Tuesday, August 29, 2006

films and favors

Do yourself a favor and watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGLv3IEL0VI . It goes down smooth with Pabst Blue Ribbon in a dirt ass bar.

Do yourself a favor and read this blog: www.rockinsider.com. She posts some cool stuff to listen to and gots good choice in music, yo.

Another favor to me would be to read and look at this kid's stuff: www.myspace.com/stretchsquire. A former student, a friend, and working on some kinda heap 'a talent.

I'll post more of my stuff, cuz I know all one of you is chomping at the bit.

silence. (running air conditioner, burning cd, dog walking back and forth, baby breathing deep over monitor, own breath) silence.

Monday, June 12, 2006

just to watch them pop

Where the last drawing was more of an indie-rock, fall song: moody, delicate and noisy at the same time - - like Death Cab, this is a Norah Jones tune. Something from "Feels Like Home". A lazy summer day, hot, airy, hazy. A picnic table and the sound of steel guitar and cicadas.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

a lie in the fall

Inside cover and front page of a new sketchbook. Images, ideas that need to be drawings, but don't fit into my longer work and that are sketches more than big works. Kinda like demos for two and half minute singles.

"morning in the moonlgiht" - saves the day

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

three reasons for being a consumer pt. 1

I have to admit, I do have some tunes I didn't pay for, but I will honestly say I do not use file sharing programs. Somebody I know personally or myself, mostly myself, have bought everything I listen to. The digital revolution will eventually change the business of music and it WILL be for the better, but for now there are some sounds from some bands I will always happily pay for, because I want them to continue making the noise to which I like to listen. So I present three reasons here for consumerism that I feel deserves support.

1 - Neil Young "Living With War"
Check it out while it's streaming on his website, then buy the album. I've already posted about this and, yes, I need to again. The best of American protest songs just got some new cohorts. Young's album is an anti-war rant that is fuzzy, funny, armed, smart and dangerous in all the right ways. A mostly, mid-tempo fuzz-fest of guitar and slogans, there are no open throttle racers, but there are some rollicking gems that invite you to sing along. And some drop into rawkus, noisy, foot-stoppers that just plead to be played with the knob twisted all the way to the right.

Young's defiantly and clearly anti-Bush, but really only anti-Bush because he is so anti-war. Young lends his voice to those that seem to continually be left behind by political parties these days: those working middle of the road blues. Collars, not bloods. People trying to get by and getting caught in the cross fire of rhetoric and killed in the streets of countries who were invaded for the oil, sold on the ideals of Bushland the Ride. Young has been trying his damnedest to be truthful for longer than I've been alive and you can feel him seething at "faulty information" being fed to us by our leaders. Watching the new "trickle down", only this time its blame and cover-up instead of money.

All this aside it is what good, rowdy rock-n-roll should. Pure, stripped down, heartfelt, fuzzy, raw, honest and trying in it's own way to truly change the world.

You gotta love a song called "Let's Impeach the President" and the person who has the cojones to write it.

not Neil, actually, but my wife playing harp in the dining room

Monday, May 01, 2006

in this case, the revolution may not be broadcast at all

I have a dream that one day we will all be employees and consumers of the same global company. And frankly, it scares the shit out of me.

From MoveOn.org:
Big Internet operators like AT&T and Verizon want the power to decide which Web sites open properly on our computers—giving them control over what we do and where we search online. So far, Congress has caved to their demands.

But because of intense public pressure, some members of Congress are starting to switch from AT&T's side to ours! In just a week, Congress saw over 250,000 of us sign a petition demanding the Internet stay free. Joining this call are tech pioneers like Google and Microsoft, diverse groups ranging from MoveOn to Gun Owners of America, and even some celebrities.

If enough of us stand up now, there's still time for the House of Representatives to do the right thing next week when it votes on whether to protect or destroy Network Neutrality—the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom.

Can you join our petition asking Congress to protect the free and open Internet?


This petition will be delivered to your members of Congress, and everyone who signs will be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the pressure on Congress this week.

Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. A House committee voted to go along with AT&T's scheme last week, but we are fighting back hard before next week's full House vote. We want to raise public awareness of this issue and hand Congress 350,000 signatures.

To reach this goal, we're launching a contest: Ask your friends to sign the petition and you can win one of 10 iPod Nanos or one of 40 BarnesandNoble.com gift certificates. Start by signing the petition yourself, and you'll receive instructions to enter the contest.

Snopes.com, which monitors various causes that circulate on the Internet, recently explained this issue:

Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on snopes.com, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.

If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites ranging from Google to eBay to MoveOn either pay the equivalent of protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly on your computer. We can't allow the Internet—this incredible medium which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic participation, economic innovation, and free speech—to become captive to large corporations.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

What's important

Once in a while we're reminded of what it means to be a true American that has nothing to do with flags or slogans or songs (original language or translated) or faiths or parties. Once in a while we're reminded that saying nothing is sometimes akin to agreement, even if unintended and that to speak up is what it truly means to be an American. An America is spoken for in a multitude of voices, speaking for an array of ideas.

Maybe someday we'll live up to our promise. We'll look outside of our windows and see beyond our yards and realize it not about my eyes only.

Go to neilyoung.com and listen to the streaming of his new album: "Living with War". The crazy cancuck has a pretty good idea of what it means to be American. He shames some of us.

One of my new favorite songs: "Let's Impeach the President".

soundtrack -
see above

Friday, April 28, 2006

you know what they say about the size of a man's shoe...

Go here and take this test. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/gfn_sub.php?content=myfootprint

I'm shamed to say my footprint is embarrassingly multiple earthed.

soundtrack (thanks to my friend David)-
Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple
The Clash and The Pogues had a love child and raised it in Eastern Europe and this joyous noise has growns up.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

cheesy lines

currents shifting and lifting gently
and once we're settled
again on the ground
i'll say it again
and off we'll fly
repeating again my cheesy lines.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
Teagan & Sarah - So Jealous

Friday, February 10, 2006

Okay, so, like, I'm a high school teach-er and, like, there's so much dra-MA!

I do teach high school and I choose to, so my being constatnly hip-deep in drama is not really remarkable nor, really all that undeserved. It doesn't fail to astonish me, however, the brand and amount of said personal thespianism some of these kids routinely buy themselves into. Today you could color me three shades and four values of astoished.

Our kids in most cases, have literally nothing to want in life, except maybe, more. More of whatever they think they want. With cell phones and iPods and all manner of Labels and Names running around you'd honestly believe we were filled with some of the luckiest kids on earth.

There is something on the air, though. There is a ripple in the current. The surface is churning. There is blood in the water.

There are several issues that have led us to these dark and dangerous passages and all the captains of the troubelsome ships have nothing but rough seas ahead. I say this not as just a high school teacher, but as a former high school student, a parent, a community member, a person who relishes his right to dissent in the proper manner, a political person, a person who values independence and who values independent thought, but most importantly a thinking person.

So, drama. The whole blood in the water thing? Dress Code. At the heart: perceived unfair enforcement of the dress code. But when it gets filtered through several hundred nearly post-pubescent brains and routed through the same number of mouthes it comes down to low-cut tops, high cut skirts and holes in jeans. Whether anyone is actually worried about fairness its hard to know.

So leaving a lot of the actual drama out, here's my point:
Get over it! It's dress code. What's the flipside, the alternative? Uniforms.

When I was a freshman I fought what I fought was a heroic battle against the inequites of dress code facism by constantly pushing buttons and boundaries, with rips and tears and images and words. I got some detnetions, some warnings, nothing big, because I didn't, not because I didn't deserve it but because I didn't push past the big lines. But I leanred a couple big lessons.

One: Everybody has a dress code somewhere in life and the wrong way to affect a change is to fit into a stereotype. Be yourself but don't sell yourself into a mold. Be what you think is cool, not who you think is cool. Being different doesn't mean not being smart or not being involved. The thing high school kids hate to hear ( I know I did as a kid) is that the most effective change is always affected from the inside. You can't help your situation expelled or suspended or by spending time in ISS.

Two: Spectacle always overshadows message. If you truly have an important message, follow the channels, follow the right paths, don't let your actions overshadow your words. I know you hear about a words and actions and what equals what, but let's be clear: to make a point you need your point to be heard. You don't want it to be lost among all the rules you've broken or people you've gotten to break rules. Drama is just that. Truly, it's BS, and when you get caught up in it, whether you mean good or ill, you still end up with crap on your shoe and the stink of it follows you around. Think about what it is you truly have to worry about and does it stack up to the big things? Do you have to worry about gangs, drugs, fights in the hall, being fondled in an overcrowded hallway? If any answer is no then what is the point in showing your belly or sagging your pants to your knees?

Three: It's four years! I've been out of school for 12 (that's three times longer than I was there and life hasn't stopped) now, which, I guess if you listen to popular thought, puts me into the untrustable catagory. But it also puts me into the cateogry of the hard-won perspective. I haven't always had the points of view I do now: I no longer believe in absolutes, I believe in being on the inside to make changes, I no longer think it's my goal to shock people to get them to notice me, love motivates all I do, clothing is still a part of me, but not my identity, blah, blah, blah till your bored and teary. But the point, I trusted people that were older and who I deemed wiser. Not everyone, but find someone you admire, and LISTEN to them. Let them lead you sometimes. Learn to trust. REMEMBER: it's four years and then life starts. Hopefully, a long and happy and satisfying one in which you outlive all your teachers, find joy and simple pleasures and revel in the warmth of friends and family and loved ones.

Leave the drama for the O.C.

matisyahu - live at stubbs
wilco - summerteeth
velvet underground and nico - gold
belle and sebastion - dear catastrophe waitress
postal service - give up
(on random)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

hurts like a dirty word

White hot head pain today as the smart tooth removal recovery goes into new places of owie. First, it was tight jaw muscle owie. Then, it went into radiating nerve heat owie. Finally, and still recovering from it, was the white hot sinus needle knife, twisting owie. Which, I admit, brought a few tears at it's worst. Hurts, man. Hurts.

Vicadin, sleep, rest, ibuprofen and green tea and water later, not so bad. Still eating foods I can swallow with little chewing.

Bright spot:
Laura Viers - "Galaxies" When I listen to this song it is afternoon, summer, hot and I'm on my bike and ten. I'm home and barefoot and tying towels for capes. I'm hiding from the heat at the babysitters and 80's radio is playing sunshine pop. I'm 31 and a dad and thinking about how transcendent moments can be and press repeat.

tilt - one day
doves - snowden

Friday, February 03, 2006

the beard hides the majority of the swelling and so the piratey look is slightly demystified. typing one-handed, holding cranky six week old, tlls me i should be focusing on him.

"or else" kevin huizgena

belle & sebastion - dear catastrophe waitress

Thursday, February 02, 2006

little bits of genius

I look a little like Popeye. Recovering from smart tooth removal. Being, as I have been reminded by nurses "at an advanced age for this procedure", 31, I am waiting for the peek of swelling to take effect. Can't bite down on much, still alittle groggy, so I recuperate with the DVD DIG!, some Neil Gaiman reading and teh tender care of my wife, who despite our 6 week old's needs and cranky, trying 2 1/2 year old and plumbing drama, dotes upon me and keeps resting.

Watching DIG!, my wife and I wonder about the nature of art and creation and genius. Is it better to create and destroy? To belive in the notion that with every creation comes destruction? To put the art above humantiy and love and bonds of friendship, setting yourself up as the mad genius or is it acceptable to create without the hurt? Can we toil at two lives? The one where we have families and fulfilling lives outside of art? I think the mad genius can find a way to do both, creating work that is respectable and still be respected.

We all find ways of getting through, me, I need a llittle of it all: my art, my wife, my kids, my family, my house, my work, my cooking, my reading, all the little bits that keep me me.

Now for some fine pea soup, as I can inly open my jaws so much...

DIG! dvd
squaks and coos from The Nige

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

love monkeys and tibetan flags

on npr, drive to work....

tibetan buddhists, high in the mountains, prayer flags clapping in airstream remind the people to stop and reflect on mortatlity. not death, but the finiteness of life. it helps remind them that, in all it's fleeting eyeblink nature, our actions should be purposeful, directed and towards a better a world. leaving a stamp on this life that improves the world and those around us. this meditation on their existence creates a satisfied and fulfilled existence in the harshest places. it helps them to focus on the present so that we keep in mind this better world.

why, driving in my powder blue grandma inherited station wagon dubbed the "princess car" by my daughter, am i not focused in my easy life? why do i let the vagaries of job and ambition cloud it?

so i focus.

my daughter and my son. my best chance to leave this world a better place and my best reason to remember the fleeting world and focus on the now.

and now is to bed...

this morning: black rebel motorcycle club - rifles
posting: scrubs, 100th episode through the beginning of love monkey

Monday, January 23, 2006

a begining trying to be clever

i'm trying to be clever right now, to start this whole blog thing out with a bang, but everything i write sounds like i'm trying to be clever and so sound really dumb and contrived. and so...i'll just say hello and post the soundtrack...

rilo kiley-"execution of all things"
doves- "some cities"