The Best of Planet Clair

Good night, sweet Clair.

This is the last week Planet Clair will appear at the beginning of the music section, as its author has relinquished her role as music editor and become a staff writer. Planet Clair will remain a biweekly item in the music section. On such an auspicious occasion, we’ve culled the best of the best — all the snippets that have made this column such an East Bay mainstay. Enjoy.

The Way It Oughta Be

April 5, 2001

Something that really burns Planet Clair’s chaps is peeps what can’t tell the difference betwixt a dingus and a dorkwad. A dingus is someone who probably picks his nose and eats it. A dorkwad is someone who pulls his socks up so they’re almost kissin’ the hem of his shorts. But both of them need to take a serious chill pill. Fer realz. All the dinguses and all the dorkwads can tie themselves together and hitch that party to the back of a Ford F150 whilst Clair runs donuts in the Super K parking lot. Word to your mother …

Desert Island Records

June 8, 2001

This just in: Fuck the major labels, who have been squeezing our wallets for decades, prostituting their artists, and polluting landfills with their little round shiny plastic Frisbees full of bullshit — mainstream drivel disguised as the Next Big Thing. Buy vinyl. Start with these Desert Island Discs:

Pet Sounds, the Beach Boys

Anything by the MC5

#1 Record, Big Star

Burn My Eye, Radio Birdman

Marquee Moon, Television

Highway to Hell, AC/DC

White Light/White Heat, the Velvet Underground

Slanted and Enchanted, Pavement

Surfer Rosa, the Pixies

Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen

The Return of Rock

July 13, 2000

Just when you thought they’d banged the last nail into rock’s coffin, out comes Radiohead’s post-punk to resuscitate us all. Pre-electroclash yet post-grunge, this wayward group of Brits has redefined the boundaries of pop. We approve …

The Death of a Superstar, Remembered

September 12, 2002

I was lunching with my baby’s godfather (Tom Waits, who spent the bulk of the time sucking down Lucky Strikes and absentmindedly poking at his Caesar salad) at a trendy restaurant in North Berkeley (fabulous blackberry coulis, Alice — glad you liked the recipe) when it hit me: Kurt was really and truly dead. It seemed like only yesterday we were at Buzz’s house, drinking Mickey’s Big Mouths and listening to early Die Kreuzen, talking about the good old days at Homestead Records. Even Julian (Casablancas) can’t believe he’s gone, even though he never met him and between you and me would rather hang out with Tom (Petty) anyway (oh shut up, you know it’s true, Jules! Just be happy I don’t tell people about that party in Kelly Osbourne’s suite! You still owe me a pizza) …

Five Best Songs with Parentheses

December 7, 2002

“Rock Bottom (She’s Got a)”

“I Can’t Fight It (This Infection)”

“(How Do I Get the Hell Out of) San Jose?”

“Oh Lady Di (You Are So Dead)”

“(I Propose We Go Out for a Nice Dinner, Maybe That Fabulous New Italian Place, and Then Walk Along the Avenue and Stargaze and Wistfully Disclose All Our Hopes and Dreams to Strike a Common Bond and Build Familiarity and Therefore Facilitate My Desire to) Freak You Nasty”

Y&T Begin Again

January 28, 2003

Rising from the ashes of their dastardly domination of the ’80s, East Bay über-rawkers Y&T are back for more. The group’s seminal meisterwerk, In Rock We Trust, may seem like a tough act to follow, but this band of axemen has never run from a challenge, and isn’t about to start now. In fact, Y&T is taking the genre to the next level, raising the heavy metal bar into the stratosphere by pushing the rock ‘n’ roll envelope. Their latest effort rewards repeated listens, with more licks than a Tootsie Pop and as much attitude as a black tiger in a cage. Mean Streak, indeed …

Rock Is Dead

May 31, 2000

They wheeled out rock’s grizzled corpse today for an official burial. No one’s really sure what caused its demise, though fingers point to a certain “nü-metal” band by the name of Linkin Park …

Rock: Deader than a Doornail

August 19, 2000

Contrary to rumors that may have been greatly exaggerated, rock is indeed dead, having attempted to creatively reincarnate itself more times than a repentant Brahman on acid. You can visit the grave at any local Sam Goody store, and pay your respects to its succubus, Avril Lavigne.

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