By Jeff Walsh
Mika's recent show at the Fox Theater in Oakland, supporting his new album "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," started on the wrong foot. Well, more accurately, Mika ended his show in Los Angeles the night before on the wrong foot, which had him a bit hobbled in Oakland, where he spent a lot of time on one leg, and using a flourescent-enhanced crutch to stay off his left foot. I've seen enough injured performers on concert already (lead singer of The Kaiser chiefs jumping around in a leg cast, and Pink recently avoided her aerial work due to a shoulder injury) to not think twice about it, but for some reason, it sort of deflated my experience of a Mika concert.
Mika concerts are parties. The music is upbeat. The crowd is ready to dance. And the glue holding it all together is Mika, who sets the tone.
So, watching Mika try his hardest to dance around, with his injured leg actually buckling out from under him at times, it sort of set me off. He was doing his best to make sure we were having fun, but you see that he was pushing himself into that role, as opposed to previous shows where it was completely effortless and natural. It just wasn't fun watching someone in pain trying to create a huge party vibe.
Interestingly, if you closed your eyes, it was a normal Mika show. His leg didn't affect his voice or energy in that regard, and his vocals and band were great.
By Jeff Walsh
The last time Semi Precious Weapons were in town, I was waking up every morning at 4 a.m. to work on my novel, which precluded my from attending night events (like their sold out club show). Thankfully, that was not the case this week, when the band played the historic Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the Perez Hilton Presents tour.
They shared the bill with Natalie Portman's Shaved Head (party nerds), Julian Perretta (Mika meets Jamiroquai), and then, after Semi Precious Weapons, Ladyhawke had the unfortunate chore of trying to follow Justin and the boys. They were probably good, but it's an unenviable slot.
If you're a fan of Semi Precious Weapons (and really, by this point, you should be, what's the hold-up?), then seeing them live just adds to the fun you already get from them. Lead singer Justin Tranter struts around the stage like a glam peacock, wearing panty hose and spike-heeled boots, and constantly ratchets up the party. From my perch at about the second row, I could see Justin offstage before the band took the stage. Ironically (or on purpose?), Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," was playing (read my previous interview with Justin for their love of, and history with Gaga), and he was already amping himself up, singing along, and dancing around.
By Jeff Walsh
I remember the first time I saw The Pet Shop Boys in concert nearly a decade ago, after only knowing their music. I seriously wondered what sort of crazy world I stepped into. Neil Tennant seemed to be walking down a ramp in slow-motion while singing a song with an orange fright wig on his head (Chris Lowe wore the same fright wig on the keyboards), and nearly every other song had some visual element attached to it. I expected a normal concert, and got craftsmanship, so it was a lot to absorb at once. It was all just so thought out and artfully constructed. And none of the elements were just distraction, filler, or nonsense happening on a screen behind him that didn't matter.
It was rare to see a show where the performer seemed humbled to be present, yet made no effort to break a sweat, content to let the words and music create the magic of the live event. Even the most upbeat songs worked up the crowd, but not the band. But this was the band known for ironic detachment, so it all made sense.
Of course, seeing them again tonight in San Francisco (a decade later than my first PSB concert, and 25 years since their first hit single, West End Girls was released) I knew what to expect, and they didn't disappoint.
I definitely wish I had ended my speech with that, haha.
So, I graduated! Everything went surprisingly well. (The hat and I were absolutely not friends, though. It messed up my hair so much.) Giving the salutatory speech was beyond nervewracking, though. When I got onstage and looked out into the audience, for some reason, I thought this girl in the very back was FCG, so it freaked me out big time. I later discovered that the girl was not, in fact, FCG, but I couldn't tell that from the stage. (It was possible that she could've been there. She's apparently still friends with IG.) Despite my nerves, I actually gave the speech with minimal problems. I messed up once because I started reading the wrong line, but it was only a little mistake, so it wasn't that big a deal. And I didn't trip going up the steps or walking across the stage!
A lot of the other girls cried, but I didn't. I'm so glad to get out of there. I can't even begin to put the feeling into words.
We've had another spat over high school. I want to take Italian and move back to Italy to home school, and spend my days wandering those deliciously silent streets of Venice. But Mom purses her lips and says that she won't "narrow my horizons" like that, that I'll get a better degree if I stay here. She says I have to see the "light at the end of the tunnel." I can see a light alright, but I might have to walk into it before the four years are up. She keeps talking about rights of passage and persevering. I just don't know if I can survive this.
*I've been reading Judy Shepard's book "The Meaning of Matthew" about her son who was murdered in 1998. I wanted to write a poem about who Matthew was as a person, not just the headline story. The title was taken from Lady Gaga's cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.*
The state melted into a pool
of cerulean in your eyes,
Wyoming tinted your hair
a cowboy prairie blond and
stained your boyish lips
with a wanderlust grin.
Matthew, you've grown
older by now but some
things never change like how
the Curious Unknown
still sparkles in your dreams,
the sticker lights of Laramie.
A few days ago I went with my father to pick up some speakers he had bought, and I fell asleep in the car on the way home. When I went to get out the door I saw a crane fly right next to where my face was, at most a couple of inches away. The next day I was walking my dog and the same crane fly flew right in front of me. The day after that (yesterday) it was in my room, flying around me. And just now it was outside my window, trying to get in my room. What the fuck is this?
This month has been mostly a hell, the first week of it I was really depressed and my parents made things worse, I tried to kill myself twice, I made more cuts and my birthday really sucked, I spent all day holding tears at school, faking smiles and lying to my parents saying to them that I had a good day and that I was really tired, I actually cried all night at home and thought a lot of suicide and why I had failed last time (2 days before); some times I get some little euphoric or maniac episodes and after they're gone I feel worse.
I am officially done with high school as of tomorrow. It's honestly kinda hard to wrap my head around that fact. But it's over now. I survived what many consider to be the most socially awkward, horrifically embarrassing phase of human life.
So I have these two friends and the both of them are like really good friends of mine.
Friend K is my trusted friend who I trust above everyone else. We don't get to hangout very often but I know that I can call her whenever I need to for advise or anything else. She was the first person I came out to in college and she took me clothes shopping in the women's section for the first time, and I just feel like she'll always be there for me if I need support.