Michael Schenker cancels for kids
The most jaw-dropping story this week involves the cancellation of the Jan. 19 show at 'Canes by former UFO and Scorpions guitar whiz Michael Schenker. Schenker, a German native, fathered a few young'uns back here in the U.S., and apparently there's a little dispute over his child-support payments. As a result (fearing the police might choose to attend one of his shows), he cancelled his U.S. tour.
Schenker claims he's innocent, and to prove it to his fans, he has taken to publishing select e-mails between him and his ex-wife on his website, www.michaelschenker himself.com, under the header "To My True Fans." It's a grotesque example of what people choose to do with the power of worldwide self-publishing the Internet provides.
Here are a few of the excerpts:
(From Schenker's ex): You must pay or the measurers are severe. Passport suspended-assets frozen, jail time. This is the law.
(From Schenker's daughter): Daddy, mom says we are losing our home AGAIN? Love, Essenz.
(From Michael Schenker): OK I won't do the tour. From simple to complicated. Fucking a man for 3 years and ignoring me, keeping my son away from me, lying to my mom about selling my equipment to straighten out your credit while telling me you did not sell and your credit is screwed up... You want to fight. Let's fight.
(From Schenker's ex): Fucking black man 3 year? No sweetie only 2 years not fucking I need a real man to help me taking care of our son since, his fucking daddy ran off to Mexico with his bitch....
Two words come to mind: Holy moly.
The exchange is a must-read for those thinking about diving headfirst into holy matrimony. If it proves anything, it's that one should be cautious before committing personal info to e-mail in these days of share-all interconnectedness. It also proves that neither Schenker nor his ex knows how to spell.
At this point, Pennywise (at 4th & B on Jan. 19, Soma on Jan. 20) is-like Social D and Bad Religion-more than a tenacious band. They are Southern California board-culture's collective consciousness. "Bro Hymn" is the "Star Spangled Banner" of a subculture whose members are the stars of Mountain Dew's worldwide marketing campaign. The band was forced to cancel its recent European tour, causing break-up rumors to swirl. Not true, says the band, as they're touring behind their newest (and bleakest record to date for the eternally hopeful punks), The Fuse.
Joining Pennywise on their dates are the Suicide Machines (not to be confused with the Secret Machines). The video for their single, "War Profiteering is Killing Us All" proves that you don't need Spike Jonze. Just invite your mailing-list acolytes to your buddy's garage, spray paint the walls, go nuts and film it. And use subtitles in scratchy fonts so viewers can understand what the hell you're screaming, just in case they think it's "Whoa, puff. I'm tearing mescaline a saw."
Metal throwbacks High on Fire are fresh off taping a performance for the Discovery Channel's grease-monkey phenomenon, Monster Garage. Air date is TBA, but you can see the blistering piles of riffage they performed-"Devilution" and "Brother in the Wind"-live at The Casbah on Jan. 20.
Over at the Epicentre on Jan. 22, people who still subscribe to magazines can see one of SPIN's nominees for Band of the Year in the form of good hardcore outfit The Fall of Troy. They'll perform with fellow screamers The Jonbenet, who get the award for best website. It's a screenshot of a Myspace e-mail. The photo of the sender is a hunky, shirtless male named "Seth" with the body of the e-mail reading: "R U into domination?" Click on his package to enter the site.
For you punk rockers waiting for the results of your STD test: boy, do we have the soundtrack for you. The Breakdowns' (Zombie Lounge, Jan. 20) song "Getting Tested" is an ode to that specific sweaty-palm period in a sexually active person's life and includes the lyrics, "Remember that song "Knock on Wood'?/ It was a radio hit but not that good/ but now I think it's time to knock on wood." Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt did the bro-thing not too long ago and wore the Breakdowns' T-shirt on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
It's Grammy time again, and a former nominee-folk songstress Eliza Gilkyson-plays at Normal Heights United Methodist Church Jan. 20 in support of her new album, Paradise Hotel. A bit yawny for us, but talented stuff for the sedate crowd, no doubt.
And finally, there will be a Devendra Banhart sighting in San Diego this week. In case you haven't been deliriously scouring the hip indie webzines across the nation, Banhart is the new indie-folk icon, on par with Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens for warped granola goodness. He's not doing his own stuff, though, so don't go requesting songs off his new gem of an album, Cripple Crow (although you should go buy it). He's adding guitar and vocal support to Vetiver, the San Francisco chamber-folk project of his pal Andy Cabic, at The Casbah Jan. 22.