Happy Mother’s Day all you mommy’s out there. Last night Ronee and I stopped by Chain Reaction where Die Radio Die, Counterfit, Acceptance and Noise Ratchet were playing. I just did not feel at all like being at a show. Jon (booking guy) showed me his new Vespa which was exciting for me. I have always wanted a Vespa and his is really nice. He did a custom paint job and chrome kit on it. Sweet. Then after the show we caught the late showing of X Men 2. It was pretty good. There were some great fight scenes. It was too long. Or maybe it felt that way because we already had a long day and it didn’t start until after 11pm. Either way…it was just ok. I’m reading this book called “Hit Men”. It’s an awesome book that is giving me even more disdain for the major label music business than I already had. Why would you want to work with or for people who don’t even care about the music they ar epromoting. Some of these (a lot!) high executive posts at big labels are held by guys who come from telephone companies, are lawyers or don’t even like rock music. Dumb. Anyway, it’s an outsanding and fascinating book. I’m just rocking out to some Jawbox and trying to get some work done. Have a great day everybody.
Someone e-mailed me that they miss my blogs. Well, isn’t that nice! So much has been going on and I haven’t had much time. Yesterday I drove to Santa Barbara to meet Mike and Steve from Lobster Records (Yellow Card, Over It, Staring Back, Mock Orange). Really nice guys. Santa Barbara is beautiful. I can remember camping not far from there with my family as a youngster. I stopped by the ocean and just stood on the beach for a bit and took it all in. I LOVE the ocean. And it’s a good thing, because soon I will be living right next to the Atlantic one. Yes, that’s right. Our slumlord has decided to sell the house as soon as our lease runs out at the end of next month. So…my plan to stay here until Ronee graduates in December ain’t happening. Oh well. It happens. So on June 23rd I will load up the moving truck once again…feels like I just did it yesterday…and head to Wildwood, New Jersey. This will be my new home for at least the remainder of 2003 and maybe longer. I will fly back to California in December to see Ronee graduate and help her move back as well. I’m going to be living in south Jersey about 5 blocks from the beach. That will be amazing. The closest place to go to shows will be Philadelphia so if you live there maybe we’ll see each other. ha A week or so ago Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, Dischord, etc.) did a Q&A at The Glasshouse club in Pomona. Only $3 to get in and about 60 people there. Amazing. He just stood there and answered questions for almost 3 hours. He told all sorts of great stories. Like one about when he and Henry Rollins were 11 years old shooting BB guns in Henry’s basement. And another about his first punk show, The Cramps. Another about a time when he got really, really sick and nearly died. I asked him what books or movies he likes. He did not say much about movies. Just that he had seen one recently, an indie film. And he said that Kurt Vonnegut was his favorite author and that he also liked CS Lewis. Many do not know this, but Ian’s Dad is a Christian and writes for a Seminary Newsletter and once wrote the religion column for a DC area newspaper. I once e-mailed his Dad and he wrote me back saying he was indeed his Dad and that he was very proud of his son. I think that it is obvious with all the positive and creative things Ian has done in his life that his family was a huge support to him. He said that when he told his parents that he was not going to college they supported him all the way. I thought that was really cool. So often people are harmed by their families. Anyway, that was 3 of the best dollars I ever spent. I’ve seen Ian and Henry speaking this year and it’s just barely half over. And now that I’m moving to Jersey I’m one step closer to one of my life goals…seeing Fugazi perform at their annual free concert in Washington DC. I must go. I’ve been on a record buying and book buying/reading frenzy lately. I just finished Rollins “Smile, You’re Traveling”. I enjoyed some of the stories in there a lot. And there was some very revealing and open things in there that were surprising. But the whole “I am alone. I like to be alone. I’m better off alone.” motif really started to wear on me after a while. I get it Henry, you don’t like people. He also talked pretty openly about struggling with depression. Anyway, pretty good. Not my favorite, but an ok read. I also finished “How To Be Good” by British Author Nick Hornby. Nick’s books “High Fidelity” and “About A Boy” were both made into excellent films. I really enjoyed this book! I wrote about it in my last post, so enough of that. What I ordered this week in the book department is especially exciting. My new favorite author, Eric Schlosser, who wrote “Fast Food Nation” had a new book just come out called “Reefer Madness”. I cannot wait to read that one. He was an investigative journalist for Atlantic Monthly and “Fast Food Nation” was his first book. You need to read that book if you haven’t. He is also working on a book about the Prison Industrial Complex. That one will be more of a coffee table book with a lot of pictures and then writing along with it. He already did a rather lengthy article in The Atlantic about it. Really great work. In a recent interview he recommended an author who had written a book called “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing”. It’s by a guy called Ted Conover. He secretly got a job for a year as a prison guard and wrote the book! Unbelievable! Now that’s really laying it down for your job. I think I read that he did another similar book about people who are homeless who ride on trains. He did the same thing. Rode all over the country with them. Anyway, I’ll let you know what I think of these two books when I get done with them. After Ian’s suggestion I also picked up “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut. When am I going to read all these? As far as music…I’ve been catching up on the music of my youth along with some new stuff. Mostly punk rock. Today at Sounds Like Music in Riverside (was there for a Mae in-store…the band never showed up). I picked up Bad Brains “Bad Brains”, One Last Wish “1986″ (pre Fugazi), 7 Seconds “The Crew”, Die Hard Youth “Without The Kids We Would Be Dead”, The 4-Skins “The Good, The Bad & The 4-Skins”and This Is Mod Volume 4 Compilation. Yesterday on my way back from Santa Barbara I stopped at Salzer’s and picked up The Flipsides “Clever One”, Discount “Half Fiction” and the Solea (Ex. Knapsack, Texas Is The Reason, Samiam) EP. I was dissapointed with all 3 of these purchases. Especially Solea. Not into it at all. Bummer. I also picked up (when I got the Vonnegut book) NOFX “The War On Errorism” which I enjoyed. It’s the first NOFX CD I have ever bought, even though I have seen them live a couple of times and heard the other records. Good funny/political punk rock. And finally the kind folks at Lobster blessed me with CD’s by Staring Back, Whippersnapper, Mock Orange and A Small Victory. My favorite of those was Staring Back. Strong for what it is. Whew. I also got (by recommendation of Chris Estey) a movie called “The Believer” about a Jewish guy who is a Neo Nazi. Supposed to be an amazing film. I can’t wait to watch it when I have a moment to breathe. Tonight I’m going to some spring banquet after party at Cal State Fullerton that one of my roommates is putting on. At least Ronee will be there. I guess they have bowling and billiards and whatnot. Might not be too bad. The other day I upgraded my laptop memory and then dropped it off to get a bigger hard drive. While they were installing it I went to the movies and caught “Phone Booth”. I know that a lot of people might think it’s cheezy or be turned off from the trailer (like my girlfriend was) but I really enjoyed it. I thought it was great. Good suspense / thriller with a message. I’m looking forward to Matrix 2. My best friends from Seattle Jim and Erika will be here this weekend and coming week with their son Thelonius and new baby girl Ione. I can’t wait to see them! One exciting development of late for me was this…Slow Coming Day (Tooth & Nail) whom I manage was featured on the main page of mp3.com. They subsequently went to #1 on the overall Top 40 chart on the site beating out HUGE artists like Madonna, Beastie Boys, Lenny Kravitz, etc. Pretty amazing. They are still in the Top 10. They have over 200,000 plays. For any of you who download music or get on mp3.com from time to time you will know what a big deal this is. Anyway, I’m happy for them. I’ve been working like crazy to book their summer tour…their first US outing. Should be good. The day their CD came out they played at the Virgin Megastore (where two of them used to work!) in Costa Mesa. Over 70 people came out and they sold 40 some CD’s. Pretty cool. Anyway, it’s nice to see things going well for these kids. Good people. I hope I’ve done ok at catching you all up. I’m still amazed that so many of you come by and check out my website and keep up on what I’m doing. It’s very humbling. So, th
anks. One last thing! My “label” Urban Achiever is putting out 2 new releases this summer in July. Evelyn Hope’s (New Jersey) debut self-titled 5 song EP and Movies With Heroes “Years” (Anthology) CD. I am really excited to be releasing these records. If you have a few spare bucks and you want to support some good music go check out the website…Urban Achiever Records. Have a great weekend everybody! Love, Me