of the crowd gets higher. Then- another out of place, yet cool track- Michael Jackson. More leave the floor and enter the outside patio area which- due to stupid city laws that required to patio get covered by a canopy for their performance permit to play bands- and out here mostly darkly clad people congregate around a statue of more gurgling smoky water. Rock resumes and people start to wonder- when is the band playing? No one knows. A vampy looking guy offers me a smoke and I tell him I don’t. He starts telling me of all the famous people he’s made videos for and I ask him if he has a card. “We can’t escape networking even on New Year’s Eve, can we?” I ask him. “No,” he smiles, and walks off enjoying the party.
Finally, minutes before midnight, a young woman takes the stage and rushes to the mic. "Where's the band?! Hurry! Tell them to get out here! It's almost midnight!" The crowd looks at the video screen overhead which shows video stills of former party revelers at the club- beautiful, interesting looking club kids, which also shows on the screen a digital clock. It reads "11:57pm." 2011. The crowd huddles around the stage with excitement and gets restless.
A minute later, the band emerges and promptly picks up their guitars and grab the mic. 11:59. “Happy New Year everybody!” The host shouts, “It’s Gram Rabbit people! Happy New Year!” Midnight! And at that split second amps roar, drums explode, and the vocalist screams, "Happy New Year Hollywood!" Confetti bombs explode, champagne toasts fill the air, strangers smile at each other, and the party- though already incredible, has just begun as the searing riffs of ‘Hells Bells’ by AC/DC is beautifully done with Jesika on vocals ringing in the new year. For the next hour, one of the hottest, best new bands on the planet, Gram Rabbit tears through song after song with masterful precision and reckless abandon in the spirit of all things wild, untamed, and free- pure unadulterated rock and roll.
‘Candy Flip’ (Miracles and Metaphors, aka Ears) is next, with the sexy disco ball and bubble gun girl from their video joining Jesika and the band on stage for the debauchery. 'Shiny' is next, and then a great cover of 'Peek a Boo' by Siouxsie and the Banshees,' followed by 'Off with Head,' and 'Cowboy Combo.' 'Waiting' is next, followed by 'Falling,' 'Slo Poke,' and then 'Hyena.' The crowd goes wild when they next unleash a brilliant cover of 'Beautiful People' by Marilyn Manson, and then lead in to 'Kill and Man,' and later 'Horses,' proceeded by 'Bunnies.' By the first song, I am in utter awe of the greatness of this band, and so very, very happy I had the good sense and good fortune to see them. Finally, as if things were not amazing enough already, the crowd glued near the stage is treated to a massively wicked, powerful cover of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' for the final song. Jesika ends up falling down, rolling on the stage in ecstasy, singing in wild, passion filled power, as she ends blowing a NYE play looking plastic party horn that sounds like a wailing kazoo emulating her fade outs. An amazing band for an incredible show. The crowd is overdosed on sheer rock brilliance and power. Then, people trickle back into the main room- the fury of the dance floor has just begun and rocks on for two more hours. I drift out of the venue and a model looking girl smiles, kindly thanks me for attending and wishes me happy new year. What a night, and an incredible start of an amazing new year.
Don’t miss the next issue of subnormal here in The Hollywood Sentinel with our exclusive interview with Gram Rabbit.
Cool Sites to Check Out:
1, www.pandora.com punk’s not dead!
2, www.grooveshark.com rock till you drop!
3, www.khanacademy.org get educated kids!
4, www.missingkids.com save the kids and stop the scum!
5, www.CCHR.org Front group for the truth!
6, www.starpowermanagementllc.com Haters anonymous, get a life!
7, TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" 2012 live online Saturday, January 21st www.livestream.com
8, www.gramrabbit.com (featured above)
9, www.susanjusticemusic.com (featured below)
10, www.moiracue.com Singer, Writer, Painter, Artist
Young, black, pretty, and talented, folk and pop singer Susan Justice recently signed to Capitol Records with a strong new record, “Eat Dirt.’ Wise beyond her years, Susan writes, sings, and performs from the heart, with a passion for freedom and following ones bliss. We had the pleasure to see her perform this month in Hollywood and meet her. The following is a track by track review of her current CD.
Susan Justice, Eat Dirt
Born Bob Dylan, a brilliant pop song with an unforgettable melody and lyrics;
I wish I was born Bob Dylan, had all the words to speak my feelings
I wish I stood up like Rosa Parks and followed my heart and followed the truth
Even If stood alone
The title song, ‘Eat Dirt’, a beautiful anthem of freedom and breaking free from oppression and abuse that stirs the soul with the endless energy of hope;
“I found a book about mystical things, Momma said it’s against our religion, so late at night I read it anyways and that was the last time I asked for permission, and I have to admit I don’t regret telling her lies cos’ it opened my eyes.. so I figured out it pays to cross the line…because this world belongs to the brave…”
The danceable Forbidden Fruits is the third track here and is yet another great song that brings to the forefront the expert producing on this track and the entire album, which is a super clean mix throughout this release (by producer Toby Gad who is known for his work with Beyonce, Fergie, and Alicia Keys among more) reminiscent of some later production mixes for Madonna. The mixing here subtly electrifies the acoustic guitar here layered with minimal delay, and punchy beats.
Paper Planes brings in track four, with a cute, light, innocent pop song with Susan’s overall folk and country roots.
I wonder, track five is a pretty ballad with a slow and sweet intro, breaking into a powerful chorus defining the strong range of Susan Justice’s voice.
My Sweater, track six, shows more of the layers of richness of Susan’s voice on this soft, jazzy love song.
Just Imagine, track seven, has a unique percussion opening, and displays the wide vocal range Susan possesses as she hits higher notes here than on any earlier track.
Track eight, ‘Don’t be A Stranger’ is a cool song that brings in heavy, jazzy piano and later- heavy multiple backing choir like vocals, reminiscent of late Fionna Apple with higher tones.
Track nine, ‘Hello Goodbye’ is a sweet simple pop song with influences of early Beatles in terms of guitar and melody.
Track ten, ‘You Were Meant to Sing,’ is a solid pop track bringing in Susan’s role as poet, with fewer syllables per bar as she breaks out some workable, minimal rapping.
Track eleven, ‘Country,’ is a very memorable folk ballad reminiscent of one of her influences- Bob Dylan, with Americana elements including accordion, and a homestead style anthemic melody that works well, along with breathy staccato vocal work rounding out this cuts end.
Track twelve, ‘Alive,’ instantly resonates with the first few chords and words, and proves why I state that Susan Justice has major potential as an artist. The song, a brief yet powerful discussion on immortality, is about following your dreams here and now, and seizing the day. It’s a song that sounds as if we have always heard it, an anthem for life, bringing in Susan’s solid songwriting along with co-writing by Toby Gad, strong voice, and solid musicianship including backing strings on violin, with a ‘Magical Mystery Tour; era Beatlesesque ending.
‘what would you if someone told you you were going to die, out of the blue, but you knew it was true, what would you do that day…would it give you the courage to do everything you were afraid to try, would it set you free to say all the thoughts you’ve been holding inside, hey, but you’re still alive! …why would you wait until it’s too late, someday were all gonna; die, just follow your heart, say what’s on your mind, and do what you like…’
Track thirteen, ‘Beachbum,’ is the sweet, sexy closing cut with dancy rhythms, augmenting hints of sensuality with folk pop.
Don’t miss our exclusive interview with Susan Justice right here in the next issue of subnormal here in The Hollywood Sentinel.
anti-copywright, subnormal, 2012. This page only may be reproduced in full with no omissions, additions, or changes if link is provided back to this site.