Reign in blood, step in poo
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Reign in blood, step in poo
Brand new yesterday
To celebrate the release of his latest album, Brand New By Tomorrow, Money Mark and his band played a free show at Amoeba. Celeb members of the group included Petra Haden and a guy who's really good at spinning arrow-shaped ad signs.
They played four new songs and three old ones--all with vocals. It sounded great. Think '70s sunshiny groove meant to battle Bush-era cynicism. "Sneaky People," indeed.
More free shows coming up!
2/28: Long Beach, CA @ Fingerprints (6 pm)
3/4: San Francisco, CA @ Amoeba Records (2 pm)
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Fruit on top
Last week's New York Times ran an exposé on the gangster mentality between Korean-run frozen yogurt shops in L.A. To be honest, it really turned me off on the whole scene. What's with the big egos and fighting? Yeah, you guys are really tough fighting over a fruity, frozen dessert!
But today I got an offer I couldn't refuse. I visited the hideout/test kitchen of Red Mango. Following up on the U.S. trailblazer Pinkberry and its follower Kiwiberry, this company the originator in the motherland. Now it's gearing up for a U.S. launch; the first store is slated to open in Westwood in May.
My connection to the Korean underground.
I tried some, and if you're a yogurt person you'll like it. The basic flavor is more like vanilla and less tangy than the competition's. The green tea is less acrid as well. But in the end, the difference is not huge since both flavors are inherently subtle, and meant to be piled on with fresh fruit, cereal, or whatnot.
It won't be easy for Red Mango to separate itself from the pack, especially since it's basic flavors are the same (who in the U.S. cares if they were first in Korea?) and there's a chance people will burn out on yogurt by then. In any case, the yogurt machine continues to grow, and Red Mango is a good option if you can't handle the vibing happens at Pinkberry or don't want to be seen slumming it at some Fauxberry.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Goalie on goalie action
The big fight happened on February 22, but hockey doesn't get enough coverage so maybe this is new to you... It's rare that goalies brawl, and even rarer when one has to fight a forward. On Thursday, Ottawa's "Sugar" Ray Emery went at it with Buffalo's netminder Martin Biron, followed by Andrew Peters.
FYI, the Isles won the game and the Sens won the rematch over the weekend. They'll probably face each other in a playoff series, which should be a good one.
Food not bands
You know you're getting old when weekend priorities have shifted from seeing bands to eating out. My last couple days went something like this:
Friday - Drive out to watch Wendy and her team play volleyball in Carson, then grab a bite with them at a Baker's Square. Don't laugh, it was pretty good. I had the spicy burger with a Boca patty and a slice of pie.
Saturday - We met my cousin Anthony, his fiancée, and their friend for brunch at the Edendale Grill. It was closed! So we went to Eatwell on Sunset, where I had chilequiles (aka breakfast nachos). We went across the street for gelato after that. Dinner was at Vegetarian Wok in San Gabriel. We gathered a group of seven, and had enough for an awesome set meal, followed by Beard Papa. I felt like Homer Simpson.
Sunday - Had lunch with friends at the Taco Spot in Eagle Rock. I partook of a soyrizo burrito and a horchata. Dinner was with our friend Karen, who hosts a party for the Oscars (basically the Super Bowl for girls) every year. Wendy and I lost the pool and our $5 entry fee, but it was all right because Karen is an awesome cook.
After leaving Karen's pad, we jammed over to a free night at Spaceland to see this mod/garage/pop band called The Prayers, which had the first slot. Upon arrival, I was stoked to see an empty stage but was ultimately disappointed to see the second band on the bill take the stage. Crud!
If eating out instead of seeing bands means you're getting old, sitting in bed and doing the crossword puzzle must be the nail in the coffin.
This is a band that my friends in San Diego saw four weeks in a row during its residency at the Casbah. They played a free show last night right down the street and I missed it!
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Did I post this already? Radio sucks in Hong Kong, so now and then I send a mix CD to my friend Dan who lives out there. These are the songs that I passed along back in December. He lost the list, so I just re-sent it. If I recall, new songs were slim picking, so I had to dig into my piles of CDs.
J Church - Fascist Radio
Jets To Brazil - One Summer Last Fall
Lync - Two Feet In Front
Built To Spill - Sick And Wrong
The Halo Benders - Virginia Reel Around The Fountain
Bangs - We Want More
Bikini Kill - I Like Fucking
The Weirdos - We Got The Neutron Bomb
Carbon Silicon - What The Fuck
Romanes - ぶんなぐれ (Rockaway Beach)
Monsters Are Waiting - Monsters Are Waiting
Walking Concert - What's Your New Thing?
Dag Nasty - Twisted Again (Remix)
Soul Side - Baby
Only Crime - Sedated
Hard-Ons - But Officer I Was Just Doing My Job
Braid - My Life
Braid - Baby, Now That I've Found You
If you have the library or resourcefulness/time to gather the songs, let me know what you think. Hopefully, the next one will have some newer stuff on it. Which reminds me... Only Crime recently came out with a new album. You know, the group with members of Good Riddance and Bane with Bill Stevenson from Black Flag and the Descendents/ALL. Damn! Check out the scoop here.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
To celebrate the release of his new album, Money Mark is playing a handful of free shows in L.A. and S.F.!
2/27: Hollywood, CA @ Amoeba Records(7 pm)
2/28: Long Beach, CA @ Fingerprints (6 pm)
3/4: San Francisco, CA @ Amoeba Records (2 pm)
He's also playing a KCRW's morning show on the 27th and opening for Cake on the 4th. Mark's shows that I've seen have been off-the-cuff and unpredictable, but they always groove and leave you feeling good.
Monday, February 19, 2007
On the donut run
Drive like Jesu
Bad news from the blog of Justin K. Broadrick: Jesu's tour has been delayed.
"We are sorry to report that Jesu are still stuck in England and will NOT be playing the Spaceland, L.A headline/release party ; work permits for Jesu have still not been cleared by U.S officials/customs and the band are not allowed into the U.S until the permits are officially cleared. The band are yet to receive a date of clearance and simply have to wait until they do so before entering the U.S, hence Jesu will not be appearing at any shows with ISIS until the permits are available and Jesu can leave England."
Bummer. I had tickets to Tuesday night's show at Spaceland...
Friday, February 16, 2007
Rock 'n' Roll Juggernaut
According to Tesco Vee, "the sweetest kittens have the sharpest claws." But strays can still use your help. Don't forget the Free To A Good Home group art show tomorrow night at GR2!
Kiyoshi vs. kittens
Los Angeles Nobody
Gung hay fat choy
Happy year of the pig! This Vietnamese pot-bellied piglet says, "Where's my lei see, Bich?"
You belong at the zoo.
Miraculously fresh shit
Is it okay to blog about other people blogging about us? Our friends at Nice Rainbow just received the latest issue of GR, and noted the article about directors Katsuhito Ishii and Miki Shinichiro on their site.
Ishii is on a huge roll now, with Funky Forest (which he directed with Miki and their pal ANIKI) gaining a lot of well-deserved attention and the amazing A Taste of Tea about to get a U.S. release. Coincidentally, I happen to be wearing A Taste of Tea T-shirt right now!
Heads up SGV people... The new Beard Papa's in Arcadia is having its grand opening today! The first 100 customers to buy a dozen cream puffs gets a free Thermos! These were given away when the Sawtelle location openened, and they're really nice.
Oh yeah, the cream puffs are great, too.
Check it out:
860 S. Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Kiyoshi has a posse
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This weekend we're hosting Free To A Good Home, a group art show at GR2 benefiting L.A.'s Kitten Rescue. I have to attend a pig-related dinner that night (Chinese New Year) so I'll be a little late, but how could anyone not be into this?
A ton of our favorite people are on the list, including Martin C., John, Jeana, kozyndan, Souther, and Saelee, but I'm especially curious to see what Pryor brings to the table.
To get in the mood, check out The Daily Kitten, Kittenwar, and Cute Overload...
I haven't forgotten you dog people. We'll get to puppies on another day.
Instead of going to a packed restaurant or giving flowers that are just going to die, I recommend you check out an art opening on Valentine's Day. The new show at REDCAT (under the Disney Concert Hall in Downtown L.A.) is a pan-Asian art colossus, with contributors coming from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Philippines. The pieces range from painted urban landscapes (juxtaposing graffiti, communist messages, and billboards) to video montages (one including Bush's cabinet members in various states of injury) to abstract installations that you can walk on or through (with the very concrete goal of raising funds to build a library in a small Thai village).
Hanging with Eungie, ace curator and one cool chick.
The art is all over the place, but the title, Eternal Flame: Imagining a Future at the End of the World, brings everything together. If the concept--which touches on hope in moments of confusion and war--doesn't grab you, maybe the idea of free booze in a beautiful art space will.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
This was announced last week, but better late than never. GR homeboy Daniel Wu received a best new director nomination from the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards for his boy-band mockumentary, The Heavenly Kings. What, nothing for best original film song? The awards will be presented on April 15.
Beforehand, the Hong Kong Film Critics Society deemed it one of the eight most significant films for 2006 and nominated it for best film, best director, and best screenplay...
It's not spring yet, but I'm trying to clean up the house. These are some of the things I'm putting away to paint and make room for new furniture--the sad but inevitable debachelorizing process.
The Shogun Warriors are back in their boxes and up in a closet. I still have instructions for two of the Americanized jumbo machinders, and the only pieces missing are two battle-axes for Dragun.
Placed on my window sills, these skateboard decks from Capital and AD Unit have Hong Kong movie art. The former says, "Once the best of friends, now the bitterest of enemies," but anyone who's seen Tony Leung and Chow Yun-Fat in Hard Boiled knows that it should be the other way around. The latter one is cool because it was for an Asian-American skater, re-pruh-senting with one of Jet Li's best flicks.
Random stuff: A light saber, stuffed monkeys (including a handmade one by Cup from Aquarius Records in S.F.), and a framed art piece by Souther Salazar and Ron Régé. Oh yeah, the Christmas lights are gonna go, too.
This is just one of many signed posters on my wall. It's New Legend of Shaolin with Jet Li's autograph. I also have Chinese Ghost Story II (Tsui Hark) and a The Heroic Trio (Maggie Cheung) in frames. Most likely, they will be going into storage... On the right is original art by Ai Yamaguchi. I don't think that's going anywhere.
More to come... Or is that go?
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Public transportation is great, but there's nothing like driving around and listening to music. There's no iPod plug in my car, but I have a 6-CD shuffler. This is what's in it at the moment:
1. Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves
2. Soul Side - Soon Come Happy
3. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Living With The Living (Advance copy!)
4. The Jam - Live at the BBC (Disc 2)
5. Paul Weller - Hit Parade (Disc 2 w/ songs by The Style Council)
6. Paul Weller - Modern Classics (Bonus disc w/ live cuts)
There was a time when I'd try to make mix tapes. Now I just try to have CDs that flow together.
Apparently, I'm still affected by last week's Modfather fest...
Thursday, February 08, 2007
There are some food rules that you don't mess with. Don't order Mexican food at Denny's. If you can help it, don't go to Denny's in the first place. Today, I tempted fate by having shabu-shabu at The Block in Orange.
A little background: When I was a kid, the outdoor mall was called The City. As bigger, indoor shopping areas rose to prominence, it dried up. So in the '90s, it was given a makeover. There's no Sears, Nordstrom, or Macy's to serve as anchor; the biggest tenant is the Vans skatepark. Hilo Hattie's and Ron Jon's Surf Shop also stand out in the "extreme" shopping center.
When Adriana and Michael from Imaginasian TV and I walked into the Japanese joint after the press screening of Journey From The Fall, we were Asians in a super-Oriental-looking place being served by white folks. But it wasn't bad--probably because the cooks were Asian. If the food sucked, we had no one to blame but ourselves.
Daniel Wu's new flick opens in Hong Kong next week! Produced by Peter Chan, directed by Derek Yee, and also starring Andy Lau, Anita Yuen, and Louis Koo, The Protégé should be a winner. Lau plays an HK drug kingpin preparing his success, played by Dan. Check out the trailer here.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Joe Sixpack vs. King of the Mods + Albert Reyes
Last night, we attended the Jimmy Kimmel Show taping. There were tons of Paul Weller fans there--so many that assistants had to remind the audience in the front sections that "it was the Jimmy Kimmel Show, not the Paul Weller Show." Lots of suits, badges, and British accents in the crowd (so to speak).
The show? The British guy from Lost seemed like an okay guy, and Donatella Vercase was a spectacle. I'm not a fashionable dude, but she is an icon and she looks and acts like it, too-- oozing with unusual style and confidence. She was badass enough to wear a patent-leather corset with a pointy bra, but humble/big enough to say that she liked SNL's parodies of her. There were also some aspiring actresses who found fame in a YouTube video about a bride that freaks out. Two out of three isn't bad. As he does onscreen, in the studio Kimmel comes off more like a regular guy than a phony host while handling banter with the best of them.
Albert Reyes was supposed to demonstrate his spit art on the program as well, but that was delayed until tonight. To see three masters of their art forms--Weller, Versace, and Reyes--in one night would have been too much! So if you missed his performance at GR2, check it out on ABC tonight...
Can I kick it?
Pink Flamingo vs. Sex Pistol
Whoa, John Waters is on Jonesy's Jukebox now!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Banana x Nara
Went to the Avalon again last night. The final night of Paul Weller's three-night stand was a lot like a combination of the first two--at least in terms of Jam and Style Council songs. The addition was "English Rose." Most of the juice was served up during the solo songs, though. From "Into Tomorrow" through "The Changing Man" and "Peacock Suit" up to "From Floorboards Up," you can tell that the newer songs have way much going on in them. More skill with just as much fire, you might say. Gotta say that his band is tack sharp and fierce. I don't know if the musical tenacity comes though in their studio recordings.
I tried taking pictures last night and the night before, and have concluded that the Ricoh GR isn't really made for longer-distance pics--at least not ones with light shooting in different directions, fog, smoke, and a couple rows of heads between the fixed lens and the object. I concede that zoom is good for such situations. Nonetheless, this shot turned out half-way decent because the house lights were on. It was during "Town Called Malice," which ended all three shows. The GR is still kick-ass for portraits, though.
The photo above doesn't really count because I used flash in a dark room. It's gr/eats regular, GR advice giver, adidas-wearer, and friend Tom. He's one of the sharpest, warmest guys on Earth. It wasn't fair to ambush him with a photo after three nights of concerts--following three nights plus an in-store with Paul Weller in NYC--but I couldn't resist. (The cups on the ground are not his.)
Ah, that's better. The mix of neon and florescent light in Sanamluang in Thai Town. On the left is Karina. She's a GR Foundation member and also a contributor who wrote a Perfect Day a couple issues back. She flew all the way from Guam to see Paul Weller! On the right is Pryor, GR's minister of color. The last few times PW has crossed the pond, Pryor is the other guy I know who will spend the $$ for a ticket. How could he not come along to open and close this stand?
Tonight, I'm going to see PW at the Jimmy Kimmel show. This should be interesting.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Advance copies of GR46 are now available at GR1+2, GRSF, and GRNY! Undercover wahine Lila holds up a copy on Sawtelle... That and helado are almost too much for a simple Islander girl to take.
What's inside? Film icon Gong Li; style god Hiroshi Fujiwara; New Hal & Hons, Taste of Tea, Funky Forest, and Sharkskin Man & Peach Hip Girl director Katsuhito Ishii, anime outsider Satoshi Kon, Thai cowboy director Wisit Sasanatieng, Japanese black metal rogues Sigh, Perth director Djinn, DJ Towa Tei, Vietnam artist Binh Danh, and more!
Who's the Macquarium?
This weekend, my friends Ken and Linda participated in DORKBAKE, a contest that challenged entrants to design ovens powered by 100-watt lightbulbs and then cook something with them. This was the entry: The Macquarium. It refers to the hacker tradition of turning old SEs into aquariums. To further the allusion, the Linda came up with a recipe for fish-shaped cookies.
Ken designed a screen with the modified happy computer logo. One the menu bar, the final listing is "bake." The mouse has also been gutted and stuffed with a dimmer. The ball on top used to be on the bottom!
Linda applies "scales" of meringue. Ingredients had to come from an approved list of items that would be supplied at the event. Unfortunately, coffee was not on it. Hackers without coffee? Unheard of! Oh well, the cookies were supposed to be chocolate and coffee.
The gutted Mac was full of insulation and tin foil. The cooling rack was purchased from the 99-Cents-Only Store. The temperature reached 390, but cooled dramatically--to 260, I think--when a tray with dough was inserted.
The cookies were really good. I got to taste some, er, a few. Wow, look at all those wine glasses. I missed out on that part of the night.
I didn't witness the event due to a concert, but Linda and Ken wound up securing third. Who did better? One of two clay pot entries finished second. Simple, but effective.
The winner? A flying saucer made from a serving tray. Apparently, it was presented by people in gorilla and alien costumes! That extra step counts, sometimes.
These ovens and a couple others will be on display at Machine Project in Echo Park through the end of the month. Ask the proprietors why the Macquarium didn't win!
Paul Weller's concert at the Avalon on Sunday night was great. The previous evening's set was excellent, too, but it seemed like the middle show of the three-night stand was more cohesive. The older songs he mixed in were more interesting, too: "Thick as Thieves," "Running on the Spot," and "My Ever Changing Moods."
The playlist doesn't show it, but they did "Long Hot Summer," too. Karina points to the space where it happened, more or less. The Modfather was feeling it at that moment.
Friday, February 02, 2007
The Messengers is the Hollywood debut by the Pang Brothers. Is it a good movie? I don't know, but it probably looks great.
Danny and Oxide edited Infernal Affairs and helmed The Eye. This one, which is probably more like the latter, opens today.
We love Eazy
This weekend, Dorkbake takes place at Machine Project in Echo Park. In the contest, entrants are challenged to construct ovens using only the power of 100-watt bulbs and then use it.
Our friends (and GR contributors) Ken and Linda have combined their respective industrial design and culinary school backgrounds to come up with something cool. I saw the oven in its early stages on Monday, and was blown away. If they make the cut, look for them to participate in the live cook-off around 6:00 p.m.
Yesterday, my car wouldn't start. Figuring that I hadn't been driving the car as much due to carpooling, I had it jump-started and thought everything would be okay. This morning it didn't start, either.
So I dug out some wrenches, removed the battery, and had it tested at Pep Boys. Sure enough, the meter revealed that was was time for a replacement after only three years. Manufacturers can skimp on pieces like that. After putting everything back together, the car started up and I reset my clock and radio stations. Not exactly rocket science, but I felt pretty studly after that.
Then realized it was my mom--who happened to be in town--that me a ride to get the battery. Oh well. I'm not a car guy and I know it. At least I got lunch out of it, and the soyrizo burrito at The Taco Spot on Colorado in Eagle Rock was quite tasty, too. (Neither as intense as King Taco nor classic like Señor Fish, the menu is healthy and good.)
Not only is there a song available from J Church's new album available at the No Idea! Records site, but the band actually has a show scheduled. Here's the scoop from Lance, straight from the band's myspace page:
J CHURCH VS. SXSW
Yeah, we're really playing this time. Can you fucking believe it? Our first shows in six months...
Hide your daughters and your new-wave girlfriends! The Mentors are back and they're playing the Knitting Factory in a couple weeks.
I actually saw the PMRC-cited trio play a few times in the later '80s and early '90s at the Anti-Club. At least one show was canceled because El Duce was in jail in Mexico. The drummer/singer/womanizer/dope fiend passed away, but the remaining members bassist Dr. Heathenscum and guitar god Sickie Wifebeater have assembled a new crew. Fans of dirty metal who aren't easily offended need to check this out...
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Triumph vs. Vespa
We got an advance copy of Living with the Living, the new CD from Ted Leo and The Pharmacists this week. Following up a great run of righteous, rocking, and fun releases for Lookout!, the prolific and constantly touring band is continuing its ascent into The Only Band That Matters category. I like punk that's fueled by attitude and energy, but sometimes you need to hear musical and songwriting talent, which this trio has in spades. Combine the lyrics of Billy Bragg, falsetto from Squeeze, music of Thin Lizzy, and DIY spirit and ethic of DCHC, and you'll get a general idea. After a few listens seems like this album has a lot more layers and dynamics than the previous ones, and the group even breaks into a full-on reggae song.
To combat piracy, the 15 songs are split up into 90 tracks! I don't mind because all the songs are great, and I can't tell the difference when I'm listening in my car anyway. But what's with the quotes on the back? Gushy reviews from Spin, Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times? Does that help? You'd think it was a Pearl Jam record or something. I better start write catchier reviews so they have more options next time.
Got a note from the guys at the Web store saying that some back issues were needed to fill orders. Issues 21 and 22--nice. Cover stories with artists Murakami and Chiho, interviews with film gods Beat Takeshi, Tony Leung, Wong Kar-Wai, Jackie Chan, and Kowloon Walled City pics from Greg Girard, Dan Wu's trip to Cambodia, and HK designer Wing Shya? Those were solid magazines.
Time to go to the shed...
This is where the back issues are kept.
Like Limahl once said, let's get a little closer.
It's a lot of work to take all the boxes out, so I just crawl over the top. There's at least 18 inches of crawlspace, and I haven't bonked my head yet. That's shocking but I'm kind of clumsy (yet flexible).
The mags are arranged roughly in a spiral. From the doorway, early issues are at your immediate left and issue numbers go up clockwise. Issues 21 and 22 should be straight ahead, maybe two or three shelves down.
I can reach GR21, but GR22 will mean climbing down and jamming myself between piles of mags. Good thing I don't need to get to the bottom shelf.
I'm glad an earthquake didn't happen when I was down there.
To get back, follow the light.
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