Category Archives: Garage Rock
This was a fun one: an interview with my old pal, Jessie Jones, who I first met seemingly yesterday when she was a teenager, a member of Feeding People, and now have to stand back and admire as a full-grown solo artist!
Truth be told, the interview we did at Sage to prepare for this article went on FOREVER. What ended up in print is only a small portion of the rambling talk we had about all the crazy stuff she’s gone through in such a short period of time, including working in a factory in a rural town, hiding out from Bigfoot, and trying to escape society by moving off into the woods.
Of course, the L.A. RECORD folks had to trim even more off to get it to fit in the magazine, but there’s one fun part at the beginning that I wish had stayed!
… and since I wrote the darn thing, and ONLY because I like the original intro enough that I think it’s worth sharing as an outtake, I’m reprinting my original beginning to the interview here. You can read this first and then jump into the article, or just go to the article now if you think I’m already long-winded enough.
She may look it, but Jessie Jones is no longer the same shy, young singer from Orange County with the bold, weathered, jazzy old woman’s voice that she was when D. M. Collins first interviewed her in 2011. Back then, she sang with the psychedelia-tinged, Burger Records-approved garage band Feeding People, who then seemed to be just approaching the lip of the cusp of the edge of greatness. Instead, they quickly burned out; but Jones never truly faded away. After a few years in wandering the country trying out dead end jobs and engaging with supernatural phenomena, Jones re-emerged in full force in 2015, first on a triumphant tour co-singing lead vocals with Death Valley Girls, and now, as of this month, with her first solo album, which has been tickling the fancies of folks from the bowels of Gnar Burger all the way to the corridors and clicks of NPR. She speaks now, again, to D. M. Collins, who has convinced her to join him for a very candid interview at the vegan restaurant Sage in Echo Park, a place so opposed to animal cruelty that even the arachnids have started getting cocky…
FUCK! FUCKING FUCK! I giant spider was just in my mouth! Oh my fucking god. Did it bite my lip? It just, like, swung whole into my mouth! I didn’t swallow it; it’s climbed somewhere back up on the umbrella and disappeared….
JESSIE JONES: Maybe it’s trying to bless you?
Jessie, you are such a witch! People think you are this innocent little lamb, but you are a witch! Is that giant spider your “familiar?”
JESSIE JONES: I have weird relationships with spiders. Sometimes when I’m about to make a really drastic decision, I’ll wake up with like six spider bites! Their symbolism is tied up with the mythology of the Fates, the makers of destiny.
So, that reminds me, I’ll forgive the spider, because I have a confession. Remember when I interviewed Feeding People in my backyard in 2011 [in issue #104 of L.A. RECORD, e.d.]? You were all so young and so charming; it was obvious the band was going to implode horribly, and soon. I should have said something. Do you forgive me for not warning you that your life was about to go to shit?
JESSIE JONES: Um….. yes!
Yay! She forgives me! That apology on my part was far more than casual conversation. Glad she’s not mad at me for not trying to “save” her from the future fate had waiting for her. Then again, that spider certainly did act suspiciously, as if bewitched…
Okay, with the above original text out of the way, feel free to hop to the actual article and continue reading.
And in honor of labor day, please make sure to savor her words when she starts to describe some of her experiences out there in the “eye of the storm” of capitalism. This part of her responses really struck me as both insightful and beautiful, while at the same time, you know, scary as hell:
“South Carolina, when I was just living in the middle of nowhere—that’s where it hit me: there’s so much poverty, such a lack of education, and not a lot of opportunity for people who are born without any guidance or any money. Just seeing how capitalism and consumerism really exist only when you’re in the eye of the storm. And when I was working weird jobs and stuff for companies in weird factories to keep existing, and I could see like, all this crap is coming from China. And I’m sending it to some person’s house in like Anaheim or Chicago, but they don’t see what’s going on behind closed doors. It’s like I could finally see how big America was, how small I was, how small my little bubble in Orange County was. And I had to talk about it, I guess. I had to get it out.”
-D. M. Collins
I had a blast this year at Burger Boogaloo in Oakland, interviewing bands for BRGRTV and seeing some amazing performances!
At some point, I found a few clothespins lying around that the crew had used to hold a backdrop into place, and I stuck ’em to my face (it’s one of the few skills I have: a high threshold for face pain in regards to pinching via wood or plastic).
Of course, it was in this state of wacky self-harm that the geniuses at Wild About You Photography found me, interviewing Gooch Palms and Audacity and generally looking like the goofball I truly am. And notice the lederhosen? I’m so cool!
I think bands only let me interview them because they can’t help but look better in comparison to me? You can see the whole set at the Wild About You site here. A bunch of other famous folks show up. Maybe you’re in here, too!
-D. M. Collins
P.S. Stay tuned for the BRGR TV segments I recorded with Jack Sample and Steele O’Neal… we got Black Lips and Jonathan Richman and Mummies interviews, and so much more! Plus lots of clothespins and drooling.)
WORDS “Earwig” Cassette Release Party w/ Guy Blakeslee, KERA, and Jessie Jones. April 19 at Pehrspace!
If you know Guy Blakeslee from his role as helmsman of psych rock howlers the Entrance Band, you might be surprised at the heartfelt, brittle mystery of his solo work, in which he and he alone performs songs of pain and amazement with guitar, drum machines, and little else. This is his last show before a bunch of dates opening for Interpol–catch him while ya can.
KERA is, of course, Kera Armendariz of Kera and The Lesbians. They have been exploding on our scene with in-your-face, fun folk rock. Here KERA goes it alone, giving her opuses room to ring out in your ears. Her voice, which fills up rooms and hearts, is chock full of the sour soul of pre-war blues and jazz, and tonight will likely be accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. (But who knows what tricks she might have up her sleeve?)
WORDS, on the other hand, is anything but acoustic. While there are no drums in this cello-based trio, there are hefty pedals, angry amps, and raw skill in the hands of guitarist Marisa DeMeglio (Wolf Wolf Prize) and virtuoso cellist Aniela Marie Perry, who normally single-handedly hosts nights of classical music when she’s not playing with country rock upstarts Latter-Day Bard. Instrumentally they’re a force in their own right–but when fronted by DM Collins (poet, TV star, and L.A. RECORD ne’er-do-well) they will scare you into forgetting everything you thought you knew about live music. These are WORDS to leave you speechless–but that’s okay, since they will be releasing their new lolipop records cassette EP “Earwig” tonight! And as an added treat, they’ll be accompanied by Stephen Kalinich, the only poet ever produced by Brian Wilson, and the unofficial 8th member of the Beach Boys, who wrote songs for such albums as Friends and 20/20.
Jessie Jones is quiet in her private life, but has one of the most recognizable voices ever to come out of BURGER RECORDS, first with Feeding People, and now with Death Valley Girls. She just got done with one tour with Death Valley Girls, and is about to embark on another, but somehow she’s found the time to pioneer her solo project (featuring some recognizable favorites) with us tonight!
Read it here.
-D. M. Collins
Tonight I am DJing an event with dublab at the Virgil. For those who know me, I used to DJ every week at the Garage, many, many years ago, and then had a set once a week at dublab. So for me, DJing a dublab event at the Virgil is a super double-backed reverse return to my much younger self!
If you want to see me with a youthful glow, or give me a youthful blow, come out to the Virgil tonight.
I just finished reading Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood. While it was cool to read about Frank Zappa’s log cabin and Joni Mitchell living with Stephen Stills, I have to admit that in my heart, I still prefer balls-out rockers to any of these hippie fucks. What the fuck can Stephen Stills tell me that the Music Machine can’t blow out of the water? You can FEEL this music. In your groin.
As for Laurel Canyon, it was a decent read, though there was a whole chapter and a half about the Troubadour that had very very very little to do with the book’s thesis statement. For the record, I love a good chunk of the musicians who lived in Laurel Canyon back in the day. The ones who live there now suck ass, though.
Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton was found dead today. He was only 60.
Though all obituaries about him will start by mentioning his work with the Stooges, including mine, I think perhaps he’d prefer to be remembered for some of his work without Iggy Pop. So here it is, a track from his mid-seventies hard rock band, the New Order:
It’s a shame to think I’ll never get to see him play live. I loved him in the super group Wylde Ratttz from the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, and I think his avant-noise band Destroy All Monsters sounds pretty rad, too, if I can ever get my hands on a fucking copy of their collected recordings.
I just saw this kid twice in one week–one of my bands played with him under a bridge in Frisco, where he performed as a two-piece, and then I caught him playing at a house party in Echo Park Friday night just by his lonesome. He’s been in a bunch of awesome bands, like Epsilons and Traditional Fools, but solo he was somethin’ else. Especially as a one-man band, when he plays drums with his feet, keeping time to his own guitar riffs while playing bluesy four-four garage rockers, he made me shake my wiggle thang many times in a row.
It sounds like a simple formula, but the only thing I can think of in recent memory that sounds like this is the Reverend Beatman. Not sure if Ty knows about him, but Ty’s bringing that same energy, but with less European obsession and more youthful transcendance. Or something.
This is one of my favorite garage bands from Germany–and I’m including the Monks and the early Beatles in that list! The Satelliters discs on Dionysus have always rocked, and this new video’s tremolo keyboards don’t disappoint.
Specifically, they’re playing Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park! I can’t believe how awesome this is. Imagine your favorite underground band that was active in your college years that you never got to see. Then modify that by maybe a thousand and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I actually had a panic attack this weekend that I’d misremembered the date and that I might have missed this show! But thank god it’s happening July 12. I will be enjoying the crap out of this amazing surf-garage-trash rock band that was perhaps my favorite band of its era and genre (the Bomboras and Showman & the Thunderous Staccatos being also in my top three somewhere).