Friday, June 29, 2007

Week 1: No Sleep 'til Saginaw

First off:

THANKS!! for all the kind words from everyone. Feel free to write Beck, Maggie and myself at or beckyhud(at) anytime. All inquiries welcome...


The grand-padres have arrived from the Mitten and I'm about to fall into a deep slumber, making me sentimental. This little girl kicks total butt. I can't get enough of her. She's absolutely the greatest thing ever. So here's a few more pics to spread the love.

Have a flippin' great weekend everyone. And tip some suds to MJ if you happen to find yourself near an adult beverage this weekend. Send the bill to the house...

--Mike, Becky & Maggs

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm over at the Hudsons' right now, and I can testify that they have an amazing little girl. She's extremely tiny, and is currently wearing a little hat with ears. I got to hold her for a few minutes; she weighs next to nothing. Babies smell good.


Celebrate Maggie's birth by downloading the latest episode of Hudson & Gaines, concerning a proposed merger of two of Great Haven's eldercare facilities. Be sure to listen for the Van Derf Construction spot, featuring the Van Derf Singers.


And if you will, check out my latest offering at The City Desk. Why does the city's beer taste so tinny?


Coming up: Becky Amos and I stare straight into the paparazzi maw!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Becky and Mike Hudson gave birth to the beautiful Margaret June Hudson this morning! I just talked to Mike, and heard Maggie in the background. The entire family is doing well. Here are some stats:

Weight: 6 pounds, 14 ounces
Length: 19 inches
Born 8:16 a.m. PST, Monday, June 25, 2007
Hospital: Kaiser Permanente along beautiful Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California

Look to this space for continuing coverage! Congratulations and so much love to the Hudson family!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

That's My Boy!

Check out my soul brother Ilya Perchikovsky styling for The New York Times! What NYC voter could say no to this face?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Photo by The State News

It seems an enterprising young Lansing Community College student has created a calendar celebrating the girls of East Lansing. Each photo is taken outside a local business, which sponsors that month. If there's a redhead outside Capital City Comics, I will weep tears of joy. Especially since Capital City Comics isn't there anymore. Maybe a brunette at Flat, Black & Circular?

No matter: I would pretty please like one of these calendars. As an observer and analyst of the Totality of the Lansing Experience, I feel this is an important document for me to examine. Whoever can get his hands on one of these will win a Rocket Fever T-shirt, once I get around to making them.


The White Stripes played a fairly rad little show at the old Tower Records on Sunset this week to promote Icky Thump. Our very own Ryan Ward has a review.


Hillary is making it harder and harder for me to get behind her. Or maybe it's her supporters. But I will be hung if I'm going to vote for a woman whose theme song is by Celine Dion. My parents raised me better.


ROCKET FEVER ROLL CALL: Sister Gaines is back on U.S. soil after her academic travails abroad. Welcome! ... Joe Block will be doing baseball play by play in Great Falls, Montana, this summer. Huzzah! ... Sara Lepro will soon be taking a new job at the Associated Press covering the SEC, thanks in no small part to my reference interview, in which I said, "If Sara gets this job, she's going to kick a lot of tail." ... Ryan Ahrens is either in Costa Rica or has returned from Costa Rica, but either way, there was a time in the recent past when he was in Costa Rica.


And, finally, mazel tov to David Zahniser, the best damn City Hall reporter in Southern California and the most significant Nebraskan in Los Angeles since Brando. The L.A. Times has been wise enough to hire him away from my employer, the L.A. Weekly. It's been an absolute pleasure working with Z, whose stories are always airtight, witty and vital. I'll especially miss the days when he'd come into the proofreading department to read aloud from our book detailing every Billboard No. 2 song from the '70s and '80s. Every once in a while, he'd hum a few bars to prompt my memory of a certain song. Now that's a co-worker.

David, you'll always be No. 1 to us. (I can just see his eyes rolling now.)

Stories here and here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pondering the Pub Crawl

Matt, Erin, Rena, Mel, and Frank (who is in front of Kat, I think) at the Drawing Room

As promised, a few words about the pub crawl (more photos here): It was devised and led by L.A. Weekly fellow (that's his actual title) Matt Fleischer. Matt's a veteran of such ambulatory debauchery, and he pulled off this caper with aplomb. Matt and I met up at the Tiki-ti at 6 p.m. (making us the charter members of Los Feliz Pub Crawl 2007), after which we collected Kat Berger and Andrea Bricco at El Chavo; Rena Kosnett and siblings Frank and Sasha Openchowski at Good Luck Bar; Mel and Erin at the Drawing Room; and Micah (not Muzio) at Ye Rustic.

After that, we hit some Thai place with awful vodka drinks and the White Horse, my new favorite drinking-and-hot-dog emporium. Yes, that's right: On the bar, they have bowls of hot dogs in buns. If you want one, you just signal to the kindly Ukrainian beer maiden, who will then microwave it for you. Ketchup and mustard are on hand.

Kat tells me we tried to get into the Dresden, but I don't remember this. By that point, the fine melange of alcohol in my bloodstream had rounded the edges of my brain, which explains my highly questionable decision later to sing karaoke at the Thai joint ("I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Hang On, Sloopy").

You know what I think about pub crawls? They're great -- as long as the establishments are picked carefully, and the people onboard are champions. This night could have gotten lame real quick if a few complainers or divas were around. But this group was champion caliber through and through. There were lots of new introductions made that Saturday, and I can safely say that by the end of the night, everyone had new friends.

A few other thoughts:
  • Dammit, drinking can just be great sometimes. It's obviously not best to down multiple rum drinks, Jameson's, beers, and Manhattans on a regular basis. But if you do it every once in a while, there's no better way to quickly clear your brain's inbox and start fresh. I was physically forced to take it easy on Sunday, which left me fresh and full of vim for Monday.
  • Los Feliz is a rad neighborhood for a pub crawl. It's a totally walkable area crammed with top-shelf bars and people friendly enough to take pictures of us with Andrea's gigantic Polaroid.
  • Calling your Pop on Father's Day at 9:30 the morning after downing buckets of booze and crashing into bed at 3 a.m. makes for a choppy, raspy-voiced, but ultimately fun and memorable conversation. Especially when you reach him just as he's taking a practice test for his upcoming underwriter's exam, and he's a bit preoccupied himself.

Free Paris

Free Paris
Originally uploaded by cbg_rocketfever
I shot this beauty right around the corner from my apartment. If only it were a Hummer ...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Los Feliz Pub Crawl 2007

From left: Someone, Sasha, Rena, Erin, Mel, Kat, Frank, Gaines, Andrea, Matt (crouching). Not pictured: Micah from Montana, who bought me a Manhattan and discussed the finer points of fly fishing.

More on this later, when my brain is at a higher functionality. But, quickly, this rocked, and I made some new friends.

And Thai restaurants make the worst vodka tonics on Earth. And every bar on Earth should offer free hot dogs.

PHOTOS by Andrea Bricco, one of three photogs on the crawl. (And technically, many of these are by the friendly folks around Los Feliz who agreed to take on Andrea's rad, hulking polaroid.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Black Records*

I submit that these three would make for a classic party mix, a killer live show, or an intriguing but perilous studio project (my guess is Mick would punch Jay, and Amy would flake on the whole deal). But please, please, don't combine them into a mashup.

*You can thank me later for not including the Metallica black album (which I like on certain days).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This is how I follow the Tigers in Southern California. Pop calls and gives me the play by play of the ninth inning of Justin Verlander's no-hitter. My co-worker and buddy Derek Thomas was on hand to catch my reaction (I had no clue he was recording me, but I'm happy he did).


Note to those at work: I say a swear right at the beginning.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hudson & Gaines Asks: Do You Know Who You Really Are?

Or, more to the point, do you know where you really live? These questions of being and place are tackled head-on in Episode 17 of the comedy podcast that promises to bring you "Big Words & Tough Talk" on a regular freakin' basis. Included in the 27 minutes of parodic mastery:
  • Gaines' shocking revelation about his beloved neighborhood, Ginsberg Court.
  • An arena-worthy new intro for Lynn Jepson's Downtown Great Haven Redevelopment Quick Minute (hey, S'newsers, try to guess whose voice that is -- it ain't me or Mike).
  • What might be our greatest spot ever, for the local libation Shakerbrau.
And, as always, be a dear and tell your friends about Hudson & Gaines. A friend of yours is a friend of ours.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

St. Alice

Alice Johnson is the first performer-type friend I've made in L.A., and I think she'll be the only one: Everyone else is sure to be a letdown after A.J. If you ever have the opportunity to spend some time with Alice, I'd recommend you just sit back and enjoy the show. She's the funniest woman I've ever met, and it doesn't hurt that she also possesses loads of intelligence and charm. And she has a Southern accent, which automatically makes her one of my favorite people.

Alice's one-woman show, St. Alice of Chatahoochee, is playing once a month at the Zephyr Theater in West Hollywood. It's the tale of a daft, sweetly hubristic girl trying to carve out a legacy for herself in suburban Georgia. I've seen it twice, and will likely see it again. Her next performance is this Wednesday, June 13. I highly recommend it. Click here for a video clip.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mercy Mercy Me (The Symbology)

My good friend Ben wonders if he's stumbled upon an uglier side of the already ugly London Olympics logo.

Or maybe, as my Dad says, we all just need to brush up on our Jung.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Bakersfield Treatment

Hudson, Gaines, Muzio, and Scott Cox (or, as he's known in Troutown, Larry Forbes)

Team Hudson & Gaines overwhelmed the Bakersfield media class this weekend. Not only did KERN News Talk Radio air a marathon of the podcast, but we were also interviewed (by award-winning meteorologist Miles Muzio!) on KBAK-TV Channel 29 for its Saturday news broadcasts (YouTube clip to follow) and appeared on The Scott Cox Show on KSFO, the news-talk behemoth out of San Francisco.

The Cox interview was a tense one. I'm guessing the air in the room was similar to that of the recent diplomatic talks between the U.S. and Iran. You see, Scott Cox is, in actuality, Larry Forbes, H&G's arch nemesis from Troutown. You can see from the above photo that we were separated by an armament of radio equipment. Otherwise, it might have gotten ugly.

(Kidding aside, we're super-big-time appreciative that Scott let us appear on the show. Getting airtime in a market like San Francisco is invaluable.)

(But seriously, we really can't stand that Larry Forbes. He is a flaming sack of dung, and he's been known to dress in women's lingerie.)

Huge shoutout to Miles and Deborah Muzio, who were good enough to not only give us our TV break, but also buy us dinner at the world-famous Crystal Palace, built by country legend Buck Owens.


I'm not sure Micah, Mike or I can adequately describe what it was like to sit in Micah's parents' car and listen as a real live radio station started to play our show. No one can predict what will happen with H&G, but this experience will stand out for all time. As we were driving around Bakersfield, I kept thinking: Lynn Jepson, Everett Lawrence, Kitty Hines, Judith Rain, Jeffrey Starmichael, and the rest are being broadcast through the air right now! People are listening to us and Steve Davis, Lawrence Everett Forbes, Lauralee Gooch, Kate Cosgrove, and Pat Muir! In their cars! At home!

Once again, thanks to everyone in Bakersfield for their support, and thanks to everyone else for continuing to listen and spread the word. The three of us work hard as hell to make this show work, and the fact that people listen to and enjoy Hudson & Gaines makes it all more than worth while.


Next Time, on Rocket Fever: Uncovering an unsettling truth about one of the world's biggest sports events?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Big Love from B-field; Big News from E.L.

Team H&G will be heading up to Bakersfield today. The city is welcoming us with open arms: KBAK Channel 29 is doing a spot on us for its 5 o'clock news show! I tell ya, it pays to know a Muzio or two.

Check out the site; there's a good chance the station will upload the piece.


Very cool news out of Michigan State: Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist who's bestowed untold sums of cash upon various projects in Los Angeles, is donating $26 million for a new art museum at MSU. He's insisting that the building -- to be located on the site where the Paolucci Building now sits (right across from Student Services!) -- be designed by a renowned architect. And the five who are competing for the job all seem to be pretty high-level players.

This is all sorts of good news for my alma mater and home town (well, my home metropolitan region). I hope MSU will be bold in selecting the museum's design. A singular, even controversial, building will garner big-time attention for East Lansing. I can't wait to visit in 2010.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Up in Bodega Bay

Memorial Day weekend was an absolute dream. Sonoma County is so beautiful, I almost don't believe it exists. Every time I'm up there, among the rolling hills and under the clear sun, I just want to say, "C'mon. Seriously, this place can't be that gorgeous." Oh, but it is. And, to me, it's a place where nothing can go wrong.

For example, when Ma and Joe and I rolled in to our hotel for the weekend (swank place), we learned our reservations were screwed up. We had a room for that night, but not the rest of the weekend. No biggie: Within a couple hours, my Aunt Mary had found us a beach house on Bodega Bay, which is my new official get-away location. It's where Hitchcock filmed The Birds.

So instead of having fun in a Jazz Fest-crowded Sonoma, we (Mary, Uncle Joel, cousins Raymond and Regina, parents) spent the weekend lounging around a phat house with ample sleeping space, huge TV, big deck, great kitchen, hot tub, beach access, abundant nature, peace, quiet. There was much eating, drinking, sports watching, conversation, a touch of yoga, a beach run (I ran!), walking, blissing out.

Ma and me

The result? All the L.A. bad that I'd accumulated in the past months was flushed out, replaced with a huge infusion of California good. Now I'm back in SoCal, loving life and hitting the boards like an eager rookie. I'm sure Paul Drake knows something about this: Changing your environment every so often can be an incredibly restorative experience.

Infinite thanks to my parents and aunt and uncle for the heavenly weekend. See y'all next Memorial Day!


The Hudson & Gaines marathon is on the schedule.