The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Thursday, March 29, 2001

Causin' Trouble

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: I was trying to place a song lyric the other day that popped into my head — something like "They said stop and I said go/ They said yes and I said no." As much as anything else, that's been something of a philosophy of life for me as far back as I can remember. My mother, who left this earth some years ago, was fond of repeating an anecdote about me over and over. I was 5; we were in a department store with elevated displays of mannequins wearing various outfits. Over and over my mother had lectured me to stay close to her when we were out shopping — she didn't want me to get lost. That was her problem, not mine, I figured, and somehow managed to climb up to the display area, where I proceeded to run around, looking down on the shoppers, embarrassing my mother and irritating the store manager. Causing trouble. Disrupting the status quo. I've always found life an adventure in which playing by the rules of what Chris Isaak's first manager, Mark Plummer, once called the "square world" was beside the point. "They don't get it, bunch of squares," he said late one night. Isaak, Erik Jacobsen, Plumber and I were standing on the rooftop of a San Francisco warehouse where Isaak was recording what would become his second album. We could see an amazing view of the city, the lights twinkling, everything feeling new and mysterious. By that time, of course, all of us standing on that roof had made our choice, something I think I first did as a little kid. When I was 12, I convinced my parents that we needed to take a trip to San Francisco (we lived in Marin) to this wonderful place I'd read about in the newspaper — Haight Street. It was the mid-'60s; Ground Zero of psychedelia and the counterculture called out to a young boy like the Sirens to Ulysses' men. One of my uncles from the square world was out visiting, and so my mother decided that a trip to the city in the Rambler to examine this new exotic land would be fun. Haight itself, from where it runs into Golden Gate Park up to about Masonic, was in full bloom that day. The sun was out, and, at least to my innocent eyes, all was wonderful. Amazing posters for dance concerts were taped to windows. Everyone had long hair and wore colorful clothing — indeed, many of the people walking the street seemed to be in costume. They wore Army jackets with shiny brass buttons and Navy coats, pants that belled out at the cuffs and long shirts with Nehru collars. Rock music swirled down from open windows. Incense and pot (not that I knew what I was smelling at the time) were in the air. After a while my parents grew bored. I, however, had another stop on my list. I insisted that we go to the studios of KMPX, a radio station (recently taken over by "Big Daddy" Tom Donahue, the San Francisco radio legend) that had begun playing underground rock music. It was down on Green Street, near San Francisco's waterfront. The door was open, so my uncle and I went in (I don't recall where my parents were — perhaps parking the Rambler). We found ourselves in a room — the studio — where a guy — the DJ — was sitting in a soundproof area behind glass. He had really long hair and a beard and moustache, and was surrounded by piles and piles of records. I think he was engineering his own show. It was as if I had just landed in a comic book store. Or Disneyland. This was clearly the coolest place in the world, and this man playing the records was clearly part of some really cool tribe that I wished I belonged to. No, I don't belong with this man who arrived with me, I wanted to shout. The DJ put on a longer piece of music, and came out from behind the glassed-in area to see what we wanted. After all, this was a weekend afternoon. What I remember, vividly, is my uncle, with his crewcut and his sport jacket, standing a foot or so away from this guy and asking him why he was wearing his hair like that, like a girl. Maybe it was only later, in the car, that he used the phrase "like a girl" as he described this guy to my parents. Looking back, I can see that 12 really isn't such a young age. Already, I knew where I belonged, and it wasn't in the Rambler. (And about that song lyric; it's from AC/DC's "Bad Boy Boogie" by way of Mark Kozelek.)

Datastream Yes, that is Ian Svenonius, mastermind behind the awesome rock + soul + punk combo, The Make Up (and before that Nation of Ulysses), making use of the pseudonym "David Candy" on his upcoming side project, Playpower. The seven song CD, due June 12th on Jetset, was produced by Jeremy Butler (Death By Chocolate) somewhere in England. Jetset says the David Candy sound is "early-Stonesish pop." The songs: "Play Power - David Candy Theme," "Incomprehensibly Yours," "Listen to the Music," "Redfuchsiatamborine&gravel," "Bad Bad Boy," "Diary of a Genius" and "Lullaby from Rosemary's Baby." ... The first collection of interviews from Punk Planet has been published by Akashic Books. We Owe You Nothing contains Q&As with Kathleen Hanna, Thurston Moore, Frank Kozik, Ian MacKaye, Jello Biafra, Black Flag, Steve Albini, Sleater-Kinney, Negativland and others.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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