So we're flipping through a magazine the other day, and suddenly we do a bad cartoon double take. What did we see? A photo of Mr. Stephen Malkmus, leaning dejectedly over his guitar in a semi-grubby practice space. Why were we surprised? Well, the magazine was Vogue, the photo was a paid advertisement, and the product being sold was a Marc Jacobs handbag. For those who aren't familiar with the designer, his status-heavy carryalls start somewhere in the high three-figure range and are mostly worn by women who think Pavement is something people who can't afford chauffeured town cars have to walk on to get where they're going. Nobody seemed overly shocked when the always punk-as-fuck Courtney Love did a Versace campaign, but this really was a left-fielder. Who's doing the fall shoe line, Lou Barlow? As much as we support musicians like Low and Badly Drawn Boy wending their way into the national consciousness by loaning their music to Gap commercials and the like (and perhaps finding well-deserved new fans in the process), this indie rock spokesmodel thing is kind of weirding us out. . . . Police Blotter: Seattle's R.E.M.er-in-residence Peter Buck recently appeared in a London courtroom to plead not guilty to charges of "assaulting two British Airways staff members, using threatening behavior, being drunk on board an aircraft, and causing criminal damage" during a flight from Seattle to London on April 21. This is the same type of thing, you may recall, that sent Ian Brown of the Stone Roses to the infamous Strangeways Prison a couple years back for a six-month stint. If things don't go so well for Buck when he reappears for trial in November, well, Strangeways, here he comes. . . . On to the shows: Last Tuesday at I-Spy proved that while Pretty Girls Make Graves may not exactly have a new shtick, they're still pretty goddamn fun; the band ripped
through a super-octane set with ferocity and left the eXBeSTFRIeNDS with a hard act to follow. After catching a few of eBF's early shows and standing by as the hype machine shifted into overdrive, we were afraid that the emperor really had no clothes. As the band matures, though, it looks like the emperor is at least wearing very nice socks, and we'll keep checking in to watch how it all develops. . . . The word on the Gorge's Area:One Festival: Outkast pleased the crowd with lots off of Stankonia and played most of the biggies—"Ms. Jackson," "Rosa Parks," etc.—while Moby followed with a less compelling, rather lackluster set. Fans who'd been wondering what Billy Corgan's been up to now that the Pumpkins are all Smashed up soon found out: He joined New Order onstage on guitar and (ack) vocals, even sticking around for a surprise Joy Division redux: both "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and "Transmission" made the set list, much to the ecstasy of the crowd. . . . Meanwhile, back in this neck of the woods, Saturday night's Sleater-Kinney/Patti Smith show at the Pier was a cross-generational adventure, complete with fanny-packed middle-agers getting their freak on to S-K's "All Hands On the Bad One" and "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" before the poetess of punk took to the stage. There's something about a pissed-off fiftysomething that's just a lot more intriguing than a pissed-off twentysomething; that may be because when Smith—who's lost a husband (MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith), a brother, and a best friend (photographer Robert Mapplethorpe), and become a sort of legend in her own time—yells about the injustice of the world, it makes more sense than when the latest sneering So Cal boy-punkers bitch about the injustice of having to deal with jocks, parents, and mean girlfriends. Granted, the show was not everyone's cup of Tang, but even if you don't really like Smith's music, you had
to love her just for having the balls. Many a "fuck" echoed through the breezy night air as Patti railed against MTV, Rolling Stone, and other "establishment" figures ("Guess this means I won't be making their next fucking Women in Rock list"), and commended Seattle for their WTO actions ("The whole fucking world witnessed you, and they were fucking inspired"), in between playing the classics ("Because the Night," "Rock 'n Roll Nigger"), reading William Blake to the crowd, and howling out her own version of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box." . . . And then there was Peaches. That crazy Canadian nearly brought the house down (minus one ugly bottle-throwing incident) this past Sunday at Graceland with her DAT machine, elaborately coiffed mullet, and dirty, dirty lyrics. Perhaps no other such gloriously untalented singer/songwriter has ever brought a crowd to such heights of excitement and glee. As she gyrated, sneered, and arrythmically shouted out lyrics like "Only double A/but thinkin' triple X" and "There's only one peach with the hole in the middle," the packed room hollered, jumped, and shimmied like they had just seen the Lord—and the Lord was wearing red thigh-high fishnets and matching sparkle panties.
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