Saturday 11.22.08: STINKERS

COOPER CALLED ME THE OTHER DAY and asked me if I wanted to deejay Stinkers (link) Saturday, so last night I slicked the coif and headed to Silverlake for some of that hipster cake. For the unaware, Stinkers is Saints & Sinners' newly-opened sister establishment. Imagine a hidden bar on the seedy end of Disneyland where Mickey Mouse has been replaced with Burt Reynolds circa Smokey And The Bandit. This won me over, since I've always loved Burt Reynolds, because he looks like my father. See?

Burt looks like my father probably would if he had a little Middle Eastern in him (nerd alert: Burt is part Cherokee). So I imagine I will end up looking somewhat like Burt myself when I get old. I hooooooope.

Stinkers aims to recreate the vibe of a '70s-era Heartland truck stop bar. As such, Cooper requested that my musical selection for the evening dovetail with such sensibilities. Piece of cake. My father practically is a trucker, except his truck is a plane and he's in the back working on the free gin & tonics instead of in front driving. Many's the night I laid on the floor as a lad in our house in Portugal or Libya or wherever else we lived in the '80s, poring through an atlas while he stood unsteadily in the middle of the room playing air guitar to AC/DC, wearing nothing but briefs and a belly, a row of empty beer cans on the table behind him. His favorite possession ever remains the burgundy Monte Carlo coupe with the swiveling seats that he owned when we lived in Orange County for a spell in 1985. Legend has it he was on the freeway to Mexico with my mother one day, missed his exit, and promptly veered hard left, flew off the freeway Dukes Of Hazzard-style and landed on the right highway, heading across the border without missing a beat.

Deejaying Stinkers was a breeze compared to Saints & Sinners, where I try to cater to the tastes of everyone from rockers to hip-hoppers to mainstream tools, all of whom seem to think they're the only people in the room. All you have to do at Stinkers is think of the song you're considering, and imagine it coming on in a bar full of drunk truckers. By this rationale, I have come up with five handy guidelines.


  1. ALL SONGS MUST BE OF THE 1950s-TO-1980s ERA. Truckers like their guitars electric and their synthesizers unplugged.
  2. NO HIPPIE/PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC. There are exceptions, but to be safe, err on the side of caution.
  3. NO GLAM-ROCK. I know a lot of you regulars around here luuuurve your hair metal, but the grizzled truck driver in the beard and flannel rolling through Tennessee in an eighteen-wheeler would have ran over Nikki Sixx, and then backed up over him once or twice for good measure before playing one of his records. And you know I'm right.
  4. NO EXTRA FUNKY BLACK MUSIC. Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina, Otis... the bluesy stuff they can handle. Throw James Brown or Sly & The Family on the jukebox and you might wanna get that Sloppy Joe to go.
  5. NO EXTRA SAPPY LOVE SONGS unless they're about inanimate objects (alcohol, trucks, guns, etc.).

And you can expect me to follow the above guidelines to the letter if I ever deejay Stinkers again. I'm sure a lot of the customers as well as employees would like to see these rules relaxed, but if we're not going to be historically accurate with regards to the era we're aping, then I'm just going to throw some Wu-Tang Clan on as well while we're at it. And you can quote me on that. Besides, no sense in fixing what ain't broke; I got a boatload of compliments and a wondrous time was had. And it's all thanks to my father's air guitar lessons. So this one goes out to you, pa... wherever you are. Malaysia?


WHEN I MOVED TO PALMS IN 2003, the intersection of Venice Blvd. and Glendon Ave. wasn't really much of an intersection at all. The stupid island which turns that entire stretch of the boulevard into a mass automobile do-si-do ran unbroken from Girard to Overland, reducing the Glendon corner to a stop sign bordering a one-way Venice. Parents would shield their children's ears when walking through the neighborhood to drown out the chorus of cursing from drivers passing by as they they realized they were going to have to make four u-turns, two three-point turns and fly off a ramp just to go north. Then they would cuss a purple storm into little Ajeet's ear upon the understanding that to get to Ralph's directly across the street, they would have to either take the two-week walk to the Overland stoplight, or grab their child's hand in a white-knuckle grip and run across Venice, which is like running across the 405.

one of these would have come in very handy in those days.

Then one day two summers ago, concrete medians appeared on either side of Palms Island. Theories as to their purpose ran rife through the community, one person insisting that CalTrans was going to put a metro rail line through the hood. But when the construction signs finally disappeared, Palms Island had been segmented at Glendon and traffic lights and walk signals were at each corner. This corner marks the heart of Palms (heh), equidistant to Culver Center and the Jack In The Crack/McDonalds/CPK trifecta to the east, and the Latino-Semitic corridor leading to the hallowed block housing Saints & Sinners, the medical marijuana clinic, and the mosque upstairs to the west.

Therefore, being a major artery of foot traffic in a notoriously kooky neighborhood, this corner is bringing birds of many different feathers face to face for the first time. Sometimes it's more like face to concrete, as outlined in last week's blog The Art Of The Dirt Nap (link), and other times it's less dramatic but only slightly less funny, as in the case of this fella below. Just examine him for a minute and let him work his magic. That woman will never forget him.

That was last week. Then today I see some guy has decided to move his entire living room on the corner in hopes of making a few bucks. What a renegade. I'm sure Enterprise didn't give him permission to hang his raggedy clothing all over their ominous black gate.



For the past few years, I've been having to deal with people asking me if I'm Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas. I take offense to this for several reasons. First of all, Will.I.Am dresses like Mary Poppins if Mary Poppins were a Black man. I do not dress like Gary Poppins. Secondly, Will.I.Am has dreadlocks and the tender swagger of an African Leprechaun. I have neither.

Before I get into why I will kick Will.I.Am's ass, let me give you some background. I've been looking like famous people my whole life. Folks have been coming up to me since I was 5 telling me how much I look like some famous dude. It's part of the reason I call myself Sumkid. I always look like somebody else, or familiar to people for no reason. I even get compared to Frylock....it's ridiculous.

So let's flashback to where it all started..... North Carolina, 1984, with a little potbellied 30-year old named Webster....


In the early 80s, my mom used to work out at this place called "The Sports Club" in Fayetteville, NC. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art gym facility with dozens of basketball courts, raquetball courts, spas, weight rooms....this thing was huge. It was like the Death Star.

Most importantly, they had frozen yogurt, which to me was like space food. I couldn't understand how something so good and so sweet and so white and so cold wasn't ice cream. It was a brand new world for me, so I would beg my mom to take me with her so I could eat myself into a diabetic coma while she played raquetball with some redneck in a glorious mullet. I would sit and eat my yogurt while she killed everybody in the Death Star on the raquetball court for hours on end.

Eventually people started coming over to me and pinching my fucking cheeks telling me I looked like Webster. At first, I would deny it...but then people started giving me money and snacks and treats and shit cus I was so cute, so I'd roll with it. Then eventually, I even started performing for them. Here's some footage of one of my performances:

My cute, monchichi years were doomed by a long and awkward adolescence. I got glasses, grew a high-top fade, my face and legs got all gangly and I was a well-read little dude. All of which came just in time for TV to unveil one of its most well-known and beloved teenage coons, Steve Urkel.

I was fucked.


My Urkel years were marked by my own mother and random people running up to me and screaming "Did I do thaaaat??" in my ear. At first it was funny. But to this day if I see Family Matters coming on TV my chest gets tight and I want to have a drink. What made it worse is that my glasses turned into sunglasses when I went outdoors, so I looked like a total asshole when I came back to class after playing basketball at lunch. Imagine Urkel in your 8th Grade English class wearing sunglasses. That was me. But even Urkel had endearing qualities....he was a hopeless romantic, an intellectual, and after years of hard work, persistence and heartfelt stalking, he ended up marrying the girl of his dreams.... so I guess we had some things in common after all.

But the adorable years were coming to a close, and slowly but surely people started comparing me to somebody not nearly as cute and adorable as Webster, or as loveable as Urkel.


Really? Scottie Pippen, White people? I say White people, because at this stage of my life, it was only White people sayin' this shit....
And I took personal offense to this one because this dude had no personality and his head looked like a freshly bruised yam. I mean, this is the best picture I could find of the dude. He doesn't look so bad here....maybe even good-looking. But he still kinda looks like he washes his face with a pencil eraser.

I was IN Chicago during the Jordan/Pippen administration, and outside of the magic those guys were on the court, it was not a fun time for ya boy.

But he was a damn good player. And I'm glad the mufuckas won some championships. It made my transition into the 2Pac years that much sweeter.

The 2Pac Years:

You know, I actually haven't left my 2Pac years completely. The older I get, the less they come, but every once in a while I get the "Anybody ever tell you you look like 2Pac?". Now granted, that mostly comes from 50-year-old white guys in Hawaiian shirts, but it makes it all worth it when the ladies ask. Cus you know....the ladies love Pac. Usually, to get the 2Pac comparison, I have to go bald-headed and beardless, which is becoming less and less acceptable these days. I gotta have some hair on my chin or else I look like 2Pac if he was washed up and started making excercise videos or family sitcoms.

So when I started keeping hair on my face...the game just got deeper. 2Pac was just the beginning of this new trend in my resemblances. I started looking like dead people.

The Marvin Gaye/Isaac Hayes Years:

Now THIS.....this was enjoyable. Everybody loves Marvo. He could sing, he was attractive, he did massive amounts of drugs and died a tragic death. That's something I could rock with. And in all honesty, I don't actually see any resemblance....but I'll take it as long as yall give it.

In a similar fashion, James says I look like Isaac Hayes, particularly when I'm bald with a beard. But then again, if I wear glasses and a hat he says I look like Spike Lee and if I wore a suit he'd probably call me Barack Obama or Morgan Freeman.

I'll Kick Will.I.Am's Ass....Unless he wants to do a song with me:
So on Saturday, I'm moderating this hip-hop forum for the children. This girl comes up to ask me if I'm in The Black Eyed Peas.

Now, out of all the comparisons I've ever gotten in my life:
1) This is the most repulsive to me
2) I get this one more than ANY

It raised a bunch of questions in my mind and heart....What am I supposed to do with this? I don't want to look like this dude, but if I do....what am I going to do with my life? Do I dress like Gary Poppins, or have a tender swagger?

So I challenge Will.I.Am to a boxing match. Me and him in the ring....five rounds. I want people to see us side by side, but I don't want to be standing next to him. I would rather punch him...but not to hurt him. Just punching him for sport is all. I'd like to do this so people can see how different we are. If anyone knows him, please reach out to him and tell him I'd like to organize a boxing match with him, and we can do it for charity and donate the proceeds to a cause of his choosing.

Immediately after the match, we can rock a show and call it all peace. He can ride off into the sunset on his bicycle, and I will at last be loosed of this curse.

Who am I going to look like next?


The Art Of The Dirt Nap

SUM BARBACKED LAST NIGHT so I DJ'ed alone. Got several compliments, and I was really feeling it up until a little past midnight, when I got into a very boring conversation, and soon after was talked into playing Madonna's "Hung Up". I pride myself on not succumbing to hot women with stupid song requests. but these two totally jumped my electric fence. One was really tall and was looking over me while I was playing, and the other one was like a little pushy anime character, and I had neither the time nor the constitution for jousting. My fate was sealed shortly before last call when I panicked after a song ended unexpectedly quickly and threw on "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan. I don't think I'm living that one down.

Jorge pulled maybe the most spectacular Goodbye Headfake of his career, reappearing beside the DJ booth thirty minutes after bidding everyone fond farewells, in high-heeled leather boots, a fedora and a fur coat.

Was just crossing the street at Venice and Glendon and noticed a man laid out flat on the opposite corner. And when I say the corner, I mean the part of the corner in the street, not the sidewalk. A portly woman standing by had apparently called 911, because by the time we crossed the street, fire trucks had pulled up and he was being hoisted onto a stretcher. I took a power nap in the gutter of the parking lot across from Saints last night, so I'm well acquainted with the joys of sleeping on concrete when trashed. Just don't sleep on the part of the concrete that cars drive on. A pretty good hustle the hospitals have going here: drag anyone remotely unresponsive into the emergency room, throw them in bed overnight, and charge them $3,000. If that don't learn him, nothing will.



WORDS FAIL ME, thanks to all those drinks, the "powdered sugar" that I "mistakenly" inhaled, and the three pieces of spacecake I ate the day after to stave off the hangover. So, I give you the following. Pay special attention to our interview with emcee and mug tycoon Tytus Penn, who Sum and I feel deserves honorable mention for what might have been the most inventive costume of the evening, and definitely the most confusing.

Alas, while the concept of wearing a perpetual grin on your face all night as your costume is genius in every sense of the term, we knew it wouldn't go over well with the throngs of ogres, fiends and other assorted undead who had toiled over their outfits for the evening. So, as your trusty judges, we took serious those who had taken the contest serious. And here they are.



Whaddya want. Several male costumes had their strong points, but the moment we saw him, we knew there was only one clown walking out of that bar with that Dewar's bottle. And that clown walked out in a yellow one-piece jumpsuit with Truck's hand on his ass.


There's something about Heat's turn as the most excited hot dog ever that made it hard for me to co-sign this one. But Heat didn't enter the contest, and I was temporarily blinded by the pointy golden titties. Sometimes it's just as simple as wearing pointy, golden titties.


By the time Ian started announcing winners, these two had finished their drinks and cleared their tab, and were just sitting at the bar, waiting for us to declare them winners so they could grab their prize and skate. And we couldn't even hate.



Timely. Witty. But you forgot flashy.


These two could have almost taken the duo prize. But doesn't this guy always walk into Saints dressed like this?


She made me. And I'm glad.


After I took Dean's picture and he slunk off, Frylock's hubby remarked "that guy is depressssssed" loudly as he swung in for his shot. I didn't have the heart to explain to him that Dean had just got hit by a fucking car outside Saints ten minutes prior, and had the gored-up knee to prove it.


There's just something about this one that is so amazing. Don't ask me what that something is. And don't try to disagree either.


I just hope you all came together.

and of course, it wouldn't be right if I didn't include


OK, maybe the Michelle Obama comparison is a stretch. She would never wear that blouse.

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