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Ask She Mob

Dear She Mob:
I love your "Ask She Mob" column, and really appreciate the way your witty replies are delivered with a gentle, yet relentless undertone of irony and/or sarcasm. That's my kind of humor (no, I mean it, really, sarcasm mode is definitely OFF here.) Thing is, I can't figure out who writes these little glittering gems! My guess is that it's Lisa (her irony, steely and remorseless, strikes fear into the hardest heart, while her wisdom is caring, even motherly) or Sue (no one blends sarcasm and Midwestern gee-whiz optimism into an intoxicating She-Brew quite like Ms. Hutchinson a.k.a. Queen Of Doom!). Or maybe both? I just don't get any sense of Alan's eclectic Svengali/ Wizard Of Oz/ Mr. Smith Goes To Washington-era-Jimmy Stewart nature in there. Nor do I detect even the faintest whiff of Diane's hedonistic, swinging sixties charm. By the way, is Diane seeing anyone these days? And what was it like recording with the secretive, tragically misunderstood studio genius Myles Boisen? I've heard he is really manipulative and strange, kinda like a modern-day Phil Spector? Did he make you do any weird rituals in the studio? I've heard rumors... - "Buddy" from San Leandro

Hey Buddy-
Say, did you know that San Leandro was first discovered on March 20, 1772 by Spanish soldier Captain Pedro Fages and the Spanish Catholic priest Father Crespi? Forty-eight years later, to increase settlement and strengthen their claim to the Bay Area, the Spanish gave to retired Spanish soldier Don Luis Maria Peralta a 43,000 acre land grant which he named Rancho San Antonio. In 1842, Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo, also a retired Spanish soldier, was granted 7,000 acres of land in the San Leandro area, which he named Rancho San Leandro. As for your questions: we like to keep the "Ask She Mob" writer kind of mysterious, to avoid lawsuits and screaming matches in the middle of the street. We're paranoid that way. Diane is seeing someone at the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't still be friends. Now Myles Boisen is a whole 'nother topic unto himself. Let's just say that it takes a very special individual to put up with the likes of us and our marathon recording sessions. We know the homemade sandwiches help, but God, the man is practically a saint: patient, talented and quite the knob-twirler in the studio. His only ritual seems to be to take a break every 12 hours or so for about 20 minutes—we've learned to put up with it. Highly recommended by She Mob.

Dear She Mob,
I saw your little kid pix, and WOW! talk about charisma! You gals are sooooooooooooo adorable. I would have adopted you if I was only 20 years older. Speakin' a which, how old are you folks? You must be in your mid to late 40s? Older? Am I close? The reason I ask is actually relevant to my next question. As one of the newer fans of your band, I'm curious to know: It sounds like you are playing music live again after all these years. What is it that inspires you to do such a thing? (at your age) I'm not saying it to be mean, much to the contrary. I think it's great, but I'm just curious to know where you find the inspiration? - Joe Pop-O-Pie, Unemployed Astronaut

Well hello Joe-
No offense taken. Other people have asked if we're ancient children of the 60s, due to the archaic quality of dress and hairstyle of our childlike selves. Although very early Beatles and Petula Clark figured in our murky, preschool backgrounds, most of us came of age during the 70s. Average age of the band: 39.75. In the early 80s, Alan was truly the musician and man-about-town. Sue, Diane and Lisa kind of wiggled around the club scene, playing in weird little bands that never lasted long. We weren't exactly hell-bent on mastering our chops back then—but what fun. We all enjoyed the Pop-O-Pies, by the way, and perhaps the entire ethos of the era continues to inspire us to ridiculous lengths—as we now attempt to master chops, compose tunes and entertain the troops. Back then, San Francisco was like a weird, punk-rock episode of "The Little Rascals" (now there's a concept). Perhaps by being in a band, we're simply prolonging some unreal version of childhood, mixed with late-adolescent angst and a smidgen of adult wisdom. Besides, it's a good way to get our ya-ya's out.

Dear She Mob,
Are the rumors true that you once performed with Sky Saxon, the dude from the Seeds? What's up with that? And who starts those crazy rumors anyways? - a confused fan

Sky says, "Go for it."

Dear fan-
The confusion is over! Yes, we did play with Mr. Saxon of The Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard" fame a few Halloween's ago (see our photo page for the stunning visuals). Saxon was supposedly recording live stuff with various Bay Area bands for an album—it didn't matter that none of the bands played any of his songs—he just improvised lyrics over whatever instrumentals they played. This...er...experimental project has yet to be released as far as we know. What truly made this one-night-stand special was that it took place at the late, great Purple Onion, then under the ownership of the raucous Tom Guido. The club has since closed after years of insanity but we're proud that it was our little slice o' San Francisco North Beach purgatory for a while. It's where we first met and frolicked with the Neptunas, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Kirby Grips; plus back in the 60s, Phyllis Diller got her start there at age 37—an inspiration to funny homemakers everywhere. Recently we were rehearsing in our cinderblock building and who should knock at the door, but Sky Saxon. He asked if we knew who he was. We countered that not only did we know—we had been his backup band. He then remembered the incident and greeted us warmly.

Leif in his heyday
a simpler time?

dear she mob....i like to watch vh1 behind the music...and was watching the leif garret one and heard him playing his new music and i was wondering if he had a new album out. i thought in the interview he said he formed a new group called 'god speed' but i'm not sure. i was hopin' you could clarify it for me and tell me about his new music like where i can get a copy. i've looked just about everywhere and came up with nothing except his new collection which contains the other material he did and i'm interested in the new. if you could please help i'd be grateful. thanks again! signed, looking for new leif

Dear Looking-
See how we taxed our brains before September 11? Do you miss those heady days, or is tomorrow bound to be a better, brighter future for all?

Dear Shemob,
Dig the MPThrees. Thanxks. I have thought hard about a question I could ask you, and finally thought of one no one else could handle. It goes something like this: Since toilets in the Southern hemisphere flush clockwise, and toilets in the Northern hemisphere flush counter-clockwise, in what direction do toilets on the equator flush? Also, what's the difference between a dog? Thankxs for everything. - Chris

get to know your inner toilet
The seat of all creation?

Hiya Chris-
For our first question involving a toilet, we put our collective minds together to come up with a scientific hypothesis. Band member A theorizes that the water will go straight down with no swirling motion whatsoever. Member B predicts that the water will flush clockwise, but only during months that contain an "r." Member C wants to know the toilet's birth sign in order to calculate the rate of flow during Jupiter in Saturn. Member D is a pessimist and doesn't see the water going anywhere at all, due to faulty plumbing. Perhaps on our next tour of the equator we can test all these theories in one fell swoosh. Until then, our brilliant collective thought process will have to do. For the difference between a dog, try the scientifically proven quiz: What Breed of Dog Are You?

Dear She Mob,
Guns 'N' Roses has resurfaced. Apparently Axl Rose retained rights to the name, and, Frankenstein-like, has cannibalized the parts of other, cooler bands. The resurrected GnR now contains elements of Primus and Nine Inch Nails, and inexplicably, Buckethead. what do we make of this, if anything? Is this a sign that apocalypse is near? Can raining toads be far behind? Signed, Concerned and Sick
p.s. I also read that Loverboy is going to continue despite the recent death of their bass player. Did anyone notice?

Axl the thin
During the Bush Senior administration...

Dear C&S,
Lookit Axl and tell me if you can't find it in your heart to pity him just a little. Back in the day, he was a GOLDEN GOD, reaching the pinnacle of rock & roll fame, riches and debauchery at a time when suburban youth needed his special brand of melodic heavy metal simply to GET THROUGH ANOTHER BORING DAY. Some former members of his band are now extremely brain damaged. There can be no turning back.

Axl the chubby
...and today.

Knowing this, Mr. Rose has moved on. The newly formed GnR has toured Las Vegas and Rio, and an album will be released in June 2001. You must admit that fictional character Dr. Frankenstein had an interesting idea for his time, even though it didn't work out. Axl Rose, a fictional character created by Lafayette, Indiana, native Bill Bailey, may likewise find that his new band may want to figuratively (or even literally) behead him with their bare hands. If so, at least he tried. Don't forget Tommy Stinson of the Replacements is also in the band. He had the privilege of playing in perhaps the greatest indie rock band ever. This gives us hope for the future of heavy metal. Besides, anyone who could pen the song 'Sweet Child O' Mine' must have the tiniest inkling of humanity within himself somewhere.

As for Loverboy, if they want a piece of my heart, they better start from the start...

dear she mob,
i am of a "certain age," yet i never truly got into the punk scene, even though i have always had punk sensibilities. i find myself reading and re-reading the book "Please Kill Me" by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain every night before bed, resulting in some unsettling dreams and the ability to quote long passages about the Stooges' experiences in L.A. and the drug habits of Johnny Thunders. some of my favorite music now includes Television, Iggy and the Stooges, the New York Dolls, and the Heartbreakers (not the Tom Petty version). am i living in a past i never experienced? should i start sniffing glue and popping Tuinals? can one even find Tuinals these days? am i hopelessly antiquated, even while achieving a level of 70's coolness that those hip-hugger-wearing, platform-shoe-tripping-over MTV wannabee's will never encounter? please help.
Signed, "i've fallen into a punk wormhole and I can't get up"

cooler than u

Dear punk-at-heart,
What you yearn for has passed and no amount of green-haired 17-year-olds wearing studded leather, standing on street-corners and doodling pictures on their arms with ball-point pens can bring back those heady days, when people sneered at each other and meant it. Your cry for help is merely an appreciation of a special place in time that can only be earnestly imitated—never again to be. It's like the flapper era—lotsa' fun but short-lived and deservedly so. So you missed out on a few drugs—you probably gained 25 years of life expectancy and that's nothing to sneeze at. Ask yourself, were the 70s truly cool? They were kind of dopey, so cool people stood out all the more (within dopey times, the cool gain stature). The 90s and early 00s are bland times for U.S. pop culture. It's hard not to feel angst when everything from ravers-on-ecstasy to Nick Drake is being used to sell cars and audio components. Our advise: Ride it out. With the inevitable inauguration of our Republican Leader, a new era of dopeyness is right around the corner. And as always, fresh illicit drugs are being concocted daily.

Dear She Mob,
Similar to how She Mob's fan base expanded geometrically in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, look for a growing fan base to develop here in Freak City, USA (Asheville, NC)(1). For instance, I almost remembered to bring one of your CD's to the recent Jayhawks show to give to Gary Louris, but didn't. But I almost remembered, and who knows what would have then developed?(2) Anyway, in "The Story of She Mob" you wrote that no one knows how to pronounce the "00's" yet, but Troy(3) and I have declared this decade to be the Aughts. It totally fits, not to mention being grammatically correct. What does She Mob think?(4) By the way, I am sending this from my church office(5), as I am iconoclastic and do not have Internet access at home. Can't wait for the new album (tentatively titled Winner's Bitch(6))! Signed, One of one of your brothers, Jeff(7)

She Mob's footnotes:
(1) Jeff's new home base.
(2) What indeed? If he's anything like the plethora of major and minor celebrities we've given our CD to, then most likely nothing.
(3) Troy, his wife.
(4) Yes! We think Jeff and Troy have a winner here.
(5) Jeff is an ordained minister.
(6) This is a reference to a term used in dog shows, of which Jeff's mother is a judge of.
(7) That would be Sue's brother. Jeff.

Dear She Mob,
I saw that movie "Live Nude Girls Unite" over the weekend and a She Mob song is in the soundtrack! I think it's "I took the $." Signed, "Brian 2"

Right you are, Brian 2. That She Mob golden oldie is indeed featured on the soundtrack of the documentary which is playing in Bay Area theaters in mid-October, 2000. Co-directors Julia Query and Vicky Funari's Live Nude Girls Unite Web site gives all the background on the film, its current distribution schedule, awards won, and of course, T-shirt information. It's the story of Julia's efforts to unionize the strippers at the Lusty Lady Theater in San Francisco—the first exotic-dancer's union of its kind. A soundtrack album is in the works. Will She Mob promote this future endeavor on this Web site? Oh yes.

gone but not forgotten
Not She Mob (Sea Hags)

Hey Mobsters,
I think I missed the whole tour. Boy do I feel like an idiot. I kept calling you the Sea Hags for some reason and nobody knew what I was talking about. Hope it was fun and you got to try lots of new stuff. I must know who Alan is - is he from Santa Cruz? Signed, "Brian"

Dear "Brian"-
No need to torment yourself. Touring is mainly for the young, the chronically underemployed, the thrill-seeker and the marginally insane. We fall under the majority of those categories. Alan actually did tour in his youth with the Cat Heads and yes, he attended UC Santa Cruz right out of high school where he first honed his DJ skills. After he moved to San Francisco, he was known as Ras Alan on the KUSF Saturday night reggae show back when the city had a thriving music scene. She Mob would have toured then, but the gals were playing in bands that while fun—were not touring vehicles (i.e., we sucked). As for the Sea Hags, the only thing we have in common with that notorious 80s band is that we all might have used similar hair-care products to get that lush, rats-nest look.

Ms. Harry Dear She Mob:
I think you should have a song (maybe a theme album, bucking the grain in the current singles-based industry) in which the tragic story of a late seventies/early eighties gang war spawned by the bitter rivalry between Patti Smith and Deborah Harry is told. Name names. Signed, "Russell"

Dear "Russell"-
Ms. SmithWhat a grand fantasy. Punks, poets and new wavers all rumbling in the gritty streets of New York City—with a cameo from the unknown Madonna. David Byrne could be cowering in an alley while the Ramones bust heads. In reality, musicians from that era were malnourished waifs who regularly dodged beer bottles or fell off of stages throughout European tours, so I doubt they could have done much brawling, although verbal sparring is a definite possibility. In She Mob, there is a minority faction who favors the bright, poppy tunes of Blondie over the rambling discourse of Patti Smith, but it's never spoken of after that same faction once admitted (while drunk) that the hit songs of Rick Springfield weren't as nausea-inducing as she once thought.

Free advice—can't beat that with a stick. Got a problem? There's four of us and only one of you. Perhaps we can offer some helpful suggestions. Email us!

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