Don-O's Dump

Whining since birth, writing about it since last week

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Galaxina 2095
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Don-O
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Don-O's (bigger) Dump!

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October 7th, 2011

One of my favorite radio shows has this habit of playing Asian and Jamaican cover versions of top 40 hits from the 60’s and 70’s from their extensive catalog. Recently, I half asked the deejay if his collection was big enough to have a version of Chris Rea’s 1978 single ‘Fool (If You Think It’s Over)’. I could hear the confusion from his end of the request. Apparently, this particular record wasn’t THAT much of a hit in the first place.

Well, I can’t help it. The original recording is a favorite and it’s one of the few that been playing in my head over and over like a permanently skipped record. Thanks to many years of borderline OCD and walkman (and now MP3) abuse, I have unfortunately imbedded a perminate (sic) hit parade that echoes between my ears with the inner voices as the DJ.

I won’t list them all here, as regurgitating it all will make my nose bleed. Therefore, here’s 17 tunes that are currently demanding my attention while I try to focus, until the next batch comes around and distracts me:

Fool (If You Think It’s Over) by Chris Rea
pretty much any track from the first four Ramones albums
Taco’s For Two by Tommy Hangcock
All Over The World by Electric Light Orchestra
Six Hot Dogs To Go by Randy & Rickie
The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing, a Zappa cover by The Persuasions
At Least I Was Paid by Neil Hamburger
Ain’t No Woman Gonna Make A George Jones Outta Me by Daniel Johnston
It Only Takes A Minute by Tavares
Cheer Down by George Harrison
Semi-Interesting Week by Was (Not Was)
Dance Of The Hours by Spike Jones & Doodles Weaver
Who Needs The Peace Corps? by Frank Zappa
Christmas In New Orleans by James Andrews
Mrs. Leary’s Cow solo cover by Brian Wilson
Number Three by They Might Be Giants
Reminiscing by The Little River Band
Don Knotts by The Bran Flakes
BONUS TRACK: Midnight At The Oasis by Maria Muldaur

August 5th, 2011

ONE of the many project that kept me busy for the past few months was the re-construction of my 2007 book, SPACE AGE ASH TRAY; I took out some old, added new and re-did a lot here and self-published through Lulu.com. Not only did I finally finshed the damned thing, but I slapped together a "press release" and a promo video....and here they are....

SPACE AGE! That umbrella that covered post-WW2 pop culture which gave us elaborate offerings like Martin Denny Records, tiki bars, 8-track tapes, the Las Vegas Strip, disco movies and, most of all, old oddball buildings that looked like they came from Hawaii or outer space (which ever was closest).

SPACE AGE ASH TRAY is a bulk of one fanboy's failure to join in this party. With art, articles, rants and comics, DON FIELDS pays small personal tribute to those days of daring cultural do.

Trailer:

Available as a paperbook ($10) for as a digital download ($5) at Lulu.com


...as for the rest of my books (well, both of them)...

Don-O

August 2nd, 2011

Hell-A 2011! Day 2

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This was my ‘rush day’; the objective was to visit some old haunts and take some pictures for research for my new/old book Space Age Ash Tray and general digital scrapbook uses.

The ‘haunts’ I wanted to visit and update myself with where large parts of Westchester, Playa Del Rey, Venice Beach and my old hometown of Santa Monica. However, when I headed out, I felt I was rushing myself too much and shit canned the original idea of starting off in Westchester and instead, took the Santa Monica Blue Bus no. 8 to my old neighborhood section in S.M.

I had originally planned to stop by Amoeba Records after my little Space Age invasion, but my aunt then bravely offered to take me there on the next day as only she had to take care of her apartments in that area. Thanks to this, I had some additional time today. After an early breakfast of corn beef hash and eggs, courtesy of my aunt’s other housemate, I headed off to the Ocean Park section of S. M. where I grew up in.

It was just after 9:30 am when I arrived in this area and I’m glad to say that this area hadn’t changed much in 25 years, which was good enough for me. For the next 90 minutes, old footprints were traced and updated: the old apartment building where my grandma managed until the late 70’s that had recently painted blue (hey, better pepto bizmo puke pink), a couple of tiki apartments that remained intact (pretty damned rare), the old Frontier Park which was renamed the Joslyn Park and a corner of Main Street where Xanadu was filmed were the more notable highlights.

Fast approaching 11 am and I noticed the Tommy’s Chiliburger on the corner of Pico and Lincoln Blvd. As much I loved the idea to grab a dangerous bit o’ eat there, I didn’t feel like being groggy for the rest of the day, so I passed it up and took the number 3 to Westchester.

For the LA novice, this is the point you might be bored to freakin’ death (if not now), as this suburban area is just a small uncorporated dot JUST above LAX. However, having grown up in the isolated paranoid island called El Segundo and small parts of the South Bay, Westchester and it’s collection of stores and shops was Las Vegas to us younger Segundo residence.

Another round of urban archeology highlights: my old work from the mid-90’s (Westchester Fair antique mall) was now prepped for a future Halloween City property, managed to take some pictures of the inside of the Paradise Building (formally Paradise Theatre, of course) where they had framed pictures of it’s former life and a bowling pin from the former bowling alley that was once a part of the theatre and snuck into the other former movie palace/now office building, The Loyola, which looked like the same hatchet job they did to the Paradise…only with brighter paint.

I made a pit stop at the other haunt, Soundsations Records, for a ‘look-see’ and ended up spending too much time there and left with an Earth Wind & Fire album to fill out my EWF collection.

On to Playa Del Rey….on foot. What path I took and freakin’ WHY?! In the crowded landscape that is LA, Westchester Parkway is a unique little piece of concrete and tar. It’s a street that borders the northern portion of LAX and, well, pretty much the rest of LA itself. The notable part is that it’s a full boulevard size with not buildings on either side, just a sidewalk, street lights, trees and, a fairly recent addition, TSA’s “hidden” cameras. If you’re into Edward Hopper surroundings, this street should be on top of your moody scenery list.

…and that was me, strolling my way down the Parkway to Playa Del Rey and it’s collection of old buildings. Once I arrived, I reached another Zen-like pleatu. When I lived here, I’d go to these “collections” regularly and felt calm and a feeling I entered into another world. WHY? I can hardly describe that either. An artist named Clive Perry once claimed in his photo book of mid-century apartments and it’s ‘dingbats’ that he searched out areas like this and felt an exaltation and returns often to check up with “these old friends of mine”. Leave it to the Brits to articulate about our culture much better than us lazy Americans.

A lot of my “old friends” where still there, cleaned up and in one piece. I think any highlights of this leg will be even more excruciatingly boring so I’ll stop here….well, maybe one….

There’s an apartment building called Marina on Manchester Blvd. that, to this very day, remains intact and straight from the 1960’s!!!! It’s a block white building that colored by large squares of bright colors and pop art shapes for balconies. The only change this building went through was the removal of the hip fountain on the front.

I’ve taken many many pictures of this place for years and I can’t stop! The place is truly amazing. Many years ago, the landlord was having an open house of the largest apartment. I almost fainted when she showed it to me. As I bullshitted my way through this tour (yea, as if I could afford the rent!?!), my jaw dropped with the designed touches everywhere…totally 1960’s! I can hardly describe the large bulb….cocoon?…X-mas ordainments hanging above the stair case that lead to the second level. Even the fireplace was straight out of a Playboy bachelor pad!

This time, they had a small one bedroom spot near the back that was up for grabs and I checked it out. Even with the small shoeboxed apartments shoved to the back, this place had extravagance to spare!!...including the snazzy open fireplace that fashionably separated the kitchen and front room! I never in my life gauged over a damned fireplace and many pictures were taken if THAT, too. I’m surprised that none of the Marina residents didn’t call the cops on me.

It was a long walk down Manchester to Lincoln Blvd. for the Santa Monica Blue Bus number 3 towards Washington Blvd. and then the Culver City Green 3 to the traffic circle in Venice Beach.

The epoch of my Urban Zen peaked right about here! Venice Beach! It was a Thursday and, yet, it looked like a typical summer weekday. So much to catch up, check out and basically watch humanity roller skate (yup, they still do that here), skateboard and prance like a proud peacock. The only piece that where missing was some of the performers and artists I personally knew like O, Janor Hypercleats and Barry ‘The Lion’ Gordon. Well, I wasn’t going to let such anal retentiveness cloud this visit.

As I had a couple of Tiger Milk energy bars back at the Trader Joe’s in Westchester, I was getting hungry for actual food, so I pushed my luck with a piece of pizza at Big Daddy’s. A few steps and pictures down the road, I bumped into the intersection of the Boardwalk and Dudley St. where they filmed Xanadu….yes, again with the movie. This time, they took a picture of Dudley and superimposed the Muse mural over it….and yes, I took yet another damned picture of THAT, too.

Straight down the Boardwalk and along the beach, I finally reached the Santa Monica Pier and in time for one of their Twilight Concert shows. The last time I saw one was well over 11 years ago; it was a legendary funk line up of The Brother Johnson opening for Shuggie Otis. The Johnsons opened big and forced everybody to funk out big time. Unfortunately, Shuggie killed what party atmosphere the Brothers wrathed upon the audience. The first song was off great but then he spent almost 35 minuets tuning his guitar. It’s little sad wonder that the poor guy turned into a recluse since the late 70’s.

This time, I hadn’t worry about such details as the band was playing overly-echoed reggae; strike one and two. What were the band’s name? I didn’t know. Strike three and moving on…

….down to Parisades Park. By this time, there was a beautiful sunset and all the local sunset fans were out watching it drop. That seemed not a bad habit to have and I ended up joining them. Then I looked to my right and was reminded of the park’s many points of interest….Xanadu was filmed here, too.

After an hour of living through the horror that is the Third Street Promenade, I made it to the bus stop to jump on the number 8 back to my aunts house and to fall apart on the bed.

Onward to day three…..
Don-O

August 1st, 2011

Hell-A 2011! Day 1

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I firmly planted my tired ass on my Amtrak seat at 7:15 am for the duration to Los Angeles. The ‘tired ass’ part is usually due to yours truly getting up and generally doing anything before 8 am, but I figured I’d fall back to asleep once I’m on the train and in a seat. However, this never happens as my system doesn’t feels like napping on any moving vichle (sic) like a plane or a train.

Since I couldn’t go back to snooze mode, I might as well make sure my brain doesn’t turn into mashed potatoes by reading or doodling in my notebook. This time, I started reading ‘Big Bosoms & Square Jaws’, a biography of Russ Meyer, the goofball he-man behind such demented brilliant titles like Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! and Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.

Along the way, I get a call from my mom on the cell that her sister/my aunt, whom I’ll be staying with for this trip, saw a 2 second news report that they had JUST found a unattended package in the middle of Union Station and asked if they announced it on the train’s PA system. Nope. Not a sound!

I went back to the book and the next thing I knew, we were at Union Station. I don’t know if I read this too fast or my brain turned off the clock causing a time warp bubble but whatever the case might be, I found myself getting my stuff together and heading off the train….I gotta lot of LA to cover for the next two days!

With no visual aftermath of that supposed unpackage and its resulting TSA-sanctioned panic attack, I bravely went off into the Metro station to cut through the LA traffic to my aunt’s house in West LA. I arrived a little earlier than expected and noticed she was gone and her housemate was sleeping in front of I Love Lucy, so I carefully left my suitcase in the guestroom and left for Westwood and Xanadu.

The main reason for this trip was a Xanadu showing as part of a UCLA film series of ‘disco movies’ with flicks like Can’t Stop The Music, Car Wash (?), Thank God It’s Friday and Xanadu. All of which were being shown at the Billy Wilder Theater at the corner of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards.

After spending a couple of hours strolling through the former shell that once was Westwood Village of my youth of the 80’s and 90’s….and pretty much everybody else’s…I made my way to the theater and this damned cherished flick o’ mine.

The theater was part of the Hammer Art Complex that housed art museums, larger art pieces and an outdoor enclosed courtyard with, um, how can I describe this, green weeds with no bark and leafs sprinkled on the very top. Surrounding it were a lighted art display that flashed incoherent letters and a café with a chalk board for a menu (with prices they were charging you’d think they can splurge on something more than a chalk, like ink!).

The theater itself was small for Westwood terms, only 200 seats. However, this made screenings more intimate than most places, outside the Silent Movie Theater in the Melrose District. The lobby had various pictures from Billy Wilder’s film fashionably spread along side a wall with a big one of the man himself at the other end.

The turnout wasn’t much. To my half-assed method of head counting, I’m guessing 30, so the energy level was low compared to, say, the unofficial 30th anniversary showing from last year. The only other difference was that I was the only one wearing a homemade Xanadu t-shirt. After years of watching productive fans wearing their own handmade wearable Xanadu tributes, I figured I might as well slap one together for myself, outside of the old painted one I had made in the early 90’s that I’ve retired a few years ago. Using a scan of the Xanadu songbook cover and my minimal Photoshop “skills”, I managed to iron-on a classy design on a blank navy blue colored shirt. Ta-da! A brand new fanboy target on my back.

The shirt got some positive attention….including from Marshall.

For the un-fanboy, Marshall stands out in LA-based Xanadu screenings as a hyper active fan who unintentionally scares people with his aggressive enthusiasm and subconscious stalking mentality….and if you are a prominent Xanadu fan like Heather Hoban, who has hosted anniversary showings of the past, and yours truly who has a major Xanadu web site, YOU are his best “target”...whether you liked it or not.

I kept my contact with him at minimum as I wasn’t in the mood…period and, luckily, he was conscious enough to pick up on MY anti-annoyance vibe for a change and played it cool and minimal himself and, after a few brief friendly words, he dashed off to his seat.

As I found my seat, I noticed that the unusual theatre lighting was oddly fitting for this showing. Instead of the standard ceiling lights arrangement, there were thin lightening rods shooting out of the top and both sides of the screen, some of which reached the very back of the room. Considering the population of streaking lights in the movie, this was an almost perfect setting…all they needed was some color and it would have been a Mardi Gras time in Xanaduland!

A married couple sitting behind me noticed my shirt and asked me about it. From there the conversation went to how this film, warts and all, fit into the realm of things and its personal connection with us. Seems that the husband was a major fan for years and the wife was going to film school, thus both interests clashed at this intersection. During this pleasant constructive conversation, Marshall, who was seated two rows behind them, tried to lean into our conversation and almost fell forward into the next row.

Our host for the evening, whom I suspect put this disco series together, showed up a few minutes later behind a podium. I think he was a tad disappointed with the turnout, so he kept his speech very brief…all 30 seconds of it.

…and the film began. The condition of the film itself was iffy; while the visual quality was very good, the audio was flat and in mono. You’d think that with this advanced digital projection technology all around us, they would use the recent DVD re-issue?

Well, bitching aside, we all still had fun and, even fewer, sang and stomped along.

When it was over, we all piled into the lobby and said goodbye to Kira, who was now being flashed on the theater’s flatscreen TV. In the courtyard, another couple noticed the shirt and asked how old I was. As it turned out, we were all old school Xanadu fans from ‘way back’ and began to talk about our own personal connection, the comparisons with the Broadway version and where Xanadu is placed in pop culture, gripping Gene Kelly fans notwithstanding. I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one occasionally dragged into the pointless debate of whether Xanadu was intentionally camp or not as this same couple went through THIS trite with their friends as well.

The three of us walked (with Marshall tagging along from a distance) and talked out to Wilshire Boulevard and said our goodbyes. I was in such a good mood from this whole experience that the short walk to the bus stop across the street turned into a stroll along side Westwood to Santa Monica Boulevard, where I ended up taking the bus ride home from there instead. Making an honest connection and sharing the same level of appreciation for something like this that you felt alone with for so many years is quite a breather. This clears the head and gives one a brief reprieve for humanity before your George Carlin/Bill Hicks mode clicks back in.

Day 2 fer later,
Don-O
....I'll be posting something here in LJ land later today. Providing that I'm not slammed with Russian spam on my comments section.

Later, Y'all,
Don-O

February 2nd, 2011

WARNING: the following is a "press release" for my new book. As this is done through Lulu.com, this might seem counter productive. Regardless......

"Since 1990, Shmuck-O Rat had been polluting the streets of Venice Beach, pop culture and various forms of media like zines, comics and books with his drunken rage, lack of enthusiasm and immature attitude.

Now the rat has gone digital, thanks to the dime a dozen world of internet comic strips and you can see what he has left behind with this 146 page collection entitled SHMUCK-O RAT’s ‘NET FUN AHOY Vol. 1.

Within the pages of this collection, he crashes a Steely Dan concert and it crashes back, survives Mardi Gras in New Orleans…just barely, swims through a BP related oil spill only to be cornered by Tea Baggers on crack, up against a wall with a script from ‘Xanadu’, meets ‘The Son Of Valdez’ and whatever the human race can throw at a drunk rat.

All this waits for him and you, the unfortunate reader, in this second collection of the adventures of Shmuck-O Rat; either in print ($10) or download ($5), your choice of poison. Now available at
Lulu.com!

Good Readin’ & Good Luck!
Don-O

January 12th, 2011

Sometime ago, I finally finished my newest edition of Twilight World (#9) and its main article is a large list of favorite 70’s albums that I either grow up with or later liked much later on called ‘The List Of The Lost’. Why ‘Lost’? Well, you’re gonna have to read the issue in question yourself.

Not leaving enough alone, I ended up putting together a ‘mix tape’ loosely based on that main article; ‘mix tape’ as in two digital CD-R’s formatted the old fashion way as ‘disc one’ is titled as ‘side one’ and so on just like a LP or tape side. Old habits die hard.

One other old habit I was dealing with was this mix ‘tape’ disease I’ve been carrying for decades which prompted me to do this in the first place….outside of bonus time this weekend. Thus I randomly picked tracks from some of the albums listed in this ‘List’ and spilled them over or squeezed them into the two ‘sides’ mixed in with some bonus related stuff to make things more interesting.

…and as with a project like this, I crowbared a cover and slapped it on, which you can see on this posting.

Anyways, I made my master copy and a couple more which I plan to sneak/send off to some friends to scare with….I’ve done that before and since I haven’t scared them off yet, I’ll do it again. You all have been warned.

There are some tracked listed here, like ‘The Banks Of The Ohio’, that I ranted about in the zine and are used here for evidence, but then you could have used YouTube to figure out my said ranting, so this might be moot. However, as mentioned before, some habits and formats die hard. So deal with it.

Enjoy the sounds in yer head while reading this….and hold your breath should this sucker show up in your mailbox….then you should move and NOT leave me your new address.

Hurr hurr hurr….,
Don-O

Time Killer Here!Collapse )

January 8th, 2011

Announcing yet another round of zine abuse with TWILIGHT WORLD (zine version) #9. In this speal, you get to find out how old I am when I produce ‘The List Of the Lost’, a list of some favorite sounds from the 70’s. This is a small carry over from the TX issue that had the 90’s and 00’s fave stash called ‘20 Years Of Noise’.

But not before a special two page cover of the “joys” of obscurity living along side the usual zine commentaries and reviews.

It’s a special extended edition with two additional pages from the standard 12 pager. 8 X 11, B&W and stapled on the corner.

If you’re hunkering for a copy, it’s going to cost you $2 or a good trade. Warning: I don’t do prisoner trades. PM me if you're up to it....or down with it...either way, you get the idea.

Thanks for putting up with my zines so far,
Don-O

January 5th, 2011

It's been awhile....

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Yup, it's been awhile since I unloaded anything on this LJ sector, so I might as well do some catching up.


But first, I'm in the mood for a tour of the dirty streets of Hollywood Blvd. with the man who survived them, Charles Bukowski.

Later,
Don-O

November 25th, 2010

Christmas Travelogue

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Normally, at this time of year, I would do the x-mas card project and hurt friends and family with it and if I was being a more particular jerk about it, I’d slap together an holiday audio mix set along side it. Sure, it’s a clique followed up by a bigger one, but still the DJ Showoff in me can’t resist this obnoxious habit.

Well, a slight change of plans….the card is being prepared, but as for the mix tape, well, its delivery will take a more hi-tech approach. You’ll have to go to a page on my donosdump.com site and download it from there.

What its contents? Well, I’m not gonna tell you as I got lazy and just left this 2 hour travesty speak for itself and on to your MP3 device. I will say there are pieces of Nation Lampoon, April Winchell, Lewis Black, The Ghostly Trio, Wayne Butane, Mr. Fab, This American Life and so on.

Anything else can be found out at the following web page:

http://donosdump.com/XTravelogue/index.html

…and enjoy it while you can as I’ll pull the page and its link off line by December 17th.

Enjoy and you’re welcome,
Don-O
Mr. Holiday Kill Joy

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