Chris Stein

It’s just so cool to see Chris Stein (of the legendary Saccharine Trust and so many other aggregations) getting such a jazz man’s send off on Facebook, people talking about what a great guy he was and such a solid, inspired ensemble player. The grief is there, low and blue, but I think there’s no greater way to pay tribute to a musician who fought so hard against the inevitable than to talk about what a great guy he was and such a good player. He’ll certainly be missed in our crazy underground. He’ll certainly be missed on inspired nights at Cafe NELA. Bassists like him are a rare thing. People probably even rarer. A shame he’s gone but a treasure he was.

Chris Stein at Cafe NELA in another terrific live shot by Deb Frazin.

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Bloomfest 2012

(Bloomfest in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles, July 21, 2012)

Burrito wagons. That’s what was missing.  Burrito wagons. Taco trucks. Back in the day that is what that stretch of Alameda Avenue was all about: artists, punks, winos and burrito wagons.  Besides, their food was way better.

Spent the whole say at the Bloom Stage with all the geezers. We knew all of them. Beautiful time. Perfect.  Saw some ex-Betty Blowtorch thing that shredded, Carnage Asada were loud and pounding and better than ever and ya gotta love frontman George. Saccharine Trust are one of the great bands of our time. I remember seeing them at Al’s three decades ago opening for the Misfits. (I remember seeing them for the very first time at the Cathay in 1981, but that’s another story).  Mike Watt and the Missingmen doing double nickles on Hyphenated-Man. The Gears had a slam pit going for chrissakes with big huge inner tubes that people went crazy with and they bounced and bounded and knocked shit all over the place and watching some of the dads out there skanking was a trip…I hadn’t seen that in decades. Just no one gets hurt now. No bloody lips or black eyes or broken bones. Just good clean fun. Al’s Bar was a time warp. Surreal. It looked just like our Al’s Bar–it was our Al’s Bar, but it’s so clean now. So clean it was almost eerie. They sweep the floor now. They painted over the graffiti. The hole in the wall is covered up. The pool table is gone. The photo booth is gone. (Did that photo booth actually work?  I just remember people fucking in it.) The wife and I had our 20th anniversary at Al’s Bar, I remember. That was forever ago. I had my 40th birthday party in there. That was forever-er ago.  I smoked dope with Kurt Cobain there out on the back patio, and he’s been dead forever and ever. Continue reading