By Melissa Fossum
By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
Surfin' U.S.A.: For those who pay allegiance to the weirded-out and trashed-up surf-rock scene and the likes of the Witchdoctors, Finks, and Go-Nuts, 1999 was a sad year -- it marked the final performance of the much-beloved Bomboras.
Now, three members of the neo-surf instrumentalist combo have reemerged as part of the legendary Invisible Men, those veterans of the 1950s horror flick-inspired surf-rock madness. The Invisible Men have returned to the road and studio after a three-year hiatus. Although it's long out of print, Boobie Prize Records' seven-inch Boots, Bikes, Bikinis is a minor masterpiece, and the group has just released its first long player, Who's Sorry Now?, on Blood Red Records.
The Invisible Men are scheduled to perform on Saturday, September 16, at the Lucky Dragon in Tempe, with the Peeps and Thee Oh No's. Fair warning, though: The Lucky Dragon has moved from its longtime University Avenue digs. The restaurant/venue's new location is 3316 South McClintock in Tempe. Although the Invisible Men show is an all-ages affair, the Dragon will be serving alcohol and Chinese food (what else?) until 1 a.m.
On a tangential note, local promoters have confirmed that Boston's mighty Real Kids -- one of the truly great pop-punk bands of the late '70s -- has confirmed an October 19 Valley appearance at the Emerald Lounge. The Emerald recently renovated its interior to include a larger stage space for its growing live-music calendar. Keep watching for further details on the show.
Oooooo Canada: Unless you've been in a media blackout for the past month, you know that KTVK-TV (Channel 3) reporter Claudia DiFolco has become something of a local sensation, gracing virtually every Valley publication (short of the one we really want to see her in, Playtime). She was even featured in this column briefly for her involvement in the infamous Ghetto Cowgirl "finger" incident, which aired live on NewShow.
But now DiFolco, apparently drunk on her newfound fame, has gone too far. She has questioned the integrity and veracity of an irreproachable journalistic institution -- yours truly.
In a September Java magazine interview conducted by editor Robert Sentinery (and, by the way, it's great to see Bob finally dealing with matters that have nothing to do with his own personal grooming or hygiene; if we could only get the Rep's Laurie Notaro to follow suit), DiFolco accuses Bash & Pop of incorrectly characterizing her as a music "critic." Responding to Sentinery's query about the challenge of covering local bands, DiFolco said, "When I don't like the music, I still respect the artist. I wasn't hired to be a music critic. That's another thing Bob Mehr from New Times got wrong."
This statement is simply ridiculous. We would never claim DiFolco to be a music critic. That would, by implication, mean we thought her talents included thought developed without the aid of a TelePrompTer, a laughable notion.
We simply suggested that for the public good, the NewShow's resident NewsTart should tone down her hyperbolic intros of mediocre bands, so the next time some misguided viewer goes to see a mook-fest-on-wheels like Souls of Present Grace, they won't expect the second coming of the Beatles.
Still, her offhand comment rankled. Gradually, our annoyance began to fester. Bent on revenge, we began doing a little research on DiFolco. First, we read Brian Smith's New Times cover piece on the glib chronicler of nightlife. Smith's portrait of DiFolco as a humble, chaste, well-educated gal who speaks 23 languages, inspires hordes of prepubescent fans and works at homeless shelters in between visits to the tanning salon didn't sway us, however. Yet, only a few paragraphs into the story, we found the dirt we were looking for.
It turns out DiFolco isn't even American, but rather -- dum, dum, dum -- a Canadian!
Neil Young and Kids in the Hall notwithstanding, Canada has been responsible for some of the worst atrocities in the history of the entertainment industry: Loverboy, Bryan Adams, Kiefer Sutherland, Celine Dion, Jason Priestley, Glass Tiger, Shannon Tweed, Barenaked Ladies, Brendan Fraser -- the list seems endless.
But Canadians are a crafty bunch. They know Americans' self-images are a reflection of television, films and music. Though the "fur backs" might never be able to conquer us militarily, they could still gain their victory through an invasion of a different kind.
It was clear now: DiFolco's meteoric rise to the heights of Valley celeb is just another attempt on the part of the nefarious Canucks to infiltrate and pervert our culture. Think about it -- she's cleverly disguised as an Italian.
Under our unified conspiracy theory, every city would get its own hot-ass Canadian news babe; soon, little girls across the country would want to act and dress just like them. There'd be leopard-print parkas in Orlando!
Then, like dominoes, the rest of our cultural pillars would begin to fall. We'd adopt the metric system; DeGrassi Junior High would replace Friends as "Must-See TV"; health care would be socialized; our bacon would change; the image of William Shatner would reside next to that of Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore; ice fishing would be the latest rage; we'd all begin saying "aboot."