Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Posts Tagged ‘lj21’

14 June 2005: An Afternoon with Kristine McKenna – Scene Chronicler and Interviewer the Great

Posted by Christina on March 1, 2009

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An Afternoon with Kristine McKenna – Scene Chronicler and Interviewer the Great

Like Botticelli’s Venus on a half shell, X arrived fully formed and perfect. I had one good fortune to be around during their earliest days as a gigging band, and I never saw them give a bad show. They were on fire from the very start-and then they astonished us by getting better and better. Each new song was a fabulous unveiling, every show was a blazing event.

What made them so sensational? For starters, there was the visual component. It’s one of myriad cruelties of nature, but a rock ‘n’ roll band has to be thrilling to look at, and X was. Most bands are lucky to have one charismatic member, but X had four, and each of them brought something completely different to the mix.

– Kristine McKenna, liner notes from 2001’s re-release of Los Angeles

A regular Southern California afternoon in the depths of Santa Monica is nothing special to look at for your average city native, but anyone from even a few cities over is in for a real spectacle of the most delicious eye-candy ever witnessed. Not a dull street in sight and no corner busy with anything shy of a bustling crowd, Santa Monica, California has been the Mecca for patrons of the music and art scenes since before Los Angeles had made a name for itself. These people open up record stores and art galleries as businesses to cater to the growing demand of Los Angeles culture and in turn, those who are heavily involved with shaping that culture have taken great advantage of it all.

This is where the punk kids from the 1970’s came to thrive in their need for expression and the scene gave it to them. Small clubs like The Mask opened their doors to gigging bands and punk became the scene du jour. “Punk rock made that do-it-yourself thing acceptable, and you didn’t have to be a great player or singer to be in a band,” Exene Cervenka, leading vocalist of X had said in an interview with Kristine McKenna. “Punk valued substance over form, and that was a new thing. With punk, what you had to say was more important than having a polished voice.”

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7 June 2005: Tom Bozigian – Dancer, Performer, Choreographer and Teacher Extraordinaire!

Posted by Christina on March 1, 2009

tomdrumcostumeThis was a quarter where I took two Literary Journalism classes and fell short of writing for the New U every week. I was working on final pieces to be handed in for class and this was one on an old family friend who is well known throughout the Armenian community as a dance teacher of traditional, Armenian dance. He shows up to events, plays all the music the moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas love to remember and gets them up to dance along with him. He’s charismatic and fun spirited and it was fun to talk with him.

Tom Bozigian – Dancer, Performer, Choreographer and Teacher Extraordinaire!

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race; this small tribe of unimportant people whose history is ended, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, whose literature is unread, whose music is unheard, whose prayers are no longer uttered. Go ahead, destroy this race. Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert. Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches. See if they will not live again. See if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. See if you can stop them from mocking the big ideas of the world. You sons of bitches. Go ahead, try to destroy them. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”
– William Saroyan, The Armenian and the Armenian

Meeting Tom Bozigian for the first time you see a tall, lanky but muscular older man whose physique is obviously that of a dancer. His spine curvature is the pinnacle of the prostrate back you see only in medical textbooks and no matter how hard he tries not to have his feet in some sort of position, they always are-first, second, third, fourth or fifth. His legs are always straight but his knees are never locked, as if ready to leap into the air or bend over in a plié. Although aging has taken a very slow toll on his physical appearance, his graying chest hair, arm hair and barely thinning head hair are the only indications of what his age really might be. His eyebrows are short, thick black hairs curled at the ends that draped over his forehead ridge with dark, black eyes peering out from underneath. Even so, his eyes are anything but the dull, glassy and fogged over eyes of your average near 70 senior citizen. Tom’s eyes are watching everything, looking everywhere, absorbing every bit of everything around him. They’ve been that way since he was born. This is why in Tom Bozigian’s life, there’s never really been a dull moment.

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