Saturday, July 4, 2015

Picture us coolin' out on the 4th of July, and if you heard we were celebrating, that's a worldwide lie.

It's time for a female president.

I want so badly for that type of leadership, temperament and strength running our country.

But I have to vote with my heart as well as my head, and being a progressive I have only one choice in the primary, and that is Bernie Sanders.

Hillary is a lot of things, some I love, and some I strongly dislike (all policy based, none personal), but one thing she is not is a progressive.

Should she win the party's nomination I will wholeheartedly throw my full support behind her campaigning, monetarily, and using whatever voice I have both on social media and within the world as someone who has a larger audience than the average dude on the street through what I've been lucky to achieve artistically, but until that time that she is the nominee, I'm feeling the Bern.

As a longtime fan of his I identify with his support for working families, concern for the P-word (The poor, a word most candidates fear not say lest the Republicans say they support a welfare state), his sensible foreign policy, his criticism of corporate greed and Wall St, his looking for a workable but humane reform of immigration, concerns for the environment and education, and most of all his support of a single payer health care. 

True our current president whom I greatly admire is not so progressive himself in some areas, and his presidency has been nearly lock-step with Wall St., HOWEVER, in my opinion he has been able to enact legislation that is moving the country towards where I think it needs to go, and though a center-left candidate and President, he's managed to do great things for women, the LGBT community, working class families and all of us of progressive and liberal persuasion. (Kagan, Sotomayor anyone???).

If his presidency is followed by 4-8 years of a Democrat in office his legacy will be cemented and he will go down as one of the greats, ESPECIALLY in the face of the opposition, disrespect, and constant obstruction of the tea party and the right wing who have all fallen in line to de-legitimize him every step of the way, even going so far as to call into question his nationality. Truly astonishing.

There are those who think that a vote for Bernie is the same as Ralph Nader, but that's a false equivalence. 
Bernie is running as a Dem in the primary, and how he stacks up against Jeb is a separate argument, but I can't vote in fear, I have to vote with my conscience. Bernie is the one I most identify with in a blind quiz of policy and beliefs, Bernie is the one I've always respected, and Bernie is the one who speaks for the underdog, the 99% and most of my generation.

If you told me that should he win the nomination, Bernie could not beat Jeb and we would have Republican rule which would possibly get to appoint a Supreme Court Justice and seek to wipe away all of Obama's accomplishments and what they've done for the average American, then I would take pause.... but again, I can't vote in fear, and we've spent too long in the 2-party system voting for the lesser of two evils and look what we've gotten......

An endless war against a shifting and ever-evolving enemy we can't possibly "defeat", the largest disparity between the rich and poor in history, a divided country, a whole party who puts immediate gain and lobbyist interest above empirical evidence of climate change and one who choses religious text over science every time, a Congress frozen in paralysis, special interest and gerrymandering at the local and federal level, and the list goes on....

I didn't vote for Obama because he was black. 

He ran to the left of Hillary and when I heard him spoke and met him I wanted him to represent our nation, so neither can I vote for Hillary because of her gender, not when there is a VIABLE candidate to the left of her whose values I closer align with.

Again, should she win the nomination, fantastic, I'm in. 

Regardless of her past, shady dealings in Arkansas, her hawkishness and near neo-con foreign policy, (not that far from the Obama doctrine, I should add), her corporate and Wall St. ties, and the way Bill tried to inject race into the primary to make Obama seem like he couldn't possibly win (I cannot WAIT to see what John Lewis finally tells us when he dishes on what transpired in 08!).

Regardless of any knock you can throw her way (and not the personal, unkind attacks her enemies and the right have which are usually sexist and baseless), I will support her and help her win the presidency. Yes she acts like it's hers to lose and she's earned it, yes she can be abrasive (what presidential candidate hasn't! - also a very sexist-tinged argument which is dangerous), and yes she is not a progressive. 

But she is a Democrat, and I cannot see my country go to the hands of the Republican Party and it's lack of concern for the poor, minorities, the LGBT community and the 99% of Americans who aren't funding their endless campaigns and filling their coffers. We need education, training, infrastructure, social programs, THE EPA, immigration reform, to support unions, to make sure pensions and Social Security aren't privatized, to stop military spending, gun control, to become more isolationist and rebuild America before we police the world, and to restore the middle class.

And the Supreme Court? Does Scalia need another ally? That's my biggest fear and greatest issue for me.

The same judicial activism the right accuses every Obama and Democratic appointee of showing and what they witch hunt for in the hearings is EXACTLY what Scalia and Roberts practice every time they put on the robes, and I'm sick of it.

With church burnings, racial tensions, police declaring war on black Americans, income inequality, education being 3rd world in most US cities, climate change reaching milestones we were warned of YEARS ago when we had time to change it, a shifting, ever-browning electorate and civil rights finally being granted to all, it is time for America to have a leader who can guide us through these times which though not as perilous as the financial collapse Obama walked into, is every bit as terrifying and even more so in many regards.

I sincerely hope that this country heals and grows together and not further apart, and that is exactly what will happen if a Republican is elected in 2016. 

For my generation, for my family, for the future of the country I love, I'm voting Bernie and most importantly, I'm voting Democrat.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man, I like the shit you did with Rawkus too, that shit was phat.

When At The Drive In's album, Relationship Of Command came out in 2000 it changed everything for me. I went back and studied In Casino Out and Vaya like my life depended on it. I absorbed everything this band had to offer. 

My band, Tape was a mixture of MBV, Primal Scream, The Stooges and some 90's rap shit, but my stage demeanor, leaping off amps and over the drummer, knocking into the guitar player and basically having a fit was heavily influenced by Cedric Bixler (Before he went by the hyphenated, Zavalas). 

When they announced the first night of the tour at the Glass House in Pomona I bought tickets for my whole band. Mind you, back then money was tight and that was a big deal, but needless to say I went with most of my band and my then girlfriend in tow. 

We had played previously played to about 25 people in the small room next door, and that was just about the biggest deal ever for me, so this was major. I got there early, claimed a good spot, and though I missed the Murder City Devils (bummer), I was right in the middle of the crowd, eager with anticipation when Jim gave his Ian MacKaye rap and with that, the band launched into one of the most impressive sets of music I've ever heard, even to this day. 

I later went to De Facto (their side band) shows at the Knitting Factory, one of the 1st Mars Volta shows at the Troubadour, and continued being a mega fan all the way until they broke up. I never met the band, never needed to; the music was enough for me.  

Fast forward to many years later and my band, She Wants Revenge managed to play at the same venue where I had first seen them rock out at, The Glass House, selling it out each time we played. I couldn't believe that. Seeing a packed house for ATDI blew my mind, and here we were doing it ourselves. Crazy. Like truly never thought that was possible. 

 Around this time my friend Juan, a brilliant bass player mentioned in passing that he may audition for the Mars Volta. He knew how big of an ATDI fan I was, and though he was totally into it, I like to think that me freaking out about the opportunity and talking his ear off about it saying how he HAD to do it helped push him towards it. Soon my friend who I had played with was in this massive, immensely musical, beautiful prog rock band, wowing audiences worldwide. So cool.

Tim Ward, a dear friend who was working with SWR at the time told me that I would totally get along with the singer from the other hand he worked with, The Mars Volta. He told me that like myself, he skated around on days off on tour, loved old skate videos like I did, and that if we ever met we would totally get along. 

He introduced us through text message (if memory serves me), and we began a long and very cool text and social media relationship. We spoke of getting together to skate, but busy lives always got in the way. One day he met and later married a local girl I knew, and soon they were off having beautiful children and joining that club of touring dad, a gig I knew all too well. We stayed in touch, texted, made plans to make plans, invited each other to some cool life things, but then one day he moved back home to El Paso, and we never even got to skate Bronson Canyon as we said we'd like to. 

Then one day ATDI announced they were playing Coachella, and I was over the moon. I tweeted a congratulations to Cedric telling him how excited I was and then texted him and told him the story of how I'd taken my band to see them at the Glass House and how moved I was by their song, "Napoleon Solo". (Look up the story if you don't know it). I told him that they'd better play it, to which he replied, "Of course, just for you". 

So when I was front and center watching them tear up weekend 1 with my wife it was the coolest thing ever when they started that familiar guitar riff and played one of my favorite songs. It was really a full circle moment. Here was this dude who influenced me so much as a performer, doing this song at a festival I had the pleasure and honor off playing TWICE, something I never would have believed had you told me that back when I played with Tape. 

The next weekend I was in bed with my wife when my phone blew up with texts; "did you hear that?!"  "What the fuck?!"  I didn't get it. What was I missing? Oh, right...Coachella weekend 2. My friend Tyler told me that Cedric had shouted me out from the main stage of Coachella. I was gobsmacked. I couldn't believe it. Here he has told me he was going to play it for me, but a shout out? 

No. Not possible. 

It wasn't available on YouTube for a while, and when I finally found a recording of the show and the song I watched eagerly waiting to hear what he said, and as the song's familiar stains began, he spun around, and on the mic for everyone to hear, said, "This song is dedicated to Justin Warfield". 

I just got goose bumps when I typed this. 

I still can't believe that moment or what it meant for the fan that bought his band tickets to see At The Drive In to inspire them and him to reach for greater heights. 

That was one of the most magical rock and roll moments of my life, and believe me, I've had more than I'm worthy of. 

I thanked him over text and said we must hang, and when I caught wind of his new band, Zavalas I said we should play together, as my new outfit Dream Club would be a perfect fit. We continued to talk on social media, and the more things we found in common the more we couldn't believe we'd never met. 

The capper was one day when I posted pics of me with my Afro, jumping off amps with Tape. He liked the pics, and said, "how did we never hang out back then?"  That was so fucking cool. 

This past Coachella, Drive Like Jehu played, a band I could write a similar post about, but will spare you. What I can tell you is I dragged my girl away from Jack White late into the evening to see this band that blew me away in a bowling alley back in 1994 as a young lad. 

When we finally arrived after the long walk to the Gobi, there was nobody there. Literally about a hundred or so people gathered in the tent as they tuned up and line checked. Near the stage in the guest viewing area there were about five people lurking around. 

But there, standing alone and waiting patiently like the fan he was, was Cedric Bixler-Zavalas. 

I walked right up to him, grabbed him, and upon seeing me we just laughed and hugged. 

It was totally amazing. Years in the making, and of course, there we were, just two fans of music, waiting to see a band who changed our lives. 

I said, "of course we're the only two guys here". 

And it was so fucking special. 

When I met Barack Obama as he was campaigning for the presidency the 1st term I didn't ask for a pic, when I hung out with Lou Reed I didn't dare ask for a pic, but after we talked about our wives, our lives, our music, our kids, and how crazy that it had taken us this long to meet, I looked to my girl and said, "you have to take a pic". 

Music is magic. 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Schizophrenic like Syd Barret, on one. Edgar Allen Ho screamin', "Reynolds", on one.

So happy to share with you the first video from the artist I've been working with for over a year now. 

It has been an amazing experience watching her grow from an incredible but raw MC to a gifted songwriter and person with a bank account (but still no driver's license). 

I'm so proud of our über-talented girl, Nova Paholek and all the hard work she's done to get here. Congratulations kid, and to the best team in the world, Jensen Karp & Evan Kidd Bogart, let's do this. 

Produced by Chest Rockwell, managed by Jensen Karp (Hot Karl, y'all), and Executive Produced by Evan Bogart and myself, I present to you Nova Rockafeller in, "Problem".

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I guess it's just a thought, though my mind is kinda name is Justin, baby.


We were sitting backstage at the Masquerade, a decades-old
Goth leaning club we’d played many times before, the latter
“we” being my band, She Wants Revenge, and the former,
Jarobi White and myself. Jarobi, once known as “The Mystic
Man” was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest and an
old, dear friend from my hip-hop years in the early 90’s. For
those who only know me as the guy who sang, “Tear You
Apart” and “the Popsicle song”, a little backstory…

I released my first single, the QD3 produced “Season Of The
Vic” in 1991 at the age of 17 and was immediately signed by
Quincy Jones to his label, Qwest/Warner Bros. The song was a
laid-back, California, sun-kissed hip-hop hippie tale of people
taking your shit. I used my own name, dressed like Jim Morrison
and was in love with the Jungle Brothers and their fellow Native

The song got radio play, entered the urban charts, and was in
heavy rotation on Yo! MTV Raps. I hosted Pump It Up,
appeared on BET, would later perform on Soul Train and played
shows throughout LA and the bay while coming up along
fellow LA artists Wil-I-Am (then Will 1X), The Pharcyde, Cypress
Hill, Kev Hicks and Mannish, Freestyle Fellowship, Ras-Kas, The
Whooliganz, The Wascals, The Funkytown Pros, and House Of

The song was a bona-fide hit, and despite comparisons to Q-Tip
(a good friend at the time) was well received in most quarters.
Before I’d even graduated high school I was a semi-famous
rapper in one of the most creative and prolific moments in hip-hop.

But in 2010, I was fronting She Wants Revenge, a band I’d
started with another hip-hop kid from Los Angeles, Adam
Bravin, which is where we began the story, in Atlanta, at The

Jarobi was living there at the time, and had come to the show
to catch up and see Adam and myself play. Before the show
we talked story, laughed our asses off and it was like 1992 all
over again, only now we were pushing 40 and had kids of our
own. We discussed hip-hop, and he told me that he’d put
together a group of his own with Dres of Black Sheep fame.

Though still bubbling and undeveloped, I told him about the
urge I’d been having for the last year: the feeling I thought
would never return, the relationship I thought long-severed, yet
still I heard myself say it out loud with Jarobi as witness, “I’m
thinking about making a hip-hop album”. I went on to tell him
that for the first time in ages I was feeling pulled, compelled if
you will to do something.

The only caveat being I didn’t know what to talk about, and
since hip-hop is at it’s best a vehicle for an artist with something
he or she hasto say, a point of view given voice over beats,
and that if you had nothing to say, well…then better to not say
anything at all. (A point lost on some modern rappers, and
more importantly, the ever-growing audience that gobbles it

I told Jarobi I had the itch, but until I knew what I wanted to talk
about, that it was nothing more than that, the faintest of ideas,
an inkling of an idea. But for someone who had retired from
rapping after releasing only one album and a handful of UK
singles over the years, even considering it at all was a leap
forward and verging on shocking.

Fast forward to a bar in New York City, and Jarobi and I are
yelling at the top of our lungs at a group of younger hip-hop
kids we’re seated with, debating the “G.O.A.T.” or Greatest Of
All Time to the layman.

The debate spilled onto the street, and
soon we were in a dark Soho club while Adam 12 and Stretch
Armstrong played classic cut after classic cut and Jarobi and I
reminisced about “that night at Red Alert’s club when shit got
wild”, the uptown girls who’d bring us home-cooked soul food
and nickel bags of “machine gun funk”, and about a hundred
other stories from the glory days of hip-hop – reveling in our past
like two hippies telling the kids about Woodstock.

And rightly so, because from the late 80’s to the mid-90’sthis
was our Woodstock, but instead of The Who it was L.O.N.S,
while they had Jimi we had Chuck and Kris, and our Janis was
MC Lyte.

Back then when I went to NYC to meet with producers for my
first LP, Jarobi, whom I’d met when I drove Tribe to their first LA
show, was my guide and narrator, teaching me all about the
city, it’s people and it’s hip-hop past. He brought me into the
inner sanctum of the NYC hip-hop culture and introduced me
to everyone, from Brooklyn to the Bronx as his “cousin”.
I hung with Guru and Primo, De La, Black Sheep, The Flavor Unit,
Nice & Smooth, Busta Rhymes, The Bomb Squad, members of
BDP, Brand Nubian, Main Source, Chris Lighty, Red Alert,
Grandmaster Flash, and many, many others. Needless to say
my experience in hip-hop was first hand and with the people
who created the music and culture. I was an 18-year-old
member of The Universal Zulu Nation who’d travelled from
Laurel Canyon to find like-minded people to make an
unconventional hip-hop album.

But I digress. Back to the present. 2011.
Several tours, a few bolts of inspiration and some great
conversations with trusted confidants later and I found myself
at the end of a co-headline tour with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus.
It had been a great tour, culminating with Adam and myself
joining Peter and his band onstage to play a cover of Bauhaus’
“Dark Entries”, a dream on so many levels, both for us and the
fans in attendance.

Later that night after the final show as we prepared to head
home for the holidays I sat with a friend whom I’d known since I
was 11 years old. We were discussing our plans for the future.
It was loud in the bar so I leaned in close and half-smiling said to
her, “When I get home I’m going to start recording a mixtape”.
She smiled and went on to tell me how now was precisely the
right time and why it was a great idea. Her encouragement
was great, but saying it out loud was the important part. Now I
had to do it.

I went home, the holidays came and went, and on January 1st,
2012, I went into the studio and recorded the 1st rap song I’d
done in many years. Recently I’d been making some incredible
beats, so I knew I still had that, but the rhyming was the
unknown. Could I still do it?

Not that I was ever the greatest rapper, but despite not being
blessed with a God-given rhyming voice like Rakim or Jay-Z I’d
managed to turn my private school intellect and obsessive
fandom of all things hip-hop and pop-culture into a somewhat
groundbreaking hybrid of music….at least that’s what people
had been telling me for the last few decades.

The first song sounded good, and the second even better, but
by the third it was clear to me that not only did I still have it, but
that I was better than I’d EVER been, that my lyrics were
sharper, my wit drier, my flow hotter, and my voice
deeper….truly I had found my rap voice, both figuratively and
literally, and any doubts about subject matter flew out the
window when I found myself rapping about the only thing I
could – what it was to be me at 39 - Happily married but having
lived many heavy lives of love since I first called myself Teenage
Caligula. The narrator was more hardened, and even though
the lyrics of Drugstore Cowboy were at the time pure
imagination, the years that followed made them almost
prescient. The music and the rhyming was angrier, less
polished, more impactful, funnier, smarter, more developed,
and much, much more original.

The years of songwriting, performing live shows around the
world and working in rock & roll, indie-rock, pop and
electronica paid off, as the sound was as one friend and early
listener described, a mélange of everything I’d done before
and perhaps the most honest piece of music I’d ever created.
Here were the words of a father, a husband, a record
producer, and a sober motorcycle-riding singer and from an
internationally recognizable dark-rock band with an obsessive
devotion to the Los Angeles Lakers and a Gossip Girl addiction
to rival any tween from Malibu to the U.E.S. A life-long skater
with equal affection for Jay Electronica, The Band, Broadcast
and Jane’s Addiction whose Twitter bio still reads Universal Zulu

The lyrics were from my life, my experiences, my thoughts, fears,
feelings, rants, and freestyled flows come alive in the recording
studio, just myself at the mixing board with a drum machine
and a microphone, just as I had some 20 years before.
I came up with a concept, The Black Hesh Cult, and started
designing t-shirts and jackets, stickers and merch. It would be a
brand based on the two cultures which were of great
significance to me – the black biker set; motorcyclists from the
bay area and Los Angeles who rode as outlaws in a
predominantly white biker world, and the jean jacket wearing,
bongwater scented Heshers of the San Fernando Valley where I
grew up.

The intersection of those two things set against a hip-hop road movie
soundtrack started to shape a vision for not only the artwork for the
mixtape and the segues that would join the songs, but for the brand as well.

I made a shirt, and a song, and another song, and another….
Soon I got busy with producing other projects, mainly Nova
Rockafeller, which coincidentally was brought to me after
playing her manager, Jensen Karp some songs, and as Nova
and I continued to make music, the Black Hesh Cult Mixtape
sat in waiting.

Time passed, the NBA season progressed, lyrics about Andrew
Bynum turned to lyrics about Dwight Howard, songs were
discarded, beats changed, and new songs were born, and this
mixtape started to become a real album.
After having done all the tracks to date myself, I enlisted my old
friend Balthazar Getty to send some beats my way, and after
sorting through email after email of his tracks, I settled on 3
bangers which spoke to me and felt appropriate, the beats
which would become, “So” “.22”, & “Diary”.
I told Adam from She Wants Revenge what I was doing and
asked if he had any beats he wanted to send my way, and he
sent what was to become, “Up And Bounce”, one of my

I had a file of music set aside for segues to go between songs,
and after carefully selecting the music and dialogue that
would help move the narrative forward, I placed them
between songs with the precision of a surgeon. Everything was
important – the in’s, the out’s, the downbeats, each moment
contributing to the overall feel of the piece.
And when I listened back to the whole thing I was amazed to
find that I’d not made a mixtape, I’d made an album, an
album so close to Planet 9 that there was no question this was
it’s spiritual follow-up.

All in all with other projects popping up, both my own and as a
producer, it took me about a year to finish the mixtape, but if
you tally the time I spent actually in the studio making it, it’s
closer to two months of man hours….but it felt like a lost

It came so easy, from such a pure, unadulterated, imaginative
exploratory place that it was almost déjà vu, for it was exactly
the same feelings I’d had while making my first album so many
moons ago.

While sitting outside my friend’s guitar shop recently we began
talking about the work he’d been doing in hip-hop. I realized
I’d not told him what I’d been up to, so I said, “dude, I made a
mixtape!”. Being that he was around and involved when I
made my first LP, he was thrilled to hear this, but more
importantly he dropped a question - “When’s the 20th
anniversary of Planet 9?”.

The crazy thing is that before that moment it had never even
crossed my mind, and before I could do the math he said,
“dude, its next month”.

I couldn’t believe it. Had it really been 20 years? Forget the age
implications, I was simply blown away that I released an album
so long ago it could be considered “vintage”. This was a
milestone in my life; I’d just turned 40 and my 1st LP turned 20.
A few tweets from some hip-hop bloggers with a love of the
glory days, a dust-covered trip into my garage to dig through
the archives and it was decided; I would release the mixtape in
celebration of the 20th anniversary of my 1st album.
Fitting. Appropriate. Like it was by design.

I’d been waffling on whether or not to release this, as I had
some other things I was working on which I was eager to share
with the world, but in the end, documenting something that
meant so much to me and letting people hear it felt right. If
making it was so effortless and natural, why not let the kids hear
the old man do his thing.

I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve created, both alone with
my thoughts in a darkened studio, as well as with the help of a
few close friends whom I’ve known since I was the teenager
who first experienced this music. It all makes sense.

Thank you to all who heard it along the way and voiced words
of encouragement, because even though I was going to and
had to do this regardless of what anyone thought or felt, it sure
was nice to hear the feedback and know that perhaps I wasn’t
crazy, and perhaps I’d not only found my voice and what to
say, but that it might speak to others as well.

In the weeks to come I will be releasing some rare b-sides and
instrumentals from the Planet 9 sessions, and down the line, an
accompanying essay, describing the making of the album and
the back story that led to it.

I’ve been archiving and going through the past, and there’s a
lot there.

In interviews across the country Adam and myself used to
always say, “We’re just two b-boys from the valley”, and after
20 years it was nice to know that some things never change.
I hope you enjoy,

Justin Warfield August, 21st, 2013

And now, The Black Hesh Cult Mixtape


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Better than Dynasty or Hill Street Blues.

So you’re going to complain about Coachella?


Cause it totally sucks having a rad 3-day vacation with your best friends wherein everyone is having fun, eating your favorite food(trucks), dancing, smiling, bonding and sharing memories all to a carefully curated live-music soundtrack for your listening and viewing enjoyment.

Yeah, that’s terrible.

Let’s instead look at the top of each days’ bill and pass snap judgment without looking at the 10 bands a day you’d go see at the Echo or El Rey anyway.

Let’s talk about the bands that have already played there in the past, let’s complain about the band that we think in our infinite wisdom is reuniting solely for the money when really we’re just pissed it wasn’t The Smiths.

Let’s complain about ticket prices when we’re all getting comps anyway. Let’s complain about the hip-hop influence that’s pervading recent years while following A$AP on Twitter and watching the video for Thrift Store when no one is looking.

Let’s complain about the Red Hot Chili Peppers, never mind that they helped invent alternative music when you were 3 and your older sister who now likes Deap Valley was super into New Kids On The Block.  

Let’s post ironic fake lineups to hide the fact that you’re bummed your shitty band isn’t on the bill.

But it’s such a long drive, and the traffic, and no one has reception, and the rooms are booked, and you have to wait in line for a drink, and there’s no enough water, and there’s too much dance music, and.....YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE.

It’s fucking awesome. Get over it, get over yourself and HAVE FUN.

I will be there with my better half, as we go every year and have an incredible time, like an annual honeymoon, kissing under the stars, knowing every inch of the terrain from going year after year (Yes I went to the 1st one, very proud of that), dancing to bands from all across the country, laughing, sweating, catching up with friends, making plans to meet up at designated times then getting distracted by something awesome and meeting up by accident later anyway, being at the outdoor theater at Sunset, having flashbacks to playing there (twice, let me enjoy that, OK?), getting years confused when discussing past performances, buying the app, getting a tan, beating the crowd, knowing the shortcuts, having the special wristband, standing side stage, saying, “remember that year when….”, living the dream and living our lives instead of typing about it.

And to those who say, "easy for you to say, you get the good passes, you can use the golf carts, you don't get get bullied by security and rounded up like cattle and told where not to go", I say - 

"Exactly. I worked hard under-earning in middling bands and making good music for years to finally have a band be fortunate enough to achieve some kind of success and afford me the luxury of fading into obscurity with an artist wristband on my 39 year old wrist. And security doesn't discriminate, I have just as many problems in the Gen Pop area as I do in the shaded, beverage laden promised land. Having said that, I've gone with the worst passes and had the best time, so just suck it up and don't be a pussy. I'm old and need to be pampered, I don't like dust and hate being around other people, so I need a little more. Now can we continue?

You say the lineup sucks, I call bullshit on that and I'll take it one step further.....I think if you went you would have a blast, let your hair down, come home like Cameron after he wrecked his dad's car and just maybe your cold frozen heart would warm enough to realize that there's more to life than KindKreme and being against everything. 

Here’s what I’ll be watching, no irony, no bullshit, just a list of bands I’m curious to ecstatic to see. Color commentary is dead honest, not trying to be funny, but if it is, feel free to hire me for your writer's room.

Day 1 

* The Stone Roses

* Blur

* Lou Reed - (I know, but he’s Lou Reed, and I’ll be hanging out with him and you won’t, so suck it Sweet Jane)

* Grinderman - (People I trust love and apparently awesome, but I’ve yet to hear them, much like I’ve never seen the Deer Hunter or all of 2001 A Space Odyssey)


* Tegan And Sara - (I gave in)

* Band Of Horses - (I think)

* Beach House - (Do I like them?)

* Foals - (I remember a really good song).

* Tommy Trash - (I say I want to see this and dance with my wife but we’ll end up watching someone else who’s on at the same time so we can hang with that friend who we never get to see cause their friend is the tour manager/tech/singer)


* SPARKS!!!! - (Age appropriate rock which will erase the memory of Squeeze last year)

* Dam Funk - (He’s meant to be awesome, right?)

* Palma Violets


* The Neighbourhood!!

Day 2 

* Phoenix - (30 minutes ago I would have said, "ehh", but in keeping with the spirit of the above words I realized it will be a radical dance party and time to stop being a dick and enjoy the Rich French Strokes).

* New Order - (I’ve seen them be good ONCE, and I was about as far from sober as I’ve ever been and it was in a palace in England with the Chemical Brothers and Underworld, so that’s not an accurate gauge of how good they actually were, having said that Hooky isn’t in the band (as of now), but it’s New Order, so you pray Bernard sings in key while you dance and sing along. Meanwhile I’ll be dancing with one of my favorite people who happens to be a lovely woman as well as their agent. - And while we’re at it, it is not lost on me that my perspective is of one who is in the music industry and has been for 24 years, so sorry if I say agent a lot, or reference managers and friends in bands. It's my JOB. If I worked at Starbucks I'd tell you all about how people pretend to order coffee only dip out when no one is watching to nuke the bathroom, OK?)

* Benny Bennassi - (Like 10 other I’ll list and say I want to see but in the end I will end up missing for Kogi or waiting for a golf cart to meet up with someone who’s no longer there)



* Puscifer - (Friend of a friend, seems fun, never heard)


* Bat For Lashes

* Major Lazer - (Accept it, Diplo is a fucking genius)

* 2 Chainz - (White people love ignorant black music even more than they love Radiohead).

* Danny Brown

* Trash Talk 

* Pusha T - (Clipse is all-time, I ain’t new to this)

* Baauer - (White people and trap music, again…but this is where the good looking kids like AJ Anglais will be, so natch I want to lurk).

* Action Bronson


Day 3 

* RHCP - (Best live band in the world, not debatable, shut the fuck up, how about you learn to play your instrument like these guys, be on your own shit creatively for over 25 years without compromise all while making more money than god, THEN come back and talk shit you tempeh eating fan of bad music)

* Bad Seeds - (I’m gonna be honest, I saw them in the dusty field in one of the early, early ones, or an early Lolla – don’t know a lot of their music, but I like the vibe a lot)

* VAMPIRE WEEKEND - (Four words – GOSSIP GIRL SEASON ONE. Two more words – WHITE PEOPLE. One more word – Graceland. These dudes are awesome, and apart from seeing them be very condescending to a black security guard a previous year (basically just like the scene in Breakfast Club where Bender mocks Carl the janitor), they are fun and make you want to put a sweater around your neck, live off your father’s Amex, punch Carter Baizen and eat a macaroon)

*  Wu-Tang Clan - (why not?)

* Tame Impala

* La Roux - (Again, will probably miss for a Cool Haus ice cream sandwich I’ll put off until I can no longer stick to my no-sugar diet)

* Grimes

* Gaslight Anthem - (Same manager, good dudes, Bruce adjacent)

 * The Faint -  (Def subliminally influenced SWR, and I will rock the fuck out hard when they play their Nebraska-wave dance macabre madness)

* Dinosaur Jr. - (Almost lost my hearing in the pit at Lolla 92 (I think 92) watching these dudes. Now he has grey hair, what’s not to like?)

* Raider Klan -(Don’t know but sounds essential)

* Disclosure - (If you don’t know and you say you like dance music you are in a fraternity and drink beer inverted and have herpes)

* Father John Misty - (Same agent and he’s weird, right?)

* DIIV - (The future, even if it sounds like the past. Same manager. I know...I know)

* Little Green Cars - (Best of the Irish-invasion, with the exception of Hudson Taylor who should score a Graduate type movie that I should one day make)

* White Arrows - (Never heard, but Mickey is a nice enough kid, and I like it when local boys and friends of friends succeed).

So see you there, right?