So, to get away from all the shopping, I started idly following friends' friends lists - always an entertaining way to kill time. I'm always kind of amazed by the signal-to-noise ratio; for every journal that's nothing but endless repetitive quizzes, me-so-hornies, and Buffy-style dweebery, you do find something that's a little different. Long story short, I suddenly found myself reminiscing about being a freshman at Cal and taking a road trip down to LA to see my friend Jesse at Occidental College. Even longer story short, I was "friends" [more or less] with Jarboe, who is obviously an artist [the one-name-only gave it away, right?] at the time, who graciously invited us backstage at a concert Swans were giving at some amphitheater near the Hollywood Bowl. [I kept thinking of a Spinal Tap-esque puppet show, somehow.] They were opening for Gaye Bikers on Acid, who were basically "warming up" for their set by drinking an awful lot of Miller Lite. Swans weren't drinking at all. They did an excellent show, mostly previews of material that was going to debut on their ill-fated Uni Records release "This Burning World" [apparently that label went bust immediately; my CD of the album was stolen by about 1992, which is a pisser 'cuz there aren't very many of them, and I haven't found a copy in the 10 years I've been looking for a replacement]. It was a wonderful show, even if the audience largely didn't care, was bored, or was actively irritated by the set. You might be too if New Yorkers showed up playing depressing Joy Division covers when all you really wanted to do was rock out to some one hit wonder lameness by the likes of GBOA.
Anyhow, after Swans finished, I found myself, well, backstage for pretty much the second and last time in my life. And what did we wind up doing? Well, Jarboe wasn't in a particularly good mood, so she excused herself, leaving me to chat up Michael Gira... who turned out to be a wonderful, charming, well-spoken, intelligent man. Hell, he even speaks German fluently, which really surprised me; he worked in a factory in Solingen for a while. That's especially amusing because it was a knife factory [that's what Solingen is known for], which I guess is kinda sorta appropriate for the guy behind Swans. Anyhow, we had a nice chat, I thanked him for his hospitality, Jarboe came back out of the dressing room with a cassette of the rough mixes for the first single, and I headed back to Occidental for the night.
Later on that weekend, I heard a Negativland album for the first time. Some weekends truly are better than others.