Friday, December 25, 2009

It was December 24th on Hollis Ave. in the dark.

Two things.

One -
I was informed that Justin Bobby's (If you have to ask, allow me to sigh dramatically and send you back to the last entry) - fashion cuts are from a legitimate motorcycle club out of Los Angeles. Not the Norcal MC of the same name that I mentioned, but another existing club here in town. This "source" also told me that the colors of the patches were orange and white, not red and white as I thought.

OK, so it's hard to tell in the photo. But this still leaves the issue of bottom rocker claiming Los Angeles...still a bold ass move if you ask me, but since I'm talking to myself, it seems no one is.

This source could be wrong, he could be right, I don't know, but I feel a journalistic duty to follow up when it's called for, I'm like Woodward....or Bernstein, only instead of cracking the case on Watergate and changing the course of political history and altering the fabric of America, I'm talking about a hairdresser who rides a motorcycle on a semi-scripted MTV show.


And two -

Merry Christmas.

May you spend it with those you love and who love you.
Though it can be a stressful, sad, reflective, depressing, and lonely time of year, it is still my favorite. I like the way people treat one another.

Like the lady who didn't know how to drive today - rather than honking and swerving around her, I simply let her drive like an asshole. That's the Christmas spirit.

I'm off to Cabo with the family for some sun, surf (hopefully), fishing, and fun.
I hear you can rent Harley's, so that might be kinda bitchin', don't think the wife will hop on back, but I'm gonna try my hardest.

For those of you hanging with family who are sick and tired of that Lawrence Welk bullshit....for those of you who have the Run DMC song and the Waitresses jam but wish you had more cool holiday music to spin, I present to you........

Justin's Awesome Christmas Mixtape

(I'm too tired to post links to the songs, but you're resourceful, you can find them.
personally would go to Amazon, then you can share the files rather than having them be write protected like they do over at itunes).

Some of these are classics, some are new, some are covers, and some just remind me of Christmas and the holidays. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and I hope you all have a very, merry xmas.

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) - Nat King Cole
Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Baby It's Cold Outside - Leon Redbone/Zooey Deschanel
Christmas Time - Stevie Wonder
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
Christmas Song - Joy Zipper
2000 Miles - The Pretenders
Last Christmas (Studio Version) - Jimmy Eat World
Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles
Going Back to Cali - LL Cool J
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Joey Ramone
Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Merry Christmas Baby (LP Version) - Otis Redding
I'll Be Your Santa, Baby - Rufus Thomas
Hey, Santa Claus - The Chesterfield Kings
Run Rudolph Run - Keith Richards / Toots & The Maytals
Jingle Bell Rock - Brenda Lee
Come On Santa - The Raveonettes
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - The Polyphonic Spree
Little Drummer Boy - The Dandy Warhols
Endlessly - Mercury Rev
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Christmas In Hollis - Run-DMC
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
Chrismas Treat - Julian Casablancas
Another Lonely Christmas - Prince
Christmastime Is Here (Vocal) - Vince Guaraldi Trio

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alright, stop what you're doing, cause I'm about to ruin, the image and the style that you're used to.

First off, yes, I am a grown man and I watch The Hills, so let's just get that out of the way first, all judgment welcomed.

Dear Justin Bobby (Née, Justin Brescia),

While most people I know think you are a douchebag, I disagree.

I find you fascinating.

It's not the ever-present arched eyebrow, it's not the "just woke up" mumble, it's not the distant "I don't give a fuck" attitude, and it's not any of the other affectations that wow the under-20 set who tune in to watch the Paramore soundtrack intercut with Brentwood drama that passes for a television show.

What I am referring to is just the entire phenomena that IS Justin Bobby.

I for one as a heterosexual man nearing forty (four years, but who's counting), can view you from a purely academic angle, and enjoy what you bring to the show; good hair, humor, conflict in the hearts and minds of these tormented women, and what I'm sure is referred to in table readings (cause no one believes it's unscripted) board meetings, and the halls of MTV as, "that bad boy image".

To be honest, the only problem I've ever had with you was probably not even of your doing, but rather a bit of magical editing that transpired in an episode where you were surfing and you managed to take off on a wave Goofy Foot and end the ride doing an air Regular Footed. (And it wasn't switch, it was a stunt double, let's be clear).

I could tell you I don't like the frequency in which you display, as well as the choice in tattoo that you have, but hey, I lived through the 90's, and the only bad tattoo I didn't get was a tribal armband or a Chili Pepper logo, so I guess I can't say shit about the ITALIA plastered across your stomach. So that's off limits.

Basically I'm pretty much backing all your bullshit, I think it's all top-notch, I'm a fan, I look forward to a long and fruitful friendship, and if I didn't cut my own hair, I'd probably let you do it, so long as you didn't wash my hair, cause that would feel gay given the amount of writing I'm doing about you at present, dig?

But I digress.

I'm not what you'd call a hater, I'm actually here to help you.

No one minds the Harley with ape-hangers, the flaked out helmet, hell, we'll even let you have a pass on the overalls with no shirt on underneath, but when you started wearing top and bottom rockers with a center patch on your leather jacket, you just went too far, kiddo.

If you haven't had it broken down to you already, allow me to, purely in the interest of saving you a beatdown or potentially worse, cause while the guys from Maroon 5 may think it looks "bitchin", I can assure you there are some guys who hang out far from the swank locales you frequent who wouldn't find it nearly as amusing.

Right off the bat, a history lesson.

3 patch jackets are strictly for Outlaw clubs.


If you want to start a club with your homies, better to adhere to the rules of what are known as "Family" clubs, and have 1 large patch in the center of the jacket, otherwise, if you rock your patches broken down into 3 it's a violation of the code.

If you still don't know what I'm talking about, then let me expand. Top rocker = club, center patch = logo, and bottom rocker is territory.

(iffy)You could even try doing a top rocker and a center patch and see how that works out for you, but the 3 patch combo is a bold affair no matter how you slice it, and on this front you fucked up five different ways.

1st, by the design of your jacket you are claiming Los Angeles as a territory.
INCREDIBLY bold move, especially considering the heaviness of motorcycle clubs that operate in LA, and 2nd, you didn't check in with the predominant MC in the area to ask permission (one of the rules), and if you don't know who that is, you'll find out soon enough wearing the jacket.

3rd, you chose an existing club's colors for your rockers.
This one is actually kind of funny, because if I have to tell you whose colors red and white are, then you may be in more trouble than I thought.
4th, not only are you going to offend the guys who wear those colors you adopted, but ALSO the guys who don't like the guys who wear those colors on their cuts.
Kind of a lose lose situation if you know what I mean.
And finally, 5th, there ALREADY IS a Hooligans MC, based in NorCal, so unless you started a Los Angeles chapter, I guess it's a case of, "whoops".

Of course, I could be wrong.
There might be a heavy MC rolling the streets that I've just never heard of.
One that not only got the green light on flying Los Angeles on the bottom rocker, but also got OK'd to run red and white.
It could be, it's not like I'm the authority on such things.

The whole thing could probably be avoided if you changed the color of the rockers and eliminated the MC on the back, then you could claim ignorance when confronted as to why you were claiming "their" city as your own. But having the MC makes it a Motorcycle Club that operates in the city designated by the bottom rocker, and being that you ride a bike and aren't just some d-bag getting bottle service at Playhouse trying to look hard, that would be tough to play dumb while hanging from your apes at a stoplight.

If I were you, I'd make it a one-patch with the logo in the center and the name incorporated into the design, not as a separate rocker, and then take out the city altogether, but hey, that's just me, I like waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night.

Cause while the girls from Laguna and Stacey the bartender probably dig it, I think you'll find that if you ride with it on outside of West Hollywood, Sunset Plaza, and the occasional Neptune's Net run, you may encounter dudes that won't be nearly as stoked as Kristen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So you think that hip-hop had it's start out in Queensbridge?

My son will never believe that the New York he will come to know could have ever looked like this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mothership connection, getting girls affection, if your life needs correction, don't follow my direction.

If you Google "Tiny", this picture comes up.
Not what I was looking for to help me shorten a web address.

A friend just scored this guitar.
The Hohner Prinz.
I always thought the little purple guy played an old Fender Esquire like the boss, but it turns out it's actually what used to be a relatively cheap Tele copy until Prince collectors jacked up the price and made them increasingly hard to come by.
The original guitar is called the H.S. Anderson "Mad Cat", but after Prince made it famous circa "Controversy", "1999" and most famously in the film "Purple Rain", Cort released it as "The Prinz", followed by Hohner's version, "TE Prinz", but with a different headstock after Fender threatened a lawsuit.
I'm sure Prince has a grip of these just sitting in some velvet covered room collecting dust, but unless I meet a great 2nd story man I'll have to wait till some geek who doesn't realize what he has decides he wants to clean out his garage on ebay.

Crack kills.


I've never been a particularly huge Smashing Pumpkins fan.
I liked Gish, and I kind of love Siamese Dream, and if hard pressed, I guess there were some good songs after that, though no whole album moved me after the first two, the thing is my gripe has always been his predilection for the screaming voice and the quiet, screechy, cracking voice that seemed to dominate everything after.
My friend is working with him right now and said he was the sweetest guy you'd ever want to meet. She and a few other girls I know have been hanging with him a lot while he's been recording, they've been taking some pretty great photos and documenting the recording in a way that's pretty interesting and revealing, especially for a guy so secretive.
Billy posted this on Twitter a few weeks ago with a caption that explained how this was THE (emphasis his) amp he had recorded Gish and Siamese Dream with.
Now I'm not fanboy, but I have to say, if there's one thing that was always bullet proof, it was his guitar playing and in particular, his tone.
Sometimes an amp looks so good you know it's gonna sound good, like the Marshall JCM 800 head on cover of Fugazi's Red Medicine. This amp is one of those. It also made me wanna drag mine into the control room and plug it in.

No one ever talked about how weird he held his mouth. If you don't believe me, watch The Lost Boys in the scene where he meets the Frog brothers in the comic shop and says "Lex Luthor hadn't even been intro-DEUCED".

Speaking of deuce - (And I swear I didn't even remember this picture followed, so no pun intended) - I recently found out that my friend and landlord is selling the house we live in, so I have to move. I have begun to look into buying with my wife.
One house that was listed on The MLS actually had this picture posted in it's listing.
Cause nothing says "Buy This House" like a used quarter-roll of toilet paper.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And if you don't know, now you know.

Top 10 bands ever.
I have seen them on many occasions, sometimes in small venues pressed up against the front of the stage staring up from the monitors like a little girl, sometimes in larger venues, and once I even had the pleasure of opening up for them at the Troubador.
Seriously one of the most underrated bands of all time. Alexis is a monster drummer, Johnny Temple lays down the heaviest basslines since the Jesus Lizard, Scott McCloud is like a younger Peter Weller on cool pills, and Eli is the only person I've ever seen "rock out" on the keyboards without looking like a fey Thomas Dolby.
The coolest band ever. Period.

This pictures says a lot.
Growing up in LA, it takes a lot to make me fan out on someone.
Meeting T.A. was one of those times, and what made it even weirder was that he came up to me.
I won't reveal the circumstances, but I will tell you this; sometimes I still trip out that I know this dude. Total legend, total killer, and I want that surfboard bad.

As a black man, as a student of cinema, and as a guy who appreciates style, I am embarrassed to report that after 36 years of living and having had the soundtrack on vinyl for nearly as long, I have finally seen what is truly one of the greatest films of all time - The Mack.
Max Julien is now my hero on every level.

This picture sums up the feeling of a project I'm currently writing.
The "Rio" photo is obviously his most famous, but to me this Nagel has a lot of soul.


Let's play tummy-sticks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm a Zulu, yes a true blue, Red Alert is with the poo-poo.

Medallion carrying member.

I've posted these before, and I'm begging you, what was this colorway called, who has a pair, and why aren't they on my doorstep.

Keepin' your head above water, making a wave if you can.

Somebody actually made this with the knowledge that there is a market for it.

My wife painted these ages ago on leather panels for a Los Angeles designer who changed his name from Joel to Romulus. My wife is amazing.

Take a picture, it'll last longer.

This was a part of my past.

Jen from Gnarlitude blogged about this ages ago, but I still don't have one. Erik, Bueller, anyone?

The king.

If you see this, bail.

Before founding the Universal Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambatta was warlord of the Bronx River's 10th division of the Black Spades, one of the most notorious and hard hitting gangs of New York City whose place in hip-hop history can't be overstated, as they helped keep the Bronx safe for it's residents and supported the emerging hip-hop community by providing security at the parties so the DJ's could play without incident.
Along with several other gangs, the Spades attended the Hoe Avenue peace meeting that was fictionalized in The Warriors as the meeting called by Cyrus and the Riffs.

See I'm programmed to slam, winter, summer, spring or fall.

Nobody was as cool as Travolta in the 70's.

Except maybe the dude holding this glow stick.

Or Robert DeGrimston.

Rime/Jersey Joe.
Known Gallery.
Act like you know.

Top 5.
And I saw it performed live before the album came out.
Universal Amphitheater, Dope Jam Tour.
Age has it's benefits, bitches.

Best shoe ever.
The photo doesn't even do it justice.
A black canvas wino with brown gum rubber sole.
Totally gangster.
Even with a waffle-stomping size 12 like mine it doesn't look too big or cumbersome.
Thin, look great when pants fall on them, light, but not sketchy to skate in...basically, perfect.
The details, from the stitching, to the DIXON on the back all make it totally incredible.

For me, the real indicator of a great piece of clothing or shoe is when I first try it on, I immediately want an extra one to store in the closet for when I thrash the one I'll be wearing everyday.

I don't wear baseball hats, but if I did, I'd wear this.
If you have one, give it to me.

The best part of coming home from tour.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What planet? What channel? What station? Afrika from the Zulu Nation.

Once again I've let it go too long without posting. But in this instance I have an excuse, I've been touring like a madman behind a new EP my band released.

Since we last spoke I've been to - Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Atlanta, Nashville, D.C., NYC, Philly, Clifton Park, and Montreal.
At the moment I am typing this from my hotel room in Toronto, and after tomorrow's show in town we'll be heading to Detroit, Louisville, Chicago, Lawrence, and Denver.

It's been fun as shit, the kids have been coming and showing the love, and I'm lucky to have such a good job; I can't complain.
I'm tired, but it's the good kind - hard work, sweat, playing rock and roll, and occasionally skateboarding, like here at the 6th St. Skatepark in Nashville.
If you find yourself in there, check it, it's connected to an all-ages venue called Rocket Town, the people who run it are cool, and the locals are friendly.

After our show I wanted to take a run before the bus left, and since they enforced the helmet rule, I had to buy one, but the spitfire gloves I scored in the shop made it worth it.
Adam 12 took some shots of me shredding in show clothes (note the tour laminate giving good air flair)

The gloves that made it worth buying the helmet.

Since it's been a while since we last spoke, this is not going to have the full impact, as it's going to seem bandwagon-esque, due to it's late arrival.

But I'm gonna go ahead and say it: SOA is the best show on TV. Period.

Well, maybe not BEST, as I recently, (read: TODAY) became ob'd with Mad Men, but SOA is definitely the most exciting show on TV.

I'm not gonna say I watched it from the beginning of the first season, cause that would be a lie.
I thought the posters looked gay, (by the way, I'm taking that word back to it's schoolyard meaning, deal with it).
I mean, NO ONE thought it looked good when the posters first went up. But between seasons I caught an episode and fell in love instantly.
I then bought the season on itunes and sat down for the next 4 days and watched the whole thing with my wife, and we were hooked.
I tried spreading the gospel and getting friends into it, but no one was biting, everyone who was into the MC world thought it was weak, and those who didn't know anything about bikes or the culture thought it would be too inside.
Still, I persisted, and told anyone who would listen about how epic this show was and when I wasn't Tweeting about it or posting something on my Facebook, I was hard-selling it to the unconverted like a snake oil salesman.
Come premiere night of Season Two it seems some people listened, cause now everyone who checked it out was telling me how sick it was. Granted, it was one of the most craze episodes of TV ever, let alone a record breaking season premiere for cable television, but the point is, those who doubted were now converts and suddenly I was the go-to guy to explain what was what and recap season 1 for the newly initiated.
I have done everything but rename my son Jax and write a spec script to submit to Kurt Sutter (debating doing so), but I digress.
While you could definitely nitpick it to death about authenticity, the point remains, it's fucking good television.
It would be lazy to call it The Soprano's set in the MC world, but I have even done so when someone didn't get the, "Hamlet set in the Norcal MC world" reference. Basically, it's a family drama punctuated by extreme violence that has you laughing at the most inappropriate shit, in the end, it's just it's own thing.
If you haven't seen it yet, give in, you'll be hooked, if you're hating on it, it's your loss, and if you are already as addicted as me, I feel sorry for you.

That said, anyone wearing the rockers you can buy on ebay, is just Gary with a silent R.

You watch the show long enough, even a vintage freak like me starts dreaming of an old FXR.

Or even better, a push button, dependable, blacked out Street Bob.

Or the bike Jax Teller himself rides; a nice Super Glide.
(I've already reached out to Harley Davidson to see if they'd like to sponsor me and kick me a bike at a discount, you know, sort of like the Emerica wild ride thing, except instead of being a professional skateboarder, I'm a mediocre skateboarder and a singer in a rock band, kind of a good deal for them if you ask me. Still waiting to hear back.)

My boy Yosi Sergant was just at the center of a huge controversy that wasn't really one until Glen Beck made it so.
Yosi is one of my best friends, a stellar human being, selfless, devoted, kind, good hearted, and just blazing awesome 24/7, so it was a shame that an entertainment personality who has enough vapid followers to matter was able to stir up such a hoopla about so very little.

Yosi was very much responsible for this little poster you may have seen before.
(If you think Obama's a socialist who's taking your guns that's cool, you're entitled to be wrong, I'm just talking about my friend.)

On a lighter note, at a Chik-Fil-A in the great state of Texas, this kid was trying to watch me drop a deuce.
Thankfully Adam 12 caught him in the act.
This kid's future is fucked, and it ain't' the president's fault.

From fucked future to fucked past.
The 70's.

The other day I was at County USC medical center visiting one of my dearest friends who was injured in a motorcycle accident. (Mr. Michael Barragan of Evil Spirit Engineering who you may remember from my earlier posts as the man who's building my bike with me. He's recovering and doing well but your thoughts would still be appreciated, plus I'm sure we'll be having a benefit of some sort, so stay tuned - side note, you want to see why everyone needs health insurance, go to County USC Hospital)...and while waiting for visiting hours outside I was approached by a skinny, frail, aging gang member who was asking to buy a cigarette. I don't smoke, but my boy gave him one, and as he reached out his thin, heavily tattooed arm with an enormous abscess, I noticed a tattoo of a particularly gnarly prison gang on his arm.

Point being, that guy was hardcore.
When I was a kid, this was marketed as hardcore.

This on the other hand, scared the shit out of me.
Even though I knew the Van Patten kid from spending my summers in Malibu, this was frightening.
Gone was the cute, eye batting, ball playing Salami from The White Shadow.
Here was a vision of the not-so-distant future in which a bunch of pretty punkers who would never make it in a Penelope Spheeris movie were unleashed on an unsuspecting school, teacher, and his wife.
I mean, when the punkers are raping the teacher's wife, things have gone too far.
I haven't seen it in ages, but it's been recently re-released on DVD, and I'm gonna be it holds up.

And though I'd love for just one post of mine to NOT contain a memorial to a friend or hero who died, it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to one of the good ones.
JJ Klein.
I was unable to make the memorial service, as I was on the road, but she was a sweetheart, funny as hell, a rockin' drummer, cute as a button, a nice Jewish girl, and taken way too young.