Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kyle Burkhart, a photographer whose work was used extensively for Bauhaus' Near the Atmosphere tour, has started a new site. Loads of wonderful photos, memorabilia, and personal notes from the band. Check out his Bauhaus Shrine.

Be sure to read the About section of his site. Kyle has been friends with David J for quite some time, and when Kyle was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago, David was right there to support him as a friend and professional contact, and continues to do so.

Kyle is an amazing person, genuine and warm, and his story is really inspiring. His strength and positive outlook in the face of the worst possible prognosis has inspired someone close to me who is struggling through a cancer fight. I am very grateful to him for sharing something so personal, and I am honored to call him a friend.

Kyle, we're all looking forward to March 2008!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Today I was flipping through the new Phaidon book out about the architect and Keio University professor in Environmental Information, Shigeru Ban. If y'all have looked at my defunct Japan blog, usagi-kage, you know I am very suspicious of Japan's future in environmental stability. This is a country that routinely bulldozes its Edo period architecture to plop down cement blocks made to last 20 years that were commissioned from top Japanese architects. Bleh.

But this is why I stood up and took notice of Ban. He is at the forefront of the economic and environmental revolution. Ban is designing and constructing buildings out of recyclable cardboard. His buildings are entirely made of paper.

Lifted from Time's site:


There are a few ineluctable facts about buildings. They are expensive, time consuming and labor intensive to make. They are strongest if built from the sturdiest materials. Well, no, on all counts. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has built homes, pavilions and churches, some of them permanent, using little more than cardboard tubes. "I was interested in weak materials," says Ban, 42. "Whenever we invent a new material or new structural system, a new architecture comes out of it."

Ironically, Ban may be closer to the old modernist ideals than many who build today in glass and steel. He wants beauty to be attainable by the masses, even the poorest. Ban first began to use the tubes in the '80s, in exhibitions. Impressed by the material's load-bearing capacity (he calls cardboard "improved wood"), he thought of them again in 1995, after the Kobe earthquake, and used donated 34-ply tubes to build a community hall and houses.

Working with the U.N., Ban has shipped paper log houses to Turkey and Rwanda. "Refugee shelter has to be beautiful," he says. "Psychologically, refugees are damaged. They have to stay in nice places." But it's not all about utility. Ban has managed to turn ugly-duckling cardboard into some gorgeous swans.

The Japanese pavilion he created for this year's EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany, is a huge undulating grid of paper tubes enclosed, like a covered wagon, with a paper canopy. A nine-ton, 87-ft.-long lattice arch of tubes currently swoops over the garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, casting a thatch of ever changing shadows. Ban's designs touch the earth lightly in more ways than one. After EXPO 2000, his pavilion will be shipped to a recycling center to be returned to the pulp from whence it came. Just try that with bricks.


The idea of beauty attainable by the masses is something I hold very dear to my heart, and Ban's environmental leanings aside, is the single most important thing this man can be doing. Refugee shelter has to be beautiful. Inner-city structure has to be beautiful. Beauty has to be accessible to the masses. The ignorance of these simple rules is one of the things at the core of human suffering.

Now, stay with me here.

Living in a high-crime urban area, I have seen that it is the marginal poverty-stricken parts of town that are ignored when it comes to parks, and trees, and clean streets, and services. These areas, in turn, are crime-ridden, and very often full of adults and children who learn to define life through the harsh conditions that surround them. How can one appreciate anything if you are denied that which is beautiful -- a basic human right -- by virtue of socioeconomic status? There are various theories that abound concerning this. I continue to be flabbergasted that city planners do almost nothing to alleviate this problem, while pandering to rich communities that very often take their beauty for granted to the extent of incomprehension as well.

And this beauty is not only physical. Take poetry. Poetry, up until the 60s or so, was for the people. Poets like Edna St. Vincent Millay sold thousands of books, not solely to academics and other poets (like now) but to everyone from them to the working poor, because she took the core visceral ideas of being and gave it to you in a package that spoke to your essence as human. Beauty wasn't something for the privileged few who had esoteric degrees or could read French. Beauty was was owed to you because you were. The introduction of language poetry in the 1970s encouraged poetry to be pedantic and, frankly, a pain in the ass. The primal beauty of being was lost, and highbrow ivory towerism prevailed, driving a huge wedge between those who had education, and those who did not. Don't get me wrong, I love a poet who can really work some prose in a striking way, but I'm fortunate enough to be unintimidated by horseshit.

This is not to say that just because you are blessed by beauty in your life that things magically get better or you and your neighbor are suddenly best friends and everything smells like roses. Or that if you are poor you are uneducated and incapable of understanding language poetry, and that you can only experience beauty through Billy Collins (ugh). But in general terms, in this world of ugliness, environmental finity, strife, poverty, and suffering, I am glad there are people thinking about applying the simple concept of beauty for all in place of the failures of entities like Halliburton and FEMA.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I went skiing today in a blizzard. My hair froze, and though the snow was fluffy and soft like a dandelion puff, when the wind howls icy cold and dumps a fuckload of dandelion puffs in your face, it aint winter wonderland. I got off the lift with an inch of snow in my lap each time.

But it was marvelous! The snow was like icing sugar -- the best snow I've skied in my 25 years of staying alive with two sticks strapped to my feet. But the visibility left something to be desired, leaving us a guessing game of "is that a bump or a patch of sick-ass powder?" Not good for leaving with your knee joints in the same condition as when you arrived. So we cut a long swath down our favorite run and got a credit for our passes. Hopefully there will be snow when we get back from Nihonland.

While I'm slightly bitching, can I get a, "oh hell no" for my hometown barely scraping into the 21st century with a serious lack of wifi? Internet addict that I am, I had the sweats all day Sunday and until I could get into the Christian cafe downtown that offers "free" wifi (free as long as you don't mind religious popups). Gah! I hate being high-maintenance.

Nihon, in 9 days!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I am really getting stoked on this NIN tour that Bauhaus is doing. I've been walking the boards over on bauhausmusik, and a NIN fan started a thread that is basically about the crossover fans and tour. He posted a link to the unofficial NIN board, and I took a peek. What nice folks, I must say! And so many people were saying things like, "NIN should be opening for Bauhaus" and talking about how legendary Bauhaus is. But the biggest thing is that there are a ton of NIN fans who have no idea who Bauhaus is, and they are curious.

I know everyone, including me, wants the boys to succeed. I also know that most everyone, including me, is really worried about how this will affect our relationship with the boys. Don't laugh, these boys have been very good to their fanbase over the years, and anyway y'all know "restraining order" is just another way to say "soul mates." That's a joke, for those of you who don't really know me. Seriously, though, Bauhaus is well-known for their personal connection to fans. A poster on David's forum commented about how that personal connection makes thing like the Wireless snafu mean more than it might normally, and in my opinion, also illustrates how people can jump the gun on the "sellout" idea when something like this happens:

Considering it in the coldest most businesslike way, they are a business and they are selling a product. We are their customers who paid for a product in good faith and now do not have the product or a refund. Absent both the product and the refund, an apology was owed and has been received. They do not owe me friendship or anything more than what they are selling which is CDs and concert tickets. The sweet and thoughtful notes and extra things that David sends when you order CDs from him are wonderful bonuses, not something I expect. And I would still buy the CDs without the bonuses, so he doesn't have to do that. He does it because he wants to. So the actual relationship between the band and their fans may not be friendship but is also not as cold and money-focused as a business-customer relationship. It's something in between. There is some emotion involved. On both sides, I think.

Word. And I might add, the ginormity of what they are on the precipice of has got to make this an intense time for all involved -- the boys, family, fans, management, the whole shebang. Emotion on both sides, and understanding from both sides as to how they are feeling, has to be acknowledged kindly and with patience.

So, in the long run I don't think that people are going to be disappointed in Bauhaus. Everyone wants "fame, fortune, fans, gold records, concerts, their name in lights." And we want Danny to have his swimming pool. This snafu was bad timing, that's all. I think my worry that they are getting too old, or that their fame will cause them to implode is just a bunch of bullshit. They will wear their fame brilliantly. I have faith in that. And judging by the reception they are getting on the NIN board and whatnot, this is their time.

Friday, March 17, 2006

There have been too many posts without a David J reference.

NP: Easy All-Stars, Dub Side of The Moon. Hee-hee.
Gordon Parks, first African-American photographer for Life magazine, and director of 'Shaft,' dead from cancer at 93. An incredible man who lived an incredible life, and who will be forever remembered as a social justice crusader who brought to the forefront for post WWII America the black experience in America.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wow, I saw this very cool book today:

It is made up of portraits and funny, poignant little handwritten sidenotes by each subject about being Hapa, or half Asian. There are folks in this book who span the spectrum of the human melting pot, but the one thing that unites them all is their Hapa-ness. It is really a beautiful book. One thing that really stood out for me was a woman in her 50s who said she never felt like she fit in, until she moved to the Bay Area when she was 30. She said she had finally found a place where she felt comfortable, like a whole new world opened up to her at 30 years of age.

I actually almost teared up at this. I felt the same way before I moved to the Bay Area, with the feelings of being different and, of course, dealing with racism. First epiphany was when I moved out of my little bitty hometown to go to college, because I was no longer one of the few Asians in town. I still felt like an outsider, because I think I was still trying to find myself, and deal in some way with some part of me that I had rejected for being non-white. Second and more intense was when I moved to the Bay Area. Suddenly the last thing that mattered was my race (now it was just what I did for a living -- LOL -- trading old prejudices for new ones). It did feel like a whole new world. A vibrant, refreshing, nourishing world where I felt like I could finally release the breath I had been holding in for so long.

Check out _part Asian, 100% Hapa_, even if you're not Hapa. I think you'll agree that all of us really don't look the same.
The guy who brought me my pint tonight looked just like Dave Navarro.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I think I've finally found my undoing. This vile and evil thing goes by the moniker, "Cheese Crunchies" and can be had at a certain Western natural foods purveyor for $1.69. The end of my life as I know it, found at the bottom of an annatto-tinged plastic bag. Shoot me now.

NP: Thievery Corporation, The Richest Man in Babylon. Trevor just got this for me, after hearing how much I liked their version of David J's "The Auteur." First listen as I type. It's a nifty international electro romp, with a heavy reggae/latin flavor, and the booklet it came with has some beautiful black and white photographs depicting what I can only describe as the condition of humanhood. Tender, even in it's brutality (or, is that brutal, even in it's tenderness?) Fitting for my mood tonight.
So the rumours of the tour are true. And it looks like Bauhaus pulled out of the UK Wireless Festival to tour with NIN, after hyping it on their site and after tons of fans bought tickets on the strength of them being there. There was no announcement; in fact, a sharp-eyed peep at the Love and Rockets forum I haunt, Torched, was the one to break the news of the NIN tour in the first place. There has been no apology yet. It was a shitstorm on the Bauhaus board today, for good reason. A peep on David's forum told us that David just sent her a thank you letter 10 days ago for a book she sent, that told her he'd see her in the UK in June, so everyone is wondering just WTF?

I agree with her, the negotiations for this kind of tour don't happen overnight. So where was the announcement? Awful that people had to hear about it from the NIN board.

This does seem like it could be a symptom of what we were all discussing over on the BH board regarding the "where's my swimming pool?" and "cult band" comments (see last post) from Danny and the band's constant struggle between money/fame and just being and creating. I mean, all of us peeps on David's forum praise David for sending out personal notes on one hand, but then there's this on the other. They are totally well known for being good to the fans, and now they are perched on a precipice again for some serious cash and recognition. Good stuff, and I wish it for them, but again, at what cost to their reputation and their fans, and yes, ultimately the music? What does this bode for Bauhaus? I do hope they don't implode under the pressure again, but I also don't want to see the band I love together and rich but have this kind of fan snub be a regular thing. Oh god, or that I will have to see them from now on at the fucking Shoreline. Swimming pools can be bought with money from the Fillmore, but I suppose MTV rotation and 16 year old allowance money are the bigger targets.

I just read something on the BH board that I hope rings true -- "they will wear their fame brilliantly." I still have faith. And I'm *sigh* still going to the Shoreline because they are still Bauhaus.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Whoa, big news. Bauhaus may be supporting Nine Inch Nails (which I find criminal, but, whatever) for a portion of their summer tour. Two shows in Cali, sweet thang! And I'm there.

Yes, I've said I'll never do the Shoreline again (ironically, saw NIN there the last time, eh, was it 1998?) but it's Bauhaus for god's sake. And Irvine *shudder* But again, it's Bauhaus, baby!

This could really open them up to a young audience -- I mean, the little goths, punks, and emo kids who don't know them already. This is how you get MTV rotation for your new album and video. They really deserve to have huge success, but it's going to be hard for a bunch of almost fifty-somethings to connect with 16 year olds for any long amount of time in this fickle music industry that can play on heavy rotation something as god-awful as Coheed and Cambria. Bands that surge in popularity are so heavily packaged -- hip to whatever is cool right now, with lyrics that speak to sex or melodrama w/o being so deep as to make people say "huh?" And Bauhaus have made and will make people say "huh?" Also, it's not often you'll see an older band making it big, especially second time around. All these things don't bode well for the Bauhaus I know becoming humongous after the release of a new album. I do want them to have commercial success, but I'm concerned at what cost.

There was an interview with Daniel Ash and David J recently where Daniel commented on how he hates being considered part of a cult band and he's frustrated that they haven't had success -- "where's my swimming pool?" seems to be his catchphrase. This really stuck in my craw since reading the interview. The thing that gets me a little about Daniel's comments is that it's the "cult" bands that have the enduring following that almost never ceases, and which picks up new converts along the way. I don't see the Backstreet Boys having a forum full of dedicated fans and a super successful reunion tour 25 years from now, or even a slot supporting a gigantic band with huge name recognition. Yeah, so Nick Lachey (he's a Backstreet Boy, right?) has more money than he deserves, but he will fall into oblivion in 5 years, tops.

I think being a "cult" band and having a dedicated fan base that has stood the test of time and continues to add new members, albeit slowly, is better than a swimming pool and recognition ($$, Grammy, whatever) from a fickle record industry. They all made a choice to follow the creative spark and fuck the benjamins. They are well-respected musicians who are cited by so many musicians as an influence. So, there's no swimming pool. Please. Good choice to me. I will take integrity over money every time, no joke. And I won't respect a band that sells out like that.

I have a feeling this is the rub as to why they haven't completely fucking destroyed the musical industry with their brilliance. A few Bauhaus songs and a good bit of David J's solo work revolve around the price of fame; also, Peter Murphy has been very adamant about his spirituality for some time now -- which I'm sure has it's antagonistic points to the fame thing. This has to be the nail in their proverbial coffins each time. Their internal struggles which blow up into band squabbles about integrity and the realities of trying to make money with the music. Yet, publicly, they are so eager to talk about how much they want commercial success. I feel you, guys, but life is full of hard choices. Sometimes you have to make a decision, run with it, and find peace in it, or you'll never be happy. I have faith in them following their souls. Something as electrifying and distinct as Bauhaus doesn't happen every day, and when you're that remarkable its almost out of your hands as to what path you take.

But I digress..a lot...

Bauhaus, on tour, this summer, with NIN. Get your booty out there before they're so huge David doesn't send personal packages to fans anymore unless you're Coheed and Cambria.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ooooh, I have just returned from the mighty Blorkfest. What, pray tell, is a "blork" you ask? It's only the most delectable cross contamination of the animal world that human has ever dreamed could exist. You know Turducken, yes? Well, just take that and throw its silly carcass out the window. Take any combination of beef, lamb, and pork, and moosh it all together to make a delicious conglomerate of meaty taste sensation. Then step back and marvel at that which you have created: BLORK.

Trevor has been thinking about blork for a long-ass time -- since we were in college, in fact. Being afraid of filthy meat, and living in a small town, we were never able to realize our dream until we moved to the Bay, with it's fine plethora o' grassfed goodness. Trevor and our friend Rich came up with the name, Rich and his wife Jen provided the space, and the Blorkfest was born. This was the third such gathering. Damn, Wikipedia is gonna be sad for flagging my blork post when this takes off. Bitches.

Our friend Mark is the blork king, and he and his wife Celia are moving to Long Island to be rockstar professors (he in Biochemistry, she in English) so this was also a farewell blorking. A toast to you two on your new journey, and a toast to your kickass blork birria, Mark. My belly sheds a tear for your absence from the next Blorkfest.

So, a rundown: blorklava (like baklava but, um, more delicious); blorkcakes (lamb and pork cupcakes with roast beef cupcake wrappers and meat pate icing); blork curry; blork chili; blork casserole; blork mole; blorkroll (pic below); roasted blork; blork birria. There was also many a bacon sidedish to savor, and lest we forget our vegetarian friends, broccoli salad, tabbouleh, and lentil cous cous. Oh, and oodles of liquid refreshment (Guinness, Newcastle, and plenty of red wine -- the only suitable accompaniments) to make it all swishy swish together nicely.


And don't forget our mascot, Blorkenstein:

Friday, March 10, 2006

Okay, I'm a filthy liar. I am going to post about David J again. After months of speculation about his lurking ways, all of us fevered fangirls got a big surprise today. The J posted. Well, not exactly -- he posted through his mouthpiece who posts all of his updates to his site. But the update was about the forum and how very happy he is with the content and the peeps. So very polite, so very humble, so very J. Squee! As if we need more fuel for our J fire.


The Forum

Of late I have been perusing that repository of wisdom, wit and scandal known as The Forum. Stoic resistance to narcissism making this something of a rare activity (I swear!). However, having taken the plunge as it were, I must say that I have found the water to be most refreshing despite the temperature leaning towards the hot end of the scale! What an entertaining lot of bloggers you are! I love the irreverence and the witty badinage, also the shafts of real insight but most of all I love the unfettered adoration. Ha ha. Yes, much of what I read had me laughing out loud. Priceless! Write on, write on.



BTW, his Croc Tears and On Glass have been pushed back to an April 14 release. 'Tis okay -- there will be "detailed booklet" goodness to be had. Waiting...

NP: Mark Hollis, self titled. I've had this on my crap Windows Media Player at work for ages, but just recently plugged it in at home. This is a gorgeous piece of work from the vocalist of Talk Talk. Remember them? Let me jog your memory...take this song that No Doubt covered of theirs:

and add bird noises and make it a hundred times better.

This album is a departure from the Talk Talk I have heard. It is a lovely slice of jazzy, evocative, rainy day lyricism. Hard to find, but worth the effort. Hollis is right up there with Kozelek and the J (hah, fooled you, you cannot get away)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

NP: Mark Kozelek, "What's Next to the Moon?" Good god, Mark Kozelek. What can I say? One of the best singer/songwriters around, and he's from San Francisco, yo! And he played a little gee-tar on David J's album Estranged, and lent his distinctive pipes to the background vocals too. This album consists of covers of AC/DC of all things. But anything Mark Kozelek touches turns into ache. Mark Kozelek will burrow deep into you and haunt you. If you have not heard Mark Kozelek, please go out and buy this, or Red House Painters' "Songs for a Blue Guitar" or Sun Kil Moon's "Tiny Cities" (Modest Mouse covers). I will buy you an ice cream and/or box you if you don't love it.

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There are a few things that happened today that have me freaked out, perturbed, and disturbed beyond belief -- in that order. I do not have the time or energy at the moment for solutions -- all I can right now is complain, so if you've got a problem with that, stop right here.

First, at work I read an autopsy report for a 69 year old man who died of massive cardiac arrest. He was 5 foot 9 inches and 400 pounds. He had a layer of fat on his enlarged heart, fat on his pancreas, and 5-6 inches of subcutaneous fat in his abdomen. His blood vessels were in an advanced stage of arteriosclerosis. I am really freaked out by the obesity epidemic in this country. I know obesity is not a simple cut and dried problem, but we need some serious intervention here, stat.

Second, I was driving in heinous traffic today and stopped at a 3 way stop where each car was trying to merge onto the same road. The car to my left was beginning to go, and then I began inching out when the minivan behind the car that just went zoomed out and cut me off. Actually, he had to sit right in front of me for a while and try not to look at me while he waited for traffic to go. I pulled in behind him and got a good eyeful of his "peace" stickers and other self-satisfied bullshit. I am perturbed by people who pontificate about things like peace when they do not even possess simple human courtesy. Peace will not happen with shitbrick at the wheel.

Third, my coworker told me that she was driving home yesterday in Richmond, and as she sat at the light behind another car, three 11 or 12 year old kids began crossing the road. As they neared the other side, one of the kids pulled a handgun out and pointed it at the driver in front of my coworker. My coworker tried to look like she wasn't paying attention, because she didn't want the kids to pay attention to her. But then they walked down the line of cars, pointing the gun into the driver's side windows. Okay, I am very disturbed, for obvious reasons, but also because my first reaction was that I would have just hit the gas and probably killed all three of those kids. Sad end to a sad life. What genius points a weapon at someone else without the intention of using it? If someone had had a gun in their car, that could've been a big mess. Good god, I'm glad I don't live in Richmond and that my parents raised me right, and that I don't have myriad socioeconomic dragweights attached to my being. Such an awful situation all around.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I love the Rambler. I am super impressed. This is how you get things done in the music world.
Okay, I will stop mentioning David J so much very soon, I promise. But c’mon, y’all know he frikken rocks, and plus there’s something very exciting afoot. He is reissuing Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh on March 28, and according to a corporate monolith that I do not support giving your money to, it will have 5 additional tracks! Even better, according to said monolith, his reissue of On Glass (his compilation of work from the time he was on Glass Records) which is being released at the same time, will have some new stuff as well – although he’s trimmed this one down and lost a couple of songs in the process.

Now I just need a special reissue of Dave’s V for Vendetta EP and I will be a very happy girl. Have you seen what this thing goes for on ebay? Last one I saw went for over $100 USD. I am trying to channel my excellent thrifting juju into finding this one in a crate somewhere – like my first Llewellyn Lucite handbag for $5, and the Jazz Butcher Real Men 12 inch that I found in a dusty forgotten crate in the Goodwill for 99 cents! *uses spirit fingers for fantastic V for Vendetta juju*

Okay, and I am so on the J's bandwagon right now, because the man is such a good egg. He just sent my forum peep a very nice little thank you letter with a bunch of sparkly goodness for her sending him some "honor cash" for the boots and used stuff she's bought of his, Bauhaus, and Love & Rockets' over the years. Good peep, she is, and good man, that J.

NP: Crocodile Tears, yo! But I’m switching to Estranged soon – another classic J album. Listen, Dave may not have the pipes that the Murph does, but he is brilliant. Give the man some love on March 28.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Trevor's grandma who lives in Michigan visited us yesterday. Hoo-eee, that woman is a spitfire! She says whatever is on her mind, and damn it's cool. She's in her mid-eighties, and she still has all her own teeth, is svelte, does her hair and makeup, paints and reads voraciously, volunteers in the church thrift store, and shovels her own snow in the winter. The woman looks the same as when I first met her 15 years ago. Her secrets? Wear sunscreen, don't eat high fructose corn syrup, and stretch every day.

And here I am hunting virgins and relying on the slim hope to be taken to David J and Kevin Haskins' alien planet where no one ages past 35. What am I doing?

NP: Roni Size (Reprazent), New Forms. Damn this is a good album. This is the kind of drums and bass that I never tire of. It has gotten me through many a workday, including this one.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I am just starting to get excited about going to Japan again at the end of the month. We haven't been back since our ill-fated attempt-at-moving-there-cum-3-month-honeymoon. This will be the first time Trevor and I go when it's not 5 million degrees and humid as all hell. What is even more exciting for me is that I have absolutely no obligations. I am going to shop for records and drink tea and wine in cafes and take funky pictures, and go into as many hyaku yen shops and eat at as many kaiten sushi places as I want to. I am buying as many silly little pieces of Japanese trash as I want. I am going to that pyramidial Prada store in Aoyama, and eating curry out of a vending machine. I will look cute, because it will not be 5 million degrees and my legs will not be covered in dust mite bites. And fuck restraint -- I am going to speak Japanese badly and with abandon and I will be unashamed.

Since Trevor will be training most of the time, I will be by myself too, which will make for interesting stories, I'm sure. Hopefully none of the "drunken salaryman attempted groping resulting in finger-breaking" kind, more of the soft, fuzzy "invited into tea by obasan" or "bought many a drink and shitake skewer by friendly folks who find butchered Japanese charming" type.

If you're interested in why I don't live there, and never will, check it, yo.
Tops for 2005! *applause*

Ah, I know. It's what, March 2006? But never let it be said that I don't break up the lines and tear up the rules.

Actually, I'm just a compulsive listmaker and I love to talk about me. And I especially love top 10 lists.

The Decemberists, Picaresque
Roots Manuva, Awfully Deep
Dirty Three, Cinder
Nouvelle Vague, Nouvelle Vague
Kate Bush, Aerial
The Duke Spirit, Cuts Across the Land
Echo and the Bunnymen, Siberia
Antony and the Johnsons, I Am A Bird Now
Aoki Takamasa and Tujiko Noriko, 28
Sun Kil Moon, Tiny Cities

I know these are late 2004, but I was in a personal economic depression in 2005, so I didn't buy as much music as I should've so I don't even have 10 for 2005 without them:

Handsome Boy Modeling School, White People
The Arcade Fire, Funeral

Looking ahead, I am highly anticipating that there will be a new Bauhaus record on my list for 2006. Pretty please?

NP: Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets. After reaching 30 years of age completely Eno-less, I decided it was about time. Peeps had recommended Music for Airports. But it was the only Eno not reissued when he reissued his entire catalog recently, um, so, no stick. Also recommended: Another Green World. But Warm Jets was in my friend Steve's CD folder and it was the one he recommended as a deflowering. Wow.
Trevor and I went out for Ethiopian food around the corner from our apartment this evening. Halfway through a carafe of honey wine we starting thinking about how odd it sometimes is for country bumpkins like us to be living in the Bay Area. I mean, it's hilarious to think about where we grew up and juxtapose that with where we're living now.

There was one guy sitting next to us with the white man fake dreadlock snarl on top of his head with scarves tied around it, and he was wearing a white dishdasha -- very Rudolph Valentino Sheik does Berkeley. Not very strange, right? But in our hometown, that guy wouldn't make it down the main street on a Friday night without a beer bottle getting thrown at him. And Trevor and I were laughing about how we just noticed when we left that we were the only folks in the restaurant who were not black. This fact alone would probably have driven Trevor's brother-in-law to unload a barrage of pepper spray just to make his way out of the restaurant, were he dining with us. Not that this would ever happen. This brother-in-law once visited us and said there was no way he was staying in Oakland after dark, ostensibly because of black folk. Surprise -- he's a jackass.

Incidentally, today I was in Berkeley Bowl, reading a magazine while waiting in the impossibly long lines to get out, when I noticed a Grizzly Adams bearded man in a purple tye dye mumu unloading his cart in the line next to me, and a beautiful transvestite in too much makeup and too short skirt in front of me in line (and why there isn't some school someone can open to remedy the hooker look for newly out trannies, I don't know). Again, who cares, but began thinking about the hilarity of this being transported to my hometown.

Not that everyone in my hometown is a racist, homophobic, redneck creep. But I think my hometown's got more than it's fair share.

Like everyone, I can't claim to be free of all prejudices, but damn, tonight I was reminded of why I moved to the Bay Area. You can truly do whatever the fuck you want in this grand ol' melting pot.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oy, I just remembered my dream from last night. In my dream last night, I baked a chocolate cake for a squirrel I knew named Yves Saint Laurent to try to convince him that Bauhaus is one of the greatest bands in existence. The cake was made to look like a tree stump with a chainsaw on top. Oh, I am a cruel bitch.

Too much alcohol before bed messes with your head, and mashes up all your recent experiences into one big casserole of weirdiosity.
So David J, musical genius, *may* or *may not be* involved in one of the movies being made about Elizabeth Short's murder.

I was excited when I heard about his involvement, and when I checked out the trailer online, what was playing as the introduction music but the J's excellent song 'The Auteur!' Apparently, he was slated to do the entire score. Listening to the ambient music in the trailer and on the site, and hearing David's new piece created for the Natural History Museum's Gem Hall in Los Angeles ('Stars and Eyes' -- check it out in iTunes) was sealing the deal for me.

Then this was posted on the J's official forum, purportedly by Ramzi Abed, the director:


David J is not involved in my movie anymore at this time. This will hopefully change, when David sees the actual finished cut of the film, but at this time, he doesn't want to associated with the film for fear of it damaging his career. David is a genius though.

Anyhow, there will be a new trailer/teaser going up, which will include new music which is not by David J. As of right now, aside from possibly two tracks made for the movie, there will be no other music by him.

Again, I hope this changes, but as of right now, out of both love and respect for David, I must comply with some of his wishes.

Thanks though...

All the best,


P.S. There is or I should say was a scene with David in the movie, but that will now be deleted. The teaser is extremely rough by the way, as is the movie right now... We've been very premature about showing it and publicizing, but then again, I'm pretty stupid about things like this. Anyhow, hopefully I will learn from my mistakes, and also make a better movie next time.

P.P.S. It will be out sometime later this year... and who knows what will happen by then?... Cheerio.

I am talentless and deserve to die this very second.


Um, okay, barring the dramamama signature he put on his post, I tend to take this guy seriously. And after watching the trailer, I do see his point about David thinking it will damage his career. Simply from the trailer, the film looks like it could be a 1) artsy, cutting edge, risk-taking film, or 2) a snuffilicious-porn-lite romp. Err, and if it's perceived by the press as the latter, David could kiss big name studios knocking on his door anytime soon goodbye (ugh, the neverending saga of the benjamins vs. the love). I have peeps on the forum who have pointed out that it's not like David has a reputation as a choir boy artist, but he does seem to be taking soundtrack work more seriously, so he could be thinking about being a little more choosy.

In any case, the score has already won an award so I really hope his finished score sees the light of day somewhere. But to tide any other J fans over, he is reissuing Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh (IMHO one of his greatest albums) on March 28, with a rumored 5 new tracks. Squisito!
Trevor and I took in a pint tonight at the Splitter. A large group of thirty-somethings were sitting directly across from us, and I couldn't take my eyes off one of the women in the group. Not only was she absolutely stunning, but she looked so familiar. My pint and feeling of recognition led to what I thought was covert staring, but I soon found myself being ogled by members of the large party as well. As they got up to leave, I stopped the woman I had been ruminating about in my mind, and it turns out she was a schoolmate in high school. Hadn't seen each other in 14 years.

You must understand that my high school was very very small, so seeing someone from there in a city the size of Oakland is quite arresting; in fact, I about had a heart attack a few months back when I saw Bauhaus at the Fillmore (squee!) and realized the mutton-chopped, monkeyish little fellow playing tambourine for their encore was none other than Joel Gion of Brian Jonestown Massacre, itty bitty Sonora High School, and my freshman year fantasies (he was much more Ian McCulloch than mutton-chop then, my dears -- I do have some sense of decorum).

So Jessica is an artist, and we saw an incredible photo of one of the electricity exhibitions her and her sweetie performed. We had a pleasant little catching up. She has a lovely website for those curious folks out there.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Went for a walk after delicious eggs blackstone and vanilla bourbon tea at Rockridge Cafe with Trevor and saw a peregrine falcon in a tree, by the frikken Boston Market in Oaktown, yo. A peregrine falcon! Got a close up view, and it just stared back at us like it aint no thang. What a gorgeous bird. Must have been hunting rats in the ivy. Trevor and I decided that if it flew down and lit upon us and tore our ears off as a snack, we would consider ourselves blessed by the gods. Alas, no stick.

NP: Talking Heads, Sand in the Vaseline. I just got this from my friend John, and damn if it isn't rocking my hizza. John told me that when he bought this double album and listened he realized that it is finally his time for the Heads. I understand. I never cared for them in high school when they were huge, but I cannot stop listening to them now. Brilliant. Like palates, musical tastes sometimes only get better over time. For example, I hated celery, beets, brussel sprouts, vodka, and red wine when I was in high school. Vodka and red wine, I say!
Jeebus! I just got off the phone with my 74 year old father. Wednesday he was stepping out of the woodshed in his backyard with an armload of oak and stepped on a piece of bark. He twisted his body and dislocated his hip. My father used to be a nurse, and apparently you only have about 10 minutes before your body stiffens up and only an orthepedic surgeon can help you. So he hopped over to the wheelbarrow by the persimmon tree, propped his leg up on the wheelbarrow and leaned against the tree for support. The he took a deep breath, grabbed a hold of his pantleg, and pulled up as hard and as high as he could. He said there was an audible click, and there you go -- ball popped back into socket. I asked him how much it hurt. He said, "babe, I thought I was going to pass out. I've never felt pain like that in my life. But I knew if I passed out, Mom would look out over the back porch and see me lying facedown in the mud and call the goddamn paramedics. So I gritted my teeth and did it." I asked him how he was doing two days later. He's "a little sore" but he's babysitting my 4 year old nephew and just ran around the block with him, and put in a new starter cellunoid in his Jeep.

This is a man who pulled his own tooth with a pair of pliers in the bathroom. Who fought a ground war in Korea in winter at 17 after lying about his age in order to join the army and see more of the world than just working at the mill. Who was standing in a tree a few years ago with a running chainsaw when a branch came crashing down on his shoulder and he fucking held onto the chainsaw "because he didn't want it to get ruined." Who cut himself with said chainsaw and patched it up himself with plastic stitches. Who hunted, fished, and grew a lot of our food, made a good portion of our furniture, and just redid all the floors in the house and jacked the house up 6 inches because it was sagging. This man is tougher than tough!

While I do not claim even 1/10th of my father's absolute badassity, I thank my lucky stars I am related to him, and my mother too (incidentally, her birthday today -- Happy Birthday Mom!). As my friend Craig once said, "German and Japanese -- you're like Darwin's titanium." Indeed.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I've been threatening for some time now to begin a blog. As I marked time, the citizenry protested, and howled, and pounded their chests, and tore at their eyes, among other general dramatics waged to both dissuade and encourage me in my endeavor. And throughout it all, I stood stockstill with my noncommital eye and just stared at the festivities. As the crowds' roaring fury ceased in its urgency, and everyone packed up the rotten tomatoes and stadium blankets and carefully constructed butcher paper banners, and wearily trudged back to their cars, I sprang like a tiger.

Welcome to my blog.

"She saw everything real too clearly
So close that the bones would show
And to see everything so clearly
Isn't always the best thing you know"