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John Albert

Raymond Pettibon

Off! That Outsider Feeling

Back in the late '70s at a club in Los Angeles' Chinatown, a small, unassuming guy in an Army jacket named Keith Morris walked onstage. He leaned forwar...

The Last Michael Jackson Party?

The magician Rob Zabrecky is rail-thin, with raven-black hair and the piercing eyes of a B-movie hypnotist. To the unfamiliar he might appear eccentric, bordering on psychotic, though ever dapper in his modish, tailored suits. Years ago he was an up-and-coming rock & roll star. That’s all over. He’s now......

Recession Fallout: Man Goes Home to Mom

Several weeks ago, my neighbor Larry abruptly told me he was moving away. He said he didn’t want to but could no longer afford the soaring rents in our Silver Lake neighborhood combined with a now–nearly nonexistent job market. The sadness I felt upon hearing this took me a little......
Paolo Davanzo; Credit: Kevin Scanlon

LA People 2009: Cinema Enabler — Paolo Davanzo

Movies have always been about dreams. This story is no different. Except this particular dream doesn’t lead to a self-congratulatory speech and a limousine ride into the Malibu Colony, but to a cluttered storefront on a busy Echo Park street not fully succumbed to gentrification. Paolo Davanzo definitely looks the......
Thug days: Carr back then

Reporter, Examine Thyself: The Night of the Gun

The Night of the Gun by David Carr is the latest addition to an increasingly saturated addiction-memoir genre. In his book, Carr, a New York Times columnist, recounts his years of abusing alcohol and cocaine and eventually rebuilding his life. Nothing is inherently unique about such a story. Unless you’ve......
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Escape from Allentown

Well we’re living here in Allentown And they’re closing all the ?factories down Out in Bethlehem they’re ?killing time Filling out forms Standing in line —...
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Fuck the DNA

There was this hallucinatory summer at the end of the ’70s when the band Throbbing Gristle served as the soundtrack to my teenage friends’ and my descent into self-destruction. Punk had begun to fade, and there was a palpable hunger for something new and equally dangerous. The memories now seem......
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Nick Drake: Family Ties

Most people first heard of singer-songwriter Nick Drake a few years back when Volkswagen, in an effort to sell its sharp new cars to romantic urbanites, used his 1972 song “Pink Moon,” a lilting ode to the inevitability of death that was written just two years before Drake died at......
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Can You Feel It?

The problem with lyrics is that as much as they can provoke and inspire, they also dictate the terms of the musical experience. So, the absence of words can come as a welcome relief. It’s nice to have a little “me time” with one’s music on occasion. The downside being......