Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Microfinance change through yer daily download diet...

Did you get enuf candy and hedonistic partyin' in over the last week...

Was yer Hallow's Eve evil enuf for ya?

Interpol - Evil

I passed up free tix to catch Interpol a couple weekends ago in order to work...

Either that's evil, or maybe lame, but that's the way it goes...

Sometimes we have to sacrifice...

Flipper - Sacrifice ( live)

Roots - Sacrifice (live)

If you stop by this website, or others found through the Hype Machine, and other search engines, then you regularly get samples of great music for free all the time.

As we enter the season of giving, consider downloading this new collection, or better yet , gifting it to a friend...

It's called making a sacrifice...

It's a little amount to you, but collectively will go a long way to helping others on the other side of the planet, people in far worse economic trouble than you.

Hell... those despicable cretins in Flipper were in town recently and jacking $25 to get into their gig...

a set list that hasn't changed or improved with time...

Here's a way to actually improve some lives...

While you debate which $25 gig to got to, or which I-phone or I-pod model to get, consider that most of the population alive today has yet to make a single phone call, much less download a song off the internet.

Big Change: Songs for FINCA

Big Change: Songs for FINCA

Various Artists

Natalie Portman compiled the tracks for the new compilation called Big Change: Songs for FINCA.

The 16-song benefit compilation is available for digital download exclusively at the iTunes Store since October 30th for just $7.99.
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Net proceeds collected will benefit FINCA, a leading international microfinance organization that provides financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs, helping them to create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. Portman, who is an Ambassador of Hope for FINCA and serves as a co-chair of its Village Banking Campaign, is a noted music fan and is credited as an executive producer on Big Change: Songs for FINCA.

With a distinct sense of how she wanted the collection to sound, the actress chose nine tracks from the Internet Online Distribution Alliance's extensive independent music catalog. She also asked some of her faves Norah Jones, the Shins and other musician friends to contribute tracks to the compilation.

"I am honored that so many of my favorite artists have so generously lent these beautiful songs in the name of ending poverty," said Portman. "FINCA helps the poor realize their own potential through extending small loans to start small businesses. I'm so excited that two of my passions, great new music and microfinance, can collide in such an inspiring and world-bettering fashion. I hope you enjoy my favorite bands while supporting a truly meaningful cause."

Big Change: Songs for FINCA
Various Artists
Digital Release: Oct 30, 2007
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Tracklist For Big Change: Songs For FINCA:
  • 01.
    Tokyo Police Club -
    Be Good
  • 02. Beirut - My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille
  • 03. Tom Brosseau - Plaid Lined Jacket
  • 04. Curumin - Tudo Bem Malandro
  • 05. The Shins - Australia (Bjorn Yttling Mix)
  • 06. Brett Dennen -
    Ain't No Reason
  • 07. Sean Hayes - Turnaroundturnmeon*
  • 08. Thee More Shallows - Oh Yes, Another Mother
  • 09. Angus & Julia Stone - The Beast
  • 10. Antony & The Johnsons - Paddy's Gone
  • 11. Vetiver - Idle Ties
  • 12. Norah Jones - Broken
  • 13. Devendra Banhart - There's Always Something Happening
  • 14. M. Ward -
    What Is a Soul?
  • 15. Wooden Wand - Forgiveness Figg (Bethany Hotel Blues)
  • 16. Rogue Wave - How We Landed

If you'd like to sample a free track off this collection, download the Sean Hayes song here...

Big Change: Songs for FINCASean Hayes
"Turnaroundturnmeon" (mp3)
from "Big Change: Songs for FINCA"

Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Friday, October 26, 2007

Today in the Random Revelations we'll discuss Rum , Sodomy &

Too Much Pork For Just One Fork...

Well sorta... The Rum & Sodomy is from an old Winston Churchill quote regarding the British Nav, that later became a Pogues album title and the

Too Much Pork For Just One Fork...

well, it's simply one of my favorite songs by "Southern Culture On The Skids" who were in town last Sunday...But the free pork was courtesy, their locally based labelmate Chuck Prophet.

Rooty rawk maestro Chuck Prophet, hired a taco truck to the Makeout Room to dole out free tacos out front in celebration of Prophet's new album "Soap & Water" on North Carolina based Yep Roc records.

Check said of his chosen catering firm:


Chuck claimed his taco purveyors:

"do a killer "al pastor" which is sort of like a Mexican doner kebab; a slow cooked pork thinly sliced off the spit with a machete-like knife."

Since I don't eat the pigmeat myself, I just sorta breezed past the meat pack & into the club to hear the mighty Mission Express run through their retinue of rocking new material they'd lab tested over the past few weeks on the European continent. I thought It'd be my only chance for awhile, as the band has already split to head out across the great divide on a North American campaign until December. But I was fortunate enough to catch a couple tunes at Amoeba records earlier that afternoon... and the next day, a radio station showcase before a small audience at KFOG's studios.

Then head over to The Great American Music Hall later that night to catch Chuck's Yep Roc labelmates "Southern Culture On The Skids" who are known to fling bulging buckets of Fried Chicken and down home danceable sounds around in copious quantities...

Here's the title track from Chuck Prophet's new release...Soap & Water

Chuck Prophet - Soap & Water

Not sure if they played that at the free set I caught only a few minutes of at Amoeba Records on Haight St.

The highlight of that set, at least the part I saw is the track I'm dropping for y'all down below:

It's from an album that's getting the 4 out of 5 star salute from all the relevant mag-o-zines like Mojo. Q etc. The Village Voice just referred to him as "sounding like a man who wears clean underwear but is scared to change his dirty socks." Whatever that means...

Find out fer yerself, he's on tour and here are the dates below...

Chuck Prophet - Doubter Out of Jesus ( All Over You)

Download the rest of the album here

Oh, and here's that goofy lil' song from an older release that never gets old in my opinion from Southern Culture On The Skids

Southern Culture On The Skids - Too Much Pork For Just One Fork

From their 1992 album Ditch DigginDitch Diggin'Southern Culture on the Skids
"Too Much Pork For Just One Fork" (mp3)
from "Ditch Diggin'"
(Safe House)

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

The celtic minstrels of the Pogues whose biggest hit was entitled Fairytale of New York, certainly have left their hearts in San Francisco, a city receptive to their wicked ways. Last Sunday night began a four night stand at the Fillmore, where general admission for two set attendees back approx $160 after all the ticketbastard nastiness and fees are accounted for.

Despite the high tabs at the box office and of course the bar, no doubt the old wooden dance floor was be packed and straining under the weight of audiences excitedly clamoring to catch the band some 20 years after their first sold out west coast shows in the same venerable venue.pogues 1987 poster

Indeed that cold November night in 1987 they had Joe Strummer of The Clash along with them on guitar, and it was a very foot stompingly wild & whiskey soaked occasion. It was so uh, magically momentous actually to see the wily assemblage holding court back in the day that I'm not sure I'll join in the fray at the Fillmore this year. I wouldn't want to taint the foggy veils of my already perfect memories ya know?

The band came through last year as well, and they heartily held the fort down for several nights, and I heard few complaints, despite the progressively debilitated condition of lead singer Shane MacGowan. It's just amazing to me that the fragile freak o' habit known as Shane's still alive, while the seemingly invincible Joe Strummer is dead...

Click to head below the fold, and download a couple mp3 tracks of rare live material. One is a celtic folk infused version of Bobby Fuller's classic tune "I Fought The Law" ripped from some rare vinyl with Joe Strummer & Shane MacGowan trading off on raspy lead vocals...

The Pogues well earned reputation as drunken pub louts ignores their impressive balladry, stirring poetic lyrics and at times erstwhile musicianship. Their 2nd album, and real breakthrough to critical acclaim was "Rum Sodomy & the Lash" which was produced by Elvis Costello and released in 1986. The record was different from nearly anything churning out of speakers in the sterile & synthetic hair farming 80's music scene. The subject matter of songs like "The Old Main Drag" about a wasted street hustler plying his trade in alleys amongst the "she males", beaten by coppers, "shat on & spat on and raped & abused' weren't likely radio ready. The album also featured songs like "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", both tunes that depicted poignant poetic moments of reminiscence by bitter veterans of useless bloody battles, lamenting their roles as long forgotten heroes of wicked wars. These songs remain vital today, if for subject matter alone, and are just two of many epics in the band's remarkable catalog of tearjerkers & crowd pleasing singalongs.

By 1987's "If I Should Fall from Grace with God", the band had hit it's peak as songwriters & live performers, and made their first foray to the west coast. I got to open for the Pogues debut at The Fillmore back in 1987, and it twas indeed a thrill, especially discovering that they had large roadcases filed with ice for their own onstage bartender...
Strummer was on the tequila train, while MacGowan was already under doctors orders not to drink hard liquor, so his solution was to consume several bottles of port onstage instead.
Here's the robust list of standard items in their standard contract rider:


    24 bottles of Beer
    2 bottles of gin
    2 bottles of vodka
    2 bottles of dry white wine (Soave or Frascati)
    1 bottle of Martini
    1 bottle of brandy
    1 bottle of champagne
    1 bottle of ginger beer
    2 bottles of Coke
    2 bottles of sparkling water
    2 bottles of still water
    1 bottle of iced tea
    1 bottle of Rock shandy
    2 bottles of non-alcoholic Beck's


    A selection of fish, vegetarian and pasta dishes
    Packets of Marlboros, Marlboro Lights and Benson & Hedges (Carrols in Dublin)

48 large, clean towels
( I believe the 4 dozen towels are to clean up the gob & puke...)

The band had a good time, and a good run, and this town, full of Irish ex-pats, always heartily embraced them. While they did make an appearance once at Berkeley's Greek Theater, opening for Bob Dylan while supporting their Peace & Love album, most of their regional shows were at The Fillmore, including there return in 1988 and several solo MacGowan shows when he was still estranged from his former bandmates.

It was sad in the early 90's when an ecstasy & dope addled Shane left the band...or was kicked out or whatever the hell happened... and even sadder still they are trying to do it all over again...

But like any family reunion, sure there'll be camaraderie, as well as ugliness & drunken recriminations, and nothings ever what it was, but that's not without it's benefits as well...

I guess it's sorta like that final Rat Pack Tour... the one where everyone knew it was the last one, and ya sorta just gotta go...
Who doesn't want to see a senile Sinatra spill that last drink on the teleprompter, or this time around, Shane for that matter?

I never got around to drop a C-Note to get in the door and then spend some more dough I didn't really have. I'm sure it was fun no matter what condition anyone onstage was in. Folks collectively celebrating our triumphs & tragedies, and living & laughing like there's no tomorrow...

Heck, the last time I saw Shane play , with his "other" band the Popes, I think I was handed a ticket in a bar, quickly slammed some shots of whiskey, jumped into the swirling pit and lost my salmon dinner in a sloppy mess on the middle of the ballroom floor...
The band played on.. and the crowd sang along on every song...
ah...Good Times...

Here's a cell phone vid excerpt from one of their Fillmore shows last October...

Here's those mp3 tunes I promised ye:

First up a feisty take on Bobby Fuller's classic signature tune I Fought The Law, later interpreted by Joe Strummer with The Clash, and here finally filtered through the Pogues blustery banjo & pennywhistle circus...

The Pogues w/ Joe Strummer - I Fought The Law

By the time this next track was recorded in 1991, Shane MacGowan had really slipped into a cartoonishly grotesque caricature of himself. Somehow, he's kept this debauched act up for another 15 years or so as a solo act,

So in the interests of fairly charting the decline, we'll also hear a barely coherent MacGowan attempt to drunkenly pronounce the title of his not so poetic single "Yeah Yeah Yeah" from his last tour with the band in 1991

The Pogues - Yeah Yeah Yeah



Monday, October 22, 2007

End of Line For Lance Hahn of J Church

I was having a near perfect day, wasting an afternoon watching a friend and his band rip through a set of great tunes for a small audience at a local radio station studio showcase gig. Outside the sky was crystal clear, and the sun was shining over the bay. An hour later, I made the mistake of opening my email to discover word filtering in of a distressing development for the The Coalition of Aging Rockers.

Indeed we had lost another comrade, and this was no OD or drunken misfit debacle, in fact he likely was the cleanest liver of a bitter bunch, the least alcoholic and most studious, but still it was gone too soon at the age of 40.

Billy Joel & later Me First & The Gimme Gimmes have reminded me musically that "only the good die young", and indeed that seems true, as we have sadly lost another one of the good guys.

Coalition Of Aging Rockers
Longtime local SF musician Lance Hahn, who lovingly named his punk rock band after his favorite Muni streetcar line has died after long battles with kidney ailments in an Austin Texas hospital this past weekend. Best known for fronting his band J Church, Hahn operated out of San Francisco from the early 90's for almost a decade until he relocated from a flat near 16th on Valencia St to Austin in 2000.

Lance Hahn R.I.P .jpg
pic courtesy Fat Wreck Chords

He had originally come from Hawaii circa 1990 with a scrappy trio known as Cringer, which played shows at venues like The Women's Building, Komotion & Berkeley's Gilman St Project. Eventually he formed J-Church which released literally hundreds of recordings on tiny indie record labels all over the world including his own Honey Bear imprint. While not a technically gifted singer, he parlayed a vast array of musical influences including everything from Crass, Radiohead, Adam & The Ants to ELO, into a blend of pop infused punk that became uniquely identifiable & influential, remaining well regarded in the underground music scene. He had no shortage of themes & subjects, composing improbable rock titles like "Leni Riefenstahl's Tinder Box", "The Dramatic History Of A Boring Town" , or "Socialist Newspaper", all the while delivering each song with an overall emotional sincerity rarely heard in a jaded age. One memorable release to check out would have to be his Mission District opus "Camels, Spilled Coronas & The Sound of Mariachi Bands". For those who'd like a broader overview, perhaps the compilation of rare 7" tracks called "Nostalgic for Nothing".

From 1993's "Camels, Spilled coronas & Mariachi Bands"

J Church - Misery

In addition to fronting Cringer & J-Church, he toured as a guitarist in Beck's band in 1994-95. He is survived by his longtime girlfriend Liberty, they had no children.

A man with friends, fans & admirers literally all over the world, there's a chance Hahn left behind much more here on earth than a prolific discography of obscure vinyl 7" singles. For a spell in the latter 1990's, he was known to be supplementing his meager income with visits to a certain Berkeley sperm bank...

Watch out world... who knows for sure, perhaps lil' Lance's may indeed be sprouting everywhere...

If there are no biological heirs, there are at least many "logical" heirs. Tons of kids too young to have ever seen J-Church or Cringer at their peaks, but who've been influenced & touched ever so remotely by this guy's music, writing & inspirational D.I.Y influence abound.

Aside from his handy presence at the local sperm bank, Lance worked just as hard behind the scenes helping others as he ever did at the mic, and was known for his writing in Maximum Rock & Roll & Giant Robot magazine, as well as working at indie record distributors like Revolver, Blacklist Mailorder and Epicenter Records. His overall "situationist "viewpoints didn't preclude a little capitalist wage slavery and you might've seen him behind the counter at Lost Weekend video in SF or later on at Sound Exchange in Austin. His final job was working at Austin's Vulcan Video store, before he went in for dialysis one day earlier this month, and fell tragically into a coma.

I believe the next time I play that damn J-Church "Kittums In A Coma" single, It'll have a whole different resonance for me.

J-Church had a rotating line-up, with Hahn being the sole consistent member & songwriter. They had some good tunes, and their share of weak ones and were never my favorite band, but Lance was a dmaned good guy really, who wore the heart on the sleeve and you really can't fault a guy for being himself...

His presence was worth so much more than a hundred better bands, and that's because his heart was iin his music & his music not the plastic kind of syrupy crap you see in the tunes used advertisements and on TV...

A tribute album had recently been organized amongst 5 labels to help raise dough to pay some of his mounting medical bills, as the uninsured musician fell into declining health. There were operations, bleeding sockets left in him, and numerous agonizing dialysis sessions that made bleak his final year. The Vulcan Video website still has a link to help pay his medical bills, which remain a huge burden.

The Lance I remember meeting in the dawn of the 90's had a swift wit and great sense of humor, and we could trade barbs at empty venues during soundchecks and in dusty record filled warehouses for hours. He had a great spirit, took music & politics seriously and was always indefatigably willing to play a benefit show for a lost cause. Over the years, I sensed him getting more solemn, distant, deeper & more internally driven, and perhaps he instinctively knew he would not be long on this spinning orb. He pushed himself on tours across continents in a real race against time, left a creative trail of entertaining intellectual crumbs, gave it his all, and truly delivered. And ...he is gone...

One of a kind...

R.I.P Lance Hahn 1967 - 2007

Here's a track from the 2004 release Society Is A Carnivorous Flower

J Church - Keep Smiling America

Here's one from 1996's Drama of Alienation LP

J Church - Secrets

A Video of Lance performing his song "My Favorite Place", which incidentally was also the subtitle of the band's website...

From 2007's "the Horror of Life"

J Church - Vampire Girl Prefers Me Alive

Beck w/ Lance backing him - Nightmare Hippy Girl recorded live in Japan, more at Honeybear website

Visit the J-Church or Honey Bear website for a complete discography and a peek into this guy's mind that was ever active until the end

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Was a Teenage Halloweirdo Mix

I'll be busy all week tending to various event jobs I have about town ranging from bartending to dressing up as a mailman for a bunch of ladies...

In the meantime y'all can get down with my Halloween themed mega mix...

Here's a special seasonal barrage of creepy, scary, spooky & murder themed tunes and even a few movie promos for y'all...

I may add a few more in the next couple of days if I have time, but here's what I have ready today...

First up, a scary "stereo" record of "scary sounds" put out by Winchell's Donuts in the 1970's, with a creepy guest named Mr. Jack O' Lantern, who likes to remind kids to trick or treat safely but seems kinda like a spoil sport. I found this mp3 in a search engine fed off the fabulous Oddio Overplay servers...but have no idea on what page of their fabulous site you might find this out of print puppy...

Winchell's Donut House Halloween Record - Hear The Monsters
Well if that didn't scare ya enuf, what could be scarier than Metallica... Unplugged?

Well, it happened one day in 1997 on KSJO radio, with special guest Pepper Keenan from C.O.C in the studio with them. If only the stupid DJ didn't need to shut up & get bitch slapped by Hetfield so bad during the intro...

Metallica - Creeping Death

What would halloween be without werewolves...and sure I could put up the obvious Warren Zevon werewolf song, but his ghost might come and kick my azz...

So instead, here's some different werewolf related material, but stay tuned as I might add a certain British werewolf track in the coming days, just not the version you expect...

Movie Promo - I Was A Teenage Werewolf

Five Man Electrical Band - Werewolf

This version of Dead Joe by Nick Cave's early 80's combo The Birthday Party surfaced on their out of print Drunk On The Pope's Blood LP. The sonics are slightly altered and more spooky overall than the version found on their Junkyard release.

The vocals jump out more, the guitars growl louder and the mood is simply more frantic & freaked out than the other one and so we give this Halloween approved version.

The Birthday Party - Dead Joe

I don't know much if anything about this next track, other than some clown named Hugh Romney included it in a bootleg collection called four Hairy Policemen, and it includes an old movie promo as well...

Ding & Bat - (the Rape Killer promo) Hearse On a Surfari

This next track is a rework of the song "The Crusher" originally by the Novas, but this version is by an on old Mexican 60's era garage/surf rock band. Somehwat obscure, they actually have lots more material available on their Anthology CD which seems to be hard to find, but oddly enough is easily available at I Tunes of all places.

Los Shains - El Monstruo

More "Los Shains" at I Tunes

Los Shain's - Los Shain's: Anthology

What would Halloween season be without a an appearance by the original rock n roll fright king... Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Long before Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson, Screamin Jay was out there scaring the kids (and inseminating the females)...

Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Feast of The Mau Mau

Available on the great comprehensive collection: Spellbound...

There are of course hundreds of Screamin' Jay tracks out there since he debuted in the 1950's, and in his last years he recorded for the re-resurrected Bizarre imprint in the early 1990's. If you'd like to grab all 18 of these classick tracks from those years, there's an MP3 collection on Amazon's download store for just about $8 that includes raunchy classic like "Shut Your Mouth and Shit", "You Make Me Sick" and a song Screamin' Jay might understand better than most of us "Fourteen Wives"...

Movie Trailer - Graveyard Tramps

One of San Francisco's great late 70's era punk groups, The Mutants were SF art Institute scene refugees who had a lively twisted theatrical show biz sensibility. Here's a rare track recorded live in 1979 at the Deaf Club above Valencia St from this much loved entertainment diversion that still occasionally do reunion shows with the now scattered remaining members.

The Mutants - Monster of Love

Another obscure California indie rocker, put of more recent vintage is Haunted George. This desert rawker based out of the Mojave desert outpost of Llano Del Rio has put together a couple releases for the Oakland based Hook or Crook Record Company in the last few years. It's hard to say what I'd make of this crazed cowboy, if he's snorted too much sand or eaten too many of the wrong type of cactus. Anyhow without further adieu, here's Haunted George and his song Howlin' from the Cd Panther Howl...

Haunted George - Howlin

Panther HowlHaunted George
"Howlin'" (mp3)
from "Panther Howl"
(Hook or Crook Records)

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

Speaking of Howlin'

Let's go back to the real deal...

Howlin' Wolf should need no introduction to fans of the blues, and his gravel voiced delivery became of a favorite of the British kids who would go on to form bands like the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Cream and others. In 1970 many of these kids returned the favor to their hero by recording a record with Howlin Wolf in London for Chess. This song here was a big hit for him on Chess back in the day, and this recut version of the track wasn't the one released on the initial album, and it's likely because the Wolf sounds a lil' sluggish. Here is a studio outtake that finally saw the light of day in 2003, a cut that sounds like the ill ol' man had maybe had a few drinks by this take. But even if it's not as vocally ripping as the other versions I've heard, it's still got a serious rock n roll pedigree pumping it out. Joining Wolf's regular guitarist Hubie Sumlin is Eric Clapton and on this track Ringo Starr was apparently on drums, with Klaus Voorman on bass.

Howlin' Wolf - I Ain't Superstitious ( London Sessions alternate take)

Another musician influenced by Howlin' Wolf, and no stranger to a few drinks, or being appropriately creepy to make it into this mix was Jim Morrison...

This a recently released track recorded in 1970 from a newish collection called The Doors: Essential Rarities, that I suppose provides essential royalties to the band members.

The Doors - Who Scares You

Not sure if the ghost of Jim Morrison is as scary as Ray Manzarek & Robbie Kreiger suing John Densmore for his refusal to sell the Doors musical legacy out to advertisers...

Anyhow, Densmore says he's fat & happy enough from the past without trading his dignity for a TV commericial or a lame reunion tour with the guy from the Cult pretending to be The Lizard King.

Imogen Heap is a moderne chanteuse of sorts who I first took notice of when she did a Cure cover. She resurfaced on my radar not long after with a reworking of another oldie but goodie for a soundtrack album for some Reese Witherspoon vehicle called Just Like Heaven. It's a great old song she's reworking, one that has many great versions, my faves probably being by The Zombies and I also am fond of the Dusty Springfield version. While I can't vouch for the film it appeared in, or the rest of the soundtrack it's on, I dig Imogen Heap's version of Spooky...

Imogen Heap - Spooky

Speaking of about DJ Spooky.

Here the illbient maestro from a soundtrack excerpt to one of the scariest fright flicks ever made...

no, I speak not of the Friday The 13th or Halloween slasher genre, but one done in the silent era.

This track is from the soundtrack he did for his reworked version of the old silent film Birth of A Nation. D.W Griffith premiered his epic film Birth of a Nation in 1915 under the title The Clansman, based on a book by the same name by Thomas Dixon.

The technically groundbreaking film has remained controversial for it's Civil War themed plot which embodies racist stereotypes and features the KKK portayed as noble heroes and Southern blacks who are played as dumb cariactures prone to savage villany and as sexual predators against white females.

Dj Spooky - ReBirth of a Remix excerpt

Here's spooky's own essay on the reasons behind the ressurection of this film...

Griffith's film has been a historical object of fascination for me for a long while - it's been one of the defining images of America in the 20th century. As we enter the 21st Century it sometimes helps to know like the philosopher Santayana said so long ago, that "those who do not understand the past are doomed to repeat it." "Birth of a Nation" focuses on how America needed to create a fiction of African American culture in tune with the fabrication of "whiteness" that undergirded American thought throughout most of the last several centuries: it floats out in the world of cinema as an enduring albeit totally racist - epic tale of an America that, in essence, never existed. The Ku Klux Klan still uses this film as a recruiting device and it's considered to be an American "cinema classic" despite the racist content. By remixing the film along the lines of dj culture, I hoped to create a counter-narrative, one where the story implodes on itself, one where new stories arise out the ashes of that explosion.

Anyhow...that sorta concludes part one of my Halloweirdo mix...

but stop by in a few daze and see if the pool hasn't been added to...

I have lots more scary tunes to add , i just don't have lots more time tonight to add 'em

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Road Raging Fire & Foodie Fears

They say ya can't fight fashion...

and the "they" in this particular instance being the particularly peculiar yet bland blue collar-esque Ohio based rock band known as The Michael Stanley Band...

Twas a band who just as easily could have been the Ernie Kreplucezk band, other than the fact the leader's name just happened to be a guy named Michael Stanley, and thus the deal was sealed...

They were an Ohio based AOR type rock band that spewed out numerous LPs of average quality 70's rock...

Anyhow... this track from their last major label slab in 1983 seemed appropriate for this post, since the topic today gets rolling around the concept of a fire in the hole at the base of a mountain...

and the song is called Fire in The Hole, produced by Bob Clearmountain ...and I just returned from LA during it's fall Fashion Week...

and they say you can't fight fashion, or fate

see things are tying in nicely so far...

You Can't Fight FashionMichael Stanley Band
"Fire in the Hole" (mp3)
from "You Can't Fight Fashion"

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

Anyhow, while back in my SF work neighborhood, local Tenderloin dining legend Original Joe's suffered it's own fire on Friday, a scary big rig fire in a tunnel near Santa Clarita has severed the main commercial road artery through Northern & Southern California.

[ yikes! map of alternate routes around the I-5 south during closure further down]

The Arcade Fire - Tunnels

The Arcade Fire - No Cars Go

Motorhead - Fire, Fire

The Governator, possibly eager to please the Republican voting base of Santa Clarita Chumscrubbers that helped get him into office, Arnie made sure to immediately declare the situation a "State of Emergency".


One wonders if certain inevitable "Emergency" situations like this can't be seen coming, and with the obvious transportation risks better managed or mitigated...

Baba Israel - State of Emergency

P.S Speaking of "State of Emergencies", seriously, has the governor or any of his minions tried eating out here on the 5? Where the hell am I supposed to find a decent dining location with small plates, that has a trained staff capable of suitable bio-dynamic wine pairings, and perhaps proper vegetarian options out here that go with the smell of the horrendous cow sh*t...

Read my road rage addled rant of a Frisco Foodie Fraught With Fears For Us All after hours spent inching along the I-5 yesterday out of Southern California, literally many miles from a decent warm organic frisee & Treviso radicchio salad topped with thinly sliced pear, sundried heirloom tomatoes, herbed chevre and bottarga in a Barolo-tangerine vinaigrette ...

Is this California or Oklahoma for gawd sakes? I just came from Fashion Week, and starving like an anorexic model out here...

Viva Voce - Fashionably Lonely

Lovers, Lead the Way! / The Heat Can Melt Your BrainViva Voce
"Fashionably Lonely" (mp3)
from "Lovers, Lead the Way! / The Heat Can Melt Your Brain"

More On This Album

Got the Impeach Bush/Cheney BluesBaba Isreal
"State of Emergency" (mp3)
from "Got the Impeach Bush/Cheney Blues"
(Random Chance, Inc.)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
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With maintenance and construction deferred, and more vehicles arriving daily, our statewide roads are aging dangerously. There are many many more trucks careening at high speeds through windy dark holes like the one in the rugged mountains south of the grapevine, than when these roads were planned. 225,000 vehicles a day apparently use the I-5 where the accident occurred. A similar stretch of I-5 just a mile away had been shut for almost 12 hours by a different big rig accident just 10 days earlier involving a truck carrying 50,000 pounds of melons in early October ...

In the last 50 years commercial freight traffic has moved off rails and onto California's already over crowded roadways. Dozens of big rig accidents a week occur in the state, most occur in areas where truck traffic is mixed in with general passenger traffic. The Bay Area is prone to it's own trouble along the 80 corridor, but the most dangerous stretch is the 710 North coming from the busy Port of Long Beach which averages at least one big rig accident a day, and in addition LA almost always has at least one big rig accident occurring somewhere in it's 4000 sq mile county...

Justin Haigh =Big Rig Blues

Pale Horse RiderJustin Haigh
"Big Rig Blues" (mp3)
from "Pale Horse Rider"
(Aberdeen Originals LLC)

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The tunnel the trucks collided in on Friday wasn't all that much different in concept than this one pictured below that was dug in the 1870's by some 1000 or so Chinese railroad workers in the same area. The single lane tunnel pictured here was along Southern Pacific's San Joaquin Line, linking the Santa Clarita Valley (in Railroad Canyon) with the rest of Southern California.

Aisler's Set - California

Terrible Things HappenThe Aislers Set
"California" (mp3)
from "Terrible Things Happen"

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People yesterday claimed the traffic was horrendous and expect it to remain so, and I was indeed among those who spent hours inching along the I-5 yesterday in Southern California, and can testify to the chaos...

But now that I finally am back up here, and free to think about it ... hey, the harrowing 2 hour crawl to get 14 miles is about how long it takes to get across town and back in San Francisco anyway. I mean seriously, try to circumnavigate the length and breadth of San Francisco's 7 miles across and back sometime in less than 2 hours...

Especially if one is prone to use MUNI, or stop for the numerous & delicious gourmet tapas joints popping up everywhere... I loves me any place that calls Mayo by it's fancy name Aioli, then puts lime in it. I don't think you can go 15 minutes in SF without being offered seared Ahi. I think Spicy Pineapple Saffron Coulis is a regular side dish on the lunch menu at Marina Middle school ...

Am I digressing?

I wonder if it would be any better if a proposed billion dollar bullet train derailed at the same junction on the 5?

Do you think the Tapas on a bullet train would be any good?

Anyhow... After some radical rerouting & dusty detouring, I got to see sleepy little Newhall California, which has a few more taco stands, trailer parks & brake repair joints since the pic below was taken, but it captures the essential spirit of the place. The semi-bucolic backroad outpost was surprised by the traffic influx, and the local gas station had run out of gasoline by about noon.

All I know is that there was no place serving "Small Plates"...but things could be easily "SuperSized"...

Bay Area Foodie Fraught with Fear on The Five

I think the worst part being trapped on the wrong side of the fire was knowing that even after escaping the grid lock delays of the southland, I was being faced with the bleak and unexpected prospects of spending Saturday Night on Highway 5. I had just passed up the last 210 exit to Pasadena a town in the midst of a free fall arts festival headlined by Viet-retro-rockers Dengue Fever when I learned of the impending doom and traffic blockage I was facing on the Highway 5. The only thing to do was sit and bear it...

Alas, with my LA escape route blocked, and chance of dining within range of a San Francisco bay breeze fading, even imagining hope that there was a suitable Northern California style meal in the near future was futile. I resigned myself that I would not be enjoying any sort of award winning fusion cafe on the horizon or even fresh baked whole grain bread.

Indeed, a man in a box named Jack confirmed his fish sandwhich contained no wild caught Pacific Salmon smoked on a cedar plank. the so-called King of Burgers did not offer anything resembling a fresh organic green mesclun salad topped with apricot pistachio goat cheese from Pescadero, which would've possibly made the long journey home more palatable.

I ended up avoiding the "animal style" drive thru line at In-n-Out, and ate food from something locals referred to as a "strip mall", finding a quaint place called Chili's. Apparently they are well known purveyors within the "baby back rib community". Not sure if anything there was "free range", except the soft drink refills...

The traffic was slow...and the food was decidedly faster...

The traumatic traffic stalling accident on the 5 outside LA, brings to the fore not only dramatic public safety issues but also of how foolish foodies can attempt to cope with the highway's seriously un "haute" cuisine scene.

The author attempts to enjoy a tiny but oh, so delicious $15 baby beet salad at Water Grill before devouring some grilled Colorado River sturgeon with the lil' green cumin spatzles and epezote Chimichurri on the evening of the tragic I-5 tunnel crash & traffic jam which would create a dietary crisis...


Meanwhile, behind me the smoke was still visible, and the southland shuddered with fears that it may be quite awhile before the southward part of the 5 is able to open...

News media reports & a map below:

SF's Channel 5 adds info on the slow moving cleanup process on Saturday ...

At the end of the Ch 5 report you briefly see the very worried family of missing trucker Ricardo Cibrian, whose family was holding a roadside vigil in hopes of hearing some positive news.

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Sources: Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, LA Times and in the field foodie reporting

Songs of Fire by artists like uh, Joaquin Phoenix, Broken Social Scene, and even a contribution from a Spanish Death Metal ensemble follow:

Broken Social SceneBroken Social Scene
"Fire Eye'd Boy" (mp3)
from "Broken Social Scene"
(Arts & Crafts)

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Realms of DesolationBetween the Frost
"Burning Kingdom of Fire" (mp3)
from "Realms of Desolation"
(Still Alive Records)

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bonus track:

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire