July 4th, 2006
|09:36 am - Joan Jett in Marin|
Since Joan Jett never changes, it’s either really easy or really hard to review her show at the Marin County Fair last night. I’m going with easy. She played all the "hits" . She played enough songs of the new album to have made a good faith effort to sell some copies. She wore something tight and black. She growled. She smiled. She sneered. She winked, at times enough to make it seem something was in her eye. She played power chords.
She was the object of lust for the entire audience which I’d have to guess was a lot more queer than the usual county fair. Hell, I saw more people I recognized from SF than at most shows I go to back home. Even people I just know from the cheese counter were there. At one point some folks got on other people’s shoulders to display their homemade bed sheet banner that read (as far as I could tell, I was behind them and off to one side), "Dirty Dirty Queerdos Love Joan Jett" with a sweet portrait of her. I felt Joan could have been more appreciative beyond her smile and nod.*
I went with my brother and his wife. My brother and I spent the previous few hours watching the Minutemen documentary together including all the extras.** I told him about my LJ so hi Jim!
I hadn’t been to the Marin County Fair since 1985 or so and except for the huge Ferris Wheel it was pretty much exactly the same. Except you couldn’t rent paddle boats anymore. That was my favorite part of the fair! I didn’t know how I felt about being in Marin, but I figured I was sure to run into some high school people. Fortunately, the reunion made me realize that I probably wouldn’t recognize them if I did.
We crammed in up front and almost imediately the woman on my left starts eyeing me. "Don’t I know you?" she asks. I think my, "Ugh, did you go to Redwood?" answer wasn’t very friendly but no, she had gone to Novato and was a few years older than me. In fact we didn’t know anyone in common and we tried. She introduced me to her husband who said, "Redwood huh, did you used to go to Lark Creek Inn *** at lunch?"
"No, they’d deliver it straight to our Beamers," I replied.
God I’m glad I don’t live in Marin anymore. In fact the only person I saw from high school was a small scale rock star who’s an awesome drummer in a million garage bands. I know her mostly through others and she was in a group so I didn’t say hello. The Novato woman and I did laugh together when Joan tried to say something specific like, "Wow, Marin knows how to rock!" or "Do You Wanna Touch Me, Marin?".
So I know it came up in this space before that Joan Jett plays USO shows in Irag and Afghanistan. Is she a war supporter? Just there to show the working class kids she’s on their side? Desperate to sell records? I don’t know. I heard there’s some kind of anti-Bush song on the new record, but I haven’t heard it. And that doesn’t really make a controversial statement unless you sing country. At one point she swapped out guitars and her backup one had a Gits sticker, a leather flag, and a Dean for President one. Clearly, I’ve never looked to Joan for consistent political leadership. Cop out? Maybe.
But I do enjoy the irony of seeing someone who was a childhood idol, singing in basically my hometown at the most wholesome event possible, when back in the days (before " I love Rock and Roll") I lived here liking Joan was enough to make someone yell "Devo!" out of a car window at you. Social ostracism comes back around, I just wanted to be there to witness it.
*A quick internet search shows Dolly Parton to have been more receptive, A group of women towards the front waved a bed-sheet sign that read "Dirty Dirty Queerdos Love Dolly" to which she replied, "Well, I love you too."
**One of the best music videos ever made was the one for "This Ain’t No Picnic" (It’s starts about 3:25 in on that link). Found government footage of Ronald Reagan shooting at, then bombing the Minutemen as they try to sing about the interests of the working class. Made for $900!
***If it’s not made clear by the New Yorker cartoon, it’s one of the most expensive restaurants in Marin
Dolly Parton has been on some level vocally supportive of queers and queer rights for years.
I know, but it's still an awesome spur of the moment response. I wish I liked Dolly Parton's music as much as Joan Jett's.
dolly is pretty lovable really. i wish she were my kooky aunt.
"No, they’d deliver it straight to our Beamers," I replied.
that cracked me up.
yeah i was there for that. in fact it was parts of my group holding the sign. dolly actually stopped everything, laughed out loud, and repeated the word "Queerdos" a couple times before proclaiming her love.
Dolly is awesome, there is no doubt. and thanks again for that comment on the deleted post over at PQ. I had skirmished there the day before and didn't have the heart for another battle.
please also be sure to read my newest work, 'tranny responds to biphobia.'
thanks, i'll be here all week.
Okay, this officially makes my day. I love that Dolly, and I can totally imagine her chuckling affectionately over the "queerdos."
Have you heard "Little Sparrow"? It's totally fantastic, classic bluegrass and nothing like the pop-country stuff she put out in the '80s (not that I don't love that too, but).
that sounds great. to be clear, I love certain songs of hers, I even own her box set. I just don't listen to often because, aside from "Jolene" it just doesn't move me. but I love the more olde timey stuff.
Stay AWAY from the thing she released recently of "protest songs" from the '60s though. It's awful.
I wish I liked Dolly Parton's music as much as Joan Jett's.
Is it a sign of how un-punk I now am that I like Dolly's music better than Joan's?
Yes, and Joan's always been a wuss. She didn't come out until it was clear she had no career to lose, and it might make her seem relevant again.
I remember reading an article in the Sunday paper years ago (1987 maybe?) about Joan Jett kicking the opening band off the bill when she found out that they were all-girl band.
Hmm, well, that smells fishy, since that's how she got her start, and I doubt Kathleen Hanna would have collaborated w/her if she were that way. But who knows.
well obviously that was before her quasi-riot grrrl record.
From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
"...But there's another problem to being a woman in rock besides the audiences' preconceptions. There's the matter of other women in rock.
Consider Joan Jett. As a teen-ager, she played in the Runaways, an early '70s group manufactured by pop Svengali Kim Fowley. Leather-clad female rockers were popular for a while back then; besides the Runaways, there was Suzi Quatro, who eliminated her hip quotient by appearing with unforgiving frequency on "Happy Days." The Runaways were a Mann Act violation waiting to happen: more attitude than talent, but clearly the spiritual aunts of all garage-band female rockers hence. Jett was the only one of the group to keep a steady presence after the group broke up, and she is back on the charts with a snarling song called "I Hate Myself for Loving You."
Roxie used to have a guitar signed by Joan Jett. She gave it to Cindy as a birthday present. So Jett must be a hero of sorts.
Cindy and Roxie roll their eyes.
"We were going to open for Joan Jett once," Cindy recalls. "When her management found out who we were, they bumped us. Because Joan doesn't want to share the stage with other women... Women get to the top and don't want competition."
"There's no support," says Karen. "You'd think there would be. But no."
- James Lileks, "Don't Quit Your Day Job -Yet," Pioneer Press, Sept. 18, 1988
I know, the winking! There were two women in front of me who were convinced, at first, that Joan was winking at them (rock salute every single time she looked in our direction- their arms are tired today), and then I think they realized that she was winking at the whole crowd. I wondered if she's developed some sort of tick.
Didn't she play an anti-Bush song?
I love the last paragraph about social ostracism, 'cause I was wondering about that.
And I totally wondered why she wasn't appreciative of her banner! We were behind it off to the left a bit, and I saw the picture but didn't make out the words.
I think she might have. I couldn't really make out a lot of what she said between songs.
|Date:||July 4th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)|| |
god, it sounds like you grew up in the northern californian version of long island (where i grew up -- run away!).
"Do You Wanna Touch Me, Marin?"
this made me laugh out loud.
yeah, it was a total "Hello Cleveland!" moment.
I heard there’s some kind of anti-Bush song on the new record, but I haven’t heard it.
She played it.
well it wasn't like I could understand the lyrics, I could barely make out half the stage(d) banter. I will examine it for ideological purity at a later date.
I couldn't understand the lyrics (something about "riddles"), but I caught the banter. I didn't think the crowd needed to be told "wake up!", but she told us anyway. Also, it ended with a canned soundbite of Bush speaking.
from where I was (in front of the guitarist, about 7 people back) I couldn't even tell that was Bush.
oh man. thanks for the link to the minutemen video. im pretty sure ive seen it before, but not in a long long while... ah yes, 80s punk videos. stock footage, and live footage that is so completely not synched with the music is hysterical...
I love her so freaking much it's unbelievable.
The first time I heard "I Love Rock And Roll" I was in kindergarten riding the bus to Catholic school and some older kids were singing it. I remember feeling super cool on account of riding the bus and listening to rock and roll music.
I think that little story explains a lot about me, actually. ;)
I had a fun time at the fair. She sounded good and looked hot. What more can you ask for? I was however a little surprised she referred to Sweet's AC/DC as her new song (but maybe I misunderstood, as it was a little diff. to hear the banter), and didn't mention that Androgynous was a Replacements song. I was there with friends with little girls, so we had a great time dancing.
you were there too, damn. you weren't even the cheese counter person I was referring to!
a) "Wow, Marin knows how to rock!" - HAHAHAHAHAHA!
b) I'm going to the Marin County Fair today... In about an hour in fact. Yay!
c) I was at that Dolly show, it was pretty fabulous
d) I saw Joan Jett 6 yrs ago at Central Park and she put on a great concert but you can tell it's just not as exciting as it used to be for her
|Date:||July 4th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)|| |
That Dolly story reminds me of this exchange in some interview with Morissey a few years ago:
Interviewer: Did you hear t.A.T.u.'s version of "How Soon Is Now?"
Morissey: Yes, it was magnificent. Absolutely. I don't know much about them.
Interviewer: They are teenage Russian lesbians.
Morissey: Well, aren't we all?
Also, The only caption any New Yorker cartoon ever needs.
That is a pretty incredible exchange...and a true one, seeing as how they weren't really lesbians at all - at least, no more than "we all" are.
That New Yorker cartoon link is awesome!
|Date:||July 4th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)|| |
I totally want Marin to touch me.
|Date:||July 4th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||July 4th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)|| |
Do You Wanna Touch Me, Marin?
That's my new band name!
Wow, Lark Creek. At my too-wealthy high school circa 1982, the rich kids went to Coco's for lunch and astounded me with their $6.95 meals while I ate the $0.75 burrito. That Lark Creek shit is outa control.
Maybe partying will help.
When saw Joanie at UCLA in 1985, and worked the show, the first 30 people in line were all women who looked exactly like a Ramone. It was sort of awe-inspiring.
i choose to believe that joan plays those ISO shows because she has the WORST BOOKING AGENT ON EARTH as evidenced by the venues you and i have seen her at in the last few years and the fact that she doesn't play LA or SF.
but i also think that she is patriotic in the way that many new yorkers are. they believe in America, whether or not they believe in the war.
but that's just my opinion.
hey, I looked at her site the other day, and she must have a new booking agent, 'cause she does have shows booked this month for LA and SF...
those are (unfortunately) part of the warped tour which is a big festival with a bunch of other bands i don't care about in huge venues. i'm sure they would still be fun, but not the same as seeing her headlining at a better venue (dodgers stadium parking lot?!)
I wonder how many times "Do You Want to Touch Me, Marin?" is going to loop through my head before it stops making me chortle (and I have a feeling it's going to be randomly leaping up from the nether regions of my brain for years). It's going to make driving through Beamer-land much more enjoyable. By the way, Lark Creek Inn are shit employers, too. I once represented one of their axed-waitresses who they were trying to deny unemployment. This fucking plutocrat restaurant and they send their manager and assistant manager down to SF for a whole afternoon to try to deny a struggling waitress her unemployment. I can't give specifics, but the details would make them look even worse...and I thoroughly enjoyed making their trip a wasted effort.