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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I am a white person...

Its official. I didn't know it before, but then I go to get my laundry and there it is.



See towards the middle to upper right hand corner? Yeah, it says white person. Before there was a rush sticker over it and I removed it...and why were they rushing? Cause I'm a white person.

How absurd is that? In one of the most diverse cities in the world, where even I am a minority, they still rush for whitey. Probably because we white people have figured out how to get all the free shit we want in life.

I can tell you...

do you want to know?

complain. Even if they do it correctly. Complain. You looking at a guy who should owe Adelphia 120 this month...but what's our bill? 36 bucks.

cell phone? no worries. they make millions in overages, they'll practically hand you 25 off a month if you keep complaining about dropped calls. (Oh, and btw...dropped calls...such a conspiracy...sure a few calls here and there get dropped...but no where near the volume these companies think. I have made a point to be honest and only call when it actually happens, but the rewards are plentiful).

Now, I'm not one to give up all the trade secrets...after all, its sort of weighed entirely one direction and that's totally not fair. Why does my receipt say this? Why are some people treated differently than others? Why is it so damn awkward to wash and peel a cucumber?

Racism. Well, maybe not the last one. Although for the brothers out there- you might be able to relate. I know I can. I speak street. And what's street for whitey got a big ole dong? I think the term is Napoleon Someblackparts. Ok, I'll stop. (even if it is true.)

Anyway, it always strikes me as funny because there is so much racism that goes on in the world...and for where I live (a mostly gay neighborhood of all races), I didn't think it'd be as prevelant here. After all, there are black people that are natives of France, China, Mexico, and Argentina. Ooh- and Australia. So is one more equal than another? Did someone tip the scales a way long time ago only to make it progressively worse and worse over time (even though in our minds we think we are making progress?) Is this life- this existence- really just some experiment in a petry dish somewhere in the sciene lab of time?

No way to tell. A million to wonder. Anyway, what I started to say was...I still see just as much racism here, in downtown (west) hollywood as I have anywhere. Ever.

And in its own twisted way, you know what's really refreshing to me, as a white person, carrying guilt from our divine western world of a thousand souls passed? Reverse racism.

Today, while driving to the beach to do my morning run, someone was honking like mad in grid iron traffic. This car of black guys next to me looks over and assumes it's me, trying to cut them off and get in their lane. It wasn't. It was no where near that. But they assumed, they yelled, they threw gang symbols and shit at me...one of them even pointed a finger, like a gun, and went 'click.'

And even though it was the middle of the day, even though there was nothing to be done- AT ALL...I had a feeling. A feeling like a life experience just occurred and that I should be thankful to have experienced it.

Often times I walk into little bodegas only to find myself the only english speaker in a room of tejanos or mexicans. So I switch to spanish and converse. It blows them away. They, like so many others, just assume we don't have any idea what they're saying, and since we aren't willing to learn [as a culture], I wait longer in line.

So be it...sometimes lessons come quickly and in small packages.

"Even when one loses, don't lose the lesson."
His Holiness, the Dali Lama

below is a pic of my and our former purple monkey who we aptly named dishes...can anyone guess why? The answer revealed tomorrow! Peace and love- ST

Sunday, May 28, 2006

album of the week- week 6


Gonzales- Solo Piano

Good luck finding this one in the U.S. If you do, it will be probably 40 bucks to buy. However, if you've got itunes or you ever visit the site
  • Boomkat
  • you can check out what I am talking about...anyway, without further ado:

    Wow. This album is a special one. Thig guy, Gonzales, whom I had never heard before this album, is one hell of a musician. Especially if you jutaxpose this album with the bulk of his work. He's what Europe calls a B-boy. A beat maker. And as far as I am concerned, a cheesy beat maker. Point being, I don't dig a lot of the guy's other work. Any.

    But this album is a stand alone classic. For those of you whom I've already shared this album with, you know it's magic. It has the capacity to make storms swell, women swoon, and make marijuana work. Wait, marijuana does that.

    And there's no lie in the title either...its really just Gonzales playing the piano for about 50 minutes. And yes, to the untrained ear this will sound somewhat like music we hear our grandparents listen to...but it's magical. Maybe its just special for me cause I started on the piano, I don't know. But the piano went through somewhat of a rebirth in much of 2004 and 2005, returning to rock music, and recreating that whole rhythm feeling that we had all but forgotten about.

    Here's the amazing thing: this album accomplishes those same things on its own. No vocals, no other instruements, no nada. It's just a grand piano doing what it does best. I'd also like to cite, for you musicians out there, that there are a few moments in this album where the music evolves and the payoff chord or progression comes in (the one that either binds the other segments or is a derivation of them going the opposite direction (ie: a bridge))...but those moments, even for me, after listening 100 times, still give me chills.

    This album is hauntingly good and perfect for any moment. My suggestion for LA residents...listen during rush hour and watch the traffic melt away.

    Rating: 10 / 10

    2 tens in 2 weeks? Could we be so lucky? What will next week have in store?

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    its just another sad blog post, rockin my brain like crazy

    Greetings all! Its been a while since I've had time to sit down and do a regular old blog post. My weekly column, album of the week, just went into it's 6th week, and to be honest, I sort of have been looking at that post as the one I MUST do, ergo its the only one I've been making time for...anyway, I hope you all have given that phoenix CD a listen, its brilliant...sure to be one of the best this year, and I was glad to break a review on it before many of the commercial music sites (although for posterity's sake, pitchforkmedia gave it an 8.0 (a good rating for their elitist site (which can be found in the links to the right.)))

    But I digress...

    There are a few loose ends I would like to tie up, and this seems like a good forum to do so. And if you're extra nice and patient, you may get a laugh at the end.

    First of all, congrats to Taylor Hicks...he definetely will be the first commercial superstar of the Idol franchise. And I don't mean sell 5 million, I mean superstar. Like the reason the show was made. Although I gotta say, I had the McPheever when she was up there with Meatloaf. That was the best duet of the night, and a great way to set up Taylor to sing with none other than Toni Braxton. Did anyone see him touch her boob? It was funny. I think Toni's voice actually went up an octave or 2 into actual female range lol.

    I've gone to the movies the past three weekends...something that has been less and less common with us as we seem to get new screeners every week. But for those of you who avoid opening weekends like the plague, here's some reviews for you.

    M:I:3
    Lost seems to get more confusing by the minute, but we all can agree that the action on that show leaves our hearts pounding and wanting more. The same can be said about M:I:3. JJ Abrams directorial prowess is not in question here, the movie quite literally flew by, and when it was over, I thought it had just started. 2 hours went by more quickly than many movies I can remember seeing. That's a sign of a good film. Not that I have any real ground to speak on here, I mean...Tom Cruise is always going to be Tom Cruise...the man can't play a single character again without everyone saying, hey tom cruise is in this one. Where are the scientology metaphors? Anyway, it was a fun flick. And I'm sure it was much better on the big screen.

    grade: B+

    Poseidon
    Well, they got the first 3 letters right P-O-S. Yeah, and it was. Richard Dreyfus as a homosexual who just got out of a tough relationship? Yeah, sure thing man. And that's all I really want to say.

    except...

    a movie like Poseidon is one you go to see for the giant wave and the chaos that ensues. I won't give anything away, but I will say that when the ship finally goes under, all the predictables live, and there are actually other boats visible in the background of the closing shot of the movie. Why they didn't help will be a mystery the screen will never reveal.

    grade: D- (hey, the only things that get F-ed are girls. oh, and guys. girls for me tho.)

    The Da Vinci Code
    Easily the most anticipated of all the summer blockbusters, it left me disappointed and wishing I didn't sit through it. It was bad. Not true to the book (duh, ya think?), and quite boring. Also, Ian McKellan's character, or Sir Teabing if you prefer, had this computer that can do more than humans...yeah, seems legit to me.

    grade: C-

    ******************

    Arrested Development is over as we know, but many of us have clung to the possibilty of a feature or something- ANYTHING!!! Well, its for sure over, and here's why...follow the link and let the tears roll.

  • The Garage Sale


  • yeah, I was sad too.

    And finally, a little industry humor. When a film or TV show is set in another time than the present, it is called a period piece. But what if it was a gorry horror movie? Would someone say, "We need more period blood?" Not like menstral, but you know...from the era.

    yes, I am funny. I mean sick. Sick.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    album of the week- week 5



    Phoenix- It's Never Been Like That

    There could be no more of an apt title than that. This band has truly never sounded this way, but its clear that they've done so intentionally. For those of you who don't know the history behind, or listen to Phoenix at all...well, you're in for a treat. Save for their live album, which I'm sure Astralwerks just made them release as part of their deal, they don't miss. Their previous 2 efforts "United" and "Alphabetical" are 2 of my favorite albums, blending sounds of rock and roll, dance, and elextronica into a power pop driven framework that their lead singer's voice hover's above like a halo. They don't miss.

    This album is no exception, and quickly has earned the highest rating I've ever given. But please don't be confused. This is an indie album. And these guys aren't indie rockers by any means. But its almost as if they took the concept of an indie album and made something much much greater. I am still in awe. I've listened to this album probably 40 times in the last week, and still have yet to get bored of it. They really just nailed it this time, as this album should be remembered as one of the best of the year.

    And I hope you people know that I don't review albums in a conventional way. I look for music you all may have missed, or not heard about in hopes that everyone becomes as affected as I am when something good comes my way. No I don't talk about crescendos or the mirroring sounds from the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds." Cause I don't know. I listen to music I like, and I share it. This is one that you should not over look.

    Keep your eyes out, it hits shelves this tuesday, May 23.

    Download: Sometimes in the Fall

    Rating: 10 / 10

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    album of the week- week 4

    The Go Find- Miami

    I'm not sure if this is one guy, or a whole band. It wouldn't surprise me if it were just him. In any event, this album falls into one of my favorite categories of music- a genre as new as whatever Postal Service single that comes out. Yes, I'm talking about the seamless blend of what feels like pop music with the wonderful sounds of electronica. Don't be deceived though, this isn't an electronica album in the least. Its more of an exploration of how to use that sound within an entirely different genre. It enhances instead of dictates.

    The highlights of this album are the two songs that bookend it. It seems that The Go Find knows how to start and knows how to finish. The stuff in the middle however, tends to all run together. I love this album, I really do. But I'm not afraid to tell you that its got its flaws. The disc is perfect for background music- when you don't really care what you're listening to, but want something pleasing. Its also perfect twilight music.

    One of the reasons I really relate to this music is because I can see myself in this act. This album feels like it came from a guy that was destined to make 1 solid album. And this is it. I am a musician myself, and I know the feeling of wanting to just get 1 disc out there. You don't have to be as prolific as the beatles, but you want the world to know you've got some writing talent...even if it's just 13 tracks- once. That would be enough for me, and I'm confident The Go Find is the same way, seeing as this album has been out for 3 or 4 years now, and they've got nothing in the works.

    Overall, this album will impress you for the first 50 or so listens. After that, the repetitive nature of it may get to you.

    Download: Over the Edge

    Rating: 6 / 10

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    album of the week- week 3

    The Fray- How to Save a Life

    I suppose it's only apropriate that I dedicate a week or two to actual musicians making music. Because yes, DJs are awesome, and electronica is still my number one genre...or whatever...right now, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten that I used to make music with bands, actually playing instruments and keeping an ensemble in sync. Sidebar: seeing the phrase in sync seems odd to me now that those boys in n'sync are/were (definetely were) a pop group.

    In any event, week 3's band the fray is just that. A chance for me to reconnect to the 1000s of readers I have alienated over the past few weeks with my electronica babble. Well, these guys are just about the opposite. They're basically just a british coldplay rip off group...who many say is really just a U2 rip off group. And I say U2 sucks, save for about 1 album in-total of good songs, but I like coldplay a lot- the bulk of thier catalogue. So go figure. Its like, we can beat the reds, and the reds can beat the astros, but the redbirds always seem to choke dick when they're confronted by the astros, those bastards.

    In any event, this album is nothing short of epic pop music. Most notably track 2, entitled "Over My Head (Cable Car)" which is getting a shit ton of radio play. Good for them. This is radio friendly music. Track 3, whose name is also the album title, is the same way. Very entertainment friendly. It actually graced the show scrubs recently...if anyone saw the episode where the rabies patient came in and infected everyone that she gave her organs to. John C Mcginley was great in that episode. He typically is. Anyway, I am digressing.

    This album is no surprises pop rock. Keane. Athlete. Coldplay. If that's what you want...if those are bands you like, then its for you. And please don't confuse me calling this pop rock and you thinking its some emo band or the strokes. It's not. This is literally just a rock album that tends to fall under adult contemporary. In Any event, great driving music for Los Angeles, crusing up the coast, and watching the waves come rolling in. Also, very OC music, so that should make the teens cream.

    Rating: 6 / 10 *

    *I would also like to note that every album I post is one that I really like. Hopefully you all know that a 6/10 is good. There are thousands and thousands of bands out there that really suck. I mean really really suck. Maybe someday I'll share a few of them with you. But for now, there's just so much good music, that I can't.