From the beginning, Parker Jacobs’ life has been one roundabout path to fame after another. I like to think of him as the most influential Huntington Beach artist that you’ve never heard of. In fact, Jacobs has been quietly impacting the American skate-pop-punk aesthetic since 1993, when GOGO13, the ska band Jacobs formed in his garage so impressed his older brother Christian that he promptly went out and formed the Aquabats.
1. “I got into art because I had really poor vision as a kid — I still do,” he says. “But back then being visually stimulated was really important because of my bad eyesight, and drawing was my outlet and my way to express myself.”
2. As a child actor, Parker Jacobs was in five episodes of “The Wonder Years.” “I even had a catch phrase: ‘UNBELIEVABLE!’”
3. The Aquabats once sold live tarantulas as merch.
4. The Aquabats were dropped by their record label because the record label (AKA Goldenvoice) lost money on the first two Coachella Arts and Music Festivals. Reportedly (from a friend who once interviewed Paul Tollett, the founder of Goldenvoice), the Aquabats is the only band that still makes Tollett starstruck after all these years.
5. Aquabats lead singer Christian Jacobs told Parker that Yo Gabba Gabba would be “a way to get a company to fund a really good Aquabat monster costume, because we were never happy with our monster costumes. So we created this universe,”
6. Christian Jacobs is blind in one eye, so he kind of identified with this cyclops — who eventually became Muno, a cyclops Christian started drawing in the 1980s. Muno was the first Aquabats villain.
7. Yo Gabba Gabba is not influenced by drugs. WHAT, REALLY? Parker says, “I’ve never done anything — I’ve never even drunk coffee! But looking back when I watch it, I go, ‘That show is kinda weird.’”
8. Gogo13, Parker’s band, wrote our favorite YGG song.
9. Parker said, “I’m comfortable being compared to my older brother … maybe he’s not as comfortable being compared to anyone!”
10. Parker Jacobs is the second cousin of the guitarist of Maroon 5 … I found this out on Twitter. WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT?!
In 1995, I was obsessed with No Doubt. I wore bindis like Gwen Stefani, I tried to dress like Gwen Stefani, I watched that “Don’t Speak” video CONSTANTLY, I wanted to sing like Gwen Stefani. Today OC Weekly published my cover story on No Doubt. If it was 1996 it would’ve been like my biggest dream had been realized, but I’m 17 years older. So much is different — my priorities, my energy, my musical taste. Oddly enough, that’s also what I discovered about No Doubt. They’re older, wiser, with different priorities. To celebrate the fulfillment of a dream (however deferred) I watched “Don’t Speak” really closely tonight. The realness and the raw emotion in that video … I choked up and felt 17 again.
A few years ago I was crazy for this singer that the indie radio station 88.9 was pushing in Milwaukee. Before “Guilt Trip” I had never heard of Valentina, and no one else ever had, either. As I was working as an arts and entertainment writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel at the time I tracked down the then-22-year-old from London and got probably one of the first profiles ever written on her for the U.S. media. Now Valentina is featured on a Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) track. It is awesome (listen below), but her own stuff is still better.
One day, when I’m working a desk job where I have to clock in, wear suits, pearls and heels, I’m going to look back on my days of covering Coachella and get really nostalgic. Maybe.
It feels like I only update this blog when plagued with ennui, but I find myself looking for ways to spur myself into doing something creative without feeling spent. So I just look up what my friends are up to. Here is a song Easy Fagela wrote in the ’90s. I still remember it from drunken nights at the sunken garden.
Due to a series of serendipitous events, I lucked out and saw Ryan Adams in San Diego tonight with Amateur Chemist. When we got there, we were told the worldwide tour policy is no photos (“he looks the same except the venues are darker”), so I drew pics instead. Here’s the OCW review.
Jah went to Milwaukee to visit relatives without us, so we tried to keep busy. We bought our tickets to the Philippines, got old computers fixed, cleaned out closets, got massages, watched a movie (Moneyball) in a real theater and went to the Prospector for karaoke. I sang “Suedehead” by Morrissey and it’s been in my head since.