DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Attack Cat: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mission Accomplished

                                                                            Jeff Danziger

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sunset Junction, 08/28/05 - Pt. II

For the week or so before this past weekend, the weather here in Los Angeles was pretty mild. The blazing heat died down for a little while and took mercy on the baked souls of this city. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who was looking forward to spending 2005's Sunset Junction on a warm Southern California weekend. This, of course, was not to be.

It decided to get hot and it was an angry kinda hot. People from other parts, like to say we have it easy because it's a dry heat and usually that's true. This weekend was hot and dry... hot and dry like the inside of a kiln. It was also nice and clear, so there was no relief from the sun.

Luckily, Sunset Junction doesn't start at sunrise and end at sundown. As the sun starts to drop on the western end of the Junction, blinding the audience for the Eagles of Death Metal, the heat begins to dissipate. Granted, even after the last band left the stage, it hadn't dropped past the high-70s, but by contrast the darkness and slight breeze was a relief.

The other effect of the night is that it changes the complexion of the city, especially the mile's worth of Sunset Blvd. blocked off for the street fair. Where there were once unattractive metal-framed booths, now there was a brightly colored stream of light moving up and down the street. The somewhat sinister looking carnie rides trailered in look a lot more inviting at night with their lighting effects in full gear.

There's something undeniable attractive about a well-lit building or sign. Think how much a daytime concert is different from a nighttime show with lots of lights flashing, tracking, strobing and pulsating. The best example: What's the point of daytime fireworks?

So, a lot of what follows here are what I was able to capture with my woefully obsolete digital camera. Anything that looks like it's supposed to be artsy is probably more on the fartsy side of Sears. That goes especially for the concert shots. The colorful shots of food, those I was really trying to do.


I don't think I captured it exactly as I hoped to, but you get the idea. At night, even these banal looking plastic containers come to life.

Fruits of the Night

If you learn one thing from reading through all of this crap, let it be this: There are few things more refreshing than a cold limeade, ladled from one of these big glass jugs, on a hot summer day or night. It's better than lemonade. It's better than soda. It's better than beer... yes, even better than beer, and since I'd already finished off a few liters of water, a couple of limeades were a sweet, tart, green treat.

Speaking of sweet tarts, next, we have the Suicide Girls...

Suicide Hula-Hoop

I've only ever seen pictures and a couple small Quicktime movies of the Suicide Girls. Of course, I was an instant fan. After their short performance on Sunday, I may have to become a member.

The girl above, her trick was the hula-hoop. She managed to get out of most of her clothes, all the while working her hoop. Now, for those unfamiliar with the SGs, they do a burlesque show, not a strip show. Sure, they take off most of their clothes, but it's about the tease and about the routine and they have both down pretty darn well.

Suicide Girls of Death Metal

After the girls did several one and two girl numbers, the Eagles of Death Metal took the stage again and backed up an all Suicide Girl finale. It was like the finale of Live Aid, but mostly with girls in lingerie.

Panty Aid

So, by the time the SGs took the stage, I was pretty close, maybe about 15 feet from the stage and getting ready for the New York Dolls. This is where the assholiness peaked. Maybe I'm getting older, but I don’t think crowds were this shitty back when I was a kid.

I got up to about 2 or 3 people deep from the stage. I'm not stupid, I know it's going to get tight and people are going to get jostled, but there's the enthusiastic surge and then there're the fuck heads who wait until a band starts and then decide to push through the crowd violently to get up to the front. I don't care, I can take my licks, but inevitably I see some little girl who's getting her ass kicked by some asshole who doesn't care about the music, but instead is drawn to the stage, like a very stupid moth to a flame.

Though it wasn't just the Dolls who drew out the fuck nuggets. While still a ways back from the stage during the Eagles of Death Metal, this dipshit showed up. (I'm talking about the dumb chick in green, not the dude in the Speedo.) Luckily a friend of this idiot shot a picture of her, so I can share it with you all. Well, out of nowhere, she blasts into a loosely packed portion of the crowd and starts a spastic kind of mosh. Thing is, for most of it, she's the only one moshing, and instead of just exuberant dance inspired by the rock & roll music, she spent most of her time hitting, pushing and pulling at the crowd around the edge of her sad little pit.

Now I was in my share of mosh pits before graduating high school and it seemed like there was some order to the anarchy then. If you're in the pit, you're in the pit. If you're not, you're not. Sure, every so often inertia would carry the occasional punky into the crowd and he or she would be helped back into the pit. The one thing you didn't do was aggressively attack people outside of the pit. I guess once the mosh pit spent some time in the suburbs (and I include myself in that class of part-time suburban punks) it became all about the violence and less about the fun. It's kind of like a Chinese whisper, the structure's still there, but the content's all fucking wrong. So, for being the supreme example of this kind of stupidity, this girl gets my "Dumb Ass of Sunset Junction Award."

I stayed up front for several songs, managing to hold on to a couple LA Weekly posters and my newly purchased hat, at the same time staying on my feet and shooting pictures. All of the snazzy looking swirly lights in these pictures are mostly thanks to me getting knocked around by a crowd being rocked by the Dolls.

The New York Dolls brought to you by McDonalds

I believe all that remains of the pre-1977 Dolls are Johansen and Sylvain. This is one of the only pictures where anyone's recognizable.

Bumped to the Right

Nice Light Show

I must have almost gone down for the count as I was shooting this. Tres squiggly.

After moving to the back of the crowd, I managed to enjoy a little more of the Dolls set without the bump and grind.

To finish off the evening, I walked to the opposite end of the fair to enjoy the end of Chaka Khan's set. It was a slightly smaller crowd and certainly more mellow. Not to say that they weren't enthusiastic. I shouldn't be surprised that just because I don't know the words that other people wouldn't. It was a nice way to end the day. After Chaka left the stage, I took my tired dogs out of there and hit the road back to the real east side.

Sunset Junction, 08/28/05

This is me admitting that I'm a total Johnny-come-lately to Sunset Junction. I think I became aware of it after the fact the first few years I knew of it, then for some reason or another, scheduling conflicts kept me away. Thus, last year was my first Sunset Junction. It was pretty great, in that I got to see The Sweet & Tender Hooligans, Camper Van Beethoven and, best of all, X, but it really shouldn't have been my first.

This year's was enjoyable enough. Mostly the same food and tchotchke vendors and the band line up wasn't quite as stellar as last year, though there were certainly were some draws like John Cale, Rilo Kiley, Chaka Khan, The Weirdos, and The New York Dolls. I wasn't able to make it to day one of the Junction, so all of the following is about Sunday and because I took a bunch of pictures, there will be a lot of pictures. Is that clear?

Welcome to Sunset Junction

Eastbound on Sunset Blvd.

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look all that crowded, but trust me there were a lot of people there. My brand new and subsequently partially crushed hat will be testimony enough to that fact.

Ritmo Flamenco

I've started out my Junction experience for the last two years with the Flamenco dancers. Not sure why. Just happens that way.

Ummm... yeah.

There were a lot of dudes who looked like this. Overly pumped up, often shave-headed, and always shirtless. I'm not sure what'll kill them first the side effects of steroid use (not that I'm saying that they use steroids) or the skin cancer.

Until I got home, I hadn't noticed two things about the guy on the right. One, he's not quite as buff as most of the shirtless lads and two, he's got a tattoo of a bone on the small of his back. Now, that's kinda funny.

The Weirdos

Okay, maybe punk's not dead, but he's gettin' old and his cholesterol's kinda high.

It was fun to see The Weirdos today. I haven't had a chance to see them before. I'm sure having seen them in their heyday would be a more interesting story, but it was still cool to see them. I guess I shouldn't be, but I was still surprised at how many kids, who must've been born five or ten years after the bands' first break-up, showed up for this set. It wasn't a pose for most of them either. They really knew the music. It was refreshing to a point. Some of those same kids can be real assholes as they get closer to the stage. More on that when we get to The New York Dolls.

Eagles of Death Metal with guest Jack Black

Before today, I only knew Eagles of Death Metal as a Queens of the Stone Age side project. (Didn't QotSA start out as a side project too?) They were okay. Engaging enough while you're watching them, but they didn't really stick with me too much.

The Guys from Utilikilt

I tried on a couple Utilikilts today. I've been considering getting one since last Sunset Junction. Still considering, mainly because I didn't have the $150 to $230 on me to pick one up today.

* * *

Notable sightings today:

     - Rock star Jane Wiedlin watching The Weirdos
     - Comic actor/former Groundling/former MadTVer Michael McDonald just walking.
     - Kid in the Hall Kevin "no relation to Michael" McDonald also just walking.
     - Actor Geoffrey Rush watching Chaka Khan.
     - Blogger Tony Pierce with lady friend Karisa.

* * *

More tomorrow, including Suicide Girls and The New York Dolls. I think you'll tune in.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Starved on FX

Is anyone else watching Starved on FX?

I really like this show. Though maybe my enthusiasm for it has more to say about me than it does about the show. It's funny and fucked up and dark and funny and twisted and funny and mostly it's fucked up... and funny... in a dark way.

It focuses on four people in an eating disorder group. It's not your usual touchy-feely kinda twelve-step. Instead of welcoming each participant after they introduce themselves and describe their disorder, the group responds with, "It's not okay!" Then the leader of the group goes on to berate each individual for their specific issue, like the cop who pulls over food delivery men and then extorts food from them so that they can avoid a citation. He then binges and pukes, which gets him in trouble on the job.


The show stars and is created/executive produced/directed by Eric Schaeffer, who you may recall from My Life's In Turnaround, If Lucy Fell, Fall and his TV show Too Something. I know that they're not all winners -- I kinda remember being angry after seeing Fall -- but I've always found something appealing about the characters he creates and plays.

Much like his other creations, Schaeffer's character Sam is another extension of the same guy. He's vain, quick-witted, improbably gets super hot women, and always has a really nice apartment.

I can totally understand if people hate him and all his work, but you should really check out this new show. It's one of those shows that the broadcast networks could never do and that cable stations like FX seem to be doing really well.

* * *

On a side note, Darryl Hammond guest stars in an episode and plays one of the creepiest characters I've ever seen. It almost seems like a SNL character, but he never breaks and it never becomes funny. It's so unsettling that you have to see it to understand it. To whet your appetite, he has a unique way of vomiting. That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Upcoming Live Show:
Laura Martin at Highland Grounds, 08/31/05

Come check out Laura Martin playing her album release party, Wednesday, August 31.


Highland Grounds
742 North Highland Ave. - map
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 466-1507

Laura goes on at 8pm and will be followed by Angela Correa @ 9pm and Arrica Rose and the Dirty Sluts @ 10pm.

Laura's a great voice to go with her great original songs, gorgeous eyes, and a cool Star Wars tattoo that she might show you if you ask really nicely. Also, you'll be able to get her new CD at a special price at the show.

You should also hang around for Angela Correa. I've seen her play with Tom Brosseau in the Les Shellys a couple of times and they're worth a listen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

USC Scrimmage, 08/21/05


Coincidentally enough, the final score of Sunday's scrimmage at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was slightly less of a blowout than the Trojans last official game, that being the National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl in January of this year.

The USC Second Team managed to keep the difference to just 34 points (50-16), where the number two ranked (at the time) Oklahoma Sooners lost by a margin of 36 (55-19) in Miami.

I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world. I don't know everyone's name and all of their stats. Heck, I'm not even sure about all the rules, even though I played football in high school. One thing I am is a huge USC Trojans fan, especially football.

I know, you're saying, "Sure it's easy to be a fan of a team with back-to-back National Championships." Thing is, I was a fan when we weren't winning all those games. If I wasn't at the game, I was watching it on TV or if I couldn't get to a TV, I was listening on the radio. I got hooked way back in 1985 when I was an undergrad and went to my first game.

But I'm not here to talk about how cool I am...

...okay, who am I kidding? Isn't that what this blog-o-land is all about?

Mostly, but you will come to know my coolness through my witty and incisive comments about pop culture, current events and, from now through bowl season, USC football.

All of that said, it was both nice and odd to be in the Coliseum this past Sunday. It's always great to hear the best college band in the world, the University of Southern California Spirit of Troy Trojan Marching Band. Odd note #1: The band left part way through the third quarter.

For a scrimmage, there was a pretty big crowd. Estimates put the attendance between 20,000 and 30,000, but for a building that holds around 92,000 for a football game, it seemed kinda empty. Odd note #2: Even though it looked empty the crowd noise was very loud for most of the scrimmage, mainly because there were loud speakers on the field pumping in recorded crowd noise. It's not so much odd that they were doing this, it's common practice to help acclimate players to game conditions, it was just an odd experience as a spectator.

Odd note #3: I got to park right next to the Coliseum for $8.00. I guarantee that's not going to happen again in the next five months.

Of course, all of the above is just prologue to the main event.

photo from

A scrimmage is a weird thing because it doesn't count for anything, but it can be hugely important for the team. Just getting into the game time routine as well as running plays under semi-real world conditions can be invaluable.

For the fans, it's just a great bonus after waiting eight months to see the Trojans back on the Coliseum grass. It was fun and funny to see how the crowd reacted to big plays. Reggie Bush breaks a kick off for a touchdown and the crowd goes wild. Did I mention that as far as the record goes this game is meaningless? Well, obviously stats aren't everything. I was up on my feet cheering too.

Lendale White and Steve Smith also brought the crowd to its feet on several occasions. As Petros pointed out on the SCSR last night, where Bush is the flashy player, who can make big, game-changing plays, White is the guy you give the ball to over and over again and he'll produce every time. As far as Steve Smith goes, my prediction is that he'll make a lot of people forget the name Mike Williams.

We also got a glimpse of Matt Leinart, but we already knew that he was great. The treat was getting to look in to the future of Trojan Football when John David Booty and Mark Sanchez took the field. Booty flung a few nice passes, but Sanchez, playing for the scout team, spent a good part of his day getting beat up by the defensive first team. There are no promises for the future from these guys, but things look like they could be very good.

The bad thing about a scrimmage is that it's not real. It's not a game. If I wasn't a dyed-in-the-wool Trojan, I'd have had a hard time justifying baking out in the midday sun for four hours to watch a not-a-game. It's like seeing a preview for a really cool looking movie in October and then at the end it says, "Coming Next Summer." Luckily, Trojan fans only have to wait until September 3 for the blockbuster to begin.

Fight On!

photo from

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - More Pictures

Here are a few more shots from the Con:

Boba Fett or Jango Fett or Scatman Fett or one of the many Jazzmen/Bounty Hunters with first time Comic-Conner, Lucas.

Star Wars is still fashionable with the costumed set or "cosplayers" as the kids call 'em.

There are super elaborate costumes, like the General Grevious who was wandering the floor, and then there are the SIMple and creative ones, like the SIMs who showed up in San Diego.

Then there are people who aren't really in costume, but still want to participate. I've always enjoyed the freaky contact lenses.

I told Eric I'd pimp GR on the blog and I'm making good on my offer. Eric Nakamura (above) and Martin Wong (not pictured) are the co-creators of the excellent Giant Robot magazine. I will do a whole post about these guys some day, but let me just say that you should read their magazine, shop in their stores and eat in their restaurant and then you'll be cool. GR rules.

...and finally, a parting shot of the dealer room at Comic-Con 2005. This is just a small sliver of this massive room of all things nerdy, geeky and dorky. Truly, it is Mecca and Wal Mart, all in one, for all fanboys and girls. You gotta problem with that?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Comic-Con 2005 - Sunday

Okay, enough with Comic-Con.

Well, maybe this post and then enough with Comic-Con. Gonna try to boil down all of Sunday into one post.

First stop was the panel for the movie of the video game Doom . Actually, the first stop was getting stuck across the street from the convention center on the other side of a train that decided to sit on the tracks for 30 to 40 minutes.

Hey San Diego, how 'bout some pedestrian bridges or tunnels?

The videogame-to-movie path doesn't usually end up well, but I'll probably check this out. Actors on the panel included Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Karl Urban, Eomer from The Lord of the Rings movies. The clip that everyone was excited about was the movie version of the first person shooter experience. They shot a live action version of what one sees when playing the game. At one point the viewers go from observing the characters in the film to seeing through their eyes. It was kinda fun, but I was thinking that it was such a no-brainer and I was surprised that it hadn't been done before.

The panel I was really looking forward to was for The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe . Now, I read maybe two or three of the Chronicles of Narnia books when I was a kid, but that was a long time ago, so I barely remember what went on in those stories. Thing is, I actually kinda like the fact that I'll get to see this movie knowing something about it, but not really remembering it completely.

Even though it's been a long time since reading C.S. Lewis' books, seeing the clips at Comic-Con brought back a lot. I thought, "Hey that stuff looks familiar," and "Cool, Aslan!"

I have to give a tip of the hat to Disney for putting a few bucks behind the presentation in San Diego. With members of the FX crew, including people from WETA and KNB Effects, in person, Disney also set up a satellite feed to London with director Andrew Adamson and the four actors who play the siblings who go into the closet and come out in Narnia. Granted, the feed sucked a little due to an annoying delay, but it was still cool.

A very cool part of the presentation was when the panel took questions, the guys from WETA gave out actual movie props to people, who they deemed, asked great questions. I had heard that they did the same thing on the LOTR panels over the past few years.

After the Narnia panel, I spent the rest of the day wandering the dealers' room. So, to finish Comic-Con, here are a few images and snarky comments:

Our friend, Athena , dressed to kill as Poison Ivy.

Athena also captured this:
Check out this video, to see how a big man in a tutu moves. (If that link does not work go here and click on the "Mr_TuTu_Dances.avi" link.)

This is what the fashionable Comic-Conner is wearing these days.

Redd Fett

Thanks to Funimation for dinner on Saturday night.