Friday, August 31, 2007

Weekend Update

Saturday Night Live used to have a hit bit called Weekend Update, beginning in 1974, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner etc all made memorable appearances lampooning current events way before the internet was there to beat 'em to it.

Well now the news seems to lampoon itself... what else could one say about guys like Senator Craig of Idaho and his gay guilty plea predicaments and now resignation...

Sadly, it's rather ironic that the Republican Party would condemn it's own member for some "gay" activity and force him out of committee roles, yet a full on FBI raid of say Senator Ted Stevens, home warranted nary a critical peep, or Tom DeLay's exploits from the party faithful.


anyhow, it's well over a hundred degrees farhenheit here in LA, and my beer is getting warm... so i'll be brief...

This weekend in San Francisco the aging hippie mafia look to celebrate their accomplishments of some 40 years back... namely living through the sex & drugs & rock n roll to become an aging hippie mafia.

Can't make it to the Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park?... tune in to the webcast starting at 10am Pacific time on Sunday Sept 2nd!

It's believed Carlos Santana may make an appearance...

although this cut is a live on from 1971 I found floating on the net, it'll have to do...

Carlos Santana - Samba Para Ti

The show is presented by the same crew that put together the Maritime Hall a few years back in competiton with the uber corporate Clear Channel / BGP cabal. These folks brought SF so many stellar shows in the late 90's through early 2000's, ranging from Wyclef to Miriam Makeba, to Motorhead, Long Beach Dub All Stars and even Willie Nelson and perrenial hippier group It's a Beautiful Day.

It's A Beautiful DayIt's A Beautiful Day
"Girl With No Eyes" (mp3)
from "It's A Beautiful Day"

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album

For those still paying attention...or not, here's some more stories that ferment just off the mainstream media radar.

Holland is apparently rethinking it's longtime liberal drug policy...

Honeycut - Dark Days, White Lines

Director Brian DePalma, the director of normally fictional fare like Scarface has offered up a film that critiques and confronts the US handling the Iraq war, based on tragic, real life events.

"Redacted" premiered at the The 64th Annual Venice Film Festival and has the critics abuzz with it's dramatic re-enactment of the actual 2006 rape & execution of a 14 year old Iraqi schoolgirl by renegade US troops.

Bob Marley's heirs have protested the exclusive ringtone deal of the reggae star's songs set up by Universal Music Group with Verizon, claiming the deal is set up like an endorsement, and not in compliance with existing contracts.

Bob Marley - Is This Love ?

End of Summertime Thing

Amy Winehouse, has gone from pop darling to pooped out hag at an alarmingly quick rate. Her debut US breakthrough track 'Rehab' was apparently no tongue in cheek joke.

Amy Winehouse - Rehab

It took many years for folks like Courtney Love, Liza Minelli & Billie Holiday to hit the real life rehab circuit, but Winehouse is apparently really on the fast track to hell...

Amy Winehouse - Help Yourself

She's canceled all her upcoming appearances while on an island respite, including a high profile spot on the MTV awards.

Nasty pix of Amy Winehouse in a bathing suit frolicking on vacation & even some of her junkie beau bleeding abounded this week at This Is London

Amy Winehouse - Monkey Man ( Specials cover)

The stories continue of public repudiations from her in-laws, followed by angry rebuttals from her dad. It's all the dirty drama that sleazy UK tabloids love, with bonus bleeding scars, bruises and track marks.

Amy Winehouse - There Is No Greater Love

Speaking of sleazy tabloid news, how about that kooky Senator Craig of Idaho who plead guilty to some airport men's room soliciting, and now claims it was a simple misunderstanding. Here's his new hit single, recorded live in Minnesota, called lying & denying during interrogation...

Senator Larry Craig - Lying & Denying

Manu Chao is set to release a new disk this coming week, his first studio effort in 6 years. Nacional Records will be handling "La Radiolina" in the U.S, his fourth stateside release and they have high hopes that this CD can top the 200,000 cumulative units he's shifted here previously.

La Radiolina available Tuesday Sept 4th
Catalog ID: NCL 68496
UPC: 689076849623
c 2007 Radio Bemba Music

Manu Chao

Here's a preview track, the catchy number known as Me Llaman Calle

Manu Chao - Me Llaman Calle

La RadiolinaManu Chao
"Me Llaman Calle" (mp3)
from "La Radiolina"
(Nacional Records)

More On This Album

Marin County's storied Sweetwater venue in Mill Valley closes down this fall. Friday night August 31st is a farewell night featuring music from longtime local SF rocker Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express.

So if ya wanna enjoy the joint one last time, head on down for a final summertime thing...

Chuck Prophet - Summertime Thing (mp3 download coming soon as I get a chance to upload it)

The venue, in biz for some 30 years was an intimate spot where musical luminaries like Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Scott, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and countless local musicians captivated audiences in the cozy confines off Throckmorton St. Given a 30 day notice by the landlord last month, It's a double death knell to Mill Valley & Marin's once world renowned music scene this fall as Village Music, another longtime fixture in the community closes as well.

Where some go down, another Phoenix rises...

Rumor has it that legendary SF punk venue The Mabuhay Gardens in North Beach is scheduled to host a grand re-opening party on Sept 7th. The venue, most recently The Velvet Lounge, was a former Filipino supper club that started hosting punk shows and art damaged music catering to the nearby SF Art Institute crowd circa 1976. It's reputation built up as a sort of west coast CBGB's in the late 70's, while hosting acts like The Ramones, Devo, The Avengers, Tuxedomoon, Mutants, The Nuns and Nico. Later until the late 80's under late booker Dirk Dirksen's guidance it hosted numerous hardcore & indie rock bills including acts like Flipper, Metallica, Green on Red, Black Flag, Mojo Nixon, Dag Nasty, Sea Hags, Soul Asylum and many more.

Mabuhay History:

In 1976, Filipino restaurateur Ness Aquino opened up his sleepy struggling venue to a bill featuring The Ramones & The Dils. Soon a bunch of art damaged kids who were anything but hippies started hanging out nightly. For the next decade the Mabuhay Gardens aka Fab Mab, was booked by Dirk Dirksen and became the defacto center of the city's punk scene. Hosting local bands like The Mutants, Avengers, Nuns, Crime, Chrome, Offs, Dead Kennedys, Flipper, Pink Section, Lewd, Toiling Midgets, Inflatable Boy Clams and many more the venue gained an international reputation similar to NYC's CBGB's. Touring groups that passed through included acts like The Damned, Blondie, Suicide, TSOL, Husker Du , Toxic Reasons, DOA , and tons of others.

Upstairs a larger space was called The On Broadway Theater and handled the bands as punk begat hardcore and groups drew larger crowds in from the suburbs. Dirksen grew less interested in the knuckleheaded Hardcore scene by the mid 80's, and Paul Rat started presenting the events. The Mab venue ceased presenting bands by mid 1987.

The lower portion of the venue operated until recently under the name Velvet Lounge.

443 Broadway St
San Francisco, CA 94133

The upstairs space is now known as Broadway Studios, and has occasionally presented bands since the glory days ended. I helped promote a Sublime show their in 1994 with the late Wes Robinson, and saw Convoy there in 1998. It's also been used as a comedy venue for cable telecasts and last weekend a Sublime tribute act played the house.

Playing the reopening night downstairs at the reinvigorated Mab on Sept 7th will be the Radishes, a new LA/SF axis band featuring indie rock vets like Scrote of the Billy Nayer Show and leader Paul Stinson . No word on whether they'll be joined by recent recording collaborators Rey Washem of Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard, and Paul Barker of Ministry.

Here in San Francisco this year, a local character known as Chicken John is running for mayor. In fact, the gene pool for mayoral candidates is so thin, that this guy is likely going to come in second. He just qualified for matching campaign funds, which means the city will double is money, meaning with 25 grand he's now got a campaign war chest of approx $50,000 currently. That dough is a drop in the chicken coop to the real mayor who's likely got a million bucks saved up, but still not bad for a part time auto mechanic who used to play in a band with G.G Allin.

His name is John Rinaldi, and he came to town years ago from NY when he was dating a cute local indie filmmaker friend of mine, she dumped him eventually in an ugly breakup, but he didn't go away. Chicken went on to make a name for himselfin san Francisco exploiting just about any angle he could, from running a gypsy like circus troupe on a shoestring where he ended up with more string than anyone else, to running a bar for awhile called The Odeon.

I'm not exactly endorsing the guy, because i find him to be a little bit more than self centered, and can vouch for some creepy, callous and corrupt behaviors on his part. Although, in politics, that describes just about everyone...

So, despite my better judgment, I probably will vote for him I suppose...

Despite that he considers himself a "showman", he's not much of a musical artist, so I'll just insert some music from LA's Pigeon John. Sounds close enough, and likely way more enjoyable than hearing Chicken rant at ya.

Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool PartyPigeon John
"Freaks! Freaks!" (mp3)
from "Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party"
(Quannum Projects)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album

Bonus Track:

Pigeon John - Weight of The World(live)


That's all for now...

Next week I'll have previews of Michael Franti's Power to The Peaceful Concert in SF's Chrissy Field where our lil' company EventMagic is involved in the logistics.

Anyhow, I'm on way down to Southern California for a few days this weekend, see ya I return...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chocolate Salmon Anyone?

Hey , welcome to another edition of Lil Mike's Random Revelations...

It's been a few weeks since I posted anything here...but the hits they just kept on coming. Have no fear, as I'll likely be more diligent in the fall with the writings I suppose, since the summertime scene tends to suck my attention in numerous directions.

So in interest of staying alive & true to form, I'll be splattering some funky factoids and whatnot yer way today. Including info on beer...


Here's a news story, a symbol of the fearful culture in which we live. Now the article fails to delve into the full context of this imagined threat, but the implications are scary.

A public school student in Arizoina was suspended from school for drawing a gun. Not drawing a gun, and pointing it at someone, but doodling a picture of one.

Here's some, kinder gentler & more informative info on beer myths ...

speaking of brew:

Bay Area Brewery Alert: The makers of one of my favorite high hopped ales, Speakeasy Brewery are having their 10th anniversary party on Friday Night...

and my pal's band the Crosstops are playing, should be fun -

Crosstops - Bad Reputation

info on the party likely at

Was just up in rainy lil' Redmond Washington last weekend, where Microsoft's HQ is, and where one hears words like "data center" while browsing at the local farmer's market.

When I asked if Redmond had any live music at a local bookshop I was told nightlife entertainment consisted of two Karaoke bars. I ventured forth to surmise the situation, with visions of singing some Cheap Trick material to the local yahoos.

I first hit one called Palmer's, but actually liked the Workshop, a divier one up the street better.

The Workshop's shack vibe was in full effect, within a crusty wooden joint that I mistook for a hardware store upon arriving in town, replete with greasy food, a crappy PA and friendly staff. I'd go back...reminded me of some salty fisherman bar in Key West or something.

The other joint in town with Karaoke, Palmer's was more a shitkicker sports bar, with testosterone raging wannabe cowboys giving each other dirty looks while Megadeth, Johnny Cash and Pat Benatar tunes were badly butchered on the stage.

Both joints though had great attentive, fast & hospitable bartenders, which makes putting up with the local clientele that much easier.

I eventually fraternized with some recent transplants from Mexico City, and despite a deep language barrier discovered that they wanted to sing "I Love Rock n Roll" by Joan Jett...

What's not to like there, so we did...

That mission was at least accomplished. Or at least beer drinking accomplished.

I did get a chance to try a few northwestern microbrews while hanging out some local taverns. My favorite was Mac and Jack's , a local Redmond operation that sells in kegs & "growlers" only.

I had started my night off at a swank country club, drinking a variety of single malt Scotches, ranging from the 12 year old on up to some peat packing 21 year old.

oh well... in the morning it was time to go...

After a quick pathetically quaint faux fishermanesque breakfast at Ivar's of a smoked salmon breakfast sandwich, I bid adieu to the booming Bellevue with it's many construction cranes & Boeing with it's behemoth industrial complex along the highway to Sea Tac.

Soon I was up in the air, looking down on the Puget Sound, Olympic range, and eventually Sonoma, Point Reyes, and the fog enshrouded Golden Gate.

Cut Chemist - What's The Altitude?

Chocolate Salmon anyone?

Despite my relative proximity to the technological world, I've been away from the blogosphere for well over a week, at least at this micro mini outpost of mine...

I do put info up elsewhere, and one of those sites is SF metblogs...

I've delved into reporting on a bit of another blogger's controversy though, a local guy in SF named Jeff Webb has been getting in trouble with his landlord because of his video blogging. Jeff lives in a "SRO" ( single room occupancy) hotel in one of San Francisco's crappier neighborhoods, and his buildings occupants & neighbors are mainly tax payer supported drunks, drug addicts, thugs and unemployable miscreants.

Apparentl;y taking any videros or photos of these folks engaged in the egregious activities and illegal activities they favor as hobbies is against his landlords "privacy" policy, even if such videos have been used as police evidence. Oh well...

The city is full of old hotels, many dating to the world war one era, and if not devoted to the more lucrative tourist trade, most are in bad shape. Long in decline, they went from fully functional, to housing of last resort in the decades since WWII.

San Francisco is now a town held virtual hostage by a neo-liberal elite that belives funneling millions each year into a massive "non-profit" infrastructure of tax dollar sucking "service providers" somehow makes all it's error prone ways above reproach.

The crappy SRO housing for homeless ne'er do 'ells is somehow given the Orwellian name of "supportive housing", when all this really means is sub-standard hotel rooms.

These are noisy, pest infested joints, with needle exchange cans on each floor in the halls instead of ice machines or room service. Most of the users of these so called "services" are human cast offs, many are common criminals & unwanted people whose own families wouldn't have them over for Christmas dinner, or even a snack anyday of the week.

Which brings us back to Jeff, who has lived in his place some 15 years, well before a certain grant & tax payer funded non-profit group with the initials "THC" took over the building. Ironically, the THC process millions in funds to run 15 or so buildings in town, all within walking distance of a "medical marijuana" dispensary and numerous liquor stores. They consider themselves to be an authority on providing housing & training etc while helping "recovering" users get back on their feet. The "medical marijuana" using dope smokers on staff & sitting out front of Jeff's THC building are unhappy about his documentation of his mismanaged surroundings, which get worse with violence & ddrug abuse seemingly all the time. The management seems to believe simply shutting Jeff up is a perfectly fine way to address the numerous problems in the buildings they run.

A couple days after I got Jeff in touch with a local radio talk show host, and reposted siome of the videos he's been sharing via his blog and You Tube, the sh*t hit the proverbial fan. Jeff was retaliated against by his landlord and warned to remove his cameras, or he would face actions against himself, including the possible threat of eviction. Check out the videos... they are scary ...

read more about it here

here's something more fun to listen & look at

A Dap Tone studios tour and a profile of Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones - Queen Of The Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are preparing for a North American tour, and the warm up date will be @ Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre, in New York City on Saturday, October 6th. While the Dap Kings have been backing up Amy Winehouse this year. Sharon herself was recently handpicked by Denzel Washington for a small part as a soul singer in the forthcoming Hollywood film "The Great Debaters" in which the talented Ms. Jones also contributes to the soundtrack.

The new album doesn't hit the streets until Oct 2nd, but here's a preview of the band's first single off this upcoming release.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights

here's a couple older tracks, so you'll know what you've been missing...

From Dap Dippin' With Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Got A Thing On My Mind

From : Naturally

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - This Land Is Your Land

Here's some of the latest news stories coming over the wire, including all your fave construction and mining accidents failures, political debacles, the "progress" of Hurricane Dean etc...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Road to Pepperland

I hate to disappoint the 1600 or so lost souls that stop by in a given day at this URL but folks, I'm outta here this weekend, and on the road to Pepperland. I don't mean the land of those delicious New Mexico green chiles either.

I'll have a bit of net access here and there I suppose from hotels & whatnot, but don't count on any dastardly daily updates until I venture back north.

I'll be heading down to La La Landia, and on the agenda is my 1st visit to it's renowned Hollywood Bowl to catch a show by quite possibly my fave band over the past 30 years, Cheap Trick.

It ain't just any show though, it's the 40th Anniversary of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...and Nielsen, Petersen, Zander and Bun E Carlos will be kicking out those particular Beatles tunes with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The venue opened in 1922, and when full like this weekend's shows, holds about 18,000 people.

All the good up front, & box type seats were taken, but I'm sure I'll be happy just to be there in my bench seat at the venerable Hollywood Bowl...

So for all of ye here today, while I'm brushing up on my Pepper knowledge, in honor of this road trip, I'll toss in some Beatles related rarities, some Beatles cover tunes and mash ups...and mixed in are a smattering of random road songs to tide thee over until my return...

Amongst the other special guests helping bring this landmark album back to life include Joan Osbourne, Aimee Mann and Ministry's Al Jourgensen. Jourgensen will join Cheap Trick onstage at the Hollywood Bowl on August 10 and 11 to perform the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," considered by many to be among the most complex songs recorded by the Fab Four. One of the other guest vocalists is Ian Ball of Gomez.

You may recall their Beatles cover tune was their version of "Getting Better", part of a popular tv commercial used by electronics giant Phillips in 1999.

Gomez - Getting Better

DJ Scott Westerman - Sgt. Pepper's US Radio Ad For 1967 Album Release

While I'm fairly familiar with the Sgt. Pepper's concept LP, I don't think I actually ever owned a copy. I better brush up on the track listings I suppose...

Maybe the folks in this next LA newsclip clip can help us remember it properly...

The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ( rare alt mix )

The Beatles - Octopus's Garden (LOVE Version)
[from George Martin's Cirque De Soleil remixed collection "The Beatles - Love" Cd 2006]

The Beatles vs Blondie - Dj Lobsterdust's Glass Octopus

Adrian Belew - I'm Down[ from: Adrian Belew - Desire Of The Rhino King]

Astrobleme - When I'm Sixty Four

Unite The Beastie Boys & Beatles - Cosmo Kramer United Paperback Mix

Paul McCartney - Nod Your Head
[From McCartney's new solo album]

Amos Milburn - Down The Road A Piece

Bob Marley & The Wailers - And I Love Her[ from the Bob Marley & The Wailers: Studio One Sessions ]

Bon Jovi - Lost Highway[ [from: Lost Highway]

Buju Banton - Not An Easy Road [from the album Buju Banton Til Shiloh]

Cheap Trick - Daytripper ( live )
[from CD / DVD : Cheap Trick Silver]

The Crosstops - road boner blues>[ [from: The Crosstops - Cloverleaf Fandango ]

Dolly Parton - Help!>[ [ from: Dolly Parton - Great Balls Of Fire]>

The Doors - Queen of The Highway [ from Rhino's compilation "The Doors : Essential Rarities"]

The Duals - Stickshift

Fleetwood Mac w/ Christine Perfect - No Road Is The Right Road [from : Fleetwood Mac- Albatross]

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Born to Run mp3 ripped from an old 12" single B side, but now also remastered & included on the ZTT retrospective that eMusic has for download as well "Bang!... The Greatest Hits Of Frankie Goes To Hollywood"

Alpha One ThreeJah Wobble - "On The Right Road" (mp3)
[from "Alpha One Three"
by Jah Wobble]
(30 Hertz Records)
Download more at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Napster
More On This Album

Lowell Folson - Why Don't We Do It In The Road

Claudine Longet - When I'm Sixty Four

Rita Lee - With A Little Help From My Friends[From Best of Rita Lee

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - The Road to Rock & Roll
[from Joe's first Hellcat release: Rock Art and the X-Ray Style]

Loo & Placido's - Black Beatles ( vs BEP, Ludicris & Kelis )

that sure seems like a lot of tunes to tide ya over...

but I'll toss in a few more...

but that's it ya greedy punters

Ditch Diggin' "My House Has Wheels" (mp3)
from "Ditch Diggin'"
by Southern Culture on the Skids
(Safe House)
Download more tracks at iTunes Music Store
Buy at DownloadPunk

Voicedude - Falling In September [ Beatles vs Earth, Wind & Fire]

Wille Nelson - One After 909 [from: Come Together - America Salutes The Beatles - released on Capitol in 1995 ]

Robert Mitchum - Ballad of Thunder Road

Alice Cooper & The Bee Gees - Because The World Is Round

Bill Cosby - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [from : Wonderfulness on Warner Bros. Records 1967]

The Pete Best Combo - Rock N Roll Music
[from: The Pete Best Combo - Beyond The Beatles 1964-66]


Enjoy yer weekend y'all...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We All Make The Little Flowers Grow - R.I.P Lee Hazlewood


I just heard that Lee Hazlewood has finally left the building...

I noticed a surprising number of his tunes floating about online, which I first momentarily thought was an interesting cool coincidence, a simultaneous late recognition of his genius...maybe it was his birthday.

That was until I realized, hey the guy is terminally ill, and it might be for another less fortunate reason. Well it was indeed the grim reaper, who'd been banging on his door for awhile, and Lee was well aware of it.

I wrote up his final album "Cake or Death" a few months back, written and performed while he battled cancer...and recalled his ironic much earlier death themed tune, "We All Make The Little Flowers Grow"

Lee Hazlewood - "We All Make the Little Flowers Grow"

Barton Lee Hazlewood was an oakie, born the son of a wildcat oilman in Mannford OK in 1929. He moved around a lot as a kid in the depression, through Arkansas & Texas, according to the flow of the black gold, eventually winding up in Port Neches, Texas by the time Lee hit his high school years. Lee got into Southern Methodist University until the draft snatched him up and during the Korean War, Lee became a DJ for Armed Forces Radio in Japan.

When he returned to the US he spent some time in LA learning additional broadcasting skills before becoming a $40 a week DJ job in Phoenix at KCKY. As an on-air personality, he adopted the persona of Eb. X Preston, and grew adept at portraying a grizzled old-timer ala gabby hayes, who'd converse on air with the younger Hazlewood.

Lee perceived a late night/early morning market for R&B, and started mixing in records like Hank Ballard's "Annie Had A Baby" between Bing Crosby & Chet Atkins tunes.

He was a poet, a fool, a bum, and below there's a remix of a post I wrote on him last October.

Poet Fool Or Bum ?

Wanna take a further walk down Hazlewood memory lane?

here it is...

Some of the links may be dead, since some 9 months have slid by, and a man's life, but here it is...

Poet Fool Or Bum

Lee Hazlewood is best known as Nancy Sinatra's leather chaps wearing duet partner on a series of late 1960's LPs. Lee was the far out cat that composed much of the country tinged music, and let the otherwise dreary & pedestrian prospect of Frank's daughter bleating through obligatory pop tunes a strange sort of magic.

Here's a dramatic clip of the two doing the sublime "Some Velvet Morning", likely my favorite of their collaborations...

from Lee's 1968 solo release "Love & Other Crimes"

Lee Hazlewood - The House Song

Lee was born in Oklahoma in 1929, and in the early 50's, after a stint in the Army, got a job at a tiny radio station in Arizona & hooked up with Duane Eddy. Lee started a record label , and continued recording material, finally hitting paydirt on his Viv label with a track called "The Fool" in 1956 sung by Sanford Clark. Hazlewood gave his wife (Naomi Ford) the songwriting credit because legally it wasn't allowed to be the producer, manager of the artist and writer all at the same time.

Sanford Clark - The Fool

Eventually Lee headed to LA, and got a job as a staff producer with Dot Records, an ABC subsidiary label. He ended up getting his pal Duane signed, and worked alongside Lester Sill and Phil Spector. In the end Lee handpicked many of the backing musicians who were part of Phil's legendary studio "wrecking crew".

from his 1964 solo disc The N.S.V.I.P.s

Lee Hazlewood - Go Die Big City

Lee started another label LHI (aka Lee Hazlewood Industries) released some solo material,

and eventually in 1967, put out the debut LP of Gram Parson's Legendary Submarine Band "Safe At Home".

Lee was actualy considering staying Safe At Home himself and retiring from the biz, until that is, he met one Nancy Sinatra. Jimmy Bowen of Frank's label Reprise suggested Nancy, who was struggling to make it without her dad as a foil, work together with Lee, and the end result was a 5 year string of hits.

Suposedly Lee told Nancy to "sing like you're a 16 year old girl who goes out with 45 year old truckers!"

Despite ending up in Nancy's shadow, Lee also manged to get some solo albums & tunes out on his own

Here's a two song clip of Lee from a European TV appearance in 1971

Lee never really went away, although he now lives as somewhat of a recluse in Arizona, sort of like Stevie Nicks, far from those Hollywood Hills of yore.

I caught Lee playing with Nancy Sinatra about 8 summers back at The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk...

Lee was there in his haps of course, looking every bit the skinny chain smoking alcoholic music director alongside Don Randi. But the most frightening thing of all was standing up close to the stage, which was a rather high one, and realizing I was looking right up Frank's daughters mini skirt at her ... middle smile...

I pointed this out to Joe Goldring, who I was in attendance with, and we both promptly stepped a bit further back from the stage. After all , Frank was still alive and if he knew we were on the boardwalk checking out his daughters clam ... who know what fate might be fall us.

Sonic Youth were big fans and are somewhat responsible for keeping the mans name in print, long after his 15 minutes were up.

He last had a release in 2002 on the Euro label City Slang... " For Every Solution There's A Problem"

He also sells a book called "the Pope's Daughter" which purports to be fictional tales of his fantasy life with Nancy Sinatra and other tales.

What’s it like to work with a Nancy Sinatra? It’s a visit to Disneyland, only your father owns all the rides. It’s an evening in the medicine cabinet of Edgar Allen Poe’s mother. It’s a trip on Superman’s cape and you are too frightened to look down for fear you’ll discover your real identity. It’s a Sousa march and the phallic cymbals are playing melody. It’s a plastic palace where all that glitters is gold. It’s a Las Vegas stage, sitting on a two-dollar stool in front of a fifty-two-piece orchestra, next to a lady in a five thousand-dollar gown; you’re singing a little flat and wondering if the fly is open on your eight-dollar ‘jeans’. It’s Beauty and the Beast selling a ‘fix’ to the Mickey Mouse People. It’s frustrating, foolish, Falstaffian, freaky, fucked-up and fun.

So let us begin at the beginning. . . .

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - The Summer Wine

From the epic ballad fest that is "Cowboy In Sweden"... "Night Before" gives Kristofferson a run for the hangover tune battle title, edging neck & neck with the immortal "Sunday Morning Coming Down", while "Pray Them Bars Away" is a little bit "Folsom Prison Blues" meets some bad off Broadway musical production...

Lee Hazlewood - Night Before
Lee Hazlewood - Pray Them Bars Away

When Nancy was busy, Lee found Ann Margeret a willing foil in good ol' '69...

Lee Hazlewood w. Ann Margeret - It's A Nice World To Visit Not To Live In

from his album "For An Almost Lady" released in 1971

Lee Hazlewood - Little Miss Sunshine ( Litle Miss Rain )


That's a lil bit of Lee Hazlewood history for ya...

eMusic has an interview with Lee, plus dozens more downloads of the duets with Ann Margeret and Nancy Sinatra, and his final solo album Cake or Death...

R.i.P Lee Hazlewood

Monday, August 06, 2007

Is Fake Steve Jobs Hungry? Walk This Way...


Wanna take a walk down memory lane?

Well at least mine, in case you weren't alive 20 years ago, Run DMC & Aerosmith teamed up to do a remake (for newbie's that's a kind of precursor to the mash up, where you actually get permission), of Aerosmith's 1974 hit Walk This Way.

Well they're doing it again, on Hard Rock's Ambassadors of Rock Tour – hitting spots like London's Hyde Park this summer. Here's Daryl McDaniels aka DMC to you, perform “Walk This Way.” Check out some video from a recent performance....

The aged warriors in Aerosmith have been making the rounds this summer, including reaping over $150,000 playing it's first concert on tiny Prince Edward Island (pop 13,000) with Cheap Trick, Ciara and others.

Aeromsmith vs Run DMC - Walk This Way ( 98 Remix )

Meanwhile, back in the blogosphere...

( for you newbies, a blogosphere, that's the virtual state of suspended judgement, you are traversing now, that has a sort of higher regard in the high tech field)...

Anyhow today is shocked to find one of their own, someone anonymous called The Fake Steve Jobs, is actually the editor of a real world magazine...Forbes.

a real life person, one with a reputation and everything?

High Tech blog scene? sheeeet, that's more like High School...

Isn't Forbes just a mag known for printing a list of rich people anyway?

Says Fake Steve of the busting of his cover:
Now you've ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder. Hope you feel good about yourself, you mangina. One bright side is that at least I was busted by the NY Times and not Valleywag.

Was 6 figure editor in real life known as Fake Steve really that hungry for attention?

Ed Anger of the Weekly World News was the best blogger in my lifetime, in my humble opinion...

and he started long before there were blogs...

and he wasn't real either...

Mark Twain was a pseudonym as well...and I guess he was a blogger too...

As was Voltaire, it was a pseudonym for Francois Marie Arouet...

more like closet-o-sphere...'s indeed a small world.

the blog readership is mainly other bloggers keeping up with the competition...

they used to be called newsletters, and later zines...or better yet, most simply didn't exist, because the stapling, mailing & mimeographing was a barrier that kept all but only the most passionate from bothering.

There may be millions now, but they are essentially shut ins for the most part, interacting with the world through a safe medium.

Rather than busking their psuedo-intelligentsia interweb enabled perspectives on the subways, street corner soapboxes and the likes, the can harass us from their pajamas.

Commentors use the internet like a teenager leaving curdled crap in a burning paper bag on your doorstep in the middle of the night...

ring your bell...just to see if you'll step in it...

The real irony is that the Real Steve Jobs is Fake enough ...

I though folks, would like y'all to know, I am the only "real" blogger...

I really am named Lil Mike...fact!

and you know what...I'm Real!!

All Opinions Here Are Mine ... and are the official opinions of Lil' Mike's Last Known Thoughts & Random Revelations...

at least the last known opinions...

Oh, and You know what else I am?

Real... as in

Real Hungry...

Real Hungry For Attention...

You can call me the "Fake Editor of Forbes"...

and so today since I am hungry, for attention not rational discourse...

i offer music about food...

and not food for thought...

Dr. John - Food For Thot

I hope yer ears are hungry too...

so load up and get it while it's hot, we gots a sonic soup, summertime potluck, bar bq buffet today:

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Hungry

Fats Waller - Hold Tight ( I Want Some Seafood Mama )

Bo Carter - Banana In Your Fruit Basket

Bessie Smith & Louis Armstrong - Big Butter and Egg Man From the West

Cryan' Shames - Sugar + Spice

None More Black - You Suck But Your Peanut Butter Is OK

Chet Baker

Ms Monique - Collard Greens & Cornbread

Mariachi Brass Featuring Chet Baker - Chiquita Banana

Joe Tex - Yum Yum Yum

Heavy Vegetable - Eggy In Bready II

Guitar Wolf - Three AM Noodle Shop

Paul Butterfield - You Are What You Eat

Jason Lowenstein - Casserole

Average White Band - Cut The Cake

Warrant - Cherry Pie

oh, and here's a couple from the great Frolic Diner collection...

Spot Barnett - Sweet Meats

The Royaltones - Tacos

Sunday, August 05, 2007

El Cantante

I hate to say I was looking forward to checking out the new Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony flick.

Not because I'm remotely fond of either's show biz presence, but because the production is based on the life of Puerto Rican born singer Hector Lavoe.

Hector LaVoe was a creation of a macho musical subculture, who did have a somewhat larger than life reputation, not only as a vocalist, but as womanizer, and also a tragic drug addict. He was also, despite all the bravado he exhibited publicly, a relatively vulnerable and fragile emotional being whose life collapsed around him.

After leaving the city of Ponce Puerto Rico at 17 for the glitter of far off Manhattan in the early 60's, he soon realized upon arriving in a poor section of the Bronx, the streets were not necessarily paved with gold.

He hung around musicians, sitting in on gigs, and got his professional start as a referral to hot sh*t trombonist Wille Colon during the boogaloo craze circa 1966, and soon he was amongst the most popular vocalists in the vibrant New York City live salsa scene.

Here's a track from LaVoe's first album with Willie Colon on Fania, a 1967 LP entitled El Malo, it features some of the only tunes they recorded that were sung in English.

Willie Colon - Willie Whopper ( vocals: Hector LaVoe)

They recorded several more albums, many with tongue in cheek gangster imagery on the covers, or allusions to criminal behavior, a popular Puerto Rican stereotype they were happy to play up.
The cover of 1969's Guisando/Doing A Job designed by Izzy Sanabria shows both men on some kind of safe cracking caper. I'll feature the lead off track off from the album which was aided by the piano of Mark Diamond, and plenty of funky percussion work.

Willie Colon - Guisando

By 1975, the two men were going separate ways, with LaVoe's career on it's own trajectory, he was becoming a solo star, with his own following & personality...and need for his own cash, to support his own drug habits. So like Anglo entertainer tag teams like Les Paul & Mary Ford, John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Louis prima & Keely Smith, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant...

the two began going their separate ways.

The last album they'd do together in the 70's was called appropriately "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", and there certainly were all those thing mixed into these guys personas.

Colon would still help LaVoe out occasionally with arrangements, but they would not share billing for another 8 years.

Hector LaVoe + Willie Colon - I Feel Campesino

The movie about LaVoe that came out this week is called El Cantante, basically meaning the singer, or as one of LaVoe's many nicknames might have elongated it "El Cantante de los Cantantes". That spanish meaning translates as "the singer of singers". The name LaVoe is also a creation, paraphrasing from 'The Voice', a title he borrowed from a previously active singer Felipe Rodriguez's moniker "La Voz".

Here's the song, originally written by Ruben Blades to perform himself, that Hector LaVoe took and made famous as his personal theme in 1978.

Hector LaVoe - El Cantante

Blades, who wrote the track was actually LaVoe's replacement in Willie Colon's group, and supposedly reluctantly conceded the tune to Hector at the time, but admits it was LaVoe's to take after general consensus was LaVoe truly made it his own.

The track originally appeared on the Comedia album, but is also featured on a new collection the Fania label has assembled in time for the film Amongst the tracks on the recently releaed El Cantante collection is a newly done remix of Mi Gente by Louie Vega, who I believe is related to LaVoe. Mi Gente is a track LaVoe used to perform as a featured vocalist with the Fania All Stars. One has to see their amazing early 70's concert in Zaire before the Ali-Foreman fight. I've got a DVD of that thing, and it's an amazing document as they bring the joyous latin music beat full circle to Africa.

Hector Lavoe - Mi Gente [Louie Vega Remix]

Despite all the great music that's in the film, apparently the spectre of the A-list producers/stars, and the story they spin is not winning the hearts & minds of the critical mass. Reviews have used headlines like Great Music Can't Fix`Cantante', and are filled with words like "garish, dispiriting", "falls flat" and worse.

The Village Voice basically reams it not once but twice.

However, I have not seen it, so I'll reserve judgement for now, despite the critical storm brewing against the flick.

I've seen some lame music films in my life, as i'm sure you have. Sid & Nancy anyone?

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the Joaquin Phoenix version of Johnny Cash's life either, as it seemd to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on Reese Witherspoon, and failed to even mention numerous important & formative incidents in the life of Cash that he himself told in his autobiographies.

I suppose this might just be the Latin equivalent eh?

What's odd is the source of some of the many sour grapes that have emerged spoiling the celebrations for the opening of this rare Latin music themed Hollywood bio pic.

The screenplay apparently attempts to tell the story of one of salsa's great voices, but with a slanted view that many people in the active salsa community have derided. They complain about lapses in accuracy and thematic emphasis, and this comes occasionally from those who actually were paid as consultants on the picture.

Amongst the most damning voices has been Willie Colon, who was Lavoe's collaborator for two decades, and helped launch Lavoe's career.

The LA times ran a piece today with quotes from Colon's email:

"The creators of El Cantante missed an opportunity to do something of relevance for our community," Colón wrote. "The real story was about Hector fighting the obstacles of a nonsupportive industry that took advantage of entertainers with his charisma and talent. Instead they did another movie about two Puerto Rican junkies. . .

Colon and others have bitterly objected to the portrayal of Lavoe's wife Nilda “Puchi” Roman, giving her a far more dominant role in his life than they would have.

When asked what Colon would have liked to see more of regarding LaVoe, he replied:

His sense of humor, Colón said, his agile mind, his sex appeal, his ability to communicate effortlessly with audiences, his loyalty and fearlessness in standing up for what he believed was right.

"I would show why he became so beloved among his fans," said Colón. "This way, when he does fall, the movie viewer will understand him better and empathize with his character."

"It's difficult to comprehend how two individuals who are in the music business like Marc and Jennifer are not aware of the damage and the consequences of promoting only the negative side of our Latin music culture."

Maybe Colon is uncomfortable with LaVoe's lasting memory being less a legendary voice, but more that of an addict, who died in 1993 of complications from AIDS, likely brought on by Hector's decline into intravenous drug use. It's a known fact that Colon was also a junkie as well for a spell...and the two used to use together.
Colon could also be a bit jealous, to see someone who used to be on his pay roll being immortalized, and all those around him left in his shadows.

After his death, LaVoe was practically canonized, one FM station played almost entirely his music for a week. LaVoe's funeral at St. Cecilia's on 105th St was attended by hundred's of marchers who danced & shouted out chants, 'pleneras', and things like "LaVoe Vive! Tu es eterno!" proclaiming his eternal presence in their lives. His funeral procession lasted 6 hours...passing through all the neighborhoods his music once was the soundtrack of before getting to the graveyard at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.

According to a new book called Passio & Pain, amongst the mourners was the film's star Marc Anthony, who told an interviewer in 2006 “I was walking out of the church and people started yelling at me,” he recalled in a 2006 interview with eTalk. “‘It’s you now! You’re the new Hector!’ It had to be the scariest moment of my life.”

here's a link to buy the book, which likely will give you more LaVoe, and longer lasting & deeper interpretation for your buck than the film...

Here's a spoken word poem about LaVoe's death by Willie Perdomo

Willie Perdomo - The Day Hector LaVoe Died

It's simply sad but true LaVoe died, the main thing is this music lives on, and Willie Colon will no doubt find many more people interested in his work and legacy beacuse of the picture.

Hector LaVoe - Murga de Panama

Here's links to download more Hector LaVoe music via eMusic, I Tunes
Héctor Lavoe
or just buy some damn Lavoe CDs here...

Friday, August 03, 2007

I Love Rhythm & Blues...and miss New Orleans

Friday, August 03, 2007

I love Rhythm & Blues, which is why I felt a tinge of sadness late last night.

It was upon discovering something when I happened to be browsing a wrinkled 2 day old issue of the Times Picayune late last night after a friend returned from New Orleans. This was the type of news that would've escaped my attention had I not been reading a paper based in the Crescent City.

Oliver Morgan, a Nawlins character and R&B performer for many years has died at age 74.

Oliver Morgan Obituary 

He was known for dancing with an umbrella on stage, his corny catch phrases delivered in a sand papered drawl, whose jubilant presence always seemed ready to lead a second line parade. Never a huge draw, Morgan was usually added to bills in his 60's heyday, spicing up the wait time to see headlining acts like Otis Redding, Fats Domino & Lee Dorsey.

He started his recording career in 1961, actually billed as "Nookie Boy", a nickname his auntie had tagged him with as a boy. I really simply don't want to know that story.Oliver Morgan Umbrella 

Here's a couple tracks by the man, who after his days on the chitlin circuit opening for Wilson Pickett, Don Covay and Jerry Butler was a longtime janitor at NOLA's City Hall, married just shy of 50 years, and who counted some 19 grandchildren amongst his brood.

Here's from a scratchy latter 60's single. This song was released in 1969 as catalog #501, on a label as Recording Artists Productions, so I guess you could say it was a R.A.P record.
In fact Oliver does a bit shoutin' out, giving props to some of his fave entertainers, including Joe Tex on this record.

Oliver Morgan - Once Upon A Time

This last track was from Morgan comes from his only full album release, which didn't occur until the late 1990's when Allen Toussaint recorded a collection of Morgan doing faves by Lee Dorsey, Joe Tex, and of course songs written by Toussaint himself.

Back in the day, Morgan was known for leading folks on parades outside the venues, and down blocks, and told a story once to Rick Coleman recounted in the album liner notes :

" Once at the Masque Lounge ," smiles Oliver mischievously, " i used to bring all the people down along the Chef Menteur Highway, man, and block all the traffic up! The police came there and said, 'Oliver, man, bring 'em in the club!"

Oliver Morgan - I Love Rhythm & Blues

He lived in Nawlin's his whole life, until the levees built and supposedly maintained by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, failed nearly 2 years ago and flooded his 9th Ward home off of North Claiborne.

The saddest part of his obituary, was the part about his dying far from his home,
in exile in Atlanta. Over 100,000 gulf coast residents alone resettled in the sprawling Georgia city's metro area.

So many of the music scene's old timers in frail health were dealt a heavy blow with Katrina, a storm which not only rattled their beings, but whose aftermath broke so many hearts. First to go was Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, who died within days of the storm that forced him to relocate from Louisiana to Texas.

Jan Ramsay of NOLA music journal Offbeat magazine recently noted in a column that :
We’ve lost so many great musicians since this time last year. I think that Katrina has had a much more devastating effect on people whose health was fragile: Timothea Beckerman, Dinerral Shavers, Freddie “Shep” Sheppard; Harold Cavallero, Charlie Brent, Marshall Sehorn, Vernell “Joe Gunn” Joseph and so many more. Life is very fragile and precious, and the survival of our musical culture (and our culture in general) may be slipping away.

Just a few weeks ago, the city also lost the founder of the Snug Harbor jazz club, George Brumat. Ramsay bemoans the lack of support for the live music traditions in the town where jazz was born, rock n roll was incubated, and funk first fused itself into it's fiery & fluid form.

I recommend Nawlin's music aficianados read her monthly column Mojo Mouth at the Offbeat website to stay abreast of goings on in the region.

Oliver Morgan's biggest hit, which is not exactly a well known tune outside New Orleans, was 'Who Shot La La', a 1963 track recorded about the death of another New Orleans character Lawrence Nelson aka "Prince La La". The song speculate's about about a supposed murder including the lyric "There are only three fellas do a thing like that, High Head, Joe Mouth and my brother John!"

In actuality "La La" was not shot by a stranger, but he likely died of an OD, but may not have shot himself up, anyhow he's dead. Great Party record, strange theme...

Kinda like the city itself, great party town, helluva way to live though...

New Orleans, a swampy port town, with traditions of corrupt politicians and a segregated caste system, has long been plagued with crime, drug addictions, alcoholism, prostitution and the shady types that enjoy that sort of thing. In fact, the city seems to wear it's wounds with a strange sense of pride, like a jail tattoo on Aaron Neville's wearied face.

I can't help but think of all the trouble that people get into down there, whether you are 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo making a backroom deal with an ex-governor that costs you your team, to the average co-ed stupidly flashing her boobs for a second that lasts for all eternity via the camera of Girls Gone Wild.

Poor ol' New Orleans, a city that's done so much for America's music, has been left since katrina to fend for itself. It has the will to live, but still seems a sad, disturbing, and scary example of a metropolis abandoned that can't be euthanized quietly.

There's real criminal governmental neglect and societal decay there, and those citizens who've remained & returned seem resigned to it. Of course New Orleans has always had aspects of that going for it, even before Katrina I suppose, but it's certainly worse for sure.

It seems despite many reconstruction efforts, vast areas of the city remain abandoned, rotting and hopeless, the middle class, educated professionals, and old money ( i.e the actual tax payers and support a city needs) either refuse to return or continue to stream out in an unending exodus.

Thousands of homes are available for sale in the region, most at below market prices, but the exhorbitant cost of insurance keeps buyers at bay. 12 of 23 publically held company HQ's have moved out of the city since the storm. Time recently ran a piece on the city's "White Collar Exodus" that quoted exec's like those of Chevron who are relocating 550 employees out of the city. Many residents are dismayed at the rate of economic recovery.

One detects racist and anti-iimigrant sentiment undertones that bubble under the surface complaints about the many newly arrived taco trucks, which simply feed the new minimum wage & under the table service industry workforce from Mexico that's here since Katrina, helping rebuild, maintain & keep the city's tourist economy afloat.

I don't think a casino offering up a barely desirable $7 an hour job to immigrants is going to amount to much of a econmic base to rebuild a city off of. Having lived within range of taco trucks for years, I would suggest that the last thing the citizens, and editorial sections should be worried about is a scourge of taco trucks.

The enemy is within my scared southern friends, and the enemy isn't comimg across the border to do your dirty work, and I don't mean it's some e-coli either already within those taco trucks. Think about your situation there... who is really benefiting from the destabilization of the Gulf Coast...and believe me, it's not lowly unskilled laborers.

 New Orleans Minimum Wage

The real problems run a lot deeper than the mobile cuisine scene folks...

1/3rd of those residents in a survey conducted late last year, said they planned to leave New Orleans parish within 2 years. The most likely type of person likely to leave New Orleans, are those with post-graduate degrees. Over 1000 doctor's abandoned the city since the storm.

Charity the largest public hospital, has been closed permanently since Katrina, others are ill equipped and under staffed, and losing money. The 5 public hospitals claim they are collectively losing in excess of $100 million a year and this total could reach $400 million annually by 2009. The latest rumor has it, the once esteemed private care facility at Tulane is even considering closing if it's financial condition doesn't improve dramatically.


Said one doctor, who abandoned town since Katrina, and is now working at hospital in North Carolina, "I could have made a go of it there, but it would have been slow and arduous."

A big part of the problem is the lack of infrastructure, and a government that was already slow and arduous, if not completely unresponsive & corrupt. Take away all the higher end taxpayers, and you've got a real recipe for a never ending disaster.

The murder rate and crime in general are back up to, or far in excess of the statistical averages of pre-Katrina days, and what's more out of control is that there's less people committing the same amount of crimes. The police and DA are making excuses, while the rate of convictions goes down & crimes go unchecked.

With 110 homicides in the 1st half of this year, New Orleans has more than double the rate of similar sized cities. Not helping is what the local paper calls

"the city's criminal justice carousel".
NOLA authorities have bungled so many cases it's a national embrassment, with violent multiple offenders walking away from heinous crimes weekly. The most recent outrage within the past week centered around the court appearance of two thugs for a murder, a murder committed after both had been involved in a previous murders. One suspect had performed a gang assasination of a 15 year old in a school gymnasium just a few years earlier. The victim was shot multiple times in front of numerous witnesses in 2003, but his bold murder was not avenged by the New Orleans authorities. The accused assailants plead guilty to lesser crimes at the time, and were allowed to walk with credit for time served. They were literally back on the streets, and doing all sorts of whatever they wished until finally fingered in another recent street killing. ...

When police do perhaps get off their butts from the all day breakfast menu at the Panola Street Cafe to react, it's often with blunt force and dumb inaccuracy.

ex. The other day NOPD did a sting action against supposed loiterers outside a local retailer known to attract a criminal element, but inadvertently locked up in the downtown jail an innocent passer by, a visting neuro-surgeon still wearing his doctor's scrubs.

Anyone remember the videos of young white N.O.P.D officers mercilessly beating an elderly black man a few weeks after the hurricane?

One of the cops was recently acquitted of any wrong doing by a judge who termed the incident entirely the victim's fault. The other officer who was also fired, turns out he had already committed suicide...

Not all police misconduct and stupidity reaches the brazen level of the above video of course, or even gets mention in the media.

I have a feeling that race played a large part both incidents I mention here.

Even in the decision to grab the doctor, since his skin was a shade or two darker olive than the prefered lily white. Let's just say that this highly trained doctor, isn't making plans to stick around. He calls the city a "war zone" and has been appalled by the overall lack of ethics, a problem extending even into the medical profession there.

After all this is a place known for years as "the City Care Forgot".

The Meters - Talkin' Bout New Orleans

Oddly enough as i finished this post , I came across a press release for a group of citizens, business leaders and entertainment organizations who are appalled by the lack of progress in restoring the Gulf Coast. On the 2 year anniversary of Katrina, August 29th, they are calling for a "National Day of Presence" to restore services to the area, and create a sort of Marshall Plan to get the region back on it's feet. The day before will be dedicated to the concepts of "Public Policy & Community Service"