Category Archives: Satan’s Favorite Bands
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
If you don’t enjoy seeing giant cocks explain to you why the Screamers and Buzzcocks are in the same sticky stream of history as Ma Rainey and Lesley Gore and Schubert and Little Richard and ancient cross-dressing shamanic rituals of our pagan past, then you are not fucking punk rock. And you probably deserve to be smothered to death by Donald Trump’s wig.
And so you better stay far fucking away from Spirit Studio tomorrow night, Saturday August 29th, at 8:30 p.m.
Wait, actually you should come. COME!
Ian MacKinnon is a theatrical genius who can play Jobriath songs on piano as good as the original (practically in the middle of a costume change), and he performs an incredible, video-heavy multi-media one man play that I co-wrote TOMORROW night (Saturday, August 29).
Unless you are doing something CRUCIAL, like playing your own show or experimenting with knives, I better see you there, you fucking cads! Or else I will evoke the disco spirit of Sylvester and have him pump jism into your prudish, homophobic hearts.
You don’t own me.
-D. M. Collins
P.S. Here are the details, darlings:
The Gay Music Revolution is back for one night only!
August 29th, 2015
$20 / $15 students & seniors
3711 Evans Street
Los Angeles, California 90027
P.P.S. Full disclosure: I co-wrote the script. I realized my friend’s play had a small but prominent hole in the backstory, and I stuffed a meaty chunk of the Germs and Buzzcocks and Screamers into it.
P.P.P.S. I have sex with men.
Just when we thought we’d edited our event poster for the final time and squeezed the laaaaast bit of info on there, we have a great reason to shift Photoshop layers around and search for even stumpier fonts: Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain are going to join our ensemble this Sunday at A Rrose in a Prose!
Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil are the co-authors of the internationally renowned Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk and the newly released Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose. When they aren’t collaborating, McCain writes poetry and McNeil writes non-fiction. They are currently working on a new oral history of the 1960’s music scene in Los Angeles, titled Sixty-Nine.
What’s crazy is that the two coolbots above could ALONE make for an amazing afternoon of literature and fawning. (And they have, if you remember their live interview at this year’s L.A. Zine Fest!) But there are so many more amazing authors and poets at this event. Plus there’s a secret band, a bunch of dadaism, an open mic, tons of zines, writing workshops hosted by ZZyZx WriterZ, and more and more and more and more and more and just BE THERE, you scumbuckets! Otherwise, Kojak might hurl an epithet at you.
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.)
My main man Dan, the sexiest of all L.A. Record contributors, got to interview Chuck D last week! And the interview is in the print version of the magazine.
But one of his questions that didn’t make the cut was about Public Enemy and Anthrax collaborating on a version of “Bring the Noise!” I know that for a lot of head-banging punkers, it was this tune that finally helped them cross over into fandom for their beat-driven brethren. Run DMC and Aerosmith made the first incision, but this song pulled the gash wide open, and a bunch of bloody things like the Judgment Night soundtrack and Body Count spilled out of the wound. Unfortunately, we then got awful, terrible sounding bands like Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit combining hip-hop with rock in terrrible, terrible ways. But when the rap-rock hybrid was first getting going, it was a match made in heaven:
I know, I know, the Beatles were better at the music, the Beach Boys were better at major sevenths, Chuck Berry was better at the lyrics, and Little Richard was better at falsetto. Carl Perkins was better at being down-home, Billy Lee Riley was better at crazed-cat rockabilly, Buddy Holly was better at bringing pop into his rock, and Bo Diddley had a better beat. Even among the Sun Records cats, Johnny Cash did more drugs, and Jerry Lee Lewis was more dangerous.
But Elvis was an amazing performer–the biggest shining personality of the fifties–with all the moves, lots of style, great looks, and a wild personality. The fact that he had bad management, mental problems, and an addiction to food and drugs shouldn’t tarnish that amongst modern myth-makers who tend to prefer the Bolans and Joneses to this man.
I mean, fuck, Elvis sang better than Frank Sinatra. Last night, to celebrate Elvis’ 74th birthday, my gal TiVo’d Fun in Acapulco. Goddam, could that boy sing! Listen to this shit!
Fuck all contenders! This man is the KING! F U C K !!!
I hadn’t seen nor heard about former MTV VJ Jesse Camp for years (and even when I did know about him, in the mid-late nineties, it was only because I occasionally passed a television in disgust on my way to my CaseLogic to pick out my favorite punk cassette).
But now suddenly, like within the past two months, I see him everywhere–hanging out at a Sunday barbecue where Crooked Cowboy is playing, shoving a camera into the faces of me and my friends as we leave a Dethklok show at the Wiltern, and now, even talking about being fucked up with James St. James at Homo-a-Go-Go. And apparently I’m not alone in taking notice. Are we doomed to spend the next couple years watching Jesse worm his way into new forms of media?
Truth be told, his reemergence makes me so sad. I actually kind of like this guy. It’s not his fault that at the young age of 18, he made a desperate and successful (though possibly fraudulent) bid to garner fame and hopefully fortune from reality television that devolved into personal humiliation and degradation at the hands of big corporate fucks who ate him up and spat him out, hairdo and all. Looking back on my life, I’ve made far more self-destructive decisions at an older age, and even now am probably succeeding less at life than this man. And that’s very, very sad. Jesse, I think I need a hug.