Archive | February, 2018

Homeless is Where the Heartless Lie BUT if the Heartless Lie, Where is the Homeless?

28 Feb

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I want to thank anyone lingering around here after posting that Tiny Giant tribute entry a few weeks back. I did blockbuster stats within the first seven days of its original posting, so I’m extremely HAPPY that people are reading something else for once than the same damn four blogs I wrote about Harry Perzigian repeatedly over and over again, day in and day out.

I’m so over it. I need to move on. I need to nudge the readers out of their procrastination along with the trolls that cowardly patrol the comments section need to bitch about how much of a “murderer” Harry was and bitch about other stuff I write. Posting about a small independent struggling band seemed to have worked wonders.

This is my 99th blog give or take without the summer repeats (re; my old concert reviews and modified Yes Logs), and rather than pontificate on my  three-year accomplishment of holding my head above financial waters BY HAVING a roof over my head, I’m going to pontificate INSTEAD about the half a year time that I didn’t.

I was talking to my mother in New Jersey the other day on the phone and discussing other than the freaky weather she was having out there, where it is a massive snow blizzard one day and eighty degree springtime the next wanted to know what was the big story happening on the west coast concurrently at the moment.

First thing that came to mind was the recent break up of an Orange County homeless camp that’s been widely reported on all our news local stations. Supposedly this story is gaining wide attention across the country, but my mom hasn’t been seeing it on any of the major news network – but then I have to remind myself my mom watches a news station back east in New Jersey that’s like the local equivalent of a CNN or a Fox station – but it’s 24 hours of nothing but New Jersey news coverage. That’s not much help

Anyway I was telling her that there is literally miles and miles along the Santa Ana River where bike paths and parks are occupied by nothing but tents. A tent city acting as a dystopian society harboring mostly scores of mentally ill people and scowling wretched repugnant smelling thieves and now, as of last Friday – murder was in the air. Someone was stabbed during a knife welding altercation between a tent dweller and a bicyclist during the wee early morning hours. The bicyclist survived. The tent pitching drifter did not.

Not only was this recent broken up encampment an eyesore attracting the disenfranchised the whole country over and putting in harm’s way of Anaheim’s citizens who are hampered by getting a little exercise or taking their kids to the park – but it’s a potential breeding ground for deadly diseases to formulate, Including, according to world renown addiction specialist and radio show host, Dr. Drew Pinsky, – bubonic plague.

Hmm. Just smell that fresh air and its’ permeating germs.

As Drew reiterated recently on his KABC AM radio show, The Orange County bulldozed clean up of the encampment generated tons of tons of trash, and that were rats clinging to it. Rats draw fleas. There are scurrying rats brave enough to cuddle up at night with a warm homeless drunk which can attract those fleas. Once a drunk or a tattooed idiot junkie with a needle sticking out of his arm starts to come in contact with others of his ilk and he happens to get into a heroin shoot up derby or a blow job marathon with your favorite female meth head gum flapping gal pal – you got a recipe for a disaster to travel upstream.

And it could hit close to home to me here in Los Angeles. Never mind all the way up north to the Seattle area where the plague might be capable of sneaking its way into Steve Scumbag (Harry Perzigian’s younger brother)’s trolling minion, Jeff Hanson’s daily regular gloryhole injections that’s located back in the local Shell station somewhere out in Racine, Washington.

More on that asshole next week if he’s still reading.

You’re probably wondering – hey, what the fuck is all this to you anyway, Coatney? Why are you so fixated? You don’t mess around with all the transient freaks down in Orange County. You’ve got time to batten down the hatches over at Casa de la Coatney in case of an emergency outbreak. No poisonous microorganism, no matter how big or small could penetrate its strong adhesive steel hermetically sealed steel panic room.

Hazmat suits at the ready….

Whoa. Allow me to stop myself right there.

The situation in Orange County particularly frightens me because in a matter of a few short weeks, Wonder Con will be in town at Anaheim (sister con of  San Diego Comic Con International) – taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center located right next door to Disneyland. Two caveats to having a shit load of a good time this year (hopefully without me stepping in it) that I think that all of you should be aware of.

Like last year, I discovered I found it more convenient to take either the Amtrak or the Metrolink down to the Anaheim ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center) than taking a goofball bus from out of downtown Los Angeles. Once you arrive, there’s a shuttle bus that whisks you over to the Disneyland entrance and all you got to do there is saunter on down a couple of blocks to the Convention Center and you’ve reached the pearly gates of comic book collecting bliss.  It certainly cut my commute down by hours.

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However, ARTIC is located right next door to Angels Stadium (you just have a I-5 overpass that separates the two structures) where just beyond the parking lot is where part of this encampment lies. So much for wanting to take in a game after spring training.

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I’ve got my fingers crossed that the encampment will be completely eradicated by then and I can feel that at late at night when I’m waiting for a train to take me back home that I won’t run into any trouble from wandering vagrants who might try to shake for a couple of bucks or to bum a cigarette or two.

The second deadly component I’m also wearily of – once authorities moved in after U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter lifted the temporary restraining order on evictions across the camp and kind heartedly enough to award vouchers for a monthly stay in a local hotel in hopes that some of these vagrants can clean up themselves and get their lives back on tracks. Another prize worthy incentive to those willing to take this offer without a fight or getting their asses thrown in the hoosegow – $ 75.00 gift cards.

Jeez, even if you were living off of food stamps or general relief here in Los Angeles – you’d never have it as good as you could get it in Orange County.  So of course, once the word spread out like a newly found Betty Crocker easy bake venereal disease wildfire – it was a massive stampede to waiting in a line going around the Honda Center, the arena where the Anaheim Ducks hockey team mainly plays –  is also located across the ARTIC.  Thieves are as thick a foot suffering from a gangrene disease whereas homeless started to attack other homeless coming in other nearby freeway overpass encampments and park tents who were never living in that Santa Ana encampment that was in the process of being demolished. They swarm in like locusts and left those decidedly enfranchised to go be homeless somewhere else.

Here’s where my personal worry sets in:

What fucking motels are those vouchers good at?

Are any next door to Disneyland or the Anaheim Convention Center by any chance?

Because like Dr. Drew was espousing on his radio show (heard daily on KABC AM from noon to 3 PM Pacific Time), IF those hotels or motels didn’t have a bedbug outbreak scare THEN, they certainly will NOW once the smelly tattered brigade goes in and snatches all the cheap rooms up.

NOW here in Los Angeles, I’ve had my personal run ins with these random nutjobs and mental cases over the years, but lately EVER since the poseur unqualified president douchebag trump has been sworn in office, I’ve been seeing an uptick in the brashness in the bravery in approaching tax paying citizens and mostly succeed in pilfering your hard-earned money and valuables. The sheer audacity in thinking they have the right to piss on your parade and inconvenience you during times when you’re out happily shopping at the mall or you can’t get a certain seat on the subway to work during your morning commute because of some fat smelly fuck taking up two seats to grab a power nap from his all night White Port bottle inspection job.

I mean, the fucking nerve, right?

I was once homeless in the early nineties. I was living in a three bedroom house out in Northridge with longtime friends and other colorful sorts when the first Bush in office made it hard by jacking up taxes. Recession crept in and lot of jobs throughout the entire city of Los Angeles into metamorphed into a titsy. Then the Rodney King riots happened. Due to riot approved vandalism around the city, I lost my job at a video game store. The riot’s repurcussions caused me to not pay rent and the other roommates couldn’t make their share for forgotten reasons and we all wound up evicted.

Rather than become homeless in Los Angeles, where I feared I was most likely to lose my life, I opted to go scurrying back to San Diego to ask my aunt or pound on the doors of old friends for help and to apologize for leaving San Diego in the first place. I had made arrangements to meet someone who was willing to help put me up, but she winded up flaking on me. My aunt helped me for a couple of days, but her roommate who leased the house she stayed in only allowed me to stay for a few days before throwing me out and I was left to fend for myself along the beaches of North San Diego County until someone who used to be my boss at a software warehouse job found out about my situation from my aunt and came out to Encinitas and actually found struggling along the PCH and drove me to his pad in Ocean Beach where he help put me up with some clean clothes and some $25.00 bucks in cash, so I could attend the San Diego Comic Con.

Luckily I had bought a pass in advance from the last con. After the con was over I started receiving unemployment checks in San Diego. The reason why I was nearly penniless was because the EDD refused to send my checks to my aunt’s PO Box at her post office in Cardiff By the Sea. The San Diego unemployment office wanted a physical address to send them. So my former boss, who was also unemployed, but was using his college aid from San Diego State University to rent his small cottage apartment.  Eventually he offered me to help him pay rent. So it was cool that I didn’t have resort to staying in flophouses and roach hotels anymore. I found someplace to create and script comic books (re: The Deposit Man was created in a heap of fits of drunken dementia during my stay in shitty hotels out in Hillcrest) and not to miss out on a episode of Batman: The Animated Series when it premiered on FOX Kids that fall. I also buckled down and got material printed in the Comics Buyers’ Guide, a weekly newspaper dedicated to the comic book industry which led me to more writing gis

So for a period of two months, I was truly aimless in my life. I botched it all up in Los Angeles by losing everything and throwing whatever I owned in storage (sticking my friends with the bill which wasn’t very friendly to begin with) , although circumstances dictate it wasn’t entirely all my doing and just panicked rather than sticking to the mission. Yeah, I was homeless for a brief period, but there were those who evidently helped me get back on my feet.

But throughout the entire ordeal at least I wasn’t being…

A DICK ABOUT IT.

Just recounting a few instances of where the local LA homeless have been truly pricks about their situation that they’re too fucking lazy to help themselves out of.

Something around 2005 or so when I was out promoting my first self published comic book mini-series, The Deposit Man & the Last Great Gate of Morality and headed my way towards the Shrine Auditorium for a convention before I was accosted and assaulted by this Andre the Giant looking homeless dude outside a downtown Los Angeles McDonald’s simply because I told him to fuck off because he was incessantly pestering me for change EVEN after I was informing him that he was standing under a sign on the wall that said “NO PANHANDLING!”

So after him and two other buddies ambushed me and roughed me up a bit, luckily they were chased off by a couple of cops who just turning a street corner. After filing a police report, I was late in getting to my table and selling comic books with a newly fresh minted black eye.

Recently, some mentally disturbed bag lady came chasing me to my Sherman Oaks apartment security gate because I was goddamn to find out why she just dumped her shopping cart full of her personal belongings in the middle of the main entrance’s sidewalk. I asked her why is all her personal property doing on my property and she started bellowing at me to stop ‘eyeballing her stuff’ from a block away. She must have been shitting in someone’s else’s shrubbery, because as she dangerously approached closer, she started to smell like it.

I told her to get her shit off my patio and proceed immediately to the nearest pharmacy and make sure that she keep that Ritalin prescription filled at all times.

Then, there’s this clown below this paragraph. I don’t know his personal story, but there was one time I was taking the bus down Ventura Blvd and a stop at Studio City, this fat fuck jumped in the entrance of the and nearly succeeded in slapping a female bus operator in order to grab loose change out of the return coin slot of the bus’ fare box. I see this mentally unstable laughing to himself hyena nearly EVERYWHERE I go in Los Angeles, but mainly makes his roofless airy headquarters near Studio City and Sherman Oaks- but ALSO I have run into him constantly along the Hollywood Metro Red Line, the bus outside my work near the Farmer’s Market in the Fairfax district, a bus at UCLA and Westwood, and at my local Sherman Oaks area Starbucks where he has tried a few times to make off with the tip jar (believe me, he’s no stranger to the barista either.) I can’t fathom how all of a sudden this fat gray striped rancid smelling bozo has become a plaguing freak magnet to me lately.

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Here’s another oddity I find occasionally traipsing along Ventura Blvd. Oddity in the sense, he only comes out when it’s fifty degrees or less outside in the nighttime wearing nothing but running shorts so short and constricting that his tiny cocktail onions are nearly protruding out the sides of his crotch. He’s freaking bald, hunched over with an enormous heavy backpack that looks extremely painful to cart around town with, and is garnished with some kind of black gas mask that looks as if he ordered it on ebay  under the search engine,”The Dark Knight Rises” official merchandise. So I nickname him “Skinny Bane“.

I have nothing against him personally, although being in his presence annoys the fuck out of me. I’m just trying to grasp whatever the hell is going on in that infantile brain of his that would make him walk around with his gonads practically exposed.

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My next blog FOR SURE will be my 100th posting celebration. Look for it in a couple of weeks.

AN UPDATE from yesterday’s posting:. The Orange County Register is on top of this Santa Ana River Trail homeless encampment story like an outbreak of herpes sores. Check www.ocregister.com for frequent updates.

So far, the clean up tally has yielded so far:

215 tons of trash or debris

1,165 pounds of hazardous waste, including human and pet feces

5,115 needles.

And also this from voiceofoc.org about the sale of a office facility away from schools and residences that may prove beneficial for those seeking a way out of his or hers’ unfortunate dilemma.

Orange County officials Tuesday finalized the purchase of a building along the Santa Ana River that officials have said will be used to house a new center for mental health and drug treatment services.

The proposed center – at 265 South Anita Dr. in the city of Orange – is in a cluster of office buildings along the eastern bank of the river, just north of the 5 freeway.

It’s close to the county’s Theo Lacy jail and UCI Medical Center, one of the main hospitals for low-income people, including mentally ill homeless people, in Orange County.

County supervisors voted 5-0 in open session Tuesday to purchase the building for $7.8 million, after first discussing it privately in a closed session. Additionally, the county will pay $1.3 million to relocate existing tenants who have been renting space at the office building.

There was no word Tuesday on when services will start at the property. While the supervisors vote to buy the building came in a public session where they were allowed to talk about it, the supervisors opted to say nothing in public about the building or which services will be offered and when.

County spokeswoman Jen Nentwig said she didn’t have information about when services at the building will be available.

County officials previously have said plans for the building included a crisis stabilization unit for both adults and children, a substance sobering station, addiction withdrawal services, crisis recovery beds, an outpatient triage center and residential treatment center.

After people receive treatment at the campus, they could go to another program or be referred to other mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

It is assured that patients will not be released on the street.

Well thank goodness, that Orange County is making strides in dealing with their atrocious eyesore, if only the city Los Angeles could learn from example.

 

 

 

 

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Finding the Tiny Giant Hidden In the Slice of the Dark Third Is Usually The One Making You Beg for More

15 Feb

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I hate when shit slips beneath my radar.

Usually I pride myself on being the BE ALL, KNOW ALL on everything that is progressive rock, comic books, comic book television shows and movies, or living the high life in the Costa Rica trees swinging with the white headed Capuchin monkey tribes of Central America.

Now but, I got to own it. I got to admit to myself, I got really goddamned flummoxed when this relatively unknown band Tiny Giant one day rose up from the ashes of Pure Reason Revolution and began treading the earth.

Confused?  You should be.

Not many people were exposed to Pure Reason Revolution’s debut album, The Dark Third despite it being released on a major label such as Sony/Columbia Records that didn’t give the band the push it truly deserved out here in the States.

From my days of walking into the studio store of the Sony Pictures Lot in Culver City where for a period of two years I was employed as a syndication marketing analyst for Seinfeld, King of Queens, The Shield, and assorted movie packages, I would occasionally pick up compact discs and dvds at a very discounted price for being a studio associate.

I wasn’t a big fan of most artists on the Sony/Columbia label except for Pink Floyd or Kansas, but there was PRR were a new artist that I had been exposed to back in the glorious days of myspace (circa 2006 or 2007) who caught my ear, and upon that day when I took their debut album home to listen on my relatively cheap hi fi system, from there it somewhat became the soundtrack of when I harken back to my tumultuous relationship with next door amateur porn star Rikki Lixxx (the mostly bad parts, while Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing represents the good parts) that fascinated me for a good two years until the band was ready to release its sophomoric effort, Amor Vincit Omnia in March of 2009, just as I get getting the boot out of my Westwood office and moving in with Harry Perzigian out in Brentwood.

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What strikes me different about Pure Reason Revolution or what I consider unique about them is the contributing collaborative strength and musicianship of female bass player Chloe Alper to the band’s founder Jon Courtney (along with brother Andrew when they were first known as The Sunset Sound) of bringing his vision of an indie style band amalgamated with progressive rock sensibilities. I never heard such a masterful display of harmonious singing between male and female in a progressive/new wave fashion that conjures beat box bohemian bombastic twists and turns majesty with just a little twinge of psychedelic era Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, and Nash thrown in for good measure. Wikipedia’s entry on the band describes them as a variation ‘astral folk’ (?) and progressive rock. But cutting through the cosmic red tape, the outwardly outstanding feature that illuminates over all, is how uncanny of a fit that former punk rocker Chloe Alper was to the entire overall concept.

Listening to The Dark Third (whose album cover(s) comes in all sorts of various shapes and colors utilizing Greek statues and architecture) and to portions of the ever Latin manifesto electronic love inspired Amor Vincit Omnia before its’ initial release (latin meaning truth conquers all. Something that Courtney picked up from his prep school days) to this very day still sounds to me of unlocking the hidden DaVinci Code of progressive rock especially on songs, Bright Ambassadors of Morning, Bullitts Dominae, and The Twyncyn Trembling Willows that instantly evoke inner visions of astronomy and classic literature. Sadly they only managed to pull off three albums, an ep, and a double live album before shifting off the mortal coil of disbandment after only 6 years of existence.  I was never able to get my hands on the aforementioned second album (Amoeba Records, our local Los Angeles big indie record supermarket refused to order it for me because of high import costs) and their final effort released in 2011, entitled Hammer and Anvil never saw the light of day on American shores and neither is it still in print and I have no idea how to compare it to the others except that it probably sounds lovely, like a Dump Fascist Trump symphony performed in F minor.

A truly progressive rock classic of The Aughts. Circa 2006

Why is the PRR not a widely renown American musical entity? I can only assume that American record executives these days are incredibly fucking stupid. Stiff suits throughout entire history only have appreciated American knock offs of English progressive bands such as Styx or Kansas (not to knock on their musicianship), they don’t really pay attention to how much the genre evolves to involve much like the kids’ interest in indie/alt rock. Sure, Radiohead and other European acts such as Mew or Muse have made some stride – but those of the 3 perfect p’s from the UK; Porcupine Tree (now the Steven Wilson Band), The Pineapple Thief, and Pure Reason Revolution’s efforts have gone largely underappreciated. Unfortunately, for me- Pure Reason Revolution has opened for Porcupine Tree in the US for their 2007’s Fear of A Blank Planet tour, but that was only out in the east coast. They’ve never ventured to the west coast

These days, I largely shit on most American artists- I would assume it’s the inner Welsh in me. If a pure American band is signed to K-Scope such as The Receiver hailing from Columbus, Ohio– I’ll give them a spin. I’ve lost interest in the further pursuits of Dream Theater, Enchant, and even my Sherman Oaks hometown area Spock’s Beard these past couple of years. I just seem to no longer care about the true and tried formula now that I’m slowly developing into a trolling cantankerous mid-fifty year old.

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The superbrain mastermind of Pure Reason Revolution, Jon Courtney. 

I have no idea what past and present members from PRR are doing these days. I would be specifically interested in hearing what the Courtney brothers are doing other than being DJs at local discos – but Chloe Alper, MAN oh man, the legendary talented Chloe Alper somehow is back!!

And this is the part of this blog’s entry, where I NOW explain how shit gets by me unnoticed.

Chloe Alpert in addition to her bass/keyboard/harmonious lead vocals and cover painting skills has now been part of a musical duo called Tiny Giant for the better part of the past two years. Her songwriting partner is Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist Mat Collis and they just released a video of the single called Thirsty from their future forth coming album. I don’t know the details, because if I had been paying attention to my pile of unread Prog Magazines gathering on the floor, I would’ve learned that they were nominated for a Limelight (New band) award for best new unsigned band. I literally only found out about Tiny Giant days ago while I was listening to youtube, of all things, GENTLE GIANT (which I was originally going to write about)  and their video popped up in my queue. “Thirsty” is a clash of bubblegum grunge (Alper is only the singer as far as I can tell) blended in fanatical Kate Bush experimentation that harkens back to Kate’s “The Dreaming” and “Hounds of Love” days of yore. It looks and sounds fun and the melodies are immediately infectious upon first listening. No arguing that it’s my fav song of the year so far. They’ve been doing the festival scene and they’ve even appeared on UK morning television doing other one worded wonder songs such as “Sad“.

New music from former PRR bassist/keyboard/singer Chloe Alper and Mat Collis- performing as Tiny Giant.

Please, please, K-Scope Music whatever you do – SIGN THIS BAND!!

Looking forward of getting my hands on their debut album. I hope Alper sticks in the post progressive world of sound for longer days to come.

Hopefully by the next time we meet, my stone moving friend Zak Alvarez will have that review of that Hostiles movie polished off. According to a recent facebook posting, he has informed me that he is busy currently taking care of several spiritual matters up north.