Fire in Our Throats will Beckon…

Here is a great map of the the affected areas with info.

This morning I heard some pundit comparing Katrina to the fires in San Diego. There was a fair amount of speculation on whether the Southern California fires are more destructive or affect more people than Hurricane Katrina. Yes folks! American desire for old-fashioned competition is at its height when comparing tragedy. Over 500,000 people were given mandatory evacuation orders for the fires the past 72 hours in San Diego (upwards of 1 million have been displaced). According to San Diego officials in the newscast update from this morning (Wed. Oct 24, 2007) we’ve surpassed Katrina’s modest evacuation of 1.2 million (according to the Wiki entry regarding mandatory and voluntary evac). What those officials fail to mention is the difference in the populations of those people affected by the fires and those affected by the consequences of the storm. Lots of people may be unfamiliar with the disparity between the two. North County San Diego is populated in majority by middle to upper middle class Caucasian families. Whereas those most affected by Katrina where poor, black and in the most precarious of NOLA neighborhoods directly damaged by the broken levy.

The Witch Creek Fire, the biggest one in the county so far has scorched 150K acres and 750 homes/structures. That is massive. The Harris fire continues to blaze out of control and is moving into Mexico and of course we don’t get any news on what is happening south of the border, at least we won’t until the death toll or destruction gets so big, corporate news will HAVE no choice but to cover it. When it comes to the national embarrassment of Katrina, an embarrassment both the Bush Administration and the government of California refuses to repeat (thankfully) in their response to our current situation. It brings to mind the scenes of putrid water swirling, people on rooftops and total anarchy at the Super Dome, a ‘last resort’ sanctuary for the people who hadn’t been evacuated in time during Katrina. “The second day brought more horror, greater despair: The death toll exceeded 100 — in just one county” – Miami Herald, 2005

San Diego has been incredibly lucky in that we’ve only had minimal life lost (only 6 so far from the reports). Course they’re already putting the damage into numbers of double digit Billions. Our property value in SoCal is way higher than those in NOLA. Governor Schwarzenegger has been here since day one, shaking hands and visiting areas of devastation, almost definitely securing another bid for leader of the people’s republic of Kauli-for-nee-ah. Bush will be here tomorrow. He’s declared CA a federal disaster area. This tragedy has been handled superbly. And our leaders are patting themselves on the back already with the look of holy-shit-we-can-handle-this-thing plastered on their exhausted faces. All my friends on the coast and north of the 56 are safe and from most reports their homes are okay too. We still have another day or possibly two of these devilish Santa Ana winds. There will be questions after the smoke clears. People have realized the power of local government and the castrated sluggishness of bureaucratic federal government aid (or lack thereof for NOLA). We have seen the outpouring of compassion to the victims of the fires from our own community. An overwhelming about of aid from neighbors unaffected by the fires are giving as much as they can. There is a huge difference between SoCal and NOLA, and that is NOLA was a tragedy and the SoCal fires are a disaster. SoCal is being handled and marketed better than NOLA was and the cast of characters includes a former blockbuster movie star.

Oddly enough, has been a good source of local news. Don’t rely on CNN to give you an accurate report of how many people are at Qualcomm. BTW – Chargers and Aztec games have been postponed, at least at the Q for this weekend.

A brief suggestion of songs for a mix.
These are examples of songs that have been coming up in the random for the past three days. I’m not sure if there is some sort of cosmic design for the way music affects a person during times of stress but a lot of these tunes are apropos of our current fiery California situation.

1. Grinderman – “When My Love Comes Down” from Grinderman
2. PJ Harvey – “One Line” from Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
3. Radiohead – “Reckoner” from In Rainbows
4. Boys Sets Fire – “The Power Remains the Same” from The Day the Sun Went Out
5. Turbonegro – “City of Satan” from Party Animals
6. Les Savy Fav – “Raging in the Plague Age” from Lets Stay Friends
7. !!! – “Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard (a true story)
8. Pelican – “Autumn Into Summer” from The Fire in Our Throats…
9. Ennio Morricone – “Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Titoli)”
10. Doves – “Sky Starts Falling” from Some Cities
11. The Velvet Underground – “Sweet Jane”
12. Pegboy – “Field of Darkness”
13. Counterfit – “Suckin Ma Nuts” (outtake from actual song with D Essr on Vox)

Synthesis of Classic Form

you enjoy this!An air raid siren echoing off of glass and concrete as dust and debris filter from between the buildings to the streets below. So much skin. So much skin. Where does the mind end and the body begin? You are on perpetual display my dear. Your white skin and your blond hair and your long legs and trim figure are attractively relative. But not because you are the best choice for breeding. Your hips are much too small. You don’t eat enough. Or you must eat just enough to get by. What are you drinking? Vodka Tonic? No way! Vodka Cranberry. I can see from here when the tender lips touch the reddish-purple concentrate of the glass, filled with ice, garnish with lime. That guy over there is leering at your breasts. You’d call him a ‘creepy bastard’ if you caught him but you don’t notice and he zero’s in on another couple. I believe he enjoys their shape. But those aren’t real are they? They could pass but they don’t move quite right and your 5’4″ frame wouldn’t naturally support those shapes: that weight and its implications of alterations. Those strange looking objects that bring men pleasure because of their shape and their muscle memory in meaning. You can feed a child. But not really. Cause they’re full of saline and not the apparatus to sustain the life of your offspring.

Is this merely observation?

Is this social commentary?

Does it affect me?

Is it effective?

Grinderman Says, “I must above all things love myself.”

The North Atlantic @ Black Box Theater

The North Atlantic. Wow! An amazing 5 years of knowing you guys and watching you tear it up from here to Austin. I’ll miss it. But mostly I’ll miss the three of you together. Thanks Guys!

Critical Mass San Diego

Pics from the July 27th Critical Mass.
Rough estimate of about 300-400 riders. Fixies, Multi-speeds, mountain bikes, a pretty awesome BMX crew, warriors and the usual assortment of scum and villainy (plus the drunk faction).

Flight of the Neon Birds…

At the end of 5th Street. Down Town was quite full, regular shiny shirt guys speaking ‘dood’ and females in short skirts speaking ‘like’ plus a host of San Diego Comic Con revelers, some dressed in storm trooper outfits. Every Friday night should be like this.

Corner of Park and Adams. Frame right, unseen, lurks a seriously pissed off grandma. I wonder what would happen if there was an emergency with a car, like someone had a heart attack or was squirting out a flesh turd and had to get to the hospital in a hurry during a CM ride?

Adams and 30th. Its interesting to see all the black clad goth types hanging outside Quidan and all the frat/skank types carousing outside of air conditioned on either side of the street while homeless drunks hang out in front of the liquor store and haggle for refried cigarettes…pint of whiskey was finally opened at this stop. delicious.

this one turned out to be the coolest. looks like a bunch of neon stick figures dancing on the heads of blurry bikers in the night. good visual metaphor for the evening. the route actually took me to the black box to watch the north atlantic play their last show.

End Of An Era: The North Atantic

Now that it’s official, Cullen Hendrix, drummer for San Diego noise-psych-punk act The North Atlantic is hanging up his sticks as the beat master (though he’ll continue making music and beating any number of things, like that pesky indictment…just kidding). As for singer/guitarist/brother Jason Hendrix and surrogate brother/bass player Jason Richards a much talked about and ballyhooed move to the windy city is in store where they will continue to create amazing songs and perform to a whole new subset of seenster folks who’ll hopefully fill out the crowd in any club and bar they play while in that city. It’s fucking cold there and it’s swallowed a few good friends already. While I wish them luck I’m a bitter and vengeful old man and I hope they grow to hate that city as much as the characters in Upton Sinclair and Ralph Ellison novels.

I remember when I first met Cullen and JH and JR. a mutual friend from Denver who had migrated to the Whales Vagina took me and my then girlfriend to a ‘Vegan’ dinner party, which was luckily for us being only several blocks away. I immediately found kindred spirits in Jason H and Cullen H. Jason and I talked about music like two savants. An instant bond was created. Of course they told me about their band, The North Atlantic, I thought, “Cool, I was in a band in Denver and I’m gonna try and start one out here, maybe we can jump on your coat tails and play some dive bars with you guys.” And it totally worked out for the better. But aside from self-serving band bullshit I truly grew to love those three assholes as friends and I respect them as musicians and activists as well.

My point, I’m sure you’re wondering if there is one. And there is (though it’s nebulous and its relevance and quality debatable). I’m a huge fan of their band but it’s always taken a back seat in my eyes when it comes to what they mean to me as people. Yes I’ve missed a few of their shows but I’ve been at all the ones that count. The release for Wires in the Walls when it sold out the Casbah was notable. Or when they played the Purevolume showcase in Austin to 12 people, those12 people that there at noon in the rain that hadn’t heard them before were instantly in awe of their energy. Cullen made quick to introduce himself and thank them for coming out to watch even if they were there to see Stephen Pedersen’s Criteria or 06 SXSW darlings, Minus the Bear.

Seeing them at Black Box Studio one halloween, dressed like Ron Burgundy in a pale blue suit and red velvet turtleneck and mustache, I swayed in time and shifted my feet to ‘Street Sweepers.’ One can always count on Jason Hendrix for some heady, literati word salad, spit with vitriol. Though I would have to say that Jason Richards is the best dancer in the band by far, which is interesting knowing he has several cubic feet more mass then the brothers Hendrix. Then there was the time Planes Mistaken for Stars (RIP)came and destroyed our livers and ears along with Bear Vs. Shark (one of the only good bands Equal Visions put out in the past 10 years – also RIP). We ran out of ice for the whiskey and Gared and Mikey got the last of the clear cubes, I noticed the tray of brownish cubes in Cullens freezer and popped those in my tumbler of whiskey: suffice to say vegans freeze vegetable stock and I drank a horrible whiskey soup concoction that day.

And of course all the shows at Scolari’s before it went from seedy dive punk bar to interior setting shot for Veronica Mars and a ‘slumming it’ style watering hole for all those fucking yuppies that live in those ugly ass condos across the street on 30th. When Gabe, drunk and sweaty sang to every lyric from Buried Under Tundra and Charlie played some keyboards to what would become new songs for Wires. Can you believe I proposed to my wife in Scolaris while the band played ‘Submariner?’ How cool is that? It smelled like puke and she said yes to the eventual bombast and crash of the “Lotus Eaters.” I’ve loved loving them and I’ll hate to miss them as I’ve known them. You know we can’t all be lost boys chasing Wendy Darling forever. Being that they have always been more than just a band to me their music will always be more than something I passively listen to as well.

They’ll be at Black Box Studio this Friday, make sure you drive right past Turf Club and its requisite buffoonery and head right behind the 7/11 for the party of the summer!

Thanks for the memories.