Sunday, April 22, 2007

current playlist

robbers - cold war kids - robbers and cowards
finer - nightmares on wax - carboot soul
dogs - damien rice - 9 crimes
wishing well - terrence trent d'arby - greatest hits
earth intruders (extended, stent mix) - bjork - earth intruders EP
get it on - makossa & megablast feat. kool keith - kuanaka
colossus - wolfmother - wolfmother
lullaby - morgan geist - super EP
vinheta quebrante - ceu - ceu
fisherman's grotto - justin warfield - fisherman's grotto
visions of you - jah wobble's invaders of the heart feat sinead o'connor - collaborations

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

midwest tour: dublin OH->detroit MI

greets from a crappy hotel room next to the detroit metro airport, which has a certain apocalyptic charm to it. want a little slice of post-industrial ukraine right here in the US? look no further than detroit. yecch.

so with my ongoing belief that cabbies have the clearest view of a region, my trip started with an ethiopian cab driver who picked me up in columbus. very pleasant guy who explained to me that he had a funny accent b/c he moved to america from nairobi to pursue his dreams. i told him i had a funny accent and not nearly as good a reason as nairobi. i didn't tell him that he might have been the first person to dream about coming ohio.

he took care to inform me that dublin was the proud headquarters of wendy's hamburgers and that jack niklaus lives in dublin. sure enough, when i stumbled my way into the briefing i was speaking at the next morning, saint jack was enshrined at the venue. the jack shrine foto is courtesy of my crappy treocam, as usual. i'm not sure what kind of plans he's holding in the painting, but if he's as smart as the dubliners think he is, it's escape plans to a city where you can find a decent burrito.

the next 4 hours were spent en route to detroit, passing thru most of ohio including my birthplace of sylvania, ohio. the trek included passing the "olentangy indian caverns", which i'm sure is a big money winner for new scamparama, ohio or wherever the hell we were. reminded of all the places with funny and sorta cool sounding indian names we had as kids in michigan, and caused me to think how we have none of them in socal. we've swapped them all out for southwest latino names, which might even be cooler. i can't tell you why, but saying "rancho cucamonga" makes me happier than "mackinac". score one for socal.

off to milwaukee and then chi-town tomorrow for 2 more events. g'nite!

Monday, April 16, 2007

kcrw evening becomes eclectic (and my bday)

many thanks to everyone who came out for my bday bash this past weekend. and of course a million thanks to my wife who planned it all and then snapped no less than 50 or so shots which are now available here.

after a fantastic evening of far too many margaritas (see picture to the right and the looks of concern on my pals at me doing yet another tequila shot), my big bday celebration moved onto kcrw's annual superconcert: sounds eclectic evening. the last one that we went to introduced us to an early damien rice, who was easily the most memorable act though jurassic 5 and beck turned in great performances as well. we showed up on time to make sure not to miss an act.

bummer that they opened the evening to 1/2 empty seats since they put on a great performance. 4-person string section with a harpist, alongside an accomplished dj and the rest of the band. and then there's vocalist shana halligan, supervixen. their stuff is sort of sexy/goofy, like an austin powers movie but with less fake chesthair. if you haven't checked out their album "the mating game" from last year, it's not to be missed. you won't be blown away i'd wager, but it's solid across the board and perfect as sonic wallpaper for a coctail party.


these guys are an LA institution just waiting to break out into something bigger. they kicked off their funk-filled session with a "f*ck bush" chant which was only matched in its subtlety by the "impeach the president" song which followed. i get it, but we can do better. and they did. they threw some james brown out there, which killed it, and then some johnny cash (ring of fire) which sorta worked. they kept things hot for about 20 minutes and finished with "cramp your style" (fantastic tune!) and a series of instrumental solos. i've never heard a flute solo sound so cool. i gave their latest album to my pal danny 2 xmas ago and was wondering if it was polite to ask to rip it before he left it was so good :-)

cold war kids
they were easily the best and biggest surprise of the evening. i'll admit that i got their album from kcrw's cd club and then gave it to my cousin after ripping it and giving it a once over early this year. boy was i wrong. they brought a manic intensity to their performance that i can now hear after listening to the album several times over. they served up some seriously pissed-off bluesy rock and roll with dark but powerful lyrics. the highlight for me was "saint john" which is stripped down to nearly accapela and accented by sparse piano and simple guitar/drums. "hang me out to dry" was great too and about the only song they do that isn't depressing in some way. how can you not like a group that sings about laundry that's upset about too many spins in the dryer?

rodrigo y gabriela
if cold war kids were the biggest surprise, r&g were the best performance. nothing else came within a whisker. who would've thought that flamenco guitars and metal could combine to make something so lovely? the 2 mexicanos (tamaleros as jonathan calls them) sit down across from one another with solely their guitars in hand and play beautiful, forceful music that commands your attention. they got a standing ovation after nearly every song. gabriela is unbelieveable, she plays her guitar masterfully but interweaves percussion beats into her chords by thumping the guitar with her hand, knuckles, etc. I can't do it justice with words, if you get the chance, see them. their finale of "stairway to heaven" even managed to make the wonderful but long played-out track fresh again.

ok, it's getting late here in dublin (ohio) so i'm going to turbo thru the others:

travis - unoffensive and charming. i will not remember their performance in 2 weeks. they should have brought the rest of their band perhaps.

lily allen - her voice was stronger than i though it would be. and that's where the good stuff ends. she looked like she was going thru the motions at the end of a long tour. she was missing most of her band and they kept inserting these silly laptop-produced noises into the show which i think were supposed to be kitschy but ended up sounding dumb. not bad, but i had high hopes that were not met.

the shins - i had little hope for a good finale and they met my low expectation. better than travis, but i will not be able to place which body part closed out the show 2 weeks from now. forgive me if i accidentally call them "the toes" or "the kneecaps" or something.

Monday, April 09, 2007

made it into stuff magazine. with all my clothes on.

thank god, eh? :-) i had an interesting interview with the guys at stuff while briefing them on our latest threat report, check out the link below for the details. i normally don't post this type of thing but since it's written for the mainstream (and humor) thought i'd post on it:
Your Life Is Worth $18 on the Internet

Friday, April 06, 2007

if it's thursday, it must be seattle

i never realized how much i'm on the road until i started blogging. another week, another city. this time it's lovely seattle who rolled out some fine weather for me, allowing for a couple runs down by the water. stayed in the ultra-fab "hotel 1000" since i was doing a speaking gig for the much better funded marketing group. even scored myself dinner at wild ginger in seattle, one of my fave restaurants on the planet, hands-down.

this was a quick trip so no real observations or anecdotes to share on seattle, but a photo of groovy bud's jazz records.

keith richards revealed that he honored his dead father by adding his cremated ashes to a pile of blow and snorting him along with the cocaine. hmmmm... the midwestern side of me reacts in abject horror at the sheer disrepect of stuffing dad up yer nose on a coke binge. on the other hand, people have requested all sorts of weird crap be done with their remains, from being turned into diamond jewelry for your kids to wear to a dinner party to having your body frozen like a tv dinner (dadsicle, anyone?) in case some future generation develops a cure for whatever malaise is about to do you in.

speaking of coke, i've finally finished watching "city of god", fantastic film if you have not caught it already about the brazilian favelas. brilliant. i also finished "american gods" by neil gaiman recently, which is some of the best sci fi i've read in a long time. dark, clever epic about what happens to the left-behind gods that were once deified inside a country.

lastly, a couple of new studies that indicate eating smart and working out are the key to disease prevention, especially cancer. same old story, but always good to hear that we are empowered to fight some of the nastiest diseases out there simply by what we load onto our forks.
"There are over 100 clinical studies linking increased body mass index (BMI) with a variety of different cancers," says Grotto. Adds Doyle: "There is an incredible association between being overweight and cancer, especially breast cancer among postmenopausal women, and colon cancer."
With nearly two-thirds of Americans overweight -- including 30% who are obese -- the problem is serious. What makes it worse is that most Americans are unaware of the link. Doyle estimates that only 1% of the population knows about the association between overweight and cancer risk.

Monday, April 02, 2007

current playlist

pistolero, "hang em' high" version - juno reactor remixed by fluke - EP
hang tough - fluke - puppy
cherry go round - bibio - hand cranked
longtime - salmonella dub - one drop east
baba o'riley - the who remixed by ils - EP
at least it was - emiliana torrini - fisherman's wife
lucky - easy star allstars - radiodread
dj perferico - dj periferico - city of god remixed
woman - wolfmother - wolfmother
is it any wonder tall paul remix - keane, tall paul - EP

welcome to april grab bag

did you catch the google april fool's day joke? rich stuff. in a time when the world is a little less corporate given blogs and user-generated content, google is still a step or 2 ahead of the rest of the pack:
Google's Free Wifi Service

apple and emi announced that they will be releasing DRM-free music via iTunes today at a higher bit-rate... at the price of $1.29 a pop. so now we can pay more to get what we should have had in the first place? not sure i'm impressed but it's a babystep in the right direction. and what a coup for jobs!!! he deftly maneuvered against antitrust concerns by opening up the format for play elsewhere *and* recovered more margin per song while seeming to get a reaction from his previous letter to the music biz. freakin' genius move on his part...

congrats to young and jackie on a beautiful wedding this past saturday eve, coupla shots below.