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July 13, 2024

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A Year In The Life Of Chica Lishis!
By: ChicaLishis

Friends! Lovers! And despised Mother-Fuckers! It's been a YEAR! One whole year of scribulatory tenure here at In Music We Trust! Isn't that exciting? Ain't it just a gas? My whole life has changed since becoming a part of this warm and loving family here at IMWT. I've lost weight, hair, teeth, self-esteem, pride in my work, the will to live... uh... I could go on, but now it's starting to depress me.

Anywho, let's turn that frown upside down, shall we?

I've decided to do a little reflecting this month. I've gone back through the oodles of emails, cards, snap shots, love notes, and personal gifts (by the way, I haven't received yours yet), that I've amassed in the past 12 months to choose the choicest for your connubial consumption. (I adore alliteration, especially when it makes no sensical!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your enjoyment, and my self-indulgence, I give you...


Who can forget my first brush with stardom? You can? YOU HAVE? Well! We shall let this little picture tell a thousand words...

Yes, the lovely Andrew W.K. kicked-off my career as a journalist wannabe with a slap. (I've forgiven him for that, by the way, even though his handprint stained my porcelain cheek for a good week.) Oh how we rollicked and frolicked that evening, he onstage, me sneaking around the back, ever closer and closer until finally Hugh New! captured this Kodak moment for all eternity.

After that review of clever wordsmithing was blasted over what we in the business like to call "the internet," letters of adulation came pouring in. You lovely peeps couldn't contain yourselves from requesting info on who, who, what makes Chica tick. And not just that nasty facial tic I've had since an unfortunate monthly "accident" in my tight white chinos during 7th grade homeroom. You all bombarded me with quizzical inquiries such as, "Chica, who does your hair?" "Chica, where did you get such a captivating outfit?" "Chica, are you free on Saturday night? Really, I mean free, 'cause I'm tired of paying for it," catapulting me into an iconic stature of which I'm still not completely comfortable with (that's a lie -- I am completely comfortable with your abject devotion!). But, some of my favorite letters were in response to my literary brilliance, and my ability to call a spade by a name that didn't mean spade at all, thus confusing the hell out of everyone reading. For instance, in response to my October '02 article regarding a P-Town music festival, one reader had this to say ...

        I just read your article about Portland's explains a lot. I moved here about 2 & 1/2 years ago with the intent to reform my band here. The band has multiple CD releases all with great reviews from the U.S. and Europe. We have completed four European tours. I lived in two east coast cities prior to moving to Portland and established the band in each of those cities. The band received great "hometown" support in both cities. Then I moved here. I reformed the band and started to look for gigs. I never thought it would be a problem. My approach to bookers is polite and low-key and successful until now. I had to beg for a week-day night at Ash offered "new band night" at Satyricon. Dante's, Berbati's Pan and The Blackbird ignored us. I won't even go into what happened when I tried to book Lola's Room.
        Eventually we got on a show at Mt. Tabor. With two other non-Portland bands we pulled in around 100 people. I applied for a spot at this year's flat out rejected...and I sent them a CD that got a rave review in the LA Weekly this past summer....and then I saw the list of band selected. No cutting edge bands from anywhere who maybe are a little bit more the flavor of the month than mine....just the usual Portland favorites. The Willamette Week has ignored the band completely. Life goes on without the Willamette Week or the Portland clubs but I was bit baffled until I read your article.
        - Your Biggest Fan

Dear YBF,
        Glad I could be of assistance to you. Portland is a supah little town, but horribly lacking in the area of Band Welcoming. I have a panel that (as we type!) is studying the financial and mental snootiness impact of implementing an alternative program to the current "We Hate Your Band" curriculum that is now in place.
Until then, you remember these words of wisdom my granny handed down to me: "Fuck 'em." Awwww... my sweet Nana.
Chica Lishis

Here's another one of my favorite email exchanges. If anyone has any idea what the hell Bruce was running on about, do let me know. His email content wasn't dropping any clues, so I replied the best I could...

Am I THAT out of it?
Bruce e-Mole Mowat

Blim blam the slippy slap, Bruce. Flappity! Flappity! Tickets are in the mail.
Chica Lishis

But enough with the letters. Let's look at more photos, shall we?

Here I am with my friends in Visqueen on a sunny Seattle afternoon.

And here I am doing a little impromptu go-go'ing for my bestest pals in No-Fi Soul Rebellion!

And what can be more appropriate to accompany the frenzy that is Gogol Bordello than hanging from the rafters at one of their shows?

Goodness! Such fun! Such frivolity! Such an overuse of exclamation points!!!! Let's take a breather from the gut-busting humor that is my personal photo album, and head back to the high hee-larity of the mailbag.

Speaking of Gogol Bordello, they thought so favorably of my review of their show that they wish to know my opinion on another matter near and dear to their punk-a-doodled hearts. Unfortunately, I'm not always... uh... available to answer all the queries that come my way. So, occasionally, I delegate some of that responsibility to my surly, incompetent, COMPLETE FUCKING LIAR of an assistant, Geoffrey.

Dear Chica,
        Gogol Bordello is really competitive with another NYC gypsy punk carnival band called World/Inferno Friendship Society (Gern Blandsten), so much so that the two bands will not gig together, even though they are very well suited for a double bill. Just curious if you've heard WIFS, and what your opinion is on the raging debate. Not terribly important stuff, just curious to know your two cents.

Dear Mr. Music,
        I regret to inform you that Miss Chica Lishis is currently on "vacation." And by "vacation" I mean: she is passed out under her desk, with her skirt bunched up around her waist, arms and legs akimbo, at 10:30 in the morning. Seeing as she is still clutching a half-empty bottle of tequila, I don't expect her to be back from "vacation" for another 24 to 48 hours.
        If she were cognizant enough to reply, I have no doubt she would be ALL on the side of Gogol Bordello in this heated debate, as they were so kind to give her free admission to their show last time through our lovely little burg. However, she's a fickle bitch. Should World/Infernally Friendless Sociopaths come to town, and also give her free tickets, she may switch sides in a pinch.
        Now, if you will kindly excuse me, I have to go clean the vomit out of her hair, or they'll be hell to pay when she comes to.
        Please, kill me.
Your Humble Servant,
Assistant to Miss Chica Lishis

And finally from our mailbag, a recent response on this month's Buzzcocks article caught my eye, because it was obviously written from a fan of superior taste in show reviewers. That, and I suspect it was an old friend of mine masquerading as a lowly commoner of the emailing sort. Read on!

Dear Chica,
        Always like reading your articles, but your Buzzcocks one is at the top of the list! Meanwhile, here's my latest love affair gone bad; actually, more of a lust affair, but you know....
        I met this girl while my band was playing a few weeks back at a bar that pretty much approximates a redneck disco. The night I met her, I was supposed to be with another chick; but that was a fixup. Anyhow, after that non-romance fizzled, I was pleased to see Nina's (name changed) smiling face and perky little figure at the same bar last week. SO, I enlisted her to hang with me, tho I had to not go home with her since I was the designated driver of the bassist's truck. BIG MISTAKE. By the following Friday night, there had been problems with her kids (teenagers) and she was acting less interested and more cold. Yeah, I know, shoulda dumped the bass player and banged her that first night; but I'm nothing if not loyal....
        What did my loyalty get me? Nothing but heartaches!

        You, my darling, are always such a card, with your fake names and secret email addresses, pretending to be interested in girls, too much! She bang, she bang, eh? HAHAHAHAHA!
        Anyway, mother sends her love. Not to you, per se, but to the 100's of lonely men who call her "love line" each month for explicit sexual convos. If she could remember that drunken, hallucinogenic filled night the three of us spent in cozy Toledo, OH, she would be blowing kisses in your direction right now. That, and if she could find her mouth. Shit, she's out cold again. Hang on, I gotta take that cigarette out of her hand before she burns the mansion down...
        Okay, I'm back.
        And you? How is living lavida loaded going? If you have a moment, do give a thought to those of us who are your very best of friends and share the love a bit, won't you? Gosh, the cleaning bill on the furs gets more and more expensive each summer; I don't know if I'll be able to afford getting them out of storage this fall. And the Mercedes is all but falling apart under a paint job that's over a YEAR OLD! Geeves told me yesterday that beige is out and that black is once again the "new black," although I'm thinking of shocking the whole neighborhood and going metallic pink just for fun.
        I've got to run, dearest. Think of me fondling!
Chica Lishis

Speaking of Ricky Martin, get a load of this pic of me chilling with the Melvins!

And last, but not least in our sentimental walk of shame, here's me and the girl of my rock 'n roll dreams, Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, enjoying a little rock star moment together.

And that concludes our broadcast day, my darlings. Thank you for taking this trot down memory lane with me, but next time, do you mind if we polka? I do so love to polka!

Roll out of the barrel and into the dirty gutter!

Chica Lishis

p.s. I'm just gonna be lazing around for the next six months, sipping champagne toasts to me big badself, in honor of my ever-growing list of accomplishments. Wanna pop a cork for me? Send your qualifications to [email protected].

p.p.s. Jonesing to relive all of the wit and charm that is Chica? Hit this page to read a whole year's worth of verbal hi-jinxs:

p.p.s. I'm drunk.

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