Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On Top Of Things -- Paris, France -- NOT -- Paris, Texas

Since I've been leading a 'boring' life lately (actually sick as a dog and sandman isn't around), and I can't ghalavand around all over the place, it's time for diggin' up bones. With the advent of the Sigur Ros (amazing band from Iceland (A post about 'Ring Road' to come soon)), coming to ATX in February, I have to recollect a time or two in Paris.

First off, Manuelabor and I learned how to 'cheat' the subway system, as us green behind the ears small town boys couldn't seem to get any help with figuring things out. We walked around forever, one of those cities where you go with a girlfriend, and not dude friends. 1,000's of romantic places to kiss, pffft!

Well there she is, the Majestic Eiffel Tower, or what it looks like from the middle level. The streets, can't recall the French name, but are wide, Napoleon built them that way so tanks could drive thru them. Some of my 'right wing nut job' friends say Napoleon was the last French person to ever have any 'balls.'

While there we saw the Radiohead 'Under the Big Top' KID A tour. A magical moment when 10,000 French people are singing Fake Plastic Trees in English. A tent for a venue, you have to be swingin a big one to pull something like that off. I sure wish I could find more information about it, but the facts about this tent were astounding. Here's an excerpt from the BBC about it.

"--Radiohead are taking their own venue on tour. They'll be playing European and UK gigs in a 10,000 person capacity tent starting in September. It means the band can avoid playing sponsored arenas. They also say there'll be a better sound with more control over their acoustics.--"

Here's one of the most charmed pictures I've taken in my life. Yea, It doesn't look like much, but man does it ever stir some feeling. Since I bought the 500 Frank (which was 2 days rations) Radiohead hoodie, Manuelabor and I had to eat some crummy food the rest of our stay in Paris.

First time ever I heard 'Paranoid Android' was live, as KID A came out while we were at our stint in lower Europe, and I was like, INCREADIBLE, is this for real?

Immerse your soul in love -- Street Spirit, Radiohead

Monday, November 28, 2005

America The Book -- Report

Occasionally I stick my head out there to see what's going on in the political arena, and America the Book was a good way to get my good ol shot of politics in there. Being a satire on American Politics written by the people at Comedy Central, it speaks in generalities and cliches that captivate the average human attention span of 30 seconds, and gives people a grim outlook on the political arena, and sorta just stops right there, no hope for us I guess. A good read for those who find what Americans do 'silly'.

With that being said, I'm just going to ignore the country western song that says talk about anything but politics, religion and her and rant a bit about the 'P' word. How funny it is in this day and time to be classified as either a right wing nutjob or a liberal wiener. The extremely limited 'wiggle room' we have in today's paradigm, as people are judged on what side of the crayon box you are on, to the extent that you discredit half of the country's opinion based on party platforms.

The 90% incumbency rate of congress does show that freedom at this day and age is an illusion, and power, weather that be in the hands of free enterprise or big brother, or both, means corruption. We as humans strive for a Utopian society, but our meager human brains can't handle that (Just ask Adam and Eve, or Neo from The Matrix), so we have the push pull battle known as 'liberal vs. conservative' politics, and everyone seems to want to throw their two cents in on it, including myself.

Personally I vote on the character of the person running for the perspective office, and his capacity to get 'good' things done. Yea, I do think Clinton was a good man, and yea, I think Jesus would have slapped the sh*t out of GW Bush. However I consider myself middle of the road, slightly liberal, and I see something that transcends the political arena, and that is the integrity of the individual.

Puff Daddy gets most of it right when he said "It's All About the Benjamin's."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Whole World is our Playground, Take the Night by the Hand, And set it on Fire Again

Babyshambles have invaded Shiner, in the CD player in my car at least. O how would the blokes from the England be proud of the representation. Perhaps the only dude spinning that within a 100 mile radius of Moulton. Talk about a serious wet dream, if the band themselves would play the Ole Moulton Bank.

No Babyshambles on the evening, but a healthy dose of Bill Pekar was on the slate. On the evening Ashley and the C-Dog seemed to have the beast, I mean best time. Once a Scottish gal told Casey he danced like a wildebeest, well you be the judge in this clip, my vote is YES! I especially like the "Hippies Use Side Door" sign on the stage.

Then there's Mr Big muscles Nate, or Mr Tattoo, who recently immortalized the old school Shiner Beer logo on his leg. All I can say is hmmmmm. We vowed to run the course of the night at the Shimek Residence, which we did, playing obscure tunes for the Shiner locals. Luckily we stashed all the tunes about Nate's exes for the evening.

A special guest appearance by Brandon and Brandy, merited a trip to the tennis courts! Brandon and I vow, if we are ever rich, to give a ton of money to the SHS Tennis Program, calling it the 'Rivera Bruns Tennis Center' or something like that. Once a playback away from the state finals, damn those Mason Cowpunchers. We are going to see the Transiberian Orchestra later this month to ring in the holiday season.

Finally there is Coach C-Dog. Throughout the match, I would say, C-Dog, it's 4th and 1, what do I do?!?! He would just say "Make It Happen", "Focus", "Go the Distance", "Suck it Up", and motivational banter like this. Thank the heavens he shaved the stash!

Lots of pictures of me, man I don't like that. I'm not going to post another picture of me for ooo, about at least 10 days --- I'm surprised my camera hasn't broke yet -- WHEW!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cigarettes, Jack Daniels and Michelle, ma belle

Ahhh, Thanksgiving in rural Texas, a time when all your big city friends congregate in the small town and go to some crummy bar. It was a pleasure seeing John, my cousin who recently moved to Amarillo. Supposedly it gets as cold there as it does in North Dakota.

So we loaded up the car and hit the local karaoke bars, singing Beatles tunes that went unappreciated as always in the land of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

I ran into Jill, Jenny's niece (even though Jill is older), funny I have that same sorta stuff happen in my family. I have a few older than me nieces and nephews. That's a horrible smile i tell you!

Bad music, bad bar, bad drinks, bad hangover, but good times catching up with people I haven't seen in ages.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Semper Fi(delis) - Jarhead

Proud Parent of a U.S. Marine, some underground sh*t I snagged at Amoebia, is a mildly disturbing collection of beats and propaganda that compelled me to go see the movie Jarhead.

The movie was as I expected, seeing some gung ho dudes trained to kill get all pissed because the airforce was getting all the 'action.' Crazy things happen during war times, the players at home and away, and the movie articulates that pretty well.

As the main guy in the movie says, I lost my way trying to go to college, and found myself in the marines. Mental note, never join the marines. haha

Come One Come All Gather Round, Cause We're All Gonna Party Down

*) -- Outdoor Activities -- The family tradition of football and geeking continues, this year with an 'official NFL' football, a city backdrop, and the same clothes Robert wore on the town the night before.

This round's wrestling match goes to my brother in law, as he has found a vulnerable spot where I'm extremely sensitive, no not them either.

*) -- Indoor Activities -- The family is captivated with the circle thinks that you can iron and stick together and make cheesy ornaments. All sorts of creative stuff was made by the youngins.

So, Uncle Fester gets in there and gives his best attempt at making a mushroom using a horse template, which I found challanging. Sista Debra was all happy sportin' her butterfly. The cheesecake and gravy gave me that extra chin, I usually don't have that! ;-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Turducken and Thanksgiving

The pilgrims and the Indians made peace, the Indians taught the white man to plant fish next to corn and corn would grow better! Nevermind that whole blasting the hell out of them into virtual oblivion then honoring them on the dollar coin that didn't take off, 'Americanizing them', and creating alcoholics. Tis the time to celebrate and feast!

As Rolando pulls into town today and we head to VTown and Shinertown for a spell, the ritual continues, TRYING to find someone who cooks a damn Turducken, because I've never had it, and I've wanted to for the last 25,000 years. Hell if I could cook I'd make one myself. Until I make the invite list to my co-worker / kinda boss lawyer friend at DPS, looks like dry turkey is in order. I'm already gearing up to gain 15 pounds over the break.

Not to mention my aging bones playing football with my 'in prime' nephews. Hopefully this year I won't f*ck my back up while I destroy my nephews at El Futbol Americano.

While actual turkey is in Austin at my sister Jeannie's place, a lot of time in Shiner is in order hanging out with the family, killing the local high school kids in tennis, catching up with 'stuff', and I'm sure a cocktail or two and some divebars is in order.

"The funny thing about Thanksgiving, or any huge meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it and then chopping and cooking and braising and blanching. Then it takes 20 minutes to eat it and everybody sort of sits around in a food coma, and then it takes four hours to clean it up."-- Ted Allen

"It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it."-- Alistair Cooke

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Ben Folds -- Bass Concert Hall -- Austin, Texas

My My My, there's nothing better for the soul than a loving handful of Ben Folds for the weekend. For people who are in tune with him, we share an amazing bond.

With that being said, The city where I call home is in tune with this musical brilliance. It's amazing the difference a city makes. Last night's performance in Grand Prairie was good, but not nearly the caliber of the performance tonight at Bass. It's sorta like when you are on the porch singing with your roommate, you can be sloppy and not give a damn how you sound, because you aren't out to impress anyone, but when the girl you are interested in comes over, immediately the caliber of your performance goes up, because you want to impress that person. Same here, Ben knew he was walking into a 'music town', as he said, and a paraphrase, "Thank God we landed in this town for the last stop on the tour, usually we play some shithole in the middle of nowhere, and it's always a pleasure to play to you guys." He even sited that his version of 'Bitches Ain't Shit' aired on Austin City Limits, a song which wouldn't get any sort of consideration on a different station.

The guy is just so damn smart, he doesn't have blinders for anything, and he stands hard on principles. As the show went on, he gets the crowd to participate in singing, which sounds fantastic with the acoustics in Bass. Here he conducts the crowd in 'Not the Same' a small clip in which you can hear the crowd sing, and another small clip of the crowd participation in 'Army', both brilliant tunes, and the commentary on the evening was sincere and heartfelt.

Considering the shizer tricked us and came out playing a sloppy 'radio version' of Jesusland, sounding all like shit, he says 'Thank you Houston' and walks off the stage. The crowd does not applaud, he says we passed the IQ test with the highest results, saying we should just the right amount of disgust in our reaction.

Pulling out old school numbers such as Kiss My Ass, Narcolepsy, and One Down, 3.6 to Go, in which he explains about a shitty record deal he was involved in, was a delight for the seasoned Ben Folds veterans in the audience. And of course he played Bitches Ain't Shit, the Dre cover. He recalls liking The Chronic, the album that beat out Nigel Godrich, the master English producer of great albums such as OK Computer, The Man Who, numerous divine comedy albums, and of course the latest Sir Paul McCartney album, the first one in a coons-age that doesn't suck. He also explained his mom didn't like the original version of the song, but likes it with the nice sounding chords, and Ben's Rendition. Here's the English drummer singing backup, sounds funny with the accent. All You Can Eat was played to as a hit on the fat americans, but yea yea yea, we know who we are, and we're working on it. Fabulous tune! Also, 'Late' the tribute to Elliot Smith was played, and in the introduction of a song, the crowd was so quiet, I could have heard someone fart 10 rows up.

Why I like Ben Folds in a sentence or less, or more. Ben Folds is the epitome of what I want to be in terms of human understanding and exposure. He's had a hellafied life of mishaps, hardships and heartbreaks, and comes out clean and happy on the other side, with a wife and kids to boot. From the old school days when 'misery thrilled him much more', and he 'can't wait till the future gets here', to the current badass he is today, he is a self actualized human being and a pillar of inspiration for me. Forget being like Mike, I want to be like Ben.

Here's the setlist, and I want to grab some sentiments out of each song that help me understand not only that that we all have hard lives and obstacles we have to overcome, but also provide strength and wisdom thru the words, or just plain ass funny or ironic situations.

1. Jesusland (radio edit) 2. Bastard 3. Gone 4. Annie Waits 5. Can't Be Trusted 6. Jesusland 7. All You Can Eat 8. Good Morning Son 9. You to Thank 10. Alone (>?) 11. Landed 12. Bitches Ain't Shit 13. Lullaby 14. Fred Jones Pt 2 15. 3.6 16. Brick 17. Army 18. The Ascent of Stan 19. Rockin' the Suburbs 20. Where's Summers Be 21. Late 22. Narcolepsy 23. Philosophy 24. Not the Same 25. Kiss My Ass

Bastard -- Kids today gettin' old too fast -- they can't wait to grow up so they can kiss some ass
Annie Waits -- Friday bingo, Pigeons in the Park
Rockin' the Suburbs (sentiments on pulling up to the stoplight with a mean black dude beside him)-- In a haze these days I pull up to the stoplight I can feel that something’s not right I can feel that someone’s blasting me With hate and bass Sending dirty vibes my way Cause my great great great great grandad Made someone’s great great great great grandaddy slaves -- It wasn’t my ideaIt wasn’t my idea, It never was my idea, I just drove to the store, For some preparation h (ouch!)
Man I could go on forever, but blogger has a 10 gazillion word limit to a posting, and the average human attention span is 30 seconds, so shit, I'm over and out!

Funneist moment of the night was when The Fray, the dawson's creek sounding posers, I mean openers said they ate at Taco Deli, and said it was the best mexican food they've ever had in their life! bhahahaahaha!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Ben Folds - Grand Prairie / DFW

Since I'm going to see Ben tomorrow in Austin, I'll save all the sentimental jargon for the post tomorrow. Tonight the stage is set, the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie. Grand Prairie, where the hell is that? This place, from what I understand, replaces the 'Bronco Bowl', a place in which I have fond memories, with a squeaky clean corporate depiction of 'what people like.'

On to the show, amazing seats thanks to the lovely Laura, about 10 rows back. Here's a shot of Ben 'directing' the crowd, as the little angry dwarf stands on his piano.

Mike P.....what can I say about this guy. He's recently got attention from Newsweek Magazine for his work with Lifehacker, 'the hackin'ist crackin'ist guy' I know. Watch this amazingly funny video about what Mike P thinks about Coors Light, the #1 redneck beer in America, and of course, telling by the picture, he loves Ben Folds.

Next picture, one would ask, why do you have a picture of Manuelabor's ass on your blog. I want to serve the loyal readers of the blog, and Jenny's friend thinks Manuelabor is cute, so with the express written consent of Manuel, and his fiery irish girl Lacy, his ass now appears on my blog.

An afternoon with the legendary John Baird was in order too, playing classic country, which seems to be the new 'cool' thing in Ft Worth. John is an awesome dude, owner of Creative Fuel, a full service graphics company with clients that range from Kid Rock to Eddie Money, and most of the DFW 'gentlemans clubs'.

Just look at Mr Confederate war hero hat --

Tomorrow's post will be all about Ben Folds, his performance, evaluation of the two shows, etc. Until then just check out Mike P and Manuelabor.

The Setlist for the Evening was as follows (for the geek at heart):

1. Gone 2. Can't Be Trusted 3. Cooler Than You 4. Bastard 5. Jesusland 6. Jesusland 'Radio Cut' 7. Freebird 8. God Morning Son 9. You To Thank 10. Annie Waits 11. Landed 12. Bitches Ain't Shit 13. Fred Jones 14. Evaporated 15. Emaline 16. 3.6 17. Brick 18. Army 19. The Ascent of Stan 20. Zac and Sara 21. Rockin' The Suburbs 22. Not the Same 23. Philospohy 24. Narcolopsy 25. Kiss My Ass

Friday, November 18, 2005

Shiner Comanches / Seguin -- Playoffs

Glory Days, yea, they'll pass you by, as you are left with bittersweet memories, albeit more bitter than sweet. Tonight we watched the Shiner Comanches, defending State Champions beat the hell out of The Charlotte Trojans (hell of a mascot I think). The final score was 20-7, as the Comanches advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Just look at those studs lined up for battle over the pigskin. Just lovely.

Being out there on the brisk November Friday, reminds me of the glory days of being 'punt return guy', where your linemen would block for about 2 seconds, and turn around and look at you while you are trying to catch this ball while 11 meatheads are running down the field smelling blood, while Lyndon Lee and I are back there going, "catch it, no you catch it, catch, no you." Needless to say I did have snot bubbles a few times and many times I'd get smacked so hard I was looking out the ear hole.

More exciting stuff was the SHS Band, who recently scored a 1 in the State UIL contest, which is great stuff. For a while I held first chair trumpet, but the peer pressures of football got the best of me, and I decided to play so I could be 'cool'.

Check out the absolutely wicked version of Crazy Train the band performed. YIPPIE! Don't get me started on how I love marching bands, especially the ones in the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, and the movie Drumline is amazing!

And then here's my lovely mother and I. It's amazing how I could have came from something that beautiful! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I look forward to spending a lot of long overdue quality time with my family.

It's nice getting in the car and driving, I totally forgot how great Cake's Motorcade of Generosity is.

you need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut.
you need to pull back your shoulders and tighten your butt.
yeah, come Comanche, Comanche, Comanche, commode.
if you want to have cities, you've got to build roads. --Cake, Comanche

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Frito Pie and Music

If you think The Texas Chili Parlor has some badass chili, we'll you haven't had Ronster's blend. My 'Yankee' friends scoff at the idea of chili with Frito's, saying they like chili and they like Frito's, but not together. Opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one, and I love eating Frito pie, especially when it IS 'chilly' outside, and the yearly tradition grubbin' at the McCain residence is a splendid one.

As we scarf down pie and root beer floats and play fetch with Ricky, the new kitty the stork delivered to the Alissa, we listen the music of Porcupine Tree, a hybrid of what the 'death metal queen' likes and I like.

Always nice to visit with Alissa and Ronster, a couple that makes me comfortable to think that one of these days domestication will creep up on me, and I can possibly live a happy funky badass eclectic life like them.

This weekend is my weekend relive the 'glory days' of SHS Football with a trip to see the Alma mater play in Seguin, AND to salivate not only my pillows, but also about Ben Folds, first in Dallas Saturday at the Nokia Center, and Sunday at Bass Concert Hall ATX. I have an extra ticket for Dallas show, since my internet girlfriend is in Fiji doing a photo shoot. So, if there are any takers, let me know. Sorry for missing your birthday party Nate-Dogg.

Random Quotations:

"Gotta get on the microphone down at wallmart
Talk about some shit that's been on my mind
Talk about the state of this great of this nation of ours
Poeple look to your left, yeah look to your right" -- Ben Folds

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." --Joe Theismann

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This Dog's A Lion

The opening opening opening band at Austin's Ruta Maya Coffee House was great, probably would be the 'hometown favorites' in a state such as Kansas or Nebraska, but for Austin, a spatter of applause is all they get.

The lead guitar of the next band reminded me of Ula, from 50 First Dates, which is a pretty funny / 'right on' movie as the hipsters in San Fran would say. Funniest scene in the movie is when he gets the sh*t beat out of him by Lucy with a bat. Anyway that reminded me of the song 'Forgetful Lucy'. I'm not a wordsmith, I sometimes write songs along these lines, funny and fun and of course sentimental, and most definitely sounding like crap. Appendix A has the lyrics.

Other notes:

Sony and the Rootkit Malware, here's how to protect

Google's customizable homepage, brings you a pretty customizable digital dashboard for the web, I especially like the 'quote of the day' zone --

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Appendix A:

Forgetful Lucy Lyrics

The Hukilau was the place
Where I first saw your face
We liked each other right away
But you didn't remember me the very next day
Forgetful Lucy
Has got a nice caboosey

I used to trick you into pulling your car over so we could chat
But my favorite time was when you beat the shit out of Ula with a bat
Then we drove up to see Dr. Keats
And found out why Doug always has to change his sheets
Forgetful Lucy
Cracked her head like Gary Busey

But I still love her so
And I'll never let her go
Even if while I'm singing this song
She's wishing I had Jocko the walrus' schlong
Forgetful Lucy
Her lips are so damn juicy

How about another first kiss

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Tale from the Edge of Western Civilization - The People, The Places

Time: Thursday Nov 10th - Nov 14, The People: Mike Diz, Jenny, Rolando, and Mr. I can't get a nickname to stick. Places: Los Angeles, Solvang, Morro Bay, San Francisco. The last few days are hard to catalogue, but I'll give it a shot. For the sake of organization and blog friendly searches, there will be multiple posts based on the insanity of the last few days.

Detailed commentary on A Trip Thru the Wine Country Sideways Style, A Trip Down the Pacific Coast Highway, Brendan Benson at Slim's San Francisco, My Morning Jacket at The Fillmore San Francisco, The De Young Museum, Random San Franciso Antics, my philosophical / sociological undertones of what I thought of the trip (coming soon), can be found at their respective postings.

As the Beatle crawls north, the trip is approximately 440 miles, with a stop overnight in Morro Bay. Notice the trusty car, a cheapo GPS unit that integrates nicely with MS Mappoint.

Mr. Hat too small for my head is the co-pilot / author of the blog. A nice picture taken actually on the way back from LA with a hat 'borrowed' from a chick at the My Morning Jacket show and forgot to return.

Then you have Ponch, I mean Roland, in his stolen Volvo providing the wheels that spun us up the coast.

Rolando and Big Head, with the master plan, taken in Cha Cha Cha , a smokin' Tapas Bar on Haight Street San Francisco.

Then there's the silly rabbit, Jenny and Rolando, who you can't really tell where his real hair ends and the fake hair begins.

Finally we have Mike D, kickin' it, being cold as hell right by San Francisco Bay. As per conversations with 'the locals', the 'hippies' supposedly live over the hills across the bridge.

Of course Roland and I had to represent for the Texas State Bobcats at GGB 2005! How did we get here, what did we do, stay tuned and we'll attempt to weave you a tale of delight.

More on random antics from San Francisco, A trip to the De Young Museum and Japanese Garden, and my sentiments of the trip to come tomorrow, check the blog going back, for now I'm out of go go juice, and I want to try to keep my posts juicy.

California is a queer place--in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific. It is absolutely selfish, very empty, but not false, and at least, not full of false effort...It's sort of crazy-sensible. - D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Random San Francisco Antics

Every random group of people around the planet have a story or two to tell when they go on a road trip, and everyone always tries to one up the stories. Well we had a marvelous trip, certainly can't be summed up into words, but here's some tidbits, certainly funny to the attendees, and perhaps a random visitor from Namibia or something.

Man do I love self-degrading pictures, well this one takes the cake. Look at that sexy tan and bald head (bearing a striking resemblance to the Scarecrow on Wizard of Oz), this was the typical morning ritual. It's no wonder the California hotties were all over me! hahaha

No trip to San Francisco could be complete without going to the original Amoeba, what Rolling Stone says is the best record store on the planet, and they will get no objections from me!

The Chinatown, for words I'm at a loss, but the best Hunan style Chinese to ever touch my mouth was ate at this place, the House of Nanking. Jenny was sure to remind me that I ate more than my share of shrimp and dumplings, but I couldn't help it, I was shoveling that shit in at warp speed pace.

A trip to California would not be complete without a trip to In-n-Out Burgers, California's equivalent to McDonald's, but much better. They only have 4 combos on the menu, extremely quick service. Fat boy got the 'double-double combo.' Just look at those fries!

I have countless pictures from Haight / Ashbury and beautiful murals that seemed to be on every building, but I'll spare you the misery of looking at pictures of shit painted on walls, simply lost in translation.

Jenny, Mike D, Rolando, If I ever rule the world I'm putting y'all in some high positions, and buying y'all Red Corvettes, and the mansion of your choice! Thanks for being great travel buddies and putting up with my somewhat constant quirky behavior.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

De Young Museum - San Francisco

We hailed a cabby, asked where the place where all the 'right on' hip culture would go in San Francisco, and he said The De Young Museum. I suppose I am hyper-critical about my lack of knowledge on art, but I suppose I've been to quite a few cool ones.

For what I lack in knowledge, I had to opportunity to speak with an art professor at Berkley while checking out the place, and he had choice comments about the place. Saying things like 'the dweeb who was the architect of this building didn't know sh*t, San Francisco should have rejected it for the third time, etc, etc. I learned a lot about lighting and 'space' and things like that, which was interesting.

My opinion the building looks fine resting in Golden Gate Park, right next to a Japanese Tea Garden and a Shakespeare themed theatre.

The outside, climate, sunset, atmosphere, classical guitar player playing Classical Gas, reminded me of times hanging out at in Plaza Espana in Barcelona. The Prado is a beast by the way.

I like paintings and stuff, it's all good, but I like the other 'stuff' better. Here's some pathetic attempts of interpretation of art.

This right here, a hovering array of random pictures, sat there and looked at it for like 10 minutes and couldn't find a repeating pattern. I suppose what came to mind was The Shins lyric, 'There's no design No Flaws to Find.' Something existential, maybe there is no God, and the chaos on the screen is life, nothing you can do but sit there and look at it, as it's hard to fathom someone who can control it? OK, maybe not, maybe it's just a bunch of random pictures with an Mac running a simple random algorithm.

Next set of noteworthy art was these shiny orbs. They reminded me of that movie Phantasm I saw when I was a kid, about that spinning ball that would kill people.

Last but not least, an entire room dedicated to the instrument you are sitting your keister on right now. The had some chairs from all ages and empires. If I were an alien from another planet, this lack of conformity on such a rudimentary level would baffle me.

The tea garden nearby was a comfortable and relaxing placing to put our bones up for spell. It must have been German day at the garden, as lots of German tourists were paying homage to this statue.

Too much to see and absorb in a day, luckily by virtue of being sneaky and being late in the day, the 15 dollar cover was waived. A definite must see if you are in the area, as it only opened a month ago.

My Morning Jacket at The Fillmore San Francisco

Literally the crowd was filled with fairies, as My Morning Jacket appears to be taping a DVD for the back to back sold out performances at the legendary Fillmore. The band was in pure form.

Being a Texan that's pretty well versed in music, and has seen his share of shows, I can honestly say the Fillmore is the most amazing live music venue BY FAR that I've had the pleasure of visiting.

I don't know if the stage is this way all the time, but the mock trees in the background and the amazing light show made for stunning visuals. Check out the video's amazing lights, words nor pictures nor the video can describe.

The open Saul Williams was equally on fire, although an odd pairing for the evening. An intense word poet with a somewhat mellow white boy group.

Even though the new album Z doesn't stack up to My Morning Jacket of old, the concert was amazing. I could be in awe watching Sandler fart on a snare drum at The Fillmore.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Brendan Benson at Slim's San Francisco

To compliment his first two extremely good albums, his latest work 'Alternative to Love' produced by Jack White, gives the Detroit boy the success he deserves. Although, he didn't get too much acclaim from the locals as he recalls the last time he was in San Francisco he said his shirt looked 'faggy.'

The lyrics are to the point but clever, in pure Emo style fashion. So pure that I camped out in the front row with the teenage girls, clinching my bladder half the show.

The organ / the lead guitar was dead on for the evening, harmonizing guitars that would make Tom Schulz of Boston proud.

I simply had to bust out the Canon S500 for some videos, which turned out amazing. Friends, watch these vids! I posted the mb size to them as well, so just be patient!

The opener opener was A Talking Heads DVD, which proved to be extremely entertaining. The opening band, The Heavenly States, a local band was amazing -- best way to describe is a mix hybrid of Greenday, The Cure and Flogging Molly rolled up into one intense singer (who plays guitar left handed AND strung upside down) and funky badass violin player.

The other band wasn't worth mentioning, can't remember who they were, just had a dominant asshole lead singer type, kinda insecure I would think, making his band follow in his shadows, even though they may be better than him.

An amazing night, Slims gets an A+! so does Brendan Benson.

A Trip Down the Pacific Coast Highway

For those of you who don't know the Pacific Coast Highway, it's a treacherous winding, hilly sinister road that follows the coastline all the way from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest. The combination of the elements left us in awe of nature and nauseous all at the same time.

As we pass thru Big Sur , I have to leave it to the poets to describe the feeling, in this case, California's own The Beach Boys, articulate it best. Where the kids can look for sea shells at low tide / Big Sur my astrology it says that I am made to be / Where the rugged mountain meets the water.

With all that sentimental mumbo jumbo aside, it is the land of breathtaking views, expensive gasoline, and many of hardcore cyclists. One of these days, I aspire to ride a Harley down this stretch.

Looking out at the vast peacefulness of the Pacific reminds you that mother nature father time are in control of things.

The twists and turns and the lingering Stella's in my belly made for a rough ride, as the trip up PCH from Morro Bay to San Francisco was about 4 hours. The GPS devices showed elevations ranging from 25 feet above sea level to almost 4,000 feet above sea level. That's pretty drastic.

We stopped frequently for fresh air, and here's my best attempt at being funny. Just don't look down, the seaweed and sea otters will eat me!

Take a gander at the 16 MB video of the twists and turns encountered along the way.

Nice drive, we couldn't stomach it on the way home, but well worth the extra mile on the way up. The soundtrack of the trip included Bredan Benson, My Morning Jacket, Billy Joel, The Beach Boys, Sublime, Dave Matthews for Rolando, and the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack.

Wind blowing in my hair
I feel like a millionaire
Radio is blasting strong
We're breaking out in song
Blazing trails both near and far
Park my car behind a star
Life is full of possibilities

--- In My Car -- The Beach Boys

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Trip Thru the Wine Country 'Sideways' Style

Racial profiling can take on multiple meanings based on the context of your situation. Take me for instance, a short Butch white boy wearing a Hanes beefy tee. Walking in to the wine tasting places in Solvang was pretty uncomfortable to say the least.

Honestly, I don't know anything about wine, I don't pretend to, but I'm open to learning (when I'm about 50). One day I'll make my own brew, so check the blog in about 20 years and you'll see my struggles.

In the meantime, for the non-pretentious, how bout a nice lager from a hot danish girl? After all, it is the danish capital of the USA.

A really nice bar, and the beer was Tuborg , an amazing danish beer I'm sure to have a time or two in the future.

A friendly barkeep recommend this place down the road in a 'quaint' part of town nestled in the basement of this building with a huge dragon. The poison was a local brew I'd never heard of, but definitely packed a punch.

Next stop, Morro Bay, an amazing romantic sleepy fisherman town with interesting local color to say the least. We really didn't know what this big hunk of rock was, so we just referred to it as 'The Poop Stone'. There were all kinds of squirrels crawling about.

Then here's where the magic happens, the Fuel Dock. For the first time in my life, a girl and a dude hit on me. The girl was neat and fun and shares my same calling prefix 772, too bad its 2,000 miles away. The dude said "You are so damn cute and funny", and I told him, "Ummm, never heard a compliment in this context, but, thanks?"

To round out the night, a bit of karaoke was in order. Jenny, Roland and I attempted 'Boyz in the Hood,' where we thought it was good, Mike D said we would have made Easy E turn over in his grave.

For the record, the movie wasn't the catalyst for the trip, but we did see some of those places. It goes on record as some of the most beautiful countryside I have and may ever see.
"Of course I don't always enjoy being a mother. At those times my husband and I hole up somewhere in the wine country, eat, drink, make mad love and pretend we were born sterile and raise poodles."
-- Dorothy DeBolt

"Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it."
-- Anonymous