After three years of finding subjects, interviewing, and organizing the calendar for Myspace’s Artist of the Day section, it died in mid-2017. Frankly I’m surprised that the Myspace Music Site revival lasted that long – I’d figured that Time Inc (which had bought it from Viant) had forgotten about it when they bought the brand in 2016. Alas, Time consolidated their content and basically just started feeding music stories from NME and Entertainment Weeklly instead of gathering original content. I was sad for my freelance flow, but at least I got to write 135 stories for the site in 2016 and 2017. That pretty much funded our vacations. I miss looking for up-and-coming bands, though. Anyone else want to host an Artist of the Day section?
I did some really interesting stories for Upvoted, Reddit’s feature-y news site, toward the end of 2015, right after I gave birth to Kaya papaya. I still miss that outlet. I also did a ton of fun stories for OC Weekly, namely — pimped out Kaya for a Sublime feature! How OC.
In 2014 my good friend Vickie Chang became the editorial director of Myspace and assigned me the very interesting task of finding up-and-coming artists for the feature “Artist of the Day.” I started hunting down bands that hadn’t made it big yet, which made me excited about music again. I continued doing it even after the great Katrina Natress took over midyear, and just now found out that I wrote 152 stories for the section in 2015.
Best Dive Bars In Orange County If you think OC is all about glitzy clubs, expensive shoes and boob and nose jobs, these dive bars will show you the county’s seedy underbelly.
Kid-Friendly Live Music Venues In LA If you’re longing to enjoy the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle with your little ones, we’ve got you covered. Los Angeles is chock full of places you can enjoy music without worrying about a sitter.
Best LA County Fair Attractions For Kids There’s a lot you can do at the L.A. County Fair with your wee ones, whether they’re into princesses or monster trucks. For the 5-and-under set, there’s also a whole slew of niche activities that will make navigating the fair easier for any parent.
OC’s Best Cinco De Mayo Events Who says Cinco de Mayo is all about margaritas and clamatos? Keep your day of Mexican pride classy by checking out these not-all-about-drinking events.
I always think I should keep a tally of stories I write for other publications, especially since I don’t have a full-time reporting job anymore. Here’s an abridged list of everything I did this year (I only posted stories I liked, actually.) I sort of stopped doing so much over the summer because I was getting burnt out, but now I’m ready again!
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.