Friday, January 30, 2009

Top 10s Gone Mad

It's the end of January, when KALX holds its Best Of week. I'm missing it by two days (going to be on the air next Tuesday at noon), but I will probably play my Top 10 reissues of the year. Here's a sneak peak at part of what you might hear:

Nathaniel Mayer - (I Want) Love And Affection (Not The House Of Correction) (Vampi Soul)
Sir Victor Uwaifo - Guitar-Boy Superstar 1970-76 (Sound Way)
Rodriguez - Cold Fact (Light in the Attic)
Eduardo Mateo - Mateo Solo Bien Se Lame (Lion)
Hallelujah Chicken Run Band - Take One (Analog Africa)
V/A - Nigeria Special: 1970-1976 (Sound Way)
V/A - Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country (Trikont)
V/A - You Got Yours! East Bay Garage 1965-67 (Big Beat)
V/A - African Scream Contest: Raw And Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin And Togo 70's (Analog Africa)
V/A - Authenticité: The Syliphone Years 1965-80 (Sterns)

And my Top 10 new music discs? They seem to change every time someone asks list, but here's the latest list:

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (XL)
MC Chris - MC Chris Is Dead (Self-released)
This Is Ivy League - This Is Ivy League (Twenty-seven)
Flight of the Conchords - S/T (Sub Pop)
She & Him - Volume One (Merge)
Apache - Boomtown Gems (Birdman)
The Submarines - Honeysuckle Weeks (Nettwerk)
Passion Pit - Chunk of Change (Frenchkiss)
The Dodos - Visiter (Frenchkiss)
Thee Makeout Party! - Play Pretend (Teenacide)

(Honorable mentions include Crystal Stilts, Kassin +2, Little Joy, Koushik, High Places, Wallpaper, The Hold Steady, Raphael Saadiq, Megapuss, Time Machine, Santogold, Sonny J, The Lucksmiths, The Vivian Girls, and Yelle.)

How about my Top 14 movies? Here ya go:

Man on Wire
Tell No One
Rachel Getting Married
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
The Band's Visit
The Edge of Heaven
Roman de Gare
A Christmas Story
The Visitor

And the number one video of a sibling helping to shut down the Israeli consulate in LA.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Embracing What Is Right

Random thoughts after Obama's Inauguration:

Rick Warren sucks eggs, but he didn't do anything bad, other than try (and fail) to approximate a black preacher. Rev Joesph Lowery, however, was damn awesome -- from that gravely voice to his sweet jazzy rhymes ("We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right"). Let's get this man a weekly radio address and see what else he comes up with.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Dick Cheney rolled out in a wheelchair only so people wouldn't boo him. This is a guy who shot his friend's face off with a hunting rifle. He is not going to be taken out by a little box. Now, if he had his hand caught in a shredder, I'd understand.

I spent Inauguration night at a quintessential Berkeley gathering. I can't remember the last time I was 20 years younger than most everyone in the room. Or where everyone knew all the words (and sang along excitedly) to "This Land Is Your Land." Great desserts, though.
You know what's nice? Having the hippest president ever. Really. Yeah, Clinton busted out his sax on Arsenio, but he played like Kenny G. Did you see Barack dancing with Michelle, while Beyonce cried/sang "At Last"? Jesus, is it possible to be turned on and moved at the same time? No more Kenny Chestnut or Charlie Daniels or crappy cornpone. Now we get to see Sting (with a Taliban beard!) and Bono and Bruce Springsteen … oh, wait, those are all white guys. Well, Usher and Kanye West and Mary J Blige and Stevie Wonder were there too.

And just look at this pic from 1996, when the Obamas weren't in politics at all. That is one cool/hot couple.

You know what else is going to be fun? Watching Joe Biden screw up for the next four-to-eight years. Already, Jon Stewart is pointing out Obama giving him the "shut the fuck up" face during the second swearing in. Hoo boy.

Do you think Cheney is hurt by Stewart's constant jokes about him being Darth Vader and emitting a toxic gas instead of carbon dioxide? And was Bush hurt by Obama's blatant "let's wipe the screen clean" comments during his speech? I've got to say that speech gave me hope that he's going to be more liberal than he appeared during the campaign.

Then again, anyone who thinks that this country is suddenly all hugs and kisses isn't watching Fox News or going to this NYC baker's racist shop.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Holiday Rap Up

Happy New Year! I have been busy trying to get my YA novel into shape to send out and getting the Rickshaw's winter calendar into shape, so I haven't really felt like being on the computer when I come home from the office (re: The Beanery or L'amyx). But here's some pics from recent times.

Me trying to teach Yi Rong how to do the "pig snoot." Somehow, she looks better doing it than me.

April came home for the first time and got along famously with everyone. In fact, the families seemed desperate to hold onto this one. Jeez, are they trying to tell me something?

And here's some photos from the Rickshaw holiday party. As usual, it was all kept top secret. Here we're taking the sketchy bike route through South Fremont. Or was it Hayward?

Eventually, we arrived at our first destination, iFly! Here we're gearing up.

Some funny shots of people flying.

What your faces look like after you've had the mask (and moustache) on.

This is destination two: ice-skating at Yerba Buena. Notice my perfect form. Frankenskater!

What's missing? The drunken dinner and the drunken bike ride home. Ah, good times.