Honorable Mention 3-Way Tie: Kern County High School Board Of Trustee Meetings, Kern County Board Of Supervisors Meetings, City Council Meetings. These coma-inducing news events are for only the die-hard news fans who drink copious amounts of coffee and regularly pee razor blades.
10. Drug busts. Boring. I don’t care who, when, what or why. When the streets start looking cleaner, then busts will be newsworthy. There’s always exceptions to the rule though. Notable figures like Tom Sizemore busted in a Bako hotel is great for wacky news out of the Bake. Giant drug busts are interesting. So are drug bust shootouts.
9. 3.0 earthquakes. Dropping a laundry basket shakes up the living room more than a 3.0. Shut up about them already.
8. Clubs busted for selling alcohol to minors. Undercover agents, blah blah blah…
7. Harvey Hall ribbon cuttings. What’s the point of ribbon cuttings? I never understand them. A bunch of hoopla. He is a nice man though. Should play a doctor on a cowboy TV show remake like, “Return to Little House.”
6. Pet of the week. I remember writing about a cat jumping 60 feet out of a tree. Now that was a cool pet story. Made homepage of CNN.com. Pets of the week are not newsworthy.
5. Most car accidents. Do people really want to read about or see fatal accidents on TV that are just the aftermath? If you don’t have video of the crash itself then trash the story. Always an exception to the rule.
4. House fires. Most house fires put me to sleep. TV covers them more than the newspaper. I think some of them are gang related. But no one talks about it much in the media.
2. Food drives. Can you think of a more boring news topic? The only thing remotely decent would be some kid stacking cans into a giant pyramid and then ramming his tricycle into them. Now that would be cool!
1. In God We Trust. I know, this one is specific. And I’m guilty of getting this story on CNN.com. But any further media attention on this issue is just going to put me into a coma. Exception: Put Chad Vegas in a Mr. Incredible spandex uniform and have him in the ring with Ralph “The Mouth” Bailey, Kiyoshi “Hulk Fists” Tomono and Iron Mike Hart and now you’re talking ultimate fighting news!
Honorable Mention: Bakersfield City. Let’s face it, there are a lot of boring city jobs out there folks. Just imagine them before you go to sleep at night.
10. Almost anywhere in Kern County real estate. It just can’t be exciting unless you’re the real estate agent selling million-dollar homes. Anything else and it’s just pencil pushing and contract signing. Algae-filled pools in foreclosed homes are kind of colorful though. Zzzz…
9. Golf Cart Cop. I remember seeing one of these traffic cop folks having to clean up the downtown smashed county seal after it fell in a dust storm. Not a fun job putting chalk on tires either.
8. Long John Silvers. Now that pirates are sort of out of fashion I can’t see this franchise lasting much longer in Bakersfield. Johnny Depp better make another film.
7. Bakersfield Californian. Really depends on what you’re doing. I always think reporters have cool jobs. But for people distributing newspapers. I just can’t see any inky fun in doing that. Although the old video game Paperboy was killer.
6. ProSoft Technology. Located on top floor of Washington Mutual Building in downtown Bakersfield. What can I say? Without Doug Sharratt, that company has to be about as lively as the Crystal Palace without Buck Owens favorite chicken fried steak.
5. Bill Thomas Terminal. I just can’t see screening Bako folks before they step on planes as a fun job. This isn’t LAX we’re talking about, folks. It’s a terminal in the middle of nowheresville. The Homeland Security patches are the only thing cool to look at.
4. Marketplace security cop. You ride bikes around watching kids make-out. You break up fights between boys who just made out with girls. You pick on small kids. Kinda boring. Or is it?
3. Valley Plaza Mall. There aren’t even good teen angst mall movies these days. Malls are boring places to go to unless you’re seeing a movie. They’re a great place to go to if you’re trying to hook up with drug dealers or watch their girlfriend’s sell all their hard-earned drug-dealing boyfriend's crack money. Try selling shoes at a mall. Talk about stinky feet.
2. Any Pentecostal Church. Need I say more? Some of their preachers probably have cool tattoos though. So do their secretaries come to think about it.
1. Kern County Building on Truxtun Avenue. Do you know how boring it is to even look at that building? I practically fall asleep while driving past it. I have often seen gaggles of employees walking to sandwich shops and gossiping about other workers. It’s a job requirement: must be a good gossiper, must wear a bland dress, must claw way to top of county food chain. Just ask Cubicle Dweller.
An exciting new band, Pepe LePew underwear, a possible Disney band reuniting with a seasoned teen band debuting a new indie sound? This was the Bakersfield show I had been waiting for.
The most exciting new band in Bakersfield? Let’s see, how would the mixture go? Take some Strokes and Fratellis, mix that with some Rolling Stones and teen angst rock star power, then pour in four Bakersfield cousins and you have The Rozzes.
The Rozzes Rock The Gate
“Most of our songs come from jams,” said lead singer Isaiah Navarro, 16. He’s also one of two shredding guitarists in The Rozzes and said their influences come from a lot of 70s and 80s rock. Blame it on the parents. We tend to turn our kids onto what motivated us as youth hooked on rock. I’m not sure if that’s the case with The Rozzes, but the older rock influences are there in a cool and hip new Bakersfield blended sound.
The Rozzes sounded tight, like they practice everyday. Either that or it was a great cover-up. Isaiah blamed their togetherness on familial bonds. “We’re cousins. We know each other so well,” he said. And they do. Not only are they tight, catchy and fun. They have rock star power and a catchy 3-song e.p., “Light In The Overcast,” a must for local music fans.
Nick From Dirty Spanglish Smirks; Isaiah From The Rozzes In Background
Whoever said there’s nothing to do in Bakersfield can once again politely ram their foot up their rear because The Rozzes were followed up by former members of the Dirty Pillows in the Bako band, Abduction! They actually do end their band name with an exclamation point.
Abduction! Pre-Pepe LePew Underwear Moment
If there’s an award for the funnest, goofiest, craziest pop punk band in Bakersfield, Abduction! wins hands down. Nick from Dirty Spanglish introduced them as “My favorite band in Bakersfield.” I can see why because Nick used to be the only bass player in Bakersfield who I’d seen perform in his boxers. That is until Abduction’s Jeff stripped down to his Pepe LePew boxers to perform as a birthday present for guitarist Jerry. And it wasn’t just for one song.
Abduction! Birthday Boy With Underwear Boy On Bass
Looney Tunes Clothes-Free Pop Punk
Dressed And Chillen' To Cheetos And Teen Angst
Pop punk will never die as long as these guys are around. Their lyrics are funny as is their bantering and their energy is endless. Jeff even swung his bass into a mosh pit. Pepe LePew would have been proud.
Future Disney Glam? Chloe From Wild Youth Belts Out "Hurricane"
Move over Hanna Montana. Wild Youth is filled with potential Disneyfied rock stars. They sounded much tighter than the first time I heard them in Pasadena. Chloe is Avril Lavigne meets Alanis Morrisette with her seductive breathy vocals. And Mac Attack is rock god enough for Jack Black to swoon over. But then, this Pasadena quartet has been working with some serious producers to hone their sound into the kind of band that can be pitched to Disney music executives. Currently on a phat Cali August tour that’s taking them from Hollywood’s Knitting Factory, the Egyptian Theatre and into the heart of San Francisco, Wild Youth are on their way to possibly being a mega commercial teen band.
Wild Youth, Dirty Spanglish, Ages? Try 13-17 Years Old
I spoke with Natalie Chaidez, mother of lead singer/bass player Chloe. She said while the band is working on getting a possible deal and strengthening their sound by working with music industry professionals, the band isn’t pushed too hard because they’re young. I agree. Who wants kids to be too serious? They have to have fun in what they’re doing. Although it still takes a record deal, or partnership with Disney or big sponsorship these days for such bands to hit the big-time, there’s still a lot of fun in bringing such talented kids into a small Bakersfield venue. Put Wild Youth on your “watch” list. They’re total School of Rock kids who could end up with their music in a Hollywood teen film or TV series.
Lando From Dirty Spanglish Readies To Rock
Just Do It!
“Dirty Spanglish blew us away,” said Isaiah from the Rozzes. He sat outside the Gate after he and a host of others listened to DS debut their new indie sound. Isaiah’s was a humble statement from an up-and-coming rock star. I’d say Dirty Spanglish blew fans away simply because their sound has matured and their fans love the change.
Their song “Tuesday” would be a hit on any indie pop album and is one of the best radio-friendly rock songs I’ve ever heard come out of Bakersfield. Lost Ocean’s recent new songs are top of that list. The Rozzes have the potential to be right there as well. Let me spin their demo at least two more times before I make that call.
Dirty Spanglish has more of a groove, more attitude, and more of a funky fun sound since busting out their Harry Potter wrock song "Hots For Hermione." Their indie songs are a fresh blast from a band who has migrated from the world of pop punk into a musical direction that is more meaningful for the four bandmembers. It's the Shins, Artic Monkeys, Wilco, Modest Mouse all wrapped into one. Where was Jesse from Illasever to hear all of this??
Shaun Alaniz really impressed me not only with his rendition of “Tuesday,” but also with singing an incredibly fun song called, "The Taco Stand Specialty." A song about a stomachache that had people dancing? Why not, it had the most catchy chorus of the evening: “Oh boy...geez loueez, don’t do this to me...” Haha, get the Peptol.
Catch Me If You Can...
I think that’s much of the old Dirty Spanglish influence on the new indie version. The catchiness and hooks are still there, but it’s a sound that can appeal to more people. I’m really looking forward to their next show and upcoming recording sessions. Rock it.