By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Not that most of you should actually go online and read the thing, because it most surely will offend your oh-so-delicate sensibilities, but if those who want to visit the evil underbelly of the rave scene, and laugh their asses off in the process, just gotta check out www.ianhardrecords. com. That's the home of the Ian Daily News, a daily wank-off update on the seedier side of the St. Louis rave scene, the side that equates PLUR -- rave-speak for "peace, love, unity, respect" -- with nookie ("He told me the best way to explain PLUR was to show it to me. Then Jerry showed me what PLUR was."), calls (wrongly) a particular popular local DJ a "waste of space" and allows his writers to wax poetic about the glories of pretty much every single illicit drug on the planet. Case in point: " I remember seeing little pink lions walking along playing drums, clovers everywhere, and every step I took I felt like I had just walked into a different world."
Before you parents and DEA agents get all hot, though, remember this: Nothing is less appealing than a bunch of drugheads talking about their fun with substance abuse, and though Ian's Daily News is chock-full of drug stories (and sex stories, and disturbing photos, and cop stories), don't worry that your kids will read the thing and want to leap into the world of experimentation.
In their own backhanded way, the writings are as effective a drug deterrent as any of the "just say no" commercials. But we love Ian Daily News not for the content -- drugs are bad -- but for the writing; at its best it recalls the heavenly mini-soap-opera qualities of the late, great zine Rollerderby. Case in point: writer Mandy's (they're all using pseudonyms -- at least they'd better be) sermon on the evils of ecstasy: "The drug ecstasy has brought on a massive Happy trend. The evil ones are repulsed by this drug and by the crazy notions of PLUR. They don't even like coming to the raves anymore. It's no fun to tempt someone into evil deeds when the person thinks they are doing good. The dark ones miss the days when people danced in negative energy. They miss how people used to like parties due to the evil presence the demons created in the atmosphere. The days when people did drugs because they knew it was bad and they liked being evil."
The big hero, though (besides Ian Hard himself, whose "Ian Hard Cartoon Page" section is uniformly brilliant), is a girl named Onery -- we believe she means "Ornery" -- whose jaded style and tough attitude more than make up for Ian Hard's misogynist tendencies. We'll let her describe herself: "Onery -- Southern Neptunian Goddess. I am Onery. I am Oneriness. I am a pink, fluffy rabbit. Wax on, wax off. I am the incredible, edible (on a good day), neat, and always ferocious, one of a kind -- Onery. I pick my nose before I go to sleep because a lack of oxygen causes sleep apnea."
Here's another dose of the glory that is Ornery. "Now, I might be jumping to conclusions here, but I think my Mom is on E. And, if she's not on E, I think she might be smoking pot -- but not a little pot, a lot of pot. I wouldn't put it past her. She's all into natural healing and herbs -- so why not that type of herb? What my point here is this: I'm concerned about my mother. She's obviously been in with the wrong crowd, since she has been arrested by a Swat Team, and she is a little moody -- A definite sign of drug use."
Ian Hard polarizes the rave scene -- the neo-hippies despise him and his leather-skinned, often disrespectful ways. The "sophisticates" just think he's a loser. And it's not difficult to understand why: He's an abusive, abrasive asshole. But he's got more personality and wit than all the hippy candy-ravers put together, and the Internet's a better place because of him.
QUICKIES: 2000 Reasons to Celebrate collects many of the area's most talented female voices on one compact disc, shining a spotlight that crosses genre and age until all that's left is one encompassing musical vision. Celebrate features the beautiful work of Denise Thimes, CarolBeth True, Cheryl Strykerof One Fell Swoop, Beth Tuttle, Alice Spencer and Jessica Butler (whose "On N'a Pas Besoin" is the set's highlight), among many others, and all the proceeds from sales of the release go to AMC Cancer Research Center and the Cancer Prevention Fund. It's a worthy cause, to be sure, though the main reason to pick up the CD is that it's a fantastic snapshot of St. Louis music.... On the subject of good causes and charities, a benefit is scheduled for this weekend at the Firehouse: It's called "Computers for Kids," a benefit to purchase computers for the city's Bryan Hill Elementary School. Co-sponsored by Metropolis, Lexer and the Firehouse, the show features acts that'll surely pull in the bucks for the kids: Javier Mendoza, Languid, Like and Vitamen (sic) A (we think they should actually change their name to Vitamen (sic) A).