Saturday, December 27, 2008

BEST OF 2008

Music:
Sleepercar; West Texas
- My favorite album of the year, Jim Ward has always been one of my favorite songwriters from At the Drive In to Sparta. This album though was something special; he created a sonic landscape that teeters between the American west and his spacey roots in Sparta. I am surprised more people weren't into this album.
Disfear; Live the Storm
- Normally albums this hard can't hold my attention span, this though transcends the normal hardcore punk roots and makes you want to beat your fist in the air and scream along to every word.
Saviours; Into Abaddon
- This was the metal album of the year; hands down! from the cover art, blistering solos and pounding drums. I probably drove everyone crazy around me the first few months of the year because I wouldn't listen to anything else, but I don't care, it's that good (Don't believe me? Ryan Adams even liked it in his NY Times interview).
Dead to Me: Little Brother
- Saw them open for the Souls this spring. This is punk rock. Wish there were more bands like this out there.
The Sword; Gods of the Earth
- Like Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and early Metallica?
The Gaslight Anthem; The 59' Sound
- This was my second favorite album of the year. I know everyone quoted the boss, but I hear more soul in this album. Another album that I annoyed everyone with by singing along to every word to every track for months. Though Sarah pointed out that the lead singer stole lyrics from the Counting Crows...
Conor Oberst: Conor Oberst
- "So I remain between her legs
Sheltered from all my fears
While bikers glide by highway shrines
Where pilgrims disappear"

Songs:
My Morning Jacket: Evil Urges
- Led Zeppelin and Prince in one song.
The Clash: Train in Vain (Shea Stadium live version)
- Always loved this song, love it even more, no matter the version. Punk Version of a Pet Sounds song.
The Cure: All I Want (I know it's not new but I couldn't resist)
- I listened to this far to much not to include it.
MGMT: Electric Feel
- Who can't dance to this?
Birdmonster: Balcony
- I still have no clue who gave this to me, love it though.
NIN: Discipline
- Does Trent ever put out bad singles?

Shows:
Pinback
Tiger Army
Bouncing Souls
The Cure (Best show, hands down, hearing 100 Years was more than I could handle)
Hot Water Music (My favorite show; got to meet one of my idols at this show, very important and memorable night)

Movies:
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- Very cathartic on a personal level. This is one of those movies that was perfect in every way. Watch it, Jason Seigel is amazing.
Batman: The Dark Knight
- Perfect...
Fallen: Ride the Sky
- Skating, music and aesthetics came together to make a movie that would force the most sloth skate.
Stepbrothers
- Funnier every time you watch it.
The Fall
- Tarsem has the best eye in Hollywood. Great movie, even though it was a fairy tale.
Role Models
- Paul Rudd, always funny.
Hamlet 2
- The most irreverent movie ever, but with enough heart to keep you interested.
Wristcutters a Love Story
- Can't explain it, you have to watch Tom Waits, Gogol Bordello, Shannon Sossamon and that kid from Saved travel to purgatory.
Control
- Anton Corbijn's biopic on Ian Curtis and the rise and demise of Joy Division. Filmed in black and white, it only adds to the serene desolation that made up Ian's life. I wanted to reach out and help him, so goth, so good.
T.V.:
Weeds Season Four
- Weeds is dark, funny and based in the hell hole known as Orange County. I think one of the reasons that Arrested Development was so funny was this fact. All this and Mary-Louise Parker. Addictive like crack.
True Blood
- Alan Ball? Vampires? The South? Werewolves? Black Magic? What isn't to like?

Memories and Revisits:
- Forth of July in Pismo.
- Erick and Holly's wedding.
- Dom chats.
- Every moment on my motorcycle.
- Homes for some of my friends, engagements for the others.
- Maine
- Turkey Gumbo
- David's constant entusiasm
- Pinot Noir from Windward
- Robbie + Beer = fun times (Paso and air guitar)
- Up Chicken, Down Chicken
- Valentine splendor at the Madonna
- Paint Ball, who knew?
- Swedish crepes with Tona, I look forward to every trip.
- Goth
- Sunglasses and Vans
- Crystal Hot Sauce
- Henry Rollins, Noam Chomsky, Stephen Gagan and Jello Biafra educated politics.
- Jack, Ludia and Robert at the Original Pancake House.
- Shipyards Pumpkinhead Ale
- The Cure, yes I love them, every song, every album.
- Sweaters (argyle or buttons)
- Skating Los Osos and Atascadero
- Drunk Texts
- Florian Bertmer
- Discovering Klosterman. Brilliant, every sarcastic word.
- Stephen Colbert: I Am America (and so can you!)
- Old 97's: Hit by a Train
- College
- Seeing Batman at midnight
- Books in general
- Sarah and Kevin's Holiday pictures.
- ffffound.com
- Did I mention Maine?
- The significance of Obama wining.
- My Friends I wouldn't be here without you, I love all of you for who you are and what you do!


P.S. if I forgot something, remind me...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Still Punk, Still Educated

Jello Biafra
Posted October 31, 2008 05:00PM
Jello Biafra, is a musician who first gained attention as the lead singer and songwriter for San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys. After his time with the band concluded, he became more directly involved with political activism and took over the influential independent record label Alternative Tentacles [www.alternativetentacles.com], founded in 1979 by him and East Bay Ray. Although now primarily focused on spoken word art, he has continued as a musician in numerous collaborations.

Politically, he is a member of the Green Party and actively supports leftist political causes. Biafra ran for the party's Presidential nomination in 2000, finishing second to Ralph Nader. He is a self-identified anarchist who advocates civil disobedience, direct action, culture jamming and pranksterism in the name of political change. Biafra is known to use absurdist media tactics in the tradition of the Yippies to highlight issues of civil rights, social justice, economic populism, anti-corporatism, peace movements, anti-consumerism, environmentalism, anti-globalization, universal health care, LGBT rights, anti-capitalism, reproductive rights, feminism, and the separation of church and state.

Currently Jello has a spoken word album "In the Grip of Official Treason" [www.amazon.com] as well as a new band (currently called Jello Biafra and His Axis of Merry Evil Doers) and a 7" EP, Jezebel [www.alternativetentacles.com].

1. What's your favorite political movie?

There's so many, where do I begin - "Boat People"? "Dr. Strangelove"?,
"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. t"?

2. What role do you feel art plays in politics?

People respect and listen to artists far more than politicians. In an
age of dumbed-down, censored, Soviet-style mass media it is up to
artists to be what Chuck D once called "The real CNN". If we don't wake people up to what's going on, who will?


3. What do you think is the biggest issue for the next generation of Americans?

Preserving human rights and our Constitution. We can't fight global
warming without this. Who would have thought that we would have to
struggle to have our vote counted - and stop wholesale torture and
prison camps - in the alleged land of the free?

4. Who was the first political candidate you were excited to vote for and why?

Can't remember a person, but it sure has been fun voting down new
sports stadiums. Local ballot questions and initiatives may well be the
most important reason to vote and vote smart.

5. What factors are important to you in choosing a president?

They must be on the right side of the issues I care most about. I will
not vote for anyone who supports the Patriot Act, the Drug War, the
death penalty, NAFTA, corporate bailouts, etc. One Strike You're Out.
Or to put it less politely, FUCK YOU. I'd rather work or vote for
something I want and not get it than work or vote for something I don't want and get it.

6. What issues would you like to see politicians focus more on?

Standing up and saying no to the Military Industrial Complex, the
Prison-Industrial Complex, the Homeland (In)security-Industrial
Complex, and now the Election-Industrial Complex. Use the money we
waste on the war machine for the homeless, the poor, our underfunded
schools and to repair and upgrade our crumbling infrastructure for the
21st Century. It's so much easier to get around when there are proper
train systems. Imagine how much easier travel would be if our
high-speed rail technology caught up with Europe or Japan!

7. Which issues would you like to see politicians focus less on?

Handouts and socialism for the wealthy while the world burns.

8. Which candidate's initiatives do you feel better address environmental concerns?

Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich. Did Al gore ever get
rid of all his stock in Occidental Petroleum?

9. This is your soapbox - shout it out! What do you need to get off your chest?

There are two things about an Obama regime that worry me the most.

1. I remember someone else who had the audacity to misuse peoples' Hope when they were desperate for a change, and his name is Bill Clinton. Let's not forget it was not Bush but Clinton who gave us
NAFTA, the WTO, the Telecom Act of 1996 that opened the floodgates for Clear Channel and Fox News, and laugh out loud Abstinence-only sex "education." Clinton signed Newt Gingrich's cruel welfare reform bill at the urging of Al Gore. And, yes, it was Clinton who planted the seeds of the economic meltdown when he gleefully deregulated the banks.

If Obama turns out to be another Clinton - and surrounding himself with Biden, Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin and Zbigniew Bzrzinsky is not a good sign - I fear he will break the hearts of whole energized
generation of voters who won't feel it's worth it to participate again.


2. When Clinton got in, people rejoined "Ding Dong, Bush is gone. Now
we can finally sleep at night" - and went to sleep for the next 8
years! We can't rest easy and sleep this time. There will be no change
from Obama or a congress of corporate-owned Democrats unless we
increase the pressure and keep a blowtorch up their ass the whole time
they're in power. We need leaders, not more deal makers, Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid (remember him?) need to be replaced with people who actually give a shit.

We stopped Vietnam. We torpedoed the Gulf War. Our civil rights and
environmental awareness as we know them today didn't happen because our corporate lords granted the peasants new rights out of the goodness of their corporate hearts. They don't have any. We got where we are because we got together and fought for it. Same for the New Deal. It was us.

And the only thing standing in the way of more wars, more Abu Ghraibs and more Guantanamo Bays coming soon behind a Wal-Mart near you is us.

So don't give up, OK? Besides, causing trouble is so much fun.

10. Do you have any recommended links, books or movies so people can learn more about the issues you care about?

Don't hate the media, become the media. Don't just question authority,
question bloggers. Question this site. Help people develop better
bullshit detectors.

I don't think people should be able to graduate from high school
without passing a class on media literacy. But for some reason they
don't have those classes, so we need to spread our knowledge instead.

Extra Credit: Fill in the blank. _________ for change.

THINK, for a change.

http://www.sundancechannel.com/politics/390374947

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What?


scary to say the least.

Day Four:


Woke up after a night of feeling sick so I packed up my things and went down to the wharf to say goodbye to Portland and get the last souvenirs for everyone back in California. I headed out to Enterprise rent a car to return my little Nissan. The gentleman at the counter said that the shuttle would be there in six minutes to pick me up. So I waited outside and waited and waited. The van ended up being 45minutes late, at that point I asked the driver to hurry because now my flight was leaving in 36 minutes, so as I ran to the counter I expected to see a person to help me instead it was a computer that informed I could not bored the plane till I spoke to someone. I searched for a United employee only finding baggage throwers that didn’t know what to do. Finally I found a guy that said he couldn’t really help e because he was new. With six minutes left a woman let me know that I wouldn’t be able to board the plane but she could get me on stand by all the way home to San Luis but now through Chicago not DC. So off I flew to Chicago. Now I must say I will never fly on standby anymore, they had overbooked both flights that I could take by over 150 passengers. In fact a gentleman got bumped off his flight got an argument in front of me, police were called and a ticket was even torn up in front of his face by employees. It was the single funniest thing I have ever seen. I found the general manager for United Chicago and he got me tickets home. Only problem is that I had a nine hour lay over in LA. So I snuck into a closed terminal and tried to sleep until my flight time. Eventually made it home, this was probably one of the best trips I have ever taken. I only have one complaint it wasn’t long enough.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Three (Or as Erick has named it; Leaves and Lobster Tour 2008):











This was one of those days that just got better and better as the day carried on. I woke up this morning and headed into Bar Harbor and walked across the sand spit bridge that can only be accessed at low tide. So I went over to Bar Island. The island was a land of rolling hills and open grassy meadows which held large raspberry bushes. I then drove down Park Loop Road and reached the Precipice Trail. The precipice trail is an old hiking trail that was cut straight out of the granite to climb up Gorham Mountain. Now they say that there is no climbing involved, this is a lie. It’s all climbing. It was well worth it though, the views from the ridge were outstanding and I ended up sitting on a cliff overlooking the ocean for quite a while. Lunch was served at the Whales Tail Tavern; I had Agalish White and a lobster roll, the best one yet. I headed out of Bar Harbor to Bangor. Bangor is a Maine’s second largest city; it sits upon the Penobscot River and meanders on along its banks. The city itself looks as if it was built in the 40’s and hadn’t been changed since. It has a sad feeling to itself, as if it was locked in a bottle for so long. Even Paul Bunyan couldn’t cheer up this town on a blistery October day. So I headed south on Highway 95 through the heart of the state back to Portland. Upon reaching Portland I found a hotel and got cleaned up. The Old Port is a one of the best downtowns I have ever visited; it rivals any city in the US. I ate at the apply named The Grill & Bar; this was the best meal I had eaten in a long long time. Tonight I started with fresh fried Georgetown Me. Oysters with a Maine Irish red beer. For my entrée I had puree of sweet potato, blanched spinach with a skewer of the best scallops I have ever eaten, this was eaten with a Chilean viognier. For dessert I had vanilla bean crème brulee and a Californian moscato. The evening was better than I could have ever expected. I would have liked to have walked around downtown a bit more but the evening’s air called me to bed (37 degrees). The city of Portland is what many cities would like to be, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but here, right now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day Two:











Well I didn’t see my sunrise in Acadia this morning. I should have realized that this would have been a little difficult since in the last 72hrs. I had slept about 9; of which on Monday night I crashed. I woke about around ten, got my deluxe continental breakfast (how does cold cereal and English muffins constitute deluxe?). I then drove up to Mount Cadillac, which is the tallest point on the eastern seaboard. It literally rises out of the ocean to over 1500 feet, complete with wind swept pines and exposed granite. With all the color you could imagine I decided to descend into Lake Jordan and walked around this pristine example of nature. The funny thing about Acadia is that I must have been the youngest person visiting the park as the median age must be 65. I then circumnavigated Mt. Desert Island stopping in Somesville to have lunch. But seeing as the “season” ended last week I only had one choice, the Somesville Inn. Luckily it was amazing, I had Bar Harbor Ale, a lobster roll (lumps of lobster set in a buttered and toasted roll with a side of pasta salad and for dessert blue berry crisp which by the way had more blue berries than I have ever consumed in my life. Head Lighthouse at the end of the island was next, which was a serene setting which felt like it was at the end of the world, with waves crashing and wind blowing. Dinner was at a little lobster shack with some of the nicest people I have ever met. I had originally decided to drive inland but I decided against it because I couldn’t believe it could get better than here, so I drove into Bar Harbor for the evening. I actually went into town tonight and walked around the town which looks a lot like Park City or any town that was set up in the fifties. I want to live here at some point in life, a town like Bar Harbor sounds nice doesn’t it (plus they brew their own beer)?
P.S. It's supposed to snow tomorrow
p.p.s. No Spanish language TV, just French

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day One:







Upon exiting the plane I picked up my bags and went to pick up my rental car. I went to the rental car pick up and was informed by Hertz that Enterprise was located off site and that I should take a cab to get there. Needless to say I found the shuttle that would take me there. I left Enterprise in my little Nissan Sentra and went down to old Portland and walked around seeing what it had to offer. Portland looks a lot like Boston but with far less commerce and people. I ended up having lunch with a hair stylist from Boston preparing to run a marathon. The funny thing is that she was just leaving from the trip that I was beginning; Nicole went to see the fall leaves, take pictures and eat food. Funny how everyone I knew asked me why on earth I would go to Maine; I guess only people that go understand. A crab cake sandwich and sweet potato chips were served and thoroughly enjoyed. I left there and headed to Freeport to see the LL Bean factory stores that literally covered four blocks and even had a giant replica Maine hunting boot in front of one of the warehouses. From there I went north to Bath and then on to the breathtaking village of Camden to have dinner. The town of Camden sits below a mountain in a little finger of the Atlantic; with a small port and small downtown it looks like something out of a movie. I ate seafood stew and drank Pumpkinhead Ale next to some very eccentric local drunks. I then headed to Bar Harbor so that I would wake up to a sunrise in Acadia National Park. The leaves, weather and atmosphere that Maine provides is awe inspiring.

Travel:

I left Fresno midday Sunday after having been there to attend Erick and Holly’s wedding. I made it home in time to pack and then eat Dinner with Chris and Family. HE then drove me to the airport were I luckily was able to board the plane in time to make my connecting flights without fail. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I had flown last (almost two years exactly). I had forgotten all the little habits and intricacies to packing hundreds of people from different cultures and backgrounds in to a flying metal cylinder. Fortunately I ran into Shad and Lou from Traditional Tattoo of SLO, with both of them knowledgeable of Maine. They let me know to spend time in Bar Harbor (pronounced, Baa Haba, thanks Lou), Portland and surprisingly the L.L. Bean store. The overnight flight wore me out as I have a difficult time sleeping on planes and since it was a red eye, I had to take advantage of the time sleeping. I made it to Portland with out fail with the exception of having to move terminals twice in DC. By the way, DC has the best dressed travelers, even the casual travelers look better than most in LA; no velour track suits there.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Epilogue: Maine

I have wanted to visit Maine since I saw the orange and tangerine leaves of fall against the rocky coast line of the northern Atlantic in classic Kodacolor prints. My plans to make it here had always been conceived to fail as the fall is one of the most difficult times to travel for me historically. But seeing that this year has been one of changes I decided to throw caution and time to the wind and make plans to visit our most north-eastern state in the prime of fall color. I also wanted to eat as many lobster rolls as I could possibly consume in that time. The mystic of the region has always invited me. The fact that some of our most famous authors, poets and artists hail from or flock to this northern gem intrigues me all the more; Walden and Christina’s World being two of the finest examples.
I only have two set plans for this trip; one, round trip airfare and two, a rental car. I have tried to read as much as possible on Maine before I go there. I picked a few travel books and have researched the internet for as much information as possible. Online I found: http://www.state.me.us/doc/foliage/ and http://www.visitmaine.com/ to be interesting. I really jus want to relax and see the beauty that the northeast has to offer. I am hoping that I am going late enough that it will be pretty empty and I will be able to fully enjoy the solitude of fall. I want to see Acadia National Park, the leaves along the coast and possibly go on a lobster boat though that might be the most touristy plan I have (well that and the “Leaf Peeping,” doesn’t that sound dirty? It sounds more like a perverse action with leaves).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Protect Families?


How does negating a persons ability to marry someone they love protect families? You can use the sign to counter measure those yes signs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ride The Sky


Jamie Thomas has done it again. Billy Marks and Chris Cole amaze.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So Funny.


Probably my favorite movie so far this year.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pancakes

The Original Pancake House, amazing. Simply amazing. I have been told to go to this breakfast location for at least five years. I finally learned. Go get the 49er or the German pancakes. It's in Anaheim, and yes it's worth the drive.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Bike

Chris and I drove to the LBC to pick up my new bike, it's a 98 XL1200. The bike was built by Bill of Builtwell, in Temecula. The bike is a blast to ride and starts up the first time, every time; not like the Triumph. This means the Triumph is getting pulled apart for a complete overhaul. Expect a Frisco influenced little lane splitter. As for this bike its perfect. A little tank that will take me anywhere.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Banking

Well, I hope everyone that has WAMU likes JP Morgan Chase because they are now your bank. One year ago, I would have never believed that WAMU would have come to this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Got Published!

Mangyle
by Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun
When my friend requested that I knit him a brown, gold and cream argyle sweater vest for his birthday I couldn’t resist! I love argyle, so I decided to make him a classic vest with a twist.
The vertical argyle band requires both intarsia and fair-isle skills, so it is not for the knitter who is faint of heart.
But the results are hot and your man will love it!
Here is the link to the full article: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall08/PATTmangyle.html

Or you can check out the artist herself: http://www.femiknitz.com/

She is an amazing artist as well as friend; Kevin and her are some of the best people I have ever met.



Oh Fresno

9/7/2008 Fresno, CA, USA (KFSN) -- Fresno County Sheriff's deputies have made an arrest in one of the most bizarre crimes department officials say they've ever handled; a home invasion attack with a sausage and spices as the weapon.

The victims tell police someone broke into a home at Thompson and Kings Canyon, rubbed spices on the body of one man, hit the other man in the face and head with an eight-inch sausage, then ran off with money taken from the house.

Police didn't have a hard time finding the suspect. He left his wallet with ID at the home.

Officers found the man hiding in an orchard nearby wearing only a t-shirt and his underwear.

Thanks Dave

I caved...

I started reading:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Music

I have really lucked out and found some great music this year, from revisting old favorites to new bands, these are my favorites from this year.


Robbie

Good luck building planes my little mexican friend! Vaya con diablo!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hot Water Music

Friday August 29Th, I drove to Hollywood to see one of the most influential bands of my life; Hot Water Music. Caution alone is one of the most important albums in my catalogue. Their brand of rock melds so many genre's into a powerful emotional release. I really couldn't believe that they were touring again. After separating in 2005 so that Chuck could get married and start his construction business, I thought the closest I could get to seeing them again was Chris's band The Draft (Though I do have to say that In a Million Pieces was my favorite album of 2006). The reformation has been quite a joy to witness as I know that I am not the only one that has been excited to see them, as I read in a magazine, "Hot Water Music is touring again, old guys with beards are stoked." The show itself was exactly as I had expected, no lights, nothing fancy and no pretentiousness. They were just there to play a rock show. I want to thank Jason, Robert and Mark for showing me a great time and especially Jason getting me all the memorabilia. One of the weirdest things was after the show as we were waiting to meet up with Alex at a house party Chuck came up to me and just wanted to chat. Now I have never been one to talk to my heroes because I just think its awkward. So to have one of my favorite songwriters and singers just want to chat was very meaningful. Probably one of the most memorable experiences I have had this year.
P.S. If you haven't listened to them check out the songs Manual, I Was on a Mountain and Seeing Diamonds.