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October 30th, 2002 WWeek Music Staff | Music Stories
 

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SEASONAL TIPS
Famous MONSTERS of PopLand
Put those cold Halloween sweats to rest with these instant costume ideas.

Halloween: the anxiety! The pressure to come up with a costume that will make you feel sexy, inventive and scary, simultaneously leaving friends envy-green. And when you're searching for hideous monsters and creepy personalities to impersonate, what better place to look than the World of Music? With just 24 hours before the big day, here are a few ready-to-wear inspirations, plus helpful hints!

BRAINSTORM: THE WHITE STRIPES

THEY ARE: "Mysterious" Detroit retro-rock hitmakers.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: The ooky-spooky shiver you get from starting a blues band with your brother/sister/former spouse.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Goofy red-and-white outfits, floppy haircuts, evasive answers and deathly pallor.

HOT TIP: To get in character, the guy playing Jack should think, "I'm the enigmatic songwriting genius"; the girl playing Meg should think, "I'm the drummer."

PERKS: "Incest is best. Put your brother/sister to the test."

PRIMARY DANGER: Greasy garage-rock purists goose-stepping around, shouting "zell out, zell out!" in weird German accents.

BRAINSTORM: NELLY

HE IS: Hip-hop's hit-making Saint Lunatic.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: "People know that if you're trying to get real hardcore street gangsta, then Nelly ain't ya man. But if you're trying to get your groove on, if you got that girl in the car, then I'm with ya, dirty." --Nelly

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: A ridiculous little strip of plastic to wear beneath your eye.

HOT TIP: Cardinals' failure to make the Series could lead to clearance-sale bonanzas of relevant sportswear.

PERKS: You'll wear yourself out informing random hotties that "It's Getting Hot in Herre."

PRIMARY DANGER: Your friends will get pissed at you for calling them stupid things like "dirty."

BRAINSTORM: TOBY KEITH

HE IS: Auteur of post-9/11 country anthem "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue"; black-hatted cheerleader for World War III.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: The impression you'd like to bomb the livin' heck out of that Osama Ben Lager and all them weirdos in Whizziwhatistan.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Phenomenally repulsive facial hair, an extra Y chromosome, complete lack of shame in opportunistic exploitation of national tragedy. OPTIONAL: T-shirt advertising "FREE MOUSTACHE RIDES." Wait, that would make you a Toby Keith fan. Never mind.

HOT TIP: This costume may not "register" with certain demographics.

PERKS: On the other hand, it is one of few likely to find just as many fans on Southwest Stark as in downtown Forest Grove.

PRIMARY DANGER: Trick-or-treating expeditions to Tualatin could end in savage sessions of unwanted "barnyard love."

BRAINSTORM: KEITH RICHARDS

HE IS: Perhaps the most terrifying creature on earth.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: A look that says, "I just came back from the taxidermist, and I feel great."

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Heroin.

SPECIAL WARNING!: Several people have given themselves severe third-degree burns while attempting Keith Richards costumes. PLEASE DO NOT SET YOURSELF ON FIRE IN AN EFFORT TO LOOK LIKE KEITH RICHARDS.

PERKS: If you happen to run into Jann Wenner, you are totally getting some ass tonight!

PRIMARY DANGER: Being mistaken for a senior Portland Mercury editor.

BRAINSTORM: PINK

SHE IS: Saucy pop pseudo-punkette.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: "Hey, aren't you that easy chick who works at Hot Topic?"

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Clairol products, poor spe!!ing and punctuat!on skillz.

HOT TIP: Switch gears and pretend you're American Idol loser Nikki McKibbin--no one will notice.

PERKS: Makes you look younger, even if you're only 14.

PRIMARY DANGER: Little children may think your hair is edible; you may attract dudes with soul patches; some people might think you're dressed as that Brit bitch Kelly Osbourne.

BRAINSTORM: ELLIOTT SMITH

HE IS: Pre-Ryan Adams greaseball sad-sack crooner.

WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR: "Come tend to my sub-aquatic self-esteem and bask in the glow of barely recognized genius."

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Bacon grease massaged about the head, neck and back; semi-ironic band T-shirt; finely shredded jeans.

HOT TIP: Just because people will offer you drugs doesn't mean you have to take them.

PERKS: Girls go for this. For some reason.

PRIMARY DANGER: Sudden success may send you into a tailspin that will require years of rehab. Zach Dundas


YOUR INDISPENSABLE GUIDE TO WHAT MATTERS IN MUSIC NEWS. OR SOMETHING.

Hiss and Vinegar

FORUM GRAPPLES W/ HIP-HOP'S LOCAL PLIGHT

Problem: Almost everyone involved in hip-hop in Portland believes government entities conspire to stifle the music. Solution: ?. But at least the 100 or so musicians, entrepreneurs and fans who turned out Sunday night for The Hip-Hop and Black Music Forum at PSU's Smith Center took a stab at the snakes' nest of difficulties hip-hop seems to face in PDX. With delegates from the City and Oregon Liquor Control Commission on hand, two hours of free-flowing discussion touched on racial profiling, city ordinances and, ultimately and repeatedly, the need for local hip-hop lovers to organize and police themselves. "The issue is us," said David Parks, longtime local musician and forum organizer. "After tonight, do we go out and tell people that starting trouble in the clubs is like wearing tight pants: It's something we just don't do anymore?" An ongoing committee or other forums may spring from the ad hoc gathering.

EASTSIDE DISC MERCHANTS MERGE

Local record stores are feeling the pinch of economic downturn. In the first week of November, Sellwood rock shop Viva la Revolution will close and merge its stock with that of Eugene-transplanted Clinton Street stronghold Green Noise. Viva owner Jen Stefanick and GN proprietor Ryder Greene will proceed as partners. The result, happily, should be a doubly WITH IT garage, punk and indie retailer. However, Greene, who's been hawking sonic wares for more than 10 years, can't help but sound a somewhat embittered note. "No one ever buys cool records in my store," he grumbled in a recent conversation with a Hiss & Vinegar muckraker. Hey, chin up, Baldie--the tide may be turning. And if not? Well, misery loves company. And now you are not alone. Look for a special celebration commemorating this union later next month.

FERMENT IN CLUBLAND

The recent sale of the Rabbit Hole Restaurant and Mad Hatter Lounge freaked out folkies, who feared live strumming would get the spike at the longtime East Bank venue. But new owner Brenda Laam, a food & bev vet coming off stints at the Portland Art Museum cafe and down in the Big Easy, says she has no plans to change the lounge's booking policy. "That's a very false rumor," Laam says. "We're going to keep music the same." Not so at Tennessee Red's: New owners have kiboshed live acts at this Southeast BBQ joint. Looks like T-Red's is adding DJs, though: Spinners of house, breakbeats and jungle have been scheduled every Sunday night in November.

WHAT MORONS

Last week, we rambled on about declining CD sales and the music industry's idiotic blame-the-customer stance on the issue. Well, turns out the staggering geniuses at the major labels don't just hate you for the growth of digital downloading; they hate us, too. Matt Borlik writes a music column for the D.C. weekly Washington City Paper. In this week's installment, he reports that labels have taken to sending copies of new CDs actually glued into portable CD players to City Paper writers. Oh, what a clever way to stop devious journos from ripping MP3s! Borlik sums it up neatly in his column: "It's a concept so backwards, so self-defeating, so abso-fucking-lutely idiotic that only a major label executive could have thought it was a good idea." The labels haven't tried this tactic with us. But hear us now, you fools: WE WILL NEVER REVIEW AN ALBUM THAT COMES GLUED INTO A FRIGGIN' DISCMAN. Never. It's a small thing, but then, we are small people.

INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT DIGITAL PIRACY, MAYBE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY SHOULD WORRY ABOUT THIS:

At press time, Elvis, The Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi held the top three spots on the Billboard 200 chart. Uh, is anyone awake in A&R?

Send us tips, gossip, recriminations. Email hiss@wweek.com.

 
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