Thursday, July 13, 2006


This blog is a bog. of neglect. As promised, though, I've got a new site, with extra goodies. Still working out a few kinks, but here's where I'll be from here on out:

It's been nice, blogspot.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

6/6/06. National Day of Slayer!

Friends, Hell awaits! It's National Day of Slayer today, and as you may see from the official site, you are encouraged to listen to Slayer sans headphones throughout the day. Or perhaps you'd like to stage a "Slay-out." (which consists of not going to work and listening to Slayer).

I discussed the day with my bandmates, and it was proposed that the actual day of slayer should have been in the year 6, rather than 2006. The pesky leading zero ruins all. No matter, we can disregard this digit, after all what's it worth? I'm willing to set aside such finicky considerations in the face of:

Night will come and I will follow
For my victims, no tomorrow
Make it fast, your time of sorrow
On his trail, Ill make you follow

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Not So Triumphant This Return

Hi. Remember me? Well, it seems I've been tagged. Tagged = your blog has been dead lately, so here, get off your ass and make a top five list. Someone started this in a fit of frustration over unkept blogs, I imagine, like an angry neighbor furious about some lawn exceeding the standards of conformity. I'll do my best:

5 items in my fridge

1. A single 12 oz. bottle of Lost Coast Downtown Brown ale.
2. Two slices of leftover pepperoni pizza.
3. Leftover Indian food.
4. A variety of fancy olives. Sweet Jesus I love olives. All of them. From the green stuffed fare of mainstream supermarkets to the shriveled black pasty-textured raisin-looking things one pit away from instant tapenade. I eat too many in one sitting, and -- olives being acidic -- it results in abdominal discomfort. Ouch, my guts. I could make love to olives, though. You're delicious, you little fuckers.
5. Old hummus.

5 items in my closet

1. Wearable clothing.
2. Unwearable clothing.
3. A remote control lightswitch. The closet was originally a murphy bed and was repurposed as a large walk-in closet. As there was no existing electronic wiring in there, it appears they installed the light but not a switchbox, instead utilizing this remote control version. For the longest time we thought it was faulty wiring when it stopped working consistently, but then the Ladyfriend investigated and discovered this.
4. Various backpacks and bags.
5. Ancient ski boots.

5 items in my car

1. I
2. don't
3. have
4. a
5. car. Which has truly been a life-changing experience. I never want to own one again. I owned a full-size Dodge Ram van that had an ongoing issue with one misfiring cylinder. No one could fix it, and it was diagnosed incorrectly about a thousand times. I broke down on every highway in the bay area. I broke down on the fucking San Mateo Bridge for fuck's sake. I spent dollar after dollar. Getting rid of it was like having a sword removed from my eye.

5 items in my purse backpack

1. USB flash drive.
2. Let's Go! Peru guide. The Ladyfriend and I are embarking on a Peruvian trek in less than two weeks. From Lima to Puno to Cusco and a hike to Macchu Piccu. I will eat
guinea pig. I will buy a tiny guitar. I will speak rusty Spanish, but it will be so much better than my Chinese was, which is a shame given that we will likely be more on the beaten path this time, surrounded by people who speak some English. But there is one homestay, near lake Titicaca (which at age 31 I still find to be the world's most funny geographical site). Maybe there I can flex the tongue.
3. Combination Lock (for gym).
4. Various pens.
5. Marijuana.

5 people who are now tagged

Respectfully declining. I don't feel I can legitimately tag anyone else, with them being kettles and me being a black pot. I've been rather absent. My blogginess has withered like some sad office plant. I have blog erectile disfunction. I'm like a deadbeat blog dad, off drinking with his buddies in Duluth. I'm a pen with no ink. A slab of marble and no chisel.

What gives? I don't know. Somedays I'm sick of blogs and blogging, and even the word "blog" just makes me cringe a little bit. You can get a free blog anywhere now; American Idol was handing them out (not that I was watching that -- OK I was, but that's another post). They have taken on the sort of crassness I associate with chat rooms. OMG WTF I'm blogging ROFL, and such. Not to mention corporate blogs used as marketing devices; ugh.

But the form has blown up for a reason, a social angle to this so-very-antisocial world of technology. I still visit plenty throughout my day of office drudgery, and all of them I find valuable, and those of close friends/family invaluable, as they offer some proximity in the face of our geographical distance. And I know some of my loved ones enjoy this one for that same reason.

My other more valid excuse is that the muse has just been knocking on other doors lately, namely the musical one. I've spent the past month with a recording of my new band, mixing and mixing again, and with my already existing band, writing and writing. Both of them are on the verge of me finally playing a show again. I am genuinely musically inspired right now, and feel poised to do some of my best and most satisfying work.

I'm considering a change to this blog, actually, given my other pursuits. A sort of clearing house of my life and odd ventures, not limited to these blog postings but with updates on musical projects, the soon-to-be-continued-I-promise Turk and Jim, writing endeavors, photography, everything, basically -- leading to the need for more web space and a memorable domain. Now accepting suggestions. In any case, you four readers will be kept posted, I assure you. And I do apologize for neglecting you your two to five minutes of boredom appeasal for the past few months. Thanks again, C'est for "tagging" me. Sometimes that's what it takes.

(Oh, and by the way, there's a new
Yacht Rock.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's That Time Again

Episode 8

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Product Endorsement

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Product Endorsement

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Guns Guns Guns

Four people got shot about 3 blocks from our apartment last night. One killed. Didn't hear the shots, but heard the helicopters afterward. It's a bit disconcerting I have to say. Sure, as I'm not in the market for crack, I very rarely cover that block of Mission, heading up 16th a few streets on my way home instead (to the more, shall we say, gentrified streets); but still, yikes. They don't appear to have much information -- the four victims may or may not be related in some way. And then this other report angles it all TV-sensational, claiming shots were fired a little more randomly. Random crimes are of course the worst, as I prefer to pass this off as a gang incident, some fight over turf or whatever. We shall see.

Serendipitously, SF Gate ran this op ed piece today, which explores our top-down cultural obsession with violence. And I think in a way he's right, that our own celebration creates this feedback loop that reaches out to,well, 16th and Mission. Humans have always been violent, of course, but Americans seem particularly loco. What's our deal? Sometimes you just want to kill the compassionless, myopic, deluded and the stupid.

I mean reprimand, sorry.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Still More Yacht Rock

Beneath the masturbatory typing and our mutual pretense of worthwhileness, I think this page really only serves one purpose -- to alert you to a new Yacht Rock when they make one, in case you hadn't alerted yourselves.

In the new episode, we learn of Yacht Rock's little-publicized connection to Hip Hop, and how it gave Michael McDonald the edge. We listen to Dr. Dre spouting saccharine wisdom, the kind Wilford Brimley may have divvied out, accompanied by strings. We see how smoooooth jams can endure through the years, so smooooth indeed, but so permanent, so solid.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Christmas in July

speakers on. get mousy with it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

200 Days

So, 200 days without a cigarette. Without a puff. With nicotine gum, although increasingly less and less, it being now relegated to band practices and weekend beerfests. My friend Mel sent me this link to Harper's a while back (she's an ex-smoker, too), and my reaction made me wonder if my DNA hadn't been permanently altered. Somehow I dove right into the article without reading the italicized introduction. I therefore read it as some kind of smoker-penned satire rather than actual propoganda. And I related. I sided with the smokers, chuckling a bit about Hitler and Napolean's supposed disdain of the act, relating it to the liberal version, smoking being now banned in public parks in SF (which this nonsmoker thinks is a bit ridiculous). I remembered dividing the day with cigarettes, plumes of smoke rising film noir as I stopped and meditated. I thought about an entire worldview associated with smoking, a sort of medical nihilism, a fuck you to all maladies -- "I'll do it myself." The cynics' version of the Marlboro man, rugged individualism without the flannel. I thought about a campfire, or a strong cup of coffee, or a large meal, or a belt of whiskey. Don't mind if I do. But nope.

For the first 100+ days, every memory I recounted explicitly contained cigarettes as props. Traveling, playing rock shows, memorable gatherings and events -- the mental camera seemed to zoom in on that feature, perfectly glowing, rhythmically raised to the lips, ritual accomponmient. It seems I'm beyond that now, that the continuity person forgot to replace the smokes at the scene break, that they've crumbled and extinguished now in the mind's eye. This is helpful.

I've developed asthma. That's my gift for quitting? Perhaps it will go away in time, just the unfortunate effect of many enraged scilia, each of them grumpily wiping tar from themselves. Perhaps it will be with me from now on, who knows. Despite this I now walk up hills with ease. I ride my bike around or exercise and I feel great. I sleep quickly, no hour of anxiety withholding slumber. Less anxiety overall, in fact. My eyes are less irritated. I stink less.

200 days. It just kinda happend. Here's to 200 more.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Reign of the Podcast

It seems one o' my favorite radio shows has landed on NPR, podcast-style. Benjamin Walker's Theory of Everything is now being offered by NPR as part of their "alt.NPR" podcast section, which is evidently composed of fare that is non-broadcast and in some way divergent or experimental. So step into the future, my frens, and concede to the hype of podcasting and my own hype of this show.

p.s. I learned from Walker's blog section about this. Oh jesus.
p.p.s All instances of the word "podcast" in this post should be pronounced in the voice of Sean Connery. Please re-read.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Rock = Death

Alright, rockers, you may feel your music is some sort of catharsis, or a means of self-expression, or -- oh, this is rich -- art*, even, but what are you really buying with what you're selling? A ticket to hell, fuckers! Or at least an early grave. Just as Mama Cass choked, or Dennis Wilson drowned, or pretty much half of rock history went down in fiery plane wrecks, you shall be immortalized, witnessing inevitable posthumous sales boosts from your fiery pit (probably next to that gin blossoms guy, as much as you'd enjoy Bon Scott's company).

* I actually believe rock is art

Monday, January 30, 2006

New Yacht Rock

The glory of Yacht Rock continues. If you haven't watched the first five, do it quickly (this will help you understand #6). Enjoy the many-faceted history of "smooth music": the whiplash karate kicks of John Oates, the naive eagerness of Christopher Cross, the tongue-wagging of Eddie Van Halen, the unsatiated libido of Todo, the explosive appearances of Steve Perry, the Napoleanic demands of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, the inspiration and righteousness of Michael McDonald, the deviation of Kenny Loggins, the drunkenness of Jim Messina, and so much more -- but most of all, Koko's fire, burning through eternity, kept alive by only the smoothest of jams.

Oh, and root crops.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You Have the Mystifying Sheen of a French Mustard

This morning I woke to the radio, and before refining my senses with coffee, swore I heard the DJ say it was "National Condiment Day." Being one who relishes the absurd, yes, I was intrigued, and ventured forth onto the internet. I soon discovered that there is no National Condiment Day (yet), and that today is instead "National Compliment Day." My burgeoning narrative was crushed like so many mustard seeds; I sat with the perfect complement to condiments, the very Periodic Table of Condiments, all dressed up and no place to go. My mind still buzzed with lowbrow punchlines, an infinite loop of "I will ketchup but first I mustard." Spread before me was the awful truth. I had to face it:

You look lovely today, gentle reader; I value your insight. Did you do something with your hair?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Evil Heads

evil heads

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Weekend Draws Nigh

Rock and roll, my friends, rock and roll.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Art-Friend Thursday

Noticed that my fren Maria Forde was recently interviewed for the, uh, uniquely-named Fecal Face, a Bay Area arts site. Maria is often one of the most unjustifiably self-deprecating people you'll ever speak to, so humble with regard to her art, which I quite enjoy. She has this great style in her work, for which my art vocabulary is failing me here.... A sort of naive cartoonishness; altogether earnest. The lines are really alive, and drawing seems to play a huge role even in her paintings. Often the work is accompanied by simple captions. Saw several pieces about her hometown at one show here in SF, and the combination seemed to really take you back there emotionally, regardless of any small-town experience (mine's more mid-city suburban). Anyway, see the interview here, and her site here. I will throw some more Art Friends at you soon enough (sounds like some awful children's television show, doesn't it).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Guilty as Most

Encountered (thanks to the Nonist) this piece, ostensibly a play review, instead a rather beautifully-executed diatribe on the downfalls of irony.

Irony has been much-maligned in the past few years, declared dead again and again, and yes, justifiably enough. I am certainly no stranger to it, and in my life have made attempts at both perfecting and rejecting irony in its more cancerous forms/cycles. I've sworn it off, feeling the sting of my own moral ambivalence/detachment/insensitivity/sheer laziness. But I've embraced it time and time again too, and do feel it has its uses.

It is the apparent MO of this (my) generation, and yes, has arguably lost any critical value it may have had in favor of pure deflection and self-conscious image-maintenence. In the realm of entertainment, a realm so vital in preserving our forgetfulness, it's been basically mastered (see the reviewer's mention of the Daily Show), cracking us up with a wink rather than a laugh track. To be sure, much of our culture invites satire and parody, being so ludicrous one is often dumbfounded, at a loss as to how to conjure a direct course of action/attack. But that's a cop out in't?

Probably like any other spice-of-life, irony is best consumed or dealt in moderation. Maybe this play, which apparently sends up "torture, fratricide, child murder, totalitarian law enforcement, and lying," is a sort of bottom-shelf malt liquor of Irony, cheap and fleeting, inviting potentially lethal addiction.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Stoned Again

It seems William Shatner sold his kidney stone to an online casino for $25k. No, for real.

Perhaps this explains Shatner's much-poorly-imitated vocal idiosyncrasy, that strange forced pause between words, soon to be recognized as an indicator of the slow passing of a decades-stubborn kidney stone.

Well, that's how I like to imagine it. I should also point out that the proceeds went to Habitat for Humanity. So that's good.