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Thursday, August 31, 2006

hollywood's worst kept secret



Well, it should be no surprise by now, for you people in middle america (think: pauly shore, Son in Law). Never has there been a larger cover up in all of hollywood than the "I swear, I'm not gay. America, love me! I did Saturday Night Fever!"

Or, the more recent one..."I'm trapped in the closet!"

Now, I know I've told a lot of my pals back home all these hollywood conspiracies, and no one believes them. Ever. And I can't say I blame you. Hollywood does a good job making people think that things are a certain way.

Well, hopefully this will serve as the first of many "See, I told you so" moments. Not to be rude like that, but more so because everything is not always as it seems...

kind of like this...



or one of these...



I can't see magic eye photos, so someone tell me what it is. And I wanted a Where's Waldo photo for you guys, but they are tough to come by. So I give up.

But hey, won't it be fun when Tom Cruise is outed next? Then we can have more magic eye's and highlights magazine!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

album of the week



Red Hot Chili Peppers- Stadium Arcadium

Well, I never thought I would review anything this 'major label' ever. But as it happens, I feel a real connection to these guys, seeing as they along with Nirvana, STP and Sound Garden were the voices of my youth. But long before the days of Incesticide and Black Holed Sun came the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And they emerged into the alternative scene far before it was a scene at all. Although, I must confess, after living in LA for a while, I can see why I didn't hear of alternative until 3 years later. Things just happen first on the coast. I can't explain it. Anyway...on to the album.

The days of Blood Sex Sugar Magic are over. There is no 'Breaking the Girl.' There is no real identifiable single or leading song that dominates this two disc set. In fact, over all, I could probably hand pick 14 of the songs they used to make one disc called Stadium Arcadium abriged and it would be better than this disc for them.

Its alwways a worrysome sight when a band that has done seemingly nothing since Californication releases a 2 disc set. Did they have this many songs built up? Did they have an album and a half and decided to use some b-sides? Regardless, what follows is a hodgepodge of funk induced rhythms and overly RHCP-esque harmonies over slow strummed acoustic guitars.

WITH THAT SAID...

Who doesn't love the RHCP? I mean, for being mainstream music these days, they still are quite an act. They put on an amazing show live, and have released some of the most influential albums of our days (you 20 somethings out there). My only issue came with trying to stomach 2 albums worth of similar sounding music. I couldn't do it. Not that I didn't want to, but I'd get 35-45 seconds into a song, and just get bored with it, a trend I find more and more with bands that have lost their edge and are now just trying to sell records.

All in all, I wanted this album to be One Hot Minute, a disc that I consider to be the last good release from these guys. It isn't, it falls majorly short. But that doesn't mean that you can't have a great time listening to these guys do what they do best.

And you gotta hand it to a band that acknowledges thier sound and then thrives in it. I know modern critics always look for evolution in sound. But in Kansas, people, they don't believe in evolution. And we are in Kansas anymore.

Plus they had already put out a greatest hits. It almost feels like they already gave up before they even put this out. But again, I feel like its a major label trying to breathe new life into a otherwise dying company. Old hat this day and age.

Download: Slow Cheetah

RHCP on the web: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Rating: 4 / 10

Rating if it were one album of the good tracks: 6 / 10

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a medium pace

I am having trouble finding a balance between MO life (a slow pace) and LA life (a fast pace). I have determined that a medium pace is the pace I need, but how do I regulate pace when it is so entirely out of my control. Like in that Adam Sandler song. You know the one...a medium pace. Where he had that hilarious line about taking a shampoo bottle and sticking it up his assuming that no one has heard that song, I'll move on.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who notices the world or views it the way I do, in this jaded little bubble that I flaot within. Truth be told, that too is out of my control. Its like when a woman says about her future hubby, "I can change him." Well, I can't even change me at this point, so you doing so is a BIIIIIG yeah right.

Not that I don't want to change some things, or haven't thought about the way things would be like if they were just a wee bit different, but its like...at this point, I think I am who I'm going to be. Quite a stupid revelation for my quarter-life, but then again so many adults assume that the 20-somethings of today don't think down the road or retrospectively at all.

In fact, I think its our generation that is doing the real thinking. Maybe not on a global or universal scale, but at least in the regard of our own cosmology. The world we exist in, who we want to enter and depart from it, where we live, work, what we eat and wear. These all may seem meaningless now, but with how much scientific shit comes out every single day about how 'obesity is linked to ovarian cysts' and 'scientists erased the memory of a rat...' Well, its just all too real and too connected for any intelligent person to assume that when I wake up everyday, I don't think about where I've come from, and where I'm going to.

If anything, its the people of today [the adults of today I guess] that need a head check. What with all this drama about fuel and global warming, world war 3 and poisonous goldfish, well...the progressive are generally young. Its the old crumudgingly bastarish folk that ruin this world for the rest.

You know, I started writing all this shit and I think I'd like to change gears. So this is getting abandoned, but I figure why not leave it here and let you ponder life's questions unanswerable.

So I really have a lot of ideas and goals. Albeit lofty ones, but its as I've said since day one. If you don't dream big, you'll never live big. You'll never be happy, and you'll never get what you want. In keeping with that theme, I want to write all these scripts and have all these ideas and I do, but its so hard to get other people on the same page. To top all that off, I don't want to be an EP. Well, I do. But not an active one that makes every call. I want to write and act and sing and dance, but I don't want to think about how to shave 20,000 off overhead and deal with a group of extras that is filing a grievance with the union cause they didn't get a smoke bump. That just isn't me.

But you know what kills me? That seems to be the only way to get what you want out of this business. Pave your own road. I don't know. It just kills me because I was so fucking active in high school, hooked on leadership like oxygen to a stroke victim, and only wanted my schedule more filled and more cluttered to the point that I didn't have any time at all to sit still.

The issue nowadays...I totally burnt myself out in HS. Like, I did all this shit just to get to some other plateau: college. And what after that? I move here. And what after that? Aww fuck man, I gotta be a leader all over again?

And let me clarify. I know leadership is a gift, and its one most people don't have. I also know that the desire to be in front of a crowd is pretty rare as well. But these are two things that seemingly go hand in hand, and will be forever linked because of precedents set. Hell, all of our leaders, whether they be entertainment or political, are always in the public eye.

So I guess it goes without saying that if you want to get one, then you have to do the other. Or something. The synthesis. Wrong word probably. But isn't that the scientific method? Predict, try, fail, learn, new prediction, try succeed.

That's the pattern I am taking this day forward and we'll see where it gets me.

Tomorrow, a review of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Stadium Arcadium.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Is this what they call blogs on a friday night?

A late post for me, seeing as by this time on friday's I am typically drunk or...not able to type...words...good. Apparently it doesn't take inebreation, as that last sentence was about as sad as me being stuck at work on a friday at 11 pm with my little brother in town for a mere 2 more days.

Oh wait!! I AM stuck at work. But fear not little ones, it doesn't really bother me all that much. See, the thing about this show, and when you see it, you'll get it, is that the people are what makes this thing.

Take today for example...when I got in to work, after delivering dubs across the town last night til 11 or so, I was greeted with a rude 'I still haven't had coffee, chillax' moment. My boss, a veritable genius who has run the gamut of work in this trade, had her driver's side window shattered last night. She lives in a rather rough and tumble neighborhood at night. By day, many baby boomers remember is as Venice, CA. A great place to buy pot, and the origin of the counter culture revoluton. Sadly though, I doubt Hunter S. Thompson was behind the break in. Anyway, these ass fucks didn't just smash the window, the ripped the door open. So bad that its gonna cost a g just to have anyone even cough near this damage.

And while most would think, "man, I've been worked raw this week- AND WE'RE IN POST!" I just took it in stride. Do what you gotta do when you gotta do it. Today that meant busting my ass to help my boss's situation and keep her mind at ease to focus on this show.

Anyway, I know that was long winded and seemingly never-ending, redundant and rather repetitive (I could go all night folks), but the point is that I've turned a corner. Instead of sweating this shit like the box of un-wearable undershirts I have tucked away in a fall out shelter, I just do it and smile. I feel good people, and this might not seem like a big deal, but it is.

I can't tell you the change from simply shifting my work day from 6am-7pm to 9am-whateverpm. I'm not waking when it's dark and goddamnit that's good enough for me.

Its a funny thing, this surreality...spending time doing someone else's small time BS work in the hopes that one day your true talents will be recognized and you'll rise to greatness. A funny thing, and a game I am learning to better play day in and day out.

Oh, as far as the car issue goes from before, the resolve was that there was no resolve. And my boss, like I am learning, just let it go. Serenity now, serenity now.

And you're not giving Lloyd Braun our water pick.



see, it's just that easy!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

el coyote nights > Pluto is NOT a planet

With Jeff in town, I wanted to do some of what Grant and Jon and T and I call the hollywood standards (no, not the standard in hollywood)...we had to call it the hollywood standard before copywright law fucked our asses like a first time male porn star paying his dues before he can go hetero for pay.

There's a lot of restaurants and things to do that fit that bill. As far as food goes, we consider our local neighborhood one of the best. We've got Wokano, all those lovely brunch places on 3rd st., Sushi Roku, St. Nicks, etc. Wait, scratch St. nicks. That place is a hole. Hole in the wall of boystown. But one that is somewhat out of our neighborhood is El Coyote. And I say that as a relative term, seeing as its really just 5 minutes away.

But we went there with these smokin hot girls and had a great time and I just wanted to share that with you all, seeing as his vacation here has been primarily opposite days abutting each other: one night we rage, the next I work 16 hours, the next we rage, the next I work 20 hours. Well, if the pattern holds true, we're looking at a long one today. So keep your fingers crossed that I am not stuck working until the fucking cows come home.

In other news, I gotta say I feel really bad for the band 2 Skinnee J's...many of you have never listened to them, but their album "Supermercado" is a fun party dance rock album from the mid 90s. And on that album, they have a track...and its called Pluto is a Planet.



As you can see from the photo, they take a lot of time pointing into outer space, worshipping their 9th god in this mad mad world...until one day...

today

when science declared that Pluto was no longer a planet. Yes folks, that's right...as of today, the top scientists of the universe have declared that Pluto is not a planet, and this goes against 76 years of research and data since its discovery in 1930. And its a precarious thing too, because if we didn't advance as a society, we would never have found pluto...but if we didn't advance further (making the hubble, etc), then we never would have refuted our previous inclination to call it a member of our system. Now its just a rock, frozen in temperature, and frozen in time, as Pluto personified takes time to reflect on all the great memories...



ok, good memories...



sheesh...ok, realistic good memories...



there we go. Pluto, ye shall be missed...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

album of the week- week whatever



Sufjan Stevens- The Avalanche

It's hard to believe that this guy puts out albums that don't have a state name in the title, what with his ambitious '50 states' project that has already yielded the masterpieces "Greetings from Michigan, the Great Lakes State" and "Come on Feel the Illinois," but somehow he keeps on keepin on. In this case, "The Avalanche" is somewhat interconnected, as it has been dubbed a b-sides and outtakes reel of Illinois, but we all know what that means. Chances are he found some bits and pieces of other songs, etc. that through the magic of the studio, he was then able to spin into an album. And yes, it has the characteristics of all other '50 States' releases: long song titles, some interludenal pieces (was that a word?), and of course some reworkings of tunes he'd alreads cemented as catalogue classics. The most notable of these comes from the song 'Chicago,' which has been reworked 3 different ways. The first is memorable, but it doesn't even compare to what he calls the 'adult contemporary version' which cascades through his use of harmonium, bells, marimba, etc. He adds such texture to his sound, even to a song that was already so dense in layers it took a team of Outback Steak House employees just to make that onion a'bloomin.

And I digress. For the avid Sufjan listener, this album is a delictable treat. For those on the outside, it probably just seems like an exercise in futility. "Yeah, I made these tunes, and my record label wants me to release them." Not so though my friends, as Sufjan is on his own label: asthmatic kitty. And because of that, he really only puts out what he wants to. And yes, there are a few tunes on the album that are less than par, but over all its a great work. Because when you listen to his music, somehow you can tell he's just as in to making it as you are to listening to it: an experience you can't derive from many artists, especially this day and age.

Take time to enjoy the long intros and outros, the layered sound of his banjo and hollow voice, and the 4 part vocal chords that echo behind his already boundless sound.


Download: Chicago (Adult Contemporary Version)

Rating: 7 / 10

website: Sufjan Stevens

LA fans look out, cause he'll be here in October!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I don't oft get a lunch break

But when I do, I like to actually take a break and enjoy it. Maybe even do something with cardio involved so that I feel rejuvenated for the next half of the day. But more often than not, what ends up happening is that I get lunch at 4 PM and then have to get it to go, bring it back to work, and hear from the whole office, "where's my aft snack?" But see, what they don't understand is that they got lunch at whatever time they wanted, and I had to wait to get lunch until I was released, and able to do so, more often than not coming after I've taken their orders and then delivered their meals to them, after triple checking them for accuracy.

See, that's the tricky thing about this business...even at my level. Especially at my level. If you screw up, you're fired. That's why its so perplexing to me when I go somewhere to have someone serve me, and they just don't give a shit. I mentioned it earlier in my post about Dolce, but it happened again. I went to a Wendy's drive through. Just wanted 2 jr. bacon chee, that was it. A mere 1.98. No big whoop right? But this drive thru mexican butt fuck was so concerned with getting me through the line and on my way (wait, should I praise him?) that he rushed through taking my order and totally screwed it up. And here's the funniest part...I don't eat tomatoes...but I know better, in this town, than to make a special request. Namely because the calibur of people working at these places is such for a reason. I figure, why confuse them and press extra buttons on their 'even a dummy could shit on it and make it work' computer registers, why not just order it as is, and take off the tomato when it gets to me. Simple enough, right?

Or so I thought as someone who has virtually no knowledge of the English language is expected to then listen to my order through one of those squak boxes, translate it, and then get it right with a smile on their fucking face? It just doesn't happen. Not in Los Angeles. Sorry.

But is there no corporate responsibility anymore? Does a company not take responsibility for their actions? I was sitting at my desk before I realized I was handed 2 jr. cheeseburgers and not 2 jr. BACON cheeseburgers. Entirely different. These had ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles...basically the standard McDonald's burger served at Wendys. Welp, guess what? I don't eat fucking pickles or onions or mustard. And by this point, I've already wasted 1/3 of my 30 minute lunch break just going and getting this food. Now I gotta waste another 1/3 to go back and get it right? Does anyone feel me here?

So I go back there, sure. And he gives me the correct order finally. But I gave him some attitude. I talked SOOOOOO much slower than I needed to, over emphasizing each word, repeating the entire order, as if to say in a backhanded way that I was dissatisfied with him, and oh- look at you, you wanted to rush me out of the line, but instead you had to deal with me twice. And what's more...if he's working, it doesn't matter how long the line gets. He's there til he's off. Its not like when he's done, the whole drive through line closes and waits for their messiah's return. Fuck that shit.

When I come in, if I fuck up that bad (relatively speaking of course), I get fired. This dipshit won't ever even have to encounter his manager. They simply eat the cost of 2 jr. chee and move on. And sure, TV/film is much more high stakes, but again, relatively speaking, it isn't. Each action and reaction at a fast food joint is directly comparable to any action or fall out that comes with it in my biz.

Bottom line, you screw up, you better pay for it. Cause I can guarantee that no doctor will be able to trace my ulcer to 'a short patience with those less intelligent than you are.' I'll be lying on my death bed with this beaner laughing all the way to the border.

Oh well, at least I will never work in a Wendy's. Unless....

nope, can't figure out how to use photoshop on a mac, sorry no joke today.

Hello Kitty...



Last night, in honor of young Grant Gish and his big 2-5...we decided to have dinner at Dolce. We knew it was one hell of a drive to get there, and that we'd be waiting in line behind some C-list (porn) star, smelling her post-sex-unwashed ass, and wondering if she had just sprayed that dress on, or if polyester was even comfortable rubbing against a vagina.

Chances are, NO. Not a whole hell of a lot feels good rubbing a vagina, trust me. I'm a vagina doctor. What are those called? Vaginoctors. There we go. Anyway, as I was saying, it was this buffoon's birthday:




Yeah, that's what I said too. Anyway, seeing as Dolce does half price monday's, we thought there could never be a better time to go for it. So we did. And the food was everything we expected it to be: pretentious, fake tits, and smells like a bath and body works.

No no, I kid...the food was exquisite. The service was less than par, so I can see why people are hot and cold about that place. I mean, we by no means had a table in the 'cool' section. They put us in the back, abutting grey stone walls that looked virtually unfinished, surround by gaudy table cloths and menus, and then somehow surrounded by dimly lit terrariums...it just felt like a hodge podge of bull shit. Then to top it all off, this waitor, who was clearly a switch hitter, was rude as shit.

Maybe its just me, but I feel like (and this is because I was a waitor at one point as well) waitors just make up their mind about a table far before they even approach them. What do you see when you see 7 20-something guys eating at dolce? If it were me, I'd see a split check between 7 people, a forced gratuity if I were a dick (or if it were the restaurant's policy), and me not working as hard on the table.

All three were true, and it made me leave there rather sourly. Plus my lasagna was overcooked, so I was not that happy anyway.

When it was all said and done, I was glad to get out of there, but then I had to drive Jeff to Westwood (ya bastard), so he could chase tail once more. That lucky son of a bitch. And I really do find is amusing to me because I dated a girl who was really sweet, but it just wasn't the right time for me. Like, I wanted to spend a few more years here in LA dating...or at least being allowed to go check out a girl or something without a mrs. telling me my eyes shouldn't be wandering.

Speaking of wandering eyes...that whole concept really pisses me off. Yes, I know that when you're with someone you respect them, and they are your one, your all your everything...but attraction is nature. Not even human nature, just straight up nature. You see something you like, well...I got news for you, you're going to look at it. That's what happens. And I can't stand when there is some rule imposed saying that if you're with someone, you can't at least look. Looking allows you to get you fill without breaking the rules. The thought of controlling some boyfriend or girlfriends eyeballs is absurd, and high school was a long time ago, so I can't imagine people get that pissed off about it anymore.

Anyway...I have a ton of work to get going on here, so i am gonna fly. Have a great day, and make sure to have your pets spayed and neutered.

Monday, August 21, 2006

a song about words

After weeks and weeks of long hours and short nights, I am finally back into somewhat of a regular schedule. I've even noticed my sleeping pattern has improved since the show wrapped up last week, and now I am feeling much healthier, happier, and just great all around.

My little brother is in town for the week, if you know him or want to, now's your chance.

So just what the fuck has been going on with me? I mean, so much time passes, we begin to forget that at one point, I was writing in this thing once a day, regarding it as my closest friend and ally, and my worst enemy or foe. Now I am just glad to be backm filling its meaningless html space with words, notions, thoughts, and crazy theories about life. This post is no exception.

I've been depressed recently. I'm beginning to think that its because of the way I've been living my life, working from 6b am til 8 pm, waking when its still dark, and now going on 10 months without seeing my family- or their new home. I am so glad my brother is here for that reason, but I was reminded of a Kings of Convenience quote when I was really down in the dumps:

Homesick
Cause I know longer know
what home is

And I do, I do know what home is, but I also think it sort of as a "I'm in myh 20s, someday I want a home of my own." That really doesn't work does it. What I mean is that, you know...people have kids and make a life. I hope I do that someday as well. But this town is weird like that. Like, at least back home I thought I had a chance. Somewhere over the years I've gotten it in my head that the women out here are cold and unreceptive. I've learned nothing contrary yet, so I am inclined to keep feeling that way, even though I know if I just warmed up a bit, it would cause this cyclical thing and then they would in turn warm up to me, and then I to them again, and so on and so forth. We'll see.

Last friday, before getting my brother from the airport, I was given all these deliveries to do for work. Rush hour on a friday, and I get sent all over LA...that typically bugs me, but as it happened, I got sent on a different route than I normally take. I was driving north on Sepulveda from Olympic, listening to the Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," when I came upon a large cemetary. Clearly a US soldier memorial, as the the fields looked like South France today. Anyway, as I was passing, the song "Do You Realize" was on, and the line "That everyone you know will die" played right as I caught my first glimpse of this cemetary. As if that wasn't strange enough, I was driving down sunset from the 405 to Beverly Hills later that same run, and I was jamming to Barnaked Ladies, a group that I had shelved for near 6 years...Well, they are back now for me, and I am enjoying getting reacquainted with their music. As I was driving, one of their lyrics "If I was the sun, you would be in shadow played." And it played right as the sun hit my rear view, and then I turned right on that curvy Sunset Blvd. and entered shadow.

Music really is connected to those moments in life. Because you know what the most amazing part of it all is? No matter all the mathematical combinations and permiutations possible throughout time EVER, I experienced 2 anomalys in about an hour. Never do these things sync up in life. When they do, you create a moment. Once that moment, that memory is created, its etched into your brain and gets reminded every time you hear that song/lyric again the rest of your life. Sure, its cliche and cheesy, and yeah I am a total sap for that, but you know what: life is happening all the time, all around us. People that ignore it and discard cliche are missing some of the most succulent morseles that life has to offer. I weep for them.

I wanted this first post back to be about my words and my words alone. Its funny, beacuse for the first time in my life, I've actually wanted to keep a journal- like consciously thought about it, and I've been too busy to do so. I can't tell you how good it feels to be back, and I can't even begin to explain all the posts that are going to follow.

I want to make some art. I want to be a lion.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

been a long time, never shoulda left you (left you)

I am busier than a beaver.

whatever that means.

I promise more soon, including further coverage of the missing baby Suri, Mel Gibson's antics-semitism, and of course, a new album reviewed for your reading pleasure.

I am working long hours, and will be working through the weekend as well. I promise I will post as soon as I can, and let you know what's crackin for real.

Shot a film trailer last night. Didn't think I was going to make it in the film, but around 2:30 am I felt a lot better, and suited up. I'll leave this as a cliff hanger as well.

In the meantime, who better than Rob Schnieder to add some shameless plugs and useless insights to Mel's plight, which I have tentatively dubbed (getting right on the bandwagon of turning movie titles into slams): Brave-heathen.

it was the best I could do.